Friday, April 16, 2021

Frugal Friday


Welcome to Friday! 

I've not said it before, but I hate Covid. One of the boys in our community, who is Bailey's age, has been fighting cancer. This is the third time in his young life. He has been in the ICU for two weeks with Covid pneumonia. He has been wanting to go home, and so his doctors agreed to let him go home, but with Hospice care. My heart breaks for them. 

Quote of the Week
 "Saving money is not fun, but having money saved is a lot of fun."   
Jean Chatzky

My Frugal Week


We bought this bottle of OdoBan disinfectant right after the pandemic started in March of 2020. This is a concentrate, so we only used an ounce or two in a spray bottle and then filled the rest with water. We just now used up this bottle, so I figure each spray bottle of cleaner cost us around 30 cents to make, which is much cheaper than buying it in the single use individua bottles.  

Paid Off Medical Debt

I'm so happy this week. After paying on a medical debt I've had for a few years now, I am happy to say it is finally paid in full. I love being debt free again. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

On Tuesday I boiled one dozen eggs and made egg salad out of them. 

Buying Food In Bulk



I ordered three cans of fruit this week. These are the big cans, which are 106 ounces and cost $8.48 from Walmart. I opened one can already and put it in one of my see through canisters in the refrigerator. That way it's easy to get a fruit cup to go with breakfast or lunch if we want one.  


I also bought oatmeal in bulk. The reason  I bought it was because we have been out of oatmeal for a long time. I've tried to buy it from Walmart, Target, and Amazon, but it would get destroyed in the box every time. So, I bought a case of six number ten cans from the online store of the Latter Day Saints. 
 
 l don't know about you, but I have always shied away from buying food in bulk online because of the high cost of shipping.  The reason I bought this was because they only charged me $3 for shipping which is a fantastic price to me.

This week I will make Peanut Butter Granola Bars to take with us when we yard sale next weekend. 

Some Meals This Week

Friday and Saturday: Pizza and Salad

Sunday: Baked Potatoes, Broccoli

Monday: Baked Chicken, Rice, Mixed Vegetables

Tuesday: We ate the last of the rive and vegetables for breakfast. Dinner was Hamburgers with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions along with the last of the potato salad. 

Saving on Entertainment

Minari  a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. 

What I've been Reading This Week

22 Smart Money Tips Everyone Can Learn
Show me somebody who plans their dinner menus in advance, and I’ll show you a household CEO who understands how to effectively reduce her monthly food expenses.

That's all the news to report from here this week. How was your week?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, April 9, 2021

Frugal Friday



Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, to all bravely await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.”
― William Henry Channing

My Frugal Week


On Saturday we went and picked up my sewing machine in Chattanooga. It was a beautiful day for a drive. 

Since we were in Chattanooga, I was able to use the Checkpoints app and had enough to submit for a $1.00 gift card from Amazon once we got home. We've barely used this app since we have stayed home for the most part for the last year. 

We picked up a small grocery order from Aldi that cost $33.49. 


We decided to treat ourselves to dinner from a local Italian restaurant, which has a special:

2 Large Pizzas with 2 Toppings
1 small Greek Salad 
1 order Bread Sticks with marinara
$16.45

They were good enough to let us pay over the phone and place it in our trunk for us.

We received our second Covid Vaccine on Wednesday. I did fine with mine, but Bailey was feeling under the weather with hers. Now we need to wait at least two weeks before venturing out. The first thing I want to do is go to a yard sale as it's been over one year since we've been. Of course I will still wear my mask and social distance, but I am ready to yard sale again.  

After receiving our vaccine, we went to town to pick up two grocery orders. One from Publix and one from Walmart.  Bailey also picked up a curbside coupon deal from Walgreens. 




Bailey had a scrub shirt she wanted me to make a cloth pad out of, so I cut it up and made a neat little stack of fabric out of it. 

Vitacost sent me a card in the mail for 15% off my purchase and free shipping. I needed to order allergy medicine and bought that saving $2.10 and $4.99 for shipping. Of course I went through Rakuten to earn cash back also. 

My allergies have been so bad this year. I don't know if it's because we've been staying at home or what (we live in the middle of the woods), but I've needed to seek relief more than ever this year. I ordered the Kroger generic version of Zyrtec, which cost $13.99 for 365 pills, which is pretty good for a one year supply. 

We had to buy cat food this week, so there was no avoiding spending this week. These days we buy the 30 pound bag of Kit and Kaboodle from Walmart for $17.98, which lasts all eight cats for about one month. If you sign up for autoship you can receive 30% off your first order. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

We had so much food from our takeout order this weekend that  we ended up having it for several days afterwards. The salad was more than enough for two people for two days. I took the breadsticks from the takeout and transformed them into cheesy breadsticks for lunch one day this week. 

Dinners This Week

Saturday: Pizza and Salad
Sunday: Chicken and Dressing, Corn ~ I had a bag of Pepperidge Farm dressing that we received in the cube form over the holidays. I don't normally use that kind, but wanted to use it up since we had it on hand. 
Monday: We had enough left from Sunday to repeat that menu. I also made a side dish of greens using kale, cabbage, and broccoli. 
Tuesday: Chicken Fajitas with Onions, Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell Peppers
Wednesday: Oven Baked Chicken, Broccoli, Coleslaw
Thursday: Grilled Chicken Salads

Saving on Entertainment


For movie night this week we watched the 2018 version of A Star is Born. The film depicts a musician who helps a young singer find fame as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral. We both enjoyed the film and I really enjoyed the songs done by Bradley Cooper.  Maybe it's Time to let the old ways die is very thought provoking 

What I've been Reading This Week

The Motely Fool has a website called All Star Money, which is a list of articles by financial bloggers.  They state they are curating the best voices in finance. Here is a link if you would like to read there. All Star Money

Mother Earth News: How to Frugally Build Up Your Pantry Like a Pro

Freebies

Houseplants will help you rid your home of toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide and trichloroethylene, all chemicals created from materials used to build homes. Houseplants help clean the air in your home for free. 

One potted plant will clean roughly a 100 square foot space in your home. Different plants help clean different chemicals out of the air, so it's beneficial to have a variety of plants. 

Here are a couple of articles to read on the subject, if you're interested:

The Old Farmer's Almanac Clean House with Tropical Plants

Air Purifying Plant Numbers - How Many Plants For Clean Air Indoors


How was your week?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

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

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Coupon Code:  BRICHARDSON9DAF88118

~ 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. 

~ My Frugal Workshop PayPal Tip Jar

Friday, April 2, 2021

Frugal Friday


Welcome to Friday! 

My Frugal Week

We have an appointment this week to get our second Covid vaccination. Bailey even has the days to freedom marked down on her calendar. LOL


My Dad has been building a new shed on his property in the last few weeks. He didn't buy any new  lumber for his project due to the rising cost of lumber these days. Instead, he took some wood off of another shed he built a few years ago and used that instead. This ended up saving him a lot of money. 

Earning Money

This week I earned a $10 gift card to Amazon from Microsoft Rewards. 

I also earned another $10 Amazon gift card from Mobile Xpressions. 

Avoiding Spending

We stayed home all week and did not spend any money. I don't know what the future holds as far as going back to work, but I have been very careful not to spend money on things I do not need even if I may want them. This is a good time to find alternatives to avoid spending. 

The price of toilet paper,  paper products, lumber, and fabrics are all going up this year.  Wazoodle, the maker of Zorb, announced price increases on April first and said they will rise again on June first 2021. Zorb is what I use to make cloth pads.  It would be very wise for people to plan accordingly. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen


Normally I buy the smaller bags of frozen broccoli to serve with our meals. Last week I decided to purchase the larger bag of Pictsweet broccoli florets. Bailey and I both noticed how much better this broccoli is verses the Walmart or the Birdseye brand. 

There were several lemons in my refrigerator that needed to be used up, so I squeezed them for lemon juice and made lemonade out of them. Made from real lemons, it was the best lemonade I've ever had, and good enough for company.  The recipe is simple: the juice of six lemons, one cup of sugar and six cups of water. 

Meals This Week

Friday: Hamburgers
Saturday: Vegetable Soup
Sunday: Chicken Sliders on Brioche Buns, Rice, Broccoli
Monday: Salmon, Rice and Asparagus
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken, Brown Rice, Broccoli
Wednesday: Tacos
Thursday: Tamala Pie, Salad
Friday: Chicken and Dressing, Green Beans, Potatoes

Saving on Entertainment

This week we watched The Ride, which is the inspiring story of a BMX champion who overcame an abusive childhood through the love and life lessons of his interracial foster family who eventually adopt him. This was such a good movie and Bailey and I both enjoyed it.  It's free to watch on Amazon Prime.  

What I've been Reading This Week

9 Essential Weapons to Reach Financial Independence

Freebies

Lowes will be giving away free Garden-to-Go kits every Thursday in April starting on the 8th. You can go here to read the details. 

Free 75 page PDF: 50 Money Moves to Make in a Recession by Hanna Horvath

Free 12 page PDF: Budgeting for Families from Hillbilly Housewife

That is all the news I have to report from here this week. I wanted to say thank you to those who let me know abut their experience with Rolling Acres. It's been fun to read your stories. 

How was your week?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~



Friday, March 26, 2021

Frugal Friday



Welcome to Friday! 

I want to send a thank you to Teresa G. this week for helping me by supporting my blog. I tried to send you an email, but it came back to me as undeliverable. So, I wanted to let you know here how much I appreciate you supporting my blog. And to the special person who supported the blog anonymously recently, thank you too. I appreciate you so much and just wanted to let you know.  

We had thunder storms on Thursday of this week. We are thankful there was no damage here and are keeping those in the path of the tornados in Alabama in our thoughts today. 

Quote of the Week
"Your number one wealth building tool is your income. Millionaires don't give away their money to Sallie Mae, Best Buy, Ford, Visa or Walmart. When you give your income to someone else you don't have it anymore. When you give your income away you have given up your economic future all for a flat-screen tv."  
Dave Ramsey
My Frugal Week

On Tuesday we made a trip to town and dropped off my sewing machine for a tune up. We also picked up a small order from Aldi and picked up some more red bag chicken. 

We also did a pick up order from Publix, which we realized was incorrect after we got home. They gave us half of our items and half from another person's order. We did get a refund on the items we ordered and didn't receive. And, we also got to keep the items we did not order, which were a small container of chicken salad. vegetable Tator tots, a Caesar salad kit, and two kombucha probiotic drinks. 

 

My sewing machine was bought for $25 at a yard sale during the summer of 2017. This machine has been a workhorse since then and I've used it to save us money and stretch our income since that time.  It was in need of a tune up though and I look forward to getting back in about a week or so. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

No food waste this week as we used up two bananas in Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins. 

Used up the last of some BBQ for one lunch. 


I turned the bottle of Dawn over to drain into my bottle of dishwashing detergent. The big bottle is too heavy for everyday use, so I buy the big bottle to save money, and then decant it into a smaller bottle for everyday use. 

Meals This Week:


Saturday: Deconstructed Eggrolls

Sunday Baked Potatoes(68 cents)

Monday: Tacos were on the menu for today. I used one of the leftover baked potatoes from Sunday, and put it through my Vidalia Chop Wizard and added it to the taco meat to s-t-r-e-t-c-h it out. I served these with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and onions. 

There was enough left of the taco meat to have the for several lunches this week along with a couple of breakfasts too  I like how the potato stretched the meat out to last for multiple meals. 


Tuesday & Wednesday: Since I had thawed ground beef  from what I did not use for the the tacos, I made cabbage rolls. I read a tip a few weeks ago to freeze your head of cabbage to easily pull the leaves off. I tried it and let the cabbage head thaw out and the leaves came off just as easily as if I had boiled the head to remove the leaves. Cabbage Rolls, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Pickled Beets

Saving on Entertainment

For movie night this week we watched the movie, Brave

YouTube Videos I Watched This Week

Prepper Princess Extreme Cheap Living

What I've been Reading This Week

9 Things the Rich Do That The Poor Do Not

30 Pioneer Skills We Cannot Lose

The Ultimate Guide to Living Within Your Means

How was your week?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

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. 

 2. My PayPal Tip Jar

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Today I made a new to me muffin recipe that I saw on TikTok. I thought they looked easy to make and moist and I had two bananas that needed to be used today, so I made these. 

Turns out they are gluten free, if that is important to you. 

Two tricks that I used on these muffins:

I used an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin tins. Turns out it is the perfects size to fill one muffin cup. And before I used it, I sprayed the scoop with non-stick cooking spray and the batter slid right out of the scoop into the muffin tin. 

Turns out these were really moist. 

Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

Ingredients:

2  bananas. mashed
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (I used sugar)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Mash bananas in bowl. 
Add peanut butter and mix well. 
Add both eggs and mix together. 
Add sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and vanilla and mix well. 
Fill muffin tins with one scoop of batter. 
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 16 to 18 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, March 19, 2021

Frugal Friday


Welcome to Friday! The weather here has really warmed up and has given me extra energy, which I love. I've had more energy and have been busy doing all sorts of little tasks around the house. 

My Frugal Week

This week we had a grocery order delivered to our home on Wednesday.  One of the things I bought was allergy medicine, and buying the generic version only cost me $4.00.

We stayed home all week and ate all of our meals here. We work hard to earn the money that we make, so we reserve eating out, or take away right now, for special occasions. That frees up more of our money to do the things that are important to us like saving money. 

Earning Money

Each month I barter with Bailey, I steam and process clothes for her and she pays the Internet/cell phone bill. She gets work done that she needs and I don't have to pay the Internet/cell phone bill. A win-win situation. 

Two eBay payouts posted to my checking account this week. One for $10 and one for $7, so that was good.  A refund also came in the mail this week on an item that I returned for $19. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen




Meals This Week

Saturday ~ We had some of the salmon in pouches that no one was eating, so I took them and turned them into salmon patties. I had been sneaking them into the tuna salad, but this way I figured I could get a dinner out of them. I served them with roasted carrots, onions, potatoes, and radishes. 

Sunday ~ Homemade Vegetable Chili with corn tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. 

Monday ~ We were building our grocery order online and were getting towards the end of our last grocery order from February 17th.  I had only intended for that order to last two weeks, so to stretch it to one month was pretty good. We still had frozen fries in the freezer along with some sausage and mixed vegetables, so that is what we had for dinner. 

Tuesday ~ We put our grocery order in for Wednesday and needed to come up with something for dinner tonight. I had one can of salmon on hand, but we already had that this week, so I kept looking. 

We had plenty of beans, tuna, spaghetti, tomatoes, soup vegetables, and corn on hand. It was just a matter of coming up with something for dinner.  I found some mozzarella cheese and pepperoni, so I made a pizza crust that morning to let the dough rise all day and be yeasty tasting by dinner time. I realized later that I had all of the ingredients to make soup, and decided to save that idea for another day. 

Wednesday ~ This was the day our groceries came and we had a late lunch of sandwiches, so we were not very hungry at dinner time. I ended up making each of us a small hamburger. 



Thursday ~ French Dip Sandwiches, Celery & Carrot sticks

Friday ~ Today I will be making Deconstructed Eggrolls for dinner. 

Saving on Entertainment

For movie night this week we watched Because of Winn Dixie, an older movie, but good to watch.

What I've been Reading This Week

The Iowa Housewife shared a recipe for Freezer Coleslaw this week. I really like her website because she is only feeding two people in her home and her recipes often reflect that. 

Minority Mindset has an article on 5 Smarter Ways to Spend Your Stimulus Check.

Decluttering

This week I decided, for various reasons, to go through my pictures and photo albums. I tossed multiple pictures that were of no consequence to me. like landscape photos, dark photos, photos where people had their eyes closed or were not looking at the camera. 

In the past, people would take more than one photo to make sure they "got it right". With digital photography you can know instantly if the photo is good or not, so there is no need for multiple photos of the same thing. Now the photos take up less space and I like that. 

How was your week?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

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. 

 2. My Frugal Workshop PayPal Tip Jar

Saturday, March 13, 2021

The One Year Anniversary of the Pandemic ~ March 13, 2020

Last year on this day, Friday March 13, 2020, our lives changed in ways we could not have imagined. We had no idea of the impact it would have on our lives. 

President Joe Biden had this to say about the pandemic while the WHO marked the one year anniversary as well. Both of them mark the anniversary as March 11, 2020, but for me it will always be March 13, 2020. 

I remember the  principal standing in the gym at school and telling the students and staff that she believed we would be back in session in two weeks. Oh, how little did we know at the time how our lives were about to change. 

I have always enjoyed blogging and over the years it became a record for me of all my frugal wins and losses, a place to keep recipes and prices for things from different times in our lives. 

And then I made many friends and felt such comradery that the blog became to mean a whole lot more to me. It is a record of what the years have been like for us. 

So with that in mind, I want to mark this day as a reminder of the day that changed our lives for a long time to come.  I hope and pray that you all are well and that someday soon this will all be behind us. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, March 12, 2021

Frugal Friday



Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week

Squandering resources is the opposite of being thrifty.

My Frugal Week

On Sunday I did three full loads of laundry. We have already went through our homemade detergent and are now using Purex and only using the smallest amount of detergent needed to get our clothes clean. We also use the wool dryer balls in the dryer rather than dryer sheets. Both of those save us money when doing laundry. 

We had been reading about the vaccine and our phase opening up here on March 8th. First thing Monday morning I was able to make us both an appointment for that afternoon. We had to wait in the car line for 1 hour and 15 minutes, so not bad.  This makes us one step closer to getting this pandemic behind us. 




The charger to my tablet hasn't been charging it lately. So, I borrowed Bailey's charger and checked it against mine. Turns out it was the cord that went bad and not the charger part. So, I replaced the cord with a new one for only $19 instead of the $52 it was going to cost to replace both pieces.

With the warmer weather allergy season is already here. I used part of my $10 Amazon gift card to purchase a bottle of allergy spray, so my out of pocket cost was zero.

Earning Money

This week I sold two things on eBay, both were Mike and Molly DVDs. 

Avoiding Spending

Waiting to get the vaccine on Monday made me really anxious for some reason. I was closing my eyes and deep breathing through it while waiting in the car line.  Eating during times of stress like that makes me feel better. I told Bailey that we needed to stop and get something to eat afterwards.  

After we received the shot though, I was able to calm down and the anxious feelings passed. Instead of stopping for something to eat, we came home and made dinner instead. Victory!

I didn't expect to feel that way and would have brought something with me to eat if I had known how stressed I would feel. Live and learn as the old saying goes. Although there was really no reason to feel anxious, I have to wonder if it was a build up of emotions from  staying home for the past year. Either way, I will be bringing a snack with me when we get the second vaccine just in case. :)

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

One thing that saves us money in the kitchen is that we do not mind eating leftovers, which helps us by avoiding food waste, which means we can get by on fewer groceries too. 

We had a substitution from Walmart on Great Value Peach Yogurt. We ordered small yogurts. They subbed four of the 32 ounce containers, which normally sell for $1.84 but sold to us for $1.55 each. 

Weekly Menu

Italian Sausage, Oven Baked Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables
Planned Over Italians Sausage, Potato Pancakes, Mixed Vegetables
Chili Tacos with Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Onions
Spaghetti, Salad
Taco Salad  with lots of lettuce, tomatoes, and onions

The potato pancakes were made using leftover mashed potatoes. 

Saving on Entertainment

This week I watched the film, Amish Grace, on Amazon Prime, which is based on the true story of the Amish school shooting on October 2, 2006 at the West Nickel Mines School in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The film explores the Amish community's forgiving reaction to the shootings. 

What I've been Reading This Week

My Pantry List

Freebies

Choose FI has a free Financial Independence 101 course on their website. The  course is designed to guide you from financial literacy to financial independence. 

How was your week?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

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. 

 2. My Frugal Workshop PayPal Tip Jar




Monday, March 8, 2021

Sweet & Sour Chicken

This morning I was thinking about this recipe and couldn't believe that I did not have it on the blog. This is another dish that is easy to make, tried and true and has been made and enjoyed here for many years.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Ingredients:

3/4 pound boneless, cubed chicken
1 cup green and red pepper strips
1/4 cup light soy sauce
3 Tablespoons Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
1 can (8 ounces) chunk Pineapple
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Cook and stir chicken in hot oil in wok until well browned.
Add peppers, cook and stir one minute.
Mix cornstarch and soy sauce.
Add to pan with pineapple and juice, vinegar, sugar, ginger and garlic powder.
Bring to a full boil

Notes:

Serve chicken over hot, cooked rice.




Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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