Budget friendly meal · Meal planning · refreshment at home

How To Reduce Your Grocery Budget and Still Eat Heartily

We’ve all seen that grocery prices are climbing. Is it possible to stay within a budget, but also cook delicious and filling meals at home? Yes! Here are my top five suggestions for doing just that!

Vegetable Pot Pie
Banana bread made from over-ripe bananas costs pennies and can be sliced and frozen to accompany oatmeal or eggs for breakfast.
  1. Take note of what’s on sale at the grocery store each week. Going to Southern Savers or Money Saving Mom sites can make it so easy!
    Also be sure to visit the marked down areas in each section of the store – produce, bread and meats. Then…
  2. Make a weekly menu from the items on sale. A menu will keep you from running to the store last minute and buying whatever it takes to make supper. You’ll also be buying when the items are lower.
  3. Stock up if you can. When items are on sale, buy more than one, if possible. When butter is on sale, I buy two or three and freeze the extras until I need them.
  4. Bake your own bread, baked goods and snacks. This French Bread is so easy and makes two large loaves. I buy my bread flour in bulk at Sam’s Club and this recipe costs very little to mix together. After calculating the flour and the yeast (also bought in bulk at Sam’s), it costs me about 35 cents per loaf! This bread is so good toasted, so aside from a great side for breakfast or spaghetti supper, the possibilities are endless – grilled cheese, French toast, or BLT’s to name a few.
    These Muffins and this sweet bread can be made so cheaply by buying bananas that are over-ripe. They are cheaper than ripe ones and they freeze beautifully. When berries are on sale, freeze them for berry muffins. Make up a batch of cookies that don’t call for extra items like nuts or chocolate chips (did I just say that?!). Reserve those for special times. Make simple recipes like Snickerdoodles or Sugar Cookies.
    Rather than buying microwave popcorn, make this easy recipe – it’s much cheaper (and so much better!). These Granola Bars are also a Yummy snack!

Granola bars a

5. Have meatless suppers once or twice a week.
You can have breakfast for supper and serve eggs, pancakes or waffles and fruit.
Go with beans as the protein and have Cracker Barrel’s Pinto Beans and cornbread.
Refried Beans in a tortilla with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and cheese is another good option.
Broccoli or Baked Potato Soups are both hearty and filling.
Vegetable Pot Pie is another yummy, filling option!

Just typing up this post made me really want to cook and bake! Each of these recipes are truly cost-effective – especially when you follow the five steps I shared. I hope this will help you to eat well AND stay in your budget!

Cleaning · organization · refreshment at home · refrigerator contents

A Fresh Start in the Fridge

Last week on Instagram I saw Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman) do a reel showing how she stocked her refrigerator. She started with a fridge that clean and empty. Then she added all new, unopened grocery items

  • Bottles of water
  • Condiments
  • Piles of fresh lemons and limes
  • Eggs
  • Cheeses of every kind
  • Several kinds of meats
  • Sodas
  • Milk
  • Juices
  • Deli meats
  • Veggies of all sorts, all washed and wrapped
  • Freshly roasted chicken
  • Homemade soups and hummus
  • And lots more

It was pretty incredible to view the video, but as I watched, I wondered what “regular person” could really purchase all that so they could end up with that lovely, satisfying result? What do you think? Could the average person fill their fridge like that all at one time? I don’t think very many would be able to follow her example.

But I have some good news! I have a few ideas for you today to help your fridge be as organized and lovely inside as Ree’s – and it will cost you nothing extra!

Since we’ve just come through the holidays, perhaps your fridge is nearly bare. Great! Or maybe it’s still full of little leftover containers of this and that. That’s okay.

  1. Start by emptying the shelves one at a time. Analyze each food item as to whether it should stay or go. Check the expiration dates and pitch anything out that’s old.
  2. Once the shelf is empty, wipe it down with hot, soapy water. Then begin to put the items for that shelf back in.
  3. Keep like items together – condiments, salad dressings, sauces, dairy itms, etc.
  4. Place each item with labels facing out so it looks uniform.

I like using vinyl placemats in my fridge because it makes it easy to wash. I plunge them into the hot, soapy water, then dry them and put them back in their spot! You’ll notice the turquoise ones in the picture below.

I also line the drawers with the vinyl placemats.

I like putting my blueberries and strawberries into Mason jars (after the berries have been washed). They stay fresh SO much longer that way! You’ll see the jar in the left drawer below. They also look pretty displayed in the fridge that way! Mason jars are also great for leftovers!

I try to keep all the leftover containers together on one shelf, that way nothing gets forgotten, and it keeps the fridge from getting cluttered up with little dishes.

Start the new year with a fresh start in your kitchen by taking what you have and getting it clean and organized. You’ll be inspired to keep it that way. There’s something very satisfying about opening up a freshly straightened up space – especially something as big and important as the refrigerator!

Is your fridge full or empty now that the holidays are past?

Depression · Quick Bread · refreshment at home · Refreshment in marriage · Sabbatical · Valentine's Day

2021’s Most Loved

As I close out my blog for 2021, I’m looking back at the posts that were most visited during each month of the year. Here’s the list!

It’s no surprise to me that this was May’s top-rated blog post!
  1. Five Routines that Will Help During Difficult Times – If you don’t know what to do next because you’re in a tough place in life, this post will give you practical help.
  2. Valentine Memories to Keep – Here are fun ideas to show you love on Valentine’s Day!
  3. Conversational Respect in Marriage – Our words are clear indicators of our respect (or lack of it) for our mate. You can see how we show that in this post.
  4. The Best Anniversary Celebration – Reflections of our 40th party celebration. You’ll find some good ideas here!
  5. French Breakfast Puffs – Possibly the BEST breakfast muffin EVER!
  6. Refreshing Little Things – Here are a whole list of little ways to make each day more refreshing!
  7. Creating Periods of Regular Rest – Even if you can’t have a sabbatical or vacation, here are ways to create regular days of rest in real ways you can actually do!
  8. Need a Little Help Loving Your Man? Read how can we love our husband better – even when times are hard.
  9. Why You Should Decorate Your Home…Even When There’s Trouble in the World – Even though this was a fall decorating post, the truths about the need to decorate especially when things are hard, will apply to every season of the year.
  10. One Decorating Tip To Instantly Enlarge Your Room – Possibly my favorite tip that was AMAZING when I did this in my home!
  11. Thanksgiving Dinner Favorite Recipes – My favorite comfort/fall foods all compiled together!
  12. The Thin Ice of Despondency – We can all get to a place of depression and despondency, but here are some ways to push out of it.

Thank you to each of you who regularly read; I am so grateful! It is truly my heart’s desire to refresh your heart each time you stop in. I love hearing your comments, too! You encourage and also give some great ideas! I’m thankful that you would take the time to read my posts.

I would love to hear what you would like to read more of in 2022. Would you be so kind as to fill out this survey? It would help me know how to encourage you in this next year!

In 2022, what would you like to read more of here on RefreshHer?

Share one or more suggestions in the comment section. Thank you so much!

I pray this next year is full of spiritual refreshment as you read God’s Word and draw close to Him. I pray you’ll have daily joys in your home as you love those that enter its doors and serve with the love of Christ. I also pray that you life will be filled with the joy of refreshing others as you are refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

Happy New Year!

Home decor · refreshment at home · Tips and Tools

Functional Beauty

There is one design statement that has helped me eliminate extra clutter in my home. I’m sharing it with you today in hopes that it will also inspire you! Ready? Here it is…

When the tools and utensils you use on a daily basis are beautiful, you need less stuff in your home to make it lovely. Those tools will do the work for you.

I have tried to keep this thought in my mind as I seek to add decor to my home. The plus side of using lovely things is that it makes the work more enjoyable!

Let me show a few simple examples…

Continue reading “Functional Beauty”
Home decor · refreshment at home

Home Office Renovation

While many people have recently begun working from home, my husband’s office has been in our home for most of his 40 years of ministry. When we moved into our house eight years ago, we were thrilled that the first room off of the front entry way was an office. God took care of every need!

When a pastor has to have lots of books at easy access, it can really crowd up a room, so I’ve fought with how to make those books accessible and also look lovely, rather than crowded.

My husband is in this space for many hours every single day and I wanted to freshen up this space for him so it would be inviting, bright, and also reflect the things he loves. So one day I just went for it and started piling up books on our dining room and shifting furniture around until I found the best possible arrangement. Keep reading and you can see the amazing results that some simple changes made!

The picture below is the only BEFORE picture I took before I got in there and started my redo. I just get so excited about projects that call for redecorating!! You can get the idea of the old set up, which was that the desk was in front of the window with hopes of looking out on our beautiful view. However, the computer really blocked the view and also kept the window light from coming in. The ceiling light was a builder grade fixture that gave very little brightness and zero beauty!


On the picture below, move the slider over so you can get a feel for the before and after.

The first thing I did was to add the jute rug. I love that it warmed up the space and also added a masculine feel. Then I moved the desk so that it faces the door. It gives it more a feeling of a true office, and I also love that I can see my husband’s face when I walk up the hallway and he’s sitting at his desk!
The print over his desk was found at Hobby Lobby (where else?!). It was part of their spring decor (?) line and I get it 66% off! The mountain scene was perfect!

His leather recliner has just the space needed if he wants to stretch out, or if someone else comes to his office and needs a place to sit and chat. I hung the curtains I already had up a little bit off the window frame to lengthen the window a bit. The view of the mountains and the countryside can now actually be seen from his window!

My husband is an avid hiker and runner, so I hung his medals on the display board beside the bookshelf. The P. Buckley Moss print of the Blue Ridge Parkway is the perfect print for my Scenic Highway husband!

The painting of the old church was done by a gifted artist in SC and gifted to us by his niece, a dear friend of mine! Again, a perfect piece for a pastor’s study. I had tucked this away, looking for the perfect place for it. I’m glad I didn’t just slap it up somewhere because I loved it so much, but waited for the best place where it would be seen. Patience pays off!

I couldn’t get a good shot of the ceiling light that we replaced, but I found a ceiling light at Lowe’s marked down to $20 and it’s so pretty. It adds about 10x’s the light the old one did! What a difference that made!

My husband is really enjoying his new office space and that makes me happy! One day while I was out, he sent me a text saying how much he loved his new space and thanked me for the work I’d put into it. That made it worth it all!

I truly believe the greatest difference in the office was the rearrangement of the furniture. I spent around $25 on the canvas behind the desk, and $180 on the rug. All the other decor was already in our home. Lots of leg and muscle work went into this room when I consider how many books I moved, but again, it was well worth it!

What room do you have that just isn’t drawing you in?

Why not try to refresh that space first with some muscle power of furniture rearrangement? Maybe, like my project, everything else will fall into place easily after you get the placement right!

Tell me what room you’re thinking about changing!