What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, February 14, 2014

FOF and Week 2 of the Nothin'ButDairy Grocery Challenge

Sending some love to all of you who check in on me from time to time in my little corner of the blogosphere~ HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! 

 In a Nutshell:

Week Two of the Nothing But Dairy Grocery Challenge!  This week a certain someone had a special birthday (translate: BIRTHDAY FEAST!) which I did without a special grocery trip.  (Well, almost.)

Also- this week I ran out of ketchup and bread.  

I've been wanting to try to make my own ketchup anyway- so now is the perfect excuse.  (Hopefully, I can find a recipe that makes it taste similar.  I happen to LIKE the taste of ketchup.)

 But:  No more storebought bread for the rest of the month.

This isn't tragic.  (I bake bread.)  But it will be an adjustment.

While I make all rolls, breadsticks, pizza dough, scones and all other bread-ish items we eat with meals...LUNCHTIME has always been a place for storebought bread.  Sandwiches are quick and thoughtless(a necessity while in the trenches of  homeschooling) and it has always been a bit of a luxury to not have to do lunches from scratch. I have grown accustomed to the ease of having a loaf to slather and smear without any work on my part.

Matt loves to freak me out by reminding me about the chinese human hair that is in bread and artificial junk for preservatives in an attempt to get me to bake all our bread...but there you have it.  I still succumb to the temptation of having a quick and easy lunch most of the time, even if it means eating 100% Whole Wheat hair.  (har har)

It will be interesting to bake ALL of our bread needs (not really looking too forward to it!) and a lot more work (I imagine) but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.  (Or maybe we won't eat as much bread!)  ;-)

(Any easy, fast lunch ideas that don't include bread would be welcome!)

Here's what I bought this week:

5 gallons of 2% milk @ $2.09...............$10.45
1 2# block of Wegmans sharp cheddar.........$6.28 ($3.18 per pound- cheaper than Aldi cheese which is $3.58 per pound)
1 10# bag of shredded mozzerella...........$12.67
*1 tube of Maple Jimmy Dean Sausage.........$3.49

* I HAD to buy this because it was part of Matt's birthday meal request and it was somehow overlooked last month as I gathered up food in preparation.  Well, birthday meals are SERIOUS business around here- so I broke my challenge this week for him.  ;-)

Here's What We Ate: (with the exception of afternoon snacks)

8th: Saturday
Breakfast: cheddar omelets with sauteed onions, peppers and a few bits of pepperoni. (No ham. :-( )
Lunch: sandwiches
Dinner: Meatloaf (I made two large ones...one for tonight and one for tomorrow.)  Mashed garlic potatoes.  Sauteed summer squash and peas (frozen from summer).  HC (home-canned) Applesauce.

9th: Sunday (ran out of ketchup!)
Breakfast: cinnamon sugar toast (homemade bread).  homemade yogurt
Lunch: Fellowship meal at church.  I brought gluten free peanut butter cookies.  (And communion bread for worship)
Dinner: Open-faced meatloaf sandwiches on homemade bread.  HC Pickles.  Caramelized onions.  Tortilla chips topped with melted cheese.

10th: Monday
Breakfast: Cinnamon-sugar "Donut" Muffins, slice of cheese
Lunch: sandwiches
Dinner: Vegetable Pot-pie. (mmmmm...that is one of my favorite dinners.  It hit the spot.) Vanilla pudding.

11th: Tuesday (ran out of bread!)
Breakfast: Homemade yogurt with a dollop of leftover pudding on top.  Slice of peanut butter toast.
Lunch: grilled cheese sandwiches
Dinner: Matt surprised me with a spur-of-the-moment suggestion to get the family ready to go to a local cheap diner for dinner.  This does not happen.  I did what any rational woman would do, and snatched the kids up without a second thought.  We all got water to drink, the little kidlets split a (monstrous sized) kids meal and the big kids split a (monstrous sized) dinner special.  These helped keep the expenses down...we paid just a few dollars more than what a fast food meal would have cost us. (We had the cash for it in our 'entertainment' envelope.)

12th: Wednesday
Breakfast: cinnamon oatmeal with rationed raisins (only half a box left!)
Lunch: macaroni and cheese with chicken and peas (we were given the box of Mac n Cheese at church on Sunday)
Dinner: Sausage, white bean and greens soup.  Cornbread muffins.

13th: Thursday (Matt's birthday!  A BIRTHDAY FEAST for dinner!)
Breakfast: yogurt, a slice of peanut butter toast
Lunch: leftover soup and cornbread muffins from dinner
Dinner: "A Lumber Jack Breakfast" in which Matt ups the ante' for birthday meals to include four main-dish meals in ONE night.  (Isn't HE special?!)  A 'proper' lumberjack breakfast, I am informed, must include (and so it did) oatmeal, dippy eggs with toast,  sausage gravy over toast,  waffles with maple syrup, caramelized onions and welsh cookies for dessert instead of birthday cake. (I can hardly believe that last part.  He  must be getting old.)

14th: Friday
Breakfast: leftovers from last night- sausage gravy on toast
Lunch: waffles with cheese (sandwiches.)  Weird.  I know.
Dinner: dinner at John and Holly's.  I'll bring welsh cookies. (pizza night will be tomorrow night)

Other financial pursuits this week:

~ My sister clued me in to a really great sale at J.C.Penny's where sneakers and winter coats were $3.00 a piece.  By the time I got there later in the week, a lot was gone-including the shoes and most coats but I was able to find several things for next year for the children-matching church shirts for the boys, pants, a suit jacket and even a dress for myself!  I spent $26.45 and the total before all the sale prices were reduced was $209.38!

~ made a batch of jerky with the marinated meat from Friday

~ downloaded two free books from Amazon.  How to Save Money: A 21-Day Challenge to Save $500/month and How to Store Food for a Disaster.  (Not sure how long these will be free to download.)

~ printed valentines from Pinterest-

~ I have been setting aside a few dollars here and there to get myself some high black dress boots for winter dress/skirt wearing.  (Walking in snow in pumps is NO FUN.)  I waited until I began to see shoes on sale and then went looking.  Couldn't find anything.  For weeks.  (I have enormous feet, by the way, and very few stores even carry my boat-ish size 11 shoes!  I never find shoes second hand either, so I must buy new.) Finally, by some fluke, Target had black dress boots in the clearance section marked down over $18.00  They had a few size 6's and ONE pair of size 11.  It looked as though someone had worn them and returned them because there was a scratch or two in different spots so I asked if they would take another discount off.  They took off 20% on top of the already discounted price! See?  It never hurts to ask!

~ hung jeans and heavy things to dry by woodstove

~ made a double batch of yogurt, flavoring half with sweetener and vanilla and the other half leaving plain so it is more versatile (and can be used in place of sour cream!)

~ dehydrated a batch of apple slices

~ baked all our bread needs from Tuesday on.

~ The wedding dress that I put on ebay last week sold!  So I have to tell you the story.  (Why OF COURSE there is a story!)  An Amish man down the road started an auction business last year and some friends of mine live right next door and go/work at them every week.  Well, one auction there was a rugged bin for sale (the kind you store stuff in) and some guy got the winning bid.  (He wanted the bin- not what was inside.)  What was inside was a brand spankin' new wedding dress from David's Bridal- along with the corset, poofy slip, and garters.  The price tag on the dress was $600.00.  It made for some fun, so I hear, having this old farmer hold up a sparkly size 4 wedding dress after he won the bid!  When asked what he would do with the dress, the guy said he was going to BURN it (!) so my friends piped up and asked if they might have it.  He gave it to them.  My friends do not have a computer or internet, so they asked if I would post it on ebay for them and we would split the profit! $113  and a very happy bride who got a steal...from a dress that WOULD have been burned up!

~ my engagement ring broke- with two of the prongs broken right off (praise God I didn't lose my diamond.  I would have been devastated!) so I sent it in to get repaired.  I had a coupon for $40.00 off a $100 purchase but Matt was certain it was only for buying NEW things.  He said I might not even bother trying.  I said "It never hurts to try!" (are you sick of me saying this yet?) Well, when asked, she accepted it toward the repair!  I was thrilled.  By the way- thanks to you who bought my calendars in December!  I used that money to get my ring repaired!  ;-)

What about you? 
Do you have anything financial to share this week? 
 Link up! 

As always~ PLEASE link to your SPECIFIC blog post, not your entire blog. It could be ways you saved or stretched or strategically spent those pennies...or even inspiration you found or quotes... but please link to a post about SOMETHING financial! Lastly, please link back to my blog and maybe others would like to share!


Paula said...

Store bought bread is a treat around here. I usually make all our bread for the week and stick them in the freezer. We are only 3, so we likely go through less bread. But we find it tastes the same from the freezer.

Julian said...

Awesome! :) that's hilarious about the dress.
Youre doing so well! You inspire me! Christina

Courtney said...

I'm so glad you got your ring fixed. The prong got bent on mine and I did lose my diamond (and I WAS devasted) but my daughter ended up finding it in the garage. I couldn't believe it- I was so happy.
Great find with the boots! Woohoo!

Mary said...

It is so helpful to read your FOF posts. Hope to get my act together one day :)

Chrysalinn said...

For a breadless lunch, put out a platter of sliced apples/pears, cut up cheese, berries of you have them, and cut up left over meat like ham or sausage. A friend suggested it to me, and I was surprised at how much my boys like lunch that way.

Megan @ Purple Dancing Dahlias said...

My wedding ring went through the blender one time with a smoothie. Thankfully none of the diamonds were lost.

Since we are gluten free we often have lunch like Chrysalinn suggested. My kids love it as well!

Anna Yager said...

What a worthy cause for my calendar money to go to! I'm SO glad you didn't lose your diamond. I lost my original wedding ring only 5 years into my marriage (I think one of the kid lets took it and threw it somewhere), and have made do with various substitutes since then. It's not the same!

Cathi said...

Be careful, in our house store bread is the less loved one and my kids could probably sell their homemade bread sandwiches at school!
What a stroke of luck that you didn't lose your diamond AND you got to use your coupon. You are so right it never does hurt to ask!
Congrats on the boots too. I have larger feet (9 1/2) and muscular calves so I know what you mean about no used boots and finding them on sale rarely. Tall boots on sale are my wish too.

amanda emerson said...

I love the dress story!