Friday, November 13, 2015

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

First, I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with Paris and France tonight.  Please, if you have a moment pray for those poor people who are currently victims of terrorism.  I remember how I felt on 9/11.  I can imagine how the populace of France feels right now.

This week might have been titled, "A Tale of Two Pairs of Boots" as this week revolved around foot gear for my son.

I had, a while back, been gifted a pair of boots from my sister-in-law for my son in the next size up from where he was at the time.  I didn't look close at the boots at all (as I'm sure my sister-in-law didn't either) and just put them aside relieved that I had a pair of boots that would fit him.  And then I pulled them out this week for my son to replace his boots that were getting pretty tight on him.  And I was taken by surprise and not in a good way.

The boots were completely shot.  The seam that adhered the rubber to the nylon was gone completely on the front of one boot which would have left the top of the foot just open to the snow and weather.  There were other seams that were not in great shape and the nylon on one boot had been worn almost all the way through to the top of the foot.

Desperate to have something for my son to wear I hit the used stores first, then the regular stores looking for boots in his size only to come up empty handed.

So, I set about rebuilding one pair of boots.  I took the heaviest thread I had, which happened to advertise on it's old spool that it could be used for shoe repair and sewed the boots back up.  And then I took about four layers of Shoe Goo (a shoe repair and show coating's kind of the consistency of rubber cement, but made for shoes) and coated the seams that I'd sewed up and built up the material all the way around.

Three layers of tent waterproofing and a lot of test runs in a sink full of water to test water resistance later and I was ready to let my son wear them, hoping that they'd hold up to wear and tear.

And then I was at therapy the other day and while waiting for a therapist to get done with her previous client I pulled out my yarn bag and started crocheting some more pot holders for Christmas gifts for therapists and teachers as my son played in his usual pile of bean bags.  The mom of the child that was being seen before my son was there complaining on her phone to someone that she'd been stood up by someone who was supposed to buy a bunch of old children's clothes and outerwear off of her and was trying to figure out her next move.

I decided to take the plunge and just out and out asked her what she had in the way of outwear and found, to my surprise, that she had a pair of boots, a NICE pair of boots, in the exact size I was looking for for my son.  She showed them to me and I prayed there was some way I'd be able to get them for my son.  I asked her how much she wanted for the boots and flinched when I heard 30.00, which was more than I could afford this week after my husband's doctor's visit and stuff last week.  I was trying to figure out a way to maybe do a payment plan with her or something when she looked at the pot holder I was making and mentioned how pretty it was and asked me if I would consider selling it to her when I was done as she was looking for something a lot like it for her mom for Christmas.

I reached into my yarn bag and pulled out the four pot holders I already had done and just been keeping in the bag for the sake of simplicity and asked her which one she'd like.  She asked to purchase them all and I offered to trade her the pot holders for the boots.  She accepted the deal.  She was thrilled and so was I.

Yes, I will have to make new gifts for teachers and therapists.  But I got a really nice pair of boots (probably about 200.00 new) for my son that were barely worn for four pot holders.  That, to me, is a good deal!

And now I also have a back up pair of boots for my son (the ones I rebuilt) in case his other ones get too wet.

Some other ways I saved money this week were:

1.  I shopped sales at Carrs this week to get my Thanksgiving turkey as cheap as possible.  If you spent 50.00 in a shopping trip you could get a Honeysuckle turkey, from 10 to 20 pounds, for .79 per lb.  This is within my target price for turkey and I knew from experience that 10 to 20 pound birds would get sold out quickly with this deal because if you spent 150.00 in a shopping trip you could get the same turkey for free.

I planned carefully and figured out what my price would be for the groceries I'd need for Thanksgiving and for the week once discounts and coupons would be taken (as the 50.00 would have to be after those things).

All said and done I got the groceries I would need for Thanksgiving, including the turkey and all of the groceries I would need for the coming week for 50.00 under my normal grocery budget.

2.  I fixed a hole in my daughter's winter jacket this week.

3.  I wanted to make my daughter a certain gift for Christmas, but didn't want to spend much at all in the way of supplies because we don't have it.  My husband and I hit the thrift store while the kids were in school this week armed with pocket  change and I was able to get the few things I needed for within that pocket change.

4.  I stayed home a lot this week and just tried to get house work caught up and other things around the house done, so that saved me money.

5.  I got my electric bill in the mail this week, which I had been dreading as usually our electric bill, due to our partially electric heat, goes nuts, but since I've been turning off heat during the day where I can and due to the LED light bulbs and me turning off lights as much as possible, our electric went down by 10 kilowatt hours per day (and that's with five extra days on our billing cycle for this month compared to last year).  I feel pretty good about that and pray I can keep it up as the winter gets colder and darker.

6.  I worked hard to make our meals per my meal plan this week to really give my winter meal plan a good trial run in the next month. If the monthly plan works and I can rotate it through the winter this will save me a lot of money in the long run as I'll know exactly what ingredients I'll need for winter food preparation.

7.  I've been enjoying watching "This is America Charlie Brown" from our DVD collection with the kids this week as we start gearing up toward Thanksgiving at the end of the month.  Watching the DVD's has given me a good opportunity to talk to my daughter about various periods in American history, including the Mayflower voyage and the first Thanksgiving.  We'll also be reading stories and doing coloring pages and things on the first Thanksgiving as the month progresses.  It's so far been a lot of fun I'm glad it's giving me an opportunity to talk to my daughter a bit about history.

8.  I sat down with my daughter and started her list of things she wants to make her father and grandparents for Christmas.  I've found my daughter, over the last few years, likes to make gifts too, and this also allows us not only to save money, but also allows her to get behind the idea that Christmas is about giving, not getting.  She's still finalizing her list, but no matter what she chooses to make we'll make it with materials we have around here (she finds it more challenging and she is pretty greedy when it comes to saving her money *laugh*), so that will save us money as well.

9.  I continued to make Christmas gifts this week, which definitely saves us money.

And there you go folks.  A few ways I saved money this week.  How did you do?


  1. I am not sure where I found your Blog but I truely enjoy reading it

  2. Great job on getting those boots for just a few handmade potholders! I'm sure that woman is just as thrilled she got 4 handmade Christmas gifts for the cost of a pair of used boots she didn't need anymore anyways. It was an excellent trade for both parties.

  3. Wow, your efforts are impressive. Don't you just love barter! That deal you got, boots for potholders, was a huge blessing. Great to hear your daughter is following in your frugal footsteps.

  4. It would be hard to come up with anything I've done that wouldn't pale before your accomplishments. I hope your husband appreciates you.

  5. suggestion for your electric bill... something we've been doing :) We've taken white led Christmas string lights and tacked them up along the seems of the walls (where wall and ceiling meet) and then have them set on a timer to come on early in the morning just before hubby gets up to go to work and then they shut off at around 8:30 am by which time everyone else is up and there's enough daylight (right now anyway) for me to move about the house.. and then they come on again in the evening - about 5-ish right now, and stay on til everyone is in bed. this way we have enough light to do most things by without having to turn on many, if any, additional lights. (most of those are LED by now as well, but the string lights spread the light around better).
    we have a string in the living room, one in the kitchen, 2 in the basement, we have stings in the bedrooms, though the teenager leaves hers unplugged, and the lil kids room.. right now they're not in use (though we have the solar powered ones in there in case of outages...)

    1. I have thought about doing this is it enough light to do things like play or such or what?