Home Trip Update and a Few Frugal Things

Landed safe and sound at our local Jasionka airport on Friday afternoon. Home, sweet home, here I am again 🙂

Very happy to see that last week’s snow has already melted by now, although of course I brought my snow boots with me, as advised by my sister (as my only pair so I am stuck with wearing them wherever I go). Today we had 65 degrees and it is going to be up to 68 for the next week or so. It is very unusual this time of year of course and while most of us here are thrilled, my dad is very displeased. Mild winter now means frost in April and May which obviously sucks for fruit and nut bearing trees and agriculture overall. It’s official – global warming has made its way to Poland as well.

My three nieces have grown at least couple of inches each, all of them as cute as a button. This year they managed to wait patiently until I settled a bit before I pull out all the gifts from my suitcase. To my satisfaction, I received three ‘thank you’ pictures 10 minutes later.

Frugal accomplishments

While I am using my laptop after everyone goes to bed (which is around 8:30pm), I am hoping not to do any work stuff, well, not more than a few emails a day at most, and only if absolutely necessary. This trip is quite short (only 9 days) so I hope to maximize the family time. My sister and I created a thorough ‘to do’ list for the week ahead and it will be a challenge to squeeze it all. Some of the items from the list are in anticipation of the baby boy’s arrival in late January:

  • bringing 4 big boxes of baby clothing from the attic, picking out whatever is appropriate for a boy to wear, washing and ironing it all
  • making a trip to the nearest town and purchasing some items that she does not anticipate receiving as ‘hand me downs’ (that would be a small, portable, plastic bathtub, reusable diapers as well as new set of baby bedding, amongst other things)
  • washing and basically trying to save a stroller. My sister got it used before her first girl was born and some of the metal pieces are a bit rusty and really used up by now. We are planning on taking off all the fabric part and washing them while trying to scrub down all the rusty metal pieces. If it still looks super shabby, I will surprise her with another stroller from Allegro (Polish equivalent of Ebay)
  • ‘spring cleaning’ the kitchen, including washing all the pots and pans with ashes (which I may have mentioned last year as well!)

Life is as frugal as it gets here. The last time my family went out to eat was last year when I took everyone out for my birthday. Otherwise, home cooking and baking is very much a norm. No one is complaining about that!

Frugal accomplishments

One of many shelves with canned apples, berries, cabbage and other goodies.

My dad's home made cough remedy. Chopped onion with sugar stored for at least couple of days in a warm place. The syrup does miracles.

My dad’s home made cough remedy. Chopped onion with sugar stored for at least couple of days in a warm place. The syrup does miracles.

Sizzling in butter 'Ruskie pierogi' yum! Homemade of course

Sizzling in butter ‘ruskie pierogi’ yum! Homemade of course.

I am predicting a nice and frugal week ahead. I brought some money with me that I will leave with my dad to cover all his utility bills and medication for a year (that I saved up specifically throughout the year for this reason). With a dollar equaling 4.19 zloty it is a blessing to be able to make money in NYC and bring a small fraction back home to my dad. It will really go a long way. Can you believe that $1,400 will cover electric, gas, water, trash disposal, house insurance and my dad’s medication for a year? With no home payments my daddy is set with bills till the end of 2017. It brings peace of mind to both of us. #Priceless


  1. Renee says:

    I am fascinated by your dad’s recipe. Can I make it myself with a regular white onion and some brown sugar? Store in cabinet for a few days (like 3 or 4)? I am so glad you are enjoying your time back home. Will you post pictures of your wedding ceremony for your faithful blog readers? P.S. I’ll keep the Duane Reade clearance aisle nice and warm for you–now I visit at least once a week. How’s the coffee back home?
    -Your Virtual Friend from Queens (Renee)

    • SimpleIsGood4U says:

      😉 Oh my, yes, please keep the clearance aisle warm for me, Renee. Just before I left I was able to get several pairs of Leggs stockings for 90% off. It was madness, I basically couldn’t stop putting them into my basket. I figured 99 cents vs. 7.99 is a no brainer so I ended up with like 12 of them.

      For the syrup white onion is perfect and this is what my dad uses. Brown sugar is very unpopular here so he is using regular white sugar, but hey, sugar is sugar so probably it would work just as well. Yes, you basically chop the onion (or two) put some sugar in it, like 2 heaping tablespoons and leave it in a cabinet for 2-4 days. It is ready after 24 hours, but if you have a bit of time to wait for it then after 2-3 days it really produces a lot of syrup.
      Growing up my mom would always serve it to my sister and me when we had a cough. I think it also kills like all the bacteria in your mouth as well as boosts your immune system. *** Warning – it tastes very onion-ish and probably one shall not take it just before going out to public 😉 (or at least unless one brushes really, really well before doing so).

      I will post some picture from the ceremony, yes, it will be something super small like up to 10 friends. We are not sending out any invitations or making a big deal out of it. It will be more of a ‘renewal of vows’ I guess. I am actually kinda excited about it as the ‘wedding’ we had at a NYC City Hall did not feel that special at all.

      Trust all is well with you Renee. Glad to see you are still stopping by to read all my musings 🙂

    • SimpleIsGood4U says:

      Thank you, so far I am really enjoying myself 🙂

      My dad, sister and her family live is a small village, even if you wanted to go out there is really not much to do around here. Not many stores to spend money in, except a grocery store.

      Being frugal is a way of life for most of the people here, which results in almost everyone owning a house. The homes are built by hand with the help of all family members (men), with materials produced on site or purchased with money that one already has (no loans, no mortgages, no debt). How amazing is that?

  2. Tracie H says:

    That is amazing about your Daddy’s bills being covered by that amount! I am seriously impressed. And you are a wonderful daughter for doing it. Have fun with your family.

  3. Patti says:

    How wonderful that you are back home.:) That is very sweet of you to pay your daddy’s bills. Also nice of you to help your sister prepare for the new little one. I pray you have a
    lovely visit and a wonderful ceremony.

    • SimpleIsGood4U says:

      Thank you so much, Patti. My sister is so heavy already she cannot pick anything from the floor. She is lucky her girls are helpful and would fetch things for her when she needs anything. 🙂
      We have already narrowed down to two churches for the ceremony (we live in NYC but will have he ceremony in LA area), now we are trying to find out who can make it to which location (distance wise) and then we will make a decision. I am excited!
      Wishing you a great Thanksgiving Patti. xx

  4. Becky says:

    I love to can myself, and loved seeing that canning shelf from across the world. It’s great that you can be with family for these days, especially around the holidays.

    • SimpleIsGood4U says:

      Some things are truly universal, right? 🙂
      I cannot wait to start growing my own garden and start canning myself.
      I know you were hosting Thanksgiving at your home this year, Becky. It must have been a busy weekend for you but I am sure full of love and joy too. ❤️

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