Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Let Me Tell You What Happened To Me Last Summer

Let Me Tell You What Happened To Me Last Summer.

Well I had ran into a good deal while traveling on the road of being frugal. I had gotten the best deal of my entire life of shopping. I purchased 11 heads of broccoli. Guess for how much? $3 dollars and change. Yes! Why so low you may ask?

I don't know if you have ever experience this, but the broccoli was a nice green and no yellowing anywhere but it was flexible and rubbery and limp. The manager lowered the price because of the condition of the broccoli, thinking it will not sale at the regular price. The broccoli only needed a quick pick me up and that is all.

I took that heavy bag home, and got started. First I washed the broccoli with the veggie wash and rinse it.(Sometimes with vegetables, I would let them sit in the rinse water for a while, to be sure all the vegetable wash is removed)

Then I cut off the bottom of the stalks to enable the broccoli to absorb water. Then I filled a large bowl with cold water from the tap and place the broccoli stem down in the water. I then place the broccoli, bowl and all into the refrigerator and waited for an hour.

And you guess it! Fresh crispy, crunchy broccoli for only $3 dollars and change. I cooked some, blanched then froze some. Hows that for a nice frugal living tip?

You would think that store manager would know that cutting the bottom off broccoli and placing it in water can help most wilting plants.

This can also be done with limp celery, and wilting lettuce.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Look What I Did!

While driving home several days ago, I just happened to see four worned out chairs sitting outside, waiting to be picked up by the trash man. These were steady strong chairs with welded steel frames. I just couldn't believe the ex-owner was throwing them out.

So I picked up all the chairs and took them home with me. I washed the chairs with one of those miniature machines that deep cleans. I allow them to dry for a whole day. I had an old yellow rusty colored upholster material so, I decided to use that. I took a good look at the chairs to see if I could find a way to repair them with out bringing out the big guns, like clamps, glue etc. Well all I needed was the sewing machine and staple gun.

The chairs had screws to hold in the back rest, the arm and the seat. So all of the parts can be taken off and repaired and then screwed back on. It seems that these chairs will be very easy to repair.

I measured the seat, arm and back of the chairs and stapled the material to the underside of the chair seat, the same for the arm of the chair. The back was easy, I measured and sewed something like a pillow case and just slipped it over the back seat.

Well I have completed one chair, (above)and set into motion to complete the rest. I have always wanted strong chairs such as these. Now I have. It did not cost me a thing. All the materials I needed, I already had. This was a good deal. Well as they say "one man's trash".

To do the same as I have. Look for chairs with removeable seats and/or backs.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Make Comforters Out Of Bed Sheets

Make Comforters Out Of Bed Sheets

My mom surprised me with this one. If you sew, this would be a easy task for you.  Knowing that sheets come in the size of the bed, you don't have to sew sheets together to make the comforter fit the bed.
Purchase three inexpensive flat sheets and get enough batting to put between them. Or use your own sheets from your hallway closet. Make sure the sheets match the color scheme of your bedroom and the size of your bed.

Put both sheets together, right sides in and wrong sides out, and lay the sheets on the floor, make sure you keep it even.

Now place the thick batting on top of the sheets, and pin the edges, as well as the middle it will keep it from buckling while sewing.

{NOTE: Usually I would sew three seamlines down the middle and on both side of the batting and the sheet before I join the two sides together, so that I would not have to do the tacking at the end, to finish the comforter, as seen in the picture above}

Now being careful not to puncture yourself from the pins, carry it the machine and sew only three sides of the sheets. (You will be sewing through both sheets and the batting.) Leave one side completely open. (the bottom of the comforter)

Now take it back to the floor and place batting side up. (Note: If you had to use two sections of batting, whipped stitch the two batting together before removing the pins.)

Take out the straight pins. Turn the comforter so that the right side is out. You will notice this would put the batting inside the comforter. Flatten out the comforter on the floor. Make sure batting isn't bulking under the sheets. If you want you can press the comforter at this stage. Don't forget to work on the corners. Now the open end of the comforter, cut any excess batting that is sticking out, then turn in the sheets to make a clean finish and sew together.

Now to be sure the batting stays in place, we need to tack the comforter, my mom's word. You can use thread or yarn, be sure to use a color that compliments your comforter. Thread your needle, you do not have to knot the ends. If you are using yarn, purchase a needle with larger eye. (You could do this next part free hand or you can pin the spots where you wish to tack). Decide what is the top of your comforter, then push needle through all layers of the comforter(from the top) and carefully without sewing yourself to the comforter, bring the needle back through from the bottom near where you begin, back to the top and double knot it. You did your first tack.:). Cut the thread. Now continue this same process with the rest of your comforter. Then go back and trim off all threads, leave about 1/8 of an inch. Once you have clipped the threads consider yourself finished with the comforter.

Now the pillow cases, measure your pillow and add 2 inches all around, take those measurement to your third sheet, and cut it out. (If you need to you may want to make a pattern out of notebook paper. Tape notebook paper together and cut out the measurements). Using the same principle as above, place right sides together pin and sew. Turn so that the right side is out, then iron. You can hem the pillow case or use bias tape to finish the edges. Press again. Remember to make two for a full bed.
Done! A comforter set with out the expensive price.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rescue Recipe Saver

Many of us love to purchase books on many subjects but found it may clutter your home. I am a lover of Recipe Books, sewing books, home decor books. If you are like me, you hate it when you go to a book store, and find a book that has only one recipe in it of interest to you. You cannot purchase the book because of that ONE recipe, it would be a waste of money and library space.

What To Do?

This is what I did to solve that problem. I call it my Rescue Recipe Saver.

First do not forget to write down the recipe. Go buy a 3 inch binder with the plastic cover sleeve. (To give book an identity). Also purchase page protectors, you do not need to get the really expensive ones. Try to find the ones that have twenty protectors for a dollar. Some dollar stores have them.

You rewrite or type the recipe onto computer paper or notebook paper, if you wish and place it inside the protector and then transfer to binder. WA LA! You have rescued your recipe without having to buy the whole book. You can keep this collection going if you chose, and you can make up your own recipes to add into your book.


But do to copyright legal issues you cannot copy a recipe and claim it as your own or use it in a blog or any publish articles, books, etc. I use My Rescue Recipe Saver for home use only.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Living Below Your Income?

Living beneath your means or within your means simply means to spend a lot less than what you earn. In order to live frugally you really have to get control of your spending habits. At first it will be hard but when you maintain a steadfast determination to control your spending habits you will reap good rewards.

I remember when I was a little girl, things was more simple than they are today. Back then a 16oz soda used to cost $.25 not like today when a 16 oz soda cost about $1.25 to $1.79. But even today you can use your money wisely. For instance why spend $1.79 when you can spend $.99 to a $1.39 for a 64 ounce soda. For a 16 ounce soda you have spent $1.79, when you could have saved yourself $.80 by purchasing the larger 64 ounce bottle and gain a lot more soda for a much lower price. Now, I know you not stupid, but I am just saying it's the smart thing to do, it may not be a convenient thing to do at the time. But you have saved $.80 and you received 48 ounces more of soda. So now you have more drink to give others in your family or household. See how simple that is, and all you need to do is purchase a thermal cup to use anytime you get thirsty.

That applies with everything you do in life. Car repairs, house payments, or rent, cable bills, water bills, electric bills, they can all be reduced if you learned to use less than what you earn.

How? Let's take the water bill for instance. You know how we all feel when it comes to the water bill. Its hard to believe that we use so much water. "Why it so high" you say? Well let's look at it this way, many of us brush our teeth while the water is running, gallons of clean water is escaping down that drain. Instead of using a little water to get the brush wet before we applied the toothpaste, we allow the water to run on and on. And while we are brushing our teeth the water is still running. Then while rinsing out the brush more water is wasting down the drain.

The practical course would be to wet the toothbrush, turn off the water apply toothpaste,  brush your teeth, use 1 cup with water to rinse your mouth out well. Then put some water in your cup to rinse your toothbrush. Wa-La!! You brush your teeth with less than two cups and a half of water, instead of 2 to 3 gallons. Now let's calculate the fact that this is a daily thing, can you amagine how much money you are losing? It is somewhat the same with taking a shower.

My son's best friend came up to me and ask what does it mean to live beneath your income.
I guess it is kind of confusing for a 10 year old. So I tried to tell him in a way that he will understand.

Let say you were given fifty dollars, and you purchased a video game. After which, you have nothing left. That is considered living above your means.
But lets say you ventured into a discount video game store instead. Wow, you walk out with the game you wanted, but with a bonus of thirty dollars left over. You are living below your income.
Now, that thirty dollars that you skillfully save, can be used for another day. You put that in your money jar at home. You are now living below your means." Then he said "But what if they don't have the game?" Then I told him," Then you just banked yourself a fifty dollar bill." The end.

Be highly conscious of what you are doing. Think of ways you can still get the item you want without spending too much, then bank the rest.

Thank Positively

Do not view it in a negative way, look to see how it benefits you. Managing your money doesnt have to be tedious. It can be very enjoyable.

Instead, consider it a challenge for yourself. Numerous financial consultants have stated that when individuals gain control of their funds, they gain power over their own lives.