Thriving In My Thrifty Week–December 30, 2018


We have been doing a lot of cleaning and reorganizing.  While doing so, we noticed that this dresser had drawers that were completely broken, so Rob repaired it.  We got this dresser years and years ago, for the first 2 girls we adopted, over 30 years ago.  It has been painted and repaired many times, and it’s now back in great condition once again.

We collected a few bags of torn wrapping paper from Christmas, and have been using it to start fires in the mornings, along with kindling that Rob cut from free scrap wood collected around town.  There are a few businesses around town that use wood to make products such as flooring and doors, and they put bins of free scrap wood out for anyone to take.  Sometimes he gets really nice scraps and uses them for cutting boards, and the rest we use to start fires.


I made broth from the turkey bones from Christmas.  I froze most of it.

We were given a Christmas gift that enabled us to do a Costco run.  We didn’t choose what some would call exciting items–we got toilet paper, ziplocks, garbage bags, things such as that, but it was exciting to me to get those things stocked back up.  We got a few food items as well.  We also got a date out of it.  We dropped Patsy off at a youth event, went to Costco, and bought one of those yummy cooked chickens and one container of salad and ate our lunch in the car.


Jake’s greens are growing!  (There is a Columbine flower coming up, as I used a pot that had that in there just in case the seeds didn’t sprout for him). He was under the weather today when he was here, and hasn’t looked at them lately, but I know he will be here next weekend and hopefully can see them then.  He was not himself, but was glad to snuggle on the couch under blankets and do the forbidden act of eating crackers on the couch while asking me 4-5 times to take his temperature with the thermometer.  I’m not sure why it fascinated him so much–he didn’t have a fever any of the numerous times we took it, but it did.  I kept him here for only part of the afternoon, just to keep his normal Sunday schedule, then sent him home.  Hopefully he will get over it quickly.

Patsy was able to do 2 more work projects with the youth group this week, and is well on her way to earning the money she needs for the retreat she wants to go on.

We helped prepare lunch for the teens today.  I made a large tossed salad, purchased 4 large sodas for 88c each on sale, and bought one large tub of ice cream.  I made hot fudge sauce with mint in it and got some clearance red and green M & M’s for toppers. My sister ordered pizza for the main dish.  It was very easy today.

As I mentioned last week, I had used my grocery budget up.  But, Rob ate all the salad stuff and a few other things were running low.  I decided to start in on January’s grocery money. I made a plan of what I thought I would use for the next 2 weeks, knowing full well I will need to grab lettuce at least weekly.  I had several things that helped me out.  1) There were several free items on my Safeway rewards that I needed to use before Dec. 31, so I got those–2 boxes of Safeway pasta, 1 dozen eggs, and $2 off a bakery item (I used it towards a package of  gf buns), and a bag of mini chocolate chips.  While I was there, I got 99c/1/2 gallon milk, cottage cheese, 99c sour cream and a few more items like 88c soda.  I also used a few Bottle Drop dollars to help out with that store’s haul.  2) I got a few Christmas clearance items at Fred Meyers, while getting produce: a package of Christmas cards at 75% off for next year, and the Christmas M and M’s.  3) I earned around $6 with Ibotta rebates.  4) When I stopped at Winco for the ice cream I’d forgotten I had promised to pick up for Patsy, I saw ham for 77c/lb.  I immediately grabbed the 2 allowed.

I spent a $10 JoAnn reward they sent me.  I also spent a little fun money I had.  I did not buy fabric, as I have plenty, but little odds and ends and some clearance Christmas paper.  I found one Star Wars print that had no Christmas markings at all for Jake’s upcoming birthday, some leopard print paper for Michaela sometime, and a few ribbons that went with those and the other rolls I picked up.  It was great that there were several selections that were not Christmas-y at all, and I will use them for birthdays.  What wasn’t inexpensive was the package of iron-on patches I bought to mend some of Patsy’s clothes, but hopefully they will work to fix the holes.

How is your week going?  Are you getting organized after the holiday and back to schedule?  I hope to during this upcoming week after a little more holiday fun:)

26 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week–December 30, 2018”

  1. Becky, it sounds like you are having a very productive week! You did well to take advantage of all the bargains you found while out shopping. I am still in holiday mode as I have friends coming to dinner on New Year’s Eve and then, going to an aunt’s house to her annual New Year’s Day lunch (aunt is in poor health, but determined to keep the tradition going!) After that, I hope things will slow down a bit and my daughter and I can enjoy the last few days of her visit home. I plan to clean the house and organize after she leaves!

    I wish you and yours a very happy New Year; may it be one of the best years, to date!

    1. Happy New Year to you, too, Bless! I hope you and your daughter have a wonder few days together with a more normal schedule, as well.

      We spent the day with one of our sons and the love of his life today, for that reason–just because we could. It was a very nice day.

      I’ve done some cleaning. The more I clean, the dirtier it gets in my sight!!! So, I’m hoping to get the rest of Christmas pulled down tomorrow, and do some more sorting and organizing, and hopefully get the extra things we’ve weeded out gone from the garage. All lofty goals before we plunge into working with the kids for many, many hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

  2. I’m always a little bit glad to get back to ‘normal’. :). Hopefully you’ll be able to plant some lettuce fairly soon and not need to buy it. Can you plant it in your greenhouse? How are Rob’s hips?

    1. My lettuce would require my complete attention. I’ve tried it before. Like water each and every day, and probably some heat in there this time of year. So, I certainly didn’t have the time to throw at that project before Christmas, but maybe after…..

      Rob’s hip is as bad as ever. The shot last Friday did not seem to help at all. So, all he can do is keep forging onward, doing what he can, losing more weight, and hoping for the best. We were both hoping it would help a little, but so far, not so good on that front. She did say it could take from 3 days to a week, so we still have a little hope.

        1. He had high hopes that this would at least take the edge off because it was a different shot than the ones he had last time, but….no dice:( so far, anyway.

  3. Poor Jake. I hope he feels better soon. You did great. We always are going through lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Rob looks great. Tell him to keep up the good work. Great price on the hams. I have been looking for them too.

    1. I thought of you today, Marybeth. I went to a theater with our grown son today for the first time in a long time (we were trying to figure it out and let’s just say years). Let me just say that expensive doesn’t even begin to describe it!!! Thankfully, we had some free movie ticket that had been sitting around here at the house for literally years, and joyfully used them. He lives in one group home as he is on the autism spectrum and the love of his life lives in another one that is about 30 minutes from his. So, we made a day of it, driving the rounds to get them both, watching their choice, Aquaman, and then coming here for burgers. Now, Rob is making the rounds, taking first her home, then him, then back here. It was a very nice way to spend the last day of 2018.

      Anyway, I was thinking that you must be quite busy at work this time of year. The earliest showing wasn’t full, but there were plenty of people when we left.

      1. It is always crazy busy this time of year. Thankfully the college kids come home and are looking to make money. Glad you had a great time. I haven’t seen Aquaman yet. Movie prices are getting out of control. I gave a friend 4 of my movie passes as they are having some hard times. I know she will bring water and candy in her purse so it will be a free time out for her and her kids. To bad none of my theaters are near you.

        1. I actually enjoyed Aquaman more than I thought I would. I rarely sit still for an entire movie, even at home, so don’t go often. I really don’t pay much attention to top hit movies, so did not know what to expect except that it was a superhero movie. But, (no spoilers here), the special effects were amazing, the colors of the undersea world were beautiful–and the story line was satisfying.

          We had downloaded free concession tickets from the Chex cereal coupon. We used codes off of 6 boxes to get 2-$5 concession gift cards. BUT, they did not work. So, we had to pay for the popcorn and soda we ordered. It was a bummer because I could probably buy a 25 lb bag of popcorn for the same price!!! It was absolutely not the kid at the counter’s fault, so we were pleasant, and Rob just made a phone call today and supposedly there’s a way to make it work next time. Hmmmm. Next time? In 3-4 more years? We decided to just make the best of it, and it didn’t ruin our day at all. We still have 1 more free ticket in the little pile we’ve had for ages, Patsy has a gift card for a free ticket, so we just may go again and see Mary Poppins.

  4. It sounds like you did a great job on finding grocery bargains. I used some of those iron on patches last week, but the friend whose overalls I mended bought them. It was a huge tear, and I sewed around the edges after I ironed them on. Yay for Jake’s greens! Cleaning and reorganizing needs to start around here, after our tree comes down.

  5. Happy New Year! You have been so productive for the week after Christmas! Our 7 yr old granddaughter was sick over Christmas. I’m sorry to hear that Jake is sick, too.

    I think we are still tired from Christmas. We are doing as little as possible. There is a house we are interested in but we just have not made the effort to go look at it. I did get leftovers organized and into the freezer so no loss there. Lidl had their hams down to 49 cents a pound the week before Christmas but I already had three in my fridge and hubby looked at me and said that there was no room for more.

    1. That would be agonizing for me–to pass up 49c ham!!! But, I get why you did. Sometimes, you have to know when enough is enough. I’m trying to make sure my stockpile is getting rotated because I can easily get too much and start losing food–I don’t want that! So, this month again–buy less–use up the oldest!

      I am literally sitting on the couch like a slug tonight. No New Year’s Eve parties for me, although we were invited! We are still tired from Christmas, as well.

      1. This weeks Lidl ad has boneless pork loins for only .89 a pound so I hope to get some in jars and into the canner. That somehow makes me feel better about passing up the .49 a pound hams! Since there is no bone I think it probably comes out nearly the same.

        1. That is a great idea! Canning jars are so flexible. I canned chicken for the first time this past year. We are really eating the tuna and chicken this winter. I wasn’t sure if we would eat that chicken–sometimes something new doesn’t disappear, but it’s going down the hatch!!!

  6. Happy New Year to you and everyone.
    Speaking of growing winter greens – have you ever tried sprouting? I need to pull out my seeds and jar and get some going. I love ‘growing’ them in the winter when the veggies in the store are both expensive and icky quality.
    And speaking of seeds, I read on another blog that Dollar General has their seeds in 4/$1.
    It’s trying to snow here (think chunky rain but no snow sticking, yet) so I’m going to be home all day.

    1. It sounds like a perfect day to stay home! Happy New Year to you, too:)

      We didn’t stay up last night, so got up at regular time, went over to my sister’s house for some planning and scheduling for the next 2 weeks, and then came home and have been cleaning, putting away Christmas things, and making chili. I have one more day for my projects, tomorrow, and then it’s back to work with a vengeance! My brother-in-law needs to travel to Florida (from here in Oregon) to take his elderly mother home from her Christmas visit, and my sister has to go back to work. So… of us will be at their house around 7 or 7:30 a.m. each day, and stay until 7 or 7:30 Thursday night, and then keep the 2 kids Friday night, and most of Saturday. (My niece who is 17 likely needs to work, and has other plans) We plan on swimming, probably a library visit, Rob will take Michaela to her volunteering at the senior center, a few chores may get done, maybe some movie watching (Cars or Frozen anyone?), and likely hours of reading aloud to Mr. Jake. Nothing out of the ordinary, but that’s how they like it!

      I have done experiments with Dollar Tree seeds, which is the store we have around my area. I have had great results with some of the varieties and no luck at all with others. So, I order things where the crop really counts–such as green beans since we can so many, and certain varieties of tomatoes that fight off blights and mature very early as our season is somewhat short, disease resistant zucchini, high-producing or compact-growing things like acorn squash, and so forth, but don’t mind using those cheap seeds for zinnias, pickling cucumbers, some lettuce, and a few other things. Danvers half-long carrots seem to grow like crazy no matter where I buy them, so I’m not picky about them.

      Because we rely so heavily on our garden and eat something I grew almost daily, year-round, I love to pick varieties for their qualities. I usually want disease resistance and a high yield and for lettuce, a long bolting time. It drove me nuts when I had to take the starts I could get at the farm stores 2 summers ago and couldn’t choose the varieties! Call me crazy:). It’s one of my passions! The experimenting is half the fun.

    1. Thank you. He’s in the middle between weigh-ins, so we are still counting at the 67 pound mark, but he’s likely lost a bit more by now. Thankfully, my sister gave him 2 shirts and a hooded sweatshirt. Now he has a couple of items that actually fit. He doesn’t want to buy much because he is still losing, but it’s getting silly-looking:). Nice problem to have.

  7. I can tell Rob is losing weight. He is looking good! I love reading your blog. Happy New Year from Kansas!

  8. Jakes seeds look good. I am glad they have sprouted for him. We might have to change his name to Farmer Jake!

    Rob is definitely losing weight and it shows in the picture. Tell him I am proud of his hard work.


    1. Thank you. Jake came over today and I took him out to the greenhouse to show him the sprouts. There is a Columbine plant in that pot and it’s growing great. He was convinced it was clover and got very excited. Hmmmm……Maybe it is going to be very easy to keep that boy happy! If these don’t grow, it seems as if I just need to dig up some clover from the yard and plant it in the pot:). I just had to crack up!

      1. I hope they continue to grow until he can notice the different shapes of the leaves. If he was able to notice the similarity between a columbine and a clover leaf, he is quite sharp.

        1. Umm…he thought it was all clover. Sorry to say. No matter how many times I explained it, it was all clover to him. Finally, he “got” it and said at least he could get some clover out of the yard next summer:). He was remembering the bees on the clover last summer. I’m not sure if the whole thing was making him anxious or what, but it’s all good now:)

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