Showing posts from September, 2011

Whole Foods - NOT so Frugal

Raise your hand if you already knew this? I DO and I still go there.

I had that Living Social deal where you paid $10 for a $20 gift card dodaddy thing. So I figured, heck, I won't buy much because I just can't justify the cost of alot of the stuff.

Yeah. So much for that theory anymore. Uggg... Browsing gets me in trouble every time.

3.63lbs of Honey Crisp apples ... been reading about these and since my boss was on this apple and peanut butter kick at the office lately, thought I would contribute ... de. LIC. ious! OMG. If you haven't tried them, you should. They are the BEST! $1.99 lb (organic!) and $7.22 total. I so see myself going back to buy more next week YIKES.

Special sausage of week was chicken spicy italian, got 6 for $5.94 (this is how I try to introduce Hubby to new options)

1 thing of green onions (the garden ones are wimpy so these will be planted) $1.49
baby carrots, organic (the last ones were super sweet) $1.99 for a 1 lb bag
pkg of snow peas $2.30
3 lim…

Rubber band magic

Well, ok, not really magic, but something that totally Works for Me!

See, we like to pretend that we are sous chefs in the house ...ok, again. Not really.

However, you all know that I LOVE to shop Costco, and it's where I buy my olive oil and canola oil. Well who in the heck wants to lug around a gallon plus size of oil for a measly teaspoon? Not ME!

So here's what we do ...

Get yourself a food grade squirt bottle (I got mine from the dollar store)

Add your oil and put the cap on.

Find one of them big fat rubber bands that you saved off the broccoli heads (pink or purple are preferred)

Get a piece of paper towel and fold it in half and then continue folding longways.

Wrap the paper towel around the bottle and secure it with the fat rubber band.

Ok. Raise your hand if you want to know WHY I did this??

That sticky icky residue that oil leaves behind overtime? You know, the kind that won't wipe off? Not to mention that evil little ring from the small dribble down the side.


A Moment of Truth

I seem to have hit a wall, or something like that.

The savings account has a grand total of $50 between the two (gasp). (NOTE: the Textbroker stuff is going to the no spend account).

The checking account has a total of ... um, I don't even want to say, but its substantially lower than what is acceptable to me (but not negative, thankfully). All bills are paid for the month (which only has 3 more days left) and I will be getting another 3 checks on Friday, so no need to panic.

I have a few credit cards with BALANCES on them. And I'm not talking $100, but rather, add another zero and change the first number (gasp).

Everything that I am against is happening.

Its not anyone else's fault, but mine. My inability to tell Sonny Boy NO, that he must buckle up and get ready for the bumpy ride, to GET A JOB, no matter if it's something that interest you or not.

Also, I need to stand up to Hubby and say NO, we don't need to do this or that, and buy new rugs (??!!) for the door…

Menu Plan Monday - the Cheap Version

Yeah, cheap. Not frugal. CHEAP. Of course, everyone has a different definition for CHEAP :)

Sonny Boy was here again this weekend, and I'm $70 poorer today than I was yesterday. Not to mention $100 on Monday of last week. And $100 2 weeks ago. Uggg.

Anyways. Yeah, I'm going broke here so this week is my CHEAP menu plan ... basically, what I have in house, which, it should be noted, is quite a LOT of food still ... (and I laugh because Mr. & Mrs. Smith is on and it's where he takes the knife from her to cut roast and she pulls out another to slice the bread) ... back to the menu plan, we have LOTS of food still, but I am getting low on chicken breast, I have no sandwich bread (it's ok, we don't really eat it ourselves!) ... but I do have a variety of meats and such so here's what I'm planning:

Sunday - Hubby is talking of making some pork chops in the grill pan (gasp) and a few leftover steak fries

Monday - Evil Jungle Salad (using leftover steak from Sa…

Those Free Things ...

We all know the saying "Nothing is free in life" ... and for the most part, it is true. Everything has some form of payment to be made.

However, the "free" things listed below, are things that you help pay for with others, and should reap the benefits of whenever you have a chance:

1. Library. I had to dig out my library card as it was tucked away in a drawer. I work downtown and the Fort Lauderdale main library is just several blocks away from my office. I need to get there. I am in dire need of some new reading material. But then I tell myself, rather than get lost in the BIG library, to just go to the little reading room located about 8 blocks from home. The reading room location is SMALL but has GREAT reading material.

2. Beach. Ok, I know, not everyone has access to a beach. But how about a lake, river, any body of water? I live 2 blocks from the ocean and also live off the waterway. I shock myself when I say I haven't felt sand on my toes in x amount of …

Doing what you love AND making money too

Most of us blog because we like to write. And well, our lives are also just so very interesting that we INSIST on sharing it with all the unknown people out there! :) Ok, really.

I love to write. I may not be a 'good' writer, but man, I sure can tell a great story. Everyone jokes that they can tell when I walk into an office because there will be loud laughter from others around. It's just that the party has arrived, that would be ME. That comes from a deep down comfort of WHO I am. I believe in myself and know that I am not perfect, but hey, it's ok with ME. :)

So, why am I telling you all this today? Well, because I stumbled across something the other day, signed up with them yesterday, got my score, wrote 5 articles and already made $16. No, it's not going to make me rich, but it sure will help my writing skills. And it's not stressful (to me). And it's going in to my do not touch savings account. And, well, heck, it's kind of cool to do it ...


Cookbook from a now defunct Lender

We were cleaning out a office in the building last week and tossed a LOT of stuff ... more stuff than I care to admit out loud, but to donate from a business is pretty difficult in that no one wants to come and take anything away. And, quite frankly, we were all just "get it done" ...

But one thing that caught my eye ...  Getting It Done: Grilling Fun with Option One.

I have a grilling set that we use on the boat from these same people, so I'm guessing that they gave one of the mortgage brokers a cookbook.

I snagged it and brought it home. Not so much for the recipes, but just the joke (on us) that the lender was doing such tremendous business at the time (2005) that they could afford to print and buy ridiculous amounts of stuff to give away as "thank you for your business" kisses ...

Anyways. I spent a few nights parked on the couch browsing through it. And a few things caught my eye ...

Foolproof Barbecued Chicken, only because it also gives the recipe for…

Costco Trip

It's been a while since my last real trip to Costco. Yeah, we went in Orlando with Sonny Boy and his girlfriend, but the majority of stuff was for them to split between their apartments (perfect time for two Nutella bottles, you know?) ... they split eggs, bread, snack packs, nutella, paper towel, tp, etc. It's really the only way Costco would work for a college kid I think. Although, I'm sure the roomies would love in on the action :)

So anyways ... I went this morning.

I am out of lunchmeat and Hubby paid $6.99 for a lb of CRAPPY turkey ... ick. So I said THAT'S IT ... not to mention, I had to 'steal' a roll of tp from the guest bathroom stand ... I was horrified to find I had NO TP! Horrors!

So, I knew that my membership was up for renewal, and since I'm an Executive Member (oo la la, not all that folks, just get a rebate which pays for the membership every 12 months) I figured $300. I was close.

Membership fee $100
TP $18.79 less $3
2 Starbucks Frapp (1…

Menu Plan Monday

This household has got to be on the road to Good Health AND we better not have a sickly winter, as much as we've been through around here.

I found out that YES I am allergic to Amoxacillian ... my mother reminded me that I was 5 when I had a bad allergic reaction to penicillin, but that was YEARS ago...anyways, enough of that already...think HEALTHY thoughts because I refuse to believe in anything less.

So it's Sunday ... and I am so ready to start a new week, trust me! And yeah, there are a lot of repeats because dinner was not happening the way it was suppose to everyday last week!

Sunday - Blue cheese sliders on whole wheat slider buns with celery and carrots to snack on (the sliders came from Publix, they premake them to a tune of $4.99 a lb...not so bad considering it's quality beef)

Monday  - Chicken Cesar Salad

Tuesday - Bangin Shrimp (on shredded romaine)

Wednesday - take out - Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine (Hubby's new favorite place thats cheap with leftovers ... w…

Guacamole and my favorite PLACE

You may remember that there is a new place in town called Rocco's Tacos that me and the 'girls' have claimed as our place. (Psst...the website is LOUD so turn down or mute speakers before linking through).

Even some men tell me that they were hanging out at my "stomping grounds". They also say that they paid the price. See, Rocco's is unique in a few ways. One: Rocco is really a person, and he's young'er' than most would think. Two: Rocco is a self proclaimed "glorified bus boy" and loves his job. Three: Rocco always always, ALWAYS has a bottle of Patron on ice, will turn on the pee wee herman song, grab his 70's platform white shoes, jump on the bar and start free pouring tequila in your mouth, drink, pitcher, where ever you want. OMG. The consequences are not for the faint of heart. Of course, you could just wait for a table and sit and eat a nice dinner, but heck, it's ROCCOS TACOS!

Alas, since I've sort of, kind of went …

Ranch Marinated Steaks

I love our grocery store chain, Publix. Every week, in the sales paper, they always have a recipe highlighted and generally, it's based on sale items for that week ...

My neighbor ALWAYS makes the recipe, every week and Hubby finally asked me to give it a try, because, IF Joan is doing it and Mr. Bill is happy, there must be something to it. Alrighty then.

Luckily, I have most of the stuff on hand, and do not need to worry about saving $10.80 this week. Because seriously, IF you had to buy everything for ONE meal, I don't consider that to be a frugal choice, you know?

Ok, on to the plan:

1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 oz spicy ranch dry dressing mix (yes, I have it, picked it up at Target a few weeks ago on clearance, 14 cents, wishing now I'd taken them ALL)
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup sun dry julienned cut sundried tomatoes (I did NOT have these, but picked up 6 3oz bags for $1 each, that fell into an excellent deal!)
large ziploc bag
1 1/2…

The latest and greatest

Medical news.

I've been to the Rheumatologist a few times now.

Given 5 1/2 tubes of blood.

And numerous hand xrays (which, if you live in Eastern Broward County, just go to Imperial Point Hospital, no more than 20 minutes, in and out with results to the dr. the following day).

The verdict?

Eh. Degenerative arthritis of the both thumbs.

Lab results show a high ANA ... not really sure just what that means, but it points to Lupus.

LUPUS? Well that just scares the crap out of me.

I have symptoms. But they do NOT control my life, nor will they if I have a choice.

We are choosing to treat the issues systematically (whatever the heck that means?) by me taking prescribed heavy duty anti-inflammatory meds as needed, since it's classified as MILD at the moment.

Of course, of these symptoms I DO have, I'm not really sure what they relate to. Heck, I feel like a hypocondriact at times, because just Friday I felt terrific and then 36 hours later I'm laying on the couch, sobbing wi…

Making An Effort

I've been doing something for the most part in September.

I'm Moving It In September.

Because I realize that IF I don't make a concentrated effort, I will never ever have time to work out.

So I've been posting over here a daily (sometimes every other day for the 2 days) update of what I've done to make an effort to MOVE IT.

Some is just ho-hum, such as 20 walking lunges. Others are more extreme, such as P90X Plyo (which I LOVE but man, it's hard), and the walk/jog/run/crawl  to A1A and Sunrise and back (3.4 miles). Just for the record, that youtube link? That's NOT my home, NOT my husband :)

My point being, IF we tell ourselves daily, from the moment we get up to the second we fall asleep, that we will make AN EFFORT to do some sort of exercise, we can fit it in to our busy lifestyle.

Even when we are sick. Tired. Just plain worn out. Make an Effort. Log it. And see results ...

Works for Me. Yeah, I'm linking up ... aren't you?

The Sock Bun - Update

Well. I wouldn't say it was a FAIL ... but didn't quite work out the way I thought it would.

1. Hard to sleep with my hair up like that.

2. Woke up several times during the night to touchy feel the bun, wanting to make sure it was all intact.

3. 2am Nature was calling. The bun was also calling. NONE of the hair was wrapped around the "sock" any longer, just all up in that TIGHT pony tail.

Took the pony tail out ... OWWWW my scalp was bruised from being up so tight.

The hair was wavy. And full. I went back to bed after fluffing it up and had a hard time sleeping because of the bruising (raise your hand please if you know the feeling!)

In the moring, 4 hours later, it was still fluffy and a little wavy (but my hair is pretty fluffy anyways) ...

It's not a total fail. I will try it again. BUT this time, I may have to sacrafice a sock. And I won't put my hair up as TIGHT ... owww.

Sock Buns

I am actually going to bed tonight with a sock bun to see if it will give this old, tired, in need of a cut and color hair of mine a little more life in the morning.

Trust me, it's not difficult to give my hair life. I just choose not to spend the extra free time I may have in the morning to do it :)

So here I am, watching cute little tween like girls show me how to roll my hair before I go to bed tonight. Ahhh, whatever, let me try it!

Of course, being an older person, and frugal to boot, I don't think I can justify cutting a sock, even an odd one ... so I rooted around and came up with ... a knee brace. Ha. Dollar store goodie.

So I put the hair up in a high ponytail.

Sprayed it with the only styling type of stuff I have, used for high heat (flatirons) and rolled it up.

I will be curious to see how it works out only because I couldn't get it TIGHT as I have a hard time getting a tight grip (post coming up soon on THAT issue).

But it's up. And rolled under. And I'…

Menu Plan Monday

It's Monday. Oddly enough, I seem to have a love hate relationship with the's a chance to start NEW yet it's also a chance to pickup the slack from the previous week.

I suppose it falls into the same grey area of is the glass half full or half empty? :)

Moving on ... dealing with migraine the past few days and thankful that Hubby picked up for me. Makes it easier being just the two of us ...

Sunday - Hubby made some pork chops with roasted taters and onions. Delicious, except I had no desire to eat.

Monday - Chicken Cesar salad (no pasta)

Tuesday - Bangin Shrimp (with romaine and shredded coleslaw mix instead of iceburg)

Wednesday - Starkist fishy stuff. I've yet to try it and NOW I have 4 boxes in the freezer. Rice and veggies along side ...

Thursday -  Hubby take me out to Las Vegas Cubano ? He wants to do it one night this week so I'm thinking this is the night (or just switch it out with another night)

Friday - Steak ... I've got some skirt steak…

Conserving .... Coffee

I LOVE my morning cup of Joe ... and really, it's not a good day if I don't start out with the coffee in the  morning.

But have you seen the price of it lately? OMG!

I don't drink Folgers/Maxwell House ... but I also do NOT demand Starbucks either.

I prefer Dunkin Donuts. Which you may as well put in the category of Starbucks when it comes to buying the beans.

So, I settle. For Seattle Best. Or Eight O'Clock (which is pretty good) ...

And a small 10 oz bag cost something like $7.99 now. Holy Smokes Batman! Coupons have been a little hard to come by, or then the sales are hard to come by. The never seem to coinside any longer.

So, I've had to make some modifications to my morning routine.

Instead of using 5 1/2 scoops to make an '8' cup pot, I use 4 scoops to make a '6' cup pot. And actually, it's working out better in the end.

See, the 8 cup would always leave a little leftover at the end of the morning. And since this household adheres to the …

Chicken Piccata

Princess will always make it a point to be home IF I say we are having this for dinner, and the leftovers had better be in the fridge the next day with HER name written on the container...

Chicken Piccata ... She's been asking for it for what seems like forever (yet again) and I will try again to show her how to make it (so she can do it next time!). We serve this with buttered egg noodles and crescent rolls.

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed and sliced in half (horizontally)
1/2 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper (and whatever other seasoning you might wish!)
Olive oil and butter for pan frying
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth (a little more than one cup)
1/2 cup lemon juice (honestly, I use the stuff in a bottle, shoot me)
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
fresh or dried parsley for garnishing
TIP: I add the 3 liquids to a large mixing cup/bowl for ease.

Dip chicken in flour and coat both sides. Have oil and butter melting in pan on medium heat. Fry chic…

Move It September

It's officially here, September.

The end of Summer.

The start of school. Sob. I don't have to worry about that so much anymore. But I do have the start of college, which is much more than just a Sob. More like an OUCH and SQUEAL as the money is drained from my accounts.

But that's a post for another day.

What I am here to say, ahem, is that September is the MONTH to Get Moving.

You know. That dreaded E word. EXERCISE.

I'd like to say structured, routine, day to day laid out but who am I going to KID besides myself? And I know better.

So here's what I'm going to do. I am going to post DAILY (darn it, yes, I am. Honestly!) over at the Frugal Fitness bloggy board of what I've done. Anything that is done INTENTIONALLY is going to be posted.

For instance. Already this morning, I've done 20 bicycle crunches, 10 regular crunches (burn baby burn) and 10 countertop push ups. Woohoo. Do I feel any different. Well no, not physically but mentally, hell yeah! (um, …

Making a List ...

I am a huge list person.

Constantly, there is a sheet of paper nearby that I write things down on.

Grocery list? Check.

Bill paying list? Check.

Errands list? Check.

And just that general all around To Do list ... check.

Unfortunately, too many list is not real effective ... especially when the grocery list is NOT with the errands list and such.

So here's what I TRY to do (and remember, please, that I am far far FAR from perfect!) ...

Take a scrap sheet of paper (I use the ones that are leftover after cutting off that one coupon on the top from the "bricks coupon printing".

Fold it in half so it's longer.

Now you have FOUR sections to write on.

I generally keep the grocery list and the errands list together in one section, especially now that the grocery list has shrunk tremendously (amazing what the removal of an 18 year old boy does to the budget!) So in addition to the cat litter (with coupon), cat food (with coupon), tp and lettuce, I also have, deposit, libra…

Some days

You just have nothing.

Nothing to offer up.

Not from the very bottom of your soul or being. Nothing whatsoever.

It's been one of those days for SEVERAL days.

No. I don't believe it's depression.

I think it's just because I've been sick. And then I gave 5 1/2 tubes of blood for the doctor.

And get a call on Saturday that she's calling in a script for some heavy duty antibiotics for a pretty serious infection.

No. Not the sinus or the cold. An infection that I have NO outwards symptoms of. You know, the UTI stuff.

She said that that is PROBABLY why I've been dragging the "cold" and such for so long. Huh.

What do you know.

So I got some REAL antibiotics going on and aiming for a little more excitement in my life.

I'll keep you posted. And certainly hope I can continue with my Move It In September plan!

Menu Plan Monday - Holiday and catch up week's Labor Day.

The burgers have been grilled, baked beans cooked, pasta salad and potato salad tossed and macaroni and cheese dished.

Time to move forward and hope that we are finally on the road to recovery from our various illnesses ...

Monday - burgers, baked beans, pasta salad, potato salad, mac and cheese
Tuesday - Black bean soup and quesidillas (which, in reality, is probably just going to be leftovers)
Wednesday - parmesan chicken
Thursday - sausage and peppers on flatouts (stop at produce store)
Friday - steak and taters.
Saturday - guessing Hubby is going to want to go boating so I'm thinking pork tenderloin and black beans and rice (easy meal to put together)
Sunday - Hungry Girl's chicken wings (2nd try at these) ...

I have MOST of the food in house already. Playing around with a little mini self imposed grocery challenge of $40 a week for the month of September. This would include paper products, cat stuff, etc. Don't know if its practical (so c…

Potatoes and Onions

If you've got yourself a mandolin, this will be so much better, otherwise, slice them as thin as you can without taking off the top layer of fingers :) (original recipe comes from Tammy ...)

Excellent side dish to go with so many different types of meat, and can be done in the oven or on the grill ... just cook til they are tender and a little brown around the edges ...

3 cups of thin sliced potatoes (I used one Coscto size spud and used the mandolin to slice it thin)
1 cup of thin sliced onions (again, Costco sized sweet onion, sliced on the mandolin)
3/4 cup of mayo or sour cream (I used 1/4 mayo and 1/2 cup sour cream)
1/4 cup of Parmesan
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tsp parsley
salt and pepper
dash of Cayenne pepper flakes
clove of garlic, finely minced

Mix the mayo/sour cream, cheese and spices together in large bowl. Dump in the onions and taters, mix well till all coated.

Tear 2 sheets of foil to about 15-20 inches long. Spray with Pam (well) and divide taters between 2 sheets. Fold up a…