Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tuesday's Thrifty Tidbits...a day late!

THRIFTY - Careful management especially of money 

TIDBIT - A choice morsel

 I was being so Thrifty that I never got around to blogging until it was time to make supper and even that was late!  Do you ever get involved in projects and the time just flies?  Well, that's every day for me! LOL!

THRIFTY TIDBIT #1 - Yesterday I set up a Monthly Bill Paying X-cel spreadsheet and a monthly budget sheet and  paid a few bills, used Clean Mama's check register free printout and also her printout that tells you how long to keep things.  I have a notebook now for my house keeping and for finances.  I don't want any surprises nor do I want things falling between the cracks.   I also partially set up a new file system which I will share with you when finished. 

 How to Set Up a Filing and Budget System that Really Works via Clean Mama

I've used Clean Mama for setting things up and Better Money Habits for a budget plan.  I've always been pretty good but "the times they are a changin" and bills that never used to fluctuate are going up all the time.  Buying groceries now is like going to Vegas...the odds are not in your favor.  For example my Terminix bill (bug and critter control is not an option in the South) has gone up $5.00 every year for the last 3 years.  They said it was gas prices....well, all those people that raised their prices because of the price of gas should be lowering them now, right?  NOT!  Anyway, I may go to a cheaper service, same for propane although most times I prefer to stick to name brand companies as their employees are bonded and they seem to be a little more adherent to state and federal laws and regulations.  These are all things you might consider when trying to be THRIFTY.

 Budget Worksheet and Bill and Payment Checklist via Clean Mama
 Clean Mama has printouts for all of these things but not all are free but hers are much prettier than my X-Cel spreadsheets.  

THRIFTY TIDBIT #2 - Start eating out of your freezer now.  When Spring arrives and you start going to the store or farmer's market and want to load up or harvest all that fresh produce for next Winter you'll have room.  Plus, it will allow you to save on groceries right now and save money for the seeds and plants you'll want in the Spring.   You'd be amazed what just a couple plants can produce and pesticide free!  I still have several bags of jalapeno's from 2 years ago.  When your bananas go bad just throw them in the freezer and use them for banana bread later.  One of the best tools for this is All Recipes    They have a tool where you can type in the ingredient you have...I happened to have some frozen drumsticks and it comes up with all the recipes calling for that ingredient.  Then you can narrow it down to all the 5 star recipes. I found this awesome recipe (awesome because I had it last night, I had all the ingredients on hand and it was easy to make and tasted wonderful)!


Oven BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Recipe by  
"A wonderful chicken recipe that can either be nice and gentle, or have a bit of a kick!"

Original recipe makes 3 servings Change Servings
  • PREP
    10 mins
  • COOK
    1 hr
    1 hr 10 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place drumsticks in a baking dish.
  2. Whisk water, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, butter, salt, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and chili powder together in a bowl; pour mixture over drumsticks. Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour, turning chicken about halfway through. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Cook's Note:
  • I usually cook the chicken 10 to 15 minutes longer to thicken the sauce. I like to pair this with mashed potatoes and drizzle a bit of the chicken sauce onto the potatoes. Also amazing with any seasoned rice. 
    You can create your own recipe box for free, make a grocery list for needed ingredients and read reviews by people who have made it.  I love Pinterest but I have tried a few of those"OMG! You HAVE to try this." recipes and they have not only been disappointing but I've wasted time and money.  All Recipes has never failed me just ensure there are close to 5 stars and lots of people have made it.

    THRIFTY TIDBIT #3 - Start cooking from scratch and stop buying "processed" foods.  Yes, they are easy and quick but they are also full of ingredients you can't pronounce (basically chemicals not real food), empty calories which give you 0 nutritional value and they cost a lot more. 
     Start making your own bread.  Mother Earth News    
    is a wonderful resource and if you click on the above link it will take you directly to the "easy peasy" no knead bread recipe that I've been using for years. They have a whole treasure trove of bread and no-knead recipes.  But there is so much more you can make from scratch and once you get in the habit it will become routine and you won't even have to pull out the recipe.  I don't think I "knead" (sorry, I couldn't resist) to tell you how good your home will smell and how much pleasure you will derive from eating it and knowing you made it yourself.  Once you start making your own bread you will never be able to look at store bought bread the same!
    I hope these tips were helpful as I only share what has proved useful and positive in my own life. 
     Happy Trails!


  1. Great ideas! I especially like the eating out of the freezer now. I don't know why I never put that together. We have so much in there that I could probably not buy anything other than fresh foods for months. Thank you for the great ideas.

  2. Thanks so much for the links...this is all such good information. And I still have a bread recipe from an OLD Mother earth news magazine that I should make again. It's a heavy breakfast yeast bread, that you slice thick, toast and serve as milk toast. Yummy! Thanks for the sweet birthday wishes today too! Hugs, Diane

  3. Good ideas Sam! We are working on that freezer situation, I finally made a list of all the meat in it so I can get it all used up before I buy more. I want to defrost my freezer before Raspberry picking time in July!
    That one chart for how long to keep stuff was interesting. I just got done shredding tax receipts for 2007 and 2008 so I guess I am up to date.
    Yes I should make some of that Bread in MEN :)

  4. great ideas..thank you so much for the link.
    have a lovely day x

  5. Such great reminders and tips.. thank for sharing.

    Ah.. cooking from scratch. That has to be my favorite tip!
    Our son has decided to start cooking for himself, and has had so much fun trying out new recipes.
    He told me that now he plans on having left-overs, so that he can eat them for his lunches at work the next day :)
    I'm so proud of him!



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