Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Monday Message

"Start now to create a plan if you don’t already have one, or update your present plan. Watch for best buys that will fit into your year’s supply. We are not in a situation that requires panic buying, but we do need to be careful in purchasing and rotating the storage that we’re putting away. The instability in the world today makes it imperative that we take heed of the counsel and prepare for the future." (L. Tom Perry)

Yes, I feel we need to keep at it. Now is not the time to be complacent on anything.

I am writing this on a Saturday and with all the traffic, motorcycle groups and boats going by like before the virus was a thing. Makes me think our numbers will continue to grow.

We are in the heat wave too.

It is starting to feel like things are heaping up on us hurricanes, flooding around the world, not to mention the virus. There is more need than ever before and lots of hardship. It can be hard to see the light through so much darkness but we need to keep doing what we can, keep looking for joy. Take extra time finding fun things to do with your kids, they need you to be on your A game. You need to be there for them, not just present.

This is the hard thing of our lifetime so try to make things better for your family.

Try to stay positive. Keep sticking stuff in your storage. There will be so many who are about to lose their unemployment benefits most of whom have no fallback and harder times are ahead. Be ready to help as you can.

I have been picking the items from the garden (pic at the top). One thing I like to make is a garden sandwich, spread cream cheese on a bagel and top with onion, diced radish, green pepper diced and cucumber and add any veggie you want, it is wonderful!

What is something you like to make when it is soooooo hot out?

Gus says when it is this hot he chooses to take a cat nap.


I  finished this dishcloth this week so I checked it off my list.

Gus is keeping his eye on things.

I ordered a set of those sewing machine feet that you often see, they were on sale when I was trying to use a gift card...

Several years ago my friend Diane Miller showed me how she organized the feet for her sewing machine. A couple years after I happened to find the same thing she used at a yard sale for a quarter and two extra packages to fill the little binder for it at twenty-five cents each.

They were made to organize floss but I saw how she did this and knew that is what I wanted to do. I had very few feet for my machine though so I set it aside. When I got these there were 52 in the set. I pulled this out and labeled each. This set did not have a book but did have a picture and name of the foot so I numbered the baggie and put the picture numbered to match inside. Now some I knew, most I didn't how to use them so I found on YouTube how to use each and I jotted the directions on a card and put it in with the pic and foot in the baggie. So a huge thank you to her for showing me what she did! That is what I worked on this week.

What did you do this week?

Since I can't go to my favorite half price book store or library right now I am going through the books I have gotten before Covid. This is the one I am looking at right now, it was from the library book sale before Covid, I think it was 50 cents but not more then a dollar.  I can thank past Becky for having gone to the book sale not knowing a pandemic was coming.

You can see behind the book that I'm watching The Love of Quilting on Iowa Public Television.

This brings up frugal TV watching, this was a local free channel there are a few other shows I watch Father Brown, Agatha Raisin, Shakespeare and Hathaway, Midsomer Murders, Death in Paradise... these are shows on Iowa Public Television and we use Roku ...being frugal is more important than ever right now.

I have also been getting free books from the www.freefeedread.com site I told you about before. I have gotten a sewing book, some fix it and forget it books, some cozy mysteries, some gardening books.

My reading bear says free is frugal and reading is great!  He was adopted for free and I made his hat from scraps.

This is a peek into my week.  Let us know what you did this week.

Missy says find frugal things to do and stay the course of safety, do your part to to stop the spread of Covid and keep stocking your pantry as you can, learn new skills and find frugal fun things to do to have some down time!

Monday, August 3, 2020

Monday Message


"Most of us cannot afford to store a year’s supply of luxury items, but find it more practical to store staples that might keep us from starving in case of emergency." (James E. Faust)

We need to do the best we can.


https://blog.clover-usa.com/2020/07/14/wearingiscaring-face-mask/ - because this will be long-lived I am planning to make more masks.

Nothing I do is a huge saving but everything I do adds up.


When you try to live frugally it is very much the little things that add up but it is a skill as well. You build skills a little at a time, learn a skill then learn another which adds to the first and before long you have a wonderful list of skills on which to draw on.


I will let you in on a secret, I hate gardening but I am pushing on doing it to be frugal and I made it a point to learn skills though I hate outdoor things, especially picking raspberries...


Not only do I hate the thorns but this year on my last picking I had a nasty spider bite me like six times in one spot and multiple times around my neck. They all swell so bad, the six bite one swelled so much it filled the palm of my hand and that was just this year, I have been bitten in other years. Yes, I hate spiders and don't like those that bite me. But I still push on but oh how I hate picking raspberries.

Being frugal means we push on doing difficult things but it all adds up. You probably do many things already without realizing it.

One thing that is good to do - learn your kitchen appliances and tools. Find out all the features. Find new uses for it that would help you. For example, find out what all your food processor can do. Reread the manual. The same with your waffle iron...did you know you can make cookies, french toast, omelets in a waffle iron? That kind of thing.


Missy wants to have a heart to heart. She says stay the course...yes, it is difficult and yes, we don't like what is happening. It is not what we are used to but we must push on and wear masks and stay safe. By the time this does end we will be really good at pandemics. If you cut your finger...you don't like it...it's painful but there's no way around it, the finger needs a band-aid and time to heal. The same thing goes for this virus. There's no way around it. We have to go through it. We wear masks, it will take time to heal. Missy says staying safe by taking the appropriate precautions isn't rocket science and we all can be a hero for others, wear a mask and be that hero.


Gus says please be safe!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Monday Message


"A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life." (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)

It is amazing how well all of these work so well together to improve quality of life.

While we are consumed with with what is going on right now, we need to remember there are others all around us who have lost jobs and who have lost loved ones, those whose world has been turned upside down.

I think most of us have been affected financially and need to stretch our resources to live more frugally.  Is it work? Yes. I won't lie, it is work but we can do work, we can push on and do hard things.

So learn skills skills skills! Learn as much as you can... learn to put up food.



With funds tight right now if you cannot buy any equipment at this time do other things  like...

If you have herbs, you can tie those like a bouquet and hang them upside down.

Learn to be more frugal. Freeze the little bits of food. For example, if you have just a few green beans leftover, put them and the liquid into a container and freeze it. Maybe another meal it will be corn or carrots, just keep adding to this container, even leftover chicken or beef. When the container gets full make a soup with it and start this again saving for the next soup.

Dry out the last pieces of bread. When I worked in food service we would toss the crusts in a large pan. Then after it was full we put in blender and made bread crumbs which could then be used in meatballs or as a topping on casseroles.

Food is a huge area where we all could be more frugal.

Learn to bake bread...


Making your own bread stretches your budget.


While things seem so scary we need to do what we can to not let fear take you over. Missy says you got this!

I know it is harder to do things now but if you are learning a skill, involve the kids. They love helping and learning WITH you.

If you are thinking of purchases look into buying used first.





These needles saved sooooo much money. I got them at a thrift store. The cookbooks were from two different yard sales. Hy-Vee is a grocery store chain here and these books hold employee favorite recipes.

While the virus prevents me from going to thrift stores or yard sales now, I'm showing you that buying used is very frugal.


Learning skills greatly enhance our lives... Above is a picture of a dishcloth I'm working on.


Growing food is a skill that is good for you and your family and kids love to see the seeds they planted grow.


Having food is an added blessing. I wash jalapeno peppers and pop off their stem hats then I freeze them. When a recipe calls for a can of chopped chilies, I take one out of the freezer and let it sit for about four minutes then I chop it while still frozen. I make jam from them as well to have on crackers with cream cheese.


Gus wants us all to be safe!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Monday Message


"The counsel to have a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and commodities was given fifty years ago and has been repeated many times since. Every father and mother are the family’s storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency … [and] God will sustain us through our trials." (James E. Faust)

And trials we have all around the world. With all the spikes we will have a longer go of this. It is something we should get ready for. It is prudent to think ahead if we were to go into lockdown, in the last one what would you wished you had gotten in? This is a good place to start.

We have a severe heat wave coming and so I am thinking I will put together menus for when it is just too hot to cook so our air conditioner doesn't have to work as hard.

So be prudent and think ahead.



www.freereadfeed.com helps you find free books, this is new each day.

Raspberries are finally done but not before the spiders got me on the shoulder and around my neck. I hate pretty much all outdoor things and raspberry picking is at the top of my hate list but the jam I make from them in the fall is good.


The recipe I use for the raspberry jam is the one in the Sure-Jell package.

This week I made cinnamon swirl bread using a tip I read about...


The tip was that when you go to shape your loaf, which is as wide as the loaf pan and as long as you want, the thinner it is the more swirls you get, but you sprinkle with sugar and then cinnamon and I toss raisins on top too but then spray the top of that with water from a spray bottle then roll it up. This makes your swirls not fall apart as you can see in the picture above how nice it has held together.


Missy approves of this tip.

Are you finding things to do? I still am organizing here...


I knit more dishcloths, it is very relaxing to make your own dishcloths.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtPy8yC_NdA - here is a YouTube video on how to make a dishcloth.

So start gathering things you and your family would appreciate doing if shut in again.

If you have kids you might gather treats, crafts, and books but string those things out, don't give them all at once.

Over the summer have the kids read a book to you, this will keep up this skill during summer break - sneaky :p They will love doing it but won't even think it's homework.

Reading is a wonderful thing to do....you can get your library app to read online then give the book back or go to the site I gave above, they have a new list of free books each day and they are yours to keep, so you look to see what is free that day and buy it for 0.00 and have it downloaded onto your device.


I am going to make a summer dress, a house dress, of this fabric. I altered a pattern and if it is just how I like it then I will do more.

If you are wanting to learn to sew... https://www.youtube.com/c/EvelynWoodTV/videos - here is a great place to start. She has very informative videos and if you want children to learn as well make it a snack and movie time watching the videos learning as they watch and you too.

I will be trying to find things that I would like to do during that heat wave that will not be heating me up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmR2P4-b2Uc - here is some mask patterns, now make sure you have enough for everyone in your house. I do two each wear then wash and still have one at the ready sort of thing.

Find a store that does pick-up service or curbside service, this will help you so much as things spike even more. We need to look for safer ways of doing things and remember to wipe down things.

https://fox8.com/news/doctor-shares-tips-on-how-to-clean-your-groceries/ - this is very good at showing exactly how to do this safely.


The garden is coming along nicely.


Gus says to keep a stiff upper lip, we will all get through this.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Monday Message


"Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through the home production and storage, but others as well." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

Let us continue to stock up and to live frugally and learn skills that would help our family. We need to be mindful of others as well.

I keep saying this virus will be around for quite a while and we need to prepare for this.

I keep watching some shortages that are on going. Most people want to get out in the summer more than ever.  But we need to keep others safe and protect our family.

We keep seeing an increase in positive cases here in Iowa.

Soon people will lose unemployment benefits and things will be much harder.

This has already been here six months and we are getting worse.

I suggest having the basic staples on hand but also know how to use them.



If this keeps increasing the food chain will be more disrupted than it is now...

Meat is in shorter supply, we see it here so make sure your freezer is full. And stretch what you have...



Now is the time to dig out those cookbooks and spend time going through them...



https://www.food.com/recipe/substitute-for-buttermilk-124413 - this is a substitute for buttermilk.

I also will tell you it's good to have a few complete things on hand...

Pancake mix complete just needs water so if you ration your eggs this is good.
Muffin mix, again only water is needed to make.
Angel food cake mix, only add water.

I think having these items on hand in your storage is a good thing but get your scratch cooking very much down pat.


Missy asked me to say that we need to keep getting stocked up with food for our pets as well.

We can still stock up on storage and we should be.

While getting ready made is good, learn to make your own things too.

Click HERE for my favorite homemade pizza recipe!

The cost difference is huge.

Start learning to live on less than you make and just learn learn learn how to live frugally.

https://savorandsavvy.com/100-frugal-recipes/ - here is a good place to start.

https://www.frugalfarmwife.com/article/simple-chicken-rice-dinner-instant-pot-slow-cooker-and-oven-versions/ - here is an inexpensive meal, I like how she gives three ways to prepare it.



Gus is reminding everyone to wash their hands!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Monday Message


"The counsel to have a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and commodities was given fifty years ago and has been repeated many times since. Every father and mother are the family’s storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency … [and] God will sustain us through our trials." (James E. Faust)

If possible, try to get a little extra while getting groceries, don't hoard but try to get one more jar of peanut butter or a package of jello because we are not done. This ride will get a lot bumpier. Before the pandemic we used to talk about what would happen if you could not get to the grocery store, what would you do? Well, with everything that's happening we don't have to imagine those scenarios anymore, they're real.

It would not take much to cause more trouble so keep thinking what skills you would need to have right now.

Garden update. Here you can see I have tomatoes on. I think it was a good thing to do to move the garden out front. I did not expect the garden to do so well, I was hoping but figuring my soil might not allow things to grow any better but they seem to like it out front.



So I have been busy with the garden this past week and the raspberries are needing picked every day now, I wash them and freeze for a cooler day. In the fall I will make jam.

Of course, this post was written two weeks before you read it.  The cases of Covid-19 are rising in my state.

We continue to take precautions. I spray any packages and mail, we stay home unless going to the doctor or getting medicine which is a drive up. When getting groceries we do pick-up and when I get it home I wipe everything down...and I mean everything. This is a very hard chore for me with Fibromyalgia, I hurt all over and that is why it is such a chore. I limit my trips to do this and that means more to wipe at a time. Missy says she would help but things are too hard to hang onto when you don't have thumbs.


Tell us below in comments on what you are doing to stay safe.

Also, what are you working on?


Gus says he has been working hard on getting extra cat naps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m9DZkAO8xI - start a journal. This would be a good thing to do with your kids. I do keep a daily journal and in my journals there are thank you cards from people and obituaries of dear friends and receipts for garden plants that shows what I planted that year and how much I spent. I also write how much gas is. I write birthday letters for my family on their b-days and anniversary letters to my husband. 

Now is a good time to start a journal with all that is going on in our world right now and you could add things about you...like, I know what I was doing when the first man walked on the moon. I was walking to my friends Shirley's house for an overnight. I remember looking up at the moon wondering if they were looking back at earth...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyK4w3D6Zow - using t-shirt for a pot holder, this could work on a pot holder loom as well.


http://hangryfork.com/sewing-projects/upcycled-denim-potholders-tutorial/ I like this idea a lot. As there is no batting because denim is heavy enough. Also, it's no fussy sewing in case you are at a beginner level, you could also do with the kids.

I tried to find projects that you would likely have on hand as well as the items needed without having to go out.

Also remember www.freereadfeed.com set your preferences, these books are free and change daily. I have  gotten many free books that now cost money to get, so it's very frugal and safer than going to library right now.

https://www.paperscissorscraft.com/quarantinesummeractivities/ - okay, this is soooo fun looking, I like the idea of spray painting a tic tac toe in the grass and using paper plates, put x's on half and there you go.


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