Home > Archive: April, 2013

Archive for April, 2013

Did a little spending...

April 28th, 2013 at 06:46 pm

Yesterday we did get to the bulk food store run by Amish and I bought some cheese, sausage, and some spices. Their spices are far more reasonable than those in the grocery. I commented the dried mustard in my cabinet was purchased when we married which will make it 23 years old come June 15. We didn't spent a ton, but I felt like we bought some things we would use.

We stopped at a local store and looked around the gourmet food section. DH was shocked at looking at the jars and packages of spices and spice mixtures and the prices of $8 to $15 after buying similar things in less fancy packages at the bulk food store.

Today, after church, we hit Walgreens for a few of their specials. I even had a couple of coupons to put towards the purchase and with the mark downs and coupons, we saved over 25% on our purchase.

All in all, we didn't spent a huge amount either day, I feel like my shelves have a few more necessary items, and I most certainly did not go in debt. I would say that was a success.

Buying in bulk

April 27th, 2013 at 01:34 pm

I have perused many money saving or frugal living sights and so many say to buy in bulk. I get that it can save money, but I wonder where to put a lot of this stuff.

We don't belong to a warehouse store because we found two things: we really didn't save all that much after paying the yearly fee and we were tempted in buying things we really didn't need.

I try to keep things on hand and I have blogged that I keep my pantry fairly well stocked. For paper items I try to use coupons and hit sales and keep stuff on hand.

There is an Amish run bulk foods store near us called Beachy's and I really like utilizing it. They have a huge assortment of herbs and spices which are more reasonably priced than the grocery or speciality food stores. And, one can buy different flours and grains in smaller and larger quantities. I enjoy making bread and like experimenting with flour. I bought a half pound of rice flour to see if we liked the bread it made. And the storage isn't as much an issue since I am not buying huge bags of stuff and not using it all.

I am curious, do you buy in bulk? Are you realizing a huge cost savings if you are? And, where are you storing your purchases?

Scary finances

April 25th, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I am a public school teacher in Illinois. Unfortunately, our state legislators have not made sure our pension funds have been funded like the law says and have, in fact, raided them to pay for pet projects. As a result, our state is having major issues with finances. One topic is to do away with the cost of living raises, or not have them take effect right away. With the teacher pension, one had to reach a certain age before they would kick in. I am not sure about the other pension funds.

A friend if ours is retired and he is worried. I am not sure if worried is actually a strong enough word.

When he worked, he had a position where he made good money for many years. He bought a big house, traded cars often, and traveled extensively. He and his wife did not do without.

He counts on those yearly raises...he said he isn't sure what to do if they don't come...he admitted they owe on their home, cars, have a personal loan and credit card debt.

He was truly grousing and going on and on. But one thing we did notice is they aren't cutting back. They are planning two trips and eating out almost every day. The spending continues.

His finances scare me.

The sad thing is he made good money. I really wonder where they are going to end up. It would be different if he made little and health made him retire. But, there isn't any use to try and talk to him...he feels he deserves to have all the nice things he has purchased on credit.

Old fashioned cook

April 21st, 2013 at 07:57 pm

Yesterday we went to the library and I snagged a magazine I had not seen on the shelves before..."Mother Earth Living." It has some cool recipes and money saving articles.

One article outlined that old fashioned cooks cook with a budget in mind. The example is they serve pot roast instead of filet because you can use a cheaper cut of meat. They use what they have and try to make things stretch.

I thought this really described many of us on SA blogs.

I found a slow cooker recipe I really want to try:

Tuscan White Bean Soup
2 cups dried white beans such as great northern
6 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste
1 T chopped fresh rosemary for garnish

Rinse beans thoroughly and place them in a 7 quart slow cooker along with water, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours or until beans are tender. Remove bay leaf. Either with an immersion blender or put in a blender or food processor, puree until desired consistency. Add salt to taste.

Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary.

In a rut

April 20th, 2013 at 12:16 pm

There's something to be said about being comfortable in a rut. There's the familiar feeling of course. And, sometimes it is easier than making a chance.

I've decided my cooking is sort of in a rut. I seem to be fixing some of the same meals over and over.

Last night I fixed a vegetable fritatta and instead of regular toast, I made French toast. It was good, DH loved it, and it was different.

I think I need to pull out some recipes and try something different in the next few weeks.

Have I trained him well?

April 16th, 2013 at 11:40 pm

When DH and I were first married, Mr. Clotheshorse would never look at marked downs or clearance racks. Last week, he was in Kohls and found a pair of dress slacks for less than $6....originally over $60.

So, have I trained him well?

Flavored Water

April 15th, 2013 at 12:13 am

Ever notice how many bottles of water are on a grocery store shelf? And now flavored waters are a big sell.

Yesterday someone posted on Facebook on making flavored waters. I decided to use one of the recipes because I had the ingredients.

10 cups of water
1 apple cut up in chunks
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 cinnamon sticks

Mix together and refrigerate overnight.

Well, I tried it and it is pretty good. And fairly reasonable.

I was thinking it would be good if I made tea with this flavored water a d probably more reasonable than fancy tea bags or mixes.


April 13th, 2013 at 01:41 am

I have been grousing most of the evening. We came home from the regular grocery store to fill in its some items we couldn't get at Aldi last night,. It was $26 for bananas, raspberries, bell peppers, lactose free milk, 3 cans of tomato sauce, and whole wheat bread.

It just seems like we got so little for $26.

One of the local food pantry's reported their giving is up 17% since so many folks are coming in for food.

I can certainly see why.

I know we can afford it, but when your bring in two small bags of groceries, one wonders how families afford to eat.


April 12th, 2013 at 01:38 am

I am basically fighting with myself. I sat in a meeting and two of the ladies I work with were talking about what they are doing. One is doing a craft project and is looks costly. The other wants to do the same project and plans to buy the materials. Another lady sells Thirty-one bags so these two bought a couple of them each.

At lunch, they both went out. I brought leftovers.

When I came home I asked my husband what is wrong with me. I felt jealous. I don't even know why. I don't want any bags and the whole idea of spending the money on a costly craft project really doesn't appeal me. In fact, there isn't anything I need or want. And I liked my lunch. So why did I feel jealous?

Stormy weather

April 11th, 2013 at 12:17 am

It's been muggy and sticky today and warm. We are currently having storms and the north part of town received large hail. Tomorrow is supposed to be really cold.

DH is chomping at the bit to start gardening. He loves gardening and he loves eating his homegrown produce.

I'm ready to growing our own as well. Good flavor as well as saving money.

Frugal lunch

April 8th, 2013 at 11:10 pm

We had an inservice day for the elementary schools in my district. Every teacher had to move to another school after lunch and it seemed like all of them were trying to figure out where they were eating lunch.

I took my handy lunch bag with peanut butter, crackers, apple, and a Thermos of water. I got to the location, ate my lunch, and could relax.

I am sure by the end of the week, many of these will be complaining they are running short on money. It wasn't an exciting lunch, but saving money and not having to rush made it worthwhile.

New Floors and New Attitude

April 7th, 2013 at 07:29 pm

I received many positive comments on the new hardwood floors. I will say this week has been very busy trying to get the house back in order after the installer finished on Monday. We are so happy with the new flooring and now that things are starting to settle down, I have discovered a few things.

1. This made me truly go through many of our possessions and decide, do we need to keep this? Are we really using it or enjoying it? We donated a couple of pieces of furniture, plus some rugs, household items, and some clothes. This made me let go.

2. I threw away some items that should have been thrown away before. I was raised with the depression era mentality that one shouldn't throw stuff away in case we need it. Some of these items couldn't be reused by anyone else and truly needed to be pitched. It was emotional guilt keeping that from happening. Guess the new floors made me rethink the possession.

3. I washed up everything that could be washed before putting it away or up and it made me appreciate all the nice things I own and how fortunate I truly am.

I spent part of Friday night after the weekly trek to the grocery cleaning and finishing up. I like having a tidy house and that made my evening feel fulfilled.

Part of yesterday was spent fixing some things for meals for the week. I will say planning for meals while trying to put the house back together was a challenge because I was physically exhausted, but we've come so far with eating at home and saving money, I didn't want to get off track.

Our meals for this week:


Brunch: eggs, sausage, toast, grits, fruit salad
Supper: sloppy chicks and chips and fruit salad

Lunch: peanut butter and saltines and an apple
Supper: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, fruit salad

Lunch: leftover meatloaf and potatoes and green beans
Supper: Beef and barley vegetable soup, cottage cheese

Lunch: leftover soup
Supper: chicken tenders, sweet potatoes, salad

Lunch: leftover chicken tenders, sweet potatoes
Supper: vegetable fritatta, cottage cheese, fruit salad

I'm not sure on Friday yet, although I'm sure lunch will be whatever is leftover in the fridge. It is usually my clean out the fridge type of lunch so I may have a smorgasboard of this and that.