Friday, April 29, 2022

Fifth & Final Frugal Friday of April 2022

Welcome to Friday! 

My Frugal Week

Mom finally had her shoulder replacement surgery on Tuesday and it went well. She is still in the hospital today and has had two blood transfusions. She is still in a lot of pain with her arm. 

This week I received another survey with $5 from Consumer Opinion Institute.

I turned in enough Microsoft Rewards points for a $10 Amazon gift card and saw I had a credit of $21.50 that I didn’t know about, which was a nice surprise. 

Yard Sale Saturday

Bailey and I went to our first yard sales of the season on Friday. I came home with a Chef’s Choice knife sharpener, which has been on my wish list for a while now. I’ve already used it to sharpen my paring knifes and can tell a big difference in them. 

I also picked up a 3.5 quart enamel cast iron Dutch oven, brand new toothbrushes and toothpaste, new deodorant and shampoo, hand sanitizer, and several new Rubbermaid bowls. Bailey picked up some inventory as well as a life size Jenga game. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

This week we were in use it up mode and as a result I emptied out several jars including green olives, pickled beets, and sweet relish. I washed them and saved them for later to reuse as needed. 

Meals This Week

Friday: Sweet & Sour Chicken, Buttered Rice, Steamed Broccoli

Saturday: Veggie Burgers & Baked Fries

Sunday: Ham, Rice Pilaf, Steamed Carrots.

Monday: Salmon Patties, Rice, Mixed Vegetables.

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza for Movie Night.

Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie, Green Salad, Mixed Vegetables. 

Thursday: Choice of Tuna or Chicken Salad, Green Salad, Baked Potatoes, Broccoli 

How was your week? We would love to hear all about it in the comment section.

~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, April 22, 2022

Fourth Frugal Friday of April 2022

Welcome to Friday!

My Frugal Week

Living in the rural countryside inside the Cherokee National Forest brings with it all sorts of wildlife. Bailey heard something like a buzz saw at the back door Wednesday evening. She looked outside the window on the door, but couldn’t see anything, but all the cats were looking at the door. Finally, a bobcat turned around and ran down the back steps. Yikes!

The CNA who came on Friday to give Mom a bath called me into her room to look at her arm. I knew immediately that Mom needed to go to the emergency room. Her arm had been swollen all week, but now it was weeping. She was admitted into the hospital that evening and a wound specialist was called to clear up the infection. 

Bailey and I were able to get our second booster shot of the Moderna vaccine on Monday. I didn’t even realize that I was eligible to receive it now. I’ve grown weary of Covid as I’m sure many of you have as well. 

Mom’s hospital bed finally arrived on Tuesday. We moved furniture around to make room for it and even gave away a recliner to make room. The couple who received it were thrilled.

I bought a shampoo bar while I was at Traders Joe’s on our recent trip. I’ve read that they last longer than shampoo in the bottle, so I bought one to find out. 

Helping Others

Mom had some shelf stable Hormel dinners in her pantry that she bought, but did not like and wasn’t eating. I took those and some other items she was not eating and placed them into one of our little free pantries here. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

My Dad had given me two packages of ground pork and I hadn’t decided what to do with them. Then I read a post from Lianne on the Facebook Living Simply group that she was using ground pork to make egg rolls in a bowl. Perfect! 

Normally I use pork sausage to make this dish, so I knew the flavor would be different. I’m happy to report it was still a winner as the taste of the ginger really makes this dish taste so good. 

On Thursday I portioned out the last two servings of beans and greens and placed those into the freezer for future meals. Afterwards I made a stockpot full of soup for lunches for the next few days

We stopped in at Kroger on Monday, not for a big grocery shop, but to pick up a few things. I enjoy all kinds of fruit, but there is something special about a ripe pear. I found a bag of five pears for 99 cents and have enjoyed one everyday this week. 

Meals This Week

Friday:  Chicken Strips, Air Fried Potatoes or Potato Salad, Collard Greens

Saturday: Plant Based Taco Bowls, Homemade Hummus & Vegetables, Corn on the Cob. 

Sunday: Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Cucumber & Tomato Salad, Corn

Monday: Rainbow Sandwiches, Sprouted Bread layered with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Hummus, Beets, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and any other veggies desired. 

Tuesday: Southwest Sweet Potatoes with Black Beans, Corn, Tomatoes and Red Onions

Wednesday: Baked Sweet Potatoes, Collard Greens, Corn on the Cob, Cucumber Salad, Red Peppers, and Sliced Tomatoes.

Thursday: Dirty Rice, Baked Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli

Recipe of the Week

Plant Based Taco Bowl

I’ve been reading more this week and specifically plant based reading and found the concept of this taco bowl to be very interesting. I looked at two different recipes and combined them together and added a few changes of my own. 

I really like how this dish turned out and topped my own bowl with romaine, tomatoes, and chopped red peppers. It was delicious and I plan to move it into my regular rotation of plant based/meatless meals. 

I made some air fried corn tortilla chips in my air fryer to go along with this dish. 


1 cup brown rice
1 cup lentils
4 cups water
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano 
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika 
1 can beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
Lettuce, Tomatoes, Red Onions, and peppers to top afterwards

Place Rice, Lentils, Onion, Pepper and Spices in Instant Pot. 
Cook for 9 minutes.
Add beans and corn. 
Place in bowls to serve and top with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and peppers.

Saving on Entertainment

What I've been Reading This Week

In the Fall of 2018 National Geographic came out with a new Time Inc. Special Issue titled, Blue Zones The Science of Living Longer. I wouldn’t buy it back then because the cost was $13.99, but we found a copy of it among a ziplock bag full of National Geographic magazines at a consignment sale for $3.00 recently. I was so excited when I saw it. I’ve been enjoying reading it all week long. 

How was your week? Did you add to your home this week to be more prepared for the future? Thank you for dropping by my frugal blog, 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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Friday, April 15, 2022

Third Frugal Friday of April 2022

Chilhowee Mountain Overlook
Ocoee, Tennessee
Photo by: Roger Clark

Welcome to Friday! 

My Frugal Week

We’ve been hanging in there this week. I stayed home except for a doctor appointment on Thursday. I hired someone to sit with my Mom while I was gone. 

Joy of the Week

On Thursday I had a doctor appointment, so I hired a CNA/sitter for my Mom and went to town. It was the first time out of the house since Mom came home three weeks ago today. 

My joy of the week was picking up Sicilian sandwiches at a local shop and going to the park with Bailey for an impromptu picnic. We pulled small pieces of crusty bread from our sandwiches and threw them to the birds. It was a beautiful spring day and we had a wonderful time.

Avoiding Spending

I didn’t avoid spending this week as I did buy one Christmas present for this year. I’ll put it into my gift closet for when that time of the year rolls around. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

I made a stockpot full of southern vegetable soup this week. If it has okra in its definitely southern. If you would like to know what recipe I used, you’ll find it below, although one doesn’t really need a recipe for vegetable soup. I used fresh thyme and basil in this batch, which made it especially delicious. 

Soup is a very frugal way to save money in your kitchen.

Meals This Week

Friday:  Grilled Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli 

Saturday: Loaded Vegetable Baked Potatoes 

Sunday: Jambalaya, Green Beans with Onions, Potato Salad

Monday: Chicken Strips, Potatoes and Carrots, Broccoli

Tuesday: Homemade Pizza for Movie Night or Cajun 15 Bean Soup Beans & Greens

Wednesday: Homemade Southern Vegetable Soup (recipe below)

Thursday: We needed to clean out the refrigerator of leftovers, so we had a motley crew of items to choose from…Soup, Better Cheddars, Mac and Cheese, Air Fried Potatoes, Stir Fry Vegetables, and Carrots. It helped me to eliminate any food waste this week. 

Recipe of the Week

Southern Vegetable Soup


1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Rosemary 
1 teaspoon Sage
1 teaspoon Basil
3 - 28 ounce - cans tomatoes, diced or crushed
2 boxes low sodium vegetable broth
7 of the 12 ounce bags of vegetables (okra, Lima beans, green beans, black eyed peas, mixed vegetables, spinach, corn) (or your favorite combinations)
1 to 2 cups of water as needed


Sauté garlic and onions in small amount of vegetable broth. 
Add tomatoes and herbs. 
Add frozen vegetables and remaining broth. 
Cook for about 40 minutes on medium heat.
Lower heat to low and simmer an additional 20 to 30 minutes.
Stir occasionally. 
Add pepper and salt if desired. 

Saving on Entertainment

I bought three audio books for Mom on eBay this week. I only paid $2.75 for all three of them. She loves to read, so I hope she enjoys listening to these. 

How was your week?

Thank you for dropping by my frugal blog, 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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Thursday, April 7, 2022

Second Frugal Friday of April 2022

Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week

I’ve been homeless before, so my apartment felt like a mansion to me. I’ve been without a car before, so mine felt like a Mercedes Benz. I’ve been without a job before, so my income felt like a million dollars.  I’m grateful for all of these things. ~ Author Unknown

My Frugal Week

I would like to give a shout out to Julia V this week. Thank you very much for your kind deed. It meant so much to me. ❤️

The PayPal card attached to my PayPal account has a cash back reward option that has netted me several dollars since I’ve been using it regularly. 

Gripper liner has been my best friend this week. 😂 We have a bunch of it from various yard sales and I started using it with Mom this week. She keeps sliding down in her bed and I am unable to pull her back up, so we’ve been experimenting with various ways to get her back up. 

We were using a board to let her push off of with her feet, but today we tried the gripper liner for her to put her feet on and push up. She asked me to leave it there with her pillow on top and maybe she won’t slide back down. Her hospital bed still hasn’t come. 

All the medicine and tubes of cream needed to care for her kept falling off her nightstand, so I added gripper liner to the top and put every on top of it, so hopefully her things won’t fall off anymore. 

With every visit Mom receives from Home Health I’ve been observing how they do things with her and each time learned something new that will help me to help her. 

I’ve done more decluttering in Mom’s room this week. The corner was filled up with various prints in frames and family photos. I took all the photos out of the frames and stored them in one of her drawers. The rest of them were offered up for free on our local free group and were all given away. I love how much better her room looks. 

I saved $2.84 using my Target Red Card (Red Card users save 5%) on an order this week. They also said I saved $1.00 on shipping by agreeing to fewer boxes being delivered, but I spent enough to get free shipping, so I don’t know how that works. I ordered echinacea tea, pickles, and powdered Biz for the laundry. 

Taking care of Mom made it so I didn’t drink as much water as I normally do, which is usually a lot. I also wasn’t able to go to the restroom as quickly as possible, which all led to a urinary tract infection. I called my primary care physician twice, but they didn’t call me back. 

Instead I used my Insurance company website to contact a physician on MD Live and was able to get an appointment ten minutes later. The doctor called in an antibiotic and I am already feeling so much better. Total cost was zero for the visit and zero for the RX. I’m so grateful to have insurance to help me pay for these things. 

Joy of the Week

The Dogwood trees are in full bloom here where I live in Tennessee. There is plenty of folklore that surrounds these beautiful trees. Look out any window in our home right now and see them in bloom and that brings me joy. 

Another joy this week is watching the birds come to the bird feeder. 

Meals This Week

Friday: Chicken Fajitas, Rice, and Broccoli

Saturday: Hamburgers and Potato Salad

Sunday: 🌮 Taco Night

Monday: Chicken, Potato Salad, Broccoli

Tuesday: Movie Night Pizza

Wednesday: Polish Sausage, Roasted Potatoes & Carrots, Green Beans & Onions

Thursday: Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli

Recipe of the Week

I personally prefer the flavor of a vegetable based broth over chicken or beef broth. Better Than Bouillon makes a paste type bouillon that, when added to water, makes a flavorful and delicious broth. I prefer to buy the lower sodium version. Whenever I add it to rice or chicken, people rave about the flavor and it’s this paste/broth that makes it taste so good. Here is a very simple recipe to use this in, and it’s great to use any leftovers in burritos the next day. 

Simple Flavored Rice


1 cup rice (I use basmati)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon


Add all ingredients together. 
Cook as you would normally cook rice.
I place mine in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes.

Saving on Entertainment

We got Mom a portable DVD player that she can hold in her hand and play whenever she wants to be entertained. We’ve pulled out all kinds of DVDs we already had on hand to entertain her for free. 

She loves to read, but cannot hold a book right with her broken arm/shoulder. I tried various things to hold a book open for her, but no luck so far. So, the DVD player is entertaining her for now. 

How was your week? We would love to hear about your week in the comment section.

~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, April 1, 2022

First Frugal Friday of April 2022

Welcome to Friday and to April 2022! 

My Frugal Week

Mom came home last Friday and it has been a whirlwind of activity here since then. It’s been hard on all of us, but we are doing our best to hang in there. 

I’ve been interviewing caregivers and trying to get some help for Mom. Seems like the going rate is $15 per hour, although I did find one asking for $12 an hour. We are still trying to figure it all out.

I’ve stayed home all week and haven’t spent any money, even online, and saved on using up expensive gas right now. It cost me $60 to fill it up last Thursday and I’ve never had to spend so much to fill it up. 

We called a plumber out this week to fix a broken gasket under the kitchen sink and to cap off a leaking outdoor hose. He was such a blessing to use and only charged us $60 for parts and labor. 

Bailey returned some of Moms clothes that did not fit her to Walmart for a refund of $57.99. 

She also went to McKay Used Books and traded multiple books and DVDs for trade credit and earned $55.00 in credit.

Earning Money

I had enough points from MobileXpression (50 points) to cash in for $10 in PayPal money. 

Last week I received the usual amount of money from Adsense for my blog. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

We used up our dinner leftovers for lunch or another meal this week, which kept food waste to zero. 

Meals This Week

Friday: Chicken Tenders, Green Salads

Saturday: Vegetable Loaded Baked Potatoes

Sunday: Beefy Baked Beans, Mashed Potatoes, Peas

Monday: Vegetable Soup & Cornbread

Tuesday: Movie Night Pizza

Wednesday: Hamburger Steaks, Baked Potatoes, Green Beans with Onions

Thursday: Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Beets

What I've been Reading This Week

I’ve been reading multiple cookbooks we bought on our trip last week. I love reading cookbooks and getting new ideas from them. 

How was your week? We would love to hear about it in the comment section.

~ Living within our Means ~
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