Friday, September 4, 2020

Frugal Friday

Word of the Week
Shrinkflation is the process of items shrinking in size or quantity, while their prices remain the same or increase.
Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

Last Friday I took some planned over chicken, ramen noodles, steamed broccoli, hoisin sauce, stir fry seasoning, and some sesame oil and made an Asian noodle dish for supper. It was a big hit and gave us leftovers for lunch the next day. 

On Monday I made some homemade meatballs.  The reason I decided on meatballs is because I wanted to use some crackers to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the meat as far as possible. 

Additions like oatmeal, crackers, vegetables, etc. all add bulk to your meat, which makes it go farther and saves money. The meatballs I made with one pound of ground beef made enough for two dinners by doing this. 

I was going to make a meatball stew or spaghetti and meatballs, but then my sink decided to stop draining. So I put those in the fridge and on Tuesday I made a brown gravy and added the meatballs and made mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables to go with it. It was also a big hit. 

We had a problem with the kitchen sink this week. I was washing dishes when the sink stopped draining. I tried using a plunger and Liquid Plumber, but neither one would work. So I tried to DIY and took the pipe off under the sink, but there was no clog that I could see. 

So, I knew it had to be farther down the line. I could rent a snake, but in the end decided to hire someone who used a snake attached to the hose and blast it out of the pipe. It was just a buildup of old junky matter, but it is fixed now and running great. I'm so grateful to have a clear running drain again. 

It's a funny thing that we've had more repairmen in the house since the pandemic struck than we have in the past few years. First the a/c installation, the dryer repair, and now the kitchen sink. Knock on wood that this will be it for a while. :)

Photo Credit: @BaileyAlexInc
Bailey made us a chocolate cake to have for snacks or dessert this week. 

On Wednesday I took a large package of six chicken breasts out of the freezer to thaw. On Thursday and Friday I cut each breast in half and made copycat Chic-fil-A sandwiches at home. 

One CFA sandwich cost $3.79. My six package of breasts cost $9.41, which made 12 filets. My 12 filets cost about 79¢ each, which is a great price for them compared to CFA. 

The secret to making them taste like CFA is to brine them in pickle juice. They end up tasting like the real thing. 

We ordered a few groceries like lemon pepper tuna, peanut butter, V-8 juice, and green beans from Amazon, but they will not be here until next week. 

Oh Monday I needed to run some errands, which included a stop by Lowe's for Liquid Plumber to try and clear the kitchen drain. 

We also went to Publix to pick up an RX, checked the mail, and since I earned a $10 gift card to Papa Johns from Mobile Expression this week, we bought a pizza for dinner.  

I am a rewards member also and earned 31 points for the pizza, which in turn earned us another $10 gift card, so we will use that at a later time. 

eBay sent me an email this week giving me a free $25 gift card for being with them since the beginning in 1999. I was so excited! I decided to buy some more inventory to make items for my Etsy shop. So I'm going to turn this $25 into even more money. 

Last week I entered a contest on Instagram that @Debtfreegonnabe was offering for $50 and a 30 minute consultation. She emailed me on Wednesday to let me know I was one of the winners. Woo Hoo! That sure came in handy this week after a $100 plumbing bill. 

Saving Money with Reward Apps

Microsoft Rewards - Finally MR has went back to giving five points per search (rather than 1 point) on my account. People had been discussing it on the MR Reddit board and I never did figure out exactly what was going on, but it's fixed now and I'm close to another $10 Amazon gift card. 

They've added new rewards, so if you have looked before and not been happy with the rewards, look again, you might be surprised. 


If you're not already a member of MyPoints, September would be a good month to join up. If you use my referral link you can earn up to an additional 500 bonus points this month. You can cash in your points for money such as 1,590 points in exchange for $10 in your PayPal account, which is what I like to do with my points. 

Free Entertainment

For movie night this week we watched a 2017 version of The Secret Garden, which is free to watch on YouTube. This is a Steampunk version of the classic tale by Frances Hodgson Burnett, with orphaned teen Mary Lennox discovering the magic and mystery of the secret garden.

Bailey and I have watched almost every version of The Secret Garden that they have out there and this one is an updated version with Mary and her cousin Colin being teenagers. 

If you read the reviews you'll find that many people found the acting to be cheesy, but I liked it. Mrs. Medlock is much nicer in this version while a new character, Dr. Craven is the evil villain. 

For game night we played There's a Moose in the House, which is a cute, matching card game for both children and adults. 

Other Frugal Activities

We went forging one day this week and picked the black walnuts on our land. 

How was your week? Any frugal activities to share with us?

~ Living within our Means ~
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  1. Your chicken sounds great. I will remember that trick with the pickle juice. I have never had a Chick Fil-A anything (never been) - but have heard great revues.
    Give me the old time version of The Secret Garden. I loved the really old one. I haven't seen a remake yet, that I have liked - of pretty much anything. LOL I am an original is best kind of person.
    Good going on getting free $$.
    Have a nice weekend.

    1. THank you, Cheryl.The chicken is spot on if you ever want to try and make it at home. We love the original Secret Garden too and it is our favorite one. I hope you have a good weekend too. :)

  2. You were on FIRE this week with frugal wins!!

    1. LOL, thank you, Sluggy. It was a pretty cool week. :)

  3. what a great week Belinda! I love Bailey's cake ..wish she was here!
    We are making cookies tonight with granddaughter ..she is sleeping over. The grandboy is having a friend sleep over and she is glad grandma is wanting her here. I'm going to look up that Moose in the house ..looks so fun!

    1. Oh yes, Vickie. Your grandchildren would really like the Mouse in a House game. Bailey would have so much fun with them. I hope you have a terrific weekend with the sleepover. :)

  4. My son and I are big game players here. My husband -- not so much. Anyway my son got the game There's a Moose in the House when he was 8 years old. We loved to play it. We still play it once in a while and he is now 22 years old. Another good game to play if you like word games is Letter Jam.

    1. Oh, thank you, Mary. I will look up Letter Jam. Yes, my daughter is also 22 and we still love to play Moose in the House. LOL

  5. I do like the work shrinkflation. It says a lot!

  6. Belinda, you are the queen of frugal deals! 😁
    Congratulations on winning the contest on Instagram!

    I brine chicken, but it’s just salt and water. I’ll remember your tip about using pickle juice.

    This is the first time I heard the word shrinkflation. 😊 Just yesterday I noticed that the 3 pack turkey bacon at the warehouse store has reduced to a 2 pack, but the price is the same!

    1. Thank you so much, Nil. It was an eventful week. Ugh on the turkey bacon, that is exactly what shrinkflation is, unfortunately.

  7. Great to know about CFA sandwiches!

    I too got the eBay offer, but splurged a bit. You were more thoughtful with the deal than I was. ;-) I can wear very few chapsticks/lipsticks due to a medical condition, that also makes my lips very dry. I have to wear something on my lips at all times, and wear a prescription kind at night. It's super $$, even with insurance. So, I splurged on my favorite Fresh Sugar lip gloss, that's $20-$25/tube. Such a treat!

    1. Oh, that is the perfect splurge. Buying yourself something that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. I love that!

  8. Belinda, I am so sorry everything keeps breaking during this stressful time. If the lottery could have chances like that, huh? LOL.
    My DH invested in a snake several years ago and we even have the professional machine. It has paid off so many times over the years.
    Your Chick-Fil-A copycat looks so good. Made me hungry.
    Did you get good prices for groceries at Amazon?
    Did you know there is a saltine cracker shortage? I got some crackers this week. I eat a lot of Saltine's. I did stock up before the pandemic but I am now running low.
    Thank you for the recommendation of The Secret Garden. A Steampunk version!!!! Oh my gosh I am so excited about that. There is a new version of The Secret Garden starring Collin Firth that came out this year. It's not free but I am saving up my Amazon shipping credits to rent it.
    I got a trial to HBO Max. I watched Midway, Hobbs & Shaw & The Current Wars. I made sure I cancelled it before the trial expired.
    I fell in love with your Pioneer Woman Kettle that you showed off a week ago. It was my B-day this week. DH asked me what I wanted and I asked for that. I already had a kettle so it was a luxury splurge. I am so in love with my kettle. Thank you for the inspiration. I love Pioneer's Woman line of kitchenware and I have been so happy with everything I bought. My DH loves her knife set. I gave my old kettle to the secretaries at my DH's work and they were thrilled to get it and so grateful.
    My DH got me Nintendo Switch gift cards for my B-day. I have been buying games on sale. A little tip for anyone reading who is a Switch user but when you buy a new game, even if it's on sale they give you credits to exchange in the store for even more games. It's your choice what you can buy. I was able to get three free games with my credits. I was worried when I received my Switch for a present last year that was not going to be a frugal gaming system because I am a frugal gamer. It has turned out to be a frugal system.

    1. Thank you, Safyne. I think the prices at Amazon are higher because they know people don't have as many options. Some of them are even entering the ridiculous range, so I stay away from those. I had no idea there was a saltine cracker shortage. My Mom will be disappointed in that as she eats them regularly too.

      Let me know what you think if you watch the Steampunk version of The Secret Garden. I really liked it ,but Bailey didn't like it as much as I did.

      Oh, I'm so happy you got a PW Kettle. I think it is so beautiful too and we use ours everyday. That was so nice to give your older one to the ladies at your dh's work.

      I didn't know you were a frugal gamer, that is so neat! You'll have to share some tips with us. :)

      I hope you have a great weekend. :)

  9. Great week of deals!!!
    Sorry about the plumbing problem, but I'm glad you were able to get it fixed.
    That cake looks so good, and I'm craving chicken now. Will try your tip on the pickle juice.
    I'll check out the rewards. Do you have a link to your etsy shop?
    Hope you have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. here is the link to my Etsy shop:
      I hope you have a good weekend too!

  10. Do you use the black walnuts for cooking or snacking or do you sell them? Easy way to make a bit more income and they are already on your property.

    1. We sell them, Mary Lou. We normally take them to the flea market. In fact these are already sold. :)


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