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Monday Q&A | What is “doubled in size”? Plus, clothing for older kids.

Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!

I have a baking question: How do you know when something is “doubled”? I don’t have one of those super nice buckets that a lot of bakers use so I’m having a hard time knowing when things look doubled. Especially once I’ve rolled it out and put it on (or in) the pan and have waited the length of time, I can’t tell if it’s doubled or not. Any advice or suggestions on how you tell?


This is a very not-exact science, if it makes you feel better! I don’t think my loaves and rolls are precisely doubled in size when I put them into the oven…I just kind of eyeball it, honestly.

I think that as with many other aspects of yeast baking, practice makes perfect. If you make some rolls and discover the end product wasn’t quite as risen as you’d prefer, you’ll know that you should let them get a little puffier next time. And if you let some loaves rise until they’re very puffy and they spill over the top of the pans while they bake, you’ll know you shouldn’t let bread dough get that high in your pan.

Just keep at it…as you gain more baking experience, you’ll have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll be better able to spot a perfectly risen loaf of bread.


How do you save on your children’s clothing? Hand-me-downs worked great for a while but daughter is developing some curves :O) and is harder to fit now. Unfortunately I never learned to sew. How do you do it with 4?


First, let me assure you that sewing your own clothes is often not a money-saving proposition. By the time you buy fabric and notions, it’s easy to spend just as much as you would in a store, so don’t fret about that, ok? There are plenty of ways to save on clothes without sewing them yourself. I don’t think I have sewn a single item of clothing for my children, even though I do know how to sew!

My oldest kiddo is 10.5, so I haven’t had any personal experience with clothing a teenager. However, I do manage to clothe myself pretty cheaply, and the strategies that work for me will probably work for your daughter as well. Here are my best suggestions:

  • Shop clearances. Doing this does usually mean shopping a bit off-season, but since stores offer the next season’s clothing ridiculously early, it’s not as off-season as you might expect. For instance, you can usually get great deals on winter clothing in January and February, and summer clothes are deeply discounted in August. I’ve found my best clothing clearance deals at Target, Kohl’s, and Old Navy, though those are certainly not your only options.
  • Keep an eye out on Freecycle. Though I’m not really in the market for teenage girl clothes, I’ve noticed several offers for bags full of junior size girl clothes.
  • Watch for sales. This won’t save you as much as the tips above, but if you have to buy something in a retail store, looking for sales when you shop will help to stretch your dollars.
  • Give your daughter a budget. I currently bear the responsibility for buying clothes for my kids, but as they get older, my husband and I intend to give them a monthly clothing budget to spend as they wish. Hopefully this will inspire them to shop clearances, sales, and thrift stores so that they can get more for their money. If your daughter is resistant to these shopping techniques, giving her a personal clothing budget just might help to motivate her (as long as you don’t bail her out if she makes a unwise choice like spending all the money on a single pair of shoes).
  • Don’t buy too many clothes. I’d offer up that we often think we need more clothes than we really do. All six of us here at Chez Frugal Girl get by with smaller wardrobes than the average American (except for maybe Sonia, whose drawer is bursting with hand-me-downs!), and we are all surviving and thriving. And people in generations past managed with a very minimal wardrobe. So, don’t feel as though you must buy your child tons of dress clothes, school clothes, and play clothes. If you could put off laundry for two weeks before your children start running out of clothes, you might have too many. 😉

As I said at the outset, I’m not speaking from personal experience here, so if any of you readers who do have teenagers would like to chime in, feel free!

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leigh ann

Friday 7th of January 2011

I am trying to pare down our wardrobes and be interested to know What you include in your and the kids.


Saturday 20th of February 2010

We also survive without a lot of clothes---my husband actually has more clothes than I do, since he has work clothes and weekend clothes, and I only have "homeschool mom" clothes, and a few skirts etc. left from my previous life in the working world. The house we're renting now has an enormous walk-in closet in the master, and it's only 1/4 full. A friend of my son saw it the other day and was astonished at how empty it is. (It's mostly used as storage for boxes we're not unpacking since we'll only be living here a year or so.) Apparently, her mom's similar closet is filled to the brim and then some!


Friday 12th of February 2010

I have a teenaged daughter. Aside from bras, needed shoes and warm outerwear, bought with me at sale prices only, we go through her clothes together and decide what she needs-not wants. I then check out sale prices and give her an ammount based on sale prices. I then let her shop with the reminder about what she needs. We have always shopped at tag sales, Goodwill and consignment shops so she knows where to go and where her money will get her the most stuff. She shops alone or with friends and she buys what she wants with that money. The hard part is to let her make her own decisions and mistakes. If she blows her money on skirts instead of warm clothes then she has to live with the consequences. The really hard part for me is not to give in and let her have any more $. When kids get desperate, they can get very creative and it is all a learning process.


Tuesday 9th of February 2010

As the first commenter said Plato's Closest is a great place to shop... It's a little more than thrift stores but all the stuff is good... well mostly, and they do men's, women's kids, whatever.... Also if you have some good gently used clothese to get rid of they may buy them, although they can be picky.

Great post.


Tuesday 9th of February 2010

Clothing Last year, I was introduced to "The Pound Sale" at the Goodwill. All the clothing are in bins and ya have to sort through the bins. (Hand sanitizer recommended). When you are all done and ready to check out, your items are weighed. (The more you buy, the less they charge you per pound). I bought 12# of clothes for about $20. My teenage daughter felt like she hit the best bargain sale because of all the name brand clothing and all the tank tops she found for layering.

Bread (someone gave me this tip) On a nice day(but not a hot day)...........put your bowl of bread dough outside in your car to rise. Because of the mild winter here in Washington State this year, I was able to do that several times last month.

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