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Every Day

Frugal Things We Did Yesterday and Today

We had enough credit card reward points that I was able to get $200. cashback yesterday.

Hubby has been saving the backs of printer paper and 8 X 11 papers that come in the mail. He uses them to print the crossword puzzles each morning from our online Buffalo News subscription. He loves doing them while drinking his coffee.

We had two red and yellow peppers that needed to be used up. I washed and sliced them and froze them to use in fajitas.

Hubby wanted to make a Waldorf coleslaw for lunches. I shredded regular carrots instead of buying them already shredded. Every little bit saves!

We got our gas and electric bill. It was $87.39. Last year’s for the same period was $98.39. So it was exactly $11.00 less. This year’s billing period was 4 days more than last year’s. Our KWH usage was 392 which is 45 less than last year. Our CCF gas usage was 5 which is 5 less than last year. However this year’s bill rates have increased quite a bit and we are still under last year’s bill. I have very carefully watched everything that we use. It is paying off! That said, we had to put our A/C on last night because it was so hot. Today and the next 4 days are supposed to be brutal. We are supposed to be 100 today. It is extremely humid outside. I still carefully watch the sun and put shades and blinds down on the windows with the sun on them.

Hubby and I were going to run a bunch of errands today that have been piling up. We decided it is not a good day to go out in the heat! One of the errands was to shop at Walmart. So I placed a delivery order which will be here in less than an hour. With the Teamster’s Union talking trucker’s strike here on the East Coast and Canada’s railroads(where we get a lot of food from and ingredients to make things) are on strike, I am not sure how much longer food will be on the shelves. Our truck drivers have a lot of issues with diesel shortages and obtaining DEF which adds to the problems. So I ordered some things that I really need.

I changed my dinner plans for tonight. I don’t want to use the stove top to make the shrimp dish so we will have state fair sausages cooked in the air fryer. It is too hot and humid to cook outside. Plus they are telling us severe thunderstorms later today. I really hope we keep our power. It is way to hot to be without it.

I will not be doing laundry or running the dishwasher today either. I do not want to heat up this house that we are air conditioning.

What have you done yesterday and today to save money?

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Every Day

Frugal Things That We Have Done Recently

It is getting more and more difficult to save money because everything is so expensive, especially groceries. But I am doing my best by shopping only the sales. I also plan menus using what I have in the refrigerator, freezers, and pantries.

My son who we visited recently gave us a tow behind dethatcher to use with our riding lawn mower. He had already purchased one for his. Then he found this old one in his shed. We had to borrow one from our other son the last time we needed one. Hubby was delighted and I was really happy with the price of free. This saved us over $150.

I made chocolate chip cookie bars to take to my son’s for Alexa. She loves chocolate. They called for chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. I did not have the butterscotch chips so I used what I had which was white chocolate chips. They were delicious! I substitute all of the time in recipes with what I already have in my kitchen. I will not run out to the store to get just one or two items especially with the cost of gasoline which is $ 4.90 a gallon.

We have been cooking all of our meals in the microwave, air fryer, toaster oven(rarely), and on our gas grill. I am hoping we have a lower gas and electric bill. I have been really watching what we use but the bills just keep going higher and higher. The meter reader was in here reading yesterday so we should have our bill by the end of the week. We still use natural gas for our on demand water heater. We have only used our A/C for 2 days this year. Our home has high ceilings and if I keep shades down on sunny windows our home stays cool.

The only water our garden got while we were away was rain water. It only rained a little and the plants cooked in the 90 degree temps. We came home to some yellow leaves on our tomato plants. So we have watered them well and I fed them some Miracle Grow for nutrients. Today once it gets light out, I will snip off the yellow parts.

Fortunately, we have only had those couple of hot days. Otherwise it has been cooler than normal which is really enjoyable. We have not had to turn our sprinkler system on for the lawn yet this year.

I had planned on making some strawberry jam this week so I was bitterly disappointed when Niagara Produce had the local ones for $5.50 a quart. They are very small and did not look great. Aldi’s had none and Top’s had no local ones. I purchased one quart so that we could have a few strawberry shortcakes. I will not be buying more unless I can find them cheaper and good looking. At least I have some jam left from last year.

My plan this week is to continue to can the meat up in our freezer. That mainly consists of ground meat, sausage and chicken. I will leave the steaks, shrimp, pork chops, and fish in there and we will eat them up in our normal rotation. I feel better with a lot of the meat on the shelves so I don’t have to worry so much about outages. Right now as I write this, we are in the middle of a thunder and lightning storm. I know how quickly we can lose power.

This week I am trying to use up produce in the fridge. So last night we had taco salads. We will do that again tonight. Wednesday and Thursday, we will have a shrimp dish, probably Giada’s dish that we love. Friday is homemade pizza night. Saturday will be Chef’s salad. Sunday will be chicken kabobs on the grill. With the price of produce, I am trying very hard not to waste any.

I looked for more canning jars at N.P. when I was there yesterday. They were $19.99 a case. Yikes! Needless to say I did not buy them. Instead when I came home, I looked online. I ordered them from Walmart for $ 11.97 a case. What a difference in price! I want to make sure that I have enough pint jars to make tomato and spaghetti sauce when the tomatoes are ripe. I also need them for meat.

I picked up two prescriptions at the drug store that were free. For some reason, this year we are finding that more and more drugs are free with our drug plan. They are mainly generics.

Well that is all for now. What have you done recently so save money?

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Every Day

Our Summer Vacation

We went to the Adirondacks to my son’s home to visit with he and Alexa, my granddaughter. We cherish every minute with them. We had not seen them since the end of December. It is getting harder and harder for Hubby and I to drive there. It is very difficult for my son to come visit us. He holds a full time job and owns a business. All of that takes up a lot of his time. He is so busy that I really don’t know how he juggles it all.

We had a wonderful week and spent a lot of time with them because my son took the week off from his full time job. We did a lot of eating out which I had budgeted for as part of our vacation budget . We celebrated Alexa’s 15th birthday. She picked a nice restaurant called The Wishing Well for dinner one night. Her Dad had this custom birthday ice cream cake made for her with her 2 choices of ice cream, cookie dough bites, oreo bits, chocolate crumbles, etc. It was the best ice cream cake that I have ever eaten.

We did save some money on the drive by exiting the Toll Thruway at Amsterdam and taking the back roads north into the Adirondacks instead of exiting in Albany. We also drove straight through the entire 4 and 1/2 hours and didn’t stop for a fast food lunch. My son had cold cuts, cheese, rolls and specialty bread ready and waiting for us. Coming back home we did not stop to eat either. I made us a light lunch when we got home.

My son has become quite the great host. We feel so welcomed when we are at his home. We all watched movies in the evenings. Anything we needed he had. It was a very stress free time for all of us which I really appreciate when we are away from home. We just enjoyed each others company immensely. We also enjoyed a fire in his firepit one evening. It is so peaceful and quiet where he lives.

I love spending time with Alexa. She is so mature now and such a delight to chat with. And of course there were lots of hugs. It is hard to believe that 15 years have passed since she was born. I also started blogging that year. Time just flies!

Now that we are home, I need to catch up on mail, laundry, cleaning, some organizing, my garden, etc.

So I should be back in a day or two with a saving money post. I hope your families all had a nice Father’s Day.

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Every Day

I Caught a Chicken Sale and thought……………

Top’s had a sale on chicken breasts this week for $ 2.49 a lb. I was only able to get one package on Sunday even though the limit was three. My plan had been to can it. So I went back yesterday morning and they had none. I asked one of the people to check the back for me to see if they had any. He said he would but that they didn’t get any on Tuesday either. He came back and said they did not get any in and he didn’t know if they would get anymore in on another day. So I was not about to wait.

I went to Walmart which is just a block away to see if they had any chicken. They had plenty at $ 2.99 a lb. I grabbed 3 packages and was happy to pay the price since I had my canning equipment laid out all over my kitchen.

I put two breasts in the freezer because Hubby wants to make chicken pineapple kabobs to cook on the grill later this week. Then I proceeded to cut most of the rest of it into chunks. I did the cold raw pack method and canned 12 pint jars. My Instant Pot Max only does 4 jars at a time so I was canning most of the morning and afternoon. After I had filled all of the jars, I had 3 and 1/2 breasts left(not enough for another batch) so I froze them for other meals.

They turned out perfectly and all of them sealed. After washing the outsides of all of my jars and dating them, I put them in my storage. They will be so handy for casseroles, stir fries, soups, etc.

Canned chicken has risen so high in price that I am not buying it. The amount of chicken that they are putting in the cans now has been reduced. I opened a 12.5 oz. can to make chicken salad sandwiches for brunch this week and there was more liquid than chicken in it. So it is no longer worth buying for the price they are asking.

When I can catch another sale under $ 2.99 for chicken I will buy some more to can. But I don’t know when we will have those prices again. UGH! Since I have all my jars that I purchased the last two years and all of the equipment I need to can, it is much cheaper for me to do chicken that way. Plus, I don’t have to rely on my freezer if I do it this way.

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Every Day

Packaging Basics Today

Since Hubby and I have been making our own bread, we decided to get a couple extra bread flours since wheat will be in short supply this year. I used my food saver to make it air tight. That way I do not have to freeze it first. I just put the flour right into the bag I made from a roll and no eggs can hatch without air. It also needs no oxygen absorber which cuts down on the cost of storing it. Then I put them into a covered bin until I need to open another one. I have never had an issue since I have been doing it this way.

Sugar will be in short supply soon too since so many countries have decided not to export it. I need it for most breads and for any other baking I need to do. So I got this 25 lb. bag before the price goes up again. I will put this in a 5 gallon bucket with NO oxygen absorber. Never put one in sugar because the sugar will turn hard as a rock. The sugar keeps nicely in the bucket.

If you do a lot of baking for Thanksgiving and Christmas, you might want to think about getting some now.

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Every Day

Jif Peanut Butter Recall: Important Info

If you have any of the recalled peanut butter or peanut butter products and purchased it at Walmart, you can get a refund. I got an e-mail advising me to throw the products out and take my receipts to the store. If you purchased it online via pickup or grocery delivery, just bring your order #’s.

It is not necessary to bring the product to the store.

I just got home from getting refunded for 3 jars I bought online and in the store.

Or you may fill out this form to get a free coupon for each purchase for when the product is back on the shelves:

https://www.jif.com/recall-form

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Every Day

Preparing a Little Each Day

This week Top’s had a coupon item for a 6lbs. + mega package of 80/20 ground beef on sale for $ 2.99 a lb. I picked up a package that was just about 7 lbs.

Today, Hubby and I spent some time preparing it. I canned about 4 lbs. in pint mason jars with my Instant Pot Max which has a canning program. It was just staying warm until we finished watching NCIS and NCIS Hawaii today that Hubby recorded last night.

Hubby made a big pot of chili and then put it in the crockpot to cook all day. That will be dinner for many nights this week and if there is any left over or we get sick of eating it, I will freeze the rest to use on hot dogs.

I just took the jars out of the canner. They are so hot that they were still boiling. These 4 jars will make 8 meals for Hubby and I . We will use them in casseroles, spaghetti sauce, soups or tacos.

Since we are reading in the news that the UN is telling us that there will be a food crisis in less than 10 weeks, I am taking them seriously. I know that wheat and corn are in short supply. So many products are made with those items. Meat has gotten so expensive that unless you can get a deal on a loss leader, it is almost unaffordable. There are chicken shortages because of the bird flu so that has become expensive also.

Hence I am canning any deals that I find on meat or produce. Even if a crisis does not occur, I will have purchased and put up some food at cheaper prices. It will eventually get eaten.

I hope all of you see what is coming and have stocked up some food for you family.

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Every Day

Prepping a Great Meat Deal

While browsing my Top’s ad for this week, I noticed they had whole chickens and packages of drumsticks on sale for $ .99 lb. We have not had a price that low for chicken in a very long time.

So I went yesterday morning and picked up 1 package of the drumsticks and 4 of the whole chickens. At $ .99 a lb., the total of the meat came to $ 27.80. That gave me a little over 28 lbs. of chicken and bones.

They also had a deal where if you purchased 8 packages of Knorr Sides, you got $ 5.00 off on $ 10.00 worth of meat. Since we prep those for storage, I bought 8. That reduced the total for the chicken to $22.80.

After we ate a late breakfast, I decided to cook the whole chickens. I was able to roast 3 of them in my turkey roaster in our oven. The fourth one, I cooked in my crockpot. I took a picture of the roasted chickens after they came out of the oven but when I went to upload it today, it was nowhere to be found. So I guess it didn’t work.

While the chicken was cooking, I used the food saver to put the drumsticks in the freezer. Those will make 3 meals.

After the chickens were all done, I cooled them until I could work with the meat.

I separated the meat from the chickens and put 3 of them in this container and stored it overnight in the fridge. The 4th one was put in a large baggie and also stored in the fridge overnight.

Then I put all of the skins and a large number of the bones into my crockpot to make bone broth.

This was the result.

This all took a lot of time and by the time I called my sister for our usual Monday evening chat, I was beat.

Today, I used my food saver to bag up the chicken for the freezer after saving some out to make chicken rice soup tonight. It made 27 meals of chicken to put in the freezer. I also had put those 3 meals of drumsticks in the freezer. That is 30 meals and about 4-6 more of the soup. That is a great result for $ 22.80!

Please share with us in the comments any good deal you have gotten recently.

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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.

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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.