Monthly Archives: April 2014

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 6, Issue 25 – April 27, 2014

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! My goodness, I can’t believe how April is quickly coming to a close and we are ready to welcome in May this week! I certainly hope that April was a wonderful month to see and gather with friends and family.

Speaking of gathering with friends and family, it is almost full blown BBQ season time! Many of you outside of my neighborhood may have already been enjoying BBQ weather and are in full grilling mode! We, in South Dakota, are hoping that the winds will stop gusting at 50 mph sometime. I am very weary of the wind, as of late. Although, we do have the loveliest natural “wind blown” looks!

In preparation for Grilling Season, allow me share some grilling web sites. May the web sites either remind you of fantastic tricks from what seems like long ago grilling seasons, or give you some new ideas to try out!

To help make the grilling a complete family success – think about your audience. Will you have older individuals at your table? This article really made me think about how to accommodate all of our family members with more ease.

Of course, I always enjoy knowing what NOT to do! Why not add a list of Do’s and Don’ts for your backyard barbequing. (There are also some nifty article links found at the bottom of the page!)

Whether you are a fan of charcoal, gas, electric or wood grilling, may you enjoy your upcoming grilling season. Keep a watchful eye on fire bans and be mindful of your fires. Remember, Smokey the Bear always told us “Only You can prevent forest fires”. (In my neighborhood, it would be prairie grass fires.)

Do you have a BBQ trick that you want to share with everyone! Feel free to share with me! Also, I am still waiting to hear some undisclosed method on how to keep my carpeted steps clean!

And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, may you enjoy the last days of April and welcome in May. Happy May Day on Thursday! And as always, keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun!


Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 6, Issue 24 – April 6, 2014

Happy April to each of you! I can’t tell you how excited I am about today! The sun is out, and it is warm and I have the Garden Itch! I am thinking that I will go out and let myself play in my garden today – maybe I can plant those garlic bulbs that never got in the ground last fall! And Good Friday is in two Fridays… that means potato time if you follow the old wives tale about planting potatoes on Good Friday.

Hey Sisters – I have a question for YOU! I have been trying to figure out the best way to clean my carpeted stairs. I own a carpet shampooer/steamer thing, and it works great on flat carpet, but the attachments just do not provide enough power to get the water out of the carpeted stairs, nor clean the stairs as well as the flat carpet. I have allowed many years to pass me by without deep cleaning the carpeted stairs and after the amount of mud and grit that was brought in this year my carpeted stairs are in sad shape. Maybe it would be easier to just install hardwood on the stairs rather than clean the carpet?! (That’s a whole other conversation – our traffic vs hard wood flooring on stairs – who will win?)

Do any of you have those steam mops with the carpet attachments? Do you like how they clean your carpet? I have read that a stiff bristled brush works, and then hand scrub each stair (that sounds like a terrible way to spend a Saturday!). Any suggestions, folks? I would love to hear your input!

While I wait for some great advice on my carpeted stairs woes, let me share with you some neat-o homemade toothpaste ideas. I know that several of you make your own toothpaste due to sensitivity issues, or other needs. These might be fun recipes to try out!

Now that we have taken time to discuss our oral health, let’s move along to something a little more fun. Mmmmm…. food! I saved this site, and meant to share it at Super Bowl time… (oops!) But, these nibbly dibbly treats and meal ideas can be savored year round – who needs to wait for the Super Bowl to enjoy these?! Even though some of these recipes are labeled “vegetarian”, do not let that scare you! There are some very tempting recipes on this list (6 to be exact, and I would like to whip up about 5 of them right now!). Maybe something on this list will be enticing enough for supper tonight. You know, after enjoying a day OUTDOORS, and then whipping up a nice light summer inspired meal for tonight… (Can you just hear the giggles of exhilaration from me? It’s nice outside… oh boy!)

Oh, yes, the web site:

Before I leave you today, allow me to share a very thought provoking list. This “25 things you can live without list” is not intended to be offensive in any way. What I am hoping will happen will be that each of you read the list and contemplate why you choose to use, or can you choose to change a habit? Take #13 for example. I REALLY wanted one of the old hand crank pencil sharpeners, but when I needed a new pencil sharpener, I couldn’t find a hand cranker. Sometimes, it just goes that way. I was not intentionally trying to be wasteful, but it was much more convenient to just “buy one now” and get it home so I could sharpen my broken pencils. I don’t know about you, but music teachers can not live on broken pencils. And #23… well, no discussion there, at least for me.

So enjoy this contemplative list and how knows you may be able to make some changes to simplify and enrich your life and home! (Take #2, for example… try these out instead: )

25 Wasteful Things You Can Live Without: (( )

  1. Tin foil — Use an oven-safe pot or dish with a lid.
  2. Plastic wrap — Instead, use a container with a lid.
  3. Disposable cleaning cloths, dusters, etc. — Use a microfiber cloth that can be washed.
  4. Paper towels — Use a tea towel, instead.
  5. Disposable pens — Buy a good pen that only needs the ink well changed.
  6. Plastic cutlery — Use the metal stuff.
  7. Paper plates — Washing dishes may be an effort, but it’s worth it.
  8. Paper or plastic single-use grocery bags — Get a few reusable bags.
  9. Packaged fruits and vegetables — Produce does not need to be packaged.
  10. Individually wrapped snacks — Snacks travel better anyway in a hard container.
  11. Disposable razors — Invest in a razor that only needs the blades changed.
  12. Juice boxes — Put juice in a reusable container (not plastic).
  13. Electric pencil sharpeners — Use the hand-crank version of days gone by.
  14. Disposable diapers — Cloth diapers aren’t that much more difficult to use.
  15. Disposable cloths — Fabric cloths can be washed regularly to avoid bacterial or viral build-up.
  16. Plastic cups — Stick to reusable cups.
  17. Bottled water — Install a water filter on your tap or pick up a water jug with a filter.
  18. Non-rechargeable batteries — Make the investment for rechargeable batteries and you’ll save money in the long run.
  19. Electric can openers — Use a little muscle.
  20. Single-serving pudding or yogurt cups — Buy a large container of yogurt or make your own pudding, and send it in a reusable container.
  21. Antibacterial wipes — If you must, use a gel hand sanitizer.
  22. Disposable table cloths — Spills are a reality of life; just clean them up as they happen.
  23. Facial tissues — Unless you have a bad cold, a handkerchief will work just fine.
  24. Paper billing — Switch to e-billing for your bank statement, credit card bill, utility bill, etc.
  25. Plasticized sticky notes — Use the original paper sticky notes; they can be recycled when you’re done with them.

And there you have it, my Thrifty Sisters. What a week! Thank you in advance for your with my filthy stairs, enjoy the new toothpaste ideas, the new recipes and thinking about possibly 25 ways one could change their habits. I hope that your weather gives you the opportunity to enjoy some spring this week. Have a great week, Sisters, and keep on keeping it thrifty!