Today is my grocery shopping day for this week. So I went first thing this morning to Aldi’s and got 6 nice avocados on sale for $ .69 each. I love when these are in season. Three when they ripen will be used for breakfasts and three be used to make guacamole which I will freeze in portions sizes.
At Top’s, I purchased coleslaw that Hubby had been begging for which cost $ 2.79. They had strawberries on a B1G1 free sale which were $5.99 for both minus a $1.00 DC = $ 4.99. They also had boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale for $ 1.99 a lb. which is the lowest price in our area. So I stocked on 15.34 lbs.( limit of 3 pkgs.) which cost $30.53. Top’s total was $ 38.51 and Aldi’s total was $ 4.14.
The chicken breasts will be cut lengthwise tomorrow. Some will be left as half breasts and others will be cut into chunks and tenderloins for fajitas and casseroles. I will use the foodsaver to put it in bags and freeze it.
In my spare time, I have been cleaning our storage bins in the basement. I started after New Year’s when I took the tree down. At that time I went through all of the ornaments that we weren’t using and boxed them up for my sons’ to go through and keep what they want. Then I started going though the other Christmas storage boxes when I was up to it. I am still working on them. I found these and about 20 other packs of guest towels and napkins all purchased at 90% off after many Christmases. I had forgotten them since we don’t do Christmas anymore. We usually go to my son’s who lives closer to us. Since we have plenty of regular napkins for an emergency, we are using these up. I don’t need to take up space to store them anymore.
I had eggs and bacon and Hubby had salami and cheese chunks for brunch this morning. Dinner tonight will be the leftovers from our turkey dinner.
I am off to do some more cleaning out of storage boxes.
I am up early today because I have a lot to do. It’s 4:20AM. I started thawing an 18 lb.+ turkey yesterday by soaking it in cold water in the sink. Before I went to bed last night, I put it in the refrigerator. When I got up this morning, I put it back in cold water in the sink so it can finish thawing. Then I will roast it in my convection oven for dinner. We will have mashed cauliflower and green beans with it.
Since we are not stuffing it, it will take less time to roast. The convection setting on my oven will save 25 % of the energy needed if I roasted it in the regular oven.
After dinner, I will take all of the meat off of the carcass for other meals. Some of the meat will be put into food saver bags and frozen for future meals. I will put all of the skin and bones into the crockpot to make turkey broth. That will simmer on low all night. We will eat leftovers on Monday night. Then on Tuesday, I will make a big pot of turkey soup. We will probably eat that for 3-4 nights. I paid $ .58 a lb. for this turkey before Thanksgiving. I am going o keep track of how many meals we get from it. It will be the cheapest protein we can eat.
Besides thawing the turkey yesterday, I ordered a Walmart grocery delivery. It has been cold and snowy here and I didn’t want to go out. We got a couple of bargains: a half gallon of milk- $ 1.72, 6 Great Value Naturally Hickory Smoked Bacon Thick Sliced, 24 oz. packages – $ 5.97 each or $ 3.98 a pound, a case of 12 cans of Great Value Premium Wild Caught Solid White Albacore Tuna in water, 5 oz.- $1.42 a can and a 60 count box of eggs- $ 19.98. The food total for this order was $ 81.56 including a $ 7.00 tip. Before I purchased the eggs, I contacted the store in my area that had a dozen eggs for $ 3.59 to see if they still had them and as I suspected they were all gone. You win some and you lose some. But I am glad I got them because there was a large fire at a huge commercial coup in Connecticut yesterday and I suspect that egg prices may rise because of it.
I refuse to give up bacon and eggs for the time being. They aren’t as cheap as they used to be but we only eat one egg each(about $.33 each) for brunch now and 1 strip of this thick bacon. I cook a bit more than that for Sunday breakfasts with my son and grandson because they eat more than we do plus my teenage grandson has a hollow leg. Even with the bacon it works out to cheap protein. This is the best price on thick bacon that I can find and it is delicious. It is not like Aldi’s bacon which works out to the same price but is so thin and transparent when you cook it. I find Hatfield to be just as bad. I don’t know what they are doing to Smithfield but it does not taste good to us anymore.
The tuna is cheap for Wild Caught and it is delicious. We stay stocked on that because Hubby loves it. I will be freezing some of the eggs.
I forgot to send this last night. So sorry! There will be another post later today.
We got 8 inches of snow yesterday so I did not go out today. Fortunately, our snowplow guy came last night and plowed the driveway. He is very reliable! Hubby and I are very pleased! Hubby snowblowed the sidewalk which is small and I shoveled the porch off. It is easy since I can just whisk it onto the seating area.
We finished up the portion of ham that I thawed for breakfast along with some scrambled eggs. One of the stores in my area has advertised that eggs are coming down in price to $ 3.59 a dozen. Not great but better than they have been. But I bet they will go quickly. I don’t need any right now plus I am not going out in the snow, ice, and cold to get them.
I spent my morning making a few telephone calls. One was a return that Amazon wouldn’t let me do online. So I called them and they told me not to return it. They said they can’t take this type of product back even though it was still sealed. So they said to donate it or throw it away. Since we couldn’t use it, I was happy to get an e-mail just 2 hours later from them stating that they had already processed the refund to my credit card.
I have been getting a bill every other day from a doctor’s office asking me to pay the balance which they say is a copay that I owe of $ 17.78. I don’t owe it and I let my doctor’s billing office know it. They were rude and told me they would have to investigate it. I said you will get back to me right? The rudest customer service rep. said, “No, you have to call us back. I said you guys make an error and I have to call you for the resolution. She said to me “It’s protocol.” Mind you I waited on hold when I called them for 35 minutes just to talk to them and I was not relishing having to do the same again. Two days later I get another bill telling me to pay it asap.
They rebilled an office appointment and EKG from 2019. Yup, over 3 years later! They say they didn’t charge enough for the bill so they re-billed it which they did in December 2022 and received more money from Medicare the beginning of January 2023. However, I had received no statement from Medicare or my secondary insurance on the rebilling. Bottom line is I don’t owe it because I paid the co-pay of the original bill 2 days after I received it in November of 2019 and I have a copy of the check and the next bill after I paid showing the payment. They don’t get to collect a second co-pay on the same claim. So I was curious, if my secondary insurance company had gotten the claim. I called them and they were not happy that the doctor’s office billing rep was so rude. They said they have not gotten any information on it yet from Medicare of the claim or their payment on it. So as soon as they get it, they will investigate the claim and decide whether they will pay it or not. They told me to set aside every bill from the doctor’s office because they agree I do not owe a second co-pay on a rebilled claim. They can’t charge me one and when the claim is resolved, they will let the doctor’s office know that and will send me the paperwork showing I owe nothing. I believe the billing office knows that and I’m being harassed. I am in my mid seventies and they think I will just not notice and pay it before the claim is complete! I am not that stupid. They can send me bills everyday. I will use them for scrap pads. UGH! I get so tired of incompetent billing offices. So moral of this story: Scrutinize your medical bills and know your benefits and how they work. Don’t pay what you don’t owe. I know it is a pain to get them straightened out but I am not paying them one penny that I don’t owe. To do this you need to keep good records also.
This afternoon, Hubby and I watched a favorite video that we both love. It’s called Lumnah Acres. It’s relaxing.
We finally got our last 1099 today so that I can make out our 2022 taxes. I may have to disappear for a couple of days soon to concentrate on doing them. They are very complicated this year.
Hubby found a Keto macaroni recipe that he wants to make to see if we like it. I checked the ingredients and we had them all.
Dinner tonight was lean cheeseburgers in lettuce wraps with sauteed in butter onions and dried mushrooms that I soaked and then sauteed in butter. I get my dried mushrooms at the Amish store. They have the cheapest prices on them. Snack tonight will again be strawberries with Zero sugar whipped topping.
What did you do today to save some money? We got exercise, cooked all our meals from scratch, got a refund, verified what I thought to save money on a billing, relaxed watching a free video on You tube.
Breakfast was eggs and ham that I froze from our Christmas ham. It was a nice change from bacon.
After taking care of some bills, I ran some errands. I picked up a prescription and a Dr. Scholl’s for Hubby. Then I filled up the SUV with gasoline since we only had 68 miles of gas left. I do not like to keep the tank that low in winter. I paid $ 3.35 per gallon since I had no gas points due to not grocery shopping much this month.
My last stop was at Top’s to pick up some sale items. I purchased celery for $2.00, 2 packages of strawberries on B1G1F or $ 5.99 for both, and a top round roast on sale for $4.99 a lb. costing $ 20.36. My total for all was $ 28.35.
Hubby goes through a lot of celery for snacks. He dips it in dill dip. We both love strawberries with SF whipped topping as a dessert. The roast was a great price for my area. I will roast it for dinner one night and the rest will be sliced on the meat slicer for cold cuts. I can’t buy roast beef cold cuts here for less than $13.99 a lb. I much prefer to save money by roasting my own.
When I got home, Hubby said he felt well enough to cut my hair today. He did a really nice job. I was very pleased! He even cleaned up all the hair that was everywhere on the rug in front of the sink in the kitchen. I will be coloring my hair at home this week. I have not been coloring my hair and it has grown in about 2-3 inches and is white. I don’t like it because it washes me out. I look way too pale. Not going to the salon will save us a fortune every year. Hubby is still going to the barber every 7 weeks. The barber cuts it very short each time. The barber with tip is only $16.00.
I had to do a load of clothes this afternoon because Hubby was running out of clothes. He doesn’t have too many that fit him right now and he doesn’t want to buy much until he is down to his goal weight. So I washed them on the eco cycle in cold water and hung some of them to dry. A few were permanent press so I dried them in the dryer on a medium heat using my wool laundry balls. They only took 25 minutes to dry.
Before I made dinner, Hubby and I watched 2 of the 3 FBI’s that were on last night. We may watch the other one after dinner.
We are having taco salads using ground turkey instead of ground beef for dinner. The ground turkey is much cheaper to buy than the ground beef that I buy and tastes delicious with hot and spicy taco seasoning. We put it on romaine lettuce, chopped fresh tomatoes, sliced red onion, diced black olives, and then top the meat with Mexican shredded cheese and sour cream.
Let’s start off with our January 2022 bill. It was a total of $ 234.54 for 30 days. We used 536KWH of electricity and 147 ccf’s of natural gas.
Now here is the one I got today: The January 2023 bill. It was a total of $ 285.16 for 29 days. We used 545KWH of electricity and 135 ccf’s of natural.
We used 9 more KWH of electricity this year and 12 less ccf’s of natural gas. However, today’s bill was $ 50.62 more than January 2022’s bill. That is a 22% increase in 1 year.
I fully expect that our next bill will be over $300. Yikes! What makes it even worse is that the bill was one less day this year. But I don’t know what I can do about it short of turning off the heat! In these temperatures we would freeze to death!
Over the years’ I have given you many tips on how to save money on your utility bills. I would really appreciate it if you could help give me some tips on what we can do to lower our bill.
What are you doing? Please comment and help me and everyone else.
I wanted something easy for dinner last night. I always keep a big bag of meatballs in my freezer. So I just put them in a microwave dish with some Rao’s spaghetti sauce and nuked them for dinner. We had a salad with it. We will eat the leftovers tonight(waste not want not).
Our son and grandson came for breakfast. My son helped my Hubby with a few things around here. My son also knew that I was in a lot of pain yesterday. But I had 4 prescriptions to pick up at Rite Aid that were needed. I had planned on getting them after they left. But instead he drove Hubby to the drugstore to get them. I was very thankful!
Hubby spent a bit of time yesterday cleaning out his dresser. He has lost so much weight that many things were way to big for him. He also had a pile of white T-shirts that he hasn’t worn in a long time. I will be cutting those up into rags. He found about 10 pairs of summer shorts and many sleep pants in a bottom drawer. He will try them on today. He suspects that they were there because they were too small. I will take a second look at all of it with him today. He will keep anything that is like new and fits now. He also found about 20 ties that he no longer wears. The ties and anything else that he doesn’t want or is too big will get donated this week.
He surprised me this morning when he got up and was wearing one of his sweaters that he hadn’t worn in 30 years. He looked great!
We got our bill for fertilizing our lawn this season. We were surprised that it only went up by $25. I can’t wait to get the natural gas and electric bill tomorrow. YIKES!
I had no bagged mozzarella to sprinkle on our meatballs tonight. But I had a block of mozzarella which I buy cheaper than the shredded. So Hubby grated it using the attachment for our Kitchen Aid mixer. Doing it this way eliminates the cellulose they put in the bagged shredded cheese.
We had snow today and it is still snowing here. I am hoping it stops so that I can get out to stock on some sale items tomorrow.
We both love shrimp. But the prices have been so high that I have stopped buying colossal($12.99) or large shrimp($9.99). When I found this 12 ounce package of raw medium on clearance for $ 5.72 a couple of weeks ago, I got one. We decided tonight to enjoy shrimp cocktails with a small side salad. We made our own cocktail sauce using ketchup and horseradish that we always have in the fridge.
First thing this morning, I thawed it in some cold water. It was raw so it needed to be deveined, cleaned, and had tails that needed to be removed. That was a pain but it was well worth doing the work myself. It only took me 1-2 minutes to cook it in the microwave so the energy cost was negligible. If the price goes up on the medium shrimp, we will just not buy it anymore.
There are so many things that I have stopped buying because the prices have risen too high. I haven’t bought coffee, soda, mayonnaise, any kind of plastic bags, aluminum foil, personal care products in weeks. I am making our coffee stretch by only having 2 cups a day. I was drinking 5. We have quit buying soda. We drink iced tea, hot tea, homemade cocoa, or lemon water. Sometimes, we just drink ice water with our meals. We are making our mayonnaise stretch by using less. We have some plastic bags and aluminum foil that I purchased before the prices went up. We have plenty of soap, lotion, body wash, shampoo, makeup, deodorant, floss and toothpaste. We are making them all last by using the minimum we can to do the job. We have quit using throw away razors or blades. We each have electric razors.
I am not buying any more paper towels. We are using rags for anything messy. I really appreciate my son, when he visited recently giving me a shirt that had a hole in it. I cut it up for rags. I am using cheap paper napkins to drain bacon which is basically what I used the paper towels for. The napkins are much cheaper than the paper towels.
We will be asking the dentist for two toothpastes and two flosses when we have cleanings.
We are making all of our own breading for meats, poultry, and fish from coconut and almond flour and one egg with a little cream mixed in. Then we either cook them in the air fryer or in a little avocado oil in the electric fry pan.
Tomorrow’s family breakfast will be scrambled eggs, bacon, and some sausage. My grandson does not like eggs but will eat pancakes. So I will be making him a stack from scratch. Since his 13th birthday was a couple of days ago, I will put a candle or two on the stack. We talked to him on his birthday and he was excited that my son had driven him to school instead of him going on the bus as usual. The reason he was excited is because he could ride in the front seat. He is almost 6 ft. tall and he couldn’t ride in the front seat until he was 13 years old. Yes, that is our nanny state. No height or weight requirement just age. Doesn’t make any sense to me!
We are cutting back on having bacon with our morning breakfasts. We have a lot of ham leftover in the freezer from when I cooked it after Christmas. We will be eating a slice of that fried up instead of bacon. Bacon is expensive so we will save what we have in the freezer for our family breakfasts.
Hubby and my son are going to be installing in the wall tomorrow the parts that Hubby purchased to hide the cords behind the TV on the wall. The only exception is that my son is giving us the HDMI 10 ft. cable that we need. I am so glad that this is getting done. I could not stand looking at the messy cords.
I am only doing one load of wash every 10 days or so now that all the bedding I am giving to my son and our other sheets are all done. It will be dried on racks and the shower rod.
What have you given up because it has gotten too expensive?
We all know that the cost of food, OTC medicines, and gasoline have rapidly accelerated over the past couple of years. I know that in 2021-2022 my food bill tripled. That is why I am really trying to bring it down this year. Only time will tell if that is possible. The same can be said for OTC medicines and that is after switching to store brands.
Gasoline prices have been going down but in my state on January 1, 2023, they went up by $ .16 per gallon. A lot of people wondered why. That is because on June 1, 2022, our governor( who was up for election in November) suspended that amount telling taxpayers that she was giving them a break until 2023. The media was applauding her when she did the break but you probably didn’t hear much about it going back on January 1st. There were whispers. However our gasoline per gallon here is almost double what it was over 2 years ago. All of these increases are very noticeable because they are consumables we use every day.
What I have been paying attention to beside those things are the things that are increasing year over year. Have you noticed those increases?
Our electric and natural gas bills have increased by $ 212.50 for the year ending 2022. The only reason that the increase has been that low is because I save on every bit of electricity and natural gas that I can every single day.
Our school and property taxes have increased by a total of $ 1751. in one year. The property increased by $ 753. and the school increased by $ 998.
Yesterday, we got our 2023 bill from the company who does our property maintenance from April until November. They weed, trim trees and bushes, etc. The bill is for $ 3240. The bill we paid for the same maintenance for 2022 was for $2386. That is an increase of $854. in one year or about 36%. They don’t mow the lawn. Hubby likes to sit on his John Deere. However, they will do it for an additional $ 1500. for the season. We will get another bill from this company shortly for 2023 for fertilizing the lawn. Well, we all know how short the supply of fertilizer is and how expensive it has become. You see that every day in the cost of your vegetables.
Our pest control service went up in one year from $140.40 quarterly to $ 169.88 quarterly which is an increase of $ 117.92 a year. They only come every three months.
We will also be getting our auto and homeowners insurance policy next month. Our auto insurance last year was $1,000. Our homeowners was $ 602. I expect they will both increase by a lot.
I will be reporting on these increases as they happen. Are you keeping track of yours?
We have no mortgage but as you can see the bills for the house have increased immensely. In just a few short months, the bills to maintain the house and taxes have gone up by $2935.42. That is not a small increase.
When you add in food and gasoline rising prices, it becomes astronomical.
If you are planning on retiring anytime soon, make sure you plan for increases in future years especially things that you will need to pay for that you are no longer able to do. We have been retired almost 22 and 1/2 years now and have been able to live well. But with prices rising as fast as they are, we have to tighten our belts where we can.
What is the most expensive foods we buy these days? If you said meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, you would be right. Proteins are so necessary for the Keto diet so that is why I am always looking for them on a great sale or at a reduced price.
I told you a couple of days ago that I organized my kitchen freezer drawers. They had gotten out of control. Something had gotten stuck in the bottom one so I had to empty the top one to be able to take some things out of the bottom to be able to open it.
The top drawer is above. I have a lot of steak, roasts, and a big bag of meatballs on the left hand side. The right side is full of hamburger, pepperoni, ground turkey, and many pork products: cooked ham packets, pork chops, a pork tenderloin, and sausages, both ground and links. There is also a small container of leftover glaze for the ham pieces. The steaks get eaten just as they are. The roasts get used for pot roast meals that I make in the crock pot or ground for hamburger. I have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the grinder attachment. When I can get roasts or a brisket cheaper than hamburger, that is when I grind my own. The meatballs get used in a myriad of ways: for spaghetti, for lasagna, or just eaten with some kind of sauce, etc. The meat in my kitchen freezer drawers gets eaten first before I dig into the chest freezer. There is only one exception and that is my turkeys. They are in the chest freezer and I will take one out when we are craving turkey. That will happen later this week. When the kitchen drawers start to get empty, I move a few weeks of proteins from the chest freezer to them. We always eat from these drawers first so I don’t have to worry about freezer burn.
This is the bottom drawer. On the left are a lot of frozen vegetables and 1 large bag of strawberries for desserts, and a lone bag of tortellini which will get used up soon in soup. On the right side is more ground turkey, some reduced price seasoned steak burgers and ground turkey(overflow from the first drawer so they don’t get stuck again), chicken breasts, a large bag of blueberries that need to get used in muffins, pancakes, or waffles, many packages of haddock, and an ice pack.
I have been shopping for so many years now that I pretty much know when some kind of protein is at a rock bottom price. Eggs haven’t been at rock bottom for about a year. The only thing I have been able to do on those is look for the best price when I shop and then I buy in quantity. I used to buy the 60 count at Walmart but I haven’t seen a good price in months. I also freeze eggs. Matter of fact, when I was cleaning out these drawers, I found a bunch of frozen ones. I have many in the chest freezer so I have decided to use these up. They are now thawed and will be eaten with the bacon I cooked yesterday for breakfasts this week. I don’t like to keep eggs frozen more than 3 months so I am always replacing the ones in both freezers.
January is always a good month to buy chicken. They go on sale because everyone is on diets. The same goes for fish. I have seen chicken breasts this month for $ 1.99 a lb., chicken thighs and whole chickens for $ .99 a lb., and chicken drumsticks for $ .79 a lb. When I am low on chicken, I have been known to buy 80-100 lbs. at these prices. Right now, I have plenty of chicken. Both shrimp and fish is also down in price. I have plenty of haddock from the last sale and I have been picking up shrimp here and there the last couple of months since the price went down.
The next month that you will see a good sale on steaks may be for Valentine’s Day. If you can find a great sale on a whole ribeye roast or a whole tenderloin that is the time to buy it and cut your own steaks. St. Patrick’s Day will bring a sale on corned beef. Pork is usually the cheapest from February to April but I have seen cheap prices for pork almost all of 2022. Easter will be hams and possibly turkey breasts. Then for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day you will see hamburgers and hot dogs on a great sale along with steaks. Lastly, you will see great prices for turkeys and hams for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The best prices you will get will be these times so stock up when that happens. That way you always have the cheapest meat and you won’t have to buy it until it goes on sale again.
I took some of the pork chops out of the freezer drawers to cook in the crock pot today. These pork chops were on sale a few months ago so I bought a bunch. They were tough when we cooked them in the toaster oven or air fryer. So cooking them in the crock pot with some kind of sauce will tenderize them and make them edible.
Many of you are able to get reduced price meat that is coming up to it’s sell buy date. I rarely am able to find any which makes me wonder if my stores are repackaging it. That is a scary thought! But for those of you with Kroger stores or other stores that do this, it is a great way to save money. If you use it or freeze it right away, it should be just fine. I have only once gotten bad meat on reduced price.
I saved the best for last. Use your proteins in proper portions. That will save you the most amount of money for a meal.
How do you save on buying meat, poultry, fish, and eggs these days? We would all love to see your tips in the comments.