Questions and Answers and Comments, Oh My!

Well hello dears.  I am trying hard to make this post more timely, so that it falls right at the beginning of the month and not later.  Here's hoping I can sustain this momentum the rest of the year!

It wasn't a high post month.  Part of that due to back problems that continued to bother me throughout the majority of the month.  And then when I felt better I was hurrying along trying to catch up on all the things I'd missed, like treasure hunting!  I think I'm about caught up now.

Let's get started!

Breahn thanked me for sharing my menu plans. I seriously considered giving this up at one point but a flurry of protests came assuring me that others found this most helpful.  I like planning meals.  I carry them out more often than not too, but I like planning them.  Some people like to rearrange furniture. I like to think about how arranging foods just so on a menu will create a meal that is nutritious, appealing and satisfying. I am glad that they are appreciated.

Debbie asked about my home keeping notebook. I posted about it here.  It took me a little while to write it out but I hope it gives an idea of how it can be customized to suit YOU.

Melanie and JoAnn both commented on my repost from an old blog Lover of My Soul  Thank you both.  It is one of my favorite former posts because I was able to say just what I wanted to in it without a lot of struggle. Joann's shared scripture says it best:  "Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely." Psalm 139:4

On my last Q,A, C post, Deanna shared her mother's use of plain white paper as an all season, all purpose wrapping paper that she embellished as desired for each occasion.  I like that idea as well.  When I worked in office supply we kept only three rolls of paper: One silver, one white and one of some seasonal color and all gifts were wrapped in the customer's choice.  Nine times out of ten they chose the white.

Lisalynn is blogging once more...Check her out.

Gramma D. shared that she sometimes decorates her Christmas tree with vintage postcards...That would be an irresistible tree for me to stand near and curiously read every single one!

Pam said she sipped a cup of peach tea as she read.  There's a pleasant thought!  It seems sort of friendly and neighborly to think of you sipping and enjoying my company.  An acquaintance once let me see her stash of peach tea.  It was loose tea,  almost sticky with flavoring and smelled heavenly.  Would you mind sharing where you buy your tea?

With my first frugal week post, Rhonda shared her 'secrets' for making the most of CVS deals.  I do rather well every now and then, often months apart.  I have signed up for the prescription bonus.  I will say that when I do get deals there they are very good.

Sarah had quite a lot to say and I urge you all to read her comments.  There's good hints in them!  I especially liked reading these sentences in her first comment:
It feels so good though doesn't it to know we have used every penny we can that is earned to the best advantage.
I feel so blessed to be able to do what we do. To keep a cozy little home is so rewarding. We were able to make a furniture purchase recently.

Jennifer said the Butterscotch oatmeal sounded good.  Well it is and I judge as much by John's willingness to eat it and even asking to have it as I do by  my own taste-buds. 

Pam shared that her heat pumps have worked well for them in these minus zero temperatures.  I have to say that my own has run and run and run with the low teens temperatures we had these past few weeks.  And it wasn't keeping up at all, but running several degrees behind what the thermostat was set for.  It did however, not keep us in the cold, but I was glad to have the propane heat to help offset the workout the heat pump was getting!

Louise asked if I'd share my favorite frugal blogs on this meal planning post 

Kathy mentions joining a meat CSA.  That is something others might like to look into.

Pam mentioned on my Gentle Rebuttal post that she finds one other thing worth mentioning:  I was enjoying the message in church last night tremendously, until our pastor told us we weren't praising enough. He's always telling us we aren't doing something whether it is sharing our faith or reading our Bibles or whatever. That puts my spirit down faster than anything else I can think of.

On the 24Hour Special Coffee Chat post:
Maranda: I ordered a new crock pot through JCPenney.  The ones I've seen in thrift stores were small, too small to  hold a whole chicken or turkey breast which is how I like to use mine...but it was a good idea!  Nice to have you stop and comment!

Stephanie and Melanie both understand the 'odd schedule' thing...I do agree it's a grand time to eat those things that aren't liked, watch shows I might otherwise miss or the ultimate bliss...cut off the TV entirely and enjoy a quiet home!

Rhonda, I thought of you when I picked up this quilt and saw it was made in strips.

Renee and Glenda thank you for taking time to read through my blog posts.  You are welcome here.

I mentioned in this post that my copy of Island Magic was falling apart.  Sarah wrote this and I thought it a unique and nice thought altogether. "My old copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn fell apart the last time I read it. No way would any 3 pages stay together! I added it to the compost pile. Knowing it will forever be part of this property somehow made me feel better. Putting a worn out book in the trash is harder. I have added letters from loved ones it was time to throw out in the compost pile too for the same reason. Silly but feels good. They are biodegradable so why not??"  I like that idea a lot!

Frugal Week Jan 11-17  Stephanie shared she bought rugs at Dollar Store. I've bought there before.  The last rugs I bought were from Walmart but were kitchen rugs.  I liked them best for my current decor, but am planning to change up as soon as I find suitable curtain material.

Cindy L. suggested non-latex backed rugs.  I'd thought of that too, but I'm considering the safety of this in our bathroom.  I don't want us slipping in the bathroom but I am definitely thinking of buying bath mats to go down before the shower.  I would think the non-latex rugs would last longer and I like that idea as well as buying .

Rhonda, Renaissance is one of my favorite blogs.  I've been reading since she had only two children.

Thank you Courtney, Rebecca, Precious for commenting as well.

Sarah shared this blog on my the next meal planning post.  I went by to scan through a few of her posts.  The blogger hasn't posted anything since October 2013 but do go look at it. I plan to spend some time exploring when I have a little free time.

When I discussed why I wanted to rethink my pantry stock I found a couple of you have been thinking along the same lines.  I've started this week to work on a whole new inventory list.  As I work I'm jotting down questions about why I purchased or haven't purchased certain items.  And this evening as I worked in the kitchen, I thought about what I have on hand.  I think one of my errors is that I plan only one week's worth of meals at a time, but I purchase food for two weeks. so I have no plan for the food when I buy it or I haven't got needed items and change my menus up which leaves me with unused items.  This obviously needs to be remedied.  I should plan for two weeks at a time, as that is the frame work of my budget and will better enable me to purchase the items needed and to plan to use all of them each pay period (fresh fruit and produce).

In my weekly meal plan in mid-January I included a To Do list.  I know Tracey appreciates it when I share my goals and I haven't much lately.  This also helps keep me mindful of the fact that I report what has been done and more importantly what hasn't...Nothing like accountability for motivation!  Dale left a comment regarding this article that she read about food waste.  I thought it interesting so am sharing here with you all.

" Do any of the utility companies ever tell us that our bill will go down?!" was Sarah's response to my electric bill increase in the last Coffee Chat   Uhmmm....NO! is my response.  I have fairly efficient appliances that are not too old.  The fridge is less than 6 years old and the big freezer is newer than that.  We only use our washer/dryer/dishwasher about 2-3 times a week and those are always full when we do.  We hang over half our laundry to dry.  I have decreased the thermostat on our heat pump but I know we've had a proper cold winter this year for the South and that might account for some extra usage, but I suspect most of it is the lapse of some legislation (or implementation of new) by our government.  I do recall hearing we should all expect increases...and there's another entity that NEVER says "Oh we won't increase your rates."  Yeah.

Now Sarah dear I do thank you most sincerely for the idea of making a new ticking for John's pillow.  It is NOT a ticking pillow but I suspect you are right in thinking the weave of the covering used isn't the best for stopping the pillow from shedding.  I shall look about at fabric store soon and see if I can find something suitable and try to make that pillow work better.

About my Home Keeping Journal post I wanted to share Lena's Command Center which I thought was very smart overall and quite decorative, too.  It's another idea of how to keep atop things.  I purposely keep my notebook simple otherwise I won't bother with it, but again I encourage those of you who want a notebook to customize it to yourself and what works for you.  I change mine up periodically.  Must share Rhonda's humor: she said her notebook worked so well for her it was like having extra brain cells, lol.  I so understand what she means!

Susan those cute folders came from Tuesday morning.  I bought two sets, one with roosters and one with flowers and both cost me under $5.  Yes, plain ones would work as well but these were just so cute and inexpensive enough.

 And finally in the last Frugal post of the month's comments Sarah mentioned needing to recover a chair and her 'dream' fabric was $30/yard.  She found that she could buy good quality fabric in used pillow cushion covers.  Now there's a great idea when you're trolling around the thrift store.  If you can't find quite enough you might at least find coordinating sets that you could use.  Perfect idea  to recover dining chair seats with.

Now that's January comments all responded to, dears.  Thank you so much for writing and telling me your ideas, your failures and your successes.  I love reading the comments you leave!



Lena said...

Used heavy draperies can be used for small reupholstering jobs too.

Anonymous said...

I am a little out of the loop anymore as I seldom get to a fabric store. They used to sell a fabric actually labeled ticking. When I sold it it was kept in a cupboard along with sheeting. Yes material wide enough to make your own white sheets. Wish you could still find thees old things as they wore forever!! For sale too was white cotton pillow slip tubing. You just bought two lengths for a set. We sold the linen toweling with the stripe down each side to make t-towels. It was also sold by the yard as were all these. People would buy whatever length they wanted of each. I saw the toweling at Joanns only a few years back but haven't looked since. It used to be very cheap. When I saw it last it was not so cheap!! I remember we had to buy some for one of our first home ec classes in 7th grade. All you had to do was sew each end as the long end was salvaged. The pillow ticking usually had a stripe in it and sometimes a bit of print between the stripes. It is a very tightly woven material that is heavier than shirting material. It is the tight weave you are looking for. I have also seen the ticking in the blue stripe that you used to see always at Walmart. Many people like to use it in decorating too. If you do not see it ask about it. You may have to ask an older sales person. I found out some of the smaller Joanns also do not carry things the larger ones do. Our smaller one does not carry any stencils and little material for instance. So for the ticking and specialty materials might be only in the larger stores. I have seen it at Walmart on their racks by the pellon and other interlining materials and such basics as muslin. Happy hunting! Sarah

doe853 said...

Hi all. I want to comment on electric rates never going down. I really committed to not using my dryer 2 years ago. I live in Northern Vermont so this is not easy. After 6 months of steady line or rack drying, I actually got a letter from my power company lowering my bill 11.00 a month. So it can be done. I hope this is encouraging to anyone trying to do a few small things to lower bills.

Anonymous said...


I like these posts when you reply to our comments. I think they are so fun to read. Today as I read, I was enjoying a cup of chocolate mint coffee. ;>) I save your writing until I have time to sit and enjoy it with a cuppa when I won't be interrupted.

You asked about peach tea. I get loose tea at Black Hills Staple and Spice in Rapid City, SD. (It's 120 miles west of where I live, so I don't get there often; they don't have a website.) Their loose leaf tea makes a wonderful very flavorful cuppa! The peach tea I was enjoying when I read your blog was from Wal-Mart. It was good too.

I'll check out the other frugal sites you mentioned. I'm always on the lookout for new frugal blogs to enjoy.

Glad to hear your booth has been profitable. Hope it continues and gets even more profitable for you!

One more thing, our electric "rates per Kilowatt" don't go up; instead, they've started using a power cost adjustment to increase the amount they charge. (For us here in central South Dakota it was the coldest December on record. You too?) The treasurer at our electric cooperative said the charges are federally mandated; it's out of their hands. Go figure! But, I am extremely thankful for a warm house during all this cold, cold weather! Not long ago I Skyped with a missionary friend living in the mountains of India; their house was 45 degrees! They don't have a way to heat their home other than using small space heaters. Some of the homes there have only three walls and when it snows, the snow comes into the home! Oh my yes, I'm thankful for my warm house!

Many Blessings,

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