Friday, October 28, 2022

Fourth Frugal Friday of October 2022


Welcome to Friday! 

Here is a picture of the view from our deck. The fall colors are beautiful this year. 


Quote of the Week

~ Mother Nature has the best box of crayons ~

My Frugal Week

Saturday was laundry day. I hadn’t done any in over two weeks, so I had my work cut out for me. By the end of the day I had three loads washed, dried, folded and put away. 


This is a tip I learned from my Mom back when I was growing up. We used Comet in the green can to scrub sinks with and Mom would take the label off from the holes on top of the can and cover half of them up with the same label. This way we would only use about half as much cleaner. 

Joy of the Week

As a surprise to me, Bailey had an Aldi order delivered to our house from Instacart! They’ve just started delivering to our home from Aldi, Kroger, Sam's Club and some other stores. I’m both thrilled and shocked! It was definitely my joy of the week. Now we can use this service instead of our other more expensive delivery service. 

Photo of the Week

My Christmas cactus is blooming again

Savings of the Week

One - two pound bag of carrots at Aldi is $2.09 while two - fifteen ounce cans are 69 cents each or $1.38. If you are needing to be careful with your grocery spending, this is one way to save a little bit of money. 

Question of the Week

What ways are you finding to save money on food?

Avoiding Spending

We stayed home Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and spent no money.

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

This week I cut up fresh onions for the taco salad, but didn’t use it all, so I placed it into the freezer to save for another day. 

No matter how much is left over from a meal, I will save it. For example, I had a small amount, about two tablespoons, of taco meat leftover. I saved that and added it to the eggs for a breakfast burrito the next day. 

While watching a Frugal Queen video on YouTube she mentioned that she is no longer centering her meals around meat, but rather around carbohydrates because of the cost of meat. She is also combining pork with beef as the beef is so expensive in France right now. She has a lot of valuable tips in her YouTube videos on stretching food if you’re interested. 

This week I made a batch of chili because I had a variety of beans and tomato products in my pantry and I wanted to use them up.  I used the onions I stashed in the freezer earlier in the week and a combination of canned and fresh tomatoes.   All I needed was some ground beef, which we bought from Aldi for $3.99 per pound. This is perfect chili weather too.

Another thing I did this week was to cook a ten pound bag of chicken leg quarters that was given to us. I’m not a fan of dark meat, but that doesn’t matter right now with the price of groceries. We are going to use this up in ways that we find palatable and be grateful we have food right now. 

Even if you’re poor in the United States you still have abundance when compared to most people in the world. This year I have seen so much need in our community where people need food. The Little Free Pantry/Blessing Boxes empty out daily. This makes me extremely grateful and blessed for the food we have

Meals This Week

Taco Salads
Tacos
Pork, Green Beans & Onions, Salad
Pork, Roasted Potatoes, Eggplant
Chicken, Salads, Broccoli, Strawberries 
Chili
Chili Tacos

Saving Money YouTube Videos

Frugal Queen: Cost of Living Crisis! Will we be able to afford food? ~ Jane, aka Frugal Queen, gives a frank talk about food and how people may have to eat differently in these hard times. 

Saving on Entertainment

It’s the time of year where we watch Harry Potter films. Every year on her birthday, Bailey requests we watch all eight movies, which takes us a few weeks. Right now we are starting the seventh film, so we are almost done for another year. 

Freebies


I had an appointment with the dermatologist on Thursday. While I was there they gave me three free samples of All laundry detergent. Each pouch will do three or more loads. They also gave me the cherry dum-dum and a prescription for shampoo, which didn’t cost me anything thanks to my insurance. 

One of my friends also gave us two cans of organic garbanzo beans and one can of soup. 


Thank you for dropping by my frugal blog, you are always welcome here. Remember to pay yourself first and track your spending. Let us know how you’ve been doing this week in the comment section. 

Belinda
Mortgage & Debt Free
~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, October 21, 2022

Third Frugal Friday of October 2022



Welcome to Friday! 

Price of Gas this Week

$3.05

My Frugal Week

Our electric bill came this month and it was $218.54 for our all electric house. The September bill was $352.24, so that is a difference of $133.60, which is why I love the cooler weather. 

On Sunday I made a birthday cake for Bailey who had a birthday on Monday. She likes having experiences rather than a present, so we went to Chattanooga on Monday and went to several places including Dave and Buster’s. We had never been there before, but it’s like an indoor arcade for adults and children. We had a really good time.

Joy of the Week

Bailey loves to read and therefore we usually find ourselves in a bookstore somewhere. We ended up at both Barnes & Noble and Books a Million this week. One of my favorite things to do is browse a bookstore. Any books that I find I want to read I snap a picture of it and then try and find it inexpensively online. 

Avoiding Spending

I took Bailey out to her favorite Mexican restaurant for her birthday, but other than that I did have six no spend days this week. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

The price of a dozen eggs being compared to one pound of meat makes me feel better about the price of eggs lately. 

Meals This Week

Breakfast for Dinner
Baked Potatoes, Green Beans & Onions, Marinated Cucumbers
Ham, Hot Potato Salad, Green Beans & Onions
Chicken Teriyaki, Rice, Broccoli
Grilled Chicken Salads
Empanadas
Italian Subs

A short blog post for this week as we’ve been out of the house several days this week. I hope you’ve had a good week. Thank you for dropping by my frugal blog, you are always welcome here. 

Belinda
Mortgage & Debt Free
~ Living within our Means ~
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Friday, October 14, 2022

Second Frugal Friday of October 2022



Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week

“I can face the winter with calm. Crisp and sparkling days, long pleasant evenings, cheery fires. Good work shall be done this winter. Life shall be lived well. The end of the summer is not the end of the world. Here’s to October.” ~ A.A. Milne 
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Price of Gas this Week

$3.23 ~ The price of gas here rose 24 cents per gallon over the past week. 

My Frugal Week

The weather definitely turned cooler this week. I was able to turn off the air conditioner and open the windows several days. As a result, I’m looking forward to lower electric bills the next few months. 

With the cooler weather comes the changing of the colors of the leaves. We’re starting to see multiple color changes here and are looking forward to more.

Bailey spent last weekend with a friend in Knoxville, Tennessee and they went to multiple thrift stores. She was able to find a bunch of shirts in my size, so she bought them for me to go through. I picked out several to keep and the rest went into her inventory. 

What I love about this lot of shirts is that two of them are in a smaller size of my favorite shirt that is now too big for me. I love it when that happens. 

On Sunday I went to Food City to cherry pick some sale items. There was a time that we only bought groceries that were on sale, but with Covid we didn’t really enter the grocery stores, but in our efforts to save money I’ve decided we need to be doing this again. I went after the church crowd went through, so it was relatively empty. 

One way we are saving on food is buying some foods in cans, like salmon for example. I bought two cans in this haul for $3.39, and even though I have bought it cheaper in the past, this still makes an inexpensive meal for us with leftovers. 

We bought enough food to make at least twelve meals buying only items on sale for $33.48, which works out to $2.79 per meal for the protein portion of these dinners. Prices at the grocery stores have been frustrating lately, but thankfully we have the tools needed to help us manage as we weather this latest financial storm.


I received another $5.00 survey from Consumer Opinion Institute this week.  

I perused the grocery stores ads online for free rather than buy the newspaper for $1.50 to see them. 

Photo of the Week

Our black walnut tree is loaded this year. It seems to produce very well every other year and this is the year for that

Black walnuts from our walnut tree

Helping Others

We donated several food items to some of the Blessing Boxes/Little Free Pantries in our area. One of them, located by one of the schools, needed cleaning and straightening, so I took the trash out and lined the food up, so it looked more presentable. 

Avoiding Spending

We had five no spend days this week. We spent money on Sunday for groceries and then on Wednesday for my Dad’s 80th birthday. I had Cracker Barrel send him his favorite meal: Meatloaf, Pinto Beans, Fried Okra, and Hash Brown Casserole. He loved it and thank me many times over. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

The Dirty Rice I made this week turned out to be very spicy to the point where I didn’t eat it as it was too spicy for me. It was even a little too spicy for Bailey, so rather than waste it, I added it to some eggs for breakfast with a little sour cream to cool the rice. I rolled them up in flour tortillas and we ate them for breakfast with no problem. Zero food waste

Speaking of not wasting food, I used the liquid off the canned salmon I made for dinner one night. I used it to wet the dry cat food that I fed to the cats and they ate it all. 

Meals This Week

Better Cheddars, Rice and Cheese, Broccoli
Dirty Rice, Carrots, Green Peas
Salmon Patties,  Green Beans, Carrots
Breakfast for Dinner: Homemade Biscuits & Gravy, Sausage and Scrambled Eggs
Homemade Pizza 
Ham, Carrots, Broccoli
Meatloaf, Pinto Beans, Okra

Recipe of the Week

Both of my parents and their families came from Kentucky and although I grew up in Illinois, my language and cooking definitely has southern roots due to my heritage. This recipe is part of that heritage. 

This is a “recipe” for gravy, but you don’t really need a recipe to make gravy. I learned to make this gravy from my Mom who learned it from her sister Clara Belle. And I watched my grandmother make it many times as well. 

You just cook your breakfast meat, remove the meat and use the drippings and then add flour to make a roux. Stir that over heat enough to remove the taste of the flour and then add your milk. Stir until bubbly and thick. 

You can also leave your sausage in the skillet to make sausage gravy. Gravy is affordable and delicious and you can even reheat it the next day if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers.

Bailey and I had breakfast for dinner on Monday evening and we had enough leftovers to have it for breakfast the next morning too.

Breakfast Gravy

Ingredients:

1/4 cup drippings from bacon or sausage
1/4 flour
3 cups milk
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Place meat drippings in skillet and heat through.
Add flour to make a roux.
Stir until desired color is present. 
Add 3 cups of milk.
Stir continuously until gravy is thickened. 
Add salt and pepper to taste. 


Saving Money YouTube Videos

One thing I do when doing certain tasks, like ironing, is to also listen to money saving YouTube videos. It passes the time while doing chores that are rather dull. 

How to Live on $30 a Week ~ Prepper Princess

How Little Could You Live On if there is Another Great Depression ~ Prepper Princess

Saving on Entertainment

We do not pay for cable TV here as there is enough free entertainment online without having to pay for it. 

Loretta Lynn Life Story (1990) 

What I've been Reading This Week

Living  on Almost Nothing by Amber Storck


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

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


Belinda
Mortgage & Debt Free
~ Living within our Means ~
My Linktree




Friday, October 7, 2022

First Frugal Friday of October 2022



Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week

“Ah September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul... but I must confess that I love you only because you are a prelude to my beloved October.” Peggy Toney Horton

Price of Gas this Week

$2.99 per gallon

My Frugal Week

The sad news coming out of Tennessee this week is the passing of county music legend Loretta Lynn. Bailey and I were huge fans of her work. Here is one of my favorite YouTube videos of her singing Love is the Foundation to her beloved Dew.


We went grocery shopping on Tuesday. It’s been a while since I went grocery shopping and I was surprised at all the new food products that were offered. It’s a bit overwhelming when added in with all the shoppers. 

Having groceries delivered here or even just doing a pick up has spoiled me. I think I will stick with pick up or delivery for now unless I can go earlier when there are less shoppers. 

We had a dogwood tree cut down in our yard this week. It was just on the edge of the driveway and needed to be removed as it was blocking the view for some drivers such as UPS. We had our handyman cut it down for us and I paid him $100 for task, which I know is a very good deal.

Question of the Week

It’s that time of year when it’s getting cooler and soups and stews show up on menus more often. So, the question of the week is what is your favorite soup recipe? You’ll find one of mine in the recipe of the week down below. 

Savings of the Week

While I was at Walmart I found a composition book on clearance for 30 cents. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

We did all the usual things in the kitchen this week such as no eating out, washing dishes every night, using up all our leftovers and not wasting food. We both experienced sticker shock while grocery shopping this week. Simple things like Pillsbury crescent rolls with cherry were selling for over $6.00. It reinforces the idea that cooking from scratch saves money. 

Meals This Week

Friday: Chicken Stir Fried Rice with Vegetables. 

Saturday:  Italian Beef & Cheese Sandwiches, French Fries. 

Sunday: Grilled Chicken, Brown Rice, Broccoli. 

Monday: Chicken Burritos with Queso and Chips. 

Tuesday: Movie Night Pizza

Wednesday: Grilled Salmon, Corn on the Cob, Steamed Broccoli. 

Thursday: Polish Sausage, Corn on the Cob, Baked Beans. 

Recipe of the Week

This recipe came from a friend of mine back when we lived in Pikeville in the early 1990s. We were both members in one of the home demonstrations clubs that met there once a month. Each member would take turns bringing a different dish each month and this is one she brought one time. It’s definitely a keeper. 

Creamy Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

1/4 pound bacon, diced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 Tablespoons bacon drippings
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced potatoes
1 - 15 ounce can creamed corn
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon sage
2 cups milk or half and half

Directions:

Brown bacon and drain.
Save 2 Tablespoons drippings.
Saute' onions and green pepper in the drippings until soft.
Add chicken broth and potatoes.
Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through.
Add corn, seasonings and milk or cream.
Heat through and serve with a hearty bread. 

Saving on Entertainment

We watched Maysville this week on Amazon Prime. The story is set in 1929 in Appalachia. Thirteen year old Teddy Rogers pays a penance for a terrible accident in a place where people play by their own rules. 


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

We would love to hear all about your week and favorite soup recipe in the comment section.

Belinda
Debt Free & 
~ Living within our Means ~
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