Thursday, August 17, 2017
Prices Keep Climbing and More Cost Cutting Needs to Be Done
My husband was listening to the news on the radio the other night and the radio host said that according to the news sources, prices on gas are going to climb at least through Labor Day. We have noticed a jump in gas prices over the Summer and we are hoping that prices will go down a bit after Labor Day so that our trip to Montana this Fall does not cost so much. Prices on cheese in this area have jumped a whole $2 per 2 pound brick over what they were earlier this Summer. My premium for my health insurance jumped yet again, as did our copay for office visits to our doctor (which now cost us $45 instead of $25). Produce prices are higher in the area than they normally are for this time of year. Our water, sewer, garbage bill is higher as is our internet and phone bill. The price for tickets to see a movie jumped up too so even going to a matinee is now something that we really have to think long and hard about. Sometimes it is cheaper for us to wait for a few months and then we can actually buy the dvd of it (brand new) for cheaper than paying for 2 matinee tickets. Even better is waiting for it to come on Netflix! While looking at the ads for back to school sales and shopping in the stores, I have seen a huge jump in the cost of clothing, especially on underwear and socks which is what Jeff and I were there to purchase while it was on sale. Our property taxes, which we just got paid off today, went up substantially this year and we are being told they will be going up again next year. Meanwhile, my husband's income stays the same, as does the small amount I bring in. Luckily for me, the amount that my health insurance premium went up will be covered by the income that I bring in during the months that I am working, but that leaves no money from that source to put away as planned and leaves us having less money after paying bills in the months that I am not working. Time to find ways to cut costs yet again.
~With dairy prices going up, I am going to stock up on cheese when the price is $5.99 or lower for 2 pound blocks and freeze it. This week one of the grocery stores has it at $5.99 for 2 pounds. I am going to buy 3 packages of it since my hubby goes through cheese like water. He likes to have cheese sandwiches or peanut butter sandwiches for his dinner while he is working the overnight shift and takes 2-3 sandwiches per night with him. Cheese can last a long time in your refrigerator and you can also freeze it. If I freeze it, I will shred it first. I know you can buy pre shredded cheese for that price but I don't want to be eating the wood sawdust they put in it to keep the cheese from clumping up.
~I'm going to spend more time looking for sales and combining those sales with coupons if at all possible on things that we need. When I do find a sale that is at rock bottom price, I will stock up on those items as long as they are non perishable. I recently did this with 3 packs of Dial Basic bar soap for .79 a package and Secret antiperspirant for $1 each. I also found the hairspray I like at the Dollar Tree for $1 a bottle so I bought 5 of them since I never know if they will have it or not. I should not have to buy any more of these products now for months!
~Menu planning has become an even bigger priority trying to use what we have in our pantry and freezer and not let things go to waste. This will help clear out the freezer for hunting season and I can use more of the grocery budget to stock up on sale prices items and not as much on our immediate needs.
~We are going to have to limit our eating out even more. This is our guilty pleasure and we do eat out way more often than we should. I am trying hard to recreate some of our favorite dishes that we enjoy in restaurants here at home now and had already started doing that more this Summer before we were hit in the face with the latest round of price hikes,
~I'm going to try and sell a few more items that we have here at home that we are not using and use that money to finance our trip to Montana. Our trip is not something we can cancel because we are meeting our son Josh there, who will be home on leave. We will be staying at my parents' home so there is no cost for lodging. I do plan on bringing food to make a dinner for the whole family since Jaysn, Rachel and Steven are also coming so that is 5 more adults to feed while we are there. I'll most likely do some sort of pasta dish since my brother is a vegetarian. I've done this in the past making 2 or 3 different sauces so people can pick what they want to go over the pasta and it was a huge hit. I can also make the sauces up ahead of time. I'm going to make some blueberry muffins and I have already bought a smaller container of coffee creamer to take with us too.
~Jeff and I have debated about whether to continue with our volunteer work but decided to go ahead and continue to do it. We still feel strongly about helping others in our community and we also get free groceries ourselves. This program may not last much longer so we are going to do it for as long as possible.
~I'm going to buckle down and do more on my points programs that involve surveys. I know they can be a royal pain in the rear to do, but they do pay and every little bit helps.
~I'm planning on putting in a Fall garden. I need to get out there and get some lettuce and spinach planted. I am not putting in broccoli because the aphids are horrible right now.
~Our Summer Apple tree is giving us a bunch of apples right now. I want to make applesauce and freeze it for future meals.
~We will try to hold off as long as we can to use our pellet stove this Fall to heat the house. The stove will also be given a through cleaning before the heating season starts to make it more efficient. Luckily we still have some leftover pellets from last heating season to start us off.
~Chris and Josh have their birthday coming up at the end of this month. Josh will get his gift when he comes home at the end of September since it is breakable and I don't want to ship it through the mail, and I will be giving Chris some money towards a more breathable (and yet provides even better protection) police vest that is not as heavy as the one he is currently wearing. under his uniform each day.
~Jeff already got his big birthday present early so I will just get him something small for him on his actual birthday.
~Since I will start working here again soon, I will try to combine my errands with my work days since I will already be in town. This should save on gas costs.
~With Fall coming soon, I will once again be making more soups which is also a huge money saver for us. We usually have some for a few days and I also freeze some for future meals.
Those are the plans for now and I am sure I will find even more ways to save. :) Having a positive and can do attitude will help me win this budget battle I'm sure.