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.


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!!!!! 

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!!!!!!!!!!!!


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.

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!

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.

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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!

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.

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.


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.

*  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

*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

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.

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

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.


Thursday, April 6, 2017


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.

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.
4th - CANADA
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!

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!


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 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.

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.