If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Sunday, October 31, 2010

editted.....

Edited -I just don't have the time to blog right now. Maybe I'll be back later but I may not.


I hope to keep visiting you all at your blogs when possible. 

If you need to contact me,  just email me
stwoliver3@yahoo.com 

See you all in CyberSpace.     bye for now!

Granddaugher Elizabeth

Grandson Gavin


October is just about over and  it was mostly painless - here is how I did on what I planned at the first of the month.

•The windows are open and letting in fresh cool air - I can still hear my neighbors A/Cs cycling on and off when I am out walking
October was mostly mild as far as Oklahoma weather goes.  We did run the A/C  a few days for very short periods.  The heater never had to be fired up.  I should get a utility bill in about a week and think it will be very small.

•our dishwasher is not getting the dishes clean so I will be hand washing as I don't want to buy a new DW right now. I know some studies say that dishwashers cost less and use less water than hand washing but I disagree. I even did it and watched my bill for a month and it went down about $11 that month.
I like the idea of washing by hand but most days I was just so busy with grandbabies or other house things that I did not do much handwashing.  I bought a different brand of dw det and it seems to do a better job of cleaning too - Cascade with bleach, it is a powder in a big green box

•cooking and eating all meals at home unless there is a really good reason to eat out
we ate "out" a total of 5 times,  we had takeout doughnuts for breakfast twice,  ate at Chipotle twice and had delivery pizza from Hideaway once.  All other meals were cooked and eaten at home.

•continue to shop sales and use coupons wisely  Yes!

•get started on Christmas gifts.  well, sort of but just barely!  I do have some ideas in the planning stage

•Stay home! this is no sacrifice at all for me. I like to stay home. Hubby likes to do errands on weekends anyway so I will try to do my shopping and errands with him. That will save gas and wear and tear on my vehicle.   I did this one.  I bought a tank of gas at the very first of October and did not buy anymore gas until Oct. 27th.  My vehicle was not really empty, just starting to get low and I don't like it to be too low.

•re-read my TightWad Gazette Complete - I've got it out and leafed through a few pages last night  - No, I still have this book out but have not re-read it all the way,  maybe 75 pages or so.  It has lots of good ideas but many of them just don't seem to apply to me right now. 

•my kitchen and household supplies are pretty well stocked. I don't want to totally deplete them because I think it is good idea if possible to keep a reasonable stockpile. But I will I use things on hand for meals and hopefully still continue to keep things bought on sale.      I did use a lot of on hand ingredients and the pantry is a little more empty but still pretty full.   My goal was to spend $100 or less per week,  I did go over that a little but I did some stocking up that I did not have to do.

•baking bread at home   Yep,  baked all our bread except for a few loaves I bought this week at Dollar Tree for $1 a loaf,  3 of them went in the freezer. 

•my stepson and his wife got 2 milk cows last week. They brought us a gallon of their fresh milk on Tuesday, fresh farm milk with a thick layer of cream on top. Very good stuff!  -  we've had 5 gallons of this "real" milk and I've used it for chocolate pudding, coconut pudding, cream gravy, pancakes, home made ice cream.  It is really nice.  I have not yet been successful making butter from the cream even though I have tried 5 times. 


•and the big "sacrifice" for me will be no or very little soda. I do love diet soda but I am only drinking one a day now and don't plan on increasing that and may even give them up all together. Iced Tea will just have to satisfy.     Really big FAIL on this one,  diet dr. pepper has been my almost constant companion.  Maybe I will do better next month.


 We've been talking about re-doing our floors for quite some time and we're undecided about buying new carpet and trying to get hardwood or a Pergo type floor.  All those options would of been at least $2500, probably quite a bit more.
Well,  if you have been reading my other posts,  you know we are laying ceramic tile all by ourselves!  It has been some trial and error,  there is still the (big) living room and the a hall way to do.  But we finished the dining room and other hall way today. 
I think laying tile could be done by most anyone but it is messy, takes lots of figuring and some patience. 
Our DIY option of laying the tile should cost less than $1000.  We are having to work for it but the significant savings is worth it. 

November is a new month but I expect to continue on and hopefully complete some of the undone tasks from October.  How about you?   

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tightwad October - do it yourself - we hope!























Remember just a couple of weeks ago that I posted this dining room's makeover was done?
well, not quite!  Our house has white carpet in most all the rooms and after 8 years of hard living on it with messy adults, dogs and now grandbabies,  it was not as fresh as I would prefer.
I've never much liked carpet anyway because of how hard it is to clean and to know if it is clean. 

So - after 3 trips to Lowes this weekend, one trip was just to look, second trip was to buy one box of the tiles we thought we liked to see if they would coordinate with our current tile and the 3rd trip was to buy 32 boxes of tiles, borders, etc. 
We plan on replacing the carpet in our dining room, living room and one hall.
Jeff ripped up the carpet in the dining room and it came up easy with no glue holding it down. 

So, if all goes well,  I guess we will start tiling soon.  Nope, we have never done it before except for some peel and stick tiles we put in our old house. 
And if it goes badly when we try to do it,  I guess we will do all the prep work and then hire someone to do the tiling.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tightwad October - Office/Craft room redone -



























For about a week now,  I've been working over our "office" that is mostly my craft room.  I did not take any before pictures, it was just starting to look like a junk room with nothing hanging on the walls.  This room was Nina's bedroom and I don't think it ever got decorated after she moved out almost 5 years ago. 
All the furniture pieces I had to work with were good.  The room just needed some cleaning and organizing, as well as some color coordination and things to put on the walls.
I looked through what I had and ended up reusing some window treatments, thrift store fabric, and a bunch of frames from my craft closet. Apparently I never get rid of frames and I have a lot that came from yard sales for 25 cents or so. 
The only new expense for this room was 2 cans of black spray paint.  It was used on a wood chair, piano stool, several frames and a bulletin board.



Before - just an average office-type chair










I did a search for tutorials to recover office chairs and make slipcovers

Office chair make-over.  For the fabric, I re-cycled some black and white checked curtains that I sewed for a house Nina and John lived in as newlyweds. The skirt "was" a black toile valance that used to be in our master bedroom.   

the pieces pinned on and the sewing line marked with a pen with disappearing ink.

After


Thrift store fabric - a big piece of blue and black toile bought more than a year ago.  I used it to cover the glider rocker and footstool. 
glider rock with a new slip cover



I guess I could stay busy with this fabric stash and all these magazines and books for a long time!
 


this toile valance used to be in the dining room.

I  like this new room very much and I think I will do lots of crafting and sewing in here. 
I know I have different things than you have - but I also know that most of us have more stuff than we are using. 
If you are wanting a makeover, try looking at what you have in a different way.   


P.S.
My chair has arms - so to cover them, I cut out an oval shape, sewed bias tape around the edge and used that as a casing for elastic.  I just pulled up the elastic to get a snug fit, then tied it in a knot and hid the ends under the cover.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dining Room re-do update


Way back in August,  I started a re-do of this dining room.  Then in September,  I sewed up the new curtains and swapped around some furniture.   This weekend,  Jeff did this woodworking project of building a pair of shelves to hold his plate collection.



He stained the shelves to match the buffet table and the dining room chairs.  He worked hard and measured and measured again.  He was worried they would be crooked or off-center but I think all his efforts paid off, and he got them straight and even. 

His plates are the Professions, a line of plates put out by Royal Doulton. 


Jeff's grandmother had a huge plate collection.  A big wall in her farm house was covered with plates, many were gifts from friends and relatives.  She had a  lot of souvenier plates and state plates and holiday plates.  She let all the relatives pick out the ones they wanted  and she wrote their names on the back with permanent marker. 
I think Jeff picked out the classiest and most valuable of all the ones she had, at the time, he was just a kid and had no idea what they were, he just liked them. 
After he got them,  they pretty much went into a cabinet.  Years later,  we saw one of the plates on a British tv show called Bargain Hunt and Jeff started doing some online research on them.  He bought a few on Ebay and then we found 2 more at the Antique Mall in our town. 
This summer, he got the oldest and hardest to find one, The Bookworm, on Ebay and it completes the set.
I really like the plates on the shelves,  and how nice that they are mostly green and red and match my green yard sale table cloth and the vintage rose fabric I used on the curtains and stool!

the 93 was Grandmother Pearl's numbering system.  She had over 200 plates and Jeff's were 93 and 96.





















So making this room pretty again has taken awhile but I am really happy with it.  There is still one huge blank wall but I can live with it. 

This project really went with my Tightwad October theme too.  We did spend money on the wood, stain and hangers to make the shelves.  But everything else was just re-used and things that we already had.

I am linking this to Cottage Instincts Make it 4 Monday.  This is a wonderful blog with lots of links to other decorating projects. 


Nina's latest project

Nina came over yesterday and used the Cricut machine to make these cute labels for her canisters - if you want to read how she did them,  she posted more on her blog Love Sweet Love

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tightwad October - Day 7 - borrow if you can

I take care of my grandchildren some of the days that their parents work.  4 month old Elizabeth usually spends 3 days each week with me.
At her home home,  she has a swing that rocks side to side and she puts herself to sleep in it and takes long naps. 
Well,  the swing at my house just went back and forth and she would only sleep 10 or 15 minutes at time in it.  Elizabeth was not getting enough sleep at my house and we were both getting a little cranky. 
Nina mentioned this to some of her other new-mommy friends.  One of them has a daughter that is almost a year old and she had outgrown this pink swing that rocks side to side.  That mommy had her husband fetch it from the basement and even washed the cover so it would be fresh for Elizabeth.   Nina brought it over and set it up this morning and little Miss Elizabeth had a much better day today rocking side to side the way she is used to at her home. 



































Babies, like most Americans,  seem to have so much stuff these days.  Especially if you are needing baby things or child things or most anything,  just spread the word among your friends that you are looking for it.
 I think the odds are pretty good that somebody else has one and would like to get rid of it. 

Even the side to side swing Elizabeth has at her home is borrowed from their next door neighbor.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tightwad October Day 6

this is pretty much a repeat of a post I did back in March.  Several of you asked about this recipe and I did not realize it was so long ago that I first posted it.  This is for sure a tightwad recipe,  it uses just regular ingredients that I think most cooks keep in their kitchen.  The actual work time to make this is just 15 minutes,  it does have to rise twice so you need to be home keeping an eye on it but not much effort at all.
I use this recipe for everyday bread loaves.  Sometimes I roll it out and cut it in circles for sandwich buns.  Tonight, we had some of these buns from the freezer.  I cooked small hamburger patties and we had sliders for supper. 

this is my grandparents at a picnic.  Grandma is the first woman in the left.  Grandpa is wearing a hat.  The 2 pretty women beside Grandpa are my Aunt Evelyn and Aunt Bernice.  Look at all the "real" dishes on this table.  They are even drinking from real glass tumblers! 
Grandpa's Bread


This is the recipe for my grandparents daily bread. Both Grandma and Grandpa were the best bakers and I learned how to make this bread from Grandpa.

It's just about the simplest bread recipe I've ever come across. And the best tasting. No fancy ingredients or equipment needed.

This bread is perfect for breakfast toast, sandwiches and just eating with any meal


Grandpa's Bread

2 cups warm water
1 package yeast - or a scant T of yeast
1 t salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil - can use melted butter but I usually use oil
about 6 cups of flour - I usually use white but can use a combination of whole wheat and white
dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Then stir in the salt, oil and most of the flour. Mix well, then knead until you have a smooth dough. My grandparents  kneaded it all by hand, I let my Kitchenaid mixer do most of the work

Let dough rise in an oiled bowl, covered with a clean kitchen towel, until at least double in size.

Punch down. Divide in 2. Shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans.

Let rise again, until at least double.

Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes.

Edie posted here where she baked this recipe
and  Joyful blogged here where she baked it.
so if you are looking for a good basic old fashioned bread to bake,  you might want to try this one.  It is our favorite. 
And as I type this,  our son just got home from law school and is eating some of the leftover sliders on buns.  He looks pretty happy about it too. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tightwad October Day 5

Today's frugal doings - 5 pies for less than the cost of one frozen pie.

Jeff brought home a sack full of apples from a coworker several weeks ago. 
 So this morning while Gavin took a nap, I made pies.
I mixed up a double batch of never fail pie dough and lined 4 pans.
Then I peeled and sliced all the apples and mixed them with sugar and cinnamon.



 3 of the pans I used had a small rim and the whole pie fits perfectly into a gallon freezer bag.
Pan  #4 had a big rim and would not fit,  so I wrapped it in freezer paper and will bake it first.
I froze the pies unbaked.  I will leave them frozen and bake them  just like you would a frozen Mrs Smiths pie.


After I trimmed the 4 pies, I had a good size pile of dough trimmings left.  I also had some sliced apples left. 
I know all the TV cooking hosts say to never over work or reuse crust scraps because they will be tough,  well,  I broke that rule and used those scraps to make one more pie.  I baked it today and Gavin and I enjoyed some with our lunch.  That re-worked crust was flaky and tender and I am so glad I did not throw those scraps away.

Never Fail Pie Dough  (I doubled this recipe today)
4 cups all purpose flour
1 T sugar
2 t salt
1 1/3 shortening - I used regular Crisco, butter flavor would be good too
1/2 C water
1 T vinegar
1 egg
Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until it is fine crumbs.
Mix the water, vinegar and egg together.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Toss with a fork just until it is all mixed together.
Divide into 4 parts.
Shape into balls, then roll out on floured surface.
This will make 4 9 inch pie crusts, maybe 5.


This is what the sink looked like after lunch and pie making - I guess this is why some people don't cook much as they don't like to do the dishes. 
Actually, they only took about 5 minutes to wash up.


Monday, October 4, 2010

TIghtwad October - warning, really really long post

Tightwad October

October seems to be an easy month to tighten up spending. The summer heat has left and it is cooler but not cold so we should not have to run the A/C or heat this month. We don't have any family birthdays in October. The only holiday is Halloween, which we don't celebrate. We don't have any unusual bills coming due this month. My situation is probably different from yours but I know I am not the only homemaker that wants to spend less and save more.

I'll be paying bills today and then looking at our account balances. I've already got our normal spending cash set aside for groceries and our personal spending. My plan is to stay at or under our regular budgeted spending, not do any "extra" spending this month. Hopefully come the end of the month, our savings account will be larger while next month's utility and credit card bills will be tiny. I also hope to get started making and buying Christmas gifts.

So, here goes! I've been thinking what I can do to and have come up with these things to start

•The windows are open and letting in fresh cool air - I can still hear my neighbors A/Cs cycling on and off when I am out walking

•our dishwasher is not getting the dishes clean so I will be hand washing as I don't want to buy a new DW right now. I know some studies say that dishwashers cost less and use less water than hand washing but I disagree. I even did it and watched my bill for a month and it went down about $11 that month.

•cooking and eating all meals at home unless there is a really good reason to eat out

•continue to shop sales and use coupons wisely

•get started on Christmas gifts.

•Stay home! this is no sacrifice at all for me. I like to stay home. Hubby likes to do errands on weekends anyway so I will try to do my shopping and errands with him. That will save gas and wear and tear on my vehicle.

•re-read my TightWad Gazette Complete - I've got it out and leafed through a few pages last night

•my kitchen and household supplies are pretty well stocked. I don't want to totally deplete them because I think it is good idea if possible to keep a reasonable stockpile. But I will I use things on hand for meals and hopefully still continue to keep things bought on sale.

•baking bread at home

•my stepson and his wife got 2 milk cows last week. They brought us a gallon of their fresh milk on Tuesday, fresh farm milk with a thick layer of cream on top. Very good stuff!
•and the big "sacrifice" for me will be no or very little soda. I do love diet soda but I am only drinking one a day now and don't plan on increasing that and may even give them up all together. Iced Tea will just have to satisfy.

So, I hope some of you will watch me and some of you may want to join in. I am always looking for new ideas to save more and spend less. I am not afraid of hard work or getting my hands dirty or spending some time to spend less.

There will be more posts on what I am doing coming up.

We can have fun and be like the Proverbs ants getting ready for winter.Saturday,



Tightwad October Day 2
 it is a beautiful early autumn day here and it makes it easier to be thriftier when we can leave the windows open with fresh air circulating through our home. I love fresh breezes, do you? I guess folks who suffer from allergies may not like open windows but I sure do!

- we had breakfast at home. Freezer biscuits with scrambled eggs, OJ and Jeff also had a slice of ham.

There were a lot of yard sales listed in our newspaper but I did not feel like going out so early - could not think of anything we really needed anyway.  Can you believe it?  I really did not want to go!  So, no money spent on yard sales or gas to get to them.

We did do a few errands later in the morning. We went to Lowes to get the wood and hardware needed for shelves Jeff will build for our dining room. I had a $10 off $50 coupon and our total was just under $50 so I added some lightbulbs we also needed and was pleased to have a lower total and more things to show for it. We also went to Family Dollar so I could use their $5 off $25 coupon - I got 24 rolls of Charmin, 2 jugs of Tide, 1 box of dryer sheets, 2 jugs of Clorox bleach and a baby bottle brush. The bottle brush is made by Luvs and was just $1, I was surprised that Family Dollar had so many baby things at low prices. Then Jeff filled my vehicle up with gas at the station with the lowest price. I think it was $2.49 a gallon, how does that compare with your local prices?

For lunch, we ate from the fridge. Jeff had a sandwich and chips, I had leftover taco salad. There was one big piece of last nights pie & we shared that for dessert.

Tonight, we are going to a comedy play at our local community theater. It is just a few miles from our house so it is much easier to get to than driving to Oklahoma City or Tulsa. We will eat at home before we leave.

other thrifty doings


•cleaned out my coupons, discarding the expired ones. Many expire the end of a month. Cashiers are not amused if you accidentally give them an expired coupon and it make them slowly scrutinize any other coupons you give them. october 2 001

•baking bread - I used a recipe with 6 cups of flour, then shaped it into 2 small loaves and a pan of burger buns. I will freeze one loaf and the buns to eat later in the week.

•used the free offer from Walgreens to get an 8x10 print of my granddaughter and will pick it up tomorrow - this offer has expired but they do repeat it every so often. I was wanting this print and it saved $3.99.


Fresh bread - does anything on earth smell better than this?
october 2 003


















When I let dough rise, I cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plate, instead of using Saran Wrap.


Day 3

The play we went to last night was lots of fun, it was called "A Tuna Christmas" about a very small town in Texas. It had 14 characters and they were all played by just 2 men who changed costumes and wigs often. It was so cute and we laughed almost the whole time. We went into the lobby to walk around during intermission and each got a soda - would you believe they sell them for just 50 cents a cup? When was the last time you bought a drink for 50 cents?

Frugal doings - plan your errands when you will be out anyway to save on gas and time - I get weekly emails from Walgreens that tell about their weekly sales. They come out on Thursday or Friday so it gives me a few days to look over them and see if there are any specials I want to buy when the sale starts on Sunday. I wanted to buy the mens Dove body wash that is on sale - 4 bottles for $15 with a $5 register reward to use next time. Walgreens is between our house and our church. So since I had my list and coupons ready, we stopped on the way to church this morning. I got the body wash and was happy to see that each bottle had a free travel sized bottle attached.

At Walgreens, I also picked up my free 8x10 that was last weeks offer. Next week, they are a having another photo freebie on Weds. only, for a free purse sized photo book. I will be doing that one for sure too. I don't remember the exact code but I will post it next time if any of you want to do it as well.

It may sound like I did too much shopping today and yesterday for it to be very tightwad. Everything I bought was in my budget and needed, and I probably will not buy anything else until next weekend.

Meals today

•OJ, scrambled eggs and homemade bread toast

•chicken fried steak, fried potatoes and spinach - I don't mean deep-fried, I cook with nonstick skillets and use just a dab of oil on both the potatoes and steak. Cooking with lots of oil is expensive and uses too many calories anyway.

•I used some of the fresh milk and cream from stepson and made a small batch of homemade vanilla ice cream. I ate some, then froze the rest in small single serving sized bowls.

•supper will be leftovers or snacks

Day 4
Meatless Monday - for supper tonight, we're having pinto beans. There are just 2 of us tonight so I soaked 1 cup of pinto beans overnight. Beans "grow" a lot when soaked, that is a 4 cup measure they are in and I think

they increased to almost 3 cups after soaking.Oct 4 002







I prefer to cook beans in a crock pot. The crock pot uses a small amount of electricity and I think it cooks beans gentler so they don't break up as much. I prefer beans cooked with no meat but you could certainly add ham or ground beef or sausage.



For seasoning, I add a chopped onion, 1/4 t garlic and a t of cumin and chili powder, as well as some black pepper. Put the seasonings in the crock pot with about 4 cups of water for 1 cup of beans. Then cook all day on low, or about 4 hours on high. You'll know the beans are done if the skins break when you blow on them. Oct 4 001



Add salt to taste after the beans are tender. Salt and tomato products can keep beans from getting soft so never add either one until the beans are cooked.

Jeff likes to top his bowl of beans with some raw onion so I saved little of them in a small tupperware dishes.



On the side, I will bake a half batch of cornbread in the toaster oven. I also made a big green salad that will last us about 3 days.



Beans and cornbread are about the cheapest main dish I know of. I think the beans and cornbread for the 2 of us cost less than 75 cents total.

Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda