1 year for Deal With It, Simply!

One year ago today, I started Deal with It, Simply! A little about how Deal With It, Simply (DWIS) came to be;  My dear friend Robin has a great last name, Deal. I told her Wow, I wish I had a name like yours to use in the title for my book. She said why can’t you, So the book I have been writing for 14 years was going to be Deal with it! When my oldest son, Jacob said “mom, that’s kinda mean how about Deal With It, Simply!” A few months later when I talked with that old friend in the story on my home page and I was so shook up that someone so close to home had lost their home. It was then I realized we are all a few paychecks away from the same thing. I felt lead to do something to help others struggling and reach more people then with a book (maybe it’s just procrastination working).  I have never been a computer expert and when I did have a problem Randy would fix it. I think Randy was shocked when I told him I wanted to start my own website and thought boy something else I’ll have to do.  Randy was working 18 hour days, stressed and didn’t have time to help. I decided I needed to learn and I did and now have 2 other sites. Another Valuable Lesson for all those lessons I have learned and The Letter I Cannot Send! for the letters we all have written, thought about writing  and knew we couldn’t send.

Deal With It, Simply has been an outlet for me and I have totally enjoyed hearing your frugal tips and ideas, that are helping others and me in this phase in my life, Thank you! I have those 2 Tightwad Gazette’s to give away today and if you have a tip and would like to have a chance to win one comment me your frugal tip. I will announce the winners tomorrow. If you have sent me tips this month you have been entered, but if you have more tips send more for another entry.

God’s Blessings, Candy

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Let’s Work Together and Save!

There are many struggling right now and I want to think of ways we can help each other out.  If you have any ideas please let me know and I will add to our list.

  • This year I will be adding  a few extra rows to my garden to give to my neighbors. Lets especially try to remember those who are out of work or their hours who have been cut back.
  • Our family has started the every other week Sunday family dinner. My Mom, My Sister and I take turns cooking for the others and we enjoy a meal and together time. When times are tough I know it is easier to retreat in your own world and succumb  to depression, but let me tell you, how wonderful and uplifting to be with your loved ones. Also our  new “Get Together Club” saves money by having a potluck and eating together.
  • Some of our neighbors and a few of my clients save aluminum cans for us and we use toward our cable bill. Cable is a luxury and the boys thought it was one they wanted so this is what we do.
  • A couple at church had a new baby boy and I wanted to give them a little something. I had heard about diaper cakes and thought I could make one. Here is my attempt at one.

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  • I found a how to video I bought everything at the dollar store and the cost was $22 and I split the cost with a friend at church. (The netting I had, from a play that I made a shirt for my oldest daughter,  that isn’t in the price because I had it.)
  • If you are going to get rid of things and simplify your life remember many of us are shopping at goodwill, thrift stores and a new thing  is Freecycle. There is a Toledo freecycle that I belong to and this is were you offer or let those in your group know what you are looking for. The best part is it is free you are just responsible for sitting the item on your porch or to pick up. Also check out Craigslist and there is a free section.
  • Bartering-  is the exchange of goods or services for goods or services, no money changes hands. Today my oldest son had a his cello recital at our church. Randy asked this teacher if they would have a recital and she didn’t have a location so he asked our pastor and he said sure. Then came the rental fee, the fee is paid to the cleaning crew which so happens to be us, so Jake’s teacher and I bartered his lessons for the cleaning, boy did that help this month.
  • A friend from church is what I say a flower and garden expert. Last year while visiting her I told her how lovely her yard and flowers were and she said “would you like some?” I said sure and she gave me all kinds out plants and starts. She told me it is always good to separate the plants and share.  My yard looked great and now I share. A pay it forward with plants. There is a free plant cycle in my area, I just joined and it is like freecycle offers and wants.
  • Another friend taught me this one. Many people with fruit trees don’t use the produce, either to busy or maybe elderly. She will approach the home owner and ask if they would consider sharing with her if she picks the produce. This is how she gets free apples, peaches and grapes. Time for produce, very frugal!

Have a great day and God’s Blessings, we can do this if we work together, Candy

Greenhouse?

I am starting to feel a little like MacGyver (a show from the 80’s) in my garden journey. Last week I made paper pots and yesterday after cleaning,  I realized I just don’t have the room in my home for 5 containers of seed starts. I thought what could I do, so  I made my own greenhouse of sorts. Out of 2 used window sashes, bubble wrap and some string (I couldn’t find the duct tape!)

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I actually think it is working and Randy thinks I am nuts, but I am recycling!

I have to laugh after a visit with my parents yesterday.  I came home with the bubble wrap and Randy said “what the heck do you need that for?” I said don’t worry I’ll use it and I did.  I’ll keep you posted.

Have a great day and God’s Blessings on you, Candy

Time to start your vegetable seeds

This year I am really going to work my bit of earth. Our First Lady is having a garden on the south lawn. Michelle Obama said even the President will be pulling weeds.  I heard a report that with a $70 investment you can save up to $600 on your grocery bill.  I know I didn’t spend that, but I feel I can grow that amount.  I bought most of my seeds at the dollar store and it was 3/$1.00 and got the rest from garden session I took  earlier this month  at our local community garden. I learned so many things and I really want to grow my own produce and grow enough to share. I have been thinking,  if all who are planting gardens , planted an extra row and give to those who may be struggling or out of work, will help spread more then our own food budgets.

This morning I couldn’t sleep so I got up and  made some of my own paper pots.  Here is the  how to make the paper pots and I made mine a little smaller and used a vitamin pill bottle.

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I am excited to see how my garden will grow before it is outside, This is a new experience that I was told about at the garden session I went to. By starting our seeds inside we are extending our gardening season. Randy said “boy it smells like dirt in here.”  I guess he is right but all good produce starts with a little dirt.  When I was picking out my seeds there were different types of containers and holders that are like green houses, I thought there has to be a cheaper way and I found this online and thought I would share create your own mini green house

Here is a free e-book how- to “vegetable gardening” from Joe Gardener

I will keep you updated if I can really start my garden in the house. God’s Blessings and my friends, Start your…….. Seeds!  Candy

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Stock up time on a few items

– Milk at Meijer this week is $1.88 why not buy and freeze some for when it is expensive.We buy milk and pour some excess out into another container (for expansion) and freeze.

– Kroger’s has it’s 8 oz. cheese chunks, shredded cheese and 12 oz. slices for $1.00. I freeze shredded cheese fine, but I didn’t like the  slices and chunks after freezing, but this is something you can try and see if you like it.

If you see a deal you would like to share comment me and I will share. Have a great day, Candy

Grocery and food tips

I have been racking my brain for a few days on what would be good for us to talk about today.  I usually have no problem finding things to talk about. When I was a little girl my grandpa used to call me Windy because I talked to much.

Grocery and food tips:

These are tips and ideas I have found along the way in my frugal journey!

Rubber spatulas- Save money by scraping the entire product and making it good to the last drop.

Save bread bags, you can use them freeze raspberries and Bananas in them.

Coupons if you have them.  * There are Internet coupons you can print that are a real help. Coupon trains are when I have a coupon I don’t need I pass it for one I do.

Shop the perimeter of the store for your items. Example: I found summer sausage in the center isle of the store for 3.99 and as I was shopping for other items there was another display for summer sausage on the outside wall for 2.99 same size, brand.

Stores are set up so we spend more money. Milk and food staples are always at the back point of the store. Why so you pass all the other items and buy more. You can’t blame them it’s a great idea. They have great marketing strategies and they know how to catch you.

Shred you own cheese and save money. You can freeze shredded cheese without any change in texture and it isn’t good if you refreeze it.

Bagged / store brand cereal are a better deal usually compared to boxed. Some coupons give you great deals on name brands. *some of my frugal friends have been using the wax paper from the cereal bag to wrap meat to freeze. They rinse the cereal bag and let it air dry then used to to wrap their meat before they freeze it. I have tried it yet.*

Minimize the use of convenience foods. This will save on money and your health most convenience foods have a lot of sodium in them.

Become a club member with a friend and split the order and it’s a way to get with your good friend while you shop. In Ohio we have a store that is like a club store but you do not pay to get in, Gordon foods. This is also an option to bulk items without the added expense.

Celery and lettuce will last longer in a paper bad in fridge. Now I know why they are in plastic, so we will have to buy them sooner!

Apples will keep longer if they don’t touch each other. This really does work. I have a great guest post about peaches touching on Another Valuable Lesson

Save butter wrappers in a plastic bag in fridge. Then when you need to grease a pan it is easy to do a very frugal idea.

Coffee got a film on it and taste old? Try 3 pennies on the burner between the pot and burner and viola no more scum and taste great! This one works and it was funny when my youngest couldn’t figure out why there were pennies on the burner of the coffee machine.

Butter stretcher- gradually beat 2 cups evaporated milk to 1 lb. butter. Pour into dish and chill.

Keep cheese from drying out. Wrap a damp cloth with vinegar on it. At our home I don’t seem to have to do this Ben, my youngest is a real cheese eater!

Crackers stored in the refrigerator last longer.

Garlic can be stored in freezer. When ready to use, peel, chop all before thawing. The garlic is a little soggy after freezing but it taste great.

Need only a half of an onion? Rub cut side with butter before you put in fridge and it will last longer.

Beans are a great budget stretcher. Low fat, high fiber and cheap!

Rice and noodles also make things stretch.

Rice is a great stretcher when you make why not make a few more meals worth and freeze. Each freezer bag holds about 3 cups and freeze. It is best to let the rice cool before your freeze.

Community or Church dinners are a cheaper meal they are usually a free will offering and this will help you budget and you may love the fellowship and find a church.

Potlucks – Everyone brings something and you have a meal!

Cut back on paper products, today’s families use tons and this is an easy way to save money and help the environment.

Make your own baby food. Our first child we bought everything and by the time our youngest came along we made everything. We would have the vegetable the baby was suppose to try that day and cook it and just smash it up and viola instant baby food. Make them up pour into an ice cube tray and when they baby need it just thaw them out and eat in a small pan. The microwave may take vitamins and minerals

Canning and freezing is a lot of work but you get such a sense of accomplishment. My dear friend Robin taught me this one, always have a buddy and it makes your work lighter and fun. We would share produce and work together.

Pack lunches for work and school and save money and use some of those leftovers.  Bring your own drinks and save even more money.

Save bread heels no one wants to eat. Freeze for making bread crumbs. When the bread is frozen scrap to make easy bread crumbs. You can also season your breadcrumbs to get your favorite flavor.

Homemade Italian Bread Crumbs:

2 cups stale bread or 10-12 slices

1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan

Heat oven to 250 degrees F.

Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until the bread is crisp and dry. Allow to cool completely, and the break into small pieces.  Now, TV hosts always then use a food processor to make bread crumbs.  Nice.  If you have one.  I do not.  So, I just throw the very crisp, toasted and cooled off bread into a plastic bag, and then, with my pastry roller, I smash them up into tiny pieces.

Once your bread is crumbs, you can season it to your hearts content.  If you are going for the traditional flavor of Italian Bread Crumbs, add the ingredients as above, and store, tightly covered in your refrigerator for about 2 months.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

We also turn the heel over so the crust is in the inside of the sandwich and they will eat it.

Pop your own popcorn instead of prepackaged and save money on snacks like chips. Popcorn is healthier also.

**You own homemade Microwave popcorn-

¼ C. popcorn kernels

1t. oil

Salt to taste or popcorn seasoning

Pour into a paper lunch bag fold top of bag over twice and place in the microwave and let pop until the pops are 3-5 second apart. Mine in 2:55. This really works and saves money.

I am still Windy and I’ll continue on tomorrow. If you have any tips to add please comment me and I will share. God’s Blessings, Candy

Welcome WTOL viewers and Toledo Blade readers

Wow, today has been a busy day for our family.  I want to thank Melissa Voetsch  and  WTOL news for asking our family to be one of their 6 coping families.  Here is our interview on WTOL

WTOL has teamed up with the Blade and here is our article from today’s Toledo Blade.

I want to thank all who have called and sent well wishes. I appreciate all the thoughtfulness we have been given in such a down time.

Here is our series on How to cut your bills

God’s Blessings and I will back tomorrow, Candy