Frugal Accomplishments

Frugal Accomplishments For the Second Week of January

Iceberg Roses In January Detail The Prudent Homemaker

It was a busy week in the garden.

I picked lemons from the garden.

I cut Swiss chard and beet greens from the garden.

I pruned my iceberg roses and brought all of the roses inside to enjoy.

White Pigeon in the garden The Prudent Homemaker

I dug a few more small bushes that I started last year by tip layering and moved them to other places in the garden.

I planted seeds for lettuce, leeks, larkspur, white strawberries, sunflowers, zucchini, and nasturtiums.

Iceberg Roses in January The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money and find joy this past week?

 

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122 Comments

  1. The roses are lovely, Brandy! These are my frugal accomplishments for this week.

    Rescued another “live” Christmas tree from the curb to acidify the soil in the barked bed on the north side. This makes two trees so far. I set the trees where I want the soil to remain acidified, & let them drop their needles there. When all the needles have dropped, I trim the branches off, & the tree trunk goes on our small woodpile for future fire pit wood.

    Continued to hem more of the flannel wipes for use as tp in our disaster kit.

    Knocked the icicles off the back of the house to remove their weight from the gutter. I had to dig a path thru snow about 2 feet deep to get to the icicles.

    Began to work on the taxes. The sooner we file, the sooner the refund is in our hands.

    Ran a thin stream of water overnight to keep the pipes from freezing while we had subzero temps outdoors.

    While the outdoor surfaces were covered with ice, I used my cane when I went out. Prudence before regret.

    Continued to cut the peels from the clementines into thin strips to dry on a plate as we eat the fruit.

    Stopped in at the thrift store & found 15 Duplo blocks, along with a fisher price cow, basket of green apples & 2 pieces of red “farm” fencing, along with a “section” of plastic orange. They charged me 75 for the whole lot, which is a little less than 4 cents per piece. I also bought 3 half pint jars & a pint jar, 3 with fancy cutout tops that will be great for using dehydrated citrus peels or baking soda for air freshener. I also bought 3 books, one a board book, for 50 cents each. When I came home, I filled one of the jars with the dried citrus peel. It smells great.

    Used a coupon to save $2 on a bottle of One A Day vitamins.

    Bought 10 packages of Canadian bacon marked down to $3 each (from $7.97) in the mark down bin. Nine went into the freezer & one was part of dinner that night. DH loves Canadian bacon. I also bought 2 packages of English muffins from the mark down rack for 99 cents. Those also went into the freezer.

    The next night, I used 2 pieces of leftover panfried Canadian bacon & the leftover fried potatoes with some milk, dehydrated potatoes, onion powder & parsley flakes to make potato soup, which we had with buttered toast. On a cold, windy day, DH liked it for dinner.

    Received more of the little people animals I ordered, along with some of the books, that I purchased on discount & which will be used as gifts in the coming year. I removed the residue from the stickers on the books with Goo Gone & a little alcohol to remove the Goo Gone. Most of the books look brand new now.

    Later in the week, I went to the thrift store closer to us to look for a frame for the painting my daughter made for me. I found a nice one for $3, & also found 14 Duplos (with 3 “eye” pieces) & 2 other little toys, a pretend can of sardines & a plastic orange “section”, in a bag marked $4. When I got home, I carefully slid the zip tie off the bag & sorted thru it. I kept the Duplos & the other 2 items I mentioned, then put everything else, mostly assorted other blocks, back in the bag & tied it closed. I will re-donate it, but because I did not tear the bag & it is already marked, I know they will just put another zip tie on the bag & set it out on the floor, so I will take a $4 deduction value for the donation.

  2. I checked my fall planted garlic and onions are covered as our weather here in OH is giving us whiplash between the temperature extremes. I planted the paperwhites etc in pots so I can transplant them later and fingers crossed they rebloom next winter. Started my sweet potato slips. Uncluttered the butler’s pantry and found some items I thought I was out of.Ate from the pantry, mended a shirt and ordered checks for 1/2 the price on line for Hubby compared to what the bank was wanting. Didn’t write down what I doing that was frugal and I think because I didn’t do that I didn’t stay focus on being frugal… The rest is here on my Blog…http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/01/last-weeks-frugalness.html

    Brandy I love it that you share what you are gardening and harvesting.I even checked out the peas you mentioned.

  3. Hi Brandy!
    Your roses are lovely!
    We are doing the pantry challenge over at Good Cheap Eats so all meals were made and eaten at home.
    I made homemade chicken stock for the freezer.
    We are in the Midwest and are part of the ice storm area so when the rain started my husband went and bought a gallon of milk so our grocery spending for the month is $22. I am super pleased with that total.
    Have a great week everyone.

  4. Grocery costs have been staying low, with my spending at half of what it normally would be: $50 out of pocket, and $25 from a gift card. I don’t think i need to visit the store again this month, except to buy a small bag of cat food and coffee. I’ve been able to buy 20 lb of red-skinned potatoes, 3 litres of canola oil, an 8 lb pork shoulder roast (99 cents a lb), and two family size boxes of fish sticks, to stock up, as well as everyday needs. I’m in good shape for keeping food costs down next month as well as this month.

    The pork has been slow-roasted, shredded, and frozen in two-serving portions. It was sort of messy to do, but will give me some variety over the coming weeks, as I make my way through the frozen chickens and fish sticks. It was definitely very economical. Vegetarian meals will mostly come from purchases.

    We had a few bitterly cold days this last week, but it is much warmer now. The forecast in for warmth (by our winter standards) and quite a bit of sunshine for the next two weeks. This will keep electricity and heating costs down, as well as make the winter pass more pleasantly.

    My half-day a week job is a full day for the moment. I also have a phone interview tomorrow for membership on a board, which would be really interesting to do and would pay a small fee.

    I’ve been working on my budget for the year. There are still a few things to figure out, but I’m making progress.

  5. Your harvests in the dead of winter continue to amaze me. I don’t think we purchased anything at fast food restaurants for the entire week. Beginning to break that bad habit is very good. I made bread at least once again this week. I kept the last of one loaf for myself instead of the birds by making a small quantity of bread pudding. I also cooked a pot of pinto beans flavored with summer sausage and chicken broth. I had not cooked dry beans in ages. Pintos are not my favorite bean. Their best quality, in my eyes, is their low price. But they were languishing in the cupboard and needed to be cooked. I had bean burritos for breakfast once, mom and I had besn soup for dinner twice, and I again am having beans for breakfast. I love navy beans and great northern beans (the variety of bean, not the brand which I am totally neutral about). I live less than 75 miles away from Michigan’s Thumb, an agricultural area known for their beans. Next summer, I might plan a scenic drive that happens to go past a bean co-op during business hours and stock up on the ones I love. We bought scallions and instead of eating them right away, I put the bunch in a glass of water on the windowsill above the kitchen sink. They doubled in size during the week and I’ve now begun harvesting them for garnishes. I had some potatoes bought at a super sale that were beginning to sprout. I double-peeled the ones that were still good, had to toss a couple, and have the one with the longest roots now sitting half-covered with water in a teacup. I am hoping to turn it into a houseplant and later, an early harvest of a few potatoes if I am able to pot it in a big pot and put it on the porch in the spring. We have not had a dishwasher for a couple of years and our last container of dishwasher detergent had been hogging space under the kitchen sink. I finally used it up this week to handwash our dishes. My hands did not fall off. 🙂 If we continue to stay away from fast food, and I continue to bake bread and cook beans, we should save a considerable amount on our groceries. I am going to baby the herb plants we have and try to start some more from seed in the coming weeks. I wonder if anybody grows microgreens at home as a substitute for or supplement to salad green purchases.

  6. Hello everyone!
    Borrowed library books and a children’s movie
    I took advantage of great coupons, sales, and rebates to purchase some items for the pantry. Total before discounts was $54.76, after coupons, sales, and rebates (ibotta and checkout 51) $18.37 🙂 Some items were out of stock in the store so I simply did not purchase any of that item.
    We kept lights off when not needed
    My daughter and I shared a bath because my back has been very painful this past week and she has long, thick, very tangled hair. It was easier to get in with her to condition it so I could brush it without ripping her hair out (she’s young, when she’s older we won’t do this).
    I printed off free worksheets to “do school” at home while she was off school. She LOVES it and begs to do worksheets and her workbooks every day 🙂 I print on both sides of the sheet of paper before I recycle or burn it and make sure to print on economical to use the least amount of ink, and only in black and white.
    I used up leftovers to avoid food waste. What I couldn’t use right away I froze to use later.
    I gave my daughter small amounts of food and beverages to make sure she ate/drank it all instead of wasting. If she is given to much she will take 2 bites, be “full”, then say she’s starving 15 minutes (or less) later. This helps curb that problem.
    Line dried all laundry
    Diluted more laundry soap, saved a soap sliver from the shower in my jar ( I use these to make liquid soap for the sink in the bathroom)
    I made chocolate chip banana bread, roast chicken with veggies in the crockpot, a casserole using leftover chopped chicken, quinoa, and frozen mixed veggies with some cheese, cheese ravioli with garlic bread, tacos, and spaghetti.
    Have a great week everyone!

  7. My daughter had emergency surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. Although I wouldn’t call it joyful, I’m relieved she’s okay. With 1600 hundred miles between us, I’m thankful her husband took good care of her. As well, friends surrounded her with love and dinner. She has a great support system; She is a blessed woman! I can’t wait to see her in a few weeks.
    On the frugal front, It’s been kind of a bust. Ice cream for us, flowers for daughter and veggies that weren’t on sale. All meals were made at home except one lunch. I’m still collecting water, using cold for washing, washing bags. My entertainment is working on a quilt: I may actually get it done before I head South! Seed catalogs are coming in so that’s some reading material for me. And, I sold a few things on eBay.
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  8. What brought me the most joy last week was listening to live music with friends. It was a small venue, with much dancing and singing along; a joyful place to be. Frugal things included picking lettuce, baking different breads & our sweet potatoes, gathering sticks to make biochar for our garden, hanging laundry on the line & heating with wood. Wishing you a good week ahead! I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s comments.

  9. Brandy would you give us some titles of great beginner gardening books. I’m overwhelmed and don’t have time to guess. Springs almost here!!

  10. The Family Dollar store in our town was going out of business with 70 % off of toothpaste, razors, etc. so I stalked up. Also, cleaning supplies were 50% off. My husband has been off work with an emergency major surgery so it has been a “frugal” learning curve for us. I was so grateful to have a full freezer. I also had a lot of noodles in the pantry and a 50 # bag of potatoes which I made many meals around. I have learned what items I need to stalk up more on for the future. Some things have gotten low so I will look to re-stalk as sales come available. We have a new Aldi store about 20 minutes away that opened in November. Sooo Awesome!!!!! A friend who majorly coupons blessed us with paper plates, napkins, laundry soap, tissues, and so many more items from her supply cupboard. Our Pastor’s wife brought a nice gift bag filled with snacks and a pack of small bottled water to the hospital for me while I was staying with my husband. A friend of my husbands gave us a gas card and his co-workers sent a beautiful card. We were blessed beyond measure! I love to help others in need so it warmed my heart as one by one others helped us, that I was reminded that a small kind deed really can lift ones spirits when live is difficult. Thank you Brandi for encouraging us to prepare for the hard times. I thought of you and your website often as I was comforted to know I was prepared for the days ahead. God Bless You!

  11. I’ll be back to post my accomplishments, but wanted to say the white bird is thinking “Don’t move, just blend in.” 😀

  12. That dove makes such a lovely picture :).

    My week was a mix of bad at the beginning mixed with, what I really do see as blessings, later in the week. I was able to hit good deals on meat right when the freezer was just about empty meat-wise. Still feel blessed everytime I open the freezer right now.

  13. Frugal:
    Cooked all meals at home. Stayed home most days. Called and renewed library books over phone to avoid fines. Plan on repairing some clothing instead of buying.
    Joy: Spent time with husband, really talking to each other. Babysat grandkids. They are so much fun! Ate chocolate.

  14. Thank you Brandy for your beautiful posts- especially the addition of “finding joy” to the Frugal Accomplishment post response question. This puts frugality in perspective. I’ve made frugality a hobby this year. It’s replaced several, ahem, less productive hobbies. This week I found joy in the following:
    – did not spend any money two days of the week
    – stayed home, decluttered, read books, made a fire, worked on school projects(ahead of time!) with the kids
    – attended a free choral concert with my daughter at the University where I work
    – returned unused/unopened groceries- paid less OOP for groceries this week
    – ate from the pantry and stuck to a meal plan. My husband likes to get creative with this! THANK GOODNESS.
    – worked with my daughter to creatE decorations for her playhouse loft with materials on hand. It’s SO cute up there and we had/are having a great time
    – free butter and two large bags of M&M’s with CVS ECBs
    – fed the ACU women’s basketball team, coaching staff and my parents for $30 through clever planning and a free ham!
    – packaged leftovers from this dinner and delivered to our best friends who moved into a new home
    – cancelled junk mail and catalogues- I do not need the temptation!
    – saved envelopes from junk mail- they come in handy!
    – picked up 13 cents in the grocery store parking lot
    – returned a dog crate we received as a gift and purchased dog and cat food
    – redeemed professional funds from work- bought coffee and printer ink
    – cleaned out a mini fridge at husband’s work(he wasn’t using it for leftovers because it was GROSS), rescued(bleached!) Tupperware and ran them through the dishwasher. He’s so excited use it to store his meals and snacks- he’s on a diet, so this helps him resist dining out
    – packed everyone’s lunches all week
    – paid off car!
    – returned unused items to Lowes and received $12 credit
    – made 6 dish towels and mended a beloved apron
    – accepted a huge bag of vintage linens- be still my heart!
    – worked on my niece’s “big girl” room decor, sent three bags to my sister(Hi Ems!), as my mom is visiting this week!
    – gifted a free museum pass to a large family that needed an outing
    – ate a brown bag lunch with my sister and dad at work. He sent home three slices of pizza which my son ate with gusto
    – worked with my dad to construct a table top from scrap wood. It’s looking really cute!

    This week, I started to realize how our family(or maybe just my husband and I) treated ourselves so often to coffee, dining out, sale clothing, etc. that these items failed to register as actual treats! There is a real joy in using what you have and sharing that with others. I hope everyone has a great week!

  15. The roses are just beautiful, Brandy. What a lovely gift to be able to cut flowers nearly year round. Love the bird, too!

    I’ve had a somewhat quiet week this week. It’s the calm before the storm. I’ve been busy getting some things bought and organized for our upcoming trip (we head up to Toronto a week tomorrow and fly to California on Wednesday). So that is definitely the joy and excitement for us right now. Here are our frugal accomplishments for this week:
    *Meals made at home this week included breakfast bowls (see below), chicken “shepperds pie” cassserole, pasta with sausage and choice of sauce (red or white), make your own pizzas (daughter chose leftovers instead), chicken patties/burgers with cheese topped baked potatoes and green beans & corn mixed veggies, homemade fried rice with veggie spring rolls, mozzarella sticks and potato skins (yeah, it was a mish mash of options for dinner that night), and chicken ranch tacos.
    *The breakfast bowls I made for dinner this week is my second “new recipe” of the year…well sort of a recipe. It was my homemade version of a breakfast bowl I sometimes have at a local restaurant in town. I made homemade, oven baked, potato chunks for the bottom layer, then topped with cooked bacon, scrambled eggs, a bit of cheese and topped with hollindase sauce (I looked up how to make this sauce, then chickened out and bought a package mix to try for our first time). Of couse they can be made to your liking by adding and subtracting ingredience. Roasted squash could be used instead of potatoes. Ham could be used instead of bacon or omitted if desired, as could the cheese. You could even add sauted veggies (onions, peppers, mushrooms), cooked broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus, chopped fresh tomatoes or green onions, salsa or chili sauce if you’d like as well. Definitely a winner, though. I added it to my “family favourite meal” list!
    *I had some leftover rice in the fridge that inspired me to try making fried rice for the first time. I ended up making another batch of rice, following the recipe for “4 servings” and ended up with leftover fried rice in the fridge. Thankfully it was very tasty. We had most of the leftovers for lunch the next day. Another item added it to my “family favourite meals” list.
    *I also tried this Chicken Ranch Tacos recipe: http://recipemothers.com/recipe/easiest-chicken-ranch-tacos/. Since my daughter decided she doesn’t like eating ground beef and my husband LOVES tacos, I was hoping this might settle our meal dilemma. It turned out great and everyone enjoyed it. One more item added to my “family favourite meals” list. That’s three for three this week…Whoohoo!!!!
    *Great grocery deals this week included 6 packages of English muffins for $0.88/pack of 6, a cucumber for $0.88, a bag of carrots for $1.44/3lb, 10 boxes of breaded stuffed chicken breasts (2 breasts per box) on sale 2 for $3.88, 3 packages of breakfast sausage for $1.88 each, 6 cartons of milk for $0.88/1L (this was significantly cheaper than buying the 4L bag for $4.27), a 1 lb bag of kiwi for $1.88, 3 packages of pasta for $1/900g (2 lb) pack and 2 cases of bottled water on sale for $1.44/24 bottles (to replace what was used over Christmas as this is also for emergencies).
    *Registered my daughter to play Lazer Tag for free through Autism Ontario. There are 3 dates total, one in February, March and April, all of which I signed her up for. It was only for the children (aged 11-18 years old), which my husband was a bit disappointed about, but my daughter will enjoy it, nevertheless.
    *Mended 2 pairs of underwear, a pair of sleep pants and replaced a broken hook on 1 bra.
    *My daughter went back to school for 1 day then had 2 days off due to a winter storm that rolled in (heavy snow the first day, then freezing rain the next). We happily hunkered down and waited for the roads to improve before venturing out. My husband was the exception, of course. He still went to work despire going very early in the morning when the plows and sanders are still working on getting the main roads cleared. He made it with no issues.
    *During the snow storm, I needed to go out to the garage to grab something from the freezer out there. So, I put on my slippers, and waded through the snow covered walkway to get what I needed. My slippers were covered in snow, so I wiped my feet really well on the carpet to remove it. Wel, apparently not well enough, because I took one step onto the hardwood floor where I was going to remove the slipper, and quickly ended up on my backside…with a very hard and painful crash! I’ve been dealing with a bruised tailbone for the better part of the week. Thankful that it is slowly improving and that we had lots of Acetaminophen in the medicine cabinet to help with pain!!!
    *This week we watched several movies that we up for Golden Globe awards this year for free on the android box, including Hidden Figures, which was very interesting (history usually is).

    Looking forward to catching up on everyone’s frugal adventures. Have a wonderful week!

  16. We had back to back winter storms here in the Portland area and were stuck at home for a couple of days (Portland does not deal well with snow and ice!). My daughter ended up only having one day of school last week! I was able to stay home with her for two days but did have to pay for day care on a third so I could get to the office and get some work done.

    Frugal things: We spent hours last week on the sledding hill half a block from our house. Our neighbor loaned us an inner tube (all we have is a cheap plastic sled) so even when the hill got icy and hard we could still have fun.

    We talked about going out to lunch one day, but stayed home and had chicken strips at home instead.

    I stayed within the grocery budget.

    My daughter’s school had a free family bowling afternoon yesterday, so we got to bowl with her friends for a couple of hours.

    I bought two pints of heavy cream at Christmas that I ended up not needing; I froze the cream in ice cube trays so that I can use it as I need it. I’m doing the same today with a large container of tomato sauce that I opened yesterday.

    Made calzones instead of going out for pizza. I had small chunks of four different kinds of cheese so I grated it all together instead of buying more mozzarella.

    I saved $15 on our tax software at Target (it was $10 off plus I got a $5 gift card).

    I downloaded the Checkout 51 app and refreshed my Ibotta app and used them throughout the week, but I resisted temptation and only bought what I needed – not just things they had coupons for.

    There were other things but I can’t remember them!

    Have a great week!

  17. Hello Everyone!
    I am trying to get back to posting my weekly frugals on here- I fell off the wagon towards the middle of last year 🙁 With that being said, this week:
    *Ate all meals at home
    *Ate lunch at my parents house after church on Sunday and came home with leftovers for lunches this week
    *My husband made bread and bagels for the week
    *Found some great deals at Kroger in the ‘Whoo-hoo’ section. Bought everything in that section at was applicable to our family.
    *Used my free-Friday deals at Kroger for free sports drinks, free tortilla chips and sports drink.
    *Printed off some pre-school papers for my son, whom I home-school for preschool. He will be a Kindergartner in the Fall, my last child to go to school. It’s going to be very different around here, with no more children at home during the day.
    *Signed my son up for Spring story hour at the library. A free, weekly program with stories, activities and crafts!
    *Did all the usual: rinsed baggies, recycled, visited the library, said ‘no’ (probably the hardest!), turned out lights when not in the room, stayed home.
    Have a great week everyone!

  18. ~Pork shoulder butt 99c lb. 8.59 had $1 coupon. Cut in 2. (Bought one for me and my grandma. She pd me back, but was a really good special. Our freezers are full. ~Christmas Clearance -ornaments for church Ladies group next year(I was pd back for this. Was $8.40 for 13 pkgs of clear glass.), cloth poinsetta print tablecloth 1.49(long one. Thinking using as a gift? Or I might cut down, most people I know use smaller table. Use rest for placemats/napkins?). Stocking stuffers next year. ~Meijer prego tom sauce and alfredo 99c . I bought some for multiple pantry.~Pot 5lb 1.29, bought 10 lbs. Already had 8 lbs. ~had 9 8oz milk jugs expire at work. Still good so I got to take home. Drank most. ~Had Ladies Church night. Bible Journaling. I made muffins from ingredients I had, including 2 milk jugs, craisins from my grandma, and black walnuts from my tree. (I shelled 3c of black walnuts. I still have a bunch to shell.) ~It’s winter here (SW Ohio/Dayton), but I started a sourdough starter in my kitchen. First time, though I’ve made friendship bread before.

  19. Congrats on the paid off car!!!! When we got that letter in the mail confirming our big truck was paid off it was a HUGE relief and we have never had a car payment since. My husband has an incredible bartering ability and all the rest of our vehicles have been done by trades or saving up the cash – we do NOT drive anything that could be considered even remotely new but with we would have never made it with his cancer diagnosis if there had been a car payment or credit card payments added to the mix!
    Again CONGRATS!!!!!

  20. Hello Brandy and friends,
    This week has had to be more frugal than usual because apparently my husband and I both overspent a bit at the Christmas holidays. We need to get back to our more frugal ways. I went grocery shopping and stretched every dollar as much as possible. I had to go to 3/4 different stores but they were all located close together so that helped with the gas usage. Before grocery shopping I was out of fresh produce and had to wait a few days before we got paid to buy any more. I got very creative and used the last of my lettuce mixed with freshly picked parsley from my garden (amazing to have that with snow on the ground!). I threw in some freshly grated cheese and made a fresh vinegrette dressing. My husband and son liked it so much, they have requested a repeat on that salad!!

    I went through all my yarn and took out all the small left overs and I am knitting them into wash cloths which will be donated to our local Union Gospel Mission. They have a shelter for homeless families and I know they could use these wash cloths in the kitchen and then not have to buy sponges. It is a very small thing but every little bit helps. I can knit these while I watch television in the evenings.

    While I was out grocery shopping, I stopped in at TJ Maxx and was happy to see they had their holiday cosmetics on clearance. For thirty five dollars, I was able to purchase 7 Christmas gifts! I purchased lotions, soaps and nail polishes. They were all beautifully boxed and packaged so no extra wrapping will be needed. I will just need to attach a gift tag which I should do now before I forget what I bought for who.

    I want to clarify that although I said we were low on cash and had to be extra frugal- we still had money left in our Christmas cash account (only to be used for Christmas gifts). I used that account to purchase the gifts at TJ Maxx. This will give me an excellent start on next year’s gift giving and will really help me stretch the Christmas budget. One gift I purchased was a gift box set of Crabtree and Evelyn lotions. I looked at this exact lotion gift set while out Christmas shopping and really wanted to purchase it for my best friend who loves Crabtree and Evelyn lotions but the $13.00 was a bit much even though it was a very reasonable price for their product. I got it on clearance this weekend for $4 which fit into my budget much better.

    Thank you for all the ideas and support for working towards making the best use of the resources we have been blessed with.

  21. Hello All! Enjoying a bit warmer weather in Ohio today which helps with the heating bill. I had the day from work off so I cut up fruit and vegetables for salads and snacks for the week, made chili and chocolate chip cookies (with several dozen for the freezer). I listened to free music through Pandora and read several magazines and books on my Kindle through our library’s online lending library. I always stick very closely to our budgeted items for the the month, but Brandy’s challenge for a no-spend month has inspired me. I’ve only spent a fraction of my grocery budget, just getting dairy and fruit/vegetables each week. We have not eaten out and have not bought anything (except for a few items needed for a repair). We were gifted a turkey and other meat at Christmas and had a freezer and pantry full of food. We have decided to eat for a month from what we have. It has been a fun experience getting creative and using what we have and being creative with left-overs. What an eye-opening experience it has been! I need to rethink how I spend my budget and not think I can/need to spend my whole budget amount each month just because it’s available. I ‘shopped’ around my house and moved some items around to be more useful in other areas, it makes such a difference and freshens things us. While looking for something in my cupboards I found some brand new candles I had purchased after last Christmas at 75% off that I forgot I had along with a few other items. What a nice treat! Most of all, as I look around my home, I am blessed and so thankful for what we have.

  22. 99 cents for 2 half dozen eggs
    99 cents ground turkey
    1.79 lb ground hamburger
    got some needed clothes for 50 cent or 69 cents.
    New year new plan new ideas

  23. I like the layered look of your greenery!

    I have been busy with the holidays and school and a toddler so I haven’t been keeping up as well as I wanted, but now that it’s January I feel motivated to be more frugal.

    My dryer suddenly stopped working so I hung a load of laundry in the house using a drying rack. I was thinking about starting this up again, but I didn’t expect to so soon!

    Here are my other frugal efforts this past week:
    http://2minimize.blogspot.com/2017/01/last-weeks-frugal-efforts_15.html

    Happy Monday, Everyone!

  24. Thank you! We usually pay cash for cars, but the interest rate was so low… Looking back, I wish we had kept on looking and purchased something cheaper. It’s done now, and we’ve learned a lesson. When I wish our cars were nicer, I reread a chapter in the Millionnaire Next Door. Usually nips the “gimmes” right in the bud!

  25. Hi Brandy,

    I used a grocery store gift card gifted to me for Christmas to purchase all of my weekly groceries, I watched free TV on PBS.org, watched YouTube videos for cleaning/planner/organizing inspiration and read your blog for free tips!

    Best,
    Cari

  26. Your white roses are lovely. We are enjoying our indoor plants that are blooming now…the African violets, the “Christmas” cactus, our potted geranium bush that we bring in every year. Everything else is under snow, and ice, as we have had 2 sleet days. Very messy, but we’re watching a wide variety of birds at the feeder. Never seen an all white one, as you picture.

    Time has flown! The Christmas season was special and full of fun get togethers. We had our immediate family Christmas Eve at our oldest son’s home before church and then Christmas Day at our house after church. We had an extended family brunch with my siblings, a cousins ladies tea on my mother’s side (the guys took a field trip to the hardware store and then fast food), a cousin’s get together on my father’s side male and female…while down there we all went to their fantastic Public Museum and had brought our lunches…we got to use one of the rooms, there were over 60 of us. Some went to an Imax but they make me very dizzy so I did not. My husband’s siblings had their extended gathering at my husband’s sister’s house on the 26th…it was crowded! But they are still remodeling their fix upper and removed one of the small bedrooms on the main floor and opened it up into a large dining/living area and added on a bath/bedroom. Susie and Bernie announced they are expecting! This will be their first so now they are fixing up the last bedroom for the baby. There were a couple church and school parties the week before Christmas, potlucks with white elephant gift exchanges. I like those, they can get pretty fun.

    New Year’s Eve our property hosts the Church youth groups and their family members for a cookout, bonfire, fireworks, snow games, skating etc. Church supplies the basics of hot dogs, buns, beverages…families bring finger foods, cookies, bars, snack stuff, that kind of thing. Our house is closest to the pond so the food is set up in the big garage and those parents or babies/toddlers that don’t want to spend hours outside usually hang out in my house. They build the bonfire alongside the pond and set up benches and chairs. I remember going to these as a teen and I just had such a great time. If it was snowing while we were skating it just seemed magical, with the lights and all.

    Did all the usual of cooking and eating at home, washed out ziplocs, used up all leftovers, hung up clothes on racks inside, used the woodstove to supplement heating and kept a pot of water on it to help increase the humidity in the house, only had to buy fresh items such as milk, tomatoes, eggs, lettuce (iceberg was .99 a head for nice solid heads so bought 4 and we used them all up in one week on salads and sandwiches), cottage cheese, celery, mushrooms for the soup. Sampled some orange slices at the store but they did not seem flavorful. Bought a couple anyways as I needed more zest and then sectioned them and added to our grapefruit salad.

    Did much baking and cooking over the last 3 weeks. Some of the things were potato soup, vegetable wild rice soup, mushroom soup. Cooked up 3 squash, one acorn and 2 turban, to eat and then to make soup later this week. Made 3 meatloaves, we ate one and sent 2 small unbaked frozen back with the 2 singles to put in their freezers. Made meatballs in sauce with noodles, made tuna casserole with the mushroom soup and a fake tuna casserole for the non meat eaters. Baked bread every week, made banana bread x2 and orange nut bread, blueberry muffins, hash browns, cheese and vegetable omelet (baked), breakfast casserole with and with out sausage, baked fish with baked sweet and spicy sweet potato chips and baked French fries, coleslaw, jello salad, jello fluff, corn casserole, hamburgers and veggie burgers on the grill with smores for dessert. roast goose and ham for Christmas Day, cooked 2 pounds of pintos then seasoned and added container of cooked peppers and onions from the freezer cooked some more and pureed. Put into 1 and 2 cup containers sent some home too with the singles. Made vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting, added in sprinkles to the mix so like a funfetti cake mix.

    Since school was off for the holidays I had an almost 2 week break. I did go in some days to just putter around, change the decor from Christmas to Winter, set up some new book promotions and displays. Husband and nephew are back to working on larger orders now; before Christmas is always a rush of small custom presents that folks want. I finished up the baby quilt for oldest son and wife. I used a cathedral windows pattern in fabrics of red and yellow and white…her favorites. It was a tutorial off Quilting in the Rain, all machine worked.

    Christmas was relatively economical. We do not do multiple large presents. The two largest presents were probably the Instant Pots I bought on sale for the 2 oldest children and their families. I now would like one myself, after seeing them in use and reading good things Yolanda wrote on her page. If I hint a bit I can wait til Mother’s Day. We give each other all kinds of homemade gift certificates for services, goods…I give out certificates for pies of choice. At larger gatherings we have always drawn names ahead of time. I received an embroidered Christmas hand towel in one and a pump bottle of foaming peppermint soap in another and a large tea mug with a cover filled with a variety of tea packets. Some gatherings we do white elephant which is so much fun…people will go out of their way to totally disguise what is in the package so unsuspecting participant might not realize what it is…some of the same items have gone round for years. It also helps you clear out your garage or basement…this year I got a Christmas votive candle in a decorative ring, all covered in gold glitter. Entirely. But I added it next to a book I had on display in the library of Christmas stories and it looked very nice. Another was an entire box of rusty canning rings, packed tight so they didn’t rattle. My youngest was actually exited about that as she saw a craft using them to make pumpkins…she is going to do that over the summer with her babysitting children and then sell them at the farmstand, give away etc.

    Looks like it will begin snowing soon. I hope the New Year has started off well for all of you.

  27. This week I have taken dinner over every night to my an-in-law’s mom who just got home from the hospital from knee replacement surgery only to have her hubby admitted to same hospital the day before she was released and he was in ICU with pneumonia all week!

  28. It is in the upper 70’s this weekend and week in the deep South and I enjoyed a lovely walk by the river. I cooked up a free pumpkin and seeds that a co-worker gave me. I enjoyed bluegrass music on public radio Saturdat night, and gospel music on the way to Sacrament on Sunday. The talk was on being prepared and backing it with scripture. It covered being spiritually prepared for life’s rough spots, and being prepared, foodwise. I did spent on groceries but it was half of my normal budget, 20 dollars dor two weeks, instead of $20 a week. I bought eggs at Aldi for 99 cents. I also restocked on oil, cheese, tomato paste, tomato soup, and fresh tomatoes. I was very disappointed in my electric bill. We had a cold bout prior to this week of lovely weather, and my bill jumped to $137!! I really have not done anything differently than usual this week, as far as spending goes.I worked, visited my kids, went to church, and stayed home after work. I enjoy a simple life and do not require a lot to be happy. I just want all of us to stay gainfully employed, healthy, and happy, and sometimes, that is not an easy feat!

  29. Hi Becky, we have used biochar in a couple of spots so far. We noticed it really cuts down on damage from ants (we have both fire ants & asian needle ants), as well voles in our potato patch. It keeps the soil looser around the potatoes as well, so they can form well. That’s been the extent of our experiment so far, but it seems promising enough to try making some more.

    I forgot to mention I’m joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/01/snow-day-frugal-accomplishments.html

  30. Loved the photo of the white bird, it was almost invisible 😉

    Baked bread, made laundry detergent and fabric softener, washed baggies. Tried hard to not use electricity during peak rate time. The weather here has been quite mild as well.

    Worked on plans for a super bowl party, so I did an inventory of what I had in the freezer and am basing the food around that. Also got free chips and refried beans from Free Friday at our local Kroger affiliate (Fry’s).

    I thought about Brandy’s plan for zero spending this month. I fell off the wagon last week so won’t be at zero. On a positive note, the month spend should be $200, rather than the budget of $300, and that includes over $100 of non food items like oxyclean, borax and printer ink…I sure do love to go grocery shopping, I continue to be amazed at how often I go, even as the amount I spend declines. Something to ponder indeed.

    Hope the weather improves for everyone.

  31. The roses are beautiful!

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house this week:

    I soaked pinto beans and cooked them in the slow cooker. I also cooked quinoa in homemade turkey broth that I had in the freezer. I will eat the beans over the quinoa with toppings of onion, tomato, avocado and Greek yogurt.

    I kept lights off except in occupied rooms and kept the heat down to 64 degrees. I washed baggies and washed full loads only in the washing machine. I altered a pair of pants that didn’t fit right for work.

    I went to the library and picked up books. I watched an old movie on youtube.

    I had a shelf in the spare bedroom that wasn’t being used. My husband hung it for me in the living room.

  32. I know how scary that can be. When our younger daughter was 18, we went on our first “mom and dad only” vacation in years–went camping in Maine. We were 45 minutes from the nearest phone and drove into a campground and were told to “call home, they need to talk with you.” Luckily my sister had talked DD into going ahead–she had a ruptured ovarian cyst, and they couldn’t tell without surgery whether she was bleeding internally or not. She wasn’t going to consent unless she talked to Mom. By the time we called, the surgery was over and she was recovering. It is scary not to be there when they “need” you though. Of course, now we have cell phones and far fewer problems, but that was when my currently 52 year old was only 18. She was fine but happy her aunt had talked her into it in my absence!
    Hope your daughter is doing well. That can be a real emergency as well. My sister had one at one time.

  33. *I cooked a pot of black beans and froze individual packets (can-sized amounts) to use in dishes throughout the month.
    *I used items in the attic to refresh my home decor.
    *I tried my hand at cleaning a burlap ribbon on a wreath with water/bleach. It had gotten mildew from hanging outside. I was a bit concerned about exposing the burlap to bleach but it seems to have cleaned well and I will put back onto my wreath!
    *I did a couple o hours of food prep—putting up some mixes (homemade pancake mix, seasonings from Brandi’s rice dish, muffins, etc.). Having these mixes on hand makes a lot of difference in terms of saving time and headaches!
    *I made homemade jiffy cornbread which was a hit with my family! I put up 6 mixes in the freezer for easy meals.
    *Years ago, I worked for a company (I was in my 20s then) and had retirement pulled out of my paycheck. When I left, I did not receive the money out of the retirement account and forgot about it (savings wasn’t high on my list way back when). Out of the blue—I thought about that job recently. I checked and—sure enough—have money in that account. I will soon have a refund of that money that was put in (plus interest) coming my way—$1200!!! What a blessing for my family. My DH is currently unemployed and that money will be a real help!
    *When time was in a crunch last week, I almost succumbed to ordering takeout for lunch at work. Instead, I opted for PBJ and a can of soup—not my first choice but if filled my belly for very little and no out of pocket expense.
    *Finalized our 2017 budget

  34. I cancelled our home phone line and our fence rental – two months early for our move, but two less things to pay for in the months in between.
    Received a utility rebate of $24 that is going into savings. (We prepay and are billed off a baseline system, which normally nets us a check each month of the winter as we keep our furnace set lower than almost everyone else in our neighborhood.)
    Pulled yarn from my stash to start a new project – I am knitting a shawl (the pattern came free in the latest issue of Taproot magazine) from yarn that was leftover from the sweater I knit my son last year.
    Cancelled my tickets for a dinner lecture at an upcoming fiber retreat – they are sending me a check since I pre-paid for the tickets back in November.
    Carried snacks and meals during evening travel; made most meals from items already on hand to help clear our pantry & freezers and also to spend less.
    My kids were given several books and Xbox games by my parents, who had already handed down the console to them. The older games don’t work with the console they upgraded to, so they handed those down to the kids also.
    Kept the furnace down as programmed – no one else in the house seems to mind except on the really cold days we’ve had (abnormal for this area), and I just add as many more layers as I can handle as the cold one in the house.
    Watched DVDs & read books and magazines from the library.

    I’ve been participating in the Uber Frugal Month over at Frugalwoods’ blog – some of the things I’ve done are in a bit more depth on my blog post about that: http://meloniek.com/2017/01/uber-frugal-month-thus-far/

  35. We got “snowed” in weekend before last so we spent very little money for two full days. Now, we’re having much warmer than normal weather so the heater has not run in four days and warm temperatures are expected for five more days. This should mean asignificantly lower heating bill this month.

    The job that I was expecting fell through so I am back in the hunt for a new job and watching our spending again. I’ve tried to keep grocery purchases at a minimum and have a tentative menu for the rest of the month which focuses on what we already have on hand. I’ll need some things here and there but it should be less than normal.

    I will be trying Brandy’s tomato soup recipe later this week.

  36. I don’t know what I have been doing with my time!! Cooking is certainly part of it. It was like a game making use of the leftovers from the holidays and incorporating things into new dishes. I cooked a boneless pork loin roast that had been on sale for $1.79 a lb. Had cut the whole loin into 4 pieces and got two meals from each of the pieces I cooked so far. The last one was roast with mashed potatoes and gravy one night, and then made into a pork and veggie stir fry a couple nights later and served over some leftover yellow rice from another prior meal. There was even a bit of the stir fry left over which made it on to the table for smorgasbord night (when we reheat bits of leftovers to use them up.) Another meal was goulash with ground beef and macaroni. It’s getting to be a habit to cook enough for two nights, as there are just the two of us, and we do enjoy reheating some things a second time. This morning I peeling and sliced potatoes with the mandoline and left them in a bowl of cold water while I went to visit a friend for a couple hours. When I got home I just had to make a white sauce, open the package of previously sliced ham taken from the freezer, and scalloped potatoes were in the oven in short order. Opened a can of corn to go with those and added grated cheddar on top of the potatoes just for the last few minutes. It is cold here but we have no snow on the ground at this point, which is a real break for us. We had a couple warmish days last week as well. Not as fierce a winter as we usually have around here–so far.
    I was well stocked up on groceries at the holidays, and have had a couple “frugal weeks” although last week I did need a number of non-food necessities and managed to hit my average bill without buying much food at all. With good sale prices and coupons, we are still doing well for expenses. Still have leftover cookies and candy from the holidays, although it is slowly being cleared away a little at a time! I leave the cookie making until the last minute, and put them in good containers so the few that are left are still tasting fresh.
    My sick daughter and granddaughter are still chasing the causes of their respective illnesses. Daughter has been referred to a gastro-enterologist after 6 weeks of no appetite and tummy upsets. (Not pregnant.) She has lost nearly 20 # and is worried about the possibilities. Best to get busy and have another doctor’s thoughts on it. Granddaughter definitely has some sort of allergic skin reaction or disease. She has been from primary to dermatologist and now has a referral to an allergist, but at least SHE is feeling better after three rounds of steroids and a VERY ugly, itchy rash, along with some itchy goopy eyes. She has had eczema since infancy but this is something more than that. We will be happy when we get some answers to these questions. Husband and I are doing well–thankfully!

  37. Hello everyone,
    Looking for new inspiration as our family makes an effort to get our debts down in 2017.
    Am tracking credit card rates with the intention of using my emergency fund to pay down the highestrate. We’ve had to replace a water heater, dryer and freezer the last few months, and we need to whitttle that down. I’m hoping for a bonus in April but it is all in God’s hands.
    Priced out care for summer and found an affordable option for us that the kids would like. We will make payments this spring. Have buyin from kids to bring lunches instead of buy to save money for it.
    Itemized all mileage from scouting for my taxes. A few hours work saves me a few hundred. I’m getting better at my system for it too. I still need to input item donations to goodwill and miles for that.
    Saved leftovers from troop campout, gets me a couple lunches. Am drowning in some odd foods items too like 18 eggs and semolina flour and coconut milk (we tried burmese food for a cooking badge) so I will have to get creative on meals.

  38. I had a very busy and productive week. I made homemade granola, easy homemade bread and turkey stir fry. I was finally able to work in my sewing room and my husband built me a new cutting table using ikea shelves. It feels so good to be back in my sewing room. Life has been so crazy will all of the events over the last 6-8 months. It finally feels like we are getting settled.

    Here is more about my week:

    http://www.frugalhappyhome.com/12-goals-2017-week-3-52/

    http://www.frugalhappyhome.com/homemade-granola/

    http://www.frugalhappyhome.com/ground-turkey-stir-fry/

    http://www.frugalhappyhome.com/fast-easy-homemade-bread/

  39. We have been trying to do better with saving money this week. I made 4 loaves of bread in my bread machines (bought 2 at a Goodwill this past summer), found homeschool worksheets for free online, printed off posters that I need for homeschooling and them laminated them with my own little laminator, made another batch of homemade all purpose cleaner with items I already had, printed Valentine’s Day cards for my kiddos to color to mail out to family for Valentine’s Day, used coupons on groceries that we needed and were on sale, etc.

    The next couple of weeks are going to be expensive with doctor and orthodontist appointments, plus our dog’s annual check-up at the vet tomorrow. Every little bit helps though….

  40. Brandi, you reminded me I like to sew. I started reading sewing blogs. Today I picked up a genuine suede leather skirt from Goodwill, for $17.(US3.50) My daughter loves it. Will wash and hem and dye. I looked it up. I thought I might make a bag. Picked up free clay pots from curb from district clean up drive. They’re clean and soaking now. A good day.:D

  41. Love your garden updates, Brandy! And that bird!

    I had a pretty productive week this past one. Here are my accomplishments!
    – Made cinnamon buns (working on a recipe for my blog!) and a loaf of no-knead artisanal-style bread, using pantry ingredients.
    – Bought a sharps container at cost from my workplace
    – Disposed of some medical waste at my office (needles and bottles and such) to avoid having to pay a fee elsewhere to dispose of them. Embarrassingly, I had put the bag of medical waste on top of the bag of clinic waste, and as my colleagues disposed of the clinic waste they opened the bag I had placed there and were examining the contents. Luckily I walked in before they could query the entire clinic about it, and once they realized it was from me, they accepted it and moved on. Nothing like having your older male colleague examine your female-specific medical waste! Luckily I work with some pretty cool people, but still a tad embarrassing!
    – Soaked and boiled some beans (two types) from dried, and put them in the freezer for future meals.
    – Planted some lettuce seeds in my mini plastic greenhouse, to try to have an indoor winter garden. Three days in, there are sprouts! Once the sprouts are bigger, I’ll thin them out, and eat the thinnings as micro-greens.
    – I redeemed my Starbucks Rewards card points for a free product – I chose one of the packaged meals they sell (cheese, crackers, fruit, nuts) and ate it for lunch. Would have cost me $7 (which I why I’d never buy it) but I got it free! Small things like this make my days!
    – Redeemed Pinecone Research points for $25 to my paypal account
    – Redeemed 190 Air Miles for $20 worth of groceries. And because I redeemed the points during a promotion, I’ll get 50 extra points (roughly equal to $5). Whoot whoot!
    – Made a batch of iced tea, using tea given to me, and sugar-replacement packets from a hotel stay (I don’t drink the coffee if I stay at a hotel, but I do take the coffee, tea, and sugar packets home!)
    – Made a batch of my granola and set aside a jar to give to my mom
    – Made a batch of Brandy’s Swiss Chard soup, to which I added some preserved lemon. Soooo yummy! Even the DH (who is a meat-a-tarian) had two helpings.
    – Made a Moroccan-style couscous dish with couscous, grated zucchini, and chopped apricots. Great as a side dish that’s slightly different.
    – I had some buttercream in my fridge leftover from a recipe a while ago, and decided to use it up. I baked up some whoopee pie cakes, and sandwiched them together with the buttercream! Delicious and great to bring in to work! I’m going to be posting the recipe on my blog soon.
    – Made a batch of homemade yoghurt.
    – Redeemed my Harlequin rewards for two free e-books.

    And that’s it! I love reading and learning from everyone each week!

  42. Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers. She’s going to be okay. She heard she was pregnant and not viable all in one breath. She lost a fallopian tube but she’s alive to tell the tale. I can’t wait to hug her!

  43. Those flowers are beautiful, Brandy!

    We had quite the haul at Walgreens this week. My children love the chocolate advent calendars so I wait until the Christmas candy is 90% at Walgreens and buy them for the next year. I purchased 4 for $.19 each and solid chocolate santas for $.07 each and the marshmallows ones for the same price. They are destined for my chest freezer where they will remain until next Christmas (I have done this annually with great success). I just make sure the chocolates are inside a ziplock bag. I also picked up 4 rolls of wrapping paper for $.25 each. Then I used my store credit and paid for none of it with my money!

    We bought the bullet and purchased a new van, the ford transit with the midsize roof. I would like to say we bought it completely with cash but we didn’t. However, it should be paid off within two years. We were able to get a good deal on the price and our trade in. Our former 12 passenger van was in decent shape but very hard for me to use as I have a service related permanent back injury. I don’t like to bend and this new one is exactly my height (5’7) plus I can walk down the center aisle easily to put my youngest into car seats. I’m so happy to not have to battle my back anymore while getting the children settled in safely and now I won’t have to do gymnastic like contortions to get to the back row of children on road trips. This new one seats 10.

    I had a child home with a stomach bug last week. He has been begging me to teach him to sew so he learned to sew ties for himself and his twin brother. You can read about our sewing beginnings here: http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2017/01/teaching-children-sewing/. I would be interested in the readers input on this post as I’m sure that many of you (especially Brandy) have experience teaching kids to sew.

    I hope everyone has a nice week!

  44. I was wondering if anyone has ever made cottage cheese from expired or sour milk. I’ve always wanted to try this (especially when I see deeply discounted milk on sale due to short expiration date), but I don’t have any experience with it. Does anyone know how much cottage cheese you get from say a half gallon of milk and how long it will keep? Can you use skim milk or do you need 1%, 2% or whole milk? Can reconstituted powdered milk be use also (soured with vinegar as many recipes recommend)? So many questions about this idea…please help!

  45. Your roses are lovely. Hubs pruned our bushes a couple of weeks ago. We, too, enjoyed the last of the blooms inside.

    Our frugal efforts for last week:

    * Continued with the pantry challenge (we ate lots of leftovers and soup).

    * Enjoyed a family bike ride on a sunny weekend day. Hubs and I got our bikes about 25 years ago now, but he takes really good care of them and they work just fine for us.

    * Hubs ordered some touch-up paint for my car online and spent only about $30. He’ll do the work himself, saving us a ton over taking it in to a shop.

    * Cleaned out the veggie drawer and froze some celery and a bell pepper that were getting past the use-in-a-salad stage. The celery will be used in future soups, and the pepper will be fine in a cooked dish as well.

    * The veggies that weren’t good enough to freeze were either fed to the chickens or composted, depending on its quality. Either way, it wasn’t totally wasted.

    * Set the thermostat for 68F.

    * Used water from water bottles on the potted plants. (Our sprinklers have been off for several weeks now since we have had some much-need rain. Some of our potted plants outside are on drip lines, so we have to hand water them when the sprinklers are off. And of course we have to hand water all of the indoor pots and pots not on drip lines.)

    * We use reusable water bottles for lunches, bike riding, etc. Our fridge and the cold water tap in the kitchen both have water filters, so we just use tap water to fill the bottles.

    * Received our first Ebates check.

    * Hubs trimmed a tree in the backyard and chipped up the trimmings for mulch.

    * Hubs shredded up a bunch of old paperwork and saved the shredded paper for bedding for the hens.

    * He saved the old pendaflex files, and we’ll reuse one of them for the 2016 paperwork.

    That’s all I remembered to write down. Have a great week, everyone!

  46. Day 16 of eating from my pantry/freezer, I am going to have to buy milk soon though and am out of fresh greens. I’ve made soups, spaghetti, bread, stir fries etc.
    I did use some of my January food money to buy extra lean ground beef which was on sale for $2.99 lb., that went into the freezer as I use up the older ones. breakfast is usually hot oatmeal with lots of fruit, bananas, frozen blueberries and raspberries, sometimes I will have an egg on toast. we had extended cold here on the coast (one night went to 10 below C) so my heat bill will be much higher than normal. Our lovely summer savings will make up for that thankfully. afn, loved the white dove, he needed to go round to the White Garden!! Ann Lee S

  47. So sorry to hear about your daughter, but I’m glad she’s ok and that she has a strong support system. Praying for her and her husband as well.

  48. As someone said to me once after I fell, “That is why they call them slippers.” I threw away the slippers and now wear those socks (they don’t reach your ankles, they are like those things you put on your feet in a shoe store before trying on shoes) with little gripper dots on the bottoms. Comfortable and warm.

  49. http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2017/01/in-my-home-this-week-i-got-sunshine.html I had a lovely week. Probably the one thing saving us the most right now is John eating a modified Daniel diet. It’s convinced him he can cut way down on meat portions and I’m pleased with that. It’s also made me very creative with meals! I’ve only made one meal that didn’t sit well with diabetes and did a hike and plunge of blood sugars. Duly noted, won’t do that one again, lol.

  50. Not sure why most of my comments were deleted from the above post! So, unless this also gets deleted, here’s some of the rest:
    I was able to make all our meals and those I took over in service were made using only ingredients on hand and using several “leftover” ingredients from our fridge! No one was the wiser and we discovered some new favorites by making some of the dinners/sides that I pinned previously but never used before! Definitely a win!
    Got $6 in Pinecone surveys, got paid for an order of 10 pallet Ohios from a regular wholesale customer and had her order 20 more immediately plus some other additional things they have us making! This is over $500 from the free pallet wood we harvest! Hubby was accepted into a study that will be a 1 hour interview on the phone and pay $80.

    We also were able to renew hubby’s savings card that brings our co-pay for his brand name Rx that the insurance had a huge co-pay for! This starts our 3rd year and our co-pay has now become zero!!! Only takes a couple minutes to google the drug name followed by the word “coupon” or “saving” and you may be surprised! For us, the savings card was not income dependent because we wouldn’t have qualified if it was. These programs are free and we were able to use our regular pharmacy!!
    Had 37 of our family over (kids+ grandkids) and only spent about $20 for the food I made for everyone-everything else came from pantry! Chicken salad croissants, turkey/ham roll-ups, peanut butter cookies, homemade candies, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, sheet cake. There were even leftovers to send home with everyone!
    All in all, a very good week!

  51. Hello! I am a day late but thought I would share anyways. Seeing it in writing helps me feel motivated.

    Purchased 4-1/2 lbs of chicken drumsticks for $1.17. This will make 2 meals for 6 of us since the baby is only nursing.

    Made soup twice for dinner, bread and pizza dough.

    Also made my own pizza sauce, waffle mix and blueberry syrup using local bulk blueberries I purchased while in season. We love it on waffles.

    Had breakfast for dinner twice. This helps keep our food costs down.

    Made a batch of laundry soap, however used a bar of soap I had on hand vs what I’ve used previously and it doesn’t wash as well. Will add another bar to see if it helps instead of scrapping.

    Made my usual all purpose cleaner.

    Keeping up with potty training with the (almost) 3 yr old. Going well.

    Visited library for new books/renewal.

    Organized the children’s art supplies and found an extra coloring book for the toddler. He was happy.

    Rack dried (almost) all laundry.

    It’s still too cold here in MI to plant, but started plans to add on to our garden. We will see how it goes, I don’t want to overwhelm myself.

    Used a gift card received from Christmas to purchase my son’s birthday gift.

    All in all, not as frugal as a week I would’ve liked since we ended up ordering food one afternoon. I was down and out with a fatigue migraine and pretty much useless. Luckily my husband was home to help. I need to come up with a plan for simple meals on the days I don’t feel well.

  52. Hi Mrs T,
    One way I get meals easily when I don’t want to cook…I cook soups and double portions of meals and then split them and freeze them in meal size portions. It takes a few weeks to build up a supply but once you do, it is like having a take out section! Usually I just freeze extra when I cook a meal, but sometimes, I cook a meal specifically to freeze. One morning last week I cooked a meal at 10 am when I had quiet time, split in and froze into two meal portions. It seemed odd to be cooking a dinner that early but I sure liked it this week when I pulled out a pork chop and sauerkraut meal for us and it took five minutes in the microwave!

  53. It sounds like the garden is coming along beautifully! For this week:

    1. I repaired my work headphones. The earbuds came off and instead of throwing the headphones away, I simply put on new earbuds. I’ve been hoarding these for a rainy day and they finally came in handy!

    2. I baked focaccia bread and froze it. It’ll be perfect with our homemade spaghetti and meatballs.

    3. I picked rosemary from the yard and put it in the slow cooker with 2 cups of olive oil. I let it cook on low all day. After 8 hours, the result was a pungent and delicious rosemary oil. It’s great for eating with the focaccia, as it turns out.

    4. I mistakenly bought an extra half-gallon of milk. Agh! Instead of freezing the extra gallon (Mr. Picky Pincher won’t drink defrosted milk), I turned it into ricotta cheese. I plan on freezing the cheese and using it for homemade margherita pizzas.

    5. I baked cinnamon twists and froze them for quick weekday breakfasts.

  54. You know, that seems so obvious! Make extra to freeze. I don’t know why I don’t do this….thank you. I’m going to start.

  55. I always get such inspiration from reading everyone’s comments. Thank you all for sharing.
    Nothing big going on here this week. I baked bread, hung laundry, and carpooled to a meeting with a friend. I went through all my seeds and decided what to buy this year. I discovered that our state’s agriculture extension service has a number of seminars on growing different things that are available free to watch online. I have been learning a lot.

  56. Suggest you get your doctor to run a mono test on your daughter. I had mono for a second time but it took going to the gastroenterologist before it was diagnosed. I didn’t have the classic signs of sore throat and fatigue. That time it hit my gut and made me nauseated. No appetite. The GI specialist ordered the mono test and it came back positive. Good news it wasn’t a worse diagnosis, bad news it was mono.

  57. Check if your granddaughter has a gluten allergy. My friend had the same thing and also though she had eczema since she was little(doctors told her mom). She got into cooking from scratch and her skin went crazy. It took them almost 6 months and multiple doctors but they finally found out she is allergic to gluten. Good luck to your daughter and granddaughter. Its bad enough when one person in the family is having problems. 2 stinks.

  58. We started Dave Ramsay’s plan almost 3 years ago and are now debt free except for our mortgage. It really works. Your library probably has the book to borrow.You can do it! Also make homemade pasta with the semolina flour. So much better than store bought. If the coconut milk is in a can look up cooking it in the can. Haven’t done it in a few years but now I’m going to buy a can. Its so sweet. Very good dessert.

  59. We did not need to shop this week, so we still have only spent $48 on groceries this month. I may have to purchase a few items (milk, potatoes, and whole wheat bread), plus there’s a discount on the ranch powder at Sam’s Club, but I do have a $10 gift card I can use to help offset the cost. I do have some ECBs to spend at CVS this week, so hopefully I can pick up something there that won’t cost a lot of money out of pocket.

    I replaced my phone battery instead of purchasing a new one- $40 instead of $500! It pays to troubleshoot devices to make sure there’s not an easy fix. I’ve had this phone for 4 years- I’m hoping for many more!

    We’re probably going to limit February’s grocery budget to $100, so we can continue to eat down the pantry. I need to take stock of what is in the freezer, as I want to continue to focus on cleaning it out.

    I took a large load of donations to a local charity shop. Knowing that we won’t have to haul all of that with us when moving is a great feeling!

    Lastly, I also had the time to bake 4 loaves of bread at home, which is really a treat for me. Freshly baked bread with a bit of butter and some jam is my ultimate favorite food!

  60. I hate wearing slippers to be honest. I have a pair at the door that I use only to run out to the garage when the ground is less than ideal for socked feet. Otherwise, I don’t normally wear them. If it is warm enough, you can usually find me barefoot in the house. In the cold weather, I usually have my warm, fuzzy wool lined, thermal socks on to keep my feet comfortable.

  61. The semolina plus egg makes create homemade pasta. Adding some semolina to shortbread gives the cookies some extra crunch. Coconut milk is perfect for curry or my favorite Thai soup – Tom Kai Gai!

  62. Thank you for the recipe, Juls. I do appreciate your answer and the link. However, like many of the other recipes I’ve found, it doesn’t answer all my questions…like how long it’s good for once made up. Also, the recipe calls for fresh milk and then you sour it. My understanding is that cottage cheese was historically made from milk that was already going sour as a way to extend its usefulness (nothing went to waste in the Victorian times!). Yet none of the recipes I find discuss using recently soured milk. Well, I may have found 1 but it still didn’t say how long it will keep once you make it. Also, does it matter the % of fat in the milk or can you use skim milk for a lower fat cottage cheese? So many questions unanswered!

  63. Darlene, I hope your family gets back on your feet soon. I am trying to stock up too. The prices for certain products have really risen. I will eat from the freezer and pantry. I dehydrated apples,zucchini, herbs, tomatoes. My freezer is pretty full so I will try to get creative. I have homemade applesauce, tomatoes, pickles, berries and a lot of variety. I feel we should stock up and prepare, rainy days do come for all of us. If I have extra I try to bless my kids and my friends.

  64. I do the same as Hilogene…..homemade pizza dough freezes really well. I just take it out in the morning and let it thaw all day and it is ready to use for dinner.

  65. ****Well, it’s been a great week for one reason – hubby is in remission!!!!!!! 🙂
    *And then I tanked and ended up in bed for 3 days with some type of respiratory illness (I had the flu shot but it still could have been a milder case of it with the way I felt!) and have had a horrible flare up of my gut issues that no amount of bland low FODMAP food or over the counter immodium is correcting. My bloodwork is showing raised inflammatory markers and I have upcoming appointments with 3 different specialist to try and figure out what in the world is going on. Hubby has great insurance thru the state that covered all of his treatments and hospital stays – my medicare is not that great and co-pays are going to make things even more difficult since hubby is still not working as he is unable to walk on his foot with the diabetic ulcer so he can’t carry his equipment – he may have to look into a desk job which I know he hates but I don’t know how much longer we can hold on with just my SS disability and my very part time job (which I may not be able to do much longer if my gut doesn’t stop acting up) sigh…..
    So by default ’cause we didn’t go anywhere, we saved money LOL
    *Oh and total fail…..the Danes started doing “zoomies” in the house and before we could get them to “take it outside” (they know that command) the younger one put her butt thru the front window :/ We cut a piece of plexiglass and caulked it in place for now. At least neither of them were hurt (which by default, did save us money hehe).
    *I found a gluten free bread mix for my bread machine that makes a bigger loaf that tastes soooo much more like regular bread and doesn’t fall apart when I make a sandwich – it’s expensive but not anymore so that any of the other gluten free items.
    *We used another customer rewards coupon to get $10 off the dogs food. And we cut our young Danes food down by 1 cup per day since she looks a bit chubbier than we like. She doesn’t seem to be missing it since we cut it from her lunch rather than breakfast or dinner.
    *I’ve been bringing home all the ends of the tomatoes we cut up in the deli and the just “past their date” egg salad and meatloaf as treats for my 2 hens who are really enjoying it all! And it cuts down on the commercial feed they eat too.
    *I received a gift card to Meijers for my birthday that was for ALOT more than what I thought it was! I used a small part of it it to stock up on female necessities, a couple barrettes (mine have all completely disappeared!) shampoo, deodorant and some gluten free food items. I am saving the rest for things like toilet paper and laundry soap that food stamps doesn’t cover.
    *Found a very low cost vet clinic that I can bring all of our dogs and cats to – only $5 a vaccination AND for a heartworm check!! I will still have to bring them in to the regular vet for their lyme vaccines but that will significantly lower the yearly update costs (to where I may actually be able to get them all done!)
    *Tried a low FODMAP cheesy mexican rice that tasted okay – it needs teaking but it was good enough that my son ate most of the left overs! Also tried making a chicken rice soup with no regular onions – just the green tops of green onions and while hubby said it needed help, I enjoyed it. Made a blueberry breakfast cake with almond flour and blended up the blueberries (due to my food texture issues) which did not really go over well with anyone but me LOL. It is edible (but crumbly), just not something I can eat a whole pan of myself so I am going to cut it into servings and freeze them so I can pull one out for breakfast whenever I feel like it. I still have to come up with a sausage recipe that [i]doesn’t[/i] use garlic or onions and still tastes somewhat like a breakfast sausage (anyone have one?) W/o eggs or sausage I am struggling to come up with enough protein at breakfast that I can tolerate.
    Hmmmm guess I did more than I thought I did! I keep a list but don’t really pay attention til I type it up for the week!

  66. Don’t worry, Cindy. I can read over what I’m going to post 6 times before hitting the submit button, then find 3 errors immediately after posting. Don’t sweat the small stuff…we’ve all been there! By the way, I am super impressed that $20 of groceries can stretch over 2 weeks. I can search the cupboards, ask family if there is anything they need, make running lists and buy a cart full of groceries, yet still have something important run out 2 days later. Sometimes I miss when I just had to buy groceries for me. *sigh*

  67. I’m similar to Hilogene. When I make lasagna, I assemble an extra uncooked pan to put into the freezer. In the past, I have made double the portion of shepherds pie meat/veggies/gravy mix and froze half in a baggie. When I’m ready to use it, I just thaw the bag, top with mashed potatoes and cook it. We have in the pass mass produced turkey pot pies for the freezer from our leftover holiday turkey (the pies are frozen uncooked as well). I also make extra pancakes to freeze for a quick breakfast item. You can pop them in the toaster frozen to reheat them, as long as you cook them small enough to fit in the toaster slot. In a pinch, this could also be a “survival meal” when your just not feeling well and you need something very quick. Just a few more ideas that might help.

  68. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia and hope your week has been really frugal 🙂 . Love your white roses and beautiful dove.

    Financial –
    – Banked more money into our saving for our home with cash fund and we now are 17.25% of the way there 😀 .

    Groceries –
    – Purchase 8 bottles of shampoo, 8 bottles of conditioner, 2 bottles of aftershave and highlighters for the office all on good specials saving $18.90. We now have enough shampoo , conditioner, aftershave and highlighters to last the year.
    – Purchased after shopping around a large 56kg hindquarter of beef for a years supply of meat saving $81.20 over our usual butchers prices.

    Gardening –
    – Picked green beans, cherry tomatoes, 24 corn cobs and snow peas from the gardens.
    – Transplanted self propagating tomato plants and squeezed seeds into the garden beds near the watering drippers to start a new crop of cherry tomato plants.

    Kitchen –
    – blanched and froze snow peas and corn cobs and kernels for an advanced supply for the next winter ahead.
    – Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    Electricity savings –
    – Washed in cheaper times after 8 pm at night and hung all loads on the clothes line.
    – Used our solar tent lights to light the home at night rather than use any mains powered lights.
    – Adjusted our fridge temperature down lower.

    Water preservation –
    – Missed a half a scheduled garden watering due to rain saving 234.95lts of water.
    – Used grey water from our washing machine and showers to water all of our house lawns.
    – Used our vegetable washing, steaming, boiling and iced blanching water to water in new seedlings in the gardens.

    Firewood –
    – We saw contractors cutting down a hardwood ironbark and another soft wood one as well and asked for the wood to which they said yes and after cutting it into smaller lengths they dropped it off at our home via truck. This will give us enough leaf mulch to mulch all of our vegetable garden beds with and enough firewood once cut into smaller pieces to give us a half a winters worth of firewood for next winter here.

  69. I’m sorry things are so hard. I am glad your husband is in remission–that’s enough good news to offset some of the bad!

    I think the hardest thing for one of my 4H girls who was on the FOODMAP was the lack of onions and garlic. Her mom ended up making home=made salsa, for instance, and canning it without onions. It wasn’t the same, but sometimes putting in more spices made things more bearable for her. My daughter, who has recently been put on this diet, seems to just eat bland foods without those things. She did make some chicken and dumplings, again with other spices and seasonings, and seemed to enjoy them. She also tried making almond cheese, but it tasted quite a bit like a soft, spreadable nut ball, more than cheese. She still enjoyed it on rice crackers. (She cannot have FOODMAP foods, eggs, dairy, gluten and probably more–I’ve lost track of what she’s been taken off of at the moment–but she breaks out in hives, has terrible digestive issues, and more when she eats many foods)

    If you are new to gluten-free cooking, mixing flours works better than using one flour at a time–i.e. tapioca, rice, etc. instead of just one of them. There are good mixes. My favorite for many things is Bob’s Red Mill One-To-One flour, because they mixed it for me, and it also has xanthum gum in it already. There are lots of recipes in magazines, internet, etc., but it all takes time to figure it out–it’s not the same, and it sounds like time is probably scarce at your house. To keep things from being so dry, the batter/dough is often much softer and wetter when you put it in the pan than conventional baked items. So, it’s harder to work with.

    Just hang in there. It sounds like things might be perking up!

  70. My sister gave me one of those Instant Pots for Christmas and I’m loving it. I’ll bet you would use one a lot, because you cook a lot. I’ve used both the pressure-cooking feature and the slow-cooker feature and both worked great.

    Now, I just need more time to experiment with it and I know I’ll use it even more.

    Your Christmas sounds lovely. Lots of family and friends, mixed with wonderful food and goodies–skating–sounds amazing!

  71. I totally understand, Rhonda. My four kids are grown and out of the house. However, sometimes when I go visit my sons (3), I will buy them food as “gifts” and that bill is totally separate from my bill. They are into weight training and they are huge meat eaters so you can imagine….lol. It is so much easier buying for one.

  72. Hello frim NW Louisiana to Brandy and all! Our weather last week was very warm for January, hitting 80 degrees some days.

    Borrowed two DVDs from the library.

    Stocked up on chicken breasts at 1.69 pound, canned diced and crushed tomatoes at 44 cents for 15-oz cans, canned vegetables at 29 cents each at Albertsons, $3.77 for 15 pounds of potatoes at Super 1 Foods, and found a quart of Dannon whole milk yogurt marked down to 99 cents at Kroger. Also got the free tortilla chips at Kroger.

    Used half of the yogurt to make smoothie pops for my granddaughter, with frozen fruit from my freezer. Helps her tummy a lot. Froze the other half for another batch later.

    Washed out a 2-liter soda bottle leftover from my granddaughter’s birthday because I read that if you fill one full of dimes you will have $500 saved when it’s full. Sounds painless and nothing to lose, right?

    My broccoli plants all have tiny florets, yay!

    Hope you all are safe and warm in your colder climates. And Brandy enjoy your spring-like weather.

  73. That is such excellent news about your husband’s cancer! I hope is foot heals up quickly, too. I’m sure that is very painful to walk on.

    I’m not familiar with the FODMAP diet, so I apologize in advance of my ignorance. For breakfast, could you eat ham, nut butter or baked beans? Another cheap protein that might work is tofu. I haven’t cooked with it much myself and I know it doesn’t get a good reputation, but I have worked with many vegetarians who cook with it. I’ve tried some of the things they made and it’s not bad (I’m a pretty picky eater too). They tell me that it takes on the flavour of anything you mix with it. A current co-worker has gone vegan and she shared with me some tofu that was mixed with soy sauce and a few other things, then baked. Not bad really!

  74. The recipe called for 2 cups of oatmeal ground into flour – since I am reactive to oats whether they are gluten free or not, I subbed in the almond flour with some coconut flour. I already have several other recipes that work but I was trying to branch out – experimentation with all of the different flours has quite a learning curve!

  75. We spent last week in California on a vacation. We had planned to camp for 6 nights – but ended up camping less due to rain, wind and cold weather some of the time. So our hotel bills were a frugal fail – though we did book through hotels.com with lower rates some of the time and one free night during our trip. We also had to pay to check the bag on the airlines with our tent and sleeping bags. We packed our clothes in carry on bags.

    We went to 4 national parks – Channel Islands, Joshua Tree, Death Valley and Mojave National Reserve. We also spent a little time on the coast in the L.A./Long Beach area. These were awesome parks and an excellent time (due to comfortable temperatures) to visit the desert. We did quite a bit of hiking. (We used our National Parks senior pass – good for the rest of our lives and only $10 when you are 62 – for all our admissions.) We hear the Park Service is talking about changing the Senior Pass so that you will have to pay a one time fee that will be the same as a yearly park pass (now $80) but it will be good for the rest of your life. So if you qualify – you might want to get one now before the price changes.

    The main way we saved money is by preparing most of our meals – whether picnic lunches or a simple dinner (such as canned beef stew) cooked on a small primus stove at a camp ground. I also took packed breakfast and lunch for the airports – flying to and from LAX.

  76. I save them in a hinged jar so it’s not air tight which helps them dry out. When I have a full bars worth plus an extra sliver I shred the soap, boil a gallon of water. I put the boiled water (while still boiling hot) into a big glass bowl (a bucket would work, too) then add in the shaved soap slivers and stir. Let sit over night then in the morning blitz the soapy water with my stick blender. That’s it! This last batched turned much more “gell-y” than previous batches but it works great. It usually has a slime consistency but works great at my bathroom sink. I’ve even watered down the pump container of soap and it still works well. A gallon lasts us a month. It’s super easy. 🙂

  77. Luckily (??) hubby has neuropathy (nerves are damaged) from the diabetes, so he has minimal feeling in the balls of his feet – it is not a good thing to have really but has been a blessing in that he can’t really feel the ulcer.
    The FODMAPS diet is a newer treatment for IBS sufferers and not a “fad” diet. It has to do with the sugars in foods and in some people there is an inability to digest them correctly and it causes all kinds of gut havoc.
    At this point in time, EVERYTHING is a trigger – there is literally nothing right now that doesn’t create stomach issues. As for ham – it always has additives in it even if it says natural on it, which are triggers. Beans are a big NO on the diet (which is a shame cause I really do love alot of bean recipes) – they cause digestive issues with people with “normal” guts let alone what they do to those of us with inflamed ones. I am also reactive to soy so that takes all of the alternative meats off the list as well. The fruits I do actually like (cooked due to texture) are considered high FODMAP so for now I have to avoid those too (strange thing is I know I am gluten intolerant and the fruits I like contain the same sugars as wheat, barley and rye!).
    Think about any savory dish you make…..now try to make it with no onion, no garlic and only a very small amount of celery……The first two in particular are the basis for almost all the ethnic cooking we love. Mexican, Indian and Italian! Hubby has not been impressed with anything I’ve made so far with the garlic and onion infused oils. Although he could be helped by a diet overhaul, I think he is still battling the mental side of the cancer diagnosis and regimen he just went thru and just can’t handle another change right now. This has been a huge adjustment to make and is getting discouraging because I am seeing no symptom relief……Hopefully, I will get some answers or at least some guidance soon by my primary physician and the GI doc I am being referred to. I’ll get there – I’m just frustrated and discouraged right now that hubby and I can’t really celebrate his remission with me feeling so poorly and being tied to a bathroom.

  78. I know a guy that was getting tested for Crohns? And Celiac. He was losing a ton of weight and major stomach and gastrointestinal issues. His father and brother had something(I think Crohns) and they thought maybe he was getting it. Ended up being a dairy allergy.

  79. They have coconut milk at my Dollar Tree. What does cooking it in the can do? Is is similar to condensed milk becoming caramel?

  80. I have made cottage cheese by simmering the milk and using 2 Tbs. vinegar or lemon juice. It is not as creamy as storebought but has fresh flavor. It is great for using in baked pasta dishes.

  81. Could you tell me how it kept once you made it? And how much cottage cheese did you get from the measurement of milk you use? Trying to decide if it is cheaper to buy it made or if it is cheaper to make yourself (depends on milk price but this will help me decide). Thanks!

  82. I hate passionately hate onions, so that isn’t a problem to live without for me. In fact, I omit them from a lot of recipes with great success. I’m not a huge fan of celery, either, so not a big problem for that either. However, I love garlic, so that would be difficult. I sub it instead of onion to give dishes flavour. I can see how difficult this would be to transition to. Good luck with it!

  83. Another way is to put the soap bits (scraps) into a blender. Then by hand mix one part soap to 10 parts water. The soap bits also help to sharpen the blades on the blender – double bonus!

  84. I have Crohns (have had for life just didn’t have a name for it). My GI put me on VSL#3(I’m allergic to blue dye so 95 % of IBS meds I’m allergic to)I get it through Crohns.net, And Entocort it’s help calm things down . Diet wise, I puree my beans and don’t eat over 1/3 cup a day.. Garlic…Have you tried powdered? Infused oil might be rough on tummy because it will be stronger that way than most powders. I use dairy (yogurt and cheese including cottage and ricotta) for my protein as I can’t eat over 3 -4 oz of meat a day and eggs send my cholesterol through the roof. Nonna, My Italian grandma from Northern Italy didn’t use garlic as it didn’t grow well for her where she lived stateside. She ate from what she raised mostly.She grew and used basil, parsley, sage,thyme,oregano,rosemary,fennel(bulb and seeds) and mints. She grew red bell peppers and cayenne peppers, dried them to crush and make crushed red pepper flakes. She grew Swiss Chard and used the stems as celery and the leaves chiffonade when she was using it as a herb in the winter(covered it for protection) and as a green for sauteing salads during warm weather. She would dry slices of tomatoes(I’ve seen her sun dry them, oven roast and dehydrate them) and then would either soak them in EVOO or water for the dish to help flavor it. She bought nutmeg, ginger,bay leaf and lemons…she used lemons instead of salt and EVOO instead of butter. She always had fresh mushrooms the one thing she would make the 45 min drive one way to have for the week. She used fresh side bacon(NOT SMOKED,nitrates will trigger IBS) and fresh ham(NOT SMOKED). Once a week she would roast a pan of veggies and then blend them up to use in the dishes as flavorings through the week. She used flavorful cheeses, just a little bit on the dish right before serving. Her meat was organic, what wasn’t living in the coop or barn was bought organic from a butcher. I have followed her path of cooking and when I stick to it, I don’t have the trips to the hospital …Regretful there is no one diet/food plan that works for all us with IBS issues.

  85. Those nitrates do more than just trigger my gut – I’ve noticed they will also bring on headaches and increased anxiety + all the other things they have been linked to so I am just avoiding those all together.
    When I get thru the elimination phase I plan on reintroducing things one at a time and see which ones I am truly reacting to – that way I avoid such a restricted diet long term. As to the garlic – garlic powder still contains the FOMAP (high Fructans/GOS) which is a trigger but since it is not oil soluble (only water soluble) the oils can be used and it not cause a problem. Mushrooms are high in Polyols so they are another no (which is fine – I hate mushrooms). Like you said it is very regretful there is not a single solution that works for everyone with these illnesses.

  86. Rhonda, hopefully the soreness will disappear speedily. I saw on Leigh’s blog Chat over Coffee that you can get paint and squeeze non skid dots onto the bottom of slippers.

  87. My mother used to make spaghetti and cheese when she had ends left over. She’d grate up Swiss, cheddar, mozzarella whatever and add with a bit of butter to hot cooked spaghetti. It was one of my favorites.

  88. Thank you Cindy, we do like to cook. There was so much good food brought to all the various get togethers. Makes it hard to choose sometimes.

  89. Both families are liking them from what I hear, and have tasted. Since my mother moved in with my daughter’s family she’s been doing a lot of the cooking for them and had tried a couple of her usual recipes. She is doing beef stew for Sunday lunch.

  90. Amie coconut milk is thinner like evaporated milk and you can use in curry or use to make ice cream. It is not sweetened. Creme of coconut is thick and sweetened and used in desserts. It must be used in drinks also as I needed it for a recipe and it was in the spirits section of the grocer. I needed it for a frozen coconut lime pie.

  91. Good Morning Brandy~

    Such a blessing for you to have a garden that is providing so much. I love to read about your harvest. We are having mild weather in the NW however still too chilly to plant seeds. Today is a pretty blue sky day and we can see our majestic Mt. Rainier in her glory. Last year I waited until March to start planting, however this month I would like to make a green room with grow lights in our laundry room for starters. In my last previous years I have purchased some starters so this would cut the cost~ except for equipment needed. I have been using my party foods to see us through the winter when vegetables are so expensive.
    We are purging this month. Have given away several things which is a blessing to a couple who has limited income. It is quite a process but I love the organization. Now that I am retired this year, I am finding many items that I had put away which I can use now.
    I have made our meals from scratch. Have been under the weather this week so I made a chicken soup and used some of the broth and bones to make a healing bone broth as well that I will bottle up and freeze for later use. I used my leftover veggies in the fridge including cabbage and the soup turned out well.

    Have a wonderful week~
    Blessings~ Patty from the NW

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