Sunday, October 12, 2008

10/12 Expressions

Frugal Deeds for the Day:I've read lots of "frugal" tips and there have been times where I have been "more" frugal. So, today, I have been thinking of tips and trying to implement them when I can. Today, most of my frugal activities have been around cooking. Perhaps because it is a basic need, it brings a certain satisfaction when I can "think outside of the box". Funny story (sorta), the trip before this one, we took my daughter's friend. We stayed at a condo - so, we ate many of our meals "in". On the last day, I made a salad, but we were almost out of "Ranch" dressing for our salads. Both girls used generous portions. Anyway, I let everyone squeeze out what they wanted, when it came to my "turn", there was pretty much nothing left to squeeze out. So, since we were trying to use up the milk too, I splashed a swig of milk into the dressing bottle, and although my dressing wasn't as thick, it was just as tasty. My daughter's friend was amazed. She said she had never seen anyone do something like that, but she'd let her family know the next time they are about to run out, that they can add some milk, swish, and pour. I can just imagine what the family must have thought - but, I am hoping they could use tip to keep from running to the grocery store for one item and from wasting less. Okay, so, for today, I brought home two oranges from Florida - they were 3/$1 at the neighborhood store. I remember reading that the rind can be placed in a disposal to make it smell citrusy. So, that's where a few pieces of the rind went, and it does work. Will that make me rich? No, but it did produce a nice "natural" fragrance for no additional cost. Okay, this part is an experiment I am hoping will work. The rest of the rind went into a former cereal bag, and is in my lunch box, with a small packet of salt. See, I take tea bags to work, and heat my tea up in the microwave. Even though I was the cup out, those tea stains are tough to get rid of. The tip I read somewhere, put a bit of salt into the cut and rub with the rinds. Hope no one at work thinks I am bonkers - but, I am going to give it a whirl. What else did I do. I made a large batch of brown rice. Some I moved to a container for use later. Then, as I was looking through the pantry, there were a few items I wanted to use up. So, for a meal or two later, I wanted to make a pizza type dish, since my husband and daughter love it so. I took brown rice, mixed it with 2 raw eggs, and pressed it on the bottom of my cookies sheet - that has about a 3/4 inch "side" all the way around. I baked it at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Once it cooked, I spread a can of fat-free refried beans. Then I placed slices of American Cheese on the bean - the cheese was "free" with a recent coupon and I still have several packages to go. The next layer was herbed, diced organic tomatoes - a brand that recently had a coupons out, making it a bargain. In the meantime, I had 4 boneless skinless chicken breast (BOGO at Kroger this week - making each one about .70 each with tax) cooking away with a packet of almost free taco seasoning - another coupon deal. Once done cooking, I individually wrapped 3 of large seasoned pieces of chicken and froze them. The remaining one, I thinly sliced and placed on my concoction. While this was going on, my daughter was looking for bread. I did not buy any this week. You see, a friend sent me some really delicious looking pumpkin butter. So, while looking in the pantry, there was 1 beer left (my brother left it when he visited last year). So, I looked up a beer recipe at and they are pretty simple. But, I only had a bit of self rising flour, so, the rest of the flour was pancake mix with an extra dash of baking powder. I baked both at the same time. The bread with the butter was delicious. The pizza will be for another meal - already in the fridge - as we ate the leftover pizza from yesterday at lunch. I have also started back with the decluttering. I have box started with consignment stuff and a box of donations. They are going in at the same time. As always, I plan to combine errands at lunch one day this week and get this stuff "taken" care of.

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