Happy New Year to all of you and your families! I hope you all had wonderful holidays as we did. This is the first year since we have been married that I didn’t have to do the holiday cooking. We spent Thanksgiving at one son’s home and we spent Christmas at the other son’s home. It was wonderful!
My son and my granddaughter came to visit for a few days the day after Christmas. While they were here, we went to the Amish store so that I could add some spices and bread flour that were needed to our pantry. She loved picking out some fudge, cookies and other goodies for herself. We also tried their glazed donuts which they are noted for. They didn’t disappoint but now it is time to get back to some healthier eating.
For this new year, I am making no New Year’s resolutions. I have decided to do a theme instead. That theme is going to be “Self Sufficiency”. I know that it is hard to be totally self sufficient but we are going to strive to do whatever we can to rely on ourselves while spending as little as possible doing it.
I know it is only January but I am planning my container garden already. This year besides tomatoes, I would like to plant lettuce and perhaps peppers. I may plant some things in grow bags along with using my big pots. We love salads here and produce has gotten rather expensive and is about to get another huge increase this month.
I have been baking bread the past few weeks in my new bread maker. Because there are only the two of us, I divide it into thirds and only use 1/3 at a time. The rest gets frozen until we need it. We do have some rolls in the refrigerator and low carbohydrate tortillas, croissants, and English muffins in the freezer. With the exception of low carbohydrate tortillas, we will not be purchasing them again. We use very little bread so it will be easy and a lot cheaper to make our own. If I can find a good recipe, I may attempt to make our own low carbohydrate tortillas. Does anyone here do that?
I have Walmart Plus so I can get groceries delivered. I actually have a small order of fresh things like eggs, heavy whipping cream, 1/2 and 1/2, sour cream, Two Good vanilla yogurt, lettuce, cucumber, chicken breasts( $ 2.06 a lb.), etc. coming today. You all know that I hate driving in the snow but the virus has also blown up here so staying home is the right thing to do for us. My sister’s family got together for Christmas Eve and Christmas day and now 5 out of 8 of them have the virus. I have been praying that they all get well soon.
Today, I will be cooking a ham in the Instant pot if it fits. If not, it will have to go in the oven. This will give us many meals. I portion our meat so that I eat 4 oz. and Hubby eats 6 oz. I will serve augratin potatoes and spinach with it. After a few days of eating it, any meat that is left will be portioned up and frozen with the exception of using the ham bone and some of the meat for homemade bean soup.
Meat has gotten so expensive that we will be eating more meatless meals. I have a real problem spending “tens of dollars’ for any kind of roasts. We do have a couple in the freezer( purchased while they were still reasonable) but I will be buying no more unless the prices come down. I don’t see that happening any time soon. Right now, chicken and ground beef seem to the most affordable. But if they go much higher, I will be using them like condiments. I am remembering the 1970’s and early 1980’s right now. We ate a lot of bean type meals, peanut butter, pasta with just a small handful of ground meat thrown into the sauce to get our protein requirement. We also ate a lot of salads with a few tidbits of meat.
Hubby has always been our repair guy. If he can easily fix it, he does. Two days ago while vacuuming, our Dyson decided to not stand up on it’s own anymore. So Hubby immediately went to You Tube to research a fix. He found a video that showed that it was a loose screw. However getting to the screw was not easy. But by following the video, he did it and as you can see, the vacuum now stands up on it’s own again.
We have had another monthly electric and natural gas bill since we last talked about it. The cost of our natural gas went up 24% and the electricity went up 7% more than the same period last year. I was shocked when I opened the bill. We continue to not use as much electricity as possible. I try to not use my gas oven or range top. Small appliance use is so much cheaper. Anything that we can do to keep it down we are doing. Since our family left, I have closed off those two bedrooms until we no longer need heat. I have the vents closed, the doors closed, drapes and tight fitting shades on the windows and snakes in front of the doors.
I used up chicken, leftover from Hubby making chicken piccata when our family was here, to make a noodle and chicken skillet dish for dinner last night. We will eat some of the leftovers for brunch today. We waste no food in this home.
Our doorbell just rang! It was our next door neighbor with one of her little sons. They wanted to wish us a Happy New Year! She said that we are always bringing Timbits to her boys so they wanted to bring some to us. How nice of them to do that! They will be a great treat.
Well, my 9 lb. ham is not going to fit in the Instant Pot. Shucks! So I am just about to put it in the oven at 325 to warm it through. That will take about 2 hours and 10 minutes. I will do the augratin potatoes in the microwave because the oven won’t be hot enough for them. It will cheaper than using the natural gas stove top.
Hubby is and has been watching all of the football bowl games. So while the ham is cooking, I will check my planner to see what else I have scheduled for today and do some work in my 2022 financial planner.
I hope you all have a terrific start to the New Year! Are you doing anything to save money this year?