Every Day

Rounded Out My Week With Some Grocery Hauls

This was my Top’s haul this week. The toothpaste and mushrooms were on sale for $ 1.00 each. The bacon was on sale with a super coupon for $3.99. The Ben’s rice were $2.50 each. The Crystal Light were $ 3.49 each. The whipped cream cheese were $4.49 each. The Tim Horton’s Decaf was on sale for $ 6.49. The coconut milk was $ 2.99. The 1/2 gallon of Half and Half was $5.99. Lastly, the shrimp was on sale for $ 8.49. I had a Top’s $5.00 off coupon. The OOP total was $ 47.91.

This was not one of my best hauls but I am going to be tied up with some things for Hubby for 6 weeks very soon. Don’t worry, I will have time to blog. So I needed some things that would be time savers for me like the rice and Crystal Light. I won’t have to make iced tea nor fuss making rice.

The same goes for this Aldi’s haul. I needed some easy things. The tomato sauce were $ .43 each. The Asian stir fry sauces were $ 2.49 each. The applesauce were $ 2.95 each. I have been using a lot of applesauce as an egg replacer in baking. So my stockpile needed some more. Raisins are one of Hubby’s favorite treats. They were $ 3.89 each. The ranch dressing was $ 1.95. The total for all was $ 27.31.

My last stop was at Niagara Produce. I purchased two more extra large eggs at $ 1.99 each. I also got another whole beef tenderloin cut into filet mignons. The total for all was $74.00. When I brought the tenderloin home last week, Hubby asked why I didn’t buy 2 of them cut into filet mignons. I told him if they were still on sale this week, I would get another. Sure enough they were.

We did make a large purchase this week for something for the house. It was expensive but it will save us a lot of money in the long run. It has arrived and son and Hubby will install it tomorrow. But more about that next week.

Did you save any money on groceries this week?

Every Day

Saving Money Recently

We did a few things last week to save some money. Instead of putting our deposit bottles in our recyclable can like most of my friends and neighbors do, I returned them to Fast Cash to get my $.05 per bottle or can back. Hubby had not taken them back since early autumn. I needed them out of the garage, so I took them. This trip I redeemed them for $ 7.70. I have been saving up this money in a separate envelope for a purpose. It got used today to pay for our tire change over from our snows to our regular tires. The cost was $ 80.00. Needless to say I had over 4 years worth of return money. I could have used any of our money to pay for this but it just felt good to reach the goal that I had for the bottle return money I kept in a labeled jar.

On Friday morning we had our scheduled appointment with the town assessor. Hubby, I think did a great job of stating our case for a lower assessment. The assessor now gets to decide. She said that we will get notification the beginning of May. If we are not happy with her decision, then we can go to grievance day. Our fingers are crossed.

Breakfast, on Friday morning, was a grilled ham and cheese sandwich which I made when we got home from our appointment. The ham was from my leftover Christmas ham. It had been thin sliced with my meat slicer and frozen.

Dinner was a sheet pan meal of chicken legs( sale price $ .89 lb.) and vegetables from produce that I got on sale that needed to be used up: Onions, multi colored peppers, and one Yukon gold potato. Everything was roasted in the toaster oven.

Every morning, the minute it turns light out the one light that I was using in my kitchen is turned off. I do my best to not waste electricity or natural gas.

On Saturday, I spent some time making a plan to reorganize my freezers. Then I did a load of wash. When that had been folded, we took the rest of the day off.

Sunday, we watched the golf tournament on TV. I puttered around here and made taco salads for dinner. The rest of the day I spent reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I do this every year to refresh my memory.

This morning I made my grocery lists for the week. There again is nothing that I need at Aldi. I will got to Niagara Produce and possibly Top’s.

Then I rearranged my chest freezer and I now have only meat and fish in it. Each kind of meat and fish are in their own separate reusable grocery bag. The oldest meats and fish are on the top of each bag with the newest on the bottom. The bags easily pull out to get to the ones on the bottom of the freezer. All of my frozen vegetables and fruits are in an upstairs freezer drawer. I have a small amount of breakfast sausage and bacon in there too so that it is easy to pull out to defrost for all of our breakfasts, especially the Sunday ones with family. The rest of the freezer space holds shredded cheeses. While I was doing this, I pulled out that turkey casserole that I made and froze after Easter. We will bake that in the toaster oven for tomorrow night’s dinner.

Tonight’s dinner will be hotdogs with our choice of toppings. I want homemade chili and cheese melted on top of mine. Hubby has his choice of many things. We have not had hot dogs in a long time. I will slice up some tomatoes on a plate. They need to be used up.

We got our electric and gas natural bill this past Friday. We were pleasantly surprised. Our bill was $ 50.86 less than last year’s. This year’s was $181.55. Last year’s was $232.41. It has been a little warmer during this period. The average temp this year was 46 degrees vs. 43 last year. We only used 454 KWH and 84 ccf’s. Last Year’s usage was 513 KWH and 113 ccf’s. The current bill was for 30 days and last year’s was for 34 days. We are hoping to be able to turn the heat off soon. It has been really cold the past week or so.

What have you been doing to save a little money?

Every Day

Little Things That Save Money

Every week I cook up a pound of bacon. With the help of my utility company I have found out that it is just as cheap to cook it in a skillet on my natural gas stove than it is to cook it in an electric fry pan. So yesterday morning, I chose to use this skillet. I cook it until it is almost the way we eat it. That way we have a couple of strips with our eggs every morning without overcooking it in the microwave to reheat it. A few seconds is all it needs. I have given up cooking it on a sheet pan in my big oven. It takes way too much energy and time. I do save the bacon grease to cook or flavor other items. Strain it into a clean reused salsa or pickle jar. Our ancestors wasted nothing and neither do we.

We use very few paper towels every year. The only time we use them is to drain bacon. I use just one paper towel folded over on the bottom and then one on the top. When I am done draining it and put it away in the fridge for the week, I reuse those paper towels to wipe out the little bit of grease that is left in the pan after straining it into the jar. Never let any grease go down your kitchen sink drain. It will clog your pipes and cost you a fortune for a plumber to unclog them. I am amazed at the people that don’t know this.

We haven’t gotten newspaper delivery in a very long time. But I used to use a sheet of newspaper with one paper towel on it instead of dirtying a plate to drain bacon. Paper bags worked well too. Once in a while, my Walmart grocery delivery comes in a paper bag. So I have started saving them for this purpose.

In place of paper towels, we use microfiber cloths or rags that we use over and over again for everything else. I wash them in our washer and hang them to dry. Never put the microfiber cloths in the dryer. It will destroy them because they are made of polyester which is plastic and they won’t work the way they should. A package of 12 Bounty double rolls will cost me $ 22.18 that I have to buy over and over again. I would much rather buy some good quality microfiber cloths that I will get years of use out of than throw my money away on paper towels. We use less than 1 roll a year.

After cooking all of that bacon, we enjoyed 2 eggs and 2 strips of bacon for breakfast. This is our go to breakfast most days. It’s Keto and keeps us full until dinner.

Today is garbage day. The above pictured bag is an example of how we use fewer tall kitchen garbage bags. This is an Amazon shipping bag. It is the perfect size to put in my kitchen garbage container. I don’t get one of these very often but when I do I save them for this purpose. However I will reuse any plastic bag( from large packages of toilet paper or paper towels, etc.) that a product comes in for my garbage.

Our state went to reusable bags for groceries the year before Covid. We knew it was coming for months so I saved every plastic bag from any kind of shopping for almost a year. I just put them in empty tissue boxes inside of a large shipping carton. I store them in the basement and just bring up a tissue box full when I need them. Even if they are small, they can be used for garbage and that will save money on buying kitchen garbage bags. I probably have a couple of years worth of bags right now.

Do you have any small things that you do to save a little money? Please share.

Every Day

Meat Stock Up, Etc.

Niagara Produce had extra large eggs on sale for $ 1.99 a dozen. Since I only had 2 dozen left in the refrigerator, I drove down there to get 2 dozen.

I figured while I was there, I would look for marked down meat. They had none. However they have a chalkboard in the butcher shop where they post all of their meat specials. I had looked at the ad before I went and determined that I needed none of the meat that was on sale. But when I checked the board, they had whole tenderloins on sale for $ 13.99 a lb. This deal had not been in the ad. That is a fantastic price for this area. So I had the butcher cut a whole one up into 1 and 1/2 inch filet mignon steaks. I also told him that I wanted the trimmings. The trimmings sometimes are very meaty and that meat I will use in a casserole or stew. Other times when they are not so meaty, I use them to make beef broth. The bag of trimmings are in the top left hand corner of the picture. The rest are the filets. I used my food saver to prepare them for the freezer. Hubby and I have been on the hunt for steaks for a few weeks. I am also keeping in mind that steaks will most likely go on sale around Memorial Day. However, I doubt that these tenderloins will get cheaper. But if they do, I will buy more.

These are Hubby and my favorite steaks to grill outside so I am happy to have a stash of them right now. It has been quite a while since we have had a filet. The total cost of the meat was $ 84.22. That is a hefty price for meat but I have been saving up my grocery budget money that I have not used for a number of months now. So when I can find a good sale, I have the money set aside to purchase some. We have other meats but not a lot of beef.

I have continued to work in the basement cleaning and pitching or donating anything that we no longer want. I am only able to work for a couple of hours a day before my back and hip bother me. So it is getting done slow but sure.

We had a thunderstorm come through here the other night. The wind was the worst that I have ever heard. Our power went out for a few minutes and then came back on. The next morning while I was in the basement, I heard a whirring sound when the sump pump was trying to come on. I asked Hubby to go down to the basement and check it. He agreed that the pump motor was not working. We were not panicking because we have a back up but you don’t want to use that for long. Hubby said he would think about what else could be wrong with it. So after pondering it for a while, he decided to check the breaker. The breaker had not gone off. But he turned it off and back on anyhow. Then he took the pump plug from the original outlet and plugged it into the external outlet that he and my son had installed a couple of years ago. The pump turned on. So Hubby then unplugged it and put it back in the original outlet and the pump turned on. Problem solved. The power surge did something to it but now it seems to be working. We are checking it every day. I am so glad that we didn’t call our plumbing guy. That would have cost a few hundred dollars.

Lastly, talking about money: We are doing everything that we can possibly do to save money around here. Our everyday expenses have gone up like yours have. Food, clothing, outside property care, medical, homeowner, and car insurances, gasoline, gas and electric bills, etc. have taken quite a hike the last couple of years. As long as the Fed keeps hiking interest rates and the government keeps spending money they do not have, we will see massive increases in everything. We went through this with President Carter and President Obama but this is the worst I have ever seen. So get prepared.

I will be showing every little thing and big thing that we are doing to save money. The problem is that there are only so many big things and so many little things. But it all adds up!

I now feel well enough to blog more frequently. What are you doing to save money in these recession times?

Every Day

Frugal Things These Past Weeks

We have been using a lot more chicken in our meals these past few weeks. I had frozen these packages quite a while ago and cooked them all up recently. We ate chicken for a few days and then the rest were chunked up for future meals and refrozen. They are so easy to just throw in a stir fry with some fresh veggies and add a homemade sauce.

I have not been buying much beef with the exception of the 4 rib eyes steaks and lots of hamburger when I see it on sale which is not very often here. I had some beef roasts in the freezer which we used over the winter to make stew and to slice up for different meals. So our supply of beef is very low. I am expecting that beef prices will rise again but I am hoping that there will be some good sales around Memorial Day. So we have been eating down our freezer to make room for hamburger and steaks for grilling season. Meanwhile I have been watching the prices at many meat markets and supermarkets in our area.

We had a gas gauge on our grill that had broken so we never knew how much gas was in the tank. Hubby found one on sale finally and purchased it. Now we won’t be in the middle of cooking a meal and have the tank go empty.

We have decided to plant tomatoes again this year. It worked well for us and I didn’t have to buy any fresh tomatoes last season plus I was able to can a lot of them. I may do some herbs also.

Hubby has finished his research on the property assessments and I think we have a plan in place to make our case for a reduction.

Now that the main living space in my home is all spring cleaned, I will be working in our basement again. I am trying to get rid of anything we don’t need. No sense hanging onto things that we haven’t needed in a year.

While my son was visiting, he helped Hubby put the snowblower away in the shed. It only got used to do the sidewalk twice. Our plow guy did a great job on the driveway and we want to hire him again for next winter. He also helped Hubby get the grill out.

Our new beds are wonderful but they were hard to make because we had a chest at the foot of our king size bed before we got these new ones. The chest was still in place. So we would have to lay across the other bed to make the one we were doing. It was a real pain. Since I want things easy for us, my son and Hubby moved the chest to a guest bedroom. Now it is easy to make the beds.

We are making all of our own bread now with the exception that I purchased bread for this past weekend while we had company. Bread prices keep rising and I can make the little bit of bread that we use much cheaper.

As I use any food, I am putting thought into how I can buy it or use less so that the cost per meal is lower. I am doing the same for condiments. Can I buy them or make them cheaper?

We do not waste food. If we can’t eat something up before it goes bad, I freeze it. We have a lot of turkey leftovers. We will eat them all week until they are gone.

What are you doing to save some money?

Every Day

Happy Easter To Everyone

We hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend. As you can see I am all ready to get cooking today for tonight and our Easter dinner tomorrow night. My house is finally all Spring cleaned.

Yes, we even climbed to get to the top of these cupboards to clean up there. We have 9 ft. ceilings in the kitchen so it wasn’t easy. So much grease and dust. We use our fan on our stove all the time but we still seem to get grease up there. I am just so happy to be done with it.

One of the things Hubby did after he cleaned and polished the hardwood floors was to stick the corners of our rugs down. Both of us have almost fallen recently because the corners were starting to curl. I found sticky things on Amazon that are reusable and won’t damage our floors. They have taken care of the problem.

On Wednesday, I finally got to Top’s where I picked up some fresh asparagus, a jar of Hellman’s mayonnaise and some Ritz crackers that were all on sale. I also spent some time that day arranging a realtor to come out and assess our home and property for us. Hubby has set up an appointment to meet with the assessor before grievance day to discuss the assessment they sent us. Hubby and I have spent quite a bit of time researching the comparables they gave us. 99% of them are assessed thousands of dollars below us. There are only two of us who seem to be way out of whack. Anyhow, we will see how this goes with the assessor. If she won’t budge, then we will hire a professional to grieve it for us.

I will be baking a Keto cake today. We will be enjoying our rib eyes for dinner tonight. We are so excited that our son and granddaughter will arrive today.

Tomorrow, our other son, DIL, and West will join us for a turkey dinner. It will be so nice to have all of us together for a change. It has been a long time since that has happened.

So enjoy your celebrations with your families! I will be back next week.

Every Day

Grocery Hauls, Errands, Etc.

I was out most of the day yesterday running errands. I hadn’t been out in a very long time. I started my day when I left at 8:40am to go to a doctor’s appointment. That went well. The doctor had put me on a new medicine but being it is new, it was very expensive. However, I haven’t felt this good in about 5-6 years. He was pleased that it is working so well. He found me some samples in the office and told me when I get close to running out, to call the office. He said they always have samples hanging around and I can come in and get some more. That is a huge savings because the script is $90. OOP.

When I left there I stopped at B.J.’s for potstickers, triscuits, Frank’s hot sauce, a large block of aged cheddar cheese, and a fresh large bag of broccoli. Everything but the potstickers were for Easter weekend when our family will be here. That total came to $ 42.94. However these things were cheaper there than anywhere else along my route.

Next stop was Niagara Produce to pick up 4 rib eye steaks. They are for dinner the day my son and granddaughter arrive. It is supposed to be a nice day. My son will help Hubby get the grill out of the shed so that we can have our first grilled meal of the season. The steaks were $ 15.99 a lb. which was a huge splurge. They cost $ 53.40. I also got 1 lb. of shrimp for $ 8.99 and some tomatoes for $ 2.31 for a total bill of $ 64.70. I can justify the cost because it is cheaper than going out to dinner and I had quite a bit saved in my grocery budget because I have not purchased a lot over the past few months. We have been eating from our pantry and freezer.

The next stop was Walmart for 2 packs of Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer Signature Blend for Easter dinner. Hubby also needed some Crystal Light Peach Iced Tea. I got 3. He drinks this most of the time instead of soda. And I purchased a bag of baby potatoes. The total was $ 49.67.

Then I went to Aldi’s which is pictured above. The Keto ice cream was a splurge especially since I make my own Keto ice cream which I will be doing for dessert for Easter dinner for the 7 of us. I was out of peppers which I use in salads and stir fries. The mushrooms will be sauteed for the steaks on Friday night. The cheap bar of cheddar cheese will be shredded with my Kitchen Aid for meals next week. The rest of the meats and cubed cheeses will make a charcuterie board for when my family arrives on Friday. They will be hungry for lunch when they get here. This is easy to make for me. I am taking the lazy way out on Friday because there will a lot of cooking going on here on Saturday for our Easter dinner. My total for this store was $ 34.71.

Next I went and got gasoline using $. 20 off a gallon with gas points. My total was $ 32.80. I paid $ 3.26 a gallon after the gas points.

I had planned on going to Top’s also. However, there were no parking spaces to be had when I got there. I couldn’t figure out why it was so crowded until I realized that it was senior discount day and our kids in the area are on spring break so lots of parents have taken the week off plus they are Easter shopping. I could have hung around for a parking space but I figured the 6% off and the driving around was not worth my waste of gasoline or time.

So I drove to Rite Aid to pickup 3 cheap prescriptions which cost $ 20. total.

I had planned on getting our SUV washed too but it was raining when I was out so I will do that today along with going to Top’s in a few minutes when it isn’t so crowded.

I spent a lot yesterday but I got the best prices by going to different stores. I felt wonderful when I got home after all of that. I think perhaps all that exercise was good for me. Every stop was on my route coming back from the doctor’s so I didn’t waste gasoline.

However when I got home, I picked up the mail. We had a letter from the tax assessor with our 2023 assessment. They upped us another $66,000. In just the past two years my assessment has gone up by $137,000. This is getting ridiculous! So Hubby is doing the work to grieve it. I expected it should go down or at least stay the same because prices have dropped. UGH! So today, I will be making appointments to have realtors come and give me an estimate of what it is really worth. We estimate that we will be paying over $15,000. in school and property taxes this year. UGH!

So how is your week going?