Dealing with a power outage the FRUGAL way

I was at work when a freak summer wind storm blew through the Pacific Northwest on Saturday August 29th.

I came home to a dark house. (from what neighbors say we lost power about 1 in the afternoon) well it wasn’t exactly a dark house because it was 6PM and still daylight. I was without electricity until 9:18 Sunday night (about 32 hours)

I love a good wind storm I wish I had been home to watch this one. But I was at the bakery where the lights flickered several times but that was the extent of it.

I heard on the news (battery operated radio) that Puget Sound Energy predicted power would be restored to the 73000 residences affected by September 2nd. I was prepared to be in this for the long haul. As I write this 34000 are still without power.

Sunday afternoon I had a wedding cake to deliver. IMG_0814My plan was to purchase some ice while I was out. I hadn’t opened my fridge or freezer so I expected that my food was still cold if not frozen but adding dry ice would be insurance.

Driving out my street I stopped to talk with a couple a few doors down from me. While Jan and I chatted Steve came up with his cell phone saying PSE says we are back on. So, I didn’t bother to buy any ice. However when I came home a couple of hours later, still no power.

The nice thing about our storms is that damage is often localized. A drive of 10-15 miles will get you to stores and restaurants that are open. I talked to a lot of people who went out to eat or buy supplies such as batteries. Restaurants had long lines of powerless customers wanting a hot meal.

Being FRUGAL going out to eat wasn’t my style. I ate cold cereal (without milk) for dinner Saturday. Sunday morning I made my coffee on a gas burner. making coffeeI snacked on CHEX mix during the day and had a sandwich for dinner.

I have a gas water heater, so I could take a hot shower, and offered one to a friend also.

I entertained myself by climbing over the many downed trees in my neighborhood park and watching the repair crews work on the downed lines.IMG_0816 I talked to a young man who was not more than 10 feet away when this tree came down. IMG_0822He came to the park on Sunday to get a selfie of the tree that almost took his life.

While I was walking, I had a nice conversation with a couple and learned that they live on my street.

I talked to a lineman who came up from Oregon to get us power.

I remembered to charge my cell phone in the car when I did my delivery.chargeing phone

My laptop batter held up until late Sunday evening, although I didn’t have an internet connection.

When the power came on Sunday evening I opened the freezer to check on the food. Some bread, fruit and cheese that were near the door were soft but still partially frozen( thawing and refreezing won’t hurt them)

I was worried about the trout and steak I’ve been saving for a special occasion. They were deep in the freezer and still ROCK HARD.

The only thing in the refrigerator that I’m concerned about is an open gallon of milk. I used it to make bread pudding.

32 hours without electricity.

ZERO dollars spent.

No Food lost.

Now that’s FRUGAL.

After the Chanukah Eve storm several years ago when I was without power for 10 days I had to throw away almost everything in the fridge ( I didn’t have a freezer at that time). Did that ever hurt, but it was better than risking food poisoning.

Posted in Frugality for Singles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sunday’s Cake Show & Tell

IMG_8537 IMG_0186ruffled IMG_8025 IMG_8147 IMG_8247 IMG_8319 IMG_8464

Posted in Cake Show & Tell | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tidy Profit

I’ve read about people who make a good living by reselling thrifted items.

Dave Ramsey often tell the story of a man who got out of debt by selling thrifted golf clubs on eBay.

Katy the Non-consumer Advocate is building up her son’s college fund selling garbage picked and thrifted things.

My success has been hit and miss but I’m successful often enough to keep it up.

You remember the cold pack canner I bought last weekend at the Wandering Creek Garage Sale. I sold it today for $10.haul

To make it a more appealing offer I added $1.20 of thrifted mason jars to the $3.00 canner my total output was $4.20, I  more than doubled that making $5.80 profit.

After my mother passed away I sold her canning kettle. It sold quickly so when I saw another one at a G Sale I put it on Craigslist too. It also sold with no problem.

This is the 12th kettle I’ve bought and sold.

When I had posted one kettle multiple times with no response I decided to sweeten the deal and make a canning kit. I found second hand funnel, jar lifter, book and jars and sold the kit in no time for $30. Funny the kettle alone wouldn’t sell for $10 but I had no problem selling the kit for $30.

I now have a “buy if you see it at” list.

Kettle under $5

Cold Pack Canning Kettle $3.00

Cold Pack Canning Kettle
$3.00

jars 20cents at Goodwill.6 Jars & Lids

lids $1 or less

jar lifter, or wide mouth funnel under $1

under $1.00

under $1.00

7 funnel 2

Canning book (Sunset and Better Homes and Garden both have ones that are easy to find)Under $2.00.

no more than $2.00 each

no more than $2.00 each

I won’t get rich this way but every frugal bit helps.

Do you resell thrifted items?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

I know and You Know…

that June is strawberry season.

Well apparently no one mentioned it to my plants. I’ve been harvesting a bowl full a week all through July and August. I mentioned this at work one day and a fellow employee said her’s are the same way this year.Strawberrys in August

I’m not complaining.straw & granola

How’s your garden doing?

Posted in Arts & crafts, container gardening, Gardening | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Chia Pets

If you watch any television at all you’ve heard the CH-Ch-cha Chia jingle. They are aired frequently throughout the holiday shopping season.

But did you know….Since being introduced in 1977 approximately 500,000 Chia Pets are sold annually. That’s 19,000,000 to date.

A good percentage of them turn up at second hand stores.

I am easily amused I guess but as I’m looking for things that I may need or want I almost always see some chia pet or another. I’ve taken to photographing them and have my own VIRTUAL collection of Chia pets.

We start with the older classic animals with green glaze on the heads.

Hippo $2.99

Hippo $2.99

Elephant $1.99

Elephant $1.99

Turtle $4.99

Turtle $4.99

Bear 99 Cents At least the original owner planted this one

Bear 99 Cents
At least the original owner planted this one

As anyone who watches Antiques Roadshow knows the original box increases the price.

Dog $1.00

Dog $1.00

Dog in box with BONUS Gift $4.29

Dog in box with BONUS Gift $4.29

IMG_2737

Cat $1.99

Cat $1.99

Cat in Box $3.99

Cat in Box $3.99

Frog $4.99

Frog $4.99

Rabbit $5.99

Rabbit $5.99

Dinosaur $3.99

Dinosaur $3.99

And as with any collectable there are always fakes on the market too.

Chia Cow $1.99

Chia Cow $1.99

Counterfeit Cow 75 cents

Counterfeit Cow 75 cents

Looks like a Jr. Hi Ceramics project to me, A+. Or is it a relic from an ancient South American temple?

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this part of my collection. To see the rest of my collection be watching for Chia posts in the future.

What do you find at the Second Hand Stores that tickles your fancy? Tell me about it in the comments, please.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Animal Cake Show & Tell

IMG_8933 IMG_8940 IMG_8985 IMG_8921 IMG_9353 IMG_9638

Posted in Cake Show & Tell | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wandering Creek Community Garage Sale

Wandering Creek is a gated 55+ community a short distance from my home.

Every year they hold a Community Garage Sale.wandering creek sale signOnce a year the gates remain open all day and any homeowner who wants to participate sets out their merchandise.open for business

The participating homeowners hang a Garage Sale Flag up to attract shoppers.yard sign

Personally I prefer thrift stores to garage sales for my second hand purchases, just because garage sales take a LOT of time and gas and they usually have a limited selection of items for sale. Wandering Creek’s Sale is different in that a couple of hours of wandering from house to house give a wide variety of goods to shop from and LOTS of free piles (not to mention an aerobic workout).

The sale runs from 9-3. Like with all garage sales its best to get there early. However I worked until noon. That gave me only 2 hours to make my rounds and hope some good stuff remained. I wasn’t disappointed.

The best strategy is to bring some kind of cart or wagon. I didn’t, but when my hands got too full I left my pile at one house and drove around to pick it up later.

Here’s my haul.haul

I spent $10.25

This skunk will be found on the OREGON TRAIL next year.

Skunk Toy $1.00

Skunk Toy $1.00

I dislike the low-cut style pants available today so I picked up this pattern to make myself a new pair of pants.

25 Cent pattern

25 Cent pattern

Hankies are not only environmentally friendly but much easier on the nose than paper tissues. I have a large collection so I only buy if they are 50 cents or less and in new or like new condition.

Hankies 25 cents each

Hankies 25 cents each

I’ve been thinking about making a “Let It Snow” display to decorate my entry next winter.  These silver snowflakes and sleigh will work nicely.

Sleigh and Snowflakes $2.00

Sleigh and Snowflakes $2.00

$3.00 table lamp

$3.00 table lamp

I need a reading lamp on my back porch. I was delighted to come across this one, just the right size.Lamp on table

50 Cents for both

50 Cents for both

The large urn has a significant crack in it so I’m using the smaller pot as a liner to keep the dirt from washing through. scrubbing potAfter a good scrubbing I potted up this rubeckia

Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia

that I picked up on clearance at Home Depot.

$3.50 each

$3.50 each

The salesman said “those plants need a lot of Tender, Loving Care” My reply was “right now I have more TLC than money”. The dahlia seems to be adjusting to its new home well

Dalhia

Dalhia

(it may look like it has powdery mildew but I think the spots on the leaves are residue from the compost tea I watered it with).

Cold Pack Canning Kettle $3.00

Cold Pack Canning Kettle
$3.00

Home canning seems to be “IN” right now so Ihope to make a little profit by reselling this on Craig’s List.

Craig's List ad

Craig’s List ad

As I approached one house the  homeowner was just putting out this sign:free sign

I picked out a bike helmet

FREE Helmet

FREE Helmet

and a suet cage.

FREE Suet Cage

FREE Suet Cage

A lone box sitting on someone’s lawn said FREE that’s where I picked up a mug rack.

FREE Mug Rack

FREE Mug Rack

It now holds my scissors and other stuff in my sewing room.mug rack in sewing room

My last purchase of the day was also from a free box.

FREE sewing notions

FREE sewing notions

an assortment of sewing notions. I may be a pack rat but I’m not a sequin or rhinestone  type girl so I only kept the things I may actually use. sewing stuff keptThe rest are in my donate box.

I’m going to share a secret with you… I am a really bad procrastinator. One thing I like about blogging  is that in order to share what I’m doing with you I actually have to DO it. Without the blog who knows how long it would have taken me to scrub and plant the pot, hang the mug rack, or post my ad on Craig’s List.

If you are not a procrastinator please share your secrets with me in the comments.

Posted in Gardening, Second Hand Shopping | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment