Monday, February 26, 2024

Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen ~ Meal Plan Monday


My Frugal Week

I bought a rotisserie chicken on markdown for $3.04 from Walmart. I took all the meat off the bones and had this for several meals this past week. 

I perused the grocery store sale ads online this week and noted Save a Lot (SAL) has their ten pound bags of chicken leg quarters on sale for 59 cents per pound. So, I ventured into SAL for the first time since before the pandemic. 

Someone mentioned this week their grocery store hides sale items and not stock the meat counter. I feel like SAL did this with the chicken leg quarters. They were at the very end of the freezer section, only on the bottom shelf and there was no price on them. It was odd, but I did find them and bought two bags. 

I also bought  a quart of buttermilk, two bags of brussel sprouts, one can of field peas and snaps, and one toilet bowl cleaner. My total came to $19.39. 

I did notice that several of their spices like cumin are still 99 cents, so that beats Walmart's price of $1.28. Beets were 99 cents at SAL, which does not beat Walmart's price of 78 cents. So, as we all know, you need to know your prices in order to save the most money. 

I also went to Food City on Friday and bought ground beef on sale for $1.99 a pound, limit of ten pounds, when you bought $25 worth of store brand groceries. 

Once I had it home, I used my kitchen scale to weigh each pound into ten bags, labeled and vacuumed sealed them, and put them in the freezer. 

Some of the store brand groceries I bought included That's Smart! store brand tea bags in the 100 count box for $1.49. The Great Value brand at Walmart is $2.12 while it was also over $2 for tea at SAL. I can make a gallon of tea using the Food City brand for 15 cents, which is a great price. 

I did find Knorr bouillon cubes on markdown at Food City in the 6 count box for 69 cents. I bought two boxes of beef and two of chicken. 

Recipe of the Week

This recipe came from The Samaritan Center and their class on Saving Money. They gave us samples of this during class and I tasted something sweet in it, so I wonder if the beans or tomatoes had sugar in them? 

Changes I would make to this recipe include the addition of corn or pineapple, petite diced tomatoes instead of stewed, and regular brown rice or cauliflower rice instead of instant brown rice, which would increase the cooking time. I might also substitute other beans for the black ones. I would also substitute the green pepper for a red pepper. 

It was a very simple and good tasting recipe. 

Caribbean Casserole


1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 green pepper, diced

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1 - 14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes

1 & 1/2 cups instant brown rice

1 can black beans, undrained

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


Heat oil in large pan over medium heat.

Add onion and green pepper and cook until tender.

Add tomatoes, beans, oregano and garlic powder.

Bring to a boil.

Stir in rice and cover.

Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Photo of the Week

Ten pounds of ground beef, vacuumed sealed and ready for the freezer.

What’s for Dinner

Monday ~ Chicken Pot Pie, Green Beans & Onions, Spoon Bread. 

Tuesday ~ Chicken with Pineapple, Rice, Salad. 

Wednesday ~ Breakfast for Dinner, Sausage, Toast, Blueberries. 

Thursday ~ Ham, Baked Apples, Carrots & Sweet Potatoes, and both Pine and Blueberries. 

Friday ~ Tyson Spicy Nuggets, Soup Beans, Carrots, and Baked Apples. We liked these and will definitely buy them again since they were only $1.99 for a 16 ounce bag at UGO. They were spicy, but not too hot spicy if that makes sense. I don't do hot spicy as I'm allergic. 

Saturday ~ Chicken Tacos using the 59 cents a pound chicken, Tortillas, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, Cheese, Black Olives, Jalapenos, and Chipotle Ranch. 

Sunday ~ White Chicken Chili - This is a dish I made because I had leftover Taco Chicken and leftover soup beans. I looked at a few recipes on line and added sauteed onions, corn, cumin and chili powder. I also blended some of the soup beans with some of the broth from the taco chicken to make the chili thick and creamy. 

I don't know why I hadn't thought to make this before, but we really liked it. And it was low in calories and high in protein and fiber. We will definitely be making this again. 

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. Be sure to come back next week to see what sides we serve with these main dishes.

We are serving two meatless meals this week to save money on meat.

- Sausage Quiche
-White Chicken Chili
- Bean & Cheese Burritos or Enchiladas
- Pizza Beans
- Cheesy Potatoes
- Salmon Patties or Baked Pollack
- Dirty Rice

What’s been on the menu in your home?

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

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Garbage Haul Off ~ Hoarders ~ Decluttering

 Bailey had book club on Friday, so we didn't clean in Dad's space downstairs. But on Saturday, Timmy, our friend and garbage man, came and hauled off several appliances. 

I had received a quote from a company in town that wanted $100 just to haul off the freezer, so I worked out a deal with Timmy instead and bartered the hauling off of trash in exchange for a refrigerator that Dad had just bought recently and some cash as well. #bartering

So, Timmy hauled off the freezer that had stopped working who knows when or was unplugged by a neighbor helping Mom at one point in time, an old stove, a smaller refrigerator, a toaster oven, microwave and printer. 

None of the items were worth saving to me and would have needed some serious scrubbing to get clean that I was unwilling to do, and even then I didn't know if they worked or not. I'm not afraid of hard work or scrubbing and have done my fair share of that, but these were not worth it to me. 

I'm thrilled to have them all out of the way, especially the freezer. I told my sister it was bad, like don't open the lid bad. LOL

I'm not sure what Dad was thinking with all the refrigerators. He had two downstairs, and four in his home across the road, and about three of them were brand new. I put one of the smaller ones in my bedroom to hold some of my medicine that needs refrigeration. 

Dad and Mom both were hoarders, but Dad had more hoarded than Mom did, I think. Bailey and I lived with Mom upstairs and I cleaned out and decluttered up here regularly, which could be the difference. Even after Mom's death in 2022, I threw out bank statements with used checks she had kept from the 1960s. 

Dad did not throw away much at all. For example, he had about seven printers down in his office. We threw one of the big ones away yesterday and I kept one for use in my own office. The back of Timmy's truck can only hold so much at one time. 

I think yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores can be good, clean fun, but there has to be a limit. I buy things that are useful and I use them, and if I don't use them, they are going to the next consignment sale because I like a clean and uncluttered home. 

In my lifetime I have had plenty of places I've cleaned out. My Father-In-Law needed help cleaning out his home when my brother-in-law and his wife lived there for a while. Then the same home needed cleaning out again after FIL passed away. We had to rent a dumpster for that clean out. 

The home my exdh and I bought when we were married, was left hoarded up by the people who owned it before us, but had passed away. We threw away stuff from the 1940s in that house. 

It has been interesting to find some old things like some of the letters and stuff I've found. And there is plenty of useful stuff as well and stuff people are willing to pay for and I've found some things to use up here.  And remember that old saying, "one man's junk is another man's treasure". 

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, February 23, 2024

Fourth Frugal Friday of February 2024

Welcome to Frugal Friday! 

My Frugal Week

This morning I went to Food City and Save a Lot to get in on two grocery deals. Food City has ground chuck for $1.99 a pound, limit of ten pounds, when you buy $25 worth of store brand groceries, today and tomorrow only. Save a Lot has chicken leg quarters on sale for 59 cents a pound, and I bought two bags. 

While cleaning in Dad's kitchen, we found an old crockpot with a glass lid. My own smaller crock pot had a plastic lid that was cracked, so I exchanged them. We will sell his old one at the consignment sale, but now mine has a glass lid. Woo Hoo! It's the little things that bring me joy. 

We rode Dad's four wheeler around the yard (we have 20 acres here) and picked up trash that had blown into the yard. We brought a nice Rubbermaid Brute garbage can over here from his yard, but emptied it out into a garbage bag beforehand. We took it to Fletcher spout and rinsed it out very well.  

I attended the class at The Samaritan Center again this week and earned another $10 in thrift store credit. I bought some more flannel blankets for 25 cents. This week they made a Caribbean Casserole for us to try and it was really good. I'll include it in the recipe of the week in Monday's post.  

On Tuesday we went to the $5 Bargain Tuesday at UEC, and both received a free popcorn for being a rewards member. We watched The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. This is the book club reading for this month, which meets tonight, so she's excited to have read the book AND watched the movie. 

Savings of the Week

On Wednesday I went to Chattanooga to run errands and went to the UGO on Highway 58. Thanks very much to Toni, I found Lord Chesterfield's butter beans for 79 cents per can! Toni said, "in this day and age we have to watch out for each other" and I definitely agree with her. I sure do appreciate her letting me know this.

Other items I bought include Kraft shredded cheese in the eight ounce packages for $1.00, Tyson spicy plant based nuggets in the one pound package for $1.99, and I bought one to try. If we like them, that is a great price for one pound of "meat". 

Blueberries and pineberries were $1.50 for the larger container, tortillas for 50 cents a pack, EVOO for $3.99, and several other items as well. 


Bailey and I both use the Cetaphil soap to wash our hands here as it is a very moisturizing soap that doesn't leave our hands dried out. It's more expensive than other soaps at around $11 for three bars, but you can go to the website and print a coupon for $4.00 off if you're interested. 

Speaking of coupons, I found a stash in a filing cabinet in Dad's office from the 1980s with no expiration date. The values are low, but they will still work. We also received coupons from Kroger and Frito Lay & Pepsi this week from their Tasty Rewards program, and now they will let you order coupons every two weeks. 

Joy of the Week & Freebies

While I was running errands this week I came across a lady who wanted to chat while we were both waiting on an event  to start. She was very sweet and even asked to pray with me. 

She goes to food giveaways and what she can't use she keeps in her car and gives it to people she meets, people like me. She had me go look in her box, and I picked out a box of broth, crackers and some granola bars. 

Wasn't that sweet of her? The whole encounter reminded me of the scripture found in the book of Hebrews 13:2, "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some have entertained angels unawares."

Photo of the Week

In the photo above you'll see two brand new cans of Spectracide wasp spray. We buy these at Lowe's in a dual pack and keep a supply on hand. Bailey opened a new pack last week and both cans were empty, so I called Spectracide and they sent me two new bottles to replace them. That was great customer service in my book. 

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.

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, February 19, 2024

Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen ~ 3rd Week of February 2024


My Frugal Week & Recipe of the Week

Several people have commented on the pizza eggs I include in our breakfasts of the week. And have even mentioned looking up the recipe, so I decided to do that too and came across some with actual slices of pizza in the recipe.

What we do is make eggs, anyway we like them, I prefer mine scrambled and then add pizza toppings to the mix. We like both cottage cheese and parmesan cheese in ours and Bailey likes turkey pepperoni in hers.

I add pizza sauce of which I have used all sorts of things like tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce. It's really helped to use up our stash of tomato based sauces. Bailey adds pizza seasoning from Trader Joe's to hers and I like to add Italian Seasoning to mine. 

You can also add black olives or any pizza toppings you prefer. We cook the eggs first, then add the toppings and a lid to the skillet and allow the cheeses to melt. 

Pizza Eggs




Cottage Cheese

Parmesan Cheese

Pizza Sauce

Any pizza toppings you prefer


This week I finished a box of Quaker Oats Maple & Brown Sugar with 20 packets in it that we brought over from Dad's place. Now, I will move on to a tin of McCann's Irish oatmeal and finish using that up before I move on to my regular oatmeal. We also did Pizza Eggs somedays.

What’s for Dinner

Monday ~ Planned Over Lasagne, Salad, and Garlic Bread. 

Tuesday ~ Movie Night! No cooking for me! Bailey will have her usual BBQ Chicken Pizza. 

Wednesday ~ BBQ Smokies, Baked Apples, and Corn. 

Thursday ~ Beefy Baked Beans, Broccoli. 

Friday ~ Tired from cleaning out, we had leftovers. Beefy Baked Beans, BBQ Smokies, Corn, and Pickled Beets. 

Saturday ~ Chicken Tacos, Onions, Pinto Beans. 

Sunday ~ Chicken Pot Pie with homemade white sauce, Green Beans with Onions, Pickled Beets, and Southern Spoon Bread. I also made up a fresh batch of iced tea. 

What’s on the Menu for This Coming Week

Salmon, Ham, Tuna, Pulled Pork, Sausage, and Pork Chops are items we have on hand that I can use to make meals this week. As usual, I will be serving at least one meatless meal this week to save money on meat. Be sure to come back next week to see what sides we serve with these main dishes.

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

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, February 16, 2024

Third Frugal Friday February 2024


Welcome to Frugal Friday! 

Quote of the Week
Instead, your only option may be to dissolve any sense of brand loyalty you may have in favor of more wallet-friendly options. [...] we shouldn’t count on name brand products getting cheaper without a fight. ‘Corporations are going to continue to price gouge as long as they’re able to.’” (link)


 Let me be clear to any corporation that hasn’t brought their prices back down even as inflation has come down: It’s time to stop the price gouging. Give American consumers a break. ~ President Joe Biden

My Frugal Week

Friday we cleaned more in Dad's office, workshop, and pole barn. We cleared enough space to park Dad's four wheeler inside the garage and then it took up all the space we cleared. So, we will back it out of there when we are in there cleaning in the future. 

We found a WAGS $10 gift card among Dad's stuff when we were cleaning out, and It must have been 10 years old or more, I couldn't even look it up on their website. I had to call the 800 number to find the balance. 

One thing we've noticed is lots of wasps hibernating in multiple places down there. It explains why we saw so many wasps upstairs last summer. We will be investing in some wasp traps from Harbor Freight, who sells a two pack for $3.99 or researching homemade wasp traps to see if they work before the wasps wake up for warm weather. 

Saturday was garbage day, and Timmy came and filled up the back of his pickup truck. There was still some stuff he couldn't fit in there, but it'll keep until next Saturday. 

We also ran some errands afterwards as we needed more garbage bags for decluttering/cleaning downstairs. I also picked up a pair of shoes on clearance for $5 to wear downstairs to stop getting my good shoes dirty. I washed mine again after this week's cleaning and air dried them in my bedroom. 

On our way home we saw where our neighbors had a free drawing table on their lawn. So, we came home to get the four wheeler and went back to pick it up. We are going to sell this at the consignment sale next month. 

On Monday, I went to the eye doctor and received an injection in my left eye and he said I will need one in my left eye and might need one in my right eye in four weeks, but time will tell. I hope I don't need one in the right eye too next month, as it was so nice to not get one in that eye today. 

Afterwards, Bailey had a doctors appointment and received a tetanus shot, which is good since we are working in Dad's workshop where there is a lot of machinery, glass, nails and screws. 

On Tuesday I went to the Samaritan Center for their class and earned another $10 in thrift store credit. Afterwards, I only spent $6 in the thrift store, so I still have a credit to use in there. 

I bought seven flannel blankets (25 cents each) to use as cleaning rags, a small glass bottle because I plan on making my own vanilla this year, a reusable bag, two bottle brushes, one larger than the other, and a large silicon wire whisk. I've been needing a larger whisk, and it was only 25 cents. 

I also picked up this beautiful thick glass pitcher, which will be perfect for warming up maple syrup in the microwave or using for homemade dressings. I also picked up four more children's books to add to my basket for a Christmas gift this year. 

After that I ran into Walmart and they had Muck Lucks on mark down for $7.00. They had been $12 all winter and while I wanted some, I refrained. Now priced at $7.00, I was more than willing to fork over the money for the two pack. These would also make great Christmas presents for this year. 

After receiving a lot of rain early in the week, we woke up to cold temperatures on Wednesday, a sign that winter is still with us. Rather than turn on the heat, I put my socks and shoes on, long sleeves and a jacket to warm up in the house. I also added  a hat and scarf to keep my head and neck warm. 

Our electric bill comes out on the 14th of every month and ours was $185.23. We used 1631 kWh in this billing period while we used 1339 kWh in the same billing period in 2023. The difference was that bitter cold Arctic blast we had in January. I read several comments about BIG electric bills this month from that cold spell, so I’m grateful ours wasn’t higher. Of course, we work on keeping it lower in our all electric home. 

One day I stopped in at Burger King and used reward points for a free double cheeseburger. Using the mobile app will allow you a free order of fries with any purchase. 

So, I bought a Rodeo burger and only paid $2.50 for all three items. I came home and gave one of the burgers to Bailey and we split the large order of fries. That was a pretty inexpensive lunch. 

While I was running errands, I stopped in at McKays and traded some of Dad's books. I ended up with $20 in cash plus $20 in trade credit, so I put the $20 in my gas tank and bought myself these two books and still have over $12 in trade credit. And we still have more books of his to trade. 

I looked in the free bin at McKays too and found a Biggest Loser cookbook and several movies on DVD, so I snagged those and gave them to Bailey to sell at the consignment sale next month.

I also went to the dentist for my six month cleaning this week. My insurance pays for this, so there is no cost to me. The hygienist moved here from Illinois two years ago, so we had a lot to talk about since I am also from Illinois. He enjoys the milder winters here just like me. 

He gave me the following freebies...


Toothbrush, toothpaste, Gum soft picks with coupon, Gum Proxabrush with coupon, and dental floss. 

I also stopped by the Little Free Pantry to drop off some donations and these four glass canning jars were there, so I picked them up to bring home. Two of them are Ball and the other two are Golden Harvest. 

CVS Extra Care Plus

Last month I decided to join CVS ExtraCare Plus program, so I could get my prescriptions mailed to me rather than drive the 20 miles to get to CVS. Turns out they give each member $10 in extra care bucks to spend each month, so it's like getting $5 each month for free. 

You can read about the program here: CVS ExtraCare Plus

Photo of the Week

Question of the Week Follow Up

My question of the week for the Fourth Frugal Friday of January 2024 was about Lord Chesterfield Butter Beans. Bobi was so sweet to help me, and she did the research for me and figured out that Lord Chesterfield is now selling under the label, Glory Foods. 

I found these at Publix for $1.99 per can and just had to try them. I'm very happy to report that these are exactly like Lord Chesterfield and are so delicious! If you ever get the chance to try them, please do and let me know what you think. 

Avoiding Spending

Hmmmm....I did not avoid spending this week as I had to buy gas and a few groceries (I was completely out of corn, gasp!), but I was very prudent as usual. 

What I've been Reading This Week

Food Industry Price-Gouging Prevents Inflation From Cooling Faster

I've been reading a book recommended by my friend Linda. It's written by David Baldacci and is entitled, Wish You Well. It is also available as a movie or on Amazon Prime.  I must warn you that there are several deaths in the book, so please read at your own discretion. 

How was your week?

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.

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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