Saturday, January 27, 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Penny Smart #3

This a place where I share how I've stretched a penny, saved a penny and in many cases spent no pennies.

I made a meal of turkey and rice soup.  I pulled the broth from the freezer that I saved when I made turkey pot pie.  The turkey also came from the freezer from Thanksgiving leftovers.  Add a diced carrot, 1 cup of rice, water, salt and pepper and you have a frugal meal.
 Megan will need a new coat next winter.  I had been keeping an eye on a coat waiting for it to hit the clearance rack.  It seemed to get stuck at 40% off.  I keep watching and waiting and they weren't lowering the percentage off. 
 There were only two left so I decided to just to it.  It was originally $145 the 40% off brought it down to $87.  I had a % off coupon and a gift card for $10 making the out of pocket total $59.60.  More than I wanted to pay, but better than full price in the fall.

I'm using it up!  This was my blush container before I opened a new one. 
I'll admit I wanted to toss it and open a new one several days before I got to this point.  I was patient and kept chipping away at the corners each day to get the powder I needed.  Not fun, but I have goals to meet!

We were able to pay off half of our lowest debt.  We are hopeful to have the remainder paid off in February. 

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. 
Proverbs 13:11

It's a great reminder to tackle our financial goals bit by bit.

So there you go.  I hope this encourages you to do things to save money.  The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more these days.  I find it's much harder to stretch my pennies into nickles. *smile* I find it encouraging to hear about other frugal adventures and I hope you do also. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.


This will be pictures from the last two weeks since I've been a steeler blogger. ha!  We celebrated my 47th birthday on the 12th.  The weather wasn't great so we were all home that due to morning ice.  I was a little disappointed as we had plans to go for dinner that were cancelled.
Megan made my birthday cake.  She was disappointed that her second layer stuck to the pan.  In the end it was all good as it's really the love put into it that counts.  

My husband isn't a guy of gushy words.  He suprised me with a handwritten note full of emotion instead of a card.  It might have made me tear up. *smile* He also gave me a sign for our bedroom. 
I have plans to paint it this year and change out some of the decor.  I'm feeling the need for a less cluttered look.

A quiet morning with a beautiful falling snow beckoned me out to sip my hot choclate on the back porch.  
Megan was delighted that there was enough snow and warmth to finally go out and play.
Since then the snow melted with our 50* warm up, it rained, thundered and last night we had a mix of rain and snow that left black ice on the roads this morning.  Makes me grateful that Megan and I are home and don't have to make the school run on mornings like this.  

Snickerdoodle coffee cake for a slow Saturday breakfast. 
There has been a little bit of organizing and cleaning. 
Last Saturday we had the most amazing sunrise. 
A little hit of spring to brighten up these winter days.  
 May your day be filled with joy in the journey!


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Kitchen Time

I didn't mean to disappear last week. Honestly, I had no desire to blog. I spent some time away from home and was extremely tired. I've had some issues with insomnia since about the week before Christmas.  It's awful to still be wide awake, yet exhausted at two in the morning.  I finally mentioned it to Chuck and he came home with an over the counter sleep aid.  It helped termendesly! I no longer need it to get to sleep but I still feel tired.   

A couple of my outings were food runs.  Meijer has some items as part of their 10 for 10 with the 11th free.  I took advantage of it to stock my pantry. Sorry no pictures of that purchase.  A trip was also made to Sam's.  We had run out of chicken.  While there we decided to do a little more stocking up.

A couple of reasons for this.  One I was gifted some birthday money that we decided to spend on stocking up and the final reason is that it looks like we might be eating out of our pantry.  

I mentioned before that there is an issue with the transmission on Chuck's truck.  No worries as he has been driving the van.  We noticed that the van was leaking something so while having the oil changed we asked them to see if they could find the issue.  They found it alright!  It needs a new radiator plus a couple of other things to the tune of $1457. Ouch!  Thankfully it can still be driven.  Chuck will just need to check the fluids frequently.  

Then there is the wonderful govenment shutdown.  The company Chuck works for receives 99% of their work from military contacts.  A small shutdown shouldn't effect us, but if it continues it will impact us.  You know how it works.  If the company isn't being paid then they can't pay their employees.  We'll need to be cautious.   

Anyway, this my meat haul. 
The first thing I did was marinade a package of chicken breast.  My go to marinade is italian dressing, honey and lime juice.  I had almost three pounds of chicken so I used 1 cup dressing, 1/2 cup honey and then three tablespoons of lime juice.  

While it marinaded the packages were broken down into meals.  I ended up with 10 packages of ground beef (I package between 1/2 to 3/4 pound), a container of taco meat, browned beef to use as a pizza topping and three hamburger patties.  The patties were used for a meal that evening.  
The chicken tenders netted 11 packages. 

 Once the chicken breast were done marinading they were grilled and then sliced.  Except for half of one that Megan snagged to make a sandwich for lunch. *smile* The slices were put on a baking sheet to flash freeze.  
I packaged 2 oz of slices into a snack bag and then placed them into a freezer bag. These will be used to top salads for lunch.  That is if I can keep Megan out of them! 
Then it was time to put every thing away.  While taking care of that Chuck helped me straighten and inventory the freezer.  I'm happy to see it well stocked!
While I was at it I also packaged some other things into serving sizes.  Baby carrots and animal crackers.  It's eye opening when you start to measure servings.  It helps me to make better choices when I think "that's all I get" opposed to "wow, that's a large serving.
 
I made some jarred salads.  I use to make these often.  I find that I eat better when it's ready to go.  The thought of cleaning and chopping will make me pass on the salad.  No excuse now!
The frig is stocked with good for us foods.  Salad, blueberries, ready to eat carrots, apples, oranges and lemons. 
I have an issue with not eating correctly.  As in I won't take the time to eat properly and then I either feel sick or benge eat late in the afternoon.  I'm hoping that having things ready to go will help with this issue. A small investment of time in the kitchen that will have a big return. 

 May your day be filled with joy in the journey!



Friday, January 12, 2018

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.

Winter in Indiana is always interesting.  We started off with some snow and then yesterday it was raining and almost 60* This morning it is again below freezing and we are dealing with ice, sleet and eventually there will be snow.

You know it is a big weather story when Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel is in town! 

Our evenings are spend playing games.
Megan is a worthy opponent at checkers.  She surprised me how well she played.  My girl is growing up!
Lunches continue to be mainly leftovers.  We bought a bag of oranges from Sam's that are like enjoying some sweet sunshine. Yum!
An ice tree is a local attraction.  
 This is first time we have ever gone for a peek.  It's beautiful!
 Besides games there has also been a ton of crafting going on.  Here Megan is making homemade stickers. 
Although sometimes messy, I do enjoy her creativity.

I'm off to make some tea and enjoy a cozy day at home. 

 May your day be filled with joy in the journey!



Thursday, January 11, 2018

Penny Smart #2

This a place where I share how I've stretched a penny, saved a penny and in many cases spent no pennies.
I made a frugal meal of turkey pot pie.  I used some of the stock that I made off of the Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey carcasses along with carrots left from our New Years Eve veggie plate.  The meat was from the bits and pieces of the turkey I salvaged while making the stock.
 
  After filling the ramekins with filling I saved the remaining broth.  I put it into the freezer for later use.
 Megan mentioned that she only had one pair of longer socks.  All of her other ones were no peek.  She was asking for longer, warmer socks.  It's been cold and I could see the need for warmer socks.

They were on sale plus I used a 20% off coupon.  I then used a $10 gift card the store sent me for my birthday leaving an out of pocket total of $1.71 for a package of six socks.
A friend is cleaning up his property to sell.  He called and asked Chuck if he wanted some steel.  Sure!  Chuck said there is probably two hundred pounds of steel. Wow! When the weather clears it will be exchanged for cash from the steel recyclers.
Megan handed me a penny she found at the grocery and Chuck came home with a penny he found on the floor at work.  Both went into the change jar because every penny counts! *smile* I printed out a verse and have it hanging in the office area.

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Proverbs 13:11

It's a great reminder to tackle our financial goals bit by bit.

So there you go.  I hope this encourages you to do things to save money.  The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more these days.  I find it's much harder to stretch my pennies into nickles. *smile* I find it encouraging to hear about other frugal adventures and I hope you do also. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!


Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The Tuesday Tackle #14

I don't know about you but these cold days make me want to curl up under a blanket with a good book or movie. I've been fighting that urge and getting busy. Over the weekend I tackled the room that we remodeled. I sorted, purged and put things away in the craft/sewing area.
Please tell me I'm not the only one that makes an even bigger mess when cleaning and purging takes place.  The picture above is when I was about half way complete.  

In the end I ended up with two boxes and a bag loaded up and ready for the thrift store. 
I made sure they were dropped off when we went to run errands.  I don't want any clutter hanging around!

I'm not quite ready to show you the room.  Now that it's a little more functional I can tackle some sewing.  I am altering curtain panels to cover up some unsightly areas.  If I can get my act together I might be able to show you next week.

What projects have you tackled in the last week? 

 May your day be filled with joy in the journey!



Thursday, January 04, 2018

Penny Smart

This a place where I share how I've stretched a penny, saved a penny and in many cases spent no pennies.
Purchased marked down candy, including our favorite M&M's.  These will go into the freezer and should last us all year.   
Found 16oz packages of bacon for $2.99.  It wasn't on the list, but considering that around here the least expensive packages are $4.99 for 12 oz I couldn't pass it up. 

Shopped at four places for our monthly groceries.  The bulk of the shopping was done at W*l-Mart.  By using their savings catcher feature I earned $4.19 back.  
We received a surprise gift of an over the range microwave from my father-in-law for Christmas. The old microwave had a blown display board and a short in the start button.  It had been repaired to the point that it was no longer possible for it to be repaired.  We had to push the button in just the right way to find the sweet spot to enable it to start. Anyway, my handy husband installed the new microwave saving us the cost of paying installation.  Not a neccesity, but it's a huge blessing as we would have gone without when we could no longer find the sweet spot to make it start.  I'll be singing praise each morning when I make my cup of tea! 

I received the turkey carcass from Thanksgiving and Christmas from my mom.  I pulled them out of the freezer to make stock.  Frugal and delicious!

So there you go. I hope this encourages you to do things to save money. The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more these days. I find it's much harder to stretch my pennies into nickles. *smile*  I find it encouraging to hear about other frugal adventures and hope you do also.

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!


Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Joy in the Journey

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.

The week between Christmas and New Year is one of my favorites.  Chuck's company was on shut down from the Friday before Christmas until the day after New Year.  Sadly, Chuck had to go in and work two days after Christmas.  Once work was out of the way we were back to family and home time.

Much of our time was spent playing with new toys.

Christmas decor was put away.  I know many feel a let down once it is put away.  I find it fresh and uncluttered. 

Doesn't everyone have wheat growing on their kitchen window sill? 
I spent many evenings planning.  I am happy to report school is planned for the remainder of the year. Yes!
I always feel the need to purge, organize and clean after the holidays.  I guess it has to do with the desire for that fresh, uncluttered feeling. 
 My first project was my baking cabinet.  Do you think I might have a cupcake addiction?  Oh, and I also have a container this size of sprinkles!  I guess my addiction could be worse. *smile*
 I cleaned out this area that just happens to be under the baking cabinet.  It's right next to the door leading to the garage and happens to be our catch all area.  I'm hopeful that we can keep up on this area as it drives me crazy!!
 New Year's Eve I made appetizers.  We snacked all day and I didn't have to worry about making meals.  Win, win for everyone.
We all agree this should become a new tradition.
This was the temperature about 7:15 on Tuesday morning.  It was up from a record tying -12.  It hadn't been that cold here since something like 1897.  Brrr... we've been joyfully staying in our cozy home enjoying the warmth. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!