Friday, December 9, 2022

Second Frugal Friday of December 2022

Welcome to Friday! 

Quote of the Week
I sure hope you’ve all had a great Thanksgiving. As the years fly by and things change, and people are no longer with us, more than anything, I am so thankful for the wonderful memories.~ Mandy @ Read Write Mom 
My Frugal Week

I said last week that I would make up for the short blog post, so here goes…

This week was odd as Sunday felt like Monday and then Monday felt like Sunday. I was leisurely reading some of my favorite blogs on Monday morning, which made it feel like Sunday since I usually enjoy reading on the slower pace of the Lord’s day. 

Thank you all very much for the sweet comments you left last week about Beaux Gatsby. We had him cremated and placed his ashes next to Big Kitty. The crematorium gave us a clipping of his fur and a print of his paw made into an ornament for Christmas. 

Bailey and I went to town last Friday and stocked up at the grocery store. We also finished our Christmas shopping. We did that so we didn’t have to enter another store before Christmas as it gets very busy, as you know, at this time of year. 

This year we bought a new Christmas tree as our old pre-lit one died last year. We spent the week decorating and making the house nice and cozy for Christmas time. On Tuesday I was able to finish wrapping presents, so now I feel like I can enjoy the holiday more.

One way to save money at Christmas time is to make it acceptable to receive second hand items for presents. Bailey knows that second hand gifts are perfectly acceptable to me. Let people off the hook and let them know this is OK. 

Gary Chapman in his The 5 Love Languages book writes about five ways people feel loved, including acts of service, physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation and gifts. One of my favorite ways of showing someone I love them is through acts of service. Folding someone’s laundry for them, or making them their favorite meal or beverage costs less money and is usually always appreciated by that person. 

The Driveway & Traffic Cones

Even though we recently had our driveway repaired, there is still some work that needs doing. We have traffic cones set up in some areas where we have tiles/culverts, which divert rainwater away from the new gravel. The UPS man accidentally drove over one of the traffic cones because I’m sure it was too dark for him to see. 

The fix was a $5 can of spray paint, which was money well spent to protect a $3,000 driveway. 

Here is a photo of the before and after:


New Washing Machine

Guess what we had to buy this week? A washer! 🤷‍♀️ 

We bought our last washer in the first year of the pandemic in the summer of 2020. It was a mid priced ($699) GE Brand washer. We decided to buy into the mid price range models to see if it would last longer, but due to planned obsolescence we should have known better. 

We had trouble with it from the start, had multiple repairmen out to look at it to no avail and it finally quit working this week, so we went looking for a new one. 

We looked at Lowes and Home Depot and then decided to stop in at a locally owned appliance center. The salesman wanted to sell us a couple of washers for $799, but we were a little gun shy that they wouldn’t last long. 

We decided to buy a preowned washer for $250 from the locally owned store. It’s a Maytag washer and comes with a thirty day warranty and so far it’s been working well, no issues like we had with the last washer. Now we are all caught up on the laundry for the moment. 

Time will tell as to how long this machine lasts. If it lasts two years like the last one we will have saved money in the long run. I’ll keep you all updated here like I usually do with our washers/dryers. 


Our local community has a Trading Post event where people bring stuff they no longer need, bring them to the event and set them down and then walk around and pick up things they do need. 

We went to one this week and brought several articles of clothing, a lamp, a cat toy, and a  Starbucks reusable cup. 

Here are two photos of the items we were able to pick out:

Reynolds’s foil sheets, one green pepper, cucumber, and onion, two sweet potatoes, grape tomatoes, blueberries, chocolate chips, a bag of organic potatoes, two cabinet lights, and some Waverley fat quarters. 

It’s a great way to declutter items you no longer need and then trade them for items you do need and no money changes hands. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

Doing all the usual things like avoiding food waste, using up what we have on hand, freezing leftovers for another meal another day. 

One thing I do is to watch what my family leaves on their plate and adjust accordingly. If my daughter leaves her cucumber salad because I made too much other food, I will save her individual portion and serve it to her at another meal. It takes planning, but will save money. 

Meals This Week

All of our meals are served with plenty of vegetables and/or salad. 

- Homemade Vegetable Soup
- Chicken Teriyaki, Steamed Cabbage, Carrots, Onions, and Broccoli. 
- Vegetable Plates (Potatoes, Carrots, Corn on the Cob, Cucumber Salad). 
- Chicken & Dressing (recipe below), Green Beans with Onions, Carrots
- Vegetable Stir Fry, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Kale Greens. 
- Meatloaf, Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli. 

* If you see a dinner in bold print that means we had it more than once this week. 

Recipe of the Week

This one is definitely a favorite around here. 

Chicken & Dressing Casserole


4 cups cooked chicken
1 - 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup
1 - 10.5 ounce can cream of mushroom soup 
(I substituted using the recipe found below)
1 cup milk
1 stick butter
1 - 8 ounce package dry stuffing mix 
(Pepperidge Farm is my favorite as my grandmother worked there)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray
Whisk together soup and milk and add chicken.
Pour into casserole dish. 
In another bowl, melt butter and add dry dressing mix and mix well. 
Sprinkle over chicken mixture in pan. 
Cover dish with foil, but remove 5 minutes before taking the dish out of the oven. 
Be careful and watch the top so it won’t get too dark. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup


6 Tbsp butter
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
Salt & Pepper to taste


Melt  butter in saucepan.
Add flour and mix into a paste.
Whisk in milk and chicken broth. 
Add onion & garlic powder, salt & pepper.
Continue to whisk until smooth and creamy.
I also added about one cup of sour cream to make it very creamy.

Use 1 & 1/3 cup to replace one 10 & 1/2 ounce can of cream of chicken soup in recipes. This recipe makes the equivalent of two cans. 

Saving Money YouTube Videos

Inflation Fatigue by Frugal Queen

Stretching Our Food Budget by Frugal Queen

Saving on Entertainment

Facebook has been showing me old Leave it to Beaver episodes recently. Some shows from that time period show the father/husband to be domineering, but this show didn’t do that, which I find refreshing. It’s free to watch on Facebook if you’re interested. 

One of my favorite tv shows is American Dreams. The father/husband is domineering in this show, but I still enjoyed it, but it only lasted three seasons as the show didn’t really find an audience. Only the first season is available on DVD, but there are some shows on YouTube for free if you’re interested. 

What I've been Reading This Week

This week I’ve been reading Doctor Caldwell B. Esselstyn’s book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. 

His son Rip Esselstyn is the one who created The Engine 2 Diet while his wife Ann and daughter Jane have a new book out called Be a Plant Based Woman Warrior. I have that last book on my Amazon wish list for Christmas. 

Ann and Jane also have a YouTube channel, where they share many of their plant based recipes for free from several of their family’s books. If you’re interested in plant based eating you will want to check out this resource. 

Thank you for dropping by my frugal blog, you are always welcome here. I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. 💕 

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

~ She looketh well to the ways of her household ~
Proverbs 31:27


  1. What a lovely long read - thank you. xx

    1. Thank you, Joy. That is so sweet of you to say. 😊

  2. (Little Penpen) how heartbreaking to have to buy a washer so soon. We bought one a few years ago that I will not be surprised to have to replace at any moment. Your $250 Maytag will probably last forever!!

    1. Thank you, Penny. I hope it does last forever, or at least twenty years like the old ones used to last. I hope you don’t have to replace yours anytime soon.

  3. I love, love, love second hand presents. I always request them. My family will not give them to me. It is beneath them in their opinion. Isn't that sad?
    I bet your preowned Maytag washer will last decades. I am sorry you had to replace an expensive appliance.

    1. That is sad they won’t jump on the second hand band wagon with you. We are just going to have to try and convert them. 😆

      Thank you regarding the washer. I wish it didn’t have to happen right here at Christmas time, but I am glad we got it replaced. 😊

  4. My comment got posted as anonymous. Sorry. You can delete that one. :)
    I love, love, love second hand presents. I always request them. My family will not give them to me. It is beneath them in their opinion. Isn't that sad?
    I bet your preowned Maytag washer will last decades. I am sorry you had to replace an expensive appliance.

    1. Thank you for letting me know, Safyne. 💕

  5. I'm so frustrated for you about the washer! We've had similar issues with our dishwasher. M has repaired it himself probably six times, and it's four years old. It's so frustrating. We tried to return it within the first 30 days, but it had the first major problem on like day 35. They wouldn't accept the return, so we've been hobbling along with it.

    1. Ugh, yes, that is so frustrating! I’m glad M can fix it for you though, that saves a lot of money on service calls.

  6. Only two years on a new washer! That is the worst yet! Our last Whirlpool started to have trouble right after the one year warranty ran out and then we limped it along for another 4 years which was crazy . We replaced it with a Speed Queen and over six years later now it is still going strong without trouble. I hope your new to you washer goes and goes like an Energizer bunny! Those poor UPS drivers! I heard the truck at 10 PM a few nights ago.

    In the food department I have been reducing how much I make and observing if we are starved two hours later. We always ate 3 eggs each but I am finding we can do two and also a strip less of bacon. With eggs over $4 a dozen here now this will be a big help. We seem to be fine but eating lunch a bit earlier which is fine.

    Have a good weekend! I bet it is rainy there too! Will it ever stop??

    1. Oh my goodness! Yes on the rain! It’s been over a week with rain day and night! Many of our neighbors have water standing in the yards from it all. The ground just can’t absorb it all.

      That fine tuning on your breakfast will save you money. You are smart to figure that out.

      We have read the reviews on the Speed Queen, so we set up a slush fund to buy one someday unless of course this last washer lives forever. LOL 😂

  7. Good morning, Belinda. You gave a nice catch-up and lots of ideas. I love getting the word out that second hand is not second best. I love the stuffing casserole. I served for my son's confirmation open house nearly 20 years ago and family devoured it, so now I make at least once a year for potluck gatherings. I'd like to figure out a crockpot version for the lake.

    1. I think Moss Family TV has a crockpot version. I’ll see if I can find it for you. It has green beans in it. It makes for a great potluck dish

  8. Good paint job on the cone - looks new.
    WOW a new washer already? That is crazy. It sure should have lasted longer than that.
    Your meals sound good - I like doing veggie meals - I sure don't need meat every meal.
    I have always had my kitties cremated as well. I will have them with me always. I have told family - when my day comes - my babes go in the casket with me.
    Huge hugs. again. Have a nice weekend

    1. Crazy on the washer…right?! Awww…that is so sweet, I love that about your kitties. I’m going to do that too. Big Kitty was the most loving cat. He would let me wrap him up in a blanket and love on him. They are just the best! I hope you have a wonderful weekend too!

  9. Hey Belinda can you freeze the soup. That would make life very easy and much less expensive if you can.

    Sorry about your washer. We found out today that they no longer make our model of range, so I wonder how long we will be able to find parts for it. I do not want to have to replace it so soon.

    God bless.

    1. I’ve not tried to freeze it before, so I’m not sure if that would work or not. But that is a great idea. I need to try it soon to find out. I hope your dh can keep your oven working. It’s a shame they don’t make parts for these appliances anymore. I guess that is one way they make more money by not making parts to fix the old ones because they want us to buy new ones. We are on to them! 😁

  10. Hi Belinda, they do not make appliances like they used to. My old Kenmore refrigerator lasted 23 years. The KitchenAid replacement I got a year ago, broke down in only six months! It's fixed but sure sounds terrible at times and is worrisome. I hope your "new" Maytag stands up to many years of use.

    1. That is nuts about your new refrigerator, Celie. We’ve had better luck with refrigerators than we have with washers and dryers. Knock on wood. Thank you on the good wishes for a long life on our “new” washer. I hope it lasts for years. Otherwise we may go back to a scrub board

  11. My first refrigerator, washer, and dryer lasted 30 years each! Then, when the next refrigerator lasted only 15, I was upset. lol I have never heard of a washer lasting only 2 years. That would be depressing. This washer will probably be the last washer you will ever buy! Could you mix all the dry ingredients and add milk when ready to use the soup? Or you could use dried milk maybe?

    1. Yes, those older appliances lasted for so many years. The first one we had here lasted for 30 years.

      I’m sure you could add dry milk to this recipe.


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