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Showing posts from October, 2014

10 Ways To Enjoy A Frugal Hallowe'en

Hallowe'en is so much fun! I love seeing all the kiddos dressed up in costumes, pumpkin carving, pumpkin flavored everything, and the creativity that is part of it all. I think I even like Hallowe'en a little more than Christmas, but that may be because I don't like all the commercialism that goes with Christmas!

Hallowe'en can be done frugally, very frugally. For several years, we have not bought many costumes nor spent a lot for decorations. I am not one to put out many (if any) holiday decorations, but my kids do put out a few as does my mother. That decorating gene skipped a generation in me.

10 Ways To Enjoy A Frugal Hallowe'en

Paige's costume was a cat. Grandma made the headband and tail. The rest we had!
1. Make your own costumes. This may be a "duh" thing, but so many people find it easier to buy the costumes (including me). However, my girls would use their play clothes as costumes and love it. My mom made them costumes a couple times. We also pa…

My Wonder Oven Giveaway!

Top Ten Features of My Wonder Oven


The picture of our yummy, deliciously Autumn giveaway was taken by Joyce at My Wonder Oven.com. A group of bloggers decided to let you know about these awesome energy-saving, non-electric slow cookers. In order to slow cook food, all you do is use a pan with a lid and bring the food to a rolling boil for about 10-15 minutes. Quickly place the lid on your pan and place it in the Wonder Oven. By entering the giveaway below, you will have a chance to win one of these awesome My Wonder Ovens! Good luck!
My Wonder Oven Top Ten Features: 1. 100% Cotton We promise the fabric won't melt!
2. Double Stitched We want to make sure those beads stay right where we put them!
3. Filled with 3 mm polystyrene beads Smaller beads conduct the heat better because there is less air space around them. Bigger is NOT always better.
4. VIRGIN beads My Wonder Oven beads have not not been recycled from someone else's bean bag.
5. Floppy rather than overstuffe…

25 More Frugal Ideas and Tips

In October 2012, I wrote a post about 25 Frugal Ideas and Tips. I thought that might be all I could offer you, but alas, I have more ideas and tips!

26. Don't run out and replace items as they break or wear out. Try to fix them or see if you can live without them. My clothes dryer will not start right now and I haven't replaced or fixed it yet. I have been just fine living without it.

27. You don't need a landline and a cell phone. Choose one or the other. I got rid of our landline the beginning of October because we simply did not use it. I need a cell phone for work so I kept that.

28. Turn down the thermostat in the winter and turn it up in the summer. Or learn to live without air conditioning. We actually went without it most of the summer and did fine.

29. Learn to tell yourself and your family, "No, that is not in the budget". You will be glad you did.

30. Assess your car and home insurance every year. You might be able to get it cheaper somewhere else or f…

Do Not Put All Your Eggs In One Food Storage Basket!

When talking to people about food storage, most people are believers in using multiple methods to build up food storage as well as having a variety of foods in their food storage. However, increasingly I have been coming across people who only have one or two things they are stocking up on, one method, or one way to stock up.

Do not rely on just one method - you need to have a well rounded out food storage. Why?

 - You can buy a lot of canned goods, but eventually you run the risk of food expiring or running out.

 - You can buy a lot of freeze-dried foods, but the same problem exists as the canned goods.

 - You can rely solely on what you grow and raise, but what if you have a bad year or disease takes your animals?

 - You can buy a lot of dried or bulk goods, but what if they get damp, contaminated, or spoil?

 - You can can buy tons of rice and beans, but that will get old in a hurry without seasonings or other ingredients.

 - You can have a freezer stocked with meat, frozen vegetables, and…

Homemade Nesting Boxes for Chickens

Excuse the mess. The chickens aren't very neat!  
One of the things about my homestead is that I don't have a lot of money to spend. Like none. I have become very good at taking whatever free items come along and putting them aside for future use. I may not know what I am going to be using them for, but at least I have the materials on hand.

Such is the case for these nesting boxes. I am not very good at construction and people around me know it. Rob actually came up with the idea because his neighbor had some big feed tubs that he used for gardening. I had just gotten some free tubs from a coworker about the same time. By using these tubs, I eliminated the need to have to build wooden boxes.

To give the chicken something to fly on to and hold the nesting materials in the tub, I used a 1" x 6" board that I cut half moons with using a jig saw. The board was leftover from the kennel project. I attached the boards to the tub using little screws I had on hand. I used thr…

Saratoga Jack Thermal Cooker Giveaway!

Thermal Cooker Giveaway We are really excited today about our thermal cooker giveaway! We are a group of bloggers who like to show our readers how to use different preparedness items. This Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker works very much like a slow cooker. It comes with two stainless steel pans with one lid that fits right inside the thermal cooker. You can use this for either hot foods or cold foods. Just a note, frozen meat or frozen foods will not work in this, just so you know. The meat must be totally thawed.
1. Bring To A Full Boil The first thing you do when you decide what you are going to make is decide if you will use one or both of the inside pans. Let's say you are making soup. First, you brown the meat, add the broth, vegetables and bring it to a full rolling boil. You need to make sure the liquid in the cooker is within one inch of the top. If you use both pans you will add enough liquid to be level with the bottom of the upper pan. In order for this thermal cooker t…

Preparedness on the Cheap: Evaluate the Perimeter Of Your Property

(Preparedness on the Cheap is a series of articles for the prepper and everyone else that do not have a lot of money, but needs to take steps to be prepared. A good deal of prepping is learning, planning and organizing. Prepping doesn't have to cost a lot of money, but does involve a lot of doing!)

I take very regular walks around the yard and evaluate the property. I ask myself questions such as:


Do I need more privacy?
Does the yard look taken care of?
Where could someone hide? Where could I hide?
Do I have a clear line of sight of all my property?
Where can I take position at to protect my home and family?
What do I need to trim (trees, bushes, long grass) to reduce places for others to hide?
Do I need to secure anything so it can not be stolen?

You might think these questions are a little out there or sound crazy. But when you are thinking about defending your property and your family, are they? The answer would be no. You have a right and a duty to protect your home and loved…

Monday Frugal and Homesteading Update

These last few weeks have been exciting, busy, and exhausting! Many exciting things to tell you about!

Jordan turned 18 last week. I have another "adult" in my life. She is my second born and she is so ready to take on the world. She will graduate high school next May and plans to follow Shali to UNI. Since it is proving to be a great school, I am totally good with that.

Jordan's old car is sold! Yeah! I got $500 for it which went to a bill I needed to pay off. I also like that my car insurance went down since I took that car off of insurance. Double yeah!


I also have been taking a harsh look at my budget. Money has definitely gotten tighter at our household which has me looking for more ways to make money. I already work a full-time job, run an eBay store, and maintain this blog so I will be looking for more things to do from home like freelance writing. Jordan works two part-time jobs and is looking at adding a third. She doesn't need to do more while she is in hig…

How Will You Entertain Your Older Kids When The Power Goes Out?

Let's face a fact: most kids are very happy playing with something that is electronic. They would play them all the time if they could. I know the pain of that statement because I have a ten year son who is the same way.

I worried about how he would entertain himself if the power went out and the batteries on his Nintendo 3DS died. I worried about how my two daughters at home would entertain themselves without cell phones, computers, Kindles, and Netflix. I worried about all of us dealing without Wi-Fi.

However, we have had a few times of dealing with this now and they dealt just fine. Why? How?

1. The batteries on various electronic things take a while to die. We also have a few solar chargers.

2. I had the foresight to give them a love of reading. With a flashlight or candle, they can read forever.

3. I never wanted to be the parent that had to constantly entertain her kids. I had them entertain themselves and play with each other (the joys of living on the farm with a homebody mothe…