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Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Bargain Family Holiday Celebration #479

Did you have a good Labor Day? Was it a restful day or one filled with activity? 

These Monday holidays throw me off schedule for the remaining days of the week. Today feels like a Monday, but I know when I wake up in the morning, it will be mid-week.

Our holiday celebration was once again, a frugal one. I'm not sure we have it in ourselves to do a spendy celebration. This is just our nature. It was just my husband, myself and our two daughters for this holiday. Early in the day we picked and processed plums, completely filling the 6 dehydrator trays. I'll be harvesting and drying more plums tomorrow. Later we played some croquet, badminton, horse shoes, and ping pong. Our ping pong table is damaged, so we used a large folding table in its place, marking where the net would go with painters' tape. This large folding table, by the way, was retrieved from a free pile 2 summers ago.

For our evening meal, we had a cookout over a fire using our own property's wood for cooking. About a month ago, I came across some hormone/antibiotic-free, uncured, no fillers, all-beef hotdogs on clearance for $2.85 a package. I had a coupon I could use up to 5 times for $1 off this brand. I found 4 packages of these marked down hotdogs. So I bought all 4, paying $1,85/package for some otherwise pretty pricey hotdogs. These normally sell for $6.29/package. When I bought these, they were nearing expiry, so I've kept them in the freezer since.

I didn't feel like making buns. I don't use a bun, so I scrounged the freezer for 3 bun-like bread products. I found 2 pretzel rolls and 1 dinner roll. Oddly, all three of my family members wanted the dinner roll. But dad got to have it, as he's the dad. To go with the fire-roasted dogs I heated a can of sauerkraut, sautéed some garden kale and carrots in leftover bacon fat from earlier in the week, made a tomato salad with garden tomatoes, and sliced up part of a watermelon (the only thing I bought specifically for the weekend, at 48cents/lb). We were out of sweet pickle relish, so I chopped up some sweet and spicy watermelon pickles for an impromptu relish to go with the mustard and ketchup. For dessert I found some graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate chips in the pantry for s'mores over our fire. All in all, a tasty, easy, and cheap holiday dinner for the 4 of us.

We sat outside under the repurposed Christmas mini-lights for a couple of hours in the evening, listening to Spotify music on my daughter's phone and reminiscing about the highlights of each of our summers. School begins tomorrow for the district in which both my daughters sub. Today I replaced the summer kitchen table runner with the harvest-themed table cloth. Summer is fading fast in my neck of the woods.

Whether frugal or not, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Does it feel like summer is about done for you, too?


  1. Sounds like a great day of family fun. And what a deal you got on those hotdogs! My two sons came over for a picnic although the temperatures were near 100, so we spent most of the time inside. It's always nice when we can get together whatever the circumstance.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I'm so glad both your sons could come over the the holiday. Although, 100F does sound a tad warm! good thinking to move everything inside. I hope it is cooling this week.

  2. What a relaxing day you had!

    We relaxed by going out of town to an Amish community where we walked the flea market and then took our two oldest kids (they came with us but in separate cars) out for dinner before one had to go home to teach the next day. Our son stayed with us overnight and we walked the flea market again the next day. We also shop the Amish store for spices, baking things that get us through the next year or so. It's a time of stock up for each of our homes.

    We rested and relaxed the entire weekend. And our daughter and son in law were up for the weekend to visit friends and we got a quick hour visit with them too. Nothing like see all the kids in one weekend! I needed that so much!


    1. Hi Alice,
      This must've been your anniversary weekend away. Your time in the Amish community sounds ideal. I'm so glad you could see all of your kids over the weekend. I know how rare that can be, especially when one or more move to another area.

  3. Lynn from NC Outer BanksSeptember 7, 2023 at 5:49 AM

    Sounds like a great gathering Lili. Our weekend was full of activity, a LOT of cooking, but SO fun. We had 8 houseguests for the weekend and an additional 3 family members for dinner who were visiting in the area, for a total of 13 for dinner. I was thankful the main effects of hurricane Idalia were gone so we could enjoy the weekend. (Also thankful for our generator since we lost power for 9 hours).

    We had our main dinner on Sun night as almost all of our guests were traveling on Labor Day. I didn't have as good bargains as Lili, but had planned a frugal dinner around pulled pork I had frozen. I had 2 bags thawing in the refrigerator and was making sides like corn for .25/ear, baked beans, marinated bean salad, tomatoes from the garden and a gussied up boxed brownie mix for dessert. I checked to see how the meat was thawing and realized the 2nd bag wasn't pork at all! It was a bag of chicken parts for broth! That sent me scurrying to the store where pork butts were .99/#. I threw that puppy in the crock pot on high and dinner was saved! I did go over my monthly budget but plan to eat from the pantry this month to get back on the plus side.

    The ingredients for meals my children requested I had bought cheaply (as cheaply as possible these days). My daughter had requested shrimp pasta salad and we were given fresh caught shrimp so that made that dish quite cheap!

    But the highlight for all of us was our little 6 month old granddaughter. She's so precious and we all got our share of snuggles. After all the together time, it was hard to see them leave :,( "Parting is such sweet sorrow". But it was a lovely weekend all around.

    1. Hi Lynn,
      It sounds like you were very busy this weekend. I'm so glad you could enjoy having a full house, especially time with your baby granddaughter.

      What happened with the chicken parts you thought was pork sounds just like something that would happen to me. You saved it well!

  4. Monday was a blissfully quiet day for me. Saturday was spent with an out-of-town friend, and I worked Sunday, so I was glad to have a day off. My husband grilled a pork butt--it was just the 3 of us, so we have lots of leftovers. They made for an easy dinner last night.

    Sounds like everyone else who commented had company. In answer to your question, summer doesn't feel quite done yet, but it's getting close. We have a church potluck coming up Sunday, and our neighborhood potluck will be happening soon, so I think after those events I'll feel like the unofficial start of autumn has arrived.

    1. Hi Kris,
      What a lovely holiday you had after a couple of busy weekend days! Sometimes quiet is best.

      Although folks across the country enjoy potlucks, I've always thought of the mid-west especially as the potluck capital of the US. What will you be contributing to the 2 upcoming potlucks?

    2. For our church potluck tomorrow, we're supposed to bring both a main dish and a dessert to make sure there's enough food for everyone. I had a very busy day today so I kept it super simple--made my MIL's tuna pasta salad for the main dish and the cookie bar recipe that is made using a yellow cake mix as a base (I think I shared it with you at one point). I tend to make last-minute decisions for things I take to potlucks based on what I have available.


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