Sunday, November 29, 2015

Frugal happenings 11/29

Happy last Sunday in November.  This year will be over before you know it.  It seems like the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are gone in a flash.

I keep hearing about all these people who went shopping and how much money they saved.  50%, 60%, and more.   Guess what?  I saved 100% because I stayed home and bought nothing!!!
I am sure there were a great many deals to be had, but most people buy to be buying.  People need to remember the HUGE difference between WANTS and NEEDS!

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving with your family and friends.  We have been partaking in leftovers for a couple days, but the nice part has been no cooking.
Tonight I making cube steaks and we will finish the last little bits of mashed potatoes and dressing along with a green salad.  We so need a salad after all that heavy food!!!

How has your week been?  Mine was very frugal and pretty non-eventful!
  • I went to the feed store on Monday and got a 60 ear bag of squirrel corn and a 50 lb. bag of black oil sunflower seeds with my punch cards for FREE!!!!!  I bought a couple other items but those freebies had a value of $40!  WOOHOO
  • I had a half tank of gas, but took advantage of the lower gas prices.  With my small discount I paid 1.49/gal.!!  I guess I did right - as prices have started rising again.
  • We still have 5 garden tomatoes left and will be using a couple tonight in salad
  • Eating and re-inventing leftovers.  We made turkey Manhattans one night, had sandwiches, put some dressing in the waffle maker to crisp the outside up (YUM),  had regular turkey and ham dinner twice, and most of the rest of the meat is in the freezer in bags for soup, beans, etc.
  • Did a bit of decorating with things we have here at home.
Like I said - not very eventful, but frugal.

Notice my "leg lamp" behind the couch.  The Christmas Story is probably one of my favorite Christmas shows.

My large Christmas bowl (I bought for 50 cents last year) filled with wrapped candies for the season, along with my candy salt & pepper shakers on the dining room table.

That's about it for me.  I hope you have had a frugal week.  I hope you all have a great upcoming week, and for those who have to tromp out to a job - STAY SAFE.

Let us know how you are doing, and hopefully we will all get a new idea or two from one another.
God bless each of you.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Countdown Begins

Hi there.  Happy Black Friday!! 
Exactly 4 weeks from today is Christmas!  Oh my!  It will go quickly for sure.  Are you ready?
I am getting there.  Not much more to purchase - although the baking frenzy will start in a couple weeks.

Most years in the past I have gone to a couple certain stores every black Friday.  Today - NOPE!  It is warm today but raining.  I decided there was absolutely nothing that I needed bad enough to fight the crowds, the traffic, or the rain.

So today, I am doing all the laundry, put up the Christmas door decorations, and doing just a tad bit of decorating.  I definitely think I will keep decorating simple this year.  I have a wonderfully good smelling candle burning, and meals will all be leftovers!  Life is good!!!!!!

What's going on in your neck of the woods?  Are you ready for all the joys of Christmas?  I hope you have a good start, so that you and yours can truly enjoy the holiday without the rush and craziness.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Good morning all.  I have a turkey bird in the oven, celery and onions chopped for dressing, cheese cake is ready, and getting ready to vacuum a little.
I do my turkey the day before, so I have room for the ham and dressing in the oven on Thanksgiving.
I am sure you are all busy getting ready for tomorrow's festivities.  Don't overdo it - remember to just enjoy and be thankful as well.
If you go out on Black Friday - don't over spend.  Look for the deals and stay frugal my friends.


The year is drawing to a close,
Thanksgiving Day is here......
The day the Pilgrims set aside
For gratitude and cheer.

God-fearing men, they gave to us
A heritage so vast;
Hearts full of love, we point with pride
To all Thanksgivings past.

With tables loaded as of yore
With turkey and other food galore,
Loved ones and friends stand
And give thanks to God through the land.

Succeeding years have seen us grow
To a nation big and strong,
With the help of God, of valiant men
Have kept their vigil long.

Continually striving we must be
For freedom from aggression,
The dignity of man we must protect,
Our homes, our cherished possession.

Thanksgiving Day.....a fitting day
For each one to express
Our love for God and gratitude
For all that we possess.
Ina Englert

I wish each and everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends.  May your travels be safe.  I am so thankful to have each of you in my life.  G and I are truly blessed.
May God bless you and this country.

Monday, November 23, 2015


After Thanksgiving dinner, odds are that we will all have lots of leftovers.  My favorite thing to look forward to is a cold turkey sandwich with mustard and salt on the day after!!!!  YUM

There are so many creative ways to use up those leftovers, so that you and your family don't get bored.

  • turkey noodle, turkey rice, or turkey and veggie soup
  • turkey salad or turkey Waldorf salad
  • turkey Manhatten's - hot turkey sandwiches cut in half - split apart on dish with mashed potatoes in between halves and all smothered in gravy!  Love this!!!!  It's good with beef too.
  • turkey chili
  • turkey stir fry served over rice
  • turkey primavera - turkey, broccoli, onion, pasta, chopped tomato, Parmesan cheese
  • turkey tacos
OK, you get the idea - the list can go on and on

  • soup beans and ham
  • split pea and ham soup
  • ham and potato cheesy casserole
  • served for breakfast
  • cheesy potato soup with ham
  • use ham on pizza
  • grilled ham and cheese sandwiches
Same here - the list goes on and on.

One of my favorite make overs is using an 8 x 8 lightly greased pan - layer dressing on bottom, turkey slices, then top with mashed potatoes.  Cover with shredded cheese and bake long enough for it to heat through and the cheese to melt.  Kind of a Thanksgiving version of shepherd's pie.
I also like to make potato cakes if there is enough potatoes left. 

Make sure you come up with some original ways to use the leftovers - don't let them waste.  You can also freeze meat in serving size packages for eating later in the winter.
Leftovers are one of my favorite things!!!!

Too many desserts leftover?  Those can be frozen as well for later consumption.
                                              $     $     $     $     $     $      $      $     $      $

"Let us be thankful that there still is sunshine, that we can still glimpse the blue of the sky and in our onward way, continue to look up.  Let us be thankful for friends with kindly smiles and cheerful words.  This is time for a grateful Thanksgiving."      Author Unknown

Today I am so thankful that we have the opportunity to have places like this where we can find company in our thinking and ideas, and that we are able to share with each other and thrive.
Thank you all!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Frugal Happenings 11/22

Hello everyone. Happy, happy Sunday to you all.
I bet many of you are getting busy with activities relating to Thanksgiving.  I just keep thinking about all the yummy food!  This is probably by favorite foodie time of the year.   So many goodies to be had between now and the New Year, and we all KNOW, holiday foods contain NO calories!!!!!!

It was 18* this morning, and supposed to get to 32* today.  The sun is shining and I think it will get warmer.  The snow from yesterday is pretty well gone.  The temps on Thanksgiving are supposed to close to 60*!
I am still working on washing walls - I'm getting there slowly.  At least I know the house will be fresh and clean for the holidays and I can just rest some after the holidays.  I see me, a book, and the couch, on some cold winter days!

My frugal week:
  • I got 10 packs of bread, buns, rolls, muffins, etc. all for $3.50 on clearance at Kroger this week.  None was out of date.   One Kroger I go to closed on Wed. and opened up a new super store across the street on Thurs.  Instead of taking most stock across, a lot was clearance!!!
  • I got 2 big veggie platters, 2 lbs. of cut broccoli, and 8 bags of various salad greens for $10!  Same store.
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond - coupon for $13 item with any purchase.  I spent $6 and got a lotion for FREE.  Gift!
  • Office Depot - got ink and saved $15 with coupon
  • Ran to Dollar Tree for some little gifts and found cherry pie filling for $1 a can.  That stuff is expensive every where, so I got several cans for the winter.  That was the first time I had ever seen cherry filling there.
  • Cut G's and my hair this week
  • Dried enough bread for homemade dressing for just about the entire winter!  It's safe and sealed in gallon jars till I need.
  • Have been doing lots of little projects around the house that I didn't have time to do all summer.
  • Meals from scratch
I went through my Christmas list and checked for what I need yet.  I am getting close to being done.  There are many containers that I have here at home that I will be using for treat containers.  Some I will be re-gifting and others came from yard sales for pennies in summers past.  I have everything on hand I need for holiday baking.

I know you will all be busy this week with work and prepping.  Just don't over do it.  Remember to take time to enjoy life and rest a little.
"If we can't be thankful for what we receive, we should be thankful for what we escape".  Arnold Glascow
I love this saying!

Pooty is cuddled with her favorite toys and blissfully happy!  May you get to cuddle with your favorite things and people this week and just enjoy life. 
God bless you all.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Oh the weather outside is frightful...........

..................but the snow is so delightful!
It has been snowing here for a couple hours.  I don't know that I have ever seen such huge flakes!  It is snowing hard too.
It will be very cold tonight, but then it warms again to 50's this coming week, so it won't stick around long.
First snow of the season November 21 - for posterity sake!

I have been washing down walls and cleaning everything on them this morning.  Can't do much outside, so I am finishing my fall cleaning. Fun, fun - not!  It does look better to me, although no one else will be able to tell.  I am thrilled just knowing it's getting done.

Bird is out of the freezer and in the fridge thawing.  Just a busy, snowy day in these parts!
Hope you are having a joyous day!
Stay safe my friends.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Get ready .......get set..............

It is less than a week till Thanksgiving.  Are you READY?

I have bought both a ham and turkey this year.  Most everything else I either had, or have acquired over time.  Potatoes - check,  dressing stuff - check,  noodles - check,  rolls - check,  ingredients for pecan pie - check, green beans (from garden) - check,  whipped cream - check, and what ever else I want to fix.
Sounds kind of carb laden doesn't it?  Oh well, it's the holiday.

Last week we were watching Diners, Drive-ins, Dives, and they had visited a place here in town.  The restaurant always served noodles and mashed potatoes on the same meal.  Guy thought that was crazy!!!  He had never heard of having both at the meal - double carbs in his words.  The owner said it must be a mid-west thing then!      That is how we grew up - both were always served together.  Is it an Indiana thing?????  Do any of you from other parts of the country do this as well?
Just curious!

I have worked at trying to get a lot of the Christmas done as well.  Shouldn't have a lot to do after turkey day this year.
I truly think I could have bought the entire dinner for less than $25 if I had left out one meat.

Hope you are getting to that ready point, so that all systems will be a go for Thursday.  Enjoy your weekend and stay frugal friends.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

More Gift Ideas

Most people start getting real serious about holiday gifts the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It is really time to get crafting is you are making homemade gifts.
Today I am listing a few more ideas for homemade gifts.
  • Family pictures.  These could be framed, in the form of an album, or a CD of lots of pictures.
  • Frame kids art for family elders
  • Make handmade ornaments
  • Get together all the family recipes that have been loved for years and make small cookbooks, maybe even include pictures if possible (or copies of hand written recipes from those who have departed)
  • Fill a vintage cookie jar full of homemade cookies
  • A set of small pots and herb seeds for a kitchen herb garden
  • A stack of fabric remnants for a quilter
  • Send magazines - I always get the ones that have a B1G1 offer - that way I get myself a free subscription as well!
  • Make a batch of rice krispy goodies and form them into large KISS shapes, and cover in foil so it looks like a Hershey's kiss
  • Body wash, scrubby, and a fuzzy pair of socks (total $3 at Dollar Tree)
  • Mugs with hot chocolate mix or fancy tea bags, or flavored coffees
  • A gift certificate for someone's favorite meal
  • A promise for a meal a month for a shut-in
  • Pass on a family heirloom to the younger generation
  • What are you really good at making???  Noodles, certain candies or cookies, a special pie or cake, even woodworking.  Make something that you do well - as others would love to have it
  • College students - roll of quarters, snacks, microwave foods, cold/flu supplies, laundry supplies, a big batch of homemade goodies, restaurant gift card, etc.
Oh golly, there is no limit to the things you can do.  Mix it up a little and have fun with it.  You just may start NEW TRADITIONS within the family.

Lastly I have to share this cute idea.  I got our cousins permission to share this idea, as she made it last year for a friend of hers.  I told her I thought it was adorable and thought others might like to make one too.
Isn't this just the cutest?  It has buttons and thread for lights and ornaments and a tape measure for garland.  I think it would be great for a seamstress, a college gal, a gal in her own first place, and I guess it would be good for single guys as well!!!!!

I hope you get creative this year.  Mix it up a little - you just may blow everyone (including yourself) away with your awesomeness!!!!!!
Make your plans and most of all HAVE FUN and be FRUGAL.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday, Monday

Happy Monday all.

Thought I'd pass on a couple recipes that you might be able to enjoy over this coming holiday.  They may even save you a buck or two!

6 large apples
3/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. margarine or butter
1/2 C apple juice or cider
1/4 C chopped nuts OR old fashioned oats

Core the apples and peel a one inch strip off top of apple to keep the apples from splitting.
Mix the sugar, cinnamon,  margarine/butter, and nuts together.
Place apples in the crockpot, pour in juice, then stuff the butter mixture into the center of each apple. *If you have extra, just place on top of apples.
Turn crockpot on high and cook for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, till a fork easily pokes the apples.

WARNING - these things are molten HOT when they are first done.  Let them cool a little.  Eat as is or serve with ice cream.  These are addictive!!!!!!
A great way to use up older apples.

DON'T spend the extra money on buying a honey glazed ham this year.  MAKE YOUR OWN!

1/2 C honey
1/2 C sugar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Mix it all together and place on ham.  Bake at 400* for 20-30 minutes to get the appropriate glaze.

This enables you to buy the cheapest ham you can, cook it well till tender, then add your glaze and bake 20-30 minutes longer.  Super easy!

ESSENCE  ---  BAM!!!!!
This is a recipe for the BAM the chef Emeril uses.  This stuff is so expensive at the store.  This is for the basic recipe.  We use this on everything, and it has become a staple of many of the goody bags as well.  My sister loves this stuff.

2 1/2 Tbs. paprika
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. cayenne
1 Tbsp. crushed oregano
1 Tbsp. crushed thyme
Mix it all together and keep in airtight container or shaker.  Great on veggies, meat, and eggs.
I mix up enough to fill a pint jar, so that I can refill the shaker at ease.

Hope you enjoy these and I hope they may save you a little change!
Have a good one!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Frugal Happenings 11/15

Hello everyone.  I hope this finds you all well and happy.
It's been a relatively uneventful week here on the home front. 

I did get a lot of deep cleaning done.  OH MY - is all I can say.  I think we all have those areas that MAYBE we get to once or twice a year - well boy oh boy did they need cleaning.
I also got a chance to clean up some more leaves at weeks end.  Out to the garden they went.

We had some frightful weather for a couple days this week.  The wind was awful and we had rain and more rain.  Most of the trees are now barren of leaves.
Yesterday morning it was in the 20's when we got up.  I had some errands to run, and actually put on 'proper' shoes for the first time since April!  I HATE SHOES.  Odds are I won't put them back on for at least a week or two, as the temps will be moderating.  Give me my sandels and I am a happy girl!!

I did get to another bazaar yesterday.  This is a big one that I always look forward too.  Sadly the two ladies I was really hoping to buy from this year, weren't there.  They have been at the shows for years.  Of course I don't know their names, so I am just out on what I intended to buy (no one else had those items).  However, I did get a couple of other cute homemade gifts.
I also ran to Kroger and Kohls since I was in the area.

My weekly frugal accomplishments;
  • I stayed home for 6 days straight!  No money or gas used.
  • At my Kohls' visit I had a $10 off $10 purchase coupon and they were having a sale.  I never shop there, except for those coupons.  I got a 5 pack of nail polish, 4 pack lip gloss, and a purse size scented hand sanitizer all for a whopping  51 cents!!!!!  Not a bad gift for a pre-teen.
  • At Kroger I did get a 22 pound bird at .69 lb..  That baby is huge.  With the purchase of the turkey I also got $5 off a ham purchase.  I had to do a lot of wrangling to get that bird in one of the freezers - but it's done.
  • Meals all from scratch
  • I made crockpot baked apples last Sunday.  So easy and yummy!  Had some older apples that needed to be used - and what a good use for them!
  • Other than meats for T-day, I didn't really buy weekly groceries again.  I did get 4 more pounds of butter for the freezer (I am set for about a year), milk, cottage cheese and sour cream (for the holidays).
I could have waited to see if turkeys would be cheaper at the end of this coming week, but .69 is good for our area this year.  Turkeys are supposed to be running about 20 cents a pound higher this year due to the bird flu earlier in the year.
IF I do find turkey cheaper later on, I will buy another.  I still have one plus 2 or 3 turkey breasts in the freezer from last year (plus we ate a few during the year!).  I always buy a new one if I think we might be having guests.
I figure with the price being so good at Thanksgiving time - it's crazy not to get a few.  The price is cheaper than lunchmeat and it's healthy too.
Sooooooo if you have the extra storage space - stock up kiddos!

Now is the time to watch the holiday sales and take advantage if you can.  Prices will only be higher later on. 
The events that happened in Paris this week, is another example as to why you need to be prepared for about anything.  Everything there is closed or being monitored and the borders have been closed.  If all shipments into our country and all travel was restricted, we would have no extra supplies in stores.  We would have to rely on what we have at home.  BE PREPARED

I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Just one more week, and most of you will have a shortened work week!  Take care and God bless.

Please keep the people of the recent act of terror in your thoughts and prayers.
Peace my friends.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I hope everyone is sending up prayers for the people involved in the Paris terrorism attack and their families.
I think we all pray for peace for the world and it's people, but folks I am beginning to firmly believe that is not enough.  We have to stand up and fight.  We can not let these idiots keep hurting innocent people. 
God bless everyone.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Great Gift Recipes

Today I will be giving the recipes for a few things that would be great to any homemade gift that you may be giving this holiday.

2 1/2 C instant oats
5 tsp. light brown sugar
1 C raisins or other dried fruit
3 Tbsp. dry milk powder
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and portion into 5 servings in zip lock bags or other reusable containers.
Add card with instructions:  Add 3/4 C very hot water to 1 serving.  Let it stand until thickened - 3-4 minutes.  Add more water a tablespoon at a time if it is too thick.
Makes 5 servings.
This would be great to have on hand at home as well, for that quick breakfast or to take to work.

4 C old-fashioned rolled oats
1 C nuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 C packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C butter
1/4 C honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C chopped dried fruit

Preheat oven 300*.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease generously with oil or spray.  Mix oats, nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.  In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter and honey, stirring to combine.  Add vanilla and stir.
Pour the butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine.  Turn out onto  prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake 15 minutes, remove from oven, and stir.  Return to oven and bake an additional 10-25 minutes.  Check often so it doesn't burn.
Cool and stir in dried fruit.  Place in an airtight container or container for gift giving.
Makes about 6 cups

*If using dried apples - you might replace honey with maple syrup
*If using dried cherries add 1 tsp. almond extract with the vanilla
*If using dried mango - you might want to replace cinnamon with ground ginger
**You can use pecans, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds.

1/3 C sugar
1/4 C non-dairy powdered creamer
1/4 C instant coffee
2 Tbsp. cocoa
2 Tbsp. crushed peppermint candies
Mix all together and place in airtight jar.
Add instructions:  Mix 2 Tbsp. to 1/2 cup boiling water


1 1/4 C packed brown sugar
6 Tbsp. coconut oil
10 drops vanilla essential oil
3 - 4 oz. jars

Melt coconut oil in microwave till soft.  Add sugar and mix well so that there are no lumps.  Add oil drop by drop (till it smells right to you).  Mix AFTER each drop.
Divide into 3 jars.  Add a pretty ribbon or jute tie to top of jar.
Makes a great gift.

Hope these recipes might help make your holiday gift making a little brighter!

Peace and love.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gifts - part 2

You all know that I love giving and getting food products for Christmas.  We all have to eat!  I love making up what I call goody bags (re-usable grocery bags).  I used to give baskets, but figured everyone had enough of them!
These kind of gifts don't have to be just food and they don't have to be just for adults.  I will list some ideas today to get you started.  It is just limitless on what you can do.  You can give a mish mash of items or you can go with a theme, your choice.

Re-usable grocery bags give basically 2 gifts in one, as do baskets.  I used to get baskets at thrift stores.  Dollar stores have many plastic containers that can be used.  I have kept the fruit baskets I get at orchards to use for gift baskets (I added a checkered napkin in the bottom to cute it up).  I have re-used gallon ice cream buckets that I have covered with paper.  Anything that you an come up with will work for holding the gift.
REMEMBER - it is not how much you spend - it is just the thought of giving a gift.  It doesn't need to be huge or expensive - it needs to be from the heart.

  • Italian theme - colander w/spaghetti, sauce and maybe a small container of cheese
  • Breakfast - homemade instant oatmeal or granola (will list recipes tomorrow), hot chocolate mix, OR pancake mix, syrup, homemade jelly, etc.
  • Bath - homemade body scrub (recipe to come), scrubby, lotion or bubble bath
  • Movie night - popcorn, $1 packs of movie candy and maybe an OLD holiday video
  • Fisherman - bait bucket or cheap cooler with a few artificial baits, extra line, a knife, etc.
  • Girly  - dollar store nail polish, make-up, hair accessories, lotions, etc.
  • Boy - little cars, army men, Legos, etc.
  • Reader - a nice candle, a couple 2nd hand books (or Dollar Tree books), hot chocolate mix or a small container of homemade candy

Other ideas:
  • Homemade cookies and/or candies
  • Homemade trail mix
  • A couple pretty kitchen towels (dollar stores)
  • Homemade sweet bread or regular bread - wrapped in a pretty towel
  • Homemade bread and homemade jelly
  • A batch of cinnamon rolls
  • Sparkling fruit juice or cider and a couple dollar store goblets
  • Homemade dish towels OR apron OR bedding
  • ANY homemade gift - scarves, gloves, hats, woodwork projects, etc.
  • A clay pot with a pair of garden gloves, seeds, or maybe a hand tool
  • A fire extinguisher or smoke detector (it could save a life)
Ok, I could go on and on.  There are so many things that can be given as gifts, that are not traditional and a little outside the box.  These are the things I like to do.
Another thing to remember in this age of electronics and gadgets - sometimes we all like something that ISN'T!!!!  I have found that even kids who are electronically connected, totally enjoy some of the simplest gifts.

I hope this gives you a few ideas.  We have ONLY 6 more Fridays before Christmas!  YIKES!
Happy gifting.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Homemade gifts

Todays post may seem like it is for kids, but it's not.   It is for everyone.  We are going to make ornaments.  Kids would like this project, but adults can have fun with it as well.

I will list ingredients for making 2 types of ornaments. Both can be made with cookie cutters, stencils, or about anything you can trace around.
Have fun.

These smell so good.

1 C cinnamon (buy at Dollar Tree)
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 C smooth applesauce
2 Tbsp. Elmer's white glue

Combine all the ingredients until it forms a stiff dough, kneading well with hands.  Roll out dough on a cinnamon dusted surface, about 1/4" thick.  Use cookie cutters and cut out any design you wish.

Lay ornaments on wax paper and cut a small hole in the top (use a skinny plastic straw) and then place in a safe place for drying.
Depending on how dry your home is, it can take 2 - 4 days to dry.  Be sure to turn them over several times each day.

When dry, you can paint with fabric paint if you wish.  Use a thin ribbon or jute twine as a hanger.


1 C of fine salt
1 C flour
about 1/2 C water

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl.  Make a well in the middle add water.  Knead till smooth and elastic like and non-sticky.

Roll out about 1/4" thick and make cut outs with cookie cutters.  You can also form it into small forms.  Insert paper clips for hangers and bake at 200* until hard.  Check frequently, so they don't burn.
These can be painted as well.
Dough can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container or plastic wrap.

These both make the cutest ornaments.  You can make them as small or large as you wish.
Get started now!


Healthy Recipe

Here's a healthy and yummy recipe for muffins.  No flour and no sugar!


2 1/2 C old fashioned oats
1 C plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/2 C honey
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350*.  Lightly grease muffin pans.
Place oats in food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds.  Add remaining ingredients to processor and mix well.
Bake 18-20 minutes.

I am figuring if you have flavored yogurt to use, that it should work fine.  If your yogurt is sweet, you may want to adjust honey a tad.  Just play with the recipe to utilize the yogurt you have.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Frugal Happenings 11/8

Howdy all!  Here we are at yet another Sunday.  Wow, just 2 1/2 more weeks and it will be Thanksgiving!  This year sure has flown by.

We have been having lovely weather for this time of the year.  Despite having seen better days, we even have some flowers still blooming - geraniums, a couple potted plants, and roses.  Roses are still blooming every where I go.  We have some warm days, then fall-like days, then back to warm.  I am loving this!
I have read some sources that have said we are to have a nasty winter, but the other day our paper said it should be above normal temps and below normal snow.  I'll take it!!!  Supposedly it because of a strong el Nino.  Why is it, we never heard of those when we were kids??

I had a nice week.  I got to work in the yard some - raking leaves.  I did a lot of cleaning and got caught up on laundry.  I even got some great deals.  I got to open windows and air out the house, and we used very little heat.

Here are some of my bargains this week;
  • 8 oz. bags of organic whole almonds for 1.50 (was 5.49).  That is $3 a pound!!!  I got 5 lbs. which was all they had (Kroger)
  • Cashew/almonds/pistachio salted mix - 10 oz. bags for 1.49 (was 6.99).  Got both bags they had.   All nuts were dated 8/2016   (Kroger)
  • 2 bags - 80 count each - of full size Tootsie Pops for 1.99 each!  Think kid's Christmas!!!  These were from Aldi.
  • 4 boxes of Asiago/sundried tomato crackers (6/2016) for .99 each (were 2.99)  (Aldi).
  • 1 1/2 lb. container of plain Greek yogurt for 1.49.  I will use in baking this week.  (Kroger)
Other fugal things
  • I was gifted a 4 piece set of kitchen shears - poultry, utility, bent, and all purpose
  • We are still eating tomatoes that are ripening indoors from our garden
  • I was gifted 20 paperback books of an author I love.  I am set for winter
  • I washed the pick up truck with rain water.  That poor old truck looked bad - it has set most of the summer and needed a bath badly.  Needed to use up rain water - still lots out there to drain.
  • Put all the leaves I raked in our garden beds
Of course we did all the usual stuff.  I made tea and cooled outside, filtered our own water, meals from scratch, laundry in cold water and I used the dehumidifier water in the laundry.

I plan on giving a lot of gift ideas this week.  Things you can get ready now and that will cost little or no money.  Get ready!!!!

Here's one little area of my basement stockpile for winter and future.  Click on picture to enlarge.
It sure does help.  I always buy cheap and save $ later!  Behind the curtains are jellies and jams and all my tomato products (home canned).

"They take great pride in making their dinner cost much; I take great pride in making my dinner cost so little."  Henry David Thoreau
Wise man!  My thinking as well.

Wishing all a fantastic and safe week.  May the Lord shower you with blessings.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Aldi - Holidays

Good afternoon all.  Hope this day is finding you in good health and spirits!

Today I want to talk about Aldi.  If you have one in close proximity to you, be sure to take advantage of it this holiday season.
They have so many special items that can only be had till shortly after the first of the year, and let me tell you, many of them are wonderful!
They have their Holiday booklet available at the front of each store (by exit door).  There are many yummy specials.

I most generally buy my ham there, as their spiral sliced hams are usually the cheapest around.  I absolutely LOVE desserts at the holidays, but don't always feel like baking them after doing all the other food.  I do make cookies and candy at Christmas, and I do make my pecan pie - other than that I buy them at Aldi.
They have the BEST cheesecake sampler imaginable.  It is sliced and you get 3 slices of 4 different topped cheesecake pieces for like 8.99.  We sure don't eat it all at once, so I freeze the remaining slices, and we have treats for a long time.  Trust me, frozen cheesecake is heavenly!

For those that drink alcohol. they have many special lagers, ales, and hard ciders available at very reasonable prices.  They also have a great assortment of domestic and international wines.  The prices are quite good.   They even have their own brand of flavored Irish creams.

They carry about every item you could possibly need for baking and for MUCH less than traditional grocery stores (excluding super sales).
If you like specialty items to serve at the holidays you can get Biscotti, Stollen, Baklava, gourmet truffles, and a huge variety of cookies and candies for pennies compared to other stores.
We have some specialty stores in our area, and the prices they charge for breads and sweets is out of this world.  The quality of Aldi brands that I have purchased in the past, has been wonderful.

There are many types of cheeses, crackers and meats available for appetizers.  They have a bigger assortment to choose from during the holidays.
They also have everything you would need for your traditional or non-traditional holiday meals.
The one thing I have found to be MORE expensive than other stores during the holidays is turkey.  They never seem to have the great deals other stores do.

I just love this store, and it where I buy the bulk of my groceries any more, except all the clearance items I get at Kroger and pet food - my kitties don't like the Aldi brand!

Be sure to watch the ads for the other grocery stores as well.  Now is the time to stock up on sale items.  There are going to be some fantastic prices in the next few weeks, as every store in town wants your business.  They get mine but only for their specials!!!!  Odd are they aren't making much off me!

Be vigilant and pay attention to holiday pricing and stock up when possible.  The items you purchase for pennies now, will only COST MORE later!
Be willing to try something new this year.  If you haven't given Aldi a try, think about it.  Good food for good prices.
You can even go to their web site at WWW.ALDI.US for a lot of specialty recipes.

NOTE:  I get nothing for mentioning this store - I just like them!

Have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


This morning I went up to the polling place and voted - not that I think it matters one iota!!  I am very cynical about our voting in this nation.  But that's another story entirely!

After voting I decided to run up to Aldi for milk.  I go by 2 Kroger  in that area - and of course I can NOT drive by a Kroger without going in and checking out the clearance section.
Just so you know - we have 4 Kroger stores within about 10 minutes of our house, and each is either being  remodeled or being rebuilt.  Kroger no longer wants back stock in their stores - so clearance has been wonderful lately, especially with all the remodeling.
I stopped at Aldi and 2 different Kroger stores today.

I am getting ahead of myself again!  I DID get some awesome deals which I will tell you about in Frugal Happenings on Sunday.

The story is about ACTIONS - our and others.  In the last store I stopped in, I find a few clearance deals.  I got into line behind a gal using W.I.C..  I totally didn't think about stores being busy today with S.N.A.P. and W.IC. (3rd of month here).
I was in no hurry and only had a handful of items.  I don't do self - check EVER!

The gal in front of me seems so demure and embarrassed about using W.I.C.  She looked like she was trying to wear blinders so no one would see her, with her head down.  Another cashier came up to me and very LOUDLY said "I'll take you down on 10, that lady has W.I.C. and she'll be here a while".  Oh crap - no you didn't just basically scream that for all to hear!
My response was that I was in no hurry, had my stuff on the beltway, and I would wait.  Thanks anyway.

The gal in front had found 3 gallons of milk marked down to $1 each, and she  had fresh fruit and veggies that were marked down as well.  To break the ice for this poor sweet child - I said "Man did you luck out today".  She looked at me shyly and puzzled.  I told her how great her deals were with all those markdowns and how wonderful it was that she could get extra for being so smart and shopping wisely.  She started to smile!
I told her to look at my stuff - it all had clearance stickers on it too.  I said I think it's just downright SMART to get the best deals you can and to stretch your money as far as possible.
Well, by the end of her transactions she was holding her head up and she was grinning.
She bent towards me and whispered "thank you".
I told her I hoped the rest of her day would be blessed.


Just remember - words and actions speak volumes.

Monday, November 2, 2015

November Musings

Oh what a beautiful morning......Oh what a beautiful day!!!!
I wish I could sing, because I would be singing that old song at the top of my lungs.  What a lovely day we awake to.  It is to get into the 70's today and the next few days.

This is my view from my front porch looking to the East in my neighborhood.  Sure is pretty.

This was last evening looking to the West from the porch.  WOW!  The oranges and pinks were just stunning.  I happened to look around and there were dozens of neighbors standing outside looking to the sky.  It was magnificent - pictures can't do it justice.

Now that Halloween is over, is it time for us all to get into holiday mode! 
It is time to start thinking menus, gifts, decorating,  donations, etc.  I truly don't understand why adults buy adults gifts.  Most adults can afford what they want when they want it, - and if they can't, they shouldn't expect someone else to buy it!  I love the idea of food for adults.  Most of my family has finally gotten into that mindset as well.  If we don't give actual food, then food gift cards are given.   My logic is  - everyone has to eat!  Why not make it fun?

I try to save the actual gift buying for the kids.  They get into the excitement of it all.  However we do not spend a lot on the kids and I keep the gifts simple, as they get gifts from all kinds of people.  Kids end up with WAY too much.
If you have children or grandchildren - now is the time that they should be cleaning out their rooms and toy areas of all those items they no longer use (good condition) and those things should be donated to shelters or churches to be gifted to children who may not get Christmas otherwise.   Closets need to be cleaned as well of all those clothes they no longer wear.

I just can not imagine what would go through a child's mind that gets no gifts.  Why didn't Santa come to them?  Are they not deserving?  It makes me want to cry.  NO CHILD should do without at least something small at Christmas.

Now it is not just the kids that should get busy.  We should all clean out coat closets, and donate any unused coats, scarves, hats, etc.  Clean out your clothes closets and donate.  Do you have too much stuff just taking up space around the house?  Donate it.

Our local church up the road, collects and donates to families at Christmas, more than just the food pantry they do every month.
I always go to Dollar Tree and buy color books, story books, small toys, and I also get lotions, faux perfumes, bath gels, socks, gloves, hats, etc. to donate.  The smallest thing, could just makes someone's day or week brighter.

I even have a lot of canned cat food that NONE of the cats will have anything to do with.  I guess it's just not their flavor!  I plan on donating that to the pantry up the road, as people hard on their luck, often have pets as well.  We can't forget the fur babies!
This was Coogy's response when I said I was donating some of his food!  Note the little pink tongue!  Stingy kitty.  Haha

I hope each of you look within your heart and home and find some items that may bless someone else this holiday season.
Not only should we be thinking of our family get-togethers, but of strangers as well.  It is the right thing to do.

Let's all get busy and have a great holiday season.  If we do most of the planning and work now - we can truly sit back and enjoy the real meaning of the season.
Blessings all.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Frugal Happenings 11/1


Well, here we are with just two short months left in this year.  That sure seems crazy.
Daylight savings time has started again - YAY said no one ever!  I absolutely hate that it will be getting dark early again.  I think this is really one of the worst parts of winter.  I can handle the cold, SOME snow and ice, but the darkness is what really gets to me.

Halloween is over and we are onward to Thanksgiving.  Last night was really disappointing in our neighborhood.  We had 64 kids, but that is nothing!  That is the lowest number in 30 years.  My problem is the neighbors.  Poor kids really had to work at it, to get candy.  Hardly no one had their lights on.  It seems as the older neighbors have left - so has the neighborhood friendliness.  The younger folks just don't care.
Needless to say, I have 'bunches' of goodies left!  Many will get put back for treats this winter, and others will be added to goody baskets this Christmas.  It won't go to waste for sure.

It has been a chilly and damp week here in our area.  Today the sun is shining, which is lovely, and the temps are getting back into the 70's this coming week.  Sure can't complain about that.

The Sunday paper looked like a holiday weekend today!  It was sure fat and full of ads.  Both Meijer and Target had special holiday toy ads (books!) in the paper.  Lot's of coupons too this week - I haven't gone through them yet.  I guess we should get ready for the holiday commercial onslaught now!
Yesterday there were Christmas shows on TV, I have seen holiday commercials on TV already, the stores have had Christmas stuff out for ages, and now the paper ads begin.

This has been a pretty quiet week for me.  I have done all my usual frugal things, but not a lot out of the ordinary.
  • I did fill up the Blazer with gas at 1.89/gal.!!!
  • While out, I ran into Kroger to check clearance ONLY!  I got 2 bottles of Rit denim colored dye for .75 each.  The jeans are sure to need it before winter ends!
  • I also got a 4 lb. box of non-fat dry milk for $7 (regular 17.99) for my stockpile.
  • I also stopped at the orchard.  Not so frugal, but yummy.  I got cider and apples.  Lots of good healthy eating

Other than buying the couple of clearance items at Kroger, again I did not buy any weekly groceries.

Oh, I thought I would mention, I think today is like Post 60 since I started the blog, and I noticed the other day that I have had over 8,500 views!  I was totally amazed.  I didn't figure too many people saw the blog, but I guess a few have!!!!  Thank you too all who are following and reading.  YOU are the reason I am doing this.
Have a wonderful and blessed week.  God bless you all.