Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spoon Wall Decoration

My husband and I have lived in our home for years now and the only room we have given little thought to in terms of decorating is our bedroom.   It kind of seemed silly, I mean, who would see it besides us?  I would occasionally pull it off my "To Do Someday" list with good intention only to return it a few weeks later. 

Then, I stumbled upon this great little decorating book by chance and my thoughts about decorating shifted a bit as the decorating itch returned.   (The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith)

On a cold winter weekend we shipped the kids off to Grandpa and Grandma's house and our project was underway.  Naturally, I wanted to spend as little as possible and am pretty pleased with some of my finds (another post, another time).  One of my most favorite "frugal finds' in the room thus far is the wall decor.  After a walk through Pier One and Target I knew there had to be a better way.

I enjoy crafts although I would not call myself particualrly talented in the area so I was thrilled to find a DIY wall decor piece that was simple and afforable.  Anyone with a glue gun and plastic spoons can pull this one off!

Check out Craftaholics Anonymous for the instructions if you are interested!  I made 2 spoon wall hangings in only a few hours and spent around $10 total in supplies.  I love the result!!!  Now if I could just finish the rest of the room!

Finished Project!

Hanging on the wall!  So simple!!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Persistance Pays Off

If I had to rank my preference when it comes to searching for that frugal find it would be as follows:

1. Garage Sales
2. Thrift Stores
3. Clearance Racks

Since I happen to live in a place where the weather only cooperates about 4 months out of the year for garage sales, I find myself wandering the thrift store more often than not these days.  This past week alone I have walked through my two area favorites for a total of 4 visits!  (This isn't always the case since I am somewhat preoccupied with my kids but I take advantage of it when time allows.) 

I really believe the key to thrift shopping is persistence.  Most of the time you will walk out of the store empty handed.  Some of the time you will leave with something you like, and rarely will you find that "treasure" people so commonly refer to.  When you do stumble upon that unique unexpected find it makes the countless times you left with nothing worth your while.

A few months ago I had one of those "rarely" thrift store experiences.   I was out on a Mommy daughter date with one of my little cuties and we stumbled upon an accent chair with a foot stool that I instantly loved.  I immediately checked the price tag which I was pleasantly surprised to see it was marked $39.99!  After checking the entire chair for stains or tears and of course getting the thumbs up from my little shopping pal, it was purchased and loaded into the van before I knew what had happened.  (Confession:  it turns out mini vans are pretty much one of the most practical vehicles ever made.....although I am still coming to terms with that fact that I drive one.)
Mommy/Daughter pre-shopping "coffee" date"

Fast forward a few months to a date night with my husband.  We sometimes like to wander around furniture stores after a meal out (especially those with free cookies.)  On this particular night we found ourselves at HOM Furniture and as we were admiring all the fun pieces I spotted the exact accent chair that I found at the thrift store.  Naturally, I made a bee line for the price tag....just how much was it originally?  My jaw dropped.  I am pretty sure I started jumping up and down with excitment.  It was marked DOWN to $722.49 and that was without the foot stool!!!  If that was Kohls they would have circled the number $682.50 in bright red marker and proudly stated that was how much I had saved today!  (not a fan of Kohls but thats another post for another day).

I still can't decide what is crazier.  That I only paid $39.99 for the exact same chair, or that someone would pay the original price in the first place.  Still flying high from this frugal find! 

The store from the Furniture Store

Only $722.49.... an takers? 

My $39.99 thrift store chair AND footstool. 

What kinds of treasures have you found at a Thrift Store?  I'd love to hear about them! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Real Life in Reverse

Happy New Year!  I hope your 2015 is off to a fantastic start.  Our family ended 2014 with a lovely round of influenza and kicked off 2015 by sharing a nasty stomach bug.  Oh the joys of the season but thankful for a warm, comfortable house and an amazing, awesome, and caring husband. 

Despite our rough start I am super excited for the new year!  Of course, I have a long list of goals,  half of which I am certain I have already forgotten.  One of my goals this year though is to start another blog!  It's called Real Life in Reverse and is going to have a lot of the same elements that the Frugal Find has had.  (Real Food eating, counter cultural living, etc.)  

If you have at all enjoyed the Frugal Find* and don't want to miss a thing head over to my new blog by clicking HERE and follow!!!  Thanks for being awesome and stay frugal people.

Just for the fun of it check out these adorable Christmas dresses I picked up for the girls last January on super Christmas clearance. ($4 each!)  Now's the perfect time to start looking for those cute little outfits to tuck away for next year!

* The Frugal Find will still be open.  I just can't promise I will post as often. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Infinity Scarf- DIY

Sewing is not my thing.  Do I own a nice (ish) sewing machine?  Yes.  Have I been known to occasionally dust it off and give it a try?  Of course.  Will I ever remember how to thread the silly thing and not waste countless hours trying to reteach myself each time?  Unlikely. So, when I decided that I was going to MAKE matching infinity scarves for myself and my girls to wear during a fall family photo shoot eyebrows were certainly raised; mine included. 

Although I am a neat freak and like all things in almost perfect order perfectionism in it's traditional sense is not my thing.  I don't think I own a ruler, for example, nor do I have the patience to read an entire paragraph word for word once I catch the gist of it.  You can imagine my struggle with a pattern.  Needless to say after a few minutes on pinterest I decided I should just wing it.   I did roughly base my sizes on a few scarves that I already had and after a quick trip to the fabric store clearance table, (LOVE) and yet another epic battle threading my machine, I was finished and somewhat surprised with the results.  It looked like a scarf.  Win. 

I proceeded to go back to the same clearance table and picked up a bunch of extra fabric for teacher gifts this Christmas.  (At less than $2 a scarf I really couldn't go wrong.) 

What was your DIY Christmas gift giveaway this year? 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Ornaments

This will be the 9th year we will set up a tree and decorate it.  The first few years I loved my ornaments that my husband and I grabbed off a clearance rack the day after Christmas but over the years, like most things, they have lost their appeal.  In an attempt to switch things up a bit without purchasing a whole new decor for the tree I have attempted some DIY projects.  One year I made a new tree skirt, another we strung popcorn, and a few years ago when I had way more time on my hands then I do now I hot glued together hundreds of hard candy peppermints.  (Don't ask)

This year we will have a silverware tree.  Yes, you heard that correctly, silverware.  You know, forks, knives, and spoons.  My husband gave me the "you must be losing it" look when I proclaimed my plan with great excitement this year.  I think he is getting use to me. 

So off I went to the thrift store first where I scored 20 unique silverware pieces ($4) and then walmart for some wire ($5 with plenty to spare).  I happened to have a bunch of pearls laying around from our wedding decor and my trusty glue gun was also a player. About 2 hours later and a little inspiration from Rachel's Nest they were finished.  Now to get a tree and we will be good to go.....

What DIY ideas have you tried out on your tree?
Gathering my supplies

My finished project

What I hope my finished project will look like on the tree.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Grocery Store Kid's Club

The other day we finally signed our kids up for the "Kid's Club" at our local neighborhood grocery store. (Mega Foods West)  Although I only tend to shop there when I am in a pinch it seems like we are there on an almost weekly basis as it also serves as the closest post office, bank, redbox, and library drop box. 

My expectations for what this "kids club" would include was not very high but to my surprise it turned out to be a super fun (and free) afternoon activity and has continued to be on a weekly basis.  When the kids show their cards in the different store departments, they get a free item and then qualify for a significantly reduced kid's special item.

Rumor also has it that Target will hand out a free bakery cookie to your kids while you shop.  Anyone else know of any Grocery Store Freebies for kiddos? It's worth looking into.

Customer in Training carts are a good concept until the backs of your heals get run into at every stop.

Cookie from the Bakery

Fruit of the Week from Produce
Dumb Luck.  We showed up on the day Caribou had it's soft opening in Mega which meant free drinks all around! It also means our kids are now really confused why they don't get a drink every time! 

Cheese from the Deli

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fed Up

In the spirit of whole/real food eating I want to post about a documentary in which I am totally obsessed with, and knew I would be even before I saw it.  It is called Fed Up and my anticipation has been running high since catching a glimpse of the trailer this past spring.  

Last week Paul and I celebrated our 9th Wedding Anniversary and after 9 years, the guy knows me well.  He pre-ordered the DVD for me and I have not been that excited and surprised by a gift since my parents bought my brother and I a giant trampoline when I was 10.  (OK, so maybe that is stretch but you get the picture.)  

OK, so first thing is first, how is this frugal you may ask?  It turns out if you order the DVD off of Amazon right now, it is free.  (you just pay tax and shipping)  The purchase price is $10 but included in your DVD is a year long subscription to the magazine Eating Well.  If you read the fine print on the business reply to the magazine you can forgo the magazine and get your $10 back by simply writing "refund" on it and dropping it back in the mail.  You can't beat that!  ....Unless you are like me and find yourself conflicted about wanting your money back or trying a new magazine!  Order your copy HERE today!  

Fed Up is the film that the food industry does not want you to see but in my opinion, it is the film that you must see in order to make an educated decision for yourself and your family going forward.  For the past 30 years most of us have been told that the key to a healthy life and waistline is to eat less, exercise more... count calories in and calories out and you will lose that extra weight. Yet as gym memberships double and just about every food on the supermarket shelf has now been made "fat free" or "reduced fat" we keep getting bigger and sicker.  As Katie Couric says it so well "What if these solutions aren't really solutions at all and our whole approach to this epidemic has been dead wrong?"  

I was so fired up after watching this that I had a sheet full of notes I had scribbled down on the back of my kids coloring sheet and was ready to write up an extensive review.  Lucky for you, I don't know how I thought I would have time for that so you will just have to do the homework yourself and watch the documentary.  "Fed up is a wake up call for everyone who eats."- Christopher Rosen, Huffington Post.  It is time to get real about our food. 

I wasn't kidding about the note taking

* Check out the website to learn more.

*If you aren't going to watch the film and are more of a "give to to me straight/cut to the chase" type of person the conclusion is to EAT REAL FOOD.  Real food will make you full before it will make you fat.  (which my husband and I can TOTALLY attest to as a result of our real food journey these past few years.)  Solutions aren't going to come from government or policy- we have to take it on ourselves, one family at a time.  

*If I lost you at "real food" think of it this way:
food  [food] n 1. something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies
real [ree-uhl, reel] adj 1. true and actual; not artificial

*Have you seen the documentary yet?  What did you think?  Do you eat real food?