Monday, October 25, 2021

Supply Chains & Christmas ~ Something to Ponder


As you probably have also, I’ve been reading in the news lately about it being hard to shop for Christmas this year due to supply issues. I’ve thought about this and decided this isn’t necessarily going to be a bad thing. 

As far as decorating goes, We have plenty of decorations from years past to decorate with this year. And I suspect a lot of other people are in the same boat, and have plenty to decorate their homes with this year without buying anything new. 

Also, while we may not have all the traditional foods we normally have, we will most likely have food to eat and that is more important than doing without a traditional food for one Christmas. Some people may go hungry on Christmas and that is a sad fact, so I will be grateful for what we do have on our table this holiday season.

Another truth of the matter is that many of us do not NEED anything new, so not being able to buy presents for each other this year really wouldn’t be such a bad thing. It’s just the thought of not doing or having what we are used too, but we can make new traditions that mean just as much as our old traditions. 

I’ve always loved the tradition of giving each child three gifts to represent the three gifts the wise men brought to the baby Jesus. 

My Grandmother used to make up games for us to play that were so much fun. One year she hid my Grandfathers gift and the first person to find it won a small gift. 

We can look for ideas to make the holidays fun while keeping them frugal in order to fit our budgets.  With a little bit of effort we could make this a Christmas to remember. 

I’m just not going to worry about what we’ll have or not have for this one Christmas season. I can make Bailey some homemade things that she will love with things I already have on hand. And that way I won’t be adding any stress or worry for myself about supply chain issues that I have no control over anyway. 

How about you? Are you rethinking ways to do Christmas this year?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, October 22, 2021

Frugal Friday ~ October 22, 2021



Welcome to Friday! 

My Frugal Week

On Saturday we had a Walmart grocery order delivered to our home. Afterwards I cooked up the ground beef for tacos and nachos for the weekend. I cut up the onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and shredded the cheese. I also made a seven layer taco dip and baked a chocolate cake for Bailey’s birthday. It was so nice to have all the food prepared ahead of time, so I could enjoy her birthday too. 

On Tuesday we went to town to run some errands and I drove for the first time since my surgery. It felt great and Bailey was able to pick up some of her birthday freebies.

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

I made plenty of meat to have for tacos and nachos over the weekend, so we ate on that most of the week until it was gone. 

Meals This Week

Saturday: Tacos with soft corn tortillas, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onions

Sunday: Bailey’s birthday dinner...Nacho Bar & Queso Dip, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Ice Cream for dessert seekers.

Monday: More Taco stuff

Tuesday: Birthday Freebies

Wednesday: Taco Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Thursday: Seven Layer Taco Dip, Baked Potatoes

Recipe of the Week

Loaded Queso

Ingredients:

1 block Velveeta Queso Blanco Cheese
1 - 8 ounce bag Monterey Jack Cheese
1 - 8 ounce block cream cheese
1 - 10 ounce can Rotel, undrained
1 cup Heavy Cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam type spray. 
Cube Velveeta and cream cheese and place in pan. 
Add other ingredients and place into oven to melt, about 20 minutes. 
Remover from oven and stir well. 
Enjoy with tortilla chips. 

Saving on Entertainment

Bailey is a Harry Potter fan, so for her birthday she wanted to watch the Harry Potter films all over again. So starting last Saturday, we watched one film per day as we were eating dinner. She has all of the DVDs so this came at no cost to us. And best of all, she was thrilled watching them all over again. 

We also began playing games again this week, which included Ramen Fury, Sorry, and Oh Gnome You Don’t! The Sorry game was one we picked up at a yard sale and is vintage, so the playing pieces are very nice since it is  vintage game. 

What I've been Reading This Week

Freebies




Bailey loaded up on birthday freebies this week. Items she received free included a small pizza from Marcos, a free slice of pizza from Sbarros, a free cookie from both Chick-fil-a and The Great American Cookie shop, free sandwiches from Firehouse Subs and Jimmy Johns. She also got a free blueberry biscuit from Bojangles and a free chocolate croissant from Panera Bread. 

On Thursday we both received a free Cheesy Toasted Breakfast Burrito from Taco Bell, which was giving them free to everyone. We stopped in on our way to a yard sale where Bailey found some plants. 


That is all the news to report on our frugal week in Tennessee. Thank you for dropping by, you are always welcome here. We would love to hear about your week in the comment section.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree


If you are encouraged by what you read here, please consider supporting this site. 

 1. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small percentage that helps me to earn a living. Any items you place in your cart from one of my links means I will earn a small percentage from that sale. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Frugal Friday ~ October 15, 2021



Welcome to Friday! 

My Frugal Week

On Wednesday I had my follow up visit with my eye doctor and received a good report. I thanked him for restoring my eye sight. It truly is a blessing that such gifted hands restored my eyesight. I will always be grateful. 

We’ve been needing a new shower head in the bathroom for a while now and had even ducted taped the old one to to make it last longer. Well the time had come to replace ours and we had been looking for new ones online. Guess what Bailey found while at a yard sale on Saturday?


You guessed it! A brand new Waterpik shower head. We were so tickled, and already have it installed. It’s just wonderful. 

Earning Money

I redeemed 30 points from MobileXpressions for $5.00 in PayPal cash.

Avoiding Spending

We didn’t spend any money on groceries this week, just continued to make do with what’s here. I will be doing our monthly grocery shop today for Bailey has a birthday on Sunday. She is wanting a Nacho Bar for her birthday and I’ll make her a chocolate cake and she requested chocolate ice cream too. She will be 24 years old on Sunday. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

As usual we used up all of our leftovers and had no food waste. 

Meals This Week

Friday & Saturday: Fiesta Chicken, Corn, Roasted Potatoes 

Saturday: Hamburgers with Cheese, Lettuce, Onion, Tomatoes, Fries

Sunday: Chicken Fajitas, Tortillas, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Corn, Broccoli

Monday: Chili Mac using some dried kidney beans, half a pound of ground beef, tomatoes, corn, and elbow macaroni. 

Tuesday: Surgery Day - Bailey made dinner at home. Chicken Tenders, Hummus with Crackers

Wednesday:  Honey Baked Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts

Thursday: Chicken Stir Fry, Rice, Broccoli ~I used up some rice from earlier in the week and added a package of the Sun Bird Fried Rice seasoning packet, which really adds flavor to rice. 

Recipe of the Week

Fiesta Chicken

Ingredients:

2 to 3 pounds chicken
1 to 2 onions, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 eight ounce cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup taco sauce
2 envelopes fajita seasoning mix
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

Dice chicken and onions and cook in the Instant Pot for 15 minutes.
Mix cream cheese, sour cream, taco sauce, and fajita seasoning together. 
Add chicken and stir together.
Place in a sprayed casserole dish and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Notes:

If I’m only doing two pounds of chicken, then I would only use one packet of fajita seasoning mix. The same with the sour cream, if I’m only doing two pounds of chicken, I would only use half of a cup of sour cream. You can use any already cooked chicken, cut up however you like it. 

What I've been Reading This Week

The Moneyist - Interesting money advice sort of like a Dear Abby column. There are some sticky situations that people can get into, and the advice they get back is pretty solid. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Eye Surgery Update #2


Good Wednesday morning to all my friends. I wanted to update you and let you know that my second eye surgery went well with no complications. I have a follow up visit today and hopefully he will tell me that I can drive again. I’m looking forward to that. I hope you all have a terrific Wednesday!

Belinda

Friday, October 8, 2021

Frugal Friday October 8, 2021



Welcome to Friday! 

It’s been a rainy week here in the SE corner of Tennessee. We needed some rain, so I'm grateful for it. 

Quote of the Week
The most treasured things passed down from generation to generation are family recipes. Robert  St. John
My Frugal Week

On Saturday I gave myself a haircut and then vacuumed the area to clean it up and ended up vacuuming most of the house. I’ve been cleaning a lot since my surgery as I can see so much better (dirt I couldn’t see before). 


Bailey was shopping at the thrift store and found me a bag full of reading glasses for only $2.00. 

Earning Money

I’ve been cleaning out the pantry and decided  to sell a mandolin slicer we bought at a yard sale but hadn’t used. Bailey listed it in Facebook Marketplace and it sold for $40 on the same day. 

I also made two sales on eBay this week. I sold an old Coca Cola bottle from Kentucky and a mini Betty Crocker pie plate. 

I earned $7.51 on a Amazon card for a milk purchase settlement. 

Avoiding Spending

We didn’t buy any groceries this week other than the pizza from Publix. We used what we had here at home to make meals

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

I was running low on flour this week, and decided to add some to my Walmart grocery order. They had the two pound bag for $1.00 and the five pound bag for $1.18. Three extra pounds of flour for eighteen cents?! What a great deal, although I bought the ten pound bag for $2.24. 

We have two freezers here and one day while going back and forth between my recipes on the blog and the Walmart grocery order, I realized I had frozen bananas in one freezer and frozen pumpkin in the other, and realized I could make my Pumpkin Banana Bread using both ingredients. So, I made a loaf on Tuesday to have this week. 

Hamburger Bun Pan
Hamburger Bun Pan

I bought this hamburger bun pan a while ago off of eBay. Turns out it is a great way to make eggs for sandwiches too. 

Egg McMuffin Eggs
Egg McMuffin Eggs

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Self Care Sunday

Image Credit

Remember that in order to help others you need to help yourself first. You cannot pour water from an empty well. So take some time today to nurture your mind, body and spirit. 

As for me, I will be making a cup of my favorite herbal tea, relaxing, and reading up on my favorite blogs today. I’m hoping for a stress free day to rejuvenate myself. 

How about you?

Belinda


Friday, October 1, 2021

Frugal Friday ~ October 1, 2021



Welcome to Friday! 

My Frugal Week

Bailey went to her book club on Friday evening. 

We went to seven yard sales on Saturday. At one point we heard the familiar honking of some Canadian Geese and looked up to see several in their familiar V form. 

Mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors with lemon Lysol on Monday. It smells so good.

As you already know, Tuesday was eye surgery day for me. I’m doing fine although I still can’t read this well, so this will be a short blog post. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

Meals This Week

Friday: Homemade Pizza and Salad

Saturday: Tacos on soft corn tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. I stretched the taco meat by adding a cup of rice, which was in my fridge from another meal. That made about sixteen tacos the first night for dinner, which we shared with Mom and Dad. In the morning I added the leftover taco meat to scrambled eggs and made another four tacos. We still had enough for two tacos on Monday morning.  

Sunday: We must have been tired because we both took a nap and missed dinner. I finally just made us a sandwich around 7 p.m. and called it a day. 

Monday: Dirty Rice, Salad, Corn on the Cob. 

Tuesday: Dominoes Pizza

Wednesday: Pizza Hut

Thursday: Chicken Fajitas, Corn, Rice

What I've been Reading This Week

Getting Ahead of the Holiday Meal Cost
More food.org


That is all the news to report on our frugal week in Tennessee. Thank you for dropping by, you are always welcome here. We would love to hear about your week in the comment section.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Eye Surgery Update


On Tuesday I had the first of two eye surgeries. This one went well with no complications. I am amazed at how much brighter everything is and that I can see far away now.

The surgery has messed with my reading,visi9m though, so the doctor is thinking I will need to have readers to be able to see to read. So, until I get that worked on it will be hard to read blogs and comment because it is like having double vision right now only when trying to read though. 

My surgery for the other eye is in two weeks. I just wanted to update you for now. If you see any types in this post please excuse them. LOL

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree


Friday, September 24, 2021

Frugal Friday ~ September 24, 2021



Welcome to Friday! 

We’ve had rain here all week until Thursday morning when a cold front moved through. We woke up to a temperature of 53 degrees and it felt so good!

Quote of the Week
The fall hurt like hell, but I found grace in the wounds and a version of me I never knew. Stephanie Bennett-Henry
My Frugal Week

The washer repairman came out on Saturday as the washing machine is making a weird noise. We’ve already had them out here once for the same issue. The warranty runs out next month, so we want to get it fixed before then. 

Bailey and I went to a consignment sale this week up in Hixson. We went on the first day, the day when items went to 50% off and the day they went to 75% off. She probably ended up with 200 pieces for her shops, which is more than she picked up at yard sales so far this summer. 

Bailey left on Sunday afternoon for a pet sitting job and I quickly did three loads of laundry, folded them and put them away. It’s nice to have that chore accomplished. 

She stopped by the bread outlet on her way home and picked up bread and buns. 

We had a Walmart grocery order delivered on Thursday. They substituted the 6 ounce pepperoni we ordered for a 21 ounce sized bag for the same price, which is good for us. We were able to stock up with twenty-four canned goods of vegetables, which makes me feel better about having them on hand. 

We ordered 5 pounds of ground beef for the month, up from zero ordered last month due to the price. I will use my best resources to stretch it as far as I can. I noticed the price of cheese creeped up by about 45 cents. I also ordered cake supplies for Bailey’s birthday next month. 

Earning Money

Bailey earned money this week pet sitting in Chattanooga. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

We picked up one dozen Rubbermaid bowls at a yard sale for 50 cents this week. These are the perfect size for making my own gelatin fruit cups. I used to have a bunch of the Gladware bowls in a similar size, but they’ve all disappeared over the years being used for various things. 


We picked up an order from Aldi on Saturday, but when we got home we realized it was not our order. We called Instacart and they gave us the option of a complete refund or to repick up our order. We decided on the complete refund since we were already home at that point. We did not want to waste gas to pick up a new order. 


The Instacart employee told me we could either keep or donate the food we did get. We ended up with 8 bottles of Gatorade, 1 bag of Frito Lay chips, 1 bag of Kettle Chips, 4 cans of corn, 2 cans of carrots, 3 boxes of Mac and Cheese, and 1 bag of string cheese. We will keep some of the items and donate others. 

Meals This Week

It was just me for dinner Sunday through Wednesday, so I didn’t put as much effort into dinner as I usually do. 

Saturday: Chicken Sandwiches, Rice,  Lettuce & Tomato

Sunday: Asian Salad (It was just me for dinner)

Monday: Grilled Chicken Tacos, lettuce, tomato

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Salads, Baked Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli

Wednesday: Homemade Pizza, Salad

Thursday: Country Style Ribs, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Pickled Beets


Recipe of the Week

Linda asked for my cabbage roll recipe last week in the comment section, so I decided to bring it here for this week. I use my meatloaf recipe for the meat part of this recipe and then I top them with some tomato sauce before baking. 

Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef
1 to 2 packages saltine crackers
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
Worcestershire sauce - just a splash
Salt & Pepper 
One head of Cabbage
Tomato Sauce

Directions:

Bring a large stock pot of water to boil.  
Add the whole head of cabbage and boil for 5 minutes.  
Remove to colander to drain and cool.  
Once cooled cut 1/2 inch off the stem end of the cabbage. 
Carefully remove 12 leaves and cut the tough rib out of the stem end.
Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with nonstick spray.  
Place a small amount of the meat mixture in the center of the cabbage roll.  
Bring in the sides and roll tight.  
Repeat until all the cabbage rolls are made and in the casserole dish. 
Top with tomato sauce.
Cover with aluminum foil. 
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 80-90 minutes.


Saving on Entertainment

These days I watch more videos on Facebook than I watch on YouTube, although I do watch Moss Family TV every night on YouTube. Someone recently posted one of Dr. Phil’s shows on Facebook this week and I really enjoyed watching it for free. 

That is all the news to report on our frugal week in Tennessee. Thank you for dropping by, you are always welcome here. We would love to hear about your week in the comment section.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree


If you are encouraged by what you read here, please consider supporting this site. 

 1. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small percentage that helps me to earn a living. Any items you place in your cart from one of my links means I will earn a small percentage from that sale. 


Monday, September 20, 2021

Menu Plan Monday


Image Credit


In no particular order, these are the meals I plan on making this week. As usual, we have plenty of salad and vegetables to serve with these meals. 

Grilled Chicken Tacos
Grilled Chicken Salads
Hamburgers
Country Style Ribs
Cabbage Rolls
Vegetable Stir Fry
Homemade Pizza

Come back on Friday if you're interested in reading which side dishes we chose for each meal


Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree


Friday, September 17, 2021

Frugal Friday ~ September 17, 2021



Welcome to Friday! 

My Frugal Week

This blog post will be shorter than usual because I’ve been working on getting my prescriptions refilled all week long.

We went to town on Tuesday as I had a doctor appointment for prescription refills. I’m not sure why, but it has been like pulling teeth to get my prescription refills this time. I think I have it all straightened out now and should be able to pick those up tomorrow. 


My brother bought a new house last week. He works very hard and saves his money. His down payment was $58,000. I am so proud of and happy for him. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

We’ve been adventurous in the kitchen this week. Bailey has been tired of spaghetti for a long time now and I had multiple cans of spaghetti and meatballs that were gifted to us that we weren’t eating. Today I opened several cans and took the meatballs out and rinsed the sauce off of them. I added BBQ sauce to them and she enjoyed them for lunch. 

Bailey did a small Aldi pickup for us on Wednesday, so we did get a few things, but she is going to pet sit in Chattanooga for the next few days, so we didn’t need a big grocery order 

Meals This Week 

Although we ate at home every day, I didn’t blog about it. So here are a few of the meals we ate, but not all of them. 

Monday: Hamburgers, French Fries, Sautéed Onions, Lettuce, Tomatoes

Tuesday: Chicken Sandwiches, Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday: Chicken, Carrots, Potatoes, Pickled Beets

That is all the news to report on our frugal week in Tennessee. Thank you for dropping by, you are always welcome here. We would love to hear about your week in the comment section. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree

Friday, September 10, 2021

Frugal Friday September 10, 2021



Welcome to Friday! 

My Frugal Week

We went to 15 yard sales last Friday and Saturday. There were not as many as usual since it was a holiday weekend. The weather on Saturday was so nice and cool, just beautiful yard sale weather. 

There were protestors at Hamilton Place Mall on Saturday while we were there. They were chanting loudly, which made me nervous. I was glad when we left the area. We were looking for a restroom we could use. COVID has shut down so many indoor fast food lobbies that it was hard to find one that was open. 


We found the cats a new tree house at a yard sale. It has cat nip in it from the previous owner and the cats were lined up  to get inside of it. Of course, Polka Dot was the first one inside.
 


I made homemade Oxiclean this week. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide, and one cup of hot water. You’re supposed to use it up within 24 hours or it will lose its effectiveness. So, you could mix up a smaller batch if necessary. 

Speaking of laundry, I got mine all done on Tuesday this week. It makes me feel good to get it all washed, folded, and put away on the same day. 

Avoiding Spending

I did have one prescription to pick up this week, but that is the only spending I’ve done. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

I’ve been making a gallon of iced tea every day for the last month or so. I like to have two to three gallons at a time in the fridge during this hot weather. 

I inventoried my freezer and pantry again over the weekend to come up with meals for this week. I’m happy to report we had no food waste this week as we either used it up or froze it for later use. 


On Labor Day Monday I used up a can of pumpkin that had been lingering in my pantry and made pumpkin waffles for breakfast. 

I took the last of the Beans and Franks and the last of the Chicken Fried Rice, labeled them, and put them in the freezer in individual containers for a quick meal later. I now have six meals like this in my freezer. 

I’m very excited to report that Chattanooga now has a Trader Joe’s. I have wanted to go in this store for a few years now, but none of them were close to us. We are going to wait a month or so until we go as we want the new to wear off while the Delta variant from COVID is so bad right now. 

Meals This Week

Friday: Chicken Fried Rice, Steamed  Broccoli, Chopped Tomatoes

Saturday: Beefy Baked Beans , which I made with hotdogs instead of beef since beef was so expensive the last time we ordered groceries we did not buy any. This is why we've had so much chicken on our menus lately.  

Sunday: Grilled Italian Sausage, Prince Edward Vegetable Medley, Rice Pilaf, Cucumbers and Radishes, Salad


Monday: White Chicken Enchiladas, Prince Edward Medley, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Radishes. I placed my enchilada on top of a bed of lettuce and tomato, which really made it taste like a dinner at the Mexican restaurant. 

Tuesday:  Tonight is movie night, which means I will make a pizza for Bailey. We will have a late lunch making a Baked Potato Bar. That way I won’t have to make any dinner for myself as I probably won’t be hungry. 

Wednesday: Salmon Patties, Rice Pilaf, Home Fries, Green Peas. The Rice Pilaf is what was leftover from Sunday’s dinner. I also had one baked potato left from yesterday, so I made home fries out of it. Between the two side dishes there was plenty of starch to go with our meal and we had no food waste.

Having sweets in the house isn’t something we have often. But I did make a batch of brownies this day.

Thursday: Dirty Rice, Steamed Carrots, Sweet Corn, Pickled Beets




Saving on Entertainment

Have you all been watching Frugal Queen in France videos on YouTube? They are really done well and her husband Michael does a good job of editing them. And of course they are free to watch and learn from, so be sure to check out her channel if you haven’t already. 

Another YouTube channel I’ve recently learned about is SeeMindyMom. She has videos where she will take $10 and make three meals with the money. Other topics include grocery hauls, budget cooking, meal prep, clean out the pantry, etc. Her channel goes right along with many of the things we do here. 

What I've been Reading This Week

Lost Pies of the South over at Southern Living

https://www.southernliving.com/desserts/pies/southern-state-pies?did=672523-20210908&utm_campaign=sl-best-of-the-south_newsletter&utm_source=southernliving.com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=090821&cid=672523&mid=66494526424&slide=b2d1410a-5db1-410b-9ffc-70731320dc7c#b2d1410a-5db1-410b-9ffc-70731320dc7c

Freebies

General Mills is offering a rebate for a free box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal here. It is not good on the mega box or any individual cereal container, so be sure to shop carefully. Also, Publix has it on sale this week for buy one get one free, so you may be able to get two boxes out of the deal. 

https://freectc.com/

That is all the news to report on our frugal week in Tennessee. Thank you for dropping by, you are always welcome here. We would love to hear about your week in the comment section. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree


If you are encouraged by what you read here, please consider supporting this site. 

 1. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small percentage that helps me to earn a living. Any items you place in your cart from one of my links means I will earn a small percentage from that sale. 

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