Sunday, July 24, 2011

Recycling in the garden

I am a novice gardener..I am however tinkering with gardening and trying to make some sort of effort little by little every year...adding more plants (hopfully ones that will spread and take over where the weeds are now).  I am also finding fun uses for "decorating" in the garden.  I ran across this site and thought I would share the info.

I did not make this but here is a cute picture of a birdbath for the garden made out of stuff you have in your cabinets or just junk from the thrift store.

Again...did not make this but it is a cleaver way to use that pretty glassware we all have stashed away...In this one you actually take apart a solar light and put the components inside and put it in your garden to it makes a pretty display at night.

Did not make this one either..but cute example of garden art..I would put something in the goose planter like makebe a succulent of some type.

This is recyling at it's best in my opinion!

Friday, July 22, 2011

20 New Uses for Shampoo - Planet Green

Shampoo, if you are a smart shopper, can be very inexpensive.  So finding more uses for this staple we all have sitting around the house just makes sense.

20 New Uses for Shampoo - Planet Green

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Make Do and Mend

Check out this link...many of us are learning how to do this more and more.  Some of us because of necessity and some of us just to be more environmentally conscious...either way...learning a new hobby that helps the household, retain the old and reuse what you already have is a good thing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Free Cookbook from Sun-Maid

Here is another great free cookbook.  I love cookbooks but I'm running out of room in my house to put them.  So I choose to just download this and save it to my desktop so it is always within reach.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Frugal with a Flourish: 10 Ways To Use Mason Jars in Your Home

I love this article...who doesn't have Mason jars around the can even pick them up at thrift stores and yard sales very inexpensively and reuse them all over y0ur home...this would be a great way to reuse and repurpose other jars from items you have used up like salsa, mayo, jelly...and the list goes on...

Frugal with a Flourish: 10 Ways To Use Mason Jars in Your Home

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gina's Rantings: More Uses For Beer

Gina's Rantings: More Uses For Beer: "Check this out...and you thought it only caused pregnancy, hangovers and was the breakfast food of champions."

More Uses For Beer

Check this out...and you thought it only caused pregnancy, hangovers and was the breakfast food of champions.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Natural Easter Egg Dyes

If my kids were still small or my grandkids lived closer (so I could spoil them rotten) I would totally do this!  Keep this in mind for dying anything you want to change the color of as well....mother nature has the best colors available!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adventures of a Thrifty Mama in a Trailer Park Homestead: Bunny on a Budget--a Thrifty Easter

This family has the best idea for a great Easter without breaking the bank! Adventures of a Thrifty Mama in a Trailer Park Homestead: Bunny on a Budget--a Thrifty Easter: "Since most people that read this probably celebrate Easter, I figured I should address it on this blog, hopefully before people go all nuts ..."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Great Giveaway!!

I just entered to win an handmade quilt from @CuckooForC0uponDeals Ends 04/19

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Plastic-Free Living: Organic Gardening

This is something I try to do more and more everyday. It is hard (and often times not the most frugal alternative) but take a look and see where you could cut out the plastic in your life. Plastic-Free Living

Saturday, March 19, 2011

25 Things to do With Used Corks (Including Making Money With Them)

I love the idea of reusing things around the house.  It not only saves money but it also saves things from going into landfills.  Check out this post.  I found it very cleaver.

25 Things to do With Used Corks (Including Making Money With Them)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Home Made Coffee Drinks

I don't know about you, but I love specialty coffee drinks; I just don't like the specialty price that go with them.  While out searching for coupons for my favorite items....i came across this website that not only gave me a coupon for something I use alot of; but gave me some great recipes for those occasional urges for those special drinks.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

6 Little Things That Cost a Lot

 6 Little Things That Cost a Lot by Kathy Kristof

We all do it. We spend little amounts regularly on things like lunch, Starbucks lattes, manicures, golf -- maybe even for having a pizza delivered while you watch a weekly game on TV.

These seem like reasonable decisions about relatively small expenses. It's hard to imagine how much they add up.

The harsh reality is that each dollar that's spent today isn't available for something else tomorrow. And these little purchases have a way of robbing us of the things we really want.

Why? Most of us haven't stopped to consider whether that daily latte is truly precious to our well-being, or if it's just a habit. If it's precious, it's worth doing -- at least part of the time. But is it worth giving up the convertible Mustang that all those cups of coffee could otherwise have purchased?

These are actually the trade-offs we make when we don't look at the long-term costs of niggling day-to-day expenses. The chart below makes the trade-offs clearer by providing a 10-year and 30-year cost.

Expense Today Over 10 years Over 30 years

Pizza delivery $25 a week $18,661 $158,731

Coffee/donut $4 a day $22,389 $190,453

Smoking $35 a week $26,125 $222,223

Manicure $40 a week $29,857 $253,969

Lunch at work $10 a day* $37,322 $317,462

Golf $75 a week $55,983 $634,924

*work days only

The presumption is that if you hadn't spent this money, you would have saved it and earned an average of 8% on your investments. The expense figures are estimates, of course. Things like golf green fees can vary widely. And your personal money pits are probably different -- maybe you buy songs or videos each week, or regularly drop $10 to add games to your iPad.

That's not really the point. You can probably relate to the notion of $20 or two inexplicably dropping out of your pocket for things you never really focused on buying. When you see how those little things add up, you might choose to pay more attention.

What's your money pit? Have you ever tried to calculate the long-term cost? If you want to play, use the comments section to say what you buy regularly and what it costs. I'll do the math to let you know the long-term cost -- and even work it out for whatever time frame you want. 18 years? Game on.

This article is part of a series related to being Financially Fit

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Free Dessert Cookbook

Take a look at this free cookbook.  Save it to your computer instead of killing trees!  Something free and better for the environment...awesome!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thrift Store Love

Have I told you how much I love thrift stores?  Yes?  Well I'm gonna say it again.  Was in Fort Collins again yesterday and found quite a few goodies again!  And again, it was all 1/2 off there regular low price.  I found like 5 more outfits for a friend of mine's new grandson, a blanket and a book for mommies..all things that look like they have never been used!  I found a perfect birthday present for my friend Sandy (can't tell you what it is because she may see this post), I got a book that I"ll stash away for when someone I know and love is getting married.  It's a book put out by Focus on the Famil called The First Five Years of Marriage.  Large hardback book that will be sure to bless any new, couple.  I found 6 perfectly good dvd's to send to my daughter to play for her little brothers and sisters when they are bugging her (a couple of JayJay movies and some Veggie Tales, these both have great morals to their stories), and of course got my grandson tons more of those hard, cardboard baby books.  The best thing of all was watching it get all rang up and then they hit a magical button and half of the total disappers!  It is beautiful!]

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Free Chocolate Cookbook

Oh..there is nothing at all I enjoy more than is one of my favorite food know, starches, fats, chocolate, fruits and veggies, etc.. So how could I pass up a cookbook strictly for the chocolate lover in me...and did i forget to mention, it is FREE!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Free Sunmaid cookbook

Here is a link for a free Sunmaid Fruit and Sunshine cookbook.  You can choose to have them send you one or do like I did, and just save it to your computer...saves trees and mailing costs for the company!  Enjoy!  Saving it to my computer helps with my clutter issues too ;)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Sale Mentality

I must admit it..I am a saleoholic..I love a great deal!!  But the happyhousewife reminds me that you have to spend the money in order to save the money...that can create problems in the long run.  Living frugally and within our means is a constant learnig process for me.

When you shop are you more concerned with how much you save or how much you spend? I have noticed that television, radio, online, and print ads all focus on the savings part, but that isn’t the bottom line.

While saving money shopping sales is great, most of the time you have to spend it to save it. If you don’t need it or can’t afford it, you aren’t really saving anything.

The next time you are tempted to buy something just because it is “on sale” make sure it’s really the best deal before you spend the money.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Great Free Reading! has some amazing deals...and best of all; they are free!  Below are a sampling of a few that I have downloaded.  By the way...don freak out if you don't have a can download them straight to your computer!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reduce Clutter

.Manage Your LifeSaturday, January 22, 2011

Subscribe to This BlogAdd to My Yahoo!RSS..Related Topics: greenvitalityguide to the big game.

18 Things You Can Get Rid of Today.


by, on Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:57pm PST211 CommentsPost a CommentRead More from This Author »Report Abuse..Share


EmailPrint.Overtaken by stuff? These mom-tested strategies will have you cleaning house in no time.

By Diana Reese

Just Say No to Too Much Stuff

Stuff. For many of us it's worse than any four-letter word. That's because "stuff" can weigh you down and
hold you back, says Gail Blanke, author of Throw Out Fifty Things. And, in the end, much of what we accumulate in life isn't all that important. As Marilyn Bohn, author of Go Organize!, points out, "No one ever says, 'I wish I'd kept more stuff.'"

Still, getting rid of our discards can be a challenge. Carla Eskelsen, a mom in Farmington, Utah, admits she had trouble letting go of stuff until she figured out how to manage her "pioneer DNA." Once she figured out that donating and recycling "honored" her pioneer ancestors, she found it much easier. "It's about sharing and blessing others instead of keeping it all for yourself," she says. Here's how you can share and bless others with all of your stuff—and end up with a cleaner, more peaceful home while you're at it.

1. Kitchen Utensils

Is your utensil drawer so full you can barely open and close it? You're not alone. When Robin Austin started cleaning her kitchen in preparation for a move, she found she had plenty of duplicate utensils, the result of a new marriage that combined households and six kids. Many of us also buy new utensils but forget to get rid of the old.

Here's a smart way to figure out what you're really using, from Motherboard Mom Jeanne Smith, Overland Park, Kansas: Toss everything—all the spatulas, rubber scrapers, pie servers, and so on—into a box. As you use a utensil from the box, put it back in the drawer. After a month, check what's left in the box. Keep those once-a-year items that remain in the box, like a turkey baster or candy thermometer. But donate the rest.

2. Coffee Mugs

Another item many moms find hogging valuable cupboard space: coffee mugs. "We had over 20 coffee mugs," says Kansas mom Dawn Schnake. She and her husband each chose four mugs to keep and donated the rest to a church rummage sale.
"Even if you received something as a gift, it's okay to let it go," says organizer Marilyn Bohn. "You only need to keep what works for you."

3. Plastic Containers

Mary Pankiewicz, owner of Clutter-Free and Organized in east Tennessee, suspects that plastic containers have a secret life (probably hanging out with those AWOL socks and hangers). How else can you explain why so many lids and bottoms don't match up? She suggests holding a "lid party" to match up those errant tops and bottoms. Pankiewicz recently took her own advice. "I had 25 lids with no bottoms and six bottoms with no lids," she says. After swapping with friends, she recycled the rest of the mismatched items.

4. Little-Used Kitchen Stuff

When was the last time you used that Bundt pan? If it was months ago, maybe you should give it to a friend. That's what Suzy Ayres and a pal did when they performed a joint kitchen cleanup. They took everything out of their cabinets and only put back what they used regularly. "The things that we left out that didn't get used much, we had to choose. If we put one thing back in the cabinet, we had to pick one thing to donate," Ayres says. The two also traded items: "She had lots of muffin pans and I didn't."
An added bonus to the plan: They now know what's in each other's kitchens, and don't need to buy some of those rarely used items, like a Bundt pan. "We've been trading the same ice bucket back and forth for years," Ayres says. "I can't even remember who it belongs to!"

5. Vases

Got vases from the last three Valentine's Day bouquets? Take them back to the florist, says Marla Cilley, who lives in Transylvania County, North Carolina, and runs the, an Internet site devoted to housecleaning and organization.
"It takes away your creativity and takes over your mind," Cilley says.

6. Food

Cupboards full of food you're not sure you're going to use? Some solutions:
•Check the expiration dates on everything in your pantry, fridge, or freezer. If it's about to expire, put it on the menu for that week, says professional organizer Bohn.
•Motherboard Mom Dawn Schnake gives her sons what they call "muffin pan snacks" to get rid of those almost-empty bags of cereal, crackers, and chips. She fills each of the 12 muffin cups with a different snack and throws in some veggies, cut-up fruit, and cheese cubes. "The boys think they've sat down to a feast," she says—and she gets her pantry cleaned out.
•If you know you're never going to use an item—and it's still good—give it to your local food pantry.
•Have an "Eat Out of the Pantry or Freezer" week, says Marla Cilley, You'll be surprised at how creative you can get with your menu planning when you're only using the ingredients on hand. She also suggests this as a way to inspire creativity and frugality: "When you throw away food, imagine you're throwing dollar bills in the trash can!"
Organize Your Pantry

7. Spices

They don't mold and don't appear to go bad, but spices don't last forever, not even cayenne pepper. (Cinnamon's an exception to the rule.) "Dried is one thing, tasteless is another," says organizer Blanke. Give your spices the smell and taste test and if they've gone bland and boring, dump them. To find out how old your McCormick or Schilling brand spices are, go to And when you buy new spices, mark down the date on the package with a Sharpie.

8. Receipts

Computers were supposed to usher in a paperless society, but it hasn't happened quite yet. "Most of us are still drowning in paper," says organizer Pankiewicz. She suggests an annual cleanup. Check with your accountant about how long to keep important papers like tax returns but, in general, materials that support tax returns (receipts and so on) can be tossed after seven years.

9. Magazines

Do you have a stack of magazines by your bed that you haven't read? If two months have passed and they're still sitting there, consider donating them to a retirement home, hospital, doctor's office, or school. Many take magazines for art projects (if not for reading material). If, like former magazine editor Cherie Spino, a mom of four in Toledo, Ohio, you "can't throw a magazine away without reading it," do the flip-and-rip. Spino rips out recipes or articles she wants to keep and throws the rest into the recycling bin. She's putting the recipes in a binder.
Organizer Bohn suggests tearing out articles and putting them in a folder you can grab when you know you'll be sitting and waiting (think doctor's office). Or, if you're a tech-lover, you can get many popular magazines as an app for your phone or electronic reader.

10. Mail

It's a common bad habit: Grab the mail, flip through it for anything interesting, and then set it on "the pile" that accumulates until the day you start searching for overdue bills. "Scan and stand" is the system recommended by organizer Pankiewicz. "Standing is the trick," she says. Don't be tempted to sit down: Bring in the mail. Leave your coat on. Find a place by the wastebasket, recycling bin, or shredder, and stand and handle each piece of mail. Put bills in a basket or pretty gift bag, take magazines to where you read them, scan any newsletters and bulletins for important information, and discard the rest. "Your goal is to make the mail disappear," she says.

Clearing Paper Clutter

11. Unread Books

"Books are our friends," says organizer Blanke. "I know my husband won't ever get rid of his dog-chewed copy of Rudyard Kipling's Kim that he's read 50 times." So, keep your favorites—the ones you'll read again or you use for reference—neatly in a bookcase. In fact, if you're a book-lover with a big collection, a whole wall of books can make a dramatic statement and keep them organized. But, if you have lots of volumes that you have no intention of reading any time soon, donate them. Blanke suggests giving them to "You really are paying it forward when you donate things," she emphasizes.

Make Over Your Home Office

12. Clothes

Here's a sad truth: You're probably not going to lose the weight to fit into those 10-year-old clothes you have in the closet. Just give it up and give them away, says Pankiewicz. This doesn't mean you're giving up on ever being healthier or thinner, it just means you aren't going to be held hostage by some old clothes that don't fit, need repair, or were on sale (but you never liked). Donate them all and we guarantee you'll feel "lighter."

Need closet culling tips? Here's what some Motherboard Moms do:

•"I can't stand to have a closet full of clothes that I don't wear," says Michelle Speak, mom of three in Parker, Colorado. She sorts through her clothes each season, weeding out what she hasn't worn, although she'll make a few exceptions for items like skirts that she wears infrequently.

•Mom Suzy Ayres has an easy way to tell what she's worn. At the beginning of a new season, she turns all of her hangers around backward. After she wears something, she puts it on the hanger and turns it around the right way. Anything still turned backward is donated at the end of the season. "Right before cooler weather hit this year, anything I knew I couldn't part with, I wore it so I could put it in the 'save' pile," she says.

Organize Your Clothing Closet

13. Kids' Clothes

Michaela Freeman, a mom in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, keeps clothes for her children a year after the end of each season in case things still fit. What doesn't is passed to friends with young children. "How can you put a price on helping another person?" she asks. She's benefited as well. Friends with older kids pass clothes on to her youngsters.

14. Kids' Artwork

Of course every piece of artwork your child ever did is a masterpiece. But that doesn't mean you need to keep it. If it's not something you want to put on the wall or in a portfolio to save, take a photo and toss it. You can develop a digital "art gallery" or put photos in a photo album and you'll take up a lot less space. After all, think about it: If you keep four pieces of paper per week per child, by the time they've graduated from high school, you'll have one huge collection, points out Bohn. "Take a picture and let it go!" she says.

15. Electronics

Power cords, USB cords, and other paraphernalia for electronics clog up our desks and cabinets, says Chris McKenry, owner of Get It Together LA!, a professional organizing company in Los Angeles. "It's a jungle," he says. "And there's not room for the things you need."

Sort through that "jungle" and match cords to gadgets. Old cell phones can be donated to women's shelters. Other old electronic items, like some printers and computers, should be properly recycled. "It's against the law in some cities to put electronic waste in the trash," warns McKenry. Check with your city for E-waste collection sites. Ditto for old VHS and cassette tapes. McKenry suggests transferring them to your computer for digital storage and then putting the tapes in E-waste collections.

16. Linens

"Most of us have way too many towels and sheets," says The Fly Lady. "Some people no longer even have beds that the sheets fit!" She recommends two sets of sheets per bed and keeping the extra set under the foot of the mattress or in a drawer in the bedroom to free up room in the linen closet.

Organize Your Linen Closet

17. Medicine

Check your medicine cabinet for expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs, but don't flush them or throw them in the trash. Instead, take them to your local pharmacist for proper disposal.

Organize Your Bathroom

18. Toys

Start teaching your children early to donate the toys they're no longer using, says organizer Blanke. "I know one mom who tells her kids Santa won't come until they give away the toys they're finished with." Here, other Motherboard Mom solutions to too many toys:

•Carol Showers Brown, mom to three in Manassas, Virginia, also taught her kids to donate toys. "We lived in Bangkok and the orphanages there were so grateful for toys, even used ones." Her kids would fill a basket with toys to give away several times a year. "It worked really well because the kids picked out what toys they were ready to part with," she says.

•Remember that preschool song of "Clean up, clean up"? At Diana Dawson's Austin house the song was more likely "Wade through it," she says. That's why she set "dump-it deadlines"—if the kids' stuff wasn't picked up by a certain time on a certain date, she would gather their things and donate them. Sure enough, the first time she had to follow through with her daughter. "The most difficult were the books on the floor, and I donated those to her elementary school," Dawson says. "The school librarian told her she appreciated the donations and other kids enjoyed her books." Her children and a group of neighborhood kids also put on their own garage sale of their toys to raise money to adopt a family at the holidays.

•Mom Michelle Speak has donated many of her children's toys as they've outgrown them, but not all. "I've kept the toys I can imagine my grandchildren would play with." Put the special, keepsake toys away in a well-labeled box.

Tell Us What You Think: What Could You NEVER Part With?

Recycling and donating are great, but is there one thing you could never part with?

About the Motherboard

Motherboard is the source of great ideas, info, and inspiration for women. Its unique combo of mom-to-mom intelligence and down-to-earth advice celebrates the successes-and solves the challenges-of family life in today's busy world.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Enchilada Casserole

Here is  new recipe I can't wait to try. Granted, it may not be the most frugal with prepackaged things like soup, taco sauce and doritos....but if it keeps me out of the IS frugal!

Enchilada Casserole

1 lb. ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 tbsp. chopped garlic

1/2 tsp. seasoning salt

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1-10 oz. can enchilada sauce

1-10 3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup

1-8 oz. jar taco sauce

1-12 oz. bag nacho cheese-flavored Doritos, crushed

Shredded cheese, optional

Chopped cilantro, optional

Brown beef, adding onion, garlic, seasoning salt, and garlic salt. Drain well and return to skillet. Add the enchilada sauce, cream of chicken soup, and taco sauce. Stir well and bring to a simmer on medium low heat. Once the mixture has heated through, crush 1/3 of the chips and spread on the bottom of a greased casserole dish. Add one half of the beef mixture. Add another 1/3 of the crushed chips on top of the beef mixture. Add the remaining beef mixture and top with remaining chips. Bake at 350 degrees until heated through, about 30 minutes. Add cheese, if desired in the last few minutes of cooking.

Grocery Store Savings

Save Money by using Generic Products

Thrift Store Savings

In an effort to make our money go farther and still enjoy the thrills of shopping (retail therapy) I enjoy a good trip to the thrift store.  We were in Fort Collins, Colorado and they happen to have an outstanding Good Will thrift store and everything was half off!  That is definite music to my ears!  I have to will cost at least another $20.00 to ship a lot of this stuff off for my grandson, Jiovanni...but compared to regular price for all these clothes and books, it is still a huge bargain.  I found several denim overalls for him at 75 cents a piece that in the store are at least $20 each and tons of those hard, cardboard books that on a good day run at least $5 each.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

How to Make a New Year's Resolution |

The New Year brings about lots of things I want to do:

1.  Lose weight.
2.  Get a new job.
3.  Get more organized.
4.  Eat out less.
5.  Do more home renovations.

The list goes on and on...but will I ever really do any of these things?  Not likely...this has been the same list I have had going on in my head for the past 10 years.   If you are one of those brave souls that would be interested in forming  a New Year's resolution, I have a found a couple of sites that can help you get started.

How to Make a New Year's Resolution

Feel free to share your New Years Resolution with me...I promise I won't laugh or throw it in your face if you fall short of your goal.