Every Day

The Dreaded Utility Bill

Do you remember last month when I told you that I thought for sure that our next utility bill would be over $300.? Well I am sorry to say that I was correct. We received our electric and gas bill yesterday. For 34 days of service, the bill was $ 302.41.

This month we used 584 KWH’s of electricity and 156 ccf’s of natural gas. The average daily temperature during those 34 days was 32 degrees.

Last year for the same February billing, we used 563 KWH’s and 162 ccf’s of natural gas. So we used 21 KWH’s more of electricity and 6 ccf’s less in natural gas this year. Our bill last year was for 29 days and the average temperature was 23 degrees.

It is a good thing that temperatures were warmer this year. My bill last year was $ 257.83 for a much colder time period. This year’s bill was $44.58 more than last year. Can you just imagine what it would have been if we hadn’t had a warm spell?

To be perfectly honest, I am getting tired of these bill increases. We keep our heat at 68 during the day now and 62 at night. We are not heating 2 of the bedrooms and none of the basement. We have cloth snakes in front of the outside doors. I use small appliances to cook. Lights are off during the daytime and on at night only in the room or rooms that we are in. All lights are LED’s. We no longer use an electric blanket. I clean with cold water except for dishes. I have been doing my much needed spring cleaning this week and part of last and using a bucket of cold water to wash floors, etc. Computers and TV’s are turned off when we are not using them. I really don’t know what else to do to keep this bill down as low as possible. It’s getting very irritating.

Today, Hubby and I are going to run some errands. We have an ice storm coming in this afternoon and we could get up to 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice on trees and power lines. I am praying that we don’t lose power even though we pay an outrageous price for it. We don’t need to be without power for days.

We were supposed to have West for a few days this week because he is on winter break. However he is running a high fever so he is not coming. I am praying that he gets well soon.

Are you people frustrated with your power bills?

Every Day

Are There Foods That You Are No Longer Buying Because Their Prices Are Too High?

We have all suffered so many price increases in the past couple of years. When do we say enough is enough? I know I have had enough when it comes to a lot of food items. I just won’t buy them anymore.

For example, eggs were getting ridiculously high. The last time I purchased them, I had decided I would not buy them again until the price came down. I have a small stockpile of powered eggs that really taste pretty good. So once the 60 count of eggs that I bought were gone, we were going to dig into them. I also had many eggs frozen that we could use.

However I am noticing that all of a sudden, the prices are going down on a dozen. They are still 3 times higher here than they were in 2020 but if they continue to come down, I will consider purchasing them again. Someone asked me why they are coming down? I have two thoughts on that. One is that people weren’t buying them because the prices were too high. So supply and demand kicked in. The large stores starting lowering them because they weren’t selling them. The smaller stores followed them. The second is that they aren’t killing as many chickens as they were because of the “bird flu”. Who knows the truth?

But I am going with the stores weren’t selling them because the prices were too high. These large companies like Walmart, Kroger( who is about to become huge with the addition of Albertson’s), Trader Joe’s, Amazon, etc. are all about their profits. If they have to throw away eggs because they aren’t selling, they lose money.

I realize that these companies costs have gone up because of the oil pipelines being shut down, shipping costs going up, etc. But I don’t see the little wholesale guys profits rising as fast as these large corporations profits are. I really do have to wonder if we aren’t being price gouged on a lot of items. I also have to wonder if the Clinton administration hadn’t sent all of our manufacturing to China, would we be having these problems?

If supply and demand is kicking in on the eggs, shouldn’t that also work on other items? It always has before this. So perhaps we should just say no to items that we feel are too high to purchase anymore. If we stop buying them, perhaps they will lower those prices.

I am sure that all of you recently have said no to some food that has just become way too costly to buy. Perhaps we should do this more often.

We have given up junk food and soda(colored and flavored water). They have no nutritional value and the prices are outrageous.

I rarely buy red meat even though we love it. If a roast that I can slow cook is $4.99 a lb., I will buy it but it is much higher in price most of the time. We are eating more cost friendly chicken like breasts at $1.99 a lb. and drumsticks, thighs, and whole chickens at $.99 a lb. When they go that low, I stock my freezer. I also can chicken when I get a great deal! Pork is sometimes on sale so we will buy a little but not much. We are not big pork eaters with the exception of bacon. Bacon has come down a little bit from it’s high so I stock when I see a decent price. But it still needs to come down more. We are eating more rolls of pork cut into sausage patties. I got those on clearance for $ 1.49 a lb. at Aldi’s months ago. I bought 20 rolls. That helps with the cost of our Sunday breakfasts. I also canned a lot of ground beef when it was on sale for $2.99 a lb. over a year ago.

We no longer buy salmon or other fish that has risen too high in price. We have some in the freezer and will eat that.

I don’t buy canned soup. We still have some cream of chicken that I purchased over 2 years ago for casseroles. But most soups are cheap to make from scratch and that is what we do.

We buy the cheapest veggies and fruits on sale and in season. We can our own tomatoes from our garden.

There are so many more items that we don’t buy. Heavy whipping cream is no longer on our list because of the price. Half and Half is about to be gone too. We will use powered milk, Nestle Crema, evaporated milk and powdered creamer instead. If I needed butter, I would not be paying over $5. to $6. a lb. for it. Fortunately, I stocked up at Thanksgiving for $ 2.69 a lb. If we didn’t have the cheap butter, we would substitute our shelf stable coconut oil or ghee that we already have.

We also no longer buy paper napkins, paper towels, cleaning products, makeup or liquid soap. We have converted our soap at the sinks in the house to bar soap. We are using up what we already have.

I see so many people in my stores go to the meat counters, look at the prices, and then walk away. So I can’t be the only one doing this.

Most importantly, we are eating the proper portions of our food which is a huge savings by itself.

Please comment and let us know what you are no longer buying because of the prices. Are you going without or substituting something else?

Every Day

It’s Been A Long Time Since I Have Been Able To Be Here

Spending time flat on your back is not fun! That is what I have been doing since I last wrote. Sitting is the worst thing for my back and hip, so the doctor told me to stay flat or get up and walk around.

The day after I last posted, I was coming up the stairs from the basement and I had the worst pain in my back that felt like my back was collapsing. So between rest and painkillers, I have been taking it easy and trying to recover. I can’t lay around the rest of my life. I had planned on getting started on my Federal and State taxes last week but that thought went out of the window. Fortunately I have until April to do them.

I started to feel a little better the end of last week, so I took it really easy over the weekend and today I actually was able to go out for a quick grocery shop.

At Aldi’s, I purchased 2 lbs. of carrots , 2 Parmesan Crisps( for snacks), a large bag of pistachios, a bag of coleslaw, a head of cabbage, a cantaloupe, celery, a cucumber, and 3 peppers. I spent $ 19.36. We were in desperate need of fresh fruit and veggies after two weeks. The cashier charged me for 3 Parmesan crisps so I will have to get that straightened out the next time I go. When I first looked for the head of cabbage, I couldn’t find it. So I picked up the coleslaw mix. Then I found the cabbage head. But I decided to keep them both because I was running out of steam. The store was extremely hot and I was starving because I hadn’t had breakfast. I finally ate it about 12:45pm. The head of cabbage will keep for a long time so we will eat the coleslaw first. But it will be the last time we buy the coleslaw mix. We will get the head of cabbage while it is in season and shred it up with our attachment for our Kitchen Aid mixer. We do the carrots that way too.

At Top’s I got some items that were on sale. I got two Rao’s spaghetti sauce for $ 5.99 each and 4 Top’s shredded cheese(2 mozzarella and 2 taco blend). They were 4 for $9.00. Hubby and I love eating meatballs cooked in the sauce with mozzarella cheese melted on top. The taco cheese will go on our taco salads for dinner tonight. Hubby cooked enough for 2 nights last night.

Hubby has been a huge help to me the last couple of weeks. He has done most of the cooking and dishes. He has done all the errands that absolutely had to get done. He has been working on organizing the garage. He also has done a bit of cleaning and laundry. He even sewed some buttons on a shirt. I have done a little when I have been standing up but it takes a toll on me after a while. So as I continue to get better, I will be on here when I can. I best sign off now before my hip starts hurting.

What have you guys been doing frugally the last few weeks? I have missed you all.

I will catch up on comments a little later today.