Sunday, August 29, 2010

Spa for Cheapskates -- Frozen Honey Mayonnaise Mask

This post was actually meant to be posted before the other Spa for Cheapskates post, but it got lost in the email somehow. So, you've been introduced to my wonderful SIL, Kilika, who does an amazing job of taking care of her home and family while still looking for opportunities to relax and pamper a bit. Being on a budget means looking for frugal ways to make it all happen. I hope you enjoy some of her ideas that I have convinced her to share exclusively here on Wannabe Cheapskate. Of course, I know you'll want to check out her own blog, beautyandinspiration, to get all her fabulous ideas!

Welcome to the Spa for Cheapskates! My name is Kilika (Driftwood Girl) and I am so excited about Barbie's suggestion for this series of posts on her money saving blog! I hope you'll enjoy our journey to discover beauty treatments from your kitchen cabinets.


Once a week, a new recipe will be posted for your very own homemade spa experience. Living on a budget doesn't mean you have to give up pampering yourself. So put on a chick flick or some soothing music, grab your favorite relaxing drink and get ready to check into the Spa for Cheapskates!


I found this recipe in a natural beauty book a while back but never tried it. No time like the present.


Today we're trying a Frozen Honey Mayonnaise Mask. You will need:

1 Tbs honey

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut oil or olive oil

Empty toilet paper tube



-In a small bowl, beat egg well, until frothy.

-Add honey and oil a little at a time and beat mixture until well combined. You should end up with a liquid the consistency of mayonnaise.

Um... my mix turned out way thinner than mayo, but seemed to slowly thicken up the longer I let it set.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_QfAN6kgYgh0/TEX5az-2pfI/AAAAAAAAHIQ/wEQ3D2Npud8/s1600/352.JPG



-Set empty toilet paper tube standing upright in the center of a separate small bowl.


-Carefully spoon the mixture into the toilet paper tube and plac

e bowl and tube in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

There has got to be a better way! I filled one tube only to have the mixture leak out the bottom, leaving my TP tube not quite full, sitting in a puddle of honey mayo.

I grabbed a new tube and kept pressure on it with one hand as I poured with the other.

After placing a heavy saucer on top to hold the tube in place it was time to place it in the freezer for several hours.



-When set, peel 1/4 inch of toilet paper tube from the top and smooth the frozen mask over clean face and neck.

Yeah. Peel off only a quarter inch of the oil soaked, frozen paper? So not happening.


-Remove the bowl, cover your newly frozen mask tightly with plastic wrap and store in the freezer. It should keep until you run out!

.

A zip top freezer bag works.




-Relax for 10 minutes and then remove facial mask with a warm dampened washcloth.



Don't forget to apply toner and moisturizer to finish off your pampering session!


This mask worked wonders on the dry patches in my combination skin. Lovelies with dry skin, this is definitely for you! I think it would be ideal for my skin in the winter, but I'm not sure how much I'd love the freezing cold mask then.


Don't forget, no matter how busy you are doing for others, it's definitely worth it, to take time for a bit of relaxation. Your improved mood will make everyone around you happier, and remind you what a beautiful person you are, inside and out. Happy pampering!


Visit Driftwood Girl's blog Beauty and Inspiration for more homemade spa treatments.


Barbie again. I just thought I'd let you know that the cost of this recipe is roughly $.60! It looks like this recipe will provide several uses, so maybe $.15 per treatment! Or you could have a girl's night out (or in) and have a mask for the whole group for around $.60. What fun this would be to make and use for a teenager girl's slumber party. Look for olive oil on sale at Publix. Often the 16 oz or 32 oz size of one brand or another will be on BOGO. I bought some pretty large bottles for around $3.50 or less when they were on sale. I didn't use a sale price in my calculations of the approximate cost of this recipe, so you could potentially make it for less than $.40!

Remember, the ideas that Kilika shares here on Wannabe Cheapskate are just for us! You'll want to check back sometime next week for another post and check out her blog for more amazing ideas for home and health!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Publix Savings as of 8/28

I don't have all my Publix receipts available. I am reporting on those I have available, and will try to do a better job of keeping track!

Here's my new total, including all the trips I reported here on the blog since the last update:

Amount spent: $575.77
Amount saved: $1,805.01
Percent savings: 75.7%

My goal is an average savings of 80%. I'm slowly improving and will get there eventually!

Saturday Savings, 8/28 -- Publix -- Saved 83%!

We started this weekend with $40 spendable cash -- boy, will we be glad to get to payday! In addition to the Publix shopping trip that will be the focus of this post, we were also able to do the following and still have a couple of dollars and some change left:

1. Breakfast at McDonald's on Friday before heading to work/school. (under $10)
2. An emergency run to Wal-Mart at 2:00 a.m. this morning to get Orajel for my poor tooth pain that was keeping me awake. (around $3)
3. Breakfast at McDonald's this morning. A much more relaxing breakfast today than yesterday. (under $10)
4. An $8 trip to Wal-Mart. We got 2 loaves of bakery bread from the reduced rack, a pair of pantyhose, a spare key for the front door, and toilet paper. Not a single coupon, so the checkout went smoothly. (sarcasm. :) )

Here's the rundown of our very successful Publix trip:

2 Cole's frozen garlic bread -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.79
Used 2 $.50 printable coupons from the Cole's website
Paid: $1.79 for both, or $.90 each!

2 Morningstar Farms entrees -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.99
Used 2 $1 printable coupons
Paid: $1.99 for both, or $1 each!

4 Totino's frozen pizza -- 4 for $5
Used 2 $1/2 printable coupons
Paid: $3 for all 4, or $.75 each!

2 Starbucks ice cream pints -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.91
Used 2 $1 printable coupons
Paid: $1.91 for both, or $.96 each!

2 Campbell's Select soups -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.45
Used 2 $1 printable coupons
Paid: $.45 for both, or $.23 each!

2 Yoplait Fiber One yogurt 4-pks -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.50
Used 2 $.50 coupons from the 8/8 RP
Paid: $1.50 for both, or $.75 each!

1 3-lb. bag Rico rice -- $.99
no coupon
Paid: $.99

6 assorted ramen -- 6 for $1
no coupon
Paid: $1.00 for all 6, or $.17 each!

2 Combat ant bait -- $3.69 each
Used 2 $2 printable coupons
Used 2 $3 coupons from the Yellow Advantage Flier
Paid: FREE! plus $2.62 overage!

2 Right Guard deoderant -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.99
Used $3/2 printable coupon
Paid: $.99 for both, or $.50 each!

Used $2 Walgreens Register Rewards

Total spent: $10.15
Total saved: $50.37
Total percent savings: 83.2%

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday Savings, 8/21 -- Walgreens and Publix

Oh, it feels like such a long time since I did a real shopping trip! The Lord provided some grocery money for us this week, so we were blessed to be able to hunt for (and pay for!) some great deals. I disliked the way the cashier handled the coupons, but I'll go into that later.

See hotcouponworld.com to search by brand to find where to get the coupons I used.

Walgreens:

2 Head and Shoulders shampoos -- 2 for $8
Used B1G1 coupon from 7/11 SS
Used $3 RR
Paid: $1.60 for both, or just $.80 each!
Received $2 RR!

Publix:

4 Barilla whole grain pasta -- BOGO -- 2 for $1.43
Used 2 $1/2 printable coupons
Paid: $.86 for all 4, or just $.22 each!

2 Special K protein snack bars -- 2 for $7
Used $1/2 printable coupon
Paid: $6 for both, or $3 each!

2 Special K cereal -- $4.09 each
Used $1/2 printable coupon
Used $1/2 Target coupon
Paid: $6.18 or $3.09 each!

6 assorted Hamburger Helper -- BOGO -- 2 for $1.99
Used 2 $.75/3 from the 8/8 RP or GM
Used 2 $1/2 Target coupons
Paid: $2.47 for all 6, or just $.42 each!

2 Juicy Juice 8-pk fun size drinks -- $2.15 each
Used $1/2 from the 8/1 RP
Used 2 $1 Target coupons
Paid: $1.30 for both, or just $.65 each!
(That comes out to an average of $.08 per day for Dianna's drink for school snack!)

1 Nature Valley Sweet and Salty Granola Bar -- $3.39
Used $.50 from the 8/8 GM
Used $1 Target coupon
Paid: $1.89

1 Nature Valley Granola Thins -- $3.39
Used FREE Publix coupon from a recent insert
Used $.75 from the 8/8 GM
Paid: FREE! plus $.75 overage!

2 Pepperidge Farms crackers -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.49
Used 2 $1/1 printable coupons
Paid: $1.49 for both, or just $.75 each!

4 Athenos feta cheese -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.49
Used 2 BOGO coupons from Facebook
Paid: FREE for all 4!

2 Kid's Cuisine fish stick meals -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.39
Used 2 $1 printable coupons
Used $1/2 Publix coupon from one of the back-to-school fliers
Paid: FREE for both, plus $.61 overage!

2 Pillsbury ready-to-bake cookie mix -- 2 for $5
Used $1/2 printable coupon
Paid: $4 for both, or $2 each!

1 Pillsbury Sweet Moments -- $3.19
Used FREE Publix coupon from a recent insert
Used $1 coupon from the 8/8 GM
Paid: FREE! plus $1 overage!

12-pk Publix bottled water -- $3.67
Used $2 Publix coupon from Fuel for School booklet
Paid: $1.67

2 Peter Pan peanut butter -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.67
Used 2 $.60 from the 8/1 SS
Used $1/2 from one of the back-to-school Publix fliers or booklets
Paid: $.47 for both, or $.24 each!

Publix brand sandwich bags -- $1.69
Used $2 Publix coupon from Fuel for School booklet
Paid: FREE! plus $.31 overage!

2 U by Kotex liners -- 2 for $7
Used 2 $2 coupons from the Walgreens August savings booklet
Used 2 $1 printable coupons
Paid: $1 for both, or just $.50 each!

2 Excedrin Migraine 24-ct. -- $1.49
Used 2 $1 printable coupons
Paid: $.98 for both, or just $.49 each!

2 Planters peanuts -- BOGO -- 2 for $2.99
Used 2 $1 printable coupons (I can't seem to find where this one is from.)
Paid: $.99 for both, or just $.50 each!

1 head of cauliflower -- $2
no coupon
Paid: $2

Tax was $.66

Total Paid: $32.59
Total Saved: $82.39
Total Percent of Savings: 71.6%

Okay, here's what I didn't like about the way the cashier dealt with the coupons. I offered them to her at the beginning of the transaction because I know that some cashiers like to see them up front. She immediately began separating them into stacks that didn't make sense at all to me. I had put all the coupons for a particular product together in my stack, but the products were in no particular order. She had at least one stack where she placed all the coupons for particular items together, but then she had other stacks of store coupons only or manufacturer coupons only, even if it meant that she split up coupons for the same product. It was crazy to me.
Then, she would scan some items, then ring some coupons. She went back and forth. She rang up some Barilla (not all), rang up 1 coupon, rang up Special K bars, then coupon, then coupon for special k cereal, then the cereal, then 21 more items, then 3 coupons, then item, coupon, item, coupon, etc. It didn't really seem to have any rhyme or reason. When she was done scanning the items, she still had a stack or two of coupons to scan. I am 100% sure that she moved two stacks that had not been scanned in front of her, then picked up one stack, scanned them, and placed them on the stack that she had not scanned. She then placed them all in the scanned stack before moving on to the last stack. I tried to tell her that there were some that she missed, but she didn't seem to get it. I paid at least $3 more than I should have, maybe up to $6 more.
I may be a crazy person for letting that bother me, but I spent the time to print and/or clip those coupons, and some of the items I purchased only because I had coupons for them. So, I'm irritated that April at the Bayou store handled it that way.
I learned a lesson though. I watched a Follow Me Monday video from hiptosave.com a while back, in which Collin answered a reader's question about how to make sure that all her coupons got scanned. Colin gave several ideas, but the easiest and least obtrusive one she gave was to simply count the number of coupons you have. If your receipt doesn't match that number, you could go to Customer Service to work it out. (They could pull the cashier's coupons and find which ones were missed.) It could be a bit of a hassle to get through, but I would be willing to go through that hassle since I already invested the time to prepare the list. In my description above, I counted 40 coupons. On my receipt, only 36 are listed.
I know that was a long rant, but it is frustrating!

Anyway, I still got some great deals. I'm thrilled with the Hamburger Helper -- Dianna says I make FAMOUS hamburger helper. (That means she likes it a lot. :) ) My favorite deal was the 2 boxes of Nature Valley for $1.14. Together with the juice boxes, I have 3 weeks worth of snacks for Dianna at school for just $.16 per day!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Spa for Cheapskates -- Cucumber Conditioning Treatment

My sister-in-law in Missouri, Kilika, has a wonderful blog -- www.beautyandinspirationblog.blogspot.com. She shares amazing ideas for home decorating and organizing, recipes, and the best home spa recipes EVER! Her ideas are so frugal, and they really work. I have been using her healing toner, her oil cleansing method, and her rice water toner for a while, and I'm hooked for life! I asked Kilika to share some frugal ideas for spa treatments here on my blog. Today she shares her cucumber conditioning treatment. I love the idea of using cucumber -- I don't like to eat the things, but I love how they smell. With the addition of the coconut oil, I think this would be such a nourishing treatment. Can't wait to give it a shot!


Cucumber Conditioning Treatment

1/4 cucumber, peeled
1 egg
1 half your broken egg shell full of olive or coconut oil

In a blender, mix all ingredients together until smooth.
Apply to hair.
Relax for 10 minutes while the mixture nourishes your thirsty hair.
Rinse thoroughly.

This is best as a treatment for hair damaged by constant exposure to sun and surf (or the pool!).
Use this conditioner to jump start nourishment for hair that stressed from enjoying the summer weather.

Have you taken time for yourself this week?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Spa Treatment Cheapskate Style

My SIL has a fantastic blog: www.beautyandinspirationblog.blogspot.com. You've got to check it out! I love reading her ideas for pretty-fying your home on a budget. Her recipes and kitchen ideas are fabulous, too. But what I really love is her Spa Night posts. She has come up with the most amazing concoctions. Seriously. I just did the Oil Facial Cleanse and the Healing Toner. I've got to say, I'm hooked. So easy, so frugal, so at-home fabulous! I can't wait to see continuing results, if I feel this much improved after just one try!
Get on her blog, become a follower. Immediately. You've already gone too long without her amazing tips. Leave a comment on your favorite post that you read on her blog and let her know that I sent you to her. I want to see lots of comments with my name in them. :)

Tonight's Frugal Dinner, 8/10



It's back to school time! Until the end of May, I'll be looking to make cheap and easy meals for supper. Cheap, because I'd rather save my money for vacation instead of paying top dollar for dinner out. Easy, because I have WAY too much to do during the school year to spend my evenings in the kitchen.
Well, school won't officially start for a couple of weeks yet -- we're just doing the regular teacher-prep thing. I still came home tired (I think I might be coming down with something. Sore throat for 2 days, coughing a bit. Shouldn't this wait until the school year starts and I spend my entire day talking to my class?) Anyhoo, I did an easy-way-out tonight: Hamburger Helper. We had the Crunchy Taco flavor. I used 2 boxes of HH with just 1 pound of ground beef. (Just helping to be frugal with meat, like I mentioned in this post.) I added in about 2/3 cup more rice and about 3/4 cup more water. The flavor was really great. I put the cheese sauce in the fridge as soon as I mixed it up, and it thickened considerably while the dish cooked. I was able to thin it out a bit by adding more milk. I probably should have thinned it more, but I was happy enough with the results. The kids enjoyed it and the grown-ups, too. Still no veggies in the house. We did have fresh pineapple to go along with our dinner, though, and the kiddos drank orange juice.
Here's the price run-down:

Ground beef: $2.00
2 Crunchy Taco HH: $1.34
Chips: $.50
Pineapple: $1
Rice: $.17
Milk: $.75
(The milk, chips, and pineapple came actually came to us free, but I'm trying to take into account what we would have paid for these.)
Total for 3 kids and 3 adults: $5.76

Tonight's Frugal Dinner, 8/9

No, we didn't eat a giant tube of raw meat for dinner! This is the way the meat comes when we buy in bulk. This is a 10 lb. tube. We splurged and used more than one meal's worth of meat last night. The rest went into ziplocs in meal-sized portions. We flattened them out and placed them in the freezer. I say "we" as if I had something to do with it. My wonderful husband does that job. He's amazing.
I was inspired to make my own taco seasoning after reading my sister-in-law's blog post here. What a frugal way to add flavor to our ground beef. This is a very mild recipe, which suits my family just fine.
Our menu was simple: taco beef, rice, cheese, salsa. We have been out of veggies for a while, and haven't replenished. Time for a trip to the farmer's market!
We even had dessert -- for the kids, anyway.

Here's the cost run-down:
ground beef -- $3.50
rice -- $.33
seasoning -- $.50
cheese -- $1
Salsa -- $.57
dessert -- $.75 (Blue Bunny novelties, $1 each; used $.75 coupon from All You = $.25 each)
Total for 2 adults and 3 kids: $6.65

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tonight's Frugal Dinner, 8/8

No picture today, but this meal was just as much a hit as last night's Chinese steak and rice.

We ate crockpot barbecue chicken and rice.

Uncle Ben's brown rice -- $.23

Chicken -- $4.00 or so
Barbecue sauce -- $.40

Applesauce -- $.20

Total for dinner for 2 adults and 2 kids -- $4.83!

Walgreens, 8/8

Dianna was my assistant again -- this time she took the picture. She's such a sweetie. I like her more and more all the time. :)

Heard about this deal at Walgreens; had to try it out for myself.

Secret deoderant -- on clearance for $2.29
Paid: $2.47 after tax
Received a $3 RR!


That's a pretty normal deal on deoderant, and I plan to take that $3 RR to Publix. With careful planning, coupons, BOGOS, and general craftiness, I can get up to $7 or $8 with that $3 RR!

Publix, 8/8 -- 78% Savings

My beautiful Dianna and I had a wonderful time shopping together tonight. She was very tired by the time we got home, but the sweet fellowship we had was worth it. As soon as we got in the car, she said, "Mom, can you teach me about something?" I asked her what she would like to learn about. She said, "The story I like best of all." I knew what story that was, but thought she would like to tell me. "Which is . . . ?" I asked. "The story of Jesus when he died on the cross. I just love that story," was her response, just as I suspected. So precious. So, I told the story, starting at the last supper. We stopped at Walgreens and had just gotten to the Garden of Gethsemane. We put the story on hold. As soon as we got back in the car after Walgreens, she reminded me to pick up where we left off. By the time we reached Publix, we had Jesus at Pilate's home. Same deal after Publix. Still in the parking lot, she began asking me to continue. We went right across the street to another Publix, and got Jesus buried. As we got out of the car, she told me that she loves to hear that story because it makes her think about Jesus and how much He loves her. By the time we reached home, we had made it through the rest of the story all the way to the ascension. She mostly listened quietly, but interjected with enthusiasm every now and then. She must remember the exact words her teacher has used in telling the resurrection story. She said about Judas, "He was just a pretender who didn't really love Jesus." It is such a blessing to see her passion for hearing the gospel. It reminds me of that old hymn "I Love to Tell the Story." You know, that verse that says:

I love to tell the story for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting
To hear it like the rest

She often asks for this story -- she really does hunger and thirst for it. So sweet.

Well, aside from sharing that special time together, we did get some shopping done. At first as we walked the aisles, it seemed like every deal I was looking for was either out, not valid for our area, or more expensive than the blogs reported. Oh, and I left the coupons in the printer for the one deal that was going to provide overage. All in all, then, I guess we did all right.

Here's the run down:

2 Sundown vitamins -- $2.99 and $4.99
Used 2 $1 peelies
Used $6/2 from the Green Advantage flier
Paid: FREE! plus $.02 overage!

4 assorted Juicy Juice -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.03
Used 2 $1/2 printable coupons
Paid: $4.06 for all 4, or $1.02 each

1 qt. buttermilk -- $2.15
no coupon
Paid: $2.15

1 large container Publix brand old-fashioned oats -- $2.99
no coupon
Paid: $2.15

1 Ritz Crackerful crackers -- $2.50
Used $1 from 6/6 SS
Paid: $1.50

Publix brand unsalted butter -- $2.99
no coupon
Paid: $2.99 (What, are we on a butter shortage or something? That's the second time in a row that butter has been that price. That is ridiculously high in my opinion.)

1 small container McCormick cream of tartar -- $2.69
no coupon
Paid: $2.69

1 bag celery -- $1.59
no coupon
Paid: $1.59

2 pks. Nestle refrigerated cookie dough -- BOGO -- 2 for $3.39
Used 2 $1 internet printables
Paid: $1.39 for both, or $.70 each!

Used $9.99 ECB that I got at CVS today.

Paid: $9.35
Saved: $33.53
Percent of Savings: 78%

Tonight's Frugal Dinner, 8/7

Here's the "before" picture of dinner.
Tonight, I made what my mom always called Chinese Steak and Rice. I thawed out a bag of frozen beef strips in the microwave. Part of the way through, I added a good bit of Ken's Steakhouse Teriyaki marinade. When it was thawed enough, I heated some canola oil in my cast iron skillet and tossed the meat in.
Here's the "during" shot. The rice pot is in the background. I didn't really make the boil-in-a-bag in the first picture. I made long grain rice, the kind that takes 20-25 minutes. We don't really care for the instant kind, like the one in the first picture. I just used it in the picture because 1) a bulk bin of rice wouldn't fit on the counter with the rest of the ingredients and 2) I did not want to show you a picture of my pantry. (It tends to stay mostly disorganized.)
Anyway, you can see the meat bubbling along. I just emptied the whole bag, marinade and all, into the skillet and let it do its thing.
After: The kids' plates are ready to go! Does it seem like they don't have much to eat? I was afraid it looked that way. We usually give small portions but allow seconds. The kids like to put their cups into the empty Mickey ear once dinner gets started. :)
WAY After: Dinner was a hit! Jarod gobbled his up! He asked for seconds of applesauce only.
I really think my Dianna is going through a growth spurt! She has eaten more than both boys put together lately! She asked for seconds of applesauce and beef.
I didn't take a picture of Ayden with his plate because he didn't finish his, and I didn't want to give the impression that it wasn't delicious! He ended up getting back up to the table and going at it again later. I think he managed to finish it all, just not as quickly as the other two.
Talani and I liked it, too. We managed to finish off the rest of the meat -- no leftovers!

Here's the breakdown of the costs:

About 1 1/2 lbs. of whole bottom round, bought from Publix -- $3.50
Rice, bought in bulk from Sam's Club -- $.30
Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, bought from Publix long ago -- $.30
Oil, bought from Publix long long ago -- $.10
Applesauce, bought from Publix not as long ago as I bought other stuff :) -- $.10
Extras, like butter, salt, and pepper -- $.25
We drank grape juice from frozen concentrate that we got for free!

Total cost for dinner for 2 adults and 3 kids -- $4.55

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Being Frugal with Ground Beef

I voraciously read the website www.thefamilyhomestead.com for a while, and tried to adopt lots of her ideas. I make my own laundry detergent now, because of this website. Reading Crystal Miller's site got me looking for other websites and I found www.passionatehomemaking.com, which I then voraciously read. These ladies are so good at being green and frugal. They both live in the Pacific Northwest where, it seems, organic and green items are easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Because of our geographic location and our chosen lifestyle -- i.e. too busy to do most of that stuff -- I've had to leave behind my lofty ambitions of making my own yogurt and bread regularly. That's special occasion stuff, now. However, Crystal from thefamilyhomestead gave one idea that I have really latched on to.
She uses meat as a flavoring to her dishes, not as the star. If you read her recipes, you'll find them heavy on beans, lentils, and whole grains, and light on meat. Now, I'll never get to the point of using meat quite so sparingly on the long term. Our family likes meat too much. Whenever we've been a little tight, I've been able to get in some light-on-the-meat dishes. But I don't think I'd have a happy family if I kept it up.
We have adopted her philosophy in a very minimal way, though, I guess you could say. We buy very lean ground beef once a month. We usually buy around 10 pounds and pay just under $20 (like $19.69 or $19.80). My husband does the lovely job of dividing the meat into ziploc baggies for easy use. Instead of dividing the meat into 10 bags (about 1 lb. each), he purposefully divides it into 11 or 12 bags. So, instead of getting 10 meals out of one meat purchase, I get 11 or 12.
I may never get to the point that I use 1/2 lb. instead of a pound, like the authors of those blogs I read, but we are stretching the meat a bit in a way that doesn't make the family feel like they are doing without.
So, in this post, I guess there are two ideas in one. Try to stretch your ground beef by using less than called for in recipes. You can go the easy route, like me, and get just a little extra out of your purchases. Or, you can cut WAY back and save big time!
By the way, don't tell my husband, but I hope that someday we'll be making 15 baggies of meat from our 20 pounds. If we keep stretching just a little further each time, we'll make it. The evolution of a cheapskate. :)

Tonight's Frugal Dinner, 8/5

Had to be quick tonight, since I still have TONS of work to do to finish off my course assignments. Summer Seminar has to be the easiest of grad courses, right? Well, if my work ethic in this course indicates how I'll do over the next few years, I am in BIG trouble.

Anyway, our quick dinner tonight consists of a double batch of Philly Cheesesteak Hamburger Helper and oven baked french fries. We'll probably have some applesauce alongside.

Here's the cost breakdown:

2 pkgs. ground beef -- about $3.60 (I probably should have just used one pkg., but my husband will like the "extra" meat. ;) )
2 boxes Hamburger Helper -- $1.50
1 bottle of applesauce (we won't use the whole thing) -- $.20
1 bag of frozen fries -- $0 -- We received this bag of fries in a box of Angel Food that we bought in MAY 2009. I refuse to count the cost of something we have had in the freezer for over a year. Plus, the box cost $30 and came with a lot of stuff. I have no way to figure the cost of just the fries.
We'll use ketchup, no doubt. I don't know how much we paid for that, but surely we won't use more than $.30 worth.

So, the grand total for tonight's dinner for 3 adults and 3 kids -- $5.60!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tonight's Frugal Dinner, 8/3

We went to Whataburger for dinner tonight . . . free Whataburger when you wear orange, between 5 and 8 this evening, to celebrate Whataburger's 60th birthday! We bought 4 drinks -- which is unusual; we usually share with the kids --and 2 large fries. We paid $10.74 for a FEAST! We couldn't finish it all!