Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Just a quick note to wish you all a Happy Halloween before the little ghosts and goblins arrive.

Have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Grocery Shopping

Today I did the last grocery shop for the month. What I bought should last us two weeks with just a trip to pick up milk and produce in a week or so.

I learned long ago to make a list before I shop and since the price of groceries keeps right on rising use the fliers to make my list.

Then after making my list, I print out a free calendar. You can find many templates on line and free is always good!

I always plan my dinner menus (at least the main course) for a month. I do this using my grocery list, and what I have stocked up on in my freezer and pantry. Sure things get moved around once in awhile but I love the fact that I don't have to worry about what we are going to eat every night. It also enables me to use things up that other wise might get pushed to the back of the refrigerator freezer.

Every so often I have a clean out the fridge night. Supper is whatever leftovers I have stashed away. We also use these leftovers for lunch during the week.

Since I started paying more attention to what I have available to cook and shopping sales we have saved a great deal. Not only in cold hard cash, but time as well.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cooking From Scratch

Cooking from scratch is one of the best ways I know to save cash and cut your grocery bill.

I bake bread at least 3 times a week now that it is only Harvey and I at home. What could be easier then putting everything in your bread maker and letting it do the heavy work for you.

I got this one at WalMart, greatly reduced when my old one left to join those other great bread makers that no longer work.

Just dump all the ingredients in the bread pan and let it do all the hard work like kneading. This costs pennies in comparison to buying bread in the grocery.

I also bake quick breads, cookies and something Harvey loves Brownie Bites.

This week it was Pumpkin loaves (needed to use up some pumpkin puree from the freezer).

Next on the list was 6 dozen Chocolate Chip cookies. I used up the chocolate chips making these. I know whats in them and they cost much less than buying them.

Brownie Bites were next on my to do list. I got almost 3 dozen for about 1/2 the cost of 2 dozen in the store.

I also made my favorite Ginger Snaps to eat with my afternoon tea.

All in all a great way to save and keep the house warm from the oven at the same time.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Dinner Menus October 28 to November 3

I know I said my next post would be about how I save when buying groceries but menu planning is one of the biggest and best ways I know to save. So here are my menus for the next week. I do plan them monthly though and hang it on the fridge for easy access.

Roast Chicken, mashed potatoes and carrots. I spent yesterday baking but we need to finish off the cake I made earlier in the week so that will be dessert.

Pork chops, rice, and corn. We get to choose if we want cookies, brownie bites or pumpkin loaf the rest of the week for dessert.

Hamburgers, oven fries and mixed veggie (need to use up the bits from the freezer).

Leftover turkey from the freezer made into a Turkey Pot Pie.

Clean out the fridge night. I think there will be lots of bits to use up.

Lazy perogies with lots of fried onions and sour cream.

Leftover ham made into Ham Pasties (not sure of the spelling anymore, but remember the recipe very, very well we liked it so much).

I save money on almost all my vegetables because Harvey plants a very large garden in the spring. He is always threatening to make it smaller, but never really does. I usually freeze what we don't eat and then have lots during the colder months.... This is a great money saver!!!

Planning menus for the month also enables me to be one step ahead with the fliers. I can plan my eating around what I have in my freezer and what is on sale for the coming week. I usually do a big shop twice a month (would really like to get this down to once a month now) and buy fruit, dairy (milk usually), and fresh vegetables like lettuce once a week.

Hopefully I will be back tomorrow with some pictures and more ideas on saving money on groceries.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God Bless.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Making Extra to Save

Over the years I have learned that saving money only goes so far, and that eventually a person needs to make some money as well.

Now that I have retired, I am finding this a bit more difficult to do. However, I am continuing to do some of the extra money raising things I started to do a few years ago in readiness for this time of life.

I belong to a few survey companies. The way I am reimbursed for my time and effort varies, but I can usually either redeem points for cash or some kind of gift card.

Then every once in awhile I pick up a custom sewing job. This past week I had one that took me roughly an hour to do and I made $20.00.

Sure its not a lot, but every little bit helps over the course of a year.

Then of course there is my subbing as an Educational Assistant. While I am not making as much as when I worked full time at this I still get about 4 days a month in. Sure would like a couple more as that would be perfect!!!!

I am hoping to add a few other extra money producing lines over the next year. What ever happens I will be looking at ways to add to our bottom line rather that deplete that same bottom line.

Tomorrow I will talk about how I save money on groceries.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Saving Money Part 2

During the last few years we had decided that this old 1921 house was not built to keep in the heat. So when we resided to did a few things to ensure better heat retention.

Firstly we blew insulation into the attic.

We also blew some into the existing walls.

Next we added a layer of insulation to the outside of the walls.

Knowing that this would not be enough we put in new windows over the course of two years, and this past year added something new.

Storm doors now grace the two doors we do not use as often. The third door will have a draft dodger put in front of it in the evenings this winter.

All this has probably saved us a bit on heating costs, but those rise so quickly (almost every year) that it is hard to tell if we are saving money.

I also make a practice of opening our front south facing blinds in the winter on sunny days.

It is amazing how much this help with keeping the furnace from running non stop on those cold winter prairie days. In the evening I close them as soon as it gets dark to keep the heat in.

I have also started to make sure lights are turned off in rooms not in use. Now if I can just get Harvey on board with that one.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Saving Money

Most of the blogs I read are either craft or living frugally. So I thought I would do a post on how we save money at our house.

First off I have found that cutting back on dining out cuts back on spending a great deal. When we do eat out we use a gift card or eat brunch after church. Wow, does that save a bundle and we actually eat healthier by knowing what is in our food.

I enjoy cooking (its the cleaning up after that gives me a problem or two) and can put together a decent meal at a very reasonable cost per person.

Another way we save money is by hanging as many clothes as possible to dry. Harvey does not like crunchy towels so those always go in the dryer, but everything else is up for grabs. In the spring, summer and fall the outside clothes line gets a good work out. In the winter things are hung on lines down stairs. It may take awhile longer to dry, but since I am just subbing now I have nothing but time.

Every bit of leftovers from a meal are saved and used in another meal. Sometimes it is soup (stock made from a carcass), sometimes it is a stew and many times it is a completely different meal. Take tonight for instance. I took some packaged frozen leftover roast beef and made stroganoff. Yummy, served over egg noodles. I also used up the last few mushrooms, and the half an onion in the fridge. Now I have another meal packaged and put in the fridge. Guess what we are having tomorrow night!!!

Sewing and mending are another way I save money. It is totally amazing to me to be able to sit down and make something the men in my life will wear. Last year it was robes, this year I made Kurt and Kris pajama bottoms and am busy knitting them sweaters for Christmas. The items are usually made better and last longer than anything I can buy in a store.

Tomorrow I will continue with ways we save.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Supper Menus Oct. 21 to Oct. 27

Well it's that time of the week once again. I will be busy using up things from the freezer that need to be gone. Perhaps this will clean things out a little bit and save on the grocery bill for the rest of this month and part of next month.

Roast Pork Loin, roasted potatoes, and peas.

Seven Layer Casserole using small link sausages that have been in the freezer for awhile.

Leftover roast beef made into stroganoff served over egg noodles.

Refrigerator Smorg. I will be getting rid of some leftovers from the fridge.

Turkey Rice Soup from the freezer and Egg Salad Sandwiches (using up some eggs here).

Pan Fried Fish Fillets, homemade oven fries, and corn

Spaghetti Squash with pasta sauce.

I always package up some of the leftovers into TV type dinners. These I give to Kris as I worry that he does not eat correctly. This way I at least know he is getting a few good meals during the month. Perhaps I can get him to gain a bit of weight this way, he only weighs in at 140 lbs and stands almost six feet!!!

I plan on doing some baking this week so we will have some desserts. Most likely cake and cookies.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


For the past few days I have been worried about our youngest son. He got some bad news on of all days his birthday! He sounded so down when I talked to him on the 16th of this month.

Now his Dad and I have been trying to get ahold of him for the past two days, he is not answering his phone! I am almost in full panic mode!!!! We have left messages to no avail, and since this is usually just me and not his Dad, for him not to answer a message from his Dad is something totally alien.

I have been working over the budget and trying to figure out where we can get the cash to help him out without taking too much out of our retirement funds or savings. A person can only shave so much from their flexible spending. We will recoup the loss when I get my inheritance from my father, but I have a feeling that Kris will turn down the help.

It breaks my heart that he needs to go through this at such a young age.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ravens, Ravens, Everywhere!

I just have to post these two of many pictures taken on our trip to the birthday party last weekend.

We had time to spare (almost all day Saturday) and so we went off to the mall. Harvey, myself and one of the brother-in-laws had to wait while his wife finished up her shopping.

Now on our way north we noticed more ravens than any previous trip. They seemed to be everywhere and into everything. I love their glossy black bodies, and hooked beaks. What I don't like and have never had happen before is them being unafraid of people. I think I could have walked right up and petted a few on the head.

So here we are sitting in the vehicle in a busy parking lot, awaiting the arrival of another passenger, when I looked over towards the box of a truck across from us.  There sitting on the back was a beautiful raven. Not the least bit afraid when people pulled up on either side and got out of their vehicle.

It sat there for the longest time before it hopped in the box and started to eat something that was lying on the floor.

I just had to get out and take a picture of it when it was finished eating. I didn't want to get too close as it's claws and beak are huge.

Every time I see one of these birds on a trip I remember Edgar Allen Poes poem and I get shivers.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm Home

Well I am back from my whirlwind tour of most of Central Saskatchewan.

Most of the trip was quite alright. The cleaning of Dad's apartment and being with my brother and sister for two full days, not so good. But I am not complaining, we got Dad's apartment cleaned out, made a little money and are one step closer to getting his estate settled as my sister and I met with the accountant that Dad used.

On to happier days.

We really surprised my brother in law when we showed up on his doorstep Friday night.

Then on Saturday came his birthday/retirement party. What a crowd of people came to celebrate with him. I only hope that I have as many friends.

This is a picture of the family that managed to get there, plus the birthday boy and his brand new fiance. Yep that's right he proposed to her at the party!!!!

And here is a picture of the proposal. I can only wish my husband was half as romantic.

He even got down on one knee!!! There was not a dry eye among any of the women there.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Party and Tying Up Loose Ends

I will be gone for almost a week.

We are leaving in about an hour and a half to head north once again. This time to help Harvey's brother Loran celebrate his 60th birthday and his retirement from his job with the prison system here in Saskatchewan. It has just gotten too stressful for him over the last few years and almost led to him having a heart attack.

Here is photo of him.

After the party we will be heading to meet up with my sister, Joanne and her husband Gerry. We will be cleaning out Dad's suite at the Manor..... There will be lots to do and we are hoping to get most everything done this weekend. We don't want to have to go there again to finish up again this month.

Everybody have a wonderful day. I will see you when I get back home.

God bless.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Third and Last Challenge

I admit it, I have way too many clothes for my new life style of retirement.

Today I moved over my fall/winter wardrobe and managed to remove almost three bags of clothing that no longer fits, makes me feel good, or that I haven't worn in a year. These bags will be taken to the Salvation Army first thing tomorrow morning as I am afraid I will start to go through them and pull things out!!!

I will share what my closets and drawers look like with you. Remember these are only what I have for the fall and winter. My spring/summer wardrobe has been regulated to storage for now.

First off my closet.

 As you can see my closet is filled to overflowing!!! Mind you many of these are 5 to 10 years old and as I always shop in the same place the sales help knows what I already own and what I can add to get even more wear out of a garment. Then I do sew many of my own clothing items and those add to the collection for a fraction of the cost of buying the garment.

The next pictures are of my large cupboard and dresser drawers. This is mostly sweaters (many of which I have knit over the years), long sleeved t-shirts, knit/sweatpants, and hand knit vests.

I have now put clothing buying on hold for at least the next year. I really do not need anything new and as Harvey says, "What can I buy you for gifts. You have enough clothing to outfit three other women!"

Sitting here and looking at this clothing I have been trying to figure out why on earth I bought so much over the years. I think it is because when we were first married and the children started coming I did without so that we could clothe them and Harvey. Once the boys grew up and no longer depended upon us I went a bit overboard.

This does not mean I will not sew myself a winter dress or knit myself a sweater, but if I do I need to get rid of an article of clothing to make room. This should be interesting!

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Winter and Problems On the Road

This post is going to cover 2 days of happenings around our home.

Yesterday was the day that both of our sons left for their respective homes..... okay lets say that one had left, the other got to sleep in a bit longer as Kris lives much closer to us than Kurt (like 7 hours closer).

So I was working on the computer (actually doing yesterdays post) when the phone rings. I recognize Kurt's cell number so I pick up, figuring he has stopped at Chapters in Regina on his way home. Instead I get.

"Hi Mom, I have a problem."
"Oh, what did you forget?" I reply.
"Ahh, no that's not it. My engine just blew up (and he did say exactly that), and I am stranded on the side of the road near Milestone."

This is when I started relaying the conversation to Harvey, but by then I am already in panic mode. I finally gave him the phone started waking up Kris and getting dressed. By the time everything was settled Harvey and Kurt had come up with a plan.

We ended up driving the hour and half with our two vehicles so we could give Kurt one of them. Then had his vehicle towed back to our place. Harvey is going to get the dealership we work with to look and see if it is the transmission and what it will cost to replace it.

We are back to one vehicle for a bit, but at least Kurt got home and can get back and forth to work. He just has to get used to driving a thirsty truck instead of an easy on the fuel small car.

Now after a restless sleep once again (this is becoming a habit lately) I woke up to snow on the ground and rather large dense flakes drifting down. Of course it was not sticking to the road, but man it is way too early to have winter starting. The roof tops and vehicles look like they are covered in fluffy white marshmallows....

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Harvey figured out what happened to Kurts car. Seems like the oil plug might have worked its way loose and he lost all his oil!! So in effect his engine is going to the place where all good engines go when they die. Guess its time for a new car.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekly Dinner Menu Oct. 7 to Oct. 13 2012

Oops almost forgot to put these up for the week.


Thanksgiving Dinner.... Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry sauce, Gravy and Salad. Of course there was pumpkin pie for dessert.


Leftover cooked rice, Baked Pork Chops in Mushroom Sauce, Leftover Salad, and diced carrots


I will be cooking up the turkey carcass for stock and so we will have a leftover turkey meal. I am thinking Turkey Tetrazzini and a salad


Hamburgers, with all the trimmings and perhaps some homemade oven fries.


Refridgerator Smorg. We need to get things used up and cleaned out. 

We will be away for about 5 days. Going to visit one of Harveys brothers for a surprise birthday party and retirement party. Then it is off to clean out what we can over two days in Dad's apartment. We are hoping to get everything out and perhaps most of the cleaning done at the same time.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Family Holidays and Getting Sick

Okay, wouldn't you know it! Just because I have a family feast planned for today, (celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving) I have gotten sick. This seems to happen when I plan most family activities...

I knew I should have turned the heat on at night in our bedroom about a week ago, and I should have turned the heat up a tad in the rest of the house as well. Sometimes trying to save a dime costs a dollar in the long run.

One good thing is that most of my meal can be prepped and put aside to be turned on, stuffed into, or even cooked at a later time. Plan on starting the stuffing shortly and then going for a short walk (I find it easier to breathe outside), then coming in to peel potatoes and put them in a pot of water to be turned on later in the day.

I will not let my illness ruin our celebration.

Everybody have a wonderful day. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate today.

God bless.

Friday, October 5, 2012

It's The Thanksgiving Weekend!!!

Happy Thanksgiving holiday weekend, to all my Canadian friends

After 4 days of subbing, I am looking forward to the holiday with my family. Kurt and Kris will both be home for two and a half days!!! How wonderful to get to spend time with them. Kris does come home more often, but I have a feeling we won't be seeing him until Christmas now, I know that is how long it will be before we see Kurt once again.

My menu is planned for "the feast" as Kris says. Hope yours is as well.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Project Finished

Thought I would share a finished project with all of you. This project used up some of my yarn stash. Not much of it, but at least a few of those orphan skeins were put to use.

Believe it or not this strange shape lying on my ironing board is a sock. Yes that's right a sock!

I can't get the hang of knitting in the round and so when I found this two needle sock pattern I was over joyed.

This is a picture of the finished project.

See, I told you it would turn into a sock!

I made 5 pair which should keep my feet nice and warm this winter.

Now I get to start on the Christmas sweaters for Harvey, Kurt and Kris. Wish me luck in getting them done in time.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.