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!!!!!!!
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.
If you don't worry about it - no one will worry about it for you.


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!

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.


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!

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


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 
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. 


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!

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.

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.

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.

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?

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!!!!!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Less Equals More

Yes - Less can equal more, especially when it comes to spending less or buying less.  That in turn equals more money on hand.  More money to pay off debt, more money for emergency fund, more money for vacations, more money to buy a house.....................................and on and on.

I spoke the other day about reducing our consumption of things.  We are bombarded daily, with things we need and why we need them,  on the TV and radio.
The TV shows we watch do the same things.  I love HGTV and DIY - but can't stand the obvious and over the top consumption.  I know we all have different ideas on what is nice and what is pretty and acceptable in our homes - but when I see people look at kitchens and bedrooms that are bigger than my entire house and say "eh - it's just too small" - my blood pressure sky rockets!!!!  How much room do we need to sleep?  I also see those shows, where everything is "just so outdated" - and to be honest I am drooling - because I would love it! (I am a vintage type gal).
I guess that is why the saying "different strokes for different folks" came about!

My other pet peeve - is watching the remodeling shows and watching them take a sledge hammer to perfectly fine cabinets and shelves, etc.  GEESH, those could be used by someone else who can't afford brand new or who simply believes in recycling to help Mother Earth!
I love the shows that make a point of using as much as possible of the original home, and find their 'new' supplies at rehab and recycle stores.  That is being such a good steward.

OK off my soap box.  You get my point.  We need to be more mindful of using what we already have - quit falling for the 'must have' traps - and save a little money in the process.  Folks, we have all worked hard for what we have, and it makes little sense to just throw it away.
I guess I am like Ellen (view comments of last post) - in that I struggle with where to draw the line on spending for need and for want.

Here are a few more ideas for using what you have instead of buying something new or running out on an emergency run for something:
  • Mouthwash is antiseptic.  It will work on small abrasions and cuts to disinfect
  • Honey is a great antiseptic as well.  Rub over a small cut for healing
  • Bar soap can be used for about everything (especially gentle ones like Ivory).  Can be used in bathing (adults and babies), hair, laundry, dishes, etc.
  • T-shirts with worn collars and sleeves can be cut into tanks tops or work shirts.  They can also be made into cloth grocery bags
  • Old cell phones can be donated to women's shelters
  • Body washes can be used in hand soap dispensers or made into foaming soap, and can be used for dish washing in a pinch
  • Clamp clothes pins make great chip clips.  Pants hangers can be used as chip clips as well.  Either cut the ends off and use, or place a bar in the pantry and hang your bags.
  • Twin fitted sheets make great table covers for picnic tables or long dining tables
  • Baking soda and vinegar can be used to open sluggish drains
  • Use  stale soda pop instead of water when making Jello - even gives it a better flavor (and you aren't wasting)
  • Clay or plastic pots can be used for more than flowers.  I use a couple in my kitchen for holding utensils that I use daily (I have very little drawer space).  They would be good storage in bathroom as well.  How about using them to hold office or craft supplies?    Clean clay pots can be used in baking.  Use as herb gardens.  Recycle and use in gifts with seeds/gloves to a gardening friend.  Broken pots are great for drainage in other pots.
My daily silverware container.  It sits right next to the sink on the counter - I wash flatware and place in container - and it's right there ready to use daily.

The cooking utensils that I use pretty much daily sit in a pot right next to the stove.  As you can see most of my utensils are vintage - I love the old stuff.
  • Really large flower pots can be used as storage/tables on the patio.  Great place to store hand tools, small hose, etc. and cover with a hand made table topper (old boards or a tray or platter) and use next to a chair to hold drinks
  • I keep dill pickle juice and use as a marinade for meats, I also place other fresh veggies in it and make new pickled veggies.  Shoot I love to just drink it!!!!!
  • Compost food scraps 
  • Wooden pallets are now the new thing!  If you can find them for free - they can be made into all sorts of things
  • Cut old frayed bath towels into wash cloths.  Simply bind or hem the edges.
  • Flat sheets can be made into valances, window curtains, and even clothes
  • Old books make great secret storage places

We are basically the only ones that can help ourselves.  Many people are so tight on money, that every idea that we can share, could help them tremendously.  Others, just want to save where they can - so they HAVE a fund to take care of emergencies or have a trip or pay extra on the house.
We all have our own reasons for being frugal!!
Plus with being frugal and re-inventing, re-cycling, and up-cycling we are also helping this beautiful planet we live on.

Give us a shout out - we are all here to learn!
Blessings my friends!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Reducing Consumption

We are bombarded daily with commercials for all the things we NEED!  Newer, fancier, shinier, get it.  I find commercials offensive, as I see the same ones so many times - odds are I will never buy what they are selling. 
Marketing is a huge industry.  Their job is to get you so excited about a product that you will go out and spend your hard earned money - for something you probably don't need!

I am here to tell you that you probably have just about everything you need already!  The exception to that might be food - which is an on going thing!
We need to spend more time finding new uses for things, repairing things, and just plain thinking outside the box.

I think back to my mom and grandma and the things they had to make life 'easier'.  No fancy kitchen gadgets at all - Mom had a grater, hand operated mixer (we call egg beater), knives, and potato masher, etc. 
I remember when she finally got a stand mixer and thought she was 'thoroughly modern Martha'!!!  She didn't have Tupperware or fancy storage containers till I was almost an adult (and those were gifts).  She used jars and glass bowls and had all sorts of those little covers that looked like shower caps that she used over and over. 
We didn't have a drier till I was in my teens - we line dried everything - always!
Her vacuum for ages was one of those hand push rotary things and/or a broom!
She had a water bath canner - never a pressure canner.  She canned everything you could think and NO we didn't die or get sick from it.
She chopped and diced everything for canning with knives.  She never had a food processor.  I think we bought her a blender when I was about 14.
Our clothes were always hand made (often made over from other things), and they were mended to make them last longer.
Coffee was made in a percolator and tea water was heated in a pan, until she a pretty teapot for a gift.
Daddy repaired all his tools and kept things in good working order.  Many of his garden tools are still being used today by brother.

Yep, we have all gotten soft.  We want everything to be easy!!!  Did our parents and grandparents have it easy - NO - but they sure were made of good stock - which is more than I can say about a lot of folks today!
Newer and fancier doesn't always mean better, and it sure isn't always frugal.

As you know I have been spring cleaning - well let me tell you, I have found more things that I didn't know we had.  It is crazy as to how much has been purchased (albeit on sales and clearance), that was simply forgotten.  I put things away for the day we might need them - then forget!  I bet many of you do the same thing.
We are completely set on undies, t-shirts, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bath washes, copy paper, envelopes, candles, card stock & card supplies (I WILL be getting back into making cards), energy saving light bulbs, how to books..........................and that is only from a couple rooms being dismantled and sorted!  We are good for ages and ages on those things - some will never be bought again.   (GEESH - I HAVE THE REST OF THE HOUSE AND THE BASEMENT TO GO)!

I challenge everyone to start going through closets and drawers and cupboards and basements - and find all the things you have forgotten.  Isn't it sad that we HAVE SO MUCH that we forget what we have?  Some people have nothing.  I have lots and lots of bags and boxes getting filled for donations as well as what we are keeping.  
I have kept back some clothing that will be remade into new clothing, some that the material will go into new projects, some we will wear as is, and lot's to donate.

Here are a few ideas of items you probably already have - and don't need to buy new stuff - just to be buying.
  • Vinegar can be used as fabric softener or as hair conditioner. (No smell when it dries).  It can be used as a cleaner for glass and all other types of cleaners
  • Coconut oil is great for cooking and baking - but it also makes a wonderful skin cream (it's all I use).  Keep in a separate container
  • Cooking oil stops a noisy hinge
  • Hair conditioner or lathered soap makes a great shaving cream
  • Baking soda and water paste is a great substitute for cleanser
  • A pot of water with fruit peels or cinnamon or herbs on the stove is a great replacement for air fresheners (and healthier too)
  • Old clothes cut into rags makes great re-usable/washable rags - no need for paper towels
  • Old t-shirts or flannel sheets cut up make great washable/re-usable hankies
  • Wash cloths or cloth napkins (can make from other items) are super re-usable/washable napkins.  No need for paper
  •  Newspapers make great glass cleaning 'rags'
  • Use an old single sock or a microfiber cloth on your Swifter - no waste and washable
  • Collect rain water or snow (melted) to use as a hair conditioner (it makes your hair so soft)
These are just a few ideas - I will list more later on part 2.

Just stop and think before buying new stuff.  Don't get caught up in the traps of the marketing gurus.  Look around and become MORE aware of what you already have.  Re-invent things for a new purpose.

We have more than any generation before us has ever had - and we still aren't happy!!!!  I think that says something pretty profound!
Get busy and FIND all your hidden treasures - make plans to recycle and re-invent - and donate what isn't needed.

As long as you have enough - you don't need more - odds are you already have more than enough!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Frugal Happenings 3/5

Good morning my lovelies!  I hope everyone has had a wonderful week.

We are still up and down with the weather.  March definitely came in like a Lion - so here's hoping for a good ending!  Sun is shining today, skies are blue and temps should get in the 50's.  All is good!

We had to make an unexpected visit to the Vet this week with indoor boy Coogy.  Friday I noticed he was trying and trying to potty and couldn't.  Spit up a little and just kept pacing the house.  Being gun shy now, I called the Vet and they got me right in.  He is fine!  He had obviously been constipated, and the Vet said it sometimes happens just like with people.
LESSON LEARNED:  Place kitty in carrier and drive around a little first - it literally 'scared the poo right out of him'!!!!  LOL
Un-frugal was spending $50 - BUT we had a weekend of peace of mind!  And we found out he a healthy kitty in every way!  So it was worth the unexpected bill.

My frugal week:
  • Ran to the library and got some new books to read.  Very informative.
  • Had Subway sandwiches for dinner one night.  Had $6 foot longs till end of February and we used GCs.  Extended the use of cards with sale price - FREE is good!!!
  • Been doing LOTS of spring cleaning.  Bedroom closet and all drawers in bedroom.  Bathroom storage and medicine cabinet.  Hallway closet.  Can not believe all the stuff I found that we had forgotten about!!!! (WILL DO a BLOG on non-consumerism this week and will explain)
  • Had to break down and buy a new wiper blade for the passenger side of Blazer.  Got a deal at $10.50 and they put it on for me.  It sure feels better being able to see out both sides clearly!
  • Mailed 2 cards this week from cards I have on hand. (I buy at yard sales and thrift stores)
  • Stopped at a different Kroger (I was in the area) and found a 10 pack of Ivory soap for 2.99 on clearance. (Rumor has it they are going to stop producing).  I also got 2 pork cube steaks on clearance for the freezer.
  • Mailed in a rebate form for Menard's.  $5.49 - it's still money back!
  • Signed in for extra Kroger reward points
  • Bought a McD hamburger ($1) while out this week - I was starving.  Did survey on receipt and got a code for a FREE quarter pounder with cheese!  Cool - thanks for the heads up Ellen!!!
  • Made hard boiled eggs for quick meals and for topping salads
  • Stopped at Aldi for eggs and found a Crofton water filter pitcher on clearance (with filter) get this - for .99!!!!!!!!!!!  They filter is worth more than that - and my Brita filters I have on hand are the same filters!  WOOHOO.  Wish they would have had more than one left - I would have bought them all for gifts.
This is definitely the deal of the month for me!

Meals this week:
FREE Subway
Homemade ham/cheese hot pockets and salad
Homemade French bread pizza (bread from freezer)
Homemade chicken noodle soup/with veggies added - 2X
Jalapeno/cheese smoked sausage sandwiches and chili/cheese dip with tostados
Mac N Cheese with jalapeno sausages added and side salad

All in all we had a very good week.  G's home visit doctor came by and did a check-up and all is well.
I plan on continuing in my spring cleaning efforts this coming week - oh there is so much to get rid of!!!!
I have bags I am readying for the church thrift store.

What have you all been doing?  Any fun things happening in your neck of the woods?
Give us a shout out.
May you all be blessed in this coming week.

Have a great week my friends!

Friday, March 3, 2017


I have a couple of little pics that are just the best advice in my opinion.  Just thought I would share to end the week.

I love this.  We often forget or get so down with events of life that we sidestep our own purpose.  No matter how difficult things get, God has a purpose for us and He will never forsake us.

We may be starting the third month of the year - but I think this is worth revisiting.  Each day that we wake up, we are given a new chance to do something positive!

Make a difference.
LET THIS BE THE YEAR OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

'March' ing Forward & Some Pics

Good morning and HAPPY MARCH 1st!   Happy Ash Wednesday!

A new month can mean new beginnings.  Now is the time to start fresh new habits - if you have fallen short thus far this year.  New beginnings can start at any time.  JUST START!  It is never too late.  Let today be THE day for a new beginning of some sort in your life!

March came in like a lion in our neck of the woods.  We had some pretty nasty storms over night and damage in some areas of the state.  We are fine in our neighborhood.  I sure hope this means that March will go out as a lamb!
Spring weather is always the most scary in my opinion.  In this area of the country we have many strong spring storms that bring lots of lightening, rain, tornadoes, and hail.
ONLY 19 days till calendar Spring!  Daylight savings time starts on the 12th - so we will 'springing forward' with the clocks. 

Spring is arriving in our yard - as things are coming back to life.

Daffodils are loaded with buds - they will be so pretty.

Lilies of all sorts are popping up.  Lots of tiger lilies and the greens of 'surprise' (or resurrection) lilies.

Squirrels are getting frisky and playing like crazy.  This little fellow was actually this close to the camera!  They feed from my hand all the time.

Forsythia is starting to bloom and the grass is really greening up.  Squirrels and kitties are the only ones using the bench at this time - I cant wait to sit out there and admire all the pretty flowers!

Peonies are poking their little heads out.  Get excited to think they will be blooming in 6 weeks or so.  One of my favorite flowers (because of smell).

Kitties sunning themselves on the drive.  This is Momma - isn't she a beauty?  She and Fluffy love laying in the warm sun.

I do believe Spring is my favorite time of the year.  The world is coming back to life and beauty abounds in everything and every where.

Today officially starts SPRING CLEANING at my house!  Have you started yet?
Let's all get busy and start something new in our lives at the start of this new month.  Let us know what you are up to!
I'm going in to clean out the bedroom closet then I am starting a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup!  YUM

Have a great day my friends!