Home Fires - Testing A New Semi-Regular Feature

Thanks to all who provided some feedback on the upcoming changes I'm considering.  If you still want to complete the little survey, please do so.  Several folks indicated they like regular features so long as they don't feel like filler.  I have to admit that this response option falls closest to my own opinion on the subject.  Some weekly features are great (I'm looking at you Fridays at Home, PickyGirl!!  Where have you been lately?), but others?  Meh.

Since I closed down my house blog, I've been wanting to incorporate more of that side of me here, and your responses indicated you wouldn't mind more personal posts and/or more house/crafty/food-type posts.  Thus, I am testing a new feature currently called Home Fires (I'm still working on the name).  I don't have any nifty buttons or graphics yet (how do you make buttons, people?), but I do have a home that I love to work on and a significant Pinterest addiction AND a slightlymorethanaverage interest in Things That Are Cool.

So, Home Fires (or whatever I end up naming it) will likely be a weekly feature that focuses on whatever projects I've been able to work on that week.  It could be recipes, home economics-type discussions, art, craft, Halloween costumes, or simply paint.  There's likely to be a lot of paint.

But today.... no paint.  I've puttied and sanded nail holes in some of the kitchen trim, but I haven't broken out the paintbrush yet.  I have, however, made some progress in my Costco experiment.  At the end of the summer, we joined Costco.  There are several regularly purchased items where I could save money, so we thought we'd give it a try.  To see if it actually works, I'm keeping records of what we are buying and spending and using.  I bought a few of the huge canned goods, uncertain how I would make them work.  This week, I've been making good on that purchase.

First, spaghetti sauce.  I pinned this and also had tomatoes from the garden just sitting around, so I used this pinned recipe to roast them with some garlic.  And then I went at it in my ginormous stock pot.  I added a few things (like mixing in cheese as recommended by this pin and adding the fresh roasted tomatoes) and simmered it longer than the original pin recommended, and it was quite good.  We had spaghetti for dinner that night, and then I froze three portions for later (approximately the same amount as a jar of bought sauce).  That jar of tomatoes cost me $3.79.  I had to add a few ingredients, but I'm guessing that's still going to come in under the cost of four jars of store spaghetti sauce.  Plus, I know exactly what is in it.

Second, diced tomatoes.  I got my #10 can for $2.79.  That's right.  Two dollars and seventy-nine cents.  I made chili this morning and used around two 15-oz cans worth of tomatoes for it.  Then, I bagged and froze six additional can-sized servings.  A can of diced tomatoes usually costs between 1 and 2 bucks, right?  I'm guessing that $2.79 represents a significant savings.

Finally, the cans themselves!  They are awesome.  With a little soap on the inside and some chalkboard paint  on the outside (oops.  There was paint after all), they have been transformed into multi-season decorations.  I will definitely do a better job on the chalking next time, but it's a good start!  I see them as planters or containers for branches or pine cones or (with more) spelling out "THANKS" or "JOY" or whatever your heart desires.

So, what do you think?  Keep it or kill it (the feature, that is)?  Also, how do you save money?  Do you do the Costco thing?  What tricks should I be trying?

And if you do the Pinterest-thing, please feel free to follow me here.  Leave me a comment with your Pin-name, and I'll follow you back.  But not in a stalker kind of way.  Cause that would definitely not fall under Things That Are Cool.


  1. Cute cute!! Love the cans, and I love a good chili too.

    I know I've been absent a bit. Honestly, life is just too busy at the moment. I'll be back, I promise. :)

    Glad to see you'll add more home features!

  2. Jenn, I wasn't really complaining. Just appreciating. I know you've had more than enough on your plate lately.