Tag Archive | frugal

Brownie Mix Recipe

Brownie mix:

6 c. flour
4 t. baking powder
4 t. salt
8 c. sugar
8 oz. can unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine and mix well.  Store in a large plastic container in a cool, dry place.  Label and date the contents.  Use within 3 months.  Makes 15 c. brownie mix.

Brownie recipe:

1/4 c. water
1/2 c. oil
2 eggs, beaten
2-1/4 c. brownie mix

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour an 8×8 pan.  Combine wet ingredients and mix well.  Add dry ingredients and mix.  Pour into pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes.


Pizza Spice and Pizza Dough Recipe

Pizza Spice

3 T. basil
2 T. oregano
1-1/2 T. garlic salt
1 T. onion powder
1 T. cilantro
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper

Store in a glass jar.  (I keep mine in an empty chicken bouillon cubes jar.)

To use:  2 T. spice mix added to 8 oz. tomato sauce.

Pizza Dough Recipe for Bread Machine

1 c. water
1 T. oil
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 T. dry milk
2 heaping t. pizza spice mix
1-1/4 c. white flour
1 c. wheat flour
1 t. yeast

Add all to bread machine and place on pizza dough cycle.
When the cycle is finished, let it set for 90 minutes.
Spread in pizza pan.  Top with pizza fixings.
Bake 450 degrees for at least 15 minutes.

Coffee, happiness, and being thrifty

So does the title of this post have you thinking like this:

Keep reading.  It will all make sense.

Whenever I visit the coffee shop at work, I can use my badge and have the charges deducted from my paycheck.  At the end of the year, I always look to see the final total I’ve spent at the coffee shop, as well as at the cafeteria.  When I saw nearly $55 was spent on coffee alone, I started to choke.  Then I thought of it in different terms.  $55 seemed like a lot, until I divided that by 52 weeks.  That is just over $1 a week.  So $1 spent a week on some really good coffee that helps me find my “happy place” is money well spent.  And it really does help me find that happy place because it has more caffeine in it than what I drink at home, so it often gives me a much-needed boost in the middle of the afternoon.  I guess my thinking is that if something as simple as a good cup of coffee can help keep me in a very happy mood, that is PRICELESS.
As for the cafeteria, I only spent $7.44 for the entire year.  I usually bring my own lunch because it is so much cheaper.  Whenever I bring my lunch, I consider a “pay raise” to me just because I’m not spending at least twice that much for food from the cafeteria.


While I’ve been on vacation, I’ve been tackling some decluttering projects.  Last night I did the hall pantry closet which looks AWESOME!!!!  (Until I do monthly grocery shopping next month!)

This morning I did two cabinets in the kitchen, the silverware drawer, and the entryway closet.  The entryway closet also looks AWESOME!!!  I had LOTS of notebooks in there.  Some were partially used.  I got rid of ALL of them.  I only kept the ones that were NEW.  Dh said I have a notebook hoarding problem.  Actually I bought them when they were on sale at the start of the school year several years back.  I was thinking dd would need LOTS of them for high school, and she didn’t end up using as many as I thought she would.  I pulled some out to give to nieces/nephews at our Christmas get together.

The older I get, the more I realize that LESS is MORE.  More freedom, more peace of mind, more space…..This quote sums it up quite well:


Cheap Insulated Bag

With summer here, I thought I’d share a cheap tip for making an insulated bag for keeping your drink cold.

Insulated bag:

If you need a quick, inexpensive “insulated” bag, use a brown paper bag and add an inch of folded newspaper to the inside for the insulation.

God’s Mercy in Our Pain

God’s Mercy in Our Pain


Eat, sleep, work, and pay bills….That is a phrase my husband will often recite when it feels like we are doing the same thing over and over. However, there are times when “life happens,” and in that moment, you know your life will never be the same. We had one of those moments on March 14. I was working the switchboard, looking forward to going home and having the weekend off work, when I got the call that changed our lives. My cousin called to tell me my brother had died unexpectedly, just one day before his 53rd birthday.


He called because he didn’t want to deliver that kind of news over the phone to my parents. I quickly left work, sobbing all the way home, praying for the Lord to help me. After all, no child should EVER have to deliver that kind of news to their parents. Parents are supposed to die before their children – not the other way around. Having to deliver that news was the worst thing I have ever had to do.


My weekend off work became a whirlwind of activity. My brother lived in Arizona, so we had to drop my parents off at the airport the next day so they could be there to help my sister-in-law with the arrangements.


Two days after his passing, I dropped my daughter off for youth group. As I left the parking lot, I was playing a CD by Shannon Wexelberg. The song “Faithful God” came on. The Lord immediately began to speak to my aching heart. I want to share what He spoke so tenderly to me in hopes that it will help you when “Life Happens” to you.


We will all go through different, heart-wrenching trials during our journey on earth. Whether it is the gut-wrenching loss of a loved one, the herculean burden of finding yourself without a job, the formidable news that you or a loved one has a debilitating illness, or even the shock of receiving divorce papers, God’s mercy is there for you. His mercy is new EVERY morning. This means that the mercy He gave you yesterday won’t be the same today. It will be different, but it will also be new. And it will be just what you need.


To those of you who are dealing with the painful reality of losing a child, I will tell you the same words the Lord had me speak to my parents at my brother’s memorial service. His mercy will be there each and every day. That compassionate mercy will greet you as you face all of the “firsts” – the first Mother’s Day, the first Father’s Day, the first birthday, the first Thanksgiving, and even the first Christmas. He lovingly cares for you, and He will not let you walk the valley of grief by yourself. Reach out, take His hand, and let Him extend His mercy to carry you through.


© 2014, Stacy R. Miller

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Window Cleaner Recipe

Stacy’s Homemade Window Cleaner 
12 to 16 ounces water
1 cup white or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol (70%)
1-2 drops blue or green food coloring, if desired
1-2 drops lavender, cinnamon, clove or orange essential oil. Combine the ingredients and put into a labeled spray bottle, optional. 

Be sure to use newspaper for this!  Spray the newspaper first, then wipe down the window to avoid drips. Wipe vertically on one side of the window and horizontally on the other side so you will know which side a streak is on!  To clean the excess off, I have found that it is better to move in a circular pattern.

Since this is made with rubbing alcohol and vinegar, both of which have anti-septic qualities, I also use this to clean my kitchen and bathroom counters, as well as the sinks.


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