It was Jake’s birthday this week. Chewbaca came to Family Sunday Dinner to see him. The Millennium Falcon apparently dropped him off so he could visit Jake during his birthday lunch. Jake was surprised and pleased, but later confided to me that “there was a guy in there, auntie!” Good to know, I said:)
A few family photos were taken.
Everyone had fun! There were quite a few other family members present, and we thoroughly celebrated Rob, Alissa and Jake’s birthdays.
I managed to save quite a bit of money during the week in the food department. I had several meals I wanted to cook for friends and family who had various needs, such as recovery from surgery, sickness, etc. I also had a lunch to pack to share when I went visiting another family and food to make for our meals, too, of course. It was a busy week, I’m telling you!
First, I did a large (for me) grocery shop at Safeway, using a $10/off $50. I purchased more than $50 worth, but it was still nice to have that discount. I used several coupons that I downloaded, one I picked up in the store, and 4 Ibotta rebates, which gained me a $5 Ibotta bonus.
We cooked both a large turkey and a ham this week. They were bought on great sales over the holidays and pulled from the freezers for this super busy week. I boiled the bones from both of them. All of the turkey broth, 2 big kettles of it and a 3rd small one, was used up in 3 large batches of turkey soup.
Several pans of turkey enchiladas were made. When I found a large baggie of frozen corn tortillas leftover from Christmas, I thawed them out and used them up on this project.
I sliced turkey breast very thinly for sandwiches, and turkey pieces were given to some of the families. I made sandwiches with turkey and some 99c/day-old-bread-rack buns when I took the picnic, along with some carrots and cupcakes.
Patsy made a double batch of lemon poppy seed muffins. I made a double batch of pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins, and most of those went out with various meals.
A while back, I was given a bag of white rice. While we love it, we don’t eat it often, as Rob is dieting and I’m diabetic. So, I took the opportunity to made up a huge batch of fried rice with some of it. I added grated carrot, peas, scrambled eggs, onion, some water chestnuts and 1 can of bamboo shoots that I’ve had for quite some time. I seasoned with soy sauce, and made enough for 2 families to have some, and kept a small bowl for us, since we love it so much!
I sliced up ham for one family to go with their fried rice. We ate ham in several ways this week.
Salads were made and shared and also eaten here. Rob eats a lot of salad! A huge chocolate cake was baked for the birthday party on Sunday. I also did some white cupcakes from a boxed mix, which I divided between the birthday party and one family.
The amazing thing is that cooking all this food was not a huge drain on my budget because I chose foods we had in the pantry and freezer to base the meals on, with some additions from the store. Sharing food is one of my favorite things to do and I am always happy when I can make it work as nicely as it did this time. It was a fun, rewarding week, though I must confess that all that cooking made it a busy one!
Now that people are feeling better from their various surgeries and other things, my cooking frenzy is over. It was kind of funny how it all came at once, but that’s how life goes sometimes. This week, I’ll put my energies in other directions, and that’s ok, too. I like variety in my life:)
14 thoughts on “Thriving In My thrifty Week–January 13, 2020–Chewbacca Came To Visit Jake and I cooked!”
Wow, what a great way to do that much cooking without a great outlay of expense. I often make meals for others, too, and it can get expensive, but you were clever in your use of resources.
I had major surgery Thursday and am now on the receiving end of meals and it is such a HUGE blessing for our family right now. Your friends are lucky to have you!
Happy Birthday to Rob, Alissa and Jake!
I wish you a very speedy recovery!
I have been on the receiving end of meals before, as well, and it was such a blessing. I love being able to pass it on.
Wow, well done on providing all that food for not much OOP. I appreciate variety too. Wishing you a slower paced week.
Thanks! I think this week will be slower in some ways. I spent a good couple of hours in-between working with Patsy’s schooling cleaning like a maniac yesterday morning. So, at least the house looks a little better, so I feel better already:)
Jake is one lucky kid having Chewbacca come to his birthday party. My kids would have loved that. We are HUGE Star Wars fans.
That is so nice of you cooking for others that needed it. That is what our pantries are for. We had my aunt over this weekend and I sent her home with leftovers. She is a widow now so she doesn’t cook often any more. I also brought food to the man I help. He has limited cooking skills. Being married for 60 years, his wife had always done the cooking.
I hope everyone had wonderful birthdays. Have a great week.
Growing up, I can well remember my mom filling little empty cottage cheese cartons with little bits of this and that for my grandma or other people to take home for meals. It is a wonderful way for ladies or gentlemen who live alone to have some variety. After my grandma became a widow, sometimes Mom would send several little bits for her to freeze. So, you see where I learned to do all of this:)
Lovely meals and so cool that Chewy came for a visit.
It was super fun to have Chewy!
Hello from NW PA,
Such a fun birthday for the little guy!! It has been a crazy week in our home too. We are remodeling our kitchen so its been a week of packing it up and trying to decide what I just have to have to cook with for the next couple of months.
I raised three boys with very hearty appetites. My supper table was always opened to all their friends. Sooooo!! When they all left home making meals took on a whole new craziness. That’s where cooking for others in need helped me fill in the big lonely gap!!! Homemade mac and cheese is my go to dish to prepare. I keep stocked up on macaroni and freeze American cheese and butter. I love to bake all kinds of sweet breads and put them in the freezer. I wrap them up in pretty bags and boxes. When I find a sale on paper goods I scoop them up to send along. Especially after the holidays. Pretty napkins and plates and a hearty meal help to brighten up a time of illness or grief. I have been on the receiving end, what a blessing.
Have a wonderful, blessed week!!
I had a time in my life when I also cooked for way more people than I cook for now. It’s hard to rein it in, isn’t it? I still love to cook for a crowd.
The idea of adding paper plates is a great one. I haven’t done that before. I do try to put things into disposable containers so no one has to return any dishes. If they do return the Dollar Store plastic containers, I gratefully take them back and just put them in the bin to fill for the next person. I also use empty plastic containers from purchased food, especially if I can get really big ones from a church event, such as a 3-lb butter container, etc.
Oh how exciting to have Chewie come to your birthday party. Happy birthday to Jake, Rob and Alissa.
What yummy meals. I know everyone was blessed by your thoughtfulness.
You have me craving fried rice now
Thank you for the birthday wishes! January is a busy month around here.
The fried rice was really good, and I enjoyed being able to have a little bit without having to eat the entire bowl full:)
What fun having Chewbacca at the party. And how sweet you are baking dishes for the sick and recovering. There is nothing that makes you feel like recovering than a good meal.
It was fun! And, I, also love a bowl of soup when I’m recovering, so one of the things I made was soup:)