Monday, June 6, 2016

Budget Cutbacks

My Husband Wonderful, Felix, has always loved to cook and he does a great job of making gourmet meals for me.

He has often quipped, "Anybody can make crab meat look good, but show me what you can do with hot dogs!"

His impromptu "Hot Dog Soup" with  whole wheat noodles, chicken stock, and various veggies from the fridge, was delicious on a chilly rainy night!

Another budget stretcher that I'd like to mention, is working on what my fellow Stashbusters call, "The Evil Pile." You know, the stuff that needs mending!

Recently, I did a mend in situ when Husband Wonderful's metal link watchband caught on a wrinkle on our fitted bedsheet and tore the sheet. It was a tiny "L-shaped" tear near the corner of his side of the bed. The kind of rip that gets worse when you ignore it. Ask me how I know.

First, I preheated my iron, and then I carried it right upstairs from my cellar where the ironing board normally resides.
Armed with a matching one inch square of Stitch Witchery (a two sided fusible), and a one inch cotton square scrap, I carefully positioned the patch and Stitch Witchery underneath the sheet and then pressed it, right there still on the bed, to fuse the scrap in place.
Today, that same sheet just came out of the washer and dryer, and you can see that the patch, seen above, is holding on just fine! Win, win!

Probably my biggest budget saving strategy is to leave behind all of the temptations of computer online shopping for more fabrics, and go sew! 

I keep a pile of cut components handy for making more of these Civil War Sawtooth Stars that I'm addicted to making. The design work always is fun!

You'll need one 4½" square (Center), four 4½" by 2½" rectangles (Flying Geese), eight 2½" squares (Star Points), and four more contrasting 2½" squares (Cornerstones). Assemble them in rows like you'd do a nine patch and then sew the rows together.

These 8" Sawtooth Stars match the ones that I had leftover from making my Barbara Brackman's "Stars In A Time Warp" sew along from last year. I love this quilt!

So, hey, why not make another one? There were 44 blocks leftover to get me started. As I've poked along making more, I have another 10 done for 54 blocks now, and I only need 61 for the setting. That's just 7 more to go! Yippee!

The pictures above are from my quilting session at Ellen Peters' Cat Whiskers Studio in Laconia, New Hampshire, where I can rent time on her longarm.

Sewing is so therapeutic for me. If I skip a day sewing, I really miss it!

Lots of times, I'm just "noodling around" in my scraps and having fun.

Like whenever I make these stars, I also bother to do the second seam on all of the flippy corners of the Flying Geese. That means that I am able to harvest the 8 bonus half square triangles.

Then it's pinwheel heaven! Of course, there are always the heady scented French Lavender sachets to sew, too!

So these are my working plans for saving a little money here and there, I hope that some of them struck a chord for you, too.

What do you do to try to save a little money in these tough economic times? Please write a comment today to tell me and be sure that you have joined my site, to be eligible for my "Summer Begins Giveaway" to be drawn on June 20th, 2016, the first day of Summer. These ten Fat Quarters will be the prize:

Good luck and please be sure that I can reach you if you are a "No reply" blogger without any address.

Linking up to Love Laugh Quilt, Link.
Also to Oh, Scrap! Link.
And to Em's Scrapbag. Link.

Happy sewing!


cityquilter grace said...

well first stopped buying fabric...LOL....sometimes air dry clothes instead of dryer, eat soup meal every day or often--cuts down on pricier meat meals....and use up scraps! nice fabrics there and the soup does look good!

Wendy Caton Reed said...

You do quite well for someone on a budget! I'm afraid when it comes to fabric I through the budget out the window. I would eat hotdogs ever day (and like it) in order to save cash for the stash. I'll have to give Felix's hotdog soup recipe to my husband!

Jean said...

I have a garden to grow all my veggies which I freeze for use in the winter. Garden grown veggies just taste better and make wonderful soups. I enjoy your blog.

Shirlsu said...

Hi Vic! I've been thrifty all my life. We almost never go out to eat and the food I cook comes from my garden, from jars I've canned or sale items from the store. Thankfully, we love soup and beans. I sew nearly all our clothes and use the scraps for making quilts. Batting must be on sale before I buy it. I recently purchased a new vehicle (Kia Soul) but saved loads by waiting until new models were released, then buying last year's economical leftover. It gets over 30 miles per gallon! Today thanks to YouTube, I'm servicing my own central HVAC unit.

Gayle said...

Very clever save on the bedsheets - those babies are exPENSIVE! Can you please tell me about that paisley fabric in the center of your star block? I adore paisley and that print is SO yummy I'd like to find some of it! (but with my luck it's really old from your stash with no identifying marks on it) LOL I have always been really thrifty about my rug hooking. Hand dyed wool can cost $25-$50 per yard - YAY more that I want to spend. I buy wool clothing at the thrift stores. Dismantle it and wash it. Then dye it the color I need. It's actually very satisfying and fun!

gayle said...

Oh, I love those stars in your hourglass setting! I can't believe you're almost done with another one! Beautiful!
I cook almost everything from scratch, both because it's less expensive and because it just plain tastes better, too!
The closest I get to being thrifty with fabric is just to try to buy everything on sale. And then try try again... 8)

Cathy said...

I garden and can, freeze, dry or give others the produce. And we cook everything from scratch.
I hang my laundry outside to dry.
I haven't had a hair cut for years (they should pay me for taking something not the other way around) so my hair is very long.
I use tiny, tiny scraps of fabric as mulch in my garden.
I shop with coupons or senior discounts.
We make our own wine, jams and jellies from fruits we grow in our orchard. We make our own bread from sourdough starter.
I make most of the Christmas gifts I give and ornaments.
I quilt so I don't have to go to an expensive psychiatrist.
Our entertainment is enjoying time together on the deck talking, listening to music and the birds instead of a night out at a movie, bar, etc.

Basically...I use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

(And, I can see why those stars are addictive.)

Feathers in my Nest said...

I always use what in my stash first. for my shirting fabrics I go to my favorite thrift shops & pay minimal..And my no.1 rule is never, never buy anything unless it's on sale or with a coupon. I would love a clothesline again. this is the 1st place we lived where I didn't have one. But I do hang things from the wash in the basement. And I hand wash a lot of things too.

Blessings, Debra.

Gretchen Weaver said...

The best money saver is staying home, then you aren't tempted to shop. I don't shop on-line either. I also do the money-saving habits the others mentioned, cook at home, garden, freeze/can, wear out my clothes. Quilting your own quilts really saves a lot of money.

I enjoyed reading your post and have bookmarked your blog to follow along. Blessings, Gretchen

Nann said...

I'm a sucker for helpful hints, especially thrifty tips. (I have a full set of The Tightwad Gazette!)
* Cut leftover batting into 8x10 pieces and use as Swiffer cloths.
* If you make a t-shirt quilt you have LOTS of plain t-shirt fabric left over. That makes good Swiffer cloths, too.

And, otherwise:
* Write every credit card transaction in your checkbook as though you'd written a check or made an electronic payment. You'll never have statement shock because you've already subtracted it from the balance. I use credit cards as often as I can to get frequent flier miles or Discover cash back. [My airfare for our August trip is $25.00. My husband's is $675. Same flights.]
* When I do spend cash, I sort what's in my wallet at the end of the day. I keep four quarters and five pennies in the wallet -- anything more goes into the piggy bank. I put all $5 bills and all the $1 bills with Federal Reserve B or H [my initials] into the piggy bank. At least once a month I deposit the piggy bank into a passbook savings account. It doesn't earn much interest but when it's in the bank I don't spend it frivolously.
You may choose to play the "change game" by just putting nickels and dimes in the piggy bank, or keeping five $1 bills in your wallet and putting any more $1 bills in the piggy bank. Just set a rule for yourself and follow it.

beth s said...

Using the fabric you already HAVE is the best budget saver! I've been trying to do that for a couple of years now and STILL have tons of fabric to play with! LOVE those stars. ;) (I DO purchase once in a while...but try really hard to USE UP the STASH)

Karen's Korner said...

You have some lovely work happening at your place. Love those pinwheels.

Marie said...

Totally LOVE your star quilt. Good for you for making a second.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...