Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Instant Breakfast Drink Recipe


So, I’ve been drinking Carnation Instant Breakfast in the mornings lately.  It’s getting to be pretty expensive to buy all those little packets of mix…and I’m out of packets…so I decided to try making my own.  I just mixed a batch up and have a glass of it beside me.  It, surprisingly, tastes very much like the packages. 

I bought a canister of chocolate protein shake mix, a box of chocolate pudding and used what I had of dry milk to make this, but I will alter my recipe a bit once I get more dry milk.  Here is what I used:

  • 12.5 oz canister of protein shake (I used chocolate)
  • 1 box chocolate pudding
  • 1 pint-sized jar of non-fat dry milk (this was all I had)

**this recipe will be altered once I get more dry milk to stretch my recipe a little further, but this actually tastes good as is**

Mix well and store in an airtight container.  Add one scoop (from protein shake) of mix to a glass of ice cold milk.  Enjoy!  :-)

**you could also mix it up with other flavors if your family doesn’t care for chocolate.  Just substitute the protein shake and pudding mix for vanilla varieties…or whatever other flavors your family might enjoy**

Cost breakdown: 

  • Walgreens brand protein shake - $5.99 (on sale buy one, get one 50% off)
  • Pudding mix - $1.09 (I’ll buy store brand next time to be more frugal)
  • non-fat milk – it didn’t cost me anything because I already had the milk

Carnation Instant Breakfast is 48 cents per serving.  With my recipe above, it would be 28 cents per serving!  Yes, I realize that in the future, I will have to buy the dry milk, which will add to my cost, but it’s still cheaper than the Carnation brand…….and I know what’s in it!!  ;-)

If you try this, I would love to hear from you!

Our Frugal World

Friday, September 2, 2011

Yard Sale Shopping


There aren’t a lot of yard sales going on in my area of Texas right now.  Something about the 100-110 degree temps are keeping people from having sales.  I don’t get it!  ;o)

A friend & I decided to take a 15-20 mile trek to a sale in a neighboring town and on the way, we found another sale.  I think I spent about $30 and got a few things we needed anyway. 


Let’s see if I can recall what all is in this photo:

  • 5 black photo frames – new!
  • Set of 3 indoor thermometers
  • Tupperware storage container with lid
  • Tupperware deviled egg container
  • Stock Pot (I’ve been saying I need to get another one!!)
  • A/C vent magnets (for organizing my Spellbinders – paid $5 for a pack of these at Home Depot the other day!)
  • HP 12A laser toner – new!
  • Exacto electric pencil sharpener
  • Cuisinart bean grinder (has a $50 Bed, Bath & Beyond sticker on it)
  • 2 bottles of Rit dye
  • 2 flashlights.  These are kind of neat.  The have chargers for electric and auto and they also crank. 

I’m planning on spray-painting the frames when it’s not so flipping hot outside!!!  I’ll be using the Rit dye on a craft project. 

Stay tuned…………….

Our Frugal World

Monday, August 22, 2011

Welcome to…



This is a brand new blog for me, although frugality is not.  I used to be a BIG TIME frugal shopper and total coupon junkie.  It wasn’t unusual for us to have 30 boxes of Electrosol in our “stockpile” during my coupon days, donate extras from our stockpile to victims of hurricanes, house family members for weeks at a time, etc.  Somewhere along the way came paper crafting and I dropped couponing (except on craft supplies) like a hot potato!  I can usually be found at Billie’s Scrappetique making cards and………sometimes………..scrapbooking. 

Recently, though, something changed!  I found Pinterest and started seeing all kinds of sites for making your own glass cleaner, air freshener, as well as things like frugal crafts, freezer cooking, etc.  I stumbled upon Natalie of A Turtle’s Life For Me and I spent days perusing her site.  She has great ideas, FABULOUS cakes, cookies & cupcakes that she bakes & decorates and she’s a frugal crafter too!  I just love frugal crafters!!  Right up my alley!!  Thanks, Natalia for the inspiration to get going with my “frugal ways” again!  :-)

After ‘window shopping’ these sites, I decided to jump back into this with both feet!  I made a list of meals that we eat regularly that I can make in bulk and freeze!  Here is my list, which is certainly NOT all-inclusive! 

  • Sloppy Joes
  • Tacos
  • Enchiladas
  • Chili with Beans
  • Roast
  • Brisket
  • Chicken Spaghetti
  • Turkey
  • Chicken & Rice
  • Zucchini Bread
  • Marinara Sauce (for pizza)
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Ham & Cheese Croissants
  • Southwest Soup
  • Gumbo

While I haven’t been out doing any shopping or couponing, I have decided to start with what’s in the freezer and pantry and go from there!  I had quite a bit of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, several cans of Rotel Tomatoes, rice and a block of Velveeta cheese I needed to use up, so I chose to start my freezer-cooking with that. 

I started out by cooking 10 chicken breasts in a big stock pot, which I *love*.  I will be dividing this chicken up into 3 different meals and creating relatively (ha!) little mess. 

Chicken Spaghetti

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Rotel Tomatoes
  • Velveeta Cheese
  • Spaghetti

I’m not giving exact measurements here because it depends on the size of your family and how much you want to cook.  Today, I’m using about 1/2 of the chicken breasts I cooked, four cans of Rotel Tomatoes, a 2 lb block of Velveeta Cheese and probably two to two & a half boxes of spaghetti.  I take my spaghetti out of the box and put it into a spaghetti container in the pantry, so I’m not exactly sure how much I really cooked.  Sorry!

I usually cook the chicken & spaghetti on the stove, then dump all of it into a casserole pan and bake it.  Well, I’m near Austin, TX and it’s forecast to be about 105 degrees for the week, so I don’t really want to heat up the house any more than I have to!  So, I’m making this a one dish meal and cooking it on top of the stove. 

Cook chicken breasts in a big stock pot until done.  Remove them from the water and set aside to cool, reserving water for other dishes

I’m using the ‘strainer’ thing that came with my stock pot, but use whatever method works for you!  Add spaghetti to the pot of chicken broth and cook until just about done.  While your spaghetti is cooking, dice or shred chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Once the spaghetti is done, drain the juice, but again, reserve water for another dish!  Combine spaghetti, chicken, Rotel Tomatoes and Velveeta Cheese.  Allow to simmer over low heat, covered, until the cheese is good and melted.  Stir frequently to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of your pan or scorching! 

Place this in whatever size zipper bags or bowls that suit your family’s needs and freeze.  When you’re ready to eat this for dinner, just dump it into a pot of the appropriate size for your meal, heat & eat.  Delish!!



Chicken & Rice

Remember that chicken broth and diced chicken we reserved earlier?  Well, this is where we’re going to use that. 

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Rice
  • Butter
  • Bullion Cubes

I’m using Uncle Ben’s Rice that I got from either Sams Club or Costco.  This is a Parboiled (?) Rice, so it gets cooked a little differently than regular rice.  Follow directions based on whatever rice you’re using.  I had 6 cups of chicken broth from boiling chicken, which meant I needed 3 cups of rice.  I combined the rice, chicken, 2 T butter and 3 Bullion Cubes into a large pot.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. 

**I normally add pepper to this, however I’m using half of this to make Lemon Pepper Chicken & Rice, which my kids LOVE!**


Lemon Pepper Chicken & Rice

Not really too much to this!  I took half of the chicken and rice I cooked and placed it into the bowl I used when I drained the chicken broth from the spaghetti, added Lemon Pepper seasoning (again, Costco or Sams Club purchase) and cooked a little longer. 

I hope you’re able to use some of these recipes for your own family.  If you make any of these, please let me know what you think!


Out of the ingredients above, I got 8 meals, which will likely yield ‘leftovers’ for another night or my hubby’s lunch! 

4 Chicken Spaghetti

2 Lemon Pepper Chicken

2 Chicken & Rice



Look!  don’t even have that much of a mess to clean up either!  Two pots, 2 spoons, a strainer thing (no clue what it’s called), a big measuring bowl, knife, tongs and a cutting board.  Not too bad for cooking that many meals.  And nope, it’s not all hidden elsewhere in the kitchen!  The other side of my kitchen is my laundry station today. 


Between cooking and letting the beast (Gabby) inside & out (who’s been “helping” keep the floors “clean”), I’ve been catching up on laundry.  Don’t mind those hideous cabinets!  They’re in for a makeover………..one day!  :-)

Now to get a loaf of bread into the bread machine and clean up the kitchen before school gets out!  ;o)

Note 1:  As with any of my recipes, adapt them to suit your family’s size, appetite and dietary needs. 

Note 2:  We are a low-salt household, so I don’t add salt to most anything I cook.  If I do add salt in something, it’s Lite Salt.  Feel free to adjust these recipes to suit your needs.