The $20/$20 Challenge: Becky from New York Wows With Her Stocked Freezer

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Becky1

If coveting someones freezer is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Becky’s $20/$20 Challenge submission {and all those rows of cansolidators} makes me happy. She’s not a woman of many words, but her pictures speak plenty for her! Wow. Here’s her story:

Hi, this is Becky and I live with my two grown kids in upstate New York.

Becky6

We have two upright freezers and a cellar, plus I have a pantry we put in when we remodeled the kitchen.Becky7 The back room has canned goods but is going to be paper goods and kitchen machines, etc. eventually.

Becky3I dehydrate, can and freeze fruit and veggies from my garden.

Becky5And I buy local raised meats.

Since I started this I can go weeks without going to the store {sounds like someone I know!}. It saves me money when I can get in on the sales.

Becky

pantry-pictures-ideasAre you getting your pantries camera ready? You can participate in the $20/$20 Challenge by simply sending in pictures of your pantry. Find out more about the $20/$20 Challenge: Show Your Pantry – Fill a Pantry!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 3/7/15

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mavis instagram

Mavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share some random goodness

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge – February

Giveaways 

 

winter garden mavis

Garden Updates

Freezer Meal Shepards Pie Recipe

Recipes

lucy the puggle dog

Mornings with Mavis 

Penny Pinching Tip - Split Your Meal

Tips and Tricks

apples

Weekly Shopping Trips and Other Stories

upstairs downstairs

Videos

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great weekend!

Mavis

Don’t forget, you can stay up to date with the latest news by following One Hundred Dollars a Month on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ as well.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Friday Night at the Movies – Upstairs Downstairs

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I’m giddy because I think I’ve stumbled on a new series to watch {okay, new to me}.  It’s called Upstairs Downstairs.  It’s set in England {eeee!} and is about a family who takes over an old house {165 Eaton Place} and breathes new life into it.  This one is set in the 1930′s, but it is still complete with a full house of staff, and the drama that comes with socialites.  The best part is that it’s totally free to watch on Amazon {whether you are a Prime member or not}.

upstairs downstairs

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.  Did you love it? Hate it? Can’t wait to watch it over and over?

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE!

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

My Goals for This Year – Week 10 of 52

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costco bookshelf

1. Get Organized.

The best part about our place on the east coast…. is that there is NO JUNK to organize. Ever. The house is clean, simple and it makes my heart happy every time I’m there because the only thing to do is relax. Well, that’s not true, there are a few DIY projects that need to get done, but other than that…

lucy the puggle dog

2. Run, walk or crawl a Marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k race this year.

Every time I go away for a bit… Lucy chunks up. The HH likes to spoil her with lot’s of treats, a crazy amount of snuggle time and short walks. Once I get back though the puggle princess and I will be taking our hour long walks again.

Does she look worried to you? Like, “Hurry up and come home Mom.”

bathroom demo

3. Remodel our Master Bathroom, Master Closet and Monkey Boy’s Bathroom.

The HH sent a picture of the progress he’s made in our master bathroom and I must say, I am impressed. Chino the Handyman and his crew will be there on Monday to get started on updating our bathroom.

white tan master bathroom

4. Finish Every Room in Our House.

Meanwhile on the east coast I finished painting our master bathroom and guest bedroom a light tan color. We originally had some very low crappy cabinets and counter-tops in all the bathrooms and vinyl flooring as well. It’s amazing what a quick trip to Lowe’s and a little elbow grease can do.

I don’t have a “before” photo to show you {it’s on my home computer} but let me tell you Bob, this is a huge improvement from when we bought the place last summer. The new cabinets, tile flooring and updated mirrors were are all easy fixes.

5. Turn Spare Bedroom into a Cozy Home Office Space for myself.

snow garden

6. Create a Vegetable Garden.

So…. planting on the east coast will have to wait a bit. :) :) :)

7. Build a Path into the Hillside for Easy Access to the Upper Garden.

thrift store finds

8. Limit my personal spending to $100 a month.

The Girl and I had a blast popping in to thrift stores all around New England this past week. I was hoping to find a great deal on my dream coat at The North Face Outlet in Freeport, Maine, but they didn’t have any long coats in stock. :( But as far as thrift store shopping went, I think I did pretty well.

I plan on using that gorgeous enamelware pot for canning jam this summer and what do you think about the funky metal sunflower I snagged for $5? I plan on spray painting it silver the next time I’m out here and hanging it in the wall in our living room.

The stoneware pitcher will be great for summer flower bouquets, the peck basket will come in handy for harvesting vegetables and the embroidery floss and small hanging baskets will get a new life in an upcoming craft project I have planned.

wooden twin foot and headboard

I also found a twin head and foot board for $15 as well. I’m not sure if I’ll paint it white or black I’m hoping to find a similar one to go with it in the guestroom at some point.

So far in March I have Spent $33.75

  • In February I Spent $32.52 
  • In January I Spent $84.33

9. Purge… Weekly. Find 10 things each week to donate to the thrift store.

Since I was on the East coast this past week I wasn’t able to “purge.” Our house here is decorated with just the basics so there is NO CRAP to get rid of. Hooray!  :) :) :)

paper love

10. Read 1 book a week. 

I just started Paper Love last night and I cannot wait to finish this one!!!

primitive hooked rug crow mat

11. Slow Down.

I was planning on hooking up about 10 little crow mats for my Ebay page while I was on vacation, but I accidentally dropped my pattern bag somewhere along the way. :( Oh well, at least I was able to finish 4. Life goes on.

12. Do More Canning.

Did you set any goals for this year? If so, how are they coming along?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Getting the Most Out of the Free Breakfast Offered at Your Hotel

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Getting the Most Out of the Free Breakfast Offered at Your Hotel

The Girl and I are traveling through New England this week, and one of the things I always look for when booking a budget hotel is free WiFi and a free breakfast.

I always bring my laptop with me when we vacation, one, so I can stay connected to you peeps, and two, after a long day of sightseeing, The Girl and I love to chill out in front of the laptop with an Amazon Prime movie or episode.

hotel breakfast

Free breakfast is also seriously the best way to cut down eating expenses while traveling.  It’s usually pretty basic, but it gets the job done.  In my continual effort to keep travel costs reasonable, I’ve learned to take advantage of the mountains of food by eating breakfast, and then grabbing a little for later.  I ALWAYS fill a to-go cup of tea before I leave.  That way, I’ll have my morning tea {or coffee, if that is your preference} with me as I stroll through the sights.  Usually, The Girl grabs a bagel or two for a mid-morning snack–she usually just wraps them in a napkin and grabs a plastic fork and a small tub of cream cheese too.

free hotel breakfast

Most breakfasts offer apples and bananas too.  My favorite is to grab a plastic knife, banana, packet of peanut butter, and a packet of honey…at night, when I’m feeling like something sweet, I usually slice the banana long ways, spread on the peanut butter, drizzle on  a little honey, and boom!  I have an instant dessert.  I figure the extra snacks save us at least $10 a day–and since I paid for the room/breakfast, I feel totally justified in taking it.

It’s the little things that really start to add unexpected expenses to your vacation budget, so stock up on freebies when you can.

Happy travels,

~ Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Free Kindle Books, DIY Taco Seasoning Mix, Organic Life Magazine, Freebies and More

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paean

Word of the Day: Paean  Definition: Hymn of praise, song of triumph Used in a sentence: On Easter morning a paean of praise filled the cathedral.

Yesterday was an another amazing day on the east coast! The Girl and I toured the Peterboro Basket Company in New Hampshire {I’ll be posting pictures soon!!} and had a wonderful time stopping at thrift stores all over New England. We found some great treasures. :)

I’ll be heading back to the Seattle area tomorrow and boy am I going to miss it here. I LOVE the snow. :) I wish I could take some with me.

Have a great weekend everyone,

Mavis

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - 50% Off Cole Haan Men’s Shoes

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

shopping gap

 Gap.com is offering 30% off purchased when you use code BLOOM at checkout. Time to stock up on shirts!

make-your-own-taco-seasoning-recipe

If you’ve never made your own Taco Seasoning Mix, you are missing out. My whole family thinks it tastes so much better than store bought. Find more spice mixes on my DIY Spice Mix Pinterest Board.

kimono

Cents of Style has Spring/Summer Kimonos on sale for $14.95 plus FREE SHIPPING when you use code KIMONO at checkout. These would be perfect for the beach this summer!

HSI Flat Iron

Amazon has the highly rated Proffesional HSI Flat Iron on sale for $37.99 shipped. Over 12,000 reviews on this!

kids garden set

Amazon has the JustForKids Garden Tool Set with Tote on sale for $9.99 and the reviews are great! Perfect for your little garden helpers this spring!

kamik rain boots

6pm has Woman’s and Children’s Kamik Boots on sale starting at just $20.99 shipped!

Organic Life Magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Organic Life Magazine for only $5.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 3/6/15 at midnight EST.

Strawberries-and-Cream-Baked-Oatmeal1

Move over Quaker. This Strawberries and Cream Baked Oatmeal puts your junkity junk oatmeal to shame! Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later. Find more breakfast recipes on my Breakfast Pinterest Board.

Black Diamond Crag Soft-Shell Jacket

REI Outlet Deal of the Day – Men’s Black Diamond Crag Soft-Shell Jacket $83.73 shipped {was $169

new balance brown walking shoe

 Joe’s New Balance Outlet has the Men’s New Balance 643 Walking Shoe on sale for for $39.99. I have owned the woman’s version in this shoe and it is a great everyday/walking shoe.

hoover carpet cleaner

Amazon currently has the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer on sale for $142.99 shipped {reg $219} when you clip the $10.00 off coupon. Easy to use, easy to clean two-tank system, separate clean water/solution tank and spill-free dirty water tank which includes quick pour spout for easy emptying with no mess. 

Tips for Steam Cleaning Carpets My Favorite DIY Carpet Cleaner Recipe

Save yourself a little money and make your own Carpet Cleaner.

quilted northern tissue

Get 36 Double Rolls of Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Bath Tissue from Amazon for $17.06 shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

*Keep in mind you can cancel your Subscribe and Save membership at anytime. To cancel or change your items, simply click on “My Account” and then click on “Subscriptions.” You can easy peasy modify or cancel any of your Subscribe and Save items at anytime, no obligation at all.*

luggage set

Looking for an inexpensive luggage set with good reviews? Amazon has the US Traveler Rio Two Piece Expandable Carry-On Luggage Set on sale starting at $34.99.

rev wrap coupon

Attention Fred Meyer Shoppers … Today only you can download an ecoupon for ONE FREE Free HORMEL REV AM wrap! Simply load the ecoupon to you Fred Meyer card and claim your freebie by 3/22/15. It’s that easy!

seattle best coffee coupon

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Spicy Crock Pot Refried Beans

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Spicy Crock Pot Refried Beans

Canned refied beans cost about a dollar a can at my local grocery store, but homemade refried beans? They’re crazy cheap. Plus, if you make a big batch of refried beans in your slow cooker, you’ll have extras to use on those week nights when getting food on the table seems like such a chore. This recipe was shared with me several years ago by my friend Camille. I hope you like it, we sure do.

spicy crock pot refried beansIngredients

4 cups dried pinto beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup salsa
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
water

crock pot refried beans

Directions

Place dried beans in a large bowl and cover with 3 inches of hot water. Let sit overnight.  In the morning, drain the liquid off the beans, rinse, and toss the softened beans into the slow cooker. Add enough water to cover the beans a 1/2 inch.  Add the chopped onion, salsa, butter and salt.  Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.

Once the beans have finished cooking, use an immersion blender to blend the beans to the consistency your family likes. {If you don’t have an immersion blender a regular blender works fine too}.

crock pot spicy refried beans

Place extra homemade refried beans in containers and pop them into the freezer for later. {We use our beans for taco night, in 7 layer dip, chili and sometimes I even serve just beans and rice for dinner.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

The $20/$20 Challenge: Lisa Shows Off Her Small Space Pantry

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lisa1I think I have some of the most resourceful readers out there. When looking at these $20/$20 Challenge submissions, I’m constantly in awe at how you guys are using your space. Lisa doesn’t let a small storage space slow her down. Here’s her story:

blue vintage dress 1950s

Hi Mavis!

You might remember me from the trash to treasure vintage dress feature I submitted … you may or may not have made a little fun of my amazing finds {Tupperware?}. Ha!
Anyway, here I am submitting again as a part of the small space living community. I’m Lisa and my husband, 4 year old daughter, and I live just south of Kansas City in a 600 sq ft town home. We have another 300 sq ft in the basement that we used for laundry and storage which is helpful, but I’ve been on a mission to live well in our space. Did I mention it was built in the 1970s? It’s definitely not designed for small space or minimalist living … but we are doing our best on a budget.
lisa2When we moved in, the fact that our new, old rental had a coat closet, linen closet, and pantry was a great sell. I still love having a pantry {as non-Pinterest worthy as it is} because there is no room for food in the kitchen cupboards. My kitchen is tiny!!
The pantry is directly across from our basement door {I had to walk down the stairs to get a full photo of all 5 shelves}. It’s looking a bit Mother Hubbard, but I meal plan and shop once a week – so that’s actually pretty normal.
Top shelf: large pots, crock pot, griddle, blender
2nd: baking shelf = flour, sugar, cake mixes, oatmeal, dried fruit, baking chips
3rd: spices, dried beans, rice, canned veggies/fruits, peanut butter
4th: pasta, cereal, crackers, misc snacks
5th: awkward baking pans
Bottom: recycling bin
We added the lowest shelf when we moved in and I recently purchased a recycling bin that fits the space perfectly.
lisa5If I were to feature a shelf, it would most definitely be my baking shelf. Against my better health judgement, I ADORE baking and the promptly eating those baked goodies – especially if they include sugar and butter. ;-) I don’t actually bake as much as I used to, but my baking shelf is still stocked from the holiday sales. It makes me happy.
lisa 7I generally shop sales and then buy organic per the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 list. I try to use minimally processed food {thus, we only need 3 shelves for packaged foods}.lisa8I  often freeze meat and vegetables. lisa6My father-in-law raises chickens and turkeys, so there are two 30lb birds hanging out in my chest freezer downstairs at the moment. He also has a beautiful garden and taps maple trees every year, so we have tons of organic and fresh foods to eat. #blessed
Thanks for letting me share, Mavis!
Cheers!
Lisa

pantry-pictures-ideasAre you getting your pantries camera ready? You can participate in the $20/$20 Challenge by simply sending in pictures of your pantry. Find out more about the $20/$20 Challenge: Show Your Pantry – Fill a Pantry!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

March Home Maintenance and Garden Chores

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mavis garden blog

This time of year is soooooo hard for me, because the weather is starting to get nice and I really just want to plant EVERYTHING.  I feel like a caged horse that needs to run–I have to keep my cool, though, and wait it out.  Luckily, there are plenty of things I can start, which usually distracts me from getting over-zealous and planting outside too early.:)

growing herbs under grow lights

Seeds to Start Indoors in March

This month, I plan on continuing to take care of the seeds I started last month.  I started basil before I left on vacation {fingers crossed the HH has kept it watered}.  My freezer is getting low on pesto, so this new batch couldn’t come soon enough.

planting peas

Seeds to Start Outdoors in March

I plan on sowing my lettuce, {more} peas, radish and spinach seeds directly outdoors this month.  I probably could have started some of them last month, but I have found that they grow about the same rate when I plant them in February vs. March {I think it’s because the cold slows down the germination process considerably  in February, but that’s just a theory}.  Plus, I still had some prep work to do in the yard, so it worked out okay. Towards the end of the month, I will also start swiss chard and beets outside.

blueberry bushes raintree nursery

What I plan to Transplant Outside this Month

I don’t really have anything to transplant outside this month.  If you started lettuce indoors {or any of the other above mentioned plants}, you can harden them off and plant them outside if the weather in your area is mild like mine.  It’s also a good time toplant strawberries, blueberries or raspberries.  I planted those last month, but again, my area is super mild weathered.

growing sprouts

Vegetables to Harvest this Month

Again, the only thing I’ll be harvesting this month are sprouts from my Botanical Interests Sprouter.

Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs 

As the days get longer, you may see houseplants start to perk up a bit.  If you didn’t last month, give them a diluted fertilizer this month to ease them awake.  If you forced bulbs, you probably are seeing green shoots by now.  Make sure to continue to water them {but not over water}.

fiskars garden pruners

Basic Yard Maintenance

If you couldn’t get outside last month, prune fruit trees and other bushes this month before they start to bud.  It’s also a good time to spray dormant oil on your fruit trees {as long as you have a 48 hour window of no freezing temps}.  If you are just starting your garden area, this is a good month to dig it out and create your space {assuming you are not dealing with a rock solid frozen tundra still}.  I’ll be busy most of the month getting my gardening beds ready {provided the HOA decides to cooperate}.

Home Maintenance Outside

March is pretty much the last low-maintenance month, so unless you have basic repairs, you can rest easy.  Get pruning shears, etc. sharpened if they need to be so that you can tackle the growing season without grunts the neighbors can hear.

Home Maintenance Inside

Finish up your de-cluttering, if you committed to it this year.  Next month will bring a lot more consistently nice weather and you will want to be able to get out and enjoy it.  It’s a good time to start your spring cleaning too.  Wash bedding, give the ceiling fans a good dusting, vacuum baseboards, etc.

As always, most of my advice is geared around the Northwest, but you can find your garden zone HERE and tweak my suggestions as necessary.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

The Best Baby Shower Gifts

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The Best Baby Shower Gifts

One of my husband’s co-workers if having a baby… well, his WIFE is having a baby ;) …twins in fact.  That alone should earn her some sort of award, but since giving her a trophy seems weird, I am going to settle on a practical gift.  I like to give something useful, and my standard gift has always bee a case of diapers, a case of wipes and some handmade burp clothes, or a small toy for on top.

Over the years {and countless baby showers later}, I have seen some pretty creative gifts–some practical and some not so much.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

  1. Sleep sacks.  These little zip-on blankets are like baby snuggies.  Baby stays warm and new mom doesn’t need to worry about baby getting tangled in blankets while sleeping.  {Do remember how nerve-wracking being a first time mom was?!}
  2. Gift card to a photographer.  What mom doesn’t want to commemorate how perfect her baby is?  A picture package will help her do just that.
  3. Gift certificate for a house cleaning.  Between sleep deprivation and a sudden influx of bouncers, cribs, changing pads, diapers, etc., keeping the house clean is near impossible.  About six weeks in, a new mom will think you are the most amazing human being in the world when a simple phone call results in someone else cleaning her house.  This is a great one to “go in” with someone else on–just ask around for a reputable cleaning company and throw a little cash their direction.
  4. Freezer meals.  Adjusting to caring for a whole human being is hefty business–not having to cook is a huge load off.  Providing some freezer meals for new mom is huge.
  5. Go Oprah on your gift and give a basket of “your favorite things.”  Every mom has their favorites–put your favorite brand of binkies, teethers, washclothes, onesies…or whatever you couldn’t live without when your babies were little.  You’re giving the gift of your experience along with usable items.
  6. Red dancing shoes.  Okay, so I’ve never actually seen these gifted at a shower, but They. Are. Awesome.  What a seriously fun way to play with your little ones.
  7. Baby mill.  Basically it’s a take-along baby food maker, so mom can grind up what ever is on her plate and make quick, easy homemade baby food on the go.
  8. Gyroscopic Bowl.  These are those snack bowls that are virtually impossible to spill.  So, unless you know the new mom just loves vacuuming crushed gold fish out of the back seat of the car, you can rest assure she’ll appreciate this gift.
  9. Stroller accessories.  Yep, you can outfit your stroller just like you would any room  in your house.  You can buy clip on cup holders, smartphone compartments, hooks for diaper bags…you name it, you can find a way to attach it to baby’s house on wheels.  And really, thank goodness, because man, babies need a lot of stuff.  {Ever wonder how the pioneers made it through baby rearing without a boppy, bouncer, etc?  I know I do.}
  10. Clothing in bigger sizes.  I know how tempting it is to pick out those tiny little outfits, but most likely the baby will grow out of those in about two seconds, and mom and dad will need the next round of clothing in the wait.  Opt for a larger size {make sure to do the math and figure out what season baby is likely to be in when they are ready for that size}.

Those are pretty much my favorites.  What is YOUR favorite gift to give?  What was the BEST gift you received?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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