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Blog: Living Cheap in Kansas

How to live on less, save on just about everything and be green too!

Showing 2 posts from December 2010 for this blog.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

After years of wanting one, I finally got a Seal-A-Meal for Christmas.   It was a bargain - my husband found it on clearance at Walmart for around $50.  But when he got to the checkout, it rang up for $39...

Last night I got to test it out.

The only "gotcha" with the process is the cost of the bags.  I got two 20 foot rolls of bags at Walmart for $20 - kind of pricey for me, but I figure I can save enough on food to more than pay the difference.  But I'll be watching the thrift stores and outlets for cheap bags in the future.

On Monday, we stopped at Sam's to pick up a couple of items I needed and found that they had their fresh (never frozen) turkey's on sale for 58¢ a pound.  We picked up one that cost around $11.  I immediately took it home, seasoned it up and popped it into my electric roaster (another after Christmas  bargain purchase ($15) from a few years ago  that I absolutely love).  After it was done, I drained the excess liquid and took it, still in the roaster liner, out to the garage to cool overnight.  (When it is freezing outside, my garage stays at around 35 degrees so I use it a lot in the winter to keep food cold for short periods.) Then last night, we dismembered the turkey and SAM'ed it.  Since it is just the two of us, we put about 10 oz of meat (1/2 white, 1/2 dark) in each bag.  I think we have about 15 bags.

While I was at WM buying the bags, I stopped at the supermarket across the street where hamburger meat was on sale for $1.69 lb.  Got three large packages and divided it into 8oz. portions and froze that too. 

We'll be eating turkey & hamburger for quite a while...

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Gift Baskets
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I've always thought it would be fun to make unusual gift baskets for friends and family for Christmas.  This year I actually got around to making three.  It all came about one day when I was browsing through the Goodwill store. 

First I found a couple of really nice baskets - in good shape and with handles.  They were 99¢ each.  Then I found a pair of beautiful blue and green glass margarita glasses for 99¢ each.  Suddenly I had an idea.  A margarita basket!!

Next I came across a really nice white ceramic soup mug.  Then a cute ceramic popcorn cannister.  I also found two cute plastic old-time looking popcorn "bags" made of hard plastic.  Unfortunately they were cracked so I didn't get them.

Later I was at Target and found perfect hard plastic popcorn "bags" in the dollar spot.  I was set.

The margarita basket turned out to be the most expensive - but my daughter and son-in-law loved it.  I ended up using a basket that I had - the ones I bought were too small.  Then I bought tequila (the expensive part), margarita mix and margarita salt.  I lined the basket with a 70 year old small serape that I had been planning to give them anyway, tucked in the goodies (and glasses) and wrapped the whole thing in clear cellophane wrapping paper.  It looked really nice and I'm sure they will enjoy it.

One of my husband's cousins - who is disabled and lives alone - got the soup basket.  I bought three large cans of soup and some gourmet crackers and put them in the basket along with the mug.  The popcorn basket went to another cousin.  Since I figured she would prefer microwave popcorn, I bought a box and placed the packets inside the jar. Then I added a small bottle of popcorn cheese flavoring and butter flavored popcorn oil.  Including the two popcorn "bags" it looked really cute and I'm sure she will like it (she is out of town for the holidays).

I can't wait until my next trip to the thrift stores - who knows what kind of baskets they will get next year...

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AnnieM (Contact)
Olathe, Kansas USA
About Me:

I've been a cheapskate just about all my life. In doing so I've learned to do just about everything. I can sew, paint, hang wallpaper, install tile and flooring, pull and replace toilets, sinks, garbage disposals and faucets. Remove and replace ceiling fixtures and fans, replace outlets and switches, I've installed windows (both on houses and on computers!), I can rehab almost anything from furniture (repair, reupholster and refinish) to computers (I built my husband a good laptop using three broken ones that I got for free)! I've taken cheap to a whole new level!

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