Category Archives: Frugal Tips

Over the years many of us seem to accumulate stuff! I don’t know how it creeps in, but as we go through our house in preparation of an eventual move I wonder how did we get so much stuff, and the question is how to get rid of it!how to get rid of stuff

 

If you live in a populated area you can often have good luck with Craig’s List or perhaps a local Facebook page or even a local flyer. Here in Vermont Craig’s list covers the whole state, and as a result I have never had good luck getting rid of stuff that way.

 

We also have a local flyer called It’s Classified. If the item you’re selling is under $100 you can list for free. They also have an online presence.

 

eBay is another option but it does take some time to price your items and figure out how you’re going to ship them. I have a small pile near my computer of items I am selling on eBay. It may take some time, but I have had good luck getting rid of stuff on eBay.

 

If you’re not trying to make money, Freecycle is another way to get rid of stuff. I have had wonderful results with Freecycle. I have gotten rid of everything from unwanted perennials in the garden to old bicycles!

 

As I go through all the stuff in our home there are several ways to look at it. First decide which things are “must-keep” items. Perhaps these are items you use all the time or you just consider the item too important to throw away. I’ve been asking myself when did I last use this item, if I only use it every few years is it really worth holding on to?how to get rid of stuff

 

Make an area where you can move the items you want to get rid of. We have a spot in our garage. I have a box of books to go to the library for their ongoing book sale. I have a box of things to donate and another area for things I think I can sell.how to get rid of stuff

 

We tried holding a yard sale last year. It was a lot of work, we advertised, held the sale with another family to ensure there was plenty of stuff and at the end of the day we had only made a few hundred dollars! When you live almost three miles off the main road it is just not practical to hold a yard sale.how to get rid of stuff

 

My favorite way to get rid of stuff is to donate. Our local Christian school holds a big yard sale each Memorial Day weekend. I love filling up our car with miscellaneous items that still have good use but that we no longer need. All the money raised at the sale goes directly to the school. It’s a win-win situation. We also have a local church that holds a big sale during the summer. I have also donated to them in the past. Perhaps you know someone personally that you could bless with some of your belongings. Maybe you know a young couple that is just getting started and could really use a bookshelf or some canning jars. You may wonder how to get rid of stuff, but there are so many ways!how to get rid of stuff

 

Throwing things away is hard, but I have learned that if you just tackle a small area at a time it gets easier. Do you have any secrets for getting rid of stuff? Please share how to get rid of stuff in the comments!

We all want to save money especially on our grocery bill. Seems that food just keeps getting more expensive! Did you know there are a few simple steps you can do to stop wasting food that will also help your grocery bill go down?Watch as groceries are scanned.

 

Create Meal Plans: Make a weekly meal plan and shop according. Don’t forget about your leftovers, take them to work for lunch or use them to make a different recipe or freeze them to enjoy later.

 

Freeze It: If you can’t eat a food that will spoil soon, consider freezing it. Even fruits and vegetable can be chopped and frozen. Use frozen fruits or vegetables in smoothies.wasting food

 

Check your fridge: Keep an eye on the contents of your fridge, is there food that needs to be used up? Plan your meals accordingly. By being creative with your meal planning you can use up the for in your fridge and stop wasting food!

 

Understand expiration and sell by dates: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture companies use these dates to guess the freshness of the food and they are not related to safety. Companies generally tend to be conservative in their estimates, the USDA suggests you check the food to see if it looks or smells off or sour.

 

Store food properly: Not everything needs to be stored in the fridge. Store things that will wilt like spinach or kale in a drawer with high humidity. Things that rot quickly go into a drawer with low humidity.

 

Use everything: Broccoli stems can be eaten with the rest of the broccoli or chop them and add them to a soup. Beet greens can be added to salads, soups or veggie burgers. Make chicken stock with your leftover chicken carcass.broth, soup

 

Don’t over-serve: Generous servings usually just end up in the trash. Allow people to serve themselves or give everyone smaller, more manageable portions. They can always have seconds if they are hungry!We still enjoy a full table occasionally!

 

Make these simple changes and watch your grocery bill go down!

There is no difference in taste or nutritional value between white and brown eggs. The breed of chicken determines the color of an egg’s shell. Freshness, however does affect taste, so always buy the freshest eggs available. The best option is to find someone selling local eggs nearby. For years we raised our own chickens and had plenty of fresh eggs year round. We no longer have our own chickens, but instead rely on a neighbor who has chickens and often has eggs available for sale.storing eggs

 

Eggs are best used within a week of purchase, but will last up to three weeks in the refrigerator.storing eggs

 

A simple test will tell whether an egg is still fresh, place the egg in a small bowl of water. A fresh egg will stay on its side; an older egg will stand straight up and float. Eggshells are porous to air, but if so much air has permeated the shell that it has made the egg buoyant, it’s a clear sign that the egg has been sitting around too long and should be thrown away.

 

Old eggs will not necessarily spoil or cause food-borne illness, but they may dry up, lose flavor, or develop unpleasant odors.

 

When purchasing eggs from the grocery store check the carton and see is it has a USDA shield on it. It’ll also have a three-digit code. That’s the pack date. The code corresponds to the day of the year. 001 means the eggs were packed on January first. 364 means they were packed on December 30. You may also see a sell by, use by or best by on the carton. The sell by date is one month from when the eggs were packed, while the use by or best by date is no more than 45 days from the pack date.storing eggs

 

When you purchase eggs you want to buy the freshest eggs possible, ideally if you buy your eggs directly from the farm, you will be getting the freshest eggs. Fresh eggs will have the most flavor.storing eggs

 

Eggs will keep, refrigerated, for several weeks before the quality starts to slide – five weeks according to the USDA. But remember those eggs you purchase at the grocery store may have already been sitting in the store or in storage for a while. Eggs should not be stored on the refrigerator door, but in the main body of the refrigerator to ensure that they keep a consistent and cool temperature.

 

Buy the freshest eggs possible, check the codes if purchasing from the grocery store and when in doubt put the eggs to the water test. Buying and storing eggs the right way is important to ensure you are getting the most use for your grocery dollars.storing eggs

Perhaps you’ve entered into the thrifty journey. You’ve mastered being thrifty in the kitchen. Here is the case for a brown bag lunch. When it comes to the weekday lunch rush it’s easy enough to think of your convenient dash to the deli or pizza place as a negligible expense. After all you’re not sitting down to a three-course meal! But deep down, you know it’s no good for your wallet. Perhaps you just need a little convincing.Brown Bag Lunch

 

Everyone’s got a different lunch preferences, but let’s start with a plain turkey sandwich. Packing a no-cook lunch costs only as much as the bread you buy and the cost of sliced turkey breast purchased at the store. Add a little lettuce, cheese and some mayonnaise and you’ve got a sandwich that is probably costing you no more than $4.00. To buy that same sandwich from the deli will probably cost you twice that. If you make your own bread you can save even more money!Delicious Homemade Bread

 

Might sound like small change but over the course of a year it adds up! Brown bagging may not sound glamorous but how do you like the sounds of an airline ticket to a tropical sandy beach? You could also pay your cellphone bill for the entire year or take a chunk out of your car insurance payments.

 

Once you get good at making your sandwiches each day you can get creative with your lunches. If you have access to a microwave at work bring leftovers that you can just heat up for lunch. Go onto Pinterest and look up lunch ideas, you’ll be amazed at the ideas you can find.brown bag lunch

 

There are many people that will prepare whole weeks worth of lunches on Sunday night. That will not only save you time but it will save you money. Your brown bag lunch will be the envy of your fellow workers!brown bag lunch

 

Take small steps. Start packing your brown bag lunch and see how much you can save!

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you know I’ve been working on de-cluttering our home in preparation for an eventual move. Even if you aren’t preparing for a move spring is a great time to do some spring-cleaning. Do you have clothes cluttering up your closet? Clothes that you’re just hanging on to because of a memory associated with them? Or perhaps it’s a favorite pair of jeans that used to fit and almost fits now but you haven’t worn them for ages. I have numerous things in my closet that I haven’t worn in some time for various reasons. For example a sweater that my mom knit more than 50 years ago! That is so hard for me to throw out but I haven’t worn it in years. Maybe it’s time to donate?

 

I’ve read about tips like putting your clothes on hangers and then hanging the hangers backwards in your closet. After a year throw out all the clothes that you haven’t touched and the hangers are still backwards! Great idea but I’ve never done it.

 

Recently a company called Tommy John created this amazing graphic to help you purge your closet of unwanted clothes. Tommy John is a men’s underwear company, but the graphic works equally as well for a woman! If I follow these simple steps I will definitely have fewer clothes hanging in my closet! I love the fact that I can answer a few simple yes and no questions and have a cleaner closet! I definitely hold on to too many clothes.spring cleaning

 

How is your closet? Do you regularly clean it out and get rid of or donate clothes you don’t wear? I’m not encouraging you to go spend more, but to take the steps to have a manageable wardrobe.

 

 

 

 

 

spring cleaning

By the way if you want to save 20% on your first order here is the promo code for my readers: TJ20Spring.

Most of us try to make good use of our money. We try not to over spend, limit our debt and have a saving account. But everyone has to eat. You can’t just cut food out of your budget like you can a cable bill. The issue is how to eat well while saving some money. In other words the question is how to be thrifty in the kitchen?trifty-kitchen

 

All the advice out there usually boils down to a few essential principles: cook at home, limit your purchases of pre-made convenience foods, and avoid wasting the food you bring home. Yes, there is some comparison shopping involved and yes, there is meal-planning.

 

No matter the size of your budget or family, you’ll see the difference in your bank account, and possibly your waistline too, if you stick to a home-cooking regimen. Whether you’re just starting to make your lunch or you’re ready to pickle the cucumbers you grew in your backyard garden, you’ll find plenty of culinary inspiration, as well as guidance on how to maximize your thrift in shopping for and preparing your food.thrifty

 

To get started on your thrift journey save everything. Pack your freezer. Have a bag for vegetable scraps. When it’s full make your own stock. Use the stock to add flavor to sauces, stews and to make soup.thrifty

 

Leftover that can’t be frozen can be used in other ways. Fry extra potatoes for breakfast. Stir-fry leftover rice with veggies, egg and soy sauce for delicious stir fried rice.Stir and serve hot!

 

Savings also start with your purchases. Have a good supply of staples on hand so that you will always have some options for meals. Wash and prep your vegetables when you get home, then store correctly so they last and try to use them quickly. It’s also important to be creative with what you have. See what’s in the pantry and freezer. If you have a recipe you want to try, but don’t have exactly the right ingredients, improvise a bit rather than buying more stuff.

 

Start small and keep going. In no time you will be cooking meals from a well stocked pantry and saving money at the same time as you begin your journey to be thrifty in the kitchen.thrift

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