Thrift store finds 4/13/15

Took a quick trip to Value Village this morning to grab a few things. It is 99 cent day plus 50% off jeans for club members. I didn’t find any jeans but found some books and tops.

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I checked these on Amazon. The only ones worth anything were The Handbook of Homeopathy, worth $3.73 and I paid $3.99 (ugh) and Healing with Homeopathy, worth $18.04, I paid $2.99 (redeemed). The other 2 were only on sale for a penny on Amazon.

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I am getting ready for warmer weather. These were 99 cents. Zappos sell the equivalent of both of these. The Adidas on the left sells for $22 and the Nike on the right sells for $25.
Today, I spent around $20 for everything (there were a couple odds and ends not pictured here) but saved $60.
I wasn’t feeling too good about today because I spent so much (yes, I think  $20 is a lot) but written out, it looks pretty good. šŸ˜€

Update: The odds and ends were 3 kids books and 5 articles of clothing for me. That’s 14 items for 20 bucks.

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Scrappy Mop Pad

What do you do with leftover, weird, skinny, scraps from a dish towel project? You make this.

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Tried it dry. It was ok. It was fantastic sprayed with cleaner.

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This project was a challenge but not because it was difficult. As I got going on it, my sewing machine jammed. I had to ask the handsome husband to fix it. Then, the first one I made didn’t work. I did pockets and not straps. They didn’t leave enough room to get the pad on. I like this final one. It is worth a try, if you have the scraps and time.

Scrappy Dish Cloth

We have two dish cloths. That is not, nearly, enough for a family of 5. They are always icky but I don’t want to buy anymore. I have tons of scrap fabric and lots of towels that are fraying. So here we go.

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I tried it in the kitchen and it works great. I cut a 9 inch square out of the material and sewed them together like a pillow, then top stitched it. The whole project was under a half an hour and saves me money. I will probably be making a few more.

My first canning adventure

One task I have always wanted to tackle is canning. I am afraid it is a skill that maybe dieing. It helps us be more self reliant people, when we grow and preserve our own food.
A few years ago my sister gave me this book.

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I never got around to using it. It has been just sitting on my shelf.
This past weekend, I wanted to work on my tater tot casserole so I packed up the kids and walked to the store. We checked out the discount bin and found tons of apples. This is what we got.

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All this was under $18. The most expensive things were the tater tots and the hot dogs, my back up plan if dinner went south.
There are more than 13 pounds of apples in that picture, totaling $8.
The whole process of canning applesauce was easier than I thought.

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Aren’t they beautiful? All jars sealed. Yay! My total for this project was, about, $2 a jar. Not the cheapest but nothing in the jar but apples and lemon juice.

Vegan Tater Tot casserole

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Pardon the picture but I am not a photographer and I won’t pretend to be.

I have been craving Tater Tot Casserole for weeks. I had no idea where to start on a recipe. When I would search pinterest, everything that came up had some vegan “meat” involved. I hate fake meat. I accepted the fact, when I gave up eating meat, dairy and eggs, there are just some things that won’t be the same and I have never tried to replace them.

One day, someone posted a recipe for “tuna” noodle casserole on the plant based facebook group I am a part of. I don’t remember that recipe being particularly interesting but it did reference a website that had a recipe for “cream of mushroom” soup. BINGO! I can not find the original recipe to link you to it. The website is worth a look for anyone looking into plant based recipes, though. I found, as I was trying to make this, that the specific recipe didn’t work for what I needed it to, anyways.

“Cream” of Mushroom soup

3 Tablespoons all purpose flour

3 Tablespoons Olive oil

2 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened, unflavored almond)

2 cups veggie broth

8 ounces mushrooms (finely chopped)

1 large onion (finely chopped)

salt and pepper

In a pan on medium, heat oil then add flour and make a roux. When roux is ready (a clay likeĀ consistency), add liquid a little at a time, stirring well, so everything is nice and smooth. Once all liquid is add, bring to a simmer and add mushrooms and onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let everything simmer for about 20 minutes, until desired consistency and flavor is reached. (Makes about 4 cups of soup) *Note* I could just eat this with some nice crusty bread and be really happy.

For Tater Tot Casserole:

1 cup dried lentils

4 cups veggie broth

ground sage

12 – 16 ounce package of frozen mixed veggies

1/2 of the mushroom soup recipe above

Salt and pepper

1 package of Tater Tots

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a pan, after you rinse and sort lentils, cook lentils in veggie broth until all broth is absorbed by lentils (30 – 45 minutes). Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sage (sage gives you more of the “beef” flavor). Mix cooked lentils with veggies and soup. Place in a 9X13 pan (I didn’t “grease” and had no problems). Top with Tater Tots. Bake for 45 min.

Let cool before you eat. My kids loved this! I think it is a win and the first time writing a recipe. YAY! I hope you enjoy this, too. Try this and let me know what you think.

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Update 4/13/15: I made this yesterday and forgot to divide the soup in half before pouring over the lentils and veggies. That means I used the whole soup recipe instead of half. I simply added another bag of frozen veggies and followed the rest of the casserole as written. It turned out fine. It is just a ton of food.

Favorite purse

My favorite purse broke. šŸ˜¦ image

EPIC! Who ever breaks their purse like this?!? To be fair, I did get this for free in 2010 and have used it every day since. I have been using a different bag for about two weeks and hate it. So, I decided I would fix it. I already had straps from a stuffed My Little Pony backpack we cut off (because they were awful). So, here we go. What do you think? image All better. Can’t wait to load her back up tomorrow. Now, that’s frugal.