Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thrifty Thursday

 Shelly at The Coupon Teacher posted a questionnaire today and I thought that it would be fun to join in and answer!



How Thrifty Are You?

1.  Do you use coupons to save over 50% or more on your groceries?  I use coupons but, I usually save 25 to 35%. I just can't seem to get it higher for some reason.

2. Do you reuse paper products like foil, plastic baggies, or plastic utensils?  Yeppers! Though, I do not buy plastic utensils, I do wash & reuse plastic freezer bags and I reuse our plastic grocery bags (I have even crocheted purses out of plastic grocery bags).

3. Do you buy things like clothes, home goods, or entertainment items for full price? I usually visit the thrift store first, then look for sales in retail stores. If I REALLY need it, I will pay full price.

4. Do you eat out more than once a week?  No, we only eat out once a week- usually Friday nights. Sometimes, if money is extremely tight we will skip this and make something special at home instead.

5. Do you feel an obligation to take free samples or toiletries in hotels? Oh yes! That is what they are for isn't it?

6. Do you send it more than one mail in rebate a month? No. Actually I have never sent in for a rebate.

7. Do you feel an obligation or need to stop at every yard sale you pass? Not at all. I do look as we drive by though.

8. Do you recycle items on Freecycle or for money? No. I donate most still nice items that we do not want / need to our local thrift store.

9. Have you lowered all your bills to the smallest amount you can pay for acceptable services? We are trying to do this. It will take some time. We have gotten the credit cards paid off and now own NONE!

10.  Have you figured out the best way to save money is to spend less and stretch all you have as far as you can? I am working on the stretching. But, being thrifty is a learning process .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sharing A Recipe

This past Sunday the Hubbeast and I took a trip to our local thrift store. I was looking for a container that I could keep my Artisan bread dough in and some scrubs to wear during the day (I am always getting spit-up on or worse). Well, I didn't find a suitable container for the bread dough but I found the scrubs. I also looked over the book section and treated myself to a cookbook for 50 cents (you can't beat that).

The cookbook is the Congressional Cook Book and it isn't dated but, I am assuming that it was published when Reagan was in office by some of the titles. After we returned home, I was looking through the book and found a recipe for Pound Cake. I had all of the ingredients so I gave it a try. The Hubbeast liked it so much that he took half of it to work with him the next day! I thought that I would share the recipe with all of you!

Hattie's Pound Cake

* 2 sticks unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 3 cups sugar
* 5 eggs
* 3 cups cake flour
* 1 cup milk
* 1 tsp. lemon extract
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Blend butter, shortening and sugar together. In another bowl, blend eggs, flour and milk together. Mix with butter mixture and add extracts. Pour into bunt pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

What? My Family is SPOILED?

Yes, you read the header right. I have been told by a certain "friend" that I have spoiled The Hubbeast and the kiddies! I thought that I was just being thrifty! You see, I LOVE being a wife and a SAHM. I truly believe that it was what I was meant to do with my life.

When I cook things from scratch I get accused of spoiling my family! What the "Friend" does not understand is that I ENJOY cooking! I always have! Not only is it cheaper to make most things from scratch, it is also healthier (you know what is in there), and it tastes better! Plus I LOVE the look on my family's face when they enjoy what I make! The look on their faces when they take that first bite of cheesecake or homemade bread is priceless and makes me feel so good!

I make my own laundry detergent because the Hubbeast and eldest daughter have EXTREMELY sensitive skin and cannot use most commercial detergents! The only ones that they do not react to are the "baby" detergents and they are pricey! So, I make my own to save not only money but for the health of my family!

Now, this "Friend" is also the first to ask me to cook for the parties that she likes to throw. It never fails! As soon as she starts planning I get the call...."Can you make 4 dozen mini cheesecakes for me"? "Can you make 5 dozen mini quiches for me"? "You know how everyone LOVES them"! LOL It  sometimes drives me crazy! But, it is flattering at the same time.

Does anyone else get this from people? The "spoiling" your family from people who have no clue?

Menu Plan Monday

 

Last  week's menu was mostly a success! The only night that did not go as planned was Wednesday night. The girl's wanted to go out for Asian cuisine, but I was exhausted so, they had a date night with the Hubbeast and brought me home some pot stickers (my absolute FAVORITE). The rest of the week went as planned.
This week will hopefully go as planned. We will see! 

*Monday:
  Burgers on onion rolls
  Green salad
  Pound cake

*Tuesday:
   Lemon pepper chicken
   Macaroni & cheese
   Green beans

*Wednesday:
  Country pork ribs in the crockpot
  Mashed potatoes
  Creamed corn

*Thursday:
  Leftover Buffet

*Friday:
  Roast beef
  Mixed veggies

*Saturday:
  Shepherd's Pie (using leftover roast beef & veggies)

*Sunday:
  The Hubbeast is cooking so, it will be his choice (a NEW tradition we started this week)

 For hundreds of menu ideas, check out the Organizing Junkie!
 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thrifty Thursday

Today's Thrifty Thursday's post is going to be about what I do to earn extra money while being a SAHM.

     I have not worked outside of my home since I found out I was expecting my oldest daughter almost 19 years ago. But I have made a small income during that time. Mostly I run an in-home daycare and charge a reasonable rate (most people think I give it away). 90% of the children I care for come from single-parent households and if I charged more, the parent couldn't afford daycare. This allows me to earn extra funds, gives the children a loving, nurturing environment and has allowed me to be home to raise my 4 children. Plus, I am at home anyways so I would rather be doing something productive that trying to find something to keep myself busy. Right now I have 4 children that I provide care for (Destiny 10 who I have 5 days a week, Landon 5 who I have occasionally, Luke 15 months who I have 5 days a week, and Sophia 9 months who I have Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays) and starting Monday I will have 10 month old triplet boys on Mondays.

     I have also made a little extra money by knitting or crocheting for profit. I knit socks for an alpaca farm for about a year. I have sold items I have made to friends and family. I also make Birthday and Holiday gifts which in turn saves me cash.

     The funds that I make pays for my girl's lunches, puts gas in my daughter's car, pays our water bill, buys our groceries,  pays for my girl's cell phones and I have even got a small emergency fund- all being a SAHM. The Hubbeast then covers the rest.

     This is what works for us. To get more thrifty ideas, please check out The Coupon Teacher!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

 

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! The Hubbeast and I just spent the day together doing much of nothing. It was really nice not to worry about household chores, cooking, etc... But, today it is back to work ;o)
The Hubbeast went to the grocery store for me on Saturday (I won't get into the car if there is snow on the ground). He did REALLY well and pretty much stuck to my list! We only spent $64.00 for the week! That is $36.oo BELOW our budget! Woo hooooooo!

Here is the plan for the week:
*Monday:
   Whole Chicken in the crock pot
   Baked Potatoes
   Green Beans
   Artisan Bread (A must try)

*Tuesday:
   Garlic Herb Pork Lion
   Macaroni & Cheese
   Corn

*Wednesday:
   BBQ Chicken on the grill
   Rice
   Brussels Sprouts

*Thursday:
   Left over Buffet

*Friday:
   Homemade Pizza Night
   Salad

*Saturday:
   Oven Fried Chicken
   Mashed Potatoes
   Green beans

*Sunday:
   Spaghetti & Meatballs
   Salad
   Garlic Bread

Of course, I may switch up the nights but that is the planned meals. For more menu ideas, check out The Organizing Junkie and have fun!



Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thrifty Thursday

Thrifty Ideas For The Kiddos

Running an in-home daycare, I have learned quickly how to save some money when it comes to the kiddos play toys. I have found that children love to play with the simplest of things. I save toilet paper and paper towel rolls and they love to use them as swords, eye glasses, microphones, etc. Empty plastic containers make the best drums, shakers and toddlers LOVE to put smaller toys inside. Newspaper makes a good drop cloth for finger painting, coloring or playing with modeling dough. And, when I am in the kitchen, a few plastic bowls and some wooden spoons become a drum set! So, look around your home in a different light, think what a child would do with an object. If it is safe, some or the oddest items give hours of fun!

For more thrifty ideas, please check out The Coupon Teacher.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Meni Plan Monday




This week is going to be a little crazy. I've added another infant to my in-home daycare so now I have my 2 teen-aged daughters, Destiny who is 10, Landon who is 5, Luke who is 15 months, Ashton, Bryce & Chase who are 10 month old triplets (I only have them occasionally)  and now Sophia who is 9 months old.

I'm definitely going to get a better routine down with everything. Housework, schedule planning, menus, etc....

I want to try to work in Breakfasts sand Lunches in my menu plan too but have NO idea of what I could feed the 3 frugally and healthily. And some of them are very picky and Sophia is still on baby food and formula.

I would apprecialte ANY & ALL suggestions in this subject.

Here is the menu I came up with for the week. We haven't done our shopping yest so I am going with what is on hand again.

*Monday:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal, banana, milk
  Lunch: Ham Sandwiches, yogurt, juice
  Dinner:
   Rice
   Salas

*Tuedsay: 
  Breakfast: 
   Pancakes, apple slices, milk
 Lunch:
    Leftovers from the Pineapple Chicken &  Rice, milk
Dinner:
   Meatball Subs
    Salad
    Tea

*Wednesday:
   Breakfast:
      Cold Cereal Juice
   Lunch:
      Leftover Meatball subs, veggie sticks, milk

   Dinner:
      BBQ Chicken
     Mashed Potatoes
     green beans
    tea

*Thursday:
   Breakfast: Scrambled eggs , toast, mikl, 1/2 banana
   Lunch: Han Sandwich,  Macaroni & Cheese, carrot sticks, milk

  Dinner:
   Beef roast
   mixed veggies
   Tea

*Friday:
  Breakfast: Granola bar, apple slices, milk
  Lunch: Leftover beef roast veggies milk or juice
   Dinner: 
    Herb Crusted Chicken
    Pasta salad
    corn
    tea

Satruday:
  Breakfast: Bagels with cram cheese, coffrr, milk or juice
  Lunches: Sandwiches & Chips Tea
  Dinner: 
   Meatloaf
   potatoes
   green beans 
   Tea

Sunday:
Fend for yourself day.


We will see how if goes. It has to help lunches go smoother!

To get more menu ideasd, check our Organizing Junkie web site!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thrifty Thursday

Today is Thrifty Thursday and the only thing I am coming up with is to shared the recipe for homemade laundry detergent that I use. I use a powdered for and it especially cheap to make.

Powdered Laundry Detergent:
* 1 cup grated bar soap (I use Ivory but you can use most any).
* 2 cups borax
* 2 cups washing soda (not baking soda)
* 1/2 cup Oxy-Clean

Mix all ingredients and use 1 to 2 Tbsp. per load. Just 1 to 2 Tbsp!

Hope you enjoy! For more thrifty ideas, run over to The Coupon Teacher & check out Thrifty Thursday's

Monday, February 1, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

 

Being snowed in, I cannot get out to do the weekly shopping so....I am making due with what I have on hand. As soon as the roads clear enough to be able to get out of the driveway, I'll update the menu plan.
Here is what I have come up with:

*Monday:
   Chili
   Salad

*Tuesday:
   BBQ Chicken
   Pasta Salad
   Corn

*Wednesday:
   Soup
   Salad
   Grilled Cheese

*Thursday:
   Roasted Chicken
   Fried Rice
   Salad

*Friday:
   Left-over Buffet

*Saturday:
   Hot Dogs
   Oven Fries

*Sunday:
   Rotisserie Chicken
   Pasta with Butter & Herbs
   Green Beans

That is what I can come up with out of the pantry & freezer. Not to bad! For more menu ideas, go over to Organizing Junkie and look around!

Freezer Cooking Update


Just a quick update on this past weekend's cooking. Being snowed in really helped being able to get things done! LOL

*Meatballs x 4
* Mini meatloaves x 12
* Chili x 2
* Bread x 8
* Pancakes x 12
* Roasted pork x 3

Summer helped with the bread and actually made the pancakes herself! I have never frozen chili before, I hope it hold up well!  What did you add to your freezer this past weekend?

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