I also got married at a a nature center amphitheater in a local state park

It didn’t cost anything to reserve it and it had an overlook where you had the most beautiful picturesque view of a valley in bloom with the incredibly beautiful fall foliage. We were married during peak leaf weekend in October so we needed little decoration outside except for some mums that we also brought to the reception hall (at the state park park lodge immediately following the ceremony) and later planted in our yard as a wonderful souvenir.

I wore the dress my two sisters wore before me so I only had alterations as an expense and the added benefit of following a wonderful tradition. I scoured magazines (Brides, JCPenney bridal issue etc) for bridesmaid dresses and found the perfect dress. Unfortunately it was over a hundred dollars. My sister convinced me to look at this outlet store in her neighborhood and the had the exact same dress, in the sizes I need for under 20 bucks a piece! I was very lucky but I do suggest looking everywhere once you have an idea of what you are looking for because you never know.

We ordered our invitations from a discount catalog and also ordered treat boxes imprinted with our names and the wedding date. We filled these ourselves with nuts and mints and used these at each place setting. We also made the rice/birdseed bags from netting and ribbon.

We asked the lodge where we had the reception about possibilities for the cake and they gave us the name of a local woman. We went to her house and saw pictures of incredible cakes she had baked so we went with her. Her price was about 50 percent less than a bakery.

I made the unity candle myself and it was just as nice as the 30 and 40 dollar ones but mine cost less than 6 or 7. I bought a large white candle and some pretty white flower and bead pins. I took my invitation and used the pins to secure it to the candle. I then hot glued beads around the edge for a border and added a few white silk flowers here and there.

I still have it and it is still beautiful.

my biggest recommendation is to scour every magazine adn bridal shop you can find to get a general idea of what type of wedding you want and then leave no stone unturned to find what you want as cheap as you can!

Well this is already getting to long so good luck!!

Theresa in IN

My trip to TRU B/M

Well since a few of my groups were talking of gifts for b-days ,Christmas – i thought i had better take inventory of what gifts i have in my gift box- especially since i am planning to quit work after the baby is born – and the kids seem to have a lot of b-day parties to go to in the spring – so i looked and noticed that i had no gifts for boys ages 6-10 or girls ages 8-10 (plenty of stuff for young girls though)

last week i had got a mail circular for TRU that was $10 off $50 in store purchase – couldn’t think of anything i needed but i cut it out and saved it and i am very glad i did – i went tonight and searched out some great clearance deals –

here is what i got for my 41$ˆ:

  • -3 – craft- jewelry making sets
  • -2 medium size sets of these things by LEGOs that are kind of like k’nex- each one is a nice gift in itself
  • -8 smaller sets of the above toy – i will combine 2 different ones as one gift = 4 gifts
  • -2 neat toys where you make a spinning top follow a track that you hold in your hand – a challenging type of game with 8 different levels – needs no batteries
  • -a new lunchbox for my 6 y ds 9 his first year of all day school – so he got a new lunchbox) a $1 pooh figurine for my 3 yo pooh lover
  • -5 rolls of Lisa Frank stickers (can combine with other smaller items for a gift basket type gift )
  • -3 candy bars ( for my chocolate cravings LOL! )

Anyway once ya subtract out the pooh toy – my candybars and ds’s lunchbox – I got all the above for gifts for any b-days the kids are invited to for only 32.00 thats 11 full gifts for only an average of $2.90 a gift and some are retailed at 19.99 !! I figured out they are worth almost $150.00- if I had paid full price for them !!

When my dh and I got married several years ago

We paid for it all ourselves, so we went for a very natural and inexpensive wedding too! I will *try* to boil it down, and hopefully some of these ideas will help!

~I bought my dress at some place on the mall…don’t remember what store, but just a regular little clothing shot. It cost about $78 and was probably the most expensive thing in the store! LOL I added just a little bit of lace-pearl trim and I was set. Got my shoes at Wal Mart for about $12, I think.

~Flowers: If you don’t do them yourself, this will save you a ton of money. Find a Kroger or Marsh store near you (even if you have to drive a little) and find out if their flower dept will do the flowers. I had the most beautiful live bouquets I could ever imagine. I went with a mixture of roses and other types of flowers, wanted it to look like I picked them from the roadside, lol. All in all, I got my very large bouquet, two bridesmaids (very nice size too), boutteniers (sp) for dh and 7 others, and mom-corsages, all for less than $150. If your DD decides to go with a single-flower bouquet, it would be considerably less.

~We had an outdoor wedding, don’t know if this is feasible in your daughter’s case or not. We reserved a nature center ampitheatre in a local State Forest. It was free, and the most beautiful setting. Later we had pictures taken in the butterfly garden nearby. 🙂

~Reception. All those people that say, “Just let me know if I can do something,” or “What would you like for a gift?”? Hahahah! Ask them to bring their famous fruit salad. ;> or something else that you can add to the table, and that can be their “gift”. We just did cold cuts and salads, as we had an outdoor reception and wanted a picnic type atmosphere.

~Decoration. For the wedding….we just went with the “God’ green earth” kind of theme. LOL For the reception, I visited one of those party supply stores where they sell birthday cards for 39 cents. I found a very pretty gift wrap that I loved because of the vibrant colors, so…I bought a few rolls of that, a LOT of white paper, then I cut the patterned paper in 1/2, put white down on each table, and then topped it with the 1/2 strips of colored (kind of like a table runner). It added just enough color to the table that I really didn’t *need* anything else. But, since I LOVE flowers, I also put small vases (mostly tea and juice cups that I bought at goodwill) of flowers (from Kroger again) along the center of each table. It was really cute, and with the small vases, it only took a few flowers to fill each one.

~I also bought all my plates and napkins at the party store, in colors to match the flowers on the patterned paper I found. Used those same colors in my wedding cake, which was only frugal because I had a friend make it. Still, if you can find a person (rather than a store) to make the cake for you, that will save too. If I couldn’t have found someone to do it, I would have gone to the bakery aisle of Kroger, and just gotten a couple of nice sheet cakes. People love cake, they don’t really care how tall it is!

~Invites! I almost forgot, and I was so terribly proud!! I went to the Hallmark store and found these adorable little notepads, I guess they were about 6X6 inches, with decorative bee and flower design by Marjolein Bastin. I fiddled with the computer to get the placement right, and then tore them off and printed them with our invite. I couldn’t find envelopes to fit, so I bought leftover yellow ones from the same store (think for 5 or 10 cents each). So the invitations cost about $5 for 50 or 75, can’t remember how many was in a pad, plus the cost of the envelopes. For anyone close enough, I scrolled it, tied it with raffia, and hand-delivered it. I still have some of these if you would like to see one, I’ll be happy to send it to you.

Hope these ideas might help you or someone else out a little. We spent less than $2000 on our wedding, and probably half that was on rings. 🙂 Not the most frugal, but I *had* to have an opal ring, plus my two boys both got to pick their own family rings. We had rings all around!

This was my second wedding, and the most important advice I can give anyone is also the most overlooked, sometimes: Do what you WANT to do, and don’t do anything you DON’T want to do. 🙂 It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But it is so easy to get caught up in pleasing everyone that we start putting aside our own fondest wishes, when a wedding should be designed to fulfill the dreams of the bride and groom alone.

Congrats to your daughter.

I had a frugal wedding almost 12 years ago

The wedding and reception total was around $1200/ I bought my dress at Penneys for $200. Borrowed the veil from my mothers friend. The flowers were silk made by some one out of her home and she did all the table decorations too that was around$250, the cake was $250. We were married at a small town’s civic center, they hadtwo beautiful bridges in the park, one was covered and that is where we stood and walked “down the aisle from” to the foot bridge that we had the ceremony on and then held the reception inside, rental for the day $50. We didn’t serve anything fancy, had platters of ham and turkey for sandwiches, from the local grocery store, can’t remember the price but I think around $100.

We made our own veggie trays and friends made cole slaw, potato salad and baked beans and punch, we also served coffee and got a couple of kegs of beer. We also bought balloons and streamers in our wedding colors and decorated with them. The invitations I ordered from a store in the mall called The Rolling Pin, 250 for $65. We had a DJ instead of a band and he was $65 for the night.. There were a few more things that were purchased ring pillow, aprons for the helpers, small gifts for the bridesmaid, champagne glasses that we had engraved with our wedding date and names, I love those and am so glad that I purchased those we use them on special occasions and every anniversary.

They were glasses that I found on clearance at a Hallmark store that already had little ceramic flowers attached to them and also a cake serving set, all on clearance, I took the glasses to a glass carver( I know that isnt what they called but can’t think right now) and he engraved them for $15 for both of them. Ok duh he would be an engraver LOL>>>>> : ) Anyway, there is not one thing I would have changed about the way we did our wedding every one enjoyed themselves and we all had a blast..

This was beautiful

I printed it out and made copies for friends. Thank you so much for sharing! As for the cherries , well… you are woman!!!!! I still have halkf a bucket of bings to do here and my pie cherry tree is full!!!! yesterday the boys picked like made and I got 4 huge dehydrater trays full, made a big cherry crisp and made cherry syrup for pancakes with the juice I got from squeezing out the cherries for dehydrating.

As you know, I live in Orlando, FL. We moved here 2 years ago. I have to admit life is quite expensive here. Sometimes I even need to apply for on-line Florida payday loans here and they help a lot. Just need to pay them back on time. And here goes my recipe:

I just using equal parts cherry juice to water and then double the sugar of the total water and juice amount (ex: 2 cups juice + 2 cups water = 4 cups sugar). Just boil it all up until it gets to the syrup stage and then use (store in the refrigerator) or can it up for use later. We had just used the last of the canned syrup a couple of months ago and were just craving cherry syrup again! Reminds me, I need to go and get that stuff canned up! LOL!

Last night we had a friend over and BBQed steaks marinated in teriyaki sauce on the grill. Calm down folks! I did not pay full price for the steaks. One of the smaller chain stores marks down all their meat on Monday that did not sell over the weekend. I bout a big family pack of steaks (6 steaks total) for $3.00! We made a big pot of rice to go with it and had brocolli, beans and salad from our garden along with the cherry crisp (cherries from our trees) to go with it.

Delicious and cheap meal! I only used 4 of the steaks and cut them all in half, so it looked like there was more meat! Gotta trick my husband into thinking he is getting a lot more with 2 smaller pieces! LOL! God is sooooo Good!

Intro and rambling (kinda long)

Now that I have a bit more free time, I hope to be able to contribute more. I am a newbie to frugal living and these lists have helped a lot! Since I was a lurker and a transfer on the old list, I thought I should introduce myself. My name is Carla. I’m 31 and only been married 1 1/2 years. I came from a middle class upbringing. We weren’t rich, but got by just fine. My mother never was particularly frugal.

So when my husband and I got married and bills starting coming from nowhere, we were living paycheck to paycheck and just barely surviving. We purchased a house last year which we could afford, but my husband is laid off twice a year for about a month each time. We failed to prepare for this one. I’m struggling to dig ourselves out of this mess. I’ve managed to cut a lot of expenses by following the advice of this group. I managed to cut my grocery bill way down thanks to you all, Aldi’s and not eating out. So our goal now is to scale down everything and see if we can’t be debt free in two years.

My husband has some land that he is going to sell. We are going to use the profits to purchase a couple of acres outside the city. We are looking into a double wide which we think that we will be able to pay for without financing, or financing very little. We would sell our house and pay it off. We both work full time and started a side business breeding reptiles. Although we haven’t made big profits yet, we should bring in a nice income next year because the lizards will be breeding age. So I’m trying to learn to be frugal. I need all the help that I can get.

We both spend too much money on stuff we don’t need, but we’ve even halted that. We are really committed to giving this a try. I’ve started a mini emergency fund. It has $300 so far. Sorry this is so long. I’ll quit rambling. Glad to get to know you all. Take care.

Refrigerator trouble

Our refrigerator went out about a month ago. We used a cooler for milk and food storage for about a week. Ours is/was ll mos old, and still under warranty, but NO ONE that was a factory authorized repair person would come to our little town to fix it. My husband, for some reason decided to unplug it and then plug it back in. I checked about an hour later, and it was getting cold.

Within 4 hours, it was ice cold again. It’s still working great, so I don’t know what was wrong with it.

I called another repair person, and he thought a line had become clogged, and the unplugging somehow helped to thaw the line, or to just reset the motor. I don’t know if unplugging will work for you, but it couldn’t hurt to try it.

Good Luck! Renee

Poor fridge

I am so sorry to hear about your fridge. What a pain. I don’t know if I have much to add, but I was trying to think of resources for you…some of these are just shot-in-the-dark ideas, but you just never know what will work for you! ~Call a women’s shelter. (Has anyone noticed I am very big on women’s shelters? LOL) When I volunteered there we were always getting calls for people wanting to donate everything from handcrocheted blankets to old cars, so you just never know. They will/should also have a list of agencies in your area that might be able to help you.

~Call your local churches. All of them. If you could get the word out to just a couple of congregations or women’s groups in those churches, I bet you would have a working fridge in no time.

~Local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or any place like that might be able to help you or find another resource to refer you to.

~Wonder if the local electric company might be of help here? You just never know…might be worth a shot.

~Soup kitchen or food banks. These folks are wonderful to work with, and they, like the shelters, probably field calls for people wanting to donate items like this all the time.

Hmmm…that is all I can come up with at the moment. I think, like someone already said, the key is to get the word out there to everyone you possibly can! People are so willing to help when they find out there is a real and genuine need. 🙂 Good luck, and please keep us informed.

I hope we still like cherries for awhile too

Today we went back to moms. i didn’t want to leave all of them rotting on the ground. I expected to find mom and Cindy working on them and I was correct. Mom has a stint in her heart, had back (spine) surgery and breathing problems and she didn’t need to be doing all of it. Cindy is a disabled person who mom takes care of.

The 7 of us spent the day picking cherries, cutting and hauling branches and raking leaves and cherries. The lucky hens receives tons of cherries and were very happy and stuffed birds-LOL! We came home with 4 – 5 gallon square buckets of cherries and moom kept some.

I estimate about 80 quarts more for me to can. DH has decided to make maraschino cherries and is working on the brine now. He says he’ll pit them too! YES! I guess he’ll make a couple dz. pints. I will finish the others. I already have more than 27 qts of this variety and 32 of bing- we’ll be eating cherries for a couple years. I guess it would be good to find some recipes.

I’m glad that you got so many jars. I bet they sure will look pretty on the shelf. I always like looking at the jars of whatever I’ve gotten canned up. My daughter doesn’t like cherries, but she will eat the sweet cherries raw, doesn’t like anything with cherry flavouring in it. I made some small pies for a friend a few years back.

We had gone up to my oldest step-brother’s place in Post Falls, Id for a 4th of July get together, with my brother just younger than me. (My Mother’s oldest children lived with us until the summer of ’57, then they went to live with their dad and at Christmas time, my two younger brothers and I were put in foster homes. The last time my older brothers had seen John was when he was 7 1/2.) Anyway, Gordon has a sweet cherry tree. (Thought I’d never get there, huh?!) I took some of the sweet cherries and some of the pie cherries and baked up a bunch of these little pies. They were better than using just the pie cherries.

Time for bed.

Your bad day

First of all, s your husband?

Can he possibly take a look at the refrigerator and figure something out? Sometimes….just sometimes, men can take care of things lickety split. Also, for your finger, go grab some Aloe or if you have a Aloe plant, break or crack it open and rub the salve/juice on your burn. If you don’t have any of that available…go and get your CLEAR finger nail polish and apply it to your burn.

That will help to ease the burning sensation and keep it from blistering. Now…for your refrigerator needs, you can use a cooler/ice chest temporarily to keep your milk, etc cooled. Continue to refill with ice to prolong the time. Make sure the condiments and sour cream are enclosed in a zip loc bag or tupperware container, as the ice melts the water will leak into items like butter, fruits/vegies, etc. Could make for a soggy mess…or, on the good side, your celery, carrots, etc…could PERK up with the ice cold water! 🙂 Don’t forget to enlist the use of your friend or neighbors, for ICE! Most people don’t mind helping with such things.

I know in my neighborhood, this has happened a few times, and I have held my neighbor’s items in my refrigerator for a couple days, till they got it fixed or replaced. People are normally more than willing to help, if they know you’re in need. You could also call your local Goodwill Store. Not only do they have used refrigerators (in WORKING order) for very cheap….but sometimes, under dire circumstances, they provide you with a working refrigerator for free.

I have actually seen this happen, not once, but 3 different times. Remember, it won’t be the most modern or chic refrigerator, but it will work until you can replace it. I hope this helps…and that your week gets better. Take care of your finger, I know how miserable that can be. Best wishes to you and your little ones,