Fort Frugal
















Simple Living


"If a man's home is his castle, a woman's home is her fort.  Home is where we shelter, love, and protect our families. Fort Frugal is about frugal living, which strengthens homes and families. Nikki Willhite 

Editor's Corner

Me and My Lettuce Garden

lettuce garden

When people were confined to their homes during the COVID-19 crises they got very creative. Shopping became difficult, and many people started trying to produce more food at home.

Lettuce was an issue. You could store carrots and peas in the freezer or in cans, but if the store was out of lettuce you were out of lettuce.

I thought lettuce was hard to grow. We have had many gardens over the years, but we never grew lettuce. Our current yard is small, and it is shaded by very large Northwest fir trees. We didn't think anything would grow without more sun. Nevertheless, my husband and I decided to take a chance and my husband built some planters boxes. We planted some seeds and we waited to see what would happen... more

Easy Trellis

easy trellis

Tightwad Tidbits


red apple

Apples are harvested in the Fall. Apples are wonderful. So many colors, flavors and texture. Worldwide there are over 7,000 types of apples. We only see a small portion of them in the marketplace.

Sweet apples, like Red Delicious, are are a favorite snack. Red Delicious apples are the most commonly grown apples in the world.

green appleTart apples are popular for cooking.  Popular types of tart apples include McIntosh and Jonathan.

Some apples, like Red Delicious, are popular because they both snack and cook well. Golden Delicious, Fiji, and Granny Smith are also in this category.

If you think you don't like apples, try a different kind.  I didn't become a big apple eater until I found Honeycrisp apples. On the other hand, I have a grandson who prefers to eat green apples.

Shopping for Apples

Apples are sold by the pound. To save money buy small apples for snacking and larger apples for cooking and baking. 

apple peeler

Preparing apples for cooking is made quick and easy with an apple corer. Some apple cutters clamp tightly onto counter tops. Others, like the one to the left, attaches to the top of the counter with a suction cup.

Apple Tree

Apple Tree from Costco

Note: If you can, think about planting an apple tree.  You can get a lot of apples from just one tree. The last few years Costco has been selling apple trees in the Spring. They don't cost much, and they have several varieties grafted onto just one trunk.  This means so you don't need another tree for pollination. You just need space for one tree.

At our home the only place on our lot with enough sunlight for an apple tree was the front lawn. We dug up some of the lawn and put a very frugal plastic edging around it. When the weather turned warmer it was also a great spot for warm weather crops like cucumbers.

Here are a couple popular, frugal and easy apple recipes.

Apple Crisp


4 cooking apples

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup oats

1/3 cup margarine, softened

3/4 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp nutmeg

Lay sliced apples in a 9-inch square pan.  Mix the remaining ingredients and spread over apples. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Apples should be tender and top golden brown.

Waldorf Salad


2 apples, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Melt the butter. Add the butter and the rest of the ingredients to a blender. Mix well. Put the mixture into a pie pan. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.


blue dress


Clothing made for girls is less expensive than women's clothing. If you can find clothing that fits you, and looks age appropriate, this is also a good place to check. Even if you can't wear the clothing, you may be able to use the shoes.

End of the Year Sales

The end of the year is the time to be sure and go to your favorite thrift store. Many people clean out their closets at the end of the year.

Fiber Content

Check the content of the fabric on the clothing you buy. If your garment has to be sent to the dry cleaner every time you have that garment cleaned, you are paying for it again and again. Some items that say they need to be dry cleaned, but can actually be washed by hand, and then laid out to dry in the air.  The dryer is usually what damages clothing items.


When you buy new clothes take the hangers home with you.  They have value. Recycle the hangers for your personal use. If you don't want to use them for clothing, you can take the clips off the hanger and use them to hold items together or close food bags like potato chips and cookies.


Jeans are one of the most popular clothing items worn by people of all ages. With a little searching you can find an acceptable used pair for very little money. Put faded blue jeans into the watching machine with a little navy blue (indigo) die to refresh them.

Seasonal Sales

The best time to buy clothing on sale for the next year is at season's end. This is when most stores are clearing out the last of their winter clothing and the merchandise is heavily discounted. You will find sales for children before the new school year, but the deepest discounts will be at the end of the school year.


You can save a lot of money buying clothes second hand, or new on ebay. However, you won't be saving money if they don't fit. The key is knowing the designers of the clothing, and how they size their clothing. Size 10 made by one designer may be the same as Size 12 by another designer. The only way to deal with this is to try on different brands of clothing in the store and make sizing notes. Then you can find some good deals online or at yard sales, and buy with confidence.

When you purchase clothing online always check the measurements on the size charts as well as the reviews. The reviews will usually tell if the items runs small or large.

Unisex Clothing

Clothing for men costs less than the same clothing for women. Many clothes can be unisex, such as sweats, flannel shirts and shoes. Don't be afraid to wonder over to the other side of the aisle when shopping for these items.


quilted bedspread

Save money on bedspreads by always purchasing thrift friendly reversible bedspreads. Not only will this give you two colors and possibly two pattern options, but if one side gets soiled or torn, you can just turn it over.

White or very light bedspreads are great for staging rooms, but impractical for daily wear.

Make Duvets out of quality sheets.

Pieced (quilted) bedspreads, like the one pictured above, may be pretty, but be aware that they have so many seams they don't wear well if you sit on your bed a lot.

Whole cloth quilted bedspreads also wear out quicker as the quilting thread breaks.

Neutral colored spreads last longer, as you don't get tired of them. Use accessories to bring added color to your room.

Colors in cool tones make a room more restful and look larger.

Recent Articles

My Breadmaker Recipe

Sprouting Seeds

My Love of Dusters

Freezer Freshness

Bread Making Problems

recipe card


The Frugal Library

The Frugal Library

More Frugal Living

 Fort Frugal Fort Frugal...frugal living help, including decorating, recipes and simple living.


churndash quilt block Frugal to make quilting a frugal hobby.

4-patch quilt block Scrappy to make quilt blocks using bit and scraps of fabric.

HOME     webmaster     privacy