Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Frugalista Shopping: Week of August 29

I made a couple quick stops this week at....you guessed it, Walgreens and CVS!  Here is my loot!


Total Spent: $8.24
Total Saved: $3.23
Total Earned: $7.00

Best Buys:
Softsoap Body Wash: 2/ $7.00 minus $1.00 coupon= $6.00 + earned $5.00 RR
Colgate: On sale for $2.99 minus $.75 coupon= $2.24 + earned $2.00 RR


Total Spent: $13.39
Total Saved: $27.13
Total ECB Earned: $5.00

Best Buys:
Crest Toothpaste/ Floss: On sale for 3.97 minus $.75 coupon= $3.22 + earned $2.50 ECB
Oreos: On sale for $1.00 minus $.75 off 2= $.63 each
Tide: On sale for $5.97 minus $1.50 coupon= $4.47
Pampers: On sale for $8.88 minus $1.50= $7.38

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Great Garage Sale

This past Friday, I took off work to hit up some garage sales.  A co-worker took me to Rossville Indiana which is a small, quaint town of about 1500 people.  It was the town's Summers End Festival, and the town was packed with garage sales.  I had so much fun and got so many great deals!  My only regret is that we didn't reserve a golf cart to ride around the town.  Most people use the golf carts to prevent all the congestion from the cars. 

Over the next couple weeks, I am going to chronicle all the great deals I got.

Exhibit A

Total Spent: $.50

This little bread pan makes the most adorable loaves of bread.  I had to rush home and make zucchini bread to try it out.

The pan makes the perfect personal size bread loaf!  Don't these look yummy?  Believe me, they are!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Yummy in My Tummy: Canned Peaches


Here is another easy canning recipe!  Do you have a bundle of fresh peaches and don't know what to do with them?  Go ahead and can them so you can enjoy them later on in the year.

Give your peaches a 30 second bath in boiling water.

Transfer them to an ice water bath!  This will make the skins easy to remove.

Peel the skins and remove the pits.  Add the peach halves or slices to a saucepan and make a simple syrup.  I used 1 cup of sugar and 2 1/2 cups water to make my syrup.  I boiled the mixture for about 5 minutes.

Add to jars and process for 25 minutes.

YUM! Use these as you would store-bought canned peaches!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yummy in My Tummy: Zucchini Relish


Last weekend, I had a two day Zucchini Fest at my house.  I had oodles of zucchini so I spent the weekend making 2 types of zucchini bread, zucchini cake, and zucchini relish.  Since I am participating in Ott, A's Canning Week Party, I will share the recipe for the relish.

Take clean zucchini and cut into chunks.  Pulse in a food processor until it appears to be a tiny dice.  Be careful not to process too long or it will become too mushy! Do the same with 2 onions.

Mix the zucchini and onions with pickling salt and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, rinse the mixture with cold water and drain well!

Add green pepper, sugar, vinegar, dry mustard, turmeric, celery seed, and pimento and simmer for 30 minutes.

Put into jars and process for 10 minutes in a water bath.

YUM!  This relish can be substituted anywhere that cucumber relish is used!

10 cups coarsely ground zucchini
2 large onions
5 T. pickling salt
4 C. sugar
2 1/4 C. vinegar
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. turmeric
1 t. celery seed
1 chopped green pepper
1 small can pimento

Yummy in My Tummy: Applesauce


My parents have a cute little orchard that my dad planted a few years ago.  I really enjoy getting fresh apples and peaches from them.  I decided to make and can some applesauce from their apples.  My HHBL likes to eat applesauce with his lunch and the baby might enjoy it here in a few months. 

It was really a rather simple recipe!  All you need is apples, water, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

First, start out by peeling and coring your apples.  My recipe calls for about 6 cups total.  Take the apples and put them in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water.

Bring the mixture to a boil for about 10 minutes or until the apples are soft. 

I used a potato masher to smash the apples to the right consistency. If you want yours really smooth, you can use a food processor.

Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 t. cinnamon, and 1/8 t. nutmeg.  Boil for about 2 minutes.

Now, follow normal canning guidelines.  Put the applesauce in sterilized jars.  Process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. 


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nursery Update

My HHBL has been at it again.  He just finished this changing table for the nursery.  He built the entire piece by hand using some plans from a book he bought.  He stained it dark to match the expresso-colored crib.

I got to choose the hardware for the table.  I picked the butterfly knob for the door and flower-shaped handles for the drawers.  I think it gives it just enough girliness!  All we need is a changing pad for the top.

Less than 2 months to go until we will get to use the nursery!  Can't wait!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Frugalista Shopping: Week of August 15

I hit my favorite stores of Walgreens and CVS this week and ended up with quite a few items for very little out of pocket.  Last week, even though I didn't blog about it, I got some great deals that earned a lot in Extra Care Bucks and Register Rewards.  I started this weeks trip with $20 Register Rewards from Walgreens and $18 Extra Care Bucks from CVS. 

Here is my loot:

Total Spent: $2.00
Total Saved: $29.00
ECB Earned: $7.00

Best Buys:
Purex Complete: On sale for $5.99 minus $3.00 coupon= $2.99 + Earned $2.00 ECB
Crest Pro Health Toothpaste and Floss: On sale for $3.49 each minus $.75 coupon for each= $2.75 each + earned $5.00 total


Total Spent: $1.98
Total Saved: $32.03

Best Buys:
Purex: Walgreens coupon for B1G1 at $5.99 minus $.35 coupon= $2.82 each
Right Guard Deoderant: B1G1 at $2.99 minus $1.50 coupon= $.75 each

Like I said, I spent very little out of pocket this week but earned very little in ECB and RR.  Anyways, it still feels good to walk out of the store with so much stuff for so little money!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Beloved Wine Cooler

I would like to take a moment of silence for my deceased wine cooler!  (Pause)

You were once so happy and cool!  You gathered all my tasty bottles of vino in one spot and cooled them to just the right drinking temperature! 

You must have been depressed from the past 8 months of neglect.  You had to sit there on the counter all lonely and abused.  The stress must have gotten to you.  You lost all energy; you couldn't even run the fan that cooled you down.

This is our official goodbye Mr. Wine Cooler!  Thanks again for all those chilled favors you did me.  RIP!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Yummy in My Tummy: Grilled Summer Veggies

One of my favorite parts of summer is all the fresh produce available from my garden.  I honestly think that foods taste better if you grow them yourself.  I have discovered that one of my favorite ways to use up the veggies is to throw them on the grill.  This is a quick and healthy side dish for any meal!

Start off with your favorite veggies.  I use cherry tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant in my version.

Dice up the veggies into large chunks.  I leave the cherry tomatoes whole!

Give your veggies a health dose of the good stuff...olive oil and seasonings.  You can use any type of seasoning blend that you have available.  I tend to try a different blend each time I make this recipe. 

I put my veggies on a grill pan over medium to high heat for about 10 minutes.  Be sure to keep an eye on these bad boys because they char very easily.  Flip your veggies half way through!

YUM!  I served mine with barbecued chicken from the grill.  Be aware!  These are addictive!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yummy in My Tummy: Pigs in the Mud

During my annual visit to the Indiana State Fair, my nephew and I were walking down the midway when we saw this intriguing sign!  My nephew's curiosity was sparked so he convinced me that we needed to try one of these interesting fair treats.

So what is this "Pig in the Mud" you might ask?  Well it turns out that it is chocolate covered bacon!  Yes, you read that correctly.  Seeing how it is the year of the Pork at the fair, I couldn't resist trying one of these!

My nephew absolutely loved these critters.  I wasn't so easily persuaded.  The bacon was just a little limp for my liking; however, with the right type of thick and crispy bacon, it could be a winner in my book!

I would highly recommend making a trip to the Indiana State Fair to try these and many other interesting foods!  It's a great way to spend a day with the family!

Thanks again to the Indiana Soybean Alliance for the tickets to the fair and to Indiana Dairy and Indiana Beef for providing our meals for the day!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Indiana State Fair: MILKing the Experience

My nephew and I had a great time at the Indiana State Fair this week!  We took a tour through the dairy barns to learn about the milking process.  Did you know that a dairy cow produces between 8 and 10 gallons of milk each day? 

We also learned that there are six different types of breeds of dairy cattle. 

If you get the chance, head to the Indiana State Fair to pet a calf from each of the breeds. My nephew's favorite was the Brown Swiss!

Thank goodness for the dairy cows!  Without them, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy my favorite foods from the fair!  Head to the Dairy Bar at the fair for some mozzarella cheese sticks, grilled cheese sammies, and chocolate milk!

Special thanks to the Indiana Soybean Alliance for the tickets to the fair and to the Indiana Dairy for the yummy food!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The State Fair Ticket Winner...

It's that time you have all been waiting for!  The winner of the 4 tickets to the Indiana State Fair courtesy of the Indiana Soybean Alliance goes to Windi Hornsby!  Windi, please be sure to email me as soon as possible with your mailing address so you can get your tickets and enjoy that great fair food. 

Stay turned this week for some of my own personal experiences at the Indiana State Fair! 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's Getting a Little CORNy Around Here

If you follow my sister's blog over at Gal in the Middle, you have most likely read about the Shuckfest that happens each year at my parent's house.  Since I am the long lost sister that lives away from home, I have my own little Shuckfest at my house.  Mine doesn't involve the large amounts of corn and multiple helpers for that matter, but I would say we did pretty good.

I invited the White Trash Hillbilly Neighbor over for the afternoon to share in the festivities.  It was fun teaching her how to use the electric knife to simplify the whole process.  We both ended up with around twenty baggies of corn to use the rest of the year.

Here is our starting point...

So how did we turn that into this??

It was simple, just follow these easy steps.  Shuck, clean, boil, cool, cut, freeze!  Shuck the corn.  Clean the silks by washing it in the sink.  Boil the ears for a few minutes.  Toss the cooked corn into cold water to cool.  Cut the kernels off the ear with an electric knife.  Scoop into freezer bags and freeze for future use.

The hard work is worth the effort!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm Feelin' Blue!

Who knew that Indiana had so many wonderful blueberry farms.  I stumbled upon a U-Pick farm a couple years ago in the area.  If you are looking for something to do with your family, I highly recommend finding a U-Pick farm in the summer. 

As a ten year 4-H member, I was able to use the skills I learned in in my Food Preservation projects to savor these beauties all year long.  This method freezes each berry individually so that you can enjoy a few berries at a time.  I scoop out a few berries each day to add to my yogurt.  If you try to put them all in a freezer bag at once to freeze, you will end up with one big clump of berries.

Step 1: Give these babies a good rinse.
Step 2: Spread the berries out of a dish towel to dry completely.  It is important that there is no residual water. This is a good time to remove any stems or bad berries that you missed before.

Step 3: Spread the berries out in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
Step 4: Put into freezer for a couple hours or until each individual berry freezes.

Step 5: Put the frozen berries into a freezer bag and put back into the freezer to enjoy!

The skills I learned in 4-H sure do come in handy.  I can't wait to go to the Indiana State Fair to see all the projects from this generation of 4-Hers!

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