Friday, March 23, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 12...

1.  I went to Hobby Lobby this week with the purpose of purchasing two bronze door knobs for the armoire.  They happened to be on sale; half price, so $2 each.  Left only with what I went for and no impulse purchases.

2.  Took the girls to the library last night.  They've always used their mother's library card or mine.  We took the time for them to each sign up for their own card.  Free.  Priceless.

3.   Finally did an online grocery order with curbside pickup, taking advantage of the $4.99 fee being waived for the first 4 orders.  So much less frustrating.

4.   Made many freezer meals for Carey to take to work.  Trying to get a head start on the month I will be working/commuting and not wanting to come home and cook a lot.

5.  Caitlyn is spending the night tonight.  She wants to make some jewelry, and goodness knows I have jewelry making supplies, so free entertainment.  ***edit***Ended up not being free.  We spent $ on supplies.  Thank heavens most of what we got was half price.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  Dublin Coddle
Sunday:  Sunday supper at Kasey's
Monday:  Roast beef, potatoes, carrots, green beans
Tuesday:  Chili Frito Pie
Wednesday:  *Tex-Mex
Thursday:  supper at Kasey's
Friday:  *Tex-Mex

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Before and after...



It looks very white, and I know the distressing doesn't show up much in the photograph above, but it actually shows up very well looking at it in person.

Sometimes there is a fine line with distressing, and I didn't want to go overboard.  Here are some closeups.  

The handle on the right is the original.  Its original mate broke (as in irreparable metal-fatigue broke) a long time ago, so we had to replace knobs.  I found the bronze flower knob on the left at Hobby Lobby yesterday, and they were half price.  It never happens that the thing I want is actually on sale when I need it, so that was awesome...$2 each.

I tried just the knobs, but that looked a little too bare, and somewhat juvenile, to me.

So I put the original ornamental knob backing back on with the new knobs, and I like it a lot better.

And there you go.  Before and after.  I haven't had Carey seal the chalk paint yet.  It is pretty resistant to scratches as is (we tried scratching, and it resisted, LOL).  And in case the white continues to look too bright to me, I wanted to be able to do some sort of a lightly tinted wash before we put on a coat of polycrylic to seal it.

I have to say that even though people say how easy chalk painting is, it wasn't Carey's favorite foray into experimentation.  That could have just been user error.  

Wait till I tell him that the big brown wall looks too big and brown now and needs to be repainted another color.  ROTFLOL!  Oy vey, that wall requires scaffolding.  He's going to flip.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
A new one by Kristin Hannah.  Very different from The Nightingale.  This one is about a family forever changed after the husband/dad, a Viet Nam war vet and prisoner of war, returns suffering PTSD, self medicating with alcohol, and abusive.  He relocates the family to the Alaskan wilderness looking for peace and healing.

I'm about halfway through it.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Making it Monday...

I had to go in to work for awhile today in preparation for jumping in next Monday.  I left Carey at home with one chore.  This is all he got done.  :)  I have been cracking the whip since returning.  Funny...that doesn't speed him up any.  LOL  I'm starting to worry that it won't be done as soon as I was hoping.

For some reason, every time I look at it now I see this...

Sunday, March 18, 2018


This armoire was my 16th birthday present; the armoire plus the rest of a matching bedroom suite to be precise.  Yes, being the last child at home had its advantages, but I vaguely remember that my mother had credit at the furniture store that she needed to use or forfeit, so I lucked out.  Over the years, I've sold the headboard, nightstand, and dresser, but I've always liked the armoire and hesitated to part with it.  

I like the smaller compartments that it has as opposed to a lot of similar pieces.  When we lived in a one-room hunting cabin for eight months (when we moved to the ranch, and before we put a house on it) it went with us.  Carey thought it was a waste of space, but it added a lot more vertical storage than it took up floor space, so was priceless to me during that time.

I planned a wedding while in that cabin, and this piece held so many of the things I was working on: decorations, invitations, lists, receipts.  It was my command center.  I taped all the receipts to the insides of the doors, and then once the wedding was over, I put them all in an envelope.  Today I found that envelope still tucked inside a drawer.  I've never totaled up the receipts.  :)  

The armoire hasn't really been in use for years, so it was kind of like opening a time capsule.  Lately I've been thinking about how to better use this furniture piece by consolidating storage for some like items.  I was just going to fill it as is, but I happened to ask Carey if he felt like painting it before he went back to work, and surprisingly, his response was a definite maybe.  :)  I hope to get it done and filled before I have to start my month of work (only one more week to go!).  I'll show 'after' photos...eventually.

It was oddly coincidental that I decided on yesterday (St. Patrick's Day) to clean it out, as I came across maps and souvenirs from my trip to Ireland.  :)

The armoire wasn't stuffed full of things, thank goodness, but I did fill a box with books, and crafts, etc. to donate, and will drop it off next time I go to the city.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saturday snail mail...

I've always loved St. Patrick's Day.  Not the rowdy public celebrations.  Not the pinching.  But the calling to mind of Irish family members on my father's side whom I know only by very limited stories passed down.  And then there was always my mother's birthday to celebrate.  Today would have been her 102nd.  

One thing that rankles me at this time of year is the profusion of decorations with four-leaf clovers all over them.  Arggghh!  Walk on by...boycott...just say 'no!'  Four-leaf clovers should be four-bidden on St Patrick's Day!
It is said that in the fifth century St. Patrick used a sprig with three illustrate the concept of The Holy God in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Trinity.  Tri.  Three. Three leaves, not four.

Rant over.

I made all of these cards very late at night, so not my best work, and really terrible lighting for photos.  But they are on their way with letters included.  This first one has a shamrock against the colors of the Irish flag.

A simpler color palette.

I took some artistic license with this one.  I know that looks nothing like an actual shamrock plant.  All of the shamrocks on this card are made with a tiny heart stamp and/or punch.  

I have two birthday cards to make, then I will put away my stamping supplies for awhile.  It is doubtful there will be any time for stamping in April.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 11...

1.  I've requested a second card on a major gasoline credit account we've had...forever.  We've always made due with one card, but it's not very handy.  They usually have the lowest fuel prices around, plus discount it further if you use their company card, so it was time to take better advantage.  We pay account in full monthly, so no interest charges or fees.

2.  I used up the last of the ham.  

3.  Some grapes had been lingering in the fridge without getting eaten.  They were still perfectly firm and good tasting, so I removed them all from the stems and put them in the freezer to use in smoothies. 

4.  Use-by date on milk had passed.  It didn't smell sour, but like it might go off soon, if you know what I mean.  I used some to bake cornbread.  I was going to use the rest to make a buttermilk pie (by adding a little lemon or vinegar to the milk), but Jared came by for dinner and drank it.  He said it was fine.  LOL  

5.  Batched errands, added 9 individual meals to freezer for Carey to take to work, paid all bills on time as well as returning library books (no fees, no fines).

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey's
Monday:  Mixed greens with turnips and ham, cornbread
Tuesday:  *burger
Wednesday:  *baked potato
Thursday:  quiche
Friday:  *Chinese takeout 

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Ides? What Ides?...

I think this is the day that the slippery slope begins.  We are well into the year, and it will be over before we know it if we aren't careful!

We have become accepting of the everyday, instead of accepting every day as the gift it is.  I've been letting my year's goals slide...doing really well on some, but doing abominably sucky on others.

Beware!  Beware!!!  And then start over.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak

I am enjoying this novel so much.  Wonderful characters.  

In 1950s Louisiana, Ginny lived in the shadow of the prison.  When she was eight, her prison-guard father was murdered by an inmate, and her mother insisted that Ginny witness his killer's execution.   As an adult, Ginny goes back to the prison as the cook, and discovers a special calling to prepare the last meals for the condemned, even taking care to reach out to their family members for favorite family recipes. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 10...

1.  Rudy:
     bathed 🗹
     pedicured 🗹
     ears cleaned 🗹
     bedding washed and sunned 🗹
     kennel cleaned 🗹
     treats given to Rudy AND Mama 🗹 
This was a battle of wills, but I AM the pack leader!  He hasn't had a bath since cold weather set in, so he was out of the routine and NOT happy.  I earned every bit of that $20 to $35 saved!

2.  Rudy's 'spa day' somehow resulted in an incredibly painful strained knee and a literal pain in the neck.  I really wanted to go to the chiropractor, but there just wasn't time this week.  And after a day or so, the knee feels better, so maybe I can save the doctor's fee and the gasoline for the 90 mile round trip.

3.  The knee must have been really painful, because I resorted to grabbing a cane from my collection and used it.  Yes, I have a collection of canes.  It started with our antique hall tree having a receptacle for umbrellas and walking sticks.  After my great aunt died, I asked for her cane, and it has had a home in the hall tree ever since and has been joined by a handmade cane my father-in-law made me, a beautiful cane bought from a fair trade shop, and others.  When you have sprained as many ankles and broken as many bones in your  feet as I have, not to mention that shingles outbreak on the sole of my foot, it has proven to be a very practical and frugal collection to have on hand over the years.

4.  For last night's dinner I baked a ham that was bought on sale during the holidays and has been in the freezer since.  It, along with homemade mac & cheese and broccoli, fed us and made Carey three work meals for the freezer.  Still lots of ham.  Will make quiche tonight; ham, turnips, and greens, with cornbread over the weekend; sandwiches for lunches; etc.

Next I should thaw that turkey that's in there.  :)

5.  Beautiful cool but sunny days here.  Another week with no need for heat or A/C.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *pizza & salad
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey's
Monday:  *burger
Tuesday:  leftovers
Wednesday:  *Tex-Mex
Thursday:  ham, mac & cheese, broccoli
Friday:  *pizza

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Year One by Nora Roberts
I was on the library reserve list for this one for ages.  I took it to bed with me about midnight Sunday night/Monday morning, thinking I'd read myself to sleep.  I had to be up and at quilting at the library by 10:00 a.m.  I never got to sleep.  About 9:20 a friend from the group texted me to make sure I was going to be at the group.  I texted back that I had ten more pages, and then I'd be there.  :)

Before I started reading, I had it confused with another book about prehistory, but it was actually about a virus that wiped out eighty percent of the world population.  

Even though I couldn't put it down, I'm not sure how I feel about it.  

Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles
I'm working my way through this author's titles.  I've been on the reserve list for this library ebook, and my turn just came up, so I've only just started it.  

It is set during the Civil War in Missouri (a particularly divided state during this period which  experienced an extremely dangerous neighbor-against-neighbor atmosphere).  The main character is an 18-year-old girl whose family has been struggling to remain neutral.  She is arrested as an 'enemy woman' and sent to a women's prison filled with the criminal and the deranged.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Saturday snail mail...

I spent a day at the craft table this week.  I had letters I wanted to get in the mail, and I wanted to play with stamps and papers.  

This one is for a teenage girl.  

I used washi tape to mask off the stripe on this one so I could sponge it with two colors of ink.  I was happy with how it turned out...until I removed the top strip of tape and ripped the paper.  :)  Enter the 'thank you' banner.  There's almost always a way to save the project.  :)

I made several along these lines, changing up the colors and layers.   

A handful of letters are winging their way around the world.  That makes me happy.  I hope they brighten their recipients' days as well.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 9...

1.  Carey's paycheck and annual bonus has been deposited in the bank account.  The bonus will be promptly transferred to our interest bearing savings account to earn a little while it patiently awaits its turn to cover the property taxes at the end of the year.

2.  While it has been extremely humid recently, it was bearable (just) without turning on the AC to dry out the indoor air.  The temperatures have been pretty moderate, without need of heat or cooling, so I am anticipating a steep drop in our electric bill.

3.  I booked an afternoon of work for next week.  I usually don't accept partial days, but this is a local branch, so no commute (gasoline and other vehicle expenses) to eat into the profit.  I had to turn down several other days that they also inquired about due to having a full month of work booked coming up soon.

4.  I am in the process of going through my closet...mainly the work wardrobe side.  I need to make sure I have work clothes lined up and in good repair for the full-time month (see item 3 above).  Since my usual work schedule is only a few days in a row, I have really pared down my working wardrobe.  It may take some imagination, and being willing to repeat and mix-and-match the basic pieces, but I refuse to buy more items for just one month of need.

5.  Since Carey had errands out, one of which to the grocery to pick up some foodstuffs for his weekend hiking trip, I had him pick up some ground beef for tonight's meatloaf.  (I took twice-baked potatoes and corn out of the freezer for the side dishes.)  No need to use the gasoline in my car if he was bound there anyway.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  grazed the fridge
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey's
Monday:  Dublin Coddle
Tuesday:  French toast and fruit
Wednesday:  *burger out
Thursday:  Enchilada Casserole and Spanish Rice
Friday:  meatloaf, twice-baked potatoes, corn

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Promised to the Crown by Aimie K. Runyan
I needed something a little lighter after some of my recent selections.  This is the first of a series about the French women who traveled to New France (present-day Canada) in 1667 when Louis XIV issued a request.  Their purpose was to find husbands among the mostly-male population and have families, thereby settling and populating the young French colony.

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
This is one I read between Wednesday posts a couple of weeks ago and then forgot to include.  I had mixed feelings about it; started out well, but the end seemed a little too Harlequin Romance-y, if you get my drift.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 8...

1.  When I made Chicken Pot Pie last week, I set aside a portion of the crust dough and filling and made a little version in a cute vintage individual-serving pie plate and baked it along with the larger one.  When it was cool, I wrapped it in foil and froze it.  On Monday, I packed the pot pie in an insulated lunch box and delivered to mother-in-law's fridge when we went to visit.  She doesn't complain much about assisted living, but she has mentioned dissatisfaction with the food.  When I can, I like to take her something home cooked that she can warm up when there's nothing on the facility's menu that appeals to her.  It doesn't cost a dime, but it lets her know I'm thinking of her.

2.  Also on Sunday, when Caitlyn and I made Strawberry Fluff for Sunday dessert, I made two little servings in pint jars, screwed on their lids, and stored in the fridge.  Took those to m-i-l also.

3.  Took Rudy to the vet today (only frugal in that preventative care keeps even more expensive treatments at bay).  Purchased flea/tick prevention.  The receptionist handed me two rebate forms.  I came straight home and submitted rebate requests online.  Now I will be looking for that $30 check to arrive in the mail (instead of looking for the receipt and rebate forms in a pile somewhere whenever I remembered they needed submitting...usually about two weeks after the rebate offer expired).

4.  Ordered postage stamps online saving a trip to the post office and insuring I got attractive stamps I wanted instead of just what was in stock locally.  I could swear that they used to not charge for delivery for online postage orders, but I was charged this time.  Oh, well...worth it not to have to drive the seven miles in the opposite direction from any of my usual haunts.  Upon their arrival, I even promptly put them in my designated spot for stamps so I can find them when they are needed instead of having to buy more.  :)

5.  We filled up with bargain-priced gasoline on trip to see m-i-l; enough left to last me a week or two probably.  The leftover chili was saved to make future meal of enchiladas.  Received an email about a book that I thought I might want to purchase; checked library website and was happy to see they recently acquired it; got on reserve list at #2 spot!  Making cards to mail.  Enjoying a quiet rainy day at home.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  egg on toast
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey's - Ribs! 😋
Monday:  *lunch out, cheese & crackers for supper
Tuesday:  *Schlotzky sandwich (C) and salad (me)
Wednesday:  pork chops, rice & gravy, brocolli
Thursday:  Frito pie (homemade chili, of course)
Friday:  homemade hamburgers

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved
by Kate Bowler

I heard the author interviewed on the radio recently, and came straight home to order her new book.  

She was raised in a Mennonite community in Canada, and is now an assistant professor at Duke Divinity School specializing in the study of the prosperity gospel.  She was happily married with a new baby, when at 35 she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.

Having just completed When Breath Becomes Air, I was not planning on jumping into another book about a young, articulate, caring person with a terminal disease.  But having heard her voice and her beautiful expression of thoughts, I felt I had to read it, and I had to read it now.  It arrived in the mail yesterday.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Over the river and through the woods...

We had such a great day yesterday.  We had a trip scheduled to see Carey's mom.  I didn't know the kids had the day off from school.  Caitlyn asked if she could spend Sunday night with us.  I told her sure, but I would have to take her home really early Monday morning unless she wanted to go with us to see her great-grandmother.  She didn't want to spend the majority of the day in the car, so she begged off.  Her sister, however, quickly accepted even though I told her she would have to be up and ready to go at 7 a.m.  

So Caitlyn spent the night with us, and early Monday we took her home and picked up Chloe.  Kasey said Chloe was already up and ready when Kasey went in to wake her.  :)  Smart girl brought a pillow for the car and promptly used it once we got on the highway for the four-hour trip.

Upon arrival she was well rested and 'on' for her day with great grandmother and great uncle and aunt.

She wasn't expecting lunch out at Red Lobster, but was thrilled when she got to order crab legs.  Aunt Carla was sitting next to her.  She had also ordered crab legs, and they bonded as Aunt Carla taught Chloe exactly how to make the most of the rare treat.

Then we went back to Kevin and Carla's house, and Chloe had a ball playing with their adorable Yorkie who knows lots of tricks and isn't shy of performing.  Sadly my phone battery was too low to get photos of the two of them, but Chloe was in seventh heaven, and I wouldn't be surprised if she begins campaigning for a Yorkie of her own.  Aunt Carla also had lots of fun things to do, and poured attention Chloe's way...and she gifted her with a chair(!) which luckily just fit in the back of my car.  Those two became fast friends!  And there is no better way to endear oneself to me than to love my grandchildren.  :)

We got home about 9 p.m.  Just in time for bedtime on a school night.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Giving things up for the 40 days of Lent...

I began reading a couple of new (to me) frugal blogs since the beginning of the year.  This week Happy Simple Living mentioned Uncluttering for Lent which really caught my attention.

I'm not Catholic, but over the years I have many times made Lenten sacrifices...usually things that are unhealthy and/or overindulgences...the years I gave up soda, ice cream, and the Internet come to mind.  I try not to be frivolous about my sacrifice, but choose things that the absence of which will challenge me, and will remind me that God is more important than worldly things.

I'm a few days late getting started this year (Lent is Feb 14 thru Mar 29 this year)...but that's's never too late to decide to do good things.  

Possessions are something that are hard for me to let go of, so I think the solemnity of a religious fast mindset will help me progress.  I know it won't be easy.  The Happy Simple Living post suggests giving away a box or bag of usable items every day.  I made the calendar page above to track what I do daily.  I will post updates, perhaps during Lent, but for sure at the conclusion.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 7...

1.  Before I left WalMart (but after I had paid) I noticed that during my self-serve checkout I ran something through twice.  I went to the customer service counter and was reimbursed $5.88.  (I hate going to WalMart, but after leaving my groceries un-purchased at the other store on Tuesday, the dog and the humans at our house needed some supplies until I can figure out a curbside order.)

2.  I used the validation code for completing a customer survey to receive a free drink from Sonic...for which they gave me a receipt showing $0.00 due...and which had another customer survey at the bottom...sweet!

3.  Carey took care of a minor plumbing issue that had been bothering him in the guest bath.  It didn't bother me in the least, because I never heard it, but I'm glad that he is able to do such things and that he stays on top of maintenance around here.

4.  I stopped by a friend's house for a visit.  This is the friend that I eat out with most often, and aside from being more frugal to forego a meal out, it was lovely to be able to sit and visit in her quiet home rather than a loud restaurant.

5.  Automatic refills of prescriptions seemed like it would be one less thing on my to-do list, but for some odd reason they always fill them at separate times.  Driving seven miles to the pharmacy multiple times is a waste of good gasoline.  I cancelled all automatic refills, and will be ordering them manually to be picked up all in one trip.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  late lunch, skipped dinner
Tuesday:  Tuesday's tantrum *takeout
Wednesday:  Dublin Coddle
Thursday:  *Thai late Valentine dinner
Friday:  Chicken Pot Pie 

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday's tantrum...

I went to the grocery store today.  I went early specifically to miss some of the crowds.  

I've mentioned before that they are rearranging the entire store.  And it has forty-nine acres of floor space.  And it makes my knees hurt.  And there are obstacles for restocking everywhere.  And rude people.  

And their chip card readers are lame.  So when I finally was in line, the person in front of me couldn't check out.  And before I started screaming at the top of my lungs, I walked away.  I left my basket in line and walked away.  Out the door.  And came home.

I came home and barked at the dog for barking at the deer.  He is now pissed off and ignoring me.

And I turned on the television, and it irritated me too.  So I decided to turn on Netflix and and watch the first thing that comes up.

And so I have become acquainted with Grace & Frankie...and after pausing it to take a call from my bff and unloading my belief that grocery stores practice age discrimination by being SO big and SO overwhelming and just not caring about anything but their bottom line...I then un-paused just in time to see Grace lose her a grocery store.

For that alone I am now a huge fan.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 6...

1.  I made a big batch of twice-baked potatoes.  I don't follow a recipe for this, but alter the ingredients according to what I have on hand.  This time I had large baking potatoes, butter, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, dehydrated minced onion, dried chives, salt, and pepper.  We enjoyed some the first night with meatloaf, and the rest are in the freezer.  Future meal planning and prep is easy when I have a side ready that everybody likes, and easy meal prep means I'm not as tempted to resort to budget-busting takeout. 

2.  Quite a few single portions of supper leftovers were packaged and frozen for Carey to take to work.  And still had meatloaf left for sandwiches, as well as broccoli left to make broccoli and cheese soup.

3.  When I was shifting some things in the freezer, I found a package of cooked chicken breast medallions that I had cooked in a big batch and frozen half for later.  Yea!  I had forgotten that I had this in there, and so will use it tonight to make a easy pasta dish.  (edit:  I forgot to take it out to thaw, so will save it for another day.)

4.  I attended our quilting group at the library on Monday.  I took a project that is one I fall back on when I don't have anything else to work on.  It's handy to take since all the fabrics needed are from my stash and in a project box ready to pick up and go.  I can't tell you how many times it has gone to the library with me.  Someday it will get finished.

5.  I'm doing my best to stay out of stores and avoid people.  So far (knock on wood) we have avoided the flu.  I actually should get some medical tests done, but they're not urgent, so I'm not eager to sit in waiting rooms full of flu patients right now.  Costs of non-essential shopping and medical expenses are staying tucked snugly in my account.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  chili cheese tots
Sunday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Monday:  Jambalaya leftovers
Tuesday:  Corn and Crab Chowder w/ garlic bread
Wednesday:  meatloaf, twice-baked potatoes, broccoli
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  *pizza

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

I think I saw this ebook on special at Amazon during January...think but not sure...and checked my library site and found that it was available.  Either that or I just came across it on library site.  I began reading it when I had left my library hard copy of The Color of Lightning at home while out and about but had my Kindle in my purse, so I have been switching from one to the other.  Interesting to read them simultaneously, as both are about about Native Americans in the same area of the country.  The Color of Lightning is set in 1865, and Killers of the Flower Moon is based on events that occurred in the 1920s.  One is a novel about the initiation of reservation system, and the other is based on fact about some of the results of the system.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 5...

1.  I made an Amazon purchase this week.  Since I have Prime, but I didn't need this order to be here in two days, I chose the 'no-rush shipping' option, thereby earning a $6 credit to be used on Prime Pantry purchases.

2.  My grocery store sells quite a few spices in bulk.  I've been making sure to save my spice containers when they are empty, and buying from the bulk bins, then coming home and refilling the containers.  This week I needed cumin, paprika, and dehydrated onions.  It is SO much less expensive (paprika was 75¢ as opposed to $3) than buying spices that are sold in jars, and it saves the packaging from the landfill.

3.  I successfully made it through January without buying any books--hard copies or ebooks--helped by using the library and by not doing a reading challenge this year.

4.  I renewed my library book online, postponing a trip to the library until I have other errands to batch in the trip.

That's about it for this week.  It has been a pretty non-frugal week.  Food waste, gasoline waste, meals out, and the list goes on...

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  chili cheese tots
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey's
Monday:  *burger
Tuesday:  leftovers
Wednesday:  homemade breakfast tacos for dinner
Thursday:  *Sonic
Friday:  Jambalaya

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson

I recently requested that my library acquire this book for me.  They were very speedy about making it available.  I just picked it up, so I will be starting it this evening.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Saturday snail mail (on Sunday)...

This has been a busy month of letter writing.  Ten letters so far.  You can tell I kept the card design simple and consistent.

Letters of appreciation.    

Letters of sympathy and letters of friendship.  

A couple of birthdays.

A pretty no-occasion card to my mother-in-law.

And I made myself a 2018 calendar tally;  I do this each year to keep track of who has received cards when.  The top sheet in the photo above is last year's, the bottom one is for 2018.  

The gold business card sized object above is a magnetic address book.  It has fan-fold pages attached inside, and with the magnets, I can enclose my folded tally sheet and a small booklet of stamps as well, so everything is always handy in my purse to drop someone a line.  

This small magnetic booklet holds only my most used addresses.  I keep my entire address list in a Word file on my computer so it is easily updated, but I print it out once a year or so and keep the pages on file.  I am always afraid of losing my addresses into the ether. 

Do you still keep a hard copy of an address book, or do you rely solely on digital address keepers?  

Friday, January 26, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 4...

1.  Working a full day of work today.

2.  After sticking close to home so much lately, I needed a day out earlier this week.  I went to Tuesday Morning and had fun browsing; and when I saw something I was interested in, I put my noggin to figuring out how to use something I already have to do the same thing.  I did buy something for a gift...I had been shopping around for this particular item quite a bit lately, and was happy with the price and design of this one.

3.  I also stopped by Dollar Tree, mostly because after shopping around and listening to people hacking and sneezing I really wanted some anti-bacterial handwipes.  While I was there I picked up a tube of Crest, a bag of caramels (and three other items which I cannot even recall) in addition to the hand wipes.  When I swiped my debit card, it was declined...twice.  I didn't want to write a check or use another card, so I just asked the cashier to cancel the purchase.  The very nice gentleman in line behind me offered to pay for my things.  It kind of embarrassed me, and I thanked him but declined.  None of the items were urgently needed, so was happy to save the $6.41.

4.   My bank called saying that there was some possible fraudulent activity on my debit card.  (Explains why it was declined at Dollar Tree.)  I verified that I had made all the charges in question, so they lifted the activity hold they had on my account.  I not only saved that $6.41 at Dollar Tree, but did not have to deal with correcting fraudulent charges!  Whew!!!  

5.  I had 'pay quarterly life insurance premium' on my to-do list this week...then I realized I had paid it last month.  Yea!

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Sunday supper at Kasey's
Monday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Tuesday:  Beef and rice, green beans w/ garlic & lemon butter
Wednesday:  Virginia's Taco Soup and cornbread
Thursday:  shredded beef tacos with grilled vegetables
Friday:  leftovers

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
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