Tag: buy nothing

December 2023 Puzzles

December 2023 Puzzles

2023 was supposed to be the year of puzzles but I found all sorts of other cozy habits to do so puzzles were more sporadic but I have absolutely enjoyed doing the ones I have over the year. I thought that along with my book […]

Book Review: Pearl Cove by Elizabeth Lowell

Book Review: Pearl Cove by Elizabeth Lowell

When I created my post about rereading books kept in storage for too many years I wasn’t sure whether I would actually have time to read the books on my list. My post “Rereading Books Before I Give Them Away Part 1” was an attempt […]

Rereading Books Before I Give Them Away Part 1

Rereading Books Before I Give Them Away Part 1

Eight years ago when we moved into our house I pared down my book collection by about 25% and put the rest into boxes. Until a few months ago those boxes largely remained untouched as we navigated life and I stopped reading all together while we raised young kids and also worked. During this time I was also given a large quantity of newer books over the many holidays. Most of these books are unread as well. Do you see where I am going? I have tons of books I don’t read and nowhere to store them.

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I used to read a lot, voraciously as some say, up until we had our second child when reading adult books pretty much halted. My middle child is a huge fan of reading so I was definitely reading all day long, but it was all kids books and my spare time was spent cross stitching or sleeping. Many of the books I had stashed away got me through some rough times and I have many fond memories of reading them. My Dorothy Dunnett series are tucked away in their own box and I fully intend to read the Lymond Chronicles again next year but during our giant clean out of everything in our house this year I discovered some books that we straight up gave away and others that I wanted to read one more time before making that decision so I am making this list of books with what I remember about them to get myself started. I will say that I am in the middle of A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley so I do need to finish that first but my intention is to get through this list by the end of 2023. All of these books are a quick read and I am confident that if I read a little bit every day I will be able to achieve that goal.


Here is a list of the books with links and what I can remember about them. It will be interesting to see if what I remember is accurate and whether or not I still like these books after so many years. I will post reviews of the books as I go and link them in this list.

Pearl Cove by Elizabeth Lowell

My first book is Pearl Cove by Elizabeth Lowell and when I went to link it I noticed it is the third book in a series so now I want to read the first two. Maybe this project wasn’t such a great idea. Ha! This book is very much a fun summer read about a lady that goes pearl diving and there is some sort of mystery if I am remembering correctly. I really liked this one so I might have to read the other two from the library when I am done.

Book Review: Pearl Cove by Elizabeth Lowell


We’ll Meet Again by Mary Higgins Clark

This book is a mystery about a lady that runs into someone from her past and there is a murder of some sort. I mainly remember there is a plot twist revolving a door bolt and the killer tries to murder the main character as well. This book was pretty good but I also don’t particularly remember it being so good I would read it multiple times but I did keep it when I was pairing down my books so maybe.


The Beach House by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge

I honestly don’t remember what this book is about, but clearly it is about a beach house. Now that I am thinking about it this may be the one with the floor bolt in the door that involves the plot twist. I am interested to see if my memories of this book flood back in after I start reading it.


Book Review: The Beach House by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge


An Inconvenient Woman by Dominick Dunne

Confession time. I love this book and I am not sure why it is in the give away pile but maybe it got mixed up with the I want to read it again pile? It is set in Hollywood about an affair between a wealthy man and a poor waitress and very well written, at least as I remember. Maybe it isn’t as good as I remember any more? We shall see!

Book Review: An Inconvenient Woman by Dominick Dunne

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

I have two books by Jhumpa Lahiri on this list and Interpreter of Maladies is the first one. I don’t remember which book is first or if they are related but I do remember that they were good books. My dad gave me these when we were still swapping books and they are very him if you know what I mean. I may pass these back to my dad if he wants to read them again.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Namesake is the second book by Jhumpa Lahiri that I have in this list and I don’t remember what it is about either. I will also see if my dad wants this book back when I am done since he is the one that gave them to me.


And now we enter the more mass-market phase I went through were I bought bestselling books instead of just getting them from the library. My goal was to build my collection. Why I thought buying mass market paperbacks was a good idea I will never know but rest assured, I now try to get books like this from the library.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I fully remember what this book was about but I haven’t read it in so long I would love to read this book one more time before I give it away. I would highly recommend getting this one from the library instead of buying it. This is a very good book about a young girl coming of age as a Geisha before WWII.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

This book took the world by storm at some point and I bought it. I remember it being a great book but I also don’t remember exactly what it is about and I am ready to pass it on once I read it one more time. I think it is another coming of age story or something like that but I don’t remember. I just remember it is a good book. I am trying really hard not to read the synopsis of these books when I link them so I don’t get any spoilers.

When the Emperor was Divine by Juliet Otsuka

Last but not least is When the Emperor was Divine by Juliet Otsuka. I don’t really remember what this book is about but I think it might be the one where the main character is in a work camp and has a relationship with another woman there but I may be mixing that up with another book.


Well, that’s my list of books I am going to read before passing them on in 2023. I will write brief reviews of each one when I am finished and link them in this list for those that are interested. I am positive I am forgetting most of what I read in these books and it will be interesting to read them and see what I remember. Maybe I won’t want to give them away? Maybe I will do this with the rest of my collection? Time will tell!


I didn’t plan it but it looks like I have 10 books to read before the end of the year. Do you think I can finish them all? Leave a comment below.



2023 Summer Reads for Kids – What my Kids are Reading this Summer.

2023 Summer Reads for Kids – What my Kids are Reading this Summer.

I thought I would make a list of books my kids are reading during summer of 2023 as a fun way of tracking where my kids are at and to share book ideas with other book loving families. Last year I posted a couple of […]

August 2022 Grocery Spending Wrap Up

August 2022 Grocery Spending Wrap Up

We continued to work on our grocery budget for August 2022 with a goal of $600. I wasn’t sure if we could make it this month but we came closer than last month at $709.79. We definitely ate better this month and a large chunk […]

July 2022 Final Grocery Spending

July 2022 Final Grocery Spending

We were out of a lot of staples for July so I knew we would have an expensive month for groceries. We are still working hard at keeping our food budget well under $1,000 by watching prices more carefully, eating up what we have and reducing our food waste. Our ultimate goal is to keep it under $600 a month for our family of four plus our oldest daughter who is out of the house. She comes over very frequently for meals still and we love to have her so I include her in our grocery budget as a partial member.


We were having a hard time tracking our spending with both of us going to the store since we buy groceries from Costco, Amazon and Target a lot and they all have purchases mixed in the total. In June I set up a Google sheet that we could both enter the grocery portion of our purchases in and it is working amazingly! It is easy to check my total when I am making videos and we can see how far off we are from our goal pretty easily. We are also working on making as few trips to the store as possible so that we don’t get there and find lots of extra items. I am particularly guilty of this during our Costco run. I love Costco and I am easily swayed by fresh produce and new things to try. I am working on it though and we have been doing better so we will continue our efforts in the hopes that by the end of the year we have a streamlined frugal grocery routine.



Our first grocery haul of July was so big I had to film it in three parts. I went to Franz for our periodic stock up and we did a gigantic Costco run. Lots of our regular items were on sale at Costco this month and we stocked up on what we could. Looking back I think the reason our July grocery total was so large was mostly due to this stock up. We really didn’t spend money on too much the rest of the month. We won’t do a large stock up like this one for a while so hopefully we will be able to stick to our $600 budget going forward.



We went back to Costco again a couple of weeks in to get a few things Costco was out of and that we forgot the first time. This run was pretty expensive for what we bought but we did need a bunch of jerky for our kids to eat during camp. They really only get it regularly in the summer so it is rare enough they eat it at camp for a good source of protein. We also had to buy Luna bars to stock up on as well from Amazon.


We did a small haul at Costco and Grocery Outlet towards the middle of the month as well to pick up some fresh fruit and ingredients for a recipe. I didn’t end up making the chicken tacos. My husband was the one to make the recipe and he does not use pre-made taco seasoning so it was made a little bit differently than I had originally intended but I am still going to try and make it myself in the future. I realized my crock pot is way too big to just make a couple of breasts and it was too hot to use the oven for a long time. I will try that recipe again this fall.

Overall we spent a lot this month. We did end up trying the free lunch pickups a couple of times but they mostly had the same food every day and my kids were not huge fans. I felt really bad for the kids that relied on these meals over the summer since there wasn’t really a lot of variety. Universal Free Lunches are over in our area so we won’t be able to participate again in the fall when school starts up again. I guess a lot of families were shocked to hear they weren’t being continued into the fall for everyone. It will be a huge hit to many family’s budgets. We saved probably $200 a month picking up the 5 day meal kits and towards the end of last school year it was so much food we really couldn’t keep up with eating it. We still have a lot left but my goal is to eat through it by the end of the year.


I am proud of our progress these past few months with how we are paying much better attention to our grocery spending. We are getting better at using what we have and not doing much impulse spending. Thank you for reading!



May 2022 Final Grocery Spending

We are working on our grocery spending for 2022 and our goal for May was to do a low spend month. Unfortunately we ended up a little bit swamped during the middle of the month and we both spent too much money and I did […]

May 2022 Spending Check In

May 2022 Spending Check In

Our goal for May of 2022 was to spend as little money as possible on groceries for the month. We are using our local free lunches and breakfasts for the community as well as eating through our pantry items and just supplementing with items from […]

Thursday Mini-Channel Share Day

Thursday Mini-Channel Share Day

I thought I would share some of my favorite up and coming YouTube channels today. I am noticing a lot of Food Bank haul unboxing videos trending in my feed and I thought I would highlight a few. Many people rely on food banks temporarily when they are in need and food banks are a valuable resource to the community. Please, if you are in need always ask for help.


One of my goals this year is to highlight some of the food programs across the U.S. that greatly benefit people, especially children. The universal free lunch program that was started during the pandemic is an example of how feeding children without any income requirements has helped families tremendously. Many children in the United States are living at or below the poverty line and guaranteed breakfast and lunch is many times the only food kids get to eat in a day. Below is the link to my video where I go through what we received in the middle of April.

Free Lunch Unboxing


Fabulous Food Bank Unboxing Channels:


Mustard Saves

Mustard Saves is one of my favorites. She started out as a couponer and moved to food bank videos when they decided to utilize their food pantry after some sort of financial difficulties. She has some fabulous videos on how to cook through what you have, rotating between the freezer, pantry and fridge clean outs and on how to store the food once you receive it since typically people only go once or twice a month.


Joveta’s Kitchen

Joveta’s Kitchen is another one of my favorites. She shows everyone how to cook many of the items from scratch and helps out her community as well. There are so many good recipes on this channel and Joveta definitely knows how to make the most of everything she gets.


Kemp Freehold

I came across Kemp Freehold when I was watching Joveta’s Kitchen and it looks like they started using their food bank after a job loss. This family has a few kids and are homesteaders and I thought I would include them as well.


If you are in need the website for Feeding America has a search function so you can find food pantries in your area. Local churches and community centers can also be a resource as well as your local school district.


As always, thank you for reading!


April 2022 Low Spend Month Goals


2022 Garden Supply Purchases







April 2022 Low Spend Month Goals

April 2022 Low Spend Month Goals

This site participates in affiliate links and receives a small fee for affiliate recommendations at no cost to you. As always we only recommend products we have tried ourselves. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed […]

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