Bluebonnets To Peaches


He Speaks My Language!
January 26, 2009, 1:14 pm
Filed under: Frugal Deals/Ideas

I have a thing for office supplies. I had my first file cabinet at the age of 9.  I have to force myself to avoid all office supply stores, I could spend the whole day in those stores.  I look forward to August every year . . . that’s when you get the best deals on all the wonderful back to school supplies!

I don’t collect anything, I believe most collections clutter up your home.  Plus, when people find out you collect pink cows then that’s all they buy you and then you feel bad telling them you don’t need anymore pink cows so you keep the really ugly pink cows and they just add to the clutter and then you yell at the cows every time you have to dust them!  I prefer to do without collections; however, if I had to collect something it would be office supplies.  Hubby set up a shelf in the basement for me to store all my supplies.  It makes my heart sing!

You can only imagine my delight when he came home last week with 4-5 boxes of office supplies that he got for dirt cheap at an auction!  I was so excited about all the fun stuff that I didn’t even complain that he set all 5 boxes in my spotless kitchen that I had spent the morning cleaning scrubbing.  Because he is such a wonderful hubby, he let me go through the boxes and keep whatever I wanted, the rest is being sold on ebay (he will easily make his money back)!

Here’s what I kept:

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Do you see all those labels, binder clips (in all sizes!), highlighters, pencils, really cool erasers, sheet protectors, tab dividers, staples, paperclips and the super cute bar-b-que paper?  That paper just might force me to host a neighborhood cookout this summer!  There were also some large envelopes that we can use and lots of blank paper for the kiddos to draw on!

Hubby knows how to speak my language.  Who needs flowers?  Just bring me office supplies!  (okay, really I do enjoy flowers too 🙂



Our Weekend Project
January 18, 2009, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Frugal Deals/Ideas

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This weekend we installed a water heater insulation blanket on our water heater in the basement!  This is our first home with a basement and while we LOVE the extra room, our basement is unfinished and it is COLD down there!  For some reason, water heaters are placed in the basement . . . even when the bathroom/shower is on the top floor!  That’s a long way for the water to run and wait for it to get hot!  With the temperature being down in the teens this past week, hubby thought it would be a good idea to try out an insulation blanket on the water heater and he got a gift certificate for Christmas that paid for the blanket!

The blanket was easy to install and quick, it only took us about 20 minutes!  According to everything I read, the blanket should save us somewhere between 10-25% on our bill.  I also checked to see if we could receive any rebates for installing the insulation blanket, but our gas company does not offer anything (however; if you try this, check with your own company – many do offer a rebate).  I’ll be watching our bill and I’ll post our results. 

Did you have any fun home projects this weekend?



Soup Weather
January 16, 2009, 6:25 pm
Filed under: Recipes

I know that most of the country is encountering very cold temperatures today.  Here in Georgia, we are not excluded.  It was a very cold 11 degrees when we left for school this morning!  brrrrr!

Nick and I have spent most of the day cuddled on the couch watching movies 🙂  A perfect jammie day!

This weather is also the perfect soup weather!  Tonight we are having Baked Potato Soup, a recipe I originally got from Quick Cooking magazine, but adapted for our family.  Here’s the recipe I use:

  • 3-4 potatoes
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 5-6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Peel and cube potatoes.  Boil in water til tender (about 30 min).  In a large saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth.  Gradually stir in milk.  Bring to boil and continue to stir until thickened (about 2 minutes).  Remove from heat and whisk in sour cream.  Add potatoes and heat through.  Garnish with bacon and cheese.  Serves 3-4.



What I’ve been Knitting
January 13, 2009, 7:00 am
Filed under: Knitting

Have you noticed that I haven’t posted a knitting post in awhile?  In fact the last knitting post I had was this one.  Now that Christmas is over I can share what I’ve been knitting! 

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I’ve been wanting to learn to knit socks for a long time.  Sheri’s blog  at The Loopy Ewe was the very first blog I ever started reading.  In fact my knitting friend and I bought a DVD to learn to knit socks, but I moved away before we got the chance to watch it.  All knitters that knit socks talk about how awesome they are to knit for several reasons; they are small and portable, you can try out all sorts of patterns, no 2 socks are ever the same, they are enjoyable to wear . . .  Back in October I took full advantage of my local yarn store closing and bought some skeins to try my hand at knitting socks.  The skeins were all 40% off so I decided it would be a good time to try it out.

The fact that I am interested in knitting socks is very funny all in itself.  I HATE buying socks!  I always have.  It just seems like such a waste of money.  My socks have to have 2-3 holes in them before I throw them out.  It’s a huge joke in our family, and last year for Christmas everyone bought me socks and I ended up with about 20 pairs – that’s enough socks for the next decade!

For all of you non-knitters, let me explain that socks can become expensive to knit.  A nice skein of sock yarn is around $25, and one skein makes one pair of socks!  That’s right, I’ve been knitting socks that cost $25 a pair!  And that does not calculate in my time.  In Kari Cornell’s book For the Love of Knitting, A Celebration of the Knitter’s Art, Sigrid Arnott calculates the cost per sock:

“I don’t keep track, but if I spend twenty-five hours knitting a sock and multiply that by minimum wage of $5.15, that sock should cost $128.75.  Considering my years of “training” in the highly technical “field” of knitting, I should earn at least the $17.62 per hour that the federal government sets as the wage for, say, a Cable Splicer (whatever that is, although by the name alone it seems analogous to knitting).  At that rate, my sock’s value skyrockets to $440.50.  And that’s just for one foot.”

Deena, Angie (and soon to be Landis), y’all are wearing $1000 socks!  All the sock knitters were right, I am now totally addicted to knitting socks!  I just wonder why I waited so long to try them out!



Yummy Garlic-Cheese Biscuits
January 12, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Recipes

In keeping with my 2009 goals, we tried a new recipe this week and it is a winner!  I’ve been wanting to try these garlic-cheese biscuits from http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/red-lobster-garlic-cheese-biscuits/

These biscuits were super easy and were all gone within minutes (that’s why there is no picture).  Nick was very upset when I brushed the top of the biscuits with the butter topping . . . he finally gave in and decided to try one and then said “ymmm, these are good!”

We enjoyed these so much that I made them twice this week!  This recipe will be added to our Family Favorite Recipe book!



An Addition to Our Kitchen
January 9, 2009, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Craft Ideas

My mom gave my sister and I these cute quotes for Christmas!

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The quote says “The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table.”  I had seen these in the store awhile back and thought they were super cute and I especially loved this quote. 

This quote is appropriate for our family because the kitchen table was the center of our household while I was growing up.  My parents kitchen table was my grandmother’s table and my mom had it refinished.  The table is well worn, but has many memories for me.  So many life events happened at that kitchen table.  It’s the table where I did my homework, it’s where we played INTENSE family games of Monopoly (or marbles or chicken foot!), it’s where hubby and I told my parents that we were engaged, it was while everyone was gathered around the table that we told our family that we were expecting our first baby!  It is also the same table that we gathered around after my dad passed away, to share stories of him – we left his seat empty.

We had the perfect spot for the quote, right above our sink.  I love the way it turned out and it makes me smile everytime I walk by it!  Here’s what it looks like:

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What’s your favorite quote?



Today’s Deals
January 8, 2009, 4:24 pm
Filed under: CVS Deals, Publix Deals

Today was grocery/cvs shopping day and I got some awesome deals, including a unexpected deal! 

Typically when I grocery shop I keep my eyes on my list – not on the shelves.  I usually only go down the aisles that I need to go down, I have found that this keeps items that aren’t on my list out of my basket!  Today while at Publix (have I mentioned how much I love Publix?) I took a turn down the wrong aisle!  As I got to the end of the aisle, completely irritated that I was wasting time, I noticed a “in store special”  otherwise know as a “unadvertised special!”  The special was BOGOF on Minute Maid Juice Coolers – something that we are in need of (I use these in the boys lunches) – the “in store special” price came to $1.09 a box!!  As I piled some into my cart I thought “isn’t God a hoot?” He sent me down the “wrong” aisle just to bless me with a great deal!  I love that!

Another bonus this week is that we received a $5/$30 purchase at Publix yesterday in the mail!  Whoo Hoo, that makes my heart sing !  The $5 coupon is included in the total savings number.

Now onto my other shopping deals today:

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The first stop was Ingles, a grocery store here in Georgia.  I have only been there once before because I have found their prices to be very high; however, this week they had a great sale on cubed steak that I just couldn’t pass up!  My next stop was CVS with a cashier that was more than 1/2 asleep!  My last stop was Publix 🙂  Here’s the breakdown:

INGLES

  • Cubed Steak $2.84/lb
  • Grapes $1.68/lb

Total Purchased $17.48

Total Savings $6.74

Total OOP $10.74

CVS

  • 2 All Detergent BOGOF $7.49, used 2 .40 coupons = $3.35/ea
  • Cototnelle 20 rolls $12.97, used .50 coupon = $12.47
  • Garnier hair spray $2.99, used $1 coupon = $1.99

Total Purchased $30.94

Total Savings $9.79

Total ECB’s Used $20.35

Total ECB’s Earned $6

Total OOP $.80

PUBLIX

  • Chicken $1.99/lb (this is the lowest I’ve seen it here, I bought 15 pounds) 
  • Ground Beef $2.69/lb (on sale, not the best price, but we needed 1/lb for dinner next week)
  • 8 Pasta/Rice A Roni BOGOF, used 2 $1 coupons = .58 each
  • 2 Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks BOGOF, used .50 coupon, doubled = .80 each
  • 3 Pringles 5/$5, used .30 coupon, doubled = .80 each
  • 6 Minute Maid Juice Coolers BOGOF = 1.09 each

Total Purchased $107.89

Total Savings (coupons & specials) $63.76

Total OOP $44.13