Tuesday, July 27, 2010

yummy summer meal

Cheese quesadilla, fresh home grown cucumbers and cherries!

wheat tortillas
ranch dressing or another creamy dressing that you prefer,-about 1/2 to 1 cup
diced green chilis- 1 can
cheese, I use rice cheese- I like to use about 2 cups

Mix all and add about a 1/3 cup of cheese mixture to one half of a tortilla. Fold over and fry in lightly greased pan. Turn when browned on one side. Remove from pan when both sides are browned nad cheese is melted. These also bake well at 425 degrees,{10 mins} I just don't want to use the oven these days! Serve with salsa, sour cream or pico de gallo

Monday, July 26, 2010


Well, I'm adding up my spending so far this month. I am over in some categories.{uh oh}
*The home and pet budgets were blown due to a dog needing emergency care, and some repairs done on the house. Oh well.
*I went a bit over on clothing as well, but it is school clothes shopping time!{I usually budget $25 for the month, and have spent $174, $50 of it at Goodwill}
*I am only over $1.10 in my hobby column! I'm so happy with that one. {I am an addicted scrapbooker, it can be expensive!}
*I went $64.65 over on groceries. In the grocery column, I include dollar store purchases, vitamins, all purchases at the health food stores {we have food allergies}, Sams Club and of course the grocery store. I have been known to blow this one by $100-$200, so $47 isn't too bad!
*There wasn't any school spending nor we did we spend any on entertainment, so that should help balance out the grocery overage.

Now, I realize that we still have another 5 days in the month, but I don't plan to do any other spending.

Grocery shopping this week:

*grocery- spent $118.19, coupons used- $16.25
*health food store- spent-$42.20, coupons- $2.00
*$ store- spent $23.45
*Sams Club- spent $50.11

Total- $233.95

My budget for my 2 week shopping trip is $300.00. I went over two weeks ago, so that's why I'm over for the month. {I bought some canning supplies last time!}

*For July: grocery budgeted- $600.00, spent so far- $647.65

Friday, July 23, 2010

food waste

I have been sending far too much to the compost bin lately! So, I have joined Kristen as well as so many other bloggers, in a quest to reduce waste!

Since this is my first Friday participating, I neglected to take a photo. Just this morning, I put out half of a bag of popcorn and two pieces of toast, into the squirrel feeder. {keeps them out of the bird feeder} I must remind the kiddos to eat the food they prepare!

As for veggie scraps, I have put a full bucket into the compost this week. I think I will reduce this by making some of it into stock or replanting as I just read over at Premeditated Leftovers. Who knew that you could replant veggies? Such an awesome tip!

I love reading other blogs. They not only inspire me, they offer wonderful ways to save money and sanity!

Monday, July 19, 2010

frugal hand soap

I bought this bottle of hand soap in November 2007. I am seriously still using it! I dilute it with a bit of water, and use it to fill the bathroom dispenser. I'm amazed at how long I've been able to make this bottle last!

Friday, July 16, 2010

quick and easy dinner!

Pita Pizzas:

I always wait to add this to my menu, until I find the pitas in the bakery clearance section!

pita pockets
pizza sauce
any toppings that you have on hand
grated cheese

Make your little pizzas and bake for 8-10 minutes @425 degrees. They are so yummy and couldn't be simpler to prepare! Serve with a salad or fruit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pico De Gallo

Made with homegrown ingredients! There's nothing cooler than walking outside and picking your ingredients for dinner!

Pico De Gallo
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/2 t garlic power
1/8 t salt
1/8 t pepper

Combine all ingredients and stir. Let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

raspberry jam

I picked these raspberries from my 3 year old bushes. Then I made them into jam! Oh, it is so yummy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I just found this amazing recipe for Popeye Corn. It is so easy and so very delish!

1 10 oz. bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 16 oz. bag frozen corn
3/4 cup sour cream { I used about 1/2 cup ranch}
3/4 t salt
1/2 t hot sauce { I didn't have, I used buffalo sauce}

Combine ingredients in a 1 1/2 qt microwave dish. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir; cook 2-3 minutes more or until heated through. I also had a small jar of pimentos that I needed to use, so I added those to the mix as well. It was so yummy, even my son's friends wanted seconds!

Friday, July 9, 2010

frugal ways to spend a summer day, with kids

So many of my kids' friends are going on vacation or to theme parks. We really try to avoid extra spending. I hate to use the term "staycation", but that's pretty much what we do. I keep all of my change,in a jar, and every summer we use that to go on one big adventure. Since I try to shop with cash only, the change can add up. The jar last summer was about $90! I have two jars, one for a summer adventure and one for a winter one. It really helps!

So for some ideas:
*go to a park {or in our case, a skatepark} and take a picnic
*go to the free movies or bowling- this year the "free" activities are actually costing about $1 per child, but still not too bad!
*go hiking, with a lunch
*go to city parks with fountains in the ground, this is cheaper than going swimming{free!} and the kids still get just as wet!
*play board games in front of the fan, with homemade treats
*laying in the shade with a book and some cool treats
*check your local library for free events, our actually sponsors free tickets to local museums!
*we like to go to Sonic between 2-4pm for drink happy hour. All drinks are half price. My kids love the slushies. You can ride your bike there, if you are close to one.
*you can't beat sports in the front yard, wait til it cools down a little, and run the sprinklers as well. You need to water anyway!
*most roller skating rinks have special deals
*you can go to the zoo, just buy a membership. It's usually about the same price as tickets for a family, but you can go all year!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

early school clothes shopping

We were in the mall and discovered that my son's favorite skate shop was having a clothing sale. Normally shirts go for $20-$30 each and pants/shorts can easliy cost $40 and up! We bought 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants for $80! That's an awesome deal. I know that in August that the clothes are not that cheap. We've looked before.

I usually hunt thrift stores to find his beloved skate shirts and usually find some at $2-$4 each.{they are a bit worn, but he likes them} I have even found some skate brand shorts for $7 each, but they didn't fit him. So, getting brand new clothes with the "right" logo on them has him pretty excited for high school to start! You have to look good your first year!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July goals

I have a running list of things to do that never seems to end. I have decided to try to break it down into monthly goals, hoping to get caught up!

July goals:

*save $500 for family trip
*add to savings account, hopefully $200
*NO impulse buying, shop with cash and a list
*stay on budget in all areas {I have a breakdown of how much can be spent for what}
*clean outbuildings and purge LOTS of stuff
*harvest herbs and freeze
*5 yard projects

weeds, weeds and more weeds

I am happy to say that I am just about caught up on weeds. We have a 1 acre property with a few gardens. To say that weed pulling is a part time job is not a joke! If I take 20-30 minutes a day, for 4-5 days a week, to pull weeds then I can keep up. We have a veggie garden, a perennial garden, hegdges and 4 flower gardens. I also have the children's garden{playground} which is half grass{under swingset} and half mulch.{under trampoline}

If it goes for a while, or we get LOTS of rain, I can easily fill one yard bag with weeds...from each garden! On the other hand, if I keep up with the weeds, I can fill one bag per week.

For the walk ways and in the mulch, I use straight vinegar. I buy it in gallon jugs at Sam's Club and use a garden sprayer to spread it. On a very hot and sunny day, the weeds will be wilted by dinnertime and gone by the next morning.

I just have the veggie garden left to clean up, and then it's just maintenance for the rest of the season! Yay! I'd much rather enjoy summer instead of working at the weeds.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What a weekend

The 4th of July was rained out. Not just a little sprinkle. It was a hard, angry, lightning and thunder filled rainstorm with tornado warnings. And flash flood warnings. No fireworks for us! Many places set off firework dispays on the third, but we wanted to go on the actual holiday. Silly us!

I have been picking raspberries in the garden today. Tomorrow, I will be making raspberry jam! Yum! I really need to get to harvesting the herbs soon. I plan to freeze many of them. I am still using basil that I froze last year! I have enough for maybe one or two more recipes. Not a bad harvest!

I have never canned, but I hope to learn this year. I'm very excited! We're going to the flea market this weekend. I will be looking for canning equipment, as well as many other items. I keep a running list of things I'd like to have as well as need. I then hit thrift stores or flea markets, to find the best deals. It takes patience to shop this way, but it saves so much money! Plus, it is so much fun to search. Almost like a game.