Friday, June 24, 2022

Fourth Frugal Friday of June 2022




Welcome to Friday! 

My Frugal Week

We replaced one of our window air conditioners this week. This one in particular would run up the electric bill using 50 kilowatts per day, so I was looking to get a more energy efficient model. 

Taking the old one out was a dirty job. I lined the house with old bed sheets and turned it over from end to end to get it out of the house. Lots of rust came out along the way. And then I washed the heck out of that window. The unit had been there since 1986, so you can imagine how dirty it was. 

Here is the view from that window…



I’ve been keeping an eye on our daily kWh usage on our electric company’s website/app. That is how I knew the old air conditioner was using too much electricity. The new air conditioner is using 30 kWh less each day than the old unit. Watching this daily will help us in our goals to lower the electric bill each month. 

This week I won a Swagbucks Collector Bill worth 21 SB. 


One of the tasks that fell to me before and after Mom’s passing was to deal with the paperwork/mail that comes in for her regularly. I also had to notify both Social Security and her pension company that she had passed. 

Mom retired in 2012 and she decided to take a monthly payment rather than a lump payout from her pension because she didn’t want my Dad to get half of it. They divorced in 2014 and Mom never did change the beneficiary. 

So, the pension company made their decision this week and sent me a letter. My father will be getting that monthly payment now for the rest of his life, which I know my Mother did not want. 

The moral of the story here is to make sure all of your affairs are in order before something happens. My friend Linda who is 84 years old and quite wealthy doesn’t have a will set up either. We need to be taking care of these things while we still can so that our wishes and not someone else’s takes place after our death. 

Groceries in August 2022 in Tennessee will be tax free. Here is a link for more information. https://www.tn.gov/revenue/taxes/sales-and-use-tax/sales-tax-holiday/sth-food.html

Our local thrift store had a buggy sale this week where they let you fill a buggy and only pay $15 for the lot. Bailey went and added more inventory for her online shops and also picked us up two new bowls for the cats. 

We line dried our clothing indoors this week.  Outdoors doesn’t work for us due to allergies, but indoors works well. 

Photo of the Week


This photo was pasted in a Facebook group I’m part of and I wanted to share it with you. The person has taken Minute Maid lemonade and added a packet of Kool-aid to make different flavored lemonades. 

One of my favorite drinks is strawberry lemonade, although I really like blackberry lemonade too. These drinks are easy enough to duplicate at home without the added cost of buying already made lemonade. 

The Tightwad Gazette recipe for lemonade is easy enough with one cup of lemon juice, one cup of sugar, and two quarts of water. And you can easily reduce the sugar and then add your own flavors either with real fruit or a Kool-aid packet. Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy beverages like this. 

Avoiding Spending

Due to the extreme heat last week, we did not go to any yard sales. I’ve stayed home all week and have spent no money. Bailey did go thrifting on Thursday and I gave her some money to look up markdowns for me. She came home with four packages of ground beef and several loaves of bread. 

Saving Money In My Frugal Kitchen

I’ve not done any major grocery shopping this month. Instead we’ve been  using up food items we have on hand here. I had a jar of sweet and sour sauce in the fridge that we were not using, so I made grilled chicken one day and basted the chicken with the sauce. Turned out very tasty. 

One day I made Chicken Teriyaki using some chicken tenders we bought on markdown. I served it with basmati rice and vegetables for inexpensive side dishes.

Meals This Week

Friday: Hamburgers & French Fries.

Saturday:  Sweet & Sour Chicken, Vegetable Fried Rice, Carrots, Egg Rolls. 

Sunday: Patty Melts, French Fries, Cole Slaw. 

Monday: Better Cheddars, Rice & Mixed Vegetables.

Tuesday: Movie Night Pizza

Wednesday: Teriyaki Chicken, Basmati Rice, and Stir Fried Vegetables. 

Thursday: Dirty Rice, Potato Salad, Salad. 



Thank you for dropping by my frugal blog, you are always welcome here. 

We would love to hear all about your week in the comment section.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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30 comments :

  1. We just went through setting up what to do with a pension my husband has and it was a real thing to figure out and then once we though we had the right decision made we saw some fine print that made us change our minds and had to jump through all the hoops again. It would have been incredibly easy to make a mistake. A friend's Mom has a house worth $2.5 million and has no will and refuses to make one. You can only do so much and then you have to just leave it alone and walk away from the upset.

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    1. So very true, Lana. I’ve not told my brother or sister yet as I know they will both be upset over it.

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  2. I am so sorry about your Mom's assets. It makes me realize we need to update ours. I do have a trust established for our sons, but some of our holdings are not part of that and need to be added.
    I know you are getting a lot fo the heat we are having. It is a miserable time to be outside, unless you are in the water.

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    1. Thank you, Anne. Yes, a trust would have been a good thing for Mom to have. Yes, the weather here is so hot, I know you all are hot there too.

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  3. What a view out your window!!!! Lovely. I bet that did take a bit of elbow grease after all those years. At least it is done and you will be saving some money now.
    Your meals all sound good.
    Have a good weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl. Yes, it took some elbow grease to get that clean. 😊 I hope you have a good weekend too.

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  4. Belinda check your mother's divorce settlement it may state that your father is not entitled to any benefits from a pension or otherwise and you can use that to change who receives her pesion .

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    1. Oh my gosh, I hadn’t even thought of that. Thank you for the suggestion. I will definitely look. That was another thing my Mom let slide. She used my Dad’s attorney for the divorce paperwork. I hope that others will learn from my mother’s mistakes in handling her affairs.

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  5. That’s so hard about the lack of will. But if your dad knows he wasn’t the desired recipient and this is more due to lack of paperwork would he not just redirect the funds to where she wanted them - which I’m assuming is his kids (ie you and siblings)?

    That koolaid sounds tasty but I can’t fathom making drinking full of sugar! Those days are long gone for me! Water all the way.

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    1. I wouldn’t drink all that sugar nowadays either, but lemon water is very good for you, so I try and drink some everyday but with no added sugar.

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  6. That is too bad about your mom's pension, if he was a decent person he would send it to you!

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    1. I agree, but I don’t think that will happen, unfortunately.

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  7. Our will has been made for a few years, but we need to review it. That should be done every so often and we want to make it easy for our boys if anything happens to us.

    God bless.

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    1. Yes, I want to make things easy on Bailey when the time comes for her.

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  8. Your view is lovely! I'm sure the new a/c will be more energy efficient. Great job tracking the energy usage.
    I'm sorry about all the paperwork and the ruling about the pension. That is rough. A good reminder to take care of things while we can though. I have a will, living will and medical poa, but can't seem to get my husband to take care of those things. We can only do what we can do...
    Hope you have a great weekend. Any good yard sales today?

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    Replies
    1. We didn’t go to any yard sales on Friday, but did get to about a dozen of them today. Not a lot of stuff to be had though. I guess it’s just too hot for yard sales right now. Sounds like you are all up to date on your will, living will and pop, that’s great. I hope you can get your dh on board soon.

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  9. We too need to update ours for when my daughter graduates, and life is different. Are you on good terms with your dad? It seems he might dedicate her pension to you and siblings? It seems unfair that after 8 years he without question gets the payment but as you said, lesson to others.

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    1. Yes, I am on good terms with my Dad, although my brother and sister are not. I may talk to him about it and see if he is willing, but I want to check their divorce papers first.

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    2. I agree with Sam. If you have a positive relationship with him, and even better, understand what was in the divorce, hopefully he will gift the pension to you/your siblings, as per your mom's wishes.

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  10. Belinda can you contact legal aide about her pension. I know there is a loophole your Father can take the pension no matter what. My Mom did this loophole. No, it's not right. I am still upset about it. It wasn't an issue for myself. I was only a teenager at the time. She burned a lot of bridges over it and still has relatives very angry about it.

    If you can contact legal aide and your Mother stated in her divorce settlement that your Father can not get the pension then the lump sum will go to you and your siblings.

    I know how frustrating it is that our parents are not taking care of their affairs before passing. Department of Aging told me that our parents generation is the worst ever in history about not getting their affairs in order. They told me they are seeing a lot of us Gen X'ers & Boomers coming in just frustrated beyond anything trying to get our parents to be responsible.

    My Mom is expecting quite a big funeral. She demanded, not asked, but demanded that my husband pay for the funeral. This is my Mom not his, lol. This is not senility. This is just how she is. She also wants a fancy casket and a very nice burial plot. We asked how she was going to pay for it. She said it was our responsibility to pay for it or else. We took the else. :) It fractured an already fraught relationship with her even further. She tried to make amends about it recently saying that she will donate her body instead to science. I told her I thought that was the best thing. :) The moral of this story is that I learned we have to be the parents now and put our foot down. We have to get their affairs in order.

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    1. That is sad about that generation not taking care of their business and leaving it for their children to take care of, sadly. I wish I could go back in time and help my Mom with all of this, but hindsight is 20/20 as they always say. I can’t believe your Mom wants your dh to pay for her funeral. Wow!

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  11. I am so sorry that your Mom did not update her beneficiary. :( I've heard of this happening more than once...)
    I heat my home with fuel oil; I've lived in my home 29 years & when I first bought it, fuel oil was 79¢/gallon. This past week I had the tank filled...235 gallons cost me $1,443.57. (crying emoji) I'm looking for suggestions on how to save on the fuel oil and electricity! I did hang out my clothes today! (Beautiful OH weather!) I do have a wood stove, in my family room, and plan on stocking up on more wood & using it as much as I can! PRAY FOR AMERICA & this economy!

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    1. Ouch! I feel your pain on the heating oil, Ms. Barb. That had to have hurt. 😢 Hopefully we will all glean some good money saving tips from each other. I saw a video on YouTube yesterday that has me concerned about energy costs coming. So, we all need to work together and save wherever we can.

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  12. So sorry for the mix-up in your Mom's inheritance. We had that happen too and it was not pretty (one child got everything and didn't share) but we all got over it, kind of. It's sad when they don't keep up with all that and they cause hurt for the children that are left.

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    1. Thank you, Vickie. That is sad what happened in your family, but I know it does happen. My brother and sister and I are managing so far. Mom passed away without a will with the house still in her name too, so we are dealing with that as well.

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  13. Fingers crossed that you are able to find the divorce decree, and get the pension resolved satisfactorily. And yes, such a good reminder to get everything sorted. My parents learned this when neither of their parents had things resolved, and left them to deal with it. They've been clear with their wishes, filed all of the paperwork, etc. My husband just dealt with his own family's stuff (his is very complicated, because he's the male heir in a country he's no longer a citizen of, and he first has to renounce his inheritance in order for his sister to get it. We want everything to go to his sister, as she is the one who will help his parents as they age, and has lived in the same country as them for 30+ years.)

    Great news on getting a more energy efficient air conditioner! Is solar popular/cost effective where you are? I know it gets warm, but various states have different models that make it more or less attractive, with subsidies, etc. We were able to add a full house A/C unit when we installed solar, as the company had to upgrade our electric panel, and the solar largely covers the cost of running the A/C, plus our electric costs for the year.

    Your meals sound great for the week!

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    1. Wow, that is very generous of your husband to let his sister have the inheritance in exchange for her helping their parents. That is good to know about the solar panels and air conditioning. I need to look into that and see if it’s something we can do here. I’ve always wanted solar energy and it’s beginning to become more affordable than it used to be.

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  14. I like how you wrote down your meals. I'm starting to do that on my posts to keep me more accountable.

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    1. I used to do a meal plan Monday post, but then switched to what we ate that week. It works well for me at this time. :)

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  15. Call the county clerk at the courthouse. They have the divorce papers filed there. Don't bother with father's lawyer as he might warn your father. This will only take a phone call, not searching. You can get a certified copy for about $2, maybe more but not a lot.

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