Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Errands and Groceries on Tuesday

It was another chilly morning, today, and I finally turned on the heater!  What I have is a natural gas wall heater, not central heating.  It is set into the wall between the living room and the passage way that leads to the bedrooms, with one side facing the living room and the other side opening to the passage way:

Heater - Living Room Side
Since the house is open plan, the heat diffuses from the living room and passage way to the other rooms (there is no fan to circulate the warm air).  When the heater is on, the living room is the warmest room, the family room and bedrooms are always cooler, and daughter's corner bedroom, with two outside walls, is the coldest!

This morning, I sat in the living room, in front of the heater, until both the house and I warmed up!  There was a call from my oncologist's clinic as they needed to reschedule my appointment, because the doctor will be out due to the holidays.  They also raised the issue of my insurance coverage as my former coverage as an employee has ended; the new coverage as a retiree is supposed to have gone into effect as of November 1, but I haven't received any information about it, including a card or member number.  I will give them another week or so and then, call to find out what is happening.  In the meantime, the oncologist appointment has been rescheduled for early December and, I might need to call and reschedule the podiatrist appointment to December, too.  I am not too bothered by this as both these appointments are follow-up appointments, but, I can't go without evidence of medical insurance coverage for too much longer! 

After having a slice of cold pizza for brunch, I drove downtown to my former office.  I had received an email stating that my unused vacation time (and part of my unused sick time) pay out check was ready for pick up.  Since I no longer had my parking permit, I parked in a public parking structure and walked the few blocks to the office.  It didn't take long to sign for and collect my check; I didn't linger to visit former colleagues as the parking meter was running! 

On the way home, I stopped to put gas to the car.  I had half a tank of gas when I left to go downtown and the gas level had gone down a little bit below half a tank by the time I came back.  I like to keep the tank at least half full, just in case there is an emergency, such as a fire or an earthquake, and I need to evacuate.  After hearing the news stories about all the people who were trying to put gas during the fire evacuations and gas stations being unable to operate due to lack of electricity, I know having a tank full of gas is important.  Gas was $3.49/gal. and I put $34 worth of gas to fill the rest of the tank.    The last time I put gas to the car was on October 12, when gas was $3.65/gal. and I put $40 worth of gas.  At the time, I had hoped that the tank of gas would last me for two weeks, instead, it lasted me a whole month!  For now, I will keep the budget for gas at $100/month (it used to be $200/month when I was working).  But, maybe, from January, 2019, I might be able to reduce it even more. 

Then, I went to the bank to deposit my check.

After that, I went to the grocery store for a few items.  I didn't take a photo, today, but I bought:

1 gallon milk = $2.99
1 box pancake mix = $1.99
3 lb. bag clementines = $3.99
Bananas @$.59/lb = $.62
Total = $9.59

11/13 Grocery Receipt
The clementines are a little treat for my daughter who loves them.

November grocery budget = $100
Spent to date = $20 + $6.47 + $19.86 + $1.50* + $9.59 = $57.42
Balance left in the budget = $42.58
* $1.50 for the loaf of bread I bought on 11/11

While I was at the grocery store, I did a little price checking.  Since daughter was able to find pure almond extract (1 fl. oz.) at the dollar store, I wanted to see how much they cost at the grocery store. 

Brand Name Extracts and Flavors

They didn't have the name brand almond extract, but they had the store brand:

Store Brand Almond Extract
$6.00 for a 2 fl. oz. bottle, which comes to $3.50 for 1 fl. oz.  More than 3 times what my daughter paid for the 1 fl. oz. bottles she found!

I also saw this can of apple pie filling, regular price of $3.69; on sale now for $2.99.  A bargain!  Except, I bought a similar can (same brand, but the label on the can I bought said "Wilderness" and not "Comstock") for $1 at the dollar store! 

Canned Apple Pie Filling
When I see price variations like that, I feel like buying the entire stock of the items I find at the dollar stores!  LOL! 

By then, it was 4:00 p.m. and I was getting hungry.  It had been several hours since I had my slice of pizza for brunch!  I was craving a hamburger, so I bought one for $1.78 (with tax), on the way home; came home and ate my hamburger and drank a cup of tea. 

Then, I returned phone calls I had missed because I had been out all afternoon. 

Dinner was a bowl of soup and a slice of toast.  Later, I video chatted with my daughter, who was feeling a little achy after her flu shot, yesterday. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- The pay out check
- Being able to put it into savings
- A working heater
- Bargains at the dollar store
- Phone calls from family and friends

I haven't posted any To Do Lists, lately, and it is starting to show!  Time to start posting them, again!  Posting them keeps me accountable!

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Do the dishes
- Clear the kitchen counters
- Water the indoor plants
- Tidy the family room
- Change bed sheets and chair covers
- Do laundry
- Renew or return my library books

There is some shopping to be done, too, but, my daughter asked me to wait until she comes home, because she, too, wants to go shopping! 

How was your Tuesday? 


  1. I have gas central heating and it was turned on some time time ago. Now I've retired the heating is on for much longer as I'm in the house most days so I'm keeping an eye on the usage. My bill is obviously going to be much higher but I promised myself that I was going to always heat the house properly and not be cold. Luckily I switched to a new utility supplier during the summer who is much cheaper than the previous supplier so I'm hoping it won't be too horrendous.

    1. Heat in the winter is my one luxury. I don't mind not having air conditioning in the summer, but I want a warm house in the winter as I get cold, easily. Yes, you'll find your heat bill going up because you'll be home more than when you were working. I use gas for cooking as well as for heating. In the summer, my gas bill is usually under $20 for the month. In the winter, it soars to almost $300 per month, and the gas company sends me notices (energy audits) stating I've used 100% more than my neighbors, etc., and tips to reduce usage. I don't care. I budget for higher heating bills in the winter and try to keep warm! We just have one natural gas supplier in our area, so that's who I use. Hope switching the utility supplier helps you with keeping your costs down.

  2. Do you ever try space heaters in the bedrooms to take the chill off?

    1. Yes, I've had space heaters, before. They stopped working after a few years and I haven't replaced them. But daughter and I were just talking, the other night, about getting a new one for her bedroom. I slept with the heater on, last night, and it felt good to wake up to a warm house, this morning. :)

  3. I don't think it would hurt to call now to find out what is going on with your new insurance. You will find out when the card was mailed out, if at all. At the very least, they may give you your new number over the phone as proof that you have coverage.

    I'm afraid you would not survive in my house over the winter. I keep my furnace around 62 F during most days. I wear socks (sometimes slippers) and add layers of clothing on top. It gets uncomfortable if my fingers feel cold and I am crafting. I may turn the heat up to 65, but a warm cup of tea often helps. Last Christmas I was gifted with a warm blanket shawl from my son and DIL in Vancouver. It is amazingly warm and I put it on often while sitting at the computer or watching TV in the evenings. If I have company over I have to turn the furnace up to a more respectable 70 or 72 F for them, but I really feel too warm then. I definitely prefer it on the cooler side.

    1. Thank you, Susan. Maybe I will call sooner than later.

      Yes, I think I will wait until the summer to visit you! :D Yesterday (and the day before, too), I wore my sweatpants, socks (cotton, because my wool ones were full of holes; I need to knit some new ones), a blouse, a pullover sweater, a cardigan over that, and a knitted shawl! And I still felt cold, until I put a crocheted blanket over my legs!

  4. I wonder if it is less expensive to have a small electric heater in your bedroom. :)
    Unless there's company, I don't use central heating, especially at night. I use an electric heater.

    1. In the past, the electric heaters were used in addition to the main heater. My electric heaters stopped working some time ago and I never got around to replacing them, but my daughter and I were discussing getting a couple of new ones, this winter.

  5. A heater at my feet is a true blessing. Just to be warm. Lovely post. So happy for your retirement.... Maybe?

    1. I'm glad you have a heater at your feet to keep you warm. :) Yes, I retired in October, after 35 years of working at this one place and 2 years prior to that at another place. It was time to sit back and relax!

  6. It was -6°C (24°F?) this morning so the big jacket went on when I went out for a few items downtown. I got back in time for us to have an early lunch and then DH set off to the next town in the same vehicle and I was very happy as I know he will have to fill up with gas and I hate pumping gas! I even drive a few miles to the one full service gas bar in the area if I have to fill up. I guess I am used to kinder, simpler times.

    1. It's been decades since I lived in Wisconsin, but I remember temperatures like that (and lower, as winter progressed)! Back then, I didn't feel the cold quite as much, but I had a big, down-filled jacket, that a friend of mine and I put together from a mail-order kit!

      I'm glad your husband will put gas for you. :) I don't think they have any full service gas stations left, here, in my city! There was one, however, in Beverly Hills - I used to pass by it, on my way to the office after dropping daughter off at UCLA. But then, one would expect something like that in a place like Beverly Hills, wouldn't one? :D


Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Your comments are much appreciated. Please comment in English. Thank you.