Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done Recently

We had our gas furnace tuned up and checked by our family owned company that we use. We had a coupon to pay $ 69. for it. Then I checked my utility company site and found out that we could apply for a $50. rebate. Make sure that you check your utility sites for any rebates they offer. The heating guy checked our humidifier on the furnace too and said the water wasn’t moving in it. He said he needed a certain part to fix it and that he didn’t have it on the truck. Hubby didn’t think that it needed that part so he told him he would fix that himself. Sure enough, the tube was clogged. Hubby has repaired that.

I took my granddaughter bowling. I found a $10. coupon to defray the cost.

We had pizza delivered on Monday for dinner. They were running a football deal because it was Monday night football. We took advantage of that.

We all watched the Buffalo Bills game on Monday night. It was cheap entertainment. Go Bills!

My granddaughter and I spent many hours just chatting and playing UNO. We do not have to spend a lot of money to have a good time.

Lights are off during daylight hours.

We took a trip to the Amish store where we picked up some treats, fresh jalapenos, oatmeal, rice, bacon and spices that I needed. Their prices are so much cheaper than the supermarkets.

I did a load of laundry and threw my granddaughters clothes in to make a full load. That will save her from having to wash them when she goes home. We washed in cold water and hung many things to dry.

We are caulking and foaming places that need it to make sure we don’t lose heat this winter.

I am still picking tomatoes. I have been busy with my granddaughter since last Friday, so I froze them to can when I am not so busy.

Hubby cooked a sirloin steak on the outdoor grill rather than use the broiler in the house.

We have been trying to eat up all the leftovers: donuts, banana bread, chicken strips and tater tots, broccoli and cauliflower, deli meats, salad greens, etc.

Hubby sauteed the leftover steak in butter and garlic in the electric fry pan. We ate it with scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Our A/C has been off for over a week.

The nights are getting cold here but rather than turn on the heat we have piled on the blankets. I am debating whether we will use our electric blanket this year. A few regular blankets will save us money.

My son drove Alexa to our home and he stayed a couple of days. It is a cross state trip. Rather than us drive her all the way back on Saturday, we drove 1/2 way and met her mother who took her home the rest of the way. It saved us time and gas. I already miss Alexa. We had so much fun while she was here for 8 days.

We got our September 2022 electric and natural gas bill. We used 597 kwh and 4 ccf’s of natural gas. The bill was $ 122.62. The September 2021 bill was $ 132.12 for 828 kwh and 3.1 therms. It is a good thing that we watched our usage. If we had used 828 kwh like last year, our bill would have been huge. We watched everything we did power wise and it made a big difference. We will continue to conserve as much as we can. While I was looking at the bill, I decided to see how much we spent on these utilities the past year. From Oct. 2021 through Sept. 2022, the total bill was $ 2055.58. I would love to get that figure under $2000. but with prices on the rise, I don’t think it is possible. But you know I will try my very best to keep it down.

Hubby and I used up many leftovers last night. We made Chef’s salads for dinner. We used up the rest of the lettuce, one tomato, some purple onion that was diced up a week ago, leftover black olives and deli turkey, leftover sharp cheddar cheese, and leftover cooked bacon. We even finished up a bottle of ranch dressing. It was delicious! Tonight, I am hoping to incorporate either some leftover tater tots or rice. So we will either have tater tot casserole or fried rice.

What have you been doing lately to save some money?

Every Day

Frugal Things Recently

Here are the frugal things we have been doing:

  • We have Walmart + for grocery delivery. Yesterday, they added Paramount + streaming service free as one of their benefits for belonging. Hubby and I have already binged watched 3 episodes of “1883” which is the prequel to “Yellowstone”.
  • Hubby sharpened the blades on our John Deere riding lawn mower instead of sending it out to be done.
  • For dinner one night, we tried an Old El Paso Dinner Kit that I got on a sale back in 2020. It got lost in my kitchen pantry. The expiration date was February 2021. It was the Japanese one and it was delicious. The tortillas that came with it were in a sealed mylar bag so I knew they would be just fine. Mylar keeps things fresh for years. All I added to it was about 3/4 of a pound of diced chicken breast and a medium onion sliced. Hubby loved it. So I checked out the ingredients and realized how easy it would be to make from scratch. So that is how we will make it from now on. I actually have all of the items needed to do that in my pantry. We do have leftovers for a lunch.
  • My garden is producing tomatoes so well that I have had enough to can a few batches for sauce.
  • We have made an appointment with the local business that we use to have our furnace checked out before heating season. We want to make sure that it is in tip top condition over the winter. I found a coupon for that to be done for $ 69.
  • Hubby finally took back the bottles to Fast Cash that have been stacking up in the garage for months. He got $ 9.10 back in deposits. While he was out he also filled up our gas cans. It was on his route.
  • I went to the grocery store just once this week for some fresh produce and combined that trip with a trip to the drug store to pick up a prescription.
  • We have had another string of rainy days so we didn’t have to use the sprinkler system. We already got our quarterly water and sewer bill which was for most of the summer through the end of August. It was $253. Now that things have cooled off we should not have to water things for much longer and our next three bills should be back to normal which is about $60.
  • We are still doing a great job of not wasting any food. It is just too expensive to throw any of it away. I had some onions that needed to be used up so I diced them and froze them for future use.
  • My son and grandson will be coming to breakfast tomorrow. I have plenty of eggs but I think all of the bacon is gone because we have been eating a lot of BLT’s to use up fresh tomatoes. I will just grab some sausage out of the freezer to thaw. I have a couple of almost empty bags of shredded cheese to use up. I am thinking I will put those in the eggs.
  • I only did one load of wash this week using cold water and half the amount of detergent that it says to use on the bottle. I hung the clothes to dry.

What have you done recently to save some money?

Every Day

Frugal Things The Past 2 Weeks

These are the things we have been doing frugally.

Hubby and I always have gone to the doctor’s on the same day(consecutive appointments) which saves us on gasoline and time. We have had to switch to three different doctors because our prior ones have retired. This has happened three times in the past few months. Some of the appointments got scheduled on different days. I took some time to call them and reschedule us together.

We had our annual eye appointments so I had the doctor fill out the motor vehicle forms that we needed to renew our driver’s licenses. This saved us from making an appointment to go the motor vehicle office and taking the eye exam there. Then we were also able to renew it online which saved us stamps.

I upgraded my Sam’s Club membership to the Plus level. Our store is an hour and a half round trip for us. With the price of gasoline, the time involved and winter coming, we needed the free shipping. It only cost me an additional $43.10 and we deemed it well worth it.

I am only buying loss leader sales at Top’s or buying the cheapest price on the things we need at Aldi’s, Sam’s Club, or Walmart. We are planning our meals around those items.

This morning we harvested 3 large tomatoes from the garden. We were going to have homemade pizza for dinner but I have changed my mind. We have many tomatoes to eat or can so we will have turkey club sandwiches for dinner. It has been nice that we haven’t had to buy tomatoes since our garden started producing.

Yesterday, I renewed my library card online and had them add the e-card feature so that I can get e-books, audio books, movies, TV shows, music, magazines, and newspapers online. They told me there is so many that I probably won’t have to come to the library ever again. That works perfectly for us because the library is up in the city so we will save gasoline and it will be handy because winter is coming. I love to read so once canning season is over, I will be doing a lot of that.

We get free checks from our bank because of the type of accounts we have. So I ordered them.

In a prior post, I told you how our magnifying glass broke(the handle) so we purchased a new one from Walmart. Hubby never threw the old one out and has been working on a few projects lately. He decided to super glue the handle so that I could put it in my desk in the kitchen(which I always work at) and I wouldn’t have to go to the office when I needed one to read those small print liquor and grocery rebate forms.

Hubby has been filling the cracks and crevices that might leak heat this winter.

We continue to save by watching how much electricity and natural gas we use. I am only washing one load of clothes a week and hanging most of them to dry.

My electric toothbrush was getting old and needed to be replaced. I had been watching for a good deal for couple of months now. I had found nothing until I found this one: It was on sale for one day only last week for $ 24.95.

I ordered 96 Green Mountain Decaf K cups for Hubby at Amazon. When they arrived yesterday I was aggravated because they sent light caffeinated cups instead. Hubby cannot have caffeine and since they were $63.96, I tried to do a return. The system told me that I couldn’t do a return online that I had to call their customer service. I did and I explained the issue to the representative. They had no replacement in stock to send me. So they credited me the $ 63.96 and told me that I did not have to return the product. I could keep it, donate it, or throw it out. She sent me an e-mail with all of that info in it. I was thrilled because I drink caffeinated coffee.

I filled our SUV up with gasoline yesterday using Top’s points that allowed me to get $ .60 off per gallon. So instead of paying $ 3.99 per gallon, I paid $ 3.39 per gallon. That is still double what we were paying when Pres. Biden closed the pipeline on the first day he took office. So I was not celebrating. But the gas points help a bit.

I did all my errands for the week yesterday. I am trying to only do that one day a week every week.

We had two days of rain last week and it is raining today which is saving us from running the sprinkler system. We still have to water the flower pots on our porch but I am using warm up water for those.

That is about it for now. What did you do frugally the past two weeks?

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Been Doing

This is my first homegrown organic tomato this year. I will be making BLT salads for lunch tomorrow and using it. I have three more ripening in a couple of days.

I noticed that a button was coming loose on a good blouse that I was wearing. I sewed it back on right then and there. The buttons on it are unique and would be expensive to replace.

Lately we have been catching warm up water in the kitchen to use to water our hanging baskets.

Those strip steaks were not the best on Friday night. We had 1/2 of them left so Hubby sliced them really thin and sauteed them in garlic and butter for dinner on Saturday night. They were delicious. He finished his potato salad and I sauteed some fresh zucchini. We never waste food.

We got our gas and electric bill for mid June through mid July. We turned our A/C on a couple of days into this bill and have left it on because we have had some really hot days. For 30 days it was $117.01. We used 570 kwh’s in electricity and just 2.1 ccf’s of natural gas. I was okay with that because the same bill in 2021 was $120.17. We used 728 kwh’s for that period and 5.1 in ccf’s. So this year’s bill was $3.16 less than last year’s. And we all know how high the rates have gone and the supply and demand charges. So the fact that I have really reduced our usage is paying off. If I had the same usage as last year, this bill would have been a lot more.

I have been spending many hours a day decluttering. Anything that we no longer want or haven’t used will no longer take up space in my home. Most things will be donated and some items of value will be sold.

I cut off a pair of jeans that were frayed at the bottom to make shorts. I hemmed them.

Wanting a book to read but not wanting to spend the gasoline to go to our library(which is a hike), I went through my collection of books and decided to read The Complete Tightwad Gazette again. I also realized that I have some books on my Kindle that I had not read yet so they are being read also.

I have already read and shopped the loss leaders this week. Today, I went to Top’s. This is the only money I am spending on groceries this week. This 4.46 package of chicken drumsticks was $ 1.19 a lb. for a total of $ 5.31. They are on sale at my Aldi’s for $ .99 a lb. but not until Wednesday. So I decided not to go out shopping again on Wednesday because the amount of gasoline I would have used would be much more than the $.20 a lb.

The lb. of bacon was $ 3.99 with a Super Coupon. The zucchini was 1.25 lbs. at $ 1.88 a lb. The cheeses were on sale for $3.00 each.

So my total this week was $17.65.

I divided up the chicken drumsticks into 3 packages. We each eat 2 at a meal. Tonight we will have a meal’s worth along with some sauteed zucchini. The other 2 meals were food savered and put in my freezer.

We filled up the car last week using points worth $.20 off a gallon. So we paid $ 4.40 a gallon.

When I shopped today I used a coupon Top’s had given me when I shopped last week to get 100 gas points or $ .10 off a gallon. That jump started my savings for the gas period that started yesterday.

I did a load of laundry today using cold water and hanging everything to dry. This is the first load I have done in 10 days. With energy prices so high, when we are at home we are wearing our clothing 2-3 days before washing them. Then I wash a very large load.

Lastly I redeemed Fetch points for a $25. Walmart gift card.

Feel free to share with all of us how you saved money this past couple of weeks.

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?

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.

Every Day

What We Have Been Up To The Last Few Days

My son and West came for lunch on Sunday. He had to go to Niagara Produce to pick some items up. He brought me this package of State Fair Sausage as a gift. His family loves it. The sausage has cheese, peppers, and onions inside it. These sausages are so big that one for each of us is the proper portion. I cooked two of them for dinner on Monday night and they were so delicious. I will be picking these up at NP when I go there.

Lately, my gas stove top would not light with the electronic ignition. When I needed to use a burner, I would have to light it. Hubby did some research and found that it was most likely a problem with the ignition harness. So he ordered one:

While my son was here, he and Hubby installed it. It took a while to take it apart to get it to where they could install the new part. But my burners are all now working like the stove is new. By doing it themselves they saved us all of the labor charges and the mark up on the part.

I only ran errands one day this week to conserve on gasoline. Our gasoline here is down $ .04 a gallon so we are paying $ 4.36 a gallon. But I am sure it will be headed up again. I picked up on sale pasta, eggs, bacon, and diet soda while I was out. I still buy Diet Coke for Hubby when I can find a good price in my area. I got a 24 pack for $7.99. When it is not on sale, he just drinks iced tea or water. The eggs were $ .99. The bacon was $ 4.99 and the pasta was $ 1.00.

I have been doing some organizing and cleaning around here this week. I have been using things that we already have in our home in the way of organizers, boxes, and cleaning products.

Hubby and I are wanting to put in another garden with a Japanese maple, some shrubs and some perennials in our backyard. We are also going to have some repair work done on our patio and a new wall built to protect our grill from the wind. We may have a new garden put in around our shed also. So we spent a day getting estimates done.

This week for dinners, I cooked the State Fair sausages, roasted chicken legs in the air fryer, made jambalaya with two jalapeno sausages and air fried some pork chops. Tonight we are getting fish fries from our favorite place just 5 minutes from us. We try to do this during Lent. We only order the fish fries, no sides. The fish are so huge that we don’t need sides and they make two meals for each of us. But the last couple of weeks they have been giving us French fries with them. They are some of the best French fries that we have ever had.

Well that is all we did to save some money this week. What have you done?

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done This Past Week

In the middle of this week our Keurig K Supreme Plus stopped working- no power at all! I was so sad because I love my coffee. I also was not happy because the one year warranty expired in mid- December. It made me wonder why so many things are breaking so quickly these days.

Being the organized person that I am, I knew that my last Keurig was in a box in the basement. It had started making noises which is why we purchased this one. So I grabbed it, cleaned it, and set it up so that we could have coffee.

I asked Hubby if I should start looking for a new one. He told me to wait to see if he could fix it. He started researching a fix and found one on You Tube that he thought might work:

It took him a day or so to work on it. It was hard to get the pot apart to where he needed to reset it. He got there and used a paper clip to reset it. But before he put it all back together, he plugged it in to see if it had power. It did. It is now working perfectly again on our kitchen counter.

I had researched online to buy another one of these pots and the lowest prices I could find was $168. at Amazon and $ 159.99 at Walmart. So Hubby saved us a fortune by doing a bit or research and work to fix it.

All of our meals except one were cooked at home including this delicious breakfast: Eggs, turkey bacon, a slice of homemade cinnamon bread.

I picked up some bread flour($ 3.12), canned Angus beef chili, body wash, foundation makeup (1/2 price at Walmart), potatoes, cucumbers, etc. at the best prices I could find this week.

We conserved our electricity and natural gas the best we could this past week and all month. I submitted the readings and I am awaiting my bill. I will let you know how we did when we get it.

I have made out my grocery list for Top’s this coming week. There was nothing in the Aldi ad or Niagara Produce Specials that interested me. I only need a few things at Top’s.

We are making homemade French Bread pizzas for dinner tonight using a loaf of French bread that I got on reduced price for $.77 at Walmart. Hubby gets the day off from bread making to watch basketball.

We got our second set of Free Covid tests delivered by USPS.

What did you do frugally this past week?

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done Recently

We continue to live a frugal life style. I know it isn’t easy with everything going up especially food, household items, utility bills, gasoline, insurances, taxes and many other items. But we still try to do the best we can.

We have a natural gas stove. The grates that go over the burners have little black rubber feet on them that keep them from rocking when you are cooking. One of the feet had worn off one of our grates. It was driving Hubby crazy when he would cook. So he decided to do some research on how to replace or fix it. To replace the one grate was over $50.00.+ tax. Yikes!

So he kept researching and was able to find a package of 10 rubber feet for $12.99 on Amazon. You needed a special glue to put them on. He found that for $ 8.79 on Amazon. We got free shipping because we had ordered something else that day. So for a little bit of work, Hubby will make the repair for $21.78 plus tax and have 9 spares in case any of the other feet wear away.

Everything seems to be breaking around here. The corner of a bin on the door in my refrigerator broke. Hubby looked to see what a new bin would cost. It was $ 56.00. I said to him, “Don’t we have any super glue?” He said yes we do. So he fixed the piece with the glue and it seems to be working.

We have two bedrooms closed, the vents closed and “snakes” in front of the doors to save on the natural gas bill. The other day I noticed a draft coming from the bottom of the outside door in my breakfast room. Since I had one snake that I was not using, I put it in front of that door. Hopefully that will help.

Chicken breasts have been nowhere to be found the past couple of weeks. Most Top’s Markets have advertised them for $1.99 a lb. this week. However, our store has them for $ 1.79 a lb. That is because a Top’s store near us has a grand re-opening. They are honoring those prices at our store. I went to my store when it opened yesterday morning hoping to get some to pressure can. I was wondering if they would even have them since I know that ads are made up weeks in advance. The store was already quite crowded when I got there. I went right to the chicken case. People had the same idea that I did. The chicken was going fast. I managed to get three large packages, about 15 lbs. The packages shows it at $ 1.99 a lb. but they took the additional $.20 off a lb. at the register. If I happen to be near that store again this week, I will stop in to see if they have any more.

We had another snow storm this past week. We got another 13 and 1/2 inches on top of the 22 inches that we got 10 days or so ago. Hubby used the snowblower to do the driveway and sidewalk and I shoveled the porch. Fortunately, we are able to do these things and do not have to hire someone to do it for us.

I filled the car up with gasoline using my $ .20 off a gallon that I had earned at Top’s. Every little bit helps these days!

I shipped a Valentine’s gift to my granddaughter at UPS. I got 5% off using my AAA card. Fortunately, my grandson is out here enough that I can give him his gift.

We continue to eat economically by using the appliance that uses the least amount of energy to cook. I now have an electric fry pan that is large enough to easily cook an entire pound of bacon. We use it all week to eat with our eggs.

I used the toaster oven to roast two turkey breast tenderloins for dinner last night. We will have leftovers for dinner tonight and I will make turkey soup from the rest of the meat. That should feed us for the rest of the week. Not bad for $ 6.49 for the turkey.

What have you done to save money recently? Please share with all of us.

Every Day

Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year 2022 word cloud. Happy New Year 2022 greetings card  - word cloud on a retro handmade paper stock image

Happy New Year to all of you and your families! I hope you all had wonderful holidays as we did. This is the first year since we have been married that I didn’t have to do the holiday cooking. We spent Thanksgiving at one son’s home and we spent Christmas at the other son’s home. It was wonderful!

My son and my granddaughter came to visit for a few days the day after Christmas. While they were here, we went to the Amish store so that I could add some spices and bread flour that were needed to our pantry. She loved picking out some fudge, cookies and other goodies for herself. We also tried their glazed donuts which they are noted for. They didn’t disappoint but now it is time to get back to some healthier eating.

For this new year, I am making no New Year’s resolutions. I have decided to do a theme instead. That theme is going to be “Self Sufficiency”. I know that it is hard to be totally self sufficient but we are going to strive to do whatever we can to rely on ourselves while spending as little as possible doing it.

I know it is only January but I am planning my container garden already. This year besides tomatoes, I would like to plant lettuce and perhaps peppers. I may plant some things in grow bags along with using my big pots. We love salads here and produce has gotten rather expensive and is about to get another huge increase this month.

I have been baking bread the past few weeks in my new bread maker. Because there are only the two of us, I divide it into thirds and only use 1/3 at a time. The rest gets frozen until we need it. We do have some rolls in the refrigerator and low carbohydrate tortillas, croissants, and English muffins in the freezer. With the exception of low carbohydrate tortillas, we will not be purchasing them again. We use very little bread so it will be easy and a lot cheaper to make our own. If I can find a good recipe, I may attempt to make our own low carbohydrate tortillas. Does anyone here do that?

I have Walmart Plus so I can get groceries delivered. I actually have a small order of fresh things like eggs, heavy whipping cream, 1/2 and 1/2, sour cream, Two Good vanilla yogurt, lettuce, cucumber, chicken breasts( $ 2.06 a lb.), etc. coming today. You all know that I hate driving in the snow but the virus has also blown up here so staying home is the right thing to do for us. My sister’s family got together for Christmas Eve and Christmas day and now 5 out of 8 of them have the virus. I have been praying that they all get well soon.

Today, I will be cooking a ham in the Instant pot if it fits. If not, it will have to go in the oven. This will give us many meals. I portion our meat so that I eat 4 oz. and Hubby eats 6 oz. I will serve augratin potatoes and spinach with it. After a few days of eating it, any meat that is left will be portioned up and frozen with the exception of using the ham bone and some of the meat for homemade bean soup.

Meat has gotten so expensive that we will be eating more meatless meals. I have a real problem spending “tens of dollars’ for any kind of roasts. We do have a couple in the freezer( purchased while they were still reasonable) but I will be buying no more unless the prices come down. I don’t see that happening any time soon. Right now, chicken and ground beef seem to the most affordable. But if they go much higher, I will be using them like condiments. I am remembering the 1970’s and early 1980’s right now. We ate a lot of bean type meals, peanut butter, pasta with just a small handful of ground meat thrown into the sauce to get our protein requirement. We also ate a lot of salads with a few tidbits of meat.

Hubby has always been our repair guy. If he can easily fix it, he does. Two days ago while vacuuming, our Dyson decided to not stand up on it’s own anymore. So Hubby immediately went to You Tube to research a fix. He found a video that showed that it was a loose screw. However getting to the screw was not easy. But by following the video, he did it and as you can see, the vacuum now stands up on it’s own again.

We have had another monthly electric and natural gas bill since we last talked about it. The cost of our natural gas went up 24% and the electricity went up 7% more than the same period last year. I was shocked when I opened the bill. We continue to not use as much electricity as possible. I try to not use my gas oven or range top. Small appliance use is so much cheaper. Anything that we can do to keep it down we are doing. Since our family left, I have closed off those two bedrooms until we no longer need heat. I have the vents closed, the doors closed, drapes and tight fitting shades on the windows and snakes in front of the doors.

I used up chicken, leftover from Hubby making chicken piccata when our family was here, to make a noodle and chicken skillet dish for dinner last night. We will eat some of the leftovers for brunch today. We waste no food in this home.

Our doorbell just rang! It was our next door neighbor with one of her little sons. They wanted to wish us a Happy New Year! She said that we are always bringing Timbits to her boys so they wanted to bring some to us. How nice of them to do that! They will be a great treat.

Well, my 9 lb. ham is not going to fit in the Instant Pot. Shucks! So I am just about to put it in the oven at 325 to warm it through. That will take about 2 hours and 10 minutes. I will do the augratin potatoes in the microwave because the oven won’t be hot enough for them. It will cheaper than using the natural gas stove top.

Hubby is and has been watching all of the football bowl games. So while the ham is cooking, I will check my planner to see what else I have scheduled for today and do some work in my 2022 financial planner.

I hope you all have a terrific start to the New Year! Are you doing anything to save money this year?