Sunday, August 27, 2017

Money Saving Adventures for the Fourth Week of August 2017

Hey ya'll, it's me!

I have been blessed beyond belief this last week, in all kinds of ways. On last week's blog post I got THREE comments, all from ladies who also have blogs--and really good ones too! I was so excited.

Tuesday evening I began taking yoga classes here in Bowie at Serenity Yoga. It was fabulous. The teacher, Charlotte. gave very clear instructions, nothing too hard even for me, and I haven't done yoga in years. She kept the pace steady yet challenging, and while I never got out of breath...I did have to grab my sweat towel a few times! There were real people in the class--not a super model in sight. and everyone was friendly and focused. They meet at 5:30 pm every Tuesday night, and she is looking into starting a class for Saturdays at 7 am. All this for only $5 a class!

I am a big believer in letting companies know if a product doesn't meet my standards, or if it does meet of exceeds them. Monday I received two coupons from CLOROX for a free cleaning product, because I had called them to say that one of the newer products was just not as good as the others they offer. If you do call a company, be sure to have the packaging with you, so you can give them any information they ask for, and remember how much you paid for it.

Tuesday night after yoga, I stopped at the store on the way home to pick up something, and I took the time to check for CLOROX products that I could use my coupons on. JACKPOT!


I found a container of wipes for cleaning up surfaces in my son's bathroom, AAAAANNNNNND... there was a double package of toilet cleaner, which counted as ONE product, so I actually got THREE products free!



The Redneck wears jeans for work, and he carries a pocket knife in the front pocket. After a while, this causes rips in the pocket, so I spend a little time mending them by hand. I am amazed how just a few spools of thread and some needles kept in stock can save you a lot of money, if you just take the time.

Thursday night Obie and I had our usual library trip, and we go some good books and fun movies, including PIXELS. I had never seen it, and it was very funny. We visited with the librarians, and then we went to a nice little restaurant here in Bowie, for an introductory meeting of a health program that goes on for 12 weeks, and covers a lot of good material on how to be healthy not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually. My friend Eleanor came also. She is the lady who taught me massage therapy and other health related topics almost 20 years ago. She was my instructor, my mentor, and I am proud to say my best friend for many years. We listened as the lady explained all that the course entailed, and I was impressed--she covers many of the things that Eleanor has taught me over the years, and things that I have learned from my own studies. Then she quoted how much it would cost....it ain't happening folks. I honestly believe that it would be a good thing for someone just starting out on their health journey. However I have studied the topics that would be covered, and I feel that I have a good grasp of these subjects already. So you could say that I saved $150 in ten seconds last week, when I decided not to take the course!

Since the yard has been mowed, I have been able to use my clothesline again, and that has been great, not only to save money by not using the dryer, but the scent of line dried clothing is so incredibly sublime. Especially sheets and pillowcases!


For the Redneck's work lunches, I pack leftovers to save money. With his schedule the past few months, I haven't been able to fix him breakfast, so I had been buying him breakfast burritos at the store, simply for convenience. We ran out of them, and the grocery budget wasn't going to allow for buying more, so I decided to make egg muffins instead. They are extremely easy, they store in the fridge well, and they reheat quickly in a microwave. This week's batch began with frying chopped bacon, then draining the fat. (you can do these vegetarian style also)


I added chopped hatch chilies and onions back to the pan with some of the bacon fat, and sauteed them until soft.


My lovely assistant sprayed the muffin tins with cooking spray. You can also simply oil them.


After putting equal amounts of the bacon and veggies in each tin, I whipped one egg per tin and poured it over the other ingredients. Most folks just whip all the eggs they will use and pour a little bit into each tin, but that never works for me. 


Pop them into a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.


They come out like mini quiches. I take them out and place two into small containers. After they cool I put the lids on and store them in the fridge. Each morning when I pack the Redneck's lunch, I put one container at the top so he can have a hot breakfast when he's ready. A dozen eggs make six servings. I already have veggies, meats, eggs and cheese if I want to add it, so the cost per serving is very small--much cheaper than premade breakfasts. More important--I know what's in them.

I have been wanting to redecorate my son's bedroom and bath in a western theme. My budget however is small...tiny...minuscule...bare bones--okay, basically non existent. So I put the word out on Facebook to see if anyone had any western decor, bedding, etc, they were no longer using, and would they be willing to donate it to my project?

I hit pay dirt.

A young couple at our church let me know that they had some things I could use. Today after church they gave me all kinds of stuff for Obie's room. Here are just a few of the goodies they blessed us with:


I love the large spurs. I will paint them silver, and I am thinking I might use them to hold a curtain rod over the window. 


The wooden tissue holder will be flipped over and an arrangement of silk flowers will go in it. They even gave us light switch covers!


And just look at these pictures!





I am so thankful. With the money that these gifts are saving me, I can afford to buy a really good paint, and a western themed comforter at the Second Monday Trade Days here in Bowie. There are some vendors who carry them at a decent price. I will also be able to afford to buy new handles for the dresser in his room. There's a booth at Trade Days that has all kinds of western themed handles to replace the ones on it now. And yes, I will blog about the progress of the project!

Well, it's Sunday night and too late for chores. Later ya'll.
© Evelyn Edgett 2017




Monday, August 21, 2017

Money Saving Adventures For The Third Week of August 2017

August 21, 2017

Hey ya'll, it's me!

Remember how last week I talked about my back hurting so bad? Well......

I have great news and a recommendation!



I was online looking for something else, and I came across a video review for a product called Awesome Toes Toe Separators by Yoga Body Naturals. After watching the review, I checked out the Awesome Toes website, and decided you order a set. I got them last Wednesday, and after the first 24 hours the results were nothing short of miraculous. Below you can watch my video on the results.


These are the links I spoke of:

https://www.yogiapproved.com/

awesometoes.com

Please check them out.

I had been trying a couple of different shower cleaners, but they just don't work as well as I like, so I went back to making "Smurf Juice". The name comes from watching Kimmy at She's In Her Apron on Youtube as she made the DAWN and vinegar mix to clean her showers. At one point she talks about how all the blue cleaner makes it look like she 'murdered a Smurf'. I mentioned it to the Redneck, and when he saw me mixing it up one day he asked if I was making Smurf Juice. So the name stuck. 

The mixture is extremely simple to make, just put equal amounts of regular DAWN dish soap (most folks say the blue works best, I dunno) and white vinegar (I save the vinegar that I run through my coffee maker and use it--no waste) in a spray bottle (I use an empty METHOD cleaner bottle). Shake it up and spray all over the shower. Let it sit for a while, then you can lightly scrub and rinse it off. I usually just let it go until I am finished cleaning the rest of the house, then I take my shower and rinse it off then. I have been astonished at how nice my chrome shower fixtures look after using this.



Sometimes I need to refresh my couches before guests come over, and while I occasionally buy or make a fabric refresher with a scent, most of the time I simply use rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. I like to use the wintergreen scented type. You can spray it, it helps to neutralize odors, and it evaporates quickly.

Sunday at church we had our monthly fellowship meal, or Grub Sunday as we call it. The theme this months was Mexican food, so I made a simple taco salad, and I also wanted something lighter for me. I made Priscilla's Mexican Rice. It's a raw food recipe using cauliflower instead of actual rice, and it is delicious. I put it out on the buffet, and it was gone really fast. The recipe can be found at this site:

http://rawfoodrecipes.com/recipes/priscillas-mexican-rice-and-spicy-mandarin-sauce/

A few weeks ago I bemoaned the fact that our yard hadn't been mowed since last year, and it was getting shoulder high. I finally stopped nagging the Redneck and God, and decided to let the two of them figure it out. I was tired of complaining, and let's face it, nagging makes for a poor atmosphere in the home.

Saturday morning the Redneck's cousin and his son showed up with a riding mower, a push mower and a weed eater, and the two of them spent over four hours cutting down all the grass! I was overwhelmed with their kindness. The Redneck also bought me a new big lawn rake, since Obie and I will be raking up dead grass for DAYS. I will do it gladly, praising God with every swipe! I will make a big compost pile, and work all the dead grass into usable material for my garden next spring. The Redneck is looking into getting me good push mower so I can keep up with the grass the rest of the summer. I have no complaints--it will help me get in even more exercise!

One last little money saving item. We live a little far out from the radio stations that carry Christian radio, so I sometimes have trouble picking up signals. I only have a CD player/radio, and the antenna needed a boost. I recalled that I had an antenna from a stereo system I had gotten rid of when it went wonky, I cut off the plug, used a lighter to melt the plastic covering from the wires and quickly wiped it away from the wires using a rag. When I had uncovered enough of the wire, I simply wrapped it around the tip of the radio's antenna, and placed the other end of the wires on a higher shelf. I am now piking up the radio signal without any static, at no additional cost!

Well, I got chores. Later ya'll.
© Evelyn Edgett 2017











Sunday, August 13, 2017

Money Saving Adventures For The Second Week Of August 2017

August 8, 2017

Hey ya'll, it's me!

Well, this last week was an agony to get through physically, because I wore the wrong shoes, which caused pain all the way up into my back, and so I was a whiny, lazy lady for several days. I still got the basics done, but I also spent a lot of time just watching Sons of Anarchy on DVD, since it hurt to do just about anything else! But after stretching on my back arch, resting, Epsom salt bath soaks, and better shoes, I'm back in the game. Let the saving report begin!


As you may recall, last weekend I roasted a turkey. We ate a few meals from it, and then I cut most of the meat from the carcass, and then I put the rest of the bones, skin, etc, into these two crock pots and covered them with water. I let them simmer overnight on low, and this morning before leaving for church I strained out the solids to sort the bones out of later, so the meat can be used to stretch the dog's food. The bones will be thrown away, and I also ended up with almost two gallons of turkey broth. This will be frozen in pint jars to be used in soups, cooking rice or noodles, and making gravies. I don't add seasonings to the broth as it cooks, instead I will season it when it is used to make other dishes.


This is the meat cut from the carcass. I was in the mood for a little Asian flair in my supper, so...


I cooked up some rice in my trusty rice cooker, which I have had for almost 30 years. It was a gift from a Vietnamese lady I used to know. I lost the lid in a move many years ago, but a small plate placed on the top as it cooks works just fine. 

I warmed up the meat in the electric skillet, then I mixed up a package of seasoning for General Tso's Chicken, and added it to the meat. Let it simmer for a bit, and it's delicious.


There was a garage sale a mile or so from the house Saturday, and on the way there, I stopped by a local farm, where I got these two Black Diamond watermelons for $7. The big one was over 35 pounds! He gave me the small one as a bonus, and told me that if I wanted to pick my own melons, I could have them for $5 each! This one was really good tasting, so I will be taking him up on his offer. We eat a LOT of fresh watermelon in the summer.



When we got to the sale, I saw there were several boxes of music Cd's and Movie DVDs. Make sure that you ALWAYS check the condition of the discs when buying used, or you can get some really badly scratched ones that won't play. For $2 I got two new Cd's for Obie--A Stevie Ray Vaughn and His brother, and a George Thorogood one.



I also got the 5th season of my favorite TV show, Sons of Anarchy, for $2. I have the first three seasons, and now the 5th. I need to find season 4, 6 and 7. 


My best bargain? A Sons of Anarchy poster, still in the plastic with the price tag for $9.99, and I paid $5 for it. I will out it up in the TV room. 


Sunday afternoon I needed to buy some bananas, and while I was in BROOKSHIRES, I used the rest of my store coupon book to buy two boxes of dogs biscuits, and 4 cans of black beans. Each coupon was a $1 off, so I paid $1.50 per box of dog treats, and 19 cents for each can of beans. I paid $3.99 for almost $10 worth of groceries. I have to say, I will be looking for ways to get a few more of those coupon books!

Not a bad little bit of bargain hunting, I must say. So what did ya'll do to save money last week?

Well, it's too late to do chores, so I'm going to bed. Later ya'll.
© Evelyn Edgett 2017



Friday, August 11, 2017

We Got To Meet Russian Artist Evgenii Fouk (Gene Fox)!

August 11, 2017

Hey ya'll, it's me!

Every Thursday night after supper and the kitchen is clean, Obie and I head to the Bowie Public Library to restock our books and movies for the week. It's a great library, and the staff are AWESOME. Well, last night we got a bonus to our weekly experience.

The Friends of the Bowie Library held a reception for Russian artist Evgenii Fouk, or Gene Fox, as his name translates. I had seen his paintings displayed in the library the previous week, and I was enthralled by them. Last night I gained an even better perspective of his work when I met and listened to the gentleman discuss his techniques.

Russian Artist Evgenii Fouk (Gene Fox) with one of his paintings. I confess, this one is my favorite.

Carol Reynolds, Ph.D. gave a brief introduction, telling how she had met Mr. Fox and his wife, about how they had come to be in America, and about how they had prayed for a special artist's visa--and they GOT IT. Dr. Reynolds is a retired Southern Methodist University professor, and a specialist in Russian music. Visit her website (www.ProfessorCarol.com) for more information about this delightful lady and the curricula she has produced.

 Dr. Carol Reynolds giving the introduction.

After Dr. Reynolds spoke, then Gene Fox spoke to us about his artwork. He combines airbrush and classical painting. For many years in Moscow he had a school (Ex Studio) where he created and taught his methods to students of varying skill levels, adult and children. He is also a photographer, and has worked with airbrush artist Dru Blair, from South Carolina. Visit his website (http://www.aviationarthangar.com/drublair.html) for some of the most phenomenal aviation art you have ever seen.

Dr. Reynolds explained that his work is in the Neo-Romantic style. I agree with her statement that humans crave beauty, and that artists are responding to this craving again.

Gene Fox speaking in Russian as Dr. Reynolds translates. This was not a dry 'he speaks/she translates' kind of talk--these two are animated and humorous.

Mr. Fox has traveled to many countries, such as Nepal and India, and the images he creates from these visits are amazing. His inspirations come from creation, and the photos I am about to show of some of the works displayed at the library cannot in any way do justice the the actual paintings. If you have a chance, please, head for the Bowie Public Library and get a small sampling of this artist's work.

One of the B&W paintings. I actually thought this was a photograph.

While this photo gives a sense of the painting, in person the flower POPS out at the viewer, almost making you think you can touch the petals.

A mountain range in Nepal. Just LOOK at the colors.

Redwood trees in a Plano park.

A scene from Nepal

Speaking with people at the refreshment table afterward.

Also while I was there, I met some of the folks from the Chisholm Trail Art Association, a group that meets every second Thursday of the month. Check them out at (www.ChisholmTrailArtists.com). I will be trying to visit them next month, and hopefully I can bring ya'll some more posts on artists here in...BOWIE AND BEYOND!

Yeah, a little over the top.

Well, I got chores. Later ya'll.
© Evelyn Edgett 2017




Monday, August 7, 2017

Money Saving Adventures For First Week Of August 2017

August 7, 2017

Hey ya'll, it's me!

Last week was a good one. My son and I have been trying out a Bible Baptist church on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, since it's too far to drive to our cowboy church in Springtown on a weeknight. The Redneck has to be in bed around 7 p.m., so Obie and I go by ourselves. The services on Wednesday are good, and there's a prayer group on Tuesday nights. The people are nice, and two of our local librarians attend too.

Last week, I found a blog named The Prudent Homemaker (http://theprudenthomemaker.com/). She has a lot of interesting articles on saving money, menus, sewing, etc. One of the recipes that she posts is for 'meatless chicken fried steak'. I thought, huh? Sounded just interesting enough to try. I had the ingredients on hand, so I was good to go. It uses old fashioned oats, seasonings and eggs. (for the full recipe, see http://theprudenthomemaker.com/chicken-fried-steak)


I mixed them up, made them into smaller patties than the original recipe called for, then fried them in my old electric skillet. I made up the gravy and poured it over the patties and let them simmer. They look pretty good!



I had some leftover mashed potatoes and corn from supper, so I reheated them and poured the gravy over the potatoes. 


They were delicious! And they had a texture very like a chicken fried steak. As you can see, Obie was enjoying them immensely. Since I made the patties smaller, there was enough for a second lunch. Now, the Redneck is not a meatless meal kind of guy, however, this recipe will give Obie and I a hearty meal without spending a lot of money. 


We had purchased whole cherries a week or so earlier, but were unable to eat them as planned. To avoid wasting them, I placed them into quart jars and added sugar.


You will have to at least cut the cherries or mash them a bit, so the sugar can begin to break the fruit down so it can expell juices.



Here is the fruit and sugar after about two hours. See how the juice is coming out? I will continue to add sugar occasionally for the next week or so, shaking the jar well each time. After a while I will add inexpensive unflavored vodka, and let it sit for at least another week. Then I will strain the mixture into bottles and store them in the fridge. They make a lovely sipping cordial. I have also taken a spoonful for coughs in the winter. I have done this with blackberries, and other soft fruits work well too. Some folks use the strained fruit over ice cream, but I simply compost it.


I took some stuff to the local consignment shop (The Red Barn), and while I was there I picked up my payment ofr other things that had been sold for me. While I waited for the lady to add my totals, I looked at the DVD shelf. I found a copy of BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE in DVD/Blu Ray, in perfect condition, for only $3! We collect the Batman animated movies, and this was almost $20 at the local Wamart. I snagged it. 


During the holidays when turkeys were on sale for 99 cents a pound, I bought an extra one to store in the freezer. Last week I had let it thaw in the fridge for a few days, then I baked it in the oven. After serving the breast meat for supper that night, I put the rest of the bird in the fridge until today, when I will finish deboning the carcass. I will freeze the meat in meal sized portions, and then the bones, skin and giblets will be made into stock for soups, ets. I use every part of a turkey but the gobble!

So, that's how I saved money last week. What did ya'll do?

Well, I got chores. Later ya'll.
© Evelyn Edgett 2017