Category Archives: helpful consumer items

Wassup Wednesday – 6

News: I got a new-to-me ipod nano.  It arrived in today’s mail.  I have been playing around with it, but it will take me a while to figure it all out.  Already Nevin showed me how the volume control works.  I think of myself as technologically savvy, and here I am one of those parents who needs to have her kid show how something works.

Fun: Homeschool field trip to the Magic House this past Monday.  The Magic House is one of St Louis’s great family-friendly attractions, and it was a lot of fun to visit again.  We had enough homeschool families from our church present to divide the kids up into age groups, making it a manageable visit for everyone.  Here are couple shots of Evangeline enjoying her time there.  Her friend’s older sister took the pics.


 Books: Reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  It is as fun as the others, and I am anxioius to move on so I can finish the whole series.

I picked up a Barbara Kingsolver book, Prodigal Summer, at Goodwill, this time for 35 cents!  I am looking forward to reading it because I really liked her book The Poisonwood Bible.  I’ll let you know what I think of this one.

Something cool: My friend, Lindy, uses the Grocery Game website to save money on groceries.  I have never been a coupon person, but Lindy’s family eats for practically nothing!  I am not sure if I am going to be able to work this system or not, but I am going to give it some serious consideration.  I do think that St Louis grocery stores are not as prone to doubling coupons, so maybe coupons won’t be as effective here.  Plus, I usually shop at Aldi where the prices are low to begin with and they don’t take coupons.  But if I can save more by using coupons at the regular stores, I’ll give it a try.  Anyone else have thoughts re: pros and cons of couponing.

That’s all for now . . .

Horne Gruel

Last night, I made spaghetti for dinner.  I decided I wanted to “take it up a notch,” so I added some things to my normal boring spaghetti.  The result was pretty yummy.  Mark liked it so much he requested that I make it in large batches to keep on hand as “Horne Gruel.”  This made me think about how cheap it was to make, and now I am sharing it with you.


½ pound thin spaghetti

2 yellow squash (chopped in large chunks)

1 small yellow onion

2 – 4 T olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce

Ground parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Put aside.

Sautee onions in olive oil.  As they start to become a little transparent, add chopped squash.  Sautee until squash begins to soften.  Add ground turkey.  I push the veggies to the outer sides of the pan and brown the turkey in the center of the pan until it is fully cooked.  When the meat is cooked, mix the meat and veggies together.  Do not drain.  (There ‘s not much excess oil from the turkey, and by now, the olive oil has been absorbed by the squash.)  Add the jar of spaghetti sauce, and simmer for a few minutes.

Add cooked spaghetti to the sauce.  Mix to cover.  Sprinkle liberally with parmesan cheese.  Mix in.

With buying all my ingredients at Aldi, the total cost for 8 servings was: $4.50 — less than 60 cents per serving!

My friend Lori is what I dubbed a “snooty cook.”  She is a terrific cook, and has great recipes that everyone should try.  However,  I am not that at all.  I am a “plain cook” who likes good flavors.  So I appreciate all the work that goes into snooty cooking, but I want the same sorts of flavor without all the work.  I think this recipe does just that.

One last thing, if you haven’t shopped at Aldi for groceries, you should.  I first shopped there when we first came to St Louis in 1995 for Mark to go to seminary.  Limited funds were a big issue to the family of a student, and I would often say we wouldn’t have made it through seminary without Aldi.

I think the prices now are a bit higher, but they are still lower than the big grocery chains.  All their store brand foods are of great quality.  Plus, they have double back guarantee if you buy something that doesn’t meet your standard.  I am not a spokesperson for Aldi, but I am a fan.  I found this blog entry that lists  some of their standard prices.  The prices may have gone up since the time of this entry, but these are certainly in the right ballpark.


Of Luffas and Dandruff Shampoo

Readers of my blog have been scant for some time, but I guess the “Tears” post was a little too much for anyone to comment on.  Oh well.

The big news is: Charis has her cast off.  Eight weeks in a cast, and I didn’t post one picture of her.  That is because the only ones I took were on my stupid phone which will not allow me to upload photos to my computer.  Since we are too cheap (or broke) to pay for the upgrade in service to be able to send the photos from my phone, I really shouldn’t take pictures with it!

After the cast was removed, her skin underneath was GROSS!!!!  It was so dry and flaky, I didn’t want her on me.  Even after using a luffa on her arm, it was flaky.  Then at her glorious bath last night (glorious because she could actually be in the tub long enough to get really clean), I had a revelation.  I thought, “If dandruff shampoo works on dead dry skin on the skalp, perhaps it will help remove the dead dry skin from her arm.”  So I used dandruff shampoo and the luffa on her arm, and it made a huge difference.  The flakes all came off.  Now her skin is rough, but we are putting lotion on it whenever we can.  It will be back to normal soon.  Long sleeves were in order for today so the dry skin won’t distract her to much at school.

The Skirty

My sister-in-law blogged about this at the beginning of the year, and I have wanted to purchase a skirty for each of my girls for obvious reasons since then.  But for a variety of reasons, I didn’t get around to it until last week.  Then, in the last couple of days, Amoretti, the maker of the skirty started a new blog with all kinds of hullabaloo about a new spring line, a “purse” giveaway, and another weekly drawing.  Take a look at what’s going on in the world of fashion for modest young ladies here.