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: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083HVBF27?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details
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: https://www.qvc.com/Shark-WANDVAC-Cordless-Handheld-Vacuum-with-Scrubbing-Brush.product.V46228.html?sc=PRODFEED 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?