A Fabulously Frugal Family Room! Sunday, Sep 22 2013 

Hey gang!  How’s the late summer treating you so far?  Around here, I’m being uncharacteristically productive in this gorgeous weather, perhaps because I know that the cooler temps can’t be far behind. 
For me, it’s become absolutely therapeutic decluttering during the last month or so, and I thought I’d kick it up a notch.  Read on for a great one-two-three decluttering strategy that will not only get your house looking fabulous, but put some fabulous money in the bank as well!
First Step – Declutter.  Look around your house – if your home is anything like mine, I suggest starting with the Family Room.  With a busy husband and two active kids, my living areas were starting to look like a cross between the show “Hoarders” and the Film “Twister”.  Honest to God, I have no idea how it got that bad, but having both kids in school for the last two weeks gave me an amazing opportunity to declutter and reclaim the room back.  It’s fabulous!  If you’re looking for a Fall Activity that will have you feeling like a million bucks, take a day to clear out anything and everything that’s cluttering up your most active spaces.  My wiggle-space-only Family Room now feels like a gymnasium.  It’s that good.  But it gets better.

Next Step – Turn Clutter into Cash.  Now that you have a pile of books, clothing, shoes, magazines, knickknacks, lamps, furniture, videos, DVD’s and more (none of which you’ve used in ages), it’s time to transform it into cash.  It’s easier than you’d think.  If your Community is holding a yard sale, throw your stuff into the mix and keep the prices LOW to move everything.  Easier still – get out the digital camera and put everything on Craigslist.  Easiest of all – detail everything, donate it to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill and be sure to count every penny of it on your next tax return. 

Last Step – Invest Cash into Heating Fuel for Winter before the prices go up!  So now you’ve cleared out your living spaces and completely decluttered.  Awesome.  Then you got rid of the mountain of unneeded stuff online, at your local Garage Sale, or by donating it.  BRAVO!  If you have cash in hand for your efforts, a serious gold star for you.  Don’t even think of springing the cash at a trip to the casinos.  Rather, call your local fuel oil company and fill up your tanks to the brim now, before the prices go up.  If you donated everything, fantastic!  When your tax return shows up next Spring, it’ll be another outstanding chance to fill up your oil and fuel tanks when the prices are lower.  Whatever you do, don’t fill them up when prices go sky high in winter!
Et Voila!  Your house is looking fabulous, you’ve got enough room in your most active living areas to do an arms-wide, Julie-Andrews-on-a-mountaintop spin (singing optional), and you’ve got some serious cash to show for it.  Here’s to another productive Autumn! 

Celebrate a Fabulously Frugal Autumn Sunday, Sep 22 2013 

Well gang, it’s official: we’re headed into another beautiful Autumn.  The kids are back in school, the weather’s getting cooler, I’ve officially given up on my summertime dieting plans and gone with my ever-so-clever Plan B (covering up with the bulky sweaters I just pulled back out of storage – et voila! I can pretend I’m a size 4 under that heavy wool monster sweater – hooray!).   

I find the key to enjoying this beautiful season to its fullest is to fill it with activities, projects and celebrations that utilize all of the loveliest aspects of Fall for maximum enjoyment.  One of the best things you can do for frugal fun is enjoy some local Workshops and Events that benefit you and your local area!  It’s a win-win for you and your Community!

Case in point: For those of you connecting with me via email and Facebook looking for fun, frugal ideas for a great night out, I just found out about a Chester County Octoberfest coming up in West Nantmeal township that’s a combo of everything I love in local entertainment.  It’s fabulous fun, reasonably priced, and ticket sales benefit the Community big-time with a restoration effort to rebuild the gorgeous historic stone walls in and around Isabella Furnace.  What’s not to love?  The more I learn about the historic stone walls in NW Chester County (including my own), the more I want to learn about restoring them, so long as it can be done at a cost that doesn’t destroy my back or my bank account.  If you’re like the thousands of people in Chester County with a yard full of hidden rocks that you’d like to find a good use for, think about signing up for the Dry Stone Wall Workshop at Isabella Furnace on October 20th!  Hit their
website for more info: westnantmealhc.org.

Knowing myself the way I do, I’m certain that I shall emerge from the Dry Stone Wall Workshop with my usual delusions of Martha Stewart-esque abilities, and shall throw myself into an ambitious Fall project to rebuild my own stone walls.  After that, it’s time to celebrate with some fabulous fall fun!   However, if your entertainment budget is anything like mine (tighter than Joan Rivers’ forehead), spend it in fabulous frugal fashion with an Event like the Chester County Octoberfest Event at Wyebrook Farm, offering you a great night out that benefits your local area as well.  Tickets are only $40 for this adults-only Event, and includes dinner, beer, a German band and much more.  FYI, carbs don’t count when you’re enjoying a meal that benefits the Community, so with the dinner I’m expecting, I can only hope the dress code includes marvelously bulky sweaters!  To buy your tickets, call 610-286-9722, or hit their website at westnantmealhc.org. 

Viva Autumn! K