Thriving In My Thrifty Week–October 25, 2021

We had a great week filled with family and fall fun. One thing we did was get a pumpkin for Malcolm for only 9c/lb at Safeway. Auntie Patsy helped him carve it. Actually, as fast as she scooped the insides out, he tried to load them back in…it was really cute to watch. We got way more than $1.80 worth of entertainment, just watching the show!

In fact, it was so fun, they did it again the next day with Patsy’s pumpkin. All the pumpkins, plus the 3 little pie pumpkins are decorating our front porch and look great.

I cooked several “slow” foods this week. First, I made another batch of refried beans. I froze several cartons of those as we have been burning through the ones I made the other day. I also cooked several packages of pinto beans and froze them for future quick meals. I made some split pea soup and also some vegetarian black bean taco soup. I call these slow foods because first I soaked the beans all night, then cooked them in various ways over the next couple of days. They also take a few hours to cook down. After that process, they become “fast food” for me as I have the finished products ready for quick thawing and eating on busy days. I have quite a few dry beans, lentils and split peas out in my pantry as I buy them in bulk when I get low. They are very inexpensive when purchased this way and keep a long, long time.

Mom came over one day and the grandbabies came over to play with her. We all had fun.

I got to spend quite a bit of time with the boys this week, as they and their Mama and Auntie are moving. The landlord where they rent wants the house back, and they just finally found a new place to live. So, I anticipate spending quite a few hours with one boy or the other this week as packing and moving goes on. Rob and Patsy already took one van-load of items to Union Gospel Mission for them, but they have a ways to go.

I’ve been using the grocery ads to keep the pantry stocked up. Butter has been under $2/lb around here lately, and I got 5 dozen eggs for $5. Milk has been 88c for 1/2 gallon and there was Safeway cheese for $5/2-lb brick or bag of shreds.

I fed people the soups I made, a vegetable-beef soup, burritos, salads, bbq’d chicken Rob made, some cube steak he fried, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, and a big batch of deviled eggs. We used canned and frozen fruits and veggies as well and many other items I have preserved like pickles and relish, red cabbage and apples, peach crisp from home-canned pie filling, dilly green beans and more. The girls and babies are eating over here quite a bit lately, so I just keep cooking. Good thing I love to cook! I’m very thankful for all that I was able to preserve. Once they get moved, they won’t eat here as much, but for now, this just works for all of us.

I’ve also grabbed napkins and paper plates for Thanksgiving, as the shelves continue to empty as fast as they are stocked for some items. We had Patsy run into the Dollar Tree for some plain colored napkins–I wanted red, orange and yellow, since I was having trouble finding fall-decorated ones. She said the shelves looked empty in many places and there were few choices of any kind of fall decor. She got red and yellow. I’m going to use those to supplement the few “pretty” ones I found at JoAnn’s on Saturday. I can use my plain-colored tablecloths and Rob found some artificial fall blooms at a yard sale in a free box a while back, and I’m going to make centerpieces from them, so I feel pretty well set now.

The weather has turned rainy and windy. I’m still dashing outside whenever there’s a break and pulling old flowers, and weeds so was able to fill the yard debris bin this week, always a triumph for me. I transplanted strawberry runners into a raised bed and pulled out some spent vegetable vines/plants. I was able to pick a few more flowers and bring them in to enjoy.

Rob and I continue to exercise by taking frequent walks. I also push the baby down the street in the stroller whenever I get an opportunity. It’s win-win for both of us.

14 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week–October 25, 2021”

  1. Your cute grandsons are growing up so fast! Just don’t blink too many times or they will be grown men!

    I love the photo of Malcolm looking into the pumpkin. It is like he is thinking “Is anyone in there?”.

  2. What a lot of fun carving pumpkins with a little one! 🙂 Sounds like you are busy and thriving with lots going on! I do so enjoy reading about your week. 🙂

  3. It all sounds wonderful!!! Especially the babysitting!!!

    Do you have a recipe for your refried beans? I would love to try it!

    1. Holley, This is what I do. I soak beans all night. In the morning, I lift the beans from the water so any debris is left in the water, using a slotted frying “spoon.” I put them into the crockpot, about 2-3 inches from the top. I put water in to cover with an inch or two above the beans. Then I add 1-2 onions, chopped, any sweet or super mild (like Anaheim) peppers I have on hand or frozen (maybe 1/4-1/2 cup), then hot peppers (usually jalepeno). If they are really hot–1. If they are mild–3-4. You can always add heat, you cannot take it away, so I’m cautious. I usually add salt later in the day. I cook on low all day, stirring infrequently. I make sure the water is always covering the beans. Once they are soft, I blend with a stick blender. If more water is needed, I add it. If they are super runny, I cook a while longer. At this point, I add more salt and more heat if needed. Once they cool, I freeze them. They tend to thicken a bit as they cool.

  4. Keep that pantry stocked up – things are looking sparse here at times. I’m hoping it is just because we are so far out. You got some good deals.

    Right now I am still pickling peppers. I think they are expanding whenever I turn my back. After that, I plan on canning some of the butternut squash because I don’t think we can eat all I harvested. Then and only then will I finally be finished and able to put the canner up for the year. Whew!

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

    1. That’s what the Giadaniera did to me–grew in the pan(s)!!! There were 3 huge pans full when I finally got to stop chopping and start loading jars.

      I don’t really pickle peppers, except a very few small jars. But, I’m not surprised you do:). You are the one who got me canning chicken in the first place and we really enjoy it now. I even did some turkey this year, since we just can’t eat as much at once as we used to, because there are so few of us left at home.

      Do you can the squash in cubes? Puree? Or what? I haven’t done that before.

      1. I microwave it until it is mush, scrape it into a bowl then use a hand blender to smooth out any fibers. Next, I add water to make it thinner so it has less viscosity. This year I’m going to add apple juice instead of water to make it sweeter. You are only supposed to can winter squash in cubes so the heat can get all the way through, but good grief, cutting the hard skin off is impossible. Blending it and making it soupy allows the heat to penetrate better, plus, I add an extra five minutes of time to the canning process to be sure. It thickens up as it is processed.

        I use it in smoothies, muffins, pumpkin pie, and as a side dish with butter and cinnamon. I will cook one, we will eat it for a meal and then I can the rest. It feels like it takes me all winter to get it canned.

        Turkey has just arrived in the stores here so I’m watching for a good price. I run into the problem of frozen turkey having sugar added. I don’t know why they do that. They don’t do it to chicken.

        Jeannie

        1. Good to know about the squash. I puree it, then freeze it. We also eat is on our plates with meals with cinnamon, and brown sugar or plain. Not fancy, but great!

          I’ve never noticed sugar in turkey. Now, you’ve got me curious and I’m going to read some labels!!!

          1. This year, for the first time ever, ButterBall brand does not have sugar or nitrates. They also say there are no hormones used when raising the birds. I bought one for $.99 a pound at Walmart, grabbed it when I saw the label and the price. None of the other brands are sugar and nitrate free. I want to get more but there is no room in my freezer!

            Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

          2. We have been re-arranging, and using things up around here to stuff turkeys in the freezer! I feel your pain:). With an entire summer’s worth of produce in the freezers, it’s hard to get turkey and ham in. But, we did manage to do it when we found a great deal. Maybe you need to eat a turkey early:)

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