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Archive for February, 2014

I hate to waste

February 16th, 2014 at 10:03 pm

It's another cold, winter Sunday in the Midwest. We received snow on Friday, a dusting last night, and the forecast for tomorrow is freezing rain. I'm saying it: "UNCLE!" I think we have about a foot of snow on the ground from all the snows. Our driveway is treacherous with snow over the ice.

OK, enough feeling sorry for myself. We have power and heat and we can still get out if we need to. We attended church this morning.

Brunch was scrambled eggs, sausage, and pancakes. DH was a happy boy. I have enough leftover eggs and pancakes for a lunch this week. Supper will be sloppy chicks and there will be leftover for a couple of lunches.

We hit Walgreens today because they had Maxwell House coffee on sale. DH said he read that coffee prices will probably go up since there has been a drought in Brazil. I normally wait until coffee is on sale anyway, so I have been waiting. I don't drink a pot a day, but I like having some every morning so I did get some while it was on sale. Our local paper had an article on a local business that roasts coffee beans and how they serve specialized coffees. I, apparently, am not a coffee prude. On Saturday I make a little extra and on Sunday I just microwave a cup before going to church. I'm sure the coffee experts are just cringing. I rarely throw out coffee...if I make too much, I often put it in the fridge and serve it over ice for iced coffee. Maybe I'm just a cheapskate. I just hate to waste stuff.

A few years ago I attended a conference and they served coffee and hot tea. With the tea, they even served little jars of honey. I love honey in my tea! So, I grabbed one and used it, but kept the little jar. It has come in handy when I take my leftover pancakes because it has a nice metal cap that seals. I put a little honey in it so I can put it on my pancake at lunch. See...I really hate to throw things away!

The week ahead

February 9th, 2014 at 06:57 pm

This is going to be a crazy week. We have parent conferences after school two nights. We were supposed to have one night last week and one night this week, but 7.5 inches of snow changed last week's date to this week.

Anyway, I'm trying to figure out some meals for this week.

For brunch today we had eggs, sausage, and pancakes. There was enough leftover for from lunches. Tonight's supper is sloppy chicks (sloppy joes made with ground chicken), a salad, and chips. I made a large fruit salad yesterday that we will have at meals this week.

Monday night will be pork tenderloin roast with mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, and a salad. I will use the leftover pork to make a pork stew for lunches. We had vegetable soup last week and I saved enough so DH can have it for supper Tuesday night while I'm at school.

A friend of mine gave me some ground beef, so I'm going to use some of that and make goulash. That will be supper Wednesday night, then DH can have it again Thursday night when I'm at work and I can heat it up for a meal when I get home.

Friday night is Valentine's Day so we have reservations.

Our pastor is a very kind person. He started his sermon with a reminder to all the men in the congregation...Valentine's Day is coming up this week so don't forget...and card selection is pretty slim on the actual day. He said the reason he knows all this...he forgot one year and didn't get a card and had an unhappy wife, and one year he waited until the day of. It certainly got a chuckle from the congregation.

So, what are your plans for Valentine's Day?

Saturday Supper

February 9th, 2014 at 03:32 am

Supper today was using up leftovers...I made a stir fry with leftover pork roast and used leftover broth to cook rice. It was a filling meal and I baked biscuits and used up some vegetables we had in the fridge. Some friends of ours are eating out at least once a day a often complain about how much it costs...I think our total meal including ice tea was way less than $10 and I had enough leftover for a lunch.

I did buy myself a piece of jewelry today. We were perusing a thrift store and I saw a set or blue beads that with tax came to a total of 64 cents. I often wear blue sweaters so I thought this would be a nice change.

Earlier this week one if my coworkers commented she was jealous of my leftover laden lunches and joked she wants to move in with us.

Cold Feet

February 5th, 2014 at 07:28 pm

Yep, I have 'em! Baby, it is cold outside and supposed to get colder.

Today is snow day 5 for us. All area schools cancelled school because of the snow. Once it started yesterday afternoon, it came down hard and fast.

I decided that instead of working myself into a frenzy, I would just enjoy the day. So, I got up and exercised and then showered, then enjoyed coffee and some reruns on television. Lunch was a leisurely find what is in the fridge and have a buffet, and I had already put stuff in the Crockpot for beef and barley soup. I had arranged for the guy to plow our driveway and he showed up on schedule and did a wonderful job. He even plowed part of our street so we could get out if need be!

As for spending, I'm not doing any. I'm catching up on reading and emails and just enjoying the day.

As for my feet, I'm going to find my slippers!

Success

February 2nd, 2014 at 09:05 pm

A friend I work with stopped to talk to me the other day. She was all excited. In the past few months we have been talking finances when we are alone and a couple of months ago she decided to make some changes in her life. She started a diet and she started looking at ways to truly save money. She figured getting a control on different areas of her life would help her.

She was so excited to tell me about a couple of things she started doing. Around Christmas she and her hubby paid off their credit card bills. They found they had extra money since she was dieting and not going out to eat. So she then decided she was going to try and save up for things and pay cash.

She also decided to start meal planning and cooking ahead. She made up some casseroles and put them in the freezer. She said she is looking for ways to use up foods and it has saved her money.

The other day she went to Kohls to buy something. If she used her credit card she would save extra and get some special deal. So, she used her credit card and then immediately took the cash she had saved and paid off the credit card. She said she had a difficult time describing how happy it made her feel. She feels successful...she has lost weight and has taken control of her finances. I would say she is a success story!

Sometimes I think we need to reflect on our own successes. It is easy to get bogged down by a problem or situation. I am going to make a generalization, but I think everyone on Saving Advice has the desire to improve their finances. Some are willing to make bigger sacrifices, but we each had to start somewhere. For some it is easier than others. But, we need to celebrate our success whether it is large or small.

I look back on my own life. I'm not rich by any means, but I am comfortable. I have far more stuff than I need, far more clothes, a good house, a nice vehicle, and money put aside. I am blessed. Yet I get frustrated when I let something slip by me. I feel guilty if I spend money a lot of the time. If I compared my life to my parents' lives, they would consider me rich. They grew up during the depression and their retirement years were pretty slim. It was a hard scrabble life for much of their time. I had the idea of getting an education basically beat into my mind because they wanted me to do better. And, I believe I have.

I started saving money earlier. I earned a degree and have worked hard to continue to improve so I had the opportunity to make money. And, I have been blessed that I did not have a lot of unemployment in my life.

Sometimes I compare my life to others I grew up with. One person has done extremely well and I think part of it is because they came from some money and weren't afraid to take risks. I am not a risk taker and I wonder if I had taken a few risks, if I would be better off. Then I look at another person who did take some risks and this person is barely scraping by. Who knows what my life could have been.

Anyway, take a moment to pat yourself on the back for the fact you are taking the time to think through how to improve your life and celebrate that!

Unplanned no spend day

February 2nd, 2014 at 12:26 am

We had every intention to do some spending today. But, the weather had other plans.

Every so often we go to a small town, Arthur, and shop at at Amish run bulk food store. We buy their sausage patties as well as different other bulk foods. Every Sunday after church I cook up the sausage and we eat some of them and I use the leftovers for other meals in the week. We are using the last package. I normally buy quite a few packages and have them in the freezer.

Well, today's weather was just bad. Not horrible, but bad. We had snow but then the temp raised enough to have rain and the temp kind of bordered around freezing. It was kind of slushy, but kind of chunky too, so we just stayed home.

Lunch was a sausage and pasta tomato based soup I made from leftover sausage, tomato sauce I made last summer and stashed in the freezer, and some medium shells from the pantry cooked together with some homemade chicken broth, celery, and mushrooms. The afternoon was house cleaning and laundry and I also whipped up some laundry detergent.

Supper was a turkey breast I out in the Crockpot this morning, mashed potatoes, green beans, peas, and cottage cheese. I made gravy and we have some turkey, potatoes, and gravy leftover.

Temps are starting to drop and we are to receive freezing rain. I only hope we don't have power outages.