About Dana

My photo
I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Save Money on Family Night

We are on a mission to pay off our house mortgage. We're pretty close, so we're being extra frugal. It's our habit to eat out on Friday nights, but we're mixing it up a little now. Sometimes, we will just eat in and save lots of cash. Haven't you noticed how expensive restaurant meals have gotten?

More infrequent dining out can save some serious cash over the course of a year. We aren't cutting out restaurants altogether, of course. To keep me out of the kitchen on Friday nights, I sometimes resort to pizza. Most frozen pizza is not that tasty, however, and we live far enough out that no pizza delivery guy will make the trip. Plus, delivery is kind of cheating, and that doesn't save very much money.

You all have read about my good experiences shopping at Aldi and the grocery dollars I am able to stretch because of it. I have mostly enjoyed my purchases from the store, but there is one thing I buy at Aldi my family loves.


Aldi's brand of refrigerated pizza from the deli case is very good. In fact, we like it better than many restaurants' versions. I can walk out of the store with two huge pizzas, feed my family for pizza/movie night, have leftovers for lunch the next day, and spend only $10.

Pizza is a special treat food - I admit it's not the healthiest choice out there - but it makes for an inexpensive, fun family night.

When I pay off the mortgage, I'll invite y'all to a big party on the deck.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Something's Burning in the Country

When living in a rural area with a few acres to tend, it's inevitable there will be heavy yard work and maintenance. We are surrounded by hardwood trees, which are quite beautiful but sometimes messy. Take for instance spring pollen season. (We're finished this season, hallelujah! Here's how I deal with that and the mess it makes.)

Besides pollen, our hardwood trees often fall. Whenever we have heavy rains followed by heavy wind, I close my eyes and start praying they'll fall the other way. And by other way, I mean NOT on my roof.

We have found a solution to lots of excess wood.

The pyromania evident in my son from a young age is very satisfied.

Mr. Country Belle, however, needed something larger for the land down by the river.

Why do men like fire so much?

If I lived here alone, I probably would never build a fire. I would just call a nice, burly man with a chainsaw and a big truck. Oh wait, I have that now, only Mr. Country Belle has never been accused of being burly. (I feel a hint of dislike coming on for someone close to *ahem* a certain age that doesn't think twice about weight gain. But I digress....)

Here's the story:

Just a few days ago, Mr. Country Belle said to me (casually, I might add): "The tree in the side yard looks dead. I don't see any leaves on it."

I didn't notice the lack of leaves. After all, spring just started and the tree was lively and healthy last year.

I took a peek.

Uh-oh. I smell something burning.

Happy Day to you! (I'll be out in the side yard trying to nurse a tree back to life before Mr. Country Belle gets back with the chainsaw).