Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Recycled Snacks

Don't throw out chips or other snacks because they're stale.

Turn on the oven to about 300 degrees.  Put the chips (Bugles in my case today) on a cookie sheet and spread them out.  Put the sheet in the oven for a few minutes, then turn off the oven.  Leave the cookie sheet in the oven where it's dry and warm til the snack is revived and dry and nice and crunchy!

I do this all the time with tortilla chips from restaurants.  Sometimes they're even better when I'm done with them.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Free Ribbon Collection

Did you know that you can cut off those little ribbons from your new clothes and the world will not come to an end?

Today, I noticed that the ribbon loops on some new garments were very nice, and pretty and could be useful.  So I cut them off and saved them.

 
As an bonus, I will save them in a recycled jar!



I will let you know when I find a use for them!


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Unexpected Benefit of Couponing

I use three shopping apps that give me rebates on certain items I buy.  I print coupons almost every morning while I drink coffee, and I use coupons every time I shop. These things save me money at the store, which is the whole point of doing them.

I have learned, however, that there is one really great, and possibly even more important benefit of spending time planning my shopping trips.

There is a fat envelope in my purse where coupons are arranged according to Walmart's store layout.  This helps me find what I need if I run across a good deal I hadn't anticipated.  Also, my phone's data is turned on to my shopping apps so that I can scan bar codes and make sure that items "match" the rebates.  So there is a lot of juggling going on in my grocery basket while I go slowly up and down the aisles.  Add reading glasses to the mix - they come off, they go on, they come off, etc - and it's kind of like actual work.

I spend time organizing before I go to the store, and I spend time in the store, making sure I get the very best bargain I can.  So it's a time investment and it's important to me to protect that.

Now, imagine planning all this out and you get home and realize the clerk has charged you twice for something and you bought only one.  If you're not couponing, it might not be a big deal.  You think, well, they make mistakes in my favor sometimes, too, and it probably all evens out eventually.  Or it's not worth standing in line at the service desk to make things right.  Or, worst, you might not even notice!  But when you do coupon, and clip, and plan, and organize, it's kind of a big deal.

There is a bench just inside the entrance of my Walmart where I now sit after I've checked out, and I look at my receipt.  It's easy to find mistakes because I know exactly what I've paid for every item, and what should be in my basket, and how many coupons should be subtracted from my total.  If I find a mistake, guess what?  I roll back in the door and up to the service desk and get it fixed.  I've already invested time, so what's a little more?  I swear this is the mindset you have when saving money on groceries becomes important to you.

So the unexpected benefit of couponing is total awareness of what I am spending.  I never, ever just throw something in my basket anymore.  I make very few purchases that I have not carefully planned.  And I know exactly what my receipt should look like.  The pennies become important.  And they add up to dollars. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Coming out of the Frugal Closet

Trying to pretend to be like everyone else will do a real number on your sense of well-being.

Don't want to set the world on fire in your career? 

Don't mind being at home making do with a part-time income?

Like working in the yard instead of at, well, work?

Really?  Well, that's just weird. 

I can't tell you how many days I have spent dragging myself around the house being depressed and convincing myself there was something wrong with me because I didn't want the things I'm supposed to want.  When it finally hit me that I was free to choose any kind of life I wanted, and that it was all right to be happy being different, it just changed everything.

Now, I still worry about money sometimes, but I'm happy.  And there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do.  Projects!  Projects!  Coupons!  Lists!

This is my path.  It's pretty narrow and kind of lonely.  It's also full of interesting little turns and feels good under my bare feet.


Friday, November 21, 2014

No Guilt

I decided not to feel guilty about anything today.

I took my son to school and then came home and went back to bed. I had no intention of going back to sleep. It was just cold and wet and my bed felt good, so I got back in it. And I fell asleep. Til 10:30!

When I got up, I cut a piece of bread and made a tuna sandwich for breakfast. Why eat eggs or oatmeal when you don't really want them?

After the sandwich I made coffee and drank it while watching "America's Top Model."

I have decided to run when I feel like it and not "make myself" because it's good for me.

If I feel like cleaning something, I do.

I like the kitchen clean so I did the dishes.

I can't do this all day every day, but for today, it was fun.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sunny, Cold Day

We've been saving our coffee pods. Today I dumped all the coffee out of them and tore out the filters. I washed them (probably unnecessary) and lined them up in a cardboard pie box.

I'm going to go fill them with potting soil and plant some seeds, then put them in a window.

I am so in love with reusing things.

If I get a new phone today, I will take a picture for you.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

So I Wrote an Ebook

I wrote and wrote, story after story about my experiences as a nursing home nurse. I wanted 10,000 words, but came up with only 9,300. I probably could have written one more chapter and reached my goal, but I got impatient with wanting the thing to be done. And I wanted to see what it would be like to have my writing "out there."

 It's out there now. I posted the news in a few online fora and had a nice response. I ran into my son's room last night and said, with self-deprecating mock excitement, "I've made almost $3! I'm a professional writer!"

My son said, with no excitement at all, mock or otherwise, "It's all from people you know."

"Well, yeah, but still..."

So then I decided it would be a milestone when someone who doesn't know me buys a copy of my ebook. One friend has very graciously posted the book on his own facebook page and recommended it to his followers. I'm hoping one or more of them will do as he suggests and snap up a copy of this very "well-written" and inexpensive ebook!

I used the self-publishing aspect of Amazon.com to format and "publish" my book. I recommend it. It's straightforward and simple for a non-technical person like me. And they have a nice selection of free cover art. If you have something to say, this is a nice way to get it said.

Go buy it, please. I have bills to pay.

Nursing Home Sketches: My First Year As a Nurse. On Amazon.com, Kindle Books.

https://kdp.amazon.com/title-setup/AN9ZO0RBW32R4