Friday, January 21, 2022

Third Frugal Friday of January 2022

Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week

"Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life."

~ Dolly Parton 

My Frugal Week

The view from our back door...

We ended up with a couple of inches of snow and didn’t lose power on Sunday. I am so grateful we did not lose power. 

I’ve been keeping myself busy this week, finding something to do when I think I have finished my tasks. I can usually always find something to do to keep myself busy and less on social media. I read last week where social media can be depressing, so I want to steer clear of that. Being productive fits the bill. 

I've made several phone calls this week in regards to medical bills. Turns out my Insurance goes back farther in 2021 than I thought and I am asking them to file a claim. Some of them are paid off and might owe me money, but time will tell as to what happens as it can take Insurance 30 to 45 days to pay. 

One of them already owes me money from an overpayment and told me in November it would be 4 to 6 weeks, and when I called them this week they said it would be another 6 weeks. 

Schools have been closed here all week due to sickness and a shortages of staff and subs, and the weather. They were out on Thursday and Friday of last week too due to illness. Hopefully they will be able to start back on Monday.

I saved money on a prescription this week by making a few phone calls and getting the price down as low as possible. It went from $75 to $25 for a three month supply.

We continue to work around shortages when getting supplies. Several items we use are out of stock and so we look for alternatives. The nasal spray I use from Walmart is out of stock, but I was able to find a generic version at Amazon that will work. 

Think hard about what you and your family need right now and in the coming months and try to work around the shortages. For example, I ordered a three pack of the nasal spray, so it will last me for a long time. 

We ordered more cat food and toilet paper this week to have just in case there are more shortages later. I could live without the toilet paper, but the cats will be very upset if we run out of cat food. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 

We did a small grocery pick up order on Saturday to have in case we lost power on Sunday, which we didn't. We bought easy things to fix like sandwich stuff mostly. 

This week I was able to put back $100 into my emergency fund.

It was harder to do Microsoft Rewards while I was working from a tablet for the last few months, but now that I am back on a laptop I've been earning points again. 

I felt the same way about Rakuten while on my tablet. It is easier for me to do while on the laptop since they notify me when I am about to spend money. I did a big Walmart order for my Mom on Monday and went through Rakuten to do that. Every little bit helps me earn money. (referral link)

Swagbucks Collector Bill

Speaking of reward programs, 
I won another Swagbucks  Collector Bill worth 11SB this week. Did you notice 
in the comment last week Lana mentioned she had won ALL of the bills in this collectors series? I thought that was pretty neat. 

I also received a coupon in the mail this week for a free product from Path of Life. I checked their website and found that Publix sells their products, so the next time we are in there we will use this. 

Joy of the Week

My friend Linda is such a sweetheart. She called on Saturday and we had a nice conversation. She loves cats and goes on daily walks around her neighborhood. She takes cat food and water with her when she goes. Her neighborhood has several stray cats and she feeds and waters them when she sees them.

If it was up to her she would have them all spayed or neutered, but she doesn’t know if they have an owner or not. It's so neat to have people who care about their community in ways like this. 

Question of the Week

Have you had trouble getting through on the phone to companies you do business with?

I needed to make several phone calls this week and I had some trouble getting through to some of the companies. I understand that many places of employment are short staffed right now, so I keep that in mind. However, I did have multiple times where they simply did not answer the phone even when I knew they were open. I suppose it is just a sign of the times and hopefully only temporary. 

Earning Money

I turned in 50 points to MobileXpression in exchange for $10 in my PayPal account.

Avoiding Spending

I had several no spend days this week. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

I perused the grocery store sale ads online rather than pay $1.00 for the weekly newspaper to get them. The best sale item I noted was Food City has the one pound bags of into beans priced at 12 for $10, which makes them 83 cents each. They also have the 18 ounce canister of Food Club oatmeal included in the sale. 

We had some cream cheese left from the holidays, so I made two different gelatin salads. One with orange gelatin and one with lime gelatin. 

I made Tacos on Saturday and Sunday with the ground beef and since I stretched it out with onions and potatoes, I still had enough to use for dinner on Monday. I made a tortilla pie with it using flour tortillas rather than the corn ones we use for tacos. 

I made hot chocolate for movie night Tuesday. I used water to make mine, but Bailey prefers milk in hers. Books a Million (BAM) has a delicious frozen hot chocolate, so I added ice cubes to mine and it was so good. A contrast between hot and cold at times. Best of all, my homemade version didn’t cost $5.00 like it does at BAM. :)

Our Jif peanut Butter came on Monday. That was fast shipping as I had just ordered it on Thursday. 

Meals This Week

Friday: Better Cheddars, Baked Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables.

Saturday: Taco Night! Ground Beef with Potatoes on soft Corn Tortillas, Lettuce, Tomato, Onions, and Cheese. 

Sunday: Repeated Taco Night.

Monday: Tortilla Pie using leftover taco meat, Chips & Salsa, and Corn.

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza for Movie Night.

Wednesday: Tuesday evening I sorted a pound of pinto beans, rinsed them and let them soak overnight. This is perfect weather for chili. I took one of my pounds of hamburger from the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. With plenty of onions and tomatoes on hand, chili was on the menu.

Thursday: There was just enough chili left for dinner on Thursday night. To make sure I put the peanut butter on the table along with the crackers and we had those with the chili. Filled everyone up, which was the goal. 

Saving on Entertainment

We've been watching White Collar for the last few weeks. The setting is the White Collar crime division of the FBI and is set in New York City. It's such a good show and gets even better in the later years of the series. 

What I've been Reading This Week

UnDo It! ~ written by Dean Ornish ~ This has been a really good read so far. If you’re interested in a Whole Foods plant based lifestyle and reversing lifestyle diseases then you will want to read this book. 

Consumer Reports: 9 Products on Deep Discount in January


Free Printable 2022 Mini Calendars ~Oh my gosh, these are so cute!

Dr.  McDougall has three free books on his website right now that you can download. He is a plant based doctor for those that don’t know. The three books are Making the Change, The McDougall Program for Women, and the McDougall Program for a Healthy Heart. Here is the link: McDougall 

Every home in the US can order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. There will be no shipping costs and you will not need to enter a credit card number. Visit to order.

A free copy of Good Housekeeping came in the mail this week. 

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.

~ Living within our Means ~
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  1. Sounds like you e been really on top of things. I wanted to tell you that my free Hoofstock calendar came this week. It is so funny. I’m going to let one of my grandsons have it. ๐Ÿ˜„ love those freebies!

    1. Thank you, Penny. I love that calendar. It is funny. I hope mine comes soon.

  2. Sounds like a busy week - way to go staying on top of insurance. Hope you get some money back.
    I lived in TN for one year and remember everything closing down when we got a couple inches of snow. I got sent home from work because of weather. I was like - WHY? I was used to it - they were not. It sure is funny how things are different according to areas.
    We didn't get anything other than dusting. Maybe an inch this weekend - maybe!
    YES, social media is depressing and actually quite ridiculous - everyone is 'in a mood' and it aint good!
    Your menu sounds tasty. Have a good weekend.

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. Yes, they like to roll up the sidewalks here when it snows. LOL

      I hope you have a good weekend too. :)

  3. Sounds like a good week!
    Great job staying on top of the medical stuff! I hope that you get a refund soon. I've taken to waiting until I hear from insurance before I pay any medical bills since it takes companies ages before they issue refunds.
    So glad you didn't lose power! We had about 6 inches and thankfully didn't lose power from the snow and ice. I got a workout from shoveling the driveway too.
    Your meals sound good! I bought a pineapple for .99 at Kroger, so I'm planning on making your sticky pineapple chicken. I'm going to make Bailey's Big Mac pizza too. Thanks for the recipes.
    There were a few things at Food City that I hope to pick up; they have redgold tomatoes for .39/can so I'll check to see if they have the beans and oatmeal too. Thanks for the heads up.
    Hope you have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I'm glad you all didn't lose power either.

      You're welcome for the recipes. I hope you like the. 99 cents is a great price for a pineapple and they are so good.

      Your welcome on the heads up at Food City. I hope you have a great weekend too.

    2. We really enjoyed the Big Mac pizza, that sauce was so good on it. Thanks!
      And I love the picture of your kitties. My cats sit at the window and watch the birds eat at the feeder. I have a woodpecker that hangs upside down at the feeder, and the cats "talk" to him.

    3. I’m so glad you liked the Big Mac pizza, Kathy. We like it too.

      I love to see the woodpeckers. We saw one as we were driving down the driveway last week. They are so pretty.

      Our cats like to watch and then try and get the birds, but the birds outfox them every time. LOL

  4. Sounds like a great week! I'm on social media very infrequently. I find my stress level goes up the more I read, and the more news I consume. I want to be educated about the world, but not caught up in a constant spiral of stress & worry. My main social media consumption is the Instagram feed for the boys school athletics. They always have photos of athletes, and I learn a lot about what's happening in their school. More than I would through the kids! ;-) There are sometimes fun pictures of the boys playing soccer as well, which I enjoy. And, no politics & no drama. :-)

    1. Thank you. I would follow the kids Instagram feed for their school too. It's a great way to find out what is going on there.

  5. We got ten inches of snow on Sunday! We have lived in this house for 27 years and that is a record for 24 hours. We still have some that has not melted but will likely stick around since it has turned so cold.

    We have started to look for alternatives for missing and high priced items at the grocery. We were able to get a case of frozen orange juice at Walmart yesterday which is way cheaper than anything already mixed here since the prices seem to jump every week. We both have iBotta and both got the free Red Baron pizza so we picked up those while we were there. Pizza in the freezer is our emergency meal for one of those days when cooking just isn't going to happen.

    I have had a banner month on Swagbucks. I am about to be able to get my third $25 gift card for this month. My husband and I use Swagbucks money as our mad money and we always try to keep enough banked to replace our laptops is they go down.

    1. Woo Hoo That is great about your 3rd $25 Swagbucks gift card this month. I love that! I have a friend who makes right at $100 a month on there and it's enough to make her car payment every month.

      10 inches of snow is 24 hours is a lot of snow!! It usually does turn cold after snow. It did that here too. It's 26 degrees here right now.

      The frozen orange juice at Walmart is so much cheaper than the already mixed here too. And it's delicious. LOL I saw that deal on Ibotta about the pizza. We need to do that one too. We keep frozen pizza on hand for times we don't want to cook either

  6. getting out to walk is frugal and a smart choice - Let's all do it!

    1. You go ahead and get started and we will meet you there. Tee Hee ๐Ÿ˜‚

  7. Wow, you have been a busy girl saving money all over the place. SO happy you did not lose power.

    1. Thank you so much, Kim. I was very happy about that too!

  8. That's a lot covered in your post. My husband did buy the 16.5 pound bag of Purina One for the Pup. Since it is cold, we can keep frozen outside and just bring in what we need to fill his container. This will get us through March since he has soft food with his dry. I'll have to convince my husband to go back to concentrate for juice-its at least 1/3 less than a carton of OJ. I don't drink much juice-would rather have the fruit, but he loves his juice. Leftover have been lunches and tonight I am finishing off the last of them. Even I am tiring of the same, but I refuse to waste.

    1. Was it too long to read easily, do you think? I was wondering about that. Maybe I shouldn’t save it all up for Friday? Inquiring minds want to know. ๐Ÿ˜‚

      I’m with you on refusing to waste food. It’s better to eat or drink it than waste it.

  9. I also find myself becoming depressed with what is on the internet. So lately I have been watching how much time I spend online. However this coming week I want to look up a few classes on Youtube...Might like to learn a new craft or two.

    You had a wonderfully frugal week.

    God bless.

    1. Thank you, Jackie. I think learning a new craft is a very productive way to spend time online. :)

  10. We had nearly 2 feet of snow on Monday - bt we'd been warned and I was well stocked. The power held but school reopening had to be delayed until Wednesday. Between the weather, Covid, and the new rules for truckers crossing the Cdn./US border I'll be interested to see how my local grocery store is coping on my next trip. I think you're right - we just have to be prepared to substitute and to shop the few sale items whenever possible.
    The Internet is a tool and it's all about how we chose to use it. I like ti give myself the occasional break from all media every now and again and it does help my peace of mind.

    1. That is a lot of snow to deal with Margie! I’m glad you were well stocked and prepared. I’m also glad you didn’t lose power.

      Yes, the occasional break is very good for our peace of mind. :)

  11. I agree social media is depressing. I only use Instagram to look at hashtags for inspiration. I don't do Facebook.
    Crossing fingers you get the extra money from your insurance company.
    School went virtual here in Springfield MO. To many students & teacher's out. There are a shortage of subs.
    Shortages- I bulk buy and I try to keep ahead of it. So far so good. I needed Saltine's for my stock up. It took three weeks to find them, lol. I found some at Family Dollar yesterday.
    I have noticed dry cat food has been out at many of the stores. That's been a bit nerve wracking. I am trying to bulk buy but I don't like to bulk buy to much pet food.
    Your friend Linda sounds like a sweetheart and an angel to animals.
    Oh my gosh yes it's been challenging to e-mail, talk to anybody on a phone for any business. My bank has been the worst. DH & I try to be patient. When it comes to the bank that is the one we get a snippy about.
    It was a good frugal week here. Normal things home, food, entertainment. DH & I are very stressed. His new job has very long hours because they are short staffed. He goes in at 6a.m. & comes home at 9p.m. He's driving to two different states on a daily basis doing six to seven jobs a day. Everyone is out with Covid at his work now, except him. He got a sinus infection due to his asthma and inhaling chemical dust. He does not have Covid. Bless him he sure sounds like it. I broke out in stress hives that are so painful. I can't even get virtual visit because the doctor's are so short staffed and overwhelmed. I am taking care of it myself. Friday, we both had a breakdown. DH said to me in a very, very rare moment that he's taking a sick day. Of course, I panicked and said "Are you sick?" ROFL! He said he's sick of being the only one doing a seven person job. He called in to work and took a sick day. We went thrifting and found so many things we needed for our home. It really helped financially not to buy those things full price. I was able to go to two Dollar Tree's & do a big stock up. I know Dollar Tree went to $1.25 but it is still a good savings for our home. We finally got to the grocery store & do a big meat & baking stock up. They had such good meat sales at our store. It was like before Covid prices. I am still shocked.
    The store's were empty because everyone was sick. There was a lot of coughing in the stores we went into. DH & I are boosted, masked, sanitizing, handwashing station in our truck. I know we can still get a breakthrough but honestly going out Friday was the best frugal thing we did in a long time even though we spent a lot because we needed it.
    His work contacted him later to see how he was doing. My DH is a very honest person. He let them know exactly what was going on. They got it and they feel bad they pushed him so hard.

  12. I’m glad your dhs employer understands. Everyone needs a break now and then. Knock on wood, I’ve not had any trouble getting a dr appointment, but just having to wait, which I am ok with.

    Sounds like a lot of shortages, I guess we are lucky to get what we can get at all.

  13. You are rocking it this week! I've been with the grandkids all last week because their school was virtual too. We hope Tuesday they will be back. When we see something we may need we get it now and like you we buy 2 or 3 if it's real needful to us. It just makes sense so you are not out looking again.
    Have a great week!

    1. Thank you, Vickie. I hope you have a great week too!

  14. Wow Belinda, you have had quite a good frugal week! I've had trouble getting through to some companies too. Some just plain don't respond anymore, it's very frustrating. I was supposed to have my roof done before winter, but the contractor can't find enough guys to hire to help, so it's being pushed to the spring...I cringe at the amount of heat loss I have this winter...just waiting on my roof to be fixed!!!


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