Every Day

It’s Soup Weather

 I woke up this morning to the house being 66. It’s 55 outside as I write this. It is a bit chilly but I am not ready to turn on the heat yet. I am hoping to get a couple of more weeks without it. But we will see. Hubby gets cold very quickly. I went to bed early last night and I saw Hubby’s hot cocoa cup near the sink this morning so he must have been cold. He hasn’t has a cup of that since last spring. Fortunately, I have a good supply of cocoa.

Yesterday, I made a huge pot of chicken tortilla soup. It is one of our favorites. I don’t have a recipe I use. It is one of those a little of this and a little of that soups that I make. 

I used some of the chicken bone broth that I made the day before. Yes, that’s right only one container of bone broth hit the freezer. Hubby asked for some kind of soup when he saw that I was making the broth.  

I added a couple of chicken bouillon to the broth to bolster the flavor. The broth had some meat in it from the bones but I also added one chicken breast that was already cooked and in my freezer.

Next I added a can of corn, a can of rotel with green chiles, and a can of black beans.  We had just a tiny bit of rice left from dinner the other night so I threw that in too. Then I used a packet of Ortega hot and spicy taco seasoning.  I simmered all for about an hour so that the flavors could meld.

I served it with a choice of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla strips. I skipped the cheese but had a couple of strips and some sour cream.

It was so delicious and I am sure we will be eating off of this pot of soup all weekend. When we get sick of it, I will freeze the rest for another meal.

Are you ready for soup weather? What is your favorite soup to make? Do you have a recipe? Please share with all of us since the season is upon us.

Every Day

Waste Not Want Not

It’s time to look and see what we can use up in the refrigerator. I kind of lost track of what is in there while West was here. 

After saving so much money with the low spend grocery month of August, I do not want to waste any food.

So I am perusing my vegetable drawers(I took all of these pictures yesterday morning). This is what I saw: 

2 eggplants

1 container of diced onions 

1 celery

cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cucumber in the cryovac bag

3 heads of romaine lettuce

1 bag of carrots

1 whole cucumber

1 tomato

Next, I looked in the deli drawer. This is what I found:

3 Land O Frost 100% Natural Peppered Roast Beef

1 pkg. of All Natural Honey Deli Ham

1 pkg. of  Hard Salami

1 pkg. of Prosciutto

3 large Pepperoni Sticks + part of another one

Turkey Snack Sticks

Bags of Colby Jack, Cheddar, Mexican and Mozzarella
Shredded cheeses

Mozzarella, Swiss, Colby Jack, and Provolone Sliced Cheeses 

A Few American Cheese Slices

Parmesan Cheese that I grate

Yancey’s Buffalo Wing Cheese

A Few Monterey Jack Cheese cubes

Then I looked at what leftovers needed to be used up.

Cooked Bacon Strips

Container of Black Olives

Hard Boiled Eggs

Part of a Jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce

Lamb in sauce on top of Rice

Half a jar of Unsweetened Applesauce 

I said to myself, these ALL have to be used up in the days ahead so that nothing goes to waste.

The eggs and bacon will go quickly for brunches. 

The applesauce will be served as a side with meals.

Hubby and I will eat the leftover lamb dish and/or the leftover taco meat from our dinner last night. There is a small amount of each left so they should all be gone after dinner. 

The spaghetti sauce will be used for Hot Italian sausage sandwiches this week. Some of the mozzarella cheese will get used up on those too.

I am not too concerned about the cheeses and deli meats. They have a far out expiration date and will definitely get used for lunches, dinners, and snacks before they expire. The pepperoni keeps forever especially the ones that are not open.

The turkey sticks will get eaten by me when the hunger hits. I then eat one to hold me until the next meal.

The prosciutto will get put in our antipasto salads one night this week for dinner.

We will most likely use up the American cheese in grilled cheese sandwiches for a lunch or brunch. I will not be buying that kind of cheese again when it is gone. It tastes like plastic. I would much rather use the other cheese slices for grilled sandwiches.

I will be sauteing the eggplants for side dishes today. I love them just sliced and cooked in a little butter. I can make a meal out of a few slices. 

Some of the tomatoes, onions, and romaine were put in our taco salads for dinner last night. I also used up the small container of black olives in those. 

I use the celery and carrots for snacks to dip in semi-homemade ranch dressing.  I use the packets. I also use them diced up in stews, soups, and other dishes. They last longer than most vegetables in the fridge.

The cucumbers are sliced for salads and just as a side with a sprinkle of salt. 

A little tip for you. All of our deli meats were purchased in July. When I see a sale, I get them and freeze them. Then when Hubby needs one I thaw it. The roast beef is the exception. It keeps a very long time in the deli drawer because they are sealed well. Once they are open, Hubby does not let them hang around long.  

So it was worth the little bit of time I took to see what we needed to use up this week. I absolutely hate throwing out food that has gone bad. I might as well just throw the money away.  

If I see something that I can freeze before we can use it, I do. For example, on Sunday, I sliced up some strawberries that had been sitting in the fruit drawer. Then I froze them. They will get used in smoothies.

Are you staying on top of your leftovers? I can’t say that I do 100% of the time. But I sure try. Sometimes something gets shoved to the back of the shelf and I miss it until it is too late. 

Every Day

Frugal Things – April 1

So it’s April Fool’s Day and I am sure there will be a lot of jokes out so there I won’t bore you with one. I am just happy that the nice weather seems to be coming. Sunshine and warmth would be quite welcome.

I ended my blog post without putting up a picture of my dinner plate last night. So that is the picture above. The filet mignon was so tender and delicious. Thanks to having some fresh things right now, I was able to saute up some mushrooms to go with it. Have I told you how much I love brussel sprouts? I could eat them for an entire week and I just might. Hubby cooked the filets in the air fryer to perfection.

Tonight, we finished up the package of hot dogs that we opened the other night. We do not want to waste any food so I keep on top of it. We have only enough chili left for two dogs. But I will dice up some onions, put out the mustards, and pickle relish and we will have our choice. 

For breakfast this morning, we had our choice again of scrambled eggs, bacon, and coffee cake.

Right after the breakfast dishes were washed, I went down and did my walking on the treadmill. Exercise always lets me get my day off to a great start. It gives me so much energy. 

Hubby and I took a leisurely walk around our property seeing what trees are budding up and the flowering bushes coming to life again. It looks like everything weathered the winter well. Our neighbor has beautiful white and purple crocuses in full bloom. It seems like it is a few weeks early for those here.

We also designed a plan to plant some more perennial flowers this spring.

Hubby watched a movie again this afternoon. I did some reading.

I watched our governor give a Covid 19 update. We have 56 cases in our small county with quite a few in our little town. The county 1 mile south of me has 582 cases. Both places have been blowing up the last few days. But we are nowhere near as bad as NYC. Having lived through many viral epidemics in my life I have never seen anything like this. I pray for all of the people who are sick and dying everyday. 

I treated our pipes with the above to keep them free and clear. We do this on the first of every month to keep Roto Rooter away. Since we have had clogs in the pipe going to the road more than once the last couple of years, we decided this treatment was well worth the cost.

Our shampoo bottle in the shower only had a little bit left in it so I put a new one in it. I brought the other bottle out and turned it upside down near the kitchen sink. I am using the last few drops to wash our hands. 

I also cut the top off the toothpaste tube and will be scraping up the last of it to use over the next few days. Waste not want not.  

Tonight, my sister who lives in the southern part of NY will be calling for our usual Wednesday evening chat. Her family were coming to visit on April 13th for a few days and I cancelled them to protect them and us. Hopefully, in a few months, they will be able to visit. I haven’t seen her in two years. 

What did you do frugally today?

Every Day

A Little of This and a Little of That

I am so busy today that I need to make this very short. 

Last Saturday evening we went to a wonderful Christmas party in the neighborhood. We were fortunate to be able to meet a couple who had just moved into one of the new houses that are being built in our neighborhood along with a couple who will be closing on their home later in December.

I have to thank Hawaii Planner for the idea of making a platter with meats and cheeses to take to the party. I took a picture of what we brought but forgot to take it before I wrapped it. Since it is hard to see, I will tell you what is on it. Pepperoni, 3 different kinds of salami(regular, garlic and herb, and pepper),beef sticks, hot soppressata, beef summer sausage, and Irish Gaelic cheese, Champagne cheese, and Whiskey cheese. I also brought two containers of different kinds of crackers. Everyone loved it! I brought this because we could eat the meats and a little cheese. With the exception of a veggie platter that someone made, there was no other food that we could eat. There was a ton of food but it was all carbohydrate laden or sugar laden( the desserts). We only ate those when we weren’t dieting. 

We have been lucky to be able to eat at parties or on holidays by making what we can eat. It has worked well for us. Hubby was good. He just had a glass of dry wine. Me, I drank water.

We had a terrific evening. So thanks to Nancy and Jack!

We had a lot of leftovers from making the platter. So last night we turned those and some other items in our fridge into an antipasto plate for our dinner. We had salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, artichoke hearts, black olives, fresh mozzarella balls, and pepperoncini on lettuce with SF Italian dressing. It was so yummy! 

Do you remember my nice clean refrigerator above that I posted about in November?

Well look at it now! UGH! This much food in our fridge makes it so disorganized which drives me crazy. So guess what we will be eating out of the rest of the week? 

Some of the butter will be moved to the freezer. The eggs are not a big deal because they get eaten for breakfasts and the cooked ones for snacks. 

Not much I can do about all the condiments except use them up. The shelf above the produce has a ton of leftovers that I will be remaking into something else for dinners. Tons of produce needs to be incorporated into breakfasts and dinners. The apples will be made into applesauce. And last but not least, the deli drawer has a lot of meats and cheeses that need to get used.  

Forget about eating this up this week. It looks like we can eat from this for the next two weeks right up until Christmas. Waste not, want not!

Am I the only one who has a full messy fridge?

Every Day

Waste Not, Want Not

We are using up the leftovers from Thanksgiving. Every dab of everything will get used. I have never understood why people don’t use leftovers. I have known so many of them who just throw them out. They might as well just burn their money and not waste their time cooking them. Remember every penny always counts. They all add up!

This morning, Hubby made potato pancakes from all of the mashed potatoes we had. He put cheddar cheese in them and I have to tell you they were delicious. I love them with a dab of sour cream and Hubby loves ketchup.

We have leftover cranberry sauce. It will be used with Little Smokies and some chili sauce for dinner tomorrow night. Any leftovers will be lunch on Tuesday.

There is a little sausage stuffing smothered in gravy which will be lunch for us tomorrow. 

And today I made homemade turkey and rice soup for dinner. All the leftover turkey went in it. When I cut up celery for the stuffing. I diced enough for the soup too. I also sliced up carrots and used the leftover corn from Thanksgiving. The last of the gravy was thrown in along with the broth. Leftovers will be frozen for future soup meals.

Get creative with your leftovers and save those dollars! They will increase your net worth a lot during a year’s time.  

Every Day

A Little of This and a Little of That

My son was visiting for 3 days. He had business in this area and stayed with us. We did go out to dinner one night but ate in the rest of the time. I enjoyed getting up in the morning to make him a nice hearty breakfast. We had lots of fun, laughter, and just generally a good time catching up on things.

Yesterday, my other son and grandson came for our usual Sunday breakfast. He brought a dozen donuts from Tim Horton’s which we all enjoyed immensely. I couldn’t even remember the last time I enjoyed a donut. We also got subs for lunch. This Mama was too tired to cook.

So today it is back to the usual money saving here. It is 8AM as I write this today. I already have a loaf of homemade banana bread in the oven. I had three very ripe bananas that needed to be used up.

I have made my grocery list for the week and plan on shopping later today. There are not a lot of things or deals that I need this week.  

Just a moment ago I cancelled Netflix. We weren’t watching it enough to pay the $ 10.99 per month. Some months we wouldn’t watch it at all. Plus I do not like some of their programming. So that is $131.88 annually that we will keep in our investments. We have Amazon Prime so there is plenty of movies, etc. to watch. Have you checked your viewing on Netflix to see if you are really getting your money’s worth?

I went and did my grocery shopping at Top’s and this is what I purchased this week: 

1/2 gal. milk – $ 2.39- Top’s Super Q which took off $.79= $1.60.  I bought the wrong milk. It would have been $ .88 if I had gotten Top’s milk. The cashier forced the coupon. It won’t be the first or last time mistake I make. It is not worth my gas to go back.

4 Arm and Hammer Baking Soda – $.99 ea. – $.50/2 MQ = $1.96 for all 4 or $ .49 each (Tip: Baking soda never expires.)

1- 128 oz. Tops Vinegar – $ 2.99 (clean with this and use it instead of Jet Dry in my dishwasher)

1 – 64 ct.  Pampers Wipes – $ 1.99 – $.50/1 MQ = $.99 (cheap cleaning wipes)

4- Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes – $ 1.49 each-
$1./1 MQ’s = $ .49 ea. or $ 1.96 for all. (We put these in our salads.)

1 – McCain Craft Beer Battered French Fries – $ 1.88 and I will get back $ 1.00 from Checkout 51.

2- Body Armour Drinks – $1.00 – $ .50/1 MQ’s = Both Free

1 – 59oz. Tropicana OJ – $ 1.49 with T Rex Monopoly ticket. (We don’t drink OJ so I will be making many, many loaves of cranberry orange bread this week.)

My total OOP was $ 12.95 including tax. I am getting $1.00 rebate from Checkout 51. My budget is $75.00 for the week so that leaves me $ 62.05 for the rest of the week.

We only have a little produce left in our fridge: grapes, apples, tangerines, some lettuce, carrots and peppers. So I will be going to the produce market soon to stock up. 

Besides all of this, I am washing 3 loads of clothes, sheets and towels etc. I am using the dryer since there are so many! 

BTW, I promised to tell you about the chicken that I purchased at Zaycon Fresh . I made stir fry with it the other night and the chicken is melt in your mouth like butter. It is so tender. I will be purchasing my boneless chicken breasts from them from now on. I am very happy! Yes, this is my referral link. I do not monetize my blog so anyone who is signing up new I would appreciate if you would consider using this referral link. No pressure meant! 

Feel free to leave a comment if you have saved any money this week.

I will be back soon to finish the 100 Frugal Things List.