Friday, July 31, 2009

Bento lunch

I've seen bento lunches before but they never really excited me. This year hubby started packing a lunch mid spring. Some days i pack it, some days he packs it and once a week he buys his lunch. Packing a lunch gets pretty boring after awhile! When I ran across Lunch In a Box yesterday I was immediately hooked. Food looks delicious packed that way.

Unfortunately I was pretty sure we would be unable to buy a bento box locally. Instead we purchased 2 rubbermaid containers. They were about $5.50 each. And while quite functional they are not as cute as bento containers. Does being frugal mean we don't buy the cute containers? No, not for us. Hubby and I think its worth it to fork out a little extra $ for beauty and function. Hubby bought a Tiffin box (not a bento, its a traditional Indian lunch container) for $9.99. I bought a stacked bento on ebay for $8.99. That is 4 'bento' containers and we're only getting started on this bento obsession! I've seen the bento boxes range from $20-$75! We've spent about $30 on 4.

Today we packed a lunch to go sit in a park. Something we very rarely do. Had we packed our typical lunch it would have been turkey sandwiches on wheat bread, Cheetos, carrots and a few Oreos. Instead we had fresh mango, fresh strawberries, fresh blue berries, a cucumber salad from lunch in a box's recipes, turkey and cheddar roll ups wrapped in lettuce with dipping sauce, a small portion (far smaller then a zip lock baggy portion) of gold fish, and a small portion of yogurt covered almonds. It was yummy, healthy and fun.
Here is today's lunch.
I already had the silicone cups and the little sauce container. I am going to buy a bento specific sauce container as this one was much to large. I took a yellow and white fabric we already owned cut it with pinking sheers to be large enough to use as a Furoshiki. It held the bento boxes very nicely! I have a few bento accessories on the way and a few things I've bought from the dollar store to use as well. I'd like to dabble in the cute food as well as functional healthy food, while still keeping everything as frugal as possible. Its going to be a challenge since bento accessories and boxes are not available locally, and for sure will not be showing up at garage sales or thrift stores. That just makes it all the more interesting of a challenge!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heat wave!

Today should be a frugal day. The $6 crockpot is cooking away outside. I've hung 3 loads of laundry. I made a dry mix for cream soup. We never seem to have the cream soups on hand since they are expensive and a lot of recipes call for them. I haven't tried it yet but it took me just a few minutes to make. Hopefully we wont spend any money today, since I dont plan to leave. Far to hot to go anywhere!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cooking when the weather is boiling!

Today it was 100 degrees outside! I can't stand the heat. Great for drying laundry, not great for me. I refuse to cook when its hot outside. Our kitchen is already the hottest room downstairs and cooking makes me miserable in the heat. Luckily for me i have an easy going hubby who is perfectly happy to eat sandwiches. However while in Safeway we found a $15 round tip roast on sale for $6 in the reduced section. We buy reduced meat all the time and have never had a problem. The best way to slow cook a roast without creating tons of heat is in a slow cooker. However it does still create some heat, and I'm all about not creating extra heat in the summer. So we've started placing our slow cooker on the porch. Works great especially for things that need a really long time to cook, like pot roast. Tomorrow morning when the house is still cool I'll prepare our supper. We already have potatoes, carrots, onions and soup mix for the recipe. Tomorrow's dinner will be just $6, instead of the $23 pizza hut special.

Now i feel perfectly safe leaving our slow cooker outside because I am home all day. We have a fenced yard and 2 dogs that will notify me if someone approaches. I would not leave it outside if I was going to be gone or the cooker was in a less then private area. You never know what people will do and I'm not willing to chance someone messing with the food.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Walgreens has their charmin toilet paper on sale 6 rolls for $3.49 with in store coupon. I used a $3 Register Reward on the tp. 6 rolls of tp for .50 cents? Score!

Hot day, and Yummy treats.

Today J and I went to the town festival. We were going to try and spend $20 total. We ended up spending about $32. Mostly on food but we bought 2 small trinkets as well. Could we have done the festival for less? Yes. Would we have enjoyed it as much? No. Our goal is to have as much fun as possible for the smallest amount of money. Not to spend the least amount possible, but to get the most enjoyment out of the money spent. That is pretty much our philosophy. And a $5 funnel cake fits perfectly. Yum.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Yesterday my darling hubby finished installing our umbrella clothes line in the back yard. I'm THRILLED. We do live in the pacific northwest no year round drying for us. But its worth while anyways, you see I hate hot weather. If the temperature goes above 75 in my house our little living room AC unit goes on. I know! People in hotter climates probably find it ridiculous, that is OK. Everyone makes different choices in accordance with their values. Our electric bill was just $70 last month with constant AC use. Wintertime it can be up to $250 a month. Full time AC doesn't bother me one bit!

While our little ac unit is plugging away making cold air our dryer is fighting back with hot air. Right next to the kitchen. The already hot and gets much hotter when I'm cooking kitchen. No thanks! We spent $45 (New *gasp*) on a 'solar dryer' to keep it colder inside, saving money is a wonderful bonus!

Who we are.

I'd like to introduce myself. I am K, my husband is J. We do not have any children, and that is a problem for us. Last year we became licensed foster parents. A year ago exactly. Since then we have had only 3 calls, and only one was in our age range. That one fell through. While we continue to be foster parents J and I decided it was time to start thinking of other options. However being a family that is debt free except for mortgage we could not bring ourselves to take out a loan for adoption. We've decided to make it our goal to save $10,000 in a year's time. Currently our adoption fund has $250 in it. Hubby works but i am a full time homemaker, and in less something radical changes the money will come solely form his paycheck. Which means we get to spend the next year taking our already frugal family to a whole new level!