Frugal Friday and other things…

It’s been an okay frugal week. All the first of the month bills are out and done. The rest like PGE,water, ATT come a little later in the month.

We had the house insurance due and if you live in California you know that in our area most insurers have cancelled policies so you have to do what’s called the California Fair plan. This is in addition to the rider with AAA. This year it went over the $2,000 mark but for some people it’s WAY higher like in the 10,000 and up range. I’m not sure but I think it’s related to the size of your house and maybe the fire risk in your area. Anyway, that’s a big expense.

After swimming I went to Winco which is across the street and did a small shop. It has been very convenient to do this and except for Walmart, you cannot get groceries etc cheaper. Winco is employee owned which I think is great and they do not take cc, only debit.

I had my dental cleaning and all was okay. sitting in that chair for an hour though really takes a toll on my back. I wonder about people even older and what they do to accommodate them. Anyway, I don’t need to do anything right now and go back in about 5 months.

I filled out the online form to donate Vannie( the dodge Caravan) to Capradio so she’ll be gone probably with in a week. Actually Vannie runs fine and I think would keep going but there are electrical issues and the blinkers don’t work so safety is the main reason we’re donating. Plus, we bought the truck to do the things Vannie did ,so there’s that. Plus, I just don’t want something sitting in the yard if we’re not using it. My son still had ideas about camping in it, which he did many times, including taking it all the way up to the greater Seattle area to visit a friend. But now the time has come. I’ll miss you VanGo.

This morning I’m helping B load up the truck and go to the local drop off, which conveniently is right at the end of our road about 3 miles. This must be our 6th trip this year with stuff!!! I threw in quite a bit. I tend to be more ruthless than B, who thinks,sometimes, maybe something can be reused. Which in itself is fine unless it really is just junk:)

I finally saw my labs and they were all in the normal range still but my Kappa was close to the high normal, so I’m guessing next month it’ll go over. I guess after that it’ll be month to month watching if the increases start getting bigger which is what eventually happened last time. I can’t say I’m not disappointed that I only had from June to November in remission but I’ll take what I get. It’s a strange place to be knowing once again, I’ll be back in some kind of treatment. sigh:(

Friday things…

I’ve added some things to the prepper pantry that I got at Walmart the other day. I think most of what I think we can use/ need thru the winter months is in there now. I also bought 8 Mountain High freeze dried meals as emergency meals if ever needed due to fire or other disaster. I still need a few things from Costco that I forgot the other day like maple syrup, tomato paste, and ? So I may pop in there or have B pop in some time after he gets back from Salt Point.

Today B is going to the bank to get the copy of our bank statement for LLS. You , of course, need to provide proof of payment. I’d like to get it done by Sunday so it’ll come in before the end of the month. It usually takes 2 weeks minimum. I am grateful to all the people who donate to LLS as they give us these grants for reimbursements for insurance, prescriptions, and lots more. When I was on Revlimid( an extremely expensive Tier 5 drug) they covered my OP expense. Thankfully, I’m not on Revlimid anymore and Velcade was covered by Medicare as it is in clinic infusion.

I just finished the pickled jalapenos and am about to start charring the Hatch chilies. I’m planning on just freezing those and not do the whole relleno thing. They do freeze well.

I sold a few Waldorf books to the young mom who bought most of my Waldorf toys. Nice young woman and I gave her all my wool roving and needles so she can make some felted animals from the book I sent to her. I have some wood toddler toys as well but her kids are older so I’ll donate them to Cancer Thrift.

Budget wise, Costco took us right to the $550 mark for the month. So I’ll end up probably close to $650 I think. Except for the small Costco trip, I don’t need too much except maybe some veggies. I might go out to our local CSA farm and get some. They are more expensive but totally worth it as it is all grown right out there in the fields that used to be Simpsons Ranch. The Simpsons homesteaded this property in Meadow Vista sometime in the early 1900’s. The Maidu Indians lived on this land seasonally and there are many grinding rocks in the fields where they would crush the acorns to make a flour for winter. Mr Simpson wrote a book called”OOTI” about the Maidu. What is wonderful is that instead of selling and making a shitload of money the land went to the Placer Land Trust and the people farming it are ‘renting’ it as a farm.

Our skies continue to be filled with high smoke clouds. It’s not down low but it is our there and the sun is a ball of orange.

I plan on using the Ooni tonight for pizza though as the temperature looks to be @ 93. So not too bad.

Frugal Friday

First, let me say we are safe from the River Fire although Colfax, which is the next town above us was evacuated. We were ready with our bags but thankfully it didn’t happen. There are RV’s down at the park and our neighbor has his daughters giant ‘Uncle Eddie’s RV in their yard. I think the fire is mostly under control but the sky this morning is a weird yellow color.

The monthly bills are all done and about half are paid already. Most of our bills come out in the first week of the month so then I can figure what’s left even though I already have it all written down. It’s when we add in Home Depot and those things that then budget needs adjusting.

Tomorrow is my sweet boy’s 27 th birthday. He is a great young man and so talented. I’m planning on making pulled pork( his request) corn on the cob and then for the birthday cake, an ice cream cake. I saw this great recipe for mint chocolate chip ice cream cake in NYT recipes. We actually do not eat a lot of ice cream or cake stuff even on birthdays so I will make just a loaf pan of this. It looks fun and easy and pretty yummy.

I bought some things from Costco.com this week too. A pair of pants for B and some T shirts and Frontline for the kitties. That’s what added to the cost. The pants and t shirts were only $22 and $20 respectively. As I’ve said before, we don’t really have a clothing budget since we generally don’t buy clothes but B needed some new pants and his t-shirts s are starting to look pretty ratty.

I’ve cooked some good meals this week including pesto pasta with our garden basil. Last night I made homemade french fries and they came out pretty excellent. Earlier this week I made chicken enchiladas from leftover chicken so that was tasty too. Tonight I may make a pizza or ?? I have the dough ready so I guess I’ll see how hot it is later.

Oh, BTW, Beth( reader) I still don’t have your email for the Zuni Cookbook. Can you email it to me. Thanks:)

This morning I’m going to drop off a load to Goodwill and then hit Safeway for the mint ice cream and fudge sauce and a few other things on my list. Groceries are sure getting expensive. With the water problems for farmers here in California and then the PNW burning up and then the crops fried, food prices are going to go up this fall.

My swimming is going well and I’m building up some stamina. It’s definitely an effort to go do but totally worth it. I’m trying not to overdo it and just add a minute or two each time. last week I had a day where I felt awful and realized the day before I had swum and not eaten anything before and I think my body went in to exercise fatigue.( yes, it’s a real thing). So I need to be more careful. This week I ate a banana before I swam I think that helped my glucose levels. I’ve been going twice a week and that seems to be a good amount. When I can I will try and add a third time sometime this fall.

Friday things

It was a fairly frugal week with money things. I went to Safeway and spent @ $70 on groceries and at Trader Joe’s @ $40. That was just groceries. Wine purchased was $25 approx. I’m not sure what I’ll do next week. Costco is still out there as we need some things there like dishwasher pods, and some other non food things. But I’ll wait and see what’s on the menu, then decide. Actually I need to do an August menu.

I didn’t make the Ikea meatballs, shrimp/potstickers, or cobb salad. We had take out only once for Taco tree tacos. I like this planner I got off etsy. It has nice clean minimal look and could be used for Flylady too. when you look at my menu you can see the themes plainly. Pasta night, taco tuesdays, rice Sundays,pizza Fridays, soups, and BBQ’s. Actually with it being so hot his month I don’t think I fired up the Weber once.

I have most of August’s bills in except the UCD one which they send the notice in the mail around the 15th. Otherwise, everything else is in. Our PGE was a nice surprise at $239 and that’s with running window coolers all thru the month. I’m guess the BIG reason is we’ve been line drying laundry and not using the dryer which is 220 so that must the energy user. I may try to continue the line drying into the fall and maybe winter if I get a drying rack that’s big enough. The only problem is I dislike seeing laundry in the front room on clothes racks. I’ve done it before and it’s just messy looking. But normally our electric bill would be in high $300’s so it does make a difference.

Today, B is going to declutter the Karastan rug up to habitat for humanity. We’re not sure they will take something that old or big but it’s worth trying. If they don’t take it, I’ll try putting it on Craigs list for free.

I always find it fascinating that at one time ,even a few months ago, I would not have imagined getting rid of it but after unrolling it the other day it’s obvious it doesn’t fit in with any of our decor. Most of my front room is Heywood birch, greys and whites. So the karastan is tans, burgundies, navy blue and other colors.

This when we had it in the bedroom. You can see the color scheme. Anyway, I hope someone will love it as much as I did. 🙂

Then I’m going to home depot to pick up some high gloss black paint. I’m going to paint the claw foot tub this weekend. I also ordered the garden gate so B can work on that.

BTW, his MRI did show some nerve stuff going on @ L 3 or 4. He hasn’t talked to the PC yet but the results were in his portal. It isn’t clear as to what’s to be done.

My labs came back in the normal range but it was a 3 point increase from 12.3 to 15.5 . I certainly hope this won’t be the trend as that means there is no remission except this very short period. I’m not going to worry about right now as there’s not much I can do anyway.

Frugal Friday

I’ve come in almost at budget food wise. I think it’s right around at $600 give or take a few dollars. I’m using some cash envelopes again for some food, alcohol(wine mostly), and misc. But I’m using a virtual envelope for gas as we don’t do cash at gas stations. Also we plan on going to Costco in July so that will be on the Visa card.

I saw on Youtube a person making the cash envelopes with a laminator and it worked great. I like that they are clear and I can see the money. Overall, the budget looks good especially since there are no annual bills due right now. We only a few UCD payments left but since there’s no interest, I’m ok just leaving it like it is. Still, it’ll be nice to finish that up.

On Prime day, I saw that the bed frame I had in my cart was on sale. A very nice minimalist wood frame. It was 2/3 ‘s off which seemed like a great deal so I bought it and it is VERY nice. B said it was so well designed. The old wood frame we had we got from our neighbor about 24 years ago.!!! After seeing it taken apart I was kinda shocked we kept using it as it was pretty funky:( Well, I guess we do keep things till sort of the end of their usefulness.

Yesterday, I moved all the stuff off the restaurant stainless steel shelves and B moved in the Heywood cabinet. I’m reserving judgement as to whether I like it till the shelves are up. We haven’t gotten the bracketts yet and I still need to paint the shelves after they are cut. It will take 2 coats of paint. It’s funny because the stainless steel shelving looked great empty. I got to thinking that if it was used for dishes, pots, etc and not food it would be fine. But because I had lots of jars and assorted things on it just always looked messy. So we’ll see. I’m planning on streamlining the jars so they are all the same and then when they are on the shelves it will look more uniform. Plus some baking goods don’t need to be out but in a basket marked baking in the closet pantry.

I sold some of the waldorf toys but didn’t calculate the shipping right so I lost about $10. That’s ok, I guess.The stuff is gone and out of the house. Ebay charges so much now. I still have some more stuff to organize to sell(mostly Waldorf toys) but I’ll take a break and get back to it in a few weeks. Still, that’s a few dollars in our account that wasn’t there.

Today, I’m dropping off 5 bags of books to the pet bookstore and then going to Grocery Outlet for some bread and whatever else looks good.

I went to our local farm CSA, and picked up some nice veggies for the week. I spent $27.00. I got beets, chard,lettuce,radishes,zucchini, and some peaches. We are so lucky to have this farm in our town and I want to keep going. I might not need to go every week but at least every 2 weeks.

Velcade, Round 6, shot #2.

Today I drive to Rocklin to get my shot. Then straight home to do some chores, dinner prep, and then take Dex after lunch. Last week the 16mg Dex wasn’t too awful. Still I do need to modify what I do since DEx is sneaky and I certainly wouldn’t drive.

Yesterday Costco was great. It was straight in and we were done in 30 minutes. It wasn’t busy at all. Not sure if that’s because everyone had shopped on Sunday or it’s close to the middle of the month. Anyway, it was great for us. We got some great looking fruit and most of the basics we needed. They didn’t have the organic Lundberg brown rice so maybe they’re not carrying that anymore. I don’t think we’ll need to go back till the end of July. We did buy 2 bags of coffee so that should get us thru till then.

Budget wise, the 3 annual bills are paid, AAA membership, Costco membership and propane tank rental. All are once a year bills. Our next set of annual bills will be fall and that’s expensive as it’s the house insurance( which is going up every year due to fire concerns, car insurance( bi annual) and property taxes(bi annual). I’m moving a small amount of money over to a savings when I can to put toward these. I doubt I can get to the final amount but something will help. Right now with having put lots of RV misc on the credit card, that’s number one priority. I should be able to finish that next week.

Our weather is lovely and very cool. Next week looks like we’re back in 100 degree weather so not fun. It’s nice not to use the coolers all the time and we’re not having to water so much.

Update on the kitties:

My daughter was able to get the last one from the barn. Mama kat was not happy and has been up here at the house trying to ‘call’ her out. She’ll get over it. My son was able to get a voucher from the ASPCA to spay mama but we have to wait to get it. She may get pregnant in the meanwhile but I guess that’s the chance we’re taking. I’m hoping we get it done in time or? or, those kitties would just go straight to the shelter. ( no – kill one).

Frugal Friday

It’s almost the end of the month and I’ve come in on budget with groceries. $600. for the month , so I’m very happy with that.

Tomorrow is my daughters birthday, so that extra food stuff will come out of the sinking funds for birthdays. She wants a fruit tart for her birthday cake so that will be bought and then some sort of BBQ food. How the years go by. I’m grateful she lives with us as she does so much in the garden( well, all of it really), and is such a great person. Smart, funny, well educated( librarian), and is fun to be around. Happy Birthday, Sachi!!!

Gas prices are going up here in California so I filled up the Santa Fe and it was $50. Towing the Rv will certainly add to the gas bill but that’s what it takes. Next week we plan on going up to Donner Lake for the maiden voyage. Only 2 nights since I scheduled my Velcade shot for Friday. I could have bumped it out a week but didn’t really think that far ahead so it is what it is.

We’ve been putting things in the Rubicon and it is so great that there will be a place for everything. There was in tent trailer, but everything was in bins that needed to come out and often it got a little messy with bins on the bench. In the Rubicon, the bathroom stuff will be in the bathroom and kitchen stuff in the kitchen. So cool.

After my appt with Dr. Laptalo, that went fine BTW, we headed over to Ikea to get some things for the Trailer. We needed kitchen towels,Ikea’s .79 towels are the best) bath towels, a paring knife, and a comforter and pillows. In the tent trailer we just slept in our down bags, no sheets. So since this is an actual bed we needed a top blanket. I don’t keep extra sheets or blankets in the house just what I use on the bed. Same with towels. We have 4 towels in the bathroom. That’s it. Ikea was busy even at 10:30 in the morning. Crazy.

Today, I’m making an Ooni pizza for dinner. I’m also making a loaf of sourdough sandwich bread in the Zojirushi. I have a few house chores and then I plan on going to the pet bookstore to get some paperbacks for camping.

Flowers by the front door.

.I did the budget for June. We still have 4 more UCD payments from the copay big mistake of August 2019. But since there’s no interest on this , that’s ok. Plus, they did the UCD grant for quite a bit of that month. It was extraordinarily high because Barclay had an IGIV which is $41,000 ( yes, you read that right) each time. So I’m more than happy to pay this copay amount over time.

We have 2 annual bills in June as well. AAA roadside assistance and Costco membership. I put these on auto pay so they will go on our credit card, I hope. If not, it’s the checking acct. Can’t quite remember which I did.

I plan on keeping the food budget to $600 again. That might be a little low for 4 people but I’m still using freezer food and pantry so that should help.

Five on Friday

  • We’re still waiting to hear on the RV. I’m guessing the one that came in was the bunk bed one as I saw it on their website. That’s ok. The longer the money is in our savings the better, I guess. It’s a big leap for us to use savings but as I said( mostly to myself), if not now , When?? So that’s it. Especially after fellow blogger Teresa just up and died suddenly, who know how much time any of us have. I wouldn’t risk using more money than I feel we can handle though. We only have SS as income and some retirement savings but relative to most retirees, it’s probably very miniscule. But regardless, we’ll manage somehow or another.
  • The 8 mg of Dex was pretty easy to take. It’s still Dex so there is that. Next week I plan on doing the 12mg again.
  • We fired up the Ooni because it said do a 30 minute burn at full temperature. So that’s done and I have dough ready. I plan on doing 3 pizzas :marguerite, pepperoni, and a broccoli bacon/ veggie bacon.

I wrote on the chalkboard, 30 pizzas at $10 will pay for the Ooni. It’s probably less than 30 since most of the wood fired 12 inch pizzas like at Mod pizza and 965 Blast are more like 12.99 and up. But I figured I’d just do it at $10 and times that by 30.

  • Our weather is supposed to cool slightly which is nice. This season has already been too hot and dry. I am really worried about fire this year. We have a good defensible space but even so a big fire could just blast through.

Frugal Friday

The sunrise on our daily walk.

It was a frugalish week. No major expenses came up except buying the paint for the garden shed and the fence( redwood stain) but my daughter paid for these as part of her monthly rent. It worked out well especially since paint is so expensive.

I did do the Trader Joe’s shop but that will carry over to May’s food budget. So far the month looks good on the food budget. I’m definitely under $600. Separating wine/beer and non food has given me a better picture of what is just food. Of course, there wasn’t a big Costco shop this month. We are planning Costco on Sunday as the coffee is almost gone. So I suspect that will come in @ $400. We have our rebate to use so that will reduce the cash flow out.

Here are some of the lilacs blooming.

We both submitted our LLS copays and we should be getting that refunded as part of our grant with them. I’m absolutely sure we would not be making ends meet if we had to pay the medical copays. So the LLS grants( done yearly) are a big savings for us.

Tonight is pizza night and I’m doing a homemade one with TJ’s dough. I have to say the pizza dough is one of their best deals at $1.19( I think) it may have gone up. But you get 2 pizzzas out of one dough and the freeze really well.

I’m still debating getting the outside pizza oven. I think we’d get our money’s worth out of it but still it is a one use thing which I don’t normally like to do. But we calculated 10 pizzas at $30 would pay for it. Since we have pizza almost every Friday night it would pay for itself pretty quickly. The big advantage is it heats up to 925 degrees in 15 minutes. You’ll never get a conventional oven to do that.

Monday Musings

It’s cloudy today. I guess no BBQ tonight. That’s ok, I have plenty of things I can cook. Because of chickens laying so many eggs, I will make a quiche of some sort. I have the pie crust in the refrigerator chilling. I don’t know why I resist making crusts. In the food processor it took all of 2 minutes to get it to form a ball and then into the fridge.

This morning I have already done the bedroom zone, made the quiche crust, windexed the mirrors and am still needing to vacuum.

I also paid the UCD bill for April by phone. I still need to do Allstate some time this week. That’s not due till April as well but I might as well do it sooner than later. I can remember vividly when we had zero money to pay bills on time and always had to do payments. Even our property taxes we had to arrange. Grocery shopping was limited and there was NO extra money for anything. I am grateful that we can pay what we need to. There’s not a lot left over but to me that’s fine as long as the basics are paid.

My son, who spends money like crazy,:) asked for a special edition Rockstar Pendleton for his birthday so I will do that too. It’s a throw size and quite stunning in reds and blacks with men on horses riding facing forward. I guess it’s from some game he plays.

The kitchen is back together and next we will move on to the entryway and B’s cubby. The one wall was actually an outside wall so it’s the siding on the house. It’s painted in the Navajo White I used originally around the house. We’re planning to use the semi gloss on that and the other siding too. I don’t think we’ll start this week but maybe Saturday. This area was a deck that we built right after we moved and remodeled. So 26 years ago. Then at some point we closed it in as room. At some point we should make the foundation of it up to code as it is only on foundation blocks. i don’t know maybe that would work but I doubt it and it would need concrete. Well, that’s out of my zone of things to think about.

Today is our no walk day and I don’t plan on going anywhere.