My hubby left early this morning to do some small grocery shopping at Aldi. Due to the excessive heat, he thought shopping early would be a good thing. So, you can imagine my shock and surprise when I opened up the kitchen garbage can and saw a brand new, unopened package of maple-flavored chicken breakfast sausages looking up at me? WTF? The pack was warm. Maybe hubby accidentally dropped it in the garbage can, I thought to myself. I picked up the package, cleaned it off and put it in the fridge. Separated, however, from everything else. When hubby got home I asked him about the sausages.

Apparently, when he pulled out our cooler, which we use on every grocery shopping trip to keep cool food items cold, he found the pack of sausages in the bottom of the cooler. It had been sitting there for the whole past week. Obviously, it was not edible anymore, so he threw out the package. This $3.99 mistake was all my fault because I bought the links and I had forgotten to take them out of the cooler before stashing the cooler back in the closet. Oops. Oh well. I took this grocery loss fairly badly because no one, during these inflationary times, wants to waste food. Another lesson to learn: check the cooler and the freezer bags and make sure they are empty before you stash them away. Count this as a $4.00 loss for the week. (Plus I really like these sausages at breakfast!!! And now I don’t have any.)

Another frugal fail: hubby stopped at Shop Rite to buy a few loss leaders. One of them was for chicken legs and thighs at only $.99 cents a pound. When hubs got at the store, the case was empty. When he asked the butcher where the legs and thighs were he was told that due to the bird flu, they didn’t get their chicken shipment. (millions and millions of chickens have been killed over these past weeks. It will take 4 to 5 months for the stock to replenish) So, hubby continued on his lost leader shopping trek and bought a pack of Italian link sausage ($1.99 a pound with digital coupon), a 3 pound bag of onions ($1.49). Needless to say when he got to the cashier, there was a minimum purchase amount ($10) in order to qualify for the digital coupon. The cashier said hubby didn’t make it so he didn’t qualify. He had to pay full price ($2.99 a pound, but in truth, that was still a good price anyway). However, when I looked at the sales receipt, hubs had spent $10.83 so technically he DID qualify. And no, hubby didn’t get a Rain Check either on the .99 cent-per-pound chicken legs and thighs. My husband isn’t as savvy yet when it comes to grocery shopping as I am. But we’re working on it!

Other financial mishaps I can complain about this week? Here goes. Even though gas has dropped to $4.29 a gallon, hubby’s pick up truck still costs us $78 for just 3/4 of a tank fill up. Ugh.

I keep an extra $1,000 available to supplement our checking account. I use this if a good deal comes along or an unexpected bill or opportunity. I try to make sure I have these extra funds available at all times. This month, however, our bills were just tantamount. I had to cover a propane delivery in full @$625 because our supplier won’t do equal billing installments anymore. And I had to cover a 50% deposit on another RV vacay after Labor Day. My $1000 has been reduced to $64 and I am NOT happy about that. The reason is because it’s not so easy for us to replenish that extra cushion anymore as we used to. Granted we don’t have to take another RV vacay. But really? We shouldn’t? How much more sacrificing do we have to do to keep our budget in balance? Inflation has been hitting us, same as it has been hitting everyone else, hard and is now possibly cutting into our savings accounts a bit more than planned for or expected.

The only good news I have to report this week is that I finally took the plunge and got a vehicle insurance quote from another company. Again, this time it was an AARP recommendation and yes, we are now getting the same vehicle insurance for both our cars and paying $545.52 less than our previous insurer. That’s a BIG savings but part of the savings has to do with a higher deductible ($1,000 vs $500). I did opt for the Diminishing Deductible (for $12 more a month) but if our good driving habits can lower our bills even further, shrug, I had to opt for it. Just make sure, I told myself, you keep those thousands of dollars available! (NOTE: we could have saved an additional $182 more if we paid our annual bill in full, but hubby didn’t want to. Next year, however, we will plan for it.)

So, there you have it! I win some. I lose some. But the message here is clear. Keep plugging away and try to keep things in balance as best you can. Make the necessary cuts and don’t shy away from sacrifice. Continue to prioritize because every day something different is more important than what it was the day before.

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