Sunday, September 18, 2016

Weekend Shopping

It was a busy week here as I worked four days this week and have four planned for this coming week. Now that I am back to work it's time to stock up my pantry again after being in use it up mode all summer long. 

I received a free copy of the newspaper this week and scoured the sale ads and made a list of items I wanted to get. 

My first stop was at Fresh and Low because they have the best price on bread and black olives. Bread and hamburger buns are $1.00 here, and black olives are 88¢, which is much cheaper than every store in town. I also picked up a jar of pickles. Total spent was $10.30.

My next stop was Food City for store brand canned salmon for $1.99, but they were sold out, so I picked up a rain check. The manager then offered to sell me the Starkist salmon for the same price, so I bought four cans and he told me to keep the rain check for next time. Sweet. I also picked up apples, strawberry preserves, and some seasonings and spent $16.02. 

My next stop was Piggy Wiggly where they had Oscar Meyer bologna on sale for 99¢ for the one pound package. My daughter is tired of PB & J sandwiches, so this will be a welcome sight. I picked up ten packages spending $9.90 and placed nine of them in my freezer.

I also stocked on on Luck's chili beans for 50¢ a can. Chili Beans are one of the very few canned beans I will purchase if the price is right. They have a thick chili sauce that we enjoy. Most all of the beans we have here are soaked and cooked from dried beans as they are the most economical. 

My next stop was Publix where I bought pasta, granola bars, Campbell's Beefy Mushroom soup (for cooking), Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Cheese-It crackers. I had $8.40 in coupons for the granola bars, soup, cereal and crackers and spent $31.94 there. I was really able to stock up here. 

My next stop was at Food Lion because they had their store brand products on sale and if you bought four items they would take 25¢ off each one. 

I bought eight cans of corn and should have paid 43¢ each, but it didn't work and they couldn't explain it to me. They told me it was "probably" added to my MVP card and if it didn't come off next time to save my receipt and they will fix it, so they owe me $2.00. 

 When I was at Food Lion I was looking at the produce and saw a sign on the 5 pound packages of Ruby Red grapefruit which read 99¢ a package. When I checked out, they rang up to $5.99, so I explained it to the cashier and after checking the price she honored the 99¢ price. So, I got 10 grapefruits for less than $2.00 making them 20¢ each. 

What a steal! 

I was going to buy some oranges on my list today but no need to after finding this deal. 

We also managed to get to Kroger this weekend. I just love Kroger. They had their half gallon sizes of milk on sale for $1.00 this week. They were out of skim milk, so we bought 1% instead, and also chocolate and buttermilk. 

They have such great deals on markdown. Here is a bag of romaine marked down to 99¢ and the photo underneath is a pork loin roast, already cooked, marked at $3.99.

This was the weekend for the cereal deals. I combined a couple of sales with some coupons and bought all of these cereals for a little over $1.00 each. 

Cereal can be so expensive, but when combined with a sale and a coupon it is more affordable and fits into my budget easier. I would not pay the regular retail price for most cereals, but when I can get it for close to $1.00 a box then I will buy it. 

My neighbor blessed me with two more butternut squashes this week. 

Kroger had their store brand of chips on sale for $1.00 a bag this week. Chips are a rare treat here, but $1.00 is an acceptable price to me, so I bought several bags for lunches this week. 

I found a package of eight half-pound burgers this weekend for $9.79 which worked out to $2.44 a pound. Of course I will stretch this to use not only for burgers, but maybe a meatloaf and tacos as well. 

I know this post is long. so I will wrap this up. We are definitely stocked up for a good long time now.  I wanted to share my deals with you and hope that you are inspired to save as much as you can on your grocery budget as well. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Aldi has their two pound bags of carrots on sale this week for 49¢ each. No limit on these, so I bought six bags or twelve pounds. 

Food City has their 14.5 ounce cans of tomatoes on sale this week for 39¢. There was a limit of 12 cans, I bought 12 cans for my pantry. 

I did my usual Saturday chore of taking the garbage yesterday. I take the older car to do this and since it was practically empty on gas, I took it for a fill-up and paid $1.98 a gallon, so $20.00 to fill it up. The last time I filled it up was in the spring, so this will last a long time. 

I made a stock pot full of vegetable soup today like I did last weekend. It was great to come home and be able to heat this up all week, so I'm repeating the process this week.  

~ Living within our Means ~

Monday, September 5, 2016

Monday - Labor Day

Last week I was able to work four days while this week I am scheduled to work two days so far, although that changes from day to day. On two days  last week we went swimming after school and even with having dinner planned we ate very late on a couple of nights. 

Today I made several dishes that can be reheated during the week, so we are not eating so late in the evenings. I made spaghetti with Italian sausage, homemade vegetable soup, two pounds of soup beans (great northern), and two pounds of pinto beans. 

For lunches I made tuna salad and pasta salad.  I put the pasta salad into individual bowls so they can be grabbed to go in the morning. 

I also popped two containers of popcorn to have in place of chips since I don't have any of those on hand. There is fresh bok choy I chopped up into celery like sticks and I made some hummus for that. There are clementines and apples to take as well .

For dinner tonight I have some country style pork ribs cooking in the crockpot with some barbecue sauce.  There will be leftovers of those to use through the upcoming week as well. 

Planning our dinners for the week helps me save money by not eating out at a restaurant or bringing home take out food. 

And the food I prepare at home is so much healthier than anything we can order outside our home.  

My daughter and I both noticed that we lost about 10 pounds each this summer while only eating at home. :)

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, August 28, 2016



Stopped by my neighbor's yesterday to take some more free produce he had on his lawn. 

Hopster is offing a coupon right now for $1.00 off a gallon of milk.  

Here is the link: Hopster

Dinner tonight is going to be pizza and salad.

The "salad" is under all the fruit and vegetables. :) 

~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, August 26, 2016

Mail Order Prescriptons

My daughter's Insurance company decided in January 2016 that maintenance medications would have to be filled by mail order rather than through a retail store pharmacy. 

The problem with this was we were not informed about these changes. Therefore our limited number of uses for a retail pharmacy have been used up already. 

My daughter also has a secondary insurance that will pick up the balance. There has been a lot of red tape involved in figuring out not only how to get her medicine in a timely manner, but also how to go about getting the medicine paid for by her second insurance. 

The primary insurance company wants me to pay for the balance of her prescriptions out of pocket. My cost would be $474.69. This would be a huge blow to my budget, which is why I need the secondary insurance to pick up the balance. 

As it stands right now I have asked the primary insurance company to let us use a retail pharmacy since they are refusing to coordinate benefits with our secondary insurance.

As of right now we are awaiting a response from them. 

~ Living within our Means ~

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Carefully Consider Your Purchases

Back during the 1990s people thought Beanie Babies would be very collectible and worth a lot of money eventually.

My sister had quite a collection, but she was smart and sold them while they were still being sought after. Turns out she made the right decision. Today you can find Beanie Babies for a dime a dozen at yard sales.

During that same time Longaberger Baskets were also very valuable and sought after from collectors. Turns out those items too are now sold at yard sales for a fraction of what they originally cost.

I myself bought a Longaberger Picnic Basket for $2.00 at a yard sale that originally sold for over $100.00 from Longaberger. Although I did sell it this summer for $5.00 at the flea market.  

People used to think these types of collections could bring them a lot of money down the road, but that turned out not to be true.  Nowadays these items can be found at yard sales for a fraction of their original cost, leaving many people out of a great deal of money.

Look at the price that some people pay for new movies, new books, and TV shows on DVD. Since these items are mass produced and there are so many copies out there, they quickly lose their value. Of course a frugal person will use this to their advantage and wait to buy these items when the prices goes down.  

After working at the flea market this past summer I have come to the conclusion that many items do not hold their value.

I had one item marked at $4.00 for a couple of weeks, but finally lowered that to $2.00 just to try and move it only to have someone ask me to take even less for it.

I watched as item after item sold for much less than I thought it would go for and my prices were very reasonable. I priced my items so I could move them and not have to bring them home at the end of the day.

I even had one lady,  a repeat customer, tell me I didn’t have anything she needed that day, but she always checked out what I had because my prices were low. I wasn’t in this to gouge people, but rather to make money, so I kept my prices very reasonable.   

The flea market experience seriously made me question almost everything I purchase now.  I don’t know if I will ever buy something that is not useful or an absolute must have purchase without giving it some very deep thought.

~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Money Saving Hobbies

One of my favorite hobbies is to read books and blogs about being frugal. I enjoy reading how other people learn to spend less and save more money. I'm hopeful that I will read something or learn something new that I've not heard about before.  

Amy Dacyczyn, author of The Tightwad Gazette, made a hobby out of being frugal. She also wrote about money saving hobbies in her book. 

One of the things she wrote about hobbies was that if people choose hobbies that saved money verses hobbies that cost money, then they would be ahead financially in the long run. 

She also made the comment that having a money saving hobby will help a person to permanently reduce his cost of living. Instead of needing $30,000 to make a living, his money saving hobbies, like hair cutting and gardening, might allow him to get by on only $25,000 a year. 

She also mentioned that money saving hobbies might give a person more job options. And how many people do you know that have turned a hobby into a small business? My own father, after a car accident took his livelihood, took his hobby of knife collecting and turned it into a thriving knife business that he still makes a living from. 

The point of this is to say that it would be to our advantage to have hobbies that are productive. Learning to do something that will either save you money or allow you to earn extra money are good goals to reach for. 

You could learn to bake bread for your family, or to sell for extra money. When I worked at the hospital there was a lady who made cinnamon rolls and sold them for extra money. I also knew of a lady who made sausage rolls and sold them for extra money. The possibilities are endless. 

Money saving hobbies include such things as as gardening, sewing, bee keeping, woodworking, soap making, learning how to cook or how to produce food, learning to hunt, or even learning to build or repair items. 

The ability to build or repair an item will go a long way towards improving your standard of living. You could even teach these skills to other people as a hobby. It could also provide you with skills for barter.

You could also let frugality be your hobby as you continually learn new ways to save more money, so you will learn to live on less money. 

Hobbies that allow us to earn extra money for our families or help us to lower our cost of living are some of the best hobbies for those with a frugal mindset. 

~ Living within my means ~

Saturday, August 13, 2016

IGA Meat Deals

IGA has the country style pork ribs on sale this week for 99¢ a pound, which is the lowest price we see them for here. We like to make them in the crock pot with barbecue sauce.  Time to stock up on them. 

I dropped off the garbage this morning and went to get some and ended up buying four packages. I have one of them going in the crockpot now and put the other three packages in the freezer. 

I also found two packages of meat on markdown. One was one pound of ground beef with a $3.00 off coupon, which I bought for $2.03. I'm going to make taco salad with it for lunch today. 

The other was a package of pork cut up like beef stew, which was $2.00. I was standing there wondering what to do with it, but I bought it. I can make a pork fried rice or something with it sometime. It was too good of a price to pass up today. I also put it in the freezer as well. 

So, for dinner tonight I will serve the ribs with mashed potatoes and green beans with onions and olive oil for seasoning. I've also already made a gallon of sweet iced tea for dinner. 

What's for dinner at your house today?

~ Living within our Means ~