Home > Archive: January, 2019

Archive for January, 2019

Bundle Up, Buttercup!

January 27th, 2019 at 10:29 pm

One would think it was January or something here in the Midwest. Cold is a four letter word as is snow and I'm not saying either with deep affection. We received some of both this weekend and I guess colder will be the keyword by the middle of the week with wind chills in the negative double digits. I'm dreading the power bill after this month.

We went thrift shopping yesterday. We normally go on Fridays, but since it was so cold, we waited a day for it to warm up to 30 degrees. Smile I'm happy to report I spent nothing. There wasn't a thing that tempted me and certainly nothing I needed. It was good to get out and look around and walk some besides hanging around the house. Maybe a little mental therapy for us.

I have read two books in the past two days. One is "The Year I Put My Financial Life in Order" by John Schwartz and the other is "The Next Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley and Sarah Stanley Fallaw. The first one by Schwartz was about a writer who fortunately had started a 401K when he first started working in his 20s, and although he made admitted mistakes, he and his wife tried to live frugally, and as a result, doesn't think his retirement will be horrible. It is more autobiographical instead of instructional, but it was interesting and he admitted to some mistakes and how they will have to make changes when they do retire. The second book is basically a revisit of "The Millionaire Next Door" by the author's daughter and how things really haven't changed -- those who have money don't flaunt it and live frugally.

Which leads me to an interesting story about a guy my husband worked with. He never married, and lived in an apartment that was very small and the apartment next to him shared the bath. I didn't even realize we had apartments like that in our city. He never dressed well and to hear him tell it, he was broke. He did say he used up all his savings and went on a world traveling trip, but said afterwards he would have to live on very little because it cost so much. When he died, he left $250,000 to a charity that works with babies and their mothers, and did 3 other charities the same way. He was truly a millionaire, but no one knew it to look at him. No auspicious living for him!

I'll never be a millionaire, but I can see being frugal.

Speaking of frugal, I'm using up all the tea I have in the house before I allow myself to buy anymore. Some of it was gifts and I can tell you some of it is just isn't very tasty. But, I tell myself, I'm saving money!

Water Main Break

January 20th, 2019 at 07:48 pm

Awoke this morning to a water main break in our subdivision. As cold as it is, I guess it shouldn't be a shock. We did make it to church, but decided to spend money and eat out since we weren't sure if/when we would get water. We tried a place for breakfast we had never eaten before and it wasn't bad. Not planning on making a habit of it, but it was something different.

We were supposed to get 4-7 inches of snow yesterday and we got a light coat of freezing rain. After last weekend's snow, it was a nice break, but sorry for those who had to be out in the mess south and north of us. We stayed in because we weren't sure how the roads were and we didn't need to get out. Instead of we cleaned house and I pulled some stuff out of the freezer for lunch.

I am trying to use up small amounts of yarn before I start new skeins. There's not enough to a hat or scarf, but I've made a lot of dish cloths as well as small facial tissue holders for one's purse and then two Barbie dresses. My two little friends are going to have quite a wardrobe for their dolls. Maybe I should start playing with my Barbie too. I bought one at a thrift store for 75 cents to use as a model.

New Coffee Maker

January 19th, 2019 at 03:44 am

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 03:23 pm

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

Pantry and Freezer Use

January 15th, 2019 at 10:23 pm

I'm not as good as many of you about just eating from the pantry and freezer, but I have been using things from both. I usually keep some soups and chili in the freezer and we used both in the past couple of weeks. I have stuff canned and I've been using some of it as well.

We did have to go to the store, well, maybe "had to" are not the operative words, but we did go to the store and bought some hamburger, beans, and ground turkey. I wanted to make more Italian wedding soup and some chili to restock the freezer. If the last few days have been any indication, I think we are going to have a long, cold winter. We had 9.5 inches of snow over the weekend and then we had freezing drizzle last night and this morning. There's a chance for more snow tomorrow night as well as the weekend. Yesterday we went to the store to get the meat and beans because I thought that would be a good afternoon project today since I had my eyes dilated this morning and watching television or reading bothers my eyes for many hours afterwards. So, I have one huge pot of Italian wedding soup simmering and I'm getting ready to add some pasta. I found the pasta in the clearance section of the store a couple of months ago...29 cents a box. I guess I'm not a pasta snob. Dry pasta is dry pasta and for 29 cents a box, I couldn't turn it down. I bought two boxes and I think we have had at least 5 or 6 meals from those two boxes.

During the summer I canned tomatoes and canned spaghetti sauce and when I ran out of jars, froze some tomato sauce. I also dried herbs that DH grew. Whenever I buy a whole chicken, I always make broth with the carcass so I had chicken broth in the freezer for the soup. I also wanted to use up the onions, celery, mushrooms, and zucchini I had in the fridge and what better way than to use it in soup? I had chopped bell peppers and froze them so I used some of them for the soup too. Probably not the real Italian wedding soup recipe, but DH loves it, so I'm not going to complain.

Tomorrow night will be use up leftovers in the fridge night. I fixed a small pork loin roast last night with carrots and potatoes. Tomorrow night will be the rest of the pork roast and the carrots. I also have some leftover peas that I will heat up and about a serving of green beans. I'm saving the leftover potatoes to cut up with some onions and herbs to serve with scrambled eggs. DH loves eggs so we usually have them on Thursday with cut up vegetables.

Is it Just Me?

January 15th, 2019 at 12:31 am

Is it just me, or are there some really weird and often mean posts being added to our blogs? I got one today from June and the person said I was a petty gossip. Not sure if this person knows me or not! Smile

Snowy Sunday

January 13th, 2019 at 08:36 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.


January 8th, 2019 at 09:26 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.