Friday, March 8, 2013

What I Have Been Buying and Thoughts on a Second Refrigerator

I have been stocking up with some tax return money. It has felt so decadent to buy so much but it will be used. I am back to my normal budget for groceries this week though, so only buying what I need and what is on special.

Thought you might be interested in what I stocked up on with a little extra money. I am increasingly interested in stockpiling dried foods. I would love to go longer between shopping trips and rely more on my pantry. Things like dried veggies and such that could be used for pizzas and such.

Here is what I bought at Sam's club:
Powdered milk (I use this whenever milk is called for in recipes)
Bread Flour
Tuna (But I often find it cheaper on sale at the market and stock up then)
Cheese (You can freeze cheese wonderfully for grating and melting later. Sliced does not freeze well.)
Dried Fruits
OTC Meds we use
Scrubber Sponges
                                                                                My eclectic and small fridge.
Also, my husband and I have been going back and forth over buying a new fridge. The one we have is very small and we have a twin in the garage which we had turned off so we were getting by with the tiny fridge in the kitchen. It is a constant source of frustration and very limiting on what I can make and freeze ahead and buy in large quantities. We thought maybe we would buy a new larger fridge and for the size we want that makes much difference, we would have to spend a minimum of $1500.
     We had unplugged the garage refrigerator because of the cost of running it in the summer but after looking at the numbers, we have decided to plug it back in and use the existing refrigerators until one goes out on us. Even if you spent an extra $30 a month to run the fridge in the garage, it would only be for the three hottest months of the year but even at that amount per month, you could run it for 50 months to spend the $1500 it would take for a new one. Obviously it does not cost that much for most of the year so we feel with this size of family and the peace of mind it gives me to be prepared with frozen meals and lots of meal options given our busy schedule, it is worth the money to run the second fridge.
     We have made a conscience decision to use our possessions as long as we can. One of the smartest, self made men I personally know, once mentioned to my FIL who wanted to buy a new smaller car, to save on gas, how much gas he could buy for the cost of a new car to replace a paid off one. That really rang home with me. We justify spending money to buy things when we often could get by and repair what we have. We maintain our cars, appliances and such to put off having to spend the money to replace them. That is money still in your account for each day you don't have to buy something new.


  1. That is so true about not buying something else for the cost you could keep using the one you have. My kids are starting to ask when I'll replace my 6-y-o van - no plans! I reply, it's running fine and frankly I like it. We had a stand-up freezer bought from a yard sale but didn't bring it when we moved to this house - sorry for that but maybe I'll find another.

    BTW, my husband uses powdered milk like this: when a gallon of our regular milk is half-empty, he mixes up powdered milk and adds to (and stirs up) the regular - no one ever knows the difference and of course we don't tell them!

    Thanks for keeping us up on what to stock up on.


  2. I am always frustrated at how little my fridge holds even tho it looks big from the outside and I have been toying with getting a used little one for the garage.....holidays just do me in with trying to fit everything....and I can never stock the freezer:(

  3. OH and I totally agree about using up...we drive our cars until we donate them lolol....our cars are always at least 10 years old...we had one car for 25 years til we donated it lololol......

  4. Our refrigerator is over twenty years old. It's the only thing in our kitchen that hasn't been replaced. What I don't like about it is that we can't fit frozen pizza in it because it's too small. But it does work, so we can't justify buying a new one right now.

    I can't buy anything much in bulk because we don't have any room for storage. That's probably a good thing for us because we don't waste a lot. We don't have a pantry, just a small cabinet in our laundry room. Plus we can't store much in our basement, either.

  5. We're like you...we use something until it just can't be used anymore.
    I like the sound advice on gas vs. car payment. In the mean time...the car driver could be putting that money aside to purchase a *newer car with cash outright. No payments.

    People just don't think about those things.
    I must say...on the fridge issue. I thought about what you said before and running a deep freeze-- which holds more food for us; meaning less trips to town.
    So I ask you.
    Do you think it would be more prudent to keep our deep freeze in our kitchen (which we are trying to cool in the summer with A/C) or move it to the utility room ...where it is "hotter-than-the dickens" and run it out there?
    If I moved it out to the utility room...that would mean selling off the dryer for sure. Which I don't use.

    Hope you can answer for me what you think...I'll come back and see if you post it here. :)

  6. Well when we had the local utility come out and do an audit of our usage she did say it can take around $30 a month to keep a fridge cool in a hot garage. Now electricity is expensive here so I don't know how that would compare to where you live. Some deep freezes may give off heat from the back too and warm up the house but you would be able to feel and tell if that is the case. I fought using the second one for a long time but weighed that the ease of meal making and less trips to the store was more important and with our large family I can buy large bulk sizes. I am with you. Time is money and less time shopping and driving and less gas spent is such a benefit especially for someone like you that lives out of town.

  7. When we moved back from France we really had hardly anything to our name. So I found a refrigerator ($100) a washer ($65) and dryer ($65) all at garage sales. The refrigerator has a great ice maker, a thaw drawer, in door water and ice dispenser, all the bells and whistles. It went for over $2,000 new. It needed a lot of cleaning, but it's really a great fridge. We have now had that and the washer and dryer for over 10 years with now problems! The only thing that has broken is our dishwasher that came with the house brand new!!! lol. You never know, you can find some great things out there! Not sure if that's something you'd do, but it's almost garage sale season!

  8. Great advice!
    We have an 11 year old car and plan on driving it till the wheels fall off... ( we also own one a bit newer.) all the while, family and friends are buying and trading constantly! While it can be humbling, I know that it's wisest for us, and we'll be off in the long run! I love wearing shoes and clothes for many years, but I keep very good care if what I own so they will last and look good. I was born in a family who knows how to pinch a penny.... And now my parents have been totally debt free 6 years!

  9. I think just like you do- use it up before tossing it out. Your fridge decision was a smart one- xo Diana

  10. We try to use everything up before buying new as well. It just makes sense to use it to the full extent to get your money's worth. It is tempting to get new things sometimes of course, but we try our best to stick with being frugal.

  11. I like the way you think, Elaine! We do the same. :)

    Have a great eweeknd,

  12. My seven year old car will be paid off in two months. My ex, the month after he paid off one car, would go right out and trade it in and start all over. I never understood why he wouldn't want to drive a car knowing it was paid for. But nothing he did made sense. He's already mortgaged "his new wife's (the mistress)" paid off truck to get money. Guess she led her ducks to the wrong pond, huh...

  13. You always get me thinking Elaine! You hone in on my practical side I tend to forget at times. I have a gas hog of a truck (Dodge Ram 2500) yet it's paid for!I need to put aside the thoughts of geting a new car with car payments!

  14. You two are smart cookies. We drive our cars until they die and we never buy new cars.

  15. Have you ever thought about buying a small chest freezer? We got one at costco and I have frozen all kinds of stuff to save a bunch- breads, fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, butter, pestos sauce, fruits butters, you name it. We could use a bigger fridge too, but realized it was more cost-effective to get a freezer. We got a Haier 7.1 cu ft. It was cheaper when we got it, than it is now. I would advice you also freeze/refridgerate your powdered milk, as it can go rancid.

  16. You are so right! You're a smart lady and I admire both you and your husband for being frugal and both working hard to save what you make and having common goals. Hip Hip Hooray! You're also setting a great example for your children.

  17. We used to have 2 refrigerators before we moved here and I loved it. Not only for the frozen section, but I was able to make things for parties and holidays and had room for them. I miss it!

  18. Nancy thanks for the tip on the milk. I will put it in my garage fridge. We used to have a chest freezer and I loved it but it died and then we ended up with two fridges from a family member so we are waiting for one to go out to replace it.

  19. It's so easy to get caught up in wanting newer appliances and cars, etc. and justifying it by them being more energy/gas conserving, good for the environment, etc. -- but I once heard a well respected ecologist say that the most ecological/green choice for a new building or car is to keep the one you already have as long as it meets your needs.

  20. I read once that Sam Walton continued to drive his old truck despite being a millionaire many times over. It still ran well so he drove it.

    My grandparents generation bought furniture that lasted their entire lives. They were usually the ones with lots of money too. I am 38. My generation is saddled by debt trying to constantly upgrade and keep up. It is just smart to keep your possesions until you have gotten your moneys worth out of them.

  21. Hi Elaine,
    I really like your mindset about working with what you have already. I am driving the same car after 13 years. We bought it new and it continues to do well. I don't care if the style is a bit outdated...It's so nice to have no car payment.
    We have an old freezer in the garage that we bought for $50 on Criags List and it works fine.
    There's just something so satisfying about making due and reaping the benefits that pleases me.
    Thank you for this great post. I like your spirit nd good common sense. You are one sharp cookie!
    Carolynn xo

  22. Just thought I would share that when I was shopping at Lowes awhile back for a microwave the man working there asked me if I was in need of a fridge. He had a large stainless steel fridge with water in the front originally $1200 marked $250. When they get the new models in the reduce and clearance the floor models. It pays to make friends with the people there. I walked away with a microwave and fridge that day. Dianntha