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This and That

July 7th, 2019 at 04:35 am

The fence is completed, another dump run was made, and all but the frame of the turkey pen is down. Now we just need to train my mother to stop leaving the fence gate open. It doesn't do any good to have a fence up to keep the deer out, if she is going to leave a doorway for them.

Tomorrow I want to go to Lowe's and pick up a grill basket for veggies, a second pair of BBQ tongs to prevent cross contamination and an empty hanging basket for my night sky petunias. I have $69 left in my allowance folder.

The meal plan has gone a bit by the wayside this week with the new charcoal grill, but I don't care. It's all food we have on hand so if I change things up a little, so be it. Today (well, technically yesterday) we did hot dogs, hamburgers, onion slices (I definitely want a grill basket), and sausages on the grill. The sausages are for breakfasts or lunches this week. DH taught DS and I how to use it from start to finish, so we can now do it on the days he isn't off from work if we want to.

My next plan is to do chicken thighs or legs tomorrow for dinner. I found this Jamaican jerk recipe on YouTube so I think I will either use that sans the spicy pepper (replaced with jalapeño) or the spices I use in Shawarma or Fajitas. Really depends on what I feel in the mood for doing tomorrow.

My 30 quart stainless steel bowl came. It's a touch bigger than I thought it would be, but I will be able to mix up a quadruple batch of meatballs, meatloaf, or breakfast burritos all at once. I can also prepare 14 pounds of potatoes at once for canning (that's a full canner load). It will have to be hand washed though. It would just barely fit in the dishwasher, but it would take up the whole bottom rack. Seriously, you could bathe a toddler in this thing. It makes me laugh every time I see it. I think I could have gotten by with a 20 quart bowl, but oh, well, I'm not sending it back.

I bit the bullet and signed up for the free trial of prime on amazon. I am not sure we particularly need it, but we want to watch Good Omens so we'll see. I usually get everything shipped free anyway because we order in such a way to do so, this will just be a faster arrival time. And the discount at Whole Foods. I marked the calendar. We might keep it if it feels worthwhile, since we are cancelling HBO on hulu since GoT is over and WW is a long way from its next season still. We will cancel right before the next renewal. Also marked on my calendar.

DD, DH, and I have all finished season 3 of Stranger Things. No spoilers, but it was mostly very good. I am glad it dropped on a long holiday weekend so we could watch all 8 episodes without pesky things like DH having to get up early for work getting in the way.

Quick Fill in Grocery Trip and Little Errands

June 7th, 2019 at 06:59 pm

We did a running around errands trip today, plus a few grocery items. We started out at Office Max where I spent $23.35 out of the household budget for a ten pack of Post-it notes, plus some colored Post-it flags for marking book pages. I use post it notes for just about everything.

The flags I needed to mark the pages in a recipe book. DH found the Pressure Oven Cookbook at MIL's house last night, but it is a totally unorganized book. Nothing is sorted into categories and it isn't in alphabetical order or anything. So I am going through and marking anything I want to make and each category gets its own color.

Chicken will be red, beef will be blue, pork will be orange, lamb will be purple, veggies will be green, deserts will be blue, and casseroles will be pink. Then at least I can know what pages to check. I may put a corresponding dot next to each dish in the table of contents, too. On the bright side there are only about 10 recipes out of 126 that don't appeal to me.

After Office Max we went to Dollar Tree where I spent $6.35 and got:

6 foil baking pans (2 pk)
2 bottles of a clean pizza sauce to try
1 place mat (son eats at his desk on a place mat and his old one was falling apart)

Then we swung over to Spice Hut to get some ground white pepper, but they were out. I left my name and number for them to call me when they have it back in stock. It can be hard to find white peppercorns.

Then I did a quick fill-in trip to the food co-op and spent $65.37 there. Not all of that as grocery, some was household.

For grocery I got:

6 ct duck eggs
12 ct pastured chicken eggs
1 loaf of Avenue French bread
1 loaf of Naked potato bread
4 Japanese sweet potatoes
1 big box (with 4 little ones) of local strawberries
1 lb of Belgioioso American Grana cheese (a type of Parmesan that is extra long aged

So that part was $49.64.

Then I got 2 bottles of liquid African black soap in the pump bottles (unscented) for $17.37 out of the household budget.

After that we swung into the Walgreens on that side of town to pick up glasses cleaning wipes because our store was out. I only spent $1.95 because I had $10 worth of points that I cashed in.

Finally, I went so Safeway because they had boneless skinless chicken thighs on sale for $1.99/lb. I spent $45.92 there to stock up on some more cheap chicken.

I got 6 value packs of the chicken
1 5 lb pack of cut watermelon

I may go back tomorrow and get another 6 packs. I have $50 or $60 left in the grocery budget. I'm not sure. I'd have to look. Payday is a week away so I may need to leave some money for milk and more bread.

Anyway, a lot of errands, but I got a lot of the little things done that I've been putting off.

A Spendy Day

April 24th, 2019 at 09:40 pm

I finally went and got my hair cut. The haircut and style was $59, plus I gave her a $15 tip. Then I bought some Moroccan Oil Intense Curl Cream which was $37.96 (with the tax for the haircut and cream added in). So a total of $110.96. The hair cream is wonderful, it holds the curl without it getting crunchy like most styling products. My hair is super soft with it. It's a fairly large bottle, too. I figure it will last a few months with my hair being so short now.

The last time I went was in April of last year, so yes, it is expensive but I want a really good cut that is easy to maintain as it grown out and I've found the cheap hair salons do not do the same job at all and they don't know how to cut curly hair. She took off twelve inches. It's pretty short, for me, cut to an inch below my chin, at least when it is dry. When it is wet it is about two inches longer because I have curly hair. I am very happy about the style. It is cute, but simple.

After that I went to Penney's and bought 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels (which are big enough to dry my shorter hair with now), and 2 wash clothes. I am going to slowly start replacing our towels by buying like this every couple of weeks. The first ones are mine, because my towels are the oldest and in the worst shape. They are cheap WalMart towels and I wanted something a little better in quality. We all have towels in different colors. I am turquoise, DH is green, DS is royal blue, and DD is purple. My new ones are mostly turquoise with some white stripes and some very thin blue stripes. I spent $45.60.

Then after that I went to Walgreens and bought a box of Colorsilk hair dye. They were on sale for just under $5 a box. I'm going for dark auburn, which is pretty much what my hair color was when I was young, except it had gold and ash streaks in it, too. Now that my hair is short the idea of dying it is not so overwhelming. Most of what I have left after the cut is grey and white where the ash streaks used to be. A bit of the auburn is still there, but not much, and none of the gold. I also bought a magazine, a concealer stick, some sunscreen (the pricey sensitive skin stuff), and a giant bottle of water (99 cents for 34 oz). I spent $24.57.

So it was quite a spendy day, but my envelopes were well-funded and everything was planned for.

DS and I also did some more work in the garden, sifting the soil in one of the beds that has the morning glory roots in it. We are now about 1/4 of the way through it. I am finding a ton of worms, which is a great indicator of soil health. We are also catching some horsetail in our sifting process. DS also got some more sod pulled up, about two wagon loads worth. We didn't work for too long. I am being careful not to overdo it and to make sure DS doesn't overdo it either, but my garden muscles are getting stronger and so am I. Soon I will be able to go a lot longer and not have to worry so much about it.

I Found It and Paid Cash for It

April 6th, 2019 at 06:38 pm

I have been searching for five years for a new comforter in the teal to turquoise range and today I finally found it. It's teal and a Queen, not a King, but that's okay. I put it sideways on the bed anyhow and I don't tuck it because of the bed rails. I have never, not once, found a comforter for a King bed that I have liked, but I have found queen ones, so I'm used to that. They simply didn't come in the larger size. I used my allowance money as I have barely touched it for the last six months. While it could have come out of the household budget, this is a want, not a need, so I used my allowance. I still have enough left over to purchase an upgrade for my video editing software.

It was $69.95 plus tax. We found it at the Big K in Burlington. Our Kmart shut down and this is the nearest one to us. I was not overly impressed with this store. It is a larger store, but not so nicely laid out and it didn't seem to even have as much stuff as our old one did.

I also purchased some socks with the money from the clothing envelope as they have the type of socks I like that don't slip in my shoes, Athletech. I got a pack of 10, so I should be good again for a while. The socks were $8.99 plus tax.

And then I purchased a stainless steel frying pan. The copper skillet that came with the induction cooktop is already having food stick. We have been very careful to only use a sponge, too. That irritates me immensely. We had one before that did the same thing. I hate copper pans and if it hadn't come with it, I'd never have had one again.

And while I like cooking in cast iron, our big pan is quite heavy and the stainless steel is easier to lift and clean. I can still use the smaller cast iron pans easily. I got a 12 inch 5 quart saute pan with a lid. You can only use pans that a magnet will stick to on the cooktop. But now I should be good. This came out of the household envelope and cost $16.99.

Tax was $7.99, but I had some points left from before our Kmart closed down so had $1.97 taken off the final balance which was $101.99. Tax came out of the clothing budget just to make life easier. And no, I didn't make three separate purchases, I did one, but then reimbursed the envelopes that needed to be, because sometimes using cash can be a pain and I do whatever makes it work best.

So today was spending, but everything was funded, and that's the way I like it.

Garden Shopping

March 26th, 2019 at 01:40 am

I bought my onion plants today. They should arrive the week of 4/8. I bought 3 bunches of candy sweet onions (it was cheaper to get 3 than 2), 1 batch of redwing red storage onions, and 1 batch of Patterson yellow storage onions. Each batch contains 50 to 60 plants. This should be enough onions for the year. I have had really good luck with storage onions. I have bought the candy sweets the last couple of years and they last a long time, at least six months, at which point I've used them all up, generally. At least what I didn't freeze. So I thought I'd grow them this year. They are my all time favorite onion.

But sometimes you don't want a sweet onion. I like red onions on salads. The kind I got two years ago, the Wethersfield reds did not perform well. At all. So I am trying another long term red storage onion. They are a smaller onion, but I have a hard time getting through regular sized red onions before they go bad as I am the only one who eats them and you can only eat so many slivers on a salad before you start sneezing your head off.

I usually get copra keeping onions for the yellow non-sweet onion, but they are always so small, so I thought I'd try the Pattersons this year and see how they are. They look bigger from the photos. The copras have lasted as long as a year, with just a few sprouting. I hope the Pattersons do as well. All told I paid $83.05 with shipping and taxes. Not bad for a year's supply of onions. Some of them I will grow just to the scallions size as we use a lot of those, too.

I think they are all hybrids, though, so if I save seed it might not be true, but you never know. I find planting onions from seed to be tedious, though, and I feel the plants do way better than the seeds or the bulbs.

I need to get out in the garden and weed a couple beds, though, so I have them ready for when the onions arrive. I need to go slowly and not do too much at once, but I think I can do about 8 x 2 feet a day without stressing my body too much.

As I have stated before, I am keeping it pretty easy this year. Two tomato plants, 8 peppers, lettuce, spinach, radishes, scallions, onions, kohlrabi, broccoli, zucchini, a yet to be determined form of winter squash, and herbs. Possibly cauliflower for Mom and maybe a few carrots, though I don't have much luck with them. I want to do cabbage, but it takes up a lot of space, so I don't know if I will, and they are so cheap at the store, even for the organic ones, it really isn't worth it. Mom will be planting potatoes, corn, and green beans, enough for both of us is the plan.

Snow Keeps Falling, Snow Keeps Falling, Down, Down

February 10th, 2019 at 09:00 pm

...to paraphrase one of my favorite songs from the 80's. The snow started around 3:00 this afternoon and we already have six inches. It's supposed to snow non-stop for the next few days, too. DH and I were out doing our grocery shop. We went to five stores, but the second to last one had closed early due to the weather. We only missed it by about a half an hour, but fortunately that was Whole Foods, which was just a want, not a need, run for sopprasetta.

Usually I will spread out the shopping over a couple of days, but not when the weather is only going to get worse. So here's what I bought at Safeway:

1 Pepsi Throwback (sugar kind, and bad)
2 Pirates Booty
1 Tostitos Lime
2 Classico Alfredo Sauce
2 packages O Organics Popcorn
2 1/2 gallons of O Organics Milk
1 bag of spinach
2 limes
1 box organic blackberries
1 organic red onion
4 organic roma tomatoes
1 lb deli roast beef
1 lb deli roast chicken

I spent $64.86 there. Next we went to Costco and I got:

1 box shredded parmesan cheese
2 4 packs frozen broccoli
1 bag of six bell peppers
1 box of Kodiak Power Waffles
1 bag of sausage patties
1 2 pack of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 packages of Yangtze pork
1 4 pack Kerrygold Irish butter
2 24 packs of organic eggs
2 3 packs of organic chicken sausage links
1 bag of peeled garlic
1 2 pack of prosciutto

I spent $172.99 there. Our next stop was the food co-op. We were looking for tortillas without soy in them, but there's had soybean oil so I only ended up buying:

1 head of organic lettuce

I spent $2.99. Next we went to Trader Joe's and I bought:

3 5 lb bags of Russet potatoes
2 packages of uncured beef hot dogs
4 packages of flour tortillas (no soy!)
2 containers of sunflower oil
1 box pita crackers (no soy!)
1 box rosemary crackers (no soy!)

I spent $43.97 there. So total grocery spending was $284.81, well under my $400 two week grocery budget.

We did pickup some household items as well. At Safeway we got 2 bottles of body wash for DH for $6.51. At Costco we picked up a case of toilet paper and 2 4 packs of Zyrtec for $98.99 for a total of $105.50. TP and body wash came out of the Household Envelope and Zyrtec came out of the Medical Fund Account.

Now I shouldn't have to budge from the house until the Snowpocalypse is over.

East Coast Weather on the West Coast

February 4th, 2019 at 06:33 pm

We got hit by bitter weather yesterday. Several inches of snow fell and the temperature was 19 degrees. The wind made it worse. The roads might as well have been glass in the places where the sun doesn't really hit them. We had a problem on one hill where I had to stop for someone who ran a stop sign and then couldn't get my car to go forward. I had to back down the hill a bit and move over to get some traction. I did make it up. I couldn't really blame the guy who ran his stop sign as he did try to stop. He just slid through the intersection.

I didn't know how bad it actually was when we went out yesterday or I wouldn't have gone. But out we did go and we spent all of the money in the Clothing Envelope, plus $20 in the household envelope. DS was out of his body wash, which we have to get a special type since he's allergic to so much. The stores we usually buy it out have stopped carrying it, so we had to track down one who did. So we bought 5 bottles of that and then I took DS to Penney's and bought him two pairs of jeans and two pairs of slacks. They actually had pants there that were 29 inches long. He usually has to get 30, but that's a little long, so he was very happy.

DH had taken him to get new shoes the day before and we ordered new shoes for DD. So no more clothes buying until we can refill that Clothing Envelope. I had thought I needed new shoes, but it turns out when I bought the last pair it was buy one get one and so I'd stuck the second pair in my closet for the future. DH found them for me and it is such a difference on my feet.

Today the roads are bare and it is 27 degrees, but the wind is even worse. We had to go and buy a space heater for the rabbit shed as we had so many power failures last night (they lasted about a minute each, so maybe surges is a better word) that it fried the heater out there, even though it has a surge protector on it. It was an older heater anyway. We don't heat it very high, just the lowest setting, but it keeps their water bottles from freezing. Since I had run out of money in the Household Envelope, I took it out of the Personal Care Envelope. That's the money I'd set aside to get my hair cut, but I can go another month without. I might even go until spring, since the long hair is keeping my back warm.

After that we stopped at another store and got the special hand soap my son has to use, since he was nearly out of that as well. It's fun having a kid that is allergic to nearly ever skin product out there. /sarcasm We wanted to get him what he needed before we go to Seattle Wednesday night. Usually I have a stockpile, but I really let things run down when I was so sick.

Once we get back from Seattle, I will do a grocery shop, but it will not be a massive one. I'll get breakfast meats, but not any other kinds of meat. I have quite a large stockpile now that we need to go through and eat down before I buy any meat. I've done a two week meal plan based around what we have on hand, which I will post separately. I am hoping to keep the grocery budget to half this payday.

Grocery Ad Lull, Endocrinologist, and Wal*Mart Trip

July 24th, 2018 at 06:40 pm

Well, this is the second week in a row where I have gone through the grocery ads in preparation for my Friday shopping and only found one thing that was worth buying. Last week was a milk sale and this week is a beef roast sale. Since I am not sure when we will get down to the farm to buy more beef, I will probably stop into Safeway for the meat deal and for the organic milk, lettuce (mine has bolted), and radishes, but the rest of my shopping will be at Winco. The other stores are just so high priced when there is not a good sale going on.

Things went well at the endocrine doctor. He has ordered more specific blood tests, checking individual hormone levels. The took 5 of the large vials of blood. DD was a little woozy afterwards, as she hadn't eaten in case they needed fasting bloodwork, so I got her some onion rings from the last of my blow money. I get more on Friday, though, so that is okay.

We stopped at Wal*Mart as well and I got two packages of white wash cloths. They had product shrinkage though. Used to be those were 12 packs. Now they are 9 packs. It has gotten so hot here that we all need to wipe down during the day at least twice. It's too expensive to keep hopping in the shower every couple of hours! So having a big stack of wash cloths will be very helpful for quick, icy cold sweat relief. I had 12 white ones that were just for me, but I use those on my face morning and evening and the others kept stealing them even though they have their own color codes ones. Now maybe I can keep up.

I also bought a couple of cheap notebooks for budgeting and meal planning since the back to school sales have started. I'll probably get a few more in the coming weeks, but two was sufficient for now. It took me forever to find college ruled, but I did. I also got an accordian file for my daughter to keep her medical records in and a dry eraser for the white board. I also got DD some gum. I spent $20.83 out of the household envelope.

I really should have picked up tissues while we were there, but I totally forgot we needed them by the time we got there. So they will be on Friday's shopping list. I'll probably just stop into Kmart, though, because it is closer. Wal*Mart is a ways out, but it is near the endocrine doctor. I don't like making special trips just to go there.

I don't want to make dinner. It is so hot. But I really don't want sandwiches two nights in a row, either. Maybe I will make fajitas in the Instant Pot. Then at least I won't be heating up the house further. Man, I wish we had A/C.

I had to go change the ducks' water around four today as it had gotten so hot they couldn't drink it. I moved it further into the shade and they were so happy to get cold water. They all splashed around in it and then I filled them again and they drank it. Then they all waddled off in their little line to hide out under the raspberries where it is cooler.

I feel bad for the rabbits with their fur coats, but they all have an individual fan attached to the front of their cages and they are hanging out directly in front of them and seem to be doing fine. I'll have to watch them closely if we crack the next temperature decade. Or whatever you call groupings of ten when it is temperature.