Friday, June 23, 2017

7 days - cooking for 1 plans

Hubs and kiddos are going away next week....meaning I'm cooking for 1.  A couple years ago I lived on ice cream and bowls of cereal or pasta salad during this annual week.  It was oddly blissful.

This year I'm trying to be healthier....
I will make roasted/grilled veggies.
As I inventoried the freezer I found bag of frozen cocktail size shrimp.  Those will be turned into scampi over zoodles and shrimp taco salad.  
Also found 2 lunches worth of vegetarian chili I made in January - served over brown rice they become dinner for 2 nights.
I already have planned a take out meal treat of my favorite bruschetta salad from an Italian joint we like.  It's an appetizer but huge!  It has garlic bread in it and mozzarella but it's my blow the diet meal. 
I'm going to also try making a few avocado deviled eggs (2) to have with lunch (leaf based salads). I don't know if I can get them down though...
I'm going to try eating eggs for breakfasts - we have a lot of them & I need to try to increase protien and decrease carbs as much as possible this week.  And trying the banana egg pancakes Sunday for lunch. And there is also fruit and yogurt as an option (or dessert). 
And I have plenty of hummus too.
I'm still going to have my berry, kale & hemp shakes - I skipped this morning and felt off all day...

As I looked through the freezer and pantry - I only need to hit Shoprite for some veggies and fruit.  Since I don't drink milk, I'm not buying it this week - then I'm not temped to eat cereal either.   

Five Frugal Things Friday

Pretty good job this week on the frugality frontline....
I really tried to behave & did a good job

1. Got oil change in hubby's truck (bit out of the way - but it came with 'free' oil changes)
2.  Topped off groceries at Aldi - cheaper than stop and shop for all I bought
3.  Found fabric in my craft supplies to complete one of my projects this week - cost 0!
4.  Inventoried and ate proteins from the freezer
5.  Went to ocean stare job lot - didn't spend 1 cent when they didn't have the item I was looking for!  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Weekend is coming!

I hate to say it - but I'm really looking forward to the weekend.  We have loads to do - but, I know come Sunday afternoon there will be peace.  
Kids head to camp and I won't have to cook - although I will have my meals all ready to go by Sunday night in the fridge for the week.  I have my list of house projects to work on all set.  Every day I'm going to work on 2-3 things. Nothing huge this summer just stuff that needs taking care of and bothering me. 
Hence my desire to NOT cook much.  

Here are some of the things I hope to get done:
Scrub patio with vinegar (safer for the grass nearby) (couple hours)
Make a wood rack - (1 day) simple one found on Pinterest and I think I have the supplies or can get at Restore
Make wine bottle tiki torches (couple hours)
Pre-pack for my adventure (1 day)
Tidy up the office - currently a disaster (1-2 days)
Deep clean bathrooms (1 day)
3 sewing projects - not big just things to do (2 hours)
Hang cork board in Youngest's bedroom  & touch up wall paint (1-2 hours)
Paint trim on oldests cork board (1/2 day)

I also have 2 desks I want to sell - if the don't sell they are going to restore for the tax write off.  Will be listing on Facebook/craigslist since the Letgo app was a disaster (I get pissy when trying to sell something and people try to super lowball or get it for free - duh, if it was free it would say FREE) 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Aldi top off

Since errands with the youngest took me past Aldi on the way home - we made a stop.  And we needed lettuce for the Guinea pig and milk & bread for us.

$68 later and we were back on the road home.  Some highlights of today's adventure....
2 boxes of foxy strawberries $1.29 /ea (wishing I bought more they're awesome)
2 bags fresh baby spinach $1.49/ea super nice looking (thinking of using 1 in a salad with the above berries and some candied walnuts)
1 bag of romaine hearts 2.99
2 cantaloupes 1.49/ea
2 big broccoli crowns 1.99/ bagged
2 bags of frozen cherries & blackberries 2.39/ea. (For my smoothies should see me through end of July or mid August)
3 cartons of 'the good' OJ (their version of premium with no pulp)
1gal of milk
Rice cakes
Pork rinds (yuck - youngest was dying for these)
Jar of green olives
Can of coconut milk
Lea&Perrins worchester sauce 
Lemon juice
2 containers of hummus
2 bags of fine shredded sharp cheddar
4 blocks of cheddar
1 loaf of bread (PB & J and grilled cheeses = fast lunch)
Tub of honey wheat pretzels 

Thus should get us through the week fine. They leave for summer camp on Sunday so then it's easy cook meals (read salads or zoodles with garlic shrimp) for me!!!  Yay!

Super busy Monday!

Today was one of those hit the ground running days....
I had my annual physical scheduled as the 1st patient of the day.  Home to do a bit of paperwork and get youngest up and ready for some required errands.  
Headed out for those and a stop at Aldi and it was home to process the produce I bought.  
Lettuce & other veggies to wash and chop, fruit to cut up for the week, 'shake n bake' to make dinner to get into the oven before the rain came.  
Holy cow the rain came - when they said thunderstorms they weren't kidding around.  It made the house shake. Not cool!

Tomorrow is more paperwork/phone calls day and some cleaning. Even paperwork for the kids, one has research for colleges to do and one has thank you notes to write.  Also laundry - a daily task, skipped today so now there will be 2 loads and they are full ones.  

Keep your fingers crossed I'm productive.  Mine will be 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Accident

Laundry....always a dilemma here....
Youngest had some white undershirt/t shirts worn for outside work (no clue as to why). After they were washed and didn't come as clean as I like, I soaked them overnight in some pinesol and hot water.  Then tossed them into the next load of whites with Dynamo & a little bleach as usual.  Well, that whole load of whites was way way cleaner!  The towels seemed fluffier and more absorbent than they usually are.

I don't know if that had anything to do with the additional pine sol (it's good at degreasing soap scum in the shower). 

I'm calling it my happy accident.  Of and the shirts?  Those are for wearing for yard work and in the shop grrrr.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Five frugal things Friday

Ok - it's Saturday....but you get it

1.  Eye dr appointment - insurance covers exam 100%. Vision changes means new glasses - so hunting down a deal now...

2.  Fathers Day cards bought at discount store saved 50%

3.  Found organizing baskets to fit a tough spot at dollar tree.  Will post pictures when it's all done

4.  Took oldest to a community college to tour and look at one of the transferable programs to state 4year universities. Huge cost savings and always smart to have a back up plan that's local.

5. Bought stuff to make my tiki torches with a gift card

Determined Healthyness

So, last month I wrote about hemp protien.  I bought some Bob's Red Mill unflavored/unsweetened hemp protien powder at the reccomendation of a former schoolmate who is a health coach.

I've been dealing with low iron for about a year.  Hoping to avoid more prescriptions and trips to the pharmacy - as well as regular blood draws to check that level (dr wanted monthly draws) I talked them into letting me try it with dietary adjustments.  

One of them has been smoothies (in addition to eating more iron rich foods). 
First I loved them!  Fruit and dark green leafy veggies into a frosty drink!  Yum!  Totally calorie rich & sugar rich...hence the health coach call.  She suggested adding protien powder - a vegan option since I get tummy trouble with whey protien and don't want to try soy (too much isn't good for you).  Enter the world of pea protien powder and hemp.  Hemp was my first choice, lots of fiber and clean flavor although it's GREEN!  

Luckily we have a ninja blender thing which makes fast work of pulverising things like kale and spinach.  
I drink one green shake daily. And am going to up it to two this week.

Today is a winner day on the smoothie train.  
1/4 c hemp powder 
5 medium strawberries
1 1/4 c frozen chopped kale (blends easier and eliminates need for ice)
1/2 lemon (peeled like an orange)
6 oz OJ 
6 oz water
1 tsp coconut oil

I've also done this with cold green tea chai (no milk) instead of juice & water.  

I'm definately getting my vitamin c and the protien boost (14grams) helps with my hunger pangs.  

This week I'm trying a spicy V8, hemp, kale & cucumber adventure for the afternoon shake - sort of gazpacho themed. Celery may make an appearance. 

Other things I've added when remember are a tablespoon of chia seeds slacked in a 1/2 cup of water - not sure if I really enjoyed that.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What's up?

So, things have been busy for us....
The weekend was spent outside cleaning up the yard sort of...I had to use the leaf blower to get all the caterpillar poops off the's a daily chore now.  also gave the lawn chairs a hose down. 

We have an above ground pool - last year my lack of chemical knowledge about ph levels etc...we just couldn't get really as clear as we like. Fast forward to pool prep weekend (this weekend) we had to drain it and are refilling it. Thank goodness we have the house's original dug well set up for this (and car washing & plant watering). It takes forever though - forever to me anyhow.  Once it's full and chlorinated I will take a sample to the pool guy store for a test and pick up the appropriate chemicals.  

The heat Monday and Tuesday was so bad that I didn't cook Tuesday....hubby stopped at Big Y and picked up fried clam dinners (B1G1) on the way home from work - just fine!  Monday was leftovers.....

This week's project includes me making tiki torches from old wine bottles (if I can find all the parts I need) looks like Home Depot for me!  

Tomorrow I have to run errands with the kids - agway, community college visit(hopefully), drop off an engine for hubby that needs fixing.

Friday is eye exam/contact refitting for me.  Hoping to find contacts that I can wear more than a few hours without pain. Thinking of switching to dailies - since the 2 week wear ones were bothering me last time I wore them.  

Hopefully everyone is having a frugal week!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Five frugal things Friday

It's Friday afternoon!  
This week has only been frugalish. Thanks to the septic pumpout. 

1.  Ate all meals home.  Either leftovers or make home heals.  Tonight is freezer cuisine and pasta
2.  Moderate trip to Aldi for necessities only
3.  Didn't buy anything!  (Except food at Aldi). 
4.  Downloaded Letgo app into my phone - have a few things go part with & will try to make a little $$
5.  Used ibotta for Aldi redemption....only 25 cents but it's on my account today :-)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Aldi Trip

Errands near hubby's office had me stop in at Aldi since I was close and were out of lettuce for the GP.
Usually romaine hearts are 1.99.... Today they were 2.99!  Had to get them since the other lettuce looked iffy and GP can't eat iceberg.  
Also found a few other items needed/desired....
Blueberries .99/pint (bought 3 since I'm thinking of making pancakes tomorrow)
Cantaloupe .99/each. Only got 1 since I suck at picking them out usually 
Ice cream - love their butter pecan. 2.39/tub. bought 2 tubs
Green & yellow squash 2.99/6. Planning to grill them
Red & yellow peppers 3/1.69 (GP eats them too)
Raw unsalted Almonds are back at my go to price $4.99/bag. Bought 2. 
Garbage bags and a gallon of vinegar rounded out the list since that's all we needed....

Not bad - I purposefully stayed away from the cheese and cereal sections...was feeling snackish and didn't want to risk an impulse buy.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Is it really June? Brrrr

So weird that it was so chilly and damp today - feels like early April. 

Today was the big pump out!  Nothing terribly exciting - which when it comes to septic stuff is exactly what I want - nothing exciting!  

Other than that expenditure nothing else was spent.  Thank goodness. 

Just a boring day home - washing and folding laundry.  But school uniforms are the only load left to wash - but that will wait until morning.  

Sometimes boring is just fine!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Part of the basement water mystery

Saturday I went to the local rent-all place and rented the power snake that hubby asked me to get. 
When he got home yesterday he snaked the gray water line to the septic clean out point (before the tank). It's kind of a Y part comes from the bathrooms and Y from the laundry, kitchen sink/dishwasher converging to a common pipe to the tank.  

He snaked it and lots of gunk vowed through the line to the tank.  All seems to be working fine now.  

Powesnake returned and septic pump out is tomorrow.  Should be interesting.  We called 2 rooter guys (one from the plumber and one from the septic company and both were looking at 2 weeks from now). Hence I had to let hubby do it - although it did save a lot of $$.  

Hopefully this will fix the issue. 

I'm ready to put it behind us.  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

What I will NOT do this week

Ahhh, Sunday afternoon and I'm thinking of the stuff I will NOT do this week.....
1.  Get up at 5 am so I can wake surly teens to go to school
2.  Beg people to get a move on so we aren't late!
3.  Cook dinners from scratch.  In other words we are heading into the week with some leftovers and there are 2 nights where I'm serving dinners from the freezer.  
4. Walk into the grocery store.  I might even try to do this for the next 2 weeks.  No true need here. Ned to get creative and use what's on hand
5.  Freak out about homework and projects song left the night before they are due. 

It's Summah baby!!!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Five Frugal Things Returns

I like that Tracybee at Just Keep Swimming Mama Fish is getting back to an older format of hers that seemed to work for her.  I like it so much I'm gonna give it a try too.

Here are the five frugal things I did this week.

1 bought a new muffin pan at a tag sale last Saturday for $1. Doesn't look like it's ever ever been used.  Will try it out since my only 12 opening one (had since finishing college) can only be used with paper liners.

2 stopped for a quick essentials trip at Aldi - stuck to just essentials too AND got to redeem an ibotta rebate - only a quarter but that cool - they add up. 

3 brought my own coffee and water on the road with me - no Dunkin stops until today for a small hot coffee and my free donut. 

4 cooked dinner each night this week - from foods in the freezer.  

5 bought wiper blades for my Prius at BJs so hubby can replace them - $10 each vs $19 each at the dealership.  

Baby steps are all I can muster this week....things are very hectic here this week