Saturday, July 10, 2010

FEELING FUNKY

Well a big Saturday Hi there and hello to all! What are you up to this morning? I am befuzzled this morning really. I had an odd dream 2 days in a row now and I woke up, grabbed a sketch pad and have been sketching the last couple of hours something that I saw in my dream. Whether or not I can make it come to life, we shall see. So you got your java? Let's chat awhile.

First, to my friend Hazel, a big hi there to you! Glad to see you! Now to my mother LOL... did not mean to strike a nerve with you about the tips. I find it interesting what some people will claim to do to be frugal. I may not agree with it, but someone might. However, I did find that some of his tips made alot of sense... I even live/do many of them. And Tabitha, you asked how many of those tips I do... well if you want an exact number, I went back and counted and out of the 50, I do about 33 of them... and a couple more could be questionable. I was actually shocked when I sat down and looked because of your question. It was really an insight to myself! Thanks for that! I will talk a little more about these things with you... and I encourage everyone to take a second look and see how many you do and if you could incorporate a few more into your lifestyle.

Go with one car. - We sold the second car back in January. While I lost my multi-car discount on my insurance, I don't have to worry about gas costs, maintenance, registration and inspection fees, additional insurance, tires, etc.

Go with a smaller house. - less space is less energy to heat/cool, light, etc. and to clean too! LMAO!

Rent rather than own. - While I can't make improvements or build additions to the house or the yard like I would like, I also don't have to worry about paying expensive taxes, high cost insurances, paying for major repairs, meeting building codes, etc. (Normally LOL) when something is broke, I just make a call and someone else fixes it... at THE LANDLORD'S expense! But I can't really complain too much cause my landlord really doesn't tell me "no" too often LOL!

Look for used first. - I have done this for decades. When I was younger, my mother, grandma, and I used to go to thrift store and garage sales all the time when I was younger. You can find things you need, and even some things you don't LOL! I have found animal supplies like aquariums and such, to craft supplies, to pots and pans, clothes, you name it! Its like a treasure hunting adventure! Same with flea markets!

Eat out less. - Quite frankly, this came from the fact that when you have a limited income, you really can't afford to go out and eat, especially with teenagers who can't "eat free" anymore LOL. Normally I only go out anymore either with someone else, or on a special occasion.

Eat out frugally. When we DO take those rare times to go out, I always make sure to have coupons, free offers, etc.

Use the library. - I am a book fanatic! I love to read, research, etc. Bookstores are one my favorite stores. BUT I don't go there often! When the urge hits me, I tend to ride myself away from the book store and into the library parking lot! Library cards are free and they let you check out books, dvd's, cd's, and more!
Find free entertainment. - I've brought you a few different posts on free stay-cation ideas and frugal entertainment... it's just me! Always has been!

Frugal exercise. I don't pay for expensive gyms or exercise equipment. I use things around the house for "weights" or I use my front/back steps, or I just dance! Good cardio workouts only requirements are good music and imagination!

Walk. - While I do have a car now, when I just need to go to the corner store or I just feel in the mood to walk as my exercise, I get on my tennis shoes and walk it out! Granted there was a time where my car was broke down and I had to walk everywhere in this town to get what I needed or where I needed... those were some rough times BUT I had some killer legs and less weight! LMAO!

Sell your clutter. - This is a great outlet for making a little bit of cash. People are always garage sale hunting for great bargains and its a great way to clean your house AND make that much needed cash! I do it with my garage sales AND my crafts too (although I don't consider my crafts "clutter")!

Frugal gifting. - this also goes without saying! I mean, for those of you that were with me during this past Christmas, you saw this firsthand! I do it for other events and holidays as well. I think the best gifts are the ones that you make yourself... the ones you put time and consideration into. Not some cheaply/poorly made piece of clutter, but something the person can truly use and enjoy!

Quit smoking. - did this last year... May 27, 2009 I quit cold turkey! It was rough... the first week (or month LMAO) was really rough... BUT I figured it saved me almost $3900 in the last year! Made the DH quit too... so you see close to an $7800 savings!

Alcohol in moderation. - again, I used to be drinking my life (and cash) away as I got in a bad cycle. But something my mom did and said hit close to home with me and I just stopped. I wanted the change... I needed the change... so I changed! I have an occasional drink, but normally nothing! Saves alot of money there too because my drink of choice was NOT cheap!

Sweets in moderation. - Again, this is due to A. not buying the prepackaged ones and B. when they ARE in the house, I normally make them homemade which results in much cheaper treats!

Drink water. - This is something else I did... I was addicted to Coca-Cola! I was drinking a case of soda a day... no lie! Well at $5 or more a case, that adds up fast! Not only that, it was reaking havoc on my body! I constantly battled very painful kidney stones and other problems, I didn't sleep well, and my blood sugar levels were insanely high. While they may taste great, they're really not that great for you! So one day last summer... yep another COLD TURKEY moment! I will have an occasional Sprite but no more dark "colas". I tried one a while back and boy did I pay for it! Aside from the flavor tasting like I just drank a bottle of pancake syrup, my kidneys weren't very happy either! I am happy to say that except for that one incident, I have had tons less kidney problems, I sleep better at night without the caffeine keeping me awake or waking me to go potty (yes I went to bed drinking sodas!), and I even lost about 10 pounds from cutting all that sugar and junk out of my diet! YAY! Besides, I pay my water bill... so I am paying for it, might as well drink it too, right?

Batch your errands. - this is a good way to conserve gas... and believe me, with this BP Oil spill mess, I will bet you that gas prices WILL be going up... besides, they almost always go up during the summer anyways!

Stay home. - Again, this is where stay-cations, crafting, and relaxing at home come into play. With just a little imagination, and maybe a couple of good friends sometimes LOL, your home doesn't have to be the most boring thing... I enjoy staying home and crafting, or watching a food network day, or cooking, or inviting people over for a barbecue, etc.

Stop using credit cards. - Now I made a big mistake when I was older by going on the "Great Credit Race" when I was young, pregnant, and bored LMAO! I went out and found all the credit card applications I could, applied, and waited for the cards to roll in! I ended up with 22 cards! Discount stores, gas cards, department store cards, you name it! I had 3 Visas, 2 Mastercards, a Discover, and an American Express! Chevron, Shell, Conoco, JC Penny, Palais Royale, Sears, Dillards, you name it I probably had it! Well I managed to pay them off and close the accounts. That was alot of wasted money there!

Cancel subscriptions. - Now there are a couple of magazines I wouldn't mind subscribing to... only because I buy them alot and it would be cheaper to have a subscription than to buy each issue individually. But for the most part, I don't have any magazine subscriptions, etc... just no desire or worth putting out the money.

Make your own. - What more can I say here? LMAO... if I can, I normally do! I am a cooking, sewing, baking fool! LMAO... the regular "June Cleaver" kind of person LOL.

Do it yourself. - Again, if I can, I normally do! And if I can't do it, I ask my brothers, DH, or Mom or Dad... in turn, I barter for help when I can't do it myself. And if nobody in my family can help, then I go from there.

Reduce convenience foods. - For the most part, I do this. Every once in a while I will find a good coupon to get those "convenience foods" on the super cheap. But for the most part, meals you have to actually prepare are much cheaper by far. And when you buy in bulk, as I do, its even MORE cheaper!

Travel frugally. - Travel is not really in my "plans" if you will. But the times I do travel, they are well planned out and I search for tons of discounts and coupons, etc. If it calls for it/is acceptable, I pack my own food as well, etc. I plan going during "off season" so its cheaper too. Always check for discounts for everything! Discounts are offered for members of certain clubs like Sam's, AARP, etc. so if you are a member of ANY club or group, CHECK!

Cut your own hair.- I don't believe in going to a barber or salon... I have always had either my mom trim my hair or I used to have the High School Cosmotology students do it. I cut my kids hair as well... a good set of clippers, combs, and scissors and anything is possible. I color my own hair as well, even though I haven't done it in awhile.

Maintain stuff. - I try my best to maintain stuff. I am driving my car for the last 10 years (its a 98 LOL), I make my own clothes, so if they need seams repaired, hems, etc. I do all that. Keeping things clean and in good working order has saved me lots of money over the years. One of my favorite small kitchen appliances I have had for about 8 years now! Matter of fact, I still have my very first maternity shirt, which happened to be my favorite! THAT was about 17 years ago! Crazy, huh?

Only buy bargain clothing (when you need clothes). Again, this is mainly where I either go for resale shops, garage sales, etc. OR the clearance racks in stores IF I can combine them with some killer coupons for some super sales! I do this with those $10 JC Penny coupons alot!

Plan ahead. - This has to be one of the most frugal things I can recommend! I do this ALOT! Planning ahead for just about everything has the potential to save you so much money, you can't imagine! If you are gonna travel, you can score great discounts and bargains for everything from car rentals to hotels to food and attractions! Planning ahead for a party gives you time and money to get everything made or bought... with discounts LOL. And of course, planning ahead for things like shopping can obviously save you money! You don't buy things you don't need, you can combine current sales with your coupons, etc. I try to plan ahead for as much as I can... no matter WHAT it is!

Cook ahead. - I like doing this... and in August, there will be ALOT of it going on cause band season will be starting! I do it during the whole year, but sometimes when I know I have a busy week ahead of me, or if I am just in a cooking mood I will prepare an extra meal or two. You already have the heat or the grill going to make your meal, so why not use that same energy or electricity and make an extra meal or two? Sometimes it works out really good, cause unexpected things happen or I just don't feel like making dinner one night but I can rest easy knowing they will eat healthy and hearty cause I have premade dinners in the fridge. That's the whole concept behind the homemade T.V. dinners too! Knowing that my family will have a good homecooked meal, no matter what, eases the mind and spirit.

Eat less meat. This is not necessarily a household thing, but more a personal thing. I eat meat and its good, but I don't eat much red meat on a normal basis. Now I can put away some chicken and seafood. LOL, but the DH likes his red meat though... so it stays LOL. And now and then I get in the mood that I want that big old hunk of cow LMAO!

Save on groceries. - All the local cashiers know me and know that when I come in, you better open a lane just for me LOL! They call me the coupon queen and I know how to make those little slips of paper sing and George Washington squeal! I never pay full price if I don't have to! Why just a couple of nights ago, I got my brother and his GF some groceries, including some packs of hotdogs for just a quarter a pack! She was digging 25 cent hot dogs LMAO! And its not just generics... if you pay attention to sales and prices and coupons, you can get name brand items for pennies as well too!

Frugal Christmas. - This is my favorite time of year and I have so much fun with this! Make your decorations, make your food, and make your gifts! It can be one of those "Norman Rockwell" moment with a little bit of love and imagination! I start working on Christmas when there is 150 days left until Christmas! That gives me at least 1 day for everyone I want to give gifts to and some extra days for those "Don't-wanna-do-nothing" days LOL! I wish all my readers would join me on the Countdown to Christmas Challenge and I think you could have a totally awesome frugal Christmas. Mine starts in about 16 days!

Eat a cheap breakfast. All I am gonna say is that if you save on the groceries like a smart shopper, then ALL your breakfasts can be cheap no matter if its an omelet or crepes or a bowl of cereal!!

Now for today's craft, I want to do some groovy decorating in the house. Home decor of the 60's consisted of alot of tie dye and psychadelic colors, blacklight posters, lava lamps, bean bag chairs, etc. Style from the 60's is most easily recognized with strange, fluid shapes, or angular, geometric ones and whirls of bright colors. Things were proudly done in man-made materials like plastics and rubber, and aimed to look "futuristic" (which, for some reason, meant no arm rests and other convenient comforts). One of the things I think is super trippy is bead curtains! I know, I know... old soul I guess LOL... well today I am bringing you the basics on how to make a bead curtain! Groovy baby... groovy!



Craft Idea of the Day: Bead Curtain

Materials:

Nails
Fishing line
Hammer
Beads

Instructions:

Step 1: Set aside plenty of time. Making your own bead curtain is a repetitive, Zen-like process, which involves stringing individual beads onto individual strings over and over again. Part of the charm of this project is its slow, calming inexorability, but don't take it on if you don't have an hour or two to spare every day.

Step 2: Measure the area you want to cover. A standard door frame is about 30 inches wide, but you may want to be more ambitious and separate a portion of your living room, which will involve a much wider curtain. This is a good time to figure out how "thick" you'd like your curtain to be-that is, how close the individual strings of beads should be to each other.

Step 3: Buy some strong fishing line. As tempting as it is to string your beads onto a long piece of thread, this is a recipe for disaster: the accumulated weight will snap the thread and scatter a zillion beads all over your hardwood floor. Instead, go to a hardware or sporting-goods store and buy a big spool of fishing line-if it can hold a 500-pound marlin, it can hold 3 pounds of colored beads.

Step 4: Buy some beads. If you live in a big city, your local "garment district" should have one or two stores stocking a full selection of beads; if you don't, you can easily buy beads online. Once you determine your approximate color scheme (say, strings of green beads alternating with strings of yellow beads), you should have a good idea of what kinds of beads to buy, in what color and how many. (You may have to order multiple times, but that's part of the Zen aspect of this project.)

Step 5: Cut a portion of fishing line to the proper length and tie a knot at the bottom--you're ready to start stringing beads. Just plunk the beads one after another down the other end of the line (you may have to stand up near the end). Once you've reached the desired height, tie off the other end, but leave a few inches of line on top of that so you can tie the string of beads over the door frame.

Step 6: Drive some small nails into the area above the door frame. This is where you'll tie those extra inches of fishing line at the end of your strings of beads.

For a thick curtain, you'll have to put in a nail every half-inch or so, an inch or more if you'd like your curtain to be more transparent. Once you're done tying the strings, you may want to cover up the nails and knots over the frame with a thin plank of wood.

Well its that time again folks. Time to tempt your palate with a plate of sheer bliss. Sadly, this week will be ending tomorrow, but the party's not over yet my groovy blogmates! Today we are going to feast of some super 60's soul food! "Soul food" is a culinary movement, not a dictionary term. Many traditional recipes and ingredients descended from earlier times. While there is some general concensus regarding the "core list" of ingredients/recipes considered soul food, there are many subtle nuances and culinary diversions. The term "Soul food," as it relates to cuisine, entered the "scene" of food history in the 1960s. Some notes here:
"The expression "soul food" is a term grafted from the expression "soul music," which in the 1960s referenced black artists noted for their soulful blues and rhythmic music. The term "soul" was applied also to artists noted for their culinary skills, particularly to field-hand cooks in antebellum America, who performed culinary miracles with foods then thought to be too common for the master's table. These included the South's cheapest staples, such as black-eyed peas, yams or sweet potatoes, collard greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, chitterllings (the small intestines of hogs), how maws (the stomach of the hog), ham hocks, trotter (the feet of the hog), hog jowl (the cheek of the hog), cornbread, fish, and so on. The numerous African American authors who wrote soul food cookbooks in the 1960s...invariable listed a wide range of foods." Although this term applies to traditional foods eaten by African -Americans, especially in the South, it is of rather recent vintage, first in print in 1960, when it became associated with the growth of ethnic pride in African-American culture, of which food was a significant part. The term dates in print to 1964 and comes from the faternal spirit among African-Americans that their culture, heritage, and cooking gives them an essential "soulfulness" that helps define the African-American experience. As Bog Jeffries, in his Soul Food Cookbook [1969] notes "While all soul food is southern food, not all southern food is soul." So today, I bring you a very soulful dish that will certainly satisfy the soul! Eat & Enjoy!



Southern Garlic Catfish

Ingredients:

1-1/2 pounds catfish (fillets)
1 egg
garlic salt
1 package of marks fish breading or 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of corn meal, salt and pepper to taste
cayenne Pepper
vegetable oil

Instructions:

Heat skillet and 1 inch of vegetable oil.
Wash catfish.
Beat egg.
Dip catfish in egg.
Put garlic salt on both sides of the fillets.
Shake on cayenne pepper.
Dip in breading-twice.
Put fillets in hot oil.
Cook until golden brown and tender in the middle.
Fry time is usually 8 to 12 minutes.
Take fillets out the skillet and set on a paper towel.
Optional-sprinkle with Louisiana Hot Sauce®.

Comments: If you do not like spicy food omit the cayenne pepper.

If you like it hot add as much cayenne as you can stand and dip in hot sauce, ketchup, and lemon juice mixed together.

Well gang, I'm gonna get off here and try to go and be productive! I got lots to do and just a little amount of time to do it. Coming down on alot of deadlines and project ends and begins... so its off to the drawing board! I hope you had a good time today and I will see you in the morning for more crazy fun and adventures in Frugalville! LOL! Peace my brother! HUGS!

2 comments:

  1. I looked over your list I do sixteen of these and I'm debating about two more ,rent instead of own I keep telling my hubby its silly to own a 4 bedroom home when there is just the two of us and hair cutting I went and had my hair cut yesterday $45 ( because of all the new taxes )that really upset me , I couldn't cut my own but a cheaper place is defiantly in order .Oh one more no more two cars mine is paid for so I will use it till it falls apart but after that time we will only own one . I really enjoy your blog keep up the good work and enjoy the weekend .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Debbie "MOM"July 10, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    First of all: I agree with Tabitha from yesterdays comments....W. , I think your on the wrong blog page Dude! LMAO
    To Hazel: glad to see you lately on the comments; wish more of the followers would comment. Its interesting to see what others consider frugal. And thank you; ?I'm glad someone else out there doesn't like the shaving the head bald thing. I also make my sons wear a hat around me if they insist on shaving their heads.
    I went through the list and I personally do nineteen of them in some way or near to it.
    Because of my medical conditions the walking, alcohol, and smoking are not an issue but I am in physical therapy, so I'm gonna count that as exercise, because believe me, they make me sweat! I do cook mostly at home and have been using coupons and sales to get cheaper groceries but the hubby and I do like to occasionally go out to eat and we dont always consider the costs of what we are eating, so I guess in a way I cancel out my frugalness in that department! LOL And I cant really sell my clutter or make my own gifts and stuff because Hurricane IKE washed most of my stuff out to sea.....kind of like Mother Nature dejunked my life for me in a way. LOL But I do try to be frugal in all the other ways and a few that weren't mentioned. I think everyone can be frugal in their own way; what ever suits their lifestyles.
    I like the bead curtains; but then I'm an old hippie so I would, right? LOL I think I would hang mine closer together. But the hubby probably wouldn't go for that since it is a new house and he doesn't have the same kind of tastes in decor as I do.
    Alot of the soul food is southern and many of us in the south will sometimes interchange the ingredients or the cooking process and make it our own. My mom taught me the way to make the bag of dried beans into something that would make your mouth drool. (ASK RENEE HOW MUCH SHE LOVES IT) That kind of meal used to be considered part of soul food. And there have been many times I have used parts of a pig that others would not think to eat, like ham hocks in my pot of beans or neck bones simmered until the meat falls off the bone and served with egg noodles and gravy. Sweet potatoes or cornbread baked in the oven then slathered with creamery butter (not margarine...thats fake butter if you ask me) is the most heavenly thing to eat to me. Soul or Southern......it all just plain delicious to me!! Now I'm starving for something yummy to eat so I'm heading to the kitchen now. Til next time....

    ReplyDelete