This week was full of a nice mixture of work and play. I was able to save money in several ways.
At dinner, this evening, we had popcorn and cheese slices for dinner. We had a lot to eat earlier at my sister’s house and then attended a birthday party for a dear little friend of ours, and ate some more! We weren’t very hungry, so this was a great choice. Some people didn’t even eat any cheese, I just have to have some protein with each meal, so I did.
I was able to get a doll dress, doll p.j.’s and the doll sleeping bag and pillow done for her gift. She really likes playing with her dolls, so I know she’s going to enjoy them. They were all made from materials I had on hand, so that was a very frugal, but very satisfying present.
This was the week for Christmas parties. On Friday, we had our annual 4H Christmas party. We played the usual games–unwrapping the package wrapped in multiple layers of wrapping when the music stopped and White Elephant gift exchange. It is amazing to me how much fun they can have with these games. Other games may be added in, but these remain. Each younger set of children has learned these games from their older counterparts, and never tire of playing them. Rob and I have been leaders for over 25 years, and the kids still choose the same games year after year. The older junior leaders choose the games, and they always choose these. It’s awesome to see how much fun inexpensive or free games can be.
Then they worked on community service projects.
They packaged up beans and rice for a local organization to hand out. They made candy canes with the story of the candy cane attached, also for handing out. The third project was making Chex mix and Rice Krispie Treats and cards for servicemen and women. We have 2 former members serving in the armed forces at this time, and a close relative of a member, so we chose those 3 to focus on. We rotated the kids through the stations, with each child getting a chance to do every activity. In the picture, Ja’Ana is figuring out the recipe, since the junior leaders were the “brains” of the stations, keeping people on task, even when the people switched stations! No small task! The rice, beans, ingredients for the treats, and card-making supplies were all donated by the families in the club. The postage will come out of the club funds, or be donated.
The kids also gathered around the tree and one mom read a story containing the true meaning of Christmas to them. We had a potluck as well, and then it was time for them to go home. A great day for everyone!
Patsy had a party with her Sunday School class. It was over an hour from our house to the party. Rob and I went on a date while she enjoyed the party. We got to enjoy going out to dinner, as we clearly weren’t going to run home in-between. We also picked up a few groceries from specialty stores (one thing was gluten-free Worchestershire sauce–hard to find, spendy, but I don’t use it very fast). It was great to be able to get away alone. That hasn’t happened much lately.
On Saturday, she had a party with the Royal Family Kids’ Camp organization that helps foster children enjoy camp each summer, and a party at Christmas. She received some shoes, yarn for her Knifty Knitter, and some sewing supplies, as she is learning to sew in 4H. They are so kind to take the time to find out what each child really wants, and give them such nice presents. She made this cute food craft with an ice-cream cone, a cupcake and frosting. She promptly had Rob eat it, since they were sure it wouldn’t make it home.
Rob was able to combine driving the children and several errands to save $ on gas.
We cooked most meals at home, except the dinner when we went out, or when we were eating at my sister’s house. I made meatballs and pasta, soup, leftovers a couple of times, and spent the first 1/2 of the week using up the chicken I got for 50c/lb last week in things like chicken salad sandwiches, chicken enchiladas, and plain chicken on a plate. That 10 pound bag made a LOT of chicken! We used home-canned and home-frozen fruit, vegetables, enchilada sauce, and blueberries. I used up a little container of pesto I froze last summer.
I burned a lot of trash, eliminiating the need to pay for an extra bag. I made a lot of potholders from scraps and Insul-Bright filling. They will be Christmas gifts. I was able to buy some more Insul-Bright today, using my 40% off coupon at JoAnn’s.
We were able to get a pickup load of honeydew melons that were no good for people to eat, for our pigs. We were given 4 melons that were good to eat, so have been enjoying them.
We did all of the usual things: burned firewood in our stove for heat, turned off lights when not in rooms, etc.
Rob also got new tires for the car, using savings for money (not store credit or credit card) , since ours were long-overdue. He bought neither the cheapest, or the most expensive, instead choosing ones that were middle of the road in price.