November 2009 - Posts - Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller
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Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller

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November 2009 - Posts

  • Thanksgiving (Turkey) Left-over Ideas

    Yes, today we are STILL eating left-overs!

    Seems like my idea of having more than enough food for an army is coming back to bite me!! But do not despair...after a few plates of ‘The same ole stuff' warmed over, it's time to put on the ole thinking cap and get busy.

    So here are a few left-over tweaks I've done thus far:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Turkey Salad - (much like Chicken Salad, just using turkey that was picked from the bone)

    • 3 Cups Turkey Pieces
    • 1/2 C Low-fat Sour Cream
    • 1/4 C Olive Oil Mayo
    • 1 C chopped celery and carrots
    • 1 TBS Mustard
    • 1 Hard Boiled Egg
    • Salt/Pepper/Season to taste

    Put all in a food processor and whirl a few times until combined.

    This goes great on crackers or in a sandwich.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Turkey Chowder

    • 3 Cups Turkey Pieces
    • 6-8 Cups Turkey Stock (made by boiling the meat off the bones)
    • 1 Pint Leftover Creamed Corn
    • 2 Cups Leftover Squash Casserole (cream soup base, onions, cheese & squash)
    • 1/2 C Sour Cream

    All in a pot and simmer all day!

    Serving this tonight with home-made, fresh-milled bread and a salad!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Turkey Pot Pie

    • 2 Cups Turkey Pieces (yep, that should about do it with the Turkey now...phew)
    • 1 Can Mixed Veggies
    • 1 Can fat free cream soup (or home-made mix, which I prefer)
    • 1 Double Pie Crust Recipe*

    *I had some extras that didn't get made into pies this year - so they are left-overs too!

    Line bake ware with one crust or a pieced together assembled crust for the bottom, mix  first three ingredients together in a bowl and pour over pie crust, top mixture with remaining pie crust (even in strips if not enough).

    Bake until bubbly inside and crusts are golden.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    In the next day or so, I'll be addressing the leftover mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, so tune in again as the creative (and cheap) juices get to flowing in the kitchen!

     

    Best Blessings!

    Donna Miller

     

    Donna Miller is an author, teacher and entrepreneur. Her favorite roles are that of wife and mother to three home-school graduates. Living with a Homesteading Mindset in the country, the city and suburbs has been an adventure! The Millers own and operate  Millers Grain House which offers Organic and Chemical-free Whole Grains, Bosch Mixers, the NutriMill, instructional tutorials, recipes and more.
  • You "Cheap Date", you!

    At one time, that label was considered an insult. For a gentleman to take out a young lady and stress over the expense and count pennies to barely go anywhere or do anything was often a mark of shame meaning he thought her less worthy of any money spent.

    Oh how the economy can help us to re-align our priorities. As I've spoken many times before of the 'homesteading mindset' - it's not a matter of doing without as much as it is doing differently. Looking at things outside the 'norm'. Going on a 'date' is no different.

    My fantastic husband and I have been married for almost 25 years now. We've been on the income scales of below the poverty line, middle class and quite well-to-do, and each of them more than once during our years together. When we got married, I knew I was in for an adventure!

    Some of our most romantic 'dates' had the least money spent and cost us no extra money. They simply took some creativity.

    Here are some pretty THRIFTY ideas we've done over the years:

    • When there is a movie we prefer to see in theaters, we only go to a matinee (for the discounted price)
    • Coupons are used for dinners out (Hey, why be embarrassed to save money!)
    • Putt-putt, Cosmic bowling, Go karts, Bumper cars, Ice-skating, all have hours that are cheaper than prime-time, go on a date then instead.
    • Split meals and desserts. Saves calories and money at the same time. Plus you get to sit really close! (o:
    • Work on a project together. Who says that's not 'date' material? We built a chicken coup together that has more fond memories than dinner and a movie.

    Here are some practically FREE ideas that come from our history of 25+ years together:

    • A picnic lunch and walk in the park, or hike to a view.
    • He's cooked a full dinner (with appetizer, main course, sides & dessert) to surprise me when I got home from work (complete with candles).
    • Swap out 'spend the night' child-care with another couple and stay at home, quietly by the fire place.
    • Flowers picked from the yard for no reason at all make any evening special.
    • Driving slightly 'off the beaten path' during a trip home from a winter outing, just to hold hands and 'ooo and ahhh' at the lights.
    • Finding a rose pinned to the door and a note wanting to take a little walk around the pasture (or block) holding hands after dinner...
    • A surprise 'brown bag' lunch for two that can be eaten either in his office or outside on a blanket.
    • Go to a local book & music store and browse books of places you want to travel together, listen to music together. Leave buying nothing together.
    • Talking, dreaming, planning and praying together - all are more bonding than expensive entertainment and meals. Choose those options.

    Oh, don't get me wrong, even though a 'homesteader' - I can be as romantic and 'high maintenance' as the next girl, but it's where my priorities are focused that helps me see the real jewel in what others might see as a 'cheap date'. 

    Donna Miller is an author, teacher and entrepreneur. Her favorite roles are that of wife and mother to three home-school graduates. Living with a Homesteading Mindset in the country, the city and suburbs has been an adventure! The Millers own and operate  Millers Grain House which offers Organic and Chemical-free Whole Grains, Bosch Mixers, the NutriMill, instructional tutorials, recipes and more.

  • Holiday Ideas on a Dime (or better yet, FREE)

    Wow. We are almost to the end of the year.

    You know what that means don't you?

    The temptation to get 'malled' at the mall and shop for gifts we can't afford in crowds we may not enjoy and spend money we just don't have.

    How does one avoid that mayhem and enjoy this end of the year season? The answer is, 'thoughtfully'.

    Yes it Virginia, it does take some thought, but that's just creative juices and costs nothing and often producing much more deeply cherished memories than a 'gift card' from Wally World or some processed meat log.

    Let's look at some things that cost little to nothing for our holiday ideas:

    Christmas Tree Decor Ideas:

    · Decorate from nature. Pine cones, birds’ nests (empty by now), twigs with glitter, raffia, grapevines and holly twigs.

    · Second-hand ornaments from garage sales and thrift stores.

    · Make keepsake items to hang on the tree along with your family. Time together is a better gift than new decorations.

    Hanukkah Celebration Ideas:

    · Use mix/matched candles this year from around the house for the Menorah; it's the Light that was the miracle, not the candles matching.

    · Make a gift of serving rather than in wrapping. A gift of service each night or day for 8 days really shows our love without trying to 'buy love'

    · Dreidles don't have to be store bought. Find a plan on line and make one for the fun of it!

    General Winter Decor Ideas:

    · Cut snowflakes out of tin foil and hang around the house or tape up on the windows. The sun catches them and they sparkle.

    · Scents do a world of memory making, so bake something, it makes any home seem more cozy for the winter.

    Gift Giving Ideas:

    · Coupons that say: "Dishes done after dinner", "30 minute back-rub", "Day off fishing/golf/etc." show someone how much you care.

    · Hand-made items are often the most cherished gifts because of the time spent to make it. Don't think they are 'cheap.'

    · Limit gifts. This isn't free, but it makes good sense. Overwhelming gift mountains do not a greatful heart make.

    This year, and maybe for years to come - some of the best holiday memories may not have a price tag. When you think about it, the best ones really are priceless anyway, just give it some thought and plan for priceless memories this holiday season.

    Best Blessings!

    Donna

    Donna Miller is an author, teacher and entrepreneur. Her favorite roles are that of wife and mother to three home-school graduates. Living with a Homesteading Mindset in the country, the city and suburbs has been an adventure! The Millers own and operate  Millers Grain House which offers Organic and Chemical-free Whole Grains, Bosch Mixers, the NutriMill, instructional tutorials, recipes and more.

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