Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Salvaged Shirt

On Monday I showed you this photo:

It was a sleeve on my daughter's "I'm a big sister!" shirt that somehow got partially eaten in the washer. I'm still not quite sure how it happened, and in the 2+ years I've had the washer, this is the only casualty, so we'll call it a fluke for now. But sadly, the poor shirt could not be worn as is, and it still was plenty big enough for her.

Providentially, it was a "layered" shirt! Which meant it was super easy to salvage!

All I had to do was cut the pink sleeves out along the sewing required!

When it was finished my daughter found the shirt folded and ready to go back into her drawer. She held it up and said "Its so cute!". I think so too, and I'm glad it was such an easy fix. I'm sure we'll get to enjoy it all summer!

Have you rescued anything from the scrap pile lately? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thrifty Sewing Projects and Walmart Sales

I've been working on a few sewing projects lately that I'll be sharing over the next two weeks! Here's a sneak peak at a ruined shirt...

and a pair of jeans...

I found some great clearance sales at Walmart last week. A Cars hoodie for $1, a thick fleece for $2, and a winter coat for $5!!

The coat was tagged as $6.50, but scanned even lower...just $5!

I don't usually shop at Walmart, mostly because they do not double coupons. But thanks to a change in Walmart's coupon policy, you can now apply "coupon overage" towards the rest of your purchase. A quick example...a small box of Gain dryer sheets is priced at $1.78 at Walmart. Use the $3 off Gain dryer sheets coupon (from the 2/13 Red Plum insert) to get a box for free PLUS $1.22 of overage towards the rest of your total.

I had three of these coupons, so I was able to get 3 free boxes of dryer sheets plus $3.66 off the rest of my total, which made those clearance clothing even sweeter! If you still have the $3 off coupon, use it quickly! It expires on Thursday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Food Waste Friday

Every Friday, I join with The Frugal Girl and other bloggers to clean out my fridge and freezer and take a picture of anything that has gone bad over the last week. This holds me accountable to faithfully check every week, and motivates me to use up our leftovers. This has made a huge difference in the amount of food we waste every week. I encourage you to participate with me in food waste Friday, too!

We did pretty good this week using up leftovers, but this end of bread started growing a science project. I'm actually surprised we used up this much of the bread...I froze the dough and when I thawed it out it was still cold in the middle but I baked it anyway (mistake!). It wasn't able to rise properly so the loaf was a little on the dense side. I knew that I should have let it warm and rise longer, but I was impatient to have it ready for dinner. In the end, it wasn't even ready for dinner!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oatmeal Pancake

This is nice quick and easy breakfast that is more substantial than just a bowl of cereal. My mom gets the credit for introducing me to this oatmeal pancake, but I'm sure there are others who make it as well. Every time I make one of these for breakfast I remember the day my son was born because I made this that morning while I was contracting every two minutes or so!

The base: 1 egg, beaten, 1/2 cup of oats, and a splash of milk. Then add whatever else you please. I sprinkled a little sugar and some almond slivers in this bowl, but I also enjoy bacon, craisins, and apples.

I patted the pancake out in my pan and added a few blackberries I froze last summer (we picked them at Lockbriar Farm).

Cook until it gets nice and brown, then flip and brown on the second side.


And here is a quick clip of how I flip my pancakes and eggs. (Of course, you can use a spatula instead!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Free Buffalo Wild Wings on boxes of Red Baron

I don't usually buy frozen pizza because we make our own, but when there is a good sale, I'll pick one up to use in a bind -- this keeps us from needing to order out on those busy nights!

Through Thursday, Acme has Red Baron pizza on sale for $3 each. Pair it with a $1 off coupon (from the Jan 23 Smart Source) and it came to just $2. BONUS! On the back of some of the Red Baron boxes were coupons for 6 free wings at Buffalo Wild Wings (with the purchase of 12).

You cannot use it on their wings night specials, but its a nice discount, and the coupon is good through the end of June!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Recycling Update

Last Monday I said that I was going to show you how much recycling our family of four accumulates in just 7 days. This was a pretty interesting exercise for me as well, because I was not sure how much recyclable material we actually went through in a week. It turns out that it is quite a bit!

First off, I should mention that we did not go through 4 gallons of milk in a week...we emptied the last bit of milk out of 2 gallons Monday morning, and then finished off another one last night and the fourth this morning. So we did drink 2 gallons this week, which is a good bit I suppose!

My husband and I were talking about the volume of recycling last night, and we agreed that this was not an abnormally large week for recycling for our family. In fact, on weeks when we sort and get rid of old papers, we produce significantly more recycling!

Here is a closer look at the pile:

There is also a small cardboard box under everything that is filled with papers...mostly things that came in the mail and the small, local paper that comes every week. There are a few cans and other food items in the plastic bag in the front, some paper packaging and a few children's hangers in the back box.

The really interesting thing I discovered this week is that we produced about twice as much recycling as trash in our trash can. That is huge! Our trash was picked up Tuesday, and the can is not even 2/3 full next to all that recycling. This explains why we put out so much less trash than those nearby us who do not recycle.

Keeping track of the recycling this week also motivated me to be diligent to check if things could be recycled before just tossing them in the trash. Several times I caught myself about to pitch it in the can (like the plastic children's hangers...I've been throwing them away for years!) but stopped myself and checked for the recycling triangle first.

I have a question too. Some containers take a really long time to get cleaned out so they can be this peanut butter jar...

It seems wasteful to me to run tons of water to get the peanut butter out just so I can recycle it. What do you think? Is it worth it, or should I just throw things like this away?

I hope this look at our week's recycling challenges you to consider recycling if you do not already, and encourages you if you are currently recycling!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A few freebies!

I've come across a number of great freebies this week; I hope you are able to take advantage of them too!

Login to your Kraft First Taste account and see if you can request a coupon for free Jello Temptations! I recently got my coupon to try new Philadelphia Cooking Cream for free, which was also a First Taste freebie. If you are not a member, sign up for free today!

I had two free offers from Vocalpoint recently. I requested a free sample of the new Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats cereal, as well as a coupon for a free pint of International Delights coffee creamer! Vocal point sends out great samples that come with several really nice coupons. Sign up (again, its free) today!

Finally, in my mail yesterday I got a flier from Dunkin Donuts...get a free iced coffee every Monday from March 21st through April 25th! You do need to bring the card that came with the flier in order to get your free coffee. The free coffee is only good for Dunkin Donuts in the Greater Philadelphia area, but they may be running this promotion in other regions across the country as well!

Food Waste Friday

Every Friday, I join with The Frugal Girl and other bloggers to clean out my fridge and freezer and take a picture of anything that has gone bad over the last week. This holds me accountable to faithfully check every week, and motivates me to use up our leftovers. This has made a huge difference in the amount of food we waste every week. I encourage you to participate with me in food waste Friday, too!

This week was pretty good for us! I went to use up the last of a cucumber at lunch the other day and it was too slimy to salvage. Then last night I was looking for a snack and figured I'd clean out the applesauce since I couldn't remember how long it had been there, but found pink dots growing inside! Both of these could have been avoided if we had just used the last little bit, either when the previous serving was taken, or at least soon thereafter.

Thanks for the suggestions about heavy cream last week; I am going to try freezing some to use for baking next time I buy it from Costco!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Loving the new Bum Genius!

Yesterday I got a package from Cotton Babies...the new diaper and Baby Legs that I won from their blog giveaway!

(FYI: Cotton Babies is giving away cloth wipe prize packs on thier blog today. You don't have to buy cloth wipes though; we use homemade ones!) 

These are really cute diapers, and are on sale this month if you are in the market for some cloth diapers!

Having a new diaper makes it abundantly clear that our 2 year old diapers are showing some wear, but I am staying strong and resisting the temptation to buy new ones!

The major change in the new diapers is the improved velcro in the laundry tabs. Here's a look at my old diaper:

And my new diaper:

I think these new velcro tabs are going to hold up WAY better, and I am so excited to see that Cotton Babies listened to their customers and improved their product to make cloth diapering even easier and simpler.

I've got a great model...Couldn't resist taking one more picture of him!

I am not associated with Cotton Babies or compensated by them for anything I say; all opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Recycling comes pretty naturally to our family since it is something we grew up doing, but living in Delaware has made it more challenging since we have to drop our recycling off instead of (paying for) curbside recycling. Delaware lawmakers voted last year to change the requirements for recycling to make it easier for businesses and individual families.

You may have noticed that Delaware no longer offers the 5 cent bottle deposit/refund. Instead, you are now charged a 4 cent (non-refundable) recycling fee. This goes towards a Delaware Recycling Fund (you can read more on the DE revenue site). The purpose of the fund is to provide curbside recycling for every home and business (by 2014 I believe). The Middletown Transcript indicated that Middletown will begin curbside recycling in September of this year.

There are 3 different recycling drop-offs within 15 minutes of my house, and I make use of all of them, depending on where else I need to go when I make my recycling trip. I also use another one 20 minutes north of my house that is on my way to Costco. I've found that having several different locations has made it easier for me to make our recycling drop-off part of our normal routine. Find a recycling center near you no matter where you live by using Recycling!

I thought it would be interesting to see how much we recycle in a single week! Here is a picture of our trash area before:

And next Monday I will be posting an "after" photo of our week's recycling!

I'm interested to see just how much we recycle every week. I am pretty sure that it is a decent amount since we always have so much less trash than our neighbors, and I take a trunk-full of recyclables to the drop-off every other week or so.

Do you have curbside recycling? Or do you make the trek to drop it off somewhere? If not, what keeps you from recycling?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Food Waste Friday

Every Friday, I join with The Frugal Girl and other bloggers to clean out my fridge and freezer and take a picture of anything that has gone bad over the last week. This holds me accountable to faithfully check every week, and motivates me to use up our leftovers. This has made a huge difference in the amount of food we waste every week. I encourage you to participate with me in food waste Friday, too!

This week wasn't too bad! When we were using up the last of our lettuce for salad last night, we found that some of the outside leaves had gone bad. It was just a few, and we were able to use the rest of the lettuce no problem. I also have about 1/2 a container of heavy whipping cream. I get it at Costco because it costs less to get the big one there than one half the size at the grocery store, but I have been having trouble using the whole thing lately. I need to either plan better or bite the bullet and just get the smaller one even though it costs a little more. I'm pretty sure you can't freeze the cream, but I could be wrong there. I need to make double batches of the scones and pasta sauce that I use the cream for and just freeze it for later!


Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Secondhand Spring Clothing

Now is a great time to start looking around at resale stores for spring and summer clothing! (And of course it is also a great time to look for end of year clearance sales on winter clothes for next year).  Many of these places are beginning to put out the warmer weather styles now, so the selection is really good.

We walked into Goodwill the other day just to take a look around and I ended up finding 2 things for myself within the first minute of browsing...I love it when that happens!

American Eagle shorts for $3.50

and a skort (I didn't realize it was a skort until I tried it on!) for $3.50.

That's a lot of plaid!

Goodwill is also my favorite place to shop for jeans. I have gotten to be pretty snobby about the jeans I get now...usually Gap (some American Eagle) and always $5 or less!

Sometimes it is frustrating to go into a thrift store and only see "junk", but sometimes you can get a little creative and turn that junk into something you can really use! My favorite Goodwill transformation is this mirror.

Have you found some spring clothes secondhand lately?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Guest Post on The Frugal Girl

Be sure to head on over to The Frugal Girl today to check out my guest post about cloth diapers! I am very excited to be able to share our family's cloth diaper experience with Kristen's readers.

If you are visiting Thrifty Living from The Frugal Girl, welcome! Have a look around, and please, please let me know if I can be a help with any cloth diaper questions. When we started using cloth we didn't have anyone to talk to about it, and I really want to be that resource for anyone who is considering cloth diapers!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cotton Babies Blog

I've written about cloth diapering resources before, but I wanted to highlight a new(er) resource since I first posted that list: the Cotton Babies blog!

The blog is written by several of the staff members at Cotton Babies and features discussions about cloth diapering as well as many other parenting topics.

Additionally, Cotton Babies often hosts giveaways for their products on the blog. I usually enter these just for fun. I've never won an online giveaway...until last week! I won a new Bum Genius 4.0 in the new Tiny Socialite Collection, along with a pair of Baby Legs!

The Tiny Socialite Collection is the first Bum Genius to have a pattern, and comes in both snap closure (above) and velcro closure. These diapers normally run $2 more than the solid color Bum Genius, but are on sale for the month of March! You can get 2 diapers for $33.99 or 5 for $76.99...great prices!

I picked out the red print (Concrete Jungle) for my free diaper. I can't wait for it to get here...I am really looking forward to trying the 4.0 diaper!

Be sure to check out the Cotton Babies blog for cloth diapering advice and future giveaways!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Repurposed: Sheet and Blanket bags into Toy Storage

When my daughter received sheets and a quilt for her big girl bed, we saved the plastic zippered bags, intending to use them for some sort of storage. It did not take too much imagination or creativity to find the perfect uses for them!

The large quilt bag is perfect for her Duplo train set!

And the smaller sheet bag helps to corral all those little baby toys!

Sticker still in place...I love that these are clear; we can see exactly what is there! The handle on the quilt bag is perfect for her to carry to the perfect train building spot, too.

Even the plastic pocket inside is put to use! We store the manual with the pictures and instructions for the train set in the pocket so it's right in the bag, but protected from getting mangled if it was in with the other pieces.

Before we repurposed the sheet bag, all of the baby toys ended up at the bottom of a basket bigger things. Now the baby toys are easy to contain, easy to see because of the clear plastic, and all in the same place!

Have you repurposed something lately instead of throwing it away? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Frugal Girl weighs in on bottle water

I really appreciated what Kristen, The Frugal Girl, had to say today about bottled water consumption...the wastefulness of all those plastic bottles, so many of which are not recycled, and that bottled water is often worse in purity than tap water.

I also think it is important for us to present a solution when we address an issue like this, and filtering your own water is one of the very simplest things you can do! She mentioned making gradual changes if you are in the habit of using bottled water on a regular basis. If you can commit to even decreasing your bottled water consumption (rather than eliminating cold turkey) this is a step in the right direction.

Check out her post on bottled water.
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