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Frugal moms... - Page 9

post #161 of 222
Hello Everyone,
I posted this in The Trading Post but thought to ask my frugal mommas too!

I am looking for a Halloween outfit for my dd. She will be 22 months @ halloween time. She is on the petite side so I am sure she could fit something around 18 months.

I don't have anything particular in mind, just planning ahead!

Thanks,
Justine
post #162 of 222
Thanks Serenetabbie. I am still trying to figure out where the heck that recipe went.
I actually live in the interior of BC, the island is a 4 hour drive, and a 2 hour ferry ride away.
Grrr, the garage sales were no good yesterday. It is way too hot here right now, so I didn't want to be out for too long.
post #163 of 222
Thread Starter 
Our yard sales here were nothing to brag about either. : oh well... maybe next week. also I was really tired, and I find that doesn't help my sociability or bargaining skills! Our best scores were a globe on a stand for $3 and a bike for a friend of ours (child) who's been needing one, for $5 in perfect condition. My very best score came from our neighborhood dump! It was my new favorite table lamp that it a piece of wood that is all knotty and nice as the base, but no shade. Why do people throw such good stuff away?? The other day I went to our dumpsters and a woman was emptying out a HUGE load of stuff (note: not trash) from the back of her truck and putting it in the dump. I just kept following her up and taking down the useful things and putting them in my minivan to use or thrift. I kept remarking how *someone* could surely use these things and I would take them to the thrift , and she just kept saying it was all trash and unusable. Then she pointed to bunkbed headboards and footboards and said, "Well, this is definatly trash, I don't even know what to do with it" I told her what it was and she said, "I know it's for a bunkbed, but it's totally useless, there's no frame or matress!" SHEESH! Does she buy all her beds with the linens already on and a mint on the pillow!? I proceeded to load those into my van and she thought I was absolutely nuts!

This halloween I'm going to do something we've never done, and sew our own costumes. I guess I'd better get started soon I'm good at sewing patchwork and mending, but when it comes to following a pattern, it can become very time-consuming VERY fast! DS#1 wants to be a knight (that one should be fairly simple, I think) and I'm going to do a dragon for DS#2. Am I getting in over my head here? probably so...
post #164 of 222
Dragons are easy! Just remember, if you are in a pinch, the hot glue gun is your friend.
Last year, i made DS an Eyeore costume, and the year before, he was a bat. I don't know what to do this year though, he hasn't said what he wants yet.
post #165 of 222
Thread Starter 
awesome! I do need a hot glue gun. Maybe for my B-day, that's just before Halloween.

Okay, so I've got to vent this somewhere, and y'all seem like you'd understand! Not a confession, because I wasn't trying to do something so naughty! DH's B-day was last night and he's a spendthrift kinda guy, so we do go out to eat for his b-day every year (a treat, since we only go out to eat probably 4 times a year). We wanted some beers, so we went to the brewery to eat and had never been there before. We didn't even look at the costs of drinks, meals, etc., more than just glancing at the general prices of entrees, etc. We got out bill for $37!! ACK!! So total we paid $45 (inc. tip) for 2 stinkin meals (a burrito & a bacon-cheese burger), one kids meal, and 3 beers!!! OMG! I will never eat there again, obviously, but I just thought that was outrageous! Is this the normal going rate or something?? If we ever eat out any other time, we go to the local pizza shop, where it's fairly cheap, or the chinese place, where there's no option of beer and no need to buy a kid's meal. The part that was most shocking to me was the beer cost! It was $4.50 a beer!!! We could have bought nine beers at the liquor store for that much. Silly, naive me thought it would be cheaper to go straight to the brewery! HA!
Okay, I'm done with my rant!

On another thought... has anyone else thought that we should be AKA: the anti-'diapering forum' thread? :LOL - sorry to those of you who are frequent cute-diaper buyers!!
post #166 of 222
Just wanted to say that I went garage-saling on Saturday and like previous posters, got nothing. However, on Sunday, we went to pick up some light fixtures that someone was offering on our local free-cycling boards and started talking to the guy who was offering the stuff. Turns out, he and his wife go roaming on garbage days and pick up whatever looks promising, fixes it up if it needs it, then offers it for free. I was quite impressed by his reuse/recycle hobby. They had tons of stuff, in-line skates, puzzles (that he actually goes through to see which, if any pieces are missing), books, small appliances (that he fixes up to make sure they work), exercise equipment, this awesome art-deco type hanging light that must be worth a pretty penny if he were to put it out to the right crowd, nice clothes and stuff that his wife washes before offering it for free,...I just couldn't believe the good heartedness (is that a word?) and altruistic nature of this couple. Even DH was impressed! While we were there, his wife noticed that we were expecting (due in 4wks, yeah!), and got me some newborn socks (including Tommy Hilfiger, GAP, etc ones) just because! Anyways, just wanted to share that there are some really nice people in the world.
post #167 of 222
Hi mamas. I am new to this thread, and am loving the ideas you all have for being frugal.

I am trying to find a way to rein in our spending and somehow manage to start a savings account or at least an emergency fund.

Our city-wide yard sale is in the next two weeks, and I am hard a work cleaning out toy boxes and dressers to sell.. I am not sure that day is the best as far as selling is concerned, but it does draw a crowd from out of town, and at the very least, it will unclutter the house.

My main issues are trimming the food budget, I prefer to buy organic, but it is starting to be a budget buster, and I am afraid I am going to have to change to conventional until we get on a better track. I would love to know your secrest for saving at the grocery..at the moment I spend about 125-150 for 2 adults and 3 kids 12 and under...which, as it seems from other's posts..is ALOT. I want to bring it down to at least 100.
post #168 of 222
Thread Starter 
hey, just wanted to brag that we found a big patch of wild raspberries today! So we're off to pick in a little bit!
I also had a thought I wanted to share, not sure if I have already. But as I'm trying to find some cheap pocket diapers on TP, I'm reading all these posts for pricey dipes & covers! I just wanted to share that if you have a diaper service in your area, you can buy their "seconds" for really cheap! Our diaper lady sells them for $2/dozen!! These are sometimes lightly stained (my kid will stain them anyhow, so who cares, right?) or are just starting to fray on the edges (which is just on the unfinished sides, so I just sew a zig-zag stich on those 2 sides, and they last for quite a while). MY DC is just 12mo, and I don't think we'll have to break down and buy more for another 6 months at least. We bought 6 doz before he was born, so I'd say $12/1-1/2 years ( at least) for DSQ diapers is a great deal!
post #169 of 222
Thought I would add that Diaper Service Quality diapers are good sellers on Ebay, as well. I bought several large bags of diapers from a family that stopped their diaper service. I saved many for my babies, sold some on ebay and sold many of the thin, slightly stained , less than desirable diapers on ebay as rags. I had one guy that contacted me personally several times to see if I had any more used diapers. He had a window cleaning business some place in New York. He said it was cheaper to buy old diapers (for rags) on ebay then to buy "rags" from supply companies.

Picking raspberries........lucky you.
post #170 of 222
mmmmm..... raspberries. I eyed some blackberries in our commissary today-- but it was $2 for this tiny little container! : My grandpa always has so many blackberries every year (picks them by the 5 gallon buckets and they still go bad) that he doesn't know what to do with them. Too bad they live in another state. I'm gonna miss those yummy blackberries (so good on ice cream, cobblers, in fruit salad, in jam....)
post #171 of 222
Thread Starter 

Yardsale etiquite Question & Too many strawberries

hey mamas! I've got two questions for y'all to ponder:

1) Yardsale etiquette (sp?):
If you are at a yardsale where EVERYTHING is over-priced, do you leave, or try to bargain, or let them know that yardsale items should not be so pricey. I've always wanted to do the latter, since I read it in TWG. But I never have. I don't mean to be offensive about it, just to say, very politely something like, "Most yardsales would only charge about 50c for kids clothes". I tend to just leave, but honestly, as frugal as I am, I'm not a huge bargainer. And I'd like to be, it's just I'm much more of a passive type, than an agressive type. Something I need to work on. I seem to hit about 1 or 2 of these yardsales every week, where these people obviously have never been to other yardsales, and have no clue what the going rate is. They assume that since they have name brand clothes that all the kids clothes should be priced around $5 and that's a deal . WWYD?

2) Strawberries:
We have way too many! They were on sale at the grocery for $1.25/lb. Now, honestly, I'm really into pricebooking, but I don't often record produce, b/c it fluctuates so much. But these were cheaper than the cheapest frozen ones, so I went ahead and bought 6 lbs. What should I do with them? Freeze some for smoothies... um... maybe make some jam? I can just freeze them for now and make jam later though, right? I thought also about freezing some to save for apple season and then make strawberry-apple sauce. WWYD?
post #172 of 222
Freezing might be the best option if you want to store them quickly. I just finished up canning and drying a couple bushel baskets of apricots. I made lots of fruit leather......perfect for those "I'm hungry" times in the car. Making fruit leather in a dehydrater is so easy and the kids love it. I always add a little bit of honey if the fruit is a bit tart. Strawberries would make great leather. Slicing and drying the strawberries would also be perfect for later use. I love dried strawberries on cold and hot cereal. have fun!

Re. pricey clothes at sales. I just walk away realizing that most of those overpriced clothes are going to end up at the thrift shop for half the price. I, too,have been a bit amazed at those kind of sales and often walk away thinking 'what a waste of time'......bummer.

catherine
post #173 of 222
Hi, I'm new to this thread but seeing as I'm trying mightily to be a SAHM or WAHM, we really have to learn to be more frugal...mind if I join?

As for yard sales, I used to be a good bargainer...I would talk down lots of things at flea markets, but usually it was like "I know this is $3, but I only have $1.50..." and either they would take it, or not.

Now, I am more passive and usually if things at yard sales are too pricey, I leave. We were thinking of having a yard sale of our own sometime this summer, since Rowan was born I doubt I'd fit into many of my old clothes for SOME time, so they might as well make me some money :LOL
Do you know if you're supposed to have a license to have a yard sale? Anyway, just wondering...

Thanks for letting me chime in!

-Renae
post #174 of 222
nothing special required for haveing a yard sale, that Iv heard of.... Unless you live in a "special/exclusive" community.



Thought Id share this tip I got from the Frugal newsletter I got today:


HOMEMADE FABRIC SOFTENER
I make my own fragrance-free fabric softener for a fraction of the cost of commercial brands. I pour 2 cups of baking soda into a gallon-size container then add 2 cups of white vinegar. I combine them very slowly because the mixture of ingredients fizzes and bubbles up. I add 4 cups of water, mix and pour into a 1/2 gallon plastic jug. In the final rinse, I add 1/4 cup. I have used this with much success. -- Ruth B., Oregon
post #175 of 222
Dready mamma! - For your exess berry issue:
(I can vouch this recipe is yummy!)


STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM
4 pints strawberries
1/4 fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 box (2 ounces) MCP Pectin
4-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
Cook's note: You can also make this recipe with black or red raspberries, blackberries or elderberries.

Wash and rinse plastic containers with tight fitting lids. Use 1- to 2-cup-size containers. Set aside. Wash and remove stems from strawberries. In a bowl, crush berries 1 cup at a time with a potato masher. Measure exactly 3-1/4 cups crushed berries into a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. Gradually stir pectin into fruit and mix thoroughly. Set aside for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to dissolve pectin completely. Pour corn syrup into the fruit mixture and mix well. Measure the sugar into a separate bowl, being careful to measure exactly. Gradually stir the sugar into the fruit mixture, stirring constantly and adding in small amounts until the sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy.

Pour jam into prepared containers, leaving a 1/2-inch space at top for expansion during freezing. Cover. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set. Yield: 7 cups. Use immediately, refrigerate up to 3 weeks, or store in freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator.

You can make different varieties of freezer jam simply by substituting one of the following combinations in place of the strawberries and lemon juice in the above recipe:

-- 3 cups finely chopped apricots and 1/2 cup lemon juice
-- 3-1/2 cups crushed boysenberries
-- 3 cups finely chopped sweet cherries and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
-- 3-1/4 cups finely chopped peeled peaches and 1/4 cup lemon juice
-- 3 cups finely chopped unpeeled plums and 1/2 cup lemon juice
-- 1-1/2 cups crushed strawberries, 1-3/4 cups crushed raspberries and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
post #176 of 222

vacuum packed gadget for freezing vegies, produce, etc. ???

Does anyone have any experience with the vacuum sealers that I've seen on the market the last couple of years? I've heard that frozen food can stay in the freezer for twice as long. Better than the 'ol ziploc? Are they worth the money? Any brand suggestions? Thanks.

I like the fabric softner recipe. Do you hang dry clothes? I wonder if it softens laundry that's hung out to dry. I drain my water out to a Snowball tree so the vinegar may be a problem if used on a regular basis. Thanks again for passing it on to us.

catherine
post #177 of 222
I *love* my FoodSaver vac. I bought it off of QVC. I sometimes use the bags, but mostly I use mason jars and the jar sealer for food. I can use all sizes of jars as long as they are wide-mouth jars. I prepare "freezer meals", which means I make *a lot* of one thing and freeze it for lots of meals over months, and with my FoodSaver everything stays fresh. I also buy bulk meats, cheeses, etc (im vegan but hubby is not) and its a huge savings being able to buy in bulk then package it myself and vacuum seal it. It almost lasts forever! (I do use bags for meats and cheeses). I would buy an automatic model so it cuts off by itself instead of you having to do it. Saves time! QVC had the best price when I bought mine last year.
post #178 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandasMom
bought it off of QVC
What is QVC? Home appliance store? Well, I just checked ebay and there are about 144 listings for many different brands. What brand is yours? Are there brands that you've heard are better than others? I freeze, dry and can year round so this might be just what I need/want. Do you need to purchase a certain type of bag for the FoodSaver? Thanks.
post #179 of 222

Simplicity Circles

I was just popping around some other forums and came across this post re. Simplicity Circles. Has anyone had any experience being involved in one of these groups. It looks like some folks coordinate groups online while others create groups in their communities. I have forever wanted to create a place/group for like minded folks/friends/moms to meet on a monthly basis to exchange frugal living/simple living ideas, natural parenting approaches, resources, healthy living recipes, etc., etc., I did a search for a local group in my area in Colorado and New Mexico (we live on the border) and there weren't any groups. Maybe I'll start one. I'm going to check out the founders book on simple living and see if my philosophies are similar with hers. if anyone's interested in checking out this website it's: shoot.......I don't have the website and from my experience if I leave to find it I lose this post sooooo......if you're interested in checking it out do a goodle search under Seeds of Simplicity.

CAtherine
post #180 of 222
Thread Starter 
I always thought of MDC for that sort of thing!
QVC is one of those TV shopping networks.

We got a short break from the rain today and found some yummy yardsales! Although I think lots of people cancelled theirs due to fear of the rain! oh well... I spent a total of $9.25 and bought a couple videos, a handful of kids clothes (Gap & patagonia, no less ), Snowboarder PJ's for DS for Christmas, and a wooden baby rattle & some co-operative games (I may try to sell those on TP ).

Also, Catherine.. thanks for the tip on selling the dipes thru Ebay! I have 2 extra dozen that were just sitting around waiting for Reed to have the need for them. So I posted them on Ebay, just to see what I'd get for them, and started it at $2/dz b/c that's what I got them for. They still have 5 days and already are bid on with several "watchers"! I always think that's a good sign if they have bids so early in the week yayay!!
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