Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Thank you to Sluggy

I want to send a warm thank you to Sluggy for sending me this terrific care package after I won one of her giveaways this month. She told me that my readers stepped up to the plate and that I needed to thank them, so thank you to Sluggy and my readers who entered her give way and let her know I sent you. 

She sent me three bottles of shampoo, two deodorants, Tums, two tubes of toothpaste, and lots of chocolate including Oreo candy bars, Elite chocolate, Lindor truffles, and Hershey's gold candy bars. 

Sluggy is a very giving person and I appreciate her hosting this giveaway. Several of the items like the deodorant were on my shopping list for the weekend, so now I can scratch them off. 

Be sure to read Sluggy's Blog, Don't Read This; It's Boring, and get in on all the fun. She holds monthly giveaways and you could be her next big winner. :)

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, April 26, 2019

Frugal Friday ~ April 26, 2019

This week I was able to work four days and got to stay home on Wednesday, so I decided to make our Easter dinner then. 

One thing that the water problem did was soak through some of my Dad's clothes that he left here when he moved five years ago. 

There is normally red clay mud at the bottom of our water tank/heater, so if it leaks red clay comes with it and his clothes soaked up a bunch of the water and mud and I didn't think the red clay would come out. 

I asked him if he wanted me to wash them or get rid of them and he told me to trash them. So there is a section of the downstairs that has been cleaned out as a result. It looks so much better than it did before.  

Some of the items we dried outside in the sunshine. I kept all of the towels and will use those for the cat beds. I'm not going to wash them in my washer with the red clay. 

Some things I did to save money this week include...

- Cut my own hair. My bangs were getting too long and annoying me, so I decided to trim them and decided to cut my hair in the process.

- Earned another $5 from Microsoft Rewards

- Perused the grocery store sale ads online. Here are some good deals I plan on picking up:


Peanut Butter 99¢
Cheddar Cheese 99¢

Both of these involve digital coupons and you can purchase up to five, so we both picked these up on Thursday. 

I just opened the  last jar of peanut butter from Kroger's last sale, so the timing worked out well. 

We now have ten jars of peanut butter in our pantry and ten blocks of cheddar cheese (blocks as I prefer to shred my own cheese) in our refrigerator. 

Food City

Food Club Tomatoes 50¢ Friday Only
Luck's Beans 50¢ Friday Only
Smuckers Grape Jam 99¢ Friday Only

Kroger regularly sells canned tomatoes for 50¢ per can, so we picked up two cases (24 cans/$12.00) on Thursday. I was down to one can, so we definitely needed them. 

In my Frugal Kitchen this week I made another batch of granola bars. My daughter bought some Hershey chocolate chips last week when Kroger had them for $1.00 a bag, so I put 1/2 bag in this batch along with some coconut we had in the pantry. 

My recipe calls for 1 & 1/2 cups of peanut butter, but since I was on my last jar when I made them, I only used 1 cup and then used 1/2 cup of peanut butter powder, which helped me stretch my peanut butter and helped me use up the pb powder at least until I bought more on Thursday. 

I've been saving my peanut butter jars to reuse for other things. 

Hershey's Chocolate Chips 
$1.00 @ Kroger

The ham bone from our Easter dinner was put into the crockpot to make ham stock. I used some of the ham stock to moisten the cornbread dressing I made to go with the ham and it really added good flavor to the dressing. 

Beans I had in the fridge were put into individual containers and placed in the freezer as we were not eating them this week because I made a big ham in the middle of the week. 

One thing that I made this week and no one like was a package of cheese sauce. which I doctored with taco sauce. No one liked it though, so I need to decide what to do with it. 

Stir fry has been served in our home more often since I bought the Breville wok a few weeks ago. It's a good and healthy dinner, which is filled with vegetables and one that we all enjoy. 

This was a cabbage stir fry I made:

Rice in my Rice Cooker to go with the Stir Fry.

One day for lunch we had a marked down pizza we picked up at Kroger for $2.99. We also picked up some marked down chicken and ground beef. 

On Tuesday evening I made cornbread in order to make cornbread dressing on Wednesday for our Easter dinner. 

Here it is broken up as I was trying to get it cooled off before I crumbled it. 

Freebies this week included multiple free magazines such as Newsweek, Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens, etc. A free Nibbler (chicken sandwich) postcard from Zaxby's for my birthday next month. 

Yesterday I felt like Sluggy when I found a quarter in the girl's bathroom at school. :)

Another free juice from one of the students at school. I'm so glad they've started asking me rather than throwing these away. This one was a combination of citrus juices and not just orange juice. 

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

Stay frugal my friends. :)

~ Living within our Means ~

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Water Water Everywhere, Not a Drop to Drink

Image Credit
Saturday evening as we were eating dinner we heard the sound of rushing water coming from downstairs, so we rushed down to find water spewing everywhere in the downstairs bathroom. There were two inches of water in the floor within the five minutes it took me to shut the water off. 

We spent the next three hours cleaning up water and mud that came when the water blew. Yuck. 

We're on a well system, so when the water is off we have no drinking water, cannot shower, wash our hands or dishes, flush the commode, wash laundry. Any of the normal everyday activities. 

After this happened, I made three phone calls to find an emergency plumber. No one answered their phones, which I figured must have been due to the Easter holiday. So I called my brother in law.

My brother in law and friend came over on Sunday morning to look at the problem and determined we needed a new regulator. My BIL went to Home Depot for parts and had the water turned back on around 4:30 that afternoon. 

So, we were without water for around twenty-four hours, but it was long enough to make me postpone our Easter dinner because I still had dirty dishes from Saturday night and I didn't want to add to the mess. We will have that dinner another day soon. 

Not using an emergency plumber definitely saved us money. We only had to spend about $30 on parts, so in the end the problem was fixed very frugally. 

The first thing I did when the water was turned on was to wash those dishes. I don't like having dirty dishes in my sink, but that also helps me save money. I wouldn't want to go into a dirty kitchen to cook, so keeping mine clean ensures I will go in there and cook, which saves us money over eating out. 
~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday ~ April 21, 2019

Image Credit

Easter Sunday is upon us and if you celebrate this holiday I hope you have a wonderful holiday and you're spending it with the ones you love. 

Here is our menu for the holiday:

Baked Ham
Cornbread Dressing 
Mashed Potatoes
Deviled Eggs
Brussel Sprouts

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, April 19, 2019

Frugal Friday ~ April 19, 2019

There were four days of school this week and I was able to work three of those days. We're off today for Good Friday. 

Next week I'm scheduled to work four days so far and I'm grateful as they are doing state testing and I don't normally work those days. 

Recently I bought a bottle of vegetable oil from Food City, but the bottle was leaking oil all over my pantry floor. For now I've put what didn't leak out into a glass jar to use. 

So I called the manufacturer to let them know what happened and they sent me three $2.00 off any of their products coupons. I'll be replacing the oil the next time I go to the store. 

We were able to get in on several free items this week. 

One of the items we received was a sample of Olay Luxe Lather Body wash. This item is foamy like shaving cream, which I thought I would like, but realized I prefer non foaming soap.  

We got in on a free drink from Speedway, which was an offer where you had to text Speedway and they sent you a link to the coupon. 

We both received a 22 ounce drink for free. We used it while we were out at yard sales on Saturday, and it was nice to have an ice cold refreshing drink. 

On Monday Kona Ice had a freebie, which we were going to pick up but didn't due to the time.

We did pick up our free Hardee's biscuit on Monday though. They were delicious. 

I also received several orange juices this week from students who were going to throw them away. I think I got a total of five this week. 

We also received a free sample of Wild Zora freeze dried soup. I like the fact that this is freeze dried because it weighs so little, which makes it easy to carry in my sub bag. 

We stopped at the bread outlet one day and picked up two loaves of bread and one package of hot dog buns and one of hamburger buns. Total spent was $4.80. 

We also stopped at Food City and picked up two blocks of cheese, which were on sale for buy one get one free, which made them $2.00 each. 

We stopped in at Kroger on Thursday and picked up eggs for 69¢, milk for $1.39, bread for 38¢, cheese, and two marked down pizzas. 

We also went to JoAnn Fabrics where I was looking for something and had a 60% off coupon. But I realized I could get what I needed online in a bigger supply, so we left without buying anything. 

I received a survey in the mail from Consumer Opinion Institute and received $5 in cash for this. This is the $5 I used to buy the Breville Wok last weekend at the church rummage sale. 

Payday came early this week due to the Easter holiday, so I'll be paying bills and working on my budget today. 

I'm also doing laundry and processing. And I have chicken thawing for dinner. I'll be making a chicken stir fry in my new wok, and serving it with buttered rice. 

Right now it looks like yard sales will be rained out this week, unfortunately. 

How was your week? Any frugal finds?

~ Living within our Means ~

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Shopping the Perimeter Makes No Cents

One of the frugal tips I read time and time again is one way to save money on your grocery bill is to only shop the perimeter of your grocery store. 

The theory here is that the food in the middle aisles of your grocery store are expensive, highly processed, and filled with artificial ingredients. The advice is that you will save money by by not buying these foods and only shopping the perimeter. 

My problem with this advice is that if you only shop the perimeter then you are missing out on some very frugal foods that will save you money. 

Foods like oatmeal, dried beans, rice, popcorn, canned tomatoes, pasta,  etc., can only be found in the middle of the grocery store. 

These frugal foods lie at the very foundation of a frugal lifestyle. Taking these frugal foods items off the table would not be a wise financial move. 

Besides I enjoy going down the grocery store aisles to see items they have on markdown. If I didn't do that I might miss out on a good deal. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Sluggy's Giveaway

Sluggy, over at Don't Read This; It's Boring,  is having a giveaway for April. 

I've had the honor of winning one of her giveaways before and let me tell you she does not skimp on any of her giveaways. 

It's like winning the lottery. :)

This month she is hosting two giveaways, one for people who have not won a giveaway from her, and one for people who have won a giveaway. 

Lucky me falls into the latter category. 

If you've never won a giveaway from Sluggy and would like to enter this one, here is a photo of what you'll win. 

And a list of what's in the giveaway:

1 x Suave deodorant
1 x Max Freeze topical pain cream
1 x HE conditioner
1 x Pantene shampoo
1 x Simple Micellar Water face wash
1 x Tums sugar-free
1 x Schick disposable razors
1 x Crest toothpaste
1 x Colgate toothbrush
1 x Visine allergy eye drops
1 x Nivea lip balm cherry
1 x Magnavox earbuds
4 x Hershey Gold full size candy bars

There is a total of $60 worth of items in this giveaway and you can enter once each day. 

One way that I can earn an entry into the giveaway for old timers is to have someone go to this blog post and mention that I sent you there. 

You can use my name Belinda at Frugal Workshop in the comment section. Then both you and I will earn an entry into the giveaway. 

Enter the contest here and please mention that I sent you: 

Sluggy's Giveaway 

Good Luck to you! 

~ Living within our Means ~

Monday, April 15, 2019

Yard Sale Saturday

On Saturday I woke up at four a.m. wide awake. So, I decided to make the best of it and got up and went ahead and made our lunches  for the day. 

I cut up two cantaloupes, cut the granola bars I made Friday night, and made a couple of wraps to take with us. 

Unfortunately the rain ended up cutting the day short. My daughter only picked up 15 items this weekend and therefore didn't get enough inventory for the coming week. 

We did pick up a few things for ourselves though.

On Thursday I had texted Bailey and told her if she found a sieve while thrifting or at a yard sale to get it for me. On Friday we found one at a yard sale for 25¢. 

We went to a couple of church rummage sales this weekend. I found two boxes of free clothing items at one and sorted through them and ended up taking one box with various items in it. 

We found a very nice, clean Insulated shopping bag for $1.00.

We also found two plastic cereal containers for 10¢ each. 

And the best deal this weekend was a Breville Hot Wok Pro, which we found at one of the church rummage sales. They had $8 marked on it, but I asked them if they would take $5 and they did. 

I've been looking at woks for about a year now and when I saw this one I knew it was a very nice one. It sells for $129.99 on Amazon. I'm tickled to have found it and plan on having more stir frys in our meals in the future. 

Any yard sales in your area this weekend?

~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, April 13, 2019

This Week in my Frugal Kitchen


Breakfast this morning consisted of Cheese Grits, Sausage, Cantaloupe (not pictured), and Toast. 

Grits are very affordable and therefore make a great frugal food. Kroger regularly has this two pound bag on sale for 10 for $10.00, so $1.00 for two pounds of grits.  One serving of grits is 1/4 of a cup, which at this price costs about 5¢ per serving or what you see in this bowl. 

I made four servings, ate one and put three in the fridge for breakfasts later in the week. 

What I love about grits is they are very filling. It saves us money to eat foods low in cost and then we eat less of the more expensive foods like the sausage, which brings our overall total cost of breakfast lower. 

For dinner I decided to make some meatballs. I had several heels of bread in the freezer, so I started out by making bread crumbs out of them. I used about one cup's worth in the meatballs and put the rest of the bread crumbs in the freezer. 

The meatball recipe was just a basic one with one pound of ground beef, the bread crumbs, one egg, a small grated onion, salt pepper, worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. I rolled them into balls and baked them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Dinner on Sunday was Meatballs, Acorn Squash, Green Beans with Onions, and Cantaloupe. 


On Monday I was called to sub at the last minute, which made me happy as I have car insurance due at the end of the month, so another day on my paycheck is always good. 

For breakfast I took one of the bowls of grits with me to eat when I got hungry. 

For dinner I wanted to make a chicken pot pie since I knew I had a can of chicken in the pantry, but I was going to have to make due with some other items. 

There was no pie crust, so I made one with flour & shortening. I didn't have any mixed vegetables, but I had a can of potatoes in the pantry and took the carrots out of a bag of frozen California blend vegetables.  It tasted different from my ordinary Chicken Pot Pie, but Bailey loved it, so it worked. 

I also had red beans soaking from Sunday that I made in the Instant Pot. We didn't eat these today, but I wanted to make them for this week. I put them in the refrigerator for meals this week. 


Subbed again today, so I took a bowl of the cheese grits for breakfast when I got hungry. I also had cantaloupe that I brought with me. 

For lunch I packed a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, along with some carrots sticks and water to drink. 

Dinner was Little Smokies with BBQ sauce, Green Beans with Onions, Acorn Squash, and Rice and Cheese. I also had to make a fresh gallon of iced tea for dinner. 


I was called to sub at the last minute on Wednesday too. Breakfast was the last bowl of Cheese Grits that I made on Sunday and Cantaloupe. Lunch was pb&j. 

Dinner was the last of the Little Smokies with BBQ sauce and the last of the green beans with onions. 

Thursday & Friday

The red beans I made earlier in the week came into play for dinner tonight. I ended up making chili for dinner tonight and there is plenty left over for dinner on Friday night too. 

This week, like last week, we've been using what we have on hand to make meals, so they may seem boring and/or repetitive to some readers. If you recall I had an added expense last month and needed to be careful with our funds for the time being. 

So you can say we are in "use it up mode", which can get pretty interesting at times. 

On Saturday I woke up at four a.m. wide awake. So, I decided to make the best of it and prepare the food we were taking with us to yard sales. 

I cut up two cantaloupes and put some in a smaller bowl for the road, cut the granola bars I made on Friday night, and made a couple of wraps to take with us. I also made a gallon of tea as the pitcher in the fridge only had about 1/3 left.  
For dinner when I get home I'm going to use the last of the chili and make Chili Tacos for dinner. 

~ Living within our Means ~
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