Categories
Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done Recently

After two funerals in the past week in our extended family, I need some normalcy in my life. So it was time to get back to posting.

These are the things that we have done recently to save money in our household:

  • After a funeral service in a city about two hours away from our home yesterday, we took the scenic route on our way home. It took no longer than taking the Thruway and saved us $ 4.34 in tolls. I am always amazed at how beautiful New York state is.
  • We did not stay for the luncheon afterwards because Hubby’s back was not good yesterday. So we left right after the service. Our plan was to pick up some fast food to eat in the car on the way home. We had not eaten breakfast and when we left the church it was going on 1PM. However, we ended up driving straight home and just ate some leftovers about 3:30pm. We planned to go to Subway later to get wraps for a late dinner but neither of us was hungry.
  • But this morning, we were ravenous. So I ran to Panera and got bagels. It was Tuesday discount day so they only cost $ 6.99 for a dozen. I still have 3 gift cards that I purchased on a discount almost 4 years ago. So I paid with one of those. BTW, for those of you who followed me when I was on the Keto diet for 2 years, I got very bored with it. I needed a new plan. So I count calories every day and try to stay under 1400. The bagels are pictured above after Hubby ate one and I had a half of one. Hubby wanted cinnamon cream cheese but I can’t find it anywhere since Covid started. So I purchased a container of cream cheese and he made his own again for about the fourth time. He says it is better than store bought.
  • While I was out, I stopped at Top’s for a few things since it was 6% off your total bill Senior Discount Day. We got a lot of produce, Kosher salt to make pickles, and milk that was needed.
  • I also filled our car up with gas since we used almost all of it yesterday. The price at the pump was $ 3.09.9. But after Top’s points I was able to get $.50 off a gallon which brought the price down to $2.59.9 per gallon.
  • Hubby ordered what he thought was the replacement filters for our air cleaner in the master bedroom. When he got them, it was the generic that you have to cut to fit. He just traced the old one and he was able to get 4 filters out of one pad. We had purchased two so we got 8 filters instead of just 2. Nothing like stumbling on a bargain to make us happy.
  • Hubby asked our landscape company to do some lawn work. They already do all of our weeding and gardens and fertilize the lawn. But we have some areas on the side of the house where crap grass had taken over. Also the town reseeded the area of our lawn that they dug up to fix the water pipe. They used cheap rye grass and it was full of weeds. Our grass is a mix of blue grasses. So we wanted those areas redone. The landscape company sent us an $1100. estimate. I told Hubby to go for it. But Hubby said no. He is going to do the work himself in the Fall. He felt their estimate was too high for the work he wanted done. I guess that will save us most of the $1100. since we already have plenty of blue grass seed.
  • We got our July natural gas and electric bill and it was for the exact same number of days as last July. Since that time we have had a rate increase. We used a lot more electric than last year but the same amount of natural gas. However the bill was about $ 10. less than last year’s. I was very happy about that!
  • Lastly, we had enough points to get a $100. cashback reward that will show on our next credit card bill.

Hubby and I were looking at our net worth yesterday and realized that we are almost to another new milestone. So we are saving like crazy to reach it. So you will see a lot of money saving posts the rest of the summer right up to the end of winter so that we can reach that goal.

Feel free to leave a comment and share with us what you have been doing to be frugal and let your savings add up!

Categories
Every Day

My Bargains Today

We are under a State of Emergency here. We had an hour and a half storm late yesterday afternoon that was the worst Hubby and I have ever seen. We got 5.7 inches of rain during that period, thunder and lightning, golf ball sized hail,and 60 mile an hour winds. We have had so much rain in the past 3 weeks that the ground just couldn’t soak it up. Where they are building behind us was flooded with water. There were many streets shut down including a main road that gets you through town. I had to venture out for a necessary appointment this morning and had to take detours around two roads that were shut down. In the city just north of us, many streets were closed and many basements are flooded. There are tree limbs down everywhere. We had no damage that we have noticed. But I am not sure that my tomato plants didn’t take a hit from the hail pelting them. Time will tell.

On my way home from my appointment, I stopped at Aldi’s to pick up strawberries and blueberries. The strawberries were a little overripe and when I turned them over to look at the bottom, they were covered in mold. Needless to say I left them in the store. I did get 2 containers of blueberries. But while I was there, I did a quick sweep of the store and found quite a bargain. The Cafe Bustelo coffee which I love was for $2.82 a brick . It is an expresso ground coffee. Since coffee prices are set to rise significantly again, I got 6 bricks. It is the best price in our area right now.

Then I stopped at Top’s to fill up our gas tank which was empty by half. I stopped into the market to pick up one more bottle of Diet Coke for $ .99 and a pound of butter for $ 2.69 with store coupons. When I walked into the market, right in front of me was a sign that said manager’s special. It was these organic strawberries for $ 2.00 a package.

So there are still bargains to be had if you just keep your eyes open while you are shopping.

Because of the storm last night, Hubby could not grill our steak. So we quickly made Chef’s salads instead and he will grill the steak tonight. There is always food in our home that we can make quickly when dinner plans change last minute.

Have any of you found any unexpected bargains recently?

Categories
Every Day

Grocery Haul and Something That I Have Never Seen Before

Now that West has gone home, I can get back on some kind of schedule around here until the end of August when he comes again for a week.

So today, I did a grocery shop at Niagara Produce. They had local cucumbers on sale 4 for $ 1.00. I love these in salads and for a snack with a sprinkle of salt. I also picked up a bag of shrimp. We have not purchased much shrimp lately because of the price. But this was an entire pound for $7.99. We use this for the Shrimp Fra Diavolo that we make. So that pound will give us two meals.

I don’t know if any of you have heard of Rastelli’s or tried their meats. They are located in New Jersey. We have never had their beef but we have had their premium pork chops many times. They are outstanding! Some of the best meat we have ever eaten. So when I saw that Niagara Produce had their beef strip loin steaks on sale for $ 6.99 each, I got 4. They are 10 ounce Beef Striploin steaks. So they will give us 4 meals. If we like them, I will go back and get 12 more. I have never seen Rastelli’s meats at this produce store before. We will be grilling one for dinner tonight.

I also finally found some Ball quart jars and lids there too. My total bill for all was $ 61.24.

As I was making eggs and sausage for breakfast this morning, I saw something that I have never seen in all of my years.

I cracked an egg to find a double yolk in it. Has anyone ever seen this? I was thrilled to have 3 egg yolks instead of 2 on my Keto diet.

I hope you are all are having a good day. I am off to get some cleaning done around here before we grill out tonight.

Categories
Every Day

Just A Few Little Things We Do To Cut Expenses

Since West is not arriving to stay with us until this evening, I have a bit of time to leave a list. I would be very happy if you would add to the conversation in the comments so that it will be helpful to me and to others who read here. We always think when we read tips that we already knew them. But there are newbies who are just getting into frugality who haven’t. And you would be surprised at how much I have learned from all of you over the years.

Here is our small list:

  • We make our coffee at home and take it with us when we go out. Starbuck’s, Dunkin Donuts, and Tum Horton’s are expensive. I can’t imagine paying a lot for a special coffee. A few times a week, I make a special one here at home. I add a squirt or 2 of Skinny syrup, some heavy whipping cream instead of half and half, and a dollop of SF whipped cream. I can do this for way under $1.00 even with prices going up.
  • Put the A/C to 74. It is comfortable even with the high humidity we have been having. Any higher than that and I can’t function in the house without sweating.
  • We earn money while we sleep with investing.
  • Hang dry clothing.
  • We are a one car family. When we retired many years ago, we donated our Jeep to the local fire department. We have never looked back. If we need a second car for any reason, we can rent it. The savings on insurance and gasoline is huge.
  • We never buy things to impress people. We buy what we need to make our home enjoyable for us. We buy comfortable Classic clothing that will last us for years. Our car is purchased to be functional for us.
  • If we need a minor repair in our home, we check You Tube to see if someone has made a video showing us how to do it. Hubby did this a year ago and fixed our A/C for under $10.00. The company we called wanted a couple of hundred dollars to repair it. We have saved many dollars with the use of You Tube.
  • We always prep our meals the night before we make them. Once in a great while, I will prep for the week on the weekend. I always try to incorporate produce into those meals so as to not let it rot in the fridge.
  • Most of the time, we cook two portions of meals to use on two consecutive nights. If we have any leftovers after those nights, they get incorporated into the next night’s meal or frozen for future use.
  • I freeze produce when it is starting to get older so as to not waste it. I do this with many foods. If I only use 1/2 can of vegetables for a soup, I freeze the other half. If I only use a few tablespoons of tomato sauce or paste, I freeze the rest to put in my next spaghetti sauce.
  • I don’t buy items just because they are on sale. I try to purchase clothing and household items only when we truly need them. When the need arises, I look for the best price, a coupon code, use a rewards program like Rakuten, and get points on my credit card. If I went to every sale, I could easily spend much more than I planned.
  • We are making almost all of our own bread these days. Bread in the markets are way over priced. The only time I purchase it now is if I am in a time crunch and Aldi’s has a decent price or Walmart has it marked down to under a $1.00.
  • While I am thinking about bread, don’t waste your crusts. You paid for them. I don’t understand why people throw them away. They can be used to make croutons or breadcrumbs, make meatloaf, or make stuffing. Freeze them until you have enough slices. We have also eaten them toasted.
  • I save glass jars rather than recycle them. We love Classico spaghetti sauce when I haven’t made our own and their jars you can CAN in. I realize most products come in plastic these days but save any glass jar you get to use for leftovers in the fridge or freezer. It will save you on buying so many baggies or plastic wrap, etc.
  • Yes, I wash and reuse Ziploc bags. I don’t wash any that have had meat in them. Those get tossed.
  • We only eat two meals a day: brunch and dinner. For us it is healthier, lets us do intermittent fasting, and saves us money.
  • We are buying more used or refurbished items rather than new.
  • I purchase store labels when I purchase one ingredient foods. For other foods, we try one first. If we like it then we continue to buy the store or private labels rather than brand names.
  • We have always maintained our homes and cars. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.

This is all I have time to list right now. I hope I have helped someone.

Categories
Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done Recently

My granddaughter went home on Saturday. We drove her to Syracuse to meet her Mom. She is a delightful teenager now and we so enjoyed her company. This past week we did spend some money to entertain her. She loves car trips. So she worked out three trips within 150 miles of our home. She described each of them to us: where we were going and for what. She told us she really liked trip # 2. So did Hubby and I. So we ventured south to Olean, Porterville, and Ellicottville. The scenery was breathtaking. It is ski country. We drove through Olean to Porterville to go to Sprague’s Maple Farms. We had lunch in their restaurant which was quite beautiful. They also raise organic turkeys so I could not pass up their hot turkey sandwich for my lunch. The turkey was so tender and delicious. It may be worth a trip down there again to pick up an ordered turkey for Thanksgiving. Then we continued on to Ellicottville to Watson’s Chocolates before we went home. It was a fun day for all of us.

West is coming on Thursday and will be here this time until Sunday evening. I am writing up a list of things to do to keep him busy. He has lots of energy.

Now on to the things we have been doing to save money:

  • Pictured are our four tomato plants. They are getting really big and have lots of flowers.
  • We even have some small tomatoes on them. Since tomatoes, which we love, are so expensive this year, these plants will save us quite a bit of money.
  • Since we have had lots of rain, we have not had to water for the past 10 days or so. That will save us some money on the water bill.
  • The majority of our meals we made from scratch while our granddaughter was here. We did go out to dinner on our wedding anniversary.
  • I picked up my new denture at my dentist this morning. Those of you who have been around a while know all the trouble I have had with it breaking in half. Well, it happened again for the third time while West was here a couple of weeks ago. It seems that other people who use that lab have also been having trouble. So a new denture was made for me using the most expensive material they use for them. The material is also flexible. So there is no chance of it breaking while I eat. The lab and my dentist ate the cost. But I have spent a lot of time in the dentist chair the last couple of years so it was the least they could do. Hopefully this is the fix.
  • We have used a lot of gasoline the past week or so. It had been $3.05.9 per gallon. It goes up so rapidly, that I fill up when it gets to a half tank. So when we got back from our trip, it was just about empty. I filled up again at $ 3.09.9 a gallon. I filled up again when we got home from taking my granddaughter to Syracuse. I also picked up Hubby’s prescriptions at the same time to try to make this tank of gas last a lot longer. Fortunately, I had Top’s gas points to help defray the cost. But I am now out of them. I noticed today that the price has gone up to $3.13.9 a gallon. What are you guys paying for gasoline?
  • This was my deal of the month that I found today. Top’s had a Super Coupon for $ 4.99 for Smithfield bacon which I will not buy for two reasons. The first being that it is awful bacon and the second that the company is owned by China. I like to keep a few pounds in the refrigerator but I was getting low. So even knowing that I wouldn’t buy the Smithfield, I ventured over to the bacon to see what else might be on sale. Well, the Hatfield was on sale but that bacon is even worse than Smithfield’s Then I saw this Jimmy Dean’s. That and Oscar Mayer are my favorites. But my grocery store and Walmart are always out of stock on the Oscar Mayer. The Jimmy Dean is always $9.99 a lb. I looked down at the shelf and it looked like it was on sale for $4.99 a lb. No, that must be a mistake. I looked at the shelf to make sure the label I was reading was the Jimmy Dean. It was! So I picked up a package to see what might be wrong with it. It looked fine and had about a 5 week expiration date. I purchased these 4 packages and I will now have plenty of bacon to make BLT’s when my tomatoes ripen.
  • I continue to watch our water, electric, and natural gas consumption. I will conserve wherever I can. I believe the bills will continue to rise and that we have will have astronomical bills this winter especially if we have a colder than normal winter.
  • I am buying Keystone canned meats. They are ready to eat and can be used in so many recipes. There are only two ingredients in the can. They are all natural and have no preservatives. The only one I can’t find is the turkey. But we love all of the ones we have tried: beef, ground beef, chicken and pork. It has now gotten to the point that it is cheaper to buy meat in the can rather than fresh. So we will continue to eat the meat in our freezer but buy the canned meats when they are cheaper. Keystone is a 4th generation family owned business in Ohio.

That is about all that is going on here. We have just been very, very busy with grandchildren. After West leaves on Sunday night, I will be free until he comes again for a week the end of August. So I should be posting more often.

What have you guys done to save money recently? Feel free to tell us in a comment.

Categories
Every Day

Water Conservation

I woke up early this morning to rain gently hitting our roof. It made me so happy. Water is in such short supply in so many places in the U.S. My first thought was that I hope it is raining in those places especially in the Southwest and California.

The Grand Solar Minimum has been causing such weird weather the past few years. It’s a weather cycle that our ancestors went through also. I remember learning about the “Dust Bowl” in history class. Farmers are dealing with drought conditions and it is not pretty. Many are choosing not to plant crops because they have no water to keep them growing. It will be a major reason why produce will become more and more expensive this year. I am already seeing that our local prices will be very high for fruit and vegetables this summer because of supply and demand. I expect that eventually shortages will affect us also.

In all parts of the country even if we are not in drought conditions, we should conserve water because wasting a precious commodity is not a good idea. Yes, water is now a commodity. It trades on the stock exchange in California and the price of it has doubled since it went on the exchange in December. Here is an article about this in case you aren’t aware that this is happening.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/water-running-fast-wall-street-223053972.html

If you think that you will never have a drought where you live, don’t bet on it. The Grand Solar Minimum could last many years and we could all end up in drought conditions.

They are rationing water in California and many other states are looking at doing the same.

So here are a number of tips to conserve your usage of water and save you money too:

  • Take “Navy Showers”
  • Take quick showers, not baths. Or only fill up your bathtub with a minimal amount of water for the bath. Don’t fill the tub.
  • Put your sprinkler system on a timer. Don’t water your lawn or garden when it is raining. Make sure you turn the timer off when it rains. Or get a sprinkler system like we have that has a mechanism that senses the rain and turns the system off.
  • When you are boiling something, use as little water as you possibly can to cover that item.
  • Reuse that boiled water to water your plants or flowers
  • If you wash dishes by hand, use as little as possible and stopper that sink. Don’t let it just run down the sink while you are washing them.
  • Catch the water in a bucket while your shower water is warming up. Use it to flush toilets, clean a floor, etc.
  • Use your dishwasher if you own one. It will use less water than washing them all by hand. Wash full loads.
  • Use the Eco cycle on your washing machine. It will only fill up your machine for what you actually are washing instead of filling it up all the way.
  • Check your toilet for leaks.
  • Don’t use your toilet as a waste basket to flush a Kleenex.
  • Turn the water off while brushing your teeth. Then turn it on to rinse your mouth.
  • If you don’t have a water saving shower head, install one.
  • For the men, turn the water off while shaving.
  • If you don’t have a low flush toilet, put a filled bottle of water in your tank. Make sure where you put it doesn’t affect the flush mechanism. You will save that bottle amount of water every time you flush.
  • Don’t wash clothes if they are not dirty. Unless you are doing really dirty work, you can wear your outer clothes at least twice before they need to be washed. Underwear is my exception. Of course, I do have to say that I do not go to work everyday. Do what you are comfortable with.
  • Are you washing your towels every time you take a shower? Why? You just dried your clean body? Your towel should be hung up and dried to get at least one more shower out of it.
  • Check your faucets and pipes for leaks.
  • Wash your vegetables and fruits in a bowl, not under a running faucet.
  • When you water your lawn, do a deep soaking. It will get to the roots. If you just lightly water it, the sun will burn the water off.
  • Don’t let the water run while you are soaping up your car to wash it. Soap it up in big sections and then rinse.

I am sure that there are many more ways to conserve this precious resource but these are the ones I use and all that I can think of this morning.

Remember that if you pay for your water, conservation also saves you money! That is a big bonus!

If you would like to add to this list, feel free to leave a comment and let us all know how you save on water.

Categories
Every Day

How We are Handling Inflation( continued)

We had to purchase a new washer and dryer recently. We were lucky that we only had to wait 3 months for them to get delivered. Our old set were about 16-17 years old. The dryer was overheating and the washer flooded my floor when it felt like it. So we purchased a Speed Queen TR7 washer and a DR7 dryer. They were very expensive but will eventually pay for themselves with the energy savings. They are so much more energy efficient that the old ones. They also take up less room which I love. Hubby is going to paint the laundry room before our new wall cabinets arrive. He is going to remove the wire shelf that the builder put in. The cabinets are delayed just like the washer and dryer were. I am making do till they get here. My old set had pedestals under them that had drawers so that is where I kept most of my laundry supplies. I need the cabinets to store my laundry supplies in. I have only had the washer and dryer one month but I am sure that the drop in my kwh’s on my electric bill is partly a result of them. The longest I have had to run the dryer to dry a load is 30 minutes. I try to only do laundry once a week. That way I can run successive loads which is the energy efficient way to do it. I still am hanging most of my clothes.

We only run our dishwasher every three days now. We are very cognizant of how many dishes we use for meals and try to keep down the number of pans by only cooking on the grill and in the air fryer.

We have a tankless water heater which saves us money by not having to keep a 30 gallon water tank continually hot. It gives us hot water on demand. It was one of the best things we contracted for when we had our home built.

I continue to take quick “navy” showers. Wet down, soap up, rinse off! I have timed this and I can usually do it in 5 minutes including washing my short hair. I don’t waste a lot of hot water.

We only turn on lights when it gets dark out and then we only use one in the room or rooms we are in. We do use our outside lights for security reasons when it gets dark outside and they are on a timer so they turn off just before the sun comes up. All of our lights inside and outside our home are LED’s.

I unplug my laptop when I am not using it. And it is not getting used a lot this summer. We are just too busy with company whom we are enjoying after over a year of socializing with no one.

We also took a trip to visit my son, go to my granddaughter’s junior high school graduation and spend some time with both of them. We loved every minute of it. My son purchased a beautiful colonial home a few months ago with lots of land. His home is nestled among many pine trees, maples, oaks, and birch trees. It is so peaceful and quiet there. I truly understand why he chose this home. We enjoyed some good cooking out on the grill and smores around the large firepit. We went to dinner one night at the Olde Bryan Inn in Saratoga Springs to celebrate Alexa’s graduation. We let her pick the restaurant. I was happy when she picked this restaurant because I went to lunch there many times over the years when we lived just south of this beautiful city. I miss their food. It is so good! We also did some takeout from a restaurant that my son found. There is nothing better than spending time with family and enjoying good meals! We hated to leave to go home. But we had promised to take care of West for 8 days after we got back. We had 4 days at home before he came. In just about a week my son is bringing Alexa out to spend a week with us. We are so looking forward to her coming.

Hubby and I are back to going to the library now that it is fully opened up. We rarely purchase a book or magazine.

We don’t go to the movies. We wait until we can watch them on our Roku. As one of my readers said, ” There is nothing better than movie night at home and making your own snacks! ” I wholeheartedly agree.

Lastly, there are two other things that we have done recently to save some money. We gave Alexa “Netflix” as a gift. We signed up for her and we pay the bill every month. I had gotten the premium plan. Then I realized that she could only watch one thing at a time so she didn’t need to have this plan that allows you to use it on multiple electronics in a household. So I changed her plan to one that is $4.00 a month cheaper.

Also, I am not renewing my Amazon Prime next week. I have not been happy with their delivery lately. Things that are supposed to take 2 days on Prime to arrive are taking 4-5. Not the service I signed up for. I understood items being late during the virus. But that has not been an issue here for a few months now and things are still coming later than they should. We rarely watch the movies or music either so it is really not worth the $ 119. plus 8% tax to renew it.

I also did not renew my B.J.’s Wholesale Club membership when it expired the end of March even though they would have only charged me $ 25. They are not stocked well, no real customer service anymore, and anything that I need I can get locally as cheap or cheaper than they charge.

I have Walmart Grocery Plus which gives me grocery delivery. I can also shop online at Walmart.com and they always deliver within two days and you get free shipping. Even better if you order an item on Walmart.com and they have it in your store, they deliver it to your front porch the same day with no delivery charge nor tip. It is also cheaper for a year than Amazon. So I will stick with them as long as the service continues to be so good. Almost anything that I can get at Amazon, I can get at Walmart or another store.

Well, that is it for now. When I have time and have something to share again I will.

Categories
Every Day

How We Are Handling Inflation

Inflation has reared it’s ugly head in so many areas of our lives in the past months. Food is outrageously expensive along with gasoline, clothing, lumber, and many other items that we buy. Even purchasing a home has become much more expensive. It is a terrible time to do that right now. Even if you can get way over asking price on your current home, chances are you will pay way over the listing price on your new home.

Because Hubby and I are retired 20 years, we are on a fixed income. Yes, we have investments and savings but they are not something that we want to dip into for everyday expenses. We have other plans for that money.

So many people are hurting financially today because of job loss or the loss of their businesses. Many landlords are not getting paid the rent they are due for months now so they are having trouble meeting their mortgages on those properties. This is the worst time that I can remember in all of my years.

Since I have some time today ( it has been a very busy spring and summer with company here), I thought I would post and let you know how Hubby and I are trying to cope with inflation without digging deep into our savings. I thought perhaps it would give someone who needs it some ideas on how they could cope with it. Remember these ideas are what we are doing. Take what you like and just ignore what you don’t. We all save money in different ways.

First, I will tell you how we are saving on food. Pictured above is one of the three gallon bags of cherries that we picked from the tree in our yard. We picked as many as we could on a ladder and left the top of the tree for the birds to eat. Hubby made us the most delicious cherry crumble for dessert this past weekend. The rest of the cherries got frozen for future use.

Now I realize that not everyone has a fruit tree in their yard, But you can plant some tomatoes or other produce just like we did pictured above. If you don’t have ground space just put them in pots like we did. These 4 plants will give us many, many tomatoes for salads or BLT’s the end of July or beginning of August.

Our local strawberries are $ 5.50 a lb. here. I will not pay that price. A week or so ago, I was able to get 2 lbs. of strawberries shipped in from another state for $ 2.50 a lb. Other produce as it becomes in season will probably be high this year also because of shortages due to the droughts. I just won’t buy any if the price is outrageous. We have frozen and canned veggies and fruits here that we can rely on.

We have also made sure that we are eating proper portions especially our meat portions. No one needs more than 4 oz. of meat a day. When beef tenderloin or ground chuck is on sale, I buy in large quantities. I also have a buy price that I will not go over. That price is $5.00 a lb. for the ground meat and $11.00 a lb. for the tenderloin. A few weeks ago our tenderloin went up to $ 17.00 a lb. I am not buying at that price so we are not replenishing that meat as we eat it. I also will not pay over $2.00 a lb. for boneless chicken breasts. Aldi’s has them for $ 1.69 a lb. this week. That is a price that I would stock at. I refuse to pay more than $5.00 for bacon.

We are not wasting ANY food. All leftovers get used. If we have a bit of fruits or veggies left from meals, I either use them the next meal or freeze them for smoothies or homemade soups. We have French fries left from lunch yesterday. They will get reheated in the air fryer for another meal. We are rotating out what foods we already have so that they get eaten before they go bad.

We are baking our own bread using the bread maker. I can make it a lot cheaper than buying it. The only time I buy it is if I see a major reduced price at Walmart.

I am not using coupons whether they be paper or digital just to use the coupon. I write my list first and then look to see if I have a coupon. 90% of the time, I buy store brands.

We no longer buy junk food for snacks. We eat fruit, crackers and cheese, celery with peanut butter, carrot sticks with dip, SF pudding or jello, nuts, and popcorn made from kernels we put in our popcorn maker. I buy the popcorn in 50 lb. bags. Junk food is outrageously expensive per lb. and not very healthy.

Gasoline right now is $ 3.10 a gallon. I filled up yesterday at $ 2.80 a gallon using gasoline points that I earned for buying groceries. We drive as little as possible. When we do drive, we do many things at once on our route so as not to have to go out again. For example, yesterday I had a hair cut appointment. On my route home, I went to Aldi’s to get the sale chicken, to Dollar Tree to get tissues and shampoo, to Top’s to get strawberry shortcake cups that hubby was asking for, and filled up my gas tank. I try to only shop once a week and that happens 80% of the time. A tank of gasoline lasts us 4-6 weeks depending on how many appointments we have.

My sister in law invited us to their home on a lake in the Adirondacks. We went to their home last time. It is a very long and expensive trip. So instead we have invited them to come and stay with us. She is going to ask her husband and see when they can come.

Utility prices have also skyrocketed here. We are not only dealing with a rate increase but increases in supply and demand charges. We just got our electric and natural gas bill. We have been conserving like crazy. Even though we used 437 kwh’s this month instead of 544 kwh’s for the same time period last year, our bill was only $ 6. cheaper than last year’s. We also used 3.4 less ccf’s. It is a good thing we are conserving or our bill would have been much higher.

We have only had to use A/C for one week this year so far. Our house has stayed very comfortable in the low 70’s without it. As long as I pull the energy saving shades, curtains, and blinds on the windows when the sun is beating in, we will not have to use it. The week that we had to turn it on was humid and in the mid to high 80’s. We also have ceiling fans that help in the rooms that we are in.

95% of our cooking is done in the air fryer or outside on the propane grill. Many nights we have meals that do not require cooking anything like salads or sandwiches. Propane has gone up but not much here for 20 gallons. Our tank was full since we filled it last Fall.

I need to quit for now. I will be back tomorrow to continue this topic. If you are trying to save because of inflation, please feel free to comment and let us know what that is.

Categories
Every Day

Get Your OTC Medicines Etc.

I think everyone knows that most of the ingredients for OTC and prescription drugs are made in China. However, many of those ingredients are purchased by India. India processes many of our generic prescriptions and many, many of the OTC medicines.

Covid 19 has blown up the past week or so in India. Because of this, many of the manufacturing plants that make these medicines could be shut down. You saw what happened to our supply chain with toilet paper.

In my estimation going without prescriptions and OTC drugs is worse than going without toilet paper. If you are able to get your doctor to write a new prescription for any that come from India do it. My insurance will not pay for an extra prescription but I feel it is worth paying for out of our pocket so we don’t have to go without if there are shortages.

This morning I purchased the above OTC items in case of shortages along with some razor refills that I needed. All of this cost us a little over $130. Yes, the prices are high but I believe they will go even higher.

Rather than earn a little interest on this money, I am using it as a hedge against the inflation that I see coming soon from this last stimulus. I am also making sure that if we get sick and need these items, we have them. There is nothing worse than having to run to the drug store or Walmart when someone gets sick in your family and finding that the shelves have been stripped.

So protect yourselves and your families. Be sure to watch the expiration dates.

Categories
Every Day

My Small Grocery Haul This Week, etc.

Niagara Produce was my choice for shopping this week. They had whole beef tenderloin’s on sale for $ 9.99 a lb. They will be wonderful for grilling season. I love that I can just call them and place an order and it will be all cut up and ready for me to pick it up. Since I believe beef is just going to keep going up in price, it was a good time to get this.

They also had Extra Large eggs for $ 1.19 each and beefsteak tomatoes for $ 1.29 a lb. I forgot my bags so I had to pay $ .05 for a paper one.

My total came to $ 60.50.

I also went to Panera which was on my route yesterday. It is the day that they have 13 bagels for $ 6.99. Hubby loves them and I have not purchased them in almost a year. However I could not find the cinnamon sugar cream cheese that he likes so he made some using the original cream cheese this morning.

He mixed the regular cream cheese with a little cream, cinnamon, and some monk fruit with the hand mixer. He measures nothing. It is all to taste. Back in the fridge it went to harden for his breakfast. When I finish this post, I will cook up some bacon and eggs for mine.

Since the weather forecast here was for 6 inches of snow, we woke up to this.

I am worried about my trees. This pear tree was in full bloom along with my cherry, plum and red bud trees. For sure the blossoms will drop off.

Knowing that the weather was going to be cold and snowy, I thawed a 20 lb. turkey today to roast since the heat is still on. It is the last one I had in the freezer. It looks like it will be much warmer after this snow, so I will not want to turn on my oven very often.

As usual, we will have a few meals from it and then freeze the rest of the meat for easy future meals.

I still do not have my washer and dryer that I ordered over 8 weeks ago. They are saying maybe this coming Tuesday. We will see. In the meantime, I know how to do laundry without them.

As usual feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you got a great deal on this week.