Friday, December 1, 2017

Loads of freebies!

DH's first November as a permanent employee gifted us a Stop and Shop gift card, which paid for most of our Turkey purchases!
Office Depot rewards paid for all but .51 cents of this coffee

Money transferred from Savings Star

Free cookie dough at Stop and Shop

Free Tumeric at Stop and Shop

$44.38 from Ibotta
Been a good month!

November Grocery Buys

October 27th Costco.  152.50  Pop chips, 10 lbs onions, kale chips, 6 lbs pistachios, shrimp salad, 4 pack pork tenderloin, sirloin tips, 4 lbs of U-15 shrimp, frozen salmon 8 portions.

November 2nd Stop and Shop 43.90  gallon of 2% milk, Tropicana premium lemonade, Dannon four pack of light and fit zero yogurt, 35 bottle case of water, two cartons of Progresso broth, can of Progresso organic minestrone soup, two packages of sirloin tips reduced to 50% off. 3.27 pounds of ground beef, natures promise organic skinless chicken breast, Premio  sweet Italian sausage, 3 pounds of peppers two large cucumbers, 3 1/2 pounds of cabbage, 8 ounces of mushrooms, 4 pounds of carrots, 16 ounces of spring mix, a head of cauliflower, 8 ounces of brussels sprouts, 1 1/4 pounds of asparagus. This total was after all loaded coupons, bonus store coupons received in the mail PLUS checkout 51, Ibotta and Savingstar.

November 4, Big Y.  Flash sale on tomatoes, 1.37 lbs for $1.36

November 5th Farmers Market $34.00

November 5th Produce Market $71.90 Lemon Poppyseed bread, 2.5 lbs of potatoes, two turkey burgers, 2.20 lbs of PRIME rib eye steaks(3), pound of mushrooms and sour cream.

November 7th $2.99 I went to order our organic fresh turkey at Stop and Shop and bought these deals just by looking around.
2 jars of pumpkin pasta sauce and a sliced loaf of multi grain bread. 

November 9th $46.86 - 9.30 (ibotta) -1.10 (checkout 51)=$36.46  4 lbs dominos sugar, hellman's mayo, 4 cans whole cranberry sauce, 2 jellied cranberry sauce, jar Pace picante, 5 cans of tuttoroso assorted styles tomatoes (2 were san marzano), 5+ lb bottom round roast, dozen cage free farmers hen eggs, 3 lbs of Jimmy Dean Sausage rolls (used for holiday dressings) 2.79 lbs of asparagus.

November 11 $2.99 Polmart (We make a trip to New Britain/Newington each November for several events and we always stop in at the polish grocery stores)  Silver Bell Bakery Onion Rye

November 11 $19.83 Green Grocery, Dried Porcini Mushrooms, Luthianian Bread, Canned Fish filets, two polish mustards.

November 13 Farmers Market $42.58

November 13 Produce Market $4.21 2 Spaghetti Squash

November 16 Shoprite $24.87 pumpnickel, cream cheese, 18 count eggs, premio sausage, 3 eight ounce bags of shredded cheese and 3.98 lbs of broccoli rabe.

November 16 BJ's warehouse, $90.28 6 pk of Swanson low sodium broth, Gravy, Liquid egg whites, bluecheese dressing, cornflakes, half/half, gallon of milk, beef jerky, land o lakes olive oil seasalt spread, cooked chicken strips (perdue) and beef loin. 

November 20 $31.00 Stop and Shop Deans Sour cream, Aria Cream cheese (FREE!) Pie crusts, cookie dough (FREE!) Nature's promise turmeric (FREE!) Enlightened Icecream, Herb stuffing, 15 lb frozen turkey, 17 lb fresh turkey, bacon, mushrooms, cerelry, 3 lbs of onion and 10 lbs of potatoes.

November 18 BJ's wholesale, $22.57 two 40 packs of Poland Spring water and 4 lbs of Birdseye California Blend veggies.

Total spent $591.84

Monday, November 20, 2017

A typical Week Days

Tuesday I fell back to  sleep after my husband left for work and woke up in most two hours later. Unusual to sleep till 745. I hit the ground running and was immediately outside to collect sticks in the piles in our over acre lot. The My Husband uses for leaf blower‘s to collect leaves the sticks are numerous especially since the last storm. We made a deal that I would make piles each morning and he would click them and bring them out to the woods. Today I made five piles. After I was done doing that I planted 24 flower bulbs.

Came inside And had a cup of coffee. Then I made the bed. Then I cleaned the coffee pot with vinegar. Took the laundry down and threw in a load of his work clothes. Maybe mobile deposit to the business account and return some business emails. 2nd cup of coffee.  I wrapped a gift.   Got the mail and mobile deposited my eBay eats check to savings. Took a shower, had lunch and went to the studio. Taught from 2 to 730 with a 15 minute break. Then returned phone calls. Got home, had a protein shake took my meds got in my jammies and visited with hubby.

Wednesday got up at 6:30. Fed the dog as grandpa P had gone fishing. Took her out made five more piles Of sticks and visited with two neighbors.  Planted 24 more bulbs and cut back all the plants that you can cut back once they’ve died off. Left that pile for the hubby too LOL. Back in the house by 8 AM drink 16 ounces of water and had a soy pancake.   Brought laundry downstairs and brought some salsa upstairs. Through bowl of skinless chicken breast in the oven with salsa. Loaded the dishwasher and turned it on.  Sat down to have a cuppa coffee.  Practiced piano some new songs I wanted to Master for my students. Printed some songs for some of my students.Got some rice going in the instant pot. Started teaching at 230 through 930 pm.

Thursday was a low key home morning.  Some paperwork, but mainly lied low.   Started teaching at 2 pm until 9

Friday was laundry, cooking and more bills in the morning.  Dealt with some new student issues.(all good) started teaching at 2-7 pm.

Saturday taught from 730 am to 1230 pm.  Went to lunch with DH and then went to test drive another EV vehicle, ended up signing to purchase!

Sunday cooking laundry and catching up on TiVo.

Monday (Thanksgiving week) Place a black Friday bow and rosin order.  Grocery shopping. Call to insurance company.  Signing papers for vehicle (DH will pick up tonight)  Studio 2 - 830 pm.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Our last visit to City Seed Edgewood Farmer's market for year

I spent $24 at my market share market Four Root Farm as I had finished my share.  I got a nice hardy bag of swiss chard, broccoli rabe
A large purple top turnip and some sweet potatoes. 


Fresh Tumeric.  Any ideas from my readers?

Carrots from my organic farm  and another batch of rabe to try from Massaro Farm
A beautiful whole butterflied chicken from Sankow Farms $14.58

Monday, November 6, 2017


 Sunday Pork loin (freezer) cooked in the slow cooker with pepper and onion hot relish and lots of onions.

 Monday (Costco)Sirloin steak tips

Tuesday (Costco) Two salmon fillets

 Wednesday Pork posole stew made with the leftover pork from earlier in the week.   This was made with onions, hominy, cilantro, white beans, and vegetable stock

Thursday (last .49 lb freezer) Roasted chicken  carrots and rice

Friday leftovers

Saturday (we went out for a late lunch.....but ended up paying dinner prices, eek)

Sunday Steak for the three men (purchased same day) turkey burgers (me), asparagus, sautéed onions, mushrooms and baked potatoes. 

Monday (today) chicken soup made Sunday evening, onions, carrots, celery, chicken.  Loaf of sourdough from the freezer

Tuesday (tomorrow) will be chili that is at this moment cooking

Sunday, November 5, 2017

November 5th Farmers Market Edgewood Park (CitySeed)

Today I finished my market share funds.  I had to pay $4 dollars out of pocket for the following goodies.  I also made a deposit of $50 towards my 2018 share.  So worth it.  I have frozen much of the produce I acquired from the organic farm Four Root Farm.  Have met all of the farmers/owners.  Including their families.  A worthwhile investment in not only my families health, but getting to know these wonderful people.  2018 will be my third year with them. 

Beautiful peppers and tomatoes

Chinese broccoli

two big bunches of broccoli rabe


Above is a sinfully delicious dozen of SONO Bakery English muffins.  I truly decadent purchase.  $30 for 24 tasty halves.  Am I blessed that I can afford to purchase these?  Absolutely.  I haven't purchased them in a while, having slowly whittled away at what I had frozen.  These too were sliced and put in the kitchen freezer.  I many continue to buy a few these last few weeks of of the market to squirrel away. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Farmers Markets (Edgewood in the morning, Coventry in the afternoon) October 22

Little Late Posting.  All produce is from my share, I have enough for one more visit to the market free before my funds run out (purchased an entire market share for $500, received $550 to spend at a certified organic farm)
Broccoli Rabe and Chinese Broccoli

One huge sweet potato


Peppers and tomatoes (this peppers were sooo crisp)

Fresh ginger!
I also purchased a beautiful loaf of pumpernickel for $4.75
Then we went to the Coventry market so I could play with miniature donkeys!  We even started a discussion to purchase two from the farmer.  Oh my, I think we actually might do this.  We would need to get a shelter built, and fence in part of our property.  But as DH said, what's the point of having all of this land if not to do something that will always make you smile.  It would make me smile, and he didn't mind them as they would be outdoor pets.  However, we do travel ALOT.  We really have to think this through.  Here are some pics.  I did enter a drawing for a free farm tour.....

I also got some gorgeous broccoli (a large quantity) for $7.00
AND I GOT A CALL that I WON the farm tour!  We booked it for May 5th as there will be new foals!   Here is their website if you would like to pay them a visit too.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Meals this Week

Saturday we went out to have a late lunch (still within lunch hours) at Longhorn Steakhouse.  Used a coupon of course.  DH had a Caesar salad with sirloin.  I had a salad and grilled chicken sandwich combo. 

Sunday DH grilled a steak and I had some eggplant and tomato.

I also prepared lunches for the week.  Tuna, Salmon, Chicken and egg salads.  Sliced peppers, cucumbers and pickles with Tziki (no idea how to spell this) sauce and ranch or creamy Italian dressings dished up.  Nuts or sesame seeds or travel size peanut butter.

Monday DH grilled chicken breasts, as well as steamed shrimp for me.  He ate chicken with vegetables Monday and Tuesday, I have been eating shrimp for Monday and Tuesday dinner, as well as today lunch.

Wednesday (today) dinner DH will saute the peppers and onions that I sliced for him, to go along with the grilled sausage that I took out of the freezer (I had frozen meal sized packages when he had grilled up a huge family sized package last month)

I also prepared a soup with the leftover chicken (still one breast left) the ginger stock I had made with fresh ginger leaves, sliced white turnips, mushrooms, onion.  Oh my, I tasted it, so delicious.  This will be dinner/lunch for me tonight and Thursday.  Here are the fresh ginger leaves after 'stewing'.

Here is the finished soup

On Thursday I will make smothered pork (lots of onions and béchamel sauce in the instant pot)  Any leftovers will be diced up and used in a pork posole dish over the weekend. 

October grocery purchases

Not going to the farmers market the first of the month made me seek out deals at local stores.  I had coupons for all the produce at BJ's except the onions.  $376.95 with enough olive oil for the next six months.

We did spend $140 at Oscars Smokehouse but I deducted this cost from our vacation fund.  We purchased 8 pounds of double smoked bacon, pound of English bacon, pound of Canadian bacon, three pound cheddar cheese wheel, pepperoni and beef jerky.  Three locally made loaves of bread (froze half of each)

October 2nd $59.29 BJ's wholesale , Artichoke hearts, celery, 4 pack of peppers, organic green beans, 1.5 lbs of organic tomatoes, shrimp, salmon, onions, organic romaine.

October 2nd $54.13 Big Y, two flavored (vanilla and hazelnut) cold brew kits, salami, turkey breast, white American, ham salad (impulse buy as I loved this as a kid), Italian wedding soup, 4 dozen eggs and 5 lunch packs of almonds.

October 3, $28.25 Stop and Shop, four thirty five pack bottles spring water (should last more than the entire month as I now drink filtered water as does DH when he's home) TicTac for Christmas Stocking (free!) Duncan Hines Personal cake mix (free!) 3.35 lbs of 85% lean ground beef , 1.98 lbs of broccoli and three 8 ounce container of mushrooms. 

October 4, $76.05 - 5 Savingstar Goya $71.05 4 large tins of EVOO,  2 bottles Goya EVOO, Assorted dried and canned beans and hominy.  Onions (we use a lot of onions) 4.5 lbs of broccoli rabe at .99  a pound, fantastic price! cucumbers and iceburg lettuce. 

October 8 $42.30 2 lbs of potatoes, sour cream, steaks for the men and one burger for me. 

October 9, $80.89 BJ's wholesale 1/2 pound Provolone, onions, salmon, shrimp, babyback ribs, drumsticks, cod.

October 13, $36.04 BJ's wholesale   Mushrooms, Taziki, Tabouli, Hummus, Pita Chips, Beef Jerky.

October 22 Farmers Market  $4.75 Large loaf pumpernickel

October 22 Coventry Farmers Market $7 Two huge heads of broccoli

October 23 $66.27 cucumbers, beef jerky, shrimp, blue cheese dressing, cream cheese, BS chicken breast (organic) Canned chicken (organic)  I had coupons for the chicken, dressing and cream cheese.

 $497.97 for the month   We still have water, ground beef, cod, some shrimp, provolone, hummus, taziki, broccoli, broccoli, some chicken, dressing and cheeses. 

No food waste, I am very happy with what I have done this month. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Facebook Sales, DeCluttr App, Checkout 51, and More Holiday Shopping

Today before teaching I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and not only met an old friend for lunch on a teaching day but also went shopping at two stores (stopping to get a Starbucks in between)

It was a nice catchup at Panera (as well as a tasty soup and salad combo)  She gifted me my favorite Starbucks Cafe Verona ground coffee.  I treated her to lunch, and got a freebie soup for my next visit!

Then I went to Marshalls armed with $110 in rewards.  I always pay my TJMaxx card off, so these are a true bonus.  I got DH two Holiday gifts, a bunch of 25 days of Christmas gifts for my Grandmother and Mother.  A water for me (thank goodness as I was very thirsty)  OOP was $29.43.  Original total was $139.43!!!

Then into Michael's for an item I need to make a gift and to replenish my faux candles (using a 40% off coupon of course!)  OOP 8.89

Then Starbucks.  

Then a quick pop in to CVS where they had my Grandmother's shampoo of choice on sale 2/$8, her favorite Lindt Dark Chocolate buy one get one 50% off and her choice of toothpaste.  $20.66 spent

Then to the studio to start teaching.  During the afternoon someone stopped by to purchase $30.00 of unopened Christmas items I had put aside last year to try and sell this year!

I used the DeCluttr app to earn $9.87 (free shipping label!)

I also deposited my Checkout 51 check for $20.15 that arrived in yesterdays mail. 

In other words, shopping got wiped out by sales!  I MADE MONEY TODAY!

I feel good about being ahead in my holiday shopping.  

Holiday planning

I have been able to wrap and go through all of the bins that I have been filling throughout the year.  (Helps that Gpa P is in Florida)    DD is done.  Pops is done.  Uncle is done. Friends are done. Cousins are planned.  Niece is done, still need to figure our Nephew.   Aunts are planned for. Sister and BIL planned for.  DH I have plans too.  By doing this so early, I can then plan on my crafting and gift making.  Plans are underway for my 98 year old Grandmother's Advent boxes (I send her gifts for every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas) and this year my Mother will be getting one too.  It seems like alot, but I only buy for two friends, and it's a combo of made and purchased.  Always practical. 

We already accomplished our Toys for Tots run.  Target had a deal the week of the 8th $25 off $100 toy purchase.  Armed with that coupon and Target Cart app DH and I went at 9 pm on a Tuesday night (It was dead, loved it)  DH loves shopping for toys for the kids.  We had some 50% deals in the cart, and one 20% off.   Here is what we got.

We budget $100 a year for Toys for Tots.  We spent $97.39 after coupon and Cartwheel PLUS using Target card for an additional 5% off.  As he loaded car, I went to the customer service booth and paid the bill off in cash. 

What's been cooking

Lunches have been egg, tuna, chicken salads for DH.  Snacks were nuts, seeds, celery with peanut butter or cream cheese.  Cucumber onion salad or pickles.  Mine have been leftovers or soy/whey supplements.  No raw veggies for me (still coming off a flare)

Sirloin Tips with broccoli

Lemon Salted Cod with broccoli

Broccoli soup

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Chili in the instant pot  This was amazing.  I only had a tablespoon but it was in my opinion the best I have ever made.  Took only 30 minutes. 

Doesn't it look amazing? 

Monday, October 16, 2017

What's been cooking?

Made ribs by first cooking in the pressure cooker for 45 minutes and then finishing off in the oven to get some color.  I even liked the one I had.  Gpa P and DH finished them off. 

 Had a $3 coupon so over 5.5 lbs of ribs was only $13.89.  Like getting a pound for free. 

Salmon with rice and dill lemon sauce and tossed salad and grilled chicken legs rounded out the food stuffs.  Lunches were tuna, chicken and egg salads (same thing this week).  I had a lot of protein shakes and soy meal replacements. 
We did eat at the wedding, DH had filet, I had chicken breast. 
The rest of the month will be cooking less in bulk.  Going through the freezer to clean out some things.  Today (Monday) I made Broccoli Rabe (enough for the week) with two grilled links of sausage I took from freezer.  Instead of making a huge family pack of sirloin tips I took a purchased on markdown less than a pound package from the freezer for DH to enjoy.
I'll keep posting other meals I prepare (or he prepares) for just the two of us with no leftovers. 

Still Here

Hi all.    Very busy.   Studio is hopping, played at a dear friends daughters wedding and Pops aka Gpa P arrived in FL with his buddies for two weeks.    DH has lost 42 lbs and needed new pants, so we killed two birds by going to Duluth Trading in RI AND spending some time WITH DD who lives there.   Here she is!!

As always when Pops is away food purchases almost stop.  I was able to make tuna, chicken and egg salad’s for the week for DH’s work lunches.   I also was able to prepare 3 Days worth of veggies.   All from supplies we already had.   Didn’t even go to farmers market yesterday.      Other expenditures usually go up as we try to do projects and home improvements in these windows were he’s away,  sometimes all of the change in routine throws him off.

The plans for this month are a new side table for my husband. Will be moving his current side table into pops apartment and getting rid of a very old table (I did get his approval).    Will also have someone come in and give us a quote to Reside our house. It may not happen until I finish paying off the carpeting. We tend to do these large projects with 0% financing and I make sure that we pay it off before it’s through. We know that we can get 0% financing on the siding job so I think the hardest part for us will be to decide what color.    We’ve already agreed that we want the shingle style.

I’ve spent today deep cleaning Pops bathroom.      I have to pace myself as I get exhausted easily.   I have been trying to eat a bit more (lost 19 lbs, not necessarily a bad thing.....) I think part of my fatigue has been not eating enough.

 We also purchased a narrow storage units of the side of our toilet.   Can never have too much storage.

Also making sure that I enjoy nature.  This deer was confused.  Taken from my kitchen window, so you can hear some of our clocks going off and a tv in the background.

Here is some of my decorating for Halloween. What’s been going on in your side of the world?

DH looks so handsome, doesn't he?

Not Halloween, but something we picked up in Maine in September  Love it!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Meals this past week

Sunday was the new favorite steakhouse burgers from the local produce market in town.  Can of baked beans, fresh salad.  I only had a burger, no beans.  With a bit of white rice. 

Monday was baked salmon with lemon dill seasoning we purchased in PA.  More rice, fresh beautiful farmers market broccoli.   Enough Salmon left for me through Thursday.  I tend to only eat one 'meal' a day, before I go into the studio.  Then it's little 100-150 calorie soy or whey protein based meals.  A bit of cheese, some soy chips.  It's easier for me.  Sometimes soy does bother me, need to pick and choose.

Tuesday was ny strip for the men, with cucumbers and tomatoes and yellow rice (we eat a lot of rice)  DH grilled some sausage for later in the week.

Wednesday was bubble and squeak for the men, cabbage, peppers and onions with bacon.  I took some wheat bread from the freezer and Gpa P had some of that too.

Thursday found me making swiss chard, stewing some tomatoes in my instant pot for soup, giving the men vegetable choices to have with the grilled sausage.

This soup was so good.  Organic tomatoes from share, basil and oregano from my herb beds.  Two heaping tablespoons of powdered heavy cream.  Amazing! 


Friday will be roasted chicken with Chinese broccoli and buffalo cauliflower (and rice if any left from last cookoff)

I will make stock in the instant pot Friday night, to throw together a pot of soup for the men for over the weekend.  DH and I are going to Lake George area after I'm done teaching Saturday to go to the Warrensburg 'world's largest garage sale' to see what it is all about.  I will also be making a stop at Oscar's smoke house as we are down to our last package of bacon.  I will share a post about that when we get back!

Soup with turnip greens, carrots, onion, celery and lentils.