Every Day

My Thought Process

I told you recently that I will be mentoring two couples that have asked me. I will give you more information on their circumstances next month. However they both have outstanding credit card debt and after looking at their after tax spendable income and their expenses, I have come to the conclusion that both families are spending way too much money on food. One family shops 3 or more times a week and the other spends way too much money eating out.

So some of the recent posts that you have seen me post is to get them thinking about their food spending. You may have seen this information before because I have had a # of blogs since I started doing it 11 years ago. Some of you probably know me as Precious. 

However, every one needs a reminder once in a while. So today I am again going over my thought process on how I grocery shop. You saw on Monday that I purchased 7 sirloin tip steaks on sale to grind into ground sirloin and how I saved on that. You all know that I buy at rock bottom prices on sale when I can.

I hadn’t planned on going to the market again this week. However you know what they say about the best laid plans. We have a dry erase board in the kitchen where Hubby and I write down things to get at the store. Well, it had quite a few things on it this morning and I have company coming tomorrow for the weekend. So today I needed to shop.

Above is the list I copied from the dry erase board minus the hash browns which Hubby had me add when he knew I was going to the store. 

The list here is after I thought about every item on it. Hubby does not go down to the basement unless it is absolutely necessary. It’s hard on his back. So he doesn’t have a clue what is in my pantry down there.

He wanted taco sauce to make a crock pot full of meat chili soon. We had a large bottle down there and part of a bottle in the fridge. So it got deleted from my list but put on a list of items that I don’t need right now but need to keep an eye out for a good sale price and coupons.

He wanted hash browns for breakfast this weekend. I have a 5 lb. bag of potatoes so I will grate them instead of buying a package.

We had a large can of Chinese noodles and Panda Express orange sauce in the pantry so they got crossed off and put on my other list.

That left the items above that I needed to purchase. I looked at the sale ads and pulled the only coupon I could find and marked it on the list along with a saving star rebate. Have you noticed that the coupons stink since the “Extreme Couponing Show” was on TV? They have even gotten worse recently. I actually know a coupon blogger from this area who did the matchups for Top’s each week. She has quit doing them because the coupons have gotten so bad and the sales are just as bad. Aldi’s and Walmart look better and better every day.

Then I went to both Top’s and Aldi’s. I could get the Kikkoman stir fry sauce for $.34 after the $.55 doubled coupon and a rebate at saving star for $.55 at Top’s plus I wanted to check their prices on other items so I went there first.

So this is what I purchased at Top’s:

stir fry sauce – $ .34
18 ct. large eggs – $2.19

This is what I purchased at Aldi’s:

American cheese singles – $ 1.99
Romaine Hearts – $ 2.29
4 qt. container of Vanilla Ice Cream – $ 3.99

My total for my grocery shop was $ 9.16.

The eggs were cheaper than buying them at Aldi’s by pennies. The BOGO free Kraft singles were $ 5.29 for
2 packages or about $ 2.65 each. I knew that I could get them for $ 1.99 at Aldi’s. Top’s romaine hearts were $ 3.49 or $ 1.20 more expensive than Aldi’s.

And yes, I purchased the ice cream that wasn’t on my list. It was a great price and we can use it for desserts for company this weekend. Root beer floats and hot fudge sundaes come to mind. I was going to bake something but when I saw the ice cream I changed my mind. I won’t heat up the kitchen since my A/C is still on. I sure hope we can turn it off permanently soon.  

I hope you all have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend. We will enjoy our company and have a great time.

Most of the children in the Northeast go back to school next week. I wish them all a great school year. I know that my granddaughter and grandson are excited that school is starting.

And lastly, we had a rainbow yesterday which I didn’t get a picture of and shortly after a beautiful sunset. The blues and oranges were magnificent.

I will be back posting soon.

Every Day

The Cravings Were So Bad!

Yesterday, when I was at the market, I was craving an Arby’s roast beef sandwich. Fortunately, it was too early for Arby’s to be open.

However, today I had to go to the drugstore and pick up two prescriptions and my cravings for Arby’s was in high gear especially because it was lunchtime. I only remember the cravings being this bad years ago when I smoked and urgently needed a cigarette. 

While I was driving to the drugstore, I kept trying to talk myself out of going to Arby’s. I reasoned that there was no coupon out for them in my coupon folder or online to make them cheaper. I had looked before I left home. They were not on sale for $1.00 or $1.50. I had even signed up on Arby’s site this morning and they said they would send a coupon. I kept looking in my e-mail and the coupon never came. However, I could almost taste the roast beef with the horsey sauce on it. Yup folks, those cravings were bad.

Finally I reached the drugstore and went in to get the two scripts. As I got back in my car, I knew I had to make a decision quickly. 

Then the voice of reason really kicked into high gear. I knew I had tons of food at home and it wouldn’t take but a few minutes to make lunch. Two roast beef sandwiches and a large order of curly fries for Hubby and I would cost me with tax about $12.50 since nothing was on sale. Going to Arby’s would add 2.1 miles to my trip and would cost more in gasoline. I had just paid $100. for the two prescriptions I had picked up. Did I want to spend more money at Arby’s on top of that? I started the car and the cravings continued.

As I was driving I got to the intersection where I could continue onto Arby’s or take a turn and head home. In a split second, I turned the car toward home. 

After I got home and put the drugs away, I grabbed some cheese and the turkey that I purchased the other day for sandwiches. I made a delicious grilled turkey and cheese sandwich, added some chips to my plate, and grabbed an orange to go with it. The sandwich and chips satisfied me and the orange ended up going back in the fridge. My cravings for Arby’s were gone. Maybe some day when the roast beef is on sale for 5/$5.55 I will get us a couple or if the free coupon ever shows up and then it will only cost me about $4.12+ tax for 2 of them. Or I will wait for them to go on sale and only pay $1.11+ tax for 2 of them. Maybe I won’t have a craving for them for a long time. Who knows?

But what I do know is that my lunch today only cost me about $1.25. Hubby wasn’t hungry for lunch.

Also what I do know is that the roast beef sandwich was a want not a need. The lunch I made was a need because I was hungry.

Now as a side note, the $100. for the prescriptions was a need not a want. But we are working to get healthier and get off of one of those scripts. One is necessary.

I have often been accused of overthinking things but you can’t teach an “old dog” new tricks. And overthinking things has served us well for the 51 years that we have been married. 

It will save you money too that you could save for something more important like private schools or college for your kids or an early retirement. You could use that money that you didn’t spend to pay off debt or save for your emergency fund.

The money I saved today will do more for my net worth than giving it to a big corporation.

So when you have a craving whether it be for food, clothing, incidentals when you are browsing the mall or a cup of coffee, just think about it a little more when the urge hits. You may be surprised when that craving all of a sudden doesn’t seem that important. 

As usual feel free to leave a comment. Do you ever have these cravings? Can you shake them?  

Every Day

Saving On Meat

We have heard many ways to save on meat. They run the gamut from buy on sale to buy at reduced price to buy in bulk when you see a rock bottom price.

But I have other ways to save on meat by just buying less. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat here.  But none of us need more than a 3-4 oz. portion of meat at a meal. That gives us enough protein along with the cheese or vegetables that may be in or with a meal.

Some days we get those protein portions by making meatless meals. We love beans and rice or omelets. Breakfast for dinner is on our menu at least once a month.  Hubby will make scrambled eggs, omelets or scrambled egg burritos. We have a side of fruit or vegetables with those meals. 

I save a fortune in one year’s time by using beef crumbles. I cook up a large amount ground beef at a time. I use this meat masher to mash it into the smallest crumbles. Then I freeze it in half pound portions using my food saver. When I am making a skillet dish or casserole for us, I pull out one bag for it. Many times when we have lots of pasta, rice and or vegetables in that skillet dish it will last us two nights. 

Another way that I have learned to save is to dice meat into smaller dices. One time when we were visiting my son and his family, I noticed that my smart daughter- in – law diced her chicken into smaller pieces than I did for stir fry. I thought to my myself that is a great way to make the meat stretch further. I always chunked my meat much bigger than hers. Now I dice it smaller.  

I do the same with dicing pepperoni, ham, and turkey for salads or pasta dishes. You can dice your beef smaller for beef stew. Mine were always too big. 

Another thing I do is grind my own meat. My Top’s has sirloin tip steaks on sale for $ 3.99 a pound this week. It is the only grocery purchase that I am making this week. So when I went to the market this morning, there was only 1 in the case. I asked at the butcher shop and they said they would cut me 6 more steaks fresh. So I purchased about 5.57 lbs. of steak which was 7 steaks total. I paid a total of $22.23 for all of them. They are pictured up top.

We don’t like sirloin tip steak grilled so I grind it into ground sirloin. Today the ground sirloin is on sale for $ 4.99 a lb. so I only saved $1.00 a lb. But most of the time it is priced closer to $5.99 – $ 6.99 in my stores. I made all of the bags for my food saver from on sale cheap rolls that I had stockpiled. But I would repackage the meat even if I had purchased the $4.99 lb. ground sirloin. $1.00 a pound savings on ground sirloin is well worth my time. Those dollars add up over a year into many dollars.

Hubby helped with the grinding, using our Kitchen Aid grinder attachment while I cut up the steaks and trimmed the little bit of grizzle that was on them. I left a very little bit of fat on them to flavor the meat.  I think it tastes better especially for hamburgers.

I didn’t have time today to cook up the ground meat so I used the food saver to package it raw into the portions I wanted to freeze.

But first I weighed them on my kitchen scale after zeroing out the bowl that I put the ground meat in. 

Then I used the food saver to package them up. I ended up with seven 1/2 lb. packages for skillet or casserole dishes. One 2 lb. package because Hubby wants to make chili soon. One 3/4 lb. package for mini cupcake meatloaves. And lastly a one pound package wrapped in saran wrap that I stuck in my fridge for tomorrow night’s hamburger dinner. We grill 4 hamburgers outside. Any that don’t get eaten get crumbled up into the next night’s spaghetti sauce.

Yes if you do the math, we ended up with 7.25 lbs. of ground sirloin even though the meat price stickers showed 5.57 lbs. that I was charged for. The butcher obviously gave me extra because he didn’t trim them as well as he might of if they were individually packaged in the meat case. I took a tiny bit of grizzle off of them. Yes I used a bit of fat but not much. There is no way that those trimmings came to a 1/4 of a lb. So I ended up paying $ 22.23 for 7 lbs. of ground meat or $3.18 a pound. This happens a lot when I have the butcher cut something for me. So in the end, I saved $ 1.81 a pound!
Any time I need ground beef, turkey, chicken or pork, I look at the ground prices and all the other cuts of meat to see what is cheaper. I have ground sirloin tip steaks and roasts, chuck steak and roasts, round steaks, chicken thighs or breasts, whole chickens, the dark meat from turkeys, and turkey breasts so many times over the years. Besides saving money, the other advantage that is important to me is the fact that I know my equipment for grinding is super clean and so are my hands.

I realize that not everyone has a Kitchen Aid with a grinder attachment. But I have seen many hand grinders in thrift stores for a couple of dollars. They look like my Grandma’s old fashioned one that she used to attach to a chair and hold a bowl under it.

I would love to know your tips on saving on meat for your family’s meals. Please leave a comment and share with all of us.  

Every Day

More Than Free

I have owned this book since it was first published. It is my very favorite of all of the ones I own except for The Tightwad Gazette.

When my sister was here to visit, she asked if she could pick a couple of books from my collection of frugality books to read at night while she was here. She chose this one and another. She read the other one first and had only gotten less than half way through this one. I told her to take it home and just give it back to me the next time we see each other which most likely be another two or three years.

Since I liked it so much I thought she would too. So I set out to find another copy so that I could gift her this book. I looked at all the used book places in my area and the thrift shops but no luck. Next I looked online for a used book. I found one at Amazon.

It was marked as a Prime offer even though it was sold by another seller on Amazon. So I ordered it. Even though that was on August 3rd and it was marked Prime, they said it would not arrive until between August 10 -August 17th. I didn’t need it right away so that was not a problem. That started the saga I am about to tell you about.

I was charged for this book on the 4th. The next e-mail I got told me that the book had been shipped on the 7th but the seller had not given them any tracking number or any other details. So since it was coming from a state that was very close to me, I started to look for it every day when the mail came. No book arrived. Then I got another e-mail telling me the seller had shipped the book on August 11th and they gave me a tracking #. So I kept looking. Looking up that # daily, it kept saying that it was awaiting the shipment from the seller. Every day through the 17th it said that. I was running out of patience and decided there might be some kind of scam going on here.

Finally when it didn’t arrive by the 17th, I sent an inquiry to the seller and noted all the different dates I had been given and how it looked to me like he or she had no intention on mailing the book to me. I informed them that I wanted a full refund.

The same day I got an e-mail informing me that they were refunding my money and that I didn’t have to return the book. I am thinking to my self, huh? I thought is that a comment to make Amazon believe that they shipped the book and I probably got it. I ignored it and watched my credit card account for the refund. Amazon informed me that the seller was refunding what I paid for it plus a goodwill credit of $.74. Don’t ask why that much because I don’t have a clue. In about 3 days my credit card charge was refunded.

The saga continues! I get another e-mail informing me the book was shipped on August 17th. I track the # on the Post Office site and finally a day or so later, it shows up as the book finally arriving in their possession. The book actually arrived yesterday – August 23rd. That surprised me. I really didn’t believe that I would see it.

I was exhausted from all that went on regarding this. It took a lot of my time to track things. I have a question for all of you.  Would you give this seller a review? I am assuming they sent the book even though they had refunded it along with the $.74  goodwill credit so that they would not get a negative review. Would you give the seller a negative review anyhow but advise that they finally made good on it? Or would you not give them any review at all? I am tempted to do the latter. I don’t know for sure but I am thinking the seller didn’t have the book when she sold it. That is because the book was shipped from a different state than the one she lives in. It was an adjacent state to her.

Anyhow buyer beware!  After loosing hundreds of dollars on the Zaycon mess, I an getting very leary of buying from anyone except a reputable large business that has shareholders. 

Please leave a comment on what you think I should do as far as the review. 

Every Day

Cheaper Cold Cuts

I had not shopped all week until today. We keep a dry erase board on the side of our fridge and Hubby had added the following to it:

Head and Shoulders Shampoo
Szechuan Sauce
8 oz. container of whipped cream cheese(Hubby loves adding cinnamon & brown sugar to make his own spread for bagels)

Since it was a nice day, I planned an efficient trip to the drug store to pick up a prescription, to Walmart, and to Top’s. Top’s carries the sauce and Walmart doesn’t. However the sauce and cream cheese are cheaper at Walmart. Tops and Walmart are almost next door to each other so the cost of gas isn’t an issue.

Just before I went to go out the door, I asked Hubby if there was anything else he wanted. He said turkey and ham cold cuts. My heart sank because cold cuts are $ 6.99 – $ 10.99 in my area on sale. And sometimes the better brands are even more. Hubby also has a habit of wanting them and then only eating them for lunch a day or two and then ignoring them and they go to waste. So I have not been buying them.

I usually cut our own from a ham or turkey that I cook. But it has been so hot since May that we have not used our oven.

Many times I purchase a chub of ham, turkey ham, or turkey and slice it on our slicer that you see pictured. I can usually get that chub for a few dollars less per pound than what is sells for at the deli. If you don’t have a slicer, you can take it to the deli and they most likely will slice it for you. Before I had my slicer not one market ever turned me down.

So I decided that I would get a chub of turkey and of ham. Knowing what the deli prices were at Top’s for them and for the chubs, I went to Walmart first where I was surprised at what they have. They had a few different brands to pick from. Both stores carry Smithfield ham but Walmart’s price was $1.27 cheaper per pound at $ 3.72 than Top’s price. The Kentucky Legend Oven Roasted Turkey Brand was $ 5.22 a lb. Top’s does not carry turkey chubs. We have had the Kentucky brand before and it is delicious.

Can you look at the picture of the chubs and see something that even surprised me? They are already sliced! So I had to buy them to show those of you who don’t have electric slicers.

Right now the cheapest turkey is $6.99 at my deli and the ham is $ 6.99. Since I purchased 2.57 lbs. of ham and 1.78lbs. of turkey, I saved $ 11.55 by not purchasing it at the deli. 

Obviously Hubby and I could not eat all of this at once. So the ham is good in the shrink wrap until October 21st  and the turkey until October 13th. 

So I put a third of the turkey in my fridge and we will work on eating that. Then I used my food saver to package up 2/3’s of it into two different packages to freeze. Once we open the ham we will do the same thing but put it into more food saver packages for the freezer. Whenever we need cold cuts, I will take a frozen package out and put a paper towel under the meat to soak up the liquid as it thaws. Then I will replace it with a new dry paper towel. This will keep bacteria at bay while we eat it.

We also use these cold cuts to put in Chef’s salads  which we love. And the ham can be diced to put in ham and cheese omelets for breakfast.

For lunch today we had turkey and lettuce sandwiches on croissants that I picked up on the marked down rack at Walmart for $ 1.99 for 4 large ones. I haven’t figured out how to make nice buttery croissants yet. But I will!

No matter what you purchase at the grocery store, think hard about how you can do it cheaper. Better to keep your money in your pocket than give it to a business. Businesses watch their bottom line like a hawk and you should be too.

I will be back with another post tomorrow.

Every Day

Preparing For Fall and Winter

Now that summer is winding down, it is time to start preparing for Fall and Winter. 

I have spent some time this summer stockpiling food, personal care, and cleaning items for this winter. As you all know we have cold and snowy winters here in the Buffalo region. However with all of the company we have had, I have not canned this year. So I have stockpiled more cans purchased from the grocery store. I also have full freezers which we are eating out of to make room for turkeys this November. I don’t like driving in the winter on days that the roads are not good. This stockpile lets me stay home on those days. 

We have also moved most of our bi-annual doctor appointments to the spring and summer. When we moved here it was the beginning of December. As we started finding doctors and setting up appointments, most of them landed in December and January. We have slowly moved them a month every year so that they are in the good weather now. The only ones we must go to are dental appointments. 

I have a list now of all of the things we must do to get ready for these seasons. These are some of the things that need to be done.

Hubby will be caulking all of house cracks that need it outside and inside while it is still warm out. Caulk and the necessary caulking gun are necessities that are worth the cost. Hubby will replace any weather stripping around doors that need it. Doing this makes the house more air tight and will save us on heating bills.

We will be having our furnace serviced to make sure that it is in good running condition for the seasons ahead. The $86. that it costs us is cheap insurance to make sure we do what we have to prevent a breakdown in the cold weather. It also tells me that the furnace will run efficiently and save us on the heating bills.

I will be picking up a multi-pack of furnace filters next week at Home Depot. Since we change them every month, I am down to one with the A/C on. On the advice of our furnace man, I buy cheap ones that don’t block the flow of the air but removes the dirt and dust.

Our landscaping company is here this morning doing what they do every month to maintain our property for us. They weed, trim bushes, and trees, plant things when we order through them, etc. The last month that they come is end of October and they get everything cut back and ready for winter. Hubby will have leaves to contend with but the riding lawn motor mulches them and picks them up.

The same landscape company does our lawn fertilizing and will put a winter fertilizer down later in the Fall.

In November, Hubby will service our snowblower so that will be ready for the first snow. He will also make sure that we have plenty of gas and oil for it to get us through the winter. He will service the riding lawn mower by draining the fluids and the other things he does to it.

Over the next two weeks I will be washing our winter clothes using the express cycle. They were all washed before they were put away but they need a little wash to freshen them up. Of course I will be hanging them to dry. 

I have marked my calendar to change the batteries in our smoke and carbon dioxide detectors for the beginning of furnace season. I buy 9 volts in bulk from Amazon. 

Once the furnace is on, I will put the snakes against the bottom of doors that go outside and against the doors that go into our basement to keep the warm air in.

Hubby has made an appointment for the company to  come and drain our sprinkler system to keep it from freezing. After they come and do that, Hubby will shut the water off to the outside spigots to keep them from freezing. Then he will drain any hoses that we have used over the summer to wash the car, etc. and store them away.

Our gutters will not have to be cleaned this year since we had Leaf Guard installed this spring and nothing gets through them.

We do these things to not only save on the heating bills but to maintain what we own so that we don’t have to replace it anytime soon. If you take care of these things they will last you a long time.

I realize not everyone lives in a cold area like we do so take the advice you can use and leave the rest behind.   

Every Day

Your Most Important Fund

Different people save for different things. They have Christmas Club accounts, vacation funds, a home fund, and many many others. But the most important fund that you should have before all others is an Emergency Fund.

Emergencies rear their ugly heads especially when you least expect them. The washer breaks or the dryer stops working. The furnace needs a repair or the A/C dies. You car needs a repair or you have a leak in the house and need a plumber. There are so many things that could happen that you need that Emergency Fund. 

So many times people have said, “But I can’t afford an emergency fund, I have too much credit card debt or a multitude of other excuses.” 

You can’t afford not to have an Emergency Fund especially if you are in credit card debt. Let’s say the dryer stops working. You have a few choices. You can try to fix it yourself by googling what the problem could be or looking for a You Tube video to watch that would show you how to repair it. You still may have to pay for an expensive part. You can call the service people to come and repair it. Or you can hang your laundry to dry until you have enough money to fix it. But no you want it fixed right away so you call the service repair people who cost you $85. -$90. just to come out to the house plus the cost of the repair.

Since you don’t have the money to pay for it you put it on a credit card that you already owe $4,000. on. That credit card you pay a bit more than the minimum payment every month. Your interest rate is
11% or more. So now you owe more on the card and if you don’t pay the repair off when your bill is due, you pay interest on that portion too. 

Have you learned your lesson and started an emergency fund? No you just hope that you don’t have another emergency any time soon. So 2 months later, the furnace stops working. You call someone to repair it and put that repair on your charge too. Do you see the vicious cycle that you set up for yourself? 

No matter how much money you have coming in or how much you owe, you have to save an emergency fund. Then when something breaks, you hopefully have the money saved to pay for it.

So how much money should you save? It depends on your situation. But when we first started saving for one over 50 years ago, we saved $1500. It was not easy back in the 60’s but little by little we saved it. Then we never touched it except for an emergency. If we did need it to repair something, we replaced whatever we had to spend as fast as we could. Back then, we only made 4 figures. Today you should be able to put more than that in an emergency fund. I would save $5,000. or more and hope that you don’t have to use it any time soon while you are saving up.

We finally built ourselves up to a year’s expenses in case Hubby lost his job. Then we started saving for buying our cars and bigger things. Once you start doing it on a regular basis, it just builds and builds. Then when you have a true emergency, you don’t have the stress of how to pay for it or have to put it on a credit card. 

Even if you are living paycheck to paycheck, social security to social security or pension to pension or are in credit card debt , you should be able to build that fund. I don’t care whether you can only put $5., 10., up to $50. or more a week into that fund, you have to start today to build it.

You have no extra money, you say to me. Well, then you have to either make more money or cut your expenses. It’s easy to cut your grocery budget by $5. or $10. per week or more. Just shop carefully, forego junk food or desserts, buy cheaper meats or do away with meat for a # of meals, and use every morsel that you purchase. Don’t throw food away. There are so many ways to save on food and other items that you need. But I will go into many of those ways over the next few months. I think you get the idea. 

Do not use that emergency fund that you are building for anything but a true emergency. And going to the movies, buying a cup of coffee out, going out for a drink or to a restaurant are not emergencies. They are wants; not needs. 

Please start doing this over the next week and do it every week thereafter. It will take you awhile to get it built to where you want it but it is the right thing to do for yourself and your family. 

I hope you all have wonderful weekend.

Every Day

Cutting The Grocery Bill

The most expensive grocery item that I buy is meat. Hence when I want to cut back on this bill, I look for great sales. One of those “WOW” sales was in my Sunday flyer this week. It also said that the quantity was limited and the sale started on Wednesday.

Since sales like this don’t last long in my markets, I made sure that I was at the store when it opened at 9AM. Many times I have missed out because the sale item is gone the first hour. There were about 12 people waiting in a line outside the store for it to open.  I hightailed it to where I knew the chickens would be. 

These were roasting chickens that were on sale at Aldi’s for $ .79 a lb. I got 6 of them for roasting in the autumn months. They should last us until turkeys go on sale in November.

I had 20 lbs. of chicken that I purchased early spring but it is now all gone. So I was waiting for a good price to stock up. I love the smell of chickens roasting in the oven. Since my oven is a convection oven they don’t take as long to roast as a regular gas oven.  So that saves me about 25% of the energy.

Plus there are only two of us and I can get 5 meals out of each of them especially if I make chicken rice soup.  We usually have a roast chicken dinner for the first meal. Then some kind of chicken casserole that will last us two days. Then if I make soup, we have that two nights and sometimes we have leftovers for lunch. That is why they call them “rubber chickens” because they stretch.   

I will be mentoring two people who have asked me to starting in September not individually but by blogging. Today’s advice is just a little sample. That way everyone can benefit from my advice. And since I don’t put ads up the advice is free of charge. Use what you can and pass over what you can’t.

One of the things I want to do is teach these people how to shop on the cheap by cooking from scratch. The main component of this is buying when things are at rock bottom prices. If you track when prices are at their lowest during the year, you will know what time of year to buy any item. Turkeys will hopefully be under a $1.00 per lb. this Thanksgiving season. These past two weeks I have seen my lowest prices on pork chops at $ 1.49 so I purchased 10 lbs.

This chicken has never been this low at $ .79 a lb. in my area. So if you need chicken and have an Aldi’s, stock up. You can do what I do by roasting it and making a # of meals. Or you can cut the roaster up into parts – breasts, legs, thighs, wings, and use the back meat and little bits left on the bone for soup. This is a whole lot cheaper than spending $1.99 a lb. for chicken breasts when they are on sale. 

BTW, my Top’s and my Dollar General already have their Halloween decorations and candy out and we are only half way through August. I find it kind of ridiculous! This and Christmas decorating get earlier every year. I am planning on staying out of the stores as much as possible. So I will just ignore all of it.

Tonight we are going to try the jarred Tikka Masala, with chicken and peppers, that I purchased to see if we even like it. It we do, I will make it from scratch and put it in our menu rotation. I will let you know what we think.

Till I post again, have a wonderful end of August!  

Every Day

Hubby’s Favorite Veggie Dip

Today, I made up another batch of Hubby’s favorite dill dip. He eats this with carrots and celery. Matter of fact he just had this for a snack. I am very happy when he eats this instead of junk food.

Here is the recipe he likes:

1 cup of lite Sour Cream

1 cup of Hellman’s Mayonaise

3/4 Tbsp. Dill Weed

Garlic Powder to taste.

Just mix and chill.

This makes the good size bowl pictured above. If you have a larger family double the recipe. This is what I did for company a couple of weeks ago.

Every Day

Analysis of My Grocery Shop and Some Price Checking

I have had company for the past few weeks and now have a little break before more comes. Since I have fed so many people, I needed to get some items that we were out of.

I don’t know about where you live but prices are rapidly changing around here. So I am now price checking again whenever I shop so that I know where the lowest prices are. 

So this morning was one of those trips. I went to Aldi’s and Top’s. 

At Aldi’s I got Clancy BBQ chips(1.79), Clancy Pretzels($1.49), and  Whole Salted Cashews($12.99). These are all snacks that Hubby likes and they will have to last him until the end of August because I am buying no more junk food until September. I purchased the Family Size Wavy Lays Potato Chips for me and to go with sandwiches. They were on sale with store coupon for $ 1.99. The cashews were the cheapest I have found anywhere even at Amazon. They are only $.43 an ounce vs. $ .51 at Amazon.

The hot dog buns($.75) were a great deal at Aldi’s this week. We have sale Sahlen’s hot dogs to use up so I will put these in my freezer until we cook the dogs.

The produce looked fresh at Aldi’s so I picked up celery($1.29), baby carrots($.89) and strawberries($1.29). I also got 2 ears of corn at Top’s for $.30 an ear. I cut up the celery into sticks and use it not only for cooking but for dipping into homemade dill dip for snacks. I use the baby carrots for the same purpose. Hubby loves it and I am trying to get him to stop snacking on so much junk. The corn will be used for dinner tomorrow night. The strawberries are used for smoothies and strawberry shortcake.

I also purchased at Aldi’s the olives($1.19),the Tikka Masala sauce($1.99), and the Cocktail sauce($.95). I have a recipe to make the Tikka Masala sauce. But before I buy all the ingredients to do that, I wanted to make sure that we like it. The olives are a staple in our home and the cocktail sauce will be used for shrimp cocktails one night for dinner. We have a 1/2 lb. of colossal shrimp left from one of our company dinners. When I serve this, we just have a small side salad with it.

At Top’s I also purchased 4 – 12 packs of Diet Coke(not pictured) for Hubby. It was on sale B2G2F and I needed it along with other things to get to the $20. purchase in order to be able to use the store coupons. I got a dozen large eggs($.99) with store coupon, 1 sour cream($1.49), 1 gallon of whole milk( $1.59) with store cpn., 1 plain yogurt($ 2.49), 8 Hunt’s Pasta Sauces(only 4 pictured- $ .88 each wyb 8), garlic salt($1.25), and 1 Crest Pro-Health toothpaste($.99 after mfr. cpn).

I stockpile cheap eggs for 6 weeks since I make a big family breakfast almost every Sunday. The sour cream is to make my dill dip. The whole milk and plain yogurt(starter) are for making my homemade yogurt. The pasta sauce I use as the base for my homemade spaghetti sauce which I doctor adding lots of other things. It is cheaper than buying tomato sauce here. I made a big pot last week when my granddaughter was visiting. It is pictured above and is loaded with 2 lbs. of homemade meatballs. We are getting low on stockpiled toothpaste so I picked this one up cheap. 

I believe all of the prices at each place were the cheapest except the plain yogurt. That might have been cheaper at Aldi’s. I forgot to price check it.

The next time, I will check these prices at our Super Walmart. 

When I shop I try to conserve on gasoline since it is so expensive here. Right now I have a discount of $.60 off a gallon but I still have 107 miles in the tank. After we do some appointments this week and next the car will be pretty much empty and I will fill up with the discount.

I am lucky that I have Top’s, Aldi’s and Super Walmart all within 4 miles of my home. So if I shop in a circle it doesn’t cost me too many dollars for gasoline.

While I have been enjoying my summer, I have been brainstorming blog post ideas for the Fall. A couple of my readers have kept in touch with me and have given me a great idea that I can expand on. So I will be back then for sure. But I will also pop in when time permits. I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!