Welcome New Day Northwest Viewers

mavis butterfieldWelcome New Day Northwest Viewers! I’m Mavis, and I’m so glad you’re here. By now you know that I’m pretty passionate about eliminating food waste in this country {you can check out more about that HERE}, but I’m passionate about all sorts of others things too. Sometimes my friends even refer to me as a Jill of All Trades.

I raise a wild bunch of chickens and an even wilder puggle dog named Lucy. I’ve also been known to reclaim food destined for the dumpster, fill my passport with stamps in the most frugal ways, and bake a mean blackberry cobbler. I also dabble in gardening, and by dabble I mean grow 2,000 pounds of food in my backyard from time to time!

Take a look at some of the cool stuff you’ll find on my site:

Gardening

Growing food is the coolest hobby on the planet. Want to know the best part? It’s not rocket science. Anyone can do it! Yep, even you! Keep following and I’ll share all my tips and tricks, and you’ll have a green thumb before you know it!

Reclaimed Food

This food was destined for the trash.  Can you believe it?

Weekly Shopping Trips

Did you know you can feed a family of four on $100/month? Trust me, it’s not an urban legend, it’s actually true. And while I’m not perfect at sticking to my budget, I’ll show you how you can reduce yours using some really easy methods.

Bartering

Bartering with my friends and neighbors is a blast. I never know what I’m going to come home with. And that’s what makes it so fun. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure after all!

Chickens

I know, I know, only weirdos and farmers have chickens right? Wrong. Cool people have them too. Plus, they’re cheaper than cable and they give you eggs, and if they misbehave, well…

10 Homemade Cleaner RecipesDIY

One of the easiest ways to save money is to do it yourself. I show you how by making everything from laundry soap to windshield washer fluid. You’ll start to wonder why you never tried it sooner!

Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Pot PieRecipes

I’m not a foodie. I just happen to photograph everything I make. Then I post pimped up pictures of my creations on my blog so I can tell my husband I didn’t have time to clean the house. If you have some leftover chicken taking up space in your fridge right now, you should totally try this Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Pot Pie. It is divine.

Well, that’s about it. Take your time and look around.

Thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad you’re here!

Mavis
You can stay up with all the latest and greatest from OneHundredDollarsAMonth on Facebook, Twitter, InstagramYouTube and Google+!

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Reducing Food Waste – Simple Way to Freeze Soups, Sauces, and Purees

split pea soup

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. For more information, see my disclosure policy.

Reducing Food Waste - Simple Way to Freeze Soups, Sauces, and Purees #saveitsundayI recently teamed up with Glad Food Protection to take the #SaveItSunday pledge to not only help eliminate food waste in my own kitchen, but to show you some cool and creative ways you can reduce food waste in yours.

What is the #SaveItSunday pledge?

Well basically it’s about loving food more and wasting it less, one day at a time.

Reducing Food Waste - Simple Way to Freeze Soups, Sauces, and PureesOne of the coolest {and easiest} ways I reduce food waste and keep our grocery budget so low is by doubling or tripling a simple recipe, sauce or puree and freezing and storing it in Glad freezer bags or GladWare.  Since I’m already in the kitchen making the recipe, increasing the ingredients takes no more time, but yields double or triple the meals! I’ll throw in any produce that complements the recipe and is about to go bad. This virtually eliminates leftover waste, and knowing I have the option to pull a hearty soup or pasta sauce from the freezer when I’m having a busy day {or week} is a huge stress reliever.

My favorite is cooking up a huge Crock Pot of soup on the weekend, dividing it into smaller portions and freezing it in Glad freezer bags. You can use quart size bags for a perfect two- person meal, or double that and put it in a gallon bag for your family of four.  I have freezing and storing those bags down to a science. Here’s how I do it:

how to freeze soup

How to Freeze Soup, Sauce, and Puree

  • Fill quart sized Glad freezer bags with 2 cups of soup, sauce or puree and seal {gallon baggies will use 4 cups}.
  • Lay bags flat on a cookie sheet and place the cookie sheet in the freezer on a flat surface.
  • Once the contents are frozen solid {I usually wait 24 hours}, stack them on a freezer shelf or in a freezer basket.

One of my favorite recipes to cook in bulk and bag up is my Split Pea and Ham Soup. It’s my go-to recipe when I have leftover ham in the freezer from the holidays and I’m looking for something easy to make for dinner.

split pea soupIngredients

1 pound leftover ham, cubed
1 1/2 lbs of dried split peas
2 carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Rinse, drain and pick over your peas to remove any rocks. Add peas to your Crock Pot, cover with about 3″ warm water and turn the Crock Pot on high. Add ham and cover. Sauté carrots and onions in olive oil until lightly browned, add minced garlic and sauté for one minute longer. Toss sautéed items over ham and pea mixture. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Stir and replace the lid.

Cook 6 hours on high.

So now you have a great recipe and a totally easy way to store and freeze it {any of my fellow readers with some OCD tendencies will agree that stacking method is pure awesome!}. Do you cook your soups and sauces in bulk and freeze them? Any tips and tricks you use?

Here’s hoping you’re well on your way to perfecting your food storage and eliminating excessive food waste.

~Mavis

#SaveItSunday

For more information about the #SaveItSunday Pledge and how you can enter to win a gourmet chef prepared meal in your home, head on over to SaveItSunday.com

Looking for more Glad Food Protection Pointers? Head on over HERE where you’ll learn lot’s of cool tips and tricks to keep the food you love fresher, longer.

You can also follow Glad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

 

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Paris Walking Tour Goes Awry

catacombs paris

walking map paris france

Sometimes when you’re on vacation, things don’t go as planned.

Take Sunday for instance. The Girl and I left our hotel with the intention of going on a 10 mile walk around Paris. We carefully mapped out our plan on google maps and were very confident about our journey.

  • Start – Eiffel Tower
  • Stop 1 – Le Bon Marche Grocery Store
  • Stop 2 – The Catacombs
  • Stop 3 – The Love Lock Bridge
  • Stop 4 – The Nike Store on the Champs-Elysees
  • Stop 5 – Arc de Triomphe
  • Finish – 6 Our Hotel

Our hotel was near the Eiffel Tower and our first stop was going to be at the coolest grocery store in all of Paris, La Grand Epicerie at Le Bon Marché to buy something for breakfast. 

It was suppose to be a quick 2 mile walk. And it was, but when we arrived we discovered the grocery store was CLOSED.

Oh well, it was a nice walk anyway right?

So we looked down at our folded map and started towards our next destination. The Love Lock Bridge. Which was really suppose to be our third stop but we didn’t notice until our stomachs were grumbling and we had to use the bathroom.

rodin Museum ticket paris

Luckily the Rodin Museum was nearby so we stopped there for a bite to eat instead.
the thinker rodin museum paris

We saw The Thinker!apricot tart

Ate something tasty for lunch, and then assessed our situation.  At this point it was about 2:30 in the afternoon. I knew entry to the Catacombs closed at 4pm so we walked as fast as we could. Once we got in line we were told were had about a 1 hour and 40 minute wait.
catacombs paris france line

And the chances of us getting in were about 50/50. By now it was 2:50 in the afternoon and we hadn’t crossed anything off our original list of sites we wanted to see on our original walking tour plan.

The Girl didn’t want to chance it, but I did. catacombs paris

We were the last group of 12 people to get into the catacombs. Wowza! Talk about cutting it close. {I’ll post more about the catacombs tomorrow}. paris metro ticket stub

At this point it was about 5pm and I new it would be getting dark soon and the last thing I wanted to be doing was wandering around Paris in the dark holding a map and trying to use the light from our cell phones to guide us home. So, for the first time ever, we braved the Paris Metro.

Louvre roaming gnome

We didn’t make it to the Love Lock Bridge, but we were able to stop by Mona Lisa’s house. {The Louvre}. arc de triumphe

And the Arc de Triomphe.omron pedometer

And the Nike store for The Girl.

paul bakery cafe paris

At that point I looked down at my pedometer and noticed so far we had walked almost 25,000 steps for the day. And we still had to walk back to our hotel. So we grabbed a quick bite to eat from Paul’s and headed back to our hotel.
the best pedometers omronIn the end, our 10 mile walking tour of Paris worked out to be a 16.94 miles. Getting lost is RAD isn’t it? Seriously, at this point I might as well sign up to do a marathon this spring because we never stopped walking on this trip.

C’est la vie 😉

~ Mavis

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Weck Canning Jars, Free Kindle Books, Hobby Farm Home, Sheet Sets $25, Flexees Tank Tops and More

mars-easter-candy-coupons

London Tardis Dr Who Blue Police BoxThe Girl and I arrived home shortly after midnight last night from our week long vacation. To say we are a little exhausted might just be the understatement of the year. But the show must go on, so today it’s back to business. School for her, and a live tv interview for me. Today. In just a few hours.

Did I mention the interview is in front of a live studio audience? After 20 hours of travelling and 4 hours of sleep? Yep, it’s gonna be AWESOME! 😉

So, if you are a local, tune into A New Day Northwest on King 5 today at 11am to watch my segment about Food Waste In America with Margaret Larson.  And if I look like a total idiot because I applied some fake tanning lotion this morning at 5 am to cover up my sleep deprived face, just ignore it.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great day.

Mavis

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day – 50% Off Calvin Klein Clothing for Women and Men

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can.

weck canning jars

If you love Weck Jars as much as I do you’ll be happy to know Williams-Sonoma has Weck Jars on sale for 20% off right now.

Meyer Lemon-Ginger Marmalade Recipe

I used a few of my Weck canning jars last month when I made a batch of Meyer Lemon-Ginger MarmaladeGet the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

covergirl coupons

Five new Cover Girl Coupons just popped up:

four leaf cloversYou won’t get pinched on St. Patricks Day if you’re wearing these Lucky Four Leaf Earrings. Amazon has them on sale right now for $5.99 shipped. Get the matching necklace HERE.

sheet set

Amazon Bedding Deals:

flexees by maidenformAmazon has Flexees by Maidenform Fat Free Dressing Tank Tops on sale for as low as $21.55.  I wear these everyday under my t-shirts and they are perfect for sucking in your muffin top! 😉

extra raspberry gum
Extra Sugar Free Gum, Dessert Delights Raspberry Vanilla Cupcake – 15 Sticks {Pack of 10} $5.66 when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.
hobby farm home magazine coupon dealDiscount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Hobby Farm Home Magazine for only $7.50 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 2/25/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

Sperry boat shoes

Calling all Hipsters, get up to 60% off Sperry Topsiders and FREE SHIPPING from 6pm.

How to Clean Smelly Shoes and Get Rid of Stinky Feet

I know it’s hard to believe but spring sports are around the corner. These tips on How to Clean Smelly Shoes and Get Rid of Stinky Feet might help. 😉 Get the Tips HERE or Pin it for Later.

car seat cover for dogs

Groupon has some pretty sweet deals on items for Cats and Dogs today:

giveaway winner

Congratulations to Alicia who wrote “Love it ALL!! I’d be stoked to have the Weekend Homesteader. I’ve gotten a couple when they’ve been on you Mornings with Mavis list and loved them, but I think the lettuce keeper would be a true winner here. Might just have to get that and a bunch of the berry baskets regardless.”  for winning the February My Favorite Things Giveaway. If you didn’t win this time, no worries, more giveaways are in the works. :)

maxell batteries
Right now you can get the 48 pack box of AA Maxell Batteries for only $11.28 shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at check out.

If you need the AAA size you can get a 36 pack box of Maxell AAA Batteries for only $8.76 shipped with the subscribe and save option.  This is a great price for batteries!

mars-easter-candy-coupons

Easter will be here before you know it and you’ll some candy to fill those eggs. Print these coupons now before the print limit is reached:

Find More Printable Coupons

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Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Slow Cooker Macaroni and CheeseSometimes, when it’s freezing outside and I’m totally over winter, I just need some good ole comfort food to keep the Winter Blues away. And nothings screams comfort food like some hearty mac and cheese. So I made some. In my slow cooker. And it rocked my socks off.

It was melt-in-your-mouth good. And when eating it, just remember the motto I sick to: when consuming comfort food, calories don’t count. Good thing too, because I ate an embarrassing amount of this. So go put on some elastic waist pants and get to eating this already. You can thank me later.

Ingredients

8 oz cooked elbow macaroni
1 {12 oz} can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 stick {1/4 cup} butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs
5 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Slow Cooker Macaroni and CheeseDirections

Coat the inside of a large slow cooker with BUTTER, lots and lots of butter. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup of cheese. Pour into slow cooker and top with reserved cheese. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Enjoy!

Looking for more easy crock pot meals? Check out my Crock Pot Meals recipe index or check out my Crock Pot Board on Pinterest,

slow cooker crock pot cookbook

My favorite Crock Pot – Crock-Pot Cook’ N Carry 6-Quart Portable Slow Cooker
My Favorite Slow Cooker Cookbook – Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook: 1400 Best Slow Cooker Recipes!

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Window Box Ideas for Late Winter and Early Spring

Window Box Ideas for Later Winter and Early Spring

Window Box Ideas for Later Winter and Early SpringWhile The Girl and I were walking in London this past week I couldn’t help but pull out my camera {about a hundred times} and snap some photographs of the window boxes we walked past.

Window Box Ideas for Later Winter and Early SpringI’ll admit it, I am a total sucker for a well planted window box and we’ve had one in the front window of just about every house we’ve ever lived in.

Window Box Ideas for Later Winter and Early Spring

If you plan it out right, you can usually get away with just planting your window box gardens about three times a year. Well, at least that is what I do up here in the Seattle area anyway.Window Box Ideas for Later Winter and Early Spring

If you have OCD this one with the trimmed boxwoods would be ideal. 😉

Window Box Ideas for Later Winter and Early Spring

I love, love, love the way these potted geraniums look. Unfortunately you would need to live someplace with pretty mild winters if you were going to plant these in your window box.Window Box Ideas for Later Winter and Early Spring

And last but not least, you just can’t go wrong with ivy, can you?

Do you have a favorite? I think the first garden box with the daffodils and moss might be mine.

~Mavis

Looking for a little more window box inspiration? Check out the book Window Boxes: Indoors & Out. I own a copy and pull it out every year to get ideas.

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Giveaway – Enter to Win 1 of 4 Cases of Girl Scout Cookies

girl scout cookie giveaway

It’s Girl Scout cookie time! Just in time to ruin all of your New Year’s resolutions! Those little Girl Scouts are smart. They know when to swoop in and dangle those delicious little cookies under your nose. You’ve avoided sugar or carbs or fat for months, and you’re probably ready to gnaw off your own arm. And then you see them standing there all adorable peddling cookies.

Of course you can’t say no! So you buy a box. Or 12. No judgement here.

After all, I was a Girl Scout. I sold cookies, wore my badge-filled sash proudly and even had the most awesome time ever at Girl Scout Camp. I was a tween and it was the best summer of my life. I learned to sail, got my head checked for lice, made tiki torches out of Kotex pads, made arts and crafts, used an outhouse, slept in a cabin with no doors, and sang some really cool camp songs that I still remember to this day. It was the seriously the best summer ever!

girl scout cookies

So in honor of my Girl Scout heritage, I am giving away 4 cases of Girl Scout Cookies: 2 cases of Thin Mints, 1 case of Samoas and 1 case of Tagalongs {check out all the Girl Scout cookie descriptions}.

Wahooooo!

4 lucky readers will win 1 case of cookies. And no, you aren’t even required to share with your spouse, kids or neighbors. But, if you win and you don’t want that temptation anywhere near you, I am more than happy to ship your case to any military member anywhere overseas.

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment below and let us know: Of the 3 types of cookies I’m giving away {Tagalongs, Thin Mints, Samoas} what is your very favorite cookie? Oh, and what will you do with your 12 boxes of Girl Scout cookies if you win? Eat them all? Give them away? Shellac them for all eternity? We want to know!

Just answer those questions and you’re entered to win. Life’s pretty complicated sometimes, so I like to keep things simple around here.

mavis butterfield one hundred dollars a month thin mint cookies

Rules

1 entry per person/ip address. If you cheat, you will totally be disqualified.

I will ship these cookies ANYWHERE on the planet earth, so go ahead and enter.

This giveaway ends Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 @6 pm PST and the winners will be announced in the Monday, March 3rd, 2014 edition of Mornings with Mavis. You will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim your prize. If you do not claim your prize within 48 hours, the cookies will be donated to Operation Gratitude.

Good Luck! I hope you win.

Peace Out Girl Scouts!

Mavis

You can stay up with all the latest and greatest from OneHundredDollarsAMonth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+!

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How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month – Week 8 of 52

paris street food

paul cafe london

You know that kangaroo pouch most of us moms have? Well usually mine only gets a workout during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but right now, when I take off my coat, it looks like I am four months pregnant with a food baby. A food baby that was formed almost entirely out of pastries and bread.

I am going to go out on a limb here and assume The Girl and I ate a little better than the HH and Monkey did this past week. Sure we left them with a batch of homemade cookies and some ready meals in the refrigerator, but that doesn’t mean they actually made them.

tea and sconesSo while we’re living on biscuits, jam and tea, I suspect they’re dining on Doritos, chimichangas and Hungry Man dinners. It’s kind of like we’re both living very different versions of food heaven this week!

hummingbird bakeryAll I have to say is it’s a good thing calories don’t count on vacation. I’ve walked my way through this city, because my metabolism does not match The Girls. So walking 10+ miles a day while I stuff my face with cupcakes seems to be a good way to combat those calories if they try to catch up with me when I land on American soil.

london groceriesOf course we didn’t live on pastries alone. We took the occasional carb break and threw in some fruit and some juice.

london groceriesBut then we found a way to incorporate a pastry into pretty much every other meal. It didn’t feel right otherwise.  When in Rome London, right?

tea cupcakeI mean can you think of a more perfect breakfast than the one you see above? And yes, that cupcake tastes just as awesome as it looks. And no, I didn’t share.

The restaurant london natural history museumBecause The Girl is leaving for college in a few short months {excuse me while I go sob into the hotel pillow}, it’s sitting around a freakin amazing meal like this and just enjoying the moment that I totally cherish. Having some of my favorite food on the planet in one of my favorite places on the planet with one of my favorite people on the planet. Pretty much sums up what life is all about.

paris street foodShe’s the very best go-with-the-flow travel companion. And, she understands why moving to London some day makes perfect sense. Just the food alone is enough.

rodin museum cafeIt’s so nice to take a break from the $100/month budget when we travel. Budgeting and being careful with my money is really important, but letting yourself splurge every now and then while on vacation is totally awesome, and so worth it. Indulgences like these are what we live for.

the orangery afternoon teaBecause I stocked the pantry and fridge before we left, I’ve technically spent $0 this week. No, all that totally awesome food above wasn’t free, I just don’t count it towards our weekly food budget because it falls into one of the challenge rules I live by:

Here are the One Hundred Dollars a Month Challenge Guidelines I’ve been living by for the last few years:

1. Money spent on vacation food does not count.  Why?  Because when we travel we use money from our “vacation fund.” Money that has been set aside specifically for vacations. :)

2. If anyone in our family receives a gift card to a restaurant  it does not count towards our out of pocket expenses.  Why? Because the gift cards were a gift.  We did not have to pay for them out of our own pockets.

3. If one of us wins a free gift card/gift certificate to a store it does not count.  Why?  Because we won it and did not have to pay for it out of our own pockets.

4. If I am able to score a free $10, $20 {etc.} store coupon from the purchase of a gift card {ie: Amazon, Home Depot, iTunes ect.} the amount I spent on a gift card does not count towards my food purchase total.  Why?  Well to me, that one is a no brainer.  If I know my husband will be buying something from the Home Depot,  why wouldn’t I purchase a gift card and earn a coupon for some free food in the process?

5. If I purchase any seeds for my garden I count the seed purchase as “food” money spent.  However, if I can re-coup the seed money via selling my extra produce to neighbors, friends or family I will deduct any earned money from my “garden seed” total {I will keep this tally separate from my food purchases}.

What do you think, do those guidelines seem pretty fair to you?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $0
Total Spent This Year $272.07
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $4.50

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

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