Saturday, December 29, 2018
With those items I am closing the grocery year off. Budget was $575/month for a yearly total of $6,900. That includes all personal items like shampoo, deodorant, makeup, hairspray, all otc medications. I ended up at $7,062.30. That's $162.30 over for the year. Yes, I didn't have to buy $80 worth of Ukrainian sausage in Alberta and fly it home (from specific plant from hubby's hometown, best in Canada). Neither did I need that yummy cranberry soft cheese that I sampled at Costco and then bought. And when that real Canadian maple syrup went on sale for $8 a bottle right before Christmas I didn't need to buy that either. But you know what? When you eat at home 90% of the time you like a good variety of things to eat, and we tend to eat much better than we do when we eat out. So, yes I went over but at just over $13 a month over I think I did ok. I didn't have to buy 28 lbs of flour yesterday - but since I didn't have enough left to even make cranberry banana muffins tomorrow (using cranberry sauce leftover, and some frozen bananas and cranberries) it was time. Rather than try for a lower monthly budget I went to buy the biggest size I could for lowest cost per point. That is why I carry over overages/underages from month to month and start fresh each year. Thanks to the complete idiot for a president next door there were tariff wars on some of our food items but I am still trying to buy Canadian wherever possible (or any other country that is a fair trading partner) so it didn't effect me that much.
We had a lovely Christmas. Lots of eating and drinking and oh so much cooking. I think next year rather than 3 really elaborate meals in a row (Salmon chowder, Ukrainian Christmas Eve and Turkey with all the trimmings on Christmas) I need to figure out an easier menu on us. Hubby did at least 40% of the cooking over those three days and we both still ended up exhausted. My foot is swollen, tendonitis again so no more 10,000 steps. The last three days I have mostly spent off of it except for grocery shopping. I need to get it healed up! Not sure why it keeps flaring up, shoes have been examined and such, maybe just an aging sign.
Since my last post we have heard from several others on the island regarding our windstorm. We were very very lucky not to lose power. There are still many that don't have power back. One of our friends in Sooke, a suburb of Victoria lost power for 28 hrs. Some friends of Mom's in Chemainus only got power back yesterday! They had a generator but due to so many trees down on their road they couldn't get out for 3 days to get gas for the generator. They fortunately have a wood stove. Many here have no other form of heat than electric - thank goodness it has been several degrees above zero for all of this unless you are on high mountain ground where they have lots of snow.
Speaking of which, one my goals in 2019 is to become more self-sufficient in case of disaster. I need to make a better first aid kit -- we have one but it could be improved. Make sure our water reserves are always up to date and stockpile canned goods that would be easy to cook on the bbq. On December 22nd we ordered a portable generator for $687. I had some money in an appliance fund, it was time to pull the trigger and be prepared for future wind storms this winter. All of the generators on the island have sold out other than a low wattage one, we ordered a 4000 wattage one and it should get here sometime this week. I have no need to power our entire house if disaster struck but would like a few plugins for lights and electric fry pan. We have heat through natural gas, hot water tank is natural gas and so is the bbq but in case of earthquake we might not have access to that so can't count on it. What this storm has shown everyone is how easily our power grid is taken out in a lot of places and how long it can take to repair. BC hydro men as well as their counterparts from other Provinces that have assisted have spent 24 hrs a day trying to get power back to everyone. They hope to have it sorted by New Years Eve. That means several thousand people went without power through their Christmas, can you imagine a week or two without power? They are now saying it was the worst windstorm in decades, with the most amount of damage to BC Hydro. I am also stocking up on candles, for shorter power outages or between shutting the generator off. I usually have a lot of candles in the house as love them, but I need to buy several boxes just in case. We have battery chargers, vehicle chargers for our phones and usually have both vehicles with over half a gas tank. We definitely could do better in several areas but buying the generator was the first step.
Tonight we are having a friend over for a very simple dinner, BBQ kielbasa burgers and a salad and some cards. In 2019 I hope we spend more time with friends and family and more time having fun. I think that is a pretty good goal as I really don't make resolutions. We intend to stay home for NYE, as we do every year. I prefer to be in the safety of my home tucked into my own bed to ring the new year in. New years day is spent taking down and putting away Christmas stuff for another year and cleaning the house - a fresh slate if you will.
Happy New Years Everyone, may 2019 be the best year yet!