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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.

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Every Day

For My Keto Readers

I found this recipe few days ago online. We normally eat meat or fish and veggies. But this looked really good. I just made sure that I used Primal Kitchen mayonaise.

Here is the link:

https://joyfilledeats.com/jalapeno-popper-chicken-casserole/

It is Keto friendly and so delicious. We both loved it but it does make a lot. We will be eating it all week. Hubby isn’t on Keto so he just puts it on eggnoodles.

Sorry that I forgot to take a picture before we ate.

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Every Day

What Will Happen With This Economy?

Do you have an answer to that question? I don’t think any of us do. I know I don’t.

I watch my investments in the stock market every day and hope that the market doesn’t crash. But that could happen at any time.

What I do know is that all of the spending that the government is doing is not a good thing. In my estimation the Fed is just propping the economy up until the day it crashes.

Our money, which is just paper, is getting more and more worthless every day. It used to be backed by gold until they got rid of the gold standard in August of 1971. Now nothing is backing it. It is just becoming worthless paper.

In the past couple of decades they have been printing more and more money. The U.S. has so much debt that I think they can’t stop printing money or everything will collapse.

You know that debt is not a good thing. You know that if you keep adding to your debt and don’t pay it off every month that eventually you will be bankrupt. Well, that is what will eventually happen with with our government too.

Someone asked me this recently? “What would you do if you had a lot of mortgage debt, car loans, and credit card debt?”

That is a hard one for me because we have no debt at all. But if I did the first thing I would pay off would be the car loan and your home. The car can be repossessed and you may need it to get to work and make your income. If you don’t need it, I would pay off your home first.

You need a place to live and if you want to stay in your home, pay it off as quickly as possible. Thousands and thousands of people lost their homes during the Great Depression because they could not make their loan or mortgage payments. They ended up on the streets or moving in with family if that family could afford to feed them. You don’t want that to happen to you.

If you own your home and can afford to pay the property taxes, you have a place to live. If you don’t, the banks will foreclose and take it if you miss a few payments.

You are feeling the effects of prices going up. Prices on groceries and many other items are increasing and they will continue to increase as long as the government keeps printing money. And they don’t seem to want to stop. Instead they want to spend more and more money. When they do that, we have inflation and eventually hyperinflation.

So if you still have income coming in, I suggest you pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible. Did you ever wonder why the 2020 census asked you if you own your home? I know I did.

If you have an opinion about this topic, I would love to hear it.

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Every Day

This Week’s Large Grocery Haul – UPDATED

I went to two grocery stores on Tuesday and combined them into my large monthly grocery haul. First I went to Top’s to pick up things that we needed that were on sale.

Hubby needed snacks so the popcorn and corn chips should last him for this month. The Italian bread was for hot meatball sandwiches that we have already eaten. He eats his brunch or lunch sandwiches on the seeded rolls. Bacon is a staple in our home so whenever I see it under $5.00 a lb. I grab it. I love mushrooms on burgers and steaks. The yogurt is my treat a couple of times a month. Eggs are always needed. I forgot to pick up romaine lettuce since I got side tracked talking with a friend. So when I stop for gasoline on the way to an appointment, I will pick it up. The last item was Angostora bitters which Hubby likes in his manhattans. I hated the price but they will last him for a year or more.

My second stop was at Niagara Produce.

We were getting low on ground beef. Aldi’s had the Never Any brand on sale this week for $ 4.99 a lb. The price has gone up. I decided to not buy it there for a couple of reasons. Hubby loves the ground chuck at Niagara Produce and it is still $ 4.75 a lb. So I decided going out on a Wednesday to get the Never Any brand wasn’t worth my time, gasoline, or money. I shopped this week on Tuesday because it was the once monthly Senior Discount day. I didn’t save much with that but every little bit helps.

I bought everything that the butcher had at the counter. But they were running out so I picked up a package from the meat case because it is the same price. The total was about 4.75 lbs. which I immediately packaged up into meal size portions when I got home using my food saver.

We love shrimp and have it at least twice a month. This 1 lb. package was only $ 7.99 and they are huge shrimp. This is the best price I have found in my area. Even when it is on sale at other stores, they don’t beat this price.

After taking inventory of our meat, Hubby was getting low on haddock. I had plenty of salmon which is what I like. So I purchased him two fresh skinless haddock on sale for $ 6.99 a lb. which is the cheapest price I have found anywhere. This will last more than a month.

I also purchased a bag of lemons and limes which I use on fish and in my water that I drink most of the day. The last item delighted me. I found canning jars. They are very hard to find around this area so when I see them I grab them. I use them for many things in my pantry. And yes, I do pay for them out of my food budget.

As you can see on my receipt, I let them know that I was overcharged for the eggs last week. They put it as a return on this receipt and then recharged me which credited me the $ .60 they owed me.

The total for Top’s was $ 31.46 and for Niagara Produce was $ 65.58 for a large haul total of $ 97.04. I will be picking up the romaine that should have been in that haul. I will let you know the price in a future post.

UPDATE: On the way to my appointment today I stopped and filled up my car’s gasoline tank. I was able to get $.20 off per gallon using Top’s points. That saved me $ 1.75. I also stopped at Aldi’s and picked up some romaine and a cucumber. They had the best price and it was on my route. They cost $3.58 so I spent a total of $ 100.62 this week.

Did you do a large haul this week or a small haul? Feel free to share with all of us in the comments.

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Every Day

Last Friday’s Shopping Haul

This past week was a fill in shopping trip. Both stores were on my route so as to maximize my gasoline. Gasoline has been as high as $2.90 a gallon here and I expect that it will eventually go up even higher. Saving gasoline is very important in my plan.

Eggs have been very expensive the last couple of weeks. The best price I had found was $ 1.79 last week at Aldi. I desperately needed eggs because of my son and West coming for breakfast. Niagara Produce changes their weekly specials and they reset last Friday. I was thrilled to see that the extra large eggs were $ 1.19. So I went there first and picked up 2 dozen. They also had cantaloupes priced at 2 for $ 3.00. We have been loving those for breakfasts and desserts.

As you can see my total rang up at $5.98 which was incorrect. I should have paid attention to the fact that the eggs rang up at $1.49 instead of the $1.19 they were on sale for but I was in a hurry. I will get my $ .60 back the next time I go there.

My second and last stop was at Aldi’s. Butter and the cream cheese were on sale and we use a lot of those so I picked up one of each. We always buy our half and half at this store because their price is the cheapest. The stuffing mixes are a stockpile item and were on sale for $.69 each.

Hubby and I have been loving their flavored waters which are only $.55 for the big bottle. That is $ .02 cheaper than Walmart.

My Dollar Tree no longer has the big boxes of Scotties. They now sell a 74 count box for a dollar so I have been picking up our tissues at Aldi because they now have the best price per count.

The last item I purchased was the Artisan bread. About every two weeks I make a pizza for dinner on these. It is delicious, is easy to put together, and bakes quickly. Hubby loves it. They come in a package of 2 so one gets frozen for later.

I spent a total of $ 14.12 at Aldi. So my total for these two stores this past week was $ 20.10. However, I will be getting my $ .60 back from Niagara Produce.

I am writing this post on Saturday morning and I am excitedly waiting the arrival of my son and grandson. We will be having scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast along with a special treat that West will love: cinnamon buns.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment.

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Every Day

Our New Grocery Budget

We have all been spending more money on groceries since Covid 19 hit. Prices went up at first because of shortages. Then with all of the money that the government has been spending (printing out of thin air) inflation started to take hold and will continue to go up with each new spending package. This trend will continue on the backs of middle class Americans. The people whose taxes they will raise are corporations and many small businesses who will raise the prices on their products which gets passed down to us.

Since I had been stockpiling during part of 2020, I was spending a fortune. I was trying to stick to my budget but it was becoming very difficult. So I was taking lump sums of money from savings to continue that way of shopping. When I took a step back during my break from here, I realized we were spending a fortune. I was finally well stocked and really needed to slow the shopping down and get on a regular budget again. I think many of you can probably relate to this.

So about 6 weeks ago, I started doing things differently. I know prices are up and will continue to go up. But I slashed our grocery budget to $400. per month. I am going to try to continue budgeting that amount as long as I can by incorporating into our meals everything that I can from our stockpile ( pantry, freezer, and refrigerator items).

I am menu planning a month at a time now so that when I go to the grocery store I know what I need for the month for the meals that I have planned out.

One week a month I do a large shop at Walmart, Top’s, Niagara Produce or Aldi’s or a combination of them. I do not buy meat at Walmart except for frozen chicken wings. Most of our meat comes from the other three stores. This week I spend the majority of our monthly budget.

How do I determine the big shop week? I watch the grocery flyers and my Niagara Produce weekly specials and go the week that has a lot of things on sale (especially meat and fish) that are needed to replenish what we are using. Meat and fish are expensive so buying at a good price is the best time to stock. Walmart and Aldi’s has the cheapest prices on other items that we use.

I actually was considering joining Costco before the gasoline prices went up. However, it is a 110 mile trip to the closest one. We only get 20 miles to the gallon so that trip would cost us about $16.00 in gasoline each time we went. After paying a $60.00 membership fee, I couldn’t justify the cost. We know the gasoline prices are only going to go up further.

Then I took a look at joining Sam’s Club which is 37 miles round trip. That would only cost us about $ 5.80 per trip. They have a membership deal that works out to be free after a $45. gift card they give you to join. This would be my logical choice if I decide to join. Costco is so much better than Sam’s or B.J’s. I did not renew my B.J.’s membership because I believe they are going belly up. They’re never well stocked and the prices are prohibitive for the quality. So for now I will just stick to my current plan.

The other weeks of the month, I just shop the loss leaders on things like fresh produce, creamer, cream cheese, sour cream, milk, eggs, and butter, etc. It takes me a few minutes to make a list every week and just go in each store for those items and nothing else. No impulse purchases! These shops don’t cost a lot and keep me within my budget.

This has really been working well and is saving me time and gasoline. Before I was going to too many stores just about every week.

Also, we make sure that every morsel of food is used up that is purchased. Nothing goes into the trash! We have a leftover night or two a week which is built into our menu plan. If produce isn’t getting used up, we freeze it for smoothies. If we have onions, celery, or peppers starting to get soft, we slice them and flash freeze them and use them in casseroles, stews or omelets.

If prices keep going up, I will find other ways to stay under budget. For now it is working.

On Wednesday, I will show you my small shop from last Friday. It was an inexpensive week.

Are you finding ways to stay under your grocery budgets even though prices are rising? Feel free to comment and share with all of us.

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Every Day

A Happy and Blessed Easter to Everyone

Well, it has certainly been a long time since I have written here. I hope you are all well. Being honest is how I always want to be! That said, I needed a break badly. There was so much going on in my life and our extended families lives that I desperately needed some time to help them. My life had become very, very stressful. I also needed to decompress.

Along with that, I was quite sick with a strep throat for about 2 weeks. A year’s worth of avoiding Covid 19 and I come down with strep caught at the supermarket. So weird! It was the only place I had been during the time I started to come down with it.

Now that things have calmed down, I will be blogging again when I have time. I have a post all ready for Monday. With time to collect my thoughts during the break, I have changed my grocery budget and have been sticking to the new figure. I am also doing my shopping a little differently. I will tell you all about it on Monday.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a blessed Easter and the Easter bunny comes to all of your little ones. We are spending Easter alone this year. However we are very excited because our son and grandson are coming for breakfast in the morning. We have not seen them in 4 months which was a 20 minute visit outdoors. We have seen Alexa and my other son here twice in the past year. They came and visited. We will see them again in a couple of months when Alexa graduates from junior high school. We will also see my son’s new home for the first time. Pictures only tell us a little of what it it like.

Until Monday………….

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Every Day

Frugal Things The Past Couple of Weeks

Well, I hope you are feeling Happy today! I know I am! Sorry to be absent the past couple of weeks but we had to be available for family, spent many hours a day trying to find a place that would actually have a vaccine appointment, and spent many hours with lawyers working on estate things along with the usual everyday things that we all have to spend time on.

I can happily tell you that Hubby and I have both gotten our first vaccine injections. We are looking forward to getting the second shots. I hope that if you are over 65 that you have been able to get yours too.

Now for the frugal things that we have done while I have been absent:

  • I have done no grocery shopping during that time. We have been eating from our pantries, freezer, and refrigerator. I am planning a trip to the store and will post about it when it has happened.
  • I have been using up all of the cooked meals that we had frozen.
  • I made a run to the bank and got grocery money out for three months so that I could skip a couple of trips. The bank is a 30 minute drive in heavy traffic. The less time I can spend going there the better and it also saves on gasoline.
  • Hubby took 5 bags of bottles and cans to Fast Cash and received $7.65 back in deposits.
  • Hubby snow blowed our driveway after the latest storm and shoveled the driveway and porch. So many of my neighbors hire a plow driver and it is so expensive. We purchased the snow blower when we moved here and it is certainly paying for itself.
  • Our natural gas and electric utility bill came and was only a couple of dollars more than last year even though we had a rate increase.
  • I am noticing that grocery prices are continuing to go up due to inflation. I spent a morning at Walmart checking out all kinds of prices on things that we use all the time. I had to pick up a sweater so while I was there I updated our price book. I am seeing increases of $ .25 to over $ 1.00 per item. Meat especially seems to be rising whether it is fresh or canned. We will be making changes to what we buy as the price increases continue to head upwards. I will do a post about that in the future.
  • I did buy a necessity. Hubby said the shower floor was becoming too slippery for him. So I spent $ 15.11 for a shower mat. I do not want him to fall.
  • I went to the car wash and used 5 car wash coupons that I had gotten from previous washes to get a free wash. The SUV needed it badly since it was so dirty from the dirt and salt that the town puts on our roads.
  • Hubby downloaded “NEXT” and we binge watched it. I was great free entertainment.
  • I continue to exercise here at home on the treadmill and recumbent bike.
  • We paid our usual landscaping and fertilizing services so that we could take advantage of a 5% discount.
  • We did the usual of washing our laundry in cold water all except for towels and bedding. We hung most of our laundry to dry.
  • I spend time every week dry canning our pasta and grains until I get it all caught up.
  • I ordered vegetable seeds for the spring. They were a necessity this month because so many companies are getting orders early and I am afraid that they will sell out early.
  • Hubby had a Telehealth visit with a doctor which lets him stay away from people along with saving us gasoline.
  • I can’t think of anything else at the moment. Please feel free to share your frugal things with us in the comments.
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Every Day

No Spend: January 8-11 and Our One Pan-Pot Plan

The last few days have been spent in our home. No grocery shopping, no eating out. I have exercised every day for 20 minutes. But after watching the 60 Minutes program about 90 year olds and their habits, I don’t think that is enough. I used to do 30 minutes but these 90 year olds on average are doing 45 minutes so I think I should step up my game.

My days have been spent making phone calls that needed to get done, correcting my credit unions errors, looking for another bank and investments to put our money in instead of my current credit union. The errors they have made since their last cutover are just totally unacceptable. Even Hubby who has the patience of a saint is fed up with them!

We also have started doing something different with our meals. We are trying to use up every food item( leftovers) that is already cooked in our freezer and baking it as a casserole or one pan meal.

Yesterday, I took some cooked turkey breast out of the freezer, defrosted it and diced it. Then I sauteed some diced celery, diced fresh carrot, diced onion, and diced potato in some butter. I made 2 cups of turkey gravy using packets and added it. When it thickened, I added the diced turkey. I greased a round glass pan and poured everything into it. Then I placed a ready made pie crust that was in the fridge that needed to be used up quickly on the top and cut slits in it. I baked it in the oven at 375 for 25 minutes. Hubby told me it was the best pot pie that he had ever eaten. As you can see in the picture, we ate the leftovers tonight.

Tonight, I will take leftover pork tenderloin from the freezer to defrost. Tomorrow, I will dice it and do a stir fry using some peppers that I froze last summer when they were cheap. I will add onions and pineapple for Hubby. I will make a more Keto friendly stir fry for me.

Then the next night, we will take out spaghetti and spaghetti sauce and meatballs left from when my son and granddaughter were here and make a bake out of it. Then I will thaw a ham bone and soak some beans to make soup.

I know I have more meals in the freezer, so we will continue this until all of the cooked foods are gone.

While doing this, I will also be using up fruits and veggies that are in our fridge so they don’t go bad. They will be incorporated into the dinner meals or used for brunch or breakfast.

I am always remembering, waste not want not.

What have you done frugally lately?

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Every Day

No Spend: January 5 – 7

I really do not like playing catch up these couple of days but I had some really busy days. It also didn’t help that on Tuesday night I didn’t sleep a wink.

Tuesday was my big errand day. First I went to town hall to pay my property taxes. I was happy to get that done. Next I went to the drug store to pick up two prescriptions for Hubby. I was disappointed that they didn’t have a third one ready which necessitated another trip. I searched for marked down Christmas cards because I haven’t been able to find them. No luck so I believe I will make cards next year.

Then I went to Aldi’s, Dollar Tree, and lastly Top’s. At Aldi’s I picked up just 1 package of their on sale chicken breasts for $ 1.69 a lb. You could get 4 but I only bought 1 because that is all I had freezer room for.

We use a lot of garlic powder and crushed red pepper so at $ .95 each, they are the cheapest price in town. Then I purchased one creamer which we go through very quickly because I drink a lot of coffee during the day. The last purchase was frozen California medley on sale for $ .79. My total at Aldi was $ 12.96.

Next I stopped at Dollar Tree to pick up 1 package of pepper stir fry and the Northern beans to make ham and bean soup soon. We were out of the stir fry veggies and Hubby loves to use some of these in his egg omelet wrap every morning. I am convinced that Bird’s Eye makes these for Dollar Tree. For $1.00 no one can touch that price in my area. So I always buy these there. The last time I went to DT, they were totally out of Scotties tissue. I was happy to find they had restocked and picked up 4 boxes. My total here was $ 6.32.

My last stop was at Top’s to pick up 2 packages of the Carb Balance wraps. I know they are dirty Keto but this is my 1 exception when I am on my eating plan. They are so expensive. Has anyone found then cheaper? I paid $ 9.38 after my 6% Senior Discount. For Christmas I received a few scratch off Lotto tickets. I won a total of $ 8.00 so I stopped at customer service and cashed them in. That $ 8.00 will get put into our savings to eventually combine with other dollars and be invested. I never buy these scratch offs so it was fun for a change.

Today and the past two days I will and have done my exercising. I have been doing 30 minutes on the treadmill each day. I have also done my regular chores, washed floors, vacuumed, dusted. and cleaned out the fridge.

Yesterday, I drove back to the drug store to get that last prescription. We also made a huge investment in a bond fund. We rebalanced our investments in December and now we are buying more. I also washed the walls in one bedroom yesterday.

Today, I need to make an appointment with our lawyer and contact a doctor. My regular chores and exercising will get done. If all the little things get done and I have time I will wash another bedroom’s walls.

We have been eating Keto the last couple of days and will be making shrimp and a salad today.

My BIL is having a heart procedure at noon today. If you are one that prays, I would appreciate a little prayer for him.

What have you been doing the past couple of days to stay frugal? How is your exercising going?