Every Day

My Grocery Shopping This Week

I ran all of our errands on Monday. The car got filled up with gasoline and the prescriptions got picked up at the drugstore.

At Niagara Produce I was happy to find these bags of red and Yukon potatoes since they are in such short supply. They were $ 3.99 each. I also got 2 packages of bacon for $3.99 each.

At Top’s I picked up this large package of 80/20 ground beef for $ 2.99 a lb. with a super coupon which lowered the price at the register. The bananas were $ .55 a lb. They had celery on sale on B1G1F. When I looked at it, they had chopped off the stems that were bad and were trying to pass them off as celery hearts. They were rusty on the ends where they were cut and they were more white than green. Needless to say I did not buy them. Instead I got a package of celery for $ 2.00 that looked fresh.

I used my food saver to repackage the meat into portion size future meals. The potatoes got put away so that they will last a few months. We rarely eat potatoes but when we do, I make baked, mashed, hash browns and French fries from them. The bacon will be gone in no time.

Lastly, I will be using the bananas to make smoothies. I have homemade vanilla yogurt to add to it. But most importantly, I have all different kinds of frozen berries in the freezer to use up in them. This will be my way of making room in the freezer for turkey deals at Thanksgiving time. I am hoping they have them and at a good price this year.

Did you get any good loss leader deals this week? Please share with all of us.

Every Day

Frugal Things The Past 2 Weeks

These are the things we have been doing frugally.

Hubby and I always have gone to the doctor’s on the same day(consecutive appointments) which saves us on gasoline and time. We have had to switch to three different doctors because our prior ones have retired. This has happened three times in the past few months. Some of the appointments got scheduled on different days. I took some time to call them and reschedule us together.

We had our annual eye appointments so I had the doctor fill out the motor vehicle forms that we needed to renew our driver’s licenses. This saved us from making an appointment to go the motor vehicle office and taking the eye exam there. Then we were also able to renew it online which saved us stamps.

I upgraded my Sam’s Club membership to the Plus level. Our store is an hour and a half round trip for us. With the price of gasoline, the time involved and winter coming, we needed the free shipping. It only cost me an additional $43.10 and we deemed it well worth it.

I am only buying loss leader sales at Top’s or buying the cheapest price on the things we need at Aldi’s, Sam’s Club, or Walmart. We are planning our meals around those items.

This morning we harvested 3 large tomatoes from the garden. We were going to have homemade pizza for dinner but I have changed my mind. We have many tomatoes to eat or can so we will have turkey club sandwiches for dinner. It has been nice that we haven’t had to buy tomatoes since our garden started producing.

Yesterday, I renewed my library card online and had them add the e-card feature so that I can get e-books, audio books, movies, TV shows, music, magazines, and newspapers online. They told me there is so many that I probably won’t have to come to the library ever again. That works perfectly for us because the library is up in the city so we will save gasoline and it will be handy because winter is coming. I love to read so once canning season is over, I will be doing a lot of that.

We get free checks from our bank because of the type of accounts we have. So I ordered them.

In a prior post, I told you how our magnifying glass broke(the handle) so we purchased a new one from Walmart. Hubby never threw the old one out and has been working on a few projects lately. He decided to super glue the handle so that I could put it in my desk in the kitchen(which I always work at) and I wouldn’t have to go to the office when I needed one to read those small print liquor and grocery rebate forms.

Hubby has been filling the cracks and crevices that might leak heat this winter.

We continue to save by watching how much electricity and natural gas we use. I am only washing one load of clothes a week and hanging most of them to dry.

My electric toothbrush was getting old and needed to be replaced. I had been watching for a good deal for couple of months now. I had found nothing until I found this one: It was on sale for one day only last week for $ 24.95.

I ordered 96 Green Mountain Decaf K cups for Hubby at Amazon. When they arrived yesterday I was aggravated because they sent light caffeinated cups instead. Hubby cannot have caffeine and since they were $63.96, I tried to do a return. The system told me that I couldn’t do a return online that I had to call their customer service. I did and I explained the issue to the representative. They had no replacement in stock to send me. So they credited me the $ 63.96 and told me that I did not have to return the product. I could keep it, donate it, or throw it out. She sent me an e-mail with all of that info in it. I was thrilled because I drink caffeinated coffee.

I filled our SUV up with gasoline yesterday using Top’s points that allowed me to get $ .60 off per gallon. So instead of paying $ 3.99 per gallon, I paid $ 3.39 per gallon. That is still double what we were paying when Pres. Biden closed the pipeline on the first day he took office. So I was not celebrating. But the gas points help a bit.

I did all my errands for the week yesterday. I am trying to only do that one day a week every week.

We had two days of rain last week and it is raining today which is saving us from running the sprinkler system. We still have to water the flower pots on our porch but I am using warm up water for those.

That is about it for now. What did you do frugally the past two weeks?

Every Day

Leftovers: No Waste

We had some leftovers from having company. So I decided to make chicken soup yesterday. I had the rotisserie chicken that I purchased on Tuesday so I used some of that meat. I diced up some fresh celery and planned on using dehydrated carrots. The carrots were a problem. More about that in a minute. I had no fresh carrots so I resorted to using a small can of sliced carrots. I also had 3 leftover cooked corn on the cob. I cut the corn off. I also had a small container of cooked wild rice. I added all of those things along with some leftover chicken stock that was in the fridge. Within 20 minutes, I had a nice small pot of soup.

These are the dehydrated carrots that I opened to use in the soup. It was a brand new #10 can of Augason Farms Carrots that I just purchased this month. The expiration date was 2047. I know the quality of food has gone down the tubes but this is ridiculous. I have no idea what all the brown and white pieces that are in it even are. So this is being returned to Amazon and they re refunding my money. It makes me very nervous about other dehydrated food that I have purchased that is Augason Farms. I haven’t had a problem before but I doubt I will buy other cans from them. I will be opening sooner rather than later the other ones I own.

I threw the carcass from the rotisserie chicken along with water in the crock pot yesterday and made chicken bone broth. As you can see I got a half gallon jar and a little over half of another one. Since the pot of soup needs to be added to tonight for our dinner, I will use up the broth that has the chicken bits from the carcass in it. The other jar will be used in various dishes.

We also had leftover hamburgers, pork tenderloin, blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins, broccoli, and cold cuts. The hamburgers were used for cheeseburgers this week that we topped with delicious tomatoes from our garden. The hoisin pork tenderloin that Hubby marinated and grilled was used for a dinner with applesauce and the broccoli and a pork sandwich for Hubby for a lunch. The muffins and pancakes we have been enjoying for breakfasts. And for brunch today, the cold cuts will be put on our Chef’s salads.

We are trying our best to not waste anything. Food is way too expensive to do that! If we can’t incorporate it into a meal right away, I freeze leftovers in a gallon bag and use it for soup or stew.

Every Day

When Dollar Tree No Longer Became a Dollar, I Checked Other Places for Dollar Items

Now my favorite place for dollar and under items is Walmart. Since I am a Walmart Plus customer, I can have them delivered also.

I know that a lot of people are having a hard time paying for food right now. So I am hoping this list will help someone.

What I paid for each item:

Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix – $ .47

Jiffy Blueberry Muffin Mix – $ .79

Jiffy Pie Crust Mix – $ .79

Birthday Candles – $ .75

Great Value Light Greek Yogurt – $ .64

Rice, 16 oz. bag -$ .76

Beef Stew Seasoning Mix – $ .88

Ranch Dressing Mix – $ .48

Pork Roast Seasoning Mix – $ .96

Lemon Juice – $ .92

1 lb. of Spaghetti – $ .92

1 lb. of Fettuccine – $ .92

Scalloped Potatoes – $ .98

Mashed Potatoes Original – $ 1.00

Au Gratin Potatoes – $ .98

Turkey Stuffing Mix – $ .88

Tomato Paste – $ .76

Italian Seasoning Spice – $ .98

Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes – $ .78

Taco Seasoning Mix – $ .88

Chicken Gravy Mix – $ .74

Brown Gravy Mix – $ .40

All of the bottled spices were $ 1.00 each

Macaroni & Cheese, Thick and Creamy – $ .43

Strawberry Cake Mix – $ 1.00

Yellow Cake Mix – $ 1.00

Croutons – $ .98

And in my haste this morning, I forgot to put some items I got in the picture. They are:

Great Value Sauerkraut 14.5 oz. can – $ .96

Great Value Refried Beans 16 oz. can $ .92

Great Value Cream of Chicken Soup – $ .92

Great Value Brown Sugar Hickory Baked Beans 15 oz. can -$ .98

Every Day

I Got Another Utility Bill

Our August natural gas and electricity bill came on Monday. I was very nervous about this bill because so many people online were telling about how their bill had almost doubled.

I was thrilled when I got it. The total was $126.80 for 29 days. We used 5 ccf’s of natural gas which was cooking and 594 kwh for electricity which was for everything else.

Our August 2021 bill was $ 125.01. That month we used 775 KWH and 3 ccf’s of natural gas.

So our current bill was $ 1.79 higher than last years. But not bad considering how rates and supply and delivery have gone up.

As you can see we kept our kwh’s way down but ccf’s were a lot higher. But for this time of year 5 ccf’s are not bad. I believe I used the stove top more often. I will try to get that down this month.

These are the things we have been doing to keep our usage down:

Our A/C is set at 75. On the days that are cooler, we turn it off.

We only run the dishwasher and washing machine with very full loads. I use cold water for washing clothes except if I have a really dirty load. Then I use warm. I only use the regular wash on the dishwasher. The cycle is shorter.

We wear our outer clothes for about 2 days if they don’t get soiled. Being retired we don’t get very dirty.

We use LED bulbs inside and outside our home.

I dry our clothes by hanging them for the most part. I do use the dryer for towels and sheets. In the dryer, I use wool balls to cut the drying time down.

We try to use our grill and small appliances for our meals. If we use the crock pot, I put it outside on the patio so as to not heat up our home.

In the summer, we grill outside and make sandwiches and salads a lot.

I get all of my meat for the week out of our chest freezer on Sundays and put it in the refrigerator. That way the freezer only gets opened once for weekly meals. When I open the refrigerator, I quickly get out what I need. I don’t keep the door open browsing.

I turn off and unplug my computer when I am not using it. We only have the TV on when we are watching it. If we leave the room, it gets turned off. We don’t leave it on for noise.

My chest freezer saves us more energy than an upright. I have to defrost mine but it saves more energy than a frost free one.

We have a thermostat set automatically so that we can lower the heat at night in the winter an hour before we go to bed. Then it goes back up at a set time in the morning.

We do not use any lights or lamps during daylight hours.

We keep our energy saving shades down on sunny windows in the summer and we open them to let the sun in during the winter.

We have kept our heat on at 72 during the winter but this year I plan on lowering that number. Hubby will just have to layer up.

When we cook on top of the stove, we keep covers on pots and pans. Things cook faster especially when boiling water and it keeps the stove top cleaner.

We put a little water in the sink to wash veggies and fruits. We do the same with any pots or pans that we are washing. We never waste hot water by just letting it run down the sink. If I need to warm up water, I catch it in a bowl or pot to water our garden or flowers.

We turn off the water, after we wet the brush while brushing our teeth. Hubby turns it off while he is shaving.

The water softener is set to only run twice a week.

I catch water in a bucket when warming up shower water. We use it to clean with or flush a toilet.

I know there are many other things we do but I am drawing a blank right now so I will end it here.

What do you do to save on your utility bills?

Every Day

A Little of This and a Little of That

My company has left to go home. So I did my grocery shopping for the week at Top’s. There was not much that interested me this week. I opened the large pack of chicken legs to food saver them. Then I realized that I hadn’t taken a picture for you. The chicken legs were on loss leader for $ 1.19 a lb. This was 4 meals worth for us. We use the air fryer to cook them and then add heated Frank’s Hot Sauce mixed with butter to coat them. They have more meat than wings and these are cheaper for our football game meals this Fall.

They had rotisserie chickens on sale for $ 5.99 with a super coupon. Whole uncooked chickens were also on sale this week. However, this was already cooked and I don’t have to turn on my rotisserie oven and make the rub to cook it. I have a busy week so this suffices. I will take all of the meat off of it and freeze it into portions for future meals. Tonight, I will put the carcass in the crock pot overnight to make chicken bone broth. I may make soup this week or next.

The last thing I purchased was 2 sirloin steaks for $ 4.99 a lb. That is all I can fit in my little freezer. I am seriously considering purchasing another small freezer. Beef prices are down(at least for a while) because farmers culled many of their herds because they couldn’t afford to feed them. I will make a decision soon.

We really had a great relaxing time with our company. We only went to a party that we go to annually where a friend smokes briskets, pork bellies and this year she did peppers with cheese and bacon wrapped around them. They were delicious! She invited our extended family which we really appreciated! It was a lot of fun! The rest of the time, I cooked 3 meals a day and Hubby did all of the grilling. I am exhausted. But it was all worth it.

Food prices have risen so high that there are many things that I am just not purchasing any more. If they aren’t on loss leader and we can go without them, we do. I substitute many things. We are eating more salads this summer and we will be making more soups this fall. They are easy and cheaper to make especially the soups. We are making more salad dressings and condiments. We have a bread machine so we make breads. I do have some bread dough in the freezer that needs to be used up by baking it in the oven. But I won’t do that until the A/C has been off for the season.

We are eating leftovers for a few days because I refuse to waste them. So we have hamburgers, some pork tenderloin, cold cuts, wild rice, broccoli, corn on the cob, blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes to use up. I won’t cook until they are gone. Then I will cook a meal that will last us 2-3 days. This is how I am keeping my utility bills down. More on that tomorrow.

Are you getting any good deals this week?

Every Day

Frugal Things The Past 10 Days

We signed up for a free year of Peacock TV compliments of our cable company. I watched the movie “Downton Abbey: A New Era”. I didn’t want to pay to see it at the theater so this worked out perfectly. So check your cable company and see if they offer any kind of a deal like this. Of course you know I will cancel it before they renew me. We also watched all four seasons of “Yellowstone”. We are anxious for the new season.

We water our tomatoes and flowers every other day. There have been a few days of rain recently when we didn’t have to which saves on our water bill. We have had at least one tomato a day for either lunch or dinner. They are so good this year. Some of the flowers get cut and brought into the house.

My B.J.’s membership that I got for $25. for one year is expiring on August 30. I noticed that they had me set up to automatically renew. I will be cancelling before then. I don’t need it now that I purchased a membership to Sam’s Club for $4.99 for one year.

Beef tips are one of my favorite meals. I had a bag of filet mignon trimmings in the freezer. I took it out and threw it in the crockpot along with the other ingredients. When it got thawed, I pulled the pieces out to see if they needed to be cut up into smaller chunks. I was amazed to see that the trimmings were mostly grizzle and fat. Every time we have bought a whole tenderloin, there was always plenty of meat on the trimmings. Not this time! So I got the little bit of meat off that I could and threw all of the rest out. But I was not going to be defeated. I poured all of the ingredients into a quart mason jar and put in the fridge. I have since made beef stew and it made 4 meals to eat right away plus another 4 meals I froze.

This weekend will be clean out the refrigerator meals. If it isn’t in the fridge, it isn’t getting served. I cooked up a pound of bacon so that we can have BLT salads. We had leftover spaghetti. So I cut it into pieces and froze it for soup. Blueberries that haven’t been eaten will be frozen. Cold cuts will be finished in wraps.

There was nothing at Aldi’s this past week that I wanted or needed. At Top’s they had Oscar Mayer Bacon on sale for B1G1F. I got 2. I also picked up some romaine lettuce. There was nothing else that interested me.

One of our gasoline cans was leaking when Hubby was filling up the mower. He looked at it and realized that it did not have a gasket. So he purchased one and repaired it. It works just fine now.

As I am clearing the clutter out our home, I am making a pile of books and other things to sell. We have an entire cabinet of frugality books, cookbooks, and bins of things we are not using. Time to get rid of them all!

Hubby changed all of the 9 volts in our smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. There is nothing that annoys me more than getting woken up in the middle of the night with them chirping.

One of the connectors on our hose broke. Hubby found another one in the garage and replaced it. Now I can wash our SUV today.

We have been enjoying sitting on our patio. The trees that we planted 12 years ago are giving us great shade now. Between those and the large patio umbrella we got for one end of the patio, we can be in the shade all day.

The heat wave has finally broken here so we are down in the high 70’s during the day. We turned the A/C off a few days ago. We keep the shades and blinds closed on the sunny windows so the house has stayed at 72. At night, we open the windows to cool the house off.

We thoroughly enjoyed watching our Buffalo Bills play their first preseason game yesterday. We won. It was tough going because our coach played our second and third strings against the Colts first string. But that way the coach could get a better idea of who is staying and who will get cut. Plus we don’t risk the chance of anyone on our first string getting injured.

We are having company stay with us this week and next so I don’t know when I will be posting again. Hubby is excited that he is going to see his sister and brother-in-law who live in Texas. Since they have sold their summer home on a lake in the Adirondacks, they don’t know if or when they might get back this way. So we are going to thoroughly enjoy their company while they are here. Hubby does not fly anymore so I doubt that we will go to Texas.

How have you been saving money recently?

Every Day

Meat Deal, Etc.

This morning I headed out early to run all of my errands for this week in a circle to save on gasoline. Before I left, I put a beef stew into the crockpot. While I was defrosting my chest freezer yesterday, I found an eye round roast that I cut up for the stew beef.

My first stop was Top’s. They had the top sirloin steaks on sale again for B1G1F. I purchased 6 that I hope will get us through the grilling season. Plus it was Senior Discount day so I got an additional 6% off.

I also purchased 5 Old Spice bodywash for Hubby. It’s his favorite and he is using his last one. I had a digital coupon for $5.00 off 3. They were on sale and if you bought 5, you got 200 Gasoline Points plus the 6% off. So I was not passing that up.

My next stop was Runnings. They advertised regular jar canning lids on sale for $ 3.99. However, there were none left. I should have gone on the first day of the sale but I didn’t want to make two trips to do errands this week. Fortunately, I have enough lids for this year.

Next stop was at Walmart to pick up paper napkins, paper plates, and eggs. I compared them to Sam’s Club prices and those things are cheaper at Walmart. I was planning on getting a 60 ct. box which were $ 3.09 a dozen. But I spotted 1 dozen for $ 2.95 so I got 1 dozen instead. I had 2 and 1/2 dozen in my fridge before I got these. We go through a lot of eggs. I eat 2 every day along with some kind of meat for brunch and Hubby loves egg salad on crackers. I used a Walmart gift card to pay for these items. I got the gift card through Fetch.

Next stop was a dozen bagels at Panera Bread. Hubby has been asking for them. I don’t eat them so most of them will be frozen to pull out when he wants one. The price has gone up from $6.99 to $ 7.49 but it is still a great Tuesday deal. The best part was that I still had money on three of the Panera Bread gift cards that I got on a discount 3 or 4 years ago. They will keep Hubby happy with bagels for a long time.

My last stop was at Rite Aid to pick up two prescriptions. I used the drive thru so that I wouldn’t be tempted to browse the store.

I have only been buying meat when I see a great sale price. These steaks are delicious. I also always browse the marked down meat. Top’s had none. Being Senior Citizen Discount Day, they probably went earlier than I got there.

Walmart’s marked down meat was a joke! They had a lot of it but it was mostly on beef and pork chops. The highest markdown I saw was $.61 on meat that was expiring tomorrow. No thank you!

We will probably be eating beef stew for the rest of the week. The roast was about 5 that is a lot of meat. I added fresh carrots, celery, and onions. I used the 32 oz. jar of beef broth, seasonings, and onions that I rescued when I tried to make beef tips on Sunday from filet mignon trimmings. When I pulled the trimmings out of the freezer, it looked like there was quite a bit of meat on them because it was frozen up in a bag in a ball. After an hour or so of cooking it, I took the ball out to chunk it up and found there was hardly any meat….just three small pieces. So I put all of the stock, onions, and seasoning into a jar and put it in the fridge. I will add fresh potatoes about an hour before the stew is done. Otherwise they turn to mush.

Did you get any great deals this week?