Thriving in My Thrifty Week–September 30, 2018


I picked a large bowl of Lunchbox peppers (Territorial Seed Company) and Carmen Peppers (Johnny’s Selected Seeds).  It was like they weren’t ripe, then all of a sudden, they were!  Maybe it’s because I was so busy lately (?)….  We put quite a few of them in the fridge for fresh eating, and the rest were chopped and frozen.


I have been spending a few minutes outside every time I get a chance, working on cleaning up the garden, picking things, mowing, trimming, etc.  I only had time for a few short sessions of yard/garden work this week, but I did get a few things done.  We’ve already used a few of the Celebration acorn squash, but have plenty left.  Underneath the  spent vines, I found a small bucket of potatoes I had missed earlier.  I’ve still been picking zucchini from bushes that have clearly seen better days, but are still slowly producing.  There have been a few cucumbers, a few berries, tomatoes, and lots of cherry tomatoes.  I’ve got a lot more fall clean-up to do before I’m done!

Friends delivered another, even larger, load of wood late this afternoon.  We threw it onto the driveway and now I need to start stacking it tomorrow.  We feel so blessed by this.  Now we have enough to make it through the entire winter.



Rob went up for the second time and helped his friend get ready for new baby pigs.  He figured out a better feeder and helped build it a few weeks ago.  They checked the existing pen and made sure there were no escape holes.  Yesterday, Rob rode along with his friend to pick up the ordered weaner pigs. Then, he and our son’s friend went and got straw (Rob drove and son carried it all–whew!) I’m not sure exactly how many baby pigs there are up there (probably around 6-8), but one is going to be for us.


Rob picked several assorted, strange squash and pumpkins from the pig pen when they put the baby pigs in.  They are mixed squash that grew from last year’s dropped seeds.  The big ones are zucchini that crossed with pumpkins or something else.  The skins are tough and hard, but they are all great decorations.  He also brought home an inexpensive bale of hay (so cheap because they bought so many).  I have some corn stalks I cut from the garden that I want to add to the decoration, but so far, I’m really happy with the “presents” Rob brought home for me!  I forget if Rob said the hay was $1.50 or $2, but I feel happy that we got a really nice fall look for such a small amount of money.

The kids’ parents were working many, many hours this week, therefore we did, too.  We put Jake on the bus.  We took Jake off the bus.  We ferried Michaela from here to there, took her swimming, and packed lunches, cooked dinners there and here, and ate wherever we were.  We used food from our house and their house, the garden and the store….it’s all a blur, but we were all well-fed.

We ended the week by keeping Jake for a couple of nights–he loves coming over.  After the busy week, we were both very tired, so we had a relaxing Saturday while Rob was off with his friend.  Jake is on a “Betsy” book kick, books written by Carolyn Haywood,  and wants me to read those books for hours on end.  We finished the 2 we had ordered in from the library–“Betsy and Mr. Kilpatrick” and “Betsy and the Circus.”  No worries.  He went and dug up a copy of “Betsy’s Little Star” which we have recently finished reading for the SECOND time! I protested reading it for the 3rd time, so after one chapter I brought out a book I own by the same author, “Penny and Peter.”  He barely tolerated it, but finally got interested, but I noticed he powered through a few pages of the one he really wanted–reading himself!  He hasn’t really embraced chapter books, but I was very proud of him for at least trying.

I did some grocery shopping on Friday morning, the only morning I had off this week.  I grabbed the free item, got sales, etc.  I am stocked up for the next 2 weeks (I hope) because I really don’t want to take the time to shop next weekend, just because I’d like a little time to myself for other projects.  I made a tentative 2-week menu plan and hopefully, I won’t run out of anything much. It will be easy to send Rob to the store if I do.    The last time I did that, he brought home 50 pounds of pinto beans.  Yes.  50.  That is not a typo.  I was on board since they were so cheap–$18 for the 50 pounds.  It was cheaper than the 25 lbs I usually get every year or two.  The last time I checked, it was $20 for 25 lbs.  I have seen 25 lbs. for less than that before, but not for $9/bag–so this was a great deal.   We will share part of them, either when we cook for the college age, or at family meals, or dry for anyone who is running low.  I made a mega batch of refried beans at once, as we have been limping along with cans for a while–we love the home-made ones the best.  I froze a few cartons for later, and we ate a lot already, both plain and in a nacho for Family Sunday Dinner.

I entered my receipts on Ibotta and ended up with some bonus money, which is always a nice treat.  I’m always trying new items if they are almost free, as long as they look like something that we will eat.  Recently, there seems to have been a mayonnaise and ketchup war going on between brands, so I have a lot of that now that was free or very, very inexpensive using rebates and coupons combined.    Lovana came home with some snack food that happened to have an Ibotta rebate, and so I got another $2 of rebates, which is free money to me since I did not pay for the snacks.  I’m letting both my bottle and can money and my Ibotta account grow because I figure there will be a lot of holiday sales that I will love having extra money on hand for.

We’ve already been opening and eating jars of home-canned food.  I’m also using lots of freezer food as we anticipate our yearly 1/4 beef in a couple of months, and there’s also that baby pig…..a few months and it will need to fit in there, too.  It’s a constant rotation.

I started a dress for Patsy for homecoming.  I am working with a pattern I already owned and it isn’t the right size.  They are not on sale right now, and I don’t even know if they still make that one, I’ve had it a while.  So, I adjusted it, and cut it out from some old muslin I had on hand and basted that together.  I’m now ready to cut the real fabric, and I hope it fits as well as I think it will.  I want to work on that in-between homeschooling Alissa and working with the kids this week.  And the garden/yard work.  And stacking that wood before the rains come.  And the batch of tomatoes that need canning.  And Jake and Michaela next weekend as their parents want to attend an event with Alissa.  And…And…And…… It’s a good thing I have lots of paper to make lists on!

What did you do to thrive or stay thrifty this week?


14 thoughts on “Thriving in My Thrifty Week–September 30, 2018”

  1. The pigs are so cute. I’m so happy that you got more wood from your friends. That is wonderful. That is one less thing you have to worry about. And the beans Rob got is amazing. I would have bought them too. They store for a very long time so no worries that they will go bad.

    I am also still getting some veggies from the garden. Clean up has also begun. I will miss all the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers in a few weeks. Have a wonderful week.

    1. Thanks. The wood is an amazing blessing. This is all there will be, now, so once I get this stacked, that job is done. It will be so nice to have all of that in the shed!

      I, too, am going to miss the produce once it goes. I’m already needing to buy a few more things than I was in the heart of the season, so I’m easing into it:(. Even though I’m pretty tired, I have a purpose to really get in there and find what I can and use it up before it rots or the plants wither more than they already have. This week is a bit easier, so I’m sure I will find some time for that. There is so much trimming and clean-up to be done all around the yard, I could do that for an entire day and never finish, so I’ll just keep with my plan to fill a yard debris bin each week. It’s bulging full now, and they will take it away tomorrow, so I can re-fill it again….I’ve got some major pruning to do, so the bin has job security for some time:)

  2. On last weeks post and comments, I am sorry to hear that Rob is in so much pain. That is where I am with a knee so I get it. We bought me a mobility scooter because we had started to just skip going a lot of places because of the pain. I hope it all works out for the hip replacement soon. Our pastor had a hip replacement and he has done great with it.

    The little pigs are so cute. When I was growing up we got a whole pig one year and Dad brought home the head on a piece of butcher paper and sat it in the top of the chest freezer. I went in there to get something and about had a heart attack! I am sure Dad was laughing his head off while I was screaming my head off.

    Lidl opened here over a year ago (Another German grocer.) We went when they opened and their produce was so awful that we had not been back. Last week I decided to look at their ad online and found that they were having a great sale so we went to take another look. The produce looked great and we got some real deals. Frozen Broccoli florets were .55 a bag, tortilla chips .39 a bag, half gallon OJ 1.15, break and bake cookies which we love to have around when it gets chilly outside for only .99, 1.5 pounds frozen fish 1.49, 12 mozzarella cheese 1.35, Sugardale bacon 1.89, bakery donuts were .25 each and we were good and just bought 2. So we plan to make this a regular stop for the deals from now on. Next week they have canned vegetables for only .19 a can. Their prices pretty much match Aldi so I can still get the same great prices on things like milk and butter at either store.

    Have fun with Jake. Stories about him always make me smile.

    1. Those are some great deals! We don’t have either of those stores around here, so never see those prices. Still, it all works out.

      I would be super shocked to see a pig’s head, as well! I’ve never been treated to that (thank goodness!) even though Rob used to raise many pigs when we had property.

      I’m also enjoying the time spent with Jake while he is young. He is at a fun age right now.

  3. My heart stopped when I saw the picture of the pigs. I thought you had bought them and put them in your backyard!

    Since we are facing some high medical bills, we (that always means me) need to focus on saving more money. I don’t have a plan, not sure what to do yet but I think I will start with Ibotta. Now that I have a phone that can scan things, I am going to give it a try.

    1. We absolutely cannot have pigs here, right in the middle of the city! That would be funny:). But, good friend, Bob, does live out in the country, and he often raises pigs at his place.

      I’m sorry that you are facing high medical bills. That’s always hard. It seems to me that you already do many things to save money, such as grow a garden, and then use the food. I’ll love seeing what new ways you figure out, then use them myself:)

      My referral code for Ibotta is: dxkbnkp if you need one when you sign up. No worries if you already signed up without one:). It took me a little bit to get the whole thing figured out, so ask if you have any questions. It’s easy now that I’ve been doing it for a while.

  4. Just so you know — I’m always reading and loving your posts but don’t always get around to a reply. When i lived in Seattle, a co-worker offered me a 1/4 share of a home grown pig. Yum. My share included some amazing smoked pork chops.

    I wish we had Ibotta here in Canada. Anyone try Checkout51? When I searched on Ibotta that’s what google showed me as the Canadian substitute.I’m trying to rein in my spending after last month’s vet bills. It wasn’t me but the dog needing some medical attention. He’s just got some health issues and now has some new meds – I’m grateful he’s still here and it wasn’t an end of life issue.

    I have a little more to do in the gardens but we’ve been having a lot of rain the last few days. And wind yesterday. It’s definitely fall.

    1. No worries:).

      We have not gotten the fall rains I would have expected by now, but I’m sure they are coming soon. I have quite a bit to do out there in the garden, so I’m ok with waiting for those rains for a bit. It’s supposed to rain Friday, so I’m hoping I can get a little done before then.

      I’ve never used Checkout 51, but I have read of others using it. I should check it out, but the Ibotta keeps me on my toes…not sure if I could handle 2 apps, but I know others sometimes do.

      Rob always used to raise our pork, and it was amazing. It will be nice to have another home-grown one in a few months.

  5. Would you mind sharing your pinto bean recipe? I love them but I always fail at cooking the dried ones….mine are very bland…sigh

    1. Sure. But, it’s not a very exact recipe:)

      I usually soak a large bowl of pinto beans overnight, adding water whenever it looks like they soaked it all up.

      The next morning, I lift those beans out of the water with a slotted spoon (a really big one). This leaves all the dirt in the bottom of the bowl, as beans are grown in dry, dusty places and there’s always a little left over. I put them in the crock pot. I add an onion and whatever I have in the way of peppers. This is usually a mix of jalapeños, sweet peppers, Anchos, Anaheim’s, etc. I usually have some or all of those frozen in the freezer from the previous summer’s garden, so I just break off a chunk of whatever I’ve got. I also add salt, cover with water and cook all day on low, or less time on high. When the beans are soft, I then blend with an immersion blender. If it’s too runny, I leave in the crock pot for a while. If too thick, I add water. They thicken when they cool, and my family likes them less thick than the ones in a can. Along the way, I taste and taste, because we like a little zip in the beans. I also like to start with a little salt, because I can always add more as they cook and absorb the flavors. Peppers vary so much. If the beans are too bland, I’ve actually poured in a little hot sauce. I never make them very hot, but we do want to taste a little zip.
      I hope this helps. Feel free to ask about anything that is not clear.

    1. You’re welcome. It is. We absolutely eat bowls and bowls of refried beans when they are made this way–when 1 can will more than do and lasts a couple of meals if I run out:)

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