Sunday, December 31, 2017

Frugal Friday Wrap Up...The Christmas Edition 12/23-12/29 2017


The snowman the Heather built and Isaiah (4 years old) painted for me.  One of my favorite gifts this year.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with their families and are ready to ring in the New Year!  I had meant to get this post up yesterday but spent most of the day in bed recovering from a busy week and eating foods that my body decided were way too rich and sugary.  My plan was then to post this morning, but we got the phone call we all knew was coming, but did not make it any easier...Heather's Grandma Ginny passed away this morning. 😢  As soon as the phone rang, I knew it was "the call". I know Ginny is now in heaven and out of pain, and for that I am so thankful, but my heart aches for her family left behind.  We are waiting to hear when the funeral will be.  It has been a week of highs and lows for sure.  Now onto the savings...

Some of the free Christmas items that one of the thrift stores was giving away.  We went on the last day and there were mainly books left.  I do love what all I found for us and to share.

~Saturday Jeff and I went into his hometown to go to the movies but decided that sitting for 2 1/2 hours in theater chairs would not be comfortable (both of us were having back problems).  We decided to do some shopping and some other fun activities instead.
~We went to one of the local thrift stores and they were giving away all of their Christmas stuff for free.  We got a stack of books, 3 cds and some Christmas flowers from the free area and then also found a brand new toilet seat (one of our's needed to be replaced), a package of diapers (in Steven's size for .47), and a  Hawaiian cookbook.
~Goodwill was another stop and we found a huge bag full of Lincoln Log type building materials on one of the carts they had just rolled out.  I grabbed it quickly before anyone else did because it is perfect for Bradley's upcoming birthday gift in March.  Jeff found 2 warm winter shirts.  Other finds were new straps for my fitbit (so I can interchange different colors), a large turtle pillow with a removable outside so I can wash it and a CD Jeff wanted.
~Sears had the double packs of the batteries that Jeff wanted for his power tools on sale so we got him those as one of his Christmas gifts.

Hot Mulled Wine at home using up some leftover wine from our game night.

~We bought some frosted sugar cookies at Winco.  They were $1.79 there as opposed to $7.98 for the same size package at another grocery store. (Two days after Christmas we found them there on sale for .98 a package and bought 2 of them).
~We made it into a date night by doing some things on our Christmas list.  We had coffee and spiced wine at wonderfully funky little place (and it gave me an idea of what to do with some of the leftover red wine from our party) and then went driving around to see the Christmas lights in different neighborhoods.

Packaged up Smoked Turkey meat.  The rest was made into soup and broth.  So yummy!

~Once we got home, we watched "Miracle on 34th Street" (the old version with Natalie Wood) and had hot spiced cider.  It was 2F outside at this point, so we did not hot tub as planned).
~Sunday was spent at home getting things done around here.  I got the Texas Roadhouse Butter made for gift giving and cut up the Smoked Turkey.  Some of the turkey was frozen for later good eating and I also froze the carcass to make soup with.  Some of the turkey was prepped and ready to go to Chris and Heather's for our Christmas morning brunch.

Smoked turkey, stuffing, mago spears and celery sticks made for a wonderful dinner.

~I made some hot mulled wine with some leftover red wine from our party on Friday.
~Monday was spent at both Chris and Heather's and at Jaysn and Rachel's homes.  The family all got together at Chris and Heather's for brunch and gifts and then Jeff, Jeremy and I went to Jaysn and Rachel's for dinner.  Her mother and sister were supposed to come up but her mother got sick and the roads were so bad near her sister that she turned around and went back home.  I am praying that she will be able to make it up this next weekend so we can see here and give her her and her mother's gifts.
~Jaysn and Rachel sent us home with some delicious lasagna that we had for lunch on Tuesday.
~I made some Wassail with some leftover orange juice, some apple cider and spices.  Yum!  I refrigerated the leftovers and have been enjoying it reheated.

Homemade Wassail using up the some of the orange juice and apple cider.

~We were blessed with many wonderful gifts but my favorite ones were homemade.  Cookies, truffles, a picture collage of Steven, a snowman that Heather put together out of scrap wood and Isaiah painted for me, a beautiful quilted picture of a hummingbird and fuchsias that my mother made for me because it reminded us both of my grandmother, the pretty rocks that Bradley and Isaiah painted along with a special quartz rock that Isaiah found one day when we were at the beach and he remembered how much I liked it and a cookbook that Heather's grandmother compiled of favorite family recipes that we all contributed to were some of the most thoughtful gifts.
~Tuesday I had planned on going to the after Christmas clearance sales but my body was rebelling after all the rich foods and Jeff was not feeling well and thought he might be coming down with a head cold.  We decided to just stay home and get gifts put away, laundry done and get Jeff to bed earlier in the day so he could work later in the evening.
~I watched lots of YouTube videos on food storage, pantry challenges and saving money.  Getting ready for a January 2018 pantry challenge here.

A new favorite cookbook.  All the recipes remind me of growing up in Hawaii.

My house slippers have been getting a good workout since I wear a pair of them daily inside the house to keep my feet warm.  They get tossed in the washer along with the rest of the laundry and I set them up near the pellet stove to dry.  It usually only takes an hour or so to have them all dry and ready to use again.
~Wednesday I ran errands and hit the after Christmas clearance sales at Walmart.  I am now stocked up on gift bags and plain white gift boxes for the coming year.  I also found the Parents Choice Christmas themed diapers for half price and bought 4 boxes of them in 2 sizes for my grandson Steven.  Who cares if he looks like he is wearing Santa diapers in the Summer? ;)  I also stocked up on my favorite wax melts for my warmer. I used a $25 Walmart gift card that I cashed in at Swagbucks for to cover the cost of my Christmas stock up.  Walmart also had marked down containers of cut up mangos so I bought two of them. I paid less for the 2 containers that had about 3 mangos worth of fruit in each one than I would have spent on 2 whole mangos.
~Bath and Body Works has it's big semi annual sale and I bought 5 of my favorite fragrances at 75% off.

Bath and Body Works 75% off haul.

~Bed, Bath and Beyond had their Christmas fragrance liquid hand soaps for .99 each and I got Christmas themed cocktail napkins for .50 a package.
~I found a sweater, a nice Columbia brand all weather jacket that Jeff and I can share, snow bibs for Bradley, some Lane Bryant jeans for me ($3.00), a Christmas ornament (half price), a new box of 40 freezer ziplock bags for .99 and some cup cake liners for .99.
~Thursday I stayed home and worked on things around here.  We got some bad news on the health of a extended family member who is dying so I needed to get as much done as I could so that I could be free to help out where needed.
~Friday Jeff and I met Heather in town and took Bradley and Isaiah to lunch while she went to visit her grandmother.  We went to Pizza Hut and ordered 2 of their $10 boxed meals because we thought the boys would be hungry.  They were not so we ended up bringing home pizza, breadsticks and cinnasticks.
~We took the boys to a free play area in the mall where they were happy to see some of their friends from Awana and they all played together before Heather came to get them.

Bed Bath and Beyond after Christmas Clearance haul.

~Winco was out next stop where we picked up some kitty litter, dog food, bananas and lemons.  Hopefully this will be the only time we need to make a grocery store trip for the next two weeks.
~Since we had a $20 free reward punch card filled at one of our favorite thrift stores, we stopped there and found a great sale going on.  All adult clothing marked at $3.89 (which is most of it) was $1.99.  We got a shirt and a brand new robe for me, 2 shirts for Jeff and a sweatshirt for Jeff.  The kids clothing was $1.59 each so we got Steven a little Hawaiian shirt and then found lots of dress shirts for Bradley and Isaiah.  Jeff found a cd he wanted and I found a scarf .99 and brand new bread pan .79.
~We had leftovers for dinner Friday night and watched some episodes of a TV series that we have on DVD.

Christmas gift from Heather's parents.  That wine glass had me laughing so hard!

   Our plans for tonight are to have a quiet and frugal night here to ring in the New Year.  Chris is working tonight as they have called in extra deputies with the holiday drinking and driving the uptick in domestic calls.  In light of the shooting where an officer was killed and 4 others injured this morning in Colorado, my son's department is on high alert because they do not want an incident like that here.  My heartfelt prayers are with the families of the officer who lost his life and the officers who were injured and their families also.  When something like this happens, it just heightens my fear for my own son.  Be safe, and be blessed.


  1. Wow how fun. Mom just fell again so I am on concussion watch, drats!

    1. I am so very sorry to hear this about your mom. (((((((HUGS)))))

  2. I am so sorry for the families loss. Our comfort is always knowing they are in God's arms.

    You got some great deals this week.
    I think my home made gifts were my favorites as well. It just means so much that someone took the time.

    Have a great week and Happy New Year.

    1. Thanks Cheryl and I agree with you. I know that lots of love, time and thought went into the homemade gifts. I'm keeping my snowman out to enjoy on these cold Winter days even though we are working on putting away the rest of the Christmas stuff today.

  3. It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. I can see why the snowman is favorite. Cute!

    1. Thanks Wendi! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well!

  4. Your Christmas was wonderful it seems! Glad to hear it went well. Wishing a wonderful new year in 2018. Good health and all things peaceful and good!

    1. Thank you Angela! I wish the same for you and your family as well!

  5. Loved the post and all the pictures. Just sent you an email.

  6. It looks like you have had a great week, with lots of bargains! I didn't get around to going shopping very much, except for a bunch of groceries to keep this merry-go-round turning. We had a bunch of extras, parties, etc. and house guests a few times. We did get. a few rolls of wrapping paper:)

    1. I saw your posts about how much fun you all had over the holidays! :) I still have tons of wrapping paper here because I hardly ever use it. I have really loved the convenience of the gift bags and plain white boxes. ;) I'm lazy like that. ;) Haha!

  7. I really enjoyed reading about your Christmas, Debbie. My deepest sympathies on the loss of Heather's grandmother. May she rest in peace.

    Happy New Year to you and your family. All the best in 2018.

  8. I'm so sorry about Grandma Ginny. I do love your little Snowman. I like handmade gifts the best, too!

    1. Awwww...thank you! I will treasure that snowman for the rest of my life!

  9. Hi Debbie! I haven't come here for a while, so now I'm catching up! :)
    I'm sorry about Heather's grandmother, but at least she's not suffering any more.
    Things have been busy around here, but in a good way. My old laptop drowned in chocolate soy miklk and died a few months ago, but this Christmas, Nuno gave me a new one and I can finally continue to write my new book!
    I was using Nuno's computer, but I love writing on the couch, with Tareco sleeping at my feet, instead of being seated at the desk, so I was just stalling.
    And the english version of my book, will be coming soon, finally!
    I wish you and all of your family, a wonderful and blessed 2018, Debbie!

    1. I was wondering what happened to you! YOur husband is a sweetheart to get you a new computer. I look forward to reading your book. Please let me know when it is out so I can look for it. :) Happy New Year!

  10. I forgot to tell you that I've been reading about royal jelly and that it is wonderful to cure and help with lots of illnesses and I remembered that because it is anti-inflamatory and it helps with memory and depression, you might like to give it a try.
    I bought a jar to try, because one of our new year's resolution around here, was to loose some extra weight and improve our health and eating habits.
    I bought rosemary honey with royal jelly, instead of suplements or capsules, because it doesn't have any artifical elements.
    This is a link about royal jelly benefits, if you want to give it a try:

    1. Thank you! I used to take Royal Jelly when I was in my early 20's. I will have to look into it again. Thank you so much for the link and the suggestion. Good luck on your weight loss...I need to do that too. :)

  11. It sounds like an amazing week of amazing blessings right up until the phone call. May God comfort you all during this difficult time.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    1. Thank you so much Laura. :) My sweet Heather shared the last picture she took of her grandmother with my grandsons (Ginny's great grandsons) and they all looked so happy to be together. That is how I am going to choose to remember Ginny and I hope that my grandsons will also remember her that way. :)


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