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Monday, May 11, 2015

Such a Slacker

Why is it so hard for me to sit down and type up a few words on how my week has gone? I think one of the main reasons is it makes me take a hard look at what I have and have not accomplished. Mostly what I have not accomplished and then I feel like a failure.

I was determined to use up food this week and not have a "ton" to throw out before I headed to the grocery store. The three of us can hardly use all of the lettuce and cucumber before it goes bad. We all love salads but our stomachs can only handle so much roughage. My husband prefers iceberg lettuce, while my daughter and I prefer a mixture of iceberg and green leaf in our salad. I need to find someone to split them with. I did much better than in past weeks. I had less than half a cucumber become mushy and a handful of the iceberg turned brown. The other item I have a problem using before it becomes stale is bread. I also had a bunch of celery that had been in my refrigerator for a while. I read that it can be rooted and grown. I decided to give it a shot. I think it will have enough roots to plant this week. I swear the roots and leaves appeared overnight. My husband laughed when I took pictures two nights in a row because I could not believe how fast it was growing.

I did not make a meal plan last week and it showed. Planning ahead is a must for me but when I ask my family what they want, nine times out of ten their answer will be "I don't care" and I get so tired of deciding. This week it backfired on them and they were forced to eat meals I wanted.

-beef tips with rice and butterbeans
-turkey and dressing with cranberry sauce and leftover butterbeans
-stir fry that included peppers, onions, a small thinly sliced steak, black beans, and leftover corn I cut off the cob with some fajita seasoning served over whole wheat pasta
-Tuesday night my daughter and I ate supper at my brother and SIL's. Hubby worked late. We had hamburgers, corn on the cob, French fries, slaw, and birthday cake from Cold Stone for my SIL's birthday. She send me home with a couple of leftover burgers and corn for my husband. That is where the corn came in for the sir fry.

I am happy to report operation Keep the Table and Microwave Clear has been somewhat successful. I decided if I had something on the microwave there would not be anywhere to place random items. As you can see, I added a metal tray with jars of spices. My spice jars were in a cabinet, behind the sugar, tea, and cornmeal jars. Every time I needed something, I had to take them all down. There are labels on top of the lids so I can see what I need and this seems to be working so far. The table is another story. I had done pretty good (if I could get the others to not pile their stuff on it) with it until this weekend. Husband came in with a bag of Vidalia onions someone gave him, I purchased quite a few soft drinks at Kroger using the 'buy 4, save $2' coupon, AND I got the ice cream maker out to use some of the fresh strawberries I purchased Sunday. All this will be cleared off today. And we will not discuss the frugal fail of purchasing 6 buckets of strawberries at the strawberry patch for Mother's Day gifts. If you could just smell them, you would understand why they are well worth the extra money versus the ones in the grocery stores.


I passed this store on my drive to get the strawberries. A blogger I follow has mentioned having a booth here. I had no idea where it was located. I was stopped at a red light and noticed it.

Today I will be making strawberry ice cream and tacos. We will discuss meal plans over supper for the rest of the week so I can make sure I have all necessary items. I hope everyone has a great week. I have to say I'm a little jealous of the cooler weather my friends in Nevada, Colorado, and California are getting this week.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Out of Service

My pages will not get posted today as planned. Something has come up. See ya'll in a few days.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Earth Day

My daughter has been after me to do better with my recycling. I always have an excuse; I don't have the room for it, empty food packages attract ants and bugs, it is a pain to sort items. I have decided I will attempt to do better. I went online this morning to see what items our recycle pickup will accept and not accept. I was rather surprised at the things they will take, AND I do not have to sort them. I just throw them all in our recycle bin and place it by the road. They will take


  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Food boxes
  • Mail
  • Beverage cans
  • Food cans
  • Glass bottles
  • Jars-both glass and plastic
  • Jugs
  • Plastic bottles and caps
I did not know they took so many things. I will get another small trashcan marked for recycling and do better.

Menu and To-Do List for April 19-25

I already know I have several things to do this week, so maybe nothing else will sneak up on me. I have evening meals planned. I don't always do them on a certain day. For breakfast this week, we will be having sausage, egg, and cheese on sandwich rounds, toast, or rolled in a tortilla and blueberry muffins. Lunches will be chicken sandwiches and leftovers.

-roast with carrots, potatoes, gravy, and biscuits.
-grilled chicken with potatoes and onions, squash, and garlic cheese biscuits
-pancakes and bacon
-hash brown casserole with cubed ham in it and butterbean and cornbread
-hamburger steak and beefy onion rice, and mac & cheese
-turkey with dressing and cranberry sauce

My to-do list includes some of the same things I do every week such as
-pay bills online
-devotionals
-keep laundry done
-vacuum
-dust
-mop
-clean the bathroom
-keep my table and microwave cleaned off

Extra things this week will include
-taking Mandi for a haircut
-going to a canvas and coffee with my best friend (her treat)
-birthday party for my nephew
-attending a local play with my daughter

I hope everyone has a great week. It is supposed to quit raining for a few days this week and then start back on Friday. It has rained for 10 days now. A few of those may have been no more than a light shower, while others were floods with standing water in the roads and our yard. I have my fingers crossed it did not drown my flowers and snap beans that had just broke through the soil.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Happenings Around the House April 12-18

I have decided I will never have a week go as planned. The whole reason I did not plan to leave the house this week was to save money on fuel. Nope, didn't happen. Monday my husband had to drive my truck about 100 miles round trip for visitation for a man that passed away he worked with. Tuesday our daughter called because her car was running hot. We had to take a trailer and pick her car up. That was another 60 miles or so. And then I had to drive another 20 miles or so to pick her up after classes that afternoon. At least a friend was willing to let her ride down the interstate with her as far as her exit so I didn't have to make the entire 60 mile trip.

Sunday- My daughter was out of town for the weekend and my husband went hunting in the morning so I slept in instead of going to church by myself. I put a ham in the crockpot for supper and made potato salad and pink-eye peas. I shopped Kroger and Publix for a few sale items we were low on and sandwich makings and fruit for lunches.
Prepared lunches for husband and daughter for tomorrow.

Monday- Made breakfast for husband and daughter using leftover ham, eggs, and cheese on sandwich rounds.
We had homemade lasagna, using ground beef, cheese, and spaghetti sauce I already had in stock. I had to purchase pasta and ricotta. We also had salad from my garden and garlic cheese bread from the freezer. There was enough leftover for 3 lunches.
I received 2 free magazines in the mail and a container of baking soda.
I also mixed up a bread pudding and cooked it in my crackpot using a loaf of oatmeal bread that had been given to me and was past it's prime and a jar of Nutella from the pantry I got free with a coupon I received a while back. Talk about good.
Made a lunch for my husband for Tuesday. Daughter opted out for Tuesday.


Tuesday- Made breakfast for daughter. This is the day we had to rescue her car so I went with a simple meal. My plans started out as bread pudding with whole wheat bread, leftover ham, eggs, spinach, and cheese. It didn't turn out so well. It lacked flavor. So I grabbed a frozen pizza and threw it in the oven. Tiny, our not so tiny bulldog, loved his treat.
Made lunches for husband and daughter.

Wednesday-oops, one of those mornings. Handed daughter a pack of crackers and coffee as she headed out the door for clinical.
Boneless dove that I wrapped in bacon and hubby grilled.  fried okra and pasta salad.
Free sample of lotion in the mail.

Thursday -yep, I forgot to take the chicken out to thaw for chicken and rice. We had spaghetti and finished up the package of garlic cheese bread from the freezer. Enough leftover for both mine and daughter's lunch Friday.
Free magazine in the mail.
We had a BOGO blizzard coupon so hubby treated us to ice cream. They had blizzards and I had a plain cup.
Researched for the best price and ordered my daughter an all-in-on printer for her birthday. My scanner quit working and it is something she needs for another year of college and then when she gets ready to move out. I also got free shopping on it. Why drive 30 miles when they will deliver it for free.

Friday-yay, my no cook day. My daughter really wanted Longhorn's. Kroger is doing their 4X fuel points on gift cards so I ran in and grabbed a gift card to use and had a $4 off 2 meals coupon. This was a bit of a splurge for us but we were celebrating good news/accomplishment for both my husband and daughter on their work/school.
Entered 5 coke rewards and 4 Kellogg codes.
Loaded my Friday Free Item from Kroger to my card.

Saturday- my husband hates to shop but he desperately needed some new shorts. I don't think he owned a pair without a hole in them. So again, we purchased a gift card from Kroger for the fuel points and combined it with sales prices.
Baked chicken and rice and green beans for supper with leftovers for one lunch.
Grabbed 2 dozen eggs for 99 cents, 4 pounds of butter for $1.99 each and a carton on ice cream for $2.99.
Also picked up a free Redbox movie to watch. Too bad I grabbed one my husband had already watched. Ugh, hate it when I do that.

I think that about covers my week. As you can see, it was not very frugal. But as a blogger "friend" says, "It is all about balance".

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Honest Post

I have suffered from depression since I was about sixteen. I had hoped it was hormones and would eventually leave me. This was not the case. In fact, it got worse. Since the accident I was involved in 15 years ago, I have also added panic attacks to my problems. Some days it is a struggle to leave the bed. Whether it is the pain or the depression depends on the day. I have found if I write down things I need to do, I am more likely to do them. Just having a list makes me feel more committed.  No one may ever see the list besides me, but it helps all the same.
I have a couple of trouble spots in my house. It seems everything gets thrown there when we walk in the door. I am hoping by openly admitting this problem, it will help me deal with it.
I have 'change table cloth' on my to-do list this week. It is there because in order to change it, I must clean the table off.
Say a prayer and wish me luck. I will post a new picture later.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Menu and To-Do List for the Week


I sat down last night and made a list of things in my pantry and freezer we need to eat. My pantry is actually two shelves in my laundry room. We have nice size rooms in this small house, but not much storage space. My shelves are overflowing. I guess this is a good thing. But we really need to eat some of the older items. So for the next few weeks we may have things that are not a normal combination. I am just making a list and deciding a day or so before what we will have so I can take it out to thaw. (As I am typing, my husband informed me he took a package of dove out and placed them in the outside refrigerator to have this week so I need to make a change in my plans since they take 2-3 days to thaw.)

I make lunches of sandwiches for my husband each night for the next day. Some days my daughter takes a sandwich and some days she prefers to take leftovers. Hubby and daughter leave at different times. He normally does not want a big breakfast and chooses to eat a pack of sandwich crackers. For my daughter, she is a breakfast person. Depending on her mood, I will normally make her oatmeal; eggs with cheese and spinach, ham, bacon, and sausage just depending on what I have that day; grits with cheese and bacon or sausage and egg; cereal; or some mornings she chooses a hotpocket even though they are not the most healthy choice. I will eat leftovers or a sandwich for lunch.

Sunday- ham, potato salad, pink-eye peas, and cornbread

Monday- lasagna, salad (from the garden), and garlic cheese bread from the freezer

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday- our choices will be

                -Dove wrapped in bacon and grilled, fried okra, and pasta salad

-Parmesan, bacon, and spinach bread pudding (spinach from the garden), salad (from the garden). I have bread I need to use and this is a new recipe to try.

                -Chicken and rice, broccoli cornbread (from the garden)

                -Beef roast with carrots and potatoes, gravy, and buttermilk biscuits

Friday-out to eat Mexican

I also plan to make a bread pudding with Nutella and a loaf of oatmeal bread that was given to me to have for dessert this week.  
 

As far as a to do list this week, it is pretty basic.

                -Devotions

                -change out tablecloth

                -pay bills online

                -wash sheets    

                -try not to leave the house until Friday

Friday, April 10, 2015

My Last Crazy Month

It has been a month since I have been able to type a post. Not that anyone actually reads these.
I finished helping my family member on March 18. That left me 2 days to make sure I had everything purchased and packed to leave to go camping for 2 weeks.

We left around noon on Saturday the 21st. Got there, set up, and I went to make a gallon of tea. No tea pitcher. I seriously do not work well when I get off schedule. I made a chicken pizza for supper that evening after husband and daughter came in from fishing.


Sunday my husband and daughter headed back home for him to work and her to attend classes and clinicals. Just me and the pup until Wednesday evening when husband returned. Daughter returned Thursday evening after classes. My pup is really a Daddy's girl. She sleeps right up next to him. The first night she slept curled up next to me. The next two nights she would not even sleep in the bed. She slept on the sofa. Daughter left again Sunday for classes.

This trip is a family tradition for my husband's family. I have been going camping/fishing since the year before we married. We celebrated 24 years of marriage while we were there this year. We normally have 4-6 campsites, campers, and boats and anywhere from 11-20 people with us. Some years it does not work for everyone to go. But the original 11 of us are always there for a week. It just worked out this year we were able to stay a little longer. I was ready to come home this year. Fourteen days away from my little home may have been a few too many.

The trip is pretty inexpensive. We cook our meals and because I am disabled, I receive a discount on our campsite making it $12.50 per night. And we come home with fish for the freezer.

While we were there I made some new friends, did a little Geocaching, watched free movies from Redbox rental codes, caught up on some reading and my pup went for her first swim. All in all it was a relaxing 2 weeks. I just needed someone after we returned home to do all my laundry and put all the stuff back up we had taken with us.

I came home to a garden that had exploded while we were gone, the broccoli heads were the size of quarters when I left. They were the size of softballs and about to seed when I got back.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Happenings Around the House

Again this past week I have been helping a family member so it has kept me away from the house. A normal week for me is
Sunday-church and maybe the grocery store
Monday-home all day
Tuesday-I may run to the store to get an item or two before the sale ends
Wednesday-home all day
Thursday-Bible study group, errands in the larger town, if needed, since I'm close, grocery shopping, and bank.
Friday-home all day and out to eat that evening with my husband and daughter.
Saturday-grocery store for sandwich meat and fruit for lunches the next week. Some weeks I wait until Sunday after church.

I did manage to stick to a meal plan for the most part. Although Thursday I had a slight stomach bug and did not cook.

Since I have had other obligations this week, I needed to make a trip to the larger town to a couple of stores we don't have here. And let me just say. I.HATE.GOING.THERE.ON.A.SATURDAY. The traffic is unreal. I prefer my small town any day.

We had our first salad from my little garden this week. And I found out I do not like arugula. AT.ALL. I mean, to the point I went out and pulled it out of my garden.


That's really about all I did this past week and I have a feeling this week will be about the same.
Hope everyone has a good week.
Eat chocolate and pray.





Thursday, March 5, 2015

Last Weeks Accomplishments

Some weeks you just have to throw your hands up and go with the flow. This past week was one of those weeks. We are very close to both mine and my husband's family. I have one brother and his family that live in another state. Other than that, we pretty much all live within an hours drive of each other and most live within a 20 mile radius. Since we are all close, when someone calls and needs help, we help. That has been the case this week and will probably continue for a couple of more weeks. But that is okay. I would do most anything for my family. And if my house doesn't get dusted or we have to eat a Tuesday night pizza special, that is what we do.
Looking back at last week's list of things to do, I bathed the dog. Twice. Yep, that's it. It rained for several days so every time she went out to potty, she came in dirty with that semi-long Yorkie hair.
I did manage to stick to the meal plan too. I will pick back up with my blogging after I complete my other obligations.
Have a great week everyone.
Eat chocolate and pray.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cross it Off. Be Happy.

Being a better steward of my time is something I really need to work on. Since I'm at home pretty much 24/7 and never have visitors, I tend to put stuff off. While reading my Bible this week, I read a scripture that captured how I want to live my life. Proverbs 10.  I feel like I'm learning these things too late in life. Is it because I feel my days are numbered? For whatever reason, I hope I can be a better version of myself in the end,

-Make bread and deliver to a friend that had surgery
-Plant basil, Swiss chard, strawberries, and zinnias
-give my dog a bath
-Return a pair of shoes that don't fit
-Read my Bible daily, no matter how rushed things get
-Take pictures for my blog

Meal Plans for the Week
-grilled pork chops with baked potatoes
-grilled chicken and pasta salad
-chicken noodle soup
-sloppy joe tacos
-chicken salad crescent rolls with veggies and ranch
-crockpot lasagna
-Mexican out Friday

Breakfast will be either
-English muffins with sausage, egg, cheese, and spinach omelets
-Raisin and spice oatmeal

Lunches will be
-Sandwiches
-Leftovers

Things I Need to Add to My Pantry When I Find a Deal
-Rice
-Razors
-Shave gel
-Fabric softener sheets
-Food dehydrator



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Frugal and Not So Frugal Postings for February 22, 2015

This week has been very slow. The weather here in Georgia has been colder than normal. I think we broke record lows 3 days this week. I realized Friday I had not driven my truck in 8 days. It has just been too cold for me to want to go anywhere. And it needed fuel, so I knew if I went anywhere it would mean standing in the cold to pump diesel. Because I never left the house, this is a very boring week. I also think I fell more on the non-frugal side this week.

Monday
-Made breakfast and lunches for husband and daughter.
-For supper we had baked chicken with a BBQ rub, baked potatoes, butterbeans, and cornbread.

Tuesday
-Made breakfast for husband and daughter.
-Finished my daughter's taxes
-Did a Kroger survey for 50 fuel points
-For supper we had chicken soup

Wednesday
-My daughter started another day of clinicals so I had to get up at 4:30 to make her breakfast and then made husband's when he got up.
-did not make lunches. New clinical for daughter and she didn't know if she would have anywhere to store a lunch and husband wanted to go out for lunch with the guys for a hot lunch. He works outside and it was about 43 and windy today.
-This was my bad day. Zulily (http://www.zulily.com/invite/jhughs483) had their Youth size TOMS for $23.99. They are normally $38-42 per pair. This is the only shoes I have found that do not hurt my foot that was crushed in an accident 15 years ago. I wear them daily and they normally last me from 6-8 months per pair.
-I also ordered an electric throw to cover my legs while I am sitting. The cold really makes me hurt. And I ordered my husband a pair of running shoes at the same time. They were on clearance, I had a 30% off coupon, free shipping, and I will get a $10 Kohl's Cash from the order.
-my daughter has the crud my husband had last week. She went to the doctor when she finished clinicals today. Might as well get all the spending over with in one day.
-for supper we had homemade fajitas and Mexican rice. I'm still trying to get this fajita making down. It needs work. They are good, but not like what we get at the restaurant.
-free magazine in the mail

Thursday
-breakfast for daughter -lunch for daughter. Again, very cold with a high of 36 and windy. Husband went out for lunch.
-leftovers of taco soup, chicken soup, and some spaghetti from the freezer for supper.
-returned 2 items to Amazon that weren't what I needed after they got here.
-paid bills for this week online except the one that did not have that option

Friday
-loaded Kroger free item to card. I also won during this week a 5pk of Kraft mac & cheese and an Oscar Mayer P3 form an instant win game for Kroger.
-husband took us out for our normal Friday night out to eat.
-filled daughter's car up for $20

Saturday
-finally had to cave and go to the store. Picked up my free items at Kroger along with some bread, milk, and grape jelly.
-used fuel points to fill my truck up at $.40 off per gallon. A tank normally last me about a month
-went to Lowe's with my husband and then to Hobby Lobby to get something Spring/Summer for my doors
-husband took me on  'date' for chicken wings

Sunday
-church
-Publix for sandwich meat and a few things they had on sale. Grabbed a box of deli chicken tenders to go with our free mac & cheese for lunch
-planted some onions
-homemade white chicken pizza for supper

I hope everyone has a great week. The weather here has been crazy. We started off with some record lows and Sunday it was 73 and raining. I really hope we are about done with the freezing weather because I'm so excited to finish planting my garden. Husband has even mentioned getting us a couple of blueberry and blackberry plants.

Eat chocolate and pray!

Monday, February 16, 2015

My first frugal week posting.

Since this is my first post and it's the end of the second week of February, I will back up and add things from the first week also. This week has felt extremely long. I almost feel like this month should be over by now. Maybe it's that I'm looking forward to gathering my first salad from my small garden I have started, that I am trying to rush the time along.
So far this month, my frugal accomplishment have been

*Rented 4 movies for free
*Watered my small garden once from saved water. It has rained enough I haven't had to water.
*Made lunches for husband and daughter for work and school.
*cooked a turkey breast for lunch sandwiches and used some of it for turkey noodle soup, turkey and rice and have a bag of turkey stock and turkey bits in the freezer for another meal.
*combined errands so I left the house left often and drove less.
*used some Kohl's Cash before it expired with a 30% off coupon and a small gift card to purchase a marked down cutting board, ceramic berry basket, and a 4 cup glass measuring cup. No out of pocket expense. In fact there was $2.62 left on the card and the cashier gave it back to me in cash.
*cashed in$9 worth of lottery tickets (I did not purchase them, they were give to me)
*made homemade bread twice.
*cooked almost all meals. My husband takes us to eat Mexican every Friday. It is his way of saying thank you for all I do. We have a discount card we purchased last year from a fundraiser for $10. We save 10% each time we use it, so it has more than paid for itself.
*went to thrift store located next door to coffee shop where I attend Bible study (I do not purchase anything while I am there) and found an item on my want/need list. A Tupperware salad spinner for $3.03. From what I saw online it normally sold for about $35. Also found a hushpuppy maker for $3.03. We already have one, but sometimes we do huge fish fries and having an extra one will help.

My not so frugal moments :(
*Picked up Pampered Chef scraper/spatula things I ordered. They are rather expensive, but the two I have are splitting and I have had them well over 10 years now.
*just wasn't feeling up to cooking one day. The cold had my legs aching so I ordered Dominos. I did use a 50% off coupon.

I'm sure I'm leaving a lot out. I'm also not sure how I want these post to look. So hang on while I get a handle on this.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Kroger Friday Freebie

Don't forget to head over to Kroger.com and load your coupon for today's freebie.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

FREE CHOCOLATE

Head over to http://reesesstartinglineup.com/  and get a coupon for free Reese's. Enjoy.

How it all started

Never underestimate the power of a classic car. That's how it all started back in the fall of 1987. A classic Camaro drove the school parking lot before classes started. It caught my attention. Then I saw that there was a handsome guy driving it. We attended different schools so it took me several weeks to find out just who this mystery guy was. We married in the Spring of 1991 and had our beautiful daughter in the Summer of 1994.
We are heading into a new season in our lives. Coming up on 24 years of marriage and our daughter will be completing nursing school in 2016. I have not been able to work since April 2000, when a drunk driver hit me head on and I sustained serious injuries to both legs and right foot. It took a year of therapy just to walk again.
I know I need to get a better handle on my household duties. Including cleaning, cooking, and budgeting. This blog is to help hold me accountable for these things. You will hear the good AND the bad. I am human. I know I will mess up. But I hope through this and suggestions from friends and other bloggers, I can learn to be a better steward. I hope to be able to share more ways I saved our family money than I spent.
Please join me in this journey. Encourage me with kind words and prayers. I will start posting my weekly accomplishments and to do list starting next week. Along with encouraging thoughts and quotes. And if I run across a great deal, I will share it with you.
Eat chocolate and pray.
Janell in Georgia