ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi | Gimme Some Oven


Here is a great primer on the discount food chain, Aldi.  I have written about Aldi in the past, but Ali does a good job steering you around the store for great deals.  I agree with her recommendations, and thought you might appreciate her tips towards savings! Click on the link for the article on her website.-Kris


ALDI 101: What To Buy At Aldi | Gimme Some Oven.


Identity Crisis during Snowpocalypse 2014


I had a dream my purse was stolen.  It was an awful dream where I realized I had no money, no phone, no driver’s license, no keys.  No one knew who I was and I couldn’t call for help. I was no one.

This dream happened after three days of being unable to leave the house after a snowstorm blanketed Wichita with 8.5 inches of snow, and the city was slow to clear the roads making road travel impossible. So I wasn’t able to go to my volunteer job at the Red Cross. My husband went to work leaving me alone with the cats for hours on end.

I was really bothered by this dream….until I forgot about it. Then this article in the WSJ showed up inexplicably and I remembered the dream: After Divorce or Job Loss Comes the Good Identity Crisis –

I am relieved to know that my ongoing mood swings, negativity or irritability, and inexplicable emotions could be that I’m still reeling from losing my dream job when we moved. And mostly my resentment towards housework.

moo mouseI didn’t realize that my whole conception of my value as a person hinged on what I do to occupy my waking hours.

I have tried to be crafty on Etsy. And I’m trying to be a “blogger.” I’ve expanded my cooking repertoire and my kitchen confidence has indeed grown.  I have researched countless trivia to keep my mind active.

But for me this doesn’t really cut it compared the daily routine of having meaningful work to fulfill your life’s purpose.

I’m currently trying to embrace that I’m a Highly Sensitive Person as well as an Introvert (Just read Quiet by Susan Cain). I’ve been more selective of people I bring into my life to shield myself as recommended by HSP experts and Cain. So my friendships are limited currently.

It doesn’t take much analysis to see that loss of my social network has probably contributed to feelings of isolation and loneliness, especially during a blizzard. What confounds me at least is my continued anxiety about not having a job and the stress of not liking Wichita. I’m not sure why I still haven’t acclimated, but this WSJ article does shed some light on why I’m still out of sorts.

If you have tips or experiences to share about moving or relocating difficulties, I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment below!

Free Online Workshops from Craftsy



Complete Knife Skills Class

Instructor: Brendan McDermott

Cost: FREE

I wanted to take some cooking classes but unfortunately Wichita has very few gourmet cooking classes. The classes offered were on topics I already knew, like Italian pastas and pesto. I wanted classes that blew my mind and opened doors to culinary magnificence.

So I was happily surprised when I saw that Craftsy offered a kitchen knife skills class online for FREE. I was skeptical at first but turns out the class taught me a lot about knives and food preparation. I also feel more confident and knowledgeable about how to slice and prepare different foods depending on the dish I am preparing.

For example, I often noticed that when I chopped cilantro it not only didn’t really slice smaller but the leaves ended up bruised and mangled. This knife class taught me why this occurs and how to avoid it in the future.

This class also teaches you the correct way to sharpen your knives and how to hold unwieldy vegetables to prevent injury.

The instructor Brendan McDermott is a professional chef who has dabbled in martial arts weapon fighting. He is goofy at times and this helps offset his mostly serious teaching style.

I highly recommend this course and others FREE at

Complete Knife Skills Class

Instructor: Brendan McDermott

FREE design essentials course from


ideas for color scheme in living roomIt is very important to keep your skills sharp while continuing to learn new skills. Also for the trailing spouse, having a movable career or at least transferable skills is important. To this end, I just watched this highly educational graphic design essentials course that is FREE from until January 24, 2014.

Some things I learned:

– Gone are the design tips from the 80s, where everything must be centered and matching.  Offset, simplify, and use “analogous colors” from the color wheel to make your layout modern and interesting.

-When designing a layout and using a picture, pixelize the picture in order to identify main color themes in the picture.  Then you can use these colors to coordinate the text color or background color.

-Think outside of rectangles and boxes when setup a layout.  Uneven edges sometimes can give “life” to your layouts.

Watch the Online Video Course Before & After: Things Every Designer Should Know.

More Ways to Save (after the move)


Belkin’s Smart Strip

Hey, I’ve got more ideas! If you missed my earlier post, check it out here.

In 2013, I discovered Mr. Money Mustache, a blog for innovative, progressive thrifty folks. Mr. Money Mustache and his wife both retired at age 30 in order to start their family.  He’s got great ideas about how to truly change your relationship with money!  One idea I got from his blog was learning about green power strips, or “smart strips.

The strips are designed to reduce phantom energy use from appliances that are only occasionally used, like DVDs or printers. Here is a photo of one of the ones I recently purchased.  The DVD is hooked up to the green socket because it will only work when the TV is on (blue socket).  We have only saved a few bucks so far, but I’ve only had them two months; over the course of a year or more we will save a lot more….plus it is good for the environment!

I also learned about two interesting things Amazon does:  Amazon Warehouse deals and Amazon coupons.  Warehouse deals are products you can buy in bulk.  I have spotted 48-roll toliet paper for $23 and cases of KIND nutrition bars there.  The coupons work just like any other coupon:  You click on the Amazon coupon and the discount is applied at checkout.  These are two more ways that you can save by researching online and having the willingness to stock up!

Finally, I really need to mention Sierra Trading Post?  Has anyone ever shopped with them?  Wow. What a great company. I’ve had an ongoing love affair with this company for over twenty years!  From a small shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming, offering hand-drawn images of outdoor clothing in a 5-page catalog, STP has grown to become a powerhouse of super great deals for all types of people. Offering up to 70% discounts everyday, STP brings shoppers quality products from name brands companies. I just bought two Eddie Bauer-brand cotton tees for $6.75 each and an Ex Officio brand beanie hat for $12.50.  My husband bought Jacob Ash leather dress gloves for $12.71 each.  STP has both an internet site and a color catalog.  They offer discounts all year ’round! And the item I needed to return?  Free shipping on return item as well as the postage paid on my next order.  Great company!

Well, I hope this tips help those thrifty types save even more!

Feel free to post your ideas about frugality, thrift, and saving money.