Penny Pinchers

Page 18 of 31

Thinking about Waste

By Julie Norman
Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday is usually Frugal Friday links day, but today I'm being a rebel! Last night I was lying in bed reading...well, trying to read...really what I was doing was thinking about dinner for the next few days.  I always sort-of make a menu, but sometimes things change.  Last night instead of pasta with shrimp (yay for 50% off shrimp!) we had shrimp tacos.  They were awesome.  Of course, that means now I have to have my pasta dish tonight. It all comes down to waste.  Right now I've got these items that need to be used soon:




a spaghetti squash


tomato sauce (I made some a few nights ago)



3 "cocktail" tomatoes from Safeway.  Bigger than a grape tomato, tastier than a current roma or "vine-ripe"...

So here's the latest plan to help me combat the mass of produce I need to use up: 

Friday: whole wheat pasta with fresh tomatoes, asparagus, kale and parmesan cheese / salad

Saturday: Boca "chicken" parmesan sandwiches with sauteed mushrooms and roasted potatoes

Sunday: Crockpot shredded boneless pork country style ribs with cheddar and chive polenta rounds and salad or whatever veggie is lying around

Monday: Something involving spaghetti squash.  If there's spinach left, I'll probably saute that with garlic, then add it to the spaghetti squash with some feta cheese.  It'll be a great side dish! I've got some fish in the freezer, so we may have that too.

Can you tell this turned into a brainstorming session? Sometimes you really just have to take a moment to stop and THINK about what you have before you set foot inside the grocery store...again!


The age old question…is junk food cheaper?

By Julie Norman
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I ran across this article today by Mark Bittman as I was reading a much more recent piece.  Considering our goal here at Penny Pinchers is to save money, Bittman's article about fresh healthy foods being cheaper than processed junk definitely hits home.  Check it out here:


Frugal Friday Links: Gear Reviews

By Julie Norman
Friday, May 2, 2014

The Frugal Girl reviewed a Vitamix blender today and seems to pretty much have the same philosphy I do when it comes to large it better to buy a cheap blender and replace it every three years, or is it better to buy something high quality to begin with? Find out what she decided by clicking here.


photo from

Over at you can find out what the Leake family considers essential kitchen tools.

While eating "real food" doesn't constitute penny pinching, their section on 100 Days of Real Food on a budget does, so after you check out essential kitchen gear, go spend some time browsing through their other posts too.


Happy Friday!


A Penny Pinching Recipe

By Julie Norman
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I just ran across this online and thought I'd share it. It's a recipe for "Tex Mex Casserole" and sounds like it could be a good winter comfort food type meal.  It might even be good with elbow noodles substituted for the rice. 

Here's a link to the Passionate Penny Pincher's site, but I'm including the recipe below too.


Tex Mex Chicken Casserole


2 cups cooked rice
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked
1 can cream of chicken soup (I used their Healthy Request brand)
4 oz sour cream (I used light)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (also used light) :)
1 can Rotel
1/2 cup red onion
black beans (optional - I left these out but think they would be delicious!)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste


Mix together cooked rice, chicken, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, softened cream cheese, Rotel, chili powder, red onion, black beans (optional) and 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese.
Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish or two smaller dishes.
Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes.
Sprinkle additional 3/4 cups cheddar cheese over casserole.
Bake another 5 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
Cool 10 minutes - Enjoy!


FREE stuff is the best stuff!

By Julie Norman
Monday, April 28, 2014

Let's face it, free stuff is always the best stuff, right?  Ok, maybe not always, but it's sure worth it sometimes!  I love free stuff if it's useful stuff. 

Today, my co-worker and cube mate handed me a cute lavendar t-shirt with some sparkly stuff and a neat design on it.  "Do you like this?" She asked.  "Yeah, it's cute!" I said.  "You can have it.  I can't wear it."  It's 8 a.m. and already today I'm getting free stuff!

Next, another co-worker and author of the Let's Get Dirty blog, Penny, brought me 6 planters of ground cover that she dug up from her yard.  I've been on the hunt for a good ground cover and this one apparently can hold its own against invasive weeds.  SCORE!

Finally, this past weekend when the weather was gross, I went shopping and, along with a pair of $70 Calvin Klein pants that I got at ROSS for $22, I also got some super awesome gold nail polish at Old Navy for 30% off.  While the nail polish wasn't free, the pedicure I gave myself later was.  First I took off all my old polish, then I used my favorite Miracle Foot Cream on my feet and let them sit for a good 10 minutes.  Then I did this:

And it was FREE!!!!

Page 18 of 31


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