I'm doing a 2 week wrap up since the holidays found me busy, sick, busy, sick, busy and I was unable to get this posted last Friday. I hope you all do not mind! Christmas was wonderful this year and most of the gifts we both gave and received were homemade items filled with lots of love and meaning. Those are the best kinds in my mind. :) Here are some of the ways we saved...
~Over the weekend, Jeff and I stopped at Goodwill while we were in town and I found another king sized fleece blanket (it looked brand new) just like the one I found last week, but this one is red. It was only $3.99!
~We also found some shirts for Jeff, 1 shirt for me, a cd that Jeff wanted and a few books at Goodwill.
~Monday I baked 2 loaves of Whole Wheat Oatmeal bread.
~Monday I also made some homemade breadcrumbs with the leftover bread from last week.
~Six batches of candy were made on Monday morning. These are all for gifts for family and friends.
~Jeff and I have been binge watching "Fixer Upper" on Netflix since Netflix will be dropping all their HGTV shows come January. I hate to see those shows go because they are some of our favorites.
~Jeff was able to help Jaysn and Rachel get their frozen pipes thawed out at their home. Calling a plumber was way too expensive and that's what parents are for right? To help their kids out in their time of need. 😉
~I've been working my points programs like a mad woman again. I really want to be able to have some Walmart gift cards to use for the after Christmas sales.
~I was able to get in on a few free offers for a Christian worship CD and for Weight Watcher's magazine.
~Tuesday we had high winds here and I was afraid we might lose our power. I got busy in the morning and made a ground turkey meatloaf and baked 6 potatoes. After our meal we still have some leftover meatloaf and 3 of the potatoes for another meal.
~I found a small package of breakfast sausages in our small above the refrigerator freezer. I pulled them out and stuck them in the refrigerator to thaw. We will have a breakfast for dinner meal later this week.
~Another Walmart gift card is on the way! I cashed out for a $25 card via Swagbucks.
~Our jug of honey had crystallized with the cold weather. I stuck it near the pellet stove to get it back to liquid form.
~I made 10 small loaves of Cranberry Orange Bread and a double batch of Texas Roadhouse Butter for gifts.
~Bradley and Isaiah came over to spend Friday afternoon with us while their parents got one of their Christmas presents. They bought them a miniature hamster and named it Roger. :)
~Since I was still recovering from that awful cold, I spent most of my days at home.
~In need of something healthy to eat for breakfasts, I cooked up a pot of steel cut oats and had those for several days adding some huckleberries to it that I pulled out of the freezer and just a touch of brown sugar.
~Saturday we did not go anywhere. I was worn out so we skipped the Christmas Eve services and stayed home and hot tubbed that evening. The weather was awful and the roads were bad so we watched some movies we borrowed from Jaysn and Rachel.
~Christmas was spent with our family. The morning and early afternoon were with Chris, Heather, Jeremy, Heather's parents and her grandparents. We had a potluck brunch and did a White Elephant gift exchange that was lots and lots of fun! We also exchanged our other gifts and were so blessed by the creativity and generosity of everyone. Some of the more creative ones were a snowglobe with our grandsons pictures in it, a book of animal and pet stories from the extended family all collected and then put in book form by Heather's grandmother Sandra, a beaded bracelet that my oldest grandson Bradley made for me, a great picture of our grandsons in sepia tones on a slice of wood, and gift baskets and bags filled with all kinds of goodies!
~Christmas evening we spent with Jaysn, Rachel, Jeremy, Joyce and Michelle (Rachel's mom and sister). We did a potluck dinner there with Jaysn and Rachel making the bulk of it. The highlight of the evening was Jaysn and Rachel revealing that they were having a baby boy! Steven David will be here in May! I am so glad that we got to find out together with Rachel's mom and sister! :) More wonderful gifts were exchanged including scarves and hats, gloves, homemade goodies, jams and jellies, gift cards and a hand thrown and painted bowl from Mexico that my cousin bought for me on his last trip there. We are beyond blessed!
~Monday we headed out to see one of our hanai daughters, Mollie, that is home for a few weeks before she moves to Arizona for a job. She is a traveling nurse. Her parents live right outside of town here and we had a wonderful visit with them, Mollie and her brother William. :)
~Tuesday was spent at home digging out from all the snow. The wind had blown it around quite a bit and we had large drifts in the driveway, backyard and walkways.
~Jeff pulled some leftover ham and a precooked rotisserie chicken out of the freezer to use in meals this week.
~While hot tubbing, Jeff and I planned out our menu for the week based on what we had on hand and came up with a plan for the rest of the month also. We are really going to try to just buy fresh produce, milk products and maybe a few other great deals but for the most part, eat out of the freezer and pantry for the rest of this month and January.
~I made 2 more loaves of Whole Wheat Oatmeal bread.
~We borrowed some books and movies from the library.
~Jeff was out Tuesday shoveling snow off the roof of our hot tub enclosure and the garage. The roof started bowing from all the heavy snow on the hot tub enclosure and Jeff was worried since the temperature started to heat up making the snow even heavier.
~I ran out of Whole Wheat Flour here in the house. Luckily we had a bag of it in the freezer that we had been given a few months ago.
~There was just a little ham leftover so I chopped it up, added some pickle relish and mayo and made it into a ham spread for my hubby's work dinner sandwiches.
~I ordered some supplements that we needed from Vitacost. I went through Swagbucks (hopefully it will credit this time), found one of the things I needed on a B1G1 half off sale and used a 20% off coupon code along with free shipping.
~Walmart's after Christmas clearance sales were not as good as they were in years past but I still managed to spend my $25 gift card there stocking up on Christmas themed Ziplock bags (I'll use them all year round, I could care less if they have snowflakes on them), other food gift bags, Ziplock storage containers, and yummy smelling candles. While there I also picked up some reduced priced pizzas in the deli section, some fresh produce and some reduced priced brat sausages. The cashier rang one of my pizzas up at full price so I got my money back on that.
~Safeway had a sale on their Rice a Roni for .59 a box, their milk prices were cheaper than Walmart, they had sugar on sale and their Seltzer water (for some reason it helps perk me up when I am starting to crash) was also on sale. I picked all those items up there.
~I did pick up a Chinese meal at the deli of another store and there was so much food that it gave me 2 meals!
~The thrift stores .10 clearance rack rewarded me with more clothes for Steven and some for me too. I also found some fun new puzzles for Bradley and Isaiah and an activity book for their homeschooling. I did find a calendar that I had originally gone in for too. ;) Oh yes, I also bought a Grammie Brag Book photo wallet to put all their pictures in and carry in my purse. 😍
~Swagbucks encraves or watch lists have been running in the background on my computer whenever it is on.
~I've gotten into the habit of wearing socks and house slippers (I love the ones from LLBean that I picked up at the thrift store) along with a sweater around the house. It really does allow me to keep the heat turned down a bit more.
~I love Dawn liquid dish soap. I was able to remove crayon marks from a canvas wallet using Dawn, some warm water and a little elbow grease.
~My dear friend picked something I needed up at the grocery store for me on Friday, thus saving me a 60 mile round trip to get 1 item. She was going into town to do her grocery shopping and asked if I needed anything. I do have great friends!
~Friday I made another double batch of homemade laundry detergent. I was getting a bit low and did not want to run out.
~We have another big snowstorm headed our way along with bitter cold temperatures and blowing winds coming this weekend and into next week so Jeff got more of the pellets that we burn in our pellet stove up on the deck and ready to bring into the house.
~I made a huge pan of elk burger and sour cream enchiladas using things from our freezers, fridge and pantry. It was a huge hit with both Jeff and I. :)
~My Walmart Beauty Box came in the mail and had a mascara in it that I have been wanting to try along with some other really good items...happy dance!
~Jeff and I have been enjoying the homemade candies that were made for us by Heather and her Aunt Cha Cha. We are trying to limit ourselves to a few a day. 😇
~Lots of money has been saved on gas by me limiting my trips out of town. It has been nice to be home for the most part this week.
I think we did pretty well. The best part was not feeling the pressure to spend money that we did not have. Yes, I did hit the after Christmas sales but only bought things that we actually would be using throughout the year (along with a few candles that I love and will either burn myself or give as future gifts). I'm trying to be kind to myself and not push myself too hard as I continue to get over that nasty cold. Each day now I am feeling stronger but know that if I overdo it, I'll set back my healing. I'm looking forward to a quiet and cozy long weekend since my hubby is off Monday too. With a new winter storm hitting this weekend, I think we will be spending a lot of time cuddled up watching movies and maybe even playing some Scrabble!