Saturday, January 30, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/29/2021


               A peek inside of the bag and boxes that we were blessed with at the commodities giveaway.  So much stuff that will really help with the grocery budget and some to share with the rest of our family also.  I know some little buys who are going to enjoy the juice boxes that are packed in one of these awesome blessing boxes.

   I'm impressing myself.  I am actually getting this post typed up late Friday night and will most likely get it posted right after midnight.  YES!  😎  As anyone who reads my blog knows, this is NOT normal for me and I am usually a few days behind (or more).  The fact that I am even sitting up in the living room and have not crawled into bed in a miracle in itself.  This has been a horrible week Fibromyalgia flare wise and the majority of the time has found me in bed.  My sinuses were killing me earlier today but then it snowed and the swelling went down.  Maybe I needed the moisture in the air to feel better?  Who knows...all that matters is that I am doing better now right?  Anyway, onto the very limited frugal doings for the week:



~I made French Dip sandwiches and served them with fresh apple slices for dinner. I had bought the roast beef on sale from the Walmart deli awhile back and just popped it in the freezer until I needed it.

~I had some leftover au jus and will be using that in another meal later in the week.

~Jeff and I hot tubbed.

~Jeff watched an old Western movie on YouTube in the living room while I watched old episodes of The Ghost and Ms. Muir in the bedroom.


~I spent most of the day in bed with a bad flare.

~I did manage to make dinner...ravioli, garlic bread and a salad.


~I called again about my missing phone...have to call back on Wednesday to see if they will send me a different model since they are now out of the one I originally had.  UGH!

~I downloaded several free books to my Amazon cloud kindle reader.

~Dinner was leftovers and makeovers.  Jeff had leftover ravioli and I used a leftover Salisbury steak, some leftover au jus, a bit of plain yogurt and made stroganoff which I served over mashed potatoes.  There remained had enough leftover for another meal.

~I "fed" the compost pile with kitchen scraps.

Tuesday (The Fibro flare is still here):

~Leftovers for dinner.

~Watched some fun videos on YouTube.

~I spent a lot of time in our big pantry rearranging things and found that I had way more soy sauce than I thought I had.  I won't have to buy that for a long while.


~I managed to make dinner using some ground venison that Chris gave us along with a Velveeta Skillet meal kit that was about .32 cents at the Grocery Outlet.  It was pretty darned good!  I hope they have more the next time I go to the store at that price.

~I found a season of a TV show online and watched that via YouTube.

~Lunch was a bowl of cottage cheese with about half a can of mixed fruit in it.


~I made two loaves of bread.

~As soon as the bread came out of the oven I popped in two pizzas, one for dinner and one for leftovers to eat for another meal.

~Jeff ran down and got commodities.  As usual they loaded him up!  Shampoo was a nice non food bonus this time.  We got frozen meats,  fresh and frozen potatoes, frozen strawberries, about 6 pounds of butter, yogurt, canned goods breads, pastries, grapes, tons of canned goods, juices, waffle and pancake mix, dried fruits and nuts, tuna and so much more.  I feel so blessed!

~I made a nice cup of tea in the evening.

~My prescriptions were delivered.


~Some homemade chicken noodle soup was pulled out of the freezer and heated up for dinner.  There were leftovers for another meal.

~I went through some of my cleaning supplies and found some magic erasers that I wanted to use to clean the kitchen cabinets and backsplash.

~I watched more inspirational videos about cooking from the pantry.  I think it is good to get new ideas and vary our menu a bit more.

~Josh has been sending me videos and pictures each day of Tate.  Jeff and I are so enjoying watching him grow from afar. Only a few more weeks and we get to actually see and hold him!

~I chatted with my cousin and he will be going down for a job interview in Oregon soon.  If he gets the job then he will be moving and we will be getting his living room furniture since he does not want to take it with him.  I will try to sell our furniture that we have now and send the money to him.  He does not know that is the plan, but it is!  Shhhhhh......πŸ˜‰

~While doing some purging, I found some Air Jordon shoes that I will be selling on a local sales site.

   Our Covid-19 numbers are going up again and I am worried about the new variants that have made their way up to the United States.  We do have the UK variant over on the west side of the state which means it will be here within a few weeks time, if not less.  I need to really be careful to limit possible exposure since we have Josh, Lauren and Tate coming up to stay with us in a few weeks.  I would hate to get this and them not be able to come. I know we will have to make another trip to the grocery store soon to pick up a few things, but I may just do the curbside pickup and spend a bit more money unless Jeff and I decide to make a very early morning run into town and go to Winco.  We will see.  I know that this weekend we plan on getting the guest bedroom ready for the kids and that means a total clean out, taking the bunk beds down and setting the new bed up.  I may see if Jaysn can come out and help with that.  It would be nice to have him, Rachel and Steven come out for a visit anyway.  It has been way too long since we have seen all three of them and I know they are trying to be very careful too but really do want to come out.  😊


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 1/22/2021

Hi all!  I have no idea why, but I am having a hard time being able to reply individually to comments that are left on the blog here.  Therefore I will try to answer a few questions before I list my frugal doings for the week.

Orange chicken recipe:  I'm sorry to say that this was just a sauce I picked up at the store and "gussied up" with some soy sauce and honey.  All I did for the chicken was use boneless, skinless chicken breast and thighs along with whatever veggies I had on hand and sautΓ©ed them all up and then added that sauce.

My heart goes out to everyone who is dealing with covid-19, Fibromyalgia and any other issue.  ((((((HUGS)))))

Via a message: Am I happy about the results of the election?  I'm a freedom of speech, anti cancel culture, believe in the right to bear arms, Christian who believes in the sanctity of life and that ALL people should be treated as equally.  My family is about as diverse as they come when it comes to gender beliefs, religious beliefs, nationalities, political views, etc. and I love them all.  I believe that everyone should be held to the same standard and that violence is wrong...period!  I will continue to be praying for our nation. That is what I have to say about that. πŸ˜‰

Yes, I think we have to be extremely good stewards of all we have been blessed with and continue to prepare for hard times ahead.  Our current political climate continues to be scary along with still dealing with the pandemic and the shutting down of more businesses in our area at least.  

Now onto the savings that we managed this week in no particular order:

~I ordered more supplements from Vitacost going through a link via Swagbucks (6 points per dollar spent) and used a coupon code to get a discount also.

~I made 4 loaves of bread.

~I was able to find a gently used (1 year) queen sized bed on a buy and sell group from a graduate student who is moving for $50 for the mattress, box springs and frame.  Of course I will spray it down well with Lysol and then let that air out to make sure there is nothing on it that should not be.  This bed will be going in our guest bedroom and I will be selling the bunk beds that are in there currently.  I wanted a nice bed for Josh and Lauren to use when they are here and was really happy to find this deal.

~We took a truck bed full of lumber, fencing materials and a t poles over the Chris and Heather that we had here on hand for them to use.

~I also took over some homemade mac and cheese and Heather added a salad and dessert to that.  It was nice to have a lunch with them and cuddle with my grandbabies and their cats along with seeing all the big boys new creations!

~Jeff and I had the rest of the mac and cheese that would not fit into the casserole dish before we took it over for dinner the night before.

~Jeff called and got approved for 7 days off in February when Josh, Lauren and Tate come up!

~I trimmed my bangs.

~I watched some movies online. 

~I researched more about Native American culture and history.  Rachel and Steven are part Native American and I had an ancestor kidnapped by Native Americans in the distant past.  I now understand the "whys" of children of homesteaders being taken.  I also had ancestors who were saved by the native peoples when they first landed on the shores on this continent on the Mayflower.  It is important to learn the history of our country...both the good and the bad, and to be able to see things from a point of view that was/and still is not taught in our schools.

~The hot tub was used to soak away some soreness in our muscles.

~Jeff and I have both spent some time purging and sorting through things.

~Jeff picked up some fuel stabilizer for our generator.

~We filled the truck and one of the cars up with gas in Idaho...much cheaper there.

~I put the celery leaf trimming in the freezer to add to soups.

~One of the things I really enjoy doing is changing out my purses "just because", so I did that again this week.  Given that I have a huge purse collection, this is a free and fun thing for me to do.

~Hot tea and cider were my preferred hot drinks in the evening.  Luckily I have a huge stash of both on hand.

~Jeff and I found some amazing deals at the Grocery Outlet and another grocery store.  Large packages of cookies for .17 to .47 cents each (these will go in Jeff's work lunches), Oscar Meyer hot dogs for $1.00 (grandboys will love these), huge bag of Smart Pop Skinny Pop for .99 cents, a case of peach seltzer water for $2.99, turkey pastrami for $2.99 for a package from the deli, bananas for .47 cents a pound, Velveeta Skillet meals 3/$1 and a few other items.  We also found a game on sale that we bought for Bradley's upcoming birthday gift from us.

~Jeff got oil and filters he needed to work on both of the cars.

~Meals this week:

Homemade macaroni and cheese

Spicy Italian meatballs (very spicy, froze the leftovers to use sparingly in soups and sauces), rice, salad and fresh apple slices

Salisbury steaks, rice, carrots and pear slices

Grilled cheese sandwiches

Cheese omelet for Jeff

Homemade Krab salad for me


Split a chicken strip basket from the tavern ($10)

Homemade huckleberry and plain pancakes

Cereal, toast, oatmeal for breakfasts


Snacks were fruit, popcorn and chips


   Plans for this weekend are to relax on Saturday and then get busy on some projects here in the house.  I have to take pictures of the bunk beds and list them for sale before we take them apart so we can move them out to the garage and get the new bed set up.  I also need to purge a ton of stuff and get it loaded up into the back of the car so we can drop it off and donate it to a thrift store.  I do not want to put big projects until the last minute before Josh, Lauren and the baby get here.  I want them done early so I can recover and hopefully not be in a flare when they come.  


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Buy Your Seeds Now!


   Do any of you follow Jill Winger at The Prairie Homestead?  She has a blog and a YouTube channel.  I've met Jill once in the past when she was home visiting her family and we know her sister Jenna well.  Her sister was really good friends with our Heather growing up. :)  Jenna is also Bradley's Godmother.

   Anyway, Jill was just put out a video on seed starting and how to do it on the cheap.  I just loved all her frugal ideas for doing so.  She also cautioned that seed companies are running out of seeds quickly this year, so if you want some, pick them up or order them now!

   I still have a lot left over from previous years, but I am not sure about their germination rates.  Therefor, I hedged my bets a little and picked up some more flower and veggie seeds at the Dollar Tree.  I will buy my tomato plants because I can never get them big enough and keep them healthy enough before they produce much.  If I buy established plants, I do much better, so I set money aside for that each year.  I am planning on picking up a few more seeds since I am now seeing them out at Walmart.  I will pick up things that I cold not find at the Dollar Tree.  I have a feeling that the seeds at the Dollar Tree will be very sparse or completely out within a week's time here.  They had just put them out and there are already gaps in the display.

   Just wanted to give everyone a head's up!

Friday, January 15, 2021

What a Week!


         Friday night's comfort food meal...I served this with fresh apple slices.

   What a week e have had!  It has been a jumble of so many things and it left me in a huge Fibromyalgia flare once again.  


   The weekend was a total blur for me...I think we stayed home and rested for the most part.  Monday morning came and after only getting 2 hours of sleep, I went for a mammogram in the morning.  Luckily they let Jeff into the hospital building with after seeing me with my cane and me telling them that he IS my caregiver.  That seems to be the magic word, so he as able to wait in the lobby area while I had my imaging done.  Once we got home, I laid down for awhile and took a on and off again nap because I was really sore and tired.  The hospital called to tell me that everything was fine with my mammogram...thank God!  I always get really nervous about it after prior bad experiences.


   The weather decided to misbehave and we had high winds Monday and Tuesday night with damaging even higher winds on Wednesday night into Thursday morning.  I don't sleep well at all with high winds as they seem to wake me up a lot and the changes in the weather really put me in a lot of pain.  We did hot tub for awhile on Wednesday night and that helped a bit with the pain, but oh my goodness. It just left me exhausted!

   Wednesday late morning, Chris, Bradley and Isaiah came over for awhile to visit us and Uncle Bob.  Again, I was going on about 3 hours of sleep when they arrived.  We had a lovely visit with pizza for lunch, lots of cuddles and laughter.  Jeff and I both headed back to bed after they left in the early afternoon.  I got another 2 hours of sleep.

   Thursday was a rough one.  I could not fall asleep until Jeff got home from work at 5:30 in the morning.  Then I slept fitfully.  I finally got up for 2 hours and then was right back to bed for another nap.  By 10:30 p.m. I was back in bed and took another nap for about 2 hours.  So much pain!  Jeff got home around 4:30 on Friday morning and I still could not sleep until about 7:30a.m. ish.  

   Friday afternoon found us running errands and picking up some groceries.  We stopped at the Dollar Tree and our grandson Steven spotted us out the window of the daycare located next to it and was waving at us.  We had not seen him in person for about 2 months due to covid so we stopped (masked up) and asked if we could visit with him quickly.  The daycare was so good to let us do that and we shared hugs and we asked him about his new car seat that he was so excited about getting the day before.  He was a little shy at first, but ran back to us to give us another hug before he returned to his classroom.  Apparently the first thing he did when his daddy picked him up was tell him we had come to see him! 😊  I think we made his day!  After we left him, we headed to the grocery store to do the rest of our shopping. college students are definitely back and it was a madhouse in there and the parking lots were even worse. Some of the students were refusing to wear masks and the store was not enforcing  it's own rules that require you to wear one.  Jeff was NOT happy about that at all since I am high risk and the cases are going up like crazy with the students back.  We got what we needed and left.  Jeff really wanted Panda Express for dinner but the rude college students were running in front of our car when we were trying to park and another car almost hit us going down the wrong way!  As we finally got out of our car, the college students ran out in front of us again to get to the line before we could.  Jeff was absolutely livid with them by this time.  We got back in our car and just came home where I fixed the quick meal you see at the top of this post.  

   Jeff is now at work and I am sitting here relaxing and being very thankful that:

 1. The week has come to an end work wise for Jeff after his shift tonight.

2. We got to see 3 of the grandboys and Chris this week.

3. We now have a set date for Josh, Lauren and Tate to come visit us next month (we finally get to meet our newest grandson!!!).

4. The wind is not blowing like crazy tonight making the cold weather even colder.

5. We are having lunch with Chris, Heather, Bradly and Isaiah on Sunday at their house and I have some very excited big grandboys because I promised to bring homemade mac and cheese for part of the lunch.

6.  My pain levels are tolerable and not putting me into bed for the majority of the night and day today.  Very nice change from the rest of the week.

   Be blessed and know that as crazy as the world is right now, God is still in control and wants us to be wise stewards of all He has given and shown us.  He never said we would not see troubled days, but He did promise to be right there to help see us through them.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Sharing a Few of Our Yummy Meals Lately and a Thought


   I thought that instead of doing my regular Frugal Friday post I would instead share a few of the meals I have made lately.  I love to be able to look back at what we had over time to inspire me when I get in a rut and it reminds me of some of the things that I have made in the past, but forgotten about.  Since I usually make things up on the fly, I do tend to forget what I made (and how I made it).  Anyone else have this problem?  Anyway...onto some of our favorites:


Sheet pan dinner with Beer Brats, Sweet and Russet Potato Hash and a side of oven broiled Asparagus

Turkey and Herb Dressing Casserole with a side of Green Beans

Orange Chicken with Veggies served over a bed of White Rice

Beef Ravioli with Herb Spaghetti Sauce served with a side of Corn Bread

Yaki Soba with Ham and Veggies

Homemade Huckleberry Pancakes with Maple Syrup

Pulled BBQed Chicken served on Buns, Bread and Butter Pickles and Herbed Potato Wedges made in the Air Fryer

Easy Stuffing and Venison Meatloaf served with Baked Potatoes (we did have a side salad too that did not make it into the picture)

Baked Cod with a Lemon Thyme Compound Butter Sauce, Cilantro Lime Rice and a Romaine Lettuce Salad


   Hopefully I will get back to my regular Frugal Friday post here again soon.  I'm not even going to sugar coat it, this has been a rough week physically and emotionally and it has taken a huge toll on me, as I'm sure it has on many others.  Between our Covid-19 numbers going up again and finding out that a man here in town just died from it, to the storming of the Capital in DC and learning that a friend and former co-worker of one of our Josh's closest friends was the officer that was killed during that horrific incident, it has been a trying time.  The culmination of all of this was seeing people I love tearing into each other on social media due to this political upheaval that we are continuing to go through in our country.  I know emotions are running high right now on all sides, but I finally had enough and begged my friends and family to please stop all of this and treat each other with love and kindness to start the healing process that this country so desperately needs.  You can still hold your strong opinions, just don't be hateful or mean towards one another.  I sure hope they examine their hearts and realize that they healing they all say they want, starts with their own personal actions and behavior.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021



   Our youngest grandson Tate and his faithful companion Nala.  Nala is definitely a "daddy's girl" and still insists on cuddling up with Josh and Tate.  I think these two are going to be best buddies!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Frugal Friday Jan. 1, 2021

           Happy New Year!  Let's make it a great one!                                   πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ


~We had a snacky kind of day so we just ate appetizers.  Everyone needs a day like that!

~Jeff and I watched more James Bond movies that are playing on YouTube in December.

~We worked on a few projects around the house.

~We called my parents and had a nice phone visit with them for about an hour.

~We we able to video chat with Heather, Bradley and Isaiah and the boys showed us all their cool new stuff they got for Christmas.  Chris had to work, but we did talk to him on the phone.


~I made a lovely casserole with chicken, gravy and stuffing. We had green beans on the side and apple pie for dessert.

~Josh sent me a new picture of Tate before he went to bed.  Tate is just so cute!!!  I love having another little grandboy to ooh and awww over.

~Jeff and I hot tubbed and then watched a movie.

~We made a meal plan for the coming week using what needs to be used up first.

~Uncle Bob gave us some money for Christmas to go out and have a nice meal with our kids and grandkids who live near us.  Since the pandemic is going on, we decided to split the money between the three families so that everyone can order something to go from their favorite place.  Jeff and I decided that we are going to use the money to stock up on some treats that should last us through at least January.  We feel like this will spread the joy out even further. :)


~Jeff and I headed into Pullman to deposit a generous check that my parents gave us for Christmas and to do a bit of shopping before the college students return next week which will most likely raise our covid cases even higher unfortunately.  It has been nice seeing them go down when they left but unfortunately, the hospitalization rate has gone up.

~We stopped at Walmart and put in a request for a refill on my medications.  They unfortunately could not get them filled before we were done with our shopping so they are going to send them to me.

~While at Walmart, we checked out the Christmas clearance section and found more of the smaller multicolor strands of lights for half off.  I bought 3 boxes of them.   They each cover 23 ft. and are indoor or outdoor ready.  Jeff wanted to add more light next year outside. I also found some fun edible cookie dough mixes (these will go to the grandboys here to make with their parents as a fun Winter time treat and activity), nut mixes and candy.  We found deli chickens marked down along with beer bratwurst, potatoes for $1 a bag, and some deli sliced roast beef...all on clearance.  We picked up another gallon of milk and some avocados there to round things out.

~Our next stop was Grocery Outlet and here is where I spent some of the money Uncle Bob gave us.  I bought a huge package of turkey slices for $1.97 that I will divide up into smaller bags so we can pull out just as much as we need for a week.  I don't want things going bad. We also got Jeff more tortilla chips so he can make nachos (2 big bags which should last us a month), 4 marked down to half price boxes of M&M Christmas candies (Jeff is taking these as treats for work except the one box that I will be using in some homemade trail mix), 3 heads of Romaine lettuce, 2 pizzas, some peanut butter and chocolate cookie dough, tortellini  and a bag of bananas.

~By this time I was getting really sore and tired (I got about 3 hours of sleep total) so we decided to use the last of the Uncle Bob money to buy some Chinese 2 entrΓ©es plus noodles or rice meals from one of our favorite little places.  Luckily they were back open after weeks of being closed.  Jeff finished all his once we got home but I only ate about half of mine so it can be a meal for another day.

~Dinner was a sheet pan dinner with a roasted russet and sweet potato hash that I laid the 5 bratwurst sausages over the top of.  I baked it, turning everything once, at 400F for 1 hour.  I served some roasted asparagus with this.  We had leftovers of the sausages, potato hash and the asparagus, so there is another meal there also.

~I checked online and noticed that Chris's Christmas gift from me had finally come in at the post office so I ran down there to get that.  While down town, I walked over to the library and picked out a few good books to read.  I know I said I was just going to read books I had here at home, but I want to help keep the numbers up for check outs at the library so they will not cut hours there.


~Jeff and I finished up the leftovers from yesterday's meals for dinner tonight.

~I went through a seed catalog and dreamed of what my garden this coming Spring and Summer could look like (dreaming is very frugal!).

~The company that Jeff works for sent home treat bags with all their drivers.  We are enjoying the goodies!

~Josh sent me more pictures and videos of Tate.  He just keeps getting cuter and cuter and is becoming aware of more that is going on all around him.

~I repackaged the larger pack of turkey lunchmeat slices into 4 zip lock bags and then threw all those into a larger ziplock bag to help protect them from freezer burn.  They are now in our upright freezer in the garage.


~Lots and lots of snow!  We had a snowstorm hit us and we ended up with about 9 inches of snow before it turned to rain and started to melt off late in the evening.  Jeff took my car with him to work since it has full coverage on it and the other 2 vehicles just have liability.

~I cooked up 2 small pork roasts in the crockpot.  When they were done I shredded them and decided to just add some BBQ sauce since the meat was a bit dry.  I forgot that my biggest crockpot cooks things much faster than my smaller ones.  I was able to divide the roasts up into 3 meals.  I will freeze 2 of them for the future.

~Jeff made us grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.  YUM!

~I watched some lighthearted videos on YouTube that were just uplifting and fun!

~My prescriptions came in from Walmart. They are so good about sending them and not charging me to send them.


~I worked on my Swagbucks points programs a bit.  I really do need to get back to doing that.

~Jeff and I stayed home and watched some movies on YouTube.

~We watched videos on YouTube as the world ushered out 2020 and welcomed in 2021.  Seattle's New Year's Virtual show was amazing!


~We met Chris and Heather, along with the big boys at a park in the town between us to give Chris his gift and for Heather to give Jeff his.  We had drawn names for this past Christmas so we were able to get nicer gifts for one person rather than spreading out our budgets for the adults.  Chris loved the ring I got him and put it on immediately!  I am so glad!  Heather got Chris a really ice long sleeve moisture wicking shirt and some of his favorite candy bars.

~After that we ran into town to deposit Jeff's paycheck and then headed over to another big town to get a few things there and look for some new winter work boots for Jeff.  I also was looking for some phone cases for both our phones and asked Jeff if he would drop me off at Goodwill to see if I could find any there while he went to the sporting goods store to look at boots.  Jeff did not find any boots that would work for him but I found one phone case that would work for one of our phones and will keep a look out for more. I figured I saved about $12 on the case alone.  I also picked up a cat scratching Pad ($1.99), a really nice sugar bowl from The Pioneer Woman (which will be used in the bathroom to store tweezers, clippers, etc.), a beautiful leather purse to possibly resell ($7.99 and retails for $127), and a bag full of brand new crafting supplies that included paints, paintbrushes, origami paper and a few other items ($4.99).  Most of the crafting items will be a gift for a grandchild in the upcoming future who is amazingly creative and talented. Most of these were planned for purchases except for the purse, but I saved so much on the other things and I know I can make a good profit on selling it.

~We bought 4 pizzas for $2.50 each at Safeway after coupon) and had one for dinner and put the rest in the freezer.  We also picked up 2 extra large burritos at the Dollar Tree along with a 4 pack of food storage containers (I needed to replace some that I had used to package hot cocoa mix in to give away).

~We hot tubbed in the evening.

   So that is it for our week and the end of 2020 and the first day of 2021.  I had hope to post this earlier today, but ended up in a huge Fibromyalgia flare and in bed for a good part of it.  Such is life and I just try to keep a good attitude about it all because seriously, it is what it is and flares do and will come. πŸ˜‰  The new year has started out with lots of rain and wind so we settled in for movies, naps and eating lots of comfort food today.  I am hoping that tomorrow will be a much more productive day around here but we shall have to see!  Be blessed!