Monday, June 29, 2020

Menu Monday

We did our monthly grocery haul this past Friday, so had plenty of food on hand for meals. 


This was my original  meal plan, sides to be determined later:

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

This is what we ended up with this week:


Sunday: I had a small can of crab in my pantry, so I made an Impossible Crab Pie for dinner. I served it with mashed potatoes with gravy and corn. Impossible Crab Pie, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, and Corn. 

Monday: On my last grocery pickup order, I ordered ground beef , but they didn't have any and I have been wanting tacos. So, I decided to make Taco Style Lentils & Rice. We had all the other fixings for tacos such as tortillas, lettuce, cheese, onions, sour cream, and taco sauce. 
Taco Style Lentils & Rice Tacos with all the fixings. 

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza. Homemade Pizza 

Wednesday: We had a repeat of Monday night's dinner and then I put the rest of the lentils in the freezer for future meals. 
Taco Style Lentils & Rice Tacos with all the fixings. 

Thursday: We are going grocery shopping tomorrow, so I had a motley crew of items for dinner tonight. Baked beans with bacon, corn, the last of the pasta salad, and buttered bread. It worked. Baked Beans, Corn, Pasta Salad, Bread & Butter. 


Friday: This was our big monthly grocery haul day and we were wiped out by the end of the day. I ended up making nachos for dinner with lots of chopped up vegetables such as onions, peppers and tomatoes. Nachos will all the fixings. 

Saturday: We were able to get hamburger meat on our grocery order, so we had hamburgers for dinner.  Hamburgers with cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, and pickles along with potato chips. 

Sunday: There was a small amount of hamburger left to cook with, so I made a small taco salad for dinner.  Taco Salad. 


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

Tacos & Dos Bros Corn Salsa

Ramen Asian Noodle Salad
Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls
 Polska Kielbasa, Mac & Cheese
Subway Sandwiches
Loaded Baked Potatoes
(Cheese, Green Onions, Black Olives, Sour Cream, Butter, Bacon Bits, Chives)

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

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Monday, June 22, 2020

Menu Monday

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: On my last grocery pickup order, I ordered ground beef and Ball Park frozen hamburgers. We only received the Ball Park hamburgers. So that is what I made for dinner on Monday. Cheeseburgers, Pasta Salad, Cucumbers

Tuesday: I browned some smoked sausage in a skillet, made some macaroni and cheese to go with it along with a package of California Blend, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots. I also made another gallon of iced tea as it is hot here. Smoked Sausage, Mac & Cheese, California Blend 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: On Friday I put a bag of 15 Bean Soup beans in a bowl and soaked them overnight. I made them in the Instant Pot on Saturday. I made up some rice to go with it and served along side some mixed vegetables from the freezer.  15 Bean Soup Beans, Rice, Mixed Vegetables. 

Sunday: I had a small can of crab in my pantry, so I made an Impossible Crab Pie for dinner. I served it with mashed potatoes with gravy and corn. Impossible Crab Pie, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, and Corn. 

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

1. Tacos
2. Teriyaki Chicken
3. Salmon Patties, Mashed Potatoes, Green Peas
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 ~
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Sunday, June 21, 2020

Bailey's Shops

Vickie over at Vickie's Kitchen and Garden blog mentioned in a comment that I should share my daughter's links to her shops. 

I thought that was a great idea, so I'm including them here in case you would like to shop in one of her stores. 

Items are the same in both shops mainly, so it really depends on if you would rather shop on eBay or Poshmark. 

Bailey Alex eBay Shop

Bailey's Closet on Poshmark

Thank you! :)



Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, June 19, 2020

Frugal Friday ~ June 19, 2020 ~ Recession Ahead?

Image Credit
According to multiple news sources, the coronavirus pandemic forced the United States economy to contract sharply, which has caused the US to enter a recession. 

Many experts think this will be a deep recession and short, but time will tell as to how long it will really last. 

We know of several small businesses that have decided to call it quits and close permanently. Both of the owners were close enough to retirement age to go ahead and retire. I find it sad though that the pandemic forced them into this decision. 

My daughter continues to resell online as her primary source of income. I help her by steaming and processing items. 

Processing clothes for her has made it so that I know exactly what I want in my own clothing. I know what length I prefer in tops and pants, along with what fabrics I prefer. 

All of this makes it easier to know what to shop for, which will save me money. For example I have purchased tops before with a certain fabric blend that I didn't like when it arrived. Now I can avoid that extra expense. 

This week I've been watching the soap opera, Port Charles on YouTube. There is one channel on there that has all the episodes in chronological order, so it's easy to watch them in order. 

Our electric bill for June 2019 was 320.48 while our electric bill for June 2020 is $208.49, which is a difference of $111.99. The savings is due to our new energy efficient air conditioner. The savings will pay for the air conditioner in the first summer that we own it. 

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know I've babied our old air conditioner for a couple of years now. I knew it was probably costing us money and now we have proof of that. We saved up our money over the last year in order to pay cash for the new a/c.

If you're looking for money saving ways to stay cool this summer, feel free to read my blog post on the topic. 

Speaking of staying cool, last Friday I cut up a watermelon for us to enjoy. Is there anything better than an ice cold sweet watermelon on a hot summer day? 

Part of a wheel on my desk chair broke off this week making it hard to roll around. No need to fear as I had a replacement, bought at a yard sale last summer, so I only needed to replace it. 

Amy Dacyczyn picked up items at yard sales that she knew would need to be replaced over the course of the year like lunch boxes and such. This timely tip still holds true today. 

My bills this week were paid online, which saved me the cost of postage and envelopes.

My project of working on the recipes on my blog continued this week. Several of the recipes I had posted on the blog over the years didn't make it onto my recipe page. I've been working on correcting that again this week. I hope all the recipes are not bothering you. 

My daughter made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies again this week. And on Thursday I made a recipe for Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles. 

I made these for my daughter when she was younger and she loved them, so here is the recipe in case you're interested.  

Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles

Ingredients
6 ounce packet ramen noodles without the flavor packet
2 tablespoons pure sesame oil
1 & 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 & ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

Optional Garnish: 
3 sliced green onions 
1 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds

Directions:
Cook and drain the noodles according to the package directions.
In a medium bowl, add the sesame oil, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger.
Whisk until well combined. 
The peanut butter should completely break down to create a smooth sauce.
Pour the sauce over the hot noodles. 
Toss to coat.
On Thursday I received my second unemployment check. I'm very grateful for this as it's really helped here and given me a peace of mind I've not had in the last few months. 

How was your week?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Vegetable Fried Rice


Vegetable Fried Rice is a great meal to use up some leftover meat or vegetables, using what you have on hand. Here is my go to recipe for that and if I have the Sun-Bird Fried Rice seasoning mix, I like to use it too as it makes fried rice taste so authentic. The reviews on Amazon are really good too.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped bell peppers
1 egg, scrambled
2 cups cooked rice
½ cup frozen peas and carrots
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Add vegetable oil to the skillet and heat.
Add onions, bell pepper, garlic and ginger, and saute. 
Add egg and scramble. 
Add rice and peas & carrots and heat through. 
If you have any meat leftover like chicken add now and heat through. 
Serve and enjoy!



Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Wednesday: Grocery Store Sale Ads

Today is Wednesday, the day our local grocery stores put out their sale ads. I check the ads online, so I don't have to spend $1.00 on the local newspaper as they do not send them to us through the mail here. 

I've noticed since the pandemic started that the sale ads are shorter than they used to be. The reason, I suspect, is that people are not going shopping as often as they normally did. 

Since the pandemic started, we have not physically shopped in any store, so I'm only including the stores where I would pick up items through their curbside pickup. 

If you're more interested in what grocery stores we are able to shop at here, please refer to this grocery stores located in SE Tennessee blog post. 

The stores also have many more items on sale and if you're interested in looking at the ads, simply click on the title of the store and it will take you straight to the weekly ad.

So, items I would pick up this week come from Food City.  

Food City
Red Seedless Grapes 99¢ pound
Food Club 18 count eggs 2/$3.00
5 pounds Idaho Potatoes 5/$10.00 ($2.00 each)
5 pounds Mini Peppers 5/$10.00 ($2.00 each)
Split Chicken Breast 99¢ pound

That is a great price for chicken, considering how much ground beef costs right now. I will definitely be picking up some of that this week. 

Any good deals in your area this week?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Mary’s Baked Beans

This recipe came to me from my friend, Mary, who is very dear to my Dad. Bailey & I first had this recipe back in 2018 and thought they were so good, and Mary was nice enough to give us the recipe. Make sure you use Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce in these or they won’t taste the same. 

Mary’s Baked Beans

Ingredients:

2 large cans Bush's Baked Beans
1 large Onion, chopped
1 pound of bacon, fried and crushed
Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce, to taste
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients together. 
Place in a casserole dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 


Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Honey Butter

We used to have a restaurant here that would serve dinner rolls with a delicious honey butter. That restaurant is no longer in business, but you can make the honey butter at home using this simple recipe. 

Honey Butter

Ingredients:

1/4 cup honey
1/4 powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened

Directions:

Combine all ingredients.
Blend well. 
Store in the refrigerator. 


Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Spicy Applesauce Muffins

Spicy Applesauce Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Allspice
¼ teaspoon Ground Cloves


Can put apple butter inside each muffin and top with additional batter before cooking.

Directions:

Combine the dry ingredients together.
Combine wet ingredients together. 
Mix dry and wet ingredients together just until combined. 
Spray or line your muffin tin and fill cups two-thirds full. 
Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes 
(give or take five minutes).

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Three Ingredient Butter Cookies

Three Ingredient Butter Cookies
Ingredients:

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

In a bowl, using a pastry cutter or fork, combine until the dough holds together when pressed between your fingers.
Roll into a 10-inch-long log.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Unwrap, slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned.
About 10 minutes.
Makes about 35 cookies.


Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Butter Dogs

Butter Dogs

Ingredients:

8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Halve the hot dogs lengthwise, making sure to not slice all the way through. 
Place the hot dogs cut-side down and grill until browned and slightly charred, about 4 minutes per side.
Brush the melted butter on the inside of the buns. 

Grill the buns buttered-side down until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Place the hot dogs in the toasted buns and serve with your toppings.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese

Ingredients:

1 & 1/2 cups mayonnaise 
1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained 
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
1 teaspoon finely grated onion 
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper 
1 cup chopped pecans 
1 (8-oz.) block extra-sharp Cheddar cheese 
1 (8-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese 
Celery sticks and assorted crackers

Directions:

Make the mayo mixture. 
In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, diced pimiento, Worcestershire sauce, grated onion, and ground red pepper until blended.
Shred the cheese. Trust us – texture matters. Using the small side of a box grater, finely shred extra-sharp Cheddar cheese. 
Then use the large side of the grater to coarsely shred sharp Cheddar cheese. 
Fresh cheese makes a difference.
Stir and enjoy. 
Add pecans and shredded cheeses to mayo mixture, stirring until blended. 
You can store it in the refrigerator up to 1 week. 
Serve with celery sticks and assorted crackers.
Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Monday, June 15, 2020

Taco Salad

This recipe for Taco Salad came from the son-in-law  of my friend Joan, who lives in Evansville, Tennessee. He made this along with a stock pot full of chili for us for dinner one night back in 1990. 

He told me that the recipe had eight ingredients, and that is how I’ve always remembered this recipe down through the years. In my mind I count out those eight items and write down the ones I need from the grocery store.

One of the ingredients for this salad originally included avocado, but I always leave that out as my daughter is allergic to avocados. 

He used Thousand Island for the dressing on this salad, which I changed over the years. I make my own dressing with sour cream and either salsa or taco sauce. I don’t measure, but instead add the salsa to the sour cream until it’s the consistency that we like. 

Taco Salad

Ingredients:

Taco Meat
Beans
Lettuce
Tomato
Cheddar Cheese
Tortilla Chips
Black Olives

Dressing:
Sour Cream
Salsa or Taco Sauce

Directions:

There are no amounts to the ingredients of this recipe, but I usually start with two pounds of ground beef and cook and season it with my homemade taco seasoning. Then I’ll add two cans of Lucks chili beans, or if I’m using other canned beans I would rinse them first. 

Then I will chop up one or two heads of lettuce, depending on how small or large they are. I chop up at least two tomatoes, grate at least eight ounces of cheddar cheese, smash up one bag of tortilla chips and add that along with a drained can of black olives. 

All of this is mixed together in my largest kitchen bowl. Then I make the dressing ingredients and add them to a jar and shake well. I serve the dressing alongside the salad and let people add as much or as little as they want to add. This way I can store the leftovers in the refrigerator and they last longer than they would if I had added the dressing.


Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Chef AJ’s Lentil Tacos

Chef AJ’s Lentil Tacos 

Ingredients: 

1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 TBSP chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
14 ounces water
1 cup salt-free salsa
Salt-free seasoning to taste

Directions:

Put everything in a crockpot and cook on high for 8-12 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed. This taco filling can be used anywhere you would normally use a meat taco filling, such as in taco shells and on salads.

Note: This dish can be prepared in a pressure cooker. High pressure for 10 minutes with a natural pressure release.


Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Peach Cake Mix Cobbler

Peach Cake Mix Cobbler

Ingredients:

4 cups of sliced peaches 
(fresh or frozen) (around 6 peaches)
1/2 cup sugar (can use up to 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 box of yellow cake mix

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine cake mix & butter into a bowl. 
Cut the butter into the mix until it is crumbly.
Set aside. 
Combine sugar & cornstarch in saucepan. 
Add sliced peaches and lemon juice. 
Cook peach mixture over medium heat.
Stir constantly, until mixture thickens & boils. 
Cook for 1 more minute.
Add peaches to an oiled 9 x 13 cake pan.
Top with the cake mix crumble.
Cook for about 45 minutes  
The crust should be crispy and a deep golden brown.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Chicken Croquettes

Chicken Croquettes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 teaspoon sale
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 ounces cooked chicken, minced
4 slices bread, made into crumbs

Directions:

Combine milk, broth, celery, onion, salt and pepper in saucepan. 
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 15 minutes. 
Add 1/2 bread crumbs & cook on low heat until thick. 
Pour into bowl, add chicken and mix well. 
When mixture cools, shape into 4 equal croquettes and roll in remaining crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. 
Broil for 3 minutes. 
Serves 4. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Chicken Tenders

Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:
1 pound chicken
½ cup buttermilk
1 large egg
½ teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 & ½ cups flour

Directions:
Heat deep fryer to 350 degrees
Mix egg and buttermilk in a bowl.
Soak chicken in buttermilk mixture for at least 30 minutes. (overnight too)
In another bowl, add flour and dry seasonings together. 
Take chicken out of the buttermilk mixture and dredge in the flour mixture. 
Drop into a deep fryer for 5 minutes in small batches. 
Drain on paper towels.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Fluffy Baked Omelet



This recipe came from my high school home economics teacher, Mrs. Cimo. We made this in 1983 in one of our home economics classes. She had us use one of those cans of Hormel ham for the ham portion of the recipe. 

Fluffy Baked Omelet

Ingredients:
6 eggs, separated
¼ cup cornstarch
⅓ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 cup chopped ham
1 cup cheddar cheese
Optional: mushrooms, onions, green peppers. 
2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. 
Quickly beat egg yolks with remaining ingredients. 
Fold into beaten egg whites. 
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet. 
Pour in omelet mixture. 
Cook over low heat until lightly browned on bottom, about 5 minutes. 
Finish cooking in the oven. 

15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Loosen omelet, cut and serve. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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