Saturday, November 30, 2019

The conversation started

Like this...
Me: we will start doing the pantry challenge in Jan. I am thinking about doing a no spend challenge at the same time. What do you think?

Hubby: explain no spend.

Me: no money spent on extras. Like clothes, eating out, wants instead of needs. You know like that.

Hubby: okay, can we list exceptions?

Me: like what?

Hubby: like the two timers I need for the Christmas lights and ....

I know he said more but I heard Christmas and thinking we are buying those next week...

so I stopped him and said... I said Jan.

Hubby: might as well start Dec 1st. We could do it for Advent.

Oh well glad I was sitting down. After listing some things we KNOW we have to have in the next 6 weeks and then I figure out half of to be dealt with WITHOUT buying anything after thinking about it a couple days. We decided there will be a 3 day wait on anything that we think we need before we buy it.

We have a small list of things to buy with most connected to Christmas like the flowers I order Hubby's parents and Daddy. 

Then we listed the basic grocery list and then rewrote it as we talked about it.

 Makes sense to do it Dec with Charlotte and Wilbur having their annual shots and Rascal looking to have surgery to remove the tumor. I have 9 medical appts during the next 6 wks also so fuel costs will be up.

We decided no eating out except with our one friends and that is about every 6 wks or more and we just went out with them with Son 2.

We decided no buying clothes for a year. So I went on line and researched prices for Hubby's undies which he said he was low on (LOL). The go to place that is usually the cheapest had ONE pack of 7 for $32 marked down from $42 (yes really) I went to the company site that makes them and got FOUR packs of 8 for the same price as the first place of 1 pack with free shipping.  The mending basket is going to over flow as Hubby is rough on clothes. BUT we are set.

I checked cleaning products, paper goods, and personal products and think we are good.

THEN I asked what to do with the money we save.... we bounced a few things around and then decided to split it. First , taxes that we might owe, second the medical fund. We have enough to pay 1 yr of ins right now. Hubby would like to have four years in it. We also could use a couple more months in the other savings. He would also like to pay his truck off earlier than we had planned( we planned a year earlier)

So this is going to be interesting. We came in at budget for Nov.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

What I did this week

I cooked 2 17 lbs turkeys over the weekend.

Monday morning I deboned the meat and made broth out of the carcass. Got 14 -1 lbs bags of turkey in the freezer and 2 gallons of broth. Did laundry and hung it on the drying rack. Ran the dishwasher and put those dishes away. Ran the dust mop. Washed out the outside dog water bucket all by 10 am. At 11 we left for my back injections that is a 4 hr round trip not counting the doc time. We stopped after my injections at a local restaurant, the cashier let us know if we waited 7 min we would save $6 as we were senior citizens. We waited. We have found I do better on the 2 hr ride back home if I eat within 15 min and stay PUT for thirty. Eating at this buffet works. I will now plan my appts so we stop after 2 pm. I came home, did the ice routine and went to sleep at normal time.

Tuesday... woke up at 3 wide awake, got up at 4 to let dogs out which meant Hubby got to sleep longer. Made coffee, started laundry, unloaded dishwasher. That will be the work for the day as I am LIMITED the first 24 hrs as the injections make my cerebral palsy flare a bit. No risking messing anything up. The  pain is way down. My hands did not go numb while I slept. We are having leftovers to clean what is left in the frig. Started listing what Christmas decorations we used in what rooms while living on the farm. Then started looking at that list to see what can be done here. We had a lot of decorations that died and are wanting to stay mostly LED. Jan 1st to Jan 31 is the highest electric bill we have of the year. Even beats 100 degree heat running AC in the summer.

Wednesday ... I slept through the night, woke up  to let Charlotte out, she went to Hubby's chair (he left early to haul a Styrofoam ice house to neighbor's family) so I went back to bed. Woke up at 8:30 feeling like a zombie and it wouldn't take much for me to go back to sleep. Laundry is rolling, 1st cup of coffee is sitting by my side. I researched Christmas decorations. Ordered undies for myself since they are no longer making the style I prefer. It looks like I might be making bras as I will not pay $30 each for that and I am very hard to fit. Did some cleaning in the mudroom . Moved the airfryer off the bfast bar to the mudroom by the sink. I use it often enough I don't want it in basement but I need the bfast bar for baking. Mudroom was the original kitchen and really small. We ate leftovers. Have one more leftover to use up before I cook again.

Thursday....  I got laundry washed and hung on drying rack. Got ready to go run errands before my appointments. Called the local shop for price on a full stick(log) of deli pepperoni (from Italy). They wanted $5.50 a lb. Decided to stop at the old IGA store where I used to get it when we lived on the farm. They gave me $2.50/lb OFF the price for buying the whole stick.  I carry a cooler when I am stopping at stores.

I went to Aldi's and got 6 butter and 6 boxes of brownie cookie (has choc chip cookie dough on top of brownie) and 2 boxes of graham crackers. I have not found a recipe for a brownie we like, either too dry or too moist. Wouldn't be hard to make my own choc chip cookie dough. I have that recipe.I got a rosemary tree... Hubby thought first it was a small pine until he looked close and realized it was an herb. I will probably kill it off before spring but for right not it looks nice on the bfast counter.

I had a mammogram and dexa study (bone density test). Thankful the hospital spent over 1 million dollars to get the new 3D mammogram (I have dense tissue and always end up with an Ultra sound also because of it) and bone density scanner. NO CRUSHING ....

 I stopped at CVS and got last of OTC meds we were missing.

Stopped at Walmart and got cup hooks for the front room curtain ties, clear 3M hooks for Christmas stockings, 3 small strands of lights (one for pumpkin decoration that died, one for a gallon jar for the laundry room and one white strand because I remember we needed white but can't remember what for). 2 dry mixes of oatmeal cookies I use on fruit crisps  or I should say Hubby does when I am down and he wants fruit crisp. I also got 3 choc chip cookie mixes for gifts for the one that does not cook from scratch. A 3 pack of caramel apples. I did check to see if they had my undies...had 5 pairs , none in my size and at $15 a pair. I was glad I found them on line for a lot less than that.

We do not have clothing in the budget at all. We buy if we have extra money and then we try to buy enough to go at least 1 yr.

Stopped back at Aldi's and got 6 more butter (still 24 lbs short for the year, I did decide to switch completely to unsalted (might be repeating myself) even though I prefer salted for food, no sense having both and then getting upset when Hubby uses the unsalted instead of the salted). Six more of the brownie cookie mixes, 12 of the brownie mixes (M needs them) 2 boxes of graham crackers (M needs them), 3 blueberry preserves, 4 boxes of golden raisins. (I want to make my old recipe of fruit cake) 4 boxes of ugly sweater cookie mixes for some friends that wear that type of sweater to a Christmas dinner every year. Bananas, milk, fresh cranberries,orange juice and pomegranates . Turkey cranberry dressing ravioli ( if we like it I will figure out how to make my own) strawberries, mushrooms, cucumber (to go in cream cheese dip) pumpkin roll (as Hubby requested it) prosciutto(my Italian adopted grandmother pops in to my cooking  at this time of year) and cheeses.... SIGH... I knew better, I really did. I just needed some shredded cheese as we are real low due to casseroles and soups as Hubby puts it in what ever soup we have for what ever reason. I needed ricotta ( pasta and calzones) and parmesan, mild cheddar (cheddar biscuits) mozzarella and Mexican style. We are completely out of sliced provolone so I got 1 package. Picked up 2 of slice Havarti cheeses as it is Hubby's favorite. Got a small block of colby my favorite... I really know better to even look but I did. This Aldi's brings in different cheeses for the holidays.  I got Brie (will go in puff pastry), spreadable cheddar cheese with horseradish (Christmas ham?), spreadable cream milk cheese with garlic and herbs,goat cheese crumbles, sun dried tomatoes with basil goat cheese crumbles, Boursin garlic and herbs ( old favorite of ours but I won't buy it at when it runs over $4 and really look for it at $3 if I have a coupon, this was less than $3.) Cranberry white cheddar cheese round, mini ash brie round, 2 blocks of Havarti Jalapeno for Hubby, 1 block of champagne cheddar cheese (New year's eve), 2 crimson cranberry white Stilton, Blue Stilton ( which I do not like but like a cheese ball that it is in so I bought it) AND as if that was not enough I started in the goat cheese rolls >>> 2 small rolls of plain goat cheese (put in soups or eat) 1 small roll of garlic & herbs goat cheese (soups or eat) 1 small roll of truffle goat cheese (Christmas day) 2 medium rolls of cranberry cinnamon goat cheese (cranberry or cinnamon bread toasted?) Large roll of Chevre Mollie goat cheese ( culinary class recipe of tomato soup with it) and 4 small rolls apple cinnamon goat cheese (apple pancakes, apple bread toasted or as French toast, apple cake, cinnamon bread), I lost track of everything Hubby named he thought he would like to try it on, I might have to get more just for that reason. I will admit we are cheese hounds. We don't go to the cheese factory for that reason.We also like a lot of different cheeses. I told Hubby Merry Christmas when I told him what cheese I bought.

I had pulled a jar from the freezer, looked like thick pasta sauce. It was, I warmed it up, put it on sub buns that needed used up and topped it with mozzarella cheese. Hubby said it hit the spot. I still have a bit left so I will melt Velveeta in it for a dip over the weekend to go with tortilla chips.  Called it a day about 2 hrs before normal and went to bed and passed out.

Friday... ugh... Slept a solid 6 hrs (haven't done that in awhile) got up, saw Hubby off that was going with a friend to get hay. Went back to bed and slept another 5 hrs. ZOMBIE ... Got the laundry washed and on the drying rack.  I need to get the golden raisins into jars and into the pantry. Deal with the pomegranates and fresh cranberries. Makes something for dessert for this weekend. Need to slice and freeze the pepperoni or I will just chunk it and have it gone in a month. IF I slice it, it will last about 4 months if not longer. Replace the lights in the pumpkin decoration, wash the gallon jar for the other lights. Put the cup hooks up for the front room curtains and hook the ties on them. Instead I am sitting here drinking the fourth cup of coffee (usually only drink 3) not wanting to move at all.   Still doing National novel Writing month so need to do some catching up on that. Looking around knowing I should be doing something even though Hubby just checked in on me and told me to rest. Maybe I will make pizza for dinner. I have pepperoni LOL

I did not do anything except work on list of daily until Jan 6th and writing...Hubby grabbed a $10 pizza on his way home from the gas station. It was loaded with veggies.

Saturday. Hubby off and running. Yesterday another hauler went in the hospital sick , has pneumonia and everyone else split his work load until he gets back out.

I got up with him to have a cup of coffee and talk over what we had going on today. I did get laundry done and on the drying rack so if I fall back to sleep it is done. Having omelets and ham for dinner.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Week of 18th

I will be going in for my back injections on the 18th. It usually takes me 3 days to recover and I will be limited lifting for a week. Just how it affects my cerebral palsy that causes the issues.

SO Menu
Saturday is going to be Autumn Stew for Son 2 for lunch. I think I will do a cauliflower pizza with grilled butternut squash ,black beans and cheese for dinner

Sunday LO (Left over) Autumn stew Air fried battered shrimp and sweet potato fries.

Monday (procedure.) eggs and pancakes ( I won't be able to eat lunch so Hubby will just eat what ever he finds)

Tuesday  turkey salad for lunch, Creamy turkey enchiladas for dinner.

Wednesday.  Left overs for lunch Stuffed acorns for dinner

Thursday  hash for lunch and meatloaf for dinner

Friday Meatloaf sandwiches for lunch and calzones for dinner.

Monday is injections so I will make sure food is prepped as the procedure is in the afternoon. Laundry will be done etc.

Tuesday... Mending and if I get the bedroom curtains cut this weekend , the winter curtains for the bedroom.

Wednesday ...3rd day is always the worse. Inputting the last of the pantry inventory on spreadsheet

Thursday Start back on mudroom

Friday  work on  mudroom

Saturday finish mudroom

Sunday visit parents

We went shopping

First we went to Menards to use our rebates. Need coat hooks for the coat rack Hubby made in the front room. Need another hook for the wheelchair bathroom because I am tired of Hubby tossing his PJ bottoms around and he has no place to hang them since we have barn doors on the bathroom and the over the door hooks don't work. We got the cheap ones that were on clearance for $2 instead of the $15 ones we found first. Since it was the 11% rebate We picked up pet safe ice melt in 20 lb bags to refill the salt containers aka kitty litter buckets son 2 gave us, dishwasher soap,a 3 pack of distilled water for my sinus rinse and bedroom humidifier, toilet paper (had a sale of 24 rolls of 2 ply for half of what it runs every where else so we bought 2 packages) Chi chi tortilla chips and mild Chi chi salsa dip (the only dip that does not trigger my acid reflux) Rebates we had paid for 70% of the bill. The rest was covered by non food budget and grocery budget.

Then to Aldi's.. Thanks to Lana who said they had butter on sale with a limit of 6. Hubby and I both went in. Which is good as he decided he want to GRILL a turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner. You have to brine it ( I have the ingredients for that) and grill on indirect heat but it is a smaller turkey than I normally buy if we are not deep frying. SO in his cart was a 17 lbs Honeysuckle turkey 57/lb , 20 lb Butterball turkey 87/lb, a ham butt roast $1.49/lb and 6 of the butter at $1.99 ea. Total $56.26 Out of stock up money. I got the very same thing at $56.96. Both hams and the 2 smaller turkeys are in the barn small freezer. The 2 larger turkeys are thawing to be roasted. Which means the roaster is not going back to the basement today. Hubby has informed me the last freezer is completely full. I did pull out the peach juice to thaw so I can process it and can so the black refrigerator freezer is pretty much empty so I can put the cooked turkey there.I did ask him if he pulled the bag of ice out that was in the bottom of that freezer. He said it's now on top with the shrimp and fish. He did note that there was no butter left in there.  I pulled the last of it out last month to bring in the house. Then it was silence.... does that mean we are going to run low on butter this year like last? Only if I don't pick up more. We use the canned butter for the table and for cooking with like in mashed potatoes, stick butter for the rest.  As I pointed out we have half of our wanted supply and prices usually go down around Thanksgiving to Christmas so I should be able to get it and put it in the black refrigerator freezer with the cooked turkey.Especially with grilling a turkey in 2 weeks that will clear more room in the freezer. Leaving that the only thing left to stock up on as I already stocked the sugar.

Then we went to chiropractic ... Hubby went first as he still have to pay a copay and I don't and he did that while Doc worked on me, including putting my ribs back in place that I threw out leaning into the washer to get the sock out of the bottom. Yes I was standing on a step and still threw them out. and YES I am that short.

Since Dollar General is right next door I went there to check on over counter meds as we are low (gee I wonder why) Still need 2 they don't carry. AND I got a pair of tongs to get the things in the bottom of the washer. It is now hanging on a hook I installed this morning after I started laundry. I remembered to say I had digital coupons and she told me the one I was wanting to use was less than if she used the four others I had.... I thought I only had one. SO YEA!!!. I saved $8 instead of $4 and spent less on the meds there then if I had went to any where else.

We did a pit stop to visit a friend that can not drive due to sixth nerve eye palsy affecting one eye and having cataract surgery on the other and is driving his wife batty as he is used to going a lot and he also can't go work out for the 3-4 hrs daily he was (plays volley ball etc at the wellness center), can't go work at the SCARES unit or EMA building. No one has came to see him. Limited computer time and can't hardly read a text on his phone. Going NUTS but refuses to wear the glasses that are to help correct the problem. We told them we would be back to go eat out (at Hong Kong as it is a favorite) and wife makes the comment if he can see better.  HUM I did not think before I said we can pick you both up if you don't feel like driving (we go right by their house to the restuarant) and he could be blind and still go out to eat. We have a friend that is blind and would have no problem spending time helping this one learn to deal with the blindness.  I even pointed out we have an ex son in law that is blind in one eye and he drives. Yes things are different, he should wear his glasses as our granddaughter did for 2 yrs. But she did not need to limit him more than what he was. She texted me later and said she had told their sons what I had said and both backed me, they felt she was making things worse instead of being supportive but they didn't know how to tell her.  Meantime the date is set for Hong Kong.AND he called the doctor and told him the glasses cause migraines. IF he had told his wife they did that she would have took him back the next day.

Son 2 is coming up tomorrow to help put in air barrier in the attics so I am making his favorite soup Autumn stew that uses a butternut squash , Home Chef recipe since he will be here during lunch.I am going to keep a few slices of it to grill to put on a cauliflower pizza crust

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


We got at least 2 inches if not closer to 3. I am just not willing to go out and measure on the ramp. Temp was 9 this morning with windchill at 5 but as soon as the sun broke out of the clouds it warmed up to 14 and the wind pretty much slowed down. Winds coming from the north west.

Our Amish neighbor M's sister in law, F is fighting cancer. Hubby has taken her several time for her chemo. Her doctors are now sending her to Mexico as there is nothing left stateside to try to help her. Heartbreaking. She knows she might not make it back from Mexico as she is in so bad of shape and she has young ones. We are doing what we can for them. The blessing is F lives next to a brother and his 12 children are a bit older than hers so they are helping take care of the kids so the parents and parents in law can help take care of F.

Trash went to the road last night to be picked up this morning. We had a talk about the 1/2 piece of chicken and 1 cup of rice that got tossed due to him telling me he wanted it for lunch and then eating cheese and crackers instead and then the next day an egg sandwich. I thought he had ate the chicken and rice as he had shoved it in a veggie drawer instead of leaving it sit where I put leftovers. GRR.

He was upset he had to take a partial bag to the trash can because it had the chicken and rice in it. My answer was you should have left it sitting in the leftovers shelf and I would have ate it or reminded you to eat it. Then we wouldn't be wasting trash sacks.

We got a free pizza from one of the guys Hubby used to work with. He had a free pizza coupon from buying his lunch at the gas station but they don't eat pizza so he gave it to Hubby. Got 2 meals from it.

We ate from the pantry. I have pulled 3 days of food from the pantry and brought it up to the kitchen with a note of what to pull from the freezers the night before needed. It seems to be working as I was sick yesterday(weather change whacks me out on top of still fighting my allergies) and was able to flip meals without even thinking about what to fix.

We put a thermometer where we intended to store root veggies. It was too warm so we started moving the thermometer to other places. Looks like the north loft wins again.

We went to Kroger's for their sale that matched my rebates from Ibota and coupons.

I got the butter that has been running around $5.97/ lb for the last few months that was on sale for $2.99. If you bought 10 you got it at $2.49. So I got 10. My Ibota had a rebate of 50 cents on 5 of them. Hubby figure it out that meant I save 25 cents on 10 bringing the price down to $2.24.  Saving $3.73 on each for a total savings of $37.30. I use 52 lbs of butter a year total between table use and baking. I do have canned butter still so that will be table use.That should put me at 26 lbs for this year for baking. Canned butter doesn't do well in baking.

I got tea that was marked on clearance as this store doesn't carry it during the winter(family size bags) and had coupons so I got tea for 99 cents each normally closer to $2.99. Saving $4.00

I got flavored creamer. I only buy it during the holidays when it's on sale and I have coupons. Normal price was $3.99 on sale for $2.49, Buy 5 and it goes to $1.99. I had 3 coupons of 50 cents off. I also had Ibota for 50 cents for each up to 5. Hubby figure that to take 80 cents off each for $1.19. Saving $14.

I bought a 17 lb turkey marked down from $1.69 to $1.09 and then got a rebate from Ibota for $3. Brought the price down to 91 cents. A bit more than I normally spend but I am having trouble finding turkeys closer to 17-20 lbs. Buying 2 -10 pound turkeys just means I have double the bones.

I bought 2 portabella mushrooms caps for an appetizer. They were on clearance for $1(last day for them) and I had a coupon for 50 cents. Normal price is $4.99 so I save $4.49 cents.

After doing the survey for Kroger's we will have 10 cents a gal off fuel.IT will probably be used on the Jeep since I have 3 medical appts this month all of them over 1 hr away one way.

We did all the regular things ... close curtains at dusk, open on east side at dawn. We keep the rest closed until the sun is up more. Washed foil, sandwich bags, freezer bags , and bread bags. Use LED lights for night lights. Use only task lighting and only the oil lamp at the table. The furnace is set at 72...which means my bedroom, laundry room and bathroom are 72, which sucks in the bedroom as I prefer to have a cooler room. HVAC guy told me to close the vents half but not completely as it would mess up how the furnace runs based on air flow. The kitchen and dining room are 70 and the mudroom, front room and wheelchair bathroom are 68 on a good day. Front room will drop to 66 at night. Just how this house rolls no matter what our HVAC guy tried. House should have really had 2 furnaces and ac's but the cost on propane would have killed us. We will just handle the cooler rooms and use electric heater if needed.

We added more wind block to the front room windows and a heavy curtain to block the east/west lofts staircase opening. We could feel the cold coming straight down the stairs to the table.

We needed a coat rack in the front room for guest and a different one that would hold Hubby heavy carhart bibs and coats in the mudroom. Hubby found a board that I had painted red from the old farm and cut it to fit those two places. We used the coat hooks that N had left here when they moved for the mudroom. As they are designed that you can put a narrow board on top of. Hubby will be looking for a narrow board in the barn to put on it for gloves and such. I will have to buy hooks for the front room as they need to be a lot smaller so they don't hit the door when it's opened all the way. The red paint blends well with the red paint in the front room.I kind of like the pop of color in the mudroom also.If I decide to paint it white it will be during the summer.

I change the style of heater vent deflector under the table by the front door to bring the heat out farther from under the table.I used one that is suppose to be under a couch.

Since I am baking a pork loin today I decided to dice up the last of the rutabaga, turnip , add a carrot and potatoes, toss with oil and herbs and roast on a cookie sheet while the pork is in. I might also do a strawberry quick bread that Daughter 2 posted on Facebook.

How is your week going?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Turkey and ham

still need stocked but this is the "season" for this stocking . Prime rib for Christmas eve if we can find it at a decent price. This was the first thing we stocked when we moved last year. So it's been a year of knowing what it cost us to stock this pantry.

Hubby was gifted with a Walmart gift card  so he wanted to finish stocking up the condiments that I was not going to stock up on. So we figured up what we could buy for the amount on the gift card using the prices on line for Walmart.

Good news is we actually got MORE due to in store mark downs and was able to add a turkey that was 68 cents/ lb. I also got another gal. of milk, bananas and outlet safety covers. Gift card covered it. Doing a happy dance for sure. Hubby was happy also as it was the condiments he really likes so he won't have "limit" himself so much.

 Last year we got 10 turkeys (37-48 cents/lb during the week after Thanksgiving)and 6 hams( $1.49/lbs). This year is going to be 6 turkeys and 4 hams (the most, with the least being 3 turkeys and 2 hams)as I have 20 briskets in the freezer. A friend we had helped last winter found them on clearance and bought us 5 and I cut them into 4 "roasts" each and vacuumed sealed them.I have just enough space for the turkeys and hams in the small deep freezer and then we are FULL.

I went through the paper goods and cleaning products. Neither of us can think of anything we NEED for personal items or over counter meds. We pick up stamps in Dec for the year.

At the holidays I will pick up unsalted butter, white and choc chips, marshmallows (I got a recipe to make fondant using them) and probably sugar as it will most likely be a lower price than now.

I am rewriting the basic grocery list.

I searched the internet for DIY recipes to some mixes we usually buy so I can make them myself.

Hubby figured out we spent less than $19.00 a day for both of us to restock the 4 deep freezers (all were empty when we moved) and 3/4ths of the pantry along with herbs and spices. I usually grow my own herbs but that didn't go well this year due to weather. I would like to see it closer to the $10 for both of us.

According to the USDA food costs a couple our age are spending $367.50 for a thrifty menu  up to $714.70 for liberal menu. We fall in the area of moderate. The $10 I want might be unrealistic since the thrifty plan is set at more than $12.

We will see how it goes.

Sausage gravy, biscuits, applesauce for dinner.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Update on budget.

We came in UNDER budget even with being over budget with food buys

Our electric company doesn't do budget payments. They do leveling payments and every 3 months your payment changes.  I figured out what we averaged and then pay that amount each month. So we have a "credit" on the months the electric runs high like Dec and Jan with Christmas lights (even though they are LED) and electric lights that we don't use at all during the sunnier months.

I have been ordering 8 bags of salt instead of just a fill of 6 bags for delivery for our water softener. It's cheaper for us to rent and get it replaced every 2 yrs with the hard water we have, than buy a new one every 2 yrs. That cuts down on how many times I pay for a delivery charge by 2 times a year saving $5 a month. Hubby can handle pouring a bag of salt in the softener and when he can't E has offered to come over and do it for us as he does it for 2 other senior citizen neighbors.

I had our home/auto insurance checked and they lowered the cost by $5 a month based on where we live.

This month the new billing for internet/landline came in after Hubby called last month. Saving us $25 a month which is lower than what they quoted him.

Since my health OOP (out of pocket) is paid in full I had a credit at the chiropractic office of $175... they have been using it to pay Hubby's when he goes. I save $70/ month since I have my OOP paid...a 3 day stay at the hospital from my Crohn's wiped it out.

My primary doctor ordered my mammogram and dexa study(bone test) for this month since I do have the OOP paid I won't have to pay for these tests.

I will have my back injections this month and those will be paid for saving me $220.

We pay off credit cards in full each month to incur not interest charge.

Hubby was able to skip a payment (every 12 months the bank allows it) on his truck and we chose to make the payment. The bank said if we didn't use any of the skip payments it we would end up paying truck off 7-10 months early. That is a lot of interest saved.

We filled the jeep up once instead of twice as budgeted. We filled the old truck aka dog truck as it's the one we take the dogs in up twice instead of three times as budgeted. I do NOT budget the 350 truck. Hubby's hobby pays for EVERYTHING on that truck and the trailers. If he can't cover the cost he can sale the stuff right along with that truck according to him.

I used the dog food bags twice instead of trash bags. As long as I tape them shut they will accept it. Saves me 20 cents a month for something I was throwing away anyways.

We decided to not renew our Sam's club membership until we actually need it...if we need it. Walmart in our area has been beating the prices for the same amount. I am going to check out Gordan Food Service also as my brother said he buy a lot of bulk from them for his brother in law's youth church.

We will be using Daddy's whole house humidifier. I cleaned it the other day when it was warm outside and then looked for filters. I don't think Daddy or brother thought to replace the filter EVER. I found several sites with them, priced it out and got the best buy at Amazon with buying 3 instead of 1. This humidifier allows you to use softened water instead of distilled. SAVINGS will be $32 a month by using Daddy's over what we had. So that's a savings to look forward to, even better we won't have to go to town to get distilled water.

The baking soda that was in the refrigerators was used to clean with and to dump down drains with vinegar when I replaced it.

I asked M if she had any tips as I was trying to cut the budget. She uses Mr Clean, bleach, vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. She makes her own laundry soap (same recipe as mine). Uses a clothes line and drying rack for all. Keeps curtains closed on dark and cold  days,opens them up on sunny days (reverse that during the summer) and closes them BEFORE dusk to keep the warmth in. She bakes her desserts and cookies before her breads....that I don't do. I asked why and she said that way the kitchen is warmer so her bread rises easier.Getting bread to raise in this kitchen even in the hottest day of summer has been an issue. Mending was also mentioned and on a daily bases. Something I am behind on HA HA. She makes her own yogurt, catsup, mayo, butter, buttermilk, pancakes mix, harvest and cook down their maple syrup from their own trees. Offered to tap our trees next year. Saving for things or going without was two more mentions. Doing a routine cleaning lets her keep track of things that need fixed or replaced. Also not having a lot "pretties" keeps her time down on cleaning. She does use doilies or cloth to cover furniture to keep the dust down also. Less to wipe. She cleans windows weekly, let the sun in better so she uses less kerosene to burn lamps along with cleaning her lamps daily. I also clean my lamps daily and used to do the windows weekly. I replaced my squeegee this week when it was on sale 50 % off. I got two so I wouldn't go without again.

We are still talking over the grocery budget. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

When a simple thing is a major milestone.

Hubby is definitely one for eating out or picking up take out.
Yesterday we had our chiropractic appt and I knew he would complain he was hungry and needed to eat afterwards SO I made an early lunch of odds and ends and made sure I pointed out we had leftover roast and veggies or could eat bfast items for our dinner.

He did ask when we left the appointment if we were still eating the roast or bfast for dinner and I said FIRMLY yes. MILESTONE he didn't bring it up again like he usually does.

I told him I have a menu for Nov.  Every other Sunday is sausage gravy and biscuits. The other Sundays is bacon.  Mondays are oven baked meals. Tuesday is breakfast for dinner, Wednesday is pasta including his requested mac and cheese and smoke sausage a couple times. Thursday will float between chicken, turkey, beef,beans and pork. Friday is pizza, French pizza, calzones or appetizers. Saturday also floats between beef, chicken, turkey, beans and pork.  I don't bother to plan bfast or lunch as it's something we can always find to eat without much cooking. He did call me last night and said "I know pizza is on the menu for tomorrow but we have a free pizza coming so can I pick it up tonight since I am already here getting fuel for the truck, gas and kerosene for E ? YES, that just moves the beef and noodles (M's homemade noodles) and mashed potatoes and cole slaw to Friday. As we bumped pasta night due to leftovers from roast.

I told him I would like to make the 2000 gallons of propane I ordered for this coming heat season (plus we have propane water heater and cook stove) to last 24 months... I got 1600 to last 17 months and feel that if he gets done with the air barrier this month we should be able to get it stretched that much. I just ordered our first tank for the heating season. We averaged 10 % of the tank during the heating season last year so I do have a bench mark to go by during Nov through April. He asked how I thought we could do that as it's dropping fuel by 400 gallons a year. Getting the house insulated better. Multi dishes in the oven. Using the air fryer over deep frying or for small baking as our electric is cheaper than our gas. I also did not do any canning outside like I did the year before so I can go back to that using the grill tanks for canning (which runs cheaper in the summer) We didn't have a place set up for it this year at the barn so that needs to be set up by spring when the asparagus comes on.

He put insulator board up at 2 areas that was allowing cold air to come in at where a heat vent was in the dining room and took a board to the pump house in case we need it at that door WITHOUT me nagging. Called Son 2 to find out if he could come up the 9th and help him put air barrier in.

I rewrote the punch list with the thoughts of doing 3-4 things a week. Going through boxes in the barn is going to be a long time of dealing with. I have found a couple places to put Daddy's bedroom dressers. I just need to do some changing around to get them moved in. Not the priority right now.

I spent  2 hrs putting insulators in the switches and outlets before I ran out. Ordered more to start again on Tuesday since Monday I have a doctor's appointment for my back pain. I have no other errands to run with this appointment.

I started inputting the pantry inventory on a spreadsheet. I will finish doing it this weekend and start monitoring what we eat and what we need to eat. ANOTHER MILESTONE as I have inventoried before but never put it in a form I could monitor it other than look and go OH WE ARE LOW. It should help me look for sales better and not over spend other places. I have a clip board that I am going to rig to hang with a pencil in the basement stair case  to mark off what I bring up to use AND what I take down to stock.

While he was checking to make sure we had what we needed for air barriers as he didn't want Son 2 to show up and then have to go get stuff... Hubby found 2 holes in between the kitchen porch roof and the roof to the house that was letting tons of air in. He shoved some loose insulation in it but is going out tomorrow to see what we have that he can use to close those holes up.

Hubby stopped over to E and M's to drop off some fish we had in the freezer from his fishing trip. His buddy had packed too large of amount for us and Son 2 didn't come up with his bike buddies for a fish fry. I don't want it getting freezer burn and going to waste. M said it was perfect as they would be gone all day Friday but everyone was going to be home on Saturday. Hubby mentioned he thought they would be gone longer as she had 8 loaves of bread rising...until I told him they eat 5-6 loves a DAY. I will add when they eat sandwiches,there is only 1 slice of bread. They eat open face sandwiches most the time. She bakes 12- 15 loaves depending on what is left on Saturdays. He didn't remember we ate 3-4 loaves a day with the kids all home with a couple of us not being much of bread eaters.

I am doing NANOWRIMO ... AKA Nano... National novel writing month during the month of Nov. It's 50,000 words in 30 days.  I try to do it every year, haven't always made the 50,000 words due to work load. This year I am keeping the work load down, working on a routine and writing.