Saturday, December 15, 2018

Buying and Eating: December 1-15

In December we have $381.61 to work with.  We are using the government's thrifty number of $12.31/ dday or $6.15 / person/day to cover groceries and meals out.  We also have accumulated a cushion of $928.50 ytd and $1411.58 over the last two years.

What We Ate:  leftover nachos; freezer leftover creamy couscous, green bean casserole, cottage cheese; noodles, turkey, peas, and mashed potatoes with fruit; beef and bean burritos, spicy corn and fresh fruit; liver and onions mashed potatoes; macaroni and cheese; pepperoni balls with marinara sauce; shrimp stir fry with rice; beef stew; turkey noodle soup, cheese and crackers, fresh fruit; shrimp stirfry;  beef stew;  roasted pork, rice casserole; ribs;  tuna chowder and egg salad sandwich;  fried rice and spinach salad, steam carrots and broccoli

What We Bought:

Aldi:  sugar (16 lbs for baking), flour, cider (2 for vinegar), lemon juice, French Onion dip, cottage cheese, salad greens, chips (5), pretzels (2), saltine cracker. $21.83

Salvage:  coffee(12), Mac and cheese (6), crackers (3), dill weed, garam marsala, mint dipped pretzels (4),  applesauce for Apple butter (2), pastry thins, breakfast bars, cranberries (2), crema (2)   $40.42

Price Rite:  cheese (3), fresh garlic (4), oil (gal), eggs (3), pumpkin cheerios  $ 14.00

Aldi:  baking soda. $0.35

Wal-Mart:  cocktail sauce, canned biscuits (2), pretzels. $9.33

Butcher:  processing fee for deer  $80

 Aldi:  cherries (2), blue cheese (3), pretzels, fresh spinach, sugar, stuffing mix (4)  $16.91

Whole Foods Co-op:  spices (8), green dot beans (2)  $10.38

Giant Eagle:  Snapple tea  FREE with coupon

Tops:  bananas (3 lb), brownie mix (3)   $3.52

Total for Groceries:  $176.74  The cost of processing the venison really drove the number up.

Eating Out:

Christmas lunch with girls. $9.00
Lunch with Angela. $9.98
Mike lunches while hunting .$15.44

Total for Eating Out:  $34.42

Grand Total:  $211.16

We have $170.45 of the monthly allotment for the next two weeks.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Salvage Shopping

I know, my cupboards are full.  Then why did I go salvage shopping?  Coffee.  We were running low and that will never do.

While I was there, here is what I bought:

Coffee, 12 bags for a total of $23.88
Kraft macaroni and cheese, 6 boxes for $1.50  (My guilty secret love.  Don't judge.)
Crackers, 3 boxes for $2.08(Never too many crackers during the holidays.)
Dill Weed for $0.50(for a dip)
Chocolate covered peppermint pretzels, 4 bags for $1.00  (a treat, pure and simple)
Apple sauce for apple butter, 2 jars at 46 ounces each for $3.00(Mike's request)
Breakfast thins  $0.50 (for Mike to take hunting)
Pastry thins  $0.89(pure and simple treat)
Garam marsala $0.99(learning to cook Indian food)
Thai noodle bowls, 2 for $1.58 (quick and easy meal)
Croutons .$0.25(for Mike's salads)
Good Season Italian 4 pack for$1.99 (only one there and great to marinade)
Dried cranberries, 5for  $3.25(Christmas baking and gifts)
Crema, 2 for $0.98(good to replace cream in recipes)
1 dog food and 3 cat food for the shelter for $8.96

Grand Total:  52.02

Friday, December 7, 2018

Costco Bargains

I'm excited and anxiously awaiting a trip to Alaska in June with my daughters and grandchildren.  We will be taking a Disney cruise.  Nothing frugal there, but we ARE talking grandchildren.  :)

At the suggestion of our daughters, we went through Costco to get the best deal on our tickets.  That meant we had to first get a membership.

As part of the membership we received some coupons and cash back and recently we went to shop and take advantage of them.  Here is what we bought:

28 small packages of trail mix for the lake  using $8 coupon and costing $14.99 originally
8 lb pork loin using $8 coupon and costing $17.07 originally
12 Paper towels for free and costing $15.99 originally
200 Garbage bags using an $8 coupon and costing $14.99 originally
Tortilla chips for free and costing $4.59 originally
3 berry fruit mix using a $6 coupon and costing $8.99 originally
126 loads of Laundry detergent using a $8 coupon and costing $10.70 originally
Dish detergent for free and costing $7.99 originally

The original cost of these items was $95.40.
The coupons and a $20 cashback card saved us $89.56
All together we spent $5.82 out of pocket.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Frugal Things In November

1.  Coffee with friends at McDonald's using a McDonald's coffee card to earn a free coffee.

2.  Eating From the freezer and cupboards.

3.  Buying laundry detergent free of dyes and scents for a friend for 99 and 94 cents each after sales and coupons.

4.  Making homemade apple cider vinegar.

5.  Making grape jelly with homemade juice from gifted grapes.

6.  Making broth from the turkey bones and salvaging enough meat from the bones for four more meals.

7.  Cooking a pound of dry kidney beans, that cost me 50 cents at salvage, and ending up with $2.10 worth, if the cans of ready to use beans were also purchased on sale.

8.  Making my own pectin for jelly from apples I already had rather than making a special trip to the store.  Saved the cost of the pectin and the cost of the gasoline.

9.  Washing and reusing Ziploc bags.  I wash them with my kitchen towels.  Over 50 are being reused and kept out of a landfill for a little while longer.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Buying and Eating: November 16-30

We have $320.63 of the monthly budget remaining for the last two weeks of the month.  No worries.  I've got this.  :)

What We Ate:  macaroni and cheese; vegetable soup; chili and cheese quesadilla; curry, rice, lentil pancakes, broccoli;  spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread and peas;  creamy couscous and chicken casserole, lima beans, peaches; Thanksgiving Feast of turkey breast, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, dressing, sweet potatoes, crescent rolls and pumpkin pie; turkey sandwich; pepperoni pizza; turkey and cranberry strata; salmon and kale quiche, green beans, fresh fruit salad;  chicken with pesto pasta, steamed broccoli, garlic bread; homemade turkey pot pie, homemade stewed tomatoes, fresh fruit salad; beef, bean, cheese and guacamole nachos;  shrimp scampi, potatoes au gratin, peas

What We Bought:

Aldi:  buttermilk (qt), crescent rolls (2), powered sugar, brown sugar (2), raisins, pretzels (2), butter (6), cream cheese (3), white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips (2), brie, romaine lettuce, cucumber. $33.74

Tops:  broccoli (1.5 lbs), eggs, brownie mix, clementines (3lbs) $ 6.61

Giant Eagle:  yams (2.5 lbs),  canned vegetables (8)  $3.04

Bread Store:  bagels (3), bread (3), rolls  $5.56

Costco:  tortilla chips, 3 berry frozen berries, pork loin $5.83 .(after coupons and cash back)

Total Groceries for Two Weeks:  $54.78

Eating Out:
Lunch out with Mike:  $14.62
Mike lunches hunting. $18.33
Lunch with Angela. $ 18.75

Total Eating Out for Two Weeks:  $51.70

Grand Total for Two Weeks:  $106.48

Remaining Monthly Allotment to Add to Cushion:  $214.15 which takes our cushion to $928.50 ytd and $ 1411.58 grand total.

For the month of November we spent a total of $155.24 which works out to $5.17/day or $2.59/person/day.

Groceries only work out to $91.32 or $3.04/day and $1.52/person/day.

As you can tell, we ate from our stockpile this month, in the main.  It's too big so we will continue to do so for awhile.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Savory Cracker Crumb Quiche Crust

I'm not a big fan of rolling out pie crust.  I do it, but I am always looking for ways to avoid it.

Also, I usually have several boxes of almost finished crackers in my cupboard.  Why finish one box when you can just open a new box.

Putting the two together, I developed the second cousin once removed to the graham cracker crust.

Gather together all your dribs and drabs of savory crackers that you have hidden in your cupboards.  Heck, even a few corn flakes at the bottom of the box work.

 Crush them very fine.  I used my food processor.

Measure out two cups of the resulting crumbs.  Add one stick of melted butter and mix well.

Press firmly into your pie pan.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes to set the crust.  Let cool slightly.

Pour in your favorite quiche filling and bake.


No rolling pin required.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Save Energy, Save Money, Save Mother Earth

A lot of money saving habits are good for the planet, too.  And, that's why we continue to do them long after they are strictly necessary.

For example, we have a gas stove.  Although the oven pilot light is always on, Mike has turned off the burner pilot lights.  It's estimated that each pilot light would burn about 8 therms of gas per month, at about $1.50 per therm, or $10.50 /month.  We have two burner pilot lights so we save 16 therms of gas and $21.00/month.  Per year that comes to 192 therms and $252.00.  I can do something with that.

I also hang all my clothes to dry.  I average 5 loads/ week or 260 loads/ year.  Each load averages 3.3 kwh.  The cost of a kwh is about 11 cents.  That means my 260 load would cost me $ 28.60 to dry.  The money really isn't worth it, but not to use the 856 kwh of fossil fuel generated electricity is, to me.

What choices/ changes can you make to save energy and help Mother Earth?