Thriving In My Thrifty Week–October 14, 2018


We decided on Tuesday that this weekend would be the perfect time to take the kids down to the beach for one last “hurrah” of the season.   We had mistakenly made reservations weeks ago, thinking there was no school on Thursday, then cancelled the trip when we found there was actually school for Jake.  But, we hadn’t cancelled the reservations, we realized, and worked out a plan so we could still go.  It was a little complicated, and involved 2 vehicles, with me driving down Thursday evening with Jake, but Rob and 2 of the girls drove down in the afternoon after he finished up working with Michaela, got all set up in the daylight, and were ready and waiting for us when we finally arrived.  Jake was thrilled.  He has been asking and asking to go camping again.  He loves it so much.  You can imagine we hustled around to get ready, but we made it simple this time.  We always leave the camper packed and ready with pantry foods, toiletries, bedding, etc. so all we had to do was grab the food that was in the fridge already, our current clothing, library books and movies, pillows and Jake’s suitcase, of course.


We got gorgeous weather.  One morning, Rob took the kids down to the beach to play while I stayed back at the camper and made a taco dinner.  I was delighted to have a little time to myself, and be able to make dinner so we did not have to go out.  We always keep our change jar going between trips to save up for eating out, but decided to build it up a little more for another time.  We chose to get them a few things from a candy store and I got a couple of things for various ones at McDonald’s.  We had to replace our head of lettuce, as it was bad.  We had plenty of food and I actually skipped my weekly Friday shopping trip altogether, except the head of lettuce.  We will just eat what we have on hand this week, as I’m pretty busy, and buy extra next Friday if I need it.


Patsy and I took a hike on a trail around the campground.  We went over 2 miles.  It was fun, and good exercise, as it had quite a few hills to go up and down.  The trees are getting gorgeous color.  We also found lots of wild huckleberries and we ate some.  I wish we had taken a container to pick some in, but we didn’t know we would be finding them.


Jake likes it when we hide things in the camper and play “hot and cold” while he finds them.   He wants brand-new Lego sets for prizes.  That’s not exactly on the shopping list  for us right now to buy.  Thankfully, he had just as much fun finding a couple of simple, inexpensive toys, and one evening, played “hot and cold” for 30 minutes hiding and finding things with different family members.  We have a tradition of having the kids do glow sticks at night, and he loved those, as usual.  He especially enjoyed this little wooden airplane and played with it quite a bit.  We have some Legos that only live in the camper, and he played with those a lot, watched Shirley Temple movies from the library, and also “The Road To Avonlea,” which is an old tv show based off the Anne of Green Gables movie, also from the library.  We also finished an entire Carolyn Haywood book called “Penny Goes to Camp” and worked on “The Long Winter” some more.  He even got Ja’Ana to play a game with him, and played many with Patsy.  I took him on a short walk as part of the Junior Ranger program he was doing, and he has no idea he went over a mile.  He’s a good walker, but doesn’t know it sometimes.


Before we left, we hustled around and finished up several projects.  These are cinnamon-candy apples.  I simply replaced 1/2 cup of sugar with red hot candies in the 4:1 syrup, so they are pretty, but still low-sugar.  (so 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup red hots, 4 cups water) They have a very delicate cinnamon flavor.

The rest of the wood was all stacked.  We kind of had to stack it if we wanted to go.  It was blocking the trailer.

Rob made and canned beef stew with the last of the potatoes and many carrots from the garden.

I finished Patsy’s dress.  I took a couple of pictures, but am not happy with them.  I will take a better one soon and post it.  I am, however, very happy with how the dress turned out and how it fits her.  The homecoming dance is next Saturday, and I am very glad the dress is done.

It was a good, productive week, and I was happy to end it with lots and lots of sleep down at the camp ground.  I was pretty tired, but feel better now.  It’s a good thing–this next week is pretty full, as well!




22 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week–October 14, 2018”

  1. Oh my goodness, what a busy but fun week you had! I’m glad you got some good sleep over the weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing Patsy’s dress.

    1. Thank you. I did sleep and sleep and sleep. It seems like the camper is my best place to sleep. I don’t sleep much at home, especially when I’m getting 4-1/2 hour nights of sleep trying to finish a dress:) :). I’d like to have her put it on with her hair done, etc. and take a picture then.

  2. That was pretty good motivation to get the wood stacked! My granddaughter got a kick out of the glow sticks I brought when we went to the beach this summer. I guess that’s universal… I’m still new to grandparenting, and learning. Walking, reading and resting sound like my kind of vacation. The apples sound yummy.

    1. We already ate one jar of the apples. I wanted to know if they were good, because I have enough for another batch and I wanted to know if I wanted to do them that way or not. It is a very mild cinnamon flavor, and everyone liked them, so I will do another batch of pints. We don’t actually need them, but I think it might be a fun food to have a few of on hand.

  3. I’m so happy you got to go camping again! Those pictures are so beautiful! Patsy’s hair against the changing leaves makes for an amazing sight! I’m so glad y’all were able to make the camping trip work out. It was definitely worth the extra effort! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  4. It looks like everyone had a great weekend! The dark sand is pretty and so different than our beaches. I am so glad you could sleep and recharge. I am counting the days until Sunday when we leave for the lake (and sleep) for two weeks. Can you get a good nap and recharge by going out to the camper at home? We have to winterize the camper van before we go to the lake so I guess it is parked for the winter unless we go to Florida. Do you have to winterize there?

    We did great at the grocery store this week. We got 4 bags of croutons for .25 each, 2 Marie’s salad dressing for $1 a jar, 4 quarts of real maple syrup for 5.99 each, 4 bags of frozen corn for .45 each, 8 oz sharp cheddar blocks for .75, 12 oz shred mozzarella for .85, we got 4 of each cheese 8 oz sirloin steaks in shrink wrapped packs were 2.25 each and that is plenty for the two of us when we get a craving for steak we got 4, 3# bags of apples were 1.49 so we made a pie and 2 jars of marinara sauce for .20 each. I am only a little over a dollar until I can get an iBotta pay out, finally. I am still so frustrated by it. Somehow I always do something wrong or miss the deadline. With coupons and our calendar cards we had a free lunch at Chick fil A and that always makes us happy. 🙂

    My husband is out side cleaning up the debris from two hurricanes blowing over us over the last month. Thank goodness for neighbor boys who will work for us. Sometimes it is well worth paying them to help and they love to earn the money.

    Have a good week!

    1. You got some great deals. The maple syrup for $5.99/qt is an absolutely unheard of price around here. It’s more like that for a teeny, tiny bottle of it.

      We usually run a very small space heater on a low setting in the camper when it gets very cold, which is rare around here. That keeps it from freezing. We leave the camper plugged in to electricity all the time, as I use the refrigerator in there as my overflow one, since we only have the one in the house now. When we have a houseguest, we can run the heater in there, which is propane-fueled. I asked Rob, and he said he would drain the water tanks if it looked like we would be getting a prolonged freeze.

      I am sorry you are struggling with Ibotta. I am figuring it out, and so far, am pleased. I have cashed out a bunch of money once, and am building it up for holiday sales. I have made a few mistakes, that’s for sure, but am getting the hang of it. It is complicated, though, and takes quite a bit of time. I skipped shopping this week to save time, and it will because I am not planning an “Ibotta” trip. I find the “scan the barcode to see if it’s the correct product” to be helpful. It’s saved me a couple of mistakes. Today, for example, I shopped for an event I’m cooking for tomorrow night. My niece and I bought the food, choosing items based on what we needed and getting the best price. I thought I’d check Ibotta, just in case, and we had bought 4 packages of cheese that qualified. On accident. So, of course, I entered the rebates in. I don’t mind trying new things, so if there is a super good rebate, I will buy it just to try it. The bonuses are hard for me to get. I hope it becomes smoother for you.

      1. The previous owner of our camper van ran a heater when it got cold because she used it all year long. We are out of town so much that I think winterizing it is our only option. It is quite the learning curve going on here to figure it all out. At least the antifreeze was only $2.58 a gallon at WalMart.

        My favorite place to use iBotta is Walmart since you only have to scan the bar code on the receipt and it is done. I agree that the scan feature is very helpful while shopping.

        1. Better safe than sorry, that’s for sure.

          I’ve never used Ibotta at Walmart. I just don’t shop there much. When Ja’Ana was 2, she cured me of Walmart. She would scream the entire time. I don’t know why. It was just Walmart. But, it was loud, piercing, and very effective. I have not gone there much for the past 16 years! (She’s 18 now)

          1. That’s how I feel in Best Buy with all those loud TV’s and music. I feel like I will lose my mind and never go in there anymore.

            We shop at WalMart when we are at the lake. There are few choices of stores there in that small town but it is an exceptionally clean store and many of the employees have been there as long as we have been going to that store which is 19 years. Actually you just scan the QR code and it sends the receipt and you are all done!

          2. That would be handy! You must have great willpower to go into Walmart and come out under budget:) :). There are always so many good bargains there, when I do finally venture in!

  5. Camping is so good for kids. I wish my kids had gotten my opportunities to camp but they remember enough good times to still want to do it.

  6. Lovely pictures! I am like Lana, I love the dark sand on the beaches! It is so different than what we have on the Alabama coast.

  7. Rob canned beef stew! I love to do that because it is the quickest easiest meal when we are in a hurry and everyone always enjoys it. The cost savings on that alone had to be a fortune. Store bought canned beef stew is expensive and the meat is usually a low quality.


    1. We are just starting to can meat and meat products. I did make some soup to can years ago, and 1 batch of chili, but we don’t usually do it. This year, though, we had such an abundance of carrots and potatoes and extra beef, that we wanted to do something with it–hence the soup and stew we did. I”m looking forward to eating it, for sure, and in fact, we have already begun:)

      1. Free advice. Don’t try chicken noodle soup. The noodles soak up the broth, expand and turn to mush. I even tried uncooked noodles but it didn’t work. It was disgusting. Not even the dog would eat it.

        1. Thank you. I have to admit, I tried chicken and rice, and put the rice in the bottom of the broth, raw and hard, and it still got too mushy for me. But, we’ve already eaten one jar already, and there are only 6 left. They are edible, but not as good as fresh.

          The beef soup and stew are really good, and I’m going to experiment with the chicken some more.

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