We continue to prepare all our meals at home, avoid restaurants, curtail entertainment fees and basically utilize as many things as close to our home as possible. Since going to the ocean is out of the question for now, we’ve been happy spending our summer days at our community pool as well at a local beach on the river. A bit different but perfectly fun.

Hubby cuts my hair as well as his own. I’ve mastered giving my dog a buzz cut every few weeks, as well as a shampoo and nail clipping. That’s been a huge saving in groomer costs! ($80 plus tip per visit).

Hubby and I continue to DIY. He the outside. Me the inside. Our John Deere riding mower may be seeing it’s last hurrah this summer. I think next year we’re going to have to finally buy a newer mower as DH can no longer fix the one we’ve got. We’re waiting for an end-of-summer sale and if the price is right, we may buy it this year rather than next.

Last month hubby had one of our cars’ oil changed. When he got home he found one of the plugs loose. He immediately called the shop, spoke with the manager, who in turn told him the next time he brought the car in the oil change would be free as well as a free tire rotation. Rather than wait, hubby had the shop perform those much-needed maintenance items on our other car immediately. That was a savings of $68.16.

There were some loss leaders this week I was interested in at the grocery store. One of them was deli turkey. The one that we buy at Aldi ($4.49 for 6 ounces) comes out to $12 a pound. I bought a pound of low fat turkey breast for $6.99 a pound, saving $5 on my lunch meat. I also bought 5 boxes of Barilla pasta for only .99 cents a box vs $1.69 a box (16 ounces) saving $3.50. Total money saved for this shopping trip was $7.43

Hubby and I were able to buy brand new summer clothes thanks to a big end-of-season summer sale at Old Navy. Many items were 75% off, so we stocked up. The last time hubby and I bought anything new at an Old Navy sale was back in 2015. Usually we buy our clothes at thrift stores. It was really nice to buy ourselves brand new clothes. Tee shirt tops were only $8 for solid colors and $10 for prints. I bought two tees, Hubby got three. I also got an ankle-length, orange stripped bathing suit cover up on the clearance rack for only $8.99 (score!) Hubby also scored a nice blue, button down shirt with sailboat motifs on it @50% off.

Next, the produce from our veggie garden is coming to harvest. The tomatoes are slowly turning red, some peppers can be picked, round zucchini are in as well as squash. I’ve been baking a few loaves of zucchini bread. We use the squash sauteed with onions and incorporated into a frittata. My veggie garden didn’t turn out as well this year as it did last year. That’s because I didn’t put my heart and soul in to it. Next year will be different. I’m starting to realize that having a vegetable garden in this day and age of chaos is turning out to be a money saver.

Lastly, I have been trying for years to keep our monthly grocery bill at $500 but without success. Since I track all our spending I decided to look back on our monthly budget and see how we used to do. As you can see, back in 2016 I started off each month hoping to spend $350 but unfortunately it always totaled up to $500 and higher. I tracked each month of July through the last few years and I always failed my own good intentions. If there is any good news in all of this it would be that despite our current inflationary times, I’m somehow still keeping our monthly grocery bill somewhere in the vicinity of $500 per month. Hubby and I eat very well. We’re not keen on eating cheap, crappy food just to save money. It’s not worth it to us. Anytime I went over $100 on my weekly grocery shopping, I highlighted it in red. Currently (July 2021) I’m also listing the dates I grocery shop so I can see how often I flock to the store. I seem to average shopping about every 5-7 days or so. Shop Rite no longer has the can can sales in July (or at all). I no longer buy as many steaks or beef as I used to. We no longer entertain. We haven’t taken a long enough vacation to bring our own food. I don’t stock up anymore as I already have enough stock piled food I could ever need.