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Frugalities - Frugal Living

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Back To Frugalities [Aug. 26th, 2008|07:03 am]

Well I am trying to get back to my frugal ways. I had some set backs awhile back. but with school starting again, it seems a time to start fresh.

Food is one of the easiest ways to save money and one of the things that can be done every day. To that end I have brought back the Bentos. Okay for Katie they really are Bentos. Some are the $1 Hello Kitty ones and some are $1 for 3 sets I got at the Disney store last year and they nicely double as food storage containers as well as looking cute. Chris and James get food storage containers. But they all also have soup thermoses and fancy water bottles or drink thermoses to go with it all.

James has a seminar to go to for work and is supposes to expense his lunch, but decided the extra $10 to pay for parking again isn't worth the free lunch so he packed himself a peanut butter and banana sandwich and some fresh fruit to go.

Since I didn't buy enough bread at the grocery store (ore more acurately my teen boy finally developed a teen apetite and ate almost all the bread early) the kids have mac and cheese in the soup thermos with bentos with fruit and veggies on the side as well as one small home made chocolate chip cookie.

I am also back to a nice cheap menu plan. Tonight will be bean burritos with corn and bean salad, fruit and raw veggies. Actually those vegetarian meals like that will feature a lot for us. Although I am cooking up a 1/3lb of ground beef for the boys to share. Mostly for the teen boy as he doesn't like beans and I figure he will eat less if he actually has some meat to eat today.

I bought 1 lb of ground beef that is going to be divided up for 3 different meals this week. Later in the week it will go into a mostly veggie shepherd's pie and Friday a mostly bean chili (the leftovers will be used for the traditional Labor day hotdog lunch).

Anyway, tonight I will share the recipes for the simple dinner that I will make and how it goes over with the family.
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Dave Ramsey community on LJ [May. 12th, 2008|06:23 pm]

I wanted to let this community know that there is a Dave Ramsey community on LiveJournal. For those who don't know, Dave Ramsey is the author of The Total Money Makeover, a book that shows you how to build an emergency fund, pay off your debt, and invest for your retirement.

I know there are lots of different authors on this subject, and as many different methods for managing or getting out of debt, but I wanted to point those interested in this author (whether a full-fledged "gazelle," or someone who's been meaning to check Dave out) where to find info on LJ.

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Pasta Salad Recipe [Apr. 16th, 2008|09:45 am]

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I have been having some random pains that have started to scare the half silly. Made me start considering the effects of my weight on my health. So as well as starting an exercise program again, I am trying to find healthier frugalities to satisfy my cravings.

My current favorite is various pasta salads. But instead of a Mayo or Ranch saturated salad that was mostly Pasta, today's lunch is a bit different.

I made up a bunch of whole wheat organic owtie bpasta for myself and seperated it into 1 c servings to eat off of the rest of the week, and be able to make different salads.

Today's Salad

1c pasta
1c veggies (mix of some leftover bell pepper, leftover shredded carrot, and frozen peas)
1/4c feta
1/4c chick peas (I put the rest in the fridge to have with my pasta tomorrow, or make some Hummus from)
3t Balsamic Vinagarette dressing (James picked it up at the store, trying to find a soy free salad dressing for me, a bit pricier than what I would have chosen, but it is seasoned and yummy)

The Balsamic Vinagarette dressing and the feta mixed together well to give a creamier feel to the dressing that I like. Note I usually use Mayo or Ranch for these sorts of salads.

I am very happy with it. 
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For Sale: Kitchen Items (Sun City, Arizona) [Feb. 10th, 2008|11:16 am]

 Kitchen supplies, dishes, etc..I am selling everything I have in storage including (
  • a toaster ($3) ,
  • a blender ($7),
  • plate set including plates, bowls, cups, ($7)
  • 4 drinking glasses ($1)
  • muffin baking pan ($1)
  • very used small cooking pots <$1)
  • glass casserole baking dish ($2)
  • silverware ($4) ,
  • wooden dishrack ($1)
  • drawer divider for silverware ($1),
  • ice trays ($free with purchase of anything else),
  • wooden napkin holder for table top ($1)
  • wooden countertop knife set ($5)
  • wooden paper towel holder with wooden salt and pepper shakers ($1)
  • 2 place settings, including 2 plates, 2 bowls, 2 cups, 2 napkins and 2 napkin holders , 2 chair cushions, 2 wine glasses and matching flower vase ($7)(SEE PICTURE BELOW)
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    Bentos 11-5 [Nov. 5th, 2007|09:51 am]

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    Today I made Bentos for James and Katie

    Leftover stuffing meal
    apple pieces
    half a pumpkin butter and cream cheese sandwich
    home made roll
    last of his wasabi peas
    seed and nut mix

    half a pumpkin butter and cream cheese sand cut into heart shapes
    peanut butter to dip carrots in
    mini ham and cheese sandwich made from home made roll
    seed and nut mix
    apple pieces
    Pumpkin milk from Target

    The seed and nut mix was made from honey roasted peanuts that were on clearance and some leftover ingredients from recipes (pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)

    I usually let James and Katie pick out one "special" snack to put in their lunches and this week was the honey roasted peanuts and the pumpkin milk.  At $2.08 for a jar of peanuts. I thought it was a great deal.  A couple months ago James got the Wasabi Peas from the bulk bins at Whole Foods.  He didn't get many, but I would just send him with 1-2T worth at a time and then only a couple times a week.

    This morning Katie informed me that one of the 1st grade teachers finds her lunches so interesting that she has to come by and check out what she brought each day.  I didn't think that I sent her anything that interesting.  Although I have managed to avoid the standard sandwich and chips.  And when I do send sandwiches (about 3/4 of the time) I try and make them interesting.  If my brain is completely dead I will just cut the thing with a cookie cutter.

    They will probably be seeing more pecan items in their lunches since I got a huge bag from my in laws this weekend.  It is nice that they have all those pecan trees.  I still need to shell them all.
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    A very frugal dinner recipe - Veggie Stuffing [Nov. 5th, 2007|09:28 am]

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    This recipe uses all that leftover bread loaves that I stick in the freezer.  No one seems to like heels for their sandwiches and sometimes various other bread products sit around until I am afraid that they are about to go bad and all of that ends up in the freezer.

    Veggie Stuffing
    8c bread torn into thumb size peices
    3 eggs beaten
    2c chicken broth
    1 onion chopped
    2 stalks celery chopped
    1 can of spinach (or leftover vegetable)
    1c shredded cheese (optional)
    1t thyme
    1t sage
    pepper to taste
    Salt if you used broth from boiling chicken bones, leave off if you used bullion to make broth

    Mix it all together and pour into large greased baking pan (I prefer my 9x13" cake pan for this one).

    Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

    Everyone but Katie loved this one. But she admitted to holding out for the home made bread that James put in the oven after I pulled out the stuffing.  Making use of the already warmed oven and all.

    BTW he did a double batch of multi grain bread that was wheat flour, white flour, cracked wheat (leftover from cereal making), oatmeal put through the food processor to make into a flour.  Half was made into a loaf and the other half he formed into various shaped buns.  My favorite were the bento sandwich size buns some with poppy seed and some with sunflower seeds that we had leftover from other recipes.
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    Salmon Pasta Salad Recipe [Oct. 24th, 2007|12:50 pm]

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    Okay this one is real easy

    cooked small shell pasta
    1-2c frozen green peas
    1 small can salmon drained
    Mayo to taste
    1/4c chopped onion
    pepper to taste
    salt to taste.

    Just mix it all up and chill.  I use the small shell pasta because it fits better in the small bento boxes.  If I had some carrots I probably would have shredded some into the salad to make it look pretty.

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    Bentos [Oct. 24th, 2007|12:38 pm]

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    Sandwich cut into bat and heart shapes.  They are learning about bats in school this week
    johnny cakes

    Not the healthiest, but my brain wasn't working that well


    Salmon Pasta Salad
    Last of the Johnny Cakes
    Brussel Sprouts.
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    Monday Morning Bentos [Oct. 21st, 2007|08:49 pm]

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    Katie's Bento
    Johnny Cakes cut into stars
    Cheese cut into stars
    syrup to dip cakes in
    grapes, strawberries and pineapple

    James's Bento

    strawberries, black and green grapes and sandwich crakers (store brand wheat crackers and cream cheese and raspberry chipotle sauce)
    All leftovers from studio tour
    Bacon, Johnny Cakes and cheese stars  l
    Mostly leftovers from Sunday breakfast.
    He also didn't finish his Bento from Friday and still has a top bento section filled with Tuna Mac at work.

    I am really liking how I can repackage leftovers for lunches with these bentos and James and Katie think they are getting something special.  With Katie all I really have to do is cut something into a cute shape and she thinks it is wonderful.  James prefers not to have cute shapes, but he likes the fact that I pack his lunch for him. It makes him feel special.  And I get leftovers out of the house and extra work out of James (hey a guy that feels special will wash dishes without being asked).  And they think I am super mom.  Kinda weird really.
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    James's Johnny Cakes [Oct. 21st, 2007|08:44 pm]

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    James adapted this recipe himself.

    1 1/3 c cornmeal
    2/3c flour
    2-3t sugar
    1t salt
    1t baking soda
    2 eggs beaten until frothy
    1 1/3c buttermilk

    mix dry ingredients together
    mix wet ingredients together
    mix the mixtures together
    Fry in bacon drippings.

    1T batter for dollar size cakes and 3Tbatter for regular size cakes.
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