Monday, November 29, 2021

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)

I want you to continue stocking up as you can. Also, consider making a food basket for gift giving - a great idea to help others have food in the house.

https://iowasue.blogspot.com/2021/11/aturday-avingsempty-shelves-again.html - I love the Iowa Housewife... I am not sure what part of Iowa they are from but this post makes one sit up and take notice. I have been seeing similar posts from all around the country but this is the first from right here.

https://theprudenthomemaker.com/live/saving-money/ I love this gal, she does a lot of frugal things.

As we prepare for gift giving this year, I wanted to supply you with some very frugal gift ideas.

https://fabulesslyfrugal.com/diy/20-homemade-christmas-gift-ideas/ - I have a favorite and that is the melted snowman bark, how cute is that?

https://www.thecuriousfrugal.com/diy-christmas-gifts/ - I like the little tree ornaments with buttons on and the bottle cap magnets.

One podcast I watched, the mom showed what she and her husband were giving their kids this year. They were small items - a cradle and doll for their young daughter, a book and Legos for older ones to have things to open. The big gift is a notebook of fun things they all want to do together, like they have been wanting to go to a put-put miniature golf place (I am guessing they aren't up north). But they put together this binder of places they will go as a family once a week. I thought that was a nice gift.

Along those lines, I saw another where they get two Lego packages of the same thing - one goes to a grandson and grandpa keeps the other, then they assemble it together over zoom, that is neat.

We used to put together a puzzle as a family during Christmas so I thought just the two of us would work a puzzle over Christmas this year.

Think back to your most frugal Christmas ever and maybe you can bring back things you did for this year.

Do you have pets? If so, have the kids make a homemade gift for the pets for Christmas. They will have fun making and playing with the pet with the items.

Missy says find ways to stay safe because you are important to her.

Gus says he really likes the pet idea but says we all really do need to do more safety measures. 

It is time to bring back some of the old traditions that are virus free... like we would go for a walk at night after a snow storm. It was so quiet and so pretty and people would be in their homes with the lights on looking all cozy. The cost of this was free.

Our town is small but you could go for a walk and flip a penny - heads turn right, tails go left, so you do this at the corners.

One year we had an ice storm right after a huge snow storm so one evening we took pennies and skidded them on those icy banks, lots of fun and we still find the pennies outside.

https://www.prudentpennypincher.com/100-cheap-easy-diy-christmas-gifts/ - great ideas, did you notice the parking garage made of toilet paper tubes? What little boy wouldn't want that?

https://www.housebeautiful.com/entertaining/holidays-celebrations/g22675518/easy-christmas-craft-ideas/ - some fun ideas here, I love the nativity scene, it could be made together then tell the story.

https://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe/homemade-microwave-caramels-recipe/ - this was a fun find this week, I watched her do it on their podcast, she said she has her kids help wrap them.

https://penniesnotperfection.com/20-frugal-christmas-gift-ideas/ - some great ideas here.

https://www.thistinybluehouse.com/100-diy-budget-friendly-christmas-gifts/ - more ideas.

https://www.yesandyes.org/2015/11/how-to-hygge.html - I put this in here because winter is almost here.

https://montanahappy.com/31-winter-hygge-ideas-to-nurture-yourself/ - prepare for winter but I think cozy should be an all year-round thing.

https://almosttheweekend.com/ideas-to-add-hygge-into-your-everyday-life/ - lots of ideas.

https://www.pinterest.com/fancythat/how-to-hygge/ - I think cozy is good.


Monday, November 22, 2021

Monday Message

"Today, I emphasize a most basic principle: home production and storage. Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community?" (President Ezra Taft Benson)

I wanted this quote again because we are seeing first-hand what could happen. Now that the holiday travel season is upon us, it's important to keep staying safe with the pandemic still in full gear. My wish for all is to stay safe and to love one another.

Like Gus, I have been getting ready to nest for the winter, I have been finishing up deep cleaning projects. I am wanting to be in the warm sunshine working on fun projects that I have been gearing up for.

I have finished making the mixes I wanted to make. This will help me in meal preps.

I have great books to curl up with.

These are a few of the things I plan to work on while the storms rage outside. I want to build my skills and take time to slow down. We don't have to go go go all the time. Pop some corn, grab a blanket and a book...you know you want to.





Gus says to please stay safe.

Missy says have some food and litter or toilet paper in so you can weather any storm that may come.  She also says have treats on hand too.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Monday Message

"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to 'prepare every needful thing' (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others." (All is Safely Gathered In pamphlet)

This week I have been doing a deep clean and organizing. I cleaned my jars and put pasta in six of the jars, the pasta was on sale last week.

This is the first mix, it is my favorite mix, it is like Bisquick. The whole book is full of recipes using this mix.

I also made up the mug mixes, these are favorites of ours as well...

Mug Mix

You take a dry cake mix (any flavor you like) then add a dry angel food one-step cake mix to it, stir well, then I put it in a half gallon jar.

To make it, you put three Tbsp of this mix into a microwave safe mug then add two Tbsp water, stir well and microwave for one minute.

The flavors I use are chocolate, lemon, orange, strawberry, and spice.

We like chocolate chips in the orange one. In the lemon, we like to top it with cherry pie filling after it is done. We also like fruit on the top and on the spice one you can put pudding on top, the spice one is new to us this year.

Then I like to make two different snack cake mixes, one is from a Woman's Day magazine from the seventies.

https://grandmaloyskitchen.blogspot.com/2011/06/diy-groceries-snack-cake-mix.html and here it is. 

The other is from the Make-A-Mix cookbook. Another I mentioned before is the scone mix from Little House Living.

Next is...https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/ready-gravy-mix/print/

I still want to mix up Make-A-Mix quick mix and waffle mix.

That will fill my jars that are empty and will make meal planning easier.

https://www.pinterest.com/hollisbrown54/quick-cooking-magazine-recipes/ - this is fantastic, I like quick cooking so this was great.

I found these helpful oatmeal add-ins...https://s3.amazonaws.com/ttc-static/docs/Oatmeal-Topping-Ideas.pdf

https://thethriftycouple.com/gallery-for-frugal-living/ - this was neat at their site too.

I have been doing some deep cleaning/organizing in the kitchen this week as well as making mixes.

https://thefrugalgirls.com/gifts-in-jars-recipes - here are gift ideas using jars.

My mother-in-law used to always say, don't go in debt for Christmas. So I am telling you this is wise, don't go in debt for Christmas.

http://www.frugaldebtfreelife.com/main/0-christmas-gifts-idea - here are some great frugal gifts for giving.

https://www.pinterest.com/bargainbabe/frugal-christmas-gifts/ - lots of great ideas for gifts.

https://www2.thriftyfun.com/_cache/cat.lasso?id=26864&site=xms&max=66&skp=66&mod=home&fmt=&srt=relevance - homemade tree ornaments.

https://www.pinterest.com/FrugalMomL/frugal-christmas/ - helpful ideas.

https://www.christianhomekeeper.com/all-the-frugal-christmas-ideas/ - I like this as people put in their ideas.

Missy says keep your spending down this year, you will thank her later.


Gus says he is always happy with a scratch under his chin from you guys and some catnip.

They both say keep on wearing a mask and washing your paws, we are not out of the woods yet.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Monday Message


"We all need to build a personal ark . . . And we shouldn’t wait until it starts raining, but prepare in advance. This has been the message of all the prophets in this dispensation . . . as well as the prophets of old.

"Unfortunately we don’t always heed the clear warnings of our prophets. We coast complacently along until calamity strikes, and then we panic.

"When it starts raining, it is too late to begin building the ark. However, we do need to listen to the Lord’s spokesmen. We need to calmly continue to move ahead and prepare for what will surely come. We need not panic or fear, for if we are prepared, spiritually and temporally, we and our families will survive any flood. Our arks will float on a sea of faith if our works have been steadily and surely preparing for the future." (W. Don Ladd, October 1994 General Conference)

A chill is definitely in the air and makes me want to hunker down under the covers for a long winter nap.

I had to stop into Walmart a few days ago and thought I would pick up bananas while there. They usually have the cases stacked around the display they have to load them on and usually they are really green but I walked around the boxes everyone of them look like they should be made into banana bread already. My husband said they were probably sitting on the ocean, he probably is right. But that makes one think, what else is sitting out there??

I did notice some empty shelves but also noted finally they have distilled water again.

I ran into Jo Ann's for something, a fast in and out, it was around eleven and I was the only one there which was weird but I saw something I bought years ago now. I guess it was a paper border punch that I bought, the regular price was $5.99. I am sure I used a coupon back then as it was a high price to me then but it grabbed my attention. It is now $17.99. So not even if there was a half price coupon would I have paid that so things have gone up. I don't go shopping enough to notice prices as I limit trips and wear a mask. Gas here is $3.18. It jumped 14 cents in last few days.

I was watching a podcast where the lady said we need to study the Tightwad Gazette to become more frugal in these times and she is right...time to pull those out again. I saw another that said we need to make our own mixes to help cut costs...she is right too.

I try to store the basic items that are in mixes like flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and shortening. Think of all the different things you can make out of those ingredients. If you add yeast  to that, there are many more items you can make. So be sure you have the basics on hand. If you purchase a mix from the store you can just make what the mix is for but if you have the basics you can make many things.

http://strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.com/2017/08/make-your-own-mix-in-jar-kits-prepare.html - here is a great site on making mixes.

http://preparednessnibblesandbits.blogspot.com/search/label/Dehydrated%20Apples%20Recipes - I dehydrate apples to use all year long and this is my favorite site for making applesauce from dried apples.

https://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/homemade-hamburger-helper/ - I put this in every so often as it is hard to find but it is also a good site. When the box mix went to giant macaroni I did not like that and doing my own was much better.  Again, storing the basics helps to make what you want.

https://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/homemade-long-grain-wild-rice-mix/ this is on her site too.

I included these two sites because we need to know how to make stuff ourselves.

https://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/my-top-10-muffin-hacks/ - very good information in this.

https://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/cranberry-orange-pecan-muffins/ - this is the recipe that she mentions, I had to look up baking emulsion though, I thought it was just flavoring and yes, it is just flavoring.

https://extension.usu.edu/sanpete/files/Soup_or_Sauce_SOS_Mix.pdf - this is my favorite, I once opened a can of soup timing it to ready to eat, then I timed this and they took the same amount of time.  I have the SOS Mix copied on index cards, I punched a hole through it and put it on a ring and have it right by my jar of mix.

I know I have repeated myself on these mixes but it is because they are my favorite and now more than ever we need to have things that will help us through tight times.


https://tipnut.com/baking-mixes-seasonings/ - the more we can make on our own the better it will be on our budget and our health.

http://my-extraordinary-life.blogspot.com/2012/05/home-made-boston-style-baked-beans.html - here is a recipe for those beans we store.

http://heart-hands-home.blogspot.com/2011/11/gingerbread-mix.html - this is a good mix to have on hand this time of year.

http://heart-hands-home.blogspot.com/search/label/cheesemaking - this is very good to have on hand, I've done it to see how it works and it is great.

https://scholar.lib.vt.edu/faculty_archives/cameron/homemade_mixes.pdf - homemade mixes from 1952.

https://recipegoldmine.com/packet/packet.html - this isn't a mix but I love foil dinners.

Find your most inexpensive recipes, make a binder of them and you will have them all together. This really helps with meal planning.

Planning your meals with these recipes will free up funds to purchase more supplies. With colder weather, homemade soups are very frugal - serve with homemade rolls and a dessert and you have a terrific meal for less.

If you have things on hand to make bread items this is a great first step - flour, salt, sugar, yeast, oil or shortening and water. You can make so many different bread items out of these ingredients. As we saw at the beginning of the pandemic, it was hard to get yeast and such so be getting yeast in. I do not buy the little packets, instead I get yeast in bulk. I keep a quart jar of yeast in my refrigerator - this is what I call my using jar. I keep many bags in the freezer. I have never had to bring them to room temperature, I just use directly from my using jar. I have also used directly from the freezer and it still made no difference. I know some will say to bring to room temperature, but it is not necessary.

I store flour in a five gallon bucket. I lay two bay leaves on top of the flour, affix the lid, label and date it. When our kids were still at home, I would go through one of these buckets a month for the four of us. The buckets hold twenty lbs. That should help you to know how much you need. Keep in mind I was doing everything from scratch.

Missy says pick some projects you like to do for the long winter months ahead.

Gus says keep being safe because the pandemic is not finished with us yet.

Monday, November 1, 2021

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)

With shortages hitting shelves right now having extra on hand is a good idea.

https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/how-to-make-the-laundry-product-we-love-but-hate-the-price/ - wrinkle releaser static remover. It's that time of year when static causes unpleasant results when you're wearing a skirt or dress so this is a cheap solution.

https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/turn-leftovers-soup/ - how to turn leftovers into soup - excellent ideas!

https://kristineskitchenblog.com/classic-biscotti-recipe/ - great with hot cocoa.

https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/food-items-to-stock-up-on-now/ - this is a good idea too and with winter soon coming to our neck of the woods, if you have elderly neighbors give them a box of things to help them through winter storms. One year they suggested this very thing on our weather station.

http://beaninstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Northarvest_Bean_Cookbook_P2017pdf.pdf - this is a handy bean cook book.

https://beaninstitute.com/recipes/ - this has some great recipes.

https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/homemade-mixes-for-popular-pantry-staples/

Sticking some more mix recipes in, with prices going up making our own mixes could prove helpful.

https://www.budget101.com/recipes/516-complete-mix-recipe-index/ - this is one of my favorites.

My other favorite is Make-A-Mix Cookbook. See if your library will get them for you, there are the first two then they combined them into one. Just a side note here - the brownie mix in the first book is our favorite.

https://www.pinterest.com/Cinbat03/homemade-mixes/ - lots of great ideas here and don't forget gift mixes make great gifts!

https://www.iheartnaptime.net/handmade-christmas-gifts/

https://www.prudentpennypincher.com/100-cheap-easy-diy-christmas-gifts/

https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/holidays-celebrations/gifts/g33416427/diy-christmas-gifts/

There are lots of gift ideas on these sites.

https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/cheap-dinner-ideas/ - budget recipes here.

https://mommyonpurpose.com/best-free-gifts-for-kids-this-christmas/ - good ideas.

https://www.favecrafts.com/Ornaments/31-Simple-Homemade-Christmas-Ornaments

I am almost done with this spin project then my plan is to chain ply it...when I am done you will get to see the yarn I made.

This shawl is my latest project so find a project that relaxes you, get a hot cocoa and take time for yourself.

Missy says, remember to stay within your budget when doing Christmas this year!

Gus says, please stay safe, it ain't over yet.

Monday, October 25, 2021

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Meo4qk0jaeE I saw this, it is orderly, no fighting, shoving, and they don't have much in their carts. It's a different scene than what happened here last year when everyone was fighting over toilet paper.

Now is more important than ever that we help each other.

https://www.littlehouseliving.com/pasta-fagioli-homemade-soup-mix.html - love this gal. Scroll down to see other mixes. We love the scone mix.

https://www.littlehouseliving.com/scone-mix-recipe.html - frugal and glad to have on hand.

It is at this time of the year I am wanting to have mixes made up for winter.

https://www.littlehouseliving.com/from-scratch-pumpkin-doughnut-holes.html - these are easy to make.

https://www.littlehouseliving.com/non-food-gifts-in-a-jar.html - she has gifts in jars.

https://kristineskitchenblog.com/classic-biscotti-recipe/ - this has great varieties of biscotti, could be great gifts.

https://www.tastesoflizzyt.com/homemade-brown-n-serve-rolls/ - this is always easy, just pop them in the oven when your meal is almost ready.

It is great to have the bread mixes made up ahead. Also, you can give them as a gift in a jar or a bag if you know the person has a bread machine, even if they don't, they can stir the bread together. Here is a link to the RECIPE. It was first made to dump and stir, such a great way. We just do plain and then you decide what variation you want from the mix. You can make rolls or hamburger buns or cinnamon rolls, it is really endless with just this mix.




This week our dryer went out. Suffice it to say I know more inside that dryer than outside now. It took three days and a couple parts but it is back to going again - yay our team! We used YouTube but they showed replacing a thermostat, there are three and none were it but those helped when we got to the bad part. It takes $100 just to have a repairman drive ten miles and ring the doorbell. Then it is $90 for every half hour. So that was our frugal deed this week. I am glad it worked out. So think about repairs you have to make. Can you learn how to do them on YouTube?

Our weather is turning colder. Missy and Gus love magazines and books, they both say to make sure you have good things to read on those stormy cold nights.

The garden is still winding down. We picked the last watermelon and since it is so close to Halloween I drew a face on him...

It looks like there will be some shortages so be prepared for that. Now is the time to stretch things a little further. With the holidays coming, it's time to make new traditions! Look for ideas to make them fun but frugal to fit your budget. The holidays may seem different this year than your family is used to but we can still make them special anyway. With a little more effort it could be the best one ever.

Gus and Missy say please keep being safe as flu season is going to collide with Covid. Wash your paws. Missy says let her know if you need her to show how to demonstrate the proper way again and Gus says keep wearing your masks and please be safe.

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