January 24th, 2021 at 07:26 pm
Illinois is one of the states that participates in the MegaMillions Lottery tickets. Sad to say, we didn't win. Of course, we didn't play either. I guess some lucky winner in Michigan will be the next millionaire. DH turned to me last night when they announced where the winning ticket was sold and said he bet that even if we won a jackpot like that, I would still shop at Aldi and clip coupons, and reuse bread bags. You know, he's right! He said being frugal is ingrained me and I don't doubt it.
This week was spent doing things that are in effect, taking care of things. I have a few pairs of shoes that were expensive and are leather. I spent some time using some shoe cream on them and polishing them. One is a pair of ankle boots that I cannot even remember how old they are. They don't look perfect, but the fact that they look as good as they do I chalk up to using this shoe cream/polish on them. I know when I went in a year or so ago with a pair of leather shoes, the salesman recognized them as being quite a bit older and asked if I wore them a lot. I said yes, but I try to take care of them. He said that was the key.
Twice a year I use a cleaner and polish on my wooden kitchen cabinets. They are 16 years old which probably isn't really old, but my kitchen gets a work out with all the cooking, baking, and canning I do.
I have a couple of pots that belonged to my grandmother. I don't know when she got them, but I know they are at least over 60 years old. I wash them by hand. I try not to let them get scratched or burn stuff in them. It's amazing how quality stuff lasts when you take care of it. I have a Pyrex dish that also was my grandmother's. It still looks pretty nice. I have a set of wooden handled steak knives that are over 30 years old. They still look great because we hand wash them and I treat the handles with a special oil so they don't dry out. I'm going to say that taking care of stuff also saves money because I don't have to buy a lot of new stuff when the older stuff keeps going.
These are just a few examples of good maintenance. Do you have something you've taken care of that still looks and works great?
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January 17th, 2021 at 06:58 pm
I haven't been eating from the pantry like many here on SA, but I have been making meals stretch. We stopped at Aldi on our way home the other day (not our normal shopping day) and bought a whole chicken so I could put it in the Crockpot. We have gotten 4 meals from it. The first night I just served some of the chicken and put cous cous, green beans, homemade bread, cottage cheese, and a fruit salad as sides. We had chicken salad one day for lunch. Then I used some of the broth as well as the chicken to make a decent pot of chicken and noodles. One time for a supper and one will be a lunch. I still have some broth leftover which I put in the freezer. I figured that was a good use of that chicken!
I had found a pan that you make 6 small Bundt cakes at a thrift store. I washed it up and found a recipe on Pinterest. They turned out pretty well. DH has enjoyed them, and I gave two to a friend at church for her birthday since I figured she shouldn't have to make her own birthday treat and gave two to another friend as a way to support her since her sister is being in Hospice. I know the cakes aren't a solution, but just wanted her to know she is being thought of. I had everything I needed for these cakes in the fridge and pantry so no grocery shopping needed.
Since we have been eating at home so much due to no indoor dining, I have tried to make different things and stretch our food budget as much as possible. I canned as much as I could this summer and fall and as glad as I am to have these items, I'm seeing so much of it dwindling. I guess that is good; it isn't going to waste, but then being the worry wart that I am, I hope I don't run out of stuff before the next gardening season. One good thing about DH is he never says no when I have purchased something for the kitchen. Our kitchen isn't huge by any means, but it is far larger than the one in the house we bought when we first married. Some of the items like pans I have to hand wash and he's been good about helping me dry dishes and pans. He has discovered that I have stacked and nested things a certain way to make sure things fit in the cabinets. He's learning my system which is a good thing.
For Christmas I gave away a lot of the jams and jellies I made over the summer and fall. I also made fudge and cookies to give away. I have a single friend who doesn't like to cook, so every so often, I make extra as far as our meal and take it over so she has a hot meal. She eats some of those frozen dinners and sometimes she just eats cereal. I would invite her over, but with the Pandemic, need I say more? I wear a mask when I do the drop off.
I pulled some vegetable soup I made a couple of weeks ago from the freezer. We had two meals off of it before I froze the remainder. It will be our supper tonight. I baked herb biscuits while the bundt cakes were baking; figured if I was going to have the oven on, might as well make it work for me. DH was pleased because he likes lots of rolls, biscuits, and breads. Fortunately he has the metabolism that he can eat these and not gain weight.
Well, that basically sums up my frolics in the kitchen the last few days. I guess it is good that I like to cook and bake. Hopefully my friends agree.
Food / Groceries
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January 4th, 2021 at 12:49 am
Looks like 2021 has finally gotten here. 2020 was a challenging year on so many fronts and I think most of us hope that the new year is far healthier.
One thing I noticed before Christmas were so many of the advertisements and emails and messages is how many claimed people deserved to buy this and that because "you deserve it" after the year we've had. I wonder how many succumbed to the persuasion. I have a friend who does subscribe to that theory, and has for years and then complains how he's running out fo money.
I don't know if we deserved it or not, but we did trade cars. We felt we were treated fairly and got far more for our 8 year old car (only 35K miles) than we expected. We got a three year loan simply because we owe for nothing else and wanted to help our credit scores.
That was the big news as far as finances for us. We continue to eat at home -- we really don't have a choice since Illinois only allows take out and to be honest, as much as we would like to help the local restaurants, after you order, go pick it up, bringing it home, reheat it, and then clean up, it just isn't worth the expense and trouble.
My birthday is Tuesday and to be honest, it is going to be a little bit of a challenge. I'll be 60. It's weird, 40 and 50 didn't bother me, but for some reason, 60 is. One of my friends who has self taught herself on baking and decorating cookies brought some she made over; what a pleasant surprise. A far better one than the two we had this morning -- 6 inches of snow (we were to get a dusting to an inch) and no power for a few hours. Fortunately we did regain power. Hopefully the snow will melt in the next couple of days.
Let's hope that 2021 is a wonderful year for all of us!
Food / Groceries,
Ramblings and nonsensical chatter
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