Monday, February 27, 2017

More posts coming soon

Hi everyone!  More great posts will be coming soon.  I will be off line for a couple of days due to the fact I will be having a lung biopsy.

I have had a mass show up in my right lung and liver at the same time and things don't look good.  However, do not fret as I am at peace and am willing to take on whatever is put on my plate.

Please be patient with me for a couple of days as I will have to stay overnight after my procedure.

I am so proud of this site and do not want to loose any of my wonderful followers.

Love to all


Friday, February 24, 2017

How to save $5,475 a year

Where can you cut corners?

The first step to living a frugal lifestyle is to know what you can cut out of your budget. The biggest waste of money is going out to eat. If you can stop eating at fast food places you can save an average of...wait for it... $5,475 per year.

Average Meal Cost $5.00 x 3 meals a day x 365 days = $5,475.00

Believe it or not using $5.00 per meal is a low average if you are eating fast food.

So what can you do with an extra $5,475? How about making much needed home improvements or purchasing a better vehicle. You can always stick this in the savings account for any emergency as well.

Healthy Eating

People who live a frugal lifestyle have gardens. You don't have to have a huge garden to be frugal. Even if you grow an herb garden or a kitchen garden you are saving money.

Once you stop eating out at restaurants and start cooking at home you will be surprised at not only your wallet having extra money but your meals will be much healthier.

Stop eating Prepared Foods

Canned, boxed and frozen foods are filled with nothing but poisons. Yet I always hear "but it's convenient". Yes, making a meal out of a box such as the "Helper" boxes is convenient, however, did you know that you can make homemade dinners just like in the box without the amount of additives?

Stop Making Excuses

"I don't have time to make a meal"
"I don't have the energy to make a meal"
"I'm single why should I cook?"

Once you get over this huge hurdle of making excuses every time a homemade meal is mentioned and start cooking real homemade meals you are on the way to becoming Frugal.

Let me know what you think?  Let's Discuss.

(c) 2017 M Sargent All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tuna Contains Gluten

Soy in Tuna?

I was in the store the other day and picked up a single serve packet of tuna.  Not that I really eat tuna but I was having a craving for it. As I looked at the back of the single serve package I noticed it was made with Soy.  Every tuna packet or tuna can I picked up had soy.

Not Gluten Free

Tuna is not a good food to eat if you are trying to stick with a Gluten Free diet.

Vegetable Broth 

This is where the Soy comes in at.  Vegetable Broth, which was also listed, is used to cook the tuna in processing for packaging. Soy is commonly used to help make the Vegetable Broth.

Albacore Tuna

Albacore Tuna is a species of tuna that provide white flaky meat and is packaged as "White Meat". Non White Meat tuna  or "Chunk Light" is the product of the Skipjack fish; a smaller species of tuna and very abundant. The Skipjack tuna that is packaged is "Chunk Light" and is a darker and rather mushy meat instead of flaky.

Mercury Levels 

Unfortunately, Albacore Tuna is known to have large quantities of mercury.  The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has put out a consumption warning stating that one should eat Albacore Tuna only 6 ounces per week as it has .35 ppm (parts per million) versus 12 ounces of "Chunk Light" tuna consumption with .12 ppm of mercury.

Mercury is a poison to our bodies and our bodies process mercury slowly.

In conclusion, if you are on a gluten free diet check the label of your tuna packet or can.  If you see "Soy" run.  Unfortunately, the only way to get tuna that does not contain soy is to google your area and see what is available either online or at a organic store. Tuna that does not have soy is very expensive running $6 for a small can.

If you use Worcestershire Sauce, Mayonnaise and Soy Sauce these include Soy as well.  

Frugal Living is a Commitment

Frugality is A Way of Life

Living a frugal life is pinching as many pennies that you can.

Living a frugal life is making the best out of what you have.

Living a frugal life is helping your neighbors, community, co-workers.

Living a frugal life is a commitment to yourself and your family. A life commitment like a marriage between you and your way of life.

Living a frugal life means to not boast about helping others.

Living a frugal life means looking at something that may be trash and figuring out a way to recycle, reuse and re-purpose.

Living a frugal life is being thankful for what you have instead of complaining of what you do not have.

Living a frugal life is living a simple life.

Living frugally is not for everyone. There are still many people in this world that love their materialistic items. Even if you do make a lot of money you don't have to show it off with a fancy house, cars and clothing. If you live a frugal life you will never have a chance to want because you will have everything you need.

(c) 2017 Copyright Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Dehydrating Frozen Vegetables

2 Bags of Frozen Peas equals 1 Qt Dried
Keeping Frozen Food Edible

Why would you want to dehydrate frozen vegetables? Well, this is because even though frozen vegetables are flash frozen they can still become freezer burned.

Save your Vegetables

We all get a frozen bag of mixed vegetables or peas lost in our freezer.  When we finally find that lost bag of once perfectly good frozen vegetables it ends up looking like this.

A freezer burnt glob of vegetables that will taste terrible. Next step is to throw away a once perfectly frozen bag of food.

Purchase - Thaw - Dehydrate

If you have a small freezer this method of preserving your frozen vegetables is perfect and there will be no more food waste.

Once you purchase your frozen bag of mixed vegetables or peas (I mention the mixed vegetables and peas because they dehydrate the best. Although all vegetables can be dehydrated.) open the bag and pour the contents into a colander to thaw and drain off the water.

Once the vegetables are thawed simply spread them out inside your dehydrator and start the dehydrating process.

Note: Vegetables are safely dehydrated when they become hard

After the dehydrating process simply place your dehydrated vegetables in a canning jar making sure the lid is tight.

*You are saving money by not throwing out perfectly good food that was forgotten in the freezer.

*You are getting rid of any bacteria on the once frozen vegetables.

*You are making space in your freezer for other items such as homemade meatballs.

(c) 2017 Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved

Cook Grilled Cheese with Mayonnaise

Use Mayonnaise not Butter

I bet you did not know that the best way to cook your grilled cheese sandwich is with mayonnaise.

No More Ripped Bread

We have all done it. Try to spread butter or margarine on our bread and we end up with ripped slices of bread. This is because the butter or margarine is just not soft enough.

Better Taste and Even Cooking

Using butter or margarine to spread on our bread for our grilled cheese will also not spread evenly over the entire surface of the slice of bread. This makes uneven cooking and mushy uncooked portions of our grilled sandwich.

Mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip) will evenly spread on your slice of bread reaching the entire surface.  You will get even cooking and the mayonnaise will turn your grilled cheese sandwich or any grilled sandwich into a gourmet sandwich.

Try it and I guarantee you'll love it.  Not to mention you are using your mayonnaise and not letting it go rancid in your refrigerator and you are sparing your butter or margarine for cooking other foods.

(c) Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved 

Keep Cooking Pans Clean

Clean the Bottom of your Pans

We cook and we clean our pans, however, how often to you really clean the bottom of your pans? I mean scrubbing the bottoms to get rid of built up grease? Far too often the bottom of our cooking pans seem to be forgotten.

Once they turn black with cooking grease and drippings have you ever noticed that your burners smoke? Well that is because the heat on the pan is baking on that already baked on grease.

By using a green scrubbing pad and some 'elbow grease' every time you wash your cooking pans always take the time to clean off the bottoms and remove all cooked on grease.

This will enable more even cooking in your pan plus you will not have 'burn spots' on the inside of your pan. No more smoking burners while you are cooking making your food and home taste bad.

Take care of your cooking pans and they will take care of you. Once you clean the bottom of your pan make sure you keep it clean every time you wash it.  If you keep your pans clean in this way you will always be cooking cleaner and you won't be wasting money by having to purchase new pans.

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Bald Eagle

Female Bald Eagle

I just had to share my photograph with my Frugal Bible fans. I live four blocks from the Missouri River where there is no lack of graceful and beautiful wildlife.

Being frugal is part of enjoying nature. We need to take the time and appreciate the little things in life. Watching nature is relaxing and we all can learn by watching natures wonders. 

(c) 2017 M Sargent All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Health Benefits of Crafting

Health Benefits of Crafting

Crafting slows down our blood pressure which in turn slows our heart beat and helps to prevent a heart attack or stroke.  Crafting is calming because you are doing something that you love to do. While you are crafting your mind is only concentrating on your craft and not the upsetting world around you.

Make an allotted time each day to concentrate on your crafting. You can knit, make jewelry or crochet while you are watching television; so you do have time to craft.

While you are crafting teach your children to craft. Make it a family affair.  The family that crafts together is a family that is enjoying each other.

Selling your Crafts

There are many ways you can sell your crafts to make some extra money.

  • Go to Craft Fairs
  • Sell on
  • Sell on Facebook
  • Sell on
  • Make your own website to sell your crafts
  • Sell at your own yard sale
Making money is always a good thing. Staying healthy is a better thing. 

Are you crafty?   What do you make?

(c) 2017 Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Saving Money with Bulk Hamburger

Purchasing Bulk Hamburger

Purchasing your hamburger in bulk is cheaper than purchasing it in one pound packages.

My grocery store grinds up steaks and roasts that they can no longer sell, however, the meat is still good. Selling the newly ground hamburger for $1.99/lb (per pound). They also sell the chubs of hamburger but personally, I would rather have the fresh ground since it is healthier.

Ask your local grocery store if they have any freshly ground hamburger they will sell in bulk as you can purchase it for $1.99/lb (per pound) and you know that you are getting freshly ground steaks and roast instead of manufactured hamburger.
Cooking the Hamburger

Scramble your hamburger with the spices that you like such as onions and garlic. Once each pan is scrambled drain the grease from the cooked hamburger in a colander.
Note: After each cooked pan stir the hamburger together. This way all the spices will mix together and it will cool faster.

Wait until all of the hamburger has drained and completely cooled. If your hamburger is not completely cooled it will cause condensation in your bags which will invite bacteria to grow. 
Cool and Bag

Once Cooled place in quart size freezer bags. I like to put three slotted spoon fulls in each bag.

Making sure the cooked hamburger is evenly in the freezer bag and fills the corners, tightly roll the bag from bottom to top squeezing out excess air. This will ensure your cooked hamburger does not develop freezer burn.

Once you have all of your bags filled and rolled tightly you can now place the individual smaller bags inside of a gallon freezer bag. This way you just have to pull out one bag for your individual meals. Mark the outside of the larger bag so you know what it contains.

Note: Placing the smaller bags into a larger freezer bag also ensures that you have your cooked hamburger all in one place and it is easily found.

Original Purchase                             

7.61 pounds
$15.14 total cost

I ended up with 10 bags of cooked hamburger
$15.14 divided by 10 = $1.51 per bag per meal

Had I purchased a smaller amount of raw hamburger the cost would be nearly $4.00 per pound.

Note: You can purchase bulk hamburger and repackage it raw. However, I have found that doing this will cause freezer burn much quicker than cooking the hamburger before hand and then freezing it.

You can also make pre-cooked meatballs. Freeze them individually on freezer paper. Once frozen place the desired amount of pre-cooked meatballs in smaller freezer bags repeating the steps above for storage.

Making your own meatballs and freezing them is so much healthier than the "mystery meat" meatballs you purchase in the freezer section of your grocery store.

I hope this article was a big help.

(c) 2017 Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 6, 2017

Consolidate your Family

Do you have a large house

You may have a large house or an extra bedroom or two.  Why not invite your older children to come back home to live.

Rules would have to be set such as paying rent, sharing utilities, sharing groceries and sharing maintenance expenses.

There are many adult children who are finding it very difficult to be able to save enough money to pay their bills while living on their own. Through consolidating your family once again and with your adult children having a full time job why not consolidate.

Saving money and sharing expenses is a frugal way of life in these current times. It is simple, if your adult children do not want to pay rent or part of the utilities and groceries then they will just have to learn to live on their own.  Right?

Through letting your adult children move back in with you you are saving money and they are saving money so they can be better off living independently.

Aging Parents?

You may consider either moving into your aging parents house or visa versa. This will save money especially if your parents have paid off their home as there will be no mortgage. However, you would have to chip in and take care of your parents which in turn will save money by not putting them into a nursing home.

The money you would normally be paying for your own mortgage can be used to help with maintenance on your parents house, sharing expenses and utilities and groceries.  Your parents took care of you, why not take care of your parents.

Something to consider.  What are your thoughts? Let's discuss.

(c) 2017 Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved

How to Save by Commuting to Work

How You can Save by Commuting

Commuting to work is costly. You are spending more money in fuel, maintenance and tires on your vehicle. Plus there is more pollution going into the atmosphere.

Have you ever calculated what you are spending by driving by yourself everyday to and from work?

Here is a website that will help you calculate what you spend each year in fuel. You will have to add in maintenance and tires.

Carpooling or Ride Sharing

Even if you do not have a fellow employee who lives near you you can easily carpool or ride share with others.

Take the Bus

If you are just going to and from work and considering you do not have to carry tools or groceries, why not take the bus.

Commuter Train/Light Rail

Most larger cities have commuter trains and light rail trains. All you have to do is drive a short distance to the train depot and take the train to and from work.

Ride Sharing for Grocery Shopping

We all have to go to the grocery store at least once a week or every other week to stock up on our groceries.  Why not take a neighbor with you?  Then the next week or so your neighbor will drive.

(c) 2017 Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 5, 2017

How to Cook the Perfect Egg

How to Cook a Boiled Egg

Eggs are a great source of protein and can be used in a variety of dishes. Here is how to make the perfect boiled egg. Plus this is a no-fat way to cook an egg.

  • Place the desired amount of eggs in a sauce pan 
  • Make sure the eggs do not have room to move around so the shell does not break
  • Cover the eggs with water so the water is 2" above the eggs
  • Add a pinch of sale
  • Bring the water to a full boil and then turn off the heat and set the eggs in the sauce pan aside
  • Set your timer for 10 minutes
  • Gently pour the eggs into a colander to cool naturally
How to Cook a Poached Egg

Poaching eggs is another great way to cook a no-fat egg. No butter or grease is needed. 

  • Bring a sauce pan filled with water to a simmer (bubbles are barely forming on the bottom of your pan)
  • Do not allow the water to boil or you will ruin your egg
  • Break a raw egg into a measuring cup (one that will fit the egg)
  • Gently pour the egg into the simmering pot of water
  • With a spoon gently push the white of the egg so the white stays with the egg
  • Set the timer for 2 minutes and remove your poached egg with a slotted spoon to drain the water away from your egg. 
The Perfect Fried Egg

What you see to the left are two over-easy fried eggs.  Over-easy means the yolk is not cooked. Well-done eggs are when the yokes are completely cooked and sunny-side-up eggs are when only one side of the egg is cooked and not turned over.  
  • You will need a non-stick frying pan or perfectly seasoned iron skillet
  • Add a couple of Tbl (tablespoons) of butter or vegetable oil. Personally I like my eggs cooked in butter as it makes them taste better
  • Melt the butter on low heat only and keep the heat on low
  • Crack your eggs into the melted butter or vegetable oil
  • When you see the whites cooking on the bottom flip your egg
NOTE:  When frying a perfect egg none of the egg should be browned. The whites should always stay white. 

Hope these tips help you out!

(c) 2017 Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved

How to save up to $700 per year

Reusable Water Bottles

Purchasing water in individual bottles is expensive. Not to mention throwing away the water bottles is adding to the landfills and polluting the Earth.

Purchase a BPA free resuable water bottle. The ones pictured here are made out of glass with a protective plastic cover.  By using reusable water bottles you will save an average of $240.00 per year.

LED Light Bulbs

LED light bulbs are green. Meaning they put out just as much light without the heat and without the extra energy.

LED light bulbs last up to 50,000 hours which equals 11 years. (using the light bulbs 12 hours per day)

LED light bulbs can save up to $70.00 per year on your electric bill.

Surge Protectors

Note:  Never plug in a space heater into a surge protector. The amount of electrical pull can cause a house fire.

We have surge protectors in our home to protect our electronics. However, did you know that even though your electronics are turned off your surge protector is still pulling electricity?  Turn off your surge protector when you are not home or when you go to bed and you can save up to $99.00 per year on your electric bill.

Chimney Caps

I see so many homes that do not have a chimney cap on the top of their chimney's.

A chimney cap not only is a spark arrestor, meaning it breaks up large sparks so your roof doesn't catch on fire. Spark arrestors also cut down on the amount of air coming down into the chimney and into your home.  Put a chimney arrestor on your chimney and you can save up to $300.00 in heating expenses per year.

There you go. Some energy efficient and Frugal ways to save money and cut down on your expenses.

(c) 2017 Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved

Shop Big Think Frugal

One Roast Multiple Meals

I certainly do not need to cook a 7 pound roast for just one person. However, purchasing one large roast yields several meals.

Price Per Pound

When shopping for meat look at the price per pound and compare this price with roasts that are pre-marinated. You will find that purchasing a larger roast will save you $1.00 per pound as the pre-marinated smaller roasts are more costly.

Several Meals out of One

Needless to say, a small family couldn't eat an 8 pound roast let alone one person.  The important thing to think of is you do not want to cook so much meat that you and your family will get sick of eating all week long and it will end up in the trash can.

  • Cut the roast into smaller roasts
  • Cook one for dinner
  • Freeze the rest
Since the Butt Roast had a bone in it I was only able to get 3 smaller roasts. Two of which ended up in the freezer for additional meals. 

By cutting the roast into three smaller ones each roast ended up costing me $2.94.  This is a huge savings.

Purchase large and save on your meal planning.

(c) 2017 Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 4, 2017

10 Ways to Use Homemade Stock or Broth

Homemade Stock or Broth

Making homemade stock, or broth, is extremely easy. I have written about homemade stocks in prior articles however, here is another rundown on how to make multi-use homemade stock.

Vegetable Stock

Gather your favorite vegetables such as carrots, onions, mushrooms, garlic and parsnips. Place them in a stock pot or even a smaller pot. Fill with water and once boiling turn down the heat to a simmer and simmer for about an hour.

Beef Stock

Using a beef bone simmer it in water for about 2 hours. It is perfectly fine to have meat on the bone and add additional beef if you have leftovers.

Chicken Stock

After roasting a whole chicken and eating what you want off of the chicken. Place the whole roasted chicken in a stock pot and cover with water. Simmer the chicken for about an hour and a half.

Of course you can add vegetables and spices if you are going to immediately use your stock to make a stew or soup.
If you are going to freeze your soup make sure you do not freeze any noodles as the noodles will turn to mush.

Uses for your Homemade Stock or Broth

  • When freezing your homemade stock, freeze one cup (1 cup) in individual freezer bags. This way you can take out as many cups as you need to use your stock or broth.
  1. Cook Rice and other grains for extra flavor
  2. Cook Noodles for extra flavor
  3. Cook Beans for extra flavor
  4. Use in mashed potatoes for extra flavor
  5. Saute' Kale or other greens
  6. Cook Couscous for extra flavor
  7. Warm and drink it when you are feeling ill
  8. Use to make sauces
  9. Use to make Clam Chowder or Oyster Stew
  10. Use to make homemade gravy instead of canned gravy
Homemade stock or broth is not only easy to make it is the best healthy choice for your died. Canned stocks and broths are full of sodium (salt) and other preservatives. 

Be Frugal - Eat Healthy - Life Healthy - Save Money

(c) 2017 Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved

Sometimes You Have To Start Over

Changing your Lifestyle

Living frugally means changing your lifestyle. Frugal living has to be a commitment that you make.

It is not easy changing from one lifestyle to another. However, it can be done. In order to save money for your future or retirement one must be able to see where they are wasting money and where they can save money.

You do not need to be materialistic to be happy. Being happy with what you have is a good thing. Making the most out of what you already have, learning how to consolidate and learning how to be self sufficient is not an overnight appreciation.

You have to want to be frugal as being frugal is a good thing. Living a frugal lifestyle will improve your health as you will have less stress. You will appreciate life and nature more. You will become creative in how to save money, reduce waste and you will be teaching your family the same values.

Living a frugal lifestyle is rewarding. Sometimes we have to start our lives over so why not start by learning how to be frugal.

(c) 2017 Michelle Sargent All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Being Frugal is Reaching the World! Thank You

Thank You World

United States

Today I have already surpassed over 1,300 views on my website. I have posted the breakdown above.

I am humbled by this traffic and I do hope I have help many in learning how to be frugal.

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