Frugal Friday

All things considered, it was a frugal week. I didn’t need to go to the store at all but B went to Safeway for a few things so I had him spend over $25 to get a turkey for $7.00. I might give this to the food bank since I plan on getting a Diestal from our market. They have a coupon for $15.00 off a Diestal so I put an order in for one of the petite turkeys which are 10-12 lbs. I did this last year and it worked out great for us.

The pumpkin puree ended up at 6 Qts which I thought was pretty good. I’m going to make a pie tomorrow to test it out. I also saw a recipe in NYT cooking for a pumpkin bisque that looked good. And I want to make pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I still have the other green pumpkin to bake and will do that this week. ( I’m assuming the insides are orange):)

The chickens haven’t been laying much so B put a light in their coop and now they are producing more. This time of year I use a lot of eggs in cooking.

Our freezer is pretty packed especially after going to Costco so I’m planning on doing some freezer meals for the week. So far I have shrimp scampi with pasta, bean burritos, and something with chicken, and I need to check what soups I have frozen too. I am going to put the sauerkraut I made in the refrigerator and I probably will do a Rueben-type sandwich this week( minus the meat).

With the extra Azure order, I’ll definitely be over our $800 food budget. But that’s okay as most of the order is pantry stuff and long-term food items.

All the monthly bills are in and I just submitted my LLS for November so that’ll be $175 for covering my UHC coverage.

I swam this morning and didn’t realize the pool was just opening at 7am so it was PACKED!! Not the way I like it at all but I shared a lane with a swimmer who wasn’t splashing and kicking wildly.:)

Tonight is pizza night and it’s just the 3 of us as our son is headed up to Mt Shasta City. We have the second half of the last Vera to watch on Brit Box. This is season 11. It’s good although predicatible.

Friday things

With the number of annual bills that have just come in I’m not sure Frugal fits anywhere in Frugal Friday. Except for the property tax due in December or earlier, if we can manage it, they are paid. Now we just have to work on what we put on our Visa to pay them. The VW’s bill of $3000 is done and with the gas credit Gov. Newsome just sent out ( we got $700) ( a very nice windfall), that mainly went to the AAA insurance. So we’ll get there, but it will be at least another month, I think. Oh well, such is life when you live on a very limited income. It’s inch by inch row by row…Still, I’m grateful for all that we have and our continued health.

B just had his labs done and all looks great. 🙂 I go Monday for my monthly labs so we’ll see if I have another increase. It’s a guessing game.

Yesterday was my swim day and it was really nice at the pool. Not super busy. The water was really perfect. I may skip tomorrow but I’ll wait to see how I feel. We had a nice walk this morning and were watching the light because in 2 weeks or so is the end of or beginning of daylight savings and we fall back. So if we’re walking at 6 it’ll be 5 and that’s just too early. We haven’t seen AH at all in the last few weeks so that’s nice.

This morning I’m pressure-canning Homemade baked beans( minus the bacon). This recipe is from the new book I bought. This was a fairly simple recipe without lots of prep or chopping. It’s a great book with lots of meal ideas for canning. Right now I’m sticking to non-meat ones but maybe eventually I’ll add something else in.

I stopped at Winco after the pool because I needed the molasses and the Great Northern White beans for the recipe. Plus I picked up some packaged food I wanted for the freezer like Amy’s cheese enchiladas and Morningstar veggie bacon. Oh, I bought dried New Mexico Chilies because I want to try canning enchilada sauce. That’s my next pressure canning project. I checked on the All-American again and now they are ALL out of stock. So next year will be time enough for me to upgrade. My friend from the Koffee Klatch said, “oh no, I put mine in our yard sale pile when we moved”. I groaned ” oh no!!!”. Oh well C’est LaVie”.

Yesterday, I cut up our old linen sheet that had started to rip into cleaning cloths and hemmed them on my sewing machine. I plan on doing a few more today.

Tonight is a pizza night if I get the dough out of the freezer. I can always do some pasta with sauce otherwise.

Here’s a cute picture of Gus

He’s got a toy mouse on his head:)

Simple Sunday and Happy Rosh Hashanah!

The beginning of the New Year for the Jewish faith. I really like the idea of Fall being the start of the new year. Plus leaving behind old ideas, regrets, etc. I read that a Jewish tradition is to throw bread crumbs into running water and that symbolizes letting go. I like that idea.

Friday came and went and I forgot or( really, didn’t get around to posting Frugal Friday). I started out by making the apple pie for Barclay’s birthday. This is before I baked it.

It came out great although the filling needed to be thicker( the liquid part). I did add some cornstarch but it wasn’t enough. I think I will order some Liquid Jel from King Arthur to thicken up pie fillings.

The pan is the KA one I bought last year and it is a GREAT pan for making the bottom crispy and not soggy.

And then on Friday, I wanted to drop off the stuff I had set aside for hospice thrift. But they were closed so I went over to the SPCA thrift store and dropped the ‘good ‘ stuff there. Then I dropped off 2 bags of books at the pet bookstore. So by the time I got home I didn’t feel like blogging.

I used the pressure canner and got the chicken broth done. I followed the instructions and put the weighted gauge at 15lbs of pressure for 25 minutes for the broth. It worked brilliantly and I got 3 Qts of broth and 2 pints. I’ve already used one to make a soup from Chelsea Winter( from New Zealand), mean green soup. Wow, it has broccoli, cauliflower, peas, spinach, onion, garlic, potatoes, and zucchini. You cook it up and then whiz it with the hand blender. Then add cream, parmesan, and creme fraiche( I used sour cream). It was quite delicious.

Today we are off to Costco for coffee( on sale) and laundry soap, etc. Everything adds up and going to the stores seems like a money pit right now. Also, this is the time of year our fall annual bills come due. So right now it seems like everything is a money drain. My goal next year is to be better prepared and have that money in a separate account. It’s there in our savings but I’d like to have a designated account.

I have a boule of sourdough in the oven and when it’s done we’ll leave for Costco. This week the Flylady zone is the LR and then the entryways on Saturday.

Frugal Friday, I guess.

No, just kidding 🙂 It’s been a fairly frugal week except for our 2 year Septic pumping. This house only has a 900-gallon tank(which is now illegal but back then was acceptable.), so we need to have it pumped every 2-3 years. It was $575 so not too bad really, and we have that in our annual bills account.

But food-wise, it’s been a low-spend week. I have plenty of things in both the fridge and freezer to use. This past week I made baked herb chicken with our cherry tomato compote, veggie sausage bake, cheese toasties with avocado and tomato, and pasta with tomatoes, and mozzarella. Tonight is pizza night and I’m not sure that’s what I’m doing. It’s early yet so I have time to think about it. First thing this morning is to blanch and freeze some local corn. I haven’t seen the sales for 10 for $1.00 come up. Maybe I missed it. So this was 2 for $1.00. I got just 10. Then I have more tomatoes to process but I may wait and do that tomorrow.

Barclay was supposed to get his port out this morning ( a milestone after 3 1/2 years) but he got a rash ( we think from his Shingrex shot) and the doctor said he should wait for it to be gone. He’s going to call his team nurse this morning to check on it.

We went out for a coffee at the local cafe and had iced americanos. That was $10 with a scone and came out of his personal money. Since we are doing cash envelopes again, he’s getting $100 a month for fun money. That’s working out very well. Also, he’s in charge of the cash envelopes for chicken food, and home depot. I’m still working out how much those should be REALISTICALLY. A budget only works if it fits what you need to spend and have the $ to fund the line item. So far, I have Tractor Supply at $50, and Home Depot stuff at $200.

We are going to have to take my VW to the shop as the coolant is still leaking. Hopefully, it won’t be too much. I don’t really keep a car repair fund so I guess I better start that.

I just finished the corn and got 3 small baggies of shucked corn. So maybe 20 more ears of corn.

Friday things.

I had my consult with my PCP about my slightly higher LDL #. My HDL was very good and the ratio was good but he wanted/needed to tell me to try and cut out some higher fat foods like butter. 😦 I love butter but I told him I will do my best and he said we can test in another year. So that’s that. I will try to cut back on butter and cheese and some carbs. I cook with a lot of butter but usually in combination with olive oil. I’ll just try and be more conscious of using butter like on toast and bagels etc. Also, my thyroid numbers came back normal. Last time when my LDL was slightly high it must have been about 6-7 years ago, I started eating oatmeal for breakfast 4-5 times a week and within 6 months my cholesterol dropped 60 points.

My Myeloma labs came back almost the same as last month. So hurray on that. Another month of freedom so to speak. All my other labs were normal and the same as before. So all in all, it’s good.

Our anniversary is next week and B said I should go buy the Louis Vuitton. I said I’ll think about it. It’s not a cheap purchase and I’m quite happy with my Coach bag I bought that is similar in size to the Neverful. Still, a Louis is a Louis. I think my obsession( sort of) is that it’s French (although not many are made in France anymore) and the quality of workmanship. I only love the LV monogram and the black ones. The others are really quite gaudy in my opinion. Well, I’m certainly not getting younger:( That purchase would definitely NOT fit into Frugal Friday!!!

Today is a home day and I’ve done my morning reset, bathroom swish and swipe, and kitchen tidy. I plan on going to the farm this afternoon for a few things. I also am feeding my sourdough starter and plan on putting it into one jar instead of 3 1/2 jars. I might make some sourdough bagels this weekend. If I’m cutting out some carbs I might make bread with whole wheat as that is better on the glycemic scale.

Tomorrow after swimming I’m planning to go to Trader Joe’s for a few things. I know they have Ezekiel bread which is good and whole wheat tortillas too. I’m certainly willing to switch things up a bit. Besides, I always like a challenge.

Our hot weather continues. It’s very depressing after what seems like forever of 100 degree days. The nights aren’t cooling off hardly at all. Next week temperatures are all in the mid 90s so maybe that will be a little better.

I’m waiting for the next batch of tomatoes to ripen so I can process them. I’ll probably just do the tomato sauce again. I don’t think there’s too much else I’m interested in doing except getting some corn to quick freeze. Last year I did about 12 bags of corn and we used them all. Safeway usually has the best prices. I’ll check their flyer later.

On the spending side, I put an order into Rancho Gordo for 8 bags(1lb). Since they are in Napa they arrived in record time. If you haven’t tried their beans, you should. They are all heirloom and absolutely delicious. I ordered a new one to try called Whipple bean. I also added on a jar of Mexican oregano. When I opened it, it didn’t smell too much different from my oregano. So I’ll have to see how it is in recipes. Let’s see, I ordered falafel mix from Amazon because TJ’s doesn’t carry it in their stores anymore and finding it in the regular grocery store is a PITA. I bought some salad stuff from Holiday Market too. Even with cash envelopes, I’m still spending @ $700 a month on food. I guess that’s just the norm. At Costco, I did mostly cash and then the rest on the debit card. Costco is always more than I think it will be, of course!! Well, B did buy Sierra pale Ale beer but it’s really the best price for it if you drink beer. I also picked a few bulk items like sugar and some more flour.

Frugal Friday

It’s been a fairly frugal week. Yesterday before the gym I went into Winco mostly to get some Ball Quart jars as I read somewhere Winco’s prices were the lowest. The quart jars were $13.73 so a good price. I also picked up some KA flour that was half the price of what Safeway’s was. All in all, it was slightly over $100. I used cash. Using the cash envelopes this month has really helped me be more conscious of what I’m spending. I still need to go into Costco for some basics like olive oil, sugar, coffee, and a bottle of champagne to celebrate our anniversary later this month.

I have a large load of tomatoes from our garden ripening so I can process them this weekend. I think I’ll do some salsa and sauce if there’s enough. I bought some jalapenos at Winco and will do some more refrigerator jalapenos and maybe some cowboy candy( sugary jalapenos).

I still have some more beets to can too as I bought another bunch at the farm stand last week. Maybe I’ll do that this morning as I’m not going anywhere today.

We’ve had home-cooked meals all week( tofu burgers, BBQ chicken,) and last night I did pasta and used some of the dehydrated cherry tomatoes in olive oil. It was quite good but I cooked the dehydrated tomatoes too much in the butter/ olive oil sauce and they were slightly overcooked but still delicious. I just did another batch of dehydrated cherry tomatoes and I’ll put them in olive oil as well. I think I’m going to buy a different dehydrator too. The one I have is round and plastic and doesn’t hold a lot and the one I’m looking at is square with metal shelves. I think that will work better.

I just finished reading Todd Borg’s new book,” Tahoe Moon”. If you love Tahoe like I do, you will love this latest thriller.

Friday things

Today has been mostly tidying the house and catching up on a few things. I returned a small handheld label maker I had ordered a couple of weeks ago from Amazon because the ink was skipping and after trying a bunch of times just gave up. I’ll look for a different kind of label maker when I feel like it.

I’m planning on using my cash envelopes for August for a few things like groceries, Target, Home Depot and, a few others. I feel like we need to be a bit more focused on where the dollars are going. I know our daily budget but lots of time I just say to B to get it at Home Depot and then he buys whatever. It’s covered in our checking but I feel like we need to say there’s this $amount and that’s it. I’ll focus on August and see how it goes. For some things like gas, I won’t do cash so that’s the debit card. But I will have an index card with the amounts as ‘virtual cash’. All our regular bills are automatic.

Today is our last really hot day and then we start to trend downward into the low 90s. Maybe we can start eating dinner out on the patio again.

After my gym workout, I went into the library and picked up my holds. Two were canning books but they weren’t quite what I was after so I guess I’ll just have to buy the Ball book again. ( I gave it away a few years ago because I hadn’t used it). Most recipes are on- line but I’d still like to have a copy for reference mostly. I was excited to get the new Anne Hillerman book. I still love all things Santa Fe and New Mexico and appreciate the native culture immensely. The pinion pines smell amazing and the sky is incredibly blue. I’ve bought pinion pine incense and it’s lovely.

Tonight is supposed to be pizza but alas, it’s too hot so we’re going to have a brown rice salad. Last night I made zucchini fritters from the farm. I’ll probably go out there later this afternoon for a few things.

Not much else going on here.

A goat cheese quiche:

Garlic herb butter

corn from the farm.

Simple Sunday

We have smokey skies from the Yosemite fire this morning and the sun is an orange ball. The temperature seems cooler but we’re still expecting a high of 98 today. I do hope the firefighters can get this under control. There’s already been a mandatory evacuation down near Mariposa. ugh… fire is scary! We had a nice walk though, and no one showed up while we were there.

I read a few newer books this week including Josuha Becker’s” Things that matter”. I liked it well enough, not remarkable but still a good read. Then Kellerman’s new book “City of Dead”. He’s always pretty scripted but I still like his writing. Then by Kumiko Love( I wonder if that’s her real last name), “My Money, My Way. ” She basically takes most of her ideas from people like Dave Ramsey and others but I still like her presentation and I thought it a worthwhile read about money and budgets. I put a few canning books on hold and I’m still contemplating the pressure canner. I did decide that the All American is too expensive for me (over $ 400) but the Presto is $160 or so and that may be a better beginner option. I’m definitely not interested in pressure canning chicken or beef etc but there are some things I would do that need a pressure canner like chicken broth.

I made some refrigerator bread and butter pickles yesterday, and they looked good. We didn’t plant cucumbers for some reason so I bought 3 at the Farm and got 2 jars out of them.

Here are some of the onions I harvested. I’m thrilled to get some onions.

This morning I started the sourdough bread and will let it do a slow rise overnight and bake tomorrow early. I also made a pie crust for the goat cheese quiche I’m making later. The best pie crust I’ve found is from Joanna Gaine’s book” Magnolia Table”. I’ve made it numerous times and it comes together very easy.

The Flylady zone is the living room zone. I did most of it already but I still need to dust the tops of the Easton Press books.

This week I plan to do a Winco trip for a few things, and B has labs on Wednesday in Rocklin so I’ll see about him stopping at Costco again for a few more things. Other than that, trying to stay cool, and doing my normal stuff.

Frugal Friday

It’s been a hot week and it looks like the next 10 days are hot too. I do ok with the heat in the low -mid-nineties but the upper 90s and 100s are hard for me. I don’t want to be outside; even being in the pool isn’t all that great as the air is still stifling. I do all my chores early and then read or do some handwork in the afternoon. This afternoon I’m going to the Farm for a few veggies. I saw they had corn coming in.

I haven’t been to the store this week but B went to Costco after his hearing test and got some things. That ended up $245. Some pantry stuff and then just groceries. Food is costly and I guess will probably stay high for a while. He filled up the truck at Costco gas and that saved some as Costco gas is the cheapest around. All our monthly bills are done and I’ve done a preliminary budget for August.

Oh, I did stop at Walmart after the gym and bought a few capri yoga pants. For some weird reason, Walmart’s cotton leggings always fit my body. Anyway, I needed something that fit and I could use at the gym.

This morning I made a batch of maple granola, and 2 little 4 ounce jars of pesto

for the freezer. If the farm has basil I’ll pick up some and make a few more jars. We don’t use lots of pesto but it is nice in the winter to have. As a matter of fact, we’re having pesto pasta salad for dinner. We considered getting take out but it’s just too expensive for us to buy. I can’t remember the last time we ate out?? hmmm, maybe last spring??

Wednesday I spray washed all the outside windows with the outdoor Windex product. It works really well and there’s no going back to use a squeegee although in the past I did do that. We also have been harvesting the onions and I have some nice looking ones. Onions are hard to grow here but the one bed my daughter did, they grew to a good size. We think the reason was the cardboard that she put down before adding more soil to the bed. There are some more to get in a few other beds but they are quite small and I’m not sure they’re going to grow anymore. We have lots of tomatoes but their still all green.

We watched most of the hearing last night and I’m so over anyone ever supporting trump for anything. He almost destroyed our democracy and is STILL trying to with his ongoing lies that the election was stolen. I loved them showing Josh Hawley running like a scared rabbit in the hallway even though he had fist pumped the armed rioters. Ha, I hope he’s eating s#*t this morning.

Well, off to do whatever is left to do.

Friday things

It’s been a quiet week and also an off week. With the 4th of July on Monday, I didn’t go to the gym and then I didn’t swim Tuesday because I didn’t want to get stuck in the traffic on I-80 with everyone traveling after the holiday. So I went to the gym Wednesday and now it’s Friday and I’ll swim tomorrow. But next week is also messed up because Monday I have my annual eye exam and I’ll get my eyes dilated so I need to drive straight home as my pupils stay dilated for hours. Then Thursday I have Dr. Laptalo, so no gym that day unless I went afterward. It’s always a crap shoot if he’s on time (almost never) or really late ( almost always). So if I don’t leave there till 11, I probably will not want to go to the gym at noon. Some weeks are just like that but I don’t have this happen that often.

I’ve been watching some youtube channels using the All Amerian pressure canner. I’m still undecided. I’d like to be able to can low acid foods( you must pressure can), or just stick with the water bath canning which is what I’ve always done. The canner is quite expensive at @$400, so not a small investment. I guess I’ll keep thinking about it.

The herbs I’ve been drying have come out very nice and quite fragrant so I’ve enjoyed that. This morning I’m making some herbed butter to freeze. I mix the unsalted butter with thyme, parsley, and chives and then roll in a piece of parchment to make a log. It’s nice to have in the winter.

The second batch of bagels I made yesterday came out great.

This is after the overnight fermentation in the fridge.

So using the barley malt syrup is absolutely a game-changer. It gives the bagels a nice chewy texture and delicious flavor. I plan on making these once a week for a while. It is a two-day process with a rise in the refrigerator overnight.

I went to the farm stand yesterday and bought some produce for the week. Beautiful lettuce, spring mix, radishes, cabbage, zucchini, and cucumbers. We’re lucky it’s 5 minutes down the road. I’m hoping to find some peaches this weekend to make some peach jam and maybe a peach pie.

I didn’t do any grocery shopping this week but I may go to Winco tomorrow as we need milk and a few other things. I guess I’ll just see after my swim. So the week has bfarm standeen quite frugal.

Other than that same old same old. It’s still hard to see the news and the horribleness of the Highland Park shootings. It’s really just crazy. Just think, you’re out with your family for the 4th of July to celebrate, and see the parade and then the next minute you’re killed by a crazed murderer with an automatic weapon. When is it going to end and we ban assault rifles. How many more must die.?