I found a new Thrift Store

After delivering a wedding cake to a rural community I was headed  to a neighboring community with a Goodwill Store. Along my route I spied this sign.sign

To my delight they were having a storewide Half Price Sale. Fabulously Frugal supports the local Senior Center.

7-15-17 $2.10I came away with a big Rubbermaid tote and a spool of surger thread, $2.10. I’d prefer a clean tote (this one has lots of writing on it) but I couldn’t pass up the 50 cent price.7-15-17 GW $2.62

At the Goodwill I found a birdhouse for my back yard and 2 tapered quart mason jars. I like the tapered style jars because they are easier to fill and to clean than the standard ones with a neck. The bird house had a pink tag and pink tags were 1/2 price, and GW always sells mason jars for 20 cents each. Total at Goodwill, $2.62.

All in all it was a great day, a drive in the country, exploring two thrift stores and some very reasonable purchases.

Does anyone have advice for removing the felt pen marks from the tote?

Posted in Bird watching, canning, Nature Lover, Second Hand Shopping, thrift store shopping, thrifty haul | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Frugal Fix

It has been harder and harder to tighten the wing nut on my second hand pruning saw enough to keep the blade in position, for some time. Each time I try to remove a limb the screw wiggles loose and the blade folds backwards.colapsed blade

Time to replace it, but, none have turned up at the thrift stores.

I checked on-line to see what a replacement would cost me. They run from $10-$30.

A locally owned hardware store in my area has annual sales where everything in the store is a percentage off. Since I didn’t have a urgent need I put “pruning saw” on my wish list for the next time they have a sale.

I put up with the inconvenience of the blade collapsing backwards as I work because most of my pruning jobs are very small. That means I only need to be reposition the blade and tightened it once, maybe twice to get the job done.

Today I decided to remove some lower limbs on this fir tree to open up more planting space. tree to trimI got so exasperated with the saw that I was ready to jump in the car and go buy another one on the spot. Then my FRUGAL self took over and I realized a pair of pliers would tighten the wing nut better than my fingers, sure it might never be foldable again but I need a saw NOW the folding feature, though nice, isn’t important right now.tightening nut

I am still in the market for a replacement saw but until I can get one at a good price this one is working perfectly.limbs cut off

Readers, please tell us all about the FRUGAL FIXES you have made.


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7 Frugal Things

I recently went to the east coast on vacation. It was decidedly not frugal. However it would have been worse if not for these 7 frugal things.

I sought out travel guides at the thrift stores prior to leaving.thrifted guide to Boston

I used my deceased brothers “Sky Miles” and bus pass to cover transportation costs. (With the airlines approval)sky miles & Orca

I took a library book along to read.library book

I included a thrifting excursion in my vacation plans.salvation Army I spent a whole $1.12 on sewing supplies and a missionary biography that I’m really enjoying. SA purchace( I read most of it on the flight home and in the airport during a 3 hour layover.)

I have a gift card that was given to me as a gift (two years ago, Starbucks isn’t my favorite coffee) so I used it to buy breakfasts on the trip at no cost to me.Starbucks gift card

I picked up 2 pennies as I was sightseeing in Boston.found pennies

For souvenirs, I brought back a handful of sand* and a few acorns that I collected in the mountains of New Hampshire.sandy souvenier

*I was so taken by the white sand beaches in Florida when I visited there several years ago that I brought home some sand and seashells as a souvenir. That was the beginning of a sand collection with sand from all the places I’ve been.

Please leave a comment telling me how you cut expenses when traveling.



Posted in Five Frugal Things, Frugal Fun, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Decisions, Decisions

Dear Readers I need your help with my wardrobe.

I largely choose my clothes for practicality and function. I’ve never had a flair for fashion.

I just made a  cap sleeved dress from $1 thrifted white tee shirt fabric and a 19cent pattern. I found a $1 necklace to wear with it.

I’m thinking it can use a colorful cardigan to complete the look. I found a few candidates, but don’t know which to choose.

Option #1 long tall sallyis the most expensive at $6.99. The brand is Long Tall Sally and I will need to roll up the EXTRA long sleeves because thought I am 5-10 they hang over my hands.

Option #2Merona

is Merona Brand $5.99 (sorry for the blurry picture but you get the idea)

Option #3 old navy

is from Old Navy. $5.99

I had planned to get a sweater that matched the necklace but as I was leaving I spotted Option #4purple

All of the sweaters are in GREAT condition, but they do vary in quality.

So which do you like best? Tell me your choice and your reasoning.


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Mother’s Day Show & Tell

This gallery contains 8 photos.

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Thrift Haul

Helping Hands isn’t far from my home but its not along my regularly traveled route so I seldom shop there. Recently I had to pass it so I stopped in for a look around. I’m glad I did.Helping Hands I like the store for several reasons, it is one of the most organized thrift stores I’ve ever been in. Their prices range from reasonable to very good. The money they raise supports missionaries in Peru. Here’s what I brought home, all for $11.26.4-5-17 helping Hands $10

3 pair of jeans,4 button down shirts,1 pair khakis and 1 belt will be donated to Union Gospel Mission.UGM

the forth pair of jeans was badly wore from tattered jeans

and I turned them into a grocery tote bag. I filled it with groceries to give to my neighborhood food bank. This will mean they save money on bags.tote8451

The hoe will replace the one I received last summer from a freecycler (it has a broken handle).hoes handle

The two pieces of polar fleece will be used for more hats. fabricI have no use in mind for the fake suede but at 25 cents for 1 1/4 yard I couldn’t pass it up. I may or may not come up for a use for it.

Scattered, cluttered, unorganized all describe me and my surroundings. Hopefully these binders will help corral some of my paper clutter. 3 bindersLeave me a comment if you’ve found anything GOOD at the thrift stores lately.

Posted in refashion, Second Hand Shopping, Sewing, thrift store shopping, thrifty haul | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Holey Socks

One of my resolutions for 2017 is to complete the many unfinished projects in my sewing room.

For some time whenever I came across a sock with a hole in it I tossed in in a to-be-mended box. box of socksFrom the size of my collection, this has been going on for YEARS. There are probably as many socks in the box as in my drawer.


  1. A darning egg. I inherited one from my Aunt. A lightbulb works just as well.bulb & egg
  2. Sports weight year. I have darning yarn I picked up while thrifting, but since darning is a lost art I suspect it would be hard to find retail.darning yarn & scissors
  3. A darning needle
  4. Scissors
  5. A subscription to Netflix (or similar source of entertainment)

I recommend that you reinforce you socks when they become threadbare. blu7858It’s a lot easier than reweaving when actual holes have developed.IMG_7856

Slip the darning egg into the sock and use a large needle to weave in yarn. You don’t want to tie a knot in the yarn or it will be uncomfortable to wear. Just weave the tail of the yarn into your patch.over weaving

I’m happy to say that after three months of darning while I watched all four seasons of the Dick Van Dyke Show my to-be-mended box is empty. It was interesting to see that in several episodes Laura is shown darning while she and Rob talk.

What do you do when your socks wear out? repair or replace?



Posted in new year's resolutions, Sewing, thrifty fixes, Tutorial | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Book Report #6

I’ve been under the weather for several days so I’ve done more reading than usual.

I pulled a book from my own collection. One I purchased at a thrift store of course.

I love reading Christian biographies. My greatest heroes of the faith  are those who followed God’s call to go into all the world and preach the gospel.*

poking-holes-in-the-darknessPoking Holes in the Darkness is an autobiography about how Judy and Jim Parlier moved to Papua New Guinea to live among a stone aged tribe.

When they arrived in their village no one would say Judy’s name although they quickly learned to call her husband Jim. It was months before she learned that the word jud-ee had an undesirable meaning in the Managalasi language. Eventually a woman explained what her name meant and gave her a new name Jaki.

Little by little as they lived with the Managalasi people the light of the gospel poked holes in the spiritual darkness the people lived in. Before leaving her home in New Jersey, Judy was confronted by someone who said, “those people have their own religion, they’re happy as they are– why do you want to change them? The truth is that the people’s lives were ruled by fear. Everything in their culture revolved around appeasing spirits.

A break though came when Judy, who had been mocking their belief in ancestral spirits attaching them, found herself under satanic assault when she broke a taboo. She overcame the enemy in the name of Jesus. From then on  instead of trying to convince the people there were no spirits, they began to teach them that there is power to over come Satan in Jesus.

The Parliers spent twenty years living in the jungle. They made a Managalasi alphabet, taught the natives to read and translated the New Testament into Managalasi. When other villages wanted to learn to read and learn about God too, Jim equipped native teachers to evangelize their own people.


*these include; Hudson Taylor, David Wilkerson, Gladys Aylward, Elizabeth Elliott and Bruce Olson.

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Book Report #5

The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Dossthe-family-nobody-wanted

This biographical work tell the story of how Carl and Helen Doss ended up adopting 12 multi-racial children.

After the Dosses learned they could not have children of their own the adopted a baby boy Donny. A while later when they attempted to adopt a sibling for their son they learned that there were a host of couples waiting for each white child.

The Dosses were firm believers in one race “the human race” and were more than willing to take a minority child even when the adoption agencies of the day (1950s) were reluctant to place children of color in white families.

The family grew by as many as three children at a time but all the while Donny didn’t have “a boy my size”. Each  attempt to find a boy Donny’s age came up empty, but in the process a new baby or toddler was placed with the family.

There was opposition from all sides.

A social worker  asked “do you really think you can bring a dark-skinned child up to your social standing? Don’t you realize it is more likely that the same child will drag his parents down to the subjugated minority group?”

Carl’s own mother said she would “never allow a black girl to call me grandma!”

Carl seemed a bit reluctant with each addition but when he was offered a pastorate on the condition that they adopt no more children, he stood his ground and told the church board that the size of his family was no one’s business but theirs and God’s.

The children themselves were unaware of any racial differences. When they played Cowboys & Indians, a Native American  Cowboy chased after a blond brave.

The book is full of touching stories  as well as those of trial and tribulation in the Doss household.

The family came to the national spotlight when Life Magazine ran a story about the one family united nations.



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By Popular Demand

After posting about giving homemade preserves as gifts I had a request for my Peach-Raspberry Jam recipe.

2 cups seedless raspberry puree (from about 4 to 4 1/2 cups raspberries)

2 cups finely chopped peaches

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon Fruit Fresh or ascorbic acid

1 box (1.75 ounces) powdered fruit pectin

6 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon butter

  1. Combine the puree and chopped peaches in a large, deep kettle. Stir in the lemon juice, fruit fresh, and powdered pectin. Stir to blend and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Bring the fruit mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat. Let the mixture boil for 1 minute. Add the sugar all at once, then the butter. Stir to blend and bring back to a full rolling boil. Continue boiling for 1 minute.
  3. fill jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe the rims with a hot damp paper towel and fit jars with lids. Screw on bands just to fingertip tightness.   Place jars into the hot canning water and lower the rack. Add more hot water, if necessary, to bring water to at least 1 inch over the tops of the jars. cover the canner and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle but steady boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat, remove the cover and let jars stand in the water for 5 minutes. Remove the jars to cool. Do not tip or turn the jars.
  5. Enjoy!

Don’t be shy if there is something specific you’d like to see in my blog just let me know.

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