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Friday, December 14, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 50...


Successes:
1.  Standing in front of the fridge on Wednesday, I was wondering what I could combine to make a supper,  I saw a variety of small quantities of vegetables that needed using up but no meat except some bacon.  I had plenty of eggs, so I decided to try my hand at a frittata.  I've never made one before, so it was a learning experience.  Next time I will know to have all the vegetables prepped/sliced before getting started.  Once you start, it moves pretty fast.  

2.   One day of work this week.

3.  Caitlyn had a school project that required copious amounts of adhesive tape.  She was working on it while we were there on Sunday, and that's when she exhausted their household supply.  I knew we had some, so I came home and rounded ours up.  Not knowing how much more she would need, I just kept gathering.  I delivered eight partial rolls of gift-wrapping tape, and as a joke I picked up two huge rolls of packing tape and added them to the lot.  The project has been turned in, and the tape has all been returned.  I also loaned Kasey my car to drive the girls and Caitlyn's project to school on the due date, as she wasn't sure how to fit said project through the doors of either of theirs.   The project was a roller coaster built from paper, by the way.  Apparently her teacher assigns this annually to each of her classes.  Beau is contemplating scenarios to get the teacher fired before Chloe has her next year.  ;)  This was more frugal for them than for me, I suppose, but at least I know I won't need to purchase any tape for our gift wrapping.  

4.  I took Rudy to the vet yesterday.  He was acting rather uncharacteristically low energy, and he has yelped several times lately while chewing on a favorite hard toy.  We thought maybe he had broken a tooth, and with the listlessness I was imagining an infection might have set in.  Since I had to work today and Monday, I didn't want to put off taking him.  Yes, you guessed it, he is completely fine, no problems could be found.  How is this frugal?  Well, for a mere $60 I have peace of mind that I won't have to call the emergency vet over the weekend.  (Yes, I know, that is a real stretch.)

5.  Gasoline prices are still low.  I filled up at $1.86 per gallon on Wednesday.  That was about two weeks on one tank of gas, which for me is pretty good.


Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  pasta w/ Italian sausage
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  *TexMex
Tuesday:  *barbecue
Wednesday:  frittata
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  soup

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 49...

Successes:
1.  I booked two days of work; one next week and one the week after.

2. Found some Italian sausage in the freezer that was looking a little iced over.  Moved it to the fridge to thaw, and will use it in tomorrow's pasta instead of purchasing ground beef.

3.  Reading a library ebook.

4.  Adjusted soup recipe to include the remainder of portabello mushrooms that needed using before they shriveled up.

5.  Cold and wet weather makes staying home with a cup of hot chocolate and soup in the slow cooker a luxury not to be taken for granted.  

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *sushi
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  *sandwich
Tuesday:  *Chinese
Wednesday:  smoked oysters on crackers
Thursday:  *Whataburgers
Friday:  Beef & Winter Vegetable Stew

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Monday, December 3, 2018

Library Quilt Group Christmas brunch...

This year we did a Secret Santa gift exchange in our library quilt group.  We were to make six gifts throughout the year, all to go to a single person, but we didn't know who.  At the December brunch today we drew names to see who was the recipient of our gifts.

I had an appointment at the dermatologist (it was either take the opening from a cancellation today or wait till after the first of the year), so I wrapped all my packages in matching paper/ribbon (they look very Grinch-like to me...LOL) so they were easily identifiable in case I didn't make it back before the opening.  I lucked into having a perfect-sized box that just arrived from Amazon to transport them in, so I wrapped it to match too.

Below are the gifts I made in order from my least to most favorite.

Spring shopping bag - meh
I wish I had added a yellow button to each center of the yo-yo flowers and leaves to the stems, but I ran out of time.

Kitchen towels with prairie points
I'm not crazy about the black fabric on the white towels, but I like the vintage kitchen cookery print.

Set of 4 quilt-themed handmade Christmas cards
These were the last things I made, and my time was down to the wire.  I wasn't feeling great, so I kept them really simple.

Coffee mug with sewing tools image

Valentine pillow

Bowl made from fabric-wrapped cord
I love this, and will make myself one very soon.  They can be made pretty much any size and shape.  It was so satisfying watching it take shape relatively quickly.  

I had this much of the post written last night, and had planned to take photos and show what I received as well.  But the dermatologist this morning took a small spot off of the bridge of my nose.  The bandage they applied, that has to be left on for 24 hours, makes my glasses sit askew, so it is making everything a little difficult.  I will try to take photos of the lovely gifts I received at another time.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 48...

Successes:
1.  Worked 2 days this week.

2.  After a crazy day at work, my brain was tired.  When I got home Carey asked if I wanted to go out to eat.  Well, heck YEAH!  But we got to our favorite little dive, and they were closed for the day.  Surprisingly, I wasn't all that disappointed.  I suggested we go back home and have breakfast for dinner.  But when we got home and I saw what was in the fridge that needed using up (ground turkey, slaw mix, shredded carrots) I made Inside-Out Egg Rolls instead.  It wasn't great, as I over salted, what with all the soy sauce, but it was edible, and I was happy to cook perfectly good food instead of having it go bad, as it was getting close.  And I even bit the bullet and took the leftovers for work lunch the next day.

3.  I clicked on a Kindle deal of the day, but Amazon alerted me to the fact that I had purchased that particular book previously.  Thank you, Amazon, for keeping me from a duplicate purchase.  I also had signed up for a 7 day free trial of Showtime through our Kindle Fire TV, and after about 2 days I realized it was totally not worth paying for, and immediately canceled any further service.

4.  So thankful for health insurance.  This week and next I saw/will see my primary-care physician, the 2nd half of the sleep study, the dermatologist, and the clinic to have my port flushed.  I also need to get back to the hand specialist, but I think that will have to wait till after the holidays, as I have lots of making to do that will require both hands.  :)

5.  I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but I was able to fill up my tank with gasoline for less than $2 a gallon this week.  Perk of living in a petroleum-rich state, I guess.


Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  Chicken Curry
Sunday:  Sunday supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  Inside-Out Egg Rolls
Tuesday:  Dublin Coddle
Wednesday:  *Tex-Mex
Thursday:  I can't remember!
Friday:  late lunch, skipped supper

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Bear Town by Fredrik Backman

I've read other books by Fredrik Backman and enjoyed them.  I love A Man Called Ove.  I mean, I really love Ove, because though my husband isn't called Ove, he embodies Ove.  :)

I wasn't sure if I was in the right mood to read Bear Town right now, but it came so highly recommended by Janet At the Little House in the Swamp (better than Ove, she says!?) that I had to immediately reserve the ebook from my library's website.  I'm not very far into it, as I have SO many other things to get done this week in addition to working two days and a doctor's appointment.  Maybe the doctor will be running late, and I'll get time to read in the waiting room.  :)

Friday, November 23, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 47...

Successes:
1.  There was leftover roast and potatoes in the fridge earlier this week.  I had meant to make soup, but I couldn't get excited about any recipes.  So I diced them up along with an onion and a couple of baked sweet potatoes and made hash.  Topped it with some over-easy eggs, and it made enough supper to feed two and make two work lunches (minus the eggs).

2.  I was out of brown sugar while I was baking pies for our holiday.  Instead of driving 7 miles to the grocery and fighting the crowds, I went to Google and sought a substitute.  I knew that commercial brown sugar is only granulated sugar with molasses added, but I needed a ratio and method.  Oh my gosh, such an easy fix.  One cup of regular granulated sugar and two Tablespoons molasses stirred together in a bowl is such an easy substitute for one cup of brown sugar.  I guess molasses may not be a staple in everyone's pantry, but happily it is in mine. 

3.  Daughter and s-i-l were hitting the sales today at the exact store I needed an item from.  Carey has a Christmas wish that required a different set of knowledge skills than I possess.  Son-in-law to the rescue.  Carey's Christmas gift is marked off my list, while my car was kept off the roads.

4.  Put the flannel sheets on the bed this week.  Keeps us warm without raising the thermostat.  And the fact that they are over ten years old and still going strong is pretty awesome.  :)  Buying good quality pays off in the long run.

5.  Reading a library ebook on my Kindle.  Pre-treating stains before clothes go into the hamper, prolonging their life.  Paid all bills on time.  Using cloth napkins...really old cloth napkins...those things last forever!  Being thankful for frugal parents who taught me lots of useful and frugal skills.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *sushi
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  salmon Buddha bowls
Tuesday:  Two Potato Hash w/ sunny-side up egg, and green beans
Wednesday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Thursday:  Thanksgiving feast at Kasey & Beau's
Friday:  Shrimp Alfredo served with spaghetti squash

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Be sharp...

Yesterday, the only things I made for our Thanksgiving dinner were the dressing and three pies...and a big mess.  (Kasey and Beau made everything else.)


I seemed to have used a lot of knives.

A few months ago, Carey got irritated, because I had bought yet another paring knife.  I said I kept buying paring knives, because I was searching for one like my favorite.  He knew just which one I was talking about, and he agreed that it was the best.  It is sharp and it stays sharp, and it fits in my hand comfortably.  And that sparked a decision for me.  I took that much-loved knife in hand and examined it very closely...and I found a maker's name...Victorinox.  Who knew my little paring knife, that I have loved for years, was made by the Swiss Army knife manufacturer.

I looked online, and, sure enough, was able to find the exact knife in numerous colors (found here and here), and they were not expensive at only about $6 - $7 a piece.  I bought one in every color.  I keep them (point down) in a mug on my counter top next to my cutting boards, and it makes me happy to look at them, because I know no matter which one I reach for it will be my favorite.  I cook a lot from scratch, and we eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, so I may use a paring knife several times a day and want to have plenty so when some are in the dishwasher others are still at the ready.

I had a special request for apple pie for Thanksgiving dinner this year.  I don't know about anyone else, but no matter what I am using an apple for, whether just to eat it with peanut butter or chopped in tuna salad or sliced for a pie, I begin by quartering it.  Then I cut the core off the quarter, then I pare the skin.  It just seems the easiest to me.
 
And look at that strip of peel in the background...barely any waste of the pulp at all...you can practically see through that strip of peel!  And THAT is why these knives are my favorite.  

All my old paring knives are in the Goodwill donation box.  :)

Here are yesterday's pies.   Apple in the foreground, the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan (aka Derby Pie) is in the middle, and the pumpkin is in the back.
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