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.

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.

Frugal Friday

It was kind of a frugal week. I did the Walmart pick up for groceries which did include ice cream. I hardly ever buy ice cream but for some reason did so. I rarely eat ice cream but sometimes I like a spoon full. Anyway, groceries came in @175 including some Rose wine thrown in. I’m hoping to have the food budget come in @$600 this month. I’m not including alcohol in the food total this time just to get an idea. Non food I am including.

Going down to Capitola will cost gas, food and that’s it since the camp spot was paid for back in December. We tend to be fairly loose with food as it is our vacation getaway. And we like going into Gayles or Nob Hill for dinner items.

The last bill of the month is our water bill and that’s next week. The only extra bill we’re dealing with is the UCD medical one from that one month(August) after transplant for Barclay.

I did buy the 2 orchids and clay pots this week. That ended up $38 at Walmart too.

Oh, good news! Both the electrical issues are resolved and the bathroom fan is working again.

Here’s a view:

The window was originally on the outside as B’s office/entryway was a deck. We left the window for air circulation and light.

Tonight is a mix of leftovers, pizza, ravioli and sauce. I didn’t feel like cooking much so these things will get used up.

Frugal Friday

I don’t think there’s much frugal this week except the normal.

We ate all meals at home. I went to Trade Joes on Sunday and spent $200 including wine. So mostly salad stuff, breads( to freeze, like pita and bagels), cheeses, some frozen stir fry veggies, snacks etc. So expensive but lots of stuff to get thru the next week.

Today, I’m making and IP broccoli cheddar soup as I needed to use up a head of broccoli. I may just freeze it or we could have some for lunch with the Tartine Sourdough. I also in the process of making a quiche(trying to use up as many eggs as I can) with mushrooms and gruyere. It’s a recipe from ‘Magnolia Table’. It looks like a good one. So using up some stuff instead of just giving to the chickens or composting.

My son made a delicious chicken parmesan in the cast iron pan last night and also made a tofu parmesan in one of my 6 inch cast iron pans. Both were delicious. It also used things from the freezer so that was a frugal thing.

Friday’s are a more normal day after low Thursdays but it’s also a bit hyper but I feel good so I try and do some extra things.

Barclay is finishing up the front room. I’ve moved some Cathrineholm to the teak bookcase and put most of the red fiesta ware on another shelf or in the cabinet.( closed doors). I’ll have to see whether I like it there as some of the green tones match my Needles and Pine Tepco.

We will start the kitchen next week and again do a wall at a time since there’s so much to move. We’re doing that in a semi gloss. I plan on ordering a new stove hood sometime in the next few months. Nothing too fancy but hopefully one that works a bit better.

We had a good walk this morning even though it was quite cold. I had some shortness of breath but it was impeding as long as I wasn’t trying to talk and walk then I would start huffing some.

We’re not planning on a pizza tonight. Nobody seems to be in the mood so we’ll just eat leftovers or what I made today.

Frugal Friday

Well,here it is Friday again. This morning I have a Walmart order to get down in Rocklin. My daughter will drive as usually I don’t drive for 2 days after dex. ( learned from past experience it’s not a good idea to drive when on steroids)!! This will be my last shop of the month. I think I’m around $650 for food this month. That does NOT include non food and alcohol. I separated it out this month as I wanted to get a better idea of all 3 categories. Alcohol averaged $100 and that was with my son’s IPA Voodoo Ranger that he likes and I buy when I see it. ( He usually pays this back). Then non food was also @ $100 and that includes household stuff. So theoretically the total is still averaging right around $900 for the 4 of us to eat, drink and use toilet paper( ha Ha). I’m okay with this so that’s good.

I did have both kids give us $100 each more on their rent for the high electric bill. This month it should go down as we haven’t had too cold of weather and the space heaters haven’t been running. Of course, our dryer is electric and we do use that a minimum of an hour a day.

I asked on Facebook which I don’t use hardly at all anymore but it is useful for the local stuff, if anyone had Meyer lemons and our neighbor did. So I’ve been juicing them and freezing it in ice cube trays. I love Meyer lemons. We have a nice dwarf lemon tree in the green house and actually got a huge crop but that’s all gone now so this was a nice treat.

We signed up for VSP vision insurance as the Cobra of vision and dental expired. I knew that the Cobra ended after a year so I was expecting it, sort of. But I signed us up. I’m not sure what the savings will be in the long run but I’d rather have the coverage at least for the next year and then we can reevaluate. I haven’t gotten to the dental yet and I’m guessing that will be more expensive. Does anyone have a recommendation.? I’m planning on staying with Delta Dental but I guess I’ll know more when I actually go the site.

Our taxes are done and filed. We didn’t owe which I kind of figured since our SS comes in fairly low. Even the small amount we took out of savings for the trees last year didn’t affect the tax burden so I was pretty happy about that.

Frugal Friday

I made all our bread and snacks this week. The sourdough seed bread was really good.

The chocolate sheet cake went pretty fast too. I used my new hand mixer and the frosting got nice and fluffy. This morning I’ve got a pan of brownies started and am thinking about making some scones as well.

We were going to order out pizza but then we all decided to just stick with homemade cheese and one with pepperoni. That all will save $40. minimum. Pizza is very expensive these days.

So with me being on Vel/Dex two days( Wed and Thurs) cooking dinner is a challenge so my daughter is doing Wednesday night pastas and my son is doing Thursday whatever. Last night he did a turkey pot pie and a tofu pot pie. Boy, were they ever delicious.

This is the tofu one in one of my small Lodge pans!!! He ate it all!!!! it had tofu, mushrooms, carrots, onions, cream, wine, salt and pepper. Yumm.

So because I was dexed up I paid a bill early:) I guess that counts as a frugal win since now it’s one less to do. Actually almost every bill we have, is paid directly except this one and PGE. PGE because we’re on their balance program so that your bill is averaged over the year. For some reason they don’t do auto pay for that.Go figure.

My VW( Buggie) got an oil change this week so that cost but since I drive it under 2,000 miles a year the last time it was done was late 2019 so it was time.

I still need to plan a small shop for lettuce, and a few things next week. I haven’t decided to just go to the Holiday here or actually do a Walmart pick up. I guess I’ll think about it since I won’t do it till Sunday or even Monday.

B went and bought another stack of boards to turn the corner on the fence. We will do 3 panels down to block off the neighbors hoard of junk. Then that will be done. Sometime when the weather turns sunny again I ‘ll get a gallon of redwood stain and paint it. I like painting overall so I don’t mind doing most of that.

Earlier in the week I redid one of the Heywood chair covers. I use painters canvas and it holds up well.

This is the only keyhole Heywood chair I have. The others are solid back. The key hole ones are more valuable.

Basically, you just cut the piece to fit and then staple down. Pretty easy. This is the piece that I took off. I plan on doing another one today.

It’s raining out and it looks like rain for the next week with temperatures colder. I guess that’s good. The mountains will get much needed snow.

Five on Friday

  • I’m feeling pretty good this morning and most of the ‘Dex’ effects are gone. Just a small bit of hyper-ness. But I put that to use making yogurt in the IP. Actually, I made it yesterday and I put the yogurt selection on for 24 hours. It looks good. Also, frugal-wise, I bought the organic milk at Costco just for this purpose so it was 2 gallons for 9.95. So 1/2 a gallon is about $2.50. That puts a quart of homemade organic yogurt at $2.50.
  • We picked up the free pizza at the Holiday Market for dinner tonight. Each month there is a coupon for something free so this month is the pizza. It’s not the best pizza but heck it’ll be fine. Last night my son cooked the new vegetable burgers from Costco that were on sale. Normally $12.89 and then $5.00 off. The box is 10 burgers I think. They are not soy or pea protein like Beyond burgers or Impossible. They are brown rice, veggies, and almonds. We all like them with pickles, cheese( swiss) and tomatoes, and lettuce. If you go to Costco they are on sale till Jan 24.
  • Our weather is really nice , with a high yesterday of 67. We really need rain but this is nice ,and I’m enjoying it. Next does show some rain though.
  • I’m re-reading all the Sue Grafton books and that’s been fun. She was such a good writer and I totally enjoy reading about Santa Barbara that she called Santa Theresa. I don’t know if I ever mentioned that the first trip I did to SB with B when he was working, we were walking the beach path near the marina and in the parking lot near one of the restaurants was a 1974 light blue VW with Kinsey on the license plate. Of course, if you know her character Kinsey Millhone, she drove a Baby blue 1974 VW. We never saw her but still, I saw her car. ( Sue Grafton’s as she lived in Santa Barbara).
  • We’re planning on having a fire in the fire pit this afternoon as again the temps are still @ 67 degrees. It’s nice to sit out and watch the birds and have a glass of wine or two:)

Frugal Friday

There have been some frugal things this week so here goes:

* We just returned home from picking up a trailer load of free oak. Beautiful wood that a friend offered. It won’t really be ready to burn right away but it’s lovely wood. There’s a lot more to get but we will need to see if my son can help as a lot of it is on a downhill slope which is too slippery for me.

*We had leftovers for all our lunches this week including today which is the left over chicken and wild rice soup.

*Since we have so many eggs I made egg salad for lunches too.

*I picked up a free pizza and salad for dinner tonight with the coupons from the Holiday market. Each month they have a coupon you can use. It’s a handy thing to have .

*We didn’t really go anywhere this week or do any big shopping just picking up a few fillers. Next week I plan to hit Costco to get a few things. We don’t need a huge amount but some things like cottage cheese and cream cheese are just too expensive at the store.

Overall, it’s been a nice week. I’m slowly getting a few Christmas items together plus asking what people want or could use. My son wants the Witcher books that the TV series is based on. I’m looking at some gardening stuff for my daughter.

I’m halfway thru my fall re-reading of the LOTR trilogy. I’m in the Two Towers. Everytime I read it I love it more and more.

We’re still walking early like 5:10 but I think we may start to go a little later starting next week. Mostly, I’m avoiding the jerk dog walker but he shows up anyway sometimes early too. So maybe there’s no getting around it and we just have to avoid him and when we do it doesn’t bother me. Mostly, I get irritated because he’s not using a flashlight and comes up behind us it is startling. Go figure.

Budget Friday

I’m trying to come up with a good blog title for Fridays. I’m not sure Frugal Friday quite fits.

Overall, we are frugal because we have no income per se except SS. So maybe just Budget Friday would work. I’ll see. But budget-wise, all Octobers bills are in. We do have the 2 annual bills of house insurance and Allstate which is twice a year. With ALL the insurance companies getting out of insuring California property, for the most part, we are now having to do the California Fair Plan which is added to the AAA insurance. We went from our annual bill being slightly over $1,000 to now we are slightly over $2,000. Quite a jump.

Costco was just at $450, so that will go on October’s food budget. About $70 was wine and beer. I did buy a bottle of nice champagne for celebrating birthdays. Actually, it wasn’t expensive at $15.00. Plus there were a few prepper items and 2 bags of Starbucks coffee that was on sale. With all 4 of us drinking coffee we go thru quite a bit. But I don’t see us going back to Costco till the very end of October or even the first week of November which could then include any Christmas food or items. Prepper stuff included tuna, Cholula sauce, TP, another case of water, extra butter, and extra cheese. The only thing I didn’t get and I need is some tamari sauce. I’ll probably just go down here to the store and pay their price. The best place to get low sodium tamari is Trader Joe’s but I don’t think I’ll be getting there any time soon.

So far this morning I have made pizza dough, washed living room windows, cleaned the ceiling fan, and am just about ready to clean the rest of the sunroom.

Our lovely fall weather continues with absolutely beautiful days with temperatures in the mid to high 80’s. Next week does have a few 93degree days but this time of year that doesn’t seem so bad.

Budget-wise, I did my LLS for the UHC premium and my medicare which they cover for 2 months so that will be here in a week or so. I am very grateful to LLS for my grant (myeloma) as it does cover health insurance. If we had to pay OP for us both it’s almost $700 so I’m not sure how the budget would do. Probably we would be in the red. But there are gifts sometimes even with having cancer.

B did order the boards for the house ( 5 of them) so that was $120 about. But the siding needs to be fixed. Other stuff, even the fencing by the barn is optional and can be put off if we don’t have extra money.

If you’re looking for a new TV series, The Boys, is quite good. It’s super heroes that are darker more evil and is well done. We just started Season 2 on Netflix.

Well, that’s a wrap for now.

Frugal Friday

I’m not too sure anything these days is all that frugal. We still have medical bills coming in that the Cobra insurance(UHC) says we owe due to the fact B was medicare ELIGIBLE but was in fact not on Medicare. WTF! At least it was for only the one month as far as I can determine. But we could appeal but I doubt that we would win it. So payments on that for a while.  So NOT frugal. Or maybe it will keep us more frugal as that money cant be spent elsewhere.  No, I think it would go straight to savings.

I’ve got most everything for Thanksgiving but realized I still need the nut loaf ingredients. I have the brown rice but the binder is cottage cheese and I need mushrooms too. But I can get those next week at our local Holiday Market.

The dental surgery co-pay was $196 so that was worth having the Cobra for as it would have been @ $1500 so that’s good. I seemed to have a reaction thought to something as I started sneezing and my sinuses went berserk. But the oral surgeon seemed to think it was a cold even though I told him I had no cold. Anyway, it’s better today.

Still, no tree guys so that money is ‘hanging’ out in our checking so that’s a savings ( sorta).

I’m not going to the gym as I’m going to Walmart for a pickup and then to the bank to get a notarization. B sold his motorcycle to someone in Nevada and it was signed wrong so I need to sign a paper that says I signed it wrong .P.I.T.A.  Plus I’m still not feeling 100%. He did lose quite a bit by selling the Honda as he bought it new. But that’s the way it goes.

Dinner is pizza and I’m going to try Whole Foods refrigerator dough to compare to T.J’s. I’ll report back.

 

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