5 Frugal Ideas For Bag Clips

If you are like my family, you are always searching for a bag clip to close something up, but it seems you can never find one.  I’m not really sure what “eats” those bag clips, but they seem to disappear for a while only to reappear later.

Instead of buying bag clips at the store, that most of the time end up breaking because they are made of cheap plastic, why not use some items you already have around your home?

bag clips

5 Frugal Bag Clips that may be hanging around your home.

Rubber bands

Don’t go running out to buy rubber bands for this reason, but instead look around your home.  Many people get rubber bands on their newspapers, bulk green onions, broccoli bunches and many other things that come into your home.  Start collecting them in a place you will remember in your kitchen, like that ever so popular junk drawer.

Clothes Pins

Use those clothes pins you thought you would use for hanging out laundry for something else like keeping bags closed.  At least they will be serving a purpose or two (if you sometimes do manage to hang out clothes).

Paper Clips

We all have paper clips hanging around the house in the office, desk or even that popular junk drawer.  Paperclips work well to hold many bags closed.  If you can’t find any, just wait a little while and you will notice some start coming into your home on important papers and such.  Keep them in that junk drawer and you will have them to help keep your bags closed.

Tape

You can also use a small piece of tape to hold down many bags when rolled or folded. The great thing is that if you use them on coated bags and boxes, it becomes just like peal and stick, allowing you to use it over and over a few times.

Hangers  

I figured this out by accident a few years ago.  I was hanging up clothes and one of those pant hangers I got from the store broke of right next to the clip.  As I was looking at it I realized that I could keep it to use for bag clips.  I then went to cutting on the other end to use it as well.  Since I have quite a few extra pant hangers around the house, I decided to make several more.

To do this you will need a knife or box cutter and a cutting board.  I just carefully scored a line across the hanger right next to the clip.  Do this on front and back.  After doing this you should be able to easily bend and break it at that spot.  Be careful because if the plastic gets a jagged edge (you didn’t score deep enough) it can cut you.  You can also cut all the way through if your box cutter or knife will do it.  Remember to be safe at all times.  

pant hanger clipsNow you have two more bag clips in your home.  Time to run and find more hangers!

Be proud for you have not only repurposed something, but you saved money by not buying something.  You made do.

What do you like to use for bag clips?  Have anything to add?  

making a habit out of living frugal…..

Practicing Frugal Daily: Sewing, Mending and More

Join me as I share what I have recently done that was frugal, not so frugal or even a frugal flop. I want you, my readers, to join in and comment on what you did that was frugal, not so frugal or just a plain frugal flop. Even if it was nothing but cutting the end of a tube off or rinsing the fabric softener bottle with water to get all the softener (yes I do that), it’s worth mentioning.

There’s a chance that you or I do something that others have not thought about. There’s a chance that we can learn from each other’s flops as well.  It can be a fun filled learning experience for us all.

Practicing Frugal Daily Times

The past couple of days I have been putting my purely non-professional sewing skills to work.  No I’m not highly trained or highly skilled, but I manage to get things done.  I definitely wouldn’t be able to sell any of my works, but I can make our clothes last a little longer, saving them from being cut up to rags or being discarded, and saving my wallet from buying more.

sewing & mending

The other day we were getting ready to go somewhere and K found a small tear in the armpit of one of her shirts, knowing she really wanted to wear it right away; I grabbed some thread and a needle and fixed it right up in less than 5  minutes.  This quick fix reminded me that I had a few other things to fix and a skirt I wanted to make for K.

The Last Princess has 2 pairs of yoga pants that have an extra-large waist, requiring them to be rolled a couple times to even make them look like they fit.  Since she has gotten a bit taller, rolling them leaves them a tad bit on the short side.  So I tackled these babies in hopes of making the waist smaller.

Keep in mind that I am not a seamstress and my way of getting things done does not involve ripping out seams or taking things apart.

I stitched the waistband on the yoga pants up 1/2 an inch on both sides, trimmed the excess and then ended up with a bit of a bump or overhang on the bottom portion of the pants.  Knowing this could be a tad bit oncomfortable as well as the funny look it gives the pants, I decided to make things right.

altering waist

No problem, I just marked and measured both sides, ran the sewing machine across them both, cut the excess and voila!  I think they turned out great.

yoga pants

The Last Princess is already wearing one pair and says they fit great!

Big Girl had been waiting forever for me to fix a pair of her “pretty” jeans.  To be honest, I was a little worried about how I was going to fix these jeans as they ripped real close to the seam on the seat.  If they had ripped anywhere else they might work right in with fashion, but this rip requires a fix.

ripped jeans

I finally decided to fix them the old fashioned way with patches and my iron.  Knowing that the patches will not stick long, I added a small zig zag topstitch in a dark thread all the way around the ripped area. I left the ragged threads to cover the patch and make everything stay dark. I then ran my sewing machine across the ragged thread area in a couple different places to help hold the ragged threads in place.  Told you I’m no professional!  I do see a need though and manage to get it done.

patching jeans

ripped jeans fix

The jeans look pretty darn good if I might say so myself.  I didn’t expect them to look perfect, but maybe now that the ripped area is camouflaged a bit, it will be fine.  I know Big Girl will be glad to get them back.  They were practically brand new when they ripped.

She will also be getting her sweatshirt back that had a small rip in it.  I just put a few stitches in it by hand.

My last project was to make a maxi skirt for K following this Girls Knit Maxi Skirt Tutorial.  I will say the tutorial is great, but my mind couldn’t process the instructions for folding the fabric in four and cutting.  So I just folded twice and cut the normal size.  I guess it was from having worked the night before, but I couldn’t figure out how it was going to work for me, without wasting a bunch of fabric.  Call me simple or ….. just tired.

K is really happy to get her new skirt, and it will be adorable with a black or blue top and her black boots.

Aside from all the mending and sewing, I also managed to keep the refrigerator clear of leftovers, pack my meal for at work and made a great homemade pancake mix (I added blueberries of course).  We have also cooked all our meals at home this week except one inexpensive lunch we ate out after an appointment.

I have also printed quite a few new coupons for my next few grocery shopping trips. Don’t forget I have a premanent link on my menu bar for printable coupons.  Using this link helps support this blog.

Now we are in the process of gathering all the unwanted and unused items hanging around here for a yard sale we are having Saturday.  I didn’t really want to have the sale, but the girls want to have it to make a purchase together, so here we go.  It will be a great way to clean things out a bit.

What frugal things are you doing?

making ahabit out of living frugal…..

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Practicing Frugal Daily: Rags, Buttons & Leftovers

Join me as I share what I have recently done that was frugal, not so frugal or even a frugal flop. I want you, my readers, to join in and comment on what you did that was frugal, not so frugal or just a plain frugal flop. Even if it was nothing but cutting the end of a tube off or rinsing the fabric softener bottle with water to get all the softener (yes I do that), it’s worth mentioning.

There’s a chance that you or I do something that others have not thought about. There’s a chance that we can learn from each other’s flops as well.  It can be a fun filled learning experience for us all.

Practicing Frugal Daily Times

It seems like I am finally getting started on some things that have been shoved aside around here lately.  October proved to be a busy month and now it’s time to catch up from it all.  Before I know it, Christmas will be here.

I’m not too sure we were very frugal in October.  I know we ate out far too much, but we spent several days and nights away from home.  I could have planned a little better for meals while we were gone, but it just didn’t work out that way all the time.  I will do better.

Yesterday I cut up some old stained and worn shirts into rags.  I was able to get quite a few rags for my rag drawer as well as a few buttons for my button jar.

We have also eaten leftovers for two meals this week, which saved me from cooking two nights as well as keeping the food from being wasted.  Leftovers are a great way to save money in the grocery budget, so we welcome them anytime.

I’m weighing the thought of a yard sale.  My girls wanted to have one to save up money for a metal detector, but time is a big issue here.  We would need to have it next weekend and I am not sure we are ready yet.  I’m not even sure we have enough stuff to justify a yard sale although we do have quite a bit and I don’t want to keep it hanging around here.  So if we don’t have a sale, many of the items will get donated.  So I’m torn.

What would you do about the yard sale?  Have it or donate it?  Why?

What frugal things have you been up to?

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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Practicing Frugal in 2013: Combine Errands

Looking to save money in 2013? You have come to the right place. For the next few months we will be talking about some simple ways that you can save money in 2013. Making small changes over a period of time will lead up to a big change. It’s often much easier and more likely to become a habit if you take one small step and work on it before introducing another change.

errands

photo credit

Do you ever feel like this is you?

We all end up with lists of errands that need to be done that seem to grow as the week goes on.  Kids have lessons or activities to get to and you really need to drop off some things at Goodwill and mail some letters at the post office.  Not to mention all the other things that will come up in the next few days.

Errands can seem overwhelming, but they can also cost you a lot of money, unless you are fortunate enough to be able to walk or ride a bike to do your errands.  Let’s face it, gas prices keep going up while many of our incomes decline or stay the same.  We need to save money in as many ways as we can.

Let’s try to save money, keep from going “out” for errands everyday and save your sanity by keeping a list of the errnads that need to be taken care of.  Maybe you can run these errands while you are out taking your kids to their lessons or activities.  I know sometimes you just want to get done and go home, but it would be so much better in the long run if we ran these errands while we were already in the area.  In the end, you will feel better because you not only accomplished something, but you got them all done at once.

Many times we can make do without these eraands for a few days until we need to go somewhere.  Planning out your week and finding that time to run those errands will not only give you more time, but save you from doing things at the last minute.

If you are not a planner, I highly recommend you try to become one.  Planning can save you time and money in so many ways.

If you’re interested in getting better organized, read this past post.

Here is a link that I think you find useful about How a Notebook Could Help You, as well as a blog article by Kimberlee at The Peaceful Mom on how a notebook helped her.

I try to combine errands as much as possible.  I keep a list of the things I need to pick up in Little Rock in my notebook as well as a running grocery list.  I then try to run all the errands I can before or after whatever brought us to town in the first place.  It can sometimes make the day longer, but I am thankful not to have to go back.

Why do I often wait to buy these things in Little Rock?  We live in a pretty rural area that is served by a less than adequate Dollar General and a very expensive small town grocery and the nearest Walmart is over 25 miles away.  There are many things I cannot get where we live, so I just wait.  It’s just part of living where we do.  You learn to plan accordingly, and combine your errands or you spend a lot of money (and time) staying on the road.  I don’t know about you, but the more time spent on the road for us, the less that gets done at home.

How do you like to take care of your errands?    

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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Practicing Frugal Tip: When There Is Not Enough Money In The Grocery Budget

Sometimes our grocery list ends up much bigger than the actual grocery budget.  The needs end up larger than the money.  It can get overwheming if you let it, but rest assured there are a few things you can do to help out.

iStock_000010893138XSmall

  1. Plan cheaper meals – changing up some of the main items in your meals can help alot.  Make your meat protions smaller, increase your vegetables and beans.
  2. Plan your meals by what is on sale, not what you want.
  3. Use coupons to save even more on items you buy regularly.
  4. Make a plan – planning what you will eat will save more money than you even know. Proper planning is the biggest key in saving money.
  5. Make some items wait – I keep a list of items we need, but I don’t always buy them right away.  You may not need the items right away, so keep them on the list until they fit in the budget.

What do you do if you already practice these ways of saving and you still seem to go over?

It’s time to examine your groceryu budget and see if it’s working for you.

Is it just that you overspend or are you just not giving yourself enough to make it for your fmaily size?

You may need to consider adding more to the grocery budget by taking it away from somewhere else.  Maybe you can save on utilities, tv or some other monthly bill to help with the grocery budget.

How does your grocery budget work for you?  Do you feel you are constantly going over?  

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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Practicing Frugal Daily: Getting Things Done

Join me as I share what I have recently done that was frugal, not so frugal or even a frugal flop. I want you, my readers, to join in and comment on what you did that was frugal, not so frugal or just a plain frugal flop. Even if it was nothing but cutting the end of a tube off or rinsing the fabric softener bottle with water to get all the softener (yes I do that), it’s worth mentioning.

There’s a chance that you or I do something that others have not thought about. There’s a chance that we can learn from each others flops as well.  It can be a fun filled learning experience for us all.

Practicing Frugal Daily Times

It’s been a little while since I have done a Practicing Frugal Daily post and I’m really sorry about that.  It seems it has taken me a little while to get back into the swing of things after our great vacation.

In the past few days I have been working on a lot of frugal ways.  I have accomplished quite a bit to include:

  1. Freezer cooking (a post to come soon).
  2. Selling on ebay.
  3. Buying school materials on ebay.
  4. Making lists to keep up with what is needed.
  5. Staying home.
  6. Numerous other little things like cutting the ends off my face wash tube, completely rinsing out the detergent bottle and so much more that I cannot remember right now.

What frugal things have you been doing?  

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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Practicing Frugal Daily: Freezer Cooking & Blackberries

Join me as I share what I have recently done that was frugal, not so frugal or even a frugal flop. I want you, my readers, to join in and comment on what you did that was frugal, not so frugal or just a plain frugal flop. Even if it was nothing but cutting the end of a tube off or rinsing the fabric softener bottle with water to get all the softener (yes I do that), it’s worth mentioning.

There’s a chance that you or I do something that others have not thought about. There’s a chance that we can learn from each others flops as well.  It can be a fun filled learning experience for us all.

Practicing Frugal Daily Times

I have had this Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole recipe on my “things I want to try list” for quite a while.  I finally managed to try the recipe out on the family a couple weeks ago.  I originally just cut it in half and we ate on it for a couple of days.  It is a really tasty quick and easy dish, especially if you make the whole recipe and put some in the freezer for later.  This is a great freezer cooking recipe and I am so excited to have some of it in my freezer.  Having some meals in the freezer makes those busy nights much easier.

chicken broccoli rice casserole

If you want to try some freezer cooking check out these posts:

Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon we managed to get down the road and pick some of the blackberries that grow around here in the wild.  Can you say free fruit?  We will eat many of them and I will also try to freeze some and make jelly/jam.

blackberries

I don’t think I have a frugal flop to share for the last few days.

How about you?  What are you doing that’s frugal, not so frugal or a just plain frugal flop?  

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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