Category Archives: Saving Money

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–April 7, 2019

I had one morning with nice weather. I was able to work outside. Rob had collected quite a few bags of used coffee grounds over the winter from coffee shops. I weeded out most of my existing strawberry bed and added many of them to top-dress the berry bushes. Any little plants that were growing in the grass were transplanted into the bed. I still have a little ways to go, but need to wait for another nice day.

I worked some more on the raised bed project. I put a lot of coffee grounds in the first one, and then covered with some topsoil. I will plant my new strawberry starts in there when I can. This project is taking shape now, but still needs more work.

Our 1/2 pork was ready. We paid cut and wrap. Our friends gifted us the meat. It’s so nice to have it. What a blessing!

I got these 2 things free at Safeway this week. One was from the Monopoly game, and the other from my phone app.

I had a nice visit with my friend, Harnet. Her daughter was invited to a birthday party, so one of the things we did was take her to it. We got to visit and she enjoyed her time with the kids. Win-win!!!

It was a great activity for a rainy day!

We also went to a family birthday party at my daughter’s house.

I went to the library and was able to order in some books I needed for Alissa’s homeschool.

How did your week go?

thriving In My Thrifty Week–April 1, 2109

This week was all about family, friends and the beautiful Oregon coast. We spent quite a bit of time traveling back and forth, getting kids where they needed to be, and visiting, but in-between those drives, we had a lot of frugal fun. In truth, we even enjoyed the drives. The weather was mild and the spring flowers were blooming, the trees were budding, the grass was spring-green, and there were many days with blue skies and puffy clouds to look at as we travelled.

We camped for a few days last week with Patsy. We came home so she could go on her youth group service project trip. Rob and I went back to the beach for 2 nights alone. We came back on Tuesday to pick Patsy up and to get Lovana who had been picked up at the airport by friends and was spending time with them. We took both girls back down to the beach and loved having a few days to really get caught up with Lovana. Then, we came home and she went off with friends for a night, other friends for dinner the next day… get the idea! Sunday was her birthday, so we had a big party for her with both friends and family.

We enjoyed days of gorgeous sunshine, and days of steady, pouring rain. We stayed in the camper and at the campsite most of the time we were down at the beach. We didn’t go clamming, fishing or crabbing this trip. Instead, we rested and I sewed and read lots of books. We ate out one night when Rob and I were having our 2-night get-away. We went to a restaurant and ate seafood while enjoying some live music. We cooked the rest of the meals in the camper or packed them for the car rides. I enjoyed several nice walks on the beach. I even found a heart-shaped fossil in a rock!

Patsy had really been wanting to fly a kite. Rob dug out the kites we’ve had for over 30 years and took her to a beach with easy access for him so she could fly one. They broke a dowel (go figure–it was very old) and then they went to the hardware store and got a new one and Rob fixed the kite for a little over a dollar.

I did several things to make Lovana’s birthday special and not too stressful for me. First, when we came back home to collect children on Tuesday, I sent Rob to pick her up at our friends’ house, and I stayed back at our house and cleaned. Then, it stayed clean because no one was home:) On Friday, we put all the camping paraphernalia away, so on Saturday, I could concentrate on cooking.

She wanted an apron for her birthday. I made a couple of them in the camper, after she got there, so they would be the way she wanted them. I got the coffee fabric for the pockets from apron #1 at a yard sale. It was a scrap and I paid either 25 or 50 c for it. I was happy to get it, since she wants the aprons to wear in her work at the 2 coffee shops she works at on Maui. I used some fabric I’ve had for years for the base of both aprons. For the rest of her gift, Rob is taking her to Trader Joe’s for some food items she can’t get for a reasonable price over there in Hawaii. Food in general is very expensive over there, but some things are SUPER expensive. She brought an extra suitcase to fill with things from here.

We had several of our kids at the party, plus aunties and uncles, a family of friends and cousins. We ended up with a lot of people, and I was delighted that it was a nice day, so quite a few people could overflow outside. Our oldest daughter and her husband made it, as did Ja’Ana, who moved out a few weeks ago. All of the relatives who were on vacation made it as well, even my sister and Jake, who got bumped from their airplane ride back from vacation Saturday night and stayed an extra night in LA. Rob picked up the crew that returned at the airport Saturday night, but Ron and Michaela had to go pick Gail and Jake up Sunday morning, and they got here for the end of lunch. It was good that Rob put a little chicken and salmon in the cupboard for them–this crew was hungry! (I was like, “Why are you putting that plate of food in the cupboard, Rob?” —but he was so right! It was needed for them!) I made rice salad, green beans (home-canned), home-frozen corn, twice baked-potato casserole, one of my sisters brought broccoli salad, Rob did chicken and salmon on the BBQ, and I made mixed fruit crisp and chocolate birthday cake. Rob went out and bought some rolls from the bread outlet store yesterday and I chose not to shop at all. I simply ran out of time. I mowed the lawn instead, and we made out fine! I put out some seltzers that were in the garage, Rob found 2 bottles of soda pop out there behind some stuff and put those out, and I made lemonade from lemon juice from a bottle. None of it was fancy, but they ate and ate! There was plenty, but not a lot left over. At all!

I picked flowers from the yard to put on the table. The house was pretty full, so they kept getting moved around, out of the way of people’s elbows. I think I will enjoy them more this week when they are not in danger of getting knocked over!

One of our friends who came to the party asked me if I used 1-1 flour, and did I want some. Of course I did!!!! He actually had it in the car, and shortly walked in the house with 25 lbs!!! I thanked him profusely, and let him know I would be sharing some of it, which he was happy for me to do. It was given to him, and he doesn’t use it enough to finish off a bag that size, so I was the lucky recipient!

Lovana flies back to Hawaii Monday afternoon, and then our lives will return to routine. It’s been a whirlwind, but I’ve enjoyed the week tremendously.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week—March 24, 2019

This week, one of Patsy’s new daffodils bloomed! This past fall, she planted a few special ones amongst the yellow ones she planted the first fall we moved in here. We didn’t buy many, and they were from Winco, so I was hoping we would get a nice one or two. We were not disappointed. I notice there is another one like it about to bloom, too! Hopefully, they will multiply in time as well as the yellow ones do.

We finally got some seeds planted, and just today a few broccoli plants have popped up.

We camped for 3 nights at the beach, using the park pass. We enjoyed some exceptionally nice weather, for the Oregon coast. Patsy and I took 2 nice walks and she collected rocks. Our second walk was abruptly terminated when a sneaker wave filled my rubber boots. Then, we got a lot of cheap entertainment trying to dry out the boots:). And me! Rob made a contraption from duct tape and boards and we propped them up on that until the duct tape gave out and they collapsed. Then, he rigged up a paper plate between the 2 boots, put that over the heater in the camper, and conducted the air into each boot that way. We didn’t want to set rubber boots right on top of a heater vent. We wanted the heat to go inside. By last night, they were about dry.

We enjoyed our camp spot. We got near enough to the ocean that we could see it from the door of our camper when it was not blocked by another camper–so part of the time. It was a short walk to the beach from our site and was easy to see–I walked a few steps and soaked in the beauty a few times. Rob made a big fire, and he and Patsy sat by it a lot. They played cards. Rob roasted things over the fire. I had pre-cooked some things, cooked a lot of veggies and made salads in the camper.

I have a quilt that I started 15-20 years ago. Yes. Really. That long. It has lived in the camper for a few years now because sometimes that was the only time in an entire year I could find the time to quilt. This trip, I really made some progress on it while Patsy watched some DVD’s. We’ve been taking Mr. Jake camping the past few times, and there’s no quilting to be done when that boy is there! After all, how could I quilt with the table covered with Legos? :). This time, he’s on vacation with his family. He will get a turn later in the summer.

I finally have hope that this quilt may someday get finished. It took me quite a while to even figure out what needed to be done and find the parts and pieces, but once I did, the project started moving along. Everything still seems to be there so far!

I worked on my current quilt at home quite a bit this week as well, before we went camping. I have only 1 more 6″ square to complete of the 20 needed for the main body. Then, there is quite a bit more to do to make it larger–there are going to be 2 special rows down below, plus borders all around, but I’m really gaining on it.

We drove back this morning so Patsy could go on her Spring Break Service Project with the youth group. It’s just a couple of days long, but we didn’t want her to have to miss it.

Patsy has an interest in rocks, shells, and fossils. We found this interesting fossil-filled rock on one of our walks. She also collected 2 small rocks with fossils in them. We will hopefully see many more when we go back down to the beach. Last year, Rob and one of his best friends took her on a rock-hunting expedition. Maybe this will turn into a nice hobby for her–time will tell.

How did your week go?

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–March 17, 2019

The weather changed for the better this week. Rob was able to take his saw on a long pole and attack the apple tree.

It was so tall from years of not being pruned that most of the apples were unreachable last year. He stood in one place and severely pruned it while I hauled the branches away into the garden where they will be further broken down and removed over time.

You can see that most of the tree ended up in the garden. Now, it has a chance to re-grow. We did notice that the trunk itself is quite rotten, so we are not sure it it will live for long anyway, but it now has a chance to be useful for a few more years.

I will admit that I was a bit stiff this morning, but it feels so good to get stage 1 of a big project done.

Rob found more free boards and we cut them up for fire-starting. It’s nice to not have to skimp on the boards because they get the fire going so easily each morning. Today was the first day since last fall that we did not build a fire as it was quite warm here. I know we have many more “fire-building” days this spring though, so it’s great to have more kindling.

I received the southwestern beans and the oat milk for free when I did my shopping. All of the gluten-free products were a gift from friends. Wow! It was so nice of them to think of us. We really appreciate it.

I did quite a bit of grocery shopping this week. I am getting the camper ready for camping, as we will go later in the month. I always keep a good pantry out there, but there are always things I’ve completely cleaned out at the end of camping season that need to be replenished every spring. There are also things I’ve “robbed” throughout the year when I run out of an item in the house. One thing I did was empty the little freezer out there, and used a bunch of the items that had been in there since October. We save a lot of money by stocking the camper well. Little stores in small towns are usually what are found near campgrounds, and are generally much more expensive than what I can buy food for on sale at my regular stores around here, so we just buy a few items if we really need them while we are camping.

I got 2-lb bags of shredded cheese for $3.99 using a digital coupon. I bought 5.

The biggest bargain was some Tyson frozen chicken breasts Rob scored. I had been to Fred Meyers looking for the 5-lb bags that were in the ad for $9.99. I had a $2.50 Ibotta rebate on them, which would have made them $1.50/lb, a really good price around here. They didn’t have any. Rob called around, found some at a different location, and went to get them for me. When he got there, the meat manager said she had WAY too many and was going to mark them down for him. To his amazement, she marked them down to $4.99/bag, and said he could take all he wanted, she needed to reduce her inventory! He took 12. I could do the rebate on 5. When all was said and done, it worked out to about 79c/lb. Amazing! We are going to can some, as we’ve used a lot of what we canned last summer. We are also on the schedule to feed the college group at church in early April. They will get chicken! Their group has a budget for these meals, and we will certainly be able to stay under it this month for them:).

I used our YMCA membership 2 times this week. I got lots of free exercise working in the yard.

We wanted to do something special with Patsy on Friday after school, since we’ve been spending so much time with my niece and nephew. We didn’t want to break the bank, but still wanted it to feel special for her. So, first we took her for a haircut at Supercuts (one of those walk-in inexpensive salons). I have many talents, haircutting is not one of them. Ask any of the 8 children. Then, we took her to Safeway, where I got round 1 of my groceries and we bought chips. We also let her have all of the Monopoly tickets, as she likes opening them and putting them on the board. While at Safeway, we bought some nail polish remover and a new bottle of polish and rented 2 Redbox movies. At home, we watched the movies, painted our nails (except Rob, who declined the offer), and ate chips (except Rob, who declined that offer, too). Then, I let her enter all the Monopoly 2nd chance codes into my phone, something I’ve never wanted to do before, but she did, so it was a simple fun activity for her. She earned some reward points, which didn’t amount to much, but I’m glad she had fun. The next morning we took her swimming for a little bit, and when Rob went for the chicken, she went too, and he got her some ice cream. I think she enjoyed her weekend.

Thriving In My Thrifty WEek, even when my hair’s sticking up! March 10, 2019

Some weeks, I feel like these crocus–trying to keep my self blooming in the snow! This week was a bit like that. We were so very busy, I hardly had time to breathe. It was also a bit difficult.

This morning, I got up reluctantly. I was tired from a week that was busier than usual, and it was compounded by the time change. I sleepy stumbled into the kitchen, and started my morning routine–food, meds, shower—you get the idea. I put on a warm sweater and some pants, as it was very cold and frosty outside and it takes a long time for the van to warm up. As I was gathering myself up, Rob mentioned that my hair was sticking up. I smoothed it down with my hand, and encouraged the girls to get into the van. Michaela spent a couple of nights here, so she was needing to gather her things as well.

As we drove down the road towards church, on time, but not early, voices from the backseat informed me that my hair was STILL sticking up, and they thought I should do something about it. Hmmm. I thought I already did, but a glance in the mirror showed how ineffective my previous efforts were. What to do? My eyes lit on Rob’s water container from the previous day. It was almost empty, but I only needed a tiny bit on my hand to smooth that hair down with, right?

Let me say right now that pouring water from a Hydroflask onto your hand in a moving van is not the best idea. At all! Much to my shock, icy cold water rushed out of the bottle, quickly overflowed my hand and poured onto my pants, giving my quite a shock! I now had a soaking wet, icy-cold leg. The van heater was still ineffectually heating up the interior after the frosty, cold night, so it did not dry my leg. The little blanket we call “Car Blankie” since it has lived in the van for many years, did a little better, as I sopped up the ice water the best I could. Of course, Rob offered to take me home to change, but I figured my long outer sweater would cover the wet place until it dried, and we were none too early:). I will say, I did smooth down my hair and it stayed put during church. I also will say that I was no longer sleepy and I likely got more out of church than I might have otherwise! Still, I would not recommend the experience to anyone:). I’d say some hot tea, Diet Coke, or coffee would be a much more pleasant way to get the morning going. I did have one of the more memorable rides to church I’ve had in a while, but I’ll happily forgo that and have a nice, boring ride next week!

So, what did we do to keep thrifty and thrive this week?

Rob cleaned out the greenhouse and set up the heat mat. I hope to plant seeds soon. It’s been so cold that I feel like I would have had to spend a fortune on electricity to run space heaters to warm it enough to grow plants, but now I need to start things or there won’t be time for them to grow. I ordered from both Pinetree Garden Seeds and Territorial Seed Company a little while back and both orders arrived. I had a lot left over from last year, because I purposely only used 1/2 packets of things like peppers and tomatoes, and will start the other 1/2 packets this year.

Rob and I cooked over at my sister’s house 2 evenings. One night, he made a panko/parmesan crusted chicken. Some ate it with noodles, some with pasta sauce, some plain. We had salad, and beans as well. Another night, we made tacos. We used food from there and here to make up the meals we shared. We were over there much more than normal, as they were working/had appointments more than usual, and we needed to build up extra hours for when they are gone at the end of the month. We are so grateful that we could do that, as it would have been very difficult to go without that income! They were grateful, too, as it helped their week out as well.

One night at home, I made a quinoa pilaf and a stir-fry. I used up a can of baby corn that has been lurking in the pantry for literally years. It was time, and was fun to eat something different.

I made a recipe from a magazine, but changed things up so much that it was a whole new recipe. It tasted a lot like Pad Thai when I got done. It was really, really good, and loaded with all kinds of veggies.

I took Michaela swimming once, and Rob took her twice, using our YMCA membership. In the beginning, they allowed us to put her on our membership because the kids are with us so much, which was really nice of them. She wanted to watch a movie, so Rob took her. She has money for things she does, and Rob got in for free as her Personal Support Worker. That theater does that for special needs kids, which is very nice of them, I think. Patsy had a gift card from Christmas and used that for her ticket, and used both girls used their own money for their snacks. So, all Rob had to pay for was a little popcorn, which he shared with them, but he almost had a heart attack at how much that cost! (Good thing his heart is so healthy!). Another thing he did to keep her occupied this weekend was to take her out to lunch. At Costco. It didn’t cost much, and she loves to eat there. She had a hot dog.

On Friday, Jake had oral surgery to remove 7 teeth. There simply wasn’t room in there for them all. Some were baby teeth, but some were too-crowded permanent ones. He didn’t want any pictures taken the day of the surgery, or afterwards, so I honored that request. He is miserable. I helped his Dad take care of him all day Friday, and we brought Michaela home for the last 2 nights, and kept her busy. She can’t handle him being upset or crying. The plan was originally for me to bring him home this afternoon, but quickly determined when we stopped by for him after church that he is not up for it. I will go over there after while and see if he will let his Mama have a little break. I can fetch things for him, or read, or whatever. They’ve all been up over there for most of the last 2 nights. He’s been crying a lot. We are all in distress over it. He is not able to reason his way through the fact that it does hurt, but it will feel better each day. He just knows it hurts. In the meanwhile, he is not eating much at all–just a few bites of Jello and some egg flower soup from their favorite Chinese restaurant. I know this, too, shall pass. It’s just hard to watch for all of us who love him so much.

I got 1/2 of my house chore list done yesterday. It’s better than none.

Needless to say, I didn’t get much done on my quilt. I did, however, pass a few levels on my Farm Heroes Saga game on my I-Pad while waiting for Jake to come out of surgery. Not much of an accomplishment, but some weeks, you take what you get!

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–March 3, 2019

I have been working on quilt squares. Some were blocks from the shop hop, and some are ones I made from extra fabric we bought. I owned one fat quarter of batik fabric before this shop hop, and am incorporating it into the blocks. I decided I wanted 20 squares. I’ve completed 12 or 14 so far and have a couple in progress.

We spent time with both Jake and Michaela. I took them to the library and got a book about science experiments. Uncle helped Jake figure out how to make an “airplane” from straws and loops of paper.

It flew well!

I took Michaela shopping for personal hygiene supplies. Her mom sent a list, and we got all of the things. We absolutely took our time, and I was very pleased with how she did. She thought about each item and looked at many, many choices and decided which kind or smell she wanted of things like deodorant or toothpaste. Then, I took her for a milkshake. We had a good time. It was a good outing, even though it doesn’t sound glamerous.

This week, all the kids missed 2 days of school, due to snow, and Rob was down for a couple of days after a medical test. (He’s great, by the way!). Everyone was getting a little stir-crazy. On Saturday, Rob and I took Patsy and Jake for a long drive. Michaela had other things to do that day with her Dad. We found a town where the snow was still on the ground and Jake enjoyed getting out of the car and throwing some, throwing sticks into this little creek, and generally running around for a bit.

The sunny, but chilly, day was so nice after the snow.

We happened upon a railroad museum on our drive. I let Jake climb on the railroad cars. He really enjoyed it. We didn’t actually go inside the museum. We might do that another day.

Rob picked up some more boards from the free piles at the wood places. We spent some time chopping them up and now our containers are full again. They work so great to start fires.

In the next 2 weeks to come, we will be working many, many hours with the kids. Their parents are working extra this week and next, and have some appointments. Therefore, we will work extra this week and next. This is good timing, as we can clock in extra hours now to make up for when they are gone over spring break later in the month. I can’t say I’ll have much time for quilting this week, but I will say life is never boring around here!

Thriving In My thrifty Week–February 25, 2019

After one of the mildest winters we’ve had for a while, February is breaking records for being cold and wet! We woke up to snow falling this morning. My brave crocuses are still blooming, through it all. The schools are closed today, but I can tell it’s melting already.

It’s so beautiful, I get a lot of free entertainment just looking out the window.

The birds are happily eating the food Rob put out for them. It’s fun to watch them, too. As silly as it sounds, we got a few minutes of pure entertainment the other morning watching a squirrel who had somehow dropped down onto the top of one of those birdhouses pictured in the snow picture above. We watched him for a good 10 minutes while he figured how to get down off of there, taking flying leaps back and forth between the birdhouses, and them finally leaping down to the little awning roof and at last jumping down to the garden, where he grabbed a quick snack of compost and ran off.

We went to a couple of yard sales this week. Rob got a tool he needed for very little money, and I got a bunch of quilt shop fat quarters for 50c each, as well as a several-yard piece of muslin for $1.00. At the one he went to, he found a container of embroidery floss for $5. There must be 75-100 skeins in there. Patsy’s already been working on her towels with some of it.

I sewed all the blocks I got for free at the shop hop, except for one that I simply don’t know how to do. I also am using the extra fabric we bought to make some additional blocks, since I didn’t go to all the shops. I have a good plan for how I want to finish the quilt, and got fabric to make the strips between the blocks.

We had a simple family birthday party for our son, consisting of cupcakes, ice cream and home-make hamburgers. We did it over at my sister’s house as part of our normal family Sunday dinner, and kept it very small and simple. He was pleased.

We got a chicken at Costco, ate it, and made broth from the bones. We used some of our tax return to really stock up on things like Ziplock bags, vitamins, and some food items. We also bought a new blanket for our bed. We had been commenting that one of ours was literally in tatters after 36 years of using it. When we found a blanket for $17 at Costco, we grabbed it and simply asked each other why it had taken us so long to replace the other one!

I made gluten-free pizza. It did not rise as it should. We ate it anyway, but it wasn’t stellar. Rather than throwing out my yeast and buying fresh, I put some in a measuring cup with warm water and a little honey and proofed it. It was fine. As I suspected, I clearly killed my yeast the first time by using water that was too hot.

I made 2 crusts, par-baked them for 5 minutes, and froze them for quick dinners in the future.

How did your week go?

Thriving in my Thrifty Week–February 17, 2019

We have Jake and Michaela all weekend, until Monday night. Their parents are helping at a high school church retreat, which our daughter is attending. I’m sure they are having a good time, and I know we are! Jake brought the Frustration game in from the camper. After roping various ones into playing with him, he then set up his Lego Star Wars guys and played with them for quite a while. He was so cute, counting off their moves and popping the dice popper for each of them.

I had a friend and her daughter stay in the “guesthouse” Saturday night. We save a lot of money by using our camper as a guesthouse. Our out-of-town friends don’t have to pay for hotels, and we get to have them close so we can visit for every possible moment! It was very fun to swap “I remember” stories with her daughter. We have a lot of great memories from when this now-adult young lady was little…lots of fun to reminisce. The kids roped them into playing Yahtzee, we had dinner, and all too soon, they had to head back home very early Sunday morning. This has been my lucky month–this is the 2nd friend I’ve gotten to spend time with that I seldom get to see!

We’ve been reading library books, and books we own. I returned the one that I could not renew only 1 day late, so I will only have to pay for 1 day of being late. I was able to renew the rest in time and did not have to pay.

We watched U-Tube videos of Steve Green’s “Hide Them In My Heart” movies. Jake was trying to remember a verse put to music, and we found several there for free. He sang in church twice yesterday, with the kids’ choir he recently joined, so we were there bright and early. Rob took him back to practice last night. We have been taking turns with his other family members so he can go and hopefully have a good experience. He was very uncertain about going, but seems to be enjoying it now that he is getting used to it.

I finished the baby quilt I started and completed 2 of the 6″ blocks I got for free from the quilt shop hop.

I cooked quite a bit, and devoted one free morning to putting a few things into the freezer for quick meals.

I made Valentine’s treats for the kids that were cute, but inexpensive.

This week was an ordinary week, full of ordinary days. Sometimes those are the best kind. How about yours?

thriving in my thrifty week–february 10, 2019

We enjoyed watching the birds this week during the snowy days we were excited to experience. Rob’s been putting bird seed out for them each day, and lots of them are coming to the bird feeder and the deck outside our dining room window.

Because we rarely get snow, we love looking at it. The kids had no school on Tuesday, then it all melted. There were a few snow showers during the week on various days, and this morning, Sunday, all services at church was delayed until 11 to let what fell last night melt off. It had frozen into ice on the roads. It’s all supposed to be back to rain tomorrow.

Rob made sure everything was weather-proofed.

Jake and Rob took the time to watch Star Wars.

I have been working on a baby quilt for Rob’s nephew’s upcoming baby. I was able to use some fabric I’ve had for a long time, and bought the rest of what I needed to finish. I’m almost done.

While I was at the quilt shop getting the batting and backing, they were having a Shop Hop event. So I was given a kit for a 6″ block and given a list of other quilt shops I could visit and get other 6″block kits. I went to the 2 other ones that were near by, but am not sure if I will have the time to visit any of the others, as they are not in our town. Still, I’m excited to get back into quilting, as I’ve taken a long break from it. In fact, I’m rusty and had to rip out a lot, but the project is looking good now. I just finished machine quilting it, which saved me quite a bit of money from having it done by someone. However, I’m really rusty on that–Jake’s blanket was the last one I did–and that was 11 years ago. Now I need to figure out the binding. Maybe I’ll have pictures in a few days:).

How did your week go? Are you getting any projects done during this winter weather?

thriving in my thrifty week–february 3, 2019

Rob was able to scrounge up a barrel, and box and a bin full of nice wood scraps, perfect for starting fires in the morning. There are wood places in town that give away scraps, and he was fortunate one day in finding these great ones. We are happily burning the wood our friends brought us last fall, and not running the furnace at all.

Rob did our taxes himself this year. He paid a bit through Turbo Tax, but it was way less expensive than what we usually pay our tax place to do them. One of the reasons this was possible was because our taxes were much less complicated than they have been before. We love our tax place, so this wasn’t an easy decision, but he thought he’d try and see how it went. It went well.

I’m working on this area. The camper could use more room. It’s parked on a concrete slab. When you put the step down, it is often balanced on the concrete edgers of the flowerbed and you have to walk on irises or mud when you want to go in. I want the steps to go down properly. Once I get the flowerbed removed, I’m going to put gravel down. Then, the step can go down and we won’t get muddy or wet when we go in the door. We use the camper fridge as an extra fridge, and the camper itself as a guest house, so we use it in-between trips.

I also wanted the dirt for another project. Rob built these 2 raised bed frames. I dug up an old rose, and chopped down a dying rhododendron, and we put the frames in place. I covered the bottom of the beds with cardboard I recycled from boxes to discourage weeds and grass from growing up into the new box. I covered the cardboard with the dirt. I will get most of the frames filled in with the old flowerbed dirt and will finish up with purchased bags of topsoil, saving me a bundle. We had a couple of nice days, and I worked when in could, in-between things. Before I stopped, I got both raised beds about 1/2 full, and only have about 10 feet left of the flowerbed to remove. I have to take a break for a few days, I think, as we are expecting some inclement weather, but I’ll get back to it soon. I plan to plant some herbs and strawberries in there this spring. The herbs will be close to the kitchen here, so easier to use. I’ll show pictures when I finish, but it will be a few weeks before I can plant anything.

Friends helped Rob move his last 2 pieces of shop equipment down to this house. It was HIGH time we got them from my brother-in-law and sister’s farm:). It is so encouraging that he was able to clean the shop enough that they will now fit in there. We are so thankful for the help and had a great visit with our friends. It was so great to get caught up with them. He’s got projects he wants to build and now he can!

I did lots of cooking. I went shopping and stocked up on some good deals for my pantry, and bought produce, as usual. I’ve noticed produce has taken quite a jump in price over the past few weeks, so I’ll continue relying on my preserved food quite a bit to supplement the fresh, but Rob will still be getting all the produce he wants.

I got some marked-down things at Fred Meyers. The best deal was candy coating (2 white chocolate and 2 chocolate) for 49c each. I am saving them for when I want to do some chocolate-dipped strawberries someday. I put them out in the shop. They should be safe there:). From me. And anyone else who might eat them:). For now!

Rob finally bought a pair of pants that are 4 inches smaller than he’s been wearing, at the Union Gospel Mission thrift store. He paid $10. They are already too big, but he will wear them for a while anyway. We will be searching for the next size down. He figures he doesn’t need many in each size, and would like to not spend any money on this project, but it’s getting ridiculous, folks, so I’m trying to convince him to buy at least a few things along the way! Hopefully, we will find some more thrift store finds.

They are threatening snow here in the morning. Time will tell if it materializes or not. That will affect my week if it does snow, as even an inch paralyzes our area. (I know, I know….don’t laugh too hard some of you!). But, we are snug in our little house, with lots of firewood and food, and library books to read….it doesn’t sound all bad!

It turned out to be a great week. How did your week go?