Every Day

Stocking Up

The weather was so damp and wet on Monday that I didn’t go to Top’s until yesterday. I wanted the $ .99 a lb. chicken that was on sale. We are low on chicken so when I saw this price, I knew I had to stock up. They had no whole chickens left but I got 2 big packs of drumsticks and 1 big pack of thighs. The drumstick packages were $ 3.48 and $ 4.00 each. The thighs were $ 5.54. This is the cheapest meat we can get around here right now. I used my food saver to repackage it all. I put 4 drumsticks in each package and 2 thighs in each package. I ended up with 6 meals of drumsticks and 5 meals of thighs. At a total cost of $ 13.02 that works out to about $1.18 per meal for meat. By adding some cheap veggies, we have a meal for under $1.50 for the two of us.

I also picked up sour cream for $ 2.50 and some treats for Hotch when he comes to visit with my son and granddaughter. They were a total of $ 7.78.

So today I spent a total of $ 23.30.

I also wanted a 2 lb. container of fresh strawberries that were on sale and also had an E coupon. They would have been $ 4.99. However, they had none left. The produce person told me they sold out on Sunday(the first day of the ad). This was only Tuesday so I guess they didn’t get very many. Produce is being rationed in other markets in my area(including Aldi’s) so there must be a shortage.

Between the whole chickens and the strawberries being gone, it taught me a huge lesson. If there is something I want that is a great sale, I best get there in the first couple of hours on the first day. As much as I hate shopping on weekends, I will just have to do it.

Today, I will again be spring cleaning. I have planned taco salads to use up some older lettuce. Those will be easy because the cleaning will wear me out.

Are any of you seeing produce rationed at your markets?

Every Day

The Stress is Gone

My son was operated on at 10PM on Friday night. That was one day after I wrote to you last about it. Surgeries were stacked and the waiting was so stressful. The reason I was so worried is that he had never had an operation before so he had never been put out under general anesthesia.

I just wanted to let you know that everything went well and he is home recuperating.

Between that, the medical issues here and my spring cleaning, it has been very stressful especially because I am not at 100%. But I am doing the best I can.

However, I am slowly getting back into the swing of things. I actually have a small Walmart order coming this morning. It is so much easier for me to just order it and have it delivered. I ordered a lot of tissues( we both have spring colds now), Easter baskets and candy for the grandchildren, and soda and snacks for my family for Easter weekend.

For the first time in years, my entire family will be here for Easter dinner. I am so very excited. Plus I will be having fun putting the grandchildren’s baskets together. I realize they are both teenagers but they still love candy.

I plan on cooking the last turkey in the freezer that I bought for cheap at Thanksgiving for Easter dinner. That will give me more room in the freezer to stock on steaks around Memorial Day. There should be some good deals to be gotten.

The bedrooms are all neat and ready for my son and granddaughter who live in the Eastern part of NY. We have not seen them since a couple of days after Christmas. Way too long to go without seeing them. But it is hard for us to travel now and my son has a busy schedule with his business and his regular job. So we are going to have to rely on him coming here.

After my Walmart delivery comes, I am going to go to Top’s. I do have instacart so I could have it delivered but I like to pick out my own meat. They have a lot of chicken on sale this week for $ .99 a lb. So I am going to get a few big packs of it. We love chicken grilled outside in the nice weather. So I want to add to what I already have and get enough to get us through the summer. I spent some time going through the freezer yesterday to see how much I already have( we have been eating it since I took inventory and that has not been updated).

I wanted to let you know that since I am just getting back on my feet, I will only be posting 3 times a week. I believe that I can keep up with that. We’ll see.

Every Day

This Month’s Utility Bill

I am trying to keep my mind busy so that is why I am posting this tonight instead of tomorrow. My son, Sean has been admitted to the hospital with a huge gall stone. They need to remove his gall bladder asap. His surgery may be tonight, if not it will be tomorrow morning. They want to operate as soon as they can because of the size and they are worried about it moving. If it moves, he will need two surgeries. I have been praying for him and if any of you who read this would pray for him, I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

We got our monthly bill for electric and natural gas today. The bill was for 28 days. The bill was $ 256.09. Our KWH’s were 490. Our natural gas was 5 therms. Our average daily temperature for this period was 31.

Last year’s bill for the same time frame was $228.23. It was also for 5 therms of gas and for 485 KWH’s(just 5 less than the current bill). The average daily temperature was 32.

So as you can see these bills are almost identical except for the cost. The current bill is $ 27.86 more than last year. At the rate we are going, we will be paying approximately $360. more this entire year than last year.

The only good thing I can say about the utility bills is that it seems to be warming up here so perhaps we can turn our heat off in May.

Every Day

Frugal Things The Past Week

I hope everyone is expecting spring soon. It is going to be in the 50’s today and the next few days. That will be about 20 degrees warmer than it has been. I am planning on walking a short distance with Hubby today. Since he has lost so much weight, he has started to walk again. I am enjoying that. We used to walk a lot.

What have I been up to besides spring cleaning? Well, the spring cleaning is going well. It is slow but I am getting there. But besides that I have been neatening up and organizing my pantry. That has told me what I am low on and need to get. So when I find a good deal, I order what is needed.

Lately, there have been very few good deals at Walmart. I am finding that their prices are ridiculous. However, we needed tuna especially since the nice weather is coming and we will be eating a lot of salads. I am very fussy when it comes to tuna. When I was a kid, my mom sent me to school with a lot of tuna sandwiches. Hence, I wouldn’t eat tuna for years. It took Hubby a long time to convince me that tuna can be good. So this tuna is one that I will eat. It is delicious and healthy. When I saw it was just $1.58 a can, I ordered a dozen. That is a good price for here. I can get tuna a bit cheaper on sale elsewhere but I don’t like the ones that the other supermarkets carry.

We have been eating down our freezer and I am hoping to roast our last turkey that I purchased at Thanksgiving on sale sometime in the next few weeks. That will help to give me some more room. Plus I would like to defrost it again when it is not so full.

The other reasons for wanting to pretty much empty the freezer are: to use up things that are getting older so they don’t go to waste, to see what I actually need ( my inventory online has gotten out of hand while we have had so many medical issues), and to use up most of the frozen vegetables since fresh will be here in a few months. Plus meat is so expensive I want to use that valuable space for meat. Hamburger, hot dogs, chicken and steaks will be going on sale for Memorial Day. That week has some of the best sale prices that I can get on those things all year. This is the time of year that I also buy my ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauces. Even though it is only March, I am planning ahead because the end of May will be here before I know it.

What have you done to be frugal recently?

Every Day

Frugal Things That We Have Been Doing

It has been a rough few weeks around here. Between our health issues, doing the taxes, and trying to get this house spring cleaned, we have been busy. Once the house is all organized and cleaned, I will be hiring a cleaning service to come every other week. I am getting older and this is one of the things we saved for in retirement. It is just too much for me in this stage of life.

But we always have time to be frugal. Here are some of the things that we have been doing. I made a nice ranch chicken dinner in our Instant Pot for Valentine’s Day. It gave us two meals and saved us from spending money going out to eat. The only time we have not cooked is on Fridays and Ash Wednesday during Lent. We have a place less than a mile from us that has the best fish fries and French fries. The fish fries are huge and give us two meals. The French fries are our Keto cheat each week. I can’t buy the fish nor the fries in the market for the price that I can buy these meals for. I really don’t know how they make a profit.

Hubby has been taking back bags of bottles to Fast Cash to redeem the deposits. They have piled up over the winter. He has a few more to do the next time he goes out and they will be all caught up. Then we can clean the garage. The deposits have paid for a car wash. We have had so much snow and ice the past month that the car needed a bath to get the salt off.

I ran a bunch of errands all at once last week in the next town. I had a doctor’s appointment so while I was down there, I went to BJ’s for some fresh veggies. I have had a hard time finding good tomatoes in my markets. They are usually over ripe and don’t last but a day or two. BJ’s had some nice ones so got a few along with some other needed fresh veggies. I also stopped at the bank to cash a check and get my grocery money for the next few months. I filled up the car using my $ .20 off a gallon Top’s points.

With all the taxes that I finally finished this week, the laundry had really piled up. So I spent a day this week doing a few loads. I washed in cold water and used the drier to make it easier on myself. Of course I used my dryer balls to cut down on the the drying time.

We have been doing very little grocery shopping. We have been so busy that we have been eating up what is in our pantry, fridge, and freezer. I did get one Walmart grocery delivery in the past few weeks but it was only a $48. one that was for fresh things that we needed. I always go through Rakuten to get any rebates that they are offering. I also used about $ 4.+ in reward money for this order.

We finally got our auto and homeowner’s policies to pay. I was happy that they both ONLY went up under $100. each. From all the articles that I have been reading, I was expecting a huge increase.

While I have been cleaning, I have been throwing things away that we no longer need. Since, I do this a few times a year, there hasn’t been much. More clothes that are worn out and don’t fit than anything. I did put out one item that wasn’t good anymore for a large item trash pick up today.

When our new garbage company took over in January, they only had one day a month that you could put out a large item. I had to contact the town because we needed to get rid of the sleep number bed when we got the new ones. It was in pieces because that is how they come apart. We taped together as many pieces as we could but we had many piles. The town rep said they might take it but then again they might only take one pile. I complained since our last garbage company would take a large item every week. The thoughts of having to drag that sleep number bed back into the garage was a real issue for us. Bottom line the company took it all. But evidently, many people in town complained. We are paying a lot more in taxes this year for garbage pickup and the amount of items they will take has decreased. Well shortly after all of the complaints, the town sent out a mailer informing everyone that the garbage company would pick up 4 large items a month but only on one particular day a month. Better but not great. However the town also let us know, that for this year the company will pick up 6 barrels or bags of garbage a week just like the old company did. However in 2024, they will no longer do that. We will have to pay for 1 barrel that the company will provide and that is the only barrel they will pick up. We all have large lawns we mow and those clippings have to be bagged. One barrel a week is not going to cut it for us and if you have a family, you are screwed. Hubby and I don’t create much garbage most of the time but with bagging grass clippings and garbage it will not work. BTW, we are not allowed to take anything to the town dump. So when I get some free time, I am complaining to the town supervisor. They have really screwed this up. I would rather pay more for decent service than less for this crappy service. When we lived in AZ, we had three barrels: blue for recyclables, one for garbage, and one for yard waste which was called a green barrel. I want to give him the idea of seeing about us getting the green barrels. That would solve the problem.

I continue to prep our fresh veggies as soon as they come into our home. They take up less space in the fridge and they get all used up because I can see what we have.

Hubby fixed a pair of shoes with shoe goo.

We have been saving printer paper that we only used one side of to print off Hubby’s crossword puzzle from the online newspaper every morning.

We are doing some things around the house to make it easier for Hubby and I. He bought a new handheld shower sprayer hose that magnetically attaches to our shower. He got it all installed and found out it leaked like a sieve. Instead of returning it, he called Moen to complain. They sent us an upgraded one that cost $100. and sent it quickly. The rep said they had none of the other one in stock which only cost us $31.00. That is great customer service and Hubby has it installed and it is working perfectly. We have a built in bench in our shower( this was a builder upgrade which I am glad we ordered). This handheld sprayer makes it so much easier to sit on the bench and wash up.

We have also ordered these:

Hubby and I have almost tripped a number of times on the corners of our rugs that are on some of our hardwood floors. We wanted something that would hold the corners down without ruining our floors. These fit the bill and we got enough to do all 4 corners of all of our rugs. These were very reasonably priced and are working well.

I also purchased a handheld vacuum from QVC: I got it on sale for $99. plus I used Rakuten. I have been wanting one for a very long time. This one is perfect for what I need it for. We had a handheld one that I keep charged in the garage but we do the car and the garage with it plus it doesn’t have the attachments that this one does. This has been such a great help in cleaning up around here. So far I have used it to pick up crumbs off the tablecloth after we eat, and to vacuum out the lint trap on the washer, the cupboards in the kitchen, around the baseboards in the kitchen, to vacuum out kitchen drawers, etc. It also does a great job on stair carpeting. When I emptied the refrigerator recently to give it a good spring cleaning, I vacuumed up all the bits and pieces before I wiped the shelves and drawers down. It gets the crumbs off of the floor of my toaster oven. I have a drawer that pulls out and I can empty them every week and clean it but some always get underneath it. This makes it easy to get those. I am sure as I continue to clean each room, I will find more uses for it. I am actually keeping it in it’s charger on a kitchen counter so that it is always ready to use. That is how much I love it!

I got a $ 100. rebate that I used to purchase some of these things.

I am back exercising on the recumbent bike every day. I am also thinking about walking on the treadmill again too. My doctor says it will help with my arthritis.

Dinner this week has been salads, pork chops, a sheet pan meal with scallops and veggies, and tonight we will have meatballs with sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. Then tomorrow night we look forward to the fish fries. I pick them up and we have a nice quiet dinner at home.

We saw West and my son for breakfast last Sunday. We will not see them for a while because my son and his wife are leaving tomorrow for Poland to visit a friend. West’s other grandparents are taking care of West and the two dogs.

Well that is what we have been doing around here. What have you been up to?