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Friday, September 9, 2011


In the pursuit of being more frugal, I started using coupons a long time ago. I can't even begin to imagine how much money I have saved by using coupons. My stockpile has been pretty large at times and at other times not so much. I am in the stockpile mode at the moment. I think the garden starting to come in always puts me in that frame of mind. Putting up the garden produce makes me want to get all stocked up for the winter, and makes me more conscience of waste.

One thing I have struggled with is waste. When things are gotten for free, I feel less frugal with them. I may open up a bottle of shampoo before I use up all of the bottle I already have open. Or use a little more laundry detergent in the load, just because I have 6 bottles.

My goal is to be just as frugal with the things I get for next to nothing as I would be if I had paid full price for them. Just because something is cheap or free, doesn't mean I should use it any differently than if I had paid full price for it. A big part of being frugal is simply just not wasting what you have, even seeing just how far you can stretch things. So my challenge is to see just how long I can make things last, no matter what I paid for it.

There is one persons whose blog I use to read, who would post every week about what food she threw away over the week. Americans waste 40-50% of their food every year. That's like $40 - 50 a week if your food budget is $100 a week. Multiply that by 52 and you get $2080 - 2600 a year in the trash. Astounding to think about.

That got me thinking I should pay more attention to what I am wasting. Maybe if I started taking pictures like the blogger I mentioned did, I would stop wasting so much. Now we do take leftovers in our lunches, and I do make banana bread with overripe bananas, I feed stale bread, cereal and chips to the chickens, and fruit & vegetable peelings go into the compost pile, and I don't consider any of that waste. The chickens give us eggs and it cuts down on the cost of feed. The compost gives us better garden soil.

I have decided to implement a new technique to help me do this. I am going to start writing the dates on things when I start using them. This will help in two ways. I will get a feel of how long that bottle of shampoo should last, and I will know how many bottles I need to keep on hand. After all, if I only need 2 bottles to last for 6 months, I would be wasting my time and energy to stock up on 14 bottles. I don't mind having extra on hand if it's free, but if I don't need it and am not going to donate it, then I am not being frugal with my time and energy by going to get it.

The worst part is it goes far beyond food. Time, gas, money, water, electricity, and the list can go on and on. We have become a disposable society. If something is broke we tend to not even try to repair it. Just toss it away and get a new one.

With the economy the way it is at the moment maybe we should all keep that depression era saying hanging on our fridge or somewhere we look at it frequently.

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”


New Widget

There is a new widget on the right hand side of my page. I am sure you haven't noticed it. It is huge and green, and will earn you some cash. I have only just started using it but it seems like you can earn cash fast. Give it a try.

Changing Season's

You can definitely tell that fall is just around the corner. It has been cool and drizzley here all week. I think the sun hasn't shone here since Sunday. The change of weather has me ready to start cooking, baking and cleaning. I guess my seasonal clock is out of whack. I should have wanted to clean in the spring, but it doesn't usually hit me then. In the spring, all I seem to want to do is be outside. To heck with cleaning, I've been stuck in the house for months!

This fall, I hope to get the upstairs portion of the house de-cluttered and rearranged.

We have one room that has always been the office, one room that has 2 beds in it, and one room that has 1 bed in it. Our old house has very limited closet space in it. We have one closet under the stairs that we built when redoing the house and one closet upstairs that has no insulation or dry wall in it. It is in the room with the 2 beds and one of the beds is in front of the door to that closet.

I am going to buy a new computer desk for the office and move the twin bed into the office. Then we will move the sewing desk into the middle bedroom and the closet will be assessable. We are going to add insulation and drywall or paneling and a hanging rod then we will have a real closet upstairs. I am really excited about this. We are also thinking about building another closet in that room. It is going to require a lot of clearing out. It would be nice to have a little sitting area upstairs, as that is where you can really see the views of our property. That will take some more thought.

On the plans for this weekend is cleaning upstairs, making some apple bread and more banana bread. I think I will make a pot of soup, just haven't decided what kind, yet, and some Apple Dumplings.

Here is the recipe for Apple Dumplings: (the easy way)

Apple Dumplings

2 (8 count) cans crescent rolls
3 -4 tart apples
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (12 ounce) can Mountain Dew soda (I used only 3/4 can)


Spray a 13x9 baking dish or pan.
Peel and slice apples into 16 pieces.
Roll each apple slice in 1 section of crescent roll.
Place rolled slices in pan in two rows, put extras along side.
Melt butter, add sugar and cinnamon and pour over apples.
Pour can of Mountain Dew over all.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

I know this doesn't sound very good, but it is delicious and I have halved the recipe because it really does make a lot.

I got this recipe from today, but I can't remember where I got it from the first time.

I hope you try it and enjoy!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Honey Baked Ham Bone Review

So I said I would check into the Honey Baked Ham bone deal and let you know about it. I bought one on Thursday and we started eating it last night (Monday). I paid $11.15 for the bone or $2.99 per pound. As you know if you've been reading my blog, I don't usually pay more than $2.00 per pound for meat, unless it's steak or something special. Considering Honey Baked Hams are usually $5.50 per pound, it's a deal.

The bone comes frozen, I thawed it, cut the biggest hunk of meat off and baked it for about an hour. I baked it because we wanted hot ham sandwiches. If I had sliced it while it was cold, with my electric knife, I am sure that I could have sliced it thinner and stretched it even more.

Here is the break down for what my $11.15 got me:

Sandwiches for 2 with lots of ham on them
Breakfast biscuits for 2, again, with lots of ham
1 large ham bone with lots of meat still on it for beans
Enough ham and drippings to make boiled potatoes and ham and probably enough to season a pot of green beans
Enough ham for one more sandwich.

I don't think for all that, it was a bad deal for Honey Baked Ham. Ham from the deli counter cost much more. But I bake a pretty good ham myself and can get a lot more meat for $1.69 a pound at the most. Still the Honey Baked Ham was very tasty and convenient. I will probably buy another to have in the freezer for when we need something quick. They do come in different sizes and you can pick one that is less meat, so it would be cheaper.

If you are a small family that really loves Honey Baked Ham, this would be the way to go.

Have a great day!