I wanted something easy for dinner last night. I always keep a big bag of meatballs in my freezer. So I just put them in a microwave dish with some Rao’s spaghetti sauce and nuked them for dinner. We had a salad with it. We will eat the leftovers tonight(waste not want not).
Our son and grandson came for breakfast. My son helped my Hubby with a few things around here. My son also knew that I was in a lot of pain yesterday. But I had 4 prescriptions to pick up at Rite Aid that were needed. I had planned on getting them after they left. But instead he drove Hubby to the drugstore to get them. I was very thankful!
Hubby spent a bit of time yesterday cleaning out his dresser. He has lost so much weight that many things were way to big for him. He also had a pile of white T-shirts that he hasn’t worn in a long time. I will be cutting those up into rags. He found about 10 pairs of summer shorts and many sleep pants in a bottom drawer. He will try them on today. He suspects that they were there because they were too small. I will take a second look at all of it with him today. He will keep anything that is like new and fits now. He also found about 20 ties that he no longer wears. The ties and anything else that he doesn’t want or is too big will get donated this week.
He surprised me this morning when he got up and was wearing one of his sweaters that he hadn’t worn in 30 years. He looked great!
We got our bill for fertilizing our lawn this season. We were surprised that it only went up by $25. I can’t wait to get the natural gas and electric bill tomorrow. YIKES!
I had no bagged mozzarella to sprinkle on our meatballs tonight. But I had a block of mozzarella which I buy cheaper than the shredded. So Hubby grated it using the attachment for our Kitchen Aid mixer. Doing it this way eliminates the cellulose they put in the bagged shredded cheese.
We had snow today and it is still snowing here. I am hoping it stops so that I can get out to stock on some sale items tomorrow.
We both love shrimp. But the prices have been so high that I have stopped buying colossal($12.99) or large shrimp($9.99). When I found this 12 ounce package of raw medium on clearance for $ 5.72 a couple of weeks ago, I got one. We decided tonight to enjoy shrimp cocktails with a small side salad. We made our own cocktail sauce using ketchup and horseradish that we always have in the fridge.
First thing this morning, I thawed it in some cold water. It was raw so it needed to be deveined, cleaned, and had tails that needed to be removed. That was a pain but it was well worth doing the work myself. It only took me 1-2 minutes to cook it in the microwave so the energy cost was negligible. If the price goes up on the medium shrimp, we will just not buy it anymore.
There are so many things that I have stopped buying because the prices have risen too high. I haven’t bought coffee, soda, mayonnaise, any kind of plastic bags, aluminum foil, personal care products in weeks. I am making our coffee stretch by only having 2 cups a day. I was drinking 5. We have quit buying soda. We drink iced tea, hot tea, homemade cocoa, or lemon water. Sometimes, we just drink ice water with our meals. We are making our mayonnaise stretch by using less. We have some plastic bags and aluminum foil that I purchased before the prices went up. We have plenty of soap, lotion, body wash, shampoo, makeup, deodorant, floss and toothpaste. We are making them all last by using the minimum we can to do the job. We have quit using throw away razors or blades. We each have electric razors.
I am not buying any more paper towels. We are using rags for anything messy. I really appreciate my son, when he visited recently giving me a shirt that had a hole in it. I cut it up for rags. I am using cheap paper napkins to drain bacon which is basically what I used the paper towels for. The napkins are much cheaper than the paper towels.
We will be asking the dentist for two toothpastes and two flosses when we have cleanings.
We are making all of our own breading for meats, poultry, and fish from coconut and almond flour and one egg with a little cream mixed in. Then we either cook them in the air fryer or in a little avocado oil in the electric fry pan.
Tomorrow’s family breakfast will be scrambled eggs, bacon, and some sausage. My grandson does not like eggs but will eat pancakes. So I will be making him a stack from scratch. Since his 13th birthday was a couple of days ago, I will put a candle or two on the stack. We talked to him on his birthday and he was excited that my son had driven him to school instead of him going on the bus as usual. The reason he was excited is because he could ride in the front seat. He is almost 6 ft. tall and he couldn’t ride in the front seat until he was 13 years old. Yes, that is our nanny state. No height or weight requirement just age. Doesn’t make any sense to me!
We are cutting back on having bacon with our morning breakfasts. We have a lot of ham leftover in the freezer from when I cooked it after Christmas. We will be eating a slice of that fried up instead of bacon. Bacon is expensive so we will save what we have in the freezer for our family breakfasts.
Hubby and my son are going to be installing in the wall tomorrow the parts that Hubby purchased to hide the cords behind the TV on the wall. The only exception is that my son is giving us the HDMI 10 ft. cable that we need. I am so glad that this is getting done. I could not stand looking at the messy cords.
I am only doing one load of wash every 10 days or so now that all the bedding I am giving to my son and our other sheets are all done. It will be dried on racks and the shower rod.
What have you given up because it has gotten too expensive?
We all know that the cost of food, OTC medicines, and gasoline have rapidly accelerated over the past couple of years. I know that in 2021-2022 my food bill tripled. That is why I am really trying to bring it down this year. Only time will tell if that is possible. The same can be said for OTC medicines and that is after switching to store brands.
Gasoline prices have been going down but in my state on January 1, 2023, they went up by $ .16 per gallon. A lot of people wondered why. That is because on June 1, 2022, our governor( who was up for election in November) suspended that amount telling taxpayers that she was giving them a break until 2023. The media was applauding her when she did the break but you probably didn’t hear much about it going back on January 1st. There were whispers. However our gasoline per gallon here is almost double what it was over 2 years ago. All of these increases are very noticeable because they are consumables we use every day.
What I have been paying attention to beside those things are the things that are increasing year over year. Have you noticed those increases?
Our electric and natural gas bills have increased by $ 212.50 for the year ending 2022. The only reason that the increase has been that low is because I save on every bit of electricity and natural gas that I can every single day.
Our school and property taxes have increased by a total of $ 1751. in one year. The property increased by $ 753. and the school increased by $ 998.
Yesterday, we got our 2023 bill from the company who does our property maintenance from April until November. They weed, trim trees and bushes, etc. The bill is for $ 3240. The bill we paid for the same maintenance for 2022 was for $2386. That is an increase of $854. in one year or about 36%. They don’t mow the lawn. Hubby likes to sit on his John Deere. However, they will do it for an additional $ 1500. for the season. We will get another bill from this company shortly for 2023 for fertilizing the lawn. Well, we all know how short the supply of fertilizer is and how expensive it has become. You see that every day in the cost of your vegetables.
Our pest control service went up in one year from $140.40 quarterly to $ 169.88 quarterly which is an increase of $ 117.92 a year. They only come every three months.
We will also be getting our auto and homeowners insurance policy next month. Our auto insurance last year was $1,000. Our homeowners was $ 602. I expect they will both increase by a lot.
I will be reporting on these increases as they happen. Are you keeping track of yours?
We have no mortgage but as you can see the bills for the house have increased immensely. In just a few short months, the bills to maintain the house and taxes have gone up by $2935.42. That is not a small increase.
When you add in food and gasoline rising prices, it becomes astronomical.
If you are planning on retiring anytime soon, make sure you plan for increases in future years especially things that you will need to pay for that you are no longer able to do. We have been retired almost 22 and 1/2 years now and have been able to live well. But with prices rising as fast as they are, we have to tighten our belts where we can.
What is the most expensive foods we buy these days? If you said meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, you would be right. Proteins are so necessary for the Keto diet so that is why I am always looking for them on a great sale or at a reduced price.
I told you a couple of days ago that I organized my kitchen freezer drawers. They had gotten out of control. Something had gotten stuck in the bottom one so I had to empty the top one to be able to take some things out of the bottom to be able to open it.
The top drawer is above. I have a lot of steak, roasts, and a big bag of meatballs on the left hand side. The right side is full of hamburger, pepperoni, ground turkey, and many pork products: cooked ham packets, pork chops, a pork tenderloin, and sausages, both ground and links. There is also a small container of leftover glaze for the ham pieces. The steaks get eaten just as they are. The roasts get used for pot roast meals that I make in the crock pot or ground for hamburger. I have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the grinder attachment. When I can get roasts or a brisket cheaper than hamburger, that is when I grind my own. The meatballs get used in a myriad of ways: for spaghetti, for lasagna, or just eaten with some kind of sauce, etc. The meat in my kitchen freezer drawers gets eaten first before I dig into the chest freezer. There is only one exception and that is my turkeys. They are in the chest freezer and I will take one out when we are craving turkey. That will happen later this week. When the kitchen drawers start to get empty, I move a few weeks of proteins from the chest freezer to them. We always eat from these drawers first so I don’t have to worry about freezer burn.
This is the bottom drawer. On the left are a lot of frozen vegetables and 1 large bag of strawberries for desserts, and a lone bag of tortellini which will get used up soon in soup. On the right side is more ground turkey, some reduced price seasoned steak burgers and ground turkey(overflow from the first drawer so they don’t get stuck again), chicken breasts, a large bag of blueberries that need to get used in muffins, pancakes, or waffles, many packages of haddock, and an ice pack.
I have been shopping for so many years now that I pretty much know when some kind of protein is at a rock bottom price. Eggs haven’t been at rock bottom for about a year. The only thing I have been able to do on those is look for the best price when I shop and then I buy in quantity. I used to buy the 60 count at Walmart but I haven’t seen a good price in months. I also freeze eggs. Matter of fact, when I was cleaning out these drawers, I found a bunch of frozen ones. I have many in the chest freezer so I have decided to use these up. They are now thawed and will be eaten with the bacon I cooked yesterday for breakfasts this week. I don’t like to keep eggs frozen more than 3 months so I am always replacing the ones in both freezers.
January is always a good month to buy chicken. They go on sale because everyone is on diets. The same goes for fish. I have seen chicken breasts this month for $ 1.99 a lb., chicken thighs and whole chickens for $ .99 a lb., and chicken drumsticks for $ .79 a lb. When I am low on chicken, I have been known to buy 80-100 lbs. at these prices. Right now, I have plenty of chicken. Both shrimp and fish is also down in price. I have plenty of haddock from the last sale and I have been picking up shrimp here and there the last couple of months since the price went down.
The next month that you will see a good sale on steaks may be for Valentine’s Day. If you can find a great sale on a whole ribeye roast or a whole tenderloin that is the time to buy it and cut your own steaks. St. Patrick’s Day will bring a sale on corned beef. Pork is usually the cheapest from February to April but I have seen cheap prices for pork almost all of 2022. Easter will be hams and possibly turkey breasts. Then for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day you will see hamburgers and hot dogs on a great sale along with steaks. Lastly, you will see great prices for turkeys and hams for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The best prices you will get will be these times so stock up when that happens. That way you always have the cheapest meat and you won’t have to buy it until it goes on sale again.
I took some of the pork chops out of the freezer drawers to cook in the crock pot today. These pork chops were on sale a few months ago so I bought a bunch. They were tough when we cooked them in the toaster oven or air fryer. So cooking them in the crock pot with some kind of sauce will tenderize them and make them edible.
Many of you are able to get reduced price meat that is coming up to it’s sell buy date. I rarely am able to find any which makes me wonder if my stores are repackaging it. That is a scary thought! But for those of you with Kroger stores or other stores that do this, it is a great way to save money. If you use it or freeze it right away, it should be just fine. I have only once gotten bad meat on reduced price.
I saved the best for last. Use your proteins in proper portions. That will save you the most amount of money for a meal.
How do you save on buying meat, poultry, fish, and eggs these days? We would all love to see your tips in the comments.
Breakfast this morning was bacon and over easy eggs. I baked an entire pound in the oven. I under cook it just a bit so that I can warm it in the microwave each morning and not have it come out like a rock. It will last most of the week.
I have two black barrel type end tables. One in the great room next to the sofa and one in the bedroom next to a recliner. They are great for storage. I keep linens in the one in the bedroom and blanket type throws in the one in the great room. I noticed when I moved the one out of the bedroom that the black paper that is on it was pulling away on the cover and the barrel right where they make contact. So Hubby super glued it and it is now like new.
I did some more organizing in the pantries today.
This afternoon, we watched the Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins game. We won.
Hubby made Keto breaded haddock using pork panko rinds, almond flour, coconut flour, and an egg wash. We served it with broccoli.
I am taking it easy the rest of the night. I didn’t feel well when I woke up this morning.
I was just worn out yesterday from all the things I have been doing since I got home from the hospital. I slept in late on my new bed which I love. I found a Marie Callendar potpie in the freezer the other day after looking for something else. Hubby hates potpies unless I make homemade. So to get rid of it, I ate it for breakfast. Not Keto, but I am not letting food go to waste that we already have.
I spent the morning doing more sheets, etc. They were from the two beds that we slept on for 3 nights. They are now done and the beds are all made up and ready for guests. I also closed those rooms off again so that we are not heating them. While they were drying, Hubby and I watched CSI- Las Vegas which we had recorded.
About 1pm, I went into our room to watch just one You Tube show. Then my plan was to do some more organizing in the pantry. Well, I don’t even remember the show. I fell asleep and woke up at 4:30pm.
Dinner was taco salad which was layered with romaine, onions, diced fresh tomatoes, black olives, a sprinkle of fiesta cheese, the seasoned taco meat and then sour cream dollops on top. It was so good!
We got about 3-4 inches of snow yesterday. I was quite surprised that our snowplow guy showed up. But he did and plowed the little bit of snow last night.
Today, it is now Saturday. As soon as Hubby gets up, I plan to remove the top drawer of my freezer in my fridge. I can’t get the bottom one open. It is stuck. So I will put all of the contents of the top drawer in a laundry basket first so that he can lift the drawer out. Then I will quickly clean the bottom drawer and remove some of the contents to our chest freezer. Then put everything back. I always work fast so that nothing thaws. I did do this and organized it while I was doing it. It made me realize that we have way to many pork products so we will not be buying any of those for quite a while. We also have lots of haddock so I will thaw some for dinner tomorrow night.
I am seriously considering thawing a turkey to cook this week. I won’t stuff it but just roast it in the convection oven and then take most of the meat off and freeze it in portions for meals. Of course we will have some the day I roast it. I will make bone broth for soup overnight with the bones and skin. Some of the turkey will be sliced on the meat slicer for cold cuts for Chef’s salads.
Thank goodness all of the laundry is finally done around here. I really do not want to see my upcoming utility bill after running the dryer so much.
After the freezer is taken care of, I need to pay a bill, register the warranties on our mattress covers, and write my doctor through the portal to get a prescription. He gave me two samples of a new drug to see how I tolerated it. I just opened the second sample and I love this drug, so he needs to write a script. I need to contact the manufacturer and get a coupon for it because it is really expensive.
Brunch was hamburgers. I had 2 in the freezer that were getting old and needed to be used up.
We made taco salads again for dinner tonight. They are so good.
Now Hubby and I are watching the NFL game: Seattle against San Francisco.
I am so excited because the new beds are coming today. I am just hoping that the blankets that I purchased fit. They sold them on Amazon as XL twin. But when they came they are marked twin. Update: They fit beautifully!
Brunch was turkey slices spread with cream cheese. Then I rolled them up and cut them into bites. They are so good!
I did a load of washable rugs this morning. It seems like I have been doing laundry all week. I guess I have been.
Dinner tonight was chicken nuggets and salad.
The grocery ads came for this next week starting on Sunday. The only thing that I saw was chicken drumsticks at Top’s. They are $ .99 a lb. but I have plenty of them. So this will be the second week in a row that I have done no shopping with the exception of the fresh tomatoes.
I needed a pillow for my new bed. Hubby did not want a new one. So I ran up to Walmart and got one that was on sale for $ 14.97. I looked at bedspreads but did not like any of them. So I will keep looking.
We decided today that we will lock in another large CD because the rates are way up. I will work on that tomorrow.
Tonight we watched some more shows that we have recorded: Part one of the finale of Blue Sky and the 3 FBI’s.
I actually slept in today until 8:30am. Felt very rested for a change. Hubby and I had bacon and eggs for breakfast.
Dinner will be chicken legs done in the air fryer. I will make homemade wing sauce for Hubby. I just like mine with ranch dressing. We will have a tossed salad on the side.
We spent the morning moving all of the lamps and little things back into our master bedroom. I cleaned everything really well before we put them back. The air purifier needed a good wash and Hubby makes our own filters for it from material we bought(the same material the manufacturer’s use but a whole lot cheaper than they charge). So he put a new filter in it. I gave the 4 windows in the room a quick wash on the inside. I had cleaned the ceiling fan before Hubby shampooed the carpeting. The room is now ready for the new beds. They will come tomorrow morning.
Then I decided to clean the master bathroom from top to bottom and our master closet also. I keep them pretty organized and I clean the sinks and toilet every day so it didn’t take long. I just had to quickly do the garden tub and shower. Then wash the floors and vacuum the carpet in the closet.
Hubby and I never watched the NCIS crossovers last night, so we did that this afternoon. It was very enjoyable to just sit and do nothing for a good portion of the day for a change.
Walmart had notified me about 5 days ago that they received the blanket I returned to them. So I checked to make sure that they had credited my card for the $43.+. They had so I took that off my list to follow.
West’s 13th birthday is coming up soon. All he wants is money which I think is the typical teenager thing. So I made his birthday card out and put the cash we are giving him in it. Hopefully they will come for breakfast before his birthday. If not, I will mail it and send a check instead.
I did a load of wash with heavy stuff. I used cold water and hung everything to dry.
Tonight I will watch You Tube for a while before I hit the sack.
Breakfast was an egg and some leftover smoked sausage.
We have another busy day. The carpet people came and stretched our master bedroom wall to wall carpet. I had never had wall to wall carpets loosen and get wrinkles until we moved here. We live in a very humid climate and that is why it is prevalent here in Buffalo. We had to have the great room carpet done a few years back and it has held. So we figured while the bed was out of the room, we would hire someone to do it in the master bedroom. The schedule has worked out perfectly. After the carpet people left, Hubby shampooed the carpeting. I have put the ceiling fan on to make sure it is good and dry by Thursday when the bed delivery happens. The carpet looks brand new and it is almost 14 years old. They only charged us $ 199. for the stretching and $ 51. for moving all of the furniture and then putting it back plus the sales tax. I was surprised at the low price because our master bedroom is a huge room.
While all of that was going on, I went to UPS with a return for LL Bean. Hubby had ordered jeans well before he had his heart attack. One pair was never worn and are way too big for him. So I called LL Bean and they told me I could return them. They sent me a label that arrived yesterday so I packaged them up in a box that I had saved. The jeans are expensive there, so this refund will help pay for clothes that he will need in the future. That will probably be soon because he has lost about 37 lbs.
Top’s was on my route to UPS so I stopped and got some tomatoes. $8.82 for 4 tomatoes. They were $ 2.79 a lb. That really made me appreciate the tomatoes we grew and ate all summer.
I folded 2 loads of sheets and blankets today. I have all the California king size things in a pile for my son to give to him the next time I see him.
I had called my town to find out how much of the bed I could put out at a time. She said 4 pieces. So I told her this is a king size sleep number bed that comes apart in pieces. She contacted her rep who said they would take it. But she still said that they might only take 4 pieces. UGH! I have decided that on our day for large things which isn’t until Feb. 9th that I am going to drag all of it to the bottom of the driveway and make a sign that says this is a sleep number bed and your rep said you will take it. We’ll see if that works. I will be very ticked if they don’t. It will take me a year to get rid of all the pieces if I can only put 4 pieces out at a time. Plus I will have to drag it all back into our garage. UGH! They only take 4 pieces a month so if they don’t take it, it will be March 9th till they take 4 pieces again, etc.
Hubby and I are thinking about watching the 3 hour crossover of the NCIS’s tonight. Hubby recorded it last night.
So we saved money by shampooing our own carpet instead of hiring someone. We made all of our meals at home. I returned an older item to LL Bean that they still sell that Hubby never wore because of his weight loss. I got the tomatoes because the store was on my route and that saves me on gasoline. I making dinner from my freezer, fridge, and pantry. We will watch something on TV for entertainment instead of spending money going out.