Top 6 Household Items that Save me Money

Dear Diary, 

It has been a very emotional week. I had a good cry on Wednesday. My middle daughter has been sick for a long time now. Since March 2020 with what is currently wrong. Without getting into it too much since it is her story to tell she is getting tired of being sick and frankly so am I. I try to be strong for her as she goes through treatments and medication changes but we both know she is running out of options and this last medication isn't a good fit for her. She is having horrible side effects.

During weeks like this week, I am grateful for things that make my life easier in the house. When I seem to be on autopilot I like to make cooking easier but at the same time have delicious meals for my family. Over the years there are household items I have purchased that save me money and time both. They have given me far more in return than what I paid for them. Some of the items are

Kitchen Aid Mixer - I make bread, muffins as well as pasta all with the help of my kitchen aid mixer. It is also great to use for shredding chicken.

Instant Pot - I have had mine for about 5 years now and I just love how quick I can make a meal. I love it so much that I have both a 6qt and a 3qt. I will say that my Instant Pot makes the best cheesecake. 

Lunch Containers - I have saved hundreds of dollars over the years packing my husband's lunch. We also use the containers for day trips or if I will be running errands over the lunch hour in a different city where I might be tempted to stop for lunch.

Dawn dish soap - you heard me right. This is the only dish soap I will be. I use to fill up my foam dish soap container in my kitchen as well as for any stains on clothing. It truly has many uses.

Dryer Balls - I have been using these for years now and I love how soft my laundry turns out with these. They also contribute to a shorter drying time. and that saves hydro. 

Air Fryer - This air fryer has been a game-changer for us. My husband loves french fries and since he has heart problems it is not really a good option for him at a traditional food establishment. So I purchased an air fryer so that he could continue to have his same comfort food but without the grease. Since purchasing it I have been using it at least a few times a week for our meals. I had no clue how much you could make in them.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

Until next time, 



Dear Diary, 

Christmas can be a stressful time of year with the added pressure we put on ourselves to have the perfect Christmas for our family and friends. I am definitely the person that has put a lot of pressure on myself to have a lovely Christmas for my family. I believe it is because my love language is giving. I love to give gifts and do things for others. It wouldn't matter if there were no gifts under the tree for me I just love watching others get gifts. The joy on their face and look in their eyes truly makes me happy.

I thought I would share some of the things I have done over the years to create a wonderful and frugal Christmas for my family over the years. 

Buy what you can afford - Find that special gift that is in your budget range. You do not have to spend a lot of money to let those you love know you are thinking of them. Now that my children are older we have decided to draw names with a $40 limit on the gift for that one person. We only have to buy that one gift for the name we pulled.

Buy useful gifts - For my children I know from past gift-giving that giving gifts that can be used over and over again is the way to go. I tend to stay away from novelty items because my children never really played with that toy over and over. 

Make food gifts - People on your list are busy and finding time to bake for the holidays is not something they have time to do. A lot of people do not like baking so blessing them with something homemade helps them and also gives their family a tasty treat.

Shop the clearance rack - remember to shop the clearance rack all year long. You can get some great toys for amazing prices at any time of the year. If you are in Canada I have found that Dollarama has had some great name brand toys for $4 and under. Perfect gifts for children. Not to mention they have amazing stocking stuffers at great prices. 

Make crochet or hand-knitted items - if you have the skills of crocheting and knitting use them to make gifts for the holiday season. You can make slippers for everyone on your list or some dishcloths to wash your dishes with put the item you made into a basket and add some chocolate or special soaps and you have a beautiful gift. These are my personal favorites. 

Start shopping as soon as Christmas is over - this won't help you this year but it is something to keep in mind for next year. Pick up your wrapping paper on clearance as well as any decor you spotted while shopping for Christmas gifts this year. It is definitely going to be on sale after Christmas.

Christmas activities - Look online and in your local newspaper or on Facebook for fun free activities to do with your family. I know we go for drives and walk parks that are lit up. Sometimes we stop for hot cocoa if it is in the budget or bring it with us from home. Bake some cookies before you go and surprise your family with them in the car as a treat as you look at the lights.

Don't focus on what others are doing - Try to set the traditions that are important to you and stop focusing on what others around you are doing and getting for their family members. Last week a posted 5 budget-friendly Christmas traditions if you are looking for some new budget ideas.

Give Experiences - Experience gifts are also a big hit but due to the current restrictions, you might want to alter the experience gift to something that is currently available to do. I know things are limited right now so be wise with your purchases.

Please share in the comments what you do to help keep the cost of Christmas down. 

Until next time, 


Planning my Week and Decorating for Christmas

 Dear Diary,

The hustle and bustle of Christmas the season is definitely upon us. I have been trying to get everything done so that on November 30th everything is done and I can sit back and enjoy December. I have always been Christmas crazy. Watching all movies related to Christmas on Netflix, Roku, Hallmark, Prime, and at the theatres too. I love to put my tree up in November and just sit by the tree every night and look at it. I really don't need to have anything under the tree for me because I just love to give gifts and see the look on their faces when they open them.

It is 2020 and this whole year has looked different so I thought I would change up some traditions that we do as a family this year so we can just sit back and enjoy each other. We haven't been able to see each other like we have wanted to due to all our community restrictions with Covid-19. I never would have imagined myself living through a pandemic. It has always been only something I have read about in history books. I have been journaling all through the pandemic which is not uncommon for me since I have always journaled throughout my life. I just feel like I should be documenting such a historic time in my life.

The tree is decorated and it looks beautiful with the lights on in the evening. This year I decided to put up two trees. One in the gathering room and one in my office. I want to bring as much joy as possible to my home and do what makes me happy. Oh my goodness look here I have just rambled about Christmas for three paragraphs. All when I am supposed to be planning my week. 

I am a planner by nature. I love to have my week planned out right down to my menu plan. I find having my menu planned out of the week helps me stay on budget. Staying on budget is really important to me and my bank account. 

Monday - Rotisserie Chicken, Rice, Corn

Tuesday - Chicken Pesto Shells (made with leftover Rotisserie Chicken)

Wednesday - Fried Chicken, Potato Wedges, Green Beans

Thursday - Pork Chops, Fried Onions, Rice

Friday - Pizza

Saturday - Fried Rice, Egg Rolls, Lemon Chicken 

Sunday - Goulash

This week I am planning around two different events. One is my dad's 75th birthday that we are celebrating on Sunday afternoon and Friday marks the 1st anniversary of the passing of my mother in law. Friday Rob (my husband, for those of your reading my blog for the first time) and I will be going to my fathers-in-law for a visit in the afternoon. Rob is blessed with a job that gives him Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off every week. Mind you he does work four - ten and a half hour days in order to get those days off every week.

It feels like I have rambled on long enough today. Off to crochet some stocking for Santa to fill on Christmas Eve. I just learned how to crochet in October and I have made 5 pairs of slippers and now I am planning on making 7 or 8 stockings. I will definitely show you once I finish one.

Until next time, 



7 Ways to Keep Warm Without Turning up the Heat

Dear Diary, 

Over the years I have tried a few things to cut costs and save on our heating bill. A little background - our house was built in 1860 (no our furnace isn't that old but it is an older furnace) and I don't like to keep my house really warm I have my thermostat set to 19.5c/67f. Here are a few things that have helped us keep our costs down over the years. 

Winterize your windows - Our house is old as I mentioned above and winterizing our windows is very important. We have a few windows we are currently looking into replacing but in the meantime, I want to make sure I am not losing heat out of them. We currently winterize them with plastic over the top of them to keep the cold out and the heat in our house. 

Clean your furnace filters - Keep clean filters in your furnace to help maintain the efficiency of the furnace. We try to keep new filters on hand all the time to switch them out.

Use your fan - Switch the direction of your ceiling fan and put it on a low speed so it can push the hot air from the ceiling back down. This is one I often forget to do but when I do it makes a difference. I am all for every little bit helps.

Grab a blanket - We have a few comfy blankets we keep in our living area to snuggle under to keep warm on the cooler nights. We love blankets! 

Thermal Curtains - I have purchased new blackout thermal curtains for all our windows that help keep the heat in my house when it is cooler out I close them as soon as the sun goes down to keep things toasty inside.

Layer up - Keep a sweater handy and dress in layers so they can be added and removed as the temperature changes in the house. Both my husband and I have sweaters we keep on the main floor of our house but out of sight that we can put on when we get chilly.

Let the sunshine in - As soon as the sun comes up for the day I open all the curtains so the sun can warm up our house and when it sets I close them to keep the warmth in the house. 

What are some things you do in the winter months to reduce heating costs?

Until next time,