Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done Recently

We had our gas furnace tuned up and checked by our family owned company that we use. We had a coupon to pay $ 69. for it. Then I checked my utility company site and found out that we could apply for a $50. rebate. Make sure that you check your utility sites for any rebates they offer. The heating guy checked our humidifier on the furnace too and said the water wasn’t moving in it. He said he needed a certain part to fix it and that he didn’t have it on the truck. Hubby didn’t think that it needed that part so he told him he would fix that himself. Sure enough, the tube was clogged. Hubby has repaired that.

I took my granddaughter bowling. I found a $10. coupon to defray the cost.

We had pizza delivered on Monday for dinner. They were running a football deal because it was Monday night football. We took advantage of that.

We all watched the Buffalo Bills game on Monday night. It was cheap entertainment. Go Bills!

My granddaughter and I spent many hours just chatting and playing UNO. We do not have to spend a lot of money to have a good time.

Lights are off during daylight hours.

We took a trip to the Amish store where we picked up some treats, fresh jalapenos, oatmeal, rice, bacon and spices that I needed. Their prices are so much cheaper than the supermarkets.

I did a load of laundry and threw my granddaughters clothes in to make a full load. That will save her from having to wash them when she goes home. We washed in cold water and hung many things to dry.

We are caulking and foaming places that need it to make sure we don’t lose heat this winter.

I am still picking tomatoes. I have been busy with my granddaughter since last Friday, so I froze them to can when I am not so busy.

Hubby cooked a sirloin steak on the outdoor grill rather than use the broiler in the house.

We have been trying to eat up all the leftovers: donuts, banana bread, chicken strips and tater tots, broccoli and cauliflower, deli meats, salad greens, etc.

Hubby sauteed the leftover steak in butter and garlic in the electric fry pan. We ate it with scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Our A/C has been off for over a week.

The nights are getting cold here but rather than turn on the heat we have piled on the blankets. I am debating whether we will use our electric blanket this year. A few regular blankets will save us money.

My son drove Alexa to our home and he stayed a couple of days. It is a cross state trip. Rather than us drive her all the way back on Saturday, we drove 1/2 way and met her mother who took her home the rest of the way. It saved us time and gas. I already miss Alexa. We had so much fun while she was here for 8 days.

We got our September 2022 electric and natural gas bill. We used 597 kwh and 4 ccf’s of natural gas. The bill was $ 122.62. The September 2021 bill was $ 132.12 for 828 kwh and 3.1 therms. It is a good thing that we watched our usage. If we had used 828 kwh like last year, our bill would have been huge. We watched everything we did power wise and it made a big difference. We will continue to conserve as much as we can. While I was looking at the bill, I decided to see how much we spent on these utilities the past year. From Oct. 2021 through Sept. 2022, the total bill was $ 2055.58. I would love to get that figure under $2000. but with prices on the rise, I don’t think it is possible. But you know I will try my very best to keep it down.

Hubby and I used up many leftovers last night. We made Chef’s salads for dinner. We used up the rest of the lettuce, one tomato, some purple onion that was diced up a week ago, leftover black olives and deli turkey, leftover sharp cheddar cheese, and leftover cooked bacon. We even finished up a bottle of ranch dressing. It was delicious! Tonight, I am hoping to incorporate either some leftover tater tots or rice. So we will either have tater tot casserole or fried rice.

What have you been doing lately to save some money?

Every Day

No Waste On Baking Day

In our quest to waste nothing, I used up 5 bananas to make these two loaves of banana bread. I somehow lost my recipe so this is a new one we tried. It is one of the best we have ever eaten. As you can see we have already shared a piece. That loaf we will work on for breakfasts. Then when my son and granddaughter come, I will pull the other one out of the freezer for a big breakfast that I am planning. If anyone is interested in the recipe, I got it at .

I woke up to this beautiful sky on Monday. The pinks and blues with the sun peaking through was magnificent. Our sunsets have been gorgeous too.

Not much other news right now. I have been getting ready for my family to come this week. We haven’t seen them in 3 months so we are really looking forward to it.

Every Day

Frugal Things Recently

Here are the frugal things we have been doing:

  • We have Walmart + for grocery delivery. Yesterday, they added Paramount + streaming service free as one of their benefits for belonging. Hubby and I have already binged watched 3 episodes of “1883” which is the prequel to “Yellowstone”.
  • Hubby sharpened the blades on our John Deere riding lawn mower instead of sending it out to be done.
  • For dinner one night, we tried an Old El Paso Dinner Kit that I got on a sale back in 2020. It got lost in my kitchen pantry. The expiration date was February 2021. It was the Japanese one and it was delicious. The tortillas that came with it were in a sealed mylar bag so I knew they would be just fine. Mylar keeps things fresh for years. All I added to it was about 3/4 of a pound of diced chicken breast and a medium onion sliced. Hubby loved it. So I checked out the ingredients and realized how easy it would be to make from scratch. So that is how we will make it from now on. I actually have all of the items needed to do that in my pantry. We do have leftovers for a lunch.
  • My garden is producing tomatoes so well that I have had enough to can a few batches for sauce.
  • We have made an appointment with the local business that we use to have our furnace checked out before heating season. We want to make sure that it is in tip top condition over the winter. I found a coupon for that to be done for $ 69.
  • Hubby finally took back the bottles to Fast Cash that have been stacking up in the garage for months. He got $ 9.10 back in deposits. While he was out he also filled up our gas cans. It was on his route.
  • I went to the grocery store just once this week for some fresh produce and combined that trip with a trip to the drug store to pick up a prescription.
  • We have had another string of rainy days so we didn’t have to use the sprinkler system. We already got our quarterly water and sewer bill which was for most of the summer through the end of August. It was $253. Now that things have cooled off we should not have to water things for much longer and our next three bills should be back to normal which is about $60.
  • We are still doing a great job of not wasting any food. It is just too expensive to throw any of it away. I had some onions that needed to be used up so I diced them and froze them for future use.
  • My son and grandson will be coming to breakfast tomorrow. I have plenty of eggs but I think all of the bacon is gone because we have been eating a lot of BLT’s to use up fresh tomatoes. I will just grab some sausage out of the freezer to thaw. I have a couple of almost empty bags of shredded cheese to use up. I am thinking I will put those in the eggs.
  • I only did one load of wash this week using cold water and half the amount of detergent that it says to use on the bottle. I hung the clothes to dry.

What have you done recently to save some money?

Every Day

This is a Rarity In Our Home

Our neighbor owns a a bakery in our little town. Hubby loves their blueberry muffins. He says they are the best he has ever eaten. So I went up and purchased these 4 and surprised him. He will enjoy them over the weekend.

Of course I had to get something for me to enjoy with my morning coffee. I took a bite before I remembered to take a picture. This is the best cinnamon bun that I have ever tasted.

All of this only cost $ 8.+.

But the best part was that we got to support a local business. So many small businesses are hurting right now. With all the regulations that they have on them and the new ones that the government is putting on them, I am fearful that the small businesses will be destroyed.

Small businesses have been the backbone of our country for many, many years! Yes, I know it is hard to get away from Walmart and Amazon, etc.

But we need to spend our money as much as possible to bolster small businesses especially American small business.

It is tough times for everyone today with inflation. Many people are barely holding their budgets together with the price of food, insurances, medical, gasoline and their utility bills. I understand their struggles.

But if you do go to a restaurant or small business to buy a meal or a gift, try to remember that it is the small businesses that are struggling the most.

Hubby and I rarely buy a treat these days but when we do we support people like our local family owned bakery.

It has been a busy week for us. My granddaughter and son will be coming to visit for a week shortly. So I have been getting ready for their visit. While they are here, we will be supporting a family owned restaurant.

We have also been dealing with this destruction. We contracted for an entire new driveway in April. They finally came a couple of days ago to do the work. The town dug part of our driveway up over a year ago to fix a water leak. They moved the pipe when they made the repair so that it is no longer under the driveway. But they patched the driveway and it looked awful plus it was sinking where they dug. So the company we contracted with to do the new one is also a small family local business that we are gladly supporting.

Every Day

My Grocery Shopping This Week

I ran all of our errands on Monday. The car got filled up with gasoline and the prescriptions got picked up at the drugstore.

At Niagara Produce I was happy to find these bags of red and Yukon potatoes since they are in such short supply. They were $ 3.99 each. I also got 2 packages of bacon for $3.99 each.

At Top’s I picked up this large package of 80/20 ground beef for $ 2.99 a lb. with a super coupon which lowered the price at the register. The bananas were $ .55 a lb. They had celery on sale on B1G1F. When I looked at it, they had chopped off the stems that were bad and were trying to pass them off as celery hearts. They were rusty on the ends where they were cut and they were more white than green. Needless to say I did not buy them. Instead I got a package of celery for $ 2.00 that looked fresh.

I used my food saver to repackage the meat into portion size future meals. The potatoes got put away so that they will last a few months. We rarely eat potatoes but when we do, I make baked, mashed, hash browns and French fries from them. The bacon will be gone in no time.

Lastly, I will be using the bananas to make smoothies. I have homemade vanilla yogurt to add to it. But most importantly, I have all different kinds of frozen berries in the freezer to use up in them. This will be my way of making room in the freezer for turkey deals at Thanksgiving time. I am hoping they have them and at a good price this year.

Did you get any good loss leader deals this week? Please share with all of us.

Every Day

Frugal Things The Past 2 Weeks

These are the things we have been doing frugally.

Hubby and I always have gone to the doctor’s on the same day(consecutive appointments) which saves us on gasoline and time. We have had to switch to three different doctors because our prior ones have retired. This has happened three times in the past few months. Some of the appointments got scheduled on different days. I took some time to call them and reschedule us together.

We had our annual eye appointments so I had the doctor fill out the motor vehicle forms that we needed to renew our driver’s licenses. This saved us from making an appointment to go the motor vehicle office and taking the eye exam there. Then we were also able to renew it online which saved us stamps.

I upgraded my Sam’s Club membership to the Plus level. Our store is an hour and a half round trip for us. With the price of gasoline, the time involved and winter coming, we needed the free shipping. It only cost me an additional $43.10 and we deemed it well worth it.

I am only buying loss leader sales at Top’s or buying the cheapest price on the things we need at Aldi’s, Sam’s Club, or Walmart. We are planning our meals around those items.

This morning we harvested 3 large tomatoes from the garden. We were going to have homemade pizza for dinner but I have changed my mind. We have many tomatoes to eat or can so we will have turkey club sandwiches for dinner. It has been nice that we haven’t had to buy tomatoes since our garden started producing.

Yesterday, I renewed my library card online and had them add the e-card feature so that I can get e-books, audio books, movies, TV shows, music, magazines, and newspapers online. They told me there is so many that I probably won’t have to come to the library ever again. That works perfectly for us because the library is up in the city so we will save gasoline and it will be handy because winter is coming. I love to read so once canning season is over, I will be doing a lot of that.

We get free checks from our bank because of the type of accounts we have. So I ordered them.

In a prior post, I told you how our magnifying glass broke(the handle) so we purchased a new one from Walmart. Hubby never threw the old one out and has been working on a few projects lately. He decided to super glue the handle so that I could put it in my desk in the kitchen(which I always work at) and I wouldn’t have to go to the office when I needed one to read those small print liquor and grocery rebate forms.

Hubby has been filling the cracks and crevices that might leak heat this winter.

We continue to save by watching how much electricity and natural gas we use. I am only washing one load of clothes a week and hanging most of them to dry.

My electric toothbrush was getting old and needed to be replaced. I had been watching for a good deal for couple of months now. I had found nothing until I found this one: It was on sale for one day only last week for $ 24.95.

I ordered 96 Green Mountain Decaf K cups for Hubby at Amazon. When they arrived yesterday I was aggravated because they sent light caffeinated cups instead. Hubby cannot have caffeine and since they were $63.96, I tried to do a return. The system told me that I couldn’t do a return online that I had to call their customer service. I did and I explained the issue to the representative. They had no replacement in stock to send me. So they credited me the $ 63.96 and told me that I did not have to return the product. I could keep it, donate it, or throw it out. She sent me an e-mail with all of that info in it. I was thrilled because I drink caffeinated coffee.

I filled our SUV up with gasoline yesterday using Top’s points that allowed me to get $ .60 off per gallon. So instead of paying $ 3.99 per gallon, I paid $ 3.39 per gallon. That is still double what we were paying when Pres. Biden closed the pipeline on the first day he took office. So I was not celebrating. But the gas points help a bit.

I did all my errands for the week yesterday. I am trying to only do that one day a week every week.

We had two days of rain last week and it is raining today which is saving us from running the sprinkler system. We still have to water the flower pots on our porch but I am using warm up water for those.

That is about it for now. What did you do frugally the past two weeks?

Every Day

Leftovers: No Waste

We had some leftovers from having company. So I decided to make chicken soup yesterday. I had the rotisserie chicken that I purchased on Tuesday so I used some of that meat. I diced up some fresh celery and planned on using dehydrated carrots. The carrots were a problem. More about that in a minute. I had no fresh carrots so I resorted to using a small can of sliced carrots. I also had 3 leftover cooked corn on the cob. I cut the corn off. I also had a small container of cooked wild rice. I added all of those things along with some leftover chicken stock that was in the fridge. Within 20 minutes, I had a nice small pot of soup.

These are the dehydrated carrots that I opened to use in the soup. It was a brand new #10 can of Augason Farms Carrots that I just purchased this month. The expiration date was 2047. I know the quality of food has gone down the tubes but this is ridiculous. I have no idea what all the brown and white pieces that are in it even are. So this is being returned to Amazon and they re refunding my money. It makes me very nervous about other dehydrated food that I have purchased that is Augason Farms. I haven’t had a problem before but I doubt I will buy other cans from them. I will be opening sooner rather than later the other ones I own.

I threw the carcass from the rotisserie chicken along with water in the crock pot yesterday and made chicken bone broth. As you can see I got a half gallon jar and a little over half of another one. Since the pot of soup needs to be added to tonight for our dinner, I will use up the broth that has the chicken bits from the carcass in it. The other jar will be used in various dishes.

We also had leftover hamburgers, pork tenderloin, blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins, broccoli, and cold cuts. The hamburgers were used for cheeseburgers this week that we topped with delicious tomatoes from our garden. The hoisin pork tenderloin that Hubby marinated and grilled was used for a dinner with applesauce and the broccoli and a pork sandwich for Hubby for a lunch. The muffins and pancakes we have been enjoying for breakfasts. And for brunch today, the cold cuts will be put on our Chef’s salads.

We are trying our best to not waste anything. Food is way too expensive to do that! If we can’t incorporate it into a meal right away, I freeze leftovers in a gallon bag and use it for soup or stew.

Every Day

When Dollar Tree No Longer Became a Dollar, I Checked Other Places for Dollar Items

Now my favorite place for dollar and under items is Walmart. Since I am a Walmart Plus customer, I can have them delivered also.

I know that a lot of people are having a hard time paying for food right now. So I am hoping this list will help someone.

What I paid for each item:

Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix – $ .47

Jiffy Blueberry Muffin Mix – $ .79

Jiffy Pie Crust Mix – $ .79

Birthday Candles – $ .75

Great Value Light Greek Yogurt – $ .64

Rice, 16 oz. bag -$ .76

Beef Stew Seasoning Mix – $ .88

Ranch Dressing Mix – $ .48

Pork Roast Seasoning Mix – $ .96

Lemon Juice – $ .92

1 lb. of Spaghetti – $ .92

1 lb. of Fettuccine – $ .92

Scalloped Potatoes – $ .98

Mashed Potatoes Original – $ 1.00

Au Gratin Potatoes – $ .98

Turkey Stuffing Mix – $ .88

Tomato Paste – $ .76

Italian Seasoning Spice – $ .98

Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes – $ .78

Taco Seasoning Mix – $ .88

Chicken Gravy Mix – $ .74

Brown Gravy Mix – $ .40

All of the bottled spices were $ 1.00 each

Macaroni & Cheese, Thick and Creamy – $ .43

Strawberry Cake Mix – $ 1.00

Yellow Cake Mix – $ 1.00

Croutons – $ .98

And in my haste this morning, I forgot to put some items I got in the picture. They are:

Great Value Sauerkraut 14.5 oz. can – $ .96

Great Value Refried Beans 16 oz. can $ .92

Great Value Cream of Chicken Soup – $ .92

Great Value Brown Sugar Hickory Baked Beans 15 oz. can -$ .98

Every Day

I Got Another Utility Bill

Our August natural gas and electricity bill came on Monday. I was very nervous about this bill because so many people online were telling about how their bill had almost doubled.

I was thrilled when I got it. The total was $126.80 for 29 days. We used 5 ccf’s of natural gas which was cooking and 594 kwh for electricity which was for everything else.

Our August 2021 bill was $ 125.01. That month we used 775 KWH and 3 ccf’s of natural gas.

So our current bill was $ 1.79 higher than last years. But not bad considering how rates and supply and delivery have gone up.

As you can see we kept our kwh’s way down but ccf’s were a lot higher. But for this time of year 5 ccf’s are not bad. I believe I used the stove top more often. I will try to get that down this month.

These are the things we have been doing to keep our usage down:

Our A/C is set at 75. On the days that are cooler, we turn it off.

We only run the dishwasher and washing machine with very full loads. I use cold water for washing clothes except if I have a really dirty load. Then I use warm. I only use the regular wash on the dishwasher. The cycle is shorter.

We wear our outer clothes for about 2 days if they don’t get soiled. Being retired we don’t get very dirty.

We use LED bulbs inside and outside our home.

I dry our clothes by hanging them for the most part. I do use the dryer for towels and sheets. In the dryer, I use wool balls to cut the drying time down.

We try to use our grill and small appliances for our meals. If we use the crock pot, I put it outside on the patio so as to not heat up our home.

In the summer, we grill outside and make sandwiches and salads a lot.

I get all of my meat for the week out of our chest freezer on Sundays and put it in the refrigerator. That way the freezer only gets opened once for weekly meals. When I open the refrigerator, I quickly get out what I need. I don’t keep the door open browsing.

I turn off and unplug my computer when I am not using it. We only have the TV on when we are watching it. If we leave the room, it gets turned off. We don’t leave it on for noise.

My chest freezer saves us more energy than an upright. I have to defrost mine but it saves more energy than a frost free one.

We have a thermostat set automatically so that we can lower the heat at night in the winter an hour before we go to bed. Then it goes back up at a set time in the morning.

We do not use any lights or lamps during daylight hours.

We keep our energy saving shades down on sunny windows in the summer and we open them to let the sun in during the winter.

We have kept our heat on at 72 during the winter but this year I plan on lowering that number. Hubby will just have to layer up.

When we cook on top of the stove, we keep covers on pots and pans. Things cook faster especially when boiling water and it keeps the stove top cleaner.

We put a little water in the sink to wash veggies and fruits. We do the same with any pots or pans that we are washing. We never waste hot water by just letting it run down the sink. If I need to warm up water, I catch it in a bowl or pot to water our garden or flowers.

We turn off the water, after we wet the brush while brushing our teeth. Hubby turns it off while he is shaving.

The water softener is set to only run twice a week.

I catch water in a bucket when warming up shower water. We use it to clean with or flush a toilet.

I know there are many other things we do but I am drawing a blank right now so I will end it here.

What do you do to save on your utility bills?

Every Day

A Little of This and a Little of That

My company has left to go home. So I did my grocery shopping for the week at Top’s. There was not much that interested me this week. I opened the large pack of chicken legs to food saver them. Then I realized that I hadn’t taken a picture for you. The chicken legs were on loss leader for $ 1.19 a lb. This was 4 meals worth for us. We use the air fryer to cook them and then add heated Frank’s Hot Sauce mixed with butter to coat them. They have more meat than wings and these are cheaper for our football game meals this Fall.

They had rotisserie chickens on sale for $ 5.99 with a super coupon. Whole uncooked chickens were also on sale this week. However, this was already cooked and I don’t have to turn on my rotisserie oven and make the rub to cook it. I have a busy week so this suffices. I will take all of the meat off of it and freeze it into portions for future meals. Tonight, I will put the carcass in the crock pot overnight to make chicken bone broth. I may make soup this week or next.

The last thing I purchased was 2 sirloin steaks for $ 4.99 a lb. That is all I can fit in my little freezer. I am seriously considering purchasing another small freezer. Beef prices are down(at least for a while) because farmers culled many of their herds because they couldn’t afford to feed them. I will make a decision soon.

We really had a great relaxing time with our company. We only went to a party that we go to annually where a friend smokes briskets, pork bellies and this year she did peppers with cheese and bacon wrapped around them. They were delicious! She invited our extended family which we really appreciated! It was a lot of fun! The rest of the time, I cooked 3 meals a day and Hubby did all of the grilling. I am exhausted. But it was all worth it.

Food prices have risen so high that there are many things that I am just not purchasing any more. If they aren’t on loss leader and we can go without them, we do. I substitute many things. We are eating more salads this summer and we will be making more soups this fall. They are easy and cheaper to make especially the soups. We are making more salad dressings and condiments. We have a bread machine so we make breads. I do have some bread dough in the freezer that needs to be used up by baking it in the oven. But I won’t do that until the A/C has been off for the season.

We are eating leftovers for a few days because I refuse to waste them. So we have hamburgers, some pork tenderloin, cold cuts, wild rice, broccoli, corn on the cob, blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes to use up. I won’t cook until they are gone. Then I will cook a meal that will last us 2-3 days. This is how I am keeping my utility bills down. More on that tomorrow.

Are you getting any good deals this week?