Friday, January 21, 2022

Third Frugal Friday of January 2022



Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week

"Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life."

~ Dolly Parton 


My Frugal Week

The view from our back door...



We ended up with a couple of inches of snow and didn’t lose power on Sunday. I am so grateful we did not lose power. 

I’ve been keeping myself busy this week, finding something to do when I think I have finished my tasks. I can usually always find something to do to keep myself busy and less on social media. I read last week where social media can be depressing, so I want to steer clear of that. Being productive fits the bill. 

I've made several phone calls this week in regards to medical bills. Turns out my Insurance goes back farther in 2021 than I thought and I am asking them to file a claim. Some of them are paid off and might owe me money, but time will tell as to what happens as it can take Insurance 30 to 45 days to pay. 

One of them already owes me money from an overpayment and told me in November it would be 4 to 6 weeks, and when I called them this week they said it would be another 6 weeks. 

Schools have been closed here all week due to sickness and a shortages of staff and subs, and the weather. They were out on Thursday and Friday of last week too due to illness. Hopefully they will be able to start back on Monday.

I saved money on a prescription this week by making a few phone calls and getting the price down as low as possible. It went from $75 to $25 for a three month supply.

We continue to work around shortages when getting supplies. Several items we use are out of stock and so we look for alternatives. The nasal spray I use from Walmart is out of stock, but I was able to find a generic version at Amazon that will work. 

Think hard about what you and your family need right now and in the coming months and try to work around the shortages. For example, I ordered a three pack of the nasal spray, so it will last me for a long time. 

We ordered more cat food and toilet paper this week to have just in case there are more shortages later. I could live without the toilet paper, but the cats will be very upset if we run out of cat food. 😂 

We did a small grocery pick up order on Saturday to have in case we lost power on Sunday, which we didn't. We bought easy things to fix like sandwich stuff mostly. 

This week I was able to put back $100 into my emergency fund.

It was harder to do Microsoft Rewards while I was working from a tablet for the last few months, but now that I am back on a laptop I've been earning points again. 

I felt the same way about Rakuten while on my tablet. It is easier for me to do while on the laptop since they notify me when I am about to spend money. I did a big Walmart order for my Mom on Monday and went through Rakuten to do that. Every little bit helps me earn money. (referral link)

Swagbucks Collector Bill

Speaking of reward programs, 
I won another Swagbucks  Collector Bill worth 11SB this week. Did you notice 
in the comment last week Lana mentioned she had won ALL of the bills in this collectors series? I thought that was pretty neat. 


I also received a coupon in the mail this week for a free product from Path of Life. I checked their website and found that Publix sells their products, so the next time we are in there we will use this. 

Joy of the Week

My friend Linda is such a sweetheart. She called on Saturday and we had a nice conversation. She loves cats and goes on daily walks around her neighborhood. She takes cat food and water with her when she goes. Her neighborhood has several stray cats and she feeds and waters them when she sees them.

If it was up to her she would have them all spayed or neutered, but she doesn’t know if they have an owner or not. It's so neat to have people who care about their community in ways like this. 

Question of the Week

Have you had trouble getting through on the phone to companies you do business with?

I needed to make several phone calls this week and I had some trouble getting through to some of the companies. I understand that many places of employment are short staffed right now, so I keep that in mind. However, I did have multiple times where they simply did not answer the phone even when I knew they were open. I suppose it is just a sign of the times and hopefully only temporary. 

Earning Money

I turned in 50 points to MobileXpression in exchange for $10 in my PayPal account.

Avoiding Spending

I had several no spend days this week. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

I perused the grocery store sale ads online rather than pay $1.00 for the weekly newspaper to get them. The best sale item I noted was Food City has the one pound bags of into beans priced at 12 for $10, which makes them 83 cents each. They also have the 18 ounce canister of Food Club oatmeal included in the sale. 

We had some cream cheese left from the holidays, so I made two different gelatin salads. One with orange gelatin and one with lime gelatin. 

I made Tacos on Saturday and Sunday with the ground beef and since I stretched it out with onions and potatoes, I still had enough to use for dinner on Monday. I made a tortilla pie with it using flour tortillas rather than the corn ones we use for tacos. 

I made hot chocolate for movie night Tuesday. I used water to make mine, but Bailey prefers milk in hers. Books a Million (BAM) has a delicious frozen hot chocolate, so I added ice cubes to mine and it was so good. A contrast between hot and cold at times. Best of all, my homemade version didn’t cost $5.00 like it does at BAM. :)


Our Jif peanut Butter came on Monday. That was fast shipping as I had just ordered it on Thursday. 

Meals This Week

Friday: Better Cheddars, Baked Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables.

Saturday: Taco Night! Ground Beef with Potatoes on soft Corn Tortillas, Lettuce, Tomato, Onions, and Cheese. 

Sunday: Repeated Taco Night.

Monday: Tortilla Pie using leftover taco meat, Chips & Salsa, and Corn.

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza for Movie Night.

Wednesday: Tuesday evening I sorted a pound of pinto beans, rinsed them and let them soak overnight. This is perfect weather for chili. I took one of my pounds of hamburger from the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. With plenty of onions and tomatoes on hand, chili was on the menu.

Thursday: There was just enough chili left for dinner on Thursday night. To make sure I put the peanut butter on the table along with the crackers and we had those with the chili. Filled everyone up, which was the goal. 

Saving on Entertainment

We've been watching White Collar for the last few weeks. The setting is the White Collar crime division of the FBI and is set in New York City. It's such a good show and gets even better in the later years of the series. 

What I've been Reading This Week

UnDo It! ~ written by Dean Ornish ~ This has been a really good read so far. If you’re interested in a Whole Foods plant based lifestyle and reversing lifestyle diseases then you will want to read this book. 

Consumer Reports: 9 Products on Deep Discount in January

Freebies  

Free Printable 2022 Mini Calendars ~Oh my gosh, these are so cute!

Dr.  McDougall has three free books on his website right now that you can download. He is a plant based doctor for those that don’t know. The three books are Making the Change, The McDougall Program for Women, and the McDougall Program for a Healthy Heart. Here is the link: McDougall 

Every home in the US can order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. There will be no shipping costs and you will not need to enter a credit card number. Visit covidtests.gov to order.

A free copy of Good Housekeeping came in the mail this week. 




That is all the news to report on our frugal week in Tennessee. Thank you for dropping by, you are always welcome here. We would love to hear about your week in the comment section.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Paying Up for Certain Things


I saw the following comment recently in one of my frugal groups...

Frugality means something different to everyone. I work part time now, but for the first 17 years of our marriage, I stayed at home with our four children. I didn’t like it when people told me how “lucky” I was to be staying home.
My husband and I worked hard to be able to make that happen. Yes, he made a great income but feeding, clothing, housing and activities for my crew was all pricey. I nursed, cloth diapered, cooked from scratch, etc but other people also saw me hiring a mothers helper, take out pizza every Friday, concerts and trips. 
So frugality was important to me during those years because it allowed us to do what we wanted to do. 
Spending has so much to do with ratios. It does make me cringe a bit when I see people just trying to spend the least amount on something as if that’s the only goal. I consider things like quality as well as cost. So maybe my Bomba socks are $12 a pair but they last forever and I still buy the $8 on sale pack of 8 Pumas at Costco. It’s all about balance.

I think she makes a great point in the fact that she worked hard at home to save money to buy things that they deemed worthy to them. And ultimately she still buys things of quality that she knows will last. 

There are things I pay up for because it is important to me. I buy good quality shoes because I've had multiple foot problems in the past and I don't want them to return. I pay up for undergarments because I want them to work well and last a long time. 

What about you? Do you pay up for certain things that are important to you?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree



Friday, January 14, 2022

Second Frugal Friday of January 2022


Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week

At any given moment you have the power to say: this is not how my story will end." -Christine Mason Miller

My Frugal Week

This week I worked on finishing up what inventory we had on hand for Bailey’s shops. I steamed and processed them and she will do the listings. It’s a good feeling to be caught up on inventory for the moment. She is pet sitting in Chattanooga this week and there was a delivery of inventory while she was gone, so it was only for a moment that we were caught up. 😂 

I bought a new pair of pants from Torrid this week and used a 50% off coupon, which saved me $16.49. Several of their clothing items are 50% off right now. 


I won a $15 Swagbucks  Collector Bill this week. I thought it was funny being hibiscus when I mentioned the tea in my blog post last week. 

I had a follow up doctors appointment this week. My doctor is really thorough in making sure I am up to date on everything. As a result, she gave me a tetanus shot since it has been over ten years since my last one. We are going to discuss the shingles vaccine when I see her next month. 

Joy of the Week

I’m still riding the good feeling of money from last week. 

Question of the Week

Are you expecting any extreme weather in your area over the weekend? We may get some snow on Sunday, time will tell. 

Avoiding Spending

I didn't avoid spending money this week, and do not want to have a freezer full of meat and then lose power from an ice storm, so I will wait until next week for groceries. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

t

Smuckers is having a buy one get one free sale on their website for Jif peanut butter this month until January 17th. The shipping fee is $7.00, which I took into consideration. Walmart sells the four pound can for $9.86 while the cost is $8.89 on the Smuckers website. 

When I figure in the cost of shipping and the free jar, my price comes down to $6.61 per four pound jar, which is a savings of $3.25 per jar. I bought four of the jars, which saved me $13.00. If you’re interested, the code for this sale is JANUARYBOGO. 

Meals This Week

Friday: It’s been too long and I can’t remember. 😂 

Saturday: Hamburgers with Cheddar, Onions, Lettuce, and Tomatoes, BBQ Chips

Sunday: Same as Saturday 

Monday: Polish Sausage, Green Beans with Onions, Broccoli & Cheese Pasta

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza for Movie Night. 

Wednesday: Loaded Baked Potatoes with broccoli, tomatoes, black olives, green onions. 😋 

Thursday: Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowls with Cilantro Rice, Pinto Beans, Corn Salsa, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cheese, Red Onions, Black Olives. 

Recipe of the Week

The recipe this week was requested by several people. The last time we made this we used a croissant crust rather than a pizza crust, and it was even better than before. 

Bailey’s Big Mac Pizza

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup mayonnaise 
3/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
1/3 cup dill pickles, chopped
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 Pillsbury pizza crust
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 
1 cup lettuce, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F.
Brown ground beef in a skillet.
Crumble ground beef well while it's cooking.
Drain the ground beef. 
In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Thousand Island dressing, diced pickles, diced onions, and salt and pepper. 
Unroll the pizza crust and press it out onto a greased 10 x 15 inch baking sheet.
Bake the pizza crust for 8 minutes and then remove it from the oven.
Spoon the ground beef mixture onto the prebaked crust and spread it out evenly,
Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the ground beef.
Return the pizza to the oven and bake until cheese is completely melted and the crust is nicely browned for 6-8 minutes.
Sprinkle the shredded lettuce on top of the pizza.
Drizzle Big Mac Sauce over pizza.

Saving on Entertainment 

I’ve been watching Them on Amazon Prime this week. The story, which is actually a series, begins with the story of The Great Migration, which is the relocation of six million African Americans from the rural south of the United States to the north, Midwest, east and west. 

The first story involves a black family from North Carolina moving to a white neighborhood  in Compton, California in the 1950s. While I normally like this type of setting, the white neighbors are just awful to the newly arrived black family.

The storyline involves a little bit of supernatural, which I normally don’t enjoy, although there isn’t enough of that to turn me off of watching it so far. I haven’t decided if I like the series or not as some of the language to me is cringeworthy. 

Have any of you watched the series and if so what do you think of it?

What I’ve Been Reading This Week

Health Science Fall 2021

That is all the news to report on our frugal week in Tennessee. Thank you for dropping by, you are always welcome here. We would love to hear about your week in the comment section.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree



Friday, January 7, 2022

First Frugal Friday of January 2022



Welcome to Friday! 

The weather here this week has been odd to say the least. Over the weekend it was so warm that we broke the temperature record (78 degrees) for New Years Day. But then by Monday morning we had two inches of snow on the ground and freezing temperatures (32 degrees). 

We received some good news at the end of last week and as a result had some money coming our way this week. The timing is excellent as I have auto insurance due at the end of the month and can replace the money into the emergency fund that we used for my tooth In December. 

We said goodbye to Christmas this week as we put all our Christmas decorations away for another year.

My Frugal Week

This week I want to give a shout out to Bobi E for supporting me and being so encouraging in my work here. Thank you Bobi!

This week I took all of the towels out of the linen closet, refolded some of them, and reorganized the entire closet. It looks so much better now.


Hibiscus tea has multiple health benefits for the cardiovascular system, so I drink it several times during the week. I normally use the Traditional Medicinals brand, but recently found this strawberry flavor at Walmart. 


The Great Value brand costs $2.24 for twenty tea bags, which makes it cheaper than the Traditional Medicinals brand. I like the strawberry flavor as it is sweet tasting without needing any sweetener. I made a half gallon pitcher of it this week, so I could enjoy it ice cold with dinner. 

We stopped in at Publix on Tuesday and bought some Life cereal, which was on sale for buy one get one free. It is our favorite cereal and one of the few I will buy, otherwise I make my own granola/cereal at home. 

Avoiding Spending

I didn’t avoid spending money this week as I paid for my auto insurance membership and my auto insurance, which are always due in January. I also had some RX that needed filling. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

On Friday I made cookies to have as a treat. The recipe is below (under recipe of the week) if you’re interested. 

Meals This Week

Friday: Impossible Sausage Pie, Air Fryer Brussel Spouts & Broccoli ~ We really liked the vegetables air fried. In fact, we ate the entire bag of both of these vegetables, which we normally don’t and have a small bowl leftover, so we will definitely be making these again. 
Saturday: Better Cheddars in the Air Fryer, Broccoli Casserole, Carrots
Sunday: Bailey’s Big Mac Pizza
Monday: Sticky Pineapple Chicken, Buttered Basmati Rice, Carrots
Tuesday: Homemade Pizzas for Movie Night
Wednesday: Submarine Sandwiches, Celery & Carrot sticks with Ranch
Thursday: A little bit of this and that...Chicken & Rice, Broccoli Casserole, Carrots, and Better Cheddars.

Recipe of the Week

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Cream brown sugar and egg together. 
Add peanut butter and baking soda and mix well.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Scoop into cookie dough balls and placed on baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy.

Saving on Entertainment

Games we played this week include Wasabi, Guess Who, Crazy Eights, 

What I've been Reading This Week

The recipes at Cooks.com have really interesting notes by people who have made the recipes. 

Saving Money in the Kitchen

Freebies

That is all the news to report on our frugal week in Tennessee. Thank you for dropping by, you are always welcome here. We would love to hear about your week in the comment section.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Hamilton Beach Food Processor


Wouldn’t you know it, but on Christmas Eve as I was getting ready to make crumbs for a casserole dish, I realized that the top of the S blade for my food processor was broken, rendering the machine useless with that blade.

Top of the S blade broken off

This food processor was a Christmas gift to me back in 1991. I often joke about it aging me as it has turned yellow in color over the years as appliances do sometimes

Unbroken S Blade

Well I looked up my model number and looked for a replacement and found one on eBay. The seller wanted $15.50 for it, but we negotiated a deal where I ended up paying $11.50 instead, which was cheaper for me than replacing the entire machine. 

Hopefully this will give me many more years of use



The reason I was able to put my hands on the Owners Manual after thirty years is because I keep mine in a three ring binder. I have the binder labeled and I have those plastic page protectors in there. Each pocket holds an owners manual, the receipt if I have it, and the date it was purchased. 


This system has saved me several times over the years.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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