Monday, August 31, 2009

A hunting we will go...

I am joining with Rhoda at Southern Hospitality and the others to show off our yard sale finds this week.

Saturday morning peaked it's rosy pink, peachy orange and tangerine sunrise for me to admire, it also was hotter than you-know-where! I was out of the house by 6:00 am (it just gets hotter here people as the sun rises y'know) and off to seek out a few yard sales on my way to pick up my co-op basket. There were yard sales EVERYWHERE this weekend.

First yard sale I purchased a few items that will be headed to my family as Christmas gifts. (Yes, I do give preowned gifts to my family, Girl on a budget...more to come about that) Let me say that I walked away with brand new things for less than 2% of the regular prices.

This included a designer dress, purse and shoes. 2 books by a well know Arizona authoress.... some Pampered Chef cookware for collector of their stoneware and a silver teapot for a tea lover such as myself. Why pay retail when others have and then cast it away without using it? I love the frugal hunt!


Next up I spied this old drawer with tiny compartments. Reminiscent of a lithographer, typographers cabinet drawer. It was $2.00, perfect for Fly Guy to display his collection of hand tied flies! (say that three times fast!) Metal pull on the drawer has HAMILTON MANUFACTURING CORP.

Next up is Chanticleer, a copper rooster. A bit tarnished and bedraggled, needs a nice place to rest. Not sure if I am going to keep him tarnished, clean him up, paint him or use an oxidizing agent on him. Any suggestions? Cute red and white checked pillow. I have been inspired to mix patterns and florals, animal prints and stripes by so many other blogs that I had to snatch this cutie up for .25.I hit the jackpot on cd's today. I love music! I have an eclectic taste that varies from Abba to ZZ Top. I use to pay retail for cd's when they caught my fancy, now I am reformed. With cd's costing on average $12.00 to $16.00 I keep a look out at yard sales to add to my collection.
Today, I got these....
and these....
Sixteen cd's (plus a bonus Halloween sounds cd thrown in) all for $5.00. I know! I could hardly believe it myself! Ella Fitzgerald and Jazz cd have three cd's each! Most of these are compilation cd's with various artist on them which is fine by me. I can download the songs I love on my i pod off a a cd that cost little or next to nothing and save the .99 download fee that i tunes charges.

Keeping it real here with cheap tunes for a happy frugal missus.

With Halloween lurking around the corner I scored a few items to help decorate. This darling little spider dish and a plastic cauldron, both were .25 ! I had a hard time photographing it, kept coming out like a black ball.


Ta-Ta For Now....

Audra

Friday, August 28, 2009

Foodie Friday

I haven't touched base on food or recipes yet, but I promise to starting now. I am always on the look out for great recipes to try out on my family that don't break the bank. We rarely (about three times a year) eat out, I prefer my own cooking to most of the restaurants, I rather not spend money on something I can make as well if not better at home and you can't beat the service at my house, the hostess is usually very entertaining!

The Reluctant Teenager wanted fried chicken. He has been begging me to make some for a couple of months (I know, bad mother, bad, bad mother)to fry not bake chicken. It's 117 degrees in the valley of the sun I DO NOT turn on the oven for any reason (very frugal), my air conditioner is 12 years old and should not have to work harder than it already does.

Not being able to duplicate my late mother's fried chicken recipe (that and her brown gravy!) I have tried several recipes to so so satisfaction. Until I stumbled upon Tessa Kiros' Fried Chicken in her book Falling Cloud berries. (a bit pricey I know but oh so worth it. Sign up for Borders Rewards and wait for the 40% off coupon like I did) A cook book and memoire, facinating stories and breath taking pictures make this one of my all time favorite cook books.

Tessa's spin on fried chicken reminds me of my mothers and it...is...delicious! I made this last night for hubby and son, it was hit!

FRIED CHICKEN from Tessa Kiros' Falling Cloud berries
House Beautiful August 2009

FRIED CHICKEN

Serves 4

This is a great chicken recipe that makes two dishes at one time: fried chicken and a chicken soup. Use the broth to cook some pasta or rice and make a soupy meal. You can also add an extra egg to the leftover marinade and make a quick omelette for after your soup.

1 (2 1/4-pound) whole chicken with skin, cut into 8 pieces
3 fresh sage leaves
1 carrot, cut into 2 or 3 chunks
1 celery stalk, cut into 3 or 4 chunks
2 garlic cloves
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Light olive oil or vegetable oil, for shallow-frying

1. Rinse the chicken and put in a large saucepan with the sage, carrot, celery, and one garlic clove. Cover with 4 cups of cold water and season with salt. Bring to a boil, uncovered, then decrease the heat slightly to medium. Simmer for another 15 minutes, then remove from the heat. The chicken will be just boiled, not overcooked.

2. Transfer the chicken with a slotted spoon to a plate and pat dry with paper towels. (At this stage you're left with the basis of a very good chicken broth in the saucepan. Add another cupful of water and simmer the soup for another 45 minutes. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.)

3. Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. Finely chop the remaining garlic and add to the egg with the paprika and a little salt. Put the chicken pieces in the egg, turning to coat them well, then let marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Put the flour on a flat plate. Heat enough oil for shallow-frying in a skillet or wide saucepan. Lift the chicken out of the marinade, shaking off any excess egg, then pat in the flour, pressing down gently with your palm so that the flour sticks. Fry the chicken in the hot oil until it is deeply golden and crispy on both sides. Serve with lemon wedges if you like.


I used three chicken breasts, added two stalks of celery and onion and 4 dried sage leaves (that's what I had on hand) I also added season salt to the flour mixture, about 1 tsp. I have to tell you the smell of this frying was AMAZING!

Why this was so frugal? I purchased the chicken breasts for .77 a pound and three breasts were 2.50 pounds. $2.33 for chicken. I used two eggs, about .20 cents for two, had all the other ingredients on hand. I also scrambled the remaining egg concoction and fed it to Archer and Gibby (cats) as they LOVE scrambled eggs!

Bonus, awesome chicken stock full of veggies that I made into a potato soup for my sister Sassy for a birthday treat. (She hasn't had potato soup since our mother passed).

I highly recommend this method of cooking fried chicken, I know I will be using it from now on. Tessa has written five cookbooks, I am on a mission to locate a copy of each without breaking the piggy bank.


Ta Ta For Now!

Audra

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I am such a basket case...

I had to use a clever come on to get you reeled in, n'est ce pas? I have two wonderful items I picked up not at a yard sale or thrift store...but at the loading dock of the corporate office where I work. I had seen these baskets for a couple of days and finally got the nerve up to ask if they were tossing them. The dock supervisor told me that they were selling them, for three dollars each. SOLD to the lady in the black!

These babies are HUGE 30 inches by 20 inches! I am sure they will be perfect for anything, storage for linen, towels, cats...(mine kitties jumped in and took naps as soon as I brought them in). I am 99 percent sure I am going to paint them, but I haven't decided what color. Any thoughts?
I put a Kleenex box in the middle to give you a point of reference, the size of these babies!

I also decided to show case a few more of my finds from the Breast Cancer Yard Sale I attended on Saturday. I spied these vintage Pyrex Amish butter print turquoise nesting mixing bowls.

Aren't they darling? Not a blemish on them, just perfect as can be! $4.00! Yes, I felt a bit faint when she quoted me that price, I even refrained from squealing. I don't know if I will keep them as they don't GO with my kitchen decor, I may sell them on ebay or etsy. They remind me of the ones my Aunt and Grandmother had. Feeling the nostalgia of all those jello salads served up in those dishes.

I walked past this box a couple of times before finally looking inside. Just what I have been looking for!

A cake stand and cake cover, brand new in the box! I have plenty of cake stands but not a cover.

I was estatic to see that this is a two-in-one cake stand/punch bowl.
I love this duel duty! I am unsure if I will serve punch in it, but for the time being it can do double as a trifle dish. I have really wanted a trifle dish for a couple of years, came close to getting one but missed out on a beauty at Goodwill a few weeks back.

It's show and tell time with Holly at Homebody and Leigh at Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday. Head on over, enjoy, be inspired and go forth and thrift.

Ta Ta For Now!


Audra



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why I "HEART" Target

I am a Target junkie. I am addicted, I love everything about the store. It use to be different, I wasn't always having a love affair with Target not until my sister, Sassy Frugal kept showing me the excellent finds she was scoring on the clearance racks. Sassy worked in a medical office a stones throw from this Target and one day invited me to scour the racks with her. (btw...she has triplets and had to find nice coordinating outfits for pictures) I worked a few miles up the road and spent 40 glorious minutes seeing a new side of retail clearance.

It didn't take much for me to become hooked on Target. I began to visit weekly then twice a week or more if I needed my fix. I told you....Target JUNKIE.

Fast forward 12 years later, I still have it bad for Target and with one less than a mile from my office and two within five miles of le maison and two on the way to Sassy and Sensibly's houses, it's hard for me to not stop in and get my fill for the week.

That was my problem, I could go there and find all kinds of stuff to buy, even things I didn't need but wanted or liked because they were 75% off. I have had to put myself on restriction and only go to Target when I NEED incidentals. I had withdrawals, I will not lie, I would drive past my love and feel the draw of the cool interior and the thrill of the orange clearance stickers. I craved Target, but I had to come to the realization that I can't get out of there under $50.00, ever. My child support and second income from part time job have dried up, so I don't have that as discretionary income to burn.

Today the reluctant teenager wanted to spend some birthday money on a game for his beloved PlayStation 3. As luck would have it, I needed three things and only three things. However, while we waited for an Electronic Department assistant, I perused the aisles just to reacquaint myself. Keeping my hands on the cart at all times. It's called Control, ladies, and I didn't have much practice at this, however I did manage to hang in there today.

The end caps were a disappointment, so I headed for the aisles. That where I saw the orangey goodness of the mark down stickers on Classico and Bertolli spaghetti sauce. How fortuitous it was as I was just lamenting that I didn't have a jar of back up, emergency sauce on hand for those nights when I forgot to pull something out or I just don't want to cook. Here they were waiting for me like dear friends. No, they were not out of code either.
Here it is. 7 jars of sauce for....wait for it, wait for it....
$7.00! I am serious! these sauces are $3.39 at my grocery store this week.

This is why I *heart* Target. They know me, they love me and they want me to make good spaghetti and baked ziti for my family.

FRUGAL SCORE!

Ta Ta For Now

Audra

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dress Me Up!

Unfortunately, due to a bad chicken sandwich ingested on Friday afternoon, I was not in the yard saling, thrift store mood. However I did need to refill my water bottles (yes, I am that lady that takes twenty minutes to get .25 worth of water for twenty gallon jugs) and I had no choice but to go out. Was not feeling all the neon signs or the misspelled "garge sayle" (no I am SERIOUS, wish I had my camera!) but I did veer off when I saw the Breast Cancer Yard Sale.

These lovely ladies were having a sale for a dear friend and sister that has been stricken with breast cancer. They wanted to give her and her husband a second honeymoon and were throwing the yard sale of yard sales to make the money. (I know, my heart just melted right out of my chest!)

One of the things I do to be frugal is rarely, hardly ever buy retail unless it is on EXTREAME Markdown. 75% or more. Otherwise all my pretties come from yard sales, thrift stores and consignment stores. Today I hit the jackpot with some lovely tops for moi!
This is from Old Navy, it screams "cool and comfortable" which is a mega plus here in Arizona! It had a nasty yellow stain, so I got it for $1.00. My stain treatment of dish detergent on the stain for three hours and then a wash...Voila! Perfection!

This cutie pie was also a dollar! Another perfect summer shirt for when the temps refuse to drop below 100 degrees. Love the orange in this...


I had to have this, I almost forgot my manners as I did a massive reach across to grab this! I blame my lack of decorum on my gurgly tummy, I was not myself but I had to have this shirt because I love, love this color. This one still had the tags and was $3.00 but I was happy to pay that!


Spied this cutie as well, a little different than my usual tastes but for .50 I was willing to take the gamble, if I can't use it (translation: I don't like the way it looks on me) I can give it to my little sister Sensibly Frugal.

I also purchased a beautiful orange t-shirt but it kept coming out salmon instead of dark orange. I don't know why, but I gave up the fight and will tell you that it is also Old Navy and was $1.oo.

If I was to purchase these pretties at (gasp!) Retail, they would have cost me over $100.00. Instead for $6.50 and a little laundry soap (home made) I have six new-to-me shirts to keep me looking fabulously frugal in the Arizona heat.

I picked up this beautiful cake plate/platter. It was a sight, dusty, dirty and needing much TLC. I picked it up, because it had the basket of fruit and black scrolley print (goes with my kitchen perfectly).
On the back it says K&A Krautheim Selb, Bavaria. When I asked the price, one of the ladies said... $2.00! I don't know why after all of these years, being a seasoned yard sale fanatic that I get surprised at my finds and how little I am able to pay for them, but.... I still do!

Rush over to Rhoda at Southern Hospitality to see what she and the other ladies found this weekend.

Much love....Mmmmwwwaaahhh!

Audra


Happy Birthday... Reluctant Teenager!

Today is my "little man's" fifteenth birthday. I am amazed at how he has come up in this world, entering it 15 years ago, fighting for his life, nearly dying and having such a rough road for the first four years of his childhood.

Today I look at a young man, brimming with possibilities and starting his freshman year of high school, making new friends and creating life long memories. He is my heart, my sunshine, his calm demeanor has always been a comfort. He is a testament to his birth name being "calm and restful", he has an easy going, laid back personality and a quick, quirky smile. He has strong sense of right and wrong and is quick to side with the underdog in any situation. He loves music, all types of music and it constantly having me listen to some remix of a song from my teen years that has been brought back to life.

He loves movies, the two of us can watch movies all day long and have wonderful conversations about the plot, story, actors and what if's... He is an actor at heart, using different personalities and voices to make others laugh whether with him or at him, just as long as they laugh. He loves, LOVES , L-O-V-E-S Chris Farley, adores Jack Black and the Might Boosh. He emulates them at any given moment, usually when the tension in the air needs to be cut with a machete, there is the reluctant teenager spouting off some Might Boosh rap or quipping some random line from Beverly Hills Ninja.

He is finding his nitch in life, different from his sister, but any many ways similar. He will not make excuses, he is honest to a fault and has a heart bigger than any I have ever seen. I love this boy and feel blessed that he was brought into my life so I could watch over him as he navigates his way to adulthood. I do not know what life brings for my little man, but I know that he will touch everyone he meets in some way or another, if with only kindness or a laugh. And that makes me one happy frugal mommy!


Audra

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thrift Store Goodies

I love thrift stores. I get out of the car; hoping and praying that I will find that "one thing" that will just be the thing that pulls my mix of hodge-podge together in a collectively designed way.
An eye catching piece of something that is just what I didn't know I needed, but once I see it, I will know... Yes, it will be love at first sight. The kind of love that makes you swoon, your heart race, your palms get clammy and the blood rushes to your head.

Yes, that's the exactly what I felt when I laid eyes on this lovely piece.
Propped up against a wall at the church thrift store, it was half hidden by a rack of clothes and UGLY brass fireplace tool set. I spied it, cast there by a volunteer who did not realize the full potential of this piece. I rushed over to it, praying all the way that it was in my price range that I could afford it, that I wouldn't have to get creative this week to try to own this baby. I did not want to have to put this back down. I broke my cardinal rule.. "Don't get attached until you know you can afford it"...

In my haste I almost nose planted myself into the AstroTurf like carpeting (who uses this stuff??? Really???) . One thing you should know about me. I am a Klutz. That's right, I am not graceful, coordinated or should I RUN... NEVER, EVER, NO RUNNING. Not if I want to stay vertical.

Rambling aside...I rushed over,dodging a group of ladies (I know, I should have waited for them to pass, but what if "THEY" got to it before me?) and snatched it up, turned it over and held my breath. The tag read.....$3.00. I got a little faint, I am positive I squealed for joy, because those ladies looked at me like I was INSANE!

I can live with that, truly I can deal with people thinking I woke up and had a tall glass of crazy for breakfast...I Especially when the object of my desire looks this good on my wall (which still needs to be repainted, but not until October when it's cooler!)On Sunday, while I was dropping off some of College Diva's unwanted stuff at the Flagstaff Goodwill I spied this jewel propped up against the wall with a jumbo white board and camoflagued cloth memo board. Marked $3.99 I was happy to bring it 160 miles back to my home.
Be sure to check out Thrift Store Thursday with Holly at Homebody and Thrifty Thursday with Leigh over at Tales from Bloggeritaville.

Come back soon to see my frugal decorating fixes and frugal shopping excursion!

Ta Ta For Now!

Audra

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fabulous Finds

Saturday morning was a scorcher, 86 degrees at 7:00 am, but I didn't let that side line me as I headed to a few yard sales after picking up my co-op basket. Visted a few lack-luster sales, then stumbled up a sale where the mother was letting the kids price and sell the items.to pay for a back to school party. Picked up a few great items for the College Diva's dorm room.

This year she is in a Greek dorm with her girls from her sorority. Two girls to a room with only one shared closet, four girls being "suite-mates" and sharing one bathroom. (I can not even fathom! Quel horror!)

This year we changed the colors of Diva's room after finding bedding on 90 % mark down this spring. (Thank you Target!) Her bed set is green and white and she is going to intermix "Alpha Delta Pi" blue for a little "Pop".

Spied these frames, that were in a baby boys room. Perfect colors, just removed the picture (that was actually heavy wrapping paper..super idea!) $2.00 for both. Just what the Diva needed. Score!







The shelf was also in the baby boy room and it coordinates perfectly with Diva's bed set. $2.00. Double Score!

I also purchased the metal "antique" tile for $2.00 and the wrought iron brackets also for $2.00 for the pair. Both still had the Hobby Lobby price stickers attached. $4.00 for $23.00 worth of Hobby Lobby goodness. Now that is FRUGAL SCORE!
Headed off to another sale where I found a few things to add to the projects pile, although I am pretty sure I will be getting around to the sooner than later, as they just need a touch of fabulousness from my best-friend-forever...Spray paint. I am going to give them both the twice over with black spray paint to give them a new life in my kitchen.

Don't you love this little chippy stool? I think I squealed with joy when I saw the $1.50 price tag! I almost don't want to paint it, but I think I will and maybe distress it later on.


I had to have this wooden shelf, the scrolls, the knobs, the flat surface begging to be decorated. I almost didn't get this girls, the price was a little on the pricey side, but I had to ask if they would take less than $10.00 for it. A compromise was reached at $6.00.
I will post the make over pic's later this week!

I encourage you to head over to
Southern Hospitality to see what lovelies Rhoda and the ladies found this weekend! It will inspire you in your own yard sale, thrifting endeavors!

Headed off to move the Diva into her splendid new digs... ttfn.

Audra

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hot today...Chilie Tamale....

Had a wonderful time yesterday, getting co-op basket that will keep me busy for a few days... My sisters and I split 24 pounds of Poblano chilies three ways costing us each $4.00. FRUGAL SCORE. Next few days I will be "roasting" chilies on the grill, sealing in plastic bags to trap moisture which aids in the removal of tough outer skin. This will leave me with lovely roasted chilies to freeze and use in my cooking for the rest of the year. Best part? I will not have to pay .50 for a four ounce can. I have six pounds for $4.00 roughly .67 cents a pound or 4 cans of .50 chilies (when they are on sale) costing $2.00!

This may not be the answer for everyone, however; for my sister and I who L-O-V-E Mexican and Spanish dishes this RAWKS...

Moving my daughter *College Diva* out of her summer rental. She is staying in Flagstaff, her bedroom is coming home. She moves back into the dorm on Tuesday to start her Junior year.
Wishing all of you lovelies a wonderful rest of the weekend. I am off to lug around furniture. At least it is 25 degrees cooler than Phoenix!
Will post my pretties I found at yard sale and Goodwill soon.


Ta-Ta for now....


Audra

Friday, August 14, 2009

TGIF!


Hello lovelies! It has been a week and that is all I will say about that matter. Just glad Friday is here and I can take a breather... uh, wait, what the heck am I thinking? I don't have time to breathe I have to do, get done, and get on with it.

Agenda: Finish a couple of smallish projects that I started and then the shiny ball syndrome took my attention else where. (happens way too many times I am sorry to say)

Co-op Basket: Yea! My heart and fridge do overfloweth. Picks to follow.

Yard Sales: Let the Yard Sales be plentiful and abundant!

Goodwill Hunting with my sisters in crime. Lord help those people that get in our way as we may not be able to contain our joy at the bounty you have set before us.

Get things ready to move College Diva's stuff from summer rental back to the house. Get her ready to move into the dorm on Tuesday. I really feel like we have moved a dozen times in the last two years!

Rest...only when sleep deprivation takes over and I fall in a crumpled, rumpled heap.

Ta Ta For Now My Lovelies. May your weekend be joyous and filled with love.

PS: I don't know who's busy lady picture this is, but if I find out I will be sure to give full credit for using such an adequate representation of my life. I think I love you, mystery person.

Audra

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Reluctant Teenager

I call my son the reluctant teenager because at this age, nearly 15 he has to weight the options of being seen with me in public or going anywhere with me that might last longer than 15 minute. The only exception is when I yard sale. He goes along, sits in the car, listening to music or playing a game on his phone until I tell him there is something WONDERFUL he should look at.

Seriously, my son is my song, he is such a joy, even if he told me at 7 years old that "when he turned 8 he couldn't hold my hand any more, because big boys just don't do that." My heart broke on that day (just a little), today my heart swells with pride as he donned his MCJROTC greens for the first time. He had the option of JROTC or Wellness (fancy-schmancy name for nasty old P.E.) he chose JROTC. My stepson also was in the Navel JROTC at his school. Just love them boys (young men) in uniform!


I am just too proud! Really bursting at the seams. btw...I had R.T.'s permission to post these picks. Even if he doesn't have his hair cut or emblems/badges.

Audra

Monday, August 10, 2009

Getting to know me!

Ok, I have to admit that I usually read then delete these when they are sent to me at work. I wonder what could I possibly share that anyone would want to know. Starting today I am tasting life so here goes.

Please feel free to join in on your blog!
Here’s how it works: USE ONLY ONE WORD!
It’s not as easy as you might think. Copy and change the answers to suit you and pass it on. It’s really hard to use only one-word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone?Dunno?
2. Your hair? Sexy
3. Your mother? crafty
4. Your father? ghost
5. Your favorite food? Mexican
6. Your dream last night? aliens
7. Your favorite drink? Tea
8. Your dream/goal? Love
9. What room are you in? office
10. Your hobby? Design
11. Your fear? death
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Employed
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? quiet
15. Muffins? chocolate
16. Wish list item? floors
17. Where did you grow up? Cottonwood
18. Last thing you did? laundry
19. What are you wearing? black
20. Your TV? off
21. Your pets? fighting
22. Friends? Some
23. Your life? blessed
24. Your mood? Satisfied
25. Missing someone? Mabs
26. Vehicle? dirty
27. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
28. Your favorite store? Thrift
29. Your favorite color? Green
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? dunno
32. Your best friend? Husband
33. One place that I go to over and over? Flagstaff
34. One person who emails me regularly? Jeannie
35. Favorite place to eat? Kabuki

Going to fix dinner. Frugal style. Freezer raid (where I pull out something I've precooked and frozen) fresh veggies and scintillating conversation with Fly Guy and Random Teenager.
Toodles.

Audra

Sunday, August 9, 2009

National Garage Sale Day 8/8/09

Thank you to the Queen of Fifty Cents for reminding me that Saturday was National Garage Sale Day.

Yesterday was a rare mornings where the sun was shinning, a cool breeze flirted in the air and it felt like an early fall morning. Sensibly Frugal and I remarked if you closed your eyes one could believe it was an October morning or that we were in San Diego enjoying the sea breeze. Alas, neither was true, it is August in Arizona where it gets so hot the devil won't come to visit.
Joking aside, after picking up my co-op basket I headed out to yard sale....

DISAPPOINTMENT! Signs going nowhere, people with "gold plated heirloom" prices on junk and many more that I didn't bother getting out of the car for. I saw a sign.. "YARD SALE EXTRAVAGANZA", headed off to find this yard sale mecca. No EXTRAVAGANZA, full of overpriced stuff, strewn all over tables, driveway and in boxes. 8:00 in the morning the sellers were still trying to round up friends to bring stuff over to sell. In our area, prime time to shop yard sales is 6:00 am to 10:00 am. After that the sun is likely to give you heat stroke.

As I headed for home I stumbled upon a sale in a high-end neighborhood (love it when this area has yard sales!). Six girlfriends getting together to sell... now this was more like an EXTRAVAGANZA! Wish I had my camera with me, in a garage, fans blowing, wonderfully put together, all items priced and prices in the fair to moderate price ranges. Here are my finds.
In a basket marked Glasses $5.00 six of these lovely black stemless glasses. Marked $1.99 each on bottom. Perfect for my black/red dish set, maybe I will do a Table scape Thursday!
And these lovelies! Marked Marshall's $3.99 each. $36.00 worth of glassware for $5.00 and an amazing basket as well! I did the happy dance in my head ladies!

And this....Toile teapot. I am in love! I know a few other ladies who would like this as well. $2.00! Angie and Manuela both have done amazing things with toile.
These darling little chicks. I don't have much in the way of spring/Easter decor, I picked up these little guys for a dollar, a nice start, don't you think?

I also purchased under the bed storage for the Frugal College Diva who will be moving back into the dorm in a couple of weeks. No picture, but two stack able drawers for $3.00 instead of the $20.00 we priced them at. FRUGAL SCORE!

Head over and visit Rhoda@Southern Hospitality to see what others have found....

Best Wishes.

Audra

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bountiful Basket


Saturday, (sigh) simply my favorite day of the week. Once again, I haul myself out of bed, make a cup of tea, drag the reluctant teenager out of bed and head out the door. No one should be this excited over fruit and veggies, but I am. Not out of my garden, one day perhaps, until then, off to the co-op.

Today I had the pleasure of both of my sisters joining me for our pick up! It really doesn't get much better than that! I recall spending hours at the malls with my sisters paying retail for outfits to this...standing in line for our co-op baskets. How our priorities have changed. Sensibly Frugal and Sassy Frugal have larger families and have benefited from the savings each week. Now I can add spending time with my sisters at the co-op as another reason I love, love, LOVE Saturdays.

Sister Sassy said her husband was buying a banana at the mini-mart on his way to work every day for .30 each. Today, we received 1o banana's for less than 1.00 for the bunch! How great is that? He was thrilled to find yellow bell peppers, his absolute favorite, in the basket as well. Last night he was at the grocery store and couldn't justify spending $1.50 for one yellow pepper. Today we received 3 for half the cost of one! As I say...FRUGAL SCORE.
Ta-Ta for now!

Audra



Friday, August 7, 2009

Golden Treasures

I have been out of commission the past four days, dragging myself to work and home to bed. Repeat the cycle. Yesterday, I had to drop off a package, (couldn't put it off any longer) to Fed Ex for the Frugal College Diva when I spied a sign "Church Thift Store open on THURSDAY until 1:00 pm". I almost didn't go in, feeling that crummy, however my sixth sense prevailed.

Power-shopping-while-sick-and-on-lunch-break-from-work, not recommended but glad I persevered. Did I mention that I can smell a bargain even with stuffy head?

Found two lovely lead crystal vases, in perfect condition. Tag says *DePlomb,* USA $1.50 each

Six Gold Chargers $1.00

Two small gold picture frames .50 each (each marked $9.99 from Target)

Two large silver/gold picture frames .50 each (back loose on both, used my .50 Aileen's Tacky Glue to fix)
Then le pièce de résistance:

Hello gorgeous, where have you been all of my life?
Voila!
Hiding in the corner, just waiting to come home with me for....(wait for it, wait for it...)
$3.00! That's right, 3 George Washingtons! 12 quarters, 30 dimes, well you get the idea. I almost hyperventilated,swooned and had a case of the vapors!

I am in love. That's right, school-girl-giddy-head-over-heels-in-love!
Not wood, not resin,it has "Made in Italy" stamped on the back. Imay attempt tone down the gold just a bit with some paint.... Any ideas?

Then last, but not least...a golden treasure in my house.


Archer! He is a beauty, ne ce pas?
Hope to feel better tomorrow when I head out to get my basket from the co-op. Maybe just maybe a few yard sales too....


Monday, August 3, 2009

Frugal Fabric Softener

I love the smell of fresh dried laundry, especially with fabric softener. In my quest to keep the costs down at La Maison Frugal, I have begun to make my own liquid laundry detergent and Fabric Softener. I will show you my laundry soap on another post, however, the cost is close to .01 cent. That's right one penny a load.

I decided to find a frugal "cheaper" fabric softener without compromising softness and smell. I have used white vinegar in the past with great success, but it really doesn't add that bit of softness to the towels and doesn't cut down on static cling.

I found a recipe at Recipezaar that I used after much research. This works AMAZING! And the cost???? $1.50 for 100 fluid ounces or two snuggle containers. Cheap, Cheap CHEAP! I purchase 128 fluid ounces of vinegar for around $2.00 and hair conditioner at the dollar store or on sale. That's right Conditioner...for hair. Simply Frugal!



The recipe :
Six (6) Cups of tap water.
Three (3) Cups of White Vinegar
Two (2) Cups of Conditioner (aprox. one bottle of conditioner)
Mix this in a 1 gallon container and stir until mixed. Pour into bottles or container you do not need to shake the bottles to mix, it causes foam. Use the same amount you normally use in rinse cycle or spritz on wash cloth and throw in dryer.



My dear friend Fantastically Frugal uses a trick she picked up from the Duggar Family web site. She dilutes her fabric softener and pours into a Tupperware/Rubbermaid container with a lid. She cuts a small sponge (dish washing type) in half and puts them in the fabric softener. When she puts her laundry in the dryer, she reaches in, pulls a sponge out and rings it out so it's just barely wet. She swears by this!

What do you use or have you tried to help cut down the cost of laundry?