Frugal Tips

Tomorrow’s Frugal Tip Friday Topic

Tomorrow’s Frugal Tip Friday #2 topic is Homemade Cleaning Recipes. You can list as few or as many as you like. We’re going to be budget wise homemakers!

I have also added more Pinterest boards to Pinterest concerning being frugal. Actually I’ve got a LOT of Pinterest boards. I’ve been working on them for years.

office bulletin board

I really don’t engage much with FB or Twitter. And I never got going with Instagram.

So Pinterest is my thing. About a year ago I went into Pinterest and deleted many of the photos and boards because I was trying to streamline everything. And delete stagnant pins.

I tend to be as organized with my Pinterest account as I am with my apartment! If you’d like to follow along, here is the link to all my boards.

Below are what I currently have in the frugal budget category:

Frugal Gift Giving

Frugal Tips

Homemade Beauty Recipes

Homemade Cleaning Recipes

Lovely Reads Page Organization:

I have spent the past week working a few hours per day over on my Lovely Reads page at the top of my home page. The list was getting too long.

So I carefully went over each link and decided which I thought were the best ones. Then I went into HTML and categorized the blog links in sections.

Yes, that’s how much I love you all. I dove into the dungeons of HTML for a week.

I hope this more organized method will be of more use to you. Let me know.

Helping Jax:

At the beginning of the week, I went to get my hair cut at Super Cuts. That is when I know Jourdan is working. She is the young single mother trying to raise a son with all kinds of health issues. I think he is 5 now.

Anyway, the last time I was in there she had told me about the dog she rescued that has heart worms. She has been saving money to take care of this issue, which is deadly.

She has started the early treatment but is having trouble getting enough money to go the long haul.

Jax the dog

(Photo from Go Fund Me page)

Apparently she had saved quite a bit of the funds needed. Then recently this  Super Cuts got broken into. They stole all the equipment she had.

Do you know how much those scissors and razors and things cost? NOT cheap.

So she had to use the saved money to buy the equipment she needs to do her job.

The manager just quit due to a family health emergency. So Jourdan is now the manager. She got a raise from $7 to $9. I don’t know how on earth she manages to take care of her son on that kind of pay.

So many of you asked if you could help her. I asked her the other day and she already had a Go Fund Me account established for the dog, Jax.

If you’d like to contribute in any way, here is the link: Helping Jax

Something I Picked Up at the grocery store:

I went to the grocery store next to the strip mall with Super Cuts to get a few things Monday. I like to purchase their cooked pulled pork that will provide me with three suppers. It usually costs me between $3-$4.

Betty Crocker mashed potato mix

Betty Crocker mashed potato mix:

Then I walked through the store to pick up a few other things. I happened to be walking down an aisle and saw Betty Crocker mashed potato mix. It was on sale for $1 each and came in various flavors.

Back in the day (a long, long time ago) I remember buying instant mashed potato mix in a box and it tasted terrible. But what the hey, I decided to try this.

I fixed it for supper with my pork and some seasoned green beans Monday evening. Wow, it was good! I was completely surprised.

I refrigerated it and ate it for three more nights. It tasted just as good warmed up. I have enough for one or two more meals.

So I paid $1 for the potatoes that lasted at least three days. And $4 for the meat, which lasted three nights, plus a can of green beans, I had what I consider a frugal three nights of food. Oh, and a hot roll from Sister Schubert’s.

Normally green beans out of a can taste sort of bleh. But I seasoned them up with some of the seasonings I get from Trader Joe’s, and they tasted much better. I was a happy camper.

Have you tried these instant mashed potatoes? Tasted as good as any I’ve eaten anywhere else. Probably better than any I’ve cooked myself too.

The book I started last night on Kindle:

I started reading “Me For You” by Lolly Winston last night. I love her books. They are funny while at the same time telling tales of woe.

This author knows how to write about the mundane and manage to make it not only interesting, but very witty.

Me For You by Lolly Winston

You gotta love a book that begins like this…

Like a fool, Rudy spoke to his wife Bethany for probably ten minutes before he realized she was dead.

I was laughing before I finished the first paragraph. Because I can’t count the number of times I’ve started a sentence about myself with “Like a fool…”

My cat tore up the paperwork. Or my dog ate my homework:

In other news, I’ve been trying to sort out an appointment with a neurologist my regular doctor insists that I see for months now.

This is the one whose nurse practitioner ordered the neck injection. Which I would say finally helped a little bit. But I’ve never actually met the doctor.

You may recall I had an appointment with him a few months ago. After sitting in the crowded waiting room for about an hour, we were told the doctor was running two hours behind.

I got up and left. I couldn’t stand leaving Charlie for any longer for an appointment that was obviously going to take the whole afternoon.

So then I made an appointment for February 5. In the meantime, he had moved. They sent me papers to sign to release my chart, MRI, etc. But I can’t recall if I filled it out and mailed it.

I still have the letter telling me I need to sign a release, but Ivy has torn up part of it. Which leads me to think she might have torn up the rest of it and it is gone.

This isn’t: My dog ate my homework. It is: My cat tore up my paperwork.

But just a bit ago they called me and said I did indeed sign it and send it in. So Ivy just tore up the letter indicating I needed to sign a release.

Ivy & the chewy’s box:

Yesterday a box from Chewys arrived. Boy, they’re fast. I had just placed the order the day before.

Anyway, I left the box on the floor for Ivy to play with. Do you know what she loves most? The paper inside.

paper in box

At various times yesterday, and while I was trying to go to sleep last night, I’d hear “r—i—p.” Ivy is a slow ripper. She seems to enjoy the process and tries to make it last.

Ivy in box

What’s funny is that she gets about two to three feet from the box and then leaps into the air. She looks like she’s jumping off the diving board at the pool.

She soars through the air and lands in the box with a big thump. And then proceeds to r–i–p.

Then she jumps out and does it over and over again. The box goes sliding across the floor when she lands in it. This apparently gives her great pleasure.

Ivy in box

I don’t think Ivy is an ordinary cat somehow. I’ve had cats before. None were like this. Even as kittens they weren’t nearly as animated as Ivy is.

Was I meant to have this boisterous, silly, gets-into-everything cat to distract me a bit from losing Abi? I kind of have to wonder that. I’m not a big believer in things like that.

But Ivy…well, there’s no words to really describe Ivy.

Nathan just came by to get my keys to jump start his truck. He’s sick and going home. I told him to go in the kitchen and look on the shelves he built and grab a can of chicken noodle soup.

See you tomorrow for Frugal Tips Friday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I’m the opposite with the social media – I’m more into Instagram and not so much into Pinterest. I was on my boards the other day and saw how much they need cleaning up, but that’s on the back burner, as I have other more important things to attend to right now. That all said, I’ll go take a look at your new frugal boards. I know you’re good with these tips.

    Oh Brenda, I wish you wouldn’t eat those fake, packaged “foods”. Did you read the ingredients on that Betty Crocker potato package? There’s a lot more than just potatoes in there….including corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, artificial flavors, silicon dioxide, and sulfites – all terrible for your health. It’s also loaded with sodium. You could so easily take one or two potatoes and make your own mashed potatoes.

  2. Brenda, I can’t see or access the comments on your new Frugal Friday post today, nor do I see the print button you mentioned. Did something change? I’ve tried two different browsers.

  3. I love the photos and stories of Ivy, what a character. My pup Paris loves paper, if I am packing something and have a pile of brown craft paper she will jump into it roll around and then lay on her side as if she is swimming and kick her feet. So funny

    Great tips from everyone! I too love Pinterest, and love your boards.

  4. Brenda, I went over to help Jourdan and Jax. I used to be a vet tech and I know heart worm is serious. For her to take take Jax in and love him and be determined to help him says a lot. She’s at an amount that must seem so close yet so far. The sooner, the better for a good outcome so I hope people have it in their hearts to help if they can.
    Thank you for the updates on Charlie and Ivy. They always make me smile.
    I hope the chicken soup helps Nathan feel better. It always seems to for me.

  5. I have never written to a blogger before. However, I have been following your stories, hints, and wonderful advice. You have had your share of the “tough times” and that has given you such insight in others and their challenges. I admire your strength and compassion.
    Keep writing, it is helping so many, more than you will ever know. Thank you for being you. Betty Lou

  6. Hmmm….wondering about Ivy the Wonder Cat. Was she born on the same day that Abi died? Maybe she’s channeling some of Abi, in her hey-day. Some of the largest religions in the world believe in reincarnation: Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Personally, I keep an open mind when it comes to this. After all, nobody has ever come back and told us it ain’t so!

  7. I really love your blog. It has everything I love in a good blog: beautiful visuals in your photos, a good account of day-in-the-life adventures, practical information, book reviews, and those things related to the heart. Kindness is very important. You do all of that, and that’s why I love this blog!

    Your potato mix write-up would be a good start of a Frugal Friday tips for frugal food.

  8. Beauticians/hairdressers are like waitresses/servers and depend on tips to supplement the hourly rate they are paid (unless they own the business). Some receive commissions on the products they sell.

  9. If you do not drive your car often to recharge your battery, won’t the ongoing use of the jumper cables by Nathan drain your battery? Since he’s so helpful, I wonder if the tenants could chip in to get him a battery for his vehicle. Have you asked him how much a new battery would cost?

  10. Have you checked out frozen veggies? I can’t tolerate the canned ones because of too much sodium. And the mushiness. The instant potatoes on the other hand are quite tasty.

    Ivy is definitely a special cat and you may have something when you say she’s here to provide a welcome distraction from the loss of Abi as well as entertainment for Charlie, too. Life works in mysterious ways.

  11. Chicken soup has always helped my kids and me when we have been sick too. That will help Nathan get better faster! Good thinking!

    I always gave things to the 3 little neighbor kids that lived in an apt house near me. They didn’t have much to play with. Now they moved coz of their neighbors downstairs, into a very bad neighborhood. I worry about them often!

    Tomorrow will be interesting coz I’ve been using up my other products so that I can go more green. Now I won’t have to do so much research on it. Yay!

    I’m interested also, in finding out a lot more what oils can do for us…not cooking oils. ?

    I’m just so sad about what I read Monday. I can’t stop thinking about it!

    A 2 and a half yr old girl is found dead the next morning outside by the steps of the apt, in just her pjs, in 8 degrees below 0 weather!
    The neighbor woke up and heard a child whimpering. So she looked out her window and saw nothing and then went back to bed!

    Why oh why didn’t she go outside and look! That will haunt her for the rest of her life! Her boyfriend and her found her the next morning by the stairs frozen, when she went out to start her car! He was hoping it was a doll!

    The family just moved there over the weekend. She has a twin brother too! The mother…pregnant was sleeping when they banged on the door. She ran out the door and picked her up, but it was too late!

    The aunt told the news, that the little girl would wake up and walk around, but never went outside.
    Such a tragic accident! They showed a video of her, she was so adorable!
    I can’t stop thinking about it and crying…it just breaks my heart! ? RIP

  12. We have six cats and 3 of them are exactly like Ivy, they get into everything, they love tearing paper, jumping into boxes, taking things and hiding them in the strangest places. It looks like we just moved in around here because of the empty boxes that are scattered around the house so the cats can play. They have towers and lots of toys but the boxes are what they play with/in all of the time.

    1. Yeah, I guess it is. Like I’ve said, I’ve been working on it for years. Ever since Pinterest started out I suppose. I get a lot of referrals to my blog on it though.

  13. Thanks for posting the link to help Jax and Jourdan! I can’t imagine how she manages on $9 an hour. Makes me count my blessings.

    1. I know. When she said she’d been made manager, I thought she might have gotten a good raise. I had no idea she was only at $7 to start with!

  14. I love Chewy as well and with the free shipping, you can’t beat it. Miss Ivy is a hoot to read about and the things that don’t cost any money are always the best toys. How is Charlie today? I hope her nighttime antics don’t keep him awake; he needs his beauty sleep. Have a lovely evening!

    Carol and Molly

  15. Brenda, with a lifetime of loving and rescuing cats – currently six in residence – I can honestly say that Ivy is no ordinary feline! I am one of many who believes we are looked after from heaven and are sent help and guidance in ways we don’t always recognize. I think you were sent Ivy to help heal the pain of Abi’s loss, and distract you from Charlie’s recurring health issues. I also believe we will one day be reunited with our pets in a “place without sorrow or tears.” I think we’ll both be in that place, and the two of us and our beloved pets will be friends for eternity there!

  16. Good afternoon hope your day is are going well Have you tried Idaho instant potatoes they also come in different flavors and are just great to buy. a bag of potatoes goes to waste they spoil before they are used up. Your fur babies are so special I believe things happen for a reason sometimes not what we like but in the long run when you look back it was a good thing Have a great day

    1. Idahoan instants are good, used to like “southern buttered” I believe. But ever since they came out with “classic mashed” marked w/ “new!’ on package, these are the best! Closest to the real thing and always a buck or 99cents. Can’t beat it!

      For change up to green beans, I drain a can (or two) and set aside. In fry pan goes a little EVOO, dried minced onion, real bacon pieces (packaged is fine) and slightly caramelize in small area of pan. Then spread mixture out and add drained beans, toss and heat and then sprinkle w/ dried basil for a twist and an extra toss and heat. Very delicious and frying the beans (sans all that canned liquid) seems at to bring out better flavor.

      1. Yes Idahoans are excellent. We like the Red-Skinned and the Classic Buttery.
        Re:Ivy-try cutting 1 or 2 small holes in the side of a box for her to poke her paw through and as a “peep hole”. You will have fun running the end of a straw over the hole with her reaching a paw through to capture it!

  17. Brenda you are indeed a kind person. Just think if everyone was so caring. I believe in karma and you will be blessed. I am using up all my chemical cleaners. I love using essential oils. As simple as it sounds, just by putting the oil on a small piece of felt and attaching it with a clothes pin to heat vent makes the room smell so good! My dog Kaia, won’t bother it but you know to be aware of your pet’s welfare.

  18. My mother taught me a trick with cooking canned green beans many years ago. After adding salt and either olive oil or butter, cook the beans until almost all the liquid in the pan evaporates. They taste so much better.

    1. I always skip a day and change food when I reheat them for left overs.
      Canned tomatoes and bacon make beans into a different dish. Bacon or bacon bits make everything taste better. A dietitian told my mother to add a little bacon, cream, or dried creamer to get food. A little fat makes you satisfied and not hungry longer.