Friday, April 23, 2010

Frugal Friday, etc.

(I've edited this post to link to some other frugal blogs!)

It's "Frugal Friday" over at "Life as Mom" and I am participating today!

Here is my idea:

I made myself a mini coupon binder. I've tried several methods of keeping coupons, and they all worked great at the time I was using them. But here's the gist: I not only have quite a stockpile (I literally can't squeeze one more thing in the freezer) but there are also only four of us home now since the two oldest have moved out. My younger kids, 19-year-old Nick and 23-year-old James, have schedules that mean I'm rarely cooking for four of us anyway. And I have enough food in this house (barring the need for fresh things like salad or milk or bread) to feed an army for two months.

So...I'm currently not using as many coupons as I was when I was building my stockpile and feeding 6 on a regular basis. I needed something I could just carry around quickly to any store, and the accordian folder thing just doesn't work for me.

I had thought about the idea to use baseball card holders in a big binder, but I couldn't find any. Then I saw these little plastic pouches in Michael's. I think they are meant to hold beads or other small craft items. I bought them with my 40% off coupon. Then I went to the dollar section for a small notebook and some bling-bling. (Some of my bling has fallen off as you can see.)

The pouches have zip closers but I wanted to be able to pull the coupons out easily, so I cut those off. Then I used sticky-dots to 'glue' one pouch on each page of the notbook. I can slip some coupons right in and others I just fold so I can see what they are. This is easy to carry everywhere.

My little coupon binder wouldn't work for a big family or someone just starting a stockpile, but for anyone 'downsizing' or just taking a break from couponing, I think it would be a good idea. Besides, a cute notebook is cuter than any accordian folder, LOL!

(PS--one other thing I would do is to put tabs along the sides to make each category easier to get to!)

Added: I've also linked to "Couponic Stimulus Package" and "I am A Money Magnet," where you will find some other great frugal tips!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday, Monday

It's no longer that draggy 'facing another week' day! Not with these awesome carnivals to inspire your creativity! Click on the links and have fun!

"Just Something I Whipped Up"

"Motivate Me Monday"

"It's So Very Creative"

"Metamorphosis Monday"

"Made by Me Monday"

Friday, April 16, 2010

Some pillows I made

Shadow Dante likes to bury himself under pillows on the couch, like being in a den or cave. I think he finds these pillows very comfortable! Yes, that is an unfinished edge on the one. The other pillow isn't sewn closed, either. In fact, I just stuffed the whole bag of stuffing in the bag. It was actually the right size. These are only 'seasonal' pillows which will be replaced when fall comes. In the meantime, the blue and yellow is very cheerful, I think!
BTW, I also made the quilt, but don't look too closely. I am definitely NOT a quilter, LOL!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Aren't flowers something like a gift, especially after a long winter? All that color! I had planted a bunch of bulbs last fall and this is the result. The hyacinths smell amazing.

That's Melody chilling out in the backyard in the top photo. I tried to get a picture of Shadow, but he won't sit still.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Sew Crafty Friday

Here are some patriotic things I made recently. The "C" thing is a potholder and the others are double-sided napkins. If you scroll down to yesterday's blog entry, you'll see a very simple tutorial for the napkins. I can use them for Memorial Day and Fourth of July!
Shereen doesn't have SCF up on her blog yet. Not only that, but I have her link totally wrong on my sidebar. I'll have the correct link here later on after Shereen does her Sew Crafty Friday thing today.
Meantime, so much for the amazing summer-like weather we've been having. It's pouring rain again. I don't mind. The flowers need it! (My cute little daffodils have pretty much died because of the heat.) However, my bil and others in his area were still pumping out their basements from the last storm, so I hope this won't be another bad one.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

8/9 ain't bad plus tutorial

I have so many things to do--some fun, like sewing, some boring but necessary, like paying bills. Don't you ever look around the mess that is your home (I don't mean 'mess,' I mean 'people actually live here, it isn't a showroom') and feel overwhelmed?

I like to-do lists, but sometimes they can be discouraging if you don't check off all the things you had planned to do in a day.

The best idea, I think, is to keep a minimal list and give yourself all day to tackle it. I had 9 items on my list today, not including just straightening up around the house. I managed to finish 10 of them. The boring stuff included paying my Sears bill and shredding 10 items from my 'to shred' box. The fun stuff mostly involved sewing, although I also consider hanging and removing clothes from the clothesline 'fun.' (We had another 80 plus day today.)

I cut out 2 tops for the summer and got a good start on one of them.

I dropped a bag of attic stuff at the thrift store and came home with a simple white candle base (for wide candles) and a cute star-shaped basket that I will use for any patriotic holiday. (I spent $2 plus tax. I traded in about 15 items for 2--not bad for decluttering!)

Speaking of patriotic, I finished 3 very simple napkins. 3 because that's all the fabric I had. Here is a simple tutorial, done without a serger*:

For each napkin, cut 2 pieces of fabric the same size. Mine measure about 8 x 8 but you might want to go bigger.

Pin the fabric WRONG sides together and stitch all around the edges with about a half inch seam.

Now, take your pinking shear and trim all around the edges. You are done!

Since I just made these, I haven't washed them. I expect them to fray a little but I think that will make them look more interesting.

Sorry, no photos, but I will try to take one for Sew Crafty Friday tomorrow.

*I'm still afraid of those things.

BTW, if you've gotten this far and you want to know what I didn't get done...#9 was to pin the sleeves into a jacket I'm making.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I can hardly believe it!

My thermometer says it is 88 degrees outside!!!!

88 degrees! And this after a winter with the worst blizzard Long Island has seen in decades. (Actually, it was still fall when that happened.)

Blue skies, sunshine--considering many people on our South Shore (my bil and his family included) have been pumping water from their basements for a week now after a HUGE storm, I hope it lasts, especially for them.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Thrifty Tip Tuesday

Can we ever have enough money-saving tips? Of course not! I recently discovered "Thrifty Tip Tuesday" over at "I Am a Money Magnet." Here's the link:


My tip today is one I've blogged before, but it is worth repeating. A great way to save money is to shop the 'after holidays' clearance sales. I'm speaking particulary of after Passover sales. I'm not Jewish but I always check the special aisle when Passover is done. You can get some great buys on quality items like good vanilla or cake mix or canned pineapple. One year I even got a set of storage containers really cheap. What is Kosher about storage containers? Well, they have different colored lids so you don't mix things together that shouldn't be mixed according to Jewish law.

Of course, there will be Easter items on sale, too. But it's only a few days past Easter and I try to save at least 75%.

Go over to the above link and check out the blog. It's a good one!

Monday, April 05, 2010

New Link Lists

I redid the links on my sidebar. There are only a few now, but I hope to add to them--especially the links with tutorials! I've found so many wonderful blogs.

In fact, I worry that I spend too much time bookmarking great ideas and not actually carrying them out, LOL!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Needlebook I made and 600 posts!

Wow, I just realized this is my 600th post! I sure do feel old and decrepit! I wonder how many posts that is in dog years?

Anyway, the pic above is a super-easy needle book I made. I just took a long rectangle of fabric and folded it in half. I sewed around 3 sides, then inserted a piece of cardboard (about as thin as a cereal box, but it was from something else) into it. Then I sewed up the edge. I cut a piece of felt a little smaller than the 'book', then sewed it down the middle to make the 'spine'--right through the cardboard.

Those are beading needles in the picture, which is why they look skinny and weird. I glued the gold thing that holds the threader onto the other side.

One silly mistake: I put one of the ribbons on backwards. Oh, well!

No pic of the outside as it is plain, but I'll probably glue on some cute buttons or something.

The furry stuff in the background is my cat Melody, who personifies 'curious cat.'

BTW, my yellow baby afghan is twice is big now. I think I'll have to post how much I've done each week so I'll keep up with it!

A blessed and peaceful Good Friday to all.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Clothesline Day

We had very heavy rain a few days ago--7 inches, I heard. Not as bad as some areas but still pretty messy.

Today, however, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. It's 67 (!) degrees outside. So I get to hang laundry on the line! (Yeah, I'm easy to entertain.)

I just ran some of my spring tops through a rinse cycle to dampen them, put them on hangers, and hung them out to dry. Since they are already hung up, all I have to do is transfer them from the line to my closet! Easy, huh?

If I ever move, it better not be to one of those lame communities that don't let you hang up clotheslines. What is it with those people?