Monday, June 24, 2019

Free Cards from Hallmark this Summer

Hallmark is having a really nice freebie this summer. 

If you go to the Hallmark website and sign up for their Hallmark Crown Rewards program, which is free, you can pick up a free "Just Because" card every Friday from now through September 27th. 

That means if you picked one up every Friday until then you could get 14 free cards from Hallmark. 

That's a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. :)

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Weekend Errands

Friday was errand day for me since Thursday was payday and I needed to get my check deposited into the bank, which was my first stop. 

The majority of my check was deposited except for a little bit of mad money for yard sales. 

Did I tell you I sold the Kenneth Cole leather laptop bag on eBay for $30.00? That was the one I bought at a yard sale for $1.00 earlier in the month. I ended up with about $25 after fees and will put that towards my car insurance, which is due at the end of next month. 


My next stop was at CVS where I had to pick up a RX for my daughter. I always ask for the free bottle of water when I'm there as that is a perk for getting prescriptions there. 

My next stop was the Chick Fil A in Ooltewah where they were offering a coupon for a free chicken sandwich when you made a mobile order between noon and one o'clock. Of course I ordered lemonade since it was hot.

My next stop was to Walmart as my daughter needed some more storage bags for her business. 

While there I found two pizzas on markdown for $3.54, so I picked up both of those. 

While I was there I visited the Freeosk machine and picked up this free sample of Downy Unstopables. 


I also used my free coupon for Hidden Valley Ranch and picked up a bottle of their cucumber ranch, which is my favorite. 

Another stop I made was at Great Clips as they sent me a coupon for a haircut for $7.99. I normally cut my own hair at home, but wanted to get a salon haircut to have a better trim/more control all around. The coupon was a $6.00 savings over their regular $14.00 haircut. 

I also stopped in at McDonalds to use one of my receipts for a free drink. I went ahead and ordered the lemonade as it's my favorite ever since they got rid of the Hi-C orange drink. 

What's odd about this promotion is they give you another receipt for another free drink if you fill out the survey for a free one.

Another stop I made was at Food City where I went to pick up some Sprite for my daughter. I also picked up four packages of marked down produce priced  at 56¢, 69¢, and two marked at 99¢. 

While there I picked up a deal on cheese, which was on sale when you bought five. They were 16 ounce bars selling for $3.99, so I bought five and they gave me $5.00 off my order. 

That makes each eight ounce portion $1.50, which is the price I'll stock up on when I find it. 

It was a busy day, but I was able to get so many things checked off my to do list. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, June 22, 2019

InboxDollars® Rewards

Today I was able to cash out my Inbox Dollars account for $30.00. I'll be saving this money for my expenses in July including my car insurance, which is due at the end of July. 

InboxDollars® 

Earn cash online, by reading paid email, completing surveys, playing online games or shopping for your favorite brands! Sign up today for InboxDollars.

Belinda

~ Living within our Means ~

Good Deal Alert on Suave Deodorant at Publix


There is a good deal going on right now at Publix on Suave deodorant. 

Publix has the Suave deodorant on sale for buy one get one free. 

The price of the deodorant is $1.99, which makes them approximately $1.00 each. 

Publix also has a coupon in their purple sale flyer for $1.00 off when you buy two of the deodorants.

Y0u can get the purple sale flyer as soon as you walk into the store alongside their sale flyers. 

You can use each coupon up to four times, which means you can buy eight of the deodorants. 

They will end up costing you approximately 50¢ each, which is a great deal. 

The sale is going on through Tuesday if you're interested. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thursday

We've been gone from home the last week because we've been pet sitting for some extra income. We spent four days with a couple of furry friends, but we are back home now and getting things unpacked and back into order. 

Yard sales were rained out last weekend, unfortunately. We did go to one rummage sale that was still advertised, but it was cancelled due to the rain also. We did find one yard sale open where I found a new to me lunch box by Fit & Fresh ($1.00) and two really thick potholders for 25¢ each. 

While we were out and about we did use one of the receipts I had to pick up a free Route 44 drink from Sonic. Sometimes they give you receipts with a survey on them to get a free drink at a later date. I picked out a strawberry lemonade and it was so good and refreshing. 

This week I earned another $5 gift card for Amazon from Microsoft Rewards. 

While we were out of town we were very close to a store called Dirt Cheap that a friend told me about recently. We decided to check it out, but when we got there we realized that only a very small section of the store was marked 90% off. 

Like every other store, they have some good deals and then some not so good deals. 


The one deal I found was on canned peas, which are marked 80¢, but were 50% off, but rang up for 32¢. I only bought three this time, but might buy more if we do go back. It's a distance from our house, but if we find ourselves at any yard sales that way we might stop in again. 

If you love Hidden Valley Ranch you may want to join their rewards program. I just got a coupon in the mail for a free Hidden Valley Ranch product. Just go to HiddenValley.com to sign up if you're interested. 


In My Frugal Kitchen:

This week I made a recipe that I've been making for the last twenty-five years and is called Chicken Santa Fe. 

Place three chicken breasts in the  bottom of a slow cooker. I also added a chopped up onion for flavor. Add a little water for it to cook. Add salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder to taste. 

After a few hours cut up the chicken and add one can of corn, one can of tomatoes, one can of black beans, and one eight ounce block of cream cheese. When the cream cheese melts be sure to stir it well. Enjoy!

On Thursday my daughter and I were able to get in on some really cheap Subway sandwiches. We received $25 in credits from Postmates to use as $5 off each of our five next Postmates orders. We used ours on Subway and were able to pick up Subway Veggie Delights for 4¢ each. If you're interested in this deal you can click here to get the credit.

That's all the news I have from here for now. I hope you all are doing well. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, June 9, 2019

In My Frugal Kitchen This Week

Here is what I planned for dinner last week:

1. Tacos
2. Teriyaki Chicken
3. Meatloaf
4. Spaghetti
5. Beans, Greens, & Potatoes
6. Grilled Chicken
7. Smoked Sausage

Sunday: Having picked up lettuce and cheddar cheese I knew I had the makings for Tacos, which is one of my favorite meals, so that's what I made. I also made another gallon of tea as it is hot here. 
Tacos

Monday: I put some smoked sausage in the refrigerator to thaw today. I think I'll serve that with mashed potatoes and green beans. 
Smoked Sausage, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans & Onions

Tuesday: We had multiple errands to run on Tuesday and ended up eating dinner later than usual. In fact it was so late that we combined our movie night with a buffet type dinner. We ended up with a pizza, chips and dip, cherries and cantaloupe. 
Pizza, Chips & Dip, Cherries & Cantaloupe

Wednesday: For the life of me I cannot recall what we had for dinner on Thursday. Oops. 

Thursday: The last corned beef was pulled out of the freezer to cook today. I placed it in the Instant Pot and cooked it. I served it with green beans with onions and potatoes. 
Corned Beef, Green Beans with Onions & Potatoes

Friday: I pulled some Italian Sausage out of the freezer to thaw. I have one jar of spaghetti sauce on hand, a loaf of Italian bread bought on mark down for 36¢, and some broccoli from the freezer. I don't have any Parmesan cheese on hand, but do have a couple of packets from somewhere we can used if wanted. 
Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Broccoli

Saturday: I had plenty of leftovers in the refrigerator for dinner on Saturday ,so there was no need to make more food. There was a choice spaghetti, corned beef, and green beans with potatoes. 
Spaghetti, Corned Beef Sandwiches

As you can see we didn't always stay true to our menu. Here is a list of possible menu ideas we could have next week. 

1. Meatloaf
2. Teriyaki Chicken
3. Tacos
4. Smoked Sausage
5. Grilled Chicken
6. Cheesy Potatoes
7. Spaghetti

What's on the menu in your home?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, June 7, 2019

Frugal Friday ~ June 7, 2019


Wednesday we stayed home and I mended a pile of clothing, which had at least a dozen items in the pile. Several items needed the hem put back into place where the stitching failed. Some things needed a fastener put back into place. 


Fixing things like this can make the difference between keeping an item useful or not, being able to sell it or not, or having to donate it and leave the problem to someone else. I choose to repair this one, which will make the item useful for much longer. 

Two cloth pads were repaired also with one needing sewing all around and another one just needing a new snap put into place.


Jean shorts...


One of the items needed the pockets redone.  The bottom of the pockets went past the hem on a pair of shorts my daughter liked. I shortened the pocket and then trimmed them, so you can't see them past the hem. She likes them much better this way. 


Youngsters nowadays love their jeans to look like this. Back in my day we prefered jeans that looked new and not distressed, but I'm older now and not a fashion expert. LOL

One freebie I received in the mail this week was a reusable shopping bag from Earthbound. We really like and use the reusable shopping bags and this one is a bright and colorful welcome addition to our collection. 



Taco Bell fans take note. The Golden State Warriors won a road game in the NBA finals, so Taco Bell will be giving away a free Doritos Locos Taco on June 18, 2019 from 2 to 6 p.m. Here is a link to the freebie on the Freebie Shark website if you're interested. 

Image Credit

The weather here this week has been rainy and cooler as a result. As of this writing I have both the air conditioner turned off and the fans as it is really cool at 63 degrees in the house right now. I love it as I would much rather feel cool than hot. 

We continue to use up items in our pantry to make food here at home to save money. I didn't go to the grocery store at all this week. In fact I did not look at the grocery store sale ads this week, which is unheard of for me. 

So far we've had plenty of variety in our diets. Breakfast was a delicious bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar, walnuts, blueberries, and cherries. 

This week I took my car in for a front end alignment. It had been two years since my last alignment. I had a tire with a slow leak in March of this year and the mechanic who repaired it suggested my car needed the alignment, so since school is out I decided this was the best time to take care of that. Total cost was $79.95. 

Keeping the front end of your car aligned will save undue wear and tear on your tires and therefore save you money. It wouldn't make sense to buy new tires and not keep the front end aligned. The tires would wear out sooner and need replacing sooner, which would cost you more money.  Taking care of the things you own will save you money.

While I was out of the house I remembered that Panera Bread sent me a free pastry this week. I picked it up after the alignment and picked out a chocolate croissant. I don't know if you've ever had one of theirs, but they are delicious. I split mine with my daughter. 

Cleaning and organizing has continued this week. Over the years we have been given multiple boxes of fabric dryer sheets. We don't always use them as we don't always use the dryer to dry clothes and fabric softener makes some things like towels and cloth pads non absorbent. 

This week I cleaned this area of our home and threw out some of the old fabric dryer sheets as honestly they smelled off and I wouldn't want anything I was wearing to smell like that. I also threw out a couple of empty bottles that were left there to rinse out with water and use. The whole area looks much neater and better organized. 

How has your week been? Anything frugal you would like to tell us about in the comment section? We would love to read all about it.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, June 2, 2019

In My Frugal Kitchen This Week

Anne over at Cooking and All That Jazz  creates the neatest weekly blog post about what they ate that week in her home. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I'm going to try and emulate her posts because I like her style. 

I didn't make a menu plan for the past week, but rather I'm sticking to what we have on hand to make meals. This is what we ended up with this week:

Monday:  I used some leftover taco meat and mixed it with cream cheese and made Taquitos with that. It was hot that day, so I kept it light and served it with pasta salad and sliced cucumbers with ranch dressing. 
Taquitos, Pasta Salad, Cucumbers

Tuesday:  I browned some smoked sausage in a skillet, heated up some beans and dressing from the freezer, and made some mixed vegetables. I also made another gallon on iced tea as it is hot here. 
Smoked Sausage, Dressing, Beans, Mixed Vegetables

Wednesday: We had a really late lunch today, so were not all that hungry at dinner time. My dd ended up having a bowl of cereal later that evening and I ended up eating an orange and an apple with peanut butter. 
Your on your own :)

Thursday: I took some chicken breast out of the freezer to thaw, and still had some of the dressing from Tuesday, so I wanted to use that up. 
Chicken & Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Friday: There was one chicken breast left from the chicken thawed on Thursday, so I season it well and grilled it and split it into two portions, which was plenty for dd and me. This was served with some steamed broccoli and a side salad. 
Grilled Chicken, broccoli, and salad. 

Saturday: I laid out some ground beef to thaw, but then Mom wanted to go to town, so we went and she wanted to eat out, so we went to Zaxbys for their delicious grilled chicken salads.  I'll be using the ground beef for Sunday dinner. 
Grilled Chicken Salads

Here is what I'm planning for next week, sides to be determined later:

1. Tacos
2. Teriyaki Chicken
3. Meatloaf
4. Spaghetti
5. Beans, Green, & Potatoes
6. Grilled Chicken
7. Smoked Sausage

Of course this could change at a moment's notice, but this is where we are right now. :)

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Contentment & Frugality

As the first full week of summer vacation comes to an end I find myself happy and content. This week my daughter and I deep cleaned my bedroom and rearranged the furniture. There is more room available to me and I find myself content and satisfied with the changes. 

Other things I've done have been equally as satisfying. I placed a shelf in the cabinet where my pots and pans are stored. This allowed me to be able to place all my lids on the shelf and led to much better organization. Also, I placed a small shelf at the back on my pantry to hold the new popcorn maker and some other items that needed a new home. 

This morning I made bacon, eggs, and toast for breakfast. I felt good because I enjoy being in the kitchen cooking, cleaning, organizing, putting dishes away, or even just puttering.  I know not everyone feels that way, but I do. I enjoy the little tasks that inevitable make life easier and more comforting for my family. And a big part of that is because at this time of year I have the time to slow down and enjoy these tasks.  

Even laundry has been a fulfilling task. I find myself enjoying washing the clothes, drying and folding, and putting away. It's so nice to be able to not have a schedule outside my home and stay here and take care of our home. I find doing simple tasks at home making our home more enjoyable feeds my soul. I miss that during the school year when I'm busier. I love these slow summer days in this season of my life.  

Frugal moves we made this week include saving an egg that broke in the carton. My first thought was to toss the carton, egg and all, but then I decided to save it in a bowl and used it for breakfast this morning. We paid 49¢ for these at Aldi this week, and even though the egg was only 4¢, it still saved money. 


We went to yard sales on Friday. The only thing I bought was one of those electric plug ins that allow you to plug in more than one thing at a time. I paid 50¢ for it and is money well spent. 

The only groceries we bought this week came from Aldi. Eggs for 49¢ per dozen, strawberries for $1.29 per pound, and cantaloupes for $1.49. Our total came to less than $10 and the cashier commented that she only buys her fruit from Aldi because of the savings versus other grocery stores. 

We're not buying much from the grocery store right now because we are eating down our stockpile. Using up what we have on hand and making do with what's here. Our meals have been a reflection of that. Organizing the freezer yesterday I realized we have enough meat to last for over a month of meals, which will last even longer as I stretch it and include meatless meals in our dinners. 

May was unseasonable hot and humid this year for some reason and our dehumidifier was working hard to keep the humidity out of the house. I've been emptying it several times during the day. My Dad, who was visiting from Illinois where the weather was cold, couldn't believe how hot and humid it already was here.  

One way we save money on electricity here is by using fans around the house rather than relying only on the air conditioner. After moving my bed I realized I needed a fan to circulate the air better, so I placed one close by and as a result slept very well that night. 

How was your week? Any good yard sale finds or great frugal wins? I'd love to hear about it in the comment section. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

What You Can Cook For the Price of 2 Domino's Pizzas?



Right now Domino's Pizza has a special mix and match deal where you can buy two topping medium pizzas for $5.99 each. The deal is that you have to buy at least two pizzas. 

So let's do the math on two pizzas here in Tennessee. 

2 x $5.99 = $11.98
Garlic Sauce 50¢ each = $3.00 (My dd likes this & gets extras)
Tax = $1.50
Total $16.48

And that price is for when you pick it up yourself not for any delivery charges. I usually add extra cheese to mine for which they add $1.00, so we could easily pay $17.48 for the two pizzas. 

What could we buy at the grocery store and make at home for $17.48? When you're trying to save money by cooking at home you can either keep it simple or you can go gourmet or even try to recreate some of your favorite restaurant meals at home. The choice is entirely up to you. 

When you cook your own food at home you get to control the ingredients and can make dishes healthier if you choose to do so. I know that I lose a little bit of weight when I am cooking the majority of my meals at home. 

Back when I was growing up it was a real treat to get to eat at a restaurant, but that isn't always the case today. Today eating out is done on such a regular basis that it is not always a treat like it was back then. 

Let's say you wanted Italian food for dinner, so we will look at spaghetti for example. 

Last week Kroger had Prego sauce on sale for 99¢ and we have a stockpile of pasta from Kroger we bought for 50¢. 

Now I save more money because I utilize the Pantry Principle. I purchase food at the lowest possible price and then stockpile. 

But, to be more reasonable, I'm going to use Walmart's website to look up prices that anyone can purchase today. 

Large jar of Prego spaghetti sauce - $3.30
Box of spaghetti - $1.00
Can of tomatoes - 74¢
Onion - 54¢
Garlic - 15¢ (1/4 of a head for 60¢)
Italian Bread - $1.00
Broccoli - 87¢
Margarine - 40¢

In order to make a batch of spaghetti at home you'll spend approximately $8.00 for the entire recipe. Depending on the number of people in your family this will make multiple servings and maybe even enough for two meals, which it does in our home. 

Spaghetti I make at home gets doctored up with onions, tomatoes, and garlic, so I added the cost of those items into the mix as well. I like the Prego sauce with the mini meatballs, so there is no need to add meat to this unless you just want more meat. 

Forbes magazine published an article titled, "Here's How Much Money You Save By Cooking At Home". According to the article, it is five times more expensive to order from a restaurant than to cook at home. And they found that the cook at home meal kits are three times more expensive. 

But getting back to the Domino's Pizza, you could make enough spaghetti for four meals and possibly extra over the cost of one meal of Dominos Pizza. Cooking at home definitely stretches your budget. 

The point to all of this is that you'll definitely save the most money by cooking the majority of your meals at home. 

And if you wanted to make pizza at home you will definitely save over pizza bought at the pizza place.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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