Thursday, March 31, 2022

Motivation and Attitudes - We Got This

 OK - we have had a long winter and it is easy to get comfy and complacent.  I know I was inside the warm a lot and I didn't accomplish all I wanted.  I was just cozy staying in my warm home and curling up with my kitty!  
Now I do get outside, every single day for a good 2 hours a day.  Yep, every day.  Other than that I am not always out and about.
Now spring is here and we need to get ourselves motivated and up and moving!!!!  There are many simple things we can do to motivate ourselves and change our 'winter' attitudes.
I think we can ALL use a bit of motivation!!!!!!

  • Get up and moving.  Get cleaned up and get dressed every day!
  • MOVE - get outside every day - if only for a few minutes.  Don't matter the weather.  Fresh air and sunshine make a huge difference. Exercise if you can.  Dance - that so brightens a mood - seriously!  Turn up that music and just dance/move.  
  • Give yourself ONLY X amount of time each day on your devices.  Unplug more.  Quit watching so much news and doom and gloom - you DON'T need that.  You need to lifted up not depressed.
  • Schedule chores in 15 minute increments to get yourself motivated.  Do something for 15 minutes.  Clean, de-clutter, garden, cook, etc. and then either rest or change to something else.  Repeat.  It is amazing what you can accomplish in a short time.
  • Learn something new every day!  A new word, a new craft, a new item from history, anything!  Just learn something - expand your brain and mind power.  That re-awakens the soul!
  • Disconnect!  Go sit on the porch, read a book, watch the birds and nature, take a walk, listen to music, work on a hobby or project - just turn OFF devices.
  • Connect with family and/or friends.  Staying in touch helps us stay up and positive
  • Journal - keeping track of your thoughts helps to motivate.  Write what you are grateful for every day.  Write what your plans are.  Write your dreams.  All you need is a notebook and a pen.  You may find that writing gets you back in touch with yourself!!!
It doesn't cost a thing to motivate and improve our attitudes.  We need to get more in touch with ourselves.  We need to move and 'get physical'!  We need positivity in our lives.

You want a positive life?  You have to do something!  It isn't just thrown in your lap.  It takes work and only you can do it.  
Turn off - move - learn - enjoy - and have a great day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Meals Easy and Tasty - I Keep it Simple & Inexpensive

 I always hear y'all say "your meals sound good".  Show and tell - sometimes it helps to see things.  I don't spend a lot of money or time on cooking, but I love to eat.  I keep things simple and easy and I use ALL my leftovers!!!!!!!

                                                     Breakfast food is always a hearty meal.
Goulash - simple and tasty
Smoked sausage, kraut, and mashed tators
Baby lima beans, fish strips and roasted potatoes

                                                                 Tamales over rice

                                                           Bologna salad and fresh veggies
                                                       Fried rice - using leftover veggies
                      Tasty burger w/sauteed peppers/mushrooms and cheese - shredded salad
                                            Mixed greens with ham, seasoned rice and biscuits
           Tacos - always yummy.  Beef, pork, fish or chicken - whatever you have (soft or hard shell)
              Split pea soup.  Doesn't get much cheaper than that!  I love all kinds of soups.

I think we all need to remember that we can eat well on little.  It doesn't take a lot of money.  I know there are some that cannot have pasta or rice or maybe even legumes.  You know the things you can substitute.
I don't always have meat in a meal - I often have another protein.  Meat is not essential every day.  
Meals do not have to be many courses.  A single plate or bowl of food is ENOUGH!  
We should be eating to live - not living to eat!!!!!!

Keep your leftovers and use in a new way or freeze for use in a meal at a later date.  It is nice to be able to pull a helping of soup or meat or sauce out of the freezer and thaw and heat.  So simple for those days you don't feel like cooking.
Come summer and warmer weather - there will be a lot of sandwiches and salads of all kinds.

So when your money is tight, and supplies are low - take a moment and look around.  Odds are you can create something quite tasty from what you have.  It doesn't have to be fancy.
If you keep basic supplies on hand in your pantry - you can be a super creative person.

EAT WELL ON LITTLE - Keeping it simple!!!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Sunshine in Life

 Good golly, I have been thinking a lot lately.  I don't know if that is good or bad!  LOL!  I have to believe good.  Spring is a time for rebirth of the land and nature - and I am going to try to make it a rebirth for me as well.  I think there are many of us that may need to do that.

I love the season of spring, but the past few years, it has become a time of remembering loss as well.  In less than a month it will be 3 years since losing my love.  Now this post is in NO WAY about trying to get you to feel sorry for me - I am hoping this post will give hope and strength to others!!

I have many people and things that make me happy - but it seemed the 'sunshine' was gone from life.  I need to get that back.  I know a part of me is gone forever, but I need to move forward.  I have 'maintained' for a long time - and I guess that is good.  BUT, I need to advance.  Oh, heck no, I don't mean a new person in my life (can't even imagine), but just getting back into life.  
Year one was awful - then came a couple summers and years of upheaval in the world.  I am ready to enjoy a little again (I think).

Sunshine is not just that big bright orb in the sky - it is also a part of your life that you need to survive a happy life.

There are many of you who have lost your loves.  It is a loss that can't be described.  Whether it is family, friend, spouse or child (can't even imagine that) -  many have lost their 'sunshine'.
IF you have been like me you feel sadness, loss, loneliness, anger, emptiness, etc.  You may also feel GUILT when it comes to changing or moving forward.  YEP!

That has been me.  I hate to get rid of things or change things - because!!!!!!  Well, I am finally realizing that is normal and it is kind of crazy.  Our loves would want us to move forward and to be happy.  They don't care about that STUFF!  They sure wouldn't want us to be stuck.

Whether you are getting through a loss of love, or worried about your current circumstances, or worried about the state of the world - God has it and you!
Remember that always.

**Slowly start making small changes around your home.  Slowly let go of things.  Slowly move forward.
(SLOWLY) is truly the word!  Don't rush yourself - God will let you know when you are ready.

**Turn off the news.  Quit spending so much time on current events.  You can be aware, with out spending so much time watching or reading.  REALIZE - there isn't a darn thing you can do about it!  You can not change the world.  Work on your little corner and make it 'sunny'!  Pray.

**Quit complaining - you are sucking the joy out your life by doing that.  Again, nothing you can do - but live life the best you can!  Complaining isn't going to solve a thing.  Most of the world is going through the same thing - we all know stuff is bad.  Just adjust how you shop, eat, buy, and live.  That is all we can do!!!!!!

**Move forward inch by inch.  Quit stagnating life.  Make your own 'sunshine' and joy and happiness.  It is possible.

Here is an example.  I got an invite to a nieces first birthday celebration the other day.  I smiled, then saw the date!  My heart sank - and I thought, no I can't do that.  It is on the anniversary date of G's death.  Then I swear I heard a voice yell - "STOP IT - go and celebrate that sweet baby".  
I swear I heard it!!!!!!  Yes I did.
I will be going.  I need to celebrate that adorable babies LIFE - not feel sorry for myself.

I spend a lot of time in solitude and lately I keep hearing Glen talking to me.  No, I am not going crazy - I do think his words are coming to me somehow and some way.
I keep hearing "You are OK".  "It is OK to change".  "Get your butt in gear and move forward".   "You got this".
Yep sweety, you are right.

We are all stronger than we can possibly imagine.  You are stronger than you know!  You can get through anything - give it to God and allow Him to help you through it.
I spend a lot of time trying to encourage others in life - but not so much myself.  
I am going to "listen" to my sweety and encourage myself as well.  Now is the time.

NOW is the time to LIVE and do all we can on this earth to enjoy and be happy.  Kids, we get one shot at this - let us ALL make it the best.
We can't change yesterday - tomorrow hasn't happened yet - today is EVERYTHING!

Blessings my friends!

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Weekly Wrap-Up 3/27

 Happy Sunday all!  Hope this finds you all well and safe.  It is a cold morning here.  We are riding that roller coaster again!  We have gone from 70's to 20's in a few days.  I am so tired of rain and wet and WIND!  Geesh, it has been a windy week.
This week looks to be much of the same - rain, rain - go away! (so muddy)
March may well go out like a lion!!!!

The forsythia are out in bloom and the daffodils started blooming.  They are covered right now - hoping to save the blooms.  There is a huge magnolia tree about a block behind me, and it is in full bloom.  I well imagine it will look much different after last nights freeze - it always happens!  The grass is vividly green after all the rain.  It won't be long and I will be mowing.
                                  Forsythia is just so bright and pretty.  It makes me smile!
      If you look beyond all the wires you can see the magnolia that is blooming.  It is huge!

This week seems like a bust to me.  I got to be out Monday and enjoy the beautiful weather - then it all went bust.  Rain and wind came and didn't leave all week.  Even had some snow flurries yesterday.  Today is sunny but cold.
I didn't do a lot.  It seems I took a lot of naps this week!  That is just not like me.  It was gloomy and ick, and well, naps seemed to be the remedy!  LOL

My week:
  • I did work out in the yard most of Monday.  It was lovely.  I did a lot of pruning (things growing where they shouldn't) and raking and cleaning
  • Using up precooked things from the freezer again
  • Picked a couple pretty bouquets - which are still going strong!
  • I made biscuits and a butter cake - using oven once to bake 2 things
  • General cleaning and sorting
  • Watched some You Tube videos and caught up on a couple posters
  • I did run out on Thursday to Kroger to get out of the house.   I needed to see people!!  I got some salad goods, milk and buns.  I got a couple mark downs in meat department.  I got 2 packs of marinated turkey breasts, each costing 3.49.  These are perfect for me - it will definitely satisfy my turkey hankering and not be too much.  Each will supply me with a few meals.  I also got a 6 pack of thick center cut pork chops on clearance for $3.50.  Pretty cheap for 6 meals!
  • I did get to air out the house on Monday
  • Hung a little laundry out
See, nothing much happening here.  I just need lots of sunshine and warm temps - that so gets me motivated.  I feel like a slug.

Meals this past week:
Nachos (using leftovers)
Fried chicken (freezer) and fries
Beef enchilada soup (freezer) over rice
Fish, mac n cheese and fresh veggies
Homemade pizza
Burger topped with sauteed mushrooms and peppers (peppers from freezer) and Swiss cheese and salad
Mixed greens with ham, leftover rice and biscuit
SNACKS:  applesauce, cheese and crackers, pizza slice and butter cake

Quiet week and much rest gotten.  I need to get busy and figure out a blankie to make for a new nephew I will be getting in May!  I am thinking of using some of G's shirts for some of the fabric.  I do believe his mommy would love that!
I think I will try to work on all the office stuff I have and never use anymore this week as well.

How has your week been?  Keeping busy?  Is your weather getting warmer and staying or are your still getting cold as well?  I guess this is normal for March, so I shouldn't complain.  I am just so ready for warmer temps.  Did you get any deals this week?

I hope you all have a wonderful and full week, and that you all stay healthy and safe.
Blessings from my humble little home to you and yours.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

Thank you Lord for our many blessings and let us always be mindful of them and that you embrace us in your loving arms.  Never let us waver in our belief nor doubt Your ways.  Amen

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Thursday Random Thoughts & Tips

 Another day to ramble.  Some days I have nothing particular on my mind - just random thoughts.  Here are a few things - as my mind just roams around!!

Pretties from the yard.  Pretty yesterday and pretty today - who knows after that.  So very windy and rainy and after tonight we have 2 or 3 nights of below freezing.   Eeeeerrrrr!  Happens every spring.  I will cover the daffodils - hoping to save them!

You know I add water to dish soap and shampoo.  This is blue Dawn and water mixed with a little vinegar.  Vinegar helps cut grease and adds sparkle.  The vinegar sure turns that Dawn a pretty color!

'Gnome' is where the heart is!!!!  My garden flag at the moment.  I have to admit - when I make a trip to the garden center/feed store I have to get a new flag each time.  I love them!  They just say happy and hello!

I got these a month or so ago at Big Lots for 2.99 for a really big bag.  I love cheesy puffs and these sounded yummy.  Well, they are pretty darn warm for my palette.  Soooo, not being one to waste things, I have ground them up into a powder and I add a bit to mac and cheese or as a topping on casserole or as an add-on on pizza.  It gives just a taste of the jalapeno flavor and tiny bit of zip, but not too hot.  There is always a way to re-use things in a new way!

Some of my dry storage for the kitchen.  It keep some often used items handy and it looks pretty as well.  I love all the old jars - and they sure are useful.  Found that little cabinet at a yard sale several years back - it just said 'buy me'!

Through my door.  Momma and Fluffy sunning and sending you all kisses for a wonderful weekend!

Have a nice and lovely day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Living on Little

 How low can you go?  It is truly amazing how little we can get by on if need be.  There are times all through our lives that we have had to tighten the purse strings and just get by on little.  
I learned how to stretch a buck from my parents.  I then went through a 'wild child' period of time with over spending with my ex.  Not good.  Big debt - learned important lesson!  Mom and Dad had it all figured out.  Yep.
Then I had super lean years of living alone - super lean.  Then when G and I got together we set goals and worked hard to make them happen.   No we did not live beyond our means at all.  We could have bought a bigger house in a different neighborhood, we could have spent on a lot of things that we really didn't need - but we didn't.  Our vacations were camping and wondering the roads of Indiana.  We had a ball doing that.  It cost so little, but gave us days of joy.
We tried to live life on the wages of one of us - even though we both worked.

We had the funds to help others, to save for the future, and to just enjoy ourselves.  We had that FREEDOM!

Today I live on a fixed income.  That sounds so much worse than it is.  I actually only spend LESS than half of my income on expenses.  I do not have to touch the savings.  
I live a simple life - not because I have to - but because that is what I choose.
I don't need for anything.  Sure, I have a few wants, and I will get them when I find exactly what I want.
Planning earlier in life, has helped retirement life.

I live a simple life, I eat simple food, I have simple wants.  That is me.  It may not work for everyone.  That is fine - you need to do you.

I have been a planner for years.  Planning a pantry, planning for retirement, planning for helping others.  I feel comfortable that if it all hits the fan tomorrow - I will be OK.

I read so many stories about people getting all in a panic and bulk buying and storing things they never have before.  How many of us need to purchase 50 lbs. of flour and sugar and grains at a time?  Most don't.  Did they do this before?  I know that some people may need this - they have big families.
I cook from scratch and I like to bake now and then - but goodness, it would take me forever to go through 50 lbs. of flour and sugar (even if hubs was here).  I purchase regular bags  when I get a sale and store them properly - I am good.  I am sure I have over 50 lbs. of each - but it was purchased over time and will last a looooong time.
Don't feel you have to follow the crowd.  Purchase what you use and what your family likes.  Don't buy and store things that you have never purchased before.

I, for instance know I never have to buy body soap again!!!!!  Seriously.  I get gifts always, and I have enough bar soap to last the rest of my life.  WHY?  I got for free or almost free and I can also help others who might be in need.
I never made a mad dash to stores when there was the big TP debacle!!!!  I had plenty and I know other means of staying clean.
I can wash clothes and clean things in my home for ages.  Just got deals that I couldn't resist, so therefore I am good.  No I didn't go out and intentionally over stock.
Food - yep, good there as well.  I have more than enough.  I will grow what I can each summer and try to preserve that as well.  I have the ability and knowledge to grow a few things in the house and on window sills during the winter.
I watch sales and clearance and get the most I can for my money.  I can help others if I need to, it isn't just for me.  I know I can have alternatives (if necessary) for my kitties.  You betcha I will share my chicken and fish with them.  I keep well stocked on those things.  I know some people think that is crazy - so be it.  These are my babies and they WILL be fed.  
(I know many understandπŸ’“πŸ’“)

So do what you can with what you have.  If you get the chance to pay off things early - do it!!!!!  
Save what you can.  
Buy and stock what you USE. 
Go to food pantries if need be and don't EVER feel bad about it.  They are there to help.  
Learn to glean what nature has to offer.  
Barter with others.  
Grow what you can.  Preserve what you can for the future.
You can do this!
Don't be influenced to do things that is not in the best interest of your family and home.

Don't live beyond your means.  There are many ways to get by and many people who can help and guide you.
Just be aware (not panicked) and get busy.
Blessings upon you and yours.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Just Pondering

 Hello -here it is Tuesday already!  Goodness, time flies.  Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day - full of sunshine and warmth.  Got to be outside and get some things done.  This morning it is wet, wet, wet!!!  Gray and gloomy and did I say wet?  Going to be this way pretty much the rest of the week.  No more outdoor work this week.
BUT as I was 'pondering' I thought how fortunate it is raining.  If we were to receive snow at the rate they are predicting rain this week - well, we would have between one and two feet!!!!  So I guess rain is fine!

Isn't this true?
Yes, it is.  Another thing I have been pondering.  Everyone keeps saying 'when things get back to normal'.  This IS normal.  Life changes everyday.  Today will never be like yesterday. 
Life events happen and change everything we know.  We lose loved ones, friends, we move, we get older, we change, people marry and divorce, the world changes.............
So normal - well, that is kind of irrelevant.

I think the only place we can sort of content with - is our home.  We have the ability to keep our home the way we want.  This is our little world.  Beyond that - really no control.  I think much of what happens and what we see and are told is just a big illusion that "someone" wants us to believe.  There are powers that try to control actual physical events on this earth, and they are not always for the good of US!
I am aware of world events - but I have to distance myself too.  It will drive you crazy.
I can control this little piece of real estate that I live on and that is where I am happiest and where I am most content.
Sounds simplified I know.  But it is what I believe.  I have faith in God - not men.
We all have to do what makes us happy.  

I try to do good and help where and when I can.  I pray for all.  I try to spread happiness and goodwill.  I love deep.  I am loyal.  I enjoy what God has put in my life.
People will not always remember what you have said or what you have done.  They will remember how you made them feel!!!  Do what you can to be kind and make others smile and have a good day.  Be the ray of sunshine in someone's day.

I know we all only have so much time on this earth.  19XX - 20XX.  Really the day you came in and the day you leave is not so important.  It is all about the dash in the middle.  That is what is important.  
All the stuff you do.  All the smiles you give.  All the hugs you give.  All the love you spread.  All the good deeds you do.  All the joy you give.  All the prayers you pray.  EVERYTHING in the middle is the IMPORTANT stuff.  Live life and do it with all your might!!!!
Living is important.

We have each and everyone already had our "worst" day so far - and yet here we are.  We have persevered.
We will have more bad days - but if all we do is remember the bad days, we are doing an injustice to all the good in between.  Honor all that happened good.  Honor the lives that were LIVED.  Honor the blessings received.  Honor all the joy and happiness.

Live your life and live it well!  That is what you really want to be remembered for, isn't it?
Have a blessed day my friends.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Weekly Wrap Up 3/20

 Happy Spring to everyone!  I hope this finds you all well and safe.
Yesterday sure didn't feel like spring.  It was rainy, cold, gray and just plain icky.  I don't think I did a thing - was just that kind of day!  Today - sun is shining, birds are singing and it is supposed to get in the 60's.
It looks like the forsythia will pop open in the next few days.  The trees are getting buds and you can actually see that mist of buds on trees in the distance.  It won't be long!
I imagine in another week I will not need a flashlight when going out in the morning to feed the kitties.
Heck - I put away the snow shovel, the ice melt and my boots!!!!  I am done with old winter!!!!!

The kids moved yesterday - that also made it a sad day.  Little one (4) and I got to hug and share a good-bye and she said she would miss me - turn on the tear faucet!!!!  Her mommy said , she asked her this past week if Chero was moving next door to the new house.  Aahh.  I will even miss Bandit - the dog.  They have the keys till the end of month, so I will see them and we have ways to keep in touch - but it is still sad.
                                                       And just like that - they are gone.
Dang I hate change.  I pray I get good neighbors again.  In the 36 years I have lived here, I have only had 3 different neighbors in that house.  It is really scary now that I am here alone.  

My week:
  • I did go out one day and got all stocked up at the feed store.  I was about out of everything.  I was pleasantly surprised that no prices had gone up in the past couple months.  I also got my onion sets while at the feed/garden center.  I also got a free bag of birdseed with rewards
  • I ran into Kroger which is across the street from the feed store.  I added 56 cans of cat food and 2 bags.  I found a nice sized corned beef for $8 for the freezer.  I also got some romaine lettuce and a cabbage
  • I froze 4 ice trays of milk that was just about at it's end.  Great for my morning drinks
  • Took the old tarp off the greenhouse and trashed it. (It is for shade).  It was on for a couple years and had seen better days.  I put a new tarp up so it looks nice and the kitties have shade!  That was a lit of stretching - boy am I getting out of shape!!!!!
  • Cleaned out greenhouse (rugs & swept) and aired and took trash out from garage and got one of the water barrels out.
  • Line dried laundry
  • Worked on my sedum beds at the side and front of house - cleaning them out.  I picked up sticks out back, and worked on the big flower bed a bit
  • Had 4 days and nights with no heat!  Aired out house
  • Fixed my back gate - so it is easier to latch (only needed done for a couple years! LOL)
  • Helped the neighbor get the top on his patio gazebo.  This old chick got a lot of stretching and climbing exercise this week!
  • Set 2 neighbors up for a give-away.  One had couch, stereo and TV stand to get rid of and the kids (moving) needed  new furniture.  Saved one from hauling off things and another from having to buy!  It pays to know what is going on!!!!!
  • Found a package in pantry for chocolate muffin mix.  Made it up and added chips and had 12 muffins to snack on all week
  • Deep a BIG clean in kitchen.  Under the sink base cabinet - under the frig - and moved and cleaned under the wash stand/micro stand (it weighs a ton).  Cleaned and polished cabinets
  • Using freezer items this week.  A piece of chicken breast - fileted in half for sandwiches, chili, veg. soup, corned beef from new years
  • Doing all the regular things
Meals this past week:
Chili mac topped with crushed chips
Chicken filets on leftover biscuits
Veggie soup and grilled cheese
Baked cheese dip and potato wedges
Corned beef/cabbage and mashed potatoes
Dirty rice made with added grnd. beef and beans and a salad
Burritos using leftover rice mix and extras
SNACKS:  Nuts, fruit and muffins
Baked cheese dip and potato wedges.  Very tasty.  Used leftover over cheese dip in mashed potatoes next day

So there you have it in a nutshell - my week.  Not a lot exciting for sure - but slow and steady work.  Just trying to get this and that done.  I was lucky, as there were several lovely days this past week.
How was your week?  What are you up to and getting done?
Look forward to our weekly check-in.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  
Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though it's waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
Psalms 46: 1-3

As things change in this world, we pray for peace and hope for all.  May the Lord shield the innocent with his protective arms and cease the evil presence.  May we all know and appreciate the joys of each new day we are given.  Amen

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Simple Living & Save - $$

 I am on a roll this week about using what you have and not spending a ton of extra money.  It works in so many areas of our lives.  I hope I am not driving you all nuts!

I just love being able to know that no matter what, we can survive and survive well.  Life can be about the simplest things and those things can save $$$.

Great way to use up those older cheap cakes mixes you got on sale and haven't used yet!!!  Any flavor!

Doesn't get much easier than that!  No eggs, no flour, no sugar - healthy cookies

Click on pic to enlarge for easier reading.  I love all these!!!!

Frugal and easy dinner bites.  Slices of potatoes - topped with your favorite toppings and baked.  Nobody said dinner has to be complicated and many dishes.  I have used sliced zucchini this way as well!

Another easy dinner bite.  These are tasty.  You can use Bisquick or your own mix for topping.  No limit to the combinations you can come up with.  Nice with a salad.

It will soon be that time again.  Zucchini coming  out your ears!!!!  LOL  Zucchini cakes are light and fluffy and oh, so tasty,  Basically you can use what  veggie you have to make fritters.  I have made corn fritters, okra fritters, potato fritters - I would think you can get real creative with this.  Using what you have.
Stuffed zucchini boats are the bomb.  One of my favorites.  Stuff like you would a stuffed pepper or fill with cheesy mixture or anything your little heart desires.  Half, remove seeds, I stem in microwave for about 10 minutes - then fill and bake.  One dish meal!!!!!

Corn bread muffins with cut up hot dogs or smoked sausage in center.  YUM.  These are so good.  FUN

I know I have shown some of these before -, but reminders are always nice.  We can eat well, live great, spend little and just have a happy time of it - if we choose!!!
It is about choices and using what you have!!!!!

See ya all later!  Have a good one.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Saving $ - Don't Buy - Reuse

 There are so many ways we can save money.  The first is just don't go out shopping and buying new things or gadgets.  Gadgets can be addictive!  We have so many things in our homes that we can use for other things.  Many of these items are things that may just get trashed.  Turn that trash into treasures and $$.
Here are several ideas on things that you can reuse in new ways and save a little money and help save the environment as well.

No need to have a fancy steamer for veggies.  I had one - hardly used it, took up space - donated.  This is my standard now!
I use a very old sieve over a pot with a little water.  I place a lid on and steam away.  I do have a double boiler as well with cookware - but for me this works perfectly.  Don't judge on the looks of that sieve - it is OLDER than me!!!!!  Yep, it was mom's and that things has been through a lot.

Recipe books.  Sure, a notebook will work just fine.  I like these little $1 photo books I have gotten at the Dollar Tree.  I have different categories - canning, baking, meals, mixes, etc.  I like this method as it is easy to find all my handwritten recipes.

No need to buy some fancy egg cooker.  I can make perfect round eggs for biscuits simply using a large mouth canning ring!  Grease it and place in pan - crack egg and cook.  Can flip the entire thing over to cook other side.

Coffee filters - so many uses!  Filters can be purchased for little money and they have so many uses.
Absorb grease from fried items.  Microwave cover for bowls to keep down splatters.  Use in the bottom of air fryer to catch grease.  Use for snacks (paper bowls).  Use in the bottoms of pots and planters to prevent dirt from falling out.  Use to filter fresh juice (catch pulp or seeds).  Sooooo many uses!

Bacon grease!  Great for frying all kinds of things.  Gives great flavor.  I also keep a jar for hamburger grease as well (beef).  I use these for frying potatoes or other veggies.  To give anything a little more flavor.  Saves on using bottled oil.  P.S. a little bacon grease is great with baking biscuits and /or cornbread!  I do keep mine in the frig - but I remember mom kept hers in a tin on the stove.

Jars, jars, jars.  Keep your jars from store bought items.  They are great for dry storage of all kinds.  I also make jar recipes and they work perfectly for my soup mixes and when I gift, I am not giving away my precious canning jars.
Jars  can also be clamp type jars you buy at thrift or decorator/discount stores (see red one in top pic).  I really like those clamp tops.  I have a few old ones as well.  Keep those plastic bottles from herbs and spices too.  They have shaker tops and are great for storing your homemade spice mixes or for your home grown herbs.  There is absolutely no limit to how you can use jars. 
Heck they make nice flower vases as well!
I even use them in the bathroom.  Great for cotton balls (which I get from vitamin bottles) and for Q-tips.  Water bottles can be used for homemade drinks to go and here is one with salt water in bathroom for rinsing mouth.
You can use anything from spice bottles to gallon jars for storage.  I LOVE BOTTLES AND JARS!

Baskets of every sort.  This is my bill paying basket - bills, checkbook, stapler, correction ribbon, tape, paperclips, etc.
I have baskets for books, for napkins, for bathroom items, towels, vitamin bottles, snacks, groceries, extra candles, etc.
Basics can be wicker and they can be plastic or metal.  Anything from a tiny piece to a milkcrate.  Use for all kinds of storage.

Even in the outdoors you can reuse things in new ways.  Here is an old wagon used to hold many of my fossil rocks that I collected for free.  You can use shells, rocks, logs, chunks of wood for risers in gardens, even plants.  Make starts from other plants, separate plants, get starts from others.  I have a store purchased water barrel and I have a homemade one as well.  I got a 55 gallon barrel (clean - no chemicals).  I cover top with screen to keep out bugs and then I placed a piece of lattice over it - so animals can not fall in.
Here you can see both barrels.  I attached a small piece of hose from the one in front (at over flow spout) to drain into the second one!
You can use old buckets, wheelbarrows, toys, pots, etc. for decorations and for planting.

Trash clothes - take off buttons and/or zippers for reuse.  Use these items as rags.
Stained t-shirts or jeans use for yard work or painting
Extra paint from projects - you can mix different colors together to make a new color for accents or small projects (latex w/latex or oil w/oil)
Food leftovers - make soup or casseroles.  Start a freezer bag for future soup.  Don't forget compost
Old worn out bedding - use for pets.  Old blankets or comforters can be used as stuffing for handmade quilts
Newspaper - makes great drop 'cloth' for many projects, make plant starter pots, line pots, use as kitty litter, drainage for fried food (place a coffee filter or paper towel over it (don't place food directly on print) - paper is so absorbent, it also makes a great weed barrier in gardens.
Feed bags - those neat and pretty plastic bags bird seed and such comes in - make reusable grocery/carry bags out of them.  They are so pretty and unique
Lids from peanut butter jars and lids from grated Parmesan cheese fit standard canning jars
Those squirt tops from dish soap bottles - fit water bottles and indiv. pop bottles.  Great for kids to use for playing water games or good for drinks (keeps out bugs)

There is so much more we can do - to save money and to save bringing more stuff into out homes.
USE WHAT YOU HAVE - get creative and think before you purchase.
There is absolutely NO limits to what you can reuse.  It all saves money and it saves the landfills as well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Gardening - For Almost FREE

 I hear so many people talk about how much it costs to garden.  WHAT?  You can garden for almost free.  Yes, you can.  Using what you have, trading seeds, keeping seeds, making your own compost and fertilizer and plating where you can and in all kinds of vessels.

You can start seeds at home - you don't have to buy plants.  I tend to buy a few plants - as it is just me and I don't need a ton of things.  Now when it comes to lettuce, onions, cucumbers and zucchini - I go with starting my own.  Cucumbers and summer squash plants start very easily and quickly.  You can buy seeds at dollar stores - unless you want heirloom seeds.  Beans are super easy to start as well.
Heirloom may cost a bit more - but know that you can keep the seed from your produce to use next year and the year after and will get exactly the same thing.
If you don't use heirloom and save seed - you get plants and produce, but it may not be what you think it will be.  

You can start plants early and use various things as mini greenhouses.  Trash can be a wonderful thing in all aspects of gardening!
You can keep all kinds of things as use to plant in or as mini greenhouses.  The milk jug - cute off the bottom and place the top part over plants in the ground or in a pot. Open lid when it gets warm for air. The ice cream bucket - add dirt and seeds and grow.  You can also use these for planting green onions, lettuce, beets, anything that doesn't have a deep root system.
There was a conversation on here with Frances the other day.  Her homeowner's association says no planting garden out front.  You can plant lettuce, cabbage, kale, and greens and most root crops and no one would know!!!!  Plants are plants!

You can start seeds in your own little 'peat' pots.  No need to buy them.  Use newspaper to make little pots - which are then plant-able as well and will rot into the ground.  You can also use those little cardboard egg cartons.  Sections can be planted as well (not foam).
My brother uses the tubes from toilet paper or paper towels (cut to size).  Trash working for you!
I have seen people use their soup/veg cans to start plants.  Poke a few holes for drainage and plant.

Tables scraps can become fertilizer of sorts - it is called compost.  NO you don't have to have a compost pile out in your yard.  Use those ice cream buckets or a plastic coffee can - throw in  your coffee grounds, crushed egg shells, tea bags, etc.  Scraps from veggies and fruit - work as well.  You can actually place peels of about anything in the blender first (lessens volume) and use it as well.  All this adds nutrients to your soil and your plants.  Boil eggs or potatoes or other veggies?  Cool that water and use that on plants as well.
Fertilizer - no need to buy.  You can make your own version of Miracle Gro.  So easy.
Click on recipe to enlarge image 

You can plant in those flower beds, you can also use pots, buckets, and any worn out vessel for planting.  Pots can often be found on neighborhood swaps.  Use what you have.
Plant something and put on your patio or veranda or balcony.  Can you grow houseplants?  Then you can grow some items on a window seal or on a table that gets light.
You can even buy a bag of soil - slice it open down the middle and then across each end (like an I) and plant directly in the bag - no pot needed.  Shallow root plants will grow fine that way.

You can also regrow food!!!!!  Many people only use the green part of green onions and place the white part in water and regrow.  I have always eaten the entire green onion - to me the onion IS the white part!  I buy onion sets to plant.  But in the winter I do use the regrow system some.
You can grow bunch lettuce and even cabbage.  I get Romain or other bunch lettuce and when I have cut off the leaves - I scrape that bottom part (where it was cut off) a little (to open pores) and restart in water.  Once it roots - you can plant.  Same with cabbage.  NEVER pull cabbage plants entirely out of the garden!  Cut off the heads and it regrows many baby heads (as does broccoli)!!
Celery is another great regrow item.  Start that bottom end in water (using same method as above) - once rooted you can plant.
I have never tried - but have heard that you can plants dry beans (that you buy to cook). 

So you CAN grown something and trust me, today anything you can grow, will save you money.  It will probably be healthier as well - as you know where it is grown and it will be fresh!!!
Use what you have and start some plants or start a little patio garden this year.

Trash can be a wonderful thing in many, many ways.  It can give you seeds, pots, compost, fertilizers, pots - FOOD!
Doesn't get much better than that!