10 of the Best Bloggers That Create Delicious and Frugal Recipes

Welcome to this week’s edition of Weekend Wonders!

It’s my version of a blog round-up post.  This weekend I wanted to focus on the bloggers who create yummy and inexpensive recipes for all us hard-working, money-saving people.

This weeks Weekend Wonders include bloggers who create delicious yet frugal recipes for everyone to enjoy. They share all the best tips on saving money.I’m always on the lookout for more recipes to make.  I have dozens and dozens of recipes saved in my Favorites file from before I discovered Pinterest.  Making recipes is like reading books; there’s just never enough time to make them all!

Being a vegetarian these are vegetarian friendly bloggers, but rest assured all you meat eaters, most of these bloggers also enjoy coming up with meaty dishes as well.  Since becoming a vegetarian I’ve realized that I can still eat the majority of the meals that everyone else eats.  I just simply leave out the meat that a recipe might call for.  It’ll still taste delicious-usually.

My Stomach is Full and My Wallet is too

Beth over at Budget Bytes knows how to create a recipe!  She’s saved me many a nights when I had no idea what to make and I wasn’t craving anything.  Her one pot meals are quick, tasty, and since they only require one pot, fast to clean up!  Beth also has the prices broken down for all her ingredients so you know how frugal each recipe is.  One of my favorites from Beth is her Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac.  So good on a chilly day!

food family simple living

Missy, the mastermind behind Graceful Little Honey Bee has a plethora of frugal recipes and meal ideas.  I especially like how she explains how to prepare food for the freezer.  You can freeze celery?  I honestly didn’t even know that was a thing.  It usually just sits in the drawer of the refrigerator until I throw it away.  Her tips are super helpful so nothing goes to waste! Continue reading “10 of the Best Bloggers That Create Delicious and Frugal Recipes”

What A Week Without the Internet Taught Me

Week without internetOne Long Week

I recently spent almost a week without access to the internet at home.

Almost two weeks ago a storm came through our area, and there was a lightning strike frighteningly close to our house.  While we didn’t lose power, our router was destroyed. What was once a perfectly fine router wouldn’t even turn on.  Since the lightning struck late on a Sunday night, Mr. Frugal Turtle decided to wait until the next morning to get a new router.  That night, however, I spent a couple of hours playing games on the computer to help pass the time before I went to bed.  I got pretty good at Spider Solitaire!

When I woke up the next morning I walked into the kitchen to find Mr. Frugal Turtle very frustrated.  After work he had gone to Wal-Mart to buy a router.  Unknowingly to Mr. Frugal Turtle our internet service provider only works with certain routers.  When it came time to try to connect the router, it wouldn’t work with the router he bought.  When he called our service provider to find out how much one would be, he was told it would cost around $115.  Ever looking to save money where possible, Mr. Frugal Turtle was determined to find one cheaper.  He did some research on his phone and was able to order a compatible router the next morning for about $50.  Score!

Now we just had to wait for the router to get delivered.

While I do have a smart phone, it’s only smart-ish at this point.  It’s an older phone that doesn’t support apps any more.  I can’t even get Facebook on it anymore!  I pretty much use it only for texting and calling.  Mr. Frugal Turtle has a Galaxy S6 with Mobile Hotspot, so the one night that he had off when we were without internet I did use his Mobile Hotspot to catch up on Facebook and e-mails before I used up too much of his data.

The days where we had no internet I soaked up the awesome new book The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins.  You can read my review here.

The router finally showed up in the mail that Friday and by Saturday morning we were up and running with internet again.  Yay!

The Low Information Diet

We lost internet the day after the mass shooting in Orlando.  I’m almost glad that we lost internet when we did.  Since cable and satellite television do not exist in our household either, I was starved of all media  If we had internet then, I would have been reading news article after news article on the shooting.  I would have been more saddened and shocked than I already was.  Instead, I experienced a weird feeling.  It almost seemed like I was less depressed.  I wasn’t aware of all the horrible things that were happening in the world.  I don’t consider myself depressed and I still don’t.  I think it was calmness that I felt.  Maybe sad news articles fill me with more anxiety than I thought.

The Guardian published an article in 2013 titled News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier. This is a paragraph from that article:

News is toxic to your body. It constantly triggers the limbic system. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High glucocorticoid levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side-effects include fear, aggression, tunnel-vision and desensitisation.

Whoa.

I think I may try the Low Information Diet that Mr. Money Mustache suggests.

I think I need a break from hearing about mass shootings, ISIS, politics, and every other heartbreaking, and maddening story that the media throws at us.  I attempted this before, but failed.  I never deleted the MSN and CNN and local newspaper bookmark from my computer.  Every time I logged on, it was just so easy to click and see the news of the day.

I think I’ll start out small, maybe two weeks, and see if I actually do feel calmer and more relaxed when I avoid the news.  If I do, I may consider turning the Low Information Diet into a permanent thing.

Would you ever avoid the news?  Do you feel more anxious or depressed when you read the news? 

 

 

 

GoodBye, Overnight Shift

Tomorrow I officially start my new shift.  I’m excited and nervous at the same time.  After working a twelve-hour overnight shift for five years, it’s going to be quite the change to move to an eight-hour day shift position.  This weekend I’ve been trying to shift my sleep schedule to a normal nighttime sleep.  When I woke up at 11am today, the sun was shining and birds were chirping and I was happy.  After I finished my morning coffee I dragged a camping chair from the garage and set it up on the lawn in the bright sunshine.  I sat in that chair and soaked up the beautiful sunshine for almost an hour.  Pure bliss.  I’ve missed that sunshine for such a long time!  It’s great to see it again.

I wanted this new position.  Mr. Frugal Turtle wanted me to get this position.  Unfortunately, he could still be stuck on the night shift for a long time yet.  As soon as he is able to, he wants to join me on day shift.  This, unfortunately, means that we won’t be seeing each other as much as we have been.  We’ll see each other in the morning after he gets home from work and before I leave for work.  We’ll also have the occasional weekend and probably a random weeknight together, but still, it’s going to be hard.  I’m going to miss seeing him at work.  I’ve always told him he has a calming presence.  If I get upset or worked up over something, just seeing him and talking to him calms me down.

I haven’t decided how to spend my extra time.  Normally when I worked the twelve-hour shifts I wouldn’t have time or I would be too exhausted to really do anything when I got home.  I tried to batch cook on my days off so I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking during the small amount of time I had between sleeping and working.  Laundry was always done on weekends along with the grocery shopping or other necessary errands.  Basically my non work life was crammed into my days off, and honestly I spent a large part sleeping or napping trying to recharge my body and get ready for the next string of work days.  I felt like I didn’t have a life.  However, those days are gone! Continue reading “GoodBye, Overnight Shift”

This Is Why Annual Exams Are So Important!

Warning!!  This article is very personal and if you are at all squeamish it might be better to skip reading it.

StethoscopeI’ve been debating whether or not I should make some personal information about myself public, and I’ve recently decided to let everyone know what has been going on in my life.  If I can convince just one person to get their annual exam that they were putting off, then I consider this post a success.  Annual exams are extremely important.  Doctors can find and treat smaller issues before they morph into larger and more expensive issues.

Having a herniated disc wasn’t the only health issue I’ve been dealing with the past several months.  Last fall my pap smear came back with abnormal cell tissue.  My doctor wanted me to come back in so she could perform another procedure to get a closer look at those abnormal cells and possibly take a biopsy.  When she said the word “biopsy” I freaked out a little. Continue reading “This Is Why Annual Exams Are So Important!”

Back Pain and Finances

It’s been a frustrating month, financially and physically.  My expenses are a lot higher than normal due to my medical issue.  Plus, I haven’t earned as much because I’ve had to miss a lot of work, so once you factor in my expenses and my earnings for the month, my savings rate is going to be abysmal.  Earlier this month I had an MRI and the report showed a herniated disc between L5 and S1.  That is the source of my sometimes crippling pain down my right leg.  I used up some vacation earlier this month and took a week off.  Not because I wanted to, but because I literally couldn’t walk without limping and practically crying out in pain.  I’ve been seeing my chiropractor every week and doing stretches every day.  I spent a little over $200 on an inversion table, which helps eliminate the pain, at least temporarily.

Ugh!  Back pain is sooo frustrating!!  Because of the holidays, my employer shut down  for the past week.  I go back to work Sunday night.  This past week I really stepped up the stretching and light exercises in the hopes that maybe I’ll be better by the time I have to go back to work.  I’m scared right now, because I still constantly have pain going down my right leg… and I’m not doing anything strenuous.  Because of my back pain, I’m worried I’m going to be unable to do my job.  I’m on my feet, mostly walking or standing, for twelve hours.  Four nights a week.  The week before Christmas break I was only able to work part of my shift every day.  I had to leave after 8-10 hours.  The pain was just to unbearable.  Ibuprofin can only take so much of the pain away.  Luckily, I have a boss who is understanding, and so leaving work early wasn’t a problem.  But for how long can a boss be understanding when an employee is having to leave work every day?

I’m worried right now.  I’m not sure what my life is going to be like in six months.  Will I have to use up all my vacation right away because I can’t work?  Will I have to take a leave of absence?  Will I have to go on disability?  Will I even have a job?    There are so many questions that are up in the air right now, and I hate it!  I hate the not knowing.  I like to think I’m a relaxed, go with the flow, somewhat free-spirited kind of person, but then this happens, and I realize I’m a more structured person than I thought.

Up until the herniated disc appeared I was really looking forward to January 1st.  I was planning on maxing out my IRA on the 1st of the year, just so I could be done with it, and not have to think about it.  Now I’m thinking I need to keep that money in my savings account just in case I spend part of this year not working.  It makes me a little sad.  I did so good in 2015, maxing out my 401k and IRA, and still putting extra money into my savings.  I was really hoping to repeat that in 2016 and that might not happen now.  I know I should feel blessed that I have the savings that I do.  And I do feel blessed, because I’ve been here before, and back then I didn’t have the amount of savings I do now.  But when you have something planned and then life happens and that plan gets changed, it can be a little stressful.

Six years ago, in 2009, I was living at my parent’s, working in retail, making less than $20K a year, and trying to pay off student loans.  I’d had neck and back problems for a few years.  I was seeing a (different) chiropractor.  That chiropractor gave up trying to fix my back and told me to see my Doctor.  When I went to my Doctor, they sent me to Physical Therapy for a month.  When that didn’t work, I got sent back to the doctor, where I was sent in for an MRI.  The report showed a large herniation, and surgery was scheduled.  I was off work for three months while I healed and went back to Physical Therapy.  I received short-term disability, but the medical bills started pouring in and times became tough.  After all my bills were paid, I think I added everything up, and I paid something like $8,000 out of pocket.  Ouch.  That was a lot of money for someone making $9.50 an hour.

So, needless to say, I don’t want surgery again.  If there is a cheaper way to fix the herniation, I’m all over it.  I’m going to see how work goes this week, and if I feel the stretches, exercises, chiropractic care and inversion table haven’t helped at all, I’m going to make an appointment with a back  specialist at a low back institute.  I’m not even going to go back to my small town family doctor.  All they did was medicate me and tell me, “You’re going to be dealing with this the rest of your life.  Good luck.  Come back in, in a week, if you want more drugs.”  Not exactly what I wanted to hear, so I will not be returning to that clinic for back issues ever again.  Luckily, I can schedule an appointment with a specialist without a referral, and my insurance will still cover it.

I am determined to get this herniation under control.  I will keep trying therapies and stretches, and anything else that I think might fix it.   I will not live with the leg pain for the rest of my life.  And with that, I’m off to do my stretches!