Every Day

Cutting Expenses Where We Can

I think all of us would have to have blinders on to not realize how expensive food, water, OTC, personal care, soaps, and cleaning products have gotten.

But utility bills, gasoline and diesel, insurances, cable TV, telephone service, streaming services, etc. have also gone up.

Lumber, clothing, auto parts, parts to fix just about everything, and just about everything else have also risen.

Our tax assessment went up by $140,000. this spring. Hubby has estimated that our school tax bill due in September will go up by $786. using the numbers that our town gave us. Our property tax will also take a major hit because of it in January. We do get a basic star rebate on our school taxes each year which every homeowner is entitled to but we do not receive the enhanced star for seniors nor a reduced property tax because we make too much money. To make things even worse, our school district is considering having a capital project in addition to safety and security upgrades. They want the residents’ feedback on a multi-purpose turf athletic field, re-routing of bus traffic to get it off a certain road, pool reconstruction, and a Pre-K addition. I foresee a special vote to pay for all of this. You can bet we are putting our two cents in on those items. This period of inflation is a horrible time to hit the residents with more expenses after the huge increases in tax assessments.

I expect that prices will rise into 2024 or longer. As long as our government continues to spend money they do not have, inflation will continue to rear it’s ugly head.

I am seeing seniors and other people in the markets checking out the prices on meats, produce, and other items and not buying them. I have gotten to the point that I am very selective about meat purchases. If I feel it is too expensive, I will not buy it. Most of the meat that I do buy is always on sale. That has mostly been ground beef and chicken to can. I did buy 2 sirloin steaks about 2 weeks ago that were on sale for B1G1F. We have given up buying filet mignon since the last sale in early spring. The price has gotten too high and the quality has gone down the tubes. So my sister told me that the sirloins were good. We have never liked them. But at the sale price they were worth a try. We have only eaten one that we split into 2 meals and it was delicious – flavorful and tender. If they go on sale again for a decent price, I will buy more.

You know that we do our best to keep the utility bills down as much as we can even though the rates continue to rise. We do not use lights when it is daylight out. At night we only use one in the room we are in. I think about what appliance will be the cheapest when I cook anything. We eat a lot of cold food so as to not have to use electricity or natural gas. We use our A/C sparingly. I only run the washing machine with a very full load. I do the same with the dishwasher.

Our cable, home phone, and internet bill was $192. in May. On that bill they put a note that new pricing and packages are coming in June. That means the bills are going up. We have a cable box on a 2nd TV that is costing us $10.00 a month plus taxes and fees. That is the TV that I only use with my ROKU to watch You Tube. Hubby always turned the news on at late night on this TV. But I noticed that lately he has not been doing that. So I took our 2nd box to UPS to return it to Spectrum this morning. Yes that is how we do it here. I now have a receipt dated today to show that it was turned in. So I should not be paying for it now. This $10.00 a month plus tax will save us $120.+ a year. I can’t wait to see the new rates! NOT! Then I will do more cost cutting if need be. I also had an Amazon return to take to UPS so I got them both done.

We use Top’s gasoline points to get our gas cheaper. Right now we have $.40 off a gallon but the car is only 1/2 empty. When the tank empties a little bit more, I will fill it up. We also have discounted gasoline at the warehouse clubs which I only use if I am down in that town running other errands. I will not drive 14+ miles each way just to get gasoline. If none of those options are there, we have a cash only price station near us that has a good price. So I am always checking the prices per gallon.

I am watching our grocery budget very carefully. I will only buy on sale or where a needed product is the cheapest. I am buying mostly store brands these days. There are just a few name brands that I continue to buy. Name brands have gotten way too expensive. I buy most of our produce on sale and I am very selective because it seems to be rotten more often than not on the store shelves. I have had bags of onions and potatoes that turn bad very quickly. I will buy veggies and fruits frozen if they are cheaper per pound. They seem to be much fresher too.

We rarely buy liquor or wine anymore. It is not worth the money. I would rather use the money instead for nutritious food.

I continue to baby the tomato plants. I think they will make it. We bake potatoes in the air fryer a lot in the summer as a side to go with our grilling outside. When I do that, I make enough for a couple of nights. We grow our own chives to go with the sour cream we put on top of them.

To be honest I am always looking at ways to cut expenses. Each day I think about what I am doing that day and how I can cut that expense. I am always looking at what I can discontinue buying and make a substitution for certain things.

We no longer purchase liquid hand soap or body wash. I have lots of bar soap and it works just as well. I rarely buy bread. We make our own in our bread maker. I only wear makeup when I leave the house. I am actually considering giving it up all together. Even when I do wear it, it is very basic. I don’t purchase mascara or compact powder.

I purchase many things from the Dollar Tree. They carry my deodorant, tissues, our shampoo, 2 pound boxes of spaghetti, rice, dry beans, Himalayan pink salt, frozen peppers and onions that I use for making fajitas, a winter blend of cauliflower and broccoli, etc. I purchase all of our greeting cards that we use for a year in January.

I am going for my haircut today. My salon is right next to Rite Aid and we have prescriptions to pick up. The Dollar General is across the street and I will go in there to pick up a few things. I try to make the most efficient use of gasoline by doing many things when I do go out.

Since I have been so busy this week, I did a grocery delivery. It not only saves me time but it prevents me from just wandering in the store and seeing other things to buy. I needed new soap dishes for the bar soap we are using because mine were getting really old. I moved some of our old washcloths to our rag pile today and purchased some new ones on my grocery delivery. I love the half length spaghetti. It lets me easily use a smaller pot and it is so much easier to get it in that pot. Best part is it is the same price as the regular full length spaghetti.

I hope you all have a wonderful July 4th weekend! We will be watching the fireworks around us again this year.

If you would like to share with all of us what you are doing to survive this high inflation, please feel free to add your two cents in the comments.

8 replies on “Cutting Expenses Where We Can”

Hi Precious, great post, as always. When I was reading, I kept nodding to some of the things you wrote, thinking “yes, we do that too”. I just bought what I needed at the grocery this week. I am looking for a cat food deal again since I opened kitty’s last bag this week. Hoping the usual July sale will happen this year. We also finally went to a digital subscription to the newspaper and that will save $50 per mo. Your recent post about doing the same reminded me to do.

The big thing we did was go pick up our 1/4 cow. I wanted to break down the math for your readers so they can get an idea of cost. We live in the Midwest. The hanging weight before processing is what the farmers use to calculate. We had 211 lb hanging weight. The charge from the farmer was 2.75/lb. The cow was grain fed this time. We have also had grass fed. The processing plant has a charge also. They processed the beef into different roasts, steaks and (80/20) hamburger. They used the vacuum seal technique this time instead of the butcher paper we have gotten in the past. The cost was $202.09 for the processing. It is low b/c they are able to sell what is leftover to a rendering plant for other things. We took cash to pay that. I wrote a check last night to the farmer for $607.75. So the grand total was $809.84 plus the cost of gas to go get it. We will share the beef with our grown children. When we have gotten before, the beef lasts our family 2 years. I took from savings to pay for it, and consider it money well spent. We had some of the sirloin steak grilled last night to celebrate son’s birthday at family dinner and it was delicious.

Have a happy July 4 weekend to you and hubby, and to the other readers also.

Hi Chris,

I hope you find a great deal for the kitty! Yeah on the savings on the newspaper. It feels so good to save that money every month.

You got a great buy on that 1/4 cow! I love that they vacuumed sealed it. Happy Birthday to your son.

I do love your posts.. a few things I am doing. Making sure that the dogs and cat food scoops are level, only half treats are given. Paid life insurance and my car insurance in full. Raised the roommates rent to help offset the electric hike since he refuses to respect our requests to keep the bill reasonable. Looking for things to sell, gave the dogs baths instead of taking them to the groomer, did have to pay for nail trims, though.

Hi Patti,Good for

It’s nice to hear from you! So sorry that your roommates can’t help keep the electric bill down. Good for you raising the rent. Those are terrific ways to save on your pet expenses.

Hi Precious. Yes, we do use our AC more than you do. This past month we had an unusual hot spell for June, also. Many days over 90 degrees. I keep at 78 degrees during the day and a few less at night so we can sleep. We also use ceiling fans. Hubby also cleaned the outside unit after the cottonwood trees were done shedding last weekend. They are such a nuisance. I know our house had a new HVAC put in the year before we bought, but I don’t think it is the most efficient one. Our bills here are much lower than what we had been paying for our ranch house in the town we lived in before.

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