Friday, January 29, 2016

Feeling like a hamster....

I've got that run run run feeling.  Like someone put a wheel in my cage.
It's been a super busy week here and I think I finally got ahead of the cold I caught from my sharing family.

The weekend is just as nutty.  Sports starting at 7 am arrival at school tomorrow for the oldest, homelessness awareness night at church for the youngest and a familial Jan/February birthday celebration Sunday to cook and clean for.  It's a lot in a weekend.

Hubby will have to roll up his sleeves and help out with the cleaning.

This could be my post until Sunday night....

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


this is the pits....
Totally dragging ass the last few days, Saturday was productive, Sunday was too A then a trip to the emergency vet 45 minutes away....everyone is getting better And no dying pets.  Monday brought more driving since Saturday's sports were moved to Monday, trying to shake a cold that is moving in on me - late night at sports last night and a meeting tonight after dinner....

Not sure what's goin on in the world since I skipped watching the news and reading tons online (catnapping instead).

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Productive snowstorm

yesterday was productive enough for me.   Visited s friend in the am before it started to snow in earnest.  Got all the washing done....still need to fold, but that's what I will work on during Downton Abbey and Mercy Street tonight.  I also went through the youngest's closet callings and selected the best for consignment/direct sale and took photos.  Trying to decide if I sell as lots of like items or by piece.  Storage is a premium, but the extra $$ will get put back into current wardrobe needs for this growing teen.

I've got 15 bean soup cooking away in the crockpot (with kielbasa). Dinner will be soup and biscuits. Or they can eat cereal because I'm not cooking more than one meal.

Seriously going hi talk to the kids about filling out paperwork and writing essays for scholarship applications that are due March 1.  They need to get these done since there will be 2 of them in the HS and the tuition will be increasing again for next year. Our public school is not an option for so many many valid reasons it's sad.  The youngest did apply to a magnet which would make the checkbook happier if the entrance lottery goes  in our favor - we don't know that until the end of next week though.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

IGotta know about IBotta app

who has used the ibotta app?
What do you think?  How hard is it to get the payment?  Did you choose the gift card option?
 Looking for info....

I downloaded the app tonight....just wanna try it out

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sock Savers are here!

i got my new sock savers today finally!  They are those little ballet style slippers.  I found some at ocean state job lot today that were just right.  I'm very picky.  Wear an 8.5 and the ones I've seen come in medium 7-8 or large 9-10.  These came in single sizes.  And they were 2 or/9.99!  I also like the ones that have a rubbery bottom, which these do.  Super happy since my last pair of slippers are a real pain to keep on my feet.

A simple thing but my feet will be warm and the soles of my socks will be in better shape.

Monday, January 18, 2016

All the boring stuff

Has anyone ever noticed all the boring stuff that goes along daily with running a household on a budget?

Cleaning house yourself rather than having a lady come do it (Carol is excused here)
Cooking at home all the time rather than eating out
Organizing and washing clothes so you're not out getting brand new outfits all the time
Walking around checking thermostats haven't been fiddled with and lights haven't been left on in empty rooms
Coupon clipping and purging expired ones

It's not terribly exciting daily work....but it's better than the constant feeling of panic when you're behind the financial 8-ball.

And we do have so many more modern helps than our ancestors....most of us aren't having to fetch wood and water on a daily basis just to get the timpke things done.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Pantry update

After putting away all my can can stock up items, I've decided it's full.  I have the 3 months of food on hand.  Well except for protien (meat) although we probably have enough....the only thing we are low on is pasta and frozen veggies.   Weird huh?  That's ok because I need to hit BJs and stock up on dishwasher tabs, TP, paper towels and bar soap but I have coupons for all!

It's fast - but is it healthy?

So I'm really liking the ninja. I like the single serve blender cups.
Today I had the best one
1 pink grapefruit (minus peel)
1 clementine (minus peel)
1/2 cup kale
1/2 c cranberries
Slice of ginger
3/4 cup water

It was a bit thicker but I was able to slurp it down without was actually tasty.
I know there are lots of vitamins in there and fiber from the kale and the bits of grapefruit I don't normally eat....and so much faster to get those nutrients in - I'm just wondering of its all as healthy as they make it out to be?

I know I hit my vitamin c goal for the day - smirking grin....


Can can success

I was in and out in less than 45 minutes $109!
There is a case of Gatorade still in the car for sports competition tomorrow 
Only thing not on sale was the rit package for laundry....

Here is what is there for big bargains (the photo was acting up - sorry)
24 cans of beans @ $.49/ea
12 large cans of tomato sauce @ 12/$7.78 (if you order it online and have it shipped from the store it's 12/$17.78)
12 Cheese blocks @ 1.77/ea
4cheese shred bags @$1.77/ea
10 jars of pasta sauce $1/ea (I mix with the the canned to make "my" sauce)
8 cans chicken broth @$.49/ea
OJ @ $1.88/ea

The rest were good sales prices 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Improv before restock

I'm a huge fan of improv....
Today I wanted to make vegetarian chili in the crockpot....well it turned into veggie chili since I'm out of ground turkey.
As I hunted through the pantry for 2 big cans of crushed tomatoes I found I was out - good and bad.
Good since that means my trip to shop rite will be most productive, bad because I thought I would have to use my smaller cans of diced tomatoes (I use those to stretch jarred pasta sauce and am down to 3)
Well after pulling out the cans of beans I needed (good stock rotating dinner) I saw 2 big cans of whole tomatoes.

Time to use those up and try out the food processor bowl on the ninja.  The ones in juice I dumped in a pulsed until they were like crushed....the ones in purée I blended

Now it's all cooking away in the crockpot.  The plan is to serve this pantry clean out Dinner with corn waffles tonight

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

No cans at Can Can

I had a quick run into shop rite today....
Of course it wasn't planned for today so I didn't have my list I had so carefully written out with me.
I went in for chicken breasts, because I knew I needed dinner on the table fast tonight and the meat I took out yesterday was still a brick when I left the house on errands. We will eat it tomorrow.
I remembered that I wanted 6 packs of apple sauce on sale for $1 (need to remember to go get more)
And deodorant that I like was on sale, as well as rice a roni (for quick side dishes). Then there was the obligatory fresh pet veggies (glad we all like romaine here).  The place was super super busy, threat of winter precipitation, it's close to mid month, everyone is getting their can can deals.....

Since I didn't have my car (courtesy car from dealer today) I didn't feel like loading it down with cans of tomatoes and jars of sauce and cans of beans.  I'll do that tomorrow morning - with my list!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Today's smoothie results

In an attempt to erase my guilty feelings from flinging myself from the no-drive through breakfast wagon this morning.... (Sausage mc muffin  and a donut) stress eating at 7:45 am....not a good sign.

I came home and instead of my water to drink....I threw a half cup of frozen cranberries (lurkers), half cup of kale (trying to be better and way cheaper than baby spinach) and dome lurking cran-pomegranate juice from the fridge into the smoothie cup, and whirred it away until it looked smoothish. Flavor wasn't horrible - kale chunks were a bit much though....I read somewhere if you freeze it in serving sizes it helps the blender pulverize it smoother - so there is a half cup in a Baggie in the freezer for tomorrow's adventure in smoothie land, which will be cranberries, kale and OJ.

I've given up the trying to add protien to each smoothie.
Saturday I made one that tasted ok, and was filling after drinking it for about an hour :-(.
I used 1 scoop of youngest's chocolate whey protien powder 18g protien, 1tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 envelope instant oatmeal made w water 1/2 cup water, 1 cup skim milk, 1small banana, 3tbs PB2 powder.   It was hearty and using oatmeal made rather than dry helped with keeping texture smooth and thick rather than thick and gritty.  Still I would have liked it to leave me not super hungry an hour after eating it.  It made lunchtime seem so much farther was actually very uncomfortable and I felt queasy after eating lunch.
May run an experiment next Saturday and just eat the oatmeal with PB2 and banana on top and gulp the protien shake down as beverage to see if I feel the same way physically.  Through the morning until lunch.

Saturday, January 9, 2016


im not normally a lottery ticked buyer.....this week was an exception.  I had to get in on this big drawing, so I did.  Not a lot in. Just 5 quick pics with the multiplier.....fingers crossed.  I don't need to win the whole enchilada - my $15 investment back would be fine -  not that I'd complain if it were more!

Good luck if you're playing!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Smoothie update

this is frugal....I promise!  Our kids nearly killed my little HBeach 400 watt blender from 25 years ago making smoothies, hubs and I got a ninja system with a 1500 watt motor for a family Christmas gift.  It's much faster and just pulverized stuff making for very smooth smoothies without the fair aroma of electrical motor failure.

This week I've been making smoothies because I'm trying to eat healthier on the go (donuts are yummy but we're starting to catch up with me).

This week I've done the following blends.  I use plain Greek whole milk yogurt (the fat in it makes it taste more satisfying) and all fruits except citrus, bananas and apples are frozen - all are items we regularly gave in the pantry, most frozen fruits are frozen by me, or from DT/ALDI/Sale

  1. OJ, spinach, mango, .5c yogurt, fresh ginger, fresh banana 2tbs plain wheat germ - felt healthy but the wheat germ weirded out the texture and taste
  2. OJ , spinach, mango, .5c yogurt, fresh ginger, fresh banana -MUCH better!!  New time less banana & more mango
  3. Skim milk, .5c yogurt, mixed berries, splash of agave syrup (lurking) - basically good 
  4. Skim milk, .5c yogurt, mixed berries, agave, 1 pack of plain instant oatmeal (1/3 c), splash of vanilla extract - grittier & oat mealy flavor - not unpleasant though.  Filling!  
  5. Skim milk, 1 scoop (scant 1/3 c) designer whey chocolate powder (skinny kid request), 2tbs  peanut butter powder, crushed ice - nice treat  almost like drinking a diet Reece's cup - but no fruit because we ran out of bananas.  Maybe with oatmeal and banana I could call it a meal/hearty snack or I could just drink a chocolate milk and eat a banana.  I'll probably reserve this as a kid snack.  

I have to say - so far # 2 is the  tastiest.  With #3 being next - but couldn't drink it every day without getting bored.

As I come up with others I'll let you know.

I'm on the hunt for a gazpacho I can whip together fast and keep in the fridge - it's my favorite snack.....please share your recipes in the comments

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

$13.25 down the drain

Back at doing laundromat. 4 loads = 13.25.  Total PAIN!
Heard from the repair place the part we need is on back order -
I totally wouldn't be here today except oldest child needed sports uniform washed for Saturday and the practice uniform was dirty too - so, rather than just drive down for a load of sports gear I brought all we had - which is amazing since there are only 4 of us and it's only been 3.5 days since I last did laundry.  Towels can be reused, pants can be reworn. Undies & socks - nope!  Still it's a lot o'washin!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Back in the swing of things

things are slowly getting back to are back at school (more on that later), crockpot cranked away yesterday giving us a great beef stew we will enjoy again tonight for dinner and I'm back at it hard, trying to reduce the outflow of $$ and inflow of calories/pounds on my behind.

Today I started the day with packing lunches, pouring cereal and my 2 cups of coffee.  Once home I had breakfast of 2 leftover waffles from the weekend with peanut butter and a half a banana...after emails were fine and dishwasher was emptied I put together my lunch smoothie in the blender cup, all I have to do is pull it from the fridge and hit the go button.
Today is Frosen Mango, fresh ginger, spinach, banana (other 1/2 from breakfast), wheat germ, Greek yogurt and a little OJ to keep it liquidy.  My fingers are crossed this is tastes and filling enough....

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cost of keeping clean

The things we take for granted - This Sunday morning finds me at the laundromat. With my cup of coffee from home and my phone.
I truly don't know how folks with minimum incomes and living in places with no washer hookup do it.  I just washed 5 laundry baskets if clothes and it cost me 21.75!   And that's not even sheets - we have enough spares I'm waiting on the repair to wash those which are piling up...

 I'm drying a couple loads at home since our dryer is just fine. Most of our stuff is hung on racks downstairs anyway.

And that 21.75 is before I bought a little bit of Clorox because I didn't want to haul the jug or risk a container leaking in my car of Clorox from home. So really I'm out 22.75 so my family has clean clothes.

How are folks supposed to save for a basic washer when they spend almost $25 a week for clean clothes?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

On Board with Menu Planning

Hmmm, hubby is getting it I think!  This means I need to re-inventory & organize the chest freezer.

He had the brilliant idea that we should take a look in the freezer on Saturday or Sunday morning and take meats out to thaw in the fridge (we have a spare we use religiously with 2 teens).

I swear I saw the lightbulb click on over his head!  It was really funny....and I was able to agree it was a good idea of his with a straight face.

Getting back to normal

Spent the day cleaning - since youngest has buddies over for a sleepover.  Friends from town-not school chums.

So I spent the day cleaning and still putting stuff away - loads of dusting and vacuuming. All free activity!

 Tomorrow means another trip to the laundromat - the repair team came - the board was killed by the power surge when we had the power go out 2 days before Christmas. We are waiting on a price for repair and I'm calling Eversource CT to try and see what they will do....if anything - worth a try....

Kids are being pretty good about keeping their stuff put away....we'll see what happens when they come home with homework & sports stuff next week.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic day

Goals & Challenges

I said I would be setting goals for the year - rather than making resolutions....

Goal 1:  daily smoothies.  
Weird one eh?  Well my goal is to do it.  I need to have breakfast everyday. Trouble is I'm in the car from 6:30-8 every morning - this means I either get up super early (before 5) to eat or wait until I get back from the morning run to school (not bad unless there are errands after drop off). 
I have frozen fruit on hand, I have the Ninja - I just need to find a combo that works for me.  So part of this goal will be to figure out some recipie a that taste good, use items usually on hand and keep me from being hungry enough to gnaw off my own arm until the next mealtime. 

Goal 2:  decluttering 10-15 items per week.  
Sounds like a lot?  Well I know the first few weeks it will be a breeze - it's as I go forward through the year that the challenge comes in. I also will update my progress weekly.

Goal 3:  artistic relaxing.
Carve out a couple hours once a week to do something creative & crafty I enjoy..  I have years of Scrapbooking I'm behind on & several sewing things to work on.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

It's New Years Day and I've taken all the holiday decorations down and put them away!  I can't believe how good it feels!!
I organized everything as it was put away too!  I think that next year I may have to restock my wrapping paper supply after Christmas.  I should be good on gift bags to use up and recycle for years!

I have more cleaning and organizing to get to tomorrow and then there is the long term cleaning & decluttering to be done - Rome wasn't built in a day!  Stay tuned!!