Every Day

Happy Fourth of July Weekend

It looks like a long weekend ahead. I hope that you can all have a great time with your families. Stay safe, eat well, have fun!

Hubby and I will be staying home and indoors. The smoke from Canada came in with a vengeance overnight yesterday and is still here in Buffalo. It was so bad yesterday that you could see it at ground level and smell it. They hope it will go away about midnight tonight but won’t really know until it happens. I had to get a prescription my doctor ordered for me and you can bet I wore my N95 mask. Didn’t think I would ever have to wear them again. But I was very glad that I had it.

I have a very bad sinus infection and that is why you haven’t seen me posting on here. It started last week and the pressure from the pain kept getting continually worse. Finally I called my doctor on Tuesday. He was very concerned that I had Covid 19 but after a test, it was negative. So he determined it was a bad sinus infection. I am on a strong antibiotic for 10 days. I have been told to push fluids, take my medication and rest. If I don’t feel better in a few days, I am to call him. So I am following his orders because I want to be well.

But in the meantime, I will be working on a whole bunch of financial and frugal posts for you that I will post every couple of days after the 4th. I can type while I rest in between naps. Too many people need help and I will be here to tell you what I would do and what I will be doing in the future to try to stem the bleeding from this inflation. It is hurting all of us no matter what income group you fall in. Our wallets are getting lighter while the corporations are making billions.

So enjoy your holiday and I will see you soon!

Every Day

My Imperfections, etc.

Well, I just proved that I am not perfect again!

We got our natural gas and electric bill yesterday for the past month. Our meter reader did the reading this time. The total bill was $ 50.27.

Right away, I knew there was something wrong. In all the years that we have lived here, we have never had a bill that low. The electricity bill showed we only used 7 KWH for 33 days. The natural gas was only 14 ccf’s for 33 days. Since the meter reader read it, I knew it was correct. I also double checked the readings since we had only gotten home Tuesday afternoon and I knew there wouldn’t be much usage for 1 day.

I did the reading last month and submitted it. Evidently, I read it wrong. So I paid for most of this past month in that bill. The sun was shining on the dials and I remember coming into the house and telling Hubby that I thought I had read it right. I guess I didn’t. I even called my utility company to verify all of this. They agreed with me that I read it wrong for the prior bill. So again I prove that I am not perfect. But it sure is nice to have such a small bill this month. I will try not to make that mistake again.

Yesterday, I meant to put a few pictures up. A couple were of Alexa’s ice cream cake and one of the nice fire we had that evening. So for your viewing pleasure, here they are 🙂

Every Day

Our Celebrations and Vacation in the Adirondacks

On Friday morning we left on a 5 hour trip across our state to my son’s home in the Adirondacks. This was to celebrate my Granddaughter’s Sweet 16 Birthday and to celebrate Father’s Day for Hubby and my son.

For all of you who remember my granddaughter’s birth, when I first started blogging and how excited we were, yes she is 16 now and old enough to get her license. The time has flown and now she is a wonderful, smart, young woman. We love spending time with her and especially enjoyed celebrating this birthday.

I asked her a while ago where she would like to have her birthday dinner. At first she chose Red Robin. But then she changed her mind and wanted to go to Denny’s. So off we went that evening to Denny’s. We have not been in a Denny’s in years and they have sure changed. The food was delicious and the service was fantastic. We have one near our home and we don’t go there but we will consider it in the future. The bill including tip was $100. which I didn’t think was too bad for the 4 of us. She loved it and that is what was most important.

On Saturday night, we all went to Texas Roadhouse to celebrate Father’s Day. Hubby had never been to one. Even though it was very crowded the wait was not too long. My son used the app so we were able to wait in the car instead of in the crowded front of the restaurant. When they called us to come in to wait, we were bumped up to the front of the line and were seated pretty quickly.

Our steaks were so tender and so was the seasoned shrimp. My granddaughter was happy with her chicken tender dinner. With drinks, tax, and tip, dinner came to $177. for the 4 of us. However I had $150. worth of gift cards that I purchased for $120. last December on a deal at Top’s grocery store. So my OOP was only $27. But the true savings was $30. after purchasing the cards. Hubby loved the food and service which was excellent. He wants to go again. So the next time we visit my son, we will do that. I am hoping that Top’s will have that deal again this Christmas and I will accumulate some more gift cards.

After two dinners out, we were tired of eating out. So we celebrated my granddaughter’s birthday on Sunday with presents, dinner grilled outside and her ice cream cake that my son had made at a local ice cream place in the area. Then we had a fire in the fire pit in my son’s yard that evening which was very enjoyable.

We took my granddaughter back to her Mom’s on Monday about noontime so that she could spend some birthday time with her. So all in all she had a wonderful birthday celebration and we loved it all.

On the way back to my son’s home, he took us on a tour of Clifton Park which is where we lived for over 3 decades and where we raised our boys. It was a wonderful place to raise them. It actually made a list a couple of years ago as the 2nd best place to raise a family in the country.

I had been in Clifton Park about 14 years ago so I knew how much the area had grown. But Hubby had not been there in over 25 years. He could not believe how much construction both residential and business had occurred there since we moved to the desert. The traffic is so congested. There is so much more shopping than when we were there. But we both quickly decided that we would not want to move back there. It is so much more peaceful and quiet in the Adirondacks. Beauty is all around you.

Tuesday morning, we headed back to our little town in western NY. The thruway did not have much traffic so it was a nice ride. We hated leaving my son and granddaughter but we were happy to be safely home.

We spent a bit of money this weekend but it was worth every penny. This is one of the reasons that we are so frugal. So that we can do things like this which are very important to us. We did save a bit of money on the trip though. I packed our lunch for the trip out and we ate in the parking lot of a rest area. We also brought coffee, water, and snacks with us. I also made two loaves of homemade pumpkin bread to bring to my son. My son wanted to make us breakfast before we went home. But we were so stuffed from all of the food this weekend, we declined. Since we left early, we knew that we would be home by 1pm and could eat here if we needed to. However, we were not hungry and never ate until dinner when we made shrimp cocktails.

Today our new landscape company is coming to do all of the yard work, put in a new garden with bushes and a tree in the backyard. weed and mulch all of the gardens. I have a telephone call to make to find out about putting in something new here in our home. I will talk about that some time later when it is occurring. I also need to run some errands. Our terrific neighbor who lives next door watered all of the our flowers and hanging baskets so they wouldn’t die while we were gone. So I need to pick up some craft beer as a thank you. We also have a short grocery list.

Oh BTW, I forgot to tell you. I went grocery shopping with my son to both a Hannaford and a Market 32 while we were there. My mouth dropped open when I saw the very large reduced priced meat sections in both stores. It was a shopper’s dream! I have never seen anything like it. Market 32 which is Price Chopper merged with the Top’s corporation a while ago. I don’t understand why we don’t have sections like that in our Top’s stores. But I can tell you that the next time I go to visit my son, I am bringing 2 large coolers so that I can get meat.

I hope you all had wonderful Father’s Day celebrations! TTYL!

Every Day

Frugal Things Every Day and Some Bad Luck Lately

The locks on our screens in our windows are breaking after 13+ years. They were flimsy to begin with. I ordered some from the company who made the screens. Hubby replaced the one that had broken and another one broke when he was putting the screen back in. It’s a good thing that I ordered many because I think we are going to need to replace them all especially since I will be washing windows and screens this fall and many more will probably break. I have not washed windows in a couple of years because they are building homes behind us and the dirt just flies so it is useless to wash them until they are done. However we just found out that they are building a model home behind us soon. The surveyors were here yesterday staking the lot out. So finally I will be able to wash them this fall. I love clean windows and it has really bugged me that they are so dirty. I wash the insides and the tracks. Hubby does the outside with a squeegee and a homemade soap solution.

I don’t know if I told you but we had to fire our landscapers. We have hired a new company and they will be coming next week to do all that the other landscape company did plus put a new garden and a large Japanese maple tree in for us. Then they will put all new mulch down. Meanwhile Hubby trimmed some of the bushes in our front garden. They needed it. He has had more and more energy as he loses weight. So he says he can do more out in the yard. I believe he is actually enjoying it. I plan on doing the weeding once the landscapers have done it and put the mulch down. If I do one garden a day and keep it up with it, I think I can manage it. If not this company will come back anytime we need them.

Last week Hubby tried to turn the sprinkler system on and it is broken so that company will be coming out the end of next week to repair that and adjust our sprinkler heads which is what we called them for to begin with. Now they have to repair the system too. Our lawn has never looked so bad because of the lack of water.

It seems like everything has been breaking lately: The screen clips, the A/C had to be replaced, now the sprinkler system. I dropped the first cup from our set of dishes that we bought years ago and it smashed into pieces. Fortunately I purchased back then 4 extra place settings that I put in storage so I have a replacement cup. My ring size adjuster broke yesterday. So I had to replace that. My wedding band is too big for me now since I lost weight so the adjuster keeps me from losing it.

Also the electronic part of our dishwasher that displays the count down time is giving us fits. Sometimes it works and other time it doesn’t so I may have to have that repaired.

Now I am not complaining. I just want you to realize that things don’t stop breaking when you are working or in retirement. So account for all of those things when you are planning. Don’t forget that besides appliances and other little things, roofs need to be replaced, painting needs to be done etc. and save cash for that next car.

Now to the things that we have been doing to save some money to replace all that we have been spending. It will take a while but little and big things add up.

I filled up our SUV with gasoline purchased at $ .20 off a gallon. I did this while I was out running errands in a circle to save on that gasoline.

We used the air fryer, toaster oven, Instant Pot, and grill for meals. I don’t use my big oven. This all saves us money on our utility bills. We have done no eating out. All meals have been made at home. It is so much cheaper than paying for restaurant or take out meals.

Lights have been kept off in the daylight. We used the air fryer, toaster oven, Instant Pot, and grill for meals. I don’t use my big oven. This saves us money on our utility bills. We continue to reuse warm up water from our showers, from washing vegetables, and from boiling anything.

I made our homemade delicious pumpkin bread for two gifts that we needed.

I mended a curtain. I also mended a pull in a sweater. I cut up some old clothes and made rags.

I washed two loads of clothes in cold water and dried them on the Eco cycle in our dryer. I had no time those days to hang them. When I use the dryer, I have been saving the lint in toilet paper tubes that I had been collecting for a while to use as fire starters in our outdoor fireplace. We also have a collection of Walmart delivery paper bags that we can use. Since we no longer get a print newspaper, these things are a good replacement.

We have been getting free Peacock for almost a year through our cable provider. That will be up soon. So we are debating whether we will pay for it or not. Hubby loves all the sports on it. That may make it worth it.

Our lower price that the cable provider gave us last year when they screwed up and cut off our phone service and then we had to switch to Spectrum from Time Warner is about up also. That is due to go up $20. a month. I will be calling them to see if they will lower that.

My doctor gave me a new drug but only gave me a 30 day prescription to see if the drug would work for me. I can get 90 day scripts for a whole lot cheaper per pill. I called him and asked him to send a 90 instead of getting the 30 day refill since the drug is working well. He sent it.

Hubby needed to purchase a trimmer to trim our bushes. Since we had a service here and in AZ, we didn’t have one. He found a deal on a Ryobi trimmer for $99. and got 2 batteries and the charger for free. Those would have cost us $99. more. Hubby has many Ryobi tools so these batteries are interchangeable in all of those.

Hubby cut some more white and pink peonies from our garden. I put them in the beautiful lilac glass vase that my son sent me flowers in for Mother’s day.

I will be doing no grocery shopping this week. We are cooking meals from our pantry, freezer and refrigerator.

What have you been doing to save a little money?

Every Day

Grocery Shopping This Week

We have had so much smoke in the air for at least a week from the fires in Canada. Alerts have been issued for seniors. So I found my cloth mask from Covid and used that to be able to run the errands this week. We have been indoors most of the week.

First shop was at Aldi’s. I was so happy to see the organic ground beef that we love on sale again at the same price as before the inflation hit. Since I had gotten ground beef on sale at Top’s recently I only got 2 of the 3 packs. They cost $ 17.96 for each 3 pack. I also purchased a cantaloupe on sale for $1.99 and an Avocado Oil for $6.79. I needed the oil because I am on my last bottle. Total cost of all was $ 44.70.

Next I went to Top’s on 6% off Senior Discount Day. I purchased a half gallon of Half and Half for $ 6.99. That is the cheapest price in my area. The coffee was $7.49 after Q. The vidalia onions @ $ 1.48 a lb. were $3.32. Onions are hard to find in our area that aren’t rotted especially bagged ones. So when I can buy them separate, I do to make sure they are good and will last a while.

The 2 Prego were on B1G1F so cost $3.69 for both. The peanut butter was $ 2.29 after Q. The Knorr noodles were $ .99 after Q.

We love cheese in this house for snacks. So I purchased 2 Cracker Barrel for $ 3.00 each. Lastly, I got 2 packages of raw shrimp on B1G1F for a total of $ 13.99 for both. After my 6% discount I paid $42.07 OOP.

There were not a lot of good sales but I grabbed the things that were on sale that were really needed to put in my pantry. Hubby loves onions in everything and I was down to my last couple of onions. The sauce and noodles will make a quick meal when we have been really busy that day. That way we avoid take out. I always have meatballs cooked in my fridge so those with sauce and mozzarella cheese heated in the microwave and a quick salad make a fast meal. Another quick meal is adding a half lb. of cooked ground beef from the freezer to the Knorr noodles.

Hubby loves peanut butter so I always make sure to have that. Lastly the shrimp has been so expensive so $7.00 for a bag saves me a couple of dollars each. We have 3 favorite recipes that we use it for.

I forgot to take a picture of my Niagara Produce order before I used the food saver for the meat for the freezer. But here it is anyhow.

I purchased 2 rib eye steaks at $15.99 a lb. totaling $ 39.18 and a 3 pack of Romaine lettuce for $ 1.99. My total OOP was $ 41.17.

We love steaks on the grill. So I have been trying to buy a couple a week lately. They are every expensive but they are about to go way higher up in price soon. My butcher let me in on that. So if I buy them now, it will save me from paying a lot more in the future.

Did you get any good deals this week?

Every Day

Using Up Leftovers To Clean Out The Fridge

It was a smoky and dreary day outside here yesterday. So I decided to see how I could use up some leftovers to make homemade chicken soup for at least 2 dinner meals.

I knew that I had some leftover chicken from earlier in the week. So I decided to pull out some of my canned chicken to go in the pot with it. I ended up only needing one of my jars. I had forgotten how much chicken there is in a pint.

Then I pulled some leftover spaghetti out of the fridge which I cut up into pieces. I also had a bag of leftover corn and carrots in the freezer from the last time I made chicken soup. I grabbed another can of carrots but I ended up not having to use that either. I cut up some fresh celery and sauteed it before I put it in the pot. All of the other ingredients were cooked so it was just a matter of heating everything up. Lastly, I added about 3/4’s of the chicken broth that was open in the fridge.

This soup tasted so delicious that Hubby could not stop raving about it and he will happily eat more soup tonight. I had forgotten how delicious home canned chicken is. Store bought canned chicken doesn’t even come close to tasting as good. The next time I find a chicken breast sale I will buy some to can to replace what I have been using up.

We each had a nice soup bowl full and here are the leftovers for tonight.

This was so much fun knowing that I was using up what would give us 2 more meals. I just might do it again this week.

Tomorrow I will post my grocery shopping trips from this week.

Do you use up your leftovers? Do you make soup?

Every Day

A Little of This and A Little of That

Hubby and I planted our geraniums this morning. They look nice on the patio. We went out at 6 am this morning to do it while it was still 68 degrees outside instead of the 90 that they predicted for later. The air quality today was terrible. I did some weeding on the patio since we were out there. Those pesky things like to grow between the pavers.

We ran out of ink for our ink jet printer. We have a black laser printer that we use for most things. However the ink jet which prints in color, Hubby uses once in a while. So the best deals for us that I found were at Amazon and Walmart. I needed a 6 pack of assorted colors. We use the remanufactured ones instead of the name brand. They are much cheaper and work just as well as the name brand that we would purchase.

At Amazon, they were $ 24.99 minus a 15% off coupon plus I would get 9% back from Rakuten which would bring the cost down to $19.34. I do have $6.00 in gift cards to help pay for them. If I use those gift cards, my OOP would be $13.34. I also had to buy a $.99 item, that we use all of the time, to get the free shipping.

At Walmart, the same 6 pack would be $21.39 minus 3% back from Rakuten for a total of $ 20.65. I do have a $25.00 gift card so my OOP would be $.00.

But I ordered them at Amazon since the cost was cheaper. I will save my Walmart gift cards for a delivery order.

Today was a cleaning day so one room got done, dishes were kept cleaned up and I did a load of wash in cold water. Most of it was hung to dry. I like to dry my towels in the dryer. As usual, lights were kept off during daylight hours.

We made hamburgers for dinner tonight. I cut up some fresh mushrooms and sauteed them and topped it all with swiss cheese for mine and Hubby sauteed some vidalia onion for his. I love a good mushroom swissburger! We had strawberries and whipped cream on the dessert cakes.

I hope you all had a great day!

Every Day

Grocery Shopping This Week

I went to Top’s to get these items and some T Bone steaks that were on sale. The steaks were not very good looking and they were sliced extremely thin. Hubby does not like grilling steaks like that so I didn’t get any.

The chicken breasts were on sale for $2.29 a lb. Since we have a lot of chicken I only picked up one package. The bread was FREE with a Monopoly ticket. We don’t eat a lot of bread but we have been craving French toast. The Diet Coke was $ .69 with a Monopoly ticket. I also had won a $10.00 Top’s gift card in the Monopoly game. So my total bill OOP came to $ 2.08 including a nickel deposit on the Coke.

The only other store I went to was Niagara Produce. Hubby has been wanting some red geraniums to put in our big tomato pots on the patio since we aren’t planting tomatoes this year. I have been searching for decent ones for 2 weeks now. The ones I had found were only 6 inches tall and I wanted the bigger ones. NP had them today. I got 12 plants for $39.99 plus tax. Have any of you found flower and veggie plant prices outrageous this year? When I got our hanging baskets in a prior post, they were $29.99 plus tax each. UGH! I told him today, no more flowers. They take care and watering that I do not want to do. I looked at the veggie plants and they also were outrageously priced.

There I also purchased 2 packages of strawberries for $ 1.99 each, a 3 pack of Romaine lettuce for $1.99, white mushrooms for $ 2.79, a cucumber for $.99, and 2 packages of dessert shells for $1.99 each to use with the strawberries and some whipped cream. My total came to $13.73.

I was very happy with both grocery shops. I am choosing to save as much of our grocery budget as possible these days. We have had some huge expenses since the first of the year and I would like to replenish some of that money by being careful with every penny.

Did you get any good deals at the market this week?