Monday, January 14, 2019

Last Week's Thrifty Moves

Week two began brilliantly!  I got up bright and early and the oldest one drove me to Trader Joes, Winco and Albertson's to pick up the items on my carefully crafted grocery list.  At Trader Joes I picked up produce and a bottle of avocado oil.  My daughter's sweet boyfriend gave me a $10 gift card to Trader Joes for Christmas and I used it to purchase the oil.  I've wanted to get some avocado oil for quite some time, but it wasn't in the budget.  So, until now I've always passed on it.  Thanks to his kind and thoughtful gift I now have a bottle of avocado oil in my cupboard.

Trader Joe's haul

At Winco I picked up the rest of our groceries.  Prices were lower than planned for so I was able to add a few items to my list.  I added a pound of white beans, an extra dozen eggs, a pound of frozen green beans and an extra box of sugar free pudding.  My final cost on groceries for the week came in at $19.81!  I am very pleased with myself for not going over.

Winco haul

On the way home we stopped in at Albertson's to pick up four cans of kitty food for our old man kitty adding $3.96 to my non food total.  All of the stores were in line with each other and the route we took to and from home so no going out of the way and wasting fuel to make three stops.  By going to three different stores I was able to spend much less money for what we purchased.  My daughter got in some good practice driving and the exercise sure didn't hurt me either!

I love this little Crock Pot for small batches

At home I did some meal prep to prepare for the week ahead.  I put on a pot of bean soup in my smallest slow cooker cleaning out a container of broth from the freezer and a lone carrot and some leftover onion and celery from the refrigerator.  I used up the last of the eggnog and some stale bread to make the girls french toast for breakfast.

Egg nog poundcake

I baked a pound cake using up some eggnog I had in the freezer, a cake mix and a vanilla pudding mix I had in the pantry, a batch of corn muffins from a mix I found in the pantry and some keto friendly peanut butter cookies.  We also made some deviled eggs using up the last of the eggs I bought for Christmas baking.

Flourless SF peanut butter cookies with SF chocolate chips

The girls headed back to school on Monday.  My oldest had a job interview after school that day and got the job.  She worked three days last week and I am super happy about it and very proud of her.  Money for college is always a good thing.

This one pound bag made a lot!  Good value.

Wednesday I used a bag of tortellini, a can of diced tomatoes and a small can of tomato sauce I had in the pantry to make a quick tortellini soup and served it with more leftover dinner rolls from the freezer and a green salad.  Since that soup is definitely not one for me to have I pulled out the tail end of a bag of frozen shrimp that needed to be used up and sautéed that with a little pesto I had in the fridge.  I ate that with the salad and it was fantastic!

Fried rice, egg drop soup & green salad

On Thursday I used a container of chicken broth from the freezer and a couple eggs to make egg drop soup.  I made up a small batch of fried rice to go with it which made my girls very happy.  They love egg drop soup and they love fried rice.  We also had salad leftover from the previous night.

I also took out a small container of pork verde I had put up in the freezer.  We had that for lunches a few times during the week.  Friday and Saturday we finished up leftover soup and verde.  I sent my daughter to work Saturday evening with a PB&J to eat on her break finishing up a jar of apple butter in the fridge.  We finished up quite a few odds and ends and kept our food waste to a minimum.

This shrimp was fantastic! 😋

We fed our kitchen scraps to the chickens.  I composted tea bags, coffee grounds, onion skins, egg shells and banana peels.  I added one small bag of trash to our big garbage bin and several items to the blue recycle bin.  We did not set anything at the curb for pickup this week.

I renewed my cell phone service spending only $20.79 for 90 days of service.  I am now well set until April.

I worked a couple hours of overtime.  That will be a nice little bit of extra on my next paycheck.

Not sure if I'm making progress here or not

I updated my spending tracker and did some financial planning.  I also got started gathering documents to prepare to file my income tax return.  Other than grocery shopping on Sunday and renewing my phone service on Tuesday I did not do any additional shopping or spending the remainder of the week.  Yes!

I checked out the grocery ads and downloaded some digital coupons as well as the Fred Meyer Friday Freebie to my store rewards cards.  I also planned out a new list for my next grocery shop so I get the most groceries for the least amount and not go over my $20 budget.

I used up this egg nog, a couple eggs and some stale bread
to make the girls French toast for Sunday breakfast

I sent out thank you notes and greeting cards to friends and family using what I already had in my stash.  I used fertilizer spikes I had in our junk drawer to feed our two houseplants.

I used up the last of a little tub of sugar scrub that was gifted to me a few years ago to exfoliate my hands, feet and legs.  I rinsed out the empty and added it to our recycle bin.  I added water to a jug of fabric softener I bought last month at Dollar Tree as it seemed unusually thick.  I was able to double it by using an empty bottle I pulled out of our recycling bin and diluting it 50/50.  It is still plenty thick and seems to work just fine.

Stack of crap to burn and get out of the house! 😉

I used a good sized stack of shreddables to start a fire in our firepot and burned up a crate of scrap wood we had sitting on the deck.  It was full of odds and ends from our various projects last summer.  I counted that as two bags of stuff eliminated from our home.  Oh yeah!

You know that feeling where you think you are being watched?
Bad kitty!  Get down from there!

Some of the 15 Minute Chores I accomplished to keep my home in order:

Laundry Room & Half Bathroom - vacuumed laundry room, washed bathroom rug, scrubbed bathroom floor and baseboards.

Dining Room - cleaned the chandelier, vacuumed the floor

Kitchen - wiped down kitchen cabinets, vacuumed and spot mopped floor.

Bedrooms & Main Bathroom - washed bedding, sheets and pillows.  My daughter's cleaned the main bathroom and we vacuumed all bedroom floors.

Other - three loads of laundry, dusted and vacuumed living room, hallway and entry, cleaned the bookcase, wiped down the electric baseboard heaters.  Swept front porch.

How was your thrifty week?


  1. You are doing great with your challenges! We too are eating lots of soups and purging lots of stuff. I want to do your challenge but plan to do mine in February, I am hoping with careful planning we can do it even with a plant based diet.

    I have LOTS of sewing to get done. I just found out I have less than a month to get a baby quilt done for a shower. I need to plan my time at lunch today so I can gauge how much I need to do daily to get the job done. The baby theme is navy/white with antlers(?) and I naturally have no deer fabric but I do have navy and white so I will just match the colors. I am not spending over $10 yard for fabric for this especially since it will take yards and yards! This is use it up year right so I will use the goods I have.

    1. Good for you Candace! You can totally do the quilt from your stash I'm sure. And plant based soups are so yummy. Are you eating legumes at all?

  2. What a great week you had. I agree about the avocado oil, especially when you are trying to have a tighter food budget than normal.
    I am slowly but surely decluttering, room by room, drawer by drawer. It is overwhelming to think about but very doable in 30 minute increments.

    1. Thank you Anne.

      It is tough to declutter, some days more than others, but I'm determined to stick to it. I'm up to 16 bags now. Only 14 more to go.

  3. Oh my goodness, that kitty!!! :D

    Congrats to your daughter on getting the job! I keep pushing my son to apply. He doesn't want to do food, which I can understand- I didn't want to as a teenager either (the intense smells of most restaurants turn my stomach if I'm around them for too long, even if I enjoy the food), but a lot of the stores around us won't hire under-18s, and with the layout of our area, a lot of stores are just too far (or on a road with ridiculous rush hour traffic) to make it feasible for me to drop him off there. Joys of suburban life!

    You had a fantastic, productive week. Love it when that happens! :)

    1. Thank you Stephanie. It was a great week and it made me very happy.

      I'm glad she got the job too. It helps that the place she works is close by and on the bus line.

  4. I am eating legumes. I have multiple autoimmune conditions and this lifestyle change is supposed to lower inflammation. I can tell it is helping but even with the dietary changes my recent ANA is still high. My girls eat the same way I do and if they want something different then they fix it.

    1. Sounds like you and I are in similar boats. I'm amazed at how much the American diet has damaged our health. The statistics are staggering. Keep at it, you will see good results as time goes on.

  5. Congratulations on your daughter getting a job! Both your girls have such bright futures because of their wonderful mother. I just love your blog posts and all the good ideas.

  6. What do you use the avocado oil for?

    1. You can cook with it, make marinades or salad dressings. Use it a lot like olive oil.


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