Saving Money–March 19, 2017


This week was another productive one.  I decided to take on the project of working on the camper.  When we moved here, the camper stayed at the farm where we spent the summer. That kept the side area open for loads to be taken into the shop, wood to be stacked and other activities to be done.   After a few weeks, we moved it down.  By that point, I was focused on the house, and I just grabbed things out of it as I thought of them after wondering where they were, or needed them for a recipe, or a project.  So, a week or two ago, I decided to take a look around out there. Yikes!  Pretty bad!  Some cupboards look as if a giant just went through and stirred, or worse!  So, I started cleaning it out little by little.  I really, really don’t want to do it all at once right before we go on a trip since it’s a big job, and I will want to pack it with our clothes, etc. when that time comes.


Last summer was fun!  I can’t wait until we can get out again.

Friday morning, I started on 2 food cupboards out there.  I took out several partial packages of things, and used them up.  It was good for my food challenge, too.  I sorted, organized and made a list of  non-perishable items I need to replace.  I like buying them on sale, instead of waiting until the day before we go camping when I would have to buy them at full price. I keep a plentiful supply of groceries in the camper at all times because when we go camping we eat from there most of the time.

I spent a morning cooking a few freezer meals.  They will save me money later on a busy day.  I made gluten-free bread from a mix I had purchased quite a while back.  I will post about the final week of our grocery challenge (we are on week 4 now because we started the last week of February) on Monday night or Tuesday.


I was given a rose at Fred Meyers one day.  For whatever reason, each lady was handed a rose as she walked past on her way out of the store.  They may have been getting old, but it’s still going strong several days later, so it couldn’t have been on it’s last leg!

I worked a few extra hours because Michaela did not feel well.  I had to get her from school one day, and then kept her home the following day.  She was fine after that.  It’s always a balance–it cut into the girls’ homeschool time a bit (to be driving around, etc.), but I am very happy that I can be there for her, and they still finished their work just fine.  It just took until later one day, especially.  Over the course of this week, we’ve probably played between 15 and 20 games of Yahtzee.  That girl loves Yahtzee!


I had my broken filling fixed, using my insurance.  That is still wonderful to me, after over 20 years without dental insurance.  At this point, I did not have to pay any more money, because they are waiting to see what the insurance pays and they feel we may be up-to-date or even have paid a little more.  Nice!  No worries if we did overpay a few dollars–Rob’s got more work to be done–it will get used quickly or they’ll give it back.

We got a $10 check from something we accidentally overpaid a while back.  We hadn’t realized it, so it was like pennies from Heaven.

I rode the exercise bike 3 times this week at the YMCA, totaling around 17 miles between the 3 sessions, and we did the pool one night. I sat in the hot tub not exercising for quite a while that night.  Felt great!  I’m loving how much we are using our membership.

Lovana took us out to lunch.  Yum!  She has worked at her job for 6 weeks now, and wanted to treat us while she was home for the weekend.  That was nice.

Rob has been taking both girls, Lovana and Ja’Ana, driving on the weekends.  They both have their permits and it’s time for them to practice.  Ja’Ana and Alissa have driver’s ed classes starting soon and they want them to have some knowledge coming in.  Lovana just wasn’t ready until now, although she’s had her permit for some time.  I took J driving one afternoon, and she did great!  I have high hopes.  Alissa’s parents have been taking her.  It will be a few months before they can even try for the licenses, but we are on the right road.   Pun intended!  We want to get out money’s worth out of the classes, thus we are practicing ahead of time.  It would cost Lovana $1,500 for private driving lessons at her age, so……

How did your week go?






18 thoughts on “Saving Money–March 19, 2017”

  1. Finally getting some decent days here in Idaho. Whenever it gets nice I go outside to work and usually overdo it and have to take a day off after. Hubby and I have been trimming bushes roses and trees and pulling old weeds from the fence line. We are piling them up since we haven’t bought a burn permit yet. I have purchased some garden seeds. Hope to get lettace and snow peas in this week. Still focusing on the pantry challenge. Trying to buy as little as possible and not waste anything Chickens are laying well. We’ve already been able to share several dozen eggs. I’ve started washing a few windows. It wouldn’t hurt to start spring cleaning. Happy to see the sunshine!

    1. We had one nice day, today, Sunday. We had a busy day, of course, going to church, family Sunday dinner, and then evening meetings. I just had spring fever so bad, I spent the hour and 1/2 while I was home digging up a place for the strawberries I ordered. Yes, it is muddy. I still had fun. I was mostly removing grass that had crept into the area, and will add some good dirt on top of the mud. It’s back to rain tomorrow! So, I was delighted for the sun, as well. It sounds like you got a lot done, too.

  2. You are so smart to keep your camper stocked so that you are ready to go anytime. One day we hope to get a tiny motor home and I am taking note of how you manage. When my husband was in the coma I told him that he had to wake up because we still have a lot we want to do and we have not gotten our motor home yet. One day. 🙂

    As of Friday we had spent $101 on groceries all month so far even though I had to buy a $23 bag of Celtic gray sea salt to help rebalance hubby’s trace minerals. I have been cooking from what is here and filling in with what we need. I have cooked at home much more this week. It is good to get back to it and we have had some delicious and healthy meals. I am thankful that I was already cooking heart healthy and did not have to relearn everything. Some of the older wives at rehab just seem to be at a complete loss as to what their husband’s can eat now.

    Monday night the firefighters and good Samaritan were honored for their role in saving my husband’s life. It was wonderful to be a part of that. That man and his wife have become so dear to us.

    We have been watching ‘I Love Lucy’ on Amazon Prime. The first two seasons are there and we have really enjoyed them as we had never seen them.

    We took the grandchildren out for BBQ and used a coupon for free kids meals. They are such a joy.

    Tonight we took dinner to a family at church who have just taken a 1 month old foster baby. They have adopted 3 girls out of foster care and have huge hearts just like you and your husband. It really gave me pause when we pulled up to their tiny house that could not be more than 1000 sq. feet and houses 6. Their oldest is a teen who we have watched go from head down and unsure to confident and smiling and so beautiful because of her new family. Thank you for all you do!

    Have a great week!

    1. We LOVE I Love Lucy! It never seems to matter how many times I watch it–it’s still funny. I just love the one where she and Ethel are working in a chocolate factory. I’m not sure which season it’s in–I hope you get to it.

      We have been camping for years and years. With such a large family, it’s a great way to get inexpensive vacations. Here, in Oregon, we get free camping passes when we foster or adopt children for a certain number of days per month. Of course, you have to have the child with you to use the pass. Sometimes, over the years, they have done away with the program and we couldn’t get the free park pass, but then, they brought it back a few years ago. We still camp anyway, free or not. We started out in a tent, moved to a tiny camper, then a larger one, etc.

      The camper we had before this one was literally falling apart. Like pieces coming off. We prayed and prayed and put duct tape on it, and, after babying it along for a few years, felt that it was the right time to get a new one. We had peace in our hearts after praying, etc. Then, within one month, Rob lost his job. We were totally baffled as to why God had given us peace to incur a montly payment when Rob was going to lose his job. Well, we ended up living in it for all of the following summer, as you know. We never could have made it in the falling apart one, and thankfully, had made sure the payment was quite low on the new one. We saved so much money and it enabled us to have much less anxiety. So, God’s ways are not always easy to understand, but we feel blessed that we had a great camper to live in. We thought of buying a motor home, which I still would have liked, but we like to roam away from our campsite in our van, and didn’t want to tow anything at this point. So, we stuck with a pull trailer.

      I’m glad your husband is doing so much better. It’s nice that the people who helped him were honored.

      Thank you for all the encouragement. I’m sure the family you took food was encouraged. Some times people don’t realize how hard foster parenting is. I’m glad you can be so supportive.

      1. We love the chocolate factory episode, too! I bet it is on YouTube.

        Your camper story is wonderful. God knew. We will probably wait until closer to retirement and we are looking to buy a Roadtrek camper van. It will probably become our second vehicle at that point. Our oldest daughter’s neighbors have one and cannot say enough good things about it.

        1. That would work well for 2 people! I love having the bunk bed room at the back for the kids–one of the campers we had did not have it and it was hard with the one room being for everyone–no where to put their stuff, mainly, and beds on the floor. It’s great to have somewhere to hide it away:)

  3. I am so thankful for insurance. My current medical insurance has a $1,000 max out of pocket. I had two surgeries in the fall and followed the second with a very expensive ER visit. I should go and add up all the claims, but I am thinking they were in the $60,000 range and I paid $1,000. Yes, I did thank God over and over!

    Where we live, they don’t have driver’s education in the schools, so you have to pay a private company if you want it. I opted to teach our girls myself. :). They both got their licenses first try!

    I am looking forward to your low spending wrap up. I always enjoy reading the things you make.

    If you think of it, I would covet your prayers. My husband and I are about half-way through the required training to be foster parents, with the thought that we will adopt. We are fortunate to have a church that is very supportive of foster and adoptive parents, but we still feel quite inadequate. I keep trying to remember that I don’t need to believe that I can, but that I only need to believe that God can. 🙂

    1. I’m sorry you had to have the medical attention, but that is AWESOME that the insurance paid so well.

      The schools don’t do driver’s ed here, either. My sister and I have both paid for the class for our daughters. But, we are having the girls drive a bunch with us or our husbands, too. With the class, they have to have 50 hours of driving. Without the class, they have to have 100 hours of driving experience. I know people whose kids have not passed, even with the class, so I want Ja’Ana to have lots and lots of practice and hopefully, she will. The rate is much cheaper for students. We took advantage of a sale and got the class for $350 for the term. Lovana is too old for the class and did not want (absolutely refused) when she was in the right age bracket. She did not feel ready to drive. We respected that because if someone’s not ready to drive, they shouldn’t be driving. Now, she feels more ready, so Rob’s been working with her.

      Congratulations on becoming foster parents. My only advice is to go into it with your eyes wide open. We’ve been through both fostering and straight adoption. We’ve seen some really awesome stories, and some really sad ones. To get into foster care, life had to pretty bad for the child, and so it does affect them for their entire lives. So, just be prepared for that because it doesn’t always show up right away.

      Also, guard your heart. I’ve seen children returned to parent when the foster parent was told they would never ever be returned. (Before they were adopted–once the adoption is done, it’s forever) So, if you are doing foster-adopt, be aware that the state is pretty sure they child will need a forever home, but not 100% sure. Here, anyway. So, Ja’Ana was a legal risk like that–and it went like planned and we were able to adopt her as planned. We took the risk because we were adopting Lovana, who was totally free for adoption. I’m glad the sisters could stay together. That is important to us.

      Our first 2 were not legally free at all when they moved in–we were just foster parents, but that was never explained clearly to us. We thought we were adopting them from the first day–then learned we couldn’t–we were foster parents. So, we had a lot of anxiety once we figured it out. For 2 years. Until they were free, and we adopted them. It took about 3 years, total. We simply were so young and did not understand how things worked. Trainings are much more informative now days, I think. Ask lots and lots of questions. How exciting!

      1. Here (Arizona), taking the class didn’t lesson the number of practice hours they had to have in, and the class was 24 hours of classroom instruction and only 6 hours of driving, so both my daughters said no way! 🙂

        Thank you for the realistic information on fostering. They have been very honest in our classes, so I think we are getting a realistic view of the situation. Each week we leave class thinking we have no business doing this, and then the next week we go back again. Our own daughters have been so easy, we feel ill-prepared for more challenging situations. But the fact that my husband opted in is a God story in itself, so I’m just relying on Him. I think we will learn so much about our own imperfections in this process. 🙂

        1. Now days there is so much more help available then when we first started out over 30 years ago. You get good case workers, too, even though the bad ones get all the press. Patsy’s, for instance, was amazing. She was always there for us, answering questions, helping us with tricky situations, and when she visited, she always brought Patsy a little present. I know they were from the stash that they have down there–you know, the stuff people donate to foster kids–but she always took the time to sort through and get Patsy things she really enjoyed, not just random stuff. I really appreciated her. Still do. Patsy was in foster care for quite a while, so we got to know the worker quite well, which was a good thing in this case. She also had a CASA worker who was amazing. Get one of those for any child you foster, if there is one available. They really stand up for the best interest of the child in another way and their word does hold some weight in court before a judge.

  4. Moving effects [cleaning up the camper] seem to last forever , doesn’t it? We move into our old house 8 months ago. And seems ,I am still trying to find things [and have discovered…it must have been in the donate] We moved into a much smaller house, so lots of stuff had to go.

    Is Lovana enjoying her new job? Hope so.. So sweet of her to take you all out to lunch.

    Hope you have a blessed week.

    1. Judy,
      There are parts of Lovana’s job she really likes, and parts that are super hard. The elderly woman she is helping with is actually declining much more rapidly than anyone expected, so the job has gotten much, much harder quickly. So, getting woken up multiple times during the night is Lovana’s least favorite part! Working with the lady is the part she likes and is good at. The other thing that is hard for her is that the lady doesn’t remember her–she wishes she could. As with most of us, payday is another favorite part of the job. She is saving up money for college, and that’s really awesome. She is actually going to take a few on-line classes this next term to add to the ones she’s already taken. Go Lovana!

  5. Good to get your camper ready, Becky, it won’t be long now for camping season! I don’t envy you with the driver’s education. I think it cut ten years off of my life. Ha! Very interesting to read your comment about fostering. Bless both you and Rob for doing it!


    1. I am so happy that Ja’Ana is doing so well with the driving. I have actually refused to take anyone driving after my first daughter scared me to death by almost putting me into a ditch. So, Rob’s had to be the brave one! Several children since then have simply not been able or didn’t want to drive for various reasons, and now J is learning. She’s doing so well, I’ve actually taken her out and lived to tell the tale! Awesome!

  6. What a blessing your new trailer turned out to be. You really touched my heart with that story. I used to have a pull behind trailer. Loved it and regret selling it. But needed to at the time. I’d stock it each spring as well. Made it so easy to go camping. I’d just pack a cooler for food and a bag for clothes and we’d be off. The staples, bedding and towels were always kept ready to go in the camper.
    I,too, went through a foster-adopt placement years ago. It took me about 10 years before I could talk about the experience it was so horrible in the end. The short version of the story is that we had asked all the right questions about the child’s history and behavior and the state social workers (ours and the childs) lied to us. We would have approached that adoption through therapeutic foster care or residential care had we known the truth. As it was, we had to say goodbye to that child. I still think about that child and offer up prayers.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that. Sadly, that is not the first story of the kind I have heard. And, sometimes, the case workers do their best, but don’t have all the information. We have been through a lot with various children we have adopted. But, even though the end results are not always what we wish they were (like the picture perfect endings on tv commercials) we have never regretted what we’ve done. We did what we felt God asked us to do in each case, and can rest assured that each child had a better chance then they would have had if we hadn’t taken them. And, when it turns out wonderful–that’s even better.

      I too, love the convenience of having a set of everything from shampoo to my toothbrush in that camper. I do trot to and fro putting in food, clean towels, etc., but when I get to the camping spot–I have food that doesn’t make me sick, my own projects and blankets—ahhhhh–makes me want to drive off tonight. Well, I can’t, so I’d better just keep dreaming!

  7. Sad news today. 85 to 90 percent of the SC peach crop is lost due to the cold weather. We are the second largest peach producer in the USA.

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