Every Day

America Remembers 9/11

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Today I pray for all of the victims of 9/11 and their families. It is a day that is forever etched in my memory. I will never forget the horror of that day.

Nor will I forget how Americans came together in our country. I pray that with so much division in our country today that we can come together again. Let it not be for a reason like 9/11 but because we are all Americans and we should love our neighbor.

Every Day

Frugal Things the Past Few Weeks

We have really been busy the past few weeks doing a number of frugal things now that summer is ending.

Hubby and my son finally hung the Shaker Style Cabinets in my laundry room. We got such a great deal on these. First we used about $138. in Home Depot gift cards towards the purchase price. I got these gift cards for 80% of the cost about 3 years ago. I hang on to cards until we need something. Then because of a delivery issue that was Home Depot’s fault, they credited us $ 127.01. So these large beautiful cupboards only cost us $ 180.30 including tax out of pocket for the both of them. I really needed the storage space for my laundry products and for some cleaning products that we keep handy. I had drawers under my old washer and dryer. But the new ones don’t have that function. We have hardware on order. I am on the hunt for liner for the shelves, then I can load them up with all the things and decorate the room.

Our tomatoes have been really producing. We have had enough to share. We still have many green ones on them and more blossoms. There have been lots dinners of BLT’s and grilled cheese and sliced tomato sandwiches. I may have to can some for sauce. They seem to be ripening all at once now. They have saved us a fortune over buying them. The cheapest that I have seen them here is $2.99 a lb. Plus mine are organic.

I received $ 6.54 in rebate money. On my last grocery order they substituted 2 $6.+ cans of meat with 2 $ 8.+ cans of meat for the $6. price. Score!

We got our electric and natural gas bill 2 weeks ago and it was only $8.00 more than last year. Considering we had company and it was a lot hotter this July and August, we were happy with that.

Hubby and my son are going to finish a project in the basement. We need large sheets of materials. My son built a trailer that he hauls behind his van so they will be able to fit what we need on it. That will save us the delivery charges. I am very excited to see this get finished.

My grandson came to visit for three days. My back has been giving me “fits” so my plan to take him bowling and to play miniature golf got postponed. Instead we spent an entire day from early morning until about 8PM in the evening playing “Ticket To Ride”. That is such a fun game.

He and Hubby watched “Ninja Warriors” on Friday night. My grandson belongs to a Ninja gym and competes so he was happy to watch this show.

I cooked things that he enjoys like chicken strips, homemade pizza, etc. for dinners. I also made sure that there was plenty of Hershey’s ice cream.

We were invited to our friend’s home a couple of weeks ago for a party. We did not go because there was going to be lots of people there and the Delta virus was spreading like crazy in this area. We wished we could have gone. This was two years in a row that we missed it because of the viruses. She had a second party this weekend and gave us a jar of her homemade pickle dip which is delicious. She also gave us a container of brisket, pulled pork, and stuffed jalapeno peppers all wrapped in bacon all slowly cooked in her smoker. All of the food is scrumptious and has and will make a total of 6 meals for us. She is such a good friend to think of us. We will pay her and her husband back by sending many homemade soups to them this Fall. They love my soups!

I purchased another 100 count roll of Forever Stamps before the price went up.

We changed the furnace filter and put our Green Gobbler liquid down the kitchen sink on the 1st. The filter gets changed when it is dirty but the liquid gets done the first of every month. I hate paying for Roto Rooter.

We have been mostly eating from our pantries. Very few items have been purchased the past few weeks. I only look at the loss leaders in the sale ads now. When we see something that is a great buy, we get a few. We also have made sure not to waste any food. Every morsel gets eaten.

Our 3 month water and sewer bill came and was $63.00 less than last year’s for the same period even though it was hotter weather. I believe the savings was because of all the rain we have had. Our sprinkler system senses when it is raining out and does not turn on.

Our landscape company, on their monthly maintenance visit, trimmed one of our larger trees so that the branches would no longer hit the roof especially when it is very windy. This is not something they have ever done for us before. We were happy because we were going to hire a tree guy to do it.

That is about all we have done except the usual that we do all of the time. What have you done frugally over the past few weeks?

Every Day

I Have To Add Some New Resources For Buying Groceries and Household Products

With prices rising rapidly in my area, I had to find some other resources to buy my groceries and household products. I still buy loss leader food at Top’s and Aldi especially on meat and produce. But I refuse to pay full price for other items. So today, I signed up for Big Lots. By signing up, I got a 15% off Welcome coupon. I had been hearing from other people that their prices are good especially on household products. I had an account when we lived in Arizona but deleted it shortly after we moved.

So today, I ventured to my store and looked over the grocery aisles very carefully. These items were ones that are in short supply in our home and that were cheaper than any other place that I shop. The 15% off coupon brought the total down even further.

My total for all of these items was $58.43 including $ 2.73 in sales tax.

I was extremely happy to find all of the Lysol Toilet cleaner and the refill for my squirt bottle. They have been hard to find in my area and they are expensive to buy at Amazon if they even have them.

We were getting very low on dish liquid so these Palmolive 90 ounce bottles were a great buy.

I have been looking for the Cheetos Mac and Cheese for West to try for lunch when he stays with us Labor Day weekend.

Hubby likes SF wafer cookies. I buy a different brand for him but they have gone up to $ 3.99. These were $ .85 after the coupon. I only got 2 so he could try them. But if he likes them, they will stay on my Big Lot’s list. His cashews were only $10.19 for this big can.

I love Ice drinks but only buy them once in a while for a treat. I usually drink water, coffee, or tea. These after coupon were $ .67 each. They are a $1.00 in my other stores.

The Hefty 200 ft. plastic wraps were only $ 1.70 each after coupon.

I was very happy with this trip. My understanding of their rewards program is that after a few purchases they send you a 20% coupon. I think I will take full advantage of this program especially on the household products.

We have been on the hunt for an Amish bulk foods store. I found one that is less than an hour from us. I believe that one Fall day Hubby and I will make a trip there to see what they have.

I will continually look for other resources to buy our food cheaper. Have you found other cheaper resources for your food?

Every Day

Frugal Things The Past Couple of Weeks

These are the things that we have been doing to save a little bit of money these past couple of weeks:

  • We have picked 5 tomatoes so far from our container garden. Unfortunately, we had to throw out a lot more that developed tomato rot. In all the years that I have planted tomatoes, I have never had this before. I had to research to find out what it was. Seems in this heat we need to water them a little more often. We were thinking they were getting plenty of water by soaking them once a day until the water ran out the bottom of the pots. Evidently we need to do this twice a day. Also the soil needed calcium. So instead of going to the garden center to buy it, I found out that I could water the soil with some milk. So I got out my stored dry milk and mixed it up and did that this morning. Hopefully this will solve the problem.
  • A few nights this week, I made chicken BLT’s using cooked sliced chicken, bacon and lettuce that I had purchased on sale, and our tomatoes. They were so delicious and so easy. In the summer, I love easy!
  • I sewed a button back on one of my favorite blouses, right after it came off in the washer, before I lost it.
  • I went to the bank and deposited some checks that had been sitting here into our high interest account until I can decide what we want to invest it in. When checks sit in the office, they make no money at all. I know I have been very busy the past couple of weeks but that is no excuse.
  • I read the current 2 free magazines that I get. Hubby read his Handyman magazine that is gifted to him every Christmas.
  • I contacted my cable company to get credited for an outage of our cable TV, internet, and telephone.
  • I hard boiled a dozen eggs in my pressure cooker. We use them for breakfasts, egg salad, and for snacks.
  • I cooked up a pound of bacon for breakfasts this week.
  • My wedding ring is getting loose again on my ring finger. The ring guard no longer worked. So instead of going to a jeweler to get one, I ordered one online that will suffice until I am sure that I won’t lose any more weight. At that time I will have the ring resized.
  • I traded some fiction books with a neighbor for some books that she had that I hadn’t read.
  • We had quit B.J.’s, which is a warehouse club, very early this year. We decided to rejoin because they sent us a coupon to sign up for a year for $25. I was hoping that their shelves would be better stocked than when I quit. They were. That day I shopped for items that we needed that were a lot cheaper than my grocery stores. I only spent a little over $71.
  • My son switched all of our cellphones to a new carrier. Because of that we got a new G5 phone for free. I researched prices online and got a great price on a protective case and a screen protector. This cellphone is bigger than our last one so we couldn’t use the old case.
  • We are working on using up a huge box of free dental supplies that we have collected over the past couple of years from our dentist. We have way too much toothpaste and floss.

We have also been doing the usual to save on our utility and water bills. What have you been doing the past couple of weeks to save a little money?

Every Day

My Aldi’s Shop, etc.

I am sure that we have all spent a lot more money on groceries the past year and 1/2. I know we have. However, there comes a time when you feel you don’t need to spend as much as before. We are in “saving mode” right now because we have other priorities for our money the next few months. So my grocery trips are getting smaller and they are farther apart.

Today I went to Aldi’s to pick up some Wednesday sale meat. I was there a couple of minutes after my store opened. As I was parking, I saw a man unloading a very overloaded cart into his trunk. I recognized him as a local restaurant owner. He had about 1/2 cart of chicken thighs and the rest was assorted beef. I ran into the store hoping that they had at least one package of the boneless thighs left. I only wanted one since they were on sale for $ 1.69 a lb. I got it.

I also went to get the grass fed organic ground beef for $ 17.96. That amount gets you 3 packages totaling 4 lbs.which cost $ 4.49 a lb. I picked up 2 packages of 3 each. So all I spent today was $ 41.13.

The beef will give us 8 meals and the chicken will give us 3 plus some meat leftover for a brunch salad. So the 12 meals will cost us about $3.42 for the two of just for the meat. That is not too bad.

As I was driving by my Super Walmart, I decided to run in just to look at how well stocked it was. There were so many shelves empty that I was amazed. Deli and meat selection was poor also. I had been hearing about how Walmarts’ all over the country have low stock but I didn’t really think anything of it until I saw mine this morning. I left the store without buying anything.

So many people are asking this question: “Why is Walmart so under-stocked when our local supermarkets have plenty of food?” I don’t know. But the only thing that makes sense to me is that a lot of the food in Walmart comes from China. So they may be having a supply chain issue.

Does anyone know why? Do any of you work for Walmart and know the answer? Please let me know if you do.

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done Recently

After two funerals in the past week in our extended family, I need some normalcy in my life. So it was time to get back to posting.

These are the things that we have done recently to save money in our household:

  • After a funeral service in a city about two hours away from our home yesterday, we took the scenic route on our way home. It took no longer than taking the Thruway and saved us $ 4.34 in tolls. I am always amazed at how beautiful New York state is.
  • We did not stay for the luncheon afterwards because Hubby’s back was not good yesterday. So we left right after the service. Our plan was to pick up some fast food to eat in the car on the way home. We had not eaten breakfast and when we left the church it was going on 1PM. However, we ended up driving straight home and just ate some leftovers about 3:30pm. We planned to go to Subway later to get wraps for a late dinner but neither of us was hungry.
  • But this morning, we were ravenous. So I ran to Panera and got bagels. It was Tuesday discount day so they only cost $ 6.99 for a dozen. I still have 3 gift cards that I purchased on a discount almost 4 years ago. So I paid with one of those. BTW, for those of you who followed me when I was on the Keto diet for 2 years, I got very bored with it. I needed a new plan. So I count calories every day and try to stay under 1400. The bagels are pictured above after Hubby ate one and I had a half of one. Hubby wanted cinnamon cream cheese but I can’t find it anywhere since Covid started. So I purchased a container of cream cheese and he made his own again for about the fourth time. He says it is better than store bought.
  • While I was out, I stopped at Top’s for a few things since it was 6% off your total bill Senior Discount Day. We got a lot of produce, Kosher salt to make pickles, and milk that was needed.
  • I also filled our car up with gas since we used almost all of it yesterday. The price at the pump was $ 3.09.9. But after Top’s points I was able to get $.50 off a gallon which brought the price down to $2.59.9 per gallon.
  • Hubby ordered what he thought was the replacement filters for our air cleaner in the master bedroom. When he got them, it was the generic that you have to cut to fit. He just traced the old one and he was able to get 4 filters out of one pad. We had purchased two so we got 8 filters instead of just 2. Nothing like stumbling on a bargain to make us happy.
  • Hubby asked our landscape company to do some lawn work. They already do all of our weeding and gardens and fertilize the lawn. But we have some areas on the side of the house where crap grass had taken over. Also the town reseeded the area of our lawn that they dug up to fix the water pipe. They used cheap rye grass and it was full of weeds. Our grass is a mix of blue grasses. So we wanted those areas redone. The landscape company sent us an $1100. estimate. I told Hubby to go for it. But Hubby said no. He is going to do the work himself in the Fall. He felt their estimate was too high for the work he wanted done. I guess that will save us most of the $1100. since we already have plenty of blue grass seed.
  • We got our July natural gas and electric bill and it was for the exact same number of days as last July. Since that time we have had a rate increase. We used a lot more electric than last year but the same amount of natural gas. However the bill was about $ 10. less than last year’s. I was very happy about that!
  • Lastly, we had enough points to get a $100. cashback reward that will show on our next credit card bill.

Hubby and I were looking at our net worth yesterday and realized that we are almost to another new milestone. So we are saving like crazy to reach it. So you will see a lot of money saving posts the rest of the summer right up to the end of winter so that we can reach that goal.

Feel free to leave a comment and share with us what you have been doing to be frugal and let your savings add up!

Every Day

My Bargains Today

We are under a State of Emergency here. We had an hour and a half storm late yesterday afternoon that was the worst Hubby and I have ever seen. We got 5.7 inches of rain during that period, thunder and lightning, golf ball sized hail,and 60 mile an hour winds. We have had so much rain in the past 3 weeks that the ground just couldn’t soak it up. Where they are building behind us was flooded with water. There were many streets shut down including a main road that gets you through town. I had to venture out for a necessary appointment this morning and had to take detours around two roads that were shut down. In the city just north of us, many streets were closed and many basements are flooded. There are tree limbs down everywhere. We had no damage that we have noticed. But I am not sure that my tomato plants didn’t take a hit from the hail pelting them. Time will tell.

On my way home from my appointment, I stopped at Aldi’s to pick up strawberries and blueberries. The strawberries were a little overripe and when I turned them over to look at the bottom, they were covered in mold. Needless to say I left them in the store. I did get 2 containers of blueberries. But while I was there, I did a quick sweep of the store and found quite a bargain. The Cafe Bustelo coffee which I love was for $2.82 a brick . It is an expresso ground coffee. Since coffee prices are set to rise significantly again, I got 6 bricks. It is the best price in our area right now.

Then I stopped at Top’s to fill up our gas tank which was empty by half. I stopped into the market to pick up one more bottle of Diet Coke for $ .99 and a pound of butter for $ 2.69 with store coupons. When I walked into the market, right in front of me was a sign that said manager’s special. It was these organic strawberries for $ 2.00 a package.

So there are still bargains to be had if you just keep your eyes open while you are shopping.

Because of the storm last night, Hubby could not grill our steak. So we quickly made Chef’s salads instead and he will grill the steak tonight. There is always food in our home that we can make quickly when dinner plans change last minute.

Have any of you found any unexpected bargains recently?

Every Day

Grocery Haul and Something That I Have Never Seen Before

Now that West has gone home, I can get back on some kind of schedule around here until the end of August when he comes again for a week.

So today, I did a grocery shop at Niagara Produce. They had local cucumbers on sale 4 for $ 1.00. I love these in salads and for a snack with a sprinkle of salt. I also picked up a bag of shrimp. We have not purchased much shrimp lately because of the price. But this was an entire pound for $7.99. We use this for the Shrimp Fra Diavolo that we make. So that pound will give us two meals.

I don’t know if any of you have heard of Rastelli’s or tried their meats. They are located in New Jersey. We have never had their beef but we have had their premium pork chops many times. They are outstanding! Some of the best meat we have ever eaten. So when I saw that Niagara Produce had their beef strip loin steaks on sale for $ 6.99 each, I got 4. They are 10 ounce Beef Striploin steaks. So they will give us 4 meals. If we like them, I will go back and get 12 more. I have never seen Rastelli’s meats at this produce store before. We will be grilling one for dinner tonight.

I also finally found some Ball quart jars and lids there too. My total bill for all was $ 61.24.

As I was making eggs and sausage for breakfast this morning, I saw something that I have never seen in all of my years.

I cracked an egg to find a double yolk in it. Has anyone ever seen this? I was thrilled to have 3 egg yolks instead of 2 on my Keto diet.

I hope you are all are having a good day. I am off to get some cleaning done around here before we grill out tonight.

Every Day

Just A Few Little Things We Do To Cut Expenses

Since West is not arriving to stay with us until this evening, I have a bit of time to leave a list. I would be very happy if you would add to the conversation in the comments so that it will be helpful to me and to others who read here. We always think when we read tips that we already knew them. But there are newbies who are just getting into frugality who haven’t. And you would be surprised at how much I have learned from all of you over the years.

Here is our small list:

  • We make our coffee at home and take it with us when we go out. Starbuck’s, Dunkin Donuts, and Tum Horton’s are expensive. I can’t imagine paying a lot for a special coffee. A few times a week, I make a special one here at home. I add a squirt or 2 of Skinny syrup, some heavy whipping cream instead of half and half, and a dollop of SF whipped cream. I can do this for way under $1.00 even with prices going up.
  • Put the A/C to 74. It is comfortable even with the high humidity we have been having. Any higher than that and I can’t function in the house without sweating.
  • We earn money while we sleep with investing.
  • Hang dry clothing.
  • We are a one car family. When we retired many years ago, we donated our Jeep to the local fire department. We have never looked back. If we need a second car for any reason, we can rent it. The savings on insurance and gasoline is huge.
  • We never buy things to impress people. We buy what we need to make our home enjoyable for us. We buy comfortable Classic clothing that will last us for years. Our car is purchased to be functional for us.
  • If we need a minor repair in our home, we check You Tube to see if someone has made a video showing us how to do it. Hubby did this a year ago and fixed our A/C for under $10.00. The company we called wanted a couple of hundred dollars to repair it. We have saved many dollars with the use of You Tube.
  • We always prep our meals the night before we make them. Once in a great while, I will prep for the week on the weekend. I always try to incorporate produce into those meals so as to not let it rot in the fridge.
  • Most of the time, we cook two portions of meals to use on two consecutive nights. If we have any leftovers after those nights, they get incorporated into the next night’s meal or frozen for future use.
  • I freeze produce when it is starting to get older so as to not waste it. I do this with many foods. If I only use 1/2 can of vegetables for a soup, I freeze the other half. If I only use a few tablespoons of tomato sauce or paste, I freeze the rest to put in my next spaghetti sauce.
  • I don’t buy items just because they are on sale. I try to purchase clothing and household items only when we truly need them. When the need arises, I look for the best price, a coupon code, use a rewards program like Rakuten, and get points on my credit card. If I went to every sale, I could easily spend much more than I planned.
  • We are making almost all of our own bread these days. Bread in the markets are way over priced. The only time I purchase it now is if I am in a time crunch and Aldi’s has a decent price or Walmart has it marked down to under a $1.00.
  • While I am thinking about bread, don’t waste your crusts. You paid for them. I don’t understand why people throw them away. They can be used to make croutons or breadcrumbs, make meatloaf, or make stuffing. Freeze them until you have enough slices. We have also eaten them toasted.
  • I save glass jars rather than recycle them. We love Classico spaghetti sauce when I haven’t made our own and their jars you can CAN in. I realize most products come in plastic these days but save any glass jar you get to use for leftovers in the fridge or freezer. It will save you on buying so many baggies or plastic wrap, etc.
  • Yes, I wash and reuse Ziploc bags. I don’t wash any that have had meat in them. Those get tossed.
  • We only eat two meals a day: brunch and dinner. For us it is healthier, lets us do intermittent fasting, and saves us money.
  • We are buying more used or refurbished items rather than new.
  • I purchase store labels when I purchase one ingredient foods. For other foods, we try one first. If we like it then we continue to buy the store or private labels rather than brand names.
  • We have always maintained our homes and cars. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.

This is all I have time to list right now. I hope I have helped someone.

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done Recently

My granddaughter went home on Saturday. We drove her to Syracuse to meet her Mom. She is a delightful teenager now and we so enjoyed her company. This past week we did spend some money to entertain her. She loves car trips. So she worked out three trips within 150 miles of our home. She described each of them to us: where we were going and for what. She told us she really liked trip # 2. So did Hubby and I. So we ventured south to Olean, Porterville, and Ellicottville. The scenery was breathtaking. It is ski country. We drove through Olean to Porterville to go to Sprague’s Maple Farms. We had lunch in their restaurant which was quite beautiful. They also raise organic turkeys so I could not pass up their hot turkey sandwich for my lunch. The turkey was so tender and delicious. It may be worth a trip down there again to pick up an ordered turkey for Thanksgiving. Then we continued on to Ellicottville to Watson’s Chocolates before we went home. It was a fun day for all of us.

West is coming on Thursday and will be here this time until Sunday evening. I am writing up a list of things to do to keep him busy. He has lots of energy.

Now on to the things we have been doing to save money:

  • Pictured are our four tomato plants. They are getting really big and have lots of flowers.
  • We even have some small tomatoes on them. Since tomatoes, which we love, are so expensive this year, these plants will save us quite a bit of money.
  • Since we have had lots of rain, we have not had to water for the past 10 days or so. That will save us some money on the water bill.
  • The majority of our meals we made from scratch while our granddaughter was here. We did go out to dinner on our wedding anniversary.
  • I picked up my new denture at my dentist this morning. Those of you who have been around a while know all the trouble I have had with it breaking in half. Well, it happened again for the third time while West was here a couple of weeks ago. It seems that other people who use that lab have also been having trouble. So a new denture was made for me using the most expensive material they use for them. The material is also flexible. So there is no chance of it breaking while I eat. The lab and my dentist ate the cost. But I have spent a lot of time in the dentist chair the last couple of years so it was the least they could do. Hopefully this is the fix.
  • We have used a lot of gasoline the past week or so. It had been $3.05.9 per gallon. It goes up so rapidly, that I fill up when it gets to a half tank. So when we got back from our trip, it was just about empty. I filled up again at $ 3.09.9 a gallon. I filled up again when we got home from taking my granddaughter to Syracuse. I also picked up Hubby’s prescriptions at the same time to try to make this tank of gas last a lot longer. Fortunately, I had Top’s gas points to help defray the cost. But I am now out of them. I noticed today that the price has gone up to $3.13.9 a gallon. What are you guys paying for gasoline?
  • This was my deal of the month that I found today. Top’s had a Super Coupon for $ 4.99 for Smithfield bacon which I will not buy for two reasons. The first being that it is awful bacon and the second that the company is owned by China. I like to keep a few pounds in the refrigerator but I was getting low. So even knowing that I wouldn’t buy the Smithfield, I ventured over to the bacon to see what else might be on sale. Well, the Hatfield was on sale but that bacon is even worse than Smithfield’s Then I saw this Jimmy Dean’s. That and Oscar Mayer are my favorites. But my grocery store and Walmart are always out of stock on the Oscar Mayer. The Jimmy Dean is always $9.99 a lb. I looked down at the shelf and it looked like it was on sale for $4.99 a lb. No, that must be a mistake. I looked at the shelf to make sure the label I was reading was the Jimmy Dean. It was! So I picked up a package to see what might be wrong with it. It looked fine and had about a 5 week expiration date. I purchased these 4 packages and I will now have plenty of bacon to make BLT’s when my tomatoes ripen.
  • I continue to watch our water, electric, and natural gas consumption. I will conserve wherever I can. I believe the bills will continue to rise and that we have will have astronomical bills this winter especially if we have a colder than normal winter.
  • I am buying Keystone canned meats. They are ready to eat and can be used in so many recipes. There are only two ingredients in the can. They are all natural and have no preservatives. The only one I can’t find is the turkey. But we love all of the ones we have tried: beef, ground beef, chicken and pork. It has now gotten to the point that it is cheaper to buy meat in the can rather than fresh. So we will continue to eat the meat in our freezer but buy the canned meats when they are cheaper. Keystone is a 4th generation family owned business in Ohio.

That is about all that is going on here. We have just been very, very busy with grandchildren. After West leaves on Sunday night, I will be free until he comes again for a week the end of August. So I should be posting more often.

What have you guys done to save money recently? Feel free to tell us in a comment.