Thursday, June 22, 2023

Frugal Accomplishments the Last Three WeeksI

Wow, time slipped away from me this month.  It's been rough around here with trying to get my husband well (he's finally on the mend, thank goodness) and then after he started feeling better I finally came down with the cold that I'd managed to avoid for a good month.  I popped vitamins and worked really hard on getting well and thankfully this is the first time I've caught a cold in years where it did NOT go into a nasty cough for months that would finally land me at the doctor's, so yay for that!

I got a couple of e-mails the last couple of weeks and did not have time to reply to them, so wanted to apologize to those that were nice enough to write.  I'll try to reply to them as soon as I have time to breathe around here.  Between working on making up Alvah's learning plan for next school year (which, as any homeschooler will tell you, creating your own individual learning plan, or ILP for short, is a LOT of work), getting the daughter back and forth to work, driving practice with the daughter, getting the husband's car into the body shop to finally get repaired, Father's Day and other's been crazy busy on top of people being sick.

But, yeah, let's fill you in on stuff that has been happening around here.

Summer, if you can call it that, is flying by.  Where a bunch of people in the Lower 48 are dealing with hot weather and drought (prayers are with you all), we are dealing with cold weather and rain.  Like constant rain and lows in the 40s at night.   The mosquitos love it.  Humans, not so much.  Everyone I talk to is so tired of bad weather as we've had it constantly the last three years it seems.  So far this Spring/Summer we've had four days of nice weather.  Four.  The last couple of them were last week and the trees finally leafed out completely so it looks like summer outside, which is nice.  Unfortunately, Summer Solstice is now passed, so we are looking forward to the dark coming back, but we still haven't really had much sunny summer yet (Glen Allen even had snow just a bit ago...I mean geez!).  Up North it seems like they are getting more sun in North Pole and Fairbanks (I watch Somer's in Alaska on YouTube), but around here in South Central/The Valley, the weather hasn't been grand and it is wearing on people's moods.

I have worked hard to keep things like the furnace turned off as much as I can around here, which has reduced our gas bills compared to last year at this time.  Which, honestly, with how energy costs have gone up everywhere, I feel pretty good about that :).

Anyway, onto money saving matters around here...

1.  I have been asked to share any tips I've been personally using to save money on groceries.  I'll share a post about that, hopefully in the next few days.  I'm not sure how helpful people will find it, but I'll share what is working for me and my family.

2.  For Father's Day, instead of going out to eat, we stayed home and I made one of my husband's favorite meals, tempura cod and French fries (my version of fish and chips).  I made a lemon pound cake from a mix I had in the pantry for dessert.  The only purchase I ended up making that day was I bought the HBO mini-series "Chernobyl" off of Amazon (which I budgeted for :) for us to watch as my husband and I have really been wanting to see it (we've only watched two parts so far, but it is really good).  

3.  My daughter lost a button on her favorite shirt.  She loved the buttons on the shirt as they are a very stylized silver colored button.  I was pretty sure we were not going to be able to replace the button with one out of the button jar, but my husband, daughter and I went through all the buttons in our big button jar to try and find a button that she liked, would fit in the button holes on the shirt (they are smaller than a normal button hole and the shade of pink of the shirt is hard to match thread-wise, so I didn't want to expand a button hole if I could avoid it) and would go with the other buttons on said shirt.  We finally found a pearl colored button that she liked, would fit the holes on the shirt and I figured if I rearranged the remaining buttons and put the pearl button on the top hole it would just add a bit of flair to the shirt.  The daughter was happy with the results and I was happy that she was happy :).

4.  I mended a shoddy seam on one of my husband's work shirt pockets.

5.  I darned one of my son's favorite socks that he likes to wear over the bad eczema on his foot at night (the sock takes a lot of abuse because he itches his foot through it and then it gets pretty saturated with moisturizing lotion).  He really likes the sock as it fits over his eczema just right so I was careful with the darning to make sure the sock would hold it's shape well.  So far, he's been okay with the repair, so I'm happy.

6.  I took remnants from the fridge that needed to be used up and made a breakfast casserole for breakfasts this week.  I'm still new to the world of breakfast casseroles, so I over browned the cheese so it's kind of interesting to chew the exterior of the casserole, but the flavor is good.

7.  A while ago I decided not to do a CSA this summer like I had in the last few years.  I'm really glad I made the choice I did when I look at the weather, as I doubt the CSA members are going to be getting much produce this summer and goodness knows how delayed it would be in starting with the weather has gone.  And not doing it saved me money up front, so there was that savings too.

8.  I had bought a few new comforters, all the same size (Queen) to replace some that were falling apart (Alvah is hard on bedding as I end up having to wash comforters and things a LOT with him)  from Amazon and then I ordered comforter covers/duvet covers for each bedroom.  The comforters themselves were cheap (20.00 a pop), but were put together really cheap as well so I've had to re-sew a few of them on the edges as the seams are not great.  Sadly, I had bought that particular brand/type as I've had one comforter in that brand on my bed for a long time and it's held up nicely for a cheap comforter...but they have definitely gone down hill in quality (items at the used stores having gotten so expensive, it really isn't worth my time to look there for things like comforters, unfortunately).  Times like this I'm really glad to have basic sewing skills and a good store of thread.  I figure I'll have to repair a few more, I'm sure, but at least the comforter covers will help cover up any repair work I've had to do and my seams should last a lot longer than the shoddy ones they came with :).

9.  My son really scratched up one of his favorite Charlie and Lola discs.  I tried to repair it, but failed.  I was able to find a decent priced replacement on E-bay (the discs are getting harder and harder to come by and Amazon wanted a fortune for a used copy) and ordered it, but in the meantime I searched around and found that Roku has Charlie and Lola available to watch for free.  So, he was able to watch his favorite episodes of the show on his TV while waiting for his replacement disc to come in the mail.

10.  I gave my husband and son haircuts.

11.  My daughter's desk drawer broke and we realized that it had a very specific runner part for the drawer that was made of plastic.  I went searching around and actually found a bulk package of the part on Amazon for not much money at all on sale with a coupon.  I ordered them and the part worked perfectly.  My husband is also glad we have back up pieces for the drawer as we're not overly fond of plastic parts for longevity, so if it breaks again, at least we have back up repair parts.

12.  A while ago I had bought replacement Rubbermaid containers for lunches to replace ones I had bought a looonnnnnggg time ago.  We were down to not a lot of containers left as we had thrown them out over time as they got melted and things, so I ordered a big kit off of Amazon that was like 1/2 the asking price from the warehouse as the original packaging had gotten damaged (supposedly...I didn't find any damage to anything when it came in, so I was happy).  We started using the new containers and they were NOT holding up well, at all.  Combine that with me reading about micro-plastics and how they stick around in the human body and things and I just decided I didn't need my husband nuking his lunch in the plastic containers.  

I decided to purchase some glass lunch containers for him.  After much searching (I will readily admit I spend hours looking for a good bargain to save money...I'm cheap what can I say), I found these (note:  affiliate link) and ordered them. With the 10.00 off coupon (still active as of the posting of this post it looks like), the containers were only 19.99, they nest inside each other via shape (you get three sets of three; rectangles, squares and circular containers) for actually pretty convenient storage, the lids (so far) don't leak and they are working really well and my husband seems to really like them.  The only drawback I am finding to glass containers is that I have to put like a paper towel or something over the food if I am worried about it spitting over the microwave as I haven't found any glass containers where the lids are microwavable yet.  I am not worried about melting them in the dish washer as I don't use the drying function on my dishwasher, so I'm not sure how dishwasher safe they are (just a warning there).  Will I replace all of my plastic containers with glass?  Probably not.  But for my husband's lunches, this is working out well.

13.  I am always thinking of different ways to get nutrition into Alvah without him turning on food and things.  I finally, after much debate, broke down and bought a 9x13 cast iron baking dish (tip to local peeps:  If you want one, get it through Amazon.  It is at least 10.00 cheaper than trying to buy one locally...I looked).  The downside is trying to figure out how to store the sucker as it is heavy and bulky.  At the moment it is parked solidly on my stovetop pretty much 24/7 as I really don't have room to store it somewhere else.  

BUT, the upside to this thing is amazing!  I am using this to bake my son's French fries in, am using it to bake home made breadsticks in (I bake breadsticks in a sheet and then cut it into strips to make them like Pizza Hut was the best way to trick the son into eating home made breadsticks :), and using it for the intent I bought if or (to leach iron into his food).  BUT, I've found so many more awesome uses for it in the kitchen.  For one, I FINALLY have a roasting pan that can go from oven to stovetop and I was only out 30.00 versus the tons of money those things cost in stainless steel.  I have used it for a griddle pan for smaller things that I didn't want to pull out my big cast iron griddle for.  I'm even considering putting one of my bigger cast iron pieces on top of said pan in my oven and trying to make sourdough baguettes in the pan to get the oven rise/steam baking that only cast iron can give you.  I never thought one pan would be so darned useful, but I am so glad I purchased it!  I bought this one (once again, affiliate link there).  I love Lodge cast iron.  The only piece I've ever been kind of disappointed in is I bought the 10" two handled skillet with a Christmas gift card last year and it feels like it is cheaper quality than any piece of Lodge cookware I've ever bought before.  The handles, especially, are really thin compared to like my 12" pan.  

So, yeah, I'm going to call it good there for now.  I know there is more to this list, but I have a ton to do and can't find where I put my list (I'm sure it is somewhere safe...anyone else do that???).  So, before we go let's get to a garden update!

First the flowers have been very happy with the amount of rain we've been getting and when we don't get rain, I've been taking the opportunity to fertilize everything.  Petunias are heavy feeders, so every time I fertilize the plant, it goes nuts and produces more flowers.  We've really been enjoying the basket of pretty we have out on the deck :).  Also, enjoy the photo bombing cat.  We were both in a hurry to get inside as it started to pour as I was trying to take pictures.

Next up, the tomato plants haven't done much with how cold it has been, unfortunately.  The few sunny days we've had the tomato plants loved and put on some small teeny tiny tomatoes, but that's as far as they've gotten.  Sad, but with tomato plants up here it is always a gamble with the weather.  So far, this year, I'm losing.

The parsley planter is going well, which is great as I am nearly out of parsley and really want to dehydrate and put up a bunch this year :).

The second herb bed isn't doing great.  The basil I was able to get one harvest off of for dinner one night, but it hasn't grown much, as in any that I have seen, since then, with the cold and rain.  The rosemary has grown a teeny bit, but not much and even the parsley plant in that bed isn't doing much.  

The chard is growing and isn't minding the cold.  It hasn't grown as much as I'd like as I'd love to start harvesting the outer leaves at some point, but we are getting there.  

I am THRILLED that this week I'll be able to start harvesting lettuce, though as the planter has finally filled out to the point I think I can finally get a full salad out of the lettuce.  I've been waiting excitedly for this time as lettuce at the store is expensive, so I'm going to enjoy eating our lettuce as long as I can.  I mean look at how yummy this lettuce looks....


The empty planters where the cabbages had been, I did, indeed plant seeds in.  The seeds never germinated, probably due to the cold, and then the planters the ants found and decided to nest in (a new one on me for a container garden...I haven't had that problem since I left Pennsylvania years ago).  We are definitely having ant problems this year as the diatomaceous earth I normally spread around the house just gets washed away with how much rain we're getting.  We are looking into other means to eradicate them as carpenter ants are a real fear for us as we have a wooden foundation house, so yeah...a bit concerning on the ant front.

And there you go guys and gals.  A quick update on our lives around here.  I hope your summer is going okay (sorry to those effected by the smoke in Canada...we've been smoked out from wildfires a few times and it is horrible, so I really feel for you all) and you are able to have some fun and get things done as well.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Frugal Stuff from the Rest of May and The Garden for 2023

Hello everyone.

What a month.  Busy, hectic and a bunch of not great stuff happening around here.

I managed to get the kids through the rest of the school year and got final grades and work samples in.  The first couple of days of Summer Break went great.  We had a decent morning the first day, so I took the kids for a really pretty walk through different parts of Palmer, which was fun.  Then the second day was the year end picnic for the home school, so I took the kids to that with some help from my mother-in-law.  The kids had a good time, which was nice.  Then immediately after that the kids came down with some of the most horrible colds they've had in a long time and were sick for two weeks between the two of them.  Then, my husband skipped getting the actual cold part of the cold and went directly into getting a case of bronchitis that took him to the doctor.  He got antibiotics and things, but wasn't feeling any better this week.  In fact the cough keeps getting worse.  He went back to the doctor's yesterday and his lungs are clear by the chest X-rays and things, but his cough is awful.  I'm praying he doesn't end up in the hospital the way this is going :(.

Despite everything that has been happening around here, we did manage to get some stuff done. 

Please note before heading forward.  The following contains affiliate links.  If you order through these links, I will get a small commission from Amazon for shooting the sale their way.  This costs you nothing extra.  If you order through these links, thank you for supporting the blog :).

1.  Mother's Day weekend wasn't terrible weather-wise (we have been getting rain and unseasonably cold temps this year...this morning it was 44 degrees outside at 10am...not good) and the temps were staying above freezing at night, so I decided we should go and get plants for the garden (unfortunately they haven't gone up any, pretty much, since then, which stinks).  We ran into a problem I hadn't foreseen and that was that the horrible snow loads we had back in December...well a bunch of local green houses didn't make it.  Including our local Lowes.  So, seedlings were really tiny where we could find them, but I did find some, which was good and we were able to get some soil for the planters as well.  

So, let's break down what the garden is looking like so far (I took the pictures when we had a decent break up in the clouds...sadly the plants have done pretty much nothing since I took the picture last week, it has been that cold and nasty out).

The biggest change to the deck this year was a gift from my sister as a Mother's Day gift.  She got me a small wood bistro set I've had on my wish list for a long time on Amazon (this one).  My husband was even impressed with the quality when it came in.  I linked to it in case someone you know is looking for a decently inexpensive deck set as I looked a long time before I settled on that one.  I'm hoping to save up and get another one at some point so we have enough chairs for the entire family, but so far with the medical bills and things that are piling up, it is not high on my list of priorities.  But, even with the one bistro set, I have to say that is really pretties up the deck a lot :).  We've already sat out on the deck several times and the son really loves it, so that was definitely a nice bonus.

I did buy a few new planters this year as the make shift ones I had last year are literally breaking apart every time you touch them.  I felt bad as one woman who was standing next to me was in a mini-freak out about the cost of the planters and I had to explain to her what would raise the cost of plastics and she walked away swearing she was never going to throw anything away ever again.  Looking at the state of the used store and how little inventory they have...I'd say that she's not alone in her thinking.  

So, in the new planters I planted...

Lots of parsley.  After all this time I'm finally running out of parsley in my spice cabinet.  So, I want to grow enough to last me a long time after I dehydrate it.

In the next planter we have a few basil plants, which I planted to hopefully eat fresh more than dehydrating them as basil an herb I love, but traditionally I've been very good at killing without even trying.  So far the plants are hanging in there, so I'm happy about that.  I also have another parsley plant in this planter that came with a volunteer plant that I THINK might be dill?  I'm not sure at this point, so I'm waiting to see how the volunteer grows as I can always remove it later. Lastly I got a rosemary plant, which is tiny, but hanging in there.

I optimistically bought a few tomato plants as I love the Red Robin patio tomatoes, but so far they haven't died, but nor have they done anything since I planted them out in their planter homes.  They won't do much, in my experience, until it goes above 50 at night, which we haven't come close to hitting yet, so we'll see how it goes.  I am thinking about going and looking around in the storage van to see if I can find some heavy clear plastic that I could make some mini-greenhouses out of, but I haven't gotten a chance yet.  Here's hoping I can do something to help the tomatoes to produce as I love having fresh tomatoes in the summertime.  

Shot of tomato #2:

Right now onto the rest of the garden...

In the black planters next to the tomato we have a bunch of swiss chard growing.  These have grown a little bit so far, but not a huge amount.  In the green planter is my lettuce seedlings, which ARE growing okay all things considered so far.

On the table is my daughter's petunia basket, which is doing great.  I love how pretty it makes the deck look.  

And lastly, we have the cabbage graveyard.  This has never happened to me before in all of my years of gardening.  Normally I plant cabbages, do next to nothing with them and they grow and do great.  This year, I planted the cabbage seedlings I bought and they all died within the span of a week no matter what I did to try and save them (I even brought them all inside out of the cold for a few days and it did nothing for them :(.  I'm thinking that the seedlings came with a blight that just killed them, but I'm not sure.   I don't really have the time, energy or money to go and buy more seedlings, so as soon as the temps go up a bit I'm probably going to plant some seeds out of my already existing seed stores.

The way the weather is going, I doubt I'm going to have time to grow out the cabbage seeds, so I think I'm just going to grow out some arugula and some thyme as I couldn't get any thyme seedlings at the nurseries this year.  If they grow at least the soil doesn't go to waste and if they don't grow, I am not out anymore than I am right now, so I might as well gamble on it and see what happens.

Bright side, though is that the rhubarb is growing, so that's good!

So, yeah, that is where the garden stands at the moment.  Not terrible, but not super wonderful either.

2.  I got some good deals from Amazon, a couple of them like "holy crud I can't believe that worked" type of deals.  One was a set of white, organic cotton, queen sheets for my bed that after a super sale and a 20.00 off coupon ended up costing me a total of 1.99 for the ENTIRE SET!  I honestly ordered them and was convinced it was a rip off and wasn't going to work, but was super shocked when they came in, were really nice quality and was 100% legit!  I got these in case you want to add them to your cart and stock the price to see if it goes back down into the 20.00 range so you can then check for coupons and things.  Sorry I didn't share the deal on Facebook, but I honestly thought it was a scam and by the time I got the sheets it was all said and done.

I also got a decent deal on organic olive oil and was able to get a bottle of it for like 5.00 after a 40% off coupon and a subscribe and save discount.

3.  I thought I had gotten a really good deal on pecans through Amazon.  It was supposedly 5 lbs of pecans that were safe from peanut cross contamination, were farmed in the US and were on sale for 28.00.  I LOVE pecans, so I was really happy to spend the money on the pecans for future salads and baking projects.

Then the pecans came in.  Instead of 5 lbs of pecans, there were only 2.5 lbs.  The pecans were not even the pecans I had ordered, so they were not free from cross contamination.  I was not a happy camper especially when I saw that the pecans I HAD ordered were now up to 60.00 almost and Amazon wouldn't send me a replacement order.  After getting off the phone with Amazon and a refund, I looked at the nuts and tried to figure out what in the heck to do with them as I didn't want to throw them out as I love pecans, but I was kind of afraid to use them for the sake of Alvah's safety.  I remembered a conversation I had with someone earlier who had mentioned the process of soaking and then dehydrating nuts to up their digestibility, nutritional content and (best of all) since you rinsed and soaked the nuts beforehand you could remove the potential cross contamination of the peanuts.  So, I looked up how to do it and pulled out my dehydrator to get to work.  Unfortunately, my dehydrator, my cheapy Nesco that had served me well over the years, had finally kicked the bucket.  My husband is going to try and fix it, again, but in the meantime I ended up having to buy another dehydrator as I wanted to have one for dehydrating herbs if nothing else.  

I looked online and holy crap guys have you SEEN the price on dehydrators???  It is NUTS (no pun intended, but hey still funny)!  I started to figure out EXACTLY what would fit my needs.  I finally settled on this one as it had five trays, seemed like it would hold quite a bit for its size, had metal trays (which I figured was better than dehydrating on plastic, really) and had variable temperature controls.  It also had a flat top, so I could put some light weight plastic storage containers on it before I got around to putting them away when not in use.  And it was the right size to fit right next to the microwave.  The biggest sell point to it, though, was that after using credit card rewards and some Amazon gift cards on top of a really nice coupon (20.00 off) it ended up costing me 45.00 out of pocket, which was about what I was hoping to spend on a dehydrator (well, really, I was hoping to spend nothing and have my old one work, but we do what we can).  

So, I took the pecans and got to work.  I soaked them for about 24 hours in the fridge (I wasn't sure if you should leave them at room temperature for that long, so I soaked them on the counter for 10 and then popped them in the fridge over night).

The next morning I put them in the dehydrator and ended up dehydrating them at 130 F for 12 hours and they were nice and dry by that point.  The biggest thing I found with this dehydrator is how QUIET it is!  I barely noticed it was on at all the entire time it was running, which was a definite advantage over my old Nesco as that thing was so loud your ears would end up ringing after a while.

I put the dried and cooled nuts into some jars and put them in the freezer for storage and I've already used some in salads this summer, which is great and they really do come out tasty and easy to digest :).

4.  You might notice, as a side note, that lately I've been getting into healthier eating (well I guess more traditional ways of preparing food would be a better way to put that).  Part of that stems from the son and trying to get as much nutrition into his diet as possible (per usual) and I discovered the benefits of sourdough and fermented foods and such.  Another is that I got the results of my physical back and found that my bad cholesterol was high but everything else was great, which threw me and I tried to figure out what to do about that.  When I followed doctor's advice on how to lower my bad cholesterol, I ended up getting sick for pretty much all of February, which led me to researching things more and I discovered things about cholesterol, diet and things.  It really has led me to get us to eat better around here and I've found that doing things like sourdough baking, soaking and dehydrating nuts and such, that it not only has helped my husband's acid reflux a LOT, has helped me digestive condition as well and it has also helped my daughter's digestive problems too.  So, it has been totally worth trying these things.  So, yeah, I hope you don't mind coming along for the ride as I'm learning new skills around here as I'm learning more and more every day :).

A quick update on the pantry, speaking of food.  I am so thoroughly disgusted by Ball lids I could spit.  I have lost way too many jars to seal failures this year with the Ball lids.  Like one jar of sauerkraut a week bad.  I have been working really hard on using as much things out of the pantry as possible that have the Ball lids on them.  While trying to figure out a way around canning foods (as honestly I'm really ticked that so much work has gone down the drain this last winter), in the meantime I ran into the many health benefits of fresh fermenting foods as well and how long they would stay good (up to a year in the fridge in some cases), once fermented.  So, I decided to take a couple of heads of cabbage I had in the fridge, that I had gotten a really good personalized price on, and decided to make fresh sauerkraut (which was WAY easier than I thought it would be and I love the way you can control how tangy it gets by how long you ferment it for!).  This I'm using as kind of a topper on other dishes (like sauerkraut and sausages/brats) to up the nutritional content (oh and I made a really good sauerkraut coleslaw with it too...I'll look up the recipe and share it later :), while also using up the things I have sealed with Ball lids.  I had planned on my canned goods that I made last year lasting me two years, but anything with a ball lid I'm plain not trusting now, so yeah that is where that is at.  Anything I put up with Denali canning lids, by the way, have been just fine and the seals are very solid when I go to use the food contained within.  The same with the Golden Harvest lids my mom sent me from the Dollar Store, which I find ironic as Ball lids are expensive on top of everything.

5.  I harvested a small handful of chives from the front yard to use on baked potatoes one night.  So far they haven't really gotten big enough to get a decent harvest, but once they do I'm going to harvest them and freeze the chives for future use.  I did that last year and the baggy of chives lasted us through baked potatoes up until a few weeks ago!

6.  I mended a few holes in some comforters and some holes in some shirts around here.  

7.  I worked really hard on rearranging our den to make it easier for my husband to work on putting in the rest of the wood stove and at the same time making it easier for me to access the old exercise bike so I could get exercise in the morning as well.  It has been nice to use the bike without feeling like I was completely closed in by everything that used to be in the laundry room.  W are still working on getting a better washing machine installed in there as the old one is now overflowing at odd times and we end up with a big puddle of water in going down into the drain in the laundry room floor, so while I'm waiting on that getting done, I don't want to move anything back into the laundry room that would get in the way in the future, so the den is in a perpetual state of chaos anymore.  

8.  My daughter likes to take a ham sandwich to work for lunch every week, but if I buy a big thing of ham it goes bad before we can use it all (my husband and I don't eat much deli meat for the most part), so I took the package of ham we had just opened for the daughter's sandwich and separated it out into individual portions in sandwich bags.  I then put the sandwich bags into a freezer bag and every night before the daughter is set to work we just pull out one of the sandwich bags with the individual serving of ham it for her sandwich the next day and put it overnight in the fridge to defrost.  She loves it this way as she can pull out ham as she wants to for sandwiches, but doesn't get tired of eating them every day so the ham doesn't go bad and I love it because I don't have to worry about the lunch meat going bad when you aren't looking :).

9.  I ended up picking up organic sour cream instead of non-organic as it turned out it was on sale cheaper than the non-organic type.  Inflation is getting so bad that I have noticed that in a lot of cases organic foods are either cheaper, are the same price or not very much more money at all compared to non-organic options.  So, for those who always thought, "I can't afford to eat organic" be sure to keep your eyes out for deals as it seems like they are out there.  I am not one of those people who have an opinion of organic versus non organic foods, but if it is cheaper or the same price as the other, I have been opting to try the organic, I'll be the first to admit :).

10.  Due to the rising cost of living, I am definitely to the point of making most of everything we eat at home.  It is saving us money in one area of the budget so that we can spend that money in others (like on gas or other essentials).

And I'm going to call it good there as the son is getting grumpy.  I hope everyone had a good May and hopefully I can get more blogging (and other things) done in June.  Here's hoping!