Friday’s Frugal Five & A Frugal Fail

Frugal Fail:

I saw a  Schwan’s Food discount for 50% off (up to $50 total) and free delivery so I “thought” that might be a good deal.  I was very excited about the offer and I stupidly didn’t pay attention to the weights of the food items.  When I got my products home and realized the small portions I was a bit surprised and disappointed.

The Z man and I like to take leftovers to work for our lunches which inherently determines the amount of food I cook.  In other words I will make a large meal and we will make many meals out of it, whereas the Schwan’s products are geared more toward single servings, which absolutely can be a good thing for some people as well.

The 50% off code is FIFTYOFF that you key in at check out.   This promotional code is good till February 28th.  If you like Schwan’s which I have found out that many people do, then use it.  Many people like the quality of the food and the portion sizes for dietary purposes.  Absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Sometimes it’s ok to pay a little extra for convenience.

However for our needs, I’m chalking this up as a frugal fail just because I didn’t pay attention to the details.

Here is what I bought.

  • 2 boxes (10 count) of boneless chicken breast (2 lbs total weight)  $35.98
  • 1 box of wild caught salmon filets (8 count and 2 lbs total weight) $22.99
  • 1 box of wild caught cod filets (4 count 1 lb total weight) $17.99
  • 1 mini beef pot roast dinner $17.99
  • 1 box of mini dark chocolate ice cream bites  $7.49
  • 1 box of mini cheese cake bites $18.99


With the $50 discount and including tax  my total was $73.22

Frugal Five:

  • Celebrated Valentines Day by making the Z Man a homemade card using construction paper I already had and I bought him work gloves that he desperately needed.
  • Returned books and audio books to the library on time to avoid late fees.
  • Returned a case for my tablet that I ordered from Amazon that did not fit and decided to just keep using my old one that has one broken strap.  I hardly ever take it out of the house anyway, I think it will be fine.
  • The Z Man repaired the rear lights on my car himself, he is very handy like that.
  • All of our meals were prepared at home, no carry out and no drive thru food and the meal planning is done for next week too.

Grocery wise this has been a spendy month for me so far.  I also bought some grass fed beef roast from my local supplier.  These prices I’m perfectly ok with as I get to actually see the way these animals are treated and cared for, and there is no better beef (or milk) than what I’m able to get at Double M Dairy.   Total spent $43 for 4 roast which works out to be about $6 per pound.  Sorry, no picture.

I also picked up some kale, sweet peppers, almonds, avocado, and bread for the Z Man’s peanut butter and jelly and his egg sandwiches.  Total spent $24.

Spent $141 this week.  Added to my balance of $149 comes to $290 so far for the month leaving me only $10 for the remainder of the month.  This is going to definitely make the rest of the month interesting.  YIKES!

How about you, what frugal fun have you had this week?

Till next time,



Weekend Homestead Happenings

This weather is just crazy!  One day it’s cold like winter should be and the next day it’s warm like spring.  Friday it was cold and windy then by Sunday it was sunny and warm.  But the wind was awful, I swear I thought I was going to end up in Kansas walking the babies.

By the way, these are our babies.

Dogs 1

Because it was dry and warm this weekend I finally got the chance to start on my butcher block.  It’s an old butcher block island that needs to be sanded down and refinished.


I got the top sanded down pretty good, but this is not going to be a quick task.  I also have to rely on the weather because I’m doing it outside.  But, I don’t want to rush this, it needs to be done once and done right.

Weekend eats:

Some brunch: sauted chicken with mushrooms, peppers and kale with fried eggs.



Some dinner: Beef short ribs with mushrooms and a side caesar salad.


Some sweet treats:

These look like truffles, but they are actually frozen sweet black cherries, topped with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of good life chocolate chips.  It was quite tasty and not too bad for the waistline.


However, I did make truffles this weekend.  I used a recipe from the Primal Blueprint cookbook.


Photo credit: The Primal Blueprint Cookbook.

I used the idea of the Primal recipe, but I ultimately had to add some peanut butter to help thicken the truffles because I used a bit too much milk.  Still, they are very tasty and they are Z Man approved.

If you aren’t familiar with the Primal Blueprint, it’s by author Mark Sisson who writes about reprogramming your genes and eating a paleo based diet while allowing for an 80 / 20 ratio for those who love (perhaps) chocolate and red wine 😉  Yes, hello that would be me.

What is the Paleo diet?  The paleo diet runs on the same foods our hunter-gather ancestors supposedly ate: fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and nuts.  Anything that comes in a box, jar, or bag should be avoided on the paleo diet—as should anything that just wasn’t consumed back then. That means no grains, dairy, added salt, or legumes.

I’ve been following the Primal Blueprint for a while now and I’m working on a post about it that I hope to complete next week.

If you’re interested in the Primal Blueprint, Mark has a great website

I have to admit that I also made some brownies for the Z Man.  I didn’t and wont be eating them because they are not allowed in my diet (right now), but clearly I was craving the sweets this weekend.

And thanks to the warm weather I was able to get some meal prepping done on the grill for meals this week.  Grilled chicken and mushrooms and sliced sweet peppers.  By the way, right now sliced sweet red peppers are my “chips” giving me that crunch I want.


How was your weekend?

Till next time, y’all stay safe out there!


February Goals / Chocolate Nut Bars Recipe

I like to challenge myself with monthly goals.  Sometimes it’s easier to accomplish the big goal by breaking it down into smaller baby goals.  For example instead of saying I want to lose 50 lbs, I can say I want to lose 4 – 5 lbs a month.  That seems much more doable, right?

February goals:

  • I want to lose 5 lbs.
  • I want to wake up early to get my exercise done
  • I want to do yoga 3 times a week
  • I want to continue tracking our expenses and continue with our savings categories.

I suppose I could sum up all of my February goals by saying “don’t get lazy!”  I’ll post that up on my vision board.  “Don’t Get Lazy!”

How about you, do you have some goals you would like to accomplish in February?  I’d love to hear about them.


Chocolate Nut Bars

  • 4 cups of nuts, chopped – you can use any kind of nuts you like
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbsp bitter sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup of honey

Layer the first 3 ingredients on a baking sheet, bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Bring syrup and honey to a boil then immediately remove from heat.  Place nut mixture into a large bowl, pour syrup over nut mixture and mix well coating all the nuts.  Pour mixture into a parchment lined rectangle dish and let cool.  Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in microwave for 10 seconds intervals until melted – stirring at each interval.  Remove nut mixture from baking dish and cut into small bars then drizzle with chocolate mixture.


This one is a keeper.  It’s a good little sweet treat.

Oh, I know, I know….  it’s not lost on me that this chocolate nut bar recipe isn’t going to do me any favors with my goal of losing 5 lbs this month.  Good thing we ate it all up in January. 🙂

Till next time, stay safe out there Y’all!


Weekend Homestead Happenings

Some people may think it a bit smug to blog about grocery budgets, meal planning and prepping, or homestead happenings right now because some in this country are amidst protesting and expressing their opinions over the newly elected president.  And, I suppose there are more important things right now than my meal plan or the number of eggs the chickens laid yesterday, and believe me, it’s not that I don’t care.

But…. the sun will rise tomorrow, the chickens will need to be taken care of and we will have to eat, so here we go…

Weekend happenings…  well first I’m sorry I’m late with this post, but yesterday was a very busy day of snacking and lounging because it was a “snow” day from work for me.  😉

I made yogurt, but I also made coconut yogurt with coconut milk.  Yep, I just took a couple cans of coconut milk and used the exact same process that I always do for making yogurt and it turned out perfect.  My coconut yogurt does contain dairy, because I used a dairy culture (dairy yogurt) to make it.

coconut-milk  yogurt 20   Yogurt 2

I’ve loved adding it to my morning smoothies.  I had those two cans of coconut milk in my pantry for quite a while, so it was time to use them.

Last weeks “eat the freezer” went good.  But, we decided to carry it on into this week because well um…..


As you can see, there is still a lot of eating to be done.

I did do some meal prep this weekend.  I cut up veggies for meals and snacks for the week.  There is two containers of veggies for us, a bag of veggie scraps and pieces for the freezer for making stock and a nice bowl of snacks for the chickens.


Other than that the Z Man continued on stockpiling wood for next year and I pretty much spent the weekend piddling in the kitchen.

Oh, and by the way we got 5 eggs yesterday, just in case you did want to know. 😉

How about you, how was your weekend?

Till next time, stay safe out there y’all!