Thriving in My Thrifty Week–June 10, 2018


Yesterday, we had an open house for J’s graduation.  She bought this dress to wear with some birthday money she was given, plus her big sis paid for 1/2 of it as her graduation gift.


My sister and niece made fresh donuts, fried on the spot in the outside porch area.  I’ll take everyone’s word for the fact that they were delicious since they were made from wheat flour:)  Other family members brought food, as well, and I spent a few hours on Friday cooking up a storm.  Besides this dessert table, there were rolls, lunchmeat and cheese so people could make their own sandwiches, pasta salad, veggie tray, pickle rolls, and punch.  The new recipe I tried for mint-chocolate fudge was a real hit.  It was SO good, and used up a lot of powdered sugar.  I am still working through the 25 lb. bag that was purchased on accident last summer when Rob was in a real hurry one day.  (He was tearing through Cash and Carry and only saw the word “sugar” on the bag, so…..). It has ended up being handy for icing for birthdays, and now this fudge uses it.  I love having a good stockpile when I’m entertaining.


The croquet set got a good workout before the heavens opened up and it began to rain extremely hard.

It was so nice to see many family and friends, some of whom we have not seen for a long time.  After our party, Rob took Ja’Ana around to parties for 3 more of her friends.  I stayed home with Jake, and cleaned up.  (After arriving that morning, he informed me he would much rather stay with me than go with his parents to the 4-5 parties they were making the rounds to after our party–it worked for me and he loved playing with a little boy that came). We have a celebration to attend for 2 more girls next weekend, along with a birthday party for little Danait, our friend who is turning 4.  So, party season is in full force, but winding down, and my hardest part is now done.

Most of the week revolved around the graduation on Thursday, and the party yesterday, but we did put a celebration for Patsy’s birthday in there as well.


Michaela and I made cupcakes, and I cooked Patsy’s choice for dinner—spaghetti with sauce from a jar, with salad from the garden (that was my choice–she would have been happy with a huge pile of pasta alone).  It ended up being a meatless dinner, because I was in such a hurry, so accidentally more frugal than usual.

I did a lot of shopping, and was able to utilize sales, and also got some Ibotta dollars from my purchases.  I have yet to cash out any Ibotta money, I’ve been much too busy to figure that out, so I have just left it all in there, and will have a nice payout when I do.  I bought more eggs, even though I had lots at home because they were around $1/dozen.  They keep a long time.  I was approached by a fellow customer in Fred Meyers while I looked at strawberries for dipping, who told me not to buy them–they were much cheaper at Safeway.  Since I was headed there next, I held off and bought them there for 99c/lb.  No worries, I bought plenty of groceries at both places and got my free Friday item.  I used dipping chocolate I had gotten on the Whoo-Hoo rack after the holidays.  It’s gone now, but I was so glad to have it to make the celebration nice. I got strawberry cream cheese for free by shopping a sale and using a coupon.  I got mark-down blocks of cream cheese for $1.09/block, and got a 25c rebate from Ibotta for each one.  I got the 5 they had.  They keep a long time, too.  I found my favorite Good Earth Sweet and Spicy Tea for 1/2 price, and got 4 boxes. I found plain bagels marked down and froze them for Jake.  There was also a marked-down package of ciabatta which I got and froze for Michaela.  I got Yoplait yogurt for 3/$1 and had a coupon for a few cents off on top of that.

We received news on Thursday that Rob’s contract will not be renewed at work.  He and another lady from his class were not renewed due to “budget constraints.”   At least we know, and are not in limbo any more.  He has been applying for other jobs, and has an interview next week.  It took 80 applications and 10 interviews to get this job.  I’m not holding my breath, yet, but do trust that he will find the right job with the Lord’s help.

We are fine through the summer.  He has his part-time summer job, and we planned for the summer off.  I have my work, as well. Insurance is an issue, and I will work on that this week.  This insurance ends June 30.  God has given me deep peace about this.  I mean deep, firm, heart-filling peace.  I’m grateful for that.  So, we are continuing our summer as planned, but will be pinching pennies a little more than usual until he gets some more work in case it takes a little longer than we wish for him to find a new job.


I made 4 pizzas, and froze 2 for future meals.  2 ended up being combination and I used all the odds and end in the fridge of things like sausage with olives added, and the other 2 ended up being Canadian Bacon and Pineapple.  I made popsicles from the leftover pineapple juice, and the last few pieces of fruit in the can.


I made “egg muffins” which are basically quiche fillings, baked in muffin tins.  They can be heated up quickly in the mornings for a quick breakfast for Rob or myself.  He still has 3 days left, then he’s off.  I also made brownies, cookies, soup, and all that party food.  Today we ate leftovers.

I haven’t had much time to think about a menu plan, but want to make one up targeting the food that is now beginning to grow in the garden.  I have many plans of things I want to organize around here now that I don’t need to teach school.  I will have several hours a day that are now free for those kinds of activities, and I’m excited about that.  I will also be working more hours, as Michaela is out of school now, and Jake will be out on Wednesday, but there will be plenty of hours left over to organize with…..I hope:)


I picked the first small picking of snow peas.  The bushes are covered with blossoms and tiny pods.  I suddenly have lots and lots of great lettuce to use. I picked and used a whole handful of green onions in my cooking this week.


The raspberries and strawberries are just starting to ripen. My niece picked them during the party yesterday, and I let her take them home. There are many more coming ripe, and I thought it was so thoughtful of her to pick them.  They will produce more, and none will be wasted that way.  Other things are growing well, but are a ways off from harvesting.  We got a soaking rain today after heavy showers yesterday.  It was badly needed.  I can just see the plants perking up and can almost watch them grow.  It’s going to heat up again, and they should just grow and grow.


So, I will leave all of you with a picture of Jake in his new suit.  His mama got it for him on Tuesday for a choir concert he was in.  Sadly, I missed it, as I had car trouble on the way (that’s another story for another day).  He won’t stop wearing it.  He’s worn it to school daily since he got it, to Ja’Ana’s graduation, and to church.  He loves, loves, loves it and I think he is so cute in it:).








30 thoughts on “Thriving in My Thrifty Week–June 10, 2018”

  1. Becky, I’ll be praying that Rob finds a job quickly. It made me smile that you are so at peace with your situation, the Lord is good. I love reading how you economize, you are very inspirational.

    1. Thank you. It really helps that we had them put us on the 12-month paycheck plan so we will get paid for this summer, and that he has part-time summer work lined up. However, he needs another job by fall, so we need all those prayers:)

  2. Congratulations to Ja’Ana!! The dress really looks nice her.

    I hope and pray that Rob finds a job soon. I know it must be hard on him (and you) not working but I am sure God has his own plans in place for Rob.

    1. Thank you. I have to say that girl could always wear clothes!!! Even when she was tiny, and barely talking, she wanted her socks to match her outfit, and would protest if they didn’t.

      Thank you for your prayers for the job situation. We know that God does have a plan, and feel blessed that He has given peace through this situation.

  3. Yes! Jake is adorable n the suit! I will be praying for Rob to find another job in the Lord’s timing and right where he is supposed to be. God is so good and I love that you have peace. Your stockpile and garden will serve you well this summer.

    We had a big week! We have been saving for a Class B motor home for years. Twice we have given a big chunk of the money away for the Lord’s work when He directed us to do so. This last time He gave it back to us plus 50% 3 weeks later! I had finally just decided to let it go. I had spent 2 and a half years looking for a Roadtrek in good shape that we could pay cash for and it just was not happening. Then last week one showed up on Facebook marketplace in our price range and only an hour and a half drive from us. But, we have looked at many that were misrepresented and wasted a whole lot of time and miles to do so. So once again we went. And it was the one. Let’s just call it a vintage model that has been so well loved and cared for that we knew it was ours. And it was the longer model and a rare one with a shower and a queen bed. God is good! Then yesterday we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. So I guess we bought ourselves a present! Oh the places we want to go! But, first we have to learn to drive that thing! I put full coverage insurance on it in case I scrape the top off!

    1. That’s so exciting! If I can drive a 15-passenger van, you can drive that! (It was a learning curve for me, but I figured it out)

      We love camping so much, and I know you will love getting away with all your stuff with you. It saves so much packing and unpacking. I love our trailer. And, a queen is so necessary, since they somehow seem smaller than when they are in a bedroom:). They are probably the same, the camper bed just seems small. Of course, we sleep on a King at home, so there’s that….Of course, Rob is over 6’4″, so there’s that….

      Just don’t try to drive through McDonald’s, and you will be fine:). My kids have learned to not even ask for drive-throughs when we are pulling a trailer. We always pack a picnic and put it in a little cooler right inside the door since we have slide-outs and the kitchen isn’t super handy when we are traveling, and that’s our lunch if we need one. A motor home would be much easier to access the food from while on the road. I’m excited for you!

      1. This is a full size 21 foot long Chevy van with a topper. I sure we will be fine but it is scary at first. It is fully self contained snd everything can run off the generator so we can go anywhere as long as we can get gas and find a dump station. We bring it home today. We are still pinching ourselves that we actually found one. New ones start at $75K and the model we bought starts at $125K.

        1. That is so exciting! I am so happy for you. One time, years ago, we went in a motor home with my husband’s parents and went down the west coast from Oregon to the bottom of California. It was so fun to stop on the side of the road, by the ocean, and eat our lunch! It’s one of my favorite memories. Because the vehicle was compact, we could get away with things like that. Our camper plus van is too long to fit many places. You are going to have so much fun!

  4. I will pray! You have been very busy. The food looks so nice! And everyone dressed up so pretty. Jake and his suit! Once at church there was a little girl who apparently made her first Holy Communion that year, and every single Sunday she wore her Communion dress..ha! (She got her monies worth out of it plus she was so proud and pretty). Andrea

    1. I’ll bet she was so cute in that dress! When I was helping him with chores today, I finally convinced him to take the suit to the laundry area to be washed! I think he wore it 5 days in a row:)

  5. Also praying for your job situation. I’m thankful to hear the Lord has given you peace about this. Regarding insurance: I use Samaritan’s Ministries. I love it. I shattered my elbow a few years ago and every penny was covered. If you have pre-existing conditions, it is a little more difficult to get full coverage, but there are possibilities of getting partial coverage even for those.

    All the food looks fantastic! The garden and the goodies! These pictures show an abundance of blessings!

    1. With my diabetes, and all of Rob’s hip and back issues, we probably will need to go with more traditional insurance. But, I have gotten a little ways on that today….still have some more research to do.

  6. Ja’Ana looks beautiful in this dress too. Jake looks so adorable. I’m glad the garden is starting to produce. It will help you keep your grocery budget down. Rob will find something. God always provides. Sending you lots of love and prayers.

    1. Thank you.

      That reminds me, I need to go pick a bunch of lettuce again. There is so much growing now that I am eating it constantly, and sharing it as well! I want to take some to my sister’s tomorrow.

  7. All the pictures and the celebrations look so nice! I’ll be praying the next job is even better.

  8. Ja’Ana looks lovely in that dress and how sweet of her big sister to help pay for it also. All the good looks delicious too. Happy Birthday to Patsy! Oh that Jake looks so snazzy in his suit. Our grandson Bradley loves to dress up in a suit too and for awhile that is all he wanted to wear too. 🙂

    As for the job front, I am so very sorry about Rob’s contract not being renewed. I am glad you have a peace about it though. That means there is something better that is going to happen for your family. I do know that school districts frequently “rethink” their budgets close to when school starts again and see that they need to, under law, provide services for their students with special needs. At least you and Rob do still have your job and his Summer job to see you through. I’ll be praying for the whole job situation and for your health insurance also.

    Much love to you my friend!

    1. Yes, the silly thing is that in the fall, they are going to have to replace each and every aid they have not renewed because, as you said, the kids have to have aids. It’s not even possible for the class to function without them. But, like I said, I have peace and am looking forward to what is to come.

    1. Thank you. I wish I had captured the other table full of food, too! People ate so much, which was good, and we still had leftovers. I love that when it comes out fairly even–plenty of food, but not too much to spare:)

  9. Loved your post, as always. I picked lettuce for the first time this week as well. Yum.

    so there’s no way Rob’s contract could be signed late, like August or September? I ask because my friend who is a treacher’s aide for special needs students in AZ had to wait until the fall one year to get her contract renewed. What a stressor that can be. Smart of you two to opt for the paychecks through the summer! Will keep you in my prayers as well.
    And just a thought, I had great success working as a temporary office worker through an agency. Mine was called AccountTemps but I think is now part of Robert Half. I started out just doing filing and general office duties. Also, when I worked at UW they had a temporary hire office which was different then their regular personnel office. One of my temporary placements was FT for 10months. Working temporary was some times the best way to get into a state govt job. Just some thoughts since you’re in Salem.

    1. Thank you for all the suggestions. They are good ones.

      I think there is a huge possibility that jobs will open up in the fall. In fact, there was an email from the district stating that jobs will be posted, starting tomorrow. Rob actually already had an interview this morning. BUT, none of the jobs will have insurance through the summer. They would all start in the fall, and so insurance would start in the fall. That’s our biggest immediate issue. I’m diabetic, and Rob has huge issues with his hip right now. So, we really use our insurance, and this has been good insurance for us. The current insurance will cover us until the end of June. I have spent the past 3 months going to each and every doctor, dentist, specialist, etc. that I can with the family, and we have 4 more appts next week, so we are in pretty good shape for a couple of months.

      Since 7 people were not renewed from his school, and there are lots and lots of schools in the district, Rob and someone figured out that there are probably 300 people, as a rough estimate, that don’t have insurance or a job to count on for fall. That saves the district over $600,000 right there, but also puts a lot of families in a very hard place.

      I’ve checked out one option for insurance, and it’s not going to be my preference. We are going to check out another option Monday. Not sure if we are low-income enough to qualify for the Oregon Health Plan insurance. (I’m still working and he has a part-time job for summer) But, I’m going to check that out along with the rest. It’s worth a try. I can always go back to “not my preference” if I have to:). I’m sure we will find a way to not just lay down and be sick/unhealthy and get what we need. It’s just a lot of work. We will keep praying and I’m sure God will direct our ways. He gave me assurance that He knows all these things. And, He’s giving us good ideas to try–I’m sure He doesn’t want us to just sit down and wait for Him to fix this, but instead, do whatever we can (our part), and then have patience while He works.

      1. Can you continue with your insurance with COBRA? I know it’s expensive but at least you’d be covered while you’re looking.

        1. That’s another really good idea, that I will use as a last resort. If I can find a cheaper way, I’ll use it. It would be very difficult to pay the price for that.

  10. Another lovely picture and dress for the Graduate. Jake looks so cute in his suit too. I hope that Rob finds a great opportunity and think you are right to enjoy this summer as much as possible.

  11. Oh, Becky, I am concerned about Rob’s job. I don’t care what the news media says about the “great” economy, it isn’t “great” in real life. It is horrible. Dustin (middle son) did not get the good job he was offered because he did not pass the background check! We were shocked! He is a devout Christian who has never done anything illegal. The lady was honest with us. He was turned down because of his conservative views. Yes. His conservative views. He checked the laws and they are allowed to do that.

    He is back to job hunting and I warned him to be “generic” on future applications and have no opinions. He replied, aren’t we supposed to be “salt and light?” I had no answer.


    1. That is awful! I’m so sorry. That doesn’t seem right to me. It seems like they would want people who are more likely to be truthful, hard-working, etc. There’s a lot about this world that does not make sense.

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