Saturday, September 30, 2017

Pumpkin Spice (Gluten Free) Doughnuts (Recipe Link Included)

Yesterday was National Coffee Day and nothing goes with coffee quite like doughnuts.  I cannot find any that are gauranteed nut free and I definitely cannot find any wheat free.  I found this recipe and decided to make my own. These are pumpkin spice, gluten free doughnuts.  They're baked so they do have that old fashioned cake doughnut feel, but the flavor is excellent.  They're sweet enough, but not too sweet.  The recipe made 10 large doughnuts using Namaste all purpose gluten free flour mix.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Last Week's Frugalities

We were traveling last week, but we allow for that in a separate budget from our household stuff.

 In no particular order:

 1.  I did pack snacks, some food items, etc. to take on our trip.  Mostly due to my food restrictions and never knowing what I can find.  We took advantage of free coffee at the hotel and my husband ate the continental breakfast.  Due to allergy concerns I ate items I brought with me.  We attended a free dinner.  (We also had an opportunity to go out a couple of times and found a few places that did not serve seafood so that was nice.)

 2.  We attended a free concert featuring a local band.

 3.  I found a department store sale during our travels and bought a nice dress.  It was originally $120 and I was able through sales and discounts to buy it for $26.  It is one I can dress up or dress down depending on accessories/jackets/wraps/ I was quite pleased with that.

 4.  My electric bill dropped a tiny bit.  $206...which isn't bad for August/September in the South.  Not below my $200 target, but near enough I consider it a win.  (Especially because I have had several times where I have had to use the dryer because of time constraints.)

 5.  We took advantage of our library for some new reads.

 6.  We used our military IDs to help discount the cost of tickets to Biltmore.    

 In an effort to keep this totally honest -- Now for the not as frugal:

 1.  We went to the theater to see a movie.  This was part of my anniversary present to my husband.  Totally worth it, but totally not an inexpensive thing to do.

 2.  We went out for dinner and drinks for our anniversary.  Again totally worth it.

 3.  We were exhausted on the ride home and picked up sodas/snacks at a convenience store.  Felt more like a necessity than a splurge.  LOL

 4.  I purchased some research books.

 5.  We did not make it home to do laundry until late Sunday afternoon, so once again I found myself running the dryer.  

 All in all, I am pleased with how the week went.  We  had been planning our trip for some time and actually spent less than we had set aside.  We had a wonderful time, but I must admit I'm glad to be home now to rest.  

Home Again

We spent most of last week in Asheville, North Carolina.  The weather was absolutely beautiful -- even the one late afternoon thunderstorm we had was perfect for napping.  We celebrated 25 years together!  I can't believe how fast time has flown in some ways and then in others when I look at how much we have packed into those years I am kind of amazed. We did a lot of the touristy things like visit Biltmore and ride the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We also did some of the local things -- a local band played in our area one night and we spent a night out on the commons listening to them.   I have so many photos of Biltmore that I don't see how I can possibly share them all.  However, I do recommend if you ever get a chance to visit, you really should.  The entire estate is absolutely gorgeous!    

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Childhood Foods Revisited

While my husband and I were drinking our morning coffee, we were reminiscing about favorite elementary school meals.
We both agreed that neither of us had eaten a Sloppy Joe in forever.
I decided to see if I could pull together a slightly more adult version that would meet our dietary restrictions.

I used the bread machine to bake a loaf of gluten free bread.  
I like the results.
(I would love it if I could make a fluffier loaf, but at least this one tastes good and the texture is good.)

For the filling I browned a pound of ground turkey breast with just a little olive oil added to the pan.
Add in:
1/2 of a can (approximately 8 ounces) of tomato sauce
1 package of Red Fork Sloppy Joe Skillet Sauce (This is gluten free.)

Simmer for 10 minutes.

We had open faced sandwiches so we could simply eat them with a fork and knife.

Our verdict was we enjoyed them enough we will be having them again.

(I bought the tomato sauce and the skillet sauce mix at Aldi.  
The ground turkey is from Zaycon.
The bread mix is a Namaste brand and I order mine from Amazon.)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Last Week's Frugalities

Last week was a pretty good week for us as far as frugalities went.

I did not leave the house until Friday morning, so we saved on gas and it kept me from spending.
I ordered a few household items we needed.  I was able to get them on sale and then the store offered me an additional $5 off it I would take slower shipping.  I said of course!  Ironically everything arrived within a day of each other anyway.

We ate from our storage until Friday night.  My husband requested pizza and we used coupons to get the price lowered.  Two ended up costing us pretty much what one usually costs.

We tried the new gluten free pizza from Papa John's and I did by "cheese" my husband could eat for us to add to it.
That ran the cost up some

While out over the weekend, I picked up some more mushrooms from Dollar Tree, some flowers for a wreath, and some note cards.
I use the notecards for writing to my penpals.

We spent some time clearing some more things out of the garage.
While we were out there I found my jello molds, so they are now hanging in my kitchen.
I had begun to think they were lost in the move.

I found stocking stuffers for my son's Christmas gift.  I also found a board game for my grandson.

I had guests over, and I pulled together a corn chowder from food storage.
It was a hit.

Because I had to go to the "expensive" store to buy the vegan cheese, I checked their seasonal coffees.
We usually buy a bag or two each season as a treat.
Two bags will last us a while.
I cannot drink horribly strong coffee, so I make it 2/3 to 3/4 strength and I add milk to my cup.
The bonus is that stretches out how long a bag will last.

Of course, I did a few things that were not as frugal as I could have chosen.
I did not hang clothes to dry.
We had a week with an odd schedule for my husband and I needed a quick turn around.

We also opted to pick up a take out lunch.  I did use coupons, but I know I could have made something cheaper at home.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Frugal Fall Decor

This afternoon I took the time to pull together a wreath for our front door.
I spent $12 on supplies (plus tax) and bought everything at Dollar Tree except for wire cutters.
(I already had those on hand.)

I had originally only picked up the autumnal colors, but I felt like it needed a pop of something.
The purple was the perfect choice.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Busy Fingers

I am rarely without a project, but this time I decided to pick something to make for myself.  I asked my husband what color yarn he thought would look good for a shawl for me, and he chose this pretty purple.  I've started a simple pattern called Shells and Lace Shawl that I found in an old crocheting magazine I had on my shelf.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Finished Shawl

I've finished the skull shawl for my best friend's birthday gift.
In fact, I think it will make it to her a little early, which is fine with me.

She loves to collect skulls and Steampunk type items so I am hoping she will love this.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Last Week's Frugalities

We were spared from the wrath of hurricane Irma, but prepping for her turned last week into a less frugal than planned kind of week. I spent right much on supplies, but I was careful to only buy things that could be rotated into our meals.  The only exception was a few disposable plates, bowls, and silverware.  If we had found ourselves having to treat water or use what was in storage I did not want to have to use it on washing dishes.  Technically even those items will be used for future things -- perhaps another hurricane, a spell of sickness, or even an impromptu gathering.  

 We also opted to run the dryer to speed up the laundry process just to be safe, which is not on my frugal list.

 However, I did do some frugal things:

 1.  We cooked from our food storages and I cooked enough in the evenings to cover lunch for the next day.

 2.  I bought 13 books at the 50 cents book sale at our local library.  One was the cookbook I referenced and the rest are pleasure reading.  I'll read these, pass them on to Mama, who will send them back to me, and then I'll redonate them to the library.  An amusing cycle, but a great way to support the library and to introduce myself to some new to me authors at a low cost.

 3.  I did our stock up supplies at Aldi, with the exception of some extra water I purchased at Sam's Club.

 4.  I ordered two cushions I needed online.  Target was advertising them on sale, but the local store didn't have them.  I ordered them online and managed to get a 10% additional discount on the sale price.

 5.  I continued to entertain myself with my research project and the shawl I am crocheting.

And my shawl is growing:

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Pasta, Grains, and Beans

Our local library had a 50 cents book sale, and I found this great book.
All the recipes have easily identifiable ingredients that can be altered to match most dietary restrictions.
I'll try to share recipes as I try them.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hurricane Preparedness

While I don't live as near the coast as I did, we still tend to feel the effects of hurricanes as they come through. We're all kind of watching Irma with caution.  Today I went to Aldi to pick up a few items I felt like we might need.  They're already limiting water to one package per customer. I'll go out and pick up an extra propane tank for the grill and should Irma make her way on up the coast, we will settle in and ride the storm out.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Day Trip

Today we packed a picnic and took a drive to see this grand old lady.
Benvenue was built in 1844 and remodeled in 1889.
She's a Victorian beauty!
The plantation (house grounds) include a kitchen, a one room school room, smokehouses, a former post office, and several other outbuildings including a green house.

She's privately owned -- luck family.
I should have baked a cake to take and been brave enough to knock on the door.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

August is Over (Frugal Happenings)

August is over!  I can't believe it.

 All in all, it was a quiet week for me.  We ate at home from supplies on hand.  I didn't even leave the house until Thursday.  I had an appointment for a hair cut.  I needed it desperately.  Every time I try to let my hair get longer, I find it mentally weighs me down.  I'm just happiest with short hair.  (My husband says it is because I am feisty and it matches my personality, and if I am honest, I would say he may be right.)  

 While I was on my way home, I stopped by Target to use a $10 gift card we had.  I picked up my daughter a vest for this fall.  The gift card covered a little over a third of the cost so that was nice.  She is very hot natured and will wear vests instead of jackets quite frequently.

 We had a meeting with our attorney about some paperwork, which was not inexpensive, but long term having everything squared away is the better option.

 I checked the Sam's Club sales and purchased a few items. The savings of a bulk purchase combined with the coupons they offer is sometimes worth me buying a few things and putting them aside.  We also needed eggs, cheese, and a few things like that.

 I used a 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby to buy some new embroidery scissors.  Using my old pair (when I was working on my skirt) showed me just how dull they had become.  I've been using them for years, and if memory serves me correctly I purchased those with a coupon then.

  I wore my "new to me" project (skirt) to a reception at the art museum.  

 We had our free flu shots at CVS.  We receive $5 off of $25 by using them.  (They're our regular "go to" pharmacy.)  I used the coupons, combined with sales to purchase some new makeup.  Several items I had needed replacing and I was totally out of mascara.

I used coupons to get large tubes of toothpaste (3) for .99 each.  I doubled coupons to get one bottle of vitamins free.  I also used coupons and bonus points to get my preferrred brand of foundation free.

We had to buy an electronic item for our home and through price matching we were able to get it for $50 less at our local Best Buy.

I picked up Christmas gifts for two more people on my list.

We used coupons to get burgers (B1G1) at a local fast food restaurant.  Our fancy meal out cost us $4.58.

 As usual, we tried to eat from the food stores at home.  By the end of the week we had actually run out of several things.  I like it when that happens because it lets me know I am rotating my stock.

  We gassed the cars up.  Normally we don't necessarily keep them all 100% full, but the gas prices are climbing more than 20 cents a gallon a day.  (Some stations went over 40 cents higher in one afternoon.)  

 I'm sure there were other little things here and there, but these were the highlights of the week.      

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Labor Day Weekend

We're having a quiet weekend at home.
Since the weather is rainy and blah I'm planning to read, crochet and watch movies.
The bottom five books are for research for a current project.
The top three books are for pleasure reading.

For the movies, we have decided to do a James Bond themed weekend.

As far as the crocheting goes, I'm working on a "Lost Souls" skull shawl.

YouTube Creator Tag

This just shares a little bit about me and how/why I set up my YouTube channel.