Sunday, December 30, 2018

Green Smoothies

Green Smoothies are a great way to get more nutrients into your diet. These nutrients help to activate our immune system's repair mechanisms using the phytochemicals in the food, which helps our body repair the damage from toxins and aging. 

According to Dr. Fuhrman, blending the greens help to pulverize the cell walls of the plant food. This makes the phytochemicals more beneficial, which maximizes nutrient absorption. 

A basic smoothie recipe might include the following ingredients:

2 cups greens 
1 cup frozen fruit
1 ripe banana
1 & 1/4 cups liquid
2 TBSP seeds (if using)
Any other additions
You can save money with green smoothies by using up fruit that is on the verge of spoiling. It's a great way to use up bananas. 

In my smoothie today I'm using greens that were bought on markdown, and includes kale, swiss chard, and spinach. 

Other things I include in my smoothies are Beet Boost, Matcha, and Wheat Grass powder because my research leads me to believe that these items will only increase the nutrients I put into my body. 

Somedays I use other fruit as it depends on what I have on hand. Seeds are also good to add to your smoothies. Chia, flax, and hemp seeds are good examples. 

The liquid I used today was pineapple juice and water. Some days I like to use cooled green tea, which also boosts the nutrients. 

Starting my day with a green smoothie helps to keep my energy levels high and fuels my body with the nutrients it needs. 

Do you include green smoothies as part of your diet? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comment section. 
~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Goals in the New Year

Financially speaking, we're probably in different places. If we're on the same pace that's great, but even if we're not we can learn so much from each other. 

You may or may not need the frugal living tips that I share, but like we used to say on the old AOL Tightwad board, take what you can and leave the rest. Learning from each other is how we will grow the most financially. 

If you're looking to make changes financially in 2019, make this the year that you invest your time learning new ways to save money and really learn about frugal living. A new year can be your fresh start and all you have to do is take the first step. 

Read blogs, websites, and books about frugal living. Join one or more of the hundreds of frugal living groups on Facebook.  Check out movies and books from your library on the topic. 

Although we may already know many of the frugal tips that are shared, rereading them will help you to stay motivated in the new year. I know many of my friends reread the Tightwad Gazette every year for inspiration. 

Some of my goals for the new year are repeated from years past and for the new year include:

- Buying only what I truly need
- Living within my means 
- Increasing my income and savings  
- Avoiding consumerism 
- Living debt free 

One of my goal's for many years was to avoid consumerism. When I did go into a store this year for Christmas even I was surprised at how many things I saw that I hadn't seen before. That's what staying out of the stores will do for you.    :)

What are some of your goals for 2019?

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, December 28, 2018

Frugal Friday December 28, 2018

Here are the kitties lined up one morning this week patiently waiting on breakfast. From left to right is Miss Kitty, Salem, Sherloc, Simba, and Polk Dot. 

Frugal things we've done this week:

- I returned several items of clothing that I'd ordered online instead of just letting them sit in my closet. I'll be looking for a refund in the future. 

- One of my teacher friends gave me a jar of homemade apple butter. 

- This year we skipped the gift giving at three of the holiday parties we attended. We didn't need another ornament, and we didn't need any knick knacks. We did buy for each other knowing what we truly needed and wanted. 

- My daughter's extended family invited both of us to their family get together on Saturday. They were serving finger foods and we brought Tuna Pate, which the hostess always enjoyed when I made it. 

Dinners this Week:
Friday: Hamburgers & Potato Chips
Saturday: Deconstructed Egg Rolls
Monday: Christmas Eve 
Tuesday: Christmas 
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday:  Ham & Cheese Sliders, Carrot Sticks & Cukes with Ranch

Freebies This Week:
- Free Bagel from Panera
- 2 dozen eggs from Walmart & app
- Poinsettia

I was putting groceries in my car yesterday and this lady stopped and got out of her van and said she wanted me to have this poinsettia. It was such a sweet gesture on her part. 

While I was at Kroger yesterday I picked up a two pound bag of cranberries for $2.00. Several yogurts marked down to 39¢, 49¢, and 59¢. I also picked up a box of greens marked down to $1.99 along with some marked down bananas for $1.10.

We also went to Walmart to look at the Christmas clearance. We had already eaten lunch, so none of the candy or baking items were appealing to either of us although we did pick up some of the mixed nuts. 

We also bought bows and wrapping paper, which was all 50% off and my daughter picked up two Christmas decorations she has been wanting.  

That's all there is to report from here this week. How was your week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas The Day After

We spent Monday afternoon at my BIL's home where he served ham, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, beans and rolls for dinner. We stayed about four hours there and had the best time!

We came home and had a few finger foods on Monday night and then Tuesday we woke up and opened presents at a leisurely pace. 

We made the ham for dinner and decided to eat finger foods with it this year. Even though I bought ingredients to make a big dinner, we decided against that this year. We have the rest of the week to make those things. 

We did what we wanted to do and ate what we wanted to eat without any expectations and we had the best time. We played new board games and watched movies. I love keeping Christmas simple and really enjoyed it. 

How was your Christmas if you celebrated? I would love to hear all about it in the comment section. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas to all my readers, friends, and family. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday and that you are spending it with the ones you love. 

From our home to yours, we hope that you have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the season of our savior's birth.

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Day Before Christmas Eve

Saturday was special day for me and my daughter. On Wednesday my ex's aunt called and invited us to their family get together, which took place yesterday. 

It has been years since we've gotten together with them, but she told me she still considers me family too. 

They served finger foods, so I brought my Tuna Pate because I know she loves it. We had the best time with them and can't wait to do it again next year. 

Tomorrow we are going to spend Christmas Eve with my BIL who also still considers me family as well. 

Today I will be making several things to take with us there and also for home like sausage balls, pigs in a blanket, and cake pops. 

I've already made the cheeseball and chocolate chip pies yesterday.

Tomorrow I'm expecting two packages of last minute gifts, so those will need wrapping. 

What's on your agenda for today?

~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, December 22, 2018

YouTube Channels

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Today I want to share some YouTube channels with you that I've been enjoyed watching lately. 

Moss Family TV

Falon puts up a new video of her and her family everyday. Her videos include grocery hauls, homeschooling, and family life. Her children are adorable and so is she. 

Phyllis Stokes

Phyllis mostly has cooking sessions on her channel. I love to watch her cook as she does a lot of older recipes from the 1950s. Her recipes for Jello are just like the ones my grandmother made. 

Jan Creson

I just recently found Jan's channel. She creates  meals out of items she picks up from the Dollar Tree. Now, you may not like some of the things she makes, but it might give you some ideas on meals you can create with items you buy from the Dollar Tree. 

Broke Aristocats

I really like this channel and just recently found it as well. She has tips on becoming debt free and living frugally. 

The Queen's Cabinet

Wow! She makes very detailed meal plans and shows you the meals after she's cooked them. It's all neat and organized too. 

These are just some of the video channels I've enjoyed watching lately. How about you? Do you have any channels that you enjoy watching and want to share?

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, December 21, 2018

Frugal Friday 12-21-2018

We made it to Friday! I was able to work both days they had school this week and now students are off for Christmas break until next year. 

The eagle landed this week with payday and all the bills have been paid for the month, which is a good feeling. I know we are fortunate and so we count our blessings daily. 

Dinners this Week:
Sunday Brunch: Broccoli & Cheese Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Dinner: Cheese Quesadillas, Cheesy Corn, Broccoli
Monday Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Salad
Tuesday Dinner: Chicken Pot Pie
Wednesday Dinner: Tacos Salads
Thursday Dinner: Hamburger Soup

Freebies This Week:
Free Arby's Sandwich - Sign up on their website and they will email you a coupon for a free sandwich with a drink purchase. 
Free Panera Bagel 
Free Panera Drink
Free 2 year subscription to Money magazine


The Samaritan Center in Ooltewah had their annual sale on Monday this week. They open the doors at 9 a.m. and close them at 3 p.m. They let you fill a bag with clothes for $5 while everything else is 50% off. 

Towards the end of the day everything is free, furniture included. They then spend the next week restocking the store and have a grand reopening sale on December 27th. It is a lot of fun if you enjoy these kinds of things My daughter went and was able to pick up 37 pieces for $20.00, so 54¢ each. 


On Wednesday we went to pick up a few last minutes things for Christmas. We went to Food City and I found three cans of fruit in the Crash & Burn section for 79¢ each. We also found two three pound packages of ground beef for $4.99. 


I finished wrapping all of my Christmas presents on Thursday. We did not have to buy any supplies this year for wrapping since we bought supplies on clearance after Christmas last year. 

I was worried that we were going to run out of tape since the tape I was using was bought a few years ago. We didn't run out though, maybe we can make it through next Christmas too. LOL

This year I joined the My Frugal Home Secret Santa gift exchange 2018. Erin used to create the group and she drew names on December 9th. 

The object was to spend $10 on the gift. Erin said us frugal types could do a lot of with $10 and you know that Bailey & I coupon, so this was easy for us to do. 

The package I sent contained four brand new Christmas cloth napkins, a cookbook from our local radio station, several little notebooks, a new razor and shave cream, tea bags, and two bars of lavender soap. 

The package I sent has already been received and appreciated. Today a package came for me!

Mine came from Canada and came with two homemade dishcloths, a homemade pair of socks, two infinity scarves, a keepsake Christmas book, and a lovely card. I loved everything in my package. :)

This was so much fun that I plan on doing it again next year!

I love Erin's website and especially her post on how she does Christmas on under $100. Here is a link if you'd like to read it. 


That's all the frugal news from here this week. How was your week?

~ Living within our Means ~

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without

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This saying from The Great Depression is the rallying cry for frugality. Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without are words we live by here and lies at the core of frugal living. How we choose to do that is entirely up to us. 

Use It Up

This simply means to use all of something rather than let it go to waste. Eat your leftovers rather than throw them away. Use up the last of a bottle of anything, turn the bottle upside down, so the last of the product will come out or even cut the bottle open.

Cut bread bags down to size to use instead of a sandwich bag. Cut open the tube of toothpaste to get the last little bit out. Cut up old towels or worn out clothing to use as rags for cleaning. Take your pantryhose that have holes in them and string up the tomatoes in the garden. 

Think before you throw something away to see if you can use it for something else. 

Here is a picture of a container that had held a store bought cake, which was turned into a watermelon bowl. 

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Here is an old bird feeder with both plastic and metal parts, but the metal parts had outlived the plastic section. Here is a picture of a plastic peanut butter jar, which fixed the bird feeder and made it like new again. 

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Wear It Out

This simply means to keep something and use it until it is no longer useable. If you have a piece of clothing for work, wear it until it is no longer presentable for work and then switch it to everyday wear around the house or in the garden. Amy Dacyczyn used this idea with her three year sneaker plan. 

Make It Do

This means to make do with what you have. Sew, which is an important life skill, an item to extend it's life usefulness. Don't buy a new outfit when an outfit you already own will make do instead. 

Some of the things we make it do at the Frugal Workshop include sewing, repairing items, using items we already own even though we may want something else instead. 

Do Without

Make do without those things you think you need. Have a craving for something delicious for dinner, but already have food at home you can use to make a meal? Do without a grocery or restaurant trip and make the food you already have. Rice and beans are as filling as meat and potatoes. 

Some of the things we do without at the Frugal Workshop include a dishwasher, garbage disposal, cable tv, salon hair cuts, conditioner, car washes, paper towels, and other things as well.  

With a little creativity you can reuse some of the things you've already paid your hard earned money for and not have to buy them new again. Frugality is about making choices. Every frugal person decides what the excesses are in their lives and then they work at removing those excesses.

How many times do we buy things simply because we want them and not because we need them? What is something that you've made do with instead of spending money for?

~ Living within our Means ~

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas Recipe Series ~ Punch

For my family the days of big family get togethers and Christmas parties have come and gone, but we still enjoy the fond memories and recipes from those wonderful times. 

My grandmother loved to cook and bake and she loved feeding her family and making us special things. For Easter each year she would make us giant peanut butter eggs or sugar decorated eggs. 

For Christmas each year she made everyone their favorite cookies and cakes. She made Christmas Eve dinner followed with a big dinner on Christmas day. 

Every year she would make green and red punch, one for Christmas Eve and the other color for Christmas day. 

Hers was a very simple recipe using only two ingredients. She would take a bowl of sherbert (lime for green and raspberry for red) and place the sherbert in her punch bowl. 

Then she would cover it with a quart of cream soda, which was easy to find back in Illinois in the 1970s. Today it is harder to find here in Tennessee. Sometimes my grandmother would even find vanilla cream soda. 

After placing the sherbert in the punch bowl, she would pour the chilled cream soda over it and let them melt together, stirring it from time to time until it was all melted together and cold. 

It was delicious and all of us children loved it, and today it always reminds me of Christmas. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, December 16, 2018

December 2018 Grocery Haul

Yesterday we went to several grocery stores for our monthly grocery haul. We still pick up items from time to time, but our biggest haul usually comes in the middle of the month. 

Aldi has really good prices on cream cheese & butter right now, so we stocked up on those items. We bought 12 pounds of the butter and have stored most of that in the freezer. 

Here is a breakdown of most of what we bought yesterday:

Crescent Rolls 89¢ each
Cream Cheese 69¢ each
Butter $1.99

8 ounce blocks of cheddar 99¢
Gelatin 39¢
Saltine Crackers 89¢

We found several things on yellow markdown such as buttermilk for $1.09, eggnog for $1.89, and we also picked up two sour creams for $1.99 each. 

We picked up 3 pound bags on onion for $1.25 per bag. 

Bacon bits for BLT dip, Taco Bell sauce, Kroger brand Velveeta, corn & flour tortillas, popcorn, and two rice mixes to try. 

Very nice hamburger buns for 99¢.

Gelatin for 39¢ each, and pistachio pudding for 49¢, all store brands. 

Sandwich rounds for 79¢.

Two creamy chicken Ramen noodles for 25¢ each. These make good lunches in a pinch when combined with mixed vegetables. 

Picked up fresh brown sugar and powdered sugar for Christmas baking along with some chocolate chips for chocolate chip pie. 

We found three pork tenderloins for $2.99 each. These had originally been around $8.00.

Two pork chops for $1.93.

Shelf stable milk for $1.00 per carton. 

Italian Sausage and chicken breast all on markdown. 

Corn for 50¢ per can, beets for 69¢, and Club crackers for $1.50 per box.

Mandarin oranges for 89¢, peas and carrots for 59¢ and peanut butter for $1.50.

Milk on markdown for $1.19. 

Borden cheese for $1.00 each. It was on sale for $2.00 and we had $1.00 off coupons, so we stocked up on this great deal. 

This was the week for cheese deals. Ingle's had their 32 ounce bags for $4.98.

This was another good deal. These cake mixes were marked down to 64¢ while the frosting was marked down to 74¢. We had 50¢ off coupons to match these marked down items.  We ended up paying a little more than $1.00 for all six of these items. 

It's nice to have the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry stocked back up for the month. We didn't find any crash and burn items in the canned food section this time as they were wiped out, but we did find some good deals. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, December 14, 2018

My Frugal Week

Sunday was cold and rainy and the weather was calling for snow and/or ice, so school was called off on Monday. I was scheduled to work, but the day was transferred to Friday, so I'm happy about that. 

We went to a Christmas party Tuesday evening with some teachers from school. We ate at a local restaurant where we split a Blackened Chicken wrap and fried pickles. We had the best time and spent over three hours laughing and enjoying each other's company. 

The party was the only time we've been out of the house until Friday. Therefore, I still have a full tank of gas from when I filled my car up last week. Staying home has its advantages. 

For breakfast one day this week I tried a new recipe for Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal from Budget Bytes.  In the process I used up a lurking can of pumpkin from my pantry. I expected the recipe to taste sweet, but it was more savory than sweet to me.

This week we didn't grocery shop and have been making meals out of what we have on hand in order to save our pennies for Christmas. 

Soup is one of the ways we save money on food. 

For lunch one day I made a package of Ramen noodles and added a can of mixed vegetables. It's good to use these things up and get the lurkers out of the pantry and saves money as well. 

Today I'll be making a Broccoli Cheese soup using some ingredients from my pantry. 

I made some Apple Cider muffins yesterday using up a mix that we bought at Kroger in the Crash & Burn section. They were a huge hit. 

If you have lurking ingredients, but no idea what to do with them, go to MyFridgeFood and enter them to come up with recipes to use the ingredients. 

There were two earthquakes here this week, which register 4.4 and 3.1 on the Richter scale, but no damages here. We are grateful. 

I hope you all have a great weekend!

~ Living within our Means ~
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