Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thanks and Good Wishes

Today I just want to say "thank you" to all you gals for tagging along on this little journey of mine.  I appreciate each and everyone of you so much.
You all add ideas, thoughts, and perspectives that maybe others hadn't thought of.  I love that we share personal moments and great ideas.  We can laugh at ourselves and give each other things to laugh about.  We share and comfort.  We have fun don't we?

I love how we encourage each other and sympathize with one another.  We have all had bad moments and good moments and more of each will come.  That is life.  But we are there for one another and that is amazing to me.   We come from different countries, different walks of life and different economic situations - yet we seem to care for one another.  THAT IS LIFE!  
I wish we saw more of this kind of behavior each and every day amongst the general populace.  I seem to hear so much bad, so much judging, so much evil, and so much depravity.  
I love my little place here, with a group a really wonderful souls!

So go out there this week and make someone's day by saying a kind word or offering a hand up.  Maybe it is just a smile, a hello, a 'how is your day', reaching an item on a shelf, opening a door...…. the list goes on.
You may change a perfectly awful day for someone.

Be the miracle you would like to receive.
God bless you all and THANK YOU for being here.  
I look forward to our journey this year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Simple Foods = Good Eats

There are many simple, yet frugal items that we can purchase and stock, that are so good - good for you - and filling.  These are things we should have in our food arsenal for those "just in case" SHTF days.
Remember - we never know or expect when things go wrong.  Weather, financial hardship, truck strikes,  health, job loss, terrorism - the list goes one.  Generally emergencies happen when you are least expecting them.  It is always smart to be prepared for anything.

Beans are so very good for you and full of protein.  Many vegans use beans instead of meat.  They are versatile and can be prepared in so many ways.
 I keep a variety of dry beans and peas on hand.  So many uses for them.  Lima beans in the jar.
It doesn't matter what brand you buy - they are all good.  As you can see - Kroger, Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree, and ethnic stores are all represented.  I get them where they are the cheapest.

There are so many varieties to chose from.  In the ethnic store I go to, if there is one type - there are a 100 to chose from.  Every shape and color and different tastes.  You need to try new varieties and experiment a little.  Don't limit yourself - you may just find a new favorite.  Beans are very inexpensive.

I use not only for ham & beans, but also in soups and stews, as meat extenders in tacos & such (such a good food extender), smashed as in refried, side dishes, casseroles, you name it.  They can be canned for easy consumption in the case of emergencies or just for convenience.  Once cooked - beans and lentils can be made into  vegan burgers (they are yummy too).  Dips can be made from beans.
So many uses and so good for you.
They will last years and years in dry form if kept in a cool dry place.  NO, they may not cook as quickly when they are very old (nor maybe get as tender), but they will still provide you with nourishment, fiber, protein, and fill your belly!

Pasta is so very versatile.  Most people think of it as something that goes under sauce or that is added to cheese.  It can be so much more.  There are flavored  varieties, different shapes and sizes, gluten free and not, wheat, plain, veggie  and on and on.
I love pasta!  We often receive fun varieties in gift baskets we get at Christmas.  My nephew and his wife get us a variety of things we probably wouldn't try without influence!

See - fun shapes and sizes, different flavors,  just a lot of variation!  I also have linguine, spaghetti, elbow macaroni & shells.

Pasta CAN be covered in sauce or cheese - but it can be added to soups and/or casseroles (great extenders).  Many pasta can be made as a side dish, stuffed, baked, used under stir fry dishes, made into jar mixes (for dry shelf stable meals) and so much more.
I have purchased little alphabet pieces of pasta at the grocery to add to soup mixes, which is fun.
I like to break up spaghetti and add to rice and make my own rice a roni style mix.
I use spaghetti to make our own lo mein type oriental meals.
There are just so many uses.

If I plan on keeping pasta for a long, long period of time - I freeze it for several days (to kill anything), bring to room temperature and then store in glass jars or in sealed tins/or tubs.  It will last for ages in kept cool and dry.

So there are two items to add to your deep pantry that are frugal and filling and in many instances very healthy.  These could literally save you and your family.

I am going to try to post about different items each week - so we can all keep low cost items at hand for whatever life may present us.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Frugal Happenings 2/24

Good morning.  We are now approaching the end of February.  Truthfully, I am glad.
We have had the wettest and ickiest February in years and years.  Hopefully March will be better.  It seems every weekend has brought a pretty extensive weather event this month!
Today is no exception.  Oh my, the wind is just ridiculous!  We mare having 35 - 45 mph sustained winds and gusts of 60 mph.  Most of the rain missed our area last night, but this wind...….UGH!

Momma and Fluffy are hiding under the back porch - the greenhouse is rattling too much for them.  Poor babies.

It has truly been a super quiet week.  Just haven't had a lot of oomph!
My frugal week:
  • Did a lot of reading and research
  • Been working on my deep spring clean more
  • I did go out one 'nicer' day and picked up a crazy number of sticks in the yard.  I only got the bigger ones, there are a ton of little ones.  So anxious to do spring clean-up!
  • Scoured all the bird baths and watering holes outside on a 'warmer' day
  • I found the leather punch and added holes to a belt that was too big - thus giving me a new one to wear.  I have a couple others I may do as well (thinking of cutting one down that was G's).
  • Doing all the regular stuff - laundry in cold, hanging much laundry in basement to dry (adds humidity), making tea, cooking from home, etc.
  • I did go out one day this week.  Ran to Kroger to get fresh asparagus - .99/lb.  We love this time of year, as there is always affordable fresh asparagus to be had.
  • I got a few mark downs as well.  Not a lot to choose from.  I got 4 bags of Heath toffee/choc.chips for .99 each, and can of Maxwell House coffee for 3.79 and 2 packs of blueberry bagels for .79 ea.  I got what they had.  Kroger clearance hasn't been that great recently at our closest store.  (I might need to check out other locations)
Sorry the picture isn't the clearest!!!!!  But you get the idea!

Meals this past week:
Stew (leftover)
Grilled corned beef/Swiss sammies and cup of soup
Eggs, bacon, hash browns & toast
Cheesy chili mac and hot dogs and sliced veggies with dip
Leftover cheesy chili mac and a nice salad
Beef and cheese nachos
Fried chicken breast and steamed asparagus

This is so much of how I have been feeling lately.  I am thankful everyday - but so much is happening in the world that is unsettling.  It just reminds me of how totally fortunate we are.  We take so much for granted when we should be thankful for everything.  We live like Kings to many!

How was your week?  Did you get any good deals?  What is on your frugal agenda?
I love hearing from everyone - we have had so many new ladies commenting lately.  I LOVE IT!  I think maybe we are growing, learning and teaching - all of us together!!!!!

May your week be blessed beyond measure.  I pray for health and safety for each of you. 
I hope we all learn something each day, share something each day, and live a generous life.
Blessings from our humble home to yours!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Wisdom and Knowledge NOT from Books

I love books - but there are so many ways to enhance our knowledge that does not come from a book.
Look to your parents.  Your grandparents.  Your siblings.  Your friends.   You and me.

Some knowledge just NEEDS to come from others.  We learn from our experiences and from others experiences.   We learn from the positive influences in our lives and we learn from the negative as well.  Everything is a learning situation.  This is one reason I love Blogs.  We are sharing our personal knowledge and it will live on and never be lost.

Remember - you are definitely part of the past and you are also part of the future.
I know I have learned so much from my parents and the stories I heard about their parents and families.  I learned from my siblings.  I have learned from friends and all of you.  I have learned so much about my strength from learning about my ancestors. I also know that a part of me will be remembered and go on with the younger folks in the family.

Some people could care less about learning about their ancestors.  That is ancient history!  Not so much.  You may not have personally known these people - but they are in you and your DNA  What those people went through is amazing.  We DO get many of our traits from those of long ago.
They went through foreign and civil wars.  They went through poverty and the great depression.  They went great loss and despair.  They went through good times and good fortune.  So much.
I had a 6X  great grandfather that was captured by Indians and later rescued, we had many business owners, we had farmers, we had Amish in recent generations, we had very poor people and wealthy people.

Luckily I have many stories passed down from my folks.  I try to pass those on as well.  But what about YOUR story...….. your dreams, your hurts, you recipes, your goals, your hobbies, your ideas and thoughts,  your life?
Pass those stories on.

NOW is the time to write your story.  When you are no longer on this earth - those stories are lost forever!!!!!!
If given a chance talk with parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents - get the stories NOW!!!!!!!  Write them down, do not depend on your memory.
We are more like our ancestors than we can possibly imagine.  The stories are real and fascinating - they are us.
JUST REMEMBER - had one ancestor in your lineage not endured and had the strength to survive - you wouldn't be here.   It's that simple!

We have each gone through good and bad, happiness and sadness, loss and heartache, health and sickness, security and insecurity...………………..  and through it all, no matter how awful or good - you woke up this morning.  You are reading this.  You have survived!  In my book that makes you a success!

Isn't that worth passing on?  The knowledge of your survival may just help another.  You may be someone's inspiration.  Your ideas may help another.  That is what it is all about.

FAMILY HISTORY is everything.  It is who we are, like it or not.
Don't let it go to the grave with you!
It is PRICELESS information.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A Bit of THIS and THAT and DID YOU KNOW to Save

There are so many little ways to save a bit of money in our everyday lives.  Also a lot of ways to recycle things, so we don't continue to clog the landfills.
Today will be a little of this and a little of that.  Hope you find something you can use!

  • Heavy water stained porcelain sinks are easily cleaned with a nice heavy thick toilet bowl cleaner.  Spread the cleaner on the sink - let it sit for about 5 minutes - and wipe away those heavy water deposits.
  • Rub white chalk on ANY grease stain (rub it in well) and then launder.  Grease washes out.
  • We all know baking soda is good for cleaning - I love it to make chrome faucets sparkle.  It works really well (I use the old stuff)
  • Lids - wonderful lids.  So many are inter-changeable.  I save lids from parmesan cheese jars, lids from jar candles (when jar can't be cleaned well enough), and squirt bottle tops and even screw on tops from pop bottles.  They all work well for new ideas.
Those candle jars lids fit perfectly on wide mouth jars, parmesan lids fit regular mason jars.  Squirt lids fit individual water/pop bottles.  Regular lids will screw on many squirt bottles

  • Put a couple of candle melts (or candle scraps) into a small jar.  Add a lid with several holes poked in it.  Place in your cars cup holder and in warm/sunny weather you have a great car air freshener
  • Check you medicine cabinet/medicinal storage area/health & beauty - Odds are you have more than one bottle of the same thing opened!  Combine and have less clutter.
  • I bet everyone's garage has a stiff old paint brush (I have a few).  Place them in a bowl of vinegar for 30 minutes and they soften right up.
  • If you get permanent marker on your clothes - rub  hand sanitizer into the mark then launder - all gone!

Did you know?
Annie's Mac N Cheese is the same as Trader Joe's
Kirkland (Costco) Signature batteries are made by Duracell
Great Value spices are actually McCormick (packaging is all that is different)

Great Value canned veggies are Green Giant
Wal-Mart frozen dessert topping is Cool Whip
Aldi's frozen breaded chicken strips are Tyson Foods
Kroger brand American Deluxe Cheese slices are made by Kraft

Save a few dollars and buy store brands.  So many times they are manufactured by the same plants as brand names - just different labeling!
Read your labels!

An easy way to save for a special item or to start kids out saving - or just plain old save THE EASY WAY - do this!
Save a penny for whatever day it is in the year.
1 penny day one.  5 pennies day 5.  1.00 for day 100.  2.00 for day 200 and 3.65 on the last day of the year.  You will end up with $667.95 saved with NO effort at all.
Odds are you could easily double that and ADD an easy $1,335.90 to your emergency or fun fund.

Get creative with your saving/emergency fund plan.  Save  'the penny plan way'.  Save ALL your change.  Save dollar bills you receive for change.  Some people save fives.  Some save dimes or quarters.
Figure out what works for you and something that is easy.  You will be amazed how much you can save.  It all adds up.
DON'T FORGET - buying cheap or getting free items for your pantry is also creative savings!!!!!!  Those savings are truly money in the bank. 

Happy saving!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Frugal Happenings 2/17

Happy Sunday everyone.  A new week awaits us - we are slowly moving closer to Spring (or fall) depending on where you live.
We had another roller coaster week of weather.  Next week looks to balance out in the 30's and 40's - at least nothing frigid is predicted thus far!  Here's hoping.

Hubs and I finally got my new computer up and running - all by ourselves.  I still haven't figured out some things - but I am getting there.  There are just too many options to choose from!

We did not do anything special for Valentines Day - that just isn't our thing.  We show each other love everyday.  Oh, he did get a nice ice cream sundae for dessert that night!  LOL
I didn't even buy any candy afterwards.  What I saw didn't look inviting to bring home (chocolate was gone).

My frugal week:
  • I forgot to mention last week that I did get my coupon for 9.99 for a bag of cat food!
  • I was given a coupon for 3 Fancy Feast for FREE
  • I saved a parmesan cheese lid, and candle jar lid, and a squirt bottle lid
  • Got the computer running - no outside cost
  • Filled jars and containers from deep pantry supplies
  • Slowly working on spring clean.  I got the ceiling fans and lights all done.  I have also cleaned under and behind furniture.  Moving along with things
  • Friday I made a grocery SALE run - 3 stores all within three blocks of each other.  Aldi, Sav A Lot, and Kroger - just meat!
  • Kroger I got the Jimmy Dean sausage on weekend sale - 5 for 1.99 each.  I also got a gallon of milk marked down to a $1 (not outdated)
  • I ran to Aldi and got bacon for 1.99lb.  I got 5 for the freezer, as I already had some.  Couldn't pass up that price.
  • Next on to Sav A  Lot - I went for the 1.79/lb. ground beef (a good deal).  It was the big rolls - which I am not crazy about, but thought I might get one.  Well I got to looking around and found the deal of the year so far for me!  I put that roll back.  They had fresh ground on 'reduced for sale' for .99/lb.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  EEK!!!!!  I got a total of 36 lbs. (all they had).  I was flying high, then looked over and saw more orange stickers.  Chicken thighs (8 per pack) for .55 lb.!  WOWZA.  I got 5 packs of them.  G loves them - me not as much - but for that price I couldn't pass up.
I wish I had taken a picture of all the packages.  I came home with 20 packages from Sav A  Lot.  I got it all divided up and into freezer.  I also gave a pack a chicken and 2 of beef to our neighbor/friend.  His grands were visiting this weekend.

All total with sausage and bacon I ended up Friday with 63 pounds of meat for a total of $59.90!!!!!!  MY SAVINGS FROM REGULAR PRICE was $80.20!!!!!!!!!!  Happy dance here.  My freezers are full, full, full.
Let's just say I was blessed this week.  I can't believe my luck.  The thing about Sav A Lot - there wasn't a soul in there shopping but me on a Friday afternoon!  Crazy - it is usually swamped.

My meals this past week:
Baked fish and beans and rice
Added beef and more beans to leftovers and made a skillet dinner
Fried fish and shrimp - fries and coleslaw (home canned)
Chili dogs and chips and dip
Homemade Lasagna -  2X

All leftover eaten or reinvented.  Had fried apples and homemade chocolate strawberry sundae for desserts

How was your week?  Any good deals?  Any stocking up on the cheap?

I pray you all have a safe and healthy week ahead.  May the Lord keep us all on track with humility and peace.  Be a good steward and spread peace and love my friends.
Blessings from my humble home to yours.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Why Prep?

I know a lot of people don't like the word prepping.  They think it brings to mind images of crazies hiding in the woods, booby traps and hoarders waiting for the SHTF zombie apocalypse!!!!!  LOL

I consider myself a prepper, but not that extreme.  I want to be prepared for anything the future has to throw at me.  I was taught to live this way, I have been through lean times, and I am unsure as to what the future may bring.

I keep  what is considered a 'deep' pantry - lots more than can be used in a short time period.  I keep a good stock of all types of things.  Food, TP, pet supplies, cash, over the counter medicinal, herbs/spices, educational books, self protection, water, health and beauty, etc.
I garden - which I would do any way.  I love gardening and preserving - it has been a part of my life always.
I love re-using and recycling - finding new ways to use things.
I am pretty handy.

Have you been through bad times and in need before?
Worry about financial loss?
Worry about health issues?
Worry about the future?
Worry about weather related issues? 
Are you prepared for the long haul?

I am curious as to why others do what we do!  I think by sharing, it may give others a new insight as to reasoning or  new ideas that that was never thought of before.

What say you ?
Please share your reasons and stories.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Educational and Fun - All in One

I just wanted to make a little post today about branching out and reading new blogs.
There is a wealth of information and ideas out there - ALL FOR FREE!

I am not sure how each of you ended up here, but maybe the way I ended reading other blogs.
On the right side of this blog and many others - we list a bunch of blogs that interest us.  If you click on one - it takes you there.
THEN look at their blog-roll and there are more to check out.  It goes on and on and on!!!!!! 
I can get so distracted and spend hours looking at and reading things.  There are blogs for crafting, frugal living, living simply, homesteading, religion, cooking, home schooling, etc.

So when the weather is nasty and you don't want to make a trip to the library - curl up with your computer and start trolling blogs!
I love books, but I can take my time with the blogs - read specialized stuff - make new friends - and never have to return anything!

There is so much to learn from others - the world is at your fingertips!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Frugal Happenings 2/10

Good morning to all.  Here we are beginning another new week.
We sure have had  many seasons of weather this week!  We had 60's to single digits.  We had lots of rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes in some areas, snow and wind.  One day we dropped 46* in a few hours - crazy.  We ended up with a small lake in the back forty from all the rain - then temps dropped and poof - we had an ice rink!!!!!  LOL - that was a first.
I know I keep hearing "I'm so ready for spring" - I am too - but winter has not really been all that bad in our area.  We didn't even get nasty stuff until after Christmas - so I guess we were due.  Spring will  come when it's time.  Patience!!!!!!!

We have been enjoying all the squirrels again this week.  Also the birds!  We consistently have 10 pair of cardinals and 10 pair of sweet doves, at least a dozen squirrels at a time and woodpeckers of different types.  The hawk has shown up a couple days - boy that thing is huge!  I have seen neighborhood cats that I haven't seen in ages this week as well.  I am so glad to know they are OK.
Our back yard is quite a menagerie. of wildlife.  I love it!
OH, we had our first Robin of the year show up yesterday as well.  I know some areas have them all year round - but we don't.  I look so forward to that first sighting, because it generally means warmer weather is soon!!!  I looked out and there it sat drinking at the bird bath!

My frugal week:
  • I got to air out the house on four different days this week - with heat off!!!!!
  • Have been picking up sticks like crazy around the yard - FREE exercise
  • I went to WM and got canned cat food for the pantry.  I used $5 in coupons and also used a GC, so I got about $60 in canned food for FREE
  • Had to run to the feed store - I imagine I am good till at least April now
  • I then ran up to Kroger to get a couple of their weekend specials. (Yes, I shopped a bunch this week).  I got 5 packs smoked sausage for 1.88 each, I got 5 lbs. of butter at 1.99 ea.  I added coffee, tea bags, potatoes and onions to pantry.  Also found 10 lbs. of ground beef marked at 1.69 lb.  Got a few fresh veggies and got a great deal on cottage cheese.  It was on markdown for .69 carton!  G loves it and it is good for quite a while yet.  I will also make lasagna this week with some.  I got 8 cartons.  I used a $25 GC at Kroger - so got a bunch of groceries for FREE
                                                                Some of my deals!
  • Started working on my deep clean again
  • Came home from store and  G said he found an HP computer on sale and it sounded like what I need.  It was $200 off.  I said order it!  They wouldn't let us order on that price reduction - so I called the closest Office Depot and they had one.  I then made a trip I was expecting to, and got it!!!  EEK I got a new computer!!!!!!  I will be spending this week getting it up and running and trying to figure it out - it's Windows 10 and I AM NOT!!!!!!
  • I also purchased ink for printer while there - so as to be prepared for taxes.  They are almost complete.
  • All of the normal weekly cost saving activities
Meals this past week:
BBQ ribs and pizza rolls (super bowl tradition - even when not watching!)
Mushroom/Swiss burgers and home fries
Meatloaf (a small one), mashed potatoes and brown gravy (from pan drippings) and salad
Loaded baked potatoes and side salad
Goulash and salad
Fried cabbage/carrots/smoked sausage and mashed potatoes
Italian bread pizza (bread from freezer)

                                                   A pan of goulash - comfort food!

All leftovers were eaten at other meals.

I did spend a few dollars this week!  I guess I better stay home again for a while!!!
I did get the much needed computer, which is on my 2019 bucket list.  G will need one as well (his is older than mine).  I hope to get a new couch and I definitely need new glasses.  So there are a few expensive items on that list this year.  THAT is why I try to be frugal most of the time.  I can splurge now and then and it doesn't hurt quite so bad.

How was your week?  Did you get any frugal deals? 

Prayers for a great upcoming week for each of you.  Stay safe, warm, healthy and frugal my friends.
Blessings from our humble home to yours.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Service - Yay or Nay?

I am going to post about a pet peeve of mine today.  Self check-outs.  I loathe them!
I even did a bit of research on them, just to see what was available in information.

In 1917 Piggly Wiggly was the first to allow customer to actually take items from the grocery shelves themselves and put them in hand held baskets.  It was embraced by people.
In the 80's a couple place started an idea of self check-out.  It was an expensive endeavor for the retailer to set up and it was not well accepted.  In 2001, K-mart placed some self check-outs in their stores and they removed them in 2003.
It appears more people DISLIKE them than like them.

So why do stores continue to have them?  One word - GREED!!!!!!  It has nothing to do with efficiency for you and aiding you in any way - it is all about the bottom line and their profit.   The less people they employ the more money they make, or so they think.

Theft is a huge problem at self scan areas.  That machine does not "see" the product that you are buying - and people often put in codes for less expensive veggies/fruit or meats when weighing their products.   It is easy for small items to simply come out of the cart and be placed in a bag or purse.
People have been known to scan bar codes on sticky labels  (at home) and then put them on more expensive products at the store.  Cheaters will always find a way to cheat!

I go to certain stores for various reasons.  Aldi - I don't mind bagging my own groceries, as I get cheaper prices there.  If I go to Kroger or Wal-Mart or Meijer I expect service.  The prices do not reflect lesser service and my involvement.
Perhaps if you were given a discount for using the self check-out, I might consider it (doubtful).

My reasons for not liking them are as follows:
  • I don't work there!!!!!!  If I wanted a job, I would have one.  Odds are it wouldn't be at the grocery, because anyone who knows me, knows that would not be a good idea for me!!!  LOL!  I would not make any $ - I'd spend it.
  • Self check-outs are replacing jobs.  I don't want to participate in someone not having a job because I am impatient
  • I pay more at most stores - because I am paying for SERVICE!
  • Self check-out machines can be intimidating.  You mess up something and you still NEED A PERSON to fix it (and I have seen the looks people get)
  • I will not be admonished by a MACHINE for placing something on the conveyor at the wrong time or in the wrong place
  • I am not that impatient, that I can't wait a couple minutes.  I am no better than anyone else.
I know I am not alone in this way of thinking. 
I can't tell you how many times I have been in line with others who only have a couple items, when a cashier says "self check is open", and we all just say NO thank you.

What say you?  Self check or full service?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Free or Cheap Entertainment

So many people think you have to spend a lot of money, to do something fun or entertaining.
That is not true at all.  I guess it depends on what you call fun - but I was reading a local paper, and found all kinds of neat things to do in our area for little or no money.  I bet you can too.

Of course I get entertained just in my back yard!  I love watching the squirrels and birds and the cats.  During the summer, of course I have my flowers and garden.  Yes that is also work, but in my book it is the best entertainment around.

I love to read as well as do crafts.  I have tons of books I haven't read - and well, there is the library just up the road!  Libraries can provide you with hours of FREE entertainment.  Books, magazines, movies, computers, etc.
Our library often has book discussions and reading groups.  Mix with others and have a snack or two all for FREE.

There are craft classes and reading groups for the kids - FREE

Our local colleges often put on art shows of the talented students.  FREE.  Area schools sometimes have FREE choral concerts or plays (yeah, they are kids - but it is entertaining as heck).

Area churches have dances for various reasons.  Recently there was a prom for handicapped folks at a local church.  There are sometimes singles meetings/dances.  Senior dances and get acquainted nights.
Churches often have FREE dinners for anyone in the community.  One just had a chili cook-off contest - cost nothing to participate in the contest and anyone could buy dinner (all you could eat) for $3!
There are many area churches that have great bands come in once a month to play. 

Area produce stores gives FREE workshops on eating healthy - demonstrations, samples, and cooking ideas.
There are nutrition and wellness events at area Earth Fare stores twice a month.  They have drawings, give out gift bags of goodies and give many demonstrations and cooking classes.

The conservatory at the park is a great way to spend a winter day, enjoying the beautiful plants in the greenhouse.  $3 - and you can spend hours in there.  They often have special programs for holidays.  At Christmas they did a poinsettia/train show and they do a spring  flowering bulb show - all for no money.
Check any local greenhouses to see if you can spend an afternoon touring or even volunteering in some way.
                                   An exotic from the conservatory.  So many neat flowers to see.

Senior centers often offer exercise classes or fun things like Wii bowling for FREE.

Check your area extension service to see if there are any garden clubs in your area.  That is always fun - you can share with others and get lots of fun ideas.
IF NOT - start one.  Start a gardening group or a seed exchange - I bet you would find a lot of people who would also enjoy it.

We have a German park and club in the vicinity that is open to the public.  They have great dance nights - for anyone FREE.  You can purchase dinner or have drinks - but the dancing is FREE

Volunteer at any number of places.  Many small galleries/historical sites need volunteers, area children hospitals, women's shelters, churches, animal shelters, etc..

Our local park has FREE concerts every Friday night during the summer months.  Could be anything from the orchestra to hip-hop to country.
They all have FREE outdoor movie night once a month during nice weather

Many area VFW's, Moose Lodges, Eagles Lodges, etc.  have great entertainment.  Might charge cover fee, but you can have an evening of good music and socializing.

Do family research.  Much can be found at area libraries, and there is a lot that can be found for FREE on-line.  I have found that when we do short stints at a pay site - we split the cost with someone else (family) doing research and we both use the same password and can both benefit from the materials.

Don't forget the good old standbys like hiking, bird watching, mushroom hunting, scenic drives, picnics, game nights, movie nights, etc.
Take pictures.  I am a huge picture taker.  I love photographing flowers, nature of any sort, angel statuaries (yes from the cemetery) and even strange/odd headstones (and those of ancestors).  I know I am kind of strange, but I find those things interesting.

In the summer I totally enjoy going to flea markets and yard sales and farm markets - don't have to buy a thing - it's just fun talking to others and viewing the sites.  Of course I love people watching - I get that from my Dad.  He used to love to just sit back and observe - it truly can be entertaining!!!!!!

So there you have it - a few frugal ideas for fun entertainment.   There is just no limit to what can be fun and FREE.
What do you do, that doesn't cost a fortune?

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Frugal Happenings 2/3

My goodness here it is February.  We are starting the month on a much warmer note than we had for the last week of January.  What a roller coaster January was.
It s 44* already this morning and going warmer.  It is going to be better for most of the week, then colder again.  So glad to be past the frigid spell.
So how cold was it?  Schools were closed, and no mail delivery or trash pick up for 2 days.  I have never seen mail called off before - but glad for those folks that it was.

                                                          Dreaming of those warmer days!!!!
Not much going on here.  Just the same old stuff. 
Have been doing all our normal things, nothing exciting.  Got a reminder this week when reading Vickie's blog - Vickie's Kitchen and Garden that we are at that spring cleaning time of the year!  Good grief, I just finished fall cleaning a month or so ago (or so it seems).  But yes, it's time to get back at it - so we have nice weather time free (when it arrives).

My frugal week:
  • My biggest thing was staying on the property all week and NO shopping or spending at all.
  • Used some leftover hotdog buns as garlic toast (I love toasted buns)
  • Made squirrel/bird treats from what we have at home two times this week
  • Cleaning the frig and came across a tub of fudge I hid!!!!!!  YAY - yummy
  • Found a pair of lined leggings that I had forgot about - they sure did help during that cold snap
  • Gave myself a spa night (candles & bubbles) and a pedicure - oh my poor feet needed it!
  • Made chocolate chip/brownie cookies
  • Made super fast and crystal clear ice cubes outside this week!  Why not?
  • Cut G's and my hair
  • Used the last of potatoes in a casserole - they needed to be used up soon
  • Doing all the normal stuff all week - including using what we have and cooking from scratch - made a couple meals that served as dinner more than one night
Meals this past week:
Hamburger/veggie soup - 2X
Dirty rice w/ground sausage and salad
Baked spaghetti - 2X, with garlic toast and salad
Ham/cheese/potato bake and salad
Chicken/veggie stir fry over cheesy rice

Do you have any plans for the month of February? 
I keep hearing some people say it will be a tough month others say easy - because it is shorter!  It's 2 - 3 days shorter at most. I guess I don't understand.  It's just another month here.

I guess I will get busy with the cleaning projects again (sigh).  I will continue to use what I have and try not to go crazy at the stores.  I may end up buying a new computer, if I can find a deal.  Mine is slowly getting very persnickety! LOL

How was your week?  Cold or hot where you are?  Did you get any deals?  Give us a shout out!

Health, happiness, and safety to you all.  I pray you are blessed beyond measure.
Blessings from our humble home to yours.