Homemade Garden TrellisI'm attempting once again to grow birdhouse gourds. They work well in hills with a lot of area to spread, but I don't have a large area to spare. They also will climb, so I'm trying it this way this year.
Recycled CD OrnamentMake a beautiful ornament with an old CD. This is very simple and easy to do. Let your imagination soar!
Custom Shower Curtain and Liner On The CheapI have made my own custom curtains and plastic liners and I raised the spring tension rod to near ceiling height. I have used a sheet for the outer curtain and bought plastic from the fabric store for the liner.
Assembly Line for Making DollsI make and sell Raggedy Ann and Andy, quilts, and various fabric crafts at our local Farmers Market here in Moses Lake, Washington. If you think that's something you'd like to do with your own talents, let me give you a time saving tip.
Save the Diaper Money for CollegeWhen your child finally gets potty trained, put the $50 or so you have been spending monthly on diapers into a college fund!
Fish Theme BathroomI decorated my bathroom "fish theme" spent less than $5 on paints by using the basic colors red, blue and yellow and mixing them up to get secondary colors.
Baking with CheeseWhen baking a dish with a melted cheese topping (such as lasagna), which needs to be covered with aluminum foil for at least part of the cooking time, I always spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
Frugal Rubber Duck Baby Shower IdeaOn July 3rd, I had a baby shower for a Niece. Being on a tight budget I have to STRETCH every dollar. She loves RUBBER DUCKS for the baby, so I chose this as a theme.
Put Lockers in Your GarageIf you're about to start or have in mind some future remodeling. This idea might be for you. In your garage, install built in lockers, one for each of your family members.
Give Hands a Spa Treatment While GardeningUse your gardening time to give your hands the spa treatment. Before you put on your gardening gloves, coat your hands with a thick coating of moisturizer.
Planning A Kitchen ShowerA very useful shower for a Bride-to-be is a Kitchen shower. This will help her stock her kitchen with small appliances, utensils, kitchen towels and recipes as well.
Annualize EverythingAre you spending $10 a day on lunch? If you bring something from home, it will cost perhaps $3. That $7 a day that you save is $35 a week, over $1500 a year.
Beautiful Garden PathI have 3 teenagers and a 9 year old. We went rock "hunting" and searched all over for free wood chips. Filled the truck load after load and layed the chips down on top of plastic. And made this garden path on the side of our home.
Display Cookie Cutters on WallsHere's a way to display my cookie cutters. Some are gifts, some are ones I bought, some are my mom's, and some are my grandmother's. I can't tell you what wonderful memories they all hold for me, as I can remember why I bought or received every one.
Add Cartoon Characters To Children's ProductsDo your children beg for products emblazoned with their favorite characters? I know my children do, and it makes me crazy! The same yogurt can cost up to two dollars more because it has some kind of cartoon character on it.
Dressing Kids in Matching OutfitsBecause of our work schedules, my husband usually gets our 2 year old son dressed in the morning. To make things easier, I made up a set of hangers with the days of the week on them.
Watering Strawberry PlantersFor those of you with strawberry planters, here's a tip on how to water them without having it run out the sides. Drill several holes into a PVC pipe that's a little longer than the height of your planter, then insert it down the middle of the planter.
Silverware Cabinet HandlesThe knobs and handles for kitchen cabinets are so expensive unless you want to settle for plain old wooden knobs. Here is how my husband and I were able to have something a little fancier with lots less money.
Make a Castle Bed for your ChildI drew the plans for this bed and my husband made it from 2x4's and cheap plywood. It only cost about $50 total for the wood and paint. There is plenty of storage underneath for our son's toys.
Hello Kitty CakeMy daughter said to me "you're the best mom in the whole world!"
Vi's Vegetable Beef SoupI hope you'll enjoy this. Don't be afraid to improve on it with your own favorite flavors. And please share some with someone that can use a hug and warm meal.
Designer PlatesI have a great homemade holiday gift idea that is great for family, friends, anyone! And it's so inexpensive, you could give one to everyone on your list!
Pirate Party Invitations and IdeasThis year my son wanted a Pirate themed party. I found an ad in the paper for a mini golf place with a pirate logo. I scanned in the ad and removed their name from the banner. I added my son's name and Happy 7th Birthday. Then I printed it on transfer paper and made a t-shirt out of it for him for all his friends to sign at the party.
Reuse Tissue Paper and Gift BagsA few years ago my husband and I decided we were not wasting any more wrapping paper at Christmas time. It seems such a waste of money and natural resources to be throwing all that wrap out.
A Beautiful Unique Kitchen MakeoverAfter sanding, priming, painting and adding antique silverware to my twenty year old, dark, dull and just plain outdated kitchen cabinets, putting in new counter tops, new appliances and painting the walls, I now have a beautiful, unique kitchen that I am proud to say was done by ME!
Instruction Manual for the FamilyI have created an "Instruction Manual" for our family. I purchased a three-ring binder. The cover I created says, "The Smith's Instruction Manual".
Computer Keyboard Letter MagnetsI have a unique and fun craft idea that's very fast and easy to do. They are alphabet magnets made from computer keyboard keys. First, visit a local thrift store and pick up an old computer keyboard - they're very cheap.
Clock for Mom's BirthdayFor my mother's birthday I took a picture of each of my four children by the clock on my mantle. The hands on the clock were put on the date my children were born.
Fifth Birthday Tea PartyFor my daughter's fifth birthday I gave her a tea party. At the thrift store I bought old granny hats, and jewelry for about $10.00.
Gardening Co-opMy in-laws, parents, and our family all plant gardens. We always ended up with the same things. This year, we are planting different types of tomatoes. We are planting cucumbers and Brussels sprouts.
Solo Cup Doll Lamp with InstructionsHere is a Solo cup doll lamp or night light. This lamp is made with clear solo drinking cups, a craft doll, and clear Christmas tree lights.
We now have complete instructions!
Tips from a Reforming Pack RatThis is an organizing tip from a reforming pack rat that will also save you lots of money. It is a fun challenging idea. We love it!
Changing Your Dog's FoodMy dog recently got over severe diarrhea and vomiting. She spent 2 nights in a very good animal hospital in Springfield, MA. The doctor did numerous tests but found no answers.
Valentine Skee Ball GameI made this game for my daughter's Valentine's Day party at school.
Fall Clematis Container GardeningI love gardening. I have been planting a lot more perennials lately as we are retired and gone quite a bit during growing season. I also do a lot of container gardening. Hope you like my pictures. The flowers on the fence is one plant. It is a Fall Clematis. Very hardy and smells wonderful.
Homemade Oat Nut GranolaHomemade granola is quick and easy to make, is much better for you than most store-bought granola, and can be eaten as cereal or out of hand. Kids really like it, too.
A Dog Coat for HoneyI was determined to have a coat for my 18-month-old dog Honey. We walk in all weather and she does not have a whole lot of fur on her underside.
How To Cure A New PotAlways cure a new terra cotta pot before planting in it. Otherwise, the pot's sides will draw moisture out of the potting soil and possibly even the plant's root ball. Dry clay wicks water away from the soil and can dry out plant roots.
Mom's Best Housekeeping TipFor six months, while my family was between houses, we moved back in with my parents. During this time, I observed how my mother, a wonderful housekeeper, kept her house so spotless.
Fluffy and Fancy PantsFluffy and Fancy Pants are 1-1/2 years old and are part Maine Coon.
Belly Button Lint RemoverHere's another "gag gift" craft idea. Belly Button Lint Remover - (I know, it sounds disgusting!) Take a long bead and stick a piece of pipe-cleaner through it, make a tiny loop at one end so it won't come out of the bead.
Handprint LilyHere's a nice craft for little ones to do at Easter using their own handprint.
Figuring How Much Food to Buy for PartiesIt will soon be time for graduation parties, family reunions, etc., and it can be difficult to know how much food to fix for a large crowd. Here are several serving guides I have come to rely on.
Finding Night Crawlers for FishingMy Fiance and I love to go fishing, and I usually use night crawlers as bait. But instead of buying them several times throughout the year, we catch them. . .
Remembering to Make Favorite MealsI am notorious around my house for forgetting to make certain meals after a while. Since I try so many recipes, sometimes I lose track of some winners that my family loves.
Honey Tips - Keeping, Storing and SubstitutionsMy family loves honey and I have had bottles turn to sugar because I did not store it correctly. To maintain quality, honey has to be stored properly - in a closed container, in a dry location and at room temperature, about 70 to 75 F. . .
Old Chair for Container GardeningMany household objects can be used as containers in the garden. I love to use old chairs in the garden to add height and interest to an area that might be otherwise plain without it.
Making a Faux CakeI recently discovered that newspaper can make a great pulp to make faux foods. I've been wanting a faux cake to display on a cake platter.
Get Ready for Next Year's TaxesWith the tax season already behind us (almost!), here are a few suggestions I have to make next year's preparations a bit easier.
Keep Kids From Using Too Many BandagesAny parent can probably relate to the bandaid dilemma. Kids seem to think they need a bandaid for every bump, bruise, scrape or whatever they receive.
Family Closet for Organizing LaundryI have just experienced the best thing in my life; the family closet. I turned my laundry room into a laundry room/family closet. Now, I can wash, dry, fold and put away all in one room.
Flip Flop QuiltI made this quilt for my sister-in-law for her birthday. I just traced my daughter's flip flops, I used buttons and ribbons for the "straps" of the flip flops and sewed them top blocks.
Keeping a Master Grocery List on the ComputerAfter reviewing my grocery receipts and pantry for a month, I devised a shopping list on my computer that lists everything I use in my home, broken down into general categories like Produce/Fresh; Frozen; Pantry; Office; Toiletries/Household.
Keeping Track of Medical InformationWe brought my mother to our home to live during the last few years of her life. She had a multitude of medications and medical information. Much of the information, especially prescriptions, changed often.
Protecting Silk Flower Arrangements for GravesitesWith Memorial Day soon approaching, I wanted to share this tip for silk flower arrangements. Spray with a couple coats of WD-40 to help repel water from rain and sprinklers, and to protect silk flowers' colors from fading due to sunlight.
Travel Tips for London, England - Frugal Travel GuideTravel Tips for London, England. If you're tired of London, you're tired of life. I don't remember who said it, but it's true. You can explore the streets that Shakespeare and Dickens explored, visit the Tower of London, watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
Faux Stained Glass (Directions)I have an inexpensive and easy tip on how to make faux stained glass windows using clear Contac paper.
Weight Watchers Banana Cream PieYou don't have to give up yummy desserts just because you are dieting. This healthy treat is both delicious and diet friendly.
How to Grow Beautiful PlantsAlways provide music and food for your plants. A balance of diluted 20-20-20 is the best mix for plant food. Nitrogen, phosphoric acid and soluble potash . . .
Travel Tips for Hollywood, CAOld Hollywood is all around you in downtown Hollywood. Avoid the tours and take a walking tour down Hollywood Blvd. from Sunset and Vine to Hollywood and Highland and then take in Grauman's Chinese Theater and the footprints. There are now signs which give you a self-guided tour down the street.
Travel Tips for Mini-Cassia, IdahoWe love our hometown, and I think you will, too. Right now, the cherry and apple trees are in bloom. When the petals drift slowly down in the warm air, it feels as if we are at a wedding. Most people think Idaho is backward, but I want to tell you otherwise.
Prevent Bringing New Clutter HomeCleaning closets and clutter have been the largest project taken on this past week-end. I've renewed my determination to ask myself these questions before I bring anything of significance into this house.
Decorated Dress FormsHere is a photo of an old dress form I decorated. I used an old dress found at a garage sale. The following two photos are more of my dress forms...
Roast Zucchini and VegetablesHere is a great way to fix zucchini in a healthy way. There are no hard and fast rules about amounts in this recipe.
Garage Door MuralThis is a mural I painted on my garage door. I used just patio paints, freehand. The flowers are painted in Donna Dewberries "one stroke" technique.
Frugal Travel Guide for Chicago, ILTravel guide for Chicago. When we travel to Chicago, we are always on a small budget. We look for low cost and free things to do that even the kids enjoy. Here are a few of the free things we found.
Homemade Thank You CardsI came up with this idea. I let my two year old loose with a bucket of acrylic paints (you can use any paints you want) and a pad of newsprint paper. Construction paper works as well....
Cooking For My Truck Driver HusbandMy husband is an over-the-road truck driver and is typically gone 30-35 days, then home for 4 or 5. While he is out, I cook as if he were home. Then I freeze individual portions of whatever I cooked (labeled with date and name).
Attach Solar Lights to Your FenceHere's a unique way to use your solar lights. They aren't just for the ground! We took 2x4 and cut them into squares to fit the original existing posts.
"Rays of Hope" GardenRays of Hope Garden Photos. This is a garden area I'm working on to dedicate to pen-friends in prison that I write to. . .
Maintaining and Fixing Your Window Air ConditionerHere are a few things you can try that may save you a service call on your window unit air conditioner service call. Seems like the whole country is experiencing extremely hot weather.
Coffee Can Snowman Craft ProjectI spray painted an old coffee can with white spray paint then sponged white acrylic white paint for a textured look. I painted on black eyes, glued on a button nose, and drew on a smile. . .
Screen Printing at HomeI like to screen print on various articles of "blank" clothing to make them interesting and unique, something to fit my style.
The Benefits Of Solid Wood FurnitureMoving again and I find myself touching up the finishes of our furniture pieces. Because they are old solid hardwoods, a bit of fine sandpaper and some furniture polish/oil touches up the nicks nicely.
Treasure Boxes from Wine CratesI noticed my neighbor regularly discarding wooden wine crates in the alley. On one of my evening walks with my dogs, I dragged one of the crates home, and the rest is history.
Making Paws for an Animal CostumeSince Halloween is just around the corner I thought I would share this tip. When making an animal costume with paws for hands,(great if it's cold on Halloween like it is here) take a glove in the size you need and cut it apart.
Easy Yule LogsEasy Yule Logs. These make great Christmas gifts with just a little work.
Free Contact Lens SuppliesContact Lens Wearers! I am an optician and have worked with contact lens wearers for many years. In all the practices I have been involved in, we receive many free samples of solutions from manufacturers hoping we will give out their products.
Repainting Outdoor FurnitureI decided to repaint my outdoor furniture this summer! They were a charcoal grey originally. I decided to go black, making matching new chair covers easier. I used Walmart's ColorPlace exterior paint in satin black. This paint can be used on all kinds of surfaces.
Bird Feeder TipsRemember our bird friends by remembering this tip for thistle. When thistle seed (also called niger) gets wet, it cakes together and the birds can't get it out of the feeder.
Travel Tips for Sydney, Australia - Frugal Travel GuideTravel Tips for Sydney, Australia. Sydney offers something for everyone including families, from urban city to sandy beaches at Bondi Beach, natural escape to the Blue Mountains, plenty of wineries at Hunter Valley and whale watching activities in Port Stephens.
Photo Christmas Keepsake OrnamentI had photo made on transparency film at Kinko's. Then I cut it out in a 3 inch circle. Rolled it up and inserted into the top of clear glass ball. It flattens out by itself. I added some angel (or glitter) hair, poking it down with a pencil, on each side of the film.
Take Your Own Professional Portrait...If you have a camera, you can save lots of money by taking your own portraits. Here's one of my son when he turned 6 months. We didn't have the money to get professional photos taken, so I did my own session!
Cleaning Supply Co-OpI have a small cleaning business and on a visit to my mom's, it became apparent that she had a hard time taking advantage of quantity purchasing and paid a lot for smaller quantities because she and my dad live alone.
Sew Two Twin Blankets To Make A Big King Sized OneNeed a big king size blanket that won't fall short of keeping you and your husband warm? Buy 2 twin size and tack them together.
Use Ground Coffee To Remove OdorsHere's a solution that works for getting rid of odor problems on anything and anywhere; such as on clothing, furniture, refrigerators, freezers, rooms, semi-trailers with stinky cargo (see below); anything and everything!
Decoupage JugTear paper bags into pieces. Use Royal Coat Glue starting just inside top of bottle. Go around bottle, leaving handle alone - you can hold onto it this way.
Employ Thrifty IngenuityThinking about it, it seems to me that the greatest thrifty tip is employing ingenuity! If you have a household problem, look at the conventional way of tackling it (which probably costs lots of money), and then try to turn it around to a more frugal option.
Postcards as Trip SouvenirsHere's a great tip for road trips or any vacations; the kids love it and it is a space saver! Wherever your vacation is, always get a postcard and write your highlights on it and date it.
College Students And DebtI deal with debt elimination in my line of business and I am amazed at the student loan debt that people are accumulating. Don't fall into this trap.
Use Email As Your Online CookbookI have one email address that I use as my online cook book or archives. I send all of my recipe newsletters to that address and have created folders that I store all my recipes in.
Office Chair Mats For Car MatsMy older minivan far back carpet got ragged and tattered. A replacement one would cost over $100, which I may never have to spare, being low income.
Emergency Hemming With StaplesI bought a last minute pair of thrift shop jeans when I found I went off for a weekend without them. New $5 - good deal. But they were too long and I didn't have needle and thread with me.
Growing Cucumbers on a FenceTry growing your cucumbers in hanging baskets hanging on a fence. If it's a wooden fence, all you need to do is stretch a wire or some string along it so as the cucumber has something to grow along.
Decorated Coffee Can Containers for GiftsI save large tin coffee cans to use as containers I give my baked treats away with. This is the Christmas theme I used. I am not camera savvy, sorry.
Why You Should Eat A Complete Breakfast Every DayFrom when I was a child, I kept hearing the same words over and over, "Part of this complete breakfast". Now I'm an adult and have just recently truly paid attention to those words. I've got to thinking, "What IS a complete breakfast?"