Friday, July 25, 2008

Frugal Friday...Crock Pot Lasagna

Today's Frugal Friday tip is on home cooking. All the food made in this home is preservative free due to allergies. It takes some hunting during shopping to make sure that all the ingredients are all natural but it is worth it! By shopping the canned food warehouses I can save quite a bit on these sorts of foods when they are available, as these sorts of stores don't always carr the same sort of inventory. So I shop there first to see what they have compared to the needs on my shopping list. I have been able to save ingredients for Lasagna. I like to stock up on these as this is my one of my husbands favorite meals. However, turning on the oven in the summer when the temps are in the 90's and there is no air conditioning doesn't seem right! I came across directions for a Crock Pot Lasagna recipe that seems to work just great for us. Of course Dear Husband took some time to get used to the idea of "round" Lasagna compared to "square" Lasgana. I quickly reminded him that we could have Lasagna in the "Summer" as well as the "Winter" if he didn't mind the shape. He succeded after the first trial run! Tastes the same, go for it! So here are the directions to adapt your favorite Lasgna Recipe to the crock pot.
Crock Pot Lasagna
Make a batch of preservative free fresh Lasagna sauce with meat
My sauce...
Brown 1 lb. hamburger and add,
2 cups frozen tomato paste saved from the large can I bought for the same price as two small ones. 2 cups water, 1 cup grape juice, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos, salt and pepper and fresh garlic crushed garlic to taste. 1 cup chopped bell pepper, assorted colors, 1 cup mushrooms. A few fresh herbs for now..Basil, spicy oregano, rosemary and such...
I usually make this the day before to let it simmer and let the tastes blend. (kind of a sweet taste to it)
Or use a can of sauce found on sale and doctor it up!
The Next Day...
Short on time for dinner problem
Add some fresh herbs to the sauce
Toss some sauce at the bottom of the crock pot
Layer with Lasagna noodles right out of the box.
Just break them into lengths short enough to fit across the bottom.
Another layer of sauce
then crisscross the noodles the other way
Layer with shredded Mozzarella
Then Sauce
Ricotta cheese if you have it or more Mozzarella
Layer until crock pot is filled leaving at least three inches space.
Top with cheese and more veggies...Chopped bells peppers all colors, and musrooms.
Pour one cup water over the whole thing!
Cover and simmer on high for two hours, or low for three or more ..
You will find the right amount of time for your crock pot
We like the edges crunchy so we leave it a bit longer.
I also plug the crock pot on in the shed to not heat the house in the summer.

Best of all...
At dinner time the kitchen is cool and clean and the table is set.
I've also made it for company and we ate it out on the back deck and served it up from a side table with a great big salad. Complete with tiki torches and Iced tea to make a lovely summer time memory. Another plus is that we usually have many leftovers that can be frozen for work time lunches. Enjoy!

Check out Marsha's Frugal Friday Tips at

Sufficient grace for Suffering Saints

Friday, July 18, 2008


FRUGALITY TIP: Shopping and canning or freezing local produce in season will help reduce your grocery bill.

It's strawberry festival time in these parts. What a pleasure it is to pick fresh strawberries. Growing up in the Los Angeles area as a kid was not fun living in such a big city although that was nothing compared to today. But one thing that was plentiful was fresh fruit and veggies. We also lived in Ventura County where the pumpkin patches and strawberry fields and orange groves were plentiful all around us. There were fruit stands all over the place. I guess the closest thing we have in the Northwest akin to the plentiful fruit stands is a coffee hut on every few blocks which we really appreciate in the winter time!

After the first batch of fresh stawberries have been eaten which is a must after a long winter, I like to make batches of strawberry freezer jam. The taste is so much closer to fresh strawberries then canning the jam. I can also control the amount and type of sweetner in the jam when I make it at home.

Once made the jams and canned items in this home are set aside to be used only after the first snow fall! This practice brings back a taste of summer in the cold dreary months of winter. So take the kids out on field trip and have some fun and have them help pick some berries or whatever happens to be in season in your area.

Strawberry Freezer Jam with Pictorial Instructions

Strawberry Freezer Jam using Apple juice as sweetner

Strawberry Tips from picking to canning to freezing

Produce picking fields near you

Friday, July 11, 2008


Welcome to Frugality 101.

If you are just joining us, please read the articles

Frugality 101

I just love the aroma and taste of fresh herbs, however due to some injuries this year I was unable to plant them. To my wonderful surpise I happend upon some freshly growing Herbs in the grocery store. It was two large plants of basil for only $4.00. They were hydroponically grown so I keep them in a large glass jar and pluck only what I need. I change the water in the jar every other day to keep it fresh, and it has already lasted beautifully through this heat for about 3 weeks. When the plants seem to be coming to the end of their growing season I will pluck all the leaves off and dry them and store them for special meals in the winter. Another storage method for fresh herbs is to place them in a plastic baggie with water and store them in the freezer. When needed, just pull the bags out of the freezer and let them thaw.

Now it's your turn to share some great frugal tips for our home life.
Feel free to copy and post the Domestically Inclined Frugal Friday meme picture on your post or blog with a link back here. Thanks and I look forward to reading every bit of help you would like to share with stay at home moms/wives/and grandmas!

Here are a few featured posts on Frugality.

Add your link above and feel free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Latte Lessons

Because you asked Patricia....

Latte Lessons for the Frugal Woman....
~Basic ingredients for making Lattes at home:
Whip Cream
I use decaf beans and grind them myself because I don't drink caffine but love the taste of really good coffee. I also just make a strong batch of coffee in the coffee maker to use in the Latte. I have heard it is heathier to have your coffee brewed and filtered. I have a Krups coffee maker which keeps the coffee from being exposed to the air and making it bitter so I can make some coffee in the morning and use what I want for myself or in case company arrives for an iced Latte later in the day without wasting the leftovers. Although for those of you fortunate enough to have an espresso machine you can use it as well.
If you are going to use sugar (or brown sugar or honey) add the sugar to the hot coffee to desired sweetness first, all others...
Fill a 20 oz. plastic glass (disposable for on the go), or the glass of your choice 2/3 full with crushed ice. You can use cubed ice.
Pour the coffee to cover the ice.
Then add the milk of your choice,
Whole, canned, 2% or 1%,
or fat free, (but hey why bother?)
Add your sweetner...
Sugar free syrups, sugar filled syrups, sugar substitutes
You can even use Coffemate in your favorite flavor to combine the milk and sweetner ingredients.
Stir and top with Whip Cream if desired.
~Basic ingredients for making Granitas at home..
The ingredients are the same as for a Latte however you add it all to the blender (add chocolate syrup if you like) and whirl it up for an even icier treat.
Of course you can adjust the ingredients to suit your own taste.

Thanks for asking Patricia!
You can visit Patricia and see all her Beautiful
Vintage Linen Treasures
with your Latte in hand if you like.

Frugal Friday

It's time for Frugal Friday tips again. I've been preparing for the family for the Fourth of July Celebrations by shopping and cleaning out the fridge and marinating meat for the BBQ. So a few things came to mind.
Shopping: When shopping always go with a list of your needs! Research the newspaper adds for sales and stick to your budget. Many stores take coupons, and the loss leaders at each store are great to stock up on. I noticed that cake mixes and baking items are on sale. Of course they are! It's too hot to bake, but if you purchase them now they will be in your pantry for the holiday season. I am allergic to preservatives so I need to wait until the fall when the price of grains go down due to the higher demand.
Save the pickle juice! I bought some beef short ribs on sale of course, but they are a tougher cut of meat so they require some marinating before they sizzle on the BBQ. I was out of vinegar and short on time so I didn't cut up the lemons, but saw the almost empty pickle jar in the fridge.I cut up the short ribs and placed them in a ziplock bag and added pickle juice, Braggs Amino Acid's ( a staple in our home), some fresh chopped garlic, salt and pepper. I marinate them overnight and then place them on the grill to cook. Dear Husband likes them smothered in Sweet Baby Rays' BBQ sauce so I pour some on at the very end of cooking. Delicious! They can also be slow cooked in a crock pot till tender. I also use some of the pickle juice in my Potato Salad recipe instead of vinegar.
Lattes! Our Church has a coffee shop and all proceeds go to help with missions, but when I can't get there to get an ice cold Latte, I just make one at home. I start to watch for all the ingredients that we like and slowly stock up on them. Clear plastic Cups and lids, whip cream, decaf beans for me, the real thing for Honey, none of those sippy drinks for him! They end up costing half as much as from a stand, and we can enjoy them on a hot summer evening.

Just took this picture myself of one of those homemade "sippy drinks"

I just learned how to ask Mr. Linky to my site, so if you have thoughts to share on Frugality 101 please add your link so we can come look and learn, and please don't forget to leave a comment.

Originally posted July 4th, 2008
Mrs. V. said...
Hello~*~*~*~~*~Just wanted to let you know I have updated.And, I have a cold pasta salad dish that I actually add pickle juice in as one of the ingredients! It's one of my favorite things!Mrs. V.

Frugal Friday Tips

A good wife and health are a man’s best wealth. ~Charles Spurgeon

With gas prices, and food prices on the rise, many homes are feeling the pinch.
Like many of our foremothers, we too can make a one income household stretch farther if we remember ...

1.economical in use or expenditure;
prudently saving or sparing;
not wasteful:
a frugal manager
2.entailing little expense;
requiring few resources;
a frugal meal.
[Origin: 1590–1600;
—Synonyms 1. thrifty, chary, provident, careful.
opposed to extravagance]

Brightly Colored Copper!

Oh how I love it when the copper shines!
This was a home improvement with the help of my husband. I had been wanting a place to hang my pots and pans but I didn't want to pay for the silly looking, ridiculously priced metal hangers found in the stores. Dear husband found an old wire closet rack out in the shed, and attached it to the two cabinets ends. He also found some s hooks to hang the pots and pans on. I used a few things I had and strung a string of lights up, a garland of grape vine ivy and a few coffee mugs with grapes on them to decorate and Viola!

I have also been saving these white containers from a purchase we have been making over the winter. I tore off the labels and printed up my own on my computer complete with rose clip art I painted and scanned onto my computer. Now my flour, and sugar, and rice and oatmeal, and so forth have a home on the window sill, ready at my beck and call.

Keep an eye out for possible recycling containers to help in the home.

Bar Keepers Friend is the best thing I have ever used to keep my pots and pans clean.
These Pots and pans are about 25 years old. They were wedding gifts, and they still shine nicely with a little help from...

It also works great on pyrex glass baking dishes, and stoves tops and I use it safely in the shower and bathtub as well. I pick mine up at the local walmart, but can't seem to find it at any other grocery store. It is also available online at
HisBeloved said...
Ah! Bar Keeper's cleaner on the market. It's kept pans clean for my mom, my sister-in-law and me too! Wonderful stuff!Blessings!
June 27, 2008 9:28 AM
MichelleC said...
I love this idea for your pots and pans. The way my kitchen is set up..I can also do this. I have an extra white shelf like that too. BUT-I only have iron cast and I certainly would not want to be busy doing the dishes one evening and have an iron cast pot of any size fall on my head. They are so heavy. I wonder what else would look nice hanging there.*scratching chin* I think this looks great and we have been saving those same white containers too. ;-)I love BKF too. I use it for my tubs and grill racks.
June 29, 2008 8:01 AM
fearfully and wonderfully made said...
I really like the idea you have for hanging your pans. I have a very small kitchen been trying to come up with an idea to clear out some of the cupboards and I think your idea may work!Thanks.
June 30, 2008 9:14 AM
Vintage Linen Treasures said...
What great ideas! I read through your post and kept going back to the picture to see the details. It looks wonderful! I'm guessing DH got a big kiss?Patricia :o)
June 30, 2008 7:20 PM
Domestically Inclined said...
Absolutley! :)
Originally Posted by Domestically Inclined June 30th , 2008 8:19 PM

Frugality in light of Proverbs 31...Part Two

Serving Lady
Serving Lady

Living frugally may seem silly and old-fashioned to a few generations that have grown up with luxuries and affluence, but frugality is far from it. Our Founding Fathers feared that too much luxury woud make a nation weak. If we look back to the Romans and the Greeks we can see that too much play time, or luxury time on their hands was part of their downfall.

So let's continue with...Frugality in light of Proverbs 31 Part Two...

She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. Proverbs 31:18 She understands that her labors are not in vain, they are good and done with a pleasant heart.Whether they be making the bread, sewing, or painting, or delivering a chocolate cake to those that God insists she deliver it to. She realizes that there is no good thing within her, but in Christ she has much to offer. Her candle goeth not out by night...pertains to hospitality. Hospitality is very important in the east. With a candle burning in the window at night, travelers would now that hospitality would be extended to them within the household.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. Proverbs 31:19 Have you ever seen a spindle at a fair? When I was young, mom and dad sold our home to a woman who raised sheep for their wool. My sisters and I and mom would go back to the house to visit her and watch her spin the wool into yarn and make the most beautiful sweaters!Today, I look for good deals on yarn, and use my tool of choice...the crochet hook and the embroidery needle.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20 Here is one of the key motives to our frugality, to share with those in need. We are not to be frugal to the point of being cheap, or to get rich monetarily, but to extended what is in our power to those that are in need of help. We give our help with cheerfulness, and love from the bounty our Father has blessed us with.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. Proverbs 31:21 The family has plenty to keep them warm in the winter, there is no need to fear the cold when one prepares in advance. As Jesus washes us in His blood we are safe in Him no matter the storms that may come our way.

Good Judgement by Rob Croxford
Good Judgement

She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Proverbs 31:22

She clothes herself in fine linen in beautiful purple. The color signifies royalty. As daughters of the King we are royalty. A royal priesthood that delivers mercy to all around us. As we extend mercy to others, clothed in the righteousness of Christ,we are a beautiful sight to our Lord Jesus. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.Proverbs 31:23 As Barnes puts it...The industry of the wife leaves the husband free to take his place among the elders that sit in councils.

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Proverbs 31:24
Not only does she making clothing for herself and her family but she finds time to make more to sell among the merchants. Today we have front porch sales and Ebay and Etsy to share our homemade goods, as well as craft fairs. We still remain in our heavenly role as wives and moms and homemakers, but have outlets to share the items we make. If we don't sell them, we can still help keep a frugal budget by making gifts for friends and relavites for birthdays and special occasions.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.Proverbs 31:25
No need to fear God is here! When we walk in His ways we can rejoice knowing that we are being obedient to our calling as wives and homemakers and honoring our God, which brings us strength to look at the future without fear no matter what the economy looks like, because we have a future and a hope in Jesus far beyond this life.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26
Frugality at it's best...even in our conversation. Notice she "opens" her mouth...that means it does remain closed at times. And when it does open it is with wisdom...God's wisdom. That may not seem like a good thing to some these days and may be cast aside as judgemental or unloving, but the wisdom as well as the kindness that is mentioned is implied toward God...It is important to speak with an understanding of God's word.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 The wife oversees the daily running of the household with her husbands leading in mind.If he likes dinner on the table when he walks in the door from work than do your best to get that frugal dinner on the table. Begin early in the day, sometimes even the day before to defrost meat that was purchased on sale. It helps keep the price down. Plan on making the dessert from items in the pantry rather than box mixes. It also helps keep gas prices down, when you don't have to run to the store everyday for something you forgot. Plan the trips to the grocery store, and errands arround that trip. Get up early to get that crock pot going, and the diswasher running.If you are homeschooling, plan lessons in advance. Keep the phone calls down to a minimum as to not interrupt school time. With many children having a daily schedule that reflects the wishes of your husband is helpful. Keep baskets of craft items around the home to occupy your hands in a moment of free time. Most of all put aside the beginning of the day for your Bible and prayer reading and communion with the Lord. Bathe your day in prayer, and let God guide your steps.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Proverbs 31:28 As a woman walks in the ways of the Lord, those who BEST know her will call her blessed and praise her for her good works which glorifies her Lord.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.Proverbs 31:29 These are the words of the Husband that has got himself a good thing....a virtous wife...a woman of strong character, filled with goodness, one who is steadfast. Other women may have done "good works" or had a form of godliness, but you my Beloved excel them all! God looks at our hearts and He judges the thoughts and intents thereof. Why do you want to be frugal?Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30 As Matthew Henry writes...Above all, she fears the Lord. Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it any proof of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who made his choice of a wife by it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart, is the beauty of the soul; it lasts forever.
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:31 According to Aben Ezra, these are the words of her husband to her children; exhorting them to give her the praise and glory that is due unto her. Using our hands, and hearts to be frugal, to extend mercy and help to the needy in heart or matter, our works glorify our Father in Heaven.Our lives are pleasing to Him in this manner and our good fruit a lovely fragrance to Him.God's word is a high standard to uphold. None of us can do it. We all sin. That is why we need a Savior...Jesus. However, if we belong to Him, that standard is the mark we are to live for. Living for that standard is not old fashioned. God is the same yesterday today and tomorrow, and His word will never change as many are trying to do. Read it for yourself and see what God shows you.

Originally Posted June 25th, 2008 by Domestically Inclined at 5:40 AM

Tina said...
Great post!Thanks for your comments on my blog...I will post a scone recipe soon, just for you! Love, Tina :)
June 25, 2008 2:27 PM
Suzanne said...
What a wonderful post:-)
June 26, 2008 5:29 PM
Tina said...
Is it ok with you if I print off "Frugality in light of Proverbs 31, part 1 and 2" for my home management binder? It would only be for my personal study. Please say yes!Love, Tina :)
June 27, 2008 4:08 AM
Domestically Inclined said...
Hello Tina!YES of course, and thanks for asking! Freely I have been given and freely I give. Blessings
June 27, 2008 10:04 AM
Tina said...
Thank you...that is a real blessing!Love, Tina :)
June 27, 2008 11:54 AM
© Monika Hardy

Frugality in light of Proverbs 31...Part One

Frugality in light of Proverbs 31, this is not something we Christian woman do just because times are hard, but it is a way of life. We are frugal, not cheap. We economize with a heart motive to help our husbands and families, and extend our hands to the needy.
I realize that many of us have lived in the prosperity of America but with all the talk of economic woes I thought I might share with those looking for a bit of relief.Growing up in a home with a mom and dad who lived through WWII we didn't have much trouble with learning how to live on little and then even less after dad died and this was in the early 1970's. How many of you remember hearing the following words?

"Waste not, want not."
"A penny saved is a penny earned."
"A starving child in Africa would love to eat those brussel sprouts."

When I was a child living at home hearing those words, I often wondered if I could mail that child in Africa my liver and brussel sprouts, but knew better than to ask!

With gas prices and grocery prices and just about prices for everything else going up and up, I hear and read much talk about frugality. Many are not rich and live pay check to pay check. And from many polls it has been quite clear that these are the families that help support most that are in need because they understand the needs themselves. So I offer the following not as a way to make your vacation savings account larger but as a way of life described by our Creator that would help us care for those in need as well as our own families.

Whether you be a Christian homemaker now, or a woman who wants to become a full time homemaker God has already given us wonderful guidelines to help us on our daily path.

Proverbs 31 helps us as women to care for the household, the budget, and how to carry out our husbands instructions in matters of the home. The family would be clothed with warm clothes in the winter, and the lady of the home would wear the fine clothing she made by her own hands, as well as extending her hand to the needy, and many other insights into a Godly woman's life.

God's word is ageless! Let's look at the situation many find themselves in today in light of Proverbs 31.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10
And during these days of economic frailty it would be good to have one of these in the home. God is not speaking of a "Princess" here ladies, but a "Virtuous woman".... Actually a "force to be reckoned with", who is filled with strength of moral character.
A woman such as this has been purchased by the blood of Jesus, and that makes her extremely expensive, far above the price of rubies. For such a woman as this will not be undermining her husbands character in her speech, or in her actions, and this is the sort of woman that a man can trust in. If you are not on the road to becoming a "Virtuous Woman, begin by reading your Bible and getting to know the Savior, Jesus who loves you very much.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. Proverbs 31:11
Her husband will not have to go out and rob a bank to provide for an unfrugal wife for the finery she demands. As we read Gods word it sheds light on behavior that does not please God.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:12
As wives we seek to do good and not evil to our husbands in all aspects of his life. He can trust that his wife keeps his thoughts in mind as she shops frugally, cares for the children and the household.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:13 She does not wait for the expensive gifts of clothing to be brought to her, she seeks out fabrics to willingly make them with her own hands. Just think of the frugality in this one. No shopping malls! No designer clothing. Just looking for wool to make into yarn to knit or crochet. Flax is a grain that was used to make linen. Our time would be spent collecting the materials to make designer clothing for the family. I'm sure she hunted for the best prices on these supplies as well. Today we have fabric stores, and with a bit of practice we can put our hands to work at making clothing for the entire family and more, and by watching the sale flyers, ebay, and craigslist, we can even get the fabric at clearance prices!
She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. Proverbs 31:14
Today a woman must know her prices! We go armed with coupons and adds, hunting for the best deals on food and clothing and household items whether we purchase them online or in the grocery stores or from a farmers market. She is aware of the likes and dislikes of the family, of the health needs and concerns of the family, and for providing nutritious healthy meals.
Woman Cooking on Old Fashioned Stove by Walter Sanders
Woman Cooking on Old Fashioned Stove

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. Proverbs 31:15
Ok, most of us do not have the old fashioned maid, but we do have washing machines, ovens, dishwashers, bread makers, crock pots, and so on. These "maids" do save us much time. We no longer have to drag our laundry basket down to the river to wash our laundry. Just think of all the time we now have to make our own clothing, and bake our own nutritious bread, and homemade batches of Kefir! We now have time to get up early and spend it in our Bibles and commune with God before we set our "maids" to working.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. Proverbs 31:16
Our first obligation is to our God our husbands and our families. Here we see a woman first "considering" and then buying a field, and then planting a vineyard. If we are careful with our grocery budget we can save a little at a time to purchase some land to plant a garden or a vineyard, or in many a case, some seeds and potting soil to plant out in the backyard or patio. Being frugal helps the family in many ways. Consider the purchase price, consider the time the work will take you away from your family. Will the children be able to help, and will it prosper them as well?

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. Proverbs 31:17
If we are up early and working in a vineyard, and caring for the family and sewing and baking bread, and keeping all our "maidens" busy, and seeing well to the ways of our household, and doing the things the Lord asks of us we must walk in His strength of character. We would be dressed in a manner ready for the work ahead, and be ready to do every good work in a cheerful manner. In like manner we are to do these good works with all our might. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Put the Armor of God on daily and stand strong in Jesus!

Fruaglity tips for today:
Never pay retail.
Make it if you can.
Be content with such things as you have
If you do need to buy something shop second hand stores, internet, or yard sales
Keep a well stocked basic pantry
Make it, rather than buying fast food
Use cold water while washing and rinsing the clothes
Make your own laundry detergent
Bake your own bread
Buy grains in bulk to stock in pantry
Shop second hand stores, antique shops, or internet for the best price on an item you NEED.

Frugality in light of Proverbs 31...Part Two
© Monika Hardy


Blog Widget by LinkWithin