Every Day

How We Did On Our January Goals

We did pretty well on our January goals. Some are coming along slower than others. Some are rapidly progressing. Here is how we have done:

– Clearance shopping- I only bought some bagged salad. There is not much clearance in the stores right now.

– We have been buying a lot less junk food. We haven’t gotten rid of it all yet. Super Bowl Sunday we had some dips and chips, chicken wings and baked potato skins.

– We are reusing all of the plastic bags that come into our home. I keep them in empty Kleenex boxes. I have a large stockpile at this point. The reason is that we recycle everything that we can, use the garbage disposal for food, and donate so we have very little garbage. The microwave installers were nice enough to take the old microwave and all of the packaging for the new one.

– Our net worth increased from January 1st to February 1st by $7200. which was savings from December and January even though we paid our hefty property tax bill. So we feel good about that. We are well on the way to having the best savings year yet.

– We have not been going to the gym since I am preparing for surgery and that is keeping us quite busy.

– I have lost 4 lbs. this month.

– I have been doing great staying away from the Microsoft Solitaire. I played just twice.

– I am steadily working on organizing our photos.

– I have not been watching any news. I look at the news once a day online. We will watch the President’s State of the Union tonight.

– I have been spontaneously blogging which is helping me organize my time for projects and appointments.

– We only spent $ 139.02 of our $300. budget this month. We have been eating from our stockpile.

I am hoping for a good month in February also. 

It has been a hectic month around here even though we haven’t gone out much. I always hate January and February because it is so dreary and cold.

Please share with us how you have been doing on your 2019 goals by leaving a comment.

Every Day

Happy New Year and Our 2019 Goals

We wish you and your families a Happy New Year. Here is to a happy, healthy and wealthy 2019 for all of you!  

I have already touched on a number of goals for 2019. They are listed here with the link to the post about them:

– Buy as much food on clearance as possible:Clearance Shopping  

– Buy less sweets and junk food:Less Sweets and Junk Food

– Save Money for Christmas Gifts: Christmas Shopping

– Reuse All Plastic Bags: Plastic Bags 

– Make 99% Of Our Bread: Bread  

We still buy our bagels at Panera Bread on discount Tuesdays using gift cards that we purchased on discount almost 3 years ago. So that is why I say 99%.

I rarely make a lot of goals because like everyone else a lot of them don’t get kept. But I am challenging myself this year to keep them. So here is the rest of them for 2019:

– Boost our savings rate which will boost our net worth. We want this to be our biggest savings rate year ever because we have a “secret” goal that we are working towards. 

– Go to the gym on average 3 times a week.

– Lose weight by going to the gym and watching our food intake. I am aiming to get off some more of the prescription medications that I am on. I have already gotten off of 4 drugs.

– I have never been a gamer. But the last couple of years, I have gotten hooked on the Microsoft Solitaire  Collection. Every other day, I do a 30 Game Challenge as fast as I can to see how I score against hundreds of thousands of people a day. I usually score between 17th and 50th depending on the day. It has been very addictive. I no longer want to waste my time on something so unproductive. It just takes up too much of my time. So as of January 1st- no more Solitaire games. My time can be better spent on other activities.

– Get rid of 100% of the clutter, mainly in our basement and garage, in preparation for our next move. Even though it is containerized, it’s still clutter because a lot of it is not being used.

– Project Photos: These days we take digital pictures and Hubby has them well organized into albums. However we have boxes of photos from past years sitting in baskets and boxes. This is the year that I am going to organize them using these that I purchased on Amazon . I will organize them by family members, dates, trips, etc. I had planned on organizing them almost 9 years ago when we moved from AZ to NY. They still aren’t done. 2019 is the year it will get done!

– Spend no more than $300. per month on food. With the use of sales and coupons, my price book, my stockpile, my freezer, no waste, clearance foods, and doing 70% of my shopping at Aldi’s and Super Walmart, it is very doable. The other 30% will be for meat which will be bought in a variety of stores.

– I want 2019 to be a calmer year in my life. Hence, I will not be watching any news this year. 
It is way too stressful. If there is something that I really need to know, Hubby will tell me.

– Lastly, I have found over the many years that I have been blogging that my best posts are the ones that I really don’t have to think much about. They just are spontaneous. So I will be posting in 2019 when a spontaneous thought comes into my mind and I believe that the post will be helpful.

Please feel free to leave a comment and share your goals with all of us.


Every Day

2019 Goal: Clearance Shopping

I love when I see something on clearance that we can use. But I really don’t have a trained eye for it. It is not something that I go in to a store and look for. But that is changing.

In 2019, I will be scanning for clearance whenever I go into a store no matter what kind of store it is: grocery, department, hardware, etc. Matter of fact, I started looking this morning. I needed to stop at Walmart to buy onions. We use a lot of onions and I was down to just one which made me nervous. So I went in and planned to scan their produce, bread cart, grocery clearance, dairy, and any place that I saw the yellow clearance balloons.

The only clearance that I found that I knew we would use is in the picture above. I was thrilled to find the snow peas on clearance. Both packages were in good shape so I got them and put one in the produce drawer to use in stir fry this week. The other I froze  until we need it. Snow peas are one of my favorite vegetables and this was the best price I have ever seen. It doesn’t take much to make my day, but this did it.

I have used this breading before to make coconut shrimp and we really liked it. So when I saw this package, I grabbed it. I just wish they had had more.

I purchased these
items using my Walmart Savings Catcher money. I think they call it
Walmart Payday Money now. Paying nothing out of pocket always makes me

They had lots of other clearance on the bakery cart and a bit of other grocery clearance. But nothing I needed. My goal of baking all bread unless I can get a loaf for less stopped me from buying bread. Their clearance prices are too high and I don’t need the calories from the pies, cookies, cakes and donuts they had reduced. I didn’t check meat because I rarely buy their meat unless it is a brand name.  

Walmart had lots of clothing on clearance for everyone but we don’t need clothing. If you do, I would check your Walmart.

I will learn to do clearance and hopefully do it well. I refuse to buy things that we don’t need, even if it is a good clearance price. I hate clutter and I don’t want to to become a hoarder of things that we will never use. I might as well burn our money if I do that.

Do any of you clearance shop? Are you good at it? Are there any tips that you could share with all of us about certain stores?  Please let us know in the comments. 

Every Day

2019 Goal: Less Sweets and Junk Food

In our quest to eat healthier, we are not going to buy any sweets. If we crave something sweet, I will make it. Homemade cakes, cookies, brownies, donuts, pies, crisps, quick breads and baked apples will be the kind of sweet we will have. Parfaits made with homemade yogurt and granola will also be on the menu. Anything that I can make with Splenda, I will. 

Hubby and I like fruits, such as cuties, oranges, apples, grapes, bananas, pineapple, pears and peaches. They are sweet enough to satisfy our sweet cravings.

We do make SF puddings and jellos too. We usually eat them with SF Cool Whip.

I love ice cream but we eat too much of it. So in 2019, I will only buy it when we have company or for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. 

Junk food is getting cut back. Once a month I will buy a bag of potato chips and/or tortilla chips. We like potato chips with sandwiches and we love tortilla chips in certain recipes like tortilla soup or as a lunch with salsa. Popcorn and nuts are on the approved list. We can easily make our own Chex mix and that lasts a long, long time. 

Not only will this plan be healthier but it will cost us a lot less money. Junk food per lb. is really expensive! I could buy a lot of meats for the price of junk food. 

Can we survive this restrictive plan? Time will tell but we are going to give it our all.   

Every Day

2019 Goal: Reuse All Plastic Bags

I have been faithfully returning all of the plastic bags that I get when I shop to the recycling bin in the supermarket. I do this with all of the ones that are not recyclable.

However, I have decided to save them to replace some of the garbage bags that we have to buy. I have started putting meat scraps, bones, and the wrappers from meat in these bags and double wrapping them and throwing them directly in the garbage can in the garage. This keeps my wastebasket in the kitchen from smelling and lets me use just one bag or less a week. I use the garbage disposal for other peelings or scraps after I make stock with them. 

Those tall kitchen garbage bags cost a lot of money to buy just to throw away. So the fewer I use, the less money I spend in a year on them. I usually buy quality ones in bulk at Walmart or from Amazon. If Walmart or anywhere else has a better price after coupon, then of course I would buy them there.

Without all of the scraps, bones and wrappers in them along with no recyclable items, it is pretty easy to get along with one or a half a bag a week. We use grocery store bags for wastebaskets in other rooms. 

I will be using grocery store bags to wrap leftovers too. I also wash and dry our ziplocs that have not had poultry or meat in them and reuse them over and over again.  I try to buy as few ziplocs in a year as possible. Last January, I purchased a lot of zippered bags with Christmas writing on them on clearance at Office Max for $.23 a box. I am still using them.

As I told you in my prior post, I have been saving all of the bread bags to reuse for my homemade breads.

Sometimes we get large bags from department stores. Those fit nicely in our kitchen wastebasket. The veterans also send a bag for donations. When I don’t have any donations, I use them for the kitchen wastebasket also.

I have started saving the produce bags from the market for leftovers. I reuse many of the cereal bags that are in the boxes for food use too.

Just look around you, there are many plastic bags that you can use over and over again. When they no longer work, take them to your local supermarket for recycling. Don’t let them end up in your landfill.

Do you reuse plastic bags? What do you use them for?

Every Day

2019 Goal: Bread

I have wanted forever to make my own bread. I have a bread maker but I rarely use it. That is going to change. Hubby is starting to learn how to make bread and I am going to also.

Yes, I will use my bread maker for a lot of what we need. But I am going to make all of our rolls: hamburger, hot dog, submarine, dinner rolls, biscuits, and any other roll that we want to eat. I will make English muffin bread in place of buying English muffins.

We have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with a dough hook so we can make our own dough and bake bread in the oven. I want to try all different kinds of recipes this year.

We already make our own quick breads and muffins. I have even made doughnuts. The only bread that I will buy are bagels at Panera Bread. That is because I am still trying to spend all of the gift cards that I purchased at a discount a couple of years ago. So I use those on Tuesdays when we need bagels and get a bakers dozen for $ 6.99. It takes us a long time to eat a dozen, so we freeze most of them and just take out two when we are craving one.

I will still purchase wraps because I don’t want to attempt them this year and they are cheap to buy. 

Knowing that this was going to be a goal for 2019, I have been saving bread wrappers and twist ties to use for my own homemade. I also have some bread bags from buying bagels that will give me a head start. When I freeze bread, I like to double wrap it to keep it from freezer burning.

I have stockpiled some all purpose flour and bread flour at rock bottom prices. I say some because I don’t want to keep too much on hand at once. I want it to be fresh when I use it. I have a stockpile of yeast in the freezer.

Will making our own bread save us money? I don’t know. I am sure it will save us some. I will keep track of what I am spending to make it and what it would cost me at the market.  But I am more interested in eating our bread without all of the preservatives. Have you noticed lately that loaves of bread from the grocery store last for many, many weeks before they go moldy? Then you look at the ingredients and you see all of the preservatives listed. My homemade bread will need to be frozen and used as we need it because it won’t have those preservatives. But that is a good thing. 

I do have two loaves of bread and 2 packages of English muffins in the freezer now so they will be used up. I don’t ever want to waste anything. 

Every Day

Our 2019 Goals

We have always had goals we want to reach each year. While we have been pretty good at raising our net worth every year even though we are retired, we have smaller goals that we want to concentrate on in 2019 that will help us raise our net worth but also let us concentrate on things we have always wanted to learn. 

In some cases, they are things that we want to make habits in our household. Many will be learning to make things from scratch that will not only save us dollars but be healthier for us. 

These goals will not only touch on our food saving but every other item that we pay money for. We are hoping it will be the best money saving and learning year yet. Even though we are in our seventies, we have a thirst for knowledge. We always have and we are not about to stop now!

So I hope you will join us on our journey in 2019 and that you can learn something new too. I hope that we can learn from all of you also. Knowledge is power when it is shared back and forth!

Even though it is not 2019 yet, I will start touching on these goals this week. My Christmas shopping is done and wrapped, our taxes have been looked at so that we are properly prepared for the end of the year, our goals have been written out for 2019, our stockpile for the winter is in the house, and we have more time to do so in the next few weeks.  

Have you set your goals for next year yet?

Every Day

A Little of This and a LIttle of That

I decided to do some baking for Thanksgiving today.
I baked two loaves of pumpkin bread and two loaves of banana bread. They are all from scratch.  After they cooled, I double wrapped them in aluminum foil and froze them. They will be part of our breakfasts while my family is here for the Thanksgiving holiday. So I will pull them from the freezer the night before I need them. 

So what do you do for dinner when you have been baking?  I was tired but didn’t want to spend the money to go out. So I grabbed some cooked chicken that I put in the freezer from the 2nd roasting chicken that I cooked  a bit ago. I diced it and added it to a Zatarain’s Red Beans and Rice mix that was in my basement stockpile. Hubby tossed a bagged coleslaw mix with diced apples, raisins and walnut pieces and added his own sauce. It was about 5 -10 minutes hands on time and it was delicious.

I wrote our two couples who I have been helping this past week because I hadn’t heard from them. They are both busy especially because they will be traveling for Thanksgiving. So they are going to write to me after they get back. When they update me, I will update you. 

I am happy that I have all of my Christmas shopping done and wrapped. I am almost ready for Thanksgiving. I just have some pies to make and bake either Tuesday or Wednesday. Tom turkey has been defrosting in the refrigerator since this morning. This is one of my favorite holidays especially when family is coming to visit. I miss my granddaughter so much and can’t wait to see her!

While I have been shopping, wrapping and baking for the holidays, we have been thinking about our goals for 2019.  We have been brainstorming for months. There are a lot of small things that we want to do to let us save some serious money next year. Have you thought about your goals for the New Year? It’s not too early to do so.