Sunday, April 30, 2017

Frugal Happenings 4/30

Good morning my friends. 
This morning, my favorite saying is .....rain, rain go away - come again some other day!  It started raining Friday and isn't supposed to stop till sometime tomorrow.  We had 3" by mid-day yesterday, and another 3" - 4" on the way before it ends.  I know April showers bring May flowers - but them flowers better have on their life jackets!!!!! 
We have a small lake in the back yard this morning, as do most of the neighbors.  At least it isn't snow that many have gotten this week!  YIKES!

I did see an oriole in the back yard earlier in the week.  That is a first in our 31 years of living here.  It was absolutely gorgeous! 
My columbines are blooming and the poppies have started as well.  They are just so bright and cheerful - they make me smile!


My week:
  • Been working on washing many of the canning jars I received FREE last summer.  I do a dozen at a time.  Eventually I will get through the 10 dozen.  I want to be ready for canning!
  • I checked inventory of lids and bands, as most of the jars I was given had no bands or they were rusted.  Amazingly I have many, many boxes!
  • Got to do yard work the first part of the week.  Got all the weeds cleaned out of garden pots
  • Washed down the front of the house and porch and under the awning on the side of house.  Just hosing things down - costs really nothing - and makes everything look so fresh!
  • Cleaned and polished the kitchen cabinets
  • Worked on getting all the dead wood out of the roses (espec. climbers).  It is so easy to find, now that everything is growing.
  • Took all the heavy bedding out of the greenhouse - the cats don't need that for awhile.  Got is all washed up and ready for next winter.
  • Line dried laundry
  • Received a $5.49 rebate check from Menards.  Not a lot - but it all adds up!
  • Worked on straightening my downstairs stockpile.
  • Received a 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath & Beyond - good till 7/31.  I will use this summer for a new carbonator for the Soda Stream. (I will also rec. a discount for turning in old one!)
  • Ran to Aldi and got milk for 1.04/gallon and eggs for .67/dozen.  Also got a bag of 10 - palm sized cucumbers for .99
  • Stopped at Kroger to look for clearance - and I got some great deals to add to my stockpile.  Bought nothing that wasn't clearance!!  OH - except 2 lbs. fresh strawberries - .99/lb.!
Canned raspberries - 1.35 can.  Reg. 5.39 ea.  (2018)
Large cans of pears - .54 can.  Reg. 1.79 ea. (2019)
Tropical fruit salad - .59 can.  Reg. .99 ea. (2019)
Tiny cans of cranberry sauce - .20 can.  Reg. .79 (2018) Not something we eat much.
Taco shells - 10/packs - 2 for .74!!!  reg. 2/3.00 (2018)
Guacamole seasoning packs - .21 ea. - reg. .83.  (2018) Got several for gift baskets!

 
I bought what they had (except for cranberries).  We should be good on fruit for the year (or two), with all the other fruit I have on hand as well.  I will also can more myself this year.  It's nice to have a good assortment.

Meals this week:
Individual pizzas and chips and dip
Salsa/cheese burgers and a big salad
Pork cube steaks, red beans & rice (Aldi boxed mix - very good)
Steak burgers with gravy, rice w/mushrooms and side salad
Fish sandwiches and oven fries & side salad
Homemade crunch wraps
Homemade seafood salad, cheese slices, crackers and veggies

All leftovers eaten for lunches or breakfast
Made a blackberry/raspberry (from freezer) pie


I have been trying to plan my garden as well.  I just can't make up my mind on what to plant.  I will go downstairs today and inventory all my home canned goods, to see what I need to add this year. 

What was your frugal week like?  Did you get any good deals or bargains?  I love hearing what everyone is doing - it gives us all incentives to work harder and gives us new ideas.

Blessings to each of you in this coming week.
 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Random Thoughts and Wisdom

Today I feel that my mind is all over the place.  I keep thinking of things I NEED to do, things I WANT to do,  and just things.
I have been thinking about advice I have been given over the years, and re-reading some quotes that are worthy of repeating.

This post will be a just that, as well.  Random thoughts, quotes, and ideas.

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Slow down.  Start making small changes.  Realize that the world won't stop if you say NO.  Learn to relax and enjoy the simple things!  Life is short.

Slow and steady wins the race.

"Budgeting is the art of doing that well with one dollar, which any bungler can do with two."
Arthur Wellington - British Statesman  (1769-1852)

Stop the leaks.  Keep track of everything spent for a month or two.  You will see exactly where every dollar goes.  Remember WANTS and NEEDS are different. 

Anything worth doing - probably isn't going to be easy!

Your frugalness is YOUR track to independence.  You are not in a competition with others.  Do what is NEEDED for you and your family.

NO change is too small.  Small changes added together can change your life. 


Foodie thoughts:

Use meat as an ingredient - not a main course.  It will save you money! 
A good single portion of meat is about 3 oz. - that is about the size of a deck of cards!

If you find a good deal on sliced bread - buy it.  Individually wrap bread in baggies, 2 pieces together, then slide them all back into the bread wrapper and freeze.  Pull out only what you need.
Homemade is best - but sometimes we just can't make it as cheaply nor do we always have the time or talent.

ALWAYS check the clearance section of your grocery store.  Super deals can be found.  That is the first area I go.  Check for meat clearances as well.  Why pay full price??

Leftovers mixed together make soups and casseroles.  Don't waste food.  Remake it, so that even those "I don't eat leftovers" people will never know!!!!! 


EASY HUMMUS
1 - 15 oz. can garbanzo beans (drained with liquid reserved)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 garlic clove - crushed
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
2 drops sesame oil (optional)

Blend the beans an other ingredients together in a food processor, while slowly streaming in reserved liquid from the beans.  Blend until you get the correct consistency.  I use about half the liquid.
You can add what ever spices you may desire.
Easy and healthy and very yummy!
Sure beats the price of buying it ready made!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Try to live your life well and with purpose.  Do NOT squander or waste.  Live and love and be happy.  Keep things simple and life is so much easier and more enjoyable.

OK, these are my random thoughts! 
What is on your mind today?  Give us your words of wisdom!

Blessings!  REMEMBER to be a good steward of all you have.
Peace my friends

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Garden Weights and Measures

I am sure that I am not the only who wonders how much of something I need for my canning.
I go through this every year.  I end up with a ton of cucumbers , but don't know how many jars of pickles it will make.  It is that way with most things.
One thing to remember is not all measures will be the same - it just depends of what you are making!
Relish vs. pickles, is an example.

Basics:
A bushel is 8 gallons of dry goods

SNAP BEANS - a bushel is approx. 30 lbs.
POLE BEANS - a bushel is approx. 28 lbs.
Both will give you abut 15-20 quarts canned.  It takes approx. 1.5 - 2 lbs. per quart

TOMATOES - a bushel is approx. 50 lbs.
4 pecks per bushel - each peck is 2 gallons, so that is 8 gallons per bushel
This is a veggie that you can't actually figure how much you need.  It totally depends on how you plan to fix them.  Canning wholes tomatoes will be different than making sauce.
NOTE:  I love using Mrs. Wages seasoning mixes and according to those directions about 6 lbs. of fresh tomatoes will give your 5 pints of salsa, spaghetti sauce, etc.
That may help give you a gauge to go by.

CUCUMBERS - a bushel is approx. 48 lbs.
You should get some where around 24 quarts of pickles
Relish and such - I can only guess.

CORN ON EAR - a bushel is approx. 60 - 70 lbs.
Cutting corn off ear and canning - you will get around 8-10 quarts

SUMMER SQUASH - a bushel is approx. 40-44 lbs.
You should get 32-40 pints frozen
2 lbs. - 4 lbs. to a quart canned

OKRA - a bushel is approx. 26 - 30 lbs.
Get about 17 quarts canned OR 34 -40 pints frozen

CABBAGE - approx. 3 lbs. = 1 quart of sauerkraut
1 lb. cooked is about 2 cups
1 lb. shredded and raw is about 4 cups

RHUBARB - 1 lb. is about 3/4 cup cooked


I plan on doing a post on various fruits later on. 
I hope this will help you get an idea of what you will need for canning this summer.

I sure wish there was a chart that says how many pounds you can get per plant!!!!!  LOL!!  Some years I have good luck and my plants produce  bunches and other years - pickings are slim.  I guess everything depends of water and weather.


I know we are all chomping at the bit to plant, harvest and can/freeze.   
I soooooooo look forward to eating that first ripe tomato!!!!!!  There's nothing better in my opinion.

Do you have any hints or tricks that you use in figuring out what you need for canning?
If so, PLEASE let us know!
HAPPY GARDENING



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Frugal Happenings 4/23

Oh what a beautiful morning!  Oh what a beautiful day!  (I wish I could sing - LOL)
The sun is shining bright here this morning and it is heavenly!
We have had 80* days and 50* days this week.  Lots of wind and some rain.  We are back on track for 70's after a very chilly Saturday.

I am sitting here this morning watching the squirrels run and play, the possum out eating his breakfast, and the Robins pulling their breakfast from the ground (yuk).  Kitties have all been fed as have we, paper has been read, news watched, and now I am just enjoying quiet time.  I am retired, and each day is similar, but Sundays somehow seem different to me.  I have always loved Sunday mornings - even as a kid.  It is a time for reflection and gratitude.

This past week has been quiet, but I feel a little accomplished!
  • Received a magazine in the mail.  I am now guessing someone has sent a subscription. Thank you to whomever did!
  • Froze lots of nice turkey broth from the Easter turkey
  • Got my rain barrels out and set up this week
  • Cut G's and my hair
  • Colored my hair (oh, I feel 10 years younger!)
  • Did laundry in cold and line dried
  • Did more yard work - it is never ending.........FREE exercise (I sure need it)
  • Repaired a wood chair I found out back in alley earlier this spring.  It was falling a part - glued, nailed and braced all the wood back together.  This week I will paint (purple) and use as a artful plant stand in the yard! (picture later)
  • I cleaned, straightened, and inventoried the upright freezer downstairs.  Now I hope to keep a running inventory!!!!  I always have good intentions!  LOL!  It is now organized and sectioned off by type of meat and veggie again
  • I ran out one day to pick up a script for G and the Christian thrift store was across the street so I stopped.  I got a new looking piece of Tupperware and a Lazy- Susan for the cabinet each for .99

 
  • I re-organized the upstairs pantry AGAIN!  How does it get so messy?  GREMLINS!!!!  The lazy-Susan  worked wonderfully in the back-most corner (my pantry is 3' deep).  Makes it so easy to find canned goods.  I have 20 cans on it (2 high)
  • We are getting FREE Cinemax and HBO for some reason this weekend, so I have been DVR'ing movies to watch later on some rainy day
  • Made marshmallow Krispies
  • Made peach cream fluff (Mmmmm)  used same recipe as the pineapple
  • All meals from home and using all leftovers
  • Refilled a lot of my upstairs pantry jars with inventory from stock in basement
  • All our normal stuff: tea making, filtering water, windows open, no lights, heat off, etc.
Meals this week:
Turkey, harvest potatoes, and asparagus Au gratin (2X)
Turkey Manhattens (hot turkey sandwiches, mashed pots, all smothered in gravy)
Sausage gravy over toast and leftover harvest potatoes
Spaghetti and meat sauce with garlic toast
Cajun mix-up
Taco salad
Leftovers eaten for lunch or breakfast


I have been enjoying the comments from so many folks this week.  Oh by the way this is my 300th post!!!!  There have been over 72,000 visits to my humble little blog thus far!  I just find this absolutely amazing.  THANK YOU EVERYONE for coming along on this little journey! 
God bless you all!

Future grapes - yum, I can't wait!  Jelly, juice.......................
How was your week?  Did you do anything fun or money saving?  Give us a shout out - I think everyone enjoys learning from each other.

I hope your upcoming is stress free, frugal and safe!  Blessings to each of you!
HAPPY SPRING (or fall in some cases!)



Friday, April 21, 2017

We ALL Ride the Same Boat!

Yes indeed we do.  Today I am not necessarily talking about the frugal boat - but the big boat called EARTH!  We have this one boat, and we won't get a chance at another one.  We truly need to maintain and love this wonderful planet we live on.

Saturday, April 22nd, is Earth Day.  It is a shame that there needs to be a special day to make people remember or realize that we need to work harder to protect the planet.
I BELIEVE THAT EVERYDAY IS EARTH DAY!!!

There will be a lot of festivities tomorrow in many cities.  I hope some of you get to attend and perhaps learn.  It can be a nice frugal way to spend the day.

Love your piece of the world and you will be helping.  One person CAN make a difference.

  • Take a walk about in your neighborhood and pick up trash
  • Clean out your clutter and donate to bless someone else
  • PLANT trees, flowers, garden, etc.
  • Enlist your neighbors to help clean up a vacant lot
  • Check into using vacant lots as community gardens
  • Buy organic - we need to STOP using pesticides
  • Set up a rain barrel
  • Start a compost pile
  • Take a walk or hike.  Have a picnic.  Bird watch
  • UPGRADE things around the house - try to find new uses for things
  • Volunteer for an environmental cause
  • Create a habitat for wildlife.  Provide feeders, water, bird houses, bat houses, plant flowers for the hummingbirds - bees - butterflies
  • Shop small businesses and buy local
  • Turn off your lights more often.  Adjust the thermostat.  Don't waste water
  • DON'T use chemicals in your yard/garden (not only is it bad for you - but also wildlife and your pets)
  • Use re-usable cloth bags when shopping
  • Make your own cleaning products from natural items
  • Open windows and enjoy the fresh air - your lungs will thank you
  • Drive less - bike, walk, car pool, etc. (or stay home more)
  • Stop using aerosols
  • Stop smoking - AND NEVER throw a cigarette on the ground (they can kill birds)
  • Remember to help those in need - donate to feed the hungry

I know people say "I can't make any change to the scheme of things".  YES YOU CAN!  If each and every person does SOMETHING - it is making a change.  Little things add up.  Do you need to do all the things listed above?  NO - but each one you choose helps this planet!

We need to educate ourselves AND educate the younger generations coming up.  Start teaching  kids at a young age to protect and save the earth.  They need to realize their actions will affect the future.
Lead by example!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PLEASE HELP SAVE OUR PLANET!
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
BE MINDFUL OF OTHERS AND WILDLIFE

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY - EVERY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

GARDENING - good for soul and wallet

I am not sure about everyone else, but gardening is my therapy!  There is no amount of money or no therapist good enough, to take the place of nature.
Whether I am tending flowers, veggies, or just digging out weeds - my soul is touched and healed.  I can absolutely lose myself in the great outdoors.
I can be sad, depressed, unhappy, or just plain lonely - and I get some respite looking and playing with God's beautiful flowers and His scrumptious food that is pleasantly growing in my yard.

Growing a garden is great for the frugal wallet as well.  No where can you buy fresh food that tastes as good as it does, when you walk out your door and pick it.  You just can't get any fresher.  If you have never grown a garden, I hope you try to grown SOMETHING this year - you just won't believe how wonderful it tastes!

I hear so many people say they can't afford to grow a garden.  You can't afford NOT to!  It costs so little,  It is an absolute miracle (to me) what one little seed - that becomes a plant - can produce.  I single zucchini seed will give you zucchini all summer.  A single tomato seed will yield pounds of tomatoes! 
Most things I grow I 'direct seed'.  That means you put the seed directly in the soil to start your plant.  About the only things I don't direct seed is tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and cabbage.  Everything else grows so quickly and is easy to start.

I hear I have no room to grow a garden.  Do you have a patio or balcony?  Do you have a flower bed?  Do you have a driveway?  If the answer is yes - you have room to grow 'something'.  You can plant in pots, buckets, barrels, you name it.  Plant a tomato or pepper amongst the shrubs or flowers.  Most anything can be planted in a big pot (just make sure it has drainage).
All you have to do is make sure it gets sun and water , and 'feed' it once in  while.
You can actually 'feed' the plant with your kitchen waste for FREE.  Coffee grounds are wonderful as they actually add phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and copper to the soil.  You can blend up egg shells, banana peels, etc. and add to your pots for fertilizer. 
Catch rain water - and even your watering will be FREE.

If you find heirloom seeds or plants that are heirloom (they do cost a little more), you can save your own seeds for next year and the year after.  Heirloom plants are from seeds that have not been modified one bit for generations and generations!  They are the REAL thing!!!!!  If you save seeds from those plants you will always know what you will get.  If you save seeds from genetically modified plants - you will never know what the seed will produce.


Plan what you want to grow.  It may be just salad food - like lettuce, onions, tomatoes, radish, carrots (all are easy) or it may be more involved. 
Spend very little on seeds or a couple plants.  Find some containers or make room in your yard.
GROW, GROW, GROW!  You won't be sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you only grow what you can eat fresh - that is fine.  You will be enjoying fresh produce all summer.  Grow a little more and you can freeze or can some for the winter.  Just remember:  FRESH IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!   You will know exactly what you are eating and where it came from.

 I hope each of you grows a little something this year.  Being somewhat self -sufficient feels so wonderful.  You can work in the great outdoors and enjoy all the nature the good Lord provides, and soothe your soul, and you can provide great nutritious food for you and your family for little or no money.
Sounds like a WIN - WIN to me!!!!!



The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield to harvest.
Psalm 85:12

Happy gardening.
Now if you will excuse me, I am going out to play in the dirt!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Frugl Happenings 4/16

A blessed Easter to each and everyone of you and your families.

This week has been quite a good one for me.  The weather has been splendid most of the week.  Daytime temps in the 70's and lower 80's.   Sleeping with the window open and loving it!

The flowering trees are at their finest.  It is so pretty outside.  The grass is almost glowing in color.  Today is rain off and on - but we all know April showers bring May flowers!
I am so sure that spring is finally here  that I put away the snow shovel!!!!!!  LOL

I have mentioned before that we have a whole house generator.  We purchased it in 2013, and guess what?  We have never had a power outage since!  It does a test run every Friday, but that is it.  Well, for some unknown reason, we had an outage on Thursday as the sun was shining, and the geni WORKS!!!!  YAY  It is comforting to know that it works when needed!

My week:
  • Ran to old time hardware up the road and got a couple pieces G and I needed for a project.
  • Went to library one block from hardware
  • Made a list of all the spring projects I want to complete
  • Made a bottle of 'Febreeze'.  I have been using the same bottle of fabric softener for 6 years, and it's still not empty
  • Pulled a turkey from freezer for Easter dinner
  • Replenished a lot of pantry items from stockpile
  • Got taxes mailed off.  UGH!  We did owe a little - but we prepared ourselves, saving a lot of money
  • Line dried laundry
  • Worked in the yard a bunch - mowed, whacked, dug, pulled, you name it!  Lots of FREE exercise
  • Worked on many small projects
I redid the top of the potting table - with scraps of wood from other projects - it's like a patchwork.  I will take a picture after I stain it. (me and the power tools become one this week!!!)
I repainted several pieces of yard art
Fixed a door knob in the house
Worked w/G on his roller/seat - we redid the wheels to make them ore stable
G repaired my125' heavy duty extension cord (that I accidently cut when using hedge trimmer - OOPS) saving us a lot of money
I repaired a back step that has been loose for ages!
  • I did buy $5 gas which will run all yard equipment for the summer
  • I went to Dollar Tree looking for plastic milk crates (as well as other dollar stores) - didn't find any - BUT  I got a rack for the grill for $1 (keeps stuff from falling through) and I got asparagus (U.S.) for $1 a can!  That is a bargain around here.  I may go back and get more asparagus for winter eating.
  • Heat is OFF.  Enjoying fresh spring air!
  • Easter dinner is going to be from the pantry/freezers
Meals this week:
Homemade pasta salad and burgers
Pasta salad and chicken breasts
Homemade oriental stir fry and rice
Fries, onion rings and tenderloins
Cole slaw and burgers with sautéed onions
Loaded baked potatoes
Pork chops, hominy/green bean/onion/tomato fry (it really was yum)

While working at pulling weeds out of the perennial bed this week, I was thinking about my friend Carol (who passed earlier).  It was the kind of day she would have been out on her hands and knees as well.  Well, lo and behold, I came across a plant I didn't remember. It is really getting big.  Once it dawned on me what it was, I had to laugh out loud.  Carol was letting her presence be known big time.  Years ago she gave me starts of bleeding heart plants.  They grew one year, and that was it.  It is growing in my garden this year!!!!!
Talk about a surprise!  Thanks Miss Carol.

This is the view from my kitchen door on Saturday.  He wasn't 3' away.  Sitting there eating his walnut!  The indoor kitties were amused for a while!
I love my critters!

I hope the weather is starting to break in your areas of the world.  It is just so nice being able to have fresh air and sunshine!
What happened in your frugal world this past week?  I look forward to hearing from you.

God's blessings be upon you in this coming week.


   

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Chocolate Mayo Cake

Some of you may be needing to make something for the upcoming holiday and have nothing in mind.
Here is an easy cake to make, that is both yummy and moist.  You should probably have everything you need right in your pantry!

GRANDMA'S CHOCOLATE MAYO CAKE
2 C Flour
1 c sugar
1/2 C cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 C mayo
1 egg (only is you plan on making cupcakes)
1/2 C cold water
1/2 C brewed coffee
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350*.  Stir all dry ingredients together.  Combine wet ingredients with dry until smooth.  Pour into a greased and floured (or cocoa'd) pan.  Bake at 350* for 30-40 minutes for a cake or about 16 minutes for cupcakes.
Cool then frost.

CARAMEL FROSTING
5 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 C brown sugar
3 Tbsp. boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat butter and slowly add in sugar until creamed together.  Pour in boiling water and beat till creamy.  Add vanilla.

There you have it.  An old fashion recipe that is both easy and frugal.
Hope you enjoy my friends.




HAVE A WONDERFUL AND BLESSED EASTER EVERYONE!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Feeling Safe and Secure (yet frugal)

We all want our homes to be secure and we want to feel safe in them.  It doesn't matter where you live or what you have - IT'S YOURS!  You work hard for your stuff and no one else has a right to it.

There are many different areas here in the U.S. where people live (probably called different things else where). 
INNER CITY - in town of a large municipality.  Used to not be the most desired place to live and was mostly commercial.  Now things are changing in many big cities, and they are becoming the IT place to live.
URBAN NEIGHBORHOODS - just outside the city.  Lot's more homes, but still a lot of commercial buildings. (where we live)
SUBURBS - well outside the city and used to be mainly quiet neighborhoods.  Was always very desirable.  Now more and more business and shopping malls are popping up in these areas.
RURAL - country life.  Farmers thrived in these areas.  No industry other than farming.  Was considered the safest place to be.

TODAY - actually no place is safe.  Gangs, thugs, drugs, and criminal activity is every where - even in the country.
It is very sad and very frustrating.  We all need to be aware of our surroundings at all times, and we all need to secure our property against loss. 
It truly ticks me off that people work so hard to take what is not theirs.  If they worked as hard at something productive this world would be a much better place.

PERSONAL SAFETY
*  Always be aware.  When out shopping - be keenly aware of your surroundings.
*  Keep Mace or pepper spray with you.  I know a couple gals that wear a whistle around their neck,   and blow like crazy if they feel threatened! You can also set off your car alarm with key fob.
*  If you are comfortable with it - carry a weapon (do it legally)
*  Keep your vehicle locked - whether your in or out of it
*  Try to keep your keys, money, and charge cards/license in your pockets while out shopping.  If someone steals your handbag, at least you can get home and have your important stuff

HOME SAFETY/SECURITY
*Keep your doors/and windows locked when not at home (and close the curtains/blinds)
*Keep your doors locked, even when home
*If you don't want or can't afford a security system - put up a sign that says you have one!  It might deter someone.  You can also buy thin gray tape and place on windows that looks like security tape
*Place a Beware of Dog sign on your property!  You don't have to have a dog.
*Put a large dog bowl and leash by the front door - it looks as if there is a dog living there
*Keep bushes totally trimmed from in front of windows.  Don't give a thief a place to hide!
*Get motion lights for home - aim them at your doors or garage/shed
*Keep something at your ready that you can protect yourself with
*Think about installing security cameras - they can be installed easily at home nowadays and are getting cheaper by the day - you can monitor them via your computer

YOUR STUFF
Keep your extreme valuables in a safety deposit box at your bank.  You can get a small box for little money per year.
Keep others valuable items in very unlikely places - REMEMBER:  Crooks know all the usual hiding spots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is important - Keep a log of ALL the serial numbers of weapons, computers, TV's, and technology devices and ANYTHING that can be picked up and taken!!!!  This is VERY important!  this helps police track your items.

This is important - Take PICTURES of your valuables,  There is no way your can accurately describe that ring, or gun or computer or antique with enough info to trace it.  A picture is worth a 1.000 words!!!!  It is so totally accurate and will help the police locate your items.

Take pictures and video if you can.  Video the inside of cabinets, drawers, closets, hutches, etc.  You have no idea have much stuff your REALLY have until you need to list it.  This is so very important for NATURAL DISASTERS.  Total loss can happen in the blink of an eye - how do you possibly remember everything you have?  You can't!
Store these videos and pics on a thumb drive (flash drive) or digital card at ANOTHER location.  You can keep it at the bank, at your parents home, or the home of a trusted family member or friend.

In past years we have had 2 family members lose their homes due to fire.  Most everything was a loss.  It was almost impossible to remember what they had for insurance purposes.  They remembered some items months and even years later.

Try to keep copies of important papers (insurance, wills, licenses, vehicle registrations, etc.) in digital form on your computer.  Get a scanner if necessary.  The cost will be worth it. (They aren't very expensive)
We have ALL important items like that scanned into our computer as well as all the family pictures.  We also have pictures of our valuables.  These have all been saved on a thumb drive (flash drive).


Folks you work hard for what you have.  It doesn't matter how much stuff or money (or how little) you have - it is YOURS. 
You can spend a little money - with a scanner, disks for camera, thumb drives, Mace, a sign or two, even motion lights to give you peace of mind.

We all need to be PREARED FOR ANYTHING!  In this day and age - there is nothing that is safe or sacred to others.  The weather can change in a moment and destroy your home.   So many things can happen.
I would sure hate it for you - if you didn't have some security and peace in your lives.


PRAY FOR THE BEST IN LIFE - AND PREPARE FOR THE WORST
Stay safe my friends.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Frugal Happenings 4/9

Good morning.  Hope this finds each and everyone well and happy.  I hope each one of you enjoys and celebrates this Palm Sunday in their own special way.

The week has been pretty quiet in this part of the world.  We started the week with decent spring weather, then we got pouring rain,  winds that only Dorothy and Toto could appreciate, and colder temps and frost.  Today is supposed to get close to 80*!!!!  Crazy, mixed up weather for sure.  I guess that is what spring is all about. 
I am more than ready for it to even out and stay warm!  This next week looks like it will be in the 60's each day and warmer nights!  Here's hoping.

My week:
  • I mowed the yard (need to do again) and I am still using fuel from last season.  I think I have one more mow then I have to buy more fuel
  • Been using the Soda Stream to make flavored and carbonated waters
  • Watching prepping videos on You Tube (on rainy days)
  • Hardly ever turn lights on any more.  It is light early and stays light till about 8:30 in the evening, and by then I am watching TV and don't need lights
  • Got to air out house a lot - little heat used
  • Picked a bouquet of tulips and hyacinths
  • Looking up some new recipes
  • Restocked the canned cat food shelves with stock I had put back.  We currently have 3 - 4 months of canned cat food.  Need to work on a bigger stockpile for them.
  • Went out to lunch with my siblings on Wednesday - all for FREE (GCs).  It was lovely and good therapy.
  • Kept the wax bag from cereal.  Will use for freezer foods.
  • Renewed library books on line
  • Cooked a dozen hard boiled eggs for easy, quick breakfasts or snacks
  • Ran to Kroger on Friday.  I got milk for 1.29/gal.  10 lbs. of potatoes - 5 lb./.99.  18 count eggs for .99. 
  • Lunch date and Kroger visit are the only places I went this week.  Staying home is cheapest for me!
  • Doing all the regular stuff - brewing tea, filtering water, making flavored coffee, laundry in cold, cooking from scratch, etc.
Meals this week:
Homemade stew (2X)
Chicken breast, dressing and green beans (from freezer)
Grilled cheese with leftover beans (had big lunch)
Potato/cheese/ham casserole and salad
Baked fish and mac n cheese w/diced tomatoes added (G' favorite)
Homemade sub sandwiches
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It has just been pretty quiet here.  I have spent rainy days trying to learn some new ideas, recipes and tips that may benefit us all.  Hope to share some soon.
I am more than ready to get outside and dig in the soil, and get the garden area prepped.  I won't be planting too much for a good month or so.  You just never know what the weather can do in Indiana in April and early May.

How was your week?  Did you find any great deals?  Do anything to add to your prepping storage?
Stop by and visit and let us know what you have been up to.



STAY FRUGAL MY FRIENDS AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU IN EVERY WAY!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

NEVER EVER QUIT

Ladies and gents I know we have all had times in our lives when we just plain old - downright - thought about quitting at something.
We have all had our share of problems.  Health issues, family health issues, loss of job, relationship issues, poor budgeting, financial loss, losses from weather events, and on and on.

Each and every time we have picked ourselves back up, shook ourselves off and started again. YES, this can be so difficult and exasperating, no doubt about it.
Unfortunately this is life.

Life has become mundane in many aspects.  We take so much for granted.
Flick a switch and we have lights
Turn a knob and we have water
The bed will be warm
Dinner will nourish us
The sun will rise tomorrow
We have a roof over our heads.........................and on and on

Do we ever stop and consider how special that bite of food was?  How tasty the bit of bread was?  How truly wonderful that argument we had was?  (because that person is here).  Probably NOT!  We tend to overlook the ordinary things in life over and over again.
MAYBE JUST MAYBE if we stop and thank God for those ordinary things that we take for granted, we will appreciate everything a whole lot more.  MAYBE our outlook on life will change.
There are so many people in the world that would be thankful to experience your worst day!


I think this is a big portion of why I prepare for emergencies in life.  Why I want to have a stocked pantry, some money in the bank, and a plan.  I appreciate those things, and I will appreciate them even MORE, when times  get tough.
Agreed, we can't spend out lives preparing for the future and what it has in store for us, because then we would never be living in the moment.  That is HUGELY important too!  But, we can plan and live life for all it's worth at the same time.


Plan for uncertain times, but DON"T EVER QUIT.  Never give in to any problem - you just keep on keeping on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Life is the greatest gift we are given, and we need to work hard to make it the best.  It can be gone in a second.
Plan your work and work your plan.  BUT stop and smell the roses along the way - each and every day!

Pay attention to tiniest things in life, and all the big ones will mean more.  Your life is precious, your time is precious, YOU are precious.
How can we possibly appreciate success, if we don't fail or stumble along the way?


If you fall off your frugal train, don't quit trying.  Start again.  Success is reached by trying over and over.
I truly believe that success is never reached without some failures.

STAY FRUGAL - IF YOU HAVE A SETBACK - START AGAIN
NEVER EVER QUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mixed Up Tuesday

Today I am going to touch on a few subjects - just to mix it up a bit!  I thought that might be fun.

FIRST I was doing some research behind the scenes of the blog, and came across some statistics that I didn't know were available.
There was a place that told where our readers live!  HOW COOL!!!!!

A huge percentage of readers are in the UNITED STATES
2nd place with HALF as many as U.S. is RUSSIA!    WOW - all I can say is I was amazed.
3rd  - AUSTRALIA
4th - CANADA
5th - UNITED KINGDOM
6th place and on - (a few readers in ea. country) - UKRAINE, NEW ZEALAND, FRANCE, PHILLAPINES, and BRAZIL

Call me blown away, that my little ole blog and my simple ideas, could be that far reaching.  It is amazing.  THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR CONTINUING TO FOLLOW ALONG! 
None of this would be possible if it wasn't for each and every one of you!
YOU ARE ALL GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!!!

******************************************************************
Thought I would pass on a simple trick I use on my ice cube trays.  They all look exactly alike, but have to be stacked in a certain way or they fall into the one below.

 
I make stacking them "idiot" proof, by marking one end of each tray with a permanent marker.  Then I stack them alternating the mark.  No more setting a tray into another that I just filled with water.  Just a simple trick that keeps me happy!

*******************************************************************

DATING ITEMS
Does anyone date things as you open them for use?  I date most everything.  Big on my list are coffee, toothpaste, shampoo, dish soap, cooking oil, Truvia, and laundry soap.

WHY you ask?  Well, the things I use daily and that have many uses per container, it helps me determine how much to keep in my stockpile.
I try really hard to keep one to two years of daily items on hand.  If things every get bad (as in SHTF), I know we will have supplies.

For example: 
I know that Truvia pack lasts me approximately 5 - 6 weeks.
One container of coffee lasts around a month or more (not big drinkers)
Toothpaste can last several months - we each prefer a different type and use just a pea size amount
Dish soap - Large bottle lasts several months for me. 
I buy the 24 - 28oz. size bottle and immediately divide it into 2 bottles.  I fill the remainder of each bottle with water.  Once the bottle is halved again, I add vinegar to refill.  I continue doing this 2 or 3 times on each bottle.  My dishes are always sparkling.  REMEMBER - it's NOT the suds that clean.
(I am currently about to the end of a bottle that I opened in Aug. 2016)
Shampoo  -  I always water it down.  I add shampoo to another bottle and fill bottle to about one third - then add water (sometimes I add a little vinegar too).
Toilet Paper - I don't have to date - but I do know approximately how many rolls a week we use.  I try to keep at least 2 years of that on hand!
Laundry soap - I get the huge containers and never use as much as it calls for.  One container will last me at least one year!

I know many people probably think I am a bit crazy - but I want to be prepared for anything.  I buy when I can get the best prices, and I am prepared for the future.
Next week things will cost more than they did last month, and more than they did last year........so why not get cheaply AND be prepared!  I see it as a total WIN-WIN!!!!!!!
Just consider dating your products as an on-going inventory sheet! 
Once you know how long a product lasts - there is no real reason why you should ever run out!  You WILL be prepared.

********************************************************************
Let us know your little tricks for never running out of stock.  Freezer Inventories?  Pantry inventories?  What do you all do?

AGAIN a HUGE THANK YOU to all my fantastic followers.  You are awesome!
Blessings to all.



Sunday, April 2, 2017

Frugal Happenings 4/2

Howdy everyone.  I am running a little late today with my Sunday post.  I decided to brown meat, put together a pot of stew and mow all the yard first!
Now I am ready to sit for a spell and talk with y'all.

Not a lot on the frugal front happened this week.  Didn't go out shopping.

Let's see - the groundhog made his first appearance on March 30th.  Came out, ran around, then went back to bed!

Weather has been off and on this week.  We have had really chilly days and nights, rain and more rain, and open window weather!  I guess that is typical spring weather.

The week was pretty crappy on a personal note.  I got a call Tuesday night that my niece (my eldest sister's daughter), passed away.  She was 2 years older than me (we have a strange family I know), and she and I were so close as kids and teens.  We sure got into our share of mischief as teens! 
She lives in Florida (no other family there).  Her landlord found her and called her older sister in GA.  My niece had passed several days before being found.  How sad is that!
Her siblings have gone down to pack things up, sis just isn't able.  She will be cremated and brought back here to be buried with her dad.
My heart just aches for my sister, and for our whole family.  This was just such a shock to everyone.  I have lost a lot of people around my age, but no one in the family so close in age. 
Crap - mortality smacks you right dead center of your forehead sometimes.  I have been feeling really old this week!!!

My frugal week:
  • Heat off - except early mornings
  • Windows open a few days to air the house
  • Bought gas and saved .20/gallon this week
  • Changed out to a spring handbag.  Got out one of the FREE Vera Bradley bags my friend gifted me a couple years ago.
  • Spent most of Friday with my sister.  Great talk, free therapy and lots of bonding.  I did stop and buy her a lovely bouquet of bright colored Gerber daisies to brighten her day.
  • Sis gifted me a bag of hickory smoked BBQ wings and a bag of French fries.
  • I was given a box of 14 books (each has 2 stories)
  • Laundry in cold
  • All meals from home
  • Stayed out of stores (except for flowers)
  • Did a lot of raking and picking up sticks in the back yard.  FREE exercise!
 
One type of tulips is starting to open in the back, and the ones in front have lots of big buds.

Meals this week:
Grilled (on G. Foreman) loaded burritos
Breaded tenderloins, dirty rice and mixed greens
Leftover burrito (split), leftover rice and jalapeno poppers
Homemade pizza (2X) with side salad
Wings and fries (compliments of my sister's gift)
Smoked sausage, cabbage, and potato quarters

*********************************************************
Made a pan of brownies, which lasted several days, made pineapple crème whip, and had fresh fruit, all for snacks.

PINEAPPLE CREME WHIP
2 C frozen pineapple pieces or crushed
8 oz. frozen Cool Whip (use frozen)
3 Tbsp. honey OR 2 Tbsp. sugar
and 6 oz. pineapple juice (I drained my fruit before freezing)

Place everything together in a processor and blend till as smooth as you can get it.  Mine still had bits of pineapple through it.  Place in freezer.  We ate off of this a couple times.  First night it was still like soft serve ice cream - 2nd night it was firmer.
I didn't have a full 6 oz. of juice from jar, so I added orange juice to it.  You could also add milk or other fruit juice.
Man oh man was it yummy!!!!!
**I know lots of people HATE the thought of Cool Whip - so perhaps they could use real cream whipped up.  Don't judge me!
I want to try other fruit variations - Mmmmmm peach!


What was your week like?  Did you have any frugal finds?  Give us a shout out.  Love hearing from everyone.

May God keep you in His loving and protective arms and bless you beyond measure this week.
Sending love to you all.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Be 'Depression' Ready

Most of our grandparents, and many of our parents, lived through the great depression.  They endured and survived - we are a testament to that.  Their lives were exceedingly tough and they HAD to be very creative and thrifty.
Everyone had to use items till they could not be used any more.  This is the time in history when the expression " use it up, wear it out, and make it do" came about.  These were words that everyone lived by!  They had to.

Pretty much everyone was in the same predicament, and folks just had to work together sometimes to help one another.  Every single bit of everything was used - food and drink were used to the last drop.  Usable fabric scraps were made into quilts, clothes were made from flour sacks.  People gardened and preserved everything they could get their hands on - people bartered - and folks foraged.  Survival was what mattered.

Money does matter, as much as we would like to think it doesn't.  Some are lucky enough to have homes paid for, vehicles paid, gardens and skills - but money is still needed.  Uncle Sam won't BARTER!

Don't think that times could not get like they were again.  It could happen.  We all need to plan, develop skills, and learn how to get by with less - IN CASE!  Each and every one of us needs to be prepared.

1.  Use what you have.  Don't give in to advertising and the new and fancy.  Most likely what you have will do just fine.  You may not have the newest or the prettiest 'whatever', but if you have something that works - that is what is important.

 2.  "SHOP" major purchases (and even small ones).  Never pay full price or asking price.  You can always get a better deal - it just takes times.  Watch for sales , mark downs and clearance.

3.  DO second hand when possible.  It saves a great deal of money and it is recycling too.  Not only are you helping yourself, you are helping the planet.

4.  Cook - eating out is expensive.  It should be considered a 'treat'.  Don't say "I don't know how"!!  If you can read and you can follow instruction, you CAN cook.  Get a basic cookbook, and start with simple recipes.  You can even find recipes now that are knock-offs of all your favorite restaurant food.

5.  Make things yourself.  Cooking, cleaning supplies, compost, gardening, building, etc.  Learn new skills.

6.  FIX IT - in this throw away society, most people never think about fixing things.  There is probably a video on just about everything on You Tube, explaining how to repair things.

7.  Do your own stuff!  Do your own manis and pedis.  Grow food, sew, groom your dog, do your own yard work, can, etc.  You save so much money by developing your skills and doing it yourself.

8.  Don't be a fashion hound.  This not only goes for clothes, but everything that is new and improved!  You don't need to newest fancy phone, or the Kitchen Aide mixer, or the Rachael Ray cookware - make do with what you have.

9.  Go to FREE events.  Do your research and find what days parks, museums, beaches, etc. are free.  Go on picnics, go bird watching,  read, walk, or just sit and enjoy nature.

10.  PAY OFF DEBT - this is huge!  Pay off your debt as quickly as possible, and try your dang best to not make any new debt.

11.  EMERGENCY FUND - work on having one.  Save every penny you possibly can.  Start out with a percentage of your pay, then add more as you start paying off debt.  Save your change, save your savings from coupons, save gift monies,.......save, save, save!!!!!!!
STUFF is always going to happen and you are going to need an emergency fund.  No one wants to go into debt because the car needs work, the frig needs maintenance, the dryer broke, etc.
Start small and add whatever you can whenever you can.
ALSO it is very important to not have ALL your money in one place.  If the bottom drops out - your funds need to be diverse and accessible.  MAKE SURE you keep funds at home as well!!!

12. PREP on your food pantry, your health and beauty pantry, your craft pantry, your gift pantry, etc.  You need to have LOTS of pantry items on hand, just in case.  The more you put away now - the less you will spend in the future.  It is common sense that the price of things will continue to rise - and if we go into another depression - the prices will skyrocket, IF the items are even available!  The cheaper you can get things now, the more you will save in the future.

We all need to be PREPARED because the next GREAT DEPRESSION could happen at anytime.  If you haven't learned how to take care of yourself and your families with the most primal and basic of methods - you won't survive - at least not well.

I am not saying you can't have fun and experience enjoyable things now.  We all need to have fun and do something special.  If we don't - life will become boring and we will feel deprived - then we spend TOO much!!!
We can even try to make some basic things (like gardening, canning, crafting, sewing, etc.) some of the fun family things we do.  Make it fun for the younger generation to learn!

Folks, gain what skills you can NOW.  Save what funds you can NOW.  Get prepared with pantry prep NOW.
 
NOW IS THE TIME TO WORRY ABOUT THE FUTURE!!!!!!
If you don't worry about it - no one will worry about it for you.

ARE YOU DEPRESSION READY??

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Spring Petals EQUAL Goodness

Spring is here and the world is coming back to life.  There are so many flowers and blossoms that happen only during this time. 
Trees bloom their beautiful flowers, tulips and daffodils happen only in spring, peonies only bloom once all season, and so on.
It's sad to me that we look so forward to these beauties, and then they are gone in a blink of an eye.

Some of our springtime petals can be used for other things.  I love finding new ways to use unusual or different items for something that will last and last.
Here are a few ideas!



WILD VIOLET JELLY
You will need to pick 2 CUPS of violets.  Place the violets in a container that can be sealed.  Cover the petals with boiling water and cover them 1/2" over top of flowers.  Cover and seal and let them sit in a sunny place for 4-6 hours (overnight is ok too).

Strain out flowers.  You will end up with about 2 CUPS of infused water.  You can add a bit if you need to.
The water should be a light violet color.
ADD 1/4 CUP LEMON JUICE (color will change to bright pink)
ADD 4 CUPS SUGAR, heat to dissolve.  Bring to a rapid boil and ADD one package of PECTIN.  Follow directions (each brand is a little different).

Pour into sterilized jars seal, and water bath for 5 minutes.
This can be purchased at some specialty shops and it is very expensive - 6.50 - 8.00 per 2 oz. jar!



DANDELION JELLY (I have made this)
4 C dandelion flowers (no stems or green parts - those are bitter)
3 1/4 C water
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 pkg. pectin
1 drop yellow food coloring
4 1/2 C sugar

Heat water to simmer and add 2 CUPS of flowers (petals) and simmer for 10 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon and remove flowers (squeeze out liquid) and ADD other 2 CUPS of petals and repeat process.
Measure out 3 CUPS of infused water (can add a bit if nec.), lemon juice, pectin, and food coloring and bring to a boil.  Add sugar and bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute.

Place in sterilized jars and water bath 5 - 7 minutes.
**Has a lemony taste.  Very good.



PEONY JELLY (I  have made this)
Gather a QUART of peony petals (chemical free and no stems or brown petals)
Boil enough water to cover the petals (5 - 6 cups water).
At this point you will second guess yourself as it neither smells good or looks pretty!  Let this set for 6 hours.

Drain liquid - don't press flowers.  You should have about 4 - 4 1/2 C liquid.
Add the JUICE OF ONE LEMON  (or equivalent).  Color will change to pinkish/orange.  Bring to a boil and then add PECTIN.
Bring back to a boil and add 3 CUPS SUGAR and go till a hard boil for 1 full minute.

Ladle into jars, seal and process in water bath 5 - 10 minutes.

**Slightly sweet, slightly tart, and a bit flowery in taste.


Always make sure any petals or greens used from your yard are chemical free (and pet do-do free!).
There are so many things in our yards that we can turn into yummy goodness that can be used or gifted all year round.
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF A PETAL!!!!!!

ENJOY

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Frugal Happenings 3/26

Good morning everyone.  WOW, it is hard to believe that another month is almost gone!
I think it is finally spring here!
We had a lot of cold temps earlier in the week - now we have evened out with much warmer temperatures and rain!
I have slept the last 2 nights with the window next to the bed open and the ceiling fan on.  It sure made for good sleeping!
Our highs are to stay in the 60's this week, with lows in upper 40's and low 50's.  Spring is definitely in the air!  YAY

We have enjoyed watching all the wildlife this week.  I saw the squirrels do something I have never noticed before.  They were preening each other, much like you see monkeys doing.  It was so cute.
I found a dead squirrel in the yard this week.  Not sure what happened.  It had not one mark on it, so it wasn't cats (my kitties don't bother them).  It could have fallen out of a tree - but usually that just winds them.  I did notice that he had a lump on his belly in an area close to its' privates.  Looked like a hernia to me.  Poor guy.

I had a really good week.
Here is my week:

  • I ran to the Dollar Tree one day.  I found peach pie filling.  I have always found apple and cherry - but had never seen peach.  I got several cans.  I can't get peaches and other ingredients that cheap ($1).  I know it's not the same as fresh - but t will come in handy in a pinch.
  • FYI - I noticed Dollar Tree is starting to have more and more brands names (in food section) - I was amazed at all the brand names I saw.
  • Checked out a new discount department store that opened a week ago - was NOT impressed at all.  So they won't get any of my money!  LOL
  • I did an in between trim on my hair and root touch up at home
  • We had a local area grocery store that closed on Saturday (part of a local chain).  I ran up there Thursday  - not much left, but I did get some bargains.  This were drastically reduced.  I spent a total of $29 and saved $97!!!!   WOOHOO!
I got these 4 very nice sturdy baskets for $4 each.  They were originally marked $16 ea..  I could not fit all 4 in a row on the love seat (gives you an idea of size).  These will be goody baskets at Christmas!

I also got 3 - gourmet hot chocolate mixes for 1.25 ea., 2 - powdered buttermilk for 1.25 ea., and to Crystal Light for $1 ea. (G likes that as a treat once in a while - not something I usually buy)

Got a couple dozen Russell Stover individually wrapped candies for .08 each!       
I ALSO got 16 HALLMARK assorted cards for .25 each!!!!!!!

  • I stopped at an ethnic store right across from the above store and looked around.  WOW, there was so many things I had never even heard of.  I did buy a 25 lb. box of par-boiled rice for 11.99.  I have been reading about it - it has almost all the minerals of brown rice, lasts for ages, and is quicker to cook.  I have bought this type before in a smaller package and really liked it.    I also bought 2 lbs. of barley for $1/lb.
We eat a lot of rice - and I like to have bunches on hand.

  • Stopped at Kroger and got 1/2 gallon of milk (still had some) for .69.  I found an 8 pack of thin cut center cut chops for $4.  I beat out into tenderloins.  Not bad, .50 per tenderloin! 
  • Got to hang laundry on the outside line on Friday
  • Heat is off - and windows have been open.
  • Cut a bunch of wild onions/chives from the yard to dry
  • Mowed the front yard for the first time this season!!!!!!  Used gas from last season - mower started first pull!  YAY
  • All my shopping took place on two days - only times I left the house.
  • I went through my candles and put away all my winter scent ones.  I came across one called Egyptian Cotton - lit it and the whole house smells like laundry out on the line!  Love it!!
Meals this week:
Rueben sandwich and a salad (used last of Rueben ingredients)
Veggie, meat/cheese roll-ups
Rice and veggies with steak burger and gravy
Chicken dumplings, drumsticks and Brussel sprouts
Loaded baked potatoes
Breakfast - veggie/sausage/egg scramble, bacon, and oven diced potatoes
Tuna patties, mac n cheese and asparagus
ALL leftovers were used for lunches or breakfast

SNACKS: Finished up homemade cheesecake, cheese dip and crackers, mandarin oranges

Yummy roll-ups - these were so good and filling. Cheap and easy to fix - just use whatever you have in the frig!

All in all I had a very satisfying week.  I added to my long term food pantry and my gift pantry and spent very little money doing it!  I absolutely LOVE those kind of weeks!

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?
Did you get any bargains?  Find any way to stretch your dollars?  Create any new crafts?
Look forward to hearing from everyone!

May your week be blessed in every way.
Prayers and blessings for all.



Thursday, March 23, 2017

COCONUT OIL

How many of you use coconut oil?
We love the stuff.
Oil is almost misleading, as most you buy is solid (like shortening), but melts easily.

It has many beneficial fats which can help in digestion.
It has natural antioxidant properties (which makes it great for skin)
Helps support mental function
Helps natural hormone production
It has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties - which help the immune system
It is basically  SUPERFOOD!

There are two basic types, which most places sell.
UNREFINED - offers the most benefits.  This type has the highest antioxidant levels.
REFINED - is basically tasteless and has no smell.  It has many of the same benefits, just not quite as many as unrefined.

  • Cooking - has a high smoke point
  • Baking - a great non-dairy replacement for butter in recipes
  • Emulsify in coffee - (G does this every day)  OR emulsify in hot chocolate
  • Add to smoothies
  • Anti aging for facial/skin moisturizing (all I use)
  • Can be mixed with other oils to make lotion bars.
  • Plain or mixed with baking soda for deodorant AND for tooth paste
  • Great for dry feet
  • Super lip balm
  • Small amounts rubbed in, can recondition leather
  • Use in home made pet treats to help their digestion and to help those with skin conditions (can add to their daily food as well)
  • Rub inside the nose to help alleviate  allergy symptoms
  • Topically can help kill yeast infections
  • Soothes psoriasis or eczema
  • Soothes the itch from bug bites and from poison ivy
  • Can help improve cholesterol ratios
  • Helps fight infections and flu symptoms
  • Helps sooth sunburn pain
  • Calms the frizz of a bad hair day - a tiny bit rubbed  into hair is a great conditioner (I have done this)
  • Use on babies bum for diaper rash

The list of health benefits goes on and on (there are literally hundreds of uses).  Google it and read for yourself.

We have been using both internally and externally for well over a year now.  I use it in baking and for frying as well. 
We have neither one had a sniffle since we started using.  I had a big eczema patch on my leg and after using coconut oil for about 2 weeks - it is totally gone.  I notice fine lines have disappeared around my eyes, and skin irritations clear almost over night.
All I can do is sing praises!!!!!!!!!!!

I am not a medical expert by any means, but sometimes simple things can make a huge difference in our lives.  When I find something that works - I feel it is my duty to pass on that information.
NOTE:  Do NOT use if you are allergic to coconut!!!!!!

I hope everyone gives this wonderful oil a chance.  It literally can change many aspects of your (and your pets) lives.
Stay healthy the natural way!!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Love of Vintage

The other day I made mention that I like vintage utensils.  I like most things vintage - I guess that is good, since I am probably now considered vintage!

It just seems to me that when I get my hands on something old and it still works as well as the day it was made - well, that says a whole lot.  Most stuff today is made to be disposable.  If it breaks - you don't fix it - you trash it.
There is just something wrong with that way of thinking in my opinion.
I realize that there are some things that we have little choice but to buy new - but when I can I want what has worked for years and years.
Much of my vintage items came from my Mom.


These are items I use all the time.  The sifter on the right I use for dry herbs and the one on left is for flour.  The item in front with green handle is a jar opener (from Moms) - it's an oldie but a goody.


Love the meat tenderizer at top.  I DO use the hand mixer a lot.  My ladle is used every time I make soup.


 
Do you know what the item top right is?


This sits in my sink to catch any food from dirty dishes.  It gets emptied into the compost.  I found this at a yard sale for .50 at couple years ago.  I love it.


We don't eat bacon a lot - but love the press.  The drainer bowl is used whenever I blanch veggies.



You see anything up there that you may have or remember from the past?  The big bowl, pitcher and glasses are my favorites.


Do you know what all the objects in the pictures are?  Do you have any of them?
What vintage  (old) items do you use regularly?
This stuff is USED at my house - it isn't just for keepsake.

I have lots more - so maybe another day! 
I don't need new and fancy to get a job done - simple and proven works just fine for me.
Just a simple girl here.

Have a great day!



WOW - just noticed my ceiling really needs painted!  That looks awful!  LOL

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Frugal Happenings 3/19

Good morning.
I hope you all had a lovely and frugal week.

It has been a quiet week here.  It got very cold again, but it looks like this coming week is going to be more spring like again.  Tomorrow is the official calendar first day of spring!  YAY.  It won't be long and we will be out and about in our yards working - and we will all be complaining about hard work and hot temps again!  We are never happy!!

I have been enjoying watching lot's of red-winged black birds, blue jays, and tons of doves.  We had doves all winter - but there is an abundance of then now.  Bright gold finches are enjoying the bird bath and the cardinals are everywhere.  Robins galore have been bathing in the bird bath - they are so much fun to watch.
The squirrels are getting 'frisky' if you know what I mean!  LOL.  They have no shame!

We have been having a lot of new  (to our yard) cats showing up.  Since we lost Teegy a few weeks ago, others kitties are coming to visit.  He was the "keeper of the yard" and NO other cats were allowed.  Momma and Fluffy seem to enjoy the visits from others - which surprises me.

My week:
  • Made individual fruit pies with the sandwich maker, bread and pie filling - YUM
  • Used all frig leftovers in a pot of soup
  • Made a cheese spread from cream cheese I had on hand and a mix we were gifted at Christmas
  • Made a cheese cake with supplies on hand
  • Did lots of laundry in cold water
  • Been watching You Tube videos. 
  • I made a run to Fresh Thyme (haven't been in ages).  I got some fresh veggies and fruit and really, really splurged and bought deli corned beef (I could have bought a whole brisket for the price I paid)!  Mine were frozen - so I got deli beef.
  • Been doing all the regular stuff
  • Renewed library books on-line
  • Only left the house one day this week.
  • All leftovers got used for lunches  and/or breakfasts this week 
Meals:
Smoked sausage, fried potatoes/onions
Hamburger stew - it literally came out stew like -  2X
Mexican tator tot casserole
Fried chicken and fried chicken livers - salad
Homemade Rueben sandwiches
Pork cubes steaks, asparagus and mashed potatoes

Snacks - Indiv. fruit pies, sundaes, cheesecake, and cheese dip and crackers

I am glad so many of you seemed to enjoy the journey back in time this week with me and my pictures.  I guess that gave us all a little free entertainment!!!!

What have you all been up to this past week? Any great frugal finds?
I look forward to hearing from you.

May the Lord bless you and keep you in His protective arms this week.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Days Gone By..........

Lately I have been thinking a lot about family and friends that have gone on to their great reward in heaven.
It seems like lately there have been so many to leave.  Family, distant family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, school chums.............  you name it.

I think back on the times when I was a child with such fond memories.  I know life was hard for my folks, as we didn't have much money - but we never went hungry, always had clean nice clothes and a warm bed, and LOTS of love!!!!!  So basically in my eyes, we had everything.

Do you ever wonder how hard it was for generations before your parents?  I do.  I would love to be able to go back and experience for a 'short' while, as I know I don't have what it takes to go through all they did.

Today I am going to post pictures of days gone by.  Kind of my throw back Thursday!  They won't mean a thing to you, but I thought you might enjoy taking a walk through history with me.

The most recent picture I'll post is of me at about age 3.  Look at the cupboards and the old mixer.  we had one of those grey/yellow Formica tables with matching chairs!

Momma and I - again in the kitchen.  I love the old frig - I actually used that same one for several years after I got married in the 70's.  Momma baked beautiful cakes - mine had a little dolly on it.

These were my paternal great grandparents.  One of those little ones was my grandpa.  Insanely enough, I have that wooden chair!  They look so stoic.

More paternal grandparents.  The ones in the center are my great grandparents.  He is the ancestor that has Amish roots.  My Dad's mom is the stern looking one on the left in white blouse.  Geesh, she looked stern even as a teen!  Notice how old even the teens (all standing in back row) look.  Life was hard. 
I love this picture - 9 kids and the dog!  In the area they lived you either farmed or worked in the coal mines.

This was my grandpa - Daddies' dad.  Check out the gun and holster!  What a character - I would have loved to known him.  He died in 1918 during the influenza epidemic as did my dad's baby brother.  Grandpa was only in his 20's and worked in the coal mines.  I can't imagine how hard life was for Grandma being left to raise 2 children alone.
Maternal grandma.  Isn't she just dapper looking?  She came from a family with money - but OOPS she married someone who didn't.  I am told she always tried to give the appearance of wealth and she was never happy.  So sad - as it sounds like she missed out on so much.  Hopefully, this is why I could care less how people perceive me!!!!!  She died when I was about 3.  My mom looked like her, as do I. 

Great Uncle Edwin.  The brother of the grandma pictured above.  He was a jeweler.  Had his own business.  I have a couple pieces he actually made.  I have found many patents listed in his name (how cool).  I also have a real estate folder from his family home that he built, that sold again several years ago.  Mom, told stories of him living in a mansion, which we thought were fanciful tales - but once I saw the home and it's interior I can understand why she said that.  From a girl who had nothing - he sort of lived in a mansion!  The family crest is still on the front of the home to this day.
I would have loved to have known this man, as he sounded like quite a kind soul.  Mom learned later in life that he always made sure 'Santa' came for her and her siblings.  'Santa' delivered a tree and gifts on Christmas Eve, above and beyond what Grandma and Grandpa could ever do. 


Ok, so much for my time travel today.  It seems I had both laborers and wealth in my past.  Humble beginnings and high society.
I guess my upbringing, leads me more to the humble side of things. 
I am thankful for what I have, I have enough, and I have a colorful history.  I love that.

Thanks for taking a stroll through history with me.  I think it's fun to see old pictures, whether I know the people or not.  I hope you enjoyed it.
Maybe I'll do some more someday. 

EMBRACE AND LOVE YOUR PAST - IT'S 'YOUR' HISTORY!




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fun Easter/Spring Recipes

We all like to find fun new things to fix around the holidays.  Of course we all have our family favorites, but I have always liked to try new recipes too.  They can become some of those family favorites!

Here are a few yummy recipes.  I have made them all and YES they are good!


DREAMSICLE CAKE
1 box orange cake mix
large can of mandarin oranges (15-16 oz.)
1 C sour cream
Pint of whipping cream or 16 oz. container Cool Whip
4 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Drain juice from oranges and use it for part of the water in cake mix.
Pat half of the oranges dry - then put them in the cake mix.
Bake as a sheet cake or 2 layer cake according to the directions of cake mix box.
Beat whip cream till stiff (or thaw Cool Whip) and stir in sour cream and powdered sugar.
After cake has cooled "ice" with the whipped cream mixture and then top with the other half of oranges.
Keep refrigerated!  This is soooooo light and refreshing.  It is wonderful.  One of my favorite cakes.


JELLY BEAN FUDGE
2 C white chocolate chips
1 - 16 oz. container vanilla frosting
2 C assorted jelly beans  (I like to use the mini ones)
Butter a 9" pan.  Melt chips - stir till smooth, then add the frosting.  Cool slightly and add the jelly beans.
Spread into pan and cool at room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.


DREAMSICLE FUDGE  
1 1/2 sticks butter
2/3 C  cream
3 C sugar
7 oz. marshmallow creme
12 oz. white chips
9 drops red food coloring
12 drops yellow food color
1 Tbsp. orange extract

Mix butter,  cream, sugar and bring to a rolling boil for 6 minutes.  Remove from heat and add marshmallow crème and chips.
Take out 1 1/2 C and set aside - put food coloring and extract in the balance.
Pour into a 9 x 13 buttered pan.  Pour on the plain (white) mix and swirl it through the orange with a knife.
MMmmmmmmm!


PEANUT BUTTER EGGS
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/4 C creamy peanut butter
1/4 C marshmallow crème
1 3/4 C confectioner sugar
3/4 pound milk chocolate candy coating
2 tsp. shortening or coconut oil

In a small mixing bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter, and marshmallow crème till smooth.  Gradually beat in the confectioner sugar.  Drop by level tablespoons onto wax paper and form into egg shapes.  Freeze for 10 minutes
In a microwave, melt the candy and shortening together, stir until smooth.  Dip eggs into candy coating: allow excess to drip off.
Return to baking sheet. (Decorate with sprinkles if desired).
Let them set till firm and store in an airtight container.
About 1 1/2 doz.


Maybe you can try something new for your family this Easter and start a new family tradition!
I love trying new recipes.  How about you?
ENJOY

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Frugal Happenings 3/12

Happy Sunday my friends.  I hope you had a lovely week and have managed to stay safe and healthy and frugal!

Thursday I had the windows and doors open as the day was close to 70* and was beautiful.  Today we are back to winter!  It looks like spring, but it sure feels chilly out.
I see a new meaning for the term March Madness!!!  LOL

Did you re-set your clocks?  I love the daylight being later in the evening, but it always takes me a while to re-set my body clock in the spring forward move. 

My week:
  • I picked a bouquet of daffodils with forsythia stems.  It was so pretty and cheery.
  • Been spring cleaning in the office/kitty room.  I have lots of office supplies that won't have to be bought for years!
  • I made a run to Menards and got new furnace filters.  Allergen 8000 were on sale 6.99 AND were B1G1!!!!!!!!!!!!  Woohoo!!  I have enough for over a year. as I got 4 and already had 2. They are 3 month filters.
  • I have had a slow leak on a tire on the Blazer for a while.  While out I decided to stop at tire shop and get it checked (vs. just airing it up).  I had a nail in the tire and they found a nail in another tire too.  Got that fixed and I am good to go!
  • Stopped at Kroger to LOOK at clearance while out.  Got some great clearance
Bulk bologna, bread and over the counter meds.  The meds are dated well into 2018 and 2019.   Saved $10 per box (3 boxes of 42 ea.) for Omeprazole, saved $3 each on Gas-X and $3 each on Rolaids Advanced.  Saved $2 each on bologna and $1 on bread.   Spent $34.02 and SAVED $56!!!!
  • Checked all my vehicle fluids myself and cleaned out the Blazer
  • Filled all the feeders and cleaned all the heated water bowls and plugged back in for the cold nights - so as not to freeze
  • Was craving orange juice - so dug out concentrate from the chest freezer
  • Used all leftovers and re-invented into new dishes
  • Made a bowl of sandwich spread from one roll of bulk bologna
Sandwich spread - meat, relish and Miracle whip - made some yummy sandwiches.
  • Had a sweet tooth, so I made a batch of marshmallow crispy bars - used corn flakes, as that is what I had on hand.  Mmmmmm
  • I found some new small photo albums when cleaning out office (all bought for $1 at $ Tree), and I redid my "Sweets" recipe book.  I have small books for sweets, main courses, breads, and canning all with my recipe cards that I use often.  The sweets book was falling apart.
The old one was crumbling and the spine had broke - it was messy to use.  I love using small photo books for recipe cards!
  • Used part of one of the large sweet (butternut like) squash my brother gave me in the fall.  Will use the balance this week
That's a big squash.  It is so yummy.  Neat thing is when you slice of part of the long part - it 'seals itself'  till you use again.  I used about 8".

Meals this week:
Leftover mac/cheese and sausage with baked beans
Small pork roast with potatoes, squash, carrots & onions
Balance of veggies and pork made into a pot of soup
Chicken strips with mashed pots and corn
Taco salad
Leftover taco meat with other ingredients in loaded wraps
Sandwiches (sandwich spread) and chips and homemade dip

How was your frugal week?  Anyone working on spring cleaning?  I will be doing that for quite a while yet!  Might as well clean inside until we get the next warm spell out doors.

I hope those in the path of the winter storms that I keep hearing about, are safe.  May your week ahead be a blessed one.

Spring is almost here!!!!!