Sunday, September 27, 2009


Stockpiling food and non food supplies are an enjoyment for me, A security blanket, an insurance policy of sorts. Take for instance, I need some serious dental work next month, To the tune of $1000, Well I was taking stock today after the superrrr wags trip today. I can stop buying groceries except for $50 a week ( usually all household and foods runs about $150, and household includes clothing, prescriptions etc.) So I can pay cash for my dental work, use only about 30 % of my stockpile for two months. This is a great feeling, If I did not have the stockpile, We would have to do shopping and pay for the dental work. And we would end up in the red big time. I also did something I have not done before, I purchased 15 christmas gifts, Started at $99 and ended at $5.81 after register rewards. This will be my first year at getting a headstart at christmas, I have to admit It feels kinda good getting a head start. And I normally start budgeting in next month for christmas shopping, So this is something I won't have to do next month also, Since having a head start on it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The proven rewards of making your own laundry soap

Making my own laundry soap, Proved to be a wise choice. I have made my own laundry soap for about a year now. I love making it, I love how it smells and how it works. But with coupon I got a bottle of detergent for almost nothing. So I decided to use it on the winter clothes I got ready to incorporate into drawers and closets for upcoming cold weather. Boy do I ever regret this idea. We have had a chilly spell here in kansas. And the kids have been dipping into those clothes I washed up. And for a week now they have had horrible rashes. I took them to the doctor and first thing he said was did you change laundry soap. Darn it. With eating healthier and not hardly eating out at all, Going more natural in the house with all things, including washing clothes. I should have known this would not go over big. So I am up tonight rewashing all the clothes and doing an extra rinse to get all the bought soap out. I noticed that we went out to eat, (fast food) once last week. And everyone has complained of upset stomach, after. Moral of the story, Just because you can, or can do it cheaply, Does not mean you should.
My laundry soap recipe is from the duggars website. I have tried others but like this one best.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Christmas procrastinator

I was thinking about christmas this morning, I don't know why, this is way early for me. I don't plan it out. I never have. First of all, I hate the presents thing, I do however love the baking and I love the decorating and spending time together. Christmases when I was a child, ( My parents were very very wealthy) Were not great, We got a ton of presents, to be honest my brother and I would get tired of opening them. And holidays never ended well. My dad would end up drunk, Not different from most days. Then we would all scatter. I received outfits that were more then my families entire yearly budget for clothes. But christmas never meant anything. It just was not good. So when I had kids, alot like my entire way of life. I chose to do it completely different. We don't focus on lots of gifts, Most I find at used stores or make. I have not ever heard my kids complain, Except one year when my 13 then 7 year old wanted a horse !!!! Kids ha. So I'm thinking about christmas, We need some more ornaments so I will be searching for new ones to make. And I started stockpiling the scents I will use to make the house smell yummy, When I'm not cooking or baking of course! I always make the kids a blanket of some sort. I also have tons of wood pieces left from working on the house, So I will be making the baby who loves and needs therapy for his obcession with disney Cars, I will have hubby cut them and I will paint them and decorate them with cars detail. I want to add something to our holiday this year, We never had any "traditions" growing up. We do have some traditions now, Snacks and a movie on christmas eve. We don't celebrate Santa Claus, We of course do crafts, I think I might add cookie making for the twins this year, Any other suggestions that include us all as a family would be greatly appreciated. I would love suggestions on this. Thanks in advance.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Part two of make a months worth of recipes

I also make frito wraps when I do the breakfast burritos, It is very little prep and easy to do. My kids love these things from sonic, They are really tiny at sonic and cost $1. So 90 of them would cost me $90, ouch. So I start with 90 burrito shells, If I make these I make them a bit bigger then burrito shells, Need more space to crunch down fritos. I use sliced american cheese, We call it sticky cheese, The kind in cellophane wrappers, So 45 slices as I only use half slice for each burrito. Then I get 3 bags of frito like chips at aldi, These are I believe 1.19 each. And finally I use 2 cans of beanless chili, (uggghhh my son won't eat the beans) and then I use some left over chili for ours from a meal we had or homemade chili. Make my assembly line, Shells, then chili, then fritos, then cheese, fold and scrunch down, wrap in foil or waxed paper and done. I don't know the cost for these, But it is unbelieveable compared to bought ones. And the kids love em. I often send these to the park with the kids and my hubby, when he takes them. I heat them up, wrap in foil, and they are still warm when they eat them. Easy for the kids to walk around and eat, But bring wipes with for chili drips!!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

One of my make a months worth recipes

It is almost time again for me to make a few of my months worth of recipes. I have several, This weekend I will be making my breakfast burritos and frito wraps. I make 90 of each at a time. That usually lasts the entire month or more. I am not really a recipe follower, I create things and I just remember them. So I will do the best I can with measurements.
Breakfast burritos- this started out as breakfast pizza and graduated to burritos
90 flour shells-Unless I get these cheap I make my own. There are tons of very very simple recipes to make flour tortillas online. I believe I got mine from
I shred 3 blocks of different cheeses- I get all my cheese at aldi for 1.40 a block. I have to drive 50 miles to the nearest aldi, So I buy 30-40 at time. So I usually use 1 block jack cheese, 1 block cheddar, and 1 block of colby. Shred and add to assembly line.
I make up 5 packages of some sort of country gravy- You could most certainly make up your own. 5 packs gives me 5 cups of gravy. I never use this much, But I freeze what I have left for potatoes or whatever while I am at it.
I use 4 sausage rolls, fried up and drained, added to assembly line.
and last is 1 dozen eggs, scrambled and added to assembly line

So I have my assembly line set up like this, shells, sausage, eggs, cheese, gravy.
I wrap in foil, or wax paper, then put in baggies, I use the tortilla baggies if I bought them, They have a ziplock seal. And then I freeze them. Just pop in microwave for about 2 minutes.
Not one of my kids don't like these, but they are rather simple. You could certainly add veggies or potatoes or anything you like. This takes me about an hour to make. And costs me:
sausage-1.oo each x 4=4.00
5 packs gravy@.33 each=1.65
3 pack cheese at 1.40 each=4.20
If I make my own shells not sure what the cost is, but minimal, If I buy them I get the smaller shells and I pay around .99 each so that would add about $5.00
total cost is $11.80 for 90 breakfast burritos. Happy cooking

I will post new updated pics of the house later tonight. We still have a long way to go. The foundation needs some work. The outside needs work. The roof needs work. All in time. This year we are focusing on heating. It has no heating. It had hookups for gas heat, But when we had the gas guy come out, he said there was a leak somewhere and would cost a lot to find and fix. We chose to not have that right now. Last year we went with small electric heaters. It was an experience I don't want to have again this year. We spent last winter ( a mild one) Freezing and working to keep the cold out. We insulted the entire under of the house. I spent 3 nights while everyone slept, Using clear caulking and sealing the seams of the wood floors, This really helped. We insulated here and there. The next two months, We are getting a new front door, I hate that the original one cant be saved. We also are going with a wood stove this year for heat downstairs. And purchased on clearance end of last year and kerosene heater for upstairs. I could barely change a lightbulb when we started this, And that is no lie. Hubby did not inherit his fathers talent. We learned though. And I would not trade the exeriences for anything in the world. We are trying to find a place in the country in the next few years, We want to have animals and do some farming. We hope to not ever sell this house. But keep it for the kids. Too many memories, and awsome experiences.

These are various before and somewhat done, more liveable for us to move in, Upstairs. I will take some more pictures later today, These are from 1 year ago. The upstairs bathroom, Had to have the toilet removed and cleaned as the downstairs one and resealed. We had put in new subflooring in half the bathroom, and repair a pipe. The entire bath enclosure could not be saved, and we had to purchase a new one. We bought a basic one on sale at lowes for $350. The flooring was purchased with the kitchen and downstairs bath. The sink was really small and torn up, But I could not afford the new one and vanity, Wow those are expensive, So I decided to wait. And so glad I did, This last march we went to a city wide garage sale in a smaller town close by, And we found a newer large vanity and a beautiful new sink still in box, with the faucet box brand new, for $15 for all. I wanted it so bad I probably could have haggled this price as they were just wanting to get rid of the stuff, But I just grabbed it!!!! This bathroom was originally a bedroom, There was no bathroom in this house when built, It had an outhouse. So this was converted, and has a huge 10x3 ft. closet behind the tub, with window. Later on down the road I would love to redo the bathroom and open it up more to include that closet and window. This bathroom and the kitchen were the two major expenses thus far.
The top of the stairs wall was gone, so we had to put the wall back up, My father in law did this and showed us how to make the frame and fit it all together, I took notes haha. The actual stairway has gone by the wayside, it is on my to do list. I painted it and the walls. But the floors have not been done yet, I want to paint them. The large hallway upstairs, all the way at the end, has a large window and built in toy boxes on each side. I have made that my stockpile area, and we will close that in next year and make it a small stockpile room. Their were two upstairs bedrooms when we looked at it. But we realized that the huge room had the wall knocked out and was originally two bedrooms. Super huge 10x4 closets were on each side and two door ways. We put the wall back up and made it two bedroom again. One large one and one smaller one. In the larger one, There had been a leak in the attic and the entire ceiling had collapsed, Another project my father in law helped us with and took notes again. The bedroom on the other side of the hallway, Had a huge hole, where a window used to be, We patched that up. Painted and have not done anything with the floors yet.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

These are the diningroom before and after pics, It probably needed the least amount of work, But it was also the most time consuming, along with the upstairs bedroom with the collapsed ceiling. The window to the left is hard to see in the picture, but the wall was gone, You could see the outside, This almost was the deal breaker for me for this house, I thought Oh my gosh how do you fix that!!!!! Got on the phone immediately to father in law and he said no problem, I said are you sureeeee, He said again, no problem. I said okay, my voice cracking. He did a great job and we all learned how to fix and sheetrock and tape and mud. 3 windows were broken and we had to replace those, then sand the floors, stain, Paint and put up the trim, We also found a door at a garage sale for $1.00, brand new, It was too big, but my father in law cut it down and we installed it, The door leads to the laundry room. You won't hear me talk much about the laundry room or the sunroom above it....There is no fixing it, It was an addition and really really badly built. No other options but to tear it down and rebuild, that will be in the future. We just use it for storage and laundry. I love the windows in this diningroom, I just sit in the mornings and watch the birds hop along the fence, and growl at the squirrels who run by with my garden tomatoes in their mouths, grrrrr, But that is another story.

Ohhh this kitchen, This before picture does not look as bad to me as it really was hahaha. Where to start, Well first thing was to get all the garbage out, The sink had food in it for 1 year, The fridge too, All that went out, Then the floor came up. Then we removed all the cupboards, I knew I would not be able to afford new cupboards, So I chose for now to sand them and paint them. The oven was not working, either was the cooktop, The dishwasher was gone too. Just by chance in our downtown a used appliance store was going out of business, sorry for them, but yay for me, We priced just the basic new cooktop at $450 from sears, Not happening!!!! I got the dishwasher, oven and cooktop for $300, Well actually only $50 out of pocket, father in law gave us $250 gift. So that worked out well. I was reluctant to purchase these used, But he guarenteed them for 90 days, and here it is one and half years later and still going strong!!!!! I got a stainless steel sink and the faucets on clearance at our local woods lumber and supply for $50. The flooring I described in the post below. We had to replace the entire subfloor of the kitchen. I am not sure what the cost was on this, But I think it was one of the more expensive things we did, Im gonna guess and say $70 for the wood. The countertop were remnant pieces from lowes, And we got those for $22 each 2 pieces. The trim was from the bulk we purchased for the whole house. Over the last year I have tweaked this kitchen some, I live in the kitchen , So I will work on it till it just right. I had always wanted an island, But oh my they are pricey. I had an older butcher top table that the legs were breaking off of. So I sent my hubby and son out in the backyard this past june on his vacation and said build me my island!!!!! Woohooo 4 hours later and just $10 later I had a nice big island, with two big shelves underneath for pots and pans. I had them leave all the sides open, and I make red check curtains to go all the way around, As soon as daughter returns camera I will post pic of it. I also painted a breadbox, and a shelf, and my bench seat in the diningroom, Candy apple red, (the free can from the glidden free can offer a few months back online). And my kitchen is really coming together. There is a bar that divides the diningroom from the kitchen, And I'm not happy with it, But still have not decided what to do there, But that is on my TO DO list......I have never felt so comfortable in any other kitchen I have had ........Maybe cause it is all mine, and I can do anything under the sun I want to it, But I love it, It is TOTALLY ME!!!!!! I will hopefully tomorrow, get my camera and take the updated pics of it, Because these pictures here are from a year ago.

Here is the downstairs bedroom and small under stairs closet bathroom we redid. The bedroom as described in last post had to have the original doorway closed in and new one put in by bathroom door in hallway. We had to tear out the wall to the right of the bed, replace and put in new framework around windows. Sanded and stained floor. Cost: doorway $10 sheetrock used old trim for new doorway. $40 for new sheetrock for wall. Trim I bought for entire house, so I bought it in 12 ft sections and bought 30 12 ft sections. The entire house has the same trim all the way around the ceilings in everysingle room. We used the sander and pads from the livingroom , and the stain from the livingroom also.
The bathroom was gross, The toilet was in working condition, it just took alot of work to clean it and purchase a new seat and seal. Cost was about $10 The entire floor was rotted out, so we replaced that cost was about $20. We bought the same linoluem for the bathrooms and kitchen, it was a special order that someone changed their mind on. It is a stretch lino, no glue just lay and it works it's way to the corners over a day or two. Originally would have been $900 for flooring and install. We installed ourself and purchased the flooring for $250. We also have since put a small wall sink in this bathroom, That was free, I found sitting outside in someones trash, also found a small wooden medicine cabinet at garage sale for .50. And the piping for the sink was about $3.50. ( The sink had new faucet and handles in a box taped to the underneath). This downstairs toilet was probably #2 on the gross list of this house. The previous tenants had the water shut off for quite awhile but still continued to use the toilet and left it. It sat for one year like that. I cannot believe we saved that toilet. I was so close to buying a new one. Till I saw how clean my husband got it. The paint for the bathroom cost $2.50 for a gallon at the salvage store. This bathroom was one of the first things to get done, Since the upstairs bathroom needed alot more work, We needed atleast one bathroom while working on the house. We would come over at 8am everyday and work until 7pm at night, for two months to get moved in.
Money was so tight those two months, Sometimes I don't know how we did it. Only had a microwave at the house, until just a few days before we moved in. I made tons of casseroles for us to eat when we got home, We ate alot of sandwhiches for lunchesI kept a cooler with juice and cups, and a coffee pot at the house, and a grocery bag full of snacks. We had no extra money, paying for rent and putting everything else into the house to get it ready in two months.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The livingroom

These are the before and after pictures of the livingroom and front entryway. First thing we did was remove all the trash and carpets, Next we scraped as much of the horrible green paint, that was painted on everything including as much as they could on the outside of the house. Next we cleaned everything, including the fan and blades. We replaced the receptacles and sanded and stained the floors. These steps cost very little, Estimate: not including going to the dump
paint scrapers-$4
sanding flooors-$20 for pads for our hand sander
Stain-$12(bought at a salvage type store for $3 a can, we got 4 cans which actually covered the livingroom, diningroom, downstairs bedroom and small hallway. So for livingroom $3.
There was a doorway from the livingroom to the downstairs bedroom, We sheetrocked that in and made the door in the hallway by the bathroom instead. Thank god my father in law came to stay with us and show us how to do all this. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. We then painted the livingroom a light brown color, and painted all the trim white. We then replaced the window in the front entry way. We then painted the fan blades, (it was in perfect working condition) and reinstalled it. That room was now done. Cost:
making the new doorway and patching up the old one $10 sheetrock
we used all the old doorway stuff on the new doorway $0
Paint for front entryway: $5.50 on clearance at walmart
Paint for livingroom walls : 5 gallon bucket $40 walmart ( this was also used for the diningoom and the entire hallway going up the stairs and the entire upstairs hallway).
Paint for the trim : 5 gallon white $55 walmart ( used to paint the trim in the entire house)
Just wanted to note that the time is not included in here, We did the front entryway, livingroom, kitchen, small closet bathroom, downstairs bedroom, upstairs just liveable to continue working on, In just 2 1/2 months, We needed to move in then, Because we did not want to sign another 1 year lease on our rental.

The $5000 house!!

I wanted to start with our $5000 house. We purchased our home one and half years ago for $5000. It needed tons of work, and I mean tons! But to purchase a house for $5000, a 2400 sq foot home, That would mean no house payments and we own it, Plus the added benefits of the children learning how to fix things up and us too, Was a huge sell for me. In order to purchase a home like this, You have to have great great vision. When we walked in, It was a mess, the people that had rented, left it completely disgusting, The basement was flooded, There was drug paraphernalia upstairs next to bedrolls, Upstairs bathroom was unusable and the downstairs under the stairs closet was just a hole cut in the floor and a toilet set on top of it. The kitchen refrigerator my husband forbid anyone to open, He did and apparently there were dead things and it was completely green, The microwave had food in it, 1 year old. etc etc etc. I don't think I saw all these things immediately, I strolled right in and started taking notes on what we would do!!! We called the guy immediately because there were others looking at it while we were there. We made the deal, And began work immediately. We only had the $5000 to pay for the house, still had to pay our rent somewhere else and work on this house to get it live able to even move into, This I will all explain in the next few posts and post pictures.

Hello and Welcome

Hello and welcome to my blog, Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I will enjoy writing this. I will be writing about our family experiences in frugalness, saving money, recipes, family life..Share great finds, Family projects, Great websites and more. We bought our house for $5000 a year and half ago, And I would like to share our progress on it. I truly believe this was one of our greatest decisions thus far. I stockpile and would like to share that. Thanks again for stopping by and look forward to seeing and hearing from you. Frugalredneck