Received an interesting comment..........

budsterApril 21, 2008

I was told I was "so creative" when I mentioned using some of the food items from niece's fridge (which she was going to toss because "I don't know what to do with them" - eg. hard cheese, half onion etc.) to make up a simple quiche. This is a niece who thinks I'm the cheapest being alive -which I'm not in MHO. I told her it was part of the money saving process....being creative = saving money (if it is only not wasting food items or making up a quilt from old clothing). So how creative are you?? To some it is not being creative, it is second nature. Budster

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When you boil vegetables, save the water. it makes great soup base, and it's loaded with nutrients, vitamins. My Grandma taught me this. She would cool the cooking water and drink it! I guess it was the world's earliest V-8!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 7:06PM
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I don't know when your Grandma was doing her thing (and it sounds like good sense to me) ...

... but I think that we had one of the earliest V-8s around ...

... in a '34 Ford.

They'd made those Model A Ford 4-cylinder cars till a year or so before, and the V-8s were quite an innovative design, in their day!

We took ours to the Prairies when we moved ...

... and I drove it around on my first summer assignment as a student minister to a little church that only had church in the summer.

They were small churches that in no way could afford a full-time minister, even with three or four of them joining together, as many of the folks had left the drier part of the prairies when it was a dust bowl in the Dirty Thirties when the land was blowing all over, with all that they possessed on a wagon rack, and by 1949 and 1950 were just getting back on their feet.

ole joyful

P.S. I like to save potato and veggie water to make soup, as well. Sometimes it goes bad in the frig before I use it.

o j

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 8:59PM
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I will sometimes save boiled waters for watering the patio plants. They seem to like it way much better than plain old water.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 11:46PM
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I think my mother was a great one when it came to being creative with a bit of food. She could strip the meat off a leftover chicken leg and make a miracle meal out of it (LOL). She was from the "make do, do over, or do without" generation.

With a pound of hamburger I can make a mini-meatloaf with approximately half of it. Then I fry (in scrambled form) the remaining half and stick it in the refrigerator. My hubby will have a loose-meat sandwich with a portion of it and some bbq sauce while I'll have a meatloaf sandwich for lunch. For another meal, I take the remaining portion and add some dry taco spice mix (homemade or purchased) and a bit of Salsa and some black beans (probably already cooked and in the freezer) and we have the base for any number of Mexican-style things.

I always grate 2-3 cups hard cheese (usually longhorn or cheddar) on Monday and keep it in the refrigerator in a vacuum-sealed FoodSaver canister. It's amazing how many things it can be added to or used as a topping on. By Sunday, what's left gets put on the top of a homemade pizza. Although most people use cheese slices for a grilled cheese or ham and cheese, shredded hard cheese works just as well and has more flavor.

I once made a cute clown Halloween costume for my 3-yr old with the old kitchen curtains.

One of the guys working at the local hardware store asked hubby and I if we needed any help? Then he said we were always fun to serve because we were always looking for something for a job that WASN'T what it was intended for. It helped him to see that things could be used for more than one thing, and occasionally cheaper, than what it was designed to be used for.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 6:50AM
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from a 4lb chicken, we can a roast chicken dinner, and sandwiches later. With the rest of the meat picked off we make chicken and sweetcorn soup and with the carcass we make chicken stock. That's probably the best deal around at the moment

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 6:54PM
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Grainlady, your curtain-costume story prompts me:

I recently made a very pretty dress and white eyelet pinafore for my five-year-old granddaughter that she just loves. After she wore it a few times, she told her mother that "It reminds me of Grandma's shower curtain." Next time they visited and saw my new shower curtain, GD exclaimed, "Mommy, my dress used to be Grandma's old shower curtain!" I could hardly waste that beautiful white eyelet now, could I?


    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 4:04PM
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I made great corduroy jackets for my kids when they were small. I used a flannel sheet that had worn through the middle to make the linings. They had the big blue and white strips - still seen today. My kids loved them and there were very warm. Many people asked me where I got them...

I believe in trying to use what you have for a variety of things. For example, I had a silver tray that was rusty in the centre. I poliched it up, put a lace doily on it, and set it on my bathroom counter to hold things like hand cream, cologne bottles, a container of q-tips. etc. It actually looks very elegant. The q-tips are in a small jug that was used at one time for individual milk servings in a restaurant.

I use an upside-down nail brush to hold the soap - never waste the saop and the brush is always soaped and ready for the gardeners or kids.

A large plain glass vase is a great container for garlic bulbs (I grow my own so I usually have quite a quantity). Placed in the vase it makes an interesting decorative addition to my kitchen.

Rusty bedsteads make great trelliss' for clematis.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 10:01PM
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I save glass jars from jelly, dressings, etc and use them to dispose of leftover oil.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 1:12PM
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Reading this thread is giving me visions of Scarlet O'Hara...the Carol Burnett spoof with the drapery rod still attached to the back of the dress.

I reuse lots of things. Old clothes and buttons for craft projects. Those thin pieces of cardboard in curtains or notebooks are great for patterns. Ice cream buckets make good cleaning pails or barf buckets. Gaterade bottles or milk jugs with screw on caps are good for freezing water to make ice for the ice chests.

A lot of those throw away items such as veggie cans, eggs shells, bottle caps and microwave containers are good for kiddie craft projects.

I save all those plastic and metal coffee cans. I can't use all of them, but I've always been able find other people to take them off my hands.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 7:05PM
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Does anyone get books of coupons for local businesses in the mail? My Mom and I do. Go thru them, pick out what you can use (very few), then turn the rest over and use the backs as scratch paper. they make dandy shopping lists, menus, and lists of daily activities. My Mom is big on lists. Every day she makes herself a list, always including her shower and breakfast. Nice to be able to cross things off the list.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 8:58AM
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I grew up in a really small town and nobody was very wealthy. There was a batch of prom dresses that our mothers got together every year and traded around, so you would see the pink one you wore last year, with maybe some flowers added or the skirt cut higher. It was fun seeing the old dresses re-cycled every time. We also bought white high heel shoes and "dyed" them to match the dresses with food coloring mixed in with white shoe polish. As long as it didn't rain on prom night, your shoes matched your dress. Today the girls would probably die before doing anything like this.

Finally I learned to sew and was able to add to the floating collection by making a few dresses and re-making some of the old ones.

One of the most beautiful wedding gowns I have ever seen was made by patchworking the material from many samples of bridal satin. It took the church ladies all winter to stitch it together. It may sound weird, but it was gorgeous.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 8:00PM
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Learning to sew has to be the number 1 money saver! My fiancee loves sewing and I gotta tell ya the money we save giving her a hobby like this is HUGE. We are getting married in June and she is making her dress and two bridesmaid dresses. She went and bought really nice quality silk and the 3 dresses are costing $250 dollars and are only that expensive because she is going slightly crazy with her trane...(think YARDS not feet)

She made me a really cool pair of Cords for $12...and being that I am 6'5 and a petite 48" waist...well that is less then a 1/4 of retail, it is actually less then going to Goodwill...and doesn't smell funny!!

Have a daughter (not that we do) who loves American Apparel? There ooo so trendy "Slip top" t-shirts sell for $20-$35 each. With almost identical knit fabric, and literally indistiguishable my girl can whip out 15-16 of them for the same price. (A note...they take about 2minutes to cut, 2minutes to serge and the fabric is about $1.50 a yard)

If she ever dumps me I am learning to sew for sure!!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 9:06PM
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Yes, you can save quite a lot of money sewing IF ... you get really good at it. But if your sewing looks awful or the pattern is off (McCall's patterns are known for that) you have just wasted not only material, but time as well. Like any skill, you have to learn and practice, with some slipups along the way. I recommend learning on kids clothes and Hallowwen costumes. Also - buy cloth at outlet stores if possible. It can be as expensive as ready made clothing in some stores.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 3:19PM
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Being a sewer I can echo your statement on the money you save over the years by knowing even a little about how to sew. It is commendable you are aware of your lady's talents and efforts. Your encouragement and pride of her efforts goes a long way. I applaude you. Budster

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 5:28PM
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Honestly having learned a bit from my girl I think the biggest problem people have isn't lack of skill but lack of interest. Or I guess maybe impatience?

For instance buying a man's cotton dress shirt and adjusting the side seeming so it fits in a flattering way is just a matter of ripping the seem, pin, adjust, repin, adjust, sew.

As far as cloth, at least here, you can buy 50" wide dark denim for $4 a meter. A pair of pants for a smaller person is 1meter, a big guy like me is 2.

With patterns that are "off"...I know Burda is pretty good but some companys do assume that for a size 6 and a size 14 are built identically but just X% larger. So you measure yourself, cut it with 2-3" seem allowance and then adjust the garment to your body. It is a skill, but really making a pencil skirt or tailoring a shirt is within anyone's grasp. Coats, suits etc...that takes more work and skill...but these are also where the biggest savings start. Last for instance. My fiancee is in the proccess of making me a suit for our wedding. It has suit pants and a long 3/4 length band collar coat with no lapels. (Think Jodhpuri style) I am 6'5", 56" chest so the coat is 3-4 meters of fabric by itself. Combine this with a silk brocade vest...something comparable would be easy $600-$700. It cost us $ high twist wool gaberdine!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 5:28PM
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I know how good I have it. Though if I do say so myself I am a prize too!! How many men would let there partner experiment with red, cheetah print cord...or yellow and purple plaid? Not all my clothes are like that but she does like to play with fabric and I don't mind having red animal print dress pants for Christmas... :)

The other thing that may not save huge money but is really cool is gardening. Specfically herb gardens and stuff like lettuce. Way up here in Vancuover, with a north exposure, on the seventh floor, downtown, you can still grow a few dozen lettuce and spinach plants...almost year round and herbs do great in the summer. It saves SOME money and saves a LOT if you want organic, fresh salad.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 6:26PM
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Jannie - I had to laugh. I'm a list maker. Never thought about adding shower and breakfast. Thanks for the tip. :)

As for sewing...I begged and pleaded for a sewing machine for Christmas a few years ago. I've probably only used it 5 times. It's the patience - or lack of. Which is probably because I'm not very good. Which would be resolved by practice. But I get too frustrated and become impatient. It's a vicious cycle. Plus, I don't have kids or a need for Halloween costumes to practice on. :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 6:46AM
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And then there is all the money saved by doing home-dec sewing,,,curtains, drapes, bedding, bath items...etc.!
I save any clean pastel lightweight cardboard that passes my sticky fingers, for card sized lists that I keep stored in my car. I always think about something that needs doing while I am driving to and from work. I jot it down at the next stop, and always have my errands listed when I leave work!
I save any kind of packaging materials that come along to reuse in care packages to grandkids.
I keep a tall slim container in the freezer. When we have veggies and have left overs, or juice that I have drained off...into the container it goes and I make soup with a bit of beef at least once a month. Left over rolls/biscuits are sliced, separated with a dab of waxed paper and go in the freezer as well for grab and go "pocket sandwiches". By the time lunch rolls around, the bread is thawed and ready to eat!
Worn out nylons become ties for boxes that go in the storage building, grocery store sacks are garbage bags without the extra cost. And thanks to O' Joyful, pull tabs become picture hangers...just tack them to the back of any wallhanging and they work perfectly!
I'd better quit before you die of boredom!!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 1:09PM
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