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Friday, July 11, 2008

Me A to Z

That sneaky JulieB booby trapped one of her blog posts so now I have to post this too :P

ACCENT: Southern ya'll
BREAKFAST OR NO BREAKFAST: I usually just eat lunch at 10:30. I really should start eating breakfast though.
CHORE I DON'T CARE FOR: washing dishes
DOG OR CAT: neither, but I'd love to have either
ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS: the puter and printer
FAVORITE COLOGNE: Don't really use smellies
GOLD OR SILVER: white gold :P
INSOMNIA: Not usually
KIDS: 1, Samantha
LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: noisy neighborhood with annoying neighbors that I can't wait to get out of!
MOST ADMIRABLE TRAIT: I'm extremely easygoing
NAUGHTIEST CHILDHOOD BEHAVIOR: decided to walk to grandma's without telling anyone, my mother's still talking about that.
OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAY: the last one was when i had my daughter, before that I had an appendectomy and broken legs
PHOBIAS: spiders
QUOTE: I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. -- EB White
REASON TO SMILE: I can always find some reason to smile. It's that, or go crazy.
SIBLINGS: none, I'm all alone
TIME I WAKE UP: I'm been sleeping in lately, 8 am ish
UNUSUAL SKILL OR TALENT: I have an amazing capacity to store random bits of completely useless knowledge.
WORST HABIT: I sometimes pick my nose :P
YUMMY STUFF: cheeeeescake

Now, I've booby trapped my post too so if you've read this far, consider yourself tagged :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My goals, expanded

Recently Homegrownrose over at Ravelry (her blog is here if you're not on Ravelry) posted a list of her goals in 'reclaiming the home'. In reading her list I see that mine is very similar. Basically she said a lot of what I was too lazy to sit and write down on my own. So I'm inspired to post my list.

Making things simpler. This is at the head of my list, slowing down, appreciating time spent with family, not feeling rushed with 15 things I have to do right-this-minute, taking time to bake bread from scratch, making meals for my family that aren't full of chemicals, growing our own food so we know exactly where it came from. Learning to knit, to sew, eventually to spin, weave, make cheese, butter, keep bees, etc.

Living green. Also very important to me. We compost kitchen scraps, recycle everything possible, don't buy products that are over packaged, don't buy disposable plates, cups and paper towels, turn off lights when we leave the room, etc. Little things make a huge difference.

Getting things we don't need out of the way. I'm not very attached to stuff. I have very few things that I'd cry over if they were gone. Old toys, clothes, books, etc, get donated to charity, freecycled or sold.

Being a good wife and mother. I feel it's my job to care for my family, to make sure they have what they need to succeed in whatever they do, to look after there health and their comfort. To remind them that they are my most favorite people on the planet.

Making my home a soft place to fall. Honestly I'm not that great of a housekeeper. Actually I hate cleaning :P But I can manage to keep the house tidy. I don't mind at all if it looks lived in. My living room is full of soft furniture with poofy cushions and throw pillows, with afghans and snuggly throws. I feel the home should be a refuge from the crappiness that the outside world sometimes throws at you, it should be warm, comfortable and welcoming.

Well, there ya go :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Grocery shopping on a budget

Recently I've been looking for ways to save money. We've been having a really tough time financially lately, things are starting to look up now though. I've visited several sites that give tips on saving money at the grocery store. One of them was titled 'Emergency grocery budget using only $75' Seventy five dollars! For an emergency?? I can do better than that.

I'm feeding a family of 3 and in an emergency situation I can shop so that we have food for $24. It may not be the healthiest thing going, but it's an emergency and temporary and it'll do. How do I do it?

First I shop at Aldi. Most of their food is very nice, we have to watch the produce and the breads at our local one because the produce is often very ripe and doesn't last too much longer after we buy it and the bread is often a little on the stale side. But otherwise, I love it there. You bring your own bags, which you know I'm all about reusing bags, or you can pick up a box there to tote your groceries home in. The prices are very reasonable. I can get a dozen eggs for 99 cents, much cheaper than the big grocery store.

Secondly, I pare down meals to the bare essentials. Does the spaghetti have to have meatballs? Do I have to buy the lean ground beef this week? Nope.

Thirdly, I look in the cupboards, do I have leftover salad dressing (great marinades in a pinch), yeast and flour (bread baking from scratch), rice (rice will make any meal more filling) etc.

Then I make a list keeping in mind any odd and ends ingredients I may have on hand and thinking about making dinners that will give us leftovers for lunch the next day.

So here is my list, as I said it's not the healthiest thing on the planet but we're talking emergency feeding of a family here so I have no problem with it as a temporary solution.

1 whole frozen chicken
1 pound ground beef ( I splurged on this as I had a bit extra after getting what I needed)
1 jar of pasta sauce
1 box elbow noodles
1 box coarse bread crumbs
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can chicken
1 jar peanut butter
1 dozen eggs
1 package shredded cheddar
1 package egg noodles

the meals:
  • Roasted chicken with canned veggies we had in the cupboard ( we used the leftover chicken parts to make stock and saved a little of the meat for soup later in the week)
  • Chicken casserole and baked mac and cheese (we used these for dinner for two nights and still had leftovers for lunch, they really stretch)
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce (using noodles from the pantry also good for two nights and leftover lunch)
  • Chicken noodle soup (from the chicken and stock earlier in the week and some carrots from the fridge)
  • and "beefy" soup (made from leftover elbow noodles, carrots, rice and beef bullion cubes from the pantry)
We had eggs and grits and cereal from the pantry for breakfasts, and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch when one of use didn't want leftover dinner.

If you want any of the recipes let me know.

As I said before it ain't classy but it'll do. Now that things are looking up I think I'm gonna splurge a little of fresh fruits and veggies this week :P