Friday, July 13, 2012

27 Thing Fling - Days 9 - 12

I have been sick off and on all week so I did not get my items gathered each day.  Today I sat down and started going through scrapbook paper.  I cannot believe I have so much!  I barely touched the tip of the iceberg here.  I got 108 pages together so that counts for Days 9 to 12 (I am a day ahead!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

27 Thing Fling - Days 7 & 8

I was feeling under the weather yesterday so I gathered double items today.  Ribbons and other things that really have a good use for someone, right?

I am beginning to think that I may not be able to finish this challenge.  I am running out of things to go through.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

27 Thing Fling - Day 6

Today I got rid of a mishmash of things: an atlas, a box, some necklaces, wooden hearts, 2 Scrapbook albums, a filoflex file thing, etc.  Most of the stuff is junk I was holding on to "just because".

This has been difficult.  I'm cleaning out things I "knew" I'd need some day.  Honestly I probably would just end up buying the items again because these were packed away in a closet.

Oh well, these items are going off to various places in the next week or so.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

27 Thing Fling - Day 5

Today I removed 27 pages of stickers from my stash.  Actually I only went through one of the three drawers of stickers that I have.  I'm sure there will be more stickers leaving during this challenge.

Friday, July 06, 2012

27 Thing Fling - Day 4

Today's 27 Thing Fling is made up of small items. There is pearl chain, rosettes, a crochet rose, little bows, and charms.  These were sets you could use to make collage pins.  Obviously, I never made them!

More things moving out of my house!

You know, I am finding that I have a lot let "Stuff" these days.  After giving away so much back in 2008 - 2010 and then dealing with the loss of most everything (flood and divorce), I honestly have my house pared down quite a bit.  However, on the other hand, I'm amazed that I have so much that I know I won't ever use.  I feel blessed to be able to pass things on to others.

Four days down, Twenty Three to go.  You can still jump in and join us!

Check out Cathy's post.  She is the lady who started this challenge.  heART life

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Day Three - 27 Thing Fling

Today's items were pretty simple to come by.  I gathered up some stuff from my studio.  Some of the stuff I really don't even know where it came from, to be honest.  I've now got a nice sized bag of stuff heading out the door.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

27 Thing Fling - Day 2

I made it, just barely!

I started cleaning out the top drawer in our dresser and this is what I found.  I also added the things that were in my bedroom "give away" basket.  I promise there was not a whoopie cushion in my drawer!

I did count each of the little bars of soap.  Those to a friend who is donating them to a charity.   The rest of the stuff is going to be offered up on Freecycle.  So far, I listed the speakers & the cables.  The other items will likely wait until I have more to offer. 

I hope someone out there is joining in on the fun.  Post a comment if you are!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

27 Thing Fling - Day One

Today I gathered together a bag full of trim, bias tape, pins, a scarf, and a few other miscellaneous items from my sewing stash.  I have offered the lot of it up on Freecycle tonight.  If not asked for by Friday, I will add it to the stack of stuff going to the thrift store. 

I'm excited about gathering more items we no longer use and passing them on to people who can and will enjoy them. 

Monday, July 02, 2012

Let's Get Rid of STUFF!

A friend of mine issued a challenge to make the house "thinner" over the next 27 days.  The goal is to get rid of 27 things each day.  I decided to take the challenge as I have some things that need to go.  I have a lot of paper that needs to go and a garage full of things to take to a thrift store.  I will start this in tomorrow and will try to post updates as I go.  If you're interested in joining, please do so.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Life as we know it.

Money is finally flowing into our home once again.  Having regular paychecks will allow us to budget and keep ourselves afloat.

I have been looking at where money goes.  I am most amazed by the areas where we don't spend money.  We don't pay for cable/satellite television.  We don't go to fancy restaurants.  I don't spend a small fortune on crafty items.  Jer does not have all of the latest xbox games.

Even without these items we are happy.  We have internet access, netflix, and lots of free music & games online.  We have a nice house, good food, and a lot of love.  We're far from suffering.

We have a long couple of months ahead of us.  We have to dig ourselves out of the pit that is debt.  If I start to complain about the lack of funds, remind me that we really have it pretty good.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Jeremy drives an 18 wheeler over the road & is out for 8 to 10 days at a time with his new company.  These new home times and a larger refrigerator in his truck mean that he is able to eat more meals in the truck.  This saves a TON because 2 to 3 meals out each day, mostly at a truck stop, add up to big bucks quick!

I'm going to start cooking daily (something I don't do since it is just me at home - I tend to eat the leftovers from a meal for days before cooking again) and freezing a portion or two for him.  We have a vacuum sealer and plan to borrow a single electric burner from J's dad so the initial expenses won't be very high.

This week he did store bought "heat and eat" kind of meals just to test things out.  He enjoyed the meals but they are expensive and are full of sodium and other things he really does not need in his diet.  We're hoping that making these meals will allow for some savings in our budget.

Forgive me...

I know I've not been posting.  I really want to.  My life has just been a little on the chaotic side.  Jeremy was working for someone (contract labor) and they did not pay him for 3 weeks before he quit.  It took another 2 weeks after he started his new job before his first payday.  In all, we went 6 weeks without any income.  This depleated our savings and if it weren't for my family we'd be even deeper in debt.

We're on the right track again.  I'm able to pay my parents back at a reasonable rate each week and still start putting some money into our savings.

Instead of posting and working through some of the problems, I hid.  I tend to do that...I'm like a turtle hiding in my shell.

Anyway, I'm back and ready to start posting again.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Food Waste Friday

This week we had a bowl of mashed potatoes that inadvertently got left out of the fridge.   Other wise, my beloved has been home all week and has taken care of the leftovers.  Next week, we'll be back to "normal" with photos and all.

Don't You Hate...

...when life throws you a curve ball and you are left floundering?  Yeah, that has been me the last few weeks.

Life is getting back on an even keel.  I'll be back posting this coming week.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Food Waste Friday (on a Sunday)

It was a crazy few days around here so I'm just getting time to post my food waste for the week.

First up, we have the pizza dough.  I tried to make it and it failed.  I don't know what I'm doing wrong but this happens every time I try.  I think I'll just stop trying. 

Secondly, we have the celery that was slimy in the middle.  We washed and ate the good stalks.  These are just the ones we tossed. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Frugal Crafting

I found this great tutorial to make a wrap bracelet.  I waited until I found a piece of ball chain & then went through my stash to see if I had the other items needed.  In the first one I made, I improvised by using embroidery floss instead of waxed linen cord.  In the second one, I used colored hemp & pearl bead chain stuff.  I really like how they turned out. 

Why am I even writing about this??  

I want to show that one can recreate something at home using materials on hand without breaking the bank at the craft store buying things that can only be used once or twice.   

I try to be true to my belief that things should be used up, reused, recycled or upcycled whenever possible.  
I want to try my hand at altered books. Things are SO expensive for the hobby if you buy all of the latest products.  Instead I want to recreate these looks for less.  Keep watching this space to see if I'm able to achieve my goal.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Food Waste Friday


This week we have nothing to report.  Yay!

The boys have been amazingly good about eating leftovers this week.  We do have a few things that have to be eaten within the next week, including lettuce & potatoes. 

Wish us luck as we try to make it two weeks in a row!

What about you?  Check out The Frugal Girl for more!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Frugal Menu Planning

Menu planning is one area where I am sorely lacking.  Most days, we plan the dinner meal sometime after 10:00 in the morning.  We're making way to many trips to the store and we're spending money on impulse items like crazy.

I have turned to the Internet in search of ideas but I wonder if half of these recipes are meant for people feeding between 2 & 3 adults & 2 teenage boys on a daily basis.  Steak for 5 is not in my budget.  We're lucky to get red meat more than once per week.  Even frugal sites seem to be full of meals that are either too complicated or too hands on.  I have CFS & FMS as well as other hidden illnesses.  Some days I just cannot be in the kitchen for an hour or two prepping dinner.

So now, I turn to few (LOL) readers.  Do you have any tried & true frugal meals that are easy and kid friendly?  Please comment if you do. I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yard Sale Finds 04-14-12

Today we went to just a few sales.  I was feeling ill (getting used to new medications) so we cut our outing short. However I did manage to snag a few things.

I budget $20 for yard sales.  I also take change along with me.  The change is "free" money in our budget (we round up to the whole dollar) so it is like getting things totally for free!  Today I spent $3.75 in change and this is what I got.

The basket & Wii game combined cost me $3.  The note paper cube (gift item) & the witch pin cost just $0.75.

When I got the basket, it was missing one handle & was dirty.  I removed the other handle & washed the fabric insert before putting it back together.  It turned out quite nice.

Did you go to garage/yard/boot sales today?  If so, what bargains did you get?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Food Waste Friday 04-13-12


  1. One gallon of iced tea that turned sour (not pictured)
  2. Package of Artisan lettuce
  3. 1/3 jar of spaghetti sauce
  4. 1/3 package of Romaine lettuce (left by a friend)
  5. small container of refried beans
  6. Olive Garden breadsticks
  7. small portion of hash brown casserole
  8. big container of potato salad
  9. partial loaf of bread (mold in only 2 days?)

I think this really sucks.  However I have just started this week and I vow things will get better.

Check out more wasted food posts over at Frugal Girl.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I moved into a new house at the first of February.  In the house, we have a trash can that gets picked up one time per week.  Each week, the can is overflowing.  In the past I recycled but the recycle center was close to my house.  Since moving, I have not had that luxury.

I did some research today & found out that the Agricenter in Memphis has recycling for the city.  The recycling center is 9 1/2 miles from my house. We plan to go there weekly & will combine the trip with a visit to the Agricenter's Farmer's Market.  We've not been there before so I am excited to check it out.

We set up 3 plastic totes in the garage where we will separate our recycling.  I made this a job for the boys, hoping that they will use this as a learning experience. They will go with me weekly to deliver our recycling.  Our hope is to reduce our landfill trash by 25% within the first week.  I'll post pictures again next Thursday.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Monday Monday

Today was a holiday for my nephews (they attend online school at my house) so we all had a lazy day.  Jeremy was home & had some time to play games & just relax. We ate leftovers from Sunday's big dinner all day.  I think I'm sick of ham for a while - good thing I froze much of the left overs!

I am looking for more blogs to follow.  I'm interested in the frugal, hippie, homesteading, crunchy granola, & crafting blogs.  Bonus for ones that combine some of my "loves".  If you have any suggestions, please leave them here.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Not-so-Frugal Weekend

There was not a whole lot going on this weekend frugal wise.  Or at least nothing that was not the norm for us.  

  • I did laundry with homemade detergent & fabric softener
  • I did dishes with homemade dish washer detergent
  • We ate most meals at home to save money (one special lunch with Jer eaten out)
  • We drink mainly water
  • I made homemade bread instead of buying 
As he was washing pots & pans by hand, my nephew was so excited to learn that the homemade dish washer detergent cleaned so well.  

Oh, I wore a new to me outfit for Easter Sunday.  I got the skirt in January at a thrift store.  I think it was $3 (expensive for me but I loved it).  The shirt was a beautiful array of colors with a butterfly motif on the front.  Jeremy's mom bought it for me as a Christmas gift.  I wore it for the first time today.  Total out of pocket for me was just $3 & everyone talked about how how cute it was. 

I want to plan for my frugal week.  I have a few things I have to do around town so I'm going to be trying to combine trips.  Gas is so expensive these days!  

Friday, April 06, 2012


Recently I have been wanting to make more from scratch items.  I love making bread but really wanted to move beyond the bread machine and try my hand at something new.

A month ago, I started making artisian bread.  Crusty Bread Recipe  I have had good success with this bread.  I took 3 different loaves to a get together last month & everyone enjoyed them.

Tonight I tried a new (to me) recipe for yeast rolls.  Link to recipe   I wanted something somewhat simple that I could use for our big supper on Sunday.  My friend & I went to the grocery store & bought one package of Sister Schuster's Rolls.  The package was $3 and change.  I challenged myself to make something that was just as good (if not better) and for less.

I had to go back to the store for shortening (luckily just down the street and I only bought the one item!).  We just don't have that on hand.  From start to finish it was about an hour and a half maybe.  I spent much of the time on other projects and just came back periodically to check on the dough's progress.

The batch was small, just 8 rolls, so I did not feel it was a huge investment if the recipe failed.  Luckily the recipe worked well.  The 5 people present loved them.  I saved one roll for Jeremy to try tomorrow when he gets home. If he likes them, we will be making them on Sunday.

I think that the recipe cost less than a dollar.  This is a big savings over the small bag from the store.

Tomorrow I plan to try a recipe for cheesecake balls.  I thought they might make a yummy spring time dessert.

Funny Fixes

It is a lot cooler today than it has been in a while.  I opted for jeans over shorts today & pulled out an pair.  These were a gift from my mom more than 5 or 6 years ago.  The zipper does not like to stay up.  I had to find a way to keep these pants and so, for a long time, I had a pony tail holder threaded through the zip loop and I would loop this around the button.  Today I tried a new trick & replaced the pony tail holder with a small key ring.  This means I can wear a shorter shirt as the pony tail holder showed a little & the key ring does not.

This sort of a fix for me is second nature.  It is normal for me to find a fix or just wear an item as is (they are clean after all) rather than toss the item.  These jeans will likely last a few more years & will bring me a smile each time I zip them.

We went to a thrift store today - one having a 50% off everything sale.  I spent $19 and change on 5 pairs of shorts for Jeremy & a pair of corduroy pants & a pair of capri pants for me.  Jer is a big guy (6' 8" and 350 lbs) so finding pants for him at thrift stores is impossible.  However, since short season is upon us, I am able to sometimes find things to fit him.   I think I did really well.  I only bought really needed items - Jer has NO shorts & I have one pr of capris - and stayed within a budget.

What thrifty thing have you done today?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

What Frugal Thing Have You Done Today?

A friend of mine, Kimbra over at Frugal Living With Five, is doing a 30 Day Frugal Challenge.  I am rooting her on and thought I would post about her challenge.  She is doing one thing per day that is frugal.

Today, I did a load of laundry.  I used my homemade powdered detergent.  I do dry my wash (allergies) but I hang dry things like shirts and bras.  As I was folding this load I smiled to myself.  This load contained some of my "rag bag" rags.  These are used where most people would use paper towels.  Yesterday my oldest nephew painted.  His watercolor mess was wiped up with rags.  The once white cloth now looks almost tie dyed!

Let's see what I can come up with for tomorrow!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Helping Others, Helping Myself

Today I went to help my fiancee's mother start to clean out a closet.  I say start because it is a huge project that is best split up over several weeks.  We worked hard for a few hours & ended up with some things being given away.  My friend & I both got a few things (crafty items!!) and there was a lot left for the yard sale we are planning for the first weekend in June.  I did not go into this thinking of getting things for myself.   I wanted to help and in return I was "helped" out as well.

What ways have you used to help other??

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Homemade Gifts - Hair Pins

One of the areas where most people can cinch their wallet strings is on gifts. My goal is to make smaller 'stocking stuffer' type gifts as time allows throughout the year so that I'm not stressed in November (or December!) making or *gasp* buying gifts.

This is a very simple project. I think that it would be a great one to do with a young girl so she can make gifts for her friends as well.

Supplies needed:

  • Buttons - anything from dressy to cartoons are available at most mass market stores. Or you can do like I did and use up a stash you inherited.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Bobby pins
If your buttons have a loop on the back, remove it with pliers. Then it is as simple as adding glue to the back of the button and sticking the top of the bobby pin in the glue.

Be sure that you remove the excess glue 'strings' from the front of your pins. I did not remember to do this until after I took the photo. Ooops.

This particular craft cost me very little. I have a small glue gun (dollar store type) & bag of glue sticks on hand. If I'd had to buy them, I'd have $2.25 invested in them.

The buttons I have come from a huge lot that I got from Freecycle a few years ago. I have tons of "character" types available. If purchased, they run about $2.00 per card of 4.

The bobby pins are about 2 cents each.

This means that a set of two could run about $1.10 or so.

Another option is to use regular buttons and put colorful thread through the holes before gluing.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Frugal Hippie

I've jumped on the homemade bandwagon. I've started making detergent, fabric softener, dishwasher detergent & deodorant. So far, all are working well for us, except for the deodorant - I had a nasty allergic reaction. I'm thinking of trying again with less tea tree oil.

These items not only save money but by making and using them, I continue my frugal focus. I use them daily and can really see the savings adding up.

An added bonus is that I know what is going into most of my homemade products.

One thing I want to work on is my "What's For Dinner" segments. Lately at my house food has been expensive. My friend & her two teenage sons eat with me most nights. The boys don't like beans & that tosses out half of the frugal meals. I want to get back to focusing on where my money gets spent.

New Post? After YEARS???

A friend inspired me to start using my blog again. I do some journal writing still on Live Journal but I'm really not writing about things like I really would like to be.

My life has changed completely since I last posted. I've gotten a divorce. I've moved into another house that my fiancee and I are purchasing from my parents. Basically everything written prior to this date is from a prior life. I don't want to remove my posts though because I feel that they have some good information.

So be looking for new posts soon...