Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tell 'em you love 'em

Today is my sister Trisha's birthday... she is the big 50! In her honor my message today is: Tell someone that they are important to you, that you are glad they are in your life, and that you LOVE them! Pick up the phone, send an email, FB a message to them or send a picture of you together. It's free!

You're most likely to be happy if you have a sister. People with at least one female sibling reported better social support, more optimism, and greater coping abilities, according to the British Psychological Society, sisters appear to encourage cohesion in families. (Prevention Magazine, Feb. 2010)

Happy Birthday little sis. I love you so much!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Easy to be a contributing member

I want your help...this is a community project and the world wide web is my community. Please consider becoming a contributing member of Fru Gully. Just send me an email to and say in the subject: I want to contribute to Fru Gully. Then I will send you an invitation to become an author. Then you can share your ideas with all of us. Anyone can comment on any post without any special invitation. That is also a perfect way to share a small idea.

Discount Groceries

When I was young, my dad owned a small corner grocery store. I grew up eating food from dented cans, damaged boxes or dated slightly past prime. When I was in college, my roommates wouldn't let me go grocery shopping alone, because I would automatically search for the "slightly imperfect" items, that was just how I grew up.
I was thrilled when I found Esh's Discount Grocery, 4221 W. Eisenhower Blvd., located behind the Rainbow Plaza on Hwy 34. They get items that the supermarkets don't sell because they are not perfect or are overstocked and sell them for a discounted price. I buy a lot of cereal, canned goods, baking supplies, candy, etc. My husband's favorite recent purchase was Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds. He usually pays over $3.00 for a 6 oz. can. I found 1 pound bags for $1.29. What a bargain! I bought all they had and have them in my freezer.
Dacono Discount Grocery is located at 913 Carbondale Dr. in Dacono, Colorado, located about 28 miles South on I25 and East on Hwy. 52. It is owned by the same people as Esh's and is a much larger store. I try to make a trip there about once a month to check out what they have in stock.
Both stores are closed on Thursdays for restocking and on Sundays. I like to go on Fridays to check out all the new items. I save a lot of money shopping there!

Thrift Stores - ReStore

My favorite place to shop and donate items is Habitat for Humanity in Loveland, Colorado now known as ReStore. It is located on H287 just north of 50th Street in Northeast Loveland.
Like most thrift stores the trick is to drop in a couple of times a week and scan what is new. This store sells clothing cheap, usually $1 an item, in order to turn over a high volume quickly. I have found name brand and designer labels that I would never have been able to buy new. I'm not embarrassed to say that in the last 3 years I have purchased most of my clothes there. I have also bought: rugs, throw pillows, bedding, picture frames, yogurt maker, dishes, baskets, tablecloths, office chair, bed frame, and coats. Mike loves the Hawaiian shirts I got him there! The only downside to buying clothing there is that there is no place to try on. I have gotten pretty good at holding things up to see if they fit. Anyway it only costs me $1 to take it home and find out. Worst case I can donate it back the next time I go, which is not a bad thing at all. The upside is that everything is already preshrunk! I like the idea that my shopping and donations help people get into their own home. Everybody should have that chance...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter Squash on Sale through Wed. at Sunflower Market

I found a great buy at Sunflower Market today in Ft. Collins.
Butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash for 29 cents a pound. The price will be good through tomorrow (Wednesday). We love butternut cubed and oven roasted on an oiled cookie sheet at about 450 degrees for 45 minutes. It is lovely served over a green salad!

Food, Books and DVD bargains

Hi my name is Joan and I work from home, so I am always looking for ways to help myself and others. I recently found out about two things I would like to share . One is which provides low cost food to anyone all across the nation. I have not tried it yet, but have heard it is a good deal, you just have to find one in your area.
Also I have found out about where you trade your old books and DVD's for new ones. The cost in very small just for shipping and handling. I have not tried this yet, but sounds like a good deal.

Re-setting Expectations

What has helped me a lot is to re-prioritize and set realistic expectations. After all, my income is about 1/3 of what it was. Some areas I have had to re-think are clothing purchases, impulse buying, name brands when buying groceries. It's okay not to wear the "latest styles" for every season. Store brands are good in most cases; and if you are careful to buy store brands for most things, you can splurge on the items that you don't want to compromise on. It's okay if you don't own a house - make your dwelling place your own by adding familiar items and personal touches that make it yours. I live in a neighborhood of "cookie cutter" homes; but mine is unique, and reflects my personal style - even on the outside where I've added planters and bird houses that are pleasing to me. Plan ahead. For instance, Christmas season brought special challenges - buying gifts and losing two weeks' income due to a company shutdown. My family and I agreed to cut way back on gift-giving; and I was able to negotiate with my manager at work to allow me to work a couple of days per week during the shutdown. See? I'm developing new on the job skills! Be creative and always ask yourself before a purchase, "Is this a want or a need?" Needs aren't necessarily staples we need to survive - food, heat, shelter. Sometimes it's something to keep yourself mentally and emotionally sound. Just use discretion. Make it an adventure and look for opportunities to make your life comfortable. I think these are good principles to follow even if you're not suddenly single. A lot of us are facing tough economic times.

Eat to live or live to eat?

OK let's face it we all have to eat. I am a self proclaimed Food-ee... I'll admit it right now to the world! Left to my own devices, I would easily eat twice the amount of food that I need. That food cost me plenty in $$$'s that I could have been saving. I love to eat, but it seems like my off switch is broken. I really don't feel full at the appropriate time, and sometimes can't stop especially with sweets. Can anybody out there relate! I found a free 12 step program that helped me overcome my compulsive overeating. Check it out at

My favorite place to buy produce: Sunflower Market in Fort Collins. Corner of Lemay and Drake. The vegetables are fresh and the prices are great. See if there is a Sunflower Market near you and view the weekly ad at: Wednesday is double ad day!

**I'm looking for a Northern Colorado person who is willing to scan grocery ads on Wed. mornings and post the best deals to our blog. Any volunteers?

Monday, December 28, 2009

With a little help from my friends....

Hi there, welcome to my new blog to share ideas on living frugally. I get to practice our (collective) ideas on how to do that in the coming year. My plan is to become self sustaining, keep my home, and help my daughter get a college education. As I enter single-dom... it occurs to me that I need a little help from my friends. Maybe you too are needing or wanting to cut expenses and spend less than you did last year? If yes, I invite you to "follow" my blog and if you have an idea to share I invite you to become a contributing member. Either way I hope to follow my dream to be independent and self supporting and possibly help others along my way. So while I take a deep breath and attempt to "pull myself up by my bootstraps", won't you please join me?