Every Day

Saving By Getting Healthy

As you all know, I had hiatal hernia surgery on February 28th. Prior to that surgery, I was on many different stomach prescription drugs for 4 years. After surgery, my surgeon took me off of those drugs. I have not had to go back on them. So a few months ago, I disposed of them properly at a county drug collection. Getting off those drugs saved me hundreds of dollars out of pocket.

So when my surgeon said to go on a diet or I would end up having the surgery again down the road, I took him seriously.

Not only am I healthier today, but my endocrinologist officially released me last week from taking any medications for diabetes. I had stopped taking them when I got out of the hospital which she knew about. I was never insulin dependent. My A1C number is in the 5’s since the surgery. My doctor was thrilled. I am thrilled to be off the 5 prescription diabetes pills that I was taking a day. Not only were they costly but they had side effects that were not pleasant. I figure we will save over $500. a year on co-pays for these drugs alone.

Now I am planning on hopefully getting rid of my last two prescription drugs when I see my last specialist in October. We will see what he says!

None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t gotten healthy. Staying healthy would have been a lot easier but sometimes it takes a while to learn that lesson. But now I am doing it and I plan on staying that way. I still have more pounds to lose but I will do it. When I get down to the weight I should be, I will maintain it. 

For me the thought of getting off those drugs was all the incentive I needed. I feel terrific every day! I thank my surgeon for that and myself for the motivation to diet and stick to it.

So if you want to save some money on your drugs, see what you can do to get off them. I am well aware that a lot of drugs are needed by some people even when they are healthy. I am talking about people who can actually do something for themselves and then be able to come off their drugs. 

It feels wonderful to be healthy at my age! I wish I had learned that lesson when I was younger.

Every Day

Saving Energy By Using The Gas Grill

It’s summer and time to use your gas or charcoal grill. We have a gas grill and use it whenever we can which really means using it for dinner or lunch when we are not having salads, having something that grills well, or when the weather permits.

Sure it costs us money to fill up the gas tank every year but it is a lot cheaper than using our ovens or stove top. We usually only use one tank a season. It costs us $ 19.35 including tax to fill it up(20 lbs.). That is a lot cheaper than using natural gas most of the summer.

Even when we used a charcoal grill we saved money over cooking inside. When we lived in Arizona, we used it almost every day. Here not every day is as hot.

If I am not grilling out, I use small appliances out on the patio or in the garage.

This saves energy two ways. One by doing it cheaply outside and secondly, it doesn’t heat up your house. That is especially important when you have your central air conditioning on. You do not want to create heat in your home that the air conditioning has to work harder to remove. That is the costly way to do things. 

We can cook hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, chicken, kabobs, and any chop on the grill. I have even roasted a chicken or turkey breast over the years that we have used grills. I have a pan I use on the grill to do most vegetables. I can make foil packets with the meat, fish, or shrimp and veggies inside and grill them. With the pan I can cook almost anything that I can cook on top of the stove, even bacon and eggs. I love doing fajitas with the pan. Corn on the cob cooks in foil. Just use your imagination and you can probably find a solution to cook it on the grill.

We have been married almost 52 years and I think this is the fourth grill we have purchased. It would have been three but Hubby hated the grill we purchased when we first moved here and we replaced it. So the upfront cost over those years has not been that much. Even with buying the grills we saved money. 

So if you don’t have a grill, think about getting one. It will save you on your utility bills by using it. I used to use it in the middle of winter when we lived in Eastern NY but not here. Our winters are brutal so the grill goes into our storage shed. 

Do you use your grill all summer?

Every Day

Frugal Things Every Day

These are the frugal things we have done the past week.

We drove to visit our family. I filled up the gasoline tank getting $.50 off per gallon with rewards. I paid $2.299. I used the 2% back credit card. We got such good mileage this trip that we still had 100 miles in the tank. Hubby says we got close to 30 miles per gallon coming and going. That has never happened before.

I made our lunch for the trip out. I made a simple salad for me and a PB&J sandwich on a wheat thin for Hubby. We drank Snapple diet iced tea and water that I brought in the cooler. No stopping for calorie laden fast food and no extra money spent.

On the way back from our trip, we drove straight through. I munched on almonds and Hubby munched on a granola bar that we had packed.

We still have not had to turn on our A/C. It is a pleasant 72 degrees in here. Being it is June 26th, I am pleasantly surprised. Let’s see if we can get through July 4th without it.

We just got our electric and natural gas bill. It was $93. for the past month. We had still used some heat during that period. But the cost is coming down. Now if we don’t have to use A/C, it ought to come down even more. 

I grilled a large package of chicken thighs outside last night. I put some on my salad. The rest I froze in strips to use on future salads.

I washed the laundry from our trip in cold water and hung it to dry. Then I quickly ironed what needed to be. 

We were invited to a graduation party out of town. We have prior plans so we will not be going. I needed a card to send a gift to congratulate the graduate. I checked my  card stockpile and already had one I could use. I always stockpile cards that I may need all year in January of that year.

I cleaned my fridge and realized that I am overstocked on produce. We will be eating a lot of salads so that it doesn’t go bad. I have a small zucchini that needs to be used quickly so I will make zoodles and have spaghetti and homemade meat sauce tonight. No wasted food in this household. 

I had a miscellaneous check of $ 8.09 to deposit this week.

I continue to save plastic grocery bags in empty Kleenex boxes. Our state has banned them effective January 1, 2020. Some markets like Wegman’s are getting rid of them sooner. I use these for wastebasket disposal so I am stockpiling them. It will save me from purchasing wastebasket sized bags.

We have not turned our sprinkler system on yet. We have had plenty of rain. Hubby has been watering the flowers by hand.

Hubby loves insulated water glasses. One of his came apart. He glued it back together. That saved me from having to replace it.  

I have been cutting chives from our back garden to put in my eggs each morning.

I brought the chocolate chip muffins and cookies that I had baked as a gift for my family.

My son put new brakes in the front of our SUV while we were visiting. Even with buying the brakes, giving my son a Lowes’s gift card, and a large box of Swedish Fish(which he has loved since he was a kid) as a thank you, we spent about $150. less than our garage wanted to put them in.  

I purchased 4 lbs. of cheap strawberries and froze 2 lbs. for future use. 

What have you done to save money this past week? Please share with all of us.

Every Day

Grocery Shopping and What We Ate

Grocery shopping was a true delight for me today. You have seen me buy G. Hughes Sugar Free products. I have purchased them on Amazon and at Walmart. My Top’s now has them and they are carrying a lot more marinades, steak sauce, BBQ and dipping sauces than anyone else. Some of them are on sale this week for $2.99 and I stocked up.

I also broke down and bought some boneless chicken breasts even though I have a lot of chicken. I have thighs and roasters in the freezer but I needed the boneless breasts for company that will be coming to dinner soon. 

At Aldi I got a big bag of roasted pistachio’s, salt, 2 dozen eggs( $.59 each), chicken breasts($1.49 a lb.), a bag of avocado’s, and frozen asparagus spears. My total was $21.92.

At Top’s I got creamer($.40 cpn.), 2 cans of coffee(B1G1F sale), 4 lbs. of fresh strawberries(on B1G1F sale), Baby Bella mushrooms, 1 lb. of extra large shrimp( $8.49 sale), 7 G. Hughes sauces (on sale for $ 2.99 each and one was $4.99), 4 sugar free jello, 1 8oz. bag of spinach( free cpn.), 2 cantaloupe( $.99 each), and 2 bags of Skinny Pop($1.50 cpn. and my guilt free snack).  My total was $63.77. 

I only have a couple of meals that I cooked for dinner from last week because I was away part of the week.
Two nights I had salmon and green beans. Hubby had pork chops and a salad.

One night we both had taco salad. 

On Friday my DIL cooked chicken, broccoli and made salads. Saturday was a cookout for Alexa’s birthday party. They had a ton of food. I chose a cheeseburger with no roll and put salsa on top and I had 1/2 of an avocado with it. I ate no ice cream cake.

On Sunday night we went out to Texas Roadhouse and I had a rib eye steak with a house salad with olive oil, some green beans and unsweetened iced tea. 

Most breakfasts were scrambled eggs and Canadian bacon even at my son’s house. I also had 1/2 an avocado with it.

I have to thank my DIL for going out of her way to get things that I could eat on my diet. I told her not to because I could pick and choose from whatever she had. But she did anyhow and I appreciate that she did that. 

On our trip out we stopped and I ate a salad I made to bring with me. Hubby had a sandwich that he made. On the trip home, we drove straight through. We had snacks and drinks in the car so we were fine.  I got Hubby a 6 inch sub. from Subway for dinner last night and I ate a salad that I made.

Tonight, Hubby wants a ham and cheese sandwich and some potato salad. I am going to have grilled chicken on a salad. 

Did you get anything on a good deal at the grocery store this past week? Or cook a special meal? Please feel free to share with all of us.

Every Day

Our Vacation

Just a quick note to update you because we just stepped inside our home from a long trip.

We went last week to visit our son, DIL, and granddaughter in the eastern part of New York. It was a trip to celebrate her 12th birthday. I am sure those of you who have been following my blogs for a long time remember when I announced her birth in Arizona. I don’t know where the time has gone. But she is now a beautiful young lady who I enjoy so much. She just got out of school on Friday for summer break. She went to a private all girl’s school this year and it was wonderful for her. She has made many friends there and I think enjoyed the year.

I know she enjoyed her birthday party on Saturday which we did also. She loves all things from “Queen” musical group so was happy to get a lot of vinyls to play on her new wireless record player.

My DIL went all out buying foods that she new I could eat on my diet. Both she and my son did a terrific birthday party for Alexa. Thanks to both of you for everything! 

We had a great time and climaxed it with taking them out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse last night. It was a perfect menu for the dieting me. 

We left to drive home early this morning. So now I have to get us unpacked, laundry done, mail and phone calls caught up, and figure out what we will have for dinner tonight. 

To those of you who left comments on the last couple of posts while I was away, I apologize for not getting to them until we got home.

I will be back with my regular post tomorrow.

Every Day

Making My Own Taco Seasoning

When I was making taco salad on Wednesday, I realized that I had no taco seasoning. All of the expensive packets were gone. I was not about to run to the store for one item.

So I looked in my family cookbook for a recipe I had used a while ago. After I realized that I had all of the ingredients to make it, I found a glass container that I could make a bunch in. However not being sure if Hubby would like it or not, I just made a little batch. 

Here is the recipe:

2 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 and 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
1/2 tsp. on onion powder
1 tsp. of dried oregano
3/4 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt

After you cook your meat, add 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. of this seasoning and about 2-3 Tbsp. of water. Adjust accordingly to how much meat you cook. This did 1 lb. for me. We ate 1/2 on salads and I froze the rest of the meat for another taco salad meal. 

Hubby loved the seasoning. So I made a big jar of it which will last us quite a while. No more spending on those $1.00 packets!

Do you make your own taco seasoning?

Every Day

Saving By Using Our Air Fryer

We love our air fryer. It has seen a lot of use over the past year. It has saved us lots of energy.

Rather than heat up our big oven or even the toaster oven, we use it to do lots of meals. It doesn’t heat up the kitchen when it is hot or you have the A/C on. Bonus is that it takes less energy than the ovens. Sometimes, I even cook with it out on the patio.

I bought a rack for ours that allows us to cook an entire meal in it. We put the meat in the basket and layer the veggies on the rack. 

We have done pork chops, chicken, hamburgers, and even pizza in it. I make French fries and onion rings for Hubby in it. Hubby has made haddock that he breads in it.

There is a huge number of recipes online to use it. Just google “air fryer recipes”.

You could do frozen fried chicken, fish, chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks, pizza rolls, etc. in it. I just wish they would put air fryer directions on those boxes. Just the temperature and time would be a big help. Maybe as more people use them, the manufacturers will eventually do that. When I do pizza rolls or any of the other frozen items for Hubby, I use the temp for an oven but cut the amount of cooking time back. 

So if you are looking to save energy, this is a good choice to cook with.

Do you have an air fryer? Do you cook anything special in it?

Every Day

Frugal Things This Past Week

These are the things that we have done frugally this past week.

We purchased a dining set (table and four chairs) for our patio that was 30% off. Home Depot said they would come and put it together for $ 99.00. Hubby put it together in about 2 hours time. That was an easy $50. an hour savings. 

We were able to use the umbrella from our old patio dining set on this new one. 

All meals were cooked and eaten at home from our stockpile.

Hubby purchased me a Little Giant Step Ladder with a safety bar. It was on sale and we are getting 1% back through Rakuten and credit card rewards. I think I was making him very nervous climbing on that little stool(like kids use at the sink) to reach the high shelves in my cupboards. I actually could not reach the top shelves with it. So I will be much safer using this.

I needed some G Hughes SF Honey Mustard sauce. Amazon had the best price this time so that is where I bought it. It is so good with chicken.

I will be depositing $65.22 in miscellaneous checks into our savings very shortly.  

Hubby mowed our lawn and did the weed whacking.

I read our meters for the electric and gas company.

The landscape company when they were here told Hubby that they don’t think the tree that is half dead is going to make it. Hubby had figured that out. So he trimmed most of the branches off of it so that we could put it down by the road for the brush pickup by the town this week. He and my son will dig it out when my son has time. We have a beautiful peony bush that we are going to transplant from the backyard to that area. 

Hubby had to go to the gas station that is close to us to fill up the lawn mower container. He ran some errands in the area for me while he was out. That saves on gasoline. 

I made a batch of muffins and a batch of cookies today as a gift.  

I returned some library books and got a couple more. 

It was warm yesterday but we still didn’t use the A/C. We used cross ventilation and the ceiling fans. Hubby finally took the glass out of the storm door in the breakfast room and replaced it with the full length screen. It was lovely to have the fresh air while we were eating dinner.  

We have been too busy to get up to the gym this past week. So I have been riding the recumbent bike and doing lots of walking. 

We still have not had to turn on our sprinkler system. But Hubby has been hand watering all of the flowers. 

The hummingbirds are back so Hubby has been filling the feeder with his homemade sugar water for them.

I used some Amazon reward points to order some ear drops. I have been bothered by an earache. 

I ironed quite a few tops and shirts for me that I had washed in cold water and didn’t want to put in the dryer. I hung them to dry.  It is cheaper to use the iron than the dryer. 

I cut open the toothpaste tube to get all of the paste out. When we have squeezed as much out with the key that we can, there is still about 3-4 days worth left. I paid for it so I am going to use it all. 

I made homemade taco seasoning.

That was it for this week. What did you do frugally this past week?

Every Day

Grocery Shopping and What We Ate

There was very little that I needed to get at the grocery store this week. So I did a quick shop at Top’s because of their sale prices.

We are very short on meats for Sunday breakfasts. Oscar Mayer was on B1G1F so I got 2 packages. I got the last two of three sale cartons of eggs that they had in the store. I actually had to wait in line in dairy to get them. Everyone was loading up because 18 eggs for $ .99 is cheap here. 

My BabyBel’s were $ 5.99 so I got one. Hubby was running out of Crystal Light Peach Iced Tea so I stocked on 4. We seem to always need creamer. And they finally restocked the SF Cool Whip which I love on SF Jello and SF Pudding. It was on sale for $1.99 so I got 3.

My total shopping this week came to $ 39.42. 

Here are the seven dinners we had this week. The first night we had a second night of Egg Roll in a Bowl. The next night I roasted a turkey tenderloin in the toaster oven. We had that sliced with mashed cauliflower for me and corn on the cob for Hubby. We had the same on the third night. On the fifth night we chunked up the remainder of the turkey and ate it on a big salad.

The sixth night, I roasted 4 chicken thighs. We had those with steamed broccoli. 

The last night I roasted BBQ pork chops in the toaster oven and Hubby had corn on the cob and I had tomatoes and cucumbers.

Did you get any good deals this past week at the grocery store? 

Every Day

Stop Caring What Other People Think

Is it important to you what other people think? Did you purchase that brand new car so that your neighbors will see it in the driveway?   

Did you put in an in ground pool so that it would be the first one in the neighborhood? 

Did you send your children to an expensive college because that is what all of your friends are doing? 

Are you or your children walking around in $200. sneakers and designer jeans because of the label? Do you spend $500. or more on your purses?

Do you shop at Whole Foods because it is the in thing? Are you buying organic because all of your friends are? 

I could ask a ton of these questions but you get the idea. I have seen so many people get into serious debt and even lose possessions or their homes because they did all of these things when they couldn’t afford it. Many of them kept up with their friends and neighbors because they cared about what they thought.

Stop caring about what other people think of you. Don’t ruin your budget because you are trying to impress someone else. No one’s opinion is more important than your own family finances.

If you can’t afford all of those luxuries that is okay. If you have the cash then go for it. But do it for you and your family. Don’t do it to impress a friend or neighbor. Chances are that many of those friends and neighbors who have those things are in debt up to their eyeballs. 

You don’t need designer clothes to look nice. You only need to be clean and neat. But if you just must have them, shop the thrift stores and consignment shops.

You can also have a beautiful home by keeping it neat and clean. You don’t need every decor they have at Pier One or even Home Goods.

We are guilty of always buying brand new cars but we keep them for 10-15 years and maintain them well. However I think the next car we buy will be 2 years old or more. Let someone else pay the big depreciation on it. 

We put in the in ground pool because we had saved the cash to pay for it. Our children got many years of enjoyment out of it. We didn’t purchase it for some kind of status symbol. We actually thought it was a frugal way for them to have enjoyable summers in their own backyard. We didn’t see a need to spend thousands of dollars on vacationing somewhere else. When we did do vacations they were frugal and well thought out like renting a camp.  

My sons had the choice to go to a state college or mid range tuition room and board college. One son chose to go to community college. We paid cash. One son chose to go away to a more expensive college. We paid cash with the exception that he took the unsubsidized Fafsa loan every year. Would we have gone into debt for them to do it? No, plain and simple. Could my one son have gone to a 4 year school from community college? Yes, but he chose not to. Just in recent years as his career has progressed, he decided to go for the 4 year degree. I am very proud to say that he has one more course to take and he graduates. Hubby and I paid for our own college. 

Your children don’t have to go to expensive colleges to get a good education. I have seen kids go to community college only. And I have seen some then transfer to a 4 year state university. They are making out well in life. The degree will get your foot in the door for a job. But years of experience I believe are more valuable once you are doing the job.

So many kids are getting out of college with thousands of dollars of debt that it will take them years to pay off. So many of them are living with their parents because they can’t afford to live out on their own. You have to ask the question “Would they have been better off learning a trade and working in in those years they spent in college?”  How far ahead would they be if they hadn’t incurred thousands of dollars in debt? 

Believe me when I say that my kids did not wear expensive jeans nor did we. Levi’s were cheap and wore like iron. I do have to admit that I had a $250. purse but it was a gift. Would I buy one today? Nope.

If you can afford to pay cash to shop at Whole Foods or buy organic food, go for it. But if doing that is causing you to pay with your credit card or is being done to impress someone else, you are being foolish with your money.  

Always do what is right for your family! Don’t get into a financial bind because you want to impress someone else.

So right this minute, STOP caring what other people think of you.