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

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Still frugal February but I’m taking a blogging break

Hello everyone
I didn’t make a to do list this week. This is not a normal week with several family things happening.
And there isn’t really an opportunity to make blog post when extra things are going on, so I will be back after this week
Yesterday, to get ready for company, I baked a double batch of pancake and a batch of chocolate chip muffins.

I glazed part of the pound cakes , with lemon glaze, and part with chocolate glaze.
The chocolate chip muffins were pretty much devoured by some grandchildren who were here for an overnight stay. They ate them for dessert at supper and then they ate them with their breakfast the next morning before school. 
I baked pound cakes because I’m not sure when the rest of our company will be here and for what meals. Pound cakes  keep so I thought that would be the best thing to plan for a dessert. 
However, as soon as I tasted one of them, I knew I had made a boo-boo. I doubled the recipe and I doubled  all of the ingredients correctly………, except for the sugar.
It was not the worst mistake I could make. The cakes are still quite edible, but they are not as light or as sweet, as if they had the correct amount of sugar.

Oh well! We had some of the poundcake today with a few sliced strawberries on top, and it was still delicious.
There are plenty of peaches in the freezer so I may thaw those out when company is here and we will just call it peach shortcake

Hope you all are having a good week with no kitchen boo-boos. 

I’ll be back as soon as I can
❤️ Rhonda 

Friday, February 10, 2023

Frugal February 10- kitchen reorganized, no money spent

Hello everyone
Well, it was a big job and took a lot longer than I expected
  But I really think my work will pay off with cooking being easier and less frustrating.  

You saw I took everything out of the lower cabinets and also ripped out the old shelf paper and put in fresh - I used some shelf liner  I bought on grocery pickup way back during the shutdown. 

Over view of our kitchen- everything is where it is supposed to be and clean - except the floors need a super-deep cleaning and that’s going to happen soon. 
But one thing at a time, right? 
One of the most frustrating areas is the cabinet storage just over and under the mixer.  It’s in a corner and very hard to get things in and out.  
I’ve had grandchildren fish things out multiple times.  

So,  I tried to not use that corner space as much as is reasonable.  
I previously had cookware in the lower cabinet under the toaster.  
I decided to make it the extra stuff cabinet- stuff we use but not very often.

You’ll see I added a content list to most of the doors.  
The narrow cabinets on each side of the stove seem the most sensible place  to store cookware.
On the left is where that hidden space is. On the top shelf are our saucepans and to the left is nothing but the griddle that came with our stove top that we never use but I figured if somebody else lives in this house, they may want that built-in griddle. On the bottom is my medium-size Dutch oven And to the left of it are some ice trays and some extra drinking  cups 
In the narrow cabinet to the right of the stove are all our  skillets -  Nonstick skillets in the top basket and cast iron skillets in the bottom.

On the other side of the kitchen are two sets of double cabinets on top and bottom. 
This one has four pull out containers. One contains small Tupperware, one contains large Tupperware, on the bottom is a container of jars, 
and the red basket has a hand grader, a salad, shooter, and a vegetable chopper.
This cabinet has two crockpots and a rice cooker on the top shelf. On the bottom shelf is a basket of cupcake liners, egg coloring cups, little silicone cups, etc. 
Beside it are other large food containers.

Dishes in the left hand cabinet- on the top shelf are an assortment of disposables, because when we have big family meals, we use throwaways. 

This cabinet has travel bottles, straws, cups and glasses,  
a few cutting boards on the top shelf.  

One move that really cut out frustration was moving these big flat  things like pizza pans, cookie sheets, the biggest cutting board, muffin pans- to the pantry. 
They stand up like a library books, and they only take up a few inches in the pantry. But it is so easy to get one out and put the clean ones back.
Previously, they were in baskets in two cabinets and it seems like it was always hard to find the one I wanted and then to put the clean ones away.  

I did do some downsizing. My daughter wanted some things. 
There were some kitchen things that were things I’m not using, but I didn’t really want to get rid of like some nice pans and some extra silverware. I decided to store them on the guest bedroom shelf in case we hear of someone that needs these things.
And crazy as it sounds, we will have grandchildren going to college in a few years, 😱 and when they get apartments, they will need their own pots and pans and silverware.

And I have another container of things that I will put on the local Facebook Buy nothing list.

It’s Friday!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend

❤️ Rhonda 

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Frugal February 7, 8 and 9 kitchen clean out, Google Lens, Dollar Tree things for my daughter

Hello everyone 
I’ve spent almost all day working on my kitchen. 

I took everything out of the lower cabinets and some things from the upper cabinets.
Then I  cleaned the shelves and put in new shelf paper.

It was a big job and I am tired. I still want to put some labels on the doors.
Most everything is put back now, and I have a big discard pile.
 And I will show you after pictures tomorrow.

Do you all know about Google lens?
You need the Google app. It was already on my Apple phone and it was also on my husband’s android phone.
It’s very useful if you’re trying to identify something. 
There were some mystery items in that batch of sewing stuff I got Saturday so I tried out Google lens for the first time.
To use Google lens, open the app, and then touch the camera icon.
Then take a picture of your mystery item.

The app will probably tell you exactly what your mystery item’s name is. 
It will tell you what it may be selling for in different places or where to buy one. 
I learned about this app, watching a YouTuber identify items in a thrift store.
I think it’s very useful. My husband thinks it could be useful to identify the name of a part on something when you’re trying to fix it.
So remember your Google app next time you have a mystery. It might be able to help you solve it.

A budget, but very delicious recipe that I made this week is nut bread. The recipe is originally from a Susan Branch  cookbook.
I’ve been baking this for years.
It has no added fat of any kind in the recipe, except for the egg and the butter that is used to grease the pan.


We like it a lot. Especially toasted with a little butter on top.

I don’t guess I gave out enough clues about which of the dollar tree items my daughter requested. So I’ll just go ahead and show you.
She wanted the gnome, and those little carrots that I did not take a photo of, probably for her tiered tray in her kitchen.

She wanted the coloring tablecloth for her long dining table, they have three school-age children who will enjoy coloring the Valentine tablecloth.
On the right side of the picture, you can see their double entry doors and that is why she wanted the two bunny wreaths. 
And last, the felt bunny garland  will go on their mantle for Easter. 
She currently has felt hearts there for Valentine’s Day.

Nobody guessed  the correct items and I really wasn’t clear enough.
I will host a giveaway of some sort very soon

❤️ Rhonda 

Monday, February 6, 2023

Frugal February 4, 5 and 6

Hello everyone 
First here is my weekly to do list.  As I expected, several undone tasks from last week’s list have been rolled over to this week’s list.
But that’s fine and that is just life. 
I think I need a new black ink pad. My stamping images don’t look as clear as I prefer them to.

On Saturday, I saw a Facebook marketplace ad and I knew the people.  
I got all of this and lots more for $25 
I don’t think I’ll ever need to buy another zipper or button. 
And as long as the elastic is still viable, I won’t need to buy any more elastic for a long, long time either. 

Now my sewing room has stuff spread everyone and I’ll be working on that this week.
  Lots of good stuff but it’s still stuff and I need to find a place for it.  

No photo but my husband smoked a $35 commissary brisket on Saturday.  We‘ve at it 3 days in a row and it is just delicious. 
He doesn’t follow the brisket experts advice, and he trims most of the fat from the brisket. But we like it that way. It is still flavorful and tender, just not fatty or greasy. Tomorrow I’ll put what is left in the freezer in meal size containers.
 We could have gone out to eat and spent $35 on one brisket meal but this way we get many brisket meals for the same money.

Sunday afternoon I made a double batch of energy balls. Most of these will go in lunches for grand children who pack school lunches. In our town, all children can eat breakfast free but I think school lunches cost $3.50  or $4 a day.

This is my basic energy ball recipe. I usually heat the peanut butter in the microwave just to make it easier to stir.
Corn syrup and pancake syrup can be substituted for the honey with very good results.
I usually stir the wet ingredients together, then stir in the oats and then stir in the M&Ms or chocolate chips
I’ve used traditional peanut butter, sugar-free peanut butter, and a low sugar peanut butter. All have worked just fine.
Shape into balls, whatever size you desire, and chill in the refrigerator.
They are very filling, much more filling than a store-bought granola bar

One  morning I had an unusual opportunity to help my daughter shop at Aldi. 
 After that I went by myself to Dollar Tree. 
I needed 2 things and got both of them for our home (tiny trash bags and a particular type of toothpaste) I was also looking for some shampoo and conditioner that I saw on YouTube, that had good reviews, but this dollar tree did not have them.

Then I sent some photos to my daughter to see if she wanted some of these things as I thought she might.  
She picked out a few things. Can you guess which things she asked for?  





She wanted things in 4 of these photos.  If anyone gets it exactly right,  I’ll send the first one a little gift.  

Hope you all are having a good Monday 
❤️ Rhonda 

Friday, February 3, 2023

Frugal February #3 needles, pillows and nails

Hello everyone 
I got some sewing things earlier this year from a relative.
I think this pack of sewing needles from Wonder potato chips is such neat thing.  

I’m guessing it was a freebie inside a specially marked package of chips or maybe it was a mail in offer, like mail in 2 proofs of purchase and 
Wonder would mail the customers their needles.  

When was the last time you saw anything marked “made in japan”

A company won’t do a freebie like this now.  Somebody would eat a needle and say they didn’t know needles weren’t edible or something ridiculous like that.  
But I think this is neat reminder of past things.  

And I used one of those needles today……..

When I unpacked my Valentine decorations,  I found 2 pillow covers that I didn’t remember. 
I didn’t have pillow blanks to put in them so I just made some.
I had 2 older bed pillows.  
I marked them to fit into the 17 inch pillow covers- I only had to cut off 1 end- 
The filling was thick and it took a bit of an effort to cut through it but it wasn’t a hard job. 
Then I turned under the pillow fabric edges and hand sewed them shut. 

There are the pillow covers zipped onto the just made pillow inserts 

And I have an idea about what to do with the pillow stuffing ends- stay tuned. 

I gave Ducky a bath this morning and did a few cleaning jobs.  My manicure didn’t hold up to well to all that water 
and I wasn’t crazy about those 2 color nails so I put on a fresh set just now 

And there are still sooooo many nails in this bag! 

Have a good weekend everyone
❤️ Rhonda 

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Frugal February #2 use what you have

Hello again 
We haven’t had a dish of nuts to just crack and eat for snacks for quite awhile.  I was thinking an official nut dish would be nice so I looked on Amazon, EBay and Mercari.
  I found some nice ones but they seemed awfully expensive for a seasonal use item.  So I wondered how to make a nut bowl that would contain the mess and still look nice.
I had this Longaberger basket with a liner and it works great for the nuts.  
To hold the crackers and picks,  I used a little cup, also something we already had.  

Grandsons especially think it is fun to crack nuts.  
After looking at this photo,  I think it’s time to clean out the shells and maybe refill it.  

The link below is from Little House Living.  
It says it is all the frugal tips you will ever need.  
I did think it was a useful article and might be of interest to some of y’all.  


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Frugal February #1 for lots of reasons

Hello everyone 
I plan on being more frugal than I have been in recent years and blogging about some frugal things I’m doing.  

Use What You Have - when possible- is the best way to not spend money and below are a few things I did,  using what I had.  

First, have you all heard about the tier tray decorating craze?  
I knew some people did it and then I found a Facebook group that’s all about tier trays.  And people are really serious and extravagant with tier trays.  
I’ve had a tier tray for years but never really decorated it for a season. 
So, I got out my shoe box of valentine decorations, that I  use every Valentines- and decorated my tier tray.  
I think a tier tray makes a cuter display than just having these doo dads spread out on a table. 

I didn’t buy a thing new. 
 My trays are deep so I needed some risers.  I used an extra set of measuring cups turned upside down and covered them with fabric to set the little Dreamsicle cherubs on.  

Some people buy a bunch of stuff at Hobby Lobby and Dollar Tree to decorate their their trays.  But I won’t be doing that.  I think tier trays are a great way to display decorations, little sentimental things   and doo-dads I already own.  
Tier trays can be bought or they are easily homemade by stacking/glueing plates with candlesticks in between.  Look on Pinterest or Facebook if all of this is of interest to you.  

For Americans, we are in tax season.  Our finances are simple and I’ve done our taxes online pretty much since we first had access to the internet.  
The last few years I used E-file.com 
A few weeks ago they sent me a postcard with a half off code to use as a returning customer,  so I used it and saved almost $30.  
And I’m happy to say our state and federal returns have been filed and accepted.  
Having one less task to think about is a great feeling.  

I’ve been wearing press on nails for years.
Every set has 30 or so nails of various sizes and I only have 10 fingers,  so I always end up with some spare nails when I switch to a new set.  
I’ve been keeping the spares and sort them by color groups.  

So, another way I’m going to pinch a few pennies, is I plan on using up my spare nails before I buy new sets.  
I pulled out a bag of assorted dark red nails.  
That is a lot of nails!  I can’t use all of them as nails are different sizes and some are too small and some are too big.  
But I imagine there are quite a few full manicures in this bag. 

Last weeks manicure                                      And this weeks manicure 

Meals- I plan on using ingredients that have been hanging around in our freezer and pantry the longest and I did just that at lunch and snack time. 
Meals today 
We weren’t hungry and didn’t eat breakfast.  We just had coffee and tea.  
Lunch- I baked pork loin chops with sauerkraut and made mashed potatoes
For a snack,  I baked a spice  cake mix that was past date by 3 months.  It smelled fine so I added a teaspoon of baking powder and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon as we like lots of cinnamon.  It baked fine and tasted really good.  It will be nice to have the rest of this week.  
Supper will be the rest of the tossed salad that I made and served yesterday.  

I think almost everyone is feeling a pinch, and many are feeling lots more pain than a pinch, during this inflation cycle we are all in.  
I don’t know that anything I plan to post here is going to help anyone who is truly struggling.  
So you might want to look at the more hardcore blogs than mine.  

Husband and I both feeling much better.  Except for being a little tired,  I felt normal today.  I think he has another a day or so of healing and then he will be normal.  
Colds are not usually serious but they certainly are no fun