Friday, September 17, 2021

Foodie Frugal Friday: Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Is this a frugal Friday?  Or is this a Foodie Friday?  Or is it just a random post on a Friday?   There is just too many decisions!   I can’t handle the pressure!  Haha.  But one thing for sure, there is no pressure or stress when making this recipe!  It’s super easy and delicious!  Oh and did I mention that it is healthy?


Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

This recipe is light and tasty.  We enjoy this meal as a lighter fare.  The filling is very easy to make and I use a frozen pie shell which further reduces the cost!  But you know what, I hate having to scroll through tons of paragraphs to get to the recipe…so here goes!

Ingredients:

1 9 inch frozen pie shell

1 tbs olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion 

1 1/4 ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tbs  Dijon mustard

3 eggs (to save calories you can do one egg and two egg whites)

10 oz frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped

1 tap oregano

dash salt and pepper.


1.  Preheat oven to 360°

2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the chopped onions until translucent 

3. In a large bowl combine; ricotta cheese, eggs, Dijon mustard, cheddar cheese and spices.  Mia until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

4.  Food in onions and broccoli.

5.  Pour ricotta/broccoli mixture into pie shell.

6.  Bake at 375° for 35-45 minutes.  The quiche should be golden brown

7.  Let the quiche set for 10 minutes until set up.   Cut and serve.

 To get a printable version of this recipe you can follow this link.  


The frugal aspect of Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

So you can see that this recipe is easy , tasty and won’t break the calorie bank!  That alone is a win, but let me also say that this recipe is frugal also!  I added up the ingredients..using Aldi prices. 

Ricotta cheese $1.89

Dijon mustard $0.95 …but since we only use Amal portion of the bottle I counted it was 10 cents.

Cheddar cheese $2.85…but I used less than half of the bag….so counted it as $1.20

Frozen Broccoli $0.95

pie crist 1.75  (I think that package that I found when pricing it out may have included 2 crusts, but I wasn’t sure so I am counting the whole price!)

Eggs $0.95 for a dozen…but I used three.  I counted it as 25 cents

Onions, spices and olive oil I counted as 40 cents as the cost of those staples on the kitchen is negligible!

That brings the total cost of this dish to $6.54.  This dish serves 4   Typically we each eat 1/4 of the recipe, That makes the total cost per person to be between $1.64.   Tell me where anyone can eat for that?   That is frugal for sure!!!   Even if you are super hungry and eat two servings (which still won’t be horrible for your calorie count) you are still only just over three dollars!   Frugal I tell ya!!

This recipe for Broccoli Cheddar Quiche is a winner on so many fronts.  The tastiness of the recipe is the first win.  But when you realize how easy it is to prepare and the fact that it is such a low budget option, you can’t help but get excited!   We have been eating this recipe for a few years and I am sure we will continue for many more!  To see more recipes,  check our my Recipe page

Monday, September 13, 2021

Frustration…again

 My weight loss journey really seems to have a mind of its own.  It’s like some monster in my life and quite frankly, I’m sick of it!


I try…. I make healthy choices most of the time.  I remain cognizant of my calorie intake.  I track my food. I am active.  I am working this plan and I KNOW that for the average person that they would be losing weight like crazy.   

Seriously…this last work week I kept my calorie count right at 1400-1500 calories.  I spent time on the bike every day, we walked every evening, I hiked and I was active!  I put at least 10-12 miles on my body each and every day.   I track my food and I chose options that are healthy and nutritious!  So to see my weight hovering at the higher numbers form last weekend is infuriating!

I felt guilty when we were out and about and I was wearing my new ‘10 pound reward’ teeshirt.  I earned it!  The scales dropped below that 10 pound range…but then it popped back up!  This is not a pressure that I like in my life!  I’ve got to figure out this weight loss thing!



I know…I know…I know.  I have figured out that 1400 is pretty much the limit of calories that I can eat.  I’ve figured this out a long time ago.   So for me to be eating above that limit is fooling myself from the start.   I know…under 1400 seems too low.   By strictly numbers I’ve been told it’s too low.  But my body just seems to demand it.  And yes, my doctor is aware of my calorie intake and is 100% behind me with my mission and my plan and my goal calorie count. 

So back to 1200 calories I go.   It is honestly so incredibly difficult to keep my calories at that level day in and day out.  But I know I can do it!  If I want to have a long healthy life into my old age, I have no other choice.   Wish me luck!


Friday, September 10, 2021

Frugal Friday: Entertainment

 It is time for another installment of my very own Frugal Friday!   I am enjoying looking at ways in which we spend frivolous money and ways that are really frugal and cheap!   Now don't get me wrong, there are times when I spend money like it's going out of style.  BUT, there are also times where I want to be frugal!   And today we are going to talk about entertainment and how to be frugal as we strive to entertain ourselves. So today I give a list of free or cheap ways to spend a day of fun without breaking the bank!

A day that was quite costly

Entertainment and days of fun can rack up quite a price tag.  It happens really quick.    A few years back I  received a call from a friend asking me to spend the day with her.  I was quick to answer affirmatively.  However, I advised her that due to an unforeseen bill that I was low on cash and didn't want to spend a lot of money that day.  "NO problem she told me,  just want to go to the National Harbor and I'll drive."   Off we went.  My friend was true to her word.  She drove and paid for the gas and the parking garage fee.....my funds quickly dwindled and diminished right before my eyes!  You see......she wanted to go to a circus!    I don't remember the exact price of the ticket that I paid but I looked online and the price of that ticket...same circus and same exact location for this year and that ticket would cost between $85 and $119.  For the sake of argument I will say $85....even though we of course had great seats and probably would have paid more than the base price).

I purchased nothing at the circus....but it was well past lunch.  We went to lunch.  I looked up the menu for that place and I will say that there was NO WAY that I got out of there for less than $20...and that is if I just bought a sandwich!  I was now at an estimate of $105 for a day that I didn't want to spend money.

We walked around and through some stores.   No problem.  I bought nothing.  But then my friend, the same one that had promised to keep costs low decided that we had to ride the Capital Wheel.....we had to conquer her fear of heights.  "Please Maryfran"   Add on $15 plus tax,,,,and let me say that was the most expensive Ferris wheel I've been on!   Total cost for day to this point $120.

We drove home.  But the hemorrhage of money was not done yet.  "Dessert, we need something sweet"  my friend declared.  SO we stopped for dessert.....another $10.   

The total for the day was over $130 dollars.  And I know that I could have said no at any point...but you do sometimes get swept into the moment and then struggle with stopping the train wreck from happening.    But that was a lesson that I was still learning at that point! Luckily I DID have the money.  I had to pull it out of my savings account, so it wasn't like I went into debt.  But what if I didn't have that money?  What kind of entertainment could I have chosen!   

Frugal Entertainment:  Go for a Hike

Going for a hike is almost always absolutely free!  It will cost you nothing but the gas to get to a trailhead (if there are none within walking distance).  Sure you may ante up a few dollars for an entrance to a park if you chose to go to an area that has an entrance fee, but there are MANY places that are free!  A recent hike that we were on was to the Catoctin Mountain Park (managed by the NPS).  It is 18 miles away.  My car gets about 33-35 mpg.  I used one gallon of gas.  Estimate cost $3.00!   That is a frugal day and it is GREAT fun and was FREE!!  Look online to find local trails.  I use All trails quite a bit!    Hiking is great for the body, the mind and the spirit.

Frugal Entertainment:  Explore

We will occasionally find an a abandoned building to explore.  It is something that gets us outside.  It allows our minds to actively imagine and think.  It is history at our fingertips and it is a history that due to being abandoned is slowly decaying back into the ground!   It costs nothing except the gas you need for your car to get there!  We have explored a few abandoned places all within 15-30 miles of where we live......Estimate cost $3!     I will put out the disclaimer to explore abandoned places at your own risk due to dangers and tresspassing!

Frugal Entertainment:   Ride a Bike

Go ride your bike!  If you own a bike, it will cost you absolutely nothing and give you time outside. You will see amazing things that you would otherwise not be able to encounter.  The wind in your face is freeing.   If you are wiling to ante up a few dollars for the gas to get there, you can take you bike to any number of trails!  I use the app Trail forks to find neat trails to ride!  

Frugal Entertainment:  Geocaching

A few years ago I picked up a hobby called Geocaching.  It is where you go onto a website and chase down 'caches'.  The caches are hidden and you will be given the GPS coordinates.  You simply traverse to the coordinates and find the secret little hide.  When you find the hide, you put your user name on the logbook/log paper that is inside the cache and revel in the victory of the hunt!  Some of these are TRICKY to find. The GPS will only get you close......where they put it is the fun part!  It really is simply a scavenger hunt.  There are no great rewards other than a smiley on your map when you find one!  YOu can have a basic membership and find some for free at Geocaching.com.   I have spent full days out searching for geocaches.  It costs me a little bit of gas for my car and it opens my eyes to new places.  I have found parks and monuments that I was not aware of.  I have had people ask about the safety and I have never felt at all risky about going to a geocache.  They are all posted and can go for weeks without anyone visiting a cache, so to worry about someone 'laying in wait' for you to arrive, is not a valid concern as they could be waiting for weeks and months!     I still enjoy doing this and we frequently go out and grab a few geocaches when we need something to do!  Cheap entertainment! IN the picture below check out the wee little cache that I was hunting for and obviously found!

Frugal Entertainment:  A local Zoo
We invest yearly in our local zoo and preserve.  A season/yearly pass is $60 for each person at our local zoo.  Sure, it is an outlay of money, but don't you want to go to the zoo every once in a while anyway?  A single day ticket at our zoo is $20.   We opt for the season pass.  First of all it helps the zoo in their efforts but it also offers us a place to go where we can walk.  It is an easy walk on graded paths and the one that we go to is heavily shaded.   We can enjoy the animals and a variety of programs.   I believe we have stopped in at least 6 times this year....that reduces the cost of our visits down to $10 a piece.  That sounds like a good deal to me!  Quite frugal!

Frugal Entertainment:  Free or Cheap Museums
Frequently, I will research locally or in places that we will be traveling to looking for various museums to visit.  I do it primarily because I love to learn.  Museums are a great way for me to expand my knowledge.  Sometimes, I will find a musuem that I want to visit and decide that the entrance fee is well worth it.  On a recent weekend trip to Harrisburg I did just that.  We spent money to go through the National Civil War Museum and the Fort Hunter Mansion.  It was well worth it and I don't  begrudge a penny of that money!  However, many times when I am looking, I will find museums that are free!   Just the other week we went to the Catoctin Furnace Museum.  It was totally free.  Sure it was small, but it was well done and absolutely free! Time and time again I have found the most absolutely fantastic FREE museums!  I went to quite a fee Free museums during a trip to Philadelphia a few years ago! Do your research!  There are tons of museums that are free or practically free!

Having fun and living your life to the fullest does not have to mean that you are spending a ton of money!  Sure, I have spent my share of money on outings and days of entertainment but having fun does not have to cost you money!  Sure, I had fun during that day at the National Harbor that I talked about at the beginning of this post but I have had just as much fun hiking to a vista or overlook.  I have been just as enamored with an abandoned building and I have been tickled pink to tour a museum.  Swimming in a stream in the woods while out on a bike ride is good cheap fun.  Look around you...the world is filled with frugal entertainment.  You just have to open your eyes to see the opportunity!


Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Weekend Recap

 Ahhh Labor Day weekend, it came and went with an alarming speed!  How does a three day weekend go by just as speedily as a two day weekend?   I'm really confused at how that can happen!!!  NO matter the speed that the long weekend flew by, we had a great weekend!

Saturday Shopping and a New Travel Carrier for our Bird

We started out Saturday bright and early.  We knew that we had to get up to Hagerstown to pick up a package that I had mistakenly had shipped to my billing address and not my shipping address.  OOPS.  We also knew that it was grocery and errand day, so we set off to get that stuff done.  UP to Hagerstown, Aldi, The Organic supermarket, Petsmart, Target, Sierra (just because you never know what you might find) and downtown to the Trail house (Jason needs new tail shoes).  The list went on.   We did manage to get outside a wee little bit!  We went to the Gambrill Mill area of the Monocacy Battlefield and walked a wee little bit.   It had flooded badly when we got the rains from hurricane Ida....so we were a bit restricted on where we could go....but hey, It got us outside!


We finally headed for home and ripped open the package that we had picked up early in the morning in Hagerstown.   We bought a new travel cage for Kiwi!   We had a cheapie $40 cage...which he seemed to HATE  and we wanted a backpack carrier!  SO we went with the Celltei Pack-o-bird.  (which was anything but frugal...so it will NOT appear on any of my frugal Fridays)   We couldn't wait to put it together!  It is very well constructed!  Of course Kiwi had to try it out right away!  He hung out in there for a bit...and we let him that night, just so he could get used to the bag.

Sunday Hiking

We knew that Sunday was our day to hike!  So we got a move on!   We were ready and just had to decide where to hike!   We talked about it and decided that we wanted to hike one of our favorite trails....the Thurston Griggs Trail up to the Appalachian Trail and over to Black Rock and Annapolis Rock......then back.  It's a pretty good hike.  A good workout and neat things to see and encounter.  Off we headed, out of our apartment and into........drizzling rain!

We hiked the other week in rain so we were not deterred, besides, it was only supposed to be sporadic light rain. We did momentarily talk about switching trails because the Thurston Griggs trail is somewhat steep and washes out.  (You can check out a video about the trail and a bit of history about that area here....)   IT. RAINED. THE. WHOLE. HIKE.   

Ok, hiking in the summertime woods (thinkin lots of leaves and trees overhead) in the rain is not that bad!    We got about 8-10 miles of hiking in and we loved every minute of it!  (My legs are still doing GREAT and I enjoyed this hike, just like the hike from a few weeks back!



Lazy day Sunday

On Sunday we took a lazy day.  We put Kiwi into his carrier and we headed out for a practive 'desensitization' trip.  We stopped to visit my mom for a few minutes (Only a short visit since I'm off work on Friday and plan on spending the day with her.)  And we stopped by Jason's parents for a visit.  Nice and relaxing!  

But then the weekend was over!  BOOOOOOOOOOO  So back to the weekday grind we went!




Tuesday, September 07, 2021

It's a see saw weigh in!

 I gained.  I gained weight on my official Friday weigh in!  And no, I'm not happy about it!

Ok, I got that right out there didn't I!  No beating around the bushes.  I just had to say it!  I gained about 1.5 pounds in that week stretch.  I sit back and I want to say HOW.....I'm not eating horribly!   On my indulgent days, I am eating about 1600-1800 calories.  And I gain!  What is wrong with me!

OK, so enough about the whining!  This  is a chapter that repeats time and time again for me.  I KNOW that I can't eat 1600 calories...yet I continue to try!  I want my body to be 'normal'.  I want my body to lose weight at that range that should allow me to lose a pound a week ...if I am going strictly by the numbers.  BUT, my body is not like that.  My body has it's own unique sense of how weight should be lost.  Unfortunately for me, that means that I need to keep my calories closer to the 1200 range.  I can sneak it up to 1400  but that is my range.  1200-1400.  When I eat within that range, I lose.  Plain and simple!

Now, I HAVE talked to my doctor about my calorie range.  She knows that I don't lose at 1600....but I do at 1300.  And she simply said "well you know what you need to do and what your caloric goal needs to be".  So eating at that calorie range is doctor approved for me!

But why???  Why do I have to eat like a bird?   (which honestly...birds eat CONSTANTLY, so I don't get that saying).   Why do I have to watch every bite knowing that if I eat an extra piece of bread that the weight will pile on overnight?  Why do I have to restrict to 1200 calories, and existing on nibbling on raw carrots? (Not really, simply because I hate raw carrots...but that's what this journey feels like sometimes!) Why do I try so hard and not lose weight?   WHY WHY WHY!

Yes, I'm having a pity party!   I'm not giving up.  I know that I am worth every ounce of effort that I make!  BUT, dang if it isn't a difficult journey!

Friday, September 03, 2021

Frugal Friday: Frugal or Gluttony

 I recently made a purchase. The purchase was made at a really good bargain! But t wasn't something that I really needed. It will eventually come in handy, but it wasn't something that I needed. It brought to mind the question, when is it frugal and when is it gluttony?

The Catalyst for the Frugal vs Gluttony Question

A few weeks ago, I purchased a vintage style dress. I had been wanting one for quite some time and Jason has talked about me wearing a dress, so I went out looking. I stumbled upon this dress. Dresses are expensive, but I stumbled on this one while on facebook and it was only $30! I fell in love and bought it. I tried it on and once I found out that it would fit and be perfect for what I needed it for, I was done. No more dresses. No more purchases. I was happy with my dress and I was tickled with the bargain that I had found.


But you know how the internet and Facebook work! If you even have a thought about something, it seems as if you are immediately inundated with ads for that item or something similar! I usually have no problem ignoring these ads. I am after all on a money saving mission, so buying these things is not something I want to do too often. But one day, a second dress caught my eye. Can I just say how adorable this dress is??


This dress was also $30 on Amazon. I honestly debated paying the thirty dollars for this dress, I find it that appealing. However, I knew that I didn't REALLY have a place to wear it. When it came down to it, I didn't want to spend another $30. I was super proud of myself for resisting! However, as I was drooling over the multitude of colors I came across the same dress in black with yellow trim. Oh yeah, absolutely adorable and then my eyes widened. THIS dress was only $12.99. That was indeed a frugal find!



Frugal Find turns into Gluttony


Yes, I purchased the dress for $12.99. It was an incredible deal and I knew that it wouldn't break the bank for me. HOWEVER, I honestly didn't need the dress and I immediately began to wonder if it was gluttonous for me to purchase the dress. That didn't stop me from ripping the package open when I got home. I couldn't wait to try it on. It was going to be perfect!

Only, it wasn't perfect. It was a little bit too tight.



I was disappointed and briefly thought about returning it to get my $12.99 back. Afterall, that would have been the frugal option right? But no, I decided to keep this dress. I am using it as a motivational/inspirational tool to keep me on track with my weight loss plan (Which I blog about here.) The added bonus is that when I CAN wear the dress, I will have a new dress to sport around.....one that I absolutely adore!

So you tell me, was this dress purchase frugal in nature or was it gluttony that spurred me to make this purchase???

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

A fun weekend

 We had a fabulous time this past weekend.  Ok, we always do!   But this weekend we went to visit some places and just got out and spent time together (ok, that's the normal for our weekends also) and we had a great time.  So what did we do???

Bird Store

On Saturday we were looking for something to do.  It was so super hot and the humidity was sky high.   We wimped out and decided to not go hiking or biking.  Instead we hopped in the car and headed to a bird store about an hour and a half away.  We were looking for one or two things for Kiwi.  I was looking for extra bowls for his food and Jason was looking for Hemp seed (still in the shells).   We set off ready for a grand adventure!

On the way down, we stopped at an REI and both made a few purchases but we were soon parking at the bird store.  We walked in and WOW....it was loud!  Much louder than I remembered.  This store has birds everywhere.  On this visit a Military Mccaw greeted us at the door with a cheery Hello. 

We visited with this pretty boy.....who also said Hello, but not until I was not looking as he apparently does not like women (he was owned by a woman for 22 years and apparently she didn't treat him well)

We saw cockatoos, green cheek conures, budgies, lovebirds, miniature mccaws, cockatoos and so many more!  I even got to pet the scarlet mccaw babies!  (soooo cute)

We did some shopping at this bird store that is the closest bird store to us (a store that actually specializes in birds).  Ironically enough, we got nothing that we went looking for.  But no worries, Kiwi still got some goodies!!!

Sunday Afternoon and more Heat

On Sunday we decided to brave the heat with a little bit of outdoor activity.  We drove up to Thurmont, MD and visited the Catoctin Furnace.   It was rather fitting after we hiked the Charcoal trail last week.   We had stumbled upon this furnace a few months back but the museum was closed at that point.  This time, the museum was open!  

The museum is small but it was quite informative and neat.  It is housed in a beautifully restored ironworkers house.  The Ironworks in this area was in operation from about the time of the Revolutionary War (this iron works supplied munitions to George Washington and his troops) and operated until 1903.
There are multiple buildings and ruins in the area to explore along with a few trails that are marked with waysides to give more history!
When we had finished our exploration of the Catoctin Iron Furnace and surrounding area, we headed a short distance up the road to the Catoctin Zoo.  We have an annual membership and find that it is a nice place to go for an easy walk...especially on hot days. 
And seriously......baby sloths!  

We had a fabulous time, even though it was so super hot and humid!  It got us out and moving and that is just what we needed!