One of the best parts of being a blogger is the variety of people you meet online. Sometimes, I think I should do a followup on each post and tell you the great ideas others have had.

Last week I met a couple whose blog is called Gallivance. See They travel all over the world. Here is our conversation.

Frugal Fish says:

Wow, 57 countries! The only time I left the country was for an afternoon in Canada! Thanks for liking my post, “Easiest Roast Ever”.

Hi Frugal Fish, I loved your “Easiest Roast Ever” because we do the same thing with ham … and it’s great. I never thought about doing it with a roast. So cool! Thanks for sharing. All the best, Terri

I bet you could use cola on any meat and make it better!


I make muffins once a week for breakfast during cold weather. (I don’t run the oven during the summer.) I was always disappointed because no matter how hard I tried they would come out a little dry.

I wanted them to taste like the jumbo muffins you buy at the store. Then I decided to double the recipe and only fill half of the tins. They came out the size of jumbo muffins and they are moist. Currently, I am using up my extra cans of pumpkin.


Pumpkin Jumbo Muffins

Pumpkin Jumbo Muffins


I confess; I have never been to the opera. Susie introduced me to it many years ago, but at the time it was through an LP album. (Yes, I am old.) I didn’t think it was for me. Now if I were sitting by Richard Gere and having him explain the story to me, like he did in the movie “Pretty Woman”, that would be different.

When college boy told me he was singing in the choir with an opera singer, I was duly impressed, just not sure I wanted to give up my Sunday nap to attend. But, being the good mom, I went to hear them both.

Boy was I blown away!

When that man opened his mouth it was like pure joy coming over the microphone. I was amazed!

I actually knew most of the songs from high school concerts and my mother forcing us to watch Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights.

We had good seats because the couples behind us grew up in Centerville, IA (where Simon Estes was born) and had followed his career.  We were early and overheard part of his life story.  He has sung all over the world and for three Presidents.

Singing his praises may seem an unusual thing for me to do on this blog, but I wanted to impress on my readers the quality of artists who perform at community colleges. The concert was free and we were able to hear him speak the following night. The man was just as impressive as his voice.

They say, “It isn’t over until the fat lady sings.” After hearing Simon Estes sing, I decided I want to be the fat lady! Well…at least here at home. Check the calendar at your local college and you may become inspired, too!

College Boy with Simon Estes

College Boy with Simon Estes


My cousin posted a link to a blog with 2 ingredient recipes on Facebook. I was surprised at how many things you can make with just 2 ingredients. But this roast was not on the list!

It takes one roast and one bottle of cola. You pour the cola over the roast and bake it at 350 degrees for a couple of hours until the internal temperature is 155 – 170 degrees. The cola tenderizes the roast.

We cooked it without searing the edges and sliced it up for lunchmeat.

Two ingredient roast.

Two ingredient roast.


Last summer, I shared how I used the last cup of coffee in the morning. I put it in the refrigerator and drank it as iced coffee in the afternoon or after lunch. When it got cold, I didn’t want iced coffee anymore. If I left the coffee in the pot and warmed it up in the afternoon, it was stale and usually really strong.

One day, I got out my travel mug and poured the coffee in it. I put the lid on it and put it in the refrigerator before it cooled down. It actually helped keep it fresh. I warm it up in the afternoon.

It’s 18 degrees out right now and I am ready for that last cup!

Coffeemaker with Thermal Carafe

Coffeemaker with Thermal Carafe




I love to sew, but most people do not! Especially large bulky items like drapes.

The drapes in my kitchen were a bit too short. I had already let the hem out as far as possible and they still were not long enough.

I got out some plain shower curtain hooks and put them on the curtain rod. I hooked the curtain hooks in the shower hooks and it added the extra inches I wanted. A valance hanging over the drapes keeps the shower hooks from view.

My drapes hooks are hooked into shower hooks.

My drape hooks are hooked into shower hooks.

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You can get the flavor of bacon, even when you are out of it, by saving the bacon grease. I keep mine in a small container in the refrigerator. My friend keeps hers on the counter.  If I put a little in the pan before cooking scrambled eggs, I get the flavor of eggs and bacon without the bacon.

Bacon is so popular now. I am surprised to read how many recipes that include bacon, even desserts! I have a few friends that seem to be addicted to bacon!

I strain bacon grease and keep it in a small container.

I strain bacon grease and keep it in a small container.


I have posted many pictures of my kitchen counter. It is small and always empty. I am sure you think I clear it off and put the clutter on the table before I take the pictures. After all, there are always appliances on a counter top. Right?

Wrong! My counter looks exactly like that…empty…most of the time. So where are the appliances? I store them in the upper cupboard where they are close at hand when I am ready to cook. I had to give away my extra glasses and cups to make room. (I store the glasses I use for my dinner parties in a box in the basement near the table.) My toaster ended up on top of the china cabinet, on a tray to collect the crumbs, and my microwave is on top of the dishwasher.

The problem is not that your kitchen is too small or there is no storage; the problem is we all have too much stuff.

My can opener and mixer are on the bottom shelf.

My can opener and mixer are on the bottom shelf.


I have one room that is always cooler in the winter than the rest of the house. Unfortunately, it is my office and I spend a lot of time in there! When I had my furnace serviced, I mentioned it to the plumber. He said it was the last register on the line and it was hard for the fan to push air to it.

One way to improve the situation was to tape the seams of the ducts with silver tape. It will withstand heat and cold. My husband taped all the seams last year. I noticed some of the old tape showing through. I think I will add another strip of tape to each seam to make sure no air is escaping from under the old white tape.  I am lucky since my ducts are easy to get to in our unfinished basement.

A seam that needs new tape.

A seam that needs new tape.


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Mary Hunt’s Everyday Cheapskate

A few years back, Eric and Donna Reed shopped for groceries and household products only once a year. How on earth? I know. That was my reaction, too.

The Reeds got the idea after reading a column in USA Today, wherein the writer confessed to his weakness when it came to buying clothes. So driven to buy new sweaters, slacks or shoes every time he stepped inside a clothing store, publicly he announced he was giving up buying anything for one full year.

Cut Your Spending

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Eric and Donna wondered if they could do the same. Their minds went to the grocery and discount stores, the mall and And what about restaurants and home improvement stores, they pondered. How would they handle gifts and seasonal items every household needs through the course of a year?

The Reeds, like most of us, don’t simply stop into the store to pick up milk. Or eggs. No, they buy the milk—along with a basket of other stuff, too. It’s expensive to be a frequent-buying consumer. But could they plan ahead well enough to make it through a whole year without spending? They decided to see if they were up to it by trying it for one month. One month with no exceptions. Not even gifts. Could they do it? They bought supplies for the month and then gritted their teeth. Continue reading

via Mary Hunt’s Everyday Cheapskate.