Saturday, March 5, 2011

Frugal Thrifty Decoating Ideas For Apartment Living

one of the thrift stores we will visit today.. love the reading chairs

For most of my life I have owned a home or condo. The last few years we have been apartment dewellers. There are so many things you can not do usually when you are renting an apartment. This morning I went to swag to do a search on decorating apartments a thrifty way. I came up with this link. Frugal thrifty apartment decorating ideas
Take a moment and look through the ideas. I love the use of blue, the curtains letting in the light and the rug on top of carpet. This can be found at 10 ways to customize a rental.

Lots of fun things to look at. I have just begun to look around, but for the moment I am off to the thrift store to look for treasures.

See you later.. thanks for stopping by.. and please remember. Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money.. Grace

Friday, March 4, 2011


Tip for day.. create a cheap and easy desk for your self.

Here is a fun easy way to create a desk. Search the thrift stores or garage sales for two metal 2 drawer filing cabinet. Then buy a piece of plywood and have cut to fit the size of the cabinets. Make sure it is long enough to give you a good amount of desk area. Place the plywood on top and you have a desk. If you want to spend a little money you could varnish or paint it.

At this moment hubby I are using card tables as easy move able desks. I could use a file cabinet for my genealogy files. We will be moving this fall to a bigger apartment and I hope to get a better bigger desk some how.

Thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together..Grace

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Grocery Shopping Challenge Roundup 3/3

Time to total up what we spent on groceries this last week. Our week runs Friday to Thursday.

I started out at Walgreens. This week deals are slim for me. Nothing I really want and I had Walgreen rewards expiring within a couple of days. Hubby and stopped to see what I wanted to buy so I would not lose the $2.00 in register rewards.
Bought 1 bottle of Dawn dish soap and 2 cans of bumble bee tuna.
After flyer coupons and my $2.00 register rewards
cost me 25 cents out of pocket.
Retail value $5.25
cash out of pocket 25 cents
Then to Target
I went to Target to buy the Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Cereal at $2.99 a box. I used $1.00 Target coupon and $1.00 Kellogg's manufacture coupon bringing the cost down to 99 cents.
Bonus is that on the box is the Try me FREE rebate offer.
We will send in for the rebate as soon as possible. I bought one box for me and then in a separate transaction bought a box for my son to send in.

Besides the 2 boxes of cereal that cost me 99 cents each we also bought
7 frozen items to get the $5.00 gift card. They had 5 banquet pot pies at 64 cents each and 2 small turkey dinners at 84 cents each. I do not normally buy these but with getting the gift card I will put in freezer for a quick easy lunch in the future.
2 Kraft miracle whip on sale at $2.50 before 2 $0. 75 cent manufacture coupon and $1.00 Target coupon. This brought the cost down to $1.25 each.
Total spent $8.37 on food and I received a $5.00 gift card to use in the future plus I have the cereal to send in for rebate for myself and will give my son the other box to send in.

Then off to Cub Foods
Stopped at Cub foods to take advantage of a couple of deals plus we need bread. We picked up
1 loaf of bread $1.49
6 packages of Idaho potato envelopes $1.00 each using (2) $1.00 coupon off 3 packages
4 cans of vegetables 79 cents each using coupon 50 cent off coupon ( this was an expired coupon but my store takes them up to 3 months old)
3 packages of ground beef at $2.99 each using (3) $1.00 off 1 pound that was in a cub booklet making each pound $1.99
1 package of Velveeta $4.99 using $1.00 off coupon print here
2 Philly cooking Cream cheese $2.00 each using (2) coupons for a $1.50 off 1 making each 50 cents print here if still available. I had blogged on this a few days ago.
Total spent $21.14 with savings of $7.50 or 26 percent

1 quick stop at Walgreens for milk at $2.79 cheapest in the area and as we passed a gas station saw Sara Lee bread offered at $1.99.

Total spent for the week was 34.54

I will be sharing this
Thanks so much for stopping by.. lets keep saving together .. Grace


Hubby and I lover to eat out.. that is no secret. Since we have moved back to Minnesota money is tighter. We do go out to eat at least once a week which is budgeted for ..
Here are some ways that we can cut our eating out bill.

Split It The Meal ... some times hubby and I will split a entree and get a bowl of soup to share.

Fill Up On Freebies I love restaurants that bring out free stuff before you get your food. If you load up on free chips and salsa or bread. Doing this makes it so much easier to share a meal or eat only half and bring rest home.

Avoid Appetizers Since appetizers can cost half or two thirds the cost of your main dish, I always go for the free food instead of paying for an appetizer. Unless I am eating an appetizer as my meal.

Skip the Booze Alcohol has a huge markup. Drink water with lemon.

Spend Less, Tip Less If you spend less on your meal the tip will be less since we tip usually a precentage of the bill.

Take Home Leftovers Since so many restrauants serve large portions I like to eat half of it and bring home the leftovers for a simple dinner or lunch.

Use Your Gift Cards When the children want to know what we would like for christmas I always suggest a gift card to a restaurant. This gives us the opportunity to go out a few more times.

Check Out Free Birthday Deals Take advantage of the restaurants that offer a free meal on your birthday.

Eating out can be fun and saving money is fun also. Do you have any suggestions for eating out for less.

Thanks for stopping by..lets keep saving together .. Grace

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

WALLET FRIENDLY WEDNESDAY.. Searching the thrift stores for treasures

Yesterday we stopped by the thrift store to see if they had any new books or what ever for us to resell on eBay or Amazon.

Not alot was found but I did find two desirable vintage cookbooks.

The first and best is " Love and Knishes How To Cook Like A Jewish Mother" by Sara Kasdan. I searched on Amazon and it was well worth the 75 cents I paid for it. I will put up for sale for around $15.00, but first I will have to try some of the recipes. The potato soup will probably be first.

The second vintage cook book was " The I Hate To Cook Book" by Peg Bracken. I will probably start around $5.00 or so and well worth once again the 75 cents I paid.

Third was a vintage Landmark book hubby found to try and sell.

Plus it was Tuesday .. senior day so I got a small discount on these prices.
I will be sharing this at
Thanks for stopping by for Wallet Friendly Wednesday .. hope that you visit real soon.. Grace


I want to be consider weird, I want to live within my means. I want to be able to pay cash for what I want or need for my family.

There are three ways to Live With In Your Means...

1. Increase your income
2. Sell some assets
3.Decrease your expenses

I have worked on all three this week. They may be small changes but baby steps is the way to go says Dave Ramsey.

1.To increase our income we have sold one book on Amazon so far this week. I have some items on auction at eBay and 2 of them have bids.
We sold one item at the antique mall where I have half of a case. It was a key necklace for $10.00. I made several Key necklaces, so that is fun and encouraging to have sold one.
Does not make up for the cost of $36.00 for my share of a glass case for the month of February, but does add a little money back to the checking account.
2. Last Sunday I sold five pieces of silverware at the Gold Guys at the Mall. Thi added $47.00 to the checking account.
3. Yesterday we went and applied for cheaper health insurance for me. We had done this last August and just as I got verbally approved I got sick with a bad infection. We did not go through with the change since I was in the hospital where I stayed for 11 nights. So now we are trying again with the same insurance company. I am hoping for positive results with in 3 to 4 weeks and to report how much money we will save every month. If I am approved our deductible will go to $4,000 and we will need to bank the savings in case I get hospitalized again.

It is Weird Wednesday and we are working at being weird by living within our means. How are you doing? I hope that you consider yourself weird financially also.


Tip for the day.. soak that baked on casserole

You and your family have enjoyed a wonderful hot dish. The house is warm from the oven being on, your tummys are full and happy. Then you look at the dirty casserole with baked on food. I hate scrubbing that mess.

What I love to do is let this soak over night with warm soapy water. The next morning it is so much easier to get it cleaned.
Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together.. Grace

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Tuesday Tidy Tip ... teach your CDs their ABCs

Store them in alphabetically order so you will know exactly where to look for the album you want to listen to. It make take a little time at first but once done you will be happy that you have it organized.

Do the same with your movies and evict any that you no longer want. Designate one shelf for your DVDs. Should you get a new DVD get rid of one that you do not care for. 1 in 1 out is the rule to keep your collection under control.

I have a lot of VHSs in my collection. As I find a DVD title of one of my favorite movies I will buy it. The VHS then goes into a box to sell at a garage sale or to donate at the thrift stores.
I need to work at purging my movies and music. I have way to much.

Thanks for stopping by for Tidy Tuesday .. lets keep saving together.. Grace


Tip for the day.. End Menu Mayhem. Do you have tons of scraps of papers with recipes or printed recipes from the Internet. Get them organized in a short time by finding a free or inexpensive three ring binder and organize them there. You can either just use a hole punch and put them in your binder. For those small pieces of recipes tape them to piece of printer paper, use your hole puncher and add to your binder.

For a few dollars more you can buy Mylar page covers and protect your recipes from smudges. This is what I have done, keeps them clean for years to come.

I have used my binder for years. I love that some of the recipes have been written by friends or family members 20 years ago. I feel they are always near me as I go through my binder.

You can separate your binder just like a cook book is separated so it is easy to find recipes using chicken or your dessert recipes.
Until you get all those recipes organized just put those scraps of papers in a file folder and then organize them in 15 minute periods or maybe during the evening as you watch your tv shows. In this file folder are recipes I have not tried yet. Once I have tried them I decide if it is a keeper. If so they go into my binder right after dinner or if not the paper is recycled.

Hope that this idea helps you get your menu planning and recipes more organized.

Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together .. Grace

Monday, February 28, 2011

Saved Quarter Challenge Week 8 Sold Some Silverware

Well it is already week 8 of the Saved Quarter Challenge. Sadly we only sold one book on eBay from our eBay store. My auctions were a bust. Nothing sold at Amazon either.
There were no estate sales this weekend so did not find any treasures there. Will go out this week to the thrift stores but pickings are slim.
I did decide to take some silver up to the mall to sell. I had 5 pieces of silverware that I had bought at an estate sale some years ago. I bought this to resell and now mission is accomplished. I received a check for $47.00 that will go into the bank today to help with the short fall this month. With the up coming tax bill and life insurance bill I need to step up with the selling on the Internet and cutting back on the budget to get every thing to balance by April.
How are you doing with your budget and saving money. Do you sell on eBay or Amazon. I would love to hear your ideas and tips. I always enjoy hearing what others sell.
You can see how I did the other weeks by reading my previous postings about the challenge.
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 1
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 2
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 3
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 4
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 5
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 6
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 7

See how others are doing on the challenge here. I am sharing this post here. Take a look to see how others are doing.

Thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together... Grace

Hubby's Rich Burger Sloppy Sandwich Pure Comfort Food

One of my favorite meals is my husband's sloppy joe recipe.. he calls it Rich Burgers and it is a sure winner. It is tasty, comfy food and can be enjoyed year round

Ingredients ( he does not measure so this is a guess)
3/4 pound of ground beef
about 1/3 bottle of ketchup
handful of brown sugar
Lawry salt and pepper

He browns the hamburger then spoons off the grease.
Next goes all the ingredients.
Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes

Once done this is spooned generously on hamburger buns where he has placed a slice of Velveeta cheese.

This serves 4 .. for us it gives us 2 meals.

Served with chips, dip and maybe some beans and you have a easy, very tasty meal.
I am sharing this at
Thanks for stopping by..lets keep saving together ... . Grace


Tip for the day cook in bulk not only does making 2 or 3 times my spaghetti sauce, chili,, hot dish or soup save me time and energy but it makes it so much easier at dinner time in the future.
It is a wonderful feeling to look in the freezer and see several meals just waiting to thaw out and heat up.
Last night it was Oscar night and I wanted to just sit and enjoy seeing all the stars in their pretty clothes. I had not seen any of the movies but I have my favorite stars and was rooting for them.
So for dinner I pulled out my last container of chili and a box of Jiffy corn bread and supper was in the oven in just minutes. We had chili corn bake and it was wonderful.
Want to see some of my favorite recipes for freezer cooking just go here
Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together and please always remember
Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money... Grace

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 2/28/11 Saving Money Eating At Home

Wow can not believe it is time to come up with another menu for the week. This week will be basically favorites and using items I have in the house.

This week on the menu is

1. Hubby's Rich Burgers with beans and chips and dip

2. Tomato soup and Grilled Cheese sandwiches using 2 different cheeses with chip and dip

3. Chicken and Rice with peas and hot bread

4. Chicken with vegetables and pasta using left over chicken from night before

5. Hamburger stew over mash potatoes

6. Left overs

7. To be decided

I am sharing this at Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie

so that is what is on the menu over at our house ... thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together... and please always remember never under estimate the value of a small amount of money... Grace


Tip for the day.. buy new to you clothes at thrift store or yard sales..
I hate to buy clothes and pay the cost that they are asking. I do love to search the thrift stores and garage sales for new to me clothes. Recently I found a nice pair of blue jeans at the Salvation Army for just a few dollars and should I lose weight as I hope to I can recycle them at the same store.
A few years ago I bought several items at garage sales. Good clothes and wore them enjoying that I had spent only a few dollars. This summer those that I can not wear any more will go into my garage sale as long in good condition.
So next time you need a new pair of jeans check out the thrift store near you before heading to the mall. Your pocket book will thank you...
Want to find a thrift store near you just go here and search away
thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together and please remember
Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money... Grace