How to Save on the High Price of Eggs

4 Ways to Save on EggsEeghads, the price of eggs!

If eggs are a breakfast staple for your family, you can relate.

We like to buy organic eggs, which were higher priced than other egg choices, but now, every type of egg is dramatically more expensive.

While eggs used to be a frugal protein source, that is changing.  Eggs at our local store are running $3.69 a dozen, which is almost .31 cents each.  Sure, that’s still a fairly inexpensive protein source, but the higher cost per dozen can really pack a punch to your grocery budget.

Here’s how we’re trying to lower our egg expenditure, even in the face of higher costs:

Buy eggs on clearance.  Every few weeks, our local grocery store marks eggs that are within a day of their sell by date to .99 a carton.  I snatch up 3 to 6 cartons.  For the most part, I try not to buy eggs for full price.

Freeze eggs.  Did you know that you can freeze eggs?  Yep, you can.

I scramble a dozen eggs in a big bowl and add a dash of salt.  Then, I spray an ice cube tray with non stick spray and add the beaten, raw eggs.  I get about one to two ice cube blocks per egg.  Once they’re frozen, I pop them out of the tray and put them in a freezer baggie.

These can be used to make scrambled eggs (though the texture is slightly different than making “fresh” eggs), or they can be used in bake goods with no taste difference.

Use egg replacements.  Did you know that you don’t have to use eggs in your baked goods?  We deal with egg intolerances that come and go, so I’m used to finding substitutes.  I’ve found that 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree works great as a replacement for one egg in baked goods.  In fact, for the 4th of July, I made brownies with 1/2 cup pumpkin puree as a substitute for 2 eggs.  Once the product is cooked, you can’t taste the pumpkin.

I’ve also read that you can substitute 1/4 cup mashed banana for one egg, but I haven’t tried that yet.

Find new breakfast meals.  You don’t have to have eggs at every breakfast.  We’ve been trying to find replacements like making homemade meat patties, eating more granola instead of eggs, and eating more fruit.

What strategies are you using to offset the high price of eggs?

How We Plan to Buy a New Computer Without Busting Our Budget

Last year I bought a computer at Costco.  It was a lemon right out of the box.  (Of course, my husband insisted I was the problem because he thinks I’m hard on computers and always screw them up.)

I called Costco’s concierge service, and they walked me through some strategies to fix the computer.  At this point, my wonderful husband had customized everything to my liking and had everything set up for me, so I really didn’t want to return it.  Luckily (I thought) I didn’t have to because the Costco customer support seemed to have fixed the computer.

Until, I kid you not, one week after the 3 month window to return the computer had passed.

The Lemon Computer Is Falling Apart, One Piece at a Time

Since then, things have steadily gone down hill.

After about 4 months of ownership, the wireless keyboard and mouse no longer worked with my computer.  (They do work on my husband’s computer, so I know the problem is with my computer, not the wireless keyboard and mouse.)

Then, a few times my computer just wouldn’t turn on all the way.  All that we could see was a blue screen, and my husband had to spend quite a bit of time fiddling with it to get it to work.

A few months ago, the connection to the printer cable no longer worked.  Now I can only print using my husband’s lap top, which means all day when he’s at work, I have no way to print.

Now, the number 2 button won’t work, and whenever I try to watch a video, whether it’s on the Discovery Channel site or Netflix, my computer automatically shuts down.

Costco Comes to The Rescue Again?

I called Costco, and they said I could send it in free of charge to have it repaired, which is a wonderful service.  If Costco deems the computer a lemon, they’ll refund my money.

The problem is that I can’t be without a computer for two to three weeks because it’s how I make my money.  My husband takes his lap top to work all day and needs his at night, so I can’t use his, either.

The plan is to buy a new computer, ship this one off to Costco and hope for a refund.

However, we don’t have the cash for a new computer.

How We’ll Come Up with the Cash

So, my plan is to clean up the basement and sell all of our old stuff that we’re not using.  It may take me two months, but I’m confident we can come up with the money for a new computer.

Meanwhile, we’ll be traveling for about 10 days in October, so maybe I’ll send off the computer then.

How do you handle computer troubles?  What’s your favorite, most reliable brand of computer?

Are You Spending Money Like a Typical American?

I recently read an interesting post on Yahoo that documented how Americans, rich and poor, spent their money in 2012.  While I don’t have our 2012 figures, thanks to You Need a Budget (look for a full review coming next week), I can say how we’ve spent our money over the last 3 months.

The typical American’s spending is in black; our spending is in blue:

Transportation:  17%     4%

Housing: 33%     28%

Food:  13%     19.5%

Insurance:  11%     N/A

Health Care:  7%     3%

Entertainment:  5%     .05%

Cash Contributions:  4%     ?

Apparel & Services:  3%     .05%

All Other Expenditures:  7%     27% (a significant part of which is debt repayment)

Quarterly Taxes:  10%

Educational Expenses (for kids & husband’s graduate classes):  7.5%

One category that I see missing from the article’s data is taxes.  I included just my self-employment taxes, so missing from our data are the taxes my husband pays as well as our health insurance which comes from my husband’s employer.  I also left out retirement contributions as those also come from my husband’s gross pay and we don’t see them.   I really have no idea what the category cash contributions means.

I was surprised that our transportation costs are so low.  Right now, they are just comprised of gas for our car, which we fill up only one to two times a month, and my husband’s daily train pass.  I’m guessing the typical American’s transportation costs are so high because they have several cars and car payments.  However, our snap shot is only for 3 months, so our expenses will be higher over a year’s time when we add in license fees, insurance, and repairs.

I was also surprised that our housing costs are lower than the national average because it feels like a HUGE portion of our monthly budget goes to housing.

Finally, the article didn’t include debt repayment which I’m sure many Americans struggle with.

What do you think about this study?  How does your spending compare to the typical Americans?