Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 9, Issue 10 – November 20, 2016

Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! My goodness, how a week can change things here in my neighborhood!  Last weekend I was writing about having the opportunity to take my mower out for one last whirl around the yard (which was glorious, by the way!), and on Friday week we have several inches of snow on the ground and the lowest temps of this fall over the weekend.  Although the outdoor gardening season has come to an end at my home, it will give me time to work on indoor projects. Ha!  Lots and lots of indoor time between now and next spring…

One of the most important projects I do over the long winter months is tackle the copious amounts of “stuff” that accumulates over the months I would rather be outdoors. When I was growing up, my Dad would always tell us girls to just put things away, and not touch it twice.  The concept was why put something down “just for now”, when you could take that extra 2 seconds and just put it away – done, end of story for that item.  I hear his voice in my head EVERY TIME I lay something down and think, I will just put this here, for now.  And most of the time I pick up that little item, and put it in its place. If I don’t, guess what I have by the end of the week – a giant pile of clutter that takes way more than just a couple of minutes to put away. Most of my clutter items that I have are projects that need to be finished, or started. I figure that is what winter is for – lots of indoor project time.

I fully realize that for many of us, it is holiday time and we may be running through the house with a laundry basket picking up the random clutter and shoving it into some arbitrary closet moments before our family arrives at the holiday table.  I have been guilty of that, too. But, consider making a life style change – don’t touch it twice!  If you got your hammer out, just put it away when you are done with it.  Do yourself a favor and don’t let it hang out on the kitchen counter all week.  That just puts a guilty reminder that you must do it later, and who needs more guilt tucked into the back of your mind? We don’t need to purposefully keep putting ourselves through that misery! Just put the hammer away, seriously! You will feel so much better about it, and yourself!

For an uplifting, guilt free read about keeping the clutter at bay, feel free to read this short article.  And may you be inspired to begin the holiday decluttering.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been writing about how we can limit the loads that are sent out to the landfill. If there is one change you should adopt today, it’s bringing your own reusable bags.  I fully realize that this is a no brainer, and many of you may already be doing this.  And we all slip, and forget to put the bags back in the car, or even just remember to bring them from the car into the store, but if we all could bring in one reusable bag, at least once this year, we could save millions of plastic bags from the landfills each year.

And this week, with Thanksgiving looming in the future, keep the plastic containers and lids, and send home left overs with your loved ones.  You reuse, and there is no guilt about having to return the nice Tupperware containers back to their respective homes!  I am embarrassed that I epically fail at returning these items in a timely manner, and they do clutter my counter, sometimes for a ridiculous amount of time. But if you were to send leftovers home with me, a reused container would be perfect, and I would applaud your re-usefulness, and your kindness!

Are you thinking that this might be the week to try some new holiday recipes? Some people love the thrill of new recipes at the holidays, while others like to stick to the tried and true traditions.  If you are looking for some new ideas, or want to try these out prior to the next family gathering, here are 15 different recipes that would be great at a family gathering or something new to try out.

Oh, and speaking of recipes – did you try out the cauliflower soup from last week’s newsletter?  We made it earlier this week, and we call this recipe a keeper!  It can also be used as a base for many other flavorful combinations.  It was easy, quick, warm and hearty, and heats up amazing for lunches the following days!  In case you missed it, here is that link again:

Recently, I had to close my very first email account.  In there, I found a treasure trove of little tidbits that I had been tucking away to share with the Thrifty Sister. This little gem comes from Britt. It was in a forwarded email that was floating around in 2012, but I feel like a lot of these tips still ring true today.  With the upcoming holidays quickly approaching, we do need to use some common sense.  Our neighborhood has seen a rash of thefts and its always a good reminder to lock our homes and car doors when we are gone, but here are some other common sense ways to keep you safe.


1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4.Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)   10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

12. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find itathttp://www.faketv/.com/)    14. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

15. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

16. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.

17. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

18. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

19. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address. Parents: caution your kids about this. You see this every day.   20. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.

21. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

And there you have it, my Thrifty Sisters! Good luck tackling that clutter this week, please remember to use your reusable bags this week, save those reusable tubs and lids to send home leftovers sealed with love, enjoy the holiday meal prep – both traditional and new recipes, and most importantly, please remember to be smart and keep your family and home safe. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, from my home to yours!  And keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun!

And remember to create real holidays instead of a holidaze. Remember the spirit of the times and keep these helpful tips in mind if you feel yourself getting sucked in: Nothing has to be perfect. Focus on what is right and good. Ask for help and accept that your way isn’t the only way. The simplest choice is the best choice. Find joy in whatever you do and wherever you are.

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