Saturday, April 30, 2011

Frugal Weekend

I am about to enjoy a frugal weekend.  I have bills to pay and grocery shopping to do, but that is fine, I have my coupons and my loss leader circulars, So, I will make my lists and see what kind of bargains can be scored.  It will be an adventure.  I also have laundry and house cleaning to get done.  I plan to get caught up on my sleep, if there is such a thing. I will also do some reading. 

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hearty Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe was on the Bisquick website under emergency meals.....  This would be a great dish to make when short on time.......

Hearty Chicken Pot Pie

Nothing warms you like hearty chicken pot pie. This one’s loaded with vegetables and has a tender, flaky crust made with Bisquick® mix.

Prep Time
15 Minutes

Total Time

6 servings

1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

1 cup cut-up cooked chicken

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup

1 cup Original Bisquick® mix

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1.Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix vegetables, chicken and soup in ungreased 2-quart casserole.

2.Stir remaining ingredients in small bowl with fork until blended. Pour into casserole.

3.Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 6 servings

Make the Most of This Recipe With Tips From The Betty Crocker® Kitchens

Special Touch

If desired, stir in 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, dried sage leaves or pepper.


Use condensed cream of mushroom soup or condensed cheese soup instead of the chicken soup to give this dish a whole new taste!


For Hearty Beef Pot Pie, use 1 cup cut-up cooked leftover or deli roast beef instead of the chicken and condensed cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken.

Nutrition Information:

1 Serving (1 Serving)Calories 225 (Calories from Fat 80 ),Total Fat 9 g(Saturated Fat 3 g,Cholesterol 60 mg;Sodium 710 mg;Total Carbohydrate 27 g(Dietary Fiber 4 g,Protein 13 g;Percent Daily Value*:Calcium ;Exchanges:1 Starch;2 Vegetable;1 High-Fat Meat;*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Left Over Ham

Yes you knew it!!!  Left over ham is in my fridge....  I must tell you that the ham sandwiches have been wonderful.  I also had ham and eggs yesterday.  The possibilities here are seemingly endless.  Ham and Cheese Omelette's, Ham Quiche, Ham and Beans mmmmmm, you see where I am going with this....  One Ham and so many possibilities.

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring Veggie Saute'

Here is my Fabulous & Frugal veggie saute'
It has green zucchini's, yellow zucchini's mushrooms, and onion.  It is drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with a little salt and a dash of pepper.  This is so good by itself or you can eat it over rice. 

I am so looking forward to the spring and summer vegetables.
Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Dinner

Well, I am planning my Easter Dinner.....  Looks like it will be ham, they are on sale this week and I actually think I will buy 2 and stick one in my freezer for later, and I also can use those left overs for sandwiches to pack in my lunch next week. Planning ahead is crucial in frugal living and saving money everyday.
Because I have been dieting, I think I will cook some asparagus, make some deviled eggs and a green salad.  I know it is not the "traditional" Easter Dinner but I think it will be absolutely fine, not to mention frugal. 

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011


I do believe that couponing has become all the rage.....  I recently picked up an expandable file folder for my coupons...  it was about 7 dollars and it is nice because it is alphabetized A-Z, so organizing my coupons has been fun, and they are easier to find now...which I think also makes them easier to use.  I have been picking up my Sunday paper just for the coupons, I use the rest for fire starter.  By the way when I clean out my fire place I use those ashes in my garden.  The other place that I have been getting coupons is in the mail.  I signed up for some stuff on line at different sites, such as Proctor and Gamble, and Dove.... they are regularly sending me coupons.  I have noticed lots of places on line to download coupons and print them off so...this week I am going to get my printer up and running.  By the way, last week I bought 78 dollars worth of groceries for 42.  I know that is pretty good....but I want to do better.

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Extreme Couponing

Extreme Couponing has aired on TLC twice now, for the last 2 weeks.  The first week, I was so fascinated by the actual clipping of the coupons and planning of the shopping trips, you have to admit it is rather intriguing.  Then showing the people at the store and then at the checkout counter... Then they show the stock piles of supplies and groceries that the extreme couponers  have in their home, and that is interesting as well.  They are hoarders!!!!!!  I figure in a couple of months the extreme couponers are going to be featured on the TLC show of Hoarders.  My gawd...who needs all that crap in their houses?  Let alone the one gal who had an entire shower stall loaded to the ceiling with toilet paper and paper towels.  Another lady had shelves all over her house including in her children's bedrooms, and stashes of supplies under her kid's beds. 
I do think it is great that the people can save 91 to 98 percent on their grocery bills.  I also think that saving money like that is truly a talent, these people are totally gifted, and should be giving back to their communities.  I am thinking that the local food banks, homeless shelters and various charities could really benefit from the efforts of the extreme couponers.  Seriously why do you need 150 boxes of cereal in your pantry?  And, especially when you are going to go shopping again next week?  Not to mention while there are starving people in the United States.
My hat is off to Nathan, the guy featured this week, who is donating over 50 thousand dollars worth of various products to charity.  He is making care packages for our military men and women who are currently  over seas.  He is working on 1000 care packages, to send over to the troops who are away from home and their families.  I know they will love and appreciate Nathan's efforts to show support to and for them (our troops). 
I personally would love to see more of this on TLC.  Show the extreme couponers, but show them giving back to their communities as well.... that is a much better show.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Biggest Wastes of Money

I have decided that two of the biggest wastes of money are breast augmentation and hair extensions.  In this day and age of  the Victoria Secret Miraculous Push-up Bra and all the other brands out there you can add 2 full cup sizes.  The bra's wash and wear well and according to a study in April's ShopSmart.... the testers were pleased with the results.  The other bra's that made the list were Lily of France, Maidenform, and Wonder Bra.  Seriously ladies, with results like these and the prices are between 30 and 65 dollars....  Why would you spend thousands for a surgery???? 
Now, lets talk hair extensions.  I just can't see paying hundreds of dollars for hair extensions.  I do understand that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances such as cancer, or special occasions when you want a pony extender.  But I really feel that the price and the expense of the upkeep are a waste of money.  What ever happened to wearing your hair up if you were having a bad hair day?  There are tons of cute barrettes, claw clips and pony tail holders available for 5 bucks or less. So put on that push up bra and put your hair up.... and stop wasting your hard earned money..... you may even have a new outlook on life. 

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Re-Focus and Re-Organize

It is time for some adjusting on my part. I just rotated on the graveyard shift at work, my first week and it has pretty much kicked my butt.  I have been tired all week not to mention recovering from a nasty spring/winter cold, and sinus infection.  I spent my Birthday in bed sick, so that was a drag.  I have not had much energy for house cleaning, laundry or meal preparations.  So, this weekend I am going to get my house and my life in order so I can get ready to head back to work.  I will spend today scrubbing my house, and going through the freezer to take inventory and see what can be made in the crock pot, while I am sleeping during the day. This seems to be the most effective way for me to remain frugal and cook delicious meals at home for my family and to be able to take the left overs for my lunches.  Sometimes it seems like being organized is so overwhelming.  But, that is what I need to do.... re-focus and re-organize. 

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

These are truly the best Peanut Butter Cookies you will ever eat!!!  I got this recipe off the back of a jar of Jif peanut butter...  you can seriously use any brand of peanut butter as well as any brand of shortening and flour.  I have used it with butter cubes as well and the cookies turn out just fine.  I think the secret here is the brown sugar, these cookies are just so moist and delicious. 

INGREDIENTS:3/4 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter

1/2 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks All-Vegetable Shortening

Or 1/2 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening

1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:1.HEAT oven to 375°F. Combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add egg. Beat just until blended.

2.COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2-inches apart onto greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly in a crisscross pattern with tines of fork.

3.BAKE one baking sheet at a time 7 to 8 minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gas Saving Tips

A big huge THANK YOU to Christian for sharing these FABULOUS tips for saving gas.  With the price of gas it is important to make your dollars stretch as far as they possibly can. 

75 Gas Saving Driving Tips

Posted: 03 Apr 2011 07:00 AM PDT

This article was originally published on May 27th, 2008, but we thought it was worthy of republishing. Enjoy!

It goes without saying that gas prices are making everyone’s financial lives a bit more “interesting.” I am hearing rumors that it could be as high as $5 a gallon this summer. So I scoured the Internet looking for the best tips I could find to save gas and here is what I found….

THE MOST EFFECTIVE GAS SAVING TIPS did a real-world test of a few of the common gas saving tips to see how they stacked up and these were the tips they found to be most important.

1. Stop Aggressive Driving

In their road tests this was the most important factor in saving gas. They found up to a 37% savings with an average of 31% savings. That is like getting $4.00 gas for $2.69 – it sounds like a no-brainer, but I am still amazed at how many people still drive like they just robbed a bank. Edmunds says, “If you slowed your 0-to-60-mph acceleration time down from your current 10 seconds to a more normal city pace of 15 seconds, you’ll feel the savings immediately.”

2. Drive Slower

This one is a difficult one to get used to. Personally, I find that I am just more comfortable driving at certain speeds. 55mph on the highway isn’t in my comfort

zone, but I have tried to make a point to drive 5 mph slower than I used to and believe it or not I am getting used to it.

Their test consisted of driving 50 miles on cruise control at 75mph and 65mph. They found that by driving slower you can save up to 14% with an average of 12%. Not to mention the savings from not having to pay speeding tickets.

3. Cruise Control does save gas

In my research to find all these gas tips, I found that there is some debate on this issue, but I think I am leaning toward using cruise control – I think it depends on the type of driver you are and the size of engine you have. But for most people, in my humble opinion, I think you would save more by using it.

Edmunds was surprised by the effectiveness of using it. They got up to 14% savings on gas with an average savings of 7%. That would equate to about a 25 cent discount on each gallon. The exception to this is for mountainous driving. It will try to keep you up to the speed you’ve set and will use a lot of extra gas downshifting to lower gears to accomplish this.

4. Avoid Excessive Idling

Another one they found to be important is not to idle very long. They said that by avoiding excessive idling you can save up to 19% on fuel consumption. They suggest that if you are stopped for longer than a minute to shut down the engine.


5. Should you use A/C or windows to save gas?

This is another hot topic among the gas-saving tips. A/C’s have become more efficient over the years, but they do put a strain on the engine. And of course having the windows open will create more wind-resistance than not having them open. But, their tests found no measurable difference in fuel consumption.

Personally, I love having the windows open. But another thing to consider is the health factor. If you are driving in a lot of traffic, you may be breathing a lot more of the exhaust by having the windows open. Many cars have cabin air-filters that (at least try to) filter the air that comes in to the car. I don’t know how well they work, but I would think it is better than not having a filter at all.

6. Checking Your Tire Pressure

Keeping your tires properly inflated is another common gas saving tip. They say they saw no measurable difference on this test. They still recommend keeping them properly inflated, but they say not to expect much savings.

I have been doing this one over the last few years. I thought I had an improvement each time I filled them to the proper level when they were very low. Since I didn’t measure it I am wondering if it was just all in my mind.

Other Gas Saving Tips


The art of driving to save gas

7. Drive steadily. Slowing down or speeding up wastes fuel. Also avoid tailgating – the driver in front of you is unpredictable. Not only is it unsafe, but it affects your fuel economy if he slows down unexpectedly.

8. When you see a hill ahead, build up speed before you reach it, then maintain your speed on the slope. Then coast down the other side.

9. Avoid accelerating when driving uphill. It uses a lot of gas. If your car has a display that shows your instantaneous gas mileage, try it out. You’ll see your mileage plummet — from 25 or 30 MPG… down to 6 MPG — or sometimes even as low as 2 or 3 MPG.

10. When driving, keep your eyes moving and your feet still! Keep your steering wheel still too. The more you weave back and forth, the farther your car has to travel and the more gas is consumed.

11. If you must stop for more than 30 seconds, don’t idle your car. The engine is more fuel efficient if your turn it off and restart it.

12. Avoid “revving” the engine, especially just before you switch the engine off; this wastes fuel needlessly and wears out the cylinders.

13. Eliminate jack-rabbit starts. Accelerate slowly when starting from dead stop. Don’t push the pedal down more than 1/4 of the total foot travel.

14. Avoid panic stops. When possible, coast to stops such as traffic lights.

15. Don’t forget to release the emergency brake before pulling away.

16. Exceeding 40 mph forces your car to overcome tremendous wind resistance. Never exceed legal speed limit. Primarily they are set for your traveling safety, however better gas efficiency also occurs.

17. Traveling at 55 mph give you up to 21% better mileage when compared to former legal speed limits of 65 mph and 70 mph.

18. Use only your right foot for accelerating and braking. That way you can’t accidentally ride the brake and use excessive gas. The slightest pressure puts “mechanical drag” on components, wearing them down prematurely. This “dragging” also demands additional fuel usage.

19. Manual shift driven cars allow you to change to the highest gear as soon as possible, thereby letting you save gas if you “nurse it along”. However, if you cause the engine to “bog down”, premature wearing of engine parts occurs.

20. Shift into high gear as soon as possible. If you have automatic transmission, lift your foot from the accelerator about one second early.

21. Automatic transmissions should be allowed to cool down when your car is idling at a standstill, e.g. railroad crossings, long traffic lights, etc. Place gear into neutral position. This reduces strain on the transmission and allows it to cool.

22. If you have a manual transmission and want to save some gas, you need to shift up early and shift down late. Traveling at fast rates in low gears can consume up to 45% more fuel than is needed.

23. Pass other cars as soon as you see you are overtaking them. Don’t wait.

24. Stoplights are usually timed for your motoring advantage. By traveling steadily at the legal speed limit you boost your chances of having the “green light” all the way.

25. When you use overdrive gearing, your car’s engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.

26. Turn off the A/C five minutes before you reach your destination and don’t keep it working until the last second.

27. Park your car in the shade if you can and crack your windows to allow air to circulate in the car, so you won’t have to keep the AC working as hard when you go somewhere.

28. Park car so that you can later begin to travel in forward gear; avoid reverse gear maneuvers to save gas.


Thinking to save gas

29. Before getting into your car, ask yourself “Is this trip really necessary?”

30. For short trips, try walking or bicycling. It’s good exercise.

31. Consider car-pooling and share the gas bill. Car pools reduce travel monotony and gas expense, assuming all riders chip in to help you buy. Conversation helps to keep the driver alert. Pooling also reduces traffic congestion and gives the driver easier maneuverability. For best results, distribute passenger weight evenly throughout car.

32. Organize activities and perform as many errands as possible in one trip. Make a list and do all the grocery shopping once or twice a week.

33. If possible, avoid driving during rush-hour & other peak traffic periods.

34. Do they deliver? Let them pay for the gas! Try mail order firms, too.

35. Let the kids run some of the errands. Let them walk to school, too.

36. Better planning reduces the need for speeding to get there in time.

37. Shop around for service stations with the lowest gasoline prices. – also use GASBUDDY!!

38. Keep tuned to radio traffic reports & avoid traffic jams and other delays.

39. Public transportation may be cheaper, especially when you are traveling alone.

40. Pack as little in your car as necessary so it has less weight to carry.

41. Avoid rough roads whenever possible, because dirt or gravel can rob you of up to 30% of your gas mileage.

42. Avoid heavy traffic and lots of traffic lights. The shortest route is not always the most fuel efficient if you have to stop a lot.

43. Use alternate roads when safer, shorter, straighter. Compare traveling distance differences – remember that corners, curves and lane jumping requires extra gas. The shortest distance between two points is always straight.


Look for high MPGs

44. If you are in the market for a new car, you definitely should consider fuel efficiencies. Consider a hybrid just for the better fuel economy if I weren’t in the market for a new car. You can easily calculate how much money you would save a year and weigh that against the cost of the car (plus the potentially higher maintenance cost).

45. In hot climates, drive a car with light colored exterior and interior, to reflect light, heat. Tinted glass also prevents heat buildup. Stay away from Black! I have owned black and beige cars and I can tell you that black cars get a lot hotter than lighter colors. Therefore with a black car you will need to use the A/C more often.

46. Operate as small a car as possible for your driving needs. (Small cars weighing half as much as large cars use about half as much gasoline!)

47. Avoid cars with gas-consuming options such as air conditioning; power equipment such as window, door locks, etc.; automatic transmission, etc.

48. When buying a new car, keep in mind that a sunroof helps disturb smooth air flow (and gas mileage).

49. It’s not commonly known, but Diesel engines can give you a much better gas mileage than Hybrids on long distance drives. That’s one of the reasons, hybrids aren’t popular in Europe but Diesels are. The downside is that diesel fuel costs a good chunk more than unleaded right now.


50. Buy gasoline during coolest time of day – early morning or late evening is best. During these times gasoline is densest. Keep in mind -gas pumps measure volumes of gasoline, not densities of fuel concentration. You are charged according to “volume of measurement”. (I know the effectiveness of this one is debated, but it won’t hurt.)

51. Choose the type and brand of gasoline carefully. Certain brands provide you with greater economy because of better quality. Use the brands which “seem” most beneficial.

52. Avoid filling the gas tank to the top. Overfilling results in sloshing over and out of tank. Never fill gas tank past the first “click” of fuel nozzle, if nozzle is automatic. It could also leak or spill in heat or on a hill.

53. Set the Pump Trigger on lowest position.

54. If a gasoline truck is pumping into the storage tanks, don’t buy.

55. Don’t fill up unless you are on empty, since all this gas weighs a lot and more weight reduces efficiency.


Seasonal fuel-saving tips

56. Auto air conditioners can reduce fuel economy by 10% to 20%. Heater fan, power windows and power seats increase engine load; the more load on your engine, the fewer miles per gallon.

57. Use snow tires and/or chains as little as necessary because they make your car work harder and use more gasoline.

58. Remove snow tires during good weather seasons; traveling on deep tire treads really robs fuel!

59. During cold weather watch for icicles frozen to car frame. Up to 100 lbs. can be quickly accumulated! Unremoved snow and ice cause tremendous wind resistance. Warm water thrown on (or hosed on) will eliminate it fast.

60. Avoid prolonged warming up of engine, even on cold mornings – 30 to 45 seconds is plenty of time.

Maintenance tips

61. Keep wheels aligned for better gas mileage – longer tire life, too.

62. Make certain your gas cap fits properly.

63. Keep brakes properly adjusted. Dragging brakes increases resistance.

64. It’s not a bad idea to make sure there are no gas leaks. Gas spilling out on the road doesn’t help your mileage either.

65. Regular tune-ups ensure best economy; check owner’s manual for recommended maintenance intervals. Special attention should be given to maintaining clean air filters… diminished air flow increases gas waste.

66. Inspect suspension and chassis parts for occasional misalignment. Bent wheels, axles, bad shocks, broken springs, etc., create engine drag and are unsafe at high traveling speeds.

67. Inflate all tires to maximum limit. Each tire should be periodically spun, balanced and checked for out-of-round. When shopping for new tires, get large diameter tires for rear wheels. Check manufacturer’s specifications for maximum tire pressures.

Good idea adjustments to your car

68. Get a locking gas cap – stolen gas really hurts your MPGs

69. You can also try to reduce the mass of your car by emptying out the trunk and removing heavy items that you don’t need (keep your spare tire and car lift, but get rid of the gardening equipment). Extra weight reduces mileage, especially when driving up inclines.

70. If you drive a car with a car top carrier, bike rack, or really any thing attached to it, you may want to take it off to reduce air drag.

71. Remove vinyl tops – they cause air drag. Rough surfaces disturb otherwise smooth air flow around a car’s body. Remove items that cause wind resistance, such as luggage racks.

72. Use radial tires for less friction between tire and road. Radial designs are the recognized fuel-savers.

73. By using the recommended grade of motor oil you can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1-2 percent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1-1.5 percent.

74. Look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives

Advanced ways to save gas

75. Eco-tuning. Many tuners offer replacement chips for your engine computer that increase the power while at the same time saving gas. How? They improve both ends of the curve. At the upper end they give you more power (with reduced efficiency) and at the lower end a better efficiency. You choose with the gas pedal which mode to use. Make sure you use manufacturer approved tuners if you don’t want to lose your warranty.

76. Convert Your Car To Burn Water + Gasoline. This method consists of converting the water to HHO gas and then burning that in your engine as well as the gasoline. They say it can double your gas mileage. I am going to be testing this out on my car and once I do I will let you know what my results are.

77. Hypermiling. This is a series of techiniques that can be a bit excessive, but can really save a whole lot of gas.

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fabulous & Frugal Quiche

This is a Fabulous and Easy way to use odds and ends of Left-overs in your refrigerator to make something "new"

2 cups or 8 oz shredded cheese~ any type you like
1/2 cups of any add ins~ chopped ham or chicken, diced peppers, onions, chopped broccoli
3 eggs beaten
1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cup baking mix, such as Jiffy or Bisquick

Preheat oven to 400. Grease an 8x8 inch square glass dish or a 9 inch round pie pan.  Spread the cheese on the bottom of the pan....add any of the add ins listed above spread this over the cheese.  Mix the eggs, milk and baking mix together and pour over the cheese.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.  Allow to cool slightly and serve.

You can serve this for breakfast or with a salad for lunch or dinner.  Remember to take left-overs for your lunch.

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!!!

Frugal Dog Grooming

I am wondering if there is a such a thing as frugal dog grooming?  I have a 3 year old Chihuahua, her name is Daisi Mae.....  She is all of 6 pounds, but she is feisty.  She does not let me clip her nails, she will chew my arm off and she means business.  She will not wear cute clothes, or collars.  So it is a good thing she is micro chipped.  I have fought with her on grooming, especially her nails.  I came to the conclusion that it is traumatic for both of us.  I hate holding her down with a towel over her face so someone else can attempt the clippers, and hopefully not miss and hit her quicks because they just bleed and bleed, and she yelps and cries.  I can no longer deal with the anxiety involved in her bathing and nail trims so she is going to the professional groomer.  I figure it is less traumatic for both of us, Daisi gets all clean and pretty and her nails trimmed, and it is about peace of mind for me.  The most wonderful part is going to pick her up from the groomer, she barks and gets all excited to see me.  I have done nothing traumatic to her (laugh).... it was all the dog groomer.  I will get to snuggle with a clean dog today. And.....for me it is well worth the money!!!

Have a Fabulous & Frugal Day!!!