Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Last Week's Thrifty Moves

This week was fairly quiet around here.  As we geared up for the final days of the school year, the girls had assignments to finish up and exams to take and study for.  There was also a school dance to get ready for.

A couple weeks ago I had gone to both Walmart and JoAnns to get big snaps for some projects I'm working on.  One word.  Expensive.  $4 for six snaps.  Whaaaat!  Last week I got on eBay and found a HUGE lot of snaps and other fasteners that will keep me well supplied for quite a while.  Only $7.28, including shipping.  Now that is a bargain. J

Last week I decided to give my grandmothers mending box a mini makeover.  I have a little story to tell you about her box. 

First of all my grandmother absolutely hated to sew!  Anything.  Even a button.  As soon as I was old enough and knew how she would save her mending for me to do.  The more complicated stuff we saved for my mother, but all the buttons, split seams and fallen hems were my job.  I loved it.  Anything I could do for her made me very happy.

Her button box, an old lozenge tin.
Not just buttons, however.  A vintage mini screwdriver handle minus the blade,
a tie tack minus the decoration that used to be on the front of it, a vintage valve cap
cover for a bicycle tire, a pump adapter for blowing up basketballs, a couple nuts and a golf ball spotter.
To say her mending box was a little limited would be an understatement.  Not much in there that really related to sewing,  it was more like a catch all for junk. J  Last week I took everything out of the little square leather covered box and vacuumed out the satin interior and felt lined tray.  My daughter joked that I was sucking up antique dust and lint and I probably should have saved it to sell on eBay.  Funny girl.

Inside the box was a darling crocheted pin cushion my great-grandmother had made for my grandmother.  I carefully hand washed it in the bathroom sink, reshaped it and set it to dry.  It s all bright now and looks like new.  Just like when great-grandma made it.  When it was dry I put a few hatpins I had in it.  I think it looks so sweet.

My great-great-grandmother's button hook (for her shoes),
one of my great-grandmother's  thimble and an old cloth tailor's measuring tape.

The handle has been missing for as long as I can remember so I carefully trimmed off the remnants of it and washed the exterior with some mild cleaner.  It really made a difference.  Inside I used some glue to reattach one of the side pieces that supports the little tray and then where the lining was loose.

Not very big, as you can see.  But then she didn't need much.

I'm really glad I have her mending box and I plan to re-supply it and start putting it to use once again.

Bright and early Saturday morning the girls had doctor appointments for their school physicals and they got their latest immunization updates.  After a stop for breakfast and hot chocolate at IHOP (they ate like they were starving to death) we headed over to ShopKo.

The girls always buy me flowers for Mother's Day and due to our crazy schedule I had them put it off until I knew I'd have more time to plant them.  ShopKo had a sale on their four packs of petunias for $1.69 each.  They bought me six of those and I found a nice sized pansy on clearance for $2.  I can't believe plants are already being cleared out, but obviously waiting paid off.

Fabric scraps to be put to good use

While the girls took over the couch and recliner and convalesced watching episode after episode of Gilmore Girls I took up residence on the living room floor to work on some of my sewing projects.

I finished the Americana stencil quilt!  Whooo hoooo.  I'll be sharing it soon in an upcoming post.  I love it when a vision in my head comes to fruition.  I looks just how I imagined it would and I am so completely thrilled.  My girls were quite impressed.

I started a couple other things too using some to the fabric scraps I have leftover from my previous projects.  Another doily and a fancy scrap quilted throw pillow are now in the works.

I started a batch of home brewed beer.  I nice summer time beer.  I also took advantage of a 30% off sale with a free shipping offer to restock my supplies.  I won't be buying beer brewing stuff for well over a year, I imagine.

We fed our chickens lots of good kitchen scraps and they provided us with over two dozen eggs.

How was your thrifty week?

Friday, May 27, 2016

My Grocery Budget - May Update

I was happy to have the extra money in our budget this month that was leftover from last month because there were quite a few good deals on meat.  I was able to stock us up on boneless skinless chicken breasts and lean ground beef.  I also found rib eye steaks for Mother's Day for only $5.99 a pound.  They were so delicious.

Cash & Carry haul

This month I went waaaaaaaaay over budget in the non food department.  A few good sales made it nice for me to stock up on toilet paper and some toiletries.  My non food items budget is $25 a month and I had 91¢leftover from April to roll over and add to it making it $25.91.  My total spent ended up at $43.81 so I am $17.90 in the hole.  Eek!

Flat of strawberries - $8.95

I started the month with $160.18.  After spending $134.18 I have exactly $26.00 left to rollover and add to next month so I'll be starting the month with $151.00.  Not bad, huh?

Without further adieu, here is the list of food I bought.  The items highlighted in red are my stock up items:

Ground beef - 10#
Cash & Carry
Bell peppers - 6ct
Cash & Carry
Lettuce - 3ct
Cash & Carry
Cheddar - 5#
Cash & Carry
Bagels - 6ct
Hamburger buns
Hotdog buns
Mixed veg
Green onions
Graham cracker pie crusts (4)
Dollar Store
Store Coupon
Mexican crema
Veg medley
Bagels - 6ct
Tater tots - 5#
Onion rings
Dollar Store
Cream - qt.
Chips (2)
Dollar Store
Cookies (4)
Dollar Store
Chips (5)
Store Coupon
Milk - 1/2 gal (3)
Store Coupon
Orange juice - 1/2 gal
Store Coupon
Raspberries (4)
Cream cheese (2)
Ground pork - 2#
Strawberries - 8#
Avocados (3)
 $ 134.18

$134.18 ÷ 30 days ÷3 people = $1.49 per person per day!

I'm still looking for a good buy on sugar and peanut butter. 

Did you stock up on anything this month?  Any super deals?

This budget month runs from May 1 through May 31.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My New Vintage Sewing Box


Call me crazy, but I just love this box.  I've been searching for a sewing basket or box to store supplies in for the new house (aka the retirement house).  I had this idea in my head of what I wanted but wasn't having much luck.  The new ones at the fabric store just weren't cutting it.  Then I found this one on eBay to bid on and I won.  Whooo hooooooo!

This one is PERFECT!

I had one of these when I was in junior high but it was avocado green.  Somewhere along the way I happily gave it up.  It was pretty ugly.  Any other color and I probably would have kept it because it was great storage.

Needless to say, this time around I was looking for any color but green.  Or harvest gold.  I want something sweet and pretty.  This one is powder blue with a nice textured finish on the exterior.  LOVE it!

Plenty of organized storage for thread, bobbins, scissors, pins & needles/

I plan to sew just as much there as I do here, maybe even more.  It is important to me to get this filled up with everything I will need to make whatever strikes my fancy.  I envision making curtains, quilts, potholders and all kinds of wonderful things.

Having it now I will have plenty of time to collect sewing supplies and notions to fill it up.  And of course I have to be able to store everything in a neat and organized way (feedind my OSD/anal retentiveness) which I will totally be able to do this with this one.

Did I mention it is PERFECT?!

Yay, yay, yay!  Another fun project to work on.  So exciting! J

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Look What Gail Did!

I love it when I happen across super crafty bloggers and Gail at My Repurposed Life is one of those!  After finding a kitchen hutch at a thrift store she gave it a fabulous makeover.  Check it out!

Great job Gail!

Want to know all the steps she took to get this fabulous hutch?  Click here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Getting Ready For Camping Season

After selling our travel trailer when we moved back into our house the last thing I wanted to do was go camping.  But the bug has bitten me once again and I am excited to get out in the woods and play.

This time around I want to be a lot more minimalistic with our gear.  As much as I miss my Scamp and as crazy as I am about retro travel trailers, at this point in my life I have no desire to own another one.  Maybe later, but not right now.

Over the past year I have been collecting stuff for us to camp with.  I went through the house and pulled some things together to put in our camp box.  We've had this box for years and it has served us well.  It has done everything from storing food and supplies to bathing dirty little girls that had way too much fun. J

So much of our gear was old and I had sold it at a yard sale so we were basically starting from scratch.  One of the first things I bought was a 3 man tent on sale at Fred Meyer.  I got it at the end of the season so I was able to save a bundle.

For Christmas I got the girls mess kits and Go Bags.  Later I bought myself a mess kit and assembled my own bag.  Most recently I bought two sleeping bags, three camp pads an LED flashlight and an LED lantern.  That pretty much took care of my checklist.

Fortunately most of what we needed we already had.  I spent less than $200 on gear, not including the girl's mess kits and Go Bags as those were Christmas gifts.  I thought that was pretty darn good.

We have a State Park Pass that I bought for $10 when I licensed my car at the DMV.  We had one last year and only used it twice which more than paid for itself.  I plan to use it a whole lot more this year and really get my money's worth.

I'm ready for some fun!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Last Week's Thrifty Moves

I spent most of Sunday sewing and it was heavenly.  A whole weekend devoted to sewing, almost never happens.  I managed to finish putting my Americana stencil quilt top together and it is turning out better than I imagined.  I can hardly wait to show you all when it is finished.  Whoo hoooo!

We took a break around 3:00 in the afternoon Sunday to run down to the fruit stand and pick up a flat of strawberries they had on sale for $8.95.  Then off to Fred Meyer as we were out of milk and they had fresh raspberries on for 99¢ per container (I bought the limit of four).  I also grabbed several bags of chips so I could stock up for Memorial Day, an upcoming picnic and some other fun events we have planned.  I used a $1.00 OFF $5 in Kroger chips coupon Fred Meyer sent me in the mail too so one bag was free!

My youngest and I took turns slicing up the strawberries.  Actually she did most of them.  Over the course of three days we laid them out on cookies sheets and froze them to put in bags.  I did the same with the raspberries.  We'll use them in desserts, jam, yogurt and just to eat.  Yum!

After work Monday the young one and I gave the coop a light cleaning and added fresh bedding.  We composted the chicken poo and dirty bedding.  We pulled up a huge pile of dandelion greens in the backyard and fed them to the hens.  We also gave them all the strawberry trimmings.  They were quite happy and stocked us very well with eggs last week.

Kitty in the strawberry box

A friend gave me a coupon for 50% OFF at JoAnns.  I used it to buy four more yards of off white muslin for $8.  I plan to use most of it to back the American stencil quilt and the rest will be used for more projects I have planned. J

I bought two brushes from Amazon for only $1.85! Free shipping too.  That totally beats the $ Store.  I used the smaller one for my Go Bag and the other one will be kept as a spare until somebody needs it.

The girls and I used some dish towels to make drawstring bags (post coming) for our mess kits for camping.  Fun little project to do together.  We were able to use up some things I had in my sewing stash including some wide grosgrain ribbon I had saved that was tied around a stack of wash cloths I had purchased a couple months ago and another one that was tied around a fleece throw my daughter received as a gift.  I knew they would come in handy.

We made a double batch of granola and four pints of vanilla yogurt.

I trimmed my bangs.

We washed out a two gallon Ziploc bag and a few quart sizes to reuse.

We returned books to the library and checked out more.

How was your thrifty week?

Friday, May 20, 2016

No Garden This Year

As a family we have decided not to put in a garden this year.  We discussed at length that because we have quite a few activities planned for the summer and my oldest will be in school full time that it would be best for all of us to lighten our load a bit this summer.  Gardening was the one thing we felt would take a significant amount of our time so reluctantly we decided to let it go.

After making that decision we all decided we now have the opportunity to improve our backyard space.  We have several projects we've been considering:

Expand our chicken coop area
Rebuild our raised garden beds and planting areas
Build a better compost bin
Add a potting shed
Improve our soil
Continue to improve the lawn and flowerbeds
Rebuild our gate
Add rain barrels

I like these ideas a lot and am hopeful that we can do a few of these things this summer.  I especially like the idea of adding on to the chicken coop to give the ladies more space to run about and play.  A potting shed would be nice too.

More importantly I'm looking forward to the other activities we have planned for the summer.  Stay tuned. J

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