Monday, July 31, 2017
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Anyway, my husband grew up eating home canned chicken and rice. He's often asked me to make it for him to carry with him during the week, but I never had. I really had no point of reference for it. I finally ran into someone who canned it. She gave me her directions, and I decided to try it.
The ingredients are simple: Salt, pepper, broth (or water), cooked chicken, brown rice, carrot and celery
My cost per jar was less than $1.00 and I can pronounce all the ingredients. This is an experiment to see how the rice holds up. The plan is to open 1 jar a week and see how it does as time progresses.
Monday, July 24, 2017
1. The electric bill came -- $190 -- which is below my $200 goal. It is slowly climbing, but even with the a/c turned up it is running a lot more as we hit peak temperatures.
2. I spent some monies, but nothing horrible. I spent $30 on groceries, but that included some replacement items that I had used up in canning. (Things like 4 bags of sugar, eggs, milk, etc.) I took advantage of a sale and ordered my daughter a couple of shirts for this fall.
3. We found notebooks for my daughter for school -- the kind you add looseleaf paper to -- that work great for her math classes.
4. We continued to use up items on hand. I am slowly seeing some items be used up, but I think we will continue on into August with our plan. However, my grandson will be spending a week and I am sure that week I will have more activities and toddler friendly meals.
5. I baked at home, cooked all meals except one at home, and added to our food storage through canning. We ate various items from our food storage, but we did buy 2 pizzas on Saturday.
6. I saved $100 by shopping around for the best price on a shelf for my pantry.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Life is a weird mix. I try to live in the present, but always keep the upcoming seasons in mind.
Sometimes it is literal seasons.
Today I was up well before the sun and I canned 7 quarts of dark red kidney beans in anticipation of big pots of chili this fall.
(I was cooking chili anyway for a family get togethr and decided I may as well soak enough beans to do a canner full.)
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Monday, July 17, 2017
This simple frosting is the one I associate most with my childhood. My grandmama almost always made a thin sheet cake and frosted it with this. I do make mine a little thicker than she made hers. (This is not the hardest fudge, but somewhere between.)
Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar and set aside.
1 stick of butter
4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1/3 cup of whole milk
Melt butter over a low/medium heat in a saucepan. Whisk in cocoa powder and milk. Bring to a boil (stirring as you go) and remove from heat. Stir in sugar.
If you are frosting a layer cake this will do a large sheet pan. If you are making a layer cake it will give generous layers of frosting. Be forewarned, you need to be ready to frost your cake as soon as you finish mixing in the sugar because it starts to set up quickly.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
So far we've been doing well on the "use it up" front. Other than a watermelon for immediate consumption, and 2 boxes of crackers and cereal for the pantry storage, we haven't done any grocery shopping.
Meals have included things like: baked potatoes topped with cheese and pepperoni, barbecued meatballs served over rice, pancakes, scrambled egg/bacon/cheese wraps, a hamburger helper type dish, fresh baked biscuits, lasagna, BBQ porkchops, etc. We've had various fruits and veggies to round those out. Snacks have been an assortment of chips, popcorn, crackers, etc. We also celebrated my daughter's birthday with a cheesecake made using food storage ingredients and cream cheese, which I try to buy in bulk because it holds up quite well in the refrigerator. I baked a cake and used food storage items for that as well.
On the frugal front --
I've played with printing my own stationery. I've yet to decide if it is more frugal, but I do like the process.
I've done some light canning and saved the water for my plants.
We've planned birthday meals and desserts from items on hand.
I also bought two books on Amazon for 30 cents each, but I did have to pay shipping, which was still a great savings over buying them new.
I'm continuing to try to keep the a/c turned up during the day. It is getting harder as the heat index hits triple digits. I am also being quite diligent about only using the dryer for towels.
We've used up several odd bits of cleaners that were in bottles.
We washed and detailed our cars. I checked out a book from the library.
I've been working on a shawl using leftover yarn from a project completed more than 10 years ago, and I am down to finishing the edging.
I harvested my basil and green onion. (They're dried now and in my food storage.)
We had our annual eye exams and while we were out I doubled up on trips to pick up a few household items. I'm currently looking into whether I can order my new glasses online or if I will need to head back to my usual place.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Friday, July 14, 2017
Unfortunately the first thing I smelled when I walked in was their seafood department. I should have known to turn around and walk out. Instead I told myself I would just avoid that counter and be fine. I hadn't made it out of the store good before I was having difficulty breathing. I've spent the day in a drug induced haze and 9 hours later still am having some respiratory issues.
Needless to say Publix is off of my shopping rotation permanently. However, I did buy some cereal and some crackers that were B1G1. The cereal was my daughter's favorite and the cracker stores I had in the pantry were pretty much depleted. I toyed with baking my own, but it is just too hot.
The store is beautifully arranged and the prices are a little on the high end, but everything seemed high quality. So all in all, I would say if you have one near and try to shop on a budget -- definitely do cherry picking of their sales.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Monday, July 10, 2017
My week is shaping up to be quite busy, but I had to take time today to process a few items for the food storage. We bought a huge, home grown watermelon this weekend. 1/2 of the rind made 3 quarts of pickles. (I canned the other jar of brine to use either with dressings or perhaps to make some refrigerator pickles using cucumbers.) Then I used 6 cups of the flesh pureed to make watermelon jelly. I ended up with 10 jars.
Sunday, July 9, 2017
June -- I didn't finish the blue and white cardigan....I am close, but still not there. I didn't keep to the food budget due to life changes. I didn't sew the dress....I know, but I have been productive...lol. What I did do was pack for road trips, keep the electric bill down, and finish my library book. At first, I felt like I hadn't accomplished a lot.
In hindsight, I did do a lot of things that were not on my list. I did some canning. I traveled with my family. I attended some events. Celebrated birthdays.
However, I have a project in the works. I managed to complete the reading and notes on 7 research books. That is where a lot of my time went. I pretty much did all the things listed 4 days a week because this is the month that my husband has Friday's off....and I've spent every weekend with him. So while not perfect, I am call June a success.
July's goals are pretty simple:
1. Try to keep the electric bill down as much as possible and still have air conditioning.
2. Continue to do some selective canning and dehydrating.
3. Work on using the freezer storage down.
4. Celebrate two birthdays -- my daughter's and my husband's.
5. Continue my research and the online course I am taking.
6. Continue to perfect using the sun oven.
Friday, July 7, 2017
Saturday July 1
Breakfast -- homemade chocolate chip waffles with syrup
Lunch -- leftover pulled pork on brioche buns with cole slaw
Supper -- barbecued chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, cole slaw
Snacks -- brownies, popcorn
Sunday July 2
Breakfast -- cereal with soy milk/milk
Lunch and Supper -- clean out refrigerator day
Snacks -- graham crackers, brownies
Monday July 3
Breakfast -- egg, cheese, flour tortilla wraps
Lunch -- yogurt
Leftovers Supper -- fried chicken (cooked enough for lunch for the next day), string beans with potatoes
Snacks -- graham crackers
Tuesday July 4
Breakfast -- blueberry pancakes
Lunch -- fried chicken, squash with onions, cucumbers in vinegar, string beanss with potatoes Supper -- homemade pizzas (one pepperoni and cheese, one veggie with mushrooms, bell pepper, etc.)
Afternoon tea -- tea and biscuits as a nod to our British heritage
Snacks -- popcorn, cookies, ice cream
Wednesday July 5
Breakfast -- don't laugh....I pulled out a hodge podge of leftover veggies from the day before. My daughter had cereal.
Lunch -- homemade pizza leftovers
Supper -- everyone fixed a plate of hodgepodge leftovers.
Thursday July 6
Breakfast -- eggs with cheese
Lunch -- cereal (long story)
Supper -- crockpot barbecue meatballs, string beans, potatoes
Friday July 7 (Road trip)
Breakfast/Lunch -- I baked 8 biscuits and fried ham to go in them. Extras are for on the road. I also packed snacks from food storage.
Saturday -- We will be out of state and I have allotted for at least one meal out during the trip.
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Monday, July 3, 2017
Monday -- I picked up a Sam's Club order. There was only one food item -- a package of beef for the freezer. All the rest was cleaning, pet care, and household supplies. I try to do this twice a year if possible although some things I do have to look for quarterly. By timing it with sales I was able to save over $79 on things we normally buy and use. Running two households either requires duplicates or items big enough to split in half. Sam's Club works well for us on that. I also make a point to order online and just do pick up at the store whenever it is possible. This helps me make certain I don't do any impulse purchases.
Tuesday -- I spent the day down -- with a migraine combined with a stomach virus. We kind of ate whatever we could find. I didn't do a lot of anything.
Wednesday -- I was feeling some better. I bleached all the surfaces I could bleach, washed my bedding, and stayed in.
Thursday -- Perfect day to test the solar oven again. I baked brownies and made a batch of beans and rice. We went to the thrift store and I bought 1 skirt, 4 blouses, and a purse. $21.34. The blouses are all neutrals and will go with anything. The purse was $1.99. I had been using a backpack because I have to carry so many epi-pens, sugar testign supplies, etc. This bag even has a pocket that is perfect for my epi-pen pouch.
Friday -- We had to go to Aldi to pick up milk and soy milk, while I was there they had chicken breasts (large packages) marked $4 off. I came home with four packages for basically the price of two. We also went to Ollie's, and I picked up a few household items.
Saturday -- Company over for supper. Kept it simple. One crockpot with BBQ chicken and one with mac and cheese. A hot day and I would have normally grilled out, but they were calling for early evening thunderstorms. I'm serving leftover slaw, a veggies, and some homebaked brownies.....that we baked early in the morning while it was still cooler.
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