Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fresh Blueberry Cobbler

Someone at work gave me a pint of freshly picked blueberries, just enough to make this cobbler. The recipe is found on Meredith's blog, "Like Merchant Ships". I used buttermilk instead of milk since I had some in the fridge that was going to go bad.

I bought some "light" Breyers Vanilla Icecream this morning that was BOGO at Food Lion. If you just buy one, it rings up half price, so I only bought one, since we really didn't need but one.

Can't wait to have that midafternoon snack!!!


The afternoon snack was reeeally good!!!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Frugal Friday

If you have a Dollar General in your area you should really check it out. While not everything there is a good deal, lots of things are. I posted previously about the good prices they had on the supplies I need for the upcoming baby shower I am giving for my daughter.

The best buy was the invitations. Comparable ones at Walmart were $3.97 and DG's were $1.00 per pack. The same was true for the napkins, plates, etc. at $1.00 each pack.

I never pay the outrageous prices that greeting cards cost at drugstores or Walmart. Dollar General has beautiful cards for $.50 each. Pretty soon it will cost more for the postage stamp than for the card! Most of the cards are of good quality and pretty. I try to keep a supply of Get Well and Sympathy Cards on hand. Usually when I am in there I try to think ahead to what occasions I have coming up. Next time I am in there I need to get a birthday card for my son, and congratulations on the new baby card for my daughter. If I wait until I need the cards, I will have to resort to paying full price because of lack of time.

Other items I routinely buy at DG are Cream Soups for recipes, spices, shampoos, and Clover Valley brand fabric Softener Sheets.

Even in the rural area that I live in we have several DGs to choose from. They seem to pop up in every small town. There are 5 within the area that I am frequently traveling through.

For more frugal ideas visit

Debbie J.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Beef Chimichangas

This is a recipe that came from the "Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer" book. I think you will enjoy it.

Beef Chimichangas

1 t salt
2 lbs lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 t ground cumin
2 t oregano, crushed
1/2 cup canned green chiles, chopped
1/2 cup taco sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Serving Day

1 cup butter or margarine, melted
9 7 inch flour tortillas

Cooking Day Instructions

Sprinkle salt in medium skillet. Place over medium heat. Add beef, garlic and spices. Cook until meat loses pinkness. Stir in remaining ingredients. Remove from heat and cool. Freeze meat mixture in freezer bags.

Serving Day Instructions
In 8 inch skillet, melt butter or margarine. Dip both sides of 1 tortilla into butter; drain off excess. Mound 1/3 cup filling on center of tortilla. Fold tortilla in envelope fashion. Place seam side down in ungreased 11X7 baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Slice of My Life

This is the view out my front door. That's my mailbox in front of a corn field. My husband can hit a golf ball all the way into those trees on the other side of the corn! He loves golf and football, so now I do too!

I grew up "barnin tobacco" and even have an old tobacco barn behind my house that used gas to cure the leaves. Tobacco Barns are 2 stories high and we used to hang the tobacco sticks on the rafters in them. They aren't used anymore and you can see them all over the country side falling down, a sign of times gone by. At the end of the road I live on at the stop sign are several acres of tobacco. When I was 8 years old I drove the tractor that pulled the tobacco harvester and when I got older I sat on the harvester and tied the tobacco on sticks. Now the whole process is more automated. They have machines that go through the fields to "crop" the leaves and they are cured in bulk barns. There are also plenty of corn fields, tobacco fields, cotton fields, soybean fields and produce such as squash, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and peanuts in this area.

Ten Southern Things

I've been tagged by Little PenPen to make a list of ten Southern things. Here goes:
1. Fried food.(If you stand still in the South they will bread you and fry you!)
2. Everything closes and there is no bread in the grocery store if there is any mention of snow in the forecast. The weatherman is afraid to say snow and just says the "S" Word. We insist that the schools close because it is dangerous for our kids to be on school buses, but then we pull them on a sled behind our 4 wheel drive truck on the interstate. (My neighbors actually pulled their children and my son like this down the road in front of our house, much to my horror!)
3. Sweet Tea (Mickey D's for $1.00 is the best!!!)
4. Our vegetables are well cooked, not crunchy.
5. We call lunch dinner.
6. A popular dance is shagging.
7. A good Southern cook will feed anybody in her path.
8. Our grandparents are called our ma-mas and pa-pas.
9. A lot of people have double names like Billy Bob, Joe Ben, Debbie Lou, etc. If their Mama didn't name them that we will nick name them that anyway.
10. You have to look out for water moccasins in the summer (a snake).
Do I have any Southern Blog Readers? I'm not sure who to tag!!!
Debbie J.

Another week of Blessings!

Happy Monday! Monday is moving on with us or without us, so might as well be happy about it! My first blessing of the week is the fact that I won a drawing on Elizabeth's Blog (Clothesline Talk). I didn't even realize I had won at first! I won a quilt pattern and thats one of my favorite things. Thanks Elizabeth!

For dinner on Sunday (that's the same as lunch if you don't live in my part of the South:o)) I cooked two recipes from the book I got from the library on Saturday ("Don't Panic Dinner is in the Freezer") I decided to try out some of the recipes first before freezing any. I made the Beef Chimichangas and Chicken Catciatore served over pasta. Yes, all in one meal. We had a variety of flavors. I also cooked Veg-All Casserole and Fresh corn on the cob, and of course sweet tea. The Veg-All Casserole is from my Mayberry Cookbook and my family really likes it. The corn was really, really good. The variety is Ambrosia. Nothing is as good as fresh corn on the cob right out of the field.

I will definitely be freezing some of the Beef Chimichanga mixture. I know my family would like that.

The chicken was good too. It cooked in the crock pot while we were at church.

Have a great day! Debbie J.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Friday!

Last night I made homemade pizzas. We needed to run a couple of errands after I got home, so first I put the ingredients in the bread machine for the pizza dough so it could be doing its job while we were gone. When we got back all I had to do was put the pizzas together. On the first one I put bell pepper from the garden, onion, pepperoni and the cheeses. On the other one I put hamburger and pepperoni. They came out great!

I am excited about the cook book I got from the library this morning before work. Its called "Don't panic, dinner is in the freezer". I haven't been too successful with freezer cooking, but hopefully this book will give me some new ideas and incentive. Just looking through it I saw some things I want to try.

Last night I browned some hamburger and put in containers in the freezer. There are lots of things I can use this for to put supper on the table in a hurry. Food Lion has its lean hamburger on sale this week. I will probably buy another pack and brown and freeze it too.

The library is one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. Each Friday I check out three movies that are not due back until Monday. My library has a great selection. They even now have DVDs. The library is probably the best place to save money if you think about it. You can use the internet free, you can check out movies, you can get free entertainment for yourself and your children, 100s of cookbooks and how to books, it goes on and on.

Looks like I will be a "real" homemaker this weekend. Cooking, cleaning and sewing!!!! Can't wait!!!!

Debbie J.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Frugal Gifts from the Garden

My daughter grew these Zinnias from seeds and gave these two pots full to me for Mother's Day. The seeds came from Dollar General, and were really cheap. Zinnias are one of the easiest flowers to grow from seed. They transplant very easily. If you plant the seeds in the ground and they come up too thick, you can scoop up the individual plants with a spoon and move them where you want them. I filled up two flower beds one year this way! They don't seem to even notice being moved. One pack from the dollar store will make many plants.

Hello Summer, come on Fall!!!

Today is the first full day of Summer, but it has felt like Summer around here for weeks. It always surprises me that Summer is just getting here, but It feels like summer already. There are many things I like about Summer, but I'm looking forward to Fall. I love the Fall the most, followed by Winter, Summer and Spring, in that order. I think the reason I don't like Spring as much is that it signals the end of Winter, which I prefer. By the time Summer gets here, I know Fall isn't far behind. I'm really looking forward to NCSU Football, cooler weather, changing leaves, and especially quilting. Quilting is so much nicer in the cooler weather.

Our new grandbaby will be here the end of August, and we will need warm weather clothes for a couple of months, but he will need warmer clothes by the time he is 2 months old.

My weekend plans include working on the quilt I am making him. This will be the third quilt for him. I have also made some receiving blankets, diapers and burp cloths.

I'm still trying to get organized better and stay on top of things.

This morning I was rushing around alot, but managed to put one load of clothes in the washer. I left the lid up so they would agitate, but not drain. This way I could concentrate on other things and not worry about stopping it. Before I left home, I turned it off so the clothes could soak today while I'm at work. When I walk in the door this afternoon I'll turn it back on so it can finish washing. That seems to be a good way for me to get laundry done. The clothes get really clean that way too.

Now is a good time to really think about picking up items for Christmas too.

Happy Summer to you!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This Week's Menus

Sunday we had a huge meal in honor of Father's Day. We had steaks on the grill, sweet potato casserole, corn, stringbeans and potatoes, squash and biscuits.

Sunday afternoon I roasted some chicken breasts in the oven and browned some lean hamburger in an effort to make meal preparation faster after work this week.

Monday night I took the chicken meat off the bones and cut into bite size pieces. I used the chicken to make a pasta salad. I used a mixture of whole grain rotini and regular penne rigata, chopped bell pepper from our garden, chopped onion (just a little), light mayo and a little celery seed. We also had plenty of leftover veggies from Sunday's meal to go with the pasta salad. I put some leftover pasta salad in my son's lunch today and brought the rest to work for my lunch. Its even better cold!!!

Tonight I plan to use the browned hamburger to make my fast and easy lasagna. I shared the recipe here earlier. I will have the lasagna ready to eat in 1 hour after walking in the door at home. Still have leftover corn, string beans and potatoes.

Tomorrow night I plan to have lite hotdogs with whole grain hotdog buns. Maybe some broccoli and cheese.

My intention is to do more meal planning and cook ahead as much as possible on the weekend. I tried to freeze my lazagna in the past, but didn't like the taste after it was frozen. I think I would be more successful to just cook for a few days at the time.

I would also like to follow my blogger friend Elizabeth's example and cook the chicken breasts in the crockpot and freeze the bite size pieces, as well as a hamburger mixture. There are lots of chicken recipes that my family like that I could use the chicken and hamburger in.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New House, job and baby

We went to see the progress of my daughter, Lori and her husband, Ryan's new house Saturday. They are so excited. They will have a new baby and house in August. Ryan is starting a new job in August too. It will be a busy time for them. So many new experiences. I'm sure it will be hard at times!!!
Lori is becoming a good little homemaker. She is working at becoming a good couponer (like her mom :). She is learning to be frugal so that she can be a stay at home Mom. She is a good cook. Much better that I was at her age. She is going to be a good little Mama!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Deals of the Week

These were the best deals I got this week.

Walgreens: Buy 2 large size Kotex Pads or tampons 2 for $10.00. Receive a $10.00 coupon at check out good on your next order. Also there are coupons on the Kotex on line. I did this twice. I rolled the first coupon over and bought 2 more Tampons, only having to pay .68 tax and still got another $10.00 coupon for my next order. Maybe this week's ad will have another freebie that I can roll this $10.00 coupon into!

Food Lion: Purex Laundry Detergent: 2 for $5.00 with coupon $1.00 off 2. I also have enough receipts in their meat give away promotion to get my $20.00 gift certificate and also have the 6 milk tickets required to get a free gallon. So next week I can get $20.00 of groceries free and also a free gallon of milk.

CVS: Crest Toothpaste: on sale for 2.99, get 2.00 extra bucks back and used $1.00 coupon, so it was free. (bought 3); Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion. On sale for 2.99, get $2.00 extra bucks back and used $1.00 coupon, so it was free. Alavert: on sale for 6.99, had $7.00 coupon, and got $5.01 extra bucks back, so they paid me $5.00 to buy it. Reach Ultimate Toothbrush: on sale for 2.99, get $2.99 extra bucks and used $1.00 coupon, so made $1.00.
Can't wait for this weeks sale papers to see what's a deal next week!
Debbie J.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Frugal Friday

My tip is to bring back the pioneer art of making quilts from scraps. I made my son a quilt using his old bluejeans and plaid boxers. I also made the quilt to your left using scraps. A great website for making use of scraps is You can easily make 2 quilt tops at the same time by using her "leaders and enders" method. It saves thread and time and makes use of all those scraps. You just need to spend some time cutting and organizing the fabric into strips of certain widths and lengths and have them on hand when you are making your main quilt top. I made the baby scrap quilt to your left using this system with hardly any effort. The name of the pattern is "String X". I didn't use a foundation fabric though. I just sewed scraps together until it was a little bigger than the final section needed to be and then using a rotary cutter cut it to the correct size.

Another quilt money savings tip could be use an old blanket or sheet as the batting (or middle layer of the quilt) . I read this tip and other quilt savings tips in the Tightwad Gazette (not sure which edition?) My grandmother who quilted from about 1920 to the1970s used actual cotton from the cotton fields here in rural North Carolina. She had a gadget that got the seeds out of it. Of course she also used flour sacks. I have one of her quilt tops that I plan to quilt some day. If our pioneer ancestors could make do, we can surely find alternate ways to make frugal quilts.

You could also piece the back using scraps. There are many examples of this on the website.

My favorite quilts are scrap quilts. The fabric doesn't even have to be pretty.

Let your friends know that you could use any scrap fabric they want to get rid of. I have received several bags of fabric scraps this way. I also keep old shirts and other articles of clothing that would make good quilt blocks. Sometimes you can get fabric scraps on EBay at reasonable prices.

The possibilities are endless. Using a loved one's old clothes makes a lovely memory quilt.

For more frugal ideas visit

Debbie J.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Only 200 days left this year!!!!

I know its not New Years, but I have made a list of my goals for the remainder of the year. I am still working on it, but it is over in the side bar. After all we are now six months into the year. Lets renew those resolutions, because before we know it, it will be Christmas again!!!

Getting Organized

I have really fallen off the wagon for being organized. I feel the urge coming on to rectify this however!!!!.

It seems that in the summer time I get lazy in that regard. I'm sleeping later in the mornings and not doing my Bible reading. I'm not staying on top of the laundry and daily cleaning. I'm not keeping things done by their due date! This must stop!!!!!

My new plan is to spend at least 30 minutes a day cleaning. I saw that Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood does this. She keeps things picked up, etc. all day, but spends 30 minutes a day on weekly cleaning and monthly cleaning. That appeals to me. When the 30 minutes is up she is done for the day.

I also like Flylady's plan of 15 minutes at a time. That really works for me too.

I plan to "plan" my week with my "planner" every weekend too. I need to write down everything that I need to do that week, such as paying bills, meeting deadlines, appointments, menus, Bible reading, etc.

I was doing so well at reading the Bible through in a year. I started on January 1st and kept it up to date until about the middle of May. Now I'm about a month behind! I must "believe" that I can catch back up and work at it!!!.

I also must get organized at planning my daughter's baby shower. I am going to start making a list today and walk to the library on my lunch break (getting in exercise too!) to get a book on giving showers. I think a small notebook to help me plan the shower would be good. I helped give her a wedding shower and maybe I have the notes from that on my desk. There's alot to be done to the house before it can happen on July 15th!.

I get so much inspiration from all your blogs!

Hugs, Debbie J.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Easy and Delicious Suppers

We had this supper last night:

I cooked hamburgers made from lean ground beef on the George Foreman Grill, Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese, and Green Beans with New Potatoes. I had the potatoes left over from the night before and simply combined them in a sauce pan with a can of green beans, a pat of butter, a little salt and pepper. We had all the fixins for the burgers (lettuce, tomatoe, onion, relish, mayo, catsup, mustard, dill pickle chips and hamburger buns). It was really good, easy and fast. We did not have a scrap of leftovers!

For tonight, I cooked BBQ chicken early this morning before leaving for work. The BBQ sauce was on sale for $1.00 and I had a coupon. The chicken was on sale too. It is split chicken breasts. We are having banana sandwhiches and fresh fried squash with it. In my area of the South, banana sandwhiches are a favorite!!!

This is the time of the year to make the most of all those fresh veggies. I'm ready for the fresh tomatoes and green beans. We are already getting potatoes and squash.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Happy Tuesday!

I received my five cookbooks, "Not Just Beans" from Tawra Kellam at Living on a Dime yesterday. They came really fast! I am really excited because I love cookbooks and this one is bound to be a keeper. The other four will be used as gifts. But only to someone who will really appreciate them! They were only $5.00 each and came with a free booklet, "Dining on a Dime".

I made this wonderful chocolate pound cake for Blake's birthday this weekend. It turned out really good. The cake was from scratch, but the chocolate icing was storebought (on sale with a coupon of course!)

I wish I had taken a picture of the one I made. It looked really pretty in my glass cakeplate.

I really like Paula Deen's recipes. She is a great Southern cook, like I aspire to be. I come from a long line of great Southern cooks.

My family loves her recipe for mexican chicken. I'll share it here too.,1977,FOOD_9936_32614,00.html

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to the best husband in the world!!!!

I love you honey!!!

Debbie J.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Frugal Friday

I have learned from several frugal books and blogs that having a gift closet is a good money saving strategy. I have been slowly building mine up. It occurred to me this week to have a theme for certain people for Christmas, birthdays or Shower gifts or get well gifts. For instance, I am currently doing some kitchen theme gifts. I will slowly over the course of the year accumulate kitchen gifts at clearance sales, yard sales, etc. I have purchased some "Not Just Beans Cookbooks" on line yesterday for only $5.00 each. I will collect dish towels, kitchen utensils, or maybe the ingredients for a recipe in the cookbook. A container to hold the items with a kitchen theme, such as a colander or baking dish, would be great too.

Other themes could be: Bathroom articles, gardening, movie night, Devotional, etc. The possibilities are endless. A great family Christmas gift is a "movie night basket", filled with popcorn, snacks, drinks, and movies.

Having themes would give the gift closet direction, instead of just filling it with random items.

Debbie J.

For other great frugal ideas go to

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hurricane Preparedness

Here is a link to remind us all of what we need to have on hand in emergencies. Even if you don't live in a hurricane prone area, there is always the chance of another type of disaster.

Supersize Me

If any one wants a boost in eating right, please watch the video "Supersize Me". I checked it out from the library and we watched it. It completely took away my appetite for fast food. I do eat fast food too much because sometimes it is all I have time for at lunch since I am always running errands on my lunch hour. Everytime I think about the part where the guy tried to eat all of the supersize combo, I lose my appetite! I have been eating much more healthy food since I saw it.

Debbie J.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Baby Shower

Happy Birthday to Lori! She is the expecting Mama in the picture to the left. She is carrying my little grandson in that tummy! His due date is 8-31-07.

We have set the date for the baby shower for July 15, 2007. It will be a floating shower from 2:00 to 4:00. I know I want to have Jello Punch. Maybe there is some blue jello? I have a punch bowl and found extra punch cups at a yard sale a couple of months ago.

The baby is a boy, so of course a blue theme. I found a dollar store that has a good selection of party supplies, so I'll be going back there to purchase items. My sister-in-law who is a professional cake maker, is bringing the cake! I have already stockpiled party peanuts and cashew halves from CVS specials with EBS.

I need to check out a book on baby showers at the library.

Any suggestions from you experienced baby shower givers? This my first!

Hugs :)

Debbie J.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Frugal Friday

I first saw this in the Tightwad Gazette several years ago, but have since seen it on websites and blogs such as Laines Letters. Use less than the recommended amounts of products such as laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, fabric softeners and other cleansers. Keep decreasing the amount you use until you reach the point that it matters. The manufacturers want you to use as much as possible!

My best success with this is that I use 1/2 a fabric softener sheet. The best one at the best price I have found is the Clover Brand at Dollar General. There are 50 sheets for $1.00. I cut them in half and I can't tell any difference in the softness of my clothes. They have a good smell, too. Hey..... maybe I should try 1/4!!! :).

Laine of Laines Letters recommends using 1/2 the recommended amount of laundry detergent, but let the washing machine agitate longer or let it soak overnight, depending on how dirty the clothes are. One of my sons doesn't get his clothes dirty at all, so his can wash with less detergent for less time. HOWEVER, the other son gets his clothes extremely dirty, so more detergent and agitation for him!

I also apply this principal to toothpaste. 1/2 squeeze is just as good!

These are small savings, but they add up over time when combined with other savings.

Debbie J.

Glimpses of Home - HOOKS!

Now that's an exciting title, isn't it?  HaHa  While working around the house the other day I realized that I have a lot of over t...