Friday, January 29, 2016

Saving Money on your Morning Cup of Coffee

We all know their are ways to save on your coffee.  For one, most of us penny pinchers wouldn't dream of stopping at a place like Starbucks on any regular basis, because that's just crazy expensive!  Right!
Well we can save by making our coffee at home and if we want it to go, put it in a travel mug or thermos.  However, we already knew that, didn't we?

Your can get almost any of the popular Coffee house chains coffee now at the grocery stores and make it at home.  It will save you money over stopping at these places and purchasing it ready made.  You can even look for coupons to boost your savings, Or you can buy good brands, but less costly bags or cans of coffee while saving more.  

But lets think about other ways to save on coffee. 
Most of us are not willing to do totally without coffee.  If you are a coffee drinker, you most likely have coffee pot at home.  Some are willing to spend upwards to a hundred dollars or more on what they think will be a great coffee maker.  I personally know people who love Keurig one cup coffee makers. Keurig makes great coffee and they are super fast, but those K-cups are so much more expensive compared to buying even a non-sale bag of coffee.  You get less and pay more.  I had a Keurig for all of six months a few years ago and then it died on me.  It was a gift from someone.  I decided not to replace it.  I am for the most part, a good ole plain cup of coffee person.  But if I want flavored coffee I can buy a bag of flavored coffee without the extra expense of little single serve cups.

 We all have different ideas on what type of pot makes the best coffee.  I have put several coffee pots on Ebay and sold every one of them very quickly.  The last one was a Pyrex glass percolator from around the late seventies.

  Well a couple of weeks ago, I went to make the morning coffee and found my coffee maker wasn't working.  I was wishing I hadn't sold the Pyrex Percolator now.  But not to worry, I had an Ozark Trail 9 cup stainless steel stove top percolator, that I had bought for emergencies like power outages etc.   I went and got it out of the box and set it up with water and coffee.  It took about ten minutes for it to perc on my electric stove.  It tasted great!  I decided not to rush out and buy another coffee makers just yet.  I have been using it for almost two weeks now.  It seems to me that it makes such great coffee, even the store brand coffee taste like a much better brand of coffee when made in the percolator.  It reminds me of one of my grandmother's percolator.  She didn't have modern anything back in the seventies and probably had been using that same pot for decades.  She made great coffee! 

 I have decided to keep using this percolator that I bought at a thrift store (which looked unused and still in the box) for five dollars.  It wont quit on me like the electric ones!  So I save there by not having to buy a new one and can use the lesser expensive coffee and still have it taste wonderful.  I could always tell the difference when I went with cheaper coffee, when I made it in the automatic coffee maker.  I think it has to do with the water temperature getting much hotter in a percolator, that makes the coffee so good. Another thing you will save on is not having to buy coffee filters.  I like to use a paper filter in my filter basket however, since it make clean up a snap.  

 Now, they still make electric percolators and most have automatic shut off mechanisms, but I will stick with the stove top kind since I know it wont fail me.  If you are interested in buying a stainless steel percolator for your stove top, Amazon has quite a few.  Some are exactly like mine but with a different name brand or cup size, but they look just the same.

 A word of caution, for those who have never made coffee in a percolator.  It gets really really hot.  So you'll want to let it cool a little before you try to drink it.  And if you are unsure how to use a stove top percolator, it really simple.  Measure your coffee like you would for your automatic and put in the filter basket, fill will the required amount of water for the coffee.  I turn my stove on hi, since it is electric and the eye heats faster.  It probably will heat faster if you use a gas stove.  In about 8 to 10 minutes your percolator will start to perc.  Once it starts it only takes about a minute for the water to turn an amber color and for me that's a signal to turn off the stove.  It's plenty rich an dark in color when you pour it into your cup.  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Emergency and Prepper supplies at discount/dollar stores.
By Rusk Lee Waites

With the latest round of winter weather around the corner. I decided to stock up on some more emergency supplies. I bought a bag full of more candles most of them emergency candles. I really did not have to go buy more, However I like to have way more than I really need anyway for my own peace of mind.

 Dollar and discount type stores can be a great place to find some of the things like candles, canned goods, first aid items and other emergency/survival items you may need if are going to be stranded at home for a while and for a much  better price.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Holiday Shopping At Thrift Stores, Garage/Estate Sales, Flea Markets And Antique/Consignment Shops

By Rusk Waites
It's that time of year, The time of year us frugal people watch our neighbors, friends and co workers and family overspend, over stress and some become raving lunatics.

This is really one of my favorite times of the year though, With the temperatures outside cooling down and all the pretty leaves covering the ground. Another reason I like this time of year is because it's a great time to go holiday and gift shopping at thrift stores and garage/estate sales. You can find many antique and vintage gifts which is hard to buy new, unless you have time machine. I have also found a good bit of new items, which makes great gifts and that look as good as the day they were made at thrift stores and garage/estate sales as well.

 I have also seen no shortage of holiday decorations from Halloween to New Years at garage sales and thrift stores this season.  If the decorations look good who cares if they are used? People sometime get an overabundance of decorations, want new decorations or moving and decide to sell their old ones.   

Depending on what part of the North America you live in there may be a lot of Garage Sales through October. I often check online to see what garage/estate sales are going on and pick the ones that I most want to go to, I will occasionally stop at the one or two in between that I see, So that way I'm not wasting time and gasoline to just drive around looking for one. I will also check out local flea markets and consignment shops and antique stores and remember most antique store's will negotiate. 

One thing most of us like in our family, Is we like it when we get antique/vintage gifts it's something that you just can't go get at a big box retailer it has sentimental value. It's even better when we get a new gift that we found in a garage sale or estate sale. We even buy some used items non vintage/antique gifts if they look good.  Your dollar usually goes a lot further and you can often get a nicer gifts/decorations than what perhaps you would budget holiday shopping at the mall. You also will save yourself time, money and stress by not having to participate in the three ring circus that holiday shopping has become at the start of Black Friday in the USA. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Here is last weekends cool find while shopping at the local thrift stores. New In box.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Some things are not always as they appear or not what you assume they are.

Yesterday I was at the store planning next weeks daily lunches. I was in a particularly frugal mood, And since I eat healthy for breakfast and dinner, I was thinking about bologna sandwiches.  Looking at the packaged deli meats, I was happy to see the turkey and ham were both cheaper than the beef bologna the total price and price per ounce so I decided on turkey and ham.

It is always good to compare and not just assume. Last week I was looking at salad dressings and while you always hear buy in bulk, I compared the prices and getting the smaller bottle same brand was cheaper per ounce than the bigger bottle.

As my mom pointed out oftentimes you can get a better price with coupons and sales instead of buying in bulk on many items.

Looking forward to my next article tomorrow on buying new and used items as gifts at garage sales.