Monday, October 2, 2023

Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen ~ Menu Plan Monday


Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen

My Frugal Week

Monday I was up bright and early and got busy feeding cats, gathering garbage and taking it outside, and hoping my Monday garbage man came, which he didn't. 

I washed our Zero Water container and pitcher, put ground beef from the freezer in the refrigerator to thaw, washed and sorted dry pinto beans and put them on to soak. I'm thinking a big pot of chili would be perfect for tomorrow and the next few days. Then I washed all the breakfast dishes, made some popsicles, and cleaned up the kitchen.

My Mom, who was born in 1942, could go into Mr. Gregor’s store (Kentucky) when she was growing up and buy one stick of butter because that’s what they did back then. Mom loved Mr. Gregor. He had a plum tree in the yard of his store and always told Mom she could have as many plums as she wanted from that tree. 

She asked me to buy one stick of butter once back when I was growing up in the 70s, so I did. The sales clerk at the “little store” (Illinois), which is what we called it, hadn’t ever heard of that before, but she let me buy one stick of butter.

On Tuesday I went shopping in Walmart and had butter on my list. They now sell a two pack of butter for $1.98, so that is what I bought. I had $14 left in my grocery budget for the month and didn’t want to spend close to $4 for one pound of butter because I also needed onions, cheese, and sour cream. 

This reminded me of Mom buying one stick of butter at Mr. Gregor’s store. And that may be the way things are going in these days of higher grocery costs. I bought what I needed to last until the end of the month, and didn’t break my budget while doing it. 

Recipe of the Week

This week I’m going to share with you one of my sister’s recipes for BLT Dip. Bailey really likes this and we usually make it once per year at Christmas time.  

Tina’s BLT Dip


1 - 30 ounce size jar Hellmans mayonnaise (can use light) 

3 to 4 tomatoes, (maybe more, just judge)

1 & 1/2 jars (3 ounce) Hormel Real Bacon Bits (can use more if desired) 

1 loaf bread


Put the mayonnaise into a bowl.

Dump in bacon bits and mix well.

Peel skin off tomatoes and cut into very small pieces.

Place into mayonnaise, juice and all. 

Taste test and add more bacon or tomatoes as desired. 

Toast bread and cut into four squares per slice.

Dip toasted bread into BLT Dip and enjoy. 

What’s for Breakfast

This week’s breakfast options included waffles, Greek yogurt with strawberries, smoothies, protein shakes, and eggs. 


What’s for Dinner

Meatless Monday ~ I made an enchilada bake for dinner using refried beans, cottage cheese, enchilada sauce, and cheddar cheese. I served this with Baked Apples, and Steamed Carrots. 

Taco Tuesday ~ It was a long day, so rather than make chili, we had chicken nachos for dinner and I’ll make the chili for dinner tomorrow. 

Wednesday ~ I made the chili for dinner tonight. The chili powder I used is the great value brand and I noticed last time that it was hot, so I didn’t put as much in this time and it was milder to me and I enjoyed it. Bailey pit more chili powder in hers though. I used up my last can of petite diced tomatoes, and a can of crushed tomatoes out of my pantry. 

Thursday ~ Definitely a repeat of Wednesday’s dinner, so Chili was on the menu again. 

Friday ~ For Bailey I bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner and served that with Southwestern salad and loaded potato salad. For me I had baked potato soup as my mouth is still healing from the tooth extraction. 

Saturday ~ I took the rest of the rotisserie chicken off the bone Friday night and chopped it up for Saturday night dinner. I added some leftover salsa, and taco seasoning mix. Bailey had chicken tacos with this and I had some Broccoli and Cheese soup. I also made cooked carrots and potato salad for side dishes. 

Sunday ~ Pizza with Pepperoni and Black Olives on one half and Bacon and Pineapple on the other half. Served with a garden salad. 

What’s on the Menu for This Coming Week

I used up several items in our pantry this week, so I’ll need to do some grocery shopping this week. 

I’ll probably make salmon patties, beans and cornbread, chicken taquitos, cheese quesadillas, beef stew, and chili or chili tacos. Be sure to come back next week to see what sides we serve with these main dishes.

Mortgage & Debt Free
~ Living within our Means ~
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~ She looketh well to the ways of her household ~
Proverbs 31:27


  1. It all sounds yummy. Thanks for the recipe - that sounds interesting. I have never heard of buying a single stick of butter either - even at our small family stores back in the day. That doesn't mean they didn't.
    Have a good one!

    1. That is what the store clerk said too, she had never heard of it. Might be a small town Kentucky thing. I hope you have a good one too, Cheryl.

  2. I have let my butter supply run too low and now I think I will wait for Thanksgiving sales to get my stock back up. Our Aldi is $2.45 a pound but that really adds up quick when you buy ten pounds which is what I should do. The thing that is really killing my budget is orange juice. We drink it every morning and will continue to do so. Soon I will likely be switching to my frozen stock that I had bought in case the price went sky high which it has now. Aldi and Lidl had it for $4.65 a gallon but Lidl had jumped to $6.98 last week so I expect Aldi will soon follow. I spent more on Groceries in September than I have in a month for years and I don't think I bought extra. It is just the higher prices. I am afraid the SS COLA will all end up in the grocery budget come January. I am not pulling SS yet although I could but we may need to go ahead and collect mine earlier than we had hoped.

    1. Such changes taking place thanks to the cost of living right now. It's only the beginning I'm afraid. I stopped reading Len Penzo's blog for that reason as his blog posts really bother me about what could possibly happen.

      I hope we do find some good butter sales soon. My supply is low too. I saw the increase in orange juice recently too. It is just shocking. I'm glad you have a stash of it in your freezer That was great planning on your part, Lana.

      The SS COLA is down to something like 3.4% down from over 8% last year. I think it may all go towards people grocery budgets too, unfortunately.

  3. Yummy! You can give me mexican food any day of the week. All the meals sound delicious! Well done on sticking to your budget Belinda. I never knew that you could buy butter that way. I use very little butter. I bake with ICBINB (I mainly use butter for cookies) and everything still turns out great. The grocery prices are just shocking. Lets hope they don't make the 2 sticks the norm and end up charging ridiculous prices for it. I find myself shopping at the warehouse clubs a lot more, because the prices are lower. I only cherry pick at the grocery stores. Have a wonderful day Belinda & Bailey!

    1. Thank you, we love Mexican food too. Cherry picking is definitely one of the things we do here too to save money. I hope the two stick package does not become the norm either. We used to use ICBINB, I need to look at it again and see if it is cheaper than butter now. Thank you.

  4. What a fun memory!
    I didn't know you could buy butter in two stick packages. Good for you for staying on budget. Your meals sound so good. I think it will be even cooler here this weekend, so I think chili will be on the menu. Your recipe sounds good, and anything with bacon is tasty. I made a blt pasta salad a few weeks ago that was yummy. I'm sure going to miss my homegrown tomatoes. Hope you have a great week.

    1. Yes, I bought was I thought was a pound of butter one day on a grocery delivery order and when I got it I realized it was only half of a pound, so now I know. πŸ˜‚

      Chili will be perfect for cooler weather. My Dad said we should be getting cooler weather on Friday. I know it’s always cooler by Bailey’s birthday (October 17th), so I consider that a present for both of us. πŸ˜‚

      BLT Pasta sounds delicious. Bailey loves anything with bacon in it. She always orders her pizza half with bacon on it.

      I would miss the homegrown tomatoes too. Are you planning any kind of winter garden? I would love some greens or Swiss chard. They always go well with beans too.

      I hope you also have a great week, Kathy. 😊

  5. What a cute story stick of butter...who knew they sold it that way! OMG...I never thought to make a BLT dip...your sister Tina is so smart!! I'm definitely going to try this! It's shocking how high the prices are getting in the grocery stores! It's funny that you stopped reading Len Penzo's blog...I had to stop watching certain people on YouTube for the same reason...I needed to stop being frightened by the things they were saying. Great blog post! Janel in NJ

    1. Thank you, Janel. Yes, my sister is a smart cookie to come up with that dip. The juices from the tomatoes make the dip turn pink and adds so much flavor. It's a keeper for sure.

      I understand not watching certain Youtube videos for that reason too. Sometimes, it's jus too much.

      I hope you are having a great week.

  6. I gag on mayo, so I cannot imagine dipping the whole jar out. of course, I would use Miracle Whip. I would love the seeds and their flavor. Pink dip sounds like it might work as a Christmas dip.
    Butter sold in two-stick packages has been in the store for at least a year. It is pretty expensive.

    1. Yes, The whole jar would be a turn off for some people. And yes, you definitely need to know your prices when you shop. Some of the boogie stores are selling butter for close to $8 a pound now. We saw a gallon of chocolate milk for $8 on Tuesday. Shocking!

  7. When I was young, many years ago, my mum would send me to the corner shop, for one tomato and one piece of cucumber for a salad supper.
    When I say "piece" I mean hardly anyone bought a whole cucumber, British people used to buy fresh food daily, from the butcher or from the bakery and greengrocer.
    Times have now changed with the use of large refrigerators.
    Your menu sounds delicious, I've already made a beef stew this first week of Autumn.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Oh, that is a sweet memory, Jo. It makes sense to only buy what you need since there weren't big refrigerators back then. Beef stew is perfect for this time of year. Hugs to you too.

  8. You always have such interesting meals. That dip sounds decadent.

    God bless.

  9. Hi Belinda! ♥ Oh my gosh yes, the cost of butter can definitely break the budget. The cheapest I can find is at Costco, $5 a pound Canadian. I use it sparingly!

    1. Hi Rain! It's so good to see you! Yes, we use the butter very sparingly here too, not something we usually did before, but definitely do now.


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