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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    1. Not sure if this will help, but I use this recipe.

      First I make a chai concentrate with the Twinnings Chai. I use 2 ultra spice chai and 1 plain black regular Lipton tea. I added sugar to taste, kind of like my grandma made sweet tea. I then did a half and half measure, half concentrate and half milk. I used the concentrate over 4-5 days. Stored it in the refrigerator. It made the days better at the beginning of the shutdown.

      1. Oh, thank you, Amy. That does help. I will be sure to pass this along to Bailey to try.

    2. I also make a chai concentrate but I make it without using the chai tea bags. I just use regular tea and spices from my pantry. I only keep it during the fall and winter though.

      1. Oh, that sounds good, Anne. I've seen recipes for it, but did not have all the spices. I need to work on that.

    3. I think the trend for smaller packages and same or higher prices has been going on for a few years. They really think they are fooling us. They sure don't give the public much credit.

      1. It's all a game to them, we are too smart to be fooled by them, Cheryl. Right? Right! :)

    4. Belinda, I don't if Bailey already saw this but I thought I would post it for her anyway:

      It gives amounts and instructions. I hope she finds one she likes.

      1. Thank you, Mary Lou. I will be sure to show this to her. She loves her chai lattes. :)

    5. I wish they would reduce my credit limits they are crazy and I am never going to use them.

      1. They closed one of my Mom's, but I think they did that because she didn't use it.

    6. Do you have a Trader Joe's nearby? (I don't know if they will do drive up or delivery though) but they have a canned Chai Tea Lattee in cannisters like hot choclate mix that is so goo-esecially if you make with 1/3 milk. I do think smaller packages and higher prices, so a double hit, is going to be the norm.

      1. I think you're right on the double hit, Sam. sigh

        I wish we had a Trader Joe's nearby. but the closest one is in Atlanta, which is a couple of hours from here. If we ever get there to thrift shop we will be sure to stop. I've always wanted to go and that sounds really good. :)

    7. I love finding ways to make things at home that make you feel like you're splurging a bit. We've been doing mostly the same things (line drying most of our clothes, keeping a close eye on our AC usage, cooking at home - minus one meal out, using up our garden produce, etc.)

      1. I love finding those ways to have a splurge at home too, they can be a lot of fun.

    8. Prices are going up, and quantities are going down. The other day I went to Home Depot and some shelves were empty. I was told that certain items were not available as they come from China.

      Because I'm now working from home, I asked my insurance agent if I could get a discount. She made a change to the policy from commuter vehicle to pleasure vehicle and said I'd get a refund of just over $89.

      1. That is great that you're getting a refund on your auto ins, Nil. I just love that. I have that on my to do list and I need to get that done next week.

    9. I just remembered yesterday to cancel my credit card..I was going to use the points for an airplane trip to see my sister. Of course that didn't happen and after the first year they charge. All those little things i have to remember to cancel.

      1. Oh yes, Vickie. It can be easy to overlook too. I try and write those things on my calendar so I don't forget them.

    10. I think smaller grocery sizes are going to be the norm for awhile. I did a WalMart order this week to. I ordered from since I needed some things that were not sold in stores and much cheaper than Amazon. I am learning how to play this online shopping game like a pro now when it comes to finding best prices. I noticed some groceries were cheaper at than at their store for delivery or pickup. Are you thinking of subscribing to WalMart's "Prime" service when they finally roll it out, hopefully this month? I am seriously thinking of it. I think it will save money in the long run during this pandemic.

      With my DH being so sick this week and the Covid scare we had my essential shopping became a nightmare. Since he was Covid negative we did not have to quarantine so we went to Menard's because not only did my poor DH get sick but several things broke in our home this week. When it rains it pours right. :) I found some great deals at Menards on food. Luckily our repairs are small but we want to keep them small and not wait to fix them at a later time when they will be more expensive. I have always felt it's better to fix small than when it becomes a large issue. I think that is even more important to have that mentality now.

      I was so upset and nervous during essential shopping when I went to pick up a few groceries I completely messed it up and forgot essentials. I have to go out today. I thought about doing a pickup but DH & I have such severe food allergies I kept having to write notes about substitutes. I felt like I was putting the employees at the store through a lot of work because of our allergies. We also got substitutes that we were allergic to. That was a lot of wasted money. I knew I had to be brave and start essential shopping. I shop at a grocery store that is more expensive but they are taking very big precautions for safety and enforcing them.

      I deep cleaned my mud room. Everything is super organized. I got all my fall seeds ready to start planting. I even got my Halloween decor organized so I won't go and buy doubles of things. I accidentally do that all the time when it comes to Dollar Tree decor. Amazon gives out free digital credit if you choose slower shipping with Prime. It is funny because I have gotten all my packages earlier than the arrival date. This week I got $5 worth of credit. I splurged on a $2 movie from the Prime library. It was nice to get a free movie and relax. We watched Reds 2. Reds is free on Prime this month.

      I love Bailey's Starbuck cup and I love that Pioneer Woman kettle. You know I have never been into a Starbuck's.

    11. Safyne, I will definitely look into the Walmart subscription to see what it is all about.

      I'm sorry to hear you had several repairs in your home this week, but glad they were small. Oh wow, I'm sorry you got substitutes that you were allergic to, that's terrible. :( MY dd is allergic to so many things, so we have to be careful there too.

      I will have to check out the Reds movie. I didn't even realize that is why Amazon was doing that with the shipping. I need to check that out better. Thanks for the heads up.

      I like the PW kettle too as it is so pretty. I wouldn't go into Starbucks unless it was with Bailey. I order the green tea, which has freer refills. Not all of their drinks do but that one does.

      I need to make me some herbal tea for today. It would be good and refreshing.

    12. Good deal on the potatoes. I have been buying the regular potatoes, but it seems like there is always a bad one or two in the bag. I love baked potatoes.
      I used to buy those stir fry veggies, but didn't know they had decreased the size. Thanks for the tip. Everything seems to have gone up
      Glad your girl can enjoy her chai again. I'm glad your electric bill has come down too.
      Hope you have a good week.


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