2. Cooking: I made THM bread and muffin mixes this week, along with a little wheel of cheese! Some friends of ours gifted us a gallon of raw milk, so I used some of it to make the havarti cheese. I realized that our entry room is just the right temperature for aging cheese (50-60*F), so why not? Havarti also requires high humidity to age, so I used a glass cake stand/cover with a little container of water inside to keep the humidity around 80-90%. For those of you who homeschool, cheesemaking is an excellent hands-on science experiment. Several years ago I bought a little hygrometer/thermometer at Walmart and I've had a lot of fun keeping it in different areas of the house. Are my orchids getting enough humidity to bloom? Does air-drying laundry indoors measurably improve the dry air in our bedroom? How humid does it have to be before furniture starts to mold? Does my wheel of cheese have enough humidity to ripen properly? It's quite interesting when you get started. I have this little hygrometer from Walmart.
Hubs also stopped at McDonalds to use up a free drink coupon that was about to expire. He's almost as frugal as I am... I love it! And yes, I did fill out the survey on his free drink receipt. However, he seemed to think that taking his free McDonalds caramel macchiato into church was just as cool as holding onto a $5.00 cup from our local fancy coffee shop. I tried to convince him otherwise... I don't think I changed his mind. One of these days, I'm going to get a Fancy Coffee Drink for free with a coupon, and then wash out the cup and bring it into church every Sunday with just water in it. Hot water, if I want to get fancy. If I actually liked coffee (which I don't), I could fill it with Folgers from home and save myself $5.00 every week. ;)
4. Thrift store shopping: We recently moved date night to Tuesday night in order to accommodate other things in our schedule. While I did have to reorganize half of my homemaking week (gahhhh) to make Tuesday shopping work, I've found one redeeming factor: the Volunteers Of America 50% off sale! The sale happens on the last Tuesday of every month, which virtually guarantees that I'll get to every single 50% off sale until we switch date night to another day.
You can see what I bought at VOA in my Aldi grocery haul at the top of this post. I think our best find for the night was a set of Arthur Maxwell's Bible Story books.
I've been thinking about what I want to use for homeschooling materials, and this was one of the things on my list. Yes, it's a little early to be thinking about school stuff for our baby. But in order to find great deals, time has to be on your side. I think the Bible Story books will be a great read-aloud/Bible curriculum for the next ten years or so. The big set of books looks really daunting, but if you read two stories every week day, you can get through the whole set in a year. I really like these books because they haven't been incredibly "dumbed down" like many children's Bibles. A lot of the dialog is quoted directly from the King James Bible. At the same time, Mr. Maxwell put enough "story" in the stories to make them interesting and understandable for a child.
Before we bought this particular set, I looked online for a ballpark price. They're fairly common (popular from the 1950s-1990s), but even so, I couldn't find them on Amazon or Ebay for less than $4.00 each. Our nine books were not a complete set, so I will have to continue the hunt for Volume 1. However, we only paid about $1.11 each for the rest of the set. That's a savings of at least $26.00!
5. Clothing: I tried my hand at darning socks last week. The darning was faster and easier than I had anticipated, though it took some experimenting to find what worked best. Basically I did a whip stitch around the hole, pulling it tight (as if I were gathering the fabric) as I went along. This alone almost completely closed the hole. Then I went across the hole up and down, then left to right. Some of the holes I started with an up/down stitch, and then went around the hole clockwise. This made the darning less noticeable because the stitches were more even.
The sock to the right was my first try; the left sock was the last one I darned.
So that is about all for the week! How did you all do?