Friday, February 20, 2015

MAKE DO for one more day!

I have a tale to tell of a 'not so pretty' bedspread. This bedspread covers a queen size bed in our
office/guest room/sewing room /cat room.  The bedspread was given to me about 8 years ago. It was missing the pillow shams so I turn it sideways to cover the sleeping pillows. It's an older print and certainly doesn't look like the comforters I see in the stores. It adds no spark to the room whatsoever.

Strawberry tower and BB girl!

I often think about buying a new bedspread but then I check the prices and decide that I can make do for one more month. I've asked myself 'why' I think I need a new bedspread since there are no holes in it and it's not falling apart. There is still a lot of life left in that old bedspread. I'm not sure but I imagine it's because it doesn't fit the image of the bedrooms I see on TV. It would be nice to have a beautiful room when company comes to visit.   But, once I think about other needs... real needs... I decide to be content a while longer. Trying to gain the approval of others can be costly in more ways than one.

"Our identity in Christ, knowing that we belong to him, serves to remind us that material luxuries, status symbols, and clothing, houses, and cars are meant to be enjoyed but were never give to stamp a sense of identity on our lives. Our gracious Lord has already done that.:    Jeff Manion

The garlic is doing great!

One 'need' is a dental and eye care fund. I use the 'envelope' method to save for upcoming expenses so we're not caught off guard. I have 'envelopes' for car repair, savings, vet bills, hair cuts/weave, DMV registration, birthday gifts, alms and a general household savings for appliance repair or replacement.  But, I do not have an envelope for dental or eye wear. We have a new dental procedure that costs $95 a couple times a year. I need to prepare for that ahead of time. My sweetheart will be needing glasses sometime soon.  So, I moved things around in my budget and I will be taking out a little money each month to put in a dental/eye wear envelope.

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Proverbs 13:11   ESV

 If I put money into 'fluffing' my nest then I won't have money for future dental and eye wear expenses.  It's more important to care for our health needs than impress someone with a fancy spare bedroom. (The cats really don't mind the bedspread at all! *wink*)

My camellia bush  is full of flowers this year.

So for TODAY, I am learning the wisdom in lessons of contentment and making peace with my old bedspread for ONE MORE DAY and thanking God that I HAVE a spare room with a comfy bed to put that old bedspread on. I'm working on changing the way I think about this bedspread. I'm finding ways to enjoy it. I'm practicing thankfulness by God's grace. His grace really is sufficient. 

 * Now there is GREAT GAIN in godliness WITH contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 1 Timothy 6:6 ESV

 * Keep your life FREE from the LOVE of money, and be CONTENT with what you HAVE, for he has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 ESV

  *My emphasis


A Typical Frugal Day

Here are a few things I've been working on this past month:

1. I made a new batch of spot remover for the laundry. This time I didn't add baking soda to the recipe as I have in the past because I thought it was rough on the clothes. I keep it in a quart canning jar above my washing machine with a tooth brush.

 Spot Remover
2/3 cup Dawn detergent (original blue formula)
2/3 cup ammonia
2 cups warm water

'Hen and Chicks' are blooming.California weather has been so warm that the plants think it's Spring.
2. I love trying new recipes. It keeps it fun in the kitchen. This salad dressing was from Barefoot Contessa's website on Food Network. The salad was wonderful but a little pricey with the Feta cheese and the Kalamata olives. I'll watch for the olives at my discount canned food stores and sales on on the Feta cheese since it freezes well. It would be a lovely salad to take to a potluck (blessing).

Greek Salad
* Put in this order in the bowl. 
1 large head Romaine Lettuce, chopped.
2-3 whole ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges
1 whole cucumber, peeled, cut in fourths, diced large chunks
1/2 whole red onion, sliced very thin
30 (or 1 cup) whole pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half (used less)
Fresh parsley, chopped roughly
Salt and pepper
Toss with tongs

Toss above ingredients with tongs. Just before serving add 4 oz. Feta cheese and squeeze with a little fresh lemon juice. Squeeze fresh lemon over the top.

Greek Salad Dressing

 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2  tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 c. good red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Kosher salt (I used sea salt)
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil (I used grape seed oil)
(I added about 1 tsp. Erythritol to sweeten)

I made the dressing in a canning jar and kept it in the fridge for 24 hours. Shake regularly (the jar! *smile*)   This is my new favorite salad dressing. (I made a double batch to keep in the fridge for lunch salads)

I love this picture of the 'grands' being silly for Grammy. They were so young then.

3. This is the second year that we had our taxes prepared free through our local library. We waited 2 hours  but it saves us a lot of money.

4. I finally used up the floor cleaner that we found in the garage when we moved here.  It's so expensive to purchase cleaning products so I did a search and found a recipe to make my own. It works great. As always, please check any cleaning recipe on an 'out of the way' spot to make sure it works well on your floors.

1/3 cup water
1/3 cup rubbing alcohol
1/3 cup vinegar
2-3 drops of dish washing soap

I put the lettuce pots on an outside table to deter the snails.
5. A new law passed in California that the egg laying companies have to give chickens room enough to move around in their cages. As a result, our egg prices have double. I had no idea about the law being passed until I went to buy eggs and saw that a box of eggs had literally DOUBLED. Gasp! So, I started adding water to our scrambled eggs. Normally, for 1 serving I'll use 1 egg and 2 egg whites but now I cut back one egg white and fill half of the egg shell with water and add it to the scrambled eggs. It makes the eggs fluffy.  I've also cut way back on low carb baking which uses a lot of egg whites. I stretched our eggs to last an extra week.

6. I went to taste some sugar free cranberries I was making on the stove and the syrup scalded my lip. It was bad. I should know better. I remembered my daughter in love had given me an aloe plant. I used it often throughout the day. The burning stopped and it healed quickly.

7.  I have a small ironing board for quilting that a friend made years ago. The cover has been stained for years and I've always wanted to make a new one. My daughter in love, a few friends and I are planning on sewing together once a month, so this was just the encouragement I needed to replace it. I used the old cover as a pattern. The material was free from a friend. It turned out great.

8. I stretched my hair appointment for an extra month. I put $20 in my envelope fund each month to pay for hair needs. Normally I go to the hair dresser on the 3rd payday but I always have to dip into the budget to pay the balance of the bill. So by stretching my hair appointment for an extra month, it freed up that extra money to use somewhere else.  A friend said that my gray 'roots' just look like a lighter blonde. Such a nice friend. *smile*

9. My sewing machine turn wheel froze up and wouldn't not turn. I read the manual and oiled it but it still wouldn't move. I looked on You Tube for a video on repairing sewing machines and found one that showed how to take it apart.  I took the sewing machine apart and had my husband oil it where he thought it needed oil. Now, it works good as new and I saved a repair bill.

Onions and garlic in a raised bed I added last year.

10.  I found whole milk on sale for $2.99 for my sweetheart. It's normally a dollar more. The expiration date would come sooner so I froze half of the gallon. It doesn't end up being watered down since it's whole milk and has a higher fat content.

I have more things on my list that I did this past month but I'll save them for another time. Groceries continue to rise and our electric has gone up.. yet the Lord continues to teach me how to be content with all He has given. We really are a blessed nation! I thank Him for His goodness throughout the day as I go about my work. He has been so good to us!

Saved, Re-purposed and Re-used:
~ Rubber band from radishes (washed and reused)
~chicken bones, cooked (chicken broth)
~ Salsa jar (to discard grease)
~ Gizzard from whole chicken (I freeze them until I have enough to make a meal
~ Chicken liver from whole chicken (fishing bait)
~ plastic bags (LC tortilla bags, vegetable bags,etc. washed and reused)
~ Small sturdy box (drawer organizer)

Well, these are just a few things I've done this month to stretch our income. How about you ladies? How are you doing with your grocery budgets now that prices continue to rise? I love to learn from you!

Blessed to be home!



  1. Georgene, You are an inspiration! May the Lord continue to bless you and your family. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Beth. God is the great inspirer! :-) Thank you for your blessings. Glad you were able to stop by for a visit.

  2. Looks like you did so well this week. I've never used chicken liver for fish bait..does that work well? I love how you fished your sewing machine too...saved a lot of money. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. umm that should have said fixed your sewing machine!

    2. Yes, the chicken liver works well to catch catfish. I hope you had a wonderful weekend, too.

    3. So funny ..husband knew this he said. We have never done before though so now I'll be saving chicken livers!

    4. We learn from each other! I love that! :-)

  3. Georgene, thank you so much for your posts! I always glean so much wisdom from them. I would like to see more pictures of that strawberry "pot". I have never seen one like ut

    1. Here are the free plans, Melissa. I've used the 'tower' for herbs, too. It works great!

  4. You truly are an inspiration. I love your post on learning contentment. Sometimes so hard to do and yet you do it with grace. Great work on continually working at being frugal. And to fix your own sewing machine...amazing!

    1. I'm not always content. It's often warfare. I'm thankful to have the Word, the sword of the Spirit, to do battle against the discontentment.

      I do so much better if I stay out of the stores. :-)

  5. Sounds like a good week. You can always make a duvet cover for that out dated but perfectly servicable comforter, using sheets (usually cheapest option vs fabric) Just a thought!

    1. I wrote a reply to your post and now it's disappeared. Hopefully it won't reappear after I write this new one! :-)
      I LOVE your idea about the duvet cover. I had not even thought of doing that. Have you ever made one? I'm thinking you would have to 'tack' it throughout so that the cover would not separate from the comforter when it moves around? I'll do a 'search' and see what I find. I just might have to put aside $5 a month and save for this. That is definitely 'doable'. Thanks again for the idea and thanks for stopping by.

    2. Hi Georgene, I have made a number of duvet covers and they are very easy. I usually purchase the 2 top sheets from somewhere inexpensive and sew them up the two sides and bottom with right sides together. Then flip them inside out and I make button holes on one side of the top and put buttons on the other side. I would place them about 8 inches apart. Once you put the quilt inside and get it straightened out, button it up and lay it out, it tends to stay that way. I haven't had to tack them before. I'm sure there are other ways so have fun researching! Sally

  6. Dear Internet girlfriend,
    I am downsizing to sell. Can I send you a maroon queen-size bedspread with shams? I have your address.

    1. You are such a generous person, Carol. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you
      will understand when I say that IF and WHEN I get a new bedspread I would like to pick it out.
      It has been over 30 years since I have bought a new bedspread and I would love to buy one that
      I really liked. It's not that I don't have the money to buy it. There are just other things that are pressing
      right now and I want to use wisdom. I could spend the money on a new bedspread and we would be just fine. I really like
      to practice being content with what I have. It's good for my soul. :-) Thank you, again!

  7. I was just thinking about you this morning and that you had not posted in a while. I wondered if gardening was already keeping you busy and I was so glad to look this evening and see a post from you.
    Your hens and chicks plant is amazing!
    I like your ironing board cover, I need to sew a new one too.
    I'm so glad you two could fix your sewing machine, YouTube is my go to place when I need help for how to do something.

    My thrifty doings
    I stretched out my manicure an extra week.
    Cooked all meals at home this week even though I really wanted some fast food French fries
    I did a little coupon shopping at CVS and got about $60 reduced to $14 with coupons and discounts.
    It is easier to shop at just one store but at my stores, prices and deals vary so much, I've made extra effort to stretch my grocery funds as much as I can -buying meat at the commissary, produce and baking things at Aldi, Milk, home and health things at CVS when I can get good deals there, and other coupon deals at Walmart. I get a few things at Dollar Tree too. It does take planning ahead and organization but it really is helping,
    We are hoping to pay off our only debt this year so my husband can retire and that is why I am trying so hard.

    1. Hi Rhonda! You were right in assuming that my gardening was already keeping me busy. :-) We've had such a warm winter that I'm already able to get the seeds going for a spring garden. I've been getting rid of weeds and rearranging some spots in the garden, etc. Always something to do. Thankfully I'm still able to do it. :-)

      Wow! Your CVS discount was amazing. I wish my brain worked better. Those kind of deals are so hard for me these days. I sure hope your plan will work to pay off your debt this year so your husband can retire. You have a worthy goal set in front of you which should make it easier. I need to head over to your blog and see what else you've been up to. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Hi Georgene, I too have noticed that prices have gone way up. They have been going up for the last few years now in my neck of the woods but some things have suddenly jumped a lot in price. I'm still scouring the flyers and trying to come up with new recipes for using the same foods. I'm buying less meat if it is not on sale and even the sales are quite expensive. So sometimes I have meatless meals or use cans of fish or bulk up meals with more vegetables. Sadly, right now a head of romaine lettuce (which I love) is $3 a bunch. That is 3x what it was last summer so I didn't buy any the other day. I bought spinach instead. So I guess good substitutions are another thing I do to stretch the food budget.

    As for other ways, cooking/eating at home, buying only on sale, borrowing books from the library, switching telephone plans and colour my own hair are ways I've saved recently. Over time it all adds up!

    1. Hi Joyful,
      You're doing so great in saving money. Good for you. I tried coloring my hair years ago but I got it in such a mess that hubby said to just pay to have it done. I always hate putting out the money. I set aside $20 a month and go to the salon on the 4th paycheck month. Hubby likes my hair blonde so it costs me more money. :-) I'm proud of you that you can do yours at home. That saves you a tone of money. Good for you! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. p.s. I love how you saved money on your sewing machine. That is awesome. xx

    1. Thank you! My son fixed my daughter in love's sewing machine which gave us courage to try! :-) I am making a nursing cover for a baby shower gift and it's working great. PTL!!!

  10. Love your blog Georgene. I am rather new to finding it and like to read over your old posts. You give me inspiration to stay within budget. For most of my married life of 42 year my husband was self employed and we had good years and bad years so I learned to be frugal. Now he has a full time job as the maintenance director of a nursing home and really enjoys it. A steady paycheck is nice. I don't worry so much about income now but we are close to retirement and have no savings so we are getting all our debt cleared up asap so we can live on our social security which won't be much. In 9 months, Lord willing, we will have the mortgage paid. Today our dryer quit so my husband will look at that when he can this week or on the weekend. I miss it for fluffing the cloths before I hang them on the drying rack or for those cloths that look better if dried in the dryer like the work shirts he has. I am glad I like the challenge of living frugally :) Nannie B

    1. Hi Nannie,
      Nice to have you visit. :-) Did your husband get your dryer fixed? I rarely use my dryer except for towels in the winter because it takes too long to dry them. But, I do like having it 'just in case'. It would be harder if my husband was still working. I iron his shirts for church. I used it bit more this winter when I wasn't feeling well. I'm so glad you have a steady paycheck. It's wonderful that your mortgage is almost paid off. It sounds like you are doing great!

  11. I noticed last week that eggs have also doubled here. Creative Sav v
    has a post on her blog about what you can sub for eggs I found it helpful Nanne B I hope your husband is able to fix your dryer you tube s so helpful. We eat less meat lately. Eggs were our go to sub for meat :) Humm I wonder what new thing we will sub for eggs . Have a blessed week .
    Patti from San Dego

    1. Hi Patti!
      I wonder if eggs went up throughout all of California? The eggs I bought at the Egg Farm were TINY this last week but the price for one box went down to $14 from $25. I don't like tiny eggs but I sure liked the price. I won't be adding water to these eggs because they are already small. :-) Let me know if you find something cheap to sub for eggs. I've heard that flax substitutes well. Not sure how it would taste in a recipe in place of eggs but I do use it in my low carb cooking and I like the nutty flavor. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Well Georgene, my my husband did not get the dryer fixed but the Lord provided for us amazingly wonderful as He is known to do :) I had gone to my son and daughter in laws to pick up my daughter in law for a baby shower we were to attend. Son asks what dad is doing. I said he was trying to fix the dryer, seemed to be the motor and he was trying to get it moving again. Son says "I'll buy you a new one. Do you know what you want?" What! Are you serious? He said he and his wife had been rather blessed last year and they would love to buy us a new dryer. Isn't God good and he does supply in marvelous ways. I was content to go without a dryer until we might be able to get something else. And Hubby said he would not have been able to fix that motor as it was beyond that. Just as he had determined that, our son called him and told him the good news. Got home from the shower and there was the new dryer. Nice. Now I can wash the bedding. A little cold right now to put those on the line. Not that my ancestors didn't do it and survived :) I'm soft. Nannie B

  13. Oh, Nannie!! Your testimony of God's provision blessed me so much!!! I am so happy for you... especially knowing God has shown Himself strong on your behalf. We are so loved!!

  14. Happy to testify to the mercies of the Lord. Nannie B

  15. I went to the store for food shopping and bought only things that were reduced. I don't worry so much about expiry dates nowadays. So clever of you to have fixed up your sewing-machine. I've never used You Tube tutorials but they are supposed to be a blessing when it comes to repairing and learning how to. A big hello from your new follower in France !

    1. Sonehow I missed your post. I am so sorry. It is wonderful to have you as a new follower. I would love to visit France. We visit via House Hunters International.

  16. So inspirational..thank you. I appreciate making Do For One More Day. I try to make do by repurposing and pausing to think and not just react to wants. Took repurposed fabric and created pillows. Use YouTube all the time to do things like changed car headlight, machine quilted a quilt I made from scraps, and learned how to make better use of planting our vegetable garden.

  17. Thank you so much for this Greek Salad recipe. Want to try it for Easter. I love your posts, they inspire me to be a better steward of the gifts the Lord has provided us.

  18. Love these posts-so nice knowing others are in the same position with finances. I also am living in CA and eggs are expensive. I love your idea of the water and will try it.
    I did a post on covering a ironing board cover from left over material and some piecing of it at
    I have been washing plastic bags and reusing them. It is really nice when I want to spend my money on other things I need.
    I also package up slices of bread and other things. Then freeze them and that way not waste bread by its molding before we can eat it.
    Also measure out portions of vegetables and other foods 4 oz meat, 1/2 cup veggies, etc. That way my food is not wasted and we get just what we need and helps the food to stretch farther. Also saves time when cooking. Check out Nana's Kitchen's when you go to
    Thanks for all you neat ideas to help us stretch our budgets.

  19. Georgene-- I have some really old ugly couches. I spiced them up with colorful pillows (mostly from goodwill) also an afghan. The couches are very dull flowers, one has birds they are comfy and I dont want to buy new ones. Just thinking art on walls, or embroider, and colorful pillows can really spark up an old non descript bedspread too I'm sure. :)

  20. Oh-- also some texture-- I have a couple kind of fuzzy pillows and one with ribbing--this also helps. I will send u some pix after our vacation. :)

  21. Oh-- also some texture-- I have a couple kind of fuzzy pillows and one with ribbing--this also helps. I will send u some pix after our vacation. :)

  22. Lovely post as usual Georgene.
    Best wishes,


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