We’ve been having nothing less than 90F degree weather day after day after day lately. This is unusual for June weather in our part of the north east US. From what I understand much of the west is sweltering in temps well over 100F degrees. Each day seems to be worse than the previous one. We didn’t set up our backyard pool this summer because we are going to use the community pool instead. In addition, it’s less work for us, saves us money and a better way at keeping cool and beating the heat. Thankfully the pool has adult hours so the chance of some youngin’ splashing us in the face is almost nil. Thank goodness for small miracles.

Out little doggie is suffering the most. She wants to play outside but the heat is too excessive for her little body. Within minutes of going outside, she’s panting and breathing heavily. We decided it’s best for her to stay and play inside the air conditioned house for now.

Which brings me to our air conditioners. We traded in our old clunkers (18 years+) and got two new eco-friendly window units. One for downstairs. One for upstairs when the kids come over (which looks like it’s going to be more frequently this summer now that the pool is open again). Hubby had a discount coupon with Home Depot for 10% off any purchase. The new units (6000BTU) originally cost $229 each but with the coupon discount we only paid $206. We just set the temp where we would like the room to be (75F), set the mode to ‘energy saver’ and the fan to ‘auto’ and forget it. The unit cycles up and down on it’s own (it’s also a whole lot quieter!) and keeps our first floor comfortably cool….while watching the electricity bill!

Which now brings me to our electricity bill. It’s currently a whopper. First off our monthly $83 budget plan has a shortfall of $293.65 already and it’s only June. Our bill adjusts every January and so far the monthly budget payments we have made aren’t keeping up with our actual usage. True we’re home more, but still. Welcome to energy inflation! The cost we are paying for electricity has increased. And the powers-that-be (no pun intended) are just getting started with us. We’ve already made so many changes and adjustments to our energy consumption (for example: replacing all lightbulbs with LED models, living mostly in one room while watching TV, shorter showers, limited half-baths, washing full loads and hanging clothes outside to dry vs using the dryer). I have just come to the conclusion that we all are eventually going to pay and pay and pay. Period.

Don’t get me started on gas! In April our monthly gas consumption totaled under $100. May was $148 and June has been a whopping $180! Almost double what we paid a few scant months ago. And to top it off, we live in a very rural area. When we have to go shopping (for anything), we have to cross a toll bridge. It used to be $1.00 round trip. Today, the toll has risen to $1.45. We usually cross that bridge a minimum of 4 times a week. That means we are paying $23.20 a month in tolls just to go shopping! I don’t think I can cut the trips down to 1 a week but I certainly can try to cut the trips in half. Either way, I put into my monthly budget a $25 toll line item.

My garden is starting to produce. First in are pea pods. If I let them linger longer on the vine we’d have peas but I love, love, love pea pods. They’re very expensive in the store and they sell you so little of them. I sauteed a bunch of pea pods with some green peppers, onions and garlic and voila’…..a great veggie side dish:

Lastly, despite the heat, late at night, hubs and I are back to Friday Night Pizza. Prices for take-out pizza is orbiting Mars as far as I am concerned. Signs of inflation are everywhere. I’m still able to get a 5 pound bag of Aldi white flour for $1.55 but I always mix my white flour with bread flour from King Arthur. With King Arthur prices hovering around $4.99 I’ll have to start looking for a different supplier. Pizza flour from King Arthur is $9.95 for 3 pounds! So NOT worth it. Making your own pizza is supposed to be a way of saving money. Oh well. Back to the flour board:

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