Five Frugal Friday

piggy-bank-02

By Liz

Summer is here, the days are getting hotter and longer and our revolving door is in full swing with work, education, cookouts, vacations and family time.  Looking at that list you would think that it might be tough to save some cash, but here are some things I did this week that saved us some green.

garden-jalepenos

1. Spared some jalapenos.  Our jalapeno plants are taking off this year, so much so that there is only so much I can serve my family.  I harvested this batch for the day and flash froze them for future in salsas, food bowls, and my open faced jalapeno bombs.

garden-veggies-in-chilli

2. Used a fresh harvest for dinner. Keeping with our micro gardening theme, two days after I flash froze all those jalapenos, we had a few more that were ready to be used, along with a bell pepper and a handful of pitiful shaped Roma tomatoes. I peeled and pureed the tomatoes, diced up all the peppers and used them in my pork chili that evening.

detailing

3. Detailed the inside of my car. This one was really all my hubby’s doing. My car has been used this spring to haul bags of dirt, compost, free fire wood, and hairy dogs. To say that the inside of my car needed a good cleaning would be an understatement.  My hubby spent hours going through every little nook and cranny.  My car looks and smells new again and we didn’t have to pay to have it professionally serviced.

hair-color

4. I colored my hair. Probably much to the dismay of my hair stylist (sorry Leslie), I color my own hair approximately every 4 to 6 weeks. I know that the day will come when I will need to seek professional services for this bit of vanity, but for right now, I can get away with a box of hair color that is less than $10, and believe it or not, I always seem to get compliments on my hair, so I know that I have a chosen a color that suits me and doesn’t make me look like I have clown colored hair.

payroll-studies

5. I am spending my Saturday’s this summer keeping up my certification. OK, depending on how you look at this one, it might not really be considered frugal. Every 5 years I have to re-certify as a CPP (Certified Payroll Professional) making sure I am up to date on the latest rules and laws as it governs the payroll industry. Even though I am unsure if I will ever go back to this profession, education is never a waste of one’s time or money. (and it never hurts to have a Plan B in your back pocket).

So there you have it, some ways I was able to save some dough this week. What kinds of things did you do to save some moola?

 


Hearty Rustic Pork Ragu

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This hearty and delicious recipe is packed with vibrant flavors and is a great way to sneak vegetables in if you have picky eaters.

Not only is this meal great for those cold chilly days, but it is also great for the summer when you’re cooking for a crowd and don’t want to heat your kitchen up by turning on the oven.

This is one of those great meals you can assemble in the morning and don’t have to touch until it is time to be served and on busy days…who doesn’t love that?

pork-ragu-02

Ingredients:

2-3 pounds pork roast or tenderloin

1 large onion, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

3 ribs of celery, rinsed and chopped

1 medium bell pepper, chopped

4 -5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

3 cups spaghetti sauce

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Directions:

1. Spray a 6 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray.

2. Rough cut all the vegetables into bite size pieces and place on the bottom of the slow cooker add seasonings.

3. Add pork roast on top of the bed of vegetables add an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper over the pork.

4. Pour spaghetti sauce over pork and vegetables (do not stir).

5. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

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6. Remove pork and break pork into bite size pieces or shred; then add back to pot and stir.

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7. Serve hot, over desired cooked pasta or over bread.

This is a favorite in our house and even though we have a large family, believe it or not, we always have leftovers with this  hearty meal and no one seems to mind having it for lunch the following day. So the next time you are looking for a crowd pleasing, satisfying easy dish to make, give this one a try and enjoy the recipe card below.

Hearty Rustic Pork Ragu
Serves 8
A crowd pleasing, hearty, delicious and thrifty dinner for anytime of the year.
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320 calories
13 g
114 g
11 g
41 g
3 g
311 g
802 g
8 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
311g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 320
Calories from Fat 95
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
16%
Saturated Fat 3g
15%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 114mg
38%
Sodium 802mg
33%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 8g
Protein 41g
Vitamin A
84%
Vitamin C
41%
Calcium
6%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2-3 pounds pork roast or tenderloin
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  4. 3 ribs of celery, rinsed and chopped
  5. 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  6. 4 -5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  7. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  9. ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  10. 3 cups spaghetti sauce
Instructions
  1. Spray a 6 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray.
  2. Rough cut all the vegetables into bite size pieces and place on the bottom of the slow cooker add seasonings.
  3. Add pork roast on top of the bed of vegetables add an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper over the pork.
  4. Pour spaghetti sauce over pork and vegetables (do not stir).
  5. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.
  6. Remove pork and break pork into bite size pieces or shred; then add back to pot and stir.
Notes
  1. Serve hot, over desired cooked pasta or over bread.
beta
calories
320
fat
11g
protein
41g
carbs
13g
more
The Fort Worth Homemaker http://thefortworthhomemaker.com/

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?



Five Frugal for Friday

savings

By Liz

This was an “off” week here at the house.  The college semester has ended for one of the boys, and he does not get any extra hours at his part time job for the summer until June, so he has been hanging around the house all week; one of our dear friends suffered a loss this week; our oldest dog was sick for a few days so this included stopping what we were doing to run around the house cleaning up after her.

My husband and I just could not seem to “get it into gear” this week when it came to getting projects done.  Needless to say, we are looking forward to the weekend and although it was a bad week, I still managed to get some thriftiness in.  Here are 5, frugal things I racked up this week:

antique-mall

1. Sunday was Mother’s day. I hope all moms had a great day. After Sunday service, I was treated to brunch at home, not made by me this week, but by my hubby and kids, which did included a fabulous tomato and cheese omelet, home fries, avocado toast and  a couple of mimosas (my fav.).   Later in the day the kids that were home for the day, took me to one of my favorite places, the local antique mall. If you have never been to an antique mall, I highly recommend it.  It is almost like going to a museum. So many things to look at, and so many trips down memory lane and the best part…no admission fee.

sasha

2. Sasha, our eldest dog, who was ailing this week, got some overdue TLC.  I took her to the DIY dog wash and gave her a good scrub down helping knock off a lot of her remaining winter coat.  Yes, I could wash her at home for free but Sasha has arthritis really badly in both her front and back legs and she is a big dog so it is hard for me to lift her in and out of the tub, not to mention ALL THAT HAIR. So I was glad to pay a fee of $10 at the dog wash, as they provide a tub with a ramp for her to get in and out of, they  also supply a variety of shampoos, towels, blow dryer and the best part…I don’t have a drain to unclog and tub to scrub down later.

3. Staying on Sasha, I found a new dog bed for her. Sasha gets a new bed once a year and by that time, it is much needed as the old one is pretty matted down and has lost its fluff and shape by the time the year is up.  Sasha is pretty particular about her beds; we have found that she prefers the beds at Costco that are size appropriate for her, they run us about $45. However, we have an open box store near us that sells many items that have come from Costco and I found a Kirkland (Costco brand) bed for her for only $25.

zuchhinni-bread

4. From 2 zucchinis that came from our micro garden, I made a wonderfully moist zucchini bread that the family enjoyed for dessert one night and breakfast the next morning with coffee.

dinner""

5. Thursday is my errand day. So I am in and out of the house for the majority of the day, I had planned on picking up something fresh to cook for dinner that night, but you know how sometimes you just get a craving and nothing will do until you satisfy it?  Well, that was me most of the week; I was craving fried chicken.  As luck would have it, I came across some discounted Walmart fried chicken that had been made previously in the day and was now over in their refrigerated case, it was still very fresh.  I picked up 2 containers, at a price of $6.22 for a total of 16 pieces; I would only need to reheat them in my oven in the evening. I also picked up some store baked cookies that were discounted as well, 6 fresh baked cookies for a total of 68 cents and I made 3 boxes of mac and cheese that cost me another dollar. So dinner that evening cost me about $8; hammering the price of any kind of take out fried chicken I was considering stopping for that evening.

So that was my frugal 5 for Friday.  What kind of great finds or savings did you have this week?