Every Day

A Little of This and A Little of That

It’s been a little over a month since I wrote a post. I have been dealing with a health issue so things have been busy and stressful. However, I got good news on Tuesday. I am in good health. So I hope to be on here a little more often and life is getting back to normal. I can finally get back on the treadmill and bike which has made me very happy!

Grocery shopping is taking a little more time these days. With so many shelves bare in the stores, finding things on my list has not been easy. Even Walmart seems to be out of things I need lately.

That said, I stumbled on a bargain yesterday and you know that the bargains are hard to come by these days. I found these 4 instant coffees at Aldi’s. They were on clearance in the ” Here today, gone tomorrow aisle.” I asked someone I know who works there why they were on clearance. He said the label was changed. They usually cost about $7.00+ but they were on clearance at $ 1.89 each. They are very handy to have when the power is out. We dealt with that a couple of weeks ago. We had power out on two consecutive days. I have a gas stove so I can boil water on it. So if you are in need of instant coffee, look for them at your Aldi’s.

With the exception of fresh produce, dairy and meat, I do as little shopping as possible these days. If I see a steal on sale at the market, I will go pick it up. Our Top’s ran a deal this week on Johnsonville Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage which Hubby loves. For every 5 that you purchased you got them for a $ 1.00 off which made them cost $ 2.99 each. At Walmart they cost $ 3.87. I picked up 15 of them. Each package makes 3 meals for us. Hubby loves Spanish rice so I make that and add 2 sausages sliced up into it. Then I hand him the hot sauce bottle and you would think I just cooked him a gourmet meal! It’s easy and with the peppers and onions that I put in it, it is all we need to eat for a meal.

With prices so high on so many things, we have decided to ration our food, household supplies, and gasoline. What I mean by that is that I am very conscious of what portions I serve. I make sure that we eat the proper portions for one serving whether it be meat, a vegetable or fruit, or a starch. We also have no food waste. Food is too expensive to throw in the garbage. Take your leftovers and either eat them on consecutive days until they are gone or freeze them for another day. I also take bits of meat and veggies that are leftover and freeze them in a bag to make soup when it gets full. If I have produce starting to go bad, I will freeze it for smoothies. If it is onions, celery, or carrots, I slice them and freeze them to go in casseroles, soups or stews. I am making as many of our condiments homemade as I can. We are mostly eating at home. It is so much cheaper. Even fast food is expensive! So we eat our “fast food” homemade.

Inflation is killing all of us! So you need to have your frugality kick in wherever you can! I got gas yesterday which was $ 4.40 a gallon. I had no gasoline points. UGH! But we are making that gas stretch as far as we can.

I run my errands in a circle and batch all errands together with any appointments we have. I am not a lead foot. I keep my tires filled with the proper amount of air. Any excess weight in the car has been removed. We are making our tanks of gasoline last as long as possible. I know that so many of you commute to work and you can’t avoid the high prices but you can do whatever you can to get a few more miles out of that tank of gasoline. For those of you who work from home, you are lucky. For those of you who have small businesses, I worry about you. It has been a tough economy for two years and it does not seem to be getting any better.

We are using up all of our cleaning products and finding ways to save on those when we need new ones. For example, I am now making laundry detergent using just washing soda and a bar of Zote grated. We are close to being out of dishwasher soap so I am making my own. I always use microfiber cloths to clean and save the small amount of paper towels that I use for draining bacon or something really messy. Keep an open mind on how you can cut down on these costs. I think about it every time I get to the end of a store bought product. We are getting close to being out of liquid hand soap. I have lots of bar soap so we are switching to that. There are so many ways to save money.

We were delighted to have company for an early dinner this past Wednesday. Friend’s of my son came to visit. I got to meet a lovely young woman and it was a fun time. I made a delicious dinner of chicken, salad, and wild rice. I baked brownies for dessert. We baked a casserole of chicken chunks, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, spices and crushed Ritz crackers for a topping. It was a delicious meal and we had it again yesterday for dinner. There is still enough leftover for lunch today. It turned out to be an economical casserole too!

How are you guys saving in these tough days? Please share in the comments so that others may benefit from your advice.

Every Day

What We Are Doing To Keep Costs Down In These Inflationary Times

First, I have a little business to get out of the way. You haven’t seen me posting because I am dealing with a major back issue that makes it hard for me to sit down for any length of time. So my days are spent standing or laying down. I just got a special gel foam pad for my chair and it seems to help somewhat but I am sure that I will have to write this over a period of days and post it when it is finished. The other issue is that my camera is not being supported anymore so I will have to figure out what to do about that. So until then, there will be no pictures.

Now to the meat of the subject. If you haven’t noticed prices skyrocketing on everything including gasoline, you must be living in a different world than I am. To make matters worse, the media is now saying that natural gas, propane, oil and electricity prices will soar now that it is cold and winter is right around the corner.

So since we can’t control what is happening, we have to control what we do about it in our own homes. I have done a lot of thinking on this and then putting things into action so that we can spend as little as possible. I do believe that prices will go much higher and we could possibly see hyperinflation coming. I also believe this is going to happen right into 2023.

So first, I am going to tell you what we are doing about food. You all know that I grew lots of tomatoes this past summer. We ate them fresh but we had so many that I decided to can them. So we have many pints of crushed tomatoes that I cooked down. It sure was cheaper than buying them. They were expensive in my area this year. I can use the jars to make homemade spaghetti sauce or put them into soups and casseroles.

Then I decided to can meat. This was something that I had never done before so there was a learning curve for me but I did a ton of research. We now have many pints of raw packed chicken and many pints of beef chunks. Whenever chicken is on sale for $1.99 to $ 2.49, I get a few packages and can it right after I get home. Sirloin tip and eye round beef roasts have been on sale lately for $ 4.99 to $ 5.99. I cut them up to use in stews and casseroles and can them in pints. Pints are just about the right size for Hubby and I to usually get two meals out of. If we had a larger family, I would use quarts.

We only buy meat when it is on sale and I won’t buy much over $7. to $8. a pound. The lower the price the better. I am not freezing meat anymore because I am afraid of power outages this winter. I do not want to lose a freezer full of meat. So as I have time I am canning up what I have that is already frozen. I can it after I thaw it. It takes work but since standing is one of my things now, I am enjoying it.

Also we have been pretty good about eating the proper portions for a while now. But I make sure now that we always do whether that be meat, veggies, fish or fruit. We eat to live instead of living to eat.

We buy very little snacks anymore unless they are nuts or tortilla chips that we use with taco soup or salads. If we want a sweet, I make it.

We are making all of our own rolls, pizza crusts, and bread these days. We eat very little of these so most get frozen in portions after we bake them.

We only use milk in recipes or for baking, making desserts, or for making yogurt( which I do all of the time now instead of buying it) and I use shelf stable most of the time.

We love bacon but it is now about $10. a lb. here. I refuse to pay that especially since the quality is inferior to what it used to be. We use on sale sausage like I got that was reduced for quick sale at Niagara Produce. It was the very first time that I found reduced price meat in over a year.

I only buy my produce on sale at Aldi’s or N.P. in season and on a sale price. Recently I purchased a bunch of butternut squash at $ .69 lb. to can.

Our garage does not usually freeze in the winter. I have a thermometer out there to keep an eye on things. So I purchased a 1/2 bushel of Honeycrisp apples this past week and put them in a cooler in the garage. I also picked up a 10 lb. bag of local potatoes and a 10lb. bag of onions. They are all being stored in the garage in their own baskets.

We also eat meatless meals about twice a week. Lots of salads, hard boiled eggs, and meatless breakfasts for dinner.

We make everything that we can. For example: salad dressings, jams, mayonaise, BBQ sauce, etc. Hubby is now making granola once every few weeks.

Hubby and I are drinking mostly iced tea or water. He rarely drinks Coke unless I can get it on a super sale which is rare.

We rarely eat out. I would much rather spend that money on food that I can use at home. But when we do, we only go to family run restaurants so that they can stay in business.

We are using microfiber cloths not paper towels. The cloth napkins are always on the table.

We are spending as little as possible on everything. Hubby quit the newspaper so we are saving over $ 550. a year. I quit Amazon Prime. I still have Walmart Plus and have groceries delivered occasionally but will be using them all the time when the snow starts flying. I can get items delivered free from with 2 day free shipping.

Hubby and I are only buying clothes as things wear out with one exception. I purchased extra blankets and outer gear for both of us in case the power goes out.

I am already planning a garden for next spring. We will again have tomatoes, peppers and I will try potatoes in a grow bag. I already have the seeds and seed potatoes and other items that we need.

I no longer buy books. I download them free for my Kindle and from our local library.

I have reduced my yearly hair salon bills by getting my hair cut every 6 weeks instead of every month. And I only get a color every 3 months. Because my hair is very light, I can go this long.

Lastly let’s talk about utilities. I am doing all of the things that we usually do to reduce these bills. However, we are being very careful not to leave lights on or use them when there is daylight. I only wash really full loads of clothes. I do the same with the dishwasher. I was using the heavy duty cycle on it but have switched to the regular cycle. I am making my own dishwasher detergent. I no longer make my own laundry detergent because Speed Queen warned against it.

We are lowering the heat by one degree at a time so see what is comfortable. We faithfully change the filters on our furnace on the 1st of the month.

We are cooking ONLY in the air fryer, Instant Pot, toaster oven (infrequently), and microwave. Small appliances take a lot less energy than the larger ones.

I waste no water. I put a bucket under the faucet while the water warms up. We have an on demand heater so it takes a while to warm up. We use that for drinking water, pasta water, and to flush toilets, or wash floors.

I will continue to let you know how we are saving as my health lets me.

Please feel free to add how you are saving money in these expensive times. I promise to check the comments regularly so that we can all learn from you.