Tuesday, December 5, 2023

7th Annual Christmas in the Park ~ Chatsworth, Georgia

Bailey and  I went to UGO, which is our local close out grocery store, on Monday evening and were pleasantly surprised by the Chatsworth Christmas in the Park display. 

Multiple people were walking around the park enjoying the beautiful Christmas trees that people and organizations had created. There were over 100 Christmas trees on display. 

Here are some photos on them for you to enjoy as well. 

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, December 4, 2023

Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen #1 December 2023 ~ Meal Plan Monday


Saving Money in my Frugal Kitchen

Quote of The Week
The power of a homemade meal extends far beyond sustenance; it carries love, comfort, and cherished memories.
My Frugal Week

I took the leftover chili and chicken & dressing and put them into individual containers and stored them in the freezer, so we will have those for future meals. In fact, I thawed  a chicken and dressing for lunch on Thursday and it was delicious. 

On Wednesday I baked off a ten pound bag of chicken leg quarters, pulled the meat off the bones and chopped the meat into bite sized pieces. Five chicken leg quarters made eight cups of chicken meat. I took the juices from the pan and poured them into a canning jar and it's in the fridge. I'll take the fat off of it in the morning and store it in the freezer for stock later.  

The reason I changed menu plans and made the leg quarters is to make room in the freezer. We have two above the refrigerator freezers and I want the space back as I plan on grocery shopping soon. 

I did an inventory of my spice cabinet this week. I have plenty of some spices that I needed to check on before Christmas baking and I have a couple I would like to replace. My thyme and fennel seed are very low and older than I'd like, so those will be replaced this month.  

Recipe of the Week

This was originally posted to the Living Simple Facebook group by Jennifer and she also posted a link to the original recipe on Food.com. This recipe is definitely a keeper, it actually looks like meatloaf and tastes fantastic!

The recipe called for four ounces of tomato sauce and the smallest can I had was eight ounces. So, I took the leftover four ounces of sauce and added it to the jar of pizza sauce I keep on the refrigerator door that we use for pizza eggs for breakfast. No one will be the wiser and I'm avoiding food waste.

The lentils I used in this recipe were given to me, so no cost there. But one pound of lentils is definitely cheaper than one pound of ground beef.

Lentil Loaf Ingredients: 1 cup lentils 2 cups water 1 teaspoon salt 1 small onion, diced (I sauteed these before adding) 1 cup quick oats ¾ cup grated cheese 1 egg, beaten 4 ounces tomato sauce 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon basil ½ teaspoon seasoned salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper Directions: Add salt to water and boil. Add lentils and simmer, cook 30 minutes until soft. Mash lentils. Add onions, oats, and cheese until mixed, Add eggs, tomato sauce and spices. Spoon into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

What’s for Breakfast

Leftovers, Pizza Eggs, hot mug of Tomato Soup, Dave's Killer Bread toast with apple butter.

What’s for Dinner

Meatless Monday ~ Lentil Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Red Cabbage & Onions. I had some onions cut up from over the weekend from when we had tacos, so I used them for this recipe and sautéed them before adding to the dish. 

Taco Tuesday ~ Bailey had BBQ Chicken pizza for movie night while I had more lentil loaf and cranberry sauce. 

Wednesday ~ Baked Chicken Teriyaki with Pineapple, mashed potatoes, and California blend vegetables. 

The reason I changed menu plans and made the leg quarters is to make room in the freezer. We have two above the refrigerator freezers and I want the space back as I plan on grocery shopping soon. 

Thursday ~ Salmon Patties, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans with Onions. The salmon patties were frozen from a previous meal. 

Taking inventory of my pantry and freezer allowed me to create this meal. Instead of making a new meal, I used up smaller portions from other meals and created this from those remnants. It was like getting a meal for free and helped me save on my grocery budget. #useitup
Friday ~ Breakfast for Dinner ~ I needed to take a package of sausage out of the freezer to make room for ice for Bailey's tie dye, so I decided to use that and make breakfast for dinner tonight. 

We had sausage, fried potatoes, toast and sausage gravy. I served it with apple butter on the table. The leftovers made a great breakfast on Saturday morning. 

Saturday ~ Hamburger Steaks with Beef Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Carrots.  

Sunday ~ Boar's Head Smoked Sausage (Kroger markdown), Fried Potatoes, Green Beans and Onions.  

What’s on the Menu for This Coming Week

I haven't decided yet, so I'm going to wing it this week. I've been going through old recipes from my grandmother, my Mom and even me and typing some up to have on my computer for future reference. So, I have a lot of ideas planned and need to do some grocery shopping as we are out of beef and chicken in the freezer. So, please come back next week to see what we had on our menu this 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

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Stained Glass Church Windows

 Stained Glass Church Windows

This is a vintage Christmas recipe for Stained Glass Church Window Cookies that my Grandmother made every year back in the day. 


2 cups chocolate chips

1 stick butter (½ cup)

1 - 10 ounce package colored miniature marshmallows


Melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat.

Stir constantly until smooth and melted. 

Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then stir in marshmallows. 

Place two long sheets of  parchment paper on the counter.

Transfer half the recipe onto each sheet and make two logs.  

Tightly wrap the logs and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. 

When ready use a sharp knife and cut into slices.

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

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

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Simple Cheese Tarts


Simple Cheese Tarts

I've been going through my Grandmother and my Mother's recipes looking for a specific recipe for Hattie Mae's Lemon Ice Box Pie. I have had so much fun reading these old recipes and here is one I wanted to share.

This is a recipe that was included in some old magazine clippings of recipes inside my Mother’s Betty Crocker New Good and Easy Cookbook from 1962. It came from Family Weekly magazine dated September 30, 1973. It was a simpler time back then and this recipe reflects that simple time.


1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

¼ cup sugar

2 eggs

12 vanilla wafers

1 can (21 ounce) pie filling (cherry, pineapple, blueberry, or peach)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners.

With an electric mixture blend cream cheese, sugar and eggs. 

Beat well. 

Place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of each cupcake liner. 

Fill with 2 tablespoons of cheese filling.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Filling will be firm.

Cool for 45 minutes on a cooling rack. 

Spoon pie filling on top of each tart. 


Makes 12 tarts.

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, December 1, 2023

First Frugal Friday of December 2023


Welcome to Frugal Friday! 

My Frugal Week

I earned a $15 gift card to Amazon this week from Swagbucks and used it to buy a Christmas present. 

Last Friday we went to my BIL's home for our family Thanksgiving Dinner. I had a physical therapy appointment that morning, so headed down to Chattanooga early in the day. The mall was packed full of cars for early Black Friday shoppers.

This past Tuesday was my last day of physical therapy. The Lymphedema specialist told me she had done all she could to soften my lymphedema, which had turned fibrotic before my sessions, so she had me discharged. 

So, now I have to find some customized compression garments that will actually work for me for my trunk area, which so far has been very challenging. I will also need to continue manual lymph drainage (MLD) on my own as it will return if I am not vigilant. 

I did get a free t-shirt for graduating from physical therapy.  

I also got some more new to me clothing from one of Bailey's sourcing trips. This lady had a lot of clothes in my old and my new size, so several of them fit me and I ended up with three new shirts and a new pair of capris. One of the shirts is a long sleeve thermal shirt, which is perfect for this cold weather. 


This week I not only took inventory of my pantry, but I cleaned and decluttered my kitchen drawers. I took everything out and vacuumed the inside of the drawers and they look so much better. I also made up a bag of items to donate to Trade Day, which is coming up on Sunday December 10th, in the process. 

I found two pennies in one of the drawers while I was cleaning, one of those was a 1945 wheat penny. Mom must have saved it in there at one point in time. 💕 

I also took all my CPAP supplies and rather than have them on a shelf, organized them into my practically empty nightstand drawer where the CPAP sits. I don't know why I didn't think of that before, but it freed up space on the shelf. 

Taking Care of Business

For more than thirty years I have used the Scotch Brite yellow and green heavy duty sponges to wash dishes.  I bought the pack above in a hurry one day, but they began to disintegrate in my hand only after a few days of use, which was odd because the Scotch Brite ones last for months. 

I checked the package and realized they were made by Bradshaw Home. So, I called Bradshaw Home and told them about my experience.  They are sending me some new ones and hopefully they will work better.

Turning on the Heat

Before turning on any heat in the house I make sure to ask myself these questions:

Do I have long sleeves on or a sweater or jacket? 
Do I have socks, slippers, or shoes on my feet?
And if it's really cold, do I have gloves on, or a hat on my head? 
Am I sitting down and could cover up with a blanket instead? 

If not, then I will do those things first before turning on any heat in order to save money on our electric bill. 

December Budget Reminders

Since this is the first of the month, I went over my budget for the month to ensure everything was in line with my financial goals. 

As you're preparing your budget for the December, here are some ideas to keep in mind.  

Do you need to budget for gifts? Such as those last minute Christmas gifts. Family, friends, classroom parties, gift exchanges at work or neighbors, teachers, etc.

Do you need to budget more gas money, or maybe extra food costs? 

Do you need to budget for parties? Such as work parties, friends holiday gatherings, classroom parties for your children? 

Also, if money is tight in December and these are known expenses, think about utilizing a sinking fund. It is easier to put $20 into an envelope each month instead of coming up with all the money in one month.


Both of the next two freebies comes from the Everything Frugal Facebook group

Free Monthly No Spend Charts

2024 Frugal Calendar

Freebies I picked up this week include a calendar and magazine from Farm Bureau and some canned goods from our local no spend group. I also picked up a pregnancy support belt for free from a local no spend group. My physical therapist recommended one to me, so I'll try it and see if it works.

Joy of the Week

Photo of the Week

One night after I went to sleep this week, Bailey saw my water bottle on the kitchen counter and thought it was cute and took a photo of it and posted it to her Instagram story. When she told me about it the next day, she said over 70 people had seen it and several said it was genius, and innovative. LOL

Savings of the Week

Dollar Tree for the win! 32 ounces of Apple Cider Vinegar for $1.25.  

Question of the Week

I read a Facebook post from a content creator on Sunday that said this:
"I don’t know who needs to hear this, but those Thanksgiving leftovers are no good now. Throw them out!"

This was my response to her post:

I do my best to avoid food waste. If taken care of and stored correctly and safely, those foods can be frozen and used another time in order to save money.

 Honestly, I was surprised she posted that and many of the comments were of the "I'm still eating our leftovers" positions. What do you think?

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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