Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Week 21 - 2009

Not too much shopping or cooking at home this week as we were out of town Friday - Monday.

What I bought

celery and carrots
10 packs Kraft cheese - priced matched them at $1.59 each and used coupons on all of them
light sour cream
1/2 gallon skim milk
3 Kraft barbecue sauces 97 cents each, used $1 coupon on each one
2 Premium saltines - used $1 coupon on each
baking powder - used 65 cent coupon
Crystal light - used $1 coupon
corn tortillas
12 tomato sauce
big box of Pop Ice
Febreeze plug in- used $4 coupon
4 spools thread
5 12 count Schick razors - $1.97 each, used $2 coupon on each

what we ate
May 20
enchiladas and salad
May 21
marinated chicken with salad, broccoli and spinach
May 22 - May 25
out of town
May 26
Dutch Farmers dinner - made with ham chunks and wheat free oatmeal cookies

for more shopping trips and menus, visit Gayle at the http://grocerycartchallenge.blogspot.com/

A lot of laundry

Hello everyone! I've been in east Texas for several days. My dad had gall bladder surgery and it was supposed to just be a one-day out patient event but his gall bladder was actually "mush" so he was in the hospital for a week. He is home now and getting better all the time.

While I was there, I discovered some old pictures. These are pictures I had never seen before of my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles. Mom let me bring them home so I could scan them and then share them with my cousins.

This is one of the funnier pictures. On the back it says Clyde, he was my grandfather's brother. Can you see all the laundry hanging in the background?
I don't think Uncle Clyde was really an armed guard to just the laundry but it looks like he was!

I am doing our laundry today and I am sure glad I don't have quite this much to do!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh no! wheat allergies.....

My daughter Nina has not felt well for months and after several visits and lots of tests, her dr. told her she is allergic to wheat.
So right now, we are reading all our labels and doing research to see what she should be eating.
I made this batch of granola for her, it contains oats, brown sugar, butter, coconut and pecans.
We are looking for wheat-free advice. She is mostly looking for ideas for what to eat for breakfast and lunch since her favorite doughnuts and sandwiches are now off-limits.

2 products I really like

I mentioned in this week's grocery post about the Walgreens trash bags I like so much. For some reason, I thought they were the W brand but they are really Tuf brand. I've been buying them for a long time and try to stock up when they are on sale or I have register rewards to use up.
They are very sturdy, have no weird scents - what is it with scented trash bags anyway, if you just take the trash often, then the garbage smells are not a problem anyway?

My mom brought some food dishes here for Thanksgiving and she used Glad Press'n Seal to cover them. I liked it so much, I went out and bought a roll. The stuff is great, it pulls off the roll and cuts easy. And you only need to use a piece 1 inch longer than whatever you are covering.
I use it often but that it lasts a long time. My first roll lasted from the first of December until last week when I bought a new one.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grocery budget Week 20 - 2009

another glimpse of my kitchen

Dollar Tree
5 loaves of bread - I was very happy to find the high-fiber bread we like so I stocked up and froze the extras
100 Walgreens brand trash bags - their house brand makes a very sturdy, reasonable priced line of trash bags
Food Pyramid
gallon of OJ
7.5 pounds ground beef
2 bags tortilla chips, 1 drink mix, 5 bottles of diet soda
iceberg lettuce, bell pepper, Romaine hearts
1/2 gallon milk, 2 dozen eggs, 2 sliced cheese, 2 pounds cheddar, 1 Activia yogurt
3 salad dressings, 2 mustards,
10 pounds fresh chicken,
french bread
saran wrap

May 13
deluxe nachos
May 14
beef stew and cornbread
May 15
burgers on homemade buns with potatoes
May 16
cinnamon rolls for breakfast
sandwiches for lunch
homemade pizza for supper
May 17
eggs, ham, toast and eggs for breakfast
chicken, oven roasted asparagus and french bread for lunch
leftovers for supper
May 18
chili and a big salad
May 19
Roast beef with rice, broccoli and a big salad

Visit Gayle at the Grocery Cart Challenge for more shopping and meal plans.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Doing lunch - quick, healthy and low-cost

I like to meet my DD Nina for lunch but I am not really crazy about standing in lines at crowded restaurants or looking for a spot in packed parking lot.
So when Nina wanted to do lunch this week, I made a picnic lunch for us. I spent about 15 minutes in the kitchen and made egg salad for a sandwich and cut up fruit for a fruit salad and bagged up a few cookies. I am pretty sure that we would of spent that 15 minutes in line or searching for a parking spot or waiting for our food.

I packed in this often-used cooler bag. Jeff and I take it almost every time we will be away from the house for more than a few hours. We always put bottles of water in it and if we will be gone for long, we add some snacks.

It was so windy that day that we decided not to eat outside though. We just drove over to her new home that is about 5 minutes from her office and ate in her pretty dining room.

Blog give-aways

Do you enter blog giveaways? I do! At least I enter the ones that are giving away things I like or need. There are so many giveaways out there and I won my 3rd one last week. I got this nice razor set from Missy. Thank you Missy!
In the past, I've also won a pretty mousepad from Marilyn and some really cute personalized peat pots from Em.

The odds of winning the smaller contests is good too.
I have not had a giveaway in a while but I've decided I will have another one next week, so check back.
Anybody else been a winner?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cheap and ugly to start with

These frames and plaques were bought at garage sales last summer - very cheap. They've been collecting dust in the back room closet ever since. I dug them out and re-did them and am so glad I did.
To start, they all got a coat of black spray paint.
That is the rectangle frame. I used my Cricut to cut out the letters from a favorite Bible verse.
The long mirror belonged to my grandparents and hung in their bedroom - I am not sure how I ended up with it, but isn't it pretty?
I'm not sure if I will keep the crown and fleur di lis, I have to think about things for a while before I decide.

That part of the big, blank wall looks much better with some art now.

I thought the plaques looked like toile and would work in the breakfast room.

but they don't photograph as pretty as they really look.

I didn't re-do that big oval frame yet, I actually have 2 of them. But there is another big, blank wall in our bedroom so that might be my next project.
Almost anything can be updated with a little paint and new designs.

Week 19 - 2009

May 6
homemade pizza with salad
May 7
pasta with Roma sauce, salad
May 8
salad, smoked pork loin and baked potatoes
May 9
multi grain pancakes for breakfast
sandwiches and salad for lunch
nachos for supper
May 10
biscuits and sausage for breakfast
lunch out
May 11
Turkey fajitas
May 12
Indian Tacos

The freezer - restocked with meat -
this was a high-spending week, before we went shopping, the only meat in the freezer was a turkey and some smoked pork

Dollar Tree

3 loaves high fiber bread

Walmart, Food Pyramid and IGA

1 Gallon OJ, 2 Lb butter, 1/2 gallon milk, 1/2 gallon ice cream, Cool Whip, sliced cheese and 3 bags grated cheese, 3 cans Grands biscuits

Yellon onions, celery, carrots, strawberries, tomatoes and asparagus

Spiral Ham, Cure 81 Ham (we sliced this for sandwiches) hot dogs, 3 rolls of breakfast sausage, 3 Rump Roasts, 7 pounds Round Steak, 1 chicken, 6 pounds chicken breasts, 6 pounds ground round

10 Pace products, 4 tomato sauce, olive oil, ketchup, 7 2 liter diet soda, 2 Dog Treats

bleach cleaner, Cascade and 2 boxes Ziploc freezer bags

For more real meals and shopping trips, visit Gayle at Grocery Cart Challenge

Friday, May 8, 2009

What kind of house are you?

My friend Terri has a quiz link on her blog.
Just answer the 10 multiple choice questions at Front Door. Com and it will tell you what kind of house personality you are.

Terri says her type is a refined Victorian.

It says I am solid as a Ranch house!
Simple and suburban by nature, you exude a cozy warmth that lets people know you don't mind if they leave their shoes on in the house -- it's only carpet, after all! Family and friends are important to you, and you love having them stop by. While not overly fussy or vain, you care about your looks -- but honestly, you're happiest in sweatpants. To you, life isn't measured in the goods you've acquired, but in time well spent.

The description fits me pretty well, and our home is pretty much a ranch style home too. But I think most every home in Oklahoma built after 1970 is a ranch style.

The quiz and it's graphic are fun if you have a few minutes to spare.

ribbon organization

I've been keeping my ribbon in this little suitcase. For years it worked just fine, but lately it has been so full, it is hard to close and really hard to see just what is in it.
Jen at Lipstick and Laundry has 2 great posts about ribbon storage - one in a thrifted magazine rack and the other about ribbon wrapped on wooden clothespins.

Pretty messy, huh?

I stopped at Dollar Tree and found these pins for $1 for a pack of 20. I used 2 1/2 bags. You will probably need more than you think.

wide ribbon is still in the little suitcase
It still looks messy in the picture, but trust me, in real life, it is neater and way easier to see what I have. And the lid shuts easily too.

Small ribbon wrapped on clothespins in a gallon jar.

The clothespin method works great for narrow ribbon, but I did not like the way it worked for wide ribbon. Anyone know a great method for storing wide ribbon?
Jen has some really fun posts, you should read about the gypsy chicken currently residing in her back yard!

Monday, May 4, 2009

week #18 - 2009 grocery budget

this picture has nothing to do with groceries or meals but it seems like it rains here almost every day.


when I did errands, I stopped at the bread outlet, Dollar Tree and Walgreens but all 3 were out of things I planned to buy- in general making trips and buying just 1 or 2 things is not usually efficient or thrifty, but my trip just did not work out like I planned

Dollar Tree
bleach cleaner and wax paper

Nivea shower wash

Bread Store
1 loaf bread and 1 bottle syrup

2 grape juice concentrate
tortilla chips, corn and flour tortillas, 2 bottles Pace salsa
5 pounds sugar
grape tomatoes, Vidalia onions, 2 packs Romaine hearts
pound of Monterry Jack cheese, pepper jack cheese slices, 1 roll sausage, 1 gallon skim milk,
1 pound butter 2 yogurt
2 Snuggle fabric softener
2 lavendar scented Fabulosa floor cleaner

April 29

April 30
Turkey Tacos

May 1
we ate at a local Dinner Theater

May 2
Bacon, Eggs and Toast for breakfast
snacks for lunch
new pizza recipe for Supper

May 3
breakfast at church
smoked chicken, homemade buns, fresh spinach and green peas for lunch
soft tacos for supper

May 4
Slider burgers made on May 3's leftover buns with oven fries

May 5 - Cinco de Mayo
enchiladas with Mexican rice and salad

for lots more meals and shopping totals, visit Gayle

new way to make pizza

Did any of you send for the freebie booklet from Fleischmans yeast about a month or so ago? the offer is expired now but the author has cookbook for sale
I got mine last week and tried the pizza crust Saturday.
All the recipes have a long rising time but require no kneading at all. They mix up very quickly, once you read through all the directions.
I scanned the pizza crust recipe, click on each picture to enlarge if you want to read all the recipe details.
I just made half of the recipe and it made 1 thin crust 12 inch pizza. The dough was thin and crispy, and closer to restaurant style pizza than any other homemade dough I've ever tried - and I have made a lot of pizzas.
This recipe would be very nice for working mothers who will be gone all day, they could stir it up in a minute before they leave for work and then have dough waiting on them when they get home.
Here is my shorter version
no knead pizza crust - I mixed mine up right after breakfast on Saturday and then we had it for supper that night
3 Cups all purpose flour - 15 ounces - I did weigh mine but am not sure it is necessary
generous 1 1/4 t salt
1/2 t Fleiscmann's RapidRise Yeast - I think this brand is important
scant 1 1/2 Cup Ice Water
1 T olive oil - plus a little more for brushing dough
In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt and yeast.
Vigorously stir in ice water, scraping down sides, just until blended.
Stir in olive oil, just until blended.
This whole process should just take a minute or so.
Leave the dough in the mixing bowl, but brush it all over with a little olive oil.
Cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for about 4 hours.
Then take it out, and let it rise on the counter the rest of the afternoon.
Punch down and pat out onto a lightly greased baking stone.
Top with a little sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice.
Bake in a preheated 475 degree oven until done - 15 or so minutes.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bunch of Bibs

Baby Gavin spits up, I guess most all babies do, so to keep his clothes a little cleaner, I thought he needed some bibs. I had an assortment of soft childrens prints flannel scraps. I used this PDF pattern at Nested for the basic shape.
Mine are all just 2 layers of flannel, no batting for the filling, I think the flannel will be absorbent enough.
I ended up making 9 in all, they really sewed up fast!

All of them have Velcro for the fasteners.