Friday, December 29, 2017

Frugal Friday With Marsha -- I Have a Plan

I have a nice start on next Christmas, yes, thinking way ahead.    I'm also hoping that I can keep up the way I'm already going and fill my tote where I stash gifts.  Some will be used for birthday gifts throughout the year as well.

I started off Christmas Eve by crocheting myself a headband to keep my ears warm in this cold weather.  This prompted me to think that I can make these for the women and girls for next Christmas.  Finding a stash of fancy yarn that I had bought at a yard sale (and had totally forgotten about) was a blessing to help me work on this project.  I can pull this out at various times to work on.

While shopping at Wal-Mart for my gift exchange gift for our family gathering, there was a couple buying pocket knives for stocking stuffers.  I was surprised to see they were only $1.97.  They left just one on the shelf, and I bought it.  My plan is to pick one up whenever I can throughout the year as these will be great to have with the gifts for the guys and the older grandsons.

I also have a plan to try to pick up something at Dollar Tree each time I shop there to add to my gift stash.

The other thing that I already started doing is to look at Snagshout on a regular basis to see what I can get for $3 or less that will make a good gift.  I've already ordered a $14.97 BBQ utensil set for $3.  It should come in today.  You never know what I might find there throughout the year and as of now, I have 7 more Snags that I can use.  This will also help me make better use of the free shipping with my Amazon Prime membership as well!

I think I have a really nice start and fully intend to keep it up!

How was your Christmas?  Are you ready for the New Year?  What plans do you have for saving in the new year?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

WIP Wednesday -- Actually Have Been Working!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and now I wish you all also a Happy New Year too!

I finished up the covered composition notebooks and got them all wrapped.  I have 7 left to give to my guild to put in the boutique for sale at the Wichita quilt show in June.

I was told that a lady wants to buy 2 of the double towel scarves from me soon, so I went ahead and got a start on making with the 4 towels that I had on hand.  It ended up that my daughter also brought home a towel from work that she wanted me to make into one of the scarves for her for Christmas too.  I made that one, finished one of the other 4 and have 3 left to just sew up.  I will buy a towel each time I'm out and continue to make these all year least that is my plan.

Amelia will turn 1 on January 14.  I have made each of the grandchildren the jingle bell blocks for either their 1st birthday or first Christmas for years now.  I went to my room and gathered my supplies and have a good start on getting her blocks done.   I intend to make as many as I can and start getting them put into my Etsy shop as well.  I have one set of 2 in there now, but I am going to change it to a set of 3. 

I've been missing my headband to keep my ears warm with it getting so cold outside.  I ran across some fancy yarn in my sewing/craft room, so sat Christmas Eve afternoon and crocheted myself a headband before the evening church service.   Yes, an idea as well to make more for Christmas presents last year.  While in my room yesterday I found more of the fancy yarn, so I am on a roll to getting more made!

Last, but not least, I was finally able to get to the quilt shop and use part of my gift card to buy some 505 spray.  I got this little baby quilt basted......of course now I'm anxious to try to start machine quilting it, but it must wait until I get the towels done.....and I won't be home again until late Thursday night. 

I did not do well at all with the challenge of completing 17 UFO's in 2017, as you can see on the sidebar that I only finished a few of my 17.   I think I will edit that and add 2018, and add more of my UFO's to the list!

Our family Christmas party was awesome as usual.  A little stressful with work schedules and things, but we finally were all together.  Unfortunately I didn't think to take any pictures until after the gifts were opened.  Here are the few shots where I attempted to get in everyone who was there.

Hoping beyond hope to be able to continue crafting and sewing as I have been this past week every week!

I link up with the following blogs:

WIPs on Wednesdays

Jo's Country Junction:

KatieMae Quilts for BOM weekly linky.


Quilting is more fun than Housework

Friday, December 22, 2017

Frugal Friday With Marsha -- Christmas

Christmas is now just 3 days away.  Usually we do our family Christmas gathering on Christmas Eve, or a day or 2 before depending on my brother's schedule as a fire captain.  This year we are actually doing our gathering ON Christmas day in the afternoon.

As usual, I got a late start on the gifts that I made for everyone.  A list of 30 people to give to.  28 of those are getting covered composition notebook covers.  I sewed a total of 35 of the covers (the remainder goes to my quilt guild to put in the boutique at the quilt show).

Each notebook also comes with a pen and a mechanical pencil in the front pocket.  I bought a package of either one each time I shopped at Dollar Tree until I had enough.

I am still in the process of finishing up the stuffed Care Bears for baby Jordan and baby Amelia.  I was blessed to find that panel at a rummage sale where I bought a whole stack of fabric for just $4.
In fact, some of that fabric also was used to make the notebooks.

The other fabrics for the notebooks came from my stash and from a member's sale at the evening quilt guild where I paid 50 cents for each fat quarter.  I also did buy one yard of fabric from the markdown section at the quilt shop.

Buying a little here and a little there is how it has to be done, watching for bargains all the time!

Excuse the same picture as what I posted in my WIP Wednesday post, but I didn't get any others taken.
You will see the Car Bears on the table.  The box is the notebooks I had wrapped up already, plus a stack still to wrap, plus the extras.  You can see the pens and pencils laying there. (The towels on the table are hopefully going to be made into the double towel scarves by Saturday evening as a lady at church has a friend that wants to buy them for gifts if I can get them done.

My wrapping paper somehow got wet, but I used it anyway.  I just can't let anything go to waste, and there was no money to buy new!

I pulled out my tote--the tote where I stash gifts as I find them throughout the year.   I had Eggtastics for most all adults (bought at Dollar Tree for just $1 each)
I had some small things for the children.  I was worried as I didn't have enough for 2 of the teen boys.  I then remembered that I had the miniature Jenga and dominoes that I had picked up at Dollar Tree one day just because I thought they were cute.  Whew!  Just what I needed to fill in the rest of their boxes.   Not much in each box, but it's something extra to go with their notebooks.

I wasn't really going to talk about food this week (believe it or not!), but I don't want you to forget to get your Friday Freebie.

Free Barilla Ready Pasta at Kroger & Affiliates

I also want to talk a little about our "baking day" that my 3 daughters and I had.  We made a day and evening of it on Wednesday to get together and make our treat boxes that we give to each person.    I had boxes that I bought last year half price after Christmas from Dollar Tree and my oldest daughter had a few larger boxes too that she bought this year.
I made  the Ritz crackers with peanut butter in the middle and coated in chocolate.  Heather made banana bread, which she sliced, and she made peanut clusters. She also made "Puppy Chow".   Elizabeth made the treats where you put a Rolo candy on a pretzel and top it with a Pecan half.  She also made peanut butter cookies with Hershey Kisses on top.   Jasmine helped where she was needed.
Each of 31 people get 2 of each thing that we made, plus the bag of Puppy Chow.

For our family Christmas gathering, we each bring food to share.  I can't wait to give these Christmas tortilla chips a try. 


I have gotten really wordy today, so if you are still reading, thanks so much!   I will close by wishing you all a Merry Christmas!!  (and, don't forget to link up your frugal posts this week too)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

WIP Wednesday -- 5 Days Until Christmas!

The days are going too fast and Christmas is literally right around the corner!

I have all of the covered composition notebooks done and over half of them wrapped.  I have found that I need to stop and buy another package of pens at Dollar Tree yet to have enough of those. 

I almost forgot about the stuffed Care Bears for Amelia's gift.  Since I didn't have anything for baby Jordan, I've decided that he is getting the blue and green Care Bears.  I only have 2 of the 6 completed.

In my picture you will notice more towels.  If possible, I need to make more of the double towel scarves before Sunday as a lady at church who has a friend who wants to buy some for gifts too.  Wish me luck on that one.

I've not yet pulled out my tote to see what's in it to see if I can make up some stocking bags for the children or not.  Again, wish my luck.

My daughters and I are getting together today in Inman for our "baking day".  The kids are out of school so my middle daughter has things planned for them to help today too. Busy day!!!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I will see you one more time with a WIP Wednesday post before the new year.

I link up with the following blogs.  I hope you will check them all out and see what others are making.

WIPs on Wednesdays

Jo's Country Junction:

KatieMae Quilts for BOM weekly linky.


Quilting is more fun than Housework

Friday, December 15, 2017

Frugal Friday With Marsha - Lessons From My Daughter

You will never guess that this week's post is also about food.

I was babysitting at my middle daughters house yesterday.  She told me she got out ground beef to thaw and I could make spaghetti or tacos.
Well.....I look in one cabinet, no taco seasoning.  I look in another cabinet, no spaghetti noodles.  Ok....
There was half a jar of spaghetti sauce and a box of macaroni noodles, so I went with that.  Noodles are noodles.   Add shredded cheese on top with the cooked ground beef and it made a very filling main dish.

My daughter is what I would call a frugal cook.   I'm always trying to figure out how she is feeding their family of 5 using half a jar of spaghetti sauce at a time or half or less of a 1 lb box of pasta.
When they buy 5 lbs of ground beef, they divide and freeze it into 7 portions.
She can make a 3 lb bag of chicken breasts last for 5 meals.   Even the taco or other seasoning she will use one packet for 3 meals, just sprinkling in a little flavor.

Frugal Chef Apron

Frugal Chef Apron

by enemyofdebt

At any frugal cooking/meal type site you will read that you don't need to use a full pound of meat, even if that's what the recipe calls for.  That does make good sense.

I may feel she is a bit "stingy" in the main dish department, but I can assume that using less meat and other foods is how they keep their house stocked on fresh fruits and veggies at all times.
You never go over there when there isn't oranges, bananas, and apples in the hanging basket.  Most of time there is also other fruits such as cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, and even a pomegranate in the fridge.
You will also always find at least cucumber, carrots, and bell pepper in the veggie dish (yes, a vintage Pyrex dish like shown below) in the fridge.  Most of the time you will also find onion, tomato, broccoli and cauliflower too.

*******Last week I forgot to mention the Friday Freebie in my post.  It was cat treats free, which is always a help in our house.  This week it's Blistex Lip Balm, something we can all use, especially this time of year.  Even if you don't use it, it will make a great stocking stuffer.  Click the link below for more information.*******

Free Blistex Medicated Lip Balm at Kroger & Affiliates

While I'm at it, before I close this post, here are a few more freebies and such that you might want to check out:

Free Joyce Meyer Scripture Promise Decals

Free 1-Year Subscription to ELLE Magazine

Free Copy of the Jiffy Mix Recipe Booklet

Win a Speed Queen Washing Machine and Dryer worth $2000

Win a Month Supply of Little Bites Muffins

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

WIP Wednesday -- 6 More Done

Still frustrated over lack of time for sewing, I only sewed this past week Friday night at Sit N Sew at the local quilt shop.
I managed to get 6 more covered composition notebooks done  towards my Christmas gifts.  This makes a total of 23 done. 

I intend to make 35 total as that's how many notebooks I have, however, not all of them will be used for Christmas.

I know for sure that the pink with the girls on it is going to my 13 yr old granddaughter.  I'm really thinking the pebble print should go to my 8 yr old grandson as he is constantly collecting rocks in his pockets.

I fully intend to sew this evening, and both Friday and Saturday evening.  Wish my luck to get these done!  With any luck, maybe next week's post can show that they are not only done, but also wrapped!

Sales in my Etsy shop are not as I had hoped they would be.  I've only sold a set of the microwave hotpads/cozies this week.  I am still in hopes of selling the 2 double towel scarfs that I made with the Christmas print fabric.

Quilt Time Customize the Label Square Wall Clock

Quilt Time Customize the Label Square Wall Clock

by pomegranate_gallery

In the meantime, I am linking up with the following blogs:

WIPs on Wednesdays

Jo's Country Junction:

KatieMae Quilts for BOM weekly linky.

  Quilting is more fun than Housework

Monday, December 11, 2017

Huge Cash Back deals during the Swagbucks Green Monday Sale!

You can earn money while saving it during Green Monday! The Cashback Shopping site Swagbucks is offering big cash back - 2x or more - at a number of different stores today only. They're also offering big payouts on a varieties of different deals and offers from companies that would make great gift ideas. Get great deals without waiting in lines or even leaving your home! 

If you're not familiar with Swagbucks, they offer cash back in the form of points when you shop. Then you can turn those points into gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, or PayPal cash. You can also earn points for discovering deals, watching videos, answering surveys and more!  

Click here to take advantage of the cash back, just create your Swagbucks account when prompted (it takes less than 30 seconds) and then you're all set! 

As a special bonus, if you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before January 1st! This site's a great way to extend your shopping budget, especially around the holidays!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Frugal Friday With Marsha -- More Food

Food seems to be the subject for me lately. 

This past week my daughter sent me home with ribs from the smokehouse where they work (Woodies).  Those were our meat for 2 nights.

As far as my shopping, I did my looking through ibotta.  I was actually looking for the 25 cents back on any cookies that my daughter had in her app.  Nope, not in mine.  There was 25 cents on any cottage cheese though, and I found they had some marked down to just 79 cents.  We ate that the 2 nights with our ribs.
I "splurged" and got myself an Oreo candy bar with 60 cents rebate too.
Otherwise my shopping was a bag of cat food and since I was hungry, I bought a box of the store brand bacon, egg, and cheese croissants.

My mom gave us some of her commodity foods-- box of cheese, can of peas, bag of oats, and macaroni noodles.

I had 2 free coupons for Cole's Middles from Influenster.  I was happy to find those at Wal-Mart when my daughter needed to go there after work one night.  These have made a fine snack.
Forgive me for not getting a picture of what I bought and using the picture from their website.

Although he didn't have the money to do so, hubby shopped anyway.   I understand the need to have food in the house, but we did have a little tiff about it.  I need him to make sure the bills are paid, and then see if there is anything left.
With all that, he didn't do too bad.  He spent under $30 for 5 boxes of Betty Crocker Potatoes, a 4 lb ham, the sub package of Oscar Mayer ham and turkey lunch meat, bologna, cheese slices, and Ramen noodles.
The ham will be for several meals, especially since yesterday he cooked up an entire large crock pot of ham and beans.  We ate that last night and will again tonight for supper.  Then, the rest is going into the freezer for another week.  I just don't really want to eat it 4 or 5 nights in a row!!  Freezing the remainder will ensure they don't go bad and give us meal options at a later time.

I'm in hopes of getting more freezer cooking done.  If we start looking for the best deals on meats and other foods and cooking ahead and freezing meals then we will be ahead of the game and always know that if there isn't any grocery money that there will be food in the freezer.  I'm going to discuss this with hubby this weekend and work hard to get him on board.

For inspiration in this area, I just bought this book for my Kindle app.  It can motivate me, and give me something to read during down time too.  I will be sure to post anything we make from it.

Again this week I am including a linky.  I would love it if you would share your own frugal type posts!

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