Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thrifty Lunches

As a full time working wife and mother, I am always on the look out for alternatives to brown bagging sandwiches which...get a bit boring after some time.
Keeping with the title Thrifty Lunches, I wanted to show you a few lunches I have packed on the super cheap.  To keep costs down, I eat primarily vegitarian lunches...with the exception of my favorite Chinese food take out place. 

I haunt Fresh & Easy, Fry's and Sprouts' marked down sections for items for lunch.  My goal is to eat for less than two dollars, still providing diversity and unique lunches.  . 

Red pepper hummus and snap peas with carrots...$2.40 for both, this was lunch for two days.  $1.20 is a frugal score!  btw...this hummus was so delicious I wanted to lick the container when it was gone!  
These two items were picked up today and frozen for lunches for the rest of the week.  Chipoltle Mac and Cheese is divine.  I usually cut up fresh tomatoes in it and have a piece of bread or fruit.  The lasagne is yummy as well, though this will count as one of my meat portions as it has mystery meat in the sauce.
Lunch on the left cost $1.00 put that with a tomato and necterine, cost is about $1.60 .
Lunch on the right cost $1.25 and I will take a small green salad or steamed green beans or broccoli along with it, making the cost about $2.00.

While perusing the mark downs in Fresh & Easy (where I mostly buy marked down items and freeze or use immediatly.) I found Lean Cuisines....on clearance!  I both College Diva three of her favorites, Chicken Fettucini and I picked up two of my absolute favorites...Butternut squash Ravioli's.  Fly Guy says I will eat anything if it is stuffed in a ravioli!  I do love them little pasta squares!
Here is the total of all items I picked up today at Fresh & Easy. Total cost $13.29.  But more on that shopping trip tomorrow...

Now on to my very favorite meal...once a week I treat myself to a take out meal from Bejing Chinese Food in Chandler, Arizona.  They have a lunch special, entree with drink, soup or egg roll for $5.45.  These containers hold enough for two meals!  I usually get the hot and sour soup or the wonton soup and then save half of the entree for the next days' lunch.  
This time I ordered the spring roll..yummo!  Wonderful thing about these containers is they make great tupperware for sending home cooked meals with College Diva when she visits!

I do make sandwiches for Fly Guy or use dinner left overs as the next days lunch.  Fly Guy told me that before we married he spent $7.00 to $10.00 a day on eating lunches.  I am thrilled  to provide lunches for less than $4.00 for both of us!

I estimate that by brown bagging our lunches three times a week we save on average $3800.00 a year.  Now that is frugal savings!
A biento!

Frugal Missus


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Frugal Flowers

I love me some fresh flowers.  I remember back when Fly Guy and I were first dating, he would bring me flowers every single date.  Sometimes three or four times a week.  Well...I knew it was getting to be expensive and so casually mentioned that he didn't need to buy me flowers all the time.  

I didn't realize that he took it to mean that I didn't like him to buy me flowers!  He slowly trickled off to only buying flowers for Valentine's Day, our Anniversary and the anniversary of our first date.  What was a girl to do?  Being frugal I can't see buying flowers ever single week, even if I love fresh flowers on the entry way table or the center of the dining room table.  

Then I realized, I don't need large bouquets to make me happy, just a few blooms will brighten up the area and make me smile every time I see them.

My favorite places to get flowers are the grocery store, if they are on sale...yep, I rarely pay more than $5.00 for a bunch of flowers, doesn't matter what type they are, I just can't see spending more than that, since they last four or five days tops.

Then I discovered Fresh and Easy!  They have lovely flowers and I can usually find flowers deeply discounted during the week.  
These beauties set me back...
One dollar.  Yes indeed, marked down from $6.00 to one dollar.  I put them in a vase...uh glass on my desk and had beauty for three days...for only a dollar.  How can you beat that?
btw...drinking goblet/vase, was a freebie from a garage sale.  Only one of them, so I took it to work to drink my ice tea out of and discovered what a handy vase it transformed into.
Why a glass goblet to drink out of?  Why not?  I read Frugal Luxuries by Tracey McBride a few years ago and was touched by the message, live life frugally but elegantly.  Take pleasure in the small things, enjoy the beauty around you.   Drinking out of this goblet makes me feel amazing, I slow down, enjoy my tea and let it refresh me.  All in a tiny cubicle workspace..and it makes a great vase for enjoying roses.

I had several people stop and ask what the occassion was ...why I had flowers, not my birthday, anniversary, etc.  Nope..."I am the reason.."  (You know they think I am a little touched in the head at work...right???)

I also picked up a gift for Fly Guy while buying flowers for me.
A mint and a rosemary, marked down to the amazing low, low price of... (disregard my messy, messy table...I am moving...remember? You might see the Tori Spelling book off to the left, I told you I was spending some time reading it...caught in the act!)
another $2.00 and my husband was thrilled.  I guess he kind of likes getting flowers...uh herbs. I will love them once they are large enough for me to pinch a little off for cooking~

jusqu'à ce que je vous reverrai
Audra

Monday, September 20, 2010

Where Does The Time Go???

I was SHOCKED! to find out that I had not posted in nearly THREE weeks.  Mouth-droping-eye-popping-tongue-hanging-out-shocked!  Where did the time go?  I am so looking in the yellow pages for a detective agency to find my lost time... So beside packing...a few more of these

I might have been busy with a few other *important* things, like ...

I could have been drooling over this,  "sigh"


or this...

"double sigh"

I may have wasted a few minutes here and there reading this...

heck, I am a push-ovah...for biographies and well...Tori Spelling.  I just love her, seriously...the only reality show I ever watched besides, Rock Star INXS and Rock Star Super Nova.  Yes...I watched all three of her shows and will even admit under duress to having them on TiVo...

It's a sickness people.  I am trying to deal with it, one episode at a time.

I may have been having a yard sale...yes, Y.A.R.D. because this sale was so huge it went from my Garage, to the Drive Way, to the Yard.  Three families brought stuff, I pulled out a third of my stuff and we sold until the Arizona sun about fried us up.  Had to wrap up at 10:30 am because the shade was gone, no breeze and I just don't do sun, ladies.

Planning one more big sale  in exactly four weeks, where I will bring out the best of the best, the items I thought I could not move out of this house with, but now..have seen the light and I am reformed!  Ahhh, would you believe semi-reformed?  Okay... are you all still with me?

Yes, I am paring down my treasures, belongings and making things much easier for the Frugal Missus.  It seems this movement is gather great steam along blog land, everyone is doing letting go and freeing up space.

I think this post from Nester at Nesting Place says it all.  I wish I could hug her!  She is like a best friend/sister/blogger who knows what I am going through.  Heck, I am sure you all have been there one time or another. I am owned by my stuff and it was getting a little stuffy around here!

Anyway...didn't get pictures of the first yard sale because I was busy setting up, selling and making money.  This lovely stash of cash is going to go towards the move and a little sumptin' for the new place.  Some thing from Pottery Barn perhaps?  Can I just get an AMEN from all of you who are in love with the fall catalog?  Show of hands? Fly Guy woke me up the other night asking if I intended to sleep with the catalog every..single...night..???  Ooops.  Fell asleep dreaming of this...


and this....


and these...


So just in case you missed me..(because I did miss all of you), now you know what I have been up to..oh, yes, I have been packing, unpacking, going back through packed stuff, getting rid of packed stuff and repacking unpacked boxes. 
I have an extra tape gun if anyone wants to join me!

Ta Ta For Now....

Audra