Frugal Living - Challenge 2021 Daily Frugal challenge

KmmCo

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I cooked some baked sweet potatoes yesterday since the oven was hot from warming up the leftover pizza for lunch.

*I went ahead and had one more serving of the red beans and rice last night for dinner. I froze the rest of the red beans, but the leftover rice is still in the fridge. I might do something with some of it tomorrow before puttng the rest into the freezer.

*There was one more slice of pizza that I ate for lunch today along with some snacky stuff.

*Dinner tonight was the last of the garlic sausage, sweet potatoes, and some leftover green beans.

*I pulled the container of cooked pork out of the freezer and that will be tomorrows meals along with getting stuff packed up for work lunches. I will make some more sides to go with it along with the sweet potatoes. I figured that I should use up the already cooked food before making more stuff.

*I cut my food budget to $80 for January so that I can save a little cash this month. Should be easy to do since I really have enough food. The goal is also to get the freezer/pantry cleaned out by spring thaw and start fresh then.

*Stayed home today and took down the Christmas decor. I straightened out some stuff and moved some furniture in the living room. I put a chair nearer to the fireplace so that I could sit and enjoy the warmth. I did a small painted artwork to fit a Goodwill frame that I already had in the apartment. I am not going anywhere to spend money the rest of the day.
 

bugweena

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I canned 6 pints of chicken. I had purchased a few packs of boneless skinless chicken at $1.79/#, usually $1.99/# and up for a recipe and used the rest to can. I quickly printed some coke coupons and got 4 2-liters and 2 6-packs very cheap. I made chili for lunch with pantry and freezer staples. Made steak sandwiches with marked down beef. Shopped on 12/31 to finish up a couple of categories of shop and earn at Food Lion--$7 off my order today.

A local-ish chicken packing plant has been offering bulk sales at various locations since March. I finally found one that is occurring on a day and location that is feasible for me. 80# of boneless skinless chicken breast for $100. $1.25/#! I plan to can most of it for quick meals throughout the year and some will go in the freezer. Since my mom can't eat beef due to the alpha gal allergy I will also provide her with some pints the next time I see her.
 

jastwins

※Kaboom!・:・:・゜
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I am grateful I stocked up when I did and this allowed me to cook meals while I was sick. During our quarantine and illness, were well taken care of by neighbors who left us food and shopped for essentials, picked up medications and our mail. A cousin sent me $100 by venmo and my family mailed us stuff. Their kindness will not be forgotten.
The thought of going shopping tires me but I have to push myself to regain my strength. D3 got me new HOKA One sneakers for Christmas and we went for a long walk yesterday. It was tiring but just good to be outside. My refrigerator can use some more veggies/fruit and I will drag one of the girls with me when I go off island, maybe tomorrow.
My last paycheck only had 7 days pay and I am happy that I did get my stipend pay on my second check of the month. It helped me finish my Christmas shopping and I need to start saving again since I dipped into that when I bought groceries right before I got sick (shopped for an impending snow storm and quarantined right before that day).

I realize that I do not have to shop as much or as often and will plan better this year. Last year, I would run out to get just one thing and ended up buying more at the IGA supermarket on my island that has not had sale prices since the pandemic started. My stockpile is good and if I shop once a month, I should not run out of anything major.
Happy New Year everyone. Wear your mask and get the vaccine, but I will tell you this, it sure stinks being sick. Recovery will take a long time and I am just hoping to go back to work on the 5th of January.
 

Cathy

Happy Birthday Cathy!!
I asked for, and received several books for Christmas that I couldn't find at my local library. Once I have read them I will put them on Ebay and hopefully sell them!

I also found a boneless chicken sale ($1.79) and I divided the package when I got home. One half of it I made into chicken parmesan (3 meals) and also with that half I made chicken a la king (2 meals) I still have enough to make 5 more meals sitting in the freezer :)
 

KmmCo

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*Made a cheese and onion quesadilla for lunch today. Pork is still thawing for dinner and sack lunches....

It is cold today here. Started at 0 degrees this morning and is now up to 4 degrees. I need to take the trash out to the dumpster, and am not looking forward to that venture. I have a random day off on Tuesday and it is supposed to warm up by then to a more reasonable upper 20's, so any errands are getting saved until then. I will work on some more housecleaning and organizing today - bathroom needs cleaned anyway and I need to straighten up my kitchen counter a bit more. Staying in = saving money and staying safe from Covid at the same time. I have a ton of stuff I can do here for entertainment. I have not read any of my books yet, I have crossword puzzles, art/craft supplies, and lastly the TV and internet.

Oh and the bunnies came rushing over this morning when I opened the patio blinds. I gave them some sad looking celery to munch on right off my deck. It is fun to watch them running around the area. I know I shouldn't feed the wildlife, but these guys are so fat that I think I am not the only one leaving treats out for them.
 

KmmCo

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Ended up doing a teriyaki pork for dinner the other night with some of the leftover rice and frozen stir-fry veggies. It made one serving for dinner and one for work lunch for today. Yesterday I had a sweet potato, green beans, and some pork for my work lunch.

*I am off Tuesday ( paid vacation day) and will fix something with more of the pork for lunch and dinner. The leftovers will go to work with me on Wed. Hopefully that will finish off the pork roast leftovers. I think I will do a crockpot chicken dish on my weekend.

I spent only $11 on groceries last week (Dec budget). I need to pick up a few items this week like milk and maybe bread. I think I can keep it to around $10 if I plan well. January always makes a good "pantry challenge month" for me....

Stimulus check is finally pending deposit. :D I am just applying it to a few bills in the next week to knock them out before the next payday. I should have a little left over to put in savings from that check. It will be a big one with the holiday pay on it.:cool:
 

bugweena

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Getting some books from our library today. They still aren't open but they have a books to go program where you can put a hold on a book, they check it out to you and let you know when it's available and put them on a cart outside the library but inside the cultural center for pickup. I also found out I can get ebooks and read them on my computer.
 

Cathy

Happy Birthday Cathy!!
Getting some books from our library today. They still aren't open but they have a books to go program where you can put a hold on a book, they check it out to you and let you know when it's available and put them on a cart outside the library but inside the cultural center for pickup. I also found out I can get ebooks and read them on my computer.


The library has been a life line for me this year. I love to read and it fills the endless hours at home. And, of course, it's FREE!
 

jastwins

※Kaboom!・:・:・゜
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Today, I had to go to work and help out with the cafeteria to pack up lunches and breakfasts. It was slow and we did not have to prepare as many meals as we did earlier this year. Since we are virtual for this week, I get paid my full salary and I am happy about that. My concerns are that they may continue having virtual classes if the amount of cases in our school keeps rising. Some kids had a party that became a covid spreader and they are waiting to see how many more students come down with the virus.
 

Gardencook

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We haven't been to that many stores recently. Just staying at home trying to get some long overdue organization projects tackled.

We did make a shopping trip today, because we could get a 10 percent senior discount on house brand items. Then we did a round of mega sale, as well as picking up a few odds and ends.

Still couldn't get the vegetarian "meatballs" we've been trying for all week. Asked a meat counter employee and he said the warehouse has been black-lining them all week.

Thankfully, the high value digital coupon doesn't expire until mid-February and our rain check should keep us safe IF they finally get them in stock again. We've got a lot of spaghetti sauce and pasta and I thought it would be an easy meal, but the best laid plans ... :rolleyes:

Last week, we spoke with an employee we've become friends with and he seemed really concerned about how they were going to get through New Year's Day due to stocking shortages created by the lack of delivery during the holidays. He said it is a problem every year, but they still haven't gotten quite up to speed due to COVID.

We still notice some shortages, but thankfully the shelves aren't as bare as they were months ago. Mostly, if they should have five or six varieties of something, they stretch out the two of three they DO have so the shelves don't look quite so vacant. Products are obviously not as deep on the shelves as they used to be either. Both the manager and employees have admitted that's what they've been forced to do.

Today we just picked up odds and ends for which we had coupons/discounts. There wasn't anything pressing that we had to have for upcoming meals and the sales that start tomorrow look more appealing.

Since January resolutions always make it a good month to buy "health foods," we've been able to get some good deals on granola bars. That will keep DH snack happy for a few weeks.

We got Nature Valley Bars for about 89 cents to $1.49 after mega sale, manufacturer coupons and a Catalina deal a couple days ago. We got Quaker Chewy Bars for 89 cents after mega sale and printable coupons today. Then we got a nice surprise when one flavor of store brand granola bars (cranberry, raisin, almond and peanut) were closeout priced on the shelf. We had a digital coupon and after the 10 percent discount got two boxes of those for 76 cents each.

A couple boxes of store brand instant oatmeal were 87 cents each after coupon and discount.

We had a digital coupon for store brand organic veggie chips and were pleasantly surprised to see they were on mega sale, as well. After mega sale, coupon and discount we got a bag of those for 44 cents after coupon and discount.

We got spaghetti sauce for 88 cents a jar after sale and printable coupon and we got a digital coupon for soup which netted four cans of tomato soup for 57 cents each.

We weren't actually low, but picked up a quart of organic chicken broth and a bag of organic blue corn tortilla chips for $1.35 each after coupon and discount, as well.

They also had a couple good-sized bags of red potatoes (I'm guessing a little less than five pounds each) on markdown for one dollar each. They also had a couple heads of cauliflower, small bags of Mandarin oranges and a bag with three bell peppers for a dollar each.

We picked up a bunch of markdown bananas and got charged the correct price today. Had a clerk with an attitude last week who charged us full price and insisted that was the reduced price even after I pointed out it was incorrect. Had to go to the customer service desk to get our money back on those.

We also bought some packs of sweet potato souffle' that day. They were clearly marked down to $1.00. She saw the markdown sticker on the first one, debated about it and chose to charge us full price ($3,50 each) on BOTH of them. She wasn't too happy when I insisted we get the correct price -- which only required voiding the full price and scanning the correct sticker.
 

KmmCo

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*Today, I made a brunch burrito with 3 small sausage patties that I chopped up. I added one egg, onion, a sprinkle of cheese, and some salsa. All stuff from the fridge.

* Dinner: I pulled apart some of the pork roast and added BBQ sauce for a pulled pork sandwich. Side of tator tots from the freezer and a few green beans. There is just enough leftovers for work lunch tomorrow.

I bought some stuff at walmart today - some grocery and some nonfood stuff. Grocery stuff was about $5. A score was a can of no beans chili for $1. I have a few plain cooked beans still left. I can use those to stretch it into a couple of meals this next weekend. Since I bought a package of hamburger buns, I am going to change my menu plan to use those for meals on Thurs, Fri, Sat. I will pull out some hamburger to start thawing tomorrow. Sloppy joes or maybe taco burgers - not sure yet. The crockpot chicken can wait until the following weekend.

Today's free entertainment: Marty Moose decided to munch on the tree right off my patio. It trapped one neighbor in his car and another inside the building for a while. This was a big male too - not the same younger ones that I had seen around here a few times before.

My other projects today were laundry, dishes, and kitchen cleanup. I did run to the bank for more laundry quarters and dropped a grocery sack of donation stuff at Goodwill. Both places are near Walmart, so not out of the way at all. I got gas on the way to work yesterday at the Costco station so I don't have to gas up for a couple more weeks again unless I decide to do something out of town. Just running around town here, I barely use a quarter of a tank a week.
 

Gardencook

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Did a grocery shop at the store across town which had a 10 percent senior discount today. They had quite a few items we could use and we couldn't resist getting the extra 10 percent on everything -- not just house brands -- plus we got an extra two rewards if we spent at least $40. We pretty much have to use the rewards on groceries instead of fuel in our town, but with Covid restrictions the fill-ups we get with our regular stores' fuel rewards are usually enough each month.

The store had seven bone roasts for $1.80 a pound after discount, but they were all HUGE again like last month. :( Found one that didn't have TOO much fat unlike the others, but I sure miss the beautiful boneless roasts they had for that price two or three months ago.

We had a coupon from last month for $7.00 off meat, so that brought the roast down to a little more than $6.00 after coupon and discount.

The store also had brought back packages of what they call "chicken fat" which are actually just the trimmings from chicken breasts when they get the fancy ones ready to sell at a huge price. There is still quite a bit of meat on them.

I used to pick them up, trim off some of the larger pieces of fat and use them for things like soups, stir-fries and Indian sauces. Since I hadn't seen them in ages, I picked them up to see if I still thought they were a good deal or if I'll find a bunch of fat hiding underneath.

They had two packages on markdown for 30 percent discount. They were about $1.50 after discounts and each larger than one meal's worth so I figured they were worth a try. At nearly $3 a package, I don't think I would have gotten them had they not been discounted so nicely.

The store was out of a LOT of things we planned to buy -- which was disappointing since that store always resented giving rain checks years before Covid and now refuses to give them at all.

They didn't have any bakery markdowns we wanted today. We usually find at least an item or two on that rack.

We were out of single serve yogurts, so we restocked on those on sale at three for 90 cents after discount -- even though they had very few flavors.

They were pretty well out of whole grain Fig Newtons on sale for $1.80 each after discount, but did have whole grain "triple berry" ones which I hadn't seen before.

They were also out of the "natural" sour cream we wanted, but we settled for the "Mexican" style with a tapioca thickener because there was a sale and coupon. Didn't want to make another trip just for something like that.

They were out of the Progresso potato broccoli cheese soup I wanted, but we did find more of the roasted chicken and wild rice DH liked so well on the last sale.

Couldn't get the Glad wrap and Tillamook flavored cream cheese we had good coupons for, but discovered they do sell Flatout Wraps -- which four other stores in town discontinued. We had a digital and printable coupon for two of those.

They did have most of the frozen foods that interested us including Totino's pizzas (90 cents after discount), Marie Callender pot pies and some fancy frozen meals our other store doesn't stock. They were on sale and we had a high value coupon for the first one, so thought we'd give them a try.

They also gave us a coupon for 50 percent off an ice cream item so we got one on sale for $3.99 -- which came down to $1.80 after discount.

We could also get two 18-packs of eggs for 90 cents each after discounts.

We managed to get our total high enough -- not hard this day and age. Before coupons and sales the groceries totaled well over $100. After coupons, personalized deals and the 10 percent discount -- and sales tax added back in -- they came down to $52 and we added almost three rewards on our total. With the addition of a few more groceries before the end of the month and the two rewards we have left from last month that should get us another $7 meat coupon and another $2 bakery coupon we can use next month -- which seem to be the offerings that work best for us.
 
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KmmCo

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Today was a major rest and relax day. Sat by the fireplace a while and did some reading. Also watched some mindless youtube and TV today.

Lunch: cheese quesadilla Dinner: sloppy joe and the last of the tator tots that I cooked on Tuesday. TV snack: bag of microwave popcorn.

I am not sleepy yet since I slept in this morning. I think I will iron work shirts. I have a bunch clean but they are pretty wrinkly. I keep stalling on that project.

I am going to do OT for 2 hours on Sat. afternoon. I am guessing I will make about $50 after taxes are taken out - every little bit helps. The boss said I could stay longer if it is busy, but I think I will not want to stay too long so that I can eat my lunch and dinner at home.
 

Gardencook

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Yesterday we checked out a few stores and the most frugal thing we did was find very little to buy. :p

We had an SB gift card as well as one from a survey to add to our Walmart plastic card. I thought I'd pick up a couple things for some SB shop deals, but our store didn't have what we needed. So much for that idea.

I did walk past the meat counter, but didn't see any markdowns and either the bakery markdown rack was empty or they've moved or eliminated it, because it was nowhere in sight. Since we didn't need any other groceries I didn't bother to go up and down any aisles.

Our grocery discount store advertised the previous day that some of its older products would be 75 percent off, but I suspected there wouldn't be much -- especially since we didn't drop everything and run over immediately. Not only weren't there any older products we needed, they didn't have anything we needed for a price we wanted to pay among the newer merchandise either. That meant we left a second store without purchasing anything.

We had a $5/$15 reward coupon that was about to expire at Big Lots, so we stopped there on our way home. Once again, they didn't seem to have that many new things in stock. It seems like our local stores are getting short supplies of groceries once again. Hope we don't have a repeat of last year. :(

Some packs of bubble envelopes did catch my eye, since I needed some larger ones. The shelf price was $3.00, but the register charged $4.75. I pointed it out to the clerk, but he tried to charge us the higher price anyway and I again had to point out that I didn't want to pay that for them.

He finally mentioned it to a manager and she went to check. She came back and printed a $3.00 price tag for our envelopes while she told another employee to remove the price tag from the shelf. At least I got them for the marked price, but apparently no one else will.

They did have six-packs of 12-oz cans of V8 in stock. Haven't seen any of those at that store in quite a while.

Since we couldn't find much else we needed, we picked up the last three packs of V8 on the shelf and then picked up a can of tomato soup as a filler. That brought our total just over $15 so the coupon worked and we walked out spending less than $11 total after tax.
 
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KmmCo

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Friday lunch: sloppy joe. Dinner: canned chili TV snack: microwave popcorn.
Sat lunch: more sloppy joe Dinner: pork, mashed potato and gravy, sweet potato.
Pantry challenge still going strong, I did not go to the grocery at all this weekend.

I did buy a few picture frames at Goodwill and a little paint at Micheals. Total spend of $10. My painting hobby is coming along good. I framed a sunset picture that I liked. I have 3 other small pictures that I don't like as well. I will probably just give some of the "experiments" away at work if anyone wants them....
 

Gardencook

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Just got home from a dreaded "big shop." We got a mailer coupon offering us 200 bonus fuel points IF we purchased $50 worth in one transaction. While I LOVE the extra fuel points, I HATE the deals that require you to purchase that much in one transaction. It is too tough to find that many things in stock at once -- even without a pandemic -- and then trying to keep track of the coupons at the register is a nightmare. I MUCH prefer several smaller trips to one big one -- after all the store is only a couple miles from home.

Our first stop was the deli -- where the pizzas which weren't in stock during the sale and for which we have a rain check -- still weren't in stock.

We were pleased that they finally got the veggie "meatballs" back in stock -- $3.99 with a rain check and then an additional $2.50 off wyb two with digital coupon.

I was dubious, but hoped they might have the new brand of very reasonably priced fish sticks for which they tempted me with a high value coupon. The computer claimed they had them, but our stores rarely get the new products until AFTER the coupons expire and this was no exception.

The whole grain sourdough for which we had a coupon was out of stock as was the organic bread on mega sale for which we had a digital coupon. At least the regular whole wheat bread that was B1G1 and for which we had a digital coupon was in stock.

They also had the butter on sale with the 5x coupon.

The frozen meals -- which we needed 10 of for a deal -- were also sadly picked over, but we did finally find enough.

The almond milk which I held in case we got such an offer and for which we had a couple coupons increased in retail price in the past week while I waited.

We've been able to get spaghetti sauce for a good price with coupon for the past couple weeks, but each time there is one jar of the sugar-free stuff clear in the back of the top shelf that it is nearly impossible to reach without breaking glass jars of sauce around it.

We officially felt like "old people" today when we ran into the same problem. There were fewer jars surrounding it, so it looked like we MIGHT be able to reach the one in the back. I tried, but couldn't make it, so I asked DH to give it a try. He couldn't get to it either, even though we're both only a couple inches shy of six feet tall.

So today we had a FIRST. There was a nice young lady who WAS six feet tall standing near the sauce and she saw our struggles. She stepped up and offered to try and get it for us -- and she succeeded. Amazing what a difference a couple inches makes. After a good 3o or 40 years of "paying it forward" and helping short people try to reach things on the top shelf, our turn finally came around and now we've got people even taller than us lending a hand!
 
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Gardencook

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Told myself we shouldn't go, but the discount grocery had some deals that were too good to pass up on its Wednesday video.

One pound bags of black beans were 25 cents -- the pinto beans for the same price were all gone by the time we got there.

All the sauces -- including VERY expensive gourmet BBQ, Korean BBQ and HP Sauce were were 50 cents each. We asked on the HP sauce last week, but I didn't want to pay $2.69 after 25 percent discount even though it is seven to $10 a bottle on the internet.

Roasted Almond butter was 50 cents, we got Cinnamon Toast flavor, because I tried Nutella years ago and decided it was an acquired taste, thus I didn't think I'd like the chocolate flavor.

Regular size candy bars were 1o for one dollar

They also had the older merchandise for 75 percent off, but we didn't see anything we needed.

Walked out with a banana box crammed with merchandise including 20 pounds of black beans, about 12 bottles of assorted sauces, several jars of almond butter, four bottles of organic agave syrup, 30 candy bars and a couple packages of whole wheat tortillas for about $24 total.
 

KmmCo

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DH wants to go back to work on limited duty, but he is still waiting for an appointment with his regular doctor. The surgery doctor last week said they didn't want to do it until 3 months out to let the blood thinner work it's magic first. After being home for 3 weeks without pay, I think he wants to get back to work...

*I have been eating nothing but the leftovers from last weekend's cooking, other than 2 McDonalds stops before work. Both days, I woke up too late to fix food before work. The first stop was only $1.80 but the second stop I splurged and spent $5.49. I am still way under my "eat out budget" as I rarely do this.

*Today for lunch, I sprinkled some leftover chili and cheese over some tortilla chips for nachos. That got rid of one more leftover.

There is still enough leftover sloppy joe to use for dinner tonight. I just need to do sides (veggie or fruits).

I got to go home early from work 2x this week. Nice to work 36 hours and get paid for 40! I lost about $20 in premium pay, but not sweating the small stuff since I got OT last week on Saturday. Some weeks are just slower than others at work. Very grateful to have a full-time job right now. One of the gals at work said her husband had a hard time finding even a part-time job the last six months but he finally found something this month....

Today is laundry day. I am also doing a free virtual painting class online for fun this afternoon. I will need to go shopping for soda at some point this weekend. That is the last of my excitement this week.
 
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KmmCo

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Groceries are getting expensive! I went to Fred Meyers and had some sticker shock today.
I bought 3 12 packs of soda at $4.33. Last time I got them on sale for $2.99. I wanted some sliced cheese and it was $2.50 for a six ounce package on sale - ouch. I did pick up a markdown box of cereal for .99, but that was the only real bargain. Adding in a couple of 2 liters, I spent $15 on sodas. I shelled out another $14 for other assorted items. I am done shopping for the rest of the month though other than maybe another produce run.

* Lunch today: I finished up the last hamburger bun on one last sloppy joe. I had a sad looking banana as my side, just because it needed to go away today.

*Dinner is still to be determined. I might just do a little soup or something from a can. Who knows...

I've got the chicken thawing for my crockpot chicken tomorrow. I hope I have a can of cream of chicken soup, otherwise I know I have mushroom soup for the sauce. I am doing the chicken, stuffing, and frozen green bean recipe that I have done before. Either soup actually works for that. The sour cream that I have has chives in it so that will add a little flavor....

My online painting class was fun. Afterward, I looked at the pictures that all the other people posted of their projects. Some were just like the class example and some were very different. I put an inspirational saying on mine with a stencil - the original project was snowmen holding the date 2021 but I wanted something more timeless to keep. The teacher and some other people liked it though! I had to mix some paint colors quickly before the class started as I did not have the same colors in my paint sets, but I got a pretty good approximation looking at the sample beforehand. The Aqua color was the hardest to match, but I got it figured out using blue, green, and white. There was a pink that I just made from red and white paint. This class was free and the lady has some other free videos that I might look at later. She also does other classes for $10, but right now I am just looking for free ones on youtube and facebook live. It has turned into a fun little hobby for me this winter.
 
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