Italian Meatball Sandwiches-AFS twist

As a single, sandwiches work well in my menu plans. Paninis, fishwhich and this recipe show up frequently.

Italian Meatball Sandwich (original recipe)

1 1/2#lean ground beef

1/2# ground pork

2 eggs

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 Cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package spaghetti mix with mushrooms

1 Tablespoon butter

1 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

8 round French rolls

Mix meat, eggs, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and 1/2 the packet of spaghetti mix. Form into meatballs, brown, remove meatballs and discard fat. Combine remaining spaghetti mix, tomato sauce and water. heat, return meatballs, cover, simmer 25 minutes.

Split and butter rolls. Wrap in foil and warm in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Arrange 5-6 meatballs per roll, add a spoonful of sauce sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Serves 8


How I make it FRUGAL:

I make patties rather than meatballs (they stay in the bun much better meaning less mess and waste) IMG_8669

IF possible I purchase my ground meat from the MARK-DOWN Bin.

I use hoagie rolls (FREE day old from work)

I don’t butter the bread (saves money and calories)

*I get FREE free-range organic eggs from my sister’s chickens.

I use this Tomato sauce and leave out the spaghetti mix.

(When I use the spaghetti mix I leave out the salt.)

I cook them in the electric skillet I inherited from my aunt.

I make my own bread crumbs.

I use cheap cheese in the meat but the good stuff sprinkled on top.

IMG_8675I freeze the patties with a little sauce so I can make sandwiches up one at a time.

I label all leftovers I put in the freezer with a masking tape label. Then I make a note of what, when and how much is in the freezer. As I use a frozen meal I remove the tape and stick it to the note. When the note is full I know my freezer stock is depleted. Until I came up with this tracking system I never knew what was in the freezer or how long it had been there.

*in the winter the hens slow production WAY down so I do have to buy about 1 dozen eggs a year.



Posted in cooking, Frugality for Singles, recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My macaroni & cheese

I base my macaroni and cheese on this recipe.


1/2 Cup diced, spam, salmon or tuna

1/4 Cup chopped onions

1/8 Cup chopped green pepper

2 Tablespoons butter

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup milk

1-1/2 cup shredded cheddar

3 cups cooked macaroni (1-1/2 cups raw)

1/4 cup buttered bread crumbs

Lightly brown spam, onion and green pepper in butter.

Stir in soup, milk and 1 cup of cheese. Heat until the cheese melts. Blend sauce with macaroni. Pour into casserole dish. Mix together bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 4


FRUGAL SPINSTER’s method/technique.

I don’t care for peppers so I usually leave them out

(BUT when my friend moved to NYC she gave me the perishables she had in her fridge which included a red, yellow and green pepper. So I chopped and froze them and little by little I’m using them up.)

About once a year I buy a ham. After roasting it for one meal I portion up 1cup chopped ham to use in future recipes and freeze it.

I use ham in this recipe. I add 3 oz. cream cheese. This time I had a dab of cheese spread and I threw that in too.

We serve cream of mushroom soup at the bakery I work at. Anything left in the pot at the end of the night would get thrown out unless employees  want to take it home. The decorating shift is early morning but occasionally I find the night crew has saved the soup for me. I use that instead of the canned soup.

I don’t butter my bread crumbs but I do add a little garlic or celery powder.

This recipe made me 7 portions. 6 went in the freezer.IMG_3147.JPG


Posted in cooking, recipes, single living frugal style | Tagged | 5 Comments

Hawaiian Pizza

IMG_3145I realize that Hawaiian Pizza is the “Twinkie” of the pizza world.

Simple and sweet, with a chewy crust that’s the way I like my pizza.


I make a batch of bread dough, I’ve used several basic recipes, any of them work.

I add 1/4 C. parmesan cheese, 2 T. minced onion flakes and 1 T. Italian seasoning.

After mixing the dough I divide it into 1-1/4# portions, wrap in plastic and freeze them.

Pizza: When I want pizza I thaw one of the dough ready to assemble

Roll it out to a 12″ circle, transfer to pizza pan.

Top with sliced mushrooms, sliced olives, pineapple tidbits, Canadian bacon and mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 450 degrees for 18 minutes.

My FRUGAL techniques and methods:

I buy Canadian Bacon ends and pieces. It is 50 cents a pound cheaper than the sliced stuff. I then dice it and bag up 2 oz. portions.

I buy whatever pineapple I can get the best price on. If it’s bigger pieces I cut them down myself. (I save the juice to use when I make smoothies)

I keep black olives in the pantry for several of my regular meals so rather than buying the tiny cans of sliced olives I take the time to slice my own.

I buy a 5# bag of mozzarella cheese at Cash and Carry (a restaurant supply store, but open to the public). I keep the bag in the freezer. The shreds freeze together but are pretty easy to break apart when I need a little.

I bought my perforated pizza pan at a thrift store many years ago. Likewise my pizza cutter.

What’s you favorite pizza flavor?




Posted in cooking, DIY, recipes, single living frugal style | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Big Meal Prep Day

A few days ago I showed you my January groceries and promised to tell you how I used them.

The stockpile in my freezer was down to just burritos and corn chowder. Wanting more variety in my menus I decided it was time for another big day in the kitchen.

I had a major set back. The first thing on my list was to make a batch of chocolate syrup. I had a Pyrex dish that I thought was safe to use on my glass stove top. WRONG! Every thing was OK, I was almost finished when I wanted to speed things up and turned up the heat. PING went the Pyrex. Glass shattered. Chocolate syrup flowed EVERYWHERE. Including between the panels of the oven door.chocolatey oven door

I looked on YouTube and found several videos on how to clean the inside of a oven door but by the time I cleaned and reassembled the door, cleaned up the stove top, washed my chocolatey clothes and mopped the floor, I was in no mood to do anymore in the kitchen that day.

The following day things went more smoothly.

I had a package of marked down pork in the freezer I put it in the crock pot with some BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce was marked down too.

59C bbq 59 cents

I used the  BBQ pork in a sandwich and the rest I ate over rice.bbq pork over rice


I used Frugal Girl’s recipe to make fish patties, but I decreased the mustard and Seafood seasoning. I used a thrifted Tupperware burger press to form my patties. Now I can thaw one at a time to make my own Fishwiches.fishwich

I made a batch of Meatloaf mini meat loafsbut I baked it in mini loaf pans.

IMG_3152When I pull one from the freezer I can eat it heated with gravy

IMG_3151or as a meatloaf sandwich.

IMG_3162In order to satisfy my sweet tooth I made a loaf of Pumpkin bread

Check back and I’ll give you my recipes for Italian Meat Sandwiches, Macaroni & Cheese, and  my version of Hawaiian Pizza.








Posted in cooking, DIY, Frugality for Singles | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My plans for the thrifty store finds- Part 3

So that l leaves1-8-16 GW

I purchased the bag of sewing notions just for the sewing machine needles. It is recommended that you use a new needle for each garment. I don’t do that but they do get dull or break so I use quite a few. The bobbins just happen to be the right ones for my machine, so I got a bonus. I’m holding on to the rest of the stuff because you never know when you might need something.torso & arms - Copy

sailor suitWith a small alteration to the wrist bands the sailor suit fits my doll.

I found a family shelter that is in need of toys. blue gingham shirt 55cents 1-23-16 SVdP1-12-16 SVdP $1.64IMG_3023The shirts provided the fabric needed and 1-23-16 Thistle 7 thngs $1.71I used the pattern (along with others I already have) to make a wardrobe for the doll.

dolls modelingShe’s here with her friends to model for you.

If you’ve been Thrifting lately, leave me a know telling about your treasures.

Posted in Arts & crafts, crafts, DIY, Doll Clothes, Frugal Fun, Second Hand Shopping, Sewing, thrift store shopping, thrifty haul, Trash to Treasure | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My plans for the thrift store finds- Part 2

For years I have been collecting ornaments. I am very specific about the collection. They must be (at least somewhat) realistic looking birds in flight or with a clip on them so they can perch.

1-17-16 $8.79This wren fit the bill

wren in treeHere it is perched on a tree branch that I made to display the collectionbird tree

The  $7.99* price tag gave me pause. It was much more than my typical second hand purchase, but many of the other birds were purchased retail for that price or more so I went ahead and made the purchase.

* the wren was in a bag with other ornaments, I re-donated the rest.

Posted in Bird watching, Nature Lover, Second Hand Shopping, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My plans for the thrift store finds

In a few weeks Eco Cubs will be having a work party to weed the schools flower beds. I’m donating the trowel to the cause.trowel for cubsThe club can always use more hand tools.

I have had my hair cut in short layers for years. I’m getting tired of the same old style. I don’t know what I want but in the mean time I’m letting it grow and need something to keep it out of my eyes. 1-23-16 GW $1.10I only kept the tortoise shell double headband. The others were too tight.

Birds are starting to sing. Spring isn’t too far off. Summer follows Spring, and finally SUMMER! The pectin and canning lids will be put to use making jam making jam. 1-4-16 SA $1.64Certo costs over $5 retail

Slowly but surely I am replacing my hodge-podge assortment of storage containers with these Rubbermaid ones. They are a good size for single portion leftovers and they stack together neatly. 1-27-16gw$3.04I love using  lighters for candles but these matches were only 99cents and they won’t end up in a landfill like the empty lighters do. Now my collection of mugs includes one with pelicans.

Somewhere in the future is a new puppy and when we find her she will need a training lead. 1-4-16 $5.40 GWGentle Leaders retail for $15+. At $3.99 I couldn’t pass it up.


Posted in thrifty haul, Trash to Treasure | Leave a comment