Sunday, September 27, 2015

Is it just me, or would you be annoyed too?

Loaf of bread entered house at 11:30 am

A nice nut and raisin bread.    Retail was $6.95

DH and I went out from 12:30 to 7.   This is how much is left.  

Both ends gone, about two and a half inches left.   

Thank goodness it was part of my friends reward at the farmers market.  

So, would this annoy or frustrate you?     

Farmers Market and Friend of Edgewood Market plan 9/27/15

Two beautiful bunches of organic Swiss chard six dollars

Two large heads of sweet lettuce three dollars

Sweet potato greens, a new idea that I will steam quickly in water and then add to a pan to saute in olive oil and garlic three dollars

Total of 4 english muffins (only three shown) and 2 pastries (DH ate them).  Retail was 16.50.    I paid 6.50.   Best English muffins I have ever eaten in my life.  See Friends of Market post at bottom.   

 Six pretzel rolls six dollars

Beautiful large loaf of nuts and raisins bread. Whole-wheat. Retail is 675. I did not pay for, it also a part of the friends of the market program.  

Not pictured is the Chicken Sausage $9.80

The city seed Edgewood Park farmers market has a program called friends of the market. It only works in Edgewood market. For $30 I received a punchcard after eight visits you get to pick a loaf of bread and a choice and you receive $10 of tokens that can be used on anything in the market.  I used the tokens at the Sono bakery tent.    I also received a new punchcard. Definitely worth the original donation. All friends of the farmers markets preseason donations health snap clients double their money as well as support other programs for the city seed Edgewood Park farmers markets such as performers demonstrations and other fun activities.   I may just recoup my donation money.   

Friday, September 25, 2015

Butternut squash soup. No peeling, no oven

I love fall.  I love leggings, sweaters, scarves, boots and SOUP!   I still haven't gotten my 'back in the groove of working 3 early mornings and two 14 hour days and want to do all that I want to do", but I wanted soup.  I didn't have time to roast squash, didn't feel like peeling it either.  So, I turned to my crock pot.  

Yesterday before I left for the studio I wrapped a butternut squash in foil. 

Put in in my crock pot on low. Told my DH not to touch it.   

7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. here is what it looked like. 

Cuts like room temperature butter!


Able to scoop all that deliciousness out, no problem. 

Only skin left, no peeling needed!

Squash meat back in crockpot

Celery, carrot, onion

butter (have to have some butter)

half a carton of chicken broth


Just need to add the lid, turn on low and wait for the magic to happen..................

DH blended it for me with an immersion blender.

My stomach is happy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Grocery Budget September 2015

This month I tried to be very strict with the budget.  I even placed my max in an envelope in cash ($500).  Today is September 23, and I have $162.50 left!   I may not even spend all of it.  I made a huge effort to control spending.  I also had to get tough with our house guest (who is finally in his own house as of this past Monday) I had to tell him we are not a restaurant, you are affecting my budget, we will eat out of the freezer and pantry for the remainder of your stay.  That discussion was on the 12th.  It worked.  

Total spent was $95.66 for the month.  Previous posts on the farmers market showed my purchases.


Total spent between three trips was $78.26.    2.5 dozen eggs, 31 cups of yogurt, two 4 packs of minature yogurts, 4 large bottles of Kens creamy italian dressing (DH favorite), 2 cases of store brand 24 packs spring water on flash sale for 1.88 each (plus 1.20 deposit each case), organic baby carrots (free!), 2 large big Y roasting chickens .78 cents a pound (amazing price!), 3 friendly's ice cream (I know, after I went off on the uncle and pops.....but I made it clear to my father and my husband that these three should last for a LONG TIME)   As I had planned to get them, there was plenty of room in the freezer.  No one should be leaving the door open (twice this happened, once the Uncle couldn't get it closed so he just left it partially open....I mean really?  And then again my father didn't close the house freezer, and I threw away two garbage bags of spoiled food).  I don't eat icecream, so my calorie count is safe.   I also got two large packages of perdue ground chicken breast, B1G1F.  

 Total spent for the month 150.09     Two 35 pack cases of spring water, gallon of milk, chicken burgers, lettuce, tomato, sirloin tips, Ten pound bag of large baking potatoes, Four packages of store brand boneless skinless chicken breasts at 1.79 a pound (amazing price)  These were all triple wrapped in meal sized packages and then put in freezer bags.  Salmon, Egglands Best egg whites, celery, mushrooms, carrots.  

Last food purchase was at Brueggers bagels, bakers dozen fresh bagels, two cream cheese, $13.49

I am so proud of my efforts.  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Farmers Market 9/20/2015

Visited both the Edgewood City Seed New Haven and Christoforo stand in North Haven.

City Seed provided 6 pretzel rolls (6), 5 small zucchini and 8 pickling cukes (7), dill (4), chicken sausage (9.75), Kale (3) and a chocolate croissant, raspberry danish and basque cake (11.50)

Christoforo stand orange and red tomatoes (9.25)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Apples as the frugal activity for the month

I have picked 70 pounds of apples so far from my own tree.  McIntosh.  This tree was planted by my Grandfather and is the last fruit producing tree on our property.  We have a pear tree too, but it only had 5 pears on it this year, and something got them all.

If I had gone to a pick your own farm I would have paid around $132.00!

Big shout out to Margaret H for taking the pictures as I forgot to do so at her house this week.  We only peeled through one bag.  I am so grateful to her that she is doing most of this food creation.

 One bag of apples

 Apple Butter.  Look how thick!

Chunky apple Sauce

Cover on partially to allow for evaporation. 

Final products!
Artistic photo.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My one extravagance

I love coffee. All my friends know that.  My family knows it and my students know it.   I am a coffee snob. There's more coffee that I don't like than i do like.     

A daily habit can be quite expensive.    Even for a black coffee drinker like me.    

So, I learned how to make cold brew.  It is easy, delicious and doesn't cost me $3.14 per Venti.     Don't misunderstand, I still go to Starbucks.     But maybe only three times a week instead of twelve.   

Here is how I make it.     I make enough to fill a 64 ounce mason jar almost three times.    It costs me at most $7.99 a week, which is the sale price that I pay for a bag of ground Starbucks.    Since I usually have coupons and get gift cards or starbucks stars it is even less.   If you love Starbucks, make sure you register your gift card.  Every 12th visit you can get a free food item up to $5.75 (this includes drinks and food, not ground coffee or other items)

My favorite Starbucks brand coffee

1 and 3/4 cups of ground into my french press

Add 3 and 1/4 cups cold water


Stir for the bloom

Press down the plunger, and refrigerate for 8 - 14 hours.  Add to your mason jar!  Enjoy!

Though I try to earn free gift cards, appreciate holiday gifts and try to 'stretch it out', this is a good way to enjoy an extravagance without it costing an arm and a leg.  


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Farmers Market Finds

Well, the Uncle is back from Italy and will be in our house for one more week.     He went with me to the market today, wants it to be our thing to do together.    Since DH is at work, he feels better that I am not going alone.    DS is moving out of state, and I have been going by myself to get used to it.

Anyway, planned on spending 35.  Spent 45 as uncle fell in love with some things he sampled.  

These farm made hummus' were the items that threw me off by 10.    I will probably have some too.    

Also got this lovely organic chard from the same farm.   $6

Eggplant $4

Squash and cukes $4

Two lovely heads of organic lettuce was just $3!   

Some gorgeous orange and heirloom tomatoes $8

Not pictured is 4 pretzel rolls $4 and DH Chocolate croissant.  3.75.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Frugal Activities


I can now do three (count 3!!!) laundry baskets of dark's at a time, with room to spare.   


I picked thirty pounds of apples from our yard so far.  Keep giving them to my friend Margaret to make apple butter.  She shares some of the bounty back to me.  Here was the first jar.  I had a teaspoon.   Pops ate the entire rest of the jar on a flat bread, rolling it like a jelly roll.  When I asked him if he had to eat the entire jar he said yes, because I know you can get more.  Arggghh