Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's late...

I was bored tonight and decided to make my own bread. I used the recipe on this site

I'm to lazy to post more than that at the moment but it turned out great and made the whole house smell amazing.

Looks pretty good don't you think?

My experiment with homemade applesauce

When I was younger and had braces my diet was very limited every time they had to get tightened. I admittedly am kind of a baby when it comes to pain but those things really hurt! So for probably 2 or 3 days after they got tightened I would only eat soft food like ice cream, bananas, smoothies, and applesauce. That I think is when I really started to love applesauce. Even 5 years later I still eat it a couple times a week as an adult. Well it can get kind of expensive to spend 4 dollars (really 3.99) on 6 little cups of it. So when I saw that apples were on sale for 49 cents a pound at the store I got 6 pounds of Fiji apples and decided it was worth trying to make my own. It was sooooo easy all I did was core the apples and trow them in the slow cooker with just a little bit of water  and half a tsp of cinnamon and set it on low for 8 hours. Fast forward 8 hours and I scooped out the  very soft apples (left the juice in the crock pot) and blended them until completely smooth and boom I had yummy homemade applesauce! The apples alone made it sweet enough for me but I'm sure it would work fine with sugar added. I didn't measure the amount I exactly but I would guess about 18 regular size applesauce cups worth (3 packs from the store). Since this literally took me about 10 minutes total I know I will be doing it on a regular basis. As an added bonus and my CH's favorite part the juice that is left over is essentially delicious homemade apple cider.

Maybe not the best picture but it shows the final product which is much darker then the store version due to the cinnamon and the peels 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A budget question: How much is acceptable to spend on food?

Right now I am working on a realistic budget that will work for the two of us and our two dogs but I am unsure on what to aim for when it comes to setting an amount for food. Right now I know that we eat out waaaaaaaaay to much and we also spend more then we should at the grocery store as well. I would say on an average week we spend 50 dollars on eating out and 75 at the grocery store. Thinking of spending at least 500 dollars a month on food for two people gives me a headache. I am trying to lower our take out bill to 20 a week (one take out a week) for now hopefully lowering it as time goes on. What I am unsure of is how much to try and lower our grocery budget to? Since we are going to be eating out less I am tempted to keep it the same and try to lower it as the months go on but that seems like a cop out so I think I am going to shoot for 60 dollars a week with hopes of lowering it more as the months pass and I get better at this whole being thrifty thing. That will take us down to $320 a month (I tend to shop 4 times a month even if it  works out to be 5 weeks) with a savings of $180 dollars. Does this sound realistic or should I be aiming for even better savings? Making a budget I think we can stick to is harder than I thought!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It's an addiction

Unfortunately my crazy husband has an expensive bull. One 8 oz can of that stuff goes for 3 bucks full price and 2 bucks on sale where we live. Recently me and a buddy were talking about this and she told me we should get a soda stream because the "energy drink" flavor tastes exactly like red bull. I looked it up and sure enough that's what everybody was saying. So when my mom asked what to get CH for Christmas I told her the cheapest soda stream model. Well that honestly was a huge money saver for us because if you do the math .15 cents for the co2 per liter ($15 for a refill divided by 60 uses) plus .58 cents for the syrup per liter (6.99 divided by the 12 uses)and maybe a couple pennies for the water per liter it equals out to be .75 cents for a liter which makes approximately four 8 oz cans, about nineteen cents a can. On average he had about 4 a week so this saves us at least $7.25 a week or $377 dollars a year! So if you or your partner has an energy drink addiction and you know they ( or you) aren't going to stop any time soon it might be worth looking into.

A thrifty dinner and turning the heat down

Yesterday I posted about making black beans in my slow cooker, well soon after that I found a recipe that called for the black beans and I also had all the of the ingredients for. Black bean soup! The recipe was great and can be found on this blog. But basically it involved a can of diced tomatoes, 3 cans of black beans (I used the dry ones I made), and a little bit of salsa and that's all. If I break that down cost wise, the mixed veggies cost me .55 cents, the tomatoes .50 cents, the beans one dollar, and then maybe .20 cents of salsa. For a grand total of $2.25, and that will be enough for 2 meals for me and C.H.
                                                  *Photo taken from above blog mentioned

On a completely unrelated note.... Last month our energy bill was $98.32, and it was on my list of things to lower. If it were up to me I would probably have the heat on 68 degrees at all time because I tend  to like it a little cooler in the house. But the my C.H. in a perfect world would have it on 80 degrees, so that tends to cause some issues (Most of the time he turned it up to 72 or 74 when I wasnt looking!) . I solved this with a 5 dollar clearance heated blanket from Kohls. Now the heater rests nicely on 68 degrees while we are home and 62 degrees when we are both gone. When I get the next gas bill I will be sure to post what the saving are.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Crockpot and black beans

When me and C.H. (crazy husband) got married a year ago one of our family members got us a very nice energy efficient crockpot as a wedding gift. I am embarrassed to say that we have never used it, until last night... I decided that the lonely year old bad of blacks that I had sitting in the pantry needed to be used up. So I threw them in the crock pot with a few bay leaves and some water and just a dash of salt. I set it on low and let them cook over night. Let me say those are some tasty beans! I don't know why I ever decided that I needed can beans but I was wrong these are tasty and cost way less. So thank you auntie I think the crockpot will be getting a lot more use now!


Hi everyone,

I have never really done this "blog" thing before but I figure if I start posting things for the world it might make me feel more accountable for what I say I am going to do. This blog is going to hopefully follow me along in my journey to become a more frugal person. But first I will introduce myself my name is Renee and I live in Colorado with my husband, we will call him C.H. (Crazy Husband) because I doubt he would want his real name out there! Recently as I was paying bills I realized how out of control our spending has become. Basically we are living paycheck to paycheck when we really don't have too. In the next few days I am going ot post our current debts and my goals to pay them off. But for now Ill finish with one frugal(ish) thing that I did today.... I organized our pantry and freezers (regular and deep freezer) to take stock off all of the items that we have and should use up. I made a plan of meals for the week based on what we had and went to the grocery store to fill in the wholes and grab a few things (milk, bread, cheese, etc...) I came out only spending $28.32! That is great considering I usually spend more like $50 to $75 in any given week. I am excited to start this journey and learn so many things along the way.