Na Na pinches her pennies

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Tuesday was busy

I had several errands to run so my brother let me use his car for the day.  I use it when I’ve got several errands in wide apart places and want to get them all done in one day.  I try not to ask very often since my SIL has me taking her places three times a week already.

I did a bank run for cash then went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription.  Next I went to tax office to pay the city property tax bill.  Picked up Spanky and took him to speech therapy.  On the way home we stopped at the Dollar store to get juice as his reward for being good.  Left his house then headed to the library to return recorded books and pick up more.  Swung by the grocery to spend this week’s food budget,  I bought two packages of pork chops on sale $1.39  per pound.   Total spent was $10.84

That was a little over budget but there was $2.42 left from last week’s $10 purchase of discount bin ghee.  That’s a lot less cost than I could make it myself.

When I left the grocery I went home to rinse and put the pork into the freezer to flash freeze.  I decided to put some into the crockpot and I’ll freeze it too for quick meals.  I had lunch of leftover spaghetti and watched the news.

After lunch I headed across town to the farmer’s market which doesn’t start until afternoon.  I get senior government commodities.  Each summer we are given $24 in coupons to spend at approved Kentucky Local farmer markets so we can have fresh produce.  The market where I went doubles two $4 coupons each market day.  So instead of getting only $8 worth of produce I can get $16 worth.

I was disappointed.  In the photo is $16 worth of food.  I believe the prices were way too high and probably because they know people are spending senior food coupons.  One bunch of greens was given to me free because I bought one bunch.  That means for my $16 I got one loaf of home baked (?) bread, two small tomatoes, one small bag of little orange tomatoes, a jar of mango chutney, two bunches of greens, and a zucchini.   I really doubt the bread is home baked.  I bake my own bread and that loaf tasted nothing like homemade.  Maybe she works at a bakery.  I can’t really complain about how little food there was because after all it was free.  I stopped to put gas back in the car before returning it to my brother.

When I posted yesterday I forgot to mention I had 17 eggs that were four weeks past their use by date.  They were on the stove cooking when I took the pictures and wrote the post.  I tested the eggs by putting in water.  All of them sank but one which got tossed.  I didn’t think of it at the time but I could have made a couple of omelets for the freezer and maybe custard pudding or pound cake.  Oh well.  I’ll make devil eggs and egg salad instead.  Hmm maybe egg gravy and biscuits with sliced tomato.

12 comments on “Tuesday was busy

  1. Marybeth
    September 6, 2018

    At least you got some fresh veggies for free.

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  2. KAYTHEGARDENER
    September 6, 2018

    Each county’s farmers markets here (3 counties in the OR Portland metro area) have their own market tokens. They will exchange those Senior Coupons for tokens & then people don’t have to buy in multiples of $4 with no change given.
    The tokens were also good the next year!!

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    • Anita
      September 6, 2018

      I sure do wish that were true here. We are only allowed to use the coupons at approved outdoor markets and only between July and October. Any not used is not good the following year. I noticed that items were marked at 5, 7, and 9 dollars instead of multiples of 2 and 4. I had a hard time putting together an even number which is how I ended up with a loaf of bread and chutney. There was not a lot of choices. I went hoping to find something I could can but not at those prices.

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  3. craftytadpole
    September 6, 2018

    Gotta watch the prices at Farmers Markets. I know that here, the produce is often more expensive at the Market than it is at the vendor’s store. I’d rather drive an extra 5 minutes to their shop than spend the extra money soaking up the ambiance at the outdoor market.

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    • Anita
      September 6, 2018

      Here we are only allowed to use the coupons at the approved outdoor markets between July and October. Stores are not allowed to take them as payment. There doesn’t appear to be any competition among farmers either. The prices were pretty much the same at all 5 tents.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bellen
    September 6, 2018

    Even tho rather skimpy, at least you got fresh produce. I live in one of the counties in the US with the highest percentage of residents over 65 – 35-37% hubby and I included. I always look at what others buy when grocery shopping and frankly I’m appalled at the lack of fresh produce. Since I just started reading your blog – do you raise any of your own veggies? I don’t have an inground garden here in FL but I do have containers where I grow lettuce, kale, radishes, carrots (a high lycopene variety), cukes and peppers. I also grow sprouts indoors. It’s expensive to start with sprouts – usually $5-6 for a 4 oz package but that lasts for a long time since you only use a tablespoon at a time. Besides watching the water usage we’re also closely watching our food budget. When hubby dies (probably before me as he has health issues) I will be at or below the poverty level. So reading a blog from someone close to my age is extremely useful – thank you and sorry this was so long.

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    • Anita
      September 6, 2018

      Comments are always welcome here. There are many seniors among us.

      We have a groundhog problem here in my area. They are horrible on a garden. My back yard gets very little sunshine because of a big warehouse and stays very damp. Mosquitoes love my backyard for breeding. City ordnance says we can’t have gardens in front yards. I have a couple videos of my back yard. If you click on the category called backyard garden at the bottom of the page you can see them. I did buy a couple of self watering containers this year that I put near the back door. I planted a cherry tomato, a couple lettuce, and a chocolate basil. None of them did very well except the basil. I think I used the wrong kind of soil. I was surprised the groundhogs left them alone. Maybe because of being so close to the house or because the plants weren’t tasty enough. I’ve been gathering plastic containers to use for container gardening next year.

      Funny you should mention sprouts. I used to do quite a bit of sprouting at my old house. I’ve been thinking of starting again but I left my sprouting supplies behind when I moved. I’m really hoping the store with the bulk food isle will eventually include sprouting seeds and containers. I love alfalfa and broccoli sprouts. The shipping is rather high when ordered online.

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      • carenowplease
        September 11, 2018

        How do we ‘do’ sprouts? What special supplies are required? ~Tracy

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        • Anita
          September 12, 2018

          I looked for a good but non-sales oriented youtube video that describes the steps to doing sprouts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkbMGVbpDM4 Sprouting is good for winter to get the nutrition from plants without having a greenhouse. No special equipment required except a jar with a mesh lid. I have jars and I plan to make mesh lids with plastic craft mesh.

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          • carenowplease
            September 12, 2018

            Thanks Anita. Tracy

            Like

  5. Margie in Toronto
    September 6, 2018

    Your Tuesday sounds a bit like my Wednesday! Our transit system has just started a new policy whereby you can get off and on buses, subway, streetcars etc. as many times as you want and even head back home all for one fare as long as you do it within a 2 hour window (as long as you are onboard for home within the 2hrs you are fine) so I have been grouping my errands accordingly. I live right across the street from a subway stop so it’s very handy.
    Yesterday morning I headed west 1 stop to return and pick up books at the library. From there I headed east 3 stops to the No Frills grocery store and the drugstore. Then home 2 stops west to drop off groceries & books, have a quick lunch of HM yogurt & fruit and then headed out again to head downtown – all within my 2hr window so only 1 fare. I did some banking, checked out the Dollar store for something I wanted (they didn’t have it) then north 3 stops to pay my Dept. store CC, walked through the underground to the fancy grocery to pick up some fancy varieties of apples – picked up a small treat at the Lindt chocolate shop and back onto the subway for home – 1 fare. Have to say that I was very tired and my ankles were rather swollen when I got home – it felt like 40C here yesterday (105F) so it was a bit exhausting!
    Today I’m staying home to do some laundry & housework – the weather has finally broken and cooler temps are moving in so I can actually get something done!
    Hope you get to rest a bit for a few days!

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    • Anita
      September 6, 2018

      That’s how our public transportation works here too but we are given a 4 hour window. The fair for seniors is 80 cents. It works really well when the connections are on time. I used to get things done the same way before I started chauffeuring my SIL in their car. Most of the time she goes places where I need things too. Now that my sister is going to the food banks I’m riding with her. My SIL doesn’t want to get food bank food because the wait is so long and there is no shelter from the sun. On days when my sister decides not to go I take the bus. Sometimes I can give someone a couple dollars to drop me off at home. Yes, I’m resting today so I’ll be ready for the first food bank day tomorrow. Its gonna be hot so I’ve put a couple bottles of water in the freezer. I’ll take an umbrella for shade and a book to read.

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