Friday, December 6, 2019

Frugal Friday ~ December 6, 2019


“There is no dignity
quite so impressive,
and no independence
quite so important,
as living within your means.”
 ~ Calvin Coolidge



This week I worked four days and had Tuesday off. I used the day off to clean out a closet and work on Christmas presents such as hand warmers, key chains and felt food. 



Last Friday we spent the day with family before they went back to Florida. They treated us out to lunch at a local restaurant where I ordered my favorite, which is their patty melt. 

This week we snagged a free year of Disney as a reward from Verizon wireless. So far I've been catching up on some of my favorite Christmas movies. 



My daughter found a cat food deal from chewy.com this week. She was able to order four giant bags of cat food for only $18.00 total. Pictured above is our cat Scrappy with the boxes. 

Verizon sent us a $20 Amazon gift card this week for our one year anniversary with them.

I earned a $15 gift card to Amazon from Swagbucks this week. I used it as part of a payment towards a Christmas present. I also clipped a coupon on the Amazon website and received $23 off the product I ordered.



The Joy of Cooking cookbook that I won recently came in the mail this week.

Bojangles sent me a coupon via email for a free cinnamon biscuit for December from their Barnyard Calendar. If you live near a Bojangles and want to sign up for their Barnyard Calendar, click here

Each month they will send you that month's calendar to print along with a coupon that is good for the entire month. Best of all, it's free to join.



One day this week I cut up this shirt to reuse the fabric on something else. It's a beautiful fall print fabric. I also saved the ten pearl buttons that came with the shirt. 

I also repaired the hem on a dress for my daughter, replaced a broken snap on one of her cloth pads, and repaired another cloth pad that is simply worn out. She loves it though and is unwilling to part with it, so Mom to the rescue. 

Her and I finished posting two lists of clothing items for sale to both eBay and Mercari. As a result her sales have gone up and she was able to cancel a $50 monthly fee for maintaining the lists. We put our noses to the grindstone to get them done, and  the payoff was worth it in the end. 

We cooked every meal from home this week as usual. All lunches and drinks consumed this week were also brought from home. 

We've had to have the heat on at home several times this week. We keep the heater on 60, so I know when it clicks on that it's pretty cold in the house. Any lower than that and it's too cold for me. 


My Dad has moved back to Tennessee for the winter. The land he is living on right now does not have a driveway and he needs to build one. He asked me if I knew someone who could help him and I mentioned the person who does our garbage for us as he did a lot of yard work for us this year. 

He and my Dad worked out a great bartering deal. Timmy is going to help Dad build the driveway at $15 per hour, but instead of cash Dad is going to have Timmy work towards a truck and 5th wheel camper my Dad was going to sell. 

It's a win-win situation as Dad gets the driveway he needs and Timmy gets a truck and camper that he wants. 

This week I needed to order a clothing item online, and ended up getting free shipping and 50% off my order, which was a $32 savings. 

How was your week?Any frugal wins you'd like to tell us about in the comment section? We would love to hear about them. 


Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders. I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay and it helps me to earn a living from Frugal Workshop.





Thursday, December 5, 2019

Five Free Kindle Books on Frugal Living & Cooking

Good morning friends. 

Today there are five free eBooks on Amazon that I thought might interest you. 

Two of them have to do with frugal living while the other three are cookbooks. One of those is a Christmas cookie book I thought you might enjoy since it is that time of year. 



Habit Stacking For Frugal Living: 50 Simple Life Changing Tips To Save Money, Get Out Of Debt And Live A Happy Life 









30 All American Recipes: A Complete Cookbook of US Dish Ideas! 




Copycat Recipes Box Set 2 Books in 1: Making Restaurants’ Most Popular Recipes at Home 


They've been offering several really good books this week. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Cheap Meals: How to Prepare Meals that are Simply Affordable and Nutritious



Another free eBook out today...

Cheap Meals: How to Prepare Meals that are Simply Affordable and Nutritious, written by Amanda Joly, is free today on Amazon Kindle.

Please make sure to check the price before you buy it to make sure it is still free.

From the Amazon website...
Do You Want to Attain the Secret to Eating Great Even On The Tightest of Budgets? If So, Listen Up...
Who Else Wants to Eat Better Than Ever By Putting These Cash-Saving Food-Shopping and Preparation Tips to Use -- You‘ll Literally Save Money Every Time You Visit the Kitchen!
I'm really enjoying these books on frugality and the price cannot be beat. I hope you are enjoying them as well. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Monday, December 2, 2019

Dirt Poor and Lovin' It!: Learning to live on minimum wage painlessly


Dirt Poor and Lovin' It!: Learning to live on minimum wage painlessly, also written by Kate Singh, is free today on Amazon Kindle. 


Please make sure to check the price before you buy it to make sure it is still free. 


From the Amazon website...

For everyone on fixed incomes, military incomes, minimum wage, disability, or social security. This is for families and individuals that want a quality of life on limited funds. This little book is packed with simple and fun advice to eat well and healthily, live well, have fun, beautify their homes, make their own laundry detergent, and ideas for urban farming. For less than a cup of coffee at McDonald's, you will have a great little money saving novelette.


I've enjoyed reading about her Home Economics book this weekend on frugality. I thought you might enjoy this one as well.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Saving on Electricity: Reverse Ceiling Fans for Winter



Ceiling fans are another tool we use here at the Frugal Workshop to help save money year round. Not only do they add beauty to our home, but they also serve as a supplement to both our heating and cooling systems. 

Several times this season my daughter has wanted to turn on the air conditioning, but I turned the ceiling fans on instead. This provided enough of a cool breeze to avoid turning on the air conditioner, which ends up saving money on our electric bill.

Ceiling fans made these days are very efficient in moving air around and are built to be used all year long. The key to using your ceiling fan properly is to adjust the rotation of the fan blades according to the temperatures. 


Because hot air rises, the air that we normally pay to heat at this time of year ends up accumulating towards the ceiling. 

When ceiling fan blades are reversed and forced to move in a clockwise direction, the air is pushed up towards the ceiling and down the walls. This moves the hot air down to the floor, thus making the room feel warmer where people are gathered, rather than being allowed to accumulate towards the ceiling.

Do you need to know how to reverse the direction of your ceiling fan? Here are directions to help you with this task. 

First off you need to turn the ceiling fan off and wait until the blades have stopped moving completely. 

Then you can follow these easy directions:

Get a step stool or ladder to stand on.

Locate the directional (forward/reverse) toggle switch on the body of your fan.

Flip the toggle switch in the opposite direction.

Get off step stool or ladder.
Turn fan back on.

Stand directly under the fan and make sure the blades are rotating in the proper direction for the season.

Then sit back and enjoy the comfort and savings that a ceiling fan will provide year round.

Right now we still have our ceiling fans geared towards warm weather, but starting in January we will begin to experience the cold winter weather and will be changing the direction of our ceiling fans at that time.

What about your household? Do you have ceiling fans to help save money on your heating and cooling system? Are they rotating in the correct direction for the season?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Saturday, November 30, 2019

Home Economics: How to Run the Whole House, Budget, and Garden

Image Credit

Home Economics, written by Kate Singh, is free today on Amazon Kindle. Please make sure to check the price before you buy it to make sure it is still free. 

From the Amazon website...

Want a fun book that teaches you how to run your home like a business...a cozy business, of course. Turn the kitchen into a cafe and your pantry into a grocery store. Grow your own organic produce and save tons of money. Learn how to budget like a pro without all the fancy financial spreadsheets. Make your house sparkly clean and charmingly decorated from thrift stores. Learn to love this job and become more creative with a tiny budget. Have fun and learn to slow down and be a bit old fashioned. This book will explain in detail every inch of house management and inspire you greatly. Brew up a pot of coffee and dive in.

I've enjoyed reading about her frugality. I thought you might enjoy it as well. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, November 29, 2019

Frugal Friday

This month I paid in full some charges I made on two credit cards in order to avoid paying any interest charges on them. 

I listed multiple items for sale on eBay this week including some Boxtops for Education. They are switching over to a new system and won't be offering the paper Boxtops any longer, so I wanted to sell them before they stop making them. 

The Boxtops sold within the hour of listing them on eBay. 

We did not eat out this week and ate all of our meals at our home or with family. We even took sandwiches and drinks with us on Saturday when we needed to run errands just in case we got hungry. 

We stopped in at Aldi the day we were running errands. They had packages of chicken with two breasts in each package marked for $3.00 each, but had $2.00 off coupons attached. We bought seven packages and put them in the freezer when we got home. 


The Republic of Tea sent me a catalog with a free tea bag sample and a coupon for $10 off any order over $10. I ordered an item to be included with a Christmas present. 



Image Credit
Paper Dolls by Cory was created by Cory Jensen who shares his creations on Facebook for free. 

Image Credit
If you know of any small children who would enjoy playing with paper dolls, these are offered for free on Cory's Facebook page. 

All you have to do is print them out. With the right presentation, they would make some children a lovely and inexpensive Christmas present. 


One place to get free eBooks is the website www.freereadfeed.com. You can check it daily to find interesting books to read. I use the filters there to find non-fiction books to read as those are my favorite books because I like to learn new skills. 


Yesterday we spent a lovely day with family. We enjoyed the day, ate good food, laughed, and looked at old photographs of us when we were young and spry. 

Today we are going to spend the day with family again before they go back to Florida tomorrow. No black Friday shopping for us though. How about you?


Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders. I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay and it helps me to earn a living from Frugal Workshop.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Blustery Fall Days & Soup



Image Credit
Blustery, cold fall days make a hot bowl of soup very appealing.  It’s great comfort food and easy to fill with healthy ingredients. Serving a bowl or cup of soup along with your choice of bread or sandwich several times per month really helps to stretch your grocery budget. 

When money’s tight, adding one or two of these recipes to your meal plan each month will help save money on your grocery bill. When you take the time to make soup yourself you will definitely be saving money.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Homemade Chili

Creamy Corn Chowder

Taco Soup

Potato Soup

15 Bean Soup

Soup is also a wonderful resource for using up leftovers. Chop up leftover chicken, hamburger, ham or roast. Start by sauteing an onion and any other vegetables you have on hand and you have the beginnings for a great pot of soup.

Vegetable Beef Soup

Use It Up Potato Soup

What are some of your favorite soups to make?


Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders. I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay and it helps me to earn a living from Frugal Workshop.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Frugal Friday

Payday fell this week and unfortunately my check was short due to a clerical error. Normally I will pick up take out on payday, but not this time. I just came home and made dinner using items we had here. So, a frugal win on dinner anyway. 

Our local gas station changed rewards cards, so I needed to have my information switched over and it turned out to be more work than I thought it would. Several phone calls later it's now fixed and can be used to save money on gas again. This saves me 10¢ per gallon and adds up over time. 
This particular gas station has two reward cards. One is for Exxon and gives you points for each purchase while the second reward card lowers the price of gas by 10¢ per gallon. When I paid for the gas myself I paid $2.02 per gallon.


When I filled up my car this week I used my Exxon rewards card to use the free $8.75 worth of gas I had earned. We have found that the reward does not come off if you pay with a debit or credit card. So, to get around this issue we insert $1 into the pump and can then get all of our rewards. It might seem like a little bit of work, but I received $8.75 in free gas today, so I consider that worth the effort. 


This week we cooked all of our meals at home.
 
- Baked Potato Night, Broccoli
- Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Vegetable Stir Fry
- Chili Tacos, Lettuce & Tomatoes
Chicken Pot Pie
- White Chicken Enchiladas & Salad
- Grilled Chicken Sandwiches, apricots
- Smoked Sausage, Fried Potatoes, Corn


My Dad, an electrician, came down from Illinois and fixed one of our thermostats while he was here. This allowed one of the rooms upstairs to have heat again. Cost for the thermostat was $22, which was the only cost involved and saved us from calling a local electrician and being charged for labor. 

We used the free weatherstripping we received the other day and redid the weatherstripping on our back door. There was a draft coming in the door, which we used to solve by hanging a coat on the doorknob, but now it has been fixed. 
 
Last week I requested and received two free Sesame Street coloring books for fire safety. I'll be including these in a Christmas gift for two little girls this year. 

This week I perused the grocery store sale ads online and saved myself $1.00 for the cost of a newspaper to get them. 

Payday came this week, so all my bills were paid online, which saves me money spent on postage. 

How was your week?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders. I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay and it helps me to earn a living from Frugal Workshop.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Frugal Friday ~ November 15, 2019

Welcome to Friday, I hope you've had a great week. 

My daughter and I were out of town last weekend to attend the wedding of a friend. We stayed overnight two nights and used the trip to scour the thrift stores in Atlanta. We found several things we needed and a couple of things we wanted. 

We did eat out a couple of times while we were there. One day we came through Atlanta and saw the Secret Service while President Trump was in town. That night we ate at the Folk Art restaurant, which was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so that was really fun and the food was great. 

This week I was back to work at school and worked three days, although the weather threatened two of those days. We did end up with a two hour delay one morning. 

This week I did some mending by reattaching two buttons that were safety pinned onto a blazer we picked up at the thrift store. I also sewed up one hole in a pillow created by one of the dogs we pet sit. Also, I've been working on and sewing some presents for Christmas. 

We've put off shopping for groceries and are using up what we have in our pantry and freezer. One day I even mixed up some powdered milk to have rather than go to the store for some. It always surprises me what meals we can come up with by using what we have on hand. 

I've been making an inventory of what food we do have on hand. It helps me to create meals when I can look at a list of the food available. This week in anticipation of grocery shopping, I perused the grocery store sale ads online. 

Cold weather arrived here this week and even though we dressed warmly and were covered up with blankets, we finally had to turn the heat on due to the cold weather. One morning it was 17 degrees outside, so definitely heater weather. That morning we had to salt the steps leading up to the house because they were icy. 

My plans for the weekend include laundry, grocery shopping, and sewing. I also have some computer work to do for my dd's business. 

Next week is our last week of school and then we have a week off for Thanksgiving. This year we will be going to my BIL's house, which we didn't think was going to happen as he had a house fire in October. They are living in a rented house for now and he wants us to come celebrate with them. Naturally I'll be bringing several dishes with us to share. 

I hope you have a great weekend! 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders. I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay and it helps me to earn a living from Frugal Workshop.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

My Frugal Week

Good Sunday afternoon. I hope you've had a great week. 

We were able to get in on multiple freebies this week. I think that was the most freebies we ever received in one week. 


Last Saturday we attended an energy workshop. Afterwards we were given a free energy saving kit. 


One free orange juice from school. 


Three pairs of socks and this cloth napkin from a free box. 

We ordered a free drink from Sonic.


Taco Bell was giving away free tacos on Wednesday, so we made sure to stop by and get our taco. And ran a couple of errands on our to do list as well. 
We also had a voucher for $3.90 off of Snickers bars at Walmart and used that and ended up with eight Snickers bars in all. We also used the free Snickers coupon that coupons.com gave out this week. 


Bailey ran into Walmart for something and used the Freeosk to get us both a sample of Bounce Wrinkle Guard.



e had to run to Publix for an RX and I used my Starkist tuna voucher and picked up three cans of albacore tuna for free. 

We also picked up an RX at CVS and got two free bottles of water.

We've been combining errands as usual when we go out, and cooking all of our meals at home.

I've been using up some lurking items in my pantry. One lone packet of hot chocolate, six packets of oatmeal, and one small box of raisins were used up this week. 

Tuesday night movie night had us watching The House with a Clock in its Walls, and we split a frozen Jack's pizza, which sell for $2.50 at Walmart. 

Several days this week it was cool enough to open the car windows and not have to run the air conditioner. This helps me to save money on gas. 

The day before Halloween it rained and rained here and a cold front moved in, so it's definitely cold here right now. 

The temperature in the house is down to 53 this morning, but I'm bundled up in a blanket, no heat on yet, but if this keeps up I may have to turn it on. 


Thursday evening we had some errands to run and ended up at the Samaritan Center thrift store. I found a like new Tupperware salt shaker for 35¢, a steno pad for 35¢, a new box of Christmas cards for 35¢. 


I've been busy sewing this weekend, repairing a towel that had a rip in it and sewing gifts for Christmas. 

Before & After

How was your week? Anything exciting to tell us about?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders. I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay and it helps me to earn a living from Frugal Workshop.
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