Money Mondays!

Welcome to the newest feature addition to The Offal Truth and Other Musings. Money Mondays!! Who doesn’t like to save money? If you don’t, you probably have money to throw my way, so get on that, ok?

Money Mondays

Each week, I will feature ONE way that I try to save us money. Ok, its a joint effort here at our house and I really try harder. Sorry, Brian, you slack in this department! This week, our cell phone bill gets the inspection.

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The List!

The other night, we sat down and made a master list of things we want/need for our apartment. I actually started the list and showed it to B. We then circled our “must haves”. So here is the list!
C’s Room

-bed frame (found one at ikea we like)*
-dresser (hopefully can find this secondhand)*
-accessories (wall decor, etc. I will be making some of this) 
-desk chair (possibly ikea, or a folding chair if B had his way)*
-nightstand (maybe secondhand) 
-desk (ikea)*
-bed skirt (I want to make it)

Found here

-wall (since her room is open to the living room, we want to use a drop cloth to create a wall for privacy for everyone)*
-gate (to help keep Lucky out)*
-under the bed storage
-comforter (I want to make her a rag quilt)
Found here
-mirror (she is getting older and we need to support her on wanting to look good. We hope to create a vanity zone for her to keep the bathroom open)*


-shower curtain (yea, we don’t even have one! I found this one I like)*
-shower curtain liner (we just need a new one)*


-dog bed* (or a pillow, he likes pillows)


-built-ins (there is an open space meant to be used as a table, we don’t use it like that so I will build shelves for both sides for added storage)*

Living Room

-coffee table (Possibly this one from Ikea)
-wall shelf (to display my camera collection)
-TV stand (we like one we found at Ikea, but we are thinking of getting a dresser secondhand to use for the storage possibilities it offers, down the line, we might get a regular one)*
-rug (I have been looking all over for one that I like…no luck yet)
-lamp (I have found a few I like at target and Ikea)
-shelving unit (We really like all the storage with this one)*
-chair (possibly secondhand or at ikea)
-surround sound
-couch (we saw this one on display and LOVE it, it will be replacing our current couch down the line)



Office Chair I picked up at a Thrift Store

carpet shampooer

* –Items we are going to work on first.
Thats it in a nutshell, we have lots of things we want to work on and I hope that some of this stuff can be knocked out. I will share projects and ideas as they come along. For now, I have no idea what I am going to do to the chair. I am thinking of decoupaging it and adding a pillow. Thoughts?

Red Kidney Beans

We are trying a few new things here in our home. Mainly, saving money. I have been trying to do this for the last few years. I just really haven’t been doing all of the things together.

In my hometown, we used a lot of coupons. I followed the ads religiously and price matched with coupons. I scoured the Internet for numerous sources to print coupons and we really did save quite a bit of cash.

In Missouri, we really made an effort to eat more home cooked meals and eat out a lot less. But, we didn’t save as much because we went away from planning our meals and couponing.

Now, I have been trying to make things at home, from scratch. Not just food, but other things too. Which is why I made B deodorant.

I just need to bring it all together. Then, we can save tons of cash!

Anyways, what does this have to do with red kidney beans? Well, I have been trying to shrink down our pantry for awhile. We have a tiny apartment (456 Sq feet) so, we really don’t have a lot of space for things we only use occasionally. I need to whittle down our pantry to make way for things we eat regularly. We use the kidney beans in one recipe, we had 4 cans… Catching my drift? So, I scoured the Internet for a while and I found this recipe. Now,  I made it slightly different. The family loved it, it was cheap, filling and easy to make. Here is the recipe with my additions:

Pasta with Red Kidney Beans

2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
2 (15.5 oz) cans dark red kidney beans
2 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 to 1/4 cup sugar
Salt to taste
2 cups elbow noodles

1. Put tomatoes, beans and water in a large saucepan. Do not drain the tomatoes or beans. Add parsley, garlic, pepper and thyme. Heat to a boil. Taste it. If it tastes tangy, add 1/8 cup of sugar. Stir, and taste again. If still too tangy, add more sugar. Not more than 1/4 cup total. Taste again before adding salt. Add salt.
2. Once it is boiling, add noodles, cover with lid and turn off burner. Stir a few times until noodles are tender.
3. Serve with cheese sprinkled on top.

Now, I added the sugar because it was very tangy and tart. You may not always need to add it. The key to cooking is taste, add a little bit of something and taste. You don’t want to always taste something before you heat it, the flavors aren’t melded together yet. Honestly, I didn’t follow the above recipe completely, everything is in there, but I didn’t measure except the water and noodles. This is partly because I couldn’t find a measuring spoon and mostly because once you add too much to something, it’s hard to get it back. I know my family’s tastes and I cook according.

Good luck and happy tasting!