Frustrated and Friday’s Frugal Five

I may be a bit grumpy today but I feel the need to get something off my chest…..

Seriously people just stop it, just stop it already!!! You are absolutely making fools out of yourselves and it’s getting out of hand!  What are you trying to prove, do you even know WHY you are doing it?  Or, is it just something one of your friends is doing and you thought you would do it too.

Why is it every time you take a picture you have to pucker your lips like your kissing the air.  It looks stupid!  It’s not cute, and it’s not sexy!  Enough already!!!  If you want people to take you seriously then stop trying to look like a carp (which is a fish with big lips that is a bottom dweller sucking trash of the bottom of the lake, just in case you didn’t know). Really, tell me how sexy does this look to you?

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There…. that’s my PSA for today.  Just my 2¢

Friday’s Frugal Five:

While I do make most of the food we feed our dogs, because I have access to quality ingredients here on our little homestead and can make good food for them at minimal cost… at the same time I do like to keep some store bought kibble around for the just in case (I’m running late, run out of homemade, too lazy or for whatever reason).  I bought some dog food, kale for smoothies, and I did splurge a bit on some nuts for a recipe I wanted to try, that turned out great.  I’ll post that recipe next week.

Sorry, no grocery picture this week. 😦

My grocery budget for January is $300 this week I spent $43 bringing my total for the month to $161 leaving me $139 for the rest of the month.

Friday’s Frugal Five:

  • I spent a good amount of time on the phone with Direct TV negotiating our bill.  The discounts I negotiated last year ran out and the bill doubled to $109 and that is a big fat NO.  I got it back down to $56 which is $2 higher than what I was paying, but it also included a $4 across the board Direct TV increase for all customers so it’s actually $2 less.
  • This weeks “eat the freezer” was a success and we’ll be doing it again next week because there is still a lot of food in the freezer, and hello my name is Lori and I’m a border line food hoarder.  In full disclosure I need to confess that Monday was one of those HUNGER days.  You know the ones where you could eat your arm off and still be hungry…  well I caved and bought a breakfast biscuit on the way to work.  It was $4 and change, but the balance of the $5 went into the change jug.  I’m not proud of my weakness, but I do feel better having confessed my discretion.
  • I did buy an extra gallon of milk this week because I need to make yogurt this weekend.  I used the last little bit of my homemade yogurt so I also had to buy a new starter for it.  If you want to see how I make yogurt you can read about it here.
  • I manged to drag my lazy self up out of bed early every morning this week so I could get my exercise in before going to work, because it makes me feel better when I exercise and lets face it my ass isn’t getting any smaller.  Exercise = better health = no sick days (hopefully) = working and making money = frugal.
  • Lastly, honestly we are just a couple of people who love our God, our family and our country.  We are not disrespectful to others, we believe in taking care of ourselves, not expecting government or anyone else to take care of us.  We are responsible for our decisions, right or wrong and we do not place blame on others for our shortcomings.  We do our part to not be a drain on society, we pay or taxes, we support our communities and we very often try to lend a hand to others in need when we can.  We are not up to our ears in debt because we live a simple lifestyle and we can and will protect ourselves against the ignorance and selfishness of others.  We represent ourselves.

Have a great weekend.  Stay safe friends!

Till next time,

Lori

Weekend Frugal Homestead Happenings

I have declared this week an eat the freezer week.  I’ve done this for two reasons.

  1.   I can not stuff another dang thing in my kitchen freezer and stuff is falling out on me when I open the door.  The struggle is real people!
  2.   I have used almost all of my storage containers and I WILL NOT buy more.  I mean really, how stupid would that be?

You think I’m kidding… look at this!

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I have plenty of single servings of chili and soups for lunches and larger containers of full meal options, it really should NOT be a problem.   I’ll consider it a little challenge for this week.

The Z Man continues to work his butt off stocking the wood supply.  I do LOVE that Man!

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That is two different huge stacks of wood he has labored over this week.  I think our next major purchase needs to be a hydraulic powered log splitter, instead of the Z Man splitting all this with a maul and ax.   The cost of the splitter would pay for itself within a year because of the savings of heating with wood instead of electricity or oil.  Not to mention saving the Z Man’s back.

The weather was rainy this weekend so I wasn’t able to sand and resurface my island butcher block like I wanted to.  I want to do it outside to keep the dust out of the house.  This needs to be done, but it’s also an experiment for me to see if I can do good enough work to take on sanding and refinishing the kitchen cabinets.  Yea, I know… so much for dust in the house on that task.

On Saturday I spent almost 2 hours on the phone with Direct TV because our discounts ran out last month and my bill doubled in cost.  Oh, and heads up… the representative told me that as of yesterday 1/22/17 Direct TV is going to have an across the board price increase so be sure to check your bill if you do business with them.

Anyway, I’ve always considered Direct TV as a nice little perk for us because we don’t go out to dinners and we don’t go out to movies, we are pretty much, no, I take that back,  we are absolutely home bodies.  We love football and of course the Z Man likes to watch hunting shows and I like to watch the cooking show channels.  I had gotten our bill down to $54 a month, and I figured ok, it’s our entertainment.  We do have Amazon prime and can use that if we want to watch a movie.  That was a mistake too, but we are stuck with it for another 11 months.

But, HELLO!  I DO NOT want to pay $109 a month, and I won’t.  After some discussion the nice representative offered me $75 a month.  Nope, I still don’t want to pay that.    I called back on Sunday and asked again what could be done to lower the cost.  Ultimately we compromised and got rid of a few channels which lowered the bill to $56 a month.  That is a $2 increase from what we were paying.  Fine.

I did do some experimental Paleo baking with almond flour and happy life chocolate chips.  I made coconut chocolate chip scones.

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They turned out awesome!  They are nothing like a scone and are more like a chewy coconut chocolate chip cookie (think almond joy).  I got the base recipe from the Paleo Caveman website then tweaked it a bit.  I’ll post the recipe later this week.  It’s definitely a keeper for those times you need a sweet treat.

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That’s about it for our weekend except for watching some football.  Our Steelers lost, booh!

How about you, did you have a fun frugal weekend?

Till next time,

Lori

 

Friday’s Frugal Five

Today is a big day for a lot of people, some are happy about it and some are not and that’s ok.  But the certainty is that we are all together in this big ole thing we call life and we can choose to try and make the best of it, relying on no one but ourselves to better our lives, be happy and genuinely just try to be kind to one another.  That’s all, just be kind to each other.   Just my 2¢

  •  I made a big pot of (knock off Panera) broccoli cheddar soup.  It was delicious and the cost came in well under the Panera cost for a cup of soup.  I coupled that with Katy’s bread recipe which still kept cost around $1 per serving.  I put the rest of the soup we didn’t eat in the freezer.  I love easy pull from the freezer meals.
  • I was gifted some pure maple syrup.  I “put it up” with what I already had on hand in smaller batches to prevent it spoiling.  I’ve read mixed information about the shelf life of pure maple syrup, so I just decided not to chance it and sealed it up in pint jars.

 

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  • Because of said soup in #1 I needed to go light the rest of the week with my diet.  It’s been 10 months since I quit the Prilosec (after a more than 20 year use of it) but too much of some things disrupt my digestive system.  So, veggies the rest of the week for me.  I stopped by two different stores and picked up a few veggies using 3 coupons that I had.  Here is what I bought and spent.  The mushrooms rang up wrong, $1.09 too high and I did take the time to ask the clerk to adjust the price which he did.  I’m going to do some experimental baking with almond flour and the enjoy life chocolate chips this weekend and all I can say it it better be damn good for the price I paid for both of them!  YIKES!

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The fisher nuts were marked down so I stocked up on 2 large bags as I do use them in meals and snack on them quite a bit.  I love walnuts!

Kroger – $22.00

Walmart – $67.04 (fully paid with gift card)

Natures Outlet – $ 41. ($20 paid with a gift certificate)

Monthly grocery budget is $300 and I’ve spent $118.00

  • I used a gift certificate at Natures Outlet, the health food store and bought only what was on my list which was aloe juice and slippery elm, both are used for medicinal purposes to continue to repair my digestive system.
  • The Z Man has been working his butt off the last two weeks or so stockpiling wood for next year.   He is putting that new chain saw to good use.  We burn about 10 – 12 loads of wood every winter.  Like I mentioned before, wood is 100% our source for heat.  That’s a lot of wood… sometimes I feel like the Z Man is a slave to the wood stove.  But, neither one of us could imagine a $400 – $500 electric bill and don’t want to.  NOPE, DON’T WANT TO!

Your turn, what frugal fun have you had this week?

Till next time,

Lori

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

I was in the mood to make soup, but honestly that isn’t unusual for this time of year.  I had been wanting Panera broccoli cheddar soup since a friend mentioned it in her meal plan on Z Life What’s Cooking Facebook page.

But it wasn’t until I walked down to the garden that I realized it was my fate To Make Soup!

Ok, I honestly was just going to the garden to get some leftover greens for the chickens, and then I saw this.

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Well hello there Mr. Broccoli, lets put you in a pot!  (Yes, I actually still had broccoli in my garden in January, I know crazy right!)

This is perfect for my “new” weekly recipe, following along with The Frugal Girl’s plan to try a new recipe each week.  I’ve never made cheddar broccoli soup so I googled recipes and found several that I could tweak as my own for the ingredients I had on hand.

This is what I did…

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 Tbsp of olive oil (or bacon grease 😉 )
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced

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Saute veggies in butter and oil until soft then add:

  • 1 cup of flour to make a roux

Cook roux for 5 – 10 minutes then whisk in:

  • 4 cups of (warmed) milk
  • 3 quarts of chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • S&P to taste ( 1 tsp. of each)

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Cook and stir mixture about 5 minutes and then add:

  • 8 cups of small (even a little bit chopped) broccoli florets

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Cook and stir about 10 – 15 minutes until broccoli is softened, then add:

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  • 8 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

Stir until cheese is melted.

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This makes a big pot of soup.  My 8 quart stock pot is almost full, shy of about 2 quarts.

But, I’m thinking this soup will freeze nicely and if I’m cooking I’m always making more than one meal.

The recipe could easily be cut in half if needed.

This soup is beyond delicious!  So Good!

Now I wont have to buy Panera soup when the craving hits, I’ll just go to the freezer.

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The last time I bought Panera was around $10 for a small cup of soup and a small salad.  This pot of soup (6 quarts) would cost about $23 (in my area of grocery costs).

That comes to about $1 per serving for a Panera size serving of this soup.   Have you ever got a bowl of soup at Panera (or anywhere besides home) for a $1 or less?

But, if you have broccoli in the garden or freezer and homemade chicken stock on the shelf or freezer, then the (immediate) cost of this soup would be minimal at best.

To go with it I made a fresh loaf of Katy’s, the author of The Non Consumer Advocate’s homemade bread AKA The Tightwad Gazette’s homemade bread recipe.

Just YUM!!!   No, really that’s all I could say, YUM!

Since I’ve never made this soup before, I’m counting this as my new recipe for the week, following along with The Frugal Girl’s plan to try a new recipe every week in 2017.

Go ahead, make some soup and bread…  You’ll love it!

Till next time,

Lori