Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Thrifty Tuesday

Saving on Gas

Welcome to Thrifty Tuesday where our day started out right. I am not working today, so my daughter had an easy morning. We leave later on days I don't sub, which she loves. I dropped her off at school and went and filled up my gas tank. The price per gallon is creeping up, but I checked the prices at the seven stations I pass on my way to school, and I filled up at the cheapest station, paying $2.26 per gallon. I saved 11¢ per gallon or $1.98 by checking the prices of the stations as I drove up the highway. 


I came home and got started right away on laundry. We washed everything this weekend except for the towels, so they are being cleaned now. I also cleaned the bathroom again today. My spray bottle (reused bottle) of homemade cleaner was getting low, so I filled it with half vinegar & half water and sprayed everything & wiped down all the surfaces. While I was at it, I filled the fabric softener dispenser in the washing machine with vinegar too, which helps get rid of any soap residue, which leaves the towels feeling softer. 

Then, I scrubbed the bathtub with a mixture of baking soda and liquid soap that I make into a paste. Using this mixture with a scrub brush gets the bathtub/shower floor very clean. I also cleaned the inside of the commode with hydrogen peroxide which kills germs as well as bleach, but does not bother my family (asthma) the way commercial cleaners and bleach bother them. Also, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda save me money over using commercial cleaners. 

Dinner Tonight

Dinner tonight will be Chef AJ's Red Lentil Chili. I already have it cooking in the electric pressure cooker. I'll serve it over baked potatoes for those that want them along with some broccoli on the side. 

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Live simply by not spending money you don't have.
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 - 2015.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Weekend Report

Prom 2K15

The school my daughter attends held their prom last night. The theme was "We Had the Time of our Lives". 

 I bought her dress and shoes for under $100 and we did her hair and makeup ourselves, we took our own pictures and she used our car to travel back and forth to the event location. I didn't spend money for an expensive dress, professional photographer, limousine, flowers, nails or hair, which are nice to have when you can afford them, but not necessary and even more so when you live on a smaller budget. 

When she got home she told me she had the best time and thanked me for helping her make it so special, which made me happy too. In the end, it was all about spending time with her friends and doing something out of the ordinary that made it special. And you don't need to spend money to do that. :)

New Recipe

Today I tried a new recipe today for some Granola Peanut Butter Bars. The recipe calls for 5 cups oats, 1 1/2 cups peanut butter, and 1 cup of honey. Simply mix the honey and peanut butter and then add the oats and mix well. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan and press flat with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for approximately two hours and then cut into bars. 

I wrapped these individually for lunch boxes this week. I ended up with 16 in all.  :)

Breakfast today was our free bacon, which I wrote about earlier this week, along with scrambled eggs and toast. I had my usual ice water to drink.  

How was your weekend? 

Live simply by not spending money you don't have.
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 - 2015.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


What's for Dinner

Last night I put some soup beans (Great Northern) on to soak overnight. This morning I put them in the electric pressure cooker with an onion, and some rainbow carrots. I also cut up the last of a ham that I had in the refrigerator along with the last little bit of vegetable broth I had lingering in the fridge. I added some turnip greens and made some cornbread as well. 

Frugal Living Forum

Have you ever read the Frugal Living section on your local Craigslist website? It reminds me of the old misc.consumers.frugal-living forum where every other post was a troll. Not a lot of gems to be found there. But one I found had to do with free courses at openculture.com, which has 800 MOOCs & Certificate Courses, all free. There are courses on finance, teaching, computers, etc., and even one on Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

Pharmacy News

The last couple of months I had noticed when I went to pay for our prescriptions, they were costing more than usual. Last night I finally sat down to figure out what was going on with them. Turns out I was charged $10 in February, March, and they were going to charge me in April for an rx for my daughter that should have been a $0 copay. I went Monday afternoon to pick up our prescriptions for this month and picked up a $20 refund they owed me. It definitely  pays to stay on top of these things and make sure you are not being overcharged. 

In other pharmacy news, our local Fresh & Low just put in a pharmacy in the local grocery store. They are offering an incentive to customers who  fill or transfer a prescription. The incentive is a $20 gift card to Fresh & Low. I have an rx for Vitamin D and the pharmacy I normally use charges $7 for one pill. I decided to transfer the rx for that to the new Fresh & Low pharmacy. Turned out to be a real savings for me. I was able to pick up 3 pills for $6.00 and I earned a $20 gift card for groceries. Neat!

I also had a coupon for a free package of bacon when you spend $20, so I was able to use that as well for some free bacon. I see BLTs on our menu sometime soon. I also picked up cheese, beans, corn, tamales, vegetables, potatoes, sour cream, bologna, and olives.  

My grocery total came to just over $32, but after using the $20 card and a coupon, I only had to pay a little over $9. Here are just some of the groceries I picked up today:

Lunch Meat

I read an article on another blog recently where the author said if you were trying to save money you should not buy lunch meat.  I'm sorry, but some saving money tips like that do not take into consideration sales and or coupons. I recently bought name brand bologna in one pound packages for $1.40. It might not be the healthiest dinner, but I have been known to fry bologna for dinner when times are tough and $1.40 for a pound of bologna is definitely cheaper than a pound of ground beef these days. 

How was your day today?

Live simply by not spending money you don't have.
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 - 2015.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

My Frugal Week

Frugal things we did this week include...

Rescued a laundry basket from the garbage, just had to duct tape it to fix it using the technique I blogged about here

- Bought six bottles of BBQ Sauce, which were 99¢, but had $1.00 coupons attached, so free to me. 

- Bought my daughter's prom ticket at the reduced rate instead of waiting until the price goes up later. Savings was $10.00. I did the same thing with her yearbook this year. I bought hers at the reduced rate in the fall instead of waiting until spring when the price was higher. 

- Took off our own garbage as usual, which cost us nothing. I would love to delegate this to an outside service, but they are very hard to find here and I would end up paying for this service as well.   So, for now, I will continue to do this myself for free. 

- I started the work week with no days to work, but by the end of the week I had worked every day. I count my blessings for this and many other things. 

- I was gifted with multiple boxes of gluten free macaroni and cheese, which we will try and then decide if we like or not. If we don't like this, I will donate to the food pantry. I was also given one bag of onions, and one container of butter. 

How was your week?

Live simply by not spending money you don't have.
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 - 2015.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Free Rabies Vaccines

Big Kitty, napping

Mozzie & Big Kitty (napping again)

The Animal Care Center in Ooltewah was giving free rabies vaccines to animals on Wednesday, so we took Big Kitty & Mozzie to get their free shots. This was a savings of $12 each, so we saved $24 on our visit today. 

We found out about the clinic during Spring Break from a flyer on the bulletin board at the Samaritan Center. It always pays to check out the local bulletin boards in your area.  And you can even Google, "free rabies vaccines" and may come up with a free clinic in your area. 


Live simply by not spending money you don't have.
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 - 2015.