Monday, April 26, 2021

Monday Message

"We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property. Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees—plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard." (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1976, 171; or Ensign, May 1976, 124) 

This is the right time of the year to think about planting some fruit trees. Kmart has not been around for some time here but before it went away we picked up two fruit trees from an end of season clearance. We got an apple tree which died, the other was a plum tree but it did nothing every year. I had some funny flower on it one year and thought, great, a mislabeled tree or shrub but I would just leave it. Today I was working in the kitchen and looked out and saw this...

I went right out to see what tree was this. Imagine my surprise when I got there and noticed it was a plum tree, after all my favorite jam is plum. I really hope I get enough to make jam.

Our backyard looks like it has been nuked and there all by itself was this pretty tree.

Here in Iowa, where we live, we cannot plant the garden till after May 15th. I have started seed indoors and have cleared away around the garden fencing and sprinkled the marigold seeds I saved last year. The battle will be with rabbits, they are hovering near the garden already along with the squirrels who ate my peaches, they never have before, the only thing different was the derecho. It blew the walnuts far away and perhaps that was why. Hoping I don't have a repeat of any of it.

I am feeling like I need to stock up a little more. So the grocery budget I have I divided it up. I used some to get powdered milk through the home storage from my church The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. You can find it on it is on the page that opens up, go till you find ‘online store.’ The milk arrived a few days ago...

Last week hamburger was on sale in the big ten pound tube. I got two then I repackaged them into freezer bags though I do in less than a pound packages.

The rest of the month's grocery budget will be very frugal. I would not be able to do this if I did not have storage on hand. So your storage allows for you to take advantage of sales or big purchases like powdered milk.

Knowing how to make bread also stretches the grocery budget too, as you can make a soup with rolls and you have a frugal meal and in our case we have lots of leftovers. I utilize my leftovers into what I call planned-overs. For example, the last time I made taco meat I made three times more than I needed for our meal. This way I could freeze several packages and use them for different meals, one was chili that we had Conference weekend with cinnamon rolls. When I do chicken I cook extra to make a casserole and to make chicken salad sandwiches which is fantastic on homemade bread. My mother-in-law loved my chicken salad sandwiches.

My Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I use the homemade bread that I have shared many times... (Recipe HERE)

I then cut up my pre-planned chicken leftover


My home-canned pickled relish, I use a tablespoon and a half. You can use store bought sweet pickle relish if you want.

I tiny dice half an onion slice

Mix this all together and put in the refrigerator till needed

Eating frugally does not mean you suffer, nope, it just means I use my more frugal meals. This is how I am able to stock up.

This week I have been better organizing my unmounted stamps using things I had on hand. I had them stored in jewel cases that DVD's used to be stored in I had gotten long ago at yard sales. But over time these filled two plastic drawers and were hard to find and they dropped behind each other making it hard to see them. I did have them in categories but it needed to be improved. Yes, it took me some time to accomplish this. But using what I had, being some transparencies from yard sale and tape and box tape, here is what I did...

I folded a transparency in half and taped each side with box tape. This created a pocket. Then I cut card stock, white in color, and slid this inside the pocket, then I cut another transparency in half and trimmed it a quarter of an inch at the cut in half point where I cut on one side. I took these and slid them on each side of the card stock, these are where I stuck the unmounted stamps. I peeled them off the plastic they came on which has a black picture of the stamp, I took those pictures and taped them on the outside of the pocket like so....

I tried to be mindful of what went in what pocket to categorize later. The plastic transparency they are stuck to acts like a sliding drawer. You find the picture of the stamp you want and slide out that transparency to get to the stamp and put it away. A lot of them came free with a magazine. They would highlight the free set with several ideas for using them. I tore out those pages and folded in them half and put them in a page protector which I cut in half.  

The stamp pockets I have in categories like animals, flowers, etc. The idea pages in the cut down page protectors are then placed in front of those stamps used some came with embossing folders and of dies to cut with these. I made notes as to where they would be in the dies or with embossing folders.

This whole thing now filled only one drawer. Leaving one drawer empty soooo...

I took Ziploc bags I had gotten at a yard sale long long ago, these are thicker and not the for food type.

I pulled out my box that had my embossing folders in it as you can see here. Halfway through I thought to take a picture, it’s kind of messy looking though very organized.

Embossing folders are textured plastic folders you put paper in and run through an embossing machine. Mine is very old, it’s a red Sizzix machine I got with a 50% off coupon many many many years ago. There have been many generations of them since then but I have it and what it basically does is press hard on the folder which leaves the image embossed on the paper or cardstock.  

Over the years, from yard sales and coupons using b-day monies etc., I have accumulated quite a few so this too was a chore. I put each in one of the bags numbering the folder and the bag so if I have several I am working with I know where it goes back. It’s important because each has a sample of it with its number on it in a rolodex I was given long ago. I can turn it and see what design I want and the number that goes with it.

This is what now takes up the second drawer that I freed up and looks neater and they are all in numerical order for fast finding.

I have made my cards and gifts for years...This is quite a collection and now quite a bit better organized using what I already had on hand.

So that was what I did frugally this week.

Gus and Missy say to keep being safe!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Monday Message

"Follow the prophet. He has counseled us to plant a garden and fruit trees. This year don’t just think about it—do it. Grow all the food you possibly can. Also remember to buy a year’s supply of garden seeds so that, in case of a shortage, you will have them for the following spring." (Vaughn J. Featherstone)

Gardening really does help us - even though I really hate it in every way, we cannot love everything. I do love eating fresh produce though and canning the I push on and plant a garden.

So consider putting in a garden this year as a frugal way of stocking up. - she is very helpful on food storage. - wheat bread. - a way to make freezer rolls. - I love this gal.

I feel like the more we learn, the better we will be able to manage frugally. Building skills is way important, knowing how to do certain skills will save you so much money. Learn all you can and put these skills to use.

Gus uses his skills of watching birds and wildlife everyday.

This week I embroidered a mask I made. Of course, a certain someone was closely observing to see if I did it right.

I made bread as usual.

I did get a bit more spinning done this week. I am nearing the end of this spinning project.

The seeds are growing well...

So these are a few of the things I have done this week to be frugal. What things have you done this week? Share with us in the comments below.

Gus and Missy say now is not the time to let your guard down, continue being safe. You can make a mask and embroider on it too. Missy says she can supervise.

Monday, April 12, 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)

We all need to be working on our food storage. Covid-19 could only be a test run of future events that could occur.

Time for starting seeds...

I have thyme and basil and butternut squash and spaghetti squash up plus tiny orange tomatoes that my sister plants, they are so good. She brought me some of those tomatoes on one of her visits and I saved the seed on a paper napkin. Well they dried to that paper napkin and so I tore off, napkin and all, and now they are growing. Once they all are up I will take that plastic wrap off the top but it acts like a terrarium till I take it off - this has items you can pick up to boost your storage. - this has a great list, you might get ideas to beef up your storage. - this is helpful as well. Think what items you have in your pantry... - this is a great list as well.

Gus wants to know what skills are you working on?

I made this tiny sweater, the pattern is in a SpinOff magazine.

I made this pattern to brush up on some of my skills. Wouldn't it be cute on a tree? I think I will do a few more to keep my hands moving so arthritis doesn't lock them up.

Missy says - well, it wouldn't fit her ear.

Another thing I did this week was...

I sorted my knitting notions into these little colorful boxes, makes it so much easier to find what I need. I had gotten the container in Florida when we visited our kids before the pandemic. The boxes weren't my idea. I saw it on a knitting podcast.

We are fully vaccinated but they are saying we still need to wear masks and social distance and no traveling so things are not changing for now for us. So please stay safe.

Monday, April 5, 2021

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)

Many things we can do to prepare for the unexpected...what about the expected?

We can keep preparing for the unexpected by picking up a little here and there and if you use a lot of certain items, let's say ketchup, if that’s on sale pick up more than one. We need to think differently, rather than getting just one and having to go back when we run out. This costs money because it won't be on sale then and there is time and gas to go back to the store and they make it so you spend every trip inside their store. Instead of doing it that way, stock up on it during the sale. This just saves you money. I have my list but if there is a manager's special I can quickly alter it to take advantage of the sale. Having stocked up before makes this easier as well.

When I would feel the beginning of a cold, which usually was long lived for me, I would drop what I was doing and stir together meals for the freezer to help me when I would be at my worst to help me so that I could rest.

Also, if you know that a certain paycheck will be slim pickins, use what you stocked up to help you through that time.

When I was pregnant I got some great advice from mothers I knew...the best advice was to make some casseroles ahead for the adjustment time and someone else mentioned getting hamburger buns, some sliced ham, and cheese then make them up (bun, ham, cheese) and wrap them in foil then freeze. This way I could pull out and thaw for a cold sandwich or just toss them in the oven for a fast meal of it being a melted sandwich. I cannot tell you how this helped me to adjust.

Do the same if you have a surgery planned.

Now with fibromyalgia I do not know when I will be in a flare but to help me during those times I keep things on hand like the chicken and rice casserole ingredients that I talked about a few weeks ago - This is a recipe we like and is way easy to fix when those flares come. - this is very helpful in showing how to rotate your storage, I love this gal. - here are ideas for storing in small places. - I love this gal too, she is quite an inspiration.

This week I put cardboard down on the garden by breaking down boxes.  This will help me get a head start on weeds.

I also started some of my seeds for the garden that I had as well. We shall see what comes up. Last year I started more seeds than in the past to get a head start and it was a success before the derecho hit...I am hoping that doesn't happen again and hoping that the garden does well.

Missy says we need to love one another. It does not matter if we look alike. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love one another.

Gus said keep wearing those masks and being safe.

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