Beautiful Thoughts on a Frugal Life

It seems as if others are learning for the first time how to be frugal and enjoy it, which I have known all along, but now that prices at the pump are at an all time high, I am so happy I know how to save money! This is the site that got me started on all this and I have been a happy camper ever since.



I have bought hundreds of dollars worth of things, with the money I saved by being frugal, by going to yard sales. I found this wonderful glass table, a centerpiece, some pig statues, and lots of other things.

As usual, with me, I try to use every last part of everything that comes through the house. I have been making coasters out of yogurt lids and friendship bracelets for trick or treaters this year out of spare yarn. I made dish scrubbers out of the extra nylon string I have, by crocheting them into squares, and they are so beautiful! I have them hanging by the kitchen window they are so pretty.

Speaking of recycling, I am saving up cans for the church, aluminum cans so the youth can all afford to go to their expensive youth camps and missions in the summer. I keep the cans on nylong string, and hang them on the patio. I love to hear the wind blow through them, it makes a pretty noise.


I have made an extra room out in the patio. I have a table there and chairs and I keep the majority of the dishes out there. It frees up room in the kitchen. We have an old house with little storage room.

Pest Control

I keep bottle lids for making cat toys out of and hang them around the porch or house. I keep aluminum chicken pie plates and hang them open ended on top of each other, on a string, it makes a little flying saucer motif. If you line them up, they would scare any bird away out of the garden or from around cars under a carport.

I am still using fake snakes from years ago on the hoods of our cars to deter birds. They have to be big enough to seen by the birds. Remember to take them off and put them in the car before you drive off. The first year I tried this there was a fake snake shortage at the dollar general form me driving off and the rubber snakes blowing over the top of the car.


Through my studying and researching I have found nontoxic ways to treat bug infestations, using nonstick oil for ants, and orange furniture spray for roaches. It doesn't even attract them at all and it kills them right away. I make my own traps for roaches out of duct tape by putting the sticky side out in toilet tissue rolls and hiding them places.

Here is a bug spray I found on the following site I am going to try. I already use tea tree oil to disinfect the bathtub.

Bugs Away Summer Spray

  • 45 ml Distilled Water
  • 15 ml Witch Hazel
  • 5 drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 5 drops Citronella Oil

Combine all ingredients into a mister bottle. Shake before using! Of course for those of you who don't know, tea tree oil is toxic to cats. I use it for lice outbreaks during the school year, and it is great. It smells strong, like vicks vapor rub. I buy it at Walgreens our local pharmacy. I am going to start putting a drop in a handful of dog shampoo for my dogs, since they have skin problems and one of them has yeast problems.



I have had a lovely time in the garden, planting plants together to support each other and giving them an "audition", since my yard has a lot of invasive plants such as Morning Glories. The "Winner" for the garden this year was the beautiful Zinna flower which will bow down to nothing and shines above the strangling vines of the the Morning Glory flowers, which I love so much regardless of their habit of taking everything over.

I made several flower beds out of laying down old useless blankets, tarps that are torn up or cardboard in a shape of a square. Then I pile on dirt from around it, until there was a mote around it. This keeps it easy to mow, but I have to watch not falling into it, in the summer the grass hides it. I made several small flower beds out of this and it didn't cost me anything except for the seeds which I bought in early spring when they were the cheapest.


Cardboard is also an excellent weed control strategy. In additon, I have been digging out weeds for the the past several years, and now it is finally starting to pay off.

I got a free packet of wildflowers which I planted this year and they were soo beautiful, I loved them so much. I am doing it next year. I planted them in cinder blocks and they are absolutely beautiful to look at. I found a wonderful way to mark the plants. I just put the envelope the seeds came in and put it over a stick. Then put an empy little coke bottle over it, a clear colored one, it protects it from the rain. I can see what is planted and what it should look like. I put the date on it with a magic marker or permanent marker when it should be full grown. I can see to the envelope with the date marked on it through the coke bottle.


I did a taste test for green beans. Store bought green bean seeds, or the pinto beans I plant to make green beans. The pinto beans I planted won.


On the pet front, I am recycling cardboard into squares for the corners of the cages for easier clean up. I am growing green beans out of pinto beans I plant in the spring, so that in the Summer the three pigs, as I call them, can have fresh greens to eat. I pick three each day for the guinea pigs to eat, and they love them as supplementation to their regular diet of guinea pig food and Timothy Hay.

Each of my pets gets 1/4 teaspoon of oil to eat every other day, it helps them have a good coat. I am also giving them a dollop of yogurt on the days they don't get oil.

Easy Computing

On farmville, I found that by going to game requests you can get gifts you already opened in your gift box. Also I have found that when I am somewhere on the internet I want to get back to, I copy and paste the address in the search bar. I click the address and it selects it and then I click on Control and C to copy it. Then when I want to go back, I just click on Control and V to paste it back into the address on top of the page and there I am back.

I go through game requests this way in a hurry and never click the yes button when it asks if there are any more gifts to accept. The procedure is to go to game requests on farmville. Click on the address bar and copy it. Choose the gift item you want and then click on it. Right then paste the old address back into top of the page and then when it goes to the next page, hit enter and you are back to the game requests.

Speaking of computers, has saved my computer countless times from a crash. It has a free version, I learned this from my computer repair person, who lives across the street from me.


I have found yogurt to be a great addition to my diet. I found that in the summer if the kids were left to themselves their diet would consist of bread, water and little else. I institued a menu where each morning they get a plate and they have to at least eat something of each item.

I found this adorable little mug holder at a yard sale, and it is just big enough for a serving of juice and milk for breakfast. We have juice, milk and hot cocoa with breakfast and juice and milk for lunch and dinner. These little mugs are so cute and they are so small. The kids know that they get one of these little tea cup like mugs full of juice and milk with each meal. The little tea cups look like a bigger version of a regular tea cup and it hangs on a tea cup like tree thing.

Here is the breakfast I have chosen for them. They would have rather had Fruit Loops to, which I laugh and answer that with, "Not in this lifetime, that could be a dessert but never breakfast."

I scramble eggs, and make toast. I give each child a small amount of apple sauce on their plate and then a dollop of yogurt. There are some mornings when I will make a pancake and put it on the side. So far I am having to reduce the portions for the younger ones, since they have smaller little stomachs.

I gave in on the lunch and I am making hot dogs, with brocolli and cheese, one stick of brocolli with cheese melted on the top. I keep the frozen ones in the refrigerator and just take them out and microwave them. I put the usual serving of fruit and then the dollop of yogurt on their plate. The juice and milk accompany this meal also.

For dinner, I am stuck again as the kids have asked that they do without hamburger patties for a while, so I guess I will get the chicken nuggets which are ten dollars for a huge tray full at our local store. Before I institued a menu, the kids were going though this huge tray once every two days. No way is that gong to work, they were eating it three times a day for every meal! Kids!

So I will probably have chicken nuggets, yogurt and cheese sticks for the dinner meal with a half slice of bread. I am trying to get them away from bread but they need some of it. They have stuff they can eat freely still at our house, like Ramen soups, peanut butter sandwiches, frozen burritos, etc but they rarely do eat snacks because their food is real food for meals and it takes a long time to leave their systems.

I am sneaking a dollop of V8 vegetable fruit juice into their Sunny Delight like orange juice.

I am going to make my coffee, without a percolator, thanks to someones suggestion on this site. I put a teaspoon of coffee in a filter, twist it shut, tie it with tooth floss or else hold it with tongs and dunk it in my cup. It tastes super good, it makes a lot of coffee grounds for my compost pile and saves water.

Non Toxic Cleaning

In my house, non-toxic is the way to go. I have a special needs child for whom anything toxic can take years to get rid of out of her body. Including the wrong food or chemicals. I use things that it doesn't hurt to touch. Such as, listerene in a bottle to use as a hand sanitizer and a disinfectant spray. I use it to disinfect toothbrushes, the counters in the bathroom and spray the toilet with it too, it cleans really nice.

It is really nice to drop some toothpaste on the floor in the bathroom and pour a little water on it and then mop it into the floor. Then go over it again and it leaves the bathroom smelling fresh. I use the baking soda peroxide type of toothpaste, since any kind of bug hate baking soda and peroxide. I love the way it leaves the whole room smelling good, even after it is rinsed off.

Shampoo doubles for detergent when we are low. So does dish detergent. I have started using detergent again and I have noticed a difference in my older child with autism. I can't prove it is the detergent. I have to look at diet, activity, weather, clothes, events, etc.

Last but not least, a tip inspired by my ferrets, I bought a rake to get at all the things they hide under our beds, it has been working beautifully. Ha! No more hidden shoes for days on end!


Robyn from Tennessee

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 690 Feedbacks
July 19, 20110 found this helpful

What wonderful ideas and tips. Thanks for sharing.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 146 Posts
July 25, 20110 found this helpful

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your postings Robyn. You live in what I consider to be a big part of "God's Country", and you know what is important, and what is just fluff without any substance at all. You have your hands full, but seem to be totally capable of taking care of everything. That is very impressive to me.

I raised 4 children, and well remember a little boy wanting nothing except hot dogs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Training them to eat what is good for them is not an easy task. I commend you 100%. Your children have a great life and will one day look back on all the good things you are teaching now. The rewards are wonderful. I am enjoying them every day of my life now.

With every good wish to you and your family.


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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 103 Feedbacks
July 26, 20110 found this helpful

Fantastic Lifestyle Robyn. More power to you.
God Bless.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
January 19, 20140 found this helpful

Glad to see the plug for Avast. I've tried three major, fee based Antivirus and many free ones including Microsoft's Essential. Avast Free beat them all, hands down!

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January 22, 20140 found this helpful

I enjoyed reading your article. You mentioned detergent for laundry but didn't say you mad your own. It is a real money saver and very easy.

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