Saturday, December 31, 2011

Use It Up Potato Soup



Since today is trash day and we go back to school and work on Tuesday, I want to make sure that my refrigerator is cleaned out of any leftovers. So, this morning I opened up the fridge and took out the following items: mashed potatoes, butter, ham bone, corn, broccoli, and some cheese. I didn’t have any milk, but I decided to make do and get some chicken broth and an onion out of the pantry. I chopped up the onion, and took as much meat off the ham bone as I could. 




I melted the butter in a stockpot on the stove and sauteed the onion for about 5 minutes. I then added a little bit of flour and made a roux to which I added the chicken broth and stirred until I had a good consistency. I then added mashed potatoes and stirred until I had a creamy consistency. Afterwards I added the ham and a little bit of cheese. The cheese is really just optional, and I thought the soup tasted really good without cheese. I decided not to add the broccoli or corn, and that is the beauty of making soup from leftovers. You can add any ingredients that you decide to use.



Mashed Potato Soup


Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, chopped

4 tablespoons flour

1 quart chicken stock

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

8 ounces shredded yellow cheddar cheese 


Directions:


In a medium pot or Dutch oven, heat butter until melted.

Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle flour into the pot and cook with a wooden spoon for 1 minute.

Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a bubble.

Cook until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

Whisk in mashed potatoes.

Stir in the cheddar cheese with a wooden spoon.

Cook until the potatoes are hot and the cheese is melted.

Here is the finished product:



One of the best ways to save money in our homes is to use up items we already have.  Rather than throw these items into the garbage, I used them to create a whole new dish, which saves me money. My daughter slept in late today and woke up around 11 a.m. and this is what I fed her for breakfast/lunch, and she loved it. This soup was nourishing, easy to make, tasted good and best of all it was inexpensive. What’s not to love about that?
 
Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Friday, December 30, 2011

Another Christmas Visit

My Father-In-Law came up from Florida this week to visit with family for Christmas. He stopped by our house yesterday and gifted my daughter with $30 in I-tunes cards, a new headband, perfume and lotion for me, and a dozen oranges. The oranges are so good and sweet. We've been enjoying them immensely.

Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's to Eat?

We are still very blessed to have food leftover from the Christmas holiday. For breakfast this morning I used up the last of the croissants and some of the ham we had for Christmas dinner and made sandwiches with them. I served them with some of the fresh strawberries my Dad brought to me on Christmas eve. The orange also came from Dad in our Christmas stockings.
Dad brought me nine pounds of fresh strawberries on Christmas eve, and I thought I was going to be making jam out of some of them, but we've been eating them everyday instead. For lunch I heated up the last of the Italian Beef and made five sandwiches out of the last of that. We had three for lunch, which left two more for another day. That left me with about five hoagie type rolls, which I will store in the freezer for another day.

I still have some lasagna, garlic bread, and salad for dinner if anyone is hungry, but I doubt that will be the case since we had a late lunch today. 

It's been so nice to be able to stay home and eat what food we have here in the house. I actually planned it that way for Christmas, so I could enjoy my time off and not be cooking everyday. I'm not sure exactly how much money we saved by staying and eating at home, but so far we have gotten ten meals out of the food I cooked at the beginning of last week. And I know for a fact that we have saved money, which is a good thing in my book.


What kind of foods have you been eating this week?


Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. We do not review free products or provide paid reviews. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Homemade Garlic Butter

The other day I made some homemade Garlic Butter to spread on the Italian Bread I bought to serve with the Lasagna I made.  When I was growing up my mother used Lawry's Garlic Spread to make garlic bread, and it is a good tasting product, but very expensive considering the amount in the bottle. Right now, Amazon is selling the product for $6.11, which is expensive to me considering there is only six ounces in the bottle.

Nowadays, I make garlic bread different ways, depending on what I have on hand, and what my energy level is at the moment. I've made garlic bread simple by toasting bread and buttering it and sprinkling it with garlic powder and I've made it more elaborate as well. Here is how I made it this week. 

Garlic Butter

Ingredients:
2 sticks butter - $1.25
Garlic Cloves - 50¢
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 25¢

I chopped the garlic until fine, and made sure the butter was softened to room temperature, and then added enough EVOO both for flavor and to make it smoother to spread. You can add as much garlic as you like. Here is what the finished product looks like:

I then spread this on my bread of choice and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, and make sure I save the leftover garlic butter to use at a later date.

So for less than $2.00 or so, I've made enough garlic butter to last for several meals, which costs a lot less money than the Lawry's Garlic Spread that I grew up using. That saves me money and that is what we are all about here at the Frugal Workshop.

Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011. 
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. We do not review free products or provide paid reviews. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Child Support Update

It has been a couple of months since I've done a Child Support update. The Child Support office was finally able to help me get several payments in full from my ex-husband, and I was even able to get some extra money to go toward the arrearage on this account. However, my ex-husband was furious over the whole situation and ended up quitting one of his jobs where child support was withheld, which not only resulted in my not receiving any child support this month, but also messed up our daughter's health insurance and made it very difficult for me to get her the asthma medicine she needed.

Today I called the child support office and in order for child support to call his employer, he has to have not made any payments in at least thirty days. I have a few more days yet until that happens, so I will wait until the appropriate date and call again.

As I mentioned before, I was able to get some extra money from the arrearage on the account, so the extra money combined with my income from substitute teaching meant that I was able to buy a few things that we needed. I was even able to pay cash for everything for Christmas and incurred no debt, which is a very good feeling to me. We may not have very much money right now because of the lack of child support, but the bills are all paid and there is plenty of food here to eat right now, and the gas tank is full. To me, that is a pretty good position to be in for now.

Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. We do not review free products or provide paid reviews. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Blessed Are The Thrifty

Laura, over at Adventures in Thrift Land, wrote a really good article called, Blessed are the Thrifty. In it she talks about her first encounter with the Tightwad Gazette, and she talks about buying products in the second hand market.  Be sure to check it out. :)

Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without” Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. We do not review free products or provide paid reviews. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas to all of my readers. I hope you are enjoying the holiday.

The biggest hit here this year was the Nintendo Wi game system I bought for my daughter. She had an older Wi system that was bought for her when they first came out and she had a Game Cube system, and both of them had quit working this year. I knew that Game Stop would give me trade credit for them and noticed they had the refurbished Wis on sale. So, I took both broken game systems and ended up getting her  another one for $62. She wasn't expecting it and was very surprised this morning when she opened her gift.

I really tried to keep Christmas dinner simple, and actually even
had almost everything on hand. The only thing I had to buy was the crescent rolls.  Here is our menu:

Paula Dean Spiral Cut Ham (Delicious!!)
Mashed Potatoes
Soup Beans (Great Northern)
Dressing
Broccoli
Corn
Crescent Rolls
Fresh Strawberries
Pecan & Pumpkin Pies
Iced Tea (Sweet & Unsweet)

I hope your holiday was wonderful and you were able to spend it with people you love.
 
Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  
Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. We do not review free products or provide paid reviews. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Blockbuster gift to members

Blockbuster is offering a very thoughtful gift to their members this Christmas season. They've made a post on their Facebook  page stating that Blockbuster stores will be open Christmas day from noon to 10pm, and members who stop in on Christmas day will get 2 FREE packs of AA or AAA batteries!

Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011. 
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without 
Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. We do not review free products or provide paid reviews. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bi-Lo Fuel Perks Program


I'm excited to tell you about the new BiLo Fuel Perks program because I've personally seen big savings when it comes to this program. I filled my car up the other with gas that I paid $2.91 a gallon for thanks to this program. The closest participating gas station to me is 6 miles away, which is normally where I go to fill up my car. All I have to do is swipe my BiLo bonus card before I swipe my debit card and the price reflects whatever Fuels Perks I have available. 

There is a man on the BiLo fuel Perks Facebook page that filled up his truck for $11.98 and only paid 59.9 cents per gallon. You can see his story here: 


Fuel Perks are cents-off/gallon discounts that you earn when you use your BiLo bonus card. For every $50 you spend, you will save $.05 per gallon for up to 20 gallons of gasoline at participating gas stations.  You can also earn cents off by purchasing certain grocery products each week, and I'm including this weeks specials below. Rewards are good for the entire month they are earned, plus for three full months after that, expiring on the last day of the third month.  Read all about the program here: 

 

All items must be in the same order. 
See store for details.

Valid December 21 – December 27, 2011
Earn an Extra 10¢ OFF PER GALLON OF GAS When you buy two (2) Participating Poinsettias

$5.99 ea. – Poinsettia – 6 Inch Pot Assorted Colors

Valid December 14– December 27
Earn an Extra 10¢ OFF PER GALLON OF GAS When you buy four (4) Participating Pillsbury Items

10 for $10 – Pillsbury Fudge Brownie Mix – 10.25 oz.
$2.19 – Pillsbury Quick Bread – 14-16.6 oz. All Varieties
$1.79 – Pillsbury Cookie Mix – 17.5 oz. All Varieties
2 for $5 – Pillsbury Funfetti Whoopie Pie Kit or Cookie Pop Kit – 18.31-27.16 oz.
$1.09 – Pet Evaporated Milk – 12 oz.
$2.29 – Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk – 14 oz.


Valid December 14– December 27
Earn an Extra 20¢ OFF PER GALLON OF GAS When you buy one (1) Lip Lickin’ Chicken Fried Chicken and one (1) Coke 8 Pack


(1) Lip Lickin’ Fried Chicken – 12 Piece
(1) Coke – 8 Pack 12 oz. Bottles
 
Valid December 14– December 27
Earn an Extra 10¢ OFF PER GALLON OF GAS
When you buy $15 of Participating Roasts

$3.49 lb. – Boneless Chuck Roast
$4.49 lb. – London Broil Roast
$3.89 lb. – Sirloin Top Roast
$3.99 lb. – Boneless Bottom Round Roast
$3.99 lb. – Eye of Round Roast
$7.99 lb. – Standing Rib Roast
$3.29 lb. – Bone- In Chuck Roast
$3.49 lb. - Shoulder Pot Roast
$3.99 lb. – Rump Roast
$11.99 lb. – Whole Beef Tenderloin
$9.99 lb. – Boneless Standing Ribeye Roast
$5.99 lb. – French Rack of Pork

Valid November 16 – December 27, 2011

Earn DOUBLE fuelperks! When you buy Participating Gift Cards

Valid November 9 – February 28, 2012

Earn an Extra 10¢ OFF PER GALLON OF GAS When you buy 1 Participating Items
$14.99 – Hormel Salami & Cheese Party Tray – 28 oz.
$9.99 – Hormel Football Tray – 1.5 lb.
$14.99 – Hormel Ham/Turkey/Cheese Party Tray – 1.75 lb.
$18.99 – Hormel Supreme Party Tray – 2.48 lb.


Valid November 16 – January 3, 2012
Earn an Extra 25¢ OFF PER GALLON OF GAS When you buy (1) 12” or 16” Deli Tray and (3) Coke 2 Liter Products

(1) - 12” or 16” Deli Tray- Select Varieties
(3) – Coke – 2 Liter Products, Select Varieties


Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011. 
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  
Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. We do not review free products or provide paid reviews. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Recipes

Today is the first day I’ve had to blog for about 10 days now as I’ve been busy working and getting ready for Christmas. I’ve spent the last two days cooking for the holiday this weekend. I’ve made Lasagna, Italian Beef, and Sloppy Joes. Recipes are included below. I found a really great sale on ground beef at Wal-Mart the other day. I found five pound packages marked down to $9.50, which makes them less than $2.00 a pound, so I was able to make two of these dishes rather inexpensively. 


These recipes are what one can truly call family favorites. Every year for as long as I can remember, the whole family would gather at my grandparent's home in Illinois for Christmas Eve. My grandmother always served the same dishes every year and it has now become one of those family traditions. Even though the miles separate us now, and those Christmas's are long gone, I still serve these same dishes to my family and when I do I am reminded of the times when I was a child. And the memories of those days live on in my heart and I hope that my family remembers Christmas like I do.


Lasagna


Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 1/2 cups tomatoes
  • 1 package dry spaghetti sauce mix
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 - 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 pound lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 pound cottage cheese

Directions:

  1. Brown meat in heavy skillet.
  2. Add seasoned salt, garlic and pepper.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes
  4. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce and spaghetti sauce mix.
  5. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Boil lasagna noodles in salted water until tender.
  7. Drain and rinse.
  8. Pour 1/3 of the meat sauce into a 12 x 8 x 2 baking dish.
  9. Cover with lasagna noodles.
  10. Arrange slices of mozzarella and cottage cheese over noodles.
  11. Repeat the layers, ending with the meat sauce.
  12. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.
  13. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  14. Enjoy!



Italian Beef


Ingredients:

  • 6 pounds Sirloin Tip Roast
  • 2 packages onion soup mix
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Water to cover roast
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons oregano or to taste (I love this and use a lot!)
  • 5-6 bell peppers, sliced
  • 3 cups Beef Broth

Directions:

  1. Place meat and next 3 ingredients in pressure cooker.
  2. Cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Take meat out of pan and set aside to let cool.
  4. Slice bell peppers into broth and add to pan.
  5. Cover and cook peppers 1/2 hour on top of stove, on low heat.
  6. Shred meat with two forks and put back in pan.
  7. Cook on top of stove for 30 minutes more.
  8. This is delicious served on fresh rolls. 



Sloppy Joes

My Mom and Dad loves these Sloppy Joes, and they are pretty economical to make. I made some for my Dad on Christmas Eve and the next day he said he wanted 100 more. So, I made him up a batch and wrapped each one individually, so he could put them in his freezer and eat one whenever he wanted. 


Ingredients:

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 bay leaves, whole (remove before serving)
  • 1 garlic bud (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 or 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Directions:

  1. Brown hamburger and onions together in skillet.
  2. Drain well.
  3. Add the next 10 ingredients and mix well.
  4. Simmer on the stove top for 1 hour or until done.
  5. Serve on hamburger buns.
 Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Liebster Blog Award


Pam, over at Feral Homemaking has nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award.  Thank you so much, Pam! That was so sweet of you!  If you don't read Pam's blog, you should take a look.  She loves homemaking, cooking, canning, and saving money. She even talks about Amy Dacyczyn and her Tightwad Gazette on her blog, so you can see why I like reading Pam's blog so much. :)  

The Liebster Blog Award is a great way to get traffic to blogs you like but that aren't widely known.  The rules are simple:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them.
  • List your top five picks (who have less than 200 followers) and link to them, telling a bit about each one.  Leave a comment on their blogs to let them know you've nominated them.
  • Copy and paste the award on your blog.
  • Have faith that your followers will do the same to other bloggers.
  • Have fun!
 Here are my five picks for the Leibster Blog award:

Carol from CT on a Budget. I love reading Carol's blog and I met her on the AOL saving money message boards years ago. Her menu plans and grocery lists have always been interesting to me to read. She can stretch a penny like nobody's business and so I wanted to award her this special honor.

Barbara from Fun and Frugal Living. I also love reading Barbara's blog because she goes into great detail in every post. Barbara and I became first became friends on the old AOL message boards about saving money.  She knows what it means to stretch a dollar and is very serious about saving money in her household. 

I would also like to nominate Digging Out of Debt for this blog award.

I would also like to nominate TeacHer Finance for this blog award.

And finally, I would like to nominate We May be Poor, but we are Happy for this award.


Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
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