Saturday, April 18, 2015

Blessings, Frugal Accomplishments and Menu

I hope you've had a wonderful week!  Ours has been somewhat busy.  Here are some highlights!

We borrowed books and media from the library, free of charge.  I also purchased several Foxfire titles from the Friends sale shelf.

A friend of mine that I hadn't seen in ages came for a visit.  She has daughters older than ours, and brought some jeans for Daughter.  Best of all, we got to catch up on one another's lives!

Another day, a different friend brought her daughter to play while we mamas caught up on 'stuff and things'.  I am blessed with good friends, near and far.

One day when I was out with Taffy, I spotted a bird I hadn't seen before.  We identified it at a Spotted Towhee....but we didn't get a very clear picture.  Exciting!  Just after this, Daughter declared that she is going to be an ornithologist and study at Cornell.

Meanwhile, Taffy has found a new favorite toy:

There were a lot of freebies on the local buy-sell-trade Facebook page.  I was able to get a box of craft supplies for Daughter and an aloe vera plant.  I was also able to sell off some excess eggs from our hens, and I gave a lady some rhubarb crowns.

I am staying busy scoring for Pearson and putting in some sub hours at the library.  The first week I worked 33 hours between those two things.  I also completed a survey for Pinecone Research.  I signed a contract to do a chicken program for the library in May, and confirmed for nine rabbit programs this summer.

I spruced this guy up this week - his paint was all sun-bleached.
He is out by our little vegetable garden now.
I took a 'before' photo, but I cannot get it to upload.
(I'm still learning this new computer!)

Daughter had to attend a screening for school, and it was in town.  We combined that trip with our town errands to save time and fuel.  With the hours I'm working right now, I decided to check out the bread outlet and see if there were any bargains.  I found large whole wheat dinner rolls (well, for dinner rolls they are large, almost as big as a small hamburger bun) in a 12-pack for .80, Thomas whole wheat English muffins for .80 a pack and a 10-pack of mini (they are nearly the size of normal!) bagels for 1.25.  I purchased one pack of the rolls, two packs of English muffins and one package of bagels.  These will provide for some variety and convenience while I'm busier (the next couple months).   We also stopped at the Asian market for some produce.  They have great prices on some things - bunches of spinach for 69 cents, Napa cabbage for .59/lb. and bean sprouts for  We also got something new to try, called Persian cucumber, for .69/lb.  I noticed that they are now carrying a lot of Indian food ingredients - woo hoo!  I also stocked up a little bit on tea and got some more lettuce for .48/head.  We also got some free spinach-artichoke dip from the 'free Friday download' at King Sooper.

My antique jars have a new home along the top of the kitchen cabinets.
I really enjoy seeing them there.

I partially thawed a turkey this week, cut it into parts (much like you'd cut up a chicken) and then wrapped and re-froze most of it.  I put the turkey frame into the crock pot with some celery, onions, spices and water, then stripped the bones.  I got about 3 cups of meat and a quart and a half of rich stock, just from the frame!  The remaining wrapped and frozen pieces will be used in many different ways over then next couple months.

We have been moving some things around in the back yard.  This week we got the clothesline poles moved out of the main area and re-installed over to the side yard.  It makes for more space by Daughter's swings and the picnic table, and the clotheslines are in a better location for me.  There is mint growing beneath the clotheslines now - I bet it will smell nice when I hang out laundry.  We also moved an apple tree to a better location.

This poor tree was hit by a tree we cut down a couple years ago.
We are hopeful that with some time we can return it to a more balanced shape.

Mostly, I dried laundry on the drying racks, but I needed to wash some sheets.  With the clotheslines down right now (we have to pick up new coated cable - it's been about 15 years!), I used the dryer, but I used it on a cold day so that we'd get a little of that heat thrown off into the house.  We also used the wood stove sometimes, to keep the house warm.

They are continuing with spring cleaning at Husband's workplace.  We received some book shelves, a cork board and a dry erase board.

I brought in more daffodils for the kitchen table, and picked a small batch of asparagus from the asparagus bed.  I have some Swiss chard and kale planted in a protective (covered) shelter, along with some radish, spinach and lettuce seeds.  Most of the indoor seedling starts have sprouted - I will likely replant the others some time this week.

Our menu for the coming week reflects some goals we have to eat less meat and more plant-based protein sources....and more vegetables.  Here is our supper menu plan:

S - pasta primavera, spinach-artichoke dip with sliced cucumbers, mango
M - barbecue turkey 'sliders', marinated 3-bean salad, slaw, pickles, apples
T - turkey-lentil-cheese burritos, lettuce, tomato, salsa, fruit salad
W - grilled chicken Cesar salad, garlic toast, mango
R - fish tacos, slaw, oranges
F - ham-cheese crepes, zucchini-onion saute', peaches
S - chicken with vegetables and bean thread noodle, rice, kimchee and nori, fresh fruit

Did you have a good week?  Leave a comment and share your frugal victories!  You can also just let me know how you're doing!  :)


  1. Silly doggie! You really had a full week!

    Hubby and I have had a terrible cough for some reason although we are not sick. It started around the time the new roof went on and the pollen ramped up. We are not sleeping great and are just tired. This is really slowing us down right now but this too shall pass.

    I was able to stock up on Scotties tissues for 37 cents a box. I bought 16 boxes. We are well supplied for many months to come. I went to Aldi for produce and chips which always saves money. I will be so glad when the closer store opens. Another store had some great deals but everything was sold out so I asked for rainchecks.

    We finished up with the toy clean out and storage. We have some nice things that we will not keep so we are planning on listing them on the Facebook garage sale. I had to purchase a few storage tubs but we want everything to be able to stay neat in the closet and they will be used for many years. I have established with the kids that they can take toys home and use them until interest wanes and then bring them back and take something else home. This works for all of us.

    We have decided to do an update on the exterior of the house by painting the shutters, front door and deck railings. Our oldest daughter helped me pick colors and yesterday we stopped at Lowe's and got some samples. If it ever stops raining here I am going to try them out.

    We are still adding to our 72 hour buckets. We needed a few items form Harbor Freight and a free batteries coupon come out in the email so we got those items and 2 packs of batteries for free. We have been surprised at how many of the items we needed were here in our home. We found a 2 man pup tent in the attic when we were cleaning out so that goes with the buckets, too.

    We have enjoyed a few meals outside in the screen porch although it is hit or miss because the weather is so crazy. Some days are hot and right next to that one it is cold. I cut a huge bunch of azaleas and put them in the Hull brown drip ware pitcher that I bought at a thrift store for $1. They are beautiful on my kitchen table. The azaleas have taken a real beating from heavy rains this week so I at least got one bunch cut if I don't get anymore.

    Menus for the week-
    Sunday-cold and rainy so Pasta e Fagioli soup from the freezer, salad, leftover biscuits from breakfast

    Monday-lasagna, salad, garlic bread

    Tuesday-Baked chicken wings, baked potato wedges, coleslaw, garlic bread

    Wednesday-leftover lasagna, (the rest will have been frozen in squares) salad and garlic bread

    Thursday-free music downtown so we will pack tuna sandwiches, chips, fruit and cookies and lemonade

    Friday-Hamburger steaks, potatoes of some sort, sauteed frozen green beans and onions, salad

    Saturday-homemade pizza , carrots and cucmbers with dip

    I finally found a sausage gravy recipe that we love. I have been looking for literally years. I made a batch for breakfast this AM and the rest is frozen in 3 containers for future meals. Yay!

    Have a good week everyone!

    1. Sounds like a great week! Don't you love it when you find 'the' recipe you've been looking for? Have fun at the concert on Thursday! :)

  2. The top of your cupboards look really great.

    1. Oh, thank you! It is right were I can see it from the kitchen table, and it makes me happy. You know....until I have to dust! hee hee.

  3. Those wonderful antique jars against your teal wall - what a gorgeous look!

    1. Thanks! I wondered....because if the wall were cream or white, they would 'pop', but I like the way the colors sort of blend and deepen. :)

  4. One more thing and anyone who has Dollar General may want to check their store. When I went to get storage containers for toys there was a rack of reduced clothing inside the door. I got clothes for the grandchildren's Christmas gifts next year for 70% plus off the original price. I also picked up some infant clothing for shower gifts for my husband's co-workers.

    Our $32.50 investment in coupon books has now netted a savings of $59.23 so far this year. I am keeping track out of curiosity.

    1. We used to buy the Entertainment book, but we haven't in years....something I should consider, I guess.

  5. I love Taffy's toy! How exciting to see asparagus coming up. I need to make my menu plan--thanks for the inspiration.

    1. I'm going to pick asparagus today - woo hoo! Taffy's other 'toy' is a branch about 5 feet long. It's so funny when she tries to take it up on the deck! The deck is higher, with stairs, and she has to maneuver to get it 'sideways', because her stick is wider than the staircase!

  6. I chuckled over Taffy's toy...Maddie's 'toy' at that age was a 40 pound bag of wet mulch! She hauled it all over the yard.


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