Every Day

August 18: Low Spend Grocery Month Challenge

Breakfast for West this morning was cocoa puffs with milk. Lunch for all of us was macaroni and cheese. I am sticking to eating soft foods. 

West and I played some games this morning. This afternoon he was playing a game via phone with his best friend. Hubby mowed the lawn and I got some laundry and paperwork done. I also was busy using my canning jars. More on that another day.

I have gotten three rebate checks in the mail totaling $ 14.28 this week. 

I filled the car up with gasoline this morning while I was out getting the pepperoni. I got $.30 off a gallon with Top’s gas points. I paid a $1.899 a gallon. 

Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread for the boys. I had some riced cauliflower with spaghetti sauce. As you can see we are trying to stick to the menu plan but switching the days up at the boy’s request.

I hope you all have a great evening.

Every Day

Frugal Things This Past Week

These are the things that we have done frugally this past week:

– We were going to buy new containers for the garage organization. After looking through our storage in the basement, we were able to find all the containers that we needed.

– I cooked all of our meals at home this week.

– I purchased 5 Christmas gifts, paid for them with cash, and wrapped them. 

– I ordered two tops from Amazon. When they arrived yesterday, they were not as described so I am returning them to Amazon at no cost to me.

– After contacting Phillips about the LED light bulbs that were under warranty, they are shipping me two new ones. 

– I spent $ 13.34 on the grocery shop I posted about and another $.89 for a package of hamburger rolls yesterday afternoon. That is all I spent on groceries for this past week.

-I organized and cleaned the inside of the SUV. I replaced the almost empty Kleenex packets in the glove compartment and the pockets near the back seats. They were from my stockpile. 

– I unpacked two storage containers of clothes that were in the basement. I had forgotten what was in them. I found 8 tops that were in excellent condition that I had outgrown when we lived in AZ. They fit me beautifully. 

– We have very little wall space in our entryway. So it is hard to make a place for coats and shoes there. There is no coat closet. I do have a large basket that we throw our shoes in but that is about it. Since winter will be here before we know, we decided to make a place for shoes, boots, gloves, and coats near the entry from our garage into the house. We will be using that entrance all winter. We have a bench seat that we purchased when we were in Arizona. It was in our entryway there but there is not room in the entryway here. So the bench seat was put in the garage. Since the floor was done, we have not been able to take it from our second bedroom where we  stored it when the garage floor was done. It is too heavy for Hubby and I to lift. My son will be here on Sunday and help Hubby put it back out there. The seat lifts up on it to store shoes. It is going on the wall near the door. Next to it will be our boot tray. I will put our basket of gloves, hats, and mittens in a container on the end of the bench. Hubby already installed a coat rack on the wall near where those items are going. That was the only thing new that we had to buy for that area this week at a cost of $15.11.

– We put the storm door on our back door. That will keep the winter winds out of the house.

– We got another low electric and gas bill on Wednesday. Our heat has been on for about 3 weeks now and the bill was only $106. for the month. We only used 475 KWH of electricity which is low for us.

– Hubby took his bottle returns back to Fast Cash and I added that money back into our grocery budget. 

What did you do frugally this week?

Every Day

Frugal Things The Past Couple of Weeks

It’s been a frugal couple of weeks in our household. These are the things we have been doing frugally:

– Spent very little of our grocery budget the past couple of weeks.

– We have been eating out of our freezers so that we will have room for our $ .79 a lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts from Zaycon the end of this month.

– I am back to hanging the laundry in the basement now that I feel better.

– The Buffalo News delivered us the Sunday, February 25th edition on March 4th. I called and they brought us a March 4th edition. I asked that they bring a full newspaper since it was only the white pages that were February 25th. They did so I ended up with two sets of all 4 inserts for that Sunday. So I didn’t have to buy an extra paper. Evidently we were not the only people who got the week before edition. I can only wonder how that happened.

– I received a $ 6.00 rebate in the mail.

– We did change our car and auto insurance to a new company and ended up saving almost $200. Since there is no cancellation fee at the old company, we are expecting a pro-rated refund from them shortly. It will be nice to have our auto and homeowners insurance due the same day every year.

– With the exception of going to the grocery store and hair salon, we have pretty much stuck to home. This has saved us gasoline. I do need to get gas soon since I haven’t filled the car up since January. I will be using my $ .60 off per gallon discount at Top’s.

– We have been decluttering the house and setting aside what we no longer need for the community garage sale.

– We have not been out to a restaurant in a very long time. We will get take out tonight though. We do this on most Friday’s during Lent.

– Hubby has been saving a $50.00 Home Depot gift card that he received as a gift to help buy a new mailbox once the ground is unfrozen enough to put it in. Then we can take out the ugly post that the town put in. I have a $ 5.00 off coupon that will help defray the total cost also.

– We have been eating up every leftover in this house. Right now we only have some enough for lunch for one person which is the apple chicken sausage skillet that I made last night. 

– I need to redo the closet in our largest guest bedroom. Lots of West’s outgrown toys need to be given away to our neighbor’s little boys. Then I will set the closet up with necessary things for guests like spare sheets, blankets, pillows, etc. I needed some containers to do this and I found them in the right colors at Dollar Tree. So cost was only $5.00 for 5 of them. As you can see it is a hot mess of games, toys, Hot wheel tracks, blankets, and out of season clothes.

– After a number of telephone conversations, I finally got a medical bill corrected to my benefit.

– I cleaned up a big spill in the kitchen with reusable rags.

– I have been listening to You Tube videos while organizing. That is how I learn something new every day. 

– I continue to use my laundry eggs in my HE to wash the clothes. When I do use the dryer I am using my dryer balls.

– I have been taking naps when I need them so that my mind is fresh to do everything as frugally as possible.

– We have been making full use of our Netflix membership by watching 4 movies a month. We just watched “Our Souls at Night.” We never go to the movies or rent elsewhere. Between Netflix, Amazon Prime, and You Tube, we have plenty to watch.

– I made a homemade chicken casserole for my sick neighbor.

– I’ve been collecting vegetable scraps and peelings. I made a pan of vegetable stock with them. I froze flat in meal size portions.

– I made a few loaves of banana bread with really ripe bananas. I froze them for our Sunday family breakfasts.

Have you done anything frugal lately? Please feel free to share in comments.

Every Day

Frugal Things That We Have Been Doing

We have been really busy around here doing a myriad of frugal things. 

I have been doing our Federal and State Income Taxes. We have to file 7 forms this year because our taxes are so very complicated. I was thinking that I would either take them to a tax accountant or get Turbo Tax. But since I have done them for 50 years, I decided that I can do them and save the money that I would spend on the tax software or accountant. I have been working on them all day so that is why I haven’t had time to write until now. I am taking my time and hope to finish them by Sunday.

Hubby has been working with the insurance agency to lower our homeowner’s and car insurances. He brought the draft of the new policies home for me to look at. I like what I see, so we will sign them and he will take them to the agency in the morning and pay for them. This will save us about $180. a year.

I deposited 3 rebate checks into our savings account.

I returned two items that were defective when we purchased them. I got replacements that were perfect.

I returned toothbrush heads that Hubby purchased at Amazon that were the wrong ones. I sent them back and they are crediting us for the full amount.

I found the right toothbrush heads online at Walmart and ordered them for free pickup at my store. I picked them up while running other errands near there. 

I only grocery shopped once this week so I have not spent my full grocery budget. I am accumulating grocery money because the chicken order from Zaycon Fresh will be due next month and I want to make sure that I have enough grocery money to pay it.

By only running errands once per week, I am saving on gasoline.  Gasoline prices have really increased here over the past month or two.

Hubby has been having trouble with the Green Mountain Decaf Breakfast Blend K-cups that we purchase through Amazon. They only make a half cup even when you put the coffee pot on the large cup setting. It has happened before and with two different coffee pots. It’s like the water won’t go through the cup. When you open it to remove the cup, you get scalded. He was telling my son about it and my granddaughter said to him that he should write the company about the cups. So he found the Keurig website and tried to send them his complaint but it wouldn’t let him. So he called them. He got a customer service rep who was of no help. So he got a supervisor who understood his complaint. She asked him how many K-cups he had. He told her 5 boxes of 12 and about 6 from the 6th box of 12. She asked him if Fed Ex could pick them up so that they could get them back and have them tested. He said sure. She said she would replace the 6 boxes. She shipped it overnight so he wouldn’t be without coffee for long. The K-cups arrived today and she sent him 6 boxes of 24 cups each. Wow! We weren’t expecting to get double the amount that we purchased. He will try the new cups and see if they work the same as the Amazon ones. If not, then I would say the problem may be the Amazon ones. We’ll see.  But anyway, it pays to tell the company when you have a problem. We have had no problem with any other brand of K cup.

We have been doing the usual to save on electricity and natural gas. We don’t let water run in sinks while we brush our teeth or do dishes or pots and pans. We use our dishwasher on the energy saving cycle. I use the express wash cycle on the HE washer. I use 6 balls in the dryer so that the clothes dry faster when I use the dryer. It has been hard for me to hang laundry while I have my broken toe. We take navy showers.

I used a $ 100. Amazon giftcard that was given to us for our last subscribe and save order that arrived. It had the coffee in it that I spoke about above.

We ordered pizza and wings when our family was here last weekend. I paid with a Domino’s gift card.

We have been eating most of our meals cooked from scratch here at home. This week we have been finishing up leftovers from last weekend. I did make taco meat one night- two pounds of it. I froze 1/2 of it after it was cooked for future meals. 

I made homemade pumpkin bread to go with our breakfast on Monday. I made two loaves and sent a loaf home with my son. My DIL and granddaughter love pumpkin bread.

My Hubby paid a fortune for a hearing aid about 3 years ago. It has been back to the manufacturer at least 7 times with problems that they never seemed to be able to fix. It went out of warranty just before the 6th time. Hubby contacted corporate and told them that they should make the repairs free to us because they has never been able to repair it correctly during the warranty period. They said to have the place where he purchased it ship it back and they would look at it again. They sent it back and said it was fixed. Within a couple of days, there was so much static and it wouldn’t go away. So they said send it back. The woman who has been shipping it back each time called him a week or so ago and said that the company is sending him a brand new upgraded hearing aid with a full warranty and that she would call him when it came in. She called today and scheduled an appointment for him to come in and have it set to his hearing. If he hadn’t stuck with it and complained to corporate, we would be out buying a new hearing aid.

What have you done frugally lately?

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done The Past Ten Days

First, a disclaimer. I would have liked to have done more frugal things. However this cold or flu or whatever I have has knocked me for a loop. Both Hubby and I saw the Doctor yesterday and he ordered prescription drugs for both of us. He said I am the worst. So he ordered 2 drugs for me. The cough syrup knocked me out for 12 hours last night. I have not been sleeping so that was a good thing. But I am hoping that I get back to normal over the next few days. I abhor being sick. It gets in the way of all the things I want to do. So that said, these are the things we have done:

– Deposited 4 checks in our savings account at the bank.  

– We have been gathering all of the info and statements we need to do our 2017 taxes. When I feel better I will do those.

– All meals but one have been cooked at home. Last night, I just couldn’t do it. So Hubby ordered and picked up Chinese food at our local cheap place.

– We have been using up fresh veggies that Hubby didn’t eat while I was away so they don’t get wasted.

– I have been doing all loads of laundry in the HE washer. But I am too sick to hang it so it has been going in the dryer. I don’t over dry. If it is a little damp when it comes out, I put it on hangers or a rack till it is fully dry. I always get to it right away when the buzzer goes off.

– Hubby decided he wanted to try to rebuild our mailbox. Working with my son, they determined that the materials to fix it would cost more than a new mailbox. So in the spring, we will get new one. Hubby likes the one with a mailbox and a place for the newspaper. That is what we had. He hates the post and box that the newspaper puts in.   Meanwhile, what the town put in for mail is working.

– I purchased 40 lbs. of skinless boneless chicken from Zaycon Fresh with a coupon code. I got it for $.79 a lb. OOP. It will come the end of March. 

-Meanwhile I purchased 2 packages of chicken at Save- A- Lot for $ 1.59 a lb. to get us through until my order is delivered. 

– I am reorganizing my stockpile to make it more efficient and so that Hubby can find things in it. I always want to know what I have on hand. Rather than write it all down, I am considering a spread sheet. Does anyone have one that works for them?

– I made a loaf of bread this week. I have been craving a sandwich while I am sick. So Keto is on hold while I feed this cold.

– I am making the grandchildren’s Valentine gift this year by filling the nice mailboxes that I got at Dollar Tree. I am buying candy that goes on sale and using coupons when I can. The mailboxes are almost full. They will get sent UPS using my AAA discount and reused boxes from Amazon to ship them.

– I earned a $25. GC for Walmart from Ibotta. I am hoping to use it next week on things I need to stockpile. 

– The do list book that I told you I got at Office Max  is working beautifully for me. I just add things as I think of them and then cross them off when I am done. I just keep a running list in it. Nothing fancy.

– For entertainment, we have watching the new season of Grace and Frankie on Netflix. It is so funny.

– My son and grandson will come on Sunday for breakfast as they usually do. This week, I will make scrambled eggs, sausage and some hash browns made from the cheap potatoes I purchased this week.  

– I have been looking at seed catalogs. I am considering growing lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, oregano and basil again this year. I didn’t last year but did the year before. They are things that we use a lot of.

– My organizing has been put on hold because I just don’t have the energy. But I did one whole room before I left for Disney. I will continue with a vengeance when I feel better. I am still only using containers that I have on hand or can get at Dollar Tree.

That is it for now. More in a week or so.

I hope you all have a great weekend. I am off to take a nap.   

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done the Past Couple of Weeks

The holidays are never frugal as we all know. However we did our best to get a few frugal things done. 

– I did very little grocery shopping which has continued into this week. We are mainly eating from our stockpile of food.

– One night we were craving Chinese food. I was tempted to go get take out. But my Chinese food is healthier. So even though I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open, I made stir fry. I chunked up some boneless chicken that I had in the freezer. I added different colored pepper strips, pineapple chunks, sliced onions and water chestnuts. I finished it off with a Chinese stir fry sauce that I made from a packet. I ate it just like that. Hubby wanted his on rice. It was delicious and not only cheaper than take out but I didn’t have to brave the cold or use any gasoline.

– I made double the amount we wanted and froze a meal for a night when we are craving it again.

– I used one of these for the above meal so that it was easier to get in the bag and didn’t make a mess. I purchased these for less than $ 5.00 each. I bought four of them for freezer cooking. I will be doing a lot of that after my trip. I will cook one meal for dinner and freeze four meals for nights I am too tired to cook.

– I sewed a button back on a sweater and a button back on a nightgown. I seem to have them coming off lately.

– We had Christmas dinner a day late at my son’s home. I baked a homemade pumpkin bread and put a lot of homemade party mix in a Christmas container that I purchased last Christmas at 90% off so that they had breakfast the next day since they would be traveling. They also took the party mix to eat on the trip. 

– I needed no wrapping paper, cards or other Christmas things so I did not go after Christmas discount shopping. I kept my money in my wallet. 

– I have been using up all of our leftovers. If I make soup, I freeze it. I have made all of Hubby’s meals for while I am gone so that he only has to thaw and heat. 

– I went to the library and took out a book to read on my trip.

– I wanted to give a little gift to each of the babies that live next door to me but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. So I wrapped a brand new book that I had in my gift closet for one of them. The other one I gave a garage sale book that I purchased for $1.00. The book looked like it had never been used. Both boys love being read to and looking at the pictures.

– I managed to get the snow out of the driveway, off the porch, and walk with just a little bit of help from Hubby. So for now, it is done and I didn’t have to hire a plow service. 

– I have been using the HE washer and hanging clothes inside to dry. But I have only been doing two loads a week. 

– I bought no new clothes for my trip. I am using what I have even for dressing up for our dinner at Victoria and Alberts at the Grand Floridian.

– Hubby and I have not gone out to dinner or gotten take out since Thanksgiving weekend. No entertainment money spent. 

– Our entertainment has been watching Netflix movies and playing board games. 

– Hubby had one of the soles come loose on his favorite pair of bang around shoes. He fixed it with Boot Fix Shoe Glue. It worked perfectly. 

– I got my first rebate in the mail for 2018. It was $3.00. It is being saved for one of our goals.

That is it for now. I need to start dinner so that I can call my sister at 6PM. We take turns calling each other every week using free long distance. I look forward to chatting with her tonight.

So what have you done frugally the past week or so?

Every Day

Frugal Things We Have Done The Past Couple of Weeks

These are the things that we have done the past couple of weeks to save some money:

– I baked two loaves of homemade pumpkin bread. One is for a hostess gift for a Christmas party that we are going to. One is for this Sunday’s breakfast when my son and grandson visit. Both have been frozen until I need them.

– I made and froze in portions a pan of lasagna so that Hubby doesn’t feel the need to go out and eat while I am in Disney World. I put them in food saver bags that he can steam or microwave. I ended up with 5 in the upstairs freezer and 5 I am putting in the basement freezer after I take this picture.

– We have been turning off all appliances when they are not in use to save on the electricity bill. I turn the gas stove top off a few minutes early when I am using it. The residual heat on my gas burners lets me finish what I am cooking. I do the same when I am using the gas oven or the electric toaster oven. We use the toaster oven more frequently than the big oven to save on energy. 

– The only lights we use are at night, when it is dreary, or when I am taking a picture for this blog. We turn them off when we leave a room.

– I continue to take navy showers to save on gas and water. I capture the water in a bucket while the shower is warming up. It can be used to wash a floor or flush the toilet a couple of times or in the nice weather it can water plants outside. My water saving is what I learned to do in Arizona because water was precious there.

– I continue to take two books a week out of the library and read them weekly. I no longer purchase books unless it is a book that I will read over and over again. 

– I am sticking to my $ 75. a week budget for food, etc. It is working well.

– My son who was here over Thanksgiving changed our outlook from his server, that is on it’s last leg, to the cloud. He also installed a new router for us. Ours was not working well. Then he fixed some problems that I was having with my computer and cleaned up some things for me. My e-mail is working great now. He didn’t charge me a dime not even for the new router. Thanks to him for all his hard work and generosity. Both of my sons are very generous with their time and money.

– I developed a problem with my wireless PC constantly disconnecting from the network that our family is on. I couldn’t leave my computer for a moment without it disconnecting. It was very annoying to have to reconnect manually all of the time. Both of my son’s figured it was a hardware problem with my computer. Since I don’t want to purchase a brand new computer anytime soon since this one is only three years old, my younger son fixed the problem last Sunday. He installed a new Wifi adapter, no charge to us. Thanks to him for fixing this. I stay connected whenever I am on the computer now.

– I have been doing 2 loads of laundry a week. I use the HE to wash and I hang them to dry. 

– I have a 10 oz. bag of shrimp that I am thawing in the fridge for tonight’s dinner. We will have shrimp cocktails and big salads. Easy dinner!

– I deposited $ 46.34 in rebate checks via my mobile app. This saves me the gasoline to go to the bank.

– I mailed $14. in wine and liquor rebates last week.

– I had an expiring heavy cream in the fridge. I put it in my Vitamix and made whipped cream.

– We had leftover scrambled eggs from breakfast last Sunday so I made a couple of wraps with the eggs, bacon, and cheese and froze them. They will make a quick breakfast on errand day.

– Entertainment this week has been Arizona Monopoly, football, and You Tube Videos. I am watching decluttering videos right now so that I can get motivated to declutter our Christmas decorations. We don’t need all that we have anymore. 

What have you done frugally the last week or so? Please share with all of us.