Thriving In My thrifty Week–December 29, 2019

This is one of my favorite Christmas presents. Rob built me this rack for my cast iron frying pans. He used reclaimed lumber and a piece of tin he also salvaged. This picture really doesn’t do it justice–it’s amazing! Another gift he made that I really like is a bundle of garden stakes. He painted the ends white so I can write on them with a marker and mark my rows. He also used re-claimed wood for those.

I had a lot of help with the table decorations this year. Rob made me the wooden tree, the small wooden trees and found the right ribbon for me. Little Danait (a 5-year-old friend) carefully arranged the chocolate Santa candies the best way she knew how. I had given her a bag of candy and told her to spread it along the table–thinking she would sprinkle them here and there. She liked a line better. I left them, and people ate them! I even remembered to light the candles I dug out of the cupboard.

I used things I had for decor. Patsy made snowflakes to put on the table. I found a stash of candles in a bin in the shop that had never been unpacked when we moved. I used a ton of them!

Lovana made a chocolate-peppermint cake. Yum! We served tacos for our meal–buffet style. Everyone brought parts and pieces. We had taco bar, shrimp, other desserts, Eritrean food including injera and spicy lentils and African beef (I think it is called Coal-wa or something similar), and mashed potatoes. At one point, I made Michaela some cinnamon-sugar toast–that’s what she wanted. As far as I could tell, all 27 people were happy with the food, and everyone seemed to have a really good time. Since I spread them out all over the house, they had enough room–some in the living room, some in the garage, some in the kitchen, and even a few at a table in Patsy’s bedroom–mostly kids. We had guests that we had never met before, along with family and friends that usually come. They were all good sports. So fun! Since so many pitched in to provide parts of the meal, it was not a burden for anyone.

There were not a ton of leftovers after Christmas, so we ate what there were and I’ve been cooking. I was given 2 Butternut squash for Christmas. I cut them both up and we’ve already eaten one of them. I will roast the other one very soon.

Rob used our new cutting boards to make fried potatoes and onions.

I made Puffy Green Bean Bake from the More With Less Cookbook. Twice.

I shopped for a few groceries. Eggs were 99c/dozen. I bought the 3 dozen I could. I boiled a bunch for snacks, lunches and breakfasts. I also got the random items I needed, such as seasoning salt, and milk. I stayed around $50, which I thought was great for my weekly shopping, since we had 5 extra people for 3 days, and the Christmas meal.

After all my guests left, including the ones that were staying here, and the ones who came over the day after Christmas, I was pretty tired. I rested a lot , but am now feeling like myself again. It was nice today to go to church and have our regular family Sunday dinner. It was great that baby Allie and her parents could join us today. She’s grown so much. I will admit that I saw the baby very briefly at church on Christmas Eve, but she was more sociable today and I got to hold her, which is always a treat! (This little girl is like a grand-daughter to my sister and brother-in-law, as her daddy is like a son to them. So, by default, I get to be an auntie. My pleasure for sure!)

My sister did all the cooking today and we had soup and sandwiches, so I got a big break from cooking, and so we brought Jake home for the night. I haven’t seen him much this week. We miss our extra boy, so it’s our lucky day:).

12 thoughts on “Thriving In My thrifty Week–December 29, 2019”

    1. Thanks! I was blown away by the pan holder, too. There is even a little symbol on the tin that shows up on it–a moon and a sun–just on the tin and Rob worked it in.

      The green bean bake is something I’ve made so many times over the years, but not lately, so it tasted good to us. It’s such a great way to use the last few green beans left over from dinner or any other leftover veggie, like broccoli.

  1. I have been so enjoying your posts. I found your site through another blogger that I have followed for several years. We too had a wonderful Christmas. This year I hosted Thanksgiving dinner twice so Christmas was a time of relaxation for my husband and I. Christmas vacation was spent traveling to my sister’s and my husband’s family. Then home for Christmas day. Our daughter-in-law hosted our Christmas evening family time. She had their home decorated so beautifully, it was so cozy and inviting.
    I loaded a cooler with fruit purchased at Aldi’s and cheese bought at a very good price. Fruit and cheese trays were our contributions to meals. I tucked ziplock bags in so when the meal was finished the leftovers were put into the cooler ready for the next meal.
    I purchased very large vinyl bags at Joann Fabrics on black Friday. I wrapped presents a week ahead of time and put gift cards in cards and put each family’s gifts in a bag. Being prepared was awesome!!!
    Have a wonderful week!!!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you are enjoying the posts:).

      It sounds like you were very prepared. I did better than sometimes, but I’ll admit, I was still a little behind where I wanted to be, but got it done a little ahead! At least I wasn’t wrapping on Christmas Eve like I have done in the past!

      I’m glad you had fun with your family. I don’t take mine for granted, and I can tell you don’t either.

      1. Belated Merry Christmas! That pan holder Rob made is beautiful! My husband bought me a white cast iron sink and faucet, and spent the day after Christmas installing them. An awesome gift! Green beans were only $.75 at King Soopers (Kroger) yesterday, so I think I’ll try the Green Bean Puff this evening; it sounds good!
        As usual, I love your table photos, thanks for sharing!

  2. Becky,

    Happy new year! I followed your link from Brandy’s site to see the cast-iron pan holder. It looks great! Thoughtful, useful, thrifty, and a gift made with love… I don’t think you can beat that!

  3. The pan holder is a neat idea and looks great. Anything that helps with storage and makes the kitchen look great, is a win-win!

    My biggest money saver was an impulse buy at Aldi’s. I picked up an air fryer for $25.00. So far, I love it. We have been experimenting with all kinds of things from meat to vegetables. It is going to help save money on buying oil and will probably end up paying for itself. So far sweet potato fries/chips with cinnamon is my favorite.


  4. The pan rack is beautiful! I love that it was made from reclaimed wood. I also really like the idea of garden stakes out of reclaimed wood. We get a lot of wood scraps from my husband’s carpentry business so I’m always looking for ideas on how to use it up.

    1. I love it, too! It’s going to be great to have painted stakes this year–I’ll be able to see the markings really well. However, many, many times, I’ve successfully used plain ones as well, which would be a time-saver if you are using up scraps of wood and are in a hurry.

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