Every Day

Groceries, Groceries, and More Groceries

Today was a grocery shopping day. I have to tell you that it frightens me to go into a grocery store because people are not social distancing.

I went to Top’s, during their senior hours, to get items that Walmart was out of stock on. It was very crowded with seniors who were doing their best to social distance.

As you can see in the pictures, I got a lot of comfort food snacks. They seem to be going really fast around here. I also picked up a pizza for a Friday night dinner, a lb. of bacon, and many packages of shredded cheese because we were almost out. Our Pepcid bottle was almost empty so I got a replacement. It was the only one in the store which surprised me. 

That white bottle is a quart of hand sanitizer. I was quite shocked to see a table of them. I was also shocked to find toilet paper and Kleenex. Up until today our store had not had these items.

I didn’t want Hubby to run out of Ritz crackers because we are on our last package. The chicken, cold cuts, and tomatoes, etc. are in the picture. I ended up spending exactly $ 176. at Top’s.

However, after Top’s while I still had all my coronavirus gear on, I went to our local meat and produce market. They have no senior hours but they do open early. It was packed especially around the cold cut section and the butcher shop. I only went in for one item from the butcher shop. People were not social distancing. I would move farther away from people who were too close and then someone would come and get on top of me again. It was terrifying.

Finally after being in line forever, I was able to buy a whole beef tenderloin that was on sale for $8.99 a lb. This will give us enough filet mignons to grill for months. The cost of this tenderloin was $ 58.88.

While I was waiting, I was watching people and what they were buying. One man must have purchased close to $800. in meat. Most people were buying up many pounds of ground meat and Italian sausage and pork products. The lady whose turn it was before me tried to buy a lb. of ground sirloin and the butcher pointed to a pan that had a little in it and he said this is all we have. She said give it all to me. They had no chicken left. The meat was going really quickly. I kept hoping that one beef tenderloin would be left when they got to me which it was as you can see in the picture.

I had also noticed at Top’s that they only had three large packages of chicken. I took one. They were on sale for $ 1.99 a lb. I tried to get breakfast sausage and they had none.  

I don’t know what it is like in your area but I would say if you need meat, go get it. People are stockpiling like crazy. I have never seen anything like this in all of my years.

I have to pickup my Walmart order later this afternoon. That is no contact which makes me happy.

Today will be my last day out for groceries for a very long time. It makes me very uneasy so I am not doing it again. We are stocked for a while.

Our governor has things shut down still until at least May 15. Even after they start the phases of going back to work, we will be social distancing. I don’t know if there will be restrictions on seniors. So it may be a very long time that we need to be in the house and I wanted to be prepared with what we needed.

Is your meat disappearing in your stores?  

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done Recently

These are the frugal things we have done recently:

– Hubby mowed the lawn himself.

– We took a walk in the yard, scrutinized the outside of the house, and made a list of the minor repairs that need to be done from the winter.

– We sat outside in our front yard seating area to get some fresh air since it was so beautiful here on Saturday. A few neighbors came by and chatted from a distance.

– We watched the NFL draft.

– We picked out an area that we are going to plant crocus bulbs in the fall.

– I finally was able to get a slot for another Walmart pickup this week.

– We continue to cook every meal at home. I cooked a turkey breast yesterday that will give us many meals. We had taco salads, filet mignon, and chicken stir fry this week too. Breakfasts continue to be eggs and bacon or sausage. 

– We received our electric and gas bill online. It was $ 172. It was higher than last year but it was much colder for the month plus I have been doing extra laundry because we wash a load of towels every night. I also seem to be running the dishwasher more often.

– Hubby washed the floor in the garage to get all the dirt up from the winter. It was so easy this year because we had the floor epoxied this past October.

– I rearranged my freezer again to make more room.

– Hubby and I have been watching a lot of movies on Amazon Prime so we are very happy that there will be new ones starting May 1st.

– I watched about 10 You Tube videos on how to cut Hubby’s hair. It is so long that he can’t stand it anymore. So now I just have to get up my nerve to do it.  

– I have been keeping a close eye on produce so that none of it gets wasted. We eat a lot of salad with our meals.

– We aren’t using any gasoline because we rarely get in the car except to do a pickup or go to the drugstore. BTW, Hubby ordered a prescription a few days ago and the drugstore is having trouble getting it. So we are hoping they get it soon or we will have to have his doctor order something different.

That is all we have been doing frugally. Please share what you have been doing.    

Every Day

How We Stay Frugal Even When There Isn’t An Emergency

Do you remember back to the 2007 – 2008 mortgage crisis? All of a sudden, everyone turned to frugality because they couldn’t pay their mortgages, were in debt up to their eyeballs, lost their jobs, and had no savings. People were doing things frugally that they never did before. I remember thinking to myself perhaps people will learn from this situation and keep their frugality going and save for emergencies. I am sure some did but I would bet that most didn’t. The people I saw who were caught up in it returned to their unfrugal ways. 

I realize that this crisis was not of anyone’s making but it is another emergency situation. No one could have foretold that this virus would happen. However, if people had saved money for an emergency, they would be in a  much better situation than they are right now. 

So let’s learn from this and be much more careful how we use and spend our money.

So today and in the future, I will share more ways on how we are frugal all of the time so that in times like this, we are easily able to survive.

One of the things we have been doing for a while that saves us a bit of money over time is how we use plastic bags for repackaging meat. As you know, I buy our meat in bulk. If chicken is on a good sale price, I will sometimes buy 20-40 lbs. of it so that I never have to pay full price for it. The same goes for any kind of meat.

These pictured food saver bags are expensive to use. I do use them but only if I plan on keeping the meat in my freezer longer than 3 months.

If I plan on us eating the meat within three months, I use these but they are also very expensive.

And I use these or the ones with the flap that you tuck in. Usually the flap bags are much cheaper than the resealable but they weren’t the day I purchased these.

I will package the meat up into meal size portions and put it in any cheap sandwich bag that I can find. Walmart has a great price on these but so does Dollar Tree and Aldi’s. But in my area, Walmart has the best price. Then I stack them flat in a one gallon freezer bag which I buy when they are on sale. I can get many meals worth in one of those bags. When I need that meat, I just open the gallon bag, take a sandwich bag out and reseal the bag. 

The reason I do it this way is so that I can reuse the expensive freezer bags over and over again by washing them out. Anytime you put meat in a plastic bag you can’t reuse them. So I throw out the small cheap bags or reuse them to organize non food items in our household(after washing them really well)  and can still use the freezer bag over and over again. I have used some of them for years.

I only pay about a penny for the sandwich bags so we save a lot of money in the long run over buying freezer bags and using those. 

Sometimes, in order to get the freezer bags at a great price, I have to buy them at a warehouse store packaged with quart freezer bags. But I am also now using the quart bags the same way. 

Another way we save is on coffee. Hubby loves his Keurig and his K Cups. So I buy his brand of decaf on subscribe and save on Amazon to get the best price. However, I am trying to get him to let me buy the same coffee in a bagso he can use the reusable cup. But I am not that fussy, so I use a reusable K cup and any kind of coffee that is on sale.

We like flavored coffee but we use SF Skinny Syrups or Keto Syrups to get that flavor. We only use one squirt and that is perfect for us. I buy our syrups in bulk directly from Jordan’s when they have a 40-50% off sale and sometimes they send me a coupon to use too. We will buy cases when it goes on sale. It keeps for a long time unopened. We never pay full price for it.

Do you guys remember when I purchased the 4 gallons of hand soap from Amazon for a great price? Well, when this emergency happened we had plenty of cheap hand soap. We have just been refilling our pump containers at the sinks with this. It is the most economical way to buy it. 

We also had a box full of bar soap which we will use when the liquid is gone. After I took this picture, we donated more than half of the soap to a food bank. Most of it was purchased cheaply back when coupons were worth something.  

Another way we save is to cook from scratch at home every meal. We rarely did take out or went out to eat in a restaurant before this crisis. Thinking back, we haven’t been to a restaurant here since last August. If you don’t know how to cook, learn while you have so much time at home. It is healthier and cheaper. Here was my breakfast: scrambled eggs with onion and chive cream cheese mixed in and bacon.

Well that is it for today. If you like this kind of post, let me know in the comments and we will do a lot more of them. Also if you have a great tip on how to save money, please share it. We all learn from each other.

Every Day

How We Are Going To Spend Our Stimulus

UPDATE: I have to apologize to everyone who left comments the past week while I was doing the pantry. I never checked them and when I looked a while ago I was surprised at how many there were. I just wanted to let you know that I have responded to them all.   

Have you thought about how you are going to spend your stimulus? I am sure there are as many answers as I have readers.

I realize that some people who have been laid off from work will use it to try to survive. I pray for you and your families every day.

I have seen people say they are going to save it.

Since it is meant to stimulate the economy, we are going to spend it. I will tell you how we are going to spend it and you can tell me what you are going to do with it. 

Hubby and I were pretty prepared for this pandemic. For that I have to thank a Mormon online friend and a couple of friends from Arizona. I always kept a small pantry but nothing like I do now until I learned how the Mormons did it and why they did it. It made a lot of sense to me.

So in Arizona, I started keeping a moderate sized stockpile. I did not have a freezer when we lived there because the only place we had to put it was in the garage and with temps from 100 to 125 from March until October, it would have cost a fortune in electricity to run it. So I only had the freezer in my refrigerator. When we lived for 34 years in Eastern New York, we had a large freezer in our basement and that saved our family of 4 a lot of money on meat, veggies, fruit, French fry’s, and ice cream because I always bought these things on rock bottom prices.

When we moved back to New York, we purchased a 7 cu ft. freezer figuring it was big enough for the two of us which most of the time, it is. However when it dies, I will buy a larger one. Hubby helped with getting shelving for the pantry.

Getting back to being prepared, we were. When everyone was looking for toilet paper, we had it. We had masks, disposable gloves, and some sanitizer but not much. I had lots of Lysol and Clorox wipes but no Lysol Sprays. All of these things were purchased many years before the pandemic. I am an asthmatic so I have always kept a few masks. I am severely allergic to dust which is another reason we keep them. I always kept a little Purell near the sinks in our home and a small one in the car. But I only do this in the winter. So when it looked like we were going to get many cases of this virus, I was able to snag 4 bottles of sanitizer at Walmart. I shared one with a son and his family. The other son said he needed none. 

We had plenty of food and an almost full freezer when this virus hit because of my stockpiling. We have eaten a lot of it since.

So we will spend it to replenish our freezer and stockpile. I have learned through this pandemic where my holes are in the pantry so I have a handle on what I should be stockpiling. That way we will be prepared again if the virus comes back next Fall or Winter or if there is some other emergency. 

Being in the high risk category, we will wait until it looks safer to even think about restocking. Right now, as you all know, it is difficult to get a pickup or delivery order. At least it is here. A lot of things are out of stock. So we will do the best we can when we can actually safely shop again.

I finally finished moving everything back into the pantry yesterday as you can see in the photo above.
It was huge job which took me a week. But now I am inventoried. That will help me a lot when it comes time to restock.

So I am curious, how will you be spending your stimulus? Feel free to leave a comment and share with all of us. 

Every Day

Walmart Grocery Pickup

I picked up my grocery haul about 10am. I don’t think I was in the parking space for more than 5 minutes when they brought it to the car. It is quite the system they have. Seven of the items I ordered were out of stock including my Skinny Pop popcorn but at least they had Hubby’s snacks. I did get myself some Quest protein chips. Also I have to get credit for the yellow pepper. When I was cutting the peppers up into strips to freeze, it was rotten. I am so thrilled with all of the produce! We were almost out of fresh veggies and fruits.

Not everything is pictured here. I got a bunch of personal care items and had already sanitized them and put them to sit around the soaking tub in the bathroom.  As you can see I got messed up when I was stacking it so the popcorn, Popables and Grooves are in a couple of pictures. I spent a total of $211.51.

I woke up very tired this morning and am completely exhausted now. By the time I got done sanitizing all the items, washed my clothes, and sanitized everything I touched in the car, garage, and house, I was beat. I feel like I need a nap but since it is almost 3PM, I will just go to bed early tonight.

Hubby finished the carpet on the right hand side of the wall in the pantry while I was out. So just the freezer area needs to be done when my son is able to come here again. 

So my plan tomorrow is to continue working to put everything back in the pantry including all the shelving units. I will take pictures when I get done.

What are you working on today?

Every Day

Well, The Best Laid Plans Didn’t Happen

I had planned on doing a long post this morning but Hubby had different plans for me today. I helped him put down the carpet tiles in the pantry. He still has a few small strips to fill in up to the wall on the right side.

Except for the area under the freezer, the floor will be done tomorrow. We need help from our son to move it and put the carpet tile down under it and then move the freezer back. Until this coronavirus is done, we will not see him.

As you can see I have been moving things back in slowly but surely. I am taking my time to make sure that everything is very organized and that I leave space for future purchases. We still have 3 shelving units to move back in when the carpet is done on the right. We also have two roll around origami carts on wheels to put back. 

So I have a lot of work ahead of me to get all of the food, HBA, and household goods back in the pantry. It will take me a few days especially since I am taking inventory of everything as I put it back to double check the numbers I have at the moment.

Also after almost three weeks of trying to get a Walmart pickup order I finally got a slot and I am picking it up tomorrow. I will show it to you and then wipe every item down and the counter I use to do it. Then we put it all on the breakfast bar and game table to dry and sit for a few days. Everything except for refrigerated or frozen items that need to get put away.

I will write the post after I take my shower and wash the clothes I have on to pick up the order. So it will be later in the day. 

So if I am not around for a while after that, it is because I am working very hard to get the pantry set up again.  Plus I will give Hubby some help measuring the last few tiles he has to cut.

Every Day

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you all! I wish you all the blessings that go with this holiday. I know it doesn’t seem like the usual Easter with circumstances what they are. But try to enjoy it with your family that lives with you and make the best of it for your children. 

I will miss having grandchildren here and the Easter egg hunt that would have been. But we will have our own family celebration when we can all be together again.

We are planning on grilling filet mignon for dinner tonight. Having purchased a whole tenderloin last Fall when the price was $ 6.99 a lb. has allowed us to have this wonderful steak many times since. We are very blessed. 

I have been doing some more cleaning for spring. I have another 2 rooms done. Hubby hurt his back when we were washing the concrete floor in our basement. So he has been in too much pain to work on the carpeting. Hopefully, we will be able to get to it soon. 

I will be back with a longer blog post tomorrow. Enjoy your day!

Every Day

Tuesday & Wednesday – April 7 & 8, Our Frugality

I didn’t write yesterday because I was busy trying to get the rest of the windows washed and all of the window tracks and sills cleaned. Just look at those dirty tracks from this past winter. UGH. We have well over 20 windows in our home and it is quite a chore to clean all of them every year.

They are a lot cleaner now. The best part, they are all done.

Not only that but I didn’t have much else to say besides meals and exercise.

Yesterday, we ate sausage and eggs again for breakfast, no lunch, and chicken fajitas for dinner. I had mine in a bowl with a little sour cream and Hubby had his in a wrap. We were all out of peppers both fresh and frozen so we just cooked up onions with the chicken.

I did the treadmill and the bike yesterday and today. I need to stay fit. Sitting around all day is not good for me or anyone else.

We also spent a bit of time in the yard both days. Hubby trimmed back some rosebushes and raked some thatch in a few areas of the yard. We planned on having a fire in our outdoor fireplace but, alas, it rained. It just feels so good to get outside in the fresh air.

Last night I started a list of all of the items that we use on a regular basis for food, household products, and health and beauty aids. Since I know how much we use at a meal and how many HBA and household goods we use in a month, it was easy to figure out how much we would need for a year’s supply of items. I am still working on this list and will do more tonight. I want a complete list to shop from and watch for sales on those items after our country gets back to normal. 

As soon as all of my stockpile is moved back into the pantry, I will know how many items I need to buy to have a year’s worth. I had a few Mormon friends back in Arizona and I learned well from them. Because of them, I had more than enough food to get through this crisis even if I didn’t get a pickup and a delivery for fresh items. It will take a few months to replenish things.

Let me update you on the basement pantry. The contractor I called was out of town and then the coronavirus happened. So since Hubby was waiting to have the contractor put up walls, I decided that we don’t need them anymore. I already have two large walls and the stairwell cuts off one side. It is all framed in but I really don’t need the sheet rock. So that will be many $$$$.’s saved. Hubby decided to prepare the floor for the carpet tiles. I had vacuumed the concrete really well and he had filled a crack in there. But he said he wanted to wash the concrete floor really well before he did the carpet. 

So this morning, after I finished the last few windows, Hubby and I washed the floor in the pantry. We just have to wait a couple of days for the floor to dry and then Hubby can lay the carpet tiles everywhere except under the freezer. We have to wait until our son is able to visit us again to move the freezer so that Hubby can do that. But that is only a few squares. I only have a 7 cu. ft. freezer. It will be much easier to move when it is emptier too. 

In between all of these things, I have put new sheets on our bed and washed the sheets I took off of it. I also did my normal daily load of towels.

You all know that we hire a landscape company to take care of our property for us. We paid them for all of 2020 already because we get a discount if we do that. Well they called yesterday and they are coming on Tuesday to do the spring cleanup. They told us that because of only essential businesses(they are considered essential) being able to work, they could not get mulch. So they would not be able to top dress our gardens. Hubby told them that was fine. 

Fortunately, Hubby bought 9 bags of mulch last year when Home Depot had it on sale. So the day after the landscape company does their work, we will top dress the gardens. The landscape company doesn’t charge us for mulch till they see how much we need so that is more $$$’s saved.

Today, I had scrambled eggs and an avocado for breakfast. 

Tonight for dinner we had something that I haven’t had in a very long time. Diet Coke and pizza! Yes, we have worked so hard this week that I went off my diet for this meal. I think I have had pizza once in the last 13 months and one Diet Coke in 3 years. So this was a special treat. The pizza was homemade. I made a tossed salad to go with it. It was all delicious.

Hubby and I watched “Gorky Park” for entertainment. We had seen it before many years ago in the theater. I also have been watching a new You Tube Channel. I am always trying to learn new things. So I have been watching “Different Russia”. It is very interesting to see how average people live there. 

Tonight is my usual Wednesday evening telephone call with my sister which I am looking forward to.

I hope you are all still healthy and safe. I hope you have a terrific evening.    

Every Day

Frugal Doings – April 6

These are the things we have done today:

– Even though I was terrified to go out today, I did. We had 4 prescriptions sitting at the Pharmacy that needed to be picked up. I went to the drive thru and used vinyl gloves to put the payment in the tray and take the package from the cashier. Then I put the gloves in a ziploc to throw away when I got home. Next I sanitized my hands.

– Next I put on my mask, goggles and a new pair of gloves because I needed to go to the gas station to fill up the car and a gas can for the lawn mower. I keep hearing about these low gasoline prices. Ours was at $2.35 a gallon. I had no gas points because I have not been shopping. I was happy to see that everyone was social distancing their cars(this was at 8:30am).

– When I was done I put all of those items(except the goggles) in a large ziploc to dispose of when I got home. I put the goggles in a separate bag so that I could clean them at home.

– When I got home, I disposed of the garbage and took the drugs in the house to sit for a few days before we touch them again. I took the gasoline can out of the car and wiped the handle with a Clorox wipe and anything else I had touched on it. I wiped down every door handle inside and outside that I had touched, the gear shift, the remote for the garage door, the window lock that lets you put the window up and down, and the visor.

– Then I disinfected the door knob inside and outside of the house that I had used ans sanitized my googles and washed my hands really well. Next it was time to take a shower and put on new clothes. The clothes I had been wearing including my coat went immediately into the washer. Since I had three loads to do, I used the dryer today except for 5 things that I never put in the dryer. I sanitized each load. 

– Then I made a nice breakfast for Hubby and I. We had sausage and scrambled eggs with melted cheese. I cooked up the entire roll of sausage so we have enough for two more breakfasts. I love cooking once and eating 2 or 3 times. It saves time and energy.

– At breakfast I told Hubby I am not going out again until this virus is mostly gone. I was terrified that someone would be on top of me at the gas pump. Fortunately that was not the case. We both now have 90 days or more of drugs. If we run out of cleaners, we will substitute. If we run out of a food item, we will substitute or go without. If I can’t have it delivered, we are not getting it.

– Hubby and I did the breakfast dishes and then he went outside to move our grill and furniture out of the shed onto the patios. Then he moved the snow blower into the shed. Next he mowed the lawn. We had so much rain that it was getting very long. Our lawn doesn’t look too bad after the winter. Hopefully they will come soon to fertilize it.

– While Hubby worked outside, I worked inside washing windows and doors. I did about 1/4 of them. We have a lot.

– We have lowered our heat about 2 degrees at night and during the day, although in the daytime, it doesn’t run too often right now. Hopefully in another 6-8 weeks we can shut it off.

– Hubby got our Cable TV, Internet and Telephone bill online yesterday. They raised us $30. a month saying the discount plan we were on had expired. I am not happy that we are now paying over $200. a month so will be rethinking it. First I will try to get it lowered.  

– We are having the same dinner that we had the other night tonight. We always eat our leftovers. To throw them out is such a waste of money. So here is my plate from the other night; spinach and a lamb chop. I am hungrier today, so I will probably have 2 small lamb chops instead of 1.

– I placed an order with Amazon two weeks ago. It has been coming piece meal. Hubby had mentioned that he wanted something sweet and salty. So I got the above pictured cookies and Cheez It assortment for him. UPS just delivered it. Hubby is very happy. 

Tonight, I will watch some You Tube and Hubby will watch some TV.

That is it for today. How is your day going?  

Every Day

People Are Under a Lot of Stress Right Now

We are all feeling the stress of what is happening to our country right now. I do, you do, and so does everyone else. It is hard not to when you know that there is a virus out there that can kill you.

I am seeing a lot of fear that is being caused by You Tube videos, the media, the underground, my state leaders (one of whom has his mug on TV every day), and many other sources. They are all trying to control you. 

When people can’t have control, they get frightened. It is natural for you and I to want to control our lives and that is not happening right now. 

So what you do to cut down on your stress and fear is to control what you can control. Turn the news off! Don’t have it on day in and day out. The only news we watch here is the President and his task force once a day. If we happen to miss it, we know that we can catch it later on You Tube. Other than that, we just look at the NYS map online to see how many new cases there are in our area.

We don’t watch the underground and the conspiracy theorists on You Tube. They love to incite fear.

We go about our days the way we always have but without leaving the house. I actually have taken this time to spring clean my home. This is the time of year I would be doing it anyhow. When the sun is shining like it is today, it gives me the perfect mood to work on it. I put on some music we love and we go about our day. Hubby isn’t sure when our landscaping people will be allowed to come so he is doing a little trimming outside himself. Both of these things keep us busy. Mindless work is good for everyone. 

I always cook a nice meal twice a day and I continue to do that. Last night we had a sheet pan meal of loin pork chops(Hubby had been begging for pork chops) and potatoes. I actually have not eaten a potato in over 13 months. They tasted so good. All I did was put the chops and the large diced potatoes on a greased sheet pan. I seasoned everything with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and parmesan cheese. I roasted it all in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. The chops were thick but everything came out perfectly done. The loin chops were so juicy because I coated them with the olive oil before I seasoned them. We chose not to have anything else with it. The chops were so big that we only ate half. It will make a nice brunch today. We have big salads a lot for brunch which we did yesterday so we had our daily allotment of veggies. 

Another stress reliever for us is to watch movies, work on a jigsaw puzzle, read a book, do some crossword puzzles, or play a card or board game.

A big stress reliever for me is to exercise whether that be the bike, treadmill or with a video. I always feel so much better afterwards.

On the nice days, we try to get outside in the yard. Yesterday we sat outside for a bit and watched the neighbor kids enjoying a game of catch. It was nice to see kids outside playing and enjoying themselves. 

If you are working from home, go outside with your kids during your free time or lunch time. Take a quick walk. They need to get outside after being cooped up all day doing their classes online. 

I have lived a very long time. I am on my way to mid 70’s. It’s a rough time for our country but we have been through many rough times before. Americans are resilient and we will get through it together! 

Many people are unemployed temporarily. Many are being paid to work from home and many who are being paid are not working at home. Many people have seen their 401K’s and their savings  tanking. We all have different circumstances. But we all are praying and hoping that there will be an end to this soon. That this nasty virus will peak and then eventually go away.

Thousands of healthcare workers go to work everyday to help the sick. They are the real heroes here. Their selflessness is to be praised. I pray for them every day.

There will be an end to this. The country will get back to normal. Our economy will recover and we will get back to our normal lives. Of that I am sure. 

So if you haven’t already, open your curtains and blinds, let that beautiful sunshine in! Get outside today and breathe in that fresh air.

I am hoping you all have a good one!