Every Day

My Best Score After Christmas

Today, I went to my local Rite Aid to pick up a prescription. While I was there, I quickly browsed the after Christmas discounted areas.

I found such a great buy that I just had to take a few minutes to let you know about it. Unfortunately they only had one left. But I was very happy to get that.

It was a 3 pack of peanuts(12 oz. cans). I am not crazy about peanuts but Hubby will occasionally eat them. We also serve them when we have company. So I was very happy to find these discounted. As you can see, they were $12.99 before Christmas.

Now take a look at the price I got them for. Yes, the price was $ 3.24. I held my breath as the cashier scanned the UPC and sure enough, it rang up at $ 3.24.

So if you have a Rite Aid near you, look for this box of nuts. They are easy to stockpile and handy to have as a snack if someone visits.

We are having company tomorrow night to celebrate New Year’s Eve with us. Finally that bottle of champagne that has been in my fridge will get popped.

I wish you all a wonderful New Year!

Every Day

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year

I wanted to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

For those of you who are traveling, I hope you have a safe trip!

I will be taking time off to enjoy my family until I post again on New Year’s Day!

Every Day

A Day in My Life

I got up later than normal today at 7:15am. After many bad sleep nights, over the last few years, it feels good to get 8 hours sleep.

The first thing I did was strip our bed and throw the sheets in the washing machine, brush my teeth, and get dressed. I dressed in my workout clothes which is just a pair of yoga pants and a loose top.

I went down to the basement freezer to get a piece of salmon and a piece of haddock for our dinner.

Then I got a large glass of ice water and drank it all. After sleeping all night, I had to get hydrated. While I drank it, I quickly check my e-mail, replied to any comments on this blog, and checked facebook for any messages. I also checked my planner to see if there were any appointments or errands that need to be done or telephone calls to be made today.

I head to the basement and walk at a pretty good clip(for this septuagenarian) on the treadmill for a half hour. Pictured is the digital screen on the treadmill on my way to 30 minutes. I actually made it to 30:06. Then I rode the recumbent bike for a half hour while watching a You Tube video. I have also been researching more dance videos to use starting January 1. My light weights that I use for strength are in that box on the floor.

After my exercise, I jumped in the shower, brushed my hair dry, dressed in a pair of jeans and a top, and put on my makeup.  

It was my day to clean the guest rooms so I did that. They are easy since I keep up with them once a week. I like to have them ready at all times for company. I keep the drapes closed in these rooms so that I can keep the heat down in them over the winter.

Next was about 30 minutes spent getting my 2020 planner ready to use. I put all of my 2020 appointments in it and added everyone’s birthdays to it.

Tomorrow in the allotted 30 minutes that I give myself, I will start my menu planning from my stockpile for the month of January. I also need to change the toy line under Daily Clean and Organize, because we don’t have toys, to something else and add other chores that I do. There is also(for anyone that wants to know) 3 pages of debt payoff charts. I am going to change them to savings and investment charts since we have no debt. I will be using the notes section to keep track of daily spending. You don’t have to use your planner the way they intend. I change it to what I need.  

I am now starting to get hungry, so Hubby fixed a very late breakfast for us. Two egg omelets with sauteed onion and red pepper and 1/2 an avocado hit the spot. It was delicious! Hubby loves to cook so I give him every opportunity to do that.

While Hubby was cooking, I put the wash in the dryer.

I went to take a picture of my recumbent bike monitor after the 30 minutes that I did and my breakfast but my battery was dead. I went to get another battery to find that one wasn’t charged either. UGH! So both batteries needed charging.

Next I called Medicare and my drug store because of an issue with a drug solution for a machine. I have been trying to get a refill on this for over a week and getting stumped at every turn. It is the only drug that Medicare pays for. Fortunately my pharmacist is going above and beyond and trying to get this straightened out for me.

My dryer just went off so time to empty it and make our bed. 

Hubby is out snow blowing our driveway. So I am doing up our breakfast dishes. 

Hubby just brought in the mail. He surprised me with the above wireless earbuds. I have been wanting these so that I can have music when I am exercising or cleaning without turning a TV or radio on. They are charged and operational. So I tested them. They work in every room on the main floor and everywhere in the basement. I am loving that!

Right now I am listening to some Christmas music while I am cleaning a master bathroom cupboard.

Next I wanted to watch a movie. I didn’t know that the Buffalo Bulls are playing Charlotte in the Bahama Bowl today. So I watched that with Hubby. That took up the rest of our afternoon.

We cooked dinner together. I had salmon with broccoli. Hubby had fried haddock with a salad.

Hubby will watch more football tonight and I am going to watch “The Avengers” on Amazon Prime. 

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Every Day

2020 Goals: I Will No Longer Employ Any Servants

Yes, that’s right! My next 2020 goal is that I will no longer employ any servants. I can hear the question now. American Dreamer you use a servant? You must be very rich! 

Nope, I am not rich. I would bet that all of you have  employed servants at one time or another.

If you have purchased any kind of convenience food, you are paying for a servant. When you purchase, cut up fruits and vegetables, you are paying for someone or a company to do that for you. Their pay is included in the price you pay and the price is not cheap. Fire those servants and do the cutting yourself! Save that money!

When you purchase any TV type dinner that is just heat and eat, you are paying for the company to make it for you.

When you purchase many things like frozen pizzas, bread, rolls, cinnamon buns in a refrigerated can, cupcakes, cakes, brownies, or cookies at the bakery,  things like Spanish rice packets, mashed potatoes in a box or packet, macaroni and cheese in a box, and a myriad of other prepared meals, you are paying for that.

If you buy spaghetti sauce, spaghettios, ravioli in a can, you are paying for a company to make that.

When I buy Fresh Express salads or salad kits, I am paying a premium for someone else to make them.

Salad dressings is another big one. They are easily made at home. Why pay someone to make them for you? 

Frozen packages like green beans in butter sauce or broccoli with cheese sauce cost you more money than making them yourselves. Why pay a servant to make them for you! Frozen cakes, pies, and many other desserts you are paying for someone  to make for you.

Frozen vegetables with just the vegetable in them are fine. They were frozen at their peak so are cost efficient especially when they are out of season. But you don’t need cheese, butter, or cream sauces on them. If you want sauce on them, make them yourself. 

Buy what ever vegetables are in season for the best prices. But I do check to see which is cheaper per pound, frozen or fresh, and that is what I purchase.  

Snacks, like junk food, you are paying a huge premium for. Have you ever figured out what you are paying per pound for those items? It would blow your mind. I would rather buy meat or poultry than pay the exorbitant prices for junk food. I can make celery and carrot sticks with dip, cheese and meat trays, cut up fruit, pop my own popcorn, etc. for snacks.  

I have been guilty of paying for servants for years. in 2020, I am not going to pay for servants for things that I can make myself. 

We will be sticking to basic ingredients that we can make other things from. Will it be easy? Nope. I will have to think about every purchase I make and the cheapest way to make it.

Certain things like SF  products that I can’t make, like the SF syrups that we use in our coffee would be impossible. But most things I can do myself.

There will be another exception. My grandchildren love ice cream so I will buy that. To make it from scratch would not save us any money. I can buy it cheaply with coupons or at Aldi.

Will we use up what we have already purchased that we can eat that is in our stockpile? Of course, not to would be a waste of money. 

So those things that we pay a hefty price for will be gone from our shopping! 99% of the servants that we pay for will be banished from our shopping. 

Will we go out to dinner once in a while? Sure. But we don’t go out very often. Just a few times a year and the money for that comes from our entertainment budget. Not from our grocery budget.

Fortunately, we have never purchased food from places like Home Chef. I think they are the biggest waste of money there is. You are really paying a huge premium for them to prepare that package for you and you still have to cook it.

Do you pay for servants that you could fire? 

Every Day

A Little of This and a Little of That

I am so busy today that I need to make this very short. 

Last Saturday evening we went to a wonderful Christmas party in the neighborhood. We were fortunate to be able to meet a couple who had just moved into one of the new houses that are being built in our neighborhood along with a couple who will be closing on their home later in December.

I have to thank Hawaii Planner for the idea of making a platter with meats and cheeses to take to the party. I took a picture of what we brought but forgot to take it before I wrapped it. Since it is hard to see, I will tell you what is on it. Pepperoni, 3 different kinds of salami(regular, garlic and herb, and pepper),beef sticks, hot soppressata, beef summer sausage, and Irish Gaelic cheese, Champagne cheese, and Whiskey cheese. I also brought two containers of different kinds of crackers. Everyone loved it! I brought this because we could eat the meats and a little cheese. With the exception of a veggie platter that someone made, there was no other food that we could eat. There was a ton of food but it was all carbohydrate laden or sugar laden( the desserts). We only ate those when we weren’t dieting. 

We have been lucky to be able to eat at parties or on holidays by making what we can eat. It has worked well for us. Hubby was good. He just had a glass of dry wine. Me, I drank water.

We had a terrific evening. So thanks to Nancy and Jack!

We had a lot of leftovers from making the platter. So last night we turned those and some other items in our fridge into an antipasto plate for our dinner. We had salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, artichoke hearts, black olives, fresh mozzarella balls, and pepperoncini on lettuce with SF Italian dressing. It was so yummy! 

Do you remember my nice clean refrigerator above that I posted about in November?

Well look at it now! UGH! This much food in our fridge makes it so disorganized which drives me crazy. So guess what we will be eating out of the rest of the week? 

Some of the butter will be moved to the freezer. The eggs are not a big deal because they get eaten for breakfasts and the cooked ones for snacks. 

Not much I can do about all the condiments except use them up. The shelf above the produce has a ton of leftovers that I will be remaking into something else for dinners. Tons of produce needs to be incorporated into breakfasts and dinners. The apples will be made into applesauce. And last but not least, the deli drawer has a lot of meats and cheeses that need to get used.  

Forget about eating this up this week. It looks like we can eat from this for the next two weeks right up until Christmas. Waste not, want not!

Am I the only one who has a full messy fridge?

Every Day

Frugal Things This Past Week

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

– On the way home from the hair salon, I stopped at Aldi for 6 more pounds of butter at the rock bottom price of $ 1.99 a lb. It was on my route so I didn’t make a special trip. I now have enough to last us one year.

– I filled up the SUV using $ .40 off a gallon that I earned shopping at Top’s.

– We raided my gift closet for Christmas gifts for my hairdresser, the mailman, the UPS man, and the Fed Ex man. These were gifts that I knew they would enjoy and that I had purchased during the year at sale prices. I wrapped them in paper that I purchased on an after Christmas sale over 4 years ago. The cards to go with them were purchased then also. 

– My hairdresser gave me the above hair products as a little Christmas gift. I was thrilled because I buy these products.  

– We have a wine shelf in our pantry. It is pretty full right now of unopened bottles of wine. Drinking wine is not on our diet. So I am gifting a bottle of that wine to our host and hostess at the Christmas party that we are going to. I had purchased gift bags for bottles last year, so I grabbed one to put the wine in.

– For those that don’t know, Jordan’s Skinny Syrups has Keto Skinny Syrups now. You can find them here:
Keto Skinny Syrups  . This is my referral link. If you place an order, you get $5.00 off your first order. You can also get free bottles by signing up for their newsletters. They give you codes once in awhile to do that. I have gotten a number of free bottles.

– I did 3 loads of wash one after the other. Two loads got put in the dryer with my wool balls. One load got hung. I used cold water. 

– I stopped today also at Dollar Tree to pick up some more wrapping paper. They had rolls at my store that were a dark green plaid in the Christmas bins that could be used all year to wrap gifts. I already had 3 rolls but I picked up 7 more rolls today. I was not taking the chance that they would be gone when things go to 50% off. When you shop look for rolls like that that can be used all year round. 

– I have already started a savings fund for next year for a very major expense that we are going to have. We are tightening our belts! More on that when I post my goals. 

That is about it for this week. What have you done frugally this past week?

Every Day

Grocery and Other Shopping This Past Week

We did a bit of grocery shopping this week because we needed a few things and I am making a meat and cheese tray to take to a party soon.

I also needed to pick up a few things at Dollar Tree that I needed to take food to the party on. By buying it at Dollar Tree, it does not matter if the dish doesn’t come home with me. I picked up two different trays because I don’t know yet which one will get used for the party. Which ever one becomes the spare will get used eventually. I am not crazy about the Christmas one but it was all they had. I will be covering the center of it with parchment paper to put the food on if I use it. I also purchased little cup things to hold mustards, olives, and pepper rings. The gold forks and knives will be put next to the tray for people to dish onto their plates with. And lastly, rather than make a second trip, I picked up a birthday card for West who will be 10 in January. So I spent a whopping $ 5.40 including tax.

Here is my Top’s shop:

3 Fresh Express Salad Kits $ 10.00
5 packages of Margherita Pepperoni – $ 7.98(B2G3F)
1 Peter Pan Peanut Butter – $ 1.49 with Store Q

Total was $ 19.47.

Here is my Aldi’s shop:

6 Avocados @ $.69 each = $ 4.14
Bag of Peppers – $ 2.99
Summer Sausage – $ 2.99
3 Prosciutto – $ 2.75 each = $ 8.25
1 Regular Salami – $ 2.79
1 Bite Size Salami – $ 3.99
2 Heavy Whipping Cream – $ 1.55 each = $ 3.10
1 Half and Half – $ 1.55
1 frozen Riced Cauliflower – $ 1.89
1 Irish Cheese – $ 3.99
1 Whiskey Cheese – $ 3.99
1 jar of Olives – $ .79
1 Avocado Oil – $ 6.99
1 Beef Snack Sticks – $ 3.49
1 Pepper Rings – $ 1.65
3 dozen Eggs @ $ .49 each = $ 1.47

Total was $ 54.06.  

Most of the money was spent on the party items. The eggs, salad kits, peanut butter, avocado oil, whipping cream, half and half, and riced cauliflower were needs. We use the cauliflower instead of rice. The pepperoni was such a great deal so I got all 5. Some will go on the platter and the rest we will eat for snacks and in salads. So they won’t last long. We were almost out of each of the rest of the items that get used all the time.

Not all of the meats will get put on the platter. I wanted to buy enough to fill them but there will be leftovers. So anything left from the party platter will be used for an antipasto dinner later in the week.

Yesterday, I cooked a pound of bacon in the oven that I pulled out of the freezer. Since it was an entire pound it took two pans. I really like this method. I may never cook bacon on top of the stove again. 

And after we ate. What was left on this pan and on the other one got bagged up to go with eggs for our breakfasts the rest of the week.

Last night Hubby cooked lots of chicken wings in our air fryer oven.  I made a Buffalo wing sauce with Frank’s hot sauce and butter. They were delicious and will last us two meals.

Did you get any good deals this past week when
you grocery shopped? 

Every Day

2020 Goals: Second Goal

My second goal for 2020 is to lose 30-35 more lbs. My doctor and I have determined that this will be a perfect weight for me. It is actually the weight I was at when we got married. I would like to do it by June 30th.

Can I do it? Yes, but it is going to be tough without exercising more. Hence, instead of exercising sporadically which is about 3 times a week, I will be exercising 7 days a week for one hour each day. I have actually already started that regimen.

I am finding the more weight I lose the harder it comes off. So I will be working out not only on the recumbent bike and treadmill but using small weights. I will also be exercising using You Tube. I love the fat burning dance videos. I desperately need to tighten things up.

When winter is over, I will walk outside too. I love to do this while enjoying the fresh air.  

I track my exercise using my fitness watch. I find it fun to track my progress. It also tracks my sleep which I am finding is one of the most important things. My sleep was terrible before I started taking magnesium every day. Now I sleep like a baby, usually 8-9 hours a day.   

I will continue dieting using a combination of Keto and Carnivore. My doctor says they are excellent diets for me to follow. 

Throughout my diet, I have used supplements to make sure that my body is getting what it needs. So I take a multivitamin every day. I also take 4000 iu. of Vitamin D, 500mg. of Vitamin C, and 200 mg. of magnesium. These have all been approved by my doctor for me. Always check with your doctor to see what supplements are safe for you and that won’t interact with your prescription pills. I get dairy in my SF puddings and some cheese so I don’t take calcium. I have great bone density according to tests. This all works well for me.

So do any of you want to join me in the weight loss journey for 2020? If I can do it at my “young age”, you can definitely do it!

Every Day

Eating Down the Stockpile;Keeping It Real

On Thursday night, I grabbed a beautiful pork tenderloin from my basement freezer and thawed it. Then I roasted it for about an hour in our toaster oven at 375 until it registered 160 on our meat thermometer. This will give us about 3 meals with leftovers for a lunch. That lunch will be salad with thin slices on it or I will cook it up with some peppers and onions.

As you can see I made a little pork gravy(about 1 cup) that will last us all three meals  from a packet mix that was on a shelf. We don’t normally eat gravy but it needed to be used up. A little gravy doesn’t hurt our diet once in a while but we don’t make a habit of it.

I also grabbed these brussel sprouts from the freezer and just cooked them in the microwave. It was a bag of petite ones and they were so tender. They will last us again for the other two meals. 

This was an easy simple meal that we enjoyed. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated. BTW, these are small luncheon type plates that I purchased when I first started dieting to use for my meals. I have found that the size of the plate does matter when you are dieting. We never go back for seconds.

Just keeping it real!

Every Day

2020 Goals

We have been working on our 2020 goals. Today I will tell you the first one. It is one that will save us the most amount of money.

We are planning on eating down our stockpile which we have already started doing. As you have heard me talk about, we have been doing it for months.

The difference between then and now is that I was still stockpiling some things (like turkeys, chicken, and other meats as I saw them on sale). Because of that, my freezers are again full. I plan on no stockpiling until all of the food is gone. The things we eat will get eaten and the things that we don’t will get donated.

The reason for this is two fold. First, we are eating different foods than we used to eat. Now that Hubby is on board with his diet, there are a lot of things in our stockpile that neither of us will eat. Before they expire, they will get donated. Secondly, I want to use up all of the food that we have in this house and not be putting large amounts of money out for food that we don’t need. It is time to use up everything that has been stored that we can eat and use up that money that we spent to buy it.

Then I can defrost the basement freezer and put it to better use than before. I have used it for frozen vegetables and fruits, bread, an occasional frozen pizza, meats, poultry, fish, ice cream, cool whip, etc. 

I have come to the conclusion that my 7 cu. ft. freezer would better serve us if I only stored the expensive proteins mentioned above. Those are the things that I save the most money on at rock bottom prices. I have also recently found a few more places to shop that have rock bottom sales on meat, poultry, and fish. So when I am buying these items again, I will have more prices to scrutinize.

The other items that are frozen can be stored in my 2 freezer drawers in my refrigerator. We don’t eat bread anymore so there is no reason to store it. Nor do we eat fruit with the exception of occasionally eating some applesauce. When the last frozen pizza is gone(cheat nights once a month will be instituted), we will not be buying those. The SF Cool Whip and the ice cream for my grandchildren can be purchased when needed. Some kind of frozen veggies are on sale almost every week and can be found by doing a quick search on Flipp. I can always purchase them at Aldi’s where they are usually the cheapest. Hubby and I also eat a lot of fresh veggies which we can always buy at the store even if they are not in season.

So because of all of these changes, my plan had to change. We will still purchase necessary items like half & half, eggs, breakfast meats, milk and fresh veggies as we need them and anything else that we run out of that we deem a necessity. But if we can substitute something else that we already have, we will. 

By donating what we no longer eat, it will get it off our storage shelves and make it easier to move all of our storage when Hubby is ready to carpet the pantry floor. 

When we are starting from scratch, I will document how I do it at rock bottom prices for those who may need a refresher or be new to my blog.

I will also occasionally show you what we used up in a week’s time and what we had to shop for or if we had to shop.

So if you are in the same situation as we are you might want to make this one of your goals for 2020. It seems senseless to keep buying food when we have so much.