Thriving In My thrifty Week–January 10, 2021

Somebody likes his Grandpa. And, Grandpa likes him, too. Rob and I had the pleasure of spending some time with the baby this week–loved it! I’ve always called Rob the “Baby Whisperer.” I’ve seen absolute stranger babies leap for him on more than one occasion. It’s so cute to see them together.

I picked another large bowl of lettuce from the greenhouse. We mixed it with store lettuce and had many salads this week. I used some of our garden cabbage as well, in a stir-fry. It called for fresh broccoli, which I didn’t have, so put large chunks of cabbage in instead. It was great.

Our method of menu -planning this week was a mixture of all the ways I do it. I made a list of meals in my notebook, and I made a couple of recipes I had chosen and marked with sticky notes in magazines a while back. I referred to that list the first part of the week, then Rob went out to the big freezers in the shop and grabbed a whole chicken, some steak and hot dogs and we just cooked those the second part of the week. I made 2 soups–clam chowder and broccoli. We ate soup several times. It’s so easy during lunch times to just grab a bowl and microwave it. The broccoli and broth were some I’d frozen and the clams were given to us in some canned goods Rob’s mom couldn’t use and passed on a couple of months ago, added to potatoes and the milk that seems to be on sale constantly around here these days. Inexpensive meals, and really a treat this week. I plan to do a chicken-vegetable soup this week, since I boiled the bones of the chicken Rob took out of the freezer and I have tons of frozen garden vegetables.

He went to Safeway for the bargains. Our favorite one was a 3-lb package of bacon for under $6. He divided that into small baggies and froze them to pull out over time. He got yogurt for 37c/each, bread for 77c each (2), and a couple of other things we needed. Fred Meyers had butter for $1.77, so he got the 5 allowed, and topped it off with tortillas for $1 at the Dollar Store. He came out under $30 and that’s more than enough for this week. Last week’s shop was more extensive, but we are right on track for another month where we easily stay within our grocery budget and should be able to set some aside for bulk purchases later on.

We filled the yard debris bin again with clipped branches. Rob also took a chain saw to the fig tree in the front yard and removed the weak, dead branches and also worked on other bushes/shrubs. We are debating on whether to cut down the fig tree entirely, or just remove the weak and damaged parts, but don’t have to decide now. The bin only holds so much at one time. Since they will take that debris bin every week, for free, we love to fill it up as many weeks as we can.

Rob and I got our first Covid shot. We were offered the chance, due to our job–we are considered part of the health care workers, as we care for developmentally disabled clients. We were a little scared, as it’s so new and all, but so far, so good. (At least I was–I absolutely hate shots!) We go back in a few weeks for shot #2, and then I will be able to go out and about so much more freely. I know everyone doesn’t want one of those shots, but I have to admit, I’m excited to know that I won’t be spreading that nasty virus to any of my loved ones. That’s worth a lot to me.

We got our stimulus checks. We had an extensive repair done on the van, so…easy come, easy go. What a blessing to be able to drive a safe van! And, what a blessing to see the Lord provide for our needs in many ways. He just never fails us. Ever.

24 thoughts on “Thriving In My thrifty Week–January 10, 2021”

  1. That is one cute picture you need to print out and keep framed to have on your desk! Rob looks so happy and the little one’s expression is one of “This is my protector against the big mean world.”.

  2. My husband is a baby whisperer too so I know exactly what you mean! One of our neighbors used to bring crying babies to him and he would get them calm and hand them back.

    That was a great price on bacon! We got a bunch of great deals too like yogurt for 13 cents and Special K for 50 cents. The grocery deals seem to coming back here.

    1. Boy, our prices will never match those in other areas! They are always higher than what I hear from other parts of the country. But, still, I see grocery deals coming back here, as well, and I’m glad. Lately, we got cereal for $1/box, and that’s the absolute lowest it ever goes, so we got lots as Patsy will eat that day in and day out for her breakfasts. Like Rob said, that’s a pretty cheap breakfast:)

  3. Becky, I hate to burst your bubble of anticipation, but the COVID vaccine is not a pass to life as usual, even after you get both doses. Here’s a quote from an ABC News interview with a professor of Public Health at George Washington University on 12/28/2020:

    “It’s important to be clear about what we know and what we don’t know about what the vaccine does. What we know is that the Pfizer vaccine is very effective at preventing symptomatic illness and severe disease. That means the vaccine appears to prevent people from getting sick enough that they develop symptoms, and very importantly, it prevents people from becoming so severely ill that they end up in the hospital. This is really great news.

    “Here’s what the studies don’t yet show. They haven’t looked at whether the vaccine prevents someone from carrying COVID-19 and spreading it to others. It’s possible that someone could get the vaccine but could still be an asymptomatic carrier. They may not show symptoms, but they have the virus in their nasal passageway so that if they’re speaking, breathing, sneezing and so on, they can still transmit it to others.

    “This is the main reason why we can’t stop wearing masks right after we get the vaccine. The vaccine will protect you from getting ill and then ending up hospitalized. But it’s possible that you could still carry the virus and be contagious to others. So those who get the vaccine should still be wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.”

    You can check other sites on-line for confirmation, or the Oregon State Department of Public Health. I think that this message is not yet getting out as widely as it needs to, because a lot of people (myself included!!) just can’t wait to hug our families and friends again, but we’re not out of the woods yet…

    1. I actually did know that we have to continue to wear masks and social distance. However, I had not read all you sent. :(. It seems like we have a long road ahead and that’s a bit discouraging. I’m just really excited anyway, as more and more people get vaccinated, especially those I love who are a bit fragile in their health. We are hopefully headed in the right direction to get this virus under control. I got the Moderna vaccine, and I’m sure it’s the same story as the Pfizer one….lots of unknowns!

      Thanks for all the information.

    2. I’m so glad you posted this! I’m very concerned that this is not being clearly explained to people–we all need to understand what the vaccine will and won’t do. It’s a MAJOR step forward, but it’s not a silver bullet. I like the epidemiology idea of the “Swiss cheese model”: every step out of this mess will have some holes in it (including the vaccines), but if we layer them all together it will eventually work.

      1. There is a lot to learn, isn’t there. Hopefully, step by step, it will get figured out. I keep reminding myself that this is just a small snapshot of time in my entire life. It will pass, and we will look back, and will be able to say, “remember when.”

  4. What a sweet picture. He is adorable.
    Great deals too.
    So glad you were able to get the vaccine. Hopefully things will get better soon. Thanks for the reminder that He will take care of us. I need to remember that.

  5. Your Grandson is adorable and that photo of him and Rob is so cute! My husband is also a baby whisperer – I think those kids know when they’re in good, unflappable hands.

    You’re blessed to live so close to family. I know you enjoy it!

    Enjoy your time with that gorgeous little one!
    Lea

  6. That is such an adorable picture! My husband is the Baby Whisperer too. Our grandkids live with us, and he is our 2-year-old granddaughter’s favorite..
    My husband received the vaccine as well and did great with the first shot. The second shot made him more achy and tired for a day or two.
    We are still waiting on our stimulus checks, which isn’t overly exciting as we will likely be giving it right back to them at tax time…sigh.

    1. We finally got our checks, and immediately had to spend them for a large repair on the van. But, at least we could pay it, right?

  7. That lower lip, so sweet. I bet it quivers when he cries. Jealous you got the vaccine. Australia doesn’t start until 15th Feb to administer the vaccine and then it will be the front line workers and the oldies in aged care / nursing homes. Most of our deaths have occurred in the older population in those kind of group facilities, and we want to protect them from harm.

    1. We are considered health care workers because of our job. I was surprised to hear that, but happy. My sister, who is a nurse in a hospital, and my other sister, who is a nurse practitioner, both got theirs, as well. They are going to start making them available to those older than 65 next Saturday. I’m so glad. My Mom and aunt really need them.

      But, my daughters and nephew cannot qualify yet. So, we are still going to need to be very careful with them, plus take the precautions recommended. I still feel it’s a step in the right direction for our family.

  8. That’s a really cute picture of grandpa and baby! Sounds like you’ve had a really great, frugal week! Glad you received the stimulus check just in time to pay for the van repairs. 🙂

    1. Me, too! As much as it pained me to pay out that money as fast as it came in, we don’t want to drive the van unsafely, especially since it pulls the camper as well.

  9. What a cute picture! What a cute baby!
    I have all three sons at home right now and I love it! Joshua and Reese scheduled their yearly vacations at the same time and everyone is here for the week.
    I am cooking and emptying everything out of the pantry that I preserved this past summer. The greens in the garden are being harvested and I am stuffing them full of food.
    Life is perfect right now.
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

    1. How fun to cook for your boys. I am using lots and lots of preserved foods, too. Because I was so low on my supply, I canned and froze and dried and jammed, etc., like a crazy woman who lives in a place with no stores:). My kind of fun! Anyway, we are using it more than ever this year and still have plenty. I like to carry over a few jars in each category, and I think that is a real possibility this year. I sure hope so, anyway. You never know when you will have a crop failure or shortage.

      But, since I did preserve so much, I was able to come in under my grocery budget in December and I think January will be under, too. Then, I will buy some bulk food, and probably some jar lids one of these days with the excess. I’ve gotten ahold of a few boxes, as they trickle into the stores here, but plan to buy a large quantity once they come more readily available.

      1. I have seen a few cases of the wide-mouth quart jars show up at the stores, but no lids yet.

        I do my canning two years out meaning I try to can enough for two years at a time. I use up one year’s worth and try to still have one year’s worth in the pantry. It was how my grandmother did it and for some reason, I must do it as she did it. Storage in the basement is no problem.

        This past year it was pickled peppers, squash, and meats that I focused on the most. I may have enough for two years. I only did one batch of jelly – hot pepper for Reese. My crew eats way less jelly than I realized. This year I will be doing watermelon jelly since we opened the last jar this morning.

        1. I understand completely why your Grandmother, and now you, do it that way! I started being more purposeful with canning extra one year when my tomatoes succumbed to blight and I only got 7 quarts for the whole season. I’m not sure why we were so low on so many things last summer, but I’m guessing it’s because we ate so much during the shut-down last spring. Now, I still have shelves that are quite laden with jars, but we are eating it like crazy and it’s only January. I plan to have a surplus, but I also think that next summer will be a heavy canning summer, just maybe not quite as heavy:). I pointed out to Rob just today that not only did we grow an insane amount in our backyard garden last year, we got lots of produce from my sister and more from farm stands than we have for many years. One thing that has been a huge hit is the Giadinera–we are eating it like crazy. I did more than 50 jars of salsa last summer, and many were pints instead of 1/2 pints, even some quarts in there…and they are already almost 1/2 gone.

          It’s a good thing I love to can:)

  10. Hi Becky.
    Long time – albeit silent 🙂 – fan here from Israel. Our country has embarked on a major vaccination drive and nearly a quarter of the population has been given the shot/s. The ultimate goal is to have everyone vaccinated by the end of March. Like some readers pointed out, you will protected, but you can still be a carrier. Therefore, you will continue to need wearing a mask until the majority of your population has had the shots – and that could take years! On the other hand, it definitely gives one peace of mind that we are on the right path. Stay healthy!

    1. It’s so exciting to hear from Israel! Thank you for commenting. I’m glad the vaccination program is going well there. Every time I listen to the news, it seems this is going to take a long time here. And, the more I hear about it, the more I think I will need to make a few more masks. But, I agree, I think it’s good we are at least starting down the right path.

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