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

Queen of the World

Yours truly at Bryce Point Overlook, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. After a vigorous day of hiking, we made one last short (but steep) walk out to the final overlook along the drive. Quite an accomplishment for a pulmonary challenged spoonie at over 10,000 feet elevation. A gust of breeze washed over me as I embraced the magnificent view.

Til next time ~Embrace the Wild Within ~JP

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

February Fairy

A Winter storm moved in this week with all the mock ferocity of a kitten. Gentle rain that turned to ice as the temperatures dropped. In it’s wake it left a delicate crystal forest of trees and shrubs magically encased in sparkling glass. A million diamond glints on winter-bare branches. I walked among them like a tourist through a glass blower’s shop awe struck by the delicate beauty of it all. My tree encased in her glimmering ice gown became at once both exquisitely fragile and unbelievably strong. Home of the February Fairies that pirouetted, dangling from nearly bare branches, made golden and bronze by the ice and frost joined by the rollicking sparrows like so many fluttering leaves.

~May the joy of the Winter Fairies be with you ~JP

Spoonie Lament – Prednisone Purgatory

So it’s been a week. Chronic cough finally reached the “I can’t take it anymore” point and off I went to the Pulmonologist. Surprise, surprise, I’m back on prednisone, a rather heavier dose than I’m accustomed to but the cough was worse than it’s been in years. Feeling much better now but anxious to get back to normal life. If you’ve ever been on steroid therapy you know that it affects every aspect of your day to day life, some good, some bad but always different. So, for now, I’m back on prednisone.

Spoonie Lament – Prednisone Purgatory

Prednisone oh prednisone you gave me
cataracts and several broken bones
but here I am right back on you
’cause the doctors don’t know
what else to do oh yeah
I’m back on prednisone

Prednisone you’re kinda hard on me
you keep me up all night when I shouldn’t be
I drink lots of water for my kidneys
but now it’s three a.m.
and I’ve gotta pee …. again
I’m back on prednisone

Prednisone oh prednisone
your side effects are bad enough alone
you may put me in an early grave
but you sure do make
my immune system behave
so for now, I’m back on prednisone

~Peace Out Peeps, I’m off for a cup of decaf tea ;-p

When Spoons are Short and Expectations are High

Winter flares are no fun, at all fatigue and fuddled thinking are a nuisance at the best of times and for me at least, holidays are NOT the best of times. I’m out of spoons and trying to do way to much. Slowing my roll, so I’ve been cavorting about on Canva again. Here is my latest doodad to remind me to deal with seasonal bluesy feelings in a positive (low spoons) way.

Til next time ~Stay Trippy Hippies ~JP