Monthly Archives: March 2007

Frugal Friday: Buying kitchen tools cheap without sacrificing quality

Biblical Womanhood  sponsors Frugal Friday every week and I thought this week I would share about how often we have to spend money to save money in the long run. <p> I have found this when it comes to utensils in the kitchen. It does not  mean you have to spend alot either sometimes, but i have gone to the Resteraunt supply store and gotten stainless steel  servings spoons for  under $2 that last and last! I use them for  most of my cooking, stainless steel is nice as it does not hold odors and bacteria. I do not like plastic as  the cheap ones taste funny and I am sure are putting all kinds of toxins in your food. They make them really long too, so if you were looking for something to stir that huge pot of sauce you make or soup, this is the answer. If you ever make cheese too, they are perfect! <p> i don’t know about your house, but mine spoons disappear all the time!  We eat alot of soup so spoons are the most used silverware in our house.  At the same store I bought a dozen spoons for  a couple dollars. You can get all kinds of quality of them so the cost depends on that! Most of the things you buy there really last, I  will be married for 10 years this next week and alot of the stuff I got then  is still very nice! <p> If you do not have one close by you there is a mail order company that carries much of the same stuff. They sell everything  from Stainless steel Vollrath pans to  Hosiery  and everything in between. The catalog is fun to look through! Phone # is 330-695-2344 A.C Sales  Company.  <p> Have you ever looked for oilcloth tablecloth? It is really nice, they sell it also, by the yard. It is like the vinyl tablecloth without the fleece backs. They do not slide and last for a long time. They hold up well and cost about $2.89 a yard.  This catalog could save you a trip to Walmart!

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To do list

  1. Call- Sewing machine repair place
  2. Call-Appt. for F.
  3. Call-U-Dig for fencing permission
  4. Drop off sewing machine
  5. Go see Grandma- weigh bags
  6. Grocery shopping
  7. Clean kitchen
  8. Clean living room
  9. Vacuum
  10. Boys bedroom
  11. Laundry- one load washed and dried, put away
  12. School- Math, Phonics, reading practice, handwriting and cooking lesson
  13. Yard raked- buy rake and string
  14. String off area to be fenced

So, out of 14 things on my list I have gotten, 12 done so far! That is pretty good! The boys room is not completely done, and school is not at all done, but i figured today that the house needed some major help! <p> We have been working on Russian lessons with the boys. I borrowed a video from the library and a whole bunch of tapes so we are working on that as well as other subjects. Hopefully by this summer when we go to visit F. parents, we will all have a better knowledge of how to speak the language. That is not to say that I will actually be brave enough to speak it! Do I want to invite myself to be made fun of?
The boys however,  P. especially was  remembering all sorts of words and coming up with sentences!
<p> We have a cooking lesson I need to do today and  we were going to to go to a class to learn about how books were made, so I may do some of that here. Off to work again- or maybe it is naptime!

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Book Review: Baby’s First Foods- A Mothers Guide to Whole Grains and Family Nourishment

Baby’s First Foods: A mother’s Guide to Whole Grains and Family Nourishment
By Theresa Powers<p>
Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko<p>

I just got this book in the mail and it is such a neat book, I was so excited about it, I sat down and read it right off!  T. is 2 now so I am not able to practice some of this baby food stuff on him anymore, but some of the whole grain recipes in this book, I am going to try! <p>

To start out with, this book is beautifully bound in a hardcover with lovely fruits on the cover and the pages are all  a tan color with pretty decorations at the top of each page! It makes you want to read it just to enjoy it’s beauty! This seven chapter book is chock full  of good info!  The chapters are as follows: <p>

  1. Baby Food Basics<p> -Methods and Equipment<p> -Quantity, storage and cost<p> -Is Baby ready?<p>
  2. First Grains, Fruits and Vegetables<p> –Great first grains (The Whole grain, Cooking Grains, Types of Wheat, Beans for added Nutrition,Milling Beans, Cooking Beans, Timing, Grain Combinations to Make<p> -Fruits<p> -Juicing<p> -Vegetables<p>
  3. A Break for Some Old Advice Baby’s clothing
  4. First Foods for 2 Months <p> -Week at a Glance<p> -Daily Menu
  5. First Family Recipes<p> -Introduction<p> -Breakfast: Note Pages<p> -Easy Family Dinners<p> -Sauces/Additions<p> -Your First holiday Dinner: Note Pages<p> Crackers/Cookies:Note Pages<p>
  6. Making Bread from Whole Grain<p> -The Process<p> -Bosch Mixers<p> -Grain Mills<p> -Flakers<p>-The Grains and Just Good info<p>-Definitions/Ingredients<p>-Wholegrain Breads<p>-Tea Breads: note pages<p>
  7. Baby Wisdom<p>-Raising Children to the Lord<p> -Journaling Your babies life stories<p>-Marmee’s Popover bib (project)<p> -Diaper folding: Herbal remedies<p> -Naturally clean baby<p> -Simple Stitches: Make your own bias binding<p> -Postpartum Herb Bath: Make a baby blanket (project)<p>

Don’t let this book fool you, it is not just another baby food guide! It is full of so many wonderful things about whole grains and how to use them in your everyday cooking for your whole family, not just your baby!  I was impressed by the way it was laid out in a appealing way, yet makes you want to feed your baby this way! <p>This book teaches  you how it is cheaper to make your own baby food as well as healthier  for your little one. <p. the last chapters have projects for you to make as well as teaching you about journaling about your baby with examples from  the authors own baby journal. <p> The forward is written by Mrs. Martha Greene from Marmee Dear<p>

This book is available from   Joyous Home   or  Ripe4Harvest
It is 6×9 hardcover format and 127 pages long.  Retail cost  is $17.95. A quick start video  to accompany the book is going to be released in April 2007 and will be available as a set for $29.95

I encourage you to look up this book and buy it for your needs as it really is a book  that will teach you!

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Book Review: Mega Cooking by Jill Bond

I  checked this book out at the library. I am not a OAMC person, but I really enjoyed this book because of the first part of the book before the recipes. <p> She  goes through each utensil in the kitchen and tools we use to cook and explain why we need them or why we do not. She talks about how to save money on them, and where not to save money.  <p>One of the things I found really interesting was she was talking about how she calls grocery stores and gets bids for meat.   I have never done this yet, but I am interested in trying that.  She says if they say the price is what it is out on the counter, to thank them and try the next store. I found this out when I was cooking for a camp. I asked one store to give me a discount on  produce I was buying and they marked all the watermelon and cantaloupe down  for me.  I think I bought 5 each.  Often if you are buying in  bulk you are saving them money  by this as they know  they will sell it. <p> I know my mom used to ask at our regular grocery store  all the time if they would give her a deal if she bought so many of something. Often they did! <p> Anyhow, even if you have no interest in bulk cooking, I do not really, I don’t own a big freezer, you will enjoy reading this book!

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Educators Week

It is a little late to tell you, if you did not know already, but Borders
has a promotion for educators which includes homeschoolers  that  goes through tomorrow. i know most of their stuff is high priced, but you can get 25% off of pretty much all their books this week as well as they gave out  an Cat in the Hat audio book (if you like that, I was never too crazy about it), stickers, coloring pages, chocolates, and all kinds of other stuff!

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Frugal Friday: Who says the poor can’t have fun?

Biblical Womanhood hosts  a Frugal Friday  every week! There is always good tips over there from lots of the readers. If you want to join in, head over and post your link<p>
Who says the poor cannot have fun? I guess it just depends of your definition of fun! We were always fairly poor growing up, but do you think that meant life was boring?  Here are a list of really fun things to do with your family  that do not cost alot and can be fun for everyone! <p> Besides, you are making memories that last longer than the stuff that costs more because you had to work to have fun! <p>
1. Buy a box of ice cream bars (much cheaper than ice cream cones for everyone) and drive  to a nearby train tracks to watch the trains go by. (We did this often as children, and when we were adults too! We lived in a small town and would drive out of  town a bit to watch the freight trains and count cars. The best part was everyone sitting in the car,  talking to each other and singing while we waited)<p>
2. Pack a picnic lunch and  drive to odd places to have a picnic.  (My parents took us to this train tunnel way out in the middle of nowhere that is 7 miles long. We had a picnic there by the tunnel, near  the tunnel, watched some trains, played some ball and read books laying on blankets. I made this cake which I remember to this day! It was chocolate with cherry pie filling instead of frosting!)<p>
3. Go to the library and check out some old movies, the black and white ones. Go home and make all kinds of snacks, like all kinds of different flavored popcorn, pizza cut into bite size pieces, root beer floats and meatball sandwiches. Sit on the living room floor and listen as everyone talks about the movies. ( My great-grandfather and I used to do this, we critiqued the movies and ate little bits of junk food. I still treasure those days!)<p>
4. Build your own calzone night!- Make a big batch of pizza dough and prepare many different pizza toppings. Give everyone a piece of dough and have them make their own pizza pockets. <p>
5. Read a book aloud together- While listening everyone can work on handwork, even the boys. (I got so much embroidery, cross stitch and other handwork done while listening to the journals of John Wesley, Charles Finney, George Whitfield and other heroes of the faith and actually found out you retain more if your hands are busy while listening. My mom would read too sometimes and we quilted)<p>
6. Make your own Blizzards- This is much cheaper than buying them at  Dairy Queen.
We would buy a half gallon of cheap ice cream and a couple different kinds of candy bars for a dollar and soften the ice cream in the mixer and add a little milk. Add broken candy bars of your flavor of choice! <p>
7. Go outside and play a old fashioned game- Dare Base, Prisoner’s base, Freeze Tag, Capture the Flag are just a few of your choices. (some of my fondest memories of playing outside was playing games like these)<p>
8. Visit a used bookstore together- You can find better books at cheaper prices! (My first wonder of the old books began on weekend trips to used bookstores in Seattle!)
<p> These are just a few cheap fun things that families can do together to make memories that last a lifetime!

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Book Review: Answers for New Christians

Answers for New Christians <p>
Author- Mrs. Robin Khoury<p>
Reviewed By Martha Artyomenko<p>

This book is a simple book for a new Christian. It is written for ages 4-12. In a simple way it goes through the origin of sin, the birth of Jesus, His resurrection, and the plan of salvation in a very simple way. It is accompanied by scripture verses, coloring pages, activities and some fill in charts in back for your child to remember and write about his important decision as well as study questions.  There is also a place for people who are important in your child’s life to write a note.  <p>

I found this to be a nicely laid out book with a fairly straightforward biblical quotes. I think it could be a valuable tool to teach your child about the plan of salvation. There are a few things I would disagree with, but even so, I think with you teaching your child with this book, you could use that to discuss important topics. It is set in a way that would appeal to children of many ages and is something I will look forward to using with my children. One thing that is really neat about the book is  that the author and the illustrator were both homeschooled! <p>

This book is available for purchase at: www.answersfornewchristians.com
Email address: littlelightpress@cox.net<p>
Or Call toll Free: 1-877-557-4463<p>
The author also has 2 blogs she writes on, which talk about how to use the curriculum<p> www.cmcoffeebreak.wordpress.com   or  www.missrobin.wordpress.com<p>

If you buy direct from their company she will offer quantity discounts like available to a bookstore, a case lot of 10 is $89.70! Retail price is $14.95

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Spring is Here!

We planted some seeds inside today in Jiffy sevens (I think that is what they are called anyway) to celebrate!

We planted Green Peppers, Banana peppers, cilantro, zuchuni, and basil.

I was not sure if you were really supposed to start the zuchuni or cilantro inside, but last year I got alot, but it would have been nicer to get produce earlier in the year. So, we will see if they work!

I did not get everything done we were supposed to, but next on the list is a fence. A. wants to go outside so bad and without me he can’t. We are hoping to get a fence this year.

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How do we get it all done?

Do you think there is any way? Or do the people who try go crazy?

Okay, today I have really long list of things to do!

1. Fred Haircut – done (i didn’t have to do it, just get a appt. and organize it)

2. Potty Training- All day

3. School- working on it

4. Make dinner

5. Cooking class with the boys

6. Vacuum living room- done

7. Clean boys room

8. Finish laundry for the week

9. Yard raked (this is not actually me, but directing boys and F.)

10. Get my sewing machine to the shop

11. Mop kitchen floor

12. Clean Office

And I am sure there is more that I have not written down! Tomorrow, it will begin again…… I am using these charts in a organizing notebook for my monthly and weekly chores. I also have a chart for daily chores.<p>

So, not everything done, some will be transferred over!

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Grocery shopping cheaply

I went to the grocery store for a couple things and ended up finding some really good deals. <p>  I didn’t use any coupons, but actually if I had any for the items I bought, I probably could gotten them free. However, because of the place I live, we do not have access to many coupons so I am thankful for these kind of deals! <p> Many of them were dented cans. I know there is conflicting arguments about the safety of dented cans, but I feel they are perfectly safe as long as you follow a few rules. <p>
 Check each can carefully. <p>
#1- Make sure the can is not deformed so badly it has to bulge<p>
#2- Make sure there is not any leaks  in the dents. Sometimes there  can be a can that is discounted because something spilled on it. You have to check this though.<p>
#3- No puffy cans or ones that feel like there is air in them<p>
If you follow these rules, you should not have any trouble. It is simply a can that is still air tight that has been dropped and  the food is fine. <p>
My grocery shopping receipt <p>
Tortilla chips $1.00<p>
Bigelow Teabags Sweet Dreams $.71<p>
Oust Air Sanitizer  $1.15<p>
S&W Chili Beans $.29<p>
Kroger Chicken broth $.17<p>
Del Monte Green Beans $.28<p>
Rosarita Refried Black beans $.31<p>
Ziplock Freezer Bags $ .92<p>
Kroger Pineapple (20 oz.)$.31<p>
Rosarita Chili and Lime refried beans $.31<p>
Kroger Vegetarian Refried beans $.18<p>
Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix (for my husband) $.84<p>
(2)Kroger Real Vanilla Extract $.56 <p>
(4)Disney Gelatin 4 /$1.00<p>
Kroger Yogurt (32 oz) $1.67<p>
(3)Kroger Cottage cheese $1 ea. =$3<p>
Roma Tomatoes $1 lb=  $.54 <p>
Eggplant $1.29<p>
Total= $16.61

<p>
Most of this stuff I will  not be using just this week. It will be spread out over awhile, like all the refried beans, I use for quick lunches. I bought tortillas last week for $1 a package with a  little grated cheese that is a cheap lunch!  A couple of those things I bought were sort of extra items. The eggplant was pretty cheap for an eggplant and I can make a whole dinner out of that combining some ingredients i have already here at home, making a very affordable dinner. <p> The jello  I  use with tapioca to make a large not very sweet dessert with fruit in it.  <p> I buy the yogurt and cottage cheese to keep some protein and calcium down my littlest boys.  We all do not drink alot of milk, so this helps in that area. <p> i was pretty happy with my purchases! Combined will all the cabbage we bought this past week, I think we are set for awhile!

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