Thursday, June 29, 2017

Coffee, Tea or...................

Last week I wrote a post about "don't throw that away".  There are so many things in our lives that we use once and then we toss them out.  WHY?
Most items have many, many uses..... we just don't think about it.

Today I am going to touch on the many uses for used coffee grounds, used tea bags, and egg shells.  Some may actually surprise you.  I hope you find something that will be useful for you and your family.

  • Used grounds can be placed in an open container in the frig to absorb odors.  Once you change it out - put it in the compost pile
  • Exfoliator - it is great on skin.  Add to your face cloth with some soap and wash your face - it will be so smooth.  I do this once in a while - it is very messy - but it works.  Many people add to their homemade soaps
  • Scrub your hands with grounds after cutting onions or garlic - removes odors
  • Mix with some oil and use to cover scratches on wood furniture
  • Place a small cup of grounds under your car seat or in your cup holder.  The heat from the sun warms it and your car smells fresh
  • Use around garden plants to repel ants, snails, and slugs - it also helps fertilize
  • Make a 2nd or 3rd pot of coffee using grounds and freeze into cubes or jar and refrigerate.  Makes a great cooler of HOT coffee, great for smoothies, and wonderful to use in baking or ice cream (anything with chocolate)
  • Use as a dye (mix with water) for an antique look
  • Attracts worms to garden soil
  • Helps clean blades of garbage disposal and keeps it smelling clean
  • Add grounds to homemade candles
  • Use as a cleanser for scrubbing gunky pans or grill grates
  • Place around hydrangeas to change the soil PH and change flower color
  • Great for pest control around plants - snails and slugs can't crawl over them
  • Adds calcium to soil around plants
  • Deer hate the smell of eggs
  • Dry and crush and add to bird seed (especially in winter) to give the birds a calcium boost
  • Add to oyster shells to feed chickens
  • Crush shells - place in a jar - cover with cider vinegar.  Within a couple days the shells dissolve.  This is supposed to be excellent to rubs on aching joints.  Keeps on the shelf for months.   I am going to try this one for sure!!!!
  • Many folks sterilize shells, dry, and grind and place into capsules for a daily calcium supplement
  • Keep shells in a jug or bucket of water and use to water your plants.  African violets love the calcium intake.
  • Use in crafts
  • Compost

  • Place old bags in a bucket of water and use to water plants - add egg shells too and you have a great compost tea.  Tea helps repel fungus.
  • Dry used bags and place in cabinets to repel mice.  They don't like the smell.
  • Add bags to a hot bath - contains antioxidants.  Great for softening the skin.
  • Cold wet bags on eyes (while resting) helps reduce puffiness
  • 'Brew' some old bags and use the water as a conditioner rinse for your hair.  It is a natural conditioner.
  • Tea water makes a great dye for paper or cloth.  Use to make it took antique or vintage (makes pretty 'old' lace)
  • Place in hot dishwater 5 - 10 minutes prior to washing greasy pans or dishes.  It helps loosen the grease
  • Make a weak tea to clean hard wood floors
  • Place a cold wet bag over a bee sting, cold sore, bug bite, pimple, or sunburn to reduce inflammation.  Promotes healing.
  • Wash hands or soak feet to remove odors
  • Place in the frig to remove odors.
  • Dry old bags, and open - spread tea over cat box litter to remove odors.

I know that I am definitely keeping ALL my tea bags for re-use.  I will be using them in in the bath and for medicinal and garden purposes for sure.
I already use the coffee grounds in the garden, as well as the egg shells.

I will be keeping most tea bags in a sealed jar in the frig - but I will also be letting some dry out for other uses. 

I am sure there are dozens of other re-use ideas for these items.  DO YOU HAVE ANY THAT WEREN'T MENTIONED?

Trash can be a wonderful thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pretties From the Garden

I have been a very busy bee for the past couple days - so today I am taking it easy with some photos from the yard.
Just a bit of this and that.  ENOY!

It's a good thing we have a ramp in the front of the house, as the flowers have taken over the front walk!

Squirrel planted and approved.

Our opal basil is growing like crazy.  It is so tasty, and pretty too!

Some of our container gardening.  The cucumbers are absolutely covered with blooms.  I have a few little bity cukes on the vines!

Phlox and tiger lilies, both from starts that are way older than me.  My plants originally came from my parent's place - and they dug them out in the country before I was even thought of.  Kind of neat to have something still going from the past.

Simplicity at its best!  I just love zinnias.

Sweet and simple. My angel watches over our garden.

So there you have it - just a little tour of some of my pretties around my 'homestead'. 
I hope you all have a pleasant day.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Frugal Happenings 6/25

Happy Sunday everyone!  I hope everyone is doing great on this fine morning.

We are having absolutely beautiful weather today.  Actually I am sitting next to an open window, and the breeze is down right chilly!  I couldn't say that much this past week.  We had heat and more heat and humidity and at least some rain 5 out of 7 days.  Friday was a torrential downpour and it rained all day.  We had a backyard lake my Friday evening - but thankfully it was gone Saturday morning.
It looks like nice weather much of the upcoming week as well!

I very accurately managed to smack both elbows and my shin on hard surfaces (at 3 different times) this week.  I really do it right when I do it.  My right elbow is still sore and green in color and my shin had a big lump which has finally disappeared - but it still hurts.  Can we say accident prone?

My garden is coming along nicely.  I am so thrilled.  I can hardly wait for that first tomato.

Here's a side view of the raised bed.
My week:
  • Worked on organizing and arranging the basement pantry some more.  Found all kinds of things back in cubbies I had forgotten!  You know you have too much stuff when you find clothes and utensils you have set aside who knows when.  Going to use them now.
  • Did yard work at the beginning of week when it was cooler.  Look forward to doing it this coming week.
  • Line dried laundry on those dry mornings.
  • Have had AC off 3 1/2 days this week.
  • Didn't have to water anything with all the rain
  • Helped the kids next door make a FREE fire pit.  They only had a handful of bricks and a couple of cement blocks.  I let them know it is common knowledge that anything left in the alley is FREE to whom ever needs it.  I showed them a big stack of cement chunks (flat on 2 sides).  The pieces actually look like big rocks - they got plenty and now have a very nice fire pit!  They were so happy.
  • Renewed library books on-line
  • We have another branch of a local grocery going out - stopped by and picked up a few mark downs.  I got 60 cans of cat food for .15 less per can (than I can get at cheapest).  I also bought 4 boxes of Rennet for 1.10 each (8 tabs per box).  I have never made cheese, but have decided to try this summer - so I figured I would get the rennet cheaply - that way if I am not successful I will not have wasted a ton of money.
  • I picked more lettuce, onions, basil and 3 jalapenos.
All 3 jalapenos were this size.  Nice, huh?

Mmmmmm - it won't be long!

I have started my harvest book for the year.  I keep track, generally by weight, of all I pick.  I also keep track of all canning and freezing.  This is something my Dad did forever, and my brother and I both have followed in his footsteps.  It is just fun knowing what your hard work had produced.  You can even sort of figure how much money your produce is worth!

Meals this week:
Quiche and side salad
Mexican skillet casserole & salad (2X)
Mushroom, cheese crockpot chicken and mashed potatoes
Taco salad

I made a 3 fruit crisp.  Used apples, peaches, and pineapple that I had put up in the past.  It is so yummy!

As you can see, nothing real exciting happening here - just normal day to day stuff.  To be honest - I LOVE IT!  No stress, no drama, just a simple, quiet daily life.  That is what I strive for - bliss.

I look forward to hearing from you.

I pray for each of you and your families.  May you all have a blessed week.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Today is a quick post on making our own flavored extracts.  I had a couple people requesting how it is made, and what it is used for.
I have to admit, I am an extract geek!  I LOVE flavored extracts and use them often.  Now that I have learned how incredibly easy it to make my own - well, it opens up a whole new world!

You need herbs, citrus, or what ever you are going to use for flavor.  You also need Vodka.  You also need jars or bottles.
When you purchase PURE extracts at the store, they are all made with alcohol.  You won't taste the alcohol when processing is done, and if you cook with your extracts - you will cook all the alcohol out.

Most all directions say to let the extract steep for 5 - 6 weeks.  I go at least 8 weeks.  It gives you a much richer flavor!  I simply write the date on the jar lid or jar - set in a cool place out of direct light.  Shake or tip your bottle back and forth every few days - just to thoroughly mix flavors. 
Once your time is up - strain the liquid and place in little bottles or small jars for use. 
I use my mesh strainer with a coffee filter in it and place over a bowl.  It makes it easy to do - then I funnel into jars.
I DO NEED to find some cute little bottles - for gifts!
Your extract will NEVER go bad!

VANILLA - 3 whole vanilla beans - slit own the middle.  Place in about a cup of vodka
MINT (any type of mint) - 1/2 cup leaves (bruised and torn) in about 1/2 cup vodka

ALMOND - chop raw, unsalted almonds (about 1/4 cup) and 1/2 cup vodka
WALNUT - 3/4 C toasted, unsalted walnuts chopped with 6 oz. vodka (let this set 2 months or more)
CINNAMON - Use whole cinnamon not ground!  Break up about 3 medium sticks into a 1/2 cup vodka
COCONUT - 1 1/2 C shredded coconut to 1 cup vodka
BERRY - strawberry, blueberry, raspberry - any type of berries!  About 3/4 cup berries to 1 cup vodka
CHOCOLATE - 1/4 cup cocoa powder to 1 cup vodka (definitely let this sit 8 weeks or more)
CITRUS - orange, lime, grapefruit, lemon, etc.  Zest about 1/2 an orange or grapefruit and a whole lemon or lime (no pith) add to about 1/2 cup vodka

I also used lemon balm to make mine - doing the same as mint.

Just think of the possibilities.  You can make extracts that you don't even see in the store. 
I am going to try making some rustic ones with basil, rosemary, and thyme.  These would be wonderful in making a hearty rustic type of muffin or bread!

I use extracts A LOT in baking.  Many times if the recipe calls for vanilla, I add something else, just to change up the flavor.  In my baking, I use extracts in cookies, sweet breads, muffins and cakes.  I like adding nutty ones to homemade fudge.
I also make ice cream a lot - so I have many fruit flavored ones (I have purchased in the past) to flavor the ice cream.  I also chop some fruit to add.  We love peach, raspberry, strawberry, and even buttered pecan ice cream.

There are really NO LIMITS to what type you can make.  Any fruit, herb, nut, etc. will work!!

At the grocery a 1 ounce bottle of pure extract runs any where from $3.50 - $6.  A big bottle of Vodka can be purchased for around $15 and it will make many, many bottles of extract!

I hope this helps and that you will all give it a try!  YES, it takes a while to be 'done' - but it is sure worth it.  It is so much cheaper and you can experiment with many new and exciting flavors.

**I know some instructions said 1/2 cup, 1 cup, or 6 oz. of vodka - use your own judgment!  You can use any where between 1/2 cup to 1 cup and you can add more or less flavorings.  There is nothing etched in stone.

HAVE FUN - this is such a fun and easy project.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


"Don't throw that away" was a mantra at my house growing up.  My folks lived through the great depression (I don't know why they called it great), and this was the mentality most all people had.
I am sure many of your parents and grand parents went through these times as well.
It seems to be where we have all acquired of FRUGAL MINDSETS!

So today we talk about what NOT to throw away and HOW to thoroughly use something up!  I am sure you do many of these things, but some may be new to you.

  • When canning tomatoes or making tomato products - DO NOT throw away those peelings.  Dehydrate them and grind into a power.  I use a coffee grinder to grind thoroughly.  This powder is great added to soups and you can basically make your own tomato sauce or puree.  No need to buy!
  • Do NOT throw away that hard stalky part of asparagus.  Dehydrate and grind.  This adds great flavor to soups and can be added to homemade dry soup mix for a 'cream of' soup.
  • Do NOT throw away the tough stems of broccoli - peel them and cook as usual.  This is my favorite part! *You can also dehydrate the peels and grind.
  • Those big outer leaves of cabbage and broccoli plants can be used as well.  Cut into smaller pieces and dehydrate and grind (do you see a theme going here?)  LOL
  • Brown or spotted bananas - freeze and use for breads or muffins.  I don't even peel.  When thawed I cut the end off of banana and the fruit comes squishing out!
  • Blend up the banana peels with some water and use around your roses - great fertilizer.
  • Stale bread (not moldy) can be dried for croutons, crumbs or dressing cubes.
  • Peels from citrus - ZEST and freeze for future recipes.  You can also place them in a jar with vinegar to make a lovely cleaner.  Cook on the stove in water for an air freshener.
  • BONES - chicken, turkey, ham, beef, etc.  Place them in water and cook for hours to make stock/broth.  You can even add veggies scraps/peelings for extra flavor.  Can or freeze.
  • You can make stock with the shells from shrimp or any fish heads/carcasses as well.  Fish stock is expensive
  • GREENS from beets, radish, turnips, etc. can be cooked and eaten.  They are so yummy and full of vitamins.  Use carrot tops in salad or mix in smoothies.
  • Cores from pineapples - dehydrate and grind.  Great flavoring for any dessert
  • Watermelon rinds can become pickled or make preserves.
  • REGROW ITEMS - many folks only use the green top of green onion - let it continue to grow or plant the bottom (white part) from the ones you buy.  ***** Place the bottom part of celery bunch in water to root - once rooted - plant.  You can grow your own.  ***** Start the bottom end of Romaine lettuce in water - follow same directions for celery.  *****  Potato with growing eyes can be rooted and grown.  *****Pineapple tops can be rooted and grown - you will never get a FULL size pineapple, but you will get a little one.  *****Bok Choy bottom section can be rooted in water, planted and regenerated.  *****  Leeks can be done this way as well.  *****Ginger can be grown from store bought pieces.  *****Separate the pieces from a head of garlic and plant - you will grow many new heads.
  • MUSHROOM STEMS can be regrown.  I have never tried this , but I going to try.  Supposedly you plant the stem in very rich compost like dirt, so that just the top shows.  IF it regenerates it will be quickly and with abundance. (I understand this can be tricky)
  • Large onions (sandwich onions) - keep the root end and plant with a little dirt over the top.  It will generate several smaller (green onion like) onions.I planted one the other day - we'll see what happens!
  • Coffee grounds, tea grounds/bags, and egg shells are all great for the garden.  Grounds keep away crawly pests, and shells add calcium.   NEXT WEEK I WILL DO A WHOLE POST ON COFFEE GROUNDS, TEA, AND EGG SHELLS!!!!!!!! (it's more than bug control!)
  • Fruit scraps - make jelly.     Corn cobs - make jelly.  YEP that's right!

Save the cobs from about 12 ears of corn (keep and freeze after cutting off corn till you have enough)
Place 12 cobs into a large pot and cover with water (cobs completely covered).  Boil hard for about 30 minutes.  remove cobs and strain liquid.  You need 3 1/2 cups for a batch of jelly.
Pour that 3 1/ Cups into a clean pot, ADD 2 tsp. lemon juice and  package of pectin (dry).  Bring back to a rolling boil and add3 1/2 C sugar.  Bring back to a rolling boil for 1 minute.
Fill jelly jars leaving 1/2" head space.  Cap and water bath for 10 minutes.
Has a honey flavor.

3 1/2 C corn juice
3 1/2 C granulated sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 pack pectin (like Sure Jell)
Makes 5 half pint jars.


Peels/cores from 15-20 apples (leftovers from sauce or canning)
6 C water (for cooking peels/cores)
1 (1 3/4 oz.) box dry pectin
9 C sugar
1-2 drops red food coloring

Cook peels/cores in 6 cups of water for 20-30 minutes.  Strain - add water if needed to obtain 7 CUPS OF LIQUID
Add pectin, stir in, and bring to a rapid boil
Add sugar, stir in, and bring back to a hard rolling boil for 1 minute.  Add food color.
Pour into sterile jars, leaving 1/4" head room.  Water bath for 5 minutes.


  • Keep and cool the water from boiling eggs or veggies (no salt added) - and use to water garden or plants.  It is full of nutrients.
  • All scraps/peelings from veggies are kept to add to stock making
  • Leftover cooked food - add to something else to make a new dish or pot of soup.  Blend up leftover veggies or fruit to add to muffins or bread.  Freeze in ice cube trays.  Blended fruit can be used in popsicles or homemade ice cream.
  • Leftover wine (ha ha) gets frozen in cubes to cool wine at a later date - or add to Sprite for a spritzer
  • Keep all glass jars that food is purchased in to use for leftover storage in the frig. (try to get rid of plastic)
  • Keep old clothes and scraps for quilting - pillows, lap throws, quilts (you don't need to know how to quilt to do patchwork).  Repurpose clothes into NEW clothes.
  • Keep any grocery bags you get to use in trash cans
  • Newspaper can be used for weed guard, cat litter, animal cages, and even shredded - some can be added to compost
  • Old t-shirts - cut into rags, hankies, sweat bands, blankets, etc.
  • Old bed pillows - I keep old pillows, till I have enough stuffing to make a new bed pillow or throw pillow

I could go on and on and on!!!!!!!!!!  I guess it was pounded into my head as a child - WASTE NOT WANT NOT!  I still feel that way.  I see absolutely no reason to throw something away that can be used in a new way.  We worked hard for our money - and I sure don't want to just throw it away.

When I have exhausted all safe and healthy remakes - it goes into the compost pile to make NEW soil!  It doesn't get any better than that.

WHAT DO YOU NOT THROW AWAY?  What are your favorite re-uses of items?
I hope to get some new ideas from you guys!

Have a blessed and frugal day,

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Frugal happenings 6/18

Howdy Ho friends!  I sure hope your week was a good one.  Can you believe that we are over half way through JUNE????  Crazy - how time flies.

We have had extreme heat, yet lots of rain this week.  The combination is making the garden plants explode!  They are all getting so big.  I have tiny jalapenos, zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes!  I am anxiously awaiting the day I get to pick some!
It SMELLS so good outside.  Clover is growing every where, and that sweet smell just permeates the air.  It is such a heavenly smell!

We had visitors this week in state from Colorado.  My former bosses, turned really great friends, were in town.  They stopped by and we had a fantastic visit.  It was so nice seeing them in person again - we see each other on FB, but that isn't the same.

I had lunch with other old friends on Tuesday.  We hadn't seen each other in probably 33 -34 years.  We caught up over lunch (their treat).  It seemed like just yesterday that we had talked.

This week:
  • Visiting with old friends - PRICELESS
  • I started 3 - 1/2 pint jars of peppermint extract (fresh peppermint and vodka)
  • Started one 1/2 pint jar of lemon extract (using lemon balm)
  • Made a pint of mint/lavender infused water to spray in greenhouse to keep fleas away
  • Have been spreading coffee grounds around plants that are in pots (good deterrent for crawly bugs)
  • Picked a plastic grocery bag of lettuce and several green onions
  • Rain barrels are full again.  Didn't have to water at all this week due to rain!
  • Dusted broccoli and cabbage with diatomaceous earth (saw some worms munching on leaves)
  • Watched some of a marathon of "How the Earth Will End".  Encourages me to work harder on my pantry.  I think we have the potential of going through a bunch of cr*p before that happens.
  • Had a home doctor visit.  Hubs is great.
  • Found 2 volunteer petunias growing and blooming
  • Picked a pretty bouquet
  • Stopped at Dollar Tree and bought 6 more cans asparagus (3/2020), 4 cans of peach pie filling and 2 - 28 oz. cans of baked beans to add to the pantry
  • Make a quart of clover infused water, which I will be making clover jelly with
  • Stopped at Kroger to check out clearance (I didn't go last week ).    I got 6 bags of Wacky Mac - vegetable pasta for .45 each.  8 - 6 packs of jumbo franks (for cutting and BBQ at holidays) for .39 pack!!!!!!!  2 - 64 oz. bottles of cranberry juice .99 each.
Click on pictures to enlarge
  • I made 2 quiches.  Used leftovers in frig to throw in them.  Good eating!
Added mushroom, black olives, smoky links - cut up, Canadian bacon, cheese, onion.

Meals this week:
Italian baked pasta casserole & salad (2X)
Big salad
Mac and cheese with smoky links added and salad
Burgers with onion & mushrooms and ravioli
Garlic bread pizza (homemade)
Quiche with toast and side salad


I send out prayers for each of you that your lives and your families are safe and healthy this coming week.
Also extra prayers for those in London and China.  I always pray for our country and world, but there has been so much sadness this week.
God Bless

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thrifty and Stretching a Dollar

THRIFTY - definition - wise economical, thriving, prosperous or successful.  Economic or frugal.
I think that describes us - huh folks?

It just makes good sense.  There are so many ways to stretch our dollars each and every day.  The old saying "waste not want not" is absolutely true.  If we take care of our pennies - the dollars will follow.
Here are some ways we can all stretch a buck and still have a fantastic and frugal lifestyle.

  • Use old cake mixes to make cookies, crisp toppings, waffles, etc.  You can add a bit of baking powder if you want to make a cake and the mix is pretty old.  Make waffles and break into fourths and then make ice cream sandwiches out of them!  IF the mix smells fine - it IS fine to use.  Don't worry about dates.
  • Use leftover chili for topping on hotdogs, over baked potatoes or over nacho chips.  Make a casserole by placing chili in pan and top with a package of corn bread mix (mix as directed).  Add a bit of cheese if desired
  • Use leftover taco meat on pizza, potatoes, fries, nachos.  Add to soup or mac and cheese
  • Flat or stale soda pop can be used to make jello or freeze it in cubes to keep drinks from being watered down.
  • Save change all through the week and use for farm market purchases or for a weekend treat for the family without breaking the budget

  • GARDEN - grow something!!!  Even if it is just green onions or lettuce or herbs.  Anything you grow will save you money at the store and it so much better for you.

  • Save the 'crumbs' in the bottom of cereal boxes and use as topping over pudding or ice cream.  Add into the topping for crisps
  • Use leftover coffee and freeze in cubes.  Will cool down that too hot cup.  Place in a jar in frig and use when making a shake - love me a mocha shake!
  • Repurpose ALL leftovers - "eat your garbage".  Sounds funny - but why throw things away when they can be re-invented into something new
  • Instead of serving each person a serving of meat - use half the meat and cut it up into a main course dish.
  • CLEARANCE is our friend!!!!  ALWAYS look for mark downs.  If you find items that you use all the time - BUY ALL THAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO BUY!
  • Don't worry about dates!  They are nothing that is etched in stone.  Things are good for ages and ages after dates
  • Catch shower water in a bucket.  I know it doesn't seem like much savings - but it will water plants or flush a toilet - and if done daily, it saves money.
  • Add pasta, potatoes or rice to stretch meals.  These are all inexpensive and will stretch a meal incredibly
  • Turn AC higher or heat lower.  When using AC, basically you need it to remove humidity from the air.  It will do that at even a higher temp - thus you will feel cooler.
  • Sale stuff you aren't wearing or using.  Unused stuff is just taking up space in your home and you can make some much needed funds.
  • Shop the Dollar Tree if you have one.  They are carrying more and more brand names and they do take coupons now.  This is THE place to buy health and beauty items and cleaning stuff.
  • Make your own lunch treats.  Make peanut butter and crackers or cheese and cracker.  Make your own Lunchables - so easy to do.  Make your pudding or Jello cups.  It is so much cheaper.
  • Learn to make yummy and filling finger foods.  there are tons of cold meals that are filling and inexpensive.  It is amazing what you can do with a loaf of Italian bread!!!!!
  • Family doesn't like veggies or you have leftovers to use up - puree them and use in soups or in muffins and breads - no one will know!
  • If you have hit on HARD TIMES - DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO FEED YOUR FAMILY.  Go to food pantries, apply for WIC or SNAP.  Do NOT be ashamed.  These resources are there to help and the good Lord knows we have all had hard times.
  • Barter with family, neighbors or friends.  If they have excess garden - perhaps you can barter a service with them
  • Out of money?  Inventory absolutely all food items you have and put together creative meals using those ingredients.  Use your imaginations - you make creative a new family favorite!
  • Take advantage of RAINCHECKS.  If a sale item is out - ALWAYS ask for a rain check.  You can get the sale price later on.
  • Consider shutting down cable.  Neflix, Hulu, and other are much cheaper and you can watch movies and many TV shows.  You tube is great too.  It is not just a 'how to' channel anymore.
  • Check into selling home canned or home made items in your area.

It is almost as good as cash (maybe better) in many instances.  If things get bad - all your many thrifty ways WILL save yours and your families lives!

We all need to know ways to stretch our dollars, be thrifty and save NOW - then we will be able to thrive if things go south someday.

How do you stretch your dollars?  We can all use every tip we can find!!
Looking forward to learning some great new tips.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


What do you call success?  We all have a different definition I am sure.

Success is so many things to me, and really none of them have anything to do with money.
I truly believe you can be a successful person if you just live life right - be respectful, happy, loving, caring, sharing, spiritual, etc..
Some of the richest people I know (monetarily) are the least successful in my book.  The almighty dollar has become their God, their friend, their lover, their life.  That is sad.

I saw this on FB a while back - and it really sums up success to me.
The one thing I disagree with - IS these things are not "little things".  They are huge.  If we have these 10 things in our life, we are far, far richer than millions of people on this planet.

I know we are all working hard at providing a good life for our families in many ways.  Gardening, preserving, frugal shopping/living, making do, recycling, re-purposing, sharing, bartering, being good stewards of all we have..........................these are the wonders of success!

I pray each day and I know He listens and answers.
I have family and friends.
I have a wonderful caring/sharing community, in my life, from all over the world, thanks to computers.
I have health.
I have shelter, food, and drink.
I AM RICH - in so many ways!!!!

G and I used to have a standard conversation on Sunday mornings when we played the lottery.  He would say "'are we rich yet?" - My response every time was "we already are".

I somehow bet we are all pretty close to being on the same page with this one!
Like minds do tend to think alike.
Blessings my friends.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Frugal Happenings 6/11

Good morning everyone.  I hope you all had a wonderful week.
We had some fun conversation going on this week.  Glad so many chimed in.

I had a real frugal week.
I got contacted by some long ago friends (30+ years since we have seen or talked).  Facebook sure is a neat thing!  We are going to reconnect this coming week, with meeting up for lunch.  How fun!

I went to my sisters last evening for a family get together of her children and grandchildren.  They almost ALL live out of state - so some of them haven't been seen in 16 - 17 years.  Isn't that pitiful?  There were gr. gr. nieces and nephews there, that I had never even met.  I hate it when families get so far apart by distance.  It is just a shame that these young ones won't really ever get to know extended family.

My garden is really growing in leaps and bounds.  The plants are so much bigger, and I have blooms on tomatoes, squash, peppers and cucumbers!
It is amazing at how few chances of rain they are predicting.  A few weeks ago I never thought I'd say this - but I wish it would rain!

My week:
  • I line dried laundry this week
  • Had a nice rain the first of the week - really helped plants and barrels
  • Used rain water the remainder of week on garden
  • Only had the AC on a bit until yesterday.  It is now in the 90's for several days - YUCK!
  • I finished up the t-shirt/jersey blanket for my nephew's graduation

  • I kept the backs of the brightly colored t-shirts.  I will use that material for some future project
  • Did a ton of yard work in the early part of week when temps were cool
  • NO grocery stores or shopping this week!!!!!!!
  • Trapped myself a groundhog!  It was basically the first outing for it, and I figured it would be hungry, so set the live trap and within an hour I had him/her.  Not taking any chances with that booger eating garden this year!

Isn't Chucky cute?  He/she sure didn't like being in the cage, but it sure didn't want to come out when I dropped it off far, far away!  I had to turn the cage on it's side - and then he walked out and looked back at me as if to say "what's going on - aren't you my Mom?"
G said he sure hope it didn't have GPS - groundhog positioning sensor!

Chicken breast and salad
Burgers and red beans and rice
Leftover burgers, fresh veggies and dip
Homemade taco salad
Brats and loaded fries (used leftover taco meat and cheese on top of fries)
Loaded baked potatoes
Chicken tenders, corn and a salad

PLEASE NOTE I have added another blog on my side bar.  It is the Frugal Workshop.  This is reader Belinda's blog.  CHECK HER OUT!

What has everyone been up to this past week?  What were some of your frugal ways?

I pray you a have a truly blessed week.  Wishing health, safety and fugality to ALL!

Thursday, June 8, 2017


We have talked about doing things the old fashioned way this week, keeping life simpler, and using many of our 'old' tools while working in the kitchen.
It seems to many that there are many of us that embrace the ways of our parents and grand parents.
We are here after all, so they didn't do too bad of a job!!!

I am going to list a few 'older' recipes from our family today.  I know others used these recipes as well, as my husband was familiar with them too.  I have enjoyed these recipes over my lifetime, and hope you do too.

Approx. 1 1/2 quarts of fresh lettuce leaves
4 - 5 slices of bacon
3-4 green onions - chopped

Dressing or Topping
2 Tbsp. bacon drippings
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. water

Fry you bacon and set aside (crumble).  Using 2 Tbsp. of bacon dripping, add chopped onion, vinegar, sugar, and water.  Simmer.
Place chopped lettuce in a bowl, cover with all the dressing and bacon crumbles.
Serve immediately.
ENJOY to the moon and back!!!!!!

This is a huge summertime favorite at our house!  Healthy - not totally - but yummy!

5 bacon strips
3/4 C chopped onion
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2/3 C vinegar
1 1/3 C water
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
6 C sliced or chunked cooked potatoes

In a large skillet, fry bacon till crisp.  Set aside
Drain all but 2-3 Tbsp. of drippings - cook onion until tender.
Stir in flour, blend well.  Add vinegar and water and heat till bubbly and thickened.  Add sugar and stir till dissolved.  Gently stir in crumbled bacon and potatoes.  Heat through.
Serve warm.  Makes 6-8 servings. (Not at our house!!!! - This is a main course when made here)


1 C flour
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
Optional:  3/4 C oats or nuts  (I mix the two and add)

Pour over your thickened fruit base and bake at 375* for approx. 30 minutes.  Browned and crunchy.

Pour 1 1/4 C boiling water over 1 cup oats and let stand for 20 minutes
1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 C flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon

Pour into a greased sheet cake pan (13 x 9) and bake at 350*, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

1 C brown sugar
1 C coconut
1/2 C heavy cream
4 Tbsp. softened butter
Mix together and pour over cake.  Place under broiler until browned. (just a few minutes)

This was made by our Moms and Grandmas for years and years.
It is so rich and gooey and yummy.
**This is how the recipe I have is written down - watch the oven and broiler on your timing!

1/2 C plain cornmeal (NOT self rising)
1/2 C hot water
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Heat about 1/2" of oil.  Drop mixture by teaspoon into hot oil.  Press down center to flatten.  Once the edge appear to be browned - turn over and continue to fry till golden browned. Drain.
Top with butter when serving.
These are so good!!!!!  Simple but good.


I hope these recipes bring back some memories for many of you and I hope that you get the opportunity to enjoy them.
These were all good eatin' at my house when I was growing up and they still are!

DO YOU have any tried and true old fashioned recipes that you enjoy?

"He who is not content with little, will never be content with much."
Old Amish Proverb

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Old Ways - Old Things -- It's ALL NEW Again!

You know I'm right!!!
I sit back and watch people, and all these new TV shows, and You Tube videos that promote the very things my grandparents did, my parents did, and I still do!
I know many of you embrace the older ways as well.  I guess we are just trendsetters and pioneers!!!!

I remember back, that Mom used every spare piece of material she had to make clothes or quilts.  She altered clothes all the time.  So many of us do this same thing today.  Many of you love quilting, and I know there are several who like to re-invent clothes into newer styles, or just make new craft projects from them.

What I find hysterical, is the young gals and their fashions.  They all think they "invented" the look.  Can we all say "been there - done that"?  LOL
My nieces are wearing what I wore in high school, and can't believe their old Aunt could have ever been so cool!!!

Any how, things are coming back into style, trend, or maybe people are beginning to see the reality in front of them!

It's pretty isn't it.  I know many of us are striving to have this type of pantry.  It used to be the norm.
Aint it the truth!!!  Now with off the grid living, Doomsday Preppers, and those of us who feel IT will hit the fan in our lifetime - it's called PREPPING!
My parents were sure ahead of their time - NOT!  That was how we got fed.  Had it not been for that lifestyle, many of us wouldn't be here today.

Solar and wind power - new fangled notions!  NOPE - been harnessing those things for years and years.  Farms used to have windmills to pump water and harness power.  I even cool my house with wind power a good part of the summer - and that 'solar stuff' well it is just amazing.  It can heat up a house, run your appliances, grow your garden................ well shoot it is pretty awesome stuff!
What a notion!

Who remembers this guy?  I used to get so excited when it was milk day!  MAYBE I could talk Mom into buying what I thought was REAL ice cream or popsicles.  She made those things at home - but it wasn't the same.  Remember, if you didn't collect it quickly on a frigid cold day - and the milk froze and popped over the top? 
Well younger generation think they have found this wonderful new thing called milk delivery.  There are a few companies that are doing this again.  I am sorry - but it will never be the same!

I like 'old' things - except at my house they are just normal items.  I use old jars for storage, have many hand powered appliances and gadgets that have been in constant use for the past 60-70 years by someone.  I love aprons (they are coming back too).  I enjoy sewing (coming back).  I hang my laundry outside.  I cook from scratch.  I garden and preserve my food.............................
You see where I am going with this - ALL THINGS OLD ARE NEW AGAIN! 
Isn't it amazing - that our ancestors actually had it right to start with?!!

I do love my vintage tablecloths.  They may have a stain or two, but in my eyes that truly means they are vintage!  Vintage is the NEW thing now.  Folks are after vintage clothes, furniture, appliances, accessories, you name it!
I guess I fit in - I have 'original' vintage!!!!  I guess you could call me vintage as well.

Well gang, I guess I have digressed enough for one day.
You all know that this is all true - as most of you are just like me.  We love the 'old' ways.  It makes life seem a bit more simple and down to earth.
It is up to us to keep these things going, if at all possible, for the younger generations.  Once all of us "preppers" or "old-fashioned" folks leave this earth - so much will die out.
These things have lived on through so many generations - I hope they continue to in the future.

WHAT old ways or old things DO YOU still keep alive?  Let's trade some stories or ideas!

I do indeed long for a simpler time. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Frugal Happenings 6/4

Here we are starting another new month.  This is the half way month for the year.  This is just almost too hard to believe.  Time goes so quickly.

We had lovely weather most of the week, although the past couple days have turned fairly hot!  I have had to turn on the AC the past couple days.  Next week should be about perfect according to the forecast.  YAY

I was hoping to find some garage sales on the day (Friday) that I ran errands - but noooooo, there just wasn't any.  I found a couple that are those perpetual every weekend, every summer sales - so I didn't stop at them.  I haven't been to a yard sale yet this year.  I don't understand, there are usually tons of them this time of the year, and Fridays and Saturdays are prime days here.

I went to dinner at my sister's on Sunday, and my brother and his wife were there as well.  Sis gave me 3 more pieces of Mom's costume jewelry (that's basically all Mom had).

The picture does not do justice.  The are so shiny and bright.  I love brooches and pins.  The one with the amber colored stone is a locket type - can be a pin and has capability to add to a chain.  It is an Avon piece from years ago - and it is filled with my Moms perfume!!  I opened it, and it smelled like Mom.  I stood there and cried.
No they aren't worth a monetary cent, but they are priceless to me.  I will wear them and enjoy them.  I love them on blazers and sweater in the winter.

My frugal week:
  • Sister sent home lots of leftovers - which we enjoyed at a few meals
  • Cut G's and my hair
  • Colored my hair at home with supplies on hand
  • Did a ton of yard work - great free exercise
  • Got to have windows open a big part of the week
  • Laundry line dried
  • Made a dozen hard boiled eggs
  • Brother gave me 2 quarts of homemade tomato juice - YUM
  • Used vinegar on weeds
  • Watered with rain water from barrels - the garden plants are really growing!
  • Picked lettuce, chives and green onions!!!
  • I washed down the back side of the house (north side).  After such a wet winter, it was developing a lot of green mossy looking stuff (as is everyone's in the neighborhood).  I used Dawn, vinegar and water with a nylon scrubby - and it is now nice and white again!!  Next week the north side of garage!
  • Went to the library
  • Cleaned out the greenhouse/cat house well.  I also laid another rug on the floor (to keep kitties warmer in winter) that had formally been on the front porch.  I washed the remainder of the bedding - so it is all fresh and clean.  Sprayed down with mint/lavender spray I made last year (keeps away fleas).
  • Washed and kept a couple zip lock bags and a cereal bag for the wax paper
  • Made a bunch of mini meatloaves (muffin pan size).  Used for meal, made spaghetti with a few, and froze the rest.
  • I took more donations to the church thrift store.  I purchased a vegetable noodle maker, a Coca Cola bowl, another (super heavy duty) grill pan all for $8.  I got a box of croissants for FREE (was supposed to have 20 - but had 22). Bakery items are always free.
The noodle maker was brand new and never even opened.  I saw one at Kroger for $19.99.  Can't wait to make spiral fries and zucchini noodles!
  • I made 14 sausage/egg croissants for breakfast meals.  Froze several.  I still have 8 croissants bagged in frig to make more.  They are so tasty - G was happy!!!!
  • I did stop at Kroger to check clearance.  I got 6 jars of peanut butter (11/2018) on clearance for .89 each.  I was getting low, so this was a blessing to find.  I bought all they had.

G didn't feel the greatest for a couple days, so meals at the end of the week was just whatever.  He wasn't real hungry.  He is better now.

Meals this week:
Dinner at sisters
Homemade mini meat loaf,  corn and slaw
Spaghetti (with cut up meat loaf) and side salad
Chicken strips and fresh veggies
Chef salad
2 meals of leftovers and whatever!

Had cake with fresh fruit, sherbet, pickles and pickled veg mix for snacks

I really didn't think I accomplished a lot this week, but it appears I did ok!  I worked on the blanket some more and plan to finish it up today.  I will be glad when it is done!!!

Did you keep you frugal going?  LOL

My friends, please say an extra prayer for the people of our world!  There is so much hate and evil happening.  It is just heart breaking
I hope you all have a lovely upcoming week.  Please stay healthy and be safe.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Simple Time - Slowing Down

The simple life - it sounds good, doesn't it?
There is no reason why we can't all aim for and achieve this type of lifestyle and mindset.

Everything is so rush, rush nowadays - I hate it.  Everyone has somewhere to be, something to do, people to see, jobs to be done, CRAP to do........ and on and on.
Truly think about your daily there anything that can't wait for a while, for a day, for a week?

Take time to sit and JUST breathe and relax.
Take time to listen to the children playing and laughing in the neighborhood.
Take time to sit and JUST LISTEN to nature. Close your eyes and listen.
Take time to look at each flower and appreciate how every single flower is somehow different.
Take time to read a good book.
Take time to listen....truly listen to someone else.
Take time to love better.
Take time to pray for ALL your blessings - there are many, whether you realize it or not.
Take time to be a better friend.
Take time to actually SAVOR your food.
Take time to smell the roses, as the old saying goes.
Take time to be thankful for memories.
Take time to cherish the lessons and skills you have learned in this life
Take time to be thankful you have ENOUGH.

I could go on and on.  But the greatest 'simple' thing we can do................
TAKE TIME TO BE YOU - THE REAL YOU - NOT THE YOU THAT YOU THINK EVERYONE EXPECTS.  BE TRUE TO YOURSELF!!!!!!  (This is probably the hardest single thing for most of us to do.)

We all need to try harder to just appreciate what we have.  It is nice to want more, and better, and bigger, but somewhere along the line, when striving for those things, we tend to lose sight of what is really important!   LIFE! 

LIVE LIFE FOR TODAY!  Appreciate today.  Be thankful you woke up today.  TODAY IS A GIFT - EVERYDAY IS A GIFT.
Slow down, simplify your hectic days, and ENJOY! 

LEARN to LIVE each and every day slower and simpler.
God bless you all.