Every Day

Packaging Basics Today

Since Hubby and I have been making our own bread, we decided to get a couple extra bread flours since wheat will be in short supply this year. I used my food saver to make it air tight. That way I do not have to freeze it first. I just put the flour right into the bag I made from a roll and no eggs can hatch without air. It also needs no oxygen absorber which cuts down on the cost of storing it. Then I put them into a covered bin until I need to open another one. I have never had an issue since I have been doing it this way.

Sugar will be in short supply soon too since so many countries have decided not to export it. I need it for most breads and for any other baking I need to do. So I got this 25 lb. bag before the price goes up again. I will put this in a 5 gallon bucket with NO oxygen absorber. Never put one in sugar because the sugar will turn hard as a rock. The sugar keeps nicely in the bucket.

If you do a lot of baking for Thanksgiving and Christmas, you might want to think about getting some now.

Every Day

Jif Peanut Butter Recall: Important Info

If you have any of the recalled peanut butter or peanut butter products and purchased it at Walmart, you can get a refund. I got an e-mail advising me to throw the products out and take my receipts to the store. If you purchased it online via pickup or grocery delivery, just bring your order #’s.

It is not necessary to bring the product to the store.

I just got home from getting refunded for 3 jars I bought online and in the store.

Or you may fill out this form to get a free coupon for each purchase for when the product is back on the shelves:

Every Day

Preparing a Little Each Day

This week Top’s had a coupon item for a 6lbs. + mega package of 80/20 ground beef on sale for $ 2.99 a lb. I picked up a package that was just about 7 lbs.

Today, Hubby and I spent some time preparing it. I canned about 4 lbs. in pint mason jars with my Instant Pot Max which has a canning program. It was just staying warm until we finished watching NCIS and NCIS Hawaii today that Hubby recorded last night.

Hubby made a big pot of chili and then put it in the crockpot to cook all day. That will be dinner for many nights this week and if there is any left over or we get sick of eating it, I will freeze the rest to use on hot dogs.

I just took the jars out of the canner. They are so hot that they were still boiling. These 4 jars will make 8 meals for Hubby and I . We will use them in casseroles, spaghetti sauce, soups or tacos.

Since we are reading in the news that the UN is telling us that there will be a food crisis in less than 10 weeks, I am taking them seriously. I know that wheat and corn are in short supply. So many products are made with those items. Meat has gotten so expensive that unless you can get a deal on a loss leader, it is almost unaffordable. There are chicken shortages because of the bird flu so that has become expensive also.

Hence I am canning any deals that I find on meat or produce. Even if a crisis does not occur, I will have purchased and put up some food at cheaper prices. It will eventually get eaten.

I hope all of you see what is coming and have stocked up some food for you family.

Every Day

Prepping a Great Meat Deal

While browsing my Top’s ad for this week, I noticed they had whole chickens and packages of drumsticks on sale for $ .99 lb. We have not had a price that low for chicken in a very long time.

So I went yesterday morning and picked up 1 package of the drumsticks and 4 of the whole chickens. At $ .99 a lb., the total of the meat came to $ 27.80. That gave me a little over 28 lbs. of chicken and bones.

They also had a deal where if you purchased 8 packages of Knorr Sides, you got $ 5.00 off on $ 10.00 worth of meat. Since we prep those for storage, I bought 8. That reduced the total for the chicken to $22.80.

After we ate a late breakfast, I decided to cook the whole chickens. I was able to roast 3 of them in my turkey roaster in our oven. The fourth one, I cooked in my crockpot. I took a picture of the roasted chickens after they came out of the oven but when I went to upload it today, it was nowhere to be found. So I guess it didn’t work.

While the chicken was cooking, I used the food saver to put the drumsticks in the freezer. Those will make 3 meals.

After the chickens were all done, I cooled them until I could work with the meat.

I separated the meat from the chickens and put 3 of them in this container and stored it overnight in the fridge. The 4th one was put in a large baggie and also stored in the fridge overnight.

Then I put all of the skins and a large number of the bones into my crockpot to make bone broth.

This was the result.

This all took a lot of time and by the time I called my sister for our usual Monday evening chat, I was beat.

Today, I used my food saver to bag up the chicken for the freezer after saving some out to make chicken rice soup tonight. It made 27 meals of chicken to put in the freezer. I also had put those 3 meals of drumsticks in the freezer. That is 30 meals and about 4-6 more of the soup. That is a great result for $ 22.80!

Please share with us in the comments any good deal you have gotten recently.

Every Day

Homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Last week I got very busy with so many things on my plate. I had three appointments, made Keto Peanut Butter Ice Cream twice, had cleaning and laundry to do, my container garden to plant, and I did a whole lot of canning.

I have been trying to get this post up for days. But it just didn’t work out. So here it is.

If you have ever purchased Keto Ice Cream, you know what I mean when I say that it is hard to dish up, tastes almost mealy, and is very expensive. We have tried almost every brand out in the markets. It’s awful!

I had given up until my son who eats Keto gave me this recipe:

I double the recipe and put it in a wide mouth quart canning jar and freeze it for at least 18 hours. You can eat it after 5 hours but I find that it is more like soft serve ice cream then. I like it more like store bought ice cream that you purchase.

So here is my cheat sheet recipe for a double batch:

1 and 6/8 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

2/3 cup Allulose( Sugar Free Sweetener)

6 Tbsp. Jif No Sugar Added Peanut Butter

1 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Salt

I put the wet ingredients in the mason jar and then add the dry ingredients. Put the seal and ring on tight. Then shake it vigorously for about 5 minutes or until it is all mixed up.

Then you just put it in the freezer and eat it when it is done and you want a Keto treat. One scoop is a good size.

This the best tasting Keto Ice Cream ever and it is so easy. We will be trying some of the other ice cream recipes that he has also.

I am working on a prepping project today and will be showing it to you tomorrow.

Every Day

How We Are Dealing With Inflation( continued from yesterday)

We again will be planting some vegetables soon and eating some fresh this summer. The rest will be canned for next winter. Even if you don’t have space for a garden, you can do a container garden or a hydroponic garden. Every little bit helps with these produce prices.

We are watching our water consumption. We never just let the water run down the sink. We close the sink up when we wash or rinse dishes. Rinse water can be used to water outside. I do the same with pasta water. We don’t waste. When I brush my teeth, I wet the brush then turn the water off. I just turn it back on to rinse. We have low flow toilets so we don’t have to worry about that water. In other houses when we just had standard toilets, we put a brick or a bottle in the tank to displace some of the water. I take navy showers. I use water to wet down, turn the water off, soap up, turn the water on, then rinse.

We only wash clothes once a week on the Eco cycle with cold water. I do another load for towels and sheets. I only use hot or warm for really messy things. We never wash anything but a full load. I hang dry most of our clothing.

The dishwasher is never run until it is really full.

Today, I will be cleaning out my chest freezer so that I can defrost it. It needs it to function properly and it uses less power when it doesn’t have ice on the walls. I also want to put some of the butter that I got on sale at Aldi’s a couple of weeks ago in the freezer to get it out of my refrigerator. I don’t want it to spoil.

I also will be making enough from scratch blueberry pancakes to last a week or so in my electric fry pan. I have gallon bags of blueberries in the freezer that were purchased on sale in season last summer. Time to start using them up to make room for the new supply this August.

We are getting low on bread and Hubby likes sandwiches for his lunch. So he will make a loaf in the breadmaker. It is so much cheaper to make it from scratch than to buy it and it tastes a lot better too.

Leftover pasta and meatballs is on the menu tonight. I think I will make a beef stew tomorrow in the crockpot. I want to use up those large roasts before the weather gets really warm. That will last us the weekend and into next week. I am really enjoying not having to cook every night. It gives me more time to get the spring cleaning done and the windows washed.

I will also be making some more Keto ice cream. The Keto ice cream you buy in the market is so awful and hard to scoop out. The recipe I use makes ice cream that is more like scooping regular ice cream and is so delicious and it’s easy. We need a treat for football this weekend.

Last night I perused the ads for next week. I didn’t see much that I need to buy or will pay the price for. We have the basics here so we don’t need much. Cooking from scratch with simple ingredients purchased in bulk is so much cheaper than buying items for complicated and expensive recipes.

It’s time for me to get my work done today. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I will be back posting on Monday.

Every Day

How We Are Dealing with Inflation and the Coming Stagflation(continued from yesterdays post)

Here is an example of how we are using our food for dinner tonight. I had two boxes of open pasta. One has a little rotini and the other has pennette. We had a small bag of homemade meatballs in our freezer. The meatballs will be heated up in the sauce in the microwave after I get done cooking the pasta in there. Lastly we will be melting mozzarella cheese on top. I have a small container of leftover mushrooms so they will get heated and put in my bowl. Hubby hates mushrooms. We have a few black olives left from our dinner salads last night so they will be put into the bowls too. I think we will have enough for tomorrow night also.

I try very hard not to waste any food especially since prices are so high. If I can’t use something up right away, I freeze it. When I find food that doesn’t get used before it spoils, I could kick myself.

Hubby and I have been saving money for two outside projects for a couple of years and finally reached our goal. We debated whether we should get them done now or put them off. One is two new garden projects, two new trees planted including a peach tree, a stone wall around our grilling patio to keep the wind from blowing the grill over, repair work on our patio and steps(after 12 years it has settled), cleaning of our stone patio and sealing it, a repair of our patio in our seating area out front, and repair of one of the garden walls. The other project is a total tear out of our asphalt driveway and have it totally redone- gravel basis and two coats of asphalt. These projects are costing us a fortune- many thousands of dollars. Things like this were always expensive but they are extremely expensive right now. We decided to contract it out to two different local companies because we feel prices will only continue to rise and will never go back to where they were. Next year it would cost us even more.

Other than those two projects, we are not spending on anything else except tires. We have plenty of clothing. Hubby needed new jeans this spring so I ordered them from LL Bean with a coupon code. Last winter we stocked on really warm clothing and blankets in case we have any power outages next winter. I am repairing clothing the old fashioned way when it needs it by sewing them.

We keep our SUV really clean and make sure to wash it all winter at the car wash( getting a free wash every 6th one), even the undercarriage, to get all of the salt off. For a 2013, it has no rust and is in excellent condition. It only has $40,000. miles now. We have gotten some items like windshield wipers and tire flat repair kits while we can still find them. Hubby is looking into new tires. We have a local garage that takes care of oil changes and everything else. We plan on keeping this car for many more years.

We are cleaning our own furniture and carpeting which will save us from paying someone else. We are doing our own spring cleaning and window washing little by little. It is time consuming and I tire more easily these days but it will get all done.

We still continue to try to lower our natural gas and electricity usage. We have been doing that every month and being very successful at it. Every day we think about how to cook things to use as little power as possible. Now that it is grilling season, we will cook outside a lot. Propane is expensive but not as bad as the inside power. We never turn lights on when the sun is shining. They do not go on until it is dark outside. We still have our heat on because the nights are cold here. However it looks like we may to be able to turn it off for good next Wednesday or Thursday. We don’t plan on using the A/C a lot this year except when it gets humid. Fans and open windows will work most of the time.

I continue to get gasoline with gas points or at the cheapest station. I was able to fill up last week using $.50 off a gallon in points. When I don’t have points, I fill it up at B.J.’s. They are so much cheaper. I only run errands once a week. If I have a medical appointment, I combine the errands with that. We don’t go driving just for a ride. We keep the tires inflated and don’t carry any unnecessary things in the car so that we get better mileage. Our car is averaging about 24 miles a gallon these days.

We are again paying the yearly premium for our dental insurance. It has not gone up in cost from last year and it has saved us so much money.

That is it for now. I need to start dinner soon. I will continue this post tomorrow.

I hope you all have a great evening!

Every Day

According to The Experts, Inflation Will Soon Be Stagflation

UPDATED: When I wrote this yesterday, I made a huge typo. Our assessment was raised by $ 140,000. not $ 40,000. It has been corrected! Now you see why we were so SHOCKED!

Bank Of America’s Global Fund Manager recently said that professional investors are growing increasingly gloomy about the future with the majority now predicting that stocks will fall into a bear market this year and the U.S. economy will be plagued by stagflation. Stagflation means high inflation and slow economic growth.

The Federal Reserve is trying to prevent this by raising interest rates. Will it work? I’m not sure because it could cool the hot labor market. Time will tell. I am just hoping that we don’t go back to the high prices of the 1970’s. Prices are high enough now and affecting the every day lives of Americans in a bad way. Now the government wants to print more money to advance quantum technology. Up go the prices again! Ugh!

So we are trying to get ready to survive all of this. We are doing many things to try to spend less than we ever have before which is not easy with so many things increasing in price. Hence we have to tighten where we can. We are retired so we only have so much money to work with and it is getting devalued every day just like every other American.

First let me tell you what we can’t do anything about. I told you yesterday the town we live in raised our assessment again. After a few years of $30,000 and $40,000 increases, this year they raised us by $140,000. We were shocked. Everyone in this neighborhood was raised but no one but us was raised that much. From the research that Hubby did, the seniors who live in here were raised more proportionately than anyone else. That is because most seniors live in ranches and those are the homes that increased the most. Many people must have complained to the town to the point they felt they had to send a letter out to all of us explaining that it should only be a 15% tax increase when all is said and done. Well Hubby checked ours and our increase will be over $750. and that is just the property tax. It will also affect our school taxes in September. Our total combined taxes will be almost $12,000. We fought our assessment last year and got nowhere. What had happened to all of us in here is that a new builder came in and is building homes extending our neighborhood. They are still building but about 70% of the neighborhood is finished and they most likely will finish the rest within a year. So the town took our 12 and 13 year old homes and increased us to their prices. My home has no other one that even comes close to being like ours so they just seem to randomly raise us. Ugh! Those new homes sold in the high $ 400,000.’s to $635,000. range. I wonder when the housing market crashes if they will lower us.. I doubt it! I have also realized that our homeowner insurance company will raise us next March to the cost of rebuilding the house. They do this every year. It just went up almost $100 this past March along with our automobile insurance which went up by $63.

However, we are tracking every penny we spend and lowering bills where we can. We are cancelling subscription services that we have deemed unnecessary. I lowered the Netflix service plan that we pay for Alexa after they raised their prices.

We are eating much simpler meals more like when I was living with my mom and grandparents. My grandmother, grandfather, and their children survived the Great Depression by watching the size of portions, making lots of casseroles and soups, and doing all of their cooking from scratch. If cooking from scratch and eating 1/2 of a boiled potato, a couple of tablespoons of a vegetable, and a very small piece of meat was good enough for them and while I was growing up, it is good enough today. I was never overweight when I was growing up so they fed us properly. People today eat way too much food. We only had some chips and popcorn as a treat every other month. Sure, I like junk food too but we rarely buy it anymore. It’s expensive and has no nutritional value. Soda came in a quart bottle and we made it last at least a week or two. If you were thirsty, you could have a glass of water. We have cut our portions of all foods including meat and try to make as much food as we can from scratch. We now have a meatless meal at least twice a week if not three times. We are getting our protein from meat, peanut butter, vegetables, and beans.

We purchased one beef tenderloin a month or so ago and had it cut into filet mignons. It is grilling season and we will make it last all summer. We purchase no other steak. I only buy organic ground beef when it is on sale at Aldi’s and I buy it in bulk. I just purchased 13 lbs. this past week. I have quit purchasing chicken unless it is on sale and looks good. The chicken at Top’s has gone way down in quality and so we don’t buy from them anymore. I try to get chicken legs and thighs when I can. We eat 4 oz. portions of meat or poultry. We buy salmon and haddock when it is on sale at a good price. Right now we have haddock but no salmon.

We are not adverse to eating tuna, canned chicken, beef, pork, and turkey when the price is lower than fresh. Frozen meats are almost as expensive in my area as fresh. A pound of ground beef makes two meals for us. Four small chicken legs go into the air fryer and make a meal for us. I buy reduced price meat when I can find it. That does not happen often these days. But I always look for it. We rarely purchase cold cuts but when we do we buy them at Niagara Produce because they are much cheaper and fresher there. They are usually used in a Chef’s salad. There will be lots of salads for dinner this summer.

I have so many more things that we are doing including making our own Keto ice cream but this post is getting long and I have to do some prep work for dinner. This post will be continued tomorrow.

How are you guys saving money these days? We all learn from each other.

Every Day

What I Have Been Doing The Past Month

It has been a while since I have been able to talk with you. It has been a busy month and I have not had time to prepare a post. So I am just going to speak as if I was just chatting with you.

I have again been dealing with health issues which means lots of running to doctors, many tests, being rushed to the ER at 4am one day, resting when I can, etc. I am still dealing with doctors the next 2 months and now a chiropractor every week. Getting old is not fun!

But I have missed all of you during this time. So it is time to get back to frugality.

How is your grocery shopping going? I was finally able to get out and do a quick shop at two stores yesterday. I went to Aldi’s and Walmart. I was surprised at how few people were in the stores. There was only about 1/4 of the number of people that I would usually see on a Monday. After looking at some of the prices, I think that I understand why. There were many things that I would not pay the inflated prices for. I imagine that many people are not shopping these days because of the prices. I hope that they stocked for a few months when prices were lower. I have also heard on the news that many people are using the food banks more.

All I had to pick up at Aldi’s was heavy whipping cream at $ 3.89 a quart. Not only do I use it in my coffee in the morning but we make Keto ice cream with it. So I picked up 4 while they had them. I also got a large container of vanilla yogurt. Since eggs have gotten so expensive, I now have some yogurt with a sprinkling of blueberry cinnamon Keto nut granola for breakfast every other day.

At Walmart, I picked up fresh tomatoes for our salads at $ 1.48 a lb. They were beautiful. Aldi’s had them on sale but they were rotten. Walmart’s produce section has shrunk to 4 wooden boxes of veggies and some prepared packaged items. They also had tons of bananas at $.47 a lb. I was really shocked at how poorly stocked they were. As I walked the store, I saw many holes in freezer cases with frozen veggies and potatoes very low.

I was looking for a favorite cookie for Hubby. The cookie aisle had two stacks of fig newtons and no other cookies. They had filled the aisle up with chips. Wherever there were holes on the shelves, you would find these chips even amongst the crackers which were very lean. Just about every aisle that had items was filled up with items that didn’t belong there, mostly junk food.

As I was walking through the cereal aisle, I found a few packages of Oreo’s at one end. I was able to get 2 packages of what Hubby wanted. Lots of shelves were fronted with items but nothing behind them.

While I was perusing the dairy aisle, I noticed that there were not many eggs. I checked the price on the 5 dozen box that I usually buy. Two weeks ago I paid $ 8.60 for it. Now it is $ 13.83. Ugh!

Hubby is having allergy issues this spring. I am very low on Kleenex. I looked at Aldi’s for some and they had none. I got the last 4 of 7 on the shelf at Walmart. There was plenty of toilet paper though. I told Hubby if I can’t get more, we will revert to using our handkerchiefs.

The clothing sections were sparse also.

I couldn’t help but wonder if China keeps their people locked down, will we have food and clothing in a few months? And many other items. The worst thing that happened in the 1990’s was that we went to a global economy. We make hardly anything here anymore and that is not a good thing.

The same can be said for oil, natural gas and electricity. We are all getting hit hard with those prices. My gas and electric bill has gone up 24-28% every month since we turned the heat on for the winter even though we save on using electricity and and natural gas every day. We still have our heat on because our nights are still very cold. Our gasoline has gone down a little to $ 4.28 a gallon. However NY State and my county will both drop the sales tax on gasoline effective June 1st. NYS is dropping it 16 cents per gallon and our county has capped how much they get so we will see what that does. But I have the feeling that as long as we have a war and this administration does not open up our production, the gasoline prices will continue to rise. I am also concerned that we will see shortages of both gasoline and natural gas.

Well, I hope to be posting more frequently now that I am getting a little bit better. My property taxes are rising again with a huge increase in my assessment. But I will talk about that another day.

Let me know how you are doing with the rise of prices on just about everything.