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Every Day

Frugal Things The Past Couple of Weeks

Well, I hope you are feeling Happy today! I know I am! Sorry to be absent the past couple of weeks but we had to be available for family, spent many hours a day trying to find a place that would actually have a vaccine appointment, and spent many hours with lawyers working on estate things along with the usual everyday things that we all have to spend time on.

I can happily tell you that Hubby and I have both gotten our first vaccine injections. We are looking forward to getting the second shots. I hope that if you are over 65 that you have been able to get yours too.

Now for the frugal things that we have done while I have been absent:

  • I have done no grocery shopping during that time. We have been eating from our pantries, freezer, and refrigerator. I am planning a trip to the store and will post about it when it has happened.
  • I have been using up all of the cooked meals that we had frozen.
  • I made a run to the bank and got grocery money out for three months so that I could skip a couple of trips. The bank is a 30 minute drive in heavy traffic. The less time I can spend going there the better and it also saves on gasoline.
  • Hubby took 5 bags of bottles and cans to Fast Cash and received $7.65 back in deposits.
  • Hubby snow blowed our driveway after the latest storm and shoveled the driveway and porch. So many of my neighbors hire a plow driver and it is so expensive. We purchased the snow blower when we moved here and it is certainly paying for itself.
  • Our natural gas and electric utility bill came and was only a couple of dollars more than last year even though we had a rate increase.
  • I am noticing that grocery prices are continuing to go up due to inflation. I spent a morning at Walmart checking out all kinds of prices on things that we use all the time. I had to pick up a sweater so while I was there I updated our price book. I am seeing increases of $ .25 to over $ 1.00 per item. Meat especially seems to be rising whether it is fresh or canned. We will be making changes to what we buy as the price increases continue to head upwards. I will do a post about that in the future.
  • I did buy a necessity. Hubby said the shower floor was becoming too slippery for him. So I spent $ 15.11 for a shower mat. I do not want him to fall.
  • I went to the car wash and used 5 car wash coupons that I had gotten from previous washes to get a free wash. The SUV needed it badly since it was so dirty from the dirt and salt that the town puts on our roads.
  • Hubby downloaded “NEXT” and we binge watched it. I was great free entertainment.
  • I continue to exercise here at home on the treadmill and recumbent bike.
  • We paid our usual landscaping and fertilizing services so that we could take advantage of a 5% discount.
  • We did the usual of washing our laundry in cold water all except for towels and bedding. We hung most of our laundry to dry.
  • I spend time every week dry canning our pasta and grains until I get it all caught up.
  • I ordered vegetable seeds for the spring. They were a necessity this month because so many companies are getting orders early and I am afraid that they will sell out early.
  • Hubby had a Telehealth visit with a doctor which lets him stay away from people along with saving us gasoline.
  • I can’t think of anything else at the moment. Please feel free to share your frugal things with us in the comments.
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Every Day

No Spend: January 8-11 and Our One Pan-Pot Plan

The last few days have been spent in our home. No grocery shopping, no eating out. I have exercised every day for 20 minutes. But after watching the 60 Minutes program about 90 year olds and their habits, I don’t think that is enough. I used to do 30 minutes but these 90 year olds on average are doing 45 minutes so I think I should step up my game.

My days have been spent making phone calls that needed to get done, correcting my credit unions errors, looking for another bank and investments to put our money in instead of my current credit union. The errors they have made since their last cutover are just totally unacceptable. Even Hubby who has the patience of a saint is fed up with them!

We also have started doing something different with our meals. We are trying to use up every food item( leftovers) that is already cooked in our freezer and baking it as a casserole or one pan meal.

Yesterday, I took some cooked turkey breast out of the freezer, defrosted it and diced it. Then I sauteed some diced celery, diced fresh carrot, diced onion, and diced potato in some butter. I made 2 cups of turkey gravy using packets and added it. When it thickened, I added the diced turkey. I greased a round glass pan and poured everything into it. Then I placed a ready made pie crust that was in the fridge that needed to be used up quickly on the top and cut slits in it. I baked it in the oven at 375 for 25 minutes. Hubby told me it was the best pot pie that he had ever eaten. As you can see in the picture, we ate the leftovers tonight.

Tonight, I will take leftover pork tenderloin from the freezer to defrost. Tomorrow, I will dice it and do a stir fry using some peppers that I froze last summer when they were cheap. I will add onions and pineapple for Hubby. I will make a more Keto friendly stir fry for me.

Then the next night, we will take out spaghetti and spaghetti sauce and meatballs left from when my son and granddaughter were here and make a bake out of it. Then I will thaw a ham bone and soak some beans to make soup.

I know I have more meals in the freezer, so we will continue this until all of the cooked foods are gone.

While doing this, I will also be using up fruits and veggies that are in our fridge so they don’t go bad. They will be incorporated into the dinner meals or used for brunch or breakfast.

I am always remembering, waste not want not.

What have you done frugally lately?

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Every Day

No Spend: January 5 – 7

I really do not like playing catch up these couple of days but I had some really busy days. It also didn’t help that on Tuesday night I didn’t sleep a wink.

Tuesday was my big errand day. First I went to town hall to pay my property taxes. I was happy to get that done. Next I went to the drug store to pick up two prescriptions for Hubby. I was disappointed that they didn’t have a third one ready which necessitated another trip. I searched for marked down Christmas cards because I haven’t been able to find them. No luck so I believe I will make cards next year.

Then I went to Aldi’s, Dollar Tree, and lastly Top’s. At Aldi’s I picked up just 1 package of their on sale chicken breasts for $ 1.69 a lb. You could get 4 but I only bought 1 because that is all I had freezer room for.

We use a lot of garlic powder and crushed red pepper so at $ .95 each, they are the cheapest price in town. Then I purchased one creamer which we go through very quickly because I drink a lot of coffee during the day. The last purchase was frozen California medley on sale for $ .79. My total at Aldi was $ 12.96.

Next I stopped at Dollar Tree to pick up 1 package of pepper stir fry and the Northern beans to make ham and bean soup soon. We were out of the stir fry veggies and Hubby loves to use some of these in his egg omelet wrap every morning. I am convinced that Bird’s Eye makes these for Dollar Tree. For $1.00 no one can touch that price in my area. So I always buy these there. The last time I went to DT, they were totally out of Scotties tissue. I was happy to find they had restocked and picked up 4 boxes. My total here was $ 6.32.

My last stop was at Top’s to pick up 2 packages of the Carb Balance wraps. I know they are dirty Keto but this is my 1 exception when I am on my eating plan. They are so expensive. Has anyone found then cheaper? I paid $ 9.38 after my 6% Senior Discount. For Christmas I received a few scratch off Lotto tickets. I won a total of $ 8.00 so I stopped at customer service and cashed them in. That $ 8.00 will get put into our savings to eventually combine with other dollars and be invested. I never buy these scratch offs so it was fun for a change.

Today and the past two days I will and have done my exercising. I have been doing 30 minutes on the treadmill each day. I have also done my regular chores, washed floors, vacuumed, dusted. and cleaned out the fridge.

Yesterday, I drove back to the drug store to get that last prescription. We also made a huge investment in a bond fund. We rebalanced our investments in December and now we are buying more. I also washed the walls in one bedroom yesterday.

Today, I need to make an appointment with our lawyer and contact a doctor. My regular chores and exercising will get done. If all the little things get done and I have time I will wash another bedroom’s walls.

We have been eating Keto the last couple of days and will be making shrimp and a salad today.

My BIL is having a heart procedure at noon today. If you are one that prays, I would appreciate a little prayer for him.

What have you been doing the past couple of days to stay frugal? How is your exercising going?

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Every Day

No Spend Month – January 4th

This was my Walmart delivery this morning. I am only buying necessities. The grapes are to use in chicken salad this weekend. The romaine and mandarin oranges are to make salads. I am very low on green veggies so I purchased some broccoli, spinach and a broccoli and cauliflower mix.

The Hellman’s was to replace the last one that Hubby opened. We only had 6 eggs left and this box of 5 dozen was the cheapest in my town. They were only $ 5.63. The pizza is to have on hand to prevent us from getting take out if I need a night off. It was only $ 3.87 which is a lot cheaper than take out.

The crackers and popcorn were requested by Hubby for his snacks. The minute rice is handy when Hubby wants rice. I rarely eat it. This will make it easy to make. My entire bill was $ 49.84 including a $7.00 tip.

Amazon delivered my spin mop and bucket today so that I can start washing our walls soon. This is going to be a huge money saver.

I did my usual chores today and cleaned my second kitchen pantry. It didn’t take long because I keep it pretty neat. I also did my 30 minutes of exercising.

This afternoon I made a couple of business calls that needed to be done. I spent about 40 minutes waiting on hold. They seemed to be swamped after the holidays. Then I took a badly needed nap.

Hubby cooked enough chicken legs in the air fryer for our dinner and brunch tomorrow. I made some Buffalo wing sauce.

Tomorrow is my errand day so I need to get to bed early. I like to run errands during senior hours very early in the morning.

I hope you are doing well with your no spend month and that you have your exercise routine working for you.

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Every Day

No Spend, January 3rd

We watched our Buffalo Bills beat the Miami Dolphins today. It was their last game of regular play. We took our division and we are #2 in the conference. So we are in the playoffs. We have a terrific team this year. This win made my day!

Besides that it was a quiet day of chores, exercising, and cleaning my snack and liquor pantry in the kitchen. The pantries are on my chore list in my planner for this week. I will clean the other one in the kitchen tomorrow. It’s much neater than it was. Hubby sometimes does not put things back where he gets them from. So I have to neaten it up once in a while.

I did no laundry today nor did we go out of the house. No money was spent online either.

This morning I baked a package of bacon in the oven. Hubby and I had bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches for brunch using the low carbohydrate wraps.

I did run the dishwasher tonight with a full load. We do this every 2-3 days. I am always looking to save energy.

We just had dinner which is pictured above. We made taco bowls which we ate with tortilla chips.

So did you save any money today? Did you exercise?

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Every Day

No Spend, January 2nd

I did not leave the house again today. However, our property tax bill for the year arrived in the mail. It was not a shock because I knew it was coming and I knew how much it was going to be. This is an essential bill so I will pay it this week on my errand day. It went up $156.+ from last year but our assessment was increased $20,000. and prices went up for the services it covers.

I placed a Walmart Plus delivery which will come on Monday. That is when it will be billed so I will let you know what I spent when that happens. We only needed a small amount of foods. I have been trying to order Advil Cold and Sinus and no one seems to have it in stock. I am running out.

While Hubby and I were watching football last night, we discussed the wall washing that I want done. A number of people who belong to a group that I am in, told me that they wash their walls with an O’Cedar spin mop. They assured me that there are no drips because the bucket really wrings the mop almost dry. I decided it would be a lot cheaper to buy the mop and spin bucket than to hire someone to do this. I also have a recipe for a homemade cleaner that I can put in the water and it is supposed to clean the walls really well. So I ordered one from Amazon. It was $ 32.38 with tax. We both consider it a necessity. Hubby will be able to help me with the high stuff and I am pretty steady climbing on my Little Giant step stool and ladder. The hardest walls will be the ones that go up to the Cathedral ceilings. But I think we can manage them. If this works, we will save a fortune over having them professionally cleaned.

I had the majority of my cleaning done before I exercised today on the bike and treadmill. After I took my navy shower, I dusted all of the baseboards in the house. Then I prepped our salads that will be the side to our pulled pork leftovers for dinner tonight.

Breakfast this morning was an easy over egg and 1/2 a guacamole. We are running out of eggs but Walmart had a great price for 60 of them so they were part of my order. We eat a lot of eggs in this house plus I cooked a lot of scrambled eggs and ham when we had company.

I also managed to do a very large load of laundry. Some of it was hung and the rest was dried in the dryer using our wool balls. I dried it all at once. I ended up using 20 less minutes of dryer heat instead of doing two loads to dry it.

So this was all of our necessary spending. How are you guys doing with your no spend month if you are doing it? Are you exercising?

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Every Day

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2021! Have you set your goals and budget for the year yet? They are both a part of the No Spend Month and all of 2021 for us.

We have our budget set for the year and we will be sticking to it. I already told you that we will be spending only $300. a month for food. That amount will also cover health( over the counter meds) and beauty aids, cleaning, and paper products. Wine, liquor and beer will be a separate amount. We buy very little of these. They are usually only purchased when we are entertaining company.

We have a few projects this year that we will be paying cash for so we will be setting aside money to replace the money we will be spending. We will either have rooms in our home repainted or have the walls professionally washed. When I was younger, I used to wash the walls in every room every spring. But we will hire this out. We will be replacing carpet in our master bedroom. It has rolled which happens a lot in our part of the country. So unless they can re-stretch it to my satisfaction, it will get replaced.

The largest project will be having the entire back lot line of our yard landscaped with large trees and bushes in the spring. We will be hiring a design and landscape company to do this. This will be our most costly project of the year. But it needs to be done.

Today, we are not leaving our home. So no money spent by going out shopping. No shopping will be done online either.

I am heating up Jack Daniels BBQ pulled pork for sandwiches for our New Year’s dinner. Simple but tasty. This will give us about another meal for tomorrow night. We will have a small side salad to use up some produce. Everything I am cooking came out of our pantries, freezers, and fridge. I am really concentrating on what is in our fridge this week. Whenever we have company, we end up with a lot of leftovers that we need to use. Some of them I froze to make ham casserole, bean soup, slices for sandwiches and breakfasts.

When I first got up this morning, I got on the treadmill and did my exercising. Then I rode my recumbent bike while watching a You Tube video. After I took my shower, I did my morning chores. They are checked off in my planner. Most of the ones on the right side of the page are evening chores. I don’t do laundry every day. All of the sheets on all 3 beds were washed yesterday. None of them take very long when you keep up with them every day.

The Christmas stockings were put away. Then I made breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon and avocado. So when I publish this blog post, I can relax for most of the day with Hubby. There will be some good football games on today.

What are your goals for 2021? Are you sticking to your no spend today?

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Every Day

January 2021: No Spend Month and Exercise Every Day Month

It’s that time of year again! Time for new beginnings for a year full of hope!

I will be doing a No Spend month along with an Exercise Every Day month starting January 1st. We are all different, so we each have to set our own rules.

But after the holiday season and an excess of spending, it is time to slow down and track every penny in our budgets. It is also time to rev up the exercise after all of the rich foods consumed the last couple of months.

These are the things we will be doing this month for our NO SPEND month. We have already set our budget for the year so that we know how much we have to spend in each category. We will be tracking every penny so that we know what we are spending and where.

We each have items in our budget that have to be paid such as taxes, housing costs, food, utility costs, healthcare, telephone costs, insurances, transportation costs, etc.

However, some of the costs such as food, utilities, gasoline, etc. we can reduce the cost. For example, I have been spending $500. per month on groceries. I will be reducing that amount to $300. a month this year. I believe it is doable since we have a stockpile to work from. If the total for the month comes in under that $300. I will roll that money into the next month. I realize prices are rising and have been rising for months now. But we can do things differently, like make bread, cook from our pantries, cook as much from scratch as possible, waste no food, shop at the cheapest market, and eat the proper portions of food at meals.

We can reduce our electric and natural gas bills by being conscious of how much we are using and using less where we can. Hubby and I rarely use lighting during the daytime unless it is a very dark, dreary day. We cook using the appliance that uses the least amount of energy. We fill our washing machine when we do a load. We use cold water most of the time. We keep our heat at 62 from 11PM to 7AM. During the daytime, we keep it at 68. It doesn’t hurt that it has been a warmer winter so far. Our December bill was $27. less than the December bill last year. It was how warm it has been along with all the other ways we reduce it. We did well because there was also a rate increase.

We save on our water bills by never letting the water just run in the sink. Fill that sink up 1/3 to a 1/2 of the way to wash dishes and especially pots and pans. Only fill your pots and pans with the amount of water you need to cook that item. Don’t overfill them because that takes excess energy too. We take Navy showers. We don’t let the water run while brushing our teeth.

We researched cellphone plans and determined that we are already paying less for what we have. The cellphone carrier we researched was Spectrum. What they don’t tell you until you ask is that you have to switch to their Spectrum cable in order to get the cheap service. We have a grandfathered plan which is much cheaper so we are keeping that. Eventually they will put everyone on the Spectrum plan but then I have the option of cancelling cable. But maybe you can find a cheaper plan for how you use yours.

We can control our gasoline costs by staying home. When we do fill up, I use gasoline points to defray the cost. I had $ .90 off a gallon last week.

We will be using up the weird food items in the house. You know the ones you thought you would use, but they linger on the shelf.

West’s birthday is this month so we will be buying him a gift but that is a necessity.

I have a number of things in this house that need to be sold so I will be doing that. If they don’t sell, we will donate them.

We will not be eating out, doing takeout, or buying fast food.

We will mend our clothes when necessary. New clothes will not be in the budget this month.

We have Netflix now for the winter entertainment. When winter is over, we will cancel it.

I will be journaling every day what we are doing in January. If you are doing a No Spend month, feel free to tell us what you are doing everyday in the comments. This way we help each other.

As far as exercising every day, I ride my recumbent bike and fast walk on the treadmill. If you don’t have exercise items, there are many You Tube videos that you can watch and exercise right along with them. You can also run or take a walk outside. You don’t need to spend money on a gym. If you are not used to exercising every day, it is a good time to start so that you have a healthier 2021. I try to do mine first thing in the morning and it sets the tone for my entire day. I feel better and it gives me a ton of energy.

My son and granddaughter are arriving today so I will be back on the 1st. Enjoy your New Year’s Eve and stay safe.

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Every Day

Changes are Coming

I think most of you would agree with this statement. 2020 has been an awful year! I am happy to see it ending although I don’t know if 2021 will be better or not. We can hope and pray that this vaccine will work. Only time will tell.

I have to be honest and tell you that I have been in a funk lately and have not felt like blogging at all. But the New Year coming has given me renewed hope for a much better year. So I have shaken off the funk and will be regularly blogging starting on New Year’s Day. I will have a couple of more posts before then.

Before I tell you what I plan for January, here is a little bit of what has been going on here.

Most of our groceries have been delivered by Walmart +. That is working out very well for us. The drivers are usually on time and let you know when they will be arriving. I just open my garage door and they put the bags on the bench where we sit to put our shoes and boots on. As soon as they are gone, I bring everything into the kitchen and sort it out as to where it needs to be put away.

However, I did venture out to Niagara Produce the other day to purchase 10 lbs. of ground chuck and 3 very small filet mignons for Hubby and I to have for Christmas dinner. We will be alone and this will be our treat. I was surprised at how small they were and how expensive they were.

Part of the ground chuck is pictured above. I had already put up about 4 lbs. into ziploc bags and into the freezer. That meat will get used first so it won’t freezer burn.

The rest pictured I used the food saver on and froze it for meals in the far off future. We had only one pound of ground meat left in our freezer before I shopped. I usually buy my ground beef at Aldi’s but it has been way to crowded lately to go in there. This beef is good and was only about $.10 more a lb.

We had planned on having spiral sliced ham for Christmas. Our son called and surprised us to tell us that he and Alexa are coming for a visit on this coming Sunday for a few days. So I am saving the ham for dinner that day so that we can celebrate again with them. We are very excited that they are coming.

Now for 2021 plans. I am going to be doing two Challenges in January. It will be a NO SPEND month and an EXERCISE EVERY DAY month. Details will be forthcoming. These are the two challenges that I desperately need. Hopefully, you will join me if this is what you need.

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Every Day

A Little of This and a Little of That

Since Hubby and I love to do drumsticks in the air fryer, I finally got up to Aldi’s this week and got two packages at $.79 a lb. The price came off the receipt at the end. This is the best price that I have gotten for these in a very long time.

Once I got home I immediately used the food saver and froze them into meal size packages.

On Thursday, I had a Walmart delivery. I was pleasantly surprised that they sent all of these things free. They were inside that snowman bag. Since we are getting low on floss, I was happy to get that. Hubby can’t wait to try the mustard. I tried the coffee this morning. I put the GV knockoff of Nutella away for when my granddaughter visits since she loves it. You have to love freebies!

Hubby and I have been taking it easy and watching a lot of movies and shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime. We have been watching football games too. I have been trying to keep him off of his foot so that it will heal. It is getting there but I don’t want him to do too much too fast. So I have been doing all of the work and waiting on him.

He was craving beef barley soup so I made a pot last night. We will have it again tonight. I rarely measure anything when I make soup. It was just beef broth with chunks of beef, sliced carrots, diced onions and celery, and pearled barley. He loved it!

Since we have everything done for Christmas, we have been working on our financial plan for the New Year. We have a number of projects planned through out the year. If and when we can all travel again, we will be doing some of that too.

I have been planing out my blog posts for 2021 and listing the topics. I am hoping to teach you many more things.

Are you all ready for Christmas? Have you written your goals and plans for 2021?