Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to save a few cents!

I feel the need to add to the blogging frenzy that is everything FRUGAL!  You've seen them:  "Frugal Family Fun" "Frugality Is Free"Suddenly Frugal" "A Frugal Living Blog by a Frugal Living Guy" "Fabulessly Frugal"  "Onefrugalgirl" and my personal favorite:  "Everything's Coming Up Frugal For You and For Me!" (not really, I just made that one up).  And, let it be noted that I absolutely LOVE them.  Who doesn't like saving money?  (Just don't buy 100 bottles of mouthwash just to save a couple of bucks.  Right Rachel??)  These blogs have taught me how to make  homemade laundry detergent, both liquid AND powder.  (They actually work too)  I have learned to clean just about everything for under a buck or two.  I've learned how to use the little selvage edge of fabric to make a lovely satchel.  (just kidding, I made that one up too, but, I'll bet someone, somewhere has actually made one!)  I've also found a website where I can buy PRICELESS heal cream (  But that is another post for another day, however, you may want to get your Christmas orders in early!  :)

Anyway, I am now going to share one of my favorite money saving tips for the grocery store.  I make a lot of sauces and gravy (I'm famous 'round these parts for my gravy).  I love making soups as well.  Most of these recipes call for beef or chicken broth.  I like the canned kind just fine but, for an extra "punch" I like to dissolve a boulion cube in hot water.  It adds great flavor andis well worth the extra effort of heating the water.  

(An aside:  My mom used to make hot beef boulion broth for me when I wasn't feeling well.  Just water and flavouring.  That's it.   I  adored that stuff, and I adored the way it made me feel when mum would bring it to me and play with my hair while I sipped it.  It was an instant healer!)

Now back to my frugal tip.  I'm sure you already know about the whole "buy your spices from the Mexican Food Aisle" thing.  (If you don't...just check it out next time you are at the store.  The prices are unbelievably better there)  Well, your boulion is also much, much cheaper and, in my humble opinion, tastier than the American made flavors.  See??

 These are only 21.9 cents per serving

 These are .91 cents per serving

Pretty much a no-brainer, right??  Think of me next time you need boulion cubes, won't you??

You're welcome.

(I seriously can't believe that I wrote an entire blog post about boulion cubes.  What's up with me?)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Like Father, Like Daughter

So, I think I channelled my dad this morning.  You see, my dad was a numbers man.  By numbers I mean, number facts.  Like, who travelled the farthest to get to a wedding.  Or, how many steps it would take to walk to my sister's house in Northern BC.  When I was living in Utah raising my little family of two, my parents were home in Canada putting together a family cookbook.  My dad figured out the following:  Each book took 96 sheets of paper for 210 books =20,160 sheets or 40,320 single sheets of paper altogether.  Typing:  384 pages in each book@ 20 minutes typing per page =7680 minutes or 128 hours.  The length of the assembly line for collating the book was 136 feet.  Total feet travelled was 28560 feet OR 5.4 miles OR 9520 steps.  And, my favorite little tidbit he figured out was about the binding of the cookbook.  He figured that it took 17 pulls of the lever to hole punch each book which equalled 3570 "pulls" to produce all of the books.

See what I mean?  He loved trivia like this.  Whenever he would expound this "knowledge" to his captive audience, he would end with a super fact to see if you were really listening.  For example, after telling us his astounding facts about how far people had travelled, or how many steps it took for everyone to arrive at some family gathering, he would say something like "Now, if ALL of those people were laid end to end around the world, they would all be a lot more comfortable!"   Ahhhhhhh...Dad!

Which brings me to my "channeling of my pops" this morning.  The sink in my bathroom has been leaking for some time now.  Every time I see it I think "I've really got to fix that thing because I'm really wasting a lot of water."  So, today I figured out just how much.
I placed a quart jar under the drip and set a timer.  Here's what I found out:

It took 8 minutes 35 seconds to fill my quart jar.
Which would mean that it would take 33.4 minutes to fill a gallon.
From there, I found out the average size of a bathtub (42 gallons by the way).  Which means that it takes 1670 minutes to fill that tub meaning that I am filling up my bathtub approximately once every single day (every 23 and a half hours!)  What a waste of water and money.  I was shocked.

There was a certain satisfaction that came from figuring out this bit of information.

I get it Dad.  I really get it.  Yet one more reason why I loved/love him so much.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving To All and To All a Good Night!

One of my favorite celebrations of the year.
I hope you don't mind but, I'm going to list everyone who came.
Mostly because I'm thankful for...them.
•  Terry (husband)
•  Tami (me)
•  Melissa (daughter)
•  Danny (son-in-law)
•  Erika (daughter)
•  TYLER (son-in-law)
•  Eloise  (grand daughter)
•  Adrianne (niece, Brian's daughter)
•  Dan (Adrianne's hub)
• Kelsey (Adrianne's daughter)
•  Rachel (Adrianne's daughter)
•  Riley (Adrianne's daughter)
•  Samantha (Adrianne's daughter)
•  Brant (nephew, Brian's son)
•  Ariel (Brant's wifey)
•  Aiden (Brant's son)
•  Ezra (Brant's son and Aiden's twin)
•  Gabriel (Brant's son)
•  Asher (Brant's son)
...weird...just realized that Adrianne has four girls and Brant four boys...
•  Jodi (niece)
•  Dylan (Jodi's son)
•  Alycia (Jodi's daughter)
•  Tansy (nephew David's wife, and Donna's daughter-in-law)
•  Holly (Tansy's daughter)
•  Daniel (Tansy's son)
• Russell (Nephew, Donna's son) 
•  Heather (Russell's wife)
•  Rylie (Russells's daughter)
• Hailey (Russell's daughter)
•  Duke Heaton (friend)
•  Angela ( Duke's wife and our good friend)
•  Leschia (Duke and Ang's daughter)
•  Uh-oh...can't remember Leschia's baby daughter's name
• Kevin Walton (friend)
•  Rachel Walton (friend and co-worker)
•  Adelaide (Kevin and Rachel's  11 month old daughter)
  •  Melissa Bayless (my friend and next door teacher-mate)

We had a great time  There was lots of turkey, family, friends, and everywhere I looked,
there was a baby!  I loved it.  Every drop of effort I put into hosting this 
Canadian Thanksgiving
was worth it.  

Oh, and for good measure and just so that everyone knows...
My recipe for White Chocolate Cheesecake (a tradition) was the 
that I have ever made.

You really should have had a piece!

Oh well, there's always next year!  Right?


 (Perhaps it was a tad boring for Danny!)

That last picture there was NOT intentional.
Terry just had me hold that knife up there because it would be "cool"!
I actually sliced open on a mandolin vegetable slicer.
I should have probably got a couple of stitches,
who has time for THAT when there are people to feed!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Worth it? Yes!

I don't know if you know this or not but I teach in the after-school program at Amelia Earhart...the same school at which I teach.  I teach the Reading Remediation class for first and second graders.  This simply means that I stay an extra hour after school and read to, with, and listen to children reading and enriching their learning on the computer.  No, you're right.  It is not my favorite thing to put in one more hour of work but, it's good money and five minutes into the class, I remember why I "really" do it.  I love those kids.

Anyway, I have children who I know and love from this year as well as children who I know and love from last year (now second graders).  Remember Cybil?  You know,  the little girl who called me a "drama queen" last year?  The one I fell in love with and who basically changed my life and thinking as a teacher? Ya, her.  Well, she's in my class.  I'm thrilled.

She walked strutted into the class and announced:

"It seems like only yesterday that I was walking into this classroom everyday!"

then to the other students:

"Just so everyone knows, Mrs. Anderson was my teacher last year.  She likes it when you 
play with her shoes and she loves Diet Coke.  
Remember that and you've got it made in the shade!"

Oh how I love her.  (did I just say that?)  She changed me.  I'm ready.

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