Thursday, October 27, 2011


Since our summer storm killed my pumpkin plants, I was pretty bummed about not having any pumpkin in my freezer. I did replant and we ended up with 2 small pumpkins. Those will be carving pumpkins and ultimately, squirrel food!

We have a charity pumpkin patch in town. They sell pumpkins by the inch around the middle. I'm not sure how they calculated the price, but the volunteer had a premarked peice of rope} I found one for $8.00. All the proceeds benefit Habitat For Humanity. Of the profits made, half goes to the farmer and half to the charity. I like that. I hadn't been before, so it was actually fun looking at pumpkins. I usually just use what grows in the garden.

I forgot to take a picture before I cut, so here's my half pumpkin. Is it just me, or does it look like it's smiling? ☺

I cut it into smaller sections to roast.

Of course we roasted the seeds.
I ended up with 10 cups of pumpkin. These are now in the freezer. {except 1 cup which hubby will take in his lunch tomorrow}

I'm glad that I went to the charity patch versus the grocery store. It makes you feel good. I had $9.00 to spend, but just couldn't find a pumpkin to match that amount. So, I just bought the $8.00 one and donated the dollar. My contribution may only buy some nails, but I still feel good about helping!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

a book that I saw, in the library

I recently saw a book, about blogging, on a library shelf. The title was "Nobody Wants To Know What You Had For Lunch" or something similar to that. It was basically a book about new and different topics to keep your blog interesting.

The title got me thinking and I actually think that someone will be interested in knowing what I had for lunch.

Today, I had for lunch: 1 Morningstar® veggie corn dog, a handful of grapes, 1 can of generic diet ginger ale and 4 Reece's® Pieces.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


My hubby won some money at work. He came home and gave me half! He said that I should "go buy myself something pretty". My first thought was to put it in my grocery envelope or maybe use it for Christmas gifts. Its extra money. It was neither expected nor budgeted.

Hubby says he knows exactly what he's doing with his half. I have a weird frugal mind. I still want to use it in the budget. He says to have fun. It's not a lot. $50 is all. Why is it so hard for me to go crazy and spend? I think that maybe I might get a new griddle. I've always wanted one. They are on sale.

Then maybe a chair massage at Whole Foods. Maybe Starbucks? Writing about it is actually getting me excited. Maybe a Goodwill shopping spree......

Monday, October 24, 2011

What to do?

Our local grocery chain is constantly promoting their credit card. It's supposed to be amazing. You get cents off per gallon more than anyone with just a regular loyalty card. After earning so many points, you get cash back. They will send you coupons. There's no annual fee. It will paint your house and pay for your daughters wedding. Okay, not the last part.

I've resisted because I just don't want a credit card. I was just at the store, and the lady in front of me was using a $25 gift certificate for signing up. It seems that you will also receive that gift certificate, to be used on your first shopping trip.

Lots of benefits. If you make sure to pay it off before the due date, then there are no finance charges.

Hmmm........ What should we do........

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Final harvest part 1

I say part 1 because I still need to dig up the potatoes. {hopefully there will be potatoes} Everyone in my neighborhood was hit really hard by that July hailstorm. Not only in property damage {it was a 30 minute storm!} but also damage to gardens, trees and plants. It's a miracle that we were able to harvest anything! Such a blessing ☺

First of all, I found 2 more spaghetti squash, 1 baby pumpkin, 4 more sprigs of lavender and 8 just about ripe tomatoes.

Next, some yummy carrots. These will go in the crock pot this week and become "Vanilla Carrots". A family favorite

Beets! These were a part of dinner last night {picture below}

Peppermint and spearmint, these are hanging in the attic right now, and will soon become tea!

A few more zucchini. These became zucchini bread yesterday. Sorry, no picture. It was cut into as soon as it came out of the oven!

The last of the tomatoes. These are hanging in the attic as well, hoping to ripen.

The lone jack-O- lantern pumpkin. It's sitting in the sun during the day, inside at night. We are hoping it will ripen in time for our son to carve for Halloween. It is a 120 day pumpkin, and after the storm and replanting, it has had only 71 days so far, to grow and ripen.

Tarragon and oregano, also hanging in the attic.

Here are the beets along with some sweet potatoes and onions, roasted in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and a sprinkle of sugar. YUM!

After cooking the halved and seeded spaghetti squash, covered in the microwave with a bit of water, I used a fork to scrape the squash. If you haven't had it before, it looks just like spaghetti! It was dinner last night, covered with marinara sauce.

The weather is going to be beautiful this week. I plan to harvest potatoes and clean up the veggie garden and prepare it for winter. As long as I stay away from the hammock, it shouldn't be a problem! ☺

Monday, October 10, 2011


photo credit:

Coupons make me happy. Let's be honest. I may be addicted to them. {okay, not really} But I do love saving money. There's nothing better than being told your total cost and then handing over the coupons and watching a new total appear!

I keep coupons in my wallet and also in a coupon binder in the car. I have a separate binder for groceries and one for misc shopping. {ie retail, dining, auto etc}

I started keeping track, of how much I save using coupons last year. Hubby and kids were skeptical. I was trying to get them to take coupons every time I saw them go out the door. Usually, they ignored me and ran. Yes, I did chase them occasionally. "But you'll save money..."

So last year I kept track of every coupon used. Whether by me or a family member. If I clipped it, I counted it. I did post about the totals early this year, but the total for 2010 was $1053.92 saved! {needless to say, the family now asks for coupons! ☺}

It is October 10th and so far we have saved.....*drum roll, please* $1385.75! We still have a few months to go, and we have already beat last year's total. Yay!

These totals include: grocery shopping, eating out, auto repairs, pet expenses, bookstores, thrift stores, hobby stores, bowling, and shoe stores. {to name a few}

Am I an "extreme couponer"? No, but I really don't want to be. {tried it for a bit and hated the stress level it causes} I think that this is a respectable amount for a normal family and I am proud!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

treasure hunting!

I took a trip to Goodwill. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, just treasure hunting. {some shop at malls or go to antique stores, I go to thrift stores} Sometimes I just like to look for a bargain, sometimes I have a list of needed items. I really love to craft, so I head for that section first. I had a budget of $10.00. I spent $10.08 before taxes.

I found my son a brand new skateboarding tshirt by a famous brand that he loves. It was $2.99 and men's shirts were on sale, bringing it down to $2.12. He's wearing it today, so I didn't get a picture. ☺

I found: 9 fall scented candles for $1.99 {I love a votive candle, in a mason jar, on a crisp fall or winter evening, so romantic and cozy!}

Also: 7 rubber stamps for $1.99, most still had original tags on them ranging from $4.99 to $9.99!}
This is a new scrapbook kit, was still in box and included 12X12 album, 5 pages of stickers and die cuts, 12 12X12 papers and page protectors. Original prices for these kits are usually around $25, this set was $2.99! YAY!!

I also found 5 steak knives for $0.99, we really needed these!


And in the garden, I found one more spaghetti squash and 12 cherry tomatoes. Yum. Tomorrow I think I'll start digging up the root veggies. I'm not going to have time today. Darn job is getting in the way of my gardening..ha ha!

Monday, October 3, 2011

talking about saving

In my recent post, I discussed how our emergency fund saved us last month. Without it, we would have been in a world of hurtin'! When we first started Dave Ramseys debt reduction plan, I think that saving was the hardest. You never think to pay yourself first.

We actually have 3 ways that we save. At our local bank, we have 2 savings accounts and one CD. We consider the CD to be "hands off"! We have about 3 1/2 months' worth of monthly expenses in there. That money is to be used in an absolute emergency. When we first opened it, about 8 years ago, we were making about $240 in interest per month. Now, we are making about $17-$20 every 4 months. OUCH! We are still thankful for that little bit. It all helps.

Our first savings account is for Christmas. We have an automatic debit once per month and in late November I withdraw almost all of it and go shopping. {you have to have a minimum balance of $100 to avoid charges} We have been doing this for about 8 years as well and it really helps. Makes that wonderful time of the year less stressful.

Our second savings account also is on an auto debit. We signed up to have money automatically transferred once per month to enable us to have free checking. I think it's a fabulous idea. The second account is for any and all emergency expenses. This is where we took the money from, last month, and it really was a lifesaver! We not only have auto transfers, we also deposit extra into it each month. Now that we have had to use over $2,000 we will need to build that back up.
Hubby will have an extra check this month, due to the way the paydays fall, so I plan to put his check right into savings.

We are so blessed, and I cannot wait to say that we are debt free. It will make all of the sacrificing worth it and it will be a grand day!