Tag Archives: frugality

The Graywater Experiment

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This is not a new novel by David Baldacci and has nothing to do with spies or espionage. It’s not a government initiative (but maybe it should be) or a soviet plot or a secret mission.

It’s harvest time in the garden and my main method of food preservation is blanching and freezing. Basically this involves a pot of boiling hot water on the stove to boil veggies for 3-5 minutes and then a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Blanching preserves color and flavor and readies food for freezer bags.

It occurred to me last week as I was processing vegetables that the water for washing and blanching could be reused to water my garden. We’ve only received one good drenching rain here and I can almost predict we’ll be in a drought situation before long.

During my last blanching session I bottled up my graywater and took it down to the garden and watered my plants. I also used graywater in a small flowerbed I have at the side of the house.

You can find our more about graywater at http://graywater.net. It seems such a reasonable alternative to using drinking water on lawns and gardens.

I’ve always been a resourceful gal though sometimes I think Boyfriend thinks I have a screw loose. He looked balefully at my graywater before I took it to the garden and I know he  questions the validity of my constant recycling, purchasing at thrift marts and composting efforts. Mercifully, he rarely SAYS what I know he’s thinking.

We should all try to be more resourceful. With oil spilling into the gulf at breakneck speed, water may become all too scarce in the future.  What affects one part of the planet, affects another.

Consider your graywater and make it work for you and the planet.

The Frugal Musician falls off the wagon

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We had The Big Event in June and in addition to falling off the frugal financial wagon, I also fell off the composting, recycling and reusing train as well.

As the date of The Big Event approached the rapidity of money draining from my resources was only matched by the  pouring out of effort and energy to get our house and grounds in good order to host 40 people. Everything we did in the house and in the garden was something that should have been done YEARS ago, so I’m not whining about spending monetary resources on stain for the deck, paint for the bath and upgrades to fixtures and the like.  I know everything could have been done cheaper, but not as fast as it had to be accomplished.

It bothers me that we had The Big Event and didn’t recycle plastic, glass and aluminum. It bothers me that in the week before TBE, I didn’t compost my vegetable scraps or put out my coffee grounds and eggshells to dry for mulching the tomato plants.

On the upside, I washed and plan to reuse the big aluminum serving pans with the nice fitting plastic tops we bought and I had enough plastic cups, utensils, paper plates and napkins to host another Big Event.

And this time the house and grounds will be in order and time, effort and energy will be intact for maximum enjoyment of the hostess!

The Frugal Musician gets transparent

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For the third weekend since December 18 we’re snowed in. Great masses of the white stuff pile at our driveway and ribbons of windblown snow weave around our window panes.  I have never seen snow like this. It would be remarkable and enchanting but my enthusiasm for it is tempered by a solid dose of winter work woes. When the weather is bad, Boyfriend’s work closes and he goes unpaid. It’s winter and most bands tour sparsely and close to home during the cold months. And I rely on touring to make a living.

This scenario is not new and each year I try my best to prepare for it. Unfortunately, in January, I lost what I considered my “day job”. I was a public relations gal for a regional act and it took up nearly all my time. The pay was good, contributing nearly two thirds of my income. So I was rather shocked when touring didn’t let the group to renew my contract for another year.  Then panic set in followed close on the heels of despair, discouragement and downright despondency.

Deriving an income from music and those who make it is tenuous in the best of times.  With that in mind, I keep an emergency fund quickly accessible. I am lucky. But the next few months will be some of the toughest I’ve ever experienced.

I’ve decided to share this and share it now after pondering my situation for over a month. I didn’t know whether I should talk about this sudden change of affairs or simply keep it to myself and let people continue to wonder what the heck is wrong with Tammy.

Transparency is a big deal.  I am the strong, silent type, always more content to bear whatever comes along with the stoicism of a monk and the full recognition that The Universe knows what it’s doing. I may not understand it, but I trust that this is how things are at the moment.

 It occurs to me a blog is a web log and perhaps I can share my scary moments and triumphs on this new journey with you. After all, you’ve always been so kind to read and comment and I value your friendship more than I can say.

So here’s to transparency and the stinky smelly side of slap me in the face reality.  It’s like a rollercoaster here right now. Hop in but remember to keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times and don’t exit until the ride has come to a full stop.

Ready, Set -GO!

The Frugal Musician is a home body

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Dragrace and Kronk 019

Each month I set aside a certain amount of “spending money”. Sometimes my spending money lasts an entire 30 or 31 days and I have a bit to add to my alotment for the upcoming month. Sometimes, as is the case this month, I’ve had to dip into my spending cash for necessities like gas, groceries and mailing packages.

It’s August 14 and I am technically out of cash. Not really. I have savings and I have checking, but in my mind, when my little spending money envelope is empty, it is empty. I do one of two things when this happens. I either side hustle some plants from my yard or I opt for a weekend of piddling around the house.

Piddling around, in the southern dialect, simply means hanging about not really doing much of anything. You can be piddling around in the yard, piddling around in the kitchen or piddling around the neighborhood. Nothing is within walking distance here in lovely Marion Hill, so I will be piddling in the kitchen and piddling in the yard. And piddling upstairs in my sewing room, since the weather has cooled a bit and it’s bearable up there.

I have sewing projects, cooking projects (picked apples from Mr Lundie’s trees day before yesterday and my butter peas are coming in ), writing projects (just finished a new booklet about band organization and am designing the cover), reading projects (Herbology is my new interest) and I’m in the middle of a most excellent Jane Austen read. I have plenty of magazines and art projects to keep me busy as well as the garden and yard.

I am grateful to have a home and garden that I love- a place that provides me with peace and solitude and serenity.  Whether your home is a house, an apartment, a condo, a tent, trailer or teepee, I hope this weekend you’ll find it an enjoyable place to be.

The Frugal Musician does it again

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 LIPTON TEA

My local market had another great soda and beverage sale this week. This time, I purchased a twelve pack of diet Lipton Green Tea ($5.99) and could purchase five 12 packs of diet Pepsi in cans for a buck each.

I spent $12.00 total and when I received my receipt I saved $19.99 AND got a $2.00 coupon to use on my next food order.

I now have plenty of beverages for summer traveling. Convenience stores are SO expensive. It’s much more economical to toss a few sodas in a small cooler before heading out.  And as the temp has been consistently in the mid 90’s staying hydrated while not breaking the budget is…well….COOL!

The Frugal Musician wonders about rebates…

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swing and calla lilliesIt’s summer and in the summer the frugal musician often finds herself sitting and musing over this and that when it’s simply too hot to move…

Sometimes I muse in this awesome swing in our garden…

Once upon a time, I rebated A LOT. I combined coupons and bought products with rebates. I kept everything in a shoebox and that little shoebox made me a nice chunck of cash every year. It was my Happy Santa money.

I subscribed to the Sunday paper for coupons a few months ago. But I’ve noticed very few rebate opportunities. I confess I haven’t used rebates since the kids were little (they’re 30 and 22 now) but thought it may be something to consider as a side hustle.

Are there sites for rebates? I did have a bad experience with Centrum vitamins. Just got a letter from them saying my rebate didn’t have the UPC box codes and I most certainly DID mail them in the envelope with the rebate form. I carefully considered COPYING the form and the UPC box codes before mailing but never got it done. This is irritating because it was a $10 rebate.

I think it’ll be a futile fight to try and shake $10 out of them, but I will NOT buy Centrum vitamins again. So there…

Weekend Update: The Side Hustle

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Sold two huge bunches of monkey grass today so side hustle weekend goes out with a whopping $35.00 in creative income!
I’m thinking of reinvesting part of this income into buying books at my local thrift mart and reselling on half.com. That little side hustle nets between $20-$60 per month.
And there’s a half price sale tomorrow which means I can get paperbacks for a quarter and hard bound books for fifty cents.
It would be fun to “reinvest” …frugal style of course!