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?
8 replies on “Happy New Year 2022”
Hi Precious. Happy new year to you and hubby. I am so glad you got to see your family for Christmas. I know how you miss your grandchildren when you can’t see them. We had a nice Christmas here with our daughter’s family. Our son had to skip b/c he got the virus before Christmas, but it was a very mild case. We hadn’t seen him during the incubation period and were able to get together on this last Thursday evening to exchange gifts. Hubby has been off these last 2 weeks. We have kept the little girls a few days while their parents worked over the break.
I got our gas bill and it was $139.63. Last month was $106.07. I will report about the electric bill when it comes. The gas bill was more than I expected also, but not a lot more.
Hubby has been doing some little fix it jobs over the break around here, too. And, a fun thing was that one of our neighbors gave us one of those electric cars the little kids have. It needs some repairs, so hubby is going to have a try at it. They told us we could keep it if he could fix, since they got a new one for their kids for Christmas. They also gave us a little scooter that needed fixed and it was just a screw replacement. So that was good. The car he will research and see if it will be worth the expense and time to do. When our little granddaughters are here, they have a lot of fun playing outside with the kids on our street when the weather is nice.
I have been fixing food in advance like you have. This week the weather has been mild and so hubby was able to smoke 2 chickens I got for $1.19 lb (regular price) and a pork loin roast that was $1.49/lb. We still have a bit of sirloin steak from Christmas to eat up also. I got 10 lb potatoes before Christmas on sale and enjoyed making roasted potato wedges in the oven. I made extra to have for a few meals. I am not going often to the stores since the virus numbers are up here also, but I always check the clearance section when I do go. The past few weeks I found some Christmas teas and some spices for markdown prices. Also one day I was there Kroger had flour, sugar, brown sugar, oil and Nestle morsels for .99 ea and small can of pumpkin 2/$1. You can bet I stocked up, and was happy I hadn’t gone to Aldi before Christmas b/c these prices were better.
Thanks! I am so glad that your son is better and that you were finally able to see him. Those granddaughters of yours are adorable.
This last utility bill was $ 215.59 which included both electric and natural gas.
It is nice that he can fix things for the kids to use.
Wow! Those prices for meat are so low. I so loved smoked meat. YUM! My potatoes are keeping well in the garage so I am thinking about getting a pick up of 20 lbs. from our local produce store.
I am happy for you that you found such good prices on clearance items. I would be stocking too! Pumpkin is a staple around here because everyone loves pumpkin bread and I make it a bit all year long for our Sunday breakfasts with our family.
Hi Precious. We got the electric bill yesterday and it was $102.97, so $242.60 for both. I think that is a record for us in this house. 😳
Hello Precious, we had a pretty warm December but our first larger natural gas bill shocked me when it arrived 2 days ago. Now we are in a deep freeze pattern for a week or so so next months bill will really be a doozy. But I’m thankful for a snug house and enough room in the budget to handle the bigger bills to come.
I’m glad you had such a nice holiday season.
There is a new country type store just a few miles from us, a lot like an Amish store we like in Branson. We went to the local store for the first time yesterday and it was so fun to see so many old fashioned products with reasonable prices. I bought a new broom that really does work well, some small pie pans, and we both picked out some treats. When I restock my baking supplies, I’ll be back there.
Happy New Year to you and your family,my friend! We have been warmer than normal too. The weather all over the country has been so odd in this period of grand solar minimum. I expect this warmth won’t last the rest of the winter so frigid temps are coming. I agree with you that as much as the utility bills are a shocker, I am thankful that we have the money to pay them and that we have warm houses.
Yeah on your new store. I am loving all of the bulk items and the prices that go with them. The spices too are such a bargain compared to the grocery store prices. I keep looking for more and more places that are owned locally. At the moment I am looking for local farms who have beef.
So glad you were with family for the holidays. We did nothing as usual just a normal weekend off although the extra day allowed us to get a few extra chores done washing walls, scrubbing tile, oven cleaning. Fun!
Starting the new year with a no spend January and looking for some accountability since DH is of no help. Very cold and lots of snow and I have enjoyed having no where to go.
Thanks. It was fun!
Funny you should mention washing walls. We are doing these room by room too.
Good luck with your No Spend January. Staying home really helps the most. I am one who can go into a store for 2 items and come out with 5 bags full. Trying to change my ways on that!
The snow is pretty isn’t it?! We got another inch or so last night again.