Monday, October 29, 2012

Are you Obsessed with Couponing?

What I am asking is, do you have what people call a stock pile of products? 

The reason I ask, is that I do coupon some, and I am trying to build up my Food Storage, that I along with others of the Latter Day Saint, Mormon, faith have been asked to do, but I average about $40-$50 saved per visit, sometimes more, sometimes less.  I am one to only use coupons for thing that my family uses.  If it is not something we will use or consume, I for the most part will not buy it.  I do not purchase 40+ newspapers per week, just to get the inserts, and I do not run multiple computers or have multiple email accounts, to get more than the maximum allowed online coupons in the allotted time, and I most certainly do not dumpster dive in commercial recycle dumpsters to get paper inserts. 

I have watched Extreme Couponing, a couple of times, just out of curiosity.  I found out a few tips that make my own shopping more profitable for me.  But, I watched once as a teenage boy proudly displayed his stockpile of femine hygiene products, and baby diapers, and formula off with pride, just because it was supposedly free.  And, I often wonder as people displayed their stockpiles of 5,000 rolls of paper towels and toilet tissue, what good is that if one little mouse decided to take up residence?

Admirably I watched once as a person bought items that they fully intended to donate to their church or food bank, and I was glad for the recipients of those items.  But, and this is a big hot button for me.  When a person "cleans the shelves" of the products, what does that leave for those of us who only want or better yet NEED two or three of that item?  What happens when they stores decided that because of, for lack of a better word selfishness of those who hoard these items, and make work harder for them, so they decided to one day do away with the privileges of couponing, or double couponing or the like.  What are those of us who count on the extra $40-$50 savings each trip that pays for another monthly bill to do?

I know that there is an adrenaline rush that comes over you at your accomplishment, and you feel so great about it, but think for a moment about what you are depriving the rest of us, who work the system honestly of.

Fun blog that I found!

I came upon a blog today where the blog writer is celebrating a friend's accomplishment at becoming a published author with a blog party.  That is a great idea!  She, the blog writer, is a reader, not a writer, like myself.  But, I love, love, love to read and this is a great way to celebrate her friend's achievement!  The blog is .  So, go check it out!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Another way to be frugal with food...

Have you seen the price of bread at the grocery store lately?  All bread is, is flour, and water, and yeast, with maybe a few other ingredients tossed in occasionally.  My husband use to like a certain type of bread that on the label stated that it was a "2 pound loaf".  That bread was actually good for store-bought bread, but the price over the years has rise, and now runs about $3.85 a loaf, yes, per loaf.  And, so with a husband who eats for the most part two sandwiches each day, one kind for breakfast, and one for lunch, that gets pricey. 

Three years ago, we decided to change that and I started making bread here at home.  I still use the same basic flour, water, yeast, a little bit of sugar, and an egg, but the price is a whole lot different.  I spend less than half for two loaves to the store-bought one. 

This one looks a lot prettier that mine do, but you get the idea.  We do actually save money, inspite of the not so sad fact that we now eat more bread.  Could you blame us, it just tastes so good!  It does my heart good, not to mention my ego when, on the occasion I do buy a loaf at the store, my husband tells me, "You NEED to make more bread, this just doesn't taste right." 

I have a recipe now for sheepherder bread, and the recipe appears similar to what I already do, just in a different style of pan so I hope to try making that this winter. 

Don't get me wrong, I have not completely stopped buying bread at the store.  I still buy hamburger and hot dog buns, but I just haven't quite gotten the hang of those, but I do have a recipe.  Maybe I will start that after I conquer the Sheepherder loaves.

What's for Dinner? Hot Dog Soup? Read on and find out!

I knew that I needed to make Beef today, after all, "It's What's for Dinner!"  So, I decided on the Coke Roast recipe that I found in my fairly new Crockin' Girls Cookbook that I talked about in past posts, and so I went looking for a recipe that sounded good.  After looking through the cookbook, I decided to, instead of making something totally new and foreign, to make this one.
Doesn't it look yummy?  I am planning to serve it with freshly mashed potatoes, last time I made egg noodles, and rice is also an option, but this just sounds good, and in about 3 hours, it will smell amazing throughout my house!

I know that I make a lot, and I mean A LOT of Beef recipes, and I understand that for some people beef roasts, and steak and even sometimes hamburger is hard to come by due to the costs at the grocery store.  It use to be that way for me also, hamburger use to be about all we ate, and even that was sparingly, and sparcely, until I met and married my husband.  He grew up in the dairy industry, and for the past 15 years has farmed for a larger family-owned farming and trucking operation ( not our family). 

The only reason I say this is that we raise our own steer each year through the Spring, Summer and Fall, then come December, "Dinner", as I like to call them, go off to visit the butcher, and then white paper packages makes it back to our house, in late December, only for "Dinner" to show back up again in March/April.

This is not something that is available, feasible or otherwise possible for a lot of people because of where you might live, or other reasons and I understand that, I was once there.  I have a few friends that raise chickens, so they have a seemingly neverending supply of fresh eggs and poultry that they eat.  So, as with us, when they are able to get something different, it is a treat. 

If there is tuna fish or peanut butter or ramen-style noodles on sale, you learn to make due.  It is amazing how many ways you can use, peanut butter, or tuna in different dishes if you put your mind to it.  Of course probably not in the same dish, unless you prefer that.  But, there are certainly ways to stretch you dollar these days.   

When my now 19-year old daughter and I first moved to Idaho, we had very little of anything, and so to make meals fun we would try out different things.  One of her favorites, still to this day is something we called, "Hot Dog Soup"  it was a really simple concept and easy to pull off.  The best part, it is a cheap and filling meal.  For the two of us, we would buy a cheap package of 8-10 hotdogs, and I mean cheap, usually less than a dollar.  I would cut up 1/2 of the package of hotdogs into thin round disks, then take one package of ramen noodles, usually chicken flavored as it was our favorite, but you could certain try beef or any other flavor you prefer.  I would prepare the ramen as directed on the package, adding the hotdogs before the noodles, so they have a few more moments to warm and cook through, and then adding the flavor packet from the noodles at the end,, and combining just as the package direction states.  And, there you go.  Easy, and inexpensive.  All for about $1.25 you have a hot and filling meal, sometimes with leftovers, and even the rest of the hotdogs from the package for another meal.  Now, that is frugal!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Recipes and a Good Book!

Have you read this yet?  The Author Joanne Fluke, has written several of these murder mysteries, and each book has numerous recipes, and not just for dessert!  I found myself, reading throught the chapters, reaching the point where a recipe had been included, then I would stop reading the mystery portion, and actually read the recipe.  They sound delicious, and I am planning to make some of them.

I have borrowed three of these mysteries from the library.  Carrot Cake Murder being one, Devil's Food another and, Apple Turnover.  These books each have a dessert title, and the food is a part of the storyline because the Heroine, Hannah is a caterer and bakery/coffee shop owner.  The books, in so much as I have read so far are comical at times, and have the moments where I cannot wait to turn the page, and do not lag in the middle, as some books do. 

I can't wait to read the next book, and try the recipes!