Friday, January 28, 2022

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

I was watching one of my favorite YouTubers.  She's Japanese and has a channel called Choki.  She posted up a quote that really rang with me in her last video.  It goes...

"One year from now, you'll regret what you didn't start doing today."

That really spoke to me, as it is so true.  I have things that I put down on paper at the beginning of the year to get done and when they don't get done by the end of the year I just sit and regret that I didn't get to it.  This year, I decided, was going to be different and I was going to get as much done on my list for this year as I could.   Hopefully, by the end of the year, I won't have many regrets to talk about :).

So, I pulled out my list the last couple of weeks, added things to it and by George I got it done.  And not on very much sleep I'm kind of proud to say as the son hasn't been sleeping well for a good couple of months now.   So, let's get to some of the things I've been up to the last little bit!

1.  The first items up for bid was some canning!

I canned...

  • Strawberries and blueberries (seen up top there)

  • Mixed fruit.  This one was made up of different things I had in the freezer that I put together into a fruit cocktail type of application and canned up.  So, this ended up being a mix of pineapple, peaches, strawberries, grapes, red currants, mangoes (get to that in a minute) and maraschino cherries (I had a few left in the fridge so I threw a few into each jar, and don't worry the cherries were in the trusted recipes I found online :).  

Now about the mangoes.  Mangoes are kind of tricky to can as if they get too ripe their acidity level can fall JUST below the recommended levels for water bath canning.  I was kind of worried, although not horribly, as the mangoes were part of a bag of frozen fruit medley I had in the freezer that I wanted to can.  Since every other fruit in the bag was definitely green when I tasted it, I was figuring I would be fine, as green mangoes are definitely safe to can (and there wasn't exactly a huge amount of mango in the mix or anything), but I wanted to play it safe.  To counteract any acidity issues there was the pineapple (of course), but just to be safe I added a mixture of orange juice and lemon juice to the syrup when I made it (used the juices instead of water in the syrup equation for about 1/3 of the water) to up the acidity level as well.  I don't know how it will taste after it sits for a bit, but it was really good when I jarred it up to go into the canner :).

I'm still working on different canning projects on my list, but it was nice getting that amount of stuff out of the freezer downstairs to make way for...

2.  The baking and freezer prep stuff!

I ended up making a bunch of different things the last bit, so here's a quick breakdown...

I took some rolls that I was worried were going to mold on me, let them dry out on the counter a bit and made a pan of bread pudding (recipe forthcoming soon).  I then cut up said bread pudding, wrapped the pieces in plastic wrap and put them into a freezer bag and put them in the freezer downstairs.  This will help me on days when I can't figure out what I might want to make for dessert or really if I feel like heating myself up something for a rich breakfast one day.

I made a big batch of chocolate chip cookie balls and put the majority of them into the freezer to harden.  Once they were frozen I put them into a freezer bag and put them back in the freezer to make cookies with later on.  

Of course I had to make 16 of them as well for the daughter (chocolate chip is one of her favorite cookies).

I made a batch of Lynn's Kitchen Adventures Breakfast Bowls.  This is one of my husband's favorite freezer meal prep things I've done so he was thrilled when I made a new batch as it has been a while.  He's already eaten a few bags of it, so I think it was a success *laugh*.

I made a pan full of cinnamon rolls and put some buttercream frosting on top.  I froze 6 cinnamon rolls by wrapping in plastic wrap and putting into a freezer bag to eat later on and we ate the other 6 for breakfast last weekend.  I love cinnamon rolls so I definitely enjoyed that addition to the freezer.

I also made a big batch of Swedish pancakes (think crepes, Americans) and took the extras that we didn't eat with dinner, put some parchment paper between the pancakes and put the stack into a freezer bag and put it into the freezer.  This will be great for either sweet or savory applications for breakfast or dinner, so I was really happy to add those to the freezer inventory.  I want to make a few more batches and freeze those as well, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

To top it off I made a big batch of sausage gravy and froze a good portion of it in smaller containers so my husband could grab it for a quick breakfast on the go.  I made a big double batch of biscuits to freeze with the gravy, but my daughter ate about 80% of them in two days (she LOVES biscuits) so that was out *laugh*.  I'll have to make some hopefully this next week and add those to the freezer as well, but so far I haven't found the time to make them.

3.  For the fridge, I made a double batch of Erbswurst and put it into the fridge.  For the casings, by the way, I just use summer sausage casings that I got at our local Sportsman's Warehouse, but you can definitely use parchment paper if you don't have the casings.  I would suggest, though, on putting the sausages into a plastic bag so that the casings themselves don't mold.  The sausages will keep indefinitely in the fridge (I put the bag of Erbswurst I made into the deli drawer), but I have had waxed paper mold on me from sitting in the fridge too long up against something that had moisture wicking out of it, so I wanted to put that caution out there.

I am glad I had the materials to make more of the Erbswurst, as my husband loves to eat it when he is sick (you slice off slices, put in boiling water and you have really yummy instant pea soup) and he blew through all of the Erbswurst we had in the house after this long bout of illness he's just gotten over.  This should last us a good long time, so I'm glad to have that chore out of the way as it takes a while to make.

I used a new coffee grinder with a variable grind on it that I got for Christmas a few years ago to grind my split peas into flour to make it.  It worked awesome, which I am super glad about as my old coffee grinder that I've used for projects like this over the years finally died on me a while ago.

4.  I filed the family for PFD's for this year and printed off the screen shots showing we are eligible for them this year.  

5.  I got all the proper paperwork in and got my taxes done.  I even used an e-mail code the tax outfit sent me to get 5.00 off on my tax prep for the year.

6.  I took the last of a container of yogurt and mixed it in with two boxes of UHT milk I had (boxed milk) and made yogurt with the milk.  After straining the yogurt I was able to refill the quart container from the yogurt with nice new homemade yogurt.  I've been eating it for breakfast with some honey and some granola sprinkled on top, so it was great getting more yogurt without having to pay out of pocket for it.  The boxed milk was past it's use by date by a good bit as well, so it was good to use it up in the yogurt :).

7.  I continued to deep clean areas of the house that needed it.  Still slowly but surely working my way through the house, but I'll get there.  I was able to take things like the split peas I had on top of the fridge and put them into a smaller container, so I could use the larger container for other food storage needs.

8.  I made a list of things I wanted to make for Valentine's Day for dinner and for a gift for my husband.  I was able to get a few things bought with my normal groceries when I knew I could get them, so that I won't have to buy very much come Valentine's Day (I hope, and I hope the few things I need will be AT the store when I want to buy them *fingers crossed*).

9.  I mended a hole in my comforter.  It may one day end up being 100% darning the way it is going, but so far the darns are holding, so I'm going to keep darning it *laugh*.

10.  One of the legs on our loveseat broke.  I was able to force the leg back into place and made a temporary fix for it until we can hopefully find a more permanent way to fix it.

And there you go folks.  Some of the things I've been up to around here.  How about you?  Getting things crossed off your list for the year, yet?


  1. Wow you have been really busy. I find canning, or bottling as we call it here seems to be more popular in the US than over here in the UK. It did used to be popular before home freezers became the normal thing. I think its good though as it frees up space in the freezer. I think its partly because our homes generally are smaller and we have no basements. Well done on your preparations.