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Every Day

Wednesday’s Frugal Things

I will be taking it a bit easier today. I overdid it yesterday and I am hurting quite a bit more today. I took a nap and watched some You Tube this afternoon.

Hubby had some granola for breakfast before he went to a doctor’s appointment. While he was out, he stopped and picked up 2 prescriptions for us. They were on his route. I had an egg and some avocado for breakfast.

I had a Walmart delivery this morning. I am happy to tell you that they had eggs. They weren’t cheap but at least they weren’t out of stock.

I purchased 2-18 count brown eggs for $ 7.14 each. They were cheaper than the white eggs. We were needing shrimp for a recipe and it was on clearance for $ 5.72. The bacon was 24oz. and was $ 5.97. We were down to our last Half and Half so I got 3 for $ 2.78 each. The lime juice was $ .96. I got 2 chili powder, 2 garlic powder, and 2 garlic salt for $ 1.00 each. The total was $ 45.27 including the tip. These are basics in our house that we needed. Then I also filled in my gaps with the spices.

After my nap, I made dinner. I made https://www.ketofocus.com/recipes/chicken-cordon-bleu-casserole/

This was so delicious that we added it to our cookbook. For some reason the butter rose to the top. Perhaps we didn’t stir it in long enough. But it didn’t matter, anything with butter makes it taste better. She says in her recipe that this serves 6. But we believe it will serve us for 4 meals.

Hubby is doing what he can around here for me. He took apart the part of the Dyson vacuum that holds the dirt and cleaned it really well with soap and water a few minutes ago. He will leave it overnight to dry. He had already cleaned the roller when he put the new end cap on.This vacuum looks new and it is about 19 years old. The better we can maintain what we own, the less money we will need to spend on replacements.

That’s it for today. It’s all the energy I had to get things done. I have to learn to slow down a little but it is not easy because I have done so much every day all my life.

What did you do to save a bit of money today?

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Every Day

Saving a Little Money on Tuesday

Breakfast this morning was an egg and an avocado before I went to a doctor appointment.

While I was out I decided to do many errands along my route so as to save as much gasoline as possible. I went to the hospital that I was recently in to pick up copies of my X-rays and CT scans to bring to my neurosurgeon next week. I stopped at the President’s office while I was at the hospital to deliver a letter about the wonderful care that I got from 2 nurses and 2 PCA’s. I also asked her to deliver the Thank You notes and $25. grocery store gift cards that I purchased for each of them to them. I had planned on giving them to the CEO but I was told his office is downtown Buffalo. I am not up to making that trip right now.

I stopped at our town hall to take the application that my doctor signed this morning for a disability parking permit. I never thought I would see the day I would need one but this back and nerve problem has changed that.

I picked up my $100. replacement gift card.

The last errand was to Top’s to grocery shop some of the loss leaders. It was Senior Discount Day so I got 6% off all of it. This is what I got at Top’s: 2 Porterhouse Steaks on B1G1 sale- $ 21.05 for both of them, 1 lb. bacon -$3.99 with Super Coupon, 5lb. of potatoes – $ 2.48 with Super Coupon, 3 large cantaloupe – 3/$10., 2 Monterey Jack Cheese – $ 5.98 for both, and 2 Shredded Swiss Cheese – $ 4.69 for both with a Super Coupon. Total after the 6% senior discount was $ 45.30.

We have been craving a steak but didn’t want to pay full price for one. This was the deal I had been hoping for. These will make a total of 4 meals for us. Whenever I can get bacon for $ 3.99, I buy it. The cheeses were the only things I was missing for a recipe I am making tomorrow night. You can’t have steak without a potato. These will be kept in a basket in my cool basement so they last the winter. These are the same cantaloupes that we were eating earlier this week. Hubby wanted some more. So I obliged.

We are having an eat what you want dinner. Hubby is fixing fish sticks and coleslaw. I am eating homemade fried chicken that was in our freezer. I will have a salad with it. The fish and chicken will get heated up in the air fryer. This meal will be easy because I overdid it today. I am very tired and going to bed after I talk to my sister on our weekly chat.

Did you save any money today?

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Every Day

Things We Have Done Today To Save A Little Money

Fed Ex picked up the blanket that I am returning to Walmart(free shipping) so that I will get my refund.

Hubby ordered an end cap at 15% off for our Dyson vacuum cleaner to repair it. It came today and he fixed it.

I got my property tax bill today and it was just under $4900. It increased by $753. in a year because of the increase in assessment. Between this bill and the school tax bill of $6111. last September, we are paying $11, 011 in taxes for a year which is a huge amount. Fortunately, I can pay it this week because we budget for our taxes all year so the money is set aside. I will have to up our 2023 budget to $12,500. for these taxes or about $ 1042. a month.

I ordered 2 sets of sheets for each of our new adjustable beds. Two of the sets were on clearance marked down from $30. to $ 14.80 each. I had reward points of a $1.00 at Walmart that I put toward that purchase. I went through Rakuten to get a 3% rebate. The other 2 sets I purchased at Amazon. They are cooling sheets that Hubby wanted to try. They were $ 30. each which I paid with an Amazon gift card. I will earn Amazon reward points for this purchase. I will also earn reward points by using my credit card for the Walmart purchase. These were necessities since we have no Twin XL sheets. Next I will have to look for a good deal on blankets.

We had leftover scrambled eggs and ham. I put cheese on them and quickly heated them in the microwave. Then I put them in a low carb wrap with sour cream and salsa, just like yesterday. It was a yummy breakfast!

Dinner will be bean soup which was absolutely delicious last night. I froze the leftover soup for a couple of other meals.

Entertainment tonight will be the Buffalo Bills vs. Bengals game. Go Bills! I never used to watch football but this year I have truly taken a liking to it. I even watched most of the college bowl games with Hubby this past week. Some of them were truly exciting!

I cleaned the garbage disposal drain today. I hate it when it starts to smell. I put baking soda down it and let it sit for a while. Then I add vinegar and run it for a minute or so. I also took the drain filter and the spray arm in the bottom of the dishwasher out and cleaned all of that up with soapy water. Maintaining appliances saves you money in the long run.

Lights have been off most of the day even though it is dreary here.

We caught up on Yellowstone today on the Paramount Network which is free for us.

I purchased a $100. gift card this Christmas. When I opened the strip on it, part of the gift card code was missing. I called the company who the card was for and they told me to take it to where I bought it for a replacement. The manager of the store said it is a 3rd party vendor card and they couldn’t do anything about it. But he took the card and said he would look into it. He called me today and told me that someone had activated the card and spent all of the money on it. I don’t know how they did this when there was a bad code and no one had scratched off what they needed to activate it. This gift card came sealed in cardboard. Unless it was done by someone at the company who put the $100. on it when it was activated through the store’s register where I bought it. I believe the manager knows more about how this happened than he was telling me. But they are going to make good on it. They have a new card to give to me. Luckily, I am not out $100. I will never buy a gift card again. In this economy, there are way too many people stealing. UGH!

Did you save any money today?

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Every Day

The Things We Have Done Today To Save Money

Happy New Year to All!

My son, when he visited, noticed that the guest bathroom toilet was slowly leaking. We rarely use that toilet so we did not know that. I am so glad that he pointed it out to us. Hubby got new flappers and fixed that one and has a spare for ours in case that starts leaking. A small leak could cost us dearly on our water bill. Make your own repairs when possible. A plumber would have cost us a fortune if we needed to call him. Hubby has made many household repairs. If he isn’t sure how to do something, he can usually find a video on You Tube showing him how. He also put new felt pads on the chair legs in the house. The ones that we had were starting to fall off. We have hardwood floors that we do not want to ruin. He picked all of these things up when we went to the mattress store. The Value Home Center is right next store.

I soaked dry Great Northern Beans in cold water overnight. They are much cheaper than buying canned ready to use beans. I rinsed them by spooning them into a strainer with a slotted spoon. I was not going to waste the water that they soaked in. It was too dirty to use for the soup liquid. So it will get used to flush a toilet. I never waste water.

The beans are now in the crockpot with the ham bone. Later when I pull the bone out, I will take all the meat off and throw it back in the pot. If I think the soup needs more meat, I will add more ham. Then I will add all of my spices. We will have delicious bean soup for dinner tonight and the next few nights. It’s cheap, nutritious, and filling.

Now that the rain has washed all of the snow and ice off of our property, Hubby was able to go outside and put our huge patio umbrella back up. It is anchored with a base that is filled with sand. Never in a million years did we think the windstorm and blizzard we had would knock it over, but it did. Nothing was damaged luckily. He also had to find the chairs that had blown off the patio into our yard and put them back at the table. They were not damaged either. I guess we were lucky. The neighbor behind us had his vinyl fence blow down for the third time since it was installed this year. He also had roof damage. Yikes.

I spent some time today going through a box of Christmas tree ornaments. I set aside some for both of my sons that we don’t use because we have a much smaller tree than we used to. One of my sons does not have many so I am sure he can use some of them. What they don’t want I will donate to Goodwill. We took our tree down and now that box has only the ornaments that we use on our tree. We also took the four wreathes and the four candles out of our windows and packed them into their boxes. When my son comes for Sunday breakfast the next time, he will put them in their spots in storage for me. They are too bulky for me to carry and Hubby isn’t able to do it.

I did one load of clothes in cold water using my homemade laundry detergent in my washing machine. I had emptied the container that I keep my laundry detergent in(gal. ice cream tub) and then forgot about it. So I made a double batch. I only use 2 Tbsp. per load and it gets our clothes so clean. The recipe I use is here: https://theprudenthomemaker.com/laundry-soap/

I hung some of the items on the shower rod on hangers and others on the rack to dry. The second load was full of towels. They got dried in the dryer with the wool balls to cut down on the time that was needed to dry them.

This morning, I spent some time putting all of our appointments in my new planner. I also filled out everything that I need to do in January so that I can stay very organized this year.

For breakfast, I planned on finishing the cantaloupe but Hubby ate it for a snack last night. So I made low carbohydrate wraps with scrambled eggs and diced ham and a little cheese on top. I served them with a dab of sour cream and some salsa. The price of eggs is ridiculous. I am seeing them from $ 7.14 a dozen for brown eggs to almost $ 9.00 a dozen for white large eggs. I have only 10 eggs left so I either need to get some soon or start using the ones I froze and hope that the price comes down before they are gone.

I filled out paperwork for my neurology appointment and put it in a folder to bring to him along with my records from my hospitalization. The doctors around here are very particular. I must have the paperwork filled out when I walk in the door. I have another doctor where I must be there 15 minutes early. If you are not, they cancel your appointment. I have never had to wait for my appointment. They are always on time and I think this is why. These are two really good specialists so I make sure to follow their rules.

I paid the credit card bill in full that I used for Christmas gifts, etc. We never pay interest on credit cards. They are paid in full every month. I also paid two doctor bills that came in the mail. We had no mail delivery from the Friday before Christmas until this past Friday because of the blizzard we had. So we got a lot of mail all at once on Friday. I was hoping to get my property tax bill but it hasn’t come yet. It is due in January and I am a little anxious about the amount since our assessment went up by $140,000.

I looked at the Top’s ad online and made my grocery list for this week. Aldi’s had nothing that I wanted. I also looked at the Price Rite ad. They have some really good deals so I am debating going there this week. I do have a doctor’s appointment nearby.

We now have both guest rooms closed up with the heat registers off and cloth snakes in front of the doors to keep the cold out of the rest of the house. We will see if that helps with the heat bill. I changed the filter in the furnace. It runs more efficiently with a clean filter.

Dinner is over. So Hubby and I will watch Sunday night football.

What did you do today to save some money?

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Every Day

How We Will Save Money in 2023 (Part 3)

Happy New Year’s Eve to you all! Hubby is happily watching the Premier League soccer on TV. I have all of my work done for today and dinner will be easy. So I decided to do another blog post.

Remember the other day I told you I got 3 large packages of boneless, skinless chicken breasts from Top’s delivered to my home. I used my food saver to get all of those in the freezer. Well, I was feeling up to going out yesterday afternoon, so I went to Top’s to get 2 more large packages of the chicken breasts. Today is the last day to get the $1.99 lb. price if anyone has a Top’s near them.

I only got two packages because we already have a lot of chicken. Today, I trimmed them, cut them up the way I wanted to use them, and froze them in freezer Ziploc bags because they will get used up soon. We have 8 meals of breasts(I cut them lengthwise). We have 4 meals of chicken chunks that we use for casseroles, stir fry, or chicken fried rice. Lastly, we have 4 meals of chicken strips. We use those for fajitas or for Keto coated chicken strips(almond flour, crushed pork rinds, etc.) that we do in the air fryer. They are so good! The chicken weighed 9.61 lbs. at $ 1.99 a lb. for a total of $ 19.12. We have 16 meals ready to cook for the two of us. So each meat portion for the two of us cost about $ 1.20. Really cheap!

No matter what meat I buy, I cut them up the way I want to use them when I am freezing them. That saves me a lot of time when I am ready to cook. I am usually tired by dinnertime so this is easier.

This meat was a loss leader and that is the only way I will buy meat in 2023 unless I see a good price on a reduced for quick sale package. If I see a great price on meat, I will stock up depending on how much space is in the freezer or if I am up to canning it.

Yesterday while I was out I ran the errands in a circle. I filled the SUV up with gasoline. The price was $ 3.499 a gallon but I had enough points to get $ .70 off a gallon so I paid $2.799. I also picked up one of my prescriptions that was ready. Speaking of prescriptions, I am hearing that health premiums are going up in January. Has anyone gotten notice that theirs’ is going up? We know what the new Medicare premium is for both of our medical but we have not heard a thing on our secondary insurance.

Another thing we will be doing in 2023 is repurposing items. For example, my son mentioned that he had put a hole in his shirt. He was going to put it in my garbage. I told him no that I would cut it up for rags. I have an almost full washing machine, so the shirt will be thrown in and washed with our clothes. Then I will cut it up later today and put it in the bag that I use for rags. We use very few paper towels(I only use them for draining bacon) in a year because we have rags.

We have to bag our garbage for the garbageman to pick up. Garbage bags are very expensive. I do use them but I use everything else that I can also. The things we reuse are Amazon soft packaging, any bag that holds a food item that is large. For example, we buy granola that Hubby loves in bulk from an Amish company in Ohio. They double bag the granola when they ship it. The outer bags are very large and very thick so they get reused to bag garbage. I stuff any bag including the purchased garbage bags because that way I can buy less of them. Clothing and blankets sometimes come in thick bags so we save them. Any thick and large bag will get saved for reuse.

I also reuse glass jars that purchased products come in. I use them for bacon grease, to put food in the fridge or freezer, to hold beans, rice, popcorn, etc. We buy nuts in those big plastic containers. When they are empty, I use them for dry food storage.

We will use reusable items in our home as much as possible. Cloth napkins and microfiber cloths are a staple here. I also use a dust mop that I can wash the head and dusting tools that I use over and over again. We also use reusable batteries in everything that we can. I have reusable cloth sponges that I can wash in the washing machine. I cut up mail that is junk for scrap paper. They usually only have writing on one side. I save envelopes that come in the mail to put my coupons in for a shopping trip. We have a rug shampooer so we have never had to hire someone to do the wall to wall carpeting which is an off white in the living areas. It looks as new as it did 13 years ago. We dry dishes with reusable dish cloths. I buy one color for dishes and one color to dry hands. They get thrown in the washing machine every night and new ones get put out.

We do as much cooking from scratch as we can. It is cheaper than buying products that are made for you. We will be doing a lot of this in 2023. We will make our own pizzas, sauces, many condiments, soups, Keto ice cream, etc. I will show those things with recipes as we do them during the year.

As we use up cleaning products, we will make our own. We make our own laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent now and will continue to do that. I replaced jet dry with vinegar.

I am getting tired again so I will have to stop. Starting tomorrow, I will be posting every day with the things we are doing that day to save money so that we can continue to add to our investments and bank accounts.

I hope you will join me in the comments and tell us what you are doing. Remember, the less money you have to spend on things the better. This is going to be a very expensive year between food, gasoline, and utility costs. I think even more expensive than they are now. By sharing we all learn from you.

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Every Day

Some of The Things We Will Be Doing To Save Money In 2023

First let me update you on the beds we did purchase yesterday. I had a doctor’s appointment and the mattress store was on our way home. Since I was feeling pretty good, we stopped. We purchased two Twin XL wireless adjustable beds that we can butt up against each other. We each got the firmness of mattress that we wanted. We are having some carpet work done in our master bedroom so when that is done, they will deliver the beds. I can’t wait! Mine was so comfortable and will be nice for watching TV in bed. These were our belated Christmas gifts to each other.

We have a lot of California King linens that we will no longer use so they will be passed on to one of our sons who has that size bed. I will be shopping for new linens online today for our new beds.

Now for what we will do to save some money in 2023 in no particular order. We will continue to save as much energy used in our home as possible. I watch everything I do as noted in prior posts. I think about every meal I cook and how to do it energy efficiently.

Another example: I purchased a 13.44 lb. precooked ham for last Monday when my family came. Since they had had ham the day before, I didn’t use it. To heat the ham it said to cook it at 325 degrees for 15 minutes per lb. That would have been a lot of energy use. Since it was precooked and you could eat it cold, we made a plan. We did not cook it for all that time in the oven. It was spiral sliced so Hubby took all the slices off. Then we cut off some big chunks, and finally we had the ham bone with a lot of meat still attached. We each had a big slice with a side dish for dinner last night and some cantaloupe that I had cut into chunks for dessert. We heated the ham slices for less than 30 seconds in the microwave. They were perfect. I am so glad that we didn’t waste all of that energy cooking it in the oven. After dinner we bagged up a bunch of slices for dinners and for frying it up with eggs for breakfast or for making ham salad which Hubby loves. They are in the refrigerator. Then we froze the rest of the slices in portions and did the same with the chunks to use in casserole dishes. The ham bone is sitting in the fridge waiting for me to make ham and bean soup on Sunday. I will make a huge pot in my crock pot. The soup alone will make us 4-5 meals. If we get tired of it, we will freeze the leftover soup for other meals. The ham will get used up over the winter and I have calculated that we will get about 30-35 meals from it. I paid $ 1.49 a lb. for this ham. What a great bargain!

We never waste one bit of food. It is too expensive to put it in the trash. I carefully watch my produce and all of the other food in the fridge so that it gets used up. As an example, we had leftover corn and honey carrots from our family dinner last Monday night. They immediately got frozen to use up in homemade soup. I add all kinds of leftovers to this bag of them. When we have enough, I make soup with some of our homemade canned broth. I also had a large cantaloupe that was ripe. I cut it up into chunks and Hubby and I have been eating it for breakfasts, desserts, and snacks. If it starts to get too sweet, I will freeze the rest for smoothies before it turns to mush. Breakfast or brunch today will be scrambled eggs with leftover chopped onions, fried ham, and we will each have 1/2 of an English muffin that is left from having company. If we are hungry early afternoon, we will have a small bowl of cantaloupe chunks. Dinner tonight will again be ham slices and some broccoli. I will be soaking some great northern beans overnight on Saturday to make the bean soup on Sunday.

Grocery shopping is so expensive these days and prices are about to go up again. So this year, I am changing up my strategy a bit. I will continue to purchase by scouring the sale ads but only the really good loss leaders will be purchased. For example, Top’s had big packs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts on loss leader this week for $ 1.99 a lb. I have not seen that price in over a year. They limited you to three packs so that is what I purchased. I took them all out of the original packaging, cut each breast into two breasts(they are so big these days) and froze those two pieces with my food saver. I continued to do the rest of them the same way. We now have 18 or more meals of frozen chicken ready to use. In our ads, the loss leaders are usually on the front page with the prices in red. The same goes for the back page with the produce. There are also many lists on the internet showing you what produce is in season which will be your cheapest prices. We will be eating from our pantries and freezers and adding the loss leaders to them. Any other products we have to have will be purchased on sale. If they are not on sale, we will go without until they do go on sale. Substitutions will be made where necessary. For example, if we run out of creamer and the price is too high, we will use evaporated canned milk, powdered milk, or powdered creamer. If you can tolerate black coffee go for it. I can’t stand it! If I can’t find coffee on sale, we will drink tea that I purchased on sale.

One of the biggest savings that I am making this year is on purchasing beverages. Soda(sorry Hubby) and flavored waters have risen too high for me. We do drink a lot of water but sometimes you just have to have some flavor. Skinny Syrups is where I buy my SF flavors for coffee. We love them. I always buy them by the case when they have a 50-60% off sale. Well, they have come out with the SF syrups to flavor water. On a before Thanksgiving sale, I purchased a case of them to try them. We love them. As with our coffee, the waters only take one squirt. This will save us a lot of money on not buying what is basically flavored water.

Another big savings for 2023 will be on alcohol. Hubby and I rarely drink it at home anymore. We have quite a stash for when company comes. If we happen to go out to Russell’s on a special occasion we might order a glass of wine but that will be it.

We use very little bread or rolls in our home. If we do decide to have some, it will be homemade. Bread and roll prices are out of control.

We rarely find marked down produce, reduced price meat, or other clearance items in our area. However I have contacted every store to find out when each day they might reduce those things. I have my answers for each store and I will make it a habit to shop at those times when I do shop and look for those items. I have never had a bad package of reduced price meat. We either cook it the day I buy it or freeze it immediately. Marked down produce usually still has quite a bit of usable fruit or veggies in those packages even after you cut out the bad spots. I do have a produce market that does mark downs all of the time but they do go fast. Now I know when to look for them.

I will rarely be buying cleaning products. I have a lot to use up and then will mostly make them myself. Hubby already makes our own shower cleaner and I make homemade laundry detergent. I also make our own garbage disposal cleaner. I use bleach to clean our toilets and we have a lot of that. We are about to switch from liquid hand soap to bar soap. I have about an inch of liquid soap left in a refill. I have over 150 bars of soap. I purchased soap dishes for them all a while ago.

I will be purchasing no makeup in 2023. I have plenty for when I leave the house. I don’t use it at home unless we have company. We also have many other personal care products to use up.

You all know that I was paying a fortune to go to the beauty salon every 6 weeks. Well, the last haircut I had I got was at SuperCuts. I was not thrilled with it after a couple of days. Hubby cut my hair for years and it was done beautifully. He is very good at it. I have finally convinced him to do it again. So this weekend, he is going to cut it and I am beyond thrilled. I purchased a hair color kit before I went in the hospital. I will be coloring my own hair next week. I will be looking for coupons to put a few hair colors on my shelf.

Our water prices will be going up January 1 so I will continue to watch our usage by taking navy showers, using veggie cleaning water to water plants and outside gardens, only putting the smallest amount of water needed in a pot to cook whatever, reusing warm up shower water to clean or flush toilets, etc.

When our automobile and homeowners policies are up in March, we will shop around for a better price.

That is it for today. I will be back next week with more of what I plan.

Happy New Year to you and your families! I pray that 2023 will be better than this year.

How are you planing to save money this year?

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Every Day

Here Comes 2023!

Whether we are ready or not it is coming. I sure hope it is better than 2022 but I think it is going to be another rough one. With Covid 19 ramping up in China again, we will not be seeing a lot of products from there in the near future. So I would suggest that any of you who do not have some kind of stockpile or storage of the things you use or need, start getting them. They will never be cheaper next year than they are now. As an example, Hubby has lost almost 35 lbs. since his heart attack in October. He needs some new long sleeve T shirts to keep himself warm in the house. What I am finding online is that there is very little variety in his size. I had to do a lot of searching to find something he would like and that was in stock. I was able to get him 5 in different colors at a reasonable price of $ 16.99 each. The days of buying his T shirts only at LL Bean are over. Before his heart attack, he ordered a couple of pair of jeans from them. at $ 60. per pair. He had worn one but one is still brand new with the tags. I will be returning that one.

Recently I also ordered another blanket for our king size bed. I had been complaining to Hubby for a while that our bed was not comfortable on my back. Since I was hospitalized and have all the nerve and disc issues, we are getting a new bed. We want one that has two different mattresses of firmness and that we can each separately put up the head or leg part when we need it. That kind of bed will only take twin linens on each side. So I will be returning the blanket. It is still in the original packaging and has never been used.

With the exceptions of clothes that Hubby needs because of his weight loss and our new bed, there will not be any other major purchases this year. Only real needs will be purchased. Any maintenance of our home will be a need and of course food, medicines, and gasoline are needs. But everything else will be considered a luxury. With my back issues, Hubby wants me to get a cleaning service to maintain our home. I am truly considering having someone come in and clean every other week. However, my back is starting to feel a little better. I go to the neurosurgeon in a couple of weeks. I will be finding out what I should and shouldn’t do. I will make a decision on the Maids at that time. In the meantime, Hubby is doing the cleaning and doing an excellent job.

I told you in a prior post that I was going to only spend $ 300. a month on food. I may have to up that if I end up having to get everything delivered. Those fees and tips for Walmart Grocery Delivery and Instacart really add up. It will all depend on how well I heal and what the doctor has to say. I am a very independent person so it is killing me that I may not be able to do certain things. I like doing my own shopping and actually seeing the products. But I do rely heavily on grocery delivery in the winter with the snow and ice.

Hubby and I rarely eat out because it has gotten so expensive. We will probably go to Russell’s, our favorite steak house, once or twice this year. I also used the Top’s gift card deal this Christmas to get $150. worth of Texas Roadhouse gift cards for $ 120. When we visit our son and granddaughter next we will use them. And of course, I am still working on the Panera gift cards that I purchased on that same deal 4-5 years ago. Gift cards never expire in New York. It takes a long time to use them because I only get bagels once in a while on the Tuesday deal.

If you haven’t set your budget for 2023, you still have a couple of days to do it. Hubby and I have ours all set. We know what we need for each category. Of course, we will change it if things change especially on food if we need to add a $100. or so to it. We are truly going to try to save as much as possible and spend as little as possible. Hard times are here so you need to save for them.

Our gasoline prices here are $ 3.49 a gallon. Yesterday when my son and granddaughter went home they filled up at the truck stop in Pembroke. He paid $ 2.62 a gallon. That is a huge difference. I wish that truck stop was closer to me. It is not worth using the gasoline to get there. But if we have to go that way, you can bet we will fill up there. So in the meantime, we use the car as little as possible and I fill up using Top’s gas points to get money off. If I don’t have points, I can usually get a good price at B.J.’s.

Since we receive Social Security, we are getting a raise in our January deposits. We know what those amounts will be after taxes(we pay Federal taxes on 85% of our Social Security). So we have included that amount in our budget. It will go to savings.

I am getting tired so I am going to rest now. There will be more on what we are going to do to save as much as possible in 2023 tomorrow.

Is your budget set? What are you going to do to save money?

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Every Day

It’s Been A Long Holiday That Didn’t Go As Planned

My son was going to have us for Christmas. He lives about 1 and 1/4 hours from us. However, between my illness and Mother Nature’s wrath, we couldn’t get there.

It started raining on Friday which turned to ice and then snow. The temperatures dipped down to about 7 degrees. The windchill was about -1l We got so much more snow than Buffalo. The snow band sat over us for two days. The winds which gusted up to 71 mph were horrid and lasted 2 days. A State of Emergency was declared all weekend. No one could go on the roads. The blowing snow made it difficult for even an ambulance or anyone else to drive. Sadly a number of people died because they couldn’t get emergency vehicles to them in time.

It stopped Christmas morning. By that time we had about 5 ft. of snow on our front porch which the wind had picked up and deposited. The same against our garage and about 2 ft. everywhere else. Fortunately, we never lost our power. It blinked a few times one day but we never lost it.

Our snowplow driver showed up about 2pm and got all of the snow away from the garage doors and then plowed the driveway. At least we had a way out in case of an emergency.

I had nothing thawed for Christmas dinner. So I took a small pork tenderloin out to thaw and I made a hoisin sauce concoction for it. Hubby was happy and so was I. We had about half of it leftover so I froze it and a small dish of the sauce to make a meal in a week or two.

My son and granddaughter are on their way out here right now. The trip is usually 4 and 1/2 hours but it is snowing here and has been for about 5 hours. The Thruway was still closed this morning from Exit 36 to the PA border but it is supposed to open soon which will make it easier for my son to drive here. I don’t know what kind of snow they will encounter on the way out. So I am praying they get here safely. My son has a class to teach for his business in Brockport tomorrow so we always look forward to them coming out after Christmas.

I had planned on baking a ham for them for dinner tonight. However, my son called yesterday and he had baked a ham for he and Alexa. So I didn’t want to feed them ham again tonight. I took a large turkey tenderloin out to thaw and I will roast that and serve it with mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, corn, and honey carrots. I have ice cream and cookies for dessert. All of this will be easy for me and Hubby will help.

The 13.44 lb. ham will get baked later in the week to give us a nice dinner and I will use the food saver to make many meals with the leftovers.

Our Christmas with our other son has been moved to the middle of January barring any snow storm. He is going to have us and Katie’s parents and brother for the fondue dinner that we always have there because we all missed Christmas. He is even keeping the tree up. Katie’s parents live in NH and they couldn’t get there either. We will exchange all of the presents then.

One more thing: Walmart cancelled my delivery order that was supposed to come today. They did that on Saturday due to weather. It had all the special things in it to treat my son and granddaughter. I was very disappointed but understood it was because of the weather. Luckily, I was able to get a delivery from Top’s this morning with what I needed. Top’s was closed from Saturday until this morning. Wegman’s is still closed and I have no idea if Walmart has reopened.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I just wanted to check in while I had a few minutes before my family comes. Stay warm and stay safe. I will be back posting on Thursday to talk about the New Year.

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Every Day

Our Electric and Natural Gas Bill for 32 days Was A Shocker!

I slept really well last night, so I woke up at 5am and have been trying to catch up on some paperwork. Now that I have my second cup of coffee for the day, I felt like posting about our recent electric and natural gas bill. It was a real shocker! You know that I always try to do my best to keep this bill down and close to last year’s even though costs have gone up.

Well, here is the breakdown of our December 20, 2022 bill which was for 32 days.. Our electric bill was $ 91.51 for 554 KWH. Our natural gas bill was for 133 ccfs. which they converted to 4 therms for billing purposes. The gas bill was $ 181.64. Then they added some fees and taxes which made the entire bill $ 274. 01. YIKES!

Now let’s compare it to the same bill for last year. The December 2021 bill was for 32 days also. Our electric bill was $ 74.27 for 517KWH. Our natural gas bill was 122 ccfs which also converted to 4 therms for billing purposes. The gas bill was $ 140.36. After the taxes and fees, the total bill was $215.59.

So our electric bill jumped only 37 KWH from Dec of 2021 to Dec 2022. We had company during that billing period but that is not much of a difference for that happening. Maybe a few TV’s or lights. Nothing spectacular. However the total electric bill went up $ 17.24. That tells me the electric rates are getting more expensive. Our natural gas bill for using the same amount of billed therms as last year was a total of $181.64. Last years bill was $140.36. So for the same amount of billable natural gas for the same number of days, we paid $ 41.28 more. Wow! These gas rates are going up rapidly and this is just the beginning of our high bills. There is a lot more winter left. The only things that we use natural gas for is our heating and gas stove. There is not much we can do but stop using the gas stove for the rest of the season. Cook in electric small appliances and cook a few meals at once so that we can just heat them quickly in the microwave. Our heat goes way down at night and does not come back up up to the 71 degrees that we keep it at until 8am in the morning. I am sitting here writing to you wrapped in a blanket because it only 64 in here. During the night it goes down to 62 degrees and starts increasing about now to get to the 71 degrees. I suppose we could turn the heat off but we would freeze to death. We could turn it down a degree or two but Hubby would freeze. I am just hoping we don’t lose heat this weekend in this snow storm because they are predicting massive winds up to 60 miles per hour which will probably take some lines down with trees falling on them.

We will continue to keep doing what we are doing to keep the usage low but we can’t do anything about the delivery and supply charges. So if you haven’t seen your monthly bill for November to December, get ready for it! The media and the government told us the prices would be up. They weren’t kidding. All of this could be stopped if the President turned our own oil pipelines back on and let them drill for more oil here. Their climate agenda is ridiculous. Solar will never work and will be so expensive that no one can afford it. There is not enough electric power in our grid to handle all of that. It will be a great big failure! In the meantime, we are all paying the prices for their incompetence. So get ready for 2023. Things are not going to get any better!

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Every Day

It’s Been A Very Rough Year!

I have been in the hospital for the last 5 days. I just came home this morning. On Saturday morning, I was up early as usual. I was walking in the breakfast room and when I put my left foot down, I got the most excruciating pain starting at my hip that shot down my leg into my foot. I could not stand nor put any weight on it. I grabbed a chair and sat down. I yelled for Hubby who was sleeping. He got me some clothes and I got dressed with help. He went and found the walker that I kept from my knee replacements. His idea was for me to get to the car with that and he would take me to the ER. However even with the walker, I could not put any weight on it to walk. The pain was excruciating. He called the ambulance which took me to the ER which was very uncrowded. The doctor saw me very quickly and ordered X -rays. Fortunately, there was nothing broken. So they sent me for a CT scan. They didn’t see anything. They decided to put me under observation on the surgical floor. They doped me up on a lot of narcotic drugs for the pain. I had to stay in bed and could not get up. The PA saw me on Monday and gathered all the information and made sure I had the drug regimen. She actually added some drugs. They sent PT in to see me and that got me up on a walker. My leg and hip still hurt but I was able to walk about 60 ft. and back that day. The PA looked at the scans and came in on Tuesday and told me she knew what the problem was. I have L1through L5 in my back with bulges between the discs and they are all impinging on my nerves. She put me on a nerve drug. By the second dose, I had no pain. This morning I was walking without the walker. They referred me to a neurosurgeon and released me about noontime today. I am home but have to be careful of how much I do. The tiniest thing could set it all off again. I am very tired so I am going to bed after dinner. Hubby is making taco salads.

A big shout out to the nurses and PCA’s that took care of me. They spoiled me rotten. They were always there when you needed them and pills were always on time. They truly treated me like they cared not ignored because I was old. They treated everyone like that. One of them made me coffee a couple of evenings and then this morning when she came into take vitals at 4am, she made me a cup and then at 6am another one appeared. You know who you are.

So many people complain but very few people write to compliment people.I am sending a letter to the CEO to compliment them along with some grocery store gift cards for him to disperse to them from me and Hubby. It is just a small gesture compared to the amount of time they spent caring for me. I hope to get that done next week. It is on the top of my list!

We have a huge snowstorm coming on Christmas weekend: freezing rain on Friday turning into 17 inches of snow on Saturday and Sunday. I just hope my snowplow guy comes. But we are not going to go to Rochester for Christmas dinner with my son and his wife and West. Too dangerous and I really don’t know if I will be up to it. So meanwhile I have all their gifts here and vice versa. My son does not think he will get out here until Saturday to trade them. I do not want him driving here in a dangerous snowstorm so we told him no. So Christmas Day will suck! However, my other son and Alexa will be coming out from the Adirondacks on Monday for a couple of days. I don’t think they will be affected by our storms because they are Lake Effect unless they have their own snowstorms. We are so looking forward to seeing them. Hubby will cook our ham that day for a belated Christmas dinner. I hope to get many meals out of that.

I will be back soon after my children go back next week and tell you about how we have had to change our grocery budget again and why. Plus telling you more about what we plan to do around here to make it easier on me. Plus many money saving ideas for 2023. Oh and my electric and gas bill came while I was in the hospital so I will break that down soon too. It wasn’t pretty!

I will be resting the next few days and not on here. So I wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! I hope we all have a much better 2023!