Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday's Well: I lost my frozen food stockpile

I lost my frozen stockpile in the power outage caused by Miss Irene. Actually, I probably could have worked harded to salvage it, but I was worried I would have to throw things away and so decided to donate rather than be forced to trash. The upside is that my freezer is cleaned out and ready for new stockpile.

Menu Plan Monday--Haha

It's Wednesday. We started the week without power from Miss Irene.  Power was restored, but normalcy has not been restored.
Here's what mealtime was like during the power outage.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Spectacular Savings: A Storm is on the horizon!

Well, I splurged on some more treats this week as well as some much needed produce.  I was planning to pick-up a bit of meat/poultry as we have very little on hand, but with the possibility of Hurricane Irene causing power outages I decided to skip that.  I did buy some matches and a few gallons of water to help with peace
of mind!

Total Spent: $43.58
Total Saved: $90.77 or 67% Savings

Total Spending August= $104.23
Total Savings August = $345.50 or 77% Savings
Remember, I've trimmed my August budget to account for July's overspending. $175 for the month (July 30th- September 2).
Total Remaining August: $70.77

That's a lot to spend this week, but since we're low on proteins, I may just spend it!

Family Fridays: Who doesn't love a Big, Red Truck!?! 8/27/11---Kingston,NY

8th Annual Antique Fire Engine Muster: Saturday. August 27th 10am-3pm
Celebrates the 350th Anniversary of the Kingston Fire Department. Vintage and Antique Fire Trucks on Display. Raffle for a Dexton Flaming-Red Special Deluxe Fire Truck Pedal Car. Volunteer Firemen’s Hall and Museum open all day!
Volunteer Fireman's Museum
265 Fair Street
Kingston, NY 12401
(845) 331-0866

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Woeful Wednesday?- Hurricanes and Water!

With Hurricane Irene's path possibly affecting our local weather in the Valley, we need to take some steps to prepare.  I'm not worried about food and supplies.  We have plenty of those on hand, but water is essential.  There's the possibility of days without power. So, we'll be filling up lots of bottles of water for drinking, brushing teeth and flushing toilets.  This woe could be worse if we didn't have a little time to prepare, but the advance notice of the possibility of the big storm allows us to turn this woe into a minor inconvenience.  Water bottles here we come!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: Know your local resources!

These days it seems that the best bargains are found at big box or chain stores.  But, that doesn't mean you can't tap into local resources for extra savings.  One of my favorite local stores is Adams Fairacre Farms where I buy produce and meat/poultry!  Another place for added savings is the local paper.  I don't often buy the print edition, but my local paper frequently carries extra coupons on Wednesday and those coupons can definitely be worth spending the 75c on the paper!
Local resources can mean bonus savings!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Using overage to buy shoes and the buy ahead principle

When it comes to saving money anyone will tell you it's all in the planning.  And a big part of planning is buying something when you don't need it, but it's at rock bottom $$$.  We save a ton of money on shoes this way.

These are from a recent sale at Sears.  They are a size or two larger than DD5 wears now, but they are pretty close to classic in style and I know she'll need dress shoes and maryjanes.  Well, these were a steal at around $4.99 a pair, so they can sit in the closet and wait for her feet to grow.

On this trip to Walmart, I used overage from the floss and Bengay to help pay for a pair of clearance slip ons for DD3.  While most of her clothing comes from her big sister, shoes are often worn out or wear out quick, so she needed to get in on the shoe action!  The shoes were around $7 and after overage I paid just $2.56 including tax!

Buying ahead and planning wisely with overage are great ways to save on items that you don't have a coupon for!

Menu Plan Monday--Stew in the Summer!

I'm getting low on proteins with no great deals in immediate sight, so I'm trying to work with what's on hand.

MONDAY- Tamale Pie

TUESDAY- Beef Stew with brown rice (normally more of a winter dish, but hey)
WEDNESDAY- Sausage with beans and rice
THURSDAY- Pasta with shrimp and veggies
SATURDAY- Chicken on the grill with Quinoa

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Scrumptious Sunday: Ginger-Lime Chicken

The great thing about this recipe is that it can easily be adapted for a variety of factors.

Mix marinade:
Vegetable Oil
Tamari (dark soy)
Soy Sauce
Fresh Limes
Fresh Ginger (can sub powdered ginger if necessary)
I use 3 parts tamari, 1 part soy, l part oil and 1 part lime juice, then add ginger to taste.  If you are using fresh ginger just grate into the mixture. 

1. Prepare Marinade.
2. Prepare Chicken (cut up chunks for breast stir fry style or any other prep you desire)
3. Marinate Chicken for at least 2 hours (I like to go longer.)
4. Heat a small amount of additional oil in skillet and add chicken and sauce.
Alternatively, you could move your chicken pieces to the grill and cook them that way.
5. Serve with your favorite veggies over rice or potatoes.
We like green beans, which taste great in the sauce, over mashed potatoes!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Spectacular Savings: August's first real week of spending money

The past two weeks have been real low OOP weeks.  This week I finally spent some money.  In fact, I even splurged on a few things.  I had a few coupons and CATS to use up and then I grabbed a few things that were needed and not likely to come up in any great sales in the next few weeks.
Here's my shopping:

Look at those treats from Adams (yum!)!!!

Total Spent: $41.79
Total Saved: $108.50 or 72% Savings

Total Spending August= $60.65
Total Savings August = $254.73 or 81% Savings
Remember, I've trimmed my August budget to account for July's overspending. $175 for the month (July 30th- September 2).
Total Remaining August: $114.35

End of Day Check-in: A Completed To-Do List!

This is quite rare!  My To-Do List is COMPLETE!

1. Wash yesterday's dishes (yes, they sat overnight)
2. Start beans in crock-pot
3. Cut chicken for Ginger Lime Chicken recipe (tonight's dinner)
4. Prepare mixture for Tamale Pie
5. Layer Tamale Pie
6. Run Dishwasher
7. Wash today's dishes (from cooking)

8. Prep fresh green beans for dinner
9. Empty dishwasher
10. Prep and cook potatoes for dinner
11. Shoprite for some odds and ends (including the limes that I forgot for the Ginger Lime recipe)
12. Stop at Target to make a return
13. Return free Blockbuster rental
14. Finish Ginger Lime Chicken

Mid-day work getting there!

1. Wash yesterday's dishes (yes, they sat overnight)
2. Start beans in crock-pot
3. Cut chicken for Ginger Lime Chicken recipe (tonight's dinner)
4. Prepare mixture for Tamale Pie
5. Layer Tamale Pie
6. Run Dishwasher
7. Wash today's dishes (from cooking)

8. Prep fresh green beans for dinner
9. Empty dishwasher
10. Prep and cook potatoes for dinner
11. Shoprite for some odds and ends (including the limes that I forgot for the Ginger Lime recipe)
12. Stop at Target to make a return
13. Return free Blockbuster rental
14. Finish Ginger Lime Chicken

I stopped along the way to make some phone calls, snuggle with DD2, make DD2 lunch, and take care of some bills/paperwork. I'm feeling pretty good about my progress.  DD2 is feeling good, too!

Family Fridays: On the subject of Food!

The Little Farm Show
3 pm Saturday, August 20th
Catskill Art Society
48 Main Street
Livingston Manor.
Call (845)436-4227 for more information!

THE LITTLE FARM SHOW is an original musical theatre performance for all-ages created and performed by Tannis Kowalchuk and Brett Keyser. The actors play "the Amazing MacDonald Twins," a brother and sister team of side show performers who tour “the greatest show on dirt!” from town to town.
WHERE DOES YOUR FOOD COME FROM? NACL Theatre explores this question with an all-ages musical extravaganza about FARMING, FOOD, and the ENVIRONMENT. From the inception of the solar system, to sunset on Millicent’s farm, the Magnificent MacDonald Twins give audiences a whirlwind tour of “The Greatest Show on Dirt!”

Some work in the kitchen

I'm home today with no major errands to run and no appointments or plans.  DD2 and I are hanging out and doing some work in the kitchen.  
Step one: Clean up this mess!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday's Thoughts: Oh, Happiness!

 "The best way for a person to have happy thoughts is to count his blessings and not his cash."
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday's Woes: Coffee with a Side of Fat?

Photo Source

Love a nice cup of Joe with that big Sunday breakfast?

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, it might be bad for you. The study found that when healthy people ate a meal high in saturated fat and had two cups of coffee their blood sugar increased 65% in response to their next meal.  The mixture of fat and caffeine has a lasting effect on the way in which your body metabolizes sugar, making your body less able to use it for energy.  The feel tired.

The best choices for a healthy breakfast with your morning brew...
High-fiber, low-fat meals!

Source: Redbook Magazine

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: Take a bite out of...

According to a study at Carnegie Melon University, picturing yourself eating food bite by bite reduces your consumption. Why?  The visualization can trick your mind into thinking you've already eaten the food and can help curb cravings.

Now that's food for thought!

Source: Women's Health Magazine, May 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- Last week fell about this week?

So, last week did not go as planned at all, but hey, c'est la vie!
I'm hoping to get to the ginger lime chicken this week.  It's a favorite and I haven't made it in a long time.

MONDAY- Tilapia with seasoned rice and green beans
TUESDAY- Hot dogs and salad
WEDNESDAY- Ginger Lime Chicken with brown rice and green beans
THURSDAY- Pasta with zucchini and chicken sausage
FRIDAY- Leftovers
SATURDAY- Eat out for DD2's 3rd Birthday!
SUNDAY- Grilled Chicken with potato and green salad

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Scrumptious Sunday: Cheater's Garlic Bread!

Garlic bread is oh so delicious, but when I need a quick fix I use a cheat.

Slather some italian bread  with your favorite butter or spread and add some granulated garlic (to your taste preference).  Pop it in the toaster oven and in a few short minutes you'll have yummy garlic toast bread!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Spectacular Savings: Under $5 this week!

I hardly shopped at all this week and it felt good!
Here's what I bought in 3 quick trips to Aldi, Adams, and Shoprite.

Total Spent: $4.28
Total Saved: $16.34 or 80% Savings

Total Spending August= $18.86
Total Savings August = $146.23 or 88% Savings
Remember, I've trimmed my August budget to account for July's overspending. $175 for the month (July 30th- September 2). 
Total Remaining August: $156.14

I have (4) $5 CATS for Shoprite that expire on the 20th, so I'll have to do a little more shopping!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Family Fridays: The River Pool in Beacon, NY

Thanks to Family Friendly Hudson Valley's facebook page, I read about this great concept that's re-emerging in the Hudson Valley. 

This exciting and innovative structure is intended to provide a safe area for swimming and wading in the Hudson River for people of all ages and to promote use, awareness and stewardship of the Hudson River. 

You can find out more by visiting the official River Pool website!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday's Thoughts: Little White Lies

Photo Source

Redbook Magazine asked readers,
"What (harmless) little lies do you tell your kids?"

BP from NYC answered,
"My kids think that the ice cream truck only
plays music when it's out of ice cream!"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday: Discount Blabber- Local Deal Site!

I came across an ad for a daily deal site called Discount Blabber specifically targeting Ulster, Dutchess and Orange Counties here in the Hudson Valley.  The site is live and according to their facebook page the first deal(s) began on Monday (8/8/11).  Sign up now and we can all explore this new site together!!!

This should be a very wonderful thing!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: Coffee in Bulk

Photo Source

Cheryl Magat at Peet's Coffee recommends that consumers don't buy coffee in bulk.  In fact she recommends not buying more than a two week supply.  Now, for those of us who stockpile this is clearly not an option.  I can't imagine not taking advantage of a great coffee sale!  However, there are a couple things we can do to keep that coffee stockpile fresh.

~Grind it yourself.  Whole beans last longer.
~Store your coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Source: Family Circle Magazine March 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Menu Plan: Time to bring out some old favorites!

I'm working some crazy hours this week, but here's what I'm hoping to serve!
I find it even more important to menu plan when it's busy!

MONDAY-Chicken Tacos (that old stand-by)
TUESDAY- $6 take-out pizza night
WEDNESDAY- Leftover chicken tacos
THURSDAY- Slowcooker Ropa Vieja

FRIDAY- Ginger Lime Chicken (Check back next Sunday for the recipe.)
SUNDAY- Turkey Burgers and Hot Dogs with side salads

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Spectacular Savings: $15 to start off August!

This was a week of using up catalinas and rolling a few of them, too!

This first group of pictures are from Shoprite where I spent just $3.70 this week after catalinas.  The best part is that with all of the rolling cats for Marcal, I have more to use in the coming weeks!

This was a quick stop into Aldi and my biggest OOP of the week at $6.81

These are from spending my viva paper towel catalinas at Stop & Shop.   I grabbed a few things we needed (milk, lettuce) and also one treat...the instant Indian meal looked too good to pass up!  I spent a total of $4.07 at Stop & Shop.

Total Spending this week = $14.58
Total Savings this week = $129.89 or 90% Savings

I was over budget by $49 last month, so I'm going to trim my August budget to $35/week average or a total of $175 for the month (July 30th- September 2).

Friday, August 5, 2011

Family Fridays: Steamboat Days 8/6/11--Kingston, NY

Experience what life was like on the Hudson River over a hundred years ago when steam was supreme!  Free rides on authentic steamboats on first-come, first-served ticketed basis.  11am-4pm.

Hudson River Maritime Museum
Kingston, NY 12401

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday's Thoughts: a quote

"I'm not real frugal or thrifty, ...
I just don't waste money on little things that don't matter,
but spend on big things that do."
~Brian O'Reilly

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday: Beans!

One of the most wonderful ingredients is black beans.
1. Inexpensive
2. Stores well
3. Versatile
4. Nutritious
5. My kids love them!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: Cut 200 calories by making these simple choices

Photo Source
~Opt out of the 6oz Pina Colada in favor of the 5oz glass of white wine and save 212 calories.
~Choose the thin crust veggie pizza over the regular or thick crust with pepperoni and save 202 calories.
~Order your Mexican entree without sour cream and cheese and you'll save 220 calories.

Source: Redbook Magazine

What are your favorite calorie cutting choices? 
I love to try and cut calories without feeling like I am missing out on enjoying my food and drink!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pantry Check-In: Expiring in August!

An important part of stockpiling is to make sure your stockpile doesn't go to waste.  I try to keep my stockpile organized with the items that will expire soonest in front and with things like cereals I can manage to always keep on top of that chore.  Sometimes there are small odds and ends that get lost in the pantry and for that reason I like to do a monthly check-in where I poke around the pantry for a few minutes (maybe 15) and see what's lurking. 
These items will expire at some point in August.  I don't mind using some items that are slightly past date, but I prefer to not let it go too far out.  Since, I snapped this picture we have already used up the Chow Mein mixes and some of the popcorn. In order to ensure that we use up the rest before too, I've packed these soon to expire items together in the pantry.

They are now front and center to help me remember to use them first.

One more tip:  When doing my monthly pantry check I like to keep an eye out for items that are expiring in a few months and any items that seem to be untouched.  If our tastes, needs, or desires have changed and these foods will not likely get used up, now is the perfect time to pull them out to donate!