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Every Day

What I Saw At The Grocery Store Today

I went to my local Top’s grocery store today to get some BS Chicken Breasts to can. They were on sale for $ 1.99 a lb. I picked up a large package.

They also had frozen extra large cooked shrimp at $ 8.99. It was the same price I had paid in early 2021 which I thought was weird. So I went to the freezer case to get one or two. That is when I noticed that they had smudged off the best buy date on every package. That immediately warned me that they were old and out of date. I went through every package to try to find one that still had the date on it. There were none; they were all wiped off. I left without buying any. They are trying to get rid of old stuff and I was not paying good money for that. So watch your dates. I have seen this on cans too where the dates show they will expire in a couple of weeks. I saw it today on dried fruits also.

I am getting low on eggs also but it was $ 1.89 on sale for a dozen eggs. Then I noticed that I could get 24 Eggland’s Best eggs for $ 8.49. I walked right on by. I have two other places that I will look for eggs tomorrow. If I can’t get eggs for a decent price, we will eat powdered eggs.

As I perused the dairy aisle, I noticed that cow’s milk was almost non- existent but there was plenty of vegan or oat milk. A quart of heavy whipping cream or half and half was $ 6.49. Our yogurt aisle which is normally a huge part of a dairy aisle was getting low but all of a sudden there is a vegan section that has taken over part of it and it is well stocked.

The Beyond Meat section is growing and growing but the meat is getting low. Hopefully, you can read between the lines here. I wouldn’t want to say that this is being orchestrated!

They also had fresh berries B1GF that I would not feed to anyone. They had put the paper liners in the bottoms to soak up the juice. They were way beyond fresh.

The freezer cases were really lacking on pizzas and frozen snacks. Many aisles were not well stocked. There were holes everywhere.

I don’t even want to get into how high the prices have gone up just in the last 10 days. So many are ridiculous! I will not pay them.

Soon I will write about what you can do to try to save a little money at the market. That is if you can even find the food!

Are any of you guys seeing these same things in your area? I live very close to the second largest city in New York State.

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Every Day

If You Have Never Paid Attention To Me Before,Please Listen To This Warning

Times are tough for all of us! The last two years have been very trying between the virus and the inflation that we are seeing in our food supply and on many other items that we pay for monthly.

You have all seen the increases in food, natural gas, electricity, oil, propane, lumber, housing prices, gasoline, OTC medications, insurances, property taxes, and many other products and services.

I know some of you have gotten raises but will they be enough to keep up with all these increases? I doubt it. I believe that prices are going to continue to go up this year and possibly into 2023. I am already seeing big increases just since the 1st of the year. Many companies have come out and said they will be raising prices this month.

Most of you know that I am pretty old so I have been through times like this before. If you aren’t in the Baby Boomer generation, you probably don’t remember the worst time. The one that has always stuck in my mind was during the Carter years. Fed Chair Volcker, who served under President Carter raised the interest rates way up to 22%. Inflation reached 18%. I had a friend who purchased a home down the street from us at a 16% mortgage rate. Gasoline went up to $5.00 a gallon. We had gas shortages. We spent lots of time just waiting in line to gas up our car if we could find a station that had some. I even remember speed limits being decreased on some highways to 55 to conserve gasoline. The only thing that made any money was CD’s because the interest rates went up on them.

A number of you have written to me and asked me what to do with your money. I am not a financial advisor so I have no expertise in that field. We do the best we can with what we have learned over the years but even that is not guaranteed to work in this economy. So do your own research on it.

However, there is one piece of advice that I feel comfortable giving you. If you have any debt whatsoever, pay it off as fast as you can. The Feds said this week that they are going to start raising interest rates. When they start doing that, the interest rates on any outstanding money on your credit cards will follow. Any adjustable rate debt that you owe can go up depending on the terms. If you have a conventional mortgage your term is locked in. If you purchased a house at these lower rates over the the past couple of years, you are lucky and will have that lower rate for the life of the mortgage. Hopefully, many of you refinanced your mortgages while these rates were low.

But please, pay off those credit cards as fast as you can! If you are carrying large balances on them, it is going to really hurt when those interest rates rise! Don’t open any more! I have often talked about paying off your debt over the years. But this time, it needs to go or you will be paying a lot more to carry those balances.

President Biden and Treasurer Yellen, are saying they remember all of this from the Volcker years. We won’t let it get this bad they say. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. I honestly do not know how they will get out of this. Just take a look at the debt clock for this country. https://usdebtclock.org/

I truly hope you take heed for your own good. If not, I tried.

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Every Day

I won’t pay…………

On Tuesday, I went and paid my property taxes and filled up my car with gasoline. I paid $ 3.26 a gallon after using $ .20 off in points from Top’s supermarket. All errands were run in a circle so as to save on gasoline.

On Monday, I gave Hubby the last 24 pack of Diet Coke that we had in the house. I told him unless I can get it at a good sale price, I am not buying it anymore. So after I got gasoline, I walked into the market. They showed 12 packs of Diet Coke on sale for B2G2F. But as usual, It turned out to not be a good deal. Each 12 pack worked out to be about $ 6.90 each. I am not paying that for colored, flavored bubbly water. I am keeping a a list now of all the things I will not buy because I deem the prices too high! Red meat with the exception of on sale organic grass fed beef at Aldi’s comes to mind. I have buy prices that I will not go beyond.

We have Crystal Light, many teas, coffee, diet juices, Gatorade Zero, etc. in our home so he has plenty of choices besides soda. There is always water that we can flavor or put lemon slices in also.

Yesterday, Hubby took most of the meat off the bone and I added it to the beans that I had soaked overnight. Then I added chicken broth, a lot of spices, and extra ham, and made bean soup in my Instant Pot. Hubby loved it. We will be having it again tonight for dinner.

Breakfast this morning was fried ham and 2 eggs over easy. Yes, we are trying to use up most of the ham. Hubby did cut quite a huge portion off to be sliced sometime in the future. I froze it. Fortunately, we like ham so we don’t mind eating it many days in a row which goes along with our plan of not wasting any food.

Yesterday I cleaned up the fridge and mopped the kitchen floor. Today, while Hubby was out for two appointments, I cleaned the bathrooms, changed the towels and restocked the toilet paper. I still have to collect the trash to get it ready to be picked up tomorrow. I am also working on reorganizing a pantry.

We may or may not get snow today. South of us is supposed to get over a foot but it is not clear as to whether we will get none or 2-4 inches. The snowblower is tanked up and ready to go in case they are way off on their predictions.

We will be watching our shows that Hubby DVRed this week this afternoon. I love the NCIS’s and the FBI’s but I hate commercials. So he fast forwards through them.

I hope you all have a great day. I am curious. What are you not buying now because the price is too high?

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Every Day

Frugal Things Today and Yesterday

The ham that I cooked on New Year’s day was delicious. Hubby and I had it again for dinner on Sunday night. We also had some leftover pineapple that roasted on the ham in the oven. I decided since I hadn’t eaten much(guess I forgot to eat brunch) that I wanted an egg, cheese(gouda), and ham omelet with some pineapple on the side. It doesn’t make for a colorful looking plate but it sure was yummy! Hubby made himself some ham salad with diced celery, pickle relish, mayonnaise and a sprinkle of garlic powder served on Ritz crackers.

I am using up paper plates this week that were left from when we had pizza one night with company. And yes those are my bare feet! I am still learning how to take pictures with my cellphone.

I was going to throw a load of laundry in on Sunday while we watched the Buffalo Bills game. But I didn’t have enough for a full load. Hence I didn’t do it. I am trying to only do full laundry and dishwasher loads since electricity is so expensive. We ran our full dishwasher on the quick cycle using homemade detergent on Sunday night so it won’t have to be run again for a day or two.

We watched the game which the Bills won and now they have clinched a playoff spot. Way to go Bills!

We got snow overnight from Saturday into Sunday. But we decided not to waste the gasoline to use the snowblower. We didn’t even shovel. No one has to go out until Wednesday and it is supposed to warm up and rain. That will wash the snow away.

Today is Monday. Breakfast this morning was 2 eggs over easy and a piece of fried ham.

I finally had enough clothes to run a full load today using cold water and the ECO dry setting.

My property tax bill came today so I wrote a check and will go pay it tomorrow. That has risen steadily because of increases in our assessment every other year. We really got hit this year with a $30,000. increase.

We got notice in the mail today that our secondary health insurance went up by $60. a month for 2022. It is the largest monthly increase that we have ever had. That was on top of our primary Medicare going up for 2022 also.

I spent some time this afternoon doing some cleaning and watching a couple of You Tube videos. We did not leave the house today.

Hubby cut up the rest of the ham leaving a little on the ham bone so that I can make ham and bean soup tomorrow. I am hoping to put that in the Instant Pot on slow cook.

I put my great northern beans in a pot to soak overnight. I will rinse them in the morning and double check for stones.

Hubby had a ham and egg omelet tonight for dinner. I made a ham, cheddar cheese, and lettuce sandwich on a croissant and added some pickles to my plate. We have a few croissants that need to be used up.

At Amazon, I ordered some white socks for Hubby. He has been throwing his out one by one as they get holes in them. Luckily, I was able to find the same ones he is now wearing which have lasted him over 4 years. However the prices are way up. So instead of getting him 10 pair, I got him 20 figuring the prices will continue to go up.

We will be continuing to eat from our stockpile, not waste any food and do very little shopping.

So many things are rising in price including food, clothing, lumber(again), gasoline, and now my property taxes, and health insurances. We were already given notice that our homeowners and auto insurance will be going up too. I will have that bill in 6-8 weeks. Am I the the only one seeing these increases? Or are you guys seeing them too?

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Every Day

Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year 2022 word cloud. Happy New Year 2022 greetings card  - word cloud on a retro handmade paper stock image

Happy New Year to all of you and your families! I hope you all had wonderful holidays as we did. This is the first year since we have been married that I didn’t have to do the holiday cooking. We spent Thanksgiving at one son’s home and we spent Christmas at the other son’s home. It was wonderful!

My son and my granddaughter came to visit for a few days the day after Christmas. While they were here, we went to the Amish store so that I could add some spices and bread flour that were needed to our pantry. She loved picking out some fudge, cookies and other goodies for herself. We also tried their glazed donuts which they are noted for. They didn’t disappoint but now it is time to get back to some healthier eating.

For this new year, I am making no New Year’s resolutions. I have decided to do a theme instead. That theme is going to be “Self Sufficiency”. I know that it is hard to be totally self sufficient but we are going to strive to do whatever we can to rely on ourselves while spending as little as possible doing it.

I know it is only January but I am planning my container garden already. This year besides tomatoes, I would like to plant lettuce and perhaps peppers. I may plant some things in grow bags along with using my big pots. We love salads here and produce has gotten rather expensive and is about to get another huge increase this month.

I have been baking bread the past few weeks in my new bread maker. Because there are only the two of us, I divide it into thirds and only use 1/3 at a time. The rest gets frozen until we need it. We do have some rolls in the refrigerator and low carbohydrate tortillas, croissants, and English muffins in the freezer. With the exception of low carbohydrate tortillas, we will not be purchasing them again. We use very little bread so it will be easy and a lot cheaper to make our own. If I can find a good recipe, I may attempt to make our own low carbohydrate tortillas. Does anyone here do that?

I have Walmart Plus so I can get groceries delivered. I actually have a small order of fresh things like eggs, heavy whipping cream, 1/2 and 1/2, sour cream, Two Good vanilla yogurt, lettuce, cucumber, chicken breasts( $ 2.06 a lb.), etc. coming today. You all know that I hate driving in the snow but the virus has also blown up here so staying home is the right thing to do for us. My sister’s family got together for Christmas Eve and Christmas day and now 5 out of 8 of them have the virus. I have been praying that they all get well soon.

Today, I will be cooking a ham in the Instant pot if it fits. If not, it will have to go in the oven. This will give us many meals. I portion our meat so that I eat 4 oz. and Hubby eats 6 oz. I will serve augratin potatoes and spinach with it. After a few days of eating it, any meat that is left will be portioned up and frozen with the exception of using the ham bone and some of the meat for homemade bean soup.

Meat has gotten so expensive that we will be eating more meatless meals. I have a real problem spending “tens of dollars’ for any kind of roasts. We do have a couple in the freezer( purchased while they were still reasonable) but I will be buying no more unless the prices come down. I don’t see that happening any time soon. Right now, chicken and ground beef seem to the most affordable. But if they go much higher, I will be using them like condiments. I am remembering the 1970’s and early 1980’s right now. We ate a lot of bean type meals, peanut butter, pasta with just a small handful of ground meat thrown into the sauce to get our protein requirement. We also ate a lot of salads with a few tidbits of meat.

Hubby has always been our repair guy. If he can easily fix it, he does. Two days ago while vacuuming, our Dyson decided to not stand up on it’s own anymore. So Hubby immediately went to You Tube to research a fix. He found a video that showed that it was a loose screw. However getting to the screw was not easy. But by following the video, he did it and as you can see, the vacuum now stands up on it’s own again.

We have had another monthly electric and natural gas bill since we last talked about it. The cost of our natural gas went up 24% and the electricity went up 7% more than the same period last year. I was shocked when I opened the bill. We continue to not use as much electricity as possible. I try to not use my gas oven or range top. Small appliance use is so much cheaper. Anything that we can do to keep it down we are doing. Since our family left, I have closed off those two bedrooms until we no longer need heat. I have the vents closed, the doors closed, drapes and tight fitting shades on the windows and snakes in front of the doors.

I used up chicken, leftover from Hubby making chicken piccata when our family was here, to make a noodle and chicken skillet dish for dinner last night. We will eat some of the leftovers for brunch today. We waste no food in this home.

Our doorbell just rang! It was our next door neighbor with one of her little sons. They wanted to wish us a Happy New Year! She said that we are always bringing Timbits to her boys so they wanted to bring some to us. How nice of them to do that! They will be a great treat.

Well, my 9 lb. ham is not going to fit in the Instant Pot. Shucks! So I am just about to put it in the oven at 325 to warm it through. That will take about 2 hours and 10 minutes. I will do the augratin potatoes in the microwave because the oven won’t be hot enough for them. It will cheaper than using the natural gas stove top.

Hubby is and has been watching all of the football bowl games. So while the ham is cooking, I will check my planner to see what else I have scheduled for today and do some work in my 2022 financial planner.

I hope you all have a terrific start to the New Year! Are you doing anything to save money this year?

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Every Day

Frugal Things Today

  • I cooked up a pound of bacon all at once so that we can just reheat it for the next few breakfasts.
  • We received 2 rebate checks in the mail that total $14.21. Every little bit helps!
  • I washed a load of clothes using the ECO mode on my washer. I used cold water. The tops and some lingerie were hung to dry on the shower rod and the rest were dried using the ECO mode on our dryer. I also used 6 wool balls to cut down on the dry time.
  • A beef roast is cooking in my slow cooker along with some carrots, celery, and onions. This will be dinner tonight and the next few nights. I thought about slow cooking it in my Instant Pot. However, I dropped the bottom piece of my slow cooker the other day and something broke. Hubby took it apart the best he could, and said in his estimation, the part that broke should not affect the functioning. So I decided to try it out today to make sure. If it doesn’t seem to be working, I will switch it over to the Instant Pot. But so far so good.
  • While I was peeling and cutting up some carrots for the slow cooker, I cut some into sticks so that Hubby could have snacks this week with dill dip.
  • I planned out my meals for when we have company after Christmas. It looks like I have everything I need with the exception of eggnog. I will pick that up later this month when I go out for my haircut.
  • I spent some time today putting next year’s appointments, etc. in my 2022 planner. I am striving to be very organized this coming year.
  • We are keeping all of the lights off since dawn here. They will not get turned on until sunset.
  • I have put our non electric lights, flashlights, candles, and lighters in the main living area of our home so they are handy if we need them tomorrow. We are going to have major winds up to 65 miles per hour which they are predicting for tomorrow afternoon and evening. I hope we don’t lose power.
  • My new bread maker arrived today. I am loving the smaller footprint. Now I can leave it on my counter. I will be making a loaf of bread tomorrow. This machine will save me a lot of money on breads and rolls in the future. My 20 year old one was on it’s last leg.

Did you save any money today?

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Every Day

What We Will Be Doing To Save Money In 2022

This little tree was made from a larger tree. The angel on top was made by my Hubby in kindergarten. It is over 70 years old. I am surprised that it has held up as well as it has. I am waiting for our new tree skirt to arrive and it will be finished.

Now that we have put up our little Christmas tree, have written our cards, and have all of our Christmas giving taken care of, my mind has turned to the little tips and hacks that we will use to help us save money this month and next year in this inflationary cycle. These will be in no particular order. I will just write them as they pop into my head.

We will be eating from our food pantry. As we do that we will make sure to eat the proper portions which will ration the food that we have. We will only buy meat if I see a rock bottom price and then I will buy what we have room for. We only have a small chest freezer and the regular refrigerator so not a lot of freezer space. I do have the supplies to can meat that I see on sale. However, I am running out of shelves to store it on. I will buy fresh produce and dairy as I need it. We will do our best to not waste food as I told you in a prior post. I do believe that food prices will continue to surge. There are certain things that I will not buy now because I deem the price to be too high. Red meat except for ground beef and chuck roasts, coffee, soda, most fish, bacon, most junk food, etc. come to mind.

I will be keeping track of every penny of our money and tracking what is spent with the online program that we use. I will be better about using my price book to track prices as they go up so that I know what the best deal is.

We will continue to close the heating vents in our two spare bedrooms, close the doors, and put the draft snakes in front of the bottom of the doors. We will heat them back up the day before we have company coming the end of the month. This should help with our natural gas bill. We will make sure that we keep the bathroom vent and door open in the bathroom between these two rooms so that the pipes don’t freeze.

We made a decision this year to only minimally decorate our home with lights so we could save that cost in our electric bill. So our little tree is all the lights we have. It is enough for us to enjoy each evening. As we age, it is also getting harder to drag all of the decorating items from our basement to the upstairs. I think when my son and granddaughter come the end of the month, we will share decorations for my son’s tree with him. He doesn’t have many in his new home since his divorce. I will also let my other son take any that he wants. Then we will donate the rest of them to Goodwill.

Clothing prices have gone up here. I will be buying some jeans and tops for Hubby and myself when I see them go on sale after we lose some more weight. But I will be looking for a sale at that time. And the amount we will buy will be minimal.

I do not pay for shipping unless I ship something myself out of our local UPS which I will be doing today. Fortunately we have AAA. That gives us 5% off our cost to ship. I have free shipping for anything on walmart.com because I have their grocery plus delivery plan. I only use Amazon when I have the minimal amount of money that you have to spend in order to get free shipping.

We are setting our budget for 2022 this week. It will be as bare bones as we can get without cutting things that we enjoy like cable TV.

We will be spending on things that help us stay in our home that we love like landscaping and maintenance services. They are a necessity.

We rarely eat out but when we do, we support a family owned business. The food is better than the run of the mill big chains. In 2022, we will plan on eating out about every three months. Other than those occasions, all food will be cooked and eaten at home.

We plan on repairing as many things that we can ourselves before we call a repairman or buy new. We have stocked on a number of things that we might need to do that. You Tube is a great resource when you need to know how to repair something.

I will be planting a larger garden this spring so that we can cross some more of the things we buy off our list.

We are learning to make things that we have always purchased. Hubby is now making all of our salad dressings as the prepared ones run out. His latest is Italian Vinagrette which is delicious.

We will be making the little bit of bread and rolls that we do eat. Desserts, with the exception of some ice cream when the grandchildren visit, will be made here at home.

Our one main goal in 2022 is to become as self reliant as possible. Things are not going to get better in this country anytime soon and there is nothing we can do to control that. So we will work all year on the areas that we can control. When we had a period like this in the 1970’s, we survived by being very creative with everything we did. It actually was fun to do all the little things that helped us thrive and get through it.

Most importantly we will do all of this with gratitude in our hearts for the things that we do have and can do that makes our lives so much richer.

Have you thought about how you will cut expenses in 2022?

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Just A Quick Post About A Change

I started blogging in 2007 as Precious. My original blog was Frugal Makes Cents. I am not changing the name or address of this blog. But I have decided to go back to my original username of Precious. I always liked that and I am very used to it.

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A Wonderful Sunday

This was just a wonderful Sunday. We had not seen our grandson in many weeks due to him picking up the virus at school. He got it just a day after he got his first shot. Being 11 years old he couldn’t get his shot before then. He has now had his second shot and he and my son came for breakfast this morning. We were so very happy to see them. I missed them so much.

So I cooked all of us a breakfast of sausage, scrambled eggs, and potato pancakes. We had lots of mashed potatoes leftover from our turkey tenderloin dinner that needed to be used up. They turned out delicious!

They stayed about 5 hours to chat and play the card game “Cover Your Assets” which is a lot of fun. We played three games. I loved it! If you are interested in this card game, it is https://www.amazon.com/s?k=cover+your+assets+card+game&crid=3MPGGJHKZC2B8&sprefix=cover+your+ass%2Caps%2C193&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_14

We were not going to put up our Christmas tree this year. With my bad back, it just seemed like a lot of work. However, I decided today that we were going to do it. It is just a small table top tree but it was in a large box in the basement. So I asked my son to bring it upstairs for us. He did and we will decorate it tomorrow along with some other decorating. I think I am actually starting to get some Christmas spirit.

As Hubby was watching pro football today, he was watching QVC whenever there was a commercial. I spotted a bread machine that was on clearance for 30% off that I wanted. My machine works fine but is bulky and I can’t keep it on the counter. Hubby said to me do you want it. I said yes it is but it is a want not a need. He ordered it for me.

https://www.qvc.com/Breadman-2-lb-Multi-Function-Bread-Maker-w-Fast-Bake.product.K49788.html?productNumber=k49788&sc=ISRC

We don’t exchange gifts at Christmas but we do this kind of thing this time of year. A couple of days ago he saw something he wanted for the SUV. I ordered it!

Hubby decided he wanted to make a new meal out of the turkey tenderloin that we had left. So he substituted the turkey slices for the Chicken Picatta that he makes. It is pictured above. He made this big plate for himself. I had a smaller plate. It was so delicious! There were no leftovers so we can do a new meal tomorrow. The recipe we use is above. We had no capers in the fridge nor did we have fresh parsley so we left them out.

I am off to read for the evening. I hope you all had a wonderful day too!

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Every Day

Two Bulk Online Purchases

I noticed the other day that we were getting low on soaps. We had only one small refill of hand soap and I am using our last bottle of laundry detergent.

So I checked the bulk prices of both on Walmart and Amazon for what I needed. These two were clear winners for what we use. Since supply chain issues have been a big problem, I decided to order them right away hoping that they would have them in stock. They did and I had them within 2 days.

In case anyone is interested, I ordered three laundry soap from https://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Value-Our-Promise-Free-and-Clear-64-Loads-HE-Liquid-Laundry-Detergent-100-fl-oz/205587398 at a cost of $ 7.98 per bottle. This is our favorite.

I ordered two of the Dial Antibacterial Hand Soap from https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000JK3M0G?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details at a cost of $ 17.49 per bottle. These will last a very long time for us so I won’t have to worry about running out if this new variant becomes a real issue.

I got free shipping on both orders. I belong to Walmart Plus which I am allowing to renew this month. I do not have Amazon Prime. I have not had it since the spring.

It will be a quiet day here. Since I roasted two turkey tenderloins last night, our dinner will be just reheating leftovers.

I also am expecting my large box of Christmas cards to arrive today. So we will be watching college football while I write cards. When I looked for cards in my storage, I could only find 2 cards. It became clear that I didn’t buy any last year after Christmas. I won’t make that mistake again.

I hope you all are having a great weekend!