Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Medical freebies, saving on medical costs

 Yesterday was my annual check up with the allergist. I had gone from 12 sinus infections a year, to none the past few years. Continuing to plague me, however, is constant post nasal drip that causes a cough. Tests run, my asthma remains under excellent control-yay! We're tweaking my medicine  regimin and I will return in a month for allergy tests The visits with the MD and the tests are covered at 100% as we hit the deductible. Md also gave me samples of my nasal spray that I am to double up on (I also have enough stock piled so no need to refill until I return in a month) and an OTC an OTC antihistamine he wants me to use for 3 days, stop and take again as needed.
One thing I did ask for a prescription for is my rescue inhaler. The way that he had been ordering it through my mail order pharmacy meant that I was getting 3 inhalers. I rarely use just the one. So, instead of $100 for 3 inhalers, I got one for $40. Costs covered by my HSA.

Lunches at home

 Plans changed  over the fireworks weekend, which meant that I over bought. Franks for the grill became lunch food. I pan tried the franks in reserved bacon fat and towards the end, I toasted the New England rolls directly in the residual fat vs buttering the sides first. Came out so good! (reminded me of this British series I recently watched:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfPof73YF94) Assorted condiments offered, including extra ketchup and mustard packets from take out.
 2 small tubs of leftover, baked beans were combined, leaving just enough to stretch through this meal.
Ham and cheese sandwiches with macaroni salad was yesterday's offering. Really enjoying the fresh, Farmer's market lettuce I bought on Saturday.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Using my resources wisely

The elastic on this 100% cotton knit pair of boxers died, there is a small hole in the fabric. Instead of tossing them, I cut off the button from the fly (to the button box it went), the spent elastic was tossed, the boxers cut into 2, generous sized use and toss rags. I have certain categories of rags; these are the clean up something gross and have no qualms about simply tossing it. There are times that these more dispendible rags are reused. More will be created, so no worries. I rarely use paper towels, I still have a roll originally opened about 4 years ago. Seriously. They are pretty much eliminated for me.

 Here is a pair of kitchen scissors whose padding inside the handles made them a favorite for my arthritic hands. The padding, however is disintegrating so when  used, your hands feel all sticky, gummy. I had enough this morning as I went to clip the Sunday paper coupons. I took a round toothpick and scrapped all that I could off of the handles. Next, I grabbed one of the aforementioned rags, coated it in dish soap and scrubbed away at the handles. I then used a small kitchen brush on them. Afterwards, I rinsed them.
Finally, they are soaking in some diluted, ammonia. Once rinsed and air dried, they will be returning to the kitchen drawer. Keeping what I have working.

Sunday cooking

 This Sunday's "nice breakfast":  butcher shop bacon, fried eggs over toast, OJ, Hazelnut coffee. Lunch will be hotdogs from the butcher, leftover baked beans.

Up early and got a ground chicken (recent mark down, I normally use turkey but we're out and I didn't want to make an all beef meatloaf)-ground beef meat loaf "baking" in my oval Crock pot, originally acquired BNIB off of a local Freecycle site. Awesome. Sides will be baked potatoes, tossed salad with choice of dressing, steamed beets (saving the tops for another meal).

 I have just a few more of the bonus slices of Deli turkey breast left, about 14 hard boiled eggs for sandwich fillings, going into the new week. While PB & J, tuna as well as grilled cheese are options, adding meatloaf sandwiches is a welcomed addition to the lunch menu.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday supper: burgers and beans

 Burgers/cheese burgers on toasted, sesame seed rolls and choice of assorted condiments with a side of freebie, store brand baked beans. (buy brand name @ S & S, get theirs free-I love it when they do these promos!). Birthday cake and ice cream will be served after. Tonight, we will watch fire works launched from the lake, from the comfort of the condo's back patio.
 As I cleared after supper, I made sure to strain the pan drippings, and reserve the beef tallow for cooking. Someone on one of the blogs/sites I read recently suggested this British program on you tube:  Back in time for dinner:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfPof73YF94 which profiles a family eating typical meals from the 1950's thru the 1990's. I found it interesting, and noted that  still do alot of the "old ways"-guess that's part of my family's recent immigration to the US.
Gas bill arrived. Just over $10 for 3 weeks-that's nothing. My electric bill indicated that my daily average usage is 1 kwt over this time last year, BUT it covers electric for this condo as well as the former rental. I blanched at the bill. Severe measures are in place to ensure that it comes back down. I am surprised that for a gas fed home, there is an electric water heater. Should I buy this condo (I have the option for first refusal), I'd immediately install an on demand, gas water heater. While we do use the electric dish washer, there is typically some washing up by hand, if not just the counters, stove top, table/chairs as needed. I have been using a dish bin vs simply letting water run. I encourage the kids to use the hot/warm soapy water container within for a quick rinse of a dish, or their hands whilst in the kitchen vs turning on the tap. For the first time in my adult life, I will be paying for water. Conservation is key as my bills must reduce.

Today's kitchen prep

 Twin's birthday cake is frosted with a cream cheese frosting, there is a layer of homemade, raspberry jam sprinkled liberally with shredded coconut on top. Non pareils finish the decorating. Earlier in the week, DD suggested "just buy (sic) a cake" but I resisted.
I decided to use EVOO and salt free, garlic-herb seasoning to transform the soft dinner rolls into garlic rolls for future pasta dinners. Now frozen, as a freezer asset.

No need to alert the authorities

 Up early as usual, prepared breakfast for myself and one DS before heading over to the bus stop. Scrambled eggs, pumpkin bread,OJ, coffee (herbal tea for DS), banana were today's offerings. I  navigated the bus system with no issues, meeting some nice people in the process. I had no qualms just asking what I needed to do, where to go, etc. I was also able to use my Spanish while riding, as well as at the market.

 Today's freebies included this SNAP tote bag, a magnetized shopping list note pad, seasonal (raspberries) recipes and this strawberry.

Untie the drawstring and turn it inside out of itself, and a 2 handled tote appears.

One freebie that wasn't available to me was the free bus pass back home. An organizer of the farmer's market had me write my name down, she will assure that I get 2 free bus passes next week. More than fair. Normally, a one way fare is $1.50. My discounted, prepaid ticket brings it down to $1.35. A round trip would therefor cost $3 normally, or $2.70 with prepaid . Toss in the free pass back from the market, my round trip tickets are now down to $1.35. 18 farmer's markets are planned until the end of October, so I'll save $29.70 over the course of the "season," and the convenience is great-not having  to deal with parking.

 Other items/freebies available included nutritional info, children's reading books, an oven mit and some plastic gizmo that I couldn't figure out what it was.  I also took my $2 coupon voucher from the local Penny Saver (I have another one to use next week)
For $9: a huge head of Black seeded Simpson leaf lettuce, beets with greens, a huge bunch of Swiss chard, a basil plant. I am not a CSA member this year, so my $ are going to Farmer's markets instead.