Saving Money and Weekly Update–November 11, 2017


There’s nothing like a good library visit!  I don’t know if your family has discovered the Elephant and Piggie books, but Jake sure loves them.  They are pretty funny, and very easy for him to read himself.


None of the kids, or Rob, had school on Friday, due to Veteran’s Day.  We did some errands, got some groceries, and stopped by to feed the nutria and ducks at a pond.  As we were picking Jake up, his mom handed us a big bag of old hot dog buns, since I had to confess I had forgotten my old bread at home.  The kids loved throwing them to the animals.  4 other kids showed up, armed with their own bags of stale bread bits and they all had a blast.  They even shared with Jake when he used ours up.  I though that was really nice of them.


We saw mallards, 2 different kinds of wood ducks, a pair of domesticated ducks and 1 lonely sea gull that travelled far from the ocean, along with the nutria.


It is time to fill shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  They need to be filled and back to the church by November 19.  I went out to the shop, dug around in my fabric and patterns, and made 2 little skirts, using the same piece of fabric, and the same pattern–just 2 different sizes.  I hoped to use the piece up, but there’s probably enough for 1 more skirt left….but I only need 2.  The girls have been selecting items at various stores for the boxes and we will pack them this week.  Although I certainly plan to spend money when I fill the boxes each year, I love being able to put in skirts that will be nice for the recipient that cost me nothing out of pocket.

I have a busy week ahead, full of fun things like a field trip to the state capitol building, and some other things.  I’ve been doing some extra cleaning and getting ready for Thanksgiving, as that’s suddenly right around the corner.  Rob cleaned in the shop for a few hours today, as well as grabbed some of the buy 10, get $5 off items at Fred Meyers.  I bought 10 items earlier in the week, but milk was on the deal, and it made them 99c for each 1/2 gallon, so I wanted 4 more since we used up a lot of what was purchased earlier.  Butter was $2.50 with the deal, so he got 2.  There was gluten-free clam chowder for 99c/can, and I grabbed a couple of cans of broth.  I take the little cans camping with me because it’s more convenient than large frozen cartons. I also occasionally drink a can when my tummy is upset–and I don’t want to thaw anything then.  They ended up 49c/can.

We did 2 exercise classes at the YMCA.  We’ve been in that class for over 2 months now.  We are taking Pilates twice a week for the girls’ PE.  I seriously stink at Pilates.  I have very little coordination or flexibility.    The girls are better at it.  BUT, it’s exercise, I can already tell I’m less stiff than I was, and I can do more of the things each time.  The teacher is patient and kind, and I haven’t fallen off my exercise ball lately, which is always a bonus!  Things are looking up:)  Lovana works out a few times a week there, and it’s all included on our membership.


I cooked several items today for tomorrow’s Family Sunday Dinner.  I didn’t need to cook anything for today’s meals except eggs for breakfast, there were plenty of leftovers from the week.  I continue thawing and using items from the freezer.  Our 1/4 beef is at the butcher, so that will be ready in a couple of weeks–so I need to keep emptying to make space.  So, I pulled out meatballs and sauce for tomorrow evening, meat, broth, bread, berries, etc. this week to keep using it up.  Rob dug around a bit in the chest freezer and unearthed a few things that I should make a plan for soon.  He found both the turkey and the ham that I knew were in there, so Thanksgiving is set.  I targeted some apples today, as the box we got has a few that are starting to get soft.

How about you?  Do you have any foods you need to specifically, purposefully use up before they get too old, or go bad?  Are you filling a shoebox and putting something interesting in?


18 thoughts on “Saving Money and Weekly Update–November 11, 2017”

    1. Thank you. Sometimes, I feel like I need to something “big” or “wonderful” with Jake, but I’m realizing that the simple activities are big and wonderful to him.

  1. I love the idea of the skirts for the shoe boxes. It has been quite some time since we have been to the library but when the kids were growing up I sometimes felt like it was our home away from home. Ours has a live music program over lunchtime twice a month that I used to take the kids to nearly every single concert for years and years. They got so much exposure to music types and instruments that most kids are not exposed to. I would love to get back to that now that my husband could go with me but he sometimes gets overwhelmed in a crowd due to his brain injury. We had 4 doctor visits this week and have come to the realization that he will not be going back to work. Prayer coveted for our disability approval. We have it through November at this point.

    Whole chickens were .69 a pound so I cooked two and we had chicken salad all week and put 6 packages of chopped cooked chicken in the freezer. I use some milk in my chicken salad to reduce the huge amount of mayo. Turkeys were .39 a pound and my favorite brand with a $30 grocery purchase. The sales were good so it was not hard to meet that amount. I stocked up on brownie mixes at .55 and cake mixes at .40. Russet potatoes were .99 for 5 pounds and cabbage was .39 a pound. Organic bananas were a crazy .21 a pound. We got 12x rewards on gas gift cards. We bought 4 and got $12 in rewards. We use them anyway to avoid paying higher prices for gas with a credit card. We do not have a debit card. We can use the rewards to eat out at a favorite restaurant. I do have 5 apples in the fridge that need to be made into a bowl of applesauce.

    Have a good week!

    1. Good grief!!! Those grocery prices are amazing!!! I’m glad you got them!

      I’m sorry your husband is not able to return to work, and I hope and pray the disability comes in. I would expect that with that many doctor visits, there should be no problem proving his need in the end. Problem is, sometimes disability and such take so long to process……Here’s hoping that yours will go through quickly, especially since you already have obviously been filling out paperwork to get it so far…if that makes sense. A lot of your info is most likely already in the correct boxes at the agency:)

      The brain injury sound a bit like autism, in the fact that my niece cannot handle lots of crowds, noise, etc. Makes sense. We are very careful to only expose her when things are a bit quieter, or there is something very desirable to do, such as the train exhibit, which was not crowded, and was very, very desirable. I’m sure your husband, being neither autistic or young, can let you know his limits easily. You guys will adjust to the new normal, it just will likely take some time. Hang in there:)

      1. My husband is just now, after almost 11 months, able to tell that he has had enough and needs to get to a quiet place. I had known sometimes an hour before him but he would not believe me most of the time. It is huge that he is now saying he has had enough. If we stay past what he can handle he gets angry and that can last for a day or two. Being in heavy traffic is a brain overload, too so I have to consider that. We have been told that we will either be approved or moved onto another round of tests by the end of November. I am praying that it will just be approved and we will be done with it so that my husband can just let it go and be ‘retired’. It is hard for his emotions right now.

    1. Thank you. I’m still experimenting with gluten-free pie crust. This one was not quite right–still a bit tough, but edible. I’ll keep trying! I want one that ends up flaky. M daughter did make a great one, but cannot remember how much shortening she used!! Grrr….

  2. The Grand Girls and I go to the library every time they come. Sometimes our Saturday night is so packed we don’t even get to read but the mere act of looking at books and choosing which ones to pick keeps a love of books going strong. I haven’t taken the Grand Girls to feed the ducks that much because our Saturday sleep overs are so full but I took my kids when they were small all the time. Even after they were grown I would take my bread scraps and camera and just spend a little time in the fresh air snapping pictures.

    1. I’m glad you get to go to the library. I just love books, so it is fun to take kids there so they can learn to love them, too. For me, I don’t think the electronic readers will ever replace an actual book in satisfaction, although I’ve certainly ready many on my Kindle:)

  3. I’m an Oregon girl who got transplanted to Nevada in my 20’s. Still go home a lot. Was enjoying your pictures. I forgot about nutrias we used to feed them too. Plus we liked to catch water dogs. Take care and thanks for the good memories.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures and that they brought back good memories. I’ve only been through Nevada a time or 2, but what I saw was MUCH different than Oregon. I’m sure it has it’s advantages, too. As I slog in, shoes soaking from a quick rain shower that drenched me in the few minutes I was out there:)

  4. I will have to look for those books, they do look like something my grandboys would enjoy! I love feeding ducks and geese at the park. It has always been one of my favorite things to do. Did I ever mention that I had 3 ducklings for awhile when I was little and I took baths with them? 😉

  5. The library is a wonderful place, isn’t it? The skirt you made is so pretty! Some little girl is going to love it. Your apple tart looks good! Hope you have a good week.

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