Friday, February 25, 2011


Can it be, is the month almost over? I cannot believe that this month is almost over. This has probably been one of the busiest February's I've ever had. Crafting has been a big time consumer this month. I'm doing another dishcloth swap for February and March and I also did the secret sister swap. It's been frustrating that I don't have a camera to post pictures of what I've been working on - so I just haven't been posting - bad excuse I know. This should be remedied soon. We also had a baptism and went to the RV and Camper Show (awesome!).

I had planned to post my menues for the week. I was good and made my menu plan up. Then I went shopping and walked out with a whole new menu plan for the week. What went wrong? Or maybe what went right would be the better question? Meat markdowns! I found four packages of organic ground chuck marked down to $3.34/lb and I grabbed all four packages. The best deal though (which I almost missed) were were marked down hams. Maybe I should say slashed. I typically don't look at hams for markdowns except after holidays where they'd be served. Original price for the ham I grabbed was over $32 - my price was $12.19. HUGE savings. These types of markdowns are when I could cry that we don't have a freezer to put extra food in. I would have grabbed every last one of those marked down hams. I couldn't help but laugh when Matt wrapped his arms around me and told me my frugalness was a turn on - men say the sweetest and oddest things at times.

This is also where being flexible and watching for deals comes in to play when we grocery shop. If I'd gone in with my head down and got nothing except what was on my list I would have missed these awesome deals. That $12 ham will now produce several different meals as well as sandwiches and soup. I baked the ham with a glaze that I made out of a can of pineapple chunks with juice, a large dollop of spicy mustard, a spoon of horseradish plus about 3/4 teaspoon of ground cloves (didn't have time to stud it with whole ones). Put it in the oven at 300', went to bellydance class, and came home to a very yummy tasting ham supper. Matt cooked the sides before I got home. We are going away this weekend so ham sandwiches will be our lunch on Saturday. Sunday after we get home I may take bits and pieces of the leftover ham and make scalloped potatoes with ham in them for supper. Might add some bisquits too for a nice warm comfort food meal. One day next week I'll probably take the bone and leftover bits and make ham and bean soup in the pressure cooker. Throughout the week I'm sure we'll all nibble on this yummy ham as well as use it for sandwiches. If not, I'll freeze for future meals. Who knows how many meals it will actually make total. Price for this could get as low as $1 per meal and that is pretty frugal.

I think people get caught in the price per package mentality instead of looking at the price per meal cost. Turkeys are the same way. People for some reason see them as a single meal unit instead of multiple meals. At Thanksgiving maybe, but typically even then the average family will have a ton of leftover turkey. Depending on your family size, chickens can also be multiple meal options. Even if your family eats the entire chicken, the bones can be processed down and chicken soup made out of it for a second meal. Save several chicken carcasses and process down whenever you have time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Totally forgot to post these on Monday. This week I was trying to use up some stuff I had in the freezer.

Sunday: Swiss steak (Mommy Kitchen recipe), mashed potatoes, and fried corn. The swiss steak was a crockpot recipe, but I didn't get it in early enough so I cooked it in the pressure cooker and it turned out amazing. I used homemade sauce instead of the Ragu in the recipe. Matt had never had swiss steak and he says this recipe is a keeper.

Monday: Macaroni & Cheese (Pioneer Woman's recipe) and broccoli

Tuesday: PF Chang's frozen Chinese meals. I had 2 bags I'd picked up, Beef and Broccoli and Garlic Shrimp. We made both and cooked up a batch of rice. Nice easy meal with little prep. This worked out great because I woke up with a migraine and it was still hanging on after I got home.

Wednesday: Roast chicken, roast carrots, and Parmesan noodles

Thursday: Pan fried catfish and fried potatoes

Friday: The man and I's movie night at home: homemade pizza (probably prosciutto and caramelized onion or maybe bbq chicken)

Saturday: We're planning to have dinner out for our early Valentine's Day dinner. I'm thinking possibly Olives, a new middle eastern restaurant that opened in Roseville.

Sunday: Depends on the weather. I have some ribeye steaks I'd love to have but if it's too cold outside I won't be mean and make Matt grill outside. We'll see what the weather holds for us.


No, I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth. We've just been super busy so I haven't had time to post. We did a major bathroom project a couple weeks ago. The bathtub surround cracked and was leaking water into the wall behind it so Matt had to rip the entire enclosure out. Might sound easy if he'd been able to just replace the enclosure but not with this house. The previous owner had taken out the original insulation and put some blown in type, but didn't fill the wall with it so the wall was letting in a LOT of cold air. He also had used one piece of greenboard (water resistant) but pieced it with regular drywall (NOT water resistant) so Matt had to rip all that out and put new greenboard in. There were several of fixes that went into it and he had to cut out the surround to fit a window and redo the window area. Matt, being the super awesome fixer upper that he is, was able to do the entire project in one weekend. Impressive isn't it! My job was to keep him fed, which he said I did a fine job of doing.

Last weekend we went to the Macomb County ReStore. Got caught in nasty blizzard conditions that the forecaster forgot to warn us about. We made it home safely though. For those that have never heard of ReStore, they are operated by Habitat For Humanity. People, especially builders and contractors, donate used and sometimes new items for them to sell. I bought several items including a couch, mattress set, and dryer when I first moved into my trailer after my divorce at the store for extremely reasonable prices. This is the first time I'd been to their new store, which is huge compared to the last one, but they've also raised their prices. Nonetheless, we found the perfect cabinet there for the laundry room for only $50. It's nearly a perfect match for our kitchen cabinets so that worked out great also. Matt and the boy hung the cabinet Monday night. My plans for this weekend include getting that cabinet filled with items. Being the smart woman I am, I had them hang it low enough that I could get quart jars on top of it for storage. Last weekend I also did my son's taxes and got my mostly done.

I've also been working on multiple dishcloths for swaps I signed up for. I received my first swap package on Saturday and it was so exciting to open it and see what I received which included two crocheted dishcloths, a pair of Valentine socks, a rose hair clip, a couple pins and a package of chocolate candy covered sunflower seeds (to die for). The swaps can be a lot of work but are fun too. I sent my swap partner a knitted dishcloth, a crocheted dish scrubbie, a little note pad, and some homemade chocolate peanut butter hearts (taste just like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups). Sorry, forgot to take a picture.

This past weekend I finally got the fabric ironed and started cutting out the baby quilt I've been planning to make for ages. I made a huge mistake and bought a premade package of fabric because the fabrics were so cute and I couldn't find them individually. The company shorted me on two different fabrics causing me to have to alter the size of the quilt and make it smaller and to also have to go out and buy another fabric. They simply cut two of the pieces too small and there was no way to get the needed fabric cut the required size. Hopefully tonight I can break out the sewing machine and get it pieced together. I'm on a time crunch, she's being baptised this Sunday. I mixed it up in my head and thought I had another week. Thankfully its baby size!