Every Day

Frugal Things This Past Week

These are the things we have been doing frugally:

– Hubby grilled 4 large chicken breasts (purchased on sale 4 months ago for $ 1.48 a lb.), that I had cut in half lengthwise, with our homemade BBQ sauce on the grill on Memorial Day. We had tossed salad to go with it. This has fed us all week.

– We have our own cookbook with all of our recipes that we have used over the years. One of them is Hubby’s Mom’s homemade BBQ sauce. Here is the recipe. When we grill with a batch, I add a little cornstarch mixed with a little bit of cold water to thicken it a little so that it is easier for Hubby to baste the chicken with it.

– We love it and make it frequently. I made a double batch on Monday that gave us an extra quart for when we BBQ again. I just keep it in the fridge.

– On Tuesday, I made a huge potato salad to go with the rest of our dinners this week. I had red potatoes that needed to be used. This time of year, potatoes do not last long. It will be great to have a new crop in the fall. 

– This is the end of the potato salad that we had tonight with the end of the BBQ chicken. 

A lot of people would have a problem eating the same dinner 5 nights in a row. But it does not bother us in the least. We only had to cook once to eat all week and that is a win win for us especially since it has been a very warm week here. We had temps in the high eighties and 93 one day which broke a record. I am not complaining since we only turned our heat off last week because it was so cold. The heat has been very enjoyable when we can go into the A/C in the house when we need to.

– I finally got my new purse which was my Mother’s Day gift from Hubby. It was ordered in April( using Rakuten) and was delayed almost a month before we got it. Because of that QVC has given us a $10.00 credit that is in our account for our next order. We will use it on a necessity. Hubby had bought me this brand of purse back in the early 1990’s. It has served me well but it had bit the dust. So this is my new one and I expect that I will get many years of use out of it. Blue is my favorite color so that was a bonus.  

– For some lunches this week, we had Sahlen’s hot dogs which were $ 8.99 for 3lbs. on sale this week. I made mine into chili dogs. Most other lunches were salads. We have been fasting though breakfast and keeping our eating windows within a 6 hour period.

– Hubby submitted a grievance to our town regarding the tax assessment that they want to up us to. They heard him state his case via telephone in a 5 minute time period last night. They informed him that they will make a decision around June 6th and we will get a letter from them informing us of their decision by the end of June. 

– Other than those things, I have been doing the usual laundry and air drying. Cleaning and picking up. Nothing exciting.

What have you done frugally this week?

Every Day

Frugal Things

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

– We cooked outside on our grill every night except two. The weather has been just beautiful.

– I made homemade spaghetti sauce and Italian sausage in our pressure cooker. The pressure cooker is so much more energy efficient than the most energy efficient slow cooker.

– The meal above was for two dinners. Cook once eat twice is the way I like to plan.

– Hubby fertilized all of our flowers and bushes with fertilizer that we have had for years. I bought a large bag years ago. 

– I was able finally to get more Lysol Laundry Sanitizer. Amazon finally had it in stock so I got two.

– We ordered some extra cloth masks on Amazon. We have enough now so that I don’t have to wash but once a week. 

– My surgical masks that I ordered 6 weeks ago finally came. I wasn’t sure we were going to get them.

– I weeded our patio pots in case we want to plant tomatoes and peppers this year. I don’t know when the nursery will open so that I can get plants. Perhaps if my son goes to Niagara Produce again he can check to see if they sell veggie plants.

– I cut chives from our garden and made some chive and onion cream cheese. I love it with celery. 

– We realized before Hubby used the grill that there was a leak when he hooked the tank up to the grill. So he took the part off and is going to try to repair it or get a new one. We have been using the grill without this part for the time being.  

– I am hoping our bank will reopen in a week. I have a lot of checks to deposit. 

– We have been spending a lot of time in the backyard just enjoying the sun and heat and our flowering tree the past few days. We enjoyed a fire in the fireplace last weekend when my son and grandson came. We went from winter to summer here in a matter of days. I turned the heat off on Tuesday. Yesterday it was 78.

– I spent a lot of time looking over our budget for the year. I always look at it around May or June to see if it needs an adjustment. Then I look over the past 5 years or so to see where we have been so that I know where we are going. 

– While looking at it, I realized that our gas and electric bills have taken quite a dive since 2015. We were spending close to $2000. a year back then. We are now spending about $1580. a year. Paying attention to conservation really does keep money in our pocket.

– I added water to disinfectant concentrate to refill our spray bottle.

– I made another bottle of eyeglass cleaner from alcohol and water.

– For entertainment, we have been watching movies on Amazon Prime, reading, doing a jigsaw puzzle, and watching car races when they are on. 

What did you do frugally this past week?

Every Day

I Need Your Expertise –

UPDATED: Mary sent me an article in comments which explains the egg quality. If anyone is interested, the answer is on page 5. We have thrown all of the eggs out and will not eat them. Thanks to all of you who responded.

Egg Quality 

 I need help with a question. I have gotten two dozen eggs from Walmart pickup that are odd. I know I can’t return them but I need to know if we can eat them or if we should toss them. I have never seen anything like this in all of my years.

The yolk of the eggs is like rubber after I crack the shell. You poke it to break and it will not break no matter how many times I stab it. The color is fine and the shells were not cracked. We have already thrown out one dozen.  But now I have a second dozen. I cracked one to make scrambled eggs and the yolk was the same way. The sell by date is 06/17/20.

Can anyone tell me if they have ever seen this before? What is causing this? Are the eggs safe to eat?

If you know the answer, please share it with me in comments. Thank you for your help.

Every Day

In Times of Uncertainty

It is amazing to me how things change in times of uncertainty. This is one of the biggest uncertainties that I have lived through and I am sure it is for the rest of you too.

Respect and kindness are the first things I have seen. Neighbors helping the elderly by shopping for them. Everyone who is out walking or jogging in the neighborhood are waving at their neighbors or giving them a shout out.

When I have ventured into a store on senior hours, people are respecting each other by social distancing, giving a wave, or saying hello. Perhaps some of them are smiling but it is hard to tell with everyone in masks.

I am seeing more hope that things will get better now than before. Some more regions in our state will most likely open up for Phase One this week. Our region is opening tomorrow. 

We have all learned how to keep ourselves safe when we are out and about. Everyone’s hygiene standards are at their very best. Whether it be this “sickness”, the flu or any other virus, that is a good thing.

Hopefully, we have all learned that you don’t go to work when you are sick. I can remember many days of working when people came in sick for fear of being fired if they didn’t. This should be a change for the better.

As the country opens up, I hope that people do not get complacent and that they continue to be vigilant. It is for everyone’s health and well being.

The other thing that I am seeing is something that I have written about many times and that is being prepared for any kind of emergency by having an emergency fund. Just take a look at: Savings Rate.

Thirteen percent has been unheard of for years! People are stockpiling cash like crazy. Because of the uncertainty ahead, they want to have savings the next time. Some got caught without savings this time and they don’t want that to happen again.

Others have had to use up some of their savings to get through being laid off. They want to save that money again as soon as possible.

Many are saying never again will I let my family down by not being prepared with cash. Hopefully they have really learned from this and will build their fund when they go back to work. 

I am not a stupid person so I know that there will be people who will go back to their ways of living paycheck to paycheck when this is over. There are those who will tell me that they don’t make enough to save any money. That is not true! Everyone can save money no matter how much you make. You have to choose what is important over “stuff”. 

Meals out, junk you don’t need, etc., really aren’t important. Your family is more important than any of these things. 

I know that a lot of smart people read here. I hope that the majority of you were well prepared.

Also in this time of uncertainty, I don’t want to forget all of the people who have died from this awful virus. 
I think and pray for their families every night.  

Feel free to add your $.02 in comments.

Every Day

Frugal Things

We had a wonderful day on Saturday. It was sunny and warm. My son and grandson came to visit. We were so happy to see them. I just wish I could have hugged them.

I actually placed an order on Friday night at Tim Horton’s for 20 TimBits and a dozen donuts to be picked up on Saturday morning. It was easy and it was ready when I got to the drive thru. The Tim Bits were to treat my neighbor’s(who have helped us so much) kids for breakfast. The donuts were for us. They made special red, white and blue donuts( United donuts) just for this weekend so we made sure to get 1/2 dozen of those because they were making donations to our local hospitals for each one purchased. It is the only food we have purchased out since this all started.

While we were social distancing on our patio, we got quite a treat. Here in western NY they had a WWII flyover to thank all of the heroes who are working in our hospitals. About noontime, they flew right over our backyard on their way to the hospital in the next town. They used two WWII planes which were flying quite low. It was beautiful and the meaning ever more so. Click to enlarge the picture. 

My son, while he was here, went to Niagara Produce for vegetables so Hubby asked him to bring back two hanging impatiens for our porch. He came back with these beauties. 

We have also been enjoying our flowering trees. Our purple plum had beautiful pink blossoms that didn’t last very long. This is our pear tree in bloom. Our cherry tree is about to bloom. 

I asked my son if he would go to Tractor Supply to get our propane tank filled. He did and we learned something new. They only charge for the actual propane that they put in the tank. The place where we have always gotten our tank filled charges for a full tank no matter how much is in it before they fill it. So the last time we had it filled there in 2018, they charged us $ 19.00. Tractor Supply only charged us $ 9.00 on Saturday. Hubby said it was almost empty. That is a huge difference plus Tractor Supply is much closer to us. So we saved on the cost and will save gasoline in the future. I did not know that they had propane until recently.  

I finally took note of how much gasoline we had in our car. I was surprised to see that we had only about 1/2 tank. I had thought we had almost a full tank. So I made a trip to the Top’s gas station and filled up using the $ .40 off a gallon that I had earned though grocery shopping. Yesterday was the last day to use those points.

I had roasted a chicken on Thursday which gave us a chicken dinner that night and on Friday night. Last night, we had the chicken cut up on Caesar salads. Today I used it to make chicken salad for lunches.

How is your weekend going? Do anything frugal? 

Every Day

How Is Everyone Doing?

We have been doing the same old things here. I won’t bore you with them. I have to admit that I am growing a little antsy with our section of our state still being shut down. I often wonder if our governor ever intends to let our county open up along with the rest of the counties here that are bundled into what he calls a region. 

Is everyone’s hair as bad as mine is? It is half gray/white and the other half is dyed. It is getting very long and very unruly. I can’t wait until I can go to the salon. But we have at least another 6-8 weeks before that phase will open up. Ugh!

Well, enough whining already. Let’s get down to talking about what we have done to stay frugal during the past 10 days or so.

I have only gone out for a grocery pickup. We needed some dairy, produce, breakfast meats, snacks, etc. Is anyone eating a lot of snacks during all of this? I stayed away from snacks for well over a year and then I found myself reaching for them. I got on the scale and had gained a few pounds so I immediately worked to get those pounds gone. I am now back to where I was before all of this and have a lost a couple more pounds. But the temptation always seems to be there to reach for them. I am trying my hardest not to touch them again. 

We are still working off the tank of gasoline that I purchased in February. Gas is so much cheaper than it was then but I can’t take advantage of that because of an almost full tank. 

I continue to make all of our meals at home. No take out at all. Recently, we have had chicken Caesar salads, lamb chops, pizza, hamburgers, a chicken dinner with Green Giant mashed herbed cauliflower, Italian sausage sandwiches, omelettes, and homemade tomato soup, etc. 

The mashed cauliflower price has been going up. So I have decided to make my own. I got 4 steamable bags of cauliflower on my last pickup for $ 1.00 each. That was the max that they would allow. I plan on steaming one each time I use one for dinner. Then I will mash up the cauliflower  and add butter and my own herbs. For just a little over $1.00, I will have about 4-6 dinners from one bag. Hubby doesn’t like it so it is all for me! Yum. Around here I can’t get a head of cauliflower for the price of one or two bags.

I have also found myself reusing things. I have never been a saver of plastic bags that come inside boxes. However, Hubby loves those white cheddar Grooves. He had emptied the bag that was inside the box so I picked it up to dispose of it. I couldn’t believe how thick it was. So I washed it out and dried it and I will use it the next time I pound chicken breasts flatter to make them cook faster. 

I have also been saving all kinds of containers that cold cuts come in because Hubby has been reusing them to corral things on his workbenches. 

On one of our pick up orders, I had purchased a multi – pack of sugar free ready made jello. It seems like I was always making SF jello or pudding so I needed a little break. I was washing out the little cups to put in the recycle bin and I realized that I could reuse them. So I have saved them to put my homemade mashed avocados in to freeze it. The secret is to make sure that you get all the air out before freezing so that it doesn’t turn brown. So the next time I see a great price on them, I will be stocking up. I refuse to pay the regular price of $2.00 and more for each one here.

When I cleaned the basement, I found a huge bag of baby food jars that I had forgotten that I had saved. They were from the two months after my hiatal hernia repair when they had me on a “mush diet.” So I will be using them in the same way as the jello ones.  

Our propane tank is empty. I didn’t realize it until I wanted to use the grill and Hubby said we needed propane. So I called two different places where I can get it to find out if they are doing it and how to go about getting it with minimum contact. They are doing curbside if you don’t want to go in the store. So most likely I will do that this weekend. Hubby hasn’t left the house since all of this “disease” started. I put myself in charge of doing any errands that need to be done. I remember so well how sick he was a few years ago so we are not taking any chances with this.

We have a bottle deposit in this state on sodas and sparkling waters. We have accumulated almost 6 bags of returns because there is no place to take them. I am wondering about just putting them in my recycle bin the next time they pick it up. I am getting tired of them being in my way in the garage. Since we have no idea when we will open up here in our county, I hate hanging onto them. A bag is usually worth $1.00 to about $1.50 when I bring them back. I think I will just chalk that up to convenience and let the state keep that money. When Fast Cash reopens for returns everyone will be crowding into this tiny little store to return bags and bags of them. I think I will avoid that. 

I continue to do wash once a day to keep everything well sanitized. So I have been using warm water. Most of my clothing gets hung to dry. Sheets and towels I have been using the dryer for along with my wool balls so they dry faster.

I made some homemade shower cleaner yesterday and sprayed the shower before I went to bed. When I took my shower today, I washed down and scrubbed all of the walls which was really easy because the spray had done it’s job. 

Some nights I have trouble sleeping so besides taking melatonin, I have been lightly spraying our sheets with lavender essential oil spray. It helps me sleep like a baby.  

That is about it for the frugal things. What have you guys been doing frugally?

Before I end today’s post, I have to tell you that it looks like we will see our son, my daughter- in- law and grandson tomorrow. We have not seen them since February. They live about an hour and half from us. They are coming to visit and since it is supposed to finally be nice warm weather, we will socially distance on our patio in the backyard. My son has made Hubby and I each two cotton masks. He learned how to use my daughter in law’s sewing machine and has made all of their masks. Then he had trouble finding elastic. But since he got some this week, he is making us the masks. I am very grateful because I don’t have a sewing machine and they have both been working from home and taking care of West.  He told me that because they don’t wash laundry every day, they boil their masks in water. That is a great idea! 

Now if they would just open up the rest of the state, perhaps we can see our granddaughter, son and daughter in law in the next couple of months. I so love and miss all of them! 

Every Day

How We Stay Frugal

I had to go to the lab yesterday. On the way home since I was all garbed in my mask, gloves and goggles, I stopped and picked up a rotisserie chicken that was on a coupon sale at Top’s for $4.99. along with 5 lbs. of strawberries and couple of other things. They had Hot Italian sausage as a coupon item but there was none to be had. A lot of their meat was gone. So with the exception of the chicken, I got no meat.

At this price, I rarely buy one and cook it at home. If I did, between purchasing it and using my gas oven to cook it, it would cost me a lot more than $ 4.99. Top’s is also using the “no touch” method to do them. All of their employee’s were in masks and gloves so I felt comfortable getting one.

We cut a little meat off for brunch yesterday as you can see in the picture. The rest I cut off today.

Then I made chicken salad for dinner tonight. Hubby will have his with Ritz and I will have mine on a bed of lettuce. I like mine with just celery and Hubby likes his with celery and craisins. So just before we eat, he will add them to his bowl. We definitely have enough for two meals so we will have it again tomorrow night.

The legs and wings were saved for brunch tomorrow. We will have some cut up tomatoes and cucumbers to go with those. So we are getting 4 meals out of this rotisserie chicken. 

Since the stores are being stripped of meat pretty rapidly here in NY, the stores have decided to ration any meat from now on. So I have decided to ration the meat in our freezer. That way we can make it last a lot longer. We already eat normal portions 3- 4 ounces for most meals. But we can make it last longer by eating meatless meals 2-3 times a week. We love salads so this will not be hard for us while we still have produce. We also love eggs so breakfast for dinner comes to mind. We can make soup and for those of you who make casseroles, a little bit of meat goes a long way with pasta, potatoes or rice.

I had a little bit of a scare today. I went down to the basement to do the treadmill. When I was done I decided to bring up some plastic bags that I had saved, my camera, and a bottle of Keto Skinny syrup. When I got to the top of the stairs, I dropped the camera which bounced down the carpeted stairs. Luckily it stopped after 4 steps and is working perfectly. If I had to replace, it would not have been very frugal. 

Since NY put a ban on plastic bags in grocery stores on March 1st, I saved tons of bags to reuse for my little waste baskets. NY has suspended the ban during this coronavirus because they do not want people using reuseable bags. But I know when the coronavirus goes away or we get a vaccine that they will put the ban back on. So I really stuff those bags because all of our garbage has to be bagged per our town. I put them in empty Kleenex boxes and into two cardboard boxes in the basement. I am not saving any that come from the grocery store now for fear they are contaminated. 

These are just a  couple of things we do to stay frugal. How about your tips?

Every Day

My Walmart Pickup Order

This is some of my Walmart pickup order this week. I had a lot of cancellations because of things being out of stock. But as you can see I got more bacon and the sausage that Top’s had none of. I even managed to get another bottle of bleach which is a good thing because I am wiping things down with it. I got really tired after doing the two shops in the morning and doing the pickup. So I didn’t take any more pics. Hubby was totally out of body wash. Eggs and meat are a necessity for my diet. I was grateful to get what I did. I ended up spending $ 172. on this order.

My young neighbor shops every Friday. They always ask what I need that they can get. Walmart cancelled my Romaine lettuce. I had everything for salads except the lettuce because they were out of stock. Today my neighbor left this package on my porch. I was so happy that they could find it. They won’t take any money from us the three times they have gotten food for us. They say we are always so good to their sons. But I will pay them back when things calm down.

Well, as if dealing with the virus, isn’t stressful enough. I had a dental emergency late Tuesday. My denture broke. I was able to talk with my dentist right away. He told me if I could get it to his office by 9am on Wednesday, he could take it to the lab to get it fixed. He said the lab is only open one day a week and that is Wednesdays. So I got it down to him. He called me early afternoon and told me to come in about 3:30pm because the lab had already repaired it. He was going to the lab to pick it up and would be back by then. I was not looking forward to it. But I needed my denture. I couldn’t eat. 

I was amazed. He had me wait in the car so that he could clean and sanitize it. Then he came to the door and waved to me. He had on a mask, gloves and special glasses that looked like magnifiers. He had a really good mask like his for me. I just wore it into the dental room. He brought me the denture and handed it to me to put in. He took a quick peek and told me it needed to be realigned but he could not do that until he opens back up again per the law that Gov. Cuomo had placed on dentists. He can only handle the emergency. I was glad to get out of there and home. But grateful to have my denture repaired.

I cooked another pound of bacon in the oven and pressure cooked a dozen hard boiled eggs. So that is what we have been eating for brunches.  

Last night, I cooked this recipe  because Hubby has been craving comfort food. 

The other things we have been doing are cooking, doing laundry, watching movies, working on a jigsaw puzzle and cleaning. Probably about the same things that all of you are doing.   

The only other news in my state is that Gov. Cuomo announced today that he is keeping all the schools closed through the end of the school year. Some people will be happy( like teachers and the kids). But if he ends up opening up NY after May 15th, it is going to put a huge burden on people going back to work. For employees who are not teachers, it creates other problems while getting ready for the new school year in the Fall.  For everyone who is not a school employee and has to go back to work, what do they do with their kids while they work?

Are your schools closed till the end of the school year?