Thriving In My thrifty Week–January 3, 2022

This past week was very laid-back around here. We played with babies. We slept in a lot. We cooked whatever we felt like eating…..or didn’t cook–just ate odds and ends. We had snow several days, which is uncommon around here, so we hibernated. We only had our niece and nephew with us for one day, and Patsy spent a couple of nights with her cousins. Ahhhh……

But, we did manage to do a few money-saving activities in-between all the laying around!

I canned up the rest of the pineapple we had purchased on sale for either 99c or $1.50 around Christmas. Two stores had them, and the sale went on for a couple of weeks, so in the end, I was able to get 8, buying the limit at various places. I have over 20 jars canned, mostly 1/2 pints, but there are a few pints in the mix as well.

Along with all the little jars, we ate fresh pineapple several times, and I made pineapple stir-fried rice for the second time. I’ve done it with both shrimp and chicken now, and it’s great!

We got some great bargains at the grocery store. We bought 97c/doz. eggs, 2-lbs shredded cheese for $4.97, used a $10/off $50 coupon, and got lots of produce. Our daughter went with Rob to buy a few sale groceries at one store and paid for it. She said, “well, we eat over there all the time,” which is true, but he was still pleasantly surprised.

A couple of weeks ago, I was blessed when I stumbled upon a situation where I could get both my Covid booster and my flu shot at Safeway, plus 10% off my groceries. I was buying quite a few groceries, and saved a lot! I already had many coupons electronically clipped to my account, was able to get the shrimp I purchased for 1/2 price, and bought lots of sale items anyway, so the additional amount off was a nice bonus. I had recently returned from vacation, so was out of many things. I had been putting in some work trying to find a place to get both of those shots, so was very fortunate in being able to do a walk-in on the very day I was shopping for a larger-than-normal amount of groceries:). Later, when Rob tried to get his shots (more than once) he was told there was no availability for that and wouldn’t be for quite some time. He both called and just showed up, to no avail. A few days later, he found a drive-thru clinic for the Covid shot, but still has to find a flu shot.

We had a big family birthday party on Saturday. We celebrated 3 January birthdays and one February birthday. We had a Mexican feast. Everyone brought different things. Rob made carne asada for the first time. It came out great!

I made pork verde. I used my home-canned salsa verde and cooked it in the crock pot until it was very tender.

I’ve been trying out the new air-fryer I got for Christmas. I used my Instant Pot and my Crock Pot several times this past week. When I have extra time, I love to use my appliances so I have quick and easy recipes in my mind that I can make when I’m busy.

We saved the most money of all by the choice of pony my sister chose to give the boys. Right now, baby brother is too young for horses, so Mac took it over. The feed and hay bills are non-existent, and stable fees are very low. Riding lessons were free, compliments of Grandma, and he can already ride better than she can, which was pretty easy to accomplish. We didn’t even have to buy a horse trailer, as he fits into the back of the car, since horsey had to go back to auntie’s house for the birthday party and then over here for several hours yesterday!

We also had hours of free entertainment watching “The Wiggles.” One daughter pays for Netflix for Rob every year as his Christmas gift, so it is truly free for us. We watched it over and over and over and over and over……When I tried to put on a different show, he just turned his head away, went and got the remote and fussed at me until I got the message:) (The Wiggles are an Australian group that sings and dances for preschoolers–good exercise and a little learning is involved, but mostly nursery-rhyme type songs. It’s really not so bad–it’s just that we have seen all the episodes multiple times…..)

There are several things I typically do in January. First, I often clean things. I’ve already been doing small bits of deep cleaning, so I have a good start on that. Second, I tend to eat more healthy and exercise more. I’ve already been using up the holiday desserts and not replacing them, and so forth. The rain has been extremely heavy and we’ve had snow, so it’s only been the past few days that we’ve gotten walks of any length. Third, I try to save money. I tend to use up pantry and home-preserved items even more than usual. I’m on board to do all that this year, as well.

The other thing Rob and I have been doing is taking a small plastic bag with us on our frequent walks. We have been picking up cans and bottles. It’s been amazing how many we’ve found since we started picking them up. Bottle Drop will even take cans that have been ran over and are totally flat, as long as they are not 1/2 gone. Who knew? Today, when Rob returned all of our personal cans and bottles, he received $1.10 just in smashed cans, and easily over $5 worth that we had just picked up alongside the road. Better yet, one day, I found a dollar bill laying on the ground, and occasionally we have found coins.

The year’s off to a great money-saving start already!

8 thoughts on “Thriving In My thrifty Week–January 3, 2022”

  1. We had a wonderful Christmas. This year I purchased large reusable plastic Christmas bags and put each person’s gifts in one. I was amazed at how that alone cut done on stress of all the business of the season!! I received a 40% off and a 50% off coupon for Pennys. This was still with the sale prices being the same. I got awesome gifts! One jacket was reg $62.00 for like $13.00!!
    Our granddaughters both got bean bag chairs that came in huge boxes. I saved the cardboard and a large amount of plastic. I cut the plastic so I would have drop clothes for remodeling. It was really nice and thick!!!
    I have been careful to freeze leftovers, so we have quick meals, and the food does not go to waste. That is an area I need to be more diligent in. Freezing fruit and veggies that we cannot use up before going bad is on top of the list.
    Have a wonderful week to you and your family. I love your post! One question, do you water bath your pineapple or pressure can?

    1. D Douglas,
      I canned my pineapple in a water bath for 15 minutes. I just cut it up and put water on it, and canned it. Pretty easy!

      Since we were taking a trip in early December, we did get most gifts purchased before we went. There was still a lot to down we got back, though, like baking a few items for various people, delivering to different friends/family, and actually wrapping things. We did keep it quite simple, even for the grandsons (that took willpower!), so that helped.

      You got some great deals!!!

  2. Happy New Year, Becky! Your pineapple stir fried rice looks great and that pony and rider are too cute for words! 🙂

  3. Happy New Year! Sounds like your year is off to a great start. That little boy and his horse are precious. I remember the Wiggles from when my kids were little. Ah yummy yummy fruit salad. 🙂 Great deal on the pineapple. I tried making a fried rice with leftover ham and pineapple, and we really enjoyed it.

    1. Rob and I just keep cracking up as we start singing some silly little song in our heads from those Wiggles! And wish we had something else stuck in our heads…But, every time I try to put on something different, Malcolm just turns his head away from it, brings me the remote, and stares at me with those big, brown eyes…, The Wiggles, it is! Amazing what being a grandmother does to a person:)

  4. I am thinking about canning oranges. They were the only thing on sale for a good price here last week (and I check every grocery store for miles around). So we can’t possibly eat them all. Have you ever canned them?

    We are experiencing lots of shortages and way higher prices. I am spending more time money saving.


    1. Jeannie,
      I’ve never canned oranges. We just don’t live in a part of the country where they are super inexpensive very often. I do buy an occasional case of manderin oranges already canned. If anyone can figure out how to can oranges, I have faith that it’s you! Let me know how it comes out if you do it.

      We are seeing bare shelves and higher prices here, as well. But, we are also still getting some really good weekly deals at both Safeway and Fred Meyers. Sometimes, they aren’t there when I get to the store, but usually most of the advertised things are there…..

      What is really helping us is the amount of preserved foods and bulging pantry shelves, those loss leaders, and the fact that we know how to cook from scratch. And the Lord. Some days, I feel as if He is multiplying my food like the loaves and fishes… more and more people just keep coming through the door looking for food. I guess my kids are like your kids….It’s kind of fun, to be honest. My life is not boring,I’ll say that for sure!

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