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Archive for September, 2012

Freezing Avocados

September 17th, 2012 at 08:56 am

A few people asked, so here you go.

Mash up those avocados and add a little lemon juice. Freeze. Could that be any easier?!

I actually forgot to add lemon juice to my first batch, but I added a little as they were thawing and they turned out great. Also, I used ziploc freezer bags, squeezed all the air out, and froze flat.

Lucky had avocados on sale again this weekend, but we were so busy that I didn't make it there. Hopefully it's a regular thing.

We had some good friends over for dinner on Saturday. They live a few towns away, but closer than they have in years. Once upon a time we were next-door neighbors. She loves Italian food, so we went with an Italian theme.

Appetizer: Roasted red-pepper dip with vegetables, cheese and baguette
Dinner: Homemade gnocchi, fontina sauce, roasted tomato sauce, and salad.
Dessert: cannoli and spumoni purchased from a local Italian bakery (WELL worth the cost!)

I've made gnocchi a few times lately. It's so easy, and very economical. And most importantly... delicious! I've made regular potato versions and also sweet potato gnocchi. Food heaven.

Here's the link for the red pepper dip. So yummy. So versatile. I had leftovers on a cheese sandwich yesterday.

I need to start thinking about dinners for this week. Lately we have been pretty busy, and one night had oatmeal. I'm fine with it, but I know the kids prefer something a little more interesting. I'm thinking about fried rice for tonight, only because it's a Swimbaby favorite.

Happy Monday!

Grocery Store: Lucky

September 9th, 2012 at 04:51 pm

I know that not everyone reads the grocery ads all the time. I sure don't. But I had time this week, so I did.

Kids! Avocados are on sale at Lucky. Three for a dollar! THREE for a dollar. Just 33 cents each. They have a limit of twelve. I bought twelve yesterday and twelve today.

Did you know that you can freeze avocados? Yes you can!

We love avocados, and we're super excited!

Things Have a Way of Working Out

September 4th, 2012 at 05:34 pm

I last posted about $300 or so worth of spending that annoyed me.

And now, I just found out that we'll be getting $300 or so for changing our car insurance policy.

I'd been bugging The Hub to change our policy to reflect that kids had gone back to college. He finally called this afternoon. They have this option called "Away at School" for college kids. But if the college isn't far enough away, it has no effect on the policy. One Swimbaby is FAR away at school, and we don't pay a dime, even though technically, kid is still on car insurance. Kid is covered when home visiting, basically for free. One Swimbaby goes to college approximately 85 miles away... which is apparently too close to get any advantage from the "Away at School" option. So we completely removed said Swimbaby! When home, we'll have to call and have kid added for a few days if kid is to drive (not really a need) and they'll charge us a few dollars just for that weekend or whatever.

Savings? Approximately $300 (every six months!), but still waiting for the final numbers. TOTALLY worth the call.

Interestingly, sometimes my Swimbabies use Zipcar, and rent a car for a few hours or a day. It's within their budget and comes with insurance. It's really a great option for college kids!

Pancakes for dinner...

Seriously?

September 4th, 2012 at 09:22 am

Aargh!

The Hub has a credit card that we occasionally use for convenience sake. We've always paid it off every month. I don't tend to look at the statements until it's time to pay. This time, I got a some surprises.

Surprise #1: Elephant Bar. Elephant Bar?! Some friends took us there once years ago and it was terrible. Overpriced, greasy, food that is not even close to as good as something I could fix on a bad day at home. With my eyes closed. When I'm sick and can't taste anything.

So I ask, "Um, what the heck is up with Elephant Bar?!" And the response doesn't please me. Apparently the Hub took a couple of people to lunch to the tune of $70, but won't be reimbursed from work because of some technicalities. He couldn't have taken them to the burger place that would have cost half?! Ugh. Not happy.

Surprise #2: We had to go out of town and take the dog for boarding. Our old boarding was $21 a night, but it was at a vet hospital and we were pleased with the service. It took me a ton of comparison shopping to find that deal.

But....New town, new boarding. "No problem," Hub says. "I'll take care of it." So he calls the first vet on the Google search and signs up. Except... We're only gone for one night, but because of the Labor Day holiday, dog has to stay 3 nights. They're not open for pick up. Growl from me. And dog is due for a shot, and needs a test not required by other boarding... and on and on. So it ends up that what would have cost $21 at the old place, costs $256! Did you hear me scream?!

I feel so cheated. Except it's not totally his fault. We've been busy (I could have searched for pet boardking, but let him do it), he really did need to do the lunch date thing, because it gave him needed information. It would have been impractical to board dog at old place. But that's over $300 that I would have been happy to save. It just seems like a waste to me... I would have considered other options.

In retaliation, I'm snatching $300 from the checking account and sending it to savings. Okay, not really retaliation, but I'll feel better. I'd rather not spend, eat from the pantry, etc... and let him *think* we're closer to the edge that we really are. (It's unlikely that he'll check to see where it went. He's busy!) But really, I'll be sending $300 to savings that I hadn't planned to right now. If we need it, too bad. We'll have to wait.

So I guess not really retaliation. More like win.

And I forgot to add: He's as annoyed about it all as I am. He didn't expect the crazy-high boarding bill, and he didn't really want to pay for lunch but felt obligated. He did get a little bonus at work this month, which more than covers it all. It's just the principle!!

Exhausted.

September 2nd, 2012 at 09:16 pm

I'm exhausted. And now I've got whatever my kids and Laura had. Did I just say I'm exhausted? Because what I meant was completely and totally zapped and fried and wasted and exhausted beyond belief. My mistake!

We're moved. Well, mostly. There are still a few things in the old house that will go to storage, but we're not going to do that until the very last second before escrow closes. Thank you very much, we'll take advantage of that storage in a house we're not using.

In the new place, everything is set up, pictures hung, kids in school, food in the fridge, washer hooked up, and pets doing fine. Gasoline is higher priced in the new town, but since the commute is so much shorter, it's not bugging me yet.

We got our first power bill at the new place, which was only for a week, but it was $7.00. May that kind of joy continue!

We've spent more money on eating out and buying gas (lots of trips back and forth between new town and old town and also taking Swimbabies to college--mostly using the car that gets the worst mileage! Of course!) than I ever thought possible. That should calm down right about now. We just finished a major task today.

Okay, it might not stop now. I am feeling rotten... sounds like it's been going around, with lots of us sick. I need to sleep, but something frozen sounds like it might feel good on my throat, so maybe I'll send the Hub out for one last hurrah before he's forbidden to ever grocery shop again. Fingers crossed he comes home with nothing extra. (Wink, wink, Thrift-O-Rama!)

I've missed you all, SA friends. It's been a busy few weeks!