Saving Money and Weekly Update–September 9, 2017


We continued getting ready for winter this week.  We took 2 trips up to my sister’s farm, where we had a big pile of wood, and brought it home and stacked it.  We used the van, as we sold the trailer this summer.


We looked into renting a U-Haul, but decided it would be more tedious, but much less expensive to use the van.  Rob removed all but one bench seat, and put a large tarp down, and it worked just fine.  There is a little more wood up there, and we plan to get it next week.


I made salsa, and canned it.  I got 14 jars, a mixture between pints and 1/2 pints.


While up at the farm, my sister gave me prunes, peaches, peppers, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and corn.  Yum!  I used some of those things, plus what I had from my garden to make the salsa.  I will can the tomatoes in a few days, along with some from my garden.


We are about to cut the last watermelon.  I also picked raspberries, a few strawberries,  cantaloupe, snow peas, and beans from my garden.  I’ve been freezing the berries as I get them.


I also pulled the first carrots.

I made some recipes from the current Cooking Light Magazine.  I made Sweet Potato-Red Lentil Curry in the crock pot, and Basil Chicken.  They were both good and used things I had on hand.  I think the Basil Chicken will become a family favorite, for sure. The curry was good, too, but it was more of a soup than anything, the way we did it:)   I also made a simple beef stew in the crock pot another day, and we ate leftovers, corn dogs, tacos, and hot dogs other times.

Rob started back to work this week, and I started my regular schedule of getting my niece and nephew off the bus 3 days per week, and started back into homeschool with the 2 girls, Ja’Ana, my daughter, and Alissa, my niece.  We are using the library more this year for school, so we went there this week, as well.  Patsy also started school.

Rob gets the extra hour of work again this year, and needs to ride the little yellow school bus with a child who needs assistance. That extra bit of time was really helpful last year when the paycheck came each month, so we were glad to hear that he could do that again.   Last year, Rob parked the van in a certain parking lot.   He had permission.   This year he was informed by a very unkind, grumpy woman that if he dared to park there again, she WOULD have him towed, and so on and so forth.   So, the bus dispatcher decided that they would now pick him up AT OUR DOOR!  Isn’t that awesome?  Now he will use no gas at all unless that particular child is sick and he has to drive to work.  It was pretty funny to watch him get on the bus Friday morning:)


We did the “deal” at Fred Meyers this week several times, and even took my friend Harnet and little Danait there so they could do it, too.  Harnet confessed she did not really understand how it worked, and I confessed it had taken me a while to figure it out, too.  What you did this week was buy items in increments of 5, and then they would be 99c each. They included 4 lb bags of sugar, 1/2 gallons of milk, Life cereal, Goldfish crackers, granola bars, 18 eggs, and some bread. There may have been more choices, but I was interested in those things.  You could do it however many times you wanted, as long as it was in multiples of 5.  I ended up with 4-1/2 doz. eggs, 4 gallons of milk, 32 pounds of sugar, several boxes of cereal and several bags of crackers, 1 loaf of bread and 1 box of granola bars.  I was especially pleased at the sugar for 25c/lb.  I usually feel happy if it’s 40c/lb.  This is even less expensive per pound than buying a large bag at Cash and Carry.   I was getting very low after all the canning I’ve been doing. Harnet got 2 milks, eggs, bread, and sugar.  She was pleased as well, as those were things she needed, and all 5 for under $5.

I had to buy some odd items as well, this week, such as curry paste, a box of tea, etc., but I found it all, and everyone was well fed.  We did not go out to eat, but were flexible with when we ate, and sometimes what we ate.  I’m sure we will settle into a schedule quickly, but this week felt a little choppy.


The big girls wore her out!  She loves every minute she spends with them.  So sweet:)

How did your week go?



24 thoughts on “Saving Money and Weekly Update–September 9, 2017”

  1. Sounds like you had an awesome week. Between the wood and all the produce from your sister’s farm, sounds like making the trip was well worth your time, effort and money.
    I so miss Fred Meyer!! There’s nothing like it up here. When I lived in WA, I drove past one on my drive to work.
    My week wasn’t quite as eventful. I did get some tomatoes and sweet peppers in abundance from my garden. And one huge cucumber that was hiding from me for awhile.

    1. I’m glad your peppers are doing well! Mine are not. Unfortunately, that is one of the problems we need to work out in the new garden. It seems that the sprinkler is missing the area with peppers and they are tipped over, and the peppers are drying up—they don’t look good. Still, I picked a few off and used them anyway! But, there’s not much usable there. You win some and you lose some:)

      1. The peppers took a long time to produce here. So long that I almost pulled them out in July. Glad I kept them. Yes, having missed spots with the watering would be a problem.
        And, hey, every year, I learn something new about my garden. I think that’s part of the fun of it all.

        1. I agree. I love trying new varieties, new kinds, etc. and comparing them with others….I also love finding new ways to preserve things so we will enjoy them more. My husband used up one of the drying-up peppers in Spanish rice and it worked–it was only partially drying up. I saw 2 bushes that actually look good now, but the peppers are tiny. We will see what they do. The rest…….close to the grave:)

  2. Sweet girls.. and what fun , learning to shop well and find all those bargains.. yea.. Have a great week..
    ps.. How ugly of that lady to complain about where Rob parked the van…. But.. it ended up, being a blessing..

    1. It did end up being a blessing. Sometimes, it works out that way:) At the moment, it’s not too pleasant, but….better in the end! She was the new manager, the old one who gave permission last year was no longer there, I guess, so she was within her rights to make that choice, but she could have been a lot nicer…..some people are just like that, I guess.

  3. Wow! What a great week you all had. I loved the crab post, that will be a nice treat in the winter months. I had a few peaches that were getting pretty soft, so made a peach crisp. It was pretty tasty. Have a great week.

  4. I love that Rob gets on the bus at your house!

    We really need a new mattress and were so blessed this week. I had looked at Sam’s and decided on one that is $400. We had to find someone to help us get it home, etc. The next day I found an almost identical mattress on clearance for $76 delivered! This was easily managed on our budget and God was so good to us!

    We had brain rehab 2 days and that is always a crazy exhausting week. Then our youngest son and his wife made a quick decision to come visit since they had their plans to go to the beach in Florida ruined by the hurricane. We so enjoyed seeing them and our oldest daughter and children came to visit and see them, too. We used a $25 off $50 certificate to take everyone out for seafood and only spent $46 with the tip! I had the certificate on account from one I traded from a purchase a long time ago. We have money in a fund to take the kids out when they are home and this was from when we had enough to fund it! It was nice to just go and visit and not have to worry about cooking or cleaning up.

    We are expecting wind and rain from the remnants of Irma on Monday. Most of our family and many, many friends are in Florida and we will be so glad when the hurricane has passed and we know they are all safe.

    1. I’m glad your kids came to visit! And, that you got a great deal on the mattress, and delivered, to boot!

      What a great choice to come see you instead of go to the beach in Florida, but I’m sure the whole situation is difficult with the storm! Hopefully, the winds and rain won’t be too bad for you.

  5. You had a busy week, but it seems like all your weeks are equally busy! When do you rest? I read about all what you do and feel like such a slacker! I did a few things on Friday and I am still tired from it! LOL.

    Sounds like you are making preparations for winter. Here. we are still in the 90s. That ‘buy multiples of 5 items for $.99 each’ sounds like a very good deal – we usually have a buy 5 items and save $5 sale, where we save $1 on each item on sale (sometimes, it is buy 4 items and save $4.00), but the price of the participating items vary. Sugar at $.25/lb. is definitely a “stock up” price! I, too, usually consider sugar at $.50/lb. to be a good price.

    Glad to hear your husband will be picked up and dropped off at home, now that he can no longer park where he used to. I wonder why that lady felt she needed to be so confrontational about telling him he can’t park there anymore. Glad it all worked out well, however.

    Hope you have a good week ahead of you.

    1. She was the manager of the apartments, so she had the right. I just felt that she could have been a little nicer than she was—plus, there was no reason for her to say no, since there were plenty of spare spaces in the center, where he parked last year. But, anyway, it all worked out for the best. It’s nice when that happens.

      When do I rest? Anytime I can:) I usually rest in the evenings. I read, watch tv, or play games on my Kindle most evenings. My personality requires me to have a little wind-down time before I sleep, so I’m often up a little later than the rest of the family. Sometimes I can’t get to it until pretty late, but I try each night to have a little space.

      I fell asleep on the couch while Rob ran the kids around late this afternoon– It wasn’t on purpose, though, so I hope I can sleep tonight! My body can tell that I haven’t been wood-stacking for a while–I’m a bit sore! There are occasions where I declare myself “done in” and retreat to my room at about 6pm and just sit in bed reading or whatever for the entire evening. I can’t do it often, but I did have one of those evenings about a month ago.

      When we go camping, which is more often than many people go, I rest a lot. Rob actually insists on taking me away periodically, because I have a hard time ignoring all the work around here that is needing to be done. I’m always striving for balance, and have learned over the years that the work will never be done, but I will get sick if I don’t take time to rest sometimes. Still, I admit, I have a hard time leaving things undone, which is not always an admirable trait. I have to watch that the tasks do not overshadow the people…I’m always working on it!

  6. I laughed out loud when I read that Rob now gets to ride the bus from HOME!!!! I LOVE it! What a wonderful way to get to work! I wonder if that unkind woman would find it as funny as I did? Doubt it!!!!

    Reading your comment about how you rest when you go camping made me feel so happy! I do the same thing! I find it’s the only time I really, truly relax and it’s because there is nothing that NEEDS doing! I love to go camping for that very reason!

    Enjoy your week and try to relax!

    1. My autistic niece thinks it’s hilarious, too! When I got to her house today to get her off the bus, the first thing she asked me was if uncle got picked up by the bus again today:) Then she started laughing her infectious laugh and we were all laughing again.

      My camper is such a happy place for me:) I’m glad you enjoy camping, too. Some people do not, and I’m sure they love other things, but I truly love going. It was a real prayer for me that I would still love camping after living in the camper last summer with everyone, and I still do.

  7. I’ll say one thing – you’ve got a hard working crew. Love the thought of Rob going off on the school bus. I’m like you though – every mile not driven is money saved.

    1. In the end, he’s delighted to not have to even take the car out at all, even though the place he went to wasn’t far. It saved us a lot on gas last year, and will save even more this year, for sure!

  8. Wow! You are so ambitious and have accomplished so much! I am familiar with hauling and stacking wood each year. We have a wood burning stove that we use everyday through the winter. We haven’t even begun thinking about wood yet this season.

    Your canning is lovely too! So nice stopping by to visit with you!
    Kindly, Lorrane

    1. Thank you. We actually enjoy the process of wood gathering, stacking, etc., but Rob needs to find out some more sources to cut some. So, for now, he will go get the last bit this Saturday, we will burn it all up, and then either buy some more, or he will find a source where we can go cut it. Usually, at our other place, he liked to keep a 3-year supply, so that it was always dry as a bone, and easy to burn. We have no where to keep a 3-year supply here, so…..we will figure it out as we go.

      I’m glad you stopped by. I hope you can get started on gathering wood, soon.

  9. Oh that is great that Rob gets to ride the special little yellow bus. I too laughed outloud> 🙂 I used to work with special kiddos so I am very familiar with them. My dad drove a school bus after he stopped from trucking. Bus drivers are very hard working and not very many take the time to say thank you. You would of thought someone gave him a million dollars when he got cookies or something home canned.It is wonderful how such a small thing can make someones day.I am glad you get to save gas this year. Thank You Jesus!
    Becky if you think about it would you pray for my daughter and I. We moved from the condo we were renting and took over someones lease. Unfortunately the house is moldy they covered that up with fragrance and tricked us.They piled things in front of the mold around the outside and hid the mold on the inside with paint and fragrance.
    . We need to find a healthy place to live in our budget because the house is making us sick. The property manager took a large deposit so that took all most all of our savings. We live in San Diego so it is a tall order but we serve a big God. I know he can do it. I figured you could relate to a bit of a housing challenge. May God keep you and yours this week.
    Patti from San Diego

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about the house. That’s awful that the people were so dishonest. Is there anything you can do about it? (I know that you still need to move, regardless, so that’s probably not the thing that is the top of your list, but I hope there is something that can be done to make them accountable) I can’t take mold, either, it kicks up my asthma. I will pray that you find a new place, soon. I have heard that the cost of housing is very high down there.

      I’ve always enjoyed passing through there–it’s so beautiful with all the flowers that grow year round, and the climate was quite mild each time I’ve visited–with the sea breezes.

  10. Thank you Becky!
    There is not much we can do.That I know of 🙁 It bothers my asthma too. We are hoping(praying) for a healthy new place and that God will provide the deposit and so on. I remember your storey so it gives me big hope. We are praying for open doors and Gods guidence and favor. Not sure why we are here ? We did pray about it. Rents come down a bit after summer so that is good. We just need one healthy house in Jesus name. It is just me and my daughter. Your girls are so sweet. It is hard to believe school has started again. You will be back in a routine in no time.

    1. Thank you. I’m glad my story can encourage you. That’s one thing I’ve prayed through it all–that instead of making me bitter from the circumstances of life, I would be able to use them to encourage others.

      I hope you will find another place very soon.

      My routine is getting a little smoother, but I still have a ways to go. It will help a lot when we get some of the fall chores, such as the garden, finished. Each evening, both Rob and I are trying to do at least 1 chore to try to not have them all left over for the weekends. We are having success doing chores, but there are still tons left for the weekend!!!! So, it’s a good plan–hopefully, I will get a good amount done today, since there is still the rest of the wood to haul tomorrow morning.

      Hang in there!

  11. An idea as to where you can get wood. A friend I know would call the county and find out where they would be trimming the trees over the powerlines. She would drive around until she found the truck, then ask them to throw the logs in the back of her truck. She followed their truck until hers was full. After she got home, her husband and kids would take them out.

    You need to get a picture of Rob getting on the school bus with his lunch box in his hand.

    Jeannie @

    1. That’s a good idea. Rob is very good at scrounging, so he would do that in a heartbeat if he could get wood for free. He knows people who know people, I guess! But, it’s time for him to get to know some new people down here in Salem:)

      It is pretty funny when he gets on that bus:)

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