Sorry that the pictures are a little weird. Hubby needed the phone and I was rushing when I did them.
I know I told you that I was not going to shop this week again. However, after we ate the some of the strip steaks that I purchased earlier in the week, Hubby wanted more. We agreed that they were the best strip steaks we have ever purchased at Top’s. They were very tender and very flavorful. Since I still had grocery money leftover last month and in January, I went back today to get two more packages of 4 each. Tomorrow is the last day of the sale and I avoid shopping on the weekends if I can. My cost for those were $50.95.
Top’s was having a three day only sale and today was one of the days. I got a loaf of bakery French bread for $ 1.29, bananas at $.29 a lb, 1 yogurt for $ .29 and 1 peanut butter for $ 1.29. They had other things but these were the only good deals that I could use with the 3 day coupons.
I also picked up 4 more of the Cabot cheeses at 4/$10. My total for all was $ 64.57.
Every couple of weeks, I have been looking at the price of my favorite mouthwash on Walmart. It had been too high for my blood. I have been out for a while. Finally it came down to $ 11.89. I still did not want to pay that price. Last night, I looked and found out that it was on sale for $ 6.78 bottle. Walmart is just a block from Top’s. So I stopped in and got three bottles today which will last me a long time. My total with $ 1.63 in sales tax came to $ 21.97. Natural Dentist is the best mouthwash I have ever used. It really pays to be patient.
Tonight Hubby will be coating and frying a large piece of haddock that we will split for dinner. When he cooked the steaks the other night, I baked 4 extra potatoes to make potato salad. I will do that right after I finish posting this.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. It is supposed to be 52 here today and then high 50’s and then up to 67 through Wednesday. I am loving it!
We made all of our meals from scratch except for using the Naan bread as the crust to make a homemade pizza. Our dinner meals starting last Saturday were turkey soup(3 times), pizza, cheeseburgers, strip steaks and baked potatoes, and coconut shrimp. Our brunch meals were eggs and bacon(2 times), turkey BLT’s, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, hamburgers and broccoli, and eggs and broccoli. We did not go out to eat or get takeout. Hubby made SF pudding with Zero Sugar whipped topping for desserts.
Since we have about 7 dozen eggs, I hard boiled a dozen of them in the instant pot for upcoming brunches and made some deviled eggs for snacks.
I froze a meal of turkey soup for a future meal.
I entered our receipts into Fetch to get points towards Walmart gift cards to use for groceries.
My showers were navy ones and I filled a large 5 gallon bucket with the warm up water. This is used for cleaning.
I did a load of clothing and a load of sheets with minimal detergent in the washer. I used minimal dryer time using the wool balls.
Hubby needed to go to Home Depot to get some parts to make repairs in the house. While he was getting dressed to go out, I loaded up the back of the SUV with 8 bags of returnable bottles. We have been tripping over bags of them in the garage because a large run of them had not been done since the beginning of autumn and we have had a lot of company since then. Both Home Depot and Fast Cash are in the same plaza. He took back 176 returnable bottles for a total of $ 8.80.
At Home Depot, he purchased a Universal Flapper that needed to be replaced in our master bedroom toilet. It took him less than 15 minutes to make that repair. He also bought a package of wood screws that he needed to fix a dining room chair. When he was vacuuming the other day he found a screw under the table. We quickly found out what chair it had come from. He tried to put it back in the chair but it kept turning and wouldn’t screw into the wood. He also found another one had either not been put in the chair or had been lost in some other point of time. So he picked up a package of screws that were the same length but just a little wider. Then he replaced the two screws which worked perfectly. We will save the other 8 screws for future DIY. He paid $ 9.68 for all. He has saved us a ton of money over the years by being able to fix things.
We continued to pull out things we no longer want to sell at the community garage sale.
I sorted my seeds to see if I had what I want to plant this spring. I do so I don’t have to buy seeds.
We had doctors appointments back to back this morning. Afterward we picked up a prescription that I had ordered yesterday. Doing two things on a trip saves gasoline.
I started a stretching routine about a month ago and I can’t believe the difference that it has made in my body. The stretches have made a huge difference in how I feel and how my back feels. I will be keeping this up long term. I am also on the treadmill every other day for 30 minutes.
Before I close I wanted to tell you that the 1 in 11 oven grill pan works beautifully with the air fryer function to grill steaks. They have beautiful grill marks and they were perfectly cooked to medium rare at 450 for 5 minutes on each side. That was after preheating the grill pan. I just wanted to let you all know because someone asked how I liked it. I am using more and more functions and we are loving it.
This morning I went to Top’s for badly needed fresh items and my last 2 fresh meat items for the month. We were down to our last half and half so I picked up 2 cartons for $5.99 each. I drink a lot of coffee so I try to stay stocked with at least 3 cartons. They are dated in April so they will be used before they go bad.
I also got 4 Cabot cheese chunks for a total of $10.00. These are my go to snack items. Hubby wanted grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch and we were almost out of American cheese so I bought one for $3.19.
I stumbled upon these NY strip steaks on sale for $ 8.99 a lb. for a total of $ 21.98. These will give us at least 2 meals but possibly 3. Usually when we have leftover steak, we saute it in a fry pan with butter and garlic and serve it with scrambled eggs. My last purchase was a lb. of Oscar Mayer bacon that was on sale with a Super Coupon for $ 5.99.
My total was $ 53.14.
This past weekend and today, we have been cleaning out some more items. I have taken everything out of my kitchen cupboards and rearranged them to make things easier to find. Some items that we haven’t used in a few years were put in the sell box. Things make more sense to the both of us now.
Our clock that we purchased from a relative’s jewelry store in 1967 died this past weekend. The clock always chimed every 15 minutes. It was made in Germany. I hate to throw it out because it has been with us for so long. Hubby looked to see if he could fix it and the mechanism that he thinks needs replacing is over $400. We would hate to buy the part and find out that it didn’t fix it. So he is going to tinker with it and see if he can fix it. His sister gave him the name of an organization who fixes clocks such as these. So he is going to contact them also. If it can’t be fixed, we will have to let it go.
Tonight I am making homemade pizza using the Naan bread that I buy at Aldi’s. I will bake it in the 11 in 1 oven that I bought recently.
Not much else going on. Have you saved on your groceries this week?
I roasted the Free 16 lb. turkey that I got from B.J.’s last November. We have had it for 3 dinners so far this week and I will be making a big pot of turkey soup dinner tonight. I have already prepped all of the vegetables and cut up the turkey. After we ate dinner the first night, Hubby cut all of the turkey off the bone and broke down the bones, one leg(I like eating a leg), and the wings. The results of all the meat fit in this container. Then I put all of the bones and skin in the crockpot and cooked it for 14 hours. It made the most delicious turkey bone broth that you see in the picture. I will be using that in the soup when I cook it later this afternoon.
I received 2 rebate checks in the mail this week totaling $ 43.02. I will deposit them in our savings next week.
Hubby and I have done more work down in the basement this week getting rid of things we no longer need.
One night after dinner, Hubby opened the cabinet under the sink to throw a recyclable in the wastebasket that we keep under the sink for that purpose. He saw that water was flooding the cabinet. Fortunately, we keep a rubber sinkmat under there. It was full of water but had not yet overflowed. We sopped the water up with old towels and dried the mat so Hubby could get under there to find out what was leaking. It was the sink basket in the left sink and the pipe that held it. When he got the basket out of the sink, he found that rubber seal had disintegrated. He went to Home Depot and got a new basket, the pipe part that screws into it, and a tool to make it easier to do that. Total cost for all was $ 21.35. I can’t imagine what it would have cost to call a plumber if Hubby wasn’t handy.
We got our natural gas and electric bill two days ago for the past month. The total for 27 days was $235.66. We used 536 kwh’s of electricity and 114 ccf’s of natural gas. Hopefully, it will go down and down as soon as the warm weather gets here.
I did two loads of wash in cold water and hung most of it to dry. I do not hang towels.
Today, I finally felt like going out to get some on sale groceries. I went to Top’s because they had a three day sale which was 3 coupons. Two of them I wanted to use. I purchased a Italian shredded cheese blend that was $.99 with one of the coupons. The other coupon I used was for 200 extra gasoline points when I spent $35. or more. I was not passing that up because our gasoline prices have skyrocketed the past couple of days. Every little bit helps!
I also purchased 2 Smithfield smoked sausage for $7.00 for both. Hubby found a recipe on You Tube that he wants to try. I don’t think I have purchased this sausage since we lived in AZ. So it will taste good for a change. I used a Super Coupon to buy the bacon for $3.99.
The last thing I purchased was 3.30 lbs. of wild caught boneless skinless haddock fillets. It was on sale for $ 8.99 a lb. and the regular price was $ 52.77. But the sale price was $29.67 and I used a $3.00 coupon from their flyer to bring my cost down to $ 26.67. This is going to save us a lot of money! The fillets were about the size of the fish fries that I got on takeout last week for about $25.00 for the two of us. For $ 1.67 more I can make 3 meals for us. So this fish purchase along with other fish in our freezer should get us through Lent. I used the food saver to put it in three air tight packages.
We have watched the NCIS’s and FBI’s for entertainment this week. Other than that, I just did some usual cleaning.
Keeping with our February plan to buy beef, I went to Niagara Produce yesterday. I purchased a cheap pound of bacon also though for $ 2.99. I have never bought this brand before. But because of the price, it is worth a try to see if it is any good. If it is, I will buy more. If not, we will crisp it up and use it in omelets or on salads. Branded bacon in our area is very expensive and most of it is not very good for the price. We use a lot of bacon but may have to substitute pork sausage for bacon in the future.
They also had whole beef tenderloins on sale for $ 12.99 a lb. I had them cut a whole one into ten 1 and 1/2 inch filet mignons. I also asked for the trimmings because I make beef broth from them. That is the bag you see on the bottom right of the package. I have another bag of them in the freezer so soon I will use both of them to make broth. The tenderloin cost $ 95.61. I used the food saver to preserve them and put them in the freezer for grilling season. So my total for all was $98.61.
Then I made a trip to Aldi’s. Our stockpile of tissues was down to 2 boxes. I was going to go to Dollar Tree to get them for $ 1.25 each. But my sister told me that Aldi’s had Scotties with the same count in a box for $ 1.09. So I picked up 10 boxes. The total with tax was $ 11.77 and comes out of our household budget. So that tip saved me $ 1.60. Every little bit adds up!
Since yesterday was Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, we decided to get take out from Chiavetta’s. Hubby and I love these fish fries because they are haddock and are huge flakes fried to perfection. They come with French fries. This is only one of them. We purchase two of them and use it for two meals. It is so easy to heat up the leftovers in the air fryer part of our new oven. These cost us $ 25.92 plus a $2.00 tip. They were worth every penny. I can’t purchase the fish and potatoes for this price in my area let alone cook them. They must get a good bulk price.
We spent an hour in the basement getting rid of more things that we don’t want. We also have a large pile to sell on Facebook Marketplace or in June when the community garage sale takes place. Soon we will not have room to clean things out because it will be mowing season and we will need the room for bagged grass clippings.
Then we enjoyed watching the FBI’s that Hubby had saved from the last few days.
Between shopping and running another errand and working in the basement, I was beat and went to bed early.
I will only be tracking on here some of the categories because the large ones like insurances, cable TV and streaming services, etc. pretty much stay the same. However, I am tracking everything in my actual budget.
This month I spent $ 384.58 on groceries(just food). There were 3 Walmart delivery orders and 1 Amazon that was food also. I did not show you those. So I was $ 149.42 under budget. That has been rolled into my February budget so that I can stock up some beef and other meats in my freezer.
We spent $ 259.13 on electricity and natural gas.
I only filled up the gas tank once for a total of $ 36.00.
Our medical drugs and co-pays came to $ 272.80.
Miscellaneous was $ 15.10 for Christmas cards purchased at 50% off. And I spent $ 66.00 for a 100 count roll of Forever stamps.
Gifts were $ 110. We had one birthday and I tipped my grandson $10. for doing some work in the house for me.
I needed to get 2 pair of flannel pants to keep me warm and one bra because one was totally warn out for a cost of $ 39.21. That comes out of the clothing budget.
I stocked batteries, those LED small lights for closets and cupboards for a total of $ 72.08 from the household budget.
We paid our property taxes which totaled $ 4788.15 and the yearly bill for this coming season of lawn fertilizer which totaled $ 445.83. They gave us 3% off for paying early.
What we spent no money on in January was eating out. We had no fast food nor did we go to any restaurants to eat. That saves a fortune. All food was made at home. We also did not spend anything on entertainment outside the home.
Unless you have so much money that you don’t care about the grocery prices, you know it is getting harder and harder to buy groceries every week. It seems they go up at least a few pennies a week and some go up by $ .50 to a dollar. Every time I hear our government say that inflation is cooling, I want to tell them that food and energy costs aren’t. But those items are not in the inflation numbers and they know that. I don’t know about you but food, gasoline, and natural gas and electricity are the most important numbers for us today. I try really hard to keep those numbers down.
The other problem is the shortages. Foods are disappearing off our shelves at a rapid rate. I have placed grocery orders over the past 6 months that have had up to 1/2 of the items out of stock. It’s just crazy!
So I have decided that this month, I am not going to deal with the craziness. If we absolutely need something, I will buy it but I think we can pretty much eat what we have in our pantry. I might run out of something we are used to getting every month but I will just make substitutions or make something else that I do have ingredients for.
There will be one BIG exception this month! I will be using my grocery budget to buy meat. Beef has been in short supply for over a year and the prices have surged. We have very little beef in our freezer except for some organic 85/15 ground beef that I buy on sale at Aldi’s and a couple of roasts and a few steaks but that it it. We have not been buying a lot because the prices have been so high.
That said the predictions are that beef prices are going to go much higher than they are now. I would like to have a few things for grilling season. So I will be looking for sales.
Yesterday when I went to another town for a medical appointment, I stopped on the way home at Niagara Produce to buy some meat that they had on sale. I like to spend my money at small family run businesses when I can.
They had a weekly sale on 85/15 ground round for $ 4.79 a lb. I had purchased some a while ago and Hubby said he loved it so I had been looking for a sale again. It popped up this week. They also had beautiful rib eyes steaks for $ 15.99 a lb. This is their regular price for now but it is much lower than I have seen at my other available stores. So I purchased 2 thick cut ones just like Hubby loves. They had a nice fat cap and were well marbled.
The ground round was a total of $ 51.25 for about 10.70 lbs. The rib eye steaks cost 33.98 for about 2.13 lbs. My meat total was $ 85.23.
When I went in the store, I looked in the meat case and was disappointed because they had none of the ground round but you could see a large space where they had been. So I went to the butcher counter and asked if they had any more. The butcher seemed surprised that there was none in the case because they had fully stocked it that morning. I guess other people like it too and knew it was a good price. He said I will check to see if we have any more ready. He came back with 3 huge packages and asked how many I wanted. I said I will take all three.
At home I used my food saver to package all of that meat up and marked it with the date and what was in it. I always food saver each package of ground round into approximately 1 lb. packages because we make two meals at a time out of it. Then it went into the bottom of the freezer. It will keep a long time. The ribeye steaks were big enough that Hubby will grill one at a time and we will split it for a meal.
By the time I did that I was beat but I still had to go back out to run another errand. When I got home, I took the rest of the day off to rest my back and watch some shows on Roku with Hubby.
For dinner I cut up some chicken breasts into large cubes. I was not up to making an elaborate dinner so I cooked it in a little olive oil with some Keto Chicken Seasoning that I had purchased a while ago at Big Lots. I just sprinkled it all over the chicken while it was cooking. I served it with a small scoop of mac and cheese that we had leftover. I didn’t even bother with a veggie which Hubby was quite happy with. It was delicious and we have some leftover for lunch today.
Are you doing anything different with your grocery money this month?
I have been missing in action and a few of you noticed and contacted me. Thank you for caring! I have such a wonderful group of readers.
Last week, I did something to my back. It has not allowed me to be very active this week. It seems to be mending but not as fast as I would like. Just sitting or standing is painful. So I have been laying down a lot. Hubby has been doing most of the work around here: the cooking, cleaning, and organizing in the basement. He really surprised me by doing something I had been trying to get to for months. I had sorted all of my extra cleaning products into boxes by type. He went down there two days straight and got rid of a lot of empty boxes that were on the gorilla shelves and made room for all of these products. Some of these cleaners are very toxic so I will be taking them to our county hazardous pick up in March to get rid of them. I had never realized just how bad some of these things are for your health until I started researching them. He also cleaned his workshop area and threw out a lot of junk that he had been saving. I went down there with him 2 days ago for about an hour, not only to see what he had accomplished but to sit in a chair for about an hour and go through a lot of Christmas items. He brought them to me and I quickly made decisions on what to keep or toss. We had already given the majority of our ornaments to our sons. So that is another area that we have just about done. But there is a lot more bins to go through. I will be looking at them through the lens of would I keep this if I wanted to move. If not it is getting tossed or donated.
One day we had to go to the lab to get blood work done. Afterward I did a small haul at Top’s because there were things I wanted that were on a 3 day sale only and we picked up some prescriptions that had been filled at the drugstore. So here is the haul that I quickly took pictures of. Ignore the blurry pictures. All I wanted to do after all of that was lay down.
I purchased a three pack of porterhouse steaks for $7.99 a lb. that were on a 3 day sale for a total of $ 31.16. Hubby cooked one that evening and it was delicious. The other 2 were frozen for the future. I got a package of BS Chicken Breasts that were on sale for $1.99 a lb. for a total of $ 11.64. I also purchased 3 jars of peanut butter for a total of $ 5.97, 1 package of Oscar Mayer Bacon on sale for $5.99, 4 Ortega Taco seasoning packets on sale for $1.00 each for a total of $4.00, 1 head of lettuce(not pictured)for $ 1.48, 1 dozen medium eggs for $1.49, and 5 Cabot cheeses for $10.00. My total was for all was $ 71.73.
I have also done our Federal Taxes that I can’t file until they decide to update the computer with the information needed for Form 5695 which is for the energy credit that we qualify for because we bought our high efficiency central air conditioner last year. It took them until January 31st to get the updated instructions online. Now you can’t file them until February 7th because they have not updated the computer system to accept it. That date could change also.
Next week, I have 3 days of medical appointments. So I don’t know how much I can blog or if my back will let me. Time will tell. But I am going to try to do a blog post about what we spent in January for groceries, eating out and restaurants, etc. I also will do a post about what my plans are for groceries in February. The above haul was done on February 1st so it will not be part of our January grocery budget.
After a week of snow, I was finally able to run a lot of errands yesterday. I left the house at 8:15am to go to Top’s. Pictured is what I purchased.
The pizza I always keep on hand so that I am not tempted to order one from take out was $ 3.99 with a Super Coupon. I have been having trouble lately trying to get distilled water. It is usually out of stock. But they had it so I got 2 gallons which will last a couple of months. They were $1.49 each. The Steak-umm’s were still on sale so I purchased a larger package at $ 8.99. They had a Bison deal which included sour creams(got 3) and dips(got 2). They were on sale for 5 for $10.00 and I got 100 gasoline points too. We were out of sour cream and we have some potato chips from the holidays to finish so I got the 2 French onion dips. I got a package of American cheese which we use for our grilled cheese sandwiches for $ 2.09. My total for all was $ 28.05. Last week I earned a coupon to get 100 gas points with my shopping this week so I ended up with 200 gas points toward my next gasoline purchase.
I also went to Aldi’s and Walmart. I got distracted when I got home and forgot to take pictures of those items before I put them away. But I will tell you what I got and what I spent. At Aldi’s I purchased two of the three packs(4 lbs. each) of 85/15 organic ground beef that we love. It was on sale for $ 17.96 a three pack. I was getting low in my freezer so I stocked up. I also bought some fresh whole mushrooms for $ 1.29. My total came to $37.21.
At Walmart, I got 2 bags of Indiana Popcorn Fudge Drizzle. I had two free coupons from the manufacturer. The bags would have cost me $ 2.98 each.
My last stop was the drugstore for 2 prescriptions that cost me $20.00 OOP.
Yesterday for brunch we had leftovers. For dinner, we ate shrimp cocktails with salads.
Today, I will make eggs and bacon for breakfast. Hubby is going to make his homemade meat chili in the crockpot after he browns 2 of the packages of ground beef that I purchased yesterday and sautes up about 2 lbs. of onions. We will have that tonight over our choice of rice or cauliflower rice. Most likely it will last well into the weekend.
I have been doing some baking this week. I made an apple pie for desserts. I also have some cranberries thawed that I purchased on the Thanksgiving sales for $.99 a bag. I will be making cranberry orange muffins.
For entertainment yesterday, Hubby and I watched NCIS Sydney. Then I called one of my best friends, whom I have known for 46 years. She is very special to me. I wanted to call her because it was her 90th birthday! She is sharp as a tack. So we spent about a half hour catching up on what she had been doing since we last talked and catching up on how all of our children and grandchildren were. It was the highlight of my day.
I got my estimated bill yesterday for my electricity and natural gas for the past 32 days. The bill was $ 259.13. It was $28.03 lower than the same period last year. We had higher usage than last year because it has been so cold. So the supply and demand charges being cheaper must have been the difference. I will find out how accurate this estimated bill is when I get the next one when the meters will actually be read.
That is it for now. Have you saved any money this week shopping sales?
Last week I ordered three sets of LED lights. One of the cupboards that I have a lot of trouble seeing into is under my kitchen sink. So I had Hubby install two strips of them on the right and left hand walls of the cupboard. . These lights work on motion sensors so when I am not in the cupboard they are off. I keep cleaners for the kitchen, dishwasher pods, Brillo pads, and sponges in this cupboard. Behind the wastebasket that holds my recyclables, until I take them out to the garbage can in the garage, are a few jars that I reuse to get rid of grease. Never allow grease to go down your sink unless you want to have to call a plumber. When the jar gets full, I place it in my garbage and start a new one. Anyhow this lighting allows me to easily get out what I need.
I had one set of lights left so Hubby hung that in one of my kitchen pantries. Today I ordered some more for the other pantry and two other closets- one that holds coats and one that holds all of my cleaners and vacuums.
I got a lot done today since I arose at 4:30am. When I have my coffee now, I just quickly check my e-mail, Facebook messages, and blog comments. Then I had to make some changes to our budget since I had forgotten about the bill that came yesterday for our lawn fertilization this year. By paying it today, we saved 3% off the bill. So I had to add those figures to our landscape budget and I have made some other small changes too. The posts have been updated.
Next it was time to read a couple of verses of Matthew in my Bible. I do this every morning while finishing my coffee.
Next I made my grocery lists for this week. I only need a few things at Top’s and Aldi’s. I most likely will not get out until the end of the week. It snowed here again today and will tomorrow and we may have some freezing rain into Wednesday.
After making brunch which was pizza, I did up all the dishes, cleaned my quartz countertops and kitchen stove top. Then I ran the dishwasher.
Next I threw a load of wash into the dryer that mainly consisted of a terry robe, bathroom and kitchen towels, and a tablecloth, then folded them and put them away.
Then I cleaned our two bathrooms.
I did some organizing of a dresser in our bedroom and then organized our Master Bathroom vanity. I also organized my desk area. After the mail came, we paid two bills.
Hubby and I sat and watched a You Tube video. Then it was time for me to reheat the homemade chicken soup for dinner that I made yesterday. It always tastes so much better the second day. I used 2 pint jars of chicken and broth that I canned 2 years ago. I took the rest of the meat off the carcass from the rotisserie chicken I bought last week, added rice, fresh carrots and celery. Then I seasoned it all. This gave us two dinners and will give us a lunch tomorrow.
We have company coming in about 15 minutes so I have to close.