Every Day

A Little of This and a Little of That

It has been crazy around here but I finally found time to go get this deal at Top’s. I got 17.57 lbs. of chicken breasts for $ 34.96. That was $ 1.99 a lb. and there was a limit of 3 packages. I haven’t seen that price around here in a couple of years. They had plenty so if I have to go anywhere else this week, I will stop and get 3 more.

This week our sprinkler company came and blew out the lines for the winter. Our heating people just came to service the furnace for the winter to make sure that everything is working well. Hubby is keeping him busy while I blog.

In the meantime, I have been organizing pantries. I started cleaning out my chest freezer and then realized that those bins wouldn’t fit because there was too much meat in the freezer. So we are eating out of it every night so that we can get it down to where the bins will work.

Also I canned up a whole bunch of chicken from the freezer the end of last week and put it on the shelf. The chicken I got today I will cut up tonight and can it in the morning.

In case you guys haven’t gotten the word, now there is a shortage of resin. It is used in making Ziploc bags and other food grade bags. So if you are in need, I would grab some now before they disappear and the price skyrockets. This info came from within the largest manufacturing plant of those bags in the U.S. Notice how the media isn’t even mentioning it.

Hubby has been moving our underground sprinkler system in the new garden in the backyard. I helped where I could. The hosing was right where we are having the landscape company move two rose of sharon bushes. They have gotten too big for the gardens they are in. We didn’t want to have a repeat of when the first garden was put in. They cut the sprinkler hose. Now these are safe and out of the way.

Tonight we are having leftover fish that we cooked up last night. Hubby had breaded haddock and I had salmon. We will reheat the leftovers in the air fryer.

Did you get a any good deals this week?

Every Day

Getting Ready for Winter, Etc.

Three of my six bins for the freezer arrived yesterday. They say the rest are arriving today.

This is only part of what I canned on Monday. I cooked up the large pack of ground beef and was able to fill 11 jars. Then I cut up the top round roast and was able to fill 3 more jars. Since my canner does 7 pints at a time, this gave me two full loads. They both process at 75 minutes so it was perfect. I had never done stew beef before so I thought I had filled up the jars but after processing, there was room left in them. So next time, I know to fill them with more meat. I have already put away the other 6 jars but I need to put these in the basement. I am running out of room upstairs.

Yesterday morning, I went up to Home Depot to get 5 more bags of lawn soil. Hubby has been filling in around the edges of the new driveway that was put in last fall with the soil and planting grass. He had already purchased 10 bags but it wasn’t enough. Those bags are heavy. I was lucky to find a young employee who did all the lifting, rung me up, and put them in the car. Hubby finished it yesterday and he had just put the last bit of seed down, when it rained. So we didn’t have to water. That made me happy since we just paid our 3 month $200. water bill.

After bringing the soil home and Hubby unloaded it, I went back to Walmart. I had not been in a Walmart in a long time. I always get delivery. But I am running out of some of the sizes of my canning jars and their site showed they had them. They had not one. But I needed other things that were on my winter list so I did a bit of shopping. I was shocked to see how barely stocked the shelves were. I have never seen a store this low on stock. That Panama Canal slowdown of the ships is really hurting the store inventories. If you need things for the winter, I would suggest getting them sooner rather than later. I don’t know how long supplies will last.

Fortunately, our 240 pounds of water softener salt arrived. We also have enough furnace filters and humidifier pads to get us through the winter. If you are stocking for the winter, they are just a couple of things that you should look at.

I picked up some OTC necessary medicines that we needed, some warm clothing, a bit of food, and warm socks. $178. later I walked out of the store with just 4 bags. Things are getting more expensive. I won’t bore you with the list of items. When I got home, I ordered many cases of pint jars which they are shipping from the warehouse. I don’t want to be short of them while I am doing the freezer.

Hubby and I went through our home over the weekend and made a list of all of the items that we believe will not last us the winter. When I talk about winter, I mean 6 months. We get a lot of snow and cold here and the forecast for the winter here is not good. It looks like it will arrive early and last later than normal. Lots of snow and below average temperatures are coming. I told him that I am not going out of the house this winter to run errands or for anything else. I have actually rescheduled all of my appointments until late spring. When we need fresh produce, dairy or anything else, we have Walmart Delivery and Instacart. So we can get delivery of almost everything. Our drug store will deliver our prescriptions.

Later in the day, a man from the Tree Service we called came to look at our pear tree and our other trees. The pear tree is loosing it’s leaves early and didn’t look good. The man told Hubby it probably was related to the weather this year. No fungus found. He told Hubby to get some Neem (which we already have) and just spray it in the early spring. He says it will come back and be just fine. He is coming back to trim our birch tree and maple tree. He said our cherry tree is just perfect. Our purple plum is on it’s way out. But he said they only last about 15 years anyhow. It is almost 14 years old now. So we will have to think about what we are going to replace it with.

For dinner last night, Hubby grilled the chicken that I purchased last weekend. He used my homemade BBQ sauce. It was so delicious. It is a recipe that carried down over the years from our ancestors. He grilled 4 breasts so there are two left for dinner tonight.

Since our dinner is ready for tonight and I quickly picked up the house, threw a load of laundry in, did the dishes, and cleaned the bathrooms this morning, I can start working on pulling food out of the freezers that I want to can. When it thaws, I will start the canner. Then I can defrost the chest freezer and organize it. This will definitely take me a few days.

Are you stocking up on necessities for the winter?

Every Day

A Small Meat Haul and What I Plan To Do With It

Since the Buffalo Bills weren’t playing until tonight, I decided to get some of the sale meat items at Top’s yesterday. Figuring that most people would be home watching football, I went once the games started. Oh Boy was I ever wrong. I think every women in my little town had the same idea. It was packed. So I got in and out as quickly as I could.

I snagged a big pack of 80% lean ground beef at $ 2.99 a lb. I will be cooking it and canning it this morning.

Finally, they had split chicken breasts in my store and they were on sale for $ 2.19 a lb. My store has not had them for a couple of years. I am going to ask Hubby to grill them tonight using up the quart of homemade BBQ sauce that I made when my sister- in- law was here . That will give us at least two meals. But they are huge so maybe the meat will give us a couple of brunch meals too.

I also purchased a top round roast for $ 4.99 a lb. This will get cut up for stew and either canned or frozen for a couple of meals. I make my stews in the crockpot so it tenderizes the meat. I can’t buy stew meat for this price.

I decided to start thawing the mystery meat I showed you. I will let you know what it is when it thaws.

Excitement was in the air when I got up and sat down with my coffee this morning. I opened my e-mail to find that my bins to do the freezer are coming tomorrow. I can’t wait. So I may get a head start on organizing it a bit today. At least I can pull out all the rest of the meat that I am going to can up and get it thawing in the refrigerator.

Any veggies, fruits, and cheese that are in the chest freezer will go into the refrigerator freezer. I don’t have too much of that because we eat a lot of fresh. Any meat that is in the that freezer will either get canned or go down to the chest freezer.

It is looking like I will be pretty busy this week. But I can’t wait to see the finished project.

Today, we have 240 lbs. of pellet salt for our water softener being delivered via Fed Ex. I expect that the driver is not going to be a happy camper. I will have to be especially nice to him. They are coming in 40 lb. bags each with a separate tracking number. This is what will get us through the winter. We can’t get them at the store because they are too heavy for us. If we can just get them in the garage, my son and grandson can take them down to the water softener for us the next time they come out.

What are you guys up to today?

Every Day

It Feels Good To Be Back

I am happy to be back blogging. It has been a hectic 5 weeks. I needed the time off to can a lot of meat among other things. My latest was 7 pounds of ground beef. I have many more stored away besides these. Each pint jar will give us 2 meals each.

Hubby helped me to can the peaches. I purchased a 1/2 bushel at Niagara Produce that were ready to be canned. I already had all the canning supplies which I purchased last year. Walmart has the best price on good canned peaches. They are $ 2.44 each. I got my peaches at under $ 1.54 for each jar. Yes, a bit of time was needed to do it. But I actually love canning and so does Hubby. We had a little bit left over that we had cut up and they were so delicious. I ended up with a total of 20 jars. Plus I made 6 jars of freezer jam. I think Hubby has eaten a bit of one of the jams already on bagels.

I also got the ground beef at $ 2.99 a pound. I made a big meatloaf that Hubby and I had for 3 dinners and canned the rest of it. A can of purchased Keystone Ground Beef is going for $ 5.04 a pound. Canning it saves me a lot of money.

My freezers are slowly going down. I have not been doing a lot of shopping the past 5 weeks. Plus I am canning all of the chicken and ground beef in my freezers that I am able to. They are predicting a very cold and snowy winter for us. I do not want a lot of food in my freezers in case we have a power outage.

We had an outage last week but fortunately it only lasted a couple of hours. When the power came back on, we had a communication failure with our alarm system. I was concerned that the system was blown. But after calling our alarm company, they said it was working on their end so we were protected. They gave Hubby directions to clear the panels and waited on the phone till everything was cleared. It is working fine on both their end and ours now.

Right now, I am roasting 2 large roasting chickens in my big turkey roasting pan. They should be done in about 25 minutes. Top’s has rotisserie chickens on sale this week for $ 7.49. But my 2 roasting chickens were purchased at Walmart in the Perdue Twin Pack for $ 1.14 a pound. I got some a few weeks ago and I was surprised that they are still at that price. I paid $ 12.87 this morning for these and they are much bigger than the ones that are already cooked at Top’s. We will have one for dinner tonight and tomorrow night. Then I will take the rest of the meat off that one and the other one and freeze it for many meals. The carcasses will go in the crockpot overnight to make bone broth. That I will can. This saves me from having to buy broth at the store and mine turns out thicker and tastier.

Because food prices are rising so quickly and I believe that the prices will keep going up into 2024, Hubby and I have put a new plan and budget in place for groceries. More about that in another post.

We also had so many doctor appointments and tests that needed to be done this past month. I needed to concentrate on those.

Then the last half of the month, West came to spend a weekend with us.

We also had family on my Hubby’s side come and visit us from Houston,Texas for 5 days. So as you can see we had a very busy last month.

I am actually glad that company is gone and I can get back to what needs to be done around here.

I really hope you are all well and had a wonderful August and Labor Day weekend. I missed you all.

Every Day

A Little of This and A Little of That

Hubby and I planted our geraniums this morning. They look nice on the patio. We went out at 6 am this morning to do it while it was still 68 degrees outside instead of the 90 that they predicted for later. The air quality today was terrible. I did some weeding on the patio since we were out there. Those pesky things like to grow between the pavers.

We ran out of ink for our ink jet printer. We have a black laser printer that we use for most things. However the ink jet which prints in color, Hubby uses once in a while. So the best deals for us that I found were at Amazon and Walmart. I needed a 6 pack of assorted colors. We use the remanufactured ones instead of the name brand. They are much cheaper and work just as well as the name brand that we would purchase.

At Amazon, they were $ 24.99 minus a 15% off coupon plus I would get 9% back from Rakuten which would bring the cost down to $19.34. I do have $6.00 in gift cards to help pay for them. If I use those gift cards, my OOP would be $13.34. I also had to buy a $.99 item, that we use all of the time, to get the free shipping.

At Walmart, the same 6 pack would be $21.39 minus 3% back from Rakuten for a total of $ 20.65. I do have a $25.00 gift card so my OOP would be $.00.

But I ordered them at Amazon since the cost was cheaper. I will save my Walmart gift cards for a delivery order.

Today was a cleaning day so one room got done, dishes were kept cleaned up and I did a load of wash in cold water. Most of it was hung to dry. I like to dry my towels in the dryer. As usual, lights were kept off during daylight hours.

We made hamburgers for dinner tonight. I cut up some fresh mushrooms and sauteed them and topped it all with swiss cheese for mine and Hubby sauteed some vidalia onion for his. I love a good mushroom swissburger! We had strawberries and whipped cream on the dessert cakes.

I hope you all had a great day!

Every Day

A Little Of This And A Little Of That

I still have not gone grocery shopping. I am hoping to do that today. Our week that wasn’t too busy has turned into a very busy week.

The company who we hired came out on Monday to check out our A/C. We have a leak. We had the man give us an estimate of what it would cost to find the leak. It was $1400. plus about $160. for the freon after they fix the leak. So $1560. + tax to fix it. Since our central A/C is 13 years old, we asked him what it would cost to replace the unit. The repairman gave us an estimate range but he said he would have to have a sales person come out to give us that. He came out about dinner time. That estimate was $6,000. + tax after giving us a cash discount. Plus there is a Federal Tax credit of about $1400. for 2023. Since this unit is almost at the end of it’s life, Hubby and I discussed what to do. The unit we have is a 13 seer. The manufacturers’ no longer make them. They have a few in stock but that was it. That sent up a red flag to us that if we replaced it with a 13 seer that they have in stock, how long would they continue to make the parts to repair them.

Since Hubby is an engineer, he discussed the seers of the units with the guy. Hubby determined that we would go with a 16 seer because it also qualifies for the Federal tax credit for 2023. It will be much more efficient than the one we have especially since the one we have Hubby had noted had slowed down last year. It took a lot longer to get the temperature where we wanted it. The price they quoted us was for the 16 seer. With utility prices up, an efficient unit is important to us. It will save us money in the long run and will be a selling point if we decide to ever sell our home.

It was important to me to ask the guy when they could install it. It is getting hotter here and we do not do well with humidity. They had one opening on Friday. I was relieved because we were thinking it could take weeks. So we have contracted for the new unit.

We are well aware that when they replace the coil in the furnace, they may find that the box is cracked. If that is the case, we will have to replace the furnace. That would be about another $6,000. plus tax. I believe there is a Federal Tax credit for the furnace if it needs to be replaced also. Hubby will be in the basement with the installers when they put the new coil in so he will know if it is cracked or not. We are praying that is isn’t. But if it is, we will do what we have to do.

I am often asked why we continue to be frugal. This is why. Things break and have to be replaced or repaired. If we had not saved our entire lives, we would be left having to finance these things and we hate debt! Debt brings stress and we wanted a carefree, stress free life in retirement. So if you are planning your retirement, account for repairs and replacements for your house and to replace your car when need be. The cheapest way to do that is by paying cash. You can usually get a cash discount if you ask and by not financing, you are saving all of that interest.

I also wanted to let you know that we got our electric and gas bill yesterday. Last year’s bill was $145.93. This year we used 11 less kilowatt hours in electricity and 1 therm more of natural gas due to the furnace being on longer due to how cold it has been here this spring. Hopefully it is now off permanently.

This years bill was $129. 24. A lot less but the bill was for 4 days less than the same 2022 bill. We have also been doing everything we can to keep our usage down.

Now I am off to the grocery store.

Every Day

A Little of This and a Little of That

My company has left to go home. So I did my grocery shopping for the week at Top’s. There was not much that interested me this week. I opened the large pack of chicken legs to food saver them. Then I realized that I hadn’t taken a picture for you. The chicken legs were on loss leader for $ 1.19 a lb. This was 4 meals worth for us. We use the air fryer to cook them and then add heated Frank’s Hot Sauce mixed with butter to coat them. They have more meat than wings and these are cheaper for our football game meals this Fall.

They had rotisserie chickens on sale for $ 5.99 with a super coupon. Whole uncooked chickens were also on sale this week. However, this was already cooked and I don’t have to turn on my rotisserie oven and make the rub to cook it. I have a busy week so this suffices. I will take all of the meat off of it and freeze it into portions for future meals. Tonight, I will put the carcass in the crock pot overnight to make chicken bone broth. I may make soup this week or next.

The last thing I purchased was 2 sirloin steaks for $ 4.99 a lb. That is all I can fit in my little freezer. I am seriously considering purchasing another small freezer. Beef prices are down(at least for a while) because farmers culled many of their herds because they couldn’t afford to feed them. I will make a decision soon.

We really had a great relaxing time with our company. We only went to a party that we go to annually where a friend smokes briskets, pork bellies and this year she did peppers with cheese and bacon wrapped around them. They were delicious! She invited our extended family which we really appreciated! It was a lot of fun! The rest of the time, I cooked 3 meals a day and Hubby did all of the grilling. I am exhausted. But it was all worth it.

Food prices have risen so high that there are many things that I am just not purchasing any more. If they aren’t on loss leader and we can go without them, we do. I substitute many things. We are eating more salads this summer and we will be making more soups this fall. They are easy and cheaper to make especially the soups. We are making more salad dressings and condiments. We have a bread machine so we make breads. I do have some bread dough in the freezer that needs to be used up by baking it in the oven. But I won’t do that until the A/C has been off for the season.

We are eating leftovers for a few days because I refuse to waste them. So we have hamburgers, some pork tenderloin, cold cuts, wild rice, broccoli, corn on the cob, blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes to use up. I won’t cook until they are gone. Then I will cook a meal that will last us 2-3 days. This is how I am keeping my utility bills down. More on that tomorrow.

Are you getting any good deals this week?

Every Day

What I Have Been Doing The Past Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The clothing sections were sparse also.

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

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

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

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

Every Day

A Little of This and a Little of That

Since Hubby and I love to do drumsticks in the air fryer, I finally got up to Aldi’s this week and got two packages at $.79 a lb. The price came off the receipt at the end. This is the best price that I have gotten for these in a very long time.

Once I got home I immediately used the food saver and froze them into meal size packages.

On Thursday, I had a Walmart delivery. I was pleasantly surprised that they sent all of these things free. They were inside that snowman bag. Since we are getting low on floss, I was happy to get that. Hubby can’t wait to try the mustard. I tried the coffee this morning. I put the GV knockoff of Nutella away for when my granddaughter visits since she loves it. You have to love freebies!

Hubby and I have been taking it easy and watching a lot of movies and shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime. We have been watching football games too. I have been trying to keep him off of his foot so that it will heal. It is getting there but I don’t want him to do too much too fast. So I have been doing all of the work and waiting on him.

He was craving beef barley soup so I made a pot last night. We will have it again tonight. I rarely measure anything when I make soup. It was just beef broth with chunks of beef, sliced carrots, diced onions and celery, and pearled barley. He loved it!

Since we have everything done for Christmas, we have been working on our financial plan for the New Year. We have a number of projects planned through out the year. If and when we can all travel again, we will be doing some of that too.

I have been planing out my blog posts for 2021 and listing the topics. I am hoping to teach you many more things.

Are you all ready for Christmas? Have you written your goals and plans for 2021?

Every Day

A Little of This and a Little of That

What I had planned to do today went out the window after waking up to our first real snowstorm of the winter. It is still snowing pretty heavily and I don’t know how long it will keep up. The weather forecast showed most of the snow going way south of us. But I guess they were wrong again. So unless it stops soon, I will be spending the day indoors. I had planned on going to Tractor Supply and Aldi’s but that will have to wait.

The only grocery shopping that I have been going out to do is to pick up meat specials, especially beef. A reader mentioned that beef goes on sale in December and I had forgotten that. In my estimation, this month may be one of the last ones to get beef at good prices, even though they have gone up in recent months. I may be wrong but remembering all of the cows that got slaughtered last spring when the meat processing plants closed for a while, I expect that beef will be in short supply and that prices will soar next year.

So instead of paying $ 6.79 a pound, I purchased these two roasts for $3.49 a pound. They are eye round roasts. They had bottom round, top round, eye round and sirloin tip roasts on sale for this price. I was a bit leery of buying them since the last time I purchased eye round roasts at Top’s, they were tough as could be. So I went and talked with the head butcher. I asked him which of these roasts should be the most tender if you roast them in the oven. I told him we like them medium. He said he would buy the eye rounds. He said to roast them at low heat and slice them thin. I hope he is right. Otherwise they will become stew meat.

For many, many years, I purchased eye round and sirloin tip roasts and they were always tender roasted. But the past few years, they have been tough. I wonder what is different. Does anyone know? Can anyone tell me what kind of roast they do in the oven that comes out tender? I would greatly appreciate your opinion before I buy any more.

Well, I guess I better go down on the treadmill before I start cleaning today. I hope you all have a great day.