Sunday, January 3, 2016

The New Year is Off to a Frugal Start and Using What Have

   It's the start of a new year and it's time to buckle down and redo our budget again. Jeff and I were talking about some of our goals for this year and how we wanted to be better stewards of our money and be able to give more to causes that we support.  We also want to live a healthier lifestyle so that we both will be around for years to come.

   In looking over our budget, we realized that now that we have paid off one of our larger bills, we can roll the money we had been putting towards that bill onto paying off our credit card that we used to pay for my surgery.  We can also increase our charitable giving.  Currently we give to Positive Life Radio and want to also start giving to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.  

   Jeff and I want to be better about watching what we eat and also about not wasting food.  I need to be work harder at "reinventing leftovers" and making them into new dishes.  I invested in some of the disposable aluminum pans (I get them in 3 packs at the Dollar Tree) and freeze leftovers in them, either as complete meals or with things like sliced turkey and gravy that we can have as is or make into turkey pot pie.  We also need to be better about eating more fresh salads from the greens that we grow.

   My cousin Jeremy gave us a pressure canner for Christmas and I would love to learn to use it to can vegetables that we grow in our garden or are able get at really good prices.  I have done water bath canning of fruits, jams and pickles and look forward to learning this new skill.


   I've been shopping sales, using coupons and have built up quite a stockpile of things that we use on a regular basis.  I have enough shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and antiperspirant to last us for at least a year and still share with family and friends.  I can check these items off my grocery list for a very long time and that frees up money to stock up on other items we need.

   Some of the money freed up by not having to buy the items I just mentioned will be used to stock up on things like butter, frozen vegetables that we can't or don't grow, frozen concentrated juices and meats like chicken, pork and shrimp since we are blessed to have hunters in our family that supply us with venison and elk and some salmon and halibut.  Our 2 big freezers are pretty full at the moment and we will be enjoying good meals made from their contents.

  I'll admit it, I like to look nice and am finding that the older I get, the more "help" I need when it comes to looking like I am awake and not tired. ;)  I finally consolidated all my "back up" cosmetics that I have found work well for me into one drawer.  I realized that I do not need to buy any more eye shadow, lipstick or pressed face powder in the near future.  I just have to shop what I already have.

   The other day I realized I was almost out of my favorite face moisturizer that has sunscreen in it.  Since I am not out in the sun much at all during this time of year, I thought about all the sample sized moisturizers I have in a small basket under my sink.  I got them out and am going to use them on days that I will be at home or indoors for most of the day. Four times a year I get a Walmart Beauty Box for $5 filled with samples and even some full sized products to try.  Most of the time these boxes also include moisturizers.  I should be good on moisturizer for a long time and I will only use my moisturizer with sunscreen on the days when I will be outside. I should only need to buy one bottle of my moisturizer with sunscreen this year as I spend more time outside this Spring and Summer.

  I'm looking at this year as being one of learning new skills, growing more in our garden and preserving it, using up what we have and enjoying all we have been blessed with.  



  1. Hello Debbie,

    Since you already water bath jams, pickles and high acid foods, you may already have the "Ball Blue Book of Preserving". However, if you don't, it is fantastic. It outlines step-by-step procedures, including many photos, of pressure canning. In the front pages it also contains detailed explanations as to why and the importance of precisely following each step. Although I grew up in a community that home canned, I did not try it on my own until I was 32. This preserving book taught me how to do it. I consider the "Ball Blue Book of Preserving" to be the "canning bible".

    Sounds like you and Jeff are off to a great start with your 2016 financial goals.


    1. Thank you Mrs. B. :) I do have that book and it is the one I learned to water bath can from. I'm really looking forward to learning pressure canning and my cousin Jeremy did also promise me a few lessons since he had been doing it for years.

      Be blessed,

  2. Ha you're just like me! I stockpile things I use all the time when they go on sale, also!!


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