Monday, September 25, 2023

Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen ~ Menu Plan Monday


Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen

My Frugal Week

Good Monday morning to all my readers, I hope you are doing well this morning. The weather is cooling down here and you know what that means, it’s soup season and that includes chili. Don’t forget about the Universal Soup Recipe to build soup from ingredients you have in your home and my soup blog page dedicated to soups. 

This week I had a taste for something sweet and a glass of cold chocolate milk usually hits the spot. So, I made a batch of chocolate syrup this week and added it to a glass of almond milk. It’s definitely cheaper to make your own at home and it definitely tasted good. 

We received multiple items of free food last week, which I wrote about in my Frugal Friday blog post, so I added the new food to my inventory list to keep it current. Knowing what food we have on hand definitely helps in planning meals, which helps me save money on my food budget. 

I don’t know if you’ve heard of Water Tok or not, but it involves Jordan’s Skinny Syrups, which are zero calorie syrups you add to water or coffee to add flavor. I don’t use them as they bother my stomach, but a Bailey enjoys them. 

The pumps for the bottles are sold separately, and they come with just a regular screw on lid. However, I keep lids and various tops from certain bottles and had a couple in my collection with pour spouts, so I replaced the regular caps with the lids with pour spouts, which will make them easier to pour thus eliminating any waste. 

Recipe of the Week

Savory Baked Spaghetti


1 - 16 ounce package spaghetti

1 medium onion, chopped

1 - 26 ounce jar spaghetti sauce

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

2 eggs

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

5 Tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups small curd cottage cheese

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


Cook spaghetti according to package directions.

Cook beef and onion until beef is cooked through and then drain.

Stir in spaghetti sauce, seasoned salt, and set aside.

Whisk the eggs, parmesan cheese and butter.

Drain spaghetti and add to egg mixture, and toss to coat.

Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish.

Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce, and mozzarella cheese.

Repeat layers.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Uncover, and bake 20 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Photo of the Week

Making taco seasoning mix recently. Making my own spice mixes really helps me to save money in the kitchen over store bought spice mixes.

What’s for Breakfast

Breakfast Options for this week included waffles, cottage cheese, grilled cheese, toast with jelly, oatmeal, grits, eggs & toast, yogurt, and fruit options were nectarines, oranges, apples, strawberries, applesauce, apricots, pears, and blueberries. Yogurt parfaits were also an option. 

What’s for Dinner

Monday ~ I made a teriyaki sauce using one cup water, 1/4 cup sauce sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon garlic, and a slurry of 2 tablespoons corn starch with 1/4 cup cold water. I then used the chicken breast I made up in the crockpot on Sunday and added some to the sauce. It was more than enough for dinner and still have more chicken for tomorrow. I served it with rice and steamed broccoli. 

Tuesday ~ I used more of the Sunday chicken and chopped some up into bite sized pieces and stirred in some sugar free BBQ sauce. Then I made two baked potatoes in the oven and topped them with the BBQ chicken. They are always a big hit. 

Wednesday ~ I took more of the chicken from Sunday and added cheese and pepperonis to it to make it like a pizza with no crust. I served this with corn and cherry tomatoes. I also put the last of the chicken into th freezer for future meals. 

Thursday ~ I pulled out a package of bacon from the freezer and also pulled out some ground beef to thaw for Friday. For dinner Thursday I made breakfast for dinner, which can be a real money saver.

I cooked the bacon and used the drippings from that to make white gravy. I also made scrambled eggs with cheese and served them with the  gravy, toast and the bacon. 

There was also have plenty of fruit (peaches, oranges, apples, apricots and pears) on hand in case anyone was still hungry, which turned out not to be the case.

Friday ~ Meatballs (recipe below) in brown gravy, steamed carrots, corn. 

Second Recipe of the Week



2 pounds ground beef

2 eggs

1 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup milk

Salt & Pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup onion, chopped


Add all ingredients together and mix well.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Makes 3 dozen meatballs.

Saturday ~ Meatballs, Green Beans, Corn.

Sunday ~ Fish & Chips ~ I baked some frozen salmon filets from the freezer and then flaked them into a bowl along with some lemon juice, dill, onion powder, cornmeal and an egg. I made them into salmon patties and browned them in a little olive oil. I served them with potatoes that I air fried into chips and some green beans. 

Beverages This Week

Sweet or Unsweetened Iced Tea
Herbal Hot Tea
Homemade Lemonade
Black Cherry Kool-Aid
Water, as usual

What’s on the Menu for This Coming Week

These are the items we have on hand that I can use to make meals this week. Canned salmon, ground beef, canned chicken, beef stew, baked spaghetti, BBQ, and plenty of rice and beans. Be sure to come back next week to see what sides we serve with these main dishes. 

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

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


  1. YUM - it all sounds good and you are very creative!

  2. I'm enjoying the cooler temps too. Thanks for the soup links; we have enjoyed several of your soup recipes and I need to make some more.
    My daughter bought a bottle of Jordons pumpkin spice latte, and she has been enjoying it. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but I did have one cup to celebrate the first day of fall.
    Your meals sound so good. Thanks for the recipes. I make my teriyaki sauce the same way. Great use of the chicken in so many yummy ways.
    I think I will roast a chicken today since Kroger had them on sale for .77/lb which is the cheapest I have seen it in a long time.
    Hope you have a great week.

    1. That is a great price for whole chickens, Kathy. That is a stock up price. I'm glad you're enjoying my soup recipes. I want to make some chili this week since the weather is cooler. I don't drink coffee either, so those syrups for coffees don't appeal to me. But I do like tea and the green tea at Starbucks is good, although it is a rare treat. You can adjust the number of pumps they put in it, so you can make it less sweet if you like it that way.

      I hope you have a great week too.

  3. I need to come and eat at your house!

  4. Belinda I had to laugh that you had saved some lids and tops from various bottles. I do that too! Sometimes come in so handy. I have a gallon baggie of various jar lids because I have never met a jar I didn't like. When my sister was going through our mothers stuff she ran across Mom's collection of various lids. Before I could say don't toss them, she said she was already finding some she could use. Lol I guess I come by it naturally.

    Belinda you have inspired me to try making mixes for brown gravy and chicken gravy. I have lots of beef and chicken bouillon. I usually make pan gravy when frying chicken but I have a grand-daughter that prefers chicken gravy from the package mix. Gotta keep her happy : )

    Belinda I hope you have a good week. I always enjoy reading your blog.

    1. Thank you so much, Sky. I was so tickled to find those lids worked on the Skinny Syrup bottles. I keep the ones from the dishwashing detergent bottles too as they also come in handy. That is funny about your Mom and sister saving them too. You just never know when you might need one.

      I've been looking at recipes for brown gravy mix too and even tried a vegetable broth one today, which I quickly nixed. LOL But I will keep trying! I hope you find a good chicken gravy one.

      Thank you for your sweet comments about reading and enjoying my blog. That means a lot to me and I hope you have a great week too!

  5. We had some very cool and rainy days here, just perfect for soups and stews. Your baked spaghetti recipe sounds wonderful I will need to give that a try as it is so different from mine.

    God bless.

    1. Oh, that sounds like perfect stew and soup season, Jackie.

  6. I just bookmarked your chocolate syrup recipe. TheHub likes a chocolate sundae a couple of times a week and when he runs out, I will be making this and refilling his bottle (Shhhhhh!)
    I had never heard of WaterTok before. I guess I am just a peasant because I really like plain old water.

    1. I’m with you, Anne. I like my water plain. Water Tok is all the rage on TikTok though, it has even been in the national news. πŸ˜‚

      Your hubby will never be able to tell this is a homemade version of chocolate syrup. Tee Hee!

  7. I love the tip about saving a couple lids. There’s a salad dressing I forget which one that doesn’t have the pour spout but you would think it does and a few of our salads have drowned. You tell your self I’ll remember. That is a big lie! Any way this will definitely save the day. Speaking of dressing, have you made any deviled eggs with thousand island? Hope you guys like it. -Rosa

    1. Salad dressing lids are a good example, I know what you mean about some not having the right spout. I’ll have to save some of those too.

      My daughter loves thousand island. I’ll have to try these for her. Thank you. 😊


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