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Sweet tea: A refreshing and sweet beverage to enjoy on a hot summer day. It can also be an extra expense at the mini mart checkout before you head out to the lake. A cheap can will cost you at a minimum $1 and for a higher end black tea in a glass bottle about $3. Judging from the taste of the cheap stuff, the only reason we buy it is because it’s convenient (and $1).
With just a little bit of pre-planning, you can get a better quality sweet tea for .19 a bottle.
Buy a pack of 12 pint size glass jars with lids, a pack of 100 Lipton tea bags, and a 5 lb. bag of sugar. Fill jars with water, add one tea bag, lid it and sit in sun just till heated. Bring in, remove lid, wring tea bag out into the jar it came from, add one TBSP of sugar, put lid on, shake and put in fridge. You’ll have 12 bottles of sweet tea waiting for you to grab and go to your destination, which might just be on your back porch.
For you nerds who want to see the math:

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Have a relaxing summer everyone!

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What an amazing birthday present my husband Stewart made me this year. At the time, we were still living in the trailer which happened to be right next to our new house which was under construction. He was working hard on the house to get us moved in, focusing only on the important things like power, water, etc. Porch lights were not on the list. He knew I was all about the fun part, the finishing touches, so he put the lights all together, hung them and made them operate so I could enjoy them on my birthday. I absolutely love them.

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Creating these lights weren’t dirt cheap. One light cost about $80 in materials: wiring, galvanized bucket, chicken heater bulb guard. However, if you could find a used bucket at a yardsale, you could drop the price down to where it would be rather cheap.
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A happy day it was.

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I’m a big fan of flor brand carpet tiles. I love the prints, colors, everything. Everything except for the price! For one 18″ x 18″ carpet tile, you’re going to pay about $14. I had saved up some money and paid for some great bright squares for the girls’ room but couldn’t afford the living room, except for two measly squares (for motivation). So anyways, I found myself at a dollar store killing time while my husband was shopping next door and happened upon a pleasant surprise.
A stack of some 18″ x 18″ carpet tiles! I’m not saying I found the holy grail of carpet tiles, I did say this was a DOLLAR store, right? But I am so excited that I got ten carpet squares for less than the price of one from Flor. Wow. Should I be embarrassed? Ha.

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If you’re curious which two tiles were the expensive ones… One is the far right top and the other is the far left bottom.

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And just for comparisons sake, the left tile is dollar store and the right is Flor.

After 4 years living in our 30ft. Travel trailer, our house was complete and ready for us to move in! Well, complete is a sort of vague term when you do all the work yourself I guess. We had no bathroom mirrors, no mirrors at all actually. We had decided to stop spending money on the house so… What to do?

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I have to say, there may be a cult following of faux gold framed mirrors somewhere in the world but I’m in no such cult. I picked up two of these badboys for $1 each. I bought a can of satin black spray paint for $7 (overpriced, I know) and had at it.

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My husband helped me hang them with wire and some mounting tape and I’m way happy with the results.

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Yay for mirrors!

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Rated: Easy Schmeeshy Materials: Hydrogen Peroxide, Plastic stick or end of a spoon, and Sodium Bicarbonate

    I definitely don’t baby my drains as I probably should. If it drops in the sink, it goes down the drain. I actually had a sixteen penny nail go down last year. However, I don’t condone shoving nails down the drain on a regular basis.

    Needless to say, my bathroom drain clogged up today and not the type of clog that you can ignore. There was once a day when I’d go run to the store to buy a jug of Drain-O, but not today my friends. Not today.

    My weapon of choice? Hydrogen Peroxide. I poured about 1/3 cup in the sink, then took a plastic stick and stuck it down the drain, moved it around to get the peroxide moving. The standing water went away… A small victory. Next, I added another 1/3 cup of peroxide and let sit, used the plastic stick again. Repeat till draining on it’s own accord, even if slowly. Last but not least, bring on the sodium bicarbonate, aka Baking Soda. Pour about 1 TBSP down the drain and follow up with 1/3 cup peroxide. Ah, glorious scrubbing bubbles. Reminiscent of my 5th grade science experiment.

    After all that, the true test is to turn on the running water. Wha-La!! The clog has been defeated!! The winner is the abusive sink owner!

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Rated: Easy, embarrassingly easy.

Materials: Any scrap fabric that suits you

    I don’t purchase wrapping paper at any retail store, ever. I find wrapping paper at yard sales or just use last weeks sale ads and dress it up with a pretty ribbon. It works for me, but my mother in law, Melody has come up with a winning idea. She didn’t use paper at all this Christmas. She found heaps of different sized, unique fabric laying around her house and wrapped all gifts in them. She secured each package with yarn that she had. The result was a soft, warm gift wrap that can be reused. Simple, yet very unique. For those who don’t have fabric and yarn in their household, swing by your Grandmas. She has a closet full.

    Merry Christmas!!
    Carie

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Rated: Simple and Difficult
Materials Needed: None

    In our family is 4 people. Stewart, me, and our two girls. I was doing about 3 loads of laundry every other day without question. My husband pointed out that I was doing a ton of laundry and besides that, most of what I was washing was not dirty. I was in shock that he would question my thoroughness (and a little mad). The next morning, getting ready to do a load of laundry, I took the time to do a smell and look test of every item in the bucket (Well, not every item, I’m not going to get that personal with yesterdays socks). I put away the clothes that passed the test and the results were interesting. I cut the pile down by 50%.
    It was difficult for me to fold and put away clothes that I knew had been worn and not washed. Why is that though? I guess you have to change your thinking. I know I’m not the only one in America who gets accustomed to the availability of clean water and a functioning washer machine. So what would happen if you and I didn’t have that? If we had to wash all our families clothes by hand with a limited amount of clean water? The answer would be wash the stinky and dirty. On the flip side, I felt like my family needed to have CLEAN, freshly washed clothes. It was definitely a struggle to choose clothes to wash.
    The bottom line though is this: I just cut my laundry bill by 50%. I’m consuming 50% less water, I’m making my detergent last twice as long and my family is still clean and nice smelling. Stewart, you were right. Just this once!

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Rated: Easy! Materials: Leaves, an ugly used door mat, spray paint colors of your choice

    So your once colorful welcome mat is now a sad looking rectangle. It happens to everyone. Your first thoughts may be to go buy a pretty new one and spend $20 or you might just hold onto it as is because even though it’s ugly, it still serves it’s purpose well.

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    Did you know though that with just a few minutes of your time, you can turn your tired mat into a one of a kind welcome mat?

    Step one is clean your old mat well. Smack it around, turn it upside down and jump on it. Do that until your not seeing dirt come off it anymore.
    Step two is find a variety of fall leaves and arrange on your mat.

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    Step three is to start spray painting, being careful not to blow your leaves away. You’ll want to keep the leaves exactly in the same spot until you are done with all the spray painting. I used 3 almost empty spray paint cans in a rust red, brown and a teeny bit of yellow. I used an enamel kind, it should be water proof and last.
    So that’s all that’s to it. Let it dry and use.

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Rated: Easy to Moderate (because of running a drill)
Materials Needed: Acorn caps, a drill with drill bit, wire or string, beads (optional), spray paint (optional), necklace clasp (optional)

    No need to spend money on new jewelry, look outside under your local oak tree. Free and biodegradable 🙂
    Gather the acorn caps, more than you think you need. Next, Prepare to drill every cap, choose a drill bit that will work well with your choice of necklace wire or string. Find center and drill away. Drilling the holes took some time but man oh man does my daughter love her necklace. She wore hers all day, and the day after.

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    Now that you have a bunch of acorn caps with holes, it’s time to create the necklace. Tie one cap to the end of your wire or string (or use your necklace clasp) and then begin to bead them. I thought open end to open end would look awesome, like wooden beads, but what do I know. My craft volunteers like to mix things up.

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    When all the string/wire is filled, save some room and create a loop to go over the opposite end of the necklace. Or, if you have a professional clasp, use that.

    And here we have the finished product. Yay!

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    Even though we kept the original look to the acorn caps, you could always spray paint the caps to any color.