Sunday, January 18, 2015

Come by for a chat...

The New Year is here! It feels like 2014 flew by is such a flurry. I remember when I was a young mother and how long the days seemed ... but not any more. Not sure what has changed but I rarely finish my 'to do' list each day.

December was a busy, busy month but a lot of fun. My work at home got behind with all the celebrating, so I'm working through  FLYLADY'S  'House Blessing' and 'Zone' work each week to catch up. I've already accomplished so much.  I've been using her housekeeping plan as a guide for over 10 years. It's the only plan that has ever worked for me. I love it! I don't follow all of her suggestions but the 'House Blessing' and 'Zone' work have made a huge difference in how I keep house. 

Our '1st' Christmas! We celebrated Christmas 3 times this year!
My winter garden is doing very well. I've been harvesting broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Swiss chard and collard greens and oranges. I should have enough garden veggies to last a minimum of 3 more weeks. I froze some broccoli to use once the garden is finished. I've started a list of veggies and herbs I want to grow this summer. My daughter in love used graph paper to draw up a plan for her vegetable garden. I liked that idea and hope to start working on mine in the coming weeks.

Cabbage from our backyard garden!
I have a few sewing dates this month with family and friends. I'd like to make as assortment of gifts  for next Christmas to cut costs. I don't want to put it off until next fall because it won't happen if I do. I hope to work on a new apron pattern and a fancy pot holder to start off. I also hope to make a couple of quilts this year.

.My big goal for this year is to memorize more Scripture. I can't even put into words what God's Word has meant to my life. I decided this year to try and memorize an entire chapter of the bible. I felt like my thoughts really needed a project to focus on so I chose Romans 8 because it's one of my favorite chapters. I started slowing down when I got to verse 8. Thankfully, I ran across this booklet that has a great method for memorization. I just finished verse 16 this week. This old brain has trouble with the order of some of the recent verses I've memorized but if I see the first word then I'm good from there. :-)  I'm more interested in hiding God's Word in my heart than knowing the order perfectly so I'm enjoying the journey instead of stressing about my imperfections. It's been a delightful practice!

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV (Letters in bold are my emphasis)

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A Typical Frugal Day in my Home

So, here are a few things I've been up to:

1. The price of bacon costs nearly as much as a steak these days, unless it's on sale. I buy 1 package a month IF it goes on sale for less than $3 a pound. I cut the bacon into 6 sections, put them in baggies and freeze. It adds a little variety throughout the month without breaking the bank.

2. I always have a lot of  cilantro leftover when I buy it for a recipe. I tore off the leaves and packed them in a ice cube tray and filled each section with water. I froze it and then placed the cilantro ice cubes into a large freezer bag and labeled it. Now I don't have to run to the store when a recipe calls for cilantro unless I need it as a garnish or in a dish that isn't cooked. The frozen cilantro works great in soups. 

3. I've never tried making a Fritatta. Can you believe it? We eat a lot of eggs for breakfast so I decided to try one. We really liked it and I was able to stretch it for quite a few breakfasts.  I used this recipe from Pioneer Woman called, Sunday Frittata. Here is the link to the recipe.

Sunday Frittata

4. This is another new recipe that we really enjoyed. I made a large pork butt roast and used a pound of it for this recipe.

Posole Verde
1 pound of boneless pork (I used cooked pork and cut it into cubes)
A few tablespoons of oil
(2) 15 oz. cans hominy, rinsed and drained (I used 1 can)
(1) 16 oz. jar salsa verde (I like 'roasted' salsa verde)
2 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion (I used 1/2 onion), chopped
1 4oz. can diced chiles (I used roasted chilies from my garden)
5 tsp. jarred garlic or 5 cloves
1 Tbsp.  cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
* Optional Toppings: avocado, radishes, chopped cilantro, lime wedges and sour cream

*  Season pork (if you're not using cooked pork) with salt and brown in oil until brown on all sides. Stir in hominy, salsa, broth, garlic, cumin, onion, and spices. Add salt to taste. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or put it in a crock pot for 41/2-5 hours (use raw pork if you cook in the crock pot).
* Use toppings, if desired.

5.  Our orange tree is full of fruit this year. I've been taking the peels and putting them in a small crockpot along with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves and lemon peels. As  the 'concoction' heats up it sends a nice fragrance through the house.

Camelia is in bloom. 

6. I've been able to harvest 4 cabbage heads out of my backyard garden so far. There are 7 heads left in the garden. I use it to make coleslaw, Crack Slaw, Fried cabbage and eggs for breakfast and the new recipe listed in #8. I also like to throw a handful into my soups and stews.

7. My neighbor offered me some Meyer Lemons from her tree. They have such a wonderful flavor and I was thankful to get some for free.  I squeezed the lemons and then poured the juice into ice cube trays and froze them to use in recipes or in a cup of tea.

8. This new recipe is a keeper. I took it to a pot blessing and it was well received PLUS my husband liked it. I used the cabbage from my garden. It was very yummy. I made a few changes to make it lower carb.

3 c. shredded cabbage
1 carrot, shredded
1 onion, diced (I used 1/2)
1 red bell pepper, diced
 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
 (I used a small handful of 
jarred jalapenos)
1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (I used more)
1/2 c. oil
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar (substituted 2 Tbsp. Erythritol and 1/8 tsp. stevia to taste)
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, carrot, onion, red pepper, jalapeno and cilantro. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
8.  It's time to clean out the my old bill invoices from 2014 to make room for 2015. I'm  shredding the paperwork and putting it in the compost pile. I cut up the pages that are blank on the back to use for note paper. I keep notepaper in almost every room of my house so I can write down a thought before I lose it. (Losing thoughts happen a lot at my age! Ha!)

9. I'm running low on 'fast food' freezer meals for breakfast and dinner. So, this week I spent some extra time in the kitchen making low carb muffins. I put them in the freezer for a quick breakfast choice on Sunday's before church.

10. A law has been passed in California that plastic bags can no longer be used in large retailers starting in July of this year. I use their plastic grocery bags in my kitchen garbage can and for other purposes.  I don't want to add anything else to my grocery list. I remember my mother using newspaper to line her garbage cans. So, I decided to start saving any newspapers that come through my door so I'll have a nice supply by July.  .

Saved, Re-purposed or Reused:

- Cotton from my vitamin bottle (reused to remove fingernail polish)
- Clean and dried plastic bags and reused as food storage bags (walnut bag, Erythritol,etc.).
- Bacon grease (used in place of oil to sauteed veggies or eggs)
- Washed, dried and reused tinfoil (no dairy or meat).
- Comics from the newspaper to use as wrapping paper for the younger grandchildren.
- Twistie ties from the veggie department.
- Buttons from an old shirt that no one else would want. I put them in an empty Altoid tin and then placed the tin in my 'button box'.
- Chicken bones (soup broth)
- Empty glass jars from salsa, artichoke hearts, etc. (used for leftover grease before it goes in the garbage can.
- Paper bags from the grocery store. (I use these to dry flowers and veggie seeds). 

So what is new in your home? What do you have planned (Lord willing) for this coming month? I always learn from you ladies!

Blessed to be home,


  1. I always enjoy reading your posts, seeing what you are up to and how you are being frugal with the income you have. Always a great job.

    1. Thank you, Scrappy. I always enjoy visiting your blog, too! You are very industrious!

  2. I almost did not attend potluck after church today because my oven broke the other day and I cannot use it or the stove top. I then overslept and could not do the crock pot meal I thought of bringing. I felt I needed to bring something to share--although-- I would have been welcomed without. A friend suggested bringing a bag of chips or some cut up veggies. She sent me a picture of her veggies that she took to a pot luck. I then remember my fridge is full of veggies and by the time I left for church I had a nice big salad in one container and my grand daughter had 2 containers too--she brought broccoli and grapes. :) She had her name taped on her little containers too. :)

    I don't always think as fast as I used to--so that idea had not even ocurred to me before my friend's suggestion.

    Like Georgene I also keep paper in more than one room for writing things so I don't forget. I forget very fast. I even have a note pad and pen in the bathroom!

    December my RX meds are less expensive so I made sure I got all the refills I could then. I had not used my inhaler much last year so I had an extra one. After I got bronchitis at christmas I have needed it again. I put an extra one in my car.

    I picked up 2 new shirts at goodwill that I really like. Very comfortable and flattering too. Saving on one thing leaves more for another.

    The only thing bought new in our house is electronic things and tools. We like to do things by hand and would rather buy a nice tool than a brand new piece of furniture.

    If you stop in thrift stores when you are in the area you can find some nice things our goodwill sells decorative pillows for 50 cents. I have 5 that I bought over time that are wonderful as they are bright colors and make my old couch looks much nicer.

    I alway love this when you post. thank you!

    1. Good for you on using what you had on hand from the frig. I used to go overboard with what I took to pot blessings but I just can't anymore. Finances are one reason and our diet has changed due to health reasons. I really try to use what I have on hand. I've finally realized that I am not loved because of the food I bring. :-)

  3. I too have noticed that the price of bacon has gone up considerably although so have a lot of other meat and food items gone so high in price. I used to buy bacon at $2.99 Canadian or $3.99 Canadian on sale and haven't seen it at this price for going on 2 years. I don't buy it anymore. Then the other day I found a package for $4. I buy it and cut it in half to use twice. Unfortunately this one wasn't great quality because it shrivelled to nothing. Even so, it is nice to have that taste now and then. Funnily the steak is now cheaper than most other things around here so that is a change for me.

    I do always enjoy reading about your savings. I wouldn't have remembered to use newspaper in the small garbage cans. It won't work for my kitchen garbage. We have to use reusables here at the grocers for some time and as of next month I will have to reduce the garbage I put out for pick up. All food items must be composted. This is easier to do if you live in a house with your own yard and garden and a little more challenging when you have to cart everything farther to the garbage room.

    So I will be attempting for about my 3rd time to do my own composting. I've tried before but not consistently. I have an added incentive. I'm rearranging my kitchen cabinets now to make the saving of coffee grounds and scraps a little easier. I'm also cleaning and reorganizing my food stores. I'm thinking into the future to stock pile fewer dried goods and that way I won't waste anything. I'm meal planning now (new to me) and I'm enjoying it. This way I only need to buy what I'm planning to use and forget about the rest. I'm already reducing vegetable and fruit waste though this is early days :-) It's also helping me plan my meals better for health management. I hope I can continue with the practice. Seeing and reading what other women do has inspired me to finally try my hand at the meal planning.

    You are very organized to be working on your paperwork already and the idea to shred peppers for your compost is a great one! I have so much paperwork to organize and it keeps getting pushed aside since it isn't a fun project. I realize once I've fully cleared away the old, the future will be easier so I look forward to that.

    Have a wonderful week. xx

    1. Wow! You are so blessed that steak is cheap! Not here. Boy, do I miss steak. :-)
      Composting has been hard for me, too. I was using a large garbage can but it was so hard to get to the bottom to turn it. Did you see the post where I showed the frame I used from an old dresser? So far it's working better for the compost pile because I can flip it easily. I used to put in too much 'wet' (green) so I'm trying to find more paper items and leaves to add currently.
      You'll have to write a post on composting when you figure it out so we can all learn from you. :-)

  4. Georgene,
    Ask friends and family to save those plastic bags for you. Some people just put them in the trash. Great post by the way! Lona

    1. Thanks, Lona. Great idea about asking friends and neighbors.

  5. I always enjoy your posts. You have a lot of good ideas. Years ago a neighbor taught me to lay my bacon out on cookie sheets to freeze individual slices then place them in a plastic bag. Now I just pull out the 2 or 3 slices I want to cook. She would also buy chips on sale and keep them in the freezer to stay fresh. I took use the plastic sacks from the store to line my trash cans.

    1. I really like your neighbor's idea about freezing the bacon individually. I love to learn from you ladies. I'll have to try it! Thanks so much.

    2. You are welcome. We all learn from each other don't we. We also buy sausage from our FFA grandkids. I slice it and freeze it like the bacon and then I don't feel like I have to cook a lot of it at one time. Have a wonderful Sunday!

  6. Just happened to come across Your blog but I know it was The Lord leading Me to it.I will be able to learn ,get good hints, to living more simply.I also know this is one thing He is asking of Me.I don't sew and We now live in a Senior We don't grow many plants but I'm sure You have other hints I'm looking forward to-Denise

    1. I'm glad you stopped by, Denise. By the way, I like your name (it's my middle name). :-) I'm sure I'll learn a lot from you, too.

  7. Hello Georgene. You have been quite busy and thrifty. Thanks for talking back at Harvest Lane Cottage. You were listed as a no reply blogger when I received the e-mail that you'd commented. If you'd like to change that, I wrote about it here:

    I hope you have a lovely week.

    1. Thank you, Laura. I had no idea. I followed your instructions so hopefully that is settled. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Hi Georgene, I need to look up the FLYLADY! As far as your comment on my post, I have not read this particular book by Buchanan but love his book The Rest of God--one of my favorite books, but I read it years ago but still quote from it or refer to it. I got my book club to read it.

  9. Hi Georgene, I am always blessed by your blog. I was thinking of you today I cooked some Garbanzo beans and saw A gluten free chocolate cake from Garbanzo beans on all recipes . com I like to make I like to make Garbanzo bean burgers or falafels and hummus from them.I found open pollinated seeds at dollar tree 4 for 1 dollar they have a large selection. My store has started stocking turkey bacon, talapia, small steaks and chicken legs and other cuts of chicken 2 pieces for a dollar. I have found udies gluten free bread lately at 99 cents only. Not sure if you have those stores near you. Also at Albertsons in my area they always have giant packs of bacon thick sliced by the butcher very cheep like 3 to 4 dollars for a lot it is just past my pharmacy when the meat counter starts.
    Patti from San Diego


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