Monday, May 17, 2010

randomly popping by

Hello. My name is Wendy and I used to blog here. I found something interesting I thought you might enjoy:

Chefs plan menus to feed 4 on a food-stamp budget

and the menus they created

big takeaways:

Cook at home
from scratch
eat your leftovers
quality, whole foods over processed crap

I may have mentioned some of that before.

Hope your day is lovely and that it started way after my children woke me up at 4:45 this morning. They, of course, went back to sleep.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

cute lil painted things

(posting here so that the kids won't see the pics on my other blog)

I've been painting all day! No sewing done at all, but at least I'm done with the painting. The blocks are still drying, so I'll post pics of those later. Here's what's done so far:

A trio of ladies (I love these.):

A little family (I tried to keep them pretty gender neutral, so that Kira can play with them however she wants.):

Bowling pins (yes, I'm classy and am illustrating their height by comparing them to a beer bottle. It's good beer, though.):

A trio of tops for Jackson's stocking:

So, blocks are drying and I have a little painted box with a lid. I'm not sure which kid will get it. I guess it will go into the stocking that looks emptier.

Looks like I'll be up late sewing the next few nights, but I'm WAY ahead of where I thought I would be by now.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

try not to faint

Yes, I'm actually posting. Sorry I've been MIA. I haven't had much to say I guess. Kam, stop laughing.

Anyway, mainly I wanted to give DFW peeps a heads up. Through tomorrow, Tom Thumb has Tillamook cheese on for $3.99/ 2lb package, limit 2. That is an AWESOME price for rbgh-free cheese - really an awesome price for any cheese. So, go. Buy cheese.

If you're not in the DFW area, Tom Thumb is a Safeway store, so if you have Safeway, Randalls, Vons, or Dominicks - you might check your store, too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Around the 'sphere

Morning! I was up early today and found several interesting posts I thought y'all might like.

Small Notebook has an interesting post that makes batch or OAMC (once a month cooking) seem very approachable. - Batch Cooking: Meal Starters

Saver Queen is celebrating her blog's one year birthday with a look back at her favorite posts. This one highlights couponing in Canada - (I thought you might want to check it out, Lacia!)

Hillbilly Housewife shares some info on Depression Era cooking that I thought was kind of interesting.

I did a big shop on Friday, so I may post those receipts later. We'll see how the day goes - hope your day is lovely!

Friday, September 11, 2009

good read

Great post over at Simple Mom on setting small goals for big results - check it out!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Down to Earth now has a forum!

Morning y'all. Sorry I've been MIA. I've had a lovely case of tonsillitis and am just now feeling human again. Anyway, I wanted to share that Down to Earth now has a forum.

...a community forum for people wanting to live more simply. We discuss slowing down, living well on a budget, cooking from scratch, baking, preserving and canning food, growing organic vegetable and fruit, homesteading and home making, knitting, sewing and much more. Join us, share your story and knowledge and help build this positive and strong community.

Click on the link below to get started. (You may get an error message. If you do, click on "sign up" to get started.)

Down to Earth

I'm wendypsaves over there, too. I just signed up and I'm looking forward to exploring it more. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

saving on groceries without using coupons

I thought I'd write a little bit about easy ways to save on groceries without using coupons. Some of this will repeat things I've said before, but I think it always helps to hear it again.

Don't waste time or energy feeling guilty
This I think applies to lots of areas in our lives and I, well I'm a Virgo, I'm kind of a pro at the guilt stuff. I'll spend tons of my valuable time and energy worrying about stuff and not actually do anything productive about it. So, if saving money on groceries is one of the things that you feel guilty about not working toward - just don't.

Here's my suggestion: Instead of worrying for 2-3 minutes use that time to open your fridge and check your pantry and plan 2 or 3 meals using what you have right now, or check your produce and see what you should go ahead and use or chop up and throw in the freezer to keep it from going into your trashcan rather than in your body, or send a quick email to a company letting them know how much you like their product (ok that's technically couponing, but it's easy couponing).

Then you'll have spent your 2-3 minutes actively saving your grocery money and you get to feel good not guilty.

Stretch out your grocery trips by a day or two
If you go to the store every week and generally spend about the same amount every week, see if you can wait a couple of extra days. Again, use what you have - check your freezer and your pantry. Then, when you do go to the store, spend what you usually spend going weekly. I doubt you'll even feel deprived, and you'll have saved a percentage of your monthly spending. If you're feeling really brave, try to skip a whole week.

If there is just one day that you can shop and you need to shop weekly, try dropping your spending by $5. When you're comfortable with that, drop it by $5 more.

You don't have to shop more than one store, as long as you know your store.
Although you will save more money if you have the time/ability/inclination to shop more than one store, you don't have to do that to save. You have tons of ways to save when shopping one store.

-Pay attention to prices. Is there a snack that your family loves? If you need it today, check the various package sizes, buy the one that gives you the best per ounce price. Even better, pay attention to the sales cycles. When it goes on sale for a great price, buy an extra one, or if there's room in your budget that week, buy 5 extra. (Of course, if it's a snack they really love, you might want to hide the extra boxes and bring them out periodically.)

-The fact that you're going to need laundry detergent, toilet paper, soap, etc isn't a surprise or an emergency. Use the above pricing tip to know when to buy an extra or two of the items you know you'll need. Yes, you'd save more using coupons, but if you're saving off of the price you would normally spend, you're still saving.

-Lose brand loyalty. Try your store's brand on items. Many stores now have in-house organics lines. I've often found that I like the store brand better on some things. Again, pay attention to price per unit, to make sure that you're getting the best deal.

-Pay attention to your store's markdown areas. If you don't know where they are or if your store even does markdowns, then ask. Markdowns are usually done on soon to expire items, but often you'll find deals when your store is re-setting the aisles.

-If your store has a shopper's card, get it. You'll save on items in the store and will get on the mailing list for coupons.

-Pay attention to produce. Instead of absentmindedly chunking five apples into a bag, think about how many apples your family actually eats in a week. And I don't mean how many apples you dole out. When your kids have an apple, do they eat the whole thing? Or do they eat half of it and throw the rest away? Buy what you really think you'll eat and then portion it out effectively at home. If you run out before your next trip, it'll be ok. You'll just know to put one more apple in the bag next time.

-If your one store is a Costco, BJs, or Sam's - then look at what you can freeze as soon as you get home. Great deal on onions or bell peppers? Then take the time to chop some up, throw them in a ziploc ('cause you know you just bought 500 of them), and toss them in the freezer. Bust up big portions of things that can go stale (crackers, etc) into smaller portions, or even into snack size portions for the kids. Yes, it may take some time, but it also takes time to go back to the store 4 or 5 days before you really needed to.

Don't overfill your fridge
This is one that I've had to learn. I used to love looking at a stocked full fridge - oh, the choices! Of course, I'd throw away a good third of the the contents every week or so. Now, I like to keep our fridge only about a third to a half full. When I open the fridge, I can easily see what produce we have available, I know what leftovers we need to use up, and I actually had a spot to put said leftovers in. Also, I actually put together more varied meals. When there is an abundance of choices, I end up overwhelmed and reaching for the old standbys - and then I'm right back to throwing my grocery money into the trashcan.

Ok, I think I'll stop there. Hopefully at least some of it was new and helpful!