Thursday, May 31, 2018

Media Basket

While we were in Chattanooga pet sitting, I noticed something that our friend had in her home that I would like to have in our home. 

I did a little bit on Googling and learned that this might be called a media basket, but I could not find one for sale online.


This basket hides all the cords inside and sort of out of the way. It looks a lot better than having the cords sitting on the floor. 

I'm wondering if any of you know where you can find something like this?

~ Living within our Means ~

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Frugal Time Management

One principle of a frugal lifestyle is to use your resources wisely and that includes time. 

You wouldn't want to squander your time and then at the end of the day have nothing to show for it. 

Instead of watching TV, use your leisure time to learn new money saving skills. Learn how to bake bread, or make yogurt, or learn to change the oil in your car.  

With the end of the school year I find myself with multiple projects I am working on while running our household. 

It would be easy to become overwhelmed with too many things to do, so creating a schedule is going to help me get things done and not become overwhelmed. 

One way I save time in the kitchen is to do several things at once. For example, after we've eaten breakfast I will plan lunch. 

Right after breakfast on Monday I made egg salad for lunch with eggs I made in the Instant Pot while we were eating breakfast. 

The same thing can be done with dinner. Planning dinner ahead while doing other things in the kitchen, will help dinner to run more smoothly. 

For example, if I want to have beans for dinner the next day I will want to put the on to soak overnight the day before. I want to have Bean & Cheese Enchiladas on the menu soon, so I will want to soak those pinto beans in advance. 

In other terms of time management, I want to use my time intently. Therefore, I will want to eliminate some things that take up too much of my time, like watching TV for example.

The things that I've decided to spend my time on need to be in alignment with the goals I've chosen for this summer. 

How I spend my time will be unique to me and related to what I want to accomplish. Your goals and time will be different than mine based on what you want to accomplish. 

Many of my online friends are busy with their yards and gardening right now. The key to success is to find what works for you and do it. 

One thing I don't want is for this summer to pass by without working on my goals. I don't want to be stuck in a pattern of using my time that does not use my time efficiently or help me fulfill my goals. 

My plan this first week is to identify what works for me and what doesn't and figure out the best use of my time, so that my goals for the summer are fulfilled. 

What are some of your time management tips?

~ Living within our Means ~

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Teach Your Children Well

While I didn't realize it at the time, my daughter learned some valuable frugal lessons at my feet when she was growing up. 

We had a limited income, which included my subbing income and her child support. We made do with what we had and sometimes did without the things we needed, but we made it through those years. 

Little did I know at the time that she was watching and learning the whole time and now she lives her financial life in a way that demonstrates to me she knows and wants to handle money well. 

She does not spend money frivolously. I remember one of her high school friends had one of those scientific calculators that cost about $100. If you recall, my daughter and I traded at McKay in order for her to get one. 

Her friend already had one, but she decided that she wanted a pink one instead, so her parents bought her a pink one. Bailey thought that was ridiculous and financially irresponsible. 

My daughter keeps track of all her spending and expenses, she runs her own reselling business and keeps good records of what she buys, sells, pays in fees, and her final profit. 

These days my daughter follows my lead and chooses to live a frugal life on her terms. And it makes me happy to know that she has her feet firmly planted on the ground in this way. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Monday, May 28, 2018

Frugal Funny

It's not good when the yellow sticker price is higher than the regular price.

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Yard Sale Saturday ~ May 26, 2018

Sadly, yard sales were practically non-existent this week, which is usually what happens on a holiday weekend. 

We did find two things this week though. 

The first one was a dehumidifier for $8, which has been on our list for a while. I'm hoping it will help to keep the air conditioner from working so hard to keep the house cool. 

We also found this large surge protector for $3, which also has USB slots in it as well. 

Anyone else have any luck finding anything this week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Weekly Grocery Shop ~ May 26, 2018

Our plans this summer are to combine errands more than ever due to rising gas prices, so this week, even though we were tired from yard sales, we did our grocery shopping on the same day. 

We made two stops for groceries, one at Walmart and the other one at Cookes Hometown Grocer. 


Milk $2.99
Sugar $3.84 (10 lb bag - all the small bags were gone)
Tyson Chicken $2.24 (yellow sticker)
Pie Crust $2.24
Swiss Almond Cheese 65¢ (yellow sticker)
Tortillas $2.64
Sour Cream $4.74 (large container)
Yogurt $2.18
Sweet Relish $1.96
Paprika 98¢
Hamburger & Hotdog Buns 88¢


Chicken Breast $1.49 lb (2 pkgs)
Baking Potatoes 69¢ lb
Success Rice $1.99 box

With school/work over for both of us for the summer, our plans are to stay home, unless there is an emergency, until next week when we go out for yard sales. 

We ran multiple errands such as dropping off packages at the post office, picking up our prescriptions, depositing checks at the bank, etc.

We have plenty of food here, so we are going to stay home and work on reselling and crafting new items for my Etsy shop.  

It may sound boring to some, but I relish the chance to stay home and enjoy myself. Some of my fondest days are ones that I've puttered around my home and worked and felt content. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, May 25, 2018

Frugal Friday ~ May 25, 2018

My daughter and I were pet sitting in Chattanooga this past week. Her friend went to Paris on a school trip and needed someone to stay with her dogs. 

We love pet sitting for her as it gives us a free place to stay in the city where we have be closer to the things we enjoy and she gets paid for it as well. 

I found 3¢ on the ground at Sonic when I stopped in to use their restroom while doing yard sales on Saturday. 

McAlister's Deli sent me a free $5 off certificate for my birthday and we used it this week. We have a rewards card from there, which they have discontinued, but still honored.  

So, we ordered the Spud Max, a loaded baked potato, which feeds both of us because they are so big. I also ordered tea to drink and it cost us $3.39 with all of our discounts, which was not bad for dinner. 

We stopped in at Whole Foods since we were so close and I bought organic carrots for $3.99 for a two pound bag. I also bought some of their Watermelon Lemonade and it was so good. 

We finally arrived home late Tuesday night and stayed home Wednesday catching up on laundry. I worked on Thursday, which will be my last day this school year. After that I am on summer vacation. 

We have a pop up tent for the cats to use and we had it stored by our French doors. Somehow yellow jackets had taken up residence inside, so  we used wasp/hornet spray to kill them along with the remaining ones in the house. 

Keeping bug spray, wasp/hornet spray, etc., is a great way to save money over having an exterminator come into your home every month. It's one of those easy DIY projects. 

I earned another $5 gift card to Amazon this week from Microsoft Rewards.

Snapfish was offering a free 8x10 last week, so I ordered a print from my daughter's graduation. 

Walgreens was offering free 8x10s over Mother's Day too, so I ordered two prints from Walgreens. 

That is all the frugal news from this past week. How was your frugal week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cleaning Out Student Lockers ~ Treasure Trove

Several days last week I was able to sub while students were cleaning out their lockers. Some of them think nothing of throwing away perfectly good school supplies. 

If you look closely in the photo above you will see a stack of brand new notebook paper. I stopped a student from throwing this away and then put it on the desk of the teacher I was subbing for that day. 

They will always use this notebook paper for students who don't have any during the year. I also pulled multiple pencils out of the garbage can as well. 

Another student threw these five notebooks in the garbage can, so I rescued them. The first notebook (the purple one) is filled with brand new notebook paper! 

All of them look like they hadn't even been used this year. Someone will definitely need one of these come August and the teacher can hand them one of these for free. 

Some students ask for pencils and paper regularly during the school year while others think nothing of throwing them away come the end of the school year. 

One day I was standing next to the garbage can while students were throwing away snack packs filled with food! One of them hadn't even been opened. 

I pulled about twelve of those out of the garbage can while the teacher who makes the snack packs was reaching into the garbage can to pull out spiral notebooks with loads of paper left in them. 

I showed her the snack packs and she sent a student to get a box out of her room so they could be rescued. 

It hurts my heart to see perfectly good food and supplies just thrown away like this. I'm glad some of us are there to rescue these items, although I'm sure we aren't getting all of it. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Yard Sale Saturday

We've been staying in Chattanooga this week, so it was easy to get to the yard sales earlier as we didn't have to travel from our rural home. 

Unfortunately, there weren't many yard sales due to the weather, so we ended up at six sales on Friday and eight on Saturday. 

The first place we went to was a church yard sale, which is where I found most of the things I bought

I found two Rubbermaid items for my car that were still in the package. 

One is a serving tray, which we bought for the drink holder as my car needs more, but I missed getting a photo of it. There was also this bin/garbage collector, which was also $2.00.

The next item I found was a queen flannel flat sheet for $1. 

Next I found this new plastic shoebox with ribbons and some fat quarters inside for $2.00. I will use these items in my sewing center and use the shoebox as an organizer for the area. 

I also found this ziploc bag of ribbon for $1.00.

I found this bow maker for $1.00.

I found this cute piece of luggage for $3.00. I am going to convert my curent sewing box into this one. My current one lets needles fall out of it and I'm not crazy about that. 

I found another dish towel and washcloth for 50¢ each. 

I found the following movies for $1.00 each. 

I found the following CDs for 50¢ each. 

Fabric for my sewing center 50¢.

Some kitchen utensils...a Revere Ware pan, whisk, Made in the USA garlic press, and Farberware spoon. 

A stainless steel bowl for 50¢.

We were excited as towards the end of the day we found another church yard sale, but were disappointed at the prices. Most of them were retail prices, so we didn't buy anything at that sale. 

My daughter found two pair of American Eagle jeggings in a free box. We couldn't believe they were in the free box, she would have paid money for them.

That's it for Yard Sale Saturday this week. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, May 18, 2018

Frugal Friday ~ 5-18- 2018

My Dad came for a visit last week and we were able to spend time with him on Friday & Saturday. 

We went to the Provident thrift store with Dad and they were giving away green peppers. This is the same place where we got the free power greens in March. 

Each family was limited to two bags. When I got home we had twelve green peppers. So, I washed them and cut them up and made six bags with them. They are now safely tucked into my freezer to use as needed. 

Swagbucks had a special Mother's Day Collector's Bill for Mother's Day and I won my search and earned 13 Swagbucks


I was able to get two free 8x10 prints at Walgreens this week thanks to Hunt4Freebies. I was also able to get a free 8x10 from Snapfish this week too. 

My daughter sold our old printer on Ebay and made about $2.50 on it. Normally we would have just tossed this, but I think it's better to have sold it for a small amount than toss it. 

I forgot to mention this in my yard sale Saturday post, but we came across a free yard sale last week. We picked up several articles of clothing for free from a free church yard sale. My daughter offered to make a donation, but they wouldn't accept it. 

This week I was able to work three days and could have worked all five days, but didn't since we are in Chattanooga and pet sitting for the week. 

We are going to yard sales today and Saturday this week. How was your week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Monday, May 14, 2018

Sluggy's Blog Box Giveaway for May 2018

Sluggy, over at Don't Read This; It's Boring, is having her monthly giveaway for the month of May. 

This month she is letting the winner pick whichever items they want until the box is full, so be sure to enter and get in on this great giveaway. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Yard Sale Saturday

We were up bright and early to yard sale yesterday and we went to a total of 26 yard sales. The first one we went to was a neighborhood yard sale, which I like because you can park and walk around the neighborhood. 

The first place we stopped had some really good prices. They told us they were wanting to get "rid of things" when we first arrived, which is usually a good sign. 

They had boxes of really good books for 25¢ each, both paperback and hardback. We buy a lot of books at yard sales when we find them inexpensively, because we can trade them at Mckay Used Books. And I did buy several books to trade, but kept one for myself. 

I picked up this huge book, Gooseberry Patch Have Yourself a Homemade Christmas for 25¢. It originally retailed for $29.95, but can be found online right now for as low as $4.00. 

That's the problem with the mass producing of books today is that they don't always hold their resale value, so if you wait to get them, you can get them for much less, which actually isn't a problem for frugal people.

The next thing I stumbled upon at another sale was a box of sewing notions. They were priced at 5 for $1.00 and were brand new in the package

I've had zippers, bias tape, and ric rak on my shopping list for a few months now, so this was a great find for my sewing center. 

We bought a total of 23 pieces and she charged us $4.50, so 20¢ each, which sure beats the price these would have cost me retail and I had been looking at them at Joann Fabrics. 

Next, my daughter found a Mophie Wireless charging base like this one here for $15 also. We had looked at them at the Verizon store the other day and they are selling for around $50 right now, so this was a good deal. 

And of course both of us bought things we can resell, but I won't bore you with those items. It was 89 degrees while we were out yesterday, so it was a hot one. 

How about you? Were you able to get out and go to any yard sales? I would love to hear about it in the comment section. 
~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, May 12, 2018

My Frugal Kitchen ~ What We Ate This Week

On Sunday I was busy working in the kitchen trying to get ready for the work week. I made potato salad, sweet tea, scalloped potatoes, and pasta salad. 

The pasta salad was put into individual bowls for lunches at work. There was enough made that it lasted all week long, which was great! 

I also soaked some dried chick peas and cooked those and turned them into mock tuna salad and brought those with me for lunches this past week also. 

Sunday Dinner

Chicken Patties
Scalloped Potatoes
Mixed Vegetables

I made the chicken patties using a can of chicken that I had on the pantry shelf. They were just OK and I won't make them like that again. 

The scalloped potatoes were ones I made from scratch and better than anything from a box. Potatoes, onions, butter, flour, and milk. Just plain and simple good food. 

Monday Dinner

Deconstructed Egg Rolls
Asian Stir Fried Rice
Stir Fried Vegetables

Tuesday Dinner
No Photo, Sorry
Free Birthday Dinner #1
Dam Deli
Patty Melt
Fried Pickles
Wednesday & Thursday

Free Birthday Dinner #2
Italian Combo
Lasagna, Manicotti, & Cheese Ravioli 
with Meat Sauce
Family Salad Bowl
Fresh Baked Garlic Rolls
Birthday Ice Cream & Cookie
This was enough food for me on Wednesday 
& 2 of us on Thursday

Friday Night

My Dad was in town and took all of us out to dinner at the Mexican Restaurant. He said it was for my birthday and Bailey's graduation. 
I had a Chili Relleno, Taco, Refried Beans and Mexican Rice. 

So, we ate out three times this week, which is really unusual for us anymore. It was nice to have the time off from the kitchen, cleaning and cooking. 

What was for dinner in your home this week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, May 11, 2018

Frugal Friday ~ May 11, 2018

One day this week I subbed in a room with no microwave, so I brought my lunch in my mini crock pot, so it was good and hot when I was ready to eat lunch. 

This week I was able to sub four days having Wednesday off for my birthday. My Dad is in town for a visit too, so I will get to spend some time with him. 

Other Frugal Tips

It's been about two years ago now that my outdoor freezer tripped the breaker and we lost everything inside. 

At that time I cleaned it out and put in several gallons of water, which froze and remain in there to this day. 

The freezer used to trip the breaker regularly and I considered buying a freezer alarm. But the freezer has not tripped the breaker in all this time and I have to attribute that to the frozen jugs of water. 

It's a long time frugal hint to put jugs of water in your fridge, freezer, and toilet to help with efficiency. I have to say that it really works and has helped our freezer to be more efficient, not work as hard, and save money on our electric bill. 

Free Entertainment

I've been reading Food Budget Diaries over at the Kitchen. They are not always frugal, but some are fun to read. 

This week I perused the grocery store sale ads online. The schools have not been getting the newspapers lately, so online it is for now. 

I won't do a big grocery shopping trip right now as we are going to be pet sitting in Chattanooga for eleven days while our friend goes to Paris. I'll wait until we return to do a big grocery run. 

We enjoyed dinner out two nights this week thanks to free birthday dinners I received. I'll write more about those in this week's, What We Ate post. 

How was your week?

~ Living within our Means ~
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