Tag Archives: frugal tips

Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

We are so glad that you have stopped by for a visit! We encourage you to look through some of the great posts shared by our readers and then take the time to read those that interest you. If you are adding to our list, thank you for sharing your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts with us. It’s so much fun to read your hints, tips, and happenings. We hope you have fun exploring all the great ideas everyone has shared with us.

Meet Our Great Co-hosts

Kathi at Oak Hill HomesteadFacebookPinterestInstagram Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram Sandra at Clearwater Farm – Facebook – Pinterest – Instagram Leah at Busy Gals Homestead and Leah’s Lovely LopsFacebook PinterestTwitter Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest

Featured Posts

Each week we’ll feature the most-viewed post from last week’s hop. Each host also features her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week.

Our most-visited post from last week’s hop:
8 Organization Mistakes You’re Making
(And How To Fix Them)

My Favorite Post:
12 Things I Do Not Spend Money On

 

Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

If you were featured be sure to pick up your Simple Homestead blog hop button below. Just highlight the text in the box and paste into your blog sidebar; the button will show up automatically.

 

Nancy On The Home Front

The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules:

  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
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  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.

Let’s start hopping!


If you’re like many people, you’ve thought about making an estate plan, but you just never get around to doing it. Perhaps you’re too busy, or maybe you’d rather avoid considering what will happen in the even of your incapacity or death. Although these concerns are understandable, estate planning is a vital component of your financial well being, and one that’s bet tackled sooner rather than later.estate plan

 

Why you need an estate plan.

 

An estate plan is designed to provide financial security for your family, ensuring that your property will be preserved and passed on to beneficiaries. IN addition it can minimize estate taxes and other administrative costs, ensure competent management of your property iin the case of incapacity, enable you to provide for a favorite charity and help mitigate or avoid disputes among family members.

 

Having lost both of my parents in the last four years I can’t tell you how true this is. My mother always had all of her affairs in order. When she passed away it was an easy estate to settle and there was minimal costs involved.

 

My father was another story. He was still working on getting his affairs in order when he went into the hospital. As a result we had to hire an attorney and it took three years to settle the estate with the attorneys getting the bulk of his estate.

 

Now contrary to popular belief you don’t need to have significant wealth to have an estate plan. Basic estate planning is for everyone. Putting a plan in place will help you protect assets during your life and control how you wish your estate to be distributed on your death, as well as ease the administrative burden on you family.

 

There are three basic components of your estate plan: a durable power of attorney for financial matters, a health care power of attorney and a last will and testament. What are each of these components?

 

Durable Power of Attorney

This document allows you to appoint someone to handle your financial matters in the event that you become incapacitated.

 

Health care documents

A health care POA allows you to name an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so. It may be used in conjunction with a living will, which authorizes your health care provider to take specific actions in the event that life-sustaining decisions need to be made.

 

Last will and testament

 

A will dictates who will receive your property upon your death and under what circumstances. It also enables you to direct the payment of estate administration expenses and taxes and to nominate an executor to handle these matters. It also allows you to designate a guardian for your minor children.

 

Revocable Trust

 

A revocable trust allows you to maintain control and ownership of the trust assets during your life and direct how and when your beneficiaries will receive trust distributions upon your death. By funding a revocable trust during your life, your assets will avoid probate administration.

 

Remember a will governs only probate property; a trust governs only assets owned by the trust. It is also important to review the ownership and beneficiary designations of such assets as jointly held property, life insurance proceeds, retirement benefits, employee death benefits and retirement plan proceeds.

 

This may all seem a bit overwhelming but working with an experienced professional will help you to plan. The time to start your estate plan is now!estate plan

It goes without saying that it’s fairly inconvenient when your toilet lets you down and clogs up. Calling a good plumber is another task and expense that you have to face. However if you are brave enough you don’t need to rely on a plumber, and who doesn’t love a good bathroom hack?
Unclog a toilet

 

In some cases all you need to do is flush few time and poke with your handy dandy toilet brush. However if you are having bad day, this won’t do the trick and you will have to rely on few tricks of the trade.unclogging your toilet

 

If you are going to jump in and try to unclog your toilet yourself, the first thing you need isn’t far away, you need a good dish soap (if you don’t have one you can rely on your shampoo) and medium sized bucket to hold hot water. Two of these would be great as it will save you the effort to refill them again.

 

Now first you will have to pour in the dish soap into the toilet and let it be for the next 30 minutes or so. The dish soap or the shampoo acts as a lubricant and helps all the stuff to get moving. After 25 minutes you can start pouring the hot water in the flush. It will help in unclogging the flush.

 

We found that the above method works in the majority of cases, unless you have a more serious toilet malfunction. But if it didn’t work for you then don’t worry we have more great tricks of the trade for you to try before resorting to calling out the plumber.

 

So if you are still looking for more ideas to unclog your toilet then you can go through this great infographic by DIY experts Legendary Home Services.

 

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

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