Sun Baked Wild Turkey

Sun Baked Wild Turkey

Wow! Are we ever crazy busy trying to finish our home so we can sell it and we are also preparing to build a new tiny home all before winter! Yikes – what a rush and wild ride!  We are attempting to do 6 months worth of work in 2!

I have been educating and sharing our journey on both Facebook Live and also on Patreon so if you have been missing out, please be sure to pop over to either to see what all we have going on…  We are also posting on YouTube regularly too, but our behind the scenes things are being shared on Patreon.

I am SO thankful for the resource of the sun for both power for our home and cooking my meals outside (keeping my house cool) on these hot summer days!

Today, I have wild turkey cooking in the Solavore Sport. I always say that wild game is best when cooked on a low heat for a long time… What better way to cook it and it doesn’t cost me a penny for fuel of any kind.

Cooking in a sun oven for meals is like cooking in a slow cooker. Your baked goods such as bread, brownies, cakes, etc do need to be timed or watched more carefully, but a meal put out in the early morning is perfect by dinner time!

Game meats end up tasty, juicy and tender when cooked long and on a low heat.

I can’t remember the last time I used a recipe for a meal. I typically just throw things together as I did this morning.

In a 9” x 13” glass baking dish I added the turkey leg and thigh, half the breast and the gizzard to the dish. Seasoned it very heavily and then added 3 tsps of bacon grease and enough water to fill the pan 1/4 of the way full. Placed it in the sun oven and off to my work I went. I will take the time to move the Solavore sun oven with the sun throughout the day, but I will be leaving to run errands. When I leave I will move the sun oven a bit further ahead of the sun so it will continue cooking while I am gone.

It is that easy folks… And you will not find an easier resource. We live in northern Idaho which is part of the Pacific Northwest which is known for its hot dry summers which end up with a lot of forest fires each year. Even when fire bans are on we are able to cook outside with the sun ovens.  Also, don’t rule out the winter months… Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean that the sun can’t create a warm enough heat in a sun oven to cook a meal.

I own both the Solavore Sport and the All American Sun Oven and honestly I LOVE them both equally. They both are utilized differently because of their different designs. I LOVE the Solavore Sport because is rectangular which enables me to cook in my mini roasters, in my 9” x 13” or put two 9” x 9” baking dishes or pie dishes side by side. The disadvantage to the Solavore Sport is that you cannot stack in it and that is where the All American Sun Oven comes in. I LOVE it because I can stack meals in it and still have room to put one or more quart jars which enable me to also cook my sides such as a vegetable or another side or dessert! Truly, I really love having them both on the homestead.

We are very frugal and make a lot of what we use and need, but I am also very honest and I feel that there are times where an investment is necessary. When we invest in anything it has to be a quality product and something of GREAT use on our homestead or we do not and will not part with our hard earned $$. I have a couple of items on our homestead that are a bit more spendy like my Wondermill electric and Jr Deluxe, but they are well made and play a VERY important role on our homestead.

I am a big believer in Dave Ramsey and his methods and I would encourage you to set money aside and make such purchases when you have saved up enough money to do so, but trust me when I say you will not be disappointed!

Gotta run now to keep up with the homestead chores and to turn the wild turkey in the Solavore Sport.

Have a blessed day and I highly encourage you to utilize the free resources we have at our disposal!

Saving Money And Winning With Money: Essentials For A Clean Life

Saving Money And Winning With Money: Essentials For A Clean Life

Last time I covered many ways to save money when it came to food. Only I forgot to mention another way you can save! So, I’ll share that now and then get into other ways to save money on non-food related items. I lump this in with couponing because, again, I don’t have many instances where I can redeem what I’ve purchased but almost every week I can get 25 cents or more for what I do buy. And it only takes a couple minutes and adds up after time. I’m willing to spend that little bit of time to eventually get free money. There are several of these cash back apps. My favorite is Ibotta. I’ve earned the most on this app. Every so often they offer $0.25 just for submitting a receipt. Another is Checkout 51. In my experience, it’s harder to earn the minimum cash back. In fact, in the three years I’ve been using it I’ve yet to reach the minimum to redeem the cash back. Not so the case with Ibotta. There is one other that I’m aware of and have conveniently forgotten the name but I never was able to use it because what I buy is not processed foods and name brands.

I’m hoping that you’ve figured out by the title what I’ll be covering today. Yes, all related to cleanliness. The first step I took to help reduce our costs was to begin to make my own cleaners after using up what I had on hand. I know some people say I should have tossed those chemically laden bottles of death but I couldn’t willingly throw them away knowing I spent my hard-earned money on them. And isn’t a homesteading creed to use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without?

The first cleaner I started with was an all-purpose cleaner. It’ so simple to make and the ingredients list is short: castile soap, super washing soda, borax (minimal amount so I’m not concerned with the controversy surrounding this), and essential oils like lemon and/or orange. Any citrus essential oil is a good choice for this type of cleaner.

The next item I made was toilet bowl tablets. I quickly learned I didn’t like them and I don’t feel they were effectively cleaning my toilet bowl (and yes, I was scrubbing the bowl it just seemed that the “clean” didn’t last as long as it did when I was purchasing the brand name one I used to use). Sometimes it’s a matter of trying something and if that doesn’t work try something else. And that’s exactly what I did. I came up with my own “cleaner” which is essentially a squeeze bottle that I fill roughly 1/3 full with castile soap and 2/3 water. I then squeeze the mixture around the rim of the bowl and clean with the toilet scrub brush. Works like a charm and so much less expensive.

And then I tried dishwasher tablets. And I’ll be honest, the recipe I found didn’t contain any “soap” at all and I just couldn’t wrap my head around that. So, I followed the recipe with the exception of the addition of castile soap. And I’ve been using it ever since without problem! My dishes come out clean!

Lastly is the big one that a lot of people seem to focus on: laundry. I replaced dryer sheets with wool dryer balls and started making laundry soap. I’ve tried a powdered recipe and a laundry sauce. Both had the same basic ingredients: Fels Naptha bar soap, borax, and super washing soda. I despised the powder. It left a white powder residue on my dark clothes. The laundry sauce though worked well enough. But what I found was that the elastic in undergarments were deteriorating (meaning they weren’t as elastic as they should have been) so I did some research into borax because at that point I’d been reading more about how it might not be safe for us. And what I found is that borax breaks down the elastic. Well, that is no good at all! I decided then to just use the Fels Naptha and super washing soda. Here’s what I do now:
* cut into pea-size chunks (or grate) the Fels Naptha bar of soap, add to a blender.
* Add about 2 ½ cups super washing soda to the blender.
* Blend together to mix together. The blender isn’t necessary, I just find that it incorporates everything together really nicely.
* Store in a quart jar

I use this in powder form. Because it doesn’t have the borax, which doesn’t dissolve easily, there is no powder residue on my clothes. I use 1–2 tablespoons per load depending on the size and amount of soiling. I haven’t had a problem with my clothes not getting clean nor have I had a problem with my clothes smelling….and we sweat a lot in the summer! It may not work for everyone but it works for us. At the very least give it a try. It doesn’t cost much. The Fels Naptha is $1 and the super washing soda box is $4. You only use 36% of the box at a time (cost per recipe for the super washing soda is $1.44). Total cost per jar is $2.44. For me, a family of three washing 5–7 loads a week this lasts roughly 2 months. Pretty economical if you ask me.

What else? Oh, the glass cleaner. It’s as simple as 1 cup white vinegar and 1 cup water together in a spray bottle. Use two rags; one to wash with and one lint free rag to dry. You’re glass and mirrors will look great! And trust me, the vinegar smell doesn’t last long.
Other areas items I’ve made at home are a foaming hand soap, dish soap, and liquid hand soap, and tooth cleaner. The foaming hand soap works great although it does require a slight shake to mix everything together before use. The dish soap I’m still perfecting as I’ve not been happy with the recipe that I found. The liquid hand soap is the most recent addition to my arsenal and so far, we have no complaints.

The tooth cleaner though has gone thru several different iterations. The first couple years we used recipes that use coconut oil. However, we decided to not do that because we have concerns about the coconut oil clogging the pipes. So recently I’ve moved to a tooth powder. The last recipe used calcium and magnesium powder for remineralization but the flavor was a bit odd so I’ll continue to tweak it until I come up with something that works for us. For the record, my dentist has never seen any evidence that our dental health has declined since we started using homemade tooth paste/powder.

The last area I want to cover is using fabric napkins and rags instead of paper napkins and paper towel. Now, I’m not saying to never use them but in our daily lives that is what we use. We’ll break out the paper napkins when we have company and paper towel when it’s a particularly yucky (think cat vomit) mess, something greasy, or to remove the poop from the freshly gathered chicken eggs. By reducing your use of paper products, you will save some money in the long run. Every little penny, nickel, and dime adds up.

Next time I’ll cover the behaviors and habits that affect how effective we are with keeping money in our coffers.

Saving And Winning With Money: Food

Saving And Winning With Money: Food

Several years ago, I was working full-time in a corporate environment with a two-hour daily drive. To say it was draining is an understatement. My husband and I had several discussions about me quitting work and becoming a one-income family. The plan was for me to do some virtual assistant work but not to count on any of that money should I make a go at it. I’ve shared our story in More Was My Catalyst. Check it out for some further background.

With the decision to become a one income family I had to learn some new skills. Scratch that – LOTS of new skills. While I knew how to cook I wasn’t the one who did the majority of the cooking when working the full-time job. We were like a lot of households in that we were normal, with consumer debt and a consumption mindset. Debt and no savings. Doesn’t that sound stressful?

We had to ask ourselves, what steps could we take to reduce that stress and succeed in our plans to start homesteading?

Start with the Food

June 2014 began my foray into being a homesteader and home economist. All the skills needed to be successful in both endeavors don’t just happen overnight. Well not most. The first thing I had to do was become more proficient in cooking from scratch. And while I was pretty good at planning and organizing I had to get better. Menu planning is of utmost importance when trying to reduce the grocery budget.

How can a pre-determined menu help lower the grocery bill? Planning helps avoid waste and stretch the food longer. I purchase my bacon from Zaycon Fresh. The packages are three pounds of thick cut bacon. Best bacon ever in my opinion. Anyway, my family cannot eat three pounds for one meal so I’ll cook up the entire package. We can then have eggs and bacon for breakfast, freeze some to have BLT’s in the future, save some to have on a cobb salad, and use some for a bacon wrapped chicken dinner. Yes, I started with three pounds but I’ve also saved myself time to do something else because I bulk cooked that bacon at one time. It wasn’t spread over four different meals.

Stretching Meals

Want to know another way to make food stretch and save money? Buy a whole chicken instead of the parts. It’s much cheaper and you get more meals out of it. Cook the whole chicken. That’s meal one. Use the leftover chicken for chicken salad, or on a BBQ chicken pizza, pick off the smaller pieces of chicken and freeze to be used later for chicken quesadillas. Or leave it on and use some of the chicken to make chicken soup. Did you know you can use those bones more than once to make chicken stock?

Tiffany at Don’t Waste the Crumbs has more great ideas on how to stretch a whole chicken to feed a family. She also has some great suggestions for stretching pork loin and using it in different ways. I hope these examples give you some ideas on ways you can make your money go further. Another great website to check out for budget-friendly meals is Budget Bytes.

How else can you save money on groceries? Grow some of your own! Most fruits require a long-term plan, think fruit trees that take several years to produce, but there are some that may produce the first year (although the second year is better) like strawberries and some raspberries. My raspberries produced first year (planted spring and had a small harvest in the fall). If you know you’re going to stay in place for long-term you may want to consider investing in fruit trees. Otherwise, try planting some berries for a quicker harvest.

Grow Your Own

Most people think of vegetables when the topic of growing food comes up. Is gardening easy? Yes. And No. If you have no experience there is a learning curve. And if you’re really interested in growing food year-round it’ll take research into techniques, what varieties will work best for your particular climate, and by understanding your growing zone! Most people though focus on the summer garden. Which is ok. There is nothing wrong with that at all. That’s mostly what I did the first year. Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, garlic, peppers, summer squash, and beans were what I concentrated on most. I’ve added on every year since incorporating more of the cool weather crops like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, beets, spinach, lettuce, etc. Have they all been successful? Nope, not at all. But I keep trying. My biggest nemesis has been groundhogs…and weeds. Oh man, those weeds! I could probably write a full page just about my feelings about them.

But you know what? I keep trying because it’s so worth eating homegrown food! It tastes so much better. The freshness just cannot be beaten! And there’s a pride to be taken in putting in the work to feed your family high-quality food. And do you know what else you can do with this food you grow? Can it! I just love pulling a jar of crushed tomatoes off the shelf to make my homemade pizza sauce. Best sauce ever! And it only costs about 50 cents (that’s if I don’t grow the tomatoes and buy a bushel from the local farmers market). That’s a pretty good savings from what you can get at the grocery store. I don’t even know what that cost would be because I haven’t bought pizza sauce in three years!

Cook From Scratch

Earlier I mentioned cooking from scratch. Do you know how easy it is to make pizza dough? When I was working full-time we would plan our menu (mostly) because we never got home until 6 at the earliest. This means we would get out whatever meat needed to thaw the night before (it’s still a habit) and whatever else needed done. Back then we didn’t make pizza sauce but we did do the dough. We’d make it and then just keep it in the fridge overnight lightly oiled and covered with plastic wrap. I say this to show you that if you are still working full-time you can still do many of these habits. It just takes a little planning.

One thing that has also been helpful and this is something we did back before I became “retired” as my husband would say, is to make up several meals to put in the freezer. We’d set aside a weekend to fill the freezer with things like chicken pot pie, lasagna or baked ziti, homemade chicken nuggets, etc. Many of these will yield more than one meals worth. If you find it hard to set aside a whole weekend try to find a day that you can do just a couple meals. It really is worth it. All else fails, double up on dinners (or breakfasts – we make extra pancakes, waffles, breakfast burritos, etc. to freeze for quick on the go meals during the week) and freeze the extra half.

Don’t Waste Food

Do you know what has been a huge cost saver for us? As a general rule, we don’t buy “lunch” food. I may purchase a package or two of sliced lunchmeat but that’s about it. My husband and daughter usually take dinner leftovers for lunch. For example, I’ll make a big pot of soup and that will feed us dinner and about two lunches worth for all of us. It’s pretty easy for my husband as he has access to a microwave to heat his lunch. For my daughter who doesn’t have access to a microwave, we purchased a Hydroflask thermos. We have three and have never had an issue with them. They work great for her to have a hot lunch without buying something thru the school cafeteria that is of questionable nutritional quality.

Buy In Season

It makes me feel really good knowing that my family is eating food that I prepared and possibly grown. If I don’t grow it, I try to get it from the local farmer’s market. I’ve gotten fruits and vegetables, honey, and eggs there. Often times I’ll buy stuff in bulk while it’s in season and at its peak and preserve it by canning, dehydrating, and possibly freezing.

For those items that I can’t get from the farmer’s market, I’ll try to find a local supplier (for example, I recently learned that there is an organic grain farm not too far from me so I’ll be purchasing my flour from there). Other items that I don’t have a local supplier, such as cashews, pecans, sugar, dried beans, etc. I’ll purchase in bulk from Azure Standard. It’s just like Zaycon Fresh in that you are given your pick-up time, meet the semi-truck and take your delivery from the back of a semi. It’s really easy and pretty seamless. With both, you need to check their website for local drop locations.

Buy In Bulk

Did you catch that I mentioned a bulk purchase of flour? I buy 50 pounds at a time. And I go thru it in less than a year. I make bread, pizza dough, pastry dough, tortillas (NOTHING like the taste of homemade!) and other baked goods. I’ve had friends say to me that they don’t know when they last used flour and it astounds me. Homemade just tastes so good! And it really isn’t hard. Homemade pasta sauce is to die for too. My recommendation is to choose one thing and start with just that. Perfect it. Then pick something else. For us, it was pizza dough first and then the sauce. We have homemade pizza every Friday. To get the same pizza (pepperoni, black olives and green olives – Yes, I know how much salt that is) from our favorite local pizzeria is about $14. As previously mentioned, the sauce is about 50 cents homemade, the dough is roughly the same cost. We use turkey pepperoni which is about $3–4 per package (I need to see if I can find this elsewhere!) and use about ½ a package. Then the olives come in less than $1. That homemade pizza feeds the three of us dinner and two of us lunch for $4. (Side note: in case you’re curious we’ve started incorporating other types of pizza for variety.)

Are Coupons Worth It?

You’re probably wondering, what about using coupons?? Many people will say that one key to saving money is to clip coupons. In my experience, you can save some money but in the overall scheme of things, if you’re cooking from scratch and buying store brands vs. name brands, you won’t have much savings. I personally still go thru the coupons but I don’t clip nearly as many as I have in the past. It takes me five minutes to go thru them and put them in my coupon sorter (something I got years ago for $1. It doesn’t have to be expensive!). Then, before I go to the grocery store, I pull out the coupons I’ll most likely use based on my grocery list, which was made based on what is needed (close to being out, what I may be buying extra of because it’s on sale – like pasta, and what is absolutely necessary for the meals on the menu or something that is purchased every week, like milk). This week I had $2.65 in coupon savings. Some weeks it’s only $0.25. In the long run, it adds up.

This is a multi-part series on how my family has taken action to save and start winning with money.   Next time, I’ll review another area where we’ve achieved some wonderful savings and talk about apps that I’ve used in my endeavor to keep as much of our hard-earned income.

Please share…

Do YOU have any tips you would like to share on saving money with food? 

Is there something specific YOU do to control your food costs?

Homemade Bath Salt Recipe

Homemade Bath Salt Recipe

I have done more soaking over the last two years than I have my entire life!  Mind you, I am not complaining, even though my soaks were part of my healing regimen, what a relaxing addition to my life!

It is important that we take time for ourselves, nurture our bodies and be good to ourselves!

Soaking is a therapeutic way to take care of all three at one time!

Homemade Bath Salt Recipe

1 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
3/4 cup Epsom salt
1/4 cup baking soda
3 to 6 drops of essential oils of choice

Place in a pint jar and close with flat and ring.

This is a great recipe to gift to a friend!  Place a ribbon around the outside of the jar around the ring or just add a piece of cloth or festive holiday cloth between the flat and ring of your jar to create that special gift!

You can also add coconut oil to your bath to soften your skin while you soak and counteract the drying effects of the salt.

My favorite essential oils for my soaks are Lavender and Lemongrass.  Lemongrass is a great oil to help the body detox, but as with any essential oil – less is more.  Even though the essential oils do get diluted in the water, very little is necessary to get the full effects of the aromatherapy that you will receive.

NOTE:  It is important that you do NOT soak in Epsom salt daily, for weeks on end.  Magnesium Sulfate can have ill effects on the body, mainly the mind.  As with anything, always use in moderation.  Also, so as not to scare anyone from using Epsom salt, I personally soak in Epsom salt roughly once a week or twice a month in addition to my other soaks using different products.

Epsom salt is extremely useful in removing inflammation and pain and I would have been LOST without this recipe for the last two years.  It was an essential for me to soak weekly after my deep muscle therapy to help my body relax and to allow it to remove all the toxins.

Enjoy and remember to be good to yourself!

What is your favorite essential oil for soaking?

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Perseverance

Perseverance

Many of us dive head first into things, but when the going gets tough we don’t have the perseverance to finish!

Additionally, sometimes it is hard to sacrifice our time and energy that we hold so dearly, but I am here to tell you that every effort you take, every hour you put in, holding the road or staying on the path even when you feel you have nothing left to give, will provide for you an outcome that you could never have imagined! I promise you!

I am a fighter, not necessarily by nature, but through necessity. A fighter not being in the physical sense (unless I need to defend my family), but a fighter in the sense that I don’t give up! Now not that I haven’t ever felt like giving up, but I have found through many circumstances that perseverance and EXTREME faith beats all!

“2…when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4

Why am I sharing this today? For nearly the last year, we have been working on a special goal of getting the Mountain Boy involved in small motor repair. It is something that he heavily asked about while I was sick in 2015/2016 and I was just unable to make any attempts to assist him in this effort at the time, but as soon as I was last July – we moved forward. Initially, there was great promise and hope that the door was ready to open only to see that door closing. It has been a slow going process, but one that provided a lot of blessings along the way!

I think part of our struggle as humans with perseverance is due to our nature that everything has to happen NOW, but NOW is not always the plan of the Big Guy Upstairs! The good Lord works in mysterious ways and always has a plan greater and grander than our little pea of a brain can wrap our heads around.

Because I have seen SO many times in my life the great reward that comes with patience, perseverance and faith, as much as I am excited about the fruition of our dreams and desires I have learned and learned fast to keep doing my part and making the efforts necessary to make things happen and most importantly I keep my eyes open to be sure I am still allowing God to lead the way and that I am open minded enough to see his directional guidance that he does offer!

In May, another door opened and after an 18-hour evaluational period, Thursday of this week the Mountain Boy started his full-time job with a part-time schedule. Yes, that sounds a touch confusing, but the employer was kind enough to allow Austin the option to start this job at a part-time level to help him work and transition his way into his full-time position doing small motor repair.

Austin spent the entire winter training online and educating himself online while God worked out the details and it is SOOO amazing to see our boy totally in his element and SOOO passionate about his job. He is such a happy go lucky kid and is well liked on his job and has some great mentors assisting him on this journey. As I say, they are just the angels that were put in our path!

Austin our Mountain Boy is high functioning autistic with Asperger tendencies and I am here to tell you, that has never stopped either he nor I. One of the greatest things I learned early with my son was that by pushing him ever so kindly out of his comfort zone he thrived, excelled, matured and grew in such incredible ways. Here is my post What We Have Learned And Conquered With Autism. Even if you are not affected by autism or Aspergers I encourage you to read this post.

All special needs children are different, but they can overcome SO much with love and support, just like you and I.  One thing I found was instead of coddling them show them that you truly believe in them by helping them conquer things that are fears to them, that are a challenges to them and that even seem impossible! We all want to be accepted and enjoy having our accomplishments celebrated – they are no different! A little extra time on our part, perseverance, and encouragement, lots of love and baby steps get the job done!

My point of this post today was to encourage you to NEVER give up on your dreams and desires no matter how big or small! Additionally, I will NEVER regret all the time, sweat, blood and tears I extended in life for my son – without that effort he would not be where he is today! It has been my pleasure and the greatest blessing to me ever to watch him transform into such a wonderful young man! He too has taught me SO much!

We are only as limited as we allow ourselves to be!

Where are you limiting yourself?

 

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Best Places To Find Homestead & Off-Grid Tools

Best Places To Find Homestead & Off-Grid Tools

Yardsaling, flea markets, estate sales, antique and thrift stores, the locations are endless…  As most of you know, I am NOT a shopper, despise being in town more than I need to be BUT I love looking for treasures! This is the perfect time of year to get out and find the things you need for your home or homestead.

Last Friday, on Mountain Woman Radio I spoke about Yardsaling in Podcast #149.

We live very frugally by choice and also by choice we have eliminated most of today’s modern day conveniences. Using antiques in our home is just part of the romance and often the items we are using are family heirlooms used by our grandparents or great grandparents.

They are 50+ years old and are quality products that were durably made. They have stood the test of time and still decorate my home and are used often daily.

We don’t live with worry in regard to our future, but we do take our future greatly into consideration with everything we do. We envision life totally without power and strive to be sure that we have every tool we need on our homestead to survive and thrive if that were ever to happen. So that means that we need to have the antique counterpart to many of today’s modern day conveniences to be able to move forward.

When we are out and about and see a yard sale, flea market, auction, thrift store or antique store and have a couple extra minutes we pop in and take a look. You never know what you will find and even better yet – have a list of the items you are looking for so you can even be more strategic!

On my podcast last week I spoke about getting canning supplies at yard sales and this week while I was running errands I stopped at a thrift store to find big bins with canning jars and rings for $6.60 per dozen. I walked away with 14 wide mouth jars and rings. I could have gained a LOT more jars, but I was being a bit of a snob that day in that we can a LOT of meat and it is SO much easier to fill, empty and clean the wide mouth jars so I am working on only stocking up on the wide mouths that fit our needs the best.

As I also mentioned in the podcast on Friday how I found an Excalibur dehydrator at a yard sale last year for $20 which actually retailed for over $300. These are the kind of treasures you can find when you take the time to look.

This is truly how I enjoy finding our homestead & off-grid tools!

Some people feel that this kind of shopping is beneath them, but I regularly purchase clothes that still have the tags on them. It is an amazing feeling when you get yourself to a place that you don’t feel you have to purchase every great deal you see or you find that you are able to limit yourself to only the things you actually need and will use. I hate clutter and there are often things that catch my eye when I am out, but if it does not have a useful place in our home, I am to a place in my life that I will not waste the money on it just for pure pleasure.  By living this way, it truly affords me to live this life!

Additionally, it is very important to do your due diligence and research the items you are looking for and price them because you will find stores that have great prices and you will find others that have insane prices. Knowing your prices and knowing also what you are willing to pay for something is important or it could end up being highway robbery and you really didn’t save yourself any money.

I often see things that make me want to jump up and down with excitement, but when the price tag is way out of my price range I have to walk away. This is my theory – if I walk away from something that is nicely priced because I just can’t afford it that day – if I return to the store when I can afford it and it is still there – it was clearly meant to be. With the items that are hideously priced – you might return to find the price has been brought down to something you can now afford. Another little trick – if the price is out of your price range, but not by much – you might try asking the store clerk or the person running the yard sale if they would be willing to take a lesser amount. I have even asked if they could take what I was able to afford and to my surprise – sometimes they will accept your offer to make the sale. I learned early in life to ask – the worst thing they will say is no, BUT they may also very well say YES! Take the chance – be bold – step out of your comfort zone….

Something else I have found in shopping this way, my son no longer thinks money is endless and that you just swipe that little plastic card…. He understands the value of money, budgeting, risk taking and only spending within his means. It is also good for our children to see us not purchase something we obviously love, but just can’t afford or don’t need.  Being a good role model is truly in everything we do and say. These are perfect teaching moments.

Shopping this way has been something that my son and I enjoy doing together – not just for the treasures we find, but for the priceless gift of time spent together.

Have fun this summer and find yourself some quality treasures….

What is something you are looking for?

 

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