Saturday, May 28, 2016

National Brands (Food) at the Dollar Tree

When I did the Dollar Tree shopping this week I took a few minutes to snap some photos of national brand foods that are offered.  I was surprised at the amount of them that were  offered.  These are not all of them, just a few. Are there any brands you shop the dollar stores for?

I bought an LED light bulb, tissue, salami, a card, and a sanding block that I will use on a DIY project.

Hanover baked beans large can.

Libby pineapple. This item no longer
originates from Hawaii, but rather
a foreign nation. 

I use this broth when the home
made is gone.  Nothing but broth
is on the ingredient label.

There are 12 bags that make large
batch tea in this box. That's 8.3
cents per batch.

This is not a national brand, but is
loved by my grandchildren.

I'm  well aware of how this salami is
made.  I like it anyway. This is one item
I eat to grab some fat in my diet. I
bought a pack this week. 

Arizona tea for when time is crunched.

Wheat bread.

This item is great for school lunches
or car trips. 

I have to admit I look for Welch's jelly
now and then. It's one of my pantry

Hormel pepperoni.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Accomplishments Last Week

I'm going to have to start writing down the things I do for this blog.  Sometimes I think I forget more than I write about.

I took a trip to the dollar store to check out the new products.  There wasn't much  I was impressed with.  I did pick up tissues, parchment paper, moth balls, wet floor wipes and a sanding block.

I worked on three small projects, as well. I hung a small shelf I bought a few years ago in the laundry room to bring a bit of comfort in the small space. It was the perfect place to showcase the candles Carolyn gave me for Mother's Day.  Our family believes in supporting small home based businesses so Carolyn put our standard to practice. She chose the soy candles from Stone Cottage Customs. They use small reusable canning jars and wood wicks that sizzle when lit. The essential oil infused soy burns evenly with little carbon emission.  So  I'm a happy girl.

I also scrubbed down the laundry room before I hung the shelf. To add more of a comfortable feel I placed bleach in a small clear bottle (It'll be used before it can break down.) along with a candle and the yarn basket.  I shopped my home for a small rug, too.  Since this room is off of the back hall, the candle is a nice addition to provide a clean smelling area.  Putting items on the fryer works for me because I don't have a lot of laundry and can use just the washer top to fold clothes.  I realize this wouldn't work for those readers who have families to care for.  I know when I had kids at home our laundry was in the basement.  There were plenty of times that we had to go down the steps to find clean clothes piled up on the dryer or on hangers on the small line.

The last project I worked on was setting up a garden table I purchased on amazon.  A friend told me they were available and I saw a glimmer of hope to be able to garden this year. I had pots to use even though you are able to put soil directly in the table.  It was sad to think I couldn't get my hands dirty in soil any longer, but I figured it was just a part of life I would have to accept.  I now have beans, paisley, cucumbers, and lettuce planted.  I have one pot left that will house a lavender plant once I purchase one.

Look at the bean plant my grandson
planted in March.  I have a number
of beans on it.  I planted two more
in the same pot. 

I wanted to show you how large the blackberries have grown even with the cool weather.

Today I noticed the plant is over the
six foot fence.
What have you accomplished this week?  I'd love to hear from you.

Stay safe.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Things I'm Loving This Month

When I was a college student, I was a bit conservative and mostly liberal.  These things tend to evolve as we grow.  One of the biggest game changers for me was becoming a parent.  The time had come when I was responsible for another human being.  The focus was off me, and onto a family.

Now, all of these years later, the realization that life has become a set of habits that are comfortable for me has set in.  I vowed to mix it up (just) a little.  I've been going out on a limb and purchasing a few things I never thought I would have.  Imagine my surprise when I found I liked a few new things.  These are my favorites this month.  All but one item was bought on some sort of offer.  The tan case was full price - if I remember correctly it was around 30.00.  The showcased items have been purchased over a long period of time.

This is a cleaning mitt.  It has
two sides, one is microfiber, the other is
a duster. (You're seeing the duster
side)  Who would have thought
something so simple would
make light of a task.

I got this at TJ Maxx. The usual hand
washing soap I use has been discontinued.
The dusting mitt was washed with this.  I'm
pleased with the results. 

Despite the fact that I keep my nails
trimmed low I thought a light polish
would protect them.  I use this once
in a while when I have plans to
go out.

I found these items at the Dollar
Tree.  The polish remover is  a
nice and easy way to remove
polish and the buffer shines
nails nicely.

I can't get enough of these whole wheat
fig bars with raspberries.  I bought ten
bars on Saturday, on sale, and have three
left.  This morning a box of 12 was ordered
on amazon. 

This was a random purchase that I liked
and never  gave it a second
thought.  I came, I saw, I purchased.
It holds all of the nail care items.
It's a nice addition to the master bathroom.
Have you bought something you found you love?  I'd like to hear from my readers new items they discovered.  This is one way I become aware of things.

Stay safe.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Requested Post/ Gold Project YT Channel

I was watching a video on yoo toob this morning about planner carry cases.  Gold Project was comparing the Erin Condren case with the 31 zipper case.  I happened to mention I use the zipper cases for travel cubes to keep my suitcase neat and orderly.  Gold Project asked for a picture, but being a bit challenged I was unable to figure out how to grab a picture to put in the comment section.  I offered to put pictures on my blog and she accepted.

Here, Gold Project are the results.

If I knew I wanted more than one
pouch, I would have chosen the
yellow flowers one as a
coordinated set.  By the time I
 figured it out, the yellow was discontinued.
The bag holds five days worth of
undies and socks without being
squished.  I also carry a laundry
bag with a bar of nice smelling
soap so the dirty laundry smells
This easily holds my tablet, pen,
paper, address book, and phone.
Just to let you know, I'm not noted
for my photographic ability!

I keep cotton swabs and discs in
a plastic bag , as well as bottles, in the bag.
Any other toiletry would go in the bag
such as toothpaste, body wash, perfume,

Despite my lack of great photos, I hope this has helped.
Stay safe. 

Can't Beat the Price Recipes 3

To find all of the recipes search 'Cheap Recipes'.

Frugal Protein Quiche  (Great to use up leftovers.)
2 eggs
1 cup milk or cream or a combination of both  (If you re shy one cup, add a bit of water to the milk.)
1 pie shell
Pie dish
Any leftover veggie and / or meat
1 cup of any cheese or a combination of cheeses.
Salt and pepper to taste
A small grate of nutmeg

Beat together eggs, milk, and spices in a medium size bowl.  Set aside.
Chop veggies and meat to desired size and place in the pie shell that lines the pie pan.  Distribute the cheese over the diced ingredients.  Pour egg mixture over the cheese and veggies. (meat)

Bake at 350 degrees F. (175 C.) for 30 minutes.  Check at this time because it may be done, but add five more minutes if not.

Consume warm OR freeze for an easy meal when in a time crunch.  Serve with a fruit or salad. Ice tea goes nicely wit quiche for a drink in the summer.

Rice A Roonie, Home Made Goodness
3 cups uncooked rice
2 cups broken (small pieces) spaghetti
1/4 cup dried parsley
6 tablespoons beef or chicken bullion
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix and store in an air tight container.  Cook the same way you would cook rice.
Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
Purifying Water
This is important knowledge where I live because of possible hurricanes.

Fill a pot with more water than you will need because some of it will boil away.  Bring
the water to a boil and boil 30 minutes.  Let cool to desired temperature. 
Hot cocoa mix
1 cup dried milk
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Mix, store in an air tight container.  To a cup of milk add 2-3 tablespoons and heat to desired temperature. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Can't Beat the Price Recipes 2

Furniture Polish  (Great results.)
Spray bottle
1part vinegar
3 parts olive oil
Shake well before use.  Spray cleaning cloth with mixture, then polish wood furniture in a circular motion.  Wood furniture should be dusted often, but polished about once a month.

This is the bottom shelf of my coffee table.
The part closest to you has been shined with
the polish of vinegar and oil.  The
back half has not been touch with polish,
but has been dusted.

Can't Beat the Price Recipes

I tried making a separate page for a collection of recipes, but it will take me much longer to figure out how to. Any recipe I put up is one I've tried and found it to work well.  The category will be titled 'Cheap Recipes' which should help you find the collection easier.  Let me know what you think or if you have an easier way to access the information.

Bug Spray

Spray bottle
20 drops peppermint essential oil
distilled water

Fill spray bottle with water.  Add 20 drops peppermint oil  Spray around perimeter of rooms once a week for a month then twice a month after that.
Orange Cleaner

Jar with lid
citrus peels
white vinegar

Fill jar with peels.  Add vinegar to cover the peels.  Let stand in a dark place (cupboard) for two weeks.  Strain out peels.  Make a solution with 50% vinegar. 50% distilled water.  Do not use on wood or painted surfaces.  Great for flat surfaces such as counters, sinks, shower, etc.
Brown Sugar

1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon molasses

Mix with a fork or whisk.  I love this recipe.  It takes less than a minute to make and there is no waste.  If a recipe calls for 1/3 cup, I do the math and add 1/3 tablespoon molasses. (1 teaspoon)
Toothpaste Codes

Codes are located on the bottom of the tube.  They appear as a square.
Green - natural ingredients
Blue - natural and medicine
Red -  natural and chemical
Black - chemicals
Cosmetic Uses for Coconut Oil

Makeup remover
Dry skin
Hair conditioner (I haven't done this)
Facial cleanser
Detox Bath  (This is very nice.)
Once a week, 20 minutes

1/4 cup Epsom salts
10 drops lavender oil
1/2 cup baking soda
Mix dry ingredients, add oil and pour into bath water.  I poured it under the stream of water coming from the faucet.
Weed Killer

Spray bottle
1 tablespoon dish soap
1 tablespoon salt
Vinegar to fill spray bottle
Shake before each use.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Strawberries and Other Things

Between rain storms I checked on the berries in the yard.   Look what I found!  There's hundreds on the plants, but most are still green. The spring before last I planted five plants.  This spring they have grown to fill the space and are coming out of the spaces between the side wall bricks.

The grands came to visit Friday evening and we had strawberry shortcake for dessert.  The berries came from the grocery which I price matched at WM for 2.00 a pound.  Five of the berries needed to ripen more so they were put aside until they ripened.  Last night I sliced them and dried them to preserve them.

I laid them on the fruit roll up sheet in the drier, but they stuck to the sheet.  I was able to lift up all but two slices to place them on the regular rack.  Next time I will put the plastic sheet under the regular tray filled with berries so if any shrink and fall through the holes, the sheet will catch them.

Mother's Day was a nice day for me this year.  The family took me out to breakfast at a buffet.  Then I went shopping with S and the kiddos.  Her kids needed shoes as both outgrew them at the same
Another quiche was added to the menu as well as macaroni and cheese.  Any left overs were used up after those two dishes were made.

I used ibotta again this week and saved 6.50.  My total in rebates has reached over 36.00.  That number includes 10.00 earned from two people signing up under my name.  Because we are now considered a team, I also eanred a 2.00 bonus for a Mother's Day promotion.  So far this week I don't see anything on ibotta that interests me.  They will add more so I'll check each day to see if there is anything that I buy.  It really doesn't matter if there is because anything I earn from the app is 'gravy'.  I'll just wait to cash it in and use the money for gifts.

In the event anyone would like to add their name to my team this is the code to use:  jdwerpv
As a disclosure, you will earn 10.00 for joining and I will be gifted 5.00.

Here's a DIY idea for a small gift that S. came up with.

Dollar Tree LED chunky candle
embellishments (optional)

Measure the straws a half inch longer than the candle and cut them.  She used 24 straws.  Glue them to the perimeter of the candle.  A glue gun works best.  Embellish if desired.  Just a few minutes and a lovely gift is created.

Stay safe.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Super Creative Video Presentation From YT

I'm posting a video that is from one of the most brilliant ladies on yoo toob.  She is frugal and creative with her projects.  She amazes me so I had to share.  She spent just $6.00 on a pantry door rack.  All of the 'parts' came from Dollar Tree.  I know you will enjoy the short video for the shear creativity of it.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House

Today's post is a little different.  It's time I took pen to paper to jot down a bit of history for my children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews on my father's side of the family.  We'll call them the 'Dees'.

As children my brother and I spent most weekends at my dad's parents - Grandma and grandpa Dee's.   Keep in mind that our dad passed when I was two and my brother was nearly five. Our weekends were filled with family, great home made foods and fun.  We were allowed to be children while we played in the huge yard made up of three city lots.

The house was a huge Victorian set close to the road but surrounded with a chain link fence.  All around the chain link fence our grandfather grew gardens of beautiful flowers and food.  At the back of the yard was a huge patio with picnic tables.  Enough room to sit the whole family.  I can remember fourteen people at any given time sitting back there.  The patio was surrounded by every fruit tree imaginable to man.  (Or so I thought!)  There were cherries,  apricots, and I can't remember what else.  But there were lots of them.

The cherry tree brushed up against the garage.  My brother and I use to climb the ladder that was left against the garage to sit on the roof and pick cherries, one by one, to stuff in our mouths.  This one day there was a peck of cherries sitting on the sidewalk close to the house.  They sure looked rather appetizing.  My brother (who became an engineer when he grew up) knew we couldn't be seen eating from the basket. He devised a pulley system that carried the basket to the second floor porch so we could munch in private.  We ate nearly the entire peck of cherries!  No tummy ache and no discipline from the adults.  We later found out why we didn't get into trouble.  We spend the next few days fighting for the bathroom!

My memories are few of that period of time other than going to grandma's house was the best.  I remember my cousin and I played for hours in the yard.  I bet my brother was relieved to have some time to himself.  He always stayed with me to protect me, even when he played football.  I figured out later in life why his team always won.   They used me as the running quarterback and no one would dare tackle me!  My brother was a very wise boy.

There was a 'family' of ducks that were stuck in the grass.  I only remember my cousin and I had fun with those ducks.  I just can't remember how we had fun.  The memory is a good one though.

Other than the food grandma prepared every weekend, the wine barrels in the basement and the wringer washer, my memory has failed me.  We did go there for Christmas and my uncle would sit me in front of the mirror in the living room and told me to pick a card from the deck.  He always guessed which card I chose.  My brother finally told me when I was an adult that the mirror was there.  I figured out the rest on my own.

Maybe I spoke too soon.  When our cousins were with us my grandfather would bring out a huge box of candy bars to pass out to us.  We made them last and you could hear a pin drop in the room while we were slowly devouring them.

My best friends at that time were my cousin, Nardine and my brother Robert Louis.  My brother has passed, but my cousin and I still are spiritually connected.  There are some things in life that even death can't change.   The biggest thing is love.