Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year



May your new year be a bright and shining one, full of all your hopes and dreams coming true.

God bless.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Very Quiet

We are in the midst of yet another snow storm. This one however is not supposed to be as bad as the previous two. Good thing as our road finally got cleared by the city today and I would kind of like to see it stay clear for more than a day.

I took the car into the shop today and will probably get it back in about a week because of holidays. I will be glad as the loaner they gave me is just a small car and I found it very hard to maneuver on the snow covered streets. I don't think that I will be driving very much until I get my Terraine back.

Kurt left yesterday afternoon, and Kris left today. The house now seems eerily empty, though I am still finding mugs and glasses in the strangest places. Hopefully they have all been located by now, yet I am sure there will be some in places I have not looked.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

Everything is as ready as it can be, and now we are just waiting for Kurt to get here. Hopefully the roads are not too bad and he makes it here before the Colorado low does.

I took the car into the insurance adjustor yesterday afternoon. Total damage to our vehicle is close to 7k and unless the police find the culprit we are liable for $700.00 of the bill. Still not a great deal in the grand scheme of things.

The adjustor even managed to bend the part of the door that was not allowing it to open fully with pry bar type thing. So nice that I will no longer have to resort to acrobatics crawling over the consul, or trying to squeeze my rather rounded body through a very small opening (kind of like trying to get the sausage meat into a casing). It also took care of the Halloween type screech that would occur every time we opened the door.

After the insurance visit we made the trek to the dealers to set up an appointment with the body shop. Amazingly I can get in on Friday of next week. It does mean that the vehicle will be in a bit longer, but I will have a vehicle from them to drive while it is being worked on. I could have driven Harvey's truck, but I really don't like driving it at the best of times, little lone mid winter on icy roads with tires that leave a bit to be desired.

Finished Kris's toque, and have started on the mitts. I love the fact that I am getting to use up bits and partial skeins or balls of yarn while doing so. Once these are done, it will be back to making some hats for the students at the schools (seems like boys and girls in this day and age manage to loose their winter accessories quite often).

Everybody have a wonderful evening, full of the joy of being with your families.

God bless.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Frugal Friday

Good morning everyone.

Early morning posts for the next little while as it will be the only time I can actually depend on being able to use the computer.

Kris made it home yesterday at around 2:30 in the afternoon yesterday and Kurt should be home sometime in the late afternoon tomorrow. Slowly but surely my home is filling up as it was when the boys were much younger. Also as it was when they were much younger I find myself getting ready to pick up after them. Really, I am just not used to glasses or coffee mugs all over the house, and perhaps a gentle reminder that used glasses go in the sink would suffice..

Kris seems to have misplaced all his toques this winter, so I have a new one on my needles. Frugal in that it will be using up a partial skein of yarn that I could not figure out what to do with. He has also informed me that he left all his mittens at home, so those will go on the needles next. If the storm hits us that they are predicting gloves and a toque are definitely necessary. I get to keep my hands busy, use up partial skeins and balls of yarn, and Kris gets something he needs.

I have been busy this week using up the bits and pieces in the fridge as well. We had leftovers for supper last night and tonight I will make the soup that I had planned for yesterday.

I am also making more bread, and what with the boys being home will need to make even more. I plan on getting the bread machine going very soon this morning.

A blogging friend asked me if I would share my caramel recipe with her, so I thought I would post it. The recipe makes about 2 1/4 lbs of candy so a nice big batch.

Old Fashioned Caramels

1 cup margarine or butter (use butter as the candy tastes so much better)
2 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Line a 9X9 pan with tin foil, grease the foil. In a heavy saucepan (3 qt.) melt the butter, add the brown sugar and mix well. Stir in corn syrup and cook over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and stir in sweetened condensed milk. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until temperature reaches 244 F on a candy thermometer about 20 to 30 minutes (usually longer I find). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Cool to room temperature. When completely set (I use the fridge to hurry this along) remove from pan using foil overhang to lift. Remove foil. Cut candy and wrap in waxed paper.

Do not make on a really humid day as it will not turn out. For some reason candy making and humidity do not seem to go well together.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

An Early Christmas Present....Not

I got a phone call from my sister early this morning asking if I could pick her up at the optometrists today as she was getting drops in her eyes and of course would not be able to drive. Naturally I said yes.

J had not had lunch yet so we decided to go to a café here in town for lunch. We had a wonderful lunch talked our way throughout and then after paying went to get into my car to head back and pick up hers.

What to my wondering eye did appear???? Well a great big dent, the inability to get into my vehicle through the drivers door (I had to go in the passenger side and climb over the consul, quite an acrobatic feat for an almost 61 year old), no note, no anything to say what had happened.

Here are some pictures of the damage.



Accidents happen and I wouldn't be as angry as I am now if the person involved would have left a note or came back into the café and let me know what had happened. Both my sister and I figure whomever it was had been in the bar portion of the café and had been imbibing in an adult beverage or two and since the city imposed a zero tolerance just did not want to perhaps have their driver's licence revoked or removed for any length of time.

Now we have an appointment to take it to the insurance adjuster on Friday and then the fun of no vehicle while it is in the body shop being repaired. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

On a happier note I finished all the ornaments.

They are now hanging on the tree.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.


 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Thrifty Tuesday

This Thrifty Tuesday I am going to share a new recipe with all of you. One where I got to use leftover roast beef in a new way.

The recipe itself called for thinly sliced steak, but hey being the kind of cook I am, with a bag of frozen leftover roast beef slices to use up I went with that.

Spicy Beef Noodles

12 cups of water
1 1/2 tsp salt
8 oz spaghetti

3 tbsp. brown sugar, packed
3 tbsp. lime juice (I subbed lemon juice as I did not have any lime juice in my pantry)
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp chili paste (sambal oelek)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp pepper

1 tbsp. cooking oil
1 tsp Sesame oil (didn't have so just used a bit more oil)
1 lb top sirloin steak cut into thin strips (this is where I cut my leftover roast beef into thin slices about 2 1/2 to 3 cups)

1/2 cup thinly sliced red pepper (we were having roast veggies that were leftover so I didn't use this in the recipe)
6 green onions cut into 2" pieces
2 cloves garlic minced

Combine water and salt in large pot. Bring to a boil. Add spaghetti. Boil uncovered 10 - 12 minutes (I did my new trick of turning off the burner when the water came back to a boil). Drain, and return to pot. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile combine next 6 ingredients in a small bowl.

Heat large frying pan or wok until very hot. Add the oils. Add beef and stir fry for about 6 minutes if using steak until browned. I stir fried my leftover roast beef until just browned about 3 minutes.

Add remaining three ingredients. Stir fry for about 1 minute or until red pepper is tender crisp. Stir in the brown sugar mixture and add the pasta. Toss to coat well.

Nice and spicy. It really hit the spot, and we have enough leftovers for another meal.


I had just started to toss the pasta, sauce and meat together. Believe me there was lots of meat in it, enough to even satisfy my carnivore of a husband.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Menu Monday

I was all set to blog yesterday and then decided to phone one of my Aunts after supper (I had actually hoped to phone both of them) to say Merry Christmas and touch base. Well after a two and a half hour conversation we finally called it quits and said good bye. It was then time for me to crawl into bed so no post.

Today is a new day however, and since my menu is planned a month in advance I can post early this morning and still have the evening free to phone the next Aunt.

We had a few changes last week, a few more leftovers then I thought would be available for using up and so some meals are moved to this week (not many though).

Monday

Leftover chili. I think I just might heat up the leftover potatoes (fridge is getting a bit crowded) to serve the chili over. Along with a salad, this should fill us up nicely and get rid of some containers in the fridge and fridge freezer.

Tuesday

Leftover roast beef. Time to try a new recipe, the beef curry from a few weeks ago went over well so I am sure there is another really good recipe lurking in one of my many cookbooks.

Wednesday

I will be pulling up Cabbage rolls from the freezer downstairs.

Thursday

Using up the last of the chicken stock. I plan on making soup and sandwiches for our meal. Kris should be home as well and he loves my homemade soup.

Friday

German Dumplings with fried eggs, onions and butter. Comfort food, and there will be leftovers for Kurt to nibble on when he gets home.

Saturday (Christmas Eve)

Meatballs in mushroom soup. Served with salad, and egg noodles.

Sunday (Christmas Day)

Our traditional Turkey Dinner. Roast turkey and all that goes with that. No pies though, I have enough sweets and squares baked to see us through the holidays and perhaps beyond.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday Roundup

Once again temperatures plummeted. In fact it was the coldest day of the year today. When I woke up this morning the temperature was -36 C and the wind was blowing, which means the wind chill made it feel like -48 C. Not fit for woman or beast.

The sun did shine however and that helped to heat our house for a few hours.

I  promised you all some pictures of various gifts.

I always make our sons a gift or two and this year is no different.

This is for Kurt, our Lovecraft fanatic.

Kris on the other hand has always loved dragons. I started this a number of years ago and this year in my mad dash to get all those unfinished projects completed got this one done right after my angel (which needs to be washed, press, mounted and framed still...).

 
Pretty sure he will like it.

I also finished up a scarf, headband, cowl and mitts for myself.

Here are the mitts and cowl. I could use another pair of mitts, and I do have a partial ball of yarn that needs using.....

Tomorrow is another day, and it is supposed to be warming up. Sure hope so as I could use a bit of a walk.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mid Month Update

I am a day behind in updating everyone on how I am doing on this months goals.

1.  Get the tree up and decorated.  Done.

2.  Gifts parcel done and mailed to my brothers and nieces. Done.

3.  Cards/phone calls/and ecards done.  All I have left to do is the phone calls and I will be doing this the beginning of next week.

4.  Wash, iron and frame our sons cross stitch gifts.  Done.

5.  Wrap gifts.  Not done, but will be done by the end of the week.

6.  Finish the Christmas baking.  Done.

7.  Continue with my knitting, sewing and cross stitch projects.  Continuing, each and every day.

8.  Try for as many no spend days as possible this month (I am not going to set a goal, rather I am just going to see how many I can accumulate).  So far this month I have 13 no spend days. I may have to spend a bit tomorrow, but then I should be good for at least 5 days.

9.  My new household calendar pages need to be made.  I am going to try something different here, just not too sure what. I will keep you all informed.

So I am not doing too badly at all. I am hopeful of getting at least another 7 or 8 days of no spend (perhaps more if I am really lucky).

Harvey and I will be going over the budget for next year and both of us are hoping that prices don't rise too much over all. We do know our electric bill will be rising by 3.5% in the new year. Not happy about that at all.

I will update everyone on Project Declutter at the end of the month.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thursday Tid Bits.

There are only 10 days left before Christmas.... My, oh my is time ever whizzing by.

Got a text from Kris today. He said that something has come up at work and so instead of being home on the 17th, it will probably be the 22nd before he makes it home. I love how he always puts a smiley face or sad face after his texts. This time it was a sad face, I sent a sad face back to him.

Christmas shopping is done!! I have a couple of items to finish knitting (really everything is knitting up so very quickly) I have visions of being done by Saturday and getting to sit and relax for a little bit. Well at least until I cast something on my needles on Christmas Eve. I think an infinity scarf would be a great idea. I can always use a new scarf, or a new shawl, or shrug.

Finished another cross stitch ornament and started the last one. I hope to hit the sewing room to finish them off this weekend (along with the pillowcase I promised to make that bright pink pillow). Fabric is out and ready to be cut.

Pictures of finished gifts and projects will be in an upcoming post.

Yesterday I made and packaged pierogis for the winter (should have done this awhile ago). I now have filled the downstairs chest freezer to capacity. I doubt I could fit anything else in if I tried. Mind you things will be disappearing once everyone is home.

The weather improved greatly today. I even enjoyed being out and about paying bills, mailing gifts/cards, and getting a few necessary groceries for the week. My nose did not feel like it was going to fall off and I could even walk out the door of the various shops without pulling my mittens on as quickly as possible. Today was a good day. Hopefully tomorrow will be as nice. I may even get a bit of a walk in.

I am beginning to wonder what on earth is causing the massive views of my blog from Russia and China. I check for spam comments and have found nothing so far..... I can't be that interesting. Yesterday I got almost 1000 views, ordinarily I only get perhaps 50 at the most.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Thrifty Tuesday

It's been a few weeks since I blogged about thrift.  I finished the one frugal/thrifty living book, even bookmarked the blog the author writes just to see if I can get any more thrifty living ideas.

I have now started to re read another of my frugal living books. This one is by Trent Hamm, founder of the Simple Dollar. The title is 365 Ways to Live Cheap. I don't like the word cheap so instead I am thinking of it as ways to live thriftily.

I love the way he says to buy "modular" clothing. Things that go together and can be worn with lots of other items in your wardrobe.

He says to avoid buying clothing that needs to be washed by themselves. The only things I own along this line now are my bras and I mostly wash those by hand (well at least in the summer, when they can drip dry on the lines outside, winter I do them on delicate in the washer and more than one at a time).

I would love to be able to hit some thrift and second hand stores in upscale neighbourhoods. I have a few friends that live in bigger cities that get wonderful outfits and great gifts when they visit these. Right now most of the "good" stuff disappears very quickly from the two second hand stores here in my small city.

Wearing my old clothing (things that are a bit worn, but still decent) around the house and out in the yard saves on my newer clothing. I patch knees in Harvey's jeans and do the same with mine. I have also been known to cut the sleeves off of long sleeved dress shirts when a bony elbow makes its way through the fabric (ask Kris, he is now the proud owner of three new short sleeved dress shirts for work). This is another one of the authors suggestions. Very much along the line of wearing something out.

By the time I am ready to let an item of clothing go it is ready for the rag bag, or in some cases it will be cut apart to make fabric to be used to make quilts, or perhaps as trim on another garment. I even use pieces as patches!!!

So far this book has some very practical ways of changing to a thrifty, frugal lifestyle one step at a time. I am only up to number 99 and while most of the ideas are things I already do, and some are things I have tried and will not do again, I have found a couple to add to my routine to see if I can make them become habit.

The first one I am adding is using things I already have in the house to remove stains. I always seem to buy Shout and I really don't think it works that well. I have nothing to lose by giving this a try.

I am also going to try and use the microwave (as well as my smaller plug in appliances) rather than the oven more. If it saves on power, it will save us money in the long run.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Menu Monday

Still cold, but not as cold as previously. In fact yesterday could have been considered a lovely day, very little wind, sunny skies, and a high temperature of about -19 C.

Today is starting off a bit colder than yesterday, but I don't hear the wind howling, and the skies seem to be fairly clear. Could be another lovely day.

Bit of a change up to my monthly menu this week.

Monday

Moving what I planned here to another day. Instead the fridge will be cleared of all the bits and pieces of leftovers.

Tuesday

Spaghetti and meat sauce, served with a tossed salad.

Wednesday

Baked spaghetti, using up the leftovers from last night along with the leftover tossed salad.

Thursday

Cabbage Bread from the freezer (quick and easy meal so I can get the remainder of the gifts wrapped and I will be tired after shopping, paying bills and mailing parcels and cards).

Friday

Baked trout, roasted veggies, and rice.

Saturday

Leftover chili served with toast.

Sunday

Roast Beef, roasted potatoes and carrots (or perhaps sprouts if they are on sale this week).

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Warming Up

Today was a bit warmer than the previous couple of days. The high for today was -17 C and the temperature when I got up this morning was a balmy -20 C. Of course there was still a bit of a wind chill, but nothing near the bone chilling gusts we suffered through.

I managed to get a bit of baking (or should I say candy making done).

The caramels are cut and wrapped.

Peanut butter cups made into squares this time around. Don't think I will do them this way again as for some reason they just do not want to come out of the pan in one piece.

I also managed to get two more decorations cross stitched.

This means 4 down and two left to go. Hopefully the stitching will be completed this week, and I can finish them up on the weekend.

The countdown to Christmas has begun. Our youngest son Kris (plus our rather large grandcat  Ray) will be home this coming Saturday. Means I will need to cook bigger meals again.

Kurt won't be home until the 24th as he teaches until the 23rd.

So looking forward to having both of them home for a bit. It will be nice to have all the hub bub of them being here. Kind of miss the noise and all the activity.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Frugal Friday


My frugal five during this cold and snowy week.

1.  Baked bread twice this week as well as make some baking powder biscuits.

2.  Used a $10.00 off coupon to buy our turkey for Christmas dinner.

3.  Got the draught (draft, never know which way to spell that darned word) dodgers out and placed them in front of the doors.

4.  Using up some leftover yarn from other projects to knit myself some new mitts (all my old ones seem to have disappeared).

5.  Doing the regular use it up, wear it out, make it do, and substituting ingredients that I do every day.

It has been so cold and snowy that since the first of the month I have been lucky enough to string together 8 no spend days. I suppose there are advantages to living in a place where temperatures can range from 110 F in the summer, to -42 F (even lower with the wind chill) in the winter.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thursday Tid Bits

Brrrr, still in the deep freeze here. Kinda like Frozen, but without the princesses, or snow creatures. Really the temperature is not too bad, its the darn wind chill that is causing the problems. I am hopeful that the temperature will go up by next week.

Today I went grocery shopping. Well I guess I should say "we". Yep, I dragged Harvey along. He hasn't been shopping here in years. Yes, I do get him to go with me in Regina Costco or the Great Canadian Warehouse for stock up shopping. Usually the men (Harvey and Kris) disappear for quite awhile, or you could say I send them off to collect various items for me which seems to work well. This time the poor man seemed a bit lost. At the end of our trip, Harvey looked at me and mentioned that he knew where to find things in Costco, but not in our own cities grocery. Do you think that means he will come shopping with me again???? Doubtful.

Stuck to my list, but even sticking to the list I still noticed that prices have risen. The only meat bought was the turkey for Christmas dinner, and I had a $10.00 off coupon for that item. My final bill was $150.00. I dread having to buy meat in the near future.

Tried my first new meal tonight. Swiss steak using ready made hamburger patties. It actually turned out not too badly. A few tweaks and everything should be perfect. I think I have found a new meal to add into the rotation.

I will share a picture the next time I make it as well as the recipe, as usual I forgot to get a picture before we ate.

Off to work on my knitting and enjoy the lights on the tree.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Mixing It Up

While I am not a bad cook, I think I just might have fallen into a rut. As a family we have our favorites, and those old home style recipes serve me well.

However, I have lots and lots of cookbooks and more recipes than I can try with what probably remains of my cooking life.

So today I climbed up and pulled down 6 of my Company's Coming Cookbooks (I already had two down when I was cooking up those leftovers). So I have a new challenge to myself.

I will be going through these 8 cookbooks and searching for new ways to tantalize our taste buds. I am hoping to add some new favorites to our menu and perhaps even find some new ones to share with all of you.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Nasty Weather

Last week we got about 12 inches of snow, and then we were hit once again.

Highways were closed in and out of the city, city roads were blocked by stalled and stuck vehicles. The poor police were constantly on the move helping those foolish enough to be out driving in this mess.

Harvey had done a bit of shoveling before this picture was taken (about an hour before). There is about 12 inches of snow on the car, and it was still coming down. By the end of the storm we had received approximately 15 inches of the white stuff.

Today Harvey spent about 2 1/2 hours digging snow and blowing snow. The snow has stopped, but the wind has risen throughout the day and the temperature is dropping.

I pulled out my draught dodgers and laid them in front of the doors tonight. When the wind comes up it seems like it finds any little crack to come into the house. The hall has been freezing today so hopefully this cuts heat loss a bit and keeps the warmth in the hall.

We have been spoiled the last few years, it has been a very long time since we have had a blizzard or back to back snow storms. While we have had freezing temperatures, we were kind of wishing the real cold would hold off until well after Christmas. I have a feeling we are in for a seriously white and freezing winter season.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Menu Monday

We are in for a snowy, blizzardy week. It may be later than I want before I get my few cards and the parcel mailed out. Just hope to do so by the end of this week, if the weather cooperates at all.

Good, hot and hearty meals this week. We will need them in order to shovel or blow all the snow we have gotten.

Monday

Leftover beef roast made into something wonderful (new recipe book = new recipes to try).

Tuesday

Leftover chicken made into another new casserole.

Wednesday

Fridge smorg, there will be leftovers from the previous two meals and what we don't eat here will be finished for lunches or frozen and pulled out later when I don't want to cook.

Thursday

Hamburgers, baked beans, and raw veggies with dip.

Friday

Salmon patties, rice, and peas, and a salad.

Saturday

Sweet and sour ribs, rice (using up leftovers from Friday) mixed with the leftover peas.

Sunday

Ham, spicy noodles, salad, and pickles.

There you have it. Our meals for the upcoming week.

I am also going to get the chicken bones going and make some soup stock one day very soon. Right now the carcass (as well as a second one) is stored in my freezer.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Ramblings....It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas

I am slowly getting into the Christmas Spirit. It seems to be taking me much longer this year than any other year, and I can't figure out why. Perhaps it has to do with Kurt and Kris getting older (at 40 and 35) and they no longer have the awe that they had for the holiday season, or perhaps I am just becoming a Grinch. Whatever the reason, things are at least beginning to look and smell like Christmas on the old homestead.

The weather is even cooperating this year. Lots of snow!!

This was just the start of the storm that dumped about 25 cm in one day and night. We have had a bit more since.

I even decorated over the last couple of days.

My Nativities are out, just need some arranging and the Christmasy table cover....

My snowmen are out.

The snowman Santa Claus my sister gave me as a Christmas gift many years ago.

 
My smaller tree is up and decorated. I couldn't use all my decorations as the tree is only 2/3rds its usual size. Harvey could not see the television when the bottom portion was on so we decided to do without it. I have been promised a second tree so that all my décor can be placed on the tree. However I did get all my angels on this one. Christmas just wouldn't be the same without them.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Frugal Friday

Wow, are the weeks ever speeding by this year.

Here are my frugal five for this week.

1.  I am working on some cross stitch ornaments that I inherited from my mother. Free decorations for the tree, just have to spend a little bit of time getting them done.

2.  I managed to save $ 6.00 on the grocery bill this week. While this does not seem like much, it was saved without using coupons at all.

3.  Came in under the total budget for the month, and it looks as if we could be under budget for the year.

4.  Making sure the lights are off in rooms we are not using. Shutting the doors to rooms that are not being heated right now as well.

5.  Using up items in the house to make meals. I love cooking once and eating twice.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

New Month, New Goals

First off I was asked if I noticed a difference in the house since I started the on going decluttering project.

Yes and no. Yes in that my closet and drawers are less full, the cupboards are not filled to overflowing, and before the basement flooded the storage rooms were getting straightened up and very well organized.

No in that with the flood things have been moved around and now take up room in other areas of the house or are in storage.

I figure once the basement is back together, bookcases set up, and the walls redone in the storage room I will really notice a difference in other areas of the house.

Until that time, project declutter will continue. It seems like I can always find a few things to donate or recycle.

Another blogger asked how our basement is coming along. Well we are still waiting on the furnace guys to pay us another visit. The venting into the addition has not been done, but once that is completed things will move along quickly. At least I hope things will begin to move quickly.

Harvey does little things, but we are running out of little things for him to complete.


So here are my goals for this month.

1.  Get the tree up and decorated.

2.  Gifts parcel done and mailed to my brothers and nieces.

3.  Cards/phone calls/and ecards done.

4.  Wash, iron and frame our sons cross stitch gifts.

5.  Wrap gifts.

6.  Finish the Christmas baking.

7.  Continue with my knitting, sewing and cross stitch projects.

8.  Try for as many no spend days as possible this month (I am not going to set a goal, rather I am just going to see how many I can accumulate).

9.  My new household calendar pages need to be made.

Sure hope I manage to get these all completed. I do have a good start on many of them, and some will be fairly quick to complete, others, not so much.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How Did I Do..............


Time to see how well I did on those goals I set for myself each month.

1.  Remove window air conditioning unit and store it for the winter.  Done.

2.  Continue project declutter. Done.

3.  I would like to have 20 no spend days this month.  I actually ended the month with 21 no spend days.

4.  Continue with fabric use it up. This is to replace a few items and add some colour to my fall/winter wardrobe.  My sewing mojo seemed to disappear this month so while items have been cut out, thus using up fabric... No sewing so no replacing of items or adding colour.

5.  Finish Christmas shopping and gift making.  Christmas shopping is done and until I find out who I will be secret Santa to, the making of gifts is done as well.

6.  Continue my early morning walks (usually 16 blocks) and my 8 block afternoon walk as long as the weather cooperates.  Up until the past couple of days I have been continuing my daily walks. Now we have about 15" of snow on the ground with more in the forecast. I think my daily walks from now on will just be walking to the community post box each day.

Project declutter continued this month. I managed to recycle, give away, or otherwise remove another 59 items from the house. This brings my total for the year to 997 fewer items in the house. It looks like I might just make the 1000 items decluttered this year.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thrifty Tuesday

Every so often I need to look refresh my memory on what thrift is. One would think by this time in my life I would not need to remind myself yet I find myself pulling out the dictionary and studying the definition.

I have an old recipe book that I book marked a few years ago (darn, now I remember that I need to re bookmark said book) that speaks about saving string, gathering feathers, and saving bits of yarn to be used over again. The book was written many years ago, and while we no longer save beef fat to make candles, or in my case raise chickens in the yard (not allowed to in my city, I actually checked) there is still a lot to be gained from reading the bits and pieces on living a thrifty, frugal life.

Using up leftovers to make new meals, packaging meals that the family did not totally consume to be used for another meal, and wearing your clothing (mending when necessary) until you out grow it or it is no longer suitable, are a few of the thrifty ways I run my household and I am sure many of you do the same thing.

When sheets rip I either use them to make rags or if they are big enough' for the backs of my quilts. Scraps of fabric, old shirts, jeans, pants, and nighties are cut into usable quilting squares (then they are made into blocks), or cut into strips which will be used to make rugs and for stuffing.

I darn socks and when they can no longer be darned, I cut the sock up to use in the garden to tie plants up. I also use them as dust cloths.

Winter has struck which means we will be cooking heartier meals. I think I may just try to use the slow cooker more often, and the roaster oven, I have heard that the roaster ovens can be used to cook casseroles and even bake. Could save on electrical costs.

When I do have the oven on I bake as well as cook supper. The oven is full and used to it's full advantage.

Lights are turned off in rooms not in use, but since we live in a very cold place we set our heat at 21C in the winter. At our time of life we like to be comfortable, even so when the wind howls outside covering up with one of the blankets in the living room and wearing a sweater keeps us toasty warm.
It really is not thrifty to catch a cold!!

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Menu Monday

Another week dawns, and today we are getting snow!! According to the weather pundits we could receive up to 15 cm today. Just have to wait and see what happens, but I am sure glad that we have all our winter clothing and boots out ready to be used.

Monday

Pork Roast, roast potatoes and carrots (had a clean out the fridge supper last night instead of the usual roast meal).

Tuesday

There is a package of leftover turkey still in the fridge freezer, that will be used in a casserole.

Wednesday

Leftover roast pork will be made into either a stir fry or a casserole depending on what needs to be cleaned out of the fridge.

Thursday

Fridge smorg along with some cheese and pickles.

Friday

Salmon patties, rice, and mixed veggies (may even roast some veggies instead of using frozen ones).

Saturday

Smoked sausage, peas and cheesy pasta).

Sunday

Roast Chicken, mashed potatoes, and salad.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Ramblings

The start of the Advent season is upon us. I have started my Christmas baking, using up what I have on hand so far. I really don't think I will have to buy much in the way of baking supplies this year, but I have barely started on my list. I do hope to complete two items a day (perhaps three on those slower days to make up for the stuffed to the gills days where I know I will only manage one).

I am trying to decide where I want my tree this year, and I think I just might have found a place. Moving the furniture around has caused a bit of a problem, I think I will be having a fairly long extension cord which is something I do not like to do. The tree will go up next weekend, a bit later than usual, but that can't be helped right now.

The Christmas card list is made, however I am leaning towards doing something I have always said I wouldn't do. Sending ecards is something I have always thought as the less personal way of wishing one and all a wonderful Christmas, but would be a great way to save on the budget. I am also leaning towards phoning my Mom's sisters to wish them a Merry Christmas. It would be really great to hear their voices and is something I could easily do.

How do all of you feel about ecards?

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Roundup

Nothing really happening to speak of this week.

I did manage to get a couple of items completed.

The Baptismal wash cloths (they use them to dry the babies heads).


I also managed to get one of the cross stitch ornaments completed and I am pretty much finished the second one.


Now I have another 4 to complete and then I will need to decide how I want to finish them in order to hang them on our tree.

Harvey got his auction picture this week.

It's the famous bat flip by one of the Toronto Blue Jays during the final game of the American League Championship Series.  I do hate how when a person takes a picture of a picture all sorts of reflections happen.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Frugal Friday

Oh my, it is the last Friday of the month meaning Christmas is just around the corner. Time to seriously get down to baking, mailing, and getting ready for our sons to arrive.

We still do not have the furnace vented to the new part of the house (I say new, but it is probably 40 years old). I am keeping my fingers crossed that this gets completed very soon.

On to my frugal five for the week.

1.  On my walks this week I have been lucky enough to find $0.75 lying on the ground. There was a time I would find this amount in one day. I think people are being a bit more careful when it comes to their change.

2.  Found some fabric to make a couple of pillow cases for the oversized pillow on my side of the bed. Those will be whipped up tomorrow.

3.  Keeping drapes and blinds open on the sunny days. It is amazing how much heat the sun gives to the front of the house. Love having lower electric and gas bills.

4.  Stuck to my menu plan and my grocery list this week.

5.  Made a few household cleaners with what I have on hand in my cupboards.

6.  Still reading my frugal book looking for new ideas to add to my frugal habits.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thursday Tid Bits

It has been a quiet day around here. I didn't sleep very well last night, and so after my grocery shopping trip I did not do very much at all.

I did start working on the Baptismal cloths for the church, but since my embroidery machine decided to act up on the first one, I did not get them finished. I will finish them up tomorrow now that I have everything set up.

Back to the frugal tips book I have been reading. Thought I would share another couple of chapters with you.

Chapter Nine is about renovations and interior decorating.

The author talks about using the most expensive things that you can afford. She is right if you don't you will be renovating the same room over again in 5 or 6 years. Been there, done that with our bathroom. Now we have it done up using real tiles (used board the first time that looked like tiles, I don't even think it was really waterproof), a jet tub (sure comes in handy when we are stiff) and lovely fixtures. The room still looks modern and we completed it more than 10 years ago.

She also talks about using fixtures like cupboards over again. This is exactly what we have done in the kitchen. Harvey removed the cupboard doors, sanded them down, re stained them, and gave them a protective coat. He still has a few to do, but the ones he did look brand new. Much less expensive than replacing the cupboards.

Adding rooms can add to the overall value of your home. We added a bedroom in the basement as well as a finished family room. These are being redone again because of the flood, but this enabled us to redo the wiring, and add some furnace venting, getting rid of the electric heat down there. While the most expensive part was rebuilding the walls, and the furnace/venting upgrade, I am sure we will be saving money almost immediately on heating and I am pretty sure we will get most of the money spent back when we sell the house.

The author talks about home décor that is more than just pretty. My curtains are thermal and look beautiful, but also save us money in the winter and summer. Heat kept in during the winter and heat kept out during the summer.

She also talks about shopping at home for décor items before you head out to the store. Sometimes it is just looking at something in a different way or in a different spot. She also says that trolling the clearance aisles at discount stores can lead to bright and wonderful inexpensive accessories. I will add that keeping your eyes open at rummage sales, garage sales and second hand stores can often lead to wonderful finds in home décor.

Nothing really new to add to the frugal repository as we do most of the things the author mentions.

Chapter 10 is about the yard and garden.

Our yard is always a work in progress. It seems as if we change or move things quite often.

The author talks about using rain barrels, dehumidifier water, or grey water to save on watering plants.

She also talks about splitting plants to get more, talking to gardening friends to see if they have any plants to share with you (you share your splits in return if they want them), start seedlings inside from collected seeds, and growing a veggie garden. We do most of those things (well not the exchange of splits as we have been using them all ourselves, hopefully this year we can try trading) and have added container gardening for herbs and patio tomatoes. Next year I hope to extend the containers to hold peppers, and perhaps strawberries. I am also going to try starting my own orange tree and lemon tree, they will have to be moved into the house during the winter/fall, but I am hopeful that I can at least get some lemons in a few years. Just love me some lemonade in the summer.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Not Sure

Right now I am not too sure about the changes that blogger has made. I suppose I will get used to them eventually, but if this change was to make things simpler, I really don't know if that is true.

What does everyone else think about the changes?

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thrify Tuesday

So what have I done this week to be able to call myself thrifty?

I have made a few household cleaners, well actually just one. Vinegar is used on my floors twice a month instead of floor cleaner and this happened to be one of the two times I would do so.

I pulled some socks out of my darning basket and added another two pairs to Harvey's sock drawer.

We ate leftover stew tonight, and still had some left so I made a frozen tv type meal for our youngest son.

I saved the drippings from the roast beef to use making soup later this week (like tomorrow).

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Menu Monday

Getting very close to the month of December and the overwhelmingly rushed meal planning that will be going on. Perhaps I should start now????

Monday

Pork chops, rice, and a tossed salad (need to use up some fresh produce).

Tuesday

Leftover Stew from the container in the fridge freezer. Think I will make dumplings this time.

Wednesday

Soup and Sandwiches, I need to get another container of stock used up.

Thursday

Sausage Casserole using up still more bits and bobs of vegetables that seem to linger in the crisper.

Friday

Perogies along with the remains of the salad.

Saturday

Hamburger patties, home made fries, and corn.

Sunday

My usual roast meal. This time pork loin, along with roasted veggies.

Hope to stick to this again this week.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Ramblings

Well here are the next two chapters in my frugal reading material.

Chapter 7

This is about looking after your furnace and air conditioning.

Air Conditioning

Try and have shade around your home as the air conditioning will run less. We found this out after cutting down the huge poplars down one side of our city lot. Our window air conditioners run much longer now. No central air here on the homestead as of yet. That is something we will safe up for later. Right now the window unit and built in wall unit are doing well. We also added some insulated drapes which help keep the house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

When we did the renovations the first time around the old windows were replaced with more energy efficient ones. We also made the front window with the ability to open on two sides. Now we can take advantage of cool breezes during the warmer months.

The author says to make sure your window units are clean. This is something Harvey does every time we put them back in (yes we do remove or cover them during the winter). The screens are washed, filters cleaned and the machines are blown out with the air compressor.

So nothing very new in this chapter.

Heating systems came next.

On sunny days we throw open the insulated drapes on the south facing window and the furnace stays off or comes on rarely. We take advantage of Mother Natures natural heating and lighting. Take today for instance, the last time the new furnace came on was at around 10 am. It has been off ever since and the temperature in the house is still sitting at 22 C. Cha ching money in our pocket instead of the gas and electric company.

The draft dodgers will be pulled out shortly and placed in front of the doors every night. One sits in front of a door we don't use all the time.

Every second year Harvey checks all the weather stripping on the doors and replaces any that need to be replaced. He also checks the caulking around the windows in behind the trim.

We re-insulated a few years ago so hopefully that will not have to be done again for awhile.

We do push back our furnace tune ups and that is something we will be doing more often with this new furnace. Keeping it clean will make it run more efficiently, and save us money in the long run. One more new tip to incorporate into our frugal plan.

The author talks about vacuuming and washing your vents regularly. I have gotten out of the habit of doing this so will add this to my monthly cleaning plan. Keeping furniture away from the vents will also enable the furnace to run at a lower cost.

The author says that perhaps one of the best pieces of frugal advice is to get a programmable thermostat. We have one which we keep at a temperature of 21C. When we both worked the thermostat was turned down during the time we were gone and about an hour before we got home the temperature would gradually go back up. Sorry, just can't do the lowering of temperature at night. That toilet seat is mighty cold in the middle of the night.

The author says that ceiling fans according to some experts can save up to $500 a year on heating and cooling costs. I do know that having ours on in the summer does make us feel much cooler. Perhaps it's time to give them a try during the winter, to push down all the risen heated air. A second tip to add to the list.

We are slowly changing all our CFL's to LED bulbs. It is taking awhile but when we switched from regular bulbs to CFL's we noticed a difference and we are hoping for the same savings when all the bulbs are LED. I like the light from LED's much better.

Our outdoor lighting around the doors are CFL's but are garden and deck lighting is all solar!! Love it. We get enough light to make our way around the garden and yard, but not so much that we are blinded.

We turn off lights in rooms not in use, and have timers on lights in the bedroom so I don't fall asleep and leave the lights on.

Chapter 8 is all about DIY.

Making my home cleaners is something I already do. I don't make all of them, but enough to keep the cost down. Some things just do not come clean with our very hard water no matter how much elbow grease a person uses.

The author writes about Dryel Kits. I tried them back when I was buying clothing that was dry clean only..... I was not very happy with the results. Gradually over the years we have gotten away from buying clothing that needs to be dry cleaned, and I have found with my new washer that the woolen cycle works wonders on those items that I would still take to the cleaners.

Harvey does most of his own plumbing and easy electrical work (changing plugs, putting in a toilet or tub, changing faucets, that kind of thing). He has also laid tile, carpet, vinyl, and laminate flooring. He even learned to dry wall!! However as we age we do notice it takes a lot longer to get things done. That's why we are always happy to have our sons help and they are more than willing to lend a hand.

I took Home Economics when growing up. I learned sewing and basic cooking techniques. This has come in handy over the years and I must say I am getting a bit more adventurous in the cooking department (especially baking).

Mom used to darn socks and I inherited her darning kit. I have darned many a sock, much to Harvey's enjoyment (he thinks I am weird).

Mom knit all our sweaters growing up and taught my sister and I. I love being able to knit gifts for my family and friends at a fraction of the cost.

The author talks a great deal about no cost or low cost classes to learn new skills. Learning something new that can improve your living situation is always a good thing.

Those skills that our parents, grandparents and great grandparents used each and every day are wonderful skills to have.

I now have a few more frugal ideas to try and make a part of my every day life.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Roundup

Other than the new furnace being installed and basically set up, it has been a quiet week on the old homestead.

The days seem to whiz right by, and I am beginning to think it is an age thing. The older I get, the faster time speeds by. So many times I would like to grab hold of the hours and slow them down.

Today we went to a craft sale, and I was amazed at what people charge for their homemade items. It makes me even more inclined to actually try and sell my items at a craft sale sometime in the future. A person could make a goodly sum if they find the right thing to make and sell. While there, we both entered our names for a door prize (well Harvey put my name down) and I won a lovely set of candle holders refurbished from old wooden spindles. I think those just might be what I donate to the family reunion silent auction.

Next week will be a busy one. We have the electricians coming to hard wire in the furnace (right now it is running with an extension cord), and remove an old fuse box. Then hopefully mid week the furnace installers will be back and start the venting into the area of the house that uses electric heat (really looking forward to that). This is supposed to take three days at least to accomplish, but once done it will be wonderful. Our electric bill should go down drastically over time.

After that Harvey will start the walls. Just the pine boards on the bottom to begin with and then the electricians will be here again to finish the wiring and the remaining walls and ceiling will be completed. Hopefully things will be looking pretty darn good by the end of the year.

I will begin making my Christmas to do lists early next week. I want to be prepared well in advance this year. Gifts are bought, wrapping will happen soon and then they will be put in the mail. I want to get my cards done next week as well.


Seems like the next few weeks are going to be busy ones, causing the days to speed by even faster.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Frugal Friday

No post yesterday. I was too busy working around the furnace installation. Still not done completely yet, but we have heat and by the end of next week will be rid of the electric heating in the back of the house!! I am very happy.

My frugal five for this past week.

1.  Baked bread.

2.  Used my slow cooker once this week. Hopefully I will be using it more as the weeks progress.

3.  Got a new energy efficient furnace installed.

4.  Priced out flooring here in Estevan. After taking in the cost of driving the truck (gas guzzler) up to Regina, having meals out, and the cost of the gas, Harvey figures it might be more cost effective to buy everything here. The only drawback is we don't get to visit with Kris.

5.  Reading free or low cost magazines and books.

Now on to another chapter in the frugal living book.

Chapter 6 is all about car ownership.

Most of the things listed we already do, however, I guess after a few years of buying new vehicles we should look at buying a preowned vehicle. We could save lots that way, however we use our main vehicle very lightly, we are cutting down on buying gas guzzlers (well except for Harvey's truck), and the one great thing is that I have free service for two years on the new vehicle we bought. Oil changes for free is wonderful!!! Harvey pays quite a bit for his.

The author says to be efficient in how you organize your errands. This is something I already do. This has enabled me to cut down from two, sometimes three gas fill ups a month. Lately I have been down to one most months, sometimes two.

We have discovered the sweet spot when driving on the highway. You know, the place where you get the best gas mileage. If we have a wind behind us, look out the mileage is wonderful.

The vehicle tells us when the tires are low, and Harvey pulls out the air compressor. Keeping the tires at the proper inflation really helps cut down on gas usage.

I have a clean driving record (keeping my fingers crossed and knocking on wood) which cuts back a bit on my car insurance. We can't really shop around for insurance here as SGI (the government insurance) has a stranglehold on vehicle insurance. I do try to get the lowest possible price though.

So not much new in this chapter for me to try and implement at this time.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

More

Well I have read a few more chapters in the first frugal book I picked to read.

Chapter 4

In this chapter the author speaks about energy wasting areas of your home.

She talks about using surge bars and turning off all those energy sucking electronics in your home. I already do this for most of our electronics. But prefer not to do so with the satellite dish or TV (my TV is not an instant on one, it takes a fairly long time to come on). The satellite dish would need to download all the programs if turned off completely. Much easier to leave it on.  I do have the computer, printer, coffee pots, and my sewing machines turned off using the power bar.

The basement is a big energy guzzler. We did not have any insulation in the old walls, now we have more and it is warm down there without any heat on whatsoever.

Our furnace is about 40 years old and tomorrow we are replacing it with a new energy efficient one (finally) and hopefully will be able to vent it into the part of the house that uses electric heat. If not we will as the author suggests add thermostats to them to control the heat.

Another suggestion the author makes is to control the humidity in our home. What she says makes a great deal of sense and we will be trying to add moisture to our home this winter and take moisture out of the air during the summer.

Decluttering the basement will make more room for food storage. I already can a few things, but if we manage things correctly and the garden cooperates we should be able to build a cold room/root cellar to easily store more.

The author talks about garages being a money saver. A car parked in a garage will not be needed to be run to defrost windows. In fact our son has a garage and he never even plugs in his block heater during the coldest part of the winter. We always have to plug in ours and that takes a great deal of electric power. This is something we will need to discuss and perhaps look into building next summer.

She also says not to put your overflow fridge or freezer in an uninsulated garage as they do not work properly. The fridge would have to work twice as hard to maintain a proper temperature. Once again using more power and causing the fridge to perhaps fail. If the garage gets too cold, well the fridge will just shut off.

Computers will last longer if turned off regularly. But she does say that if you leave your computer for longer than 10 minutes you should shut off the monitor and if you are not going to use the computer for more than two hours shut it off completely. Hmm, I will try shutting the monitor off when we do not use the computer for an extended length of time.

Chapter 5 is about Media.

Now I do download free books onto my ereader and buy books from garage sales and rummage sales, I go to the library as well. I have lots of books (well not as many as I used to) but have made a conscious decision not to buy any more unless they are authors I love. If I bring any books in from now on from sales they will be donated or I try to sell them for a little extra cash.

Our satellite dish is our main source of entertainment. We don't have Redbox, Silver Screen or the Netflix where you can rent movies. I do have an android box which I have been using more and more to watch old series and movies. I love it and could see us downgrading our satellite package.

I do have Netflix on my tablet and watch some programs on that. Kris has a subscription and is paying for 4 devices, two for him and two for me. He says it is the least he can do since we help him out whenever he needs it. I also send meals home with him.

I don't have any magazine subscriptions, I look at the online magazines instead. Saved quite a bit that way.

So I have found a couple of new ways to cut back on spending in these chapters and will try to make them a habit over the next few months.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mid Month Update

Well time to see how well I am doing at this the halfway point of the month.

1.  Remove window air conditioning unit and store it for the winter.  Done

2.  Continue project declutter.  On going, as of today another 42 items have left the building.

3.  I would like to have 20 no spend days this month.  Today is the 10th no spend day this month.

4.  Continue with fabric use it up. This is to replace a few items and add some colour to my fall/winter wardrobe.  Well my sewing urge seems to have taken a break. I do have some of the tops cut out though.

5.  Finish Christmas shopping and gift making.  Gift making is finished and I only have 2 more small gifts to buy.

6.  Continue my early morning walks (usually 16 blocks) and my 8 block afternoon walk as long as the weather cooperates.  I have been doing my early morning walks still (yea for the lovely weather we have had) and most afternoons have walked the 8 blocks as well.

So really I am not doing too badly. I hope to finish number 5 at the end of the week when I go shopping (combining errands to save wear and tear on the vehicle). I have even gotten Harvey motivated to get some more of his winter preparations done. Windows are nice and clean, the box is out to cover the other built in air conditioner and he has covered items outside with a tarp. Hopefully all will be done before the first snow flies.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.



Monday, November 14, 2016

Menu Monday

Here we are at the mid November mark and still now snow!!! This has shortened our usual long winter by about 2 weeks, perhaps even longer. It does seem that our nice weather will be leaving us as the long range forecast calls for snow on Thursday night. Just a little I hope.

For those of you that wonder how I manage to have so much leftover roasted meat that I need to do a clean out of the fridge freezer.... Yesterday I made a small roast ham and have 4 bags of leftover meat. One bag I threw in the meat tray in the fridge, the rest reside in the freezer. Now those 3 bags in the freezer will each make us another dinner and in perhaps a case or two, a second meal. Hubby does not mind eating leftover but does draw the line at eating leftovers for an entire week. So I have to try and balance using up items with the use of new items. I oft times forget that there is a bag of something in the freezer and only find it as I add more leftover meat bags. I need a way to keep track and a place to hang the inventory once it is made.

Monday

Chicken Parm along with rice and tossed salad.

Tuesday

Leftover pork made into honey garlic pork, served with leftover rice and the remaining tossed salad.

Wednesday

Stew made in the slow cooker. Hopefully enough to have the leftovers put in a container and frozen for another meal down the road.

Thursday

Leftover ham. I will be pulling out the recipe books to see what is new and exciting.

Friday

Fish Fillets, Asian noodles (hopefully I have everything I need), and sliced fresh veggies/dip.

Saturday

Clean out the fridge. Pretty sure there will be leftovers from the week that need to be gone.

Sunday

Roast Beef, roast potatoes, roast carrots/onions and Brussel sprouts.

My week of menus, plus some put away for late on this month or even when things get a bit rushed next month.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Suday Ramblings

Well on to more about the book on frugal living I pulled out to read and get hopefully new ideas to add into my daily routine.

Chapter two deals with shifting your ideas on shopping. This is one area we frugal people have great control of.

The author speaks about buying clothing. I agree with her ideas of being patient and waiting for things to go on sale, to buy the best quality you can afford.

She talks a great deal about buying at Goodwill, which if you are lucky enough to have great second hand stores, or charity shops is a wonderful idea. Here however, there are only two second hand stores and both leave a great deal to be desired. I have found that sewing my own clothes (using fabric that I have purchased on sale) or waiting for great quality clothing to go on sale is better for me. I have pants, dresses, skirts, and tops that are 6 or more years old that are still in excellent shape. Looking after what you have makes more sense to me than spending hours a month trying to find something second hand. Not saying that I haven't found quality items, but they are few and far between.

Stocking up during a great sale makes sense. I do this with underwear, and socks. However, buying 6 tops of the same style is not saving money to me.

As the author says, shopping at outlet stores is another great way to save. I have done this when we have traveled to a bigger center like Calgary or Edmonton. Here in Saskatchewan we do not have many outlet stores at all. Sure wish we did!!

The author speaks about having a set routine for grocery shopping. Hmmm, I think I already do this. Early mornings are best around here, I can get in and out quickly. I shop the outside first and then go down only those lanes that my list shows that I have to. I use any coupons that I have and search for unlisted sales (or price drops). I always go through the fliers and plan my shopping accordingly.

I don't put a list on the fridge to add to and that is something I think I am going to do from now on. It would be great to actually not have to go through cupboards and find that I no longer have something I need for a recipe. One frugal idea to try and make a habit!

I have a budget for all shopping and try to stay under it as much as is possible. However once every 4 or 5 months I do go over and that is because we travel to Regina and do a big stock up shop. Everything from cleaning supplies to OTC meds are done at this time. It really does save us to shop this way. Sandwich meat is bought in large rolls and we slice it, large containers of dish soap, laundry detergent, and other supplies are bought and decanted into smaller containers. I have found this to be a cost saver over time.

I do buy shredded cheese when it is on sale. The author says money can be saved by buying large chunks of cheese and shredding your own at home. I will try this out at our next big shop, or if cheese goes on sale for a great price here at home. I do have a hand held shredder as well as an electric one (Kurt bought it for me for Christmas a few years back, may as well get some more use out of it) and really shredding does not take much time at all.

The author also says not to forget about reward programs. So far the only reward program here is the cash back on credit cards (our city does not have any of the stores that offer reward programs). I do make use of this and pay off the credit card every month in full. Not paying in full negates any cash back reward the card offers.

Chapter three talks about different appliances in your home.

Now I am really confused. In the beginning she spoke about using smaller loads when washing, now it is was full loads for shorter lengths of time.... Help!!!

I agree with washing and rinsing in cold water where possible. I do this for at least one load a week. I always rinse with cold water.

I am using my front load washer until it falls apart. We have budgeted for a new one and when the time comes I am getting one of the new energy efficient top loaders. Now that there is no center agitator clothing should be washed just the same as a front loader.

As far as the dryer goes, I do hang as much as possible on lines downstairs in the fall and winter or when there is rain. I don't mind waiting a day to fold them. However the author talks about pulling things out of the dryer as they dry. Somehow opening and shutting the dryer door makes me think that the dryer would have to work harder at getting the heat back up. Wouldn't that cause a person to use more rather than less electricity?

When I reheat leftover, or pull a meal out of the freezer I always use my microwave. It uses way less power than the oven.

I need to use my slow cooker more. The author says that in a frugal household this is the best option as far as energy usage. I better get in the habit of slow cooking more meals and making this appliance my best friend. It would also cut down on heating up the kitchen in the summer, saving the air conditioner.

When I use my oven I do try to cook more than one item. If I have the oven on it makes sense to do as much as possible with it.

I still have a problem with dishwashers being more frugal than washing by hand. Once I forgot the dish rag in the sink, and the sink over flowed with just one cycle of our old dishwasher. I can fill both sinks with hot water (not really full, perhaps half full) and get all my dishes washed including pots and pans. Perhaps the newer dishwashers use less water, but my friend still does her pots and pans by hand, so I can't see this appliance saving me anything. After all the dishwasher uses electricity to run, not just hot water!

We have already turned down our water heater. Don't think we can turn it down any lower and still have it be safe to use.

So in these last two chapters I have found two new ideas to try and incorporate into my frugal life style. Hopefully they will become habits and over time save us money, and time.

Back in a couple of days with a report on the next couple of chapters.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday Roundup

It has been a quiet day here on the old homestead.

Harvey washed the windows on the outside, and I did some work on the pantry cupboard in the kitchen. I have a few sections left to do on this cupboard and then I will move on to another section. I am hoping to complete the pantry section tomorrow. Really all it needs is a good straightening out, and a washing down of the shelves. Easy peasy.

I spent a bit of time working on the cross stitch ornaments. I should be able to start backstitching the first one tomorrow afternoon. Then I will decide if I will finish it the way the directions say, or do something totally different.

This evening I decided it was time to finish a few of the knitting projects. Ends have be woven in on a few of the items in the basket.

The spa cloths I made from some rather strange new yarn I found. I am hoping these can take the place of my bath poufs. Probably much better as they can be thrown in the washer every week.

A new scarf for myself out of lovely shades of purple. This was made out of the Caron Jelly Roll/Cupcake yarn I picked up the last time we went on a stock up shop.

A pretty shades of pink shawl. I am hoping to wear this with my hot pink sheath dress once I find a proper belt.

Then being one to use up everything I can I made a Sour Cream Coffee Cake this afternoon.

You see I had a small amount of in a container of sour cream that needed to be used up, along with some cream that had got pushed to the back of the fridge (thank you Harvey) and had gone sour. I mixed the two and used them to make this lovely moist and filling cake.

Kept me from tossing some still useable ingredients and we got a lovely dessert for supper.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.