Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Budget Roundup

flowers from front of house beds

July's Grocery Budget $400 less YTD overage of $269.40=$130.60

Actual $466.26. Over by $335.66 YTD

Coupons Used $23.86

No haircuts this month so Annual Hair Budget $400
= $142.20 for rest of 2012

This is the month that I try and reduce the YTD grocery overage which occured all from the last three months due in part to restocking the pantry and the move which can throw budgets out of whack. Now that my pantry is mostly full I am only buying when there is a great deal. We are eating at home a lot more than we used to before the move and that is making an impact in the budget, but I fully intend to stay within the $400 budget this month and chip away a bit at the overage.

I made scones for the first time using this recipe from allrecipes.com and added some cinnamin, cloves, raisins and milk as found it too dry without adding more moisture. They were yummy but a little more like a cookie than scones. Rather than cut them I just dropped them biscuit style.

I also made tzatziki from scratch using some Greek yogurt obtained for free with a coupon - it was amazing and I will definitely make it again. No pictures of that as it was long gone before I thought about taking a picture. The recipe can be found here at Kalyn's Kitchen. I highly recommend using proper Greek yogurt and fresh dill.
Miniature rose in container pot on my patio
There are two small tomatoes growing with several blossoms on the two tomato plants we keep in containers on the back patio. As they were not purchased until the last week of June they are later than normal for this time of year. Luckily September here is normally georgous and sunny so they have some time yet to grow. Each plant was $1.14 on sale so if we get a couple of tomatoes out of it they will have paid for themselves.

What I haven't shown you is the bug eaten petunias in pots at the front of the house. I have been battling with earwigs for two weeks and they were winning but this week I started getting the upper hand. Next year I will research annual plants they don't like eating or hang the pots rather than put them on the ground. They don't seem to like tomatoes, roses, or hot peppers.

Hubby made dinner and brought in some flowers the other night for me. I had the same colour hydrangea in my bouquet when we got married and now enjoy them in the front flowerbed. There were orange lilies that bloomed a few weeks ago and now these pink ones are in bloom. The black cat was a souvenir brought back from Egypt fifteen years ago. The vases are actually pillar candle holders that I bought at a garage sale about five years ago, hubbys idea to put the flowers in them.

Have a great day!


  1. Sounds like a romantic evening!

  2. I love your blog :) your ethos is definitely on par with what I would like to achieve. I am going to check out your blog list, not sure if you have read it before but I would definitely recommend http://goodbye-magpie.blogspot.co.uk/ to you, she is doing a similar sort of thing!!

    1. Thanks! I checked out the goodbye-magpie blog - excellent thankyou! I always like finding other great blogs to read.

  3. I have to try baking scones, love them but have never made them... I could eat one right now....

  4. Hey, Cheapchick - thanks for your comment on my blog today - great to hear from you. Thought I would pop over and have a look at yours, and I LOVE all the photos. I really need more photos on my blog, and go through phases on having lots, but then having none! I will try to do better xx

  5. I found your blog on Joy's Vintage Green.....I LOVE the title. You are a girl after my own heart and I am your newest follower!

  6. I have 2 scone recipes that are simple and awesome. Here are the recipes. I've made both for 'teas' and always get great compliments and requests for the recipes. Enjoy!

    Cranberry Scones!

    I made these scones for our quilting group this a.m. and they were wonderful.

    Cranberry Scones presented by Cincinnati's Weller Haus Bed & Breakfast, Inc.

    2/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt (do not sour milk or use buttermilk that has been frozen)
    1 large egg
    3 cup flour
    4 tsps baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut up
    1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 tsp grated orange peel
    1 Tbsp butter @ room temperature

    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Measure buttermilk in 2 cup glass measure, beat in egg with fork. Put flour, baking powder, soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir to mix well. Add 8 Tbsps butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers, till mixture looks like fine granules.

    Add cranberries, sugar, and orange peel: toss lightly to distribute evenly. Add buttermilk mixture. Stir with a fork until a soft dough forms.

    Turn out dough onto a lightly floured board and give 5 to 6 kneads, just until well mixed. Form dough into a ball, cut into 8 wedges. Place each wedge on an ungreased cookie sheet.

    Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until medium brown. Remove to wire rack. Brush with the 1 Tbsp of soft butter. Let cool, uncovered, at least 1 hour before serving.(see my note below)

    Serve with jams, jellies and/or plain or lemon yogurt. Makes 8 scones.

    I brushed each scone with:

    2 tablespoons sugar
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 tablespoon milk or cream (I use skim milk)

    I recently made 3 batches ahead of time and after they cooled completely I wrapped them in seran wrap and put them in freezer bags in the fridge. The Bed and Breakfast said that they are good frozen, too. Enjoy!


    Lemon Cream Scones (Laine's friend's mother's recipe)

    2 c. flour
    1 T. baking powder
    1/4 t. salt
    1/4 c. sugar

    Combine well.

    1/3 c. butter
    Cut in to the above mix.

    1 c. whipping cream (sometimes I substitute half milk and cream)

    Add until moistened and knead lightly 5 times. Flour and roll out into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Slice into eighths with a pizza cutter and spread the triangles apart on a cookie sheet. (May sprinkle lightly with sugar.) Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

    Lemon Butter (an old recipe from an English Grandmother)

    Melt in double boiler over boiling water 1 cup of butter.

    2 c. sugar
    3 eggs slightly beaten
    1/2 c. lemon juice
    1 T. grated lemon peel

    Add the above ingredients and cook in double boiler over simmering water for 1 hour. Stir occasionally. It will thicken as it sets.

    Serve the scones warm out of the oven with lemon butter on top and then a dollop of whipping cream on top of that with earl grey tea.

    1. Wow! thanks for the great recipes! I will try them

  7. I love this monthly round-up. I definitely want to start doing the same thing. I'm a cheap bastard and love pinching pennies and tallying up the results of it ;)

  8. What lovely flowers...your hubby is so thoughtful. Mine cut some roses to bring in and put in my little milk bottle. You're doing great with your budget, too! I'm proud of you!