February 2018
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Living a Magickal Life

31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero Week 1 Review

I wanted to discuss this week a wonderful group I found on Facebook. It is not magick in nature but it does deal a lot with living within our means living well and spending less.

FaceBook Group

The group is an offshoot of a 31 day challenge to spend nothing for a month except to pay bills and for buying food. The challenge is here for those interested.

31 Days of Living Well & Spending Less

A lot of us in the group have either entered the month late or wanted to do better in February gave it another go.

Some of the challenges are easy some are emotionally and physically draining.

I wanted to share some ideas I have found the group that has made quite a difference in my life.

This also really ties in to the 100 days of real food challenge I did not complete. I fell of the real food wagon. 🙁

The first challenge for me was to organize my kitchen. I have a 100 year old house that has odd cabinets and basically no storage space in the kitchen food is mix among plates and spread out on all sides of the kitchen. My son and I sat down and took everything out of the cabinets, the refrigerator, and the freezer. We organized similar items, checked expiration dates, and wrote down a new inventory.

I download the android app “Out of Milk” for keeping track of my new inventory list.

I realized I had an ice monster growing in my freezer, which explains why the ice machine has not been working and the refrigerator sometimes leaks water all over the floor. We had to chisel the bottom drawer with a hammer. It was bad.


I realized that I had eight boxes of chicken Alfred, and four of the same spices.

I also found three Wal-Mart bags full of expired mixes, especially baking goods. We just never make sweets around here. I also mean really expired like by SEVEN years!!

I did not take before photos because it was super bad.

However, here is my new organized kitchen.

 20140204_172559 20140204_165413

I sat down and wrote up a weekly meal plan including two snacks and trying to use items we already had in pantry.

Here I also learned to create piggyback meals. Using food from one meal and turning leftovers into great second meals, not just reheating. On my house all leftovers go to the dog, otherwise it will sit in my fridge for days before it goes bad,

For example, one day I made Crockpot salsa chicken. (All recipes are listed at the bottom.) I took two breasts and a jar of salsa and put them in the crock-pot during breakfast time, on low added some lemon juice and cumin. Around 5 pm it was ready I quickly shredded the chicken and made chicken tacos for dinner. I added lettuce, cheese, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, and homemade ranch.

I placed the leftovers in a zip lock bag. The next afternoon I used the salsa chicken wrapped them in a tortilla shell with cheese and baked them at 245 degrees for 5 minutes. I then whipped up a quick garlic cheese sauce to put on top. A good lunch and I could not tell it was leftovers.

We went to the grocery store and acutely bought items that was on the list instead of just grabbing stuff and spending twice as much as I had planned.

So far, we have eaten the meals and snacks I have planned out, we missed a few due to time constraints I did not plan beforehand.

Here is my weekly meal planner.

  Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday
Breakfast 3 eggs, tortillas, Arby’s sauce & apple sauce Kasi Go Lean Cereal W/ Blueberries & Strawberries Homemade Granola Cereal, w/ Peaches Bacon, eggs, & hash browns Banana pancakes, bacon and sausage Eggs, tortillas, and Arby’s sauce Kasi Go Lean Cereal w/ Banana
Lunch Grilled cheese sandwich w/ peaches pasta salad & toast Salsa chicken baked with cheese and garlic cheese dip cheddar brats and fries Mac n cheese Hamburgers Loaded baked potatoes
Snack Colby Slices, wheat thins, and apple slices pineapples and peaches hummus dip w/ crackers blueberry muffins popcorn apple cinnamon muffins yogurt parfait
dinner Chicken fettuccine alfredo, garlic bread and salsa Crockpot chicken salsa Sirloin tips stir fry and rice Beef tacos with corn hamburger helper w/ carrots creamy garlic chicken and garlic bread BBQ Crockpot chicken
Snack strawberry muffins goldfish and peanut butter peach sorbet yogurt parfait string cheese hummus crackers and a tangerine BBQ Chicken
First week of Febuary Meal Planner download me! (408)


I found a wonderful resource called Zaycon Foods. Here They sell large items of food in bulk chicken, turkey, bacon, sausage, and some fruits. You have to check the website for where a drop off point is near you what food they are selling this month and then order before the cutoff date. I purchased the 40 pounds of boneless skinless chicken. I have a tiny freezer so 40 pounds was not possible. So instead I went in with three other friends, I went ahead and purchased it with my credit card, and they just paid me their $19. The chicken is already divided into four ten pound bags so I just had to pick up the chicken and drop it off at each of my friends’ houses. So far these are good quality meat, the breast are huge and look wonderful I did not come across one bad looking piece. I will hopefully be ordering again with friends in another month. For forty pounds of chicken, it was $75.59.  Which ends up making the chicken $1.88 a pound.  I just ran to HyVee our local grocery store before my Zaycon chicken came in and boneless skinless chicken breast was $2.99 a pound. We eat a lot of chicken. This is a big savings for us. It was scary buying $76 dollars worth of chicken at one time normally meat purchases are smaller and with other food purchases you do not realize how much you are acutely spending.  

I purchased many fresh fruits for this week. I love fruit yet unfortunately; my children do not like fruit at all. Therefore, I get over ambitious in buying fruit and no one eats it but me and it spoils before I am able to finish it all. I bought strawberries, raspberries, green apples, banana, star fruit, tangerines, and blueberries. I wash all the fruit and cut up my strawberries, and half the banana’s and apples. I placed the strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries on multiple Tupperware lids. When they were frozen I scooped them all up and threw them in a Ziploc bag. Now I can grab a few fruits whenever I want them put thing on top of cereal on in a yogurt parfait, the night before. I made up six smoothie bags; I filled one with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I filled another with strawberries and bananas. I filled another with blueberries and apples.

Yesterday I was eating the homemade granola, found here, for breakfast.

I put canned peaches on top. I only need a few slices and I had a whole can left. Normally the peaches would go straight to the dogs. This time I got out the food processor and blended the peaches with 3 tablespoons of honey, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 2 cups vanilla yogurt. Making myself, an wonderful peach sorbet for an after dinner treat.

This week has had its challenges. I was running late one day and was so hungry after picking up the kids. I took us all to Mc Donald’s $12 spent. I also finished reading a wonder free Kindle book. It was a zombie tale with romance in the middle, a favorite of mine!

I noticed there was a sequel so I purchased the sequel for $3.99.

I bought a $15 replacement kneader bar for my bread machine. I have had a bread machine for six years and have made three loafs of bread. I normally do not buy loaves of bread because our family just does not eat them fast enough. Yet a bread maker makes smaller loaves. Therefore, I excitedly opening my eBay purchase today and tonight I will be making some homemade wheat bread!

Other than that the first zero spend week has been great. Eating breakfast again has given me the energy to focus on house chores a lot longer. I was also able to make some homemade detergent, dishwasher tabs, and Vicks shower tabs, yesterday.

 The recipes.

Embarrassingly Easy Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Thighs
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 hr
  1. 1-1/2 lbs lean skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 cup chunks salsa
  3. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  4. 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  5. 1 tsp lemon juice
  6. salt, to taste
  1. Throw everything into the crock-pot.
  2. Cook on low.
  3. Shred chicken close to serving time.
Additional Toppings
  1. 4 large tortillas
  2. shredded lettuce
  3. shredded cheddar
  4. sour cream
  5. ranch
  6. salsa
  7. cilantro
  8. onions
Lilith Times http://lilithtimes.info/


Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
  1. 1 (16-oz.) bag frozen peaches or 4 cups fresh peaches, frozen solid
  2. 3 Tablespoons agave nectar or honey
  3. 1/2 cup plain yogurt (non-fat or whole)
  4. 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Add the frozen peaches, agave nectar (or honey), yogurt and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Process until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Serve the frozen yogurt immediately or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Lilith Times http://lilithtimes.info/
DIY Dishwasher Tablets
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  1. 1 Cup Borax
  2. 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  3. 1/2 Cup Epsom Salt
  4. 3/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  1. Mix the first 3 ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. You want to get the consistency wet enough to mold, but not too wet that it will fall apart. You may have to add a little more lemon juice to achieve it.
  3. Because they dry pretty quickly, and I have major OCD, I like to place the mixture into 1″ square ice cube trays to make the tablets uniform. {Just don’t fill the ice cube trays up to the top, or the detergent door won’t close on your dishwasher.} I have found that a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop is just the perfect amount to use.
  4. Once you have the DIY dishwasher detergent in the ice cube trays, give the trays a little shake to even out the portions.
  5. Allow the tablets to dry for a few hours and then put them into an airtight container until ready to use.
Lilith Times http://lilithtimes.info/


How to Make Natural Homemade Laundry Detergent
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  1. Washing Soda (Arm and Hammer Brand available at most stores)
  2. Borax (20 Mule Team Borax available at most grocery stores)
  3. Bar Soap (Dr. Bronner’s, Ivory, or other natural, unscented bar soap)
  1. Grate the bar soap or mix in food processor until finely ground. Use the soap of your choice. I personally use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Bar Soap because of its exceptional quality, and because it is available in several different natural scents like lavender, tea tree, peppermint, almond and others.
  2. In a large bowl, mix 2 parts washing soda, 2 parts Borax and 1 part grated soap. (Add a few teaspoons of baking soda if desired).
  3. Store in closed container. I keep mine in quart or half gallon mason jars. If you are using a big enough container, you can skip step 2 and just put all ingredients in storage container or jar and shake.
  4. Use 2 tablespoons per load of laundry.
Lilith Times http://lilithtimes.info/
Homemade "Vicks Vapor shower disks"
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  1. 1 cup Baking soda
  2. 1/3 cup Water
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. Essential oils: 15 drops eucalyptus, 15 drops spearmint
  5. -Muffin tin
  1. Mix using enough water to make a thick paste.
  2. You can pour into muffin tins lined with papers, make small balls and set on a plate or put into a silicone ice cube tray or muffin tray.
  3. Let them set for at least 12 hours or overnight to dry.
  4. You can bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes to dry them more quickly.
  5. Remove from papers or silicone trays and store in an airtight container.
  6. When ready to use, place a disc on the floor of your shower and let the water run on it while showering.
Lilith Times http://lilithtimes.info/
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