Monday, December 31, 2018


I no longer make New Year's Resolutions.  I'm horrible at keeping them.

So I have been working on having a word for the year.  That seems to be simpler for me and I do better.

My 2019 word for the year:  Pause

Below are some, but definitely not all, of the places I want to remember to pause.

Pause to think.
Pause when angry.
Pause when stressed.
Pause before talking.
Pause to listen.
Pause to plan.
Pause when afraid.
Pause to reflect.
Pause to enjoy.
Pause to consider.
Pause to reconsider.
Pause to admire.
Pause to appreciate.
Pause to help.
Pause to praise.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Another Year of the Compact

As I have done for the last six years, I am voluntarily joining The Compact for 2019.

This loose association of like minded people promises to look to the used market for all their consumer needs. 

My only exceptions are gifts and lady's unmentionables.  Every person establishes their own exceptions.

 I even source my yarn for crocheting from thrift stores.

 The longer I have lived this way the easier I find it.  It's now second nature to me.

 I urge you to give it a try. 

It is both good for the environment and good for your budget.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I am off to visit daughters and grandchildren for the holidays.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful time this holiday season.

I may check in if I am not too busy coloring and doing puzzles.

If I don't, see you in 2019!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Cereal Muffins

This past summer, at a salvage grocery in Ohio, I found Quaker Multigrain Flakes on sale for 50 cents/box.  This recipe, an adaptation of a bran muffin one, soon followed.  Any type of flake cereal works.  My cereal contains dry fruit but if yours doesn't, feel free to add some.

2 1/2 cups cereal
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar ( if you want a sweet muffin, increase)
1 Tbs baking powder

Mix the first two ingredients and let sit for five minutes or so to soften the flakes.  Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and put into a greased muffin tin.  Bake at 350 until brown and test done, about 30 minutes.  Makes 12 regular muffins.

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.