Friday, August 28, 2020

Frugal Friday

This week I sold one item on eBay and listed several more items for sale. 

We had to go check the mail the other day (we don't pick it up everyday) and decided to take the cash Bailey received and deposit it in the bank. We drove around for a little bit, which was a nice change of pace. 

On Monday I sent some new shirts back because of the quality. The material was very thin and I did not care for the fit. So many times Bailey gets brand new clothes with the tags still attached to sell in her online shops. I'm guilty of waiting to long to return items too, but not this time. 

Saving Money in the Kitchen

One morning I made some chocolate chip waffles using the Krusteaz pancake mix, which we already know is a money saver. 

One day I took out a large packet of chicken breast from the freezer and made those in my Instant Pot

That night I made white chicken enchiladas for dinner and had enough to serve the next day. And still had chicken left over for another meal later in the week. 

Saving Money on Entertainment

We didn't have movie night this week, but I have been reading Dr. Michael Greger's book, How Not to Die. I've also been watching Unsolved Mysteries on Peacock TV, which is free to download. 

Saving Money on Laundry

There are enough clothes in my wardrobe that  I only have to do laundry every other week, and this was the week. This system saves me money in electricity and wear and tear on my clothes. 

We used our last bottle of Tide this week. This was a batch that Bailey couponed for back in January of 2017.  Last year I mentioned that we would need to buy laundry detergent this year. 

We still have three bottles of Arm & Hammer left and a small bottle of Gain, so we've not had to buy any yet. It's great though that we haven't had to buy laundry detergent in years because we combined sales and coupons to add to our stockpile back then. 

Another way we save money on laundry is by using wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets. Wool dryer balls are made from a renewable resource and are a good substitute for disposable dryer sheets. 

Dryer balls decrease drying time by up to 25% by distributing heat more evenly in the dryer, which also helps you save money on utility bills. Dryer balls will last for over 1,000 laundry loads and eliminates dryer sheet waste in landfills.

Of course the least expensive way to dry laundry is to hang it outside on a clothesline to dry. But, my daughter is allergic to so many thing outside, that we don't do that here. Back when I was growing up that is how we and all our neighbors dried our laundry. 


Bailey and I have already been discussing Christmas this year. Due to me not working and less money coming in because of the pandemic, we are going to downsize Christmas this year. If you need to do that in your family, now is the time to start talking about this issue, so people can get used to the idea.

Other Frugal Things

This week I used up two bottles of shampoo samples and rinsed them out to get every last drop out of them. Even though they were free samples this helps to extend the shampoo we do have. 

The weather on Thursday morning was very cool outside when I fed the cats. It's been cooler in the evenings, so I've been able to turn off the a/c in the evenings, which will save money on our electric bill. 

This week I called my auto insurance company to see if I could get  a reduction on my auto insurance since I am not driving as much. I've read two different bloggers who have been successful with this. 

The representative told me that I was already at the lowest coverage for mileage and the only way to reduce my premiums would be to switch to liability insurance only. 

My car is a 2014 Chevy Impala, which I paid cash for when I bought it, so while I didn't have to have full coverage I still did.  So, I have to think about this and make a decision by October. 

How was your frugal week?

~ Living within our Means ~
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Monday, August 24, 2020

Menu Plan Monday ~ August 17 through August 23, 2020

Menu Plan Monday 

Monday: This day we still had Taco meat on hand from the night before. Wanting to prevent food waste, I decided to use that up for dinner. 

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken, Baked Sweet Potato, Steamed Broccoli, and salad.

Wednesday: Grilled Salmon, Brown Rice, Steamed Carrots, Sliced Red Peppers. 

Thursday: Grilled Chicken Salads with romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers, carrots, radishes, and onions. 

Friday: Asian Chicken Buddha Bowls

Saturday: Soup Beans, Turnip Greens, Sliced Tomatoes, Cornbread 

Sunday: Grilled Chicken with Roasted Sheet Pan Vegetables.

What was on your menu for the week? 

~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, August 21, 2020

Frugal Friday

In My Frugal Kitchen

All our meals were made from home this week as usual. 

This week we had a Walmart grocery pick up order delivered to our home. We sanitized all the groceries when they came into the house, which has become normal here now.  

One thing we bought was two eight pound bags of baking potatoes priced at $5.92 each. I like to buy the bakers because you can make a meal out of one of them. 

There were twenty potatoes in the two bags, which makes them 60¢ each, which is a great price for dinner. 

We bought a lot of frozen vegetables as I had emptied our freezer and used up every bag we had on hand. We also bought a lot of salad stuff. 

We used to buy these Birds Eye Stir Fry mixes regularly, but it has been a year or more since I bought one. We bought two this week and I will say that I was shocked when I saw the size of the package. 

It seems like to be they used to be twice the size than they are now. They used to be four pounds and priced at $5.98, but the size of the bag now is only 52 ounces. I hope that is not a sign of things to come. 

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamer

One of the things that Bailey has really missed during the pandemic is a Chai Latte from Starbucks. We thought about how she could make them at home and settled on this: 

Photo Credit Bailey @baileyalexinc
Photo Credit: Bailey @baileyalexinc

She bought the Twining's Chai tea bags in our Walmart order along with the Cinnamon Toast Crunch creamer and the whole milk. 

She tried the creamer, but wasn't a fan, so she tried it with whole milk, which she does at Starbucks, and liked it much better. It's not the same as Starbucks, but will do in a pinch. 

Walmart Substitutions 

We ordered Dawn dish soap in the 75 ounce bottle. They substituted three of the 28 ounce bottles, so we were able to get an extra 9 ounces for free. 

We ordered several of the Great Value mixed vegetables in the 12 ounce package, but they ran out and substituted one of the 32 ounce bags for the same price, which was 78¢. 

We were able to order disinfecting wipes and spray. They ran out of the Great Value wipes, so they substituted Clorox wipes for the same price.      
    1. In Other Frugal News...
  • The last time I had to buy gas was back on July 6th. On August 17, I put $20 in my gas tank. Only having to buy gas once a month or so is one of the positives of staying home. 

    Our electric bill is down by $65 over this same time last year. This is due to our new air conditioner, which at this rate is going to pay for itself very soon. 

    You may remember back in the early 2000s a website called Frugal Moms. It has long since been disbanded, but I was reading this week and found out that the domain is for sale. 

    Now some domains can be bought for as little as $12 per year, but the price on this is $4,526. Wow! I doubt anyone will be buying that anytime soon.  

    What I've been Reading This Week...

    "About 70 million Americans have seen their credit card limits reduced or their cards canceled entirely in the past two months" according to this article from Consumer Reports:

    Why You May Face Lower Credit Card Borrowing Limits 

    How has your week been?

    ~ Living within our Means ~
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    Monday, August 17, 2020

    Monday Frugal Report

    Earning Money

    This week I sold two items in my Etsy shop for which I am very grateful. We've noticed that since the $600 weekly unemployment benefit ended on July 31st that my daughter's Poshmark sales have went way down. 

    My daughter had a desk in the place where she recently installed a shelf, so she listed the desk on Facebook Marketplace and it sold for $40 this week.

    Avoiding Spending

    We did not buy any groceries this week. I've been continuing to make food we have here, which included beans and rice several times, but that is OK. 

    These types of foods, which I do enjoy, may not always be what we want to eat, but the important thing is that we are fed and I'm grateful for that. 

    My daughter gave herself a haircut this week. I've not needed one since I cut mine really short last time. 

    In My Frugal Kitchen

    This week I made hummus using my own dried beans. 

    We've been enjoying the plums and apples that came in our Misfit Market box last week. 

    We also enjoyed cucumbers that came in our MM box. I sliced them and sprinkled them with everything bagel seasoning and it made them stand out!

    I threw out the onions we had here due to the recall, so will need to order more this week. 

    This week I will use up the last of the Palmolive dish soap we bought a few years ago with coupons. Honestly, I'm glad it is gone because it does not clean as well as Dawn, which I will be buying this week. 

    Saving on Entertainment

    We played two classic board games this week, Monopoly and the Game of Life. Life was one of my favorite games when I was growing up. 

    Have you installed Peacock TV on any of your devices yet? I installed mine and have been watching it this week. I love that it is free. 

    I've been watching Mrs. Volfie on YouTube. She made some strawberry lemonade and some watermelon lemonade concentrate and canned it this week. She says it will taste great this winter and I agree with her. 

    This week I'll be taking my Dad for cataract surgery on his other eye. We are also ordering groceries this week. What plans do you have for the upcoming week?

    ~ Living within our Means ~
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    Monday, August 10, 2020

    Money Saving Monday

    August 2020


    This week we watched an old movie, Dr. Dolittle, but it made both of us laugh out loud and that makes for a break from the stress and anxiety created by the pandemic. 

    We also had game night on Saturday as usual. Snacks included fresh broccoli and radishes along with my homemade ranch dressing and a freshly sliced apple. Games we played were Boggle, Crazy Eights, Sorry, and Exploding Kittens. 

    Reading my favorite blogs is also considered free entertainment, plus I get to "visit" with my virtual friends. There are links in the sidebar to many of them. 

    My Frugal Kitchen

    We ate all of our meals at home this week, cooking from scratch and stretching leftovers, except for one meal. 

    This weekend was tax free weekend for restaurants and Papa Johns sent me a 40% off coupon to use. So, we ordered a Shaq-a-roni pizza and paid less than $10 for it. 

    We did a contactless delivery to the trunk of our car and sanitized the box when we got home. 

    We did not buy any groceries this week, although we did get a Misfits Market (MM) box on Saturday. 

    I thought I had cancelled my subscription, but this one sneaked through on me, but it is cancelled now. Getting this box reinforced my feelings about MM. The quality and quantity are not worth the price to me, so we're out. 

    As for groceries, we will be having a grocery delivery sometime this week as we are out of several things including eggs and bread. I thought we were out of cheese until I found one package in the freezer. 

    Trail Mix was on my  mind this week, so I made a  small batch using items we already had on hand. Peanuts, chocolate chips, raisins and pretzels. I also made a spice cake this week for dessert seekers. 

    One day I made tortilla chips to go with some chili I made during the week. 
    For dinner today I'm going to roast some vegetables. Beets, potatoes, carrots, red pepper, garlic, onions, and Brussel sprouts

    Beverages this week included a lot of iced tea, made here at home. I've been making two gallons at a time trying to keep up with my thirsty drinkers. 

    Other Frugal Activities

    My Christmas cactus must be confused as it has a bloom on it this week. 

    My Dad had cataract surgery this week and I took him and waited in the car for him. Since I only wore my outfit for about an hour, I simply took it off when I got home and hung it back up. No need to launder it since I didn't wear it long. 

    That's all the news to report from here this week. I hope you have a wonderful week and that you find joy in the simple things. I hope everyone has a safe, healthy, and frugal week!

    ~ Living within our Means ~
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