Thriving In My Thrifty Week–July 1, 2018


I was able to pick enough flowers from the yard for a bouquet today.  Even better, I was able to clean off the table so there was a nice place to put it!  I’m slowly chipping away at the mess left over from both the backpack trip and the camping trip.

Today, the nieces and my aunt joined us for Family Sunday Dinner.  I made lasagna, and used up some cottage cheese, ricotta, parmesan, and some frozen pasta sauce.  These were all items that had been lingering in the fridge and freezer, so it felt good to use them up.  I made an extra lasagna to freeze, and a tiny one to freeze in the camper.  I also made salad from garden lettuce and some Brazilian Bite rolls I bought a while back.

Yesterday, I defrosted the camper freezer and wiped both it and the fridge out.  Now, I’m starting to restock both for the next trip, using fresher items.  I’ve put the older things in the house freezer to use up in the near future.


We had a very nice and frugal week at Ft. Stevens State Park.  We kept things extremely simple. One thing Jake has wanted to do since last summer was to ride the big “Beast” army truck at the historic area.  So, one day, we went over there and did that, as well as let him crawl all over the batteries and play with the replica guns/cannons.  We had to pay for the ride, but it was less since Rob did not care to ride.  The museum was free, and the kids enjoyed seeing that yet again.


One morning, Rob took only Patsy out fishing, and she was successful!  Another day, I took just her around the tiny outlet mall near the campground, and got her 2 shirts and a sweatshirt at a sweatshirt shop.  I am still working on her wardrobe, and slowly acquiring items for her as I find them on a good sale.  I also wanted to pay some extra attention to her, and that was a good way, since it’s a project I’ve been working on.  She wore the shorts I fixed for her, and I will keep looking at yard sales and at store sales to keep stretching that small amount of money I have set aside for this purpose.


We caught a few fish.  You should have seen the one that got away!  I lost a big one.  Much, much, much bigger than this one, I’m sure.  Too bad I couldn’t measure it, but I’m sure it was practically a whale:)


They were nice size and we ate them over the course of the week.


It wasn’t Jake’s turn to catch one.  Still, he went fishing several times, and I spent quite a bit of time working with him on his casting skills.  He hooked other people’s lines.  I moved him to a less populated area. He hooked mine.  He moved right back to where the people were. He hooked uncle’s chair.  I moved him again.  He wrapped his line around his pole numerous times.  He cast so hard he flipped the end of his pole right off and into the water.  After I freaked out, thinking we lost it forever, several calm male voices from the surrounding fishermen just said, “keep reeling, it will come.”  And, it did.  I guess all those fishermen in the area had seen this before:). He moved back over near all the people.  And on, and on it went.  Finally, one day, the dock came available, and we moved out there.  Even though he didn’t catch one, he spent quite a bit of time bragging to everyone about his “huge” one he caught at Detroit recently, and seemed happy.


The kids fed the seagulls every stale cracker we could round up, and probably some that weren’t so stale.


Fire poking was an on-going activity.  Occasionally hot dogs or marshmallows were roasted as well.


We saw quite a few elk wandering around the area.  One day, we even saw them in the tiny town near the park.


The kids and I took a lot of hikes.  One day, Jake and I got on a wrong trail and though we thought we were going .4 miles, we actually went 1-1/2 miles.  He was a little grumpy, but made it.  With a couple of other little hikes we took that day, we ended up hiking a total of 3 miles.  Other times, Patsy went as well.  Rob’s having a lot of trouble with his hip, so he did not hike at all but he was always willing to drive us out to a trail and drop us off so we could hike back to camp for exercise.


Every night, glow sticks came out, and were enjoyed.  One night, I got up in the middle of the night, and saw that Jake had them around his ankles, wrists, and neck, making a nice glow in the night:). So cute!  Most of these were from the dollar store, or from the after-Halloween clearance rack at Safeway, so were quite inexpensive.


The rose garden at the museum was lovely.  Patsy took about 14 pictures of roses, each more beautiful than the last.


Once I got home, I got right to work on the berries.  There were lots of raspberries to pick, and I popped all these berries right into the freezer to save for winter.  I froze them on the tray I picked them on, and will transfer them to cartons or baggies once they freeze.  I was able to package up 4 pints from the ones I put in there before I left.  Those were the first of the blueberries and blackberries, and I got a quart and a pint from each.  They are also in the freezer.  The few strawberries I picked are in the fridge.  I ran out of time.  We may just eat them, there aren’t many.


There was a little rain.  Rob was able to capture a raindrop falling into a little puddle.

The week was extremely fun and very frugal, and we worked hard to keep it that way.  I guess it’s a matter of what we did not do that added up as well.  We did not go to the movies or ride rides in nearby Seaside, or any of the other attractions that were available.  We did not eat out, except once and that was with money we had saved in a can for this purpose.  That can paid for the truck ride at the museum, as well.  There is $14 left for the next time.  We did not buy excess groceries, but instead used many items up from the camper stockpile and freezer. I cooked a lot more than normal, because I didn’t pre-cook food, but it worked out well.   We did not drive around a lot, and when we did, we went short distances.  We brought wood from home to burn and did not buy any.  Because we have a park pass, we camped for free, so we only paid the $6 registration fee.  We took lots of naps and hikes and did simple things for entertainment.  There is so much more to do that we didn’t get done, such as clamming (tide was low at 5 a.m.–too early for our crew), more hikes to take, digging in the sand (too cloudy and rainy the day we wanted to do that), and much more.

Jake’s already asking to go again:). I love going, but also love the fact that this week I have plans to get a lot of things done here at my house.  He’s going on vacation with his parents, so I have high hopes that I will get some of “those” projects done while he and Michaela are away!



21 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week–July 1, 2018”

  1. I’m so jealous! You are wearing sweatshirts on your camping trip!!! We are going camping this week and I’m so worried about the heat! My pregnant daughter, SIL and granddaughter are coming along and I’m worried that the a/c won’t be able to keep up!!! We are bringing fans to help if need be. Your camping food sounds amazing! Our planned menu pales in comparison! We will be fishing too, so there is hope for an upgrade!

    Your trips have been amazing! I’m sure you’re going to enjoy this week at home! I hope there will be lots of vegetables to harvest! Happy 4th!

    1. Thank you! We live in Oregon, and the Oregon Coast is usually pretty cool. That’s one reason we had to buy a sweatshirt for Patsy–she didn’t have one, and it was very cool one day. The beach is a great place to get them around here–they are much less expensive than at a regular store. I know she will always need one in the fall, anyway.

      I hope your trip is good and not too hot. We are such wimps and don’t handle heat at all!! We also run a fan in our tiny bedroom in the camper, to supplement the air conditioner. If we run too many things along with the air, we sometimes blow a fuse.

      I can’t wait for my first zucchini–it’s just a couple of days away.

  2. What a wonderfully frugal camping trip! It just goes to prove that having fun doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. But you have to plan well and do some advanced preparations, such as taking your own wood. The kids are going to have wonderful memories of their summer. Hope you’ll accomplish much during your week at home, too.

  3. I agree, it’s usually the stuff we do not do that saves the most money. Whenever my kids make homemade slushies, eat frozen pizza that I found on sale, or we watch a movie at home, I always point out how much we saved by doing these simple things. I hope it rubs off on them as they age, so they can reap the rewards of a frugal lifestyle:)
    P.S. Your berries look delicious!

  4. Your flower arrangement is just beautiful! Piled tables are a problem here. I get the one in the kitchen cleared off and a day later it is piles again and don’t get me started on the dining room table! We are really wanting to get out there and camp in the motorhome but it is so, so hot here. I think we would just be miserable. We were breakfast picnicking last week at the lake park and watching a little girl casting with her grandfather and the whole time we were cringing as she hooked grandpa’s hat and everything else in reach. Fun times!

    1. I hope it cools down so you can go! I hope your camper has air conditioning. It gets so hot in the camper, even in a cool climate.

      That casting is so hard for them, but it’s the only way they will every learn!

      1. We do have A/C and can run it from the generator, too if needed. No way I was going to buy a motorhome without A/C. It was crazy how many we looked at that the owners just happen to not mention that the A/C did not work and I would get so excited that I would forget to ask. We did meet some really nice people while looking though. One of them was a real adventure. We drove up into the mountains and turned in at a cattle gate and then drove 4 miles up a mountain on a narrow dirt road. I was really getting nervous because there was no where to turn around and then all of a sudden we came out in a clearing and there was the camper van. Once a again they did not mention that the air in the cab did not work but really nice people.

    1. I have been making these amazing raspberry-pear popsicles with the crumbles from the bottom of a bag that was frozen last year. I’ve been putting this year’s in cartons, to hopefully not get so many crumbles.

  5. I haven’t fished for years. When I was single my dh tried teaching me, I make Jake look like a expert. I lost many bobbins and bait and hooked lots of trees too.

  6. Glow sticks and glow jewelry are the best for camping fun, but also just to have around in areas where you lose power. When we lived overseas, I used them for keeping the kids occupied if we lost power during typhoons. They are a fun way to distract them – you can play all sorts of games with the bracelet ones. Do a ring toss (onto a chair, into a basket, or even onto someone’s arm or foot!), use them to make a three-ring circus with little animals in them, hang them on doorknobs and stair railings to help light the way to the bathroom or bedrooms. So handy and such inexpensive fun! Your camping trip has me smiling with typhoon party memories now! 😀

    1. We do miss Jake this week, since he is on vacation with his mom and dad, but are getting to see his big sister, Alissa, quite a bit as she stayed home to work. She came over to spend the 4th with us tonight. My aunt will come, too. So, it will be small, and fun, which is the best kind of evening for a person who has just finished a 2-day cherry-processing marathon:). They won’t care if I collapse in a heap on the couch instead of being bright and chipper!! I’ve got Rob on BBQ duty and he made dessert, and Alissa and my aunt are both bringing something. Easy.

  7. Here in Tennessee, it is no longer legal to bring your own wood for the campfires because of some (Southern Pine?) beetle that is eating the trees. Reese was telling me all about it. He had an agriculture friend in college who worked a part-time job recording the damage the beetles are doing to the trees. He would go out in the forest, measure an area, count the trees, then count every beetle hole in each tree. Needless to say, he was able to almost support himself through school. Now there are signs at the entrance telling people they can not bring their own firewood inside the parks.

    Great savings this week.


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