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Archive for August, 2014

Planning and stocking up

August 23rd, 2014 at 09:15 pm

One of the local grocery stores had a penny pincher booklet earlier this month. They had coupons on stuff that went beyond the regular sale price. On three of them, if you used your loyalty card, spent $20 overall, and used one of these coupons on the advertised item, you could receive another print out for 10% off your total grocery bill later on in the month, excluding alcohol and cigarettes. Not too bad of a deal.

So, DH and I went through the ad last night since this was the week the 10% ticket was good for. We made a list and I pulled coupons for stuff. We did a little stocking up on things we normally buy anyway, but with the coupons and the 10% off, we felt we had a good deal.

Last night we hit Kroger's and Walgreens for some of their loss leaders and he went to Aldi yesterday morning for our usual shopping. I like the idea of having a full pantry and getting bargains besides.

Today after our little stock up run, I reorganized the pantry and put the new stuff in. It is crowded, but I can at least see things.

Someone posted on Facebook a photo of a wall of canned goods from someone's garden. I will admit it, I drooled. Someday I hope to be adept enough at canning and have the produce to do that.

Besides the house we have shelves in the garage where we keep some of our things. I'm getting quite a collection of things that we bought on sale or had a deal. Nothing like Extreme Couponing and their stockpile, but it makes it nice to have things on hand so I don't have to buy some of the same things every week.

A gal I used to work with used to go the store before every meal. I wonder if she still does that with three kids and a full time job. I tried to convince her she needs to look at the grocery ads and plan her shopping that way and and if something nonperishable is on sale this week, buy a couple of extra so you have them instead of paying full price next week or the week after. She thought I was nuts. I wonder if she has changed her ways.

Where do you store your extra things?

Frugal food

August 22nd, 2014 at 07:58 pm

A gal at work brought in some of her extra produce this week: tomatoes, zucchini, hot peppers. The first day the tomatoes were disappearing rapidly. The zucchini also left and the peppers...what peppers? The second day? Well, one of the two zucchini was taken and most of the small tomatoes were left. I took the second zucchini since no one else wanted it. I assumed people would gallop and get the rest of the tomatoes by the end of the day.

Nope. They were there yesterday and were starting to ge soft. They came home with me and I used them when I canned some of ours. I didn't have a huge amount to can and the extra 3-4 helped. I just hate seeing food go to waste. And I like the idea of having stuff preserved in some form. I have dried herbs and frozen some tomato sauce earlier as well as minced garlic and put it in olive oil in the fridge. I imagine I will be shredding the zucchini and freezing it for zucchini bread.

In our paper was some article about a Korean official eating Ramen noodles five times a week and how unhealthy they are and what poor choices he's making. Yeah, food high in preservatives can do that to a body. I heard a Pepsi commercial saying they are currently offering their product made with "real" sugar for a limited time. I wonder if the sales are good if they will continue to offer it. I wonder if many producers will get away from the mostly preservative laden processed lines. Probably not. I'm sure the bottom line will be profits. Plus people love cheap, even if it isn't healthy.

I realize some people have to have the Ramen noodle diet due to financial issues. But when there is free food available like the produce, I'm shocked that people don't want to be bothered with cooking or preserving it. There's something reassuring to me knowing I have a few things in the pantry ready for use. And free is always good!

Cold hard truth...

August 17th, 2014 at 06:19 pm

Yesterday in nonfiction at our library was a book by Kevin O'Leary entitled, "The Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women, and Money." I read the book jacket, sounded good, and so I checked it out.

Let me preface this with I had no idea who Kevin O'Leary is. He is a business man who sold a company that I was familiar with since I'm in education. But I didn't realize he was on the Shark Tank.

But, after reading his book, I felt like we could be friends. He's similar to Larry Winget...he doesn't hold back, but he isn't as crude as Larry.

Most of what he had to say was common sense and I am, of course, kind of partial when he said women usually make the best investors.

One thing he pointed out, which most of us on SA already know, is people who spend Monday consistently on things like fancy coffees, lunches out, will have problems come retirement time. He said the folks in their 20s and 30s who have to spend big money on fancy coffees and lunches every day will probably be working pouring coffee or serving lunches into their 70s and beyond.

I finished the book in a couple of hours so it was an easy read. Nothing earth shattering, but good validation, especially when we sometimes need that in a society that is always pressuring us to keep up with someone.

Speaking of which, we were watching HGTV today. I said to my husband shows like Love it or list it and House Hunters probably make more homeowners dissatisfied with their homes than people who don't watch them. I know I've mentioned it before how frustrating it is to see these people who never ever want to compromise and have to have everything now. I really like my house. We have spent money to fix it up. I could have lived with some of the things, but we did update and remodel. But, we didn't take out loans to do it. We did it as we saved up for it. O'Leary mentioned that in his book too...people shouldn't be borrowing money to remodel if they don't have the money available to pay it back if something comes up. He said not to look at one's home as an investment because so many times the market fluctuates and one also has to figure in moving costs, closing costs, taxes.

This and that

August 17th, 2014 at 12:21 am

School is back in session and the garden is going full guns. After work and a small trip to the grocery, I made tomato sauce with some of our surplus tomatoes. Today we had brunch out, went to the library, and hit a thrift store and a flea market, and came home. DH worked in the garden and yard and I continued my quest to dry some of our herbs. Right now I have rosemary, basil, oregano, and scallions dried and in jars. A friend of mine gave me some of her half pint jars and I had purchased some small jars at thrift shops to store them in.

It was difficult going back to work after a break, especially so early. Hopefully the temps won't be too miserable in the next few weeks. Most of our schools do not have air conditioning.

I had some very ripe bananas so while I was in the kitchen, I baked banana bread. Supper was pork loin roast, rosemary potatoes, green beans from a friend's garden, sliced tomatoes, and homemade no knead bread. We went to an Amish bulk food store and I like buying small packages of different kind of wheat. I bought a small bag of buck wheat flour and used that with all purpose flour to make the bread. It was pretty good. I just cannot get over how easy no knead bread is and how reasonable it is to make...one just needs to plan ahead.

A quiet evening here...reading and watching PBS.

What manners?

August 12th, 2014 at 03:47 am

Over the weekend we went to eat at a fancy restaurant to help family celebrate. Although more money than we preferred to spend, we had the money and it wasn't an issue.

What bothered me was the lack of manners displayed by a couple other guests. One person demanded refills and extra bread from the server, no please, no thank you, and did not even acknowledge the server. The server was attentive so there was no reason for this.Another was just like this...and between not talking to people around them, but too busy checking their phones and chewing with open mouths, I was appalled by this behavior. I know these people were raised better than this.

I didn't think it was my place to point out the lack of manners, but I will say it did spoil a good meal sitting across from these people.