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Viewing the 'Appliance Antics and Household Purchases' Category

The Fridge is Dead

December 20th, 2013 at 02:18 am

The fridge is now registering at 60 degrees F. This is so frustrating. I just did not want to spend my Appliance Fund money for a fridge. I wanted to use it to buy a chest freezer. Now it looks like we have no choice. I just wish we hadn't spent the money on new gaskets now.

We saw a fridge that I liked and was more or less in our price range at Best Buy. But we are going to look at a locally owned appliance store, too, because I prefer to frequent local over box store when we can and if price is not too prohibitive.

I probably lost about $120 worth of food. We kept any condiment that had vinegar in it, like ketchup, pickles, steak sauce and mustard, and threw out salad dressings, mayonnaise, and picante sauce. We threw out all our pizza topping meats (prosciutto, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, salami) which I had just stocked up on. I had to throw out a pound of organic sausage and a package of bacon from the ranch. I also had an $20 ham that was going to be going into the crockpot, some leftover turkey necks from a big batch I did earlier in the week. We had to throw out a quart of goat milk, a bottle of lactaid milk, and a 1/2 gallon of milk from the local dairy that bottles in actual bottles.

Plus there was two cups of beef left of my home canned beef, 2 cups of leftover spaghetti, leftover meatballs, a package of uncured all natural beef hotdogs, a package of organic gelatin cups, 2 cups of natural peanut butter, my yeast, a bunch of green onions, 3 partially used 1/2 pints of applesauce, a bunch of kale, and a head of cauliflower.

What I was able to save were 2 leeks, a bag of carrots, 3 heads of broccoli, a purple cabbage, a jalapeno, a bunch of cilantro, a lime, a dozen oranges, and 2 apples. Also 2 bags of mozzarella cheese, 1 bag of cheddar cheese, 1 2 pound block of cheddar cheese, 1 8 oz block of extra sharp cheddar cheese, string cheese, gouda, parmesan and romano. I was also able to save all of my jams and jellies, but two that had been opened.

So everything we had left is crowded in the spare fridge that my mom and I both use. I am just really grateful the freezer is still working and that I have so much canned meat. Who knows when I'll get my freezer now. Maybe when we get our tax refund I can take some of that money and do it.

I'll have to find freezer space for what is in the fridge freezer at the worst possible time as we have to slaughter 13 rabbits in the next week and I hadn't been planning on canning it all. In fact I'd wanted to freeze at least half and then grind another quarter of the meat up for burger. Maybe if I pull out all the roasts and can them...I guess we'll see. But with 62 rabbits now in residence the one thing I can't do is put off slaughtering any longer.

It Has Been a Week

December 19th, 2013 at 08:12 am

Some good, some bad, some just surviving. We had two does kindle over the weekend. Phoebe had 9 kits and Andromeda had 4. We decided to foster 2 of Phoebe's kits to Andromeda, the two smallest ones, so that it would be easier on Phoebe. A rabbit can only feed 8 kits at a time so often one can easily miss out on a meal. I was really unsure about whether the runt would survive and it did not, sadly. But the other kit we fostered is now as fat and sassy as Andromeda's biological kits and I don't think she ever noticed there were more kits than she had.

I'll have to make some decisions about Starbuck come spring. I'm not breeding again until late February when the whether warms up. So far he has fathered 3 litters. The first one was a set of seven where one died and one was very undersized and we had to force nurse it for 10 days to get it to the age where it was old enough to eat pellets and thrive on its own. Then this last litter. The second litter he fathered was one of 9 kits, but 2 died. And this last litter he fathered only produced four. So his results are inconsistent and there might be something genetic going on.

But Andromeda was a first time mother and she wasn't exactly receptive during the first half of breeding so the litter size may be related to that as well. We will be keeping one of his bucks, because he is a friendly and amazing buck with really great fur and body type. Those traits I'd like to keep from him.

I think the fridge is dying. We replaced the freezer gasket and it improved for a while, and we will replace the fridge gasket as soon as DH gets home, but I think something might be wrong with the fridge fan, too. We were hoping to avoid a service call, but now we may not. I've had what feels like food poisoning and my suspicions lay on the fridge not keeping things cold enough. We may have to buy a new fridge. I have $700 in the Appliance Fund and I can wipe out the Vacation Fund to make up the rest if I need to. I am just hoping it is fixable.

Payday Report

December 16th, 2013 at 03:06 am

$1400.00 BoA VISA
__100.00 Emergency Fund
___19.00 Dues Fund
___72.56 Internet
___72.00 Water/Sewer Holding Tank
__757.82 Van Loan (plus extra to principal)
__100.00 Property Tax Fund
__100.00 Propane Holding Tank
___40.00 Allowances
__200.00 Laptop Fund
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Vacation Fund
__109.00 January Money Fund
__100.00 Moving Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
--------------
$3370.38

$700 of the payment to BoA VISA was the $700 I had set aside for Christmas presents. Since they were bought with the VISA I used that money to make the payment. I will make another payment next week to cover the other half of the travel expenses for DH.

Also had 3 Medical Bills:

$90.00 Physical Therapy
$10.62 Doctor
$13.70 Sleep Doctor
----------
$114.32


Payday Report and Miscellaneous

November 25th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

The weekend was crazy busy so I haven't had a chance to do my payday report from Friday. We went to the ranch on Saturday to pick up our turkey and to purchase about an eight week supply of meat. I wasn't sure when we would make it down that way again. The weather can make it difficult to get to the ranch if it snows or floods. We don't have 4-wheel drive in the van so back country roads can be difficult to navigate.

I will be canning some of the meat we bought. It has been very nice to just be able to crack open a jar of meat and a jar of vegetables when I have felt exhausted or sick and just warm up dinner and have it on the table in 5 or 6 minutes. Or if I think about it in time, just dumping it into the crock pot.

The January Money Fund now sits at $2620.84. Ideally I'd like it at $4000, but I may not have the time to get it there. Fortunately I have bought plenty of meat and have lots of canned veggies, so I won't need to buy much in the way of food in January.

$1000.00 BoA VISA
$1000.00 Loan to Mom
__400.00 Utilities to Mom
__470.00 Ranch Money
__100.00 300 pounds of rabbit feed (cheaper in bulk)
__100.00 Vacation Fund
___72.00 Water/sewer Holding Fund
__600.00 January Money Fund
__100.00 Cash for Week
___40.00 Allowances
___90.00 Physical Therapy
-------------
$3972.00 Money Out

DH ordered a new gasket for our under the fridge freezer. It cost $111, but that sure beats the $1000 or so for a comparable new fridge. It will be easy to replace as it is attached via screws and not adhesive. We really couldn't put it off any longer as the entire compartment is now filled with snow it is so bad.

We did some weatherproofing on the rabbit shed and it has made a huge difference. It was so cold in there before I could see my breath and my feet were going numb before I could finish the chores and the water bottles nearest the windows were freezing. Now none of that is happening. We were able to use supplies on hand so no money was spent on that.

I have physical therapy tomorrow and we will need to pick up a couple of loaves of bread to make stuffing, but otherwise we should not need to spend any more money until after Thanksgiving. We will avoid shopping over the weekend, too. Just not worth the craziness.

Funds Update

November 17th, 2013 at 02:31 pm

I am putting a copy of my Funds totals here in case something goes wrong transferring stuff between laptops. This is the first time in my life I've ever had so much money saved up. Almost $14K and it will be over that by month's end.

After our next mortgage payment on Friday we will have more money in the Emergency Fund than we owe on the mortgage. That feels incredible.

$2024.84 January Money Fund
$7687.86 Emergency Fund
___76.00 Dues Fund
__100.00 Property Tax Fund
__100.00 Propane Fund
__300.00 Vacation Fund (Hawaii 2018)
__600.00 Appliance Fund
__300.00 Moving Fund
__900.00 College Fund
_1200.00 Laptop Fund (using to pay off same as cash)
__700.00 Christmas Fund
------------
13988.70 Total in Savings

Payday Report and Rabbit Stuff

November 15th, 2013 at 09:11 pm

I spent just under $60 on take away today. We will get several meals from it. I just know this weekend is going to be a little stressful and I may or may not be up to cooking too much. We have 2 litters due and the temps have dropped to freezing which means an awful lot of checking on the rabbits will be done on Saturday and Sunday to make sure no kits are born on the wire, but are born safely in a nest or at least promptly put into one if they are not. I have been lucky so far in that all of the kindlings so far have resulted in only one kit born on the wire (on Phoebe's first kindling) and I was there within five minutes of it happening so we were able to save it.

I'm not too worried about Lola, but this is Serenity's first litter, so I pretty much will be doing hourly checks for the next two days. Which means a lot of walking and since my physical therapist had a migraine today and I cancelled last week due to illness, I am not in the best shape for that right now. I've had to use the cane twice this week. But it needs to be done and I'm sure the kids will take their turns at it and alert me if I need to go out and take action.

Anyway, today was payday so here is the list of money that went out:

$225.00 Monthly Chiropractic Family Plan
_100.00 Emergency Fund
_100.00 College Fund
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
_100.00 Propane Fund
_100.00 Moving Fund
_100.00 Christmas Fund
_100.00 Appliance Fund
__19.00 HoA Dues Fund
_200.00 Laptop Fund
__72.56 Internet
__47.52 Phone Old House
__41.94 Garbage
_500.00 BoA VISA
_757.82 Van Loan (plus extra)
------------
$2463.84 Total Money Out

Payday Report

October 18th, 2013 at 05:57 pm

Today is payday and here is an accounting of what was paid or put into savings.

$1500.00 Bank of America VISA
__100.00 Emergency Fund
___19.00 HoA Dues (Old House)
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund
__100.00 Moving Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
___40.00 Allowances
__100.00 Canning Jars* and Rabbit Supplies**
__100.00 Cash for the Week
___25.00 Garbage
-----------
$2284.00 Total Money Out

*2 cases of quart jars and 1 case of pint jars
**Water bottles, a hay tunnel, and a bottle of Vetrimycin eye wash ($27, ouch)

I also spent $50 on gas yesterday. I will be buying a 25 pounds of organic carrots to can and a whole salmon to can.

Left to pay for the month of October is the water/sewer bill, half of which has been set aside already, and the property tax for the half year, all of which has been set aside except $25 and the propane bill, which is $80. Those will be paid next Friday. I will also pay the mortgage then instead of waiting until the first and will also put $500 into the January Money Fund. All the rest of next payday's money is allocated for November bills.

Payday Post

September 6th, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Today was payday. Everything has been paid. Nothing is due until the 21st and after that nothing will be do until the 1st. DH ended up doing all his overtime work in five days time, so it won't be a full week of overtime, but five days is still pretty nice. I'll be able to put $1000 to the EF next week, but will have to rethink the other things I was thinking of distributing the extra money to.

We've gotten a lot of food this week. Not take out, but prepared food from the store deli. I've been out of it with my constant headache and mild nausea. Getting hit in the head with that pitchfork handle on Monday morning did me no favors. I have had no inclination to cook and with DH doing the overtime work at home, neither did he.

I'll try to get my act together this weekend. DH leaves on Monday and I can't keep letting the money fritter away when I could be cooking.

Anyway, the distribution of things today comes from a combination of this payday and last and is as follows:

$757.82 Van loan (plus extra)
__90.00 Physical Therapy
__58.00 School photos
_168.00 Storage
1000.00 Loan to Mom
_400.00 Utilities to Mom
__41.88 Life Insurance Me
__45.30 Life Insurance DH
__47.17 House Insurance (Old House)
__66.65 Car Insurance
__27.28 Electric (Old House)
__72.56 Internet
__50.22 Phone (Old House)
__55.25 Garbage
__19.00 Dues (Old House)
_225.00 Chiropractic Monthly Family Plan
_227.66 Laptop Payoff (from Laptop Fund)
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
_100.00 Vacation Fund
_100.00 Appliance Fund
_100.00 College Fund
__41.16 Security System (Old House)
-------------
$3792.95 Paid Out

We also bought gas and groceries and spent around $500. We are all stocked up on staples and aside from some vegetables and lids for canning and some milk I shouldn't need to go to the store or a farm again for a week.

Payday Round Up, EF Update, Funds Update

August 28th, 2013 at 12:15 am

I've been paying things in dribs and drabs this week, but thought I should do a full accounting.

$700.00 Mortgage
__90.00 Physical Therapy
_100.00 Emergency Fund
_100.00 Moving Fund
_100.00 Laptop Fund
_100.00 Christmas Fund
_144.00 Water/sewer Old House
__49.91 Propane
__28.52 Medical
_175.00 Medical
_853.09 AMEX
__40.00 Allowances
_200.00 Cash (groceries, OTC meds)
---------
2680.52 Total Out

I added $100 to the Emergency Fund so it is now at $6044.92, so I have met my goal of $6000 in the EF by the end of August.

New Fund Totals:

$565.61 January Money Fund
$505.21 Appliance Fund
1800.00 Laptop Fund
$600.00 College Fund
$500.00 Hawaii 2018 Fund
$400.00 Property Tax Fund
$500.00 Christmas Fund
$100.00 Moving Fund
$000.00 Propane Fund

I had the money set aside for half the water/sewer bill and the propane bill, but I paid them directly out of this paycheck. Then I transferred what I had set aside to the January Money Fund. That was $121.91.

And I think that covers it.



New Fund Totals

August 3rd, 2013 at 11:08 pm

$400.00 Property Tax Fund
__19.00 Dues Fund
_300.00 Propane Fund
_500.00 Hawaii 2018 Fund
_505.21 Appliance Fund (Freezer)
_444.11 January Money
_600.00 College Fund
_700.00 Laptop Fund (DH Replacement)
1000.00 Laptop Fund (DD)
_400.00 Christmas Fund
-----------
$4868.32 Total Funds in Funds

And I also have $19 and $72 set aside for garbage and water/sewer which are paid every two months.

Payday Accounting, Ranch Trip, and Family Reunion

August 3rd, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I paid the majority of the bills for the month from this paycheck and sent money to all of the funds. I need to create two new funds though. One for the transfer fee when we sell our house (in case we are the ones who have to pay it and not the new buyers) and one for the Thanksgiving turkey. Don't laugh. Organic pastured turkeys are expensive.

We went down to the ranch today and bought meat. We ended up with 4 beef chuck roasts, 1 pork shoulder roast, 8 pork chops, 1 bottle of their seasoning (which they threw in for free) and 18 pounds of hamburger for $300. They had some stewing hens for $7 each and I was really tempted, because old hens make the best broth, but I decided I'd rather spend that money on hamburger. And I knew I'd be making rabbit stock on Monday anyway.

We also went to a family reunion for a few hours before going to the ranch. It was okay. It's DH's mother's side of the family. Not too many people showed up this year. I got to see how big some of the babies have gotten and one of the cousins is pregnant. I was kind of bored because the people I usually talk to weren't there.

We swung by the house since it was sort of on the way back home. It's rather gorgeous inside, but...but, but, but, the stuff that was supposed to get done today did not get done. The new gutters are not up, the shed and play structure still have not been painted and the touch ups on the porch and on two of the outside walls where other paint colors show up haven't been done. I don't even think any of them worked today. *sighs* I will be so glad when this is really over. It was supposed to be done today. Not even close.

Anyway, here's the money out for this payday:

$1000.00 to BoA (will pay more next week)
__300.00 to Mom for August utilities
___24.05 Electric (Old House)
___44.87 Phone (Old House)
___72.56 Internet
___19.00 Garbage (Holding Tank)
__100.00 Hawaii 2018 Fund
___19.00 HoA Dues (Old House, Holding Tank)
__100.00 Property Tax Fund (Holding Tank)
__225.00 Monthly Family Chiropractic Care
__100.00 Propane Fund (Old House, Holding Tank)
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund
__100.00 Laptop Fund
__300.00 Beef Fund
__100.00 Cash for week
___40.00 Allowances
__757.82 Car payment (plus extra)
------------
$3602.30 Total Money Out

I feel like we are really staying on top of things right now. I will still need to buy some produce, but we shouldn't need to buy meat for 6 to 8 weeks. I don't envision any other spending this next week.

Fund Updates

July 7th, 2013 at 12:56 am

Funding Update on the Funds

$127.00 Dues Fund
$300.00 Property Tax Fund
$200.00 Propane Fund
$400.00 Hawaii 2018 Fund
$405.21 Appliance Fund
$400.00 College Fund
$400.00 DH's Laptop Fund
1000.00 Daughter's Laptop Fund
$300.00 Christmas Fund (Plus $155 Amazon GC's)
----------
3532.21

Payday and Musings

May 10th, 2013 at 07:58 pm

Okay, now for all the things that went out of this paycheck.

$1000.00 to Mom
___90.00 Physical Therapy
___35.42 Electric Old House
__757.82 Van Loan (plus extra)
___51.78 Garbage (one extra can this month)
__212.71 Medical
___41.78 Security Old House
___72.56 Internet
__225.00 Monthly Chiropractic Family Plan
__105.00 Propane Fund
___19.00 Dues Fund
__100.00 Property Tax Fund
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund
__100.00 Laptop Fund
__100.00 Vacation Fund (Hawaii 2018)
___28.00 Kids' Allowances
___75.00 Three NZW rabbits from different bloodline
__100.00 Cash for the Week
------------
$3414.07 Total Paid Out

We are down to owing Mom $72,000. That means 6 years left to go, if we continue on the repayment of $1000 a month. It will be gone when we are both 49. Our van will be paid off well before that. After that is paid off we will work on paying off the mortgage on our small farm that we plan to buy once our house sells. And also play mega catch up with retirement. We want to go into retirement 100% debt free, which will make it easier to get by on less. As will raising our own meat and growing our own produce as much as possible.

It feels like we are finally starting to really pull ahead as I plan for future needs and am able to set the money aside each month. We are two paychecks ahead of our bills now and we have half a month's income in the Emergency Fund. It's getting there and each small step I take has built on the last one. Some people may scoff at $10 here or $5 there, but I know. I know from experience that it is the little things just as much as the big things that get you there.

Updating Funds

May 10th, 2013 at 05:35 pm

I added $36 to the Emergency Fund today. It was what was left in checking when the new paycheck hit. That brings the EF to $3642.32. I'm going to bump my May goal up to $3700.

I also funded some funds today, which I'll put the amounts in my payday post, but I thought I'd post my fund totals.

$1000.00 in the Mac Book Fund
__200.00 in the Laptop Fund
__200.00 in the Christmas Fund
__200.00 in the College Fund
__100.00 in the Appliance Fund
__200.00 in the Hawaii 2018 Fund
__100.00 in the Property Tax Fund
__305.00 in the Propane Fund
___89.00 in the HoA Dues Fund

We've got a long way to go on some of these, especially the College Fund, but we will be putting the Christmas Bonus in, as well as most of the tax refund next year (which is ridiculously big because of our HSA that we always manage to use all of).

The Christmas Fund will be augmented by the Amazon gift cards I get from swagbucks. DH's Laptop is limping along and hopefully will continue to do so until I've got the replacement money in place. DD will be getting her MacBook (or equivalent laptop) in August. She's taking some graphics intensive classes next year as a senior. The Appliance Fund is currently earmarked for a chest freezer. Property tax was just paid last month. Propane Fund is just a holding fund until the bill comes and I pay it.

All in all, things are going along pretty smoothly in the Funds department.

Vacation Musings, Computer Issues, and Broken Camera

March 25th, 2013 at 09:12 am

With the final numbers in, we spent $7,521.76 on our vacation to Disneyland, about $2000 more than I had bargained for. This trip was for seven people (we paid the way for my SIL and 2 nieces). It was a once in a lifetime trip, one they would never have taken on their own due to divorce and the subsequent poverty it brought into their lives, and I think it was well worth the expense to give them this opportunity.

That being said, we may end up carrying a small balance into May. I will be trying my best to pay it off before the due date on April 21st, though. I have paid $5030 of it so far. DH is going to use his miles to get a few free tickets for work, and he has one free hotel stay for frequent visits, so the money that would go toward that will be used to pay off the vacation balance.

I may dip into the EF to pay it off sooner, though. I am used to living with a $1000 EF, so if I use $2000 of it to pay on this, it'll bring it to $1000 again, then I can start rebuilding it. We won't be doing a big vacation again until 2018 or 2019, so and I will be saving up for it starting in June.

----------

DH's DVD player in his laptop went out so he will now be using the old portable DVD player up at work. I have to start saving up for a new laptop for him. His has other problems as well and it has really been limping along.

My own laptop will have to be taken in as soon as spring break hits. The built in mouse has quit working and I have to use a plug-in mouse with it. My laptop is still under contract so that won't cost anything, but I can't afford to be without it during regular school hours since I use it in homeschooling my son.

If I take it in the Friday before spring break, I should have it back by the Monday after spring break. It usually takes 10 days to fix something since they send it to Seattle. I just hope they can fix it. I know they will replace it if they can't, but it is such a major hassle to transfer everything off one computer and on to the next one. And this one isn't even a year old so I really hate the idea of them not being able to fix it for such a small thing.

----------

I have been thinking that if we get enough money when we sell the house we will pay off the van. I send in close to $800 a month on van payments (extra to principal), and it would be really nice to knock that payment off. That would mean no debt (besides what I still owe Mom, but that's not on a credit report) going into buying a new house and getting a mortgage. It would also give us more wiggle room to save money and pay for college.

Mom has said we can stay here as long as we like, so we may take an extra year to add money to the downpayment so we won't owe so much when we buy a new house.

----------

My camera quit working sometime between when I packed it for Disneyland and we arrived in California. I'm not sure how it got damaged since it was in my carry-on. MIL gave each of us $100 before we went on vacation and I didn't spend mine, so I may go to a couple of the pawn shops and see about buying a good camera for very little money.

I use my camera almost daily and I don't like not having one. I don't have to have a top of the line one, but I'd like something more than my cruddy dumb phone camera, and I'm not about to upgrade to a smart phone just for the camera. I've owned my digital camera for ten years or so, and I really hate that it broke. It is possible they could fix it, but I doubt they could do it for less than what getting a new one costs. That is something that really bothers me about technology these days. Oh, well. What can you do?

Meal Planning for the Week

December 30th, 2012 at 08:17 pm

On the hard ice cream maker front, the ice cream hardened right up after placing it in the freezer. 2 hours later it was as hard as hard ice cream from the grocery store. Nothing at all like the soft ice cream that your typical ice cream makers produce. I tried a taste of it today and it was delicious and the texture was perfect. And the ingredients cost less than Haagan Daas, so we now can have a nice, safe, all-natural organic ice cream that won't make those of us in this house with food allergies sick.

Here's the meal planning for the week:

Monday--
Beef and vegetable stir-fry
Oranges
Milk

Tuesday--
Turkey and vegetable soup
Blueberry muffins
Milk

Wednesday--
Baked chicken legs
Baked potatoes
Stir-fried green beans
Milk

Thursday--
Baked potato soup (bacon is the protein)
Blueberry muffins
Broccoli
Milk

Friday--
Homemade pizza (homemade sausage, onion, and bell pepper)
Coleslaw
Milk

Saturday--
Wild caught salmon
Broccoli
Oranges
Milk

Sunday--
Beef pot roast
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Cole slaw
Drop biscuits with homemade jam

Went to Costco, Did a Freezer Inventory

November 12th, 2012 at 02:45 pm

DH and I went to Costco last night. I had not figured out what I wanted to do with my allowance, but I figured it out when we got there. They had a digital crockpot, with a timer for up to 20 hours. The cheap crockpot I got for Christmas last year is already malfunctioning, so I wanted to get a good one at some point.

Some point converged with the present last night. They had the $40 stainless steel one on for an instant rebate of $10 off and then additional mail in rebate of $5 off, so when all is said and sifted, I got a good quality crockpot for $25 plus tax. This will make cooking easier again. I won't have to worry about the crockpot burning.

Still not sure what I will do with the rest of my allowance, probably just set it aside.

We didn't buy too much else there. A case of toilet paper, some prosciutto, and a case of oranges.

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Last night we defrosted and inventoried the mini chest freezer. There is quite a bit of food in there, mostly protein. I still have to inventory the other two fridge freezers, but I pretty much know what is in the main one and can more or less see at a glance what is in the secondary one.

In beef I have 4 packs of stew meat, 1 flank steak, 4 chuck steaks, 3 ribeyes, 2 pounds of hamburger, 4 premade hamburger patties with cheese and bacon mixed in, 1 filet mignon, 2 strip steaks, 1 New York steak, 2 mini-steaks, and 2 packages of prepared Korean beef ribs.

In chicken I have 1 pack of stir-fry chicken, 4 family size bags of thighs and legs, 6 packages of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and 1 and 1/2 packages of chicken wings.

In pork I have 6 packs of Kirkland low sodium bacon, 1 pack of Trader Joe's uncured bacon, a package of Canadian bacon, and 2 porkchops.

In fish I have 3 12 ounce packages of wild caught salmon.

There are two bags of egg fried rice (one Chinese, one Japanese) from TJ's, a penne pasta meal in a bag from TJ's, a pound of organic broccoli/cauliflower, some cheese, 3 quarts of Italian prunes (home grown), 1 quart of raspberries (home grown), and 1 pint of strawberries. Most of the fruit is in a different freezer.

Starting with next week's meal plan I will be trying to get this meat used up. Pretty much none of it is organic and is left from earlier this year before we started our journey to sustainable, organic eating. I think we can get it finished off in the next couple of months.

Once we buy our new chest freezer, the mini one is going to be used strictly for chicken. It is big enough to hold thirty whole chickens. When we buy our beef it will go in the new freezer, possibly with a half a pig. We'll see how the money flows at that point.

I Hate Racoons

October 29th, 2012 at 01:02 pm

I utterly hate them. They are savage, evil animals in a deceptively cute package. Early this morning a raccon killed two of our female ducks. Did it bother to fully consume either of them? No. It ate half of one and killed the other without eating it. I understand nature, but you know, take what you need, don't kill more than necessary. I swear those racoons are having a good time with it.

So Noisy and Len Tao are gone, laid to rest, leaving us with only Patches and Lady Henry Inigo Montoya. We won't be letting them out until at least 9 a.m. from now on. At least by then we can be sure the predators are gone. At least the chickens are fine. Times like this, I wish we had a dog.

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Last night I transferred the money from ING to pay the property taxes on Wednesday. Since I set aside $100 a month and property tax is $518.17, I had some surplus money in that category, so I took $1.61 to even out my Emergency Fund, which now sits at $1000 exactly, and then the rest of it I dumped into the Freezer Fund. Along with another $10 I shifted, the Freezer Fund now sits at $851.03.

That's basically it, I'm just saving up for the sales tax now. My usual $100 per month will be added next month, plus whatever coin jar scrapings there are and it will be done. I think an even $1000 is a good place to stop. So nice to see a goal within sight. Once I hit it, I'll resume adding money to my emergency fund to build it back up.

I'm not exactly sure when we will purchase the freezer. I guess it will depend on how fast our house sells. If I know we are going to move away from here shortly after it sells, it feels kind of senseless to have it here and then have to move it again. Seems like it would be easier to just have it delivered to our new place when we buy it than to have to move it later and risk the damages that always seem to happen during moving. Well, it won't hurt the money to sit there collecting interest until we know what we are doing.

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This morning when I took DD to school the rain was pretty fierce. The street was flooded about six inches, because leaves were clogging the drain. Our basement is flooding too, but we turned on the sump pump early so it's not too bad. We're actually having a clear patch right now with more rain due tonight. But a little sun is better than no sun. And a little rain is better than what they are getting over on the East coast.

Funding My Funds

October 12th, 2012 at 05:37 pm

Today I deposited $69.33 from my coin jar to my Freezer Fund as well as $100 from today's paycheck. This brings the Freezer Fund up to $750.81. The freezer I want is $900 plus tax so I still have a ways to go, but it's nice to be 3/4 of the way there.

My Vacation Fund now sits at $200, my Property Tax fund at $600, Christmas Fund at $100 (very late starting this), and MacBook Fund at $200.

Property taxes are due at the end of the month and will be $518 and some change, so there's plenty in there for that. Things seem to be going along right on track and I hope they continue to do so. It makes things so much smoother when they do.

Forgot to Mention

October 6th, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I cleaned out my purse and put all of the money that was left from the last payday into the coin jar. It was $25.63, plus one Canadian penny which went into my Canadian coin jar. I'll try to make a deposit into the CU on Monday. I have over $50 so it's time. I need to go to Trader Joe's anyway, so I can combine trips. This money is headed for the freezer fund.

Tomorrow I need to sit down and pay the bills from yesterday's paycheck. I have already written out the $1000 check to finish paying off DS's forward head posture treatment. It will be nice not to have that hanging over us anymore. I will pay that in person on Monday.

I talked to DH tonight and he has hit the $110,000 mark for the year, so that means that this was the last paycheck they will take Social Security tax out of for the rest of the year. That means an extra $700 take home pay per month until January. I will be so glad for the day when 2/3 of our take home pay isn't going to pay for new medical debt and old medical debt. Life is going to get very easy when that happens because we will be used to living on 1/3 of our income and can start to save like crazy.

Bits and Pieces

August 29th, 2012 at 01:07 pm

I sent for another $5 gift card to Amazon from Swagbucks today, so that should show up in a week. I have gotten $25 worth of free gift cards this month. This is the first month I've managed to do that in. Not bad for 10 minutes worth of effort in a day (if that).

I've qualified for a couple of the good surveys at ACOP this month. Will probably have a decent cash out next month.

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I have two crockpots full of tomato puree cooking down into sauce. I have decided I don't care that it takes longer, it's hands off and that makes it easier for me. The whole house smells like tomato sauce.

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I just found out that my mother invited two of my nephews up to stay next week. Starting on the first day of school. There has been the whole long summer to do this and she invites them up the first week of school? And the first week of homeschool for DS? Sometimes I don't think she thinks things through. My nephews are supposed to be homeschooled, but my sister is...lazy about it. Oh, they do get educated, but not on any kind of a schedule. This is just going to make things ten times harder for us. Oh, well, it's not like I can do anything about it. This is part and parcel of living in someone else's home.

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I hope our house sells fast and we come out of it with a good down payment. I really want to not be subject to Mom's whims. I feel like the dang thing is never going to get on the market, though. They were supposed to paint the outside of the house last weekend and the inside this. For whatever reason it didn't happen and now they are planning to paint it this weekend. The weather is supposed to be good for it, but I'm not sure about how much longer.

And for some reason or other they seem to want to paint the outside first. Even if it rains. This is not a good plan in my mind. *sighs* Since they are fitting us in around other people there is not much I can do about that either.

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We have close to $800 worth of eyeglasses to pay off in the next 3 months (same as cash, fortunately). If it isn't one thing it's another. Our vision insurance only covers glasses every 2 years instead of the industry standard of every year for lenses and every 18 months for frames. They do cover one eye doctor visit per year though.

Unfortunately both kids' prescriptions have changed so much that there was no way of putting it off for another year. Fortunately DH and I are not having any problems with ours and can wait another year. Personally I think insurance companies should take into account changes in the prescription and if there is a valid change, then pay for it or some of it, regardless of how long it has been. Just wanting different frames sooner is not valid, but the eyes changing enough to make a major difference is medical and should be covered no matter what.

Next payday I will finally finish paying the dentist for DH's crowns. Yesterday I made another $500 payment to DS's doctor. That leaves us owing them two more payments, or a total of $1000 left. Ugh. But no interest. I think I'm putting half of next year's tax return straight into the HSA next March.

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I borrowed $300 from the freezer fund which will be replaced over the course of next month (I hope). I needed to buy school clothes and supplies before school actually started and with all the extra medical I've had to pay from DS's head injury this summer, I couldn't budget enough for it. It was either that or take it out of the emergency fund, which I couldn't justify. That is okay, though.

Fortunately DS didn't need much because he's homeschooling, but he did need fall appropriate clothing as he has grown way, way too much since last fall to fit into anything he had. And DD had to have non-marking sole shoes for PE separate from her regular shoes. She has PE all year though and at least her feet have stopped growing. She should be fine except for snow boots (which can wait a few months) and she can always use mine if she has to. DS will need them if we have a bad winter, though. And DH said something about needing new work boots soon. It never ends.

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We got 3 duck eggs today. We were pretty sure we had 2 males and 2 females, but now it's looking like 3 females, with Patches being the one male. Because ducks don't lay more than one egg a day.

Freezer Fund Update

August 2nd, 2012 at 02:23 pm

Since I got my interest at ING, I added it to the Freezer Fund. It was a whopping 90 cents, bringing the Freezer Fund to $410.58. I'm almost to the halfway point. Still a firm believer in every little bit helping, but I sure wish that little bit was interest earned at a higher rate. I miss 4%. Heck, I miss the 7% of my childhood. I don't know if we'll ever get those rates back, but I doubt it. It sure would have been nice to earn $4 for that amount like I would have just a few years ago. Oh, well. It is what it is, and it's 90 cents more than I had last month.

I found some money while cleaning today. 26 cents. Into the coin jar it went. I also found 40 cents in the car and 2 pennies at the grocery store yesterday. If I find 22 more cents this month, which is possible, it will match what I earned last month in interest. Hmm, Baselle, I really see why you're always looking for coins on the sidewalk.

Financial Housekeeping

July 26th, 2012 at 09:58 pm

I emptied my purse and DH's wallet of ones and change today and added $17.59 to the coin jar.

I updated my July budget spreadsheet and created my August spreadsheet. I entered in all of the medical spending for the month so far into the HSA tracking spreadsheet. Ouch.

I have a deposit of $48 ready to go into the Freezer Fund tomorrow from my coin jar savings. The Freezer Fund is currently at $409.68 so that will bring it to $457.68.

I did not make jam. It was too hot, even in the morning. I will see about making it tomorrow. I bought a food mill for $70. It has three different plates and is a high rated one. I think one and a half batches of jam will cover that. I am looking forward to not having to peel apricots. And having the seeds out of the blackberries or raspberries.

My English cucumbers finally have blossoms on them and my brandywine tomatoes are starting to turn a very pale shade of yellowy/orange.

Coin Jar Update and Freezer Fund

July 14th, 2012 at 03:16 pm

I added $8.02 to the coin jar today. It's ultimate destination is the freezer fund.

I think the freezer under our fridge is either going out or either needs new...um...weather stripping. I forget the actual word for it, but the rubber that helps make it seal. Is that a gasket or something else? Anyway, lately whenever I open that up it's like being greeted with a little bit of snow.

It doesn't seem to be harming the food any, but I'm not sure if that is a repair you can make yourself or if you need to hire someone to come do it. I don't even remember where we bought the fridge. I'm thinking a local, family-owned place in Lynden, who does do house calls way, way, way faster than Sears, and I'm pretty sure I was boycotting Sears appliances by that time anyway because of getting repair people out to fix their stuff taking so long.

I think I'm going to stop putting money into the vacation fund starting next month and take that $100 a month and put it into the Freezer Fund instead. I have enough in the vacation fund now to pay for our planned trips to the science center, to the zoo, and to the county fair. I'm also going to stop contributing to the Mac Book fund for right now. DD knows that she won't be getting it until senior year anyway, so there will be enough time to make up for that.

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Went swimming again yesterday with the kids. Did 26 laps, or half a mile again. A little sore but not after last time. My clothes are getting pretty loose. I have some smaller shirts that I am going to have to break out soon because the formerly tight shirts are starting to swim on me. I don't want to buy new summer stuff, though. It'll be fall soon and I have some fall clothes that are smaller and will fit. Will probably have to buy 2 pairs of jeans though. All of my old Disneyland shirts are fitting now, no more snugness at all. I love that, because I had a lot of t-shirt souvenirs. And it means I shouldn't have to buy new shirts for a while. Maybe a nice blouse I can wear for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but not much else.

Money Left Over

June 30th, 2012 at 06:33 pm

We went to the ranch this afternoon and purchased our beef and pork. They were having a sale on the pork chops, which made me happy. I had $60 left of my beef money so that will go into the freezer fund.

While we were down there we saw a sign for organic strawberries at a farm stand so I stopped and got 2 half flats for $12 each. I will be making jelly with that. I was excited because it is super hard to find a good source of organic strawberries around here. You can get a pint or a quart at the store, but anything bigger than that is not organic. Raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, yes, but not strawberries which get sprayed a ton. For my fellow NW Washingtonians, they come from Fir Island in Skagit County.

Of course all the other berries all grow in our yard so I know they are organic and don't need to track down a source. Now I have one I'll go back next year. When we move I will be planting strawberries. I thought about planting them here, but waited too long. I could probably still get a hold of some everbearing, but I find the Junebearing ones taste better to me.

I also added $8.59 to the coin jar. The eight ones went into the freezer fund envelope and on Monday I will deposit everything in that, along with whatever ones DH has left before he leaves. I also dumped all the coins out of DH's wallet and added that to the coin jar, $3.11. I am not adding leftover change and ones to the emergency fund again until I hit my freezer fund goal, which is $900. That should cover tax as well.

Making a Deposit to the Freezer/Beef Fund

June 14th, 2012 at 10:19 am

Oh, my gosh, I apologize for all the typos in my last entry. I was writing it last night as I was drifting off to sleep, and clearly that does not bode well for my ability to type or spell. It's all edited now. 12 mistakes, though! Yikes! Must remember to post a little further away from bedtime when I'm that exhausted.

I had enough coins to roll one each of dimes, nickles, quarters, and pennies. I also had $29 in ones, and $30.56 left over from the June visit to the ranch. So that is a total of $77.06. I have decided not to add to the EF with my coin jar money for now and to instead put that money into the freezer fund.

$100.00 Beginning FF Balance
$+77.06 Deposit Added
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$177.06 Ending Freezer Fund Balance

$622.94 to go. I will be making another deposit to the freezer fund tomorrow, which is payday, of $100. Originally I had decided on the 17.4 cubic foot freezer, but I decided to go ahead with the 19.7 cubic foot freezer, which is big enough to hold an entire beef plus a couple of 25 pound sacks of flour. Although we will likely only get half a beef this time, we will be able to afford a whole beef next year, so having the extra space will be better.

We do also have our small chest freezer that is 5.0 cubic feet, which will probably be empty by the time we do get the beef. I'm in the process of using up everything in it and have it down to 2/3 full, so if we've underestimated the space needed we will have that space as well, not to mention the under fridge freezer.

We will probably have a November or December delivery date for our beef. We can choose it and that will give us enough time to save up for it. I will make the $300 deposit next time we go down to the ranch, which will be at the end of this month.

I Won't Be Doing Business with Wayfair Again

June 5th, 2012 at 08:54 am

So we ordered that combo boxsprings frame from Wayfair. We ordered it next day air shipping. They sent it ground anyway, despite us paying the extra for it so it would get here early enough for DH to put it together before he left for Alaska yesterday. That should have had the bed arriving last Thursday or Friday. (We ordered it, by the way, May 25th. It took them until May 31st to process and ship it. Even with the holiday, we ordered it on a Friday and they did not ship it until the 31st, a Thursday of the following week. Their website showed one in Bremerton but they ended up shipping it from Sacramento, instead.

It didn't show up until around 12:30 on Monday. It doesn't look like the picture of what we ordered and in fact the frame on the box has a different name on it than the frame we actually ordered. Though it is heavy duty and has the higher rating. So DH managed to get it put together just before he got on the airplane yesterday, but that was incredibly inconvenient. We are going to try this frame because it has like a 2 month money back guarantee. It was comfortable last night.

But I am still waiting for Wayfair to credit us back the extra shipping we paid for and did not get. They claimed they would as soon as we discovered their error, which was the day we got the shipping notification and the paperwork did not match ours. That was May 31. That credit should have shown up by now because they claimed they would do it promptly. I am really annoyed with the whole process and they have lost all future business from us.

My Least Favorite Chore

June 4th, 2012 at 04:56 pm

I spent about 40 minutes cleaning and organizing my fridge today. It hadn't been done in a while. I think I am the only one in the house who actually wipes up spills as they occur, because I found some unidentifiable nasty goo on the bottom of the fridge underneath the produce drawers. I probably should have used a couple of towels, but the stuff would have colored them if I had, so I mostly used far too many paper towels to sop it up and then an old brown wash cloth to clean it. At least the paper towels can go into the compost bin.

I still need to work on the door frame and the outside of the fridge door, and reorganize the stuff on the top, but I will do that tomorrow when I have more energy. It is nice to have it organized and know exactly what I have again, though. It makes it far easier to meal plan, which I have not done yet for this week, eeep! It also helps me not to waste my leftovers, or buy more of something that I do not need.



Stuff and Other Stuff--Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

May 26th, 2012 at 02:10 am

I'm still feeling off. Not quite sick, but not quite right. My allergies are really acting up and it was very hot today, 75 degrees (which is really hot here for May) after several yucky rainy days around 60. Weather swings like that always bother me. I still have the window open at 1:30 a.m. Yes, I know I should b sleeping. Insomnia.

So I didn't stick to my meal plan tonight, either. I made taco meat in the microwave instead and we had tacos and fruit and some lovely milk (the glass bottled organic stuff). I did feel up to making some easy peanut butter cookies, though. Well, I wanted them enough to make them, let's say.

They are so fast and so easy and this time I made them with organic peanut butter instead of Jif (only ingredient was peanuts). They were even better, and I thought the ones I made with Jif were fantastic. (And I'd still be using Jif if Costco hadn't decided to switch to Skippy which DS can't have due to his food allergies, but now we are out and I am not paying regular grocery store prices for Jif, sorry). Oh, and I made it with a duck egg instead of a chicken egg this time so that may have made a difference. (Not from our ducks, they are too young yet, but the food co-op had some and I wanted to try them).

I love my little three ingredient cookie recipe. Just one large egg, one cup of sugar, and one cup of peanut butter. Mix together sugar and egg, then mix in peanut butter, then roll into balls about an inch in diameter. Press down on them with a fork. If the fork sticks use a little water on it. I did not have a problem with sticking this time, though when I used the Jif I had to get the fork wet every fourth cookie or so. I think it was because Jif is creamier and has such a light texture and the organic stuff was denser with a heavier texture and more oil.

Anyway, bake for ten minutes in a 350 degree oven for softer cookies (they won't really look done but they are) or fifteen minutes for a bit harder (like if you were making ice cream cookie sandwiches). It makes about a dozen cookies. Well, I got 14. I guess it depends on the size of the balls you roll.

Today was payday and the money that DH never got paid in February was on this paycheck, so that was nice.

We've had an unexpected expense come up. We had to buy a new set of boxsprings for the bed. I wish to heaven we had never given away the old ones. They were solidly built and these junky ones that came with the new mattress are lousy. They've broken after not even five months use. They are just so incredibly flimsy. They are supposedly rated up to 750 pounds and DH and I are nowhere near that!

I am ticked because the only reason we bought the box springs is that the furniture store guy said it would void the mattress warranty if we didn't. Well...plbbbbtttt! Because without the support of proper box springs the mattress doesn't hold up, does it? The cross pieces in the box spring are made out of the thinnest, cheapest looking particle board. It might as well be cardboard. And of course the 90 day warranty is up.

So we bought an Eco-Lux box spring frame. We'll be out the $49 we spent on our Hollywood frame and of course the money we spent on the box springs. It had really good ratings and seems far sturider than anything else we looked at. Although anything is better than what we've got now. Since I don't trust regular box springs not to be junk now, this sort of thing seemed the way to go. I hope it works otherwise I'm not sure what we can do short of marching into a furniture store and demanding to see the guts of all their box springs.

Tomorrow DS is marching in the Ski to Sea parade and then I am hoping to make it down to Burlington to purchase some more meat at the Skagit River Ranch. I want to get 4 beef chuck pot roasts, 4 packs of bacon, 2 whole chickens, several pounds of hamburger, a pack of the spicier sausage, 4 ribeye steaks and some pork chops. I also want to ask them about how the pig thing works, if we'd have to buy a whole one or if you can do a half. They do have family boxes you can buy at certain times of the year that would be less than buying a whole pig, but I don't think we eat enough pork to make it worthwhile. Usually we have bacon, maybe sausages (though I prefer beef sausage) and hams. On occasion pork chops, but rarely pork roast (unless I'm making pulled pork for burritos). Of course this might taste so good it changes our minds. I do love the bacon and the polish sausages. I wish they made hot dogs. Ever since TJ's made a change in their hot dogs a few months ago I haven't liked theirs anymore.

If we don't get done with the parade in time to go down then we will go next Saturday. The farm store is only open on Saturdays.

Not much else going on. I did pay some bills, but I will try to detail them tomorrow (or technically today, being as it is past midnight).

I Found My Camera and Odds and Ends

May 17th, 2012 at 09:48 pm

This makes me so pleased. DH's camera is the one that won't take photos anymore and mine had gone missing, but it showed up today, rather mysteriously. I'm pretty sure it fell through a crack in the space/time continuum, because it was not there last night. Or this morning. Or maybe one of the kids snuck it back after finding it in their rooms or something and isn't saying. But I have it.

It is not as good as the other one, but I hate not being able to take pictures. There have been so many times in the past couple of days when there has been something I've wanted to snap and couldn't. I am still researching new cameras, as I do feel we need to get a good, high quality one soon, but I no longer feel so rushed to do so.

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I almost blew it today on a credit card payment. I had accidentally charged something on one of the paid off cards and then forgot about it until the last minute. And I do mean last minute. As in it was 4:40 and I had to get home to a meal I had started making but left my daughter in charge of. Fortunately she was just finishing putting everything on the table as I walked in the door. I was able to eat in 20 minutes and had enough time to drive over to the one drive-thru branch of BoA that stays open until 6, so I got it paid. If I hadn't paid it today there would have been interest. No more cutting it that close for me!

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I also picked up a prescription because I was on that side of town, $3.35.

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I got gas today. The pump shut off at $50. I don't know why, I pre-paid with my AMEX card and I've never had it shut off before the tank was full except on really hot days and even then it was a gallon shy not this much. It was only 12 gallons and I have an 18 gallon tank and it was empty. It should not have clicked off at 3/4 of a tank, but I was in a hurry so I didn't try to do a second purchase or go in and see what was up. But I figure DH will be home when it runs out again and he can take it and get it all the way full.

Gas was $4.29 a gallon. Ouch. It's cheaper at Costco, $4.17, but not worth the time driving there and the time spent in the line. It works out to be cheaper to pay the 12 cents more a gallon. I actually save money that way, which tells you gas prices are ridiculously high.

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Tomorrow is payday. I will be running around a fair bit to pay things and to do a small amount of grocery shopping. Produce mostly, but I also want to look for some BPA free storage containers. I'd like to replace all of my cheap plastic with either BPA free plastic containers or glass containers.

One of the hints I saw on doing this for cheaper was to buy things in glass containers that you could reuse, but most of what I buy either doesn't come in a container (fresh fruits and vegetables) or doesn't come in glass at all, only plastic or tin. Peanut butter and jelly come in glass, but they are small, so while I might be able to fit a serving or so of some food in one, I wouldn't be able to fit planned over leftovers for the next days meal into something like that. I also do get a glass bottle of mango nectar that my son can have but it has a narrow mouth so it would be hard to store anything in it, except maybe popcorn or rice (which comes in a cardboard box anyway, not plastic). Maybe small uncooked macaroni noodles or shells.

I did see some quart-sized and pint-sized Ball canning jars at Goodwill when I was there that I could use. I would have to buy lids and rings to use those for storage, plastic wrap on top defeats the purpose of using sustainable products, but that is certainly cheaper than Pyrex with lids, which is what I was looking for in that aisle of Goodwill. I found lots of Pyrex, but not any with lids. Something to think on as my reusable plastic wears out and we switch over to products that are better for the planet.


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