Tag Archives: frugal tips

As we have been de-cluttering our house we have also started packing like the pros! After getting several quotes for moving across country we realized one way to save money is to do the majority of the packing ourselves. When the house went on the market we packed up the family pictures and various knick-knacks that we want to keep, but that don’t need to be on display. While I miss having family photos out having less clutter around makes keeping things cleaned much easier.Packing Like The Pros

 

We have moved several times in our life. For our last move we rented a truck and drove from Florida to Vermont. Longer moves are more challenging than an across town move and you want to make sure you pack your items securely so they survive the trip. Here are a few tips to help you pack like the pros!packing like the pros

 

First tip is to use the right size boxes.

Put heavy items, like books, in small boxes; light items, like linens and pillows, in bigger boxes. This is not only helpful when loading the truck but there is a better chance that everything will arrive to your new destination without breaking.moving boxes

 

When packing don’t leave any empty spaces in the boxes.

Fill any gaps with clothing, towels or packing paper. The goal is that your boxes are balance and tightly packed.

 

Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box.

If you are trying to fill small spaces you may end up having a few random items in a box, but for the most part you want all the kitchen items in one box, pantry items in another box and bedroom items in yet another box. This will make your packing quicker and your unpacking much easier.

 

Be sure to label your boxes.

This will help the movers to know where the boxes belong in your new home. Number each box and keep an inventory as you pack. This will help you keep track of what you’ve packed and to make sure you still have everything when you unpack. Whatever you do don’t mark a box “MISC”, you will have no idea where that box goes when you get to your new home.

 

Tape your boxes well.

Tape the bottom and top seams and then make a couple of wraps all the way around the box’s top and bottom edges, where the stress in concentrated.

 

Bundle breakables

As you pack your dishes, put paper between each plate and then wrap bundles of 5-6 plates together with more paper. Always pack your dishes on their side. Be sure to use plenty of bundled paper as padding above and below the breakables. Cups and bowls can be placed inside each other, just be sure to use plenty of paper in between. Use special dish boxes for your breakables as well.

 

Packing Artwork

For pictures behind glass, make an x with masking tape across the glass to strengthen it and hold it together if it shatters. Then wrap the pictures in paper or bubble wrap and put in a special fame box. Put cardboard between each famed piece for more protection.Packing Like The Pros

 

Taking a few precautions as you pack your belongings will ensure that everything arrives safely. Have you ever made a long distance move yourself? We will hire movers to pack the truck and drive our belongings across country, but we expect to save some money by doing the majority of the packing ourselves. Following these simple tips will help us pack like the pros and guarantee that our belongings arrive safely in our new home!

Our last year has been spent de-cluttering and getting rid of stuff! I don’t just want to throw things away but rather I like to repurpose items if someone else could use them. Granted some things should just be tossed; old gardening t-shirts for example or work gloves with holes in the fingers but many items still have life left in them and they just need to find a new home.Getting Rid of Stuff

 

Clothes:

There are many ways to pass along clothes that you no longer wear. Take them to your local thrift or consignment shop. Recently I heard that Amazon and Goodwill were teaming up to use empty shipping boxes. Instead of tossing the boxes into recycling you can use the empty shipping boxes and get rid of the clutter filling our homes with the Give Back Box program.clothes

 

After removing items from the amazon box, a user fills it with clothes, accessories and other items you want to donate and then visits GiveBackBox.com to print a free shipping label. The box can be dropped off at the post office or UPS or picked up. Seems like a win-win to me!

 

If you are having trouble getting rid of clothes one suggestion is to hang all your clothes backwards on the hangers. After six months donate everything still hanging backwards! Discard everything that is outdated or worn, and get rid of unnecessary duplicates. Then the next time you go buy a new pair of pants make it a habit to remove a pair of pants from your closet!15775062_10154463626103172_2846775412710868563_o

 

eBay:

I’ve been selling a lot of items of eBay lately. I’ve sold everything from vintage dishes to books to old games. I’ll admit it is a little time consuming, Before listing an item I find a box or shipping envelope to put the item in, this helps when determining the shipping costs. I then have to decide whether or not I want to sell the item at a flat rate or list it as an auction. We won’t be able to retire on what I’ve sold but we’re getting rid of stuff and making a few dollars in exchange.

 

Books:

I love books and as a result have a well stocked library. When we recently had several movers come to give us an estimate on the costs involved in moving across country both men kept saying, “wow you have a lot of books!”. Knowing I can’t move them all I’ve been slowly weeding out the books I no longer need. As mentioned above I’ve sold some on eBay. You van also sell books on Amazon.com and another option is MyBookBuyer.com. Your local library is also a wonderful place to donate books. Take some time and go through your bookshelves, you may be able to make some money while cleaning out your shelves.clutter, selling books, prudent living

 

Glasses:

There are many organizations that will take donations of old eyeglasses. Heck with your eye doctor to see if they can recommend a charity. Lions Clubs often have boxes where you can donate old glasses. Check HERE for your nearest Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center.

 

It’s a new year and I find that the more stuff I get rid of the better I feel. It’s often the decision whether to keep or get rid of something that’s the hardest. Once I’ve passed it on there is a sense of lightness. Here’s to a clutter free new year and getting rid of stuff!

I am never quite sure what posts my readers will most enjoy and give them ranking of the top 7 posts.. Over the last year I have written a number of posts on various subjects. Here are the top 7 posts of 2016 and the top 4 posts since I started blogging in 2012!Top 7 posts

 

The Top 7 Posts of 2016

 

Between the Lines

It’s not often that you get excited when someone reaches out to you because of your age! However when Katharine from Katherines Corners told me she wanted to feature 50 Bloggers Over 50 I thought it was a wonderful idea and I was thrilled to be asked to be part of her blog series “Between the Lines”!

In fact when you follow this series you will meet some amazing bloggers all over the age of 50!On The Home Front Garden.

Bird Feeding Month

I never realized that each month is dedicated to something. January was the soup month and February is dedicated to feeding the birds! Do you feed the birds? My husband loves to feed the birds and we have various feeders all around the house. We have a homemade suet feeder, which the woodpeckers and nuthatches just love.Barred Owl

DE cluttering

Yesterday I shared a guest post talking about the 12 spring-cleaning chores you shouldn’t miss. Today I am continuing the discussion about spring-cleaning. Spring is always a busy time for me, it’s time to get out in the garden and start cleaning up after the long winter. It’s time to sort through my seeds and figure out what needs to be planted now!Konmari

Exploring Vermont with Our Grandchildren

Exploring Vermont with our grandchildren was such fun. Recently we were blessed to have our two daughters and three grandchildren visit us for ten days. Having three children ages, 5, 3 and two months under our roof was exhausting, but I wouldn’t have traded the time for anything. It gave us the opportunity to do some exploring with our grandchildren and show them the things we love about Vermont. It was also peak foliage so it was the perfect time for them to visit.exploring Vermont

Picking Sour Cherries

Sour cherries grow in Vermont but their season is short, sometimes only two weeks long! If we have an unusually cold spring there might not be any sour cherries. Last Friday my husband and I decided to go on an adventure and find some elusive sour cherries to pick!cordial, prudent pantry, prudent living

Simple Christmas Gifts

I love to give gifts at Christmas and simple handmade Christmas gifts are the best kind. This year we are cutting back on our gifts, instead I am working on making several simple Christmas gifts.simple Christmas gifts

Skunked

If your dog runs into a skunk here is a wonderful recipe that I can vouch for!skunk, solution

 

Top Posts of All Times

 

Cleaning a Burnt Pot

Did you ever have a burnt pot that was so bad you thought you would have to throw it out? Here is a wonderful way to get the pot clean!dirty pots in the sink

Insulating a Chicken Coop

Recently I was contacted by Bryce Thomas of IncubatorWarehouse.com. Not only were they willing to have me review some of their equipment used in hatching chicks but he also wrote a wonderful guest post for me. For the next couple of weeks I am not going to be posting as regularly as I have to make several trips out of state to prepare for my mother’s service. This seems like the perfect time to share his post on “How to Insulate a Chicken Coop”. With all the cold weather we are having this information is rather important to help keep our chickens warm and healthy!chicken coop

Master Tonic

During the winter months when there is so much flu going around we try to take all precautions to stay healthy. When my son was younger he would usually be the one to catch whatever flu bug was going around. A friend of mine shared this recipe for The Master Tonic and once we started using it even my son stayed healthy! I’ve often thought it would also make a good seasoning for a Chinese dish! It is meant to be used to gargle with first and then you swallow it. If you use really hot peppers I swear you can feel the heat flowing through your blood vessels. I have shared this with several friends who now use it regularly during the flu season as well.Master tonic

Restoring a Wool Sweater

I have to say the most popular post I ever wrote was a post I wrote in 2013 on how to restore a shrunken sweater! I first shared this tip again in January of 2015. This post is still getting comments, several of them asking me why I was washing my son’s sweater (which I shrunk) and not having my son wash it! What kind of mother was I to raise children that don’t know how to wash their own sweaters! Too funny, as they totally missed the point of the post. I was just sharing a tip on how to restore a sweater that you may have shrunk my mistake!sweater

 

The basic principles of efficient heating are simple: keep warm air in, cold air out, and your heater or furnace in tip-top shape. There are a few other steps you can take to ensure a cozy winter without resorting to wearing a parka indoors.efficient-heating

 

  1. When the heat is on, set your thermostat as low as possible. Lower the thermostat to 55 degrees at night. Even a few degrees difference will lead to considerable savings. Remember, warm clothing provides an excellent source of insulation, as does adding another blanket to your bed. There are also smart thermostats that you can get where you can pre-program the temperature. Turn the heat down when no one is at home.heat control, frugal tip, prudent living
  2. Keep windows next to the thermostat closed tightly so the rest of the house is not several degrees warmer than the area around the thermostat.
  3. Make sure your heating system is operating efficiently. If you have a furnace or heat pump, check the filter at least every other month during the winter. Clean the filter as needed and replace it when it appears to be worn out. Have a professional tune an oil-fired system once a year. Gas-fired systems and heat pumps need to be tuned only once every two years.
  4. If you use an electric furnace for heating, consider a heat pump. These pumps are expensive, but they can reduce your total use of electricity for both heating and cooling by 30-40 percent.
  5. Close off unoccupied rooms or rooms not currently in use. This means shutting the heat or air conditioning vents, unless you have a heat pump. Shutting vents in this case could harm the heat pump.
  6. Keep your fireplace damper closed when not in use. It also helps to install a glass front to keep warm air from going up the chimney.
  7. Use insulating shades on the windows, this will help keep the cold out out and the warm air in!Close the windows and blinds during the day.

 

By following these basic principals of efficient heating this winter you will save money and stay warm.Winter

As we continue to de-clutter and get rid of things it’s time for an end of the year pantry challenge! My goal is to clean out our chest freezer so that I can sell it. When the house eventually sells we are not planning to move our beloved chest freezer. The freezer is almost empty so what better time to do an end of the year pantry challenge.pantry challenge

 

For the next two weeks I am going to only purchase items from the grocery store that are absolutely necessary such as fresh vegetables and possibly some dairy. I will give myself a budget of $50 for the two weeks. I will be utilizing food from our pantry and freezer. Hopefully by the end of the two weeks our chest freezer will be empty and I can list it for sale.

 

There is actually not a lot in the chest freezer at the moment other than some frozen peas and some frozen spinach, a few chicken breasts, some ground beef and a package of sesame seeds. I will work on eating out of the refrigerator freezer as well so any items still left in the chest freezer can be moved. At the end of the two weeks the chest freezer just needs to be empty!

 

This is what there is to work with for the next two weeks: in the upstairs freezer thare are two containers of applesauce, some cooked chicken meat, two small containers of mushrooms soup, a container of spaghetti sauce with meatballs and a hambone. Plenty to work with!pantry challenge

 

This challenge begins today! First up on the list is making some homemade split pea soup. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice bowl of soup for dinner? I will use the applesauce to make some applesauce bread. Hopefully I can make a couple of small loaves to give away over the holidays. That is if I have enough room in our upstairs freezer!

 

Pantry Challenge Menu

 

Monday: Split Pea Soup

Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Thursday: Turkey Meatloaf

Friday: Baked Chicken breasts

Saturday: Meatball grinders

Sunday: Mushroom Soup and a salad

 

For breakfast we alternate between oatmeal, homemade granola and eggs. If inspired I might even make pancakes or waffles (much to my husband’s delight, he claims they are an excellent excuse to enjoy our local maple syrup!). Lunch will be leftovers or sandwiches from what is on hand. I’m hoping this will inspire me to make better use of the food we do have in stock. I usually cook meals from scratch but don’t always do a good job with using things already in the pantry! Next week I’ll give an update on our progress! If you’re a local reader let me know if you’re interested in a chest freezer! It is still under warranty!pantry challenge

 

If you’d like any of the recipes I’m going to be making please comment below and let me know, I’d be glad to share them! This challenge is something we’re taking on personally, would any of my faithful readers like to join us in our end of the year pantry challenge?

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10 Things You Should Never Throw Away10-things-dont-throw-away-768x847

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