Wednesday, May 19, 2010

HOW & WHY 2 STOCKPILE

Morning everybody. I hope you are doing well. I wish I could say the same, but the fact of the matter is that I am rather annoyed. Oh nothing you did, just something rather personal and what’s worse is I am absolutely powerless to do anything about it! And I can’t stand that! So I am gonna start my daily visit with you and hopefully calm down some before I have to leave out. So let’s chat shall we? Grab your cup of go juice and have a seat and enjoy the ride!



I went to Wal-Mart after school yesterday for a quick trip to use the coupons I found online and that came in from my order from Coupon clippers. As usual, it yielded some pretty awesome results! I had the $3.00 off on Men’s coupons for the Nivea Body wash (which were $3.97), $1.50 off any Whiska’s dry cat food (on sale for $2.97), $3.00 off each the BIC Comfort 3 Advanced and Soleil (which were on sale $2.88 each YAY!), $1.00 off 15 cans of Friskies cat food, $1.00 off Old Spice Deodorant which was $1.88, $1.00 off 1 Fruit Chillers which was $1.88, $2 off 1 Huggies wipes which were $2.27, 75 cents off Suave shampoo which was $1.38, and then the cheese, bread, chips, seasonings, and stethoscope (long story LOL) were all regular price. I think it was a great buy! Think I need some more of these coupons before they expire LOL! Factor only the coupon items and total before was $66.69 and AFTER coupons was $20.94! I saved $45.75 in coupons on just this little bit of stuff! COOL HUH? I’ve said it before and I will say it again… Coupons are such a wonderful thing!



We had a killer short storm while I had to be out picking up the kids. Afterwards, it was rather hot and sticky and miserable, so I wanted to make something light and refreshing and QUICK for dinner (DWTS results were on DUH! LOL am I the only one getting real tired of Brooke Burke constantly referencing to the season when she was on?!). I decided on Taco Salad YUMMY! My mom made it the other night for her dinner and it just sounded delish. I had most of the stuff except chips and cheese (which I picked up at the store) so that’s what we had! OMG it was killer!



Well I did it. Since the sewing fairies (did you even catch that yet? Fairies… Tinkerbell… hello? LMAO) were slacking on the job, I finished that Tinkerbell purse I almost completed the other day. I would say it’s rather spiffalicious… if you like Tinkerbell that is! She’s not my favorite cartoon I can tell you that… and please don’t ask why. It’s a rather silly reason but still it’s mine LOL!

Now I want to get to the Frugal tip for the day… Stockpiling. While you may THINK that stockpiling is no good, let me explain something. When you build a stockpile, it’s just that… stocking up. This way, you will not have to worry about not having something and trying to scramble for the change to buy what you need. Perhaps you run out of shampoo or body wash 3 days before payday… what are you gonna do, not bathe? GROSS! When you have coupons and a little extra cash and can get things for free or nearly free, go ahead and pick them up and put them away. So let’s take the razors I just got… NORMALLY $3.97 a package… now even with the $3 coupon, that’s a good buy. But, they were on sale for $2.88 each, making them FREE which is an even BETTER deal! When stockpiling, you have to remember- A.) the coupons might expire before you actually “need” the item, and B.) watch for expiration dates. Having to throw away stockpiles, is just waste… not being frugal! There are certain things that are advised and easy to stock up on. Items with ong (or even better) NO expiration dates. HBA items like shampoo, soaps, razors, tampons and pads, etc. are all good to keep a stockpile of… especially in a big family! Same with cleaners- laundry soaps and dryer sheets, bleach, etc. Plastic and paper goods is another one- foil, sandwich bags, paper towels, toilet paper, etc. The only time I can see stockpiling as not good is if you don’t use or need these items. Like I really don’t see men with a use for 10 boxes of tampons LMAO! CERTAIN foods can be stockpiled too… but it gets more tricky here! Canned goods are normally safe for a little longer than boxed goods or bags. If you cook a lot like I do, I would definitely recommend stockpiling the basics like canned tomatoes, condensed mushroom soups, broths, dry pastas, etc. Watch those rices and pastas though… weevils LOVE pastas, rice, flour, etc! If you can, store them in a large Tupperware container. Just something to keep nasty fellows out!

Another tip when stockpiling? Buy small, save big, and condense! Ok, ok, put the eyebrow down and let me explain LOL! Let’s use French’s Worcestershire sauce. Now the large bottle (think it’s a 16oz.) costs $2.19 and the small bottle (10oz) only $1.19. Ok, and I have a coupon for 35 cents off 1 ANY size bottle. My local grocer triples that coupon so it is actually worth $1.05 off 1! Now I could get the large bottle and pay $1.14 which you think is the way to go right? NOPE. I buy the SMALL one, which only costs me 14 cents after coupon! I can buy 8 of the small bottles for $1.12, which was a little less than the price of 1 large after coupon! And I now have 80oz. compared to just 16oz in the large bottle! Now hold on… before you start mentioning the amount of space to STORE 8 bottles… that’s where the condensing comes in. I bring those bottles home and pour them ALL into the 1 jug I keep in the fridge full of Worcestershire sauce! Depending on how much you cook, that almost 3 quarts could last you a long time! So you see now? Buy small, Save big (coupons), and condense! You can do the same thing with soaps, razors, etc. condense them into plastic containers if you have limited amount of space. Even take out all of those disposable razors and put them in a gallon ziploc bag! You don’t really need the packaging anyway, right?

Ok since we are on the frugality topic, I found this article on Yahoo yesterday evening that I thought I would share. While you may already know about some of these, it always helps to review!

5 ways to make extra money
by Lylah Alphonse, Shine contributor, on Mon May 10, 2010 5:56am PDT

Even with the economy starting to rally (or so we're told), it can't hurt to find ways to earn a little more money. But who has time for a second (or third) job? Here are five ways you can make a little cash without searching the want ads or adding to your commute:

1. Cull through your books, DVD, CD, and video game collections. Half.com is part of the vast online flea market that is eBay, but it's much, much easier to navigate. There are no listing fees, for one thing, and while you do pay a small percentage of the profit once your item has sold, it's really quite reasonable. You're listings are limited to media (books, audiobooks, video games, music, movies), but Half.com reimburses most of your shipping costs, collects the money from buyers for you, and pays out twice a month directly to your checking account. Cash4Books.net offers a decent price for newer hardcover books and textbooks (they even pay for shipping). If there's a used book store in your town, see if they'll give you cash, or at least store credit, for your books. Want to quit your bookstore addiction cold-turkey? The library is your best bet -- and they may even take some of your own books off your hands, and give you a bit of a tax deduction in return.

2. Make those coins count. It's amazing how quickly spare change can add up! So much so that some banks offer to manage it for you by automatically rounding your debit card purchases up to the nearest dollar and depositing the difference into your savings account. There's no reason why you can't do that for yourself: Instead of spending your coins, dump them into a container at the end of each day and haul them in to your own bank every few months. Don't think you have the discipline to do so? Trade them in for gift cards at those green Coinstar machines at your grocery store. Coinstar will count your change for free if you're using them to get a gift card or eCertificate; use the cards to augment your shopping budget if you need to. The gift cards are for big-name stores like Albertson's, Amazon.com, Borders, Lowes, and Old Navy -- check out the entire list at Coinstar.com.

3. Get crafty. If you have a hobby, put it to work for you. Do you like to make earrings? Sell them on Etsy. Make your own giftbaskets? Got a flair for graphic design? Make your own mugs, T-shirts, and more on Zazzle or Cafepress and sell them there or on Craigslist.

4. Make money by saving money. Raise your deductible on your car and home insurance. Look into ways to save on cooling costs this summer. Eliminate the extras, or substitute DIY versions so you can still indulge without the investment. (Example: Five Starbucks-type lattes a week = about $20. Five convenience-store coffees a week = about $10. Five made-at-home coffees a week = About $1.50 (and that's using $8-a-pound coffee beans, which brew up about 30 large cups of coffee per pound). Try swapping instead of shopping: At Zwaggle.com, which is free to join, members earn and use points by trading gently-used items (clothing, baby stuff, games and toys) with one another.

5. Clear out the clutter. There's Craigslist, of course, and eBay, but did you know that you can even sell your collections on Amazon.com? Yes, there's a fee, but you can reach a huge (and sometimes international) audience. Don't feel like listing your things or trekking to the post office? Donate them to charity and take the tax write-off instead; the Salvation Army offers a guide to how much your stuff may be worth.

Alright folks, lets get crafty! Now seeing as I featured TONS of cheap or free outings for the summertime to do with your family, your significant other, or even alone, what is something you are more than likely going to be carrying with you? Yep… a water bottle! Now do you honestly want to be stuck carrying everyone else’s water bottle? Me either! In browsing my favorite free pattern site, I found this water bottle carrier and thought it was genius! I plan to make everyone a carrier in a fabric they will enjoy! Check out the original website for great step by step instructional pictures too!



Craft Idea of the Day: Water Bottle Carrier

1. Cutting Instructions

Cut one piece of fabric for the exterior and one piece for the interior each 10 3/4 wide x 8 inches tall. I’ve pieced my exterior fabric with two coordinating prints in the tutorial pictures.

Cut 2 circles of your lining fabric, the circle should have a 3 3/4 inch diameter. The diameter of the circle stitching line is 3 inches. Add an additional 3/8 inch seam allowance making the cut circle diameter 3 3/4 inches.

Cut one piece of Insul-Brite 9 x 7 inches. Cut one Insul-Brite circle with a diameter of 3 inches.

For strap, cut one length of twill tape and one length of ribbon, both 42 inches long. This fits my 8 and 11 year old daughters. When I sized it for myself I cut it 50 inches long.

2. Sew exterior to lining along the top edge only, right sides together using a 3/8 inch seam.

3. Press open seam.

4. The Insul-Brite is going to get sandwiched between the exterior and the lining. Pin Insul-Brite to the wrong side of exterior fabric, aligning and centering top of batting with the joined seam line. Pin in place about an inch down to keep batting from sliding around. Fold over the the lining fabric and pin some more. Top stitch 1/4 inch along the top edge. This provides a baseline anchoring of the batting.

5. Pin entire sandwich like a quilt, securing as needed to keep layers from puckering when stitched. Stitch all layers as you please. Repeat this for the bottom circle. Finish bottom edge of top and edges of circle with a zigzag stitch or serger.

6. I used a French seam to join the side edges of the carrier. A French seam is two steps which result in the raw edge being trapped inside the second seam. Use some scraps and do a practice seam if this is the first time trying this. This seam is great for fairy skirts too!

Step One: Pin WRONG sides of sides together and stitch a 1/4 inch seam. Don’t press seam open, you want them to lay flat together.

Step Two: Turn tube wrong side out. Pin again along the edge, RIGHT sides together and stitch a 3/8 inch seam. This seam will ‘trap’ the previous seam inside. This gives you a nice clean finished edge for the inside of your carrier.

7. Leave tube with lining turned to the outside. Pin bottom circle to tube’s raw edge, right sides together. Clip edges of the tube to make fitting easier. Only clip about 1/4 inch into seamline.

8. Stitch using a 3/8 inch seam.

9. Turn carrier right side out.

10. Attach twill tape to ribbon with a single stitch down the center.

11. Turn up 1 inch of strap raw edge and attach to inside edge of tube, centering ends on either side of the carrier side seam. (After making this I think it would have been easier to attach the strap before creating the tube.)

12. Enjoy watching your kids carry their own water bottle.

Tips:

This carrier fits a small 500 mL bottle of water. I used a Crystal Geyser bottle that was 8 inches around. The finished tube is 9 inches in circumference and 7 1/4 inches tall.

The formula for sizing the diameter of the bottom circle is: the circumference of the circle divided by 3.14 (or pi). The circumference is measured by laying the top part of your bag flat, measuring the opening from one side to the other and then doubling. I usually round up the result of the formula just to keep things simple and add for a little shrinkage that will occur when the circle is quilted. I then add a 3/8 inch seam allowance or a total of 3/4 inch to the diameter measurement. In this example, a 9 inch circumference divided by 3.14 = 2.866, I rounded to 3 inches and added 3/4 of an inch for the total seam allowance.
Insul-Brite is a thin batting with a thin layer of foil. It will hold in heat or cold. If using it for potholders it’s recommended to use two additional layers of regular batting. I purchased mine at JoAnns.

Pretty awesome huh? And sort of frugal too! If you have a carrier, then you are encouraging a healthy drink AND saving money by taking your own! That makes it more special to me! Thanks to Kathy Mack for sharing this wonderful craft!

Now… onto the section, I know you are all drooling for with anticipation! GREAT GRILLED FOOD! YUM! Now, I got a confession here. When I was younger, I wanted nothing to do with eating BAMBI! I had a major mind hurdle with eating something not from the local Kroger! So much that I would peek in the garbage and if I didn’t see a “COW wrapper”, I threw all kinds of a fit or didn’t eat. But I grew up, my mindset changed, and now I thoroughly enjoy venison IF it’s processed and cooked properly! So food lesson for the day; even if you didn’t like something in the past, maybe try it again as your taste buds and likes/dislikes change over time! What you hated as a child might make you drool as an adult! And with that, I bring you…



Grilled Venison Backstrap

Ingredients

2 pounds venison backstrap (tenderloin), cut into 2 inch chunks
1 quart apple cider
1 1/2 pounds thick sliced bacon
2 (12 ounce) bottles barbecue sauce, your choice

Directions

Place chunks of venison into a shallow baking dish, and pour enough apple cider in to cover them. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove, and pat dry. Discard apple cider, and return venison to the dish. Pour barbecue sauce over the chunks, cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 more hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Charcoal is best, but if you must, use gas. Remove meat from the refrigerator, and let stand for 30 minutes, or until no longer chilled. Wrap each chunk of venison in a slice of bacon, and secure with toothpicks.

Brush the grill grate with olive oil when hot, and place venison pieces on the grill so they are not touching. The bacon will kick up some flames, so be ready. Grill, turning occasionally, until the bacon becomes slightly burnt, 15 to 20 minutes. The slower, the better. Dig in, and prepare to want more!

Now as a bonus, I know not everyone has deer that their man or themselves have obtained during hunting. SO, for those of you who don’t have access to venison, here is a BONUS recipe for some good old grilled COW!



Haitian Voodoo Sticks

Ingredients

2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
2 tablespoons water
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
10 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions

Dissolve bouillon in water. Stir in the garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Toss the meat in the marinade, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat a grill for high heat.

Skewer the beef cubes, using 6 to 8 pieces per skewer. Pour the oil onto a plate, and roll the skewers in it to coat them on all sides.

Grill the skewers, turning frequently, until the beef has turned light pink, 12 to 15 minutes.

And then you have a grilled dessert to finish off these fantastic entrees! Check this one out… total yummy and super simple! This would be a great dessert when you have all those left over Reese’s PB cups at Halloween or Easter!



A Peanutty S'more

Ingredients

2 large marshmallows
2 graham cracker squares
1 peanut butter cups

Directions

Cook the marshmallows over an open flame or hot coals until they are browned outside, and soft all the way through, 2 to 4 minutes.

Place the marshmallows on top of one of the graham cracker squares. Place the peanut butter cup on top of the marshmallows. Top with the last graham cracker square.

OK gang… its that time again. Time for me to say STOP and then I gotta GO LOL! My morning cup of Java is dry and you probably need to refresh too, take a potty break, etc. So, I'll tell ya I’ve had a great time and I hope to see you back here again tomorrow! HUGS!

2 comments:

  1. Debbie "MOM"May 19, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    Its me everybody. Kind of disappointed today. My procedure was cancelled and it p_____ed me off, for reasons I wont go into. But at least I can still get on this blog and chat with all of you. Some people meanly talk about the burdens overweight persons put on this country, making us the fattest country in the world. Let me tell you....its just another form of prejudism. And I am speaking from experience being a BIG GIRL. Its just as bad as any other form of prejudism. Why cant people be judged on how they act instead of how they look? Wouldn't it be a nicer world? Oh well, guess that will never happen.
    Good idea about the water bottle carrier. Its always better and cheaper when you can take your own food and drinks when you go on an adventure. It also takes less time when you dont have to wait for your meal. Just pick a nice place under a tree or at a picnic table and enjoy. Just watch out where you pick to sit. On a trip to South Padre Island last year me and Renee and the grandkids stopped to eat our picnic lunch at a roadside rest stop and found out that the area was having problems with bees. Needless to say we ran back to the truck sandwiches in hands and finished eating in the truck. It was kind of funny after we realized they could have been KILLER BEES! LOL
    Those VooDoo sticks look yummy. Might have to try those with some grilled summer squash. Hope everyone has a good day. Til next time........

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  2. I am sorry to hear about some idiots showing their ignorance to you "MOM". You are a beautiful person inside and out. You will find the right persons out there to help you. Just have faith and keep those spirits up! Have you thought about bringing a discrimination suit against these people? You have to let them know they cannot bully you. Maybe not for much money, but for principle. Let them know they can't do this to you or to others and make things easier in the future. You can be a trendsetter! You seem like a pioneering woman who could make it better for people. Well even if you don't, just remain positive and strong. I am saying my prayers for you. I almost fell out of my chair reading about your bees LOL! Were they killer bees?

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