Monday, August 15, 2016

Going Extreme

We have been spendthrifts for the past 15 days. It is time to tighten our frugal belts.

Spending a fortune while my granddaughter was here was fun and not something that we do on a regular basis. She left with her mom to go home yesterday. We ended her stay the last couple of days by buying her $ 486. worth of school clothes but after coupons, I knocked it down to $ 200.22 including tax. I earned $ 30. in Kohl's cash which I gave to her mom to use this week for incidentals that she might need. We also went out to dinner on Friday evening after her mom arrived. 

Saturday we had planned on going to see Finding Dory. However when the movies changed on Friday, it was no longer playing at a theater close to us. So instead we went to the yogurt place again. Saturday night I made a steak dinner for all 4 of us. They went home after breakfast on Sunday. An hour later my son and grandson came for their Sunday visit. To say I am tired is an understatement!

However, today we had dental cleanings and checkups so there was no sleeping in. You all know by now that I hate dentists, especially the money they charge since we have no insurance. Hubby needed a 40 year old filling replaced and the dentist had time so Hubby had it done. The total bill this morning was $ 634. Ouch!  However, I charged today's visit so that I earn cash back on one of my reward cards. The dentist refuses to give us any kind of a discount for paying cash so this is the way I get some money off.

So we have to tighten our frugal belts to pay for these and a myriad of other large expenses this month and next. Hubby's medical bills are starting to come in the mail; not all of them are in yet but he already has over $ 155,000. in costs for his hospital stays. Fortunately most of it is covered by insurance.

We also have a hefty school tax bill that will come around September 1st. We have plenty of money in our investments to pay it but I don't like to touch them so I will be trying to pay all of these bills out of current funds from August and September.

This means being extremely frugal! As little unnecessary spending will be done as possible to save our money for all of those bills. 

So we started on Sunday by taking stock of all of the leftovers in the refrigerator. I froze some English muffins, chicken, sandwich thins, and fruit that was leftover from this past week's meals.

That left us with one NY strip steak, some broccoli and some portabello mushrooms leftover from Saturday night's dinner. So I sliced the steak up really thin. Then I sliced up a few onions and sauteed them in a tiny bit of olive oil.

I added the steak when the onions were done and made a gravy to which I added a touch of worcestershire sauce. Hubby and I had this served on rice. I also added the reheated mushrooms to mine. Hubby hates mushrooms. We had the leftover broccoli on the side. This was delicious and there is enough for Hubby for lunch today. Waste not, want not.

I made enough rice in my pressure cooker so that we will be able to use it for another meal later this week.

All of our meals will be made from whatever we have in our kitchen this week. The only grocery shopping will be for fresh fruit to make a watermelon fruit bowl for a party we are going to this coming weekend.

We also will only use our auto for doctor and dentist appointments but nothing else. We have used a lot of gasoline the past 15 days. The party we are going to this weekend we can walk to.

When everybody left on Sunday, we turned the A/C up a bit and I unplugged things in guest bedrooms that won't get used for a while. When I get a chance to wash the sheets from the guest beds, I will hang them to dry. I did a full load of towels Sunday and dried them in the dryer. We don't like air dryed towels so I always use the dryer for those. 

Before they left I went through every room in the house and made sure that everything got packed. My DIL always leaves something behind; last time it was her cellphone charger. I did not want to pay a fortune to ship something UPS to them. This time everything got packed.  

So we will be watching every penny so that we don't have to raid our investments to pay all of these large bills. I love adding money to investments but I hate taking it out. 


  1. Great deals shopping. I know your grand daughter was thrilled with her new school clothes. Sounds like a wonderful visit!
    So sorry about all of the bills. I'm glad that your hubby is doing well, and I hope that insurance pays most of those hospital costs. Your steak and onions look delicious.
    Hope you have a great week, and I hope you are able to get some rest. Company is fun, but it is good to get back into a normal routine too.

    1. Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for all of the good wishes. I miss my granddaughter already.

      I am exhausted though. I am hoping to sleep in tommorrow.

  2. Living frugally is a great thing when it allows you to spend money on those you love isn't it? :) I'm so glad you were able to help your granddaughter get her school wardrobe and I'm sure she really appreciates it, as does her mother. :) That was very sweet of you. Praying for your insurance to cover most of those medical bills. We are still waiting for a bill from the hospital emergency room for my hubby from months ago.

    1. Hi Debbis,

      You are so right. Frugality allows me not to worry so much when something like a hospitalization happens.

      Thanks for all of your good wishes. I hope your Hubby's ER bill is paid in full too.

  3. The reason you were able to splurge when your granddaughter visited is that you and your husband are frugal and careful with your money day to day. This post certainly speaks to your careful budgeting and creative life (look at that fancy meal you made, with leftovers!). Thank you for the post, enjoy some peaceful rest!! Teresa

    1. Hi Teresa,

      You are so right about the frugality. It is so ingrained in me now that I swear it is part of my DNA.

      Thanks for the good wishes!