Friday, February 23, 2018

Frugal Week of February 19, 2018

Payday came this week and I paid all the household bills. It's a good feeling and gives me peace of mind to have everything paid for the month. 

Using my Sears/Kmart Shop Your Way reward points I was able to pick up a free water filter for our kitchen faucet and a new pillow for my bed. We had both items on our list of things we needed, but saved money by picking up these for free. 

I received a free $25 gift card to Amazon from Norton for remaining on their anti virus protection plan for another year. 

I returned three pairs of pants that were not the right size for me to wear. No sense in paying for something that does not work. 

I listed several items for sale on Ebay this week. One of them sold about four hours after I listed it, which was pretty neat.  In the end I sold three items this week for a total of $60. 

I like to watch the Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners TV show from the UK on YouTube and found a couple of things they do that's interesting. 

Some of the cleaning people use a steam cleaner after they have cleaned a surface to then sanitize the area. I've been wanting to sanitize my shower recently, so I bought one from Lowe's this week. 

I also used it on my oven and was surprised at how well it cleaned a few areas of grime that I thought would never come off the oven. It's actually been fun, so I've been entertaining myself with cleaning this week.  

My daughter has four pairs of pants that no longer fit, but had masking tape on them, which has left an adhesive residue behind. I used Goo Gone to get rid of the adhesive and now she can sell them for extra money. 

My daughter had her oil changed this week by her uncle, a professional auto mechanic, and he only charges $20 for supplies. This is much cheaper than having it done anywhere else. 

My daughter had to return an item to Walmart this week, so I rode along with her to pick up some bags of frozen vegetables, which were priced at 84¢. I bought enough to fill the freezer above my refrigerator. 

The temperature here on Thursday broke the record at 80 degrees. We have every fan in the house running trying to cool the house. I am still not going to turn on the a/c. It's supposed to cool down this next week and I hope it does. 

I hope you all have had a frugal week in your home too.  :)

~ Living within our Means ~

Monday, February 19, 2018

Have It Your Way Seafood Casserole

One of the recipes I made for dinner this week was “Have It Your Way Seafood Casserole”, which was a recipe from the original Tightwad Gazette and can be found on pages 209-210.

Have It Your Way Seafood Casserole


4 to 5 ounces pasta
½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
½ cup milk or dry white wine (I used milk)
1 can condensed cream soup (used Amy D recipe)
1 cup shredded American cheese (4 ounces)
½ teaspoon dry mustard or dill (I used dill)
6 to 8 ounces drained canned seafood
(shrimp, crab, tuna, or salmon)
1 recipe crunchy topping


Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. Combine mayonnaise with milk or white wine. Stir in soup, cheese, and seasonings. Gently stir in cooked pasta or noodles and drained fish or seafood. Pour into a 1 & ½ quart casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with crunchy topping. Bake 5 minutes more. Makes 6 servings.

Condensed Cream Soup:

Melt 2 Tablespoons margarine in a sauce pan. Sauté 2 Tablespoons chopped celery. Blend in 2 Tablespoons flour. Add 1/3 cup dry milk powder and 2/3 cup vegetable broth or just add 1 cup milk. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook until smooth. (Back when Amy D wrote the TG, dry milk powder was inexpensive, which is no longer the case)

Crunchy Topping:

Make your own bread crumbs. Save all your crusts, cereal and cracker crumbs. Store in a bag in the freezer. Process in a blender or food processor.

To make Crunchy Topping:

1 cup soft bread crumbs and 2 Tablespoons melted butter. Or use 1 cup either crushed potato chips, chow Mein noodles or French-fried onions, or ½ cup slivered almonds. 
~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Frugal Activities for the week of February 12, 2018

This week I was able to work three days. Next week is Winter Break, so I have the first three days of the week free. 

We've had A LOT of rain here this week, which has made a mess of our driveway. I'm hoping for some sunshine next week to dry up all the mess.

With all the rain came the humidity, which made the temperature warm for this time of year. At school students asked me to turn on the air conditioner one day because it was really warm in their classroom.  

At home I opened the windows and turned the fan on to cool down the house, which helped.  We want to save money here and do not want to have to turn on the a/c in February. 

We've had homemade meals everyday this week. One night I made some brown rice, added some beans I cooked earlier in the week, and then added a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. 

Photo Credit
This was a idea I gleaned from Jeff Novick who is a registered dietician. It was delicious and low in sodium, plant based and cost under $3.00 to make. 

Friday evening we went to the thrift store and I picked up Dean Ornish's book, Eat More, Weigh Less for $1.00 to read the recipes and possibly add them to our plant based menus. 

I had plenty of time for reading this week (I had no students on one of the days I subbed) and managed to read two books for some free entertainment. 

My daughter needed three of her cloth pads repaired this week, so I brought out the sewing machine and quickly repaired those. Taking care of simple repairs will make the pads last longer. 

The wrestling team at the high school did so well this year that they went to the state championship in Nashville yesterday. We were able to watch the matches online at school. It was very exciting to watch. 

I did not spend any money for Valentine's Day as it was just a regular day here. 

What have you done to save money this week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Monday, February 12, 2018

Frugality the first half of February 2018

Sorry I've been absent from my blog. I was able to work eight days during the last two weeks, but then school was cancelled due to illness.  School reopens tomorrow and I'm scheduled to work. 

This past week I challenged myself to use up what we have in our pantry rather than buying more groceries. As a result, we had some creative dinners this week. I will be doing the same thing this week as well. 

For dinner today I will make fried rice using some planned over brown rice, stir fry vegetables, sesame oil, soy sauce and one egg. 

My daughter was able to pick up some tomato paste for us this past week and with coupon and a sale she was able to get four cans for 8¢ each. 

She also picked up some Wish Bone dressings for 24¢ each, also combining a sale with coupons. 

How have you been doing in your frugal journey?

~ Living within our Means ~

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