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.