Sunday, February 17, 2019

My Frugal Week

Good Sunday morning to all my readers. I hope you are doing well today. I'm currently experiencing a cold, so I've been doing some self care this weekend. 

Schools were closed here on one half of the county on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday due to illness and then on Friday they closed the entire county for illness. 

I was scheduled to work on Friday, but that didn't happen. I did work three days though, so I'm very grateful for that. 

Echinacea Plus
 Today I made myself a green smoothie using beet powder, matcha, and wheatgrass powders along with some other things. I also made myself some Traditional Medicinals Gypsy Cold Care and Echinacea teas. 

Gypsy Cold Care

Adding these nutrients will certainly help my body get over the cold quicker and I am already feeling better.  I also added the juice of one organic lemon to my tea and had an orange with breakfast to boost my Vitamin C intake. 

One of the best ways we saved money this week was by having three of our male cats neutered. 

The Humane Society here had a special recently where they were performing spays or neutering for $20 per animal. 

They also included the rabies vaccination and flea and tick control included in the $20 price tag. 

Also, they offered worming and ear mite treatment for $5 each. It was such a great deal and we saved over $100 this week by using this service. is a website with free yoga videos. You can select your time from five minutes up to one hundred and twenty minutes and also choose your skill level. Yoga is a great way to perform self care. 

This weekend I've spent my time at home taking care of myself, so I've not spent any money or burned any gas in my car, which is great. 

I hope all of you are having a lovely weekend. :)

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, February 10, 2019

In My Frugal Kitchen: Batch Cooking

My weeks tend to run more smoothly and I eat healthier when I spend some time over the weekend batch cooking. 

Batch cooking ensures that even when I'm tired there will still be delicious, healthy food made with loving care in my home. I won't have to spend money for a meal outside my home and I can ensure the food we are eating is healthy. 

This weekend I made a batch of Southwest Veggie Burgers, which is a recipe created by Whole Foods. I doubled the recipe and ended up with one dozen veggie burgers. 

If you're interested, here is a video on how to make the burgers:

I also baked a batch of sweet potatoes for the week, made a batch of brown rice, filled my Instant Pot with homemade soup for the week, and also prepped some salads. 

When I make soup I usually just use what vegetables I have in the house. If you would like a "recipe" to follow, here is Dr. Fuhrman's formula for soup chart.
Here is a photo of the soup I made today. This week was more vegetable than last week's soup, which had more beans. 

Now I have plenty of food already cooked to take with me for lunches this week and for some dinners. This will help me as the week progresses by saving me time and money. So far I'm only working one day, but that can always change. 

I hope you have a great week!

~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Humble Potato

Today I want to share with you what I sometimes do with leftover baked potatoes and that is make hash browns with them. Sometimes I even make extra baked potatoes just so we can make hash browns with them. 

You'll need a box grater like mine pictured below to make these or even a flat grater will work. 

All you need to do is take each potato and scrap it across your grater and it will make the best hash browns as they are already soft from being baked. 

Place them on a baking sheet and bake them in your oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until they are as crisp as you would like them. No oil is needed for these. 

One of those new air fryer appliances would make these taste good too, but is not necessary. Your oven will make them just as crispy. 

Here is the finished product. These are so simple and easy to make and delicious and frugal to boot. 

Potatoes are the perfect tightwad food. Just last week I was able to buy a five pound bag for $1.50 making them a very affordable dinner choice. 

Amy Dacyczyn wrote about feeding her family only baked potatoes for dinner and I can say that we do that regularly in our home. 

Baked Potato Bar
Other ways we enjoy potatoes in our home include:

Home Fries

Scalloped Potatoes

Potatoes Au Gratin

Potato Pancakes

French Fries 

Mashed Potatoes

Potato Salad

Hash Brown Potatoes

Potato Soup

What are some ways you enjoy potatoes in your home?

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, February 8, 2019

Frugal Friday 2-8-2019

This week went by so fast and here we are on Friday again. This week I subbed three days and packed lunches and drinks everyday. The other days I helped my daughter with her reselling business. 

Freebies This Week:

This week I received a coupon for a free bag of Purina One cat food.  Freebie Shark still has this one listed if you're interested. Click the link here

Did you know that Whole Foods and Amazon Prime can be linked together to help you save money? Here is a link to read about it. 

Last week they had Glen Muir canned tomatoes buy one get one free. This week's deals can be read at the link above. 

This week I filed my income taxes and I'm glad to have that out of the way. The tax laws were changed recently and I had been reading that some people were having to pay more this year. 

We qualified for earned income since my daughter was still in school last year, but that will be the last year for that.  

Meals were hit or miss this week as I was working a lot and came home especially tired one day. I did make Fiesta Rice one day and divided it up into individual containers for lunches. 

This is a great plant based recipe that is very versatile. It calls for brown rice, beans, pico de gallo, red onion or scallions, and then whatever vegetables you want to add. 

I added a bag of chopped kale, broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts, and also added corn and shredded carrots. My pico de gallo was homemade and already had lime juice for the dressing and didn't need any more. 

I love that you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand and nothing specific is needed. It's kind of like making a pasta salad, but this is better for you with the whole grain brown rice. 

That's all the news I have to report this week. I hope you've had a good week. It's been hot here, but is supposed to cool off tonight and I'm glad. I hope you have a great weekend!

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, February 1, 2019

Frugal Friday 2-1-2019

Welcome to Friday and the Weekend. 

Days Worked:

This week I was able to work three days. We had two snow days and one two hour delay. One job was cancelled, but I was proactive and ended up with a job for that day too. 

To do this I keep a list of teachers who I have to turn down because I'm already working. If  for some reason my first job gets cancelled, I go down the list of teachers and ask if they still need a sub. It doesn't always work, but it works sometimes and it worked this week. 

In My Frugal Kitchen:

This week I did a lot of batch cooking. I made a large pot of vegetable soup and put that into individual containers for lunches. I baked a large pan of both sweet and regular potatoes. 

I made a two pound bag of soup beans and we ate those several days and I put some into individual containers into the freezer. That way if I get called to sub at the last minute I can grab one out of the freezer for my lunch. 

I also cut up cucumbers and carrot sticks and made several containers of those for lunches.  Along with those I also cut up red onions, purple cabbage, and kale for salads this week, and also made a chopped salad and divided it up into a couple of different containers. 

Having food prepared ahead helps me with my goals of eating at home and taking lunches with me, which helps me to save money. And of course, food I prepare at home is healthier than takeout. 

Added to the Pantry:

-1 can Del Monte tomatoes from crash and burn section
- 1 bag red onions
- 4 (5 lb) bags Yukon Gold potatoes (IGA had them marked down to $1.50)
- 3 (28 oz) cans tomatoes ($1 at Ingles this week)

IGA also had oranges marked down to 33¢, so I picked up some of those and they had their bags of clementines on sale for $3.69 per bag, so I picked up one of those as well. I also picked up an apple to toss into my salads this week. 

Dinners This Week:

Sunday & Monday: Cheesy Potatoes, Soup Beans, Carrots, and Broccoli
Tuesday & Wednesday: Vegetable Soup
Thursday: Baked Potatoes & Salads
Friday: Still Deciding
Stayed Home/No Spend Days:

Tuesday & Wednesday (Snow Days!) 

Freebies This Week:

This week I earned another $5 gift card to Amazon from Microsoft Reward points. My balance is now $10 on Amazon. 

That's all the news from here this week. It's been cold, but not as cold as Chicago, so we count our  blessings. I hope you all have a great weekend!

~ Living within our Means ~
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