Thriving in My Thrifty Week–December 3, 2018



I spent some time cutting up and roasting some of the acorn squash from last summer’s garden.  I roasted one tray and cooked 4 more in halves.  The squash meat was scooped out and mashed into a bowl.  This squash was exceptionally sweet and tasty this year and we really are enjoying eating it.  It’s not a long-keeper, though, so I’m trying to use it up.


The green tomatoes we picked in October are still slowly ripening up.  We are about done with them now, but they lasted a long time.  We did the worst job EVER with storing them–picked them into a cardboard box and left them on the covered porch, dug through them picking out the red ones, throwing out the rotten ones, and leaving them alone.  It’s a miracle any of them survived, but, they did and we’ve been eating them as fast as they turn red.


We took Jake to the library Sunday afternoon after lunch.  The Discovery Room had a very cool display of many, many activities and toys relating to dinosaurs.  Jake especially liked this toy as he used a battery-operated drill to build (after unbuilding) dinosaurs.  He got books and a couple of movies.


Patsy put up the tree, decorated it, put the boxes away and….it’s Christmas:)

We went to a performance of the Portland Singing Christmas Tree.  This is an event we have enjoyed 2 or 3 times in the past.  Last summer when they were running a sale on tickets, we got some, and got to go Saturday night.  We enjoyed ourselves more than we ever have before.  It was so wonderful.


I got a couple of hours of yard work done on Saturday morning.  The other day (at my request), Rob took a chainsaw to the large ivy clump that was taking over the lamp-post.  On Saturday, I clipped the rest of the lower part with my clippers, as he didn’t care to run his saw into the dirt. It will grow again in the spring, but hopefully not be taking over as much.  Ivy is not my friend, although I do like the look when it’s not taking over things.   Between the ivy clippings and the dead weeds and debris I pulled, the yard debris bin is overflowing.  I’m glad, as I have a goal to fill it weekly and don’t always meet the goal.     I grabbed some more fancy daffodils and crocus bulbs from a clearance rack and let Patsy plant them.  She now has a few more fancy kinds of flowers that are mixed in with the plain yellow (but still beautiful and cheerful) daffodils.  There aren’t that many fancy ones, but they will multiply and there will be more each year.  The first year we were here, she planted way over 100 yellow daffodil bulbs that came from my sister’s yard and they were magnificent last spring.  I expect an even better showing this year as they continue to fill out.


This week was a good week to use up things from the holiday week.  I boiled ham bones and froze, shared, and cooked with the resulting broth.  Ham and beans were the first thing I made.  Then, I used some of the white beans to make Chili Mac.  I usually use kidney or pinto beans, but it was very easy to just fish out some beans when the ham and beans got done in the crock pot and use them instead.  We used up the leftovers from the holiday, had turkey rice soup, and then made lettuce-wrapped hamburgers to change things up.

I purchased one item for groceries last week–a gallon of milk.  I was able to wait until today to grocery shop.  The milk was entirely gone or I wouldn’t have had to shop today, either.  I had everything I needed.  Finally.  At last.  Until I walked in from work today and was informed that the Lowrie’s Seasoning Salt was gone!  It’s getting pretty funny for each family member to try to see what they can find that we are out of:).


I set my niece Alissa a homeschool math problem today that I though was fun enough to share.  I had a $10 off $50 coupon loaded on my phone for Safeway.  When you read the fine print you can see that liquid dairy is not included in the $50.  I needed a few groceries–produce, milk, the 89c eggs (could buy only 2), the 99c sour cream, some yogurt, 99c bread (4), and so on.  I told her she had to spend more than $50 to use the coupon, but under $60.  (The extra was for milk and 1/2 and 1/2 and any small overages).  She needed to get the items on the list first, then use the rest of the money for a few “if we have extra money” items.  She did great!  She added up the amount we were spending in her head, agonized over which poultry seasoning to get for the best price, kept track of what the liquid dairy cost, searched for the correct items that matched the sales and deals I had downloaded, and with the $10 off $50 coupon…..spent…..wait for it…..$48 and some change.

We then went home, uploaded the few Ibotta rebates we had bought the items for, put it all away and will write it up tomorrow.  I ended up redeeming $4 worth of rebates, and am building that account up again to use later as I wiped it out before Thanksgiving for the sales.  I am trying to stay under $50 per week this month, as I really stocked up last month.  I have a little slush fund in case I see any stellar stock-up sales or need to do a small Costco run. Also, I noticed produce was outrageous yesterday, but I still got salad stuff because Rob is using a lot of that is his weight-loss journey, so I will spend what it takes to get him what he needs, regardless of price.  (For those inquiring minds….he’s down another 3 or 4 pounds, depending on which scale you pay attention to–he got weighed on 2 different ones last Friday).

I feel I’m off to a good start to the month. How’s your week going?


24 thoughts on “Thriving in My Thrifty Week–December 3, 2018”

    1. I did! Really busy, though. So much so that when I went to type up this post last night, I fell asleep sitting up typing, and woke up to realize that I had typed a bunch of nonsense–things like “I had her and made potato soup” and things like that:). It was so silly, so I just went to bed and finished it up this morning!

  1. Wow! Thrifty doesn’t begin to explain your planning and dedication to a goal. Good for you sticking with the $50 per week. I wish I could be as disciplined. And good luck to Rob. I’m on the same journey. He got me beat last week.

    1. Congratulations for losing anything! I hope this week you will lose more.

      I am really hoping to stick to the budget for a couple of reasons. One is that I really want to use the home-canned and frozen food I worked so hard to preserve last summer/fall. It’s not worth it if we aren’t going to eat it! The other night, Rob put a few slivers of bacon in a quart of green beans, for flavor, and between us, we ate the whole quart–so good. And, I usually wash a freezer carton or canning jar daily, if not several, so I feel good about that goal, too!

      Honestly, the $50/week is pretty hard to maintain for us, since our dietary needs don’t allow us to eat too many carbs like rice and pasta, and I usually spend at least another $100 during the month at some time or other, mostly when there is something really cheap to stockpile and I buy 5 or 10 of them. But, I really think that I can keep pretty close to it this month since I spent way over that last month, using the Ibotta rebate money and bottle drive money and other money I had saved previously. Here’s hoping!

  2. We need to borrow Patsy for an afternoon to put up our tree! We would even pay for the service!
    No house can be without Lawry’s season salt or garlic salt! We have the ivy curse here, too. I did it to myself and now I really wish I could undo it. I won’t even look at a house where I can see ivy in the pictures!

    I have been watching the sales and have all the meat for Christmas week with the kids home and after making and looking over the menus I need very little other than perishables at the last minute. Hopefully this will help me keep the brakes on the spending. I am horrible about thinking we need too much food when the kids come home and then just buying way too much.

    1. I’m the same way. I got, and cooked, a REALLY lot of food for Thanksgiving. But, the good part was that there was enough left over after the meal for everyone to take some home and no one had to cook for a couple of days unless they wanted to. I know I didn’t:). I do love to cook for a crowd, though. It’s fun for me, so I probably do a little more than necessary sometimes.

      Now, I’m off to the YMCA in a little while, where hopefully my class will be running as scheduled and I can work off a little bit of this food! It’s been closed for a few days, due to a small fire, so I’m going to be so sore…..

  3. It sounds like you had a great, productive week. I really need to be cooking lots more winter squash. We had a great year in the garden with them.

    1. Yes, I really need to use that bumper crop I have, too. It’s somehow hard to remember when I have the hour+ I need to cook them, but we sure love squash when I do cook it! It doesn’t mess with my blood sugar very much, either, so that’s nice.

  4. You did such a great job! I hope you can stick to your budget or at least close to it if there are some good sales. i came in just under budget last month and was thrilled. I too have been working on using stuff I already have and not picking up every sale item I see. I also checked the ego and went to the food bank twice. That really helped since they were giving out milk each week.
    I’ve got some butternut squash and one pumpkin to cook and put in the freezer. I usually throw one into the oven when I’m cooking something else — at least that’s what I do when I’m organized.

    1. Good job for staying in your budget! One of the reasons I’m trying to reign myself in a little this month is because there was a time when I cooked for 11 or more, daily. Over the years, it’s shrunk down to where it is now–most of the time, 3. Sometimes, more. But, when I make soup–it still would serve 11 for 3 days. Over the years, I’ve been learning to cook less and less, and want to be mindful that I don’t buy and store too much food. I don’t want it going to waste:). One way I do that is to do what you did–plan times when I just use as much of the stored food as possible, then get fresh as it comes on sale, always trying to keep that delicate balance of keeping the stockpile up! Never dull, anyway:)

      1. What is it about soup? I also make large pots for a crowd. I keep adding one more thing, then one more thing until it boils over.
        It has been hard to learn to cook for just two. Yesterday Joshua came down on his day off for the day. I had spent last week freezing all of Bill’s leftovers for Joshua to take to work for lunches. I think I have found a great way to keep from throwing away food Bill won’t eat and food I can’t eat.

        1. Thank goodness for Joshua. I keep freezing little bits, too, until they keep falling out of the freezer onto my feet!!!! I did pull a few of those odds and ends out this week, and dealt with them. Thankfully, we ate most of them, but there was one thing that was good for nothing anymore!

          I was texting Lovana last night, and the 3 girls have used almost all the spices I’ve sent already! That’s good news because it means they are cooking, not eating out all the time. So the next package will include more spices. I get them in bulk here, and she hasn’t found anywhere that she can buy them that way in the area she is in, yet. She is figuring out the busses, and Ubers, and her own 2 feet, though, and it sounds like she is getting around pretty good so far. The Uber is the last resort, but it’s good to know there are some, if needed. One of the girls has a car, but it’s little, so I guess car owner drives, Lovana sits and the other girl sits on Lovana’s lap on the rare occasions they all go somewhere together. It sounds hilarious!

          1. I have been wondering how Lovana has been doing. It has got to be a good feeling to know she is mastering all of the unknowns. What she has accomplished, flying far away, living in Hawaii, sharing an apartment, learning a new job, navigating transportation, and who knows whatever else is absolutely amazing. I have heard the food is extremely expensive because of the cost of transportation. I am proud of her and know you must be bursting at the seems.

          2. Yes, we are super proud of her. Food is expensive, but she has eaten vegetarian for several years, so that helps keep the cost down where-ever she is. (She will eat seafood, but I’m guessing she’s not eating a lot of that right now:)I’ve been sending little packages now and then, with things like noodles, jam, nuts–things like that. There is a Safeway there that is not too far. She has to ride a bus or walk to it, but has to get an Uber home, because of the groceries, so she doesn’t do it very often. ( I get the idea its about 2 miles away from where she lives.). Her other option is a store right by her, but it’s super expensive she says.

  5. Becky, please let Rob know that I am so proud of him for losing weight! I would love to know what he is doing to drop the weight. I need motivation because I desperately need to drop weight. Maybe you could do a post on his weight loss? I love reading your blog. Blessings to your family!

    1. I read the comment to him. It was very encouraging to him. I asked him what he thought–if he wanted me to write a post about him, and he said it would be fine. So, I’ll work on that soon, when I can get him corralled and ask him all his secrets:)

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