All our community pools are closed for this summer. The closest beach is 4 to 5 hours from here AND the beach communities are not too fond of New York tourists right now (despite our being one of the few states that have the lowest Covid-19 cases). With temps hitting the mid 90’s and the thought of me dancing under the garden sprinkler NOT being a reality, hubs and I did the next best thing: we bought a ‘kiddie’ sized pool.

Note: If you have any grand ideas of buying an above ground pool lately, good luck! They’re hard to find and if you do find one, it will be over priced. The pool shown below is the one I bought back in May. It was the last one AND it came in a banged up box. Luckily everything was intact. Normally this pool would sell for $369. I got it for $459, almost one hundred dollars MORE and I was glad to pay the extra!

It’s 12 feet wide by 30 inches deep: perfect for the grandkids AND the grandparents! Just add water!

It’s common knowledge now for all of us that food prices are rising AND it’s getting a little bit harder each and every day to buy meats and poultry at affordable prices. When we downsized our kitchen appliances a few years ago, I bought a smaller fridge (18 cu ft) since it was only hubby and myself living here. I no longer needed a side-by-side fridge nor did I need the electrical expense of running it. Fast forward to today and the freezer on top of my smaller refrigerator can’t hold many of the bargains I have been finding lately. Solution: buy a stand alone freezer and keep it in the basement.

Does anyone know how hard it is to find a freezer today? Some of them are back ordered to September or/and October! Don’t ask me how I did this, because I had originally purchased a 3 cu ft freezer, which I knew was inadequate BUT it was the only smallish one in stock. For some strange reason, as I was getting ready to write a post about buying freezers, the real freezer I wanted (Frigidaire 6 cu ft, upright) came available (again, only one left AND on sale! Marked down from $400 to $350). So, I bought it.

After it was delivered, my husband noticed a tiny dent in the back of the freezer, which made the unit tilt a bit. Hubby shimmed it and it’s fine. He did, however, call the manufacturer and they sent us a $100 refund to offset the slight imperfection! That refund balanced out what we overspent on the pool!

This was my cramped freezer above my fridge. Impossible to stock up on anything!
This is my new upright freezer, stocked up with bargains, ready for the 2nd wave of the pandemic, with more room to go! It’s energy efficient and only costs $34 a year to run. SCORE!
Here’s our current energy usage scoring. We’re almost efficient. Working on it!

Since it looks like we are going to stick with Amazon Prime, I changed our billing from once a month ($13 X 12 = $156) to once a year ($119) and saved $37. This amount will offset the extra we have to pay for the additional freezer electrical service. The basement freezer will store the bargain stock ups. The kitchen fridge/freezer will hold what meats/poultry/fish we will consume that week, plus some ice creme, ice cubes and frozen-ready foods, such as pizza, leftover meals, home-made soups, breads and whatever is needed for each week. I like our new system. It’s very organized and thoughtful. Plus, since the new freezer is an upright, I can easily see and reach for whatever we may need.

My garden is starting to harvest. This weekend I gathered up some basil and made pesto, a summertime favorite here since the 1990s. Based on a recipe I copied from The NY Times (click here), we’ve been looking forward to this Roman treat every year.

There are never any leftovers when I make pesto over spaghetti.
Lastly, I had 3 peaches left over and baked a crumb pie with them. I keep pie crusts frozen in my freezer! Served hot, right out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice creme. Perfect ending to a perfect summer day!