Saturday, May 30, 2015

The bedroom remodel continues...........

Craigs list helped us with this one.  Two Larkin soap company three drawer tables.  These have the makers label inside the top drawers.  Larkin soap company gave stores who carried their products premium (aka free) cabinets to store the wares.  Solid oak, nice hardware that is similar to our hatbox dresser hardware.  The bottoms are not identical, but the rest look pretty much the same.  Second photo side table has dividers in the top drawer.  The one in the first picture has evidence of dividers but they are long gone. 

This is actually a great find, we thought we would be looking a long time for bedside use tables.  We paid $375 for the pair, and we were very happy with that price.  We were prepared to pay the asking price if we found the labels, AND if they didn't smell.  My allergies are usually crazy (and not sure why this year isn't so bad...........except that my sweet kittie is gone, and I know she wasn't good for my lungs) and any hint of must or mold will set me into a wheezing fit that I end up using an inhaler to ease the symptoms.  

Back to the price.  Asking price was $400.  DH lowballed at $300, and seller said he had $360 in.  DH offered the $375.  SOLD.

I thought this would be the hardest part to find, and I literally saw them 4 hours after they were posted.  I don't know what possessed me to look, other than my student was late and I just typed in oak antiques on craigslist.  


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Frugal deeds this week.........

Going to try and keep track of weekly frugal accomplishments each week.

This week I transplanted all the easter plants that were gifted to me to enjoy next spring.

I cut down all my asparagus 'grass' that had gone to seed and spread it to other spots in the yard.

I harvested chive flowers, washed and dried them, put them in a canning jar and covered with vinegar.  I had read about Carol at CTMOM doing this as well as other sites, so it was time for me to join the vinegar band wagon!

I have been running the dishwasher at bedtime.

I have been putting a load of laundry in late at night and either hanging or running dryer at bedtime.

I composted all my coffee grounds.

We ate all our leftovers.

What did you do that was frugal this week?

Monday, May 25, 2015

UPDATED! Whitneyville Market Living Social Deal and Final totals for May

I purchased this deal from living social in January.  Finally used it this past week.  I had originally paid $9.18 (had some deal dollars applied plus 8.2% refund from mypoints) for a $25.00 gift certificate.  It was due to expire May 30th, so I made sure not to let it fall through the cracks.

We purchased 2 pounds of house made sausage and 2 pounds of house ground beef.   My DD also came with me, and she also got some house prepared lemon chicken, half a pound of prepared broccoli rabe and a donut for DH.  We paid an additional $18.29.   Since the deal was purchased months ago I don't count the original purchase in May's prices.

I was very impressed with the quality of the meat and other items I saw in the market.  The dairy wall had products from the farm that I mentioned in my post about Saturdays farmers market.  $43.00 was spent at the market.  If you'd like to check them out their site is

I also went to BJ's Wholesale and got the following:  Herb salad, chicken spinach burgers, 3 pounds of iceburg salad mix,  reduced fat Italian Sausage links (3 pounds) Guacamole, Pink Lemonade (DH is now on a country time quick), two different trail mixes that I will rebag into portions (DH lunches), croutons, breakfast burritos, 40 ounces of sliced turkey breast, pirates booty (DH lunches and snacks), hot dog buns, flax and oat wraps and barbecue sauce.   $119.60

$176.37 left to spend and I spent $180.89.   Over by $4.52  Some of those items were splurges (butter and sweets from farmers market)  We do have a lot of food that will keep and carry over into June, so let's see if I can keep that month under.

So, we needed to do a last minute trip to the grocery stores as my DD wanted to invite some people over for a cookout on Monday (already had planned for the cookout part, just not extra people)  So, we went to Big Y and spent $17.34 on some hamburgers/sausage patties/hamburger rolls.  Also got two Hellmann's Mayo on sale 2 for $5 and I had a $1 coupon.

Then to the produce market, 17.98 spent on tomatoes, cukes, zucchini, yellow squash, celery, green and red peppers and one bag of potato chips.

Total overage 39.84.  Total spent in May 539.84

How did you do with your totals?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday City Seed Market

Well, I was finally able to go to a Saturday Market in Wooster Park.    Lots more vendors, loads of fun and I actually ran into several people I knew!

I spent $43.00

I purchased a pound of bulk breakfast sausage from a new to me farm

I got two bunches of Broccoli Rabe (which is cooking now)

A large bunch of asparagus as my plants have petered out for the year.

A head of butter lettuce and lots of fresh basil from an old students husband.

Fresh butter from

I caved and had a cider donut (one of my favorite treats)

A small apple pie for DH from

A chocolate croissant for DH and a pretzel roll for me from     This bakery has the best prices around!

So definitely not a frugal trip.........but a fun social event with my sister and some old and new friends!      I am confident I can go there by myself once my sis moves down to FL.  I know the area, and felt comfy with where I ended up parking.   The only problem would be timing......I normally teach til 1130.  I would have to hightail it down there, and would get there with probably only 30 minutes left of the event.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The garden update

Flowers are starting to bloom!     The recent rains took the last of my tulips out.    Believe me that they were stunning.    I had some three foot long stems with four inch tall orange blossoms around Dominic the Donkey cart.  

I have blue Columbine. 

bleeding Heart

Morning bells

An old Lilac Bush circa my Grandparents that i am going to take 1/3 of the old wood out of and cut the rest down to 8 inches as soon as the blooms are spent.  

Lots of onions

Green beans


Peas and oregano 

Entire bed of strawberries with rhubarb in the middle.


Lemon balm. 

The asparagus is spent, but I do have some horseradish to harvest.   Anyone local want chives, horseradish, oregano or lemon balm?    Can just harvest or give you roots too for replanting.  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A hard couple of days

Not a savings, cooking, gardening or cooking post.  Just a warning.

I had to put my cat down yesterday.  Though I got her almost 16 years ago for my daughter, she quickly became my cat.  As a kitten she would sleep wrapped around my neck or under my then very long hair.  She moved with us four times.  She constantly found a new place to hide.   She was the first pet that was truly mine.

We trained her to behave more like a dog than a cat.  She greeted us at the door.  She fetched.  She slept on the bed with us (taking more space then me and DH took up)  As an older cat she would sit across my chest whenever I sat with the computer on my lap.

On Thursday she did just that at 9 pm after eating.  She came to bed with us at 11 pm.  She jumped off the bed and went under it, which is unusual but it sounded like she was playing so I dozed off (DH was already out)

I will save you the gory details, but at 12:20 I saw darling Taffy cat in such a state I thought I would collapse myself.  I had to wake up DH (who has to be at work by 4 am) and we went to the local animal hospital.  It was determined after several hours that it was a distressful hairball incident with vomiting of food, not blood as I thought.  That she wasn't in respiratory distress as I thought, she was just an older cat who had a very large hairball.

They were wrong............

By Noon we were back at the hospital and she never came home.  The cost of the surgery just wasn't feasible for a pet her age and with the other things we are dealing with.   And though I tend to be a realist...and handled the loss of my MIL whom I adored with logic and calm........I cannot comprehend the distress I am in.

I can't go into our bedroom without bursting into tears.  Our mattress is not something I want to lay on anymore as she had most of the episode on the bed (again, no gory details), and we have a new one being delivered on Friday.  I keep looking to see if her water dish is full (though it's not there........DH got rid of all of her items except her favorite toy which he kept for me) and we have already donated all the recent litter and food purchases to the local shelter. I keep making sure I close the slider door (she was an indoor pet) and I keep thinking I hear her.

I managed to teach yesterday and today (I made it to the studio with 10 minutes to spare before my first student) but I haven't slept more than a dozing since Wednesday.

Thanks for letting me put this out there.  I don't like crying at the drop of a hat, and I find it very confusing as it's not like me at all.  I know she was a big part of my world.......I have just never felt grief like this before.  I have posted some videos of her in a happier healthier time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

More groceries

Not a store I frequent that often, but I did get some coupons in the mail from them for later in the Month of May and part of June which got my attention. 

Then......TrayceeBee over at posted that she had gotten a great deal on hummus (one of my go to foods, and one that I've never quite mastered preparing for some bizarre reason) so I decided to look at their flyer online.  Thanks TrayceeBee!

Well, I made a list.  I combined what I knew were needed with some Ibotta deals (I've recently gotten back into doing Ibotta and SavingStar) I have actually had $1.80 deposited into my account with Ibotta in the last few days.  I know not alot, but it all adds up.  

So, after lessons yesterday I made a late night stop at the S&S in town.  

I spent a total of  $65.04  leaving me with $176.37 for the month.  I doubt I will touch most of that, but who knows?

I got 5 Tribe Hummus, 6 cans of Goya Garbanzo beans (DH told me when I mentioned I was going just for the hummus to see if any deals, and there was!)  5 different types of four ounce fish fillets frozen (5 for 5, let's hope they are good as that is an unheard of price to me)  Loaf of reduced sliced italian bread for 1.64, 2 ortega taco kits, 2 country time mixes B1G1 (DH has been reminiscing of his childhood and keeps mentioning this....I guess he was hinting), two large cans of sliced olives, three bags of S&S brand flavored croutons on sale .99 each (the equivalent of the big bag at BJ's in ounces, and much cheaper) 2.82 pounds of ground 85% beef (on sale but not organic and not the best price but I messed up and didn't take any out of freezer) $12.05 and the great meat find....a perdue oven stuffer roaster dated the 13th (which is the day after purchase) for a whopping $3.51.  I'm used to paying upwards to nine dollars for these!  Right in the freezer it went for a future meal. 

An 8 ounce package of sliced shitake mushrooms marked down to 1.99, a package same size whole white mushrooms 1.00, 2 english cukes 2.49, OM bacon 4.99 (on sale and got 30 cents back Ibotta) Green pepper got 30 cents back Ibotta, Tomatoes on the got 15 cents from ibotta, lettuce on sale and got 15 cents from Ibotta)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Grocery Totals so far for May

I went to BJ's wholesale on April 30th, so I will count that towards May.   I am only going to list food stuffs.  For the most part the only protein I will be buying is seafood this month.  City Seed outdoor market opens this weekend!  I go on Sundays.   Total spent this trip 98.48

Two cases of 35/16.9 ounce Poland Springs water.  9.98 (plus 3.50 deposits.  We give my cousins daughter all of our refundable bottles for her to return and save the money towards school extras like field trips and book fairs, etc.  Every bit helps!

Iceburg Lettuce head 1.19

5 pound Green Giant Idaho bakers (husband prefers these larger potatoes) 2.69  I hope to get at least one 5 pound bag for .99 at ShopRite this month.

Very large Marie's blue cheese dressing.  An extravagance for me, but I make it last.  4.99

40 ounce bag of pistachios.  A low fat nut (really a seed) that we all enjoy.  I portion it out to make it last for the month.  Yes, I hide some of them so that they really do last.  16.99

10 ounce bag of skinny pop.  4.99   ( I will pop more throughout the month as I still have Boy Scout low fat microwavable bags)

1.5 pound fresh Haddock 9.58  

2 pounds of Sirloin Tips.  We have very little beef left, and not steak cuts.  DH has been a bit down due to a problem with some equipment and at the warehouse.  He hasn't been eating much, so I wanted to have something that he would really enjoy.  18.62

Don Miguel Breakfast Burritos.  9.99  DD favorite, for those mornings she is looking for something to eat.

32 ounce package of Wasabe Roasted peas.  Another snack item we haven't had in a while.  5.99

Wholly Guacamole minis.  8.99

Big Y on May 1st

Two dozen eggs B1G1 $2,99 (not the best price, but we will use them).   Ortega 40% lower sodium taco seasoning mix and 3 boxes of different pasta B1G2 free.  The Ortega will also be reimbursed in full through Saving Star.  I saw that I will be getting the presale price on the Ortega of $1.29.  So my total out of pocket for foodstuffs is  $4.68
Locally made in Rhode Island.  Any ideas for it's use?

May 2nd, horseradish, large bottle mocha coffee syrup and sweet crackers.  $15.00

May 3rd Opening Day CitySeed farmers market   $19.00     Organic swiss chard, locally raised and prepared pork sausage from Four Mile River Farm, an apple crumb pie and monkey bread from Sono Bakery and a chocolate croissant from G Cafe   .    No friends of the market cards available yet, but I will be grabbing one as soon as they are!

Big Y May 9  $20.62

Mother's Day seafood blitz, 2 pounds of 16-20 count shrimp for $13.98!  5 pounds of vidalia onions $3.50, 16 ounce Hood Sour Cream 1.74 and 4 yocrunch yogurts $1.40 (dairy items after coupons)

BJ's wholesale May 10   $100.81 

2.25 lbs of fresh Salmon, 8 pack of Bushes baked beans (after BJ's coupon and two additional mfg coupons I ended up just paying .57 cents per can!), 2 cases Poland springs water, Pam two pack (large cans), 48 ounce Tostitos Jug salsa (5.49 after coupon plus .25 from Ibotta), Naked Juice (DD) celery, 3 lbs Strawberries, Gallon Milk, sliced melon (not a frugal choice, but DD is dealing with some sadness, and hasn't been I didn't want to say no) Organic Mesclun/Herb salad, 58 ounce box of Goldfish (three big bags in box) 4 lbs baby carrots, organic cherry tomatoes (22 ounces) and a Gallon of Tropicana Orange Juice.

I anticipate spending very little from now until the 21 or 22nd  as Gpa P is going down to Florida AGAIN! Lucky food budget.  wink wink.

I will need to get some more produce.  We have plenty of lettuces, and now have enough asparagus from the garden for all household members for one meal.  I will buy whatever the best price I can find is, but would love broccoli, broccoli rabe, cukes, potatoes, and fiddleheads if I can find them.  Those are a real treat.

Total spent so far for May on groceries $258.59.  I had budgeted $500 so I have $241.41 left.  

Non food purchases which are not included in the grocery budget:   Cat litter 15.96 (been trying to find a brand we are happy with, think we did) cat food 11.40 cat food 12.74 Windex 10.25 Cat litter 10.99 (found a high value coupon, so bought more),  3 pack of Arm and Hammer Toothpaste 5.49, Beano 10.99.  $77.82 spent

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What's been cooking this week?

Ham bone prep from a previous post.  

On Sunday we were gallivanting, but I had made a hambone/bean/mushroom soup earlier in the weekend.  Gotta keep Gpa P fed!   I put the bone in the crockpot Friday night with onion skins, carrot tops and celery tops on high.  Woke up to a nice dark, rich stock.   Strained it, cut off the last of the meat, added to drained cans of pinto beans, chopped carrot, onion, celery.  8 ounce of organic mushrooms chunked.  Voila!  Saturday and Sunday soup. (Still have some left today Thursday...and GPa P insists he will finish it tonight)

DH was back in the city Monday, so a quick sauce and box of pasta for Gpa P and DD.   I had a spring mix and tuna salad.

A bag of tilapia purchased from Shoprite and pulled from the freezer.  I remember these 12 ounce packages cost me $2.99.   This will be my main meal Tuesday and Wednesday (I'm the only one in the house who will eat fish every day).    DH will probably make a creation with the Zaycon boneless chicken breasts I took out of the freezer. (He made his famous barbecue chopped salad mentioned in a previous post)

For lunches I prepared a chive/bacon quiche (see chive post) and a zucchini quiche with my last bag of quiche prep pulled from the freezer.    I also made some cupcakes (dark chocolate)  DH has been complaining he doesn't come home to any surprises form the oven lately.  I also had a cup of homemade frosting from a previous baking day in the freezer, I defrosted it, stirred it up and just as good as when I made it!

Wednesday dinner I just wanted broth (I work so late some nights that eating just makes for a bad nights sleep)  DH, DD and Gpa P ate leftovers.

Thursday Tuna salad for DH lunch today when he gets home (his lunchbox I pack for work is really more like a breakfast....yougurts, fruit, cut up veggies, sometimes cheese and crackers or Peanut butter and crackers).  I made swiss chard with olive oil and garlic today (got it at the City Seed Market!) and added some already prebrowned taken from the freezer hot sausage.  Lunch for me, and I'm sure Gpa P will have some too.

Thursday dinner might be more leftovers....I have sort of been lax on planning things out as I've been moonlighting in the mornings at other schools/jobs on top of my own business.  Not something I normally do, trying to help some friends out.  Also had doctors visits and other tasks to tend to.  Friday morning will be a trip to BJ's wholesale to get some needed items (dairy/veggie/cleaning)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

What to do with an abundance of chives

I have huge huge bunches of chives in various spots in my garden.

Today I decided to try some experiments.

I chopped bunches off down almost to the root ball. It's ok!  The chives will continue to grow all season. It's best to do this before they flower because  once they flower the Stems become very tough and almost bitter if you wait until the end of the season.

I first wash them off, and then gave them a quick chop, before I put them in my food processor.

The first batch I just finally chopped, 

and I used those in a chive bacon leftover cream  cheese quiche.  

I then did my first batch of chive pesto. Though I do have some pignoli nuts in the freezer, I didn't want to waste them on this if I didn't like the base taste. I continued to pulse the food processor until they were finely chopped,  adding olive oil and several small chunks of Parmesan cheese.

 I have to admit it was kind of tasty. I plan on using it over pasta on another day, and have frozen it.   

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Second piece for the bedroom!

After a morning of teaching (and warehousing for DH) we had planned on taking a ride to Coventry for their town wide tag sale.  The plan was just items for the rewards case at the studio, and we found 2 music themed new hair scrunchies and 6 large music themed erasers PLUS a used book on only Irish music.  This book is for me, as I am always hunting for new Irish pieces for the Feis competitions for my fiddlers.   Total spent, $3.00! Cash. 

We went to a few other stops, nothing eventful, and then we stopped at an antique shop/general store.  We paid 34.00 for mocha coffee syrup (large bottle, from a company in RI) some sweet biscuits that they had samples of and DH loved them (Sweden) a jar of horseradish (Poland), an as is Hummel music box of a boy playing violin to his puppy for $8.00 (I actually have this Hummel, so I thought they would look nice together) and an interesting milk bottle with orange lettering from Manchester CT.  Cash of course.  

The owner of this shop told us about the shops next door, and said we could leave our car in her lot.  This place didn't look like much.  The first rooms were nothing special.  Then we were told that there were other rooms, and to feel free to go through sliding doors into the barn and then go into the white house.  

Heading towards the sliders I saw this.  And I fell in love.  

Late 1800's oak.  Notice the hat box door on the right?  I called DH over, he inspected all the drawers, called the gentleman over and asked about the piece.  It was priced 295!   I couldn't believe that price.  The only flaw we could find was that if you pulled the top large drawer open the hat door popped open.  He got the owner, who worked on it and his wife talked to me about it.  

For me, it's always about these in order.  Quality, Odor (nothing musty, I have walked away from gorgeous items which smelled) appearance and color.  This piece met all my requirements.  DH had asked if they could do better on the price (and I was surprised by that, as we both were shocked at the sticker) and they knocked 20 off without even blinking.  

Only problem was we had the car!  Not the wagon or the truck.  This shop is closed Sun Mon Tues and ALL HOLIDAYS (written exactly as all the signs we saw)    So, we have to wait to bring it home until Wednesday. 

First piece of the IKEA set will be freecycled later in the week.  Anyone want a three drawer dresser?

I am so excited about this piece.  Not the same color as our previous bedroom piece, but that doesn't matter to me.  This will be DH's bureau.  Now we have to wait til we find one for me!  

First meal of asparagus

Here it is!   1.8 ounces of asparagus.    It was delicious just steamed.  Nothing else added.  I ate it all, LOL