Friday, July 29, 2022

Fifth Frugal Friday of July 2022

Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week

The philosopher Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for dinner one night. 

He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. 

Aristippus looked to Diogenes and said to him…

 “If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.”

Diogenes then looked at Aristippus and said to him…

Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king.”
The statement didn’t mean a lot to me when I first read it in The Tightwad Gazette years ago. But the other day while I was eating a bowl of beans and the phrase came to mind.

Diogenes choose a different path for his life. Instead of being a good, quiet, subservient subject to the king, he learned to “live on lentils”, which says a lot about  living simply and well below your means. Learn to appreciate the simple things in life such as staying home and cooking good meals at home. 

Try your best not to live paycheck to paycheck, so you won’t have to be subservient to the king or your employer. I know it’s easier said than done, but there is a wealth of information out there to figure this out. You owe it to yourself to be disciplined enough to make it work in your favor. 

Just some food for thought. 

My Frugal Week

The weather had cooled off enough on Friday night for me to turn off the window air conditioner in my bedroom overnight. In fact, I was able to do that several nights this week, which will help save some money on the electric bill. 

My washing was done on Sunday when I washed two loads of my clothes, one light and one dark. I’ve said it before, but I have enough clothes to where I only have to wash them every other week or just twice a month. 

Doing laundry this way saves money on the electric bill and laundry supplies. Also, I don’t use the mark inside the laundry detergent cup they supply, but use less than is recommended and my laundry comes out clean and smelling fresh. 

On Tuesday evening I sorted through the dishes in our cabinet and picked out several things we no longer use to sell at the consignment sale. 

I received $5.00 from the Consumer Opinion Institute to complete one of their surveys. 

Question of the Week

What tricks have you found to save money by cooking at home verses eating out at a restaurant?

One way we combat this is using items we can buy at the grocery store that mimics eating out. For example, Aldi has the red bag chicken, which reminds a lot of people of Chic-fil-A. So, rather than spend money eating out, I can buy a bag of that and make it at home for less than the cost of a meal out. 

A similar meal that I make at home for $10.61 would cost us $30.20 at the Chic-fil-A restaurant, which is a savings of $19.59. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

We’ve been in use it up mode for the last month or so, using up food items in our pantry and freezer. It’s opened up a lot of space as a result, which  makes it easy to plan what I have on hand to make meals. 

On Sunday I made three gallons of tea, and instead of using thirty tea bags, only used twenty-four tea bags. We like strong tea, which is why we use ten bags per gallon. 

For my batch of unsweetened tea, I only used five new tea bags and used the other ones I had already used as well. I wanted to see if I liked it as well as a gallon made with ten bags and I did. I was just experimenting on different ways to save money on tea. 

 I also made a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for a treat. 

Since we were out of fresh milk, I mixed up a batch of powdered milk. I used the milk jug from our last purchase of fresh milk and shook it well every time I put a new gallon of tea in the refrigerator. 

We did make a small pick up from Aldi on Monday and spent $72.74.  We picked up dressing, eggs, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, tortillas, chicken, bread, buns, potatoes, and cantaloupes.

Back during the holidays I asked Bailey to pick me up a pie crust and she bought a graham cracker crust, which I didn’t need. It’s been lurking in my pantry ever since then, so this week I decided to use it to make a peanut butter pie. The recipe is featured in the recipe of the week in case you’re interested. 

This week I used up the last of the pancake mix for waffles, syrup

Meals This Week

Since I have my kitchen appliances more easily accessible now, I decided to use my Breville Wok to make a Chicken Fried Rice for dinner on Friday. 

I use the Sunbird Fried Rice seasoning mix because it tastes authentic. I used two onions and some broccoli for the vegetables. I added the chicken, an egg, and some leftover rice from earlier in the week. If I’d had any pineapple I would have added that, but I am out right now. I also added a couple of drops of La Tourangelle toasted sesame seed oil, but only after the dish was done cooking. It was a big hit. 

Friday:  Chicken Fried Rice with Onions & Broccoli 

Saturday: Beefy Baked Beans, Green Beans with Onions, Corn on the Cob. This was the fourth day in a row that we ate beans in various versions (lunch). They are very healthy (keeps blood sugar lower for hours) and economical. 

Sunday: Polish Sausage with diced Potatoes & Onions, Mixed Vegetables. 

Monday: Aldi Red Bag Chicken Sandwiches, Basmati Rice & Vegetables. My cost for this meal was $10.61. 

Tuesday: Lemon Pepper Chicken Sautéed, Basmati Rice & Vegetables. 

Wednesday: Hamburgers with Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, and Pickles. Smashed Potatoes. 

Thursday: Repeat of Thursday since I had a doctors appointment and came home late and tired. 

Recipe of the Week

Peanut Butter Pie


1 cup peanut butter
1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 - 8 ounce container whipped topping
1 graham cracker pie crust


Beat peanut butter, cream cheese, and sugar together. 
Gently mix in the whipped topping. 
Spoon gently into pie shell and spread evenly. 
Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Saving on Entertainment

We picked up the first season of Veronica Mars at McKay Used Books for $1.00 
last week, so that is what we will be watching for the time being. 

What I've been Reading This Week

Prices Never Go Down So Get Used To It written by Sluggy over at Don’t Read This; It’s Boring!


Thank you for dropping by my frugal blog, you are always welcome here. 

We would love to hear all about your week in the comment section.

Debt Free & 
~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, July 22, 2022

Fourth Frugal Friday of July 2022

Welcome to Friday! 

My Frugal Week

There are so many ways to save money and no week is ever the same around here. I don’t always know what my frugal week will look like, but I like writing this blog as it keeps a written record of our frugal ways down through the years.  And I like sharing it with you, my friends. I hope you’ve had a good week. 

One savings we had this month here in Tennessee includes a new state law where the state registration fees for some motor vehicles will be waived for the next year. 

As a result of that new law, Bailey only had to pay $11 to renew her car registration this month instead of the usual $23. Another savings we will see comes in August where sales tax on all food will drop to zero for the month. 

Since the heat has let up a little bit, we went to multiple yard sales on Friday and Saturday. It’s good to get out of the house from time to time and yard sales are always so much fun as we never know what we will find. 

Here are some of the things we found

The first thing I found was this set of cubby drawers, which I placed next to my sewing area and will be perfect for sewing supplies. I’ve had them piled on my desk until I could find something to corral them into and this is perfect. One of the handles is missing, which can easily be replaced. It was just $2.00 and just what I needed. 

Another item I found was this coat rack for only 50 cents! It even came with a green umbrella since the lady said “take that umbrella too!” As we were picking it up to load in the car. 

As you know, I’ve been searching for items to store things vertically and Bailey and I were talking about a coat rack and low and behold we found one and at such a great price. 

We found a brand new Tervis cup for 50 cents. Bailey bought it for the handle to use on her own Harry Potter Tervis cup. This cup didn’t have a lid, but that is no problem. 

We have a two gallon Ziplock bag filled with Tervis lids we bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond on clearance for 25 cents each. We bought them for this very reason. We see so many Tervis cups at yard sales with no lids. 

We found these new in the package mesh laundry bags for 25 cents. There are four of them in total and we will use these for various projects around the house. There are some things (like flannel backed plastic table covers) that we use through the year and so when we find them inexpensively, we buy them. 

Bailey found a great deal on Young Living essential oils. This lady had these priced individually and wanted $60 for the entire set, but Bailey asked her if she would take $30 for all of them and she did. Some of them are not even opened. There were 23 bottles in all, so each one was $1.30, which is a fantastic price for Young Living

Other items we found include a towel for 50 cents, several cat toys, a new cat watering dish and food bowl, and some brand new cans of Microban. 

We also found a deal on shelves this week on Facebook Marketplace. The shelves Bailey needs for her business are $150 each on Amazon, so she has been buying one every time she saves up the money. She found a lady with three of them for $80 each on FB Marketplace, which is a savings of $70 for each shelf. 

I took the fans out of the kitchen this week, took them apart, and gave them a good scrubbing with hot soapy water, and put them back together. I also vacuumed the air filters on all the window air conditioners. Air flows better through a clean filter or fan, which makes the appliance not work as hard, which saves money on the electric bill

We’ve been continuing to add to our basket of items we are decluttering and selling at the local consignment sale in September. I’ve been going through a cabinet or drawer here and there and adding things to it that we no longer use.

Joy of the Week

I’m content with my life as it is these days. I don’t need expensive vacations or fancy cars and clothes. I enjoy staying home, taking care of the things we have, reading or watching a favorite tv program, and loving on our cats. This is what I call the good life and being content with my lot in life is a big part of that. 

Photo of the Week

Here is a photo of the chicken coop we bought a couple of weeks ago while at a yard sale. It’s the perfect size for just two chickens. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

Taking inventory of my stockpile this week I realized I had everything I needed on hand to make chili. I just needed to soak some dried beans overnight to make chili beans.

I had plenty of hamburger and tomatoes and onions on hand, so I made Chili for dinner on Wednesday. I used the last of a cut up onion from the refrigerator before using a new one. 

On Thursday night I added elbow macaroni and cheese to make Chili Mac for dinner. I also decided to make some cornbread patties to go with it and it really made the meal. 

One day I used up the last of the veggie burgers Mom had in the freezer, so as not to waste them. And one morning I used my last banana from the freezer to make a smoothie for breakfast. I froze some greens at their use by date in a ziplock bag for smoothies for another day.

One day this week I realized I had a small three section shelf that I could repurpose. We bought it a few years ago at a yard sale, but now it was sitting unused, so I claimed it for my spice section in one of the cabinets in the kitchen.

Going vertical with your storage is really the way to go. Before I did this I would try and stack things in that section, but this is so much better. 

Meals This Week

Friday: Taco Stacks with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cheese. 

Saturday: Taco Stacks with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cheese. 

Sunday: Len Penzo’s Macaroni & Cheese (recipe below), Steamed Broccoli.

Monday: Lemon Pepper Chicken with Bacon, Buttered Basmati Rice, Steamed Broccoli.

Tuesday: Movie Night ~ Pizza. 

Wednesday: Homemade Chili Mac

Thursday: Homemade Chili Mac. 

Recipe of the Week

Len’s Cheap and Easy Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups low-fat or whole milk

8 oz Velveeta cheese (cut into small cubes)

8 oz sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)

16 oz elbow macaroni, or small pasta shells

Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook pasta shells according to the package directions.

Heat milk until it just comes to a boil, stirring occasionally. 

Reduce heat and mix in the Velveeta cheese.

Stir until completely melted. 

Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted. 

Add salt and pepper, if desired. 

Pour cheese sauce over the pasta shells and mix thoroughly. 

Serves 4

Saving on Entertainment

I enjoy shows such as Dateline and 20/20, so when I saw the show, Murder In The Heartland, I figured I would like it too and I was right. There are multiple episodes on Facebook that you can watch for free if you like mystery type shows

What I've been Reading This Week

Frugal Living When Less Means More by Fhilcar Faunillan ~ Whoever proofread this book for publication did a very poor job as I’ve not seen a book with so many typos. 

Thank you for dropping by my frugal blog, you are always welcome here. 

We would love to hear all about your week in the comment section.

Debt Free & 
~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, July 15, 2022

3rd Frugal Friday of July 2022

Welcome to Friday!

My Frugal Week

We are doing what we can to stay cool after last week’s hot weather. And trying our best to keep the electric bill down in other ways while having to run the air conditioner more than usual. 

In the summertime the leaves come out on the trees and since we are surrounded by woods, it actually blocks our internet from working very well, which can be frustrating. 

Some days we have no internet connection at all. I’ve tried several times to write on my blog and visit and comment on your blogs, but some days it is nearly impossible. 

Bailey went to one church yard sale last Friday and got a few pieces, but also got a deal on kitty litter from Facebook Marketplace. We litter train kittens on our outdoor back porch until they are old enough to go into the woods like the other cats do. 

A few weeks ago I bought a flannel sheet at a yard sale to reuse the material. Good thing I was going to reuse it for something other than a sheet as the elastic on the sheet was dry rotted. So, I cut the sheet into 12 x 12 pieces and made some flannel wipes/hankies.

I also repaired a Poshmark bag for Bailey where the straps had come apart from the bag. She originally ordered these from a Poshmark sale, but now realizes how cheaply the bags are made and refuses to buy anymore. I sewed all around the square and then crisscrossed the stitches to reinforce the strap to the bag. My repair should last a long time. 

This week I bought a new shelf to hold my appliances and other items in the kitchen. 

Here is a photo of the shelf I bought:

This is the second time I have bought this shelf as I bought one last year for my bedroom. Going vertical with storage is a great way to gain even more storage in your home and keep items easy to access. I love the open shelving concept and would rather have that than cabinets in my kitchen. Bailey uses these same shelves, although a bigger version of them, for her business. 

Photo of the Week

I love the way the morning light fills my bedroom with sunshine. 

Earning Money

I had an issue with MobileXpressions and emailed them about it last week. They hadn’t credited my account with the appropriate number of credits, which they ended up correcting for me. Afterwards I had enough credits to receive $10 in my PayPal account with enough left over to be half way towards another $10 in PayPal cash. 

Avoiding Spending

We did not spend any money on Amazon Prime Day this week. If there were any deals to be had, I didn’t know about them. There isn’t anything I need from Amazon at this time, so I didn’t even look. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

We had a good share of meatless meals this week for both economic and health reasons. I made Taco Style Lentils and Rice and had that for dinner and lunches several days this week. 

Meals This Week

Friday: Meatloaf, Macaroni Salad, and Salad. 

Saturday: I forgot to get the chicken out of the freezer to thaw for dinner, and I was really tempted to order out, but I didn’t. I went in the kitchen and made some grilled chicken and cheese sandwiches and then served it with macaroni salad and a side salad. It filled all the hungry tummies, so I was happy and saved our eating out money for another day.

Sunday: Lemon Pepper Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables. 

Monday: Dirty Rice, Corn on the Cob, Steamed Broccoli. 

Tuesday: Taco Style Lentils, Corn on the Cob, Brussel Sprouts. 

Wednesday: Tacos with all the toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and onions, jalapeños, and chipotle sauce. 

Thursday: Repeat of Wednesday night’s dinner. What can I say? We love Mexican food and tacos. 😋 

Recipe of the Week

Sweet Potato Casserole #2


4 extra large sweet potatoes 
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup butter, softened 
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


6 Tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons butter, diced
1/3 cup pecans, chopped


Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Using a fork, poke holes all over the sweet potatoes.
Microwave for 18 to 20 minutes or until soft. 
Blend brown sugar, egg, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, butter, milk and vanilla. 
Slice potatoes in half and scoop out center. 
Add to mixing bowl and blend well. 
Place into an 8 x 8 baking pan. 
Mix brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 
Cut in butter. 
Stir in pecans.
Sprinkle on top of sweet potatoes.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

What I've been Reading This Week

If you’ve been a regular reader here you probably know that I have followed a plant based diet off and on for several years now. The reason I follow this diet is for health reasons. 

I’ve not said it before, but Mom passed away from cirrhosis of the liver. She was diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) disease two years ago and that turned into cirrhosis of the liver. Unbeknownst to all of us, she was in end stage liver disease at the end of her life. 

Dr. Greger over at Nutrition has a section of his website dedicated to this topic, which you can find here: Fatty Liver

 More and more people are being diagnosed with NAFLD these days and I’ve read that one in three people have this disease. 

I’ve been reading up on the subject recently now that things have sort of settled down here. It has reinforced the idea that a plant based diet has been and will be the right choice for me. I probably won’t abstain from meat, dairy and eggs forever and will still enjoy these foods on occasion, but this is something I want to do for my health. 

I’ve also been reading Dr. Gregory’s book titled, How Not to Die. It’s a wealth of scientific information on nutrition and how it can help people prevent and reverse diseases like NAFLD. 

Thank you for dropping by my frugal blog, you are always welcome here. 

We would love to hear all about your week in the comment section.

Debt Free & 
~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, July 8, 2022

Second Frugal Friday of July 2022

Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week

We should always be honest because honesty is the best policy. If we’re honest we will have a clear conscience in all matters, and we will truly be free. ~ Titus Yoder

My Frugal Week

Since we didn’t yard sale last Friday, I decided to rearrange the furniture in my bedroom. I now have two tables set up in there to form an L shape in the corner to use as a desk. Someday I want to replace them with a real desk, but until I find a great deal, the tables will do just fine. 

We’ve continued to declutter this week, organize things we’re keeping,  sell some things, and price some things for an upcoming Sweet WeePeets consignment sale in September. We also sold a set of shelves for $20 on Facebook Marketplace.

I filed all of the paperwork from the last month into the appropriate files. I also tossed a lot of paperwork that I no longer needed. After cleaning up my Mom’s paperwork, some from the early 1960s, I want to make sure I’m not leaving stuff for someone else to have to go through and toss someday. 

The top of my cedar chest, which is upholstered, my footstool and armchair were all shampooed by me this week using our Little Green Clean machine by Bissell. They look and smell so good and make the whole room cleaner

Bills were paid this past week including my auto insurance. I keep a sinking fund for that expense and put the appropriate amount of money in there each month even though it’s not due every month. That way when the bill does come due, I already have the money to pay for it. 

It’s a good way to stay ahead of the game and ensure the money is there when I need it. Keeping or getting your finances straight will go a long way in giving you peace of mind. 

Bailey went to Kroger on Thursday to look for markdowns. She found 4 packages of lemon pepper chicken on markdown. They are now stored in the freezer for future meals. 

Joy of the Week

Mr. Bo Gatsby

My joy this week has been in having a new kitten. The cats we already have are older and not nearly as playful as having a kitten around. We named our newest addition Bo Gatsby, but now I’m wishing we would have named him Mr. Bojangles or Bocephus. I’ve been calling him Mr. Bo Man, so that name might stick. He provides a lot of free entertainment. 

Question of the Week

Do you know how much money you need in order to live each month?

The book I’m currently reading by author Annie Jean Brewer states she knew she needed at least $500 every month in order to make it. She wanted to be able to stay at home with her daughter at the time and looked for ways to keep their expenses under that amount. 

I’ve crunched my own numbers and know what it takes for me to make it each month. If you’re interested in knowing yours, crunch your numbers and find out for yourself

Avoiding Spending

I couldn’t avoid spending money this week as I had an RX to pick up for Vitamin D. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

We ran out of yellow onions this week, so I went to add a three pound bag to my grocery order this week. Walmart was out of stock, so I kept looking, comparing prices online and ended up going with a locally owned grocery store for the best price. 

Walmart $3.48 and out of stock
Aldi $2.65
Fresh and Low $1.79

Comparison shopping will save you money. I’m going to the doctors office on Wednesday and I’ll drive right by Fresh and Low, so it will be no problem to get a curbside pickup. I’ll also be picking up an rx, going to the post office, dr’s office, and the grocery store. Combining errands when I’m going out will also help us save money by using less gas.

The egg rolls we normally buy have increased in price to almost $1.00 per egg roll, so that prices that brand out of my budget. What to do? Get out my tried and true recipe for homemade egg rolls. I can get 20 egg roll wrappers for $2.48, so making our own makes sense. 

We’ve done the usual things we do in the kitchen this week to save money including eating all leftovers and using up items we bought. One day I was rummaging through some cookbooks I bought when I came across a recipe card for sweet potatoes. 

The recipe called for pumpkin pie spice, so I decided to make it for dinner. I used some sweet potatoes that needed using and thought Bailey would like it and she did, so I’m counting that as a win since she isn’t a fan of sweet potatoes. The recipe will be In next weeks recipe of the week.

I’ve been making ice tea every day since it has been so hot this week. Several days this week I made two gallons just to keep up with thirsty people. 

Meals This Week

Friday:  Swiss Steak, Buttered Rice with Peas, Salad.

Saturday: Tostadas, Salad, Corn.

Sunday: Beefy Baked Beans, Fried Rice, and Salad. I took the leftover rice and mixed vegetables from Saturday night’s dinner and added toasted sesame oil, butter and seasonings to make a new side dish for tonight. It used up some leftovers, which was the goal in order to save money.

Monday: Fluffy Baked Omelet, Sweet Potato Casserole, Mixed Vegetables with Rice. 

Tuesday: Movie Night ~ Pizza.

Wednesday: Out all day running errands, but made it to the grocery store and bought stuff for sandwiches as it was too hot for anything else. Sandwiches, macaroni salad, watermelon. 

Thursday: Meatloaf, macaroni salad, watermelon. 

Recipe of the Week

One of the packages of meat I bought at the Food City priced at the 5 for $14.99 sale a few weeks ago was round steak, which I bought to make Swiss Steak.  I found this recipe in the instruction booklet for the crockpot received as a wedding present in 1989. It’s been a tried and true recipe all these years and doesn’t disappoint

Swiss Steak


1 & 1/2 to 2 pounds round steak
2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (16 ounce) can tomatoes 
1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 large onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced


Cut steak into serving size pieces.
Coat with flour, salt, and pepper. 
Heat vegetable oil in skillet and brown the meat. 
In your slow cooker add the meat, tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, and celery. 
Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. 

There was enough left over for both of us to have for lunch the next day.

Saving on Entertainment

Bailey and I are continuing to watch North & South this week and have started season two. Bailey went to McKay Used Books in Chattanooga on Thursday. She found North and South season two for 95 cents and season three for $2.95, so we will continue the mini series rather inexpensively. 

What I've been Reading This Week

The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing & You Can Too, written by Annie Jean Brewer. She has a blog called Annienygma, if you’re interested in reading more of her writings

This book reminds me of both Dolly Freed in her book titled Possum Living and Amy Dacyczyn of The Tightwad Gazette fame. The lengths these three writers go to save money is very similar.

The Feel Good Contacts website demonstrates how to tighten glasses that are fitting loosely. Warming the arms up with a hairdryer and bending them back into place is one of the suggestions. 


Thank you for dropping by my frugal blog, you are always welcome here. 

We would love to hear all about your week in the comment section.

Debt Free &
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree

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