Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Grocery Wrap Up – October

I stayed right on budget this month! 

I did the majority of my shopping at the very beginning of the month, as usual.  I went back to the store once for produce and to use up some coupons.  I went back again to take advantage of some sale items for stocking the freezer and pantry.  Those items have been incorporated into November’s budget and will show up on next month’s budget. 

Our non-food budget spent this month was $21.64 for cat food, litter, fabric softener, toothpaste and two toothbrushes.  I also got two reusable shopping bags from Fred Meyer for free with a coupon they sent me.

Items in blue are my stock-up items.  Here is the final tally of everything I purchased this month: 

Butter (6)
Store Coupon
Store Coupon/Coupon
Cheese - 5#
Cash & Carry
Green beans (6)
Cereal (3)
Store Coupon/Coupon
Potatoes - 10#
Gingerale - 12pk (2)
Sour dough bread
Orange juice - 1/2 gal
Shrimp - 4 oz. (2)
Lettuce (2)
Milk - 1/2 gal (4)
Store Coupon/Coupon
Tuna (4)
Store Coupon
Cream Cheese (2)
Pasta (5)
Bacon - 1 lb. (2)
Ground Pork - 3.5 lbs
Eggs - 18 ct (2)
Root Beer - 1 ltr
Half & Half (2)
Cereal (2)
Tortilla chips (2)
Graham crackers
Ritz crackers
Frozen peas
Frozen broccoli
Tea bags - 100 ct
Whipped topping (2)
Flour tortillas
Spice packets (8)
Olives (2)
Tomato sauce (6)
Verde sauce (2)
Salad mix
Pita bread
Lunchmeat (2)
Cream cheese
 $ 124.85

How did you do this month?

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Mission – Hall Closet

What this closet needed most was a good purge and some re-organization.  It is small and with all the clutter I could no longer store the vacuum cleaner inside.  Instead it was residing in the hallway.  I don’t like that.
I purged two thirds of our DVD collection, saving the ones we like most, and most of the CDs I was storing in there.  I purged all the computer junk we don’t need or use anymore too.


All the beer brewing supplies are now on a shelf.  My vintage enamel dishpan I store my cleaning rags in was reorganized and my mops are now hung up and no longer being stored in the laundry room (where this is no room for them).


The big blue tote of photos and photo albums needs to be worked on too.  The lid doesn’t fit on it because it is too full.  I will pick a cold, stormy winter day to sit in front of the TV and work on that one.  It will definitely be a project!  Good thing I kept the Pride & Prejudice DVD.  I may just need it.
The three rolls of Christmas gift wrap were combined and wrapped together as one roll and put upstairs in my bedroom with the gift wrap tote.  Everything together – love that!  After a little more straightening and tidying, my coats were hung back up and I was able to put the vacuum cleaner away.  Love that more!  Mission accomplished! 

Next room, the garage…

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Garden Is All Done

We have had a few good frosts this past week and chilly, chilly mornings.  We’ve also had a lot of much needed and prayed for rain.  On Thursday the fog was so thick it made for an eerie and somewhat treacherous drive to school that morning.  I am not complaining about the weather one bit, however.

On Sunday the final squash plants were pulled, we got one more zucchini by the way, and the garden beds mulched and laid to rest.  They are now prepared for their long winter’s nap. 

Next we had to rake up the lawn.  It was covered in seed pods shed by our maple tree, I think it’s a maple anyway.  While oldest daughter did homework and practiced her clarinet the young one and I slaved away outdoors.  I even got a blister on my thumb from the rake, right through my gloves.  Sniff. 

Can I tell you that the very next day the lawn was covered in leaves again?  Typical fall. 

We started up a fire in the chiminea and burned up my awaiting bag of “shreddables” I had collected over the summer and as a result of some more purging.  We also burned up some of our little wood pile, mostly scraps left from building the chicken coop.  It made for a nice relaxing time on the deck Sunday afternoon after a morning of frenzied activity.  Oldest one did join us for that. 

The tomatoes we picked have almost all ripened on the kitchen counter.  Wednesday I cooked up another pan of stewed tomatoes and got those into the freezer before dashing off to work.  The final remnants of our summer garden. 

It is almost November though and we are still eating from our garden.  How nifty is that? 

And…does anyone else think this week went buy tremendously fast?

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Mission – Projects #2, #3 & #4

There have been quite a few things I have wanted to make that I thought would just make life a little nicer but I kept putting them off.  In fact, I have put some of these projects off for years.  In starting my big Mission Project I am finding that there is no better time than the present to get things done. 

Project #2 – Hanging Dish Towel 

I buy bathroom hand towels for my kitchen instead of the traditional dish towels.  They are thicker and more absorbent and I think they last longer.  They also tend to be less expensive.  I am also not a fan of the fringy stuff on the bottom of a lot of dish towels.

Last year I noticed one of my towels had a corner mysteriously go missing.  Weird since the rest of the towel seemed fine.  I tucked it in the back of the drawer and thought “I need to do something with it”.  It seemed too nice a towel to put in the rag basket. 

Well, I finally got out the towel and did something with it.  I made a hanging dish towel for my stove out of it and I love, love, love the results.  I also think this would make a great gift for someone and I made a few for my Etsy store.


I cut my towel in half, a little more than half for this particular project, and using a pattern I downloaded off the internet, I cut some scrap fabric I had and made the towel per the pattern instructions.  I then embellished the bottom of the towel with some ric rac and pom pom trim I had leftover from previous projects.  All scraps I used up and a towel refurbished to make this darling little towel to dress up my kitchen.

The remaining half was trimmed and zig zag stiched.  Now it is ready for the rag bag.
Why did I wait so long?

Project #3 - Pan Pads 

For years I have used old dish towels to put between my non-stick pans so they don’t scratch the surfaces when I stack them.  Smart idea but not very tidy or aesthetically pleasing, in my opinion.  I like things to function and to look nice and neat as well. 

I dug into my plethora of fabric donations from my two friends this summer and found exactly what I needed to make the pads I wanted to put in between my pans.  I also think they would make great gifts for someone.

I took some quilted fabric and some coordinating flannel fabric and cut a square of each 12 ½” X 12 ½”. 
I sewed them together leaving a three inch opening.  I then clipped the corners and turned them right sides out. 
After pressing them I did a double straight stitch top stitching along the edge to close up the opening and make it look nice as well.


They work great and I just love how they look.

Project #4 - Drawer Liner

I also made a pad to line the drawer under the stove.  I made it the same way I made the pan pads only larger, 18” X 24”.  Nice and easy.  Only took me about 20 minutes to cut it out, sew it, press it and topstitch it.

I had also been using a towel in there but it kept wadding up and then the pans were sliding all over the drawer.  Now it is all clean, neat and organized in there.  My grandma and great grandma’s pans have some pretty swanky digs now and once again I am very pleased with the results. 

I must admit.  I am really having fun with all of these little projects.
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