Every Day

How to Save on the Cost Of Food

If you haven’t noticed the rising cost of food, you are either a billionaire, the media, or living under a rock. Living here in NY, we have seen huge increases. And it is not the 5% that the media and the government keep talking about either. It is 25-50% depending on what you purchase. We have all seen it no matter what food you buy. We are going to continue to see it especially if the new spending bill passes the Senate. Every time the government spends money that adds to the debt, your prices will rise.

Don’t think that people making a lot of money will be the ones paying for it. We will pay for the increases in the products we purchase. Walmart, Amazon, and all of your supermarkets will pass their increased costs on to you, the consumer. They are not going to pay it. You are!

So what can you do to keep your costs down? Here are many of the things that we do to help our bottom line on food purchases.

We do not waste food. Never, ever! We eat every morsel that we buy. All leftovers are eaten either as a next night meal or made into a different meal. If we have a meal or two and we have just a smidgen of meat or vegetable leftover, we put it in a freezer bag and freeze it. We keep adding the little smidgen’s to the bag until it is full. Then we pull it out of the freezer and make a soup, stew or casserole with it. Then we eat that dish every night until it is gone.

We also have leftover nights where we will pull some from the week from the fridge and have a smorgasbord for dinner. That is rare though since I cook portion amounts.

We always cook the portions of protein that our bodies need. No matter what meat we have, I cook 4 oz. for each of us for dinner. That is all the protein you need each day. There are days that we will eat bacon or sausage for brunch too so those days we get 6 oz. of protein. But I limit it to 6 oz. a day on those occasions.

Fresh produce is another item that we never waste. We use it up in salads, slow cook it up with a roast, or pan roast it with any meat. If we have carrots, onions or celery that are getting old, I dice or slice them up and freeze them to pull out when we need those items for a meal. I first, lay them flat on a cookie sheet and freeze them. Then I put them in a freezer bag to pull out whatever amount I need for a meal. Matter of fact, I will be doing that today. I got 2 – 5 lb. bags of whole carrots on a B1G1F sale for dirt cheap. We are not eating them up fast enough. So I will prepare them and get them in the freezer today before they spoil.

If you have apples that are starting to get soft, make apple pie filling to can or freeze. Keep your apples in a cool place so that they last for months. We keep apples in our cold garage inside of a cooler to keep any critters out. They last for a very long time. I also keep onions and potatoes in the garage. I keep a thermometer out there to make sure they don’t freeze. If the temp is getting close to freezing I put them in the basement until the temperature goes back up. If you don’t have a garage or basement, keep them in a pantry if you keep your winter temps down in your home. Otherwise, as a last resort and if you have the space, put them in the refrigerator rather than have them spoil.

When we shop, we buy mostly on sale items. If I see that BS chicken breasts are on sale for $1.99 a lb. or less, I will buy 3 packages and can or freeze them. If I see a roast on sale for $ 4.99 a lb. I will buy a couple and do the same. These days, we are pretty much sticking to buying roasts, pork chops, chicken or hamburger because everything else is too expensive. The only exception is fish which I will pay more for but only when it is on sale.

I also have purchased cans of Keystone All Natural meats. They come from an Amish family company and the cost of them sometimes beats the price of fresh. We have tried all of them: pork, turkey, chicken, ground hamburger and their beef. They are all delicious and they are all just the meat and salt in the can. Each can has 28 oz. in it. So we get quite a few meals out of one can. They also have a very long shelf life. If you are interested in them, purchase just one can and try it. You want to make sure that your family likes it before you stockpile them.

When I buy canned tomatoes, beans, etc. when they are on sale, I buy more than one. Back in the 1970’s, when our budget was really tight and prices were sky rocketing, I would buy the 1 that we needed and 2 more for the pantry. That way I didn’t have to pay full price the next time I needed a can. That really holds true today. If you see a can that is on sale and use it all the time, buy a case if you can afford it. Prices will never be lower than today. They just keep going up. So a stockpile is better than money in the bank!

When nuts go on sale, we buy at least 3 cans. We eat nuts for snacks and to put in salads.

There are certain things I will not buy right now because I deem the prices way too high. They are soda( no nutrition), coffee unless it is Cafe Bustelo, filet mignon and other steaks, lamb chops, most snacks and candy come to mind at the moment. I know there are many others.

I will substitute other items for the high priced ones. We drink water or iced tea instead of soda. I drink tea instead of coffee. We eat the cheaper meats instead of the more expensive ones. We eat a handful of nuts or a fruit instead of chips and other snacks. We are not eating candy.

When I go shopping, I check out cheaper options. If produce is too high, I will buy frozen veggies if the price per pound is cheaper. If canned is cheaper than those two options and it is going in a soup of casserole, I will buy that. I rinse the salt off any canned veggies since we stick to a low salt diet. I do the same with the Keystone meats.

Make your food from scratch. Most of the time it is cheaper. If you have an Aldi, shop there. Their produce and their meat sales are so much cheaper than my other stores. I love my Aldi’s. I think Winco in the western part of the country is probably the alternative to Aldi.

If you like fresh veggies, always buy in season. Right now, the different squashes and cabbage are cheaper than other veggies. They also keep a long time. Apples and potatoes are also in season. Can in season veggies to that you can eat them cheaply all year round. We had lots of tomatoes from our own garden this year. We ate many fresh but we also canned a lot of them to eat this winter.

I also keep canned mushrooms, dehydrated mushrooms, and fresh mushrooms when they are on sale in our home. I buy whichever is on sale to keep a good supply. My favorite is the dehydrated because they are the cheapest at my Amish store and they are easy to use.

If you have an Amish store within 2 hours of you, you might consider shopping there. We go once every month or 2 and it is well worth the trip. Their bulk prices are so much cheaper than even the warehouse clubs. I buy oatmeal, spices, the mushrooms, seeds, fruits, 100% pure maple syrup, veggies, meats, and a few bakery products from them.

If you have the freezer space and can buy a cow from a local farmer each fall, you will save a lot of money per pound.

There are many other ways like keeping a price book to always know the lowest price. I find this to be very difficult these days with prices constantly changing. But it also gives you an idea of how fast prices are rising.

I am sure that many of you have tips to keep the costs down that I have not mentioned. Please feel free to leave them in the comments so that someone else can benefit from them.

Every Day

We Are Home!

We spent from Wednesday to today with our son at his beautiful Adirondack property in Northeastern New York . We just got home about 3 hours ago.

Our plan was to spend Thanksgiving with him and our granddaughter. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. She was exposed to Covid19 at her private school so was under quarantine and we did not get to see her. Fortunately she did not contract the virus! She can go back to school tomorrow. We will see her soon. We miss her so much!

But we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my son and three of his friends. We enjoyed every minute of it. The other night it snowed there and the pines on his property were so beautiful with one of the first snows of the season. It is so rural and peaceful where he lives.

We had a good time going out to lunch one day and then visiting his business to see what work had been done on the building since last June when we were there.

Just spending quality time with family is the greatest gift in the world!

Speaking of snow, it is snowing here right now and it is gorgeous! I am happy that I can stay home now and just enjoy it.

I will be back soon this week to continue posting about saving in this environment. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Every Day

The Utility Bill Has Arrived!

Since saving on the utility bills has been the topic of my last couple of posts, I have been waiting to see how much my current bill which I read last week came in at. We get billed monthly for what we actually use.

Well, we got it today. If you remember from my last post, we used about 98 less in kilowatt hours for electricity than the same period last year. We also ended up using 12.4 less in therms after they made the conversion from CCF’s to therms.

Last year’s bill for the same month was $ 156.91. The bill we got today was for $ 172. 35. Hubby looked to see what increased and he said most of it was the natural gas cost. The price of a therm was up about 45%. So the bill was $15.44 higher than last year for using a lot less electricity kilowatts and a lot less therms of natural gas.

I am very happy that we were able to keep our usage down and we hope to do that every month. I wish you all luck doing the same.

Since I will be busy the next few days getting ready for Thanksgiving, I want to wish you and your families a wonderful holiday. I hope you make many new memories.

Every Day

How We Are Trying To Save On Our Electric and Natural Gas Bills (cont.)

I forgot to tell you that we have a King size bed so we have a dual control electric blanket. I can set my side independently from Hubby’s. While I don’t sleep with my side on all night, Hubby does.

We also had a humidifier installed on our furnace. Humidified air feels warmer. We change the filter on that once a season. It does not get very dirty. However, we check our furnace filter on the first of every month. If it is dirty, it gets changed. We want to keep our furnace working at top efficiency.

We have our furnace checked by a professional every Fall. When we called for an appointment this Fall, we had to wait over 6 weeks. Seems everyone is getting their furnaces checked this year since there is the threat of a “dark cold winter”. So it is not being checked until after Thanksgiving.

Every morning once the sun comes up, I open the window treatments on the sunny side of the house to let the sun help with the heating. I open and close them all day as the sun moves. We had these custom window treatments made for our home when we moved in. They are these:

They have saved us a lot of money since we have a lot of large windows.

The minute it gets dark, I make sure that they are all down to help keep the cold out at night.

We do not turn on lights when it is light outside. The only exception is if we have a very dreary day outside. But then we only use one light in the room or rooms that we are in. We leave that room, we turn it off. That is the rule here. I have been trying to teach my grandson this. When he stays he leaves lights on all over the place.

We have a window in our master bath which gives plenty of light to take showers and even do my makeup. So that light is only used after dark too.

We never leave the TV’s on when we are not using them. I watch You Tube more than anything else. I make sure not to turn on the cable box when I am watching. Those boxes draw a lot of power. If you are not watching cable TV, you do not need the box on.

Hubby uses the DVR to record all of his shows so that he can marathon binge watch them at one time. He hates commercials and so do I. This way he can fast forward through them. This also saves energy because the TV is not on as long.

We looked for leaky windows and doors in September before we turned the heat on. We had a huge gap under the front door. You should have seen the light it was letting in. Hubby fixed that by adjusting the door sweep. Our windows were good.

I don’t go out a lot in the winter. I do not like driving in snow. Since I run most of the errands, the outside doors don’t get opened much. That is a good thing since the hot air in the house just pours out when we do. I have my dentist and doctor appointments finally set up to avoid winter. I am very happy about that.

I don’t sleep well some nights. I make sure there are plenty of large throws in the great room to keep warm with if I am up when it is 64 in here. I don’t want to have to turn the heat up.

The other large expense is the heating of water in your home. We had an on demand tankless water heater installed when we built our home. It only heats the water when we turn on the tap. It takes a bit sometimes to get hot depending on where in the house I am using water. But I collect the cold water in a large pot to use during the day while the water is heating up. We have saved so much money by having this and not having to keep a very large tank of water hot all day. The heater is getting older now and we might have to replace it soon. But we will replace it with another one because of the energy savings.

I take navy showers so as to not have to use so much hot water as it would use if I just let it run. I air dry my hair. My blow dryer gets used more to defrost my chest freezer than to dry my hair.

I try to heat water in the microwave rather than on the stove. I cook the little bit of spaghetti we use around here in the microwave.

We use stainless travel mugs for our coffee in the morning so that it stays nice and hot and we don’t have to reheat it.

I have always had chest freezers over the years. They are more energy efficient than the stand up freezers. I have an organization plan so that I can find things easily.

Don’t stand there in front of your open refrigerator and decide what to have for dinner. Plan before you open the door. Then get in and get out!

Also as a reminder, if you are going away for Thanksgiving, turn your heat down but not so low that your pipes freeze.

I have been sitting here writing to all of you as I listen to my furnace running. It is 37 degrees outside. The bills are going to be high. I will let you all know how much my bill is when I get it next week. I am hoping not too bad since we saved energy over the month. Time will tell.

These are all of the things that I can think of right now. I would be happy if you have others that you could share with us. It helps others and me too.

Every Day

How We Are Trying To Save On Our Electric and Natural Gas Bills

This is the topic that I have decided to do today. Usually I start with food but with heating season upon us I think this is the most important one now.

We have cut many of our electricity costs over the past few years. We have LED bulbs in every socket inside and outside our home. They have come down in price compared to when they first came out so are relatively cheap to purchase. We had CFL’s prior to this and we saved a bit of money by switching to the LED’s.

We purchased a new refrigerator a couple of years back along with a new energy efficient washer and dryer this year. Both of those purchases have helped lower our costs.

But we still have to be cognizant of all the other things that we need to do.

What you are seeing in the picture is the meter that I use to check to see how much energy different things that take electricity cost us in our home. It tells us what we are using and the estimated cost. I haven’t used it in quite a while but I am cooking differently now so I want to check all my kitchen appliances that I am using to see what I am actually using. I only had it plugged into an outlet when I took the picture.

I am making chicken in my Instant Pot for dinner. I will plug the pot cord into the meter and then connect the meter to the outlet and just let it measure while my chicken is cooking. I believe that the instant pot uses less energy than my other small appliances but I want to be sure. So I will cook the same chicken recipe over the next few weeks in my air fryer, crock pot, and toaster oven to find out. After doing a lot of research, I believe the second most energy saving one is the crock pot followed by the air fryer and then the toaster oven. But I want to be sure so I will do this recipe in them all. We will be eating a lot of chicken around here.

I rarely use my oven or range top anymore. I am using the pressure cooker a lot. I also use my small electric fry pan and waffle maker for eggs, bacon, sausage, chaffles, and Keto pancakes.

On the rare occasion that I do use the range top, I try to keep covers on things especially if I am boiling water. I use the lowest heat I can that will cook quickly. I always turn the burner off before things are done by a few minutes and just let the residual heat finish the cooking for me. If I use the oven to bake or roast some meat, I make sure I fill the oven up with lots of dishes so that I have things cooked ahead and don’t waste all of that natural gas cooking just one item. I also turn the oven off 5-10 minutes early and just let things continue to cook. When I take them out of the oven, I leave the oven door all the way open to let all that heat flow out into our kitchen.

When I do the laundry, I use the ECO setting on my washer. I wash and rinse using cold water most of the time. I use laundry detergent when I have really soiled clothes like yesterday when Hubby was getting rid of most of the rest of the leaves that had fallen. He came in and his jacket was a disaster. So it got sprayed with stain remover and washed in warm water and the same on the rinse. Since I had just done the laundry the day before, I had to look for things to wash with it. I had a few clothes and then grabbed the bathroom towels to go in too. I always do full loads.

Now that I have back issues, I use my dryer for everything but my good tops, blouses, and lingerie or anything that is really delicate. Those things all get hung on the guest bathroom shower rod. I use 6 wool balls in my dryer which lets me dry clothes faster and they come out less wrinkled so I don’t have to dry them as long. I also use the EcoDry setting. After I remove the clothes, I leave that door open for just a few minutes to let the heat into the room.

We have a programmable thermostat for our heating. Hubby has it set at 71 from 9am to 10pm. It is set at 64 from 10pm to 7am. Then it goes up to 68 from 7am to 9am. Hubby is always cold so this is how we have to do it. Set yours at what is comfortable for you so that you can save some energy. I run around my house in shorts and a tee all winter, I sweat at 71 especially if I am doing a lot of work. But I can’t have Hubby cold. I think I have an internal furnace so I am always hot. When Hubby went to work during the years our boys were in school, I set the temperature down to 64 when they left and turned it back up to 70 about an hour before Hubby came home. I was quite comfortable at 64 all day.

We keep an electric blanket on our bed so that we are warm while sleeping, Usually I just heat it up until I am warm and then turn it off for the night.

I am going to have to continue this post tomorrow because I am tired and it is time to rest. I have a lot more to say on this topic.

Every Day

Back To Basics or Perhaps Even Bare Bones

I am hearing of so many people struggling right now. Times are getting tough for a lot of people. Prices, as you all know, have risen pretty quickly on food, clothing, OTC medicines, cleaning products, hygiene products, gasoline, propane, oil for heating, etc. Doctors and dentists have raised what they charge. We have just gotten notification that our private health insurance and Medicare will be going up January 1st. The Medicare costs will eat in to the Social Security increase for next year. People who rely on that to live are going to have a much tougher time next year than they have had this year even though they should end up with a small increase.

Your local towns and cities will likely raise your property taxes at the highest percentage increase that you have seen in years. Their costs have risen too. I know I am planning on my January property tax bill being much higher. Some may raise your sales taxes or those fees and surcharges that you see on everyday bills like phone service, cellphone service, and your utility bills. We all know that the media and our government have warned us that it is going to be a rough winter because electricity, natural gas, oil and propane bills are going to be huge. I have seen predictions of 30 up to 40% increases. People who have filled their propane and oil tanks already have felt the higher prices. We get billed monthly for natural gas and electricity. We saw an increase last month. I just submitted our readings for this past month yesterday. I am expecting a much larger bill than the same period last year even though we cut our natural gas by 15 CCF’s and our electricity by 98 KWH. We live in a very snowy and cold climate in the winter and our heat has been running all month so I am expecting this bill to a doozy. But that will just be the beginning of these costs rising. I believe it will get worse. I could get into the politics of it but I think you all know why those prices are rising.

Let’s talk about the pain at the pump! UGH! We are paying $ 3.50 per gallon here for gasoline. I am sure there are many people across the country paying a lot more than that especially in states like California. I expect that the prices for the Thanksgiving travel will rise. So if you work from home or are retired get your gasoline tank filled before the prices go up. Even if you aren’t traveling and just need gasoline to go to work next week, fill up today or tomorrow so that you don’t have to fill up next week. Those that are traveling may have to fill up next week too but at least you will have gotten one tank of gas at a cheaper price.

We have gotten notification from our homeowners insurance that the cost to rebuild our home has gone up(lumber prices) so when we get our renewal in March, it will cost more. Not only because of that but their costs have gone up too just like yours and because of so many weather disasters across our country this past year. Many have mentioned that they have gotten their policy increases this Fall and they are way up.

So what do you do if your income hasn’t increased or it has decreased? You get back to basics or what I call a bare bones budget! I have lived through a period like this back in the early seventies when I had little ones. It happened right after we purchased our first home and my oldest was born and then my youngest. Fortunately, our mortgage interest was only about 7.5%. But many that got mortgages shortly after we bought were at 16%. That is what happens when there is inflation. We have not even seen what inflation will really be like in this country because the Treasury has been controlling the interest rates. Just wait until they start allowing those to go up! Every time the government prints money, our costs go up. You have already seen and it is going to get worse and worse every time they spend money that they don’t have. So many people thought that the stimulus checks were free. They weren’t free; we are all paying for them through the printing of money which is devaluing what your dollar is worth. Every time they pass something that is going to cost money, the $ gets devalued more and more. We haven’t seen anything yet. Obviously we survived the inflation of the 1970’s but I believe this will be even worse. So I have some experience working with a bare bones budget and will be writing articles on what you must do to be able to survive it. I will tackle one topic at a time when I can because I am still dealing with health issues. If I am up to it, I may write the first one later today.

So what are you guys doing to control these increases? Share in the comments so that you can help other people who may be able to use your advice.

Every Day

Cost Cutting Friday

There was not much cost cutting yesterday because my back was giving me trouble. So I took it easy in the house. Hubby did make us some chicken salad for dinner.

Today is going to be an organizing and picking up day. My house has gotten out of control with my back issues. So I am going to get some things done that need it, like cleaning up our pantries and making sure the expiration dates are being rotated properly.

I am going to pick the 2nd chicken carcass clean and freeze the meat. I freeze the carcasses and any chicken bones that I get to make a big pot of broth for chicken soup when I get enough. So I will be making that soon. It is finally soup weather here. We had a freeze two nights ago and last night it again got down to 30.

This morning I transferred our winter coats to our coat closet and packed the spring and summer ones up. I also put the hats and gloves in the container in the closet so they are at the ready. Our master bedroom is large enough that we don’t have to pack up any summer or winter clothes. With all the purging we did after we lost weight, there is room for both in there.

Hubby thinks he found a pair of shoes at Zappos for $59.99. Has anyone ever purchased from them or had to return anything? I would love to know your experiences before I order.

I got $ 15.00 in rebates in the mail today!

That’s it for today! More organizing and cleaning than anything.

Did you do anything to cut costs today?

Every Day

Cost Cutting Wednesday

We a did a little cost cutting today but not much. I took Hubby to a shoe store in town to find some moccasins to replace the ones he has that are falling apart. He found nothing he liked. So he now is looking online. I am hoping he can find what he wants at a good price.

While we were out, we went to Top’s again and then to Aldi’s. I ran into Top’s to see if they had restocked the Ragu spaghetti sauce. They had so I picked up 5 more jars at $ .99 each. Hubby loves the Crystal Light Raspberry Iced Tea and I have not been able to find it in a while. I spotted 2 of them and got them for $ 3.19 each.

At Aldi’s they had Hellmann’s Mayo for $ 3.77 so I got 3. I can’t find it cheaper anywhere else. It is Hubby’s favorite and he goes through it quickly. He found the 2 honey dry roasted nuts for snacks. My last purchase was the on sale 3 packs of organic ground beef for $17.96. I bought 2 of them because that is all they had. Normally I am at the store on Wednesdays when they open. But we didn’t go until noontime because we were up very late watching the election returns on TV.

My Top’s and the shoe store are in the same plaza. Aldi’s is only 2 blocks up the street. So we only drove a few miles round trip. I try to use as little gasoline as possible by going to places that are close to each other.

So how did you cut costs today?

Every Day

Cutting Costs On Tuesday

After our homemade coffee, Hubby and I headed to appointments in another town. I dropped Hubby off and ran a different errand about 15 minutes away(finished my Christmas shopping). I managed to get back for my appointment an hour after Hubby’s. Because we now have dental insurance, it paid for Hubby’s X-rays and cleaning today at the dentist. The only cost was $36. for a fluoride treatment. I got a new denture at no cost to replace the third one that broke. The dentist and the lab finally think they have it figured out. My bite is so strong with my lower teeth that they adjusted the thickness and the bite. Hopefully, this one will work. On the way home, we stopped and voted.

When we got home, I made us salads for brunch using up leftover tomato dices, leftover black olives, leftover onion dices, lettuce, and some shredded cheese. Dressing was homemade Italian. The cheese was colby- jack that I purchased in a block for $ 1.69 and shredded using my Kitchen Aid. Shredding my own is much cheaper than buying shredded. Plus it doesn’t have wood pulp in it. We just keep it in the fridge in a reused gallon bag.

Then after grabbing my grocery list, I headed to Top’s. It is Senior Citizen Discount day. I got 6% off my entire grocery order. This day is only on the first Tuesday of the month so I always try to take advantage of it.

Pictured above is the small order that I picked up. I purchased 2 rotisserie chickens. One is pictured and the other is in the ziploc. When I got home I shredded it. They were on sale 2 for $11.00. The reasons I purchased them is they were cheaper cooked than I can buy them raw and I forgot to thaw something before we went out this morning. The celery was on sale B1G1F. The beef broth was on super coupon for $.99. The Ragu spaghetti sauce was on a 5 for $5. deal which made them all $.99 each which is a great price for here.

I have to tell you a little story about an elderly couple( I estimated them to be in their mid 80’s.) who were getting the Ragu while I waited next to them. They each had a cart and they were loading the Ragu sauce into the carts in many multiples of 5. I was hoping they would leave 5 for me. They just kept loading it. I waited and then I noticed that they had also loaded into their carts many, many pastas that were on sale. When they were done, she looked at me and said thanks for waiting for us. As they left, I looked at the shelf and they had left 5 for me. When I left the shelf was empty. As I was walking around the store, I noticed them in line with their carts and there was nothing else but the pasta and sauce. I smiled to myself and was happy that they had gotten all of those things. Because even though I don’t know why they bought all of those things, we have a lot of senior citizens in our county living on small social security checks. If God blessed them with those sales today, I am happy that they can eat.

I was really beat when I got home, so Hubby and I watched the NCIS’s that he recorded last night. I am going to take it easy the rest of the day.

Hubby is making us BLT’s with chicken for dinner tonight. It is one of my favorites.

I hope you are all having a great day! Did you do anything to cut costs today?

Every Day

Cutting Costs on Monday

We started our day off this morning by making our own coffee. We NEVER, EVER buy coffee at a drive thru. Yes, we have a Keurig but I make my coffee with a reusable cup using whatever I have found on sale. Buying coffee out is very expensive. It’s so easy to make your own. For a long time, I have made Hubby’s using Decaf K cups. Our stockpile of them is almost gone. So when they run out, I will be making his from bagged Decaf coffee which I stockpiled at lower prices when we made this decision. Using regular K cups is expensive and they expire quicker than sealed coffee. When we go out, we bring our coffee with us in a travel mug.

Next it was time for my navy shower. I catch the water in a bucket while it warms up when I turn it on the first time. This saves water. Utility bills keep going up so every little bit helps. For those who don’t know what a navy shower is, you wet down, turn the shower off, soap up and wash your hair, then turn the shower back on to rinse off. We have a window in our Master Bath that gives plenty of light so no need to turn any light on. When I am going to be home for the day, I use no makeup so no light needed for that or to comb my hair. I let my hair air dry. I don’t let the water run down the sink while I am brushing my teeth. I turn it off until I rinse.

After my shower, I squeegee all of the glass in the shower to keep the soap scum down. Then I use my homemade shower cleaner spray on the tile walls for the same reason. That way it can go longer without a deep cleaning.

About noontime we had our first meal of the day. Since we waste zero food in our home, I heated up some beef stew that I cooked a couple of nights ago. It just had beef, carrots, potatoes, and a little gravy. When I made it for dinner, I used the crock pot on high for 4 hours. Over the summer I purchased 4 strip steaks from the meat market. We grilled 2 and they were awfully tough. As I said before the quality of the meat has gotten poor along with the high prices. So not wanting to waste them, I used them as the meat in the stew. This made them very tender.

Today is my day to clean the bathrooms. I use bleach to clean the entire inside and outside of the toilets. I stockpile bleach to purify water in case we have a water outage. Bleach only lasts about 6 months. So when it is reaching it’s expiration, I clean the toilets with it to use it up. I used a bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles that I need to use up to clean the bathtubs, sinks, shower floor, and counters. Once that is gone, I will make homemade cleaner for them. Floors and baseboards were washed down with Pine Sol in my bucket with my spin mop. The mirrors all got done with Windex. All the cupboards were dusted before I did the floors. Towels were thrown in the washer to wait for a full load and new ones were put out.

I had so much energy when I got done that I decided to clean the Master Bedroom. So sheets have been stripped and new ones put on. Baseboards, lamps and bulbs, and furniture have all been dusted with my reusable duster. Drawers were straightened up and mirrors and paintings were cleaned. The walk in closet was very neat so it didn’t need any attention. Last, I vacuumed all of the carpeting.

Then Hubby and I watched NCIS LA that aired last night. He DVR’s any program that I want to see each week for me. Sometimes we just wait until Friday and marathon all of the shows. I hate commercials and he can skip over them when he replays them for me.

Then Hubby went to clean his office. Believe me, it needed it. It’s the one room that I don’t clean because he knows where he keeps everything.

I did our net worth statement which I do the 1st of every month. Then it was time to watch some You Tube.

Dinner was last night’s planned overs. I made two dinners of spaghetti and sausage. We just reheated it all in the microwave. It saves us time and money.

What did you do to cut costs?