Monday, August 29, 2011

Homemade Salsa

Salsa has become a staple in our household.  Running out of salsa is like running out of ketchup around here, it just doesn't happen.  My Mom has always made and canned a really good salsa recipe which has been mostly a blessing, and a little bit of a curse.  The curse being we have become salsa snobs.  Any kind of salsa not specialty or restaurant quality doesn't taste good to us.  As you can imagine, I do not get too excitied about dropping extra money on a decent jar of salsa which we usually devour within the week.  For that reason, and also for the sake that homemade salsa tastes so much better, I now follow in my Mother's footsteps. 

Ingredients is the key in almost every recipe..... especially the frugal ones!  The best choice which also involves the most amount of commitment, is to grow your own vegtables.  For those of us who aren't crazy about the whole gardening thing at this point in life a great option is your local famers market.  I was able to get a majority of the vegtables I needed from my parent's garden minus a few odds and ends which I picked up at the farmers market.
Eau Claire Farmer's Market - Mid August

Fresh locally grown produce

Tomatoes and Jalapenos from my parent's garden. 

Let's cut to the chase and get to the price break down for this frugal find idea.  Specialty Salsa from the store is roughly $5 and up per jar.  Salsa made with farmer's market ingredients bought in season will run you about $2.00 a jar.  Salsa made fresh from your own garden is $1.00 or less a jar.  So, in my case we save about $140 a year by canning our own salsa.  What a delicious frugal find!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Free Box Refurbished

Free Box Find Before Picture

Every good garage sale has a free box.  Most of the time the things that make their way into this box are either so worn or broken they should have been thrown away years ago.  For that reason, many people tend to walk right past without a glance... even I am guilty of that from time to time.  Every once in a while there is a gem among the junk.  My gem this weekend was hard to walk past because it didn't fit into a box.  It was a dresser.  Price - Free.  A few hours later and with a little TLC using supplies I already had from previous projects it was a perfect fit for our bedroom set and yet another frugal find. 

After a good cleaning it was time to prime!
Instead of purchasing new hardware I chose to spray paint the old instead.  I did find some at Menards I really liked which would total $7.   The great thing is I can change my mind whenever I like and it will completely change the look.

The Finished Product!  Total Cost- $0.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Frame It

If you are anything like me, you have more than one empty picture frame sitting somewhere around the house.  Over the past year, I have decided to put those frames on display using odds and ends that I have  around the house.  I thought I would share my attempts to be crafty in this frugal find blog post.  Check them out below and maybe you will be inspired to create your own frame. 

Magazine cut outs for my sewing table.

A broken clock face replaced with a scrap of fabric and magazine number cut outs.

The big white frame came out of a free box at a garage sale.  The rest of the frames I had collected over the years.  Thanks to the Walmart fabric center I spent about $1 on fabric to fill them.  A very cheap way to decorate a large wall!

I used a brown paper bag as a background and then magazine cut outs to create this frame for my sewing table.

This frame I made as a baby gift for a friend using fabric, beads, and hot glue.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My God Provides!

Being a homeowner, as a whole, has been a very positive experience for us thus far.  In our few short years of having a mortgage,  we have encountered only an affordable small fix here and there.  This year however,  as winter began to thaw into spring, a funny thing happened.   Pieces of shingles began to appear in our yard.  It wasn't long before it became obvious that a new roof was not a few years off like we had hoped, but would need to be replaced before the snow began to fly. 

 For some people a large, unexpected expense means it is time to empty out the contents of the coffee can stuffed with cash hidden deep in the freezer.  For other's it's  time to put on your Sunday best and pay a visit to the bank or Grandma.  For us, it meant pray, and pray we did.  We had actually been daily praying about our roof for over a year, knowing that replacing it was in our future sooner than later.  We boldly asked that God would provide.  I prayed for hail, and a little over a year later, he sent wind instead.

One thing lead us to another and before we knew it we had an insurance claim on our roof.  The first insurance adjuster came out and denied our request, saying it was damaged by age.  We called and asked for another adjuster and continued to pray.  After only 10 minutes on our roof the second adjuster found evidence of wind and hail damage.  Our claim had been approved!  Not only did God completely provide us with a brand new roof, He threw in new gutters and a window frame as well totaling just under the $10,000 mark.  (I know, isn't it sick that a roof and gutter cost that much?!)  Although this post isn't exactly about a frugal find, it was a huge financial blessing for us and I want to give God the Glory because my God is the God who provides....... even roofs.     

The roof before

Our new roof has arrived!!

And 2 days later, the finished product!

The close up

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Goodwill Mark Downs

If you think it is tacky to shop at Goodwill brace yourself, this will really throw you for a loop.  It is called the clearance rack and yes, most thrift stores have at least one of these.  As you can imagine, when a second hand store marks down their price, you can practically pay in quarters.

A few weeks ago I was on the hunt for a pair of cut off jean shorts.  I didn't have a pair of jeans on hand that I wanted to cut up so I decided the next best thing was to buy second hand so I found myself at our local Goodwill Store.  This particular store has a fantastic clearance area where they pull clothes and mark them 99 cents or $1.99.  I have noticed over the years that often the clothing  is new (Target is across the street and they seem to donate) and often full of cute things.  This trip did not disappoint!  I ended up not only finding a pair of jeans to cut for shorts, but came across a super cute pair of skinny jeans and a pair of Maurices capris.  To top that off they had brand new hoodies that were a really cute cut and fit.  My grand total at the register was $6 (3 pairs of jeans and 2 hoodies), original Goodwill price total $33.  Thanks Goodwill, for another awesome frugal find!!