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New Coffee Maker

January 18th, 2019 at 07:44 pm

Yesterday I blogged that I hoped to go shopping and get a new coffee maker. I had chased in $20 from Ibotta for a Kohls' gift card. I had looked up on line and the one I wanted was on sale for $34.99, originally, $44.99. We get there and cannot find the box with the coffee maker. We finally ask someone and he uses his computer and says they don't have any except the one that was on display. He said I could buy it, but there would be no directions and no box. I asked if it didn't work, could I return it and he said yes. I also asked if they would mark some off since the decorative plate had a little bend in it. He said yes and walked it up to the cashier, explained I was to get 15% off, DH had a 15% off coupon, we used the $20 Ibotta gift card and my new coffee maker cost me a little over $7 cash. I had just returned a blouse and had a gift card so it basically cost me nothing out of pocket.

I brought it home, washed everything, and ran some water and it worked great! Just hope it continues!

I'm Going Shopping

January 17th, 2019 at 07:23 am

If you know me, that is a rarity. Other than nosing around thrift stores and the weekly grocery store run, I don't usually go shopping very much.

But today is the day!

My coffee maker died before Christmas. I'm using an old one my mom had and gave me because she didn't like it. And believe me, I know why she didn't like it. It makes decent coffee and works, but my mom has been gone over 12 years and she gave it to me a few years before she died, so I figure it won't last that long. It's a good one to have in reserve though.

I've had my eye on one at Kohls for the past few weeks. Well, the new ad came out so I checked online and it is marked down $10. I had one like this and used it frequently so I think it is pretty dependable. I just want a simple coffee maker that shuts itself off because sometimes I forget.

I have been doing the Ibotta app and can get $20 credit. Then there is 15% off. Plus, someone gave me $20 for my birthday so I'm going to use that to pay the difference. It's not like I'm going to spend a ton of money. The coffee maker was originally $44.99. It has been marked down $10.

I could just buy the darn thing outright, but it has become a game with me. How can I save money without spending a lot and still get what I want?

A friend also gave me a tablecloth from Kohls. She must think I have a huge table because it is 60 x 120. Even if we had the leaves in, I don't think it would fit. So, I hope to exchange it for one that fits. So, that's another Kohls stop.

I'm sure I may need a nap after all this shopping. Smile

Snowy Sunday

January 13th, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Yesterday we received over 9 inches of snow. A neighbor graciously used his new snow blower to clear our driveway. I'm so glad because I was really wondering how that was going to play out. We did get some snow last night and DH and I did manage to clean it off today. I don't want him shoveling much and I am asthmatic so it becomes a worry, but I think we did OK.

Many of the churches cancelled services, but ours didn't. We could get out and go and it was nice after being home yesterday. Not that we had any place to go, but I think sometimes when you can't go somewhere, you just want to go somewhere.

I pulled chili from the freezer for yesterday's lunch and made Italian wedding soup and homemade bread for last night's supper. I will be freezing the rest of the soup for another meal.

Alliecat79 blogged about trying to realize how much stuff was bought. I really understand that because I struggle with this issue, especially when it comes to Mason Jars. I guess I'm an addict. I really like them and in all sizes. I can so I use a lot of them. But I also use them for storage for other things. Friday we went to the thrift stores and there was a brand new case of them, unopened and I am ashamed to admit that temptation was strong. Brand new. Still in the plastic. Jelly Jars with lids and rings. It was only $4.50 which is cheaper than new. But, I'm proud to report other than picking them up to look at them (they were amber and I wasn't sure what color they were), I left them on the shelf. I don't need any more jars and it was silly to even consider buying them.

Besides cooking yesterday, I worked on looming and crocheting. I have bits and pieces of yarn here and there so I made some baby hats to donate to a local agency for preemies, crocheted some dish cloths, and then crocheted a Barbie dress. I also made a regular size hat for my group for church. We have made 252 hats so far for 2019. I have also been making scarves to go along with some of the hats. I won't ever have as many scarves as hats, but it also gives me a break from making hats. I have plenty of yarn, I just hate to waste any of it. So, I don't need to buy any, that's for sure.

I'm supposed to volunteer first thing in the morning at a school, so I'm going to get a pork roast with potatoes and carrots and put it in the Crockpot to put on before I leave. I have an afternoon appointment too so that will make supper easier when I get home. I know many of you are singing the praises of Instant Pots, but I think I'll stick with my Crockpots since I'm retired and really don't have to rush to get supper done.

Potpourri

January 8th, 2019 at 01:26 pm

Tonight another couple is joining us for a casual dinner. I'm making goulash which is basically ground beef, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and tomato sauce mixed with elbow macaroni. We have garlic bread sticks and a vegetable and they are bringing dessert. It is far cheaper than going out and we enjoy being with each other so it should be a pleasure. She is already planning on what she is going to fix when we go over their house. I like this because we can have a nice time visiting and not spend a lot of money.

Speaking of spending, this weekend was sort of spendy one. It was my birthday. For Christmas we had received a gift certificate for a restaurant so we used that for my birthday dinner. DH gave me some money to buy some clothes so I did do that. I have lost a little weight and have gone down a size or two and some of my clothes are really looking big. I'm still wearing some, but I did buy a couple of things in my new size for when we go to church or I volunteer at school. I was fortunate that we had nice weather -- it was nearly 60 degrees and sunny. In past years we have had cold, cold weather and even a blizzard on my birthday so the weather was certainly a much appreciated gift.

Some of the larger items we donated to a thrift shop. Hopefully I will continue to lose weight and can declutter my closet more.

A couple we know has a trailer in a warm climate and they go there for 3 months. I'm glad for them if that is what they want to do, but his messages are what I call a brag fest -- "it was 77 today and sunny and I wore shorts and a t shirt and this is why we do this." I'm not jealous. I have no desire to have another residence nor do I want to spend extended times away from our home. Financially, they really can't afford it -- they live on loans and credit cards and his favorite hobby is shopping. In the past he has tried to make things a competition and I guess he feels this is also a competition, look what I've got and you don't. At this point, we could probably buy a small trailer outright and go there too, but I don't want to. I like my home, my friends, my church, and my community. I like going to the library and checking out books and visiting with some of the people who work there and catching up. And I most certainly would not do this to brag about what I have.

We are dreading getting our statement on our investments this month. The stock market rock and roll ride last month was crazy. Just hope we didn't lose too much.

I went and bought extra stamps since they are raising the price at the end of January to 55 cents a stamp. I know I'll eventually pay that, but I'm putting it off as long as I can. I did score some greeting cards at thrift stores last week. One place had a package of ten for a dollar. I bought 3 packages. A couple I couldn't use -- you couldn't mix or match. One is a birthday card for a son and I don't have a son. We have a box at church where we can put unused cards and they go to the women's prison here in town for the ladies so I bet someone can use that card and a couple others. I think we spent around $6 on cards, but I have birthday, anniversary, get well, sympathy, and a couple of anniversary cards for the year.

A couple other things I did to keep busy was to cut all the coupons out of the coupon flyers in Sunday's paper. I could use a couple, but most I could not. We collect the coupons and a couple sends them to some place for the military to use, even if they are expired. DH bought a Chicago Tribune last Sunday and they had lots too so I spent quite a bit of time cutting out coupons. Hopefully it can help some military families save some money.

I also cut out used postage stamps. Our ladies group collects them for some mission. I dropped the stamps, cards, and coupons off at church today when we went to fill the oil in the altar candles.

DH wasn't happy yesterday when he picked up some prescriptions. The news had been saying some prescriptions were going to go up and unfortunately some of his did. Not a huge amount for his copay, but it all adds up.

So there it is. A mish mash of activities so far in 2019.

A little this, a little of that

October 4th, 2018 at 08:22 am

It certainly hasn't been a thrifty week.

However, the spending was planned. Tuesday was Senior's Day at Walgreens. I was waiting to buy different things that we use like allergy medicine to get the 20% off. I also used coupons. So between the regular priced stuff that was 20% off, and the stuff on sale that I don't get 20% off, and the digital and paper coupons, I saved over $80 and spent over $200. I hate to see that big number, but the stuff is what we use each month so I would have bought it anyway.

DH's car insurance was due and once he turned 70, the premiums really went up. But, at least we had the money to pay for it.

A couple of months back I bought some material at an estate sale. The downsizing sale was at the home of a quilter and she bought premium material. I pulled some of it out yesterday and made some napkins and two potholders. I can't even describe the beauty of working with good material. I also cannot understand why people don't hit up thrift stores and estate sales for material...far cheaper than buying retail. I've found so many craft items that way. Granted, I could afford to buy them retail, but DH says I like the thrill of the hunt, and I think he's right.

For Christmas last year I asked him to get me the cheapie Singer that was on sale for $69. I'm not an excellent seamstress, but I can sew a little. I have used it so much and have enjoyed using it. My friend is an excellent seamstress and her machine cost way more than $1000. She can afford it and I'm sure it gives her great pleasure.

Today is Thursday and is grocery shopping day. Last night was clean out the fridge supper. Last week I think I spent less than $30 on groceries total. We didn't need much and I was just buying stuff we use each week like bread, milk, fruit, and chicken. I made a couple of meals from the chicken and lots of broth besides. I used up stuff we had in the freezer and we had a couple of meatless meals too. Today's shopping isn't going to be horrible, except we are buying some extra stuff for the church's food pantry.

It has been pretty warm and humid here in Central Illinois. Yesterday it was around 90. Today it is supposed to be in the 70s before it goes back up. It should give the a/c a break for a day, anyway.



Thrift Shop Treasures

September 30th, 2018 at 10:43 am

DH and I hit thrift shops each week. We have 4 favorites, but there are some others we try to go to once a week. And we are fortunate that most of our thrift shops are really nice and reasonably priced on most items. This last week we only purchased a couple of items for a friend and she paid us for them. We didn't find anything for ourselves, but it was fun looking.

I have a friend who sort of turned her nose up buying stuff at thrift stores which I thought was weird since she would buy stuff at flea markets and antique shops. But, I guess she's come over to my side. I found some brand new, unopened craft items and she was thrilled to pay me for them.

Last week we went to a small town and stopped in the thrift shop and I found a brand new pair of flats for $6. Decent shoes that should hold up and I was pleased to get them. I have worn some sneakers this summer I snagged for around $10 last year. They were like new. I'm not going to buy shoes just for the sake of buying shoes, but if I find something decent and affordable, I am going to get it.

I have really found some amazing craft items. I snagged a pair of pillowcases last year for 69 cents that they had tucked the embroidery floss in with them. I embroidered them and they are on my bed as I type. I found another set last week that hadn't been opened for $1.50. That will be a nice winter project for me and I still have some of the original embroidery floss left over. I get a lot of the yarn for the hats I loom for church. It is brand new with the sleeve still on it. It works great since it is usually one skein of this color and one that -- not enough to make anything big, but great for hats.

DH found an amazing shirt the other day for $2.25. It is a dress shirt and in excellent shape. He is a clothes horse so I can't complain when he finds a good deal like that.

Some of our friends have given us a list of things to look for and about what they would like to spend. It gives us something to look for and helps them out too.



I sometimes struggle with buying stuff I do not need. So, I am really working on that. I am not saving money if I buy something that I don't need. I'm would be just shopping for the sake of shopping and I do not want to do that. I have to have a place for something or a use for it before I can buy it. I had gotten rid of a bunch of shoes at the beginning of summer that were worn out, so I didn't feel guilty buying the shoes. The yarn goes for the hats so I don't go crazy buying it, and I take the hats to church every two weeks to add to the stash when we meet. I have some pillowcases to replace so once I get these new ones finished, the old ones will either go in the trash or maybe I can recycle them into bags. I saw something on Pinterest. We keep cloth bags in our cars for grocery shopping.

But, each week it is like a treasure hunt at the thrift shops!

Staying busy

September 19th, 2018 at 08:38 am

September is half over, and I continue to stay busy.

I feel really blessed to be retired. It enables me to have time to do a lot of things I wouldn't have had time to do.

We are still getting some tomatoes and bell peppers. I made and canned some more spaghetti sauce. I had given some to a friend for her pantry earlier.

Last year when I was making hats for our church group, I had leftover yarn that there wasn't enough to make another hat from, so I crocheted dish cloths. I have donated them to our church rummage sale. I know this may sound petty, but it kind of hurt my feelings when they only put a quarter each on them. I don't think they are worth tons, but at least 50 cents. But a quarter? The local thrift stores sell smaller ones that are just a mish mash of colors for $1 and I at least try to make mine pretty. Well, I decided this year I'm just going to make them for friends. That way I don't get my feelings hurt. I asked a couple of friends who like them if they would like some for stocking stuffers and they were grateful. So, I feel like I'm using up the yarn and it still does some good.

I have a bunch of rubber stamps. I decided to get them out and start using them again. I bought a blank ink pad and then stamped a design and then colored it with colored pencils. I can say I don't care for the stamp pad. It didn't really ink the stamp very well. Anyone have some suggestions?

We did spend some money, but hopefully it will benefit us in the long run. We paid a guy who does guttering to replace our downspouts with larger ones and to put gutter guards to hopefully keep leaves and debris out of the gutters. We had the money saved so it wasn't a debt inducing project. I called a company to come out and give us a quote on mending the ceiling in the family room where we had a leak a couple of months ago. They will have to patch it. We have popcorn ceilings and there is a small hole so it just isn't painting.

Monday Musings

August 27th, 2018 at 02:41 pm

We have stayed busy.

On Saturday we took a bus trip to a city about two hours away to go through thrift stores. We visited 7 shops. Four were actual thrift stores and 3 were consignment shops/antique malls. But it was a fun day. The trip also included a box lunch and it was really good. There was a choice of turkey and cheese, chicken salad, or ham and cheese on a croissant, and then pasta salad, a bag of chips, fruit salad, brownie, and a small peppermint. The lady who runs the travel agency also provides water for us as well throughout the trip.

DH and I did find a few things, but we were not the big spenders on the trip. I think we spent less than $20 total on our purchases, but it was fun to look around. We were on a different bus than what the travel agency normally uses. Sadly, the bus company she had been utilizing suddenly shuttered after 75 years. Two years ago the owner sold the company and the investment group that bought it ran it into bankruptcy. I just hope this doesn't make this travel agency owner also have financial problems because she had paid for many of the trips in advance.

The funny thing about the trip was the fact we were on a bus, but these folks shopped. At the end of the day, there was a church pew, a rocking chair, a couch (yes, a big couch), an end table, a floor lamp, and a child's ride on motorcycle toy under the bus besides all the boxes and bags. At the last stop, the antique mall folks said they would stay open past their closing time and they had bags of popcorn, cookies, and water for us. Pretty nice gesture, for sure!

Yesterday we had church and after we came home and had brunch, DH watered his garden and then picked tomatoes. Finally we are starting to get more tomatoes. He also picked bell peppers. I used a bunch of the tomatoes and peppers to make a spaghetti sauce. I canned that today and realized 2 quarts and a pint of it.

Our knitting group met last week and we are up to 895 hats. Our goal if 1000 seems attainable. We have had some problems though with people bringing donations of yarn. I am trying to think positive, and hope they are just being nice, but three of the last four donations of yarn were really nasty. One smelled of mildew and the yarn was filthy. Another smelled of smoke. The last one just smelled and the white yarn had yellowed. You would hope people would realize no one would want to work with the yarn in this condition and hopefully they didn't use this as a means to dispose of it. I would hope not. But, yuck.

It's really hot and humid here in Central Illinois. Many of our schools had early dismissal today and plan to do the same tomorrow. I no longer work in those schools, but I'm glad for the students and the staff because I remember how miserable it was working in those conditions.