Make, Do and Mend

The cyber-diary of what this homemaker makes, does and sometimes mends.
My motto is "if you do stuff, stuff gets done"

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April coupon challenge part 6- results

I planned to keep better records on this coupon challenge but with the new grandbaby,  many of the small things just didn't get done.
I think there are pictures of all my April coupon purchases (did you spot my goof and which picture is doubled?)
Anyway, on coupon items,  I spent about $83 for goods that I estimate would of cost close to $200 if they were bought at regular price without coupons.
I am happy with the results.  Couponing does take work and organization,  and I left dollars on the table twice by not being organized.
We added lots of dish soap, 2 laundry products, 4 bars of soap,  high end and basic razors, hair care products, paper products and 16 cans of juice to our pantry along with several grocery items.  

So,  I will keep couponing.
Nothing extreme but even this small  amount does help stretch the grocery budget.  

And I earned a  $10 ECB to spend at CVS  in May.  

How do you feel about coupons?
do you like them?  can't stand them?  or just use them because it is how the game is played?

Linking up to 
at Joyful homemaking and Saving 4 Six

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee

I read about the Great British Sewing Bee on a sewing blog and I am so glad I did!
It is a 4 part reality contest with 8 British home sewers.  All 4 episodes are on YouTube and I would say all episodes are G rated-family friendly.   If you sew, you will relate to the tasks on the challenges.  If you are a rookie seamstress, I think you will learn a lot about sewing.

I've managed to watch all 4 in bits and pieces this week.  And now I am just itching to sew.

Cindy,  I especially thought of you, on the last episode, one contestant makes a beautiful lace lined dress.

If you watch it,  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
And I will probably watch it again when I have time, I liked it that much.  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Perfect backyard shoes for little feet

I love this little pair of foam monkey sandals!
My grandson has wore them for 2 summers at our house.  They are great for back yard play to protect  little feet from stickers and rocks and such.
I like the foam sandals as they  can be rinsed off if they get muddy
They are also lightweight enough to wear in the wading pool and won't slow down busy feet.

Gavin had this monkey foam pari and Elizabeth wore a frog pair- also for 2 summers.

Sadly, Foam shoes are hard to find!

I stopped at a newer Walmart last week and I guess they had just restocked their shoe department.  

I found lots of shoes for my favorite little feet.  The blue and orange ones are foam sandals for Braeden.
And those zebra-hot pink ones are foam sandals for Andie.  
There were no foam sandals big enough for Gavin and Elizabeth so they will be playing in our backyard in those foam knock-off croc looking things.  

our youngest grand,  JJ, did not get any new shoes but I don't think he cares.  He is just 3 weeks old.
His sister was thrilled when I put him on her bed and she shared her very loved stuffed friends with baby brother.

My husband says in the ET movie that ET was hid from the mother in a pose like this,  in a bunch of stuffed animals.
I don't watch many movies.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with Elaine's
Sunny Simple Sunday

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April coupon challenge part 5

Sorry that this current update is not the least bit impressive. With a 2 week old grandbaby, company, a cold that really slowed me down and local sales that just were not what we needed, I have not done much shopping at all.  My plan was to show a realistic month of coupon savings and I guess that is what it is turning out to be.

Saturday, I went to Dollar Tree. They had a bin full of these Olay bars of soap. I used $1 coupons on each one so they only cost the sales tax.

Then on Wednesday,  I tried CVS.    My husband really likes these higher end razors.  They were on sale with coupons from Sundays paper.  When you buy $25 of the Schick, you get back a $10 ECB.
At the scanner,  I got a $3 off any vitamin purchase and I have been wanting to try Biotin.  Lori says it is good for her hair and Betsy says it makes her nails strong and healthy.  I'll let you know how it works for me.
My total was about $31 and it would of been less if I could find the ECB I got on my last visit-

I also got a few things at Walmart.  I forgot to take the cereal coupons I wanted to use but did see that my store sells them and will get them next time.
I printed off 4  $1 coupons for any BeechNut Stage 4-5 toddlers foods.  They even had pictures of this product on them but only one would scan at the Walmart register.  The cashier is one that I have shopped with many times and is coupon friendly so she manually entered them.
I think each little pouch was 97 cents,  so I just had to a pay a few cents sales tax.

My new solution so I don't keep losing my ECBs from CVS.  I wrapped it around my CVS card and secured it with a paper clip.

My post last week on homemade rags was featured on Thinktank Thursday by Carrie at Saving 4 Six
Thank you Carrie!  

I'll am  linking up again with
and these other fun parties

Monday, April 22, 2013

Repairing sheets that won't stay tucked down on the mattress corners.

Green, Frugal and Easy!

The bottom sheets on our bed are older but still fine- except for the elastic in the corners that has lost all its stretch.  So they may pop off in the night and that makes for a very uncomfortable way to wake up.

I shopped online to buy new sheets but did not see anything I just loved.  I like old fashioned percale sheets- and don't want those gauzy 200 count sheets, or microfiber sheets or those luxury high count sheets.  We've had 2 sets of those thread count sheets and they did not wear well at all,  the threads popped and gave them an all over snagged look.

Anyway,  it dawned me that I could just try to replace that worn elastic. 

So,  last week,  I added new elastic to the sheets after I laundered them.  It literally just took 15 minutes.  
Those sheets have been used almost a week and are staying tucked under perfectly!  

Since the first project was success,  I decided to repair the rest of the sheets that needed it. 

When I looked in the linen cabinet for the red print set,  I discovered there was a 3rd set of  queen sheets, that fit our bed,  also needing elastic.  

from the right side
You want the elastic to look like this,  with gathers,  so it will curve around the under corner of the mattress.  

from the wrong side

that is some worn out, sad looking elastic on the corner of this sheet.  

To repair the elastic,  you need 4 pieces of elastic- I used 1/2 inch and 3/8 inch because that is what I already had- and cut each length about 1 foot long.  
Then pin the center of each strip of elastic to the corner of your sheet.  
Now, holding the center of the corner, stretch one end about 6 more inches and pin.  
Then machine sew- stretching the elastic as you sew.  


then, pulled tight whiled I sewed.  

shown from the right side.
This is a set of vintage-y sheets,  just bought a few weeks ago at the $1 a bag rummage sale.
They are full size and would never work on a real thick mattress but they will be great on either bed in our 2 guest rooms.  

Elastic is sold several different ways.
You may be able to have a clerk cut and it buy it by the yard.
There should be small length packages with the notions,  usually about a yard, enough  for one  garment.
But the most economical way I have found is to by a big package of it.
This package is 6 yards and I think was about $1 at Walmart.

And if you don't sew and still want to fix your sheets,  you could buy a set of sheet garters that fasten around each corner.  I saw them at Joanns Fabrics for about $4 for a set.

Some of the parties I link up with

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sewing and thinking about my Aunt Bernice

For our wedding, 33 years ago, my very sweet Aunt Bernice gave us several gifts. Some were expensive but the gift I remember and used the most cost her no money,  just a little time. She said when she got married and set up homekeeping, after World War II, she only had her nice wedding gift linens and had no rags for cleaning.
So, she made us about a dozen rags. She used squares from their old bath towels and hemmed them all so nicely.
We used Aunt Bernice's rags until they were worn out. By then, our wedding linens were starting to wear out. I've been copying my sweet aunt ever since, cutting up and hemming our old towels into household rags.

Here is my latest batch. From 2 big bath sheets, I got 16 nice squares. I used a machine zig zag stitch to bind the edges. I rounded off all the corners just to make the sewing go faster. Aunt Bernice mitered her corners!
Mine are about 12 inch squares,  but I just cut them and did not measure.

I added a little rick rack just to pretty them up a bit.

I will use these mostly in the kitchen.  When my grand children are here,  their little faces and hands need cleaned often.  I like to use a clean wet rag for each child each time I wash one.  It does not add much to my laundry load and just seems like the nicest way to keep those sweet children clean.
 These will be perfect for that.    I put them in a basket beside the kitchen sink for now.

Linking up with some of these sweet parties

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pantry readiness

Were you ready for today?  I think most of us that were connected to any kind of news sources today have seen the horrible events unfolding in the Boston area.
One thing that came to my mind,  besides worrying about the safety of everyone,  was how were all those people who were ordered to stay home doing.  I wondered how many of them were down to their last diaper for their baby or were out of food because they needed to do their shopping today or because they just never eat at home and have all their meals out.

The top half of my pantry

I spent part of today organizing my pantry.  It has not had much tending too lately.  Yes,  I know some before pictures would of been nice.  Anyway,  mostly I just grouped like items together and repacked some things from either larger containers to smaller containers,  as well as just taking some things out of store wrap and putting them in glass jars.
The bottom half of my pantry
I was very pleased to see I had some empty shelf space afterward.  

I don't know that we should all be preppers with 100s of pounds of beans and rice
but I do think we should all be prepared for at least a few weeks on our own in an emergency.
We don't have a year's worth of supplies but I think we could 2-3 months before it was too difficult or weird.  

I am sure none of those people in the Boston area expected to be required to stay home all day today until it happened.  I hope most of them were had basics at home to keep themselves comfortable.  

Linking up to some of these parties.  

No Answers

I've been thinking all week about internet safety and internet friendships.  I have no answers about the security concerns but several very nice friends gave me good advice.  You can read most of it in the comments in previous posts.

I am going to keep blogging and enjoying my friendships in blog world.
But I am think I will just be more cautious about what personal things I post.

I am open to advice and opinions on this subject-

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What a bother!

I closed my old blog because I had problems with p*rn sites linking to it.  When I started this one, I was not going to share any family photos to avoid that problem.  But my grands are just so cute and I posted more pictures than I should of.
So,  I have going through all my posts and deleting any pictures that I think could possibly interest people with bad motives.

I love blogging because it allows me to connect with other homemakers that are doing the same kinds of things I am doing. I don't want to quit but I've got to be more careful.

Anyone have any advice about avoiding visits from unwanted sites?

Friday, April 12, 2013

April Coupon challenge part 4

Staples- I had a $10 off $10 mailer coupon. These giant packs of paper towels and toilet paper were in sale for $9.99. So, the checkout was just $10.86

Used a in store coupon to get the detergent for $.99.
Infusium was 2/$10. I used 2 $2 coupons and a ECB from last week
Total was just under $5 and I got back a $5 ECB for my next shopping trip.

Hobby lobby has Simplicity patterns on sale this week for $.99 each. No coupon needed and quite a bargain. Some of these patterns have a regular price of $17.95 each!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Smaller stamp books. :(

I had 4 envelopes to mail today. 2 had greeting cards and all had different amounts of photos in them. I did not have enough stamps at home to even guess at their weight and add stamps.
So, I went to the Post Office to get them metered correctly.
While I was there, I thought I might as well buy a couple of books of stamps. When I got to my car, I realized the new stamp books have been downsized.
As far as I can remember, stamp books were always 20 count.
Now they are just 18.
Each book cost $8.28, making each stamp 46 cents.

2 books of stamps
18 stamps in each one

but they are not really books anymore either!  

a book at home,  that did have 20.  

Looking at my receipt,  I am glad I had all those envelopes weighed.
If I had guessed and just added some stamps,  I would of added too many and these would of  ended up being $2 or so more to mail.

The line at the Post Office was not too long and the worker was friendly too.

linking up to
Tweak it Tuesday 
at the Cozy Little House

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Simple face care

There are a lot of fancy skin care products on the market making all kinds of promises. I don't pay much attention to them as I have happily used just Ponds cold cream and moisturizer for more than 15 years.
They have no lingering scent, are low cost and available most anywhere cosmetics are sold and they are simple to use.
I just put a small amount of Ponds cold cream on my face and then use a warm moistened washcloth to clean my face.
I use the moisturizer afterward and also in the morning as part of my dressing routine.

I was blessed with good genes and have never smoked or tanned much. People tell me my skin looks young and I think Ponds is part of the reason.

And this seems like the perfect time to show you my 55 year old face and introduce our newest grandson, John Jr.  He was born just after midnight today.  He really has a young looking face :).

Linking to
Sunny Simple Sunday

Friday, April 5, 2013

April coupon challenge part 3

2 gallons Bordens milk. $3.70- used .50 coupon on each
4 pounds Jimmy Dean sausage-price matched at $1.99, used 2 $1.50/2 coupons
16 cans frozen juice- price matched at $1 each, used 4 $1/4 coupons.

The milk is not a stock up item, it will be gone in about a week.
We only use about 1can of juice a week, husband likes a glass of juice to wash down his morning pills, so those 16 cans of juice should last several months.

Before I did my coupon shopping, I shopped at a church rummage sale where most everything was sold for $1 a bag full.  Grand daughter Andie has had a big time playing with a retro typewriter and telephone from one of my bags full.  I spent $6 and left with 6 big brown paper grocery sacks just stuffed with some treasures and some junk.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

a little mending

Just a little time spent at the sewing machine with big results............love doing projects like these!
I got this Coldwater Creek blouse at a rummage sale for $1.
It is like new and just my style,
but the fancy long sleeves were too long and too fancy.
So,  I just cut them off, ironed up the edge twice into a narrow hem
and machine stitched down the hem.  

the fancy cuffs - removed
I think they would of really been in the way when I am washing dishes or  changing diapers.  

My son wore this shirt here for Easter.
It is a really nice shirt, and just his style.
He bought it at a deep discount as a second.
I noticed a cut on the back of the shirt.
So he left the shirt here and I put a patch on the inside,

the patch
just a little square of white fabric
machine stitched on the inside of the shirt.  

the back of the shirt- after the repair.
I know where the patch is but I don't expect anyone else will ever notice.

a hand towel after a repair
Our towels seem to wear out too fast.
This one had a frayed side, so I trimmed off the frayed part and then  sealed up the raw edge with a  zig zag stitch.
No, it does not look good as new but it will be fine for now.  

The front of the towel
at least you can't see the repair job from the front.

These jobs all took about 15 minutes total.
 Since they are  all  sewn with white,  I didn't even have to change the  thread or bobbin in between jobs.  

Linking to 
The Charm of Home

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April coupon challenge part 2

I had planned out this shopping trip and
 even though I've been using coupons for more than 30 years and was shopping alone with no distractions, 
 I still made 2 goofs.  


The CVS coupon scanner printed another Clear hair product so I got a 2nd one free.  The Suave deoderants were 10/$10 with a $3 ECB after purchase.  
I used a $4 ECB and a few Suave coupons but my first goof was not having a $2.50 ECB that I earned previously with my list.  I spent $6.82- but it would of been $2.50 less.......

Can you spot my 2nd couponing goof?  I had 5 Maruchan coupons but the 5th one was not accepted at the register as I had only picked up 4 Maruchan and 1 ChowMein noodle bowls.
Saved $12.50 with coupons.

so far,  I've spent $18.88,
got 28 products 
Sales tax so far is $3.80 - because nothing in Oklahoma is really free,  except maybe the wind 

How to Verify your Blogspot on Pinterest

Here is a link to the easy instructions on how to link up your blogspot blog to your Pinterest account.


I tried with a few other set of instructions and could not get it to work but I followed hers and got it to done in just about 1 minute!

thank you Slap Dash Sewist!

Rhonda Oliver


homebody that loves to gets things done

Monday, April 1, 2013

April coupon challenge

Coupons have really been on my mind. I've belonged to a yahoo groups list focused on homemaking and thrift for years. Several of the members have mentioned that crazy coupon TV show on TLC where the shoppers do some amazing deals. We agree we would also like to do big coupon savings but think buying 100 bottles of hot sauce or 200 cake mixes is pointless.

I am going to do a realistic coupon monthly diary here for April.
No dumpster diving for extra coupons though- we get 2 newspapers on Sunday and my brother saves coupon supplements for me, so at the most, I may end up with 5 copies of the newspaper coupons.
I won't be buying things, just because I have a good coupon for them. I will only purchase things we need and things that we will use before they spoil or that have a long shelf life.

I will use Internet coupons but I only have access to one printer so I won't have multiples.

I will scan the good deals lists that other bloggers like Common Sense with Money, Coupon Closet and Money Saving Mom post. But I don't plan on spending too much time on them.

I won't make special trips just to coupon but will shop only when I am near the stores or other reasons, like before I pick up my granddaughter at preschool.

In my state, we pay sales tax, almost 9%, on the purchase price, so even free things aren't really free.
I live in a smaller city- stores in my town are CVS, Walgreens, Dollar Tree, Walmart, and a few family dollar-dollars general stores that I rarely shop. There are also 2 smaller grocers that double coupons up to 50 cents.

My goal is to increase my rainy day stockpiles, spend as little as possible and just see how much difference I can make with minimal coupons for 1 month.

Today, I spent about an hour clipping yesterday's coupons and about a months worth of coupons my brother brought me. As I clip them, I put them in stacks by the categories in my purse size coupon organize. That makes it fast to file them.

I had to go to the bank this afternoon so I stopped at CVS too.
I got a free bottle of conditioner just for scanning my CVS card as advertised on the front of this weeks sales paper and 4 bottles of Dawn. My total was $2.75 and my savings were $11.99.
I wanted to do their Suave deal too but they products I wanted were already sold out.

Later this week, I will go to Walmart and Dollar Tree. I made lists for each stores and paper clipped the coupons to it.

So, if you want to see realistic couponing, follow along!  Tell me in a comment if you think you want to join with me.
  But I don't expect TLC will be calling me......

linking to parties at 

Cozy Little House- Tweak it Tuesday

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/5451271/?claim=eugj8x4erwh">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>