Thriving In My Thrifty Week–Sept. 15, 2018


Last weekend, while we had the camper out, some friends dropped a trailer of wood by.  It was chopped, split, and dry.  We are so thankful and grateful.  I’ve been stacking it in the back shed several times this week, but am not quite done because there’s a lot.  Isn’t that wonderful?    When we got home, Rob backed the camper up as much as he could, but will probably need to hitch it up and back it in a little more once the wood is out of the way.


The canning continued.  I did more tomatoes, pickles, plum sauce, salsa, and froze my unexpected crop of green beans.  I think they ended up yielding around 6-8 pints–tons for bushes that were supposed to be done!  When I did the salsa, I didn’t quite have enough tomatoes for the entire batch, but too many for a 1/2 batch.  So, I added about 5 cups of chocolate cherry tomatoes from the garden, and it worked beautifully.  It has just the right amount of zip, which makes me happy.  It varies so much from the peppers you use.   I’ve been getting a few raspberries every couple of days and have been freezing them as well.


I gratefully accepted tomatoes from both my sister and aunt.  All the dribbles and dabs are starting to add up to the 50 pint goal I have.  I’m over 1/2 way there now, and I just picked a large bowlful yesterday evening from my garden, and Rob picked a few from my aunt’s.  Thankfully, they hold for a few days after picking them.  I also picked Italian prunes (plums) from my sister’s house for the plum sauce and she gave me apples and pears for eating while I was there.  I have now robbed all the peppers that were ripe in her garden, and almost all from mine.  I’m glad things are getting used.


I pulled up more carrots. They sure got huge this year.  There is about 2-3 feet of row left to pull, and then we will have eaten them all.  I put them in the crock pot with a roast and some potatoes this time.  We’ve had that twice this week so far.  It is so good–reminds me of my childhood where we had roast almost every Sunday after church.  I also cooked some chicken, we opened some of the soup I canned, plus there was one jar that did not seal from the chicken-rice soup I canned this week.


I have not bought very many groceries for several weeks now.  Today, I made up for it.  I found wonderful sales for Tillamook cheese for $4.99/loaf–must buy 3 (are you kidding?  Thrilled that I could have 3!!!). Eggs for 96c/dozen, cereal for 99c/box, grapes for 96c/lb, several free items like French bread, a lentil pasta kit, some random drinks, a snack bar, and then many, many assorted items I had ran out of or just wanted because they were good deals and we would eat them, such as refried beans for $1/can for really busy nights when I run out of my home-made stash, a little sugar, some brown sugar–mundane, everyday items.  I used a $5 off $50 coupon at Safeway.

People have given us bottles and we drink beverages. Here in Oregon, bottle deposit is 10c/can or bottle.  Over time, we have taken the empty bottles and cans to Bottle Drop and had the money put onto my card.  For the first time, I used my Bottle Drop card in a store.  They have a program where they give you 20% extra at certain stores.  So, I redeemed $50 worth, and got to spend $60.   That was $10 in absolutely free groceries and the $50 felt free, although it wasn’t, as you pay bottle deposit on most beverages you buy, even water, here in Oregon.

These 2 stores (Fred Meyers and Safeway) were my goal for today.  We did Grocery Outlet a few days ago for the few things they had there that we use.  I also did Natural Grocers for a couple of things I needed from there.  But today was the big shopping trip.   I loaded coupons onto my store cards.  I took coupons from the displays when available while shopping.  I loaded Ibotta rebates onto that app. I matched the store coupons to the Ibotta rebates to find items that were very low cost and some were even free.  Then, after shopping, I submitted the receipts to Ibotta, gaining around $17 in rebates and bonuses.  So, today, I paid around $140 for what the receipts say was over $300 in groceries and will have around $17 coming back when I cash out that app.   (Of course, $50 was for returned bottles, but I’m still very pleased.) It did take a long time to do all that, but now I’m set again for most items for quite a while, I think.

We cooked for the college aged kids at church on Tuesday.  We were way, way below the set budget because we made tamale pie and used dried beans that I cooked and froze for this reason ahead of time.  I used our garden cucumbers and cherry tomatoes on salad made from purchased lettuce.  I got another bunch of zucchini, so made a squash/onion medley, which surprisingly got eaten up.   I made a fruit crisp and Rice Krispie treats for dessert. (I only did both because I was using up some frozen fruit that needed to be used and thought I needed more dessert, which I actually did not, but you never know)

We had 6 doctors’ appointments between Rob, myself and Patsy.  We made it to all of them on time, and the insurance covered them, which is a huge blessing to us.  While I was at mine, I got my flu shot and found out that my blood sugars were in a better place than they have been for quite a long while.  I’ve been working hard at it, and can always do better, but was very encouraged by that news.

I did exercise class twice, using our membership at the YMCA.

I bought some items for Patsy that were sorely needed at a sale at Macy’s and saved a large amount from regular prices.  I got myself a few things as well, using a gift card from my birthday.  And, no, we will not be modeling some of these items or showing pictures of them, but, we are still very happy to have them for such a low price.  To get a certain discount, I had to use my Macy’s card, which I promptly paid off then and there to make sure we did not end up with a bill we don’t need right now.

22 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week–Sept. 15, 2018”

  1. What a busy week! Happy to hear about your blood sugar numbers (they are a challenge aren’t they?). I enjoy reading your blog – it is one of my favorites! Thank you for taking the time to write every week!!!

  2. You did a great job shopping! I didn’t shop any this week but focused on eating from the pantry. My cabinets are beginning to empty! Which sounds crazy this time of the year. I should be loading up not eating it down. I have needed to get the food eaten which I got when we cleaned out Mom’s pantry when she moved in with my sister. There is still some odds and ends but NO MORE HAMBURGER HELPER! UGH!

    We have not eaten from the garden this week. I am canning tomatoes, yard-long green beans and eating okra, but anything on the ground is not being eaten fresh. We have another armadillo ravaging the garden. It is horrible. It comes in during the middle of the night and digs holes everywhere looking for bugs. They also may carry the leprosy virus so I don’t want to eat anything it may have touched which includes the carrots it dug up and left on top of the ground. Until Bill and Dustin rid us of it, I will let the food go to waste. I considered this a good time to focus on emptying the pantry further. It may soon be empty enough to clean…right as I am going into winter!!! I am really going backward this year.


    1. We don’t have any armadillos here. Thank goodness! I would not eat the produce, either. Better safe than sorry in this case. I hope your mighty hunters are successful soon. I would be heartbroken if an animal was digging up my garden, except when I’m tired like I am today. Then, it might be a relief–just kidding:). It would be awful. I actually have some bags of garden manure to spread on it, and will have tiller-man devistate it when I’m good and ready.

      It will be odd to have an emptier pantry this time of year, but I’m sure it will feel very good to get all that food cleaned up, in a positive way:)

  3. The firewood is just beautiful and the raspberries, too. Those are some monster carrots! That is so good to hear about your blood sugar numbers. Something natural you could try is a drop of lemon essential oil on each kidney at bedtime each night. High blood sugar is often connected to kidney function and the lemon is an easy way to get the kidneys working better. Just about any adult would benefit from it. Plus kidneys that are not functioning well can cause all sorts of transient pain, too. And lemon smells so good!

    We made the rounds of the grocery stores and hauled home all the deals and got a ton of stuff for only $42. That was really surprising how low our total was. We have had a lot of rain from Hurricane Florence so we were well stocked and just stayed in and will until the rain is past. I got 8 sets of towels on clearance from Walmart in the color we use in our master bath for only $25. These are not really a pressing need right now so we will put them away for when ours need replacing.

    1. Thank you.

      I’m glad you got great deals at the store, and that you can just sit tight. We have seen some coverage from that storm, and it looks awful! I’m glad you are faring well except for the heavy rain.

  4. You inspired me to make pickled peppers. I made a quart. I also made pickles, relish and salsa. I signed up for free library classes with some friends. It will be fun and free. Hubby and my youngest daughter went to a Jets game for free. They did have to get there and pay for parking. It was from a vendor of Hubby’s. They were in a suite and got free food and drinks. They had a great time even though the Jets lost.

    That was very nice of your friend to give you and deliver the wood. That will save you a bundle. Your shelves must be packed with all of your canning. I’m glad you were able to get some much stuff grocery shopping for so little. In NY we get 5¢ per can/bottle. I need to return the bag I have. That is great that you got $50 worth. I find them on walks and throw them into a bag in my trunk. It all adds up. I’m glad you got the insurance going again and got to go to the doctor. Hopefully they can get Rob some pain relief. A friend of ours just had her hip replaced last month. Have a wonderful week.

    1. I hope you enjoy the peppers.

      It sounds like your husband and daughter got a great experience. In the distant past, we were able to to go a game (can’t even remember which game) in one of those suites, with food. It was fun!

      It was so nice of those friends. It is a couple of men that are friends of Rob, who went out and cut and split all this wood. They just let him know that there is another load coming our way soon. We are so thankful, because Rob physically cannot do it this year. He usually loves cutting and chopping, stacking, etc. wood. But, he just can’t. He and Patsy did stack a bit today, and finished up the pile we have. There are some pieces that are not the right length for our smallish stove in this house, so he will get the chainsaw out soon and make them the right size.

      The bottle deposit raise to 10c is fairly recent. It’s been 5c for a very long time. Then, they added things like water bottles, Kombucha bottles, tea bottles, etc., so it makes so many more drink containers worth money. They even take ones that have been sitting around for a long time, so it was nice last spring when everyone could turn in all the old bottles for 10c, even though they had only paid 5c for them. Now, when someone gives me a garbage bag full, it can be anywhere from $2 to much more, depending on the size of the bag. When it only takes 10 to make a dollar, it adds up fast. Rob and Patsy have been returning them, which is very helpful. I got 4 boxes of soda for $10 this past weekend–a great deal, with some of the bottle money.

      Did the hip replacement work for your friend? We are a ways off from that, but I have a feeling that is what’s coming in the end, once all the hoops have been jumped through.

    1. I wish I knew why they grew so big this year! I always sprinkle coffee grounds on the row when I plant to deter the wire worms. The garden was watered a lot this year, and consistently, because it was a very hot summer, so I’m sure that helped. But, really. These were seeds from the Dollar Store of Danver’s Half Long carrots that my niece planted one day. I hadn’t really expected much from them, but I was pleasantly surprised. My other row was in a different area of the garden and they were tiny, skinny, and didn’t give me much, but I know that was lack of water–that area didn’t get enough.

  5. She was very overweight, so her doctor wanted her to lose weight before the surgery. He was giving her shots to help with the pain, which did. She was bone on bone. She had it in August and is still recovering. She isn’t in pain from the bone on bone anymore, just the PT. She still has a lot of weight to lose but now she can move again. It hasn’t been a full month since the surgery and I feel she is doing better then before. She climbed stairs for the first time in years.

    1. Thanks for the info. He is bone on bone as well, and they gave him a shot, but it really didn’t do much. They are saying that he has to lose weight first, or it really won’t do much good.

      1. She lost 50 pounds before the doctor would do the surgery. He wanted to see that she was really all in. She has lost about 10 pounds since the surgery. She has a ways to go on the weight but being able to walk will make it go much faster.

        1. Rob saw these guys again today after several months. They basically said, “Glad you lost some weight. There’s nothing we can or will do for you until you have lost all that we want you to lose. Good-bye.” So, that was a waste of time. But, the rest of the doctors he’s seeing are much more helpful. And this one will be, when the time is right, I sure hope.

  6. WELL DONE on the shopping trip! Our trips have been small lately but I try to make sure to at least get the $0.25 “any item” each time. And I use my receipts to enter the Checkout51 drawing for a $500 gift card – it only takes me a few minutes, even if I don’t have any other rebates, and it would sure go far if we happened to win.

    Nice job on keeping your numbers lower – I’m sure that’s very encouraging! Hope things start working out with the shots for Rob; he must be in awful pain!

    1. I’ve never used Checkout 51. I’ll have to check it out–pun intended:).

      Yes, Rob’s pain is pretty intense. His spirits are staying up, though, and that means a lot.

  7. All that wood is impressive. And more to come. Rob’s friends are certainly looking out for you, what a blessing to have friends like that.
    And nice shopping!! I love it when I score some great deals and price matches.
    We too have bottle/can deposits – on all beverages except fresh milk.So even my keiffer drinks have a deposit on them. It’s either 5c for cans/small bottles or 20c for bottles over 1 litre.
    I harvested the last of my zucchini today and pulled the two plants. They provided lots of food both fresh and shredded int he freezer. Also pulled my tomatoes and chopped down/trimmed the fronds of all the asparagus. I have to say Fall cleanup is just not as much fun as spring planting. But today was a glorious fall day with clear skies and sunshine.

    1. I need to do some fall clean-up very badly. This evening, I went out into the garden and got another large bowl of tomatoes. They must have decided to ripen at last! Yea!!! So, if I ever get through the canning that I feel I still need to do, I will have some time to start that garden clean-up. I agree it’s not as nice as planting, but it does have it’s own satisfaction, and I’m glad you got a bunch done today!

  8. Congratulations on the wood! It is so beautiful! What a blessing!

    The canning is absolute amazing! Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you. Working on pasta/pizza sauce and Mexican-flavored sauce this morning with all the tomatoes from the past few days. I’m heading out to exercise class, then going to come home to finish it up (can the jars). I’m super happy I got another burst of tomatoes!

  9. I’m so glad Rob’s friends brought over the wood! Well done on all the canning, too! We, too, have a bottle deposit (on both glass and plastic) of $.10. You’ve reminded me that I’ve a bunch of bottles and cans in the shed that need to be taken for a refund.

    1. We were given several bags of bottles recently, and Rob returned them yesterday. With the ones we had here, plus them, we have another $16 on our Bottle Drop account. It is nice!

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