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Home Wine Making Spurred on by Arrival of Friends

Sometimes I think my ideas towards saving money are worth sharing just because of the turn of events. Recently long-lost friends announced they were in town and were paying us a visit. They’re wine lovers and because I have already tasted some wine made locally and it happened to be good, I decided to save money on buying bottles and make my own wine.  In making red wine for instance, it is important that the sugar content of the juice be between 18 and 25% . Less sugar and the wine is thin and sour, more and the fermentation becomes erratic and may be incomplete so that some sugar is left in the wine.

Don’t try making wine unless you have the right equipment and ingredients.  You will need to invest in a basic wine kit. This is perfect because with it you can make up to 30 bottles. Believe me, being frugal can sometimes give you lots of fun, just like this wine making hobby of mine. Delicious, friends and family can’t believe the difference, and if you follow direction carefully, you’ll get pretty good results. You’ll be able to enjoy your evening drink and not have to worry about the soaring wine prices.


Challenges of e-shopping

Online Shopping

Online Shopping


Many people find it easy to order everything from the internet. However I am not that comfortable with the option. Yes it gives flexibility and you can buy at lower price, but somehow I do not trust the medium. I will share with you today the difficulty I faced which led to my current state of mind. Mind it was not once.There was lots of talk about payday loans

  • You do not get what you see – Internet shopping is different from physical shopping. The article may look great on your computer screen but might not be that good. I once ordered a dress for myself. It was pink and I loved the shade as it looked on my computer screen. But when the parcel arrived, and I opened it a rag came out. I kept calling the customer service but to no avail. This never happens in a physical shop.
  • Matter of size – The biggest challenge faced  is of size. The sizes vary and sometimes you get too small or too big size. Hence articles that we wear, are very difficult to buy online. My husband faced this problem when he ordered a pair of office shoes. The web shop send a shoe which was toddlers‘. God I will never buy a shoe online.
  • Payment system – Even after so much of development of online payment systems, failures happen. Once a failed payment took 30 days to return in my account. This is really painful.

After so many experiences, I finally decided that I will shop in normal shops by going there. I love the process.

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Photo credit: George Eastman House / Foter / No known copyright restrictions


When you spend most of your shopping hours calculating discounts and comparing, you have a hard time enjoying the experience. Yes, your budget isn’t weeping tears of distress. Yes, you only buy what you need. Pat yourself on the back, you are doing great! With the dust of holiday shopping all but settled, you can do something that you probably do only once or twice a year.

Saving pads your bank account, but it takes something truly special to reward yourself. When you are looking for that special little something, check your balance and decide how much of it you can spend, then spend it! There are few rules governing how you reward yourself, but you can also help someone in the process.

Etsy shops are great for the double bladed reward maneuver. You can buy something spectacular and one of a kind, and reward a needy crafter or artist while doing so! Better  yet, find a new designer or have a new designer redesign your existing wardrobe! You actually kill 3 birds with this single stone as you cull your wardrobe at the same time.

Once you have your reward, don’t forget to wear it, or use it where everyone can fuss over it!


Holiday Shopping Takes Off!

Sparkling Christmas trees set the mood for shopping.

For the first time in years, I am having a stress free shopping experience. In previous years we went from shop to shop looking for the perfect gift for each of the 20 to 30 people on our gift giving list. This year, we divided our shopping list into “physical store” and “internet” columns, with the “internet” column being our focus. Doing this cut our real life shopping time by more than half. We’ll save time by doing most of the shopping at home. Jack will stop by stores during his evening commute, but he will have phoned ahead to have his choices waiting. All he’ll need to do is pay and pick up! This also means I get to sit in front of the screen and compare, to my heart’s content, anytime I feel like it.

We look like a small family, but once the uncles, aunts, cousins, and grands are added, 30 is a conservative number! My favorite shopping is for Jack’s teenaged nieces, so I have spent time at the Simply Be website. The company carries an impressive range of sizes, and I was surprised to find clothing that even I can wear. If I decide to splurge, I’ll look through Joe Brown’s to find something special for the eldest niece. By the way, Simply Be has great discounts in their outlet pages!

So, I’m off to choose some trendy sweaters for myself and my sister-in-law. How will you save time, and money, while holiday shopping?


So many patterns, so much yarn, so little time: story of my hooky life.

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