Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 6, Issue 19 – February 2, 2014

Greetings, and Happy February to everyone!  It’s Groundhog’s Day!!  I was trying to find out if the groundhog was going to “grant” us more winter or an early spring, and while reading a news article discovered there are now two shadow-ing groundhogs – Staten Island Chuck and Punxsutawney Phil. When did Chuck appear?  Maybe I need to crawl out of my own cave more often!  Well, the shadow results are in and apparently both groundhogs saw their shadows, and we are in for some more winter.  And just when I was about ready to turn in my woolen collection for flip flops and sun dresses. I guess layers are still going to be required in this part of the world for a little longer. (http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2014/02/groundhog_day_punxsutawney_phil_sees_shadow_calls_for_6_more_weeks_of_winter.html)

With all of that winter still waiting to happen, I imagine that will continue to give homeowners an opportunity to continue to plan towards future home repairs and upgrades. I know that we will be in the market for a new roof.  With recent windstorms, we have been watching shingle chunks scatter across our yard.

Although, this article really does line up with my friend Tyler was sharing with me about reducing expenses for future projects.  In “6 Ways to Save Money on Home Maintenance”, By Claes Bell (http://www.bankrate.com/finance/smart-spending/6-ways-to-save-money-on-home-maintenance-1.aspx), the author discusses the following 6 ideas and how each of these ideas can save you time, money while protecting your home for many years to come.

These ideas include:

Rent tools you plan to use once

Save leftover materials from past projects

Use ‘oops’ paint or recycled paint

Preventive maintenance is a money saver

Buy materials and labor separately

Keep your tools and work space organized

If it just so happens that you have any home projects coming up for 2014, consider reading this article for tips to save a little cash-ola!

How about some homemade vegetable stock ideas? I absolutely love our homemade chicken stock recipe – the taste cannot be rivaled and the flavor that it adds to recipes is magnifico! Last night I was reading an article about growing leeks, and apparently the tops can be kept (and frozen) and added to your stock recipe.  What a great idea!  One tip that I learned a few years ago was to save all the big scraps from carrots and onions and whatever you might throw in a stock, but save those “throw away” parts in a baggie, in your freezer.  Once it is time to make stock, add all of your “parts” to a cheesecloth bag, and boil away. I always marvel at the fact that such yummy chicken stock comes from so many things that would have been thrown away.

So in preparation for a few more weeks of winter, enjoy this simple veggie stock recipe –

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/basic-vegetable-stock/

And of course, today is Super Bowl Sunday! I am sure that many of you have your crock-pots rolling, and favorite cheesy-yummy things ready to be put in the oven for the Big Game. In case you are thinking about food things a little late (like me!), there are several places that one can find some fantastic and creative recipes.  One is Pintrest, which I am sure many of you are not strangers to, and then, of course, Martha has a whole collection of Game Day foods and decorations. If you are like me, I LOVE my salsa!  This is a recently posted recipe that I can not wait to try out with some of my frozen tomatoes. http://foodinjars.com/2014/01/preserves-action-quick-blender-salsa/

There you have it, my Thrifty Sisters – everything from breaking Groundhog Day news to house repair tips and a couple of recipes. May each of you have a wonderful Game Day and no matter who wins, have a great week!

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