Thursday, February 26, 2015

The View From My Window Today

We had more snow last night, so there was no school again today, and they've already called school off for tomorrow too, so I've missed six days of work in the last two weeks. One of the other subs & I were joking on Facebook that maybe we would get to work in March. :)

What's for Dinner

On Thursday I made what might seem like an odd combination for dinner. In my defense, I am it use it up mode since we have been snowed in so many days in the last two weeks, I've not been able to make a trip to the grocery store. So, I made a package of popcorn shrimp from the freezer, mashed up the last of the potatoes and served some beefy mushroom gravy over the top, and cooked five ears of corn I had on hand, cut them off the cob and served them with butter. Even though it was an odd combo, it was a big hit.

On Wednesday, (Prince Spaghetti Day) I made spaghetti for dinner. I sweated some onions and garlic in olive oil before adding some canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and red peppers from the freezer. I also add some spaghetti sauce seasoning that I pick up from Sam's Club. There was still some left after dinner, so that will probably be lunch today. 

Sam's Club 

Speaking of Sam's Club, I need to make a trip soon and also renew my membership. The savings we earn on OTC medicine there more than pays for our membership there each year. I already have a list of items I've been needing, so I can avoid any impulse purchases. 

How is your Thursday shaping up?

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday ~ Snow Day

Snow Day today! This is the fourth day that I've lost work in the last week due to snow, and there is more snow in the forecast for Wednesday evening. I like snow, but I also need to work. I am grateful though that we have power. There were 300 electric poles broken in the winter storm on the Cumberland Plateau and authorities are saying it will be days before they get power restored to everyone. 

So, I spent the day in the kitchen cleaning and making things to have to eat this week. 

I made a Potato Bake recipe from the Low Cost Living - Self Sufficient website today. I like this dish because it involves plain and simple food. Onions, potatoes, vegetable broth and it tastes good and was very frugal to make since I used potatoes and onions that were given to us from a friend. I really like that website too as there is a lot of good information there on living frugally

I also made a Farmer's Casserole recipe from the Taste of Home website. I didn't like this recipe very much, but my family liked it. I used a small bag of ham that I had along with a small bag of grated cheese from the freezer. I used some green onions, eggs, and hash browns that were given to us, so this was a pretty frugal recipe as well. 

I also made some Carrot Raisin Salad from the Chick-Fil-A website. 

And, I also made one dozen muffins using two Crash & Burn mixes; an apple cinnamon and blueberry muffin mix. This is what is left after the crew came through for lunch.  :)

So, my theory today is cook one day, eat all week. LOL ;)

What have you been up to today?

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Pictured above is the binder where I keep all the important papers, receipts, and owner’s manuals to all the appliances, electronics, and other important items I have purchased over the years. Each product has its own plastic sleeve to keep everything together. Keeping them in one place is a good organizational plan, which makes it easy to locate them if needed for any reason. Here is the sleeve for the new freezer. 

No School Wednesday through Friday 

The weather has been snowy, icy, and extremely cold here, so school was called off for the rest of the week here. We are iced in, so no plans to go anywhere. I'm going to stay home and do things around the house. We will probably venture out on Saturday for my daughter's library duty, which means we will have spent the whole week at home and spent no money. :)


 This is my overabundance of oranges we've received lately. I have been eating them, but decided today to make some orange juice with them. When I was little, I used to love cutting a small circle in an orange and drinking the juice from it. Today I used my citrus reamer and made my own glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. It was so good and refreshing. 


I also had an overabundance of peppers, which were given to us as well recently. Today, I washed them and chopped them and placed them into freezer bags and put those in the new freezer. 

Tea Kettle

I love my new tea kettle that I received for Christmas. It will hold up to seven cups, so tonight I made all seven cups of hot water, which went to boiling in under two minutes, which is such a time saver. 

With that I made up some jello cups using my on sale mandarin oranges (39¢ each) and some Crash & Burn Jello packets (31¢ each). I ended up with seven orange jello cups, two lemon with fruit, one plain lemon, and a bowl of fruit with strawberry banana Jello. Afterwards I still had enough water to make a cup of hot chocolate. 


I also put a bag of Yellow Eyed Beans on to soak for Thursday night dinner. I'll serve this with some potatoes cooked in the oven, smoked sausage, and fresh green beans. 

What's for dinner at your house today?
Live simply by not spending money you don't have.
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 - 2015.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Saving Money on Entertainment

I have always loved Susan Branch books ever since 1992 when I found her book, Heart of the Home, in a little gift shop in Pikeville, TN where we lived for about eight years.

Every few years Susan came out with a new book and I was just as thrilled when her Summer, Autumn, and Girlfriends books came into print. 
I've come to realize though, and even more so since I've began selling on Ebay and Amazon that these items do not hold their value. It is the old supply and demand problem where there is so much supply that the demand is no longer there. I'd say that is because they are mass produced. And the same thing can be said for today's movies, books, dvds, and music cds.

Many of these items can be found a short time later at yard sales for a fraction of the cost, which is good for us frugal people who try to save money on these things. Also, Ebay, Amazon, and Craigslist are all places where you can find these items inexpensively. 

You can even purchase some books on Amazon for one penny with postage costing $3.99 , so $4.00 for a book, which is often cheaper here than borrowing a book from the library via the interlibrary loan system, which makes patrons pay the return postage. I don't know about you, but If I am going to pay postage, I would rather pay the postage one time and also own the book.

Back when I was growing up, we had to wait a long time for movies at the theater to come to television, oftentimes waiting years for a movie to come to television. The same thing was true for hardback books. The waiting time for a hardback book to come to paperback was almost always over a year long wait.

Today though, books and movies are mass produced and because of that, many things we pay $20.00 for when it first comes out, isn't worth nearly as much in just a short amount of time. That Susan Branch book I longed to own and paid $20.00 for can be had for less than a dollar now on places like Amazon and Ebay and even our favorite used book store, McKays.

We don't have cable TV and so we have bought the old TV shows on DVD for entertainment. When those first came out, one season could easily cost $25.00, but nowadays you can often buy the ENTIRE series for cheaper than the price to buy each season cost just a few years ago.

So, what is the solution? Susan Branch has a new book out, but I've not bought it yet. I don't know about you, but I get tired of paying $20.00 for something and then a year or so later it can be had for much, much less, sometimes even less than a dollar. If I wait a year or so, I am pretty sure I can find and buy it much cheaper.  

All of this reminds me of the "do without" mantra. I remember what Amy D said about her sock one time having a hole in it. She said she could afford new socks, but she wanted to see how long she could make this pair last. Now, I definitely can do without a book or movie, but it is nice to have some things that bring pleasure and entertainment and these things fit into that category for me.  Even so, the "do without" mantra does save us a lot of money.

Simply live by the rule of not spending money you don't have.
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 - 2015.

Monday, February 16, 2015


S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G Chili

Today has been a very productive day for me. I woke up early and started working in the kitchen and making a stock pot full of chili. I wanted to make this dish because it is cold and rainy here with snow and ice in the forecast. The steps outside are very icy and ice is hanging from the roof line and the trees. Chili will be good and warm to eat. 

On Sunday, I paid $3.54 a pound for two pounds of ground beef, so I wanted to make sure to s-t-r-e-t-c-h this as far as possible, so once I made the chili, I added one pound of cooked pasta (I was out of elbow mac, so used what I had on had) and I added a whole bottle of V8 juice and it almost filled my 12 quart stockpot. This will definitely last for a few days and what we don't eat, I will store in the freezer. 

Bounty of Celery


I mentioned in my last post that we had recently found a source for some free food. On Saturday we were given 15 bags of organic celery. I love organic celery because I can tell a HUGE difference in the taste between it and celery that is not grown organically. 

So, in my effort to use this bounty to my best advantage, I decided to clean it all, chop it up, and place it into freezer bags. In the end I had 10 quart sized bags of celery to add to my new freezer stash. This summer when finances are tight, as they usually are during the summer months, I'll have this to help see us through the hard times.

Along with the celery came these flowers:

And lastly, the mailman brought me a freebie from Twinings Tea.

We are looking forward to watching The Fosters on TV tonight. Hopefully the power will stay on and we will be snuggly warm under a blanket. I hope your Monday was enjoyable.  :)
Live simply by not spending money you don't have.
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 - 2015.