Friday, April 12, 2024

Second Frugal Friday of April 2024

                                                   


Welcome to Frugal Friday! 

Quote of the Week
Laugh More, Gripe Less, Ignore Critics, Say Yes, Order Dessert, Love Life ~ Gretchen Scott

My Frugal Week

Last Friday evening Bailey had a book club meeting in the North Shore area of Chattanooga. They were serving drinks, so I drove for her and the meeting was only two miles from Whole Foods, so I went and looked around. 

I ended up buying several things, including olive oil, green tea, red peppers, almond milk, power greens, spinach, carrots, mangos, and one Dekopon orange to try. Total spent was $76.87.  

I sold three items this week without really even trying. One of them was a book I found in Dad's office that sold for $50 on eBay. 

On Monday I went to the retina specialist for two eye injections and they gave me a pair of eclipse glasses. I had my eyes dilated, so I didn't want to look at the sun, but Bailey did and she was able to see the crescent shape of the sun from where we are located. 

On Tuesday I worked on several things such as laundry, cleaning, mailing packages, and measuring clothes to sell. This is Bailey's movie night, so I have the night off from cooking, so I just heated up  some of the soup I made on Sunday for my dinner. 

Wednesday was my physical therapy appointment and I went to Target afterwards. I found a container of the protein powder we use on the clearance rack for $9, so I bought that, which was a $10 savings. 


On Thursday I reused a pump bottle from body wash and cleaned it out thoroughly. I then drained my prescription shampoo bottles into the larger bottle, which has a pump. I made sure to use a funnel and let each one drain fully. 

The larger bottle and pump will make it easier to use in the shower, and I have way less containers of the small prescription bottles now. I also covered my homemade label with tape, so it won't get ruined in the shower. 

Today we are heading downstairs after Bailey shops the buggy sale at our local thrift store and I have an in-home appointment to be measured for a trunk pump for my lymphedema, so a busy day is one hand. I hope you have a wonderful day and a beautiful weekend. 


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

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


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

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


Monday, April 8, 2024

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 8, 2024

                                   


My Frugal Week

I inventoried my pantry again this week as I've been using up a lot of what we have on hand, and my previous numbers were off, so now it has been updated. 

Recipe of the Week

The Blue Zones are seven areas in the world where people live very long and healthy lives and part of that is the diet they've eaten over the years. Here is one such recipe for Sardinia Minestrone, which you can find on their website here

I made my own version of this on Sunday and it made sixteen cups worth of soup, so I'll have plenty for lunches this week and even some to put in the freezer. 

Sardinia Minestrone


Ingredients:


1⁄2 cup dried fava beans

1⁄2 cup dried cranberry beans

1⁄3 cup dried chickpeas

7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2⁄3 cup)

4 medium celery stalks, chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

3 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced (about 11⁄2 cups)

1 1⁄2 cups chopped fennel or 2 tablespoons fennel seed

1⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons

chopped fresh basil leaves

2⁄3 cup of Sardinian fregula, Israeli couscous, or acini di pepe pasta

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 cup finely grated pecorino Romano (about 2 ounces)


Directions


Soak the fava beans, cranberry beans, and chickpeas in a large bowl of water for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours (that is, overnight).

Drain in a colander set in the sink. Rinse well.

Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat.

Add the onion, carrots, and celery; cook, stirring often, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes, potatoes, fennel, parsley, and basil, as well as the drained beans and chickpeas.

Add enough water (6 to 8 cups) so that everything is submerged by 1 inch.

Raise the heat to high and bring to a full boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly, uncovered, until the beans are tender, adding more water as necessary if the mixture gets too thick, about 1 1⁄2 hours.

Stir in the pasta, salt, and pepper.

Add up to 2 cups water if the soup seems too dry.

Continue simmering, uncovered, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.

Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into each off our serving bowls.

Divide the soup among them and top each with 1 tablespoon of the grated cheese.

Tip: You can vary the beans in the minestrone: pinto beans make a good substitute for cranberry beans; great northern or cannellini beans, for the favas.


Tip: Use the stalks and fronds that come off a fennel bulb for the most intense flavor. No feathery fronds on the bulb? Add a teaspoon of fennel seeds to the aromatic vegetables you sauté to begin the dish.


Tip: Add other fresh vegetables from the garden or market, such as zucchini, cabbage, green beans, and cauliflower or broccoli florets.


Tip: Want a stronger tomato taste? Stir in a tablespoon or two of tomato paste.


Photo of the Week


What’s for Dinner



Monday
 ~ I took ground chuck out of the freezer to thaw and gathered up cans of beans and tomatoes to make chili for dinner tonight and for the next few days.  I had so many different varieties of beans and tomatoes, so decided to use them up and make a big pot of chili. 

I ended up with enough chil that I was able to put eight bowls (2 cups each) into the freezer. 

Tuesday ~ This is movie night for Bailey, so she had BBQ Chicken Pizza while I had a simple bowl of chili. Even though I enjoy being in the kitchen, I do enjoy days when I don't need to cook too. 

Wednesday ~ Chili

Thursday ~ Dirty Rice, Potato Salad, and Coleslaw. 

Friday ~ Macaroni & Cheese, Steamed Broccoli. 

Saturday ~ Fish, Butternut Squash, Brussel Sprouts. 

Sunday ~ Sardinia Minestrone was made for lunch, but I also made BBQ Pork Ribs, and served that with Green Beans and Onions for dinner.

What’s on the Menu for This Coming Week

We have plenty of ground beef, fish, chicken, and pork on hand to make meals this week. I'll probably make salmon patties, pulled pork, chicken fajitas, and tacos. 

What’s been on the menu in your home this past week?


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

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


Friday, April 5, 2024

First Frugal Friday of April 2024

 


Welcome to Frugal Friday! 

Quote of the Week & Music 

Hey, 'cause I will soar away like the blackbird
I will blow in the wind like a seed
I will plant my heart in the garden of my dreams
And I will grow up where I want, wild and free ~
Sara Evans

My Frugal Week & Joy of the Week


On Monday morning bright and early our friend Timmy came with help to take down the Bradford Pear tree that was growing and laying on the roof of the house. I had estimates of having the tree removed for both $2,000 and $700, so Timmy 0ffered to do it for $200. A real bargain in my book! It was a beautiful spring day too and perfect weather for this job. 

My Dad had been wanting the tree removed off the house ever since he came back in August. I know, if he were here, he would be glad to have it gone, and I told Timmy that as he and my Dad were friends too. They used Dad's four wheeler to move the limbs to the woods and it  was so great to see so much activity here and it did my heart good. 

On Tuesday I started physical therapy for six weeks on my right shoulder. The orthopedic doctor thinks it's a torn rotator cuff while the physical therapist thinks it's an impingement. I don't relish the idea of going twice a week for six weeks, but it is what it is and I would like some improvement in my pain level. 


I received an Easter card with a very sweet note from my friend and blog reader, Bobi. She also sent me this $2 bill in the card. Wasn't that sweet of her?

I went to my second physical therapy session on Wednesday and had some other errands to run too such as going to Lowe's for wasp traps. We had sprayed all the windows downstairs with Spectracide Wasp Killer, but there were still more wasps. 

Cleaning Dad's Spaces

Last Friday we went downstairs to work on cleaning and decluttering more of Dad's things. We skipped the Friday before as Bailey had book club that evening. We cleaned more in his workshop than his office, and while I was cleaning, I realized that I was sad for him. 


Back when we were growing up, we often cleaned his workshop for him, but as we grew up and moved out, that didn't happen. As I have aged, I realized he was very independent and a private person, so he would not have wanted me to see these areas in the latter years of his life. But, I would have helped him in a heartbeat if he wanted me to help, and it just made me very sad to realize that. 

The summer that the sink/water heater malfunctioned downstairs he was living in Illinois, so Bailey, Mom and I cleaned down there because his office had a couple of inches of water in there. When Dad finally came back a few months later and saw how much we had cleaned he was very impressed. 

So, I do know he would have liked having his areas cleaned and straightened up. I just found it sad that we didn't intervene sooner, although he may not have wanted us to, which is the vibe we felt.  

If you've ever watched any of the Hoarder TV shows, you will probably understand the mental thinking of a hoarder. Mom was the same way, she didn't want people to go through her things. If I emptied a space out, it wasn't long before she would fill the space back up again. 

Freebies

One of the local churches was having a free food giveaway on Saturday. I like to go to these because sometimes they give out fresh fruits and vegetables. Anything that I receive that we can't use, I always donate to the little free pantries around here. 

They gave us Powerades, green chilies, tomatillos, bacon, yogurt, Rice Krispie treats, Hershey kisses, several bags of snacks, carrots, and fruit punch to name some of the items. 

Photo of the Week


It's hard to get my work done when Archie is sitting directly on my clipboard. LOL

Savings of the Week

Walmart had their foil packages of meats like salmon, chicken and tuna on markdown this week, so I took advantage of several of those. 

Avoiding Spending

Bills were paid on Wednesday, so I couldn't avoid any spending this week and we were low on cat food, so I needed to buy some and also bought gas for my car. 


I will say that I was floored when I saw the price of Great Value EVOO for the one gallon bottle is now priced at $$32.97. Volatile weather patterns in the Mediterranean have impacted the countries that generate olive oil, which hampered the amount produced, which has led to these higher prices. Needless to say, I did not buy any this day.  

What I've been Reading This Week


I finished Little Fires Everywhere book over the weekend and started on A Man Called Ove this week. The Little Fires Everywhere was a very good story, which made it easy to read. Bailey is reading it with me, but she reads more than one book at a time, and is a member of multiple book clubs. It's fun to read books together and then discuss them later. 


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

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


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

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


Monday, April 1, 2024

Menu Plan Monday ~ April 1, 2024

                                


My Frugal Week

I kept all of my March grocery store receipts in an an envelope and totaled them up and we spent $260.90 on groceries in March. Of course, we have food in our pantry that I also used to feed us throughout the month as well. 

I worked on freezer management this week. I took out everything from the freezer and using a few baskets, put like items together. 

I had three giant bags of blueberries in there, so I put two of them in a freezer container and still have one gallon bag also. I made a fruit smoothie every morning for breakfast this week and included frozen strawberries or blueberries along with whatever greens I had on hand. 

All the cheese is in one basket now, and all the ground beef in another basket, which makes it very easy to inventory and keep organized. 

I've been in use it up mode this week and have used a couple of cans of tomato sauce, both cheddar and mozzarella cheese from the freezer along with several other items to rotate them out of our pantry while making meals. 

No eating out this week and I brought a snack of cheese, almonds and water with me when I did have to get out of the house. 

Recipe of the Week

We have an abundance of cans of green chilies, so in my efforts to use those up, I made this casserole dish. 

Green Chili Chicken Casserole


Ingredients:


1 pound chicken, cooked ( I used two 8 ounce bags of frozen chicken fajitas)

1 can cream of chicken soup (I made mine from scratch using recipe below)

1 - 8 ounce bag cheese of your choice

2 - 4 ounce cans green chilies

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon onion powder


Directions


I took all the ingredients and mixed well and then placed in a greased casserole pan and baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You can also add tortillas to this, but I wanted to save on the calories.


Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup


Ingredients:


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


Directions:


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.

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. 


Photo of the Week



We seasoned our baked fish with this Louisiana Cajun Fish Fry Seasoning the other day and it was really good. It's a little spicy, but very flavorful.

What’s for Dinner

Monday ~ Chicken Fajitas for Bailey while I had baked fish along with a baked sweet potato and brussel sprouts. 

Taco Tuesday ~ Bailey had a book club meeting, so she had leftover chicken fajitas and I had baked fish, a baked sweet potato, and brussel sprouts. 

Wednesday ~  Salisbury Steak, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, and Carrots. 

Thursday ~ Cajun Sausage for Bailey, I also make a batch of Hurst Cowboy Beans and had them along with a cabbage and onion stir fry, and corn. It was so good and I didn't miss having any meat with my dinner. 

Friday ~ Cleaning day, so a dirty and tiring day. I made Little Cheese Smokies, Cabbage & Onions, Corn & Beans, some of those were leftovers, so an easy dinner and always good to use up those foods we already have cooked in the refrigerator. 

Saturday  ~ Green Chili Chicken Casserole ~ Recipe above. I served this with homemade coleslaw using the last cabbage I had using this recipe, and some sugar snap peas. 

Sunday ~ I took some Johnsonville Green Hatch Sausages out of the freezer for dinner. I've read some things about Green Hatch chilies, but hadn't ever  tried them before. They were very flavorful! I also made some hot potato salad and we had more coleslaw and sugar snap peas with it as well. 

What’s on the Menu for This Coming Week

I have everything on hand to make a stock pot filled with chili, and that will s-t-r-e-t-c-h my ground beef out for more meals than if I just make tacos with it.  Then, we can also have chili tacos later in the week as well. 

I also have plenty of fish on hand as well as ground beef, chicken, and pork. I hope you'll come back next week to see what sides we serve with these. 

What’s been on the menu in your home this past week?


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

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

      

Friday, March 29, 2024

Final Frugal Friday of March 2024

 




Welcome to Frugal Friday! 

xdcMy Frugal Week

On Sunday I spoke with the people at the church across the road. I let them know that Dad passed away and we would be selling that land next to theirs. They had previously asked me about their parking lot, which Mom owns with her land. 

I told them we were working on the paperwork with the attorney and would be getting in touch with them soon.

They were so sweet and offered to bring Dad's tractor implements across the road for us since the hydraulics went out on Dad's tractor. Wasn't that sweet of them? 

On Tuesday, I stripped my bed and washed all my bed clothes. 

Both the red buds and the dogwoods are in bloom here this week.

Freebies

The reason I went out on Sunday was to go to the Safe Haven Animal Rescue Program (SHARP) pet food giveaway. It's on a first come first serve basis for people in the county where we live. 

They gave us two bags of cat food equaling thirteen pounds plus a container of cat litter. They also offered us wet cat food, but I turned that down for someone else who might need it as our cats prefer dry food anyway. 


I went to the dermatologist Thursday for my annual checkup and they gave me two of these All free and clear samples. They are good for at least four loads of laundry. 

What I've been Reading This Week

I'm currently reading Little Fires Everywhere, which is written by Celeste NG. Bailey and I are both reading it together in anticipation of watching the first season of the TV miniseries. The story reminds me of The Stepford Wives because this story is about a picture perfect family whose lives get upended by a mother daughter duo. 


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

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


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

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


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