Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hint of Orange Iced Tea

There is a small food business based in Knoxville, Tennessee called Petro's Chili and Chips. 

What is a Petro you may ask?

A Petro was first introduced at the Knoxville Worlds Fair in 1982. Sort of like a Frito Pie, it is created by layering corn chips, chili, cheese, tomatoes, green onions, sour cream, and black olives in a cup. They are delicious, but what I love the most about Petro's is their Hint of Orange Iced Tea. 

Petro's used to be located in Chattanooga way back in 1988 and I would occasionally enjoy one. Sadly, they are only based in Knoxville these days, so rather than make the long drive there, I figured out years ago how to make my own orange tea at home. 

To make my own hint of orange iced tea at home I use a combination of regular sized tea bags (7 bags) and Orange & Spice tea bags (3 bags). Several companies make Orange & Spice tea bags. This one just happens to be from Bigelow tea company. I have often used the Lipton orange tea bags as well. 

What I do to make the tea is to boil some water, about two to three cups worth, remove from the heat source, add the tea bags to steep and then cover with a lid. Once that is done I add as much sugar as I desire to a gallon pitcher, add the steeped tea, stir until the sugar dissolves, and then fill the pitcher the rest of the way with cold water. Then I pour some of the tea over a glass of ice and enjoy. I store the rest in the refrigerator to keep it fresh as long as possible. 

The tea is so good and refreshing. I hope you try it and let me know what you think of it.  :)


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Saving Money with Soup

Image Credit
Serving soup for your main meal several times per month really helps to stretch your grocery budget. A bowl or cup of soup along with your choice of bread or sandwich is a terrific budget stretcher. 

We have several soup recipes that we make on a regular basis. Here are some of the ones I am including in our menus during the next month. If the recipe is not included simply click on the title to be taken to the recipe. 

15 Bean Cajun Soup

This is an easy recipe located on the back of a Hurt's 15 Bean Cajun bag of beans. You can add ingredients to your liking such as onions, smoked sausage, etc. to make this your very own recipe. I always add onions to mine and make sure to include the spice packet that comes with the beans. This is one of those tried and true family favorites. 

My Sister Tina's Potato Soup

This soup is a tried and true family favorite. This recipe came from my sister who made it for us several years ago and we've been making it ever since. This is one of my daughter's favorites soups. 

Taco Soup

This soup originally came from J.D. Roth back when he ran the Get Rich Slowly website. I looked for it on the website the other day, but it was no longer there. Good thing I had it on my blog, so I could link to it easily. This is another tried and true family favorite. 


Broccoli Cheese Soup

1/2 a bunch or 10 ounces Broccoli
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons Flour
4 cups milk
4 to 6 slices American Cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Steam broccoli and cut florets into bite-sized pieces. Drain and set aside. Melt butter over medium heat and stir in flour. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until bubbly. Add 1 cup milk and stir until smooth. Add remaining 3 cups of milk and cook, stirring constantly, for 7 to 10 minutes or until it just begins to boil. Reduce heat to low and add American cheese and stir until it is completely melted. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top each with cheddar cheese. 


Use It Up Soup

The most money saving soup I serve is one that incorporates the leftovers in my refrigerator, which I take and turn into soup.  Examples of these include the Mashed Potato Soup and the Vegetable Beef Soup I've made. 

What are some of your family's favorite soup recipes?


Monday, December 28, 2015

Broken Laptop

Hello Everyone!

My laptop stopped working last week and was in the repair shop until today. I was finally able to go today and pick it up.

I'm going to just move forward with my blog rather than go back and write about Christmas.

I do hope you all had a wonderful holiday though.

Looking forward to a wonderful 2016. :)

~ Live within your means ~

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas Will Soon Be Here

On Friday evening we decided to go Christmas shopping. Our first stop was to JC Penney armed with a $10 off $25 coupon. My Mom wanted a new blanket for Christmas, so that was on my list. I found one she wanted, which was originally $52, but was listed as 50% off that day, so after my coupon I paid $16 plus tax. This was similar in price to one I looked at in Walmart, but much better in quality. 

Our second stop was to Bath & Body Works where they had their tubes of lotion on sale for $4 each. My daughter bought the Twisted Peppermint last year, and I fell in love with it, so I bought three tubes for Christmas. One for Mom, one for my daughter, and one for me. These are regularly $13, so $4 is a really good price for these. And the scent is so good it reminds me of Christmas. 

One of my favorite things about Christmas, as an adult, is unwrapping the ornaments each year. Some of them hold such sentiment that it's like opening a treasure trove into the past. They are stored in a popcorn tin from 1990 that I won as a door prize at work that year. Each ornament is lovingly wrapped in tissue paper, which I remove and press by hand and place back into the tin until it's time to wrap them up again. 

Some of my favorites are the Baby's First Christmas from 1997 that I received as a baby shower gift in 1997 from the X-Ray department at the hospital where I worked that year when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

This is a mailbox made by my daughter's grandmother. I rescued it years ago and I am confident that if I hadn't it would be gone or ruined by now. My daughter and I never met her as she passed away from cancer in 1987. Every year when we open the ornaments I tell my daughter the story of her and she will have this to remember the grandmother she never got to know. 

Some ornaments make me sad like this one. My niece gave me the one on the left, which includes my exdh, the year our daughter was born. The one on the right was a gift from my sister in 2006 and includes just the two of us. 

This one is from my own childhood. A craft kit we made back in the 1970s and made into a shoe with my name on the bottom in my Mother's own handwriting. A keepsake for sure. 

I could go on about some more ornaments, but I won't. My daughter decorated the clocks to look like reindeer. 

And here is one of our trees, we put up two because the first one's lights would not come on, so we decided to leave it up as well as the bigger one. My picture of it turned out blurry, but I will include it in a future post. 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

~ Merry Christmas ~

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Sunday Dinner is Salmon Patties, Green Beans & Onions, Mashed Potatoes & Peas, and Sweet Tea to drink. 

This was the free lunch from Chick-Fil-A I received when I subbed one day a couple of weeks ago. It was delicious. :)

And here is a sweet note from one of the teachers I subbed for this week...

Here is a photo of a free water bottle I received at school one day and one from the auto dealership where I had my oil changed recently. They left it in the cup holder of my car.  :)

We are spending the day putting up the Christmas tree a little bit while playing and relaxing on the computers too. We are taking our sweet time decorating. 

How are you enjoying your Sunday?

~ Merry Christmas ~

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Refrigerator Dying

Welcome Saturday, which is the day we normally catch up on chores and prepare for the upcoming week. 

This Saturday is a little different though. I've spent the morning cleaning out our refrigerator. About six months ago I noticed the refrigerator was hotter than it should be, so I vacuumed the coils and moved it away from the items on both sides to help it breath. 

This past week I noticed it was running nonstop and several items in the freezer were thawed out. I pulled it out and vacuumed the coils again and noticed the back of the refrigerator was frozen in one section, so I unplugged it and took the salvageable items and put them into the chest freezer. I mostly use the chest freezer, so we did not lose much. 

This refrigerator was bought in 1986 when we moved to Tennessee and so it is almost 30 years old, but it is slowly dying and will have to be replaced soon. I will not complain though as that is a long life for a refrigerator. 

For now, the refrigerator section is keeping things cool enough and the freezer keeps water bottles very cool, but the ice cube trays are a mixture of ice and water. It is a just a matter of time before the refrigerator is kaput. 

As a result, I've been shopping this week and making arrangements for a new refrigerator. And I've been cleaning the old one out today. We are planning on replacing the refrigerator this week. Like the old saying goes, In with the new, out with the old. 

~ Live within your means ~

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