Saving Money and Weekly Update–January 7, 2018


Keeping my pantry well-stocked is important to me, even on a month where I’m not planning to spend a great deal of money.  So, believe it or not, I was almost out of olives!  Now, to some, like my mom and aunt, that would be good news!  To me and my sisters, a tragedy:). Rob spotted these medium-sized olives at Grocery Outlet for 79c/can and so he snagged me a case. We’ve used 2 cans already.

I grabbed the 5 packages allowed of grated cheese from Fred Meyers on Saturday.  I got Rob a birthday present from the clearance rack while I was there.  His birthday is at the end of the month, and I struggle with what to give him every year, coming so close to Christmas.  But, this is a small thing that I know he will enjoy.  Better yet, I thought of another idea I will work on this week.  We will be watching both our niece and nephew that weekend, so any celebrations will be group efforts.  I think another chocolate cake is in order, for sure.

Our 1/4 beef arrived.  It was taken to the butcher shop in December, but Rob went and picked it up yesterday.  I had to do some major freezer arranging to fit it in, so now I’m even more committed to emptying out a few more items.  I like the freezers full, but not crammed to the point where I worry they will pop open.  I had been emptying them and they were in great condition, but now they are really full!  Buying the beef in bulk saves a lot, compared to purchasing little by little. We have done it for many years this way, but have cut our order down from 1/2 to 1/4 as our family is smaller.


One of my goals in January is to use things that have been around for too long.  This soup is some I canned in 2011.  I ate it for lunch, and it was still delicious.  I felt so virtuous when I ate it:). I also used some peppers I pickled a few years ago.  I put some in refried beans and some in chili.  They worked fine.  When a friend made them, they were crisp.  Mine turned out mushy, and so people didn’t want them that way, so they just sat there.  Now, I’m using them up in creative ways.  I’ve also used several frozen bread items.  I buy it when it is on the day-old rack at Fred Meyers and freeze it.  But, I needed space more than extra bread this week, so I targeted it.   I will try to post later in the week about the other goodies I cooked.


One day, Alissa came to my house for school, as usual.  She had her hair in curlers.  After she took them out, some hair was curled and some was not.  So, we curled the rest with a curling iron, and it turned out great!  (We also did school, if you were wondering). Ja’Ana had taken a job for the holidays where Lovana (older sis) works.  They just needed a dish washer for the break, and Lovana said, “My sister will do it.” And, so she did.  But, there was a mix-up, and they thought the break continued one more week than it did.  So, they scheduled J for a few days last week.  Therefore, Alissa and I had a fun week of school, and we made J a list of work she had to do in the evenings!  I tried not to make it too hard, and it worked out.  This week, we will hit it harder, as both girls will be here, as usual.  So, it was win-win for everyone, and J ended up getting a few hundred dollars out of the deal.  Alissa still has her after-school job, so she enjoyed buying Christmas gifts for everyone this year, even more than she usually does.

We got a microwave!  Rob went to a hardware store out in Mt. Angel, Oregon, where we have bought appliances for years.  It’s just a little store in a little town that has excellent customer service and good prices.  They showed him the choices. He did not pick the most expensive or the cheapest, not the simplest or the fanciest, the largest or the smallest, but one that met our needs for a good price, and within an hour, he had it home.  I’m sure glad to have one again.  I use it a lot.  With my work schedule, I cook a lot on the weekends and warm it up during the week.  We’ve managed, but…..this will be better.

We went swimming as a family at the YMCA and I took 2 exercise classes this week.  We’ve been enjoying watching Netflix, Rob’s Christmas gift from Lovana.  When we moved in here, the price of cable, plus internet, was less than our bill at our other place for phones plus internet, because we dropped our phone land line.  So, we got cable.  I’ve especially enjoyed the ice skating that was on this week, as I have not gotten to watch it for years and years.


Jake spent the weekend.  He wanted popcorn, so we enjoyed the frugal, tasty snack.  We had him help Rob run errands.  He went swimming with us, and decided to run around the track 2 times as well, while we were at the Y.  We read out loud several times.  Right now, we have moved on to “Little House on the Prairie” and he is loving it!  We just finished “Little House in the Big Woods.”  It’s been so rewarding to see him making this transition to enjoying it when I read chapter books.  This is our 4th, and I’m such a proud auntie!  It’s so fun to see how indignant he got when the Ingalls’ dog, Jack, got swept away when they were crossing the creek because they forgot to put him up in the wagon, and how happy he was when Jack showed up, all right, by the campfire that night.  (I know I have a few new readers–for you, Jake is my special-needs nephew, who is going to turn 10 this coming week, whom I work with as both an auntie, and as his personal support worker for DD services, so spending time with Jake is both rewarding for me as a person, and generates some funds for the family.  When I work with him, I try to help him go forward in his development, in some way.  You can read about some things we have done here and here.)


14 thoughts on “Saving Money and Weekly Update–January 7, 2018”

  1. I’m like you are. It is important to me to keep our pantry stocked. I do it for a lot of reasons least of which is that I just never know if something will happen where we need it. This week with the snow (an oddity in my area) I did not have to panic to get things. I also didn’t have to worry about running out when it didn’t melt as fast as everyone thought it would.

    The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that sometimes you can just go with the flow and rearrange things. Really in a way I think it is a good life lesson. A lot of adulthood is like that — sometimes you just make things work.

    1. I love homeschool most of the time. I try to do what’s best for each individual child, so have had kids in school (public or private) as well as homeschool, as seems best for them at the time. When it works for that child, I love it:)

  2. I am so glad you have a microwave again! I keep olives on hand for the grandchildren who love them. It is always good to find them on sale!

    It has been so extremely cold here that we have only left the house twice all week. That always saves money for us. We have done everything we can to save on the heating bill. Curtains and blinds have been closed even though we hate the closed in feeling of it. We hung a curtain over the doorway that leads down a back hall to the laundry room because it is cold back there and every time the heat came on it pulled frigid air into the kitchen. We ate homemade soup and homemade bread for lunches and stayed under blankets on the couch. It has barely been above freezing for about ten days. On Tuesday it is supposed to be 59 and we can hardly wait!

    Have a good week!

    1. Brrrrr…… We are simply not having that kind of a winter this year. Last year was a different story–we had record breaking cold here, but it never gets as cold as many people are now around here.

      I have to say, I’m not sad at all. The more mild winters are what I’m used to, and I like it. Lots of mud….but…I can live with it!

  3. Life without a microwave is so different. When my microwave died I thought I’d just go without it but after a couple of months I gave in. I reheat a lot too and I love my melted cheese sandwiches on soft white bread as well as grilled.

  4. Congrats on the new microwave. I”m with you – I usually buy things in the middle range. When I replaced my washer last year, it was exactly like you described. Not the most expensive, not the cheapest, etc.
    I so miss Grocery Outlet – great job on getting those olives.

    1. Mine, too! Today was Jake’s birthday. His mama sent me to school with cupcakes for a party, then I took him to the pool for a while. Michaela went, too, and we grabbed Patsy for the pool after she was done with school. Fun birthday. Then, his family was going to take him out for dinner and presents:)

  5. Yay, so glad you have a microwave again! I would feel very virtous eating that soup, too. I love when I finally use something up that has been hanging around for a little too long. 🙂

  6. How did we live without microwaves years ago? I remember the first time I saw one, it was in Home Economics class in High School. Oh doesn’t that date me? One girl was afraid of the radiation and refused to eat the food.

    Canned soup from 2011, woohoo! I don’t feel so bad now. I have read home canned food will keep for about 20 years if you keep it in a cool dark place because the glass jars are less permeable than tin cans. I don’t know if that is true but I do know my canned food never seems to go bad or flavorless like store-bought tin cans.

    Jeannie @

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