Every Day

Water Conservation

I woke up early this morning to rain gently hitting our roof. It made me so happy. Water is in such short supply in so many places in the U.S. My first thought was that I hope it is raining in those places especially in the Southwest and California.

The Grand Solar Minimum has been causing such weird weather the past few years. It’s a weather cycle that our ancestors went through also. I remember learning about the “Dust Bowl” in history class. Farmers are dealing with drought conditions and it is not pretty. Many are choosing not to plant crops because they have no water to keep them growing. It will be a major reason why produce will become more and more expensive this year. I am already seeing that our local prices will be very high for fruit and vegetables this summer because of supply and demand. I expect that eventually shortages will affect us also.

In all parts of the country even if we are not in drought conditions, we should conserve water because wasting a precious commodity is not a good idea. Yes, water is now a commodity. It trades on the stock exchange in California and the price of it has doubled since it went on the exchange in December. Here is an article about this in case you aren’t aware that this is happening.

If you think that you will never have a drought where you live, don’t bet on it. The Grand Solar Minimum could last many years and we could all end up in drought conditions.

They are rationing water in California and many other states are looking at doing the same.

So here are a number of tips to conserve your usage of water and save you money too:

  • Take “Navy Showers”
  • Take quick showers, not baths. Or only fill up your bathtub with a minimal amount of water for the bath. Don’t fill the tub.
  • Put your sprinkler system on a timer. Don’t water your lawn or garden when it is raining. Make sure you turn the timer off when it rains. Or get a sprinkler system like we have that has a mechanism that senses the rain and turns the system off.
  • When you are boiling something, use as little water as you possibly can to cover that item.
  • Reuse that boiled water to water your plants or flowers
  • If you wash dishes by hand, use as little as possible and stopper that sink. Don’t let it just run down the sink while you are washing them.
  • Catch the water in a bucket while your shower water is warming up. Use it to flush toilets, clean a floor, etc.
  • Use your dishwasher if you own one. It will use less water than washing them all by hand. Wash full loads.
  • Use the Eco cycle on your washing machine. It will only fill up your machine for what you actually are washing instead of filling it up all the way.
  • Check your toilet for leaks.
  • Don’t use your toilet as a waste basket to flush a Kleenex.
  • Turn the water off while brushing your teeth. Then turn it on to rinse your mouth.
  • If you don’t have a water saving shower head, install one.
  • For the men, turn the water off while shaving.
  • If you don’t have a low flush toilet, put a filled bottle of water in your tank. Make sure where you put it doesn’t affect the flush mechanism. You will save that bottle amount of water every time you flush.
  • Don’t wash clothes if they are not dirty. Unless you are doing really dirty work, you can wear your outer clothes at least twice before they need to be washed. Underwear is my exception. Of course, I do have to say that I do not go to work everyday. Do what you are comfortable with.
  • Are you washing your towels every time you take a shower? Why? You just dried your clean body? Your towel should be hung up and dried to get at least one more shower out of it.
  • Check your faucets and pipes for leaks.
  • Wash your vegetables and fruits in a bowl, not under a running faucet.
  • When you water your lawn, do a deep soaking. It will get to the roots. If you just lightly water it, the sun will burn the water off.
  • Don’t let the water run while you are soaping up your car to wash it. Soap it up in big sections and then rinse.

I am sure that there are many more ways to conserve this precious resource but these are the ones I use and all that I can think of this morning.

Remember that if you pay for your water, conservation also saves you money! That is a big bonus!

If you would like to add to this list, feel free to leave a comment and let us all know how you save on water.

Every Day

How We are Handling Inflation( continued)

We had to purchase a new washer and dryer recently. We were lucky that we only had to wait 3 months for them to get delivered. Our old set were about 16-17 years old. The dryer was overheating and the washer flooded my floor when it felt like it. So we purchased a Speed Queen TR7 washer and a DR7 dryer. They were very expensive but will eventually pay for themselves with the energy savings. They are so much more energy efficient that the old ones. They also take up less room which I love. Hubby is going to paint the laundry room before our new wall cabinets arrive. He is going to remove the wire shelf that the builder put in. The cabinets are delayed just like the washer and dryer were. I am making do till they get here. My old set had pedestals under them that had drawers so that is where I kept most of my laundry supplies. I need the cabinets to store my laundry supplies in. I have only had the washer and dryer one month but I am sure that the drop in my kwh’s on my electric bill is partly a result of them. The longest I have had to run the dryer to dry a load is 30 minutes. I try to only do laundry once a week. That way I can run successive loads which is the energy efficient way to do it. I still am hanging most of my clothes.

We only run our dishwasher every three days now. We are very cognizant of how many dishes we use for meals and try to keep down the number of pans by only cooking on the grill and in the air fryer.

We have a tankless water heater which saves us money by not having to keep a 30 gallon water tank continually hot. It gives us hot water on demand. It was one of the best things we contracted for when we had our home built.

I continue to take quick “navy” showers. Wet down, soap up, rinse off! I have timed this and I can usually do it in 5 minutes including washing my short hair. I don’t waste a lot of hot water.

We only turn on lights when it gets dark out and then we only use one in the room or rooms we are in. We do use our outside lights for security reasons when it gets dark outside and they are on a timer so they turn off just before the sun comes up. All of our lights inside and outside our home are LED’s.

I unplug my laptop when I am not using it. And it is not getting used a lot this summer. We are just too busy with company whom we are enjoying after over a year of socializing with no one.

We also took a trip to visit my son, go to my granddaughter’s junior high school graduation and spend some time with both of them. We loved every minute of it. My son purchased a beautiful colonial home a few months ago with lots of land. His home is nestled among many pine trees, maples, oaks, and birch trees. It is so peaceful and quiet there. I truly understand why he chose this home. We enjoyed some good cooking out on the grill and smores around the large firepit. We went to dinner one night at the Olde Bryan Inn in Saratoga Springs to celebrate Alexa’s graduation. We let her pick the restaurant. I was happy when she picked this restaurant because I went to lunch there many times over the years when we lived just south of this beautiful city. I miss their food. It is so good! We also did some takeout from a restaurant that my son found. There is nothing better than spending time with family and enjoying good meals! We hated to leave to go home. But we had promised to take care of West for 8 days after we got back. We had 4 days at home before he came. In just about a week my son is bringing Alexa out to spend a week with us. We are so looking forward to her coming.

Hubby and I are back to going to the library now that it is fully opened up. We rarely purchase a book or magazine.

We don’t go to the movies. We wait until we can watch them on our Roku. As one of my readers said, ” There is nothing better than movie night at home and making your own snacks! ” I wholeheartedly agree.

Lastly, there are two other things that we have done recently to save some money. We gave Alexa “Netflix” as a gift. We signed up for her and we pay the bill every month. I had gotten the premium plan. Then I realized that she could only watch one thing at a time so she didn’t need to have this plan that allows you to use it on multiple electronics in a household. So I changed her plan to one that is $4.00 a month cheaper.

Also, I am not renewing my Amazon Prime next week. I have not been happy with their delivery lately. Things that are supposed to take 2 days on Prime to arrive are taking 4-5. Not the service I signed up for. I understood items being late during the virus. But that has not been an issue here for a few months now and things are still coming later than they should. We rarely watch the movies or music either so it is really not worth the $ 119. plus 8% tax to renew it.

I also did not renew my B.J.’s Wholesale Club membership when it expired the end of March even though they would have only charged me $ 25. They are not stocked well, no real customer service anymore, and anything that I need I can get locally as cheap or cheaper than they charge.

I have Walmart Grocery Plus which gives me grocery delivery. I can also shop online at and they always deliver within two days and you get free shipping. Even better if you order an item on and they have it in your store, they deliver it to your front porch the same day with no delivery charge nor tip. It is also cheaper for a year than Amazon. So I will stick with them as long as the service continues to be so good. Almost anything that I can get at Amazon, I can get at Walmart or another store.

Well, that is it for now. When I have time and have something to share again I will.

Every Day

How We Are Handling Inflation

Inflation has reared it’s ugly head in so many areas of our lives in the past months. Food is outrageously expensive along with gasoline, clothing, lumber, and many other items that we buy. Even purchasing a home has become much more expensive. It is a terrible time to do that right now. Even if you can get way over asking price on your current home, chances are you will pay way over the listing price on your new home.

Because Hubby and I are retired 20 years, we are on a fixed income. Yes, we have investments and savings but they are not something that we want to dip into for everyday expenses. We have other plans for that money.

So many people are hurting financially today because of job loss or the loss of their businesses. Many landlords are not getting paid the rent they are due for months now so they are having trouble meeting their mortgages on those properties. This is the worst time that I can remember in all of my years.

Since I have some time today ( it has been a very busy spring and summer with company here), I thought I would post and let you know how Hubby and I are trying to cope with inflation without digging deep into our savings. I thought perhaps it would give someone who needs it some ideas on how they could cope with it. Remember these ideas are what we are doing. Take what you like and just ignore what you don’t. We all save money in different ways.

First, I will tell you how we are saving on food. Pictured above is one of the three gallon bags of cherries that we picked from the tree in our yard. We picked as many as we could on a ladder and left the top of the tree for the birds to eat. Hubby made us the most delicious cherry crumble for dessert this past weekend. The rest of the cherries got frozen for future use.

Now I realize that not everyone has a fruit tree in their yard, But you can plant some tomatoes or other produce just like we did pictured above. If you don’t have ground space just put them in pots like we did. These 4 plants will give us many, many tomatoes for salads or BLT’s the end of July or beginning of August.

Our local strawberries are $ 5.50 a lb. here. I will not pay that price. A week or so ago, I was able to get 2 lbs. of strawberries shipped in from another state for $ 2.50 a lb. Other produce as it becomes in season will probably be high this year also because of shortages due to the droughts. I just won’t buy any if the price is outrageous. We have frozen and canned veggies and fruits here that we can rely on.

We have also made sure that we are eating proper portions especially our meat portions. No one needs more than 4 oz. of meat a day. When beef tenderloin or ground chuck is on sale, I buy in large quantities. I also have a buy price that I will not go over. That price is $5.00 a lb. for the ground meat and $11.00 a lb. for the tenderloin. A few weeks ago our tenderloin went up to $ 17.00 a lb. I am not buying at that price so we are not replenishing that meat as we eat it. I also will not pay over $2.00 a lb. for boneless chicken breasts. Aldi’s has them for $ 1.69 a lb. this week. That is a price that I would stock at. I refuse to pay more than $5.00 for bacon.

We are not wasting ANY food. All leftovers get used. If we have a bit of fruits or veggies left from meals, I either use them the next meal or freeze them for smoothies or homemade soups. We have French fries left from lunch yesterday. They will get reheated in the air fryer for another meal. We are rotating out what foods we already have so that they get eaten before they go bad.

We are baking our own bread using the bread maker. I can make it a lot cheaper than buying it. The only time I buy it is if I see a major reduced price at Walmart.

I am not using coupons whether they be paper or digital just to use the coupon. I write my list first and then look to see if I have a coupon. 90% of the time, I buy store brands.

We no longer buy junk food for snacks. We eat fruit, crackers and cheese, celery with peanut butter, carrot sticks with dip, SF pudding or jello, nuts, and popcorn made from kernels we put in our popcorn maker. I buy the popcorn in 50 lb. bags. Junk food is outrageously expensive per lb. and not very healthy.

Gasoline right now is $ 3.10 a gallon. I filled up yesterday at $ 2.80 a gallon using gasoline points that I earned for buying groceries. We drive as little as possible. When we do drive, we do many things at once on our route so as not to have to go out again. For example, yesterday I had a hair cut appointment. On my route home, I went to Aldi’s to get the sale chicken, to Dollar Tree to get tissues and shampoo, to Top’s to get strawberry shortcake cups that hubby was asking for, and filled up my gas tank. I try to only shop once a week and that happens 80% of the time. A tank of gasoline lasts us 4-6 weeks depending on how many appointments we have.

My sister in law invited us to their home on a lake in the Adirondacks. We went to their home last time. It is a very long and expensive trip. So instead we have invited them to come and stay with us. She is going to ask her husband and see when they can come.

Utility prices have also skyrocketed here. We are not only dealing with a rate increase but increases in supply and demand charges. We just got our electric and natural gas bill. We have been conserving like crazy. Even though we used 437 kwh’s this month instead of 544 kwh’s for the same time period last year, our bill was only $ 6. cheaper than last year’s. We also used 3.4 less ccf’s. It is a good thing we are conserving or our bill would have been much higher.

We have only had to use A/C for one week this year so far. Our house has stayed very comfortable in the low 70’s without it. As long as I pull the energy saving shades, curtains, and blinds on the windows when the sun is beating in, we will not have to use it. The week that we had to turn it on was humid and in the mid to high 80’s. We also have ceiling fans that help in the rooms that we are in.

95% of our cooking is done in the air fryer or outside on the propane grill. Many nights we have meals that do not require cooking anything like salads or sandwiches. Propane has gone up but not much here for 20 gallons. Our tank was full since we filled it last Fall.

I need to quit for now. I will be back tomorrow to continue this topic. If you are trying to save because of inflation, please feel free to comment and let us know what that is.