Sunday, June 17, 2018

Money Saving Adventures For Last Week

June 17, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

I hope everyone is having a great Father's Day. We went to church, then out to lunch with some friends. When we came home I surprised the Redneck by setting up my massage table and giving him a full body massage. After he laid down on the bed and is still sleeping. He doesn't know that the next surprise is me making chicken fried steak for supper tonight!.

This week was pretty good with money saving adventures, so lets get started.

I needed a new water filter, and the Redneck found a sale on a package of two. This time I wrote the date I installed it on it. I want to see how long it really lasts.

I made dish detergent using Zote soap. I followed the recipe exactly, but I'm not that impressed. I think that Dawn dish soap is the best, not only for dishes, but also when I make my 'Smurf Juice' shower and tub cleaner. I will use up the Zote version, then I will go back to Dawn.

I got a half gallon of Silk Chocolate Almond Milk on clearance. I used it to make the best chocolate cherry smoothies ever.

One of the couch pillows had a corner come loose, so I used my tapestry needle and some of my thread stash to repair it.

We used the points the Redneck had from using his credit card to purchase a tent for when we go on trail rides. Either Obie will sleep in it when we all go (the Redneck and I sleep in the bed of the truck), or the Redneck can use it when he goes on the trail alone.

I decided to try Crystal Light water drops instead of soda, because I saw that one bottle of the drops costs almost the same as a 12 pack of soda, and it flavors 24 glasses of water, giving me twice the amount. I like the flavor, and I so far the drops have lasted over two weeks.

I had some Glade candles that a friend gave me, and they had burned down enough that I popped them into the freezer to remove the wax. I tried the leftover wax in my wax burner--it worked!

When I cleaned up the Redneck's man cave Friday, I found the bottom of an old paper shredder that had died. It was the perfect size and shape, so it's now a trash can in my office.

Saturday we helped friends move to their new home, and I was blessed with a riding machine, and two squares of carpet for use in our workout room. I got a new package of wax melts, a potpourri crock, and a tall hurricane candle holder. We got a computer desk that I'm going to put in the man cave for the Redneck. I got a tall plastic utility shelf for the old well house for storage, a cute low end table with thick metal legs and a wooden top, a small metal shelf with glass shelves, and various nick knacks that I will sell on consignment. Oh, she also gave me some really nice costume jewelry, and I was able to bless a couple of women at church with new rings.

When we went out to eat after church, I ordered a salad, and it was HUGE. It was delicious, and I was able to bring half of it home for Obie and I to have with hour supper tomorrow night.

I also was given a camera, but I'm not sure how it will work out. I will be doing research online for the instructions to see if I can use it for blogging. I really miss having a camera.

Well, I got chicken fried steak to cook up. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018

My Butt Is Dragging So Low, I Have Rug Burns On Both Cheeks!

June 15, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

Yesterday's organizing of the dreaded paperwork inspired me so much, I finally tackled the Redneck's Man Cave today. That room is one of the reasons he bought this house, so he could have his own place to work and hang out. Unfortunately, the room has been used to store things that didn't have a home anywhere else for most of the time we've been here.

I decided that was just not fair, so I started the process of cleaning out the stuff that didn't belong, and start organizing the stuff that does. I started sometime this morning, after I had all the laundry hung out to dry, and I didn't finish until around 5 o'clock, when I had to feed the horses. Then I brought the laundry in, but I had to take a bath to be clean enough to FOLD it. Supper was ramen noodles with veggies. I had no energy to make the corn tortillas I had planned on. I still haven't folded the laundry!

I brought a box in at a time and sorted everything using the little plastic deli containers that we get with lunch meat. I used a sharpie and masking tape to label them for misc. screws, bolts, hangers, etc. I even sorted bullet casings by caliber (we do reloading--saves money when we go to the range)!

I pushed an old entertainment center out to the curb--hopefully someone will take it. I took stuff out to the storage shed to be sorted into plumbing, electrical, etc. I threw away two feed sacks of junk. I swept and swept and swept. And then I swept a few more times. I'm still not done. It's a converted garage, and it's not completed, so dust does get in.

The place is two rooms, and while the big room is his work room, the smaller one in the back is being turned into a work out room. I am excited to finally have a home gym. I have missed working out a lot. I'm also excited about tomorrow, because I am helping a friend from church move, and along with whatever else she is giving me, I am getting a Pro Rider exercise machine!

It's amazing how one little success leads to more. I don't care if it's something as simple as organizing a drawer, it inspires me to move on and keep making progress. Right now, however, I'm only inspired to fold this darn laundry and put it away, then I will help Obie get ready for bed, after which I will be collapsing with a cup of tea and the last book in Dan Wells's John Cleaver series.

Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Organizing 'That' Pile Of Paper, And A Goal Has Been Reached!

June 14, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

First, the big news--The Redneck's student loans are all paid off! Yep, after a bajillion payments, the dreaded student loans are gone. Actually they weren't that big, but it just seemed like we would never get them done. Last week the Redneck got a refund check from the loan holder, telling him that he had overpaid his loan. Now that money will be put onto another bill to speed up it's paying off. Yippee!

For a while now I have been simply stuffing all the bill receipts, credit card receipts, etc, into a box to be organized later. After two years, it was getting ridiculous--I now had two boxes and an accordion folder filled to the brim. I had to do something, but it just seemed overwhelming.

This morning I put the containers on the floor by the dining table, and began to sort out the mess. I first did a 'macro' organizing. I would reach in and grab a handful of paper, then I put them into broad categories--credit cards, house, work, phone, and so on. I didn't worry about which credit card, they all went together. I didn't bother with dates, that would come later. I simply put the huge single pile into smaller, more manageable piles.

I also threw away all the envelopes, along with the excess paper that comes with bills--duplicate pages that tell you how to read your statement, little pieces of paper suggesting that you buy more from the company, all that junk. When I was finished I had thrown away half of a feed sack full of paper.

Then I took each pile and sorted them by year, then by month. I put the 2016 and 2017 piles into manila envelopes with the year written on the outside. The 2018 receipts will go into an accordion folder by month, not by category. Each pocket will have all that month's bills, electric, house, trash bills, etc.

At the end of the year, I will toss the 2016 receipts, and the 2018 will go into that envelope. You only need to keep two years worth of receipts.

I also went through all the warranties, owner's handbooks and instruction manuals. I can't believe how many I still had, even though the appliances or tools were no longer in our possession.

I felt such a sense of accomplishment...until the Redneck admitted that HE had a carton on his top shelf in the closet that needs sorting! <<GROAN>> Ah well, the worst part is done, and it will be much easier to keep up now.

This video is where I got the idea for organizing receipts by month. I love this channel, she is fun to watch and she has some great ideas.

I hope this post helps some of you to get your own 'Mount Papermore' under control.

Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Money Saving Adventures For Last Week

June 10, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

It has been a busy, and tiring week, but still a good one. As you know, my camera is not functioning correctly, so there won't be photos for a while in my posts. But I know my readers are smart and have good imaginations, so it's all good. Okay, let's see what we have for last week.

I received coupons in the mail from Retail Me Not, use a few this weekend while grocery shopping. I got the Redneck a new toothbrush free with one of the coupons.

I was driving this week and saw a man stop, toss stuff into a church dumpster, and take off. I find that so rude. I stopped and looked in, finding a glass based lamp on the top of the trash. I grabbed it, then brought it home and dismantled it for a project.

Of course I used my Brookshires senior discount on Tuesday--5% off!

I put glass candle holders in the freezer overnight, then gently tapped them to remove the rest of the wax. I replaced the old candles with some of the free candles I got at a sale last summer, then put the used wax into a bag with other salvaged wax. Later I'll use new wicks and make new candles.

I made a batch of powdered laundry detergent--should be about a year's worth.

I needed a low storage unit under the front room window. I happened to notice that a shelf I had been using in the kitchen was the perfect dimensions if turned on its side. I switched a few things around, and now I have cubby holes for boots, my bags, and totes with books for the library, donations, etc. I am still looking for another storage unit, but for now this works fine.

Y'all know that I am not vegan, but I like to try vegan recipes to save money. This week I made my first batch of vegan cheese--and it's good! I had the ingredients already, and it only took a few minutes to make, then cool in the fridge. And no, I am not going to tell you it tastes exactly like cheese. However it does have a cheesy taste. It is pretty good on a cracker. The video above is really easy to follow.

I needed some annatto oil for the cheese recipe, plus I use it for other recipes. I simply put 1/2 cup of the seeds into my crock pot, added two cups of vegetable oil, and turned it onto low. I left it overnight, allowed it to cool, then poured it into a jar to store in the fridge.

We had Grub Sunday at church today instead on the third Sunday this month since Father's Day is next week. After lunch I was able to bring home plenty of leftover goodies. Also, someone had brought up a bunch of those little frozen meal containers and left them. The lady who runs the kitchen said I could have them. I have been looking into simple meal prep for Obie and I through the week, and these containers saved me a trip to Dollar Tree! A little plastic wrap or foil will seal the containers, and I will have meals portioned out to save time.

After lunch we went to a lady's house to get a nice leather chair. It will need to be reupholstered eventually, but just like the couch and love seat I got a few weeks ago, it has 'good bones' and is actually worth the cost of recovering. For now a cloth over the cracks in the seat will work great. As I collect good used furniture, I will eventually have a living room that will be worth a lot, without spending a lot.

She also gave me two bags of clothes, and after going through them I have a couple of pairs of jeans for myself, and a lot of clothes to donate to the homeless shelter.

We got a $20.00 gift card from one of the western stores we sometimes shop at--that will pay for a new pair of boot socks for the Redneck.

In about two weeks, I will be helping a friend move, and there's no telling what all I will bring home as she purges. I can't wait to see!

Oh, by the way...iced tea made with powdered sugar? Not a winner at my house!

Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018

Friday, June 8, 2018

Count It All Joy

June 8, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

It was one of those mornings--I woke up, saw the clouds in the sky, and after the rain we had yesterday, I did the laundry using the dryer instead of my clothesline. However, the SECOND the clothes were dry, BOOM! Out comes the sun. Okay, no problem, at least the laundry is done.

I go to make breakfast this morning, and found that due to our not grocery shopping for the past couple of weeks because of a busy schedule, I was out of eggs, oatmeal, etc. So I cooked up some quinoa, added a spoonful of castor sugar (we're almost out of regular sugar too, hence I made tea for the guys with powdered sugar--no CLUE how that will turn out), poured a touch of milk on top, and voila, breakfast for Obie and I.

Then I went to make beef and bean enchiladas for lunch, and we were out of cheese. I had everything to make the sauce however, so after the Redneck ran to get cheese, I had already made the filling using ground beef and the leftover pinto beans that I had cooked up earlier this week. I simply rinsed the beans, and added chili powder to the mixture with a bit of water. I had tortillas, but I could have made some quickly if I was out. I assembled the enchiladas, poured the home made sauce over the top and added the cheese. I popped the whole pan into the oven, and now I'm taking a bit of a break.

It's not even noon yet.

I actually enjoy days like this, where I am forced to either lose my 'stuff' or accept that I need to be creative and move on. Most of the time I'm pretty much on the be creative and move on track, and that makes for a much more satisfying day. I have my 'stuff losing' days too, and they are not nearly as much fun.

James 1:2-7 says;

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. ...

I do my best to count it all joy in the daily messes of life. I don't succeed as much as I would like, but I'm still trying. I do ask God for wisdom in these situations, and He helps me to see things in perspective, just like with the camera 'crisis' I'm going through. Every little mess that comes my way is allowed for my good and God's glory--even when you're out of sugar.

Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

On The Other Hand...

June 6, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

I have been looking about the house and yard, and I am excited at how it's all S-L-O-W-L-Y coming together and forming a cozy haven for my family and friends. I especially love how my living room is looking. I am still on the lookout for a 'window seat' type of dresser or bench, and of course we still have to replace the floor. That should be simple enough--we are going to put down sheets of 3/4 inch plywood and paint it with an epoxy paint. Possibly there will be area rugs in the future, but no hurry, it will all take place in the right time. I am just enjoying everything I already have, and being content.

On the other hand...

My camera was accidentally dropped Saturday, and on Sunday the lens jammed. It's stuck at the halfway point, makes an awful grinding noise, then shuts off. My heart sank, because that camera is how I take all the photos for this blog, and besides it was given to me by a dear friend. It's used, yes, but it worked beautifully.

I don't know if it can be repaired, or if I can afford to have it done. The Redneck said something about just buying another camera, and then we can try to get this one repaired. I thought it was a good idea, because while I am using the Redneck's phone to take photos and put them on my laptop--I just love an actual camera. I was trained to use a 35 MM, and nothing else feels right when I am lining up a shot. People also seem to think your photography is more SERIOUS is you use a camera versus a cell phone.

I called a chain pawn shop not too far from us, and asked if they had any cameras. The gentleman told me about a Canon camera that the lenses could be changed out on, and that it came with a bag full of accessories. I asked how much it was, and he told me.


My heart sank again.

I thanked him, said I would be in this weekend to look at cameras, and hung up.

While I know that $400.00 for a Canon with all the accessories is a pretty sweet deal--my budget won't allow that type of expenditure, and I can't bring myself to ask the Redneck for it.

I have told myself that it isn't to be, that I will either purchase a much cheaper camera, or wait to get the Kodak repaired and continue to 'limp along' using the Redneck's phone when I can. I am a 'Thriftologist', I have the willpower to be patient and wait for this just like I wait for everything else I need and want.


No, I'm not.

All I have been thinking about is that blasted Canon with all the trimmings. What if it has a telephoto lens? What if it has the reflectors to help me do higher quality pictures for this blog? What if. What if...?

What if can be a great jumping off point for creativity, but if I don't watch out it can really blow my contentment out of the water. Suddenly I wasn't seeing my cozy home and all that God has provided for our comfort and joy. I wasn't seeing that the Redneck works hard, pays the bills and allows me the freedom to work on projects that interest me, like this blog. All I saw was that I couldn't buy a stupid camera that I HADN'T EVEN LAID EYES ON YET.

When I write a post about something that I am struggling with, the simple act of putting my thoughts on the screen often helps me change my perspective of a situation. I am seeing things in a more realistic way, and my discontent seems very silly.

Scripture says in 1 Timothy 6:6;

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For our profit is great, which is the worship of God while having the necessities, for we have enough. A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have. But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment."

I do have enough. I have a family who loves me, a husband who works hard to provide, a roof over my head, food in my pantry, and clothes in  my closet. To throw away my thankfulness for all this over a camera is flat out evil.

So, I will exercise my willpower, concentrate on what is in front of me right this moment, and thank God for the blessings He has given me and my family. I will put the 'need' for a camera into His hands and let Him handle it. I will do my housework with a joyful heart and praise Him no matter what. And I am going to be content.

Thanks for listening--it really helped.

Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Money Saving Adventures For Last Week

June 3, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

It's been a busy week, and it's been a HOT week, here in Texas. I've tried to do as  much as possible in the mornings and late afternoon when I am outside, and I have been filling water troughs almost constantly.

I dropped my camera yesterday, and now I've got some issues with it. Fortunately I was able to get the photos transferred to my laptop, so I will be spending this week trying to see what I can do to get it repaired. Prayers appreciated!

I had a lot of opportunities to save and make money this last week. Can't wait to share!

We made a trip out to Cabelas Sporting Goods store, and I was able to get silicon four sheets for my dehydrator for $15.00. I still need a few more, but this will get me started. It will be easier to dry smaller fruits and veggies, like black or blue berries, and fresh green peas and corn kernels.

I used my Tuesday 5% senior discount at Brookshires for some baking supplies I was low on.

I received coupons from Brookshires in the mail. I have saved a lot of money by combing them with sales and even a couple of clearance items.

Speaking of clearance items, I found these bottles of Ocean Spray Organic Cranberry Apple Juice for $1.50 a bottle. I usually see it for $3.99 a bottle, so I snagged all of them. I pour a bit into a glass, then add cold filtered water to make a refreshing drink. When the bottles are empty I wash and refill them with filtered water to store in the fridge.

I also cashed in my change jar at the machine in Brookshires. I received over $6.00!

My copy of Alien Nation came in this week! I got it with my Bing search points. Great film.

And speaking of films, I was able to get an inter library loan of the movie Only Lovers Left Alive this week. I had wanted to see it for over a year since I first heard of it, but I wasn't going to just buy it. I paid $2.50 for a loan, so I could watch it. If I liked it, I would buy my own copy. If not, well, it's not that much to pay for a loan. By the way, I...kind of liked it. It's odd. It's GOOD, but it's odd. If I find a good used copy for the right price, I will get it for my collection.

Something I was ridiculously excited about this week--a video on how to wash Swiffer dusting cloths! I have dusters for getting at cobwebs and other areas, but I really think the little Swiffer dusters are great for shelves and other surfaces between times that I polish them. I haven't found the Dollar Tree washable duster cloths anywhere, so I am still buying the Swiffer or generic ones. I found this video, and I was blown away at how easy it is to extend the life of the cloths. The lady said they can last up to a year. I will be doing this!

Our local Thrift Angels Thrift store gives away Bibles they have. I found this Message Bible on Thursday. I had the New Testament, but wanted the entire Bible in this format. It's easier for Obie to understand when I read it to him. It's in great shape. I'll pass on the New Testament I have to someone else to enjoy.

I used the clippers to give Obie a haircut. He prefers his hair 'buzzed'. I saved the cost of a haircut, plus the time and energy to take him for a cut.

A lady had given us a small trailer for a riding mower, and I while it's mostly used for Obie to ride along when I mow (we call it our 6 wheeler), I have been using it to haul stuff around the property to save time. In this heat it has really been an energy saver.

I baked 6 dozen cookies and made up bottles of Koolade for the Redneck's lunches. It is so much cheaper than the snacks out of a vending machine!

While I skipped the local church rummage sale last weekend, this weekend was the county wide garage sale! Obie and I hit quite a few, and we did pretty darn good.

I have been wanting a stair stepper, and this one was only $2.00. It not only goes up and down, it has a little twist to work the hips and thighs. I keep it in the corner of the dining room, and each day I have been doing 100 steps on it in the mornings, and 100 in the afternoon. I can work my way up to a decent cardio workout. It's nice for days when I can't get out to walk.

Obie loves super heroes, and I found these two t-shirts, brand new, Under Armor brand, for $1.00 each.

I found him four more t-shirts at another sale for $1.50 total.

I got this little CD shelf for $2.00. I finally have our music CDs in order and neat. It was missing one little shelf, but I have more of the little pegs, and I have an extra larger shelf from an old cabinet that I can easily cut down. I'll paint it all one color.

I found this organizer for $2.00. It's now on the 'command center', holding mail, the calculator, etc. 

Of course I had to find music for Obie. I got these four CDs, in perfect condition, for $1.00 each.

This was my favorite find--a huge coffee table! I love the base, and the top is big enough to hold what I need. The two drawers can hold stuff, plus I just LIKE the way it looks! I have wanted a coffee table like this for years. One of the little drawer pulls was bent, so I will get some new pulls at the flea market. I intend to paint it a rust color to match my living room decor. Only $20.00!

I have been reading about how to get rid of ant hills, and I have seen a lot of posts about using corn meal sprinkled on the hills. I think it works, because I used plain corn meal over a hill, and it does seem to be reducing the population. I had been given these cornmeal mixes, but since we prefer cornbread from scratch, I'm going to sprinkle them over some ant hills to see what happens. If nothing else, I'll give them a good last meal before I hit em with poison!

A friend gave me a bottle of coconut face wash a while back, but I never got around to using it for that (I prefer cold cream--much less hassle). However, I have figured out that I can use it in my little hand washing soap dispenser by the kitchen sink! I usually just put dish soap in it. By the way--the soap dispenser was one I got when a friend moved and didn't want to take it with her!

I wanted to make black bean brownies last night, but we were low on regular sugar. I didn't want to use it up before we went grocery shopping, so I tried using this raw sugar that my friend had given me when she moved. It worked--the brownies were good, and the Redneck has plenty of sugar for his coffee!

At church this morning, my friend Teresa handed me a tote bag FULL of country gravy mixes! Her mom had brought them to her, and she passed a bunch to me. 

One last freebie--a friend gave me a couple of feed tubs. They are big plastic tubs that have a special feed for cows. When they are empty they make good planters. I'll drill some holes in the bottom, put weed cloth in them, and fill them up with the soil mix I made. I have plans for cilantro and some other herb in them.

Can't wait to see what God does this week!

Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018

I Got Chills From This!

June 1, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

You know those moments when you think an event is just an ordinary happening in your life, but then later you find evidence that you were actually being guided by supernatural influences?

Yep, it happened to me today. I had to share it with you.

As Obie and I were going about our errands this morning, we stopped at a yard sale, where we found CDs for $1.00 each. I picked out a few, including the Beatles Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Never thought anything about it.

Then we got home and I was doing some searching on, when I saw in the news feed that on this very day in 1967, the Sgt Pepper's album was released!

Coincidence? I think not!

Of course, the Redneck had to be a smart aleck, saying, "So you think that the ghosts of George and John were guiding you to buy the CD?"


Okay, enough silliness. I just found it funny that the day I bought the CD is the same day it was released in 1967. Hope you enjoyed the post.

Well, I got chores--during which I will be singing Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018