Tax Relief and other Frugal Friday Finds

Say what you want about New York and it’s so called high property taxes. You want to live in a McMansion, you’re a target and you will pay a hefty price for that luxury. Ditto if you want to live in New York City and the surrounding five boroughs. But if you’re an every-day person, such as myself, and live a smallish lifestyle in upstate, rural New York, the gods up above take kindly on your soul (as well as your pocketbook). Provided you follow the rules.

Our Governor Cuomo tries as he might to get people who are here in New York to stay here living in New York. He’s working hard right now to reverse the $10,000 SALT property tax write off limit (click here) imposed by the current administration. Me? I’ve never known anything near as much in high property taxes. I live smallish, remember? For us, Cuomo has a different property tax strategy. He set the most any town’s annual school taxes can rise up to no higher than 2%. If your town is able to follow the governor’s guidelines, he’ll send every homeowner a tax relief check as a thank you. Needless to say, our town residents put tremendous pressure on the school board to keep expenses in check. Each and every year, they stay within the guidelines and each and every year everyone gets their Property Tax Relief Check. This year we got $451.64 back in our relief check!

tax relief note.jpg
A note from the Gov
tax relief amountjpg.jpeg
Best refund to date!
This is what we paid this year in school taxes, less the $451.64 relief check = $663.08 total. This is a HUGE saving. Literally. And no! We don’t want to move!

The other frugal things I’ve been doing of late, mostly have to do with food shopping and preparing more and more meals at home. I started making my own breadcrumbs (from bread ends and little bits and pieces whirled in the food processor and stored in the freezer). I’ve also started making my own salad dressings and reusing the commercial dressing bottles they came in to store my own salad dressings. I’m starting to wash & reuse plastic zip-lock storage bags (they’re getting to be too expensive lately!) I’ve also discovered ways to utilize leftovers. For example: did you know that if you rub bacon grease on a potato, add a touch of salt, wrap it all up in aluminum foil and bake in the oven, you get a super yummy tasting baked potato? I didn’t know that so I started saving my nitrate-free bacon drippings. I’ve also been picking up more loss leaders as well as last-date-of-sale meats and poultry. The money saved is substantial.

And, it’s soup time! And baked banana bread time! And meatloaf and baked potato time!


  1. Your baked potato ideas sounds yummy! I think I will try it this weekend. Please keep up the good hints!

    I bought enough underwear to last two weeks and my husband has enough for same time. This means I do not need to wash underwear every week. I bought a rack to hang from the shelves in my laundry closet. Our hot water heater is in the laundry closet. There I can dry my underwear and not use the dryer. Things last longer this way. I may be able to do three loads of wash every other week instead of two loads each week. This will be a savings.

    We are getting a new AC unit. We have planned for this. We have been told this will save on cooler bills. With the climate change we are experiencing more days needing cooling.

    Here on some more ways we are saving. I am planning on getting plants next spring from my neighbors. They have offered to share for free. I am tracking my no spend days and will try to challenge myself to increase this monthly.

    New York has some lovely ideas to keep you living there.



  2. Hi Cindi:

    Love this post. We just received our Tax relief check as well. Our taxes on this side of the Hudson are higher, but I’ll take whatever relief I can get. Today was a cooking and baking kind of day for me as well. Chicken soup (with ditalini). Also made some banana nut muffins. Tomorrow I’m thinking I’ll make an apple pie. LOVE cooking and baking this time of year. Of course, the down size is the weight


    • Hi Maureen. Congratulations!!
      I made my chicken soup with ditalini too! It’s there at the bottom of the dish. I’m making apple pie this weekend too. This is the best time of year in New York. Enjoy the weather.
      Thanks for your comment.


  3. Cooking for one I make simply dressed hot apples for dessert.Easy Peasy, I Wash , then slice apples thin and place in a single layer circle on microwaveable plate ., sprinkle with cinnamon or apple pie spice, sugar or brown sugar if you want, then microwave for one to two minutes to bake. Delicious on their own or with vanilla Greek organic yogurt.. I use Aldi’s brand at $2.99 for 32 oz. Lara


    • Hey Lara. This sounds delish! We must think alike. I just bought vanilla greek yogurt last week from Aldi, for the first time. It’s really very good. I make my own granola and have that with the yogurt. I have to try your apple recipe with the yogurt (we’ve already had tons of apple crisp pie with vanilla ice creme!!!! We’re so bad, eh?)
      Thanks for the tip 🙂


    • Lara, when you bake it yourself, you can limit the sugar, butter etc. I like to take my slice of pie as my breakfast or lunch. Nothing else but my own home made pie, with oatmeal & walnut topping. OMFG! It’s so good. I only bake them once a year and I am not giving up the experience! To heck with those calories and any weight gain. It’s all happy weight! LOL 🙂


  4. Our city is so poor that the property taxes are outrageous for those of us who own homes. Truly terrible. We did somehow score a refund of $7k for overpaying on something…who knows…when we bought our house in 2008. I am impressed we received the refund check. Saving it as PC still doesn’t have a job prospect. I am applying left and right for something.

    How did you make your photo collage of those delicious eats? Beautiful!!


    • HI Leslie. The collage is all part of the Word Press software. When you upload your photos, the software gives you a choice on how you would like to present your photos (landscape, mosaic, slideshow, individual etc. etc)
      Hold onto that $7,000!!! That’s some score.
      I am so sorry your PC doesn’t have a job prospect. I understand your concern! Hang in there. Something will come up. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.