So, yeah, so far, even with a supreme lack of sleep on my part this week, I was still able to keep to the menu plan (so far) and get stuff done. So, let's get to the rest of the week!
Right, so warning up front here! You are about to view my shopping for this week. This contains soda, which I know is expensive and unhealthly and believe me I read all nutrition labels so please rest assured that I am only buying this "wonder concoction of junk food" because I have a child on the spectrum and he will literally starve himself if I do not provide him his preferred "foods" (and yes, I use that term as loosely as it goes).
Right, so you have been warned. Let's get onto the shopping trips!
1. Shopping was done super carefully this week, which I ended up having to do because the son is blowing through food around here and I went to grab my husband a soda for his work lunch and realized that we were completely out (which isn't a big deal until your husband has to buy soda at the gas station and pay 2.00 for a refill...that paid for one 12 pack of soda, nearly above there). We have found out recently that the son will drink the Safeway brand generic store cola, which is at least cheaper to get than Coke most weeks (and my husband likes it too, so I can throw them into his lunch in case he needs a caffeine influx to drive home without falling asleep), so I could get some generic soda and have it do double duty for both my husband's lunches and my son's "caffeine fits".
I ended up taking two trips to the store this week. One I took on Wednesday (the photo above there) when I had to go and get gas in the car and needed to get milk, so I figured I'd pick up a few things and use the 20.00 left on the prepaid card my husband gave me.
My son's teacher had sent home a letter a few weeks ago asking if parents could send in some supplies they were nearly out of and since she asked for nothing at the beginning of the year pretty much, I decided to do my part to help out the classroom. One of the things she'd asked for was freezer bags, so I had given her a couple of boxes of freezer bags from my "cheap stash" I had gotten from Three Bears a while back. My bad in that I then did a ton of baking, most of which had to go into the freezer to use later on and I quickly blew through the last of my box of freezer bags, went to get another box, only to find that all I had were quart sized freezer bags left (frugal fail!!!)! I stopped by Three Bears hoping to get a few more boxes of the cheap bags, only to find they didn't have any cheap bags in stock. So, hoping for divine intervention (as freezer bags at the stores tend to be REALLY expensive it seems anymore) I decided to see what Carrs had while I was there. Luckily I found that they had a cheapy brand of freezer bag now for 1.86 per box (regular price to boot!), so I grabbed two boxes of them to see me through for a while (and they are actually pretty good freezer bags, I was impressed). I had a personalized price on sandwich bags this week for 1.99 and decided to get some when I realized that my daughter's lunch box doesn't accommodate more than one reusable lunch container at a time and she had requested some Goldfish crackers in her lunch.
I also got a gallon of milk (regular price) and two pounds of butter (2.47 this week with a max of two per shopping trip) as I needed butter and milk.
I had also blown through the last of my soy sauce (like that EVER happens around this place) when I made some terriyaki chicken in the pressure cooker a couple of weeks ago and I had a personalized price of 1.99 on a big bottle of the stuff this week (which was weird because, like I said, I NEVER run out of soy sauce around here), so I got that as well. I didn't really NEED it right this moment or anything, but it assured I went over 22.00 (around) so I could use the rest of the prepaid card. I wanted to make sure I would use all of it as we were getting nailed 2.00 per month in service fees for having money left on the card.
All totaled after coupons, personalized prices and the rest of the gift card were applied I spent 1.71 out of pocket on that shopping trip.
I went back to Carrs today to pick up the kid's prescriptions that were running out around here and while there I went and grabbed a couple of freebies that Carrs offered me yesterday on Just 4 U.
On the freebie list were a "oui" yogurt (which I had for lunch today and was pretty tasty! Although, man the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in one little yogurt! Yikes!) and a Arla cream cheese. There were actually three different types of cream cheese available; original, strawberry and an herb containing one. I decided to go with the original because really I can add strawberry jam to make strawberry cream cheese and I can certainly add herbs to cream cheese to make an herby one.
And I bet you thought I forgot about the Tilamook cheese didn't you? Nope. I had a personalized price of 7.99 on the smaller block of Tilamook this week (which showed up in my feed this morning on Just 4 U, which irritated me a bit as I would have picked it up on my earlier shopping trip and to heck with the soy sauce, but oh well) and so I ran and grabbed that today as well and decided to use a 5.00 Safeway gift card I had toward the purchase. So, today's shopping trip cost me a total of 2.99. The entire shopping trip is seen up top there.
I was really grateful to have giftcards at my disposal this week. We still have a week and a half until we get paid, so I am trying to be really careful with money to make sure we have enough to see us through till then. My goal right now is to save as much as I can out of the small chunk we have left in checking (after fuel costs for commuting and such) and when the husband gets paid next I'd like to take 1/2 of that chunk that we have left and put it into savings. How much that will be has yet to be seen, but I'm hopeful it will be something!
2. I decided not to buy coffee when I ran out this week. I was tempted, boy was I, with how little sleep I was getting, but I instead switched to PG Tips that I have around the house (it's a type of tea) and have been drinking that instead. It doesn't quite cut the mustard on the caffeine content front, but I've been making do with it, and double benefit is that I'm using up some old tea while I'm at it.
3. I'm making progress on cleaning the house. I got my son's room shampooed over three times now and still need to do it a couple of more times to get things that he has ground into his carpet out of it and get it actually clean, but I'm getting there. Then it's onto the rest of the house.
4. We might have a bead on a new to us truck. A friend (well actually basically a surrogate cousin) of my husband's has a truck he wants to sell for about 5,000.00 after he gets a few things fixed on it, which I figure if we can't get a small home equity loan (our plan right now to get home maintenance done and things) to pay for it I know we could probably get a bank auto loan for that much to pay for it that way if needed and 5,000.00 is definitely in my price scope for a vehicle! Hoping for the best on that one! Wish us luck when we go to work with the bank on Monday, please!
5. Trying to work out a menu plan for the next month (believe it or not), so I can work on figuring out needed shopping to get done and continue to do the "two big shopping trips a month" method of shopping. So far it's getting there slowly but surely. A HUGE resource for me in figuring out some cheap meals to make is I went and started planning more meals from The Prudent Homemaker's Strictly Pantry Menu. I've also been hitting Pinterest a lot and finding recipes that I can adjust to our tastes (and income level...so many recipes that contain expensive ingredients out there!).
6. I was able to do some of God's work this week, which was completely free and allowed me to feel good to help someone else.
When I went to the store earlier in the week I went through U-Scan when I checked out. I just happened to glance down to find someone had forgotten to grab their 80.00 in change from the machine. Knowing someone would definitely miss that and pretty fast, I turned it into customer service. Then today when I went to the store I pulled in beside a car whose gas cap was open and lying against the side of the car. Honestly, I thought for sure someone had stolen the person's gas, so I quickly moved my car (in case police had to go there), wrote down the make and licence plate number and turned the information into customer service and explained what I saw. Not only did I find out that a very grateful mother had picked up her change from the U-Scan (it was the same lady at customer service and she remembered me so she wanted me to know that the money had found it's way into the right hands), but then when I checked out my cashier (one of my favorites) told me that he had gone out to check out the car I had turned in the information on and had happened to get there right when the woman who owned the car was getting into her car. He quickly pointed out what I had seen to her and seeing it the woman gushed gratefully as she had just gotten done at the gas station before going to the store and had forgotten to close up her gas tank (which she had said was something she'd done more than once, which had me baffled when I heard that). She was thrilled that it had been caught before she lost more gas as it sloshed out of her tank as she was driving down the highway.
So, yeah, never think that just because you are broke that you can't help people out. Just keep your eyes open. You never know when an opportunity might present itself.
7. My husband and I stopped off at the used store earlier in the week to drop off a bag of donations and get some fresh air. I saw that they had a certain color tag of clothing on sale for .25 a piece. My son needed shirts (that kid grows like a weed), so I went looking for him, but not only did I find him three shirts, but I found myself a nice zip up fleece sweatshirt, a long sleeved top and a couple of nice dressier tops to wear during the summertime. I even found a couple of small, commercial quality, baking pans that would fit into my pressure cooker to make egg bakes for breakfast and things. I paid with a roll of nickels I've had in my purse forever (I was given them as change from the same used store months and months ago and had just kept them in my purse as giving 2.00 in rolled change at a store isn't normally something I think to do) and some change I had in my jacket from a return I'd made a while back at the grocery store. So far my son is really liking his new shirts, so yay for that!
8. I mended a few toys for my daughter this week, including a ball gown for her Barbie sized dolls so that her Ever After High princesses could look super spiffy for a ball she was putting on *laugh*.
9. My husband started to weed out his old shirts from our closet this week and organized things while he did it. I'm just letting him do his thing at this point and am glad he's tackling it.
And there you go folks. Some of my frugal adventures this week. How did you do?