Friday, March 5, 2021

Frugal Friday

Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week
"Though I'm dutifully aware of all that is going on in the world (Matthew 24:42) I'm also dutifully choosing loveliness today (Philippians 4:8)" Jes @ Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth
My Frugal Week

Last Friday we had to go to town to pick up my prescriptions. We also picked up a grocery order at Aldi for tortillas, lettuce, milk, almond milk, cheese,  eggs, bananas, buns, pickles, and Kirkwood Breaded Chicken Filets or as some people call it the "Aldi red bag chicken". Some people say it tastes just like Chic-fil-A, and I've been wanting to try it and find out if it does. 

Update ~ The red bag of chicken filets from Aldi are very similar to the Chick-fil-a chicken sandwiches. They were very tender and flavorful and we enjoyed them and will buy them again.  The bag costs $6.59 and there were six breasts in the bag, so $1.10 each, which makes them cheaper to make at home than to buy at Chick-fil-a. 

What a difference one year makes. Our local county clerks office did not accept debit cards before the pandemic hit. You couldn't pay your license plate renewal online either. Yesterday my renewal came in the mail and I was able to go online and pay it. That is one change from the pandemic that I like. :)

In the past I've mentioned that our stove tops two big (8 inch) burners were not working, which is why I have not been canning the last few years.  I've tried to fix them myself using items my Dad gave me from a friend who worked for Whirlpool in their oven manufacturing plant, but that didn't work. 

For some reason it occurred to me last week that perhaps the elements were bad. I initially assumed they were OK since my Dad's friend got them from Whirlpool. So, I decided to order one new element just to try it out. I didn't want to be stuck with two in case that wasn't the problem.

The new element arrived on Sunday from FedEx and I promptly tried it out. The first burner still did not work, so I tried the second burner and voila, it worked! I was so excited and a little mad at myself  for not realizing this years earlier. I mean I have been without these burners for over five years. And I have seriously thought about buying a new stove top for this reason. Ugh!

Earning Money

My income tax refund check came over the weekend and I paid towards medical debt with it, so it was put to good use. 

Avoiding Spending

We stayed home this week and did not spend any money on groceries or necessities. It seemed odd not to have any packages coming this week. 

I did not spend my income tax refund on anything that I wanted, but rather put it to good use. Do you remember when Frugal Queen was paying off her debt and she would write about getting paid and paying her bills and leaving only enough money for groceries? She inspired so many people with her actions and encouraged them to tackle their own debt.
“It meant living on £57 a week instead of £500. The budget had to cover food, bills and other necessities,” says Jane 46. “Treats such as wine and takeaways had to go.” Frugal Queen
If you have debt, consider it a flaming emergency and get it paid off as quickly as possible. Don't be like my parents and go into retirement mired in debt. In fact if you are in debt, I would encourage you to read this article at Mr. Money Mustache regularly to keep you motivated to pay it off as quickly as possible. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

I used some leftover rice from dinner the night before to make rice and cheese for breakfast one morning, so no food waste. 

Another night I made Mexican Rice for dinner and the next day I divided it up into five different containers, labeled those, and stuck them in the freezer. Now when we want a side dish of rice, all I have to do is pull one from the freezer. 

I save all of my parmesan cheese containers as they make good storage containers for spices and the lids will even fit on a mason jar.

We found a local farm that is selling pork products, so we bought five pounds of sausage to try from him. I'm excited to have someone local who I can trust. 

The first morning after I bought it, I made sausage gravy for breakfast. I served this with biscuits and scrambled eggs. 

I made a batch of cookies this week. This is the recipe Bailey found on TikTok and really likes to make. It makes about a dozen cookies, so not too many, which makes it an easy recipe. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips


Mix all ingredients well together. 
Drop spoonful onto parchment lined cookie sheet. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. 

Finally, I made some cheddar muffins this week. This is a good recipe to use for when you have leftover mashed potatoes. I didn't have any, so I used one pouch of Instant mashed potatoes instead. 

Bailey doesn't care for the Instant mashed potatoes normally, and I have several pouches to use up. She really liked these though and so did I, so I'm tickled to find a way to use those up in a way that we both enjoy. 

Cheddar Muffins


2 cups mashed potatoes
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 & 2/3 cups flour
2 Tablespoons diced chives
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


Combine beaten egg, cheese, vegetable oil and mashed potatoes.
Combine remaining ingredients & stir in potato mixture just until moistened.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
Bake at 400° for 20 - 25 minutes.

Meals This Week

Broccoli Cheese Soup and Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwiches
Bean & Cheese Enchiladas and Cheese Enchiladas
Aldi Red Bag Chicken, Roasted Vegetables, Salad
Pasta Salad, Cheddar Muffins, Corn Fritters
Swiss Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables
Italian Sausage, Penne Pasta, Garlic Bread
Chili Tacos

Saving on Entertainment

This week for movie night we watched, The Lost Husband. Both Bailey and I thought the movie dragged a little bit in the middle, but then a surprise ending happened, which redeemed the movie for me. 

What I've been Reading This Week

How was your week?   

~ Living within our Means ~
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  1. Oh yum, peanut butter chocolate chip favorite flavors together. Thank you!
    Your meals sound so good. Glad you liked the aldi chicken. It makes a quick and easy meal, but I think your prices are more expensive as I paid $5.99 for a bag.
    So glad you were able to fix your stovetop and have a new burner to cook on.
    Thanks for the frugal queen link. I read her blog years ago, but she closed it and I didn't know she was back. Sounds like she is enjoying France.
    I think how our parent's use money affects us for good or bad. Glad you didn't follow your parent's lead, and I'm sure that Bailey follows your example instead.
    My parents were frugal so I tried to save. Dh's parents were spenders, so he put everything on a cc. Fortunately I rubbed off on him and hopefully our kids will follow our example.
    Hope you have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I hope your children will follow your example too. Bailey is a saver and I'm so grateful for that.

      Frugal Queen has a lot of new videos on Facebook and YouTube if you want to check those out.

      I noticed the price increase in the Aldi red bag chicken for this area. Someone else said they get it for 5.99 too.

      I hope you have a good weekend too.

  2. Great news about your stove top! Those potato muffins sound great. I'll have to keep those in mind when I have leftover potatoes. I love mashed potatoes, and so does my 15 year old, so we rarely have any leftovers!

    Good work diverting your tax refund to paying off debt.

    1. Thank you. I'm happy about the stove top.

  3. Hurrah for getting the stove burner working. It is funny to me, what we accept and do without for such a long time. I have had things quit working and wait years to actually fix them and then I wonder why I waited so long.
    Glad you liked the red bag chicken. I keep a bag 100 percent of the time now. They are not keto so I don't eat them when I am on plan, but TheHub likes them occasionally for lunch on the weekend. A bag lasts a long time here and when there is just one left, I buy a new bag.

    1. Thank you, Anne. Yes, that is exactly what I did, just accepted that they did not work. It is odd.

      That is a great way to stretch that red bag chicken, thank you for that idea.

  4. So glad you were able to fix your stove. Thanks for the reading links as well !

    1. Thank you very much, and you are welcome for the reading links. Enjoy.

  5. Yay for fixing at least one of the elements on your stove! The Cheddar muffins sound great, I'll have to remember those for the next time I have leftover mashed potatoes. Thanks for sharing all the recipes. Oh and thanks for the info about the Aldi Chicken too. Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you, Martha. You're welcome for the recipes and I hope you also have a great weekend. Cheers.

  6. About 20 years ago, I started using the Kraft containers for DE and other things outside, plus in the house. They are not airtight and leak, but they are great containers for all sorts of things. Love them. Those cookies sound good.

    1. Thank you. Yes, I keep baking soda in one of my containers and it works.

  7. I forgot to say that when an element burned out, I changed out for a good burner on the back. They were too expensive to replace. Finally, I was cooking on one small eye. Then, part of it went. Replacing the burners was almost as costly as a stove. So, I bought a new stove about ten years after it started failing.

    1. What brand of stove was it? Our is a GE. I'm not sure if it makes any difference or not. I know Whirlpool makes multiple brands of stoves/ovens.

    2. I do know it was either Whirlpool or GE, probably GE.

    3. We have not had the best of luck with GE appliances. If I have to buy a new stove, it will not be a GE. What did you replace yours with?

  8. Good for you getting a new element. Now I feel bad complaining about my stove. Okay bad feeling over, still hate my stove. But I love you!

  9. Yay! On fixing your burner on the stove. Big win!! Do those peanut butter cookies not have flour in them? I love peanut butter cookies.

    1. Thank you, Penny. No flour in the peanut butter cookies and they are really good. LOL

  10. That's fantastic that you were able to fix your stove! Thank you for always sharing some useful tips. I like the idea of reusing the Parmesan containers for spices, as I buy lots of bagged spices at the local Indian stores.

    I'm going to give the Aldi chicken a try sometime. I love CFA but there are very few here in MI.

    1. Thank you, Ms. Goose. And thank you for your sweet comment. I hope you have a terrific weekend.

  11. I am so glad that you were able to fix that one burner, Belinda!
    I save our Parmesan lids, too. I mostly use them when storing leftovers or for making yogurt in small-mouthed canning jars. Perfect fit.
    This past week, I've been trying to do what I can to get our vegetable garden started, starting seeds indoors, clearing away leaves and weeds, pruning trees and bushes -- the things that I can do when we're still not out of danger of frost.
    Have a good week, Belinda!

    1. Thank you, Lili. I love that idea about saving leftovers in a jar and using the parmesan lids for them. So many people are starting their seeds right now, it is that time of year. I hope you have a bountiful garden this year.

  12. I'm glad you fixed your stove and I'm loving all these recipes. They sound so good.

  13. Glad that the stove top is getting fixed.

    You had a very frugal week. Hmmm, now I need to really think about saving those Parmesan cheese jars.

    God bless.

    1. Thank you, Jackie.

      Those Parmesan cheese jars can be used or so many things.

      I hope you have a good week.

  14. Hi regarding your stove top burner element...we have a Whirlpool circa 1985 drop in range...Dear hubby replaced the stove bottom element and one 8" coil burner within the past two weeks parts total $62. I wonder if the reason it didn't work in the first burner might be that the unit control which is the piece under the knob is out...replacing it one has to turn off the power, open the top up remove the old connection unit replace with a new unit...I had one go out years ago and have not had any of the of the other three control unit go out...though we have replace the burner coils on all four 2-6" and the 2 -8" many times. If you don't feel confident in trying this repair yourself or you don't want to have a tech do the job... You might consider purchasing a double or single burner unit that you plug into your regular wall socket - some folks use these burners just for canning...the burner units are also available in smooth induction burner which is nice though I don't know if people use those for canning...Kindly, Chris Ann


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