Saturday, October 21, 2017

Third Frugal Week October 2017

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The weather here has finally turned cooler, so we've turned off the air conditioner for the time being and opened up the house and it feels terrific. Resting on the couch with a blanket feels good, I love this time of year.  :)

We went to several yard sales on Saturday the 14th. We found some cute material and my daughter wanted me to make her more pads out of it. I have a feeling anything cute she comes across she will want pads out of it.  (I'm ok with that) 

On Sunday I cashed out some of MyPoints and redeemed them for a $50 PayPal credit. I can either transfer the $50 to my checking account to pay bills with or keep it in my PayPal account for Christmas money. 

MyPoints is easier to me than Swagbucks. I just started using MyPoints again earlier in the summer and only spend a few minutes each day there. I like the fact that I already earned enough for $50 from them. 

Other Frugal Things We Did This Week...

I did not buy any souvenirs in the gift shop at the zoo this week. We went in and looked at what they had to offer because looking does not cost anything, but we didn't buy anything because we didn't need anything they had. 

If you recall one of my New Year's goals the past two years has been to avoid consumerism. This cartoon I saw recently reminded me of my goal. 

Filtered tap water with ice is our preferred drink every day. I have plenty of other drinks to make on hand like hot or cold tea, lemonade, Kool-Aid, Sprite, juice, but water is the most frugal option and I like how it makes me feel. 

I perused the grocery store ads on Thursday to see if there were any good bargains to pick up this week. There were only a couple of good deals, nothing to write home about. 

I stayed home on Thursday and Friday and spent no money, which was nice after the birthday outings this week. I made a chicken pot pie for dinner on Thursday and baked meatless spaghetti with steamed broccoli on the side for dinner on Friday, which were both frugal meals. 

Gas prices have finally come back down to where they were before Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. Gas is now back at $1.89 per gallon here in SE Tennessee. 

We ventured out to multiple yard sales on the 21st and only found things my daughter can resell. She has a good little business running and pays for her own gas and car insurance, and anything else she needs. I looked but didn't find anything I needed. 

The electric bill came on Saturday and it's down to $175, which is down from $223 last month. Turning off the air conditioning has been a real money saver. 

We did stop at Earth Fair while we were in Chattanooga and bought some honey, which we needed. I also stopped at the Bread Outlet and picked up two loaves of Nature's Own Honey Wheat bread for 79¢ each.  

How was your week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Birthday Celebration!

Tuesday was my daughter's 20th birthday. My daughter loves to eat out, so that was definitely part of her birthday celebration. I took her out to Red Lobster for all you can eat endless shrimp. I bought the gift card from Swagbucks and snagged 300 Swagbucks in the process. 

She loves to receive gifts, but she also likes experiences too, so I made sure to include a couple for her birthday. She loves to go to the tea room in Chattanooga, but unfortunately they lost their lease this summer and closed. They do have a different one in Ooltewah, so I made a reservation and we went there on her birthday also. 

We also took a trip to the Chattanooga Zoo for her birthday and had so much fun. Here is a photo of the jaguars sleeping in the sun. We were able to get right up next to them.  :)  

It was back to school for her on Wednesday and I was able to sub for the day. We also were able to get her a free birthday dinner on Wednesday since a local restaurant is closed on Tuesdays, she was able to get it the next day.  

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Second Frugal Week of October 2017


Shrimp Dish

My friend Patti (Hi Patti!) sent me three meals from the Hello Fresh Company and we made the first one of them for dinner on Monday.

This week is Fall Break for the school system here, so I won’t be working at school, but am working at home. I spent the morning sewing and created a new pad pattern in the hopes of selling them, and I also made a new doll quilt in the hopes of selling them for Christmas.

Two trees fell across our driveway in the rain that came our way from the latest Hurricane. These were too big for us to handle by ourselves and needed a chainsaw, so my BIL Jody came over and removed them.


Since I had the week off I made several routine doctor appointments this week and Monday was the first one of those. Since I was in town anyway, I needed to run to the grocery store for onions.

One of the trips I made was to Walmart and found chicken breast on yellow clearance stickers. They were marked down to $1.35 a pound, so I picked up three packages. 

I came home and put one package in the crockpot for a few hours and then added some BBQ sauce and made BBQ chicken sandwiches for dinner. I put the other two packages in the freezer to use later.

I also found bananas on yellow clearance stickers for 25¢ a pound and bought two bags of those.


Bean & Cheese Enchiladas

I stayed home on Tuesday and spent no money. I made another doll quilt to sell. I also made Bean & Cheese Enchiladas for dinner.


We had a Pizza mystery shop to do for today, so that turned into dinner for the family.  

I received a free package of cat food from the Purina Rewards cat food program. 

I had an appointment for a mammogram this morning. I also went by Food City to pick up a prescription.


I stayed home again on Friday and spent no money. I took some of the leftovers in the refrigerator and put them into individual servings, labeled them, and put them in the freezer. We have plans this weekend to go out and do things and I don't want to lose any of the food I've prepared this week. 

How was your week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, October 7, 2017

First Frugal Week October 2017

Chicken Pot Pie

We stayed home on Sunday and spent no money. I made a Chicken Pot Pie for dinner again as my daughter requested another one, the second one I made in less than a week. 

I also made a large bowl of pasta salad and divided that into 16 different containers for lunches this week. I also made a double batch of homemade granola bars. I used up the last of a bag of chocolate chips that was lingering in the pantry and also the last of my honey, so I will need to replace the honey soon. 

Salmon Patties
Green Beans with Onions

No work on Monday for me, so I stayed home and spent no money, but spent time doing frugal things instead. I've been wanting to inventory my pantry and in my head I've been thinking of things I could use so that my grocery budget will be lower this month. 

I have some Pepperidge Farm herb dressing mix, but thought I don't have chicken broth, but I do have chicken bouillon, so I could use that and make do. Same with the onion soup mix, I can come up with something to make do for that as well, so that's what I did. 

"A thrifty housewife is better than a great income." 
 Charles Spurgeon


15 Bean Cajun Soup Beans

Thankfully, on Tuesday I received a call to sub. I’d already put on soup beans to soak on Monday night, so all I had to do was put them in the Instapot on Tuesday morning along with an onion and seasonings and dinner was ready when I got back home that afternoon.

I was grateful for the sub job because my Thursday job was cancelled. 


15 Bean Cajun Soup

I made enough of this soup to have it for dinner a second night.

I went to Walmart for a few things and found 3 boxes of Lime Jell-O on clearance for 50 cents each and 3 bottles of chili powder for $1.04, which was nice since I was out of chili powder. 

One of the reasons I went to Walmart was to buy some Rayovac batteries. This is for the Swagbucks deal that is currently going on and I also needed some batteries for two weather clocks in the house.


Bean & Cheese Enchiladas
Mexican Rice

I picked up a prescription for Montelukast for my daughter at Publix, which offers this prescription for free. I also picked up a prescription for myself and a free bottle of water.

We received a free calendar in the mail from Colonial Williamsburg. The calendar is nice enough to give as a Christmas present.  


I worked today and packed my lunch. We ended up having grilled chicken for dinner tonight.  

On Saturday we went to the library. Our Internet is down at home, so we made a day of it there to catch up on my daughter’s schoolwork and my blog.

I brought us lunch since we were there a while. I brought peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, using up some jelly packets we had, oranges, the last two bowls of pasta salad, and some homemade granola bars and water to drink. 

Other Frugal Things This Week

While I was recently inventorying my pantry, I noted that we had three cans of beets. It’s easy enough to turn canned beets into pickled beets, which is what we really like more than canned beats.

The recipe is simple, take one can of beets, one small onion, sliced, a half cup of vinegar, three tablespoons sugar, and three whole cloves. Bring all ingredients to a boil, remove from heat and cool. Then chill for at least four hours.

Making your own pickled beets from canned is much cheaper than buying pickled beets for consumption. 

I cleaned up the spice section of my pantry and combined some spices where I had duplicate bottles. If I'm buying spices and it's one I use regularly, I buy more than one bottle. Then, when one bottle gets low I can usually make one bottle out of the two. I was able to empty these six bottles. 

I also found a honey bear that was about half full. I thought I was out of honey, but did find this little bit. I placed it next to our tea center to use it up and have already used some of it this morning in my tea. 

We watched reruns of Downtown Abbey this week, which we borrowed from the library, so free entertainment and no money spent there. 

 Since our Internet is down at home I will only be posting sporadically. The technician is supposed to come on Wednesday to fix it, so I may or may not be posting much until then. I hope you all have a great frugal week.

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Final Frugal Week September 2017

On Sunday I made a stockpot full of chili for dinners this week. Other meals this week included Chicken Pot Pie, Tacos, Grilled Chicken Salads, and Beans & Cornbread. 

I read a really good article this week over at The Luxe Strategist called, "What my Immigrant Mother Can Teach You About Money". It's one of those really good frugal stories you'll want to read. 

My daughter is making a community notebook as one of her projects in her Social Work class and needed a notebook to contain it. Lucky for her she found a free one at a yard sale on Friday. 

My daughter and I both had the oil changed in our cars this week. Her uncle changed her oil and charged her $20 for supplies. I had a coupon from Valvoline for $19.99, but when I got there they said my car needed synthetic oil and the cost was $65.99, but they would be glad to take $20 off that price. I know he was just trying to up-sell me, so I told him no, thank you and left. I had the oil changed at another place in town. Next time I will have my daughter's uncle do mine as well.

I went to Target on Tuesday while I was waiting for my daughter to get done with one of her classes. I looked around, but the only thing I bought was a new pair of fingernail clippers, which will replace a pair of mine that broke last month.

There were not many sub jobs for me this week as I only worked on Friday this week. I'm scheduled for two days next week, but I hope to get more days as the week progresses. 

I had a doctor's appointment this week and she usually asks me if I check my blood pressure regularly at home and I always answer no because I do not have a blood pressure monitoring kit at home. 

So, I decided to use my Walmart gift cards from Swagbucks to buy myself a blood pressure monitoring kit for use at home. I was able to get in on free two day shipping and it arrived on Saturday. 

We found a penny at the library on Friday and picked it up. Have you found any money this week?

How was your week, frugal or no? We would love to read about it in the comment section.  :)

~ Living within our Means ~

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