Monthly Archives: October 2016

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 9, Issue 7 – October 30, 2016

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! I hope that you are enjoying your week!  I can hardly believe that November will begin this week, and thoughts will turn from jack -o-lanterns to turkeys before we know it.

For some, the holiday season can come with a huge price tag of stress.  Possibly you are caring for a loved one, or may know someone who is filling the care giving role.  Possibly that care giving roll was suddenly placed in their lives, which adds to the chaotic and out of control feeling that each day brings.  People say there are resources out there, but where are these resources, and why are they so difficult to find when you need help? One place that one can turn to is an internet site called Aging Care ( ).  There are so many resources available, and so much information related to all types of diseases.  This article is something that I feel needs to be shared.  The more that we all know about resources available to caregivers and our mature or sick family members, the more we can help everyone regain a bit more calm to their day.,%202013

Speaking of the upcoming holidays and having a stress-free season, we all know that organization is the key to a smoothly run day.  Thinking ahead is a must to ensure that even the small things run smoothly.  Take Christmas wrapping paper, for instance. Possibly you have a Rubbermaid tub full of perfectly good wrapping paper scraps and reclaimed pieces. And do you have the collection of reclaimed ribbons and gift bags?  Sorting through these items is never a bad idea PRIOR to the holidays.  Take out the bags that have tears or rips, possibly there are ribbons and bows that are certainly past their prime, and knowing how much gift wrap and name tags one has on hand is nice to know.

Possibly you discover that you have some wrapping scraps that are just too small to wrap a gift with.  Check out this site for 20 creative uses for wrapping paper. Not only can you save some of that paper from hitting the landfill, but you could also use some of these 20 ideas to have some family craft time! I can’t wait to try making my own gift bags!

Possibly you are not ready to talk about holidays yet.  That’s cool, I get it.

Many of you know how I just love a clean and organized house.  Some day that will happen to my home!  I just ran across this interesting organizational method called Project 333.  Project 333 is the minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. It’s an interesting concept, and might help many who struggle with closet and dresser drawer sorting. The idea is to pick out 33 items of clothing for the next 3 months, and box up everything else.  After 3 months, you evaluate what you wore, pack up what you liked the best, donate what you didn’t wear and pick out another 33 items for the next 3 months. And this site has so much info on organization!

This site also had this list of 33 things to get out of your closet.  This list is pretty funny, and I got a good chuckle out of it.  And it just makes great, common sense!

Whew, all this talk of holidays and cleaning and organizing sure can make a person work up an appetite! And maybe a great, easy meal is something you are looking for.  Boy, can you find a LOT of options here.  The links says 9 easiest meals, but this link actually takes you to many, many more recipes than just 9.  Think of this as Pinterest for food.  Just food. You are welcome!

And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, may you have a wonderful week!  I hope you are inspired to be that resource for someone who may need some help and guidance in their journey of life. Maybe you are inspired to check out the Project 333 and I certainly hope that you find a new favorite recipe from today’s newsletter. Until next time, keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun!

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 9, Issue 6 – October 23, 2016

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! It sure has been an amazing fall in my neighborhood!  The leaves are just gorgeous, and we have had great weather.  I have certainly been grateful for the beauty and warmth this autumn has provided.

With that being said, I can hardly believe that the end of October will be upon us, which means Halloween is just around the corner! Fortunately, we still have time to prepare for the adorable little goblins and fun costume parties that will be coming up.  As many of you know, I just love Halloween almost as much as I love Mason jars.  Check out this list of 30 decorating tips that would be adorable at your next gathering, or a fun family activity to get everyone into the spirit:

Maybe kitchen “magic” is more your thing at this time of year? I have had apple butters, but did not know that you can make pumpkin butter.  Please note that pumpkin butters are not designed to be canned, due to the low acidity, but they should store nicely in your fridge (hellloooo Mason jars!), and from what I have read, these are so yummy they won’t be taking up space in your fridge for very long!  Visit this link for a variety of pumpkin butter recipes:

And how about a recipe for apple pie bread?  OMG, does that not sound like the most amazing thing on the planet?!?!

Speaking of magic in the kitchen, possibly you have a food dehydrator.  I do not, but when I read what one can do with a dehydrator I seriously start to wonder if I would have the space for one. I sure love a good fruit leather.  Here’s some interesting ideas including a dried coleslaw, dried cantaloupe, dried basil leaves, watermelon candy, making yogurt, and several other dehydrator opportunities:

This next tip could be either a fun activity for the kids, or a cleaning tool.  If you are creative enough, you might be able to convince the kiddos to help you clean with this cleaning slime.  Yeap, you read that right, cleaning slime.  Do you remember Gak or  Flubber?  This recipe allows you to make a slime that cleans hard to reach places, or to adapt it for fun time with the kids, including adding such things as food coloring and glitter.  I would certainly test this product out before inviting the kiddos to smear it all over the remote, but this certainly peeked my curiosity.  If you try this out, let me know how it works! OR just make some fun slimy stuff with the kids.  Could be another fun Halloween project that one could store in a Mason jar!

Maybe your super hero power is in upcycling and sewing?  I sure wish that I had better sewing skills.  But, alas, my super powers lie elsewhere. Here’s creative ways to re-work your old denim.  My favorites include the rounded ottoman, the pocket carry for all your techy gadgets, the footwear and the pillows. Seriously, I want the pocket carry and the footwear!  I wish I was sewing savvy enough to make those.

Since I will not be sitting down at my imaginary sewing machine to be whipping up a darling little pocket carry, or denim slippers, one might find me trying to stay active and enjoy the autumn glory. Did you know that that there is such a thing as “Forest Bathing”?  I had never heard of this, but apparently, my hubby has been doing this for months now, as he takes his daily walks in our city parks and trail systems. “Forest bathing is a Japanese form of healing therapy that simply involves mindful, leisurely walking through a forest setting.”, according to this article. Check out Forest bathing, and 6 other fall activities to keep you and your family active and enjoying the outdoors while we can!

And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, may you have a wonderful week!  I hope you are inspired to go out and enjoy the season however you see fit.  Baking, preserving, decorating, crafting, cleaning, Forest Bathing, whatever peaked your interest, may you enjoy the opportunities that each day provides us.  Until next time, keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun!

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Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 9, Issue 5 – October 9, 2016

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! I hope that you have all been enjoying the fall weather and have had some opportunities to get to be outside and enjoy these dwindling days.  Even though the sun is going to bed earlier and the morning temps are getting lower, we certainly have some beautiful weather to enjoy!

This past week my neighborhood was in frost advisories.  While we didn’t get a killing freeze like some of the northern spots in South Dakota, I was found picking the biggest green tomatoes and bringing in several dozen tomatillos, hoping to save something from the potential freeze.

Earlier this spring I tried planting tomatillos.  It was a whim.  Something that I saw at the garden center, and had instant dreams of Salsa Verde. I bought one plant, came home and did some research, since I had no idea of what I was doing with tomatillos! Then I read that one needs 2 or more plants to pollinate, so the next day I went back and purchased a companion tomatillo and 2 more tomato cages.  Into the ground they went, and my tomatillo adventure began.  It took forever for the first fruits to arrive, looking like little lanterns on their green vines.  I patiently waited for their husks to fill out, and for a while I was able to keep count of how many lanterns I had swaying in the garden.  I had read that they were very productive, and then one day it seemed like there were oodles of them!  All sorts of sizes of those cute little lanterns.  The growing fruits in their little lantern husks were certainly fun to watch this past summer!

And now I have a box of them in my kitchen, and more on the growing vines, as there seems like no major damage was done with our recent cold mornings.  And I just can’t be any more excited! So what does one do with all those super cute tomatillos?  Make salsa, of course!  And “green sauce” is another intriguing recipe that I would like to can up this fall and use on tacos and enchiladas. There are lots of salsa varieties to choose from, but one of these chilly autumn days I am going to make this roasted recipe:

Here is a nifty list of 15 recipes to use your tomatillos with: … Did you know that you can make cocktails with tomatillos?!?!  These little gems just keep getting more exciting!

Maybe you are looking for a more traditional (or not so traditional) comfort food. Dumplings, anyone?  I was amazed to read how worldwide dumplings are, and they go by so many different names!  Huh, who knew?  (well, obviously not me!) Visit this link for 26 ideas and recipes to accommodate your dumpling urges:

With fall in the air, some of you might be thinking that it’s time to do one more big clean before the holidays are upon us.  While sorting and rearranging and cleaning, consider adding Hydrogen Peroxide to your arsenal of friendly cleaning products.  I have been using Hydrogen Peroxide for laundry for years.  I toss it in my kitchen loads, and have clean, disinfected, fresh smelling wash rags, towels and napkins ever since, with no bleach spots! Then I started using it in my water fountain this past summer.  About a quarter of a jug once every 5 or 6 weeks has kept my little garden fountain clean, and it has not harmed the fountain visitors. But there are a lot more uses this little brown jug can serve around the home!  For 34 uses of Hydrogen Peroxide go here:

And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, may you have a wonderful day!  Enjoy having the opportunity to preserve and save the goodness of summer, and savor these days with good times, good friends and good foods! Good luck if you are tackling fall clean up and fix up projects, and check out the joys of Hydrogen Peroxide – did I mention how cheap that stuff is?! And until next time, keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun!