Every Day

A Little Of This And A Little Of That

Well, what have we been up to the last couple of weeks?  We have been hiding in the house except to go to Doctor’s appointments, one trip to the grocery store and to shop for an appliance. It has been freezing cold here and we have been dealing with one storm that dumped 18.5 inches of snow on us and it seems to have snowed every night since. Lake effect seems to be in full force. When is Spring going to get here?

My almost nine year old microwave bit the dust about a week ago. We had our local repair people come out to look at it on Thursday at the same time the cable people came to deal with an issue.  Dan, the repair man, determined that the magnetron was dead. So it is going to be taken out. After paying $86. for the service call, he told us that the new magnetron, service call for the repair, and taking out the old one and installing the new one would be over $300. We said no. It wasn’t worth putting that into a 9 year old microwave.

So Hubby and I went shopping and purchased a new one which will be installed sometime this week. It cost a lot more than the repair but it is new.  I never really thought I would miss a microwave but it seemed like I have needed it a lot. I don’t like heating up leftovers on the stove or in the toaster oven. I was also extremely happy that we have funds tucked away for appliance replacements so we didn’t have to think twice about buying a new one.

On Thursday, I finally went to the grocery store after not going almost two weeks. I am very thankful for my stockpile. We needed a few things since we are going on the South Beach Diet. So I picked up some fresh vegetables, Canadian bacon, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Sprays, Smart Balance, egg beaters, mozzarella sticks, shrimp, and frozen spinach. My total bill came to $ 46.00. So after picking up some sausage a while ago and this bill, I have $160.98 left of my $300. grocery budget for the rest of January. It really does pay to stay home and not grocery shop. Since I will not be going shopping until a week from next Tuesday, the leftover money will be used in February. I will just get enough money at the bank to bring the grocery budget back up to $300.

We got a pleasant surprise yesterday. We were figuring our electric and gas bill was going to be extremely high because of the temperatures being below zero to about 20 here the last couple of weeks. So we were ready for a $250. to $260. monthly bill.  Our bill was $ 221.22. It was $15.21 less than the same bill last year even though it has been a lot colder and even though there has been a rate increase during that year. We used 100 less KWH and 50 less therms of gas. So being diligent about conserving has again paid off. 

So many times, I have told you that it pays off to take the time to write companies. Well look what I got in the mail a few days ago from Chobani. They sent these because I e-mailed them to tell them how much I love their yogurt. Not only did they send seven coupons but they sent a beautiful Thank You note for taking the time to write them.

Other than these things, we have just been cleaning, cooking, watching some movies, and playing cards. Nothing really exciting.
This is what we do in the winter when we are stuck in the house.

My son and West are coming to visit and have breakfast this morning. We have not seen them in a while because of the snow.
West’s birthday was last weekend and I still have his gift sitting here. He is going to love it even though it is a week late. I can’t believe that he is 9 already.  

I really am missing my son, DIL, and granddaughter. I wish that the airline would start up the flights to where they live again. It would be so easy to jump on a plane for 45 minutes and go visit. It beats driving in this weather. 

I hope you are all well and staying out of the cold if you are up north. Hopefully spring will be here in a couple of months.

Every Day

One Hundred Frugal Things We Do ( continued)

I have some time today to finish the hundred things. Here they are: 

68. We use newspapers, pine cones from our own pines, and scrap wood from the contractors building homes to have nice fires in our outdoor fireplace.

69. The few veggies we grow in containers on the patio we start from seed.

70. I make my own window cleaner which I have just done. We will be doing windows here soon.

71. We make our own lens cleaner for our glasses.

72. If it is free after coupon and it is a product that we need and can stockpile, I will get it.

73. I buy security envelopes, some cosmetics, organizing bins, foil pans, and greeting cards exclusively at the Dollar Tree.

74. We pay cash for everything including our homes, automobiles, furniture, and any other large item we need. 

75. If we charge anything, we pay it in full when the bill is due.

76. We don’t like signing up for clubs or things that we have to pay for month after month. We just cancelled our Netflix because it wasn’t cost efficient.

77. I meal plan from my stockpile which saves us a lot of money each month.

78. I baked a ham for Easter dinner. Because my son was coming for a few days, I did not have time to make my usual bean soup. So I froze the ham bone along with some ham. I will make the soup later this week. That will give us at least 5 meals.

79. Prescriptions are very costly. So I have managed to become healthy enough to get off 4 drugs and I just had one cut in half. I will be happy when I can get off of them all. 

80. I wanted a treat while I was out running errands the other day. Instead of using cash to purchase something, I used a Free Coupon for an ice cream cone at Anderson’s.

81. I made red beans and rice from our stockpiled rice and dry beans for dinner one night. I just soaked the beans overnight before I cooked them. This is a very cheap meal and is delicious.

82. I browsed Goodwill while I was out the other day. I saw nothing that we needed. I do this every month or so.

83. I went to Aldi’s to get my produce and was I ever in for a surprise. Aldi’s is empty and they are jack hammering the entire parking lot. I have written Aldi’s to find out what is going on. Why did they leave? The next Aldi’s is miles and miles from me. So I purchased some lettuce and a cucumber from Super Walmart.

84. We have tried a few Pinterest sheet pan meals. Hubby loves them.

85. I have been putting together different spring outfits. This affirmed my decision to not buy any new clothes this season.

86. As soon as the heat can go off, I will change the air filter and get it ready for A/C season. While the heat or A/C is on, we change the filters when they need it. This saves energy.

87. I really want a solar oven. We get a lot of sunny days in this area. So this would be very cost effective. I am researching the best one and then will look for the best price.

88. I always get rainchecks when something is on sale and out of stock. That also gives me time to find more coupons.

89. I always run my errands in a circle to save on gas.

90. We rarely buy clothing that needs to be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning adds to the cost of the item.

91. I have already started planning our Christmas gifts. This gives us time to find items on sale.

92. I reuse plastic bags, ziplocs, brown paper bags, glass jars and 2 liter bottles. I store water in the 2 liter bottles. Even though I am not returning them for the bottle deposit of $.05, I am saving by not buying water.  

93. I buy clearanced meat when I can find it. Our stores do not mark down very often. 

94. We use every last bit out of toothpaste tubes, ketchup bottles, mustard bottles, lotions bottle etc. 

95. I save our soap bar scraps and boil them down to make liquid soap.

96. I save day old bread and all end crusts for bread crumbs.  

97. I save bits and pieces of leftover veggies, rice, pasta, and meat in a bag in my freezer to make soup.

98. We are experimenting with making our coffee using a resuable K-cup in our Keurig. I have been trying different grinds and amounts. I am fine tuning so that we know how to get that perfect cup. This will save us a fortune in K cups. 

99. I send for free samples whenever I see an offer online. 

100. Lastly, I am always looking at ways to make things cheaper and to save a little money here and there. Never stop learning!

Please feel free to let us know if you do any of these things or any others that you could share in comments.