Monthly Archives: January 2016

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 8, Issue 8 – January 31, 2016

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! I hope that each of you had a fantastic last week of January, and are looking forward to the start of February!! If winter is starting to wear on you, just remember that March is only one month away, and according to my Dad spring starts on March 1. After talking to Mom this week, Dad has already made a wish list of seeds that he wants to purchase. I typically purchase my seeds around this time, too. Not because I have grand ideas of starting them at this moment, but they act more like therapy. I hold the packets, I day dream about getting to plant the packets, and most of all, these tiny little promises of life remind me that warmer weather and sun dress and barefoot weather is coming.

It’s all about holding onto hope. And at this time of year, some of us need all the hope they can get! Maybe your winter has been more mild than normal, and spring doesn’t seem like a daunting, distant delusion. But, whatever it is that you find hope in, hold on to it, relish it, and daydream like crazy! They say that dreams do come true, and if a seed packet on your counter is the hope that you need, then I say buy those little seeds and let’s get hopeful!

How many of you had an opportunity to enjoy the foodie newsletter last week? Did it spark creative juices, or help you save time on meal prep? I can’t wait to hear what your favorite recipes were, or little tricks that you discovered!

We all know that food is what nourishes both our body and soul. We have also been inundated in talk about super foods and their overall impact on our physical and mental health. I also find it incredibly interesting that certain vitamins and minerals and foods an play such an important role in our overall wellbeing. If you are interested, read more about how our diet plays into our overall all mental health:

Are you ready to air out some more dirty laundry? I know that I seem to post about laundry, a lot, but it does seem to be one of those constants in our lives. And the bigger the family, the larger the laundry piles seem to stack! Here is a great collection of web sites, and ideas – all in one easy to find location. They provide some easy tricks, and DIY laundry detergent recipes, ways to clean out the grime in your washer, uses for single socks, methods on how to stop shoes from banging in the dryer, more organizational choices for your laundry room, and how to use pepper to stop fabric color bleeding in your wash – and the ideas go on! Check it out:

How about some more upcycling ideas?!?! A huge thank you goes out to Johnny for this incredible link! This sure makes me wish that my sewing skills were not limited to safety pins, fabric glue and punk rock make overs. Those are my only sewing skills I possess. But for the rest of you who actually own a sewing machine and know how to use it, imagine the endless possibilities and thousands of yards of fabric waiting for a creative and skillful hand at your local thrift store. In fact, for these prices if you goof it up, who cares! You can let the creativity continue and make a shopping bag out of the garment, or piece various fabrics (from other botched projects) and make an even bigger bag! Those of you who can sew have a very special place in my heart. “Sew”, get crafty gang, and use up the fabric that is just sitting around at the thrift stores! I can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

And for those of you who are still looking for hope… I’m just going to leave this little gem right here. Get creative – how can you create a garden space or shed os a bench using materials in your own yard or local area? Maybe you won’t be building a shed, but don’t forget that you can still grow sprouts from a mason jar ( )

And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, may you have a very hopeful, fruitful and successful week. Embrace the new month, look forward to the future, and please be nice to yourself and others. Be the mirror that reflects creativity and kindness to those around you. And just keep on keeping it thrifty and fun!

Read the Thrifty Sisters, both new and old by visiting or find our latest posts on Face Book .


Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 8, Issue 7 – January 24, 2016

Greetings Thrifty Sisters! I hope that everyone had a great week! This past week I had a super interesting conversation with Jerad. He said that he has had a lot of luck getting all sorts of things to sprout – including pineapple seeds. What?! Pineapple seeds? Man, this fruit is getting more and more interesting every day!! Jerad says that if you are really lucky, you can find a pineapple that already has seeds stuck in the little crevasses, on the outside of the pineapples. The seeds are small, like apple seeds. The next time I buy a pineapple I going to really take a close look on the outside and see if I can’t be lucky enough to bring home some seeds.

As I am looking at my list of tib-bits to share with you, I realized that this is going to be a food heavy edition. So while we are on the prowl for pineapple seeds, enjoy some of the following articles that might be more immediately helpful than finding pineapples with seeds.

For those who enjoy rice with their meals, our friend Johnny shared this web site on how to stretch your grocery dollars by using and substituting rice. There are some clever ideas on substituting rice for things like potatoes in stews and soups, how to freeze rice for future meals, and how to make your own heat packs using rice. And of course, there is an extensive recipe list. Thanks, Johnny, for the web site suggestion:

Extending and saving your food supply is not only about being frugal, but creative! One can get a lot of miles from the food scrapes that they generate. Several years ago I shared the idea of freezing the chicken carcass from your whole chickens and using the bones to make stock. I also freeze various veggie scraps like the tops of carrots, tops of peppers, celery tops, and onion parts and add those to the cheese cloth “bag” when I make chicken stock. It’s just amazing that one can make such tasty broth from things that one would normally toss out. And, just recently, I learned how to made chicken stock in my slow cooker. It was an all-day event, but it did not need to be babysat for several hours like the stove top method.

Read the following article for 10 ideas on how to reuse other scraps, and get your creative chef juices flowing:

Do you happen to have a food dehydrator? This looks like a real gem. I think that beverages with citrus fruit rings always look so elegant, and of course, refreshing and tasty. This link will take you to an article on how to dehydrate your citrus so you can enjoy that summer like beverage feeling all year long.

Here is a list of 6 easy and fast recipes that one can make during a busy work week. (I like fast and easy meals!) And if they taste good and everyone on the family enjoys them, then it is a Super Score! And with your new found rice knowledge from above, you can really make the fast and easy meals stretch out. There are several recipes that I would like to try from this link:

If you are a foodie, I bet you are salivating at all of the ideas! But, in case you are looking for some good ol’ practical advice about how to use common things that are just floating around the house, then I have a neat idea list for you. Possibly you are wondering what to do with all those rubber bands in your home. Please click on the following link for 16 useful ideas:

And there you have it, my Thrifty Sisters! Lots of food ideas, and some fun rubber band tricks to make your life easier, and of course, don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for pineapples that are carrying seeds. Until next time, please be kind to yourself, and keep on keeping it fun and thrifty!

Read the Thrifty Sisters, both new and old by visiting or find our latest posts on Face Book .


Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 8, Issue 6 – January 17, 2016

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! I hope that for those of you in this artic blast you are staying warm and cozy today. How many of you decided to join me in a quest to be nicer to yourself this past week? Although my work load didn’t change, and there were certainly a few challenges that popped up, I really tried to give myself a bit of a break. I took a short nap last Sunday (you have no idea how monumentally huge that was for me!) and yesterday I gave myself a couple hours of quiet time, to just flip through magazines and add ideas to my craft journal. I realize that this does not sound like a big deal to most individuals, but I actually took the time to just sit, and idly spend a couple of hours. And it was divine.

Are you looking for ways to become nicer to yourself? In the following short article, the title suggests ways of becoming more creative, but I feel that these suggestions can also be a good guideline to just becoming nicer to yourself. Giving yourself time to journal, take a walk, unplugging from all of our gadgets, scheduling some time for yourself, and encouraging one to try new activities or hobbies are a few of the suggestions this article offered. And, if you become more creative in the process, you could consider that a landslide victory towards being nice to yourself! Read the short article here:

Speaking of sparking the creative juices – check out these following blogs for some really awesome upcycling, new-to-you ideas on how to revamp your wardrobe, or thrift store finds. Thank you, Johnny, for sharing these web sites! She joked in her email that all of these things that are super-hot and trendy right now were exactly the thing that she was made fun of for, during her middle school years. Apparently, Johnny, you had no idea how far ahead of the game you were!!

With Winter in full swing, and the days are ever so slowly getting longer, I can almost hear Spring calling my name! And I’m pretty sure that my garden is crying for help! Is it too late to take a blankie out there and tuck in my garden plot? I fully realize that March is just a few short weeks away, but how do I tame that gardening urge? Oh, how I long for a fresh anything from my backyard garden! Sure, I brought in a few things from the garden – my Rosemary, mint, a few flowers to overwinter. They are really nice and all, but I have that urge to get my hands dirty and accidentally track mud through the house.

Since the reality is that my garden in not going to be sprouting anything in the next few weeks (did you hear that we had close to -40 degree wind chills this morning? Sprouting is not happening here right now!) there are a few fun things that you can do inside while you wait for Old Man Winter to melt.

Do you miss fresh greens? Visit this page for tips on growing 9 edible greens right in your home:

Garlic, anyone?

How about a pineapple? (My hubby and I actually looked this up a few months ago and it was SO interesting! I thought that pineapples grew on trees… what a silly Prairie Grrl I am!)

Maybe indoor gardening is not on your to-do list. Maybe you need to wrangle in the small troops during these blustery days… sounds like a perfect time to break out the Flubber recipe! Do you remember the 90’s movie with Robin Williams? Now you can be your own mad scientists! It sure sounds like a great afternoon – watch the movie and make your own Flubber!

However you choose to spend this next week, make sure that you are being nice to yourself, and others around you. Continue to recycle, upcycle and be thrifty and creative. And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, stay warm and happy! Until next time keep on keeping it thrifty and fun!




Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 8, Issue 5 – January 10, 2016

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters, and Happy 2016! I hope that each of you had a splendid time with family and friends over the holidays, and are happily finding your groove in the new year.

With a new year comes so many new promises to ourselves, but if you make one promise to yourself, this is one that I strongly encourage each of you practice throughout the year, and to remind others to do the same: Please be nice to yourself. Give yourself an opportunity to take breaks, to be ok with saying “no”, extend kindness towards others, and no more guilting ourselves into anything!

This is one thing that I am going to try to extend to myself this year. I encourage others to join me. I am not Super Woman, and that is ok. Now, placing this into practice is going to be a challenge for me. For those who know me, I might be considered to be a bit of a “go-getter”, and I will work tirelessly and place my own health and sanity in the background in order to accomplish whatever task in is my path.

Sure, there are just going to be projects that must get done. Projects that have hard deadlines. By no way am I suggesting that we all take a lethargic approach to our goals and dreams. But I am suggesting we take a moment to be kind to ourselves. Reward our hard work with a little time off. Maybe give oneself some extra gardening time, or a nap. Things that would just be good for us to get to do. So there’s my 2016 challenge. I hope that we can do this together and help encourage each other along this route!

Now that our holidays are wrapping up, are you looking for some clever ways to get-together with your pals? Have you considered swap parties? I have heard about these type of gatherings for cloths, or crafting supplies, but here is an article that suggests ideas on book swaps, toy swaps and my favorite idea, a soup swap.

Maybe swapping stuff is not really of interest to you. How about some clever storage ideas? Everyone seems to need more storage, and these 5 ideas might be enough to get your creative and thrifty ideas started on how to utilize space in your laundry area. This article has links to each of the projects, and there are some really clever ideas on how to create some great looking and super functional rooms.

Not ready to dive into major DIY projects yet? Maybe you are trying to get some deep cleaning done? With the new year, maybe you have vowed to use more homemade cleaning products, or possibly you want to revitalize your passion for homemade cleaning products. This link gives us 17 fantastic ideas and uses for cleaning with vinegar. This article is worth the read, as it gave me both new ideas and refreshed old ideas.

Maybe after all of this talk about DIY projects, and party planning, and homemade cleaners you are just ready for a snack or supper. This link will direct you to 10 tasty kale recipes, and there looks like there are some good recipes! If you have not tried making kale chips, I highly recommend trying that! I love kale chips! (super yum!) There are also recipes for kale soup, various salad ideas, smoothie recipes, and some noodle dishes. Find it all right here:

And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, may you have a great week. Enjoy swapping stuff with your pals, or tackling a DIY project, or maybe just stepping out of your comfort zone and trying a new recipe. But most of all, please be nice to yourself. Until next time, keep on keeping it fun and thrifty!

Read the Thrifty Sisters, both new and old by visiting or find our latest posts on Face Book .