Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Relaxing Saturday Morning

My daughter called me early this morning.  She was at a church sale and told me I wouldn't be sorry if I came down.  She was right on.  I had a blast going through the endless tables piled high with good stuff.  And I mean good stuff. 

My daughter got a dresser, a mirror, and a once expensive upholstered chair for 15.00.  She will clean them up and paint them to blend in with her other furnishings.  She can also reupholster the chair.  She gets the creative gene from her dad. 

My bounty included:
1. A large jewelry box covered in a fabric that totally matches my bedding.  (Image below) 3.00
2. Three jam jars .25 each
3. Three pint Mason jars .25 each
4. A picture that was professionally framed to hang in the powder room  1.00
5. A Spode Christmas bowl 2.00
6. A black enamel tray that I put in the guest room to coral a few items on the bedside table. .50
7. A piece of material (about .50 yard)  free
8. A casserole dish with cover 1.00
9. Christmas cards. The kind I can write a personal message in. .25
10.A real Tupperware pasta holder, never used.  .50
11. A large cutting board (plastic) 1.00

I brought it all home and cleaned with bleach water soaked cloths.  I'm going to paint the picture frame to match the powder room.  Everything else was in great condition.

Have you found some great deals going to garage sales this year?  What's your favorite all time gs find?



 
The jewelry box sits in front of our wedding picture on my dresser.  The cross next to the picture was my husband's when he was a boy.
 
 
 
 
 
My bounty all cleaned and ready to go.

I'm not the US Postal Service

One thing I have always struggled with is mail.  When I moved here the mail box didn't get much activity.  A month passed and the mail box looked like I lived here for years.  Someone sold my name.  Since I have no bills other than electric, gas, water, etc., I can assume it was one of these companies.  Or maybe the attorney's office where I did my closing.  I don't get upset anymore because it's a waste of my energy.  I just 'file' the garbage in -well - the garbage.  I black out my name and address, and into the recycling it goes.

What to do with what's left?  God help me, I don't know.  I've tried to figure this out for 50 plus years.  I have purchased organizing items, but never seem to figure out how to use them to my benefit.  A weakness I have is to put paper in the right area, but not file it until I feel like it.  Which is normally January 2 of the following year.  For an otherwise organized person, I'm inept at mail sorting and storing.  If I could get my camera to download I'd show you what a mess my mail area is. (I think I may have to send away for the disk to install the camera.)

Get this, I call it my 'humble' area.  That's what I say when someone calls me on it.  'Oh, that keeps me humble and reminds me I'm not perfect.'   Indeed it does.  Not even a multitude of yootoob videos can help.  I know me.  I won't follow through.

So what should I do?  I decided to do nothing about it.  I am what I am.  No one (but perhaps me) is suffering from my glitch.  The rest of the house is neat, clean, and organized.  I think I need to accept this glitch.  Go on with life and be a content girl.  Accept when I'm looking for something I know I have will take a few months off my life with the stress involved in finding it.  After all it's been 50 years.  It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.  It does humble me though!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Define the Word Homestead, Please

The word homestead is pretty popular these days.  It is the latest buzz word in certain circles.  I know it is in mine.  When you hear the word, visions of a small farm may come to mind with chickens gleefully pecking at the ground in search of their daily protein.  The family cow is waiting to be milked at 6 AM and the garden is a half acre of every fruit and veggie needed to carry the family through the winter. 

This is a lovely vision, but not everyone lives in a rural area and has the gas money to travel to their job five days a week to larger areas where work is available- after they have fed the chickens, milked the cow, and removed pests from the watered garden.  The money for the water to keep the plants healthy may not be there as well.

This type of home was the dream of my husband.  Before he passed he got his dream.  A little ranch on four acres in the country.  And a John Deere.  How he loved that John Deere.  But, for him it was a dream.  For me it was happiness because his dream was fulfilled.  I lived it with him in peaceful coexistence.  About a year after he passed, I realized it was his dream, not mine.  Not mine to be so isolated, especially during the harsh winters in upstate New York.  I loved doing the homesteading tasks, not the loneliness of spirit I had being alone.  I left.

I now live in the South surrounded by half our family and other people.  I live in a townhouse with a beautiful woods in my back yard - just behind the fence of my little garden.  It's in a small city, with no high rises.  The feeling is that of a spread out suburb.  Beautiful landscaping throughout the area and grocery stores five minutes away, if I need them.

This is now my homestead.  I still cook and make jam.  I have a small garden and I crochet in the winter.  I still practice frugal hacks.  I still have a close network of friends and family who enjoy the same things I do.  I could even have chickens if I wanted them.  I have a dog instead.  I get fresh dairy delivered to my door every week, instead of saving money for a cow to go out the door to gather fresh milk.  I'm still me.  Just in a smaller capacity.

Homesteading is in your heart and spirit.  It's not a geographic area.  It's a mindset.  It's in your heart.  It lurks deep in your spirit.  You can cook good healthy meals in the middle of a city.  Or make your Christmas gifts.  Craft supplies exist everywhere.  If you want chickens, find out about your city ordinances.  Ours allows up to six per homeowner.  I could even have a cow, if I named it and said it was the family pet.  Read about self reliance and watch videos.  Educate yourself to get a feeling of accomplishment.  As my son in law would say, 'Prepare for the worse, expect the best.' ( Or something like this.)

Homesteading is possible - wherever you are.  What are your desires in this area?  Do you do things that make you like the idea of homesteading?  We'd love to hear from you.

Stay safe.

Angie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKX2heZ817k  Here's another take on what homesteading means.  Enjoy.  I think you may fall in love with this family.  I did!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guest Post, Elise Griffith, My Friend and Published Author

Today's post is written by Elise Griffith.  Elise has two cookbooks to her credit and Every Child is a Genius.  If you admire her posts, comment below so she'll want to come back to see us again.  Enjoy.
 
 
The Gift of Frugal Thinking

In 2007, my household felt the full weight of what’s now called “The Great Recession”. With what might be considered by some to be a relatively small amount of consumer debt, we were nevertheless running in the red every single month. There’d been other times in our life when money was tight, and in those years I practiced the basic budget-building practices we’ve all read about time and again. My husband brought leftovers for his work lunches. There were no purchases of coffee on the way to work. Magazine subscriptions and book club memberships were cancelled. We switched to bare bones, bundled cable plan, did away with cell phone plans in favor of pay-as-you-go cell phones, and shopped for much reduced, bundled car and home insurance. Dinners out and even pizza delivery or fast food were simply out. It was time to hunker down in order to get back in the black.

Fast forward seven years, and those debts have been long paid off. So why am I still frugal? My husband hasn’t had a pay raise in that entire time, and in fact absorbed a pay cut for awhile as his employee contribution to our health insurance went up. Speaking of prices going up, the cost of everything from basic utilities to gasoline and groceries has increased quite a bit since 2007. We have two sons in college, living at home and working part time to help cover ever-increasing tuition, my very modest freelance work dried up, and my husband’s car needed to be replaced after almost 250k miles of use.

While that might sound depressing, it isn’t. Why? Because I prayed for help. I’ve got to admit I’m not a “religious” woman, and my answer came in forms I’d never have expected… in fact had I known then what would transpire, I might have avoided it. If I had, I’d have missed out on a precious gift; the gift of frugal thinking. Oh, I still struggle sometimes with longing for the days when I didn’t have to pinch pennies, but my mind now works a little like a computerized cash register. That’s not a bad thing at all. I’ve developed new habits that bring both peace and abundance into our home. Those habits require my time and effort. I understand not everyone has the same time I do, and am grateful for that gift as well.

Thursdays are my shopping day. Before I leave the house, I’ve combed every grocery store sale flier and made a list that involves not only grocery stores, but the drug store and Dollar Tree. Here’s an example:

Cookie Crock Warehouse-

·        10 lb. bags chicken leg quarters @ $5.90 x 2

·        Boneless pork tri-tip @ $2.97 per lb.

·        16 ounce pkgs. Special Value frozen vegetables @ 99 cents each X 6

·        58 ounce Sunny D fruit juice @ $1.19 each X 2

·        Coupon items of BBQ sauce and large tub margarine

Albertson’s-

·        Blueberries @ 99 cents per 6 ounce pkg. X 2 for cobbler

·        20 ounce packages Jennie-O 93% lean ground turkey @ $2.99 each X 2

·        Canned cat food @ 10/$5.00

·        Dry cat food with coupon

·        Price fresh eggs

Rite Aid-

·        Boxed cereal @ lowest price per ounce on sale

·        Canned chili if on unadvertised sale

Dollar Tree-

·        Chicken boullion

·        Steak sauce

·        Flour tortillas

·        Bread

·        Toothpaste

·        2 gallon zip top bags

Spencer’s Fresh Market-

·        Seedless red grapes @ 99 cents per pound

·        Green cabbage @ 3 lbs. for $1.00

·        Limes @ 6 for $1.00

·        Humbolt Organic milk @ $2.99 of ½ gallon carton

·        Eggs (if I didn’t get them at Albertson’s)

The stores are all within a 2 mile radius, and even with a necessary ladies room stop, it’ll take me about an hour to do all of my shopping. Staying close to home means I have to fill my car’s tank with gasoline only every 6-8 weeks. With such low mileage, car insurance is kept to a minimum. Every 4-6 months I buy white rice, pasta and any vitamin supplements or over-the-counter medicines in bulk. If I needed potatoes, Cookie Crock has 5 lb. bags on sale for 99 cents this week, but I have plenty of potatoes, carrots, celery and onions on hand at the moment. Every week our 93 year old next door neighbor, who still volunteers at the food bank and Farmer’s Market, drops off two bags of less-than-perfect produce. I cook meals for him and his wife every week. It’s a great arrangement than benefits us both.

Frugal thinking isn’t only about food, though. On our small strip of California coastline, summers are usually cool and foggy. This year we’re in severe drought and we’ve already had some seriously hot spells. The house isn’t air conditioned or well insulated. Recently I shopped very carefully online to get some hot weather clothes for my husband and me. We’re both hard to fit, meaning thrift stores aren’t usually an option. For $120 (shipped), I bought 6 tank tops and 2 pairs of cotton sheeting capris for me, 2 pairs of men’s twill shorts, and a few Hawaiian type shirts for my husband. For another $20 he found himself a nice pair of leather sandals that fit him. We’re now set for the next few summers at under $150.

Hobbies and entertainment are also covered by frugal thinking. He loves to go bird watching, and in our area that’s essentially free. In fact, he leads groups regularly. I’m an avid reader; I get free books in exchange for honest reviews. We both like to make beaded jewelry, and with very careful purchases, we can make boutique-worthy gifts for every woman or girl in our extended family at a fraction of the cost in any store. Those baubles also make terrific, affordable wedding gifts for a bride and her entourage! We love to go antiquing, but almost never buy anything. It’s just fun to have the time out together.

It’s not always easy. Health problems have brought on almost constant fatigue and (mostly) low grade pain. There are some days when I’m so tired or hurting badly enough that I want to cry. Then I’ll pray for an attitude adjustment, because I know that compared to so many in this country… in this world… I’m incredibly blessed.

If you’re reading this blog, have small children and work full time, much of what I do could sound overwhelming. I’m in a different season of life, and it might not be for you. Yet, if you’re worried about finances or are stretched too tight for peace of mind, I’d encourage you to ask for help. Do what you can and be open to creative ideas that will work for you and your family. Odds are good you already have habits that benefit the bottom line, and if so, I hope you’ll share them with other readers of Angie’s Frugal House. No idea is too simple or too small. AT the ripe old age of 52, I’m still learning new things every day!
 
Elise made the necklace our daughter wore on her wedding day.  Her gift to the bride.
 

Harvesting Has Begun

Maybe the word harvesting is rather strong.  It's more like picking.  But, since this is the first year - after 4 seasons of trying- I have actually had any success in growing food, the word 'harvest suits me just fine.  I planted spinach, garlic, radishes, beets, and carrots in the early spring.  I bought heirloom seeds so I can harvest seeds from a few plants for next year's planting.  For those of you who are not familiar with the process, plants will produce seeds if they're left in the soil well beyond harvest time.  The plants bolt and create seeds.  The process seems rather long, but well worth the time.  The plants only need to be watered to stay alive.  The gift of life awaits you at the end.  I'll do a post on the complete process.

The spinach has been harvested and eaten as well as dehydrated.  I may have told you before that I use this in soups during the winter.  The radishes were eaten with much relish.  They were so sweet and a bit hot at the same time.

Today I pulled my first beets.  Not freakishly large, but looking good.  Last night I pulled a garlic to check on the progress of the plants.  I got a cute little guy who is not quite formed into cloves yet, but edible.  The excitement is overwhelming.  It's overwhelming because I have gone from a black thumb to a gardener.  I'm a real productive gardener.  I couldn't be happier. 

I'm looking for a recipe for beet greens.  Has anyone used them before?  I've never eaten them, but am excited to use my very own -from the garden - greens. 


 
There they are.  My beets.  Right next to the gate on the left.
I'll post an up close photo as soon as I figure out my new computer.
 
 
 

 
I figured out the camera download.  Here's my one lone garlic.  Picking this one showed me how much longer it needed to be in the ground.  It tastes yummy though.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Apple Turned Brown

How exciting is that?  I forgot to cover my half eaten apple and put it in the refrigerator.  The poor thing hung out on the counter all night long.  Why is it exciting that it turned brown?  It is an organic apple with no alterations made to the growing process.  None.  Yea!

Have you noticed these past few years that apples no longer turn brown when they are exposed to the air?  I guess someone thought we were incapable of liking apples if they weren't pretty after we began eating them.  I don't know what they do to keep them pristine when the inside is exposed to the air.  I don't think I want to know.

I have always been one to examine what I cooked for our family.  When the kids were growing up they were seldom served prepackaged food - other than the famous blue box.  I had their well being in mind.  I'm sure they thought it was because I was mean, not wanting them to be cool.  Oh dear, the choices mothers make do not make us a popular group of women.

What I see now is we, as a nation, are becoming aware of what is being done to our food supply.  We don't like it.  We are voicing our opinions - with our wallets.  To this I say congratulations America.  I'm so happy that our eyes are opening to the trash companies put in our foods.

 We want what's best for our families.  We are looking at links in chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease that are taking over our population.  We're saying 'no more'.  This brings us to the cost associated with good healthy foods.  The cost of food is skyrocketing.  I feel so bad for people who struggle with feeding their families.  It's not so bad for me because there is only me to think of.  I have noticed such things as organic fruit is expensive.  But not as much as it once was.  Wars are starting up to get our attention (money).  Grocery stores are jumping on the bandwagon to grab some of the profits to be had from organics. 

Following are some suggestions to  assist families to eating healthier.  I can't bring prices down, but I can rise to the occasion by thinking outside of the box.  Warning:  Men do not like to know they are getting less food on their plates.  So you don't want to make it obvious to them if you choose this option.

I want you to know that I still eat canned fruit and veggies when fresh are not available.  But I eat so much less of them.  Take your time transitioning.  Any small change is progress.

1.  Look at your family's meat intake.  Do you buy ground meat from the grocery store?   A butcher at our local store told me a secret.  The low fat ground meat comes to the store in prepackaged tubes.  The ammonia used to 'clean' ground meat is already in it.  The 73% ground meat comes from the meats they trim in the on site meat department.  No ammonia or pink slime.  Aren't you happy knowing that the frowned upon meat is better?

2.  Buy cheese in blocks and shred at home. (on sale)  Then freeze it.  Companies put saw dust in the shredded packages to increase the weight.  (Yuk)

3.  Try to add at least one organic fruit or veggie to your meal plan.  Do this one at a time so your bill doesn't shock you.  Serve smaller portions of these items to keep a hand on costs.

4.  Serve smaller portions.  Not a lot.  Just one tablespoon less for a month.  Then one more for the next.  No one will know the difference.  I made this change by plating up the normal helping, them removing a tablespoon.  It took a while, but a side benefit was losing weight.  Our bill was also reduced by a small percentage.

5.  Choose a dessert for the week.  Put aside a few minutes of 'free' time to bake.  Cookies, cake, whatever your family likes.  It may take a few tries, but it's well worth it knowing what is in your food.  If you put cookies in lunches, freeze them and take them out as needed.

6.  I know it costs more, but to protect your health, please think about using the stove top to cook rather than the microwave.  The jury is still out on the safety of microwave cooking.

7.  Make a protein companion to a carb.  It's OK to indulge in a piece of cake.  Drink milk with it to minimalize the effect the carb has on blood sugar.  The internet is filled with information on this subject.  Researching it can protect your family from chronic illness. (Diabetes)

8.  Carrots and celery are relatively cheap.  Clean and cut some up for grab snacks during the week.  Keep them refrigerated in cold water that has a dash of salt in it.  The salt will preserve them for the week.

9.  Look for recipes that are quick to prepare and have protein, veggies or fruit, and a carb in them.  A great crock pot meal is a roast or meatballs with carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes or rice.  A one pot wonder.

10.  Breakfast food doesn't have to be a cold bowl of cereal.  Oatmeal takes one minute to make.  Add a swirl of jam for the kids and a glass of milk and their bellies will be full for the entire morning.  The oatmeal is a carb - which provides quick energy, the milk is a protein that provides energy when the carb wears off.

This list consists of just a few things we can do to cut costs and eat healthier.  What does your family do to keep up with rising costs and staying healthy?





                                                  Home made corn fritters with fresh canned peach jam. 
                                                  Easy, fast and yummy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Recent Accomplishments

I read a blog once a week where the blogger lists her accomplishments for the week.  Then her readers list theirs.  She often has multiple comments.  I love to read the comments because they are so diverse.  I've learned so much from women I've never met that are spread across the country.  They take great pride in caring for their families in any way they are able.  Some work full time , some part time, and some are stay at home parents.  Some live in the country and feed chickens while others take public transportation to work every day. There are single moms, foster moms, all kinds of moms.  The single ladies and the widowed join in as well. The common thread is they do whatever they can to take care of the resources they have with the time they have.. 

I'd like to start a weekly post just like that.  Where we help each other to provide the best for our families.  Some of the lists include things we all currently do.  But, the women get kudos for doing them week after week.  They write about the meals they prepare and saving on gas and groceries.  If there is a good sale at a national grocery, that is included in someone's posted comment. Reusing glass jars and keeping the garden up are areas of pride for many of them.  Included also are prayer requests.  I won't shun from the fact that my life is centered on God.  This may not be a blog for you if this will cause a personal problem.  My hope is you will be able to enjoy the company of some great women and agree to disagree.

So I'll begin and I hope others will feel free to add their accomplishments, whether you consider them small or large.

I used plastic grocery sacks for the trash cans in the house.

I made strawberry jam from berries I got from a local farmer last year.  They were in a food saver bag and lasted the entire year.  Yummy!

I bought an outdoor stove to do my canning on.  I got one that was dented and saved 1/3 of the cost.  Since it runs on twigs, I save quite a bit on electricity.

I used a glass jar to freeze some home made chicken stock.

I bought a frame at the thrift store to make a stenciled picture to hang over my bed.

I amended my garden soil using coffee grounds and egg shells. 

I weeded the garden.

I planted peppers and green bean seedlings I raised from seed.

What have you done this week to save money?  Car pooled?  Took trash to the dump?  It would be fun to hear from you.

Frugal Decorating

I lost a long post yesterday trying to upload photos.  After a few curse words (only two) I decided to give up while I was ahead.

I'll give it another good ol' boy try today.

I have lived here in the south a little over two years.  In all that time I have not been able to find anything to hang over my bed.  Since this isn't earthquake country, it's customary to display something pretty over the bed.  I didn't want just anything.  It had to be something with meaning to me.  The stores are not the place to find something like that.  So I have been on a mission.  A long one.

I hit pay dirt yesterday afternoon.  I went to a local thrift store just because I was curious.  I didn't have this particular item in mind - just browsing.  Along the back wall was a huge box with large, larger, and largest frames in it.  Not expecting much, I pawed through it.  I found a huge white frame that I thought was great.  My mind went in a different direction when I saw the price.  49.98.  I have never seen such a price at a thrift (key word being thrift) store before.  Holy gads!  They must be banana cakes.  A bit disappointed, but still on the mission, I scratched through the rest of the frames.  The last one was about the same size, only it was gold.  I had paint and a brush at home.  But then I was apprehensive to turn the frame over to check the price.  No price.  Ah, this one is free I see.  When I checked it out they priced it at 12.98.  A good deal.

I went to pay for it and was asked if I had military ID.  Why yes, indeedy.  That little card saved me 20% and the tax.  It was Memorial Day.  The store was honoring the military.  I said a prayer of thanksgiving and proceeded to take my treasure home.

My husband use to say that one man's trash is another man's treasure.  I thought of him, gave him a spiritual kiss, and thanked him for his service to our country.

The frame is painted white.  I sanded it and tried to remember what Bob had taught me about using a light touch with the brush.  It was almost like he was there with me.  He's always welcome.

My plan is to grab some plain material (on sale) and screen fern leaves on it.  I'm hoping stretching it on a piece of core board will work to keep it's shape.

I don't have an after picture of the frame  to post.  I did take them, but I don't know how to post them with this new computer.  It worked well last week, this week, not so much.  I do have a photo of the before wall, which I have posted just below.

If you have any suggestions to enhance my idea or perhaps you have solved a decorating problem with being frugal in mind, I'd like to hear them.  I'm sure others can benefit from your experience, too.

Stay safe.
Angie





Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Real Homestead Family

I often tell my daughter I'm glad I have been widowed in this century rather than the last.  Because, the internet is my constant companion.  I do facebook to keep up with family and friends far away.  I also love yootoob.  If I were to pick any of my favorite yootoob sites it would be Our Half Acre Homestead.  This is a family that knows what they want.  Clean air and food, for one.  Lower cost of living  And a true appreciation for the important things in life.  If you are looking for down to earth advice, this is the spot to find it.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcZzXUnMdRnmYqLK-y4D_Pg


The Mrs. Volfie cooks up a storm and demonstrates how to recycle materials.  She cares for animals with the heart of a mother, as well.  Mr Volfie shows his skills in creating a solar system and creating a new bathroom, among other projects.

Check it out.  I bet you get hooked!


Jimmy Buffet Get Together

Last year Jimmy Buffett came to our area.  Unusual, but he was here again yesterday.  Since our daughter went to his concert last year she decided to forgo the concert this year and have a JB party - complete with some fancy drink I can't spell and can hardly pronounce and music.

The three couples who went together to last year's concert gathered for the event.  I was also invited.  We each brought a dish to pass.  Our daughter contributed the decorations which consisted of flamingo table cloth, flamingo paper plates and cups, and bright green plastic utensils.  She cooked some fall off the bone barbeque wings and a three bean salad.  One of her friends made grilled pineapple, the other brought her 'famous' cucumber salad.  As requested I brought a pineapple upside down cake for dessert.  A colorful pitcher of orange Kool Aid and the dinner was complete.

The kids played ball while waiting for dinner.  A couple times the ball ended up in the garden and I could see them checking out if dad saw the fumble.  Relieved, they moved over a bit and continued to play.  Even with these precautions, the ball found it's way back in the raised garden bed.

We had a nice evening talking and eating and passing the food around.  I always take a helping of food home for my next meal, but there was very little left to take.  You know the food was good eating when that happens.

Before I left I trimmed down a couple herb plants and brought the rewards home to dry.  I also scarfed up the 2 pineapple tops to grow a couple of plants.  I just watched a video that showed the right way to grow a pineapple plant.  Gardening has become an interest of mine these days so I'm willing to try any out of the box thing I can.  It keeps me busy and -most of all - out of trouble.

I went home with a bag full.  Chicken, cukes, cake, herbs, and pineapple tops.  The grilled pineapple had disappeared.  The recipe is so simple and refreshing.  You can find it below.

Grilled Pineapple

1 stick of butter
2 T honey
2 (or desired amount) of hot sauce

Melt the butter then mix the other ingredients with the butter.  Place pineapple rings on the grill and baste with the mixture.  Turn them a few times, basting often.  Takes about 10 minutes to cook.  Yum. 

Ours was made with fresh pineapple, but I don't see why a canned product wouldn't work.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Resurrection Day For Angie's Frugal House

I had fun in the days of free 'stuff' and hyper couponing.  Those days are a memory.  A great one, but nonetheless a memory.  I blogged in those days to benefit others.  It may have been a feeble attempt, but a few young families benefited from my posts.

This resurrection is more for my benefit - and for yours - through osmosis.  I'm now a retired senior living a comfortable frugal lifestyle.  Frugality is part of who I am.  More importantly, it has always been part of who I am.  For me, it has been a pleasant (most of the time) journey.  So this time around I'm going to chronicle my day to day activities.  Whether they be frugal or not.

So here goes.  I hope you enjoy the trip as much as I do.  Most of all, I hope you learn from my life and my mistakes. 

Let's begin with a mistake.

I am an organizational nut case.  My home has to be in order or I have a difficult time enjoying the day.  My sore spot is my pantry.  The dang thing.  I have watched so many yootoob videos that my mind decided to take a vacation.  Yesterday I decide it was time to bring this episode to a close.  I went to Ross and purchased a number of containers.  Let me just say what a big mistake it was not to measure the shelves.  To also forget there are corbels holding up the shelves.  All but the graduated can shelf is going back.  That would include 2 large soft sided containers and a small shelf.  I also kept the see through air tight container.  Surely I can find a use for that.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  At this point, it doesn't seem to matter.  I think I've been defeated by the pantry.  A small pantry at that.

This is where I should admit I couldn't fit everything back that I took out.  What a world, what a world!

What areas do you have a difficult time dealing with in your home?  Do you have any suggestions for me to encourage me to continue on my quest for organizing that small space?  I'd be happy to hear from you.

Stay safe.
 
 
This is my war zone.  I put the items I couldn't fit back on the counter to take to my daughter's.  Why didn't I put them away, out of sight -  you ask.  Because I would forget them for years to come!