Thriving In My Thrifty Week-Feb. 12, 2024

I got to do some fun baking this past week. First, they were doing some kind of birthday celebration at the Young Adult group, so I did a couple kinds of cupcakes for that.

We also celebrated a couple of family birthdays yesterday, so I made cake for that. To make things simpler, I made all the cake and cupcakes last Tuesday and froze the ones I needed for the family party. I frosted them Saturday, after I defrosted them.

I soaked a large amount of pinto beans.

I cooked some and made chili and froze a baggie for later.

I made a huge crockpot of refried beans from many of them, along with peppers and onions from my freezer. I also pulled 8 lbs of hamburger from the freezers and made taco meat. Much of this I had gathered on super sales from Safeway and some was from the 1/4 beef we purchased last fall. When you volunteer at the food pantry, you can take whatever bread products you can use. I got quite a few packages of tortillas, even some gluten free ones when we were there last Saturday. That, plus cupcakes, was sent to the Young Adult meeting Tuesday. Other people brought taco toppings and sides. They had around 40 there this time….you just never know. There were still leftovers, which we ate. I also pulled out some refried beans and froze 3 cartons because I purposely made extra for that purpose. I was happy there was some left. When attendance ranges from 25-40, it’s hard to gauge what will be consumed on any given week. This was a week where I had volunteered to make extra because I had this burger I wanted to use up. This week, my part is much simpler since there are others helping out, too.

We used our membership to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and took our nephew and grandson.

As always, we all had a great time.

The play structure is very cool and both boys enjoyed playing for quite a while. Malcolm is too small to climb up the big slide, but Jake went up multiple times.

Malcolm had plenty to do on a smaller slide and a little fake mountain and these bouncy leaves. After we visited the aquarium, we took the boys out for lunch and to a candy store. It’s kind of a tradition to get a few pieces of taffy and let them choose candy and they really enjoy it when we do that.

We worked a lot of hours over the past couple of weeks, which kept us busy thinking up fun activities to keep everyone busy. We are always on the lookout for low-cost, but fun activities to do with the kids. Almost every night, when our nephew was here, we had a popcorn “party” which simply means I made popcorn and he ate it while he played his Switch. Easy-peasy. There was a free activity at a near-by center where he could play electronic games, do Legos, or play games, so we did that one day. Even a trip to Safeway where he could get a free cookie is a fun activity for him. Rob took him to the library one day and he chose books. They also went on a drive, searching for Pokemon on his phone. The aquarium was our “big wow” because our nephew didn’t have school one day and we wanted something that filled hours and hours and was fun.

I continued using things from the pantry and cupboards and had to go put away my basket of emptied jars more than once, which is always a good sign that I’m using things up the way I want to. I went through the potatoes I had in the garage and threw away the few that were spoiling and used a lot of what was left. We made Swiss Steak with mashed potatoes, potato salad, fried potatoes and threw some in soup. Rob made bacon-wrapped pork bites after we had them at our oldest daughter’s house when we went there for lunch last weekend. We also had some pretty lame meals because we were busy, such as pieces of lunchmeat on a plate with other odds and ends from the fridge, salad with the last of a head of lettuce and a jar of giardinera stirred in because I was out of toppings (actually pretty good), leftovers that did not go together AT ALL, the same leftovers 3 days in a row because it was easy…..what can I say? We all got fed. It all worked out:)

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