DH filled up his car yesterday. He was only buying $20 at a time but as I informed him by buying gas that way, each time he did he paid more and got less. “Fill ‘er up!” I said. And so he did. Total cost: $78.83. WTF? Just a few months ago a fill-up would have cost $40. Now? It’s almost double that.

I know. I know. Almost everyone is singing the same complaint that I am but there seems to be no end in sight. In the mail today, I got my final electricity bill for the year showing that despite my $88 monthly budgeted bills, I still owed the company $383 more! Payable in one lump sum. Or else! (I didn’t ask what the “or else” would have been). True to form, my new annual budget really did increase by 44%, just like the electric company threatened. My new monthly budget was reset to $127 a month. That’s $468 more a year provided I don’t have any more annual electricity shortfalls.

Is it just my imagination, but am I going slowly broke? I’m paying more for almost everything and I can’t seem to catch a break. No matter how much cash I get/use to pay my bills, it never seems to be enough. I’m always worried about the next big thing. I used to be the Bargain Queen. Now? I can’t even qualify to being a queen, let alone a bargain person.

DH and I are implementing even more energy savings procedures (cold water laundry, rack drying the clothes (no more dryer) walking around the house unplugging everything, installing LED lighting everywhere). I’m just wondering if it’ll be enough. It’s bad already that each evening we watch TV, we do it to the rays of a nightlight! I won’t even read a book at night in bed anymore for fear of burning too much of the midnight oil!

In order to afford anything anymore, you have to not use it. WTF? How bizarre is that?

On the good side, and yes, there still is a good side, I have been managing to find little bargains here and there. Remember a few months ago I had only the prescription lenses of my two frames replaced with my new bifocal RX? That little stint cost me $310. Insane. I have never paid anything near that amount in all the years I have been wearing eyeglasses. While I was in Florida two weeks ago, I went back to an optical shop I used to patronize and this is what I saw:

I could get two pairs of eyeglasses, complete with single vision lenses for only $78. No tax, because it’s medical. Thankfully I had my prescription with me, and voila:

I have one pair for reading and one pair for watching TV or driving, all for $78. It was worth the airfare just to go to Florida to get this great deal. (Note: I didn’t pay airfare as I had enough frequent flyer miles for a free round trip ticket!)

Another great deal I got this week was in a pair of pajamas. Normally, I would have gone to Goodwill but our local thrift store here closed due to the pandemic. So, I shopped the clearance aisles at Marshalls (a heavily discount store) instead. I found a really cute and comfy pair, originally priced at $35, marked down to $16.99 and then put on clearance for only $13. SCORE!

Lastly, don’t ask me how I am doing this, but despite all of the food inflation on the planet, I successfully have lowered our monthly food bill! I used to spend between $500 and $600 per month just for the two of us, but with extra special sacrificing and finally doing without, I lowered our bills towards my new monthly goal of $450.

I’ll keep trying to find deals while ‘they’ keep trying to raise the prices of almost everything more and more. Hopefully, this method of my madness will help keep my life in balance. Despite it all!

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