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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Planning ahead for Summer, a BIG grocery run!

Image: http://seedebtrun.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/aldi_store1.jpg

A PT appointment brought me to the city yesterday afternoon, so taking advantage of my proximity to the hospital, I headed over to Dollar Tree and Aldi's-where I now do the bulk of the grocery shopping. I spent some serious $$, restocking supplies, planning ahead for Summer (Summer=no pay, and I have at least one surgery if not 2 for this Summer). I bought the following:  2 take n bake pizzas, an 18 ct TP, 8 boxes tissues, 1 gallon milk, 2 large cans chicken breast, 2 fzn OJ, 2 pkgs of  kielbasa style "hotdog" size sausages and 2 sundried tomato ones, fresh broccoli crowns, 2 tubes fzn ground beef (still $3.99/lb), 4 bags fzn broccoli in cheese sauce, 4 pkgs fzn Prince Edward veggie blend, 2 bottles "splash" juice, 4 each: cannellini, black, kidney, garbanzo beans; 2 cans corn, 2 cans cut green beans, sandwich baggies, 6 12 ct pkgs of generic koolaid, 1 loaf white bread for Sunday's French toast, 2 each hamburger and hotdog rolls, 1 pkg onion rolls, 2 pkgs turkey breast (Deli meat), 1 pkg bologna, 1 tub "Boursin", several pkgs presliced sandwich cheese: Prolovone, Mozzarella, Colby Jack, Swiss, 2 bottled dressings (see separate post), 1 large can coffee (again-see post), 4 cans diced potatoes, 1 pkg imitation crab, 1 large jar apple sauce( Alas! I am down to 2 of my home canned pints of apple sauce, and one pint of tomatoes. TONS of jam and relish remain!) 2 cans black olives, 2 cans "spam", 2 cans corned beef hash, 2 4 lb bags sugar, 4 boxes marked down family size deluxe mac n cheese mixes, butter, stick margarine, low salt soy sauce, 3 lbs apples, 1 cantaloupe, 2 boxes honey nut "cheerios", "raisin bran", 2 bags each: potato chips, "chex mix", tortilla chips; 3 12 pkgs of soda, 1 box honey nut cereal,.

$185.11. Yikes! My pantry looks quite full, the freezer is happy, too-but I know that much of it is vegetables, fruit. It's NOT overflowing with meat, by any means.

Changes afoot at the grocery stores!

 A trip to Aldi's last night, and I discovered a new "basics" labeling at the store. I asked the cashier if this is a new, generic line and she affirmed that it is. While they still sell Aldi's ground coffee in the red label tin, this new generic is 50 cents cheaper and they are the same weight. Worth a try. I grabbed the 2 16 oz dressings to try as well-only 89 cents!
Next door at Dollar Tree, I am very pleased to see that once again, they sell EIGHT count cartons of eggs, rather than the 6 count they went to a while back. Perhaps people such as myself, did the math and boycotted buying their eggs there? I am back to paying $1.50/dozen vs $2/dozen for medium eggs-perfectly fine for baking purposes, as well as hardboiled, as 2 of these 4 cartons were.  Besides the 4 cartons of eggs, I bought (doing this from memory, I misplaced the receipt): 8 pkgs of fzn pot stickers (Pork and veg, made in USA product), 2 100 ct pkgs of muffin liners, 4 cubes of lotion tissues, 2 smaller tins ground black pepper, 4 pkgs fzn assorted color pepper and onion strips (pepper stir fry I think it's labeled. With 2 fresh peppers going for $1.59 at Aldi's, this is a far more economical option for me), 4 8 ct smaller portion chocolate bars, 4 bars dark chocolate from Poland (for Smores), 2 bags huge marshmallows (Smores), 2 jars of dry roasted peanuts (cheaper than Aldi's), a 3 ct pkg of hair combs, 4 8 oz pkgs fzn pork breakfast sausage links (I've blogged about these before. They are a CA product, a bit fattier than I'd like, but still a good item), 2 Goya dulche de leche waffer cookies, 2 pkgs vanilla waffer cookies (a Canadian company). I spent $40 ish.

CSA 2015 # 4

 Another awesome week at the organic CSA pickup: bloody Mary mix, a huge bunch of chives with blooms, a huge head of lettuce, carrots, a lb black beans (could select black or kidney), radishes, Kale.
Naturally, I clipped off the purple chive blossoms, placed them in a Mason jar, filled it with vinegar and capped it. It now sits in the sunny, dinette window, where it will "brew" over time, infusing the vinegar with the flavor of chive, turning the vinegar a pretty pink-lavendar color. Fancy salads come Winter!

What's been cooking?

 Tuesday night's quiche ingredients
 a bag of thin, frozen, green beans
 A bag of leftover salad
 Crabmeat, scallion, Havarti with dill quiche
 My supper plate.

Wed was Y.O.Y.O. and I had leftover sloppy joes. Worked for me.
 Thursday's casserole: 2 lbs ground beef and a large onion sauteed together, seasoned with salt, pepper
 Decadent mashed potatoes, using double cream, fresh organic chives, butter, salt, pepper, onion powder-Delicious!
 Baked pate chinois, a French-Canadian version of Sheppard's pie
 As tradition dictates, served with an apple-raisin coleslaw

My supper plates

Friday night became take and bake pizza night. I was in the city for PT, so decided to do my grocery shopping afterwards. DD and I ended up being the only ones partaking so leftovers will be offered for lunch today, if not also later this weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oil bills


Image: http://www.alternative-heating.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/9.-home-heating-oil.jpg

August 1-Nov 12 2014 used 114.4 gallons @ $3/gal $343.20/104 days=1.1 gallons/day

Nov 12-Dec 30 used 132.4 gallons @ $2.59/gallon $342.92/49 days = 2.7 gallons/day.
Dec 31-Feb 6 used 138.7 gallons @ $2.35/gallon $325.95/37 days=3.75 gallons/day
Feb 7-Mar 16 used 140 gallons @ $2.69/gallon $376.60/37 days=3.78/gallons/day

Mar 17-May 18th used 122 gallons @ $2.49/gallon $303.78/62 days=1.96/gallons/day

Spent $1697.45 to date with 2 1/2 months left (no heating months) to the end of our tenancy year, estimating 1.1 gallons/day @ $2.49 (current price), we should use approx. 77 gallons/oil or $191.73, bringing this "year's" total to well under $2000. I was spending more than double that at the former rental! Call it 4167.67/month towards oil for heat/hot water-I remain more than happy, all things considered. This calculation helps me to offset the increase in rent. It's the big, budgetary picture that I keep in mind.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday: stirfry

My own version of pork stir fry with oodon noodles, using planned over, roast pork from Sunday supper, 2 pkgs of fzn stir fry vegetables (snow peas, broccoli, colored pepperd), organic CSA: scallions, cabbage, a pkg of Oodon noodles, cooking oil, soy sauce.  I would have also offered chicken pot stickers, but someone grabbed those a few weeks back for their "supper" and Dollar Tree has yet to sell these again.

A what would you do situation

Image: http://www.havepointswilltravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/airline-no-show-policy-forfeit.jpg

I have used a fully insured, licensed and bonded, professional cleaning service since Aug 2012. They come once a month for the deep cleaning that I physically can no longer do. I pinch here and there, willingly, so as to afford this luxury. Per usual, I received a voice mail on Fri (the service day before) reminding me of and confirming my cleaning appointment for this afternoon, with the team scheduled to arrive between 3 and 5 p.m. I rushed home from work, so as to be here for 3. I waited until 5:30 (their phone lines shut off as of 5-though whenever I've called close to 5, they are already off), and I left a message, stating that the appointment was confirmed as of Fri, yet no one came today, nor did I receive any word from the company, as a courtesy, that there may have been an issue. I stated that I was not happy about this, and to please call me tomorrow (Tues) and advise me about this, and I assume to reschedule.

Assuming that I do get a call, I will ask for a new appointment, but am also contemplating asking for a discount for that cleaning, due to the inconvenience and discourtesy that the company showed me. Recently, I have asked around for alternative services, and have a few names. Most, however, are under the table types of situations. Being in a rental, should anything go wrong, a bonded and insured company covers it. This in fact happened at my last rental: one of the ladies accidently broke off a ceiling fan blade. Since it was an ancient ceiling fan in a room with 2 fans, the owner of this service replaced both fans, paying a handyman service to do so. No money out of my pocket, and I advised the former LL of the situation. She was getting 2 new fans at no cost, so she didn't care.

WWYD? Ask for a discount if one isn't offered tomorrow? Just find another insured/bonded service? go with an under the table person?

UPDATE: at 6:10. I received a call from the team leader of the cleaning crew, asking if they could come in one hour (call it 7 p.m) to do the cleaning. I told her no, it was too late, I expected them at 3, we're going to be having supper. Note that it takes 1 1/2 hours to clean, so they'd be here until 8:30?? While I do not fault the cleaning crew, I do fault the scheduling person who supposedly sent the crew "very far away" Of concern is the team leader asked, "So, are you cancelling?" I told her that I had already left a message at the office and await the manager to call me tomorrow to RESCHEDULE. Note that they charge $30 for a cancellation-something that I absolutely refuse to pay.