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Showing posts from October, 2012

Monday Frugality Update and Whatnot

Since I have been a little busy in the last week (or two), I haven't had a lot of time to post. However, I did get pictures taken for several posts!

These last two weeks were up and down on spending. I didn't want to spend any money except gas and groceries, but I did have to make a trip to Dollar General for a few things like soap. While there I found flip-flops for $.50 a pair so I bought 5 pairs for the kids since Lily the dog found flip-flops to be an excellent chew toy. Consequently, I also bought rawhides for her while I was there too!

We did buy a Halloween costume for Shali last week too so she would have one for work Saturday night. She was a very cute ladybug! I was thrilled that the costume was 50% off at K-mart and that Paige is also going to be wearing it for Halloween on Wednesday! The benefits of having girls that are all roughly the same size is many!

I was also a little disappointed in myself for having to eat out twice last week and will have to once this we…

Steak Skillet

Steak Skillet is a meal I could eat happily 3-4 nights a week. It is that good and has all the things I love in this meal: some form of red meat, one dish, simplicity, and the yummy factor. This is also a very simple dish that can be added to or subtracted from without much trouble. I love how this tastes using my cast iron skillet. I love my cast iron skillet!

The only problem? I wish I would have had the foresight to take pictures when I made it Monday night. But you know me and pictures!

Steak Skillet

1-1 1/2 pounds of whatever steak you have on hand: round, sirloin, chuck, cut into uniform size pieces
1 quart jar of canned potatoes or 3-4 potatoes, chopped and parboiled
1 bell pepper of your choice, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

**When chopping everything, I would chop it all about the same size, roughly 1 inch pieces maybe slightly smaller. This just makes cooking everything easier.

In a large cast iron …

25 Frugal Ideas & Tips

This morning I was reading through the blogs I have earmarked on the right side of this page and came across Rural Revolution: Frugal Tips. Mrs. Lewis then challenged other blog writers to post their own list of frugal tips and ideas! I am incredibly excited to read what others have posted!

Here is what we do and what we plan to do:

1. I wash out and reuse plastic storage bags and containers. Most people treat them as disposable, but I find they can be used several times before they are not useful anymore!

2. We really have cut down on using disposable items, but the big two that have made a huge difference is paper towels and plastic wrap. We use rags and towels instead for paper towels. My last plastic wrap roll lasted me 7-8 years. When I ran out this time I didn't buy anymore. Instead, I bought a package of six "shower-cap looking" plastic food covers ($1 at Dollar General). These are washable and reusable for a very long time too!

3. We swap babysitting services wheneve…

Monday Frugality Update

Okay, again, a day late. I was busy last night! I finished canning the last of the tomatoes, cleaned the kitchen, did laundry, and made dinner. I know you will all be amazed by this, but the kitchen looks like it needs to be cleaned again (!!!) and the laundry has miraculously doubled overnight. Amazing how that happens!

Also, I am down one kid who helps me around the house a lot! Paige broke her humerus bone on Oct. 6 and was in a sling for a week. That was not so bad, but we saw a different doctor last Friday and he put her in a shoulder immobilizer for 10 days. For the record, she really disliked the sling, but absolutely hates the immobilizer! We go back next Monday to see what the next course of action is. In the meanwhile, I am out of a helper and we are all picking up the slack on her chores. She does what she can because she is amazingly adept at using one hand for things!

How did we do on the frugal lifestyle this week? Here we go!

1. We took drinks to the ball games and on o…

Random Thoughts of a Busy and Somewhat Unfocused Mama

Since my mind has been going in many different directions again lately and is losing focus rapidly, I will attempt to refocus here and torture you all with it too.

#1 Kids and injuries go together. Right? No? We have a 50% injury rate among kids right now with a pulled groin muscle and a broken arm. The other 50% knows they should not get injured right now. Mama may end up doing something crazy like order huge rolls of bubble wrap even though that is not in her budget right now.

#2 Who are we kidding? These are my kids with my genetics. Bubble wrap won't help them. Hmmm...

#3 Speaking of budgets, I would like to create a workable budget. One that I can consistently use month after month. I am not good at budgeting so this might be a bigger challenge than I am willing to commit to. But a budget I need. Dang.

#4 My garden was not what I wanted it to be. I'm a bit disappointed.

#5 Hopefully the rain we get today and Saturday will be enough to loosen the ground so I can get my pot…

Monday Frugality Update

As I have been doing, and you may note this is actually on Monday, I am posting what frugal happenings are going on at my corner of the world. This last week has actually been pretty good for not spending money. I am on a total and complete spending fast. My only expenses to this date have been taking Lily to the vet ($106) for a double ear infection, gas, and money spent at the older girls' volleyball games.

I am working on a doable budget right now without much luck. Hence the spending fast. By cutting our expenses to the bare bones, we can figure out what money needs to go where. Also, we can get caught up on the multitude of unexpected expenses and some major increases on bills from September that I was absolutely not anticipating.

For this week's frugal update:

1. FREE TOMATOES!!! Tuesday night I canned 11 pints of pasta sauce.

2. I made 1 pint and 1 half-pint of chocolate sauce. This is actually a necessity at my household. Brown cows are made often!

3. I made another ba…

What Do You Believe?

Last night, after a majority of my kids went to bed, I tried to watch the debates. I couldn't watch much of it because I thought it was a joke. I do apologize if you thought differently and it's okay if you do think differently. I just wanted a straight answer out of both candidates, not have the moderator think they were a reporter, and honestly have a debate. I thought one was doing better than the other, but the whole thing could have been better.

Reading Facebook this morning was interesting because several people thought the same as I did and several thought differently. That, again, is okay because no one is going to agree all the time. Even when our country was being started and we were fighting for our independence from Britian, we didn't even agree with each other. Several colonists were adamantly against separating from Britian, several colonists were conflicted over the separation, and several colonists were adamantly for independence. For all of them, this deci…

Canning Tomatoes

This year I have been learning to can tomatoes. Truthfully they intimidated me. All the work and the questions surrounding how to can tomatoes would be enough for me to avoid it! With my newish attitude to produce some of own food, not waste food, and preserve it has caused me to view tomatoes a bit differently. Because....

We eat a LOT of tomato-based products. Pasta sauce, anyone?

Lately, I have had a lot of people ask me how I can tomatoes and what recipes I use. True confession: I choose the easy way out. I choose Mrs. Wages. She has been very, very easy to work with and I can find her pouches at my local grocery stores. She helped me to make 11 pints of pasta sauce last night!

I really want to can tomatoes using from-scratch recipes. This weekend looks like I will have my chance. I only have two pouches left and more tomatoes than that since a sweet friend has gifted me with tomatoes. I committed to not spending any unnecessary money for awhile so from-scratch it will be.

I reall…

Monday Frugality Update

So...today is NOT Monday. Yesterday was a bit busy and so was Sunday when I usually start this post. Life is like that sometimes. For the sake of this post, please pretend it is Monday. I would feel better if you do. Thanks!

Anyway....

Being frugality and saving money last week was a somewhat hopeless cause. I would like to think that we practiced damage control instead. Maybe we should have practiced more damage control, but some weeks are like that. This week's frugal and saving money happenings were:

1. Shali's car needed new brake rotors. This was discovered after the new brake pads were put on. So her car made another trip to Rob's house. I bought two new front brake rotors and he installed them. This took him an hour tops. I need to learn how to do this, but I cleaned up his house again. We barter like that a lot.

2. I finally made a shopping trip to Target. I love that store and it's coupon scanners. They work in my favor a lot! I spent $74 and saved $37 (specia…