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??