Sunday, December 29, 2019

2020 Words of the Year

I no longer do resolutions.  Instead I pick a word to guide me through the year.  This year I picked three.

Adapt.  Adjust.  Revise.

These words were stolen from Jack Lemmon.  They were the words he based his life on as he aged.  If they worked for him, I hope they will allow me to age gracefully.

But, actually they would work for anyone.

Stop beating your head against that brick wall.  Adjust your point of view.  Adapt your plan.  Revise your behavior.

Focus your energy on the positive instead of a futile fight against reality.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Greetings to All

Tis the season of goodwill to all.  Say those kind words.  Exchange the gift of time with one another.Be patient.  Be grateful.  And try to continue all this goodwill all year long.  When you fail, try again.   What a better world we could build in  a  year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year you and your loved ones!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Meal Plan: December 1-15

Vegetarian:  curry potatoes and paneer cheese;  guacamole and refried beans; pasta bake

Low Meat:  lentil soup; chicken noodle soup; chili cheese tacos; leftover casserole; Cajun beans and rice; cheese and sausage Florentine bake;

Meat:  Indian butter chicken

Vegetarian:  3
Low Meat:  6
Meat:  1

A good month.

Our vacation accounts for the remaining meals.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Buying and Eating: December 1-15

Monthly Allocation:  $11.91x31= $369.21
Minus five days for a vacation = $309.66
Cushion  $1073.77

What We Ate:  lentil soup and grilled cheese sandwitch; Thanksgiving leftovers casserole; chili tacos; soup and cheese and crackers;  Cajun beans and rice; cheese and sausage Florentine bake with mozzarella bread; curry potatoes and paneer cheese, Brussels sprouts;  guacamole and refried beans with chips; Indian butter chicken with potatoes and vegetables;  pasta bake

What We Bought:

Bread Store:  bagels (3), dinner rolls,
oatmeal-whole wheat bread, cinnamon raisin English muffins  $5.65

Festival of Trees:  pizzelles$3.50

Tops:  Italian bread. $0.99

Save a Lot:  pectin for jelly  $1.49

Salvage in Kidron:  coffee (3), crackers (2), wheat germ, pectin (4), frosting (2), basil, green beans (4), ranch dressing, butter chicken sauce, risotto (2),         $20.15

Cheese shop in Kidron :   cheese ends and pieces (3.5#), Turkey bologna ring, Lebanon bologna  $19.96

Total for Groceries:  $51.74

Eating Out:
Breakfast with Pat. $18.66
Christmas lunch with friends  $8.00
Lunch in Akron  $2.99
Brunch in New York  $10.11
Lunch with O'Neill family  $36.84

Total Eating Out:  $76.60

Grand Total for Two Weeks:  $128.34

Remaining Allocation:  $181.32

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Household and Personal Care: November


Wood Scratches repair pens (2)  $3.98  Aldi
Clear glass bowl  $3.00  Goodwill
Dawn  $0.99 Walgreen
Light bulbs  $6.36  Dollar General

Total:  $14.33

Friday, December 6, 2019

Frugal Things In November

1.  Free 8x 10 from CVS.

2.  10 free 5x7 from Walgreens

3.    Wax dipped pinecones for a winter centerpiece using foraged pinecones and reused candle wax.  Free!

4.    Free 8x10 from Walgreens.

5.  Thanksgiving using mainly stockpiled groceries, and with everything at rock bottom prices.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Meal Plan: November 16-30

Vegetarian:  fried potatoes and eggs; rarebit; bean nachos;  meatless meatloaf

Low Meat:  chicken pot pie;  chicken noodle soup and crackers;  lemon chicken with barley; pasta e fagiole; pasta and sausage bake; Thanksgiving leftovers casserole

Meat:  chicken salad sandwiches and chicken noodle soup; Thanksgiving

VEgetarian:  4

Low Meat:  6

Meat:  2

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Buying and Eating: November 16-30

Remaining Allocation for Month:  $222.89  Cushion:  $1008.96

What We Ate:  fried potatoes and eggs; rarebit; chicken pot pie; chicken noodle soup and chicken salad sandwiches; meatless meatloaf, potatoes, cabbage;  chicken noodle soup; lemon chicken with barley; pasta e fagiole, Thanksgiving;pasta and sausage bake, with salad , carrots and homemade bread; Thanksgiving leftovers casserole

What We Bought:

Aldi:  butter (6), pie crusts, bakers Joy spray (6), molasses  $24.16
Giant Eagle:  yams (3#)  $:0.99
Aldi:  flour (2), Cranberries (2), pretzels. $17.19
Price Rite:  spaghetti sauce (3), sugar (20#), peanut butter, dry black eyed peas, cinnamon (2), while pork loin for making sausage (13#), avocados (2), limes (2), orange juice, large shrimp (2#)  $41.08

Total Groceries:  $83.42

Eating Out:
Hunting meals (4)  $39.30
Lunch in Akron  $7.78
Dinner with Rick and Kathleen $19.98
Lunch Mike and Rick  $7.70

Total Eating Out: $74.66

Grand Total for Two Weeks:  $158.08

Amount to Cushion:  $64.81

New Cushion Amount: $1073.77

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are having a traditional Thanksgiving.  The untraditional part is that everything for the side dishes came from our stockpile.

Turkey was on sale at 33 cents per pound.  At that price I always buy a big one and freeze the leftovers.  You can't find meat any cheaper. 
The bones become broth to be used in recipes.  Much cheaper than commercial broth.

Stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans all came from my salvage shopping stockpile.  The yams I bought last week for 33cents a pound.

The pumpkin pie was made from last year's frozen pumpkin and salvage evaporated milk.

The result, a feast with leftovers for about $10.00!

Happy Thanksgiving and gobble til you wobble!  :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Quarterly Entertainment Expenses: July - September


  • 10 for Prime


Free passes to see the tall ships

$10 for Prime


Movie Doughton Abbey $9.99

$10 for Prime

Total:  $39.99 for an average of $13.33/month.

Again, we rely heavily on the library for entertainment options.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Quarterly Clothing Expenses: July-September

Sandy clothing:

Long summer nightgown  $4.99  ( my first in 6 years) thrift store

Three winter sweaters 50% off each, total of $5.00 thrift store

I bought a summer robe, summer pjs, and a summer nightgown  $10.97 thrift store

Black wedge shoes, barely worn, for 50% off or $2.00 at a thrift store.

$22.96  Not bad.

Mike, as usual spent nothing.  But I am prettier.  LOL!! :)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Household and Personal Care Expenses: October


New toaster  $18.96  Wal-Mart
Stove lighters  $1.48  Wal-Mart
Pyrex laundry detergent  $0.99  Walgreen
Aluminum foil sheets (2)  $2.12  Dollar Tree
2020 calendar $1.06  Dollar Tree
Dishwasher detergent  $0.16  Staples  overage after $10 coupon used
dishwasher detergent (4)  $11.97  salvage
sandwich bags  $0.79. salvage

Personal Care

Earing Backs  $4.88  Wal-Mart
Toothpaste  $1  Dollar Tree

Household: $37.53   a little high because of the toaster

Personal Care:  $5.88

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Meal Plan: November 1-15

Bleu cheese strata; cheesy lasagna; cheese and bean nachos; cheese and crackers; Welsh rarebit; baked potato bar

Low Meat:
Pasta e fagioli; stromboli; pepperoni pizza;

Southern bbq; lemon chicken with barley

Vegetarian   6
Low Meat   3
Meat   2

Friday, November 15, 2019

Buying and Eating: November 1-15

Allocation for the Month:  $357.30
Cushion: $1008.96

What We Ate:  bleu cheese strata, mixed vegetable, fruit and yogurt;  stromboli and popcorn;  pasta e fagioli and bruschetta; cheesy lasagna and garlic bread; bean and cheese nachos;;  southern bbq; leftover pepperoni pizza;  lemon chicken with barley ; cheese and crackers;  Welsh rarebit;  baked potato bar

What We Bought:

Save a Lot:  potatoes (8#)  $2.
Giant Eagle:  free chobani yogurt

Aldi:  grapes (1.68#), dates 4#))  $5.44

Aldi:  flour (3), dark Moro cherries (8), butternut squash (2#), acorn squash (2.79#)  $23.95

Aldi:  butter (6), whipped toppinf, crescent rolls, cherries (4), Swiss fondue  $29.07

Total for Groceries:  60.46

Eating Out :
Lunch with cousins  $18.89
Pizza Dinner in D.C.  $6.79
Dinner in D.C.  $44.00
Lunch in Akron  $4.27

Total for Eating Out:  $73.95

Grand Total for Two Weeks:  $134.41
Remaining for Month:  $222.89

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Frugal Things In October

1.Another $5 off a $5 purchase from Staples. We Bought cascade and finish dishwasher detergent and paid a total of 16 cents.

2.  99 cent laundry detergent with a coupon and a sale.

3.  Rearranging furniture and accessories to give the downstairs rooms a new fall look.  No cost.

4.  Two free 5x7 photos from Walgreens.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Quarterly Household and Personal Care: July -September

Personal Care:   $60.46 for three months

$20.15/ month

Just under my hoped for average of $25.00

Household Expenses:

$36.32 for three months

$12.11/ month

Doing well!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Meal Plan: October 16-31

Vegetarian:  Greek quiche (3), Welsh rarebit,   cheesy lasagna;  Vegetarian bean tacos; bleu cheese strata

Low Meat:  Italian stromboli (2); hot chicken salad

Meat:  roast beef sandwiches (2); ham loaf; ham and cheese sandwiches; southern bbq

Vegetarian  7

Low Meat  3

Meat  5

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Buying and Eating: October 16-31

Remaining Allocation:  $322.02
Cushion:  $1008.96

What We Ate: roast beef sandwiches, homemade French fries, pickles; ham loaf, baked potato, mixed vegetable;  roast beef sandwiches, chips ; Greek quiche, tomato bread (2), Welsh rarebit, yogurt, acorn squash with cumin; lasagna, buttered carrots, garlic bagels;  Italian stromboli; bean burrito; hot chicken salad, cranberry muffins;  Vegetarian bean tacos, cottage cheese and peaches; ham and cheese sandwiches and bean soup;  bleu cheese strata; southern bbq butter beans, fruit; stromboli and potato skins;  Greek quiche, garlic bread, cottage cheese and peaches

What We Bought:

Dollar Tree:  cinnamon  $1.00

Save a Lot:  potatoes (10#), bananas(2.82#)  $4.41

Aldi:  pretzels (2)  $2.58

Price Rite:  cake mix (3), sliced fresh mozzarella (2#), carrots (5#)  $10.04

Aldi:  corn syrup (for pecan pie) $2.99

Tops:  beef broth (32oz), goldfish, peanut butter, turkey breast (14.75#)$16.78

Price Rite:  Skippy peanut butter, French fried onions (3), croutons (3), cream cheese (4)  $13.35

Salvage Shopping:  coffee (14.5#),  pretzel crisps (4),  breaokfast flats (5), puffed rice snacks (2), toaster pastry (3), frosted mini wheats (2), beignet mix, cornbread muffin mix (4), marshmallow (2), Atkins bars (2), chocolate pudding (2), saltines (2), noodles, fried baby likes (2), Low carb tortillas (4), Velveeta, fried cranberries (4), Lipton onion soup (2), mayo (7), mustard (2), tortilla shells (3), vanilla sandwich cookies (2), cream (3), baking powder, while wheat flour (3), cornmeal, spaghetti sauce (2), black olives, diced tomatoes (6), fried apples (2), citrus salad, Progresso soup (4), crushed tomato (3)  $99.13

Bread store:  blueberry English muffins, Everything bagels, Everything bagels thins,  three pound loaf seeded rye bread  $5.34

Tops:  Italian bread, cider (gal)  $3.98

Total for Groceries: $159.60

Eating Out:

Lunch with Jim and Robin. $21.75
Mike lunch  $1.61
Lunch while leaf peeping  $20.66

Total for Eating Out:  $44.02

Grand Total for Time Period:  $203.62

Amount to Cushion:  $118.40

New Cushion Amount:  $1127.30

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Quarterly Buying and Eating July -September

Total for Groceries:  $516.

Total Eating Out:  $134.64

  Grand Total:  $651.17

This works out to $217.09/month for the two of us

There were 91 days this quarter.

So we averaged out to $7.16/day for two people or $3.58/day/person.

This included a lot of stockpile purchases.  I wish it was lower but I will live with it.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Restocking at Salvage

We were almost out of coffee and that can NOT happen.  So off we went to salvage for a restocking shop!

Coffee.    14.5 pounds  total           $37.86
Candy for Halloween     8 bags total.       $8.62
Dishwasher detergent.    4  x $2.99   $11.96
Pretzel crisps.    4x . 25  $1
Breakfast flats.    5x .35     $1.75
Puffed rice snacks  2x .25     50 cents
Toaster pastries     3 total     $1.98
Frosted mini wheats     2x $1.50     $3.00
Beignet mix     79 cents
Cake mix (for biscotti).    3 total     $2.26
Cornbread muffin mix.    4x .25     $1.00
Marshmallows (for Krispy rice treats)  2 x .69.    $1.38
Atkins bars     2x .99.    $1.98
Ferrari Rocher 12 count (for Christmas)  4x .49     $1.96
Chocolate pudding     2x .59.    $1.18
Self rising flour.    3x.49     $1.47
Saltines     2x .49     $1.98
Egg noodles.    $0.75
Fried onion pieces    2x .79.    $1.58
Low carb tortillas, 8 count.    4x .29.    $1.16
Velveeta type cheese, 2 pound     $4.69
Dried cranberries    4x .50     $2.00.
Lipton onion soup   2 for     $1.18
Mayo     4x .25   and  3x .29     $1.87
Tortilla shells, 8 count     3 for $1.00
Vanilla sandwich cookies     2 for $1.00
Whipping cream   3x .2     $0.87
Baking powder.    $.49
Sandwich bags     $.79
Whole wheat flour     3x $1.50     $4.50
Corn meal, 24 ounces     $0.79
Spaghetti sauce.    2x .69     $1.38
Black olives.    $0.49
Diced tomatoes.    6 x .25     $1.50
Fried Apples     2x .59     $1.18
Citrus fruit salad.   $0.79
Progresso soup     4x .10     $0.40
Crushed tomatoes   3x .10.    $0.30

Total:   $117.08

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Easy Caramel Sauce for Gifts

This stuff is great on ice cream 🍦, between cake layers, drizzled over cheesecake, sandwiched between cookies, eaten with apples.  Use your imagination.

It takes less than three minutes hands on time and makes a great gift.  Put in a basket with some ice cream bowls, an ice cream scoop, and a gift card for ice scream.    Or, pack it with a bag of apples.  Remember to include the recipe.

Line your crockpot with paper so the cans don't mark the bottom.  Put in the cans and cover with water.  Cook
on high for eight hours.  Tada!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Quarterly Meal Plan: July-September

Vegetarian: 24

Low Meat:  23

Meat:  25

Although the budget might not show it, I appear to be getting the hang of this.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Meal Plan: October 1-15

Vegetarian:  cream of celery soup; taco pzza; cheese calzones (2)

Low Meat:  homemade chicken noodle soup; mashed potato casserole; beef and been tacos; scalloped potatoes and ham; chicken noodle soup; spaghetti and meatballs; chili;Cajun red beans and rice; tuna noodle casserole

hotdogs; pot roast

Vegetarian:  4

Low Meat:   9

Meat:  2

Not great but not bad.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Buying and Eating: October 1-15

Monthly Allocation:  $369.20
Cushion: $1008.96

What We Ate:  homemade cream of celery soup; homemade chicken noodle soup; mashed potato casserole; beef and bean tacos; scalloped potatoes and ham, cucumber salad; hotdogs, sauerkraut, three bean salad, chips;  chicken noodle soup over mashed potatoes; spaghetti and meatballs; taco pizza; chili; cheese calzones and popcorn; Cajun red beans and rice, salad, fruit; pot roast with potato, onion, and carrot; tuna noodle casserole, peas, salad; assorted leftovers

What We Bought:

Aldi:  winter squash (6.11#)  $2.99.

Giant Eagle:  canned kidney beans  $0.23

Bread Store:  everything bagels, pumpkin spice English muffins, whole wheat bread, rye bread $3.71

Price Rite:  olives, basil, cottage cheese (2#), yogurt (2#)  $8.87

Total:  $15.80

Eating Out:

Lunch with friends. $10.05
Breakfast with Dad  $14.00
Breakfast with Ginger  $7.34

Total:  $31.39

2 Week Grand Total: $47.19

Remaining Allocation:  $322.02

Monday, October 14, 2019

Quarterly Linus Project and Yarn Costs: July- September


Pet Blankets  5
Linus Project Blankets  5
Operation Gratitude Scarves:  5

Yarn at Goodwill:  12 skeins for $11.88 or $0.99/skein, near where we are camping

Yarn at Goodwill:  7 skeins for $6.93 or $0.99/skein, near where we are camping

Yarn at Goodwill:  10 skeins for $7.36 or $W0.74/skein, near where we are camping

Yarn at Salvation Army:  7 skeins for $3.99 or  or $0.57/skein near where we are camping.

Yarn at Goodwill:  1 skein for $0.99.

Yarn at Goodwill:  9 skeins for  $6.72 or $0.84/skein


Took some time away to work on a few gifts for friends and family using some of my cotton yarn stash.

Pet Blankets: 3
Linus Project:  4
Project Gratitude  4cents

Totals: Linus Project Blankets:  16
Operation Gratitude Scarves:  16

Pet Blankets:  10

Yarn:  $85.69 for an average of $28.56/month


Yarn at Goodwill using 50% off tag and military discount    35 skeins for $14.50 or about $0.41/skein

Yarn at Goodwill:  22 skeins for $14.29 or  65 cents/ skein.

Yarn at Goodwill( in  Canada:  $26.39 for 26 skeins

Linus Project:  7
Operation Gratitude Scarves:  7
Pet Blankets:  2

Totals:  Linus Project Blankets:  16
Operation Gratitude Scarves:  16
Pet Blankets:  10
Yarn:  $85.69 or an average of $28.56/month.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Frugal Things In September

1.  Hosta free off of Freecycle.  We got four to fill in gaps in the front yard.

2.  Cat Food free with coupon.  I will donate to the animal shelter.

3.  20%  off at a new grocery store.  We only bought the loss leaders and we saved an extra  $2.19.  Every little bit helps.

4.  $10 off $10 purchase at Staples.  We ended up with 6 mega rolls of Charmin and a gallon of spring water for making vinegar.  We paid 46 cents.

5. We got two $5 gift cards at Giant Eagle when we went there to get our flu shots.  That translates to free groceries.  I bought Christmas treat foods.

6.  We shopped at the bread store and our four items cost us $4 instead of the normal retail price of $17.86.  That's $13.86 we saved!

7.  A free 8x10 photo from Walgreens.

Monday, October 7, 2019

September Households and Personal Care

Personal Care:

Toothpaste (2)  $2.12  Dollar Tree
Two haircuts  $24  Great Clips
Body lotion (large!)  $7.30. Amazon

Total:  $33.42
Too high, but may be the new reality.


Efferdent (for cleaning)  $1.06  Dollar Tree
New lampshade for living room  $13.33  (we received a $1.40 military discount)  Lowes
Toilet bowl brush  $1.06  Dollar Tree

Total:  $15.45

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Meal Plan: September 16-30

Vegetarian:  cheesy potatoes; Vegetarian pot pie; Mexican baked potatoes; cheesy calzones; taco pizza

Low Meat:  spaghetti and meatballs; pizza; potato, hotdog and sauerkraut casserole (2); bacon and lentil soup; Cajun red beans and rice

Meat:  stuffed pork chops; sandwiches; ham; brats; pork chops


Vegetarian  5
Low Meat  5
Meat  5

Nicely Balanced

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Buying and Eating: September 16-30

Remaining Allocation:  $255.31
Cushion:  $883.41

What We Bought:

Staples water for making vinegar  $0.46

Tops:  cantaloupe, celery, Italian bread, macaroni and cheese (3) $3.86

Bread Store:  bagels (2) English muffins, cinnamon swirl bread  $4.00

Zehrs ( in Canada):  cookies, mustard, crackers, pretzels,pop tarts, pizza (2)donuts (6), bread,cheese, ham, roast beef  $35.65  For meals while we were there.

British Grocer(in Canada):  marmalade mixture (2)   $12.05  for making homemade marmalade

Bulk Bin ( in Canada):  rye flour, dried figs ( for fig pudding at Christmas) unsweetened coconut  $12.98

Price Rite:  brownie mix  (5), cheese (6)  $9.45

Save a Lot:  olives (2), cream cheese (4), Polish sausage (3), bananas  $13.93

Giant Eagle:  perogies  $2.13

Tops:  bacon, Folgers, Alfredo sauce, salami (1#), cucumber (2), sweet peppers (2), hot peppers (6), beef broth  $13.34

Groceries:  $107.85

What We Ate:  stuffed pork chops, mashed sweet potatoes three bean salad;  cheesy potatoes, butter beans, green beans, salad; spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread and salad; pizza and pretzels; sandwiches and fried potatoes; Vegetarian pot pie, fruit, garlic bread;  ham, macaroni salad, three bean salad; poyato, hotdog and sauerkraut casserole, roasted beets, fruit;  btats, macaroni salad, three bean salad;  leftover casserole; Mexican baked potatoes, corn, salad;; cheesy calzones; Vegetarian taco pizza; pork chops with apples, onions and cabbage;  bacon and lentil soup

Eating Out:
Breakfast with Pat  $19.79
Lunch before movie  $2.12

Total:  $21.91

Grand Total for Two Weeks:  $129.76

Remaining Allocation:  $125.55

New Cushion Amount:  $1008.96

Friday, September 27, 2019

Rain Checks

Tops awhile ago had a few specials I wanted to take advantage of.  But, when I got to the store they were sold out.

  I could have just written them off but I didn't.

  Instead, I went to the Service Desk and asked for rainchecks.  I redeemed them for the items at a later date and still got the good sale prices.

That is a frugal win!

Mushrooms, 8 oz. sliced 99 cents, limit 4
When we used the rain check and bought four to freeze we saved $6.80!

18 count large eggs, no limit  99cents ( equal to 66cents/dozen)  I bought 6.  Extras can always be frozen.  Their regular price that day was. $1.99

Turkey breast limit 2, 88 cents/#  I remove the meat from the carcass and use these like chicken breasts and make broth with the bones and skin.  I bought two.  Without the raincheck I would have paid $2.49/#.

I love rainchecks.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Spending Our Rite Aid $25.00

$0.50 for Colgate tooth paste using a coupon with a sale
$1.05   for  speed stick deodorant using a sale and coupon
$1.88 each for Cheerios and Rice Krispies, on sale , to be used in recipes at Christmas
$6.99 for Arm&Hammer laundry detergent 150 oz (100 loads) on sale, 7 cents per load
$3.99 each for two Dawn 28 oz. On sale
$2.50 each for two Gain 50 oz (32 loads each) on sale with coupons, 8 cents per load

We ended up $0.28 over.  Not bad.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Meal Plan: September 1-15

Vegetarian: cheesy lasagna; ranch twice baked potatoes; spicy peanut noodles with Asian vegetables (2), homemade veggie burgers

Low Meat:  steak or grilled chicken salad; ham and pea pasta; English muffin pizzas

Meat:  ribs; orange beef; beef stroganoff


Vegetarian  5

Low Meat. 3

Meat. 3

I'm pleased with this two week period.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Buying and Eating: September 1-15

Allocation:  $357.30
Cushion:  $883.41

What We Ate:  steak or grilled chicken salad; ribs, potato salad ,Asian slaw; ham and pea pasta with fruit; cheesy lasagna and salad; English muffin pizzas and chips; ranch twice baked potatoes, green soy beans tomatoes; spicy peanut noodles with Asian vegetables, bread, fruit; homemade veggie burgers, couscous salad, tomatoes; orange beef, broccoli, rice; leftover peanut noodles, Chinese pancakes, apple slices; beef stroganoff, salad, green beans

What We Bought:

Tops:  goldfish,Alfredo sauce, red grapes (1.76#) $3.72.

Save a Lot:  potatoes (10#) $3.49

Aldi:  mushrooms (1#), plums (2#), olives (2) Brussel sprouts(4#) cream cheese, bleu cheese  $14.52 total

Erie Country Farms:  carrots (2lb), zucchini, tomatoes (3.75 #), cabbage  (3.25#), Swiss cheese (5#), potatoes (10#)  $19.75

Aldi:  grapes (2.3#) cauliflower (3#). $4.44

Tops:  sour cream (2), ricotta cheese (2), sugar, Apple's (14#),  $15.32

Total:  $61.24.
And this included stocking up on potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms and apples.

Eating Out:

Dinner Ellen's  $9.53
Lunch Megen's:  $8.43
Cupcakes for Emma's birthday:  $22.79

Total:  $40.75 
Cupcakes are expensive when you don't make your own.

Grand Total:  $101.99
Weekly Average:  $51

Allocation remaining for the month:  $255.31

Saturday, September 14, 2019

6 Month Entertainment: January -June

Our entertainment expenses have been low.  The major cost has been the cost of Prime so we can watch Prime video.

Most of the rest of our entertainment movies and books on tape, we get from the library.

We spent $61 or $10.16 / month.  That comes out to $0.34/day.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

August Household and Personal Care Expenses


Coffee filters at Aldi  $1.35
Stove lighter at Family Dollar  $1.06
$0.28  overage after gift card spent
Flat king size sheet at thrift store $2.99

Total:  5.68

Personal Care:

Mike body powder at Dollar Tree  $1.06

Total:  $1.06

A frugal month.  :)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Frugal Things In August

Nothing big

1.  Coffee.  Thursdays Starbucks has a 50% special we take advantage of to satisfy our cravings.

2. Bags.  I reuse my Ziploc bags and because I am lazy I wash them with my kitchen towels with a little bleach.  A small savings but little things add up.  It's also better for the environment.

3.  Laundry Detergent.  I used saved soap end pieces as the base for homemade laundry detergent to donate to the animal shelter.

4. Shopping Only the Sales.  If it wasn't a loss leader I basically didn't buy it,

5.  Making Broth From Bones.  I used a chicken carcass and a ham bone to make two types of broth.

6.  Using Coupons on Sale Items.  Where I can, I match coupons with sales.  Little bits of money add up.

7.  Making Birthday Gifts.  I got creative and used what I had to make four gifts.

8.  Free 8x10 collage photo from CVS and Free 8x10 single photo from Walgreens  Free is the way to go!

9.  Using points for a hotel room.  We went to New York wine country on a whim and stayed in a hotel room for three night for free using credit card points.

10.  Buying Christmas gifts at wineries.  We saved money using the 20% military discount.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Meal Plan: August 16-31

Vegetarian: bean, rice and cheese burrito; bean curry; macaroni and cheese

Low Meat:  chicken stir fry with rice; broccoli and rice casserole with chicken ; Mexican rice; pasta with ham and peas;

Meat:  chicken sandwiches;  chicken with avocado and cheese; ham; ham salad sandwiches with navy bean soup; ham sandwiches; fish and chips;'steak

Vegetarian:3 (need to step up my efforts here)

Low Meat:  4 ( most of these were very low meat, which helps)

Meat:  7  ( some were almost low meat)

Taken as a whole, not too bad.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Buying and Eating: August 16-31

Remaining Allocation:$234.03. Minus 4x $11.91 or $47.64 to adjust for a last minute decision to visit New York wine 🍷country.  That took the remaining allocation to $186.39.

What We Ate:  chicken sandwiches; chicken stir fry; broccoli and rice casserole with chicken;  chicken casserole avocado and cheese, rice with almonds and peas, sauteed cabbage; Mexican rice, corn on the cob, refried beans with cheese; ham salad sandwiches with navy bean soup; bean rice and cheese burrito with winter squash; ham, quinoa salad, applesauce; pasta with ham and peas fresh grapes; bean curry with zucchini pancakes and curried potatoes; ham sandwich with chips;  macaroni and cheese, cantaloupe and carrots; fish and chips with zucchini; steak with salad and corn

What We Bought

Save a Lot:  cream cheese, salt Worcestershire sauce  $2

Tops:  eggs (3), corn on the cob (2), cheese (8oz)  $3.81

The Bread Store:  rye , cinnamon raisin English muffins, regular English muffins (4), bagels  $3.88

Tops:  18 count eggs (4), sliced mushrooms (4), broccoli crowns (2.29 pds)  $9.99

Red Barn Foods:  lettuce, tomatoes (2#), cucumber, sweet peppers (2)  $3.87

Price Rite:  onions (10 #) cheese (4.5#)dry milk (2)  $19.88

Total for Groceries:  $43.43

Eating Out:

Lunch with Angela  $9.74
Lunch at Yacht Club for my birthday: $18.15

Total for Eating Out: $27.89

Two Week Total:  $71.32

Amount to Cushion:  $115.07

Friday, August 30, 2019

6Month Linus Project and Yarn Costs: January -June

During the first half of the year I bought 143 skeins of yarn for $127.14 or an average of $0.89/ skein.

In six months I have made 43 Linus Project blankets, 11 operation Gratitude Scarves, 19 Pet Blankets for the shelter and 10 red hats for the American Heart Association.

And I still have a lot of yarn upstairs in my craft room.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

6 Month Personal Care and Household Expenses: January -June

I have set a $25/month goal for Personal Care Expenses.

For the first six months of the year, we spent $226.85 in total which averaged out to $37.81/month.  I am significantly higher than I want to be.

For Household Expenses I set a goal of $10/ month.

In the first six months we spent $57.21 or $9.54/month.  I am just under my goal.

Somehow, I need to get the Personal Care Expenses down.  Wish me luck. ( Or, set a different goal.)

Saturday, August 24, 2019

6 Month Clothing Expenses: January -June

Mike spent $50.89 on clothing in the first six months of the year.

Sandy spent $ 112.99.  ( Women just need more.  :)

That is a grand total of $163.88 or $0.91/day

Mike averaged $0.28/day.

Sandy averaged $0.63/day.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

6 Month Food Expenses January -June

We spent $968.70 on food the first half of the year.
That averages $161.45/ month.

The federal government says a two person family our age, under the Thrifty plan, should spend $11.91/day for food.  I include meals out.

We are averaging $5.35/day for Mike and I.

That breaks down to $2.68/person/day.

I'll take it since I think it will only increase in the future.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Quarterly Entertainment Expenses: April -June


Amazon Prime $10


Amazon Prime $10
Two used paperbacks for $1


Amazon Prime  $10

We continue to listen to books on tape and watch movies borrowed from the library.

Three month total:  $31
Monthly Average:  $10.33

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Meal Plan: August 1-15

Pasta with garlic oil and cheese

Low Meat:
Chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese

Italian sub; Philly cheese steak sloppy Joes; southern bbq; roast chicken; chicken sandwiches

Vegetarian:  1
Low Meat:  1
Meat:  5

Too much meat!  Need to work on that.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Buying and Eating: August 1-15

$11.91/day on the thrifty plan X 24 days equals $285.84 for the month.
Cushion is currently $768.34.

We spent a week at the lake with Mike's extended family so I adjusted the numbers. The money for feeding everyone dinner comes out of a different budget.

What We Ate:  spaghetti with garlic oil and cheese, garlic bread, peas;  chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese; Italian sub; Philly cheese steak sloppy Joes, grapes and green beans; southern bbq, bleu cheese coleslaw, tomatoes and feta, cornbread; roast chicken, stuffing, edemame; turkey sandwich

What We Bought:

Tops:  celery, lettuce, fresh green beans mini watermelon (2) peanut butter    $6.47

Giant Eagle:  dasani sparkling  Free with coupon

Aldi:  olives (2), frozen pizza, $8.77 (lake)

West's:  cheese balls, large Italian sub  $11.90 (lake)

Shoreless Acres:  donuts  $5.00 (lake)

Giant Eagle:  cottage cheese (free with coupon), cantaloupe  $0.99

Groceries:  $33.13

eating Out:

lunch at Aunt Cookie's:  $8.85  (lake)

Burger King  $9.83 (lake)

Eating Out:  $18.68

Total for 1-15:  $51.81

Remaining Allocation:  $234.03

Monday, August 12, 2019

Quarterly Linus Project and Yarn Costs April -June


Linus Project :  9 blankets made


29 skeins of yarn bought in England  for the equivalent of $32.49 or $1.13/ skein.

10 skeins of English yarn for the equivalent of $12.96 or $1.30 each. 

21 skeins of British yarn for the equivalent of $15.88 or  77 cents each

33 skeins of yarn bought at Salvation Army using 50% discount colored tags and military discount for $18

7 Linus Project Blankets made

7 Pet blankets

9 scarves for Project Gratitude

Total Spent on yarn in May:  $79.33 for 93 skeins.  My stockpile is looking healthy.


13 skeins of yarn for $14.16

7 blankets for the Linus Project made

2 scarves for Operation Gratitude made

2 Pet Blankets made

$14.16 spent on yarn in June

Quarterly yarn cost:  $93.49

Total Linus Project Blankets made:  22

Total Operation Gratitude Scarves made: 11

Total Pet Blankets made:  9

Friday, August 9, 2019

July Household and Personal Care Expenses


Pump soap  $0.75 salvage
Kool-Aid lemonade for dishwasher  ( removes film from glasses ) $1.00 salvage
Upholstery cleaner for RV  $$3.47 Wal-Mart
$1.98 Glad oven ware salvage (for lake)
Basket for Mike's papers in RV $3.99 thrift store
6 red candles $5  thrift store (for Christmas)

Personal Care:

$1.98 tooth brushes and bandaids from salvage
Haircuts for Mike and Sandy  $24

Total Household:  $15.19

Total Personal Care:  $25.98

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Frugal Things In July

1.  Using our National Parks Senior Pass, we stayed in a National Park with our RV for 50% less than the normal rate.  This $12/night rate included the Fourth of July!

2.  I had a prescription filled recently when we were on vacation.  When it came time for the refill I had it transferred to a local drug store that was running a special offer for doing so.  The result, $25 to spend at the drugstore.  I will stretch it as far as I can by focusing on buying things that are already on sale.

3.  We received a $230 gift card from Costco as a rebate for booking a vacation through them.. Will stretch it by focusing on buying mark downs.

4.  Starbucks sent me a freebie to be used my birthday.  We were camping but my husband found a Starbucks nearby so that savings didn't go by the wayside.

5.  I shopped at salvage grocery stores and filled in the gaps in my stockpile very inexpensively.

6.  I bought a nightgown and three sweaters at a thrift store for a total of $10.

7.We received a $30 rebate from Sam's Club and used it to purchase some supplements we take.  Like getting them for free!

A frugal fail:

Haircuts were on sale for $5. We were camping too far away.  Lost savings.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

The Meal Plan: July 16-31

Vegetarian:  vegetarian chili over baked potatoes;  Thai noodles; Vegetarian meatloaf; bean tostada and corn; macaroni and cheese;Buffalo wing pasta;  Vegetarian vegetable soup

Vegetarian Meals: 7

Low Meat:  Fried bologna sandwiches with vegetarian split pea soup; lentil and bacon soup; Cuban black bean soup;  tuna noodle casserole

Low Meat Meals:  4

Meat:  hamburgers; Italian sausage patties; ham and potato salad

Meat Meals:  3

Due to a need for soft foods we are heavy on soups, etc.  But the balance worked well for the budget.  :)

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Buying and Eating: July 16-31

Remaining Allocation for Month:  $90.72

What We Ate:  vegetarian chili over baked potatoes; Thai noodles; Vegetarian meatloaf, roasted vegetables, bread pudding;  fried bologna sandwiches and; bean tostada and cor;n vegetarian split pea soup; hamburgers bleu cheese pasta, Mexican been tostada and corn;  sausage patties, fried potatoes, beets;  macaroni and cheese; Buffalo wing pasta; Vegetarian vegetable soup; lentil and bacon soup; Cuban black bean soup; tuna noodle casserole, peas and fresh fruit; potato salad, ham; leftover

What We Bought:  Not much after my heavy shopping of the last two weeks.

Cheesehaven:  smoked white fish  $5.44 (while on vacation)

Tops:  Italian bread, sliced mushrooms (2)  $2.97

Bread Store:  rye, English muffins, bagels, multigrain  $3.71

Price Rite:  celery, peaches, plums, nectarines, mustard $3.56

Grocery Total:  $15.68

Eating Out:

Mike lunch $2.12 at Taco Bell

Amount to Cushion:  $72.92

Considering all the salvage shopping done earlier in the month, I am surprised to have anything for adding to the cushion.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Quarterly Clothing Expenses: April - June

April:  nothing


Sandy:  5 pairs of pantyhose for $3.27.   66cents/pair at a charity shop

Sandy summer shoes  $15  Payless


Sandy:  three tops for $13.27 at a thrift store.  Average of $4.42/top

$31.54 Three Month Total

Monthly Average:  $10.51

Women obviously need more clothes than men.  :)

Friday, July 26, 2019

Quarterly Food Expenses April -June

April Total:  $130.08
May Total:  $196.73
June Total:  $170.39

Grand Total:  $497.20

Monthly Average for the Quarter:  $165.75
Remember, this includes meals at home and in a restaurant.

Our quarterly number is $2.73/day/person

Monday, July 22, 2019

M&M Salvage Near Middlefield, Ohio

This is a smaller salvage and I now have fewer holes in my stockpile to fill.  I did, however, find a few things to buy.

Apple sauce, 108oz (2)@$2.88
Cream of chicken soup (8)@$0.49
Cilantro cubes  $0.75
Velveeta, 2#  $4.69
Vanilla and hazelnut coffee, 24 oz total@$5.00
Peaches , 29 oz.(3)@$0.99
Atkins bars (2)@$3.50
Peas (3)@$0.33
Corn (3)@$0.33
Yams (3)@$0.33
Canned chicken (3)@$0.69
Canned ham (3)@$0.75
Sauerkraut (2)@$0.59
Ketchup (3)@$0.69
Horseradish sauce. $0.99
Newman's Own honey Apple cider salad dressing  $0.50


Friday, July 19, 2019

Southside Bent and Dent Near Middlefield, Ohio

On to our third Salvage.  I did quite well here.

Annie's toaster pastries (4) @ $0.35 each (a birthday treat for me)
Shelf stable crean, 12oz.  (4)@$0.29
Old fashioned oatmeal (2)@$0.99
Potato Kugel mix  $0.79
Kashi cereal  $0.99
Multigrain Chex (2)@$1.50 (for Chex mix)
Cheerios  $1.50
Coffee, 30 oz @$3.98
Apple bars (2)@$0.25
Domino sugar (2)@$1.59
Breakfast flats(6)@$0.45 (good for dessert)
Spaghetti sauce  $0.69
Canned pinto beans $0.25
Canned canellini beans $0.39
Kashi multigrain crackers (2)@$0.25
Grits $0.19
Peach slices (2)@$0.59
Pineapple rings $0.59
Diced tomatoes, 28oz.(2)@$0.50
Salsa (2)@$0.79
Triscuits  (2)@$0.40
Apple sauce, for Apple butter, 3# (2)@$1.89.
Sweet chili sauce $0.49
Self rising flour  20# @ $0.10/# (so excited to find this)
Tomato sauce(4)@$0.25
Cream of mushroom soup(4)@$0.49
Italian seasoning grinder (2)@$0.79 (so much better in the grinder)
Gel food coloring  $0.49
Glad oven ware XL  set of two  $1.99
Ocean Spray whole cranberry sauce (2)@$0.29
Cocktail sauce $0.29
Jiffy Pie Crust mix (8)@$0.12
Canned black beans (2)@$0.25
Canned great northern beans (2)@$0.39
Yams $0.25
Spinach $0.25
Beets $0.25
Gallon red wine vinegar  $1.49
Red pepper strips, 102 oz  $0.99
Refried beans, 112 oz (2)@$0.49 NOT a typo
German potato salad 51 oz  $1.59
Dry black eyed peas  $0.79/#
Dry red kidney beans 4#@$0.80/#
Shelf stable whole milk (8)@$0.35
Caramel chips (2)@$0.99
Egg noodles (2)@$0.69
Pesto sauce mix (5)@$0.10
Toothbrush, set of 2 for $0.40
Bandaids (2)@$0.79

Total:  $64.16

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

July 1-15 And The Meal Plan

Sloppy Joes; grilled hamburgers

Low Meat:
Spinach salad with bacon, egg and cheese;  mixed greens with tuna and egg salad and cottage cheese; Mexican salad; leftover sauerkraut, hotdog and cheese casserole; pork fajita; seafood risotto

Cheesy manicotti; Vegetarian pot pie; Mexican been omelette

Meat:  2
Low Meat:  6
Vegetarian:  3

The missing days were leftovers.

Buying and Eating: July 1-15

Allocation:  $369.21
Cushion:  $695.42

What We Ate:
Sloppy Joes, green beans strawberries and blueberries; spinach salad with bacon,egg and cheese/; salad greens with tuna and egg salad and cottage cheese, side of cantaloupe; grilled hamburgers, cantaloupe, kale; Mexican salad, cheese quesadilla; leftover sauerkraut and cheese and hotdog casserole with oven baked zucchini;  leftovers; cheesy manicotti;Vegetarian pot pie and beets; pork fajita, refried beans, bananas; Mexican bean omelette; two types egg rolls , crab rangoon, green soy beans, fruit; assorted leftovers; seafood risotto

What We Bought:

Price Rite:  elbow macaroni(2), green pepper , low carb tortillas $6.98

Salvage Grocery Number One:  triscuts (2), rice milk (3), dry red beans (1#) pinto beans (2#), popcorn cakes (2), white shops wheat flour (15#), ground coffee (4.5#), carnation evaporated (6), Kraft macaroni and cheese (3), sunflower seeds (2#), organic brownie mix (2), canned pinto beans (4), albacore tuna (34 oz.), Croutons Ghiradelli chocolate (7 oz) quinoa, green chili sauce with chicken (4), applesauce (2), green beans (7 on 3.5 oz), coriander paste (2), ginger paste, green chili paste, Tabasco peppers   $ 35.45

Aldi:  salsa, carb bars, cheese and egg spaetzle, cottage cheese, blueberries  $10.05

Bread Store:  everything bagels, multigrain breas, raisin cinnamon English muffins  $2.86

Save a Lot:  bananas, peaches, plums, nectarines, Italian sausage (3#), potatoes (10#)  $12.46

Aldi:  crab rangoon, mini egg rolls (2 types), edemame, baby Bella mushrooms, strawberries, milk chocolate (2)  $14.42
The Asian food was for my birthday dinner.

Salvage Grocery Number Two:  blue cheese dressing ketchup (2) salsa (2), diced tomatoes, tomato paste, refried beans, corn, diced fire red tomatoes, spinach, rotel (3), enchilada sauce, albacore tuna, curry paste, cream of broccoli soup, cheddar cheese soup, Jello pudding (2), evaporated milk (2), beef broth (2), Zesta crackers (2), Ritz crackers townhouse crackers, oyster crackers, poptart crisps, onion soup mix, low fat milk (3), pecans (2), salad dressing (3), Knorr skillet meals (5), coffee (4#), caramels, Kraft deluxe macaroni and cheese (4), stove top (3), brown and serve rolls, dried cranberries(3),  milled flax seed, sage, cumin, sure jell (2), Atkins bars, Atkins drinks   $43.25

Salvage Grocery Number Three:  toaster pastries (4), shelf stable cream (4), oatmeal (2), potato Kugel mix, Kashi cereal, multigrain Chex (2), Cheerios, coffee (30oz), Apple bars (2), sugar (2), breakfast flats (6), spaghetti sauce, canned pinto beans, canned cannellini beans, Kashi multigrain crackers (2), grits, peach slices, pineapple rings, diced tomatos (2), salsa (2) triscuits (2), Apple sauce 3# (2), sweet chili sauce, self rising flour (20#), tomato sauce, cream of mushroom soup(4), Italian seasoning grinder(2), gel food coloring, cranberry sauce(2), cocktail sauce, pie crust mix(8), canned black beans, canned great northern beans, yams, spinach, beets, red wine vinegar(gal), red pepper strips, refried beans, German potato salad, dry black eyed peas (#), dry red kidney beans(4#), shelf stable whole milk(8), caramel chips (2), egg noodles (2), pesto sauce mix (5). $60.20

Salvage Grocery Number Four:  apple sauce  108 oz (2), cream of chicken soup (8), cilantro cubes, Velvetta (2#), vanilla and hazelnut coffee, peaches(3), Atkins bars (2), peas(3), corn (3), yams(3), canned chicken(3), sauerkraut (2), canned ham (3), ketchup (3), horseradish sauce, salad dressing  $42.17

Cheese Co-op:  about 11 pounds for $2.59/pound  $27.36

Total Groceries:  $255.20

I have been working on filling gaps in my stockpile.  I just feel the urge to do so.

Eating Out:
Lunch at Mary Yoder's  $23.29

Total Eating Out:  23.29

Grand Total:  $278.49

Remaining Monthly Allocation:  $90.72

Saturday, July 13, 2019

J and K Bent and Dent Near Middlefield, Ohio

In the continuing quest to fill in gaps in my stockpile, we went salvage grocery shopping near where we are now camping.  Our first stop was at J and K.  I found some decent bargains.

Jars of Mincemeat (for a pie for my dad and some bars  (2)  $1.25
Blue Cheese dressing   $0.50
Ketchup  (2)  $0.50
Salsa (2)  $0.50
Diced tomatoes $0.59
Tomato paste, 12 oz.  $0.49
Refried beans, corn, fire roasted diced tomatoes, spinach, rotel tomatoes (3), and enchilada sauce  4/$1     $2.00
Albacore tuna. 12 oz.   $1.29
Curry paste  10 oz.    $0.50
Cream of broccoli and cheddar cheese soup  $0.59 each.    $1.18
Jello pudding (2)   $0.39 each  $0.78
evaporated milk (2)  $0.50
Beef broth  (2).  $1.18
Zesta crackers (2)   $2.00
Ritz crackers (2)   $0.78
Townhouse crackers  $1.00
Oyster crackers.  $0.75
Pop tart crisps   $0.75
Onion soup mix   $0.99
Shelf stable low-fat milk (3).  $0.75
Pecans (2) for holiday pie  $3.00
3 salad dressing      free!
Knorr skillet meals  (5)  $0.50
Coffee, 4# at $2.99/#   $11.95
Kraft caramels.    $1.50
Kraft deluxe macaroni and cheese (4)   $1.00
Stove Top  (3).     $0.30
Dozen brown and serve rolls   $0.25
Dried cranberries  (3)  $1.50
Milled flax seed  12 oz.      $0.99
Sage and cumin    $1.00
Sure jell (2)    $1.00
Atkins bars  (2 boxes).  $3.00
Atkins drink  (4 pack)  $2.99

Total Spent :    $44.75

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

June Personal Care and Household Expenses

Personal Care:

Mike haircut  $9
Sandy haircut $11
Toothpaste  $1


Bowl covers (2 boxes)  $2.12
kabob skewers  ( 100)  $2.12
Small oven sheet pan $3.12

TotalPersonal Care:$21
Total Household: $7.36

Both are under our goal amounts.  :)

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Salvage Shop Number One Near Greenville, PA

We are camping and I decided to try out a salvage grocery near the park.  Prices are rising but I still found some bargains.  You have to be very careful and selective.  We spent $35.45 in total.

Here is what we bought:

Triscuits          2 boxes.         $1.00
Popcorn cakes.         2 boxes.         $1.50
Rice milk.         3           $1.00
Dry red beans.         Pound.         $0.75
Dry pinto beans.         2 pounds.        $ 1.50
White whole wheat flour.      15#       $3.00
Ground coffee.         4.5 #        $10
Carnation evaporated milk.    6.     $ 3.00
Kraft macaroni and cheese     2.     $1.00
Sunflower seeds       2#           $2.00
Organic brownie mix.    2          $1.00
Canned pinto beans.        4.         $1.00
Albacore tuna.          34 oz.            $4.10
Croutons                                           $0.80
Ghirardelli chocolate.        7 ounces.     $2.00
Quinoa               14 oz.             $1.00
Green chili sauce with chicken   4        $1.00
Apple sauce.         2.            $1.20
Green beans.         7 lb 3.5 oz            $3.05
Coriander paste.         2              $0.50
Ginger paste            10.58 oz.      $0.25
Green chili paste.    10.58 oz.     $0.25
Tabasco peppers.      6 oz.           $0.50

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Frugal Things In June

1.  More yarn, this time from Goodwill, at 50% off.  Sometimes I can't find any and other times I get so lucky!

2.  After 40 years for the dryer and 22 years for the washer, it was time to replace them.We bought the replacements in a 40% off sale and received an additional 10% military discount.  All told, we saved $556.10.  Then we paid with gift cards that earned us $2.40 off per gallon.  That will save us another $72.  $628.10 remains in our bank account because of a few simple steps.  I'll take it.

3.  We saved an extra $22 by paying a bill with cash.

4.  We live within the city limits.  The city did a grant program for beautification of the outside of your home.  We applied and received a grant for 50% of the cost of having our house painted.  $2500 saved.

Monday, July 1, 2019

June And The Meal Plan (14 days)

Vegetarian:  macaroni and cheese; baked potatoes; augratin potatoes; three cheese pizza with onion and olive

Meat:  kielbasa; pork chops; kielbasa on rolls with vegetarian split pea soup; sloppy Joes;  marinated beef chunks; meatballs with spaghetti squash and sauce; Spaghetti squash carbonara; hotdogs, cheese and sauerkraut

Low Meat:  BLT salad; mixed berry tossed salad with cheese and nuts and meat

Vegetarian:  4
Low Meat:  1
Meat:  8

(One day was mixed leftovers.)

Heavy on meat due to being on the Low Carb diet.  But better than a brand new wardrobe.  :)

Buying and Eating : June 1-9 and 26-30

We took a vacation in June and those food costs are in another category.  We have 14 days at $11.91/day for two people.  That gives us $166.74 for the month.  Our cushion is now at $ 699.07

What We Ate:
Macaroni and cheese with watermelon and green beans; baked potatoes, stuffing, green beans, bean salad,watermelon,;  Ibrahim potatoes, watermelon, bean salad, peas; kielbasa, baked beans watermelon, chips; BLT salad with bread; grilled pork chops, potato and mixed vegetable;  kielbasa on rolls with vegetarian split pea soup; three cheese pizza with onion and olive; Low carb sloppy Joes, vegetables ; marinated beef chunks with sauteed peppers, zucchini and cheese pancakes, fresh strawberries; spaghetti squash and meatballs with sauce; mixed berry chef salad;  Spaghetti squash carbonara; hotdogs, cheese and sauerkraut

What We Bought:

Commissary at Fort Mead:  iced coffee, popcorn, oatmeal, split peas (2), navy beans, pasta sauce (3), water chestnuts (2), spinach (2), beef bouillon, Apple cider vinegar, tuna (4), olives, frosting  $30.51

Country Fair:  XL eggs (5 doz) $3.64

We are back on the Low carb diet.

Aldi:  strawberries (2#), colored peppers (6), blackberries. $7.35

Aldi:  eggs (3), bleu cheese (2), sour cream, cream, cottage cheese, fresh broccoli, cucumber (2), spring mix, Roma tomatoes, almond milk, zucchini (3), fresh spinach, blueberries, cabbage, onions (3#), mushrooms (2)  $32.41

Save a Lot:  kale, hotdogs (3)  $5.96

Total:  $79.87

Eating Out: ( Of which we over excelled)

Lunch with family in D.C.  $35.95
Qdoba  $8.05
Lunch at Sam's Club  $ 4.23
Lunch at the Yacht Club  $ 24.29
Breakfast with Jim and Robin  $18

Total:  $90.52

Grand Total:  $170.39

Overage From Cushion:  $3.65 ( first overage this year)

New Cushion Amount:  $ 695.42

Friday, June 28, 2019

Rhubarb Scones

A good friend gave me some rhubarb this spring that I thinly sliced using my food processor.  This recipe is one of the places we are enjoying it.

2  1/2 c self rising flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup finely sliced rhubarb, you can add more of you like
1/2 cup cold butter cut into chunks
Mix the dry ingredients in a food processor until the butter is fully blended in.  Don't over mix.

Add the rhubarb and 3/4 cup cold milk and combine to make a dough.

The dough will be on the dry side to allow for the moisture the rhubarb will release while baking.

Form the dough into a circle and sprinkle some sugar on top.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until brown and tests done.

Cut into wedges to serve.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Grab And Go Breakfast Muffins

4 eggs, scrambled or hard boiled, cut up fine
8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled, you can substitute chopped ham or crumbled cooked sausage
2 cups self rising flour
1 cup grated cheese, use what you have
3/4 cup milk
1/4  oil
1 beaten egg

Mix together the dry ingredients
Add the wet ingredients and mix to form a dough

Bake in a greased muffin tin at 400 degrees for 20-25 min until brown

Monday, June 24, 2019

Irish Shortbread

This recipe came from The Charmed Kitchen around St. Patrick's Day.

 It is now a new favorite of Mike's.

The secret ingredient is the cornstarch which makes them crispy.

Mix together
2  1/4 cup self rising flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar

1 cup melted butter
Combine well

Press into a pan firmly.  I use a round cake pan with a removable bottom.

Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

Cool and cut into squares.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

2 Ingredient Ice Cream Quick Bread

This recipe is good for using up the bits and bob's of ice cream 🍦 lurking in the freezer.

2 cups melted ice cream, any flavor
1 1/2 cup self rising flour

Add Ins if desired:

Fresh fruit, dried fruit, chopped nuts, etc.

Beat the two ingredients together.  Add any desired extras.

Pour into a greased pan and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Easy Raisin Quick Bread

Good for breakfast.  I wrote this down from a blog but can't remember which.  Sorry.

1 c oatmeal
1 cup self rising flour
1 c Brown sugar
1 cup raisins, or craisins, or any chopped dry fruit

Mix together.
Although you don't need to, I like to Add some cinnamon and nutmeg to the dry ingredients.  I add about 1 Tbs cinnamon and 1tsp nutmeg

Add 1 cup milk.  Skim doesn't work because the recipe needs some fat.  Whole milk works best.

Pour into a greased loaf pan.
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for about an hour.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Homemade Self-Rising Flour

I'm finding more and more recipes that call for self-rising flour.  If you don't have any in your cupboard, you can easily make some.

8 cups of flour
5 Tbs baking powder
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs salt

Mix together.
Shelf stable.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Quick Cinnamon Rolls and Super Fast Cinnamon Roll Bites

Quick Cinnamon Rolls  (Perfect for Weekends)

2 1/4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs yeast
Mix well

1/2cup warm water
1/4 cup warm milk
2 Tbs melted butter
1 beaten egg
Add to dry ingredients and mix with a stand mixer for 4 minutes or so then let rest for 5 minutes

Roll the dough out, spread with softened butter, At least 1/4 cup, sprinkle with sugar, white or brown, about 1/4 cup, then with 2 Tbs cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg.

Roll up and cut into nine slices.
Place into a greased 9x13 pan.
Place in a warm oven and let rise for about 15 minutes.

Leaving the rolls in the oven, turn oven to 375.  Once at temp bake for twenty minutes.

Make a glaze with 1 cup powdered sugar, 3 Tbs milk and 1 tsp vanilla.  Drizzle over  cooked rolls.


Super Fast Cinnamon Roll Bites

My Grandma used to make these.  Super comfort food.

Pie crust dough.  Make your own or buy the pre made stuff in the dairy case.

Spread with butter.
Sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg.
Roll and cut into slices.  Place in greased pie pan.  Bake at 425 until golden brown.

Home baked love!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Frugal Things In May

1.  Used points for hotel rooms two different nights during our trip.

2.  Used a discount code for parking at the airport.  We saved $281.65 off the regular rate.  True everyone used a code but it is still money saved.

3.  Found 62skeins of yarn for less than $1/skein while in England.

4.  Continuing to self cater while at an air b&b in England.  I can't overstate what this saves.  Lunch at a pub can cost the equivalent of $40!

5.  Free. rhubarb from a friend.  I used my food processor to slice it and froze 12 bags.

6.  Twelve picture frames and 33 skeins of yarn from Salvation Army for $30.  Love 50% off days!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Menu Plan: May 12-31

Low Meat:  nachos, taco pizza, ribs; polenta with spaghetti sauce; Philly cheese steak pizza (2); seafood risotto (2), beef enchiladas (2); garlic chicken salad; kabobs(2)
Total:  13

Vegetarian:  cheesy lasagna; homemade veggie burgers (2)
Total:  3

Regular Meat:  chicken; pot roast; savory rhubarb glazed chicken, roast beef sandwiches
Total:  4

Need to work on more vegetarian.  But not too bad and no complaints from Mike.  Even the veggie burgers went down o.k.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Buying and Eating: May 12-31

We were back from vacation for 20 days in May.  That means a budget of $238.20 and our cushion is now at $ 657.60.

What We Bought:
Price Rite:  kielbasa (3#), red sweet peppers, cucumber, romaine hearts (3), tomatoes, cheeses (5),$26.50

Bread Store:  bagels (2), English muffins, rye bread, dinner rolls, stuffing mix (2)  $5.55

Price Rite:  cheese (3), elbow macaroni (2). $3.97

Salvage:  flour tortillas (2), crackers (2), cereal (3), cookies (2), Cracker Barrel Mac and cheese (3), raisins (2), coffee (16), tomato paste (3), seafood broth, croutons (4), sauerkraut, spinach, breakfast flats, natural peanut butter (2), carb bars, pickles (2), dry roasted peanuts, evaporated milk (8), pam (3), dried beans (2), enchilada sauce, mole sauce, tortellini, salad dressing, bay leaves, salad (2),  fruit (2)   $70.52

Aldi:  hotdogs (2.5#), brats(2#), potato chips (4),  tortilla chips, corn chips, hamburger buns, hotdog buns, strawberries, watermelon, American cheese (2), French onion dip   $21.57

Total:  $128.11

What We Ate:  nachos; lasagna, mixed veg, garlic bread, Caesar salad; chicken dressing carrots rhubarb, taco pizza;  ribs, winter squash, rhubarb, baked potato; polenta with spaghetti sauce, salad, garlic bread; seafood risotto, winter squash, rhubarb; pot roast with onion, carrot and potato; leftover risotto; savory rhubarb glazed chicken, corn pudding, fruit and yogurt; beef enchiladas and refried beans; homemade veggie burgers, watermelon, salad; Philly cheese steak pizza ; garlic chicken salad; kabobs, potato salad, bean salad watermelon strawberry shortcake; leftover Philly cheese steak pizza; leftover kabobs; hot roast beef sandwiches

Eating Out:

Lunch with Joyce. $20.00
Mike's hotdog  $1.61
Breakfast with Sharon and Bruce  $17.76
KFC on way to Maryland  $8.69
Subway lunch  in Maryland  $9.21
Burger King in.Maryland  $10.86

Total:  $68.62

Grand Total:  $196.73

Transfer to Cushion:  $ 41.47

New Cushion Amount:  $699.07

Monday, May 27, 2019

Vegetarian "Burger" Mix

This recipe firms up well and has a cooked meat color when done.

I cup cooked lentils
1 cup cooked barley
1 grated onion, potato and carrot
I cup fresh bread crumbs
 2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp ground flax
flour as needed to form mix
other seasonings as desired, fennel works well as does celery

Mix well and let set until moisture is absorbed.
Form into patties and fry in oil.
Can also be used for a "meat" loaf.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Salvage Shop

Yesterday I did a salvage shop as we were just about out of coffee.

 It had been a couple of months and I noticed prices there are rising, too.

 But I did manage to discover enough deals to make the trip worthwhile.

 Actually the coffee alone makes it worthwhile for us.

 My cupboards are now full again.

 Here is what I bought and what it cost me.

Flour tortillas (2)  $0.25 each
Crackers (2)   $0.50 each
Cereal   $0.99
Cereal   $1.00
Cereal.  $0.50
Ginger snaps (2)   $0.99 each
Cracker Barrel mac and cheese (3)   $0.75 each
Croutons (2)  $0.50 each
Golden raisins (2)  $1.99 each
Sauerkraut   $0.49
Spinach   $0.49
Coffee (2)  $2.99 each
Tomato paste (3).  $0.79 each
Coffee (14)   $1.99 each
Seafood broth   $0.75
Breakfast flats   $0.89
Natural peanut butter (2).   $1.99 each
Carb bars   $0.99
Croutons (2)   $0.50 each
Pickles (2)   $0.99 each
Dry roasted peanuts  $1.50
Evaporated milk (8)   $0.25 each
Pam (3)  $1.50 each
Canned beans (2)   $0.10 each
Enchilada sauce  $0.10
Mole sauce  $0.49
Tortellini  $0.75
Salad dressing  $0.50
Bay leaves  $0.99
Salsa (2)   $0.50 each
Mixed fruit ( 2)   $0.75 each

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Homemade Polenta In The Slow Cooker

I tried something new and wanted to share.  It turned out really well and was so easy.  It takes time but no effort.

1 cup cornmeal
3 cups boiling water
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter

Place all ingredients in a sprayed slow cooker and cook four hours on high.
 Sure beats cooking on the stove with all the stirring.
You can serve as is but I put mine into a greased loaf pan and let it chill overnight.
 I then slice it, coat the slices with flour and fry until golden brown.
Lovely with maple syrup for breakfast or with spaghetti sauce for dinner.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

More Breakfast Ideas

Judi Strauss from the Charmed Kitchen has had some good breakfast recipes lately.

Mini Dutch Babies

Preheat to 425
In blender mix
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour

Divide the mixture evenly in a greased muffin tin
Add jam or jelly, about 1 tsp, to center of each
Bake 18-20 minutes
Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar

Irish Soda Bread Scones

Preheat to 425
Mix together
2 cups flour
3 tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
1/2 c raisins
2/3 c buttermilk
1 egg
1 tsp caraway seed, optional

Once thoroughly mixed place dough in center of parchment lined pan and form into one large round.
Bake until tester comes out clean.  Cut into wedges.

Banana Fritters

2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/2cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Oil for trying
1 cup powdered sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon in bag for shaking and coating once fried

Drop by small spoonfuls into oil and fry until both sides are brown.
Make sure the oil is hot or the dough will absorb the oil and be heavy.
Makes a lot.  Can be frozen.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

April Personal Care and Household Expenses

1. Household:   10 spatulas and 6 storage containers  $15  Kitchen Supply Store
My spatulas had definitely seem better days and we needed more storage containers for the freezer.

2.  Personal Care:  spring pedicure  $25
      Winter is never kind to my feet.

3.  Household:  dishwasher detergent  $1.06  Dollar Tree

4.  Personal Care:  toothpaste  $1  Dollar Tree

Household Total:  $16.06
Personal Care Total:  $26

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Quarterly Entertainment Expenses: January -March


Amazon Prime to access tv with ROKU  $10


Free ticket to EVITA at the Playhouse with Angela

Amazon Prime TV  $10


Amazon Prime TV $10

Quarterly :$30 or $10/month

We have tried to go see a movie several times but have yet to make it.

We have however, been enjoying movies and audio books from the library, on an almost nightly basis.  And, the popcorn is cheaper.  :)
We watched The Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, and Bohemian Rhapsody among others.  I highly recommend them.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Quarterly Household and Personal Care Expenses: January -March

Here are the quarterly numbers.

Personal Care:$180.85 or an average of $60.28/month.

This is significantly over our $25/ month goal but future months should help lower the average since it was the skin care products that took it over.  Those will be good for the year.

Household:  $35.58 or an average of $11.86/ month.

This is just over our $10/ month goal.

On to less expensive quarters.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Frugal Things In April

1.  Bruce the cat shared his home for part of our vacation.  We stayed for free and he was loved and taken care of while his human was away.

2.  Self-catering while on vacation saves us a fortune:  about 75% off what eating out would cost!

3.  I found some yarn on Freecycle. 20 skeins in total!  Free!

4.  Mike and I went out to lunch and used a "bring a friend coupon".  We saved $9.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Quarterly Clothing Expenses: January -March


Sandy sweater  $5  thrift store
Sandy boots  $7. Thrift store
Mike slippers  $5 .Costco sale
Mike sneakers  $15  Costco sale
Sandy  7 bras  $57.98 plus 6% cash back from ebates .JCPenney sale
Mike 10 white t-shirts  $19.93  Walmart
Mike insole for boots  $1.96 Walmart

Sandy Total:  $69.98
Mike Total:  $50.89


Sandy 3  skirts from thrift store .$11.47 (Eddie Bauer, Talbot, denim)

Sandy Total:  $11.47


No purchases:

Quarterly Totals:

Sandy:  $81.45 or $27.15/month
Mike:  $50.89 or $13.96/month

The goal is no more than $25/month/person.

Sandy is just over and Mike is under.  Together, at $41.11/month on average they are under the combined goal.

I'll take it.  After all, it takes more to make a woman presentable in all situations.  :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Quarterly Linus Project Report and Yarn Costs for January -March


I made 8 afghans for babies this month. I bought no additional yarn, working from my stockpile.


I donated ten red newborn baby hats to St. Vincent for their February Little Hats, Big Hearts Promotion with the American Heart Association.

I made 7 baby afghan for the Linus Project.


I purchased 3skeins of yarn from a thrift store for $3.18

I purchased 12 skeins of yarn for $12 using the 50% off yellow sticker promotion and the 1% military discount.

I got an additional 22 skeins from a thrift store for $18.47.

I donated 10 Pet blankets to the local animal shelter.

I made 6 baby blankets for the Linus Project.

Quarterly Total:
21 baby afghan for the Linus Project
10 animal blankets for the animal shelter
10 baby hats for St. Vincent

37 skeins of yarn purchased for $33.65 an average of 93 cents/ skein.

Quarterly Buying and Eating


$56.40 Groceries
$11.21 Eating Out.
$67.61 grand total


$157.18 Groceries
$44.63  Eating Out
$201.81 Grand Total


$121.77 Groceries
$ 80.31 Eating Out
$ 202.08 Grand Total

The U.S.government says a frugal family should spend $11.91/ two person family.

For the first quarter of the year we averaged $5.24/two person family.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Buying and Eating: April 1-12

We are leaving for vacation on the 13th so I have only budgeted for twelve days this month.
$142.92 with a cushion of $599.83

What We Ate: leftover pasta carbonara ;potato bar, Brussels sprouts, yogurt with strawberries; garbanzo tiki masala, green soy beans, garlic bread; vegetable pancakes, cooked Apple's yoghurt with strawberries; cheesy crabmeat pasta, salad; nachos; ham salad sandwich with split pea soup; leftover ham loaf, leftover pasta with crab meat; leftover tiki masala; pepperoni pizza, curried potatoes

What We Bought:

Price Rite: oranges, butter (2), cottage cheese, eggs (2)  $8.65

Giant Eagle:  orange Coke . Free with coupon

dollar Tree:  lentils, beets (3),gnocchi ,mushrooms ,dill pickles  $6.37

Tops:  cheese (3), web-based morsels, bananas sugar, fl flour  $12.36

Aldi:  flour (2), butter (6), cheese (4), bleu cheese (2), spiral sliced ham 12#)  $36.60

Total:  $63.98

Eating Out:

Lunch with Ginger  $4.01
Lunch with Mike  $$17.16

Total:  $21.17

Grand Total:  $85.15

To Cushion:$ $57.77
New  Cushion Amount:  $657.60

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Menu Plan: April 1-12

Pasta:  leftover pasta carbonara; cheesy crabmeat pasta (2)
Potato:  baked potato bar; curried potatoes
Vegetarian:  vegetable pancakes
Beans:  Garbanzo bean tiki masala(2)
Regular Meat:  ham salad sandwich with split pea soup(2); ham loaf
Low Meat:  pepperoni pizza

Vegetarian:  5
Low Meat:  4
Regular Meat:  3

I like this balance.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

March Personal Care and Household Expenses

Personal Care:  Sandy haircut $11

Personal Care : Mike  haircut $11

Household : aluminum foil sheets (2)  $2.12 Dollar Tree

Household:  oxiclean laundry detergent $0.99 or approximately 4 cents per load after sale and coupon at Walgreens

Personal Care:  $22
Household:  $3.11

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Frugal Things In March

1.  $11 haircuts for Mike and I.  If I had waited a week they would have been on sale for $5.99 but I didn't know that until after.  Drat!

2.  Making five different large batches of homemade soup each for about what a can or two of soup from the store would cost me.  And, I know exactly what is in these soups.

3.  Starting another batch of homemade vanilla so it has time to age before I need it.

4.  Getting $15  worth of free groceries by transferring a prescription to Giant Eagle.  By shopping the sales, I was able to purchase 10 bags of frozen vegetables and eleven cans of vegetables for 39 cents!

5.  Finding yarn at thrift stores for less than $1/skein.  I got 22 and they will keep me going for awhile.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Eating and the Meal Plan: March 16-31

Vegetarian: dahl;  Vegetarian pot pie
Pasta:  pasta carbonara
Potato:  corned beef hash (2)
Bean:  vegetarian chili; bean burrito
Soup: vegetarian vegetable soup (2); chicken noodle soup; fish chowder
Low Meat:  taco salad; pepperoni pizza
 Regular Meat:  Reuben sandwich; roasted whole chicken;  ham loaf

Final Numbers:

Vegetarian  6
Low Meat 7
Regular Meat  3

I really like how these meals turned out but I doubt very much if it is sustainable.  Mike likes his meat too much.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Buying and Eating: March 16-31

Remaining allotment  $297.16

What We Ate:  taco salad; Reuben sandwich;  vegetable soup; dahl, salad, homemade flat bread; chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad;  Vegetarian chili;  fish chowder;  homemade chicken noodle soup; ham loaf from the freezer, sauteed cabbage, noodles with garlic and cheese;  homemade chicken noodle soup; Vegetarian pot pie from the freezer; corned beef hash, winter squash, cantaloupe or yoghurt; Vegetarian vegetable soup and grilled cheese; leftover corned beef hash; bean burrito; pasta carbonara; pepperoni pizza

What We Bought:

Aldi:  red potatoes ( 10#),  onions (3#), sauerkraut  $5.76

Aldi:  crAckers (2)  $2.14

Price Rite:  cheese (3)  $2.97

CostcoCostco:    whole pepper corns, Tilamook cheddar cheese (2.5 lbs),Romano (1 lb), feta (2.5 lbs) $30.92

Trader Joe's:  peanut butter (5), shelled example (2)  $13.93

Total Groceries:  $55.72

Eating Out:

Breakfast with Cindy  $10.50
Breakfast with Dad  $10.83
Lunch with Joyce $15.50
Mike lunch $3.07
Lunch at Costco:  $4.32
Lunch to D.C.$7
Lunch at D.C .$7.21
Lunch from D.C.  $15.88

Grand of Eating Out:  $74.31

Grand Total of Both:  $130.03

$121.77 Grand Total  Groceries for the Month

$80.31 Grand Total Eating Out for the Month

$202.08 Combined Grand Total for the Month

To the Cushion:  $167.13

$599.83 Grand Total for the Cushion Year to Date

Friday, March 29, 2019


During the holidays fancy dips and spreads are often made and not completely consumed.

Below is what I did with two of my frozen leftovers.

.Shrimp Butter and Shrimp Spread became shrimp rice.

Buffalo Wing Dip Became Buffalo Wing Noodles.

I simply heated them with some evaporated milk to thin them and create a sauce which I then mixed with the rice or noodles.

Fast, simple and yummy uses for those Special Party Leftovers.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Beef Stroganoff Soup

A stick to your ribs soup with all the flavor of the famous namesake.

1/2 to 1 pound of browned ground beef
mushrooms and onions, sauteed
2 Tbs. tomato paste
32 ounces beef broth
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Stirred together and heated through

1/2 pint sour cream or Greek yogurt whisked in at the end to make it creamy

Serve over cooked noodles or rice.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Easy Italian Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

25 cent jars of roasted red peppers were to be had at salvage.  I bought two and used half a jar in this recipe.

 If you can't find a deal you can roast your own or substitute fresh red peppers for a similar dish.

This is a one pan dish I would serve to company.

Brown pieces of chicken  in a skillet.  I used breasts and thighs.

Add to the pan chopped roasted red peppers, minced garlic, salt and pepper, Italian herb blend, chicken broth and evaporated milk.  You can adjust quantities to your taste and the amount of chicken you are cooking.

Cover everything and cook until the chicken is done and the sauce has thickened.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with rice or noodles.


Monday, March 18, 2019

March 1-15 and the Meal Plan

We were still doing low carb for the first week.

Low Meat:  leftover cheeseburger quiche; steak salad; chef salad; broccoli, chicken and cheese casserole; eggplant Parmesan

Regular Meat:  chicken breast with roasted red pepper sauce; Asian marinated pork chops; steak; leftovers; fish for Ash Wednesday (x2); fish for Friday

Soup:  meatless split pea soup ;  bacon lentil soup; Vegetarian vegetable soup

Regular:  7
Low: 5

Vegetarian: 2

 We need less regular meat and more vegetarian.  But Low carb always does this.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Buying and Eating: March 1-15

Allocation:  $369.21
Cushion:  $432.70

What We Ate:

Still doing low carb for the first week.
Leftover cheeseburger quiche; chicken breast with creamy roasted red pepper sauce; steak, sauteed mushrooms and onion, asparagus, salad; Asian marinated pork chops, stir fry vegetables and Chinese onion pancake; leftovers; fish and vegetables; steak salad and cheese bread; leftover risk and vegetables; Vegetarian split pea soup; lentil bacon soup, tvp chili, vegetable soup; chef salad; broccoli chicken and cheese casserole; eggplant Parmesan; fish butter beans, spinach, salad

What We Bought:

Stir fry frozen vegetables, asperagus, Romaine lettuce, cheese (2)  $10.45

Sam's Club:  maple syrup,  stuffed olives $18.26

Giant Eagle:  Coke Zero free with coupon

Aldi:  ice cream, yoghurt, saltines  $4.39

Price Rite:  coffee (5), salt cilantro, plum tomatoes, carrots (5#), cantaloupe (2), shredded cheese (3)$20.12

Tops:  eggs (3), cabbage,lettuce$3.91

Vitacost:  instant coconut milk, unsweetened coconut .$ 8.53

Giant Eagle:  frozen vegetables (10) , canned vegetables (11)  $0.39 after a $15 gift card from having a prescription filled was deducted.

Total Groceries:  $66.05

Eating Out:

Mike trivia night  $6

Grand Total:  $72.05

Allotment for the next two weeks:  $297.16

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

February Household and Personal Care Expenses

Personal care:  8  pack of his soleil razors normally $8.56, free with rebate

Household:  oxiclean laundry detergent (2) .  $2.10

We also purchased 5 bottles of Extra laundry detergent for 99cents each.  These will be donated to the animal shelter.

I find it I keep my eyes open I never have to pay more than 99cents a bottle for laundry detergent.  I have even been able too build stockpile.

February was a much better month budget wise than January.  For that I am thankful.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

February's Breakfasts

Most of our  lunches are dinner leftovers.  Very economical.

But breakfasts can become expensive if your go to is cold cereal.  If you buy it at $3.50 a box, with the box giving you ten SMALL servings, your breakfast is thirty five cents per person.

You can eat for five to ten cents with a little forethought.

You can have variety and save at least $100a year \ person towards a vacation or something fun.

To  give you ideas, here are our breakfasts for February:

1.  Homemade Pancakes from the freezer reheated in the toaster
2.  Homemade  Leftover coffee cake
3.  Eggs, and toast,  I found eggs at 89cents \ dozen or 7 cents\ egg
4.  Homemade leftover banana bread
5.  Oatmeal
6.  Blueberry pancakes
7.  French toast
8.  Fried potatoes and eggs using leftover baked potatoes
9.  Homemade blueberry scones
10.  Leftover pancakes
11.  Leftover blueberry scones
12.  Bagels, more expensive at 16 cents ( bought 6 for $1 at bread store) but a nice treat and quick
13.  Homemade cinnamon rolls made the night before
14.  Raisin cinnamon English muffins a great for Valentine's Day at 16 cents each
15.  Leftover cinnamon roll and English muffin
16.  Leftover blueberry scones from the freezer
17.  Grilled pbj
18.  Bagels
19.  Egg sandwich
We started two weeks of Low carb today.  It's protein heavy so costs  will go up
20.  Two fried eggs.  About 15 cents.
21.  Homemade breakfast sausage patties
22.  Protein pancakes using protein powder and cottage cheese, makes lots of leftovers
23.  Sausage egg and cheese omelette
24. Eggs and bacon
25.  Leftover protein pancakes
26. Homemade low carb granola
27.  We skipped breakfast.
28.  Leftover protein pancakes

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Frugal Things In February

1.  Getting a second, third and fourth opinion on some chimney work that needs to be done saved us over $1000.

2.  Making the time for a salvage shop.  We needed coffee and I can buy bags of Starbucks there for $2.99.  Quite a savings.

3.  Using gifted Rayban frames ( from my eye surgeon who didn't like them) for my new glasses and comparison shopping for the lenses saved us $350.

4.  We made the effort and took the time to send in a rebate for a med our cats are on.  Result ?  $30.

5.  Using a rebate, we got 14 pounds of cat litter, a $16.99 value, for free.

6.  Using another rebate I got an 8 pack of bic soleil razors for free.  I saved $8.56

7.  Using a coupon, I purchased a $7.84 bag of cat food for free.  I will donate it to the local animal shelter.

Monday, March 4, 2019

February 16-28 and the Menu Plan

We have a week of Low carb represented so we are protein heavy.  But it works for us.

Low Meat:  tortilla pizza, tuna pasta bake (2) potato,sauerkraut and kielbasa casserole (2), eggplant Parmesan with meat sauce (2); Philly cheese steak tortilla pizza; turkey broccoli casserole and green beans

Regular meat:  sliced pork with mustard sauce; Philly cheese steak wrap

Eggs:  eggs Benedict; cheeseburger quiche

Low Meat:  9
Regular Meat:  2
Eggs:  2

Final numbers:
Low Meat:  11
Regular Meat:  2

Things are skewed due to the low carb diet.
But all things considered, I'll take it.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Buying and Eating: February 16-28

$212.68 remaining allocation

What We Ate:  tortilla pizza and chips; tuna pasta bake, butternut squash with cumin, Parmesan wine supper bread; sauerkraut, potato and kielbasa casserole; leftover tuna bake;  leftover sauerkraut,potato and kielbasa casserole; pork with mustard sauce, sauted garlic spinach, salad; eggplant Parmesan with meat sauce,   spaghetti squash, sauted zucchini, garlic cheese tortilla; Philly cheese steak wrap, salad; eggs Benedict and salad; leftover eggplant Parmesan; Philly cheese steak tortilla pizza; turkey broccoli casserole and green beans; cheeseburger quiche

What We Bought:

Aldi:  Roma tomatoes, strawberries blueberries, zucchini  $4.93

Giant Eagle:  Chobani yogurt  Free with coupon

Price Rite:  eggplant, cantaloupe, butter (2). $4.92

Save a Lot:  Brussel sprouts (lb), onions (6 lbs)  $4.97

Aldi:  water, cherries,(2), low carb bars (2 boxes), mozzarella cheese, Swiss cheese, provolone cheese, cottage cheese, feta cheese, bleu cheese, sour cream  $28.62 (a Low carb diet shop)

Price Rite:  canned beans (4), cucumbers (2), green and red pepper Wesson Oil (2gallons)  $8.63

Aldi:  mushrooms (2), whipping cream (2)   $4.88

Total for Groceries:  $56.95

Eating Out:

Lunch with Ginger  $8
Lunch with Joyce $15
Mike lunch $1.63

Total for Eating Out:  $24.63

Grand total for second half of the month:  $81.58

  Totals for the Month:

Groceries:  $157.18
Eating Out:  $44.63
Monthly Grand Total:  $201.81

Amount to Cushion:  $131.10

New cushion amount:  $432.70

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Salvage Shopping

We were in need of coffee so we made a trip to salvage.  We came home with coffee and several more things jumped into the cart.  Here is what came home with us.

Coffee, ten at $2.99/bag and four at $1.99/bag for a total of $37.86

Croutons, two bags at 79 cents each

Cereal, five boxes total.  Four were 25 cents each and one was 99 cents;  two are raisin bran which will be used for making muffins

Low Carb Tortillas, one was 75 cents and one was 99 cents

Evaporated Goat Milk for 10 cents to make fudge

Refried Beans, two at 10 cents each; great for quick meals

Kraft Mayonnaise, four at 25 cents each

Pudding Mix, three at 25 cents each

Tabouli Mix for 65cents

Matzo ball soup, 49 cents

Grits, 50 cents

Bisquick, $1.50

Tea bags, one hundred for $2.99

Macaroni and cheese, organic, six boxes for 25 cents each

Chopped apples, four small containers for 65 cents

Ketchup, 75 cents

Tomato puree, large, two for $1Total

Tahini, two pounds for $1.50/pound

Evaporated milk, four cans for $1

Breakfast bars, four boxes for $1

Wine vinegar for 99cents

Total Spent  $62.52.

Some nice bargains there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

February 1-15 and the Menu Plan

Here is what we are for the first part of the month and how it aligns with our previously decided upon menu plan for this year.

Low Meat :   moo shu chicken; taco salad; taco pizza
Regular:  bbq pork sandwiches;  hamburgers
Vegetarian:  curried pumpkin soup, dahl and rice, vegetable pot pie
Pasta:  Italian beans and greens, cheese manicotti; spaghetti with      Buffalo Wing sauce; tuna macaroni salad
Rice:  creamy rice and Shrimp with peas
Potato:  baked potato bar
Soup:  bean soup and sandwich; beef stroganoff soup
Egg:  0

Low Meat:  3
Regular:   2
Vegetarian:  2
Pasta:  4, two vegetarian, one low meat, one regular meat
Rice:  1,  low meat
Potato:  1, low meat
Soup:  one regular meat, one low meat
Egg:  0

Final Analysis:
Vege:  4
Low Meat:  7
Regular Meat:  4

Doing better but would still like at least one less low meat and one more vegetarian.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Buying and Eating: February 1-15

$333.48 monthly allocation  with a cushion of $301.60

What We Ate:  moo shu chicken and Asian chopped salad; bbq pork sandwiches, chips and green beans; curried pumpkin soup and Dahl with rice;  Italian beans and greens pasta and garlic bread;  creamy shrimp rice and peas; baked potato bar; cheese manicotti;  bean soup and grilled bologna sandwich; hamburgers, salad, baked sweet potato;  taco salad; vegetable pot pie; taco pizza with popcorn;  pasta with Buffalo Wing sauce, carrots;  beef stroganoff soup; tuna macaroni salad, Parmesan Wine Supper Bread, apple sauce

What We Bought:

Salvage:  croutons (2), cereal (5), coffee (14), Low carb tortilla (2), evaporated milk (5), refried beans (2), mayonnaise (4),  pudding mix (3), tabouli salad mix, matzo ball soup, instant grits, Bisquick, tea bags (100), macaroni and cheese (6), chopped apples in syrup, ketchup, tomato puree (2 large),  tahini(2#), breakfast bars (4), red wine vinegar  $62.52

Price Rite:  green pepper, red peppers (2), onions (3#), butter (4#) cheese (3), eggs (6) $20.96

I'm already more than last month.  Time to put on the brakes.

Giant Eagle:  French bread pizza  49 cents with coupon

Aldi:  cheese (2), French onion dip ( sub for sour cream) 99, diced tomatoes with garlic and basil (to use in salads ( 3) , Parmesan cheese (2)  .     $10.16

Tops:  potatoes (5#), bakery rye bread, lettuce  $4.57

Bread Store:  cinnamon raisin English muffins, everything bagels  $2.02

Total Grocery:  $100.23

Eating Out :
Thai lunch with Mike  $20.57

Total Eating Out:  $20.5.

Grand Total:  $120.80

Total Remaining Of Monthly Allocation:  $212.68