Friday, August 31, 2018

Frugal Friday ~ August 31, 2018

Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday we stayed and worked from home. The other three days this week I subbed, bringing my lunch & drinks with me each day. 

One item I sold on Ebay this week went for $107.50, which helped to pay some bills this week. In September I'll receive my first paycheck of the school year and things won't be so tight financially. 

On Monday I listed a few things on Ebay and cross posted multiple items on Mercari and Poshmark. I also cleaned several areas in the house. 

While folding laundry this week I went through all of my shirts and pants for work. I like to change them out from time to time and put the ones I've worn lately away for a while and pull out the ones I've had stored away . It makes me feel like I have new clothes to wear since it's been awhile since I've worn them.  

While I was cleaning out my dresser drawers, I took four shirts that are now too big for me and listed those on Ebay this week. 

We have finally figured out what was going on with our electric bill. We went from a high of 187 kilowatts per day down to an average of 74 kwh per day. 

You can see starting from August 9th, when we identified the problem, the daily kwh usage goes down each day as indicated by the green strips. 

Turns out lightening had probably run in through our electrical lines and caused the baseboard heaters downstairs to malfunction. 

We had to have an electrician/plumber come out and turn them off at the breaker box. And he was the plumber who installed our new kitchen faucet. The heaters downstairs are not fixed, but since we don't use that area of the house, it is not a problem right now. 

This has cut our electric bill in half and I suspect another reason the house was so hot this summer. 

On Thursday we went to Sears because they were offering a$10 off coupon on a $10 clothing purchase.  I was able to get this package of 6 pairs of much needed socks for $2.19. 

We also stopped at the Dollar General to use some $1.00 off Oral B coupons and picked up these 7 toothbrushes for free. 

And finally, on Thursday I bought gas using my new Exxon mobil rewards card, which has been collecting points all summer. Yesterday I cashed my points in and was able to get $15.56 in free gas. I love free gas! LOL

That's all the news I have to report this week. How was your week? I'd love to hear about it in the comment section. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, August 26, 2018

This week in my Frugal Kitchen

Sunday: Taco Meat made into Nachos

Monday: Sausage, Cajun Soup Beans, Fried Okra, Mexican Cornbread. This was the okra we picked up from our neighbor. 

Tuesday: Cheeseburgers, Green Beans with Onions, Brussel Sprouts

Wednesday: Margherita Pizza - In the south they cut pizza into triangles, but where I grew up, south of Chicago, they cut pizza into squares. So, I cut mine at home into squares too. 

Thursday: Hamburgers

Friday: Hamburgers
Saturday: We shopped yard sales most of the day and came home and cleaned out the refrigerator. We had a motley crew of items such as cajun beans, brussel sprouts, green beans, applesauce, tomatoes, bbq,  and chocolate pie. It was great to clean out the fridge and wash and put all those dishes away again. 

Have you tried applesauce with a packet of jello stirred into it? It's very refreshing and might make those who don't care for the applesauce actually like it. 

I tried it with lime jello this week and it was very good. You don't need to use a whole packet of jello either, just enough to flavor it. 

For Sunday breakfast I decided to make banana pancakes and bacon. 

I saw an idea on Youtube recently where they wanted to duplicate the McDonald's McGriddle. 

I decided to use one of these containers with the point at the tip. The idea is to add some drops of syrup into the pancake batter while it's cooking.  

They didn't taste exactly like a McGriddle, but I do like the idea. Of course I turned my syrup bottle upside down to be able to get all the goodness out of the bottle. 

I made the bacon on the griddle as the pancakes were cooking too. Here is one of the finished plates. 

I haven't bought any paper towels since April, but I have been saving any napkins we receive and any extras or extra plasticware I keep in this plastic shoebox. I then used some of these napkins to drain the bacon this morning. 

That's what was on the menu in our home this week. I feel like we ate too many hamburgers this week, but I was tired after working all day and they were easy to make. I'll try to do better this week. 

What was on the menu in your home?

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, August 24, 2018

Frugal Friday - August 24, 2018

One of the students brought me this sunflower today. Isn't it beautiful?

This week we picked up Lawry's Sesame Ginger marinade ($1.04) and Gulden's Spicy Brown mustard (64¢) at Target on markdown. 

We picked up these four packages of fruity applesauce for free using the Freeosk app at Walmart. 

This weekend is the Dollar General store 50% off clearance items sale. The items can be a great money saving deal, and if you have coupons, you can save even more. My daughter went today and came home with some great items and some of those were money makers. 

This week I was able to work four days for which I am grateful. Even though I was very tired at the end of the day I still came home and cooked dinner. No eating out for us this week and that includes lunches for me as I brought mine every day. 

Speaking of being tired, my first week (last week) must have worn me out as I slept for fifteen hours Saturday night. LOL

One of the classes I subbed for this week was a high school class. The teacher in this classroom writes on her board in cursive. But these students were part of the group who were not taught cursive handwriting in public school. I read part of the assignment to several students as they couldn't read cursive handwriting. 

That's all I have to report this week. How did you save money this week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, August 19, 2018

This Week in my My Frugal Kitchen

Monday was my first day back to work, so my daughter took over the dinner plans and made Sweet & Sour chicken for dinner. It was so good too. 

On Tuesday we ate Chicken Tenders, Coleslaw, and Green Beans with Onions. 

Wednesday night I made Hamburger Patties, Mac & Cheese, Green Beans with Onions, and Brussel Sprouts. 

On Thursday I made 15 Bean Cajun Soup Beans for dinner. 

This is one of the packages of chicken that my daughter picked up at Ingle's on Thursday. It worked out to $1.38 per pound.

I cooked this in the Instapot on Friday with onions. Cooking with onions and celery in the pressure cooker will infuse your chicken with those flavors, which then makes for great tasting chicken salad. 

Here is the chicken after cooking. After cooling off a bit, I separated the chicken from the bones and then went to making chicken salad. 

Here is one portion of the chicken salad afterwards. There are numerous ways to make chicken salad. I put green olives and cream cheese in mine. 

And then on Saturday I made sandwiches with the chicken salad using marked down croissants that I bought at Food City. We took these with us when we went to some yard sales. 

 What was on the menu in your home this week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, August 17, 2018

Frugal Friday - August 17, 2018

Don't forget to save those Boxtops for Education that you come across on any of the packages you buy. I sold the ones I had on Ebay this week, and they are definitely a money maker if you save and sell them. 

I remember how competitive they could be in elementary school when my daughter was there and parents are willing to pay for them, trust me. 

Of course, if you want to donate them to a local school, I know they will appreciate them, and that is what they are intended for anyway. 

We have a new kitchen faucet. Ours was on its last leg. It had begun to squeal at times and drip nonstop. 

We had a rubberband on it for the last year to make the squealing stop, so it was definitely time for a new one. 

Our neighbor, who fixed our driveway, had a plumber friend of his come and fix it and he only charged us $55 to install it. 

Monday was my first day back to school and I was so happy to be there. I miss the students when I don't see them all summer. Several of them ran up to hug me and one of them even gave me an apple. I ended up subbing three days this week. 

Monday & Tuesday I subbed in the gym where there is no air conditioning. It was definitely hot in there, but they also offer free water bottles. I ended up drinking several each day. 

My daughter went to Ingle's after thrift store shopping on Thursday and picked up more reduced meat. She picked up four packages of ground beef, two mild Italian sausages, and two packages of chicken breast. The freezer above the fridge is very full right now.

My mailbox was overflowing with free magazines this week and the art teacher at the middle school collects them for student projects. She was happy to accept them after I read them. 

On Friday I went to Food City for grocery shopping. It was their $5 Friday and I wanted to get in on a few deals. I spent a total of $116.99. 

I picked up four bags of 32 ounce cheese for $5 each, one box of Keebler Club crackers for 60¢ (sale plus KFR coupon), and 5 boxes of Life cereal for $2 each. 

I also picked up a great deal on beans. 

Our Sunday paper had a coupon for $1 off the new Bush's beans. Food City had them on sale for $1.00 and I had 25 coupons, so all these beans were free to me. 

Here they are in the pantry:

And our neighbor put out some free okra today, so I picked some of that up too. 

How was your week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, August 12, 2018

This Week in my Frugal Kitchen

Avoiding food waste, we finished off the Mac & Cheese and Pasta Salad for lunch on Monday. 

I combined the plain Oui yogurt dd bought last week with strawberry preserves this week. It was so good.

For dinner on Monday I had some Pepperidge Farm slider buns, so I made sliders for dinner along with some homemade potato salad.

For dinner on Tuesday we went out for dinner and a movie. 

For dinner on Wednesday I made a large stockpot of chili for dinner that night. I know it's hot outside, but my daughter requested it. We also had this for Thursday & Friday night dinner. 

The diced tomatoes I used were thick and didn't have much juice. I didn't have tomato sauce or V8 juice to make it thinner and it was really too thick to eat like it was. I put a squirt of ketchup, but that didn't help much. I finally just added a cup of water and that did the trick. 

Frugality for my family is a necessity and how I run my kitchen can help or hurt that.  I do my best not to waste food in my kitchen or money when I shop for groceries. I'm usually buying items on sale or markdown. Adding a cup of water to our chili cost me nothing. 

Oftentimes when I buy items on sale or markdown, I save those things until I have all the ingredients to make a certain dish.  

That's what I did recently when I made lasagne, a dish that is well known for costing money to make. 

It may take me longer to gather the ingredients I need this way, but it does save me money in the long run. 

I also made a gallon and a half of sweet tea on Wednesday. My daughter has a tiny refrigerator in her work space and I made the half gallon for her fridge. 

Last week on my blog Stephanie mentioned that she uses most of her bananas in smoothies. That motivated me to make one this week. 

I used bananas I froze previously and honeydew melon. I also used the cashew milk we bought on markdown. It was so cold and refreshing, so thank you for the reminder, Stephanie.  :)

Saturday after yard sales I made some hamburgers to finish using the rest of the PF slider buns. 

No food waste here this week. My supplies are running low though, so I know a grocery run is in order for this upcoming week. 

How was your week in the kitchen?

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, August 10, 2018

Frugal Friday ~ August 10, 2018

It's Friday once again and time for another frugal blog post. 

We stayed home several days this week and worked on cleaning, sewing, and reselling. 

Monday was the day the washer was fixed, so we ended up washing four loads and folding and putting those away. 

Recent Packages Waiting on the Mailman
We continue to make sales online and oftentimes we use second hand packaging materials. We always reuse the ones we get in the mail. 

I'm still decluttering around here. Some of the silliest things were kept for some unknown reason. 

Today I put into the donation pile two pieces of glass that looked like tiny candle holders. I suspect my daughter kept them when she was little. She never wanted to get rid of anything back then, but today is another story. Thank goodness.  :)

Do you ever leave your grocery list at home? When I've done that it's usually because I ended up in town for some other reason and wanting to save on fuel, I go to the grocery store, but without my list since I hadn't planned to go there.

I've been using Google Docs for a while now, but never thought to keep my grocery list on there. I can access Google Docs from my phone. Since I always have my phone with me for sub jobs, I will now always have my grocery list with me.  

Could it be a possibility that price books may become obsolete with the new grocery store pick up websites? These stores have their products listed, the different sizes and the prices as well. 

This week I compared groceries at two websites, Walmart and Food City. 

Comparing prices has never been easier than it is now. We could be shopping in a store and wonder if a price on one item is a better value somewhere else and a quick view on your smartphone will answer that question. 

I've been having fun this week comparing prices between Walmart and Food City. As always, no one store has the best price on everything. 

If you're interested, this link to Walmart will give you $10 off of your first pick up order. 

My daughter did her usual Thursday thrift store shopping and stopped in at Ingle's to find these meat markdowns:

Ground beef, actually marked down twice. Final price was $5.99 each for over three pounds in each package works out to $1.83 per pound.

Sweet Italian Sausage for $1.99 each, which is a great price. 

And lastly, two cheddar style burgers for $1.99.

That is all the news to report this week. I hope you have had a wonderful, frugal week. I would love to hear all about it in the comments section. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Dinner & a Movie

My daughter and I decided to have dinner and watch a movie on the big screen on Tuesday. 

Normally we reserve this night for board game night, but wanted to do something different yesterday. 

Our local UEC movie theater has bargain Tuesday where any movie can be seen for $5.00, and if you use your UEC loyalty card you can also get a free 46 ounce popcorn. 

We went to see the new Christopher Robin movie yesterday and also received two free popcorns even though we only have one loyalty card. 

Before we went to see the movie though we had dinner at Ruby Tuesday. 

They have a special going on right now where you can get a free Garden Bar Entree or Hamburger when you sign up for their So Connected program, which is free to join. 

Here is a photo of my salad:

Here is a link if you would like to join: 

Ruby Tuesday

The coupon is good from now until the end of the year. 

This was the first time this summer we've done something fun for ourselves. It was a cute movie, a good time, and pretty inexpensive as well. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Monday, August 6, 2018

Washer Update

The service repair man came today to install the new control panel inside our washing machine. 

We bought the machine at Lowe's on 8-29-17 for $284.06. 

The control panel he put it today cost $294 plus $100 labor plus tax for installation. 

He said most people never repair these washers because they can buy a new one for cheaper. 

Ours was under warranty, so we paid $0 for this repair. I have to say that I'm glad it did this before 8-29-18. Like Sluggy said on my post last week. LOL

I was glad to get it fixed as quickly as we did as laundry was not getting done. We've washed, dried, folded, and put away three loads so far today with the last load in the washer now. 

I'm so glad to be back in business with our washer. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, August 5, 2018

This Week in my Frugal Kitchen

No photos this week but this is what we've been up to in our frugal kitchen this week. 

Rather than let them go to waste, I took the bananas that were turning brown and divided them into three freezer containers to have for banana pancakes at a later date. 

Washed the dishes several times per day as usual. This motivates me to want to get into the kitchen and cook.  

Last Sunday I made a large pan of homemade Lasagne. Enough for dinner for three nights and several lunches this week. 

Another night we had Ham, Potato Pancakes, and Mixed Vegetables. I made the Potato Pancakes because we had leftover mashed potatoes. Now I have leftover Potato Pancakes. No worries though as they will be eaten as well. 

Another night I took the leftover meat sauce from the lasagne and made a one pound box of elbow macaroni. 

I mixed the meat sauce with half of the elbow mac for dinner one night. Then I took the rest of the elbow mac and made a pasta salad to have for lunches this week. 

I used up several things from the fridge and pantry in the pasta salad, so no food waste here this week. 

One night we had a free Mystery Shop pizza for dinner. 

One morning I made tomato sandwiches for breakfast and then served those with ice cold watermelon. These summer time foods are so good and delicious. 

On Saturday night I made Macaroni and Cheese for dinner and I added a little bit of the ham that we had left. I've been stretching it into several meals this week. 

~ Living within our Means ~
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