Sunday, February 28, 2016

Frugal happenings 2/28

Good day everyone!
Oh what a beautiful morning we have here today!  It is supposed to get to the 60's and be very windy - but it is gorgeous right now.  One day less for winter weather!!!!
Here we are at the end of another month.  Oh, we do get an extra day - but no one seems to notice.

This past week I made a Sam's run.  That only happens 1X - 2X a YEAR!  I stock up well on certain items, then I'm good.  I only buy certain things there, as many items I can get cheaper else where.  Bigger is NOT always better or CHEAPER!
I like to buy spices I use a lot there (big bottles), outdoor (large) trash bags, peroxide 2 packs (cheaper than dollar stores), OTC meds (Pepto this time), and stevia (cheaper than reg. store).
The big trash bags I bought will last me about 2 years (I keep them in the garage).  Most items I buy last a good year if not longer, depending on usage.
Oh, I also bought 8 lbs. of faux crab meat (won't pay the price for real), and divided it into 8 packs for the freezer.  That will last all year for salads.

My week:
  • We ordered a $250 WalMart gift card with all our points we had from a charge card.  It took a long time to gain the points - but it was worth the wait.
  • My big find at Sam's - I got 4 bags (24 oz. each - big bags!) of French's Dried Onions on clearance for 2.91 each!  That's a hugs savings from the store - G loves these things.  They are dated 12/2017
  • I stopped by Kroger to check out clearance and found Domino 4 lb. bags of sugar for $1 each.  I didn't really need - but I bought more for stock.  Sugar doesn't go bad, even if hard.  I use only in the summer (canning and hummies) and holidays.
  • Made all meals from scratch
  • I find some great produce bags (picture) in my kitchen drawer I cleaned out.  I have NO idea where I got them, or when I got them - but I will be using them for sure.
  • Of course all my normal stuff, laundry in cold, filtering water, making tea, daytime heating from passive solar, fresh air for house when we can, etc.
  • Threw all crushed egg shells and coffee grounds from the week directly into garden bed

These are the bags I found in the drawer.  I laid the newspaper next to them to show size.  I will be keeping with my re-usable grocery bags for the store and using these for produce.  Saves on waste - how green!  I have 4 of these.

Made chili this week, and then used leftover chili in a tater-tot casserole.  Had a big breakfast meal one night, had baked potato night, and finished up all leftovers along with salads.
I have been working hard on reducing trash.  I have been really concentrating on repurposing and recycling all that can be.
I have also decided that I will be adding something to my pantry stock every week.  This girl wants to be prepared if/when things get worse in the country.

Again, not an exciting week - but a good one!  I am anticipating the day I can get outside and work in the dirt!  I have been thinking on and planning new things for the garden this year. 
We have had an abundant amount of limbs and sticks fall this winter due to high winds.  I will be utilizing all those bigger limbs as teepee poles or braces for vining plants.  I have a huge pile of them outside.

I look forward to hearing from you all.
I hope and pray that each of you have a safe and healthy week ahead.  God be with you and protect you.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

This and That Thursday

Howdy everyone.
I sure hope everyone made it through the nasty weather that went much of the country yesterday.  Hope this finds you all safe and well.

Just wanted to post some pictures of things that I think are very clever.  I am guessing others may like them as well.  A couple of the items would be cute gifts - so here are some ideas to think about.

The first idea that I find totally ingenious is this one.  Install metal shelving upside down and a bit at an angle - and you have the perfect shelves to rotate and display canned goods.  This is just so clever - I wish I had thought of it!

Here's a picture of what the reusable bags made from pet food bags looks like.  Aren't they just the cutest?  Hmmmm - I am thinking that these would make a cute conversation piece/bag for all my Christmas goody bags.  FREE too!

This is another really cute gift idea.  Soap socks!  Kind of a soap and wash cloth all in one.  These would be so easy to crochet.  This would be cute with a pretty hand towel or  some homemade bath scrub as a gift.
Just a little of this and that from me today. 
I love cute and creative ideas!!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Oddball Re-purposing

I am trying so hard to get back into recycling and repurposing everything I can.  I kind of got out of the habit over the winter.  Well, I decided it's time to get serious, and this year is my year to drastically reduce waste.

There are a lot of oddball things that just seem to have no other use.  Guess what?  Many do.  Here are a few ideas.

  • Save all the 'crumbs' from the bottoms of candle jars.  I keep LIKE scents together in baggies (winter scents, summer floral).  I use them in my melt pot instead of buying melts.  I also use them to make new candles - all original scents!
  • I keep the corn cobs from squirrel corn - and barter with my brother.  He runs the cobs through his chipper and I loan him my small tiller (he'd do it any way!).  I then put those chips in the garden.
  • This year I will be using cobs from any fresh corn I get to make cob jelly (kind of like corn syrup)
  • I make apple jelly/syrup with the peels and cores of apples I used to make sauce with.  I have also just learned how to make my apple cider vinegar.  Will do that this year.  You can do this with about any fruit - peaches, pears, etc.
  • Citrus peels can be used in a citrus cleaner - I love that stuff.  I also like to zest the outer peels and freeze the zest for later use.  Citrus peels can also be candied or used in homemade marmalade.  Pulverize in water and pour around plants - minerals.
  • Sour milk (I hardly ever have that happen) - is frozen into cubes and put in a marked baggy.  I use in making biscuits (like grandma did).
  • I keep all rubber bands and twist ties (no matter what they come on).  I keep them in bags and they are ever so useful
  • Egg shells - I wash them off and keep in a bowl at the sink.  They go DIRECTLY  into my garden - as does coffee grounds (all year).
  • Egg shells can also be dried and pulverized and used as bone meal on plants.
  • Keep the water from boiling eggs or potatoes - let it cool and use to water your house plants or ANY plants.  Lot's of minerals in that water.
  • I use my scalding canning water (when I am done) to pour on weeds in the fence row.  They die EXTREMELY quickly.
  • Broken clay pots are great to use a drain material in the bottoms of other pots.  ALSO can use squished pop cans or  Styrofoam peanuts for drainage.
  • Cat food cans can be used to make adorable pin cushions (use crunched foil in the ball) - it sharpens pins and needles.  Cat food cans can also be used as candle holders for homemade candles (a pretty piece of ribbon around outside or paint).  They also make great MINI baskets (think a tiny gift for workmates).  They are great as office/kitchen drawer organizers.
  • Keep those pull tab lids  - wash and flatten - then use as plant name tags for the garden.  Hang from tomato cages or tack on to stakes.
  • Bags from rock/bark/dirt etc. use as a weed barrier. 
  • I have been keeping large (16 lb. or bigger) cat food bags and critter feed bags that are made of a plastic like material.  They make the cutest reusable bags.  Just cut a sew.  All other large bags can be used for trash collection.
  • I cut the wrappers on 12 packs of TP on the side (shallow end) and use them as small waste basket liners.
  • TP and paper towel rolls can be cut and used as seed starter pots as well as cardboard egg cartons.  These can be planted directly into the garden without disturbing the plant roots.
Notice the sheen to the plasticized type bags.  These are incredibly  strong and can be sewn into cute grocery bags.  They sell them at flea markets here for a chunk of change!!!  Any type of bag can be used - chicken feed, wild bird seed, pet food, etc.

These make great seed starter containers.  Can be planted directly into garden.
How creative can you get with trash??  Let us know some of your repurposing ideas.  I have more that I will post at a later date - but I am curious how creative everyone is!!  We all need NEW ideas!  Let's help save this beautiful earth!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Frugal Happenings 2/21

Happy Sunday all!
What a beautiful day we have.  Yesterday got to 72* and not a cloud in the sky!  Today not as warm (50's) - but sunny at the moment.  Geesh - maybe traces of snow by midweek!
The nice thing about these warm days - is that it is just one more day closer to spring and one less freezing cold day.
Heck on Monday past - we were shoveling snow and by weeks end it was 72.  Crazy stuff.

I spent a lot of time this week doing errands for and helping out the in-laws.  I did find a couple bargains when out shopping for my mother-in-law.  I had no intentions of shopping for myself again this week - but bargains to help stock up my pantry are just no brainers.

  • I colored my hair with supplies I had on hand - and only used 1/2 the box
  • Shoveled snow - FREE exercise
  • I did find cans of sliced black olives (dated 9/2019) on clearance for .59 can.  I got 24
  • I found 1 lb. bags of roasted/sea salt peanuts on clearance for 1.49 ea.  I got 5 (all they had)
  • I also stopped at Dollar Tree and bought 8 shelf stable whole milk ($1 ea.) for our pantry, dated 6/2017
  • We did eat Subway one evening FREE with a gift card
  • All other meals from scratch and from home
  • I got to save .20/gal. on purchasing gas
  • Heat off a couple days and got to air out the house with doors open.  No heat most day hours - using the sun to warm the house.
  • I made hard boiled eggs and a 4 day batch of steel cut oats to add to breakfast menu for G
The Mexican (taco) chicken I made last weekend ended up providing 3 different meals.  Over rice, on top of nachos supreme, and then another day in burritos supreme.  Had Subway another day, tuna patties and mac -n- cheese another, and I made a pot of pork pozole.  I had never made that before, and we loved it.  We have had 2 different meals from it, and there is some left.  I guess for the most part this was our ethnic Mexican week! I could eat Mexican everyday.

So as you can see - nothing much exciting happening here!  That is fine with me, as excitement and drama usually means something bad!!!!  I love my quiet boring life.

How has your past week been?  Did you get any bargains?  Save in any new ways?  Let us know.  I like to consider this a "learning" blog for ALL of us - so new ideas are loved.

May the Lord be with you and protect you in this coming week.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Jelly and jams have many uses other than the traditional peanut butter sandwich!  If you are anything like me, you have LOTS of jelly and jam on hand.  I make several types each year and other than for gift giving, we just don't it that much.
I have decided to get busy and start using up some of the older jars, so I don't feel so bad about making new.  I just can't let things go to waste, and many things get made into jelly easily.

Here is a few non-traditional uses;
  • thumb print cookies or molasses cookies (I always put a dab of jelly in center)
  • oat bar cookies
  • make a flavored vinegrette for salads (they can be expensive to buy)
  • I make flavored homemade ice cream with jam (raspberry is a favorite)
  • If it doesn't set right - it's called syrup at my house.  Jelly can also be melted down for syrup.
  • use in making BBQ sauce or chili sauce
  • add between the layers of a layer cake for a fun surprise
  • add to smoothies
  • stir in cottage cheese (the Cottage Doublers are pricey at the store)
  • Jelly rolls
  • mix with cream cheese to serve with crackers or chips.
  • top a cheese cake (melt and cover cheesecake with a thin layer of jelly)
  • mix in yogurt (buy cheap plain yogurt and make your own flavors)
  • Make little individual pies with leftover pit crust (we loved these as a kid)
  • Place a spoonful in the middle of muffins or cupcakes before baking.  Fun surprise!
  • Sweeten hot tea (yum - flavored tea)
  • Dollop some in your hot oatmeal.
  • Use as an ingredient in sweet breads (just adjust liquids a bit)
  • Give as gifts
  • use as a meat glaze - apricot, apple, orange, pear, mint or jalapeno are all good on pork or lamb
  • Mix a little in pancake/waffle mix.  Makes them flavored.
  • And of course on sandwiches, toast, biscuits, etc.
Do you have any cool ideas to use jelly or jam in a different way?  Please let us know.
This year I want to make sure nothing goes to waste and I want to get creative.

A few of my jellies and jams.  You can't see them all - on the lower shelf there are boxes stacked!  There is relishes in that area too.

Let's get creative.  Share your ideas!

Monday, February 15, 2016


I have to say, I have an extreme fetish for cookbooks!  I LOVE THEM.  Do I use them?  Well that is another story!  LOL

I have bunches and bunches of cookbooks and I read them often.  I do use recipes as written for baking and canning.  Once in a while I find a recipe for a main dish that I will make "as directed", and love it.  Usually I look at the pictures - read the recipe - then go off and make something 'similar'.  Go figure.  I do the same thing when watching cooking shows!

I would say at one time I had over a hundred cookbooks (yard sales and thrift stores).  In the past year I got rid of many.  I mean how many books do you need on chili recipes - especially since I always make it the same way!

I often make a dish and G will love it and he will tell me "you have to make that again".  Uh-huh - if I can remember what I did.  I am notorious for just throwing things together and experimenting.
Please tell me I am not alone!  I also like to use leftovers and make something completely new with them.

Here are some of my favorite cookbooks.

The old one was my moms.  Well worn and well used for many, many years.  The Gooseberry holiday book is not just holiday recipes.  There are many good ones in it.  I love my Amish cookbook - lots of simple recipes (basics) and recipes for gatherings and many good tips.  My zucchini book has been my Bible for zucchini for many years (.50 yard sale find).  Meals in Minutes has lots of quick and easy recipes.
The one the sun is shining on is Dining on a Dime Cook Book. (upper right corner).  It is by Tawra Kellam and Jill Cooper.  I got mine on a special they had (they do it about once a year), and got I think 4 different books from them for just about the price of the cookbook alone.  The have the website Living on a Dime. 

If someone told me I could only keep ONE book, as much as I cherish moms, I think the one I would keep is Dining on a Dime.  It has good, yummy, inexpensive, and easy recipes for EVERYTHING!  Meals, beverages, sweets and desserts, breads,  breakfast, soups, veggies, pasta & rice, salads, gift recipes, kids stuff, and cleaning recipes.  You name it and it's in there.  It's like 475 pages!!!!
It also contains a lot of good tips throughout.  There is even an index for recipes using leftovers.  YEP, I think this is the most well rounded book I have.
**(Not promoting for them - I just love the book).

I have made up some recipe books of my own.

These are made from those little photo albums you can buy at the dollar store.  I have one for canning recipes, desserts, mixes, breads and basic recipes.  These are recipes I have copied from friends and family, or gotten from magazines or the internet.  Many of the recipes are in the handwriting of those no longer with us - which makes them even more special.

I also have a couple go-to recipe books for making jar mixes - whether for gifting or just for having on hand for the pantry.  These are good ones to have on hand.

I would hate to lose any of my books.  I am rather obsessed with them!  I have many, many others including about 15 of the Quick Cooking 'yearly' hard back books.

I would sure love to have the room to be able to have ALL of my cookbooks out on display for easy using and reading.  Right now they are in about 5 places throughout the house.  I put them where I can.

Now one thing to remember - OLD cookbooks can be quite beneficial in the frugal kitchen.  Back in the day - folks used what they had, got inventive, and the recipes found in may of the old books are quite economical and frugal.  They had to be, as the women had to cook that way.  So if you get a chance to acquire some older books - do it! 

I just thought I would share a bit of my passion and love for books (I like all kinds).  I hope maybe you have one or saw one that may keep you on the frugal wagon.

Do you have any cookbooks that are extremely special and well used at your house?  If so - please tell!!!!!  I may need another one - LOL.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Frugal Happenings 2/14

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to each and everyone of you.
I hope you all have a lovely day with the ones you love.

It is still very cold here in mid Indiana.  It is 15* right now, warming to the 20's today!  We are supposed to get snow today as well.  We have a few little flakes falling now - with maybe 2" - 3" before the end of the day.  Warming a little this week.  What is the weather like in your neck of the woods?

It's been another very quiet week at our house - just the way I like it.
My fugal accomplishments this week:
  • Renewed library books on-line
  • I did run out and drop off paper recycle at the PO up the street
  • NO grocery shopping at all this week
  • DID SHOP from the basement/pantry
  • Mailed in a rebate form from Menards visit of last week ($5.94 rebate)
  • Cooked from scratch and all meals from home
Basically I have just been piddling around the house.  Dreaming of gardening.  Reading books.  Cooking and relaxing.

I made a beef roast and just enough veggies for a meal the first of the week.  I then used the leftover meat and broth and made a nice pot of beef/noodle/veggie soup.  That was a couple good meals.  I made open faced (broiled) corned beef/kraut sandwiches (corned beef from new years).  We had bean soup and sausage sandwiches one night.  Shoot, we ate off the dump cake I made last Sunday for several days.  It was so good, it tasted kind of like a crisp.

Today I have taco chicken going in the crockpot.   Tonight we will have it over rice - then during the week it will be reinvented into different meals.

I have been craving banana pudding for a while.  Only problem is I have no fresh bananas, nor no vanilla wafers.  I do have graham crackers, and pineapple chunks (home canned), and sugar free banana pudding.  So today, I making my own version of "banana pudding".  I think drizzling it with chocolate syrup will kind of make it like a banana split 'taste'!  We'll see.  YUM

How has your week been?  What did you all do to stay on the frugal train?
Check in and say hi - we all love to hear from all our on-line friends!!!!!!

God bless you in the coming week.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Be Mine?

Hi there everyone!!
Do you all celebrate Valentine's Day? 
We used to, but not so much any more.  I just don't want to cave to the greeting card companies and the mass merchandising frenzy that stores put forth.  I don't think I need a special day to show love.

I know lots of people do celebrate and many spend an absolute fortune on gifts and fancy meals.  That is fine - but it sure isn't me.  The older I got, the wiser I feel I got about my hard earned money, and well - I just won't spend it that way.

Nice "gifts" can still be given and a nice evening can still be had - for little or no money.

I have made cherry pie for G before (with a little heart cut-out on top).  He enjoyed it immensely.
IF we have steak or something in the freezer - I will maybe fix that 'special' dinner with a mixed drink or sparking juice.

Heart shaped cookies
Heart shaped cupcakes
Special dinner at home
A back rub or a special bath night

For those 'just cause' gifts that aren't for someone romantic - you can make cute jar recipes of brownie or cookie mix or hot chocolate mix.
Make some popcorn and drizzle with melted chocolate.  Melt chocolate or white chocolate (dye it pink) and drizzle over popcorn laid out on a cookie sheet.
Make your own chocolate covered strawberries.
Make rice krispies and cut into cute shapes.

Shoot you could give anything you please.  There is absolutely no reason to spend big $$$$$.  Have fun with the day - keep it simple - keep it frugal.

May you and yours enjoy your Valentine's Day on Sunday.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Recycle/Repurpose - OTHER FABRICS

Today I will wrap up talking about recycling fabric/material items.  There are just so many options.

Any old clothing can be made into quilts.  Back in the day our grandparents didn't have any options - they had to recycle all clothing into something else useful.  Clothes were either handed down to the next younger kids or made into quilts.  They let nothing go to waste.  They often cut material into strips and made rag rugs as well.
IF you are going to cut for quilts or rugs - make sure you keep all buttons and zippers.  These will save you in the future.
Anytime I have clothing that is not worthy of donating, but worthy of rags - ALL buttons and zippers are salvaged.  I have even cut out pretty appliques from the fabric to use again in some way.
Do you have a friend or family member that quilts?  When giving them a gift - 'wrap' their gifts in a piece of material!!!

Clothing items can be remade into new styles or other fashions.  I have taken pastel colored slacks I had for work, and turned them into capris.  I have made tank tops out of t-shirts, and even cut up old blouses  and made sleeveless shirts.  Adult clothing can be made into kid's clothing.  Don't buy new - re-fashion into new!!!!!

Do you have a few of those single socks that seem to have lost their partner?  First you could be hip like the kids are now, and wear them mismatched.  That is a HUGE big trend with youngsters. 
I like to save them for a while - hoping the mate will show up!!!!
If not - I use them to dust, and I like to use single footies to cover my Swifter - they work great and are washable. (Old wash cloths work as well!)

Old sweaters can be turned into mittens, wine bottle covers, stuffed animals, pillows, etc.  They can also be unraveled and the yarn used for another project.  (I would dampen the yarn, and stretch it straight, then dry.)

Old panty hose can be put to use as well.  Cut up, they make great plant ties in the garden.  It is strong and stretchable.  Clean old hose legs are also a great way to store onions, long term.  Place and onion in, tie off fabric, add another onion, tie off............. and so on.

Not only would I like to make a quilt/bedding from all the old hankies I have - but I also have all my dads and G's dads ties.  There is another option I want to do someday - bedding from the ties.  I have an idea of using some ties to make lap throws or throw pillows for the siblings.  I am in the process of using a very pretty tie of daddies and a sweatshirt to make myself something. (Picture when done).

Old towels can be cut into wash cloths and hemmed.  I still have some wash cloths made from old towels that we got 30 years ago!  Towels can be turned into bathmats (make a patchwork one with good parts of old towels).  They can also make great bathroom window curtains.  Use the good parts of an old towel to make hand puppets for the kids (eyes - old buttons, etc.).
I am going to attach a hand towel to the garden apron I am making!!

If you happen to have clothing saved from mom or dad - make it into something like a lap quilt of cuddly pillow.  That way you can always have a hug or be covered in their love.

Old men's suits can be turned into great throw pillows for that masculine man cave or library.  They are quite sturdy and rugged - not to mention they look cool.  Men's suit jackets can also be taken apart and the material used in making a gal's or kids coat.

There are just so many options when it comes to ANY type of fabric.  ANYTHING can reused and re-purposed into something new.  Stop and think the next time you are getting ready to get rid of ANY item that is made of fabric or yarn!!!!! 
It's like you can hear "cha-ching" every time you repurpose something!!!!!

Have you made anything into something new?  PLEASE tell about some of your projects!  I just love getting new ideas.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Frugal Happenings 2/7

Happy Sunday everyone!  Happy Super Bowl Day!  Happy first day of the week!  Happy "it's a great day to be alive" day!!!
I hope this finds you all well.

We have had a few decently warm days this week.  Today will be the last, getting to 50*.  This coming week will be much colder with chances of snow.  We have been so very lucky this winter.  Spring will be here in a few short weeks, and we haven't even had much winter here.

I stood out in the yard this week, trying to determine what changes I want to make this year with garden, how I want to change up the container garden, and determining what I want to plant.  Can you tell I am ready?  I even bought a few seeds last Sunday.

It really seemed like another quiet week, but when I looked at my list, I did have a productively frugal week.

  • Went to Menards last Sunday and bought finch food.  Paid $1/lb. for it.  That was much cheaper than I used to get at the feed and seed.  I got a 25 lb. bag and I am re-packaging in old milk jugs for easy handling.
  • We received a $40 refund check from car insurance for some reason.  I WILL TAKE IT!!!!
  • I received a FREE 'Taste of Home' magazine - with a greatly discounted invoice trying to entice me to subscribe.  I won't.   I have already found 2 recipes in it, that I want to try with things I have here at home.
  • I ran to Kroger to look at clearance.  I got 2 apple wedge cutters and 2 sets of 3 pastry cutters for my gift box.  Each were $1 and they are great quality.
  • I also got 6 cans of Hunts diced tomatoes and 1 of sauce all for $3.50.  I also got 2 tubes of decorator icing (orange) for .10/each and a 5 oz. container of holiday cookie sprinkles for .25.
  • I stopped at 2 thrift stores this week.  I went up the road to the church thrift store and got 2 sweatshirts for .99 each (ALL clothes are .99 - no matter what).  I also got a FREE package of sesame hamburger buns and a FREE 8 pack of Entenmann's mixed donuts (5.49 value).  This store gets 2 deliveries a week of bread/baked goods.  They always give it out free - as they aren't licensed to sell food.
  • At GW I got a t-shirt (brand new) and a cute kitchen sign (new) for my gift box.  I also got 2 quilted bed pillow shams, that I will re-fashion into something else.  Spent $3
  • Meals from home and from scratch.
  • Been doing a lot of reading and learning this week from library books
  • Getting lots of ideas from Pinterest for this summer
We always have certain goodies on Super Bowl Sunday.  G wants his wings, which I don't care for, and I have pizza rolls.  I got the wings/drummettes out of the freezer that I got over a month ago for .39/lb. (on clearance).   I have pizza rolls on hand as well.  I will be making these up later on. 

I also got out all the ingredients to make a dump cake today.  Cherry pie filling (from a sale), faux crushed pineapple (I canned), and a .59 box of clearance cake mix.  Not bad for a dessert that will last a few days.

So the week turned out pretty good.  I got a total of 5 new gift items for my gift box.  Got some 'new to me' clothes, some discounted/free groceries, an unexpected refund check, a free magazine, and some good old book learning!
I have so many projects I need and want to do - it just seems I am in a wintertime funk and can't motivate.  I truly need to get my bum in gear!!!!!

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?  What all did you accomplish on the 'frugal' front? 
I so love reading everyone's comments, and love seeing new names. 

May the Lord bless you in this coming week and keep you safe and healthy.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Recycling T-shirts and Jeans

There are so many options for recycling each of these items.

Bed coverings/afghans are adorable made from old t-shirts.  I made one a few Christmas's ago for a niece from her sport shirts she had collected over the years (she was a volleyball player).  She absolutely adored it.  I used a fleece baking on it.
For some reason (you know me!), I kept the other side of all those shirts.  Later when she was going to have a baby, I made a baby quilt from them.  Talk about surprised.
Blankies can be made from any collection of shirts - sports, work, religious, hobby, etc.  They are so extremely easy to make.
Pillows could be made the same way - using only one or two t-shirts.

Of course t-shirts can become rags, and I always cut up several old ones into hankies (about 15 x 15).  I don't buy Kleenex.  I use t-shirt hankies, as they are so soft on the nose. (G uses TP)
I also cut strips to use as sweat bands in the summer.
They are great to cut up and use as plant ties (tomatoes) - as they stretch some.

I love the look of eternity scarves that can be simply made from a t-shirt (no sew).  They can be cut into tank tops and used as cover-ups when painting or working in the garden.  An old yet big t-shirt is great to give little ones to cover them up when finger painting!

Here's one of G's old shirts that I cut sleeves out of and cut at the neck, then sewed the bottom shut.  Hung it over heavy hanger, and store extra bags of snacks in it in the basement.
Cut like this, they also make great re-usable grocery bags.  They are quite strong.

Old jeans can be cut and made into bed coverings/afghans as well.  They are so cute.  Use a variety of jeans and all your squares will be different shades of blue.  This would make cute pillows as well.

I have made many a purse in my day for younger nieces from old jeans.  I added buttons, glitter, maybe a piece of costume jewelry, etc. and they were so cute.  I always made a lining as well.

Jeans can be made into other clothing items as well.  I remember back in the day, making a long skirt from old jeans - I was quite the hippy then!  They are great as skirts and aprons.

Isn't this cute?  I have plans for a yard/tool apron that I am going to make.  As soon as I get it done I will post a picture.  The yard/tool apron only takes a few minutes and minimal sewing if any at all.
I just see potential for all kinds a fun Christmas gifts. 
I might make some pot holders as well - make it a set! (Belt loops would make great hanging loops for pot holders)

If you don't have any of your own jeans to use, go to thrift stores/yard sales and buy the cheapest ones you can find.  It doesn't matter if the knees are torn out or if there is fraying or anything.  That adds character.

I have seen storage bags made from a heavy piece of denim or canvas, that is covered with back pockets from jeans.  These are generally hung by a rod.  They could store small kid's toys, health and beauty items, small packets for the pantry - you name it.

What creative ideas do you have for re-using your old t-shirts and jeans? 
Let us know.  I am really trying to think ahead on craft projects for next Christmas.  Maybe we can all get creative and help each other save some CASH!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Reading Fun

Last week when I stopped at the library I got a book called The DIY Pantry, by Kresha Faber.  That is a real fun book to read.  It has a lot of recipes for things that we normally buy, that we can make right from our pantries.
Things like seasoning mixes, condiments, snacks, mixes for all sorts of items, homemade pasta, etc.  it is really a good read.  Would I buy it?  Doubtful!!!  I will make some copies of recipes before I return it, but most of the items can be found in many other cookbooks.

Yesterday I stopped at the library and got a couple more fun reads.  One is called White Trash Cooking, by Ernest Matthew Mickler.  Well, I learned something about myself - I must be white trash!!!!!  LOL
This book is about just good old home cooking - mainly Southern.  Most recipes contain bacon fat, fatback, ham, corn meal, and molasses!  YUMMO!
There is even a White Trash Cooking 2 - Gatherin's.
I cook like my Mom did, just good basic fixin's.  That is the way we love to eat - nothing fancy at our house.

The other book I got is Don't Throw That Away, by Jeff Yeager - 'The Ultimate Cheapskate'.  That guy is funny - cheap - but funny.
I think I am pretty good about reusing and repurposing things, but even I am getting some good ideas from this one.  There are a lot of things in there that I NEVER thought about.

If you just want something different to read, and want to learn a few new things - give any one of these books a try.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Re-use and Recycling

Hi everyone.  I am going to start a posts about recycling and re-using things.  There are so many different things that we can recycle, so each post we will take on a new item.

In Frugal Happenings this week, we talked about re-using vintage table cloths in the comments section.
I figured today I would start talking about new ways to re-invent different types of linens.

Sheets can be used in so many ways.  As they become worn in center, the outer edges generally always still look new!  I like the idea of cutting them down and making new pillow cases.  Sheets can be used in making valances to match the bedroom as well. 
Sheets (flat or fitted cut) make a great lining in quilt making.
I have known people, who purchase sheets at the thrift store, just for the material.  It can be used in quilts or any type of sewing.

I love the idea of using vintage table cloths and old table linens.  There are just a tons of ideas for using them.  Many can be incorporated into quits - so cool!  I love the idea of making a crazy quilt of sort with different items.

Back view of a patchwork vest I was gifted.  Made from vintage linens.
Close up of the front.  Click on pictures to enlarge the image.

Isn't this cute?  It is made from several pieces.  I imagine most vintage items that can be bought have a stain some where, so using sections for something like this is a great idea.  I think it would be cute to add pieces to tops or skirts - even jean jackets!  I would love a quilt made from a bunch of vintage linens!  Throw/bed pillows would be adorable.  This would be a lovely gift for family using some of moms/grandmas linens.  It would be a keepsake that can me admired/used daily.

I love the old time tablecloths.  I have purchased these over the years for less than a dollar each at yard sales.  Each one has a stain - so my idea is to cut them down and make dish towels, or table napkins, or re-usable book/grocery bags.
They are also great to use for picnics if you just don't want to cut them up.
These would also be great cut-up for quilting.

I have a bunch of lovely hankies.  Some were my grandmas and others my moms.  I have bought several at thrift stores and yard sales.  I am DEFINATELY making a hankie quilt one of these days.  They are pretty, floral and pastel - I love them.

I am planning on making some projects this winter/spring before the weather gets great.  I want to get a little jump on holiday gifts and give something creative this year.

What are some more ideas for linens??  Have you used vintage linens in any new and creative ways?
Please share new ideas!  I have been looking at Pinterest and there are also cute ideas for about everything on there.
I am excited to hear from everyone.

I remembered that I had a couple pictures of items that I loved.  I saved these from sites I visited on the computer.  I wish I could pay credit for the photographer and the crafter, but I don't have that info saved.  But aren't these the cutest?!!!!!!

Next post will be about recycling t-shirts and jeans.