Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday Message

(President Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference Oct 1980 "Prepare for the Days of Tribulation", now as the prophet offering his own remarks and in addition repeating many quotes from past prophets and apostles) - 

"Plan to build up your food supply just as you would a savings account... We urge you to do this prayerfully and do it now."

“There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food even if it is only a garden in your yard and a fruit tree or two. Those families will be fortunate who, in the lasts days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own.”

It is coming up on planting time here in central Iowa. It is safe to plant after May 15, so you should make a plan.

How are you being frugal and how are you coming on your skill building?

For me, I am still working on the hat and mittens from taking the craftsy class on their free weekend.

Here is a clever tip - I use this board that was made for lockers that I got used. It holds my patterns with a strip of magnet. I put ribbons on it to make me smile :)

Now, I have lots of ribbon and so on my second board I keep many strips I have made to keep them handy. I got all of them at yard sales over the years. The boards were given to me. The magnetic strips I have in rolls and partial rolls which I laid flat on metal till they stopped wanting to roll.

I have been doing some spinning.

One sleepless night I did some sewing. I was given some dresses a couple of years ago. They had slits and I hate slits. So I matched colors and zigzagged the slits. These are big enough on me that I don’t need the slits to walk or sit.

I also had gotten a flannel dress for free but it was too short for me so I was able to make a shirt out of it instead.

So that was frugal sewing using a skill.

One of the things I want to learn is how to use the many feet, old ones as well as newer ones.

The sewing feet go with my Kenmore. On my list of skills to learn is figuring out how to use each of these feet. - they have a few tech problems but stay with them. I have been following her step by step to do sourdough. I have tried to do sourdough for many years and failed each time so watching this has helped me learn what went wrong. So this is an area that I am trying to learn. I have so far had success in starting the starter and plan to try her bread Friday night and Saturday.  It would be good to learn and have success with this. 

So these are some of the things I have been doing to build skills and be frugal. What have you been doing? Let us know. - I think it would be good if you research her bread information. Look at the items on the left. This lady is fantastic. So what is the window pain test, do you know? She will tell you. If you know the answer you are probably a bread baker.

If you do not know the answer, read here: - this woman shows how to make hamburger buns, has an accident with sesame seeds but it is helpful. She is making her supper so keep watching to the buns.

Both of these ladies sell their baked goods at local farmer’s markets. See how helpful their skills are to their families? Not only do they make things for meals but make income with these skills as well.

We may never need our skills for making income but we can bless our family with them every day.

Before we had kids and we were living in South Dakota, my husband was in the military and we were still very young, the county had a great program where they sent this lady on request. She would come and teach us how to do things. You invited friends and she would come teach and cook. I remembered this one time she told how you could shred and dry carrots. This was wonderful to me but she was also teaching how to make noodles. I was equally excited for it. She fixed a broth and threw them in, I loved it. She let us each taste it.

But before everyone came she asked me what church I belonged to and I told her The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She said I thought so. I thought, how? She said because I loved learning new things and it seemed like everyone she met from the church was wanting to learn. Of course, I am thinking everyone she taught was wanting to learn since her teaching was by invitation but it makes me think we all should never give up learning, there is so much to learn. Yes, I still love learning new things.

Keep building your storage and finding how you can be more frugal. Work on your skills and share with us what your working on.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Monday Message

"I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family. None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us. We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

Being frugal is hugely helpful so learn all you can on how to be frugal. It will take effort to read and learn different ways but in the end the skill will be yours. For sure, living on less is a skill worth developing no matter where you are on the income scale.

Some great books to read are….

Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn - she put out three then did a compiled one.

Make-A-Mix Cookery by Aliason, Harward, and Weston - they had two then put out a third kind of compilation.

Bakers Flower by Kate Manning - this is one mix and a whole cookbook using the mix.

These are a few you could try to get through your libraries.

Some helpful sites… - she has a great site for being frugal. - she also has books Miserly Moms and Miserly Meals are the two I have but are the old versions. I love her granola recipe best and she makes granola bars with this granola too. I find their site a bit harder to maneuver so I put this on the saving on your groceries one. I love watching their videos…you see the blueberry pancakes. This one you get a baking mix recipe.  Just had those this week - wonderful! The pocket sandwiches were made from this mix too. They have books too - Dining on a Dime. Then they have frugal ebooks too. They are generous to show and post recipes from their book… - great to get food storage at great prices. We use when we can. Our closest is two and a half hours away but I love the powdered milk and potato pearls best but I love all the products I have tried. Love the white wheat and the instant refried beans. Just really good prices for stocking up.

I am sharing these with you as I have found them helpful in my frugal living, not as an ad. See if you can get through your libraries to be more frugal.

If you have frugal books that you like share titles with us all. - here I show making curtains from a shower curtain. Those are the red ones, the blue ones before were made out of napkins. Frugal idea. I have done curtains before from sheets and now I use sheets in rugs.

There are ways anyone can be frugal no matter who they are.

One way I was frugal was craftsy had a free weekend you could take classes from them for free on that weekend. One of the classes I took was a hat and mitten class.

This is how far I have gotten. I learned two color cast on and corrugated ribbing. It will have matching mittens. There are caribou waiting to be put on to the hat next.

So look around for things you can learn that will be frugal. Besides this class, I learned spinning techniques, how to dye, how to make baguettes and learned many things. I think they do this a couple times a year.

Gus kitty recommends books that will help you to be frugal. Some of these books I have had before we had a computer in our home. But that being said I feel you should have a library at home made with the old-fashioned way…paper. Yep, hard copies as well as digital. Same with your recipes - hard copies. I am not demeaning the digital age but I like hard copy back-ups…and I love books.

There are always ways to frugalize what we do. Yes, I just made up that word ;)

We should squelch the temptation to just buy all the time. It might take longer but its well worth the journey to learn new skills. Stretch a penny till it screams for mercy :p

Do the best you can! And let us know what frugal things you are up to. We all learn from others.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday Message

"We want you to be ready with your personal storehouses filled with at least a year’s supply. You don’t argue why it cannot be done; you just plan to organize and get it done" (Spencer W. Kimball, August 1976)

The Time to Disregard This Counsel Is Over

"As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. . . . I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With the events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness. . . . Create a plan if you don't already have one, or update your present plan . . . 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." (L. Tom Perry, in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 47; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 36)

It is time to take stock of where you are on your storage and skill building. Some skills are fast to learn, others take a lifetime but keep working on them!

I continue to work on dishcloths to replace mine. I have started on my box of gifts for next Christmas.

My fibromyalgia is in a huge flare right now and makes me slower but I keep pressing on.

I have been blessed over the years to go to yard sales and thrift shops. I have stored items that we would need for a huge savings because I was willing to purchase used. It took time and work to go to sales but you have to know you are doing it for your family.

What have I gotten to help us?

Oil lamps - it seems you can always find them. Once I got them I did not stop there. I got oil and wicks for the lamps, not all at same sale but I new I would need to look for them and we have been blessed with them many times. Like in the scriptures, I keep my lamps with oil in them. They are at the ready. So go the extra effort to be prepared.

Bread pans - I have gotten my pans from yard sales and thrift stores. There is no way I could afford to get them if I could find them now. Most were ten cents each. At thrift stores I have also found French bread pans, pans to make burger buns, a pan to make sandwich bread, pans that are twice as long, pans for roll making, a pan that slides as long as you want, and pans down to tiny. I also found a bread machine as well.

Cake pans of every type from angel food down to tiny cheese cake pans and everything between.

Mixing bowls, stainless steel bowls, bread bowls.

Crepe maker, waffle irons, even one that makes panini sandwiches and one that turns into a griddle.

Knitting needles and crochet hooks, yarn, knitting machine, sewing machines, fabrics and sewing notions, electric blanket king size for ten cents that we have used for years.

Cookbooks - my favorite bread cookbook was $35 for new, I got it at a yard sale for five cents.

Food savers, canner, steamer canner, jars....

I could go on and on but I wanted you to know that getting things used is just a great tool for being frugal and is a huge budget saver.

I have shown you my bread but there are so many more out there. I thought you might like some different ways you can make bread that being said I want to remind you: one cup of all purpose flour and one tsp of vital wheat gluten makes bread flour!

Also, I selected YouTube videos that take more fiddling to those that take very little. The variations will have you doing great breads at home. - bread, just another version. - how to make baguettes. - ciabatta bread - no knead rolls - ciabatta rolls - sandwich rolls using little pans - baguettes - pretzel bites

I feel that knowing how to make bread and storing the items to make it is a huge boost to skills and storage. Continue to work on both!

Monday, March 5, 2018

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. Remember these words from Paul: "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (Keith B. McMullin, April 2007)

We go through times our income is tighter than others. Personally when things are better I make sure to purchase for the less money times we have. This way we can get through the harder times.

I find the more you know how to do or make for your family the better things will be, whether your income is higher or lower.

I find your mindset is as important because if you are angry that you have hard times or feel you deserve or are owed this, that, or the other thing then you will be very unhappy, but, if you prepare, you will be more at peace. And if you have an “I can do this” attitude and you have worked on your skills, you know you can fix or make do with what things should come up.

Bad things happen to good people, it does not make them bad. It is just how things happen. We should not judge and we should not blame each other. Work together. Another time may go well. If it does, remember to make ready for when things go bad next time. If they don’t, great, but be prepared anyway.

Keep those skills up and learn more. I need to replace my dishcloths. I cannot ever remember buying them from the store and if you have ever been gifted homemade dishcloths you would never want to buy them at the store. Knowing how to make them yourself is a great skill. 

When you are first learning to knit making these are a great place to start. I am using my own take on the popular Grandma's Favorite on Ravelry.

Use cotton yarn. I am using up scraps I have as well as what I already had in my stash of which I picked many up at yardsales and clearance sales, lots from others clearing out their stash too.

Here is my version of Grandma's Favorite dishcloth found on Ravelry. I am doing the no holes version.

My version (pictured above).

I use cotton yarn
Size 9 short needles

Cast on 3 stitches
Knit all three stitches
Next row = Knit 2 stitches in the third stitch by knitting in the front and back of the loop and then knit the rest of the stitches. 

(Here is a video on how to knit in the front and the back of a stitch -

You continue to repeat that last row until you get 35 stitches on your needle then you…

Knit 2 stitches then knit the next two stitches together and then knit all the rest of the stitches. Do this over and over each row until you have five stitches left. 

(Here's a video on how to knit two stitches together -

Knit 2 stitches then knit the next two together, then knit the rest.

Knit one then knit two together then knit last one.

You now have three stitches left.

Bind off and weave in ends.

I tug it into a square.

This is smaller than the one on Ravelry.  I like smaller ones.

I am replacing my old ones which will go to my husband as paint cloths. He paints pictures. If you would like to see his work you can go onto his site So he will use my old dishcloths.

So this is very frugal all the way around.

Would it take less time buying some dishcloths? Yes, but have you tried these?? Again, they last way way way longer. And knowing how to do my own with what I already have on hand is a skill that I can do. It saved me running into town and spending money on gas and buying something that would not last. I also find knitting them to be relaxing.

What skills are you working on? What frugal things are you doing?

It is a good feeling to know I have skills that help with filling in the gaps we may have in our income. But that doesn’t stop me from learning more skills that could help us. - here is a pizza sauce you can make rather than running out for pizza.

Do you ever say, "oh well, I will just get this or that," when if you did it yourself it would have taken less time and money? 

When we are frugal it might not seem like it saves a lot but when you do it many times it adds up. If you don’t have to spend you can live on less.

If you need to live on less, do it. If you don’t need to live on less, do it anyway.

When I first started working on this Monday Message we had ice overnight and everything is coated in ice.

Having storage is such a good thing. It means we are not out on the ice and it means that I also had ice melt ready for the walk way.

It is hard to think of everything, but do the best you can. - this was so funny yet will help you understand about toilet paper.

So for years I have wanted this book and last week I got it for less than four dollars. It was written in 1978. I am enjoying reading it. She has a mix section where you can make your own mixes and lots of money saving info. I always look for information on saving money ideas.

See if you can get it library loan. If not I did buy my copy used on amazon.

Keep working on your storage. Keep finding ways to be frugal. Do the best you can.
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