Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Dinner



One of my favorite and simple dinners involves the pre-cut bags of cole slaw mix you can find in the produce section of the grocery store. I buy the two pound bags at Sam's club for $1.98. I took a little bit of chicken broth and warmed it up in my large wok and then stir fried a couple of chicken breasts, which  I sprinkled with lemon pepper. After the chicken was cooked, I added 1/2 of the bag (1 pound) of the cole slaw mix and stir fried that all together. This is a wonderful way to eat vegetables without the prep work normally involved with fresh vegetables, and makes an easy, quick dinner for those nights when dinner needs to be on the table after a long day at work. I also stir fried  one of the frozen vegetable stir fry kits, which is pictured below. 




What's for dinner at your house tonight?

Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011. 
 “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cell Phones


Pictured above are two cells phone, which we purchased in December of 2009. At the time, I was using a cell phone my ex-husband had given to me for my birthday a few years ago. He paid the bill every month so that he could have contact with our daughter at the time because it was a long distance charge for us to call him from our landline. 

That month, for reasons which would be another blog post, the phone was turned off, so we went to Verizon and opened our own account and bought these two cell phones. The blue one was mine, and the red one belonged to my daughter, which was her Christmas present that year.

As a substitute teacher I depend on my cell phone for work.  So many times I have been out of the house and received a call to sub that I know, without a cell phone, I would be missing valuable opportunities for work. 

Last month, my blue cell phone started turning itself off, not very often, but enough to the point where I was afraid to depend on it for work anymore. One morning, which is a crucial time for subs to receive jobs, it acted up while I was texting a teacher to the point that I knew I couldn't trust it anymore. The phone, while still good for for personal use, was simply not good enough for work. 

So, last month I went and spoke with the salespeople at Verizon. A new battery would cost me $39.95 and may or may not solve the problem. A new phone, after a $50 rebate, would cost me $49.95. This to me was a no brainer. I had to be able to depend on my phone for work, and I didn't want to buy a new battery and still have the phone not working and have to shell out more money for a new phone anyway. 

So basically for about ten extra dollars I could get a new phone. So, I bought a new cell phone and paid $109.74 for it, but received a $50 rebate, so the phone ended up costing me $59.74 (We pay 9.75% in sales tax here, so approximately 10¢ on the dollar). 


After I bought my new cell phone, I put my old blue one in the junk drawer and had been thinking about what to do with it for the last month. We had always done our best to support our schools with boxtops, fundraisers, Campbell soup labels, printer cartridges, and they can even receive money for old cell phones. I saw an ad for the local recycling place, which stated they bought old cell phones, and I even called and was told they would give me $1.00 for the phone. 

Last weekend, my daughter had an drink on her nightstand, which spilled and just barely got her red cellphone wet. We dried it off and put it in rice, but in the end, despite our best efforts, her cell phone was dead. I had just finished shelling out money for a new phone for myself, and the thought of buying another phone was more than my budget could take right now. 

My daughter really wanted to get her cell phone replaced, she is a teenager and cell phones and texting are a big part of their lives. I told her that even though she had been responsible with her cell phone for over two years with no accidents, since this was her fault, she would have to bear the burden of paying for half of a new phone and I would pay the other half for her. 

Last night I was sitting here thinking about her phone when an idea struck me and I called Verizon to ask them about having her phone number changed over to my old phone. The store assistant said it was easy to do and could be done from my home in just a few minutes. I took my old phone and had hers switched over to it within minutes of our phone conversation. 

That cell phone, which was untrustworthy for my work, was still perfect for a teenager! I called her out of her bedroom to surprise her and she was overwhelmed with joy. 

I honestly had no idea getting her a "new" phone would be so easy. She had been saving her money towards the new phone and had already set aside $34 for it. When I think back now about giving our old cell phones to the school, or (gasp!) selling them for $1.00, I realize how short sided that would have been. 

I'm so glad I've always saved our old cell phones because some times accidents do happen and they end up costing us money. In this case, I feel like I've saved ourselves $109.74 and that is worth a lot more to me than a donation to school or $1.00 from the recycling center. 

So, the morale to this story is save those old cell phones as you never know when you might need them again someday. That is my money saving story for the day and how we are "making do" with our phones. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading our story. :)

Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011. 
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without” 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

WFD ~ Hamburgers


Dinner tonight was simple because I am sick with a cold today, so it will be an easy dinner of hamburgers cooked on the George Foreman grill. Simple, easy, and frugal. These two hamburgers cost me approximately $2.10 to make.

Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011. 
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without” 

FREE Can of Red Gold Tomatoes

Be sure to check out the Red Gold fan page on Facebook for a free can of Red Gold Tomatoes.  Red Gold promised when they reached 40, 000 Facebook “Likes” they would offer a free can to fans, so be sure you register for the free deal. This offer is only available in the following states: AL, AR, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, MS, NE, OH, OK , NC, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV, and WI only.


Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011. 
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without” 
 
Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Free Gooseberry Patch e-Cookbook "Quick & Easy Dinners"

 Gooseberry Patch is offering a free copy of their e-book today called Quick and Easy Family Dinners. Even if you do not have an e-reader, you can read this book at Amazon using their free Cloud Reader. Be sure to check it out. 




Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011. 
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Dinner ~ Easy Sausage Quiche


Breakfast this morning was cereal with milk, while lunch today was Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Vegetable Beef Soup. 

I'm still in the process of using some things we had left over after the Christmas holidays and today I decided to use up two of those items, which were the last can of Grands biscuits and two frozen pie crusts. Using these items along with one of the two pound rolls of sausage I bought last week allowed me to accomplish two tasks with one effort.

Dinner tonight was an Easy Sausage Quiche. The recipe I use calls for one half to one pound of sausage, and so I thawed out one of the two pound rolls I recently bought. First off, I made eight sausage patties and browned those while the biscuits were cooking. Then using the same skillet, I went ahead and browned the rest of the sausage for the quiches.


Afterwards I assembled the Quiches and put those in the oven to bake, and then assembled the the sausage biscuits and stored them in the refrigerator for breakfasts this week. This recipe for quiche makes two pies and we ate one for dinner and will save the other one to heat up for lunches or breakfast this week. 

Here is a picture of the finished quiches:


And, here is the recipe:

Easy Sausage Quiche

Ingredients:

2 - 9 inch pie shells
1/2 to 1 pound sausage
1 small onion, chopped
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
cup shredded cheddar cheese
Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Brown sausage and onion together in skillet. 
Drain.
Poke bottom of pie crust with fork to prevent bubbling.

Place 1/2 the sausage in the bottom of each pie crusts. 
Layer each one with 1/4 cup of cheese. 
Mix together eggs and sour cream and pour 1/2 over each pie crust.
Top both quiches with the remainder of the cheese. 
Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011. 
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pinching Pennies Like Warren Buffet

A good article on Forbes magazine today about Warren Buffet pinching pennies. A quote from the article: 

By example, Buffett has demonstrated that being thrifty isn’t just for poor folks. So in the spirit of Warren Buffett, look for ways to cut your spending this year. Here are 40 relatively painless (or even pleasurable) ways to be fabulously frugal.

A link to the article:

You Can Get Richer Pinching Pennies Like Warren Buffet

 Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Sunday Dinner ~ Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup

Sometimes the best food comes from something left over from another food, and this soup is one of those things.  On Wednesday of this week, I made a Sirloin Tip Roast with potatoes and carrots in the Crockpot. When I was cleaning up the dinner dishes, I put what was left of the dinner into my large blue bowl, and even though most of the food was gone, I saved the broth because it was so rich and there was a lot of it. 

So, this morning I decided instead of making a new dish for dinner, I would make soup out of this rich broth. I picked out several carrots and potatoes and got those ready to add. 



And then I poked around in the freezer and found a couple of other things to add.

I also poked around in the pantry and found some tomatoes and green beans to add, but didn't take a picture of those. Sorry.

I put all of this in my big stockpot and this is what it looks like now.


And you know that cornbread goes good with soup, so I made some of that too. 


So, here is what my dinner looks like.


There is enough soup here to last for several days both for dinner and lunches if we want. I took something that was left over and made something good with it that we all enjoy. It is what thousands of frugal cooks have done down through the years, but it always tickles me.

Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011. 
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Saturday Night Pizza



While I was shopping at Sam's Club on Sunday, I picked up the ingredients to make homemade pizzas as well, so last night we had homemade pizza for dinner.

5 pounds Mozzarella Cheese - $11.98
3 pounds Pepperoni - $7.98

We made three pizzas last night and still have plenty of ingredients to make more pizza. The 3 pound bag of pepperoni will last me a long time as I've only used about 20 pepperonis per pizza and 3 pounds of pepperoni is a lot. Will definitely be freezing some of this. 


The recipe I use for pizza crust in one I found years ago from the Friendly Freezer Yahoo group and was created by the list owner, Robbyn Snyder. Her website is no longer online, but if you use the Internet Wayback machine you can find it here: Pizza Page for Robbyn

Robbyn's Garlic Pizza Crust

Recipe By : Robbyn Serving Size : 12
2 cups tepid water (90*)
1/2 cup oil
3 cloves crushed garlic
5 1/2 to 6 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons yeast

Directions:
 
Dissolve yeast in water and add sugar.
Add oil and salt and garlic.
Mix in 3 cups flour and mix well. 
Add remaining flour and knead till smooth.
Allow to rise twice in the bowl. Punch down.
Oil baking sheets, use hands to press out to edges.
Add sauce and toppings.
Bake at 425* for 20 min.

This makes 2 cookie sheet sized or 12 after school snack size.

I've made the 12 after school snack size pizzas using this recipe before. I made them using an 8 inch round cake pan, and then placed each individual pizza in a one gallon size Ziploc bag and stacked them in the freezer. Next time I make them I'll take a picture for the blog. :) 

Belinda
 © Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011-2015 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”


Crash and Burn

 Found five items in the Crash and Burn section the other day. Two cans of Southern Home Vegetable Beef soup for 55¢ each, one can of crushed pineapple for 50¢, one can of beef broth for 60¢, and one can of chicken broth for 70¢. The vegetable beef soup will find its way into our lunches this week, and the broth will be used in cooking as well as the crushed pineapple.

Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup


I really enjoy a cold glass of chocolate milk every now and then, but chocolate milk and chocolate syrup are one of those grocery items that I don't normally buy because honestly, they are not a necessity like so many other things we need.  

The solution to this is to make chocolate syrup at home using ingredients you probably already have on hand. This recipe is very easy to make and will save you money. Yesterday, I made a batch and here is what the finished product looks like:



Here is what you will need to make this at home:

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cocoa 
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, mix together the sugar and cocoa powder until most of the lumps are gone. Add water and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes, until thickened, continuing to stir frequently. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes, then add vanilla extract. Store in air tight container in the fridge.

All you have to do now is stir a couple of teaspoons into a glass of milk. If I am doubling this recipe I do not double the sugar and will only use 1 & 1/2 cups of sugar instead. I can't tell the difference and neither can my daughter. You can play around with the sugar and see how your family likes this.  Now, whenever the craving for a glass of chocolate milk hits me, I'll be ready. :)

 Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011-2015 and beyond. 
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

United Grocery Outlet Deal on Jimmy Dean Sausage

I found the best deal this week on Jimmy Dean sausage at United Grocery Outlet. They had the two pound rolls of regular pork sausage for $1.99. I bought seven rolls, put six in my freezer, and gave one to my Dad. These retail for $6.49 at Your Grocer.com, so this was a very good deal. Even the cashier was surprised at how inexpensive they were.


 Other items I bought there include a loaf of wheat bread and hot dog buns for $1.29 each, and two packs of flour tortillas for $1.00 each. 



You can view their current ad here: United Grocery Outlet

Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Homemade Ranch Dressing

 
Another way to save money in the kitchen is by making your own salad dressings. Our favorite salad dressing is ranch, and we use it to dress salads, as a dip for fresh vegetables, and as a dip for chicken tenders. 

Ranch dressing was invented at the Hidden Valley Ranch near Santa Barbara, California by Steve & Gayle Henson. Our favorite kind is a cloned version from Top Secret Recipes, and is one I have used in my home for many years. I love making something from simple, basic ingredients like mayonnaise and buttermilk with a few spices in my own kitchen, and I always double or triple the recipe.



 Here is a link to the recipe:






Ingredients:


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon MSG (Accent brand is good)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch dried thyme



Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.

Cover and chill for several hours before using. 





Some people, including my daughter, are allergic to the MSG that is found in Accent. I have made this recipe without the Accent, but the taste is not the same, so use your own judgment on that ingredient.

Updated to Add: It was not the MSG that my daughter is allergic to...it was the carrots. She has a fruit & vegetable allergy. 




Now it is time for an afternoon snack of carrots with homemade ranch dressing.


Belinda

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  


Good Deal Alert ~ Gooseberry Patch Dinners on a Dime


Gooseberry Patch is offering their Dinners on a Dime e-book for 79 cents this morning, a cookbook which normally retails for $13.99.  There are several ereader options to choose from and you can even use Amazon's Cloud Reader, which means you will be able to read the book instantly on your web browser without having an ereader.  Here is the link to the page at Gooseberry Patch:

Dinners on a Dime

Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday Night Dinner


Dinner tonight was a new recipe I tried out from All Recipes.com for Easy Chicken Enchiladas. Here is the link to the recipe:  Easy Chicken Enchiladas

The reason I wanted to use this recipe was because it called for cream cheese, and I still had some leftover from Christmas that I wanted to finish using. I was originally going to try the Chicken Enchilada recipe from the Homestead Happenings blog, but I didn't have any cream on  hand for that recipe, so I kept putting it off for another day. 

Today, I decided to search online for a recipe using what I had on hand, and this recipe fit the bill. I'm glad I decided to try it, because this was a very easy, simple recipe. My daughter and I both enjoyed it, and so this one is a keeper and will be going into our regular dinner menus for any time I can find cream cheese at a reasonable price or on sale.

Here is the recipe:

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast meat
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
  • 6 (6 inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream cheese and salsa. Cook, stirring until melted and well blended. Stir in chicken and pinto beans. Fill tortillas with the mixture, roll and place into the prepared baking dish. Spread cheese over the top. Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through. Garnish with your favorite toppings such as lettuce and tomatoes, or sour cream.

What's for dinner at your house tonight?

Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Grocery Run #2 for January

 


 Made a grocery store run to Sam's Club in Chattanooga today. My daughter wanted to go to the used book store and Sam's is right down the road, so I took advantage of the opportunity. 

The mozzarella cheese that I wrote about increasing in price in this post actually went down $1.00 from $12.98 to $11.98.  Nice to know that some items are actually going down in price. 


 
Here is the list of what I bought today:

2 bags tortillas - $4.26
1 bag tortilla chips - $3.78
5 pounds onions - $3.98
2 pounds Romaine - $2.98
2 pounds shredded lettuce - $1.97
3 pounds Coleslaw - $2.26
5 pounds shredded Cheddar Cheese - $12.98
5 pounds Mozzarella Cheese - $11.98
3 pounds Pepperoni - $7.98
4.5 pounds Hamburger - $13.53
15 pounds baking Potatoes - $7.98

5 pounds carrots - $2.98
101 ounces EVOO - $15.98
1 Roasted Chicken - $5.99

Total: $ 98.63

The 15 pound bag of potatoes is actually a bag of baking potatoes. I'll have to count them later and see how many I actually have in the bag.



Belinda
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”  

Disclosure: The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any type of advertising revenue received from our blog. As such, please note we make money from in-text affiliate links like Amazon as well as the banner ads on our blog. The main goal of our blog is to educate you on saving money. Thank you!