Sunday, October 30, 2011

Best Blogs of the Month

Found some new blogs, thought I'd share them with you. Check them out!

Homestead Revival

Thrifty Texas Penny

Friday, October 28, 2011


Well, the price of potatoes finally fell, it had hit a high of $6.99 for 10 pounds! Thankfully, they were on sale this week, $1.98 for 10 pounds. So, of course, I bought 20 pounds. Now to fit them into a bunch of meals! Am thinking of:

Mashed Potatoes

Fried Potatoes

Hash Browns

Potato Yeast Rolls

Perogies filled with Mashed Potatoes (new one for me to try)

Baked Potatoes with Toppings

Cubed Potatoes in Foil (on the grill)

Potato Soup or Chowder

Potato Salad

Scalloped Potatoes

French Fries with Chili and Cheese

Latkes (another new recipe to try)

Current prices of what I consider necessary carbs for us work out to be:

potatoes 20 cents a pound

ramen noodles 18 cents each

brown rice 64 cents a pound

pasta $1 a pound

wild rice $3.54 a pound

Ok, wild rice is not necessary, but I was appalled by the price. And most of us here do not like ramen noodles, but I was surprised that they went up 6 cents since I last bought them.

Since potatoes are the cheapest this month, that's what we're eating. (I am relieved, because I have not beena fan of pasta lately.)

Am open to any cheap potato recipes if you have them!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 300

Today is day 300 in my 22nd year of living frugal to the extreme. I know that sounds a bit extreme in itself. Can't decide how to celebrate this remarkable milestone, but I'm sure I'll figure out something.

Maybe I'll go pick apples.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Recycled Blue Jeans

I don't know why I am fascinated with bluejeans. Is it because I went to parochial schools all my life, you know, wearing uniforms and skirts and dresses? Who knows, all I know is I consider denim a most important invention.

I love to find old jeans, usually at garage sales and such, and turn them into quilts.

Anywho, I have plans for sewing a new "pattern" this winter. It is a rag rug, although the directions I found are for a small rug, something like 24" by 36". I plan on making a much larger rug, maybe 48" by 60". It's hard to tell you exact directions because I really don't follow directions, I make them up as I go. Here is a video of what the original looks like.

Looks easy, now I have to find the time. That's the hard part.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Washing Soda

As soon as I need to heat up the stove for something else more important (i.e. cookies, bread, roast etc.) I am going to try this baking soda-into-washing soda experiment.

Now, there is another site,

I usually don't trust ehow or, so this truly is an experiement. Both sites vary in the directions, and how do you really know if you baked the soda long enough? It's not like it will change colors or look different. Hmmm . . . .will let you know.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Semi-Whole Wheat Bread-ABM Style

Promised you my Bread recipe a while back, so here it is. It's funny how just a little whole wheat flour makes this such a different bread than the french bread I made earlier.

1 1/4 cups water, slightly warmer than room temperature
1 TBS. butter
1 egg
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. yeast

Proof the yeast with the water and sugar for about 5 minutes. Then add everything to your breadmaker. Set on Dough cycle. After the dough cycle is complete, divide the dough in half and put each half in a greased loaf pan. Cover with clean towel and let rise until doubled (about 45 minutes.) Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I find it funny how many people it takes at Wally's World to give me back 8 cents in coupon overage.

Pocket Change

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
~Helen Keller

Monday, October 17, 2011

Just Have to Share

I suppose everyone has their favorite blogs, websites, or what-not that they like to frequent, but I have to share mine. When I say share, I mean You-Simply-Have-To-Go-There. Now.

They are:

Clover Lane

Thy Hand Hath Provided

Not in any particular order, but I find myself reading these before I even check my FB. (sorry friends and family!) I have been following them for a while and they never disappoint me with their recipes and words of wisdom. Thank you Sarah and Jane!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ruth 2:7

And she said , I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came , and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.

I am reading the book of Ruth, it seemed appropriate for all my apple picking lately. I pray that I could be strong like Ruth, and wise like Naomi. Please help me Lord!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Thought I'd try to make bagels again, since the kids go through, like, 50 bagels a month. (No joke.)

Used the breadmaker to mix/rise the dough. The first batch I hand shaped the bagels, really poorly, the next batch I cut them out like a biscuit and then poked a hole in them and shaped just a bit.

I think they taste really nice, we like ours toasted with butter, sorry, cheap margarine, or toasted with a sausage patty in the middle. The first batch I put onion powder in the mix, but I need to add more next time, it wasn't very onion-y tasting. Same with the second batch, which I flavored with garlic salt. But I am happy with the results and most importantly, the kids gave them (and me) their approval, so I will be making these again. Yes! another cheap recipe conquered!

silly me! I forgot to post the recipe. I got it straight from

Thursday, October 13, 2011

$107 a Month?

Budget got cut again, our food money for the month is now $107 a month for the 6 of us. We will be heading to the food bank for sure this month! I am very grateful three of the kids are able to eat breakfast and lunch for free at school, so maybe this is do-able. As you can see, I am trying to talk myself into this. We have plenty of the following, (although I am not sure how to coordinate all of it into something edible for a whole month)

  • 31 jars of spaghetti sauce

  • 21 jars of peanut butter

  • grape jelly

  • 25 cans of refried beans

  • apple butter, apple slices (frozen)

  • flour and baking items like yeast, baking soda and baking powder

  • eggs

  • white rice (don't judge, it was really on sale)

  • a variety of mushroom soup and chicken broth

There is a variety of other canned things I have, but mainly just odds and ends really. I priced out a bunch of things at Wally's World and then at our local store, so I am up to date on the current prices of most things we need, but just don't know what to buy. Other than meat, of course, which would probably just take up the whole $107 right there. Not much else to say about this.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I was driving my daughter to work (she pays for the gas) and I interrupted her (bad momma!) to say. . . . . "Ohhhhh, look, an apple tree! Look at all those apples on the ground. I wonder. . . ."

Daughter, in her infinite teenaged wisdom,

Rolls. Her. Eyes.

I think I have an new addiction.

Is there an Apples Anonymous?

Maybe I could stop cold turkey.

I saw 2 walnut trees and a chesnut tree that seemed to need some cleaning up. . . .

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pocket Change

People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.
~Helen Keller

Sunday, October 09, 2011

About Them Apples. . . .last part I promise!

I promise, this will be the last you hear about apples. Well, at least until next year!

Ended up with:

12 quart bags of frozen apple slices

apple butter

apple cake

baked apple delight

apple butter pumpkin pie

apple butter bread

apple pectin

and apple cider vinegar.

There was also alot of pieces of apples I gave the rabbits and the dog (yes, we have a weird dog, he loves fruits and vegetables more than milkbones)

And the chickens got the few rotten ones. So I am very grateful that my neighbors planted that apple tree~thank you T&E!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Semi-Homemade Wax Paper

Now this really isn't made from scratch, but with all the cereal the kids eat, I just use the plastic liners the cereal comes in for wax paper.

As you can see, I let the boxes pile up a bit too much.

Just take the liners out, shake out the last bits and crumbs (save for the chickens if you have them!) Then cut the bottom off of the bag, and then cut a straight line up the side seam.

Voila' !

Instant wax paper for no-bake cookies or what ever you use wax paper for.

Note: make sure you don't just stuff the un-cut bags somewhere, thinking you'll get to them someday. You won't have it when you need it and . . . it will only draw pantry moths. Don't ask how I know.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Fallen Leaves

Oh, how I love leaves! Ever think how many uses a leaf has?

  1. Science project: see how many different kinds your kids can collect and identify

  2. Art project: put a leaf under a sheet of paper and make an imprint with a crayon

  3. P.E. exercise: rake into a pile, move onto a tarp, and then. . . JUMP!

  4. After extensive jumping, the leaves will be crunched, shredded, and ready for the compost pile or garden.(which is why you put the leaves on a tarp in the first place, it's SOOOOOO much easier to move to the garden!)

  5. If you can get bagged leaves, save a bag or two to add to the chicken coop in the middle of the winter. Chickens love to rummage thru a pile of leaves, it sure does keep them occupied in the cold weather!
Evidently, dogs like to jump in leaf piles also. Ours spent hours running, diving, and eventually pushing the leaves off the tarp.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Cheap Bread

Used to have a day old bread store fairly close to me, but I guess it caught on fire one night and so it is no more. Found this really cheap and easy bread recipe, it takes no oil or eggs and still makes a nice sandwich bread that the kids will eat. No, make that devour. I made one recipe (which is two loaves) the other night for supper to go along with spaghetti and they had both loaves gone by bedtime. So here is the recipe:

French Bread Using a Bread Machine
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
4 cups bread flour
1 1/3 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon clover honey (or any type you prefer)
1 1/2 cups water

Add ingredients in the order listed to your bread machine, set the machine on dough cycle.

After the machine does all the work, take the dough out and divide in half. Take one half and DO NOT KNEAD. Resist the urge! Just tuck under one long end, like you were going to roll a long pumpkin roll. Set it in a loaf pan and let it rise for about 45 minutes. (I heat up a small coffee cup of hot water in the microwave and create a nice warm place for the loaves to rise right in the microwave. That way, no matter how many times the kids open and shut the kitchen door letting in the cold air, my bread will rise.)

After rising for about 45 minutes, Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 18 minutes.

Cool until you can cut it, if you can wait that long.

Of course, you could just leave it all in the bread maker, but I find it easier to cut in smaller loaves. Just set the breadmaker on light or regular loaf.


oops! I messed up. these pictures aren't my French Bread, they are from my Semi-Whole Wheat Bread. I'll post that recipe soon, I promise!

Monday, October 03, 2011

About Them Apples. . . .part III

Ok, enough with the apples! just joking, I am very grateful for them. My next project is to make cider vinegar. I have tried this before, but let it set for too long and it just turned into a big mess.

First, I took a large jar and sterilized it with hot water.

Next, the apple peelings and cores were set, not pressed, into the jar, leaving room for air pockets.

I then added a very, very tiny pinch of bread yeast.

I let it set on the counter for a day, uncovered.

(Note here: there will be fruit flies. think of them as tiny bees, bringing their own kind of pollen (yeast found naturally in the air). Sounds gross, but just think of how sourdough bread needs wild yeast from the air.)

After a day of setting out, I gave it a jiggle to let the fruit flies fly away. Gave it a good stir, getting as much air in it as possible.

Covered with piece of t-shirt tied on with a rubberband.

Set it next to the grape vinegar experiment on the counter where it's a bit dark, but still warm from the breadmaker that's next to them.

Now I let it sit.
Will let you know how it turns out!