Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Monday, March 28, 2022
Hello friends. 😊 We had a busy week and weekend, so this post is late again (as usual). I have been pushing myself way too hard and it has started to catch up with me. I can't help it, I feel this urgency to get so much done. I had my pantry to redo and organize, found some huge gaps that needed to be filled, there was, and still is, lots of gardening work to be done, and we had Steven with us one day during the week. Steven was a HUGE help with the pantry stuff since he could "ferry things from G-pa to Grammie. 😉 That alone helped save my back and legs! Now onto the frugal doings!...
~Jeff and I stayed home and just relaxed. We watched a few movies and got a much needed rest.
~I made pancakes for breakfast and we refrigerated the leftovers.
~Jeff started work on the shelving for our front bedroom turned pantry. We needed more space in there to store not only food, but also linens and gifts.
~I made a nice pork steak and rice casserole with some pork steaks I had gotten on half price and then froze. I served it with green beans.
~We watched another movie on YouTube.
~I had a leftover pancake for lunch.
~While Jeff was at work, I did laundry and also worked on organizing the pantry with one of the new sets of shelves.
~Josh called to let me know that their next base will be in Utah! I am so excited because we can drive there within about 9-10 hours. That means even more family time for all of us!
~Steven came to spend the day with us since he has a double ear infection and needed another day to rest more than he would at daycare. He is on antibiotics and was already starting to feel much better. He was a wonderful helper and helped us get so much done on the pantry project with helping Gpa build a second set of shelves and then helping us get them organized and filled up. We could not have done as much as we did without his help.😀
~I made a list of things that we are low on, like Saltine crackers, and Jeff will be picking those up on Thursday.
~I made Steven macaroni and cheese for lunch and he also had grapes and popcorn as a snack.
~I made two loaves of bread, with Steven's help of course. Jeff and I had a ham sandwich for lunch,
~Dinner was leftovers since we were both exhausted.
~Chris managed to find the ammo for Jeff's gun in Montana, so he picked him up some. If we make a trip over there this Spring of Fall, we will try to pick up more then also.
~I was still really tired and sore, even after going to bed early last night. It triggered my IBS, so I figured my best course of action was to try to do some less strenuous tasks today and also take some medicine to help.
~I did several loads of laundry and hung the sheets out to dry on the laundry line since it was in the low 60's today.
~With the weather being so nice, I got out in the garden and did some more cleaning out of the garden beds. I also noticed that my radishes are starting to come up...Yay!!!!
~The back glass door that leads out onto the screened in porch was opened wide to air out the house. The cats loved being able to come in and out as they pleased.
~The compost pile got more used coffee grounds.
~I have been trying to make more "pantry meals" with canned and packaged goods, as well as trying to make more room in my freezer and making sure I use up bits and bobs of things. Tonight I used a Velveeta Broccoli and Rotini boxed meal and added about 1 cups of leftover dried noodles from a different meal, some frozen broccoli and a small can of chicken to it. I also thinned the cheese sauce with a little of the saved pasta water. It made for a tasty and frugal meals since I had gotten the boxed meal for .99 at the Grocery Outlet store. This is a meal that I can recreate without the packaged mix also using items I have on hand. We had enough for 3 large servings, so Jeff took the 3rd serving for his lunch at work on Thursday.
~Sometimes you just need something sweet so I made some flourless peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. I used a small container of peanut butter that Jeff and I were not fond of the taste of (Trader Joes brand) that had been given to us. It did make for good cookies though. Again, I am trying to figure out things to make with things from the pantry and without things that may be in short supply in the near future, like flour.
~I spent the good majority of the day working on the pantry and have most of it organized now. I just have a few more things to get done on this huge projects.
~My spinach is starting to come up in the garden!
~Uncle Bob was up at his house today so I was able to have a nice visit with him.
~I rewarded myself with a frozen pizza that I popped in the oven to cook for dinner since I was really wiped out by the evening.
~I got 2 packages of mixed veggies going in the dehydrator.
~Have you ever got a bad feeling? Well I did today so I locked up our garage to make sure no one could get into it without a key.
~I went down to our food giveaway near the end of it because I wanted to try to organize a diaper and formula drive for them. I know that so many families are hurting right now and with the increasing cost of everything and the shortages on things, I thought this might be something that could really help out our community. One of the ladies there, who is really bossy, could not shoo me out of there quick enough and would not even let me present my idea to her or to anyone else. She questioned where I was from, even though she has seen me in town for years, and told me they had all the connections they needed and herded me to the door. I have to tell you, that left an awful taste in my mouth and is NOT the way that anyone should be treated. She acted all high and mighty and like I was someone who was way beneath her. BTW, I was not there to get any food and it was still during the time period that they should have been staying open, but they were already taking things down and many people were just standing around talking that help out there.
~I packaged up the mixed frozen veggies that I dehydrated. Two pounds pre dehydrating took up very little room in a canning jar after they were done. I will be doing more of these! I want to have lots of dehydrated food on hand for the future. After seeing how wiped out shelves, freezers and coolers were at Walmart when we were there earlier in the week, I am very worried about what is to come.
~I decided to head into town to do some topping off of things that I was either low on or missing in my pantry. I called Jeff and asked him to meet me at Winco after he got off work because I would need his help lifting things.
~My first stop was the Dollar Tree where I stocked up on coconut milk (I thought this would be a good shelf stable substitute for creamer), a new plunger for use along with a bucket to wash clothing with if we did not have power, some more shampoo, some early learning books for Steven and I to work on this Summer, big aluminum baking pans with raise plastic lids to use as seed starting trays and some canned potatoes.
~I next went to Walmart to price out steer manure and compost. All of the steer manure had been bought out right after they unloaded it apparently. It's ok though, that worked out in my favor because I realized I have a free source of well rotted horse manure from Heather's parents.
~Last stop was Winco. They were completely out of the 50 pound bags of unbleached flour. They were also out of all the other things that come in the 50 pound bags like rice, oats, sugar, beans, etc.. I picked up more canned meats, Powerade, frozen veggies, a cooked chicken from the deli, bananas for Jeff, pickles, soda for Jeff, canned pears and canned veggies.
~As soon as we got home, I got some Yukon Gold potatoes washed, cut up and boiling. I made them into mashed potatoes and we had that, along with some of the chicken, for dinner.
~I opened two 2 pound bags of mixed frozen veggies and got them going in the dehydrator overnight.
~We watched a few episodes of one of the old Survivor series that we had not seen before.
Jeff and I continue to make plans for a greenhouse and are gathering up materials for it. I found the perfect spot for it and hope that we can build it next weekend since Jeff will have 2 days in a row off then. I really need to get seeds started that I can then transplant out into the garden once all danger of frost has passed in our area. More than ever, I feel a need to plant as much as I can. Anyone else feeling this way also?
Sunday, March 20, 2022
~Jeff helped Jaysn and Rachel with their new water heater.
~Jeff and I did the shopping that same day to save on gas. Winco was out of bay leaves in the bulk section but I found them for .88 a bag in the Hispanic food section. We noticed that a lot of their bulk and large quantity bags on things like 50 pound and 25 pound bags of flour, sugar, oats and some of the beans and rice were missing. People seemed panicked in the store and I was very glad that we have been planning ahead.
~Rachel and Jaysn fed us lunch.
~I spent Saturday playing with Steven.
~We stopped at Goodwill and found some seat covers for Jeff's car, some cheesecloth, and a large amount of strong cotton corded rope. All this cost us $10 with rounding up for a donation. I had the cash on me since it was some of my "fun money" that I had been holding onto.
~Jeff and I brought the truck home and also filled my car up with gas at the cheapest station on our way home.
~We finally got my hair cut here at home.
~I made two loaves of bread.
~Teriyaki, rice, asparagus and corn were dinner Sunday night. I saved some of the meat and sauce to use for lo mein later in the week.
~We transferred 50 pounds of flour into buckets to help keep them protected and fresh.
~I transplanted some hollyhocks from the back yard to the front where they could spread out better.
~I watched more videos and took notes on some more gardening stuff. I am trying to learn all I can.
~Dinner was meatloaf (from venison from Chris), baked potatoes, leftover broiled asparagus and corn. I'll also have sliced apples on the side for a sweet crisp crunch.
~I was looking around in the garage and realized that I have some large Rubbermaid totes that I don't have lids for. I was thinking they would be good for planting things in. Potatoes maybe?
~I continued to watch and take notes on more gardening tricks and tips. I really feel like it is important to use our time now to learn all we can to help us in the future. Today I learned that you can use well washed construction sand as a seed starting medium as well as starting cuttings in until they establish a good root system and then transplant them directly into the garden or into another pot with soil.
~We had leftovers for dinner.
~I mixed up some canned chicken and added mayonnaise and some finely diced celery to it. It really is good and we can make at least 6 sandwiches with this chicken salad. I like to add cut up grapes to my sandwiches. I will sometimes take a sandwich sized portion of it and add some diced apple and curry to it also. Another great way to add versatility to a basic chicken salad.
~Grocery prices are expected to rise about 12-20% within the next 30-60 days. 😖 I looked over my pantry and decided that Jeff and I should stock up on more food staples.
~I spent some time out in the garden and checked on all the plants to see what was budding out and coming up. I was really happy to see that my Swiss chard is coming back again, as are some of my kale plants that I did not pull out. My herbs, strawberry plants and fruit trees seem to all be doing well, thank God!
~My compost pile continues to grow as I add the kitchen scrapes and used coffee grinds to it.
~I relearned how to make a compost "tea" to use as fertilizer. I do remember making it way back when and it worked well for me then. My plants loved it and I had a very lush garden. Praying that history will repeat itself by using it again this year.
~I made teriyaki lo mein for dinner with the leftover teriyaki and sauce from earlier in the week.
~Jeff bought and installed locking gas caps on 2 of our vehicles and has an order in for one that fits our third vehicle.
~Jeff took the rest of the chicken salad to work for his lunch and I had leftover lo mein for lunch.
~Jeff ended up not having bowling league after all so he came home and surprised me with Panda Express for dinner.
~Josh, Lauren and Tate video chatted with us and gave us some wonderful news!
~Jeff took me shopping after he got home since I was having a major panic attack and needed to get out of the house.
~We were able to find some more ammo for my gun. It has been hit or miss trying to find any. They did not have any that fit Jeff's gun, so Chris is going to look in Montana and see if he can find some there.
~We stocked up on more "staple" foods for the pantry.
Friday, March 11, 2022
Here it is Friday and I have once again been horrible about keeping track of my doings. It's been a busy week with milestone celebrations and trying to keep up on the news and making sure we have everything we need on hand. Everything is getting more expensive, and we are having to switch gears a bit.
Our oldest grandson, Bradley, celebrated his first double digit birthday as he turned 10 on Tuesday! The picture above is of his morning waking up as a 10 year old. His mom made him a special breakfast and he got his gifts from his parents and brother that morning. Later, Heather, Chris and the boys came to pick me up here at home and we all headed to the bowling alley where we met Jeff, Rachel and Steven to go bowling. Jaysn was sick and was unable to make it. Bradley got more gifts from us, and from Rachel, Steven and Jaysn. He loved the Wally McDougal set of books we got him and the Amazon gift card from Jaysn, Rachel and Steven. 😀 He also took great delight in telling me that he could drive in a few years legally and that he could hunt in Idaho and would be providing me with a deer for our freezer this Fall. Gosh I love the boy and his generous heart!
The next day was our 37th wedding anniversary. Jeff had to work that day so I had a quiet day at home and made a nice dinner for us that evening. We had rice pilaf, venison backstrap and green beans. After dinner Jeff made us some brownies and then we hot tubbed. Jeff also surprised me with little love notes around the house for me to find throughout the day and a new electric can opener since I am having trouble with my hands some days. He is such a sweetheart and I am truly blessed to be his wife!
I'm continuing to try to get more organized and take inventory of what we have and what we need. I realized I had very little gallon Ziplock bags on hand, so I need to remedy that situation this weekend. I also looked at how many more packages of brownie mix we have left...I mean it would be a disaster without brownies in this house. 😁 I made a detailed list of things that I need and will be picking those up this weekend when we go into town for Jeff to help install a new water heater for Jaysn and Rachel. Theirs died earlier this week, right when Jaysn is ill too. As far as I know, all of them are coming out here tonight for much needed showers and a bath for Steven. I feel awful for them as they are also having continuing problems with Rachel's car and are getting it looked at for the second time after the problem was not fixed as it should have been about a week ago by another shop.
Some of the other ways I have been trying to be more frugal is by planting some radish and spinach seeds in our garden that gets full sun for most of the day. I know it is early to do so, but I have been researching this and have found they can be planted this early as they can handle lower temperatures as long as we do not get a hard freeze. I decided to chance it and will see if it works. I used some seeds that I got 4 packs for a dollar, so if it does not work, I'm only out fifty cents. I made cinnamon bread using up some cinnamon butter that I had languishing in my refrigerator and also made a loaf of regular sandwich bread. When we were in town on Tuesday for Bradley's birthday party I picked up some sale priced cheese and Bear Creek family sized soup mixes. I consider the Bear Creek soup mixes convenience foods that cook up easily in 10 minutes. They are great for last minute meals, for camping meals and to have on hand in case of an emergency since I can cook them on the BBQ grill if we are out of power and have a hot meal for us and to share with others. Anyway, I am off to get a few more things done before the kids get here later. Be blessed and have a great weekend!
Monday, March 7, 2022
Oh my goodness, we had a busy weekend and I am worn out at this point. I had planned on heading down to the library, but have a case of vertigo, so no walking down or driving for me today. Instead I am trying to get some things done around here between dizzy spells (it is just all a part of my Fibromyalgia, so nothing to worry about). I have all the bathroom rugs in the washing machine and will be hanging those out to dry once they are done washing. It is a gorgeous and warm sunny day in the 40's, so I am taking advantage of that before we drop below freezing again and get more snow.
*While I was writing this post they got done so I took them out to hang. OMGosh, bad vertigo attack so I finished up and came inside to sit for a bit.
I am hoping that everyone of my sweet friends that reads my blog is stocking up as best they can with the turmoil in the world. I thought it was bad during covid restrictions, but the situation in Ukraine and now possibly with China going into Taiwan here soon is horribly scary. I think it behooves us all to really follow what all is going on and look at sources that are not from the mainstream media to get a more accurate picture. Gas prices are rising like crazy and so are food prices. News just came out that oil rose to $130 a barrel, which is going to affect prices on things even more than they already are. I am trying my best to get even more stocked up and stored properly. Saturday I really lucked out with finding free food grade buckets for free from Safeway and the lady there told me to stop in every time I am in town to see if they have more. She also let me know that there is another woman doing the same thing I am. I will decant that huge 50 lb bag of flour that I have in my pantry into these and seal them up good. We go through a lot of flour here with all my baking and I plan on doing even more as prices go up. My next flour related project is learning how to make tortillas. I have a tortilla press here that Rachel gave me and am anxious to try it out.
Jeff and I stopped by a thrift store in a small town near us and they were having a $5 a bag sale. I was able to find a popcorn air popper machine (air popped popcorn is better for us and does not use oil, which saves money since cooking oil prices are going up), 2 pairs of Sketchers shoes (one looked brand new and the other had very little wear), which are some of the only kinds of shoes that work for my feet, a Coach purse dust bag and books. One of the books was a science experiment manual for children, so I gave that one to Heather for the boys already. The other books were some for fun, some children's books for the grandboys to read as they get older and some gardening books. It is so important to have books to look information up and some of the older gardening books have amazing information in them that has been forgotten over the years. I threw the shoes into to washer to get them good and clean and set them out in the sun to dry. I now have them put away to get out as my other Sketchers shoes wear out...this is where the "looking ahead" comes into play.
As of Friday evening, gas prices in our little town (which typically raises its prices a day or so after other places do), was $4.11 a gallon. Jeff filled our two 5 gallon gas cans with gas before it goes even higher. I noticed that the GasBuddy site cannot even keep up with all the multiple rises in prices that happened within a 48 hour period. 😬 I have no idea what the gas prices are as of today, Monday the 7th of March and to be honest, I am a bit scared to find out when Jeff gets home because I know he will be looking at the prices today while he is in town for work, and that is in Idaho where gas prices are lower. Because of this, I am parking my car for the most part and told Jeff that we should only run it about twice a month to save on gas and just use his car for errand when we are not picking up grandkids or doing a big shopping trip. I feel really bad for Jaysn and Rachel since even after getting her car back from the repair place, is still having problems with it. Jaysn is driving our truck to and from work and that thing guzzles gas! Jeff is going to talk to his friend at work that also works on cars on the side and see if he might know what is going on with their car. I hope he can solve the problem and do it frugally too!
I had some clothing that I was going to donate to a thrift store, but am now thinking I may keep some of the t-shirts to repurpose for making soft pillowcases, rice bags to heat up and put on aching muscles (some of the ones I have really need to be recovered or have a separate washable cover to go over them now) since Jeff uses these almost daily, and for other projects. The stained t-shirts are already used for rags, both here in the house and in the garage shop that Jeff has set up. The ones I use in the house are cut up into both small and larger rags, and if it is a really yucky mess I am cleaning up, like cat throw up, I can just toss them away.
The inventorying continues as I go through things in my cabinets and get them organized. It has been really helpful to get these things done as I can see where the "gaps" are in my supplies. I keep a running list of things that I need to get to fill in those gaps and I am also examining each thing if I am thinking of donating it and seeing it is has another use. I did this with some stuffing bags that I found in my stash. I was going to donate them until I realized that they were muslin bags that I could use for other things, so I kept them. It's always good to try to think of other uses for things before tossing or donating. I'm saving all my coffee cans to grow things in and am starting to stockpile all my used cottage cheese and large yogurt containers once more to send berries home this growing season with the kids and grandkids.
I urge you to look ahead to see what might be in short supply soon. Grains, cooking oils, gardening supplies and car parts, along with oils and filters for them will be harder to find. Stock up on these now if at all possible, but please do not go into debt to do so. Interest rates will be rising, which means for most people, the interest rate on your credit cards will be going up also. I took some money out of our savings to have here on hand and may take out even more, just in case. The way I see it is IF you can afford to stock up on things now, like those mentioned above, along with canned goods, the worst thing that will happen if the world somehow rights itself again quickly, is that you will have bought things you need and will use at lower prices. If not, you will be way ahead of the "game" and not have to be so stressed about not being able to find or afford what you need. Oh, and please buy some Crisco or the generic version of it...it will come in handy as an oil source to cook with and is pretty much shelf stable for a long time, and can also be used as an emergency candle.
Finally, learn all the skills that you need to save even more money now, before you need them. I'm watching videos on gardening methods that I did not know about, how to make more things from scratch, edible plants in my area, and some sewing tutorials. I learn better by seeing things done, than just by reading, so even though I do stock up on books, I also try to learn as much as I can via YouTube. Be blessed my friends!