Saturday, June 24, 2017

Stop Ants From Ruining Your Picnic

Photo by Suzzycue This is the Stratford Ontario Boathouse Rentals on Lake Victoria.

I saw this on my favorite cooking show the Chew. ( The Chew is on channel 7 week days at 1pm.) They always have some great Life Hacks. The tips for preventing ants getting on your picnic table and ruining the food, is to fill 4 small tuna tins or cats tins with water and then putting the four table legs in the tins. The ants cannot swim the water in the cans to the table legs. :)

Another tip to prevent mosquito's ruining your pool party is to take mothballs and create a single line circle around your pool area and sink them a little bit into the earth. Bugs will not cross the line of mothballs. If you have pets disregard this tip as your pets could eat the mothballs but the smell could keep them away also from the mothballs. I have uused this tip and it works but did not have any pets at the party. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cheap Microwave Popcorn

Photo by Suzzycue
I love microwave popcorn but I don’t want all the trans-fats, extra calories from the butter and all the salt that you eat, with buying it that way.  One of my friends introduced me to this idea and I have been doing it ever since:)
You take a flat bottom, paper bag, cover the bottom with uncooked popcorn (that you buy from the store and is the cheapest way to buy it), roll down the top to close it, put the bag in the microwave and push the same popcorn button that you would use for the store-bought microwave popcorn.
When it stops popping, usually it goes right to the end of when the microwave shuts off … you’ve got awesome popcorn 🙂  It is nice and fluffy and you can add whatever you like. My favorite is olive oil , Parmesan cheese, and salt to taste. I love to add Old Bay spice, (when I visited in Florida) but I cannot find it up here. I use my pepper grinder full of spices on my popcorn too. YUMMO

Saving Money Tips:

Photo by Suzzycue

We all know I live a very Frugal Lifestyle. I am not ashamed but proud of it. How many of you cut tubes or bottles of toothpaste, hand lotion etc, in half and scrape them out before throwing them away.
I do.  You would be surprised how much of the product, you are wasting by not doing it. I have saved many dollars doing this…  little frugal trick. Give it a try and save your money 🙂

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Frugal Zip lock Bags

Photo by Suzzycue
Not Enough Zip lock Bags No Problem Try this simple fix 🙂
I always cook a whole package of pasta, even though, it is only me, at home. When I get tired of eating it, I can wrap it up in wax paper pouches, pop it into a re-cycled zip lock bag , and put it into the freezer.  This way saves money by not pitching it out and it gives me, a perfect portion for a quick lunch or to go dinner for work.
If you freeze your left-overs altogether in one lump in a zip lock bag , you have to reheat the whole package again to get it apart.  You can try smashing it on the counter top and dropping it on the floor, even hitting them with a hammer, like I have done in the past, but try portions in wax paper it is a lot easier and I am getting a to old for all that exercise 🙂 Thanks for reading.

Potato Peel Fries


When  I saw this on I just had to share it with you.
These photos and recipe for Potato Peel Crisps are the brilliant ideas of Attosa. She is a Musician from L.A. that loves to cook. Don’t forget to give her a thumbs up for this great frugal tip.
 I am a new member there and it is a fun site, where you can enter and win prizes for recipes or sharing your pet picture ,craft projects and read frugal tips from the writers there. They share tips and ideas for crafting, creative recycling ,gardening, frugal living, recipes, cleaning and more. Membership for is free.
Now lets get back to the recipe. Attosa had the brilliant idea of saving the potato peels after peeling potatoes and roasting them instead of throwing them in the garbage, like I do. I do not compost because I live in an apartment. (Any ideas to help with this let me know…Thanks 🙂

 I thought, I never wasted anything until I saw this. This is the ultimate frugal idea for saving food dollars.  I won’t throw potato peels out anymore, now that I found this delicious recipe.

 I can hardly wait to peel my potatoes, to put in the roasting pan around my turkey for Sunday dinner.  I will put the potato peels right along side my roasting pan to crisp up for my hors d’oeuvres. We will enjoy these crisps while waiting for the dinner. What a great catering idea, Many Thanks to Attosa for sharing 🙂

Free Cranberry Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Photos by Suzzycue   This is the view of St James Church outside my third floor apartment window facing North 🙂
I hope all my friends and followers had a very Merry Christmas this year. I certainly did with my family.  We are still snow less in Stratford town but I thought I’d give you a picture so you could remember what it’s like. LOL  Snow really is beautiful and calming, unlike, the holidays which can be very stressful.
I found out that, of the top ten stress reducing foods, Oatmeal is number one. We can all afford oatmeal, I am hoping.  Oatmeal helps get serotonin flowing which is a calm inducing hormone. I now buy steel-cut or old-fashioned oats instead of the instant oatmeal because they are higher in fiber and they take longer to digest, so you stay full longer.
Recipes are really just an outline to follow. You can add other ingredients to this cookie recipe.
For example in this cranberry oatmeal cookie recipe, you can change the cranberries to raisins, if you don’t have cranberries. That kind of thing.
My Sister-in-Law Lill added white chocolate chips instead of brown chocolate ones and said the results were great. Her sister loves white chocolate so this was a delicious New Years Dinner Treat.
You should be open minded, when you use a recipe, is to follow the steps especially in baking. Baking is an exact science. The steps are there, so that you actually take your cookie’s flavor to the next level. And I’m going to show you, what I mean, by this cranberry oatmeal cookie recipe that I used to bake, while working, in a Stratford restaurant.
First of all, in one bowl mix the ingredients: 2 cups of white sugar, 2 cups of brown sugar and 1 pound of butter.
Now you’re going to add three eggs,( crack your egg into a coffee mug, because, if you get a blood spot in your egg, all the dry ingredients will be ruined) but you’re only going to add them one at a time and mix the egg completely into the dry ingredients. This simple trick, that you you can use in all your recipes for cookies, in baking will make your cookies… WOW.
Then in another mixing bowl, because, we never mix the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients until we get them altogether, is the second WOW trick.
You will mix together: 3 cups of flour, 3 cups a steel oatmeal, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 3 cups a cranberries, 3 cups of chocolate chips, and 3 cups of Almond chips. (walnuts would also work good here.) Now mix together with the top wet ingredients.
Then, if you want big cookies, you roll them into 3 1/2 ounce balls. You set them on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper at least 3 inches apart , because this gives them room to bake without touching each other. This recipe will give you lots of cookies to pass out to your guests.
You bake them in a rewarmed 350° oven for about 12 minutes. You can check the cookies by sticking a toothpick in them and if there is any cookie on the toothpick just add a couple more minutes.  Be careful not to burn them because they are so good. Don’t forget to cool before eating so they don’t fall apart.
WOW… your friends at your New Year’s Eve party, with these cookies on your hors d’oeuvre table in your home.  After the holidays, you can make these cookies smaller, as a healthy treat for your children to take in their lunchboxes. Happy New Year my friends and followers. May 2016 be your best year yet.

Free Online Courses


FREE online study for everyone!

I am taking free courses from  OPEN2STUDY. The courses I am taking are helping me with writing on the web. It is an fun ten videos to watch then answer 10 multiple questions. You must get 60 to pass the course which means you correctly answer six questions with information you learn from the videos.
You are awarded a certificate after you pass that you could use on your Linkedin Profile. I am using mine to enhance my writing resumes.
There are a lot of free courses here you might be interested in. There is everything from Entrepreneurship, health and nutrition, introducing to nursing,financial, and lots more interesting free courses. Check it out and study for free. I did and I love it.

Reuse Recycle Reinvent

Photo by Suzzycue
Did You know you can freeze your beats after cooking them, instead of taking the time to pickle them? This is a much quicker way to do it with less fuss.   They are just as good when you add salt-pepper and balsamic vinegar to them after they have thawed out. This is an example of reinventing to save money and time. Also save the juice after you boil your beets, until tender, to make a batch of beet wine. 🙂
The frugal advice most people give you is to recycle, reuse, which is very easily done after these beets have been eaten.
I am writing this post because one of my readers said when they freeze vegetables they are always full of frost in the freezer.
I can reuse the bags again as long as there has been no meat products in these bags. They can be washed, kept in the fridge and used again to freeze any vegetables until they get a punctured hole in the bag.  Don`t reuse them if you cannot get them really clean. I usually run hot boiling water from the tap to rinse them and then dry them over bottles in the fridge door.
They also have to be dry again before reloading them or black mold can form. The best freezer bags I have used are Zip lock Double Seal. You must use freezer bags and not sandwich bags to freeze with. The bags mentioned about do the best job of keeping the frost out of your food and you know they are completely sealed when the seal turns purple:) They will stay good frozen for three months but they never last that long in my house. 🙂

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Keep Cool Tips and Apply Here For Your Electric Bill Rebate

Photos by Suzzycue.
 I bet you're not even thinking about putting plastic on your Windows this year because it's been so warm. My plastic is still on some of my windows now and found it also keeps the heat out. 

Another tip to stay cool for those people who don't have an air conditioner, is to put a bucket of ice, in from of your fan and the cooler air will blow on you. You can salt the ice after you have it in your bucket and the ice will last longer.  You can put salt on your ice in your food coolers also to keep it from melting so fast :)

I put my plastic on my windows after Thanksgiving every year.

 Have you ever noticed that you put the two-sided tape on your cement block walls,( if you happen to live in an apartment like I do) and the tape doesn't stick because the walls are too cold. This ends up with your tape all balled up , you get all mad and you quit the job.

I have been there folks. What I do is...  I take a blow dryer and heat up the wall, where I want to put the tape, then the tape goes on really easy, because the walls are warmer. I also make sure, I tape the center post between the two panes of glass because in my case, the wind blows so hard, being I'm on the third floor, it will blow the plastic right off.

Another tip is to trim around the plastic after you have it taped on and then used two inch clear packing tape and go around again on the outside of your plastic onto your wall. This ensures that your plastic will stay on the window until you remove it in the spring. You can now use the blow dryer again to blow the wrinkles out of the plastic but I don't do this because it makes the plastic too tight and the wind will rip it from my windows.

 I like having plastic on the Windows because it not only helps your comfort level, which is what I'm really interested in for winter, but I save $2-$300 a year on my electric heat bill.

 Hope all you low income people with electric heat applied for your hydro rebate. The time is running out. You need to do it by December 31 and then it takes 8 weeks to process. You can apply online here.  As of May 31st this rebate has increased by 50%. This is great news.

Now, if you've ever tried to take a photo threw a plastic window...  you'll get a picture that looks like this. The flash from the camera just reflects off the plastic.  The trick, I learn to do, is to put your camera right on the plastic that is bulging out from the window because the extra cold air coming in and then take the picture.  

You will have a clear picture , like the one below and nobody will know that you shot through plastic. Hope these tips help you to save money through this winter and thanks for reading. Have a good day :)

Now Accepting Guest Bloggers


Photo by Suzzycue
Stratford is full of this Victorian Architecture 
I am a new blogger who is interested in writing a guest post on similar Frugal Blogs. If you Blog about frugal lifestyles , let me know.
I can send you a couple of blog post ideas and you can choose which one you’d like to publish on your blog. Perhaps you would also be interested in being featured as a guest-blogger on my own blog?
You can have a look at my blog here :
Have a look and see if it’s something you would be interested in 🙂 You can contact me at  Have a nice day!
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Susan Britton

Monday, June 19, 2017

DO It Yourself Cork Craft Reindeer

Photos by Suzzycue :)

 Now that the holidays are over and were thinking about resolutions what can we do to keep our hands busy, instead of eating or drinking?

If you had holiday celebrations, like our family did, I'm sure you have an abundance of wine corks. For some reason, they are precious to us. We do not throw them away. We keep them in drawers, cupboards ,tackle boxes, and even jewelry boxes because that wine cork comes with precious memories. These Cork Reindeer Decorations are easy to make, into something precious, to save and bring out holiday memories for next Christmas.

These reindeer decorations are very simple to make with a glue gun, some felt, small sticks, 9 corks and one champagne cork that we all toasted the New Year with. You can make these with your kids and save them for next Christmas celebrations or you could put hearts on them and give them for Valentine's Day which is coming up next.

I wish all my Friends and Family and Followers a very Prosperous Healthy Happy 2017. Cheers... the more wine you drink the more reindeer you can make :) Make a whole herd of reindeer and decorate them for any occasion.

Frugal Wall Art

Photo by Suzzycue

This is a cool photo, I took of the special full moon, we had a month or two ago. It was special because we had two full moons in one month, which has not happened for thirty years.

These special photos that we love ,you can take to Walmart and they can make poster size pictures from them. Then you bring them home, make a frame from tin cans and hang them on your walls. I guarantee, you have just created a vocal point that will be a great conversation piece :)

Frugal Balcony Garden Decorating Ideas

Photos by Suzzycue

The idea some people have, that being Frugal means ,you are cheap is not right. Frugal is a wonderful lifestyle that enhances what you have now and can have in the future. If I can save money on groceries but don't go without great taste, then, I can take a good trip, later on. Frugal is good management of money... if you ask me:)

A friend gave me this excellent window pane of glass and I  immediately saw how to make it better. I painted it blue then sanded off most of the color blue to antique it. I found cobalt blue glass beads at the dollar store and glued them around the front of the frames of the glass. Now this window appears to be stained glass and will make a beautiful  decoration on the separation wall of my balcony.

Beside it you will also see a basket that someone threw out that I treasure as a hanging planter container.

Here is another reinvented frame that I upcycled tincans to make.. Check it out here. You can do this:)

My whole apartment is decorated this way. Even though, money can be tight, we can still have beautiful little nooks, built, for our retreats, in our homes.
Have a look at this interesting  Pinterest Board, to see how other people are doing this exact way of decorating ,to find some great ideas. Thanks a lot for reading and please share your Frugal decorating ideas with us in the comments below.

This is an easy craft that makes a big impact on your balcony decorating:) Here are some more frugal garden art ideas to try.

Frugal Grocery Shopping Tip

Photo by Suzzycue

 Why buy five peppers for five dollars when you can buy eighteen for five dollars. Fall is the perfect time of year to stock up on fresh produce then cut them up and freeze them. In the winter these peppers will be even higher than a dollar a piece.

 Since, I am not lucky enough to have a garden, I shop on the days that my local grocery store gets their new produce in. In my case it is Food Basics on Mondays and Thursdays.
After they stock the shelves with new produce, they take the older stuff and package it up like you see here.  Four peppers for $.99 because there's a soft spot,or a black spot and then you get a real deal.

  You can use these peppers for roasting, stuffing, stuffing that turkey, in salads or just eat them like an apple. They are packed full of vitamin C. Stock up on your produce  in the fall, and then freeze it to have in the winter. That's my tip for today. Bye for now :)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

DIY Frugal Willow Tree Furniture

I saw this on Hubpages and wanted to share it with my readers. This is a well constructed chair made of Willow branches found by the side of the road or given to Sharon from her friends.

This is the second chair, she has built and it would look great on any body's porch or in a garden focal point .The willow bent chair would blend in with your landscape.

 I love the idea that, she builds it from , found objects. People don't pick up sticks,or play with sticks anymore, like we did as kids.  I think ,Sharon , has her focus back to Nature, to be able to build this project from Willow sticks. Thanks for letting me share. 

This is a project, I could build, to put on my balcony in the spring. I'm sure there are lots of Willow branches down by the river in my hometown of Stratford. The willow trees that line the banks of Victoria Lake ( Avon River as I know it) are at least one hundred years old. They are beautiful.

Frugal Fall Planter Decorating Tip

 This photo and awesome but very frugal decorating trick to liven up your outdoor cast-iron planters comes from my sister-in-law Lillian. As you can tell from this planter Lillian has exquisite taste and loves to decorate.  Her home really is a showcase from the moment you walk in the front door until you walk out the back, most of the year. Then the Grand Kids come. 

 In the summer time, this cast-iron planter hosted many beautiful annual flowering plants. Then in the fall, most of this these planters are empty and either have dirt in them or those green sponge plant holders from flower shops. Here Lillian's frugal genius is to use cuttings from her own backyard and curl wires around the bottom of them ,to stick into that green sponge, to hold them up. 

 Other people, I have seen, stick the branches straight into the dirt, to make these beautiful evergreen bouquets. You can add anything to these bouquets, colorful decorations, flowers, and ribbons to make them your own Christmas creation. These bouquets will greet your family and guests with an evergreen scent of a homey Christmas time to come. 

Please share your Frugal Christmas Tips in the comments below. Thank you all for reading and Have a Merry Christmas Everyone :)

Frugal Dinners for the Holidays

Photo by Suzzycue

My Friend Marylou loved to decorate for every season and every Holiday of the year :)  Mums were her favorite flowers for the fall and, are, an inexpensive way to bring color into your Thanksgiving celebrations.

Happy Thanksgiving Canada :) Thanksgiving is a celebration of the abundance of the Harvest. Even though there are tough times in Canada's economy... I would like everyone of us to celebrate with a good Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family this year :)

You can have a good Thanksgiving dinner for under twenty dollars. Shopping in the Fall of the year is fun. There are bags of carrots,potatoes, and beets for $2.00 a bag, The utility turkeys are on for .98 cents a pound. (utility turkeys do have some parts missing. There could be a missing wing or leg but flip a coin to see who wins the remaining leg and make fun from it). I personally have cooked many of these turkeys and they taste as good as a butterball any day of the week.

One trick I use when roasting turkeys is to smother olive oil all over the top to get that roasted brown crispy skin. The rule is: ten pounds( a ten dollar turkey) will roast beautifully at 350 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours then shut the oven off and let it sit in the oven for the last 30 minutes. I always put all my veggies in the roasting pan at the same time as the turkey and roast them altogether.

Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Dinner with family and friends. Appreciate all your blessings that you received this year. Thanks for reading and I would love to read your comments or your tips on making your Thanksgiving dinner great.

 Bye for now :)

Frugal Trip Tip Stratford Ontario

Try taking a Day Trip In Your Own Hometown :)

Photos by Suzzycue
The photo above is the Pontoon Boat that you can take a River Tour on from the Boat House in Stratford Ontario. They also feature paddle boats, canoes and kayak boats you can rent. If it is too hot to paddle a boat... sit on the covered patio and enjoy an soft ice-cream cone for a buck. It doesn't get better or cheaper than that. Watching a beautiful Avon river view full of swans and ducks situated on the edge of the Queens Parklands of Stratford.

If you then feel energetic there is a three mile walking hike on paths around Lake Victoria ( or Avon River) that I have enjoyed walking. It is a peaceful nature walk that includes river views, swans, ducks and hundred year old willow trees. I love seeing the old knotted trees. Sometimes there is a popcorn wagon down on the river that still pops popcorn in a kettle . The taste is awesome especially with butter YUM :)

Stratford is centred around a hundred year old City hall and quaint Victorian buildings of the Uptown Square. There you will find shops of all kinds and world tastes from a variety of Restaurants. :)

So if you are thinking you cannot afford a relaxing vacation this year, You might want to take a look around your Hometown and see what is really out there.  I bet you will have a wonderful time for very little money.

Did you know Justin Bieber was born in Stratford Ontario Canada which just happens to be my Hometown? Here is a map of what Justin Bieber thinks is fun in stratford. 

Frugal Spice Tip

Photo by Suzzycue
How many of you come home at night and just want to get dinner on the table? I'm one of those people and if I can find some way to cut a minute off  here in my preparation that's right up my alley.
This is such an easy tip to do.  You take your favorite spices, mine are Rosemary, Italian(basil and oregano) , garlic powder (Don't use fresh garlic it will make the whole shaker go moldy)black with red peppercorns and sea salt. Then add them to your pepper grinder:)
When you want to marinate your meat or add flavor from the table,  grind your pepper shaker and you'll get all your favorite spices in a second. I even use it on popcorn,YUM.
There's no mess from opening packages and spilling them, or trying to shake five different spices into a dish. Enjoy my fellow readers and have a great day:)