It was a busy week around here trying to get things done and get ahead of rising food costs. And yes, I am still keeping within my $200 food budget challenge for October. So far I am up to $165.33 and most of that is for my pantry stock up items. I really should not need to pick up much more unless I see a phenomenal deal on something. I have been slowly picking up items that we need to have on hand for the upcoming holiday meals like cranberry sauce, fresh cranberries (which I froze), olives, cream of mushroom soup, fried onions and mulling spices. I do not want to be caught without these things because they are part of our traditional foods this time of year. I'm also picking up gift items as I find them for family. This holiday season will be different because we are spending Thanksgiving with my parents, brother, Josh, Lauren and Tate in Montana...something that I am very much looking forward to! I can't wait to be with all of them and hopefully Tate will be walking by then. Christmas will be a mixed bag of emotions because my cousin Jeremy is in the process of moving to Oregon and I am sure that he will be spending it with his mom this year. We are all going to miss him terribly! He has become more like a brother to both Jeff and I and is just a wonderful "uncle" to our kids and grandkids. He and I like so many of the same foods and wines, and love to try out new things. It has been so nice to have someone to do that with. Christmas and other family gatherings will not be the same without my sweet cousin here to share them with.
~Jaysn, Rachel and Steven came to pick me up and took me to their house on Saturday. Jeff joined us there after he got off work. They treated us to a Chinese food dinner that Jaysn picked up and brought home. It was wonderful to spend time with them!
~Sunday found us at home for the day with Jeff working in the garden trying to get it all cleaned out.
~I made two loaves of bread and worked on laundry.
~We hot tubbed.
~Zuppa Toscana for dinner along with pears from the garden.
~I met Chris and Heather, along with Bradley and Isaiah in town at Goodwill. It was senior discount day and Chris needed some new dress clothes for a leadership training class he is taking. We found him a nice shirt and some pants, the boys got a snowboard to share (they have a great hill across the street from their house to snowboard on), the boys also got some clothes, I got a Wedgewood china Peter Rabbit child's bowl and cup along with a nice wool shawl and Bradley and I found a mug for his Daddy for Christmas that I will keep here and then get it wrapped up from Bradley to his Dad.
~I also went to Marshall's and got a nice winter coat for myself. It was exactly what I have been wanting for years now and it was normally $100 and I got it for $29.00. I also picked up some Christmas towels with the country red and blue trucks for the guest bathroom. I had a gift card for $25 so I only ended up spending $11 at Marshall's out of pocket.
~I did stop at Winco and picked up a few things there, along with a take and bake pizza from the deli for dinner. By this time I was just exhausted having done the shopping and driving.
~Jeff took the leftover pizza for lunch.
~We had Zuppa Toscana for dinner along with hot crescent rolls.
~I cut, blanched and froze the Swiss chard that I had picked before the big killing frost hit the garden. I also cut up and dehydrated the stalks and will use those in soups like you would celery. I was incredibly sore after two hours of doing this.
~I peeled and cubed a large zucchini and froze that to use in soups or casseroles later.
~Three loads of laundry were done.
~I pulled some homemade applesauce out of the freezer to thaw.
~Jeff brought home another ton of pellets and he was also given a piece of lumber that the store could not sell due to a huge knot in it.
~We got a Lego magazine in the mail for Bradley and Isaiah.
~We got our first snow of the season (very early I might add). I knew we needed a belly and body warming meal so I made cheese tortellini with a pesto sauce that included tomatoes and sweet peppers. So good!
~I froze the rest of the Zuppa Toscana for future meals.
~The cost of orange juice is astronomical right now but if you get it frozen and concentrated, much less so. I mixed up a pitcher of it from concentrate.
~The Berkey water filter was refilled. I have been noticing a heavy smell of chlorine in our water coming out of the tap lately and the Berkey filters that out.
~I uploaded Safeway digital coupons into my Safeway card.
~The weather is playing havoc with my sinuses, which in turn leads to nightmares, so I did not get up until nearly 11 a.m.. I had a HUGE cup of coffee and got caught up on the news while I slowly sipped my coffee. I used a mug that I found at Goodwill that is part of Disney's Winnie the Pooh series that says "some days are more tumbly than others" because it reflects exactly how I am feeling today. I know it might sounds strange, but I do pick my coffee mugs out according to how I feel each day.
~In need of "comfort food", I cooked up some rice and made some chili with beans to go with it. Growing up in Hawaii, this was a very common combo and you could find it on menus of most local drive ins. I had lots leftover for more meals for me. Jeff is not a chili fan at all, so I rarely have it anymore.
~Jeff picked up 2 bags of cranberries for me while they were on sale and in stock. I realized that the bags are now 12 oz. instead of 16 oz. Downsizing but the price is still the same as it was for the 16 oz. bags last year.
~Jeff found caramel sauce for $1.71 per bottle. That is a great price! He picked up two bottles.
~I got all the cold water/hand washing done. It feels good to get that all done.
~The quilts/throws that my mother made for Jeff and I all got washed too.
~Turkey bacon was taken out of the freezer to thaw so I can cook it up this weekend.
~I made a HUGE mistake by heading into Pullman to pick up a few things. It was Family Weekend at WSU and it was absolutely nuts in town! I was almost rear ended, side swiped and T-boned in my car. What is wrong with people? Anyway, I am thankful that at least one of us was paying attention and avoided an accident.
~I stopped at the thrift store and picked up season 2, 3 and 4 of Alias brand new, along with the move Urban Cowboy. I also found a beautiful Christmas tray with cardinals on it, some plate or book display racks, a few books, and a clothing item.
~A stop at the Dollar Tree led to a great find! I have always loved the movie "The Sign of the Beaver" and knew that my oldest two grandboys would also love it. They had the movie there, so I bought it and it will be part of their Christmas present this year. I picked up a few food items too.
~Of course I hit the Grocery Outlet and picked up some things there. I did notice that their prices are going up. Salads at now .50 more than they were even a week ago and soup prices are also on the rise. I got things there that we will use now and some for our pantry for use in the months ahead.
~I was totally exhausted and sore after shopping, but I still resisted the urge to just have Jeff pick up dinner on his way home. Instead I got 2 russet potatoes and 1 sweet potato going in the microwave and then got some popcorn chicken out of the freezer and got that going in the air fryer. It made for a nice meal and it saved a ton of money. We did have some leftover chicken for a future meal.
I just wanted to encourage anyone reading this that having someone in the home full time is a huge blessing to a family, whether it be one with kids at home or not. Your work as a homemaker is important and should be highly valued. Having someone there to cook delicious meals, tend to the garden, seek out bargains, keep up with the laundry, etc. is a full time job in itself. I am blessed to be able to do the job I do here at home and am so thankful that Jeff and I are in a position where I can do so despite my Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other health issues. I may not be able to work outside the home and bring in income anymore, but I can do things within the home to stretch the income Jeff brings in. I can also make sure that he comes home most nights to the wonderful smells of a delicious dinner waiting for him, has fresh homemade bread made for sandwiches and toast, has clean clothing to wear and freshly washed sheets to crawl in between at night and has a wife that is not stressed out beyond belief from having to deal with the outside working world on a regular basis. I can be there to love and support him and listen to him after his long day at work and make sure that he is able to relax and decompress. That is a gift that I can give to him. Be encouraged homemakers...your job is important and you are making a difference!