Frugal living is our way of living. We pinch pennies where ever we can to live debt free. Here are our tips and tricks for living on the cheap.
Frugal Living is a lifestyle for us. We know how to live big on a small budget. This allows us to enjoy the important things in life as we see fit without being slaves to our finances. I love sharing our tips for frugal living with my readers here on the blog.
Living Debt Free
We have had seasons of plenty and seasons of famine in our lives. We choose to live as cheaply as possible during all of these seasons. This has allowed me to be a full time homemaker for many years. You can learn to save money in ways you probably never even dreamed of here on the blog.
Living on a Budget
Sign up for my newsletter and receive a FREE CLEANING SCHEDULE PRINTABLE that you can use to clean your home with minimal time, effort and money. Part of our thrifty budget includes cutting expenses for cleaning supplies and equipment.
The One Room Challenge is the cream of the crop for interior design remodels. This month we are working on renovating our own dining room for the design challenge! The One Room Challenge The One Room Challenge has been around for about 12 years. It originated with the Calling It Home blog, and is sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens and other fabulous brands. This is a very popular contest among bloggers and interior designers. I have wanted to try this competition but something always seems to get in my way. This year, I have decided to join the crowd and see what happens! Here’s how it works: There are a number of chosen designers for this competition that work with major sponsors for the event. Trust me they are rock stars! Bloggers like myself can link up our own version of the ORC each week showing the progress in our rooms. If the project is popular enough, any blogger has a chance to be a major designer the next time around and may be featured in magazines or attract major corporate sponsors. I am not working with any sponsors for this event, just winging it this time around! The competition is held twice each year in October and April and lasts for 6 weeks. Our dining room will be the subject of my posts which I will post each Wednesday through October and early November. This week is the introduction and “game plan” of the event. You see see the other participants in this challenge here. ORC Blog Schedule… Read More »
This Japanese Knot Bag is all the rage right now, make one in less than an hour and wear it out for the evening or take it shopping tomorrow! Simple Japanese Knot Bag The Japanese have a way with beautiful design. This fabric handbag is no exception! It is simple and sleek in construction. It would be beautiful in any array of colors or fabrics. Wear it to the grocery store, take it to school, bring it to the theater or even the symphony. You will have compliments every where you go, I promise! I have joined a number of sewing groups on Facebook. Since I have been sewing for so long it’s easy for me to put projects together without really thinking a lot about it. Being in a group of people who are learning to sew has been good for me. It’s helped me see things in a different light. Most people like simple projects and want simple patterns and simple directions to go with them. This bag is no exception. Simple and beautiful. The floral fabric in this project is 100 percent cotton. It is none other than the Hoffman Challenge Print of the year. If you aren’t familiar with the Hoffman Challenge, it’s a sewing and design contest put on each year by Hoffman Fabrics of California. I have always dreamed of submitting a design for this challenge in quilting, apparel design or home decor creations. I missed the deadline yet again this year, but I still purchased the fabric as you can see. Maybe… Read More »
Stenciling is a great way to transform a room and get a custom look for a budget price. Here are some of my favorite stenciled wall ideas from around the web to inspire your next project. This pretty blue stencil adds just the right amount of color. I can see myself wanting to hang out forever in this beautiful bathroom! Learn how Diane created the illusion of wallpaper (without all the mess) over on In My Own Style. Speaking of illusions, check this one out! Making it in the Mountains shares some great tips on how to achieve this popular cement tile look while sticking to your budget. Our son really enjoyed his stenciled brick bedroom. Sadly, it was left behind in a house we rented. Thankfully we have the pictures (and my tips and tricks to make your own brick wall) over at Designers Sweet Spot. This blue paint behind the white stencil really makes the design pop while being very calming! Check out It All Started With Paint for some tricks on how to transform a room and accomplish your stenciling project as quickly as possible. The damask pattern of this stencil, in addition to the colors Allyson chose, add such a touch of elegance to this previously plain dining room. Head over to Domestic Superhero to see the before photo! I love our pantry. The stenciled walls really improve its appearance! You can read more on my blog, Designers Sweet Spot. Krista created this fun workspace for her sons to use for homework and projects. Stenciling seems like a great way to distinguish… Read More »
Wedding season is here! Here are some great affordable wedding gift ideas that won’t break the bank. This post is sponsored by Dayspring. I was compensated to write this post, any opinions given are completely my own. Wedding Season is here! Wedding season is here! There are a number of people we know who are getting married this year. It seems like the season sneaks up on my each year and I am never quite prepared for gift giving. It’s hard to think back to being a new bride, things have changed since we got married nearly 27 years ago! Things seem simpler now with the internet. It’s so easy to order a pretty gift and have it delivered to the recipients door. I recently discovered a new website for meaningful gifts, Dayspring. They have the most beautiful inspirational items, all at great prices! There are gifts for Weddings, Mother’s Day, Graduations and so many other important family events, you will have a hard time choosing which ones to order first. The first thing I picked out was this darling wooden sign. I loved it’s compact size, perfect for putting on a shelf or in a cubby with a wedding photo. The sign retails for just $12.99. Adorable! You can order one here. The cards were my next find. Rarely do I make it into a store to shop for a pretty card. Just too much to do and not enough time for little things like that. I prefer to buy my cards in large quantities, it is cheaper and… Read More »
Make an ugly old tote bag look like new with a few craft supplies! This post was sponsored by Therm-o-web. I was compensated in some way to write this post, any opinions given are completely my own. Make an Ugly Old Tote Bag Look Like New This Ugly Old Tote Bag was a spur of the moment project. I was unpacking my bags from my recent trip to the SNAP blog conference and was excited to try some of the new products we were given. Love them all! This burlap bag caught my eye in a heart beat. My grandmother always carried a burlap bag in the summer months, and it reminded me of her classic style. Tote Bag Supplies Needed •Old Burlap tote bag, can be a thrifted item or grocery store type fabric bag (Buy now affiliate link) •5″ pack of printed or solid colored quilt squares, cotton (Buy now affiliate link) •Therm-o-web Fabric Adhesive (Buy now through this affiliate link) (Buy now affiliate link) This pile of colorful quilting squares was the perfect thing for this project. The colors caught my eye when I saw them, and I was immediately lost. My unpacking was forgotten, and I was deep into creating. Who needs to unpack anyway? The burlap bag we received at the conference from one of the vendors at the conference. I didn’t love the name on it, so I came up with a way to re-style it. It was easy! You would never know how it started out! It’s exciting that Facebook now allows us to embed videos… Read More »
Here’s how to make your own cleaning supplies and save money in your household budget. Using a few simple ingredients you can clean just about anything in your house! How to Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies Have you ever tried to make your own cleaning supplies? We have found that we are very allergic to commercial cleaners. They make our noses stuffy, we sneeze, our eyes water and we even get rashes at times from coming in contact with them. It’s shocking how these everyday chemicals can affect our health without us even realizing it. We have never been healthier since we did away with all the chemical cleaners in our home. Here are my top three favorite homemade cleaning recipes. First of all, my cleaning kit has a pair of rubber gloves, several spray bottles, a microfiber dusting cloth, microfiber towels, and some essential oils in it. I keep all these items in a handy plastic tote to carry from room to room as I am cleaning. Here are a few other great ideas for cleaning just about anything with simple ingredients! 1. All Purpose Cleaner 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda 2 tsp. Borax 1 tsp. Dish soap such as Dawn Dishwashing Liquid Lemon or Orange Essential Oil 2 cups hot water Mix all ingredients in a large bucket. Use with a sponge, microfiber towel or mop. This mild solution is great for washing floors, walls and general cleaning. If you prefer a scented batch, add a few drops of lemon or orange essential oil to the batch. You can purchase Borax in… Read More »
Organizing isn’t my favorite thing to do, but it sure does help! Here are my top tips on keeping your pantry organized. Pantry too Small? We are blessed with a big Kitchen Pantry storage space for our food supplies. This big pantry was one of the things that sold us on the house, since the kitchen is rather small. It is an illusion that a big space holds more stuff. I have found that it’s easy to fill it with junk and unnecessary items. More space isn’t necessarily better. After cleaning and organizing my shelves I know how much space I have been wasting. Top 10 ways to add storage to your kitchen pantry First of all, remove dry cereals from their boxes and put into tall plastic storage containers. The storage boxes are taller and hold more than a regular cereal box does. This one change has saved me a ton of space and money. My kids seem to eat less cereal (Why I don’t know), and the leftovers aren’t stale so everything gets eaten. Who knew it would be such a game changer? Dry goods such as flour and sugar can be stored in large glass jars instead of being left in the original packaging. This keeps them fresh longer and saves shelf space by going vertical. Stack cans in a wire can organizer. This works great for small cans, not so good for large ones, but it does help free up shelf space. Keep large items on the floor. Big bulk cans of food, large pots, big… Read More »
I love bike riding. We used to bike for miles and miles during the summer months. I especially loved riding the long trails that are refurbished old railroad beds here in Wisconsin. You can bike through the entire state on those flat, groomed trails. They are well maintained and take you through some of the pretty countryside in the Midwest. There is no better way to see the state than to bike through it. However, it’s been years since I owned a bike, and even longer since I took the time to go for a ride. Until now. #Iamcheap One of my girl friends passed this bike on to me. She doesn’t ride it anymore and it was just collecting dust in her garage. It was over all in good shape, but had a bit of rust here and there. I loved the old fashioned character of it. However, it was just sort of a blah color. It needed PIZAZZ. You know me, I have a basement full of PIZAZZ fixers, including a ton of spray paint. I rummaged around and came up with some Rustoleum Spray paint in Gloss Key Lime Green and Seaside Blue. By the way, if you spray paint at all, you simply must have one of these Comfort Grip tools to add to your spray can, it makes a nice even coat and saves your fingers from getting tired. It also gives you a very streamlined jet of paint, which is a lifesaver for doing fine detail work on such as this bike. Trust… Read More »
It’s nearly the end of the week and I haven’t accomplished much of anything on my to do list. I have had a million distractions here. I am also working on some bigger projects, but can’t reveal those just yet. So, I decided to put together a few posts that you may have missed. These are easy sewing projects for the beginning sewer. They also happen to be some of my favorites! Sewing Project #1: DIY Dog Bed This is Maggie. She is one of my all time favorite pooches, and she was my model for this DIY Dog Bed project. Sewing Project #2: Cowl Blouse This simple blouse is great for warm summer days. It is flattering for any figure type and super easy to throw together for the weekend. Here’s how to sew a Cowl Blouse. Sewing Project #3: Fleece Robe Sewing a fleece robe is another easy project. Fleece is easy to work with because you don’t have to finish the seams. This robe is warm and fluffy, every girl should have one in her closet for those cool evenings at home. Pajama pants are another easy item to make. You can make them from fleece, flannel, cotton, etc. They also make a great gift! Project #4: DIY Apron I love reusing fabric from different sources, this DIY Apron is made from an old flannel shirt. I love it for those really messy DIY projects! Sewing Project #5: These pillows go back to my early blogging days, I still love them. The photos aren’t my best but… Read More »
This post was sponsored by Fairfield World. Any opinions given are completely my own. I have spent the last few days working on the porch decorating. I have been sewing pillows left and right. I can’t wait to share the entire project with you! This week’s fun project is sewing a Simple Pillow. There are still a few more things to finish on the porch, but I thought I would give you a peek at what we have done so far. The inspiration for this room came from this beautiful Tommy Bahama fabric. It just screams summer to me. I love the green and blue tones, it makes the outdoors feel closer some how. This Simple Pillow Tutorial is part of my Learn to Sew series. It’s easy enough for a beginner, but has a few little tricks that make fun for anyone to learn. Thanks to Fairfield World for sponsoring this post! I used 18″ x 18″ pillow forms from Fairfield World for this project. They are very nice quality, and the size is big enough to fill in the space nicely behind your back and the rather prickly wicker sofa. I cut my fabric with 1″ of ease in both directions for the pillows. This extra room makes it easy to slip the pillow form inside the cover without it being too tight. I cut my fabric 19″ x 19″ to give it plenty of room inside and compensate for any shrinkage in washing later on. I use 100% cotton thread when I sew, it’s a bit heavier… Read More »
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