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Thursday, December 26, 2013

As Close To Organic Food As I Can Get

My son sent me an email about various produce that are slammed with pesticides and some that are not as badly slammed. I keep this list in my purse when I go to the grocery store. I mostly have it memorized. Below is the list.

If you are lucky enough to have a store called Trader Joe's you can get organic at a lower price than some larger chains. I buy my peppers, potatoes, cucumbers, and some meats at Whole Foods because the chain I go to doesn't have these in small quanities. I can buy my fruit, most of the time, at the chain I go to. Also frozen organic is good. I add them to muffins or cereal. 

Living in a TinCan you are limited. I don't buy processed foods so both my small frigs are full of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and things I make for lunches.(tuna salad, three bean salad, chicken pasta, and other things). I try to make these on the weekend so all I have to do is just put them in seperate containers for our lunches.

I do cheat sometimes and buy meat/dairy on sale at my chain. Yea, the cattle probably lived and were fed in a feed lot. I buy my tuna in bulk from Costco. If you want some processed stuff you can get it in great quanities at Costco. They have quite a selection of organic. I just dont have the room.

Of course, the ultimate would be having your own cattle or barter for a neighbors grass raised cattle. Also your own chickens and other critters along with a full garden and green house. That is on the back burner for us now. I buy my food weekly with a strict budget and pre planned menu. This menu includes treats, breakfast meals, and lunch meals. We probably spend $100-$120 a week for two.

Check out my post about how to pre-plan your week the weekend before. If I had a freezer I could make large amounts of ....say...skettie and freeze a few batches.

Eat OrganicOkay Non Organic
Imported NectrinesSweet Potato
PeppersSweet Peas
LettuceDomestic Cantaloupe





Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Famous Green Jello

2 C boiling water
1 small  package yellow jello
1 small package green jello
1 can crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 C cottage cheese
1/2 C mayonaise
3/4 can evaporated milk
1/2 C walnuts chopped medium fine

Boil 2 Cups water, add both packages of jello, mix until combined.
Add, pineapple, cottage cheese, mayonaise, canned milk, and nuts.
Stir to make it smooth taking the lumps out.

Put in frig until set.
See Thanksgiving Day for a picture of Green Jello.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner

Since we are still in our Tin Can cooking a turkey is out of the question.
Turkey breast (cooked in our on-the-counter oven)
Steamed fresh green beans
Dressing in a glass bowl (cooked in our not-so-great propane oven...finished in our fancy oven )
My Famous Green Jello Salad
Rolls ( I forgot to take the oven dial off of broil when I cooked the rolls so they are a bit dark)

Turkey, Green Beans, Dressing, Rolls, Famous Green Jello (green jello recipe in next blog).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Best Day to Buy Groceries for a Bargain

From a site called "The Daily Finance" has a great article. Check this out.

Remember eat first and take your grocery list from your menu you created. Create you menu from the sale items online. See my previouse blog called "Frugal Grocery Shopping"

When it comes to grocery shopping, we know it's wise to not to go on an empty stomach, but when should you head to the supermarket to bag the best bargains? Believe it or not, there's actually one day of the week that's better than the rest.

That's right, savvy savers. While it may be most convenient for you to shop on the weekends, it's more economical to tackle your grocery list on Wednesdays. According to
Lifehacker, this mid-week day is when many grocery stores release new sale ads, but also honor the previous week's sales items. That means you'll have more sale items at your fingertips. also confirmed that Wednesday is the best day for grocery shopping. "For about half of the country, this is the day when approximately half of the retailers start their weekly sales," site representative Gord Crowson told CBS News. Of course, you should double check with your local stores to be sure.

To save even more, experts say that shopping in the evening is your best bet. That means Wednesday nights are the ultimate time to buy. "This is the time when perishables are typically reduced for quick sale," Crowson added. "If the Produce, Bakery or Meat departments are concerned about having too much stock left over at the end of the day, they will often reduce the price by up to 50 percent to encourage quick sales."

So, when your pantry and refrigerator need to be restocked, make time to shop on Wednesday nights. You'll give yourself the best chance to score the biggest deals on your meals

Friday, November 1, 2013

Things have changed

Good news gang. My old job at a local Toyota dealership (like working retail)  has ended and my new job at the state of Texas has me working daytime with weekends off and lots of holidays. I can't believe I finally got this kind of job.
Now that is is finally fall in Texas my menus will change, along with working days I dont want to spend a lot of time when I get home making dinner. Yep, the old crock pot will be helping me out.
Since both of us take lunches its a challenge to get things done in the mornings. Remember a WEEKLY MENU is important. I always add what I want to make for our lunches on the menu so I can buy what I need.

My evening plan:

1) Always keep Weekly Menu handy.
2) Make dressings for salads and finger food dip
Hubby can only have 6 ounces of meat/fish a day soooooo this gets tricky. When he has meat for lunch he either gets a small amount and has more for dinner. I try to make it either. If he has veggies, fruit, nuts, and crackers for lunch, which he loves, then dinner is easy.As a carnavoir its hard to do this 6 ounce thing.
3) Cut up all veggies or finger food for lunch
4) Leftovers are a must.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Spaghetti with Brauts

Yep, spaghetti with your favorite Braut. It added more flavor and hubby gave it a BIG thumbs up.

I browned a package of brauts (saving 2 for breakfast meals)
In crockpot:

   1/2 onion chopped up
   2 cloves garlic minced
   2 med cans diced tomatoes with garlic
   1 sm can of tomatoe sauce
   1 tsp dried oregano leaves
   1 tsp dried thyme leaves
   1.5 tsp dried basil leaves
   1 tsp grill seasonings
   1/2 tsp salt
   1 tbl cane sugar

Add grilled sliced brauts.
In grilling pan add 1/2 C water and beef bullion cube. When softened add to crock pot.
Stir and put on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve over rolls or spaghetti noodles.
Top with slices of parmesan cheese

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sweet Sour Pork

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ Teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil
2 servings of pork
Grill Seasonings
½ Cup Water
½ Green Bell Pepper
½ Red Bell Pepper
4 green onions cut in 1” strips
½ Teaspoon minced fresh ginger
3 sliced carrots
1 ½ cubes fresh pineapple
2 Teaspoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
½ Teaspoon Sumac
Add noodles if you like

On medium heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sesame seed oil. Cook chopped pork adding grill seasonings and water cooking till pork is tender and set aside.
Keep pan on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add peppers, carrots, ginger, and green onions. Cook for 5 minutes untill veggies are done. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, pineapple, and Sumac. Cook on low for 5 minutes. Add noodles if you want or serve over rice.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lower-Fat Tacos

Previously I would fry my corn tortillas when making tacos. I have found a much better way and definitely less fat..
First I cook my meat in a large frying pan. I do add taco seasoning, the one with only herb ingredients in it not the additives.
Grate up your cheese or use slices like I do.
Cook corn tortillas on the grill with spray oil on both sides till done. Add meat and cheese to the centers and fold over.
Put lid back on and grill till crispy or however you like it. Remove and keep going. I can only do two tortillas at a time.
Add your fav salsa, lettuce, and avos. Enjoy
I also made quesadillas with cheese and left over meat. It made a great lunch.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Deck Update

Our new deck is finished. It took hubby 2 days. Now we have our chairs and tables. Fortunately, it has been fairly cool in the evening with a breeze in the shade of our RV. Yep, we also have the best neighbors around and a prime view. No one in the park has this view. Others have corner views but are subjected to stored RV's or the club house.
When there is shade you can find Steve and I out here in our wooden chairs or eating on our table after we BBQ.

6 inches off the ground and stakes in the ground for those gully washers

Best friends. The donkey follows these two horses

What a view!

Great neighbors. This calf must have had a very different daddy.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Long Time No Blog....

Work has been consuming me along with lack of energy living in my Tin Can.

Hubby said he should have thought about expanding our outside living space years ago. So as you can see in the pictures below how we have expanded our living space. Fortunately, the end of our Tin Can gets afternoon shade, which really helps in the Texas summers. Also notice the great view from our corner spot. It's prime real estate here in this RV park.

Hubby is buying our charcoal grill today. Personally I don't want gas flames on my food. I opt for wood charcoal. Yes, it cooks faster so you have to be careful. The key is how close the heat is to your food. This will be a learning experience since I plan on cooking most everything outside. I think "Grill It" with Bobby Flay's site will be my new bible for cooking. That man can cook anything on the grill. I don't think I will make sauces there, but will grill all my food after preparation. Key word
"preparation". Planning the night before is essential if you work during the week. Marinade and chop up anything you need in the morning so you can just come home and grill. Then set outside and read or drink some adult beverages.
These fields usually have black angus, but they are putting in a water line so the cattle have been relocated to the other field. Meantime, it's a peacefull picture don't you think?
There is a business in the back.

Front door entrance. Notice the step
View from the other side.
Rear view...its nice

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Frugal Grocery Shopping

I can't believe how much folks spend on groceries. Most of these same folks complain about the price of their utilities, gasoline, or clothes in the store. There are a few things you can do to save money at a grocery store.
As for me, I make a weekly menu. If you are really smart you already have a list of recipes you have used over time. Here are a few secrets from a frugal shopper.

1. ALWAYS make a weekly menu for dinner.
2. I also make a list of what we will have for lunch since both of us take our lunch to work.
3. Breakfast is easy as long as you have milk, eggs, butter (yes butter not lard), bread, and some sort of meat product. I buy Canadian bacon.
4. I look at the weekly ads for my local store and design my menu. If tomato sauce is on sale or hamburger design 3 meals that week around those ingredients.
5. Buy items on sale in bulk. If hamburger is on sale buy extra for the freezer. You don’t have to go to Sam's or Costco just get it there in smaller amounts. Wrap in foil and freezer bags.
6. Make your meals. It’s cheaper to make spaghetti sauce rather than grab a jar of it. Plus look at the ingredients. See my posts for various recipes WITH OUT PREP PACKED INGREDIENTS.
7. If you make spaghetti for dinner make enough for two meals and freeze the rest.
8. I have been making whole food meals for years so I do stock up on some items: flour, cane sugar, butter, baking soda, baking powder, spices, vanilla, and such.
9. Desserts for us are usually apples or some fruit. Occasionally I will make tapioca, jello, or apple crisp.
10. And the most important is KEEP TO YOUR L IST. You can find some things cheaper at the Dollar Store or Dollar General. Watch out not all items at the Dollar General are a good price. Make sure you read the ounces. ALWAYS compare items by weight or number of. Keep your cell phone or a calculator with you. (Divide the price by the ounces to find out $ per ounce) Some stores tell you the price per ounce.
After the grocery store, make sure you do your post grocery cleaning and storing. See my post on
Post Grocery Shopping
 Keep the Grocer Honest.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Serves 2
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large frying pan or chicken fryer on medium heat.
1 sliced onion
1 large minced garlic clove
1 Tablespoon grated ginger (1tsp dry)
½ sliced bell pepper
½ C sliced mushrooms
Cook 5 minutes (if it gets to dry add a bit of water)
Remove from pan, set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ pound sliced beef (you a less expensive cut)
2 C beef broth
2 tablespoons lite salt soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Cook on low heat until beef is tender.
Take two tablespoons of liquid out and add 1 tablespoon corn starch to it. Add to pan. This will thicken the mixture

Add veggie mix, ½ teaspoon sesame seeds, and a handful of Canton Noodles. Mix and cover for 5 minutes until noodles are soft.
If you don’t want noodles serve beef mix over rice.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


The work week can be busy enough as it is. By preparing your produce you can save time.
Here are some hints for post-grocery prep work that saves me time.
1.     ALWAYS wash produce when you get home. You don’t know who has touched your produce.
2.     Wipe off your cans and boxes. During flu and cold season these containers spread germs.
3.     Buy meat in bulk for the week and break it down covering it with aluminum foil and place in freezer bags. Always label your freezer goods and add a date. Note: Buying in bulk when an item is on sale
4.     Never wash off mushrooms. You can take a damp cloth and brush off the dirt or purchase a small basting brush or small soft painting brush and get rid of the dirt. Wrap them in paper towels and seal in bag.
Note: Mushrooms absorb water. When you cook them they release water as do onions.
5.     If you make salads during the week chop up the vegetables you use like carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and such. This way you just grab a handful of produce to top your salads.
6.     Leftover bread is buttered or brushed with olive oil and garlic then chopped up and made into croutons or toasted for bread crumbs.
7.     In winter or summer if I have to heat up the oven I use it for multiple projects.
Note: croutons, broiling peppers, cookies, bread, muffins for the week. I try to make all my dressings and sauces on the weekend or the day I grocery shop.
8.     I buy my oatmeal, flour, sugar, rice, nuts, and snacks in bulk. Make sure you put the new product on the bottom.
9.     Wash lettuce, dry off leaves, and wrap in paper towels the put in zip lock bag.
10. If you use cabbage for stir fry’s, soups, and slaw or mostly chopped up, slice cabbage and soak in water with 1 teaspoon salt. Drain on towel and wrap in paper towel and again store in plastic zip lock.
 Save paper bags for shipping paper or use the same bags next time you shop