First, I have a little business to get out of the way. You haven’t seen me posting because I am dealing with a major back issue that makes it hard for me to sit down for any length of time. So my days are spent standing or laying down. I just got a special gel foam pad for my chair and it seems to help somewhat but I am sure that I will have to write this over a period of days and post it when it is finished. The other issue is that my camera is not being supported anymore so I will have to figure out what to do about that. So until then, there will be no pictures.
Now to the meat of the subject. If you haven’t noticed prices skyrocketing on everything including gasoline, you must be living in a different world than I am. To make matters worse, the media is now saying that natural gas, propane, oil and electricity prices will soar now that it is cold and winter is right around the corner.
So since we can’t control what is happening, we have to control what we do about it in our own homes. I have done a lot of thinking on this and then putting things into action so that we can spend as little as possible. I do believe that prices will go much higher and we could possibly see hyperinflation coming. I also believe this is going to happen right into 2023.
So first, I am going to tell you what we are doing about food. You all know that I grew lots of tomatoes this past summer. We ate them fresh but we had so many that I decided to can them. So we have many pints of crushed tomatoes that I cooked down. It sure was cheaper than buying them. They were expensive in my area this year. I can use the jars to make homemade spaghetti sauce or put them into soups and casseroles.
Then I decided to can meat. This was something that I had never done before so there was a learning curve for me but I did a ton of research. We now have many pints of raw packed chicken and many pints of beef chunks. Whenever chicken is on sale for $1.99 to $ 2.49, I get a few packages and can it right after I get home. Sirloin tip and eye round beef roasts have been on sale lately for $ 4.99 to $ 5.99. I cut them up to use in stews and casseroles and can them in pints. Pints are just about the right size for Hubby and I to usually get two meals out of. If we had a larger family, I would use quarts.
We only buy meat when it is on sale and I won’t buy much over $7. to $8. a pound. The lower the price the better. I am not freezing meat anymore because I am afraid of power outages this winter. I do not want to lose a freezer full of meat. So as I have time I am canning up what I have that is already frozen. I can it after I thaw it. It takes work but since standing is one of my things now, I am enjoying it.
Also we have been pretty good about eating the proper portions for a while now. But I make sure now that we always do whether that be meat, veggies, fish or fruit. We eat to live instead of living to eat.
We buy very little snacks anymore unless they are nuts or tortilla chips that we use with taco soup or salads. If we want a sweet, I make it.
We are making all of our own rolls, pizza crusts, and bread these days. We eat very little of these so most get frozen in portions after we bake them.
We only use milk in recipes or for baking, making desserts, or for making yogurt( which I do all of the time now instead of buying it) and I use shelf stable most of the time.
We love bacon but it is now about $10. a lb. here. I refuse to pay that especially since the quality is inferior to what it used to be. We use on sale sausage like I got that was reduced for quick sale at Niagara Produce. It was the very first time that I found reduced price meat in over a year.
I only buy my produce on sale at Aldi’s or N.P. in season and on a sale price. Recently I purchased a bunch of butternut squash at $ .69 lb. to can.
Our garage does not usually freeze in the winter. I have a thermometer out there to keep an eye on things. So I purchased a 1/2 bushel of Honeycrisp apples this past week and put them in a cooler in the garage. I also picked up a 10 lb. bag of local potatoes and a 10lb. bag of onions. They are all being stored in the garage in their own baskets.
We also eat meatless meals about twice a week. Lots of salads, hard boiled eggs, and meatless breakfasts for dinner.
We make everything that we can. For example: salad dressings, jams, mayonaise, BBQ sauce, etc. Hubby is now making granola once every few weeks.
Hubby and I are drinking mostly iced tea or water. He rarely drinks Coke unless I can get it on a super sale which is rare.
We rarely eat out. I would much rather spend that money on food that I can use at home. But when we do, we only go to family run restaurants so that they can stay in business.
We are using microfiber cloths not paper towels. The cloth napkins are always on the table.
We are spending as little as possible on everything. Hubby quit the newspaper so we are saving over $ 550. a year. I quit Amazon Prime. I still have Walmart Plus and have groceries delivered occasionally but will be using them all the time when the snow starts flying. I can get items delivered free from walmart.com with 2 day free shipping.
Hubby and I are only buying clothes as things wear out with one exception. I purchased extra blankets and outer gear for both of us in case the power goes out.
I am already planning a garden for next spring. We will again have tomatoes, peppers and I will try potatoes in a grow bag. I already have the seeds and seed potatoes and other items that we need.
I no longer buy books. I download them free for my Kindle and from our local library.
I have reduced my yearly hair salon bills by getting my hair cut every 6 weeks instead of every month. And I only get a color every 3 months. Because my hair is very light, I can go this long.
Lastly let’s talk about utilities. I am doing all of the things that we usually do to reduce these bills. However, we are being very careful not to leave lights on or use them when there is daylight. I only wash really full loads of clothes. I do the same with the dishwasher. I was using the heavy duty cycle on it but have switched to the regular cycle. I am making my own dishwasher detergent. I no longer make my own laundry detergent because Speed Queen warned against it.
We are lowering the heat by one degree at a time so see what is comfortable. We faithfully change the filters on our furnace on the 1st of the month.
We are cooking ONLY in the air fryer, Instant Pot, toaster oven (infrequently), and microwave. Small appliances take a lot less energy than the larger ones.
I waste no water. I put a bucket under the faucet while the water warms up. We have an on demand heater so it takes a while to warm up. We use that for drinking water, pasta water, and to flush toilets, or wash floors.
I will continue to let you know how we are saving as my health lets me.
Please feel free to add how you are saving money in these expensive times. I promise to check the comments regularly so that we can all learn from you.
6 replies on “What We Are Doing To Keep Costs Down In These Inflationary Times”
I’m so sorry to hear about your back. I have ongoing pain as well, and it’s definitely helped by standing/walking vs sitting. I get in a lot of steps as a result, so I suppose that’s the positive? 😉
We’ve been doing similar things to you – staying on top of our energy & water usage, growing lots of our own food, & trying to make what we can at home.
We are also in the income generation phase, so I’ve extended my plans to work a bit, knowing that inflation will likely impact our budget. We paid off our house, in order to give ourselves more flexibility.
My current favorite frugal treat is pomegranate. It’s extremely pricey at the store, but we have a tree. It’s a bit of a messy hassle to get the seeds, but totally worth it. I love it chilled, as a snack.
Thank you H.P. So sorry you have pain too.It is definitely not fun. Yes to the steps!
Congrats on paying off the house. In this inflationary period it is about the smartest thing you can do. We all still have HO insurance and taxes to pay but that is unavoidable. I have never tried a pomegranate.If you will dig for those seeds, they must be really good.
Thank you for sharing what you are doing.
After much research, we finally installed a pellet stove in our living room. It’s sufficient enough to heat the whole first floor(1140 sq ft) which is where we reside. 2nd floor is closed off. This will cut our home heating bills (propane) by 75%. No matter how hard I try with electricity however, those bills keep going up. We just put in LED lightbulbs everywhere. Hoping that helps. I cut down my hot baths to one a week (Saturday night) and short hot showers during the week every other day. Lowered the temp on washing machine. Only wash full loads. Ditto for the dishwasher. I still use our oven BUT cook several dishes and desserts all at once. We occasionally use our air fryer. Everyday we use our microwave to warm foods up in. Crock pot for soups, beef stew and pulled pork. Portion control is the call of the day now. I also have switched to a fruit for a snack rather than eat leftover dinners as a snack. I wait till next day and eat the leftovers as a lunch. Crazy the things we have to do now, isn’t it? I’m repairing rather than buying. I’m limiting my food shopping to $400 a month (down from $600) and it’s really bothering me. Using up my pandemic stockpile. I’m cooking more, cleaning more and feeling frustrated more. I’ve been through the inflation of the 1970s and am not looking forward to spending my retirement in such a drastically reduced lifestyle change. Hubby took on a seasonal part-time job just to earn a little extra so we can sock it away for our future. Businesses may say they are hiring but employment is much different now. You had better be computer savvy as robotics and automation has pushed the human species to almost extinction. Even hubby’s job application, acceptance and training was all automated. He hasn’t met a human yet and he starts in 2 weeks.
My slippers fell apart, I repaired and glued them back together. I was going to buy a used sewing machine but a benefactor bought a great new one for me. In exchange, He needs me to sew his clothes because he can no longer get it done in Asia.
We’ve limited our RV traveling to only local, in-state locations. Our pick up truck sits idle while we only use our smaller vehicle to do errands. Despite that, our gas costs have doubled. I already ordered next seasons seeds and am storing them in the freezer till spring time. Hubby now cuts my hair with a buzzer (pixie haircut). My doggie no longer goes to the groomer as I now do it. I watched a ton of YouTube videos and bought all the necessary grooming tools. Goodwill shut down in my town and the next closest one is an hour away. Not going to go. I’m lost without my Goodwill! Also, I have a bunch of Dunkin Donut gift cards but when I stopped there the other day, the doors were locked. Note hung up saying they have no staff, thus the closure. UGH!
I’m back to shopping at The Dollar Store as I got my 3rd vaccine dose. I still haven’t been inside a Walmart but I may sign up for the free shipping as I cancelled my Amazon Prime Membership too. Also got a Roku and love, love, love all the FREE stuff. So worth it.
Back in the 1970s the biggest news story was about all the elderly being forced to eat dog food to stay alive. It was horrible. My biggest fear is that it might happen again to the elderly.
Keep the faith! And hope for better times to come.
Wow! Cindy that was a fantastic investment! We looked at pellet stoves years ago but haven’t given them a thought recently. I may have to.
The LED bulbs made a 10% difference in our electric bill when we installed them. Our showers are about the same except I only use the shower. Bathtubs are hard to get in and out of for me. I love that you load the oven when you use it.
We love our air fryer. We use it about 3 times a week. It does a nice steak, chicken or pork chops.
I just had 1/2 an apple last night for a snack. The Honeycrisp we got are huge so Hubby and I split one.
It is crazy right now. Yup, i reminds me of when Carter was President in late 70’s. His policies were horrid and we are seeing it again. I see you remember.
Hubby is doing more repairing too. You tube has been a big help. My seeds are in the freezer too.
We are watching our gasoline consumption also. Gas here is $ 3.50 a gallon now. So we only do doctor and dentist appointments and once a week errand run.
Yeah on Hubby cutting your hair. Hubby used to do mine before we retired but then his back got too bad for him to stand that long.
So sorry about your Goodwill moving. We have one here but it is not worth going there. They have nothing but junk.
I don’t have my booster yet but will probably get an appt. soon.
I am loving the grocery plus. I get my things quickly. I have had it almost a year and will definitely renew it. It is saving me time and gasoline too. I hate snow so that will be all I will do for the winter.
Hubby loves his TV shows on cable. Me I am a Roku only girl.
I remember the stories about the elderly back then. I am very worried for seniors who only have Social Security to live on. I see so many people in our area looking at the meat and grocery items in the markets but not buying a lot of them. But I have gotten to the point where I am picking and choosing too. I no longer buy soda unless it is $.99 with a Super Coupon. I refuse to pay $14. on sale for a can of coffee. Most beef I am not buying unless it is on sale like I did this week for $5.99 a lb. or less. The only other I buy is the organic ground beef when it goes on sale in the 3 pack at Aldi’s. Otherwise I buy chicken. I can’t remember the last time I bought salmon or haddock. Fish has gotten too high in price.
I have seen seniors recently walk out of Rite Aid when they find out how much their prescription will cost. I saw a lady the other day, ask to only have 1/2 her prescription filled because that was all the money she had. It’s sad!
Thanks for offering up all of your ideas. They will help someone else. And in these times, that is what it should be all about…community!
Hi AD, I am sorry you are still having issues with your back. I am still offering you in prayer for it. Glad you found the gel foam pad to help.
I am noticing the inflation here. I hope we will not have hyperinflation. I was a teenager at the last big inflation in the ‘70s so don’t really remember what went on then. Idk if our family was impacted much or not? My dad had a union job. I do remember they blew insulation into our house to help with the utility bills.
I was very interested in what you said about canning meats. I didn’t know you could do that. We are thinking about asking for a Food Saver for Christmas from hubby’s parents. What you said about not losing a freezer full of meat gave me pause to think.
Loved the rest of your tips, I always do think about which of them might make sense for us. I still remember when you did your saving on utilities series you did on your other blog. It was a classic. 🙂
Thanks for your kindness and those prayers are really helping. You have been so supportive while I have been going through this and it is greatly appreciated.
I too hope it doesn’t come to hyperinflation but all of the signs are there. Time will tell. You are just a young one! 🙂 I lived it and can remember sitting for hours in gas lines with my first son(he was a baby peacefully sleeping) to fill up the gas tank so that Hubby could go to work. Fortunately he carpooled, so on the days he had a ride I sat in the lines to fill the car. Most aggravating was waiting in line for over an hour and the station running out of gas before you got to the pump. Prices on everything were so high. I remember trying soy ground beef( it became a thing back then too) because regular beef was so overpriced. I found out quickly just how awful that stuff was. You could not get me to buy Beyond Meats or anything like it today. My best friend had a 16% interest rate on her home. UGH! I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.
Canning is so easy and a great way to preserve so many things that you would normally put in your freezer. You just have to be very careful to keep everything very clean and follow the Ball Canning rules. I love my food saver. I have had one for years. I never want to go without one so I purchased a spare on a Black Friday sale 2 years ago. It is sitting waiting in case mine dies. I hope they do get you one. Little Tip: Buy your freezer rolls to make your bags from Walmart. They are so much cheaper than the Food Saver ones. I just buy generic and they work so well.