This past week I have learned how to make smoothies at home instead of paying the ridiculously high prices at outside establishments. The pack-rat in me had saved a Dunkin' Donuts cup and straw from a previous iced coffee. I didn't know what I was going to use it for, but it is a nice, heavy cup and I wasn't about to throw it away. I had already designated a previous DD cup to the cup holder in my Highlander...a perfect place to stash trash until I get back home to throw it out properly! So this cup languished on my counter until I could come up with a use. And I did! It is the perfect size for a home made smoothie. At the beginning of the week I had purchased bananas, strawberries, blueberries and vanilla yogurt. These ingredients do make some WONDERFUL smoothies! Plus homemade is MUCH cheaper than purchased already made!
This week I also learned a new sewing technique. My Dear Aunt had asked me to hem a pair of brand new pants for her. They are a stretch denim material, and absolutely ADORABLE...and get this...she found them on sale for $8. Eight Dollars!!! Now THAT is frugal, lol. I remembered having seen on Pinterest a post about hemming jeans and leaving the original bottom edge. Since I wanted the pants to look just like new I figured it was as good a time as any to learn this technique. Let me tell you...it is easy peasy and comes out looking like a factory product. This technique is going to save me TONS of money in the future as I am SHORT and very rarely can find my size in a "short" version. "Average" lengths galore, but rarely "Short". I seriously doubt I will EVER take a pair of pants to the tailor's again! Learning a new skill is ALWAYS frugal!
I have "cried Uncle" with the slippers I was making for Dear Hubby. They are just NOT coming out right and, having lost the directions, trying to recreate the first one was causing me more aggravation than they are worth. So I did the only sane thing....I unraveled them and put the yarn back into my closeet. One stressor gone, lol.
Above is my "mending" pile. It also contained a pair of expensive Under Armour (I think that was the brand) gloves belonging to my son. He bought them for the times in work when he is working in the freezer. One of the fingers came unstitched and was letting in the cold. In years past he would have just chucked them and bought another pair, but he is really and completely embracing frugality these days and gave them to his mom to fix instead! Hooray! My boy has certainly learned.
The red and white Christmas theme fabric you see is a gift bag that I made two Christmases ago. I made quite a few of them, so I have been able to avoid purchasing paper wrapping for two years now! However, the cording I used to tie the bag shut has begun to ravel. I will use my seam ripper to take off the raveled cording and add a new one.
The brown material is an old shirt that is a bit worn. I have already removed all of the buttons and added them to my button jar. I will cut the material in 6.5" square, do a zig-zag overlock around the edges and add them to my hankie box.
The purple and peach fabrics are two old t-shirts that will be cut down to make "tarn". I may cut the remaining portions down to use as either hankies or napkins.
The photo above isn't so much of a "frugal" activity as it was an "ah-ha" moment. It is often difficult for me to stand and iron my fabric blocks. Today I realized (yes, it took me long enough) that I can SIT and iron my quilt blocks. Duh.... I'll blame the lack of insight on my medication induced fog, lol.
In addition to the above, I have done all of my "usual" frugal activities:
I have used my phone as an alarm clock. I charge my phone daily, but make sure to unplug it as soon as it beeps that it is fully charged.
I have taken quick showers using free shampoo, free shower gel and a handmade washcloth. I have brushed my teeth with a free toothbrush and free toothpaste.
I have done all laundry in cold water with 1/2 the usual detergent. I have worn my clothing more than once if I am going to be staying in the house. I have worn my Crocs to save wear and tear on my good shoes.
I have only run my dishwasher once every other day.
I have acquired as many freebies as possible. This week my freebies included two packages of cookies and four candy bars from a coworker of my husband. He was out of the country and brought these back as souveniers for everyone. I have sent for as many freebies online as I can. Not all of the offers arrive, but what does arrive is a savings for me! I have entered LOTS of online contests on the blogs I follow. Hopefully I will win some lovely fabrics or sewing notions!
I have used gift cards earned by doing surveys, reading emails and making purchases to order more fabric and sewing supplies.
As you know, I move between many different hobbies throughout and day and week, depending on my physical status and which is the easiest for me to accomplish at that moment. I have set up several totes complete with everything I need to work on a particular craft. In the past I may have shown you some of these totes. If not, here they are:
This is my "small crochet project" bag. It was free from my Dear Aunt. She received it from a makeup company as a promotion and had no use for it. It currently houses my partially completed striped crocheted handbag.
This matching zippered pouch (also free) holds all of my regular crochet hooks, stitch markers, scissors, ruler, pins and stitch counter.
I also have a turquoise duffel bag (sorry no picture) that holds my partially completed crocheted guest room blanket and the skeins of yarn I am using to make it. It was a freebie from Office Depot.
My handmade stitchery bag, needle keep and pin cushion have been joined by an embroidery hoop, foldable scissors and a handmade scissor fob in the hopes that SOMEDAY I may once again be able to do embroidery by hand. If I am ever so lucky, all I will have to do is add thread and fabric and I will be able to take my stitching along with me wherever I go.
Back in the days before my tremor worsened I loved English Paper Piecing hexies. I purchased this portable sewing box (it even has a shoulder strap) at a garage sale for $3.00.
The sewing box has plenty of storage space for all of my EPP supplies (should I ever be able to piece by hand again)...
and enough space underneath to hold my cardboard hexies, 2.5" fabric, and even a small notebook to jot down creative ideas as they come to me. The sewing box can also be used to house my travel quilting supplies if I take a small sewing machine with me on vacation. This box also contains a small olfa cutting board and a small rotary cutter. I need to find a small ruler to make rotary cutting possible, but I haven't decided what size or shape ruler I want. I may see if I can find a small square ruler (about 6.5") on Freecycle.
This small bag holds my Nook and a zippered pouch with my Nook accessories, a small drawstring pouch that can hold my MP3 player and its accessories, and a slightly larger drawstring pouch that can hold my phone, PDA and camera chargers...and my camera, lol.
All of these crafting supplies and carriers have been outfitted as frugally as possible. Now, if Dear Hubby and I are headed out for a longish drive I can quickly grab one of my "go to" bags to take along with me.