FRUGALOSITY 101

frugalosity-101

When they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.”   – John 6:12

My parents lived through the depression era, so I was the kid with a happy plate every day.  Of course, my mom was a good cook and fixed meals that I had no problem eating, and usually wanted seconds.  :-/

I was raised with the old adage, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!”  Have you ever washed out a baggy and used it again?  Yep, me too.  When I get a present, I save the gift bag (but not the tissue), and write the gift giver’s name on a post-it note and put it inside the gift bag – that way I won’t accidentally use the same bag for their gift.  Little acts of frugality can save you money, honey!

Since our monthly bills are going up and our income is staying the same, that belt has to tighten a little more.  I took a trip to the Dollar Tree to see what I could use in place of higher priced items I’ve used.  Let me tell you about my latest find…

They have the most amazing 2 in 1 laundry detergent / fabric softener!  It may not be the best for anyone who is allergic to scents, because it has a pretty strong lavender scent.  It’s in a lavender color bottle and costs just $1.  It cleans well for less money.  I’m all about the clean, the lavender scent and saving money!  I actually like the lavender scent in my sheets – it helps me get to sleep better (that could be in my imagination…  lol).  I also like the dryer sheets from Dollar Tree.  They are, of course, $1 and seem to work just as well as the brand I used before.  The savings will add up and my clothes will be just as clean and free of static.  I call that a win/win!  🙂BUDGET CUTS

As Lucinda reminds us… we may have to use less expensive products in our everyday lives.  We may even have to give up on a few extras – but we won’t lose our place with the Son.  I love that!

I also found a perfectly good sensitivity / whitening toothpaste at the Dollar Tree.  For $1 I can get my teeth cleaned and whitened for much less money.  The one thing I had to adjust to was the taste of the toothpaste.  I was so used to the mint flavor of my old toothpaste – but after a couple of uses, I’m fine with the less “minty” flavor.  I also think this new toothpaste whitens my teeth better and provides good sensitivity protection.

Little changes that cost less can make a big difference.  You may have to adjust in some ways, but your wallet will leave the Dollar Tree smiling!  🙂

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NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY

TL 8-17 NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY

GOD'S THRIFT SHOP

Before we take a look at my thrift shop “finds” for this year, I want to remind you to watch for specials at the thrift shops in your area.  I look forward to this day so I can see what items have been reduced in price even more at my neighborhood Goodwill – yay!

It’s sometimes a matter of seeing items reinvented in your mind…  find something old and inexpensive – then take it home and have some fun.  Take a look at this transformation!

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=433981.0#axzz357dKDcsN

I’m not artistic at all, so I’d have to depend on templates, but this is something that anyone with imagination could do.

What else can be repurposed from the thrift shop?  Let’s find out.

My big thing at the thrift shop is vintage clothing.  So let’s take a look at some cute finds:

I think she looks GREAT!  Why not look this great without paying retail prices?

For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. – Luke 12:23

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  – Matthew 6:25

When I saw that gray sweater she wore, I thought of my mother’s sweater – the one I keep close to me.  It used to have the scent of her cologne, but it’s faded through the years.

I collect antique teapots and Longaberger baskets.  Do you know that once in a while I actually find these items at the thrift shop?  It’s not something that happens every day, but on occasion I do happen upon a Hall teapot or Longaberger basket.

Some people buy items at the thrift shop to sell for more money on eBay.  There are tons of videos about turning a profit that way, but for me the joy is in finding the bargain and enjoying the item in my home.

I hope you find that special something you are looking for today at the thrift shop!  🙂

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL CLOTHESLINE WEEK

TL 6-4 thru 11 INTERNATIONAL CLOTHESLINE WEEK

http://www.hangtodry.com/

Get on board!  It’s time to save energy and hang your clothes on a clothesline!  Some housing developments with a “no clothesline” clause in the covenant are making allowances for this week only.  Check with your local HOA to see if yours is one of them.  If you can’t string up an outdoor line, you can still use a fold-up rack  http://www.wayfair.com/Drying-Racks-C434826.html or put a short line up inside your laundry room.

My mom always hung clothing and bedding out on the clothesline to dry.  It just made sense because let’s face it, in Kansas there is wind – and plenty of it!  The worst thing that can happen is you end up with bird poop on something – but it doesn’t happen that often.  It’s really bad if the bird has snacked on mulberries.  They grew wild in the empty lot across the street…  yeah.HANGING SHEETS ON THE LINE

Of course, the winds of June will not be as strong as the winds of March, but they will certainly dry those clothes and sheets.  I have the most fond memories of my mother hanging the wash out to dry.  I’ve read other women’s writings about those precious days with their mothers, but my memory includes something that nobody else’s does…  I remember my mom getting her basket of damp clothing about halfway out to the clothesline – and then she would always SNEEZE!   I teased her to no end about it!

I used to make my mom’s clothes pin holder – the bag that hung on the line.  I made them out of my old denim jeans – that were cut into shorts – well, what do you do with the leg part that’s left over?

There are several benefits to line drying your clothes – obviously one is cost.  The electric dryer costs money to run, and the sun and wind is free.  The sun also whitens whites and will disinfect bedding naturally.  It’s great exercise – you have to load your basket with the damp clothes, carry it to the line and bend and stretch as you pin the clothes to the line.  Then you reverse the process when you take things down.  Add in the folding and putting away, and that’s a day’s work!

Your duds will last longer.  When was the last time you cleaned out a dryer vent?  I notice especially with towels and fleece clothing – it’s pretty full after the dry cycle is finished.  Clothing and especially bedding will smell so much fresher after drying on the line.  Line drying also reduces wrinkles – mama used to “snap” things before hanging them – that was to snap the wrinkles out!  Was mom smart, or what?

There are no dryer sheets needed, but line drying actually eliminates static cling because there’s no electricity to cause static cling to begin with.  The times I helped my mom hang laundry are some of the most peaceful and simple times I remember in my childhood.  We had a good time talking and laughing together in the sunshine – I especially liked to tease her about that sneezing…  yeah.

A serious benefit of using a clothesline instead of a dryer is the risk of fire!  Did you know that clothes dryer fires make up over 15,000 structure fires, 15 deaths and 400 injuries each year?  The annual cost in the U.S. for fire loss due to clothes dryer fires is estimated at a whopping $99 million!

It’s really worth considering a more natural way of drying clothes and bedding, isn’t it?  I hope one day soon, the HOA’s across the country will reconsider the “no clothesline” clause in housing developments.  Sometimes ecology and safety need to come before esthetics.  Jus’ sayin…  🙂

 

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)On Memorial Day I looked in the mirror and noticed a lot more gray hairs than ever before.  So many thoughts ran through my mind, including the cost of a professional highlight or color job.  My hair has always had natural highlights and lowlights – the problem is that now those highlights are gray – and they’re starting to wash me out!

I’ve noticed some posts on facebook lately advertising the newest summer hair colors and styles – one of the popular colors is called COFFEE BLONDE.  Hmm…  I thought…  coffee!  It peaked my interest and I started searching the internet.  I found several articles and recipes for natural and chemical-free hair staining.  It’s like a natural henna – and I like the idea of no chemicals damaging my baby fine hair.HAIR STAINIt will probably last until my next shampoo – but the good news is, I’m not going to lose hair like I do when I use the permanent hair color from the box.  There’s no peroxide and no real danger involved.  The amount of instant coffee granules, brewed coffee and conditioner is so inexpensive.  I don’t know about you, but I never use my shampoo and conditioner at the same rate – I have tons of leftover conditioner!  It’s really a win/win.  I can afford to do this just before I wash my hair – not a big deal.

There’s only one side effect (if you can call it that)…  my hair smells like COFFEE.  LOL!!!

It’s just one more frugal thing to try just for fun.  If you want  a dramatic red/burgundy, you can use beet juice.  A cinnamon tea also leaves a bit of brownish/red tint (and the scent would be good too).  Of course for years blondes used mayonnaise or lemon juice in addition to their regular shampoo and conditioner to make their hair shine.

If you are daring and want a more dramatic change, how about sugar-free KOOL-AID???  Yeah – and it’s pretty simple.  The results will show up more on dry hair than on wet hair – and the lighter your hair is, the more dramatic the color will be.  Here’s what you need:

3-6 packages of SUGAR-FREE KOOL-AID (depending on the length of your hair) in a large glass bowl.  Please make sure it’s sugar-free because you do NOT want sticky hair.

Mix with a little conditioner (about 1/4 cup or so) and some hot water.  Stir until you have a paste-like consistency – don’t add too much water or it will be too runny.

I’d wear gloves because it will definitely stain your skin.  If you do get some on your skin, it can be easily removed – no worries.

If you want all of your hair colored, dunk your head in the bowl and massage paste into scalp and on hair.  Or for streaks, put it only where you want it.

Put long pieces of plastic wrap around your head.  Then put a plastic bag over that and secure with a chip clip or tie in a knot on top.

Sleep in it – yeah, I know – just do it.

The next morning, remove the bag and plastic wrap.  Hop in the shower and rinse your hair.  DO NOT SHAMPOO!  If you shampoo, it will wash all the Kool-Aid out.

There are tons of alternatives to harsh chemicals that can potentially BLIND you if it gets in your eyes!  Nothing that harsh should go on anyone’s scalp – or their hair.  Even henna has ingredients that are too harsh in my opinion.

It’s fun to try new colors and it doesn’t take long to go from drab to dazzling!  What will you do today?  Start June with something different.  🙂

GOOD DEALS FOR TODAY

TL GOOD DEALS FOR TODAYIt’s TAX DAY 2016…  I know – don’t get too excited.

I’ve been surfing the deals for today and found a few businesses that would love to have you spend some of your tax refund with them.

  • Great American Cookies – Stop by participating locations and grab a free regular chocolate chip cookie — no purchase necessary.
  • Staples – You can shred 5-lbs. of documents for free for another year at Staples.
  • Schlotzsky’s – All locations will be offering a free small original sandwich with the purchase of chips and a drink today.
  • McDonald’s – Buy one get one free French fries.  Some locations have free small coffee.  Some locations have 18 cent Big Macs & Quarter Pounders when you buy one for regular price.
  • Hard Rock Cafe’ – Tonight you can SING FOR YOUR SUPPER!  Sing your favorite song on stage and get a free Legendary Burger!  All ages welcome.
  • Boston Market – Get a half chicken individual meal with two sides, a regular fountain drink, cornbread and a cookie for $10.40.  You know, 1040 – like the name of the dreaded form…  LOL!
  • Arby’s – Free curly fries.
  • Olive Garden – Comfort food – that’s what you need during tax week. Olive Garden will give you a free take home entree’ with an entree’ purchase (dine-in only).
  • Outback Steakhouse – Free Bloomin’ Onion – when you mention Bloomin to your server. I recommend calling ahead to make sure your location is participating.
  • Kona Ice – Giving away free tropical shaved ice.  The company’s trucks will be parked at post offices, tax preparation centers and businesses nationwide, handing out free cups of shaves ice and complimentary Hawaiian leis.  Their moto this year is NO TAXATION WITHOUT RELAXATION THIS TAX SEASON.
  • Sonny’s BBQ – Half price Sweet & Smokey or House Dry-rubbed Rib Dinner.
  • Sonic Drive-In – Half price single patty cheeseburger.

Hopefully there is something here that you can take advantage of today!  Saving money after paying taxes is as American as apple pie!  If I can help you do that, then my day has not been wasted.  🙂

 

 

LEAP DAY – JUMP FOR JOY

TL 2-29 LEAP DAYApproximately every four years, nature flips a switch and we get an extra day in February!  Today the switch was flipped and here we are!  Happy Leap Day!  So, I wanted to find out what’s in it for us – other than another day to enjoy my February perpetual calendar…  lol.untitled (59)

You have to check this out – so funny!  Did you know that you can consume a TON of bacon on leap day to make up for all the other days when you don’t eat it?  Um…  nah – not really.  Fake Leap Year Facts:  https://twitter.com/hashtag/FakeLeapYearFacts?src=hash

The people in banking do not get this day off.  It’s not a National Holiday.  If you have banking business – go for it because they will be open.

Several restaurants in our area are offering specials.  Here are just a few:

untitled (56)If it’s your turn to take the doughnuts to work – here ya go!!!  🙂  Remember, you do have to buy one dozen at regular price to get the second one for $2.29.  The ad said this is good at every Krispy Kreme in the U.S.

I just had a funny thought.  When all those rulers way back when were trying to decide which month to add the day to – they almost chose August.  If they had chosen August, then that second dozen doughnuts would be costing $8.29.  LOL!  I know…  bad joke.  Sorry.

https://twitter.com/schlotzskys

The Schlotzsky’s restaurants in Wichita (all 4 locations) are offering $1 off any sandwich today.  Check their twitter page to see if that special is good in your neck of the woods.  It looked like this special was good for everyone – not just those born on leap day.

https://twitter.com/pizzahut

Pizza Hut will dish out a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza to carry out customers with IDs showing they were born on leap day.  Good deal for those who only get to celebrate their TRUE date of birth every 4 years or so!GOD WILL BE OUR UMBRELLA

https://twitter.com/Eat_At_Ruckels

untitled (58)The ad also said if you were born on leap day you get a free meal (ID required, of course).

There are great deals today for leap day babies!  If you go to Twitter and type LEAP DAY SPECIALS in the search engine, it will take you to a page that has all the goodies for the day!  🙂

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NATIONAL CUT YOUR ENERGY COSTS DAY

1-10 NATIONAL CUT YOUR ENERGY COSTS DAYThere are some basic common sense methods that will improve your bottom line and leave you with more jingle in your pocket.  Here are just a few:

  • Keep the fireplace damper closed.  Seal the ductwork and make sure you have a timer on the bathroom exhaust fan.
  • Turn down the heat. You’ll typically save 1 percent to 3 percent on your heating costs for every degree you dial down.
  • We recently had a humidifier installed and it saved us nearly $40 a month on our bill.  Before long it will pay for itself and our air does not seem so dry and we’re less stuffy in the mornings.
  • Log off your computer and shut it down at night.  Unused equipment consumes energy and warms your space which pushes up air conditioning costs in the summer.  Highly efficient Energy Star equipment and appliances often carry no cost premium but use 20-50% less energy.  Remember to flip light switches off when you leave a room.  It’s a simple thing – but can make a big difference!
  • According to the Department of Energy, you can reduce your heating and cooling needs by 30% just by adding a few batts of new insulation in your attic if your house is more than 25 years old.
  • It can be expensive to have a gas-powered fireplace.  By trial and error, we decided to invest in a space heater for our office space in the basement and leave the fireplace turned off.
  • If you can see daylight under your doors, it’s probably time for new weather-stripping.  It’s fairly simple to replace – just remove the old and nail on the new.
  • Consider drawing up a service contract with a professional who will come to your house to make sure your furnace and A/C are working properly.  Replace the furnace filter once a month.  The professional will make sure nothing is obstructing an outdoor heat pump and verify that your furnace is not on “emergency heat” as this will turn off energy-efficient settings and could double your heating costs.
  • Electrical cables, gas lines and pipes that enter your house may have gaps around them that have been haphazardly filled with a caulk, but that will eventually crack, peel and fall off.  These gaps let air inside the house and are entry points for mice and other insects.  Seal those gaps with expanding foam.  For water pipes under the sink, unscrew and pull back the escutcheon ring, then caulk around the pipe.  The ring is just decorative and will not block airflow.

    These common sense steps add up over time.  Hopefully these tips will help you as they have helped us.  🙂