Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Goal Update

Time for my end of the month goal update.

1.  Hopefully my sewing mojo returns as sewing those tops is a goal for this month. Sewing mojo did not show up as of yet. I am going to blame it on an overly stuffed sewing room, which leaves me very little room to maneuver in. Hopefully this will be fixed very soon. 

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.  I finished two blankets this month and am half way through a third. All with leftover yarn from other projects.

3.  Finish another inherited cross stitch kit. The one I pulled out should compliment the lilies and look good as a cushion also.  I did finish another inherited cross stitch kit, just not the first one I pulled out to complete. Fact is I gathered that all together and put it in the donation bag. I am about 1/2 way through a second inherited kit.

4.  Continue Project Declutter. Project Declutter is moving along. This month saw another 48 items packaged up to leave the house. This isn't counting all the leftover yarn I have used up, or the cross stitch kits. The total so far for this year has reached 325 items. I may just manage to reach another thousand items this year.... Mind you it is getting more difficult to find items.

5.  I would like to have 20 no spend days this month.  This month I managed to have 21 no spend days. Mind you the miserable weather a few days helped with this total.

Now on to the trying to cut costs this year goal. We were under for many budget lines, my allowance, clothing, gas, fuel for the vehicles, house maintenance, clothing and computer supplies to name a few. However we were over on electrical and groceries just as I had thought we would be. I need to do more work on those darn budget lines.

The good thing is for overall budget for the month we managed to come in under by.... $186.00.  Lets see how well I can manage to hold the line next month.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Menu Monday

Here we are moving into March. I wonder will it come in like a lion or a lamb?


Leftover Ham which I am not too sure what I am going to do with. Whatever way I choose to serve it you can count on us having a Greek Salad to go along with it.


Clean out the fridge, this means using up the leftover chili for our supper.


Breakfast for supper.... We will be having pancakes on this Ash Wednesday.


Corned Beef Hash is calling our name. Served with salad once again.


Soup and sandwiches today.


Another clean out the fridge day.


Ham, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, as well as salad.

Lately I have been messing around with the menus, which is not good thing. I have things that need using so hopefully I will be sticking to the menu this week.

Everybody have a wonderful day. God bless.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Ramblings

Soon we will be entering the season of Lent. A time of giving of ourselves, rather than the giving up of chocolate, coffee, pop, or even meat (though in this house we don't have meat any Friday).

Perhaps the easiest way to give of yourself is to smile at others, amazingly it makes the world a much happier place when you just give a smile or "Good morning/afternoon/evening" to those you meet on the road.

Thought I would bring you all up to date on the projects I have been working on.

I managed to get one more cross stitch completed, and while the roses cross stitch is not finished, nor will it likely be completed by the end of this month I am happy with the progress.

The first of the bulky yarn blankets is finished. This blanket joins the knitted squares blanket to be given to the city Nursing Home.

Here is the next bulky yarn blanket. It also will not be finished by the end of the month, but the work is going nicely. I am loving this one.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Frugal Friday

This week has gone by very quickly, it is almost the end of the month and we should only have one more month of winter weather (snow on the ground, snow falling and cold temperatures). I am so looking forward to getting some seeds started.

Now for my frugal happenings this week.

1.  More of the same, trying to save electric costs by keeping lighting down in the evenings, watching our water consumption (that is also going up 5% starting this month), and using up everything we can.

2.  Fixed a zipper on an old coat. Not my favorite mending job, but it needed doing.

3.  We bulk bought sandwich meat, much the same as what you would get in a deli and sliced it all up ourselves (the slicer is starting to give up the ghost, but we have had it for just over 32 years and it has more than paid for itself). We spent $49.00 on the meat and after packaging ended up with what would have cost us approximately $120.00 to buy packaged in the store. Now we have enough sandwich meat to last us at least 4 months.

4.  I have managed to get out for my walks again. It is so nice to walk in the light and in temperatures that are not well below freezing.

5.  Got free ice pops today when shopping. They will be a lovely treat on those hot summer days.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

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.


Leftover Baked Spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread.


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


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


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


Soup and either egg salad or grilled cheese sandwiches.


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


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.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Thrifty Tuesday

This has been a very thrifty week so far (well from last Tuesday to this one). I have been busy getting the most out of items I have bought.

I made a blanket from leftover yarn from other projects, and have started another with a mish mash of leftover bulky yarns (most are full balls). Once this one is finished I plan on making a ripple blanket out of all those small balls I have collected over the years. I am hoping to have a nice collection to give to the Nursing Home in a month or two. Slowly working my way through that yarn stash and being good by not even going by yarn in stores..... My yarnaholic tendencies were satisfied when I went to Michael's.

Slowly but surely making our way through the pantry as well. I am hoping that the next shopping trip (probably on Friday or Saturday) will be a very small one.

We had some old towels which I cut down into rags, just have to serge the edges before using them. I can then rid my rag collections of some rather tatty rags. The tatty, holey rags will be used in Harvey's work room to clean paint brushes and such.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Good morning, or good evening depending where on this earth you call home.

Another week of menus with hopefully no changes. I really need to use things up not collect anymore in the freezers for a bit.


Spaghetti and meat sauce served with the leftover salad.


Maple glazed salmon, oven roasted brussel sprouts, and rice. I may make a chocolate cake as today is Valentines day.


Pulling a bag of leftover roast pork out of the fridge freezer and making a stir fry (though I could be changing Monday and today around).


Baked spaghetti.


Salmon Patties, mashed potatoes, carrots.


Clean out the fridge.


Roast Chicken, and roasted assorted veggies.

So there it is, and the more thinking I do the more I want to change Wednesday and Monday around....so I will.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday Ramblings

I was supposed to attend a meeting about an hour away, but the roads this morning were terrible in that region so I decided it wasn't worth going even if they got less icy over the course of the afternoon. I would be driving home later and who knows what the roads would be like when darkness fell and the temperatures plummeted. Safer to stay home.

Yesterday morning I went for my usual stroll. I say stroll because I have to walk slowly due to all the snow and ice. I took my camera with me to see what sights I could catch.

We had a fairly heavy coating of hoar frost.

The trees sparkled in the morning sun.

I also saw lots of these.

Those are just two of the hoof prints in the snow on the corner of the street. The deer are getting a bit more daring every day.

This is all that is left of some of the cedars in one yard on the corner. The deer have been having a wonderful time chomping down on them.

I was asked for the recipe I used for the rhubarb muffins so here it is.

It is out of a book called The 250 Best Muffin Recipes.

Rhubarb Muffins

1 1/2 cups brown sugar (375 ml)
1/4 cup oil  (50 ml)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla  (10 ml)
1 cup buttermilk  (250 ml)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped rhubarb  (375 ml)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (125 ml)
2 1/2 cups flour  (625ml)
1 tsp baking powder (5 ml)
1 tsp baking soda  (5 ml)
1/2 tsp salt  (2 ml)


1/3 cup sugar (75 ml)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (7 ml)
1 tbsp margarine or butter melted (15 ml)

In a bowl whisk together brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. Add the buttermilk, rhubarb and nuts. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to rhubarb mixture and mix until just moist.

In another bowl mix the topping ingredients.

Spoon the batter into prepared tins, filling 3/4's full. Sprinkle with the topping.

Bake at 425 F (220 C) for about 20 minutes.


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Frugal Friday

My frugal five for this week are small but mighty.

1.  Watching water usage, only washing dishes twice a day in as little water as possible.

2.  Used 6 coupons when I shopped today.

3.  Got a free chocolate bar when grocery shopping.

4.  Replaced 2 more CFL's with LED's.

5.  Turning off lights in rooms not in use, and turning down the heat in our bedroom during the day.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thursday Tid Bits

Spending these rather cold and blustery days figuring out ways to save on electrical costs (our bill was much more than I expected it to be) and now that I see the natural gas bill I might need to figure out more ways to save on that bill as well.

Lights are being turned out in rooms not in use, the kitchen only has one small light on just so we can find our way down the hall if we need to (or so Harvey can find his way through from the basement), tomorrow I plan on making sure the heater in our room is turned down during the day and turned up about an hour before I climb into bed.

Harvey went for a bit of a drive today (sometimes he just has to get out of the house) and came running back for his camera.

These mule deer had decided to take up residence not too far away from us in the valley.

They do not seem at all afraid of people. These were taken on the side of the hill that didn't get as much snow. You can actually see some of the pasture which is surprising as the other side of the valley is full of snow.

What did I do today? Well I cleaned the chair railings, did the usual Thursday household tasks, watched some old episodes of CSI while knitting, and........

These are some pumpkin muffins. I couldn't find my regular recipe (found it finally) and so decided to try a new recipe. Not too sure if I like this one very much.


Some rhubarb muffins which also was a new recipe. I think I like these a great deal so this recipe is a keeper and is now marked in the recipe book.
Still no cookies made, and since tomorrow is shopping day (fairly early in the morning I hope) I probably will hold off on doing this until next week or perhaps Saturday sometime.
Everybody have a wonderful evening.
God bless.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cutting Energy Costs

I took a look at our energy bill online late last night, and while it is lower than last years at this time, it needs to be even lower.

One way I am going to lower it is to send in our meter reading every month. Hopefully they use it rather than the estimates our power company seems to love to employ. I will be doing a reading sometime between the 26th of this month and the 3rd of next month. I can hardly wait to see if they actually use it when calculating our bill.

Some other ways of cutting costs are to actually use the programmable thermostat we installed a few years ago, or turn down the heat during the day by a degree or two (already did one degree and once we are used to it down it goes again). I don't want to be uncomfortable though, freezing and catching a bad cold is not going to happen.

I am also slowly but surely replacing all the compact CFL's and incandescent bulbs with LED's. While LED's are a bit more expensive they use less power, give off a better light and last for years.

We have surge protectors on most of our electronics and while I have been turning the power off at the bar, I need to get a bit more diligent with this.

Harvey is getting much better at turning off lights when he leaves a room. I am hoping he continues to improve. The more lights we remember to turn off the better the savings will add up. I have a habit of turning on the light in the dining room and leaving it on for most of the day. This is where our computer is located and for some reason I always thought I needed that light in order to work on the computer. Not so. The last few days I have turned it off and can work just fine.

The water heater has been turned down a little bit. We have talked about insulating the water heater but have decided that since it is in the middle of the house, this might prove slightly difficult. However once the basement renovations are done we plan on insulating the old part of the house to see if that will help with reducing energy and electrical costs.

We did not caulk or fix weather stripping on doors this year so as soon as possible this is going to get done.

We use heavy drapes and blinds in the front of the house, but not in the back. I plan on picking up some heavy fabric and making some new curtains for the addition to the house. This is where the bedrooms are and since they haven't had new drapes in about 15 years it is about time. Blinds will wait for a bit.

I already open and close the blinds and drapes in the front of the house. These windows face south and so get a great deal of sun. In the winter opening them on sunny days heats the front of the house, keeping them closed in the brightest and hottest part of the day in the summer keeps the house cooler.

Doors to rooms not in use are supposed to be closed, but both Harvey and I slip up on this one. We really need to improve.

Harvey is going to check the insulation in the roof this summer. He thinks we might have to add some more.

I am also using my microwave more, and I plan on pulling out the electric roasting oven as well as the slow cooker. When I use the oven, well it will be for cooking more than one item.

Here is hoping I can get that electrical bill lower yet.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Menu Monday

Once again a bit late with this post.


Leftover Chicken Casserole.


Leftover beef roast, cauliflower cheese, and green beans.


Hamburgers with all the fixings, roasted brussel sprouts and baked beans.


Clean out the fridge or if there are no leftovers I will pull out some Cabbage Rolls.


German noodles, fried onions and eggs.


Chicken wings, French fries, and broccoli.


Roast pork, roasted potatoes and carrots.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday Ramblings

It was a very good thing that we took our road trip yesterday.

This is what it looked like outside for most of today.

The snow started falling early this morning and has continued for the entire day. In fact it is still coming down. Sure glad we weren't on the road today. Yesterday, on the other hand was almost perfect, except for the temperature.

We picked up Kris at his apartment and went on our merry way. Much to Harvey and Kris's happiness we did not stop at Fabricland. I decided that I have enough fabric to last for awhile, and as my sewing mojo seems to be on hiatus right now, perhaps waiting would be a good idea. I even have enough woolen fabric to make another jacket if I so choose. Lining is a different story though.....

We did hit Home Depot where I bought some LED bulbs to replace the old incandescent bulbs in the bathroom and Harvey found some LED tubes that can be used in the old florescent fixtures. Boy do they ever put out the light.

Our next stop was Michael's where I managed to get all of this at 50% off.

I know I said no more yarn, but I could not turn away from the little bit I got. I bought the white felt for eyes on some monster leggings I plan on making once the bits and bobs blankets are done. I even found a block of beeswax to use for making some skin care recipes. I almost bought some soap making supplies but decided I better use up what I have first.

A trip to Home Outfitters was next on the list. Here we bought a new pepper grinder, some Laura Secord Hot Chocolate K cups, and an egg poacher for the microwave (this in my quest to save on electrical costs).

London Drugs was next where I bought my favorite Mint Hot Chocolate K cups and some dark roast coffee K cups for Harvey. He loves him some full bodied black as night coffee.

Costco was next, and while they still did not have cases of cream of mushroom soup and the salmon was farmed (something I refuse to buy), I did manage to get everything on my list. I actually walked out without spending more than I had planned. I did buy a couple of items that weren't on the list but they will be used. In fact I managed to get a 5lb bag of apples that can be eaten in hand or used in baking for $4.99. Less than a dollar a pound which is half the cost of buying them here. The same goes for the bags of broccoli florets, cauliflower florets and brussel sprouts, half the cost and double the amount I could purchase here.

We had an early supper/lunch combination, dropped Kris off and headed home.

One thing we did find out was that Kris has to drive from Regina to Saskatoon on Monday for a meeting. That is a two hour drive either way, for a one hour meeting. The meeting is supposed to start at 8:30 am so in order to get there (especially if the conditions are not good) he will have to leave at 5:30 in the morning. Crazy!

Then on Wednesday he flies to Calgary to take a two day course on a new computer program. He should be back by Thursday night. We were hoping he could come home as it is the Family Day weekend (stat holiday here in Saskatchewan) but we have a feeling that he will end up working most of the weekend to catch up on all he missed doing while gone. Hopefully, he will be home one weekend very soon.

Today I divided up all the meat we bought and packaged it with my Food Saver. The freezer is full once again.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

On The Road

....And we're off....

Heading to Regina today for our stock up shop. We get to visit with Kris, stock up at Costco, Fabricland, and Michaels for me. Perhaps at Home Depot for Harvey (if he needs anything, he never tells me).

I will show all of you my bargains tomorrow.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Managing Clutter Efficiently

Is there really a way of managing clutter efficiently? I think there is, but part of the deal is realizing that clutter is taking up room in your life.

Over the years we have removed clutter constantly, cleaning closets out, removing those unused items from the house, and really thinking about what we are bringing in.

However it wasn't until I purposely started the declutter challenge that things started to get better.

The first thing I did was cancel all magazine subscriptions. Then I went through the magazines I had collected. First it was all the cooking magazines. I pulled out or recopied any recipe I thought I might use and then recycled the magazines to either the schools or the Salvation Army.  I just finished doing the same thing with all my knitting magazines and wow what a difference!!! I actually have empty spaces on my shelving in the sewing/craft room.

We also canceled all newspaper delivery and get our news online. The only paper we get is the free city paper that contains the fliers and sales for our city. So nice not to have a full recycle bin, and the paper we do have can actually fit. In the summer, when we have a fire there really isn't much paper at all as I use what we have as fire starter along with twigs I pick up in the yard.

Harvey made me a mail tray a few years ago from scrap lumber. Every week I go through the tray and take care of what is in there. Perhaps there are a few bills, but more than likely it is things I really don't need or want. This way the paper monster does not take over the desk as much as it used to.

Cards and such are no longer saved unless they have great meaning and then after a week or so of being out are either recycled into tags or put into an album.

I did have a hard time decluttering my books. I am an veracious reader and kept every single book I had bought. The flood this past summer made me realize that not every book was meant to be kept. I did keep the books by my favorite authors, and have warned Harvey that this does not mean that I will never buy another book, but for now I am contented with the free books on Kobo and buying books from garage sales and rummage sales that I can recycle. But if a new book by a favorite author comes up, well, it will be purchased. He seems okay with that.

Every week a bit more leaves the house and I can feel myself getting a bit lighter.

Clutter is expensive, takes up space, and is not a part of frugal living.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thursday Tid Bits

I think winter may have come back to extend its stay. While we did not get much in the way of snow over the last couple of days, the temperature is steadily falling and we are back to feeling like ice cubes. I haven't been for my early morning walk since Monday and I am feeling the effects. Getting a bit grouchy here. At least the sun is shining.

Here is the start of the squares I am knitting out of the bits and bobs of leftover yarn, plus any leftover skeins and balls from previous projects. The squares are just over 11" and I am slowly but surely working my way through the stash of pinks and purples. It will be interesting to see what the finished blanket will look like, and how I put the whole thing together.... I don't know how to crochet so I guess the squares will be sewn together.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Update, New Goals, And Trying To Spend Less

First an update on how well I did with my goals last month.

1.  Take down Christmas decorations. Done

2.  Cut out three tops. Done

3.  Sew two tops. Lost my sewing mojo, so am concentrating on other hobbies until I get it back.

4.  List Messy Bun/Pony Tail Hats for sale. Pictures taken, and I have them on one site. Will add to other sights later.

5.  Declutter. On going and will give a total for last month under Project Declutter.

6.  Burn our Spain/Portugal holiday and other pictures to CD. Done

7.  Work on projects to use inherited yarn, and cross stitch/embroidery items. Working on this, one cross stitch work done, and lots of bits of inherited yarn being used up in those knitted squares.

8.  Have 20 no spend days this month.  I made 23 no spend days this month. Of course the weather helped a great deal. Who wants to be out and about when it is -50 C with the wind chill.

This month saw me removing 276 items from the house. Most of this consisted of knitting magazines collected over the years. I removed those patterns that I thought I might use, and recycled the magazines to the schools to use in their art programs.

Now on to this months goals.

1.  Hopefully my sewing mojo returns as sewing those tops is a goal for this month.

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.

3.  Finish another inherited cross stitch kit. The one I pulled out should compliment the lilies and look good as a cushion also.

4.  Continue Project Declutter.

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

Now on to a challenge that will continue for the whole of this year. I really want to see how much I can cut certain budget lines by. This year I am going to concentrate on the electric bill, the gas bill, the water bill and groceries. While we were under last year in all these categories, I would like to see if I can manage to get them even lower. It may take some creative ideas, and me running behind Harvey and shutting off lights, but I think I can do it.

Last month we were $37.00 under budget for power, $35.00 for gas, and $142.00 for groceries. Water is every two months so I will need to wait a bit for that one. I do know we will be over this month for groceries, but that will be because of our stock up shop at Costco and another warehouse type grocery. Wish me luck as things could get a bit tricky if the weather gets really cold.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.