Sunday, January 29, 2012

Living Richly In Retirement: Making Do-With Creativity

As always, I appreciate creative and frugal solutions.  Some of the creative solutions I've used this week..............................:
  • Because I'm trying to eat out of the pantry and not shop, we've had some creative dinner solutions this week. Breakfast for dinner (french toast, scrambled eggs and fresh fruit) and a quiche made out of leftover on hand both are creative and tasty (to us) solutions
  • I'm seriously behind on some correspondence. Not having time to go "card" shopping, and wanting a creative alternative, I checked out my office. Good quality card stock, colored pencils and the word Thanks written calligraphy style with a sharpie can yield one of a kind note cards or thank you cards in a flash.
  • Because I enjoy good food, I've been looking at ways to cut the food budget and not feel the proverbial pain. One of the best ways I've been exploring is making my own so called "pantry foods".  These are the kinds of items that we keep in the fridge or pantry as staples, and my goal was to make these in large, healthy amounts and still keep them cost effective. Rather than purchase seasoned tomato sauce in a jar, we'll now be eating our own-cooked all day in a huge slow cooker and stored in the freezer in portion sizes. Although I've rejoined my eating goals, I am allowed sweets daily. Because I did not want to bake I was getting bake it yourself cookies.  An hour or so spent making various kinds of slice and bake cookies resulted in a roll of dough that I can cut while frozen, yielding me the number of cookies I need.. My next goal?  Experiment with a freezer white sauce.
  • Needing a couple hostess gifts, I went to my well stocked pantry.  Very shortly, my end result was homemade fudge, and raspberry flavored chocolate sauce-all made from food on hand and put in canning jars decorated with fabric on hand.
  • In experimenting with an exercise routine, I realized that walking alone was insufficient (I move to slowly to make it true aerobic exercise). Wanting a pain free but workable solution, I went to the computer and explored my old friend Utube. I soon came up with two five part aerobic/strength building programs that can be done from my chair in the office-either sitting or standing. The perfect solution to working out until my local pool opens for the spring.
  • Wanting to "perk up" my patio, I did NOT want to spring for tradition plant stands. I took a quick trip out to my shed and found many red bricks.  After some experimentation, the bricks will work perfectly to show pots at different levels, depending on how they are stacked and arranged.
  • I've use much of my fabric stash to make small items such as mug rugs, coasters and doll quilts. The temptation abounds to go and buy new fabric but my creativity gets nudged when I have to make pretty things out of what I have on hand.
What about you-what creative alternatives have you used this week!


  1. Thanks for the idea!! Sometimes I am looking for something to snack on and end up baking an entire batch of cookies (and, unfortunately, end up eating the entire batch of cookies). I think I will make up some frozen cookie dough like you do and that way I can only bake a few cookies at a time. Great idea!!!

  2. I love that cookie dough idea too! I make pumpkin bread for gifts. You can get canned pumpking cheap and it lasts forever.

  3. Oh, I have to avoid cookie dough. If not, I will eat the dough. All of it.

  4. I followed along with a scraps along quilting group in January that helped me use up some scraps. Ended up with 3 baby quilts and 2 quilt tops for teens using all scraps!!! Love the idea of frozen cookie dough, I usally bake a big batch of cookies then store them in the freezer till needed. I have the same problem as Lisa I do love me some cookie dough!! Ha


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