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Archive for February, 2015

Sunny Sunday

February 22nd, 2015 at 08:32 pm

After yesterday's snow storm, today it is clear and sunny, but cold. Hey's it's winter in the midwest and I'm blessed to have a snug little home with central heating! Yesterday was certainly a no spend day because we didn't leave the place.

Tomorrow DH goes to make the last car payment on his vehicle. We did get a loan for three years, paid it off in two, simply because we figured we better have some kind of loan to keep our credit scores going. After this month, the car "payment" goes into savings so we have money for a good down payment on the next vehicle down the road.We haven't had a mortgage for a number of years so we thought we ought to "borrow" a bit of money for a little bit of time.

I was glad to see the stock market closed up on Friday due to Greece working out some financial deal. It sure would be nice to get some money on investments since interest rates for savings and CDs are so darn low.

After church we had brunch and then we did some house cleaning. I try to clean by a certain schedule and touch up in between.

After cleaning it is bill paying then I reward myself with some email, Facebook, and SA time.

I check my spam folder every so often to make sure something hasn't gotten in there that shouldn't before I clean it out. I have to chuckle at some of the things in that folder...I guess the spammers must think I'm a guy because there are lots of emails for enlargement of a piece of anatomy I don't currently possess, "ladies" wanting to meet and marry me, women wanting to date me and sleep with me, as well as the usual garbage of credit, insurance, Dr. Oz treatments, and printer ink. I often wonder how these folks get my email since I'm not visiting singles' sites, insurance sites, or ink sites. It would be amusing if it really wasn't so sad...I haven't gotten any from the contests lately...for awhile I was getting bombarded with I was a winner. I don't enter many contests so I don't think I'll fall for any of that.

Supper will be sloppy chicks. I have two after school/evening meetings this week, so I had to think what I could fix that DH could heat up for himself and I could take and heat up at work for my menu. The pork roast and the soup will make up two meals for us so the menu looks sparse:

Scrambled eggs, sausage, grits, toast, fruit salad
Sloppy chicks
Pork tenderloin roast with carrots, onions, celery, and mushrooms and baked sweet potatoes and roasted potatoes
Chicken and rice soup

Snowy Saturday

February 21st, 2015 at 08:16 pm

Here in Central Illinois we received quite a bit of snow overnight. Well, Boston and New England might disagree, but we received between 7-10 inches. Our cul-d-sac is pretty deep. A neighbor so kindly used his snow blower to do our driveway and bless his kind soul!

Yesterday I put a whole chicken in the Crockpot. I bought the chicken Thursday since school was called due to cold temps, and I did the grocery shopping a day early since I had seen the forecast and thought we might have bad weather Friday night into Saturday. I don't do the grocery store scare shopping -- we shop every week so this was just our normal shopping experience. I heard last night that our grocery stores were crazy busy as the snow started. Glad I missed that mess. I bet lots of people were buying things out of fear instead of necessity.

Anyway, back to the chicken. I put it in the Crockpot with some vegetables so I would have a rich broth. Last night I pulled the meat off the bones and then strained the broth and put it in the fridge. I could then skim off the fat after it was chilled.

So today, I used some of the chicken to make chicken salad for sandwiches for lunch. I have a pot of chicken and rice soup going and I have enough chicken leftover for chicken and noodles. I used some of the broth also for ham and beans. I'm trying to use things I have in my freezer so they don't get freezer burn or too old. So, that chicken will be providing the basis for three meals and helped with a fourth. Not too bad. The house smells pretty good with the ham and beans cooking.

DH is a bit under the weather so I hope after his rest he feels better. I'm trying to stay quiet as to not disturb him.

Penny Pinching Purchases

February 16th, 2015 at 08:09 pm

We had new grocery open up and I feel like we are reaping the benefits. It is a second store for one group and the coupons have really started coming out. They had a coupon of a box of Creamette spaghetti for 59 cents with the coupon, limit of 2. I didn't need spaghetti, but we bought them and they are stored in the freezer for when we do.

Since this company has had a lot of sales and such, the other large grocery company has stepped up with sales and coupons. I am no longer loyal to one store. I have decided I am loyal to us and saving us money. This store sent me coupons for some free items based on what I've bought in the past as well as cents off coupons for things. Between their savings and Aldi, we have spent less than $60 on groceries for this week. I really like this penny pinching!

Catching Up

February 16th, 2015 at 01:19 am

It's Sunday again. This week was one of lots of stress and lots of work and...well, it seemed to go on forever at some points and sped by at others. I was glad when Friday night came, but I was so exhausted, I could barely think. DH hit Aldi and we picked up a few things at a local grocery. This store had sent some coupons and we got some good deals on things we usually buy so no complaints here.

Yesterday we ran errands and hit thrift shops. We did eat dinner out at a nice restaurant for Valentine's Day.Both food and service were great, so it was quite the treat.

After church today it was house cleaning, laundry, and cooking. I tried a recipe for snickerdoodle bread someone posted on Facebook. I didn't have the cinnamon chips, but made it like the recipe for everything else. DH loves snickerdoodles and he really liked the bread. It was a nice treat for him. I baked two loaves of white bread. I will be sharing my bread bounty with a friend. A couple of weeks ago she made two apple pies and gave us one so I'd like to do something back for her.

My little group of gals has grown to be a little larger group of gals who are bringing their lunches on Thursdays and we are talking about finances. Last week, as a lark, I emailed them an assignment to list 5 things they do personally to save money. They laughed and kidded me about the "homework." So, while we ate, we shared our five things. We made a master list and put it on Google docs so everyone could add if they wished and we had a nice time. One of the other ladies is going to come up with an assignment for this week. We decided to trade off so no one feels like anyone is really in charge. We started a Facebook page for our group so we can share articles so we don't fill up our email boxes.

Last Thursday I found a dime in the parking lot of one of the buildings I frequent. I posted about it and said it put me up to 17 cents. I got a lot of ribbing about it, all good natured, and today at church, one of our friends dropped a penny on the floor and picked it up and said I had found it. He proceeded to put a penny in the pew where we sit and gave me one more before he left just laughing. I call him my penny angel and I'm now up to 20 cents. Hey, it all adds up.

This is going to be a weird week as far as meals. A couple of weeks ago I made a huge batch of soup and froze half of it for this week. I have parent-teacher conferences Tuesday and Thursday nights from 4-7 so I will take some soup with me to heat up at school and DH can heat some up for himself on Tuesday. I plan on making mini quiches so we can do the same thing on Thursday.

My menu plan for this week:

Scrambled eggs, sausage, grits, toast, fruit
Pork loin roast with carrots, onions, mushrooms, and celery, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, bread
Vegetable soup
Leftover pork roast and I'll probably roast some potatoes
Mini quiches

It's cold here, but we might get up to an inch or so of snow tonight into tomorrow. I am not going to complain too loudly. Last winter was horrendous with the frigid temps and all the snow, and even that isn't as bad as what New England is experiencing. Got to count our blessings when we can!

Routine or Rut?

February 8th, 2015 at 08:28 pm

There's a certain comfort to a routine, but does something stay a routine or become a rut?

We do the same thing about every Sunday. Get up, eat breakfast, read the paper, clean up and dress for church, attend church, get the Chicago paper, fill my gas tank for the week, come home and I fix brunch (and usually the same thing), clean up, and do housework. Fortunately DH likes doing the same things because he likes ruts, he says.

We did do something different today. We stopped at the grocery to get something. No, I didn't forget to buy something or put it on the grocery list. Seems a friend of ours was released from physical therapy rehab and got to come home. I wanted to make a big pot of beef and barley soup and I lacked the beef. So, that was something different. And it was for something good -- so glad my friend is home and can be with her family.

I will admit I am not a spontaneous person. I plan, plan, plan. I plan at work and I plan at home. It worries me if something pops up. I have a relative who plans for nothing. He has asked us to go out to eat at the last minute and is dismayed when I say I already have something cooking. For a big anniversary nothing was planned until the last minute by them. I guess they like living their lives that way.

I try to plan my expenditures. I plan our meals. I plan by saving for things. I plan my lessons at school and I try to plan my medical visits. Maybe I'm just boring.

So, am I in a routine or rut?