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.

Simple Sunday

I went down to Walmart for a grocery pickup. It went smooth and fast. They really have it dialed in and it was loaded quickly and efficiently. Part of the reason I did Walmart is you just can’t beat their prices. I checked out Campbell’s tomato soup at the store as I didn’t have any. It was $1.99. At Walmart it was .98 . So go figure.

I came home and put together a batch of cranberry orange scones. Scones are fairly easy but sometimes they don’t hold together so we’ll see. The recipe is NYT orange cranberry scones.

This week FL is in the living room zone so I plan on doing a few things this morning. I wasn’t feeling totally great so I’ll leave most of it for tomorrow.

Last night I made what I’m calling Tucson mix. Back when we were at U of A, being vegetarians, there weren’t a lot of options to eating out but there was a small health food shop that sold a bowl of brown rice topped with a medley of zucchini, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and ?? Actually both of us can’t quite remember but I think that was it. They sold a bowl for .99 . So we ate there often. Yesterday I started it in the Staub and simmered most of the day. It turned out delicious. For my son( a meat eater) I sauteed some jalapeno cheddar sausage from costco and we also had some sauteed shrimp if anyone wanted to add that. I’m definitely adding this to the rotation in monthly meal planning. Next time maybe adding a yellow squash. I’m pretty sure it didn’t have eggplant because Barclay doesn’t like eggplant. Anyway it was a good first attempt.

Here’s the pizza from Friday night. Very nice!!

This week’s menu will include breakfast for dinner, Mac and cheese and salad, a new tofu recipe I saw in the NYT for BBQ tofu.

I just finished tidying the living room and dusted. I might do the windows or leave that for tomorrow. I still need to vacuum.

Rain is predicted all week with even the possibility of snow tomorrow. Our walk this morning was cold @ 36 degrees but NO one else showed up so it was nice. Everything was quiet and frosty! I can already tell I’m getting slight tingling( neuropathy) in my foot. Hopefully it will just an annoyance and NOT a problem. Velcade does cause neuropathy so I guess I’ll bring that up at my doctor appt.

Simple Sunday

A simple day to start the new year.

My daily chores are done and the FL zone this week is the kitchen. The entry way was only 2 days so I missed that. But, I think I’ll sweep the patios and tidy up the fir boughs.(my daughter already did all this so it’s done!!) I’m going to leave them thru january as it seems wintery. My door wreath is bay laurel so that can stay up too. I also have some nice pinecones we collected up in Tahoe on the bench outside the front door.

One thing I’ve learned with being more minimal is to use natural things for decor or seasonal decorations. It makes it easier for me to not have think about the decorations in bins. I definitely used to keep bins with seasonal stuff but not so much any more. Now I only have my vintage Halloween, and some Easter stuff and Christmas in some Ikea boxes. Works for me.

I used my Staub again for a braised short rib recipe. It cooked beautifully but we ( the meat eaters) were not too into the dish. It was good but not great. It will not go into rotation even though it really is an easy one pot meal. This pot though has cooked everything I’ve done to perfection. If you’re looking for an all around pot this is it. Staub should sponsor me as I cannot say enough good things about this pot. And that’s coming from a die hard fan of Le Creuset.

I am doing a Walmart pickup so that should get us thru till we get to Costco about mid month. I’m planning on trying to use the Instant Pot to make yogurt. It seems easy enough so on the Walmart order I have some whole milk yogurt to use as a starter. We’ll see. I’ll post how it goes.

My rib feels pretty good. Maybe still a little tender where I probably pulled the muscle around the rib. I’ll be sure to mention it to my doctor. He did ask whether I wanted to do PET scans and a bone marrow biopsy to see it there were any hot spots and/or if the myeloma has morphed. I declined since it is what it is regardless. I think if I had more symptoms I might but at this point I’m fairly asymptomatic except for blood work that show the increases.

This week I see the eye doctor for my 6 month macular pucker scan. I’m hoping to not have to get my eyes dilated as they stay dilated for hours. I’m also thinking of getting the surgery when the pandemic is over and things are back to normal so probably a year from now.

I added some more ” things I hope to accomplish” list. :

find 3 new hikes to try

paint the living room and kitchen( this was supposed to be done last year)

find 2 new places to camp( I was thinking either private or maybe just Forest Service campgrounds)

keep up with the prepper pantry but streamline what I stock( and know we will use).

Frugal Friday

It’s been an okay week. I was supposed to go to the eye doctor yesterday for my 6 month retinal scan for my macular pucker in my right eye but I woke up feeling lousy from allergy stuff I’m guessing. I called at 8am and asked to reschedule. Usually I just ‘plow‘ thru as is my nature but this time I just wasn’t up for ‘plowing’ thru. Fortunately, they were very nice and rescheduled me. Today I feel pretty much back to normal. Still a little sinusy.

Tuesday we had a fun day getting our Christmas tree in the Tahoe area. We stopped for coffee at our favorite place in Tahoe City, Tahoe House. They are a local establishment that’s been there as long as I can remember. There coffee is made with some fancy Swiss machine and is almost like a cappuccino with crema on top. Delicious. After that we headed down the lake and found the tree area and a nice tree.

This time of year in Tahoe is one of my favorite. Hardly any traffic and no tourists. Really lovely!!

There wasn’t much snow on the ground but what was there was very icy and made walking a bit treacherous. But it was fun and now the tree is up.

Obviously, we’re not using this whole tree.

Obviously, we’re not using that whole tree in our small house. You still need to cut the base off at 6 inches and the diameter can’t be more than 6 inches. We cut about 4 feet off and put that in the car to bring home for a Yule log. When we got home we cut an additional 4 feet to make another log and then I used the branches for wreath making and around the house.

The permit was $10. I bought it online and when I checked the next day they were already sold out. I think that happened one other year when we were too late.

I made a delicious beef stew in my new white Staub Cocotte. I waited since Black Friday last year for this deal to come up again. The pot is smaller than my Le Crueset and the design is somewhat different. Under the top are small points that catch the moisture and so the liquid doesn’t just evaporate. I simmered it on the stove most of the day and very if any liquid evaporated. I don’t know if the sale is still on, but if you’re looking for a small dutch oven this one is great.

I paid one of our cars DMV this week and the ‘ole’ van is due at the end of January. I budget these in to annual bills.

Today I’m doing a Walmart pickup for some fill ins like salad stuff and half and half. I think my next in store shop will be Trader Joes in a week or so. That way I can get what ever small things I need for Christmas dinner. We always do fondue Christmas eve and TJ’s has a very good fondue mix. I’m not planning on Costco till mid January and that will be because of coffee. I bought an extra bag last time so we should be set till mid January.

I’m planning to do a No spend month or even a No Spend couple of months. I don’t include groceries in that but NO AMAZON!!!! I’m sure, like most people, Amazon is so easy to just click buy and voila, it shows up. So that’s where I need to just stop that except if it’s a need for the house( like garbage bags or the filters for the air purifier).

Tonight is a pizza night, so I want to get the dough made before I go to Walmart so I’d better get going.