Every Day

Homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Last week I got very busy with so many things on my plate. I had three appointments, made Keto Peanut Butter Ice Cream twice, had cleaning and laundry to do, my container garden to plant, and I did a whole lot of canning.

I have been trying to get this post up for days. But it just didn’t work out. So here it is.

If you have ever purchased Keto Ice Cream, you know what I mean when I say that it is hard to dish up, tastes almost mealy, and is very expensive. We have tried almost every brand out in the markets. It’s awful!

I had given up until my son who eats Keto gave me this recipe:

I double the recipe and put it in a wide mouth quart canning jar and freeze it for at least 18 hours. You can eat it after 5 hours but I find that it is more like soft serve ice cream then. I like it more like store bought ice cream that you purchase.

So here is my cheat sheet recipe for a double batch:

1 and 6/8 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

2/3 cup Allulose( Sugar Free Sweetener)

6 Tbsp. Jif No Sugar Added Peanut Butter

1 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Salt

I put the wet ingredients in the mason jar and then add the dry ingredients. Put the seal and ring on tight. Then shake it vigorously for about 5 minutes or until it is all mixed up.

Then you just put it in the freezer and eat it when it is done and you want a Keto treat. One scoop is a good size.

This the best tasting Keto Ice Cream ever and it is so easy. We will be trying some of the other ice cream recipes that he has also.

I am working on a prepping project today and will be showing it to you tomorrow.

Every Day

How We Are Dealing With Inflation( continued from yesterday)

We again will be planting some vegetables soon and eating some fresh this summer. The rest will be canned for next winter. Even if you don’t have space for a garden, you can do a container garden or a hydroponic garden. Every little bit helps with these produce prices.

We are watching our water consumption. We never just let the water run down the sink. We close the sink up when we wash or rinse dishes. Rinse water can be used to water outside. I do the same with pasta water. We don’t waste. When I brush my teeth, I wet the brush then turn the water off. I just turn it back on to rinse. We have low flow toilets so we don’t have to worry about that water. In other houses when we just had standard toilets, we put a brick or a bottle in the tank to displace some of the water. I take navy showers. I use water to wet down, turn the water off, soap up, turn the water on, then rinse.

We only wash clothes once a week on the Eco cycle with cold water. I do another load for towels and sheets. I only use hot or warm for really messy things. We never wash anything but a full load. I hang dry most of our clothing.

The dishwasher is never run until it is really full.

Today, I will be cleaning out my chest freezer so that I can defrost it. It needs it to function properly and it uses less power when it doesn’t have ice on the walls. I also want to put some of the butter that I got on sale at Aldi’s a couple of weeks ago in the freezer to get it out of my refrigerator. I don’t want it to spoil.

I also will be making enough from scratch blueberry pancakes to last a week or so in my electric fry pan. I have gallon bags of blueberries in the freezer that were purchased on sale in season last summer. Time to start using them up to make room for the new supply this August.

We are getting low on bread and Hubby likes sandwiches for his lunch. So he will make a loaf in the breadmaker. It is so much cheaper to make it from scratch than to buy it and it tastes a lot better too.

Leftover pasta and meatballs is on the menu tonight. I think I will make a beef stew tomorrow in the crockpot. I want to use up those large roasts before the weather gets really warm. That will last us the weekend and into next week. I am really enjoying not having to cook every night. It gives me more time to get the spring cleaning done and the windows washed.

I will also be making some more Keto ice cream. The Keto ice cream you buy in the market is so awful and hard to scoop out. The recipe I use makes ice cream that is more like scooping regular ice cream and is so delicious and it’s easy. We need a treat for football this weekend.

Last night I perused the ads for next week. I didn’t see much that I need to buy or will pay the price for. We have the basics here so we don’t need much. Cooking from scratch with simple ingredients purchased in bulk is so much cheaper than buying items for complicated and expensive recipes.

It’s time for me to get my work done today. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I will be back posting on Monday.

Every Day

How We Are Dealing with Inflation and the Coming Stagflation(continued from yesterdays post)

Here is an example of how we are using our food for dinner tonight. I had two boxes of open pasta. One has a little rotini and the other has pennette. We had a small bag of homemade meatballs in our freezer. The meatballs will be heated up in the sauce in the microwave after I get done cooking the pasta in there. Lastly we will be melting mozzarella cheese on top. I have a small container of leftover mushrooms so they will get heated and put in my bowl. Hubby hates mushrooms. We have a few black olives left from our dinner salads last night so they will be put into the bowls too. I think we will have enough for tomorrow night also.

I try very hard not to waste any food especially since prices are so high. If I can’t use something up right away, I freeze it. When I find food that doesn’t get used before it spoils, I could kick myself.

Hubby and I have been saving money for two outside projects for a couple of years and finally reached our goal. We debated whether we should get them done now or put them off. One is two new garden projects, two new trees planted including a peach tree, a stone wall around our grilling patio to keep the wind from blowing the grill over, repair work on our patio and steps(after 12 years it has settled), cleaning of our stone patio and sealing it, a repair of our patio in our seating area out front, and repair of one of the garden walls. The other project is a total tear out of our asphalt driveway and have it totally redone- gravel basis and two coats of asphalt. These projects are costing us a fortune- many thousands of dollars. Things like this were always expensive but they are extremely expensive right now. We decided to contract it out to two different local companies because we feel prices will only continue to rise and will never go back to where they were. Next year it would cost us even more.

Other than those two projects, we are not spending on anything else except tires. We have plenty of clothing. Hubby needed new jeans this spring so I ordered them from LL Bean with a coupon code. Last winter we stocked on really warm clothing and blankets in case we have any power outages next winter. I am repairing clothing the old fashioned way when it needs it by sewing them.

We keep our SUV really clean and make sure to wash it all winter at the car wash( getting a free wash every 6th one), even the undercarriage, to get all of the salt off. For a 2013, it has no rust and is in excellent condition. It only has $40,000. miles now. We have gotten some items like windshield wipers and tire flat repair kits while we can still find them. Hubby is looking into new tires. We have a local garage that takes care of oil changes and everything else. We plan on keeping this car for many more years.

We are cleaning our own furniture and carpeting which will save us from paying someone else. We are doing our own spring cleaning and window washing little by little. It is time consuming and I tire more easily these days but it will get all done.

We still continue to try to lower our natural gas and electricity usage. We have been doing that every month and being very successful at it. Every day we think about how to cook things to use as little power as possible. Now that it is grilling season, we will cook outside a lot. Propane is expensive but not as bad as the inside power. We never turn lights on when the sun is shining. They do not go on until it is dark outside. We still have our heat on because the nights are cold here. However it looks like we may to be able to turn it off for good next Wednesday or Thursday. We don’t plan on using the A/C a lot this year except when it gets humid. Fans and open windows will work most of the time.

I continue to get gasoline with gas points or at the cheapest station. I was able to fill up last week using $.50 off a gallon in points. When I don’t have points, I fill it up at B.J.’s. They are so much cheaper. I only run errands once a week. If I have a medical appointment, I combine the errands with that. We don’t go driving just for a ride. We keep the tires inflated and don’t carry any unnecessary things in the car so that we get better mileage. Our car is averaging about 24 miles a gallon these days.

We are again paying the yearly premium for our dental insurance. It has not gone up in cost from last year and it has saved us so much money.

That is it for now. I need to start dinner soon. I will continue this post tomorrow.

I hope you all have a great evening!

Every Day

According to The Experts, Inflation Will Soon Be Stagflation

UPDATED: When I wrote this yesterday, I made a huge typo. Our assessment was raised by $ 140,000. not $ 40,000. It has been corrected! Now you see why we were so SHOCKED!

Bank Of America’s Global Fund Manager recently said that professional investors are growing increasingly gloomy about the future with the majority now predicting that stocks will fall into a bear market this year and the U.S. economy will be plagued by stagflation. Stagflation means high inflation and slow economic growth.

The Federal Reserve is trying to prevent this by raising interest rates. Will it work? I’m not sure because it could cool the hot labor market. Time will tell. I am just hoping that we don’t go back to the high prices of the 1970’s. Prices are high enough now and affecting the every day lives of Americans in a bad way. Now the government wants to print more money to advance quantum technology. Up go the prices again! Ugh!

So we are trying to get ready to survive all of this. We are doing many things to try to spend less than we ever have before which is not easy with so many things increasing in price. Hence we have to tighten where we can. We are retired so we only have so much money to work with and it is getting devalued every day just like every other American.

First let me tell you what we can’t do anything about. I told you yesterday the town we live in raised our assessment again. After a few years of $30,000 and $40,000 increases, this year they raised us by $140,000. We were shocked. Everyone in this neighborhood was raised but no one but us was raised that much. From the research that Hubby did, the seniors who live in here were raised more proportionately than anyone else. That is because most seniors live in ranches and those are the homes that increased the most. Many people must have complained to the town to the point they felt they had to send a letter out to all of us explaining that it should only be a 15% tax increase when all is said and done. Well Hubby checked ours and our increase will be over $750. and that is just the property tax. It will also affect our school taxes in September. Our total combined taxes will be almost $12,000. We fought our assessment last year and got nowhere. What had happened to all of us in here is that a new builder came in and is building homes extending our neighborhood. They are still building but about 70% of the neighborhood is finished and they most likely will finish the rest within a year. So the town took our 12 and 13 year old homes and increased us to their prices. My home has no other one that even comes close to being like ours so they just seem to randomly raise us. Ugh! Those new homes sold in the high $ 400,000.’s to $635,000. range. I wonder when the housing market crashes if they will lower us.. I doubt it! I have also realized that our homeowner insurance company will raise us next March to the cost of rebuilding the house. They do this every year. It just went up almost $100 this past March along with our automobile insurance which went up by $63.

However, we are tracking every penny we spend and lowering bills where we can. We are cancelling subscription services that we have deemed unnecessary. I lowered the Netflix service plan that we pay for Alexa after they raised their prices.

We are eating much simpler meals more like when I was living with my mom and grandparents. My grandmother, grandfather, and their children survived the Great Depression by watching the size of portions, making lots of casseroles and soups, and doing all of their cooking from scratch. If cooking from scratch and eating 1/2 of a boiled potato, a couple of tablespoons of a vegetable, and a very small piece of meat was good enough for them and while I was growing up, it is good enough today. I was never overweight when I was growing up so they fed us properly. People today eat way too much food. We only had some chips and popcorn as a treat every other month. Sure, I like junk food too but we rarely buy it anymore. It’s expensive and has no nutritional value. Soda came in a quart bottle and we made it last at least a week or two. If you were thirsty, you could have a glass of water. We have cut our portions of all foods including meat and try to make as much food as we can from scratch. We now have a meatless meal at least twice a week if not three times. We are getting our protein from meat, peanut butter, vegetables, and beans.

We purchased one beef tenderloin a month or so ago and had it cut into filet mignons. It is grilling season and we will make it last all summer. We purchase no other steak. I only buy organic ground beef when it is on sale at Aldi’s and I buy it in bulk. I just purchased 13 lbs. this past week. I have quit purchasing chicken unless it is on sale and looks good. The chicken at Top’s has gone way down in quality and so we don’t buy from them anymore. I try to get chicken legs and thighs when I can. We eat 4 oz. portions of meat or poultry. We buy salmon and haddock when it is on sale at a good price. Right now we have haddock but no salmon.

We are not adverse to eating tuna, canned chicken, beef, pork, and turkey when the price is lower than fresh. Frozen meats are almost as expensive in my area as fresh. A pound of ground beef makes two meals for us. Four small chicken legs go into the air fryer and make a meal for us. I buy reduced price meat when I can find it. That does not happen often these days. But I always look for it. We rarely purchase cold cuts but when we do we buy them at Niagara Produce because they are much cheaper and fresher there. They are usually used in a Chef’s salad. There will be lots of salads for dinner this summer.

I have so many more things that we are doing including making our own Keto ice cream but this post is getting long and I have to do some prep work for dinner. This post will be continued tomorrow.

How are you guys saving money these days? We all learn from each other.

Every Day

What I Have Been Doing The Past Month

It has been a while since I have been able to talk with you. It has been a busy month and I have not had time to prepare a post. So I am just going to speak as if I was just chatting with you.

I have again been dealing with health issues which means lots of running to doctors, many tests, being rushed to the ER at 4am one day, resting when I can, etc. I am still dealing with doctors the next 2 months and now a chiropractor every week. Getting old is not fun!

But I have missed all of you during this time. So it is time to get back to frugality.

How is your grocery shopping going? I was finally able to get out and do a quick shop at two stores yesterday. I went to Aldi’s and Walmart. I was surprised at how few people were in the stores. There was only about 1/4 of the number of people that I would usually see on a Monday. After looking at some of the prices, I think that I understand why. There were many things that I would not pay the inflated prices for. I imagine that many people are not shopping these days because of the prices. I hope that they stocked for a few months when prices were lower. I have also heard on the news that many people are using the food banks more.

All I had to pick up at Aldi’s was heavy whipping cream at $ 3.89 a quart. Not only do I use it in my coffee in the morning but we make Keto ice cream with it. So I picked up 4 while they had them. I also got a large container of vanilla yogurt. Since eggs have gotten so expensive, I now have some yogurt with a sprinkling of blueberry cinnamon Keto nut granola for breakfast every other day.

At Walmart, I picked up fresh tomatoes for our salads at $ 1.48 a lb. They were beautiful. Aldi’s had them on sale but they were rotten. Walmart’s produce section has shrunk to 4 wooden boxes of veggies and some prepared packaged items. They also had tons of bananas at $.47 a lb. I was really shocked at how poorly stocked they were. As I walked the store, I saw many holes in freezer cases with frozen veggies and potatoes very low.

I was looking for a favorite cookie for Hubby. The cookie aisle had two stacks of fig newtons and no other cookies. They had filled the aisle up with chips. Wherever there were holes on the shelves, you would find these chips even amongst the crackers which were very lean. Just about every aisle that had items was filled up with items that didn’t belong there, mostly junk food.

As I was walking through the cereal aisle, I found a few packages of Oreo’s at one end. I was able to get 2 packages of what Hubby wanted. Lots of shelves were fronted with items but nothing behind them.

While I was perusing the dairy aisle, I noticed that there were not many eggs. I checked the price on the 5 dozen box that I usually buy. Two weeks ago I paid $ 8.60 for it. Now it is $ 13.83. Ugh!

Hubby is having allergy issues this spring. I am very low on Kleenex. I looked at Aldi’s for some and they had none. I got the last 4 of 7 on the shelf at Walmart. There was plenty of toilet paper though. I told Hubby if I can’t get more, we will revert to using our handkerchiefs.

The clothing sections were sparse also.

I couldn’t help but wonder if China keeps their people locked down, will we have food and clothing in a few months? And many other items. The worst thing that happened in the 1990’s was that we went to a global economy. We make hardly anything here anymore and that is not a good thing.

The same can be said for oil, natural gas and electricity. We are all getting hit hard with those prices. My gas and electric bill has gone up 24-28% every month since we turned the heat on for the winter even though we save on using electricity and and natural gas every day. We still have our heat on because our nights are still very cold. Our gasoline has gone down a little to $ 4.28 a gallon. However NY State and my county will both drop the sales tax on gasoline effective June 1st. NYS is dropping it 16 cents per gallon and our county has capped how much they get so we will see what that does. But I have the feeling that as long as we have a war and this administration does not open up our production, the gasoline prices will continue to rise. I am also concerned that we will see shortages of both gasoline and natural gas.

Well, I hope to be posting more frequently now that I am getting a little bit better. My property taxes are rising again with a huge increase in my assessment. But I will talk about that another day.

Let me know how you are doing with the rise of prices on just about everything.

Every Day

What We Have Been Up To The Last Few Days

My son and West came for lunch on Sunday. He had to go to Niagara Produce to pick some items up. He brought me this package of State Fair Sausage as a gift. His family loves it. The sausage has cheese, peppers, and onions inside it. These sausages are so big that one for each of us is the proper portion. I cooked two of them for dinner on Monday night and they were so delicious. I will be picking these up at NP when I go there.

Lately, my gas stove top would not light with the electronic ignition. When I needed to use a burner, I would have to light it. Hubby did some research and found that it was most likely a problem with the ignition harness. So he ordered one:

While my son was here, he and Hubby installed it. It took a while to take it apart to get it to where they could install the new part. But my burners are all now working like the stove is new. By doing it themselves they saved us all of the labor charges and the mark up on the part.

I only ran errands one day this week to conserve on gasoline. Our gasoline here is down $ .04 a gallon so we are paying $ 4.36 a gallon. But I am sure it will be headed up again. I picked up on sale pasta, eggs, bacon, and diet soda while I was out. I still buy Diet Coke for Hubby when I can find a good price in my area. I got a 24 pack for $7.99. When it is not on sale, he just drinks iced tea or water. The eggs were $ .99. The bacon was $ 4.99 and the pasta was $ 1.00.

I have been doing some organizing and cleaning around here this week. I have been using things that we already have in our home in the way of organizers, boxes, and cleaning products.

Hubby and I are wanting to put in another garden with a Japanese maple, some shrubs and some perennials in our backyard. We are also going to have some repair work done on our patio and a new wall built to protect our grill from the wind. We may have a new garden put in around our shed also. So we spent a day getting estimates done.

This week for dinners, I cooked the State Fair sausages, roasted chicken legs in the air fryer, made jambalaya with two jalapeno sausages and air fried some pork chops. Tonight we are getting fish fries from our favorite place just 5 minutes from us. We try to do this during Lent. We only order the fish fries, no sides. The fish are so huge that we don’t need sides and they make two meals for each of us. But the last couple of weeks they have been giving us French fries with them. They are some of the best French fries that we have ever had.

Well that is all we did to save some money this week. What have you done?

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done This Past Week

In the middle of this week our Keurig K Supreme Plus stopped working- no power at all! I was so sad because I love my coffee. I also was not happy because the one year warranty expired in mid- December. It made me wonder why so many things are breaking so quickly these days.

Being the organized person that I am, I knew that my last Keurig was in a box in the basement. It had started making noises which is why we purchased this one. So I grabbed it, cleaned it, and set it up so that we could have coffee.

I asked Hubby if I should start looking for a new one. He told me to wait to see if he could fix it. He started researching a fix and found one on You Tube that he thought might work:

It took him a day or so to work on it. It was hard to get the pot apart to where he needed to reset it. He got there and used a paper clip to reset it. But before he put it all back together, he plugged it in to see if it had power. It did. It is now working perfectly again on our kitchen counter.

I had researched online to buy another one of these pots and the lowest prices I could find was $168. at Amazon and $ 159.99 at Walmart. So Hubby saved us a fortune by doing a bit or research and work to fix it.

All of our meals except one were cooked at home including this delicious breakfast: Eggs, turkey bacon, a slice of homemade cinnamon bread.

I picked up some bread flour($ 3.12), canned Angus beef chili, body wash, foundation makeup (1/2 price at Walmart), potatoes, cucumbers, etc. at the best prices I could find this week.

We conserved our electricity and natural gas the best we could this past week and all month. I submitted the readings and I am awaiting my bill. I will let you know how we did when we get it.

I have made out my grocery list for Top’s this coming week. There was nothing in the Aldi ad or Niagara Produce Specials that interested me. I only need a few things at Top’s.

We are making homemade French Bread pizzas for dinner tonight using a loaf of French bread that I got on reduced price for $.77 at Walmart. Hubby gets the day off from bread making to watch basketball.

We got our second set of Free Covid tests delivered by USPS.

What did you do frugally this past week?

Every Day

Think Before You Cook

We were getting low on bread here because Hubby made French toast for breakfast recently. So yesterday he made a loaf of cinnamon bread in our bread maker. It is cheaper to make it in that machine rather than turn on our natural gas oven. We will have it this week for breakfast with our eggs.

Thinking about the eggs, I need to freeze a few dozen that are in the fridge. I will put one or two eggs in baggies and lay them flat in the freezer. The one egg bags are for baking and the two egg bags are for easy over or scrambled eggs.

For dinner last night, I decided to make a big pan of my grandmother’s recipe for Bacon & Macaroni Goulash. I purchased a 3 pack of bacon at B.J.’s Warehouse Club last week. It is the cheapest price I could find for really good bacon. It was $ 16.97 for the 3 pounds.

I cut up a pound of the bacon and added a cut up onion to cook them together. I used my large electric fry pan because it takes less energy than the natural gas stove top. I not only want to save money on food but I would like to lower my utility bills whenever I can also.

While that was cooking, I cooked a pound of cavatappi pasta in the microwave because that is cheaper than boiling water and cooking it on the stove top. I drained the pasta and added it and some spaghetti sauce to the onion and bacon. When it was hot, all we had to add was some Parmesan cheese and a side salad.

It was delicious and from the leftovers above, we will have a few more meals of it. We just have to dish up our future plates and heat them in the micro.

Moral of the story: Take the time to quickly think about how you are cooking each meal and with what appliance. I always try to do it the most energy efficient way that I can. Our last couple of monthly utility bills have been so high and I expect the one I get next week may top $300. Ugh!

As you can see, I also like to cook in large quantities so that I spend less time in the kitchen cooking different meals. Hubby and I don’t mind eating the same meal a few nights in a row.

I know that each time I do all of this that it is a little bit of savings. But all of those little bits add up to big dollars in the long run. And all it costs me is a little brain power!

Every Day

So What Would You Do With A Windfall In This Economy?

So many people are living paycheck to paycheck right now according to a survey I saw. Seven out of ten Americans are. This is devastating to them and to our economy. I wonder how many of them are receiving a tax return and a large one at that. Are they spending it as fast as they get it or are they saving it for a rainy day?

I don’t think anything is going to get better soon. I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But I believe that 2022 and 2023 are going to be bad years monetarily so we are planning accordingly.

Inflation is killing us. When those of us who retired planned our retirements, we took into consideration what inflation would do to our money over the years. However, we didn’t take into consideration that inflation would be SO HIGH month after month. Everyday expenses are rising so rapidly. There are so many people around me living on Social Security alone and I don’t know how they are surviving. Are they going without food to pay for medicine or shelter or vice versa? It’s a very scary time.

Just as a quick example of inflation: We retired 21 years ago this year. The latest statistics which only go through 2021 show that our money has lost over 50% of it’s value since then. This year inflation is taking an even bigger bite. Fortunately we invested well so we still have a decent standard of living. However we can’t just sit back and watch it evaporate. We have to take action so that our money lasts. Does that mean that we have to cut back? Absolutely and everyone should be! Tough times call for action.

So what would I do if I got a $ 15,000. tax return or a windfall of that amount from the lottery or somewhere else? Yes, I have heard of people getting a return that large. Believe me when I say that would not happen in our household. I do not believe in giving the government a free loan for a year. So I picked this number out just randomly.

First, if I had no emergency fund, I would put $5,000. away for that. I would not touch it for anything but a true emergency. A vacation, a new TV or computer are not true emergencies! If your car needs major repairs or you need to buy a clunker because your car dies, that is a true emergency.

Your refrigerator or furnace needing repairs is a true emergency. A dishwasher or washer and dryer needing repairs is not a true emergency because you have other ways to do those things. I think you get the idea.

Then I would take the other $10,000. and pay off your highest credit card debt or other high interest loan. When you do that, put those credit cards away. Do not use them. Cut them up if you have to. If you have no outstanding debt except your mortgage, put the $10,000. on the principle to pay it down.

Since we have no outstanding debt, I would put some of that money into food. With food inflation being so high, you will make more money by stocking up now than if you put that money in the bank. Food will not be any cheaper than it is today. So buying some food ahead of when you need it is better than money in the bank.

I know that many people are having a hard time just paying their basic bills. You have to cut back. Basic food is much cheaper than junk food. If you have followed me over the years, I have shown you so many ways to save on almost everything. I will continue to do that in the coming days and weeks.

If you truly can’t buy much food, go to the food banks so that they can help you. But if you are spending your money frivolously, don’t you dare go to a food bank. Cut back and leave that food for people who truly need it.

If you are in really dire straits, take on a second job. While I was roaming around you tube, I found a woman who really knows how to do that. When they need extra money, she works for Instacart. If I was in need of money, I would seriously consider that. I know that gasoline is expensive right now but listen to how she does it. Here are the videos that she has put up about how to do it:

I hope that her videos will be a help to someone.

Every Day

A Little of This and A Little of That

It’s been a little over a month since I wrote a post. I have been dealing with a health issue so things have been busy and stressful. However, I got good news on Tuesday. I am in good health. So I hope to be on here a little more often and life is getting back to normal. I can finally get back on the treadmill and bike which has made me very happy!

Grocery shopping is taking a little more time these days. With so many shelves bare in the stores, finding things on my list has not been easy. Even Walmart seems to be out of things I need lately.

That said, I stumbled on a bargain yesterday and you know that the bargains are hard to come by these days. I found these 4 instant coffees at Aldi’s. They were on clearance in the ” Here today, gone tomorrow aisle.” I asked someone I know who works there why they were on clearance. He said the label was changed. They usually cost about $7.00+ but they were on clearance at $ 1.89 each. They are very handy to have when the power is out. We dealt with that a couple of weeks ago. We had power out on two consecutive days. I have a gas stove so I can boil water on it. So if you are in need of instant coffee, look for them at your Aldi’s.

With the exception of fresh produce, dairy and meat, I do as little shopping as possible these days. If I see a steal on sale at the market, I will go pick it up. Our Top’s ran a deal this week on Johnsonville Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage which Hubby loves. For every 5 that you purchased you got them for a $ 1.00 off which made them cost $ 2.99 each. At Walmart they cost $ 3.87. I picked up 15 of them. Each package makes 3 meals for us. Hubby loves Spanish rice so I make that and add 2 sausages sliced up into it. Then I hand him the hot sauce bottle and you would think I just cooked him a gourmet meal! It’s easy and with the peppers and onions that I put in it, it is all we need to eat for a meal.

With prices so high on so many things, we have decided to ration our food, household supplies, and gasoline. What I mean by that is that I am very conscious of what portions I serve. I make sure that we eat the proper portions for one serving whether it be meat, a vegetable or fruit, or a starch. We also have no food waste. Food is too expensive to throw in the garbage. Take your leftovers and either eat them on consecutive days until they are gone or freeze them for another day. I also take bits of meat and veggies that are leftover and freeze them in a bag to make soup when it gets full. If I have produce starting to go bad, I will freeze it for smoothies. If it is onions, celery, or carrots, I slice them and freeze them to go in casseroles, soups or stews. I am making as many of our condiments homemade as I can. We are mostly eating at home. It is so much cheaper. Even fast food is expensive! So we eat our “fast food” homemade.

Inflation is killing all of us! So you need to have your frugality kick in wherever you can! I got gas yesterday which was $ 4.40 a gallon. I had no gasoline points. UGH! But we are making that gas stretch as far as we can.

I run my errands in a circle and batch all errands together with any appointments we have. I am not a lead foot. I keep my tires filled with the proper amount of air. Any excess weight in the car has been removed. We are making our tanks of gasoline last as long as possible. I know that so many of you commute to work and you can’t avoid the high prices but you can do whatever you can to get a few more miles out of that tank of gasoline. For those of you who work from home, you are lucky. For those of you who have small businesses, I worry about you. It has been a tough economy for two years and it does not seem to be getting any better.

We are using up all of our cleaning products and finding ways to save on those when we need new ones. For example, I am now making laundry detergent using just washing soda and a bar of Zote grated. We are close to being out of dishwasher soap so I am making my own. I always use microfiber cloths to clean and save the small amount of paper towels that I use for draining bacon or something really messy. Keep an open mind on how you can cut down on these costs. I think about it every time I get to the end of a store bought product. We are getting close to being out of liquid hand soap. I have lots of bar soap so we are switching to that. There are so many ways to save money.

We were delighted to have company for an early dinner this past Wednesday. Friend’s of my son came to visit. I got to meet a lovely young woman and it was a fun time. I made a delicious dinner of chicken, salad, and wild rice. I baked brownies for dessert. We baked a casserole of chicken chunks, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, spices and crushed Ritz crackers for a topping. It was a delicious meal and we had it again yesterday for dinner. There is still enough leftover for lunch today. It turned out to be an economical casserole too!

How are you guys saving in these tough days? Please share in the comments so that others may benefit from your advice.