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 ~


  1. Like the way your blog posts showed up Belinda. Is there any chance you could become a regular teacher and have a steady income? Cheryl

  2. Thank you, Cheryl. I wrote this blog post in Word during the week at home and then posted it into Blogger when I was at the library on Saturday. I like how the outlines came out.

    I have applied for 7 full time positions in this school system in the 9 years I've worked here, but have not been hired. Their list of subs is short and they need more subs and I think I benefit them more being on the sub list than I do a full time position. It's sad, but true.

  3. What a frugal week. Cooking at home really saves money.
    Thank you for the pickled beet recipe, Belinda. Store bought ones are too sweet for my taste and I'm going to try making it at home.
    I hope your internet will be fixed soon. Have a great weekend.

  4. Thank you, Nil. I hope you enjoy the pickled beet recipe and find it to your liking. Hope you have a great weekend too!

  5. Your menu sounds yummy. Sounds like a good week my friend.
    have a blessed day

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. I hope you have a blessed week. :)

  6. How's the smartphone going just got me a Google pixal

    1. I've been enjoying it, Debbie. I still have a lot to learn. I hope you are enjoying your new phone. :)

  7. It's amazing how much we depend on our internet. It is annoying when it's down for extended periods though especially when you have a student in the house. I hope they plan on giving you a credit for all of your aggravation.

    I took advantage of a sale at Ocean State Job Lot. They had a 40% off sale on items $10 and under, including food. I had tried a small dried soup kit and decided it was very good and only $1 but with the sale I got it for $.60 each. I bought 3. Rugs for in front of the kitchen sink and stove (mine had seen better days) $4, paid $2.60 each and lots of other goodies (some health and beauty (Sensodyne toothpaste for much less than Walmart). It was worth it. I could have spent quite a bit more, but I held myself in check.

    I hope you have a good week!

    1. I hope they will give us credit too, Mary Lou. It is back up and running today, so I'm happy! What a great sale you happened across, the soup mixes for 60¢ are terrific. I would have jumped on the Sensodyne toothpaste deal too. That stuff really works. Great deals, I'm happy for you. I hope you have a good week too. :)

  8. Crossing fingers your Internet is fixed and better than ever. I am always so inspired by your dinner lists. Seriously, you really save me at the grocery store. I love, love, love Downton Abbey. I miss that show so much.

    1. Thank you, Aiyana. I miss Downton Abby too. It was so great, I do watch the reruns though. While the Internet was down I also watched some frugal You Tube videos I had on my computer, which was pretty fun. and entertaining.

  9. When you are not connected to Internet, know that you are missed, Belinda, 'cause you are. :) Big news along Mississippi River: Memphis broke recorded high for 9 October. It was 92-degrees on Monday.

    Like you, I ate many brown-bagged pasta and green mixed salads when toting a lunch to school. Also like you, I often cooked ahead for dinners.

    Saturday mornings I would be home from grocery shopping by 8:30 to begin cooking and baking for the week. 2 slow cookers would soon be simmering as baked sweets were going in and out of oven. A pot roast, chicken, or ham might be baking or on stove top during the day. After pinto beans were cooked, I'd start chili. Some Saturdays, spaghetti would fill a pot on the stove. If freezer was low on browned ground beef with onion, I'd brown as many pounds as available. One of the crock pots held soup every week. Bones from meat turned into broth, which I find can pay for the price of meat.

    Your day at the library with your own lunch would be the same as a holiday get away for me, where the large books of art are found. :)

    Free prescription and free Colonial Williamsburg calendar added further cheer. You may be ready to decorate a Christmas tree. Friends are writing that they can't wait for Christmas this year.

    As ever, you are solving your money needs and encouraging us. May you have a lovely week.

    1. Thank you, Anna. You are so sweet. :) Wow, that is hot for this time of year in Memphis. I am really for cooler temps for sure.

      We are kindred spirits with our brown bagging and cooking ahead. :)

      Your Saturdays sound amazing. I love that you had multiple crockpots going and things in and out of the oven. I remember always baking a cake on Saturday for after church dinner on Sundays. Those were good times!

      Our Internet is back up and running today, which makes me happy to check in with all of my friends here.

      Thank you for the encouragement, Anna. You are such a blessing to me. I hope you have a lovely week too.

  10. Everything sounds so good! We are in the mid 80s today, but I am longing for cooler weather. I’ve been craving comforting casseroles and soups.

    1. It's definitely getting to be that time of year, Shara. I made a vegetable soup/stew this week and served it with grilled cheese sandwiches. I love those comforting foods of fall.


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