Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The following blog post is 4th in a series of fugal home food preservation for the novice.

Before u fill one jar or even a zip lock bag you need to have a Plan of Action.
A method to the madness if you will a system.
Even if this is your first time putting food by you need to have or appear to have a way.
It will give you comfort and stop those Na Sayers.
1st decide what produce your family will actually eat. Not what you want them to eat. Not what they should eat. But what they will actually eat when you dish it out and place it in front of them.

For us in the preserved vegetable category; carrots, sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes, wax beans (really only the 14 y.o. & that may have passed). 
Broccoli will only be eaten if it's frozen. Eggplant I freeze & peppers I dehydrate.

Preserved fruit category; applesauce, anything berry- blackberries, cherries, strawberries, grapes, and peaches.

So take your list and go to this website Pick Your Own.
Go down to the section Crop Availability Calendars / Harvest Dates, click on it.
Find your state.
Grab your family calendar, day planner, cell phone what ever and start marking in harvest dates for the produce your family will eat.
This will be your time to put food up. Unscheduled everything else spread the word all hands on deck. Act like this is important because it is.
This is how you are going to feed your family healthy & frugally.
Now call around to the u-pick farms closest to your area and inquire about pricing (ask 'bout bulk or windfall produce), and hours of opperation. Get a feel for prices in your area so u can budget. 

This state specific calendar is also good to guage when produce will be availible @ your local farmers market along with giving u a time frame for bartering, foraging, & gleaning.

POA people, POA.

Wish me luck, I have an interview this afternoon with a family for on call respite care. The roof has been leaking.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The following blog post is 3rd in a series of fugal home food preservation for the novice.

1949 Ed.
This is why it's called the Ball Blue Book.
As I wrote before I have 3 no 4 canning books that I refer to for guidance. It's good to have one propped up nearby when your in the thick of canning
My antique Ball Blue Books aren't counted in the mix there more of a guide to date jars and enjoy the techno color photographs.
If you check a canning book out of your local library remember to place a new clear plastic bag over it for protection when u do have it propped up in your work area.
Ask me how I know - that's how I acquired my Big Ball Book of Canning, had to buy it from the library because of raspberry jelly stains on the chapter that had to deal with what else jams & jellies.

National Center for Home Food Preservation website offers an online resource that offers a self study canning course.

Sign up and start reading there may be a quiz later this week.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ball Blue Book Giveaway

Cleaning out the cellar a week or so ago. As I move this box and that box, rearrange this crate & shove that crate over there I find these two new or nearly new canning utensils, a jar lifter and a funnel. No box just these two put inside an empty pot covered by a lid tucked behind an apple crate.
I really do need to either keep a running log of my canning supplies or simply stop buying "stuffs".

Finding these reminded me of when I first started canning and why.
I had just bought this old fixer upper the year before.
I had also just gotten divorced after 10 yeas of being married.
I had three young children under the age of six.
My grand total of monthly income with child support was just over $600. Thankfully at the time my mortgage was under $250 a month.
I was sitting on an elderly neighbor's porch talking about putting in a garden and freezing my harvest since I hads moved here with a small upright freezer.
The conversation turned toward home canning which I had done only once with my Abuela as a young girl. Pears from a tree she had planted. Had I ever considered canning my neighbor asked ? I was too embarresszed to admit that I couldn't afford the equipment.
Next thing I knew my neighbor was telling me to send the children to the corner deli for boxes that she had someting for me in her cellar I needed to go get.
She stood at the top of her basement steps yelling down to me to open the door to the root cellar and behind apple crates (which must be a given in Buffalo basements) stacked on shelves were canning jars. A good sixty or more.
She apologized for there not being more she had been a career woman so she only canned a few things. Nothing like her mother or aunts.
Are you sure ?
Yes oh please yes just fill them. Feed your babies.

Part of me wanted to be embarrassed. After all I was a nurse who if child care wasn't an issue could earn enough money to feed her children well. This was my shit hit the fan scenario.
As we hauled up the boxes of clinking mason jars past her she just keep saying how happy I had made her. How happy she was to know that these jars would be used.

I still have those jars ... Ball, Kerr, Atlas, Anchor Hocking, Opal, Perfect Mason, Strong Shoulder.
We still use the Squeezo she gifted us.
In our backyard. Just like she said her husband use to use it cranking away sitting on the picnic table smoking a Camel and sipping on a beer yelling to her to get the jars ready the tomatoes are coming.

Seriously, the first produce I ever canned by myself was applesauce from an apple tree located in front of the YWCA a few blocks away. I'll never forget the day I walked in and asked the receptionist if I could pick apples or her stunned reply when just as she was starting to say that those apples aren't edible she looked down and saw my three children each eating an apple.
I checked out a Ball Blue Book from the public library, and used a big stock pot borrowed from my church's kitchen.
I scored a small box of gnarly looking rings @ an estate sale and bought lids from a $ store.

Allot happened that first year.
I started a cleaning business were my clients understood that my children worked with me.
I eventually found decent affordable child care that my other two children could walk to from school which gave me an opportunity to work on call @ local nursing home.
I also learned to can applesauce.
Which we ate on cooked oatmeal.
Or baked with.
Or just plain eaten with a spoon an a bit of cinnamon sprinkled on top.
I filled those jars and feed my babies.

So yesterday I reach for my recipe binder and out pops this new Ball Blue Book of Canning 100th Anniversary Ed. that was gifted to me last Christmas. While I appreciate the sediment I already have a well worn edition of Ball's Big Book of Canning, along with Putting Food By & Stocking Up.

So in the spirit of my neighbor and dear friend who recently passed away I present my first ever give away.
If this offends u that the utensils aren't NIB or that I am re gifting a book that I admittedly thumbed through, well all I can say is that this must be the first blog post you have ever read written by me.
Let me introduce myself, I'm pelenaka, an ghetto Amish urban homesteader who is fugal.

Here's the bind - I really want to give this to a canning newbie, a novice. Hopefully someone who would really use the skills of home canning to make a difference in their home both financially and nutritionally. So I ask that if you already own a canning book & or canning utensils please don't enter.
I will also include a box of both regular and wide mouth lids to get you started. NIB I'm not that fugal.
All u have to do is hunt down those empty jars at yard sales, flea markets, or your grandmother's cellar.

That said, simply write me an email with the subject line "Ball Blue Book Giveaway" to enter. 
My email addy is located on the right hand side of my blog under give a shout out.
I'll write every one's name who enters on a slip of pink paper and  put them in a half gallon Ball canning jar then shake it up.
Winner will be picked by someone other than myself.
Not sure who yet but it's gotta be some buddy good.

Winner will be picked May 2nd by 9 p.m. Buffalo time a.k.a. EST.
You'll have 48 hours to return my notification email that your the winner with the address u want the package to be sent to.

In the event that I don't receive a reply back from the winner within 48 hours then another slip of pink paper will be drawn from the canning jar and I'll send them a notification email.
Please respond promptly canning season is sooner than you think.

~~ pelenaka ~~


Greek For Yogurt

Sometime between when I made yogurt put it in the fridge to chill and I snapped this pic a full quart was consummed in a day & half. DD#3 alibi up girl.

Greek style yogurt is one of the few made from scratch items that my children actually eat too much of, especially my last baby. She will eat yogurt with fruit, yogurt with jam or jelly for breakfast, lunch, and as an afternoon snack.
This week while she's sorting around the pantry shelves for home canned fruit I'm enjoying not so fresh strawberries with a few mushy kiwis sweetened with homegrown Stevia for myself.
It really does make a nice afternoon snack.

Cost of Making like a Greek

$2.34    Gallon of 2% Milk @ Aldis
    .99    Plain Yogurt (starter culture)
$5.99    Dry Nonfat Powdered Milk @ Aldis - $5.99/25.6 oz
$9.32 = 160 oz. Greek style plain yogurt or 6¢ per oz.

Using the entire box of powdered milk not only gives an extra quart of yogurt (not pictured d/t last baby) increases the protein content, and gives that thick pudding consistency.
Another option is to use plain gelatin as a thickener.

To answer every one's question no I don't own a yogurt maker.
I do own a good quality stainless steel stock pot, long handled stainless steel spoon, and of course mason jars. Personally I use one of my trusty old Roncho Electric food dehydrators to incubate. If the wood stove is fired up I set the jars on long legged trivets with a cookie sheet behind to reflect the stove's warmth.

David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D. site is where I first learned to make yogurt. Excellent directions he does a wonderful job of explain all the scientific aspects. While your there check out his pages on cheese making. You never know when you'll come across a great deal on milk either @ the grocery of off the back of a truck.
What's the point of scoring a great opportunity if you don't have the skills to fully utilize your good fortune ?

K, almost forgot about the cost of toppings which varies anywhere from pretty much just the cost of a canning lid, flavorings or spices, and sugar if I either grow or score free fruit such as Strawberries & Rhubarb or Almond flavored Peaches.
Canning with a thought toward yogurt toppings (think also pancake/waffle/pound cake) lends well to second run or wind fall fruit. That is fruit that has been discounted due to being a bit past it's prime. This fruit is more labor intensive often requiring patience with a paring knife to cut out bruised & bad sections so take that into account when your negotiating a deal @ the farmers market or fruit stand. Figure a good 3rd of what you'll buy will end up in the compost pile
Also remember that once you buy it you need to process it a.s.a.p. as in yesterday.

~~ pelenaka ~~
who needs to defrost her shoebox of a freezer

Thursday, April 14, 2011

More than a Jar

Recently pulled this out of my recipe binder and it reminded me of my early years of canning with my children, who are now all teenagers. And yes I got a bit nostalgic not that it was all calm & quiet as this picture.
Check out the children sitting at the kitchen table. There not overly happy to be sitting there but they are there, helping snap beans. Because after all putting food up in this instance is a family affair even in gender specific roles of 1940's.
Besides learning to can or at least food prep, these brothers are learning teamwork.
So did my children
They're learning the whole save for a rainy day theory. Put up while the putting good.
So did my children.
Family bonding.
K, corny but I can tell you that even my eighteen year old 6' son will ask me about my canning efforts, which leads him to asking me about the garden, which leads to us talking and sharing.

I can remember picking them up from the airport after their summer visit with Dad one year. As we pulled into the driveway I announced that I had bought them all something.
Really, what Mom?
Something you can use.
In unison - Sounds like socks Mom.
No it's a paring knife, one for each of you. I scored peaches at the farmers market. 3 bushels needed to be in jars yesterday.
Moaning, groaning, more moaning. We liked it better when you didn't let us use knives Mom.
Tell about your summer children. I missed you.

~~ pelenaka ~~

who still gets teary eyed thinking about the afternoon we all sat around a wash tub filled with ripe peaches in the backyard, the peach juice dripping down our arms as we talked and sliced in the late Summer sun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stacking the deals

Last month I ordered some items from YaySave for a few reasons even though I am generally not an online shopper for household & personal care products. Mainly because there are ever any good deals on items I actually use like vinegar or borax.

Normally I barter for these but my gf, the coupon queen is moving out of the city.. While it won't be impossible to barter with her @ her new digs it won't be convenient nor economical. Can u believe the price of gas now ?

Deal is that if I access the YaySave website thru Swagbucks I could get free shipping & 450 Swag Bucks which can be redeemed for a $5 Amazon gift card for ordering $45 worth of products. Yes, I know I automatically thought geez I bet all they carry is air freshener or hair products.
They do. But they also carry quite a few items that we do use.

Here's what I bought from YaySave -

Ajax dish soap 16 oz. bottles Lime with Bleach alternative, 97¢ each - 18 bottles.
Purrel Hand sanitizer with cleansing wipes, $4.80 each (3 pack) - 2 (keeping family healthy priceless).
Ivory bar soap - 3 pack for 99¢ - bought 24 packs (making laundry soap)

Disclaimer - yes I do know how to make plain laundry soap with store bought veggie shortening & lye. I even know how & have rendered lard. To be truthful I have yet to make lye although I do know how.
I just felt that @ these prices buying was the better deal. Oh I should also say that I have done dishes with Ivory soap - use a vinegar rinse.
K, now we are all set on cleaning dirty clothes & dishes, not to mention removing heebiejeebies on our hands.

Debating on another order. Thinking along the lines of toilet paper.
No I won't discuss homemade reusable personal cleaning wipes in daily applications. Apparently I'm just not that fugal.

I've got $45 sitting in my Amazon account a.k.a. my Birthday/Christmas/Emergency fund just by using Swag bucks website. It's for real and it's no skin off my back using it as a search engine or watching the video clips while I do kitchen chores, knit, or read.
I've even taken a few surveys.
I doubted my barter buddy gf for months until she showed me a book that she ordered free from Amazon using her Swagbucks. There's also a referral earning program.

Search & Win

~~ pelenaka ~~

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Tin of Meat in this case Spam for medium to long range food storage if it lasts that long. Made children swear that they won't pop open a can. K, to those of u who are making a face @ the thought of SPAM on your plate all I can say is the we enjoy it fried up with scrambled eggs. It's also very packable and needs no refrigeration until opened well even after it's open because there won't be any left to refrigerate.
I've had SPAM $1 off 3 coupons for over a month waiting on a good sale. Finally CVS had tins for $2.50 each, I actually had $6.50 in quarterly bonus bucks = 3 tins free & 1 @ $2.50.
Went back four days later since I had another bonus buck and coupon bought 3 tins = 1 @ 50¢, two @ $2.50.
BTW SPAM if you didn't already know stands for Specially Processed American Meats, just ask any WW2 vet.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rubber Bands

Our 16 daughter main mode of transportation besides walking is her bike. Last week her front tire popped so we were left with an inner tube that was in fair shape. Before hubby could patch it though I cut it up for rubber bands something my mother use to do. Yes, before rubber bands were commercially offered in colors this is what she used to put my hair up with. She had a personal vendetta not to leave my long hair free so we went thru allot of bands.
Depending on how thick u cut them is how much give u will have.
After cutting toss them in a dishpan with a bit of soapy water and swish them around to remove that white powder residue that is inside the inner tube.
Hang to dry.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mrs. Kravetz

Recently a more famous urban homesteader I has had some tribulations due to her farming activities.
She got popped for selling ... wait for it, let it simmer, exhale ... selling chard.
Seems that her raising rabbits for food may have sparked the dime being dropped to Oakland's code man.
An act of food terrorism.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Put ah Lid On It

The following blog post is 2nd in a series of fugal home food preservation  for the novice.

Pictured are examples of what is left of my meager lid stash hovering some where around 200 maybe a bit more. More than likely a bit less.
The wide mouth lids are only used on the half gallon mason jars that are used for dry storage/vacuum sealing. I made a decision years ago to only stock regular or small mouth canning jars, so then I only needed one size lid - regular. Others will disagree as wide mouth is nice when your trying to stuff a chicken breast into a jar but, generally speaking regular canning jars tend to show up in the second hand market more often. Regular lids tend to be on the store shelves longer.
The Ball box with the yellow graphics is pre-Internet. On the back is a mail order form to send away for a Ball Blue Book 32nd ed. $3.50 check or money order. Top tab reads,"Thank You for Buying This American Made Product".
Remember what I wrote about not using wire bail canning jars (jar rubbers), and how I had even bought a few boxes. Apparently I own allot more than a few boxes.
This box has a date of 1975 which brings to mind just exactly how long are jar rubbers good for ? What exactly is a split tab & why was it needed.
Side of the box advertises the 29th ed. of the Ball Blue Book for $1. The back of the box gives directions for use with zinc caps.
The next box of regular dome lids dated 2002 and except for the box graphics is unchanged from what is sold today. Besides the helpful one eight hundred help line the company's website is listed. And as before a canning recipe (freezing & dehydrating) book is offered for $ 4.95 + $1 for postage & handling. We bought these thru eBay 4 or 5 years ago worked out to 12¢ or 14¢ each.
Lat Summer I was able to score new Ball lids using coupons that were doubled due to a Tops special promotion.

Years ago I use to buy American Harvest or Golden Harvest brand lids for 99¢ per 12 or 8¢ a piece @ stores like Family Dollar and Big Lots. Last year when I checked they were $1.69.
This brand is my favorite to use for the simple reason that the lids are blank. No graphics no logo just a blank lid ready for a quick scribble of date & contents in marker.

Wish  I had some sage advice on buying lids for pennies but I don't.
Just know what prices run so you can spot a deal, keep checking eBay for case lot sales, and if your in a $ store and lids are under $2 a box grab me ten.

Paraseal Wax, W.&F. MFG. Co., INC., Buffalo, New York 14240 net weight 1 pound - 25¢.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Got Balls ?

The following blog post is the 1st in a series of fugal home food preservation for the novice.

K, by Balls I mean jars. Canning jars. Mason jars.
NOT Mayonnaise jars. I don't care if every auntie you have ever known always canned in them don't. They aren't made for canning.

The six canning jars pictured are from my 1949 Ball Blue Book of Canning, back cover. Cost was 25¢.
The top left jar with the gold Ball dome lid is what you want. Accept no substitutions unless you want to use the zinc screw caps or wire bails for storing buttons, dried herbs, or peanut butter cookies.

Very sweet Grandmothers and thrift shop owners with an agenda will try and tell you differently. They will regale you with stories of how they themselves or their dear mothers or wives canned with wire bail jars, (pictured in the middle). They will tell you with authority that the rubber rings (bottom right hand corner) needed to use the wire bails can still be purchased, and they are right. I myself have bought a few boxes.
They will with a smile on their face and a distant look of joy in their eyes tell you that jelly jars (bottom left) need only paraffin wax and a lid to contain that which is known as heaven on earth, marmalade.
They will tell you this and they will be wrong.

Know your jars. Know your lids. Always check the rims for cracks or chips.

That said know your price point on what a new jar retails for. In my area a six pack of quarts can go for $6 and some change to a high of almost $10 for quart size. My rule of thumb is that I won't pay over 30¢ for a jar. The exception is half gallon jars.
I once bought over 250 jars for $25 on ebay from a woman who was cleaning out her mother's home. I've also had limited luck with craigslist as well as church thrift shops and auctions or estate sales.
Jelly jars & pints are harder to locate and generally speaking are priced higher. While I won't think twice about parting with quarts pints and jellies are another story.

That said the majority of my quart canning jars have been free. There is just something about meeting another canner especially a newbie who is in need of jars that compels an old canner, more so if the jars are just sitting idle in the cellar. It's a hard task to just throw away perfectly good mason jars. Which is why so many who once canned will tell you that even though it may have been years since they heard the ping of a lid sealing they can't just throw away perfectly good mason jars.

How to obtain free canning jars
  1. Place a sign on your front door "Canning Jars Wanted".
  2. Leave index card with your N&N (name & #) at senior centers.
  3. Tell everyone that you have started canning. Jars will find you. 
  4. Let everyone know that the perfect gift is canning jars.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Monday, April 4, 2011

Scarp'ng 4 Eggs

K, ignore the date stamp on the pic it's off by a few weeks.
2nd, there was suppose to be a follow up pic of quiche that I made using these eggs,
cheese from the great buy out, and home canned Swiss Chard along with other veggies from our garden. Problem was family ate the pie before I had a chance to photograph it.

These lovely eggs were purchased from Harper Hill Farm with money earned from selling our tin cans & scrap metal to a metal salvage yard. After collecting cans & a few metal what nots totaling 4 huge trash bags full this is how the stats played out Gross - 215, Tare - 140, Net - 75, Price - 8, = $6.
Yes, u read right six clams, six marigolds, six greenbacks, one fin & a Washington.
I had expected more. Not a whole lot more but more.
Since we were in the same county as our friend and we needed eggs I decided to blow my whole wad of dough on her wonderful multi-colored eggs.
Well that and I wanted visit with her kids. K, I'm throwing farm terms around. By kids I mean baby goats. Who much like lost puppies will snuggle up against you when you hold them and let out a cry that sounds like a baby. Did I mention that new baby scent that all new babies have even goats.

So the great tin can scraping exercise is wasn't a complete waste but I think that I'll stick with soda & beer bottles. There's a redemption center on almost every block.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Full Disclosure

The following is a guest post by my husbands Woodsrunner.

OK, I suppose I should reveal the expenses I pay out of pocket.

To start health and dental insurance set us back around $390 a month.

Another $12 a paycheck goes into a legal fund in case we ever need legal assistance.

I get paid every two weeks. On pay week I put between $35 and $40 worth of gas in the car, on the off week I add another $25-$30.

$15 a paycheck goes into a savings account to cover car repairs and emergency expenses.

$26 a paycheck goes into a checking account at a separate bank, most of this goes to cover prescription co pays that I am required to purchase mail order. This account also pays my Dr visit co pays which recently were increased As pelenaka wrote our ER co pay is now $750, our routine office visit is $55 up from $35.

$10 a payday goes into our land fund account.

3% of my gross pay goes into my 401k, that's the amount my employer will match.

I do give myself $75-$90 a week walking around money. Some weeks $30 of that buys the family a pizza or Chinese takeout for a treat. I buy my morning coffee,bread and cold cuts for lunch, lunch out once a week and a daily diet soda.

The pocket money also covers the occasional misc grocery expense or repair materials for the house which will now be paid with the Lowes gift card.

The $38 a month basic cable and Internet bill also comes from this money.

I do have one credit card. It's balance has never exceeded $350 (our utility trailer). Current balance is a whopping $28 and will be paid off next paycheck.

I empty my change into a jar at the end of each day. Saturday mornings I put the jars contents into my "hobby" account. this week it was $9 worth of change, some weeks it has been as much as $20. Any bonuses that work pays out goes into this fund along with payouts for unused vacation time, etc. This money buys my collector guns, pays our $135 a year club membership, along with hunting & fishing licenses and stuff like that.

Personally I think we do really well managing our money.


Few points that I'd like to make -

Gas allotment - it's been a colder winter than normal so we all don't walk as much as we could. Coupled with extra trips to pick up daughter from work & nightly med runs for my mother (I'm everyone's medical officer). I'm just not comfortable with either of us walking at night. Bike weather soon. Woods also drives into Rochester a twice a month to visit with his grandmother. He has also attended a few of my daughter's track meets @ RIT. There is also the occasional event (gun show) that he goes to.
Take out food, I got nothing, it's wrong. More so if I write that I all most always have the ingredients to make pizza or stir fry. Eggs rolls not happening.After months of searching for the best deal we could get on wifi the basic cable package +internet was it.

Utility trailer - the most outstanding benefit is that we can haul firewood without scheduling around a friend's truck not to mention the gas money or obligatory thank you pie. There are also the times that opportunity meet chance. Driving along and oh there's a down tree and it's Oak ... We have also hauled away building debris instead of renting a dumpster. Trailer is a much cheaper alternative to purchasing a truck. The credit card was a no interest for a year deal not sure though if he has paid it off in the year time frame but he's close. It is also his one credit card.
Club membership is a Gun & Rod club where we target range, hike, hunt, and take advantage of sportsman classes and events. Cheaper than a closed gun range not to mention it's family time. It's also where Woods goes to get away from city sidewalks.

~~ pelenaka ~~

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Just the facts ...

Thought I share with everyone our financial stats for the past year as it was pretty sobering to say the least. Flip side is that although we are below the poverty level we do lead a somewhat middle class life. What & where all those dead presidents have been spent on since February.

Reportable income a.k.a. husband's paycheck - $21,507.
My quiet money - $2,300.

Federal refund - $7,890.
State - $2,410.

1st, state refund belongs to hubby. It goes into the land fund. Portions have however gone to buy investments (guns). Once I realized that he has never lost money on his "hobby" my objections disappeared. $400 & something went for car repairs - wheel bearing, oil change, NYS inspection.

Federal belongs to me or the household. My first thought was to buy a new roof or a good portion of. Then I realized there was a few other things that needed to be taken care of.

Yearly Car Insurance - $368 for 2 drivers. Someone not me has a few tickets so this cost will decrease next year.

$1000 gift card (home repairs & improvements), Lowes was running a promotion where they would add 10% to the card.

Dental co-pays - ranging from $30 to the whopping $1,013 for my dental surgery & 4 courses of antibiotic therapy. One daughter needed two cavities filled $113.60. Apparently the coating that was applied over 7 years ago doesn't last forever. I need to babysit her oral hygiene routine. Mid month there will be another $300 for her work up from the orthodontist. Quote was $4,000 to $4,500. 10% down (me & hopefully the ex) & monthly payments (daughter). There is also an upcoming wisdom tooth extraction for her.

Clothing - bought 2 winter parkas for myself & 16 y.o. daughter. Along with Woods belated Christmas gift and long underwear $120.93. Scored free shipping, $10 gift card & upromise money.

Preparedness Supplies - bought $327 worth of mylar bags, O2 absorbers, Red Wheat berries & Oats #10 cans from LDS website. Also bought medical preparedness supplies last weekend spent $43.

I have also been paying the usual monthly bills such as mortgage out of the refund money as well as coupon shopping.
I also want to purchase a few more items that would fall under the preparedness category.
Still need to bulk buy beef, chicken, and pork.
Researched having daughter's orthodontic work preformed at a dental college in our city but her teeth aren't drastic enough so she'd be low on the waiting list. Then there is the transportation & scheduling factor. The dentist we are going with is within walking distance of her high school and they offer before school appointments.

Woods gives me $400 for household expenses.
The ex sends $100 to cover the costs of daughter's health insurance. While NYS does offer an alternative health insurance we prefer not to have the state in our business.

~~ pelenaka ~~