Five Frugal for Friday

By Liz

Did you ever have those times when you felt like you were in a fog, and it lasted for a long time?  That was us this week.    At the beginning of the week, I got to meet up with an old friend for lunch and that was great. However, the rest of the week just seemed to have a heaviness to it that felt like it just would not go away which made the week seem endless, but thankfully it is now Friday and the weekend is upon us.

Here are my 5 frugal accomplishments for this week:

1. We flipped a car. This accomplishment was not intentional. We had purchased a used, “first car” to help a close relative over a year ago. At the time, they could not afford the car out right, and was considering a loan with a very high interest rate.  We were in the position to help out by purchasing the car in full, and the arrangements were, they were to pay us monthly, for the cost of the car (no interest or fees) until the car was paid for.  Unfortunately, that did not work out, so my wonderful, more than handy, mechanically inclined husband, did some minor repairs, buffed out scratches and touched up paint, detailed the car top to bottom and we flipped it for a profit that will pay for our summer vacation this year.

2. I made Saturday morning pastry. I always treat my family to some kind of pastry on Saturday morning, whether it is bakery bought donuts, bagels, or pan dulce. However, some Saturdays if the conditions are right and the motivation is there, I will bake. This past Saturday, I made both strawberry and cheese Danish.

 

3. I made bread crumbs. We seemed to have a variety of breads with our meals last week. We had sourdough, Italian, baguette, and pita ends and pieces sitting in bags on top of the fridge. So I took all of them and dried them out in the oven and ran them through the food processor.  It yielded me almost 2 cups of crumbs, which I then used to make a double batch of meatballs.

 

4. I made a batch of homemade pesto. We love pesto in our house. We use it on pasta, sandwiches and on meat, fish and some vegetables.  Our micro garden is in full bloom, so I used the basil from our garden to make a batch of pesto sauce. Making pesto does require a lot of basil and we only have to planters in our garden, so I basically wiped out our crop, but I am hopeful the plants will regenerate.


5. I gave myself an overdue pedicure.  I do my own pedicures at home every 2 weeks, keeping my toes looking fresh, however time got away from me this month and I had finally reconciled that I had the time to do it.  I set up shop on my back patio, with my pedicure kit, a book and a very large, icy glass of sparkling water and spent an hour of pampering time.

So those are some of the ways I saved some money this week. How were you able to save some of your hard earned cash this week?



Savoring Coffee and the Weekend

french-press

By Liz

Like most, our Mondays through Fridays are extremely hectic. That’s not to say that our weekends aren’t busy either, but we tend to tackle those two glorious days with more of a laid back vibe.

Even though we are family that tries to tighten our belts every chance we get, we do have some luxuries that we enjoy.  As I have mentioned in a previous article, my husband gave me a Keurig coffee machine many Christmases ago that gets a lot of use in our house as you can imagine with the 7 of us.  In fact, it seems as though our Keurig is always hard at work brewing a cup of coffee, tea or cocoa.  What I like most about it, is that it produces a hot, fresh cup of whatever our palates are craving at any particular time.  For example, I enjoy a regular medium roast cup of coffee, my husband enjoys hazelnut coffee, while the older boys enjoy some very strong, alternate flavored, gourmet coffees (that they buy with their own money) and while our teens turn their beverages into iced coffees now and then, they mostly stick to cocoa.




When my hubby and I got married, we received a French Press coffee pot as one of our gifts. It was the first time I had tried a cup of coffee from a French Press.  At the time, I was skeptical, because it reminded me so much of the same process used when making instant or peculated coffee, which is what I grew up on, needless to say, I was not a huge fan of either of those methods back in the day, but it was all we had. But from that very first sip of coffee that was brewed from the French Press coffee pot….I was hooked. The aroma, the intense, smooth flavor, the rich color….OMG!! I was in café heaven!

Mondays through Fridays, I start my days at 6:00 a.m. with a fresh cup of coffee every morning, brewed from my Keurig. While my Keurig is starting up, I will flip open my laptop, log on and start checking emails, start to work on an article for my blog, throw in a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, etc… before the rest of my brood even starts wiping the sleep crud from their eyes.  On an average day, I typically enjoy 2, sometimes 3 cups most mornings, another cup late in the afternoon and sometimes a cup at lunch, depending on what is on the menu.




Weekends however are another story when it comes to java. I sleep in on Saturday and Sundays (usually until about 6:45 a.m.) on these 2 days, my beloved French Press Coffee pot comes out.  I brew a fresh, hot pot of coffee and then spend some overdue, quality time, relaxing and enjoying my java.  Depending on what kind of weekend it is, I pair my cup of coffee with a good book and a blanket, curled up on the couch. Then there are times when I sip on my java and watch an old movie; but my favorite is when the weather cooperates, I will sit out on my back patio and just enjoy another beautiful day that God has created, just taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the fresh morning air while sipping on my cup of heaven.

After well over a decade in the corporate world, which also included those rushed,” squeeze in all those tasks on the weekends because you were working all week”, and even now, though I am our COO and Home Manager, of a hustling and bustling household,  I purposely find time to savor the flavor of my coffee and weekend mornings.