Ways to Save While on Vacation

When my then-fiancé and I took a trip to New Orleans last year, and I learned some hard lessons about money while there. My mistakes ended up causing us to over spend. It didn’t ruin the vacation, but I was just disappointed with myself because of my choices.

Here are the four big lessons I learned, some may be common sense, but still:

  1. If possible, stock up on granola bars, juice boxes, and small water bottles for sightseeing to avoid impulse buying of “snacks” while sightseeing. I’m not talking about not sampling the local cuisine. Go for that! I’m talking about running into gas stations and getting food that you can get back home. If you’re flying out to your destination, hit a grocery store to get previsions.
  1. If you are going to sample the local cuisine, when you’re at restaurants, see if appetizer platters offer tastes, and get a couple of those. You’ll usually get more food for the same amount of money.
  1. Check out local coupon books and pamphlets in the lobby of where ever you are staying. Don’t be afraid to use a coupon. In the economy, we all need as much help as we can get.
  1. Lastly, and this is where I learned the biggest lesson: Really consider who you are purchasing souvenirs for. This ate up a lot money and I regretted the promises I had made.

© Cori Large March 24, 2013

Examples of “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without”

This is one of my favorite phrases. I try to live my life encompassing the Depression-era wisdom. Here are five CRAFTING way I’m living up to this phrase.

  1. Cotton Scrap-ghan

The cotton comes from all the leftover cotton yarn from when I’m knitting dishcloths, scrubbies, or kitchen sets. Any yarn that isn’t enough to make a scrubbie (the smallest cotton project) gets added to my scrap bins. All the cotton scraps are tied together in the order I use them or receive them (some of the yarn is donated by my fellow crafters). Currently, it sits on a pair of circular knitting needles, but that will soon change.

The cotton scrap-ghan has gone through two revisions, and will very soon be going through its third. I found a fun new pattern that I’m testing out on other yarn, before I tear this one out again. It is the Frankie Brown 10 Stitch blanket, which can be found on Ravelry.com.

My husband thinks I’m nuts for wanting to tear it out again, but the 10 stitch pattern will allow for blocks of color, not just lines where you might be able to see something.

  1. Acrylic Scrap, 1.0 oz or more

When I receive an acrylic yarn, I weigh it to determine if I can use it for my Pieces Afghan (explained below) or if it will get put straight into the acrylic scrap-ghan. If I have 1.0 oz or more of acrylic yarn, I knit as many squares as I can for the Pieces Afghan. A quick aside about my Pieces Afghan. It is my knitter’s answer to the crocheted Granny Square afghan. I use scrap yarn to knit as many squares as I can and when there’s not enough yarn for another square, it goes to my other acrylic scrap-ghan.

  1. Acrylic Scrap, less than 1.0 oz

I currently have a Frankie Brown 10 stitch blanket going that is an acrylic scrap-ghan. It is made up of greens, browns, tans, cameos…very boyish. This is my practice one to see if I can master the pattern and get the mitered corners right.

I have other scrap yarn that is waiting to be knit up into its own scrap-ghan. The next one, if I don’t jump to redoing the cotton scrap-ghan, is a brighter colored one: blues, pinks, purples.

  1. Worn Out Clothes Quilt

This quilt is more a concept at the moment. I have lots of fabric scraps from fabric I learned to sew on 20 years ago, and fabric from worn out pajamas from both my husband and me. My intention is to cut all the fabric I can into 3-5 inch squares, piece it all together, and one day, make a king size quilt out of it.

  1. Floor pillow of thrums, fabric scraps, etc.

This is another sewing project that is still in concept mode, but will hopefully come to life before long. I want to make a floor pillow or tuft. The outside may also be a quilted one, made up of the scraps from the above piece, but I’m unsure yet. I do an up-cycle plan for all the stuffing. I’ve been saving all the thrums and fabric scraps from my other projects, and my crafting friends have been contributing to it as well. I plan on using all of this to stuff the pillow. Currently, I have ½ a garbage bag full.

So those are my crafting ideas. If you’d like to try it, have at it!

© Cori Large April 11, 2015

More Mead Shopping OrganizHer Findings

As you all know, I am completely smitten/over the moon/fabulously happy with my Mead Shopping OrganizHer notebook (aka the Mini Flex).

If this is your first time to the blog, (1) Welcome!, (2) please check out the following links so you’ll be brought up to speed:

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw3pO1TVTA0 

Blog Post Link: http://talesfromapolkcountygirl.com/product-review-mead-shopping-organizher/

So, after playing with it for a few months, here’s what I’ve found out:Steno pad paper fits almost perfectly. You may need to trim off the fringe at the top. Personal choice really.

  1. If using regular loose leaf notebook paper:
    1. Wide Ruled: count down 19 lines and cut. Measure width to 5 ½” across the page and cut. No need to punch. Already punched correctly.
    2. College Ruled: count down 22 lines and cut. Again, measure to 5 ½” across the page and cut. No need to punch. Already punched correctly.
    3. The little scraps can also be punched and used for shopping lists (waste not.)
  2. Plain paper just needs to be cut along the long side at 5 ½ inches and punched appropriately.
  3. Remember no special punch needed. Use a regular 3 hole punch, but aim for the top two hole punches.
  4. This product is also available of Amazon.


  1. Small prepunched calendar pages do no line up. If you want to use them, I suggest washi taping over the holes and then repunching them in the correct fashion.

© Cori Large April 5, 2015

My Love of Mead Flex Binders

Over the course of several posts, I have brought up the Mead Flex Binder. I’ve been asked on Facebook about my “fascination” with them. I can only boil it down to its selling point: flexible like a spiral notebook, refillable like a binder.

It’s true! I love the fact that I can bend this “binder” back like a spiral notebook, and that I can add more paper and dividers where I need them and remove them as well. Also, the standard size three hole binder is a lot easier to work with than a seven ring binder. The standard three ring set up makes it easy and convenient to add more paper to it (another check in its favor).

I currently have 4 flex binders in use:

  • Magenta = general notebook
  • Green = writing notebook
  • Black #1 = price book (still in the works, and may have its own post at some point)
  • Black #2 = work notebook. This one stays on my desk at work. Front section has a running To Do list and Office Max list and the dividers each house notes for work related projects.

I have four backups: 2 red and 2 blue. For the record, the only two I’ve ever paid for price for (approx. $15 each) were the magenta one and a Tinker Bell green one that broke years ago. All other have been bought on Clearance! The last two I picked up on January 31. They were marked down to $2.50 and $5.00 respectively, but rang up for $1.50 each!!!

Depending on the retailer, these flex binders retail between $9.00-$15.00.

The website (www.mead.com) has a lot more options: bigger ring, zipper closure, clear pocket in the front, etc.

The website also had a product I didn’t know about: Mead Shopping Organizher, which is a two-ring smaller version. This product has its own product review post.

This is a product that I happily recommend to everyone. Try it out. If you don’t want to spend that much money on a binder, wait until after school is back in session. Around November is when I see these notebooks start hitting the clearance racks.

© Cori Large February 4, 2015.

Bullet Journal Set Up for April 2015

Hi everyone!

I changed how I set up my bullet journal for April 2015. I moved it out of my diary and into my Mead Shopping OrganizHer (aka my Mini Flex).

Here’s the video link: http://youtu.be/Nr8uyllspk0