Friday, April 21, 2017

Revisiting Reward Programs

Recently I received two free bags of cat food from Purina because I cashed in some of my reward points from the My Perks reward program. So, I wanted to make a post to update my readers. 

You can earn points with the My Perks program by signing up and doing various activities such as following them on Facebook and Twitter, sharing your cat's name, updating your profile, and logging in daily. You can also earn points by entering the codes found of the bags of Purina Cat Chow. 

I've gotten several free bags of cat food from the program over the years, which helps me to save money. I like to feed my cats Purina Cat Chow because it is a brand that I trust and is not made in China. 

Another reward program I use is Inbox Dollars, which is a program where they pay you to read the emails they send to you. You can also do surveys and watch videos to earn money. You do have to have $30 in your account before they allow you to cash out, but it only takes a few minutes a day to do and I think it's worth the time. I have around $32 right now, but I've cashed out with $30 twice before already, so I know this program works. 

Send Earnings is the same type of rewards program as Inbox Dollars. I've cashed out with them for $30 before and already have over $20 in my account now and will be cashing out with them again soon. 

I also still use Swagbucks and Recycle Bank as well. I find these programs to be worth the time I invest and I hope you do as well.  :)

~ Living within our Means ~

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ginger Chicken Stir Fry ~ Monday Night Dinner

On Monday night I made a Chicken Stir Fry loosely based on this recipe for Ginger Chicken Stir Fry from Heidi's Home Cooking

This was a very good recipe and my family loved it. I used fresh ginger, which really reminded us of our favorite salad dressing at a local Japanese restaurant. 

We are not fans of mushrooms and I did not have any asparagus on hand, so I used a bag of Cole slaw mix instead. Next time I might even add two bags. 

The sauce was very good and tasted authentic. 

The cost was under $6.00 to make and fed two of us for dinner and one for lunch on Tuesday. 

We will definitely be having this one again. 

Here is the recipe with my changes in red. 

Ginger Chicken Stir Fry


  • 16 oz cleaned, de-stemmed mushrooms (Did not use)
  • 1 bunch asparagus cut in 2 inch pieces (Did not use)
  • 1 medium onion cut in thin wedges
  • 4-5 chicken breasts (1 lb) cut in 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp oil (divided)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used fresh ginger)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (I use cayenne pepper)
  • 1 bag Cole slaw mix (instead of mushrooms & asparagus)


Cut all vegetables.
Cut up chicken into 1 inch pieces and mix with the flour. 
Save flour bowl for sauce.
Mix all wet ingredients and spices in bowl with leftover flour.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in wok and cook chicken about 5 minutes or until brown.
Remove chicken and set aside.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in wok and saute vegetables about 5 minutes or until tender.
Add in sauce and bring to a boil.
Add reserved chicken and stir to combine.
Serve warm over rice.

~ Living within our Means ~

Monday, April 17, 2017

My Frugal Week

Since I did not work today, I cleaned the bathroom first thing and then made myself busy in the kitchen. I had several items to put away that I bought over the weekend.

I went to Walmart this weekend because I was out of vegetable oil and they have the best price on this item. 

Normally the one gallon jugs are $5.78, but they had them on Sunday for $4.98, so I bought two gallons. 

These will probably last me until the end of the year if not longer. 

In the Crash & Burn section of two different stores, I found white popcorn in the two pound bags for $1.14 and Lima Beans for $1.14. Odd that they were the same price even though I found them at two different stores. 

Publix had Keebler Club crackers on sale for buy one get one free. I used some of my points at Kellogg's Family Rewards to print $1.00 off coupons, so I was able to get two boxes for 75¢ each. 

While I was in the kitchen this morning I made meatballs to have later in the week for dinner one night, easy sausage quiche to have for breakfasts, and am making a chicken stir fry for dinner tonight. 

A while back I had two bottles of onion powder that became hard as a rock, so I decided to contact the company about this. They were kind enough to send me two bottles through the mail. It definitely pays to let them know about things like this. 

What frugal things have you done lately?

~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Free Breakfast on Tuesdays in April at Chic-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A is offering free breakfast to everyone on Tuesdays in April. 

My daughter went this past Tuesday and was given a box of four chicken minis for free right before she went to school. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

In My Frugal Kitchen

We had some apples that no one was eating that I wanted to use up, so I dehydrated them over the weekend and put them into jars when they were done. These make a great substitution with a sandwich for potato chips and are much healthier.

Monday was a rainy day, so I spent the day indoors puttering around in my kitchen. I first started by cleaning out the refrigerator to make sure to use up anything that needed using before it was too late. 

There was a lurking package of almond bark left over from the holidays that needed using up. So, I made a batch of my granola bars using this recipe and dipped eight of them in the chocolate. They were a big hit with the family.

Monday lunch was burritos using some left over taco meat, cheese, and sour cream. Using up the last of the taco meat, I made taco salads for dinner. 

On Monday night I soaked some garbanzo beans to make hummus with on Tuesday to have for lunches this week. 

Tuesday I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for us to take to school & work along with water and some of the dried apples I made this weekend. 

For dinner on Tuesday (and Wednesday's lunch) I decided to use up some lurking items. 

An opened boxed of lasagna noodles, a bowl of sauce, plus two opened jars of sauce, some spinach, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese made for a good vegetable lasagna. 

The finished product: 

One side dish I made on Monday has served us for several dinners this week, and that was roasted carrots and cabbage. 

What's been going on in your kitchen?

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Frugal Spring Break

Spring Break was this past week, so I did not work, but did several fun things, and checked several things off my to do list which includes...

Sewing - I repaired several garments that were in need of sewing over Spring Break. I could have spent money and bought new items, but want to see how long I can make the ones I have last without spending any money. 

Oil Change - My daughter's car requires synthetic oil and therefore costs more money than a regular oil change. Even Walmart charges $48 for an oil change with synthetic oil.

Her uncle is a full time mechanic, so I suggested she check with him to see where she could get a good deal. He told her to bring it by the shop and he would change it for her. 

He only charged her $20 for the supplies he used, so she got a good deal and it was less expensive than having someone else do it for her. She also gifted him with some hand soap and shampoo that we had couponed for that day. 

Eating Out - We did not eat out over Spring Break, but we did go to the English Rose tea room in Chattanooga and had a pot of hot tea on Wednesday afternoon, which only cost $3.50 per person. 

A pair of turtle doves landed on the fence right outside the window while we were there. 

Thursday turned out to be a beautiful spring day, so we had a picnic in the park. I brought sandwiches and drinks from home and we had a good time together feeding birds as well as ourselves until it was time for her to return to school. 

Dinners this week have included Meatloaf, Cabbage Rolls, Homemade Chili, and Tacos and Chili Tacos. I've been finding some great prices on both marked down and on sale ground beef, so we have been having it on our menus more than we usually have. 

Yard Sales - On Friday we wanted to yard sale, but think the rain on Thursday night made most of them choose to not set out their items for sale. 

We did happen on one church yard sale and found something on our yard sale list, which was an office chair for $5.00 for my daughter. 

I was going to buy her a new one this year, but decided to shop around and wouldn't you know it? We found one right at the start of yard sale season. They even had several to choose from, so she was able to sit in all of them and find the one she liked best. 

On Saturday we were on our way to the library but decided to yard sale again first. I'm glad we did because we crossed off another thing on my yard sale list...a sewing machine!

If you recall, my sewing machine stopped working back in August of 2015, so I've waited patiently for 19 months to replace it. We found one at a barn sale on Friday, but the price with the cabinet was $150, so we declined. 

The one we found on Saturday had a tag on it marked $40 and works good, but this was close to the end of the day and my daughter heard they were going to start letting things go cheaper. So I offered up $20 and they counter offered with $25, so I bought it. 

Here is a photo of the tag and machine:

I'm so tickled. I have several projects that I want to do now that I am back in business with a sewing machine.  :)

Other things we found today include a towel for $1.00, a jacket for $2.00 (talked her down from $4.00), two umbrellas for $1.00, and two new blankets for my daughter. She would have blankets a mile high on her bed if she could. LOL

How was your weekend?

~ Living within our Means ~