Friday, January 27, 2023

Fourth & Final Frugal Friday of January 2023



Welcome to Frugal Friday! 

Quote of the Week
Cook your own, serve it with love, keep your money where it should be, paying off your mortgage, for your childrens education, your emergency fund, or for a special holiday.  Stop giving it away to others.
...Mimi from A Tray of Bliss

My heart goes out to Kim over at Out My Window and Sam over at Sam, Coffee, Money, and Thyme who have both lost their husbands recently. 

Nothing in life can prepare us for the death of a loved one. With every death there is loss, which brings us grief in a very painful season of our lives. Please know that so many are praying for both of you. We love you both. πŸ’• 

Psalm 34:18 tells us “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Business

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that there is a new way to follow my blog via email and that is through the Follow It link on the top of the right side bar. I had to work out a few kinks, but it is finally working. Yay!

My Frugal Week

Last Friday while I was washing dishes, the water stopped pumping into the house. I called our local well drilling service company and they were out here within twenty minutes. Turns out the points on the pressure switch went bad. Total costs for parts and service was $209 and we had water again within an hour. I’m very thankful for them and an emergency fund to pay for such emergencies.

The house has been chilly inside this week at sixty-one degrees Fahrenheit. I do not have the heat turned on though, just a warm sweater and blanket on my lap. 

It has been so long since I had a haircut. It was last summer I believe, so with Bailey’s help in the back of my hair, I did get my hair cut this week at no cost to me. We use these Wahl hair clippers from Amazon to cut our hair and they have more than paid for themselves over the years. 

Decorating Our Homes

Decorating and furnishing a home infrequently was normal back when I was growing up. My parents didn’t change the dΓ©cor, paint or add new carpet every year and neither did my friends parents. In fact, it was sixteen years before my parents ever remodeled. They took care of the things they had, so they would last for years. It was considered frugal to hang on to the same things year after year. 

One of my teachers in high school said they had their house built specifically to house certain pieces of furniture and they did not move them. They had lived there for many years with the furniture pieces in the same arrangement. 

Many people yard sale to be able to decorate their homes more affordable. My sister has a really cute decor and she did a lot of it by going to yard sales. And I do change things up if I find something I like at a yard sale as well. 

When my Dad built the house we live in, he did it with the intentions of not having to remodel it later. He put in popcorn ceilings and paneling, so he wouldn’t have to paint. The house is 36 years old now and those things have not been replaced. Bailey thinks the decor is outdated, but to me they are just the same as they always were. 

So, our question of the week is…

Question of the Week

Do you change the decor in your home every year or no? 

How often do you change things?

Joy of the Week

Finally getting my hair cut has been one of the joys of my week. I hadn’t realized how long it had gotten and feels so much better shorter. 

Income/Money

This week I received $10 in PayPal money from MobileXpressions and also received $10.00 in Amazon money from the Consumer Opinion Institute, so an extra $20 for me this week.

I filed my income taxes this past week and am looking forward to a small refund soon. Unless Congress does not raise the debt ceiling as delayed income tax refunds could be part of that problem. 

Avoiding Spending

I’ve spent this week at home, so no spending for me. We will be going to the grocery store over the weekend though to restock, so that won’t last long. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

This small bottle of Dawn is the one we got free from the Trading Group this month. I decanted it into my squeeze bottle of Dawn. 


I perused the grocery store sale ads online. Food City has ground chuck for $1.99 with a limit of ten pounds when you buy $25 worth of store brands. Many of their “sale” items are not really sales. Bags of flavored popcorn for $6 a bag is no sale to me. We buy popcorn kernels and pop our own cheaper than that. 


I used to pop our popcorn on the stove using a tablespoon of vegetable oil, but now I use a glass popcorn maker that we bought at a yard sale. It requires no oil, which is a money saver, and you can put a pat of butter in the top if you want that. It’s an inexpensive snack when compared to store bought chips or ready made popcorn. 

My own food, cooked at home, is so much better than a disappointing meal outside our home. For example this week I made pizza for us to enjoy and I made it exactly how we like it. No excessive spending for a possibly disappointing meal we are not satisfied with. 

I read a tip this week that said people add milk to scrambled eggs to stretch them out so they will cost less, which made me wonder about it. I add milk because that’s what my Mom did, but when I’m out of milk I add water. I don’t do it to stretch money, but rather to make the eggs fluffier. We aren’t eating as many eggs as we usually do due to the price. Bailey wants to get a few chickens again. 

I watched another video where someone added enough flour to mashed potatoes to make a pastry for pot pies and such. I usually make potato pancakes with leftover mashed potatoes, but I will give this a try soon. 

I made a batch of Chicken & Rice soup in my Instant Pot using the Universal Soup Recipe I posted earlier this week. For the dried herbs I used Herbes de Provence and for the broth I used Better Than Bouillon in the reduced sodium version. There was no need to add salt as there was some in the bouillon. 

The night that I made Taco Rice I made a little extra rice to have for dinner the next night in Chicken Fried Rice. I doctored it up with Sun Bird Fried Rice seasoning mix, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, butter, some of the Better Than Bouillon, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic salt, and pepper. 

Meals This Week

All meals are served with either salad or vegetables and may not always be listed here. 

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

Chili with Mexican Cornbread
Stir Fry Polish Sausage, Cabbage, Onions, Carrots. πŸ˜‹ 
Chicken & Rice Soup, Saltine Crackers
Taco Rice Belinda, Corn on the Cob, Mexican Cornbread. 
Chicken Fried Rice, Green Beans with Onions and Garlic. 

Recipe of the Week

One way to save money in the kitchen is to make recipes with thrifty ingredients that don't require butter, eggs or milk like those crazy cakes from the Great Depression. 

We had a big can of pumpkin that someone gave to us, so on Tuesday I made these Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins. They are egg, oil, milk and butter free, so they are inexpensive to make. 

Doubling the recipe gave us forty-eight mini muffins and thirty regular muffins (I used a small cookie scoop to fill the muffin tins), so I put some into the freezer. Since they are muffins they are not as sweet as say a cupcake. The pumpkin makes them very moist. 


Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins


Ingredients:


2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 can (14.5 ounce) pumpkin

1 cup water

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)


Directions:


Whisk all the dry ingredients together. 

Add pumpkin and water.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. 

Fold in chocolate chips.

Place batter into 24 prepared muffin tins and bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes


Saving Money YouTube Videos

Loving Life on Less Channel ~ Dave & Liz from Yorkshire in the U.K. are a thrifty couple sharing ideas and wisdom that enabled them to be debt and mortgage free and early retirees at the age of 50. 

Saving on Entertainment

I'm still enjoying Mama's Family for free on Facebook. 

Thank you for dropping by my frugal blog, you are always welcome here. We would love to hear all about your frugal week in the comment section. 😊 


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

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


26 comments :

  1. My parents did not redecorate. Our house burned and we moved across the street while it was completely rebuilt. Then, we moved to another state. When they bought their house in 1964, they never redecorated until they died in 1991 and 93. However, they did need a new sofa, then another time a new recliner. The dining room table was one they bought in 1959, very nice. They bought a new stove when they needed it, new washer, new mattresses, things like that. Daddy did wallpaper the whole house in grasscloth, and it was like new over 30 years later.
    I was telling Tommy the other day that when we moved in our house in 1977, that the sofa was placed in the same place where he saw it last. I found better pieces at yard sales or antique stores and got rid of the older items. So, it was a continual upgrade, gradual but over time. The kitchen was painted in 1977 and was still clean in 2019 because I kept the walls clean! People who came inside were shocked at how things were maintained. Of course, then things went downhill...lol. I would upholster an antique that cost me a song and replace an old, junky chair with the new acquisition.
    Here, it is a different story. But, redecorating is not what it needs to be nicer or different.
    However, I do have my eye on a macrame piece for a blank wall.
    Mama always added milk to eggs, not sure why. But, I quit doing that, and I am not sure why. I may try that pumpkin chocolate recipe.

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    Replies
    1. What a great comment, Linda. Thank you. You said it so well when you said “continual upgrade, but gradual over time.” That explains it perfectly. Mom and Dad never did have to replace any of the appliances, but that was during the time that companies built them to last. Dad was the Jack of all trades and could fix just about anything he put his mind too, which saved them a lot of money over the years.

      The pumpkin cookies are a keeper for me. 😊

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  2. Hi Belinda, thanks so much for the link to Loving Life on Less. what a great channel. I see a video watching binge in my future...LOL. Have a great weekend. Stay well.
    Bun

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    Replies
    1. Isn’t that the neatest channel? I liked it instantly. You’re so welcome. I’m glad you liked it too. I hope you have a great weekend too, Bin. 😊

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  3. I have found and heard as well - milk will make the scrambled eggs have a watery texture. Water just makes them fluffy. I always add water.
    Glad your pump was a relatively easy fix.
    Amazing that you don't have heat on. Have a good weekend.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cheryl. Our friend Linda said the same thing about the heat. We were walking around in short sleeves too. πŸ˜‚ I think we’ve acclimated to it a little bit. Ha! Ha! 😊

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  4. Love the quote from Mimi at Tray of Bliss. She had a lovely blog, but I think that Annabel said that Mimi died suddenly last year. :(
    My thoughts and prayers are with Kim and Sam. So very sad.
    I don't remember my Mom and Dad redecorating. They would paint which brightened things up, and they would replace appliances when they broke, but things sure lasted longer in those days. Daddy could fix most anything too.
    We have done a few remodels in this house. My husband finished the basement into a family room which gave us more space. He redid the kitchen since the only countertop that I could use was about 2 feet beside the stove. I'm hoping we can redo the main floor bathroom and put in a walk in shower, but I'm not sure when that will happen. Otherwise I may paint the living room and stain the deck this year.
    Your meals and recipe sounds so good. Thank you! I love fresh popcorn too, and that popcorn maker looks so cool.
    None of the grocery ads have been very good lately. I didn't see much at Food City either.
    Hope you have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I read that about Mimi at Tray of Bliss too, sadly. She left behind a treasure trove of good information in her blog. We can honor her by continuing to share her valuable information with others.

    We were fortunate to have Dads that could fix anything. My own ex husband wasn’t that way, but he was a hard worker and good provider.

    Sounds like you’ve had a few good remodels. I like that you got extra kitchen space. That is one thing that I would like as well here. That and a walk in shower would be very nice to have.

    We are going to go shopping at Kroger hopefully this weekend. I’m hoping to find a few good sales since there weren’t many this week.

    I hope you have a terrific weekend, Kathy. 😊

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm glad you got your water going again so quickly! We own a vacation house in partnership and it is all paneled and popcorn ceilings. I am so glad we will never have to paint over there. At home we never move anything and other than an occasional need to paint we are the same year after year. It is comforting.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lana. It is comforting to know that you won’t need to change anything unless you want to do that. It certainly makes life easier.

      Delete
  7. Redecorate? What's that ;-) No. We replace what is worn out. We replaced crappy counters/sinks more than 20y ago and they will last forever. We took down some walls to create a more functional space back in 2002. We last painted 25y ago, I think. "Decor" in our home was: made by me, family/friend or purchased directly from the artist. Wood rocking chairs were bought 2nd hand. Oak dining table as well. Dining chairs inherited from in-laws. Sewing table free from a business I was building in 2001 (my office in the construction trailer). Our priorities: very comfortable mattress and our sitting chairs/sofa.

    I just don't understand this "upgrade" mentality. Replacing what is worn out or can no longer be cleaned well, I understand. (The situation with our counter laminate).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your attitude about redecorating. It is very similar to my own attitude. Replace what is worn out and enjoy the other pieces you have. A few weeks ago we took the top off my Mom’s China cabinet and moved the bottom into the kitchen. It has been so nice to have an additional countertop to work from. It’s even got some wear from us using it already. It’s a loved piece now and we are enjoying it. I’m with you on the comfy mattress and chairs too. 😊

      Delete
  8. My parents didn't remodel for 40 years, so it's definitely not a "thing". They also didn't redecorate. My mom might update throw pillows or blankets or something, but nothing substantial.

    We are similar, although we moved into a house built in the 1950s, so we did update the kitchen area a couple of summers ago. The house really needs a full update (or, at the cost of construction, sadly a tear down is a similar cost), but we've opted not to do it, at least right now. Maybe at some point. I really, really miss having a bath tub. And, our house is just poorly laid out, with lots of unusable space, despite the square footage. We make the best of it.

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    1. Sounds just like my parents did with their home over the years. This house is one I would like to change a few things. The washer and dryer is in the bathroom and I would change that if I could or wanted to invest. It could be opened up in the hallway with doors, so there would be more room. But we are not looking to change things, so like you will make do for now. 😊

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  9. My parents built their home new in 1980 and have never remodeled. Somethings do need to be replaced now just to to them being worn heavily. I don't do any "construction" updating, but I change the look of the room by getting new bedding every 2 - 3 years and moving things around the house (changing a basket or lamp to a new room, etc.).

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I’ll change the look of a room with curtains or new bed clothes too, Stacie.

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  10. Not much of a decorator here. I used to move our furniture around often when I was younger but that's too much trouble now, it does give you a different look, though. I love 'Taco Rice Belinda'! I personally make Muffins McBobi! lol I can't wait to try your pumpkin muffins, I've been looking for a recipe that doesn't highlight the pumpkin flavor and these sound perfect! Also, I have an orphan can of pumpkin just waiting to be used, so thanks!

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    1. Cool! I hope you like the muffins, Bobi. I like the name of your Muffins McBobi! That is so cute.

      I used to move the furniture to vacuum under it. Ha! Not anymore. Ha! Ha!

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    2. Thank you, Bobi. I like Muffins McBobi too! πŸ˜‚

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  11. Our home has had the same dΓ©cor now for at least 8 years in the living room and dining room (paint wise in the dining room only). I think this is the last time I change things around. I really like how the rooms look now, but I do know that our kitchen lino will need to be replaced soon. It is getting very worn and has been in the kitchen for at least 25 years.

    God bless.

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    Replies
    1. Our kitchen floor could use an upgrade too.

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  12. I built my home in 2006. I have the same paint, flooring, etc. I have replaced living room furniture 1 time, only because the frame of the furniture broke down after 10 years. In 2022, I bought the paint needed to repaint the whole house while on a great sale. I replaced the front door due to broke glass and back door due to some rot in the jam - both were letting air drafts in. I will work through repainting in 2023. I also bought new porch lights so that I can replace with solar motion sensors to reduce electric.

    BUT NO! I do not redecorate, in fact, in 17 years I have hung only 1 picture in the whole house - nothing else on the walls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A terrific example of taking care of things so they will last. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. thank you for sharing the muffin recipe.......just need some pumpkin now.

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  14. Belinda I also add milk to scrambled eggs because that's what my mother did, but it makes sense to add things to stretch them out doesn't it? I haven't had my hair done in YEARS...I was thinking about treating myself this year to an actual professional hair cut then my frugal mind says nah...just put the bowl over your head lol...actually all I really trim are my bangs and once in a while I'll lob off an inch or so from the "mane"!!

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  15. I don't redecorate. Once in a while I change indoor plants. That's all the change I do. :)

    ReplyDelete

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