Thursday, January 6, 2022

The End of Koi Pond Soup...

 Our weather has been mild and cool, just the sort of day to finish up the split pea soup I made on Sunday. I hope those of you who left comments on my last post will see my responses at the end of the comments section, Blogger sometimes makes it difficult but I will make more  of an effort at responding. Thank you to my readers, longtime and new.

I've decided on a very low spend month here. That means eating down some of the unused hurricane supplies, making more from the pantry and using my small freezer contents as the source of  meals rather than shopping every week. I will also lower the overall amount spent on fresh  veg and fruit, eating all I have on hand before buying more. Food and other things have gone up so much since the start of the pandemic and while I am more fortunate than a lot of folks, the revision to the budget will help in the future. 

Among the things noted during the last week is the frequency of orders for household essentials and personal care items, most of which come from a major online retailer. My first order of the year apart from groceries, is a small batch of KN 95 masks suggested by a friend employed at the county health department here. She found some online that she did not think were fakes, sent the link and they came promptly. She uses medical grade N 95 masks in her work routinely. Those are expensive and fitted to the face then tested using a spray with an odor. If the masked person smells the odor, the mask is not fitted properly.

KN 95 masks offer protection against 95 percent of particulates, can be fitted around the nose by the person using it and though the fit is a bit looser than their medical counterparts, they conform to the sides and front of the face rather than simply covering the nose and mouth. I plan to do more research about these in an effort to discover more about the fake versions being sold. The package I have mentions a shelf life of two years from the date of manufacture. I'll include any updates in future posts.

Another area in which I've gone a bit overboard is in the purchase of e-books. I can hear a collective sigh from fellow readers. However, of the 75 e-books purchased in the last year, most were under ten dollars, the majority far less, but that still adds up. I've read almost 36 which is three per month over the course of the last year. At that rate, I have enough to read for the new year without additional purchases. Because I have a wandering eye and can't seem to resist looking for books that seem interesting, I've installed an app to Libby, the platform for electronic and audiobooks from my library system and already have six items on my list to be read.

Additionally, I've resumed sorting through files, papers and photos and had quite a clean out. mostly by simply going through one of two desks. My tax file is readily accessible as is my new sling when I am ready to put that on this chair. Research into new chairs is ongoing.

Thanks to Steve Reed for the title of this post...



Elephant's Child said...

Well done you.
As Omicron spreads like wildfire here I will have to investigate those masks. Thank you. I go out as little as possible, but do still need to make some trips.

Boud said...

Libby is my go to for e-books and audiobooks. I like it because it comes with the ability to load onto my old Kindle, much easier reading than an online app.

Ms. Moon said...

I've ordered some "real" masks too. I hope they get here soon. I don't know how official they are but they've got to be better than the ones we've been using.
I was going to suggest you get the Libby app! I use it all the time. You will save so much money.

Wisewebwoman said...

Thanks for the research on the masks E. I have a few washable 4 layer ones (disposable filters) Grandgirl got me.
I too am using up freezer and pantry contents. I put a list together and was astonished at how much I had squirrelled away. Budgetary also. And eye on "convenience" foods. I would love to get my grocery spending down to about $50 a week.


Steve Reed said...

I'm so glad "Koi Pond Soup" has become a thing! I've pretty much put an end to book-buying for the time being. I have so much stuff to read.

Friko said...

I too am determined that I will eat everything that's available in fridge and freezer. I hate throwing food away and there are lots of single person items waiting to be used.
Quite a few of us are tidying up, is it something to do with a new year?

I get a lot of ebooks from bookbub at £0.99, which is less than a $. As they are ebooks they should be available in the US too.

Barbara said...

I second the recommendation for book bub. Also, the public library in my county has a lot available in both ebook and kindle format. Good for you using what’s on hand, it’s something I need to get better at. May you stay healthy!

37paddington said...

Low spend month over here too. Everything hit in December, including our new couches that won't be delivered till late January. I find it so frustrating that we can't trust the masks we buy to be what they say they are. I might simply continue wearing the blue surgical masks with a cloth mask over it to improve the seal. My husband has moved on from his 5 layer cloth mask to the KN95 MASKC brand, reported to be authentic. But really, who knows?

DUTA said...

Good thinking and planning!
The abrupt rise in prices signals inflation and shortage of essentials.
Nasks - are going to be with us for a long time, so attention should be paid to their quality.

Barbara said...

I second book bub. Lots of good reads at bargain prices. Your local library probably does ebooks as well. I need to get better at using leftovers.

Martha said...

Good (authentic) masks are getting harder to find. We have a couple of extra sets in the house that I'm glad we picked up when we did. I've been going through our panty and fridge to use up what we've had for a while. It's a low budget month for us, too, which is very fitting with the holidays having just ended - and prices skyrocketing!

Wilma said...

I love ebooks. The peripheral neuropathy in my fingertips makes it hard to hold a physical book, so ebooks are a lifesaver to this book addict. I get many of mine from the library. What ereader do you have?

I am enjoying seeing photos of your molas. We have a few that we have collected over the years. Our first 2 came from friends who were in the Peace Corp in the 1980s. They were based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and traveled to Panama a few times. I wish we had managed to go visit them, but times were very tough for us then.

Like you, we are in the midst of eating down our hurricane supplies. We actually keep enough food to feed us, our dogs, and 2 other people for 3 months because if a hurricane made a direct hit here, we could be stranded for a while and even the stores would run out of food. We sort through the supply at the end of hurricane season and eat up the supplies that would expire before the end of the next hurricane season.

Sorry for such a long comment - that is how thought provoking your post was! Hope you are well.

Jenny Woolf said...

Thank you e for asking if I am okay during my long silence. I appreciated your concern. As you know I have now written a blog post and will try to continue more often than before. Another habit to get back into ! :)