Going over to Napa and spending relatively freely wasn’t frugal by any means. But we ticked off the boxes of what we wanted to do and it was fun for us. Since we generally do not go out to eat or buy expensive wines( ok, expensive to us is like $15 a bottle) it was an adventure.
It’s SNOWING right now. We decided to walk anyway and it was magical. Big fluffy snowflakes, the park all white, the white crane against the snow. Magical. Of course, that means no swim or gym day. But that’s ok, it is what it is. I’ll try for tomorrow. If it’s just raining, I’ll go. Right now I-80 is closed in both directions so if it opens up the freeway will probably be busy.
That’s the grey heron. The white one flew off across the pond.
One good thing is won’t have to go for any groceries except half and half. Both our containers of cream went off before their buy date. Weird. Plus I bought them both down at our Holiday Market. I have some milk so that’ll work for now. I’ll probably plan a Winco trip or Trader Joe’s for next week after a swim morning.
I started a big batch of pizza dough and will use one ball tonight and freeze the rest. I think I need to make some sauce though.
I’ve got March’s budget done. Everything looks about the same. I might pay the property tax just to get it done since I have the money in our annual bills account.
The (hoarder ) neighbor’s house has had some activity with a junk removal truck there at least 2x’s that we saw. I really do wonder what happened. I know she was quite unwell physically but to live in that garbage that we saw all over the floors is pretty awful. Would it be an eviction if the house was condemned? It’s sad really. I think that her home health aide, that was there at least 3x a week if not every day, would have called a family member or something so she could have gotten the help she needed. Years ago when she was an oxycodone addict we tried to help and offered to clean out some things and she refused. That was over 10 years ago or so.
Well, it’s still snowing. I swished the bathroom, started the sheets in the washer, did the pizza dough and am having the Eufy (the robotic vacuum) an inexpensive version of the Roomba vacuum the floors. I saw this on the Non Consumer’s advocate’s blog. And if she bought it she must have thought it a good thing as she NEVER buys anything if she doesn’t have to. I will say it does do a darn good job. It runs about $140. I think she got a sale and bought it for $99.
It’s almost the end of January and the pantry challenge is going great. I will continue into February. I’ve come in @ $400 in groceries for the month. For the four of us, that’s really good. The pantry and the freezer are decreasing so that’s a good thing. I still have quite a bit to use up.
Last night I made Sole Milanese.(Ina Garten recipe) I made way too much but that’s what was in the freezer bag. Note to self: (portion out the fish better). Tonight is usually pizza night but no one feels like that so I think I’ll just do a simple pasta dish. Here’s the pizza from last week. I’m looking forward to using the Ooni outside when the weather changes.
I have February’s budget done and in place. I plan on looking at starting taxes this next week. It should be quite simple. I think we have all the things I need. We did get a 1099 for the California relief something. I guess that was a taxable amount. Not sure why they’d give you a refund and then expect it to be taxed. Oh well, who knows how anything in the government works.
We had our Date Thursday yesterday at Chipolte. It was ok. It seemed like an awful lot of people getting take out. I guess we don’t go out to eat very often so it’s always a surprise the amount of people doing it. But I am trying to get us to do one thing a week like this.
This was a sunset but my phone didn’t really capture the colors well. It was orangey and pink. this is looking west out our bedroom window.
Well, a disappointment with my labs. Kappa went up to 30.7 mg/L so a 3-point jump. And the ratio went up to 1.96mg/L from 1.76 so also a jump. I’m disappointed but such as it is.
The pool was busy but I did get a lane right away. It’s sort of hit-and-miss most mornings. But it’s still worth the effort. I went to the gym yesterday, which was pretty empty although I saw some new faces. Probably new years resolutions kicking in.
Today I’ve been playing around with a spreadsheet I downloaded for the budget. It’s taken me 6 different tries but I think I have it down and I like it as long as it works the way it’s supposed to. I bought it off Etsy on the recommendation of Minimom on Youtube. I do most of my budgeting in a notebook but I wanted to add something new.
After the pool, I went over to Winco for a few groceries. Honestly, you cannot beat the price of things there. It’s a bit of a learning curve because of the layout but I know it well now so I can just go to the areas of food I need. Their bulk area is amazing. Lots of bins of snacks, spices, grains, everything you could want bulk, even honey.
Today I need to vacuum and dust and then fall into a heap depressed about my light chains. It’ll take me a day to regroup.
Another nice walk without being too cold. Sunrise is 7:20 am and was the same yesterday.
Today is just a pottering day and tidying things up. I’m not sure why things look more ‘untogether’ around Christmas. Maybe it’s the Christmas tree and the few decorations I have around although I even put a few away as I felt it was too much visually. Maybe it’s being stuck inside a lot with the rain and cold.
We’ve had fun with the ‘ugliest’ tree ornament game again. So far the pink sparkly dinosaur is winning but it’s a close runner-up with pineapple face. <>!!!!
I’m debating going to the pool tomorrow. I want to go but I’m not sure about the traffic on Christmas eve day. I guess I’ll wake up and see how I feel. I need to check the hours too as I think I saw something about that on the way out the other day but didn’t pay attention to it.
Tonight we’re ordering a pizza so I won’t have to cook. That’ll be nice.
My January budget will go from Dec.26 to January 25 approx. I do think the cash envelopes are helping with some things like Home Depot, bird/chicken food, groceries ( to some degree), and, misc. For now, I’m going to keep doing it. January will be a low spend month with no extras. I plan on holding off on Costco till we need coffee. The biggest change is going to be saving from SS the extra increase so we can use that for annual bills. Plus whatever other money we can put towards that fund from anything else.
All things considered, it was a frugal week. I didn’t need to go to the store at all but B went to Safeway for a few things so I had him spend over $25 to get a turkey for $7.00. I might give this to the food bank since I plan on getting a Diestal from our market. They have a coupon for $15.00 off a Diestal so I put an order in for one of the petite turkeys which are 10-12 lbs. I did this last year and it worked out great for us.
The pumpkin puree ended up at 6 Qts which I thought was pretty good. I’m going to make a pie tomorrow to test it out. I also saw a recipe in NYT cooking for a pumpkin bisque that looked good. And I want to make pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I still have the other green pumpkin to bake and will do that this week. ( I’m assuming the insides are orange):)
The chickens haven’t been laying much so B put a light in their coop and now they are producing more. This time of year I use a lot of eggs in cooking.
Our freezer is pretty packed especially after going to Costco so I’m planning on doing some freezer meals for the week. So far I have shrimp scampi with pasta, bean burritos, and something with chicken, and I need to check what soups I have frozen too. I am going to put the sauerkraut I made in the refrigerator and I probably will do a Rueben-type sandwich this week( minus the meat).
With the extra Azure order, I’ll definitely be over our $800 food budget. But that’s okay as most of the order is pantry stuff and long-term food items.
All the monthly bills are in and I just submitted my LLS for November so that’ll be $175 for covering my UHC coverage.
I swam this morning and didn’t realize the pool was just opening at 7am so it was PACKED!! Not the way I like it at all but I shared a lane with a swimmer who wasn’t splashing and kicking wildly.:)
Tonight is pizza night and it’s just the 3 of us as our son is headed up to Mt Shasta City. We have the second half of the last Vera to watch on Brit Box. This is season 11. It’s good although predicatible.
This would have been the week we were in Refugio. We canceled due to the cost of gas. ( gas is around $6.00 a gallon here but in the Santa Barbara area it’s probably higher. We both agreed that we didn’t want to add to the cc right now with the other things that are still on there. Plus, we felt we had done it last year and it was great but we didn’t really feel like we needed to go back there. Santa Barbara is always a draw for us but that’s still 30+ minutes away from Refugio so it’s not like we could just pop in. Anyway, we’re both ok with the decision.
My goal for 2023 is to go to one new place to camp and explore that area. I’d like it to be within 4-5 hours of driving.
So far for 2023, we have New Brighton booked in March and Wrights Beach in April. Both are 5 nights and that’s a nice amount of time. I think we’re going to book Napa at the end of each of these if we can get in. I’ll check that soon. My goal is to not drive more than 2-3 hours a day unless we are on an extended trip. I still have hopes that we can get to the Southwest, and then Pacific North West but with gas prices, we need to be budget-minded. I think I want to have a dedicated savings for travel and then that money will be in there for gas etc. We don’t spend a great deal generally once we’re in a location. So it’s really gas and the campground fees. We love the places we go to regularly so that’s all good. I mean Tahoe is my favorite place and where I want my ashes spread after I leave this earth.
Barclay is off to buy the concrete paint in a different color this morning down at Lowes. We decided to go with an earth tone in darker brown. Let’s hope we like it. Sort of an expensive mistake with the gallon being $50. Oh well… Then he’s going to pop into Winco for a few things. I think shopping at Winco has really helped my grocery budget. I can’t remember the last time I went into Safeway. Also, not running down to the Holiday Market for bits and bobs also is a money saver as it is definitely more expensive. I’m probably spending more at the farm but since it is produce just picked I’m ok with that. Last week I got potatoes, 2 cabbages, lettuce, spring mix, a leek and ?( I think it was some broccoli) it was $20. So pricey but ok.
I’m going to prep more apples this morning and get them ready for applesauce. I’m not sure I’ll cook them today but I’ll see how I feel when I’m done.
This time of year always is difficult for me remembering when I had the compression fracture in T 10 and didn’t know what it was or why. It was November 2003. Then later, in the fall of 2005, I was getting ready to do the SCT in February but was getting heavy duty chemo during this time. So difficult memories for me. Then Barclay’s MDS happened right about now too( early November). It’s an emotional time remembering these periods. Even when my last relapse was hitting numbers way too high, that was November of 2020 and I started chemo in January 2021. So lots of sad and difficult memories. Of course, I’m an optimist so right now things are stable. I’m doing well, Barclay is well and our kids are healthy and happy. So that’s all positive.
With the number of annual bills that have just come in I’m not sure Frugal fits anywhere in Frugal Friday. Except for the property tax due in December or earlier, if we can manage it, they are paid. Now we just have to work on what we put on our Visa to pay them. The VW’s bill of $3000 is done and with the gas credit Gov. Newsome just sent out ( we got $700) ( a very nice windfall), that mainly went to the AAA insurance. So we’ll get there, but it will be at least another month, I think. Oh well, such is life when you live on a very limited income. It’s inch by inch row by row…Still, I’m grateful for all that we have and our continued health.
B just had his labs done and all looks great. 🙂 I go Monday for my monthly labs so we’ll see if I have another increase. It’s a guessing game.
Yesterday was my swim day and it was really nice at the pool. Not super busy. The water was really perfect. I may skip tomorrow but I’ll wait to see how I feel. We had a nice walk this morning and were watching the light because in 2 weeks or so is the end of or beginning of daylight savings and we fall back. So if we’re walking at 6 it’ll be 5 and that’s just too early. We haven’t seen AH at all in the last few weeks so that’s nice.
This morning I’m pressure-canning Homemade baked beans( minus the bacon). This recipe is from the new book I bought. This was a fairly simple recipe without lots of prep or chopping. It’s a great book with lots of meal ideas for canning. Right now I’m sticking to non-meat ones but maybe eventually I’ll add something else in.
I stopped at Winco after the pool because I needed the molasses and the Great Northern White beans for the recipe. Plus I picked up some packaged food I wanted for the freezer like Amy’s cheese enchiladas and Morningstar veggie bacon. Oh, I bought dried New Mexico Chilies because I want to try canning enchilada sauce. That’s my next pressure canning project. I checked on the All-American again and now they are ALL out of stock. So next year will be time enough for me to upgrade. My friend from the Koffee Klatch said, “oh no, I put mine in our yard sale pile when we moved”. I groaned ” oh no!!!”. Oh well C’est LaVie”.
Yesterday, I cut up our old linen sheet that had started to rip into cleaning cloths and hemmed them on my sewing machine. I plan on doing a few more today.
Tonight is a pizza night if I get the dough out of the freezer. I can always do some pasta with sauce otherwise.
No, just kidding 🙂 It’s been a fairly frugal week except for our 2 year Septic pumping. This house only has a 900-gallon tank(which is now illegal but back then was acceptable.), so we need to have it pumped every 2-3 years. It was $575 so not too bad really, and we have that in our annual bills account.
But food-wise, it’s been a low-spend week. I have plenty of things in both the fridge and freezer to use. This past week I made baked herb chicken with our cherry tomato compote, veggie sausage bake, cheese toasties with avocado and tomato, and pasta with tomatoes, and mozzarella. Tonight is pizza night and I’m not sure that’s what I’m doing. It’s early yet so I have time to think about it. First thing this morning is to blanch and freeze some local corn. I haven’t seen the sales for 10 for $1.00 come up. Maybe I missed it. So this was 2 for $1.00. I got just 10. Then I have more tomatoes to process but I may wait and do that tomorrow.
Barclay was supposed to get his port out this morning ( a milestone after 3 1/2 years) but he got a rash ( we think from his Shingrex shot) and the doctor said he should wait for it to be gone. He’s going to call his team nurse this morning to check on it.
We went out for a coffee at the local cafe and had iced americanos. That was $10 with a scone and came out of his personal money. Since we are doing cash envelopes again, he’s getting $100 a month for fun money. That’s working out very well. Also, he’s in charge of the cash envelopes for chicken food, and home depot. I’m still working out how much those should be REALISTICALLY. A budget only works if it fits what you need to spend and have the $ to fund the line item. So far, I have Tractor Supply at $50, and Home Depot stuff at $200.
We are going to have to take my VW to the shop as the coolant is still leaking. Hopefully, it won’t be too much. I don’t really keep a car repair fund so I guess I better start that.
I just finished the corn and got 3 small baggies of shucked corn. So maybe 20 more ears of corn.
So far, it’s been a frugal week as we haven’t done much. I went into Whole Foods (spent $45.00)yesterday because I thought I could get some Nicoise olives for my Nicoise salad recipe from my Le Creuset cookbook. Alas, the young lady didn’t even know what I was talking about and said she hasn’t ever seen them there. Except I have bought them there before, granted it was probably 2 years ago. So I bought some tiny olives that look similar to Nicoise and they were actually delicious. The salad called for fingerling potatoes and they didn’t have those either so I was batting 0 out of 2. When I came home I boiled some eggs for hardboiled eggs for the salad too. I had bought a piece of Ahi tuna from Trader Joe’s last time I was there so I put that in a bowl of water to defrost. Then my daughter grilled that on the Webber. All in all, it came out quite well.
The reason I was going down to Roseville is my library hold came in. It’s the Maus graphic novel that schools in the south and basically all Republican states want to ban. So I picked that up and a few other books to read. I’m up to 65 books for the year and with the 6 I picked up I’ll be over 70. Not that numbers count as I just always have read a lot.
I also wanted to check out the gym that is next to the library that I can use with my swim membership. So, a year and 3 months later I decided to go in and see the layout. Now with Covid, I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway but now I feel fairly comfortable going in. It was really great and I like that it seemed simple and had the machines I like to use. I did a quick circuit and felt that I will add this in to my weekly workouts.
Other than WF, I don’t think we spent any money. Today I going to the farmstand, that just opened for the season, and get some things for the week. I have cash for that. The only extra expense we have this month is the truck DMV, which I mentioned before. I haven’t paid it yet and will do so towards the end of the month. Other than that everything is covered. There’s not much leftover but that’s ok.
It was a frugal week overall. All of June’s bills are in for the month with the exception of the DMV for the truck which is due at the end of June. The DMV seems really high but maybe trucks cost more. We bought the truck a year ago so DMV fees were included and we didn’t probably notice.
This past week was 2 grocery shops. Winco for @ $100 and Costco for @$120. So not too bad. Most of those things will last the month of June and were some pantry refills. I plan on going to the store tomorrow for some camping food things we will need like half and half, some bananas, and at least one salad pack.
We’re leaving Monday and I don’t think were going to hit traffic going up to Tahoe as most of it will be coming down going west. Tahoe itself will probably be busy but we’re not planning on doing anything extra except a lunch out. We also need to go check the dump station in Zephyr Cove as Nevada Beach campground does not have a dump station. We’re only there 4 nights so it shouldn’t be a problem. Still, we will want to use a dump station before coming home.
Other expenses this week were the birthday present for my daughter, stuff from Home Depot, and some things from Amazon. I needed some black-out curtains to hang as the sun is pretty intense in the bedroom and the entryway this time of year. I also bought a Hario pour-over set for Rubi. We usually do the coffee press first thing but then after we walk we’ve felt like a coffee so this will give us 2 cups more. It’s a small pour-over carafe. Hario is supposed to be an excellent product so I’m excited to try it.
Tomorrow is a swim day and I’m hoping the pool is somewhat empty. The other day it was absolutely packed with people even waiting which does not happen very often. I also thought to go check out the gym over by the library for using weights. I’ve seen the building but haven’t gone in and I’m not sure what the set up is but it’s included in my monthly fee so it’s worth checking out.
I don’t have much on the schedule today except work out in the garden shed some. Tonight is pizza night and I think we’ll order one.
After 6 months of glorious walking without the AH, he showed up yesterday. I almost fell over:(
So here’s the whole story, I decided a while ago that if he came back, which honestly I didn’t think was going to happen after 6 months, I would make an overture to him. So as he passed by I said ” Hey, Welcome back! Where’ve ya been??” Nicely… So he turns around( he a very dark sunglasses on so I couldn’t see his eyes) and looks at me and says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and then turns and keeps walking. I was floored. I really was totally floored by this. But he was here this morning and we just ignored him and he looked the other way when he saw us. I’m convinced he has some sort of social issue or a mental issue or both.
I've been married for nearly 15 years to a wonderful husband and I'm a mom to three great kids ages 12, 11 and 9. Oh, and I just happen to have cancer. Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of the blood that is currently incurable but IS considered highly treatable! My goal is to make people laugh, cry or feel a little less alone whether you are a mom, cancer patient or BOTH!