Michelle's Blog

My life as a wife, homemaker, friend, Christian

Savin some MONAYS March 9, 2009

Filed under: frugal,home — mrswade @ 10:46 am
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So, Jake and I are working on trying to figure out the best way to track the best deals and prices on food with a top 50 spread sheet.  I was sorting through receipts and came across this one. reciept This receipt is an example of God’s amazing provision.  This was a month when we had run out of some more expensive things, like Brita filters, some toiletries, etc., so we ran out of food money a little quicker (only $2 or $3 left for the month).  Jake was out of lunch and breakfast food and we didn’t have near enough money to buy him his carrots, ranch and yogurt.  Those three things are very vital to his packed lunch, without them he just has an english muffin and a sandwich all day.  By God’s grace we recieved our coupons from our Fred Meyer reward’s points that month.  We went to the store and were not only able to buy Jake the essentials, we were able to get some brownies for $1.00 that I had been craving!  God is so good and helped me save $5.24 more than I spent!  yay God!

Another really great thing to save a little bit of money and gain a lot of nutritional benefits (which I am SUPER excited about) is making my own bread instead of buying it!  Last night, Jake and I were nerds and calculated what it would cost per loaf of bread (with the recipe that I am currently using, this amount will probably go down when I start using a sourdough starter).

Here’s the break down:

  •  2 pkg yeast = 1.00
  • 8 c flour = 3.20
  • 2/3 cup honey = 1.32
  • 2/3 stick butter = .33
  • salt = .04

This recipe makes 3 loafs of bread (though I think I may use it only for two because I want to make sure the loafs are big enough for sandwiches).  Either way, we were spending 2.19 per loaf of bread, so:

  • batch divided into 2 loafs = 2.95 (we pay .76c more)
  • batch divided into 3 loafs = 1.96 (we save .22c)

We figure that when we start to buy bread ingredients in bulk, and start making sourdough (which calls for fewer ingredients) we will save in the long run, and if we don’t save, we aren’t spending much more but are gaining so much more in nutritional value!

So that’s all, I was just excited about those two discoveries 🙂 YAY


Salsa (well, actually, pico de gallo) March 8, 2009

Filed under: frugal,Recipes — mrswade @ 4:26 pm
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Tonight is a taco night and I made some homemade salsa to go with it 🙂  It super easy, uber delicious, fresh and a fun way to get some veggies!


What I used

  • 3 1/3 tomatoes
  • 3/4 white onion
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (w/o the insides and the seeds)
  • cilantro to taste
  • a couple squirts of lime juice to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


Chop it all up, (use a food processor for the tomatoes if you want the salsa a little more juicy and less chunky) and mix it together, it’s super easy!

It’s also super cheap!  the cilantro and jalapeno were less than a dollar, onions and tomatoes aren’t that expensive either and this made way more than a traditional tub of salsa 🙂


Thanks Esther B. March 1, 2009

Filed under: Creativity,frugal,home — mrswade @ 11:53 am
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In sewing class Junior year we had a box full of old (starting in the early 1960s) sewing patterns that we could take if we wanted, to make vintage clothing.  The old ladies across the street at Friendsview Retirement Home often donate their old patterns to George Fox because they can no longer sew (Esther B. had written her name on one of the patterns, thanks Esther!)  I saw them and fell in love with the old drawings of the girls and the dresses on the front.  I think someday it would be fun to make one of the dresses, but I mostly just wanted the covers of the patterns to frame and put in my craft room/office/guest room.  I had forgotten about the patterns, they were sitting in my infrequently opened sewing drawer, until a friend needed me to take her measurements and I went searching for my tape measurer.  I found the patterns and got inspired all over again!  I went to Goodwill yesterday and got three frames for the patterns.  Now they’re ready to hang up right above my sewing machine in the crafty part of the room!  And it all only cost me $4.00!  Aren’t they great?!

img_3007From left to right: 1972, 1969 and 1967



Eggplant Parmesan February 2, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 10:22 pm
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I was a little nervous about this recipe.  I had left over spaghetti sauce that I had frozen and didn’t know what to do with.  We were tired of spaghetti and I hate to throw anything out so I thought of eggplant parmesan.  I always try to make inexpensive recipes because Jake and I are on a pretty tight food budget.  2 eggplants cost me $2.98 and I threw out almost 1/2 an eggplant.  Next time I’ll just get one big one or two small ones.  Mozzerella was about 2.50, the parmesan I already had and I made my own bread crumbs.  Here’s the recipe.


  • 2 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced (mine were about 1/4 inch)
  • 2 – 3 eggs, beaten (start with 2 and crack another if needed)
  • 2-2/3 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I just stuck 3 slices of bread in my food processor and then toasted them under the broiler, though I think I should have either toasted them less or not at all so they toasted more to the eggplant later.)
  • 4-6 cups spaghetti sauce (I’m not sure exactly how much I used, but I know I could have used more)
  • 8 ounce package mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used way more than this but I wanted to get rid of the parmesan I had sitting in the fridge)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.
  3. In a 9×13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Jake kept going on and on about how delicious this was, I really liked it too.  It was far better than the eggplant parmesan I had had in my schools cafeteria 😉  Overall it turned out wonderful and is a cheap way to use up the extra spaghetti sauce (because I always make way too much!)  And healthy…I think (maybe with low-fat cheese?)


happy new living room! October 12, 2008

Filed under: decorating — mrswade @ 3:56 pm
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I was looking on craigslist on friday night and found a papasan chair, looking like it was in perfect condition for 20$.  I freaked out and emailed right away, said I could come pick it up whenever she wanted us to.  I got an email back the next day and it was still available! WOOHOO!  So my loving husband drove for an hour or so to go pick it up on saturday.  It is so comfy and our living room is so much nicer now.  It is a place I actually want to be, a place where I now just sit and look at it because it is so much better!  


Craigslist October 6, 2008

Filed under: frugal — mrswade @ 8:43 am
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I am obsessed. I check it every day like I would check my facebook or email.  It gets somewhat depressing when you find the best item EVER and then, you don’t have the money on hand instantly, or, you don’t have a truck to haul that amazing lawyers desk, or microfiber chair and ottoman.  I am always checking the furniture section, sometimes house wears.  I also love to look at the free kittens and puppies in the pets section 🙂

I also love to look at the real estate for sale section in Seattle CL.  I love dreaming out the home I will buy, where I could live, what it could look like.  All that.

I am currently on a search for the perfect papasan chair.  I am also looking for a queen sized headboard, just a plain, flat, square one.  I really want to upholster it for Jake and I’s room.I love this one, it’s for sale right now for $50, but Jake thinks it might be too small.  I’ll keep hunting.

Craigslist also traps me in looking for baby girl clothes.  I love to shop for my god-daughter, Madison.

I think that everyone should craigslist, really truly.  If everyone basically shared what they had, traded around furniture, clothes, housewears, we would infrequently have the need to buy new things.  If I had the money on hand, and the transportation, I could put together a quite sophisticated and expensive looking apartment for significantly less than I could if I had bought all new.  If people buy from craigslist, it saves items from the landfill, it save’s people money, and it gives money to individuals and families instead of big giant businesses.


My home

Filed under: decorating — mrswade @ 5:42 am
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So, I’m kind of ridiculous and havn’t been able to sleep at night sometimes because I have been thinking of how I would do this.  I received display squares as a wedding gift and have been excited to put them up, but not sure what to put in/on them and nervous about making them look good, until today.  This weekend Jake and I went to a 5$ per bag sale at a closing thrift store.  We got a few good things and many of them are displayed on my newly-put-up squares. 🙂 Things I found at the thrift store, the folgers can, the pear, the apple, the green vase and the pear bundle, for a total of $2.10, the vase with sand from Jamaica in it cost me .50c  the W was purchased with a gift card from the wedding (along with other things) and the poppies I bought at Michaels for way too much, I think around 3$ each.  I also love my Mexican vanilla bottle, AND I think it’s authentically Mexican…

I love being thrifty, I put this together for less than $15!  I wish so badly I could paint these white walls, but good things come to those who wait, I am waiting for the day Jake and I buy a house, then I can do whatever I want! 🙂

more exciting home details to come 🙂