Na Na pinches her pennies

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

So much STUFF

A special note before my blog post.

One of the frugal living blogs I follow is Hip Roof Barn. I was shocked to read her post this morning about the massive floods where she lives in British Columbia. Without her post I would never have known about the flood. Somehow I had missed any news reports about it. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people affected by the flooding. Please read her post for more information.

My blog post:

Arriving at my house on Saturday morning my grandson Spanky nervously looks around my house at the piles of STUFF everywhere. He is hesitant to be completely inside. Spanky asks; Na Na do you have rats? No, why do you ask that? He looks at me quite seriously and says; because you have so much stuff. I was embarrassed and puzzled by his question. That was before I realized he had heard my conversation with my daughter on the phone a couple days earlier. She puts me on speaker sometimes when we talk. I was telling her how I was beginning to feel like a packrat because I have way too much STUFF for one person in a small house. I had been pulling out and sorting items to give away or donate. There are piles and boxes of things according to the intended recipients all over the place. Also some items have been moved out of my way until I finish putting up the kitchen shelves I was gifted weeks ago. I assured him there are no rats in Na Na’s house.

I usually take a break from quilting and blogging during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year to finish up quilts or craft projects of my own. Usually coming back after the holidays to start my annual cleaning and organizing. This year I’m doing things differently. I used to ask myself what would happen if I died today. How would my kids handle the amount of STUFF to go through? I’m not getting any younger and tomorrow is promised to no one.

I found a book at the library called “The fine art of Swedish death cleaning” by Margaretta Magnusson. I was fascinated that it goes deeper than my own thought on decluttering. You may have already heard about it. This type sorting and purging is kind of like being your own executor fulfilling your own final wishes while still living. Family treasures and heirlooms are given to the intended recipients by you yourself instead of someone else after you’ve passed. In that way you get to see people either enjoy or hate the items. She says you have to keep in mind that although you may have lovely fond memories of an item it might be considered just junk to anyone without the same memories you have.

I started my current episode of downsizing two months ago by doing a little each week. That’s the piles of STUFF Spanky saw. I kept getting side tracked with other things and leaving the piles of STUFF to deal with later. However, over this past week I cleaned and organized my food storage. I got up early Thursday morning and was preparing to post on Freecycle the excess food for give away when Devine intervention put the right person in my path. I first read the daily digest of offers and requests. There I saw the one and only post on Freecycle that day and it was someone asking for food. Thankfully, I was able to pass along my food excesses. I hope to give that person my excess each month.

I’ve posted before about how the outdoor foodbank doesn’t give us a choice of the food we get. Its already boxed. We drive up, they put the box in the trunk, and send you on your way. The boxes are meant to feed a whole family not those with an empty nest. This results in me having way too much food even though I home can and dehydrate a lot. Some of the foods I simply can’t eat without teeth or because it will raise my blood sugar count too high. Add to that is the monthly senior food box also filled with some foods I can’t eat.

I did a short one minute youtube video of my latest outdoor foodbank haul. I’m happy to say this time It was the perfect amount of food and only fruits & vegetables. No breads or sweets. I got sweet potatoes, onions, apples, oranges, and little packets of dehydrated cranberries.

Today I’m making caramelized onions to dehydrate. Tomorrow I start canning the sweet potatoes. My sister asked for apples and the grands get the oranges. Some cranberries will be used to make cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving.

Take care and be safe.

17 comments on “So much STUFF

  1. 4paws2love2
    November 28, 2021

    I bought myself a Christmas present, last year!, that I have not had time to even open a dehydrator. I see where you say you dehydrate stuff. Do you have a section on your blog about what you can dehydrate?
    My January project is cleaning out all the kitchen cupboards, pantry and cleaning supply closet. That should take about a week. Some of the cleaning stuff, that I never use will be finding a new home.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 28, 2021

      I don’t have my posts about dehydrating separated. There is a lady that does lots and lots of dehydrating. Way more dehydrating than I do. Its called the “purposeful pantry dot com” and she goes into details for beginners. She even tells about dehydrating store bought canned foods to empty up cabinets and to use in new ways. She has a youtube channel for visual learners too. I have a few things I got over a year ago and have yet to use them. I’m changing that during my break.

      Like

  2. Jane
    November 23, 2021

    Hi Anita,

    Ah, the dreaded ‘stuff’. Before the pandemic I had a period of unemployment and went through the house. One of the things I forced myself to let go of was some jewelry that I never wore. I was fortunate to be able to gift it to a friend I knew would love and wear the items.

    Also, as far as cleaning out the house of a deceased family member, I found a ‘system’ that worked well and have suggested it to several other people who have also found the method helpful. Go through the house top to bottom several, at least 3 times, items your not sure about retain for at least one year, and call a hauler (someone with a personal business or 1-800-Got Junk) to remove the rest. If you can afford to do this it is such a relief to have the situation resolved.

    I love your pay it forward attitude and hope you continue to be well.

    Jane

    Like

    • Anita
      November 24, 2021

      I’m sort of doing that. We have a free junk pick up day once a month. Things I don’t need or want go through these stages. First its offered on Freecycle or to friends. Second if its resalable it gets donated to a thrift store. If its not sellable I set it out for junk day. There are a couple of junk pickers that take some things too.

      Like

  3. Selena
    November 21, 2021

    Passing along what you cannot use, be it food, non-perishables, or hard goods should be the end game for everyone. My folks (mostly my father) have been slowly going through items. I have space for said items and some items have been re-homed. And yes, the contents of my parents home is on my mind. A small amount of items likely have a permanent home (outside of family – think historical items). Thankfully most of what they have is not recent China made junk/crap. It will be a bit of a slog to go through their house but it will be the last thing I will gratefully do for my folks.
    Passing along food (or any) items may not seem like a big deal to most people but not to the recipients. One may never realize that what seems like a small gesture is far more than that. Kudos to those that do what s/he can – good karma is just that. And we should all remember that the ends justifies the means (Machiavelli).

    Like

    • Anita
      November 22, 2021

      Thank you Selena.

      Like

  4. Jean Bontrager
    November 21, 2021

    You will be hearing from me soon!
    Jean

    Like

  5. craftytadpole
    November 21, 2021

    Thanks for the shout out Anita. For those who are interested you can find the post here: https://hiproofbarn.wordpress.com/2021/11/20/bc-floods-2021/
    Take care!

    Like

    • Anita
      November 22, 2021

      Thank you. I did put the link in the post but it may not be visible so this is helpful. The new WordPress is so confusing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • craftytadpole
        November 22, 2021

        It is confusing – no worries! Stay safe.

        Like

  6. Silver
    November 21, 2021

    My mom did some of this type of cleaning before she passed away – giving items away that she wanted people to have, instead of us four children having to decide after her death. It made for a very odd packing job at times when I visited her while she was still alive, I wonder what the airport security thought when I came through with almost 30 dinner plates in my hand luggage!

    That’s a great haul of fruit and vegetables, and how fortuitous that you found a person on Freecycle to give the food to!

    I think it may have been this post on Reddit:

    Sadly the user has been deleted, but you can still read their comment.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 22, 2021

      Thank you, I did read it. Gosh its hard to believe three years have gone by since my old fridge quit working and a year last month since I was gifted the new one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Silver
        November 22, 2021

        Time flies by, doesn’t it? (I was about to say, when you have fun, but I am not sure a lot of fun has been had over these last 18 months….)

        Like

  7. Jennelle Morris
    November 21, 2021

    I know you had said you are taking time off until the first of the year. I just wanted to touch base with you about the price for a full size quilt if possible please. Thank you.

    On Sun, Nov 21, 2021, 4:05 PM Na Na pinches her pennies wrote:

    > Anita posted: ” A special note before my blog post. One of the frugal > living blogs I follow is Hip Roof Barn. I was shocked to read her post this > morning about the massive floods where she lives in British Columbia. > Without her post I would never have known about” >

    Like

    • Anita
      November 22, 2021

      Jennelle I wish I had a single price for custom made quilts but there are just too many variables. The cost of fabric, cost of batting, the difficulty of the pattern, how much I purchase, how much you purchase, and so forth all contribute to the final price. I know this is gonna sound weird and please don’t take it the wrong way but asking the price of a quilt is kind of like asking someone how much do groceries cost. Without knowing exactly what is being bought there isn’t a way of knowing the final cost. All a custom quilt maker can do is create a quilt keeping careful records of all her/his expenses and total it up. Before my retirement six years ago many of the custom quilts I made averaged from $1,000 up. That was with me paying for all materials and before current inflation. However there are ways for the buyer to cut costs. If the buyer furnishes all materials the cost goes down considerably. Before my retirement my earnings “for labor only” averaged about $1.50 to $2 an hour no matter which of us was buying materials. I hope to increase my earnings to at least $4 or $5 an hour. But first I must get my studio cleared and set up for working. I need a design wall and other things for creating before I can actually create.
      Hugs from KY

      Like

  8. Jennelle
    November 21, 2021

    I found your blog recommended on Reddit/frugal about a month ago. I’ve read every post now. I’ve learned a lot and want to say Thank You!

    Like

    • Anita
      November 21, 2021

      Thank you Jenelle for reading my blog. I had to google Reddit to find out what it is. I’m not a member so I don’t know who mentioned my blog. Since you are a member, and if you can, would you tell that person I said thank you for me? I would really appreciate it.

      Like

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This entry was posted on November 21, 2021 by in CLEANING, DOWNSIZING MY LIFE, FOOD BANK LIFE, ORGANIZE and tagged , , , .

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