Friday, April 30, 2021

BOOKS - Health (as promised)

 I will post a couple pictures of the books I have read and learned from over the years.  None of them are new - they have been around a long time - but they contain so much useful information.
You can click on the pictures to see better.

I have these as part of my permanent library and will never get rid of them.

As we go forward, I will try to make a post now and then of some of the wonderful information that some of them contain.

Hope this helps.  They are so basic and good, I sure hope they are still available in libraries or to buy.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Nature is the Best

 I have been asked about what I do for my health that is natural.  I do a lot of things - but will list a few today.  There are so many things that this earth gives us that is so very helpful for our health.  Our earth is awesome.  God has said that he has given us everything we need on the earth - I believe it.
I am not against conventional medicine, as I know many depend it and use it.  I - however - try to stay away from it.  We all use our judgement and have our own opinions. 
I am in no way trying to change someone's mind nor am I criticizing - so I hope everyone follows suit.

I eat lots and lots of carrots and beans.  Tomatoes have to be a favorite of mine.  Fresh fruits and veggies are just so healthy.  I like fresh as often as possible as we have not cooked anything out of it.  Ever tried eating fresh green beans or asparagus?  I love both!!!!  Sounds crazy - but I prefer the taste of fresh.  There are not many fruits and veggies I don't like.
I eat oranges or drink orange juice absolutely every single day - fresh Vitamin C!!!!!!  I do keep vitamin C around - just in case - but fresh citrus is just something I crave.

I keep honey around all the time.  IF I would start to get a sore throat - that is my go to.  A spoonful of honey soothes and heals the throat.  (honey has been used since Biblical days).  I take turmeric capsules every day and often times tart cherry capsules.  
There are certain foods like broccoli that are great for cancer patients.  They contain natural chemicals that boost immune system.  (Do your food research)
I use garlic and salt all the time as well as onion which is healthy.  I know many who swear by black coffee for migraines (or Coke which isn't natural) - it is the caffeine that helps I believe.
I sure have used cloves in the past for a toothache.  Boy does it numb!

Herbs and vitamins of all types are great for the body.  I keep Aloe Vera capsules, gel and juice on hand 100% of the time.  It is so very healing both inside and outside of the body.  If I am having belly issues - I drink the juice and take the capsules (have given to my cats as well) and I keep the healing gel on hand for skin abrasions of all sorts.  Healing time is minimal when using it.

I keep Echinacea & Goldenseal on hand always.  IF I start to feel like I am getting a cold or something, I start taking immediately and it never gets very far.  I use Echinacea once a day with my cats as well (outside cats).  Sometimes kitties get colds or get an infection - they heal in no time.  I sprinkle a little in their wet food and mix in.

I also keep and use CBD oil.  It truly helps.  It is an anti-inflammatory.  If I have over done it or just have back/muscle pain for whatever reason - I take it.  I use this on my Momma cat as well.  She sometimes gets inflamed gums (she is old) and this prevents it.  Again I sprinkle in wed food once a day.  Many people do give this to pets - especially older animals or big dogs that have hip problems.  It is amazing how well it helps.
I know some find CBD - voodoo medicine - but it works & it is natural.  When hubs was here - it made a tremendous difference in the pain he had in his back and legs (from sitting and not being able to walk).  He received so much relief.  I have sprained and strained muscles - and the relief was  wonderful and quicker healing.

I take Vitamin D3, Vitamin C (if I have no fresh citrus),  and Vitamin E every day.

I keep many other things on hand for occasional use IF I feel like I am getting ill in some way.  Reishi mushroom capsules are always in my herb cabinet - they help immune system.
I use fresh herbs from the garden and 'weeds' that are beneficial as well.
I grown thyme, chives, lemon balm (makes great calming tea), mint (great soothing on bellies).  I pick and use purslane in salads - then there is nettles, dandelion,  and many others.

Natural health aides is something everyone should look into.  I mean even modern day aspirin came originally from willow bark.  Our ancestors knew all the things to use.  The early people of our lands knew what to use, where to find it and how to use it effectively.  Then big pharma took over and started putting a lot of chemicals in our bodies - and we followed along.

I agree there are diseases that needed that big pharma fix - natural didn't help.  
Don't get me wrong I am not anti  medicine.  Not at all.  There are times and things that are necessary.

Take time to do some research - you may be amazed.  A healthy diet can make a world of difference to our every day lives - we each so much processed food/junk and that can't be good (we all do it).
There are many natural items that truly do offer relief.
I hope this answers a few questions, as to what I do.

****  DISCLAIMER - I am not a medical person and don't advise you to stop your treatments/medications without great research and knowledge.  You do you and I will do me!!!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Common Sense - It's How to Save $

 I have mentioned before that my ancestors were Amish.  I don't know if it is possible to have daily practices and ways in our genes - but if so - I DO!  Things were obviously passed down from them to grandparents and then to Daddy and to us children.  However, none of us thought about or were told it had anything to do with being of Amish descent.  I don't know that Daddy even knew we had Amish ancestors.  I found out on my own after he passed.  How crazy is that?????

Whatever it was - we all were taught to be mindful and frugal with our dollars.  How to do the best we could with what we had.  Maybe that came from being passed down OR maybe it just came from not having much!  Either way, it has become engrained in us - as my siblings are the same way.

  • Avoid debt and charge cards if at all possible.  IF you have debt - get it paid down quickly.  We  all have had debt at some point - but it is important to pay extra and pay down quickly if there is any possible way.  The Amish loathe debt - and try to avoid it all.  If they need a business loan - their first priority to pay it off quickly.  When you owe others - your money is never yours!
  • Grow, barter, glean whatever you possibly can.  If there is any way to preserve it in some way - do it!  Not everyone can have a garden - but perhaps look for ways to get fresh goods cheaply and use those.  End of day at farm markets, road side stands, friends/family, glean, food banks, etc.
  • Be as self sufficient as possible (I am not talking off the grid).  Know how to do stuff!!!!!  Take care of your own.  The Amish can MAKE about anything - cleaning products, baking goods, cooking from scratch, gifts, making clothes, quilts, gardening, compost, great craftsmen, etc.
  • They enjoy enjoy EXPERIENCES instead of stuff.  Have a picnic, play games, go to the swimming hole, take walks, enjoy nature, etc.
  • DON'T waste - and fix everything!   Find new uses for stuff instead of putting it in the trash.  Food, peels, etc.. can be compost or animal feed.  Use leftovers in new ways.  If something breaks, figure out how to fix it.  We have become such a throw away society - it is pitiful.  Either fix something or figure out something else that will do the job!!!!  Heck if the tea pot sprouts a hole - you can heat water in a pot.  No need for a microwave - use the stove.  You get the idea!
  • Don't pay retail - and shop at second hand shops.  Look for sales and clearance whenever you can find it.  Thrift stores and yards sales can be your friend!!  Let someone else pay the high price and you get it for pennies!
  • Buy in bulk when possible.  The Amish do this a lot and they split the deals amongst family or neighbors when they can't use it all in a reasonable timeframe.  This way you get a great price and you are also helping others
  • KNOW the difference between wants and needs!!!!!  HUGE  You need basic food to live, but you want the expensive deli items.  You need shelter for your family - but you may want a home that is too large.  You need food - but you want fast food.  See - we all have weak moments.  Yes, sometimes it does the body good to get a WANT - once in a while it is fine - but don't over do it. If we always do without those wants - it is a chore and we feel discouraged - so splurge once in a great while
  • Buy quality.  Quality will last and last.  It is better to spend extra to get a nice item than to replace it over and over.
  • Stay healthy!!!  Do all that you can manage to stay healthy.  Use natural and herbal remedies if you can.  Learn about these things.  It may not be something that is realistic in your case - but knowledge is golden and can help someone you know.    I have been very fortunate as I still take no medications and only take herbs and vitamins.  I work on staying healthy - that is huge for me.  Diets, lifestyle, herbs and vitamins are big factors to staying healthy.
  • Make gifts and novelty items for others.  I love getting something homemade - many do.  It can be food, canning items, crafts, candles, you name it.  
Living the simple life as many seem to think the Amish do - is NOT simple.  Hard work and determination  is what their lives are each and every day.  It is the life they choose - but it isn't always easy.  The work ethic they seem to have, should be bottled!!!!!!!  I don't agree with a lot of things that the Amish do - but that work ethic is wonderful.  I wish more had it - we would all be better off.  So many just want to take what they can get and find shortcuts to having  things - I find that sad.  
Good old fashioned hard wok, determination, and striving to be the best you can be - is what makes it all good!  

The greatest gift we can take from our ancestors is BE GRATEFUL!  Grateful for every little thing you have and you acquire in the world.  It may be things, food, home, abilities, knowledge or the people in your life - be grateful for them.
Life offers us many gifts and we need to be more aware and more appreciative.

Use common sense and you will find you become a frugal person.
Make the MOST of what you have.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Changes - Ups and Downs

 We all have many changes in our lifetime that we deal with.  Some are good and some are bad.  Ups and downs.  Most of us have re-invented our lives a few times.  It could be from anything.  Marriage - divorce.  Job/career changes.  Having children.  Loss of loved ones.  Moving to new locales.
We fall down  -  we get up and dust off - we fall down  - we get up....... repeat, repeat, repeat.

It takes a lot of work.  Life is work!  If you want to gain the good things and enjoy the wonderful things and have great relationships - it takes work.  We each work hard to build out little slice of the world and have happiness and peace.

We each and every one have the opportunity to change the future.  You can make your life better - never think you can't.
Things happen that we have no control over, that is true - but we can handle how we react and behave.  Sometimes things happen that just plain suck.  We can wallow in our pain and sadness or we can get up and make the best of the situation we have been given.  It is up to us!!!

In all these life changes we see, we have to learn new things and new ways, we have to become more independent, we may have to become more self sufficient.  We have to grow.  Is it easy??  NOPE!
Nothing worth having is easy - it is work.  It is worth the work.

You will get tired and feel defeated.  You will get sad.  You will get angry and upset.  You will feel these things at some point in life.  It is OK - we all do it.  
BUT - remember - when you can move forward a little and make a new accomplishment happen, you will smile!  You feel a bit of peace and happiness.  THAT my friends is what makes it all worthwhile. 

Every day that you are given is a gift - make the most of it.  I know many people are going through bad things and have worries and problems.  Sadly, that is part of life.  We truly wouldn't appreciate the BEST days if it weren't for the bad ones.
There will be new BEST days for sure.  Not the same as the old best days - but best days none the less.

Despite all the wickedness, sickness, poverty, and uncertainty there is in the world - there is still GOODNESS around every corner.  Hunt for it, find it, and enjoy it.
Life is precious and one of or greatest gifts - LIVE and SMILE.

**PS - I know there are others so tired of all the negativity in the news and media - just like myself and I want you to know you aren't alone.  I just want my little corner to maybe lift someone and be positive.
Let us spread love and joy together!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Weekly Wrap Up 4/25

 Good day everyone!  Hope this finds you well and safe.  It seems we are running through this month full speed - goodness it is almost over.  
I think this week we had all four seasons in one - actually had that in just a couple days!!    My what a week it was.  S N O W - ick!!!  I sure hope that has all gotten out of the earth's system till next winter!
We had the most snow and coldest temps for this late in the year that we have had in like 120 years.
The blue jays and cardinals are many and frequent the feeders often.  Bright yellow finches are abundant (they are so pretty).  I think I will finally put the hummingbird feeders out this week, now that I feel safe from future freezes.
Even with all that crazy weather I still had a couple days that the heat was off and the windows were open a bit.

My week:
  • I mowed grass on Monday and snow started on Tuesday evening!
  • A neighbor helped me cover the grape arbor to protect from the freeze.  I also covered all the peonies and the poppies.   The arbor is a good 12' high if not more and it was so cold and windy while trying to cover it.  What a job! (talk about using muscles not used!!)
  • Got everything uncovered by myself - another big job.  I am not sure how much good it did to cover the arbor - a lot still froze.  Hopefully it saved enough new growth to have some grapes this year.  I know the arbor didn't die - but it may lack grapes again this year.
  • I did a few little small repairs around the house
  • I fixed the drier heat knob again.  Last I fixed it was a good 2+ years ago and it finally gave out.  Now it is fixed again!
  • Did a lot of laundry - plant coverings (old sheets)
  • Ran out one day - stopped at Big Lots and Kroger.  I am anticipating what might be short in stock this summer and got plenty of freezer bags!  Bought some fruit and veggies  I also found 2 boxes of lids/bands canning lids.  Pound of ground turkey for 1.19.
Found these wet tp wipes on clearance.  Figured it couldn't hurt to have on hand just in case. (I would never flush however).
Found these bagels and they are huge!

Cookies on clearance at Big Lots for .63 pack!!!!  I got 3 of each and shared with a neighbor and his son.  The cooking morsels will be fun to use in cookies. (strawberry, graham pcs. and white chocolate chips)
  • Got a .20 gallon discount on gas while out
  • Made a small pot of lentil soup
Used a mix I got in Christmas basket - of course I didn't follow instructions!  I used bits of ham, added kidney beans and used tomato base instead of water.  It hit the spot on a chilly day!
  • Cooking from scratch and using what I have on hand
  • Went to a celebration for my sister's 90th birthday!!!!!  She is sure amazing.  It was a wonderful tribute to a wonderful woman.
  • Pulled up tons of poison ivy from flower bed - futile effort I know.  It thrives in this community and is so hard to get rid of, since it is all around flowers.
  • Just doing all the normal stuff
Meals this past week:
Poor man Swiss steak and mashed potatoes
Slice of pizza from freezer and salad
Tuna patty, mac n cheese and small salad
Lentil soup
Leftover soup and salad
Skillet pizza pasta
Ate at my nieces for birthday celebration

It has been an emotional week as well.  My nephew has been in hospital with a couple serious health issues.  A niece hospitalized for health issues in her last month of pregnancy.  It was 2 year anniversary of G's passing.    So it was nice to have the diversion of sis's birthday celebration.  It is nice to have a family get together that is a happy occasion and not a sad one.

How was your week?  Are getting getting decent weather?  Get any deals?
I hope you are all healthy and safe and staying on the frugal band wagon!
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Let the day's own troubles be sufficient  for the day.
Matthew 6:34

Please Lord help us live in the moment and not to borrow trouble.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Being a Good Steward

 Today is the official Earth Day.  I feel confident that most people that are reading this, take care to be vigilant about taking care of the earth.  We need to be mindful and resourceful of everything we have.  Our earth is precious - it gives us a home - it gives us food - it gives us the beauty of nature.

We all know that we need to take care of it.  There are so many little things that we can do that just make good sense and that will make life better for all living things.

DON'T LITTER - this just makes me so angry.  So many people don't care.  Not only is it a disgusting and ugly thing, it is so disrespectful to others who really care.
It is also bad for tourism - if your town is trashy, how many will want to return?
Litter can be so harmful to wildlife.  Animals can get caught into various litter and die, they can eat things that are harmful.  Litter is just bad in so many ways.

Go out and pick-up litter when you see it.  It may not be your litter, but be the bigger person and pick it up.  Encourage businesses in your area to keep trash receptacles outside their businesses, that people can use.  Also encourage them to keep their commercial properties clean

Don't use so much packaging.  That just becomes trash and goes into our landfills.  Some packaging will takes years and years (if ever) to break down.

Plant indigenous plants and trees around your property.  They add back to the natural habitat of animals and insects and birds, they add oxygen to the air, and they help the actual earth.

Don't waste.  It takes a lot for food to get to your plate.  Collecting and harvesting seeds  or raising animals, farmers planting, taking care of the plants or taking care of livestock, butchering and harvesting, shipping, buildings to sell it, packaging....... my goodness there is so much involved.  PLEASE don't waste it.  Use in other ways or cook less or just buy less.

Be mindful of your utilities.  Don't waste water - it is precious.  Don't waste electricity or gas or oil.  These things make our life easier - but we should never waste them.  If you are not using - turn it off.

Please don't use chemicals on your lawn and yard.  We need these bees and other insects for pollination.  Without them - we do without.  Try not to use chemicals in your home as well - clean with natural products.  Remember whatever you put on your surfaces - you are putting into your skin and into the air you breath (and what we all breath).  You pets touch surfaces and breath the air and lick their paws - chemicals get into the little bodies.  The same with children - they touch everything and their hands are always in their mouths.

Recycle, reclaim and reuse everything you can.  It just makes sense. Our resources are limited and prices continue to rise - so use what you have in new ways.  Not only are you helping yourself, you are helping this planet.

Plan your trips out - be resourceful with your gasoline.  Car pool if possible,  Walk or bike if you have the ability - it is healthy exercise too.

If you have the ability to raise some produce - do it.  It is just a little less that you have to purchase.  IF you raise it, you know how it is raised.  No chemicals or garbage or preservatives in it.  

Allow fresh air into your home whenever you can.  Everything in your home - from rugs to curtains and furniture - have chemicals in their construction.  They may be older - but the air should still be refreshed.  You circulate the same old air over and over with your heater and air conditioner - purge out the old air and allow fresh air in.  You will feel so much better.

There are a millions 'tiny' ways to help our planet and our lives.  Do whatever thing you can to help.  This is the world that future generations will have to use.  


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

When Things Don't go as Planned

 We all make plans and somedays those plans just go in toilet.  You know what?  That is OK.  Stuff happens.  
It can be anything.  Woke up to this,  this morning.  Sure wasn't what we thought April would bring - but April Fool!!!!!  Stuff happens - and we just need to regroup and make news plans.  Not just weather - but in everyday life.
      This was yesterday after about an hour of snow! Pavement stayed clear thankfully!
         The overlook of the neighborhood this AM.  It is beautiful - but REALLY??????

Stuff happens everyday and we just need to regroup.  Don't give up - regroup!  
Life has a way of smacking us down, but stand firm and get back up and move forward.

No budget is going to work perfectly from the start.  It will always need to be tweeked.  Prices go up, things break, can't find things you need, etc.  Always be prepared for the unexpected.  The more more ups and downs you have - the better you get at budgeting.
I really hate the word budget - in my life it has always just been "spend less than I make".  That is what a budget is to me.  I know that is over simplified - but it hasn't failed me.  You do what works for you!

It is your money - you earned it.  Use it as you see fit.  Nobody else has to agree - it isn't their business.  Your budget and everyone else's budgets are going to be different.  Yo do what works for you.

You are going to overspend sometime.  That happens and it's OK.  Don't beat yourself up.  There may be a special evening out or trip that you take or a new appliance - whatever.  We can't stop living and enjoying.    There are times in life we have all seen the numbers at the end of the month NOT where we expected.  Then we feel bad and irresponsible and defeated.  STOP IT.  Put on them big girl panties and get back to it.  Life is going to happen and we are going to spend and the budget is going to go all to hell at some point -  IT HAPPENS.

Find someone of like mind to bond with.  Someone you respect or admire - someone that is getting it right - someone that will 'help' you and not reprimand you.  You don't need to be told "shame on you" - you need to be told "it's ok this time, just get back at it".  You need to be told "good job".  You need to know you are doing OK.
If you are being met with negativity - then remove it - you don't need that.  You can be your own worst enemy, you don't need outsiders being negative too.

Give yourself time to get it right.  It isn't an over night success kind of thing.  It takes months and years to get to a stable and safe place.  If your plan isn't working in say 6 months - change it up a bit and keep going.  We never get it right the first time.  Budgeting, planning, saving, and having a secure future IS work!!!!!  It is rewarding work and it takes time.  It evolves for sure!

I love this!  Frugal and saving people just keep going and trying.  Be an Energizer bunny!!!!  We know what lies at the end of the road is GOOD.  There is always another opportunity to make things right and to get ahead.
Whatever you do, don't beat yourself up when things don't go as planned.

Work can slow down, sickness can happen, emergencies happen, prices go up, everything can change in an instant.
When you take it slow and steady - you will be OK.
Slowly stock those pantries (they WILL be needed).  Slowly add to the emergency fund (it WILL be needed).  Slowly pay off your debt.  Slowly get yourself where you want to be.
It isn't a race - it will happen when it is supposed to happen.  Quit competing against yourself!!!!!!!
Remember - slow and steady wins the race!

Just remember - nothing ever goes as planned - stuff happens.  Dust off, get up and keep moving in a forward direction.
That is what life is all about.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tips from MY kitchen

 We all have our little tricks on doing things.  I love hearing what other people do.  I also like to save money and not go out shopping when I see I am out of something.
I like to be able to have options in my own kitchen.
We all do - it is whether we know about them or use them!
Here are a few of MY kitchen tricks!!!

NO bacon - and a recipe calls for it.  It depends on what the recipe is - but bacon grease is always in my frig, so I can use that.  I keep real bacon bits on hand all the time (great on pizza and in cheesy mac) for salads - so I can use them or I can use bits of ham.  Maybe use liquid smoke (it just takes just a bit to get flavor) or ham bouillon.  Heck you could even use Spam or canned ham.  Many options to replace bacon - no need to make a special grocery trip on an expensive ingredient.

NO tomato sauce - no problem.  You can use tomato juice, salsa, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, or tomato paste.  Most tomato products are pretty inter-changeable.

Need a filling treat for you or the young-ins?  Mix a half cup peanut butter with a couple tablespoons of honey and a dash of cinnamon.  Sure makes for a yummy sandwich.
Mom used to mix peanut butter with syrup and we would eat on bread or with crackers.  That was such a treat!

I don't care how old you are - Smores are a treat!  I do things a little different.  I made myself a couple goodies this past week!  Marshmallows can be heated on your gas stove (using a fork) and I use fudge striped cookies.  I get the gooey yum of marshmallow, chocolate and cookie.  YUM!   Easy, frugal and a great treat for any day of the week!

Marshmallows were less than a $1 per bag (I got around holidays) and the cookies were store brand and cost around $1.29.  YUM

OUT of bread crumbs?  Crush crackers and use - any type of crackers.  Cheesy crackers are super good in meat recipes.  You can also use oats.  I have even used crushed chips (you know the bottom of the bag).  You may need to adjust salt if using chips.
It is all good and adds a bit of variety.

Pancake syrup.  I have heated a 1/2 C water to almost boiling and then added 1 C honey.  Mix well and add in  a tsp. of vanilla.  Super tasty on pancakes or waffles.
There are many ways to make your own syrup using sugar or artificial sweetener as well.  The honey is a natural one!

Poor man's Swiss steak.  My Momma made this often when I was home and still do.  It is one of my favorites - and it is easy and frugal.
Make burgers and fry till almost done then top with a can of vegetable beef soup and simmer.  Serve with mashed potatoes.
Comfort food at it's best!
                     There is a burger under all that veggie 'gravy'!!!!!  So yummy.

So there you have a few of my kitchen tips.  Nothing I hate more than being out of something and thinking I need to make a run to the store.  I won't do it - no special trips here!!!!!  It will just go on the list for later.
I figure out a way to use something else or figure up some new and fun treat or meal.  I love putting unlikely things together and coming up with a tasty bite!

Have fun and eat well.  Stay frugal my friends!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Weekly Wrap Up 4/18

 Good day to everyone!  My goodness we have passed the half way mark of April.  Times sure flies.  
Today we are having a nice sunny day.  It has cooled much this week from last week, but not too bad.  We have some much cooler weather coming this coming week - possibility of freeze again!  Dang I hate that.  This year I am going to try to cover the grape arbor so I don't lose my grapes like I did last year.

The car saga all worked out.  It is fixed and the price wasn't as much as I assumed.  He even gave me a list of future things I might want to think about fixing, when the time is right.  Most of them were things I already knew about.  Nothing expensive or big.
I got it back Friday afternoon, and then decided to stay home!!  LOL.  Friday afternoons and weekends are way to busy at the stores for me - so I stayed in.
I was pleased with this garage - they seemed to be good fair people.  I will use them again.
I feel so much better to see my vehicle in the drive. 

Seriously folks - just enjoy.  There will ALWAYS be something to fret about - maybe we should all quit complaining and just start living!

 My week:
  • I mowed and trimmed the entire yard.  Trimming sure made a difference in the look
  • I did  more yard work - (it never ends)
  • I fixed 2 finch feeders that had broken perches.  Crazy thing - I have always bought the same type and have had several that had a broken port or perch.  I kept them in a box in garage.  Came across them the other day and it just dawned on me that the parts are all the same.  I repaired the 2 hanging with new posts from old ones.  Saved me about $30 from buying 2 new ones (which was on my list)
  • I worked in the garage while my friend/neighbor worked on car.  I got a huge bunch of stuff for recycle and trash.  Did some straightening.  So much left to do!
  • I ran to super WM with neighbor.  I only go to WM grocery/market once in a while - hadn't been in super WM in many years.  I checked for cat food and they bunches!!!!  I got a bunch of canned food - stocking my shelves.  I will check again in a week or two for different flavors.  I looked for canning lids - none - but they had tons of jars
  • I used leftovers in new dishes
  • I received $6 in coupons for dry cat food from a friend
  • Inventoried and straightened the upright freezer.  Found a few things I forgot about!  I have it very nicely arranged for the moment! (we all know how quickly that can change).  LOL.  Now I know what I need to add to stock
  • I inventoried my canning lids.  I have bought many in past years on discount.  I have bunches of wide mouth and many regular.  I will get regular when I see them.  Everything all together now (they were scattered every where).  Still need to work on organizing jars (don't need any of those for sure).  Also have pectin out the wazoo!
  • Using what I have and cooking from scratch
  • Did NOT go to the grocery this week as planned - didn't bother me a bit

Meals this past week:
Taco salad
Cheesy broccoli soup (freezer) and fried egg sandwich
Fried potatoes and smoked sausage with steamed asparagus
Ham/cream cheese/veggie roll-up
Bean/beef tostadas
Mex. pasta (used leftover bean/beef from tostadas over shells)
3 slices Spam, grilled small zucchini and mashed potatoes (YUM)

Got through a semi stressful week.  Truly just tried to go with the flow and not get too upset.  I figure God had different plans for me than I did.  
Not the most frugal week - but considering a repair is better than a car payment - I'll take it.  THIS is why we try to be frugal most of the time.  These unexpected things can knock you for a loop if there isn't an emergency fund.

How was your week?  What did you get accomplished?  Have you been  stocking up?  Staying frugal?

Prayers and good thoughts for all.  Wishing you all health and safety.  Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

Thank you Lord for keeping us in your loving and protective arms.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Best Laid Plans..........

 You have all heard that quote - the best laid plans of mice and men.....
Sure seems to be true some days!  

My goodness, I had all kinds of plans for the last half of my week.  Grocery store on Wednesday morning to do a good stock up on odds and ends.  A trip to Menard's - for all kinds of house stuff on Thursday as well as stopping at Meijer (across the road from Menard's).
The world had other plans!!!!

Got up and ready to leave early on Wed. for grocery and my Blazer wouldn't start.  Now I know myself, it wasn't the battery - it tried to start.  It wasn't out of gas - had plenty.  I cracked the hood and looked around and checked oil and antifreeze, etc. and checked connections.    That is about my expert limit!!  LOL

Looked over fence and neighbor was sitting outside - so I yelled over the fence - he came to look.  Well, the 2 main things he could think of required changing out 2 parts.  We went and got them and he put them on and NOPE no start.  At least they are now replaced and new (they were original 2002)  - so should last for continued years.  We got a work manual for my vehicle and it said to do all he had done.  This went on for many hours!  UGH!!  Poor guy.

                                                             Nope not mine - LOL!

All the while he was working on things and trouble shooting I tried to stay busy ad keep out of the way.  I did a ton of cleaning and straightening in the garage - made a tremendous pile of trash.  Moved my old gas grill and it came apart!!!!  (I haven't used in prob. 3 yrs.)
Cleaned out the back end of Blazer - I have a plastic milk crate with oil, wiper fluid, jumper cables, antifreeze, etc.   Went to move it - and it crumbles into a million pieces!!  Sigh!
Found another and got stuff transferred and cleaned up the mess of the old one.
Set down in the chair I have outside the garage and the seat split!
Standing on cement all day and my back was killing me.
Geesh - what a day!
A real comedy of errors.  Some days you just have to laugh.
I am just thankful I was at home when this happened.  

Finally had to break down and call AAA for a tow to repair shop.  Neighbor took me up there so we could tell them what all had been done.  He uses this place and they know him.
They gave me a sort of decent 'guess-timate' which wasn't bad - but said they wouldn't get to it till at least Monday.
Funny, I rarely go any where, maybe leave one day a week - but someone telling you you can't - changes it up!!!!!!!  Hate the thought of not having a car - just in case.
Neighbor offered to let me ride to WM super store (cringe) with him this morning.  I guess I will go - even though I don't like WM. (need to look for canned cat food).

Got a call - they were already looking at it and it may be much simpler than we all thought.  The shop  thought they knew the problem and it takes a computer thingy to measure whatever - after installing the new doohickey.  
How is that for technical???!!!!!
Fingers crossed it is the easy fix and MAYBE I will get it back today or tomorrow!

My best laid plans sure went to heck!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Such is life here in the big city!!

Some days the universe wins!  That is OK too.
New day - new beginnings.  
This my friends is why we are frugal - you never know what may happen.

LAUGH - it makes things better
Have a great day!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Preparedness - What do you have plenty of?

 We should all still be in preparedness mode.  Prices are going up and things continue to be hard to get in some areas.  I am thankful there are not really many shortages in my area (except canned cat food).  Prices have gone up a little here, but there is something to be said about living in the mid section of the country.  Our cost of living is much less than other areas and we seem to be the last place to experience all the crap!

What do you have in stock that you do not have to worry about at this point?  Is there something that you are super stocked up on?

My SUPER stock levels include:
salt - all kinds
dried beans - huge variety
tomato products
jelly and jams
yeast (in freezer)
season packets - variety
bath - bar soap

My GOOD stock levels:
I then have a good supply of canned beans of all sorts and other veggies
I have a good year or two of laundry detergent and fabric softener (don't really use)
TP - good supply
spices - variety
wet wipes  - bunches and bunches
antiseptic wipes - bunches
toothpaste and tooth brushes
Shampoo and deodorant
Sugar and baking soda

WHAT do I need more of??
canned meats
fruit - canned or frozen
dried /dehydrated goods
probably more garden seeds (I do have a good variety)
corn meal
cat food - supplies
canned/shelf stable & dry milk
vitamins and herbs

I know we all eat differently and have different wants and needs.  I can get by very simply.  I could actually eat beans, rice, pasta and tomato products for ages and be happy.  I have lots of other goodies to add to those things - so I am doing pretty good.  I also have my freezer. (I do have a great back-up for electric)
Years and years of prepping has paid off and I know what is important and what isn't (in my pantry).

I love having cookbooks and country living books on hand.  I have books on natural living and medical books.  I have books to read.  I have craft stuff I can do.

Life can throw us some curve balls for sure.  We need to be ready.
I know many don't have a lot of extra space for storage.  Folks, do anything and everything you can!!!!  Store under, behind, on top of - where ever you can.  Under beds, behind and under couches and furniture, floors of closets, on top of shelves, behind doors............................  get creative.
Add what you can - when you can.  

You don't have to spend a fortune all at once.  Get a few extra cans or bags when you shop.  Spend an extra $5, $10, etc. whatever you can each shopping trip.
Whatever you can get today and tomorrow is going to be cheaper than next month or in 2 months!
You future and that of your family is worth it.  It like money in the bank.

Do you HAVE to live with lots of variety or are you one that could live with the basics?  Simple or complicated?  
I know beans and rice could get boring - but I figure I can do boring a long time if it keeps me alive!

Do you know what you are set with?  What you need to get?
Get that inventory done now and shop for what is missing in your inventory.
Preparedness is your future!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Make Your Clothes Last Longer

 Clothes can be very expensive.  Even if you buy from a thrift store - you want to them to last as long as possible.  You want to be conscious of your funds.  You can keep your look fresh and nice and still be financially responsible.

  • Dress for the occasion - meaning only wear old worn clothes for working in the yard, nice clothes for dress up.  Play clothes for play.  Aprons when cooking - so as to keep grease splatters off your clothes.  Grease can ruin more items.
  • Wash in cold as much as possible.  Cold water is not nearly as color fading as hot and it is more energy efficient
  • Don't launder as often.  Wear clothes more than once unless they are terribly dirty.  When working in the yard I have old jeans to wear and I may wear two or three times while working out in the dirt before washing.  Now, I wouldn't wear them any where else - but I plan.  I know if I will be out 2 or 3 days in a row and sure don't want to get every pair dirty.  Some people change clothes often and wash after every wearing - even if it was just an evening out.  That seems wasteful of energy and you are wearing your clothes out faster
  • Zip up all your zippers before laundering items.  It keeps them from catching on other things.  Fasten your bras as well - so hooks don't snag other clothes
  • Be gentle with your undies - don't ever put them in a dryer.  It wears them out and discolors & ruins elastic.
  • Mend, patch, fix buttons, hems and zippers when possible.  The more you you mend the longer you have your items in good repair.
  • Dye faded jeans or dark colors.  I have dyed jeans many times and they look great afterwards.  You can buy denim 'color' dye.
  • Wash your clothes inside out. Less color loss, less fraying and pilling, less cracking on T-shirt emblems, less lint.........
  • Use deodorant/anti-perspirant to prevent sweat stains in under arm area.  Some materials are hard to remove smells from - so keep the body odors at bay!
  • Hang laundry as often as possible - whether outside or inside.  The drier really does break down clothes (as does fabric softener).  Hang in garages, on patios, on racks inside, out on a line - where ever you can
Doesn't matter where you live - you have to take care of laundry!  Many places don't even have driers - so drying clothes happens however it happens!
  • Wash by colors.  Whites, darks, light colors, etc.  Keeps color from fading into others
  • Make sure you buy easy care clothes.  I do NOT ever buy dry clean only clothes.  IF I did I would wash on gentle at home and hang to dry (I have done that in the past).   I tried those home dry cleaning kits years ago and never again - the smell was horrible!!!!!   Simple care means just that - easy is better!!
  • Keep Tide pens or blue Dawn on hand for stains.  Stains can ruin an item you love.  Make sure you treat quickly.  If that doesn't work - get creative with a patch or embroidery!
  • Keep all those extra buttons you get with tops/sweaters.  Keep them in a jar or box separate from all other buttons - that way you can find them easily if you lose one
  • Place super delicate items in a pillow case to launder if you do not have a laundry bag.  You can easily make laundry bags from soft nylon net or from an old lace curtain panel or tablecloth.
  • Wash stuffed animals on gentle cycle
  • Wear jeans until you can't - patch as long as possible.  Once you can't patch - make shorts or a skirt or an apron!
  • Use vinegar for softening clothes - in rinse.  It is all natural!!!! (No smell once dry)
  • Use baking soda and or peroxide to brighten and whiten - again all natural.
Would you be prepared to be able to do laundry without your current facilities?  It would freak a lot of people out.  Our ancestors worked hard at laundry - it sure wasn't like we do today (and we still gripe).
I do have ways to do laundry the old fashioned way if I needed to.  I also have an old clamp  (onto a table) wringer that I could use for water removal.

I have every single one of these items!  And a crank wringer and a clothes line.  Yeppers I could do laundry the 'hard' way!
You could always use your bathtub as a wash/rinse bin.

Clothes are an outward picture of who you want to represent to the world.  They can be expensive and there is no reason to trash our lovelies and wear them out quickly - make them last!
Do you have any tricks to extend the life of your clothes?

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Weekly Wrap-Up 4/11

 Good morning to all my friends!  Hope you are each well and safe.

It has been a lovely week here.  Warmer temps all week and we had rain - lots of  rain!  It is still raining.  The grass is so brilliant green and the trees are greening - it is very pretty!  This coming week is supposed to be more 'normal' for this time of the year.  50's and low 60's for highs and nights in the 40's.  Spring is here - just not the permanent heat of summer!  That is OK, I do enjoy the different seasons.

This past week was flip flop weather!  Almost 80 for a few days!  I saw the first bumble bees of the season and enjoyed watching robins taking baths in the bird bath.  They are so cute to watch.

I love this picture.   The simple joys of spring/summer.  Enjoying nature and each other.  Innocence!

This past week:
  • Picked a bouquet of tulips
  • Cut my hair (it so needed it) and did a root touch-up
  • Moving a few things around in the yard (yard art).  Cleaned out the front flower bed - oh it it so full of ivy and Vinca vine it's crazy.  None of it was planted by me - and most of it is a pain!  I removed a huge trash barrel full of stuff.  (can we say sore???!!!!!!)
  • Mowed the yard 2X - yes I did.  The rain is sure making things grow like crazy
  • No heat or AC at all this week.  Windows open and fresh air every day.  I even slept with the window open a bit at night and ceiling fan on!
  • I got the rain barrels out of garage and pretty much set up (spout isn't open yet)
  • Changed out my handbag to a spring looking one
  • Making a list of items I need to get at Menard's.  Lots of little things.  Also making a list of things that I need to accomplish outside this spring - work is never done
  • I did go out to the grocery this week.  Got fresh veggies and some fruit and milk and juice concentrate.  I did get a couple bargains.  4 large cans of salmon for 2.19 each, and 2 bags of specialty chips for .79 each.
  • Made up a jug of orange juice
  • Doing all the normal things - eating from home, using what I have, normal cleaning and laundry, seldom turn on a light, using up leftovers
Meals this past week:
Fried chicken, green beans and 3 cheese mac
Leftover chicken and cheesy mac
Beefy Au Gratin potatoes and leftover green beans
Beefy potatoes and salad
Fish sandwich and salad
Cheese burger and oven fries
Enchilada 'like' skillet with small soft tortillas and cheese

How has your week been?  Are your yards starting to come back to life?  I sure hope you are getting some nice weather.
How have you been frugal this week?  Any deals or bargains?

I pray that each of you stay safe and healthy in the coming week.
Blessings from my humble little home to yours.

So faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Free Ingredients

 Spring is in the air and free ingredients abound!  Say what?  Yep, there is free food and ingredients every where if you just pay attention!
Jellies and jams can be made by what most call "weeds" and all those flowering trees can add to the pantry as well.  You just need to do a bit of research and you can find all kinds of recipes for things that are out in your yard.  Violets, dandelions, redbud, lilacs, roses, nasturtium, marigold, yarrow, crab apples,  honeysuckle, peonies and even all those weeds that drive you crazy in the yard and flower beds.

You can use thistle, borage, purslane, lamb's quarters, chickweed and even stinging nettle for different things.  You can simply type in "edible weeds" in your search engine and find out all kinds of wonderful information and uses.
God has told us He put everything on this earth that we need to nourish and heal our bodies.  Maybe we should pay more attention.  Natural is the best in my book.

If you are using weeds or plants from the yard make sure there are no chemicals used in that area and make sure they have been 'pet' free!!!

I have made dandelion jelly in the past (tastes honey like) and I have made peony jelly (has a light floral taste) and have also made violet jelly.  I pick and use purslane in salads.  I have made honeysuckle jelly years ago when I had a flourishing vine.  My brother often has dandelion greens in the spring.  Mom made those when I was a kid.  Back then they used whatever they had to feed families.

Click on pictures of recipes to enlarge and see them better.
These fancy floral jellies can be super expensive at specialty shops.  
Many 'weeds' or herbs can be used in teas and in tinctures and lotions of all sorts.  They are quite beneficial.  Next time you go to a health store - look around - I bet you find several of these yard pests on the herb aisle!  These things aren't cheap to purchase - but they thrive in nature.
Flowering weeds - please DON'T kill!!!  They are the first flowering items each spring and they feed the bees.  We so NEED the bees - they make our gardens possible by pollination.

So never overlook the yard for ingredients.  I seriously hope you do some research on what is useable and edible in the way of flowers and weeds.  It truly could save someone if they were hungry or ill!
Nature is a wonderous thing.  Not only is it pretty - but it can benefit us in so many ways.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Frugality means.......

 Frugality means something different to everyone.  One thing I know is that people who are frugal are responsible people and they are not cheap!  Big difference between frugal and cheap!!
Here area  few things it means to me.

  • Frugality helps reduce clutter (hopefully).  We love to recycle and reclaim things and re-use items.  We love finding new and exciting ways to use leftovers.  We tend to not just buy to be buying - it needs to be a serious need
  • Frugality promotes an environmentally friendly lifestyle - pretty much the same reasoning as above.  Reduce, re-use and recycle and reclaim
  • Frugality helps us learn creativity.  There is no limit to our imaginations!!!
  • Frugality seems to reduce stress, gives a state of peace of mind while gaining a greater simplicity in our lives.  If you aren't spending a lot - you have less bills and more money to pay the ones you DO have.  Living a simpler way of life  is freeing!
  • Frugality gives me a gratitude mindset.  I am thankful for everything.  The small things mean a lot and I have learned to appreciate and love things that God has given us that cost nothing.  Nature is wonderful, taking a walk is wonderful, spending time with loved ones is wonderful, a child's laughter is wonderful.....
  • Frugality gives you options and freedom.  It helps you save more for things that are really important.  Having a retirement account.  Having an emergency fund.  Having more for less.  Making the best use of what we do have. 
  • Frugality helps reduce debt.  Watching your funds and spending is a great way to pay off debt and get out of the grasp of lenders.
  • Frugality helps you be more generous to others.  Watching your spending allows you to donate to those in need, whether by funds or goods
  • Frugality is a great hobby!!!!  You learn new ways, you save, and you pay off debt.  It becomes a game and a challenge to see just how far you can stretch a dollar.
  • Frugality helps you realize your priorities!  It isn't about stuff - it's about moments and security
  • Frugality means WAITING and planning.  It means no rash and sudden decisions.  Think and plan your spending.
  • Frugality  is about being a good steward of what you have
I truly believe the quote above.  I don't think the bulk of the people of the world have truly learned the riches of frugality.  We seem to live in such ME society.  Immediate gratification  is a way of life.  I was always told by my Daddy that the anticipation always far surpasses the outcome.  I have found that true over and over.  
The longer I wait and save for something - the more it means to me.  The harder I work at something, the more I appreciate it.

You can become RICH in so many ways by being frugal.  Richness is more than money!!!!!
Frugality can make you a much happier person in so many ways!

Tell us what frugality means to you!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

A Successful Pantry

 We all have our pantries and our freezers.  There are just some things we all need to remember for them to be successful for our family.  Many of us strive to have long term pantries - being prepared for anything that happen.  I hope you still see the need for that today.

Prices keep going up, supplies go down in some places and we just need to prepare for that.  
Here are a few basic guidelines to follow to insure that you are covered for any hardship that comes your way.

  • Don't buy things you and your family don't like or don't eat.  I know an emergency situation can mean eating anything - but truthfully it should be something you like.  (My only suggestion is maybe having things to barter with.)
  • Have variety - carbs, proteins, fatty foods, veggies, fruit and meat.  Also grains and dry goods.  Being able to mix and match items gives you so much more flexibility with food prep
  • Store your items properly.  Keep dry goods dry and cool.  Wrap freezer goods properly so as to avoid freezer burn.  Now remember freezer burn does not make an item non-edible - it just really  changes flavor and texture and makes it unappealing.  You can cut off freezer burn and cook - but the best policy is to wrap properly before freezing
  • Inventory - know what you have.  Keep like foods grouped together for easy searching.  Baking goods, soups, home canned, veggies, fruits, canned meats - etc.  Both pantry and freezer should be inventoried on a regular basis.  Best idea is to pantry shop - before going to the store.  That way you can see what items need replaced or restocked
  • Rotate, rotate, rotate!!!!!!  So important.  Use your oldest first.  Always place your newer goods to the back and older items up front.  REMEMBER - there is NO expiration date (except baby formula).  Those dates are 'best if used by' dates and seriously just recommend for the freshest taste.  Foods can be used many months and years past those dates!!!!!   Dates are not mandated by the government - they are put on by the manufacturer in hopes of getting you to purchase more!
  • Know of alternative ways to use what you have.  For instance know what items you can use instead of oil in baking, or what you can use instead of eggs.  Oats can be used in place of nuts and dry milk instead of fresh.  There are so many alternate uses for items.  Know what you have and other ways to use it.
  • Know others ways to prepare/cook.  You may not have use of your stove or oven - what to do?  Propane grill,  charcoal grill, wood fire, sun box..... check and know alternative cooking methods.  Also have foods on hand that can be eaten without cooking - straight from the can.   Many gas stoves today have the electronic start (that clicker spark) - many can been lit with a match.  Just the stove top - not the oven - but it is worth trying.  If only electric is out you should still have gas flow
  • Pets - make sure you have inventory for your pets needs as well.  They are family!
  • Comfort food - this is truly important.  If a situation gets grave , no matter what it is, a little comfort food can relieve a bit of stress.  Maybe peanut butter for a good old peanut butter sammy, or cocoa for hot chocolate, or some pie filling or chocolate candy put back.  It really can make a moment seem a bit better
  • Have supplies of dry goods and health and beauty things as well.  TP, shampoo, dish soap, body soap, laundry supplies, vinegar (so many uses), salt, OTC meds, etc.  ** Another reminder - one soap can work in place of many in a difficult situation.
Watch for bargains and get things as cheaply as possible.  Stock up on super sales.  Buy clearance and markdowns.  The pennies you save today are pennies you can spend later on something else.
Keep on stocking and prepping - NOT panicking or hoarding - and you know that when life takes a turn in your world - you will be prepared.
It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves - no one else's.

Your pantry and freezer's are the lifeblood of your family.  Take good care of it, manage it, and keep it stocked and tidy.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Weekly Wrap-Up 4/4

 Good morning.  Happy Sunday.  It is Easter- Resurrection Day!!!!  He is risen and we are blessed.

This past week we have had weather that seemed to encompass a good 4 months worth of weather!!  It was something.  Warm, cold, hot, snowflakes, rain, wind and calm, sun and gloom.  We had the coldest start to an April in 29 years!!!
Flowers blooming and things greening - and then we have a hard freeze.  Goodness - it has been crazy.
It is a beautiful Easter morning - sun is shining and the sky is blue.  It  will warm nicely today, and during the week.  The moon has just been crazy bright and lovely all week.

Isn't this the most incredible picture?  It is in Colorado, USA.  It reminds me of HOPE!  (not my picture)

It has been a very quiet week again.
  • Sticks - oh my!  Every day I go out and pick up so many sticks and limbs
  • Mowed the entire yard for the first time!  LOVE the smell of fresh mowed grass
  • Aired the house a couple days
  • Picked 2 more bouquets before the freeze - daffodils and hyacinths (oh the smell!)
  • I ran to the bank to take care of some business (only day I left the house)
  • Dropped off birthday cards at P.O. (had the cards in my stash)
  • Stopped at 2 dollar type stores on the way to bank.  Got some canned cat food.  You get it where you can find it now days!!!!!
  • Cooking from scratch, using all leftovers, normal house work, just all the normal stuff
  • Renewed library books online
  • Trying to figure out this years yard.  Moved a few things around, making some plans
  • No grocery store this week - figured it would be awful busy
  • Did some fence visits earlier in the week
Meals this past week:
Mashed potatoes with country gravy and green beans (no meat day)
Homemade KFC type chicken bowl
Turkey cheese burger and chips
Grnd. beef/beans/corn - nachos
Mac with leftover beef/bean/corn added topped with cheese
Pizza bites (freezer) and fresh veggies and dressing/dip
Cabbage/rice/ham seasoned w/soy sauce

Yep, pretty darn quiet.  Weather wasn't conducive to being outside a lot.  That is ok - just working around the house.  My house doesn't really get messy - so not a lot to do, except the normal dusting and vacuuming.  Still trying to do some de-clutter.
I am looking forward to warmer weather each day - so much to do outside.

How has your week been?  Any frugal finds?
It sure was quiet on here this week!  I guess everyone is spring mode and prepping for holidays.
I hope you all get to have a nice Easter and spend some time with family.

Blessings from my humble little home to yours.