Every Day

Bare Bones: A Dilemma

I have a dilemma tomorrow. Those of you who have read here know that I get my hair cut, colored, and highlighted at what some would think is a high end salon. It really is only a few dollars more than the cheaper salons in my area. Part of my dilemma is that I love my hairdresser because she does a fantastic job. I also enjoy chatting with her because she reminds me of a young me. She is very frugal and has her head on straight when it comes to money.

I definitely need a cut tomorrow and my roots done. But I believe that the highlights are good for another 4-6 weeks. So it will cost much less than normal.

However this is definitely not bare bones. I do pay cash for this each time I go out of my monthly spending money. But it nags at me that there must be a better way.

I am not good at coloring my hair. I make a mess and I miss parts of my head so the gray shows. But I am considering doing it myself and trying to do a better job. I have blonde highlights put in but I have so many that my hair is almost all blond.

So I am thinking that buying hair color in a light shade that kind of matches the highlights would work. I know that I can get some good deals on hair color using coupons. I have also seen hair color on clearance at my local drugstores. But then again I wonder if it really wouldn’t look as good as the highlights do. 

I would then only have to pay for a haircut. Hubby used to cut my hair for me and he did as good a job as most hairdressers. But ever since he developed back issues, he does not want to do it because the standing for any length of time puts him in major pain. There is no way that I would even attempt to cut my own hair. 

So help me with this dilemma that has been eating at me for a very long time. Do you go to the salon or do your own hair? Is the salon worth the price? What do you think? Is it a luxury that is worth paying for? It is so expensive that it nags at me that I should be spending that money on something else or investing it.  

Every Day

Savings With My Kitchen Aid

One of my very favorite appliances is my Kitchen Aid Mixer. I purchased it refurbished for about $150. many years ago when we lived in Arizona.

I use it so often that I keep it out on our counter. Both Hubby and I use it a lot when we are baking cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. I use it to make homemade frosting, whip heavy cream, or make mashed potatoes.

Over the years, I have purchased some attachments when I saw a great sale on them. I have the food grinder which I use for grinding meat or poultry that I purchase at rock bottom prices. 99% of the time those prices on the larger piece of meat I grind are less than I can buy the ground meat. Over the years, I have ground beef roasts, steaks, chicken, and turkey breasts. Pork chops or roasts make ground pork or sausages. I have also used it to grind nuts and make bread crumbs. I have made pickle relish by grinding pickles. I have ground dried fruits to make cookies. This versatility has saved me a fortune on purchasing these items prepared. 

I have also purchased attachments that slice and shred. Because of this, I have not had to purchase a food processor. I can easily shred my own cheese when I find a chunk cheap. I can shred all kinds of vegetables and fruits. I have also shredded cooked chicken with them. I have made coleslaw. It does a great job making pesto. Making applesauce is easy.

The best thing is that it does not take much electricity to use it. The second best thing is because  I purchased it so cheap that I have gotten my money back many times over the years.

If you own a Kitchen Aid, please share with us what you use yours for.

Every Day

Frugal Things We Did This Past Week

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

I already told you about Hubby’s purchase of shelving for the garage. It is all up now except for the bottom shelf which will get put up after they do our garage floor.

My son brought his jack so that Hubby and he could jack up the shed. In the meantime, Hubby was cleaning the garage and he found his jack in a cabinet. They worked on this last Sunday.

My son took my origami shelving unit down into the basement from the garage. I had him place it where I wanted it. I haven’t decided what I will use the shelves for. I think I will be rearranging things down there and then making decisions. I plan on spending an hour a day this week doing that.

I washed a load of clothing once last week using cold water to wash and rinse. I hung everything to dry.

I washed a load of towels along with some guest room sheets. They were dried in my dryer using the wool balls which cuts down the dryer time by 20-30 minutes.

Our A/C has been off most of the past week. It has been cooler and a lot less humid. We have been enjoying the fresh air blowing in through the windows. We have had some nice gentle winds those days. 

For entertainment, we enjoyed watching the Buffalo Bills pre-season football game. We played board games with West. 

I have been doing a lot of walking around our neighborhood. I want to slowly work my way up to 8 miles a day. I have been invited to go to Disney World for their 50th Anniversary in 2021. Now that I am getting healthier, I want to see if I can walk the parks down there and not have to maneuver a scooter. My family walks about 8 miles in a park each day when they go. So by working on this now, I will know whether I can do it or not. If I can, the bonus is that I will not have to rent a scooter for a week.

I am getting low on quart size storage bags. They are wearing thin from being washed again and again. I got a great deal on Amazon . It works out to $.05 a bag which is a terrific deal. Better yet I paid for them using reward points. These are storage bags only not freezer bags.

I got my Rakuten rebate of $ 17.03. I got a mail in rebate of $6.00.

My liquid hand soap order that I told you about in a prior post arrived yesterday. That was about 2-4 weeks earlier than they said it would. I always worry about liquid things leaking in shipment. This was packed so well that it never would have leaked. This 4 gallons will last us a long, long time.

A friend, who started blogging way back when I did, mentioned that she uses fold over blank cards for gifts.  I am getting low on my blank cards that I sometimes use, so I searched on Amazon for these blank cards . They were $24.50+ tax for 100. They do not come with envelopes but due to a bulk purchase 16 years ago when we lived in Arizona, I already have envelopes that will fit them. I am always looking for a cheaper way to do things. This purchase will cut my card using price to less than half of what I normally pay. I can use them for gifts or even just when I need a card to mail. I have many ways that I can dress them up including my stamps and ink pads. 

I bought some more bagels at Panera Bread yesterday for Hubby. They are cheaper for 13 on Tuesdays…just $6.99.  I bagged them up in portions and put them in the freezer. He can just pull one out the night before he wants one. I paid for them with a gift card. 

Hubby made some more homemade cinnamon cream cheese spread for his bagels.

Hubby and I had our teeth cleaned. Two cleanings, flouride treatments, and exams twice a year, for each of us are covered in full by our discount dental plan. Hubby also had some work done and we got a discount of 20% on that.

I repaired a pair of shorts for Hubby.

Knowing that we were going to be out a good part of the day on dental cleaning and errand day, I put 2 nights worth of chicken in the crock pot to cook on low. All I had to do for dinner later was steam some broccoli and make Hubby some rice.

What are the frugal things you have done this past week? Please share with all of us. 

Every Day

What We Ate and Grocery Shopping

I am being honest when I say that I didn’t take a lot of pictures of what we ate last week. I had a very busy week so this just didn’t happen.

We had our usual meat and eggs for breakfast and no lunches. We had two nights of homemade spaghetti and meatballs. Mine was on homemade zoodles. We had two nights of Cheesy Bacon Ranch Chicken and asparagus which is pictured above. We had one night of pizza while my grandson was here. Being totally honest, I actually ate a piece of pizza. That being said, I was sick the entire next day. It seems the pizza did not agree with me. My body does not seem to like carbohydrate laden food anymore. So I will not be doing that again. The other two nights we had Chef’s salads. I continue on my weight loss journey. 

I went to the grocery store twice this past week. At Top’s, I purchased: 

3 dozen eggs – $ .59 each or $ 1.77
1 All Purpose Flour – -$ 2.99
1 Baking Powder – $ 2.69

Total OOP was $ 7.45

At Aldi’s, I purchased:

Red Seedless Grapes – $ .89 a lb. – $ 2.52
1 Heavy Whipping Cream – $ 1.55
1 Whipped Cream Cheese – $ 1.49
1 Feta Cheese – $ 2.99
1 Irish Butter – $2.49
1 Queso Fresco Cheese – $ 2.49
1 bag of Avocados – $4.99
1 frozen Asian Blend Vegetables – $ 1.69
1 frozen Brussel Sprouts – $ 1.09

Total OOP was $ 21.30.  

I know that I could have purchased the flour and baking soda cheaper at Aldi’s. But I didn’t because I do not like their baking ingredients. They have a funny taste.

When I can get eggs this cheap, I stock. They had a limit of three but if I go near Top’s again, I will get three more. We use a lot of eggs for breakfasts.

I am trying the Irish Butter which Aldi’s now has under their own label. It is exactly the ingredients of the name brand. It is made with milk from grass fed cows. If we like it, I am hoping they have it on sale near Thanksgiving and I will stock up. We still have a lot of pounds of butter that we purchased last Thanksgiving.

I don’t know how much longer I will buy avocados now that they are no longer in season. They are expensive. But I needed them for something this week and I love them. So we will see. 

Did you make a new recipe this week that you loved? Would you share it with us. Did you get any deals at the grocery store this past week?

Every Day


Attitude is everything! Only you have the power to change your attitude. No one can do it for you!

If you are in debt, only you can get you out of debt. Only you can decide that you want to be debt free. Only you can decide that you don’t want the burden of stress hanging around your neck weighing you down. 

If you want to save money for your future for just about any goal that you might have, only you can decide to do that. No one can force you and no one can do it for you!

I can give you every frugal tip to get out of debt but if you aren’t going to do the hard work involved, then you will fail. Hard work you say, yes hard work. Things don’t come easy for some people and then harder for others. It’s all about your attitude.

Just take a look around you. How many times have you seen people buy something because they say they deserve it? Everyone does deserve everything but not if they can’t pay cash for it. Change your attitude.

If you are in debt to anyone, you can’t afford to buy something that will put you more into debt. The burden you are carrying will get worse and your family’s future is at risk. Debt doesn’t go away all by itself. It takes hard work to get rid of it.

So change your attitude! Don’t just read about frugality. Take the time to put it into action. Do the hard work to get out of debt or save for your future.

One of the reasons, Hubby and I have no debt is we made it a goal not to. We did the hard work to pay off mortgages on our first two homes early. We paid the cash for our last two. Was that easy? No! We gave up a lot of things that people buy every day to do that. Things like coffee out every morning. Things like buying lunch when we worked. Hundreds of little things that helped us along the way to get where we are today.

Did we ever feel deprived? Absolutely not. We still had our coffee every morning;it was just made at home. We brought our leftovers or a sandwich to work for lunch. Did these little changes help us get to the freedom of being debt free? Yes but not by themselves. It was everything cumulatively. All of the things we did and do now get us to our goals. It isn’t done by accident or by just thinking about it. We put it all into action.

We knew we could do anything that we set our minds to. We wrote down our goals and we strived toward them every day. We knew how important they were for us and for our family. We were a busy family with jobs, kids playing many sports, and all of the other things that happen in every day life. But we took the time to work on our goals. We had the right attitude. We knew it would all pay off in the long run and you know what happened? We were right!

We didn’t say we can’t do that because we have no time. We didn’t say that is too hard. We didn’t say, let’s charge it because we want it. We had a plan to get where we are today. We said we know we can do it. We will do the hard work to get it done! So change your attitude and change your life.

You all know I have been around many, many decades. I have never met or seen a person who couldn’t do it. They just won’t do the work to get there. Why? They always seem to have an excuse as to why they can’t reach their goals. Excuses don’t get you anywhere. They keep you from getting where you need to be.

So get rid of the excuses and start doing what needs to be done to make things better. Get off your butts and put your plan into action. I know that you can do it and you do to! Change your attitude!

Every Day

Muffins for Breakfast and My Italian Breadmaker Recipe

Someone asked me yesterday for my Italian breadmaker recipe. I make a 1 and 1/2 lb. loaf. It is an Italian herb bread.


1 cup + 1 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. oil

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 + 1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. dry milk

3 cups bread flour

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

2 tsp. active dry yeast

I bake mine on the French cycle. Follow the directions for your bread machine. I never took a picture because I didn’t see my reader’s question until after we ate and there was barely any left.

At 5:00 am this morning, I was baking muffins. I have a 24 count muffin pan that just fits in my oven.
I baked 12 homemade chocolate chip for West and 12 cranberry orange muffins for Hubby. The cranberry orange were from a mix that I wanted to use up.

When I went to make the chocolate chip ones, I realized my baking powder was expired. So I substituted 1 tsp. cream of tartar and 1/2 tsp. of baking soda in my recipe. Here is the chocolate chip muffin recipe: 

Chocolate Chip Muffins 

These got a little brown but West said they were delicious. I usually use my muffin tin for just one kind. But they each wanted different kinds. So I had to take the chocolate ones out to cool first and do the cranberry a few minutes longer.

What they don’t eat today and tomorrow will get frozen for another breakfast. 

Every Day

Bare Bones: Make Every Penny Count

Remember to make every penny count! Those pennies become dollars. When you are living on a bare bones budget, it is important to scrutinize every expense. Don’t just look at it once, do it twice, or even three times to make sure that you are getting value for those pennies and dollars you are spending.

If your income has been drastically reduced, pay the basics to keep yourself afloat. Here is a video by Dave Ramsey who gives great advice on what to pay if your income has been reduced or you have been laid off from your job: Dave Ramsey

He has many more You Tube videos out there that you can google if you want to learn more.

My goal is to live Bare Bones so I can pay some large bills the rest of the year without touching savings and investments.

So I will show you what we are doing in a day to help with that goal. I need bread for Hubby and West this weekend. It was not on my grocery list this week because I can pay $1.00 to $4.00 for a loaf or I can pay about $.35 to $.50 to make a loaf. Bread is baking in the bread maker as I write this. 

It is daylight as I write this so no lights are turned on in this house.

Our A/C is now off because the temps have cooled off a bit. We are hoping to be able to keep it off until Tuesday. If I had a loss of income, I would turn it off and use a fan in the room or rooms we are in.

Here was my grocery list this week. As you can see, I crossed many, many things off. I have produce that needs to be used up so no produce purchased. The Tostito chips are to use with salsa we already have for a snack or lunch. We will need mayonnaise soon and Hubby will only eat Hellman’s. The mayo is necessary to make sandwiches. The ice cream is because West will be here this weekend and I promised him I would get his favorite kind which is cookies and cream. I purchased it at Walmart because it is a whole lot cheaper there than Top’s. These two stores are 1 block apart.  I shopped on Tuesday to take advantage of the 6% off senior discount at Top’s.

Hubby is installing wire shelves on the wall in the garage to house items that are on the floor and in a cabinet that we will sell to get them off the floor. He did a pick up order from Lowe’s and paid for $200. of the order with gift cards that I purchased almost two years ago at a discount. I got cash back for this order from Rakuten.

He is putting in enough shelves to house my very large appliances. I keep them on a roll around rack in the garage. Now I can use that rack in the basement for my stockpile. 

We had homemade cold cuts to use for dinner last night. I cooked a ham that I purchased at $.89 a lb. last Thanksgiving and we sliced it up on our meat slicer so that we could have ham sandwiches over the next few months. The homemade bread will be used for Hubby’s and mine will be in a lettuce wrap. 

When I drive I am still starting up from a light or stop sign under 2 x 1000 rpms to save on gasoline. No jack rabbit starts which eat gasoline. 

I washed our SUV in the driveway. I vacuumed it out with the handheld vacuum. I washed the windows with homemade “windex”. I rarely use the car wash unless it is the middle of winter. 

I have planned out our menu for this weekend while West is staying with us. He requested my homemade spaghetti and meatballs so I will take a precooked bag of it out of our freezer to thaw for dinner tonight. The bread I am baking today will be used to make parmesan garlic bread and sandwiches. I will keep it fresh in a reused bread bag.

Breakfasts will be homemade muffins, cereal and fruit, or scrambled eggs and bacon. Tomorrow night, I will use some frozen pizza which is in my freezer. His lunches will be cold cut sandwiches with cut up carrot sticks or PB&J which he loves. I also have some Annie’s mac and cheese if he prefers that. Snacks will be fruit or some of the ice cream. 

Entertainment this weekend will be walks, tablet time, playing some Pokemon Monopoly, etc. He also loves watching sports with his Grandpa.

 We did no impulse buying. The shelving was a planned purchase.

I managed to slice open a finger while I was helping with the shelving. It took a long time to stop bleeding but now it has a bandage on it and I didn’t have to go to Urgent Care. That was not the way I wanted to start my Friday. 

I hope you all have a safe and fun weekend.

Every Day

Ten Things We No Longer Purchase

Here are ten things that we do not purchase anymore which save us money:

– 81 mg. aspirin – Our doctor is no longer recommending one aspirin a day for me due to the newest studies that have come out. Unless you have had a heart attack, the doctors are no longer recommending it. 

– Multivitamins – Most studies show that they do nothing for us so they are a waste of money. 

– Dryer sheets – We use our dryer balls when we use our dryer.

– Antibacterial Wipes – Spray cleaners do the job much cheaper.

– Juices or Juice Drinks – Most juices are nothing but pure sugar. The only exception to this rule is I buy V8 juice which is part of my diet.

– A Warehouse Club Membership – I can get equal or better deals at Walmart, Aldi’s, Save A Lot, and Amazon. 

-DVD’s or Books – The library has so many that I don’t need to buy them. We also get free ones that we put on our Kindles.  

– Packaging Boxes or Envelopes – We reuse the ones that we get with shipped items. 

– Individual Magazines – I read them in my doctor’s waiting room or at the hair salon.

– Disposable Razors – We buy refills for razors cheap online from Dorco.They will be for sale on Amazon soon.

Are there things that you used to buy that you no longer deem necessary to purchase? Please share with us.

Also I have a question? Do any of you have a Go Pro? Which model and do you find they are worth the money?

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done This Past Week

These are the things we have done frugally the past week:

We had our driveway sealed. It had been three years since we had had it done. The man who does it for us has been doing driveways for almost 50 years. He is $50. cheaper than anyone else and does a fantastic job. Final cost to us was $97.20. He has usually done our driveway every 2 years for us. I guess we forgot to call him last year.

Top’s has been running 4 day only sales at the end of their sales week. This past week, they had Jennie O Turkey Breasts on sale for $.88 a pound – limit 2. I got 2.  It is rare that I can get meat at under $2.00 a lb. so when I do I get a couple.  They also had a head of iceberg lettuce on sale for $.88. I got one. I love turkey and it is especially good on my diet. So those went into the freezer to cook this fall before the large turkeys go on sale at rock bottom prices.

We are debating fixing a burner on our gas stove. The igniter is not working. Hubby watched some You Tube videos on how to do it. You can’t just buy the igniter; You have to buy the entire part that the igniter is in. It costs over $60. It also means turning off the gas while he is working on it and pulling the stove out from the wall. It will be a lot of work to install the part too. Hubby asked me what I thought. I told him it is the smallest burner on the stove so I rarely use it. We have three larger burners that I use a whole lot more than that one.  I use small appliances more than I use my stove top. When we have an extended family meal, I can always use the electric fry pan in lieu of the extra burner. The stove is over 9 years old and most likely will need replacing in another 5 or so. So I won’t miss that burner. We will see what Hubby decides to do. I am leaning towards doing nothing.

Hubby was told by his specialist to keep a bowl of snack size chocolate bars in his nightstand next to his bed. Hubby sometimes has low blood sugars during the night which wake him up. He then eats one or two Almond Joy snack size bars which bring his sugar up. These bags of bars rarely go on sale and are expensive for the little bit that comes in a bag. He is down to just 4 bars left. So I decided to see if I could buy them in bulk. I found I could get 3- 20oz. bags Jumbo bags at Amazon for about $8.78 a lb. which is way cheaper than what I pay now. There was no shipping even though it wasn’t Prime so this will save me the cost of gasoline to go out and purchase them too. I have logged this price into my price book but I will always be on the lookout for a better price. I can’t find these bars on a Holiday clearance. I have looked many, many years.

Somehow a screw came out of one of our downspouts on our gutters. Hubby found a screw to replace it and fixed it.

I have a shirt that I love that is too big for me that I have kept along with a couple of others to wear around the house especially when I am doing cleaning, cooking, and baking. The one I love developed a tiny hole so I repaired it. It’s comfy and I don’t want it to fall apart anytime soon.  

We joined our neighbors for an evening in front of their fire pit. I brought cheese and crackers and they provided the drinks.  

I read two free books that I downloaded to my Kindle from Amazon. This saved me driving to the library which saved gasoline. 

We also watched two free movies on Amazon Prime this week. I loved  “The Book Club”. I hated “Clue”.  We watch our movies for free. We don’t care if they are years old. We rarely go to a movie unless we are taking a grandchild.

Since we had some rain this week, we didn’t have to use the sprinkler system to water a few days.  

We have been cutting chives from our backyard for our scrambled eggs and whenever Hubby has mashed or baked potatoes.

We got two separate bills in 2 separate envelopes for an appointment with the same doctor. Hubby wrote one check for both of us and put all of the slips and check in the same envelope and mailed it. We saved a stamp.

When I went to the bank to get our monthly cash on August 1st, I combined the trip with doctor’s appointments. I cashed a rebate check that will also be used for our monthly cash.

Hubby and I went to our annual appointments with our primary doctor. Those visits are free to us. Our doctor actually has a sign on the front table near the receptionist that states: All annual wellness checkups are no cost to you.

Hubby has been putting up wire fencing around the bottom of our shed so that the wild animals can’t live under it this winter. He finished it today.

I took a survey for a test product.

I did my own manicure and pedicure using polish I had on hand. 

When we went to the family reunion, I had to go to an emergency orthopedic appointment in Albany. I received the bill this week and I was double billed for the X-rays, and the the doctor who read the X-rays. I called them and they are  sending me a corrected bill and reversing the extra charges to health insurance companies. Always check your bills when you get them because there is a lifetime cap on your medical insurance and you don’t want to be billed incorrectly. Nor do you ever want to pay more than you have to. 

a neighbors garage sale, I purchased a beautiful frame for just $2.00 to use in making a gift for someone. I also purchased a spare
hand mixer because mine is on it’s last leg. I like to have backups
ready when things break. Especially backups that cost just a couple of

We have our A/C on right now but it is set at 75 degrees so it doesn’t run a whole lot. We think we can turn it off tonight for a few days because cooler temps are on the way.

I have only had to run the dishwasher every 3 days by packing it full when I do run it. I use my homemade dishwasher detergent and vinegar as the rinse agent.

We have been getting estimates to have some concrete in our garage repaired and then have the floor sealed with an epoxy paint. We settled on a company who has been in business for 31 years and did not require a deposit. They also had a very reasonable price and honored a $100. discount coupon that had expired.  Weather permitting, it will be done the end of October.

Lastly, we caught the mouse who we think has been living in our garage. Just in case there is more than one, we are putting new sticky traps down.  

What have you been doing frugally this past week? Please feel free to share with all of us. We learn from each other.  

Every Day

What We Ate and Grocery Shopping

We ate our usual breakfasts this past week. For dinner we had the following:

Steak with mushrooms and asparagus for me and steak with steak sauce and mac and cheese for Hubby – 1 night.

Cheeseburgers with Dill Pickles 2 nights- Hubby had sauteed onions on his and I had mushrooms on mine.

Roast chicken and gravy on rice for Hubby and I had mine on riced cauliflower – 1 meal.

Hubby made chicken salad and I had chicken with broccoli – 2 nights. 

I made homemade chicken soup with veggies for me and the same for Hubby but I added cooked rice to his soup. – 1 night. 

We had steak leftover from dinner so we made steak with eggs for one breakfast. Of course, I had my usual 1/2 an avocado with it.

We had leftover chicken that I froze for a future stir fry.

In an effort to eat from our freezer, I fixed Hubby a box of Stouffer’s mac and cheese that needed to be used up.

If we were hungry at lunchtime we would have pepperoni and a cheese stick. Most lunchtimes we were not hungry.

The grocery shopping we did last week was pretty bare bones. I picked up at:


1 large can of Tomato Sauce – $ 2.98

1 Riced Cauliflower – $ 2.48

1 bag of Onions – $ 1.94

1 bag of Tomatoes on the Vine – $ 2.78

1 SF Chocolate Pudding – $.50

1 SF Gelatin – $ .36

2 Kotex U Liners – After a $4.00 Q, I made $ 1.72 which was deducted from the rest of my order.

Total OOP was $ 9.32.


2 Turkey Breasts on sale for $.88 a lb. One was $6.81 and one was $ 6.18.

1 Head of Lettuce – $.88 

Total OOP was $ 13.87.

The tomato sauce was needed to make homemade spaghetti sauce. I use this recipe: Spaghetti Sauce 
It is delicious and frugal. I freeze it in meal size portions.  

I was pricing their SF puddings and SF jello and found that the Great Value brand is a lot cheaper at Walmart. The Top’s brand was $.79 each. Next time I go to Aldi’s, I will check their price. So from now on when my stockpile is depleted, I will buy it at Walmart unless Aldi’s is cheaper. 

The liners were a money maker so I will donate those.

We needed lettuce and this was cheaper than Romaine. The turkey breasts are great for many meals and sandwiches. 

Did you find any good deals at the grocery store this week? Did you cook anything you want to share?