Friday, July 29, 2016

Good Buys In August

August is a good month to buy seasonal vegetables and fruits to put up in your freezer or can.

Those that will be in season depending on what area of the country you live in will be:

Fruits:  raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, grapes, watermelon, nectarines, canteloupe, peaches, apricots, kiwi, limes, and plums

Vegetables: lettuce, green beans, summer squash, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, peas, peppers, radishes, eggplant, chard, spinach, carrots, avocados, and cucumbers

Each August, I try to freeze a years worth of berries to make jelly and jam for smoothies and for desserts. I missed the strawberry season here but I will definitely be putting up blueberries which we make pancakes and muffins with. I also love them fresh on my oatmeal.

If I get time, I will can peaches like I did last year. I also like to make up smoothie bags with berries, canteloupe balls, watermelon balls, banana slices and peaches along with some frozen yogurt cubes that I portion out into baggies so that they are ready for the blender. 

I will definitely blanch and freeze peas and green beans. For years when I had a large freezer, I blanched and froze corn on the cob. My freezer is small now so I just don't have the room. If you have room there is nothing better than corn on the cob in February. I also cut up and freeze green and colored peppers to make stir fry and to put on pizza.

Besides food you can pick up school supplies, summer clothing, back to school clothing, laptop computers, items to outfit a college dorm room, coffeemakers, toasters, alarm clocks, bicycles, and tools which will be on sale. You will find some of the cheapest prices for these items during August.

You will also find discounts on back to school haircuts. Maybe even some discounts for the adults.

If you need a new grill or patio set, they will be discounted. I am in the market for a new patio set so I will be looking for a deeply discounted one. 

If you know of anything else that will be on sale please leave a comment.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

One Day In My Life

Today I am going to take you along for the ride as I go through my day. I have not done that in a while. Not every day is the same around here depending on what needs to be done. But I wake up refreshed every morning to enjoy another beautiful day. The sun is shining but it is humid again.

This morning I took my usual navy shower as I go along my path vowing to use up the 85 bars of soap that we have stockpiled. After I dressed in my 12 year old shorts, 20 year old shirt, and 10 year old sneakers,  I used the water that I caught in a bucket while the shower was heating up to water my hanging baskets outdoors. Then I retrieved Hubby's newspaper which he enjoys with his glass of iced tap water. Hubby left to go to the lab for his blood draws.

After I made my one cup of coffee, I settled down to a half hour of computer time to start this post and check my e-mail. When Hubby came home, I made breakfast which was berries, egg beaters and 1/2 bagel, lightly buttered. Hubby and I decided to get some fresh air and eat outside on the patio. 

It was so nice out that after we did the dishes, we went back outside. Hubby read his paper and I went through my follow up folder making some phone calls that were necessary. 

One of those calls was to my internet and cable provider. While Hubby was in the hospital, they upped my bill by $15.00 to $156.+ taxes a month saying my deal was over.  After speaking to two representatives and 30 minutes on the telephone, they have reduced my cost to $ 138.37 including taxes a month. That is $ 3.15 less a month than I was paying prior to the increase. I also got them to credit me for the increase that had already been paid for this past month. It pays to make those telephone calls.

Then it was time to do some prep work for dinner tonight. I needed to cut up some peppers and onions to make stir fry using leftover pork tenderloin. I also cut up the pork loin and will add some chunked pineapple when I make dinner.

Next I spent some time in the basement defrosting my freezer again. It is a chest freezer and seems to grow ice since it is not a frost free one. So I use a bucket to catch the ice that I blow dry off of the walls. Then I clean and dry all of the inside surfaces.  I want everything clean and organized for the fall and winter. After doing the organizing, I realized that I have almost enough meat, poultry and fish to last us 6 months. I have enough fruit and vegetables to last us 3 months or more. I also have a stockpile of unsalted butter and sugar free cool whip that will last us for months. Hubby loves the cool whip on his SF jello as a dessert. 

Cleaning and deicing the freezer took me about 35 minutes. After I put all of the food back, I made 100% sure that the freezer was plugged back in and running. Look how nice it looks now. My son will be thrilled that I found 2 more pounds of regular bacon for he and his family. 

Now that I have accomplished that, I can go through the stockpile shelves in the basement tomorrow and pull out all of the things Hubby can't have. Then I will give them to my best friend.  

Next it was time for lunch. Hubby had already eaten so I made myself a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. 

After I did the lunch dishes I went out on the patio to read for a while. I fell asleep for about an hour. While I was doing that Hubby was cleaning the garage and transporting our wood pile(via his riding lawnmower with his cart attachment) for the outside fireplace  from the garage to the shed. It is much closer to the fireplace now. We will be using that fireplace alot as soon as September arrives.

Next it was time to throw a load of wash in the HE using cold water. Then I hung it to dry.

Hubby then wanted to go for as short walk which we did. We chatted with one of our neighbors for a while.

When I got home, I organized every thing that I need to go to a medical appointment tomorrow and to run some errands near where I am going. I always like to  make my gasoline do double duty. 

Hubby wanted to watch some TV but the remote was acting up. So I checked my stash for some new batteries and he put those in. That was the problem.

Mid afternoon, a representative from a company that installs Gutter Helmets came out to give us an estimate. Hubby had called them because he no longer wants to get on a ladder to clean out our gutters. He has done a lot of research and believes this product is the best although I believe it is majorly expensive. So we are going to think on it for a day or two and then make a decision.

After the rep left we sat outside in our front sitting area and enjoyed a glass of sugar free lemon iced tea until it was time for me to cook dinner. Summer will be over with before we know it. Our winters are long here so we want to enjoy our property and the fresh air while we can.

We had our stir fry over rice for dinner. It was very yummy and healthy. Hubby has always loved stir fry. The trick for me was making a low sodium sauce.  

Tonight, Hubby and I are going to pick out a movie to watch on Netflix. Then at 9PM we will read until lights out at 10PM.

That was my busy and unexciting day. How was your day? Do anything frugal?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Frugal Things That We Have Done Over The Past Week

We have had a good frugal week. These are the things that we have done:

- Cooked every meal but one from scratch. One day we got take out from Panera Bread using a gift card.

- Hubby with my help put in three new electrical outlets in the garage. He now has an outlet to use when he charges his scooter. All it cost us was $40.90 for the boxes, wire and channel covers. This is Hubby's field of expertise.

- Hubby and I trimmed flowers and bushes. Hubby has been mowing the lawn with the rider. 

- I did some grocery shopping. It is the first time I had time to look for coupons. Since I cook from scratch, I rarely get to use any. I was able to use two; one for olive oil and one for sour cream. Every thing else was purchased on sale or was a store brand. I used $ 1.72 gift card from Walmart Savings Catcher. I paid for the rest using my 2% reward card.

- We charge everything that we can with our reward credit cards and pay it off when it is due.

- We have cooked most meals outside on the grill to keep the house cool. 

- I kept the thermostat turned up to 75 on the A/C even though it was so hot and humid outside the past month. Last years bill when it was not anywhere near as hot was $101.06. This year's bill was $ 91.73 a savings of almost $ 10.00. It pays to be conscious of energy use.  

- We used to get a lot of free address labels from various companies. We have not been getting them recently so we have run out of the ones we had. We determined it was cheaper in the long run to buy a stamp with our name and address on it rather than buy special adhesive paper to print labels out. So Hubby found a deal and ordered one.

- I returned a large bottle of fish oil capsules to B.J.'s that I purchased recently. The Dr. told us to stop taking them. It has been proven that they don't help. I couldn't find the receipt but B.J.'s let me return them and put the return on a gift card. I spent it on veggies that we needed.

- I filled up the gasoline can that we use for the riding lawn mower using a gift card that was free to us.

- I did 2 loads of wash using cold water and the express cycle. I hung them to dry.  

- I returned beer and soda  bottles that had been hanging around in the garage from having lots of company over the past month. I received $ 12.90.

- I deposited that $ 12.90 and $16.00 worth of rebate checks into our savings.

- My jeans were getting lose from losing weight. So rather than buy new while I am still losing, I took them in a bit.

- I had to break our no buying clothing pledge for the year. We had to buy our first clothing pieces this year. Hubby has lost so much weight that he needed shorts. He had me buy just one pair because he continues to lose. I needed bras because they were so old they were starting to shred. I only bought 4 and paid under $10.00 a piece for them. But those have been our only clothing purchases since January 1.

- I have been stockpiling meat and chicken for the winter at rock bottom prices.

- I continue to clean canned food out of my downstairs pantry. My best friend took all of it and said that she could use it. I gave all of our regular bacon and Italian sausage to my son and his family. They also took all of our recent purchases of spice blends that we couldn't use because they had sea salt in them. This saved me trips to the food pantry.

- Hubby has been purging some things in the house that we have decided we no longer need - one of which is brand new. He will be listing them on Craigslist. They should bring in a few hundred dollars. 

- Our son took our old gas grill that he says he can fix and Hubby's golf clubs that he was thrilled to get. He had been using Hubby's old clubs from the 1970's. This saved us from paying to get rid of the grill.

- Since we have had to water the lawn so often this summer, I know that our next water and sewer bill will be a fortune. So I have been saving as much water in the house as possible and making some of it do double duty by watering our flower hanging baskets. 

That is all that I can think of right now but I think we have done pretty good this past week.

Have you done anything frugal recently?

Monday, July 25, 2016

What If You Are Older And You Haven't Saved Anything For Retirement?

On my Spendy Day post, I received this comment and question from Amanda:

"I'm very glad to read that your husband is doing better and will be able to get around more. You speak of having the money you need to afford things that are necessary because you have saved and invested wisely. However what if you haven't done those things? What can a person do if they are starting from zero and not young anymore or maybe with a low income job. Perhaps you already have a post on those situations?"

As you all know, saving and investing for your retirement comes down to how much income you don't spend on your monthly expenses. Before I write any further, read this post:

How Much Do I Need To Save For Retirement? 

Once you have figured out how much you need for retirement, then you can work out a plan. You will know how much you need to save every month in order to survive in retirement.

If you started saving when you were young, you are probably well on your way to a nice portfolio to cover your expenses. Years of compounding will give you a million or more.

If you are starting from zero and you are older, you are going to have to practice every extreme frugality trick that you can learn to save and invest as much as you can toward retirement. You may have to take a second job over the next few years to get there. If you are lower income and your income barely covers your expenses, you have to do both...increase your income and cut expenses. If you aren't able to take an outside job because of the cost of childcare, find other ways to earn income. Start a daycare, start a blog that you can monetize (study those who are making big bucks from their blogs and how they did it), write an EBook and sell it, set up a shop on Etsy, sell on EBay and Craigslist. I know many people who buy at garage sales and resell on EBay and Craigslist and make a nice monthly income. You have to research what items to look for that will bring in the big bucks. There are so many ways today with the help of the internet to bring in extra money.

I say it is never too late to save for retirement. If you start late in life, the more you can save the better off you will be when you do retire. Depending on when you do start saving, you may have to work into your late sixties until you can get your full Social Security and your Medicare for your health plan.

Don't throw your hands up in the air and decide you are not going to save because it's too late. That is self-sabotage. Do the work. It won't be easy but you will be better off in the long run when and if you do retire. It's a lot easier in your fifties or younger to do the hard work than being sixty five and not being able to afford your prescriptions or eating once a day because that is all you can afford. I do know people here in my town that have to live that way. It's not easy and really scary for older people.  

No matter whether you are young or older, you have to decide what it is important to you. Do you want to spend every penny you earn now or do you want to save for a good life when you are older. I have had people say to me " I may not live until I can retire so I am going to enjoy life now." You can still enjoy life and save for your future too. You don't need to go out to dinner two times a week. Go once a month and it will really be a treat. Go to a cheaper ethnic restaurant. There are so many ways to enjoy life and still not end up as a pauper in retirement. Quit the Starbucks habit. I could go on and on but I won't because I think most of you know how to do it. You just have to set your mind to the task at hand.

Mr. Money Moustache and others have saved enough in ten years+ to retire very young. I will warn you in advance that his language can be a little rough. Ignore that and there is a wealth of knowledge on his blog.  Those same ideas can be used to save up enough in your fifties or beyond to retire well. Here are a few of his articles that I think will help you:

If you enjoy any of these, he has hundreds of articles on his blog. So take a look at his whole list.

It isn't easy to cut your expenses or increase your income but it is necessary if you want to survive retirement. It takes hard work but to me the alternative of living without the necessary money is much harder and very stressful.

So start today to enrich yourselves not the companies that you do business with. Remember it isn't what you spend that will enrich you, it is what you save. 

Sorry that I didn't link them. I just didn't have the time today. Just cut and paste.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Entertaining Doesn't Have To Be Expensive

One of our favorite ways to entertain is having our friends over for an evening of good food, conversation, and sometimes a board game or card game. Tonight we are fortunate that our best friends are coming to visit for the first time since Hubby came home from the hospital.

We are looking forward to seeing them. Since they always go out to dinner on Friday night, we invited them here afterwards for dessert and beverages.

I decided that we would have dessert the French way. But I had to work around Hubby's diet and one of our best friends allergies to a certain food.

You all know how busy I have been so it would have been easy for me to just order a fruit and cheese platter. But those platters are mega-expensive. A fruit and cheese platter costs $30. at my local market. I know they look pretty but I just want fresh and a reasonable price.

So an hour ago, I cleaned the fruit that I bought fresh this morning from our local produce market. The result was this fruit tray. Now I know it's large and there will only be four of us but while I was washing I decided to do all of the fruit. There is a cover to keep it all fresh and we will use the leftovers in the next week or so. I will put the entire tray on our dining table and let people put what they want in their bowls. I do have sugar free whipped cream in case anyone wants it for the berries.

I had a cantaloupe which I thought would give it some color. However when I cut into it today, it was not ripe. So I went with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries and grapes. They are all fruits that the four of us love.

I will also serve a cheese platter using the above pictured cheeses from our local cheese factory in Pembroke and some crackers. The table will also have a bowl of Platter's Orange Chocolates which is located in North Tonawanda. Not all of us can have chocolate but those that can will love these. The little yellow dishes will be put at each place for people to put their cherry pits.

The only thing missing for our French dessert are pastries. However one of my guests is severely allergic to one of the ingredients in those so they weren't even on my radar.

All of the above was bought locally. We like to support small local businesses in our communities.

It was much cheaper for me to make all of this myself rather than purchase it prepared. We will have many leftovers for the weekend and next week. My son and grandson will be coming for Sunday breakfast and you can bet that there will be fruit on the table.

So the next time you are tempted to purchase something that is prepared for your entertaining, think about how much cheaper it would be to put a little effort into it and save money.

We will enjoy our dessert with some after dinner drinks and/or coffee. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Stay safe!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Stockpiling For The Winter

This time of the year I love making things like strawberry jam and putting up berries and other fruits in the freezer or canning them. With Hubby being ill this year, I haven't had much time to do that so far. I am hoping to be able to get some of it done in the next couple of weeks. 

We are now eating everything fresh nothing canned. Hubby can't have processed foods and most cans have way too much sodium. So it will be up to me to get some vegetables and fruits put up for the winter or we will have to pay exorbitant prices for fresh off season.

The only other food stockpile that I will have this winter will be meats, poultry and fish. We have a pretty good supply started.

Everything else that is being stockpiled are household goods which consist of personal care, cleaning, and paper products. When I see a great buy on toilet paper, I get many rolls. When I see a great buy on vinegar, I buy gallons because I use it to clean with. When I see a rock bottom price on shampoo, I buy 10 bottles.

All of this is done not only to save money on the products but to save money on gasoline and my time by purchasing in bulk. If I see a great find online with free shipping all the better because I don't have to use my gasoline.

So when I found a great buy at Staples last week on Kleenex, I purchased 40 boxes. We were down to 4 boxes. We use handkerchiefs most of the time but when we get nasty winter colds, we use Kleenex. We also keep it in the guest bathroom and guest bedrooms for company to use. I paid $ 7.99 for each 10 pack and the shipping was free. I can't find it that cheap locally. We are now stocked for the winter and I can cross Kleenex off my list.

I am always on the lookout for a great bargain on all of the things on my stockpiling list. As I see them I order them in quantity or pick them up locally. Hopefully, I will have all of my stockpiling done soon and I can also spend my time concentrating on putting up fruits and veggies.

Then I won't stockpile again until Thanksgiving when, hopefully, turkeys will be cheap.

Are any of you putting up fruits and vegetables for the winter? Have you put up any strawberries or made jam? 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Spendy Day

When you think about saving for retirement or financial independence, do you save for the unexpected things? 

I know many of you save for the basics of food, transportation, medical and housing. Even within those categories we think about replacing cars, paying co-pays and insurances,household maintenance such as replacing roofing tiles, siding, and replacing heating systems and other appliances. We even think about accumulating many years of property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums. If you love to travel, you even build in funds earmarked for those trips and an amount for eating out or other entertainment.

But how many of you think about saving for the things that will make your life easier as you age? Do you assume that Medicare will pay for those items or that you will never need them? Sometimes I think we ignore those costs hoping that we will never need them. But guess what aging comes sooner than you think and you have to be prepared.

Nothing brought that last sentence home to us more than Hubby's stay in the hospital. I almost lost him and he is well aware of that fact. But thanks to the wonders of medicine, terrific doctors, and nurses and all of the prayers for him from family and all of you wonderful people who read my blog, he seems to be making a full recovery. They told me in the hospital that it would take about 3-4 months for him to fully recover his strength. After laying in bed all of those days and not eating for 18 days he was very weak. He is now starting to feel like his old self little by little. He has never lost his sense of humor and that is what is getting us through all of this. 

But all of this has changed our lookout on life. He and I are no longer willing to wait for things. You know the kind of waiting that says I will do that tomorrow. 

As you all know, we have two terrific grandchildren who we love with all of our hearts. In the past few years whenever they would visit and want to do something like go to the Zoo, we would go but without Hubby. Why you say? Because Hubby has had a bad back since his early twenties but in the past couple of years, it has become terribly painful for him to do simple things like walk to the mailbox, run errands, or walk any distance at a zoo or any other place. He has worked with back doctors for years and finally found one who gave him cortisone injections. They only worked for a couple of months. 

Before Hubby went into the hospital, he had an ablation done on the right side of his back. He was supposed to have the left side done two days after he was admitted. Needless to say we had to cancel it. Since then his ablation doctor has moved to another state. We are waiting the arrival of a new one. We don't even know if all of this will help him. 

But with the hospitalization, Hubby has decided that there is no way he will have spinal surgery if the ablations don't work. So he was determined to find another way.

His grandchildren and family are the most important people in his life besides me of course. I tell you all of this because we went and purchased this and it was delivered yesterday:

Yup, a motorized chair. Would Medicare and our secondary insurance pay for it? No way because Hubby can still walk even though it is painful. 

However, Hubby wanted one so that he can go along on all those outings with the grandchildren and watch their faces as they enjoy life. He can again be part of the fun. He is so happy with this purchase. I am too because I know that there aren't many places he can't go now. We even are planning an outing when he gets a little stronger to the Falls( Niagara Falls) which is where we spent our honeymoon and we have gone many times. It never gets old.

But if we hadn't saved our money for the necessities of life, we wouldn't have been able to purchase this with cash and make his dream come true. When I think about stopping for coffee at Tim Horton's or grabbing something at a fast food place, I rarely do. That is because we have always spent our money for the important things in life not impulse purchases that we wouldn't even remember a week later.

The chair cost us $ 1300. but it is worth every penny to make Hubby's life easier and much more enjoyable. Hopefully most people in retirement could come up with $ 1300. cash but there are some that couldn't. It would be a shame not to be able to afford something like this and have to forgo such joy.

Hubby is also planning on having the bathrooms made elderly friendly and some other things done that will help us in the future. We never know when we may need those things. He also is planning on hiring a landscape company to take care of trimming all of our landscaping 4-5 times a year and mulching  when necessary.

What do all of these things have in common? You need money. Money that we don't have to stress over because we planned ahead and invested wisely.

So when you are planning your financial independence think about all of those things that you will eventually have to have money to pay for. I don't want to see any of you have to go without necessities that make your life more enjoyable as you age.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Another Gift

We seem to have a baby epidemic in our neighborhood and elsewhere. In the past year, I have been invited to no less than 5 baby showers. Since I love doing "baby baskets", these are fun for me. 

Knowing that new parents need so many things for their first born, I try to make a nice $200. - $ 250. gift without spending that amount of money out of pocket. Things that are practical for the baby and sometimes a little something for the Mom and Dad - to - be also. 

Since I really don't want to leave Hubby alone while attending a baby shower, I brought the basket I made to my neighbor yesterday. She and her hubby loved it. My favorite part is the Gund Philbin Bear and the basket itself which is beautiful and lined. They can use it for baby's laundry and just wash the liner along with his clothes.

I spent about $ 75. out of pocket on the entire gift. Since the basket alone was $35.+ tax and the book was $14. + tax alone, I think I did pretty good.  The rest was paid for using reward points and rebate cash which I save to pay for gifts like these. 

This basket was loaded with two very nice mix and match outfits, a nice parenting book, a book for baby  to use in the bathtub, a book for Mom and Dad to read to baby, 4 long sleeve onsies, the Gund Bear, 8 pair of infant socks, nice soft burp cloths, 3 bibs, a medicine set, a pacifier, towel wrap, washcloths, hoodie towel,a discounted gift card and more that I can't remember.

So when you get those rebate checks save them up for a goal. They add up fast. Use a rewards card, only if you pay the balance off every month, and use those points for gifts. It's how we live frugally and every little bit helps when it comes to saving money to invest.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I Take Inventory And Back To School Shop Every Year

Back to school shopping has become a ritual for me every July even though our household only consists of Hubby and I. There are some great bargains to be had when you need some office supplies.

So every year I check our inventory of pens, pencils, tape, notebooks, computer paper, post it notes, staples, envelopes, folders, etc. This year I determined that we had no subject notebooks on hand. So I purchased three for us. I use these to keep notes for my blog, as journals, for projects, and for years before Quicken to track income and expenses, etc. Walmart had the best price here, just $ .17 each. 

Besides office supplies I look for anything that can do double duty for organizing. This year I hit the jackpot. Walmart had pencil cases that for the price of $ .97 each were pretty sturdy and perfect to corral some of the smaller things in our household. I purchased two while I was shopping for something for Hubby. After I came home and saw how perfect they were for lots of items, I went back yesterday and purchased twenty more while they still had them in my color - brown. I like neutral tones.

I had many pairs of spare reading glasses that I purchased for less than $2.00 a pair just thrown in a drawer. They now have a home in a pencil case to keep them from getting scratched or broken.

Of course, I also use them to corral spare pens in the office. 

They were perfect to organize these items that were in my nightstand drawer. These are my travel alarm clock, book light, mini flashlight and pedometer. They are things that I use often so they need to be handy. 

I even put all of the info and my P-touch labeler in one. It fits perfectly with the cover snapped down. I used this labeler to print all of the labels for the boxes so that I know, at a glance, what is in them.  

My Kindle and it's accessories fit in one perfectly and is always handy in my nightstand drawer. 

My Belkin energy meter and the directions are in one. This container keeps it handy and from getting broken.

And lastly, all of my waist money belts and purses are in this one. They will be easy to find when I travel or go out anywhere that I don't need to take much with me.

I am still working in our bedroom and closet and will find more uses. But I can also see me using them in the garage, the kitchen, the bathrooms, the basement, etc.

So if you are in need of small container storage, think about picking up some of these pencil cases while Walmart still has a great supply of them. The price is right!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I'm Learning and Sharing

Who said that you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
I may be older(growing) but I can learn new things.

Sundays are now reserved for special treats for Hubby and I. Since we are faithful to Hubby's new diet all week, we have designated Sundays as a day that he can have something he loves. 

So this morning, we had scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast. Egg Beaters are easy enough to do.

Bacon is a no-no because of the nitrates,sodium, fat, and preservatives. However I remembered that when my sister and BIL visited about 7 weeks ago, I purchased uncured bacon because he couldn't have nitrates. I happened to have an extra package in the freezer. This package is minimally processed and extremely low in salt. Hubby has to have a minimum of salt. Everyone needs some salt but we really are watching his salt intake. Monday through Saturday, he is barely getting any salt unless he eats a bagel, bread or a roll. So today, he was happy that he could have two strips of bacon.

When I cooked the bacon for my sister and BIL, I overcooked it and it was too hard. I have learned that uncured bacon cooks in about half the time of regular bacon. So since it continues cooking after I remove it from the pan, I take it out a little early. This morning it was perfect; just the way we like it. 

I am happy that Aldi's carries it. When it is on sale, I can get it there for $ 3.99 a package. Sometimes the grocery stores have it reduced for clearance. So keep an eye on the expiration dates and look a couple of days before expiration if you also buy it. 

Each package has about 12 slices so it will make about 3 meals for Hubby and I. But since we will only eat it on Sundays, I used my food saver to package the rest of it into meal size portions for us. That way I can just pull a package out each Saturday to thaw. 

Sorry that the picture is a little blurry. I was rushing.