Friday, March 27, 2020

Frugal Friday ~ March 27, 2020

Hello to all my frugal friends. Thankfully we've made it to Friday again. I hope and pray that all of you and your families are safe and sound and healthy. 

The news in the world is about the same as last week. Schools here were closed due to Spring Break, but we would have been closed due to the Coronavirus Pandemic anyway. 

I've gotten the official word that schools will be closed here now until at least April 24th. I had been scheduled to work next Thursday and Friday, but that will not be happening now. 

I'm trying to keep my routine as normal as possible. I wake up and shower and have a to do list on my phone that I accomplish each day. I've been keeping myself busy and reading more than I normally read. 

This week we listened to The Secret Garden for free on this week. 

I also completed the 2020 census during my down time this week. 

My eye doctors office called and cancelled an appointment I had for Friday. This was fine with me because I was going to call and cancel anyway because of the virus.

My paycheck came in the mail this week. The thought of going out when we have been self quarantining bothered me, however. 

What I ended up doing was taking a photo of my check and depositing it in the bank via my smartphone. I had no idea I could do that until Bailey mentioned it to me.  

See, the school district has direct deposit for faculty and staff members, but not for substitute teachers. 

On payday I have to drive home, get my check out of the mailbox, drive to town and deposit it, which is a 45 mile round trip. Being able to do this on my phone saves me gas and wear and tear on my car, which is a win- win situation. 

In the kitchen I've been cleaning, organizing, taking pantry inventory, cooking and all the other little tasks I find to do in there. I love puttering around our home cleaning and doing things to make life here better. This is a perfect time to do things just like this. 

-Some time ago I bought a container of soy sauce packets from Amazon, so I could take them in my lunch box. Little did I know how long it would take to use those up. 

Today I decided I was tired of the little packages, so I took the packets, cut the tops off and put them in our regular soy sauce bottle. I washed the jar they were stored in and quickly found a better use for that jar. 

-I went looking for and found my sour cream containers. A bad habit I know, but I wasn't putting them in the same place after they were washed, but that is fixed now. 

I don't want to throw these large containers away and contribute to the landfill as I know someone will have a good use for them and probably ask for them someday. 

So far I have given large glass jars and egg cartons to teachers at school. It's because I save these items that I'm able to donate them when a request is made. It's been my experience that teachers are thrilled when a request like this is fulfilled.

- On Sunday I took our last chicken out of the freezer to cook for dinner. I decided right off the bat that I would stretch the chicken like nobody's business. 

I cooked the chicken in my Instant Pot and added onions and several spices (salt, pepper, paprika, Weber's garlic and herb) along with enough water, which ended up making a very rich broth. 

On Tuesday I made a chicken pot pie using Bisquick instead of a pie crust since that is what I had on hand. I used part of the rich broth for the pot pie and froze the rest of the broth for a later time. 

My bank offered "relief of fees" due to the Coronavirus Pandemic this month, although you had to ask for it. They kindly refunded my service fee for March, which is savings for me of $8.00.

I cleaned up and organized my spices this week. I emptied several of the same spice into a larger mason jar and labeled it. I had a couple of glass spice jars that I cleaned up and will save for another purpose. 

The following tip comes from Chef AJ. She saves her spice bottles when they are empty and reuses them. 

She says that research shows that most people don't eat 30 distinct and different meals each month, but rather repeat their favorite meals every week.

Chef AJ says her Red Lentil Chili is no exception. Instead of measuring out all 7 of the spices every time she goes to make it, she uses several empty spice bottles and makes them all at the same time. Then all she has to do is grab one and put them in her pressure cooker with the rest of the ingredients.

I do this with taco seasoning mix that I make up, although I just place them into small bowls. I make about 10 at a time and it is a big time saver, but now I'm saving my glass spice bottles for this purpose. :)

Gas is down to $1.39 per gallon here.

We watched A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood for our family movie night this week. If you like Mr.Rogers you'll like this movie.

I cleaned out my e-mail box of any unwanted subscriptions. Not knowing what is on sale where will help me save money. 

We did a curbside pickup this week at Piggly Wiggly and Kroger. The reason I did this at two stores is because they were out of stock of several items we needed. 

We used our last roll of toilet paper on Wednesday. Piggly Wiggly's website sold me toilet paper, but when I got there they didn't load it into my cart. Turns out, they were out of it, but I am grateful for the items we did get.

Finally, we’ve been drinking herbal tea every day through quarantine. It’s healthy, hydrating, and a great self care routine. My favorite is the Peppermint. What’s your favorite herbal tea?

~ Living within our Means ~
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  1. Good Morning, First I want to thank you and the bloggers on your side bar for posting.I think it is a great way to keep motivated by doing your daily routine and to keep in touch with people. I use my sour cream containers for bird seed bag, salt to icy pavement bag, potting soil bag. As for TP, check drugstores, dollar type stores, and convenience stores. Maybe call in to your job and ask for some! They can only say no. Take care and stay well. Wear a mask and gloves if you venture out to go into a store. Barb in PA

    1. You're welcome, Barb. I like to use y side bar to keep up with my favorite blogs too. Thank you for all the great tips on getting some tp and the mask and gloves. Those sour cream containers are great for storing other things in, aren't they? I hope you stay well too. :)

  2. We've been drinking a ton of tea as well. I ordered a six pack of herbal tea from Amazon, and have loved the variety. Current favorite is lemon ginger.

    1. Mmmmm...lemon ginger sounds good and I like both of those flavors. Drinking hot lemon water is supposed to be food for you too.

  3. My daughter has done that too with the paper towels, Renee. I have some flannel baby blankets I could cut up if we need to do that.

  4. Hi Belinda,

    As you saw on IG, I did the same thing with my pantry this last weekend. I also save my glass spice jars and premix chili, taco, and bbq seasonings. I have a number of half gallon Mason jars I got on sale two years ago, and filled them with oats, beans, and different pastas, to better see what I have. I made a big IP full of chili that we are from throughout the week. I'm still working, but the kids are out of school until at least April 30th, so I've been leaving their lunch menu in a white bored along with a snack so I can keep a better track of what is used when I'm not home.

    1. The white board is a great idea for your kids, Nichole. I just picked up some half gallon mason jars online this week because they were on sale. They should be here tomorrow. I love big pots of chili as you can stretch it to last all week long. Love it. :)

  5. They said it was more than likely our schools in Michigan will not be returning this year. The virus is really getting bad here.
    I love that your saving containers ..I have a feeling you going to need them. Stay well

    1. Thank you, Vickie. I wonder if we will not be returning to school this year also. I have a feeling we won't be.

  6. I had to laugh ad the spices. I have a girlfriend who has labeled all her seeds into tiny jars becasue she is so bored. Get away from the label maker Belinda now.....

  7. I keep my sour cream containers for transplanting my seedlings. Why buy something when I can reuse. Sorry you won't be working for a while. You seem to be stretching your money far. Stay healthy.

    1. Than you, Marybeth. I hope you stay healthy too.

  8. Doing my census today, too.

    Amy D's spice recipes are fantastic. Her casserole combination, I had clipped elsewhere and no longer recall which I read first. Never buy canned soups but prepare my own. Salt is my enemy and don't like taste of canned soups. As a child, I ate Campbell's veggie soup every school day. Times do change.

    At my urging, My Man bought 6 rotisserie chickens to freeze, and we already had 20 pounds of frozen chicken breasts. Also well supplied with beef. Have frozen and canned veggies and fruits. Bread is homemade cornbread. We normally eat simply and are continuing as usual. No fresh veggies or fruits .

    Last electric and gas bill was $87 for home use. Buying no gas for car.

    Compared 2 pharmacies for a script and one cost $204 less for 90-day supply. Paid $1.67 for another script. (!!!)

    Continue on, Belinda, with stretching every resource.
    -memphis metro

  9. We will definitely continue stretching our resources, Anna, and I know you will as well. That was a good idea to buy the 6 rotisserie chickens for the freezer. I like that idea. We are good with what we have here as well. I made a pantry inventory this weekend, so I know exactly what we have on hand, which helps. You take care now and stay healthy.


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