Friday, December 19, 2008

Fixing a Split Toilet Seat with Duct Tape

Well, our toilet seat split many months ago and we never got around to replacing it. Then, some little children (who shall remain nameless) would rip the vinyl every time they used the bathroom. Needless to say it was not very comfortable to sit on. LOL

So, what is a frugal mama to do?

Get out the Duct Tape(UNV20048G), of course!

Now my toilet looks oh so lovely, but at least nobody's bottom will be at peril whilst using the comode. I only wish I had fancy colored Duct Tape on hand! I could have created a designer bathroom.

Looking for more Frugal Friday inspiration? Head over to Biblical Womanhood.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Making Glow-in-the-Dark Star Ornaments

On Saturday we made glow-in-the-dark star ornaments made from Sculpey. It was the first time I have ever used Sculpey, but it won't be the last.
Sculpey is a polymer clay that is pretty easy to work with. Just like most clay you have to work a little before it become malable. It was very difficult for the 4 year olds, but much easier for my 11 year old.
The hardest part was rolling it out by hand. It took a lot of effort and I would like to get a Pasta Machine for use with Polymer Clay for next time. That will cut the time and make it much more enjoyable!
After rolling out the Sculpey we used a star cookie cutter
to make stars.
All our projects were done on manila file folders. Once we had them roled, shaped and ready for the oven we just cut the manila folder to fit in my Pampered Chef jelly roll pan.
Then we just followed the directions for baking. A few of the stars did get baked too long, but they still look cute and glow-in-the-dark.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Glass Etching on Pyrex

My friend and I had a craft day yesterday. It was a lot of fun, but my house did suffer for it!

One of the projects I did was etch some of my Pyrex and other glass dishes. It was very fun and easy. I tried doing it at an activity back in October but it didn't work. So I was determined to get it right.

I bought Armour Glass Etching Cream-22 Ounces and my friend bought me some Rub-on Designs for my birthday. I think the big bottle is going to last a long time. I got it to share with my firends. :)

The bottle and rub-ons say that they do not work on (all) Pyrex. Bummer! However, it did work on mine. I wiped it down with white vinegar first to take off any detergent residue. That is the key.
Next I chose and cut out the design I wanted. The easiest way to apply these rub-ons is to tape all around it before rubbing with the popcicle stick. If they shift at all the design can get messed up.
After the entire design transfers to the glass, remove the tape and paper. Then tape back around the design to protect the glass around it.
I used a sponge brush or cheap paint brush to brush the etching cream on. With the rub-ons it only take 60 seconds to work!!! I was a little skeptical, but they were right.

It was so fun to see the finished product that I went around my kitchen looking for more things to etch. LOL I still have several pieces to do, but I think I want some different designs. I think polka dots for my drinking glasses would be fun!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cardboard Play Kitchen

Eric made this adorable cardboard kitchen for Kelsey's 4th birthday! He used instructions I bought on here on Etsy.

I regret that we didn't make it three ply like the instructions called for. Other than that-it is cute, functional and cost less than $10 ($8 was the instructions).
I don't think we had to purchase anything from the store! I had all the stuff sitting around the house.

For more wonderful Frugal Friday inspiration head to Biblical Womanhood.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Menu Plan 12/8-12/14

Well, it is already well into the week, but here is my menu plan. LOL

Monday-Taco Night
Tuesday-Chicken Noodle Soup and crackers
Wednesday-Barley Vegetable Soup
Thursday-Baked Ziti
Friday-Church Christmas Party
Saturday-Lentil Soup

Weekly Grocery Trip-King Soopers $52

I had a goal of spending about $50 at the grocery store this week. I redid my list a couple times until I figured I was about right.
We didn't shop last week because I spent $85 right before Thanksgiving-going over November budget by almost $100. So, I am tricky and counted the $85 towards December. LOL

Anyway, we did great! We ended up at $52.08 after tax! We saved over 60%. Woohoo!

No picture, but here is what we got.

3 boxes ice cream treats
2 Lipsticks (for my stocking)
2 bags mini marshmellows
1 bag lettuce
2 Tyson entrees
4 boxes Townhouse crackers
1 bag tortillas
3 boxes Kleenex
1 bag dried cherries
2 lbs organic gala apples
1 bag russet potatoes
2 boxes Candy Canes
2 toothbrushes
1 loaf organic bread
3 dozen organic eggs (CLEARANCE $1.50 each!!!)
3 jugs vegetable oil

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sewing Cloth Diapers

I am not a very experienced sewer and I am able to sew really cute, functional diapers. I don't even own a sewing machine! I go use my moms. If I can do this, so can you.

There are tons of great patterns out there on the Internet. Some are free, others are for purchase.
Being my frugal self, I use the free patterns!

The first diapers I made were from Rita's Rump Pocket pattern. I love this pattern because it is for a one size diaper. A one size diaper should fit most babies from 8lbs to potty learning. I was also easily able to make this into a regular fitted rather than a pocket style fitted.

How much did each diaper cost me? About $1.50!

I used old cut-up chinese prefolds for the internal soaker (4 layers). I had old flannel sheets to use for the body of the diapers. I did buy cute flannel fabric at Jo-Ann's for the outside of the diapers (about $2 a yard). I bought Lastin at Kayla's Cloth Kits. I used thread my mom had on hand.

The hardest part for me was the Lastin in the leg openings. I did find a great tutorial online, but can't find it again. There are several out there so just check around.

The best part of making your own diapers is that you are in control over how thick or thin they are! You can adapt them to your child for the perfect fit and absorbancy.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I Love Making Jelly!!!

If you have never made jam or jelly you really need to try it. It is so fun and satisfying. I'm going to admit right up front that my favorite part is listening to the jar seal (ping).
We have made tons of jam and jelly this year! We have been blessed with a great deal on pectin-I ended up getting it free after coupon at King Soopers! Plus free grapes and peaches from friends.

We've made grape jelly, strawberry jam, peach jam, vanilla pear jelly and a couple batches of jelly from organic juice I bought. I have dozens of jars in my food stockpile! I even made homemade jellied cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving this year. It was great! I made a couple batches and so I have 3 jars of it left. We have a favorite recipe that uses cranberry sauce so it will get used up pretty quickly.

I'm especially happy because the pectin we got was low/no sugar. I used about 1 cup of sugar where traditional recipes call for 4 cups!!! My family cannot tell any difference. It is sweet and delicious. I will never go back to full sugar. The cranberry sauce didn't even need pectin!

How did I get the pectin for free??? It is Ball brand. They put coupons inside the box. I bought 2 boxes on clearance at King Soopers for $0.90 each. They had $0.50 coupons that double at my store. So we just went back several times until we got about 20 free boxes! Even regular price I only pay about $0.79 after the double coupon.

Friday, December 05, 2008

How is the Family Room Coming Along?

Well, we have been making sloooooooooow progress on the family room. We did the first mud & tape. Over the holiday weekend the whole family did the sanding. That was nice and messy, but fun!

Now we need to wipe down the walls and mud and sand and wipe down again.

Oh, Eric has put up the tile around the fireplace. It looks so nice!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Replacing Aluminum Windows with Vinyl Windows

I am so happy with our new vinyl window! We put it in all by ourselves and that saved a bundle. The windows in the house are the beautiful aluminum ones from the early 1970's. The best part is that the aluminum was painted with the wall paint.


I want to explain how to do this, but I am not the one who actually did the work. LOL
Taking out the window was pretty easy. We purchased a little tool for the siding, but ended up not needing it! Yay! That means we didn't even have to mess up the siding. We did get a Sawzall to cut the window out of the casing. We also removed the lovely faux marble sill and installed a wood sill.

The window came out lickety split with that Sawzall tool!

Now installing the window was a little more complicated but we were able to do it without any additional help (Eric and my brother did it). The window was made for new homes OR remodels. In order to use it for a remodel we had to cut off the outer edge of the window (white part). The people at Home Depot explained how to do this. Lift it into the casing and screw it in.

Then we sprayed expandable insulation foam into it. That is about it for the window. The finish work is done when the mud & tape is done. We plan to redo all the windows in the house ourselves!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Dave Ramsey Show

I have been a follower of Dave Ramsey for a couple years now. He is a great financial "guru" in my opinion.
Anyway, I just figured out how to listen to his show a little over a week ago. I really wish I had figured it out sooner! It is really motivating and helpful.
Every once in awhile a caller will have issues similar to us and I am able to take a few tips from Dave. Yay!

So now I am able to listen to the three hour show every morning while taking care of the little ones or doing housework.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas Spending

Well, we are having a low budget Christmas this year. I have spent $46 CASH so far on the 3 kids. I plan to spend about $20 more on a main gift for Jordan. Then I am done.
Usually we spend around $300 on everything. So I am "saving" over $200 this year. That is good since I don't have $200! LOL
We will be making handmade treats and trinkets for teachers and friends and parents.

The hardest part for me was missing Black Friday. Man, there were some great deals at Walmart. Pajamas for $4, jeans for $8! But, I know I would have spent over $200 on all the "great deals." So I am proud of myself. Discipline is HARD!

It actually is kinda nice to focus on the true meaning of the season-Our Savior.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I'm Back

Well, it has been over 2 months since I last posted. Why? Why, you ask?
Because I have computer issues. And time issues. Mostly, my computer needs more memory and the Internet likes to chut down every once in awhile. Very frustrating.
Oh, and I couldn't download my pictures for awhile. That was also annoying. What is a blog without pictures?!?
But, even with all my issues I am back. I have written lots of great posts in my head. Too bad I don't remember any of them!