Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Bits and Pieces

We were lucky enough to get some good bargains this week.  Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned.  And, it's a tax free penny.

$8.69 Persil for free at CVS using a coupon with a sale.

Tide Free pods for $0.94 at CVS using a coupon and a sale.

Yarn, including  2 one pound skeins, 3 jumbo skeins, 6 regular skeins and 6 cotton skeins all for $20  at a thrift store in Delaware.  Lots of Linus Project blankets here.

Basket for corraling Max's meds for $2 at the thrift store.  A mess contained doesn't look as messy.

Camel colored sweater for $3 at the thrift store.  It's definitely sweater weather.

8x8 pan for the RV for $1, you guessed it, at the thrift store.

Throws for shelter animals @ $1 each from the thrift store.

Ribs $1/lb. At the Dover commissary. 

I love bargains.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Salvage Shopping

My friend and I went on another salvage shop.  It could very well be our last for the year as things get busy.  Although, I'm hoping for one more to stock up on more Christmas things.  Time will tell.

Here's what I bought:

2 crust Pie crust mix (3) @ $0.25 each. For Christmas baking.
Potato mixes (2)@ $0.79 each.  For the RV.
Canned fruit (3) @ $0.25 each
Manicotti noodles@ $0.79
Bisquick @ $0.50
Dry kidney beans (2 lbs)@ $0.50 / lb
Pineapple juice $1.99. To make faux crushed pineapple
Old English jarred cheese (4) @ $0.49. For appetizer at Christmas
Carnation condensed milk $0.10
Green beans  $0.49
Salsa (2)  @ $0.99
Marshmallow cream (8)  @ $0.79 for Christmas baking
Soy sauce. $0.79
Cracker Jacks (2 multipacks) @ $0.50 each a treat
Starbucks Regular coffee (5) @ $2.99 each
Flavored ground coffee (2) @ $1.99 each
Creamed corn $0.49
Enchilada sauce $0.59
Sauerkraut $0.49
Beets $0.49
Tomato sauce stew starter (2) @ $0.55 each
Rice vinegar  $0.99
Shelf stable soy milk (2) $0.75. For making yogurt
Chocolate chips (3)  @ $.99 each for Christmas baking
Baked beans (4) @ $0.49 each  For the lake
Gallon vegetable oil. $5.99
Apple juice. $1.50 for making vinegar
Craisins  $0.99
Kraft macaroni and cheese (2) @ $0.25 each
Spaghetti sauce (2) @ $0.99 each
Spices (3) @ $0.99 each
Tomato paste, 18 ounces $0.99 once open I will freeze remaining in ice cube tray
York peppermint patties (5)  For $1.00 treat
Eye drops  $0.99

TOTAL:  $66.41 for 72 items.

The prices are climbing a little but there still are some good deals.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Brand New Thrift Store Finds

We went thrift store shopping recently to out favorite store.  Everything is thoughtfully displayed and it is small enough to feel cosy.  I especially like the clothes.  All are of good quality.  You can quite often find brand new items with the original tags, as I did this time.

Brand New:
$59 Christopher and Banks jacket , after extra daily discount, for $10.49
$50 Talbot black dress pants for $6.99
These became my outfit for Mike's fraternity reunion party.

Two cookie sheets, still shrink wrapped, for $3.99 for the RV.

Not new, but a good price:

20 spice jars with labels   $5.99 for the RV.  The base is very heavy so they can sit out while we travel.  I have tested this out.  :).

Long red sweater, comfy for winter $3.50.  We keep our house cool so comfy sweaters are a must.

And a $5 off a ten dollar purchase coupon since we spent $30.  We used it for plastic storage containers for the RV to store flour, sugar, etc.  They were exactly $10 before the coupon.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Unexpected Bounty

Thanks to the generosity of friends, and a GREAT deal at Aldi, I have been busy processing goodies to enjoy.  Here is what I had and what I made.

Grapes from two friends, I can't even guess at how many, LOTS):

Grape juice. 17 1/2 quarts
Grape jelly .  Still to be made from some of the juice
Grape pie filling. 6 pies worth

Green tomatoes (a peck basket):

Fried green tomatoes (3 meals)
Tomatoes to ripen (25)
Green tomato mincemeat (adjusted to use what I had)  6 pints

39 cents a pound winter squash, 19 pounds for under $8:

Roasted and frozen for pie and quick breads as well as to eat as a side dish (24 cups)

I get such fulfillment when doing something like this.  I only do a little these days, since there is only the two of us, but it is still fun.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Buying and Eating: October 1-15

For October we have a budget of $381.61, using the government's suggested thrift amount of $12.31/day.  We also have a cushion of  $664.36 from this year and  $1147.44 in total.

What We Ate: taco salad, pseudo nachos, grilled chicken breast, zucchini pancakes, Caesar salad; leftovers;

We are in Oxford for Mike's fraternity reunion.  Low carb is on hold.  I have a toasted roll to eat.  :)
Kielbasa, corn, potatoes; leftovers;  Mike's fraternity dinner;  Mexican pizza

Low carb is back on.
Sloppy Joe, zucchini pancakes; baked chicken wrap using a low carb wrap; homemade low carb sausage and pepperoni pizza; beef stroganoff over spaghetti squash, Greek salad, fried green tomatoes, low carb pound cake; shrimp scampi, zucchini pancakes, frozen green beans; chicken cordon bleu soup and pimento cheese wraps; ham steak, sauteed cabbage, fried green tomatoes, salad

What We Bought:

Wal-Mart:  strawberries, cream   $4.14

Aldi:  Pam. $1.55

Giant Eagle:  iced tea. Free

Aldi:  various cheeses. (15 lbs), pasta. (2 lbs), cream, peppers, grape tomatoes, carb bars (3 boxes),  winter squash (19 lbs)   $ 76.49

Giant Eagle:  Hood cottage cheese .  Free with coupon

Aldi:  cucumber, strawberries, carb bars . $7.57

Salvage:  I have not listed items to make Christmas gifts or non food items as well as lake items.  These come from other budget categories.
potato mixes (2), canned fruit (3), manicotti noodles, Bisquick, dried kidney beans (2), pineapple juice, Old English jarred cheese (4), green beans, salsa (2), soy sauce, cracker Jacks (2), coffee (7), cream corn, enchilada sauce, sauerkraut, beets, tomato stew starter (2), rice vinegar, soy milk (2), gallon oil, apple juice, craisins, macaroni and cheese (2), spaghetti sauce (2), spices (3), 18 ounce tomato paste, peppermint patties (5)  $53.25

Sam's Club:  low carb tortillas (20 count) $ 4.98

Tops:  strawberries, spaghetti sauce, rye bread, eggs, butter, Cheez-Its.  $12.00

Total for Groceries:  $149.88

Eating Out:

Toasted rolls in Oxford. $10.00
Mike at Wild Wings in Oxford. $  14.00

Total for Eating Out:  $24.00

Total for First Half of the Month: $173.88

Remaining for Second Half of the Month:  $207.73

Friday, October 12, 2018

Moister Beef Burgers

Adding grated vegetables to your burger mix makes moister and more flavorful burgers.  The added benefit is it also stretches the ground beef and lowers the fat content of the burgers.  Give them a try.

1 pound ground beef
1 grated medium potato
1 large grated carrot
1 small finely chopped onion
Salt and pepper

Combine the above and mix well.  Shape into patties.  Cook as usual.

Trust me, you never notice the carrot or potato once the burgers are cooked.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Say Stop and Save Money

Finding bargains on things you need is obviously frugal.
But you can take it farther when you simply stopping buying certain things you normally buy.

Here are some things that are no longer on my shopping list:

Paper napkins, cups and plates:  we now only use ones we can wash and reuse.

Dishwasher pods:  I use a liquid from Family Dollar that I find as good as Cascade.  I stocked up recently when I was sent a coupon for $5 of a $25 purchase.

Dishwasher spot liquid:  I find I don't need it.  I also didn't like the thought of having those chemicals on the dishes I ate from.

Air freshener:  I hate the chemicals.  Instead I use a simmering potpourri when necessary.  I save all my citrus peels and use some for this.

Shower body wash:  Bar soap is cheaper and no plastic.  I buy it at the Dollar Tree.

Hair conditioner:  My hair is short and I don't really need it.

Hair dye:  I used it for years but started to worry about the chemicals.  I'm now proudly gray.

Dryer sheets:  I hang my laundry

Fabric softener:  When I use anything, I use white vinegar.

Here are some things I use very rarely so I don't have to buy them often:

Commercial cleaning items:  My holdout is Murphy's Oil Soap.  The rest are homemade.

Bottled water:  We use a Brita.

Baggies:  I buy one box of each size a year.  Unless they have contained meat, I wash them and reuse over and over.  You can turn them inside out and wash them with your towels, then hang them to dry.

Paper towels:  I use cleaning rags mainly.  But if something is really icky I will use a towel and toss it.  I use a roll about every six weeks.

Finger nail polish:  I use it to touch up my pedicure so it lasts longer.  I buy it at Dollar Tree.  I don't do my nails because the polish never lasts.

Makeup and perfume:  Only when I am dressing up.  Not at home.

My dryer:  As I said, I mainly hang my laundry.  But I do use it when there is a time crunch such as traveling.  My dryer is 39 years old, by the way.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Spending at The Three Quarters of The Year Mark

Time to run the numbers and see how well we are doing so far, 75% through the year.

In the last nine months we have spent $1691.27  on groceries and $501.54 on eating out.

That means we have averaged $186.81 / month on groceries and $55.82 / month on eating out.  For a grand total average of $243.65 / month to feed us.

The government thrift plan says we should be spending $12.31 / day for a family of two or $6.16 / day / person.

In the 273 days so far this year, our groceries and Eating Out have averaged $8.03 for a family of two and $4.02 per person/ day.  We are well under the government's number.

Our freezer and cupboards are jammed.  We need to start eating out of our stockpile more.  I also need to start thinking how I will approach next year's budget.  I am obviously still buying too much when things are on sale.  I would also like to add more vegetarian meals to our diet so we need more vegetables in the freezer and less meat.

I'm also dreaming about what fun thing we can do with our cushion.  Something we otherwise would hesitate to do.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Frugal Things in September: The Everyday Edition

1.  While visiting family, we shopped at some area thrift stores and found some yarn to help me keep making my Linus Project blankets.  It has gone up in price but I still save about 60% from store prices.

2.  I stocked up at the salvage store this month.  I saved about 70% over grocery stores.

3.  I found some flavored syrup for coffee at the Dollar Tree.  Now I am making my yummy flavored coffee at home instead of going to Starbucks or doing without.  $5 a drink can add up.

4.  I needed to touch up some chips in my pedicure.  I went to Dollar Tree and found an appropriate color for only $1.

5.  I needed some birthday cards and was pleased to see a selection of Hallmark cards at Dollar Tree.  $1 is much more my speed than the $3.89 marked on the card.

Little things.  But little things add up.  :)