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This and that

I’d planned to do a miscellany post tomorrow and a more serious post today, but the serious post needs a little more thought.

So, I’ve got this and that for you today. 😉

“Are you making bread??”

That was the hopeful question this morning when I fired up the grain grinder this morning.

And the answer is yes!   Homemade bread dough is currently rising on my counter.

bread dough rising

During the summer, we do fun things and I get stuff done, but I am not very good about finding time to make homemade bread.   The other day Zoe said, “I am soooo tired of eating split-top wheat bread.”

(and you have to read “split-top wheat bread” in a rather disgusted voice.)

If I hated making bread, I would probably be annoyed that my kids don’t love store-bought bread.   But bread-making doesn’t feel like a big chore to me, it’s all good.

And besides, it is sort of my fault that they’re used to homemade bread in the first place. 😉

(Whole wheat bread is what I’m making right now.)

I love that you guys love Ting.

I’ve been reading all the comments coming in on the Ting Moto E giveaway, and it makes my heart happy to hear that many of you switched to Ting and are enjoying great savings every month.

Some of you are saving $100+ a month compared to your old service!   So totally awesome.

Home Phones vs. Cell Phones

A reader left a comment wondering if it makes more sense to ditch the landline and just use a cell phone, even though that would use more cell phone minutes.

For us, the answer is no. We have Ooma for our home phone service, and once you buy the Ooma box, you pay only a few dollars in taxes/regulatory fees each month.   It’s nigh onto free!

Ooma home phone service review

So, between our very reasonable cell phone bill and our practically non-existent Ooma bill, I feel pretty great about our phone spending.

Here’s a post I wrote all about Ooma.

Freezing Greens

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but someone asked about it again just the other day.

You can definitely freeze any greens that you plan to throw into smoothies, and you don’t have to do anything fancy.   In fact, you can just throw a bag of greens straight into the freezer.

spinach crisping


This is a great way to avoid wasting leafy greens, especially spinach, which seems to have a rather short shelf life sometimes.

When I make a green smoothie, I like to blend the banana, yogurt, and frozen greens first, just to make sure that the greens get thoroughly blended.   Then I add my frozen berries to make the smoothie thick and cold.

Joshua’s car insurance is not insanely high.

I was waiting on pins and needles to hear the bad news, but it was better than I expected!   Adding him to our plan is costing an extra $1300 a year ($108 per month, but we pay annually).

joshua driving

We’re going to split the cost of it with him, which means he’ll have plenty left from his paychecks to save for a car and for college.

Lisey is busy squirreling away her earnings (she has always been a saver!) so that when she starts driving, she’ll have enough for insurance with a big cushion beside.


And that’s all, folks!


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Thursday 15th of September 2016

We started making our bread at home shortly after our oldest was born. Our oldest is very, very picky. (I didn't realize until we had numbers two and three that he was just like that, and it wasn't my fault for "ruining" him. #mommyguilt) He now refuses to eat store bought bread of any kind. It is frustrating, but you're right, it's just the flip side of having a kid who really loves my cheap, healthy bread.

Also whoa $1300!!! That is more than we pay now for both vehicles and a motorcycle. Well now I am scared of the kids driving. Does it go up every time you add a driver???? Thank you for preparing me mentally.


Thursday 15th of September 2016

Yes, it goes up when you add a young driver, especially if there's the same number of cars as there are drivers. If we'd added him to our policy but had not added a third car, it would have been cheaper than it is now.


Wednesday 14th of September 2016

I made bread this week but forgot to do a steam on it, so it was kinda tough. Oops.

I have been working with gluten-free flour as I help a family whose Mom has Cancer. I cook once a week for them. I have made pumpkin bread, cookies and cupcakes. It is very different from regular flour, so it's a learning process. But, these vanilla cupcakes with a lemon curd filling and lemon cream cheese icing were incredible. I'll ask them next week what they thought! I have the youngest try out the recipes for another opinion, besides mine.

We decided to have our oldest learn to drive at age 18. Since he was a baby, I had taken any money from birthdays/holidays and put it all in CD's. He was able to purchase his own car and policy. His policy is expensive. However, we have peace of mind if there's a lawsuit. The house will still be ours. He's learning to budget his remaining money and is looking for a job while in college. We don't help him financially, except for buying him a set of tires. I was adamant about it and got him good ones. Who knew that a few months later, there would be an incident where his car took on $4000 worth of damage and the wheel wells were damaged. But not those tires. It could've had a horrible ending. Something to be said about Mom's intuition.

You blog is so helpful and fun to read. I love your recipes and photos.


Wednesday 14th of September 2016

I made Potato Water Bread a couple days ago, the first bread I have made in months. I do love your whole wheat bread recipe, I will make that next time.

You did very well switching to Erie Insurance. Our 20 year old is about $800/6 months. She has never had an incident and has great grades. We have GEICO Insurance.

The other thing I like to use frozen greens for is adding them to soup. The are easy to break up into small pieces once they are frozen and they add nutritional value to both lentil soups and broth-ier soups.


Wednesday 14th of September 2016

Baking just doesn't happen during the summer for me. The air conditioning is working hard enough without me heating the house up by running the oven. I keep any oven cooking rare and brief during the summer. It's still too hot to bake now. I won't clean my oven until winter, either -- that self-cleaning cycle is hot, hot! Our landline is bundled with our internet. I found out once what the internet would be without the landline, and it would increase almost to the cost of both landline and internet together. We don't have a lot of internet options around, but I'd apparently missed the previous post on Ooma, so I need to see what kind of costs we'd have with that plus just internet. We had teen girls driving at our house years ago, before they moved out, and back then when we added them to our policy, they were fairly cheap to insure. I have heard girls are getting more expensive to insure as well, though. Something probably many frugalistas know already, is to check the insurance cost on a vehicle before buying another one for the new drivers. When my oldest daughter started driving, we had a good deal on a used Jeep offered to us. I called and asked how much to insure it, first, and it was unbelievably high. She ended up driving a small, plain, sedate, used pickup, which was much cheaper to insure and was more protective in the event of a crash. It was also a big help getting her moved to college.


Wednesday 14th of September 2016

I don't think we could ever give up our landline. In addition to me needing a non-cell/non-internet line for work, I'm leery of an emergency happening and cell/internet service is lost.

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