Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How Did I Do..............

Time to see how well I did on those goals I set for myself each month.

1.  Remove window air conditioning unit and store it for the winter.  Done.

2.  Continue project declutter. Done.

3.  I would like to have 20 no spend days this month.  I actually ended the month with 21 no spend days.

4.  Continue with fabric use it up. This is to replace a few items and add some colour to my fall/winter wardrobe.  My sewing mojo seemed to disappear this month so while items have been cut out, thus using up fabric... No sewing so no replacing of items or adding colour.

5.  Finish Christmas shopping and gift making.  Christmas shopping is done and until I find out who I will be secret Santa to, the making of gifts is done as well.

6.  Continue my early morning walks (usually 16 blocks) and my 8 block afternoon walk as long as the weather cooperates.  Up until the past couple of days I have been continuing my daily walks. Now we have about 15" of snow on the ground with more in the forecast. I think my daily walks from now on will just be walking to the community post box each day.

Project declutter continued this month. I managed to recycle, give away, or otherwise remove another 59 items from the house. This brings my total for the year to 997 fewer items in the house. It looks like I might just make the 1000 items decluttered this year.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thrifty Tuesday

Every so often I need to look refresh my memory on what thrift is. One would think by this time in my life I would not need to remind myself yet I find myself pulling out the dictionary and studying the definition.

I have an old recipe book that I book marked a few years ago (darn, now I remember that I need to re bookmark said book) that speaks about saving string, gathering feathers, and saving bits of yarn to be used over again. The book was written many years ago, and while we no longer save beef fat to make candles, or in my case raise chickens in the yard (not allowed to in my city, I actually checked) there is still a lot to be gained from reading the bits and pieces on living a thrifty, frugal life.

Using up leftovers to make new meals, packaging meals that the family did not totally consume to be used for another meal, and wearing your clothing (mending when necessary) until you out grow it or it is no longer suitable, are a few of the thrifty ways I run my household and I am sure many of you do the same thing.

When sheets rip I either use them to make rags or if they are big enough' for the backs of my quilts. Scraps of fabric, old shirts, jeans, pants, and nighties are cut into usable quilting squares (then they are made into blocks), or cut into strips which will be used to make rugs and for stuffing.

I darn socks and when they can no longer be darned, I cut the sock up to use in the garden to tie plants up. I also use them as dust cloths.

Winter has struck which means we will be cooking heartier meals. I think I may just try to use the slow cooker more often, and the roaster oven, I have heard that the roaster ovens can be used to cook casseroles and even bake. Could save on electrical costs.

When I do have the oven on I bake as well as cook supper. The oven is full and used to it's full advantage.

Lights are turned off in rooms not in use, but since we live in a very cold place we set our heat at 21C in the winter. At our time of life we like to be comfortable, even so when the wind howls outside covering up with one of the blankets in the living room and wearing a sweater keeps us toasty warm.
It really is not thrifty to catch a cold!!

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Menu Monday

Another week dawns, and today we are getting snow!! According to the weather pundits we could receive up to 15 cm today. Just have to wait and see what happens, but I am sure glad that we have all our winter clothing and boots out ready to be used.


Pork Roast, roast potatoes and carrots (had a clean out the fridge supper last night instead of the usual roast meal).


There is a package of leftover turkey still in the fridge freezer, that will be used in a casserole.


Leftover roast pork will be made into either a stir fry or a casserole depending on what needs to be cleaned out of the fridge.


Fridge smorg along with some cheese and pickles.


Salmon patties, rice, and mixed veggies (may even roast some veggies instead of using frozen ones).


Smoked sausage, peas and cheesy pasta).


Roast Chicken, mashed potatoes, and salad.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Ramblings

The start of the Advent season is upon us. I have started my Christmas baking, using up what I have on hand so far. I really don't think I will have to buy much in the way of baking supplies this year, but I have barely started on my list. I do hope to complete two items a day (perhaps three on those slower days to make up for the stuffed to the gills days where I know I will only manage one).

I am trying to decide where I want my tree this year, and I think I just might have found a place. Moving the furniture around has caused a bit of a problem, I think I will be having a fairly long extension cord which is something I do not like to do. The tree will go up next weekend, a bit later than usual, but that can't be helped right now.

The Christmas card list is made, however I am leaning towards doing something I have always said I wouldn't do. Sending ecards is something I have always thought as the less personal way of wishing one and all a wonderful Christmas, but would be a great way to save on the budget. I am also leaning towards phoning my Mom's sisters to wish them a Merry Christmas. It would be really great to hear their voices and is something I could easily do.

How do all of you feel about ecards?

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Roundup

Nothing really happening to speak of this week.

I did manage to get a couple of items completed.

The Baptismal wash cloths (they use them to dry the babies heads).

I also managed to get one of the cross stitch ornaments completed and I am pretty much finished the second one.

Now I have another 4 to complete and then I will need to decide how I want to finish them in order to hang them on our tree.

Harvey got his auction picture this week.

It's the famous bat flip by one of the Toronto Blue Jays during the final game of the American League Championship Series.  I do hate how when a person takes a picture of a picture all sorts of reflections happen.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Frugal Friday

Oh my, it is the last Friday of the month meaning Christmas is just around the corner. Time to seriously get down to baking, mailing, and getting ready for our sons to arrive.

We still do not have the furnace vented to the new part of the house (I say new, but it is probably 40 years old). I am keeping my fingers crossed that this gets completed very soon.

On to my frugal five for the week.

1.  On my walks this week I have been lucky enough to find $0.75 lying on the ground. There was a time I would find this amount in one day. I think people are being a bit more careful when it comes to their change.

2.  Found some fabric to make a couple of pillow cases for the oversized pillow on my side of the bed. Those will be whipped up tomorrow.

3.  Keeping drapes and blinds open on the sunny days. It is amazing how much heat the sun gives to the front of the house. Love having lower electric and gas bills.

4.  Stuck to my menu plan and my grocery list this week.

5.  Made a few household cleaners with what I have on hand in my cupboards.

6.  Still reading my frugal book looking for new ideas to add to my frugal habits.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thursday Tid Bits

It has been a quiet day around here. I didn't sleep very well last night, and so after my grocery shopping trip I did not do very much at all.

I did start working on the Baptismal cloths for the church, but since my embroidery machine decided to act up on the first one, I did not get them finished. I will finish them up tomorrow now that I have everything set up.

Back to the frugal tips book I have been reading. Thought I would share another couple of chapters with you.

Chapter Nine is about renovations and interior decorating.

The author talks about using the most expensive things that you can afford. She is right if you don't you will be renovating the same room over again in 5 or 6 years. Been there, done that with our bathroom. Now we have it done up using real tiles (used board the first time that looked like tiles, I don't even think it was really waterproof), a jet tub (sure comes in handy when we are stiff) and lovely fixtures. The room still looks modern and we completed it more than 10 years ago.

She also talks about using fixtures like cupboards over again. This is exactly what we have done in the kitchen. Harvey removed the cupboard doors, sanded them down, re stained them, and gave them a protective coat. He still has a few to do, but the ones he did look brand new. Much less expensive than replacing the cupboards.

Adding rooms can add to the overall value of your home. We added a bedroom in the basement as well as a finished family room. These are being redone again because of the flood, but this enabled us to redo the wiring, and add some furnace venting, getting rid of the electric heat down there. While the most expensive part was rebuilding the walls, and the furnace/venting upgrade, I am sure we will be saving money almost immediately on heating and I am pretty sure we will get most of the money spent back when we sell the house.

The author talks about home décor that is more than just pretty. My curtains are thermal and look beautiful, but also save us money in the winter and summer. Heat kept in during the winter and heat kept out during the summer.

She also talks about shopping at home for décor items before you head out to the store. Sometimes it is just looking at something in a different way or in a different spot. She also says that trolling the clearance aisles at discount stores can lead to bright and wonderful inexpensive accessories. I will add that keeping your eyes open at rummage sales, garage sales and second hand stores can often lead to wonderful finds in home décor.

Nothing really new to add to the frugal repository as we do most of the things the author mentions.

Chapter 10 is about the yard and garden.

Our yard is always a work in progress. It seems as if we change or move things quite often.

The author talks about using rain barrels, dehumidifier water, or grey water to save on watering plants.

She also talks about splitting plants to get more, talking to gardening friends to see if they have any plants to share with you (you share your splits in return if they want them), start seedlings inside from collected seeds, and growing a veggie garden. We do most of those things (well not the exchange of splits as we have been using them all ourselves, hopefully this year we can try trading) and have added container gardening for herbs and patio tomatoes. Next year I hope to extend the containers to hold peppers, and perhaps strawberries. I am also going to try starting my own orange tree and lemon tree, they will have to be moved into the house during the winter/fall, but I am hopeful that I can at least get some lemons in a few years. Just love me some lemonade in the summer.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Not Sure

Right now I am not too sure about the changes that blogger has made. I suppose I will get used to them eventually, but if this change was to make things simpler, I really don't know if that is true.

What does everyone else think about the changes?

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thrify Tuesday

So what have I done this week to be able to call myself thrifty?

I have made a few household cleaners, well actually just one. Vinegar is used on my floors twice a month instead of floor cleaner and this happened to be one of the two times I would do so.

I pulled some socks out of my darning basket and added another two pairs to Harvey's sock drawer.

We ate leftover stew tonight, and still had some left so I made a frozen tv type meal for our youngest son.

I saved the drippings from the roast beef to use making soup later this week (like tomorrow).

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Menu Monday

Getting very close to the month of December and the overwhelmingly rushed meal planning that will be going on. Perhaps I should start now????


Pork chops, rice, and a tossed salad (need to use up some fresh produce).


Leftover Stew from the container in the fridge freezer. Think I will make dumplings this time.


Soup and Sandwiches, I need to get another container of stock used up.


Sausage Casserole using up still more bits and bobs of vegetables that seem to linger in the crisper.


Perogies along with the remains of the salad.


Hamburger patties, home made fries, and corn.


My usual roast meal. This time pork loin, along with roasted veggies.

Hope to stick to this again this week.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Ramblings

Well here are the next two chapters in my frugal reading material.

Chapter 7

This is about looking after your furnace and air conditioning.

Air Conditioning

Try and have shade around your home as the air conditioning will run less. We found this out after cutting down the huge poplars down one side of our city lot. Our window air conditioners run much longer now. No central air here on the homestead as of yet. That is something we will safe up for later. Right now the window unit and built in wall unit are doing well. We also added some insulated drapes which help keep the house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

When we did the renovations the first time around the old windows were replaced with more energy efficient ones. We also made the front window with the ability to open on two sides. Now we can take advantage of cool breezes during the warmer months.

The author says to make sure your window units are clean. This is something Harvey does every time we put them back in (yes we do remove or cover them during the winter). The screens are washed, filters cleaned and the machines are blown out with the air compressor.

So nothing very new in this chapter.

Heating systems came next.

On sunny days we throw open the insulated drapes on the south facing window and the furnace stays off or comes on rarely. We take advantage of Mother Natures natural heating and lighting. Take today for instance, the last time the new furnace came on was at around 10 am. It has been off ever since and the temperature in the house is still sitting at 22 C. Cha ching money in our pocket instead of the gas and electric company.

The draft dodgers will be pulled out shortly and placed in front of the doors every night. One sits in front of a door we don't use all the time.

Every second year Harvey checks all the weather stripping on the doors and replaces any that need to be replaced. He also checks the caulking around the windows in behind the trim.

We re-insulated a few years ago so hopefully that will not have to be done again for awhile.

We do push back our furnace tune ups and that is something we will be doing more often with this new furnace. Keeping it clean will make it run more efficiently, and save us money in the long run. One more new tip to incorporate into our frugal plan.

The author talks about vacuuming and washing your vents regularly. I have gotten out of the habit of doing this so will add this to my monthly cleaning plan. Keeping furniture away from the vents will also enable the furnace to run at a lower cost.

The author says that perhaps one of the best pieces of frugal advice is to get a programmable thermostat. We have one which we keep at a temperature of 21C. When we both worked the thermostat was turned down during the time we were gone and about an hour before we got home the temperature would gradually go back up. Sorry, just can't do the lowering of temperature at night. That toilet seat is mighty cold in the middle of the night.

The author says that ceiling fans according to some experts can save up to $500 a year on heating and cooling costs. I do know that having ours on in the summer does make us feel much cooler. Perhaps it's time to give them a try during the winter, to push down all the risen heated air. A second tip to add to the list.

We are slowly changing all our CFL's to LED bulbs. It is taking awhile but when we switched from regular bulbs to CFL's we noticed a difference and we are hoping for the same savings when all the bulbs are LED. I like the light from LED's much better.

Our outdoor lighting around the doors are CFL's but are garden and deck lighting is all solar!! Love it. We get enough light to make our way around the garden and yard, but not so much that we are blinded.

We turn off lights in rooms not in use, and have timers on lights in the bedroom so I don't fall asleep and leave the lights on.

Chapter 8 is all about DIY.

Making my home cleaners is something I already do. I don't make all of them, but enough to keep the cost down. Some things just do not come clean with our very hard water no matter how much elbow grease a person uses.

The author writes about Dryel Kits. I tried them back when I was buying clothing that was dry clean only..... I was not very happy with the results. Gradually over the years we have gotten away from buying clothing that needs to be dry cleaned, and I have found with my new washer that the woolen cycle works wonders on those items that I would still take to the cleaners.

Harvey does most of his own plumbing and easy electrical work (changing plugs, putting in a toilet or tub, changing faucets, that kind of thing). He has also laid tile, carpet, vinyl, and laminate flooring. He even learned to dry wall!! However as we age we do notice it takes a lot longer to get things done. That's why we are always happy to have our sons help and they are more than willing to lend a hand.

I took Home Economics when growing up. I learned sewing and basic cooking techniques. This has come in handy over the years and I must say I am getting a bit more adventurous in the cooking department (especially baking).

Mom used to darn socks and I inherited her darning kit. I have darned many a sock, much to Harvey's enjoyment (he thinks I am weird).

Mom knit all our sweaters growing up and taught my sister and I. I love being able to knit gifts for my family and friends at a fraction of the cost.

The author talks a great deal about no cost or low cost classes to learn new skills. Learning something new that can improve your living situation is always a good thing.

Those skills that our parents, grandparents and great grandparents used each and every day are wonderful skills to have.

I now have a few more frugal ideas to try and make a part of my every day life.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Saturday Roundup

Other than the new furnace being installed and basically set up, it has been a quiet week on the old homestead.

The days seem to whiz right by, and I am beginning to think it is an age thing. The older I get, the faster time speeds by. So many times I would like to grab hold of the hours and slow them down.

Today we went to a craft sale, and I was amazed at what people charge for their homemade items. It makes me even more inclined to actually try and sell my items at a craft sale sometime in the future. A person could make a goodly sum if they find the right thing to make and sell. While there, we both entered our names for a door prize (well Harvey put my name down) and I won a lovely set of candle holders refurbished from old wooden spindles. I think those just might be what I donate to the family reunion silent auction.

Next week will be a busy one. We have the electricians coming to hard wire in the furnace (right now it is running with an extension cord), and remove an old fuse box. Then hopefully mid week the furnace installers will be back and start the venting into the area of the house that uses electric heat (really looking forward to that). This is supposed to take three days at least to accomplish, but once done it will be wonderful. Our electric bill should go down drastically over time.

After that Harvey will start the walls. Just the pine boards on the bottom to begin with and then the electricians will be here again to finish the wiring and the remaining walls and ceiling will be completed. Hopefully things will be looking pretty darn good by the end of the year.

I will begin making my Christmas to do lists early next week. I want to be prepared well in advance this year. Gifts are bought, wrapping will happen soon and then they will be put in the mail. I want to get my cards done next week as well.

Seems like the next few weeks are going to be busy ones, causing the days to speed by even faster.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Frugal Friday

No post yesterday. I was too busy working around the furnace installation. Still not done completely yet, but we have heat and by the end of next week will be rid of the electric heating in the back of the house!! I am very happy.

My frugal five for this past week.

1.  Baked bread.

2.  Used my slow cooker once this week. Hopefully I will be using it more as the weeks progress.

3.  Got a new energy efficient furnace installed.

4.  Priced out flooring here in Estevan. After taking in the cost of driving the truck (gas guzzler) up to Regina, having meals out, and the cost of the gas, Harvey figures it might be more cost effective to buy everything here. The only drawback is we don't get to visit with Kris.

5.  Reading free or low cost magazines and books.

Now on to another chapter in the frugal living book.

Chapter 6 is all about car ownership.

Most of the things listed we already do, however, I guess after a few years of buying new vehicles we should look at buying a preowned vehicle. We could save lots that way, however we use our main vehicle very lightly, we are cutting down on buying gas guzzlers (well except for Harvey's truck), and the one great thing is that I have free service for two years on the new vehicle we bought. Oil changes for free is wonderful!!! Harvey pays quite a bit for his.

The author says to be efficient in how you organize your errands. This is something I already do. This has enabled me to cut down from two, sometimes three gas fill ups a month. Lately I have been down to one most months, sometimes two.

We have discovered the sweet spot when driving on the highway. You know, the place where you get the best gas mileage. If we have a wind behind us, look out the mileage is wonderful.

The vehicle tells us when the tires are low, and Harvey pulls out the air compressor. Keeping the tires at the proper inflation really helps cut down on gas usage.

I have a clean driving record (keeping my fingers crossed and knocking on wood) which cuts back a bit on my car insurance. We can't really shop around for insurance here as SGI (the government insurance) has a stranglehold on vehicle insurance. I do try to get the lowest possible price though.

So not much new in this chapter for me to try and implement at this time.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Well I have read a few more chapters in the first frugal book I picked to read.

Chapter 4

In this chapter the author speaks about energy wasting areas of your home.

She talks about using surge bars and turning off all those energy sucking electronics in your home. I already do this for most of our electronics. But prefer not to do so with the satellite dish or TV (my TV is not an instant on one, it takes a fairly long time to come on). The satellite dish would need to download all the programs if turned off completely. Much easier to leave it on.  I do have the computer, printer, coffee pots, and my sewing machines turned off using the power bar.

The basement is a big energy guzzler. We did not have any insulation in the old walls, now we have more and it is warm down there without any heat on whatsoever.

Our furnace is about 40 years old and tomorrow we are replacing it with a new energy efficient one (finally) and hopefully will be able to vent it into the part of the house that uses electric heat. If not we will as the author suggests add thermostats to them to control the heat.

Another suggestion the author makes is to control the humidity in our home. What she says makes a great deal of sense and we will be trying to add moisture to our home this winter and take moisture out of the air during the summer.

Decluttering the basement will make more room for food storage. I already can a few things, but if we manage things correctly and the garden cooperates we should be able to build a cold room/root cellar to easily store more.

The author talks about garages being a money saver. A car parked in a garage will not be needed to be run to defrost windows. In fact our son has a garage and he never even plugs in his block heater during the coldest part of the winter. We always have to plug in ours and that takes a great deal of electric power. This is something we will need to discuss and perhaps look into building next summer.

She also says not to put your overflow fridge or freezer in an uninsulated garage as they do not work properly. The fridge would have to work twice as hard to maintain a proper temperature. Once again using more power and causing the fridge to perhaps fail. If the garage gets too cold, well the fridge will just shut off.

Computers will last longer if turned off regularly. But she does say that if you leave your computer for longer than 10 minutes you should shut off the monitor and if you are not going to use the computer for more than two hours shut it off completely. Hmm, I will try shutting the monitor off when we do not use the computer for an extended length of time.

Chapter 5 is about Media.

Now I do download free books onto my ereader and buy books from garage sales and rummage sales, I go to the library as well. I have lots of books (well not as many as I used to) but have made a conscious decision not to buy any more unless they are authors I love. If I bring any books in from now on from sales they will be donated or I try to sell them for a little extra cash.

Our satellite dish is our main source of entertainment. We don't have Redbox, Silver Screen or the Netflix where you can rent movies. I do have an android box which I have been using more and more to watch old series and movies. I love it and could see us downgrading our satellite package.

I do have Netflix on my tablet and watch some programs on that. Kris has a subscription and is paying for 4 devices, two for him and two for me. He says it is the least he can do since we help him out whenever he needs it. I also send meals home with him.

I don't have any magazine subscriptions, I look at the online magazines instead. Saved quite a bit that way.

So I have found a couple of new ways to cut back on spending in these chapters and will try to make them a habit over the next few months.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mid Month Update

Well time to see how well I am doing at this the halfway point of the month.

1.  Remove window air conditioning unit and store it for the winter.  Done

2.  Continue project declutter.  On going, as of today another 42 items have left the building.

3.  I would like to have 20 no spend days this month.  Today is the 10th no spend day this month.

4.  Continue with fabric use it up. This is to replace a few items and add some colour to my fall/winter wardrobe.  Well my sewing urge seems to have taken a break. I do have some of the tops cut out though.

5.  Finish Christmas shopping and gift making.  Gift making is finished and I only have 2 more small gifts to buy.

6.  Continue my early morning walks (usually 16 blocks) and my 8 block afternoon walk as long as the weather cooperates.  I have been doing my early morning walks still (yea for the lovely weather we have had) and most afternoons have walked the 8 blocks as well.

So really I am not doing too badly. I hope to finish number 5 at the end of the week when I go shopping (combining errands to save wear and tear on the vehicle). I have even gotten Harvey motivated to get some more of his winter preparations done. Windows are nice and clean, the box is out to cover the other built in air conditioner and he has covered items outside with a tarp. Hopefully all will be done before the first snow flies.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Menu Monday

Here we are at the mid November mark and still now snow!!! This has shortened our usual long winter by about 2 weeks, perhaps even longer. It does seem that our nice weather will be leaving us as the long range forecast calls for snow on Thursday night. Just a little I hope.

For those of you that wonder how I manage to have so much leftover roasted meat that I need to do a clean out of the fridge freezer.... Yesterday I made a small roast ham and have 4 bags of leftover meat. One bag I threw in the meat tray in the fridge, the rest reside in the freezer. Now those 3 bags in the freezer will each make us another dinner and in perhaps a case or two, a second meal. Hubby does not mind eating leftover but does draw the line at eating leftovers for an entire week. So I have to try and balance using up items with the use of new items. I oft times forget that there is a bag of something in the freezer and only find it as I add more leftover meat bags. I need a way to keep track and a place to hang the inventory once it is made.


Chicken Parm along with rice and tossed salad.


Leftover pork made into honey garlic pork, served with leftover rice and the remaining tossed salad.


Stew made in the slow cooker. Hopefully enough to have the leftovers put in a container and frozen for another meal down the road.


Leftover ham. I will be pulling out the recipe books to see what is new and exciting.


Fish Fillets, Asian noodles (hopefully I have everything I need), and sliced fresh veggies/dip.


Clean out the fridge. Pretty sure there will be leftovers from the week that need to be gone.


Roast Beef, roast potatoes, roast carrots/onions and Brussel sprouts.

My week of menus, plus some put away for late on this month or even when things get a bit rushed next month.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Suday Ramblings

Well on to more about the book on frugal living I pulled out to read and get hopefully new ideas to add into my daily routine.

Chapter two deals with shifting your ideas on shopping. This is one area we frugal people have great control of.

The author speaks about buying clothing. I agree with her ideas of being patient and waiting for things to go on sale, to buy the best quality you can afford.

She talks a great deal about buying at Goodwill, which if you are lucky enough to have great second hand stores, or charity shops is a wonderful idea. Here however, there are only two second hand stores and both leave a great deal to be desired. I have found that sewing my own clothes (using fabric that I have purchased on sale) or waiting for great quality clothing to go on sale is better for me. I have pants, dresses, skirts, and tops that are 6 or more years old that are still in excellent shape. Looking after what you have makes more sense to me than spending hours a month trying to find something second hand. Not saying that I haven't found quality items, but they are few and far between.

Stocking up during a great sale makes sense. I do this with underwear, and socks. However, buying 6 tops of the same style is not saving money to me.

As the author says, shopping at outlet stores is another great way to save. I have done this when we have traveled to a bigger center like Calgary or Edmonton. Here in Saskatchewan we do not have many outlet stores at all. Sure wish we did!!

The author speaks about having a set routine for grocery shopping. Hmmm, I think I already do this. Early mornings are best around here, I can get in and out quickly. I shop the outside first and then go down only those lanes that my list shows that I have to. I use any coupons that I have and search for unlisted sales (or price drops). I always go through the fliers and plan my shopping accordingly.

I don't put a list on the fridge to add to and that is something I think I am going to do from now on. It would be great to actually not have to go through cupboards and find that I no longer have something I need for a recipe. One frugal idea to try and make a habit!

I have a budget for all shopping and try to stay under it as much as is possible. However once every 4 or 5 months I do go over and that is because we travel to Regina and do a big stock up shop. Everything from cleaning supplies to OTC meds are done at this time. It really does save us to shop this way. Sandwich meat is bought in large rolls and we slice it, large containers of dish soap, laundry detergent, and other supplies are bought and decanted into smaller containers. I have found this to be a cost saver over time.

I do buy shredded cheese when it is on sale. The author says money can be saved by buying large chunks of cheese and shredding your own at home. I will try this out at our next big shop, or if cheese goes on sale for a great price here at home. I do have a hand held shredder as well as an electric one (Kurt bought it for me for Christmas a few years back, may as well get some more use out of it) and really shredding does not take much time at all.

The author also says not to forget about reward programs. So far the only reward program here is the cash back on credit cards (our city does not have any of the stores that offer reward programs). I do make use of this and pay off the credit card every month in full. Not paying in full negates any cash back reward the card offers.

Chapter three talks about different appliances in your home.

Now I am really confused. In the beginning she spoke about using smaller loads when washing, now it is was full loads for shorter lengths of time.... Help!!!

I agree with washing and rinsing in cold water where possible. I do this for at least one load a week. I always rinse with cold water.

I am using my front load washer until it falls apart. We have budgeted for a new one and when the time comes I am getting one of the new energy efficient top loaders. Now that there is no center agitator clothing should be washed just the same as a front loader.

As far as the dryer goes, I do hang as much as possible on lines downstairs in the fall and winter or when there is rain. I don't mind waiting a day to fold them. However the author talks about pulling things out of the dryer as they dry. Somehow opening and shutting the dryer door makes me think that the dryer would have to work harder at getting the heat back up. Wouldn't that cause a person to use more rather than less electricity?

When I reheat leftover, or pull a meal out of the freezer I always use my microwave. It uses way less power than the oven.

I need to use my slow cooker more. The author says that in a frugal household this is the best option as far as energy usage. I better get in the habit of slow cooking more meals and making this appliance my best friend. It would also cut down on heating up the kitchen in the summer, saving the air conditioner.

When I use my oven I do try to cook more than one item. If I have the oven on it makes sense to do as much as possible with it.

I still have a problem with dishwashers being more frugal than washing by hand. Once I forgot the dish rag in the sink, and the sink over flowed with just one cycle of our old dishwasher. I can fill both sinks with hot water (not really full, perhaps half full) and get all my dishes washed including pots and pans. Perhaps the newer dishwashers use less water, but my friend still does her pots and pans by hand, so I can't see this appliance saving me anything. After all the dishwasher uses electricity to run, not just hot water!

We have already turned down our water heater. Don't think we can turn it down any lower and still have it be safe to use.

So in these last two chapters I have found two new ideas to try and incorporate into my frugal life style. Hopefully they will become habits and over time save us money, and time.

Back in a couple of days with a report on the next couple of chapters.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday Roundup

It has been a quiet day here on the old homestead.

Harvey washed the windows on the outside, and I did some work on the pantry cupboard in the kitchen. I have a few sections left to do on this cupboard and then I will move on to another section. I am hoping to complete the pantry section tomorrow. Really all it needs is a good straightening out, and a washing down of the shelves. Easy peasy.

I spent a bit of time working on the cross stitch ornaments. I should be able to start backstitching the first one tomorrow afternoon. Then I will decide if I will finish it the way the directions say, or do something totally different.

This evening I decided it was time to finish a few of the knitting projects. Ends have be woven in on a few of the items in the basket.

The spa cloths I made from some rather strange new yarn I found. I am hoping these can take the place of my bath poufs. Probably much better as they can be thrown in the washer every week.

A new scarf for myself out of lovely shades of purple. This was made out of the Caron Jelly Roll/Cupcake yarn I picked up the last time we went on a stock up shop.

A pretty shades of pink shawl. I am hoping to wear this with my hot pink sheath dress once I find a proper belt.

Then being one to use up everything I can I made a Sour Cream Coffee Cake this afternoon.

You see I had a small amount of in a container of sour cream that needed to be used up, along with some cream that had got pushed to the back of the fridge (thank you Harvey) and had gone sour. I mixed the two and used them to make this lovely moist and filling cake.

Kept me from tossing some still useable ingredients and we got a lovely dessert for supper.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Frugal Friday

Well, this past week has been  a frugal one, but the frugal things I have been doing all week I do every week. Really nothing new, and because of this I thought it was time to pull out some of my frugal living books and start reading a chapter or two a day. I need to incorporate some new ideas in my daily life.

So the book I started today was this one.

I totally agree with her introduction on the myths of frugality.
The first myth is:
Frugal people never have any fun. Stuff and nonsense. I have lots of fun. Having fun does not mean having to spend lots of money. I love walking and hiking, reading, watching movies, and entertaining.
The second myth is:
Living frugally means eating like a pauper. I feel we eat very well. When a person goes into black belt frugality that would mean eating more beans and rice, but eating healthy. Living on ramen is not healthy and would definitely make me want to spend money instead of save money.
The third myth is:
If I am frugal I will never get to shop again. Yeah, right. Frugal people shop, we just make sure that we can get our monies worth out of whatever we buy. Shopping for recreation is just asking for trouble, we shop sales, second hand stores, garage and yard sales.
The fourth myth the author talks about is:
Our children or spouse will hate us if we ask them to be frugal. I did worry about this years ago when the boys were very young (but then we almost lived pay cheque to pay cheque) and up until Harvey realized how my being frugal was actually allowing us to take trips, buy brand new vehicles (paying cash), and just plain living better over all. Now Harvey is behind the frugal band wagon, and the boys are trying to be frugal as well. We all search for the best deal and use every last thing up that we can.
Then the author moved into how to make little changes in our daily lives for chapter one.
These are the very basic of changes like using rags for cleaning instead of paper towels or expensive tools. Something I already do. I will never be able to go completely without paper towels as they are perhaps the best way of cleaning up cat upchucks and as I found this past week cat diarrhea (I know too much information, but it was so much easier to throw out a few paper towels than have to wash even more). There are also some cleaning supplies that I will never be able to get rid of or make my own (carpet cleaner because of the previous cat disasters).
I already do meal planning, in fact while the author does it for a week I do a monthly plan. Now while the meals may get switched around I pretty much stick to what I have planned for the month. The author is correct however in stating that planning menus and good shopping go together. Back in the day when I first started planning my menus, I could only plan for a week. Now because of stock up techniques I can do a months plan and that enables me to stock up on meat and dry or canned goods that might get used next month or even the month after that. It does take awhile, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. In order to do this I had to buy a freezer. This freezer (our first is 35 years old and works wonderfully) has saved us so much money over the years we were able to buy a second one so I could separate our meat from veggies, baking, fruit and premade meals. Having premade meals also saves me from spending cash on a take out meal on those busy days. We both agree on the use of leftovers to save time and money. I call them planned overs as these meals save me having to pull something out to thaw for dinner, and make the best possible use of every bit of meat (meat is expensive).
The author talks about laundry and takes a slightly different approach then me. I was always taught to do full loads of laundry to save on water costs, and laundry detergent. She seems to think smaller loads save more money.... We do agree on not using the dryer however. I always try to hang as much as I can on the lines in the basement during the winter or rainy weather.
I have looked into purchasing a soda stream to make our own pop or fizzy water. I know that this can be a saving but unlike the author I do not consume even half of what she did (or does). I also do not know where to get the carbonation bottles after the one you get with your first purchase is gone. We don't seem to sell them in my city. I would not be adverse to buying them when we went to the big city however so I need to think about this one a bit longer.
Coffee buying is another area the author touches on. I haven't bought coffee since I left uni so really this is not a way for me to save. We have cut down on the amount of coffee the two of us drink so we are getting a bit of a savings.
Hopefully I will find more ways to save in the next couple of chapters. I would really like to be able to say I managed to save enough for our next large trip in just a year.
Everybody have a wonderful evening.
God bless.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thursday Tid Bits

Spent the day knitting, cross stitching and reading. I did do a few chores around the house and went over to my friends for coffee and helped her with her knee exercises. Gave her husband a bit of a break.

Kris will not be coming home on this long weekend, which means we won't see him until Christmas when his older brother, Kurt comes home. I did let him know that if our furnace gets put in sometime in the next couple of weeks (supposedly the furnace guy is coming to do some more measuring next week) we will head up to Regina to pick up flooring and the pine wall covering. Perhaps we will be able to take him out for supper, or if he does not mind sitting in the back seat of the truck taking him shopping with us.

It isn't that we care about Kris more, it's just that he goes through periods of depression and we like to know he is okay. Things haven't always been easy for him over the past 10 or so years and we worry. We worry a lot. In point of fact his brother worries about him as well. Especially since Kris has changed from the outgoing, full of fun, always hanging around with friends to more of a loner. Hopefully things change for him very soon.

I have been rereading some of my frugal books trying to find ways to save even more money. With the markets and the value of the Canadian dollar being so volatile our mutual funds could and probably will take a beating. I am pretty darn happy that we bought a vehicle that is good on gas consumption, and I am ready to face the challenge of rising costs and uncertainty.

One very wonderful thing is that the weather has been great. We are never this warm at this time of year. It was actually colder in October as a couple of mornings I needed to wear my winter coat and this month has seen me outside with no coat at all a few times. Other times I just have my hoodie or zip front fleece on.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Day After

Sorry for no post yesterday, I kind of got carried away watching the American election. The border is only 9 miles away from me so what ever happens down there affects what happens here in my small city. It is over now, and hopefully things do not go the way I am afraid they will over the course of the next 4 years.

Thought I would share my sewing projects. I finished these all awhile ago, and now even though I have one of the tops cut out my sewing urge seems to have evaporated.

My hot pink sheath dress. I just need to find the right belt to wear with it.

The grey wool jacket. I think it might need a little something. I should put my embroidery machine to work and make this a little less plain.

The two pairs of woolen pants. I do like the way these turned out.

Then yesterday between gawping at the computer screen I managed to finish making my baked beans.

6 lovely containers now reside in the fridge. I might be up to making some more.

Since my sewing urge left, I pulled out some of my inherited projects from my Mom. I am now doing some cross stitch and tapestry Christmas ornaments. My the stitches are small!! I can see why Mom left them undone. Hopefully I will be back in the sewing room very soon.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Menu Monday

Wow, I just can not believe we are into the second week of November. It has been amazingly nice for this time of year here. Usually by this time we are battling below freezing temperatures and are bundled up into winter coats, toques, and mitts. We are not running around in light jackets or no jackets at all.

Here is my menu for this week. As usual I will be taking care of using up everything I possibly can.


The last package of leftover roast beef from the fridge freezer. I want to try something new so will be pulling out the leftover cookbooks very shortly.


The leftover chicken from Sunday. Once again the leftover cookbooks will be put to good use in finding a new recipe to try. Serving whatever I find with a tossed salad to use up some greens.


Clean out the fridge smorg. Pretty sure there will be leftovers from Monday and Tuesday.


The last of the hotdogs, served with beans (must get those on the go tomorrow, adding it to the list right now) and the leftover salad from Tuesday.


Some of Harvey's fish fillets. I will make fries, and coleslaw to have with them.


Hamburgers, hash brown patties, and either leftover coleslaw or green beans.


Roast ham, rice, peas and carrots and sliced raw veggies if no coleslaw left.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday Ramblings

This Sunday's homily was one of hope and trust.

I actually managed to sit fairly comfortably through it and listened carefully.

The story of the woman with 7 sons who were tortured by King Antiochus has always filled me with awe. To be so absolutely certain that the Lord was with them and would take them up to an everlasting life beyond all suffering is part of our faith as Catholics, and as Christians. Yet I often wonder how strong their faith must have been in the presence of such suffering. Did they not have doubts and fears or did God give them the strength to endure.

While Father Brian did not dwell on this reading he did say that hope is what held them firm in their resolve.

More was said about the Gospel and the story of the Sadducees asking about who would be married to a woman who was married one after another to 7 brothers. Christ said that there was no marriage in the resurrection, that we are transformed into a different being. Father Brian said we get a taste of this resurrection when we give to the poor, forgive someone, reach out to the lonely, or celebrate communion. We are transformed closer to what God wants us to be.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday Roundup

I am feeling much better today. Still not 100%, there is still something slightly off, I just don't know what is wrong as of yet. It might be the beginnings of a cold as I seem to be getting a stuffed nose, and am coughing a bit more.

So today I drank copious amounts of tea, stayed in as much as possible (even though the weather has been beautiful), and puttered around the house when I have felt up to it.

I finished "The Goldfinch" and am trying to decide what I should read next. I made a loaf of bread in the machine, and baked some cinnamon buns. While the cinnamon buns are not pretty to look at, I seem to have lost my touch rolling them up tightly, they are tasty. Good thing I made this practice batch before starting my Christmas baking.

I have done some knitting (need to accomplish some more), did a cleaning of the electric baseboards, and a little bit of decluttering. I actually found some of Kris's baseball cards at the top of one of the closets. I will be packing those up into a lovely container and sending them back with him the next time he comes home.

Hopefully by tomorrow what ever has made my get up and go, get up and gone will have worked its way through my system and I will be able to figure out some more tricks to cut expenses. We really do not have to worry about that as such, but it would be nice to get the budget cut back in certain areas once again. Prices keep rising and I am a bit worried about what will happen to the cost of living after the U.S. election if a certain crazy person is elected.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Frugal Friday

I am still feeling blah, but I pushed through until later this afternoon when I laid down for a bit of a nap. I think I slept for about an hour and then since I was still feeling slightly off decided that instead of making the salmon patties (I will save those for another evening) I would warm up the leftover pork stir fry, make some rice and serve that up. Saved time, used up leftovers, and Harvey really enjoyed the meal. He loves a good stir fry.

My frugal 5 for this week are as follows.

1.  Hanging up clothes on the lines downstairs since it has either rained or been cloudy and cold on the day I washed.

2.  Using up leftovers for newly fashioned meals and then either using up those leftovers in other meals or packaging them for Kris.

3.  Cut out a top out of some leftover fabric. Only teeny tiny scraps left.

4.  Curtains open for the last few days to take advantage of the sun and it's solar effects. The curtains are closed when the sun goes down.

5.  Used a $10.00 coupon off of a $100.00 shop. This is the first time I have been lucky enough to get one of these coupons.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


As the afternoon drew to a close today I started to get very tired, headachy, and just plain feeling blah. I haven't been sleeping very well over the last couple of nights. I just can not shut off my mind and when I finally do, well, I might sleep for an hour or two before waking up again.

I really think my get up and go has more or less got up and gone.

Off to have a lovely hot bath, and then a cup of Sleepytime Tea before hitting my bed.

Hopefully I will have more to share with all of you tomorrow.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Why Did I Never Do This Before

One night about a month and a half ago I turned off my pasta pot by mistake. I am blaming this on still getting used to this new range. I had brought the water to a boil, added the pasta and brought it back to boiling. Then I thought all I did was turn it down so the pot would not boil over. It was left on the burner cause silly me thought it was still cooking.

Well I went back about 10 minutes later and my pasta was actually cooked perfectly. Boy was I surprised.

Now every time I cook pasta I do this and every time I have done so the pasta is perfectly cooked.

Saving money on electricity, and not having to clean up boiled over pasta water makes this a wonderful tip.

What do you do to save on electric costs when cooking with your range?

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Goal Update and New Goals for November

First off an update on how my goals went for the month of October.

1. Finish projects.  Finished.

2. Finish 2 Christmas gifts.  I finished three gifts this month.

3.  17 no spend day.  I reached 20 no spend days so far this month, exceeding my goal for this month.

4.  Continue with project declutter.  This is a work in progress, I seem to rid my home of a bit of clutter every week.

5.  Put garden to bed.  Done.

6.  Use up some more of my fabric stash.  Used up two pieces and have several others out and ready to use up this month.

All in all a good month for getting goals accomplished.

This month I managed to either remove, or recycle another 71 items. This brings my total to 938 for the year so far.

Now on to my goals for this month.

1.  Remove window air conditioning unit and store it for the winter.

2.  Continue project declutter.

3.  I would like to have 20 no spend days this month.

4.  Continue with fabric use it up. This is to replace a few items and add some colour to my fall/winter wardrobe.

5.  Finish Christmas shopping and gift making.

6.  Continue my early morning walks (usually 16 blocks) and my 8 block afternoon walk as long as the weather cooperates.

So there they are. I do hope I can do as well this month as last month.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.