Every Day

Use What You Have And Don’t Waste Money

There is nothing I love more than using recipes from old cookbooks. This recipe is from The Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Cookbook published in 1962. My sister-in law gave me the book for a bridal shower gift. This is not my original copy. Mine fell apart from using it all the time. When we moved here, I figured someone out here in Buffalo would have a copy they were selling and sure enough I found this one. It is in much better shape than mine was although the binding is coming apart. So I may take it to get it rebound. That is how much I love this book. We have used many, many recipes from it. I think the reason is because most of the recipes use simple ingredients, are easy to put together, and taste so good.

So tonight, we are having this dish. But for the first time, I am not following it exactly. I am not going to bake it at 300 degrees for 3 hours. I am going to cook it in the crock pot to save energy. But I will use the electric skillet to brown it and then transfer it all to the crock pot and add the other ingredients.

I did not have a round roast in my freezer so I thawed a chuck roast which I will cut into pieces. I always have flour, salt, and pepper. Since we eat a lot of bacon, I save my bacon drippings to cook with so we have those. The only other ingredient that I will substitute is the cooking sherry. I don’t have it but I do have red cooking wine.

We will see how this comes out. If it doesn’t taste as good as when I roast it in the oven, I will try to cook it in the toaster oven next time.

My mouth is watering just thinking about serving this on rice for dinner. I will try to remember to take a picture when we eat it and show it to you in another blog post. We should be able to have this for at least two meals.

I try to use what I have when I cook all of the time. I don’t always have all the ingredients so I substitute. I definitely don’t run out to the store for a couple of ingredients and waste time and gasoline. If I have a substitute on the shelf, I would much rather use that than spend money on the proper ingredient.

When I was a kid, my grandmother was the cook in our home. She made a roast almost every Sunday. Usually it was a roast beef or a pork loin with whatever vegetables she had on hand at the time. I never really learned how to cook from her but I do remember her using up all of the food. She and my grandfather had a young family during the Great Depression and they never wasted anything. She knew how to stretch a roast into other recipes like beef stew, or beef or pork chop suey, etc. Nothing ever went to waste! So over the years, I have done what she did. I try never to waste a bit of food and to serve the proper portions. For a meal, we would be served a small piece of meat, a small piece of potato and a couple of spoonfuls of whatever vegetable was in season. There were rarely seconds.

We also rarely had any kind of treat. A quart of soda that my Mom would buy would last at least a week for her, my sister, and I. And she would not buy it every week. Once in a while, she would make a dip(Catalina dressing mixed with cream cheese) to go with a bag of potato chips or make popcorn on the stove. We sometimes would share an apple or an orange. And ice cream was a treat that I looked forward to but that didn’t happen often either.

There wasn’t a lot of money when I grew up, but there was always food made and served with a lot of love. The difference between then and now is remarkable. 99% of our food was made from scratch back then, most people weren’t fat, and people really knew the value of a dollar. Today we have an obesity problem, convenience food is the norm, and people waste food and money without even giving it a second thought even going so far as to put food and their wants on a credit card that they can’t pay off each month. If you have to put food on a credit card, go to a food bank. Quit buying wants!

Because of this we have a credit crisis in this country today. Both our government and so many people are collapsing our economy by their frivolous use of credit. Most people didn’t have credit back when I grew up. If they wanted something, they saved cash for it. We would be so much better off if we lived like our ancestors and saved cash for our needs and our wants. Don’t use your credit cards unless you can pay that bill off each month.

Our government tells us everyday that things are just fine. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. Things are not fine. Our government is trillions of dollars in debt that we have to borrow from countries that don’t like us. China has started to sell the debt that they bought from us. China, Russia, India and some other countries are no longer using the dollar to buy things. The value of our dollar is going down every day. Soon it will be so inflated that we will be paying $10. for a loaf of bread(not me, I will be baking my own) or $ 15. for a gallon of gasoline.

Please don’t waste food or your money because bad times are coming. I don’t believe that we have seen the worst yet. I follow a person who has dealt in commodities for many, many years, and he is predicting a bad recession globally by 2025 which will go into a depression that could last 7 years or longer. He believes it will start around April of 2024 when the stock market will crash. At first I took his word cautiously but I am seeing more and more bank CEO’s warning us and many economists too.

So I will take them at their word and you should too. I have no debt but if you do, get it paid off as fast as you can especially your home. During the great depression, many people not only lost their money but they lost their homes. I have been beating this drum for years but I don’t know how many people have listened and it is just scary for me knowing that this will happen to people.

The only other advice I can give you is to stop spending on anything except food and other items that you will need to keep your home and car in good running order. If you can find some room, stock up some food and medicine. Don’t waste any of it. If your furnace or any other appliance needs some repairs do them now. If we do go into a recession or depression these things will become extremely unaffordable.

I apologize for getting somewhat off topic but my heart told me that I need to warn you. If you would like to see the video from the man I follow here it is but I will warn you that it is not for the faint of heart:

Every Day

Please Buy More

I told Hubby this morning that my Top’s gasoline points are expiring so I needed to go fill up the car. He asked if there wasn’t some way that I could buy more of the sausage meat that he loves and fit it in the freezer. After giving it some thought, I decided to food saver some meat that was in boxes and that would give me some room.

So off I went to the gas station to fill up at $.30 off a gallon. Then I went just up the street to Aldi’s hoping that they would still have the sausage.  I purchased 5 more rolls at $ 1.49 each.

We only have 1 more shredded cheddar cheese in the freezer so I decided to pick up a package and I planned a meal for the next couple of days that I needed cream cheese to make.  


When I got home, I threw everything in the fridge. Then I got out my food saver and started repackaging the boxes in the top drawer of my kitchen freezer. By doing that, I was able to fit the sausage rolls in.   

A while ago, I purchased chicken breasts with the bone on sale. At the time, I deboned them all and threw the bones in the freezer. I have two big bags of them and they have plenty of meat still left on them. Since it is starting to be soup season, I decided to make some bone broth. So I put one bag of them in the crockpot. I will be simmering them all afternoon and evening. Then I will take the bones out and add the meat to the broth and freeze the broth for the next time I make soup. 


Here the broth is cooking which I will strain when it is done and then add the meat. 

It is all strained and the meat has been put in it.

I have now put the other bag of bones into the crockpot and I will simmer it all night. In the morning after I take the meat off, I will freeze that broth. I will have soup broth for two big pots all set to add my veggies and rice or noodles to when we feel like soup for a meal.  I love prepping things ahead for meals. It saves a lot of time when I don’t really feel like cooking and prevents me from getting take out.


I made this recipe for dinner tonight: 

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole


Hubby hated it. He said there was not enough sauce. I thought it was okay but not the best recipe I have tried. Perhaps someone out there has a better recipe. 

We are awaiting the start of  the NFL football game. Hubby has been waiting for football season for a long time now. He is excited.

I hope you all have a great evening.

Every Day

Making My Own Taco Seasoning

When I was making taco salad on Wednesday, I realized that I had no taco seasoning. All of the expensive packets were gone. I was not about to run to the store for one item.

So I looked in my family cookbook for a recipe I had used a while ago. After I realized that I had all of the ingredients to make it, I found a glass container that I could make a bunch in. However not being sure if Hubby would like it or not, I just made a little batch. 

Here is the recipe:

2 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 and 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
1/2 tsp. on onion powder
1 tsp. of dried oregano
3/4 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt

After you cook your meat, add 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. of this seasoning and about 2-3 Tbsp. of water. Adjust accordingly to how much meat you cook. This did 1 lb. for me. We ate 1/2 on salads and I froze the rest of the meat for another taco salad meal. 

Hubby loved the seasoning. So I made a big jar of it which will last us quite a while. No more spending on those $1.00 packets!

Do you make your own taco seasoning?

Every Day

When You Need Something Quick and Easy and More

Over the weekend, I was busy organizing and cleaning. So I wanted a dinner that was quick and easy to throw together.

So Hubby got out the rice cooker and made a pot of white rice yesterday morning. Then I let it sit in the fridge until it was time to make dinner. This recipe always tastes better made with rice that has sat for a few hours. 

At dinner time, I diced up a fresh chicken breast that I had thawed. I also diced up some onion and carrot. After sauteing them until they were soft, I cooked up two scrambled eggs. I threw in the rice and then mixed everything up. Next I added some soy sauce to taste along with 2 tbsp. of sesame oil.

That was dinner, chicken fried rice. It’s so easy and quick. I also make it when I have a little leftover pork or beef. Hubby and I love it. There were enough leftovers for lunch today.

Last week I entered a contest to win some tearpad coupons. I was very surprised when I won since so many people visit this Top’s couponing site. I was happy because my store rarely has coupons anywhere in the store.  So I now have some nice coupons that I have added to my stash. Be on the lookout for these since most don’t expire until a few months out. The $.75 Smithfield sausage one which doubled to $ 1.50 expired yesterday but I made a trip and stocked on this sausage for our Sunday breakfasts. Bonus was that the sausage was on sale also.  

So what do you throw together that is quick and easy when you are busy? 

Every Day

A Day in My Life

Yesterday was a weird day. I had so many plans that just didn’t pan out. I took my navy shower and air dried my hair hoping to finally get our “New Year” in full swing. There is so much I wanted to do.

However it didn’t take me too long to realize while I was drinking my coffee that I felt worse not better like the day before. So off to Urgent Care I went. Something had to be going on besides a virus. Sure enough I have a bad infection. The doctor, who reminded me of Doogie Howser,  sent a prescription with a combination of two antibiotics to my pharmacy. He says I should be feeling better within three days. I sure hope so. For those who have no idea who Doogie Howser  was, he was a 16 year old M.D. on a medical show named after him. My doctor, I swear, was about the same age. The older I get the younger the doctors look.

I decided on my way home to use up $14. in CVS ECB’s that were expiring. I had no deals worked out so I just picked up some milk, Puffs, and spices which we can always use. I ended up spending $2.28 after the ECB’s were deducted from my total. So I have 
$275.86 left in my grocery budget this month.

On Wednesday, our property tax bill for this year arrived so I stopped at Town Hall to pay that. Our bill actually went down $7.00 this year due to the county decreasing their budget. It was a pleasant surprise. 

Next I went to the pharmacy to pick up my antibiotic which cost me a whopping $ .95 out of pocket which I paid with pocket change. 

My last stop was at our local cash only gas station to fill up the SUV with gasoline. We had under 100 miles of gas left and I don’t like the tank that empty in the winter. So after checking the gas buddy app on my cellphone, I determined that this station had the best price at $2.529 per gallon.

When I got home, I put a load of laundry in the washer before we had lunch. I decided I was definitely using the dryer since I didn’t feel that well. After taking my first pill, I laid down for a quick nap. I was tired from all of the things I had done. But I was happy that they were all on my route and that I didn’t have to waste gas for them another day.

I woke up at 4:40pm so it was more than a quick nap. Hubby offered to make dinner but I told him that I felt like doing it. So I quickly made up some Copycat Shake N’ Bake Pork Chops .
We love this recipe for the Shake N Bake and it is much cheaper than buying the boxed one. It makes such a delicious crispy coating on the chops and keeps the meat really moist. My chops were about an inch and a quarter thick so I added about 5 more minutes to the cook time. They turned out perfect and paired with mashed potatoes and green beans were delicious. I meant to get a picture when they were done but forgot.

Knowing that I had much more coating than was needed for 2 chops, I just spooned what I needed onto a plate and coated them that way. The rest has been put in my pantry to use another day. 

While I was sleeping, Hubby decided to tear down the humidifier that is attached to our furnace. The humidity in our house has been non-existent so Hubby decided to find out why. He quickly realized that there was a clog. After clearing the clog and putting it back together, the air is humidified. I can’t even imagine what it would have cost if we had called our heating guy to look at it. Hubby has saved us thousands of dollars over the years by teaching himself how to repair so many things around our home.

After dinner, I watched some You Tube channels and fell asleep again. I woke up at 4am this morning and got up completely rested and ready for the day. So I am hoping to have a productive day around here. I hope you all have a productive one too!

Every Day

Hubby’s Cooking, etc.

Hubby made dinner last night. He made the best macaroni and cheese that I have ever eaten. Here is the recipe: 

Classic Macaroni and Cheese

It was a bit time consuming but he made it all by himself. This recipe made two of the containers that you see pictured. So we have plenty for a few nights. I wonder if we could freeze one. If not, we will just eat it each night until it is gone. Who wouldn’t love comfort food every night? 

We served it with the leftover asparagus from the night before. Yummy!

Today, I finally went clothes shopping. I spent the morning at Kohl’s. By the time I was done, I had two new pairs of jeans and 5 tops- 3 casual and 2 dressier. I have lots of dressier slacks to go with the 2 dressier tops. So now, I will have a nice outfit to go to my granddaughter’s 5th grade graduation. I spent $129. after $40.00 in coupons and got $20.00 in Kohl’s cash. After finding all of those items. I felt no need to go to JC Penney. 

When I came home I threw out 2 pair of threadbare jeans and 5 old tops. Each new one in and each old one out of the closet.  

After spending barely any money on clothing the last 3 years, I think I did pretty good only spending $129. But I will keep my eyes open over the next few months for more clothes that I like and are on sale to replace some more items.

I have been spoiled this week with gifts from my son, DIL, and granddaughter in Eastern NY. First, I got this beautiful canvas shopping bag in the mail. My granddaughter drew the design. I absolutely love it and will think of her every time I use it.

Then I got 2 dozen roses delivered from them which I am enjoying immensely. The are so beautiful and smell so good. My family is so very thoughtful and I love each and every one of them so much. I hope my DIL has a wonderful Mother’s Day on Sunday.

My son and grandson are coming to celebrate Mother’s Day tomorrow so that they can celebrate with Katie on Sunday. My son is bringing breakfast so that I don’t have to make it. It will be a nice break from making breakfast every weekend. 

I hope all of my readers that are mothers and grandmothers have a wonderful day on Sunday! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

Every Day

Lamb Roast

As most of you know, Hubby and I have been married more than 50 years now. One of the first recipes that I cooked for us was a lamb roast. Hubby has absolutely loved it ever since. So I surprised him and roasted it today for dinner.

My SIL gave me “The Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Cookbook” for my bridal shower gift in spring of 1967. I knew nothing about Buffalo at that time so it is amusing to me that I now live near Buffalo. It was the first cookbook I got and I have used it all these years. It fell apart but I still use the recipes that I learned to love and that taught me to cook. I had no idea how to cook or bake when I said “I do”.

So today’s dinner recipe is in that book for Lamb Pot Roast. However from the first time I cooked it, I roasted it in the oven and tweaked the recipe a little bit to accommodate that. Here are the ingredients:

1 leg of lamb
2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. of oregano
1/2 tsp of pepper
1 minced garlic clove
1 can of beef consomme
1 small can of tomato sauce

I brush the lamb with some oil. Then I sprinkle it with the salt, oregano, and pepper. I mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and pour just enough to wet the roast on it. Then I pour the rest of the sauce into the pan. I roasted it at 325 degrees for about 2 hours. I baste the roast every 25 minutes or so. This roast was a small one- about 3 lbs. and only had a small bone. It cooked to medium. You can thicken the gravy but it was thick enough for us tonight. I always put some little potatoes in for Hubby. He loves them with the sauce spooned on them. We both love the sauce spooned on a slice of lamb. It was so delicious and tender tonight.

The pics show the roast resting for a few minutes after I took it out of the pan. The other pic is of the pan with the potatoes and sauce still in it.

Did you cook a favorite for dinner tonight?

Every Day

The Best Thing I Have Ever Purchased at Aldi’s

Someone told me how good the Never Any Apple Chicken Sausage at Aldi’s is. So I bought three packages this week. It sells at my Aldi’s for $ 2.99 a package. One package makes enough in this dish that we had for dinner tonight to give us some leftover. Sorry that I didn’t take a picture before we ate but the leftovers will have to suffice. 

The chicken is already cooked and just needs to be warmed up. I sliced it up and cooked it right in the pan with fresh apple slices and cranberries. I added a little butter and just a touch of chicken broth to cook the fruit. These sausages have such a wonderful apple flavor. We both loved them. So I thank my friend for telling me about them. They will be on our menu regularly.

Every Day

It Isn’t Christmas Here Without………………

We all have our favorites that we make during the holidays. One that we have made for all of our married years is Chex Party Mix. I got my recipe from my mother in law and I have been making it ever since. I know everyone’s recipe is a little different. But here is mine:

1 Box of Wheat Chex
1 Box of Rice Chex
1 Box of Cheerios
1 Bag of Thin Pretzel sticks
3 lbs. of Mixed Nuts( no peanuts- Hubby doesn’t like them)

2 cups of Canola oil
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp. salt (optional)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Garlic Salt

Combine the cereals, nuts, and pretzel sticks in a large pot. Blend remaining ingredients well. Then pour them over the dry ingredients mixing well to ensure equal distribution. Cover and bake 1 hour at 250 degrees. Uncover and bake for 1 hour stirring every ten minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Our tips: Hubby makes a double batch of sauce. He likes it better that way. He blends the sauce in our Vitamix so that it blends really well. It is not a cheap recipe with the nuts Hubby wants but I try to plan in advance and watch for them to go on sale. This makes so much that it probably costs no more in the long run than buying snacks.

Many Christmases I have given a tin of this to family, friends and neighbors. Everyone ends up with the recipe because they ask for it.  

The only things I have left to make this weekend are 
two loaves of pumpkin bread and a batch of English Toffee. Then I will be ready for Christmas.

What is your favorite for Christmas that you always make?  In the spirit of Christmas, would you share with us?     

Every Day

Frugal Things: Tracking Your Inventory and Others

It’s so important to use your stockpile and rotate it as you replenish it. That way things get used before they expire. Mine had gotten out of hand. So I spent a couple of hours today taking inventory of my two freezer drawers in my French door refrigerator. Here is one of the inventory sheets. I emptied everything out of those drawers and then cleaned them well. When I put the items back, I tried to put like things together so that they would be easy to find because I hate wasting electricity leaving the drawers open longer than I should. 

Tomorrow I will inventory my basement freezer. Then I will inventory pantries and the refrigerator. You can’t use up food and make menus if you don’t know what you have. It does take time and I hate starting from scratch doing it but I have been bad at times with not adding something when I buy it. Other times I forget to cross off what I have taken out and used. So I am starting with a new inventory and I have vowed to make it a habit to always add and subtract on my inventory sheets.

I like to make breads when I have time. Certain rolls and breads I can buy cheaper than making them. These sub rolls are an example. We use these for submarine sandwiches or for Philly steak ones. I purchased these at Walmart. I always check their day old bakery items to see if they have something we can use at a discount. These were expiring within a day or so when I bought them for $ 1.22. I saved $.66 off the regular price. I immediately put them into packages of two and froze them.

We had company for an early supper one warm afternoon.  I made a large bowl of pasta salad which I chilled most of the day. It is large shells, cheddar cheese, black olives, diced tomato, and Italian dressing. I added pepperoni to this salad just before I served it. I don’t like it when the pepperoni slices soak up too much of the dressing when it sits in the fridge. We had garlic bread, spumoni ice cream and a glass of wine with the salad. It was a tasty and inexpensive supper.