Monthly Archives: July 2016

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 9, Issue 3 – July 31, 2016

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters!  I hope that you are all doing well and have had a chance to enjoy family gatherings, outings with friends, and partake in local events.  I hope that this past week provided opportunities for creative outlets for each of you.

Today I want to talk about gratitude. The simple definition, according to the Merriam Webster online Dictionary is, “a feeling of appreciation or thanks.” I have so much to be grateful for. These past weeks have been full of opportunities to reflect on reasons I can feel thankful, as well as interesting stories that I have been hearing from others on how gratitude plays in their life. Ironically, it is so much easier to see the negatives rather than the positives in various situations.

One such story that I hear over and over is how a couple is going to sell their house, but need to make improvements, in order to make their home “marketable”. Now that these individuals have made the improvements, or even minor fixes, they say that their home is “perfect”, just in time for the realtor to put the for sale sign out. This makes me so sad to hear.

Why do we choose to allow the small things pile up and be annoyances, in a place that should be our relief? Time, money, obligations to others, obligations to our careers – these are certainly only a few factors that contribute to the ease of procrastinating the annoyances. So when are you going to make the place that you plan on creating roots become your Solace Palace? Please don’t wait until you have to move to make the changes you want – the changes that could exponentially make your life better, or at least happier.

This seems like a pretty deep discussion!  Yes, changes can be made to physical structures, as well as personal walls and feelings. Is it easy? No, but neither are certain home improvements.  Time, money, you know, all of the reasons we haven’t made those changes to begin with are also part of the reason that many of us don’t allow ourselves to be fully happy.

But we can be thankful. We can show gratitude to others. By changing our outlook on gratitude, we can change a whole lot around us, and actually become happier individuals, and happier individuals become more productive individuals. If we work on our inner walls, maybe we can find that time and money to spend within our home walls, creating that Solace Palace. With no guilt.

I’m not making this up – gratitude can lead to good things! Just Google how gratitude could changes things – I dare you!  Here are 2 links that I thought were interesting:

So, even though this summer has been a challenge on the pocket book, I have a long list of things to be grateful for. I am grateful that my hubby cares about me and has my back.  I am grateful that our son is healthy and happy. I am thankful for family and friends. I am thankful for our incredible neighbors. I am super appreciative that the plumbers are coming and will be replacing all the corroded, leaky faucets and taking out our dumb garage disposal (and I get that little spray nozzle that I have always wanted!). I am grateful for gardening friends who are willing to share flowers with me. I am grateful for my yard, a place that I can escape to and just dig when I need to vent out frustration.  (Have you noticed the new garden bed that is happening in the backyard… yes, I needed that opportunity this week.)

And lastly, I’m incredibly thankful that my family is healthy enough to tough out these next couple of days.  We live on the prairie, and I am just floored by the fact that we have had several “still” days and nights. Our AC unit is out of commission. I’m grateful for all of the past years of research on how to keep one’s home cool and save on energy.  We are certainly conserving energy!! Although, I am also noticing that when one only has north and south windows, it is really tough to create a cross draft! And did I mention my gratitude towards my neighbor who was able to get us into his repair schedule? One can’t shop more local than from the guy next door! If you need the name and number of a good heating and cooling company, let me know.

Be grateful. Express gratitude to others. It’s something that takes practice. Some days are just “too much”, but I am grateful that I have people in my life who can help me through those days.

And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, let’s go make lemonade!

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 9, Issue 2 – July 24, 2016

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! I hope that each of you had a delightful week! I’m not really sure where my week has disappeared to, but it was certainly eventful and we had the opportunity to make some great memories!  Who can ask for anything more?!

Are you looking for summer activities for either you, or your family?  Consider visiting a farm!  I had the chance to watch part of our local news last night, and they had this neat article about how Ag United was creating opportunities for families to visit South Dakota farms.  I feel that there is no better way to teach our youth how products arrive at our grocery stores, and to show the amount of effort it takes to make that gallon milk appear in your refrigerator than to go right to the source.  Visit to view activities and tour options.

How many of you have a collection of Mason Jars collecting dust?  I don’t, either, but I hear that some people have this problem. Did you know that canning jars make excellent storage options? Have some leftovers from supper?  Consider putting individual sized portions in jars – they freeze and refrigerate like a dream. Possibly you have random crafting supplies that need storage options – there are many sized canning jars just waiting for your creative use!

I love keeping various the little jars that some of our groceries show up in.  I just wash the glass jar, and if the lid smells like artichoke hearts in oil, let the lid sit on your counter for an afternoon filled with vinegar.  Wash with soap and let air dry.  The smell eventually dissipates and hello cute storage jar! You can even spray paint the outside of the jar lids!

I love glass jars. And they can be used for much more than just storage! Check out the following links for recipes, salads on the go, and dressings – perfect parings for all of the garden yumminess that is coming inside at this time of year!

And last, but not least, allow me to share this uber thrifty tip that my hubby came up with last night.  About a week ago, we purchased several dips to have on hand while some friends came over for the evening, and of course, we had lots left over.  While prepping supper last night, Sean spotted the jalapenos on our counter, and decided that these dips would make great fillers for stuffed jalapenos. He stuffed those little jalapenos with the dips, rolled them up in a tin foil packet and placed them on the grill, and they were scrumptious! What a fantastically creative and yummy way to use up the left over dip!

Do you have creative ways to use up odds and ends in your fridge?  I’d love to hear about your tricks!

And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, have a grand week. Enjoy having the opportunity to explore summer options in your home state.  Sometimes one doesn’t have to go very far to find a fun family excursion. Enjoy the opportunity to reunite with your glass jar collection and being creative on how to use (or re-use) those jars, and may you be inspired to create new recipe ideas!  And remember, let’s all be kind to each other, and especially ourselves. I’m heading outside, now.  My garden is calling, and that bumper crop of thistles I was talking about last week… yeap… I’m still pulling!  Maybe I’ll have more garden play time this week!  Ha – a girl can dream, right?!

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

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 9, Issue 1 – July 17, 2016

Greetings Thrifty Sisters! Was my last post really on May Day?  Obviously, I have been out living the dream, as all of May and June and July seem like a giant blur. Hopefully everyone has had an opportunity to enjoy the first half of summer, in some sort of capacity!

The last time I wrote, I was worried about spring showers drowning out freshly planted potatoes.  Now that the spring showers have come and gone, days have warmed up and dried up, and I have some pretty crunchy grass in my yard.  For me, the trick is to conserve water, but not let my grass die.  That happened one year.  I conserved a ton of water, but areas in my backyard burned up so bad that I had to reseed the following spring.  Lesson learned, I guess!

I feel that one can not have too many reminders and suggestions on how to save on our water usage.  Check out this link that gives us 14 ideas (or reminders) on how to efficiently water or garden spaces.   It’s never too late to start conserving water!

Hopefully when you are not tending to your garden, you have been able to go out and enjoy the Great Outdoors.  Don’t forget to apply the “leave no trace” philosophy to your outings – day trips, camping trips, or road trips, these are all good prompts of how to pack in and pack out, and how to be courteous to others while enjoying nature.

Are you using your summer days to clean and organize your home? I’m trying to get some projects done over the summer, but time and activities seem to not be on my side some days. But, the goal is to plug away.  Patience is being learned, on my part.  I have come to accept that some projects just have to be worked into our life style, and planning ahead is crucial. You know, like shampooing your carpet, then having company over before it’s dry.  That would be poor planning.  But, why not have fun with some of your organizational projects!  Check out this link with 10 very clever and creative ways to accommodate household dilemmas:

Speaking of clever ideas – visit this web site that has 39 ideas for your backyard!  Ideas on how to keep your pots from drying out, to backyard scrabble games, to fairy garden ideas!  This collection of ideas might add more to your to-do list, but some of these ideas are just so cool!

I realize that today’s newsletter is short, but I can hear my garden calling, and I certainly do not want to miss being outside! Besides, it appears that I have a bumper crop of thistles that have shown up on one side of my garden, and I really need to take care of them before they get out of control.  So, before closing, I am going to put a little BBQ recipe here, for your enjoyment:

May each of you have a superb week!  Enjoy your outdoor activities, but remember to only leave footprints, conserve water, have fun doing the daily activities, continue to find humor in all aspects of your day, and be kind to each other, and yourself. Keep on keeping it thrifty and fun, folks!