Frugal Friday – The Trash Bag Conundrum

So recently I was considering one of those “waste conundrums” that my mind often wanders to when I’m besieged by ads for, of all things, trash bags. When did trash bags become a major commodity? Does it seem a bit weird to be spending money to wrap trash, I mean, seriously, it’s … trash. Wow, OK then, moving right along. I’ve been dusting off some of my old habits and tricks learned from my Earth Child years. One of those habits was nobody PURCHASED trash bags. My Grandma Cope would roll over in her grave at the very thought. *shudder* Now granted back in the 1970’s my tiny subsistence lot had a burn barrel. Food scraps (what didn’t go into soup) went to the compost bin. Burnable stuff went directly into the burn barrel and bones etc. went into either a repurposed cereal box, old flour bag of other burnable container then to the burn barrel. Fast forward 50 or so years and I’m living in a suburban townhome with garbage pick up included in my HOA fees. That’s great but I’m still NOT spending my hard earned retirement income on trash bags, naha, nope, not gonna happen. I’m using reusable bags for shopping and just dumping garbage direct into the kitchen bin. I have a little 4 gallon bin under the kitchen sink and really tiny 1 gallon bins in the bathrooms all of which I just empty into the roll out bin. I keep used plastic shopping bags, bread bags and the like for really smelly stuff (bones, fish, etc.) Yeah, I have to hose the small bin (and roll out) out every now and then but I dump the water on the grass or garden and count it as part of my watering 🙂

NaNa over at Na Na Pinches Her Pennies has a great take on it here

How do you handle your “trash bag conundrums?”

~Welcome to the resistance ~JP

Life in a post-pandemic recession

My grandmothers lived through the Great Depression. I’ve lived through the Double Dip Recession of the 1980’s and the Sub-prime Mortgage Crisis of 2007-2009. If, like me, you’re old enough to have worn a mood ring and elephant bell-bottoms, you may also recall the Great Recession of the late ’70s and early ’80s. In 1975 inflation topped 14%, unemployment breached 6% (higher in some places) and food prices where heading skyward. Funny thing is, I don’t remember it being scary. We drove used cars, rented a tiny cottage and in general lived within our means. We ate at home, grew vegetables and herbs in pots, bought baby clothes at yard sales. Very little ever went to waste. I breast fed and used cloth diapers, partly because it was eco-friendly but mostly because formula and disposable diapers were $&^%*! expensive.

This time around it’s a bit more complicated. There are cell phones, wifi connections, TV channels, car payments and the like. Let’s not even talk about the cost of child care. Complicated but not impossible. I’m dragging out some of my Grandma’s methods for “getting by” and things I learned during the past recessions and giving them a new spin. I am determined to really flourish in spite of a dicey economic picture.

Here’s a recipe from My Grandma Cope. I like to keep some in a baggie in the freezer to send home with the great grandkids when they visit.

World’s Easiest Candy

1 sleeve Saltine crackers
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups chocolate chips

On a baking sheet, spread out Saltine crackers. Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until gooey. Pour over crackers and bake at 350 degrees for five minutes, or until bubbly.

Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let sit for a few minutes until chocolate chips begin to melt. Then, spread over crackers evenly with a spatula.

Stick in the freezer for an hour, or until chocolate hardens. Break into small pieces and put into containers or baggies. Store in the freezer until ready to eat or give away.

So, how are you coping with this “recession?”

Til next time ~Rock On Baby ~JP


He loved music and wanted to bring music to the world and help us understand it’s deeper meaning. He taught me to look for the message inside the lyrics and deeper in the music itself. He wanted to be a D.J., but instead he died on a Friday night alone in his car. The silence in my soul is almost unbearable.

The nights stretch out too long
and it seems like nothing changes
as I watch the midnight sky
waiting for the sun to rise
beyond this endless twilight
tears begin to fall again

The pain is real and I weep, but
I remember all the fun we had
the good times and the bad
though this chapter of our story
now has reached it’s end
I still smile when I think of you

Shadows of sorrow in the canyons
of our lives ran vast and deep
somehow we always made it through
the three of us hand in hand, and
I know that the sun will shine again
I’ll smile when I think of you

I’m so sorry that you’re gone
but I remember life goes on
though we can’t be together
I’ll keep you in my heart forever
I know that you’re happy once again
so smile for me now and then

Love Sis

Be Happy and Free

digital collage from my polyvore collection

I have recently been working with the Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhvantu mantra. Translated into English it means “May all beings everywhere be happy and free.” There is longer translation of the mantra I’ve seen that expanded my understanding. “May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom.” Beautiful, right?

This mantra fits so well into my life. Let’s face it as humans, our relationship with the natural world can be complex. I watch the sparrows at my bird feeder and remember that my daily ritual of feeding the birds (feeders go out in the morning and come in after dinner) is much more important to me than to them. I take such delight in the precious little winged beings at my feeder that I am reminded every day to be as good a steward of my blessings as I can. To treat the Earth and all her creatures with love and respect.

~May you be happy and free

Flourishing Friday

It comes as no surprise to this Spoonie that there is still much ado about the “looming recession” and many a Social Security Retiree starting to sweat. Not me. After all, a recession is the ebb part of the natural ebb and flow of the U.S. Economy. There are lots of reasons not to fear the recession. My personal favorite is that it gives me permission to release my inner frugalista. So what did I do this week to save money?

1 The biggie – I applied for and received a new activity monitor (Fitbit Inspire 2) from my Medicare plan. Woohoo, I was thinking it was coming up on time to replace my Flex and voila, email from my plan provider advised me I am entitled to a new monitor every 2 years. Yeah BABY! And, I absolutely love it. It has really helped motivate me to get my steps in, water, etc. etc.
2 Food waste awareness February – I made luscious bone broth from a chicken carcass and vegetable scraps. Using it for soup this week.
3 Baked a batch of protein cookies for my diabetic. They nicely replace the outrageously priced snack bars we were buying for glycemic lows.
4 scored a great deal on the high fiber crackers we eat while returning from a Dr. appointment.
5 I made several art journal pages from repurposed ephemera and art supplies that I already have.
6 Took a free on-line class on Tarot cards and read e-books through my local library.
7 downloaded two guided meditations from Freegal (part of my library e-resources).

So that’s my week. How did yours go? Are you feeling any of the pinch of the recession? Doing anything different to save your personal resources?

Til next time ~Peace Peeps ~JP

Monday Musings – Year of the Rabbit

The Lunar New Year arrived early this year on January 22, 2023. Although we didn’t celebrate in grand style, there were noodles. Really, noodles and slurping and upside down fú hanging :-). There was time for reminiscing about times past, friends from China, Taiwan and Japan. Walks through Tiger Hill pagoda and Lotus Hill, the Guanzhou zoo, Villa Meilu and the Yangtze river delta. Photos from Shugakuin and Kyoto bring smiles. So many wonderful memories. 2023 is the year of the Rabbit symbolizing longevity, peace and prosperity in Chinese culture and is predicted to be a year of hope. May it be so.

Peace Peeps ~JP