Posts Tagged ‘frugal’

If any of you have kiddos out there, you know that you inevitably have quite a bit of toys underfoot. It’s not that you are out there at the store constantly purchasing toysย or anything; it’s just that they somehow have made their way into your home and any parent can tell you, they have no idea how all these toys got there! ๐Ÿ™‚

Well I am here to say, that no matter the origination of the toys, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on containers to house them all. If you just think outside of the box (or container), you can probably find some things around the home that can house the Legos!

Speaking of Legos…

My daughter loves her Legos and there are sooooo many small pieces. I had to find something sturdy to house them all when they weren’t in use. And then I saw on the counter, the container holding the animal crackers we had picked up from Costco.


Yup, I think this will work…


Boom! Perfect! And I didn’t have to spend any additional money actually purchasing some sort of container! It pays to shop your house ๐Ÿ™‚


And then I thought hey, this container would be perfect to house all her little figures she plays with. So in went My Little Pony, the Bubble Guppies, etc…


Man, these containers work great โ™ฅ

Now my daughter loves to color. She has quite a few coloring books. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do… And then I realized I had this box that I used to use to house tax stuff/receipts/etc… But that was not a very organized solutionย and it was messy and hard to ever find anything, so the box was now sitting empty. Perfect!


Yup, that’ll work!


And a case that I was using for odds and ends, I cleaned out and is now her pencil-case!


What to do with an empty Folgers coffee can?


Use it for blocks of course!


Hey I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel here, but anything where I can save a bit of money, I am all for it!

Do you guys have any creative uses for stuff? It doesn’t have to be for toys ๐Ÿ™‚

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I know most people wait until the endย of the month to post whether or not they hit their monthly goal, but I was just too exited that I completed my crafty goodness!

My one goal this month was to make handmade Christmas cards and I am done, done, done!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I love my cards and I am thrilled to have finished this project before the end of the month! I didn’t want to still beย working on them over the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

Here's what I've completed so far!

On the inside of the card, I used my trusty stamp and ink pad which I already had in my scrapbooking bin. No money spent!


Ta da!


I loved making my homemade, all kinds of crafty goodness, Christmas cards ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope all of you enjoy your week and have a lovely Thanksgiving!

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I have one goal for November, which is pretty good considering we are already a week in. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My one goal this month is to…drum roll please…

Make handmade Christmas cards!!

So here’s the thing; we are a family that sends out Christmas cards. I know some people think it’s an outdated tradition or they send e-cards *shudder*, but I like Christmas cards. I like to send them out and I look forward to receiving them in the mail.

But I was also looking for ways to save some money on them as the holiday budget can get a little cuckoo if one is not careful. So I thought about it and I realized that I had everything I needed already to make the cards!

See, a few years ago, I had planned to make Christmas cards from scratch. I had purchased the blank cards and envelopes and already had some stuff in my scrapbooking bin to get ’em done. But I didn’t plan out a schedule to make them. I kept putting them off and putting them off and then it was too late; I had run out of time to make the cards and had to go to the store to purchase them.

But not this year! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have already started on some cards and I have the whole month of November to get them done. Ambitious, crafty, and frugal all mixed into one!

Here's what I've completed so far!

Here’s what I’ve completed so far!

No extra money being spent, I free up some items in my scrapbooking bin, and my friends and family get some homemade crafty goodness from yours truly โ™ฅ

So in between watching my sports teams play this month, I will be on the couch making Christmas cards.

Getting my craft on!

Getting my craft on!

The holiday will be here before ya know it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Well October is over and the Halloween candy is…still here. ๐Ÿ™‚ My daughter received quite a bit of candy from trick-or-treating and even though my husband and I my daughter has been eating it, it is still here making its presence known.

Before I get to my goal wrap-up, can I just say how beautiful Oregon is? I mean, the colors here in the trees continues to astound me. Autumn in Oregon is truly a thing of creative beauty.



On to the goals…how did I do?

My Goals For October:

Make 2 New Recipes: Meh… I made one recipe. I really wanted to make two, but it just didn’t happen. In case you missed it I made Chicken Nuggets with Sweet Potato. Check it out!

Purchase a Winter Jacket For My Daughter: Done! Thanks Dad! You are the best grandpa ๐Ÿ™‚

Take My Multi-Vitamin Every Day: I missed a couple of days, but I did keep track and hitting 25 out of 31 days isn’t too shabby considering how I was barely taking even one the month before.

Sock Away Some Money into our Emergency Fund: We’ve started to sell some things on Ebay, so this money will go towards the e-fund. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

Write For Me: I did get some non-blog writing done, which is a good thing but it wasn’t nearly the amount that I would have liked to write. I really need to be better disciplined at this. Any tips on how to set aside time to do this?

So that’s the deal with October. Next post I’ll talk about my one goal for November. Yes, one goal. I’m ambitious like that ๐Ÿ˜‰

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So I picked up this book at the library, my homeland a.k.a my other home where I reside. It is called Living Well on a Shoestring.


The cover intrigued me and I was interested to hear some tips about being frugal or penny-pinching or whatever other adjective fits the bill. I was open to hearing something new.

Well…it was okay. Many of the tried and true tips that are listed are ones that mirror a lot of what other people have said time and time again, and in a more interesting way such as Amy Dacyczyn, the writer and beloved frugalista of The Tightwad Gazette.

However, I would say that the section on cars was interesting. Buying a car whether it is used or new, is a stressful ordeal and one is always afraid that they are going to spend too much, or not get enough for their money. Living Well on a Shoestring, gives some great tips on car buying that still are applicable today: Do your research, know when the best time to purchase a car is, how to negotiate price and dealing with car salespeople.

I did like this book, and found some great ideas, but one has to take into account that the copyright date for this book is the year 2000, and so the idea for making a computer disk holder out of a milk carton, just really isn’t applicable in today’s world. Unless you are still holding onto computer disks. And if you are, well than have at it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The truth of the matter is, people who live this shoestring lifestyle are my heroes. Seriously. If you can recover lampshades and make pajamas out of an old fleece blanket, well than you are my hero. Cause I can’t do that. Not even a little bit.

I love reading these super-duper quad-drooper frugal books, because they give me something to aspire to. Someday I want to say “Yeah, I made this end table out of a boxed crate and some spit”. I want to be able to say, “Yup, I made this casserole out of 3 different containers of leftovers and we ate every last bite”.

I want to be one of those people. Someday. But I’m not there yet.

So for now, I’ll just hold onto my old fleece blanket until I get some mad sewing skills and can whip myself up some pajamas ๐Ÿ˜‰

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October Goals

I haven’t done a “goals post” in eons. But I need a challenge. And the only way to really do that is to write it down and hold yourself accountable. Goals help us to realize things that maybe we have been thinking about, but just can’t quite put our finger on. Know what I mean?


My Goals For October:

Make 2 New Recipes: Normally, I would want to try 4 new recipes, one for each week of the month. But, I know that new ingredients can sometimes be pricey, and I don’t want to spend too much money, especially since I don’t know what it is yet that I am going to make. But I miss trying out new recipes, and it seems like forever since I posted a recipe on my blog. I kinda miss that. ๐Ÿ™‚

Purchase a Winter Jacket For My Daughter: It gets cold here in Oregon, yo…for reals. And her jacket that she had previously is too small and not nearly warm enough.

Take My Multi-Vitamin Every Day: Seriously, I fell off the wagon on this big time! And I don’t eat as well as I should, so this kinds helps balance my lack of serious vegetable eating.

Sock Away Some Money into our Emergency Fund: Don’t know how, don’t have a plan formalized yet, but I’m going do it.

Write For Me: I need to write, separately from the blog. I want to publish a book one day, but that is not going to happen if I have an empty notebook. So I need to push myself and just…write.

So those are my goals for October. Do you guys set goals? Does it help to have them written down?

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If you are reading a fair amount of personal finance blogs, you are readily aware of the importance of having an emergency fund. And for those of you that have a “fully funded” EF, hats off to you!

This post is as much of a reminder for myself as it is for you. Emergency funds are importantย and you need that extra financial cushion shouldย the proverbial sky fall when you least expect it.

Expletive happens, or a more ladylike way of saying it is “Situations will arise”. Situations such as:

  • Car problems
  • Unforeseen medical treatments
  • Vet bills
  • Problems with your paycheck that result in delay of funds which could cause you to be short on other bills

On and on and on…right?

Especially with our economy not quite on the straight and narrow, and with the holiday season bearing down upon us, it’s important to remember to keep funding that emergency fund. If times are already tough, set aside what you can. Even if all you can contribute is $5 a week, keep at it. That money will add up over time, and you’ll be glad you set aside that coinage.

Like I said, I need the reminder just like everyone else does.

Save that dough! ๐Ÿ™‚

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No, my child didn’t say this sentence. She’s a preschooler. And if she did say that, well that would be an entirely different post ๐Ÿ˜‰

“But Mom, it’s only 15 dollars!”

I was at the grocery store with my kiddo, and there was a woman near me with her son and he was begging her to purchase something for him, and she told him no. And thenย he said in that whiny persistent tone of voice, “But Mommmmmm, it’s only 15 dollars!!”

The mom, to her credit, told him no and kept it moving. But the point here isn’t about the kid and what he wanted. The point is, how many times have we told ourselves, it’s only 15 dollars, or whatever price?

I am sure that we have all, at one time or another, justified purchases in our mind and to our pocketbook. “That shirt is only 10 dollars, it’s okay”. “It’s just a magazine. I mean it’s only $3.50”.

Whatever, whatever, whatever…

“But Mom, it’s only 15 dollars!”

We have all been that kid. We have all been of two minds as to whether or not to make a mindless purchase, at one time or another.

And that’s okay. *Raises hand* We have all done that.

The point is, recognize when you are about to make a mindless purchase and recognize it for what it is: something you really don’t need. People magazine is not a need. I’m sure any news about the Kardashian family can be found online. And honestly, if you watch their show, you’ll know all there is to know about them anyway. Not that I watch their show or anything… *cough, cough*

So the next time that voice says, “But it’s only 15 dollars”, really think about the purchase, and decide if it’s really worth it.

Because most of the time, it’s not.

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Everyone wants to save some money when furnishing a new place, right? I hear you. We were in the same predicament. We moved up to Oregon from Southern California with only what would fit into our two cars, so… you guessed it… No furniture, no lamps, no dishes, pretty much nada!

We needed these items because candlelight is all fine and dandy, but it does get dark, and lamps help me from not running into things. We also didn’t want to spend all our hard-earned money on furnishings. So we did things on a budget with as little impact to our wallet as possible.

We scoured Craigslist. We hit up Goodwill. We went to consignment stores. And we completely lucked out at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

I mean, look at these solid wood end tables we found!



I love them, and they remind me of the table that my grandmother had in her living room. Every time I look at them, I am reminded of her ๐Ÿ™‚

Perfect for storage!

Perfect for storage!

And the best part honestly, was the price. They were listed at 2 end tables for $25, but they were marked off an additional 25% off, so we got both end tables for a little less than $17!!!!

Awwwwwww yeah!!

I also mentioned that we needed lamps. Because although the sun sets late up here, it still gets dark eventually, and that whole running into walls, clumsy sort of thing, well I do that. So I need to see.

Ta-da! Aren’t these pewter grey lamps just the cat’s meow??



Love, love, love them! โ™ฅ

I found these babies at Goodwill for $6.99 a piece and snatched up both of them! These lamps are quite tall, and I know my picture may not do it justice, but they really are beautiful. And solid. And pewter grey. Did I mention that? ๐Ÿ™‚

Good stuff is out there folks, if you just look hard enough!

Have you guys picked up any great deals through Goodwill or the Habitat for Humanity ReStore? Any other places that have great deals? Let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hello All!

Hope your season of Summer is treating you well ๐Ÿ™‚

Updates, updates, updates…

It’s been garage sale time in my neck of the woods. We’ve done pretty well with the garage sales that we have had. People have been very nice and the haggling hasn’t been too painful ๐Ÿ˜‰ We have had a few garage sales simply because we keep finding more stuff to get rid of, and also, once it hits 12pm here, it is insanely hot, and you will literally burst into flames after it hits noon. So most people only have garage sales for just a few hours in the morning and then pack it up to do it another day.

Let's Go Crazy!

Let’s Go Crazy!

And to the individual who bought my Depeche Mode Violator CD, you are welcome!

I was watching HGTV the other day… who am I kidding? I watch that channel all the time! Anyways, it was some show where they were doing a remodel of a house they just bought and the designer said, “We turn crappy, into happy”. And I wrote it down, because I just thought that one phrase could apply to so many facets of life! Frown got you upside down? Turn crappy into happy!


You know you want this to be your mantra for the week ๐Ÿ™‚

Only a few more weeks till I am in my new home of Oregon! I can’t believe that soon my family and I will be on the road, ready to start this new chapter in our lives ๐Ÿ™‚

How is everyone doing in July so far? Any fun things planned? ๐Ÿ™‚

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