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5 Thursday Frugal Thoughts

By Julie Norman

1. Have you seen this site? http://www.newdressaday.com/ 

I am not at all handy with a sewing machine, but I can hold my own with hem tape and thread.  She goes way beyond what I've ever done with hand-me-downs or goodwill items, but it's definitely easier than you think to shorten a dress, add a sash, or shorten the sleeves.  It's a great way to take something that was super inexpensive and yet "blah" and turn it into something awesome! Click around there for a while. You'll find lots of good tips for dresses, purses and more.

2. Dinner doesn't always have to be magical. I've been paying more attention to the Frugal Girl's menus when she posts them and they're always fairly simple.  A main dish and a small side like strawberry salad, cut up fruit, etc. Last night I made white chicken chili.  It's pretty inexpensive and very quick to make.  With it we had small salads with just some lettuce, fresh tomatoes from the garden, and carrots. I dug some corn muffins out of the freezer for crumbling on top of the chili. Still, it wasn't an expensive "fancy" dinner; it was just a good, filling and comfortable meal.  Here's the recipe.

Normally it's "whiter" than this, but I was out of cumin.  I know.  WHO runs out of cumin?  I wasn't going back to the store though, so this batch got seasoned with good ole chile powder, garlic powder and some paprika.  It was still tasty.

3. A lot of money is wasted on gas. Lately I've been trying to either bike to work or not leave work on my lunch break in the car.  Tuesday I walked to Main Street to run an errand.  Wednesday I walked the Riverfront trail. Today I walked to Pablo's for lunch with a friend.  The car just sits in the parking lot.  Tomorrow I'm biking. Each time I don't drive I save a few cents in gas.

4. If you don't have the money to buy something right now, just wait...unless it's an essential item like a stove.  For that maybe you dip into savings.  STOP wasting your money buying random things like an extra pair of shoes or that great new kitchen gadget. It's not necessary.

5. Find more inexpensive ways to spend time with friends.  Have a summer appetizer pot luck in the backyard instead of meeting at the bar.  Plan a hike/bike ride and cookout at the trailhead for afterwards.  Go on a wildflower drive over the Mesa and pack beer and lunch for that too!  If you still want to support your local bar, just stop by there and get a growler of your favorite brew to take on your outing.

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