Every Day

Cost Cutting The Past Week Or Two

I have been working on our family trees the past 24 years. The past 3-4 years, I have deemed way too expensive to buy. However I ran across a July 4th deal that gives me newspapers, all other countries besides the U.S., etc. It was too good to pass up. It was $129.+tax for 6 months. So I have been researching an hour a day. There is a lot of new stuff out there.

We have been eating a lot of cold things for dinners. It has been just too hot to cook. Lots of sandwiches, taco bowls(just heat the meat in the microwave) with ground beef, taco seasoning, salsa, black olives, Mexican cheeses, taco sauce, and sour cream. We use Cantina tortilla chips to scoop it up. Caesar salads and macaroni salads have been on the menu too. We have lots of leftovers so we will pick from those for dinner tonight.

Have any of you guys purchased Bubba’s Angus Beef Burgers that are frozen and come in a box? I had heard many people talk about them but had never tried them. Recently I saw a video where a butcher did a taste test of many of the frozen burger brands. These burgers were his #1 pick. Because of that, I purchased one 2 lb.(1/3 lb. each burger) box to try them. Hubby absolutely loved them. We usually use organic 80/20 hamburger meat and make our own. But we do keep a box of frozen for when we are tired or just busy. Up to this point, I just purchased ones that were a Walmart brand. Not any more! These are the best burgers we have ever eaten. I can’t describe how good they were. If you haven’t tried them, try a box. I think you will be amazed. I did some research in my area and B. J.’s has the best price. They have a 12 burger pack for $25.29 and they had a 3 dollar coupon off so I got one box. If you don’t have a B.J.’s, I found the next best price at Walmart. A 6 count box was $13.97.

Hubby is mowing our lawn. It is the first day it hasn’t rained in about 4 days. We are getting ready for a wall to be installed on Monday around our grill. It is necessary to keep our grill from getting damaged. The winds blow them over. We are on our second one because the winds destroyed the last one. I was hoping that our landscaper would be here before this. But he didn’t come earlier because he caught Covid and would not come near us. I was very happy that he waited until he was over it.

I filled the car up with gasoline this week. I had Top’s points equaling $1.20 off per gallon. Our Top’s gas here is $ 3.56 a gallon so I paid $ 2.36 a gallon. Now we will make sure it lasts a while.

We had 4 tornadoes touch down 3 days ago here in Western New York. We had warnings but fortunately our county was not hit. Most importantly no one in the tornadoes paths were injured. But there is lots of damage to property and homes. Many people are still without power.

What have you been doing lately to save a little money?

Every Day

A Little Of This And A Little Of That

I woke up the other morning craving fried chicken and corn on the cob. Momentarily, I thought about going to Popeye’s or the gas station that makes delicious fried chicken every day. But I decided to make it at home for dinner. I had chicken breasts in the freezer that only cost me $ 1.88 a lb. I grabbed 2 breasts and weighed them. They totaled 1.5 lbs. I cut them in half lengthwise. That gave me 4 pieces that cost $ 2.82 for all or $ .705 for each. I coated them with seasoned( garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and paprika)flour and egg. I fried them in about $ .30 worth of oil. When I was frying them, I couldn’t help but notice the big bubbles that were in the pan. That told me these breasts would not be greasy and they weren’t.

Then I wrapped two ears of corn in 2 wet pieces of paper towels and microwaved them for 4-5 minutes. The corn cost me $ .29 each. or $ 1.16 for 4 ears.

Each meal ended up costing us $ 2.14 each plus the minimal cost of spices and a pat of butter for the corn. That cost is for 2 people.

I know I would have spent close to $15.+ tax for Popeye’s and about $16.+tax at the gas station. So I saved quite a bit of money and I think my chicken tastes much better.

Because we cook at home most of the time, we can afford to go out to dinner on specials occasions. Hubby and I celebrated our 57th Anniversary on Monday. We had a wonderful lazy day, talked to both of our sons, and went out to dinner at the Village Eatery for Italian food last night. We had not been there since before Covid. Their food was delicious. We came home with dessert and half of each of our meals for dinner Tuesday night. I had Chicken Pietro: sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, spinach, portobello mushrooms, and chicken sauteed in a white wine sauce on a bed of angel hair spaghetti. Hubby will finish his veal parmigiana. The waitress wrapped us two pieces of Italian bread to go with our leftovers. We had 3 drinks( $ 1.00 off each, a Happy Hour Special) between us and our total bill with a 20% tip came to $ 115.00. It was a wonderful celebration without a very high price. We like to support family owned restaurants.

I have been reorganizing our pantries. They don’t take long to be a mess when I don’t have time to put things away as I buy them. So I have been concentrating on that. Hubby asked me the other night when we cooked rib eye steaks if we had steak sauce. I looked and told him no. So I picked up 2 bottles the other day. When I was rearranging, I found 5 bottles, Now we have 7. This is why I should inventory more often. Yikes.

I hope you all had a great July 4th. We were invited to a cookout at our neighbor’s next door. It was mostly family but our neighbors on the other side of me were invited too. So we decided to go for a bit. But we ended up having a fantastic time chatting with their parents who are all about our age. So the bit turned into 3 hours. There were about 20 young children there who were enjoying the pool. Then later the oldest child who is 13 organized a bunch of games for the little kids. We enjoyed watching them because it brought back memories of our childhoods and our sons’ childhoods. There was so much food offered. Hubby and I just grabbed a cheeseburger, some macaroni salad, and a beer. Then later the hostess brought me a piece of strawberry cheesecake that a family member had made. I shared with Hubby and it was delicious. We could have pigged out on all of it but that would have only made us feel stuffed. We are finding that as we age, we eat less and two meals a day is plenty.

I did some shopping yesterday also. Walmart is having sale days and since I have Walmart+, I was able to shop a few days earlier than everyone else. I looked at what was on sale last night after we got home from dinner. I have been looking specifically for summer pajamas since mine have worn out after 24 years. I lucked out and got 3 summer lounge wear sets for $59.83. I also found 2 dressy tops for the summer for $ 24. I have what I need for years now.

I will write more in the next few days. I am tired tonight so I am going to bed early.

Have you done anything to save money this week? We did some spending also. You will see more frugal things we did when I write later.

Every Day

Our Savings for June 2024 That Went Towards Our Savings Goal

Our income monthly comes from many different sources. We have a pension, Social Security income, interest from a # of different credit union accounts, and this month we got another 2023 Federal Tax return check. The IRS had paid us most of our Federal Tax return a number of months ago. However due to a mistake with their software, we had to file an amended return and they owed us for an energy credit which they paid along with interest about a week ago. So our monthly income this month was more than it usually is. Just a few months ago we had lots of stocks and bonds which we cashed out of because I recognized that the market was being manipulated. We did our best to save every penny but besides paying for our regular bills in June, we had to pay out about $1300. for a repair to our garage door. We took that from our emergency fund but I paid it back to the emergency fund out of our June monthly income on June 30th.

So as I told you at the end of last month, we had $ 113,028.70 left to reach our goal. We were able to save $12, 239.02 in June. So we now have a balance of $100,789.68 to reach our goal.

So we are in the month of July now. I did spend $ 164. this morning for a large B.J.’s grocery order. I had to run some errands and it was on my route. I was too tired to take pictures when I got home.

I will be shopping tomorrow at Top’s to pick up some sale items. I may go to Niagara Produce also. I hope to show you those.

We will be working even harder this month to save money. I don’t expect to save anywhere near that much every month as this month. It all depends on how much the yearly bills are that we have to pay when they come due.

I know that some of you are saving for your own goals along with me. How did you guys do?

Every Day

Missing In Action

This had been a very busy week. We have had company, been tied up with appointments, worked in the gardens, canned chicken because I caught a good sale this week of $ 1.88 per pound for BS chicken breasts, had to have an expensive repair done that we were not expecting. Thanks to our emergency fund, we could pay for it with cash.

We got our monthly electric and gas bill. It was $ 132.98. Our electric was up about 80 kwh but that was because of A/C usage. I really couldn’t compare the bill to last year’s because the meter reader made a mistake last year and only charged us 7 kwh which threw our bills off for a couple of months. We are doing our best to keep the usage down. Our A/C has been off for the past couple of days because the heat wave has broken.

We cleaned our garage and Hubby power washed the floor.

I ran many errands. I took 2 – 40 pound bags of potting mix back to Home Depot. Hubby purchased too much. Yes, I can still lift 40 pound bags. I took 2 bags of bottles back to Fast Cash for the deposit money. I stopped at Aldi’s for a pound of strawberries that were on sale for $ 1.69. I picked up 3 prescriptions at Rite Aid for about $28.00. I took some donations to Goodwill and then my last stop was at Top’s for the on sale chicken.

We enjoyed having a friend here who we hadn’t seen for a long time.

I have a busy weekend coming up. But I will be back on July 1st to report how much we saved during the month of June towards our goal that we have been working on. We were not as able to save as much as we had hoped towards our goal because we had to replace the money in our emergency fund that we spent to repair our garage door. Last Saturday, I was putting some items in our car to get ready for errands this week. As I was coming back in the house, I pushed the button to close the garage door and it made a horrendous noise. The door went down but we could not get it back up. So for two days we could not get our car out of the garage. The company who came told us that the spring had snapped. The builder put in a door that only had one spring. The companies don’t even do those anymore. So we had them replace it with a dual spring unit and they replaced all the parts with stainless steel ones. This should last for years. But it was very expensive.

Every Day

Cutting Costs The Past Ten Days

I have been on a vacation the past ten days. I needed some time away from the daily routines of life. Now that I am rested, I am back.

We did not do a lot during this time to cut costs. But these are the few we did do:

  1. I filled up the car with gasoline using my Top’s points getting $.50 off per gallon. The gasoline price was $ 3.69 per gallon so I paid $3.19 per gallon.
  2. I cooked from scratch all except for one day. That day we got Subway 12 inch subs. We ate half for brunch and the other half for dinner which gave me a much needed day off from cooking. I used a coupon for get two foot longs for $12.99 which was a very good deal.
  3. My son and West took us out on Saturday morning to celebrate Father’s Day. Hubby enjoyed it and I loved not having to cook. We had a great breakfast at our local family owned Greek restaurant.
  4. Hubby has needed some new shorts for a while. His were fraying badly. I think they may have been 10 years or older. So he found 2 pair on LLBean on sale. They were not inexpensive but nothing seems to be today. I used Rakuten to get 2% off and used my cash back credit card to earn 1%. We did not have to pay shipping.
  5. I have been watching our water usage carefully because it is now sprinkler season which costs a lot of money. We have not had to use the sprinklers a lot until this week. We were 91 yesterday and they have forecast high 90’s right through Friday. The lawn, shrubs and flowers will be very thirsty. So navy showers are definitely a thing. I am very careful using water in the kitchen and for cleaning.
  6. I filled out 5 rebates and mailed them in.
  7. I hemmed two pairs of jeans. I am short and even though I order my jeans short, they are still too long for me.
  8. I am washing my own windows and washing my own walls to save on paying someone to do it.
  9. My Fetch account got all screwed up and I have been trying to get it fixed. It has not been easy and is not there yet.
  10. I am not doing any grocery shopping this week. We are eating from our pantry.
  11. Hubby wanted meatloaf for dinner on Father’s Day. I made him a very large one. I hate meatloaf but I made it and ate it. For some reason this one tasted pretty good. So we ate it on Monday night too. Hubby has been eating it for brunch also.
  12. For something different tonight, I am making a 9×13 chicken potpie casserole using leftover cooked chicken and turkey that was frozen, corn on the cob, that I cut off last last August and froze, that needed to be used up, sliced carrots, diced celery, diced potatoes, chicken broth and cream of chicken soup with herbs. I just put it in the oven. We will season it when we eat it according to our tastes.
  13. For entertainment this afternoon, we have been watching the men’s college baseball championship.
  14. Remember in a prior post I told you that I cancelled Peacock that I was getting for $ 5.99 a month. Well I did not know that Peacock was carrying the Olympics. So this weekend Hubby asked me if we had Peacock. I said no because I had just cancelled it. Well, I went out and looked for a deal and signed Hubby up with an account using the deal for $ 19.99 for one year. I will cancel it next June before it costs us full price. That saved us $ 51.89.
Every Day

Cost Cutting on Friday

I took all of the chicken that was left off of our first chicken and did the same with the whole second chicken. I made homemade chicken soup for dinner and it will probably last for 3-4 meals.

I forgot to tell you yesterday that on one of my Top’s shops this past week, they did not give me the 200 gas points I earned. So when I went on Thursday I went to customer service with my receipt and they gave me the additional $.20 off per gallon. That brought me up to $ .40 off per gallon and after shopping that day I was up to $ .50 a a gallon. So I will be getting gas soon. Watch your receipts closely. They make mistakes sometimes. $.20 off per gallon is valuable today.

One load of laundry was done using cold water and about 3 tbsp. of laundry detergent. I never follow the directions on the detergent bottle or box. A repairman told me years ago to use only 2-3 tbsp. He said you do not need more than that because the agitation does most of the cleaning. I hung that load to dry.

I cleaned a bedroom today. I didn’t get the windows done so that will be on my agenda tomorrow.

Breakfast this morning was bacon and eggs again. I ate the scrambled egg that was leftover the other day. Waste not, want not! I also sent an e-mail to Top’s customer service letting them know that the quality of their bacon is tasteless and it is like chewing rubber. Their bacon has always been delicious. I don’t know what has happened to it. I will not be buying it again.

I also contacted Walmart. I have never gotten my Florastor order. They kept saying it was delayed. I really needed it as quickly as they told me it would be here. I am only taking 1/2 a dose of what I should be taking trying to make it last. They told me it is lost(probably stolen). Well, why should I have to contact you? Shouldn’t you have let me know me know and refunded my money? They issued the refund for $ 53.77 which will take 10 days. UGH. Now I am back to square one and will have to see where else I can find it.

My arthritis has been bad especially when it rains and we have had a lot of that. I tried Advil, Tylenol, and aspirin and nothing worked. My son suggested I try Aleve. He has some medical background and said many people say they get relief from it. I did and it works. I am hoping it continues to work.

I used my credit card reward points to get $100. cashback in the form of a credit on my next credit card bill.

I hope you all had a good cost cutting day.

Every Day

Cutting Costs On Thursday

This morning we went to our doctor’s appointments. We always try to go together for a couple of reasons. Hubby is very deaf in one ear and his hearing aid does not do much for him anymore. I am his ears for what the doctor is saying. We pay this doctor our copay of $50.00 when we go because his bill is spot on and we never owe anything after our 2 insurances other than this copay we give him when we go. This saves us from having to mail a check using a stamp and envelope to pay him. It also saves us on gasoline. We do this with four different doctors.

After dropping Hubby at home, I did some more grocery shopping. I am trying to beef up our pantry. I try to replace what we have used recently. I did this at Dollar Tree this morning. Everything you see here was $ 1.25 each.

I got Ranch Dressing, black beans, chili, 2 mandarin oranges, raspberry preserves, soup, BBQ sauce, 3 frostings, and a can of hot dog chili sauce. The hot dog sauce was the only exception to what I needed in my pantry. I bought one can to try it. My sister has asked me if I had ever tried it. I had not. So I will try it and let her know what I think. This store has some good prices on name brand items. My total for all was $ 15.00.

I also went to Aldi’s to get a few items. They have the best price in my area on romaine lettuce($2.89) which we were out of. I also got egglife wraps for $ 4.99, broccoli for $ 1.09, flatbread for $ 3.99, hot dog buns for $1.29, and 4 sauces at $ 2.19 each. Aldi’s usually has the best looking romaine. When I went to Top’s next, the romaine was horrid looking and $ 3.99. My total for Aldi’s was $ 23.01.

My last stop was Top’s where I did the rotisserie deal again. It was $10. for the 8 Knorr sides and the chicken was free. I also got more blueberries for $ 1.99. Total was $11.99.

With the exception that I am on the hunt for a good price on local strawberries, I am pretty much done shopping for this month. My doctor told us that the u pick place is open but we can’t pick them anymore. I am hoping that NP has them next week. I want to make some jam.

Sorry about the last picture. When I was out today it was 76, full sun after raining and 67% humidity. It was so MUGGY! I came home, took pics, put everything away and took a nap. I was beat!

Matter of fact we were going to order out and get a pizza at Domino’s since any pizza is 50% off through 06/09/2024. I have plenty of money in my grocery budget that I can use. I hated to spend the money but I have been so beat. When I went to order, it said that you could not come into the lobby of the store, order online or use, the drive thru. They were temporarily closed. I called and the woman who answered did not even know why they were closed. So much for offering a deal and then not being open for it.

I had not thawed anything for dinner and it was almost dinner time. So I pulled 4 egg rolls out of the freezer which I could air fry right away. We each ate 2 and dipped them in sweet and sour sauce. They were delicious. I have a strawberry rhubarb pie which we had for dessert. In the end I saved the price of the pizza which I have no idea what that would have cost because their website was down.

I am still really tired so going to bed very soon. It’s 7:15pm.

I will be posting this on Friday.

Did any of you do anything to save money on Thursday?

Every Day

Cutting Costs on Wednesday

A couple of years ago, I got a deal on this foundation that I use most of the time. I got 6 bottles for $ 3.00 each. This is my last one and there is very little left in the top of the bottle. Both Amazon and Walmart have it for $14.78. I do have Amazon reward points that I can use to bring it down to $13.45. However, I would have to spend more than this to get free shipping since I do not subscribe to Prime.

I have decided to not pay that price because I have all of these. They are not my favorites but I am not going to waste them. Some of the colors are a little off but I will mix them if need be. Some are perfect for winter when my skin is lighter than in the summer. When they are all gone, I will look for a deal again.

Hubby had a button come off his shorts. Looking around the house, he found it and sewed it back on. That saved us from having to buy a button. Small things do add up.

We were craving egg, bacon, and cheese breakfast sandwiches for brunch. So I decided to make homemade ones. I have not made English muffins recently nor did we have croissants. However, we had sesame buns that Hubby likes for his sandwiches. They are getting old but still very soft. So I cooked up the bacon, made eggs, and a cheddar cheese slice. Then I am putting them in the microwave to melt the cheese a little. They were delicious and satisfied our craving.

Waste not want not. There was a small piece of cooked egg left so I put that in a sandwich baggie in the fridge. It will end up in another breakfast sandwich or in stir fried rice.

A couple of years ago I found many packages of Christmas sandwich baggies on sale for 90% off. I bought lots and have been reaching for these when I need one for over 2 years.

We had strip steaks last night seasoned with Montreal steak seasoning. I was just letting the steaks rest while I cooked the broccoli.

Last night for entertainment, I continued to read “The Tightwad Gazette”.

Did you do anything to save today?

Every Day

Cutting Costs and My Why

All the years of our marriage, Hubby and I have had some lofty goals. We have met them all including buying 4 brand new homes, putting our sons through private schools and college, 2 in ground swimming pools, moving cross country twice, and giving away many thousands of dollars to family and charities, etc.

We have one last goal before we die! It is to give a certain amount of money to four family members upon our deaths. I am not going to tell you how much that totals up to because we want to keep that private. We have been saving many years for this goal. What I will tell you is the amount we still need to reach that goal is $ 113,028. Yes it is a lot of money. But we want to speed the savings up so we are going to extreme cost cut. Another reason I am doing these cost cutting posts is to help a family member. Plus if I only help one of you, I have done my job here.

I am aware that we all want to talk about what we save. It is really more about what we spend. Every dollar that we fritter away is a dollar that can’t be saved and invested for any goal that I or you want to reach. By fritter away, I mean waste. You all know the frivolous things I am talking about. We have talked about them many times.

I don’t know how fast we will reach this goal but I am hoping it will be under 3 years. I will let you know at the end of each month how much money has been saved toward this last $ 113,028. from our different streams of income. I will be very mindful that every dollar we spend will not be there to lower the amount we need.

So lets get started on the cost cutting with some of the things that we have done so far this week.

Hubby has decided to cut a birch tree that has grown larger than we thought it would so it needs some serious trimming. It is near our house and when the wind blows here the branches whack the roof. We had a tree company come out last summer to get an estimate. He told us he would it do it for $350. when he had another job in the area. That was the last time we heard from him. Whatever Hubby can’t reach, we will ask one of our sons to do when they visit. This way we won’t spend that $ 350. or most likely more because prices are always going up.

You read my small grocery haul post yesterday where I am trying to keep what we spend on groceries very low. I do this by purchasing only sale items, using coupons, and taking advantage of senior discount day 6% off. I also take advantage of deals for extra gasoline points if we can use that food. Gasoline is very expensive here in NY mainly because of all the taxes on it. So I like the Top’s and B.J.’s deals to get cheap gasoline. I always check prices before I fill up and if our cash station has the better price than those stores after the points and deals, I fill up there. Right now I am trying to wait until my tank is very low so that I can fill up and get the full benefit of those points or deals.

That free rotisserie chicken, that I purchased on Tuesday, will make 2 or 3 meals of sliced chicken and a big pot of chicken soup which will give us 3 more meals. I will be making my own broth in the crock pot instead of spending $ 1.37 for 32 ounces. I can get twice that from the chicken carcass. skin, and water. That will save me $2.74.

Hubby made a Caesar salad with his chicken and used up the last of the lettuce last night. I just ate a chicken sandwich. It was nice to not have to do any cooking.

We turned our A/C off about 10 days ago because the weather got cooler. We had to turn it back on mid morning yesterday. It was so hot and muggy here. I made sure all day that the shades were drawn on the sunny windows. But 10 days less of A/C on our next electric bill should make a difference.

Hubby has the sprinkler system on a timer three days a week. I usually get up before it comes on so I check and if it rained during the night or is supposed to rain that day, I turn it off. Our water rates have gone up this year so I do everything I can to not waste water.

I got a haircut at Great Clips before I shopped at Top’s yesterday. I had a $2.00 off coupon and had my stylist punch my card. You buy 7 haircuts and you get your 8th haircut free. I have 2 punches right now.

Fast Cash Bottle Redemption is in the same plaza so I took 3 bags of bottles back to get $ 2.55 in deposit money. Our deposit here is $ .05 per bottle or can. But it looks like NY wants to raise the deposit to $.10 a bottle and expand the deposit to other beverages including wine, spirits, and hard cider. It is in the legislature and I expect it will pass.

I used to buy big packs of water bottles to stock up for an emergency. I have quit paying for that. I now just wash out any plastic bottles when they are empty and fill them from the sink. I rotate through them to keep the water fresh.

Another thing that I have been doing is replacing my jars of spaghetti sauce with McCormick’s Spaghetti Sauce mix. It is cheaper and takes up less space. When my jars are gone, I will only use this or make my own homemade.

Are any of you saving for a goal right now?

Every Day

A Small Grocery Haul

I ran a few errands this morning one of which was stopping at Top’s. They had a few good deals that I wanted to take advantage of.

We like these Knorr sides especially when we have had a busy day. They were 8 for $ 10.00 which is only $.80 each. When you bought 8, you got the rotisserie chicken for free. I checked the price at Walmart for the Knorr sides and they were $ 1.12 each and no chicken. This was one of the biggest chickens that I have ever seen at my Top’s. I was surprised because they are usually very small. We will be having some of this for dinner since I have had a very tiring day. If I have to go out for any other reason this week, I may do this deal again.

I purchased 4 Cabot cheeses for $10.00 and 2 Crowley cottage cheese for $3.00 each. This deal also gave me 200 free gasoline points or $ .20 off a gallon.

The blueberries were $ 1.99 using a Super coupon. Tillamook Ice Cream was on sale for B1G1F. I bought 4 at a cost of $15.98 for all. This will be our stash for when the grandchildren visit this summer.

It was Senior 6% off Discount Day which gave me $ 2.73 off my order. My order total was $ 42.82.

I have another cost cutting post that I am working on for tomorrow. For the first time ever I am going to tell you what goal I am working on and how much I have left to save to reach it. It is a hefty amount but we can do it! Because of this, you will be seeing many cost cutting posts.

Did you get any good good deals this week?