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Archive for January, 2005

Finally have running water

January 31st, 2005 at 01:25 pm

The well man came today. It was the UV light that went out, but it also needs some kind of control panel replaced. He is also testing our water as he thinks the ph may be off & that's why we can't drink the water. He will be back in a couple of days, but in the mean time, he by-passed the UV light so that we have water coming into the house. Once the UV light is up & running, we have to put a gallon of bleach into the cistern to kill any bacteria that would have gotten in & r lying -in- wait in the pipes.

I recently read a helpful tip that if you put yeast down the toilet once a month, you don't have to have the septic system pumped for a very long time. The person who gave this tip hasn't had hers pumped for 20 years. So after I let the bleach do it's thing, I'm going to start using yeast. They say it can be any kind of yeast, so if I can get bread yeast cheaper the the septic yeast, I'll buy that. But the place I get my yeast from didn't have any when I went there last week. I hope they still carry it.

When I get done with my class in 3 weeks, I think I'll start making sour dough bread. It's cheaper as I won't need yeast.

Vet bill

January 31st, 2005 at 01:12 pm

3 of our dogs attacked my precious dog last night while we were at church. Fortunately, they didn't go for blood, but her legs are swollen. I took her to the vet, and since I was going anyway, I took our little male in for his rabbies. The total bill was $52 which included her antibiotics. We use the Humane Society because they're much cheaper. The last time this happened (I didn't know it was our dogs who did it to her), I took her in to the ER about 2:00 am. The bill was $256. This time I recognized the inhjuries, so I waited until this morning to take her. The Humane Society doesn't take after hour emergencies. These charges would have happened regardless if we breed her, so by breeding her, it helps to pay for stuff like this. And with my husband currently living in a different state, she is my best friend.

Let dishwasher soak for one hour after it had released the soap. This way I don't have to use a pre-rinse. I air dried the dishes.

Had to hand wash some dishes, so I used the hot water on the wood stove. I rinsed in cold water & these are air drying.

Washed a load of clothes without using fabric softener & only one maybe two tablespoons of soap. We have a front loader. Hung these to dry.

Getting ready for my trip to Montana. Leaving tomorrow & won't be back until Friday night.

Didn't want to go to market until Saturday, but the Bostons don't have enough food. I'm also going to pick up a puppy shot for the one pup we have left.

I found a recipe for Moist Banana Bread. It uses banana pudding for a filling, and since I have some bananas that r 2 ripe, I make it for the girls for their lunches this week. Normally they don't like banana bread, but I have a feeling they're going to like these. If they don't, I'll just take them to church with me tomorrow.

No running water

January 30th, 2005 at 06:44 am

We have been without continuouse running water since early Friday afternoon. It comes on sometimes, but only at a trickle. But at least it's enough to flush the toilet, run the dishwasher, and wash the clothes. No showers though. Last night the girls showered at the neighbors. I'll shower at a church families house today. I pray it's only the UV light. The well man said the water wouldn't run if it burned out. I think it's going to cost $120 to fix it. So even though we don't pay for water, we still have costs for water, but with no one to sue if we get bad water & get sick. Just kidding. We don't believe in suing anyways. The BIble says not to take a brother to court.

Not going to be home today.

January 30th, 2005 at 06:29 am

I will be in Montana all day today for church. So we will be invited to a church family's house for lunch & supper. We probably won't eat breakfast before we leave. So today there will not be any costs for food, nor time to do anything frugal. I will have to drive 44 miles one-way though. Ouch on the gasoline bill. My truck only gets 16 miles per gallon, & we will be driving almost a 100 miles today.

One time, I tried to get my husband to buy an economy car for me. It was only $2200 and got over 50 miles per gallon. I told him I would only drive it when the roads were safe. He said no because I might hit a deer. In less than a week, I hit a deer! His response was, "told you so". Oh well.


January 29th, 2005 at 04:32 am

I am making beans from ham bone & y2k beans for dinner tonight. We usually like them over rice. Once the beans r done soaking, I'm going to cook them all day on the wood stove. Otherwise, I would have used the pressure cooker. I plan on freezing some for a later meal.

Water is not running. Sometimes it does & sometimes it doesn't. It seems to run enough to at least fill up the toilets, and even the dishwasher. I have saved 4 gallons, which is on the wood stove to use for washing hands & dishes. I also salvaged a gallong of cold to water the dogs & whatever. I think the UV light is burned out, so I have put a call in for the well man. City water is a lot less hassle, and maybe cheaper too, at least this well.

Rented free movies at the library.

The printer messed up the manuels I had printed for church class. They didn't print both sides on about 3/4 of the book. I brought them back to the printers for correction. Unfortunately I was given the wrong book to make copies, so now the books r messed up. They cost $50 each. Oh well, life has it's up & downs.

Made some old fashion popped pop corn for snack. Added cheese powder for flavoring. Very tasty & cheap.

Fridays journal

January 29th, 2005 at 04:22 am

The girls loved the oatmeal cookies so much that I made another 8 dozen today. Some r for their lunches, some r for snacking, and some r for taking with me 2 church.

I made Scalloped Potatoes & Ham for dinner. After slicing the potatoes, I put them on the wood stove to cook a little. This way they won't take as long to bake. I used green onions that I grew in the garden last summer. I also used powder milk. When u use powder milk for baking, u can't taste it. I had some h/m butter left from fresh milk, so I used that. I cooked it in the crockpot. Next time I make it, I'm going 2 try it with cheese sauce, which is cheaper than cheese.

Frufal tips continued

January 29th, 2005 at 04:13 am

75. When possible, I use the wood stove to heat food. I also keep a tea kettle on to add moisture to the air.

76. I collect the cold water while I am waiting for the hot water to come. I keep this water in a bucket on the wood stove so I always have hot water available.

77. I try to use 1/2 of everything such as shampoo, laundry soap, dish soap, tooth paste, etc.

78. I bought a floor lamp to replace the 2 table lamps. It gives us more light for less wattage.

79. Where possible, I replaced the light bulbs with energy conservation ones. (I forgot what they were called). I also put one on the hen house so we get eggs during the winter.

80. My husband buys stock over the internet & only pays $8 per trade. I might do this with my girls' savings. Who knows, maybe they'll be rich by the time they marry. I'm hoping that they will at least have enough for a down-payment on a house.

81. I keep infrequently used electrical stuff unplugged. 10% of your electric bill is from unused plugs that are plugged in but not turned on. (I learned this from savingadvice.com) I keep the computer turned off when not in use. I turn off the air purifier at night.

82. I use limited time internet, so I get a discount. If I am reading something that is long, I disconnect the internet & restart it when Iím ready.

83. When the power goes out, I unplug the clocks & things until the next time I need them.

84. I close off the upstairs when the girls are not home & the junk room so I donít have to heat them.

85. After the dishwasher starts running for about 10 min, I put it on an hour delay. This lets the dishes soak in hot soapy water so they come out cleaner & I can use less soap.

86. I use plastic containers to store food & put plates on bowls that donít have lids. This way I use less foil & plastic wrap.

87. Use powder milk in baking.

88. Add an extra cup of macaroni to a box of macaroni & cheese to stretch it.

89. Use half the amount of meat in casserole recipes

Oat meal cookies

January 27th, 2005 at 02:54 pm

Made oat meal cookies for the girls' lunch next week. I used
1 1/2 c of the 50 lbs I bought. Only about 5000 cups to go!

Only spent $30 for gas since Sunday. I do need to give money to the family that will be housing me for 4 weeks while I take the class. I also need to give my neighbor money for taking the girls to & from school & for feeding them sometimes. They can eat here, but I suspect they will con the neighbor for a meal or 2.

Used the heat water from wood stove to wash some dishes that can't go into the dishwasher. I love free hot water.

The girls will eat dinner at church tonight, so there's just me. Don't know what I'll eat yet. I need to make meals for the girls for next week when I'm gone, so maybe I'll make something for dinner that I can also freeze for them.


January 23rd, 2005 at 08:01 pm

Invited to lunch with a family at church.

Supper was leftovers.

Usual shower, hung laundry, air dried dishes.

Didn't spend any money, except tithing.

Will be gone for the next 3 days for the School of Christ my church is hosting. My neighbor is keeping my girls. I will stay at a church families house. I am bringing Garden Ranch Pizza & bread sticks for one of our dinners.

I will really miss posting in my journal, & reading the other journals.

Puppy Sold!

January 22nd, 2005 at 07:43 pm

Yippy! The puppy was sold. Only one to go.

Had fried rice for dinner. Cheap & tasty. I like mine better than the restaurant's.

air dried dishes in dishwasher
washed a load of clothes using only 1/2 soap & not other additive
hung clothes
collected cold water before showering
showered with a night light
used 1/2 shampoo & conditioner
for a quicker shower, I washed hair first. that way conditioner
could stay on hair while showering
air dried hair
used recycled dental floss
used a dab of toothpaste
used vasoline for moisturized for back of hands

didn't spend any money today.

Puppy for sale

January 22nd, 2005 at 11:21 am

Someone is coming tonight to buy a puppy. We reduced the price from $500 to $400. If they buy it, & their driving 4 hours to do so, I will only have 1 puppy left. I'm going to try a different newspaper when I advertise the next time. Maybe, then, I will be able to sell the last one.

Saved my $5 & my church $77

January 21st, 2005 at 05:59 pm

I called my cc company to see what the balance was & to make sure my payment was received. Turned out I had a $4.89 balance, so I spoke with the customer service. She told me it was the interest charge even though I had paid my balance in full. Without eve asking, she gave me a credit & now I have no balance.

My church asked me to get 4 workbooks copied. The told me the price was $40 each. When printer (Staples) called me to tell me they were ready, I asked them how much was due. They told me $277. When I picked them up, I asked the lady how come it was so much, as the last time we had them printed, it was only $40 each. She did some re-figuring, & only charged us $199. Can't wait to tell the Pastor.

Dinner is in the Crockpot

January 21st, 2005 at 11:41 am

Put dinner in the crockpot. We are having lasagna casserole. It is made with elbow macaroni which I have plenty on hand from my y2k storage. Trying to use it up. I am doing something different this time. Instead of pre-cooking the macaroni, I just added it uncooked. I'll keep an eye on it to see if more water is needed. If it works, and I'm sure it will, it will save the cost of cooking it.

I haven't started the cookies yet. I need to wait til the girls r home. Fridays is 1/2 day, so I have to leave in 1 1/2 hours.


January 21st, 2005 at 09:02 am

Planning on baking some oatmeal cookies today with some of the 50 lbs of oat meal that I bought.

Will have to go to town to take dd to walmart to get some shampoo. I took a shower, and when I reached for my shampoo, it was gone. So was the conditioner. Unforunately the girls were at school, so no one was home to bring me them. So dripping wet & dressed immodestly, I left my shower & went upstairs to get my stuff. I decided to charge the girls $.025 for each time they take something without asking.

I have started a chart. I decided the way to disiplin is through the pocket book. $.025 will be charged for each infraction such as talking back, arguing, not immediately doing what I say to do, etc. That way I won't have to get mad or anything. I'll just go to the chart & check it. Of course somethings will be more such as not feeding the dog and not shutting the back door. There are pups in the back room, so if the door isn't shut all the way, the pups can get too cold & get sick. I don't want/need the girls money, so I'll just stick it in a savings account for them. Then when they're grown up, I'll give it to them.

Baking today

January 20th, 2005 at 07:21 pm

Had to take some workbooks for church to town to get copied. I was the closes, 12 miles. Everyone else was 45 miles, so I was elected.

While I was in town, I did some shopping. Got 4 gal of milk for $2.19. I might get 2 more tomorrow. I can freeze the milk for later. I hate paying $3 a gallon and the cow I got milk from is being dried for calfing. I also got 5 doz extra large eggs for $0.75 and bananas for 3 lbs for $0.99. I also bought powder milk to use for cooking. It worked out to be about $1.75 per gallon.

I also decided to make some mixes. So I bought 50 lbs of oat meal for $17.89. So long as we can use it before it goes rancid, I saved $30. My husband just laughed. I bought 50 lbs of high gluten flour for $8.08. It is comparable to bread flour, which is best for yeast type baked goods. At walmart, bread flour was $11 for 10 lbs.

If u r interested in the mixes, here is the link:


Today I am making 4 doz cinnamon rolls. We will use them for breakfast, lunch, & a snack. The recipe called for milk, so I used powder milk. I also used h/m butter from fresh cream.

I bought the walmart brand gallon-sized zip-lock storage bags to freeze the milk & flours. Big mistake. They don't seal, so tomorrow I am returning them.

I bought corn starch in a 5 lb container for my mixes. Unfortunately walmart would have been cheaper by more than $1. Oh well, live & learn. Of course if I would have had a price book, this wouldn't have happened.

Wednesday night dinner

January 19th, 2005 at 04:54 pm

I only had an hour to shower & leave to pick up the girls at school. I had procrastinated to long & now there was no time to cook dinner before we were to leave for church. Then I pick up the bood, "Mix & Match Recipes" by Deborah Taylor-Hough.

I went to the section called Mix & Match Skillet Meal. Under that section, she listed her family's favorite skillet meal called International Sausage Skillet. I called for Italian stewed tomatoes. I didn't have any, so I used a can of crushed tomatoes & just added some Italian seasoning. It also called for a can of French onion soup. I didn't have any of that either, so I just added boulion & dried onions to a cup of water. It tasted fine. I was so excited because I took a frugal recipe & made it even more frugal. I even cooked it in the convection oven. Here is the recipe:

1/2 to 1 lb of Kielbasa, halved lengthwise & sliced thinly
8 oz of dry pasa
1 16 oz can of stewed tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
1 T of Italian seasoning
1 beef boulion cube
1 T dehydrated onions
2 1/2 C of water (I used less & it worked fine)
1/2 to 1 C any kind of cheese (I used mild cheedar)

Dissolve boulion & onions in water. Brown Kielbasa slices in a skillet. Combine all into an 8 X 8 or 9 X 9 pan. Cover & bake at 350 for 1 hour.

I got sucked into Block Buster's free two week movie rental over the internet. I didn't cancel it in time, & now I have to PAY for a whole month. I am never taking a free offer again.

Many frugal tips & tricks.

January 18th, 2005 at 04:54 pm

I decided to post the things that I do on a regular bases. Maybe it could help u too!

1. I switched to decaf coffee. I went from 5 pops a day to just
1 pot. (other than my family, I don't know anyone else who drank
this much)

2. I only make a 1/2 pot at a time to keep it hot and fresh, and then
I transfer it to a thermos to keep it from burning and to not use
the electricity to keep it hot.

3. I reuse the coffee grounds and filter til it can hold no more.

4. I rub soap slivers to a new bar of soap, and I use a suction cup
soap dish so that the soap doesn't sit in water melting it away.
Also it completely dries so I waste less soap.

5. I reuse my dental floss til it can't be used any more (this might
sound gross, but you reuse your toothbrush don't you?)

6. I save my deodorant slivers, and when I have enough, I melt them
in the microwave to make a brand knew one for free.

7. I use generic Listerine which has prevented gum disease to save
my almost lost teeth. It cuts down on dental costs.

8. At one time (I don't do it anymore) I used washable toilet paper
using baby wipes. This might help someone who is really hurting

9. I make my own apple sauce, apple cider, and apple pie filling from
free apples at the gleaner's club.

10. I have a garden, but I only grow green beans, peas, and green
onions. Living in the North, most things don't grow well. We
also have a strawberry patch, blue berries, raspberries, and
rhubarb (love them perennials) Next year, I'm going to plant

11. We hang all our laundry. In the winter, we just hang it in the

12. I save all the buttons from clothes that are worn out, so if I make an outfit (which I usually donĎt) or need to replace a button or buttons, I have some already on hand.

13. I wear my clothes 2 times before washing.

14. My teenage daughters wash the towels. It helps to keep them from
grabbing a clean towel or dish rag every time they donít want to look for one that is already being used..

15. My girls get enough money to totally support their own needs.
It's amazing how long their shoes last now that they pay for
them. This, alone, has saved me a lot of money. If they want to
go to an amusement park or skiing, they can go if they have
enough money. If they want something at walmart, they can have it
if they have enough money. No more, "can I have..."

16. I wash windows and mirrors with newspaper. It never streaks or
leaves lint behind. It's cheaper than even homemade mixes.

17. I mix bleach and water 50/50 and put it in a spray bottle to use
for cleaning toilets and sinks. (Iím going to be trying 25/75 to see if it works)
Because of this, I haven't cleaned a toilet in years. Everything just dissolves off. I
also use it to get stains out of plastic dishes.

18. I buy only black socks of the same kind. For two reasons: they
never get dirty, the longer you wear them the blacker they get (smile) and
when one gets a hole or lost, I have others to match.

19. I only buy dark, printed clothes. That way, any stain is hidden
in the print. Same goes with bed sheets.

20. My little square pillows on my bed came from an old sofa set. I
just put a pillow case on them. They never ever go flat. And
the best bed pillow I have ever had was made by my friend who
used the stuffing she had saved from a sofa that was worn out.

21. I bought 4 night gowns that were clearance sale dresses that were
cheaper than night gowns. (I wish we had spell check)

22. I never buy maps. I just use mapquest.com

23. I rent free videos from the library.

24. I go to amazon.com to find books I want to read, and then buy
them at half.com or rent them from the library.

25. I buy prescription meds from Canada when possible. I also go to the dentist
in Canada. It saved me $400 this last trip.

26. I cook from scratch.

27. We don't have TV.

28. We don't have any extras on our phone.

29. I only have a cell phone because my husband makes me, but I
switched to the family plan, now I can call him for free. My kids don't have one.

30. I only shop with a list. This has saved me hundreds of dollars.

31. I wear my worn out clothes around the house and save the good ones
when I go out, and the best ones for church. When my church dress gets a little
worn, it becomes my town dress. When my town dress becomes to worn or stained, it
becomes my house dress. (Yes, Iím a shabby dresser at home, but my husband lives
in a different state, so it doesnĎt matter. When he moves here, Iíll dress nicer for him)

32. I take our trash to the free dump when we go to town. I also
check out the free things on the "free table". One time I got
an almost new coffee maker and 5 pairs of expensive shoes that
were almost knew.

33. My two girls and I decided we wanted to have our own dogs instead
of a family dog. So we got Boston Terriers to raise. This will
give us about $8,000 per year. This is also where my girls get
their own income to pay for their own stuff, including school
supplies. It's amazing how much you value your pen when you
purchased it your self. Talk about a wonderful stay-at-home job!

34. The only paper product we buy is toilet paper. No paper towels,
napkins, or plates. (we also buy feminine stuff) I did buy plastic spoons for school
lunches, but they (sometimes) get brought home to be washed. I
also buy the cheapest flatware, so when they disappear, it
doesn't hurt so much. I do have a nice set for company though.

35. My living room set is about 11 years old. Iíll get knew ones when
I have no more children and pets at home.

36. We don't celebrate Halloween, so I donĎt have expenses there..

37. I never buy the garbage that school kids are forced to sell, nor
do I let my children sell them.

38. We carpool to school.

39. We use term life insurance, and don't insure the kids.

40. We don't submit small claims to our insurance company. That
would put us at risk of losing our insurance.

41. We don't get traffic tickets. Speeding is not worth a ticket.

42. I buy my husband's cigarettes off the internet. Saves a lot. I know that
quitting is cheaper, but since I can do nothing about it except buy them
cheaper, thatís what I do.

43. We don't buy soda, but If we go to McDonalds for the dollar
menu, we buy a .25 cent soda at walmart.

44. I make my own coffee, and I drink water at restaurants.

45. I only shop once a week.

46. when I shower, I wash my hair first. That way while I'm bathing
the conditioner is on my head. By this and showing every other day,
it saves our septic system.

47. I don't buy bottled water even though ours is not good. Instead
I get it from a friend.

48. I use fabric to wrap gifts. Even if you don't have it on hand
like I do, it is still cheaper then wrapping paper.

49. I don't buy Kleenex unless someone gets a cold. Toilet paper
works just fine.

50. When I need something, I try half.com or ebay first.

51. I buy a years worth of onions, green peppers, and celery when
they are on sale during the summer. I chop and freeze on cookie
sheets and then put in freezer bags.

52. We make our own pizza. We also like bbq chicken & garden ranch pizza.

52. I buy generic when at all possible. Some things I don't because
the quality is bad.

53. I only use a dab of tooth paste.

54. I don't cut my hair or my girls' hair. If it need trimming, we
just get the scissors out.

55. Oh yes, when we picked out our breed of dog, we stayed away from
dogs that needed grooming or have a tendency to bite.

56. I never pay atm charges. I no longer even have an atm card.

57. Thank to my husband being over 55, I now have a free interest
earning checking account that includes free checks.

58. I never have bounced check charges.

59. I never have late fees (most of the time)

60. I try never to pay interest.

61. During the winter, I put hot foods outside before putting them
in the refrigerator.

62. We only use wood heat. It cost about $400 a year to heat our
house. This might seem like a lot, but 3 years ago, we had to
have heat in all months except August. Usually there in only
2 months that we don't need any heat. Sometimes it's only a
small fire to take the chill off.

63. I always use the cheapest way possible to mail things.

64. I don't wash baggies. Instead, I buy 300 cheap bags for $1.00.
I do wash freezer bags though.

65. My dog and cat food dishes are the plastic buckets that our
dishwashing detergent came in.

66. We don't wear shoes in the house. Saves the carpet and prolongs
the life of shoes. (I have tan carpet in the country ugh!)

67. I use the return envelope in junk mail to request that they
remove me from their mailing list. That way they pay for the
postage. We both win. They don't send catalogs to people who
won't buy, and I don't get tempted to buy.

68. I try never to put my self in the hands of high pressured sales
people because I will usually lose.

69. When we went shopping for a new truck, we went before the
insurance proceeds had come in, so we couldn't be pressured to
buy know. Later the salesman called to see when we were coming
in to buy the negotiated (sorry can't spell) truck. I told him I
was still waiting for prices from the internet. He asked what it
would take to get me in today. I told him to reduce the price
$1,000. He did. I bought it. Another time I told the sales
person to give me the best price they could because I was
comparison shopping. They did, and I bought it. Another time,
I bought the bait-and-switch car.

70. I use bag balm (anti-bacterial vasoline kinda stuff) to moisturize the back of my hands.
I use it especially during the winter when the sting because they became to dry. It
works better than hand lotion.

71. I save my pickle juice. I use the juice in potato salad in place of the vinegar, & I use dill
pickles in place of sweet pickles. Also, if I run out of pickles, I just slice a cucumber & put them in the jar of juice. Pickles for free! This only works one time though.

72. I shower with only the night light on. I found that thatís all the light I need. I also keep
the night light on at night in the bathroom. This saves me from spending the money to turn on
the light & prevents me from going blind when a bright comes on. We donít have a window
in this bathroom, so I use it during the day too.

73. I have composting worms.

74. At one time, my girls were having problems with stinky feet when they wore their work boots. This was caused because their boots didn't dry out before wearing them the next time. It didn't seem very frugal to put baking soda in them every day. So, one day, actually the night, before Christmas, I decided to sew a little sachet and fill it with baking soda. I gave it to them for Christmas. They were very excited about it as little girls don't like to have stinky feet. It worked over and over again until they finally grew out of their boots. They put in the sachets into their boots at night, and during the day they let the sachets dry. No more stinky feet at a good cost.

It is my sincere prayer that these hints will help someone who is on a limited income or is in debt. As additional things come to my mind, I will post them. Please contribute your hints so that we can all benefit.

Confessions on blowing it

January 18th, 2005 at 03:48 pm

Last night, I wanted a midnight snack, so I opted for 2 ramen noodles. I looked at the wood stove, but decided I wanted it sooner, so I put it on the regular stove, and then I went online. By the time I remembered it, I had burnt the water. So feeling guilty about wasting the propane, I put another pan of water on the wood stove and added the noodles and then went back online. I had intended to set the timer, but I forgot. By the time I remembered, it was a pot of mush. Gave it to the dog.

I went to town today. Combined all my errands to save on gas. I was gone for a few hours. By the time I passed McDonalds, I was starving, so I couldn't resist. Spent (wasted) $4

Hallelujah pipes are defrosted

January 17th, 2005 at 08:21 pm

Hallelujah! The pipes have finally defrosted & without a plumber!

The girls are still with the neighbors. They all went over to their in-laws to snow sled. So since the girls were not here, I just had fried potatoes & eggs for dinner.

Didn't spend any money today, which is probably the best way to save money.

Oh my gosh, I just went to unplug the heater under the house, & it wasn't even plugged in! Until my girls get home, I won't even know if it was ever plugged in. Oh well, my pipes are unfrozen, & I saved the money on using the portable heater.

Let the dishes in the dishwasher air dry. I also let them soak for one hour after running it for 10 minutes. The dishes get so much cleaner & don't have dried on food since I have been doing this.

Showered with just the night light. I have 2 lights in the bathroom. One over the sink & one next to the shower stall. I'm going to take out the light over the shower as I have found I don't need it.

Up stairs, the hall had 3 lights. My girls keep leaving the light on--ouch! I took our 2 of the lights. Would have taken out all 3, but the one is broken & just turns. How come kids don't turn off the lights until they move out?

The temps are above freezing, so I won't have to drip the plumbing. But I had been saving all the water from the drips to water the dogs & plants, & to soak dirty dishes. I even used it to wash the potatoes & my hands.

Made h/m pudding for the girls lunch this week. I had bought the pudding in bulk in a large bag. Just made up a small batch. We had originally bought it to make h/m ice cream, but we no longer have a cow, so the milk isn't free any more.

Planning to use up all the food in the freezer, hopefully before it gets freezer burn. There is only 3 of us, so I am going to try to get by without it. I think in the long run it will be cheaper for us, even if I can't stock up on sales as much.

Frozen Pipes

January 17th, 2005 at 09:33 am

Pipes still frozen even though the heater has been under the sink since Friday and it was warmer last night and today. Any suggestions?

For Sunday

January 17th, 2005 at 09:31 am

We didn't go to church 44 miles away because the cold water at the kitchen sink is still frozen, and the dog heater is under the house. We found out that the cats had opened up the vent, and that's probably why the pipe froze. My daughter took an old, rusty cookie sheet and nailed it over the vent. Not even a mountain lion can open it!

The girls ate cereal for breakfast, and then we went to a local church only 15 miles away.

For a late afternoon meal, we ate the Garden Ranch Pizza we had originally made for church. When we made it, we doulbled the recipe to eat later this week. Since we already had all the ingredients, the second was was almost free.

Since we ate so late, we didn't eat supper. Instead we ate the ice cream dessert for an evening snack. We also watched the last of the free movies.


January 15th, 2005 at 03:24 pm

Watched videos got free from library.

Used hot water on wood stove to defrost dog's water dish.

Ate h/m pancakes for lunch.

Not spending any today.

Went to store

January 13th, 2005 at 09:59 pm

I wasn't going to spend any money today, but I had to pick up the girls from youth group, so I stopped at walmart & spent $17.
The doubled the price of their chicken to $2. It's probably still a good buy, but I decided not to buy any.

Air dried the dishes in the dishwasher. It worked really well to soak them part way through the wash for an hour, and then restart it.

Kept the upstairs closed off to conserve heat.

Ate pancakes, which I made in bulk stored in the freezer, for lunch and the last of the chicken soup for dinner. I heated the soup on the wood stove.

I'm going to put a big bucket of water on the stove so when I need a little hot water, it is all ready for me.

When I need to get the water hot to hand wash some pots, I collected the cold water to water the plants. I figured since we had already paid to have it heated, even though it was then cold, I might as well use it so it wasn't a total loss.

No spending today

January 13th, 2005 at 11:32 am

Don't need to go anywhere today, so I won't be spending money.

My girls go with the neighbors to their youth group on Thursdays, so she will be bringing the girls home tonight. Their church also provides a meal, so I won't be cooking. I'll just eat the last of the chicken noodle soup. That will make 3 days in a row that I had that. Pretty cheap meal since it was made from a carcass!

Save on sour cream

January 12th, 2005 at 10:40 pm

I diluted my sour cream with a little water to make it creamy. So when we add it to burritos and such, we actually use less. Diluting it gives it the taste and consistency of Taco Bells sour cream.

I resisted the temptation to go to Mc Donalds for an after church snack. Instead we came home and defrosted some h/m burritos, and I add my diluted sour cream. Very yummy.

Spent $21 for gas and $4 for groceries.

Saving Pennies

January 12th, 2005 at 12:15 pm

For lunch today, I am re-heating the chicken noodle soup on the wood stove. We'll also have it for dinner, so I'll heat it on the stove then too.

The electricity went out, so I unplugged the clocks and the stove until I need to use them again.

I am making dinner tonight for a couple at church who just had a baby. They are very pickey eaters. But they did like my BBQ chickent pizza, so I will make that for them. They don't want any sugar desserts, so I will pick up some grapes when I get my girls from school.

Saving on the cost of washing dishes

January 12th, 2005 at 12:12 pm

We normally only run a load of dishes through the disher once a day and sometimes every other day. The problem with this is that the food gets dried on, so will not come clean. When I partially fill the dishwasher, I run it through a rinse cycle to soak the dishes until it's time to wash. It's only a 7 minute cycle.

Well, today we had a power outage in the middle of washing the dishes. Then it dawned on me that instead of putting the dishes through a rinse cycle, I could stop the washer during a regular cycle to let the dishes soak. Since it's hot soapy water, they shouldn't need to soak as long. Then I could restart the washing. This will save me a rinse cycle.

dripping faucets

January 11th, 2005 at 03:32 pm

Tonight I have to drip our faucets because the temps are going to be about -15. I decided to let the dishes sit in the sink after dinner so they can soak in the drips.

Didn't have chicken noodle soup last night because dd wanted grilled cheese sandwhiches and tomatoe soup. She even volunteered to cook!

Tonight we are going to pick up the movies at the library that dd ordered. Whenever she wants to see a movies that the library doesn't carry, she orders it, and they usually get it, especially if it is a new release.

Baking & other tid bits.

January 10th, 2005 at 09:54 am

Today I am going to make h/m pancakes with my fresh milk that went sour. The girls don't like fresh milk after they saw what it looks like when it first comes out from a cow. It really tastes better, and I proved it to them, but they still prefer store milk.

I am told the store milk doesn't sour like fresh milk. Instead is spoils, so it shouldn't be used.

I just got fresh milk last night. I am going to make butter to make chocolate chip cookies using 1/2 the amount of chips that the recipe calls.

Going to hang laundry. I don't really have a choice as we don't have a dryer. We are fortunate that we have some where to hang it inside during the winter.

Burning off the coals in the wood stove instead of dumping them as ashes. This will also increase it's capacity for more wood which we will need as temps are expected to be -10 F this week.

Traded babysitting 1 day a week with neighbor in exchange for her taking the girls to school 5 days a week. This will save me 24 miles a day. She also takes them home on Thursdays.

Spent $16 for gas last night.

Walmart chicken

January 8th, 2005 at 11:13 pm

The deli closes at 8:00 pm at my super walmart. I you go in right after they close, they sell their cooked rotiserie chicken for $1.00. My guess is that it weighs 3 lb. For us, it make 3 meals.

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