Looking back, looking forward


In finishing out 2013, I did a bit of looking back at what was interesting to the most people during the year.  Here are some of the posts that were shared more often or commented on more than average.  Maybe there’s one that you missed?

Natural Tooth Care: Four Changes We’ve Made

My Stuff and Theirs

High School Chemistry: Helpful Links

Six Things I’d Rather Buy at the Thrift Store

Make-Your-Own Pizza

So You Want to Stay Home With Your Kids

Looking forward to a new year with you as well!  I’ve got all sorts of plans brewing!

In January I’ll be writing about our grocery budget.  I’d like to see if we can get by on $400 for all 8 of us in January– kind of a post-Christmas recovery plan, you know?  To make that $400 stretch the furthest, I’m starting my month with a cooking-from-the-pantry challenge, and will see what I can rustle up with all the food we already have. But I also want to emphasize good food and healthy eating.  Think soups and stews and crock pot recipes.  On January 1st I’ll share my meal plan for the next two weeks.  Want in on my $400/month grocery challenge?  Think about what might be a good spending goal for your own family, and stay tuned!

Also in January I am planning on getting more intentional with my computer time, with a focus on having a no-screen-zone during part of every day. I’m converting old home movies to computer files, brewing kombucha and making kefir, working on saying yes to my kids in creative ways, and organizing my wild and crazy laundry room.   I’d love to have you along for the ride in this new year.  Thanks for reading!


  1. joining your cooking from the pantry challenge and January groceries for $400. We CAN do this!

  2. christy zimms says:

    I can’t wait to see this! I would love to try and stick to $400. Does that include personal care products? Do you have separate budget for that?

  3. You can do it! Stir frys are my go-to meal. With a different sauce but similar vegetables or serving over cut up baked won ton wrappers or rice noodles instead of plain old rice are just simple inexpensive ways to stretch the dollar even more.
    Also just saw on cooking show someone hollowed out two waffles, placing on top of each other, then poured chili into the ‘waffle bowl’ to create a fun supper. It was really quite ingenious. Daughter having New Year’s Eve party and we are going to try this. We are thinking of all kinds of regular meals we can make and then put into waffles for added fun.

  4. Leslie Creech says:

    Mary–I bought your book a couple of months ago and have been keeping all of my grocery receipts for the past 3 weeks. One more week to go. I thought I was thrifty and I always cook at home, but I am floored at how much I spend. It’s all the little trips during the week in which I get what I need plus a few more items. I want to really work next year on trimming my grocery budget. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for the new year!

  5. Mary, can I join in? I will try it with 400,- € a month …

  6. I’ve been trying to keep our grocery budget down, but then December came . . . Anyway, this will be good motivation to get back on top of things.

  7. Going to try to limit grocery budget to $400 a month and eat from the pantry until it’s pretty much down. Plan to post daily on my blog, chefowings.blogspot.com