Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Day for Contest

Today is the last day to get in on the giveaway here at Frugal Franny.  Remember, all you have to do is "like" Frugal Franny on the Facebook page and you are entered to win the microfiber cleaning set from Tupperware.

The Winner will be chosen tomorrow morning.  Good Luck!

Until Next Time.....

Apple Brown Betty

12 c apples, peeled, cored and sliced (could leave peel on)
8 c white bread, cubed
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c brown sugar (I use granulated, could use packed)
1 c butter, melted

Place apples in slow cooker
Combine rest of ingredients
Spread over apples
Cover and cook on Low 3-4 hours

Until Next Time.....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

$8 or Less Recipe - Greek Pasta

serves 4 for an actual amount of about $5.75

1 Tblsp olive oil
2 Tblsp butter
2 onions chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
2 c baby spinach
1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes undrained
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb package (or newer packages of 12 oz is OK too) linguine
1/3 c feta cheese crumbled
cherry tomatoes and olives optional

bring water to cook pasta to boil
at same time, in large saucepan combine olive oil and butter over medium heat
when butter melts, add onion and garlic and cook until crisp-tender
add spinach and cook until just wilted
add undrained tomatoes, salt, and pepper bring to a simmer
reduce heat and cover
cook pasta according to package directions, reserve 1/4 c cooking water
add pasta to saucepan and toss gently, add reserved cooking water if needed
place on plates or in bowls and add feta

total cost around $5.50 less if you can get the ingredients on sale and/or with coupons!

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Wife - Week One

For the next 40-50 weeks on Wednesdays I will be sharing with you my journey to becoming (hopefully) a little more like the Proverbs 31 wife.  The book and website above are my inspiration.  I hope you read the book and you should definitely check out the website.  I will be using the discussion questions Sara wrote at the back of the book to guide my thoughts and actions each week and then sharing with you how well that went...or maybe not so well!  I hope that this or the book will inspire you as well, or if nothing else, you can learn from my mistakes.  Here we go!

I have done a Bible study on the Proverbs 31 wife, and of course have heard it preached about a few times in my life at different churches.  And I have to say, all it made me feel was like I was a big failure.  That's why this book gave me new hope.  Sara puts a human spin on the whole thing. It made me think that maybe I can do it.  Will I be exactly like Prov 31? No, but I can do my best.

Let's start at the beginning, who or what is the Proverbs 31 wife?
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
 10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
   She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
   and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
   all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
   and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
   bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
   she provides food for her family
   and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
   out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
   her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
   and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
   and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
   and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
   for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
   she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
   where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
   and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
   she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
   and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
   and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
   her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
   but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

The discussion questions from the back of the book are: "What are your thoughts about the woman portrayed here?  Does she make you aspire to be like her?  Or do you feel discouraged before you get started?  Why?"

Gee, let's see.  I can't sew, I don't own a business, I don't stay up late at night working, I worry a lot...not much laughing at the days to come.  Yep, pretty much discouraged!  If I were to write a book about this passage I think the title would be The Proverbs 31 Wife: Is This Chick For Real?!

Given that, where do I even start?  Where I always do; with a calendar and colored pens.  Yes, I'm a little OCD or whatever you'd like to call it.  I have a calendar where I can see the whole month at one time and there are lines on each day and every type of thing I have to do is written in a different color.  For example, all appointments are in a light blue.  SO I can look over the month quickly and see that I have 3 appointments just by looking for that color.  I won't bore you with my whole color scheme, but it works for me.  The next tool is a plain spiral notebook...OK actually I like ones with pretty designs on the cover, but it can be a notebook like you buy for the kids at a back to school sale.

If I'm going to be like this chick at all, I've GOT to get organized.  Each day has one side of a piece of paper in the notebook.  Write down everything that needs done.  A little trick I've learned to make me feel some accomplishment is to write down tasks in smaller chunks. If I just wrote clean living room, then looked at all I had to do in there, I might give up and go hide in a good book.  For example, in stead of saying clean living room I make the following list:
Pick up and put away things lying around
clean off end table
clean off coffee table
pick up dog toys

Yes it makes my list look longer, but I actually feel less overwhelmed because they are smaller tasks, and you feel pretty good when you get to cross something off.

I'll also list any errands that need to be done, and what I plan to cook that night, IF I'm cooking!  For some reason I feel more in control of my day when I do this, and if I feel that way I think I'm a little nicer person.  Not as grouchy or frustrated.

If I can stick to this routine, maybe I can be more like the Proverbs 31 wife.  Hmmm, maybe that's a big leap, but at least I have hope.  Of course it's only week one!  Let's see how I do!

Until Next Time.....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tool Tuesday - Mix 'n' Chop

My Pampered Chef Mix 'n' Chop

I use this tool probably more than anything else in my kitchen.  I have two and I think I want to get a third.  That's how much I use it.  Mostly I use it when browning ground beef.  I get the finest crumble EVER using this thing.  Then it's really quick about mixing in celery and onions, and if you cut those pieces too big, it easily knocks them down to size while you are cooking.

I also use it when cooking chicken breasts and want them into small pieces or shredded.  Then when I'm making my vegetable soup and add things in as layers before the liquid....I could go on and on.  Needless to say, I'm not sure how I cooked before I had this.  It is definitely a must!  You gotta get you one!

Until Next Time.....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Homemade Pantry

I don't have a pantry in this house and very little cabinet space. But If I want to be frugal, that means stocking up when there is a deal and I have coupons on the things I use most.  But given the situation, where the heck am I supposed to keep it all?  We have this small entry kinda place from the garage to the stairs leading up into the house.  Not a lot of space, but if thought it out I could store things there.  So I got some of those wire like restaurant shelves, like this.....

and you can see problem number one.  It's great really, and I got it on sale at Target.  It holds a lot and can take a lot of weight.  But cans and jars are a little unstable.  take

 1 jar of chicken gravy
+ a 2 foot fall
+ ceramic tile floor
+ 1 bare foot in a flip-flop

Did you do the math?  Yep, not only did I have a mess, I was picking glass out of my foot for the rest of the day.  The solution? Cardboard!  Luckily (this time) my husband can procrastinate about getting rid of cardboard boxes.  The box that the shelves can in was the perfect size for making a "shelf liner". 

Then I used that box knife to cut around the poles and to make sure it laid nice and neat on the shelf. Then I was ready to put all the glass jars and other things back on the shelf.

Ummmm, yes I prefer Prego.  And have you tried Black Jewel Popcorn? YUM!!  Oh, sorry.  ANYWAY, it's still a work in progress.  Even though everything is nice and stable now, I am afraid that if I pull that sugar out of the back I might knock a jar over, so when the budget allows and I find something good but cheap, I want to get some kind of mat to put in front of this unit in case something falls again.

Hope that helps you get an idea of how to store some non-perishables so you are ready to make your favorite recipes at any time!

Until Next Time.....

Cooking on a Budget - Part One

So we have all noticed food prices going up.  I posted about my experience not long ago.  Now we have to feed the same amount of people with the same amount of money, but the food costs more.  And if you are like me, it's not the same amount of money anymore.  We are now a one income family.  It is more important than ever that my food budget stretches.  It can be done, but it may not always be fun.  You will feel a great sense of satisfaction though once you have learned new habits and follow some simple rules.  After a while it will be second nature to you.  Trust me, if I can do it ANYONE can do it!

Start with a plan.  I'm a list maker, and I've always got a plan.  Trouble is remembering to follow through with it.  But it can be done!  Planning menus, using the grocery store ads and cutting coupons are key.  It is a little upfront work, but really not all that much.  You'll see once you try it and get used to what you're looking for.

You've got to start cooking at home more.  And I don't mean frozen pizza.  OK, well every once in a while that's ok....if you get it on sale :)  You will definitely save money by cooking at home rather than going to restaurants.  I'm not saying to cut them out all together.  We still go out to eat, but only for an occasion.  Birthday, anniversary, celebrate something.  That sort of thing.  But most of the time you need to be cooking at home, and cooking enough for leftovers either for the next night or to take to work the next day.  The more work you do yourself and the more basic foods you buy the more money you will save, and have a great family experience at the same time.  Do you ever watch the show Restaurant: Impossible?  Robert Irvine is always telling the owners that making their own is not only fresh and better, but cheaper as well.  I was actually surprised to learn on certain things that it was cheaper to make your own.

I know this might sound like a lot right now, but once you get into the habit of cooking it will become second nature and you'll learn time savers specific to your own style, kitchen and family along the way.   Plan for everything.  Plan for meals, snacks and leftovers.  Start by planning for the week, and as you become an expert you might even be able to plan for a month.  This may sound like a hard task, but once you have the meals planned for the week and the shopping done, you'll be surprised at how much time you have for everything else.

Let's start small.  Go through some recipes.  List everything that you DO NOT have in the house.  I do this on Sundays because my local paper puts all of the grocery ads and the coupons in the Sunday paper.  See what is on sale where, and go buy your ingredients for the week.  Try just that much right now.

Until Next Time.....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Easy Scalloped Potatoes

1 c margarine or butter, melted
1 c onion, chopped
32 oz frozen hash brown potatoes
2 cans cream of mushroom soup, 10 3/4 ounces each
3 c milk
2 c cheddar cheese, shredded (or slices if your out of shredded!)
2 small green bell pepper, chopped (or scallions)
2 c cheese cracker crumbs, divided
mushrooms optional
Lightly grease Slow Cooker.
Stir together the margarine, onions, hash brown potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, milk, cheese, green pepper, black pepper and 1/2 cup cracker crumbs.
Transfer to the crock and top with remaining cracker crumbs.
Cover and cook on High for 3-4 hours.

Until Next Time.....


Friday, September 23, 2011

2 new series starting next week

Along with the Proverbs 31 Wife every Wednesday, I will be starting 2 new series.

Mondays: Tips for cooking on a budget (did you see my post on rising food prices?!)

Thursdays: $8 that feed usually 4-6 people for less than $8.  Most of them are actually around $5 or less, but $8 is the most.  Granted, in some areas of the country these might be closer to $10 and in other areas (those that don't have tax on food) it will be less.

Don't forget the giveaway ends Friday Sept 30, 2011.  There will be another one in October!

Until Next Time.....

Vegetable Casserole in the Crock Pot

Vegetable Casserole
  • 2
    19-oz. cans cannellini beans
  • 1
    19-oz. can garbanzo or fava beans
  • 1/4
    cup purchased basil pesto
  • 1
    medium onion, chopped
  • 4
    cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2
    tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1
    16-oz. pkg. refrigerated cooked plain polenta cut in 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1
    large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1
    8-oz. pkg. finely shredded Italian cheese blend (2 cups)
  • 2
    cups fresh spinach
  • 1
    cup torn radicchio
1.Rinse and drain beans. In large bowl combine beans, 2 tablespoons of pesto, onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning.
2.In 4- to 5-quart slow cooker layer half of bean mixture, half of polenta, and half of cheese. Add remaining beans and polenta. Cover; cook on low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or on high heat setting 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Add tomato, remaining cheese, spinach, and radicchio. Combine remaining pesto and 1 tablespoon water. Drizzle pesto mixture on casserole. Let stand, uncovered, 5 minutes. Makes 8 servings.
nutrition facts
  • Calories360
  • Total Fat (g)12
  • Saturated Fat (g)6, 
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g)1, 
  • Cholesterol (mg)26, 
  • Sodium (mg)926, 
  • Carbohydrate (g)46, 
  • Total Sugar (g)8, 
  • Fiber (g)10, 
  • Protein (g)21,
  • Vitamin C (DV%)16, 
  • Calcium (DV%)36, 
  • Iron (DV%)19, 
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
This came from Better Homes and Gardens

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My First Giveaway Drawing!!

First of all let me tell you that there will be some format changes coming soon.  There will be pictures and hopefully categories. I'm working on some tabs to make recipes and ideas easier to find.  Let me know if you have any suggestions since you are the one reading!

But first a giveaway! Don't worry, this is only the first one.  There will be more to come!

Yesterday I told you about cleaning with microfiber, so you want some now, right?  All righty then, I'll give you some!!

From left to right, we have 2 microfiber dish cloths, a microfiber polishing cloth, and a microfiber dust mitt, all courtesy of Tupperware.

How do you win?  EASY.  Go to the Facebook page for Frugal Franny (link is listed in Franny's Favorites to the left) and hit like!  Or if the button is still working, you can click like from this page.  How easy is that.  IF YOU HAVE ALREADY "LIKED" FRANNY, YOU ARE ALREADY ENTERED TO WIN.  Be sure to tell your friends to like Franny as well.  I know, you want to win, but the more people and traffic I have the more I can give away in the future.

BE SURE TO "LIKE" BY THE END ON THE DAY FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30, 2011.  I will choose a winner on Saturday October 1, 2011.  That winner will be announced on the Facebook page.

Until Next Time.....