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 07, 2014

FOF: Week 1 of the Nothing-But-Dairy Grocery challenge

Dumb.  Dumb.  Dumb.  That's me.

I was cursing the self-inflicted Buy-Nothing-But-Dairy-in-February grocery challenge by February 2nd! 

It all began when I realized all my peppermint tea was gone.  And all my GREEN tea was gone.  (Iced peppermint and green tea are every day STAPLES in my life!)  I have only one bunch of dried peppermint leaves left from this summer and that will only last me a week or two (if I am lucky).  HOW WILL I SURVIVE?!?!?!

THEN, I realized that my STEVIA was all gone! How will I lose weight?

THEN, I realized I only have 1 green pepper, a few cherry tomatoes and a big bag of carrots left.  And NO LETTUCE.  We won't be having ANY fresh vegetables for the entire month?!?!  I have no words.

(This was about when I started to panic.)

Well, I guess they don't call it a 'challenge' for anything.

But seriously, WHY would I pick the middle of winter for a buy-nothing-but-dairy grocery challenge?  The garden isn't producing.  The chickens aren't laying.  What was I THINKING???

Like I said~ Dumb, dumb, dumb.


That said, perhaps it will give me a bit of perspective on how people once starved survived through winter without having access to fresh goodies.  And how very blessed and SPOILED we 21st century Americans are.  That, I think, is a reminder I think many could benefit from.  But, golly.  This is going to be ROUGH.

Here was this weeks' meals.

Matt was out of town this week (AGAIN.  Nightmare. Torture. Rot. Hiss.) and the one (and only) consolation I have when he is out of town is that I can serve fast, thoughtless JUNK food because the kids think it is such a treat and I am too depressed to care.  So don't think too poorly of me when you read this weeks' menu.  'Kay?  Kay.

1st:  Saturday
Breakfast: oatmeal with raisins
Lunch: tuna fish sandwiches
Dinner: chili cheese fries (using homemade beans and homemade cheese sauce)

2nd: Sunday
Breakfast: homemade yogurt, bananas
Lunch: left over chili (from last night) atop tortilla chips
Dinner: roasted root vegetables with garlic and 1 package of kielbasa, roasted too.  CousCous.  Fruit Salad with yogurt. (Andrew made it!)

3rd: Monday.  Spent the day uptown with my Mom!
Breakfast: toast with peanut butter, bananas, yogurt
Lunch: impromptu Chinese buffet.
Dinner: chicken fingers, french fries, HC (*homecanned) green beans and HC applesauce

4th: Tuesday
Breakfast: scrambled eggs, toast (homemade bread)
Lunch: sandwiches
Dinner: chicken, onion and cheddar quesadillas, apple wedges and HC pickles.

Breakfast: blueberry scones
Lunch: sandwiches
Dinner: Goulash with cheddar garlic Italian sausage, peas and beans

Breakfast: cheesy eggs and a blueberry scone
Lunch: sandwiches
Dinner: cream of summer squash soup with croutons, roasted red pepper hummus and crackers. (I made twice as much so we would have soup for lunch tomorrow and then the children ate all of it but two bowls worth.  Stinkin' kids.  ;-)

Breakfast: cornmeal mush with HC elderberry syrup
Lunch: leftovers- some got goulash, some got soup
Dinner: PIZZA NIGHT!  I am planning a pepperoni, onion and pepper pizza and a four-cheese pizza.  Carrot sticks on the side.

Some other frugal/financial efforts this week:

* did our taxes myself (saved us over $75.00 in fees)

* listed a wedding dress on ebay

* saved bread 'heels' and made dried bread crumbs with them

* went to Salvation Army (first time in ages...probably A YEAR) and bought a few half-price clothes and eight curtain panels for $1.99 a piece. I also got the complete Sister Wendy Art movies for .29 per movie!

* saved canned chicken juice for animals.

* saved eggshells for chickens (calcium)

* borrowed a boatload of books from the library for school (and pleasure)

* went to a discount store called Ollie's that always has nice new books and got several for Christmas/birthday presents for $2-3.00 a piece.  I also got a Biggest Loser workout DVD for $3.00.  I like the Biggest Loser DVD's because I like to see real people struggling to workout instead of model people smiling away while I am huffing and puffing and about to die.  ;-)  I only had one before- now I can alternate.

* ordered a few Dover Publisher coloring books and clip-art books.  Coloring books are for school.  Clip art is to begin making homemade cards instead of buying stationary/cards.  Maybe adding to Etsy shop too.  (We'll see) Used a $15.00 off coupon plus a free shipping deal.

* Hung clothes to dry by woodstove (towels, jeans, sweaters, heavy stuff)

* made homemade hummus from dried chickpeas and my own frozen roasted red peppers from last years' garden.

* printed some vintage valentine clip art from Dover's Free Samples (sign up for free email samples at doverpublications.com)

* was given a Lilla Rose flexi-clip in exchange for a review (good or bad).  Giving one away too- don't forget to enter the giveaway!

* watched the Bill Nye vs Ken Ham Answers in Genesis Creation/Evolution Debate online.

* Made two batches of homemade soap (rose and vanilla bean) using tallow I rendered myself.  (LONG OVERDUE!)

* worked on a crochet gift

* made homemade toothpaste (LONG OVERDUE!)

* Marinated a batch of beef strips for jerky. 

* made chocolate chip cookies for our neighbor who came and plowed the driveway for me, just because he noticed I was snowed in.  (so sweet.)

Financial FAILS:

~ the lady who did our taxes last year (hated her!) really messed things up and never filed NYS tax return so I have to do that this year (and pay for it!) even though I paid HER to do it last year.

~ went to a chinese place for lunch on Monday.  It was an edible treat (Adele' and Judah I don't think have ever gone before? and the older ones have only gone once or twice in their lifetimes) but a financial fail.

~ The books, while great prices for gifts, was STILL a splurge.  We'll call it RETAIL THERAPY.  And it felt GOOOOOOD.

~ two sliced of leftover pizza from last week never got used up and were wasted.

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!


Leah T. said...

*are two of

Leah T. said...

Lilla Rose is having a two-day sale!

The giveaway you're doing for me and promoting the sale are two of my financial efforts for the week. :)

Rain said...

Wow! You put me to shame. Your menu without going grocery shopping looks A LOT better than mine. Your productivity is inspiring!
Your soap looks lovely. Do you have a recipe or book that you used for it?

The Andersons said...

First off, I love reading your blog. You keep life real, and that is so helpful to the rest of us "real" people. Your soap? SOOOOOO beautiful! I have only ever made one batch and have been itching to make another. I wanted to comment on the video. I haven't watched it all, but it seems to me that they are both wrong. They are both being so absolute in their stands, that they fail to see their may be a third option. I am referring to the first part of the debate (after the opening). Hams guest says "the world was created in 6 24 hour days". I believe "days" to be "periods of time", which would negate all of Bill Nyes reasons for the Big Bang theory. Anyway...not sure it matters, because I love the scriptures and no man will persuade me that they are smarter than God...but its interesting to see two grown men be so absolute that they can't see the big picture. lol. Hope its ok that I commented. I really do love coming here to read your posts and see your pics. I wish you could me my sister...you would be kindred spirits!

stephaniegiese said...

Can you please share your toothpaste recipe? Pretty please?

Julian said...

Great job! Youre awesome!!!! I think you shouldn't feel like you failed. Youre doing a whole lot more than nothing. ;)
That rose soap sounds lovely!
Keep warm, Christina

Angie said...

Hi Rebecca,
I met your Mom at a used book sale today. She got to talking and she told me about your blog. It looks like we have a lot in common, although I am not quite a homesteader, as my last garden failed miserably. We home school and I love photography.
Anyway, please tell your Mom I said "Hi!". I look forward to reading through your blog. Have a great day!

Courtney said...

That is beautiful soap! What an accomplishment!
How frustrating about the tax lady! We used to pay an account to do ours because we thought we needed to. He was very good, but very expensive. I'm so glad we can do our own now for about a tenth of the cost!
"Retail therapy", lol! I know. I KNOW.

Anna Yager said...

Something I always emphasized when I taught financial classes was that everyone needs to have a little money for special splurges (like your chinese food). Without that you risk getting too discouraged by the unending grind that you give up trying to control your spending. But if that "special splurges" money is part of your budget you can control the spending you do on those splurges - a win in two ways! Bottom line, I wouldn't call the chinese food a "fail", I'd call it a "special reward for the family having to do without their dad for a week".

Rebecca said...

Leah- that is a good use of time methinks! I hope it pays off (literally and figuratively. ha!)

Rain- I go to this site for the recipe:
http://www.millersoap.com/ She has lots of different types of recipes but I use the animal fats with coconut oil because I love the end product. As for the scents/colors, I just wing it every single time. So far I've made Lemon Verbena, Orange Creamsicle, vanilla bean, rose, peppermint swirl and cinnamon brown sugar. My FAVORITE was the lemon verbena!

The Andersons- well, we kinda ARE sisters...so there ya have it. And I love to read comments and get to know the people who read my blog- so yes! Comment away!

Stephanie- I'll do the recipe on the next FOF post, kay? ;-)

Christina- I don't consider myself a failure- but I wanted to add the ways I failed too so that people wouldn't consider me the opposite. If you know what I mean.

Angie- that is so LIKE my Mom! (Gotta love her.) Thanks for stopping by!

Courtney- it was mostly a matter of listening to many people say it was 'too hard when you have a mortgage' and I started to doubt myself. I have done taxes for years before (when we rented) and it was a breeze. I won't be going back, that's for sure.

Anna- too true. And thankfully, we have an 'envelope' for "fun money" so we weren't out anything. Good advice!