Thursday, March 31, 2011

Prices Going Up ~ Shopping Plans

Good Morning Friends!  I just spent some time biking indoors and watching Fox News.  The CEO of Walmart has announced that prices are going to go up seriously.  June is the projected time to start seeing this, but I'm seeing it now and I'm sure you are too.  A head of iceberg lettuce at my Walmart has been $1.88 for weeks...that's awful!   Fox News doesn't have an article up about this yet, but here is one I found elsewhere:  Walmart CEO: Inflation Serious Concern

Why is this happening?  The increasing price in gasoline affects the price of the goods being trucked to all the stores.  Plus they said that China and India are having an explosion in their middle class populations.  These families who now can afford more of the 'normal' things of life such as meat, clothing, and paper, are driving up the demand of these items.  Also, the price of cotton is rising, so naturally, clothing is going to increase in price.


What to do?  Here are a couple of the shopping strategies I am using:

1.  I recently replenished our dresser drawers with new underwear and socks for my family.  These things are made of cotton, so I'd prefer to buy them now rather than this summer when they are more expensive.

2.  Grocery shopping for a month's worth of freezer and pantry items at a time.  Today is payday for the month...woohoo!  So within the next few days I'll be shopping for a month's worth of ice cream, meat, canned goods, cereal, popcorn, etc.  I did this last month, which you can read about here.  But I'll be able to do an even better job this month as I now know just how many boxes of cereal and popcorn we actually eat a month.  I'll need more canned tomatoes and ice cream, and less canned chicken, for instance.   I figure that by shopping for a month's worth of these things at Aldi and Walmart, I'm getting good prices and will be a month ahead of any price increases to come.

3.  Watch for good deals on Groupon and other places like Restaurant.com and here in Evansville, IN we have DiningDiscovery.com.  These places allow you to buy restaurant gift certificates at a discount.  We budget just about $20 a week for eating out (a family of 3, one being a teen boy.)  If we buy eat out gift certificates at a discount, this stretches our dining out money significantly.  Last Christmas we took advantage of the deals at Qdoba, Culvers, and other places that were offering a free $5-$10 gift card for every $20 in gift cards purchased.  Rather than giving them all as gifts, we used some of them to stretch our own budget.


4.  We are planting a Square Foot Garden this spring.  This type of gardening takes minimal space, minimal care, and minimal watering.  It will be great to walk out the French doors and pick fresh produce for dinner.  Yay!

I'm sure you have great ideas too, and I'd love to hear about them.  I do use coupons on items such as toiletries and paper goods, but if the store brand is just as good and cheaper, then that's what I do.

Let's encourage each other to be frugal, wise, and resourceful this spring and summer!  Count it as a fun challenge, and it will end up being a blessing.  :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bloomin' Pillow

I was ready to embellish the new envelope pillow covers I made for spring/summer.

Watched a tutorial on making fabric rosettes.  Found it easier than I imagined!

I added some aqua colored tulle, leftover from our daughter's beautiful wedding.

I haven't sewn the flowers onto the pillow yet...I like to look at it for a couple days first and make sure I'm happy with it and the placement.  But boy, I'm happy to have that projected started.  :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Simple Comforts

Sweet little Kalanchoe  blossoms, gracing my kitchen windowsill in an old salt shaker.  Breathes peace into my soul. 
                    

Just sweet.

Quick and Easy Dill Rolls...simple but so comforting.

New fabric from JoAnns!  Made envelope pillow covers for our wintery looking sofa pillows.

My husband isn't too sure about them.  But he's a good sport!  I plan to embellish the pillows and remove that rug for the summer.
With a bit of tissue paper, my mantle branches bloomed.  Happy sigh.  :)
Our little dog Gracie likes the new pillows...she's a girlie girl for sure.  :)Thanks for stopping by to visit!  I hope your weekend includes some simple comforts too.  Blessings!

Linked to: don'twasteyourhomemaking.com
and
tipjunkie.com 


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

House in Bloom

 We've been sunny and in the 70s for a week here in Southern Indiana!  I've been in heaven.  The smell of fresh cut grass coming in my open windows has been intoxicating.  Sweet!  So I figure it was high time to get my house Spring-i-fied too.  A few posts back, I took a 49 cent flea market plate and glued a 99 cent flea market candle holder to the bottom to make a cake stand or tidbit tray.  It has now found it's home sweet home...a display to bring Spring to our living room.  The little jar contains sand from Butterfly Beach in Santa Barbara, CA...our 25th anniversary trip.  I'm crazy about green and aqua together.  So am bringing some aqua into my green living room for the summer.
 Coastal Living magazine fits right in.  The photo is my husband and I having an outdoor lunch in Santa Barbara. 
Little IKEA entry table. 
This is another tidbit tray that I made from a little goblet and a glass plate.  Love the candle ring and candle in the cloche.  The cloche was a cheese plate cover in its former life.  :)

The re-dressed mantle from yesterday, which I am so enjoying...but it needed something above the window.  A friend suggested a bird.  Good idea!

I also found these branches in the backyard that I'd been saving for something.  (You have to understand we live in a newer home with NO trees, so having a couple little branches is something to hang on to!)

I found bird templates on marthastewart.com and using coordinating paper, cut two out.  I love them!  Now, to add some white paper flowers and a couple green leaves to the branches?  That is the question. 

When we finished the chocolate cake I made last week, I decided to use the cake plate for decor too.  Can you believe these little gourds are still firm and flawless from the fall?  They've turned alittle bit yellow, so hey!  They are Springy!  :) 
Thanks for stopping in!  I enjoyed your visit!
Linked to http://www.dontwasteyourhomemaking.com/ 
and 
A Very Merry Vintage Style 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mantle in Bloom

I enjoyed the fireplace mantle this past winter with it's Johnson Brothers winter plate, berries, and burgandy.  But now it's time to brighten, lighten, whiten, and green it up.  Feeling the need for a Spring Mantlescape.
And so with great gladness, I gave my son a Spring Break day off of school and shopped my house for some Springifying decor. 

I bought this window in Plymouth, Indiana at a sweet little antique shop.  Guess how much I paid?  $1.60.  I know...ridiculously great!!  The quail was an after Thanksgiving find at my Schnucks grocery store floral department for $4.00.  The apothecary jar was a garage sale find 2 years ago, and I finally figured out how to use it!  The little square pottery vase on the right is new from The Ivy Cottage here in Evansville.  Love.  It.

Out with the winter plate, in with my favorite old church plate, a teacup from my sis in law's mission trip to Romania, and the best smelling summer candle ever...Lime and Cilantro.

Lightened up my $1.00 garage sale lamp with a $1 garage sale floral piece.  I don't like the dangly deals on the lamp and I wish the shade was white.  What to do about that?  Any ideas?

The Ivy Cottage, my favorite little shop, was decorated so cute for spring on Saturday and that's where I got this idea.  They had tons of these types of things on shelves, china hutches, tables, etc.  I used leftover silk flowers from other projects and the little sweet nest my daughter and son in law gave me after their wedding...to signify that they were starting their own nest and to commemorate that our nest at home now just had three.  It is precious to me.

I've had those candles for about 4 years.  Green is such a happy, fresh color.  The fabric is just temporarily folded and laid.  Never mind the sun faded stripe down the center from it spending the winter in my sewing basket by the window.

And so there she be!  Ready for Spring.  In full bloom.  Do I need something above the window frame?  Like a white organza bow that appears to be hanging the window on the wall? In a day or two I'll show you how the rest of my house lightened up for spring.  I love shopping the house!  Blessings on you!
This is linked to A Very Merry Vintage Style
Linked to Tip Junkie





Sunday, March 20, 2011

$1.49 Makes a Pretty Tidbit Stand

Recently my sweet in-laws were here visiting from Kansas City, MO. My mom in law and I managed to go out shopping 3X!  Bliss!  Two of our stops were at my favorite flea markets.  I think Southern Indiana has a love affair with flea markets...which suits me just fine. Among my fun finds were the 2 china plates above as well as 2 glass candle stick holders.
 I especially love green...it's my signature color.  Both the spring green and the sage green of these plates caught my eye. These are Mayer China plates which apparently are collectibles. The pretty detail and shape of the candle stick holder was very appealing too.  99 cents for each candle holder and 49 cents for each plate.

I took my wonderful tube of E6000 glue and glued the candle holder to the bottom of the spring green plate.  I turned the candle holder upside down so the pretty detail would show better and it would have a wider base at the bottom.
 Voila!  A sweet little tidbit tray!  Or cake plate!  Or jewelery stand!  Or....
 I did the same to the sage green plate, and will look forward to using them both in decorating and in food presentations. 
 ...My bananas have a pretty sweet place to hang out!
And I'm really enjoying this little bit of Butterfly Beach, Santa Barbara, CA on my little stand this spring.  Makes me feel peaceful, just to see it.  Ahhhhhh.  This is linked to the wonderful http://www.tipjunkie.com 
and to Elements Interiors




craft

Friday, March 4, 2011

$185 for a month's worth of pantry and freezer goods!




Have you been watching Fox News? Reading articles on the inflation expectations? Seen that gas is going up? Then you'll know what I'm talking about. Stockpiling. I'm not someone who generally likes to stock up on things...I don't like the clutter or the full pantry and freezer of it. Maybe I'm weird, but I LIKE it when my fridge and pantry are on the emptier side of things...maybe because it feels more controlled, more open to my view, neater and tidier. However, since everyone is reporting that food prices are on the rise and I can easily see that gas prices are too, I decided to try an experiment. And boy was it fun! The picture above gives you a clue...just know that this isn't all of it...much of my purchase was already in the fridge and freezer.

I went to Aldi with the idea of buying a month's worth of pantry and freezer items. I stocked up on ice cream (my men-folk eat it nightly!) I bought 6 bags of frozen veggies and will get more at Walmart. I bought 4 cans of Fit and Active Chicken Noodle soup, 6 cans of beans, 4 cans of rings and meatballs (for my 13 year old's lunches), 4 boxes of kleenex and a package of papertowels. Cereal, chips, snacks, cheeses, tuna, and cans of Salmon. We also buy Aldi's cola now b/c we don't seem to get good sales on name brand cans of soda here in southern Indiana.
I bought 90% lean ground sirloin, frozen chicken, bacon wrapped beef fillets, frozen Flounder and Tilapia too. Wow...my cart was full and heavy! I purchased fresh produce for the week and yogurt, knowing I'll have to go back for more of those mid-month.
My husband also picked up these bottles of All at Menards for a steal of a deal...$2.99 each! So much cheaper than I have to pay at Walmart! Plus it has 25% more free in this size. I am excited that I won't worry about running out of laundry soap for months now.
My Aldi bill came to $185. That's a record setter for me! But it was so fun to bring it all home, lay it all out to see what I needed in the pantry for now, then bag up the extras in those cool reusable bags from Target, etc. Where to store them? Miraculously we still have a closet in our new house that isn't full. So these three bags are stacked one upon another in the corner of said closet. And I am feeling GREAT! Free as a bird! I have lots of meals on hand and don't have to worry that I might be out of canned tomatoes or beans for the chili that sounds good for supper. We got home from a big trip to Nashville on Wednesday night, and it was no problem to whip up some homemade pizza because I knew I had everything on hand.

I usually spend $300 a month for groceries (and a few paper goods) for the three of us. So it will be fun to see if this big stock up trip will end up saving money...I can't imagine that I will still need $100 worth of milk, produce, and dairy for the remainder of the month. Perhaps I can get by on $275 with this new method. And I figure that if prices go up in the next month at the store, I will be a month ahead of the game. Good savings in gas and time too. So are you game? Want to try this with me? Would love your comments. :)

Blessings!

Donna

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