Every Day

My Bargains Today

We are under a State of Emergency here. We had an hour and a half storm late yesterday afternoon that was the worst Hubby and I have ever seen. We got 5.7 inches of rain during that period, thunder and lightning, golf ball sized hail,and 60 mile an hour winds. We have had so much rain in the past 3 weeks that the ground just couldn’t soak it up. Where they are building behind us was flooded with water. There were many streets shut down including a main road that gets you through town. I had to venture out for a necessary appointment this morning and had to take detours around two roads that were shut down. In the city just north of us, many streets were closed and many basements are flooded. There are tree limbs down everywhere. We had no damage that we have noticed. But I am not sure that my tomato plants didn’t take a hit from the hail pelting them. Time will tell.

On my way home from my appointment, I stopped at Aldi’s to pick up strawberries and blueberries. The strawberries were a little overripe and when I turned them over to look at the bottom, they were covered in mold. Needless to say I left them in the store. I did get 2 containers of blueberries. But while I was there, I did a quick sweep of the store and found quite a bargain. The Cafe Bustelo coffee which I love was for $2.82 a brick . It is an expresso ground coffee. Since coffee prices are set to rise significantly again, I got 6 bricks. It is the best price in our area right now.

Then I stopped at Top’s to fill up our gas tank which was empty by half. I stopped into the market to pick up one more bottle of Diet Coke for $ .99 and a pound of butter for $ 2.69 with store coupons. When I walked into the market, right in front of me was a sign that said manager’s special. It was these organic strawberries for $ 2.00 a package.

So there are still bargains to be had if you just keep your eyes open while you are shopping.

Because of the storm last night, Hubby could not grill our steak. So we quickly made Chef’s salads instead and he will grill the steak tonight. There is always food in our home that we can make quickly when dinner plans change last minute.

Have any of you found any unexpected bargains recently?

Every Day

Grocery Haul and Something That I Have Never Seen Before

Now that West has gone home, I can get back on some kind of schedule around here until the end of August when he comes again for a week.

So today, I did a grocery shop at Niagara Produce. They had local cucumbers on sale 4 for $ 1.00. I love these in salads and for a snack with a sprinkle of salt. I also picked up a bag of shrimp. We have not purchased much shrimp lately because of the price. But this was an entire pound for $7.99. We use this for the Shrimp Fra Diavolo that we make. So that pound will give us two meals.

I don’t know if any of you have heard of Rastelli’s or tried their meats. They are located in New Jersey. We have never had their beef but we have had their premium pork chops many times. They are outstanding! Some of the best meat we have ever eaten. So when I saw that Niagara Produce had their beef strip loin steaks on sale for $ 6.99 each, I got 4. They are 10 ounce Beef Striploin steaks. So they will give us 4 meals. If we like them, I will go back and get 12 more. I have never seen Rastelli’s meats at this produce store before. We will be grilling one for dinner tonight.

I also finally found some Ball quart jars and lids there too. My total bill for all was $ 61.24.

As I was making eggs and sausage for breakfast this morning, I saw something that I have never seen in all of my years.

I cracked an egg to find a double yolk in it. Has anyone ever seen this? I was thrilled to have 3 egg yolks instead of 2 on my Keto diet.

I hope you are all are having a good day. I am off to get some cleaning done around here before we grill out tonight.

Every Day

Just A Few Little Things We Do To Cut Expenses

Since West is not arriving to stay with us until this evening, I have a bit of time to leave a list. I would be very happy if you would add to the conversation in the comments so that it will be helpful to me and to others who read here. We always think when we read tips that we already knew them. But there are newbies who are just getting into frugality who haven’t. And you would be surprised at how much I have learned from all of you over the years.

Here is our small list:

  • We make our coffee at home and take it with us when we go out. Starbuck’s, Dunkin Donuts, and Tum Horton’s are expensive. I can’t imagine paying a lot for a special coffee. A few times a week, I make a special one here at home. I add a squirt or 2 of Skinny syrup, some heavy whipping cream instead of half and half, and a dollop of SF whipped cream. I can do this for way under $1.00 even with prices going up.
  • Put the A/C to 74. It is comfortable even with the high humidity we have been having. Any higher than that and I can’t function in the house without sweating.
  • We earn money while we sleep with investing.
  • Hang dry clothing.
  • We are a one car family. When we retired many years ago, we donated our Jeep to the local fire department. We have never looked back. If we need a second car for any reason, we can rent it. The savings on insurance and gasoline is huge.
  • We never buy things to impress people. We buy what we need to make our home enjoyable for us. We buy comfortable Classic clothing that will last us for years. Our car is purchased to be functional for us.
  • If we need a minor repair in our home, we check You Tube to see if someone has made a video showing us how to do it. Hubby did this a year ago and fixed our A/C for under $10.00. The company we called wanted a couple of hundred dollars to repair it. We have saved many dollars with the use of You Tube.
  • We always prep our meals the night before we make them. Once in a great while, I will prep for the week on the weekend. I always try to incorporate produce into those meals so as to not let it rot in the fridge.
  • Most of the time, we cook two portions of meals to use on two consecutive nights. If we have any leftovers after those nights, they get incorporated into the next night’s meal or frozen for future use.
  • I freeze produce when it is starting to get older so as to not waste it. I do this with many foods. If I only use 1/2 can of vegetables for a soup, I freeze the other half. If I only use a few tablespoons of tomato sauce or paste, I freeze the rest to put in my next spaghetti sauce.
  • I don’t buy items just because they are on sale. I try to purchase clothing and household items only when we truly need them. When the need arises, I look for the best price, a coupon code, use a rewards program like Rakuten, and get points on my credit card. If I went to every sale, I could easily spend much more than I planned.
  • We are making almost all of our own bread these days. Bread in the markets are way over priced. The only time I purchase it now is if I am in a time crunch and Aldi’s has a decent price or Walmart has it marked down to under a $1.00.
  • While I am thinking about bread, don’t waste your crusts. You paid for them. I don’t understand why people throw them away. They can be used to make croutons or breadcrumbs, make meatloaf, or make stuffing. Freeze them until you have enough slices. We have also eaten them toasted.
  • I save glass jars rather than recycle them. We love Classico spaghetti sauce when I haven’t made our own and their jars you can CAN in. I realize most products come in plastic these days but save any glass jar you get to use for leftovers in the fridge or freezer. It will save you on buying so many baggies or plastic wrap, etc.
  • Yes, I wash and reuse Ziploc bags. I don’t wash any that have had meat in them. Those get tossed.
  • We only eat two meals a day: brunch and dinner. For us it is healthier, lets us do intermittent fasting, and saves us money.
  • We are buying more used or refurbished items rather than new.
  • I purchase store labels when I purchase one ingredient foods. For other foods, we try one first. If we like it then we continue to buy the store or private labels rather than brand names.
  • We have always maintained our homes and cars. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.

This is all I have time to list right now. I hope I have helped someone.

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done Recently

My granddaughter went home on Saturday. We drove her to Syracuse to meet her Mom. She is a delightful teenager now and we so enjoyed her company. This past week we did spend some money to entertain her. She loves car trips. So she worked out three trips within 150 miles of our home. She described each of them to us: where we were going and for what. She told us she really liked trip # 2. So did Hubby and I. So we ventured south to Olean, Porterville, and Ellicottville. The scenery was breathtaking. It is ski country. We drove through Olean to Porterville to go to Sprague’s Maple Farms. We had lunch in their restaurant which was quite beautiful. They also raise organic turkeys so I could not pass up their hot turkey sandwich for my lunch. The turkey was so tender and delicious. It may be worth a trip down there again to pick up an ordered turkey for Thanksgiving. Then we continued on to Ellicottville to Watson’s Chocolates before we went home. It was a fun day for all of us.

West is coming on Thursday and will be here this time until Sunday evening. I am writing up a list of things to do to keep him busy. He has lots of energy.

Now on to the things we have been doing to save money:

  • Pictured are our four tomato plants. They are getting really big and have lots of flowers.
  • We even have some small tomatoes on them. Since tomatoes, which we love, are so expensive this year, these plants will save us quite a bit of money.
  • Since we have had lots of rain, we have not had to water for the past 10 days or so. That will save us some money on the water bill.
  • The majority of our meals we made from scratch while our granddaughter was here. We did go out to dinner on our wedding anniversary.
  • I picked up my new denture at my dentist this morning. Those of you who have been around a while know all the trouble I have had with it breaking in half. Well, it happened again for the third time while West was here a couple of weeks ago. It seems that other people who use that lab have also been having trouble. So a new denture was made for me using the most expensive material they use for them. The material is also flexible. So there is no chance of it breaking while I eat. The lab and my dentist ate the cost. But I have spent a lot of time in the dentist chair the last couple of years so it was the least they could do. Hopefully this is the fix.
  • We have used a lot of gasoline the past week or so. It had been $3.05.9 per gallon. It goes up so rapidly, that I fill up when it gets to a half tank. So when we got back from our trip, it was just about empty. I filled up again at $ 3.09.9 a gallon. I filled up again when we got home from taking my granddaughter to Syracuse. I also picked up Hubby’s prescriptions at the same time to try to make this tank of gas last a lot longer. Fortunately, I had Top’s gas points to help defray the cost. But I am now out of them. I noticed today that the price has gone up to $3.13.9 a gallon. What are you guys paying for gasoline?
  • This was my deal of the month that I found today. Top’s had a Super Coupon for $ 4.99 for Smithfield bacon which I will not buy for two reasons. The first being that it is awful bacon and the second that the company is owned by China. I like to keep a few pounds in the refrigerator but I was getting low. So even knowing that I wouldn’t buy the Smithfield, I ventured over to the bacon to see what else might be on sale. Well, the Hatfield was on sale but that bacon is even worse than Smithfield’s Then I saw this Jimmy Dean’s. That and Oscar Mayer are my favorites. But my grocery store and Walmart are always out of stock on the Oscar Mayer. The Jimmy Dean is always $9.99 a lb. I looked down at the shelf and it looked like it was on sale for $4.99 a lb. No, that must be a mistake. I looked at the shelf to make sure the label I was reading was the Jimmy Dean. It was! So I picked up a package to see what might be wrong with it. It looked fine and had about a 5 week expiration date. I purchased these 4 packages and I will now have plenty of bacon to make BLT’s when my tomatoes ripen.
  • I continue to watch our water, electric, and natural gas consumption. I will conserve wherever I can. I believe the bills will continue to rise and that we have will have astronomical bills this winter especially if we have a colder than normal winter.
  • I am buying Keystone canned meats. They are ready to eat and can be used in so many recipes. There are only two ingredients in the can. They are all natural and have no preservatives. The only one I can’t find is the turkey. But we love all of the ones we have tried: beef, ground beef, chicken and pork. It has now gotten to the point that it is cheaper to buy meat in the can rather than fresh. So we will continue to eat the meat in our freezer but buy the canned meats when they are cheaper. Keystone is a 4th generation family owned business in Ohio.

That is about all that is going on here. We have just been very, very busy with grandchildren. After West leaves on Sunday night, I will be free until he comes again for a week the end of August. So I should be posting more often.

What have you guys done to save money recently? Feel free to tell us in a comment.