Tightwad tips and frugal things done lately ~ January 2007

Discussion in 'Tightwad Tips and Frugal Living Archive' started by Christine in OK, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. Christine in OK

    Christine in OK Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Looking forward to a new year of great savings!

    Use this thread to post your frugal ideas and tips, and also to ask any money-saving questions you might have.
     
  2. wormlady

    wormlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My late m-i-l was of the opinion that whatever you do on the first day of the year, you do for the rest of the year.

    Let's start off by listing our tightwad tips practiced today.

    1) the only place I went today was for a walk. The guys watched football, I took down the Christmas tree. Cost. $0.00
    2)The guys slept in rather late, so we had brunch instead of breakfast and lunch. Just some (free!) venison bacon (it was delicious - have you tried any?) and scrambled eggs with shredded cheese on top.
    3) supper will be an on-sale turkey breast, mashed potatoes made with on sale potatoes and some canned corn and beans in the pantry. A very low cost meal.
    4) We will be calling family members with our 3.4 cents a minute calling card - I recharge the minutes when necessary, but have had this same rate for at least a half dozen years.
    5) There were some local New Year's Day sales, but it was much cheaper to stay home. I can't think of a thing I need and since we plan to move this year, I am not stocking up on food for a while
    6) DS did venture out, but only as far as the wood pile. He brought in a sled load of (free - we live in the woods) wood. I did some laundry this morning. It is hanging on the drying rack next to the woodstove.

    It has been a wonderful, beautiful day. I went out with the digital and took some winter wonderland pics. Cheap entertainment. I'll post them on my blog later tonight and provide others with some free entertainment.

    Happy new year and God's richest blessings to all!
     

  3. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    I stapled plastic bubblewrap onto the upstairs windows. Now it is less cold up there.
     
  4. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wormlady: What's your blog?
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    As someone posted, this week's flylady zone is the kitchen. I spent some serious time in there washing windows and cabinet windows. I cleaned 1/2 of my pantry. I found the wine I had made but didn't have time to pour through cheesecloth. Feels so good to get that bottled up. It was the easy, buy-no-equipment-hillbilly recipe. It's not good enough to serve as a drink, but it's wonderful for cooking, which was my intention. Actually I'm drinking a glass that wouldn't fit into the bottle and it's not bad.

    Next I'll try making white wine so I can make my chicken breasts with white wine and mushrooms recipe. This batch cost me .99 and I got two gallons of wine out of it. What is the savings ratio? Maybe 1:16?

    Here was my fancy ingredients and equipment: frozen grape concentrate, bread yeast, gallon canning jars, balloons.....

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    Back to flylady: You can be a whole lot more frugal if you are efficient and organized.
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    How I winter sow:
    First, I use all the old potting soil I have and mix with my garden soil if I have to. I put the soil in the container (higher than it needs to be) and pour boiling water in it. This sterilizes the soil and reduces the chance of damping off. Chamomile tea is even better for doing this. Something in chamomile is a natural fungicide

    I sprinkle the damp soil with cinnamon after I put the seeds in it (drain and cool it off first). Now the soil is moist and a perfect humidity for seed starting.
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    When I make my potting mix, I add a little coffee grounds to it if i have it. Natural fertilizer.

    I plant out when I see the first set of real leaves (not coteldons sp?) They are quite small. I plant flats and plant "hunk-o-seedlings" style. Thin later. Because I save my seed, it's easy to do, not wasteful.
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    Found the bleach tabs at Lowes yesterday. Now a gallon of bleach only costed me around .10!
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    Going to test the bleach tabs today. Filling bathtub which needs cleaning with water, bleach tab(s) and my dingy dish clothes and towels.
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    We had something like 9,000 hits last month. This thread is needed and enjoyed by many so keep your tips coming....
     
  5. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mid Tn Mama, would you share where in Lowes you found the bleach tabs? I'm sending my hubby in tomorrow with a $10 off coupon we got from them, and might as well get those if they have them at our Lowes. Thanks! Happy New Year, all Jan in CO
     
  6. wormlady

    wormlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    MTM
    my blog is:

    northwoodsramblings.blogspot.com

    Speaking of blogs - this is a free and wonderful way to communicate with family and friends. Most of my family reads it and several friends from decades ago. They can post comments on the blog as well, so I can keep up with them.

    (Sure hope the link works - if not, I'm sure you are savvy enough to figure it out!)
     
  7. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

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    My day started out by making bread in my new-to-me bread machine. Garlic and cinnamon raisin. I found a great inexpensive source of yeast. 6 bux for a 1 pound jar as oppsed to 6 bux for 2 ounces at my local supermarket, so I am doing good there.

    Did laundry (cold water wash only, please) in my new-to-me washing machine and hung everything outside. It was nearly 60 degrees here today-had my door open while I mopped.

    Cleaned and reorganized my pantry cabinet. Took measurements for a new storage area in my kitchen and began planning the remodel of that room.

    Stocked ahead on cat and dog food for my animals. Pouncival has already earned permission to stay-he keeps Marilyn from trying to go outside because she now has someone to play with. I guess he can stay.

    Cleaned out the top shelf of DD's closet and made room for the last of her stuff from storage. By the end of the week, I hope to have moved to a smaller storage unit until our shed is finished.

    Made arrangements to start the shed........lol.

    Not bad for one day's work. Mostly planning, but still not bad.
     
  8. Reptyle

    Reptyle Well-Known Member

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    I think this is the thread I was on on Fri., 12-29-06--but there was a LOT more messages. Am I wrong or have the 2006 messages been archived?
    Thanks!
    grief
     
  9. PATRICE IN IL

    PATRICE IN IL Well-Known Member Supporter

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  10. chickenmommy

    chickenmommy nosey, but disinterested Supporter

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    Posted this in the food preservation forum and was asked to post here also.
    Muffin tins hold approx. 1/4 cup of liquid. That is what I use for part of the wonderful stock I made from the turkey carcass on Christmas. Just freeze the tin full of stock and then pop out the stock pods and vacuum seal them and you have lots of little pods for flavoring or whatever.
    Hope this comes in handy for some and not too late.
    Oh, I also freeze cooked collards and turnip greens like this because I can cook them, but sure can't eat them. Makes a nice single serving for the significant other cause he is the only one that eats that stuff here. Yuck!
    edited to add: I also freeze leftover buttermilk like this. (Thaw two pods for biscuits.)
     
  11. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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    I am full of dinner, used the left over mashed potatoes and save the potato water as well to make potato rolls. They will keep in the refrig, just pinch off and let rise. Good gravy left and some turkey, will be another meal, turkey, gravy, poured over waffles. You can also add chopped eggs and peas to mix. No gravy ? Just make a white sauce and add the leftovers. The fresh pears were beginning to spoil, peeled and sliced them, cooked them in a light sugar/water mix with a few red hot candies. Will be used for breakfast.
     
  12. PinonHillLady

    PinonHillLady Well-Known Member

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    I love the stock in the muffin tin idea! It's too late for the Christmas turkey, but there's hope for the Easter one! :) Made turkey cacciatore out of the last of it for tonight. I think everyone's relieved it's gone. LOL!

    We've had a tremendous amount of snow these past two weeks here in CO and it's made me realize just how prepared we are for these things. We could be holed up here for a month and other than milk, not really need anything from the outside. I feel really blessed by it all.

    On the news after the first storm, people were whining about not having any bread in the stores. My only thought was "make your own bread people!" I've lived this way long enough that it catches me off guard when I hear these things.

    I also love the flylady stuff. It's got me back on track for staying organized. It is true...organized helps you be frugal! With a house full of kids (four of them teenagers) it's a challenge, but well worth it.

    Happy New Year to everyone!

    PHL
     
  13. Trixie

    Trixie Well-Known Member

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    I love these posts and so appreciate everyone's hints.

    Hopefully, I will settle down again and actually be able to use some of these and think about the ones I have used for so many years.

    The muffin tin idea is just wonderful. I used to freeze broth, etc., in ice cube trays.

    Also, my last two children had homemade baby food. I would freeze dinner combinations or fruit in ice cube trays. We didn't have a microwave then, but just heated in the double boiler.

    The post about not worrying about the coming storm because the home was so well stocked, brought back such memories and happy tears. When we were raising our children and raised all our food, we used to feel so good because by the end of October, our freezer was full and almost every jar we owned was filled. Oh, I would give a lot to be able to gather around that woodstove with my family - each of us reading - and from time to time one of us would share something we had read. Good times!!!!!!!!!!
     
  14. Lynnette

    Lynnette Michigan Hobby Farmer

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  15. mamabear

    mamabear Well-Known Member

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    Good morning,
    Reptyle, every month the tightwad threads began anew and the past month is archived.
    My DH is hooking on to our big BBQ cooker today and pulling it in to cook a big trimmed brisket. When he is finished, it should feed us for a week or so. :1pig:
    I have also checked all the cupboards and found that we have enough things for us to put together meals for at least an additional week without having to go to the store. That may not sound like much, but for us it is quite a lot since we are living in our tiny space right now. Because of the smallness of the space, things have a tendency to get pushed back into deep cabinets and get lost. I pulled things to the front and found like six cans of tuna fish that I had forgotten I had.
    I am the only one that eats tuna fish, but I would love to have some recipes to try to get my family to eat some.
    Thanks bushels and hope you are having a great start to 2007.
    hugs,
    mamabear
     
  16. Cindy in NY

    Cindy in NY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    DH is of the same opinion so we spent the day cleaning and organizing!

    I straightened out the ebay area and pulled out a bunch of things that I don't think will sell including a huge box of books.

    I had been given a big bag and a box of canning jars back in the beginning of December. I got those stored away.

    DH cleared off some more of his work bench so that he can find things!

    I still need to go through the downstairs and the upstairs pantry. I went thru the freezer before Christmas. I have a LOT of frozen tomatoes that need to be canned this month plus a year old turkey that I'll probably cook this weekend.
     
  17. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jan: I wish I could tell you where in Lowes to look (cleaning?) but we were looking for cabinets and I happened to walk by what looked like a marked down rack. Well, you know a frugal lady like me can't just walk by that! Nothing was actually marked down but I did find them there by accident.

    Another frugal idea: we don't buy until we have saved for something. That sounds simple, but it makes a huge difference in your finances over the years. We combined last Christmas' gift card with money we saved to buy some cabinets for the house this year. We will put the cabinets together and install ourselves--saving a little money that way. They were discontinued so we saved even more that way. I don't believe we could have made them ourselves cheaper and we don't have those skills (yet).

    I look at some young family members who are buying nice new cars, designer clothes, flat screen tvs, laptops --all new, all on credit, all at the same time. I wonder how long it will be before they hang themselves with their own rope.
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    This week's flylady zone is the kitchen: I'm going to try cleaning my oven tonight by putting some rags soaked in ammonia in the oven and leaving it overnight.

    The kids do a 10 minute inside chore each day. Their chores this week will be concentrated in the kitchen. Today I'll be putting in hooks to hold things like lunch boxes in the pantry. More shelf space!
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    I have quite a collection of plants in my windowsill that I have started for next year's garden. Every week, I make new starts of the one coleus plant I brought in from the garden for the winter. I also have starts from the impatiens, and starts from my rosemary outdoors. When they root in my windowsill, they get planted in my sunny bedroom window planter and wait for spring.

    My goal is to have my annual bedding plants of impatiens and coleus ready to go out in the spring (no $$) Throughout my flower garden I want to have rosemary bushes because in the winter when everything dies back, that rosemary looks so nice.
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    I've been saving those large styrofoam cups that you get at fast food restaurants with tops. I use these for starting tomatoes. They have the depth that the tomatoes need to be super large before planting out. The tops don't last beyond the seed starting time, but the bottoms are great because they insulate the plant from the cold (I do winter seed sowing on the porch).
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    One thing I have done and still am doing is hanging all my trays and serving platters on the wall of my kitchen. This saves a lot of shelf space. I specifically wanted the cabinets NOT to go completely to the ceiling, because I store a lot of things up there. In front of say, my vase collection (not my pretty vases) I have baskets or trays on stands that look very pretty up there.
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    My pantry is open, so I store things like beans, rice, popcorn kernals in canning jars (chipped ones I can't can in) or recycled mayo jars. It looks so homey and old fashioned when you look in there.
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    I have lots of errands to run today, before I go, I'll start a load of laundry and pour a little bleach in each toilet. When I get home, I'll swipe the toilets and clean the sinks.
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    What things do you do to make cleaning efficient? I read Don Anslett's book years ago and remembered this: If you do nothing else, put large mats in front of the inside and outside (if it's an outside door) door. They catch tons of dirt that you would otherwise be cleaning out of your home. I try to sweep a room a day (no carpets).
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    Today I resolve to put a box of garbage bags in my closet for things to go to goodwill. I will throw something in there each day until I have cleaned my closet out! By telling you this, I MUST Do it!
     
  18. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    MAMA--do you start your tomatoes early,too? Do know that they readily sprout in the garden and I always smush some on purpose and mark with a stake in one of the raised beds in the fall. As we tore down our old greenhouse and will have to wait on the new one until I have two arms available I'm gonna have to try some new methods this spring. Dee who always saves the big drink cups people throw out at work and start my dalhia roots in them...and hey, dalhias grow from seed to tuber in one season...amazing to me!
     
  19. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    These Everyday Cheapskate tips were in our local paper:

    Floral Secret: To make cut flowers last longer - cut the stems under running water and place in a vase filled with Sprite.

    Faster Fast Food: Scramble a half-dozen eggs and throw in some mushrooms and salsa. Place a small amount in a whole-wheat tortilla, microwave, and have a wholesome, healthy, fast meal. Store what's left for breakfast burrito-type meals.

    Veggie Cubes: Use ice trays to freeze chopped peppers, onions, or celery. Pack each compartment as tightly as possible, fill with water, and freeze. After it's frozen, pop out the cubes and store in a zipper-type bag. Most ice tray cubes holds about 1/4 cup.
    (When vegetables are on sale in the store or fresh from your garden, prepare them so you always have chopped vegetables when you need them.)

    Sparkly, Spot-Free Dishes: If your dishes in the dishwater come out cloudy due to hard water, place a glass half filled with white vinegar on the bottom rack of the dishwasher.

    De-Greaser: To remove pesky stains from clothes, put a dab of original blue Dawn dishwashing liquid detergent on the spot and throw in the washing machine. Dawn really does cut the grease!

    Easy Thank You: When throwing a bridal/baby shower, buy the thankyou cards. During the party, pass out the envelopes and have everyone put their name and address on it. When the bride/new mother sends out thankyou cards her envelopes will be addressed.

    Bye-Bye Fruit Flies: To get rid of pesky fruit flies, fill a small glass with apple-cider vinegar and 2 drops of liquid dishwashing detergent. Mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and drowned!

    Charged and Ready: Keep the toll free numbers of your utility company programmed into your cell phone in case of emergencies. Cell phones are still useable during power outages.
     
  20. kentuckyhippie

    kentuckyhippie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    mamabear, you can mix that tuna with an egg and some flour and drop it by spoonsfull into hot grease until it is brown and tell the family its a new kind of fish nugget LOL I make them and serve with tartar sauce, cole slaw etc. just like I would regular fried fish Also you can put a can of tuna with some cut off corn and small pieces of potato and boil until the potatoes are done then add some butter a cup of milk and a little flour or cornstarch to thicken and have a good warming chowder.