Saving Money and Weekly Update–October 8, 2017

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One of the highlights of this week was visiting the library, where a model train club had set up a large track and a couple of small ones for the viewing pleasure of anyone who came, all for free.  Michaela loves trains.  When she was little, she often would watch a video called “Trains Across America” that Rob got at a garage sale and has been very focused on trains for all of her life.  She had a blast! The retired gentlemen were very patient and eager to answer all of her many, many questions.  Some let her even carefully touch certain trains, and more than one of them was trying to work out a way that she could have her own set-up.  I simply said it was up to her parents:)

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They set up a couple of smaller sets, too.  There were a few interactive train sets.  Jake and Michaela loved them!

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The kids’ big sister, Caitlyn, met Ja’Ana and I at the library and we all enjoyed the exhibit.    Jake and Michaela had to be pried away after almost 2 hours.  Caitlyn had already ran out and added money to her meter, and mine was running out, so we finally went back to my house.  I am not sure how long the kids could have stayed, maybe forever, but Caitlyn was going to take Michaela to her horse riding and so Jake hung at our house while they did that.

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Another day, I took them to the library after school.  I keep their library books in my car, or at my house and they enjoy them when they are riding around or visiting me.  That way, they don’t get mixed up with books at their house.  Rob took Patsy to the library on a different night.

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I picked and froze more raspberries this week.  I cut off most of my basil and turned it into a simple pesto.  Mine has basil, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and a small amount of Parmesan cheese.  I froze it in ice cube trays, popped the cubes out, and froze the cubes in a bag.  If the bushes grow more, I’ll make more, but this amount makes me very happy.  I use it in salad dressing and on pasta.  I also occasionally spread it on bread for sandwiches.  It’s nice on chicken, too, and is very economical since I don’t use any nuts in it, and only a small amount of cheese.

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This week, we emptied quite a few jars of home-canned goodness.  It’s nice to start using what I worked so hard on.  I have been bringing a few jars of fruit at a time into the kitchen and chilling them in the fridge to make the fruit more tempting.  I also had some cottage cheese and it goes nicely with peaches or pears, so some got used that way, too.

I have not gone grocery shopping in October, yet.  One reason is that I stocked up so well in September that I haven’t needed anything, yet.  The other reason is that I caught a cold, and was not in the mood to shop.  Since I’ve budgeted $50/week, plus a small Costco run, I will now have $100 to spend this week.  What I generally do in a case like this (well stocked up, don’t really need much) is just keep the money in an envelope and wait until I see a basic ingredient that is on sale for a very good price (like butter for $2 or cheese for $5 for 2 lbs) and then stock up on a bunch of it.  That way I am always using ingredients I bought for the lowest possible price and my food is getting used and rotated.  I will also need a few things, like milk, in a few days.  Since I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel tip-top, no one is eating much, so things are holding out longer than usual and there’s always applesauce…..

Someone accidentally spilled something in the fridge, and I discovered it.  What I thought was going to be a quick wipe-up turned out to be a big fridge cleaning.  The silver lining is that I was able to get it organized and cleaned.  Now I know what’s in there and will use the odds and ends up, got rid of quite a few questionable items, and have no more odd odor and dried-on ??? on the bottom.   I was ruthless and did not even entertain the idea of keeping a few things that had been in there for a long time.  I finally made the lasagna I wanted to make, so that will be in there once it cools enough.  There is some rice and orange chicken from the other day, even though we ate it again last night.  So, one of my next jobs will be deciding on a couple more things to cook for the week ahead, since that will only take care of tonight and tomorrow.  Once I do cook them, there will be plenty of space in the fridge to put them!  That’s always a good feeling for me:)

Is there anything lurking in your fridge that needs to go?  Or any meals you want to put in there for the week ahead?

 

23 thoughts on “Saving Money and Weekly Update–October 8, 2017”

  1. What a treat to get to see those trains! Our grandson who is moving to Germany loves trains and my Dad does, too.

    We went to a retirement seminar at my husband’s employer and found out that we are going to be much better off once we can get full Social Security than we had even hoped. Lots of questions were answered there.

    Aldi had butter for 1.98 so we bought 24 and put them in the freezer which brought us up to 40. 8 ounce ham steaks were 80 cents and bacon in 3 pound packages was 6,99. Canned tomatoes for 22 cents but a limit of 8. We earned 10 dollars on our rewards card at the grocery store buy purchasing gas cards which we do anyway but this week it was 6x the rewards. We also got two free tubs of cream cheese now we need bagels!

    1. I’m so happy for you about both your retirement (long term) and BUTTER (short term) 🙂 It sounds like it was a super happy week for you. I know your husband has struggled–you needed a happy week! I think 24 is a great amount! When I find it, I will buy a bunch, too.

  2. I take the Grand Girls to the library whenever they visit. They love it. My brood was never into trains but for kids and grownups who are, it is a magical time. Glad Michaela got to spend so much time enjoying the trains. I know the retirees were glad to have someone to talk to who was really interested.

    1. This library is by far the largest one we have ever lived by, since we have always lived in the country or small towns. So, they offer more great programs.

      Michaela is so into trains because, being autistic, she tends to fixate on certain things such as trains, horses, big cats, Reeses peanut butter cups, Yahtzee and Uno, and Ciabatta bread. Those are some of her favorite things and so it makes it easy to choose a gift for her. Just stick to the list! She really likes what she likes and dislikes what she doesn’t! She was still talking about the trains today. It was a really special day for her.

  3. I love trains, too! What a great time you all had. And free– that’s just the icing on the cake.

    The up side to your cold is more money for your grocery envelope. Love hearing how you manage your budget.

    With my husband, we used both an envelop for the cash money and a spiral notebook. In the notebook, we’d write the totals in the notebook and staple in our receipts.We’d divide the page down the middle, his side and my side. We’d keep a running tally of the spending.
    We did it that way because we only put a certain amount of cash in the envelope but would each spend additional money. We came to that because how variable our income was. My paycheck was a steady one. Paid twice a month like clockwork. His varied month to month depending on how many contracts he had for work that month.

    If cash from the envelope was used then that was listed at the bottom of the page,the receipt labeled ‘cash’ and stapled on to the page.
    My family doctor actually told me about this system. She said that’s how she and her husband managed their grocery budget. It worked the best of any system I’d ever tried.

      1. Exactly.
        Have to give the credit to my doctor though. i wouldn’t have thought that one up & have never read about anything like it any personal finance books either. It really did wonders to help us track our spending.

  4. Sorry you were down with a cold, but it sounds like you still got a lot accomplished during the week. It’s good to have that unspent grocery money available for a stock up when needed, isn’t it? I tossed a bunch of old condiments, etc., when I emptied out the old fridge. I have fish curry, lentil curry, and sauted cabbage in the fridge for the week’s meals. Haven’t decided if I want to cook some beef, as well.

    1. It sounds like a “curry” week for you. I like curry, if it’s not too strong. One way I especially like it is in a turkey or chicken salad with apples, grapes, and a curry/mayo sauce. Now, I’m feeling hungry for that!

      It felt really good to toss those old things in the fridge, but I didn’t sort out the condiments. That sounds like a great project to do soon. Great idea!

  5. I love trains! What fun!

    I’m hoping I am pretty well stocked for the month of October. I did a pretty big refrigerator clean out, too since I am focusing on using things up this month.

    1. I really got a lot of things in September, so haven’t needed anything, yet. I am picking a few stray veggies from the garden now and then, and using the preserved items. I will need milk soon, but there’s still about 1/2 gallon left. I’m glad your groceries are holding out well, too.

  6. How fun for the kids.. Know they enjoyed getting to play with the trains too.

    Refrigerators… oh my……… how do they get so dirty so quick.. I really HATE the
    job of cleaning them.. And usually a spill is what makes me to a REAL cleaning.lol

    Hope you feel better soon.

  7. This was a trip down memory lane. My boys loved trains and we were always going to exhibits. Thanks for sharing.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

    1. My boys loved trains, too. But, we never saw an exhibit like this–they just played endlessly with their Thomas set. I still have it, and this set of kids plays with it to this day. Great use of money.

  8. Refrigerator cleaning is on my to do list. A glass container developed a crack last week, which oozed. A good cleaning is definitely in order. Trains and a library visit sounds like fun.

  9. Hi Becky 🙂 Oh my goodness, trains are so much fun! We have a model railroad club near us and they have several permanent displays that they are constantly adding to out at the fairgrounds. Our oldest two grandsons are just enthralled with them (and so is Grammie, so that is a huge win for us all). Some of my fondest memories involve traveling by train. Have you ever taken the kids up to ride the little train at the dam on the Columbia river near Biggs? Our kids loved it when they were little.

    Praying you are feeling better now!

    1. Other than a few small bouts of coughing now and then, I’m great. Thank you.

      Oh, boy, the kids would go crazy if they lived near you!!! I have never taken a train ride, other than the small one we did last winter, which was a short ride from Oaks Amusement Park down the tracks a little ways and back again. It was a holiday train ride, with Santa and some elves on it and the kids got candy canes. They loved it.

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