Thursday, February 23, 2017

Saving Money on Groceries and Supplies

Today my friend asked me how I saved money on my groceries and other household supplies so I made a list for her. Even if they only pick a few it will help with their budget.

Then I thought I would share my tips with all of you, though I am pretty sure everyone already knows them.

1.  Clip coupons and use them. I used to clip all sorts of coupons and then only use about 1/4 of them. Now I find myself clipping or printing out coupons for those things I will use or want to try. Combined with a sale on the item you can save a great deal.

2.  Only go grocery shopping once a week. This is something I have always done, and when we lived 30 miles out of town I would only shop every second week. Combine your errands on your shopping day to save even more. By only shopping once a week I think my friend could get her grocery budget in shape (her hubby is running to the grocery store every second day...and you know those extras that seem to find their way into your cart can add up).

3.  Don't eat out, order in or get fast food as often. This is something the two of them do at least 3 times a week. I told her we eat out maybe once a month (sometimes twice) and it is usually brunch after Mass. Breakfast is the most inexpensive meal of the day.

4.  Make sure you eat before grocery shopping. Hunger makes a person pick up snack type items.

5.  Plan your weeks meals using store fliers, adding in whatever you have in your pantry that needs to be used up.

6.  Make a grocery list before you leave the house. I usually factor in a bit extra spending to keep my pantry and freezer well stocked.

7.  Get comfortable cooking. Cooking meals at home is the best way to save. I could even say get comfortable baking. Homemade bread is about half the cost of a loaf of store bought. Squares that a person would pay upwards of $6.00 can be made at home for a fraction of that cost, and you get a great deal more.

8.  Avoid prepackaged and frozen meals. My friend buys a great many frozen pizzas, I told her to make her own crust (they do have a bread maker and there are many recipes) and top it just the way she would like it.

9.  Make recipes with basic ingredients. Learn how to cook beans from dry, use eggs, fresh veggies and fruit in season, pasta, tuna, and oatmeal. All are inexpensive and can be made into wonderfully filling meals.

10.  Start a garden and learn to freeze the excess veggies.

11.  Buy in bulk those items you are sure to use up. If you let something get old, you lose any savings.

12.  Stock up and freeze any really good buys. This means know your prices and a good sale when you see one. I told her that we spent today slicing up bulk sandwich meat buys. In just slicing our own roast beef, and chicken we saved at least $50.00, and have enough sandwich meat in sealed bags in the freezer to last us for a couple of months.

13.  Prepare extra batches of food when cooking. Being able to pull a casserole, or container of chili out of the freezer when you are tired or hungry makes it easier to say no to eating out.

14.  Use your slow cooker. It saves time, energy and your meal is ready when you get home from work.

15.  Cut down on coffee, soft drinks, and bottled water. We have a water dispenser in our fridge that gives us cold, filtered water at the press of a button. We also have a Brita water filter we use in our coffee pot. We have cut down on coffee, never buy bottled water, and have cut back on soft drinks as well.

16.  Try generic brand products. Some are actually very tasty.

17.  Shop the farmer's market in the summer. There are great deals on fresh veggies to be had if you do not have a garden.

18.  Start to like leftovers. My friends' husband so does not like leftovers that many get thrown out. What a waste! Some foods taste so much better the second time around.

19.  Baking soda and vinegar aren't just for cooking. Get the most out of these items by using them for cleaners rather than buy the "advertised" cleaners.

I hope this list helps her (well I know it will help her, providing she can get hubby to join in).

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday Out and About

Today Harvey and I decided to go for a drive. I think we were both going a bit stir crazy, which is weird considering how nice the weather has been.

While driving we saw a herd of white tail deer beside the road.

This is pretty much what they looked like, only the herd was much bigger and scattered over the pasture.

Of course being on the highway I couldn't get a picture (not that fast at pulling out the phone, focusing and snapping) so I found an image on google images.

We hit some heavy fog on the way back home, but that cleared up the closer we came to Estevan. Now, however, the fog has settled in here. We might be in for a change in the weather. Hopefully nothing really bad.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Menu Monday

This month is slowly drawing to a close. I find it very hard to believe that we are almost 1/6th of the way through this new year of ours. Spring is hopefully just around the corner, and garden planting awaits. We had lots of leftovers to get through last week saving me time and money.

Monday

Leftover Baked Spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread.

Tuesday

Leftover chicken made into a hearty casserole along with the leftover salad.

Wednesday

Steak in mushroom sauce, mashed potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts.

Thursday

Clean out the fridge smorg. I will probably serve some raw veggies and dip as well.

Friday

Soup and either egg salad or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Saturday

Sausage casserole (should be able to use up the bag of carrots as well as the frozen peas).

Sunday

The roast chicken I keep putting off making. Served with mashed potatoes, green beans and a tossed salad.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fun and Hobbies The Frugal Way


There are so many hobbies that a person can get started with, and many of those cost very little or can be done on the "cheap" as people say.

Both Harvey and I stay away from hobbies that cost a great deal to get involved in. Most of our hobbies are free or very low cost. The ones that do cost we try to do as inexpensively as possible.

Take for instance my sewing. I search rummage sales, second hand stores, sale fabric, or even on sale bedding. I have been known to cut down older clothing into squares to be used for quilts, and I use old blankets and pillow stuffing as my own stuffing for new pillows or quilts.  Scraps from sewing projects are collected and also cut into useable quilt squares or strips. Buttons and zippers collected from older unusable clothing to use in other projects down the road. Really the only things I am willing to pay for are thread and patterns, and I am considering more and more about getting my patterns for free from the internet.

Yarn wise, I have never paid full price for yarn. I search the same places as I do for fabric, and have been known to recycle hand knits into balls of yarn to use in projects. Every last bit of my yarn is used up, even the tiny pieces are collected and put out in the spring for the birds to use making their nests. The internet abounds with free patterns.

Cross stitching is a bit more expensive. However finding free patterns online, or trading patterns with friends does keep the cost a bit more reasonable.

I love to read, and while I do buy the occasional book (okay, probably more then the occasional book) I have taken to getting free on line books, and books from the library more and more.  Not only is my library a good source of books, they also carry movies, music, and magazines. A one stop shopping trip for any avid reader, movie lover or music lover. There are also a great many on line free book sources as well. Project Gutenburg comes to mind, as well as Book Bub, and Amazon has lots of free reading material for Kindle.

I love to hike, and even walking around my own neighbourhood gives me ideas for redoing my yard or colours to paint the house. Landscaping ideas abound. Sometimes I even get free seeds or cuttings from people I speak to.

Harvey loves crossword puzzles and he finds loads of them free online. He spends an hour or so every morning working on them.

The fact is the internet gives a person a great many free ideas for their hobby. Anything from crosswords, suduko, free photography lessons, youtube videos on crochet, free patterns, and wonderful recipes for those of us who use cooking as a hobby.

Probably the best advice I can give anyone is to find a hobby that the initial cost is not sky high, and that if a person wishes to continue a hobby they don't have to keep paying for that hobby. One that comes to mind is golf. You buy the clubs, you buy the balls and then you have to pay (sometimes a great deal) every time you want to play the game.

Find a hobby that you can enjoy that once you buy the essentials the cost to keep that hobby is negligible.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Frugal Friday

My frugal five for this week are more or less repeats of other weeks.

1.  Lights off in rooms not in use.

2.  Heat turned down or off in rooms not in use.

3.  Using up everything I can.

4.  Harvey is using up lumber from his stash in the basement on the renos he is doing down there. We did have to buy a new door, but at least now it fits right.

5.  Date night consisted of us staying home and watching a free movie on my android box and eating homemade popcorn.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Mid Month Update



1.  Hopefully my sewing mojo returns as sewing those tops is a goal for this month.  Well the sewing mojo has not arrived as of yet.

2.  I want to continue knitting squares with bits and bobs of inherited yarn and yarn leftover from other projects. Hoping to get a blanket or two made.  One blanket made and the second started.

3.  Finish another inherited cross stitch kit. The one I pulled out should compliment the lilies and look good as a cushion also.  Working on this one when the light in the living room is good.

4.  Continue Project Declutter.  Project declutter is continuing. I might not get as much recycled or gotten rid of this month, but I am trying.

5.  I would like to have 20 no spend days this month.  I have reached 12 no spend days so far this month so there is a slight chance I will beat this goal (or at least meet it with no problem).

Not doing too badly and I hope to get everything completed by the end of this rather short month.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Leftovers Work Up Nicely

Just a short post to let you all know that leftovers work up really nicely into something useable.

Leftover yarn from various projects made into a lovely squishy and warm blanket. Started on the next one. This one made of leftover bulky yarns.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.