Sunday, October 29, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/21-10/27 2017

When somebody steals your blankie and your spot.

   Well it has been another interesting week.  I was doing so well until I made an unplanned trip to Costco.  Other than that, I think I did really well in the frugality department. πŸ˜‰ I had lots of fun spending time with friends and family this week as we celebrated Jaysn's birthday and I got a girls day with my neighbor/hanai sister Shannon.  All in all it has been a great week that has left me feeling happy and very blessed!  Onto the savings...

~Saturday we decided to do one of the things on our Fall Bucket List and headed to the local Farmer's Market.  I was thrilled when I found Poha (ground cherries) there and bought some of those and some pears.
~Our microwave had died on Friday so we dropped it off at the recycling center and they were having a customer appreciation BBQ so we got a free lunch along with free coffee, cookies and hot cocoa,
~We found a replacement microwave oven in great and clean shape that looks like it was barely used at one of the local thrift stores (it even came with it's manual).  It is an older model but we have found that they are way better made than the newer ones and the seal is good and tight.  We bought that and a shirt that was on clearance there for a grand total of $10.50.
~We found some nice Winter snow boots for Isaiah at the Salvation Army thrift store for $3.98.  He is growing so quickly and his boots that he has now just barely fit.
~We stopped at Winco and bought some crackers, family sized brownie mixes that were on sale for .88 each (that is a great stock up price so I bought 4 since I still have a few in the pantry already) , and some celery.
~Saturday night we watched the movie on Netflix, had a "snack dinner" of cheese, crackers and sausage and hot tubbed.

~Sunday, I made us a really nice dinner of lamb chops (that I had bought awhile back at a reduced price), baked potatoes, green beans and acorn squash. I also had a glass of wine with it.
~Monday found me baking more bread for my hubby and making croutons with the leftover bread from last week.
~Monday I also stayed home and Jeff ran a few errands here in town for us.  He worked on cleaning out more of the front gardens and hauled off a bunch of yard waste to our free yard waste recycling area.
~I harvested a few rather confused raspberries off our plants and shared some with our neighbor.
~I cashed in my points at Swagbucks for a Cracker Barrel gift card and got it at a discount too.  I am trying to alternate Walmart and other gift cards so that we can have some fun eating out and not pay much out of pocket over the holidays or when we find ourselves up in the bog city. πŸ˜‰
~Dinner Monday night was turkey (previously cooked and then frozen), stuffing, leftover green beans and leftover acorn squash.  We also had some ice cream for dessert. Oh yes, I had a glass of wine with dinner too from the bottle that I opened the previous night.
~I watched more of my favorite shows online.
~Tuesday I placed an order at Vitacost going through the link at Swagbucks so that I would get 3 Swagbucks per $ spent.  I also hit a buy 1 get one half off sale, got a free product (for circulation and will have Jeff try that and see if it helps him), got $10 off and also free shipping.
~We had soup for dinner on Tuesday night.  Jeff had homemade split pea and I had some clam chowder.  We finished the rest of the blueberry coffee cake that I made last Friday for dessert.
~Wednesday was our oldest son Jaysn's 30th birthday! 😁Finances are a bit tight and I was racking my brain trying to figure out a gift for him.  It finally dawned on me that he loved my banana bread and is always thrilled when I give him some.  I made him a HUGE loaf and dug a birthday card out of my greeting card stash.

~After popping the banana bread in the oven to bake, I cooked up some pork shumai for lunch for myself.  I was craving Chinese food and found these in the freezer.
~Rachel had the whole family over for dinner to celebrate Jaysn's birthday (after she had worked all day at her house cleaning job).
~Thursday my friend/hanai sister called me and asked if I wanted to go to Costco with her.  I knew if I went it would totally blow my October Grocery Budget Challenge, but I am weak and went anyway...what can I say, we were taking her adorable puppy with us and I was craving some girl time.  I was good about staying within my set "Costco" budget though.
~Shannon gifted me with one of those gigantic multipacks of toilet paper.  She also insisted on buying me lunch.  She is one amazing friend.
~We were gifted a bunch of food while Jeff did our volunteer work. 
~I made a large salad for dinner on Thursday using some of the Romaine lettuce and some leftover turkey slices.
~Friday I made 2 loaves of bread and some cookies.  We are going on a picnic on Saturday so I needed these items for them.
~By Friday afternoon, I was in a big fibro flare so I just pulled some frozen stuff out of the inside freezer for dinner.  Tamales and leftovers are on the menu for dinner now.
~I hot tubbed Friday night hoping to ease my tired muscles.
~I found a new series on Netflix called "Land Girls" that I have been enjoying watching".  It is based during the Second World War in Great Britain.  

   As the days grow shorter and the nights are longer I find myself trying to enjoy every minute of the glorious colors of Fall during the day and curling up in the evening in my recliner with a fuzzy throw on my lap along with a very happy Doofy cat cuddling in with me.  For whatever reason, my insomnia gets worse during the colder months so I also find myself dozing off during the day at times.  Such is my life, but overall it is a good life. 😊

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I Promised Him a Girlfriend


Doofy cat in one of his rare calm moments

   Doofy has been a bachelor for far too long and he wanted a girlfriend really badly.  I know because he told me so.  My hubby didn't believe me but he has no idea the deep and long conversations that Doofy and I have late at night when he is gone at work. πŸ˜‰ I have been begging, on Doofy's behalf of course, for us to bring another kitty into our home to love and to give Doofy the desire of his heart because that is what good parents of fur babies do right?  Well hubby would not budge...nope, not doing it.  "No more kitties" and he stuck to his guns that Doofy did not need a girlfriend.  I waited, albeit not patiently for just the right time to bring the subject up birthday maybe.  Again, cruelly shot down. πŸ˜‰  So I waited and got the little boys onboard...


   Fast forward to two months ago.  Chris and Heather sold their home and moved into a rental for about 2 years while they save more money and build a home on the lot they are buying.  They have 3 cats and needed homes for them since they cannot have indoor kitties at their rental and if left outside, the cats would be easy prey for coyotes or possibly killed by the other very territorial cat that lives a house down from them.  I offered to take in one of the cats.  Hubby reluctantly agreed because a. he liked that cat and b. because it was family that was asking.  As closing on the house got closer, they realized that they could not find a home for one of the other cats so Chris asked if we could take 2 of the cats.  I held my breath and waited while I saw the look on my hubby's face... I fully expected him to say no but he surprised me and said yes we would.  I was floored!  The other cat that we also took is one they found as a stray kitten and that I had wanted before we even got Doofy.  They kept her because the little boys fell in love and they found her on the day they had to give up one of their dogs who was not proving to be family friendly.  


   Midgey and Patches are now living with us for 2 years.  I kept my promise to Doofy and with not just one but two girlfriends! The adjustment has not been easy though.  The ladies kind of took over. Midgey is extremely affectionate and wants to sleep with Jeff and I.  Doofy has been chased off the bed numerous times by her.  My boy is not happy about that at all...he wants to sleep with mommy.  They are finally getting to the point where they are able to share the bed as long as one sleeps on one side of me and the other stays on the opposite side.  Patches will let the dog near her but if Doofy gets close he is met with growls and hisses.  I think he was hoping for kisses, but she apparently likes to play really hard to get.  I will give Doofy credit though, he does not give up easily and is determined to win them over.  Meanwhile, I am making sure to give him lots of extra lovies and treats too along with his girlfriends.  On a side note, these ladies are holding their own with Doofy and that is not a bad thing at all.   I do keep a squirt bottle ready though, just in case things need to be "cooled down" a bit.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October 2017 Grocery Challenge Update #3

At our last check in, I had a remaining $45.83 in my budget for the rest of the month.  My plan was to just buy things we needed or great stock up items, but as you can see by the picture above, I caved in and got some treat items.  What can I say, I was in need of some comfort foods since my last grocery challenge update post.  I did not blow the budget though! πŸ˜‰

So here is a breakdown of what I bought and why:

Walmart~ I bought all of the above that you see in the picture.  We needed more popcorn, the donuts were a craving and the York Peppermint Patties were a nice treat at the reduced price of .20 each.  Plus, my hubby had taken a mini vacations so we indulged in some goodies. Total cost $ $5.23

Farmer's Market~One of the things on my Fall bucket list was to go to Farmer's Market.  I was thrilled to find Pohas there.  You might know them as ground cherries.  These were fruits that I ate as a child and have not found for years now.  Of course I had to get some!  I also found pears there (way overpriced but I believe in supporting local organic farmers so I bought them).  Total cost $3.30

Winco~I bought 2 boxes of Wheat Thins (we were completely out of crackers), some celery (we use a lot celery) and 4 boxes of Pilsbury Family Size Brownie mixes @ .88 each.  That is a stock up price for me and makes for a quick dessert when I need one in a hurry.  Total cost $8.33

So $45.83-$3.30-$8.33-$5.23 leaves me with a grand total of  $28.97 left for the remainder of the month.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/14-10/20 2017


   I know this post is late again but I took four days off while my hubby and I had a mini staycation and stayed offline for the most part.  It was a much needed and welcomed break from all the craziness in the world and in our lives.  When I came back online I found out that 2 family friends had passed away and that set me back a bit also.  If I had not had that time of just enjoying my hubby's company and getting to see the little boys and their parents, along with our hanai son Mark and then some friends over the weekend, I think I would have honestly been in a bad way today. Thank you everyone who took the time to comment on my last blog post...I will be answering all of you.  I appreciate your suggestions and took them all to heart.  Thus the break from the computer...  You all rock!  Onto the savings...

~Saturday evening I found out that Jaysn, Rachel, baby Steven and Rachel's cousin were on their way out to our house to hot tub.  I had just gotten dinner for Jeff and I in the oven so I quickly ran out to the freezer and got more bratwurst out, thawed it in the microwave and cut up and seasoned more sweet potatoes.  I got it all in the oven and they showed up 15 minutes later.  We visited, they took Caesar for a walk while I kept baby here, we had dinner and then they hot tubbed. :) It was a really nice evening and Jeff and I topped it off by hot tubbing ourselves after everyone left.  I am so glad for a full freezer and pantry so I could just add to what I already was making for dinner.
~Sunday we ran into town to pick up some groceries, go to lunch and go to Goodwill.  I had to drop off a donation so we got a 20% off 1 item coupon.  While there I looked for and found snow bibs for the little boys, a new jacket for Isaiah who needed a warm waterproof one to play in the snow with and a snowsuit for baby Steven.  I then found a really nice Eddie Bauer ski jacket type winter coat for me for $12.99 (used the 20% off coupon on this) that my research shows me retailed for over $200, a B Makowsky purse for $9.98 (both were on the new racks that just came out of the back and had not been put on the racks yet), some brand new earrings for $1.99 (Christmas gift for someone), and a bunch of new Thanksgiving themed paper plates and napkins that I bought for our family Thanksgiving at Heather's place this year.

~I picked up some boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.67 a pound, 2 gallons of milk for $1.77 a pound, some yogurt and bananas at .37 a pound.  I froze most of the chicken breasts for future meals 1 breast per bag since we usually only use 1 per meal.
~We watched the movie "Miss Congeniality" on Netflix
~Monday I made 3 loaves of banana bread and 2 loaves of sandwich bread.

~I made a crockpot full of Mexican Chicken using 2 chicken breasts that I shredded once cooked, some corn, onion, chicken broth and taco seasoning.  I served this over rice for lunch and still had lots left over.
~Jeff took one of the loaves of banana bread down as a thank you gift to our neighbor Ray, who loaned Jeff  his roofing nail gun so Jeff could get the roof done on Jaysn and Rachel's back porch done quickly.
~Jeff worked on getting the front veggie garden all cleaned out and ready for Winter.
~I harvested some kale from the garden.
~Jeff made us grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner since I had overdone it earlier and was really sore.

~Tuesday I was in "slug mode" since I overdid it the day before.  The good thing is that it kept me home so no gas used in my car.  That's a savings right? πŸ˜„
~I'm working my points programs and this week is a good one for Swagbucks since they had ISpy Tuesday and a special code day on Wednesday.
~I made us a nice dinner of Teriyaki Meatloaf (venison was free from Chris), leftover rice from the night before and tomatoes from our garden.
~Wednesday Jeff and I ran into town since I was having a panic attack and needed to get out for awhile. We found a few things at the thrift store.  They had their .10 sale rack and I found 2 shirts for me and a pair of pants for Steven.  Jeff found 2 cds by one of my favorite Hawaiian artists.  We also found 2 books. :)
~We made another grocery shopping trip to Walmart and bought popcorn, doughnuts (reduced price) and got 2 York Peppermint Patties that were marked down to .20 each.

~Thursday we went to see Micah Tyler, We Are Messengers and Big Daddy Weave in concert.  They were all amazing and it was a wonderful night of worship!  I was so glad that we decided to go even though I was having a really bad Fibro Flare earlier in the day.
~Instead of going out for dinner after the concert, we stopped at grocery store and picked up a sandwich and some drinks from the deli.  We counted this in our entertainment budget, not our grocery budget.
~Friday was a stay at home day.  We hot tubbed, I made homemade mac and cheese with broccoli and watched the movie "Cool Runnings" on Netflix.

~I made a coffee cake with blueberries from the freezer.
~Friday also brought a wonderful visit from our hanai son Mark who was in town visiting his father and grandparents.  He has always held a very special place in our hearts and we were delighted to see him. 😊

   Not a bad week at all savings wise and we had some wonderful fun too!  I'm looking forward to this week and getting together with family again to celebrate our oldest son Jaysn's birthday!  Be blessed all.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I Want to Live in a Bubble Wrap Cave Again

      I have heard that turkeys are possibly some of the most oblivious creatures around.  They live their lives just wandering around, eating and quite frankly not giving a hoot (or gobble) about anything in their world.  Man, there are times I wish I was a turkey!

   I don't know about anyone else, but I am completely overwhelmed by all the evil, hatred, sliminess and just downright horrific things that I am seeing in the world lately.  I can't log onto my computer or even YouTube without seeing news stories that make my blood boil, bring me to tears and/or at times, make me want to throw up because they are so abhorrent.  Our world is getting worse and worse each day it seems.  

   Our family has enough drama in our own little world to deal with.  We are so tired of the mind games and the more they play them, the more clear things become and the more answers to questions that have plagued us for years, seem to be coming forth, including when and why my health took a turn for the worse.

   I really can't do the stress all this brings on.  Stress is a huge part of what caused my Fibromyalgia and CFS  and I know that now by tracing back to when I first started having really bad symptoms.  When I have been at my worst health wise, is when I have been under the most stress.  There is a direct link there.  Just when I start to do and feel better, we are hit with more crap that sends me reeling backwards again.  As much as I try to insulate myself from it, I really can't. 

  We have done what we can to step away from the extended family drama, but they just won't leave us alone.  I try avoid reading news stories that I know will upset me and even "hide" them on facebook, but the headlines alone make me ill.  Does anyone know if there is a way to hide that news ticker thing off to the side?  I use facebook to keep up with and communicate with friends and family.  Being limited in energy, I tend to stay home a lot and can feel so isolated, so facebook has helped greatly with that.

   In a perfect world I would build a big bubble wrap cave and gather in my family and friends and we would all live there in perfect harmony, safe from the outside world, and just enjoy life and each other.  My cave would have to have a greenhouse too and a small farm so we could grow our own food...that way I would not have to go to the store.  A self sustaining bubble wrap family that is a great idea!


Monday, October 16, 2017

October 2017 Grocery Budget Update #2

   At my last update, I had $73.96 left for the rest of the month.  I spent an additional $28.13 leaving me with $45.83 to last for the rest of the month.  Here is what I bought and why...

~Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts.  The price was $1.67 a pound with my Safeway card.  Each package had 5 chicken breasts in it.  My husband and I will use 1 chicken breast for both of us per meal.  There are a lot of times when that 1 chicken breast will feed us for multiple meals.  Breaking the price down further means that each of those chicken breast is going to cost us just under $1 each.  I consider that a good deal.  I freeze each breast in it's own bag and pull each bag out as needed.
~Milk.  The gallons of milk were $1.77 each on sale.  I bought 2 of them and they are dated to be good through the end of the month.  Hopefully I will not have to buy any more milk for the rest of the month.
~Plain Yogurt. I bought a large container of plain nonfat yogurt for $1.79.  I used this in place of sour cream in things and also use it to make sauces.  It can also be sweetened to have for a snack or breakfast.
~Hot Cocoa Mix.  This is bought in bulk at Winco.  I had not planned on buying any but my hubby told me he was about out and he uses it in his coffee every day to make what he refers to as "poor man's mochas".  I'm not going to lie...paying $1.37 a pound is hard for me to do, but it is still cheaper than buying those little packets and about the same cost as making it myself from scratch.  Hubby loves it and he works really hard for us so this is one thing that I just suck it up and pay for. πŸ˜‰  He indulges me with my flavored creamers so we are even.
~Wonton wrappers.  I paid $1.68 for these.  I plan on making crab and cream cheese wontons as a treat this weekend since my hubby has taken a few days off.  I already have the crab and cream cheese here on had, along with some green onions from our garden.  Have you looked at the price you pay for these things at restaurants...outrageous!
~Peanut Butter.  $2.68 is not the best price around, but hubby had to have it.  He takes sandwiches to work every night and also loves peanut butter on toast and bagels.  It's usually 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or 2 cheese sandwiches every night.  He is a creature of habit.

   So there you have it.  I have $45.83 left and I am sure that I can keep within the budget!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 10/7-10/13 2017


   We woke up to snow on Friday!  This is the earliest I can remember us having snow in a very long time.  It was beautiful but caused lots of problems for people that were out driving.  I am thankful that I did not have to go anywhere that day.  Onto the savings...

~Saturday was date day for Jeff and I.  We went out to lunch at a nice sit down
Mexican restaurant that has really good prices and authentic Mexican food.  It saves us about $10-$20 to eat there instead of one of the other Mexican restaurants in the area.
~While in town, we picked up some milk and 2 little treats for .50 each for our dessert.
~We watched the movie "Dr. Strange" on Netflix.
~We stopped at Goodwill and I find tiny paper candy cups for .99 to use at Christmas and Jeff found a CD he wanted.
~I got my Scentsy burner and enjoyed the perfume of spiced pear cider that I got for $2.99 for a huge block at Goodwill previously.  You only use a little bit of the wax so this will last me for a long time.

~Sunday we met Chris, Heather and the little boys at Dairy Queen to get caught up with them.  We each got ice cream there.
~I found an adorable pair of little warm booties for Steven for .99 at our favorite thrift store.
~Jeff had some money left on a gift card for Home Depot so we used it to get some more long life light bulbs.
~We stopped at 2 other thrift stores while we were down in the valley and found a food processor for $5.99 for Rachel.  She has been wanting one and this one has multiple cutting blades to make her life much easier.  We also found 3 books (one will be a Christmas gift), 2 wallets (DKNY and Fossil), a denim shirt for me (Coldwater Creek), a nice moisture wicking shirt for Jeff, 2 scarves (one is wool from Scotland and is my family's tartan), a bottle opener to keep in the car (I never have one when we go on a picnic), some Method hand soap, 2 cds and a large bag full of brand new Lancome facial products.

~Jeff and I worked on our menu for the week on our drive home trying to make sure to use things that we had on hand and making sure that we had lots of variety also.
~Sunday night I made us a nice dinner here at home of salmon (a gift from Heather's parents), boiled and buttered red potatoes (free), green beans for Jeff (free),  and squash from the garden for me.  I put a lemon, dill and caper finishing sauce on my salmon (Jeff did not want any).  I think we spent about .20 total for dinner out of pocket.
~We used our hot tub and enjoyed relaxing in that.  I did find when I got out though that Caesar has stolen one of my slippers and had it partially chewed up by the time we found it out in the yard.  Bad dog!  So much for those slippers...they found their way into the trash.
~Monday Jeff chopped up 5 pounds of onions with our Onion Chopper thingy.  We dehydrated most of it but did use 3 of the onions for me to make French Onion Soup, 1 onion went into my Slopped Joes along with half a bell pepper and we froze the remaining 3/4 of a cup for future meals.  Bless is heart...those onions were strong!

~Monday I also made a pan of cornbread and 2 loaves of French bread.
~Lunch Monday was Sloppy Joes served over cornbread, apple slices and baby carrots.
~Dinner Monday night was the rest of the cornbread and leftover stew.
~I copied down recipes from YouTube videos that I was watching online.

~Tuesday I harvested and cut up a whole cookie sheet full of green onions from our garden.  We had bad weather headed our way so I wanted to get it all done.  I froze most of them but kept some out to use in our dinner for Wednesday night.

~I've been working my points programs when time allows.
~I'm trying to keep the heat down when it is just me at home or Jeff is sleeping.  I can handle cold better than he can now.  I am trying to get into the habit of turning the heat up a bit shortly before he usually wakes up in the afternoon though so that he does not have to deal with it being cooler than he is comfortable with here at home. ;)
~Wednesday Jeff cut up another 5 pounds of onions.  Most of them were dehydrated but some were also frozen.  The frozen ones will be used in dishes like stir frys.

~I made a huge batch of homemade laundry detergent.
~The library was really good to me.  I had requested a bunch of books and movies...a lot of them came in.  I know what I will be doing over the next week. 😊 Our sweet librarian even put all of my things in a nice reusable library bag for me and told me to keep the bag and enjoy it.
~Wednesday afternoon found me really tired and tempted to just order a meal from the tavern.  I stuck to my meal plan though and made chicken chow mein with things that we have on hand and it only took 20 minutes to do it.  I also only used half a chicken breast, so I have another half for another meal.

~Thursday I took the leftover Sloppy Joe meat and put it on slices of homemade French Bread and melted some Provolone cheese over it for Jeff's dinner.  He had it with baby carrots.  For my dinner, I sliced and cooked the other half of the chicken breast up, cooked it and drizzled some of the lemon, caper and dill finishing sauce over it.  I had mine with tomatoes and squash from the garden and some of the baby carrots also.  Both of us were very happy with our meals and they took very little effort on my part.

~The onions that Jeff got going for me yesterday were done dehydrating today so I got them all put in jars.  I now have 2 full jars of dried onions.  That makes me happy!
~After doing Jeff's laundry on Thursday night I was really sore so I got the hot tub going to soak in.

~Friday morning I woke up to snow and no power!  That meant no heat and no coffee.  I was so tempted to get in my car and drive down to the little shop here in town that still had power and get a nice big hot cup of coffee.  It would have cost me $4.75 though so I cuddled up under a blanket and waited and waited...  Four hours later the power came back on and the first thing I did was get the coffee maker going.  I had 2 cups of home brewed coffee to make up for the long and cold wait.
~I found a new person to watch on YouTube that is a pensioner living in Great Britain.  She is extremely practical and frugal.  I am enjoying her videos.

   Overall this was a pretty good week savings wise.  I was good about trying to use foods that we had on hand for meals and I feel like we had a lot of variety.  I really am trying to make an effort to recreate some of our favorite things that we order when we go out to restaurants.  I'm looking forward to seeing how I can save money this coming week. 😊


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Some Days It Just Does Not Happen

   Today I checked my email, for the first time in about 4 days.  I know I should check it more often, but sometimes, I just can't even deal with reading it.  Believe it or not, it takes lots of energy and concentration for me to do so and there are days when that just is not happening.  I feel bad when I miss something important from someone, but most of the people that I correspond with via email understand that it may be days before I actually see their emails and respond.  I am so thankful for those that do understand.  For my own sanity, I have had to let go of the guilt of not checking it daily.

   Let's face it all, I am NOT normal.  πŸ˜‰  I know there are those of you who will say "Well we have known that for years" and get a good laugh out of it.  I'm good with that! 😁  Let's clarify this a bit further, I am not normal for many reasons, one of them being my health challenges.

   On those days when I am having to play charades with my hubby because I cannot think of the word that I need to say (his new favorite was when I tried to do a charade of the clothes dryer) , it would be a real stretch to think I could actually read and write something coherent out without it taking forever.  If I am having a really bad day, I will just stare blankly, mid sentence and either forget what I was saying altogether or desperately look at my husband with pleading eyes, praying that he can finish my sentence for me.  CFS and Fibro Fog are real and are so frustrating.

   These past few days have been ones where I dissolved into tears because I was frustrated with my limitations yet again.  CFS and Fibromyalgia affect every area of my life.   My sleep has been off, I cannot lift anything heavy, including full laundry baskets, it hurts to try and make up the guest bed and I had another 5 pound bag of onions that needed to be chopped and then dehydrated or frozen.  Nothing was getting done or happening.  Enter my amazing hubby who put everything he had planned to do aside and went down my list and did it all for me.  While he was doing all that, I was able to get a few less taxing things done like make up another batch of dry laundry detergent, harvest, cut up and freeze the green onions from our garden and do some cooking and baking.  Cooking and baking honestly are some of the things that I really enjoy doing.  Knowing that I was struggling though, I made large quantities of French Onion soup, Sloppy Joe meat and two huge loaves of French bread so that we would have leftovers and that would leave me free not to cook on other nights.  Those leftovers sure came in handy tonight when I had to have something quick and easy to feed my hubby and myself before he headed out to bowling league. 

   I am so thankful to my hubby for stepping in and helping me when he is able to.  Other times, when he is at work, things just don't get done on bad days.  I would say that 3/4th of my time this week has been spent curled up in my recliner with my soft fleece throw over me and at least one cat in my lap.  This is my life now and it make the good days oh so much sweeter.  With that being said, I need to get Jeff's laundry in the dryer and then go and heat up the hot tub so I can use it tonight.  Just doing his laundry has made my neck, shoulders and back ache.  I am hoping to ease those sore muscles so that I actually get some good sleep tonight.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October 2017 Grocery Budget Challenge Update #1

At our last check in we had spent $150- $46.99 = $103.01 left for the rest of the month.

New Updated spending:

Spent $3.14 at Walmart for milk and 2 treats and additional $25.91 at Grocery Outlet.  At the Grocery Outlet we bought a double pack of Yoshida's Gourmet Sauce, a large bottle of olive oil, 2 sodas for the long grice home, sliced mushrooms, a 2 pound bag of cut up frozen butternut squash and 3 containers of flavored cream cheese.  We would have spent $3 less there but discovered they overcharged us on the olive oil.  By the time we realized the mistake, we were already home and not about to drive an hour back to get them to refund $3.

So, $103.01-$3.14-$25.91 = $73.96 left for the rest of the month.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 9/30-10/6 2017


   What a week.  It seemed that it just stretched on and on.  When I am having trouble with my CFS and Fibromyalgia, they tend to do that.  I made one trip to do the grocery shopping and run some other errands on Monday, but stayed home for most of the week.  I think my body is telling me that it needs to rest and that I have been trying to do way too much and take care of everyone else.  I need to take care of me for awhile now.  Onto the savings...

~Saturday we went to the wedding of one of our hanai sons and had a wonderful time!  We had dinner there and the wedding cake, which was delicious, was made by a friend that we had not seen in years.  It was so nice to get caught up with her too. 😊
~Sunday Jeff got our home and yard ready for the cold weather.  He shut down and drained the swamp cooler, got all the garden hoses drained and put away, drained and took down the rain barrel (which we did not use due to the drought here this Summer) and hauled off a bunch of the yard waste.
~I found some more interesting shows to watch on Netflix by searching "Cook".
~I took it easy on Sunday.  I was having a Fibro Flare and having said goodbye to my twins that morning as they flew to Washington DC, I was just a bit emotional too.  I spent most of the day puttering around the house in my jammies and fixed a easy dinner using a precooked chicken from the deli.
~Jeff and I planned out a menu for the week based on what we had on hand and around the weather forecast.  A whole chicken was used to eat as is the first meal, 2 different kinds of soup, chicken/baked potato and squash chowder and the classic chicken noodle soup.  I froze 3 containers of the chicken noodle soup for future meals.

~We got a refund check in the mail and are using that to cover most of the cost of a ton of wood pellets to heat our home.  Jeff gets the pellets through his work.
~Jeff and I headed up to the orchard right up over the hill from us and picked 20 pounds of apples at .50 a pound.  We got Yellow Delicious, Mcintosh and Honeycrisp.  We also ran into friends and our lawyer up there who gave us some good legal advice for free.
~I baked extra potatoes on Sunday while I was making dinner to go into some soup later in the week.
~Since we were expecting a freeze Sunday night, I picked the rest of the cherry tomatoes that were even close to being ripe.
~I purchased some Fall themed hot pads for the kitchen at the Dollar Tree.

~Monday Jeff and I headed into town to go help Rachel get a materials list together to fix their back porch and I got to play with baby Steven.  He is growing so quickly and it seems every time I see him, even if it just days apart, he is doing something new. 😊 Nothing like free cuddles, giggles and smiles to make my day!
~I found lots of marked down items plus special sale priced items at Safeway.  I saved us $29.76 today and came home with lots of cheese, bananas, pastrami from the deli, 3 packages of surumi, 3 large cans of coffee, a 12 pack of seltzer water, sour cream, and 4 packages of mushrooms.  I spent $32.99 on everything.  I'm pretty darned proud of myself!

~We bought some cat food at the pet store and they told us about a sale they will be having on the cat food we use near the end of the month.  I am setting aside some money towards that since we will be needing more anyway.  We go through about 2 large bags a month at $23.99 each.
~Tuesday I made 2 loaves of bread for sandwiches for the week for Jeff.
~Jeff picked up 4 packages of sourdough english muffins for .99 each on his way home from work.  I kept one package out and froze the other 3.

~I dehydrated 3 trays of mushrooms and a tray of Roma tomatoes.
~For brunch on Tuesday I had a small bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup (I froze the rest) along with a sourdough english muffin topped with smoked salmon cream cheese.  I had been busy doing all kinds of other things, my back was killing me and I needed something quick and easy.
~I had planned to fix a pork chop and rice casserole for dinner on Tuesday night but found that the pork chops smelled "off" after they thawed.  I simply substituted 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast cut up into bite sized pieces for the pork.
~My points programs were worked as time allowed.
~Wednesday baby Steven was here with me for the day.  We bundled up and took a walk (him in the stroller) down town to the library and stopped at our little store to pick up something that we needed.  We both enjoyed getting out and Grammie here got a lot of exercise pushing that stroller back up the steep hill. Man am I out of shape!

~I borrowed a book and a movie from the library.
~Jeff and I sent home a package of diapers and some apples that we picked at the orchard with Jaysn when he came to pick up Steven.
~Since I knew Wednesday would be a long day for me (I got up at 5:30 a.m and Steven got dropped off at 6:45 a.m.), I cooked a elk roast (free from Chris) in some beer (stuff Josh left here), along with some onion soup mix (bought in bulk so way cheaper than in packages), and threw in some baby carrots and potatoes (free) along with 3 stocks of celery that needed to be used up.  I cut up the elk roast into bite sized pieces and put it back in the broth for about 20 minutes before serving.  YUM!
~Jeff and I found a new youtube channel that we are enjoying watching.

~Thursday I had a bad "Fibro Fog" day but Shopko had a great sale on toilet paper and down alternative comforters.  I had Jeff pick up 4  12 pack double rolls of Charmin at $4.88 each and a king sized comforter for $18.88 (regular price was $99.99) on his way to bowling league since it is literally right down the street from the bowling alley.  We needed both the toilet paper and the comforter.  We have a queen sized bed but Jeff tends to roll over and take the comforter with him so with a king sized one hopefully I will still have some of it on the 3 nights of the week that we actually have to share the bed. 😜  Jeff was happy that he got to pick out the comforter that he wanted and was very good about NOT getting anything plaid. 😁
~Friday the "Fibro Fog" started to clear but then came the "I'm sore all over my body and can't life my arms up past my shoulders" pain.  Thank goodness for leftovers and for all the free magazines that came in the mail this week to keep me both fed and amused for most of the day.

~Jeff drained our hot tub and put flex seal on some of the areas that had cracks in it.  He started this on Friday afternoon and will finish it up on Saturday morning.  Hopefully we can get the hot tub back up and running that evening.
~We had high winds coming in so I took down all my windchimes so they would not get blown off the hooks.  Unfortunately, I had a beautiful windchime made with copper on my front porch that someone must have stole while we were gone on vacation. This made me both angry and sad since it was a gift from my parents and had a gorgeous hummingbird painted on it that reminded my mother and I of my grandmother.
~I posted a listing for Jeff's old car that was broken down on a few sales sites and listed it as a parts you haul.  Within minutes of listing it I had 3 people who wanted it.  The first person who contacted me got it and ironically, she is the mother of the bride of the wedding we went to on Saturday.   Small world. πŸ˜€

   That's about it for this week.  We are planning on helping Jaysn and Rachel with a big project this Sunday and then I think we have no other outside commitments (other than Jeff's bowling and his work) for this coming week.  That makes me very happy because I sure have a lot to catch up on around here.  Be blessed!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October 2017 Grocery Budget Challenge


   Jeff and I were looking at our bills for this month and trying to see where we could cut costs since we have an extra $100 a month coming out now for my car payment and we have to put in several tons of pellets to keep us warm this heating season.  One of the best places that I know I can cut expenses in is my food budget.  Luckily, I am not alone in doing a grocery budget challenge as several of my sweet friends here in blogland are doing the same.  My friend Bless at is the ultimate black belt or shopping ninja as my middle grandson Isaiah would say at this. πŸ˜€ If you have not visited her blog before, you really should. 

   I am setting a goal for myself for $150 for the month and that includes stocking up on sale items that are at rock bottom prices.  I will not include pet food or kitty litter.  As you know, if you have read my blog for awhile, we usually have several family gatherings each month and we do those potluck style.  I will have my oldest grandsons here for the day at least once and hopefully several other times as well.  I want to have a dinner with each of my kids and also with my cousin this month.  There is also a friend, who has a birthday near the end of the month, along with my oldest son Jaysn that I want to do something special for.

   I have a full pantry and 2 deep freezers to pull food from so we will not be hurting by any means.  I love a good challenge and I know this is one that I can meet.

So far I have spent:
$10 for apples from the orchard ( .50 a pound and I am sharing them with my family)
$36.99 for stock up on groceries

So $150- $46.99 = $103.01 left for the rest of the month.

   I'll try to update as I go along this month.


Why    😭   ???

Why would someone choose to do the unthinkable and murder and injure so many innocent people?  Why would they plan so carefully to randomly shoot strangers who were gathered at a music venue?  What could have caused someone to be filled with that much anger and rage to do such a thing?

Fifty nine people killed and over 500 injured in the worst mass shooting in recent USA history.  The authorities are saying that some of the injured may also succumb to their injuries and pass away too.  Lives destroyed and shattered...Why?

There is so much evil in the world.  We are seeing it more and more every day.  You can't turn on the news or log onto Facebook without seeing man's inhumanity to man.  Sick and twisted people are torturing people who do not agree with their ideology , trying to out scream each other and tossing out labels on anyone who does not think the same as they do, rioting and destroying property, setting up roadside bombs to maim and kill ...I just don't understand this level of hatred and evil.

Our world has gone absolutely crazy.  It only seems to be getting worse and worse.  What scares me is that as a Christian, I know that it will continue to escalate.  I am seeing it happen all around me.  I worry about my adult children and about my grandchildren.  When my husband and I had our kids we could have never imagined what all they would have to deal with in their lifetime.  My grandchildren are growing up in very scary world and try as we might, we cannot shield them from all of this.  My oldest two grandsons have had to deal with the fear of  people who hate and target their daddy, Chris, just for the uniform he wears.  When my son Josh was overseas, serving in the Middle East, I lived in constant fear that something would happen to him.  I thought some of that fear would go away when he returned stateside.  He pointed out to me recently that he is probably even more at risk here due to the uniform he wears also.  Our baby grandson Steven, a happy little guy, will all too soon realize that there is evil in the world.  My heart aches knowing that he, like his cousins, will have times where they are fearful for the lives of those they love and maybe even their own.

I know we are living in the last days.  I know things will get worse.  All I can do is pray and try to speak and show love to others while the world around me seems to be going insane.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 9/16-9/29 2017 Two Week Edition


   This is going to be a 2 week wrap up.  Our lives have been busy and on a major rollercoaster of emotions, very little sleep and trying to spend as much time as possible with loved ones for the past 2 weeks.  Josh was home on leave and he and Chris just left this morning to fly back to Washington DC early this morning.  I had wanted to go to the airport with them but was hit with a major Fibro Flare, so I stayed home and Jeff drove them up to the airport that is a little over an hour away.  I was so sad to see Josh go but excited for Chris since he will be spending a week with Josh and getting to see and do so many wonderful things!  Onto the savings...

Week 1:
~Saturday was a busy day for us.  We ran into friends, former students and even our Hanai son Sam!  It was so wonderful to get so hug them all and get caught up on their lives.
~We stopped by Bath and Body Works where I traded in a fragrance mist that did not agree with me for a wonderful apple scented one.  I love the Fall fragrances that they have, but the apple ones are my absolute favorite.  I got the new fragrance for free since I traded in an older one.  I love their trade in policy...if you don't like a fragrance, you can trade straight across for another one.
~We also stopped at Goodwill and found several things on our list that we have been searching for.  I love being able to shop thrift stores and get things at a fraction of the cost of retail.  It was there that we ran into our hanai son Sam.  He shared with us that he had gotten a job teaching art at his old college in Bend, Oregon!  He is an amazing artist and we are so proud and happy for him! 😊

~We enjoyed some family time at the fair.  This is the last fair in our area that does not charge for admission so we were able to enjoy free entertainment.
~There was a yard sale right across from where we parked when going to that fair.  I found a nice windchime and a brand new sleep shirt for $1 each.
~Sunday we went up to the apple orchard here in town and picked apples.  They were .50 a pound.  I got some for us and some for my parents.  I am hoping to pick more on Friday when some other varieties, along with the pears, are ready.
~We used our hot tub on Sunday night since it was cold outside and enjoyed listening to the rain on the roof too.
~Monday I did not get anything done at all.  I was sick and dozed on and off most of the day.

~Tuesday I tried to play "catch up" around here.  I dehydrated a bunch of roma tomatoes, froze cherry tomatoes and made more homemade applesauce.
~Since we live in a rural area with farm fields all around us and the weather is getting colder, the mice are looking for warm places to call home.  It is at this time of year that we start to get bad mouse problems so I spent time getting all the cereals, cat food, crackers, etc. that are opened into mouse proof containers.
~Wednesday I dehydrated 2 packages of mushrooms.

~Jeff had picked up some coupons from the recycling bin at the post office.  I was able to match some of them to a half price sale at a local grocery store for the cereal that I like.  Jeff stopped by on his way home Wednesday morning and picked up 4 boxes of the cereal for $1.49 after coupons along with a few other sale priced items that we needed like peanut butter.
~I made 5 loaves of banana bread.

~My amazing parents loaned Josh their truck so that he could drive directly over here once he got off the plane in Kalispell, MT to be with our dear friends/family that lost their husband/father/grandpa.
~We had so many of our hanai kids here along with all of our family.  I made a huge bowl of popcorn for people to snack on as they came and went.

~I made a veggie fettuccine alfredo with squash and tomatoes from the garden, some broccoli, wine and lowfat cream cheese.
~Josh helped me harvest all of the celery from the garden since it was going to freeze overnight.

Week 2:
~My parents spoiled us rotten while we were at their home in Montana.  Staying with them is like staying at the best bed and breakfast ever!  The food is great, the company is wonderful and the view looking out over the lake can't be beat!
~My parents took us out on their was just what I needed to finally relax after 2 very stressful weeks.
~Jeff and I stopped at a thrift store (surprise) in Bigfork, MT and found a vest, jacket, sweater, shirt, lots of cds, a dvd, jewelry (sterling silver earrings and a designer bracelet each for $1), books for .50 hardback and free for kid's books and a pair of Seven for All Mankind jeans ($2.50)

~My mother gifted me some grandmother's locket, my great grandmother's gold necklace, a beautiful silver necklace that my father bought her years ago, and another necklace that my mother had made.  All are precious to me.
~I stocked up on wine from my favorite winery in Montana direct from the source.  They also gave me a bag full of wine corks when I mentioned that my Heather was using corks to craft with.  They are so very sweet!

~Mom sent us home with lots of goodies and another bottle of wine.  She also gave me a pair of jeans and a very soft scarf.
~Josh and Jeff went golfing on Thursday (it is their special thing to do together) morning using up the last of a gift certificate balance that Jeff had to cover the cost of Jeff's golf fees.
~We got lots of free groceries while Jeff and Josh did our volunteer work.
~I was able to track down tickets to the sold WSU vs USC game for our Josh at a much lower cost than we could get them at big name online ticket places.

~I hung out a load of towels on the line to dry Thursday.
~We were given free groceries when we did our volunteer work.
~We happily discovered that our new car gets way better gas mileage than my old car.  It cost us about $55 dollars round trip to go to my parents' place where it would have cost us at least $85 round trip in my old car.
~Josh bought us lunch on Wednesday.

~I picked up some things at the Grocery Outlet store when we made a quick stop there on our way home from Montana.  They have sweet potatoes at half the price there than I can get down our way.  I bought 2 bags of them, some artichokes ( 2 for less than the price of one down here), 2 big jars of artichoke tapenade, pot stickers, lettuce and a few other items.
~We found a fun game for Chris, Heather and the little boys for Christmas.
~I raided the gift closet for a wedding gift and a birthday gift.
~I used coupons for free products and to save an additional $4 off some of our favorite candy which I was able to find at the Dollar Tree and $8 off of toothpaste at Winco.

~Jeff's work laundry was hung outside to dry on the laundry line.
~Josh filled up Jeff's car with gas since he has been using it this week.
~Josh stocked up on beer while he was here and ended up not drinking only one so I have lots of beer to cook with now.  I foresee roasts and beer cheese soup in the near future. 
~We received lots of free magazines in the mail.

   The plan for this week is to try and rest and recover.  I do plan on going up to the orchard to get some pears and apples at .50 a pound and to make a huge batch on homemade chicken noodle soup.  it is going to be a cool week here so I want warm and filling meals. :)