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Archive for May, 2022

May 2022 Saving/Spending

May 31st, 2022 at 02:50 pm

Income Total$1425.00

     * $1200 Recurring monthly retirement account distribution  

     * $225 Swagbucks and My Points earnings (cash out to PayPal


Total Spending: $1347.52

Total Savings$77.48 (difference between monthly income and monthly spending) 
Fixed Expenses: 
Verizon bundle (internet, cable): $160.43

Cell phone: $59.78
HVAC and water heater contract: $29.95 
Condo Fee (includes water) $190.00 

Health Care: (includes health, dental, vision, prescription plans) $477.78 
Utilities: $78.24
Gasoline: $0
Groceries: $82.84
Health: $86.62 (co-pays, scripts refillsvitamins and personal health care items) 
Take Out/Dining Out: $54.39

Shopping: $79.49

CVS yearly Carepass renewal: $48.00


* Condo is paid in full 
* Car is paid in full (2017 Camry) 
* No other debt  

The Power of Community

May 22nd, 2022 at 03:36 pm

Last Friday our senior center received an unexpected donation of USDA food (produce) boxes and gallons of milk from a nearby food bank.  That food bank had a very large delivery of these items and after their own food distribution still had quite a few left and could not store them. They reached out to local churches and other food banks as well as our senior center to see if we were able to help distribute them to the community. Yes! 


I contacted my 5 families that don’t have transportation that I usually deliver to once a month and all 5 were interested, and I picked up another 6 families from another “route” because their regular volunteer who delivers to them was out of town. Everyone is in about a 10-mile radius, so it was an easy delivery.  


We also put the word out to our members to stop by the senior center to pick up.


Inside each produce box was a 5lb. bag of russet potatoes, 2 mini, organic watermelons, a small bag of yellow onions, and a bunch of loose sweet potatoes and carrots! And separately, the gallon of milk. It’s wonderful to be able to deliver, and receive, healthy produce.  


I was really impressed with the power of the community. Because the food bank, churches and our senior center were easily able to coordinate this, a whole lot of food that might have gone to waste was distributed. Our county councilman has been instrumental in bringing resources together, and we have a very strong volunteer base. In a world where so much is going wrong, it restores my faith in basic human kindness to see this kind of effort in action. There are some very good people out there. I know I post a lot about food on here, but the volunteer aspect of this is so important to me. There are people out there who are really hurting and need help. If you are reading this, and you are one of them, please don’t be embarrassed to reach out for help.


So now, I will be prepping and cooking and freezing a whole bunch of great healthy food! Those watermelons are absolutely delicious. I plan to blanch and freeze some of the carrots (there were so many) and plan to make some sweet potato fries and potato and onion pancakes with the russets. I was really happy to receive some onions as I was totally out. I was also out of milk and needed some for a few recipes I had been planning.  


This morning I went to CVS to stock back up on TP. I had a lot of extrabucks, my $10 carepass bucks and some digital coupons. I purchased 2, 12 packs of Scott TP, 2, 12 packs of Charmin TP (the mega rolls) and a 12-count pack of Tide pods. After all deductions I paid $16.47 (with tax) out of pocket. But I received $15 of extrabucks back to use on a future purchase. According to my receipt this was a 76% savings. 


Yesterday evening I went over to my brothers for dinner, we had burgers and dogs on the grill. He just found out that he will need hip replacement surgery very soon, probably right after 4th of July, so we needed to discuss how I can help him during his recovery. His wife is mostly in a wheelchair now, and his son is partially disabled from a stroke so this will be challenging. 

I also had lunch with a few friends last week, it was nice to catch up!


We are having a heatwave here in Maryland, in the mid 90’s, so I had to turn on the central air. I keep it at 77 during the day, and 75 at night and use a fan and so far, this feels comfortable. We will see how high my utility bill goes!

Mid Month Update

May 15th, 2022 at 09:20 pm

I went to the grocery store yesterday for a few things. My favorite International Delight coffee creamer was on a great sale, so I stocked up. I bought 2 of the large, half gallon size on sale for $4.99 each. The regular price is $6.49. The expiration date isn’t until October so they will keep.


The price of eggs went up again. An 18 count of large size, store brand eggs is now priced at $4.45. The price just 2 weeks ago was $4.29.  I continue to buy these for just .99 cents using my club card points. I hope they continue to offer this. 


I picked up 3 bags of shredded cheese on sale for $1.99 each if you buy 3, regular price is $2.39. I needed cheese for some meal plans, including lasagna, and some cheesy corn grits. I also bought a loaf of bread for $1.99.


In total I spent $18.93 with a savings of $7.66, not too bad. Careful grocery shopping and spending is a necessity for me these days.


I received some great items from this month’s senior center food distribution. A 5 lb. bag of flour, 2 bags of fresh apples, and a 2 lb. bag of Kanza Corn, corn grits. Apples are my favorite fruit and I usually eat one a day, so this was such a treat. I made some biscuits from scratch (my first attempt) and they turned out delicious! Thanks, Rob62521 for your biscuit recipe suggestion and the tip on how to best store flour. I don’t bake a lot so I never buy flour, but this gift will not go to waste!


There is a recipe on the bag of corn grits for Baked Corn Grits and Cheese that I will be making this week. I have also been using up other things I have received from the senior center. I made an applesauce cake to use up some individual snack cups of applesauce and a box of white cake mix. This cake was moist and very flavorful without being overly sweet. Very good.  


I have a lot of peanut butter and oatmeal to use up, so I have been researching some recipes on different things to bake with these.


I went out to lunch with some friends today, it was nice to get together and enjoy a fun afternoon.  


We have begun to plan a family vacation for September, the first vacation in many years. There is a popular beach destination that is only about a 3-hour drive away, so we decided to go there. Something to look forward to and an easy drive to get there.


Not much else happening. The weather has been hot and muggy the last few days with rain off and on and more rain and possible thunderstorms expected tomorrow. Sounds like a good day to stay in!