Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Pam's recounting of how her ancestrally thrifty habits have helped her in modern life in ways none of her foremothers could have imagined!

Showing 8 posts from April 2008 for this blog.
Angel Food Ministries
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Found this while surfing & had to share it with you guys - If any of you are really on your uppers - check out

Here's their own description from the site:

Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing grocery relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States. The program began in 1994 with 34 families in Monroe, Georgia (between Atlanta and Athens), and has grown to serve hundreds of thousands of families every month across 35 states. Angel Food Ministries crosses denominational lines and has spread the good news of the gospel of Christ through salvation tracts that are placed in each food order.

Blessings by the box

Angel Food is available in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $30 per unit. Each month's menu is different than the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $60. Comparison shopping has been done across the country in various communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing from between $42 and $78.

Generally, one unit of food assists in feeding a family of four for about one week or a single senior citizen for almost a month. The food is all the same high quality one could purchase at a grocery store. There are no second-hand items, no damaged or out-dated goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is almost too ripe.

Also offered are specialty boxes such as steaks, chicken and pork. Many participants in this bonus program appreciate the expanded choices. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of units or bonus foods an individual can receive, and there are no applications to complete or qualifications to which participants must adhere. Angel Food Ministries also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program, using the Off-Line Food Stamp Voucher system.

It's both a Bargain and a Blessing!

Sample Menu:
(this month's menu can be viewed here)

  • 4 lb. IQF Leg Quarters
  • 4 oz. Beef Back Ribs
  • 1 lb. 80/20 Lean Ground Beef
  • 2 lb. Breaded Chicken Tenders
  • 1.5 lb. Bone in Pork Chops (4 x 6oz.)
  • 1 lb. Ground Turkey
  • 18 oz. Stuffed Manicotti (Cheese)
  • 12 oz. Smoked Sausage
  • Betty Crocker Seasoned Potatoes
  • 7 oz. Cheeseburger Dinner
  • 16 oz. Green Beans
  • 16 oz. Baby Carrots
  • 2 lb. Onions
  • 1 lb. Pinto Beans
  • 1 lb. Rice
  • 7 oz. Blueberry Muffin Mix
  • 10 ct. Homestyle Waffles
  • Dessert Item

They have sites all over the country and a locator which will tell you by zip code where the closest site is!

Good luck to you! (& if things are going well - think about volunteering....)



1 Comments | Post Feedback

Huzzah for Ren Faires!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's getting to be outdoor festival weather and I entertained at my first Renaissance Faire - down in Hermosa Beach.  It was a charming, little faire - my favorite type.  And very family-friendly. 

Ren Faires are really great for children.  There is entertainment and the little boys can wave fake swords and dress up like pirates - and the little girls long skirts and tiaras, if they like.  There usually are games for them to play or treasure hunts and the like.  The areas are enclosed, which gives them a degree of security, and the Faire folk are usually very friendly.

I play period music on the autohharp, recorder, and folk harp and sing.  We brought a basket of rhythm instruments - little drums, tamborines, shakers, and a xylophone for the kids to play with and had a rhythm band.  I love rhythm bands and don't know why they have gone out of style - great introductory musical practice.

Of course, I think the best and most economical way to participate in the Faires is to become a participant - either by being an entertainer or as a member of a "Guild" or group that sets up camp and dresses and acts in a period manner.  You can go all out in terms of dress - but here are some budget tips:

  • Dress "organic"  - make sure your clothes are made out of cotton or wool.  Preferably in nubby  or rough textures.  Synthetics can pass if they are really good fakes.  People do wear vegan vinyl boots and belts, etc.
  • Wear a hat - It covers your hair, and you will need it for the sun.  A straw one is just right for the summer - but you can also wear felt and crocheted hats/caps.  Think of putting on a colorful band, and some flowers or feathers.
  • You can usually get away with a simple pleasant costume, that is for the females - a full-length peasant skirt, with a petticoat, if desired; and a peasant blouse.  No collars or button closings.  Gathered necks prefered.  The skirt can be of Indian gauze, kettle cloth or even light blue denim - so raid your closet. 
  • They wore bodices - so look for vests to put over your peasant blouse - or use a leather belt.
  • For men - an "organic" tunic, belt, and full blousey pants.
  • Shoes - wear sandals or slippers.
  • Then there is the decoration.  Long-time Ren Faires participants pile on the necklaces ( men, too) and pin "favors" on their hats, bodices, etc.  They also wear bags connected to their belts.
  • Fans are nice if it's hot.
  • Ethnic clothing and ethnic embroidery are nice accents. So an Indian shirt will make a nice top.
  • It's so much easy since "boho" is in style - as there are lots of choices out there & probably in your closet.

Of course, there are purists out there dressed in authentic reproductions of period garb - but it's not necessary. I don't know how they stand those clothes in the summer heat, anyway.

The best way to enjoy it is to get dressed up and spend the day.  Listen to the music.  Watch the jugglers and the dancers - Eat the food - or bring a picnic.  You can save by bringing your own water or drinks.  We like to have ice tea - it's good and inexpensive.  You can bring a container or just have ice water and add powdered instant.

The participants can even camp - gratis - on the faire site.  We have done that, and as faires are usually in pretty places, it adds to the experience.  (You could use your regular tent, as rules relax after hours.)

So all in all - we had a lovely weekend by the sea - made enough tips to pay for the food - and earned some $, too.  That's what I call a win/win situation.



2 Comments | Post Feedback

Back to a Ren Faire
Thursday, April 24, 2008

My other, other hat is that of a musician.  I have been singing and playing at the Hollywood Lutheran Church for 2 years - but got a chance to go back to the Renaissance and am playing at the Rotary-sponsored little Hermosa Beach Renaissance Faire this weekend.

Even getting paid.  Somehow it's easier for a musican than an actor! But we costume ourselves & schlepp, too.  It brings back the old piece of advice about making your hobby PAY.  Or at least pay for itself.  I figure that making $ here underwrites the music, instruments, etc.  And it is a busman's holiday, as they are always in pretty places. 

And go to a Ren Faire & PAY to get in?  Never?  They are charging $25 a head.  I would rather sit in the shade (hopefully) and play my recorder and sing & play on my autoharp.  Very relaxing all in all.  Used to do a lot of if before I got married - getting back into it.  I think my husband is even looking forward to a different sort of weekend.


0 Comments | Post Feedback

From Ms. Martha S.
Monday, April 14, 2008

Loved the 25 Eco decorating tips from M. Stewart's website!  You can see them here

I love the idea of grouping lots of bottles TOGETHER.  I love bottles, but they just end up in the closet - maybe I can group some on my window sill(s).



0 Comments | Post Feedback

Art Collection - Another Pt. of View
Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I am really into vintage - and most of my art is THAT one way or the other - from a reproduction of an old sailing print - to a 19thC. sailing colored lithograph to a Monet reproduction to an early 20thC Fr. Perrier Poster ( and more)

But if you are into more moderne stuff check out this video on (a favorite crafty site) - for some ideas and a project, too -



1 Comments | Post Feedback

99 Cent Store Pt. II
Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Besides knowing which things are normally at the 99 Cent Store- you can also look at their ADS.  They appear at least weekly in my L.A. Times.  This week they advertise baby wipes, reading glasses, salad dressing, DIAL anitbacterial soap, Heinz sweet relish, V8 juice and sugar listed, among other things.  These are form the bigger deliveries they get in and should be there in sufficient quantities for a week or so at least (if not more)...

Oh, these stores are not only in California, but now Texas, Arizona and Nevada, the ad says.  (Call 888-LUCKY-99  or go to for the store nearest you in those states.)

0 Comments | Post Feedback

What's Typical at the 99 Cent Store?
Monday, April 07, 2008

Since I have been gathering my thoughts to write my magnum opus on stylish pennypinching, I was talking to a friend about it and my interview - She said that it was too much trouble to go to the 99 Cent Store, because things weren't always there!

I thought about it and replied that certain things were most always there.  I had seen a list on, I think the Hillybilly Housewife, about which foods were always inexpensive (beans, eggs, cheese, collard greens, etc.) and I thought about what I typically get at the 99 Cent Store.

There is usually: shampoo, soap of all kinds, mousse and hair products, bubble bath and body scrub, asperin and vitamins (they vary).  Cotton balls and tooth brushes - hair brushes - sox (now they have men's dress sox) - barrettes and hair goods.  Lip glosses - Basic sewing supplies - Creams and lotions. 

Plastic goods - little figurines - cleaning supplies (great deals there) - party and season holiday supplies, gift bags. Bottled water and soda. 

Reading glasses (recently), sunglasses - all sorts of staionery supplies.  Canned goods and sauces of all kinds - Bit and pieces of hardware - Little potten houseplants.  Paper products - napkins and paper towels and toilet paper and facial tissues.

This is only skimming the surface.  What did I get today for my $27?

  • 4 pairs of reading glasses (with prices of $18/19 dollars on them!
  • 2 tubes of Musicle/Joint Gel ($3/4 a piece)
  • Barrette (@ $3/4)
  • 2 small spray bottles of Dana cologne ($4/5 each)
  • 2 jars of cocoa butter cream ($3/4 each)
  • 2 jars of eye cream ($7 each)
  • 6 packages of prunes ($2/3 each)
  • 2 spices ($4 each)
  • a figurine (@ $3)
  • 4 little ceramic gift tages (@$3 each)
  • 2 LED clip lights (@$4 each)
  • a hands-free ear hook for my new mobile phone (have to have them or get ticketed using the mobile in the car soon)@$5

If my arithmetic serves me well - considering that the reading glasses were a major value - That's almost $200 worth of stuff for less than $30! 

Now, there is the problem of being an impulse buyer - I knew a lady who used to say it wasn't the 99 Cent Store - it was the $40 store - because she spent $40 everytime she went in there!  But, if you wait to buy as much as you can at a store like the 99 Cent store - you will be saving a LOT of $ from your trips to the drug store, etc. 

OK, the values vary.  And sometimes merchandise comes in waves, and you had better take advantage of it NOW. (For example, they had a whole shipment of Hanes bras, just the kind I like without underwires, a $6/7 value, all for 99 Cents each! So I bought a dozen....and never run out of bras now.) Ditto some colored shampoo and conditioner (I am still working on a stash from 2 years ago...) So you have to be a careful shopper - I got duped once by some Chinese knockoff deodorant for a national brand, that just was lousy - but I don't make mistakes like that often.... 

And considering I CAN spend $29 but not almost $200 - makes it all worthwhile - no?




4 Comments | Post Feedback

Freeware to the Rescue!!
Saturday, April 05, 2008

My other hat is an actress one & yesterday I had to make a last minute submission for a character in an animated cartoon - I decided to submit an MP3 file rather than rush over there - so I tried the new voice recorder my husband got - to no avail - and them resorted to the little voice recorder that comes with the computer.

But it turned out in a WAV file (the big ones) & I had to convert it to an MP3 to send it in via email.  SO - I looked up some conversion FREEWARE, and found a FREE convertor - after some downloading, it was converted and sent in by the deadline.

So FYI - especially in an emergency, there is FREEWARE and SHAREWARE out there for your computer.  There are lots of free programs, just for the download (altho be careful, some of them are just samples you can use once or twice). 

If you are cautious, you might check out the reviews on some tech sites - they have listings of the best free/shareware - And Google now has a whole suite of sortware it offers with its gmail -

So, especially if you are on a budget - check it out before you BUY. My husband insisted we get McFee anti-virus, but there are other FREE programs out there, which seem pretty good.  (I do do so much surfing, that I have to be careful...) There is even free photo software - one is Picasa (part of the Google pack)- the other one escapes me at the moment.....I will try to remember it for you.




0 Comments | Post Feedback

Blog Home
RSS Feed
Photo Album


Better Living
Budget and Finance
Craft Projects
Craft Tips
Garage Sales
Health and Body
Make Your Own
Valentine's Day


November 2015
October 2015
February 2014
January 2014
May 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
© 2020 - A website!
Disclaimer: cannot accept any responsibility for any injury or damage that you may cause to yourself, others, or property when following any advice given on this site. has no control of how you may use information you get from this site and does not attest to the validity of any information found within. Much of this information comes from third parties (newsletter readers and other contributers). Use advice found in our newsletters and on our site with common sense and at your own risk. If you see something in our newsletters or on our site that you disagree with, please let us know. Our goal is print only valuable information and advice.