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Archive for May, 2012

Old Fashioned Ideas

May 31st, 2012 at 07:59 pm

Ever hear the slogan that talks about those who don't remember the past are going to repeat it?

I think there is some merit in this so I have been reading online and books one ways to save time and money. I ran across this book at the library: "Simple Country Wisdom" put out by Country Living. It lists 501 ways to simply your life.

It was a good read. Some of the stuff I've read before or I knew, but some were totally new. And many were ways to save some money as well as use what we have.

In another note, a friend emailed me he was going to use up some the meats and vegetables he had left over to repurpose in another meal because I have inspired him. Guess frugality is spreading!

Cost of Cooking

May 30th, 2012 at 12:37 am

It may seem I am driving my hubby crazy. Well, maybe crazier, depending on one's opinion.

Each meal I've been cooking, I have tried to estimate what it cost to fix it. I'm not counting the power for the stove or how much refrigeration, but the cost of the ingredients.

Sunday after church I fixed eggs, sausage, potatoes, toast. Coffee for me, and iced tea for him. I figure at the very most the meal cost $6 when you add in the oil and the butter. A similar meal at a restaurant would have probably cost $17 or more. I realize they have overhead and wages to pay. But, I figure that is $11 we saved by eating at home. All in all, the meal took less than 15 minutes to cook.

Supper the other night was a little pricier...we had sloppy chicks (sloppy joes made with ground chicken), chips, fruit, and iced tea. I estimated it cost between $7 to $8 total. And we had leftovers! Enough for lunch the next day so I figure that lunch if we figured in the buns and the chips cost less than $3.

Tonight's supper was a little more expensive than yesterday's lunch -- we had spaghetti (bought on sale), ground turkey, homemade marinara sauce, biscuits (homemade with homegrown herbs), a salad (homegrown lettuce), cottage cheese, and fruit. I think our meal cost around $8. And, we have enough leftover of the spaghetti and biscuits for a lunch.

Sometimes I feel like I spend a ton of money at the store, but then I realize a lot of times, I'm buying stuff to stock the pantry. I try to get pasta on sale and I have been putting it on glass sealed containers or putting it in the freezer. We hit two stores last weekend and in total we spent less than $90. Only one meal we've had didn't include meat that we bought the on this weekend trip.

DH has a very small area for a garden -- our backyard is almost all shade -- so he had herbs in pots and he has planted bell pepper plants among his other fauna in the yard. He has 3 tomato plants, lettuce, radishes, and basil planted in the small garden like area. Someone asked him why he was doing this and he said because it helps me out when I cook and he enjoys eating like a king!

A gal I know was kidding me about the cooking -- she says it is too hard to cook at home and eating out isn't that expensive. I wonder if she could eat as cheaply as we do...we certainly aren't going hungry and I figure a little time in the kitchen means money saved for other things.

Another person we know said brewing tea for iced tea took too much work. During the winter I get the electric kettle out and make iced tea in glass pitchers using tea bags. I let it cool down before I put it in the fridge. This summer I've made "sun tea" as well as brewed it. Somehow putting a few tea bags in some water doesn't seem that hard and I know what is going into the artificial sweeteners.

One friend has complained how short of money he is...they eat out every single day...sometimes twice. I'm not against eating out -- it is a nice treat -- but when I look at how much it costs, cooking seems a bit more reasonable.

Finding a new use...

May 25th, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Something I have been reading up on is saving money reusing things. I wondered about those plastic tags that come on bread wrappers and produce bags. I ran across this site:

I wonder if they really hold th socks together. It is worth a try, anyway.

I also noticed using one of the bags that produce come in to make a scrubber by putting a sponge inside.

We hit Aldi today and bought lemons and I have both a plastic tag and bag.

I just hate throwing stuff away that can be used from something.

What a spendy month!

May 25th, 2012 at 12:18 am

What a month! I wish I could say it was expensive because we went out and bought luxurious items. Nope.

Because the end of the school is near, it seems this is the time we were hit up for retirements, weddings, graduation, and the like.

My job is different than most because I am not assigned to one building, but am "housed" in one place, but actually work in three others. We had people retire from each building and we were asked to chip in for gifts. My partner and I tried to explain to folks collecting money that buying gifts for four buildings was really getting expensive. We stuck to our guns, but got some dirty looks. Iím not saying we didnít give anything, but one building wanted $25 each!

Then we had a couple gals at one building get married and we were hit up for shower gifts. I know I'm going to sound like Scrooge here, but I am beginning to think there was something really right about etiquette stating you get the showers on the first marriage...these gals have been married before and have households.

All in all, it was a pretty expensive month.

I think I counteracted a lot of it because we ate at home most of the time. Today was the last day of school and I had some paperwork that needed to be completed before I could start on vacation. I got to work early and did get it completed. I was so very tired when I got home, but nevertheless, made supper. It was baked spaghetti with leftover meat sauce and a salad and leftover green beans as well as cornbread. It really didn't take that much work or time, but I figured we saved money and I didn't have to venture out.

Hopefully we can get things back on track money wise.

A rant on why folks DON'T volunteer

May 21st, 2012 at 11:10 pm

As many of you know, I'm in education. My DH has been retired and is volunteering. In fact, he volunteers 5 days a week at 4 different schools.

Earlier this year he set up a time to work with two teachers at the same school. One decided the morning time wasn't working for her, so he agreed to come back in the afternoon which means he visits the school twice in one day to accomodate her. A lot of times he would stand in the hall waiting to come in so she could finish whatever she was doing...for the last few weeks he was waiting out there 15 minutes or more...I guess what is the most bothersome is the fact he shows up on time each and every week. Yet, she never seemed to be ready for him to come in.

Today he got to the school and signed in and went to the classrooms. Both were empty. He walked around thinking maybe they went to the restroom or the gym. No sign of these students or teachers. One of the teaching assistants saw him and said she thought the classes were on a field trip.

In our district you have to request a bus weeks in advance so this wasn't a spur of the moment thing. Yet neither of these two teachers could mention to him they wouldn't be at school on Monday or email me that they were going on a field trip.

He has felt that his time was not well spent going to these classes.

I just can't imagine treating a volunteer like this. Maybe I'm of an age where one appreciates it when folks give time and try to make sure they knew I was grateful.

Perhaps this is a reason people are hesitant to volunteer.

Fake farmers' market

May 12th, 2012 at 08:10 pm

Fake? Really? How can a Farmer's Market be fake?

A few years ago we were at a local farmer's market. As I perused the green beans, the person at that table brought out a box to replenish the supply. The box looked strangely familiar -- very familiar in fact. It appeared to be the same box that our local grocery uses when stocking their vegetable bins.

I stepped back and watched. Other boxes were pulled out with other things like bell peppers, zucchini, etc. All seemed to be the same shape, same size. And the boxes -- all the same. The materials to divide seemed like the ones from the store.

I thought to myself -- this guy is a fake. He's purchased this stuff and is implying he grew it and selling it as his own. And he was charging far higher prices than the local supermarket.


Apparently it's not just happening in our little city, but other places as well. I read an article about these being scams.

Fortunately our local community college also hosts a farmer's market and I do think most of the folks who set up are bringing stuff they raised themselves.

Frankly, fake is frightening not to mention being a rip off when it comes to farmer's markets.

Debbie's blog:


May 7th, 2012 at 02:36 pm

All my life I have struggled with weight problems and self esteem. Recently I attended a workshop and this nice looking guy was very polite and kind to me.

Don't get me wrong, I am not looking for man -- I am happily married. But after this encounter, I questioned why this person seemed interested. I usually stay in the background because I don't like being in the limelight. And it is often better to be unnoticed because I don't want to be made fun of.

So, I have wondered why anyone would treat me so nicely when I am certainly not beautiful. And then it makes me feel even worse about myself.

DH and I have discussed how society has ingrained in us how beauty is so important. It seems we are judged so much on how we look.

Those shows where the little girls are dolled up to look far more mature kind of worry me because will this make these children struggle with their self esteem?

We ate breakfast with my brother and his wife and the topic came up where a former boss hired a good looking gal who had no skills simply because she was eye candy. This was a few years ago.

Some of the articles I've seen state that good looking people are more successful because people respond to them more favorably. Perhaps that is true in many cases.

Hopefully as I meet people today, I will look beyond appearances and accept them as they are. And maybe, just maybe, I'll accept myself as well.

Is it May or July?

May 6th, 2012 at 08:39 pm

It is darn warm outside here in Central Illinois. It feels like July instead of May. Yesterday was warm too. I know the farmers are probably delighted because some of them have corn coming up and we did finally receive some rain earlier in the week and the corn popping up will enjoy the hot sun.

DH pulled some radishes, green onions, and picked some lettuce yesterday for our supper last night. It was so nice to have fresh stuff. He hasn't put in tomatoes yet because he normally waits until Mother's Day weekend to plant...our weather pattern has been so weird with the atypical warmer weather, but he was afraid of frost. My brother planted his tomatoes a few weeks ago and is bragging about how great they never knows.

Our herbs in pots from last year are all looking pretty good since they didn't die off. The thyme looks like it might be knocking on the door pretty soon since it is growing so fast.

Looking forward to a bountiful garden this year...and hopefully saving a few bucks besides. We figure the herbs not dying saved us some money.

I received what magazine????

May 4th, 2012 at 12:59 am

Interesting magazine in the mailbox this week...with my name on the subscription address...

It was American Baby. Looks like a nice enough magazine, but I don't have any children, and at my age, I am not planning on having any. It was really bizarre receiving that magazine.

I haven't signed up for any free offers or anything so I have no idea why it appeared. I don't purchase magazine subscriptions because I borrow magazines from the library so it couldn't be a mix up.

I passed it along to a coworker who has a daughter expected...

I do wonder if I should be "expecting" this publication next month!