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Sharon
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Posted By Sharon

Today's tip should really get you moving....literallly! 

Frugal Tip 21:  If you're like me every few months I want to change something in my home.  Even though it may still be perfectly fine (words from my husband) it begins to have a 'tired' look to me.  I can't afford to go out and purchase new things every few months so this is what I do....I move things. 

Of course the first thing we think of moving is furniture, right?  That works! But what if you don't want to move all that heavy stuff around?  You can move the great things you have hanging on your walls.  Pictures in your living room may look great in your dining room.  I have several 'saying stickies' from the Dollar Tree.  Did you know you can move these too?  What about a family wall or several collections that have the same color frames? If you don't have matching frames, get a can of spray paint, mask the frames and spray away.  'New' matching frames! :-)  What about curtains?  Would they work in another room? Or maybe no curtains with just a blind for privacy to give that minimalist feel?  The possibilities are endless!

Recently I was bored with my kitchen.  I rearranged dishes, cleared counters and repurposed  some of the containers that held readily needed items.  I removed some of the wall decorations, changed the valance (had one in storage) and cleaned everything. After I finished, I felt I had a new kitchen. 

Of course we think of changing during the seasons. Most times we don't have to have new items for this. Last summer I wanted a beach theme in my living room so I scoured the house and found beachy momentos.  Even threw a beach towel over the arm of the couch!  Removed throw rugs and smiled everytime I entered the room.  We're miles from the beach but it constantly reminded me of good times we've had at the beach.

Time to get busy!  Now let's see....what could I change now? :-)

~Blessings~


 
Posted By Sharon

Love microwave popcorn but hate all the additives and the cost?  Make your own!

Frugal Tip 20: Use a brown paper lunch bag, add 1/3 Cup of Popcorn (organic would be nice) and set your microwave on the popcorn setting.  Voila! Microwave Popcorn.  Use any topping you like! Organic butter would be good! Yum! Trying to save a few calories? Spray with Pam and season. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

~Blessings~


 
Posted By Sharon

Tired of that cable bill?  What about satellite?  Following are a few of the great ways to save on this costly form of intertainment.

Frugal Tip 19:
Local Viewing

1) Digital Antenna - Depending on your location, you could have several 'over the air' free local stations to watch after your initial investment.  We picked up an inside digital antenna at Goodwill Outlet for $2. Even though we live out in 'no man's land' we are still picking up some local channels.  We have 1 year left on our Dish satellite contract so we plan to try an outdoor antenna to see how it goes.  If it works as we hope, no more monthly satellite bill!
2) Library - Libraries not only have books and audio books but movies from every genre.  Some libraries (such as ours) charge $1 to rent the movies for a week, others offer them free.  Anyway you look at it, both are a bargain!
3) Redbox - I love Redbox. Renting new movies overnight at a kiosk for a little over $1 is a great deal.  Even though we are in a small area there are at least 8 locations so we never have to go too far to find a movie.  I also noticed they are offering 4 rentals and unlimited streaming movies for $8 a month.  Great deal!
4) Fleamarkets, Yardsales, Thrift stores - Something we've done in the past was when we came across a deal where the dvd's  were $1 a piece, we purchased them even if we hadn't seen them. LOL!  Of course we read the synopsis, the rating and the main actors but if they caught our fancy, we bought them.  Why?  They were new to us!  Then after watching we decided if we wanted to keep them, sell them or donate them.  We have also purchased Seasons of our favorite tv series this way.  For $1.50 each we purchased season 1 & 2 of Sanford and Son.  Yeah, I know I'm dating myself but I love classic humor.

Internet Viewing

1) Network web sites - If you miss an episode of one of your favorite series, most of the time you can find it at the network web site within a day or two.  So why not use this as your regular 'tv time' and forget the subscriptions?  Not only will you again save the monthly fee but you will also be watching only what you want to watch instead of watching it because 'it's all that's on'. 
2) Hulu & Hulu Plus - Hulu is free and there are tons of older movies and shows available.  Hulu Plus is $7.99 a month & gives you unlimited access to the entire site! What a bargain.
3) Netflix - Netflix began as a movie service and now they also offer complete tv series for only $7.99 a month. Another inexpensive option.
4) Youtube - Yes you read that right.  Sitcoms, sermons, exercise segments, diy demonstrations, cooking....anything you can think of and the cost to view it all is $0. 

Remember the days of 'free tv'? That's almost a thing of the past but with these suggestions, it can still be affordable.  Just remember one thing, too much of anything isn't good for anyone so value not only your money but your time too!

Til Next Time,

~Blessings~


 
Posted By Sharon

Hey!  I really like using my crockpot (slow cooker) don't you?  Here are a few ideas of ways to use it....maybe some of them will be new to you.

Frugal Tip 18:
1) Bean Soup: Soak your beans in the crockpot the night before, then drain, rinse add more water and begin cooking.
2) Baked Potatoes:After rubbing the potato with oil (virgin olive oil is my favorite) & salt, wrap it up in aluminum foil, poke a few holes in it then place it in your crockpot. Set it on high and in 4-5 hours you'll have yummy, fluffy potatoes. 
3) Heating up Leftovers: Put an inch of water in the crockpot, wrap all leftovers in foil or use glass baking dishes and in 3-4 hours your dinner will be ready.  Again I know the microwave is faster but let me give you an example.  We were going to church  and I had several great leftovers from the past couple of nights that I wanted to use up.  I hate heating several things in the microwave at once because even though they get hot, they don't stay that way.  Before leaving for church, I placed everything in the crockpot, set it on low and when we returned everything was hot and tasty.  I believe part of the reason is because of the inch of water.  It helps keep everything moist.
4) Preserving:  Making applebutter or tomato sauce is a cinch in a crockpot.  Anything that needs to cook down before preserving will be less likely to burn.  One word of caution: Make sure the crockpot is unplugged when you're ready to move to the next stage of  preserving your harvest.  I had a blonde moment once (ok maybe more than once..LOL!) where I thought the crockpot was unplugged, moved it too quickly and received 2nd degree burns.  No fun! 
5) Lazy Day Meals: Layer veggies and top them off with meat and broth, set the crockpot on low for 8 hours and when you're ready to eat, everything is cooked to perfection!

I know these are not original ideas and often a microwave would do the job just as easily in way less time.  But for me and my family, we like a meal that tastes like someone slaved in the kitchen all day.  Since that someone is me, I have better things to do with my time so I don't want to be in the kitchen all day. :-)  Also after doing research on the crockpot I found the average cost of using one for 8 hours is 20 cents.  In my book...that's a bargain!

Praising God for all the wonderful people in my life. 
~Blessings~


 
Posted By Sharon

Well it's Friday and I have a full weekend ahead of me again so you're getting 3 Frugal Tips to use over the weekend!

Frugal Tip 15:  Flash Freezing! When I find a food item on sale or have leftovers that I'm not going to be using immediately I flash freeze them in individual portions.  Meats are so much easier to handle when you lay them out individually on a pizza pan, freeze them and then bag them.  When ready for use, all you need to do is take out the number of servings you need.  The same for bananas that are over ripe.  Cut them into 1" pieces, freeze & bag them, then take out the amount you need for smoothies or quick breads.  This has saved me so much time and money in the long run.

Frugal Tip 16:  Make Your Own Butter.  Did you know you can use a pint jar, fill it half way with milk (2% even works) or heavy cream and make butter?  Fill the jar 1/2 way, put the lid on and start shaking.  It will take about 10-15 minutes but when you're finished, you will have butter.  Once it's the right consistency, you can add a little salt if you like!  When I was in children's ministry, I used this as an illustration about when we get 'knocked' around in life, it changes us and makes us stronger.  With the help of God, we don't have to go through those 'knocks' alone. :-) Another lesson could be 'good things come to those who wait'.  10-15 minutes may not seem long but when you're doing the shaking, your arms can get tired.  This is also a fun way to involve your kids!

Frugal Tip 17:  Make Your Own Cake Stand.  I'm constantly seeing mismatched  glassware  and dishes in thriftstores for pennies on the dollar.  Why not make your own unique cake stand out of the menagerie? Turn the glass (stemware would be beautiful) upside down and super glue or use a strong craft glue to glue the plate to it. Let it dry for a few hours! You now have a unique, inexpensive cake stand.  You could do one for each season or holiday!  The possibilities are endless!

Have a wonderful weekend! God loves you so much He sent the best Valentine Ever....Jesus!

~Blessings~