Frugal Greeting Cards

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Who doesn’t like to get a personal greeting card in the mail?

And they can be as fun to create as they are to receive. No, really. Even if you have labeled yourself as “not artistic.” Which, by the way, you need to quit doing right now.

I have been making my own greeting cards for a long time. Sometimes I draw or paint the picture. Sometimes I use beautiful images that I have collected from various sources. All of these prints came from either old calendars or the Missouri Botanical Garden’s bulletin, which as a member, I receive for free.

I trim the images as needed, and apply them to blank cards that I have purchased for this purpose. Those pictured here were purchased from a craft supply store with properly sized envelopes for 50 for $10.00, so 20 cents a set. Even including the rubber cement that I use to affix the images to the cards, the stamp costs more than the card ingredients.

The images can be tailored to the type of card being sent. So for my Christmas cards, scenes with snow. For a sympathy card, a landscape with rain. For a birthday card, something with happy colors or something quirky that will have the recipient smiling.

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A few cards ready to mail.

Sometimes It’s the Little Things

Cleaning out the closet of my new room at mom’s house, I found some old clothes of my dad’s. (He died in 2002.) Pajamas, a paint shirt, khakis.

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These clothes were probably 20 years old before dad died.

Some of the fabric was worn thin and some paint splattered. I cut the usable fabric in rectangles and hemmed the edges.

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Frugal cleaning cloths.

Benefits:

  1. this keeps a portion of the fabric out of the landfill for a bit longer.
  2. these will be used instead of paper towels, keeping that waste out of landfill and maybe saving a tree.
  3. the entire time I was hemming the fabric, I was remembering dad.
  4. these fabric pieces are just the perfect size for holding, scrubbing, wiping. This makes them a better tool than just throwing the whole clothing item in the rag bag.
  5. there was no cash outlay for this project. I used thread I already had.

I’m holding onto the khakis for now. I may make a rug out of them.

Eating Well on $3 Per Day: Finale

First, my apologies that the cheese ($1.89) did not make it into the original listing of purchases. That runs the total (with tax) up to $46.04.

Over the past 2 weeks you have been able to observe some strategies for eating fresh and healthy on a budget. To recap:

~ buy inexpensive, basic ingredients that can be made into a variety of dishes so you don’t get bored eating the same thing over and over.

~cook a couple meals worth of food at a time, so you have something in the fridge when life is too busy to cook.

~make “plan overs.” That is, if you are making a marinara sauce, make enough for spaghetti and pizza and chili. If you are baking chicken, make enough to make chicken salad later in the week.

~eat what spoils quickest first. I ate the bananas before the oranges and the spinach before the cabbage.

Over time, you will start to look for sales on your favorite staples and be able to add spices into the rotation, making for even more variety. Recall, I initially spent less than $46 for 15 days of food and here is what is left, which will make a nice start for the next 2 weeks.

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Here is 12 oz. of spaghetti noodles, 20 oz. of oatmeal, 4 oz. of preserves, 2 oz. of peanut butter, 1/2 head of cabbage, 1# white beans, 1.5 oz. of cheese, 1 head of garlic, 1 onion. There was also 1/2 a loaf of bread that did not make it into the photo.

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Frozen: 1/3 of the marinara sauce, 2/3 cup of peas and about 80 or so tea bags.

 

There are a lot of strategies for eating well frugally. I would love to hear yours.

Eating Well On $3 Per Day: Day 15

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Orange, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 cup of plain yogurt with 1 tablespoon blackberry preserves added. Tea. Calories 380.

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Chicken soup and corn chips. Calories 490.

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2/3 cup frozen peas and 2 diced carrots steamed with butter, salt and pepper. 2 eggs over easy and a piece of butter toast, with tea. Calories 450.

Eating Well on $3 Per Day: Day 13

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1 cup oatmeal, an orange, tea. Calories 360.

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Tuna sandwich with those invisible corn chips. Calories 375.

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This dish is 1/4 of a cabbage sautéed in butter with 1/4 of an onion, garlic and salt and pepper. It is topped with a chopped hardboiled egg and 1 oz. of cheddar cheese. Served with toast and butter. Calories 515.

 

 

Eating Well on $3 Per Day: Day 12

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2 eggs over easy, 3 oz. of Polish sausage, toast with butter. Calories 315

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Chicken soup with 2 pieces of toast with butter (which did not make it into the photo) Calories 550.

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This dish is made with 2 oz. noodles, 2/3 cup frozen peas, 1/2 of a 5 oz. can on tuna, 1/2 an onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt and salt and pepper. Steamed broccoli with butter on the side. Calories 405.

Eating Well on $3 Per Day: Day 11

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1 cup oatmeal, an orange, tea. Calories 360.

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Chicken, garlic and butter with noodles. Calories 390.

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Tuna sandwich made with 1/2 of 5 oz. can of tuna, 1 tablespoon plain yogurt, 1 rib celery. I also ate corn chips with meal, but they did not make it into the photo. Calories 375.

Eating Well On $3 Per Day: Day 10

 

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French Toast made with 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon butter, 2 pieces bread and topped with a tablespoon blackberry preserves, side of orange. Calories 510.

 

 

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Chicken soup made with 4 oz. noodles, 1 cup beans, meat of one huge chicken thigh, 2 stalks celery, 1 carrot, 3 cloves garlic, one onion, and all the fat that cooked off the baking chicken thighs a couple days ago. It made so much, I divided it into three servings with 350 calories each.

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2 stalks celery, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 oz. corn chips, an orange. Yeah, today is heavy on oranges. Yum! Calories 400.

 

Eating Well On $3 Per Day: Day 9

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Toast with 2 tablespoons peanut butter and sliced banana, tea. This was day 9 for the bananas, and this one was a little mushy. calories 440

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PB & J and an orange. And yes, the day is a little heavy on the PB. The sacrifices we make to meet our goals. {stage directions: she throws her arm over her face.}

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2 oz. spaghetti, 2.2 oz. of dark meat from one of the thighs (these must have come from huge chickens–the thigh meat, off the bone weighed 4.3-4.6 oz. per each!) 1 clove garlic, handful of shredded spinach. Calories 390. A little low on the calories today, but went over 1500 yesterday, so it balances out.