Thursday, July 7, 2016

My Frugal Week

For two days only our local Fresh and Low sold five pound blocks of sliced American deli style cheese for $10. This normally sells for $15, so this was a good deal and I picked one up yesterday along with two bags of cole slaw mix, which they were selling for 50¢ each. 

I'll be incorporating grilled cheese sandwiches, rice and cheese, and macaroni and cheese into our July menus with this cheese. 

Today I finished an inventory of my pantry and freezer. It's a good way for me to know what's on hand, so that I can plan meals around those food items. For example, I found that I have an oversupply of kidney beans (18 cans), so I will be looking for a way to use those up. 

Also, I can search for recipes/ideas online using the ingredients I have on hand. This is one way to save money on food by using up the food I have on hand rather than looking up recipes for dishes I want to make and then going to the store to buy those ingredients. 

I made more chocolate syrup this week as it's good and inexpensive to have on hand to stir into a glass of chocolate milk or over a banana for chocolate cravings. 

Homemade Chocolate Syrup


1/2 cup cocoa 
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan, mix together the sugar and cocoa powder until most of the lumps are gone. Add water and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes, until thickened, continuing to stir frequently. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes, then add vanilla extract. Store in air tight container in the fridge.


We went to the flea market and set up on Wednesday. Many of the regulars we see on Saturday were at the Wednesday show, which is held in a different location. We did well even though it was threatening to rain most of the day. Of course, we took sandwiches and drinks with us and other than the $2.00 I spent on cucumbers, did not spend any money today. 

I picked up six cucumbers for this week. They were priced at 3 for $1.00 and the lady that grew them bought several things from me as well. She and her husband are retired, but grow produce to sell as a side income. She sold most of her produce for $1.00 a pound and said it made a good side income for them. 

We continue to make do without a microwave. I have been using a loaf pan to heat up leftovers in the toaster oven, which works remarkably well. I wanted to make cornbread muffins the other day, but do not have a six-cup muffin pan to fit in the toaster oven, and I did not want to heat up the house with the big oven, so I made corn bread patties instead on my griddle.
We continue to eat the food we have in our pantry and do as little grocery shopping as possible. I have spent very little on groceries this month ($14.10 so far) and will continue to do so at least through the month of August. I do have a growing grocery list though. 

How is your week going?

~ Living within our Means ~


  1. you are doing so well. I need to make more of an effort with my grocery shopping.

    1. Thank you, Gill. Long time no see, how have you been?

  2. Marinated kidney beans are nice to add to salads. I know it's called 3-bean salad, but sometimes my 3-bean is really 1 or 2-bean.

    I had a chocolate craving just this morning. One of my daughters had made some chocolate syrup over the weekend, so I had a cup of cocoa this morning.

    Good job on finding a way to make cornbread on the griddle!

    Have a great week, Belinda!

    1. I like 1 or 2 bean salad, Lili. LOL

      That chocolate syrup really hits the spot.

      Thanks, Lili...I hope you have a great week too.

  3. Do you have a waffle iron? cornmeal waffles can be cut into 1/4's and served that way. Just an idea.

    1. Yes, I do have a waffle iron, Carol. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Hi Belinda, You are doing so well stretching your groceries & holding off on shopping! Keep up the great work. Kidney beans are a big part of chili. Maybe some crockpot chili is in order.
    I have been enjoying some of the produce from my tiny garden. Basil in grilled mozzerella cheese sandwiches. The tomatoes all have holes in them...a bit of rot going on, but I just cut that part out and eat the rest. Today, I got my second holey tomato!
    I enjoyed a peach from one of the two peach trees we planted this year. They had three tiny peaches when we purchased them. I didn't think the peaches would grow, but they did and are delicious. Of course, I had to put a clear, plastic, strawberry container around the peach to protect it from critters.

    - Ellie

    1. I was thinking chili too, Ellie. Your grilled mozzarella cheese sandwiches sound so good. I would cut out any bad spots too and eat away, just like with potatoes or carrots too.

      Good idea to protect your peaches, when we had peach trees here we had to beat the squirrels to them. lo

  5. Link has not been allowing me to reply.

  6. Ha! Link works again, and hi to you and your thrifty ways. Never liked kidney beans but tolerated them in Mom's chili. Then, I met pinto beans when age 21 and fell head over heels in love. Wish I could eat pintos, potato salad, and Cole slaw daily.

    Good cheese and slaw mix deals.

    Friend was talking about donating clothes. I asked if she had calculated gain if she removed buttons and zippers and found another use for what she planned to donate. Those are gold in fabric stores these days. Buying not-so-good clothing cheaply second-hand/yard sales saves money for my sewing. Junk to others might be jewels for me. And that is how you have managed time and again through the years. :)

    1. Thank you, Anna. I could also eat beans, potato salad, and cole slaw daily. They are all so good and the last two are very refreshing.

      Wonderful ides on how to make the best use of clothes. I've read and seen many ideas for them online just lately. We see a lot of them at the flea market. It's a wonderful place for a tightwad. We picked up a HUGE cantaloupe yesterday for $2.00. I cut it up as soon as I got home with it had some for lunch.


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