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Spendy day and canning again

October 15th, 2019 at 01:23 pm

Today was an expensive day. We replaced the tires on my car. Ouch. But, they needed it. The car is paid for and a couple of months ago we had some big bills, and now the tires, but far better than a pricey car payment every month. I had hoped to wait a couple more months, but the forecasters are thinking we might have a bad winter so I decided to spend the money anyway just to be safe. Plus, DH is going to have cataract surgery in the next few weeks and in between the surgery and post op appointments, I may find it hard to get in and get new tires.

Also had to pick up a prescription. It is asthma medicine and this is one of the worst times of the year for me. Sadly, when I called in for the refill, they didn't have it and had to order it and I guess because it was near the weekend, it took longer to get. Good thing I don't wait until I'm out to refill.

Other than that, I spent the morning canning. I think I'm done for this year except I may make some jam later on closer to Christmas. I refuse to buy any more jars so I'm using what I have. I tried something different this time -- I was making and canning applesauce and I saw on Pinterest a recipe for apple scrap jelly. What it is is basically taking the apple peels and cooking them with water, then running the juice through cheese cloth, and adding pectin and sugar. It has a pinkish tint to it. I followed the recipe, but I don't think it called for enough pectin because it seems fairly runny, but oh, well. It tastes good. Just a good way to use up something and I like trying new stuff.

I talked with our financial advisor about something and told him about my canning. He's such a nice man and has been a friend as well as advisor. When I finished canning and came back from getting new tires, I dropped off a pint of spaghetti sauce, a half pint of the apple scrap jelly, and a quart of apple juice. You would have thought I had given him gold or something. He kept thanking me and said he knew the jars really contained love. It is nice to be appreciated.

Frost, Shopping, and the Weatherman

October 13th, 2019 at 11:21 am

We have a new weatherman for our local station and I think he believes he is entertaining. I do not need to be entertained when watching the weather...I want the forecast basically, but he likes to think he's clever. Well, Mr. Clever kept saying we were not going to have a frost Friday night. DH happened to go outside Friday evening and came in and said he believed it would frost. So, here we are out with a flash light so he can pick bell peppers and Rosemary in case it did frost. I picked a few tomatoes that were starting to ripen just in case. Fortunately we had picked a majority of the herbs earlier that we wanted to dry.

Well, it did frost. It wasn't a killing freeze, but some of the herbs got it as well as some of the other plants and flowers. DH normally pulls up stuff when they predict a frost because he doesn't like dealing with the plants that get kind of soft and slimy after. That stupid weatherman was wrong and he assured us in the viewing area we would not have a frost. Glad DH was smart enough to go check.

We did go to an outdoor market yesterday that is about an hour and half away from us. It is in Morris, Illinois, along the Illinois-Michigan Canal. We also like to visit the downtown of Morris and go through the shops. It wasn't a huge spend day. We bought an acorn squash from the Morris FFA for $1 and some cinnamon rolls for our breakfast this morning as well as a cupcake from the local bakery to enjoy there. I had taken a Thermos of hot tea with us since it was a bit chilly and that was a nice treat. It was basically just a trip to get us out and about. I liked looking at the booths. I noticed that some had some knitting and crocheted items and I like looking at them.

When we came home I took some vegetable soup that I had in the freezer and heated that up for our supper and made herb cheesy biscuits. Not a super big spend day and we had a nice time.

I noticed that someone had posted that Christmas is 74 days away as of yesterday. I'm already thinking about all the cookies I need to bake for our church bazaar the first Saturday in December. Yikes! Most of my Christmas shopping is finished. DH picked out some clothes from Lands End that he wanted and they sent an email with a huge percentage off just that day so I took advantage of it.

DH will probably be pulling up the rest of the plants this afternoon. It supposed to warm up later this week, but you never know when the frost will be, especially with this weather man!

Saving to Spend (Darn HGTV!)

March 31st, 2019 at 01:17 pm

Each month, when we get our pension checks, I write a check to one our financial institutions and put money away for different things. One is Christmas Club, another is vacation. And another is just a regular savings account and we use it for home improvement.

Well, that account is going to be going down because as I tease DH, we've watched way too much HGTV this winter!

We ordered a new storm door for our front door. Ours is old, doesn't latch, and we wanted to update the look. It has a better window in it so it should provide a little more protection from the outside temperature.

Our front door is also older and had been stained to look like wood. It has faded and become blotchy so we are having it primed and painted to freshen it up.

We have decorative bricks on the lower half of the front of our house. We are getting them painted. When we bought the house, the siding wasn't very old, but we couldn't figure out why they chose gray siding with bricks that are more reddish. So, we are getting the bricks painted and will continue to save for siding down the road. Fortunately our siding looks OK right now and isn't chipped or broken.

Finally, we are getting an area in our bedroom patched. We have a crack in the drywall. It is on both sides and I think it is from the house settling. So the painter is going to patch and repaint the wall.

DH keeps going around saying the new paint is going to make the front of our house "pop" and be whimsical and playful...and oh yeah, "spark joy."

I better get that remote away from him before he OD's on HGTV!

Bargain Hunting

March 9th, 2019 at 01:04 pm

Usually on Fridays we hit the thrift stores. We found some great finds yesterday. One had everything 75% off. I found 3 craft things I wanted. I had seen them a couple of weeks before, but refused to pay the price on them. One is an apron that you embroider. I thought that would be a nice gift for a friend. It was still in the package and had the embroidery floss. We paid 63 cents and tax for it. I started it last night. This year I started something and that was to give a friend a gift for each day December 1-25. Most are just simple things that I either picked up very cheaply or made. I look for things all year. She enjoyed opening something up every day. On Christmas the gift was a little more substantial, but I don't think I spent any more than I normally would have. I've already made a couple of things so far and I think this apron will be appreciated.

DH found a like new polo and then he found me a new pair of Keds for the summer. I'm glad because the shoes I wear during the summer have started looking pretty ratty.

I'm trying to get used to taking my own bags with me. Glad I made a few. I was telling the lady who was checking us out at the thrift store that we would soon be paying for bags and she hadn't heard that the governor is hoping to pass that tax on plastic bags.

We went to a home show in a small town near us. We like it better than the one we have in our city because of two reasons. One is there is no admission. Second is they have Amish made stuff and we like looking at it. Other than getting a couple of free pens, we didn't purchase anything and had a delightful time looking. We had some other errands to run in the small town -- funny how they have things we don't have where we live -- and then came on home. We hit a thrift store and I found a package of Easter sticks unopened. I am making an Easter basket for a friend's granddaughter and she likes stickers. S I was happy to get out of the wind and rain and brew some tea.

My folks were great bargain hunters and could often find things used at a very reasonable price. Hopefully I've picked up some of their talent. DH has no qualms about buying secondhand -- he says he likes the thrill of the hunt.

Bags

February 24th, 2019 at 12:29 pm

For some who live in towns and even states that already do this, it won't be a shock, but I guess Illinois is going to have a new tax of 5 cents for plastic shopping bags.

I get why. As a state we need money. And hopefully it will help with the fact there are all these stupid plastic bags littering so many places. Although I imagine people will still litter.

I already have a stash of cloths bags we use when we grocery shop in my car. DH said he needed some for his car so we can get in the habit of using for more than groceries. I looked at the stash of material I have and decided to make some bags.

People who sew often buy material and I hate to admit, I've done this, but mine is basically from thrift stores and estate sales. I bought some to make curtains for our bathroom and kitchen windows and I have some left. I bought some to recover some hot pads. Plus I bought some to recover some seat cushions. I'm not a great seamstress, but then again, I'm not selling my stuff nor am I putting in for a home decorating show, so I'm just using things and reusing things. So, it only makes sense to use the material I have. I had to get creative on a couple of bags, but they are for use, not show.

Anyway, I was busy for a couple of days making bags and I decided to give one to a friend since she has been collecting bags for her grocery shopping. It was kind of nifty material and she put it on her arm and said, "Thanks. They will see me coming at Aldi with this bag!"

That really tickled me!

Another Snowy Sunday

February 10th, 2019 at 12:53 pm

It snowed this morning. Again. OK, I know it is winter, but I'm tired of it. We had been told by the weather forecasters rain with a chance of dusting snow. Well an inch later of snow, and it was slick because the city crews have not been out.

Oh, well. We came out of church and our vehicles were covered. I brushed snow off of our car and then did a couple others for some of the older members. Two ushers said they would get the cars for anyone who didn't want to walk across the parking lot. I think when these things happen, the goodness of people shine through.

Seems like on the money front a lot is going out. We have decided to invest in flood insurance. We don't live in a high flood risk, but with the chance of a possible flood (experts call it a 500 year flood) and homeowners not paying for flood damage, we feel it is better to save the money. We also have a couple other things coming up such as DH's long term care insurance.

I did decide to spend some money on household stuff. I wanted a new cutting board and some new towels and rugs for the bedroom. Kohls had a coupon for so much off, then $10 off if you spent over $50, and everything was on sale. I had a $20 Ibotta refund, and then I also had some money on a gift card from a return I made after Christmas. I looked at the bill...before sale prices and coupons, the total would have been $165.93. After coupons, sale prices, Ibotta credit, and gift card, we paid $31.01 for one cutting board, 2 rugs, and 2 bath towels, one hand towel, and one wash cloth. I know I spent money, but I sure liked saving some as I did it. Hopefully that will be it for spending for awhile.

I pulled some chili out of the freezer for supper. Cold, snowy days make me appreciate chili so much more!

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.