Hello all. 😄 It's been a busy few weeks and I have not been feeling the greatest. Fibro, not covid, as far as I know. Also dealing with some emotional things and that is not fun, but it is needed. Silver linings...silver linings. 😜 So here are the frugal doings for two weeks, with pictures of some of our meals and things to follow the list. We do at a variety of foods and I try to do my best not to waste anything. Now, more than ever, we all need to be mindful of that. I was completely taken aback at the price hikes in food, especially meat! I had a conversation with a lady at Grocery Outlet and she said she told her hubby that they may have to go vegetarian because meat prices have gone through the roof. Cheese prices are also on the rise big time. I continue to hunt down good deals and stock up on them when available. Right now we are doing fine and I try to replace whatever we use ASAP with at least one, or maybe two, of that same item the next time I find it. It helps keep me sane. Now onto the savings!
~Jeff helped Chris with his pole barn/shop build both Saturday and Sunday. Free labor is a huge blessing for Chris, especially when he had his father, father-in-law and friend helping. Both Jeff and Bruce (FIL) have lots of construction experience and Bruce was also able to borrow some equipment from work to help lift the trusses up for the roof. Jeff and Bruce both also have a lot of tools to help with the build and Chris has been adding to his tool collection too!
~Saturday I made 4 jars of raspberry jelly with some of the raspberries that I had picked and frozen over the Summer. Jeff is not a fan of raspberry jelly, so most of these will become gifts. I still have so many more frozen blackberries and raspberries to use up so there is more jelly making in my future. I do them in small batches because that is about all I can handle at one time. Luckily I have a good supply of jars and lids here at home.
~I made a delicious pork loin roast for dinner on Saturday. I served it with rice, green beans and a salad. I saved some of the roast to use in another meal. We also had leftover rice that will also go into another meal.
~I was craving "comfort food", so I made some udon noodle soup and added some Swiss chard that I had picked from our garden before the big freeze along with some green onion (also from the garden and frozen) and some other things to it. So good and filling on a cold winter day!
~Sunday I video chatted with Josh for a short bit. He had just dropped off the dogs at their dog sitter since Lauren and Tate are in Ohio for her uncle's funeral and Josh has to head out for a week of training. Hopefully he will be able to see our hanai son #4 Lee while he is at training in Colorado this week.
~I froze some bananas that will be perfect for banana bread.
~I used the leftover rice to make Taco rice for Sunday's dinner. It is super easy to make:
Just brown some burger meat of your choice and add some minced onion, celery and taco seasoning to it. When that is all sauteed up nicely add a can of rinsed black beans, a can of diced tomatoes with their juice, a can of corn, again with it's juice, and let simmer for 10 minutes to allow for the flavors to blend. Then add leftover cooked rice to it and mix in well. Allow this to simmer on low for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with some shredded cheddar cheese on top. The leftovers are great for lunch or can be repurposed into an amazing burrito filling (which is what I plan on doing with most of it). I usually make a batch of the burritos and freeze them into portion sizes for Jeff to take to work with him to have for lunch.
~I pulled some cooked squash and onion out of the freezer to thaw. I will make a squash casserole with this later in the week.
~I called Dollar Tree to see if they had their garden seeds in yet and they did! I quickly showered and got ready and then headed into town. I stocked up on lots of seeds 4/$1, 6 laundry detergents in the larger bottles (they are downsizing the bottles), a few grocery items including cotto salami lunchmeat for Jeff, some OTC medications, a few cleaning items and 2 shirts at $1 each for Jeff.
~My next stop was Marshall's where I had a $25 gift card from Jeff to spend. I ended up getting 2 pairs of pajamas on clearance. The girl just finished marking down one of the pairs when I asked her what the price was since I could not find it earlier.
~Winco was my final stop. I picked up a few items including cabbage, milk, Powerade, bagels, canned chicken, carrots, coffee, and frozen pie crusts.
~Once I arrived home, I got the oven heating up and then popped in a frozen pizza for dinner. I was exhausted after all the shopping and driving.
Tuesday (exhausted Fibro flare day):
~Even though I went to bed at 11p.m. last night and woke up at 8:30, I was still super exhausted. I gave myself grace, had some coffee and a snack, watched some TV and then laid down to rest.
~After my rest, I made a squash casserole with some of the squash that I had cooked up and bagged, then frozen, in Ziplock bags. It was wonderful to have it at this time of year. Thank you again SJ for the wonderful suggestion!
~Jeff picked up the free pizza that I had uploaded onto our Safeway card.
~Jeff had hot dogs for dinner.
~I used some of the Taco rice to make burritos by also adding some cheese to the filling. I froze those burritos and the rest of the leftover taco rice for another meal. I freeze the burritos in pairs in a sandwich type Ziplock bag and then put all of those bags in another Ziplock bag.
~Looking through our big chest freezer, I found some pulled pork and put that in our inside refrigerator to thaw.
~The leftover pork loin roast was cut up, along with some cabbage, carrots,celery and onions. I then used that to make Peanut sauced Lo Mein for dinner. It is nice to be able to vary the flavor profiles of our meals during the week. Since Asian foods are comfort foods to me, and I am trying not to eat out this month, this gives me the "fix" I need. 😉
~More digital coupons were uploaded onto my Safeway card including a $5 off a $5 purchase. I will have Jeff stop by there on Thursday night before he goes to bowling to pick up a few things and hopefully it will be just a bit over the $5 which will apply the coupon. I need some rolls for the pulled pork sandwiches that we are going to have Friday night for dinner.
~Shannon came over for a visit and I gave her a jar of my homemade raspberry jelly. It was so good to have some time to just sit and get caught up with each other after the busy holiday season.
~We had the momma moose and her two babies make a visit in our neighborhood again. This time they were up eating apples that had fallen to the ground at our neighbor's property. I love seeing them come and visit. They provide the cats and I lots of entertainment.
~I had leftovers for lunch and Jeff took two of the burritos I made yesterday for his lunch.
~Jeff picked up cheese at Safeway and using the digital coupons, he got it for one cent! The cashier asked him how he did it and he explained combining the digital coupons to get that deal so she could so it herself.
~He went to Winco to get the hamburger buns since they are cheaper there. He also picked up more creamer for me. He told me that the only creamer they had in the flavor I asked for was in the huge containers. That is fine with me since I drink a lot of coffee. Apparently, the creamer section was pretty sparse according to him.
~I had some canned tamales for dinner since Jeff had his bowling league and I think he took something for dinner with him or he could have used his gift card for Arby's to pick something up.
~I got a call from my health insurance company telling me they never got my December payment. I checked to make sure that we did mail it out and we did. The other checks for payments to other companies also went out at the same time and many of them have been cashed. The check for the health insurance had not been cashed yet so I called them and had them put a tracer on it from their end. Between the holidays, mail delays and being short staffed on their end, the check may just be laying there waiting to be posted to my account and then cashed. I should know in a few days if they find it and post it.
~The covid cases are soaring again in our state, along with Idaho. Both are going to crisis care mode again for the hospitals and some clinics. The Nation Guard has been called in to help in many of the hospitals, including in Spokane. That means nonessential surgeries are once again being cancelled. Some school districts are going back to online learning due to staffing shortages, which really hurts the kids who have already gone through so much. I am so thankful for a very stocked pantry so that I do not need to be out grocery shopping or be around crowds. Shannon told me NOT to go out without an N95 mask right now and she is picking some up for me in Spokane since they are all out in our area. I listen to her since she works at one of the largest hospitals in Spokane and knows what is really going on. She is also a very level headed person who is not an alarmist. Jeff will still pick up the odds and ends we might need since he still has to go to work and I am not asking him to stop his bowling league, which is very small. He needs that outlet. There is a good chance that it will be shut down if things continue to get worse anyway.
~We went over to help Chris and Heather on the pole building Saturday. Heather was making lunch and I added 2 bags of chips and a reduced price veggie tray to it. It was so good!
~I hit the jackpot at one of our local IGA stores on Sunday. The reduced refrigerator section had 2 packages of fresh tortellini and 8 packages of teriyaki and pineapple chicken meatballs for $1 each! I bought them all! Seven of the meatball packages were frozen for future meals.
~Sunday's dinner was both packages of tortellini with a homemade cheese sauce. There were plenty of leftovers and I had some for my lunch the next day.
~Both the federal and our state were offering free covid rapid tests, so I ordered from both sites. I know that the federal offer was for 4 tests regardless of family size and we know families with more than 4 members, so we can share the tests with them if needed.
~I took one of the packages of teriyaki meatballs and made a teriyaki sauce to simmer it in. I added sweet red pepper slices from the freezer to it also and served this over rice.
~Tuesday evening we went to Winco to stock up on bulk items like baking supplies and popcorn, and also got some cabbage, toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, Powerade, apples, sweet potatoes and bananas. Apples were half the price there as other places and many other stores were completely out of certain produce items.
~We also went to the Dollar Tree on Tuesday evening and picked up more seeds, some gardening gloves for me, shampoo that Jeff prefers and conditioner for my hair.
~One of the other meals I made this week was a thin cut pork chop and stuffing bake. It was delicious! I served homemade applesauce from our freezer with it.
~Jeff had his bowling league Thursday night so I made a shrimp and cabbage Asian style for my dinner.
~Jeff picked up my prescription while in town for his bowling league.
~I uploaded a free pizza to my Safeway card and Jeff picked it up Friday on his way home from work.
~I had messaged Jeff about bringing home Panda Express for dinner on Friday night and then messaged him back saying never mind and that we would have pizza instead and save the money. 😉
~There were a bunch of loose spices that I had in small bags. I got them all in small glass jars and shakers then labeled them with a chalk pen marker that I had gotten on a previous trip to Dollar Tree.
~Some of the leftover rice was warmed up along with a half a can of chili for my lunch during the week.
~Plain water just does not do it for me so I have been adding some peach iced tea mix to it. I already had this in my pantry so that is a winning situation for me.
Following are some pictures from the last two weeks:
I would like to encourage anyone reading this to continue building your pantries. We are seeing shortages in our area and it is just going to get worse for awhile with the new mandatory "Fauci Ouchie" in place now for truck drivers in both Canada and the USA. Cases are drastically rising in our area and I feel like it is just a matter of time before Jeff and I do end up with it. Both of us have been super tired the past few days. I am praying we are not coming down with anything since there are also colds and the flu making the rounds, along with strep throat. I am as prepared as I can be and made some of the lemon/honey/ginger syrup today to have on hand. I like it in tea, water or even just a spoonful at a time. Jeff, not so much. He is not a fan of lemonade, and it kind of tastes like that with a ginger "kick" to it. Be blessed all and stay healthy!
Your taco rice looks so good! Thank you for posting how you make it. I sometimes make something like that with ground beef, corn, rice and ketchup, but, not diced tomatoes. I shall try making it your way, but, I will have to buy ground beef, first. I've more or less stopped buying beef because it is so expensive.ReplyDelete
You are very welcome. If you have a Grocery Outlet near you, they have for $3.99 a poun for the grass fed kind. That is the cheapest I have seen it lately.Delete
Sounds like you are making good use of what you have and getting deals. Stay safe and healthy. Stay home as much as you can.ReplyDelete
Hi Cheryl. :) I am trying to do just that and I do have some rapid covid tests here on hand "just in case".Delete
Sorry the fibro has risen its head. Me too some days with CFS. I'm keeping up with puppy but it takes all I'vegot. So when I do anyhing extra like shop I feel it. But oh my -- my puppy is amazing.ReplyDelete
The news is starting to say 'food shortages are here, but don't panic' or something like that. I was surprised to see it in the news banner during the news yesterday.
I'm making a freezer 'salsa' in my mini instant pot right now. basically cleaning out the freezer on my refrig. Hopefully it will taste ok.
Our Dollar Tree has always been $1.25 to account for the difference between the us and canadian dollars. I got seeds yesterday as well. I took the last two packets of green onion but the other offerings were well stocked.
I also started seeds for the first time in years -- two kinds of storage onion and two kinds of artichoke. About a dozen of each and all just fit on one cookie sheet. I'm trusting I can either find or pay what they;ll charge later this spring for starters.
Great to read your post. Cheers
SJ in Vancouver BC Canada
Hi SJ! I am so happy to hear about your puppy and although it is hard with CFS, I'm sure that all the joy is so worth it indeed! :)Delete
I was wondering how your food situation was looking with the trucking issues there and here. Please stock up on what you can now because it is going to get worse.
You are smart to start your seedlings and get them going. Our weather is not cooperating yet for me to do that but I will try in April to get things going and like you, I will pray I can I can find the starts that I want later in the Spring. I always buy my tomato plants but am going to try to plant some starts here myself this year. Much love to you!
should read **NOT** trusting I can find or afford the starts..LOLReplyDelete
Your food all looks so good. I am going to try that taco rice for sure. Covid is rampant here.ReplyDelete
Thank you! I see that Southern Idaho is back in Crisis Care Mode again and am praying it does not have to be implemented up this way again. I hope you are staying well!Delete
thanks for your kind words Debbie.ReplyDelete
Yes puppy girl is amazing. Hard to believe she's only been with me for just over 2 months. She's fit in so nicely it feels like we've been together forever.
I've noticed gaps on shelves in some stores like wallyworld, safeway and our local chain store. But mostly I've noticed that a lot of stuff is 'faced' with nothing behind it. Or just missing, at Safeway last week I found a 2# bag of pinto beans hiding at the back of the shelf and behind a different prodcut.
But I've been building my pantry for a while --hahaha..it started years ago in Seattle when caught in one of the ''hilly'' neighborhoods and a huge ice storm and then snow storm hit. And now I keep the deep pantry because I'm never sure when my CFS will crash or what I want to eat. In crash mode, i get nauseated often...anyway tmi..
I've started three little 12 inch Jiffy seed starter trays on the top of my stove. They fit perfectly on a cookie sheet. Not the most hygenic but it works for me. An electric heating pad is underneath. The challenge will be where to put them next as they put on height and need light.. So far thought nearly 100% germinaiton.
Take good care
SJ in Vancouver BC
Good for you for keeping a stocked pantry and I do understand about the not knowing when you may crash or what you will want to eat. ;) Sounds like you have a great set up for those seeds too! I am afraid to start mine in the house because my two cats would think I set out a kitty salad bar for them and eat them all! LOL!Delete
Ohhh, I love this project, it looks promising. More, give us more!!ReplyDelete