Frugal Living - Challenge 2021 Daily Frugal challenge

bugweena

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
Yesterday I found marked down deli meat and cheese to pair with the ciabatta bread I found at Aldi. We had those sandwiches for dinner and likely lunch or dinner today or tomorrow. Yum!

I shopped around for gas and found a local mom and pop convenience store that appeared to have gasat $3.19/gallon versus the $3.29 everywhere else. I was going that way to the ATM to deposit a few rebate checks (free money) and to pick up books at the library (free reading!) so decided to see if the gasbuddy price was real since the app hadn't been updated in a few days. It was and I saved $1 by filling up our commuter car at that station. We fill up once a week so even a $1 adds up over time.

I'm going to work on submitting some NBPR rebates online today. Thanks to @mtka for keeping that thread updated. I shopped sales at Harris Teeter this week and ended up with $31.65. Used 6 $5 rebate prepaid cards (I was in the self checkout line and no one was waiting, so decided to use as many as I could). I only paid $1.65 OOP and am stocked up on eggs, produce, and dishwashing detergent.

My DH needed some new jeans and found them on Amazon for about half of what they retail for so he ended up getting two pairs.

My cellular network let me know my current cell phone would no longer meet their requirements as of 1/1/22. I could get a 'free' upgrade and only needed to pay the taxes. I ended up paying a little over $300 for a new 5G phone. I ordered it aonline nd received the next day. Activating it took a little time and more than a few curse words but it seems to be working. I was also able to purchase a phone case with screen protectors for about $12 on Amazon versus the $30 from the online carrier store.

I am working in my compost bins this weekend (between regular hot composting bins and worm bins) I can produce enough compost to amend all my raised garden beds every year. I pick up the neighbors' grass clipping and leaves (only from yards where they don't have lawn service spraying chemicals) and that supplements what I can gather from our own yard.

Fall is in the air. The A/C has been off for a couple of weeks and only needed to turn it on when it was 80 one day last week.
 

M_Lexx

Active Member
Trader Group
Lately I've been obsessed with disposable personal care/household products. Suffice to say I know what it's like to have 'reusable, washable, etc.' feminine and newspaper print for personal needs of certain nature (it's a hoot washing pads in cold water in -35C winter possible climate, never again in my or my descendants' lives), after DH's surgery due to colorectal cancer six years ago every now and then adult Depend products are a must in our household. I really care that much about the planet as long as it makes my loved ones comfortable and I grew up with old ladies sometimes reeking of urine despite of regular washing and cleaning, some of us squirt and some of us gush, nothing wrong with either or any in between. There are ways to make menopausal and post-menopausal women to feel comfortable and confident and I will continue to buy and donate products for women any age, race, creed, etc.
 

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
We've really been watching what we eat lately and eating very little salt, fat and red meat without eliminating it entirely.

We picked up some markdown hummus on our trip and DH has been eating that on his toast in the morning instead of butter. He's always hungry, so wants a "snack" before we get around to making steel cut oats for breakfast.

On the coast we got a good price on grass fed and grass finished ground beef at Grocery Outlet. I could only buy one pound because we were traveling and I didn't get it used before we came home. Since we had a kitchen at every place we rented it was able to make it all the way home still frozen.

Pulled it out the other night and cooked it up with some garlic and a BUNCH of onions -- thankfully the ones we stocked up on were NOT the ones now under recall.

We divided the pound of ground beef into three and used the first third for a stir-fry the first night.

Today we used the second third in Spanish rice which we experimented with making in the slow-cooker. We started with a base of onions caramelized in the slow-cooker overnight, added brown rice and pantry tomato products in the morning and then added the meat/onion mixture, a can of black beans and fresh sweet and a jalapeño peppers we got on markdown a couple hours before we ate.

It turned out pretty well for a slow-cooker meal. The rice was a little overcooked as it always is in a slow-cooker, but at least we didn't have to stand over the stove watching it.

Still have a third of the meat left and we made extra garlic mashed potatoes last night with it in mind. I'm hoping to make a shepherd's pie, cooking some lentils and lots of fresh vegetables to stretch the meat with leftover mashed potatoes on top.

So basically we will stretch one pound of meat into at least five meals and get lots of veggies in the process -- without losing the taste of the meat.
 
Last edited:

KmmCo

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
Saturday I didn't do a ton of stuff. We did stop in Sams club and Costco both, but didn't buy a lot. Some bread, corn tortillas, a bag of snacks, and lettuce is all we came home with. I did get an ice cream treat at the Costco food stand.

*DH chopped up the last of the Mexican chicken and I made an small enchilada casserole with it for for dinner last night.
*I made tuna helper for lunch and am eating the last of it for my dinner tonight.

*I didn't really have lunch today. I sleep late enough that I just made a brunch plate for myself around 1130 am. (hash browns and a fried egg)
I also made some banana muffins that i have been snacking on today.

Today I went for a short walk around the neighborhood. I dragged my sleeping bag and pillows over to the laundromat to wash. I brought them home to dry. No reason to waste dryer money - they fit into my dryer just not the washer.

Tomorrow I am going to run some cash to the bank and then get a car wash if the weather cooperates. The car wash is just across the street from the bank, so that makes it easy. On my project list is an oil change and a flu shot, but I probably won't get to those tomorrow.
 

KmmCo

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
*lunch was misc leftover mexican stuff. There is enough tuna helper left for me to eat tonight.

Having a no cook day is kind of nice because I got a lot done today. Caught up on dishes from the weekend, bank, car wash, oil change. Flu shot scheduled for tomorrow. I did find a $5 printable coupon for the oil change, All that covered was the tax amount though :(,

I also spent a fortune on Halloween candy ($20) and it sure doesn't look like very much....

I need to get gasoline too at some point this week. I haven't gassed my van since I got home from my long road trip, so that has been over a couple of weeks now. I did gas up DH's car after coming back from Estes Park for around $40. I am sure my van will take about $60 to fill up though as it is down to way less that half a tank.
 

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
Used the last third of our one pound of ground beef, onions and garlic tonight to make a shepherd's pie. Cooked up a bunch of lentils and then used half with the beef in the shepherd's pie. The other half of the lentils will be used with a pound of extra lean ground turkey we got on markdown last week for 99 cents.

We added more fresh onions, garlic, celery, carrots and frozen peas to the casserole tonight then topped it with the leftover garlic mashed potatoes. We had a markdown salad kit on the side to add a few more veggies.

We still have enough left for another meal, so in total we'll have gotten six meals from one pound of beef. I play this game with myself every so often to get our meals a bit healthier and cut expenses. I need to do it more often than I do!

DH was running errands today so I had him check for the free 80-pack of hand sanitizing wipes for which we had a digital coupon. Thankfully, our store had them in stock.

While he was getting that, I also had him pick up another four cans of salt-free tomatoes and we had a digital coupon that got us another 25-ounce bottle of hand soap for 99 cents. He picked up more coffee filters with a coupon, as well, even though he's hardly been drinking any coffee the past several weeks.

We rarely watch Crackle on our Roku because the icons are small and I can't see them from my chair -- plus we didn't know what any of the channels had after we got back from our travels. However, last night on the bedroom television I noticed Crackle had four different Riverdance specials which we had never seen before. We're watching the second of those tonight, so free entertainment.

Crackle seems to get rid of a lot with each new month, so we don't want them to slip away without seeing them.
 

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
DH was running errands this morning and picked up a few markdown grocery items including bags of large baking potatoes, zucchini and mixed lemons and limes -- all for 99 cents each. He found some markdown organic canned tomatoes for 39 cents each, evaporated milk for 50 cents a can and some organic ground beef for $3.99 a pound.

We had a coupon for 20 percent off at Big Lots so picked up some items this afternoon.

Found a few groceries including some more pasta, a few spices and some low-salt Triscuits as well as the beet powder we've been using. Also found a neat little glass measuring cup with metrics on it which I thought might be handy for only $1.20 after coupon.

We also found a 24-pack of votive candles on clearance which came to about $3.20 after coupon. Not sure how the power is going to go this winter. Our power company has traditionally been pretty stabile through the years, but they are on Utah power an hour north of us and have a LOT more outages than we do. With all the terrible wildfires in the various neighboring states surrounding us, I suspect their grids are pretty fragile and if they start to go down we could easily get hit with a domino effect. Figured it wouldn't hurt to add a few more candles to our collection for emergencies.

They also had what appeared to be a nice electric heater which came to $32 after coupon. We've got one in the garage, but it is getting older and has had quite a bit of use. We heat with natural gas, so we'll have that in emergencies if we maintain power.

We were able to pay for about half of our order with a gift card on which we earned bonus fuel points, so only half the money was OOP.

We went to the new discount store after that. I'm still trying to figure out if they have a routine on any of their merchandise arrivals. Mostly, I was hoping to figure out if they get the great bread we've been so excited about on a regular basis. They were wiped out of it the last several days of last week and still didn't have any today, so either it doesn't come regularly or they haven't gotten to a delivery day this week. We'll have to keep checking back at the store two or three times a week until we figure out a bit of their routine.

Didn't pick up too much there today, but did find some interesting looking jars of French's flavored mustards for 50 cents each -- one sweet onion, one garlic and one bourbon and brown sugar.

We picked up a bag of organic quinoa that doesn't expire until 2023, a jar of Adam's salt-free natural peanut butter, some fava bean pasta that looking interesting and some single-serve cups of Mandarin oranges.

The discount store is right near Home Depot and DH needed some weather stripping so he ran in to get that while I stayed in the car. Used another gift card on which we'd gotten a fuel point bonus, so again no money OOP.

We dropped by another store -- which didn't have what DH went in for -- but we did pick up a few discounts including a $1 bag of cranberries and a bag of three sweet peppers for $1.

I did a round of mega sale to use a B1G1 whole grain pancake mix digital coupon that was about to expire. However, we had to go to the customer service desk when the register only gave us $2 on a $3 digital coupon we used on dish soap. The registers at that store have started taking the amount off the first item you purchase if the coupon requires multiple items. Then if the item is less than one dollar after that, you don't get the mega sale price on that first item. Its getting to be a real hassle.

The coupon on fresh fish didn't come off either, but the clerk fixed that at the register and we had to get a rain check on the frozen fish they haven't had in store all week it has been on sale. I have no idea if they have decided not to carry it at our store of if it is another supply chain shortage. The gal at the fish counter didn't seem to know either.

Friends have had a couple deaths in recent days and we were out of sympathy cards so we dropped by Dollar Tree after that. Found some nice cards at 50 cents each.

I always check the food when we we're there and they FINALLY had cumin in stock. We've been having a hard time finding it in stock anywhere for the past several months -- even at the regular grocery store. Of course, the dollar store spice bottles have shrunk a LOT in recent months, but I figured we'd better get it anyway.

We also picked up some lentils and great northern beans, since we were getting low.

Keep hoping we'll see some of the nice work lights I've seen vloggers have found at other stores, but as usual, our stores don't seem to get the really good stuff.
 

jastwins

※Kaboom!・:・:・゜
Trader Group
Yesterday we had a bad nor'easter storm and today we are dealing with the high winds. This weather made me postpone a shopping trip yesterday and I will have to go today after school. I have to stick to a schedule since I need to get back to my island not too late. D1 is visiting and I need to pick her up at the ferry.
I am trying to fill a swago board on Swagbucks and ordered a $25 uber gc for d1 so she can use it in the city. I am concerned that she is travelling back on Halloween and would like her to take an uber instead of the train once she arrives in NYC. There is a bus line that she can prepay and travel from Long Island into the city but it will not be able to drop her off where she lives.

Gas prices are shooting up and I am so annoyed. On my Island it is $3.69 for regular and we only have the one gas station so that is what you pay. I did put in $15 the other day in order to get above a quarter tank and on my trip in today, I will stop at the reservation and put in about $30 worth of gas. Their prices went above $3 a gallon and it cost me $2.89 a gallon the last time I filled up my tank. So glad that gas lasted me almost 2 weeks.
I plan on using a $5/$30 coupon for a new Aldi's that just opened near my other house. Another stop will be CVS will use some extra bucks to pick up free toothpaste and maybe some paper towels. Just curious to see if they will be in stock. It is a guessing game when I go shopping these days.
 

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
Gas prices are shooting up and I am so annoyed. On my Island it is $3.69 for regular and we only have the one gas station so that is what you pay. I did put in $15 the other day in order to get above a quarter tank and on my trip in today, I will stop at the reservation and put in about $30 worth of gas. Their prices went above $3 a gallon and it cost me $2.89 a gallon the last time I filled up my tank. So glad that gas lasted me almost 2 weeks.
I plan on using a $5/$30 coupon for a new Aldi's that just opened near my other house. Another stop will be CVS will use some extra bucks to pick up free toothpaste and maybe some paper towels. Just curious to see if they will be in stock. It is a guessing game when I go shopping these days.

We're paying the same price for gas here @jastwins, but our prices have been that high for weeks. Meanwhile, an hour north of us they are charging about 20 cents a gallon less -- even though the gas goes through our city to get there. This town had a bad gas price fixing problem years ago and my husband was the journalist who dogged the story until the attorney general moved on the problem and got several convictions.

It seems the problem has returned again, however, now that the experienced journalists have been pushed out of the business the new ones wouldn't know a story if it bit them on the nose.
 

KmmCo

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
At my flu shot appointment, I got a coupon for $5 off any purchase at the store (Target). I grabbed microwave popcorn and some meat bargains that were marked down. I got 2 lbs of chicken wings for $3.02, a pound of hamburger for $2.99 and an 8 oz hamsteak for $1.69.

*Lunch today BBQ chicken wings.

The hamburger is getting turned into taco meat tonight. it was dated the 28th but since I have it I may as well cook it. I still have a lot of the pinto beans that I cooked last week and figure it will make a lot of burritos, tacos, etc over the next few days....

I did nothing after my flu shot but watch videos. I also slept in this morning. I took a short walk right before lunch today. I also straightened out the fridge and loaded the dishwasher. That is my excitement for today i think.

I did find something good in Phoenix. There is a Salvation Army Rec center that is like a Y with a swimming pool and fitness center. It is really cheap to join at $32/month. Day passes were something like $10. This opens up the possibility of staying on BLM land for free and just running over to the center for a shower. The center is literally 5 minutes from where I will be working.... I still have an airbnb for the first week and then two nights of developed campground reservations. After that, I was kind of waiting till I get there to see what a plan was for going forward. Since I don't even know what my days off are, it is kind of hard to plan stuff. I want to spend my weekends out exploring the area and figure I can go to Tucson at least a couple of those "weekends".
 

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
Fought with the computer most of the day. Microsoft is still failing to install that nightmare update under about the third update number it has revamped it to. The process takes hours and then it starts all over again. Two or three times a day.

It reminds me of when a company got your number stuck on redial when fax machines were brand new and you had to hear that obnoxious squealing sound over your answering machine over and over and over again. When you called the phone company, they refused to divulge who was taunting you so you could ask them to stop. Don't know if any of you had that experience.

Anyway, I should break down and pay a technician to install it, but why bother? It usually only takes Microsoft a week or two after the technician to ruin my computer again with another update. When they are doing one or two unnamed ones each day, a few big ones a week, an even bigger one every month and a nightmare every quarter it doesn't take long for them to foul everything up again. After years of this stuff I'm really fed up.

With repeated computer freezes and shutdowns it took all day just to wade through my emails and try to make some sort of a shopping plan for the week from the new ads. One store offered a bunch of best customer coupons on house brands, but it took a couple hours before Microsoft would allow me to look at them all.

I had really hoped to accomplish more than that with my day! Instead I ended up watching Youtube videos that really weren't that exciting on Roku during my down time. Now Youtube and Roku are in disagreement and Youtube may pull the plug on Roku. Can't we just "fire" all the big tech companies and start over from scratch?

We did manage to get baked potatoes and veggies in the oven to roast and then dinner was simply heating up leftover salmon and putting together a salad kit.

Tonight we got a couple loaves of pumpkin pecan and cranberry bread in the oven. I got a bag of cranberries on markdown yesterday and didn't want them to waste so used half the bag in the bread tonight. The rest of the ingredients were pantry items.

Haven't tried it yet. It looks and smells good, but I experimented with the recipe using applesauce in place of some of the oil and sweetener as well as cutting back on the maple syrup. Since we used whole wheat flour it may be dry, but will no doubt moisten up by tomorrow regardless. We'll give it a try after it cools, before bed tonight.

Otherwise, we didn't get much done around the house since DH had a couple freelance articles he needed to complete, but we did just try the bread and it isn't dry so I guess the day wasn't a total loss.
 
Last edited:

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
We went across town to pick up a few items before the month ended. We ended up going over the $19 we needed to get a single reward for the month -- we haven't been buying much since we got home from our trip -- but we happened upon a few deals and were afraid they might run out of others.

We got a free 80-pack of hand wipes, yogurt for 37 cents a container, four more cans of salt-free tomatoes for 59 cents each and some markdown bakery cookies.

They had some large packages of nice looking boneless, skinless chicken breasts on markdown for a little over $7 and the packs were buy one, get one free so we got two for the price of the highest marked one. They did have bone-in chicken breasts for 99 cents and I was going to get those, but the others were more in line with what we needed, took up less freezer space and were convenient.

They had Triscuits on sale for $1.99 a box wyb three, however, they only had four of the low salt ones in stock so I could only buy three on that deal. We did get an extra bonus when a $2 digital coupon unexpectedly came off the total. I've been on a Triscuit kick the past couple months and figure there are much worse things for me to snack on, so have been buying them any time they go on sale.

Went to the new discount store to see if they'd gotten more of the good bread we wanted, but they still didn't have any.

We're going to the new store more often than we will in the future, because we're trying to get some idea of how their schedule works. When we asked today, we were told they get shipments of new merchandise on Tuesdays and Fridays, so that will help a little. However, our question was whether they have any sort of schedule on bread shipments and two clerks didn't have any idea. I guess we'll just have to keep going back to try and figure it out. All they seemed to get in at the beginning of this week were some white hot dog buns and some white bread -- not exactly what we were hoping for.

Did pick up a few more bargains while we were there, but I'm still trying to control myself. They had a couple quarts of organic chicken bone broth -- very low sodium -- for one dollar each. We got three 40-count boxes of Bigelow Green Tea bags for one dollar each, as well.

Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb Seasoning -- a flavor I've never seen in local stores -- was two dollars a bottle and pouches of wild caught salmon were 50 cents each. They didn't expire until 2023 so we stocked up even though the sodium was really high compared to canned salmon. I figured it would still be handy in a casserole where I don't want to mess with the skin and bones in larger cans for a lot higher price.

The other discount store was supposed to get in a load of groceries today, so we'll have to keep an eye on that place, as well, however, it usually takes a couple days for much of it to start showing up on the shelves and people snap things up as soon as they are set out.

Times are getting tough economically and I dread to see the "old habits" coming back in some of the bargain hunters in this town. At both the first grocery store and the discount store I had customers trying to jump in front and block me at every turn. They didn't actually have anything in mind when they were doing it, they were simply afraid I might get a deal before them so wanted to keep me from looking at anything. With good economic times I hadn't seen so much of that the past few years, but the past several months people are getting rather nasty again. :rolleyes:

The ridiculous part of it all, is when I look at what these people are putting in their carts, we generally aren't even interested in the same types of groceries so even if I find a bargain, it probably isn't something that would have interested them BEFORE I put it in the cart. A couple weeks ago I had a couple blocking me at every turn in another store. I really had to zip my lip when the woman tried to block me from a discount cart overflowing with several different brands of discounted Clorox-type sanitizing wipes. I wasn't interested in purchasing any that day, but I was SO tempted to ask her if she really feared that a cart filled with several hundred assorted packages of wipes wasn't going to be enough for her. If so, buying a jug of bleach would still be a lot cheaper. The smart aleck remarks I'm often thinking are going to get me in trouble someday when they accidentally spill out of my mouth. :oops:

We needed to make a produce/bulk bins run to the next store, which has good prices on particular items, but we don't shop there as often, because it doesn't seem worth the gas to stop for only an item or two. We can get many items for the same price at our regular stores -- which give fuel rewards unlike this one.

Celery was only 88 cents a bunch so we picked up a couple. That store also sells loose beets and bean sprouts -- unlike the others in town. It always seems to beat the competition on cilantro and parsley prices, as well. Green onions were cheaper at our regular store, however, so we held off on those.

Pumpkin seeds were $1.25 a pound cheaper in the bulk bins there versus our regular store and we were able to find flax seeds in bulk, as well. Our regular store discontinued those several months ago and we were about to run out of some small packs we got on the discount table there at the time.

We needed a package of frozen peas and I debated a little, because even though the packages were 16 cents cheaper, they were only 12-ounces while they used to be 16-ounces at our regular store. However, I finally decided I'd better buy them when I found them, because our regular store has been out of stock at times the past few months. DH needed to stop at the regular store so I checked there and learned that they've reduced their frozen veggies to 12-ounces now as well, so the place I bought them was cheaper. Shrinkflation strikes again!
 
Last edited:

KmmCo

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
Did the usual laundry and dishes today. My son came over to help with some yardwork today.

*I have been just eating leftovers since I last posted.

*Tonight I am going to make flatbread pizza. I actually saved a bit of cooked hamburger the other day and put in in a container with some Italian seasoning and garlic salt, so hamburger pizza it will be.
 

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
We headed to the new discount store today after they told us shipments arrive on Tuesdays and Fridays, however, they still didn't have any new bread so I'm thinking we'll need to check next Tuesday. If it arrives then, they may only get the bread we want every two weeks. If they don't have it, I can only conclude there isn't a regular schedule on their bread deliveries. Either way, at least we'll have some idea of what is going on there.

Did a quick run through the store while we were there, but didn't spend much time since we were just there yesterday. We did find a couple large jars of McCormick salt free seasoning for $2 each and some Patak's Tikka Masala for 75 cents a jar.

From there, we drove to the older discount grocery. They just got a new shipment yesterday and were posting to Facebook about new items hitting the floor.

They don't have too much out yet, but are working frantically at it. They've hired a few new people to put things out after they are priced.

We picked up a few things, but will have to check back next week for most of it.

We got some small boxes of Minnesota-grown wild rice for 75 cents each -- retail more than $3.

They also had a bag of brown rice macaroni and a box of Minute quinoa, brown and wild rice medley for 75 cents.

We also found some individual cups of unsweetened organic applesauce for 25 cents each -- those are really handy when you are trying to replace sugar and fat in recipes, but don't want to open a big jar of applesauce.

I also picked up a box of herbal tea that is supposed to be good when you've got one of those "fuzzy heads" that isn't quite a headache. It is basically chamomile, peppermint and lemongrass with a couple other ingredients -- all of which I've tried before, but it would be nice if it actually worked. ;)

Then we picked up a few produce markdowns after not finding too much yesterday.

We got a couple salad kits, a tub of lettuce/spinach mix, some baby potatoes, bananas, zucchini, apples and bananas. The bags with three sweet peppers each had a striped bell pepper in them today. I doubt they taste any different than a red or orange peppers, since those are the colors they are striped with, however, they were $3 each with the fresh produce while the orange and red peppers were "only" $2 each. Since we paid one dollar for two bags with three peppers each, I liked our price better.
 
Last edited:

KmmCo

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
Son came by again today, so I fed him lunch. Chicken wings and Mac-n-cheese.

I made blueberry muffins and have been snacking on them, so I have not had any real dinner yet. I will probably warm up some more taco meat in a minute.

I did do some shopping today for a few odds and ends for my van. I wanted a small fan and I picked up a solar charger for my phone as well. That was $60 by itself.

A lot of weird stuff from yesterday. I got my schedule from my Christmas job and start a couple of days later than I thought because of the way my days off fall. I was debating about the Airbnb reservation and wondering if I could change it, when all at once I saw on my email that I was getting a refund. The host cancelled on me. This is #2 cancellation. I got a 3rd place booked now for a couple of days later and a few $ less. This saved $167 over my last reservation - so that is good.

Anyway just as I suspected, I am working a graveyard shift. This will save me a lot of money because I won't bother with a campground on the days I work. I can go to a park or trailhead during the day and sleep well enough in the parking lot. Just need to get a membership at that rec center for my showers. I also saw that I get an extra $1/hour working on the weekends so that will give me an extra $20 a week. I won't complain about that.
 
Last edited:

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
Been trying to plan ahead to get more healthy items into our diet. The eye doctor didn't like DH's blood pressure, so sent him to a regular doctor. That took several weeks, because we already had travel reservations and when we got back a doctor took forever to say he COULD NOT get an appointment. The doctor he got referred to was really happy with his blood pressure and blood work, so the diet seems to be working and his eye surgery (which he's already paid for) is back on for the beginning of November and another in December. All this to get the new glasses prescription for which he paid clear back LAST November when he got sent to the eye specialist in the first place. Amazing how long everything takes once you get on Medicare during a pandemic.

I cooked up a pound of organic grass fed ground beef we brought home from our trip with a bunch of onions, garlic and veggies and then used it for three meals. Leftovers gave us two or three meals from each of those meals so we got a LOT of mileage from one pound of ground beef.

The last meal was shepherd's pie using leftover garlic mashed potatoes from a previous meal and I stretched the meat with a lot more vegetables and some lentils. When we were cooking the lentils, we cooked extra and then froze some for tonight's turkey meatloaf. We had leftover shepherd's pie for lunch yesterday and still have a little left. So we got three meals from that third of a pound of meat.

Last night we made subgum chicken chow mein with lots of veggies. We used only one chicken breast from those we got on markdown with a buy one, get one free sale. We then cooked extra brown rice. We froze a one cup bag of rice which will go into Mulligatawny soup tomorrow or the next day, using another of the chicken breasts. We've got everything on hand for the soup except for a couple fresh tomatoes. I'm hoping we can pick up a markdown bag of tomatoes, but since that is unlikely they are only 99 cents a pound at the last store, so shouldn't cost much.

We used a bunch of veggies and the last half of a bag of markdown cranberries in the turkey meatloaf today and still had leftovers, so will probably use the leftover turkey to stuff some zucchini we got on markdown for yet another meal. We still had some rice leftover after freezing some, so will probably mix the extra rice with the turkey in the zucchini stuffing.

Haven't been picking up too many groceries the past few days, because I didn't think we could make the next fuel level on either fuel program and hated to waste the purchases. However, that means I've got to hope the stores will have the purchases I've been holding on the last two days of the sale. I'd really prefer to make the purchases in November, rather than October to get the fuel points. Now I've just got to hope the stores have the berries, asparagus, yogurt and soup when we go back on Monday.

That is a big IF, since our regular store has only had a few bunches of asparagus each time we've gone there. I haven't checked whether the small store has had the berries at all and it is rather confusing anyway, due to the coupon situation. It used to be that you had to load the 5x coupon for the right store to get the discounted price so I needed to load coupons for both sister stores, then the register would charge me for the right coupon at the right store, even though I only planned to use the coupon at one of the stores.

A couple weeks back, the smaller store was charging 30 cents less on potatoes, so I loaded both coupons in case it didn't have them in stock. In the past the register has used the coupon from the proper store, but apparently they've changed the system with all the problems we've had getting credit at the bigger store. The smaller store did have the potatoes when we got there, but the register charged us the higher price from the bigger store, even though we had the lower priced coupon from the smaller store loaded to our card. We got a rather snippy customer service clerk, something that usually doesn't happen at that store.

This week, the smaller store is charging two cents less for asparagus so I only loaded its coupon, because I figured the register would charge the higher price if I loaded the other one. However, if the smaller store doesn't have the asparagus in stock, that means we don't have the other coupon loaded for the bigger store -- which has only had a few bunches each time we've gone there. I don't know if the coupon for the smaller store will work at the bigger store, even though the the higher-priced coupon worked at the smaller store when I didn't want it to. Always something!

Meanwhile, we've got to hope the other store has restocked on low-sodium Triscuits, because you have to buy quantities of three for that sale and it only had four boxes last week, so I could only buy three to get the sale price. They were well-stocked on the soup at a good price, but we've got a lot of soup, so I took a chance they'd still have it Monday. The soup is not the greatest on sodium anyway, but DH may have to fly out within the next few weeks and I figured it would be a easy meal for me while he's gone.

Since they've discontinued virtually all the flights from our airport (which from all reports were FILLED to capacity), I'll probably have to drive an hour each way early in the morning and late at night to drop him off and pick him up at the airport where they are maintaining all the flights. Corporate America will destroy our city yet.

Welcome to the "new normal" which is actually what the "old normal" used to be years ago. We had a reprieve where stores actually stocked things and our airport was booming for a few years. Then the economy turned downward again and our city is always the first to go. :rolleyes:
 

KmmCo

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
*made myself some nachos for lunch. I think there is enough taco meat for about one more taco tonight.

I went to the Kroger for soda and spent some $$. I bought some brownie mixes marked down to .59 (dented boxes). I also grabbed a bunch of bananas. I splurged on a small package of steak and a street taco kit. There was a rebate on the kit to make it free, but the steak cost $5.40. Ouch..... I will probably make that tomorrow for dinner.

*I had more of the blueberry muffins today as breakfast and afternoon snack.

*I realized today that some postcard stamps that I had for .29 work just perfectly for putting 2 on a letter envelope. I think I have some 27 cent ones too and a whole bunch of 2 cent stamps, so I will try to get rid of those before I start using the forever stamps that I have.. I don't mail much stuff anymore anyway.

My October budget came out okay except for the $120 worth of stuff I bought for my van. Half of that was for a small solar panel to charge my usb devices. I tried it on my phone today and it worked good even though it is a bit cloudy. I am not sure it will charge my laptop completely in a day, but I did get a small usb fan that will work with it. I tried the fan out yesterday and it will be great for my van....

Don't let anyone try and tell you vanlife is cheap. I feel like I spend a small fortune on it. The biggest shocker for me was the campground fees. I remember in the "good old days" camping for $7.

*I had $26 left in my gas budget so a couple of days age I put in $25.90 worth of gasoline in my van. This only got me up to half a tank but I will fill it up after the 1st so it is ready to go on my road trip.

Just hanging and waiting for the trick or treat kids to come by tonight. It turned cold today so I am not sure how many will be here.
 

KmmCo

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
* got really tired of Mexican food and made some spaghetti for lunch. I used mushrooms and onions from the fridge to add to a jarred sauce. I couldn't find the parmesan cheese, so I sprinkled a tiny bit of shredded mozzarella on top. I used the bread heels for garlic toast - no one else in the house will eat them anyway.

* I split the leftover spaghetti into two containers. One went in the freezer and I will take it with me to eat at the Airbnb in Phoenix. The other one is for either my lunch tomorrow or else I will make it into a baked spaghetti casserole for DH and I on Thursday.

I am low on spaghetti sauce in the pantry but have a ton of noodles. I need to stock up on some jarred sauce the next time I go shopping.

*Dinner tonight will be more of the steak tacos that I cooked last night. They were good, but the sauce you squeeze on was a little spicy so I only used a tiny bit of it.

My excitement of the day was to walk over to the park and drop off my election ballot. Odd year is just school board and local issues, but I still think it is important to vote.

I watched some movies yesterday that were free on youtube. I also found a channel about Arizona that I am watching a few videos off. I don't know how much I will feel like doing while I am working, but I can stay a couple of weeks after the job ends and do some exploring.

I have extra time on the way down now and am considering a couple of nights in Santa Fe. I would like to go back to the Meow Woof place there. This weekend, I am going to try to get DH to go to the one in Denver with me. It just opened last month and I have not been yet.

Getting tired already of cold, rainy weather. It had not snowed yet here in town. I don't like the 36 degrees and rain though and would rather get a real snow instead.
 

KmmCo

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
* I finished off the steak street tacos for lunch today.

I went to walmart to get my free ibotta Thanksgiving goodies. I also found great value mac-n-cheese in a five pack for $1. I got 2 clearanced pumpkin bread mixes for 50 cents (good till 2023). I might go back and get more tomorrow if they have them. I grabbed 2 cans of veggie beef soup at 50 cents for the campervan. I found a garlic herb french bread on the bakery markdown rack for ,66. I grabbed it to go with the baked spaghetti tomorrow. Spent $16 but $10+ coming back to me on Ibotta. I think it actually credited already as I scanned my receipt right away in the car.

*I cut just a little piece off the french bread and am making myself a french bread pizza for dinner. I put a little kale on it to pretend it is healthy. I think the cheese and pepperoni kind of negate that though....

Doing nothing else today but house chores. DH is off tomorrow and i want to be done with stuff before he gets home tonight. I plan to drag him to the Denver Meow Wolf museum tomorrow. That is what I have been saving my gift card balance for.
 
Last edited:

Gardencook

Well-Known Member
Trader Group
Had to drop off DH at the airport earlier today. The past few days have been chaotic trying to arrange a last minute flight right as the airline cut our city down to one flight a day -- despite the fact our planes were always full and they just dropped a huge bundle on a big airport update. They also jacked the rates through the roof trying to force us all to drive an hour each way to catch a plane. It doesn't make easy connections along the way.

I don't know if today was unusual or if this is the "new normal," but there was either one private plane that kept taking off and landing or about three of them and a military helicopter also landed and took off again -- all RIGHT as DH's plane was supposed to be departing. I've never seen that in all these years. Generally, the airline always takes priority.

Then the plane that DH needed to board for Salt Lake arrived with a load of missionaries and the HUGE greeting party took over the airport and clearly didn't want me in THEIR way. I am glad I stayed, despite the intimidation, because DH had forgotten to remove his pocket knife before leaving home. Thankfully, I was close by, and the TSA agent let him hand it to me so he didn't lose it, but the crowd was oblivious to anyone else and barely let us connect. The knife isn't that valuable, but it has a carved handle with his name and we picked it up in Jackson Hole for our anniversary one year, so it has sentimental value for him.

In the end he got off about 15 minutes late. Since the Salt Lake Airport is currently undergoing a HUGE expansion and it was a REAL mess when he had to fly through a few months ago, I couldn't help but be concerned.

He only had a little more than one hour to make connections, they still dump you off at the end of one concourse and make you run to the end of another and they've increased the distance you must run to make connections a LOT with the expansion. Eventually, they plan to add some sort of shuttle, but for now you'd better wear running shoes.

It has always been a challenge at SLC, but last time he said he barely made it. We had to make a sprint through the same airport about thirty years ago -- BEFORE the expansion. We were a LOT younger then, I was slim and my legs were still shot by the time we arrived at the gate they were about to close. I nearly lost my half slip in the crush numerous times. What a memory!

Thankfully, they must have made up time in the air, because he had time to grab a sandwich at Panera to eat at his gate before boarding his next leg. Now that they've removed the good flights, he had to go through an additional airport and spend the entire day in the air -- not reaching his destination until midnight -- without a stop long enough for dinner. Thankfully will only have to make one connection on the way back home, Because of that, it will only take him six hours to get home instead of the 11 hours he's flying today. He's been on board all day and still won't arrive at his destination for another hour.

I came straight home from the airport and spent the afternoon trying to get some organization done. I made quite a bit of progress, but still have a long way to go.

I've been fighting my computer for days so checking to see if DH wrote at each stop has been a time waster with a computer about ready to crash, as well. Microsoft has been doing at least two or three HUGE updates a day for the past several days again -- that is in addition to the monster update that they've been "failing to install" at least two or three times a day for the past month and a half. The shutdowns, freezes and just plain flakiness of both of our computers has been nearly unbearable the past several days when we had NO time to run to a technician.
 
Last edited:
Top