Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our Little Garden

First fruits of our labor!

We have squash, zucchini, cucumbers, basil, and 4 tomato plants!

This has been a super easy project! Get some containers, make holes in said containers and add potting mix, organic growth feed stuff and plants. Then we watered, and watered and waited and waited. LOL then we got some neat stuff!

Total investment has been around $50 for plants, stakes, food and potting mix. But next year I can reuse the potting mix and I will start early enough to grow my plants from seed. So next years investment will only be a couple of dollars!
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PS. this week I spent $61.19 on groceries and got 14 lbs of meat. I blogged about it about my weightloss blog.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Groceries this week

I had lots of stuff other than groceries to get so I did not think I would make my $70 goal, but i did just barely; my total was $69 and change.

I got:
2 bags of whole wheat flour (clearance 1/2 off)
1 box of oat bran (clearance)
1 box of provia- stevia- a natural calorie free sweetener to try (clearance)
bag of apples
4 garlicky grill mates
2 bags of croutons
3 cans of fruit
3 roma tomatoes
loaf of french bread
frozen edame
frozen broccoli florets
2 sweet onions
large container of organic vanilla yogurt
1/2 gallon of organic milk
store brand miracle whip
2 soft packs of wipes
freezer paper
ziplock bags
2 electric toothbrushes
hubs deodorant

Chicken breasts are on sale for $1.77lb this week. I did not feel like messing with the whole dividing packages thing this weekend but I probably will go back on Tuesday before the sale ends and get some and deduct that from next weeks grocery budget.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

How to make a RUBBER chicken!

Well not a rubber chicken but how to stretch a chicken regardless!
Yestraday I stumbled on a great deal- Whole Organic chickens marked down for quick sale from $12 a piece to $1.50 each. I bought 2.
Before I went to bed I put the chickens in my crock pot with some random seasonings, salt and pepper and let them cook on low all night.
In the morning I removed the chickens to a large 9X13 pan to cool.

This is the part I hate about rubber chicken...I had to put my hands in to strip the skin off, remove and shred the meat. But from those 2 chickens I got between 2-4 meals worth of cooked chicken to put in my freezer!

Next I took all of the juice and some of the bones, skin ect and put them in a large pot and added water til there was double the amount of liquid in the pot. I added some whole garlic cloves, assorted spices, and half an onion and boiled for an hour. Then I poured the liquid through a mesh strainer. The chicken stock is now cooling on the counter but will go into small zipper freezer bags, a cup each and be frozen.

So for $3 I got 2-4 meals of organic chicken and about 10 cups of chicken stock/broth!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The process of living frugal

When I first started my own adventures in frugal world it was simply a means to an end. I had a 3 month old and was in my last year of grad school and I did not want to work and put the kid in daycare for 40 hours a week.
So I started super couponing, selling things on ebay, half.com and craigslist, eating out less,buying mostly used...

I read lots of websites and blogs.... sometimes for hours to figure all the steals and deals! I shopped managers specials and clearance racks and stocked up on stuff when it was a good deal.

Slowly though I started to develop a different attitude towards frugalness. By not buying at all I can be frugal and by choosing high quality goods when I do need something I am being more frugal than by choosing cheapies that break in a month. By making do with what I have or finding a good quality used piece I can be frugal and better to the environment.

I then began to read about people who lived "simply", Followed the Compact, or who practised conscious frugality. These ideas make sense to me. Less stuff = more time and more money. Why do I need 25 shirts when 5-10 will do or why does my one year old need 30 different toys??

I started to think about Quality over Quantity.

Slowly I am removing the excess from our life. I still do stock up on some of the best deals (like free shampoo and free toilet paper) but only because we use those things every day. I also still do cut coupons but now I have a list of specific things we use and I watch for just those coupons.

I make meal plans and grocery lists according to the sale ads. We eat meatless 1-3 nights a week and we try to only eat out 1 night a week. I try to feed my family more whole foods and not as much processed foods. I started a garden with squash, basil, cucumbers and tomatoes. I gave up paper towels for the most part and use very basic cleaning supplies like vinegar and baking soda and bleach (one of my guilty pleasures). I try to not purchase plastic because it stays around for a million years and some studies have shown a link between several health issues and plastic. I hang most of our clothes up to dry. I replaced many of the regular bulbs in our house with CFLS. Hubs installed an aerator in the kitchen sink. We own an electric mower and weed eater and we have made a consious effort to reduce our food waste. I try not to go to the dollar store and I strive to buy things made in countries other than China.

Am I perfect?? No and I don't ever plan to be.