Saturday, February 28, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments and Blessings - End of February, Plus Menu for First Week of March

We had a lot of snow this week, especially at the very beginning.  We have used our wood stove to help keep the house warm and reduce our propane use.  A wood fire makes the house really warm and cozy.

On Sunday I put the turkey frame into the crock pot with some garlic and the last of the celery.  I added a quart of water and let it simmer all day.  I ended up with a vegetable serving bowl level-full of meat and 2 quarts of strained turkey stock.  I fed the liver and heart to the dog, chopped up in her food.  I used some of the cooked turkey meat for the white chicken (turkey) chili that I made, and froze the remainder for future use.

Middle of winter, and our hens are laying quite well.  They get lots of vegetable scraps -
see how dark the yolks are?  Pretty good for February!

I made breaded turkey nuggets, Cesar salad dressing, fruit salad, hash browns, omelets, egg salad, oven fries, white chicken chili, pico-de-gallo, glazed carrots, macaroni salad, corn bread (from a mix, but I made the mix!), and three loaves of bread (two went to the freezer).   I cut up fruits and veggies for snacking as needed too, and re-combined leftovers to make lunches as needed.  I tried a copycat recipe for Belvita breakfast cookies - it needed a fair amount of tweaking, but they came out alright in the end.

We stayed home a lot.  It was lovely!

I was able to spend some time with a dear friend.  Between conflicting schedules and weather, it had been a while since we'd gotten together, and it was so nice to just visit!

I signed up for Schoola, resulting in a $15 credit.  With free shipping I was able to get Daughter 2 shirts and a pair of pants.  I'll share when my order arrives and let you know how it turned out.  You can get your own $15 credit (if you are new to the program) and learn more about it here.

We returned materials and then borrowed some more items from the library.  I took in some magazines to donate.  We signed up for some free magazines a couple months ago and they are starting to arrive now, so I take them to the library when we are done with them.

Frittata a-la leftovers.  Can you spot the heart-shaped green onion?
We did our other errands while we were out and about.  We picked up chicken feed, since we are expecting more snow soon, and I didn't want to run too low.

I picked up a little produce, including Jonagold apples for .50/lb, fresh broccoli for .98/lb, roma tomatoes for .59/lb., a pound of strawberries for 1.50 and some bananas for .54/lb.  There were not a lot of great deals this week that caught my eye, so I just gathered some things that were good prices and would round out our meals. There is also a sale this week offering 10lb. of potatoes for .99 - I just got one bag of them because we still have potatoes from the last time they offered them for that price.

This is not everything I purchased this week - just some highlights.  This week I spent $18.51 total, for the items above as well as some things that were not on sale (pepperoni, cottage cheese, tortilla chips, graham crackers, etc.)  I buy as much as I can when it's on sale, and look for the best price for the rest of it. :)

I have some things in the freezer that I've made ahead, and I'm including a few of them in the menu for the first week of March.  It should be a fairly easy week to put together, thanks to those homemade convenience foods.  Here's the plan for suppers:

M - stromboli w/marinara sauce, garden salad, apples
T - tamales, cabbage slaw, calabacitas
W - beef stew curry over rice, apples
R - taco salads, chips and salsa
F - homemade egg rolls, steamed broccoli and carrots, Asian lettuce wraps, home-canned plums
S - tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, carrots and celery, apples
S - seasoned turkey 'steaks', baked potatoes, vegetable stir-fry

How was your week?  Did you get snow where you live?  What did you do to spend less, save more and make do?  I'd love to read all about your adventures and accomplishments in the comments!


  1. What a blessing to have those beautiful, fresh eggs!

    We had just enough snow on Thursday to stay home all day and by Friday morning the roads were clear and most of the snow had melted. On to Spring please!

    Just for fun I added up what it would have cost to eat Thursday's home made meals out at restaurants. Breakfast was 2 eggs, ham, hash browns, homemade bread toast, juice and coffee. Lunch was quesidillas made with refried beans, taco meat and cheese, Mexican rice, tortilla chips and salsa and homemade cookies. Supper was white sausage linguine, salads, garlic bread and a glass of wine. My estimated cost of ingredients was approximately $10. The bottle of wine was a gift. I figured the cost of eating them out with taxes and tips to be $90! Plus gas to get there for each meal. What an eye opening thing to do!

    We have had a bit of increase in pay with the difference in health insurance costs since our youngest daughter is now on her own. I put it in the non budgeted category since I could not decide where it was really needed. We stayed home so much in February that we had $552 in leftover gas, grocery and household money. I moved that to our big home improvement fund. It looks like we need a new roof and are working on getting some estimates. I will save every penny toward it between now and then.

    I saved a ton of money on groceries at Publix this week. On Monday I bought $106 worth for $22 and then on Saturday I bought $96 worth of food and household items plus a $50 gas gift card for $62! Right now their sales and mfg coupons plus store coupons are making many items nearly free or free. Then I have another store who keeps mailing me $10/$50 coupons which Publix takes as competitors coupons. I have stocked up on canned tomatoes and beans and Parmesan cheese for many months to come. I got free broc, spinach, strawberries and bakery bagels. I needed a bit more to make $50 yesterday and resisted the urge to fill it in with a candy bar and picked up a box of tissues instead. I have three more of those $10/$50 coupons but will only use them if I can do great deals as part of it.


    S-I put a chunk of ham from parting out the spiral ham I bought a few weeks ago into the crockpot with potatoes, carrots and a can of green beans to cook while we were at church. Yummy! We also had a salad and homemade chocolate oatmeal cake.

    M-we are taking some friends out for Mexican. Her Mom died very suddenly week before last and we want to do something to get her out of the house and he was very glad for the invite. We will use a coupon from our Entertainment Book.

    T-soup from the freezer, which ever kind looks good, cornbread, salad

    W-whole herb chicken in the crockpot, rice a roni, zucchini on the grill pan, coleslaw

    TR-half recipe of 'Unforgettable Chicken Casserole' from Pinterest (new) with leftover chicken, broccoli, salad, 30 minute rolls

    FR-baked tilapia, baked potatoes, zucchini and salad

    ST-pizza, carrots and Ranch dip

    I have browning bananas on the counter since chapel at the homeless shelter was cancelled last week and I did not make the banana pudding so they will go into hubby's favorite banana chocolate chip muffins.

    I hope you all have sunny and warmer weather this week! We will have warmer but rain is forecast for nearly every day.

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Lana! I hope we both get nice weather...but really, I mostly enjoy the variety, and I'm especially grateful that it hasn't been very windy of late. I have never really calculated the restaurant price, but I sometimes tally up the cost of a meal we're eating, then divide it by the three of us (and the leftovers, if those are going to make additional meals) and it often surprises me just how affordable it can be to eat well-rounded meals.

    The last time my parents replaced their roof they got steel. It is basically maintenance free, but now Dad can't get up there to sweep the chimney - it's too slippery. He really doesn't need to be up on a roof anyway, so I think it was win-win! Have a wonderful week, you!

  3. We have considered a metal roof but decided that we will not stay here long enough to make the extra cost worthwhile. We put a roof on this house right after we bought it and it is hard to believe that we have been here long enough to need another one! I am all for keeping the men off the roof!!

    I like to figure the cost of meals at home, too. It is amazing how little we can eat for with only the two of us. Our lunch on Thursday was actually only enough makings for one taco but by making the quesidillas we had a wonderful lunch.

    I hope you have a wonderful week at your house, too!

    1. That happens a lot here with the filling for fajitas, Lana. Filling for one fajita will make a couple of fajita-quesedillas. I like to add some cooked mushrooms too.

  4. No more snow here last week but that is only because it was wayyyy too cold to snow!! Amazingly, there were no school days cancelled due to the extreme cold(guess they figure CDN's should be able to deal with it:)).

    Lots of days at home to avoid the cold so not much money spent. Yay!!

    1. I have lived as far north as WI and as far south as KY (well, Hawaii, but that was different), and the consideration for a snow day can be very different. I know that part of it in KY was that snow was pretty rare where we lived, so they didn't have a lot of equipment for clearing the roads....and since it was a rural school system, we'd miss because the buses couldn't run. (And then we'd all drive to town, lol.) But in WI, I'm not sure I even remember a snow day, but I remember the 'plow drift' being so high that I couldn't see over it to see if the bus was coming - we just had to kind of listen for it and then clamber over!


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