Every Day

It Feels Like The Arctic Here

We got buried with about a foot of snow overnight on Tuesday evening. The lake effect snow is very active this winter lately. The windchill was below zero when Hubby went out to snow blow yesterday morning. 

He would normally have just waited until the frigid temperatures went up. But we had the microwave installers coming. I had no idea if they would even show because there were travel bans everywhere. But just in case he got it done before it got even colder.

You can see how much snow we have by seeing how high up it is on our mailbox post. The plow hadn’t been through except once early in the morning at that point. But of course when Hubby went out to do the snow blowing, the plow came through and he ended up with about a 2 foot tall wall of snow at the end of the driveway. The plow always puts 75% of the snow from the road on our side of the road.

I was up until the wee hours of the morning last night. When I went to bed at 1:30am, the wind chill was -28 and was supposed to drop to -34 later. It is darn cold here today. We have not left the house. The blowing snow makes the visibility terrible. 

The good news is that the installer showed up with my new microwave. I never realized how much I missed one. When they left, the first thing I made was popcorn. It was so good. Then it was really nice to heat up leftovers for dinner.

It’s a Maytag and I love it. It is super quiet like my Bosch dishwasher. You can barely hear either appliance in my kitchen which is a good thing since we have an open concept home. 

My favorite part is the fact that the entire inside is stainless steel. It also has a large rectangular tray instead of the round one so that I can fit larger Pyrex type dishes in it. The large tray oscillates from side to side while the food is cooking. 

Since we are stuck at home, I have been taking advantage of that time to work on the income taxes. I also had a huge list of odds and ends to get done like phone calls and paper work. Yes I can procrastinate on things I don’t really want to do. But they had to get done today. 

I also have done some cleaning and organizing. But most of the time, we are watching movies and staying warm.

Since it is so cold today, it seemed like a good comfort food day. So I roasted a turkey in the oven. We had mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn and gravy with it. Yup, mostly carbs. I am eating a lot of the things that I love that I can’t have after my surgery. 

Tomorrow or Saturday, I will update you on how I did on my goals this month. So get ready to let us all know how you did on yours in January by leaving a comment on that post.            

Every Day

A Little Of This And A Little Of That

Well, what have we been up to the last couple of weeks?  We have been hiding in the house except to go to Doctor’s appointments, one trip to the grocery store and to shop for an appliance. It has been freezing cold here and we have been dealing with one storm that dumped 18.5 inches of snow on us and it seems to have snowed every night since. Lake effect seems to be in full force. When is Spring going to get here?

My almost nine year old microwave bit the dust about a week ago. We had our local repair people come out to look at it on Thursday at the same time the cable people came to deal with an issue.  Dan, the repair man, determined that the magnetron was dead. So it is going to be taken out. After paying $86. for the service call, he told us that the new magnetron, service call for the repair, and taking out the old one and installing the new one would be over $300. We said no. It wasn’t worth putting that into a 9 year old microwave.

So Hubby and I went shopping and purchased a new one which will be installed sometime this week. It cost a lot more than the repair but it is new.  I never really thought I would miss a microwave but it seemed like I have needed it a lot. I don’t like heating up leftovers on the stove or in the toaster oven. I was also extremely happy that we have funds tucked away for appliance replacements so we didn’t have to think twice about buying a new one.

On Thursday, I finally went to the grocery store after not going almost two weeks. I am very thankful for my stockpile. We needed a few things since we are going on the South Beach Diet. So I picked up some fresh vegetables, Canadian bacon, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Sprays, Smart Balance, egg beaters, mozzarella sticks, shrimp, and frozen spinach. My total bill came to $ 46.00. So after picking up some sausage a while ago and this bill, I have $160.98 left of my $300. grocery budget for the rest of January. It really does pay to stay home and not grocery shop. Since I will not be going shopping until a week from next Tuesday, the leftover money will be used in February. I will just get enough money at the bank to bring the grocery budget back up to $300.

We got a pleasant surprise yesterday. We were figuring our electric and gas bill was going to be extremely high because of the temperatures being below zero to about 20 here the last couple of weeks. So we were ready for a $250. to $260. monthly bill.  Our bill was $ 221.22. It was $15.21 less than the same bill last year even though it has been a lot colder and even though there has been a rate increase during that year. We used 100 less KWH and 50 less therms of gas. So being diligent about conserving has again paid off. 

So many times, I have told you that it pays off to take the time to write companies. Well look what I got in the mail a few days ago from Chobani. They sent these because I e-mailed them to tell them how much I love their yogurt. Not only did they send seven coupons but they sent a beautiful Thank You note for taking the time to write them.

Other than these things, we have just been cleaning, cooking, watching some movies, and playing cards. Nothing really exciting.
This is what we do in the winter when we are stuck in the house.

My son and West are coming to visit and have breakfast this morning. We have not seen them in a while because of the snow.
West’s birthday was last weekend and I still have his gift sitting here. He is going to love it even though it is a week late. I can’t believe that he is 9 already.  

I really am missing my son, DIL, and granddaughter. I wish that the airline would start up the flights to where they live again. It would be so easy to jump on a plane for 45 minutes and go visit. It beats driving in this weather. 

I hope you are all well and staying out of the cold if you are up north. Hopefully spring will be here in a couple of months.

Every Day

When You Need Something Quick and Easy and More

Over the weekend, I was busy organizing and cleaning. So I wanted a dinner that was quick and easy to throw together.

So Hubby got out the rice cooker and made a pot of white rice yesterday morning. Then I let it sit in the fridge until it was time to make dinner. This recipe always tastes better made with rice that has sat for a few hours. 

At dinner time, I diced up a fresh chicken breast that I had thawed. I also diced up some onion and carrot. After sauteing them until they were soft, I cooked up two scrambled eggs. I threw in the rice and then mixed everything up. Next I added some soy sauce to taste along with 2 tbsp. of sesame oil.

That was dinner, chicken fried rice. It’s so easy and quick. I also make it when I have a little leftover pork or beef. Hubby and I love it. There were enough leftovers for lunch today.

Last week I entered a contest to win some tearpad coupons. I was very surprised when I won since so many people visit this Top’s couponing site. I was happy because my store rarely has coupons anywhere in the store.  So I now have some nice coupons that I have added to my stash. Be on the lookout for these since most don’t expire until a few months out. The $.75 Smithfield sausage one which doubled to $ 1.50 expired yesterday but I made a trip and stocked on this sausage for our Sunday breakfasts. Bonus was that the sausage was on sale also.  

So what do you throw together that is quick and easy when you are busy? 

Every Day

Now That January Is Well Under Way……

Now that January is well under way, are you wondering how you are going to pay off all of those Christmas gifts you charged? Are you dreading the credit card bill coming? Are you robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Or did you pay cash, use debit, or write a check for those gifts? Or did you pay your credit card bill in full when it came? If you did, Congratulations! You have started off 2019 with a lot less stress than many.

I know that some of my readers are paying down debt and I am 100% behind them and cheering them on. They know that it isn’t easy but they are doing what it takes to become debt free. They don’t want the stress anymore.

But there are others who I am sure put Christmas gifts they couldn’t afford on their credit cards that are already charged up $ 5,000. and higher. Why not? In their minds, each gift only added a little bit to what they already owe. Instead of looking at the big picture and what they already owe, they just charged away.

Some owe so much money now that they can’t figure out how to pay normal expenses like car and homeowner’s insurances, utility bills, gasoline for the car, taxes on their home, and even food each week. So they just add them to the credit cards.

Some aren’t even trying to pay their debt off. They just are in total denial. They pay the minimums on their cards each month while the interest just keeps building up. They go out to eat many times a month and enjoy lots of entertainment each month. They continue to buy crap that they really don’t need. How do they do that you say? Easy, they just keep putting it on the credit cards!

They believe that they deserve to do all of these things even if they have to run up the credit card bills. Well, I know you won’t like this people but I am here to say that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t deserve it! Someone has to point out the truth to you!

If you can’t afford to buy Christmas gifts, eat out, go to the movies, the casino or the sports game or any other entertainment venue, don’t do it! If you have debt, get rid of the cable bill and any other bill that is not a necessity. Cut way back to get rid of those credit cards!

If you need to get a job or a second job to pay them off do it. Your future is at risk if you don’t. How long do you think that you can just keep putting expenses on your credit cards before you have no more credit to use. That will happen faster than you think. 

I have seen people in my 51 years of marriage who have eventually lost their homes or have had to sell their homes to pay off debt. It wasn’t medical debt which is a whole different ballgame. Do you really want that to be you? That is a really scary thought but it is true!

I don’t want to see any of you who read here stressed out because of debt. It’s January and a new year. Do what you have to do to get out from under that burden. It can be summed up in two words:


Get back to basics and put every spare dime on your debt. Yes, your debt. You created it and you must pay it off.

I know there will probably be a few people who will still be in denial after reading this and will be really ticked over what I have had to say but that is okay. They can just stop reading and go their merry way because this blog obviously isn’t helping them. I have written on this subject over and over again but there are some that just don’t get it! They continue to ruin their futures and there really is no helping them because they refuse to help themselves.

If I sound angry, I am not. I just don’t understand why people live a life of denial and continue to ruin their futures. I would hope that people are smarter than that.

So make this the year you finally get out from under your debt burden. Do the hard work! 

If you need to see a great example of someone who is paying down their debt go to Out My Window .
She has paid off a number of debts and continues working on others including her mortgage debt. I cheer her on all of time! She is a great role model for those of you who have debt.

Every Day

This Week’s Grocery Shop

Yesterday was my weekly grocery shop. We are trying to only go once a week. Last week, I sent Hubby one day for a few things at Aldi’s after I had already been to Top’s. He stuck to the list with the exception of something he wanted for $ 2.99. It was a cheap price to pay while I was not feeling well.

So after meal planning and checking the ads, here is what I purchased at Aldi this week. I will not be shopping again until next week unless some really great deal that we can stockpile comes our way.

Have you ever purchased onions that turn bad pretty quickly after you buy them? Well it has been happening to me a lot lately when I buy them at Top’s. So I am now buying them at Aldi. Two lbs. for $ 1.69 was cheaper than Top’s too. They looked great and are really solid. We go through a lot of onions in this household. They are a natural antibiotic along with garlic so they help to keep us healthy.

Besides onions the only
produce I needed were carrots and apples. The carrots were $ .99 for 2
lbs.- a lot cheaper than buying baby carrots. The apples were 3 lbs. of
Honeycrisp for $ 1.99. It is our favorite apple.  

Chicken was on sale for $ 1.49 a lb. I only had room in the freezer for one pack after buying that whole pork loin last week. This is a really good price in our area. 

Whenever I see organic grass fed ground beef on sale for a good price, I will buy some. This was $ 4.99 for the lb. I will be making hamburgers for dinner tonight topped with lettuce and sauteed onions. I will put a few French fries in the air fryer as a side. Leftovers will be lunch tomorrow. I had a package of buns in my stockpile in my freezer so I pulled them out. The next time we have hamburgers, I will make the buns.

I picked up some garlic powder for $ 1.19. We were out.

So the total for all of this was $ 19.83. After this shop and last week’s, I have $ 216.98 left out of my $300.00 budget for the month.

Now that I am shopping Aldi’s more often, I am seeing other items that we need that I don’t normally buy there. I would love if anyone who shops Aldi’s regularly would tell me the favorites that they buy there.

Have you gotten any good food deals this week yet?


Every Day

Frugal Things

These are the things that we have been doing to stay frugal around here:

– I got 2 bags of this salad mix marked down to $.99 each because it was the day before expiration. We have eaten one and will finish the other for lunch tomorrow. If there are any wet pieces, they will get tossed. 

– I have only been to the grocery store twice for small orders so doing well with my grocery budget. 

– Since I was out of the house most of the day yesterday, I needed to thaw something that would be easy for dinner. So I thawed a pound of bacon which I used to make bacon macaroni goulash. It was easy and yummy and we have enough leftovers for tonight.

– I have been researching solar ovens. I would like one to use this summer to save money on utilities. We have a lot of sun here in the Buffalo area so I believe it would be cost effective. If any of you have one, please let me know what kind and if you love it.

– We are calculating how much pipe insulation we would need to insulate our hot water pipes that run through the basement. They have a long run from under our master bath to the guest wing of the house and to the kitchen. 

– I am meal planning very simple meals from our stockpile. They are easy with meat purchased at rock bottom prices. Two nights a week, we are doing meatless meals like salads and biscuits or pancakes with fruit.  

– Breakfast meals during the weekdays are cereal and fruit. We have a huge stockpile of cereal to use up before it expires. Weekend meals will be our eggs and meat or pancakes and meat.

– We did rebalance our investment portfolio.

– We are still hanging laundry or when using the dryer, we use our dryer balls which knocks a bit of time off the drying time.

– We are doing all the frugal things like taking navy showers, keeping lights off in the daytime, turning off phantom energy wasters, keeping our shades and blinds shut, cooking in small appliances, etc.

– Since I am saving on buying garbage bags, I hit the jackpot the other day. We got a delivery that had 8 of these big bags as packing material. I saved them all for garbage. I am actually amazed at how little garbage we produce in a week. Everything that can be recycled is being. Everything that can go down the garbage disposal is. Anything that we declutter is being donated to the Salvation Army.

What have you been doing frugally lately? Please feel free to share with us in the comments.  

Every Day

A Day in My Life

Yesterday was a weird day. I had so many plans that just didn’t pan out. I took my navy shower and air dried my hair hoping to finally get our “New Year” in full swing. There is so much I wanted to do.

However it didn’t take me too long to realize while I was drinking my coffee that I felt worse not better like the day before. So off to Urgent Care I went. Something had to be going on besides a virus. Sure enough I have a bad infection. The doctor, who reminded me of Doogie Howser,  sent a prescription with a combination of two antibiotics to my pharmacy. He says I should be feeling better within three days. I sure hope so. For those who have no idea who Doogie Howser  was, he was a 16 year old M.D. on a medical show named after him. My doctor, I swear, was about the same age. The older I get the younger the doctors look.

I decided on my way home to use up $14. in CVS ECB’s that were expiring. I had no deals worked out so I just picked up some milk, Puffs, and spices which we can always use. I ended up spending $2.28 after the ECB’s were deducted from my total. So I have 
$275.86 left in my grocery budget this month.

On Wednesday, our property tax bill for this year arrived so I stopped at Town Hall to pay that. Our bill actually went down $7.00 this year due to the county decreasing their budget. It was a pleasant surprise. 

Next I went to the pharmacy to pick up my antibiotic which cost me a whopping $ .95 out of pocket which I paid with pocket change. 

My last stop was at our local cash only gas station to fill up the SUV with gasoline. We had under 100 miles of gas left and I don’t like the tank that empty in the winter. So after checking the gas buddy app on my cellphone, I determined that this station had the best price at $2.529 per gallon.

When I got home, I put a load of laundry in the washer before we had lunch. I decided I was definitely using the dryer since I didn’t feel that well. After taking my first pill, I laid down for a quick nap. I was tired from all of the things I had done. But I was happy that they were all on my route and that I didn’t have to waste gas for them another day.

I woke up at 4:40pm so it was more than a quick nap. Hubby offered to make dinner but I told him that I felt like doing it. So I quickly made up some Copycat Shake N’ Bake Pork Chops .
We love this recipe for the Shake N Bake and it is much cheaper than buying the boxed one. It makes such a delicious crispy coating on the chops and keeps the meat really moist. My chops were about an inch and a quarter thick so I added about 5 more minutes to the cook time. They turned out perfect and paired with mashed potatoes and green beans were delicious. I meant to get a picture when they were done but forgot.

Knowing that I had much more coating than was needed for 2 chops, I just spooned what I needed onto a plate and coated them that way. The rest has been put in my pantry to use another day. 

While I was sleeping, Hubby decided to tear down the humidifier that is attached to our furnace. The humidity in our house has been non-existent so Hubby decided to find out why. He quickly realized that there was a clog. After clearing the clog and putting it back together, the air is humidified. I can’t even imagine what it would have cost if we had called our heating guy to look at it. Hubby has saved us thousands of dollars over the years by teaching himself how to repair so many things around our home.

After dinner, I watched some You Tube channels and fell asleep again. I woke up at 4am this morning and got up completely rested and ready for the day. So I am hoping to have a productive day around here. I hope you all have a productive one too!

Every Day

First Of The Year

I did my first shopping trip of the year yesterday. It was just for a few items that we needed. I wasn’t quite up to it but it was 6% Senior Discount Day at Top’s. 

Since I needed to get a whole pork loin for $ 1.59 a lb., I went. We were down to just 2 pork chops in the freezer and this is the best price I have found on pork in a long time. Plus I got an additional 6% off on the loin and the few other items. So 7.92 lbs. of pork loin cost me $ 12.59 before the 6% discount.

I didn’t have enough energy to go to Walmart to get the milk or the saline nasal sprays. So I decided to get everything at Top’s. Bonus that I didn’t have to drive further and use more gasoline. I picked up a reusable shopping bag for $ .69 with coupon. Our Governor is making noise about banning plastic bags in New York like California did. Most of my reusable bags have been given to others so I need to stock on them again.

The milk was a little more expensive than Walmart at $ 1.79. However, I hit the jackpot on the saline nasal sprays. They were much cheaper at Top’s than either Amazon or Walmart. I guess it is worth checking prices again. I paid only $2.77 each for them. It is so dry here in the Buffalo area this winter that these are really needed. 

My total for this shop was $ 21.86. That leaves $ 278.14 for the rest of the month.

For some reason both Hubby and I became ill 3 days ago. We must have picked up a bug somewhere. I had the worst of it. So we did not celebrate New Year’s Eve. We have barely eaten in 3 days. That bottle of champagne that has been in my fridge did not get opened again this year. Hubby is feeling much better today so he asked if I was up to eating any dinner. Since I have managed to keep an apple and some toast down, I told him, “Yes I am so hungry.” So he is grilling filet mignons tonight which we will have with salad. Hopefully, it won’t be a mistake. It was not the way we wanted to end 2018 or ring in 2019 but stuff happens. We are hoping for a speedy recovery and a great 2019!

Every Day

Happy New Year and Our 2019 Goals

We wish you and your families a Happy New Year. Here is to a happy, healthy and wealthy 2019 for all of you!  

I have already touched on a number of goals for 2019. They are listed here with the link to the post about them:

– Buy as much food on clearance as possible:Clearance Shopping  

– Buy less sweets and junk food:Less Sweets and Junk Food

– Save Money for Christmas Gifts: Christmas Shopping

– Reuse All Plastic Bags: Plastic Bags 

– Make 99% Of Our Bread: Bread  

We still buy our bagels at Panera Bread on discount Tuesdays using gift cards that we purchased on discount almost 3 years ago. So that is why I say 99%.

I rarely make a lot of goals because like everyone else a lot of them don’t get kept. But I am challenging myself this year to keep them. So here is the rest of them for 2019:

– Boost our savings rate which will boost our net worth. We want this to be our biggest savings rate year ever because we have a “secret” goal that we are working towards. 

– Go to the gym on average 3 times a week.

– Lose weight by going to the gym and watching our food intake. I am aiming to get off some more of the prescription medications that I am on. I have already gotten off of 4 drugs.

– I have never been a gamer. But the last couple of years, I have gotten hooked on the Microsoft Solitaire  Collection. Every other day, I do a 30 Game Challenge as fast as I can to see how I score against hundreds of thousands of people a day. I usually score between 17th and 50th depending on the day. It has been very addictive. I no longer want to waste my time on something so unproductive. It just takes up too much of my time. So as of January 1st- no more Solitaire games. My time can be better spent on other activities.

– Get rid of 100% of the clutter, mainly in our basement and garage, in preparation for our next move. Even though it is containerized, it’s still clutter because a lot of it is not being used.

– Project Photos: These days we take digital pictures and Hubby has them well organized into albums. However we have boxes of photos from past years sitting in baskets and boxes. This is the year that I am going to organize them using these that I purchased on Amazon . I will organize them by family members, dates, trips, etc. I had planned on organizing them almost 9 years ago when we moved from AZ to NY. They still aren’t done. 2019 is the year it will get done!

– Spend no more than $300. per month on food. With the use of sales and coupons, my price book, my stockpile, my freezer, no waste, clearance foods, and doing 70% of my shopping at Aldi’s and Super Walmart, it is very doable. The other 30% will be for meat which will be bought in a variety of stores.

– I want 2019 to be a calmer year in my life. Hence, I will not be watching any news this year. 
It is way too stressful. If there is something that I really need to know, Hubby will tell me.

– Lastly, I have found over the many years that I have been blogging that my best posts are the ones that I really don’t have to think much about. They just are spontaneous. So I will be posting in 2019 when a spontaneous thought comes into my mind and I believe that the post will be helpful.

Please feel free to leave a comment and share your goals with all of us.