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Archive for May, 2019

Rebates

May 30th, 2019 at 08:09 am

Every year DH buys Miracle Gro soil and for the past few years there has been a rebate. I always send it in and this year we realized $16 ($2 a bag). Usually the rebate takes a couple of months, but we received it in less than a month. We deposited the check in our Christmas Club account.

Lowe's has been having 11% rebate too. When we purchased the new storm door, I submitted the rebate and we received a small rebate back. We used it to buy some plants. When I bought the plants, it said they had the rebate going again so I submitted it. It won't be much, but I figure it is found money.

I continue to use Ibotta, but sadly, so much of the stuff we buy isn't something they give cash back on. I refuse to buy something just to get the rebate. But, I'm up to over $20 and my lifetime amount is over $80, so even at a dime or quarter at a time, it adds up. I guess we aren't big shoppers. I see the TV ads for Ebates and realize it wouldn't do us much good. I don't buy much online and what I do, is a specific product that probably wouldn't give us a rebate.

And, the other day I found a nickel in the parking lot!

Reusable and savings

May 26th, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Creditcardfree posted about reusable v. disposable and I thought I'd piggy back on the entry.

I really try to use things that are reusable. I live in Illinois and they are talking about charging for plastic bags at the stores. For years DH and I have used reusable bags. I hate those plastic bags. We still get some from time to time, but whenever I can, I try to use our bags. I know Chicago already charges for them. I wish we hadn't gotten away from paper bags. If I get any, I hoard them to reuse.

One thing I think of is using cloth napkins. I have a selection of them. Most were bought at rummage sales and thrift shops. I have a few that were purchased new...not by me, but DH bought me a set and a friend has as well. I wanted some brown ones and made them out of material to go with some placemats I had.

I go through kitchen towels like crazy. I have some nice ones I try not use unless someone is coming over, but I have some well worn ones I use all the time. DH uses paper towels and although it drives me crazy, he helps clean up, so I don't holler. I pick my battles.

For years I carried my lunch. Actually my whole working life. My last ten years I carried a soft sided insulated cooler. The first one was a present and it was ideal for lunch. But it wore out. I had duct taped it, but eventually it got really nasty. I bought another at a thrift shop for a buck for my last couple of years. I used a Thermos to carry water or iced tea for my lunch.

We have one of those filter pitchers for water. We still buy some bottled water, but we drink a lot of tap water run through that pitcher.

I also carried a Thermos for coffee. Made my own at home and then took it to work. I use insulated cups now if we are going somewhere. If we eat breakfast out, I take an insulated cup along in case I want the remainder of the coffee and I don't have to ask for a to go cup. I do that with iced tea if we go out and I order it. Normally I drink water, but every so often I want some tea. I have my parents' old huge Thermos and I bought some smaller older ones with the glass insulation. Yeah, they are not the kind that bounce, but I think they keep stuff hot longer.

I crochet my own covers for my Swiller handle. I tried crocheting one for the Swiffer duster and I haven't quite got that one to work as well, but I use what I have. I also crochet dish cloths. I use the leftover yarn from the hats and scarves I make for my church knitting group. I found a pattern on Pinterest to crochet a dish cloth and attach it to scrubby. I've made some of those and given those as gifts. One friend loves my dishcloths and is always happy to get a few.

A friend of mine only uses paper plates. Says she doesn't want to do dishes. I think of the expense and waste. Wow! I just emptied the dishwasher and I wonder how many times my plates have been washed either by hand or by the dishwasher. Same thing with our glasses and cups.

My grandmother and my mother used to put peonies on their family graves. They always used coffee cans. That's what I did yesterday when we put flowers on the graves. I felt fortunate that our peonies waited to open up right before Memorial Day weekend. A friend of mine kind of got snobby and said she paid the local florist to put together the decorations. I'm thinking to myself, that's nice, but wow, what a lot of money. We usually take stuff to clean the tomb stones with us and I wipe them down and then throw the rags in the wash. I guess I'm not fancy. I personally think it is the idea we remembered our ancestors. When DH and I walked around the cemeteries yesterday, we tried to pick up around other graves. A couple had vases that had overturned so we righted them and put the flowers back in them. DH brushed grass off of some.

I am a jar saver. DH kids me, but I have all sorts of shapes and sizes. Never know when I will need one. I try to use jars to put leftovers in them. I actually used one for a grave yesterday. It is a friend and the stone is small, so I used a small jar. I sat it on the grave since it is flat on the ground. It held the flowers just fine.

I have quite a collection of Pyrex and Bake Lite dishes. Besides using them to cook with, I use them to store stuff in the fridge. Great way to heat leftovers.

Speaking of leftovers, that is a good way to reuse food. Every so often if we have food leftover from a couple of days, I tell DH we are having a buffet which means it is clean out the fridge night. He doesn't complain because he can eat what he wants. I try not to throw out much as far as food. I'm ashamed to say a Kiwi got away from me. It was hard as rock one day and the next it was moldy. Not sure how that happened, but I wasn't happy about it.

I save my egg cartons for a friend who has chickens. I did save one for myself to put the garlic in to dry before we needed to plant it. It was ideal for putting the cloves in.

I also save my cottage cheese and sour cream containers for a friend who has a restaurant. She uses them to take home leftovers that can't be left at the restaurant. They make chicken salad and she boils chickens and she gives away the broth in those containers as well.

So, what do you reuse instead of buying disposable?

Whirlwind Week

May 23rd, 2019 at 08:38 am

Ever since I retired, it seems like the days and months go by very quickly. This week especially.

We reconnected with a teacher I worked with a number of years ago. He and his wife and another couple and my dh and I went out to eat and then back to their house for dessert. Two of us provided dessert as a way to save a little moolah. I imagine we will get together more often and take turns cooking as the summer progresses. Anyway, they gave us a tour of their home. it's beautiful and large. They have a condo. Newish cars. As well as lots of hobbies. Long story short -- they are retired, but still working and didn't plan for retirement and now worry how they will make ends meet. Ouch.

The next day we met another couple to celebrate her birthday. We decided years ago to quit giving gifts. They buy whatever they want when they want it and how can you deal with that.

Last night we invited a friend to join us for supper; his wife and daughters were out of town. It was nice catching up.

In between this, I canned some green beans, crocheted and knitted, and did some house cleaning.

The weekend is soon upon us. We don't do big stuff for the Memorial Day weekend, but do put flowers on the graves of our loved ones. I was concerned because our peonies looked like they would b open and gone before this weekend, but it looks like we might be OK. My family always used flowers from the garden when we could. DH's mom would buy a big live display for her husband's grave, but didn't decorate anything else. So, DH wants live stuff on the graves.

I can't say this was the most frugal week, but we don't go out that often with people so it was a nice way to catch up.

DH has two small bell peppers already on two of his plants and the tomatoes are have blossoms. Here's to hoping for a good garden. Our damp, cool weather hasn't been good for the garden and the lettuce, radishes, and onions haven't grown much because of all the rain. Hopefully things will dry out by next week (we received rain the last two nights).

Catching Up

May 12th, 2019 at 11:08 am

I keep meaning to blog, but not sure I had anything of great interest to write about, so it will just be a few items to catch up.

My knitting group at church has a total of 861 hats so far for this year. We are way ahead of our total from this time last year and the year before. We also have 31 baby hats and 12 scarves. Not very many scarves so I'm going to work on making scarves instead of hats, but they take longer so I guess that is why people prefer to make hats.

I'm using the leftover yarn to crochet dish cloths. My goal is to make over 200 and donate them to a local food pantry to put them in the Christmas baskets. I made 100 last year and most of them right before, so I'd like to double that and make them as I can and also use up the yarn. I try to make them with nice colors so they don't look like leftovers.

My personal goal is to also make things for anyone who has a baby at my church. So far I've cross stitched some baby bibs and I have crocheted a bib and crocheted a baby blanket. I feel that although this isn't a huge thing, I would hope that the parents realize that people in the church do care.

DH planted his tomatoes, bell peppers, and herbs last week. We had one day of sunshine since then and rain almost every day. Hopefully the plants won't drown before they get a good start.

We took a day bus trip to two small towns here in Illinois. One is Moonshine that boasts a population of 2. Apparently this couple bought this small general store a number of years ago and started making Moonshine burgers and it has become a tourist destination. After sampling their burger, I can see why the locals come to get one -- nice thick burger made with quality beef and cooked perfectly. It was a delight. We then visited Casey which is a small town that is famous for its oversized items like a mailbox, pencil, knitting needles, crochet hook, rocking chair, and golf tee. It made for a good day trip and we toured things we have not seen before.

It's damp and dreary so I'm looking forward to our soup for supper tonight. Since I was going to chop vegetables for stir fry last night, I decided to chop a few others and made Italian wedding soup. I like to fix soup the day before and then put it in the fridge and heat it the next day. For some reason it seems to taste a little better the second day. It will be at least two meals and I used some of the tomatoes and chicken broth I canned last fall.

Groceries

May 2nd, 2019 at 07:49 am

Yesterday was an expensive day at the grocery stores.

I shop at two: Aldi and Kroger. We also have a Sav-A-Lot and Wal-Mart, but I would prefer not going to Wal-Mart. People tell me that they are cheaper, and perhaps they are, but I call it the "evil empire" because of the way they go into small towns, drive all the other businesses out, and then raise their prices. Now a couple of the small towns where this happened has had them pull out and there is no store there. Plus, a few years ago PBS' Front Line did a show on how Wal-Mart basically tells businesses where they will have factories and how much they will charge. At least they did. So, if I can avoid them, I do.

Anyway, my goal the past couple of months has been to eat what we have in the pantry and freezer. I still have some things in the freezer, but the pantry was starting to get bare as far as crackers and chips. DH wanted a particular type of cracker a couple of months ago and he hasn't touched the box. I don't like them per se, but I opened the box to have some with my sandwich for lunch. Anyway, after I finish this box, we can move on to something else. Perhaps the fact I don't really like them will keep me from overeating. I did stock up on some other crackers and some chips for lunches. I won't open the other boxes of crackers until we finish this one.

Kroger has had fresh green beans on sale for 99 cents a pound. I have been buying some and canning them. DH doesn't have the room to grow green beans, and sadly, the folks who sell them at Farmer's Market are three to four times the price when they are in season. I prefer canning them because I like fixing them without a lot of salt.

Kroger also had apples on sale so I bought a bunch and made applesauce. I realize I spent more than what it would have cost me to buy commercial applesauce, but the brands we can get here, some of the apples come from China. I read a report that says that some of the fruit grown in China is basically grown in sewage. No thanks. I don't add a lot of sugar, but do add some maple syrup right before I put the immersion blender in to give it a nice flavor.

We had some bananas that were beginning to get overripe and they are perfect for banana bread. I made four small loaves. Two went in the freezer. DH loves banana bread and when he came in, he asked if any of it was for him. I told him it was all for him, but two were going in the freezer because he wouldn't be able to eat it all before it would spoil.

We've had so much rain here that the farmers cannot get in the fields. It is getting to the point where they may not be able to plant corn. A couple of days ago our weather man said we are 7 inches above normal and we've received 2 inches of rain since then. Although I'm not thrilled with so much rain, I sure hope come this summer we don't have a drought. I think the farmers can plant soybeans later, but that will probably drive the price of soybeans down if there is a glut in the market.