Every Day

2019 Goal: Less Sweets and Junk Food

In our quest to eat healthier, we are not going to buy any sweets. If we crave something sweet, I will make it. Homemade cakes, cookies, brownies, donuts, pies, crisps, quick breads and baked apples will be the kind of sweet we will have. Parfaits made with homemade yogurt and granola will also be on the menu. Anything that I can make with Splenda, I will. 

Hubby and I like fruits, such as cuties, oranges, apples, grapes, bananas, pineapple, pears and peaches. They are sweet enough to satisfy our sweet cravings.

We do make SF puddings and jellos too. We usually eat them with SF Cool Whip.

I love ice cream but we eat too much of it. So in 2019, I will only buy it when we have company or for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. 

Junk food is getting cut back. Once a month I will buy a bag of potato chips and/or tortilla chips. We like potato chips with sandwiches and we love tortilla chips in certain recipes like tortilla soup or as a lunch with salsa. Popcorn and nuts are on the approved list. We can easily make our own Chex mix and that lasts a long, long time. 

Not only will this plan be healthier but it will cost us a lot less money. Junk food per lb. is really expensive! I could buy a lot of meats for the price of junk food. 

Can we survive this restrictive plan? Time will tell but we are going to give it our all.   

Every Day

2019 Goal: Save for Christmas

Every year I have good intentions to save up all “extras” for Christmas gifts. I did pretty well in 2018 but I know when I get busy I miss things.

So in 2019 I will be more focused. I plan on saving all bottle return money in a jar. In New York, we have a $.05 deposit on all returnable cans of soda and beer, and water bottles. I don’t buy bottled water now but Hubby does drink Diet Coke and we have the occasional beer bottle. I have two bags here that need to be taken back so they will go in the 2019 Christmas Fund.

We already save all of our change in a container for the grandchildren which we love doing. So that idea is out!

But I can save every survey and rebate check that I get. That would include rebates from Ibotta and Fetch. I will also save rebates from Saving Star,  Checkout51, Ebates, and from searching through Bing. I already have a rebate check sitting here waiting to be cashed. Since our Christmas shopping is all done and paid for, I will start my 2019 savings with that check and the bottle returns.

I do a fair amount of grocery and wine and liquor rebates during the year. So they will be saved for Christmas 2019.  

We get cash rewards from using our credit cards. I can save that money and use it for Christmas presents. Since we charge almost everything on our best rewards card and pay it in full every month, that money adds up very quickly. I just cashed in for $100. so I will save that.

I can’t think of any more right now but if I do later, I will add them to my list.  I would love to hear your ideas for saving money for Christmas 2019. Please leave any suggestions in the comments. 

Every Day

2019 Goal: Reuse All Plastic Bags

I have been faithfully returning all of the plastic bags that I get when I shop to the recycling bin in the supermarket. I do this with all of the ones that are not recyclable.

However, I have decided to save them to replace some of the garbage bags that we have to buy. I have started putting meat scraps, bones, and the wrappers from meat in these bags and double wrapping them and throwing them directly in the garbage can in the garage. This keeps my wastebasket in the kitchen from smelling and lets me use just one bag or less a week. I use the garbage disposal for other peelings or scraps after I make stock with them. 

Those tall kitchen garbage bags cost a lot of money to buy just to throw away. So the fewer I use, the less money I spend in a year on them. I usually buy quality ones in bulk at Walmart or from Amazon. If Walmart or anywhere else has a better price after coupon, then of course I would buy them there.

Without all of the scraps, bones and wrappers in them along with no recyclable items, it is pretty easy to get along with one or a half a bag a week. We use grocery store bags for wastebaskets in other rooms. 

I will be using grocery store bags to wrap leftovers too. I also wash and dry our ziplocs that have not had poultry or meat in them and reuse them over and over again.  I try to buy as few ziplocs in a year as possible. Last January, I purchased a lot of zippered bags with Christmas writing on them on clearance at Office Max for $.23 a box. I am still using them.

As I told you in my prior post, I have been saving all of the bread bags to reuse for my homemade breads.

Sometimes we get large bags from department stores. Those fit nicely in our kitchen wastebasket. The veterans also send a bag for donations. When I don’t have any donations, I use them for the kitchen wastebasket also.

I have started saving the produce bags from the market for leftovers. I reuse many of the cereal bags that are in the boxes for food use too.

Just look around you, there are many plastic bags that you can use over and over again. When they no longer work, take them to your local supermarket for recycling. Don’t let them end up in your landfill.

Do you reuse plastic bags? What do you use them for?

Every Day

2019 Goal: Bread

I have wanted forever to make my own bread. I have a bread maker but I rarely use it. That is going to change. Hubby is starting to learn how to make bread and I am going to also.

Yes, I will use my bread maker for a lot of what we need. But I am going to make all of our rolls: hamburger, hot dog, submarine, dinner rolls, biscuits, and any other roll that we want to eat. I will make English muffin bread in place of buying English muffins.

We have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with a dough hook so we can make our own dough and bake bread in the oven. I want to try all different kinds of recipes this year.

We already make our own quick breads and muffins. I have even made doughnuts. The only bread that I will buy are bagels at Panera Bread. That is because I am still trying to spend all of the gift cards that I purchased at a discount a couple of years ago. So I use those on Tuesdays when we need bagels and get a bakers dozen for $ 6.99. It takes us a long time to eat a dozen, so we freeze most of them and just take out two when we are craving one.

I will still purchase wraps because I don’t want to attempt them this year and they are cheap to buy. 

Knowing that this was going to be a goal for 2019, I have been saving bread wrappers and twist ties to use for my own homemade. I also have some bread bags from buying bagels that will give me a head start. When I freeze bread, I like to double wrap it to keep it from freezer burning.

I have stockpiled some all purpose flour and bread flour at rock bottom prices. I say some because I don’t want to keep too much on hand at once. I want it to be fresh when I use it. I have a stockpile of yeast in the freezer.

Will making our own bread save us money? I don’t know. I am sure it will save us some. I will keep track of what I am spending to make it and what it would cost me at the market.  But I am more interested in eating our bread without all of the preservatives. Have you noticed lately that loaves of bread from the grocery store last for many, many weeks before they go moldy? Then you look at the ingredients and you see all of the preservatives listed. My homemade bread will need to be frozen and used as we need it because it won’t have those preservatives. But that is a good thing. 

I do have two loaves of bread and 2 packages of English muffins in the freezer now so they will be used up. I don’t ever want to waste anything. 

Every Day

Our 2019 Goals

We have always had goals we want to reach each year. While we have been pretty good at raising our net worth every year even though we are retired, we have smaller goals that we want to concentrate on in 2019 that will help us raise our net worth but also let us concentrate on things we have always wanted to learn. 

In some cases, they are things that we want to make habits in our household. Many will be learning to make things from scratch that will not only save us dollars but be healthier for us. 

These goals will not only touch on our food saving but every other item that we pay money for. We are hoping it will be the best money saving and learning year yet. Even though we are in our seventies, we have a thirst for knowledge. We always have and we are not about to stop now!

So I hope you will join us on our journey in 2019 and that you can learn something new too. I hope that we can learn from all of you also. Knowledge is power when it is shared back and forth!

Even though it is not 2019 yet, I will start touching on these goals this week. My Christmas shopping is done and wrapped, our taxes have been looked at so that we are properly prepared for the end of the year, our goals have been written out for 2019, our stockpile for the winter is in the house, and we have more time to do so in the next few weeks.  

Have you set your goals for next year yet?

Every Day

Waste Not, Want Not

We are using up the leftovers from Thanksgiving. Every dab of everything will get used. I have never understood why people don’t use leftovers. I have known so many of them who just throw them out. They might as well just burn their money and not waste their time cooking them. Remember every penny always counts. They all add up!

This morning, Hubby made potato pancakes from all of the mashed potatoes we had. He put cheddar cheese in them and I have to tell you they were delicious. I love them with a dab of sour cream and Hubby loves ketchup.

We have leftover cranberry sauce. It will be used with Little Smokies and some chili sauce for dinner tomorrow night. Any leftovers will be lunch on Tuesday.

There is a little sausage stuffing smothered in gravy which will be lunch for us tomorrow. 

And today I made homemade turkey and rice soup for dinner. All the leftover turkey went in it. When I cut up celery for the stuffing. I diced enough for the soup too. I also sliced up carrots and used the leftover corn from Thanksgiving. The last of the gravy was thrown in along with the broth. Leftovers will be frozen for future soup meals.

Get creative with your leftovers and save those dollars! They will increase your net worth a lot during a year’s time.  

Every Day

I Wish You A Happy Thanksgiving

We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! We want you to be grateful for your families and your family’s health. Those are the most important things in life. We are grateful for ours. I also want you to know that I am grateful for every one of my readers throughout all of these years. You give me inspiration with your comments and I hope I inspire you with a little advice. 

We have been going to appointments this week and preparing for company. My son, DIL, and granddaughter will be arriving around noontime today. We are so looking forward to spending time with them this holiday. We haven’t seen them since the summer. My granddaughter was taller than me last summer and I can’t wait to see if she has grown some more. I can’t wait to hear all about her new school.

I will be back posting on Monday after my company leaves and I get caught up around here. Enjoy your turkey dinners and your Black Friday shopping. My very best to all of you!

Every Day

A Little of This and a LIttle of That

I decided to do some baking for Thanksgiving today.
I baked two loaves of pumpkin bread and two loaves of banana bread. They are all from scratch.  After they cooled, I double wrapped them in aluminum foil and froze them. They will be part of our breakfasts while my family is here for the Thanksgiving holiday. So I will pull them from the freezer the night before I need them. 

So what do you do for dinner when you have been baking?  I was tired but didn’t want to spend the money to go out. So I grabbed some cooked chicken that I put in the freezer from the 2nd roasting chicken that I cooked  a bit ago. I diced it and added it to a Zatarain’s Red Beans and Rice mix that was in my basement stockpile. Hubby tossed a bagged coleslaw mix with diced apples, raisins and walnut pieces and added his own sauce. It was about 5 -10 minutes hands on time and it was delicious.

I wrote our two couples who I have been helping this past week because I hadn’t heard from them. They are both busy especially because they will be traveling for Thanksgiving. So they are going to write to me after they get back. When they update me, I will update you. 

I am happy that I have all of my Christmas shopping done and wrapped. I am almost ready for Thanksgiving. I just have some pies to make and bake either Tuesday or Wednesday. Tom turkey has been defrosting in the refrigerator since this morning. This is one of my favorite holidays especially when family is coming to visit. I miss my granddaughter so much and can’t wait to see her!

While I have been shopping, wrapping and baking for the holidays, we have been thinking about our goals for 2019.  We have been brainstorming for months. There are a lot of small things that we want to do to let us save some serious money next year. Have you thought about your goals for the New Year? It’s not too early to do so.

Every Day

Lest You Think That I Don’t Spend Any Money….

I did one of the largest shopping trips this morning that I have done in probably a year. This trip was to pick up the rest of the things that I needed for our Thanksgiving meal and other foods for our winter stockpile.

The coupons that Top’s mailed me that I discussed in a prior post arrived yesterday. They are four weeks worth of coupons. This week’s was my free turkey coupon and a $3.00 off produce coupon. The turkey coupon was good for a 10lb. and up with a $50. purchase. I knew that I was going to be spending a lot more than $50. today. Above is the free turkey which will be used for a family dinner next spring. The ice cream is for Thanksgiving dessert and the potatoes were needed to make our mashed potatoes.

As you can see above my free Jennie O turkey was 19.57 lb. It would have cost me on sale $ .48 a lb. or a total of $ 9.39. Free is so much better!

The gallon of milk was free because I purchased 3 Pillsbury Pie Crusts and 1 Pillsbury cookie dough. It was a Top’s store deal. One of the boxes of crusts will be used for the homemade cherry pie for Thanksgiving. The cherries were picked from our tree in June and frozen. I also purchased a pumpkin and an apple pie. I am short on time next week because we have appointments on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I like Mrs. Smith’s pies so they will suffice. I will make the cherry pie on Tuesday evening. I picked up the limit of 4 butter at Aldi’s for $1.99 a lb. and 1 lb. at Tops with a Super Coupon. I need to get more at Aldi’s every time I go by one. I plan on stockpiling 20- 25 lbs. for this next year. The sausage is for the stuffing next week. Eggs are always stockpiled here when we have company. Hubby wanted some deli ham for lunches this week. I usually buy my 1/2 and 1/2 at Walmart but they have had none the last 2 times I have been in that store. Hopefully this will last us through Thanksgiving.

The bananas were free with the $3.00 produce coupon. Celery was needed for stuffing. The jellied cranberry sauce, yams, and some of the broth will be used for our Thanksgiving meal. The Ritz were needed for the stockpile as was the canned apple pie fillings. The Chex mix is for snacking while company is here. The candy is a gift. The 6 cans of Deluxe mixed nuts are to make two large batches of our party mix. One for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. Hubby HATES mixed nuts that have peanuts in them. So once a year I splurge on over $40.00 worth of the deluxe nuts for the holiday party mixes. The Fit and Active whipped topping are for  the pies.

The 2 boxes of Rice Chex, 2 Cheerios, and the 2 bags of pretzel sticks are for the party mix. The bread is for French toast when we have company.

Lastly, Hubby’s Diet Coke was on sale for B2G2F. So to keep him stocked, I picked those up.

I spent $ 142.36 at Top’s and $ 22.47 at Aldi’s. I desperately need Wheat Chex. Neither store had any. We can’t make the party mix without it. So as soon as I finish this post I am headed out to go to a few more stores to try to find two boxes. I may have to travel to another town but I am not coming home without it. I also need to go to the liquor store for some bottles of wine. Once this is done, I am hoping with the exception of butter and some hams to not need anything else for a long time.

Have you guys finished your shopping yet for your Thanksgiving meals?     

Every Day

Frugal Doings The Past Two Weeks

Here are the things we have been doing to save some dollars:

– We ordered a custom(our door is an odd size which is larger than the standard) Anderson almond color storm and screen door combo and a really nice door handle. Without going into the detail with all of the problems we have had with this company and the saleman, we paid a lot less than it would have cost. On the original order we were given a 15% discount. However because of all the screw ups with pricing and other things, the manager redid the order with another new salesman, who didn’t know what he was doing. We ended up getting 15% off of the door. We also ordered the handle and delivery and installation. The manager also gave us an additional $ 45.00 off for all of our trouble. Today we received notice from the company of an additional credit of $ 20.20 in tax that we should not have been charged because the door is a home improvement. Our door has not arrived yet but will be installed the end of the month. I can’t wait. We are hoping that it will stop the draft from our original door. We have done everything we can to try to fix that draft and nothing has worked. This is the outside door in our morning room where we eat. 

– When our chickens were done roasting the other night, I baked a German Chocolate cake and a cinnamon coffee cake(pictured at the top of the post) while the oven was heated up. We were craving something sweet so the cake was wonderful. The coffee cake was eaten along with scrambled eggs for our family Sunday breakfast. They were made with all mixes from my stockpile. The Krusteaz coffee cake was free because I had a free coupon. The cake and frosting mix cost me a total of $1.25 after coupons.

– I ran a lot of errands in a circle to save on gasoline last week when I went to the dentist and finally got my 2nd permanent denture. The first one was not right. They made me another new one and made adjustments every step of the way which meant I had to go to the dentist a lot. When I got it, I was quite happy with the fit and how it feels and looks in my mouth. It’s been a long process and I am glad it is done. After the dentist, I went to the bank and deposited $20.04 in checks that had come in the mail the last couple of weeks into our high interest savings account. Of course, the day after I made that deposit, another $20.00 check arrived. I only go to the bank once a month so that check will have to wait. 

– While I was driving to the bank, I spotted a store that I had never seen before called Five Below. I stopped and went in to check it out. Everything is priced at $5.00 or under. The store is very neat and organized and extremely clean. I was very impressed and happy that I now have a new place to shop. I was able to pick up some small things for my grandchildren for Christmas that I think they will like. My total cost was $5.00 + tax.

– I also stopped at Kohl’s and purchased an on sale  long sleeved top using my 15% senior discount and a $5.00 off coupon. I have very few long sleeved tops and it is starting to get really cold here. So I am purchasing ones when I see something I really like. 

– I read my books and took them back to the library and got 4 more.

– I cleaned and defrosted my chest freezer and reorganized it so that I could fit in 3-4 turkeys. I have purchased 2 so far.

– Entertainment doesn’t have to cost large amounts of money. We enjoyed a game of Ticket To Ride after a family breakfast. Our game table gets used a lot and has ever since we purchased it in Arizona. Many board games, card games, and jigsaw puzzles have been done on this table.

– Sewed a small tear on a seam in a pair of pajamas.

– Wrapped Christmas gifts in 90% off wrap that was purchased two years ago.

– I made a quick Christmas card list and will use cards that I purchased a couple of years ago for 90% off. At that time I bought 10 boxes of them so they are going to last a few more years.

– I went to the Post Office and purchased 200 Forever stamps since the price will be going up in January. They want quite a hike of $.05 on a First Class Letter. Yikes! I think the hike is January 19, 2019.

 – Did four loads of laundry. I hung two loads and dried 2 loads in the dryer using my dryer balls. I always dry towels because we don’t like the feel of them when they are line dried.

– My son picked up lunch for us at Ales and Sandwiches just before the Buffalo Bills game yesterday. I gave him a coupon for two sandwiches to defray the cost.

What have you been doing the past couple of weeks to save a few dollars? Feel free to let us know in comments and share with everyone else. People truly do learn from your comments. I know that I have learned a lot from all of you over the years.