Thursday, October 14, 2010


What a novel idea the potato chip bag clips were when they came out.  Now I could keep my chips fresh and crispy by just clipping the bag closed with one of those plastic clips.  These were great, but I found just having one or two wasn't enough.  Then it dawned on me!  What would be wrong with using plain ole' clip clothes pins?  They are cheap and there are plenty in a package.

They work great!  I use them for cereal bags, chips, and anything else that needs to be held closed.  They are much smaller than the plastic clips and store easier.

What do you use your clothes pins for besides hanging clothes on the line?


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


A few years ago I clipped this recipe for window washing cleaner and thought some of you might like to give it a try.  I must admit I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like a good recipe.  I will be mixing it up soon.

1/2 cup sudsy ammonia
1 pint rubbing alcohol
1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid
Enough water to make 1 gallon

Mix and put into a spray bottle.  Be sure to label all bottles with their ingredients.


Sunday, October 10, 2010


Life seems to go full circle, doesn't it?  While the new trend is "going green" and "being thrifty" I realize that my grandmother was way ahead of the times 50 to 60 years ago.  One of my earliest memories of helping grandma was going down to her basement and watching her wash clothes in the old wringer washer.  She kept a bar of soap with a grater or knife and would scrape this soap into the wash water.  I loved the smell of clothes being washed.....

I didn't realize it at the time but grandma was using Fels Naptha bar soap to clean her clothes.  I remember her dish towels and whites were spotless!  I don't ever remember seeing stains on her whites even though she cooked and canned every day.

Recently, while on facebook I saw that one of my friends had begun making her own laundry detergent.  She said that is worked every bit as good as the grocery store detergents and said that her clothes even seemed cleaner than before, and it was very inexpensive.   I began to search for recipes and I found that one of the ingredients was "Fels Naptha" bar soap. 

All of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery stores, however, I was surprised to find that Wal-mart didn't carry them.

I am getting ready to mix up my first batch of detergent and thought you might like to see some of the recipes I've found.  I plan to try one batch of dry soap and one batch of liquid.  I'll have to let you know which I prefer:  Here are some of  the recipes:

Dry Recipe:
2 Cups Washing Soda (not baking soda)
2 Cups Borax
2 Cups grated Fels Naptha Bar Soap

Mix together and use about 1/8 cup per load.  (may have to be adjusted if using in extremely hard water).

Liquid Recipe

1 quart boiling water
2 cups grated bar soap (Fels Naptha)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing soda

Add grated soap to boiling water. 
You can leave this on low heat until disolved.
When this step is complete pour water and soap into a large container (I will use a plastic 5 gal. pail)
Add borax and washing soda mixing until disolved.
Add an additional 2 gallons of water to the mix and stir well.  Let stand;  this will turn to a gel like substance.

Stir each time you use it since it will gel.  Use about 1/4 cup per load of laundry.

These recipes came from if you would like to check it out.  Let me know how you like these.
* note:  I found that one bar of Fels Naptha yeilded 3 cups grated soap.


Saturday, September 18, 2010


I've lived in this house for 41 years and unfortunately we have never had a water softener.  We have VERY hard water and proof of its existence shows on my showers tiles, my faucets, my coffee pot, my shower head....well, you get the picture.

Today I couldn't take it anymore and had to clean my shower tiles.  I just didn't want to get the chemicals out of the basement and I thought, why not use my trusty old bottle of white vinegar.  I sprayed the tiles, walked away for a few minutes and then began to wipe with a wet cloth.  Tiles looked like new.  There were a few that needed a little scrub with a brush but most came clean with just spraying. 

I gave the shower head a little spray, cleaned the sinks with the vinegar and was done.

How have you used white vinegar lately?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cleaning Your Car Headlights

I recently took my car in for an oil change and some other minor work.  While there the mechanic noticed the covers over my headlights had yellowed and were causing my lights to dim.  I knew they were like that but thought I would have to remove them to get them clean.  To my delight, the mechanic showed me a little tip to clean them.  He took a little brake fluid and rubbed it on the headlight covers and they cleaned up good as new.  Although I don't have a picture for you, I thought you might need this little tip someday.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Notice the space Sidney left between each plant.
Summer is supposed to lazy hazy days where we get to lay in a hammock and drink an iced tea or lemonade, right?   It's just not happening for me this year!  If you have been following my post you know that Sidney and I have planted a large garden of vegetables and flowers.  The planting is my favorite part!  We planted, watered, weeded, and waited.  Now poor Sidney isn't just  picking  a few things each day, but baskets of fresh vegetables;  squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and within just a few days fresh sweet corn.

He has helped me with canning these up by peeling over two 5 gallon buckets of cucumbers for our "Red Cinnamon Pickles", slicing another bucket for "Bread and Butter Pickles", helping me to slice and grate numerous bags of zucchini and yellow squash, and in just a few days the corn will be ready!  The tomatoes are coming in pretty steady too!

When Sidney planted this garden he was careful to leave lots of extra space between his plants.  He said that he didn't want to fight to get around the vegetables so he left more than the directions called for.   We did ask God to bless our garden and wow!  Has he ever!  Just look at the way the garden looks now!
Zucchini Plants are Huge

   Squash Plants, tomatoes, and corn looking and tasting good!
The garden has grown so big that you cannot walk between rows.  The zucchini are touching the tomatoes, the tomatoes are touching the corn, the cucumbers have gone all over.  I have never seen anything like it!  It has been beautiful and it is producing delicious produce.

As of today, I have canned 13 jars of bread and butter pickles, 36 pints of zucchini relish, and tonight the cinnamon pickles go into jars.  Next are the tomatoes and then I will freeze home grown sweet corn!  Yes, we're busy, and things don't seem to simple for now, but this winter when we are enjoying the fruits of our labor, we will be so happy and then we will be enjoying the simple life!


Monday, July 12, 2010


With all the zucchinis I had to make some sweet bread.  While I like most recipes for this bread, this might be my favorite.  The  secret spice in these loaves is 'nutmeg'.  This is a very easy recipe and I promise you will enjoy it!

(Copied from:  Ste. Genevieve Plain Good Cookin Recipes)

2 cups grated summer squash
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
I cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pecans (or more if you like)

Mix sugar, eggs, oil, salt, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add squash and mix well.
Stir in flour and pecans and blend well.  Pour into well greased 8X4 inch loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the top springs back when lightly touched.  Remove and cool on racks. 
Yeild: 2 loaves.

I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


For years I have heard the horror stories of people who plant 'zucchini' squash and it just keeps multiplying and multiplying.  I had never experienced this for myself because our zucchini plants would always bring us an ample supply then the heat would cause them to die off before I had my fill.  This year is different!  These long green beauties seem to be multiplying before my eyes!

Sidney began to bring in the harvest sometime last week.  He laid a few zucchinis on my countertop and I was so pleased.  A few yellow summer squash were placed into the mix.  Ahhhh!  I sliced, breaded and dropped these delicious chunks into the hot oil!  For a few minutes I was in heaven!  Sooooo good!

My daughter-in-law introduced me to a delicious zucchini relish, so I decided to make a few batches.  Todaymy final count was 36 pints.  Now I'm beginning to see the bottom of the squash basket!  With the remaining squash, I sliced them and placed them in freezer bags so we can enjoy the bounty this winter.  I also carefully placed extra grated squash into 2 cup portions for winter soups and breads.

Sidney and I have given away at least a bushel of these babies this week to friends and relatives, but is the basket empty yet???  NO WAY!  I just looked and there are at least 6 to 7 more squash to do something with, and tomorrows zucchinis hacen't been picked yet! 

Apparently a few of my friends are having an invasion too because I have been offered zucchini from at least 3 of them.   Let's see, what else can I do with zucchini?  Do you have any ideas?

ZUCCHINI RELISH (Dale & Jill’s )                    

24 cups of grated Zucchini squash
8 onions chopped or grated
4 large green peppers chopped or grated
4 hot peppers
2/3 cup or 10 Tbs of salt

Spinkle with salt and let stand overnight
Drain and rinse with cold water

Bring to boil:
5 cups apple cider vinegar
3 tsp celery seed
7 cups of sugar
4 tsp pickling spice
2 tsp tumeric

Pour over the squash mixture and bring back to boil.
Pack into hot sterilized jars and seal. 10-12 pints.
I give these jars a 10 minute water bath

I hope you enjoy your summer harvest!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


 Everyone should experience the making of home made ice cream sometime in their lives!  Is it better than what you can purchase?  Is it cheaper?  The answer to both of these is "NO", but it is the experience of making it that makes it so special.

On Memorial Day I decided that we should make ice cream in our electric ice cream maker.  We hadn't used this ice cream maker in quite a long time, so I had Sidney get it out of storage, washed it thoroughly, and made the custard that would go inside. 

The grandkids really got into helping by placing the ice into the bucket and sprinkling it with the rock salt.  Then they waited....and waited.

Finally the maker came to a slow down and then to a stop.  I called Oli and she was more than ready to sample the goods.   Andrew and her licked the huge paddle.  What fun!  Everyone seemed to enjoy the frozen custard covered with fresh strawberries.   I'm sure this was a memory that will last a lifetime.  When was the last time you have made home made ice cream with your family?


Sunday, June 20, 2010

"ALL YOU" The Magazine That Pays

While I was sitting in my recliner waiting for pictures to load onto my computer page I was reading through a new magazine that I had purchased today.   I realized that I had failed to share this magazine with all my computer buddies out there!

Some of you have already discovered this magazine called "All You" but some of you haven't.  The only place I have seen it sold is at Wal-Mart but maybe it can be purchased other places.  The wonderful thing  about this magazine is that it will more than pay for itself if you use coupons.  There are your normal 50 or 75 cent coupons but most are over a dollar.  I just clipped a $1.00 off coupon for White Cloud Tissue.  There is $1.00 off Sea Breeze, $1.00 off Brut Products for men and much more.

Each month the magazine will tell you right on the front cover how much savings is inside its' pages.  This months, June 18 issue says there are $102.61 worth of coupons and new deals inside.

The magazine also has some really good articles too.  I don't get paid anything for advertising this book, but I should!  After-all, isn't word of mouth the very best advertising there is?  The cost of the magazine is just $2.99 with another 10% off at the checkout.  I will more than save that much on the coupons offered withing its pages,

Pick it up next time you are waiting in line and see what you think.  Let me know!  I would love to know how much you have been able to save with coupons this month.


Monday, June 7, 2010


A few years ago I came across a book at my local health food store entitled, "Healing Oils of the Bible".  It explains why in the Bible they used anointing oils when they prayed for the sick.  The book points out that people of that day understood the healing properties in herbs and plants and knew how to use them.  The author explains that using essential oils was as common then as aspirin is for today. 

I have purchased and blended many of these essential oils and am a believer in their healing properties.

I also enjoy growing my own herbs in the summer.  Basil is one of my very favorites.  Up until a few years ago I had never used basil, but all of that changed when I made a trip out east and my neice made a simple chicken rice soup with basil.  I fell in love that day!  If I make soup it is going to have an ample supply of basil.  Chicken dishes must have basil, either dried or fresh.

Oregano, mint, thyme, rosemary and chives are some of the herbs that are growing in pots on my deck.  I choose pots because herbs have a tendency to spread and can be invasive.  Once you begin growing herbs you will find you can use them for cooking, making teas, or just simmering them to make your house smell good.

A recent article on the "tip hero" website said that rosemary is very good for one's memory.  Whether it is or not I love to smell it.  The same goes for mint as it is so refreshing.  And lavendar, don't get me started! I like to add lavendar oil to distilled water and spray my bed pillows and covers.  It is known to help calm and bring on sleep. 

So before reaching for the medicine bottle why not try some herbs or essential oils?  You just might become a believer too!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Easy to Do Craft

Some of you have seen this fleece blanket craft done over and over, but for some of you it might still be new.
I love making these fleece blankets in all kinds of sizes.  For the blanket shown I have used 1 1/2 yard of fleece fabric.  One layer is patterned and the other is solid.

Lay your fabric one on top of the other and get them as even as possible.  They don't have to be perfect and that is one of the joys of this craft;  it is very forgiving!

I usually start by cutting the 4 corners of fabric first.  Just cut a square out of each corner the same length that you plan to make your cuts.  Then begin to cut the fringe all the way around.  Mine are approximately 1 inch wide but they could be thinner if you like.  I usually tie a knot in at each corner before moving the fabric from my cutting table.

Once all the fringe is cut I just start tying the knots.  I try to tie a square knot (one tie one direction, the next the opposite direction) so the knots don't come out during the laundry.

I have made countless fleece blankets for my grandchildren and gifts for adults who just enjoy a blanket over their lap during the winter months.  I have made smaller blankets for my dogs to lay on.  Fleece comes in so many patterns so I should warn's hard to choose.

If you should have questions regarding my directions don't hesitate to ask me.



*Note:  Dogs love the fleece scraps to play with.  I braid them and tie them at the ends and they love to play with them.  I've actually seen the braided fleece toys for sale in the stores.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I have never met a flower that I didn't like!  As the new selections make their appearance at all the local garden shops each spring, you will find me oohing and aahing over every single one.  I know that I can't have everything, but I would if I could.

As the years go by I have learned a trick or two about gathering lots of variety in my flower gardens:  first of all I have learned to spend just a little more and buy perennials (flowers that come back on their own year after year).  I have also learned that if you have a friend or two with flowers in their yards they are usually happy to let you have a start from one of their plants.

I also start some of my flowers from seed like zinnias, and marigolds.

Each year I like to add a few annuals for that extra burst of color but I just don't like the cost.  This year I found that one of our local garden shops begins to mark down "stressed" plants to 1/2 price.  I have purchased geraniums, petunias, daisies, and some vines already this year.  As long as they are green and not totally dried out you can baby them back to good health.  This store also has torn or damaged bags of soil for 1/2 price.  I now stroll through this store a few times a week in order to stretch my budget.

Another way to save money in the flower garden is to use containers that weren't  meant for flowers.  I use milk cans, watering cans, tea pots, etc for my flowers.  When I go to a thrift store I'm always on the prowl for things that will work out in my flower garden.  I have an old bicycle, wagon, and trike that I plant to incorporate into a flower garden someday.

Don't be afraid to use your imagination.  I'm sure that you will have beautiful flowers on the cheap too!


This is the day the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


While at my childcare center the other day, a two year old brought this strange little creature to his teacher and said, "Here's a WORM".  He handed her this naked little bird, and what did she do???  Of course, she brought it to me!  Now what am I to do with this tiny little bird?  It certainly won't live long, but I couldn't just let it die with out a good try.

I wrapped the little fellow in a soft tissue and placed it in a styrofoam cup hoping to keep him warm.  I wasn't sure what to feed it until someone suggested I might chew up a worm and spit it out for the new hatchling.  I just wasn't quite this dedicated, but I thought, what about the fish food with shrimp in it?  I moistened it and began to feed him and found he was really hungry.  Everytime I looked at him he was begging for food.

After taking him home for the weekend I placed a piece of fleece cloth on my heating pad, and made a makeshift nest out of the fleece also.  I fed him every hour and he was really lively.  On Saturday my grandchildren came and got to witness this little naked hatchling and were facinated by him.   They named him "E.T."  This little creature brought a smile to everyone's face who saw him.

On Sunday he was still strong and eating well, but towards late afternoon he just became listless and the life left his little body.  It was sad to see him go.  He had fought so hard to beat the odds, but he just couldn't make it.

I wondered why this little fellow was brought into my life?   Then I realized that in the 3 short days he was with us he brought smiles to more faces than some people bring to others in a lifetime.  Have you brought a smile to someones face today?

Sunday, May 9, 2010


While browsing at my local Dollar General store a few weeks ago I came across a book on gardening, called "Square Foot Gardening", by Mel Bartholomew.  It caught my attention when it said "Grow More In Less Space!"

I brought it home and we went right to work on building some 4X8 raised beds.  We mixed the soils as per the directions, and divided the sections off into one foot squares.  Our little garden is planted and now we wait!

While we have plenty of ground to plant an ample size garden the sound of growing more in less space appealed to me, especially as Sidney and I are growing older.  It is supposed to have less to no weeds (of course I will have to see this to believe it).  As I began to plant I found it really does hold a lot of seeds.  In one of the 4' X 4' sections I have planted 2 cabbages, 2 egg plants, 36 beats, 12 lettuce plants, 12 onions, and 18 green bean plants and 16 radishes.

Another advantage of this type planting is that you can cover the entire box with chicken wire or netting to protect it from birds or other animals that like to take their share of the bounty.

Sidney will plant corn, zucchini, and a few other things in his traditional garden and then we will watch and see which seems to produce the most and is the easiest to care for.

In the meantime, I'll be purchasing my veggies at the local fruit market while dreaming of the fresh flavors that only summer can bring.

Grandma B

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


We have enjoyed the fresh eggs we get each day from our chickens.  When I'm short on cooking time, there is nothing like a fresh egg sandwich.  We have scrambled eggs, fried eggs, boiled eggs, and I continue to look for new ways to enjoy the bounty.

There is something comforting about the sound of an old hen clucking and scratching around the yard.  The hens just seem so contented as they make their way through the grass.  They don't miss anything that moves.  If I plant a new flower bed they are right there to inspect and eat anything that moves in and around the freshly turned dirt.

Sidney enjoys giving the eggs away.  We haven't even tried to sell any.  He felt that God told him to give them away and he has obeyed.  Every neighbor and friend has received eggs, and of course he keeps our boys and thier families in eggs too.

This year Sidney decided that he wouldn't get any new chicks; but as the spring fever hit, he couldn't resist so we now have 14 new babies and 24 hens and 3 roosters.  This includes our Banties (I love our banties).  So for now, we will be enjoying our brown eggs for at least another year.  If you're in the neighborhood and think you would like some really fresh eggs, stop in!  We'll be glad to fix you up and who knows, maybe you will decide you should get a few chicks too!

Grandma B

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Kitchen Counter Make-over

For years home repairs were impossible for us due to finances, or rather, lack of finances.  My home was built in 1963 and I have never had new counter tops.  They were  way over due, but when I priced new tops they were VERY expensive, due to an inset in the counter.  I was told they would have to be special made and that it was going to cost almost 4 times what ordinary counter tops would costs.   Recently I came across a product called "paperillusions" on the internet and decided to give it a try on my counter-tops.  So far, I am very happy with the results.

Counter before Paper Illusions

This is paper illusions.  It cost me $29.00 per roll and I used about 1/2 roll for this project.  After thoroughly cleaning the counter tops I lightly sanded them.  Then I tore a piece of the paper, dipped it in lukewarm water, and applied it to the counter.  After making sure that it would stick I began to just tear one piece after another and overlap them.  Directions come with the paper.  After the paper dried for 24 hours, I applied 5 coats of polyurithane.  I know that I can't sit hot pans on it and I will have to use cutting boards, but it looks so much better than what I had before, don't you agree?

New and Improved!

                           Now what do I do with these cabinets?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

 Who doesn't love chicken noodle soup?  Because of the Federal Food Program our Daycare Center is required to serve certain portions of meat, grains, vegetables and more.  Canned Chicken noodle soup tastes good but is lacking in enough chicken and noodles to satisfy the guidelines so we had to get inventive and now everyone is happy.  Here's what we do;  We add additional chicken and noodles to the canned broth.  I personally use canned chicken, but you can use whatever works for you.  We usually add some additional fine noodles, but the wider noodles work good too.  Let this simmer until the noodles are done and within minutes you have a soup that is like home made.  We add no additional seasoning, just the broth from the canned soup.  The kids and adults love it!  Let me know how you like it and share your ideas for quick and easy fixes for others to see.


Sunday, February 14, 2010


I found the following idea at and felt it was a great idea for identifying your child's bike should it be stolen.

Proof it's your Kids Bike

If you purchase a new bike for your child, place their picture inside the handle bar before placing the grips on. If the bike is stolen and later recovered, remove the grip and there is your proof who owns the bike.

Junk Mail Gems

Although I consider myself frugal, even I have never thought about reusing my junk mail.  I came across this link today and thought I would share it. Take a look.  Even if you don't use some of these ideas, I think your children would really enjoy trying some of these projects.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I have had extremely dry skin most of my life.  When I get out of the shower I lather my body with lotions and just a few minutes later I still  feel dry and itchy.  I have purchased many expensive lotions and cremes through the years and some work for me and some don't. 

About a year ago I began learning a little about "essential oils" and "carrier oils" and that's when I stumbled onto an inexpensive relief for dry skin.  This product was purchased at my local health store for about $9.99.  This price was for a large 16 oz. bottle and has lasted the entire year.  What is this amazing product?  Almond Oil!  You probably are thinking that you wouldn't want something  oily or greasy on your skin and clothing, but just a few drops applied to your face and body will absorb quickly into your skin.  Notice I said a few drops not a handful.

A few weeks ago I heard Jillian Michaels, of the Biggest Loser tell people that the only beauty product anyone needs is Olive Oil.  I haven't tried it on my skin yet, but I'm sure it would also work just as well as Almond Oil.

Another oil I discovered for really dry chapped feet is also very inexpensive and effective;  Castor Oil.  Yes, its that same oil that our ancestors used to clean out  their systems when sickness came on.  It really works.  Apply a small amount to your heals and calloused skin.  Now if you forget and lick your fingers I won't promise the "end" result, but used externally you will notice results within just a few days.


Sunday, February 7, 2010


Have you ever found yourself cooking or baking and you log on to your computer for a few minutes, only to forget you had something baking in the oven?  Even though I turn my oven timer on sometimes I just can't hear it when I'm in another room or when I'm engrossed in something on my computer!

I found this site that has already helped me.  A free stop-watch on my computer.  This would also be a wonderful tool for those of you who have family members who need to share the computer.  Just set the timer and go.  Very user friendly.  What useful tool have you found on-line that you could share with us?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thrift Store Shopping

Most of us have a local thrift store or resale shop close to where we live.  If you haven't checked them out yet you are missing some great bargains!   You can find almost anything in these shops from books, toys, glassware, jewelry, clothing, furniture, and more.  If  I have a particular item I'm  looking for and don't have to have it immediately, chances are I'll find it at one of these stores if I just keep checking back.

Before you shop these stores you should do some research.  Know what is a bargain and what isn't.  One of the stores I shop at has begun to raise it's prices and sometimes I can buy an item "new" for the price they ask, so I have learned not to purchase something there until I'm sure I'm getting a bargain.  Their books at 70 cents each are a bargain!  The outdoor yard decoration for $9.00 was overpriced. 

Also, it's not a bargain if you really can't use it.  Think before you buy: 
1. Is it a bargain
2.  Will I really use it?
3.  Do I have room for it?

My last resale shop bargain was a beautiful basket for $1.00.  What have been some of your favorite finds?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


It has been over a year ago that I started this blog.  For me it has been fun just writing about things that are dear to my heart; especially family!  But when I started GrandmaB's Simple Living, it was supposed to have the purpose of helping people to save money by learning to do things in a simple way.  I lost my focus almost from the beginning!

Over the next few weeks I will be taking the focus back.  I will be posting tips and ways to save money.  I plan to include some easy, healthy, inexpensive recipes along with ways to find the best prices on everyday items.

I really hope that you will leave comments and your own ideas on this site so that we can help each other to survive in this tough economy.

Thanks for your support and I hope you will drop by often.

Monday, February 1, 2010


While browsing through some photos this week I found this one of my five favorite fellows.  They are my family, starting with my 3 sons, Scott, Dale, and Jason.  Next is my wonderful husband Sidney who I have been married to since 1967.  And the man on the end is my  late father-in-law, Sidney Sr.

I am so proud of each one of these men.  They have brought so much joy to my life.  I thank God for the privilege of having them in my life.

Who do you have in your  life that has brought joy to you?

Saturday, January 23, 2010


At age 60, it was strongly encouraged by my children that I should set up a budget for my household.  All of my bills are paid on time each month and I seldom need to use a credit card, so I wasn't too sure about needing an actual budget.  After asking some questions it was suggested that I use an envelope method like suggests.  

Setting up my categories has been tough for me because I couldn't decide if groceries and miscellaneous should go together or be separated.  Should I put animal feed for the horse and chickens in the same category with dog food since I purchase dog food with my groceries?  See what I mean?

I made my categories, labeled my envelopes and filled them with the set amount of cash.  Here is what this old timer has found:  I can't remember to take my envelopes with me and keep the cash separated so it's back to the debit card.   It is just hard for me to break old habits so the following is what seems to be working for me:

I went to my computer and opened the program "Excel".  I made categories just as I would for envelopes.  I made one column for a spending catagory, another for the amount budgeted monthly, another with the amount spent and the final for the balance left for the month.  I am keeping ALL receipts and post them in the proper category.

What I am finding is that I spend more than I thought in some areas, and less in others.  By the end of February I should have a really good idea where every cent of my money is going.  I'll let you know how this is working for me as time goes on.

Meanwhile, isn't it time for you to know where your money is going?  If you haven't started a budget for the current year, then stop and do it today.  I wish I had done it sooner!


Thursday, January 7, 2010


While driving to work one morning this week I looked out over the frost covered fields and remembered how much, as a child,  I enjoyed walking to school.  I especially liked the walk when the lawns were covered in frost.  The frost always fascinated me as it layered the grass in what seemed like little jewels.  I also loved the smell of the air on those crisp mornings.  Somehow, I didn't seem to notice that it was also cold outside, because I spent my entire walk exploring things around me.

Yesterday, we got a big ole' Missouri snowstorm.  All of the kids were excited at the thought of snow coming, and even did a "snow dance" at the daycare just to give extra insurance to the fact that IT WOULD ARRIVE! 

I thought to myself, wouldn't it be wonderful to see the world again through the eyes of a child?  Just to be excited again about snow, or frost, or other wonders that God has given us.

May the Lord restore to us the "eyes of a child" that we can see the little things in a new way!