Tag Archives: Frugality

How To Get Cute Gingham Cloth Napkins for $1

by Tammy Taylor~

I’ve always used cloth napkins.  I mean, why not?  They can even make a meager meal feel decadent!  It’s a smart financial as well as environmental move for me.  There’s no disposable plastic-wrapped paper napkins for me to buy over & over again & throw away! I’ve got cloth napkins that are over 20 years old.  They still look great & are serving their purpose quite nicely.

Recently I wanted some red/white gingham napkins.  But y’all know how much I hate to get rid of this whatsit to buy that whatsit.  It just seems like an environmental waste to me.  But I REALLY wanted those cheery red & white napkins!

I wanted cute red & white gingham cloth napkins. A small tablecloth and a few minutes at my sewing machine was all it took. #TxHomesteader

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Landscaping An Outdoor Oasis On The Cheap

by Tammy Taylor~

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RancherMan & I spend lots of time outside.  Not only for our work here on the homestead, but for pleasure too.  And we love the view from our back porch.  Recently I wrote about expanding that back porch to include an Outdoor Living room – be sure to check that out.

But now that the porch addition has been installed I need to landscape it into the peaceful oasis I’ve got my heart set on.  But I need to landscape it on the cheap, y’all.  It was surprisingly easy to do.  Come see!

We needed to landscape our porch area. But soil and plants are expensive! Come see how I landscaped it beautifully on the cheap. #TxHomesteader

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Do You Get What You Pay For, Or Pay Extra For Nothing?

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I have been talking about the true costs of staying with a company or product – not because it’s the best fit or best financial decision, but solely because they’re in our comfort zone. Thankfully we are both in agreement.  Part of the reason we can both live & work right here in our NE Texas paradise is because we both make sure our money is always spent wisely.

We know just going the cheapest route is seldom a good idea.  Sure, you may initially save a few bucks. But if the product isn’t of high enough quality to give you satisfactory performance, it’s really not that good of a deal is it?  It’s true you oftentimes get what you pay for.

BUT, (and this is important) it’s also oftentimes true that by being complacent you could very well be paying much more for a brand name or just to stay in your comfort zone, but NOT for a product or service that is the virtually the same elsewhere for significantly less.

Money To Burn? Don't get stuck paying much more than you should! Don't go with the status quo because that's the way it's always been. A little research can pay off BIGTIME! #TexasHomesteader
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Healthy, Cold, Sweet Treat ‘Ice Cream’ Using Bananas & Fruit

by Tammy Taylor~

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It’s hot, hot HOT out there, y’all! I mean hot as in temps at 100 degrees or HIGHER several times this week.  WHEW! Here in NE Texas it seems we went from winter to summer with nary a mild spring day between!  So I’m focusing these days on cooler foods and cold desserts.  But I wanna keep it healthy too.  RancherMan loves, loves, LOVES ice cream, especially when it’s this hot outside.  But it’s just not healthy to indulge in such a high-fat treat too often.

I’ve written before about making a mock fat-free ice cream using frozen bananas and pudding mix.  The pudding makes the ice cream more creamy and less icy.  But I was looking for something even a little healthier.  So I started making our ‘ice cream’ using the frozen bananas for the sweetness and frozen fruit for an extra punch of flavor.

Now that it's hot outside I whip up a frozen sweet treat. It's like healthier ice cream using frozen bananas and berries. Delicious, cheap and healthy. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Propping Tender Seedlings

by Tammy Taylor~

It seems vegetable-gardening planting is finally going on all over the US now.  Aaaaaahhhhh the veggie garden – how I love it.  Here in NE Texas (zone 8) I typically plant heirloom seeds in my ‘Indoor Greenhouse’ in February and transplant those heirloom seedlings into my garden after the danger of frost is done.

But this year I had a naughty bull jump our garden fence & decimate all of the tender seedlings.  I had to start over.  I did replant many of my heirloom seeds but I ended up buying a jalapeno plant.  It was so small that the winds were pretty rough on it.  So I needed to find a way to protect it from the wind.  Use Whatcha Got, y’all!

I needed a way for propping tender seedlings to protect them from the wind.  You know my battle cry: "Use Whatcha Got!" Come see this Homestead Hack #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Solar Cooking: Hard-Boiled Eggs In The Solar Oven

by Tammy Taylor~

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I love my solar oven.  I’ve said it time & time again, I hate to fire up my electric oven during the heat & humidity of our Texas summers.  Not only does it cost fuel for the stove to operate, but boiling eggs adds even more heat inside our home.  That requires our air conditioning to work overtime cooling it back down, therefore costing even more money.

Several years ago I bought a solar oven and I absolutely love it!  What a great item in your Emergency Preparedness toolbox! Then at a Mother Earth News Fair I attended a few years ago, a solar-cooking seminar presenter told us how easy it was to cook ‘hard-boiled’ whole eggs in the solar oven without even using water.  Color me intrigued!

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5 Things I Did This Week To Save Money & The Environment

by Tammy Taylor~

We all wanna be gentle on the earth, right?  I mean c’mon, none of us open our sleepy eyes, stretch & yawn and stumble to the kitchen to sip our coffee while quietly contemplating how to single-handedly destroy the earth!  But sometimes the big picture is just so…  BIG“What could I possibly do to make a difference?” you might wonder.  Or you may have no idea just where to start.

Well let me tell you, it’s easy to start right where you are! Remember it’s the many little things you do every day that come together to make something big.  And here’s a very pleasant surprise – it often saves you a little cold, hard cash too!  Take my week for instance, here are 5 easy things I’ve done this week to save some money and the environment too!

Save money & the environment too! Here are 5 easy things I've done this week to save some money and the environment too! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How I Eliminated Sorting Socks In My Clean Laundry

by Tammy Taylor~

You know how it is, you do laundry and at the end of it all there’s Mt Socks.  Blue ones, red ones, white and black ones.  There are socks with stripes & geometric patterns.  Sorting them to match is always a struggle for me.  Some look aaaaaaalmost the same, but they’re not. Ugh.

You try to pair them up but there’s always (and I mean always) one sock of a pair missing.  I swear it’s like the washing machine is toying with you by playing hide-n-seek with that one sock.  You set it aside hoping the mate will show the next time laundry is done but it doesn’t.  Nor the next.  Nor…  Oh how I hate sorting socks!

So although I’m a huge ‘Use Whatcha Got’ fan, eliminating this maddening frustration for me is something I’m willing to do to save my sanity.  Read on, dear friends.

Do you hate sorting socks? I do! But I've found an easy way to eliminate that bag of mis-matched pairs and to streamline sorting socks on laundry day. #TexasHomesteader

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Solar Light Feature Using Aged Bois D’Arc Wood

by Tammy Taylor~

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Y’all know that by making our gifts ourselves, RancherMan & I just feel we’re sharing our love more fully.  Yes it takes much more time & effort than just going out & buying something, but to us the effort’s well worth it. We make our own Christmas gifts and I often bring fresh-cut flowers from our homestead to loved ones in the hospital.  The gifts are always well received and the flowers are always gorgeous.  And a little bit of our hearts are always wrapped up in those gifts!

Recently RancherMan & I sat out to make a special gift for our daughter & son-in-law-to-be.   We wanted something beautiful that was also functional and personalized just for them.  Hummmmm…  They both love nature and are interested in woodworking, so we put on our thinking caps and came up with a great idea.  A solar light feature!

Rustic solar light feature using old, aged Bois D'Arc wood and rustic old barbed wire, metal elephant embellishment & decorative solar light. #TexasHomesteader

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I Love Mother Nature, That’s Why I Recycle LESS!

by Tammy Taylor~

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Y’all know I have an environmental bend.  Back in my fledgling environmental days I was pretty darn proud that my recycling bin was full while my landfill-bound trash bin was only half filled.  A badge of environmental pride!  And recycling is good, don’t get me wrong.

But recycling is still dealing with trash.

And I was shocked to find out the recycling that you diligently separate & send off often ends up at the landfill anyway.  (gasp!) So these days I’m actually recycling LESS and helping Mother Nature much MORE!

Why I Recycle LESS. Yes I love Mother Nature, but I've found by recycling less I'm not only saving lots of money, I'm saving the environment too! #TxHomesteader

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