Thursday, March 26, 2009

Biting the Bullet on Babysitting.

I am often jealous of couples who live near a set or both or their parents and have nearby, reliable and free babysitting.

I bit the bullet and asked someone to babysit in our home so we could have a date. It's scary to leave our kids with someone else and it's going to cost more than our dinner probably but right now- it seems so worth it.

Update: We had a blast. The kids got to stay up a little later and eat things like Pillsbury cookies (on sale/coupon) and frozen pizza. Hubby and I got some valuable alone time. And now we know we have a reliable sitter that the kids like.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What's up with all this pizza and noodles?

Pizza and noodles are my fall backs when kitchen inspiration is gone.

That's not changing tonight. We're having a frozen pizza with added toppings. Monday is a busy night around here. No time to dilly dally with home cooking fixins unless I made them yesterday.

Things I need to use up this week:

Shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
Leftover lemon rice pilaf
Bag of sweet potatoes
Hamburger buns
French bread.

It looks like we'll be having French bread pizza with our mozzie sometime this week. Some type of sloppy joe made with rehydrated with stock tvp and a side of rice pilaf and peas sounds good. And I'll have to whip up a big salad to keep in the fridge too. The grapes can go in lunch bags. Maybe I'll bake a sweetie for lunch and boil and freeze the rest for pies.

Fighting the Urge to Splurge on Beauty products.

My inbox has been filled with free shipping plus bonus codes for Clinique and Lancome lately. A brief trip to ebates tells me that I can get 4-6% back. So, I skim through the website looking for things I'm running low on, wondering if I can justify the $35 plus expense.

After recently pricing the generic Olay knock off for less than $6 that would suit me just fine if I couldn't find a sale, coupon or a rebate. I can't justify it. Oh, but I have wanted to! Getting those fresh, pristine boxes filled with untouched make up products in sleek packaging and pretty shades gives me a giddy albeit brief high. Never mind that in my bedroom I have baskets full of unused lipsticks in an array of beautiful colors- and that's after I've gifted and given away much of my free with purchase loot.

What they are trying to sell me is the feeling that I could be beautiful with their cosmetics and I so want to bite. Even though most days I don't even wear lipstick and dislike taking the time to put all that stuff on my face anymore. That brief giddy feeling isn't as good as the feeling of being able to pass that stuff up because I don't need it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Playing with my produce

I've done more grocery shopping than cooking lately and my produce is all the sorrier for it.
Rather than toss valuable food in the trash, I piled up all the wilting goods and started peeling and chopping. Clearance bags of blackening bananas got put into freezer bags for another day. Why waste when I can save for later day?

Now I know what's for dinner and I have it halfway prepped:

Garlic bread (from my bread machine), roasted vegetables, and pasta with a red sauce full of veggies.

And I threw all of those nutritious peels and stems into my veggie garden patch for fertilizer.

Tomato Babies

About two weeks ago I was reading one of my favorite blogs- 20 Year Challenge- who had started sprouting seeds in her bedroom. I was inspired and got out my own bag of cheap potting soil, two old pots and scrounged for the seeds that I bought on clearance last year. I have two Beefsteak tomato starts staring at me this morning. I'm looking forward to seeing if my cantaloupe seeds will sprout.
Even though I only put them in a bathroom window. Even though I sometimes forget to open the shades to sun them. Two tomato plants is a great start for me!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Being Well Baby Club at Save-A-Lot

I've been signed up the Being Well Baby Club for over a year. I've received great coupons in the mail and to my email account.

Today I received a coupon for a free box of diaper rash cream with the purchase of Luvs Diapers. Recently there was a $1 off coupon for Luvs in a Sunday paper.

If you have a child in diapers and a Save-A-Lot nearby it might be a good idea to sign up for the club.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Unintended Blog Vacation.

I've finally started to get back on track in the last month of Hubby's illness.

The coupons have been in a dusty pile on the couch. Today I started tackling them. We've had more than our share of take out and restaurant meals in the last few weeks.

We've been busy catching up on family time with St. Patricks day parades and trips to the zoo.

But, I've got a small pile of free MFR products and rebates. I'll be shopping soon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Out of flour?

This photo is from November 2007.
I'm a sucker for bags of clearance bananas especially now that they are creeping closer to a dollar a pound. Naturally, I scooped up a bag while I was in the grocery store.

While making a double batch of banana bread this morning I discovered that I need to buy oats, white flour, wheat flour and baking mix.
I managed to scrape together 3 cups of grains but I have no idea how good these loaves will turn out. Let's hear it for cooking from your pantry (and keeping it stocked!). And multigrain banana bread no matter how it turns out.

Update: The loaves turned out great. Here's what I did: I used 3/4 cup of sugar instead of one cup. I made three and a third cups combined of oats, wheat flour, white flour, and wheat germ. The oats gave it a nice nutty taste and we didn't miss any of the sugar. I might reduce it to 1/2 cup next time.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Decorating on a whim and a dime.

I've been lazily looking for a comfy chair or a small hide-a-bed couch to put in our bedroom for lounging and reading. I stop every now and again at a thrift store that specializes in china, antiques, and nicer furnishings.

Today I found this chair waiting for me. It was so new that the price tag hadn't even been applied to it yet. This Flexsteel chair with minimal wear that matches our blue couches was a steal at $60. The busy pattern balances great with our plain jane tv room.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Depression Inpiration.

I've spent part of my day watching 93 year old Clara whip up some of the meals she and her family ate during the depression.
This set of videos on youtube is fascinating, informative and just in time.

My depression era shopping cart might look like this:

canned peas
sack of potatoes
dried pasta
canned milk
tomato sauce
salt & pepper

Home but not completely healed

Hubby came home yesterday. He's still not feeling good but he is on the mend. Life can return to some semblance of normal again I hope.

Not much of a frugal nature to impart except that I managed to catch the bread mark down cart at Save-A-Lot this morning before it got put out for the masses. I snagged two whole wheat loaves and one hoagie bag for $3.06. I'm tempted to go back and buy more except I don't have a lot of room in the freezer.

I haven't caught up with my coupons for about two weeks and am starting to get an itch to bargain hunt. Before he got sick, Hubby started putting together shelves in the basement for my stockpile pantry. I'm itching to start filling it with my finds.

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers. It is so scary when a beloved is sick and Tylenol, soup, and rest won't do the trick.

Monday, March 2, 2009

No News.

All is still the same here. Thanks for any well wishes and prayers. They are much appreciated. While I am pretty sure that Hubby is not in any life threatening danger, having him be this sick is scary. We are definitely a matched pair and don't do well on our own.

The good news is that my Mom came and managed to sweep the toys in a pile and vacuum around them.

And I lit a oatmeal raisin cookie so it's almost like I'm sitting in a clean fresh smelling house. As I type this I am listening to the my kids and the neighbor girl jump on Big Girl's bed. So much for any cleaning I may have done in there earlier.

I think I'll be more motivated once I know I can bring Hubby home.

Banana pancakes for dinner tonight. I'll sprinkle in some wheat germ. Our diet of late has been pretty sad. At least the kids are more than happy to snack on fruit, drink oj, and eat peanuts.

Having a nice boring frugal day sounds great right now.
Instead I'm torn between wanting to spend the day at the hospital holding Hubby's hand and being the best SAHM I can be while he's ill. Instead I'm feeling guilty that I'm doing nothing well.

One step at a time.