Friday, January 29, 2016

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap (Edited)

EDIT:  Right *cracks neck*, now that I got the pity party off of my chest, I read back through what I wrote, got a good idea of some underlying issues and am working on those.  I'll follow up with that in the future, but I removed said pity party for now.  I need to get into a more positive frame of mind and I'll definitely work on that.  Sorry for laying personal stuff on you all.

So onto the money saving stuff for the week!

1.  I realized quickly this week that there wasn't going to be fabric to fix the love seat anytime in our near future and the love seat developed some holes, so it was "Make Do and Mend" week here at the Make Do Homemaker household.  I went through my fabric and found some black fake leather we'd bought to repair my husband's recliner or something a while ago and after I measured it up I figured it would be close enough.  My fingertips, I think, are pretty much gone right now from the sheer amount of times I poked myself (those are big patches), but it's done for better or worse.  Not the best looking love seat in the world, but at least it doesn't have holes.

Here's how it looked before...
And here's how it looked after...
It's an improvement anyway.  Another shot of it in it's "now final state" is up top.

2.  I kept within my significantly reduced grocery budget this week.  Extra ways I saved money in that way:  I walked away from some reduced half and half and some reduced corn flakes.  I normally try to take half and half in my coffee, but I realize that we can't really afford that right now, so I've been drinking milk in my coffee instead.  I'm trying to work myself into drinking coffee black, but just haven't been able to get there yet.  The corn flakes I kind of wanted for cereal (obviously) and for breading and things for baking, but I realized that I didn't need them and I just put them back in the reduced bin.

3.  I took 6 dollars out of ten dollars from my birthday money early in the week and bought my son three pairs of jeans at the used store in his size and the next size up.  I've been trying to jam his extra long waist into the smaller pants sizes and it just plain wasn't working and the kiddo was constantly having to pull his pants up.  Hopefully the new pants will fit him better and do him for a while.

4.  The days the kids were sick I (obviously) didn't go anywhere, so that saved money.

5.  I've kept on top of my cleaning schedule and efforts to save on utilities when I'm here alone.  By putting the heat down during the day and at night just on this month's bill, even with 5 days added on before the meter read, our bill was down 40.00 below what it normally is this time of year.  At least THAT effort is working well so far.  Wish the electric bill would start going down more, but we'll have to wait and see on that.

6.  I've been re-watching Wartime Farm on You Tube and am thinking about watching the other farm series that the group who did Wartime Farm did.  It's entertaining and also helps to inspire me to find news ways to make do watching wartime living.

7.  I had some food money saving things, but I'll save that for the Bare Essentials weekly recap over the weekend.  Food usage gets interesting when you're broke.

8.  I loaded coupons onto my shopping cards and shopped from a priced list to make the most of my money this week.

9.  I cooked dinner at home, sick or not, all week long, and stuck stubbornly to my menu plan.

10.  I used warm up water from the shower, collecting it in my scrub bucket, and used that with a squirt of soap to wash the floors.

11.  I made a big pot of soup early in the week that my husband and my daughter didn't want to eat, so I've been eating it all week for lunch.  It definitely worked out to be a cheap lunch alternative (I love soup that way).

And there you are folks.  Some ways I saved money this week.  How did you do? 


  1. Erika, I can't think of a single married person in my circle of friends who hasn't been on homicide watch! I'm really sorry you've had such a tough week. Maybe you can fix hubbys lunches of pb&J sandwiches for the next week and explain the need to make up the dipping into the bill money.
    When I asked my husband to take over the paying of the bills since he couldn't/wouldn't curb his spending he stated "you've always keep the wolf from the door, why change?" When the grocery budget was cut and his favorites didn't show up he wanted to know why. I explained that the wolf had eaten it for breakfast. He got the point, cleared all purchases over a set amount with me and was proud of helping me take care of the budget. I didn't hold it against him, he's a man! But you are a WOMAN, you can balance a budget by saving money, cook great food with an "empty" pantry and clothe your family with planned makeovers, hand me downs and bargains at the thrift store. Forgive him for his insecurity, love him for his goodness and put it in the past. You have a future to plan for. Nothing can change the past.

    1. I just wish I could get him on board at all when it comes to curbing his spending. He figures because he's not going out and buying tools for hundreds of dollars that he's doing his part and I'm not sure how to get across to him that hundreds of dollars might as well be millions of dollars right now we're so broke.

      If I packed him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday he wouldn't eat them. He go out to eat and bring the same sandwich home all week. I just wish he'd respect what I do as well as the fact that I respect what he does and just help instead of hinder.

      I'll forgive him. I always do. I just need to figure out how to get over my depression first. I'll get there. The wound is just still raw right now.

  2. I didn't get to read before your edit but sometimes we all just need to get it out before we go crazy. Each marriage is different but doesn't your husband notice all you do and go without? Short of killing him, I personally would be mad about lunches out but he is a grown man, you can't make him do what he won't. I am sorry you are depressed, you have enough going on with money and your son. Cheryl

    1. That's basically what I was going through. It was either vent or go insane. The husband spent a significant amount of money taking his work crew out to eat for his brother's birthday, we got into a fight about it and I've felt awful and depressed for days.

      We talked tonight after he got home from work and hammered some stuff out, mainly me telling him I can't do this alone anymore. He seemed grounded and logical during the conversation, so hopefully things are working smoother from here on out. I hope so anyway.

    2. Glad you got to talk, you are right, you can't do this alone the stress will be unbearable. By any chance is it possible for your husband to get a small amount of money each payday to do as he wants? I am sorry you are going through this Erika. Cheryl

  3. I think you did a great job on fixing your loveseat/sofa. I too enjoy the Wartime Farm videos on YOutube and have been watching others that are similar as well. Your savings on your heating bill are substantial...well done! My savings for the week were just posted on my blog...staying home more has really helped.

    1. Excellent! Saving money is always good! I'll be sure to visit and check out your blog :).

  4. First of all, with all the repairs you have made on leather furniture, I think you've developed quite an amazing skill. You really should be proud of this accomplishment. Most people wouldn't have even attempted to fix it. It may not look picture perfect, but it solved the problem and that's all that matters.

    Second, despite feeling under the weather, you were able to accomplish some amazing savings this week. You stuck to your guns and kept your grocery budget low. You were able to save a significant amount of money on your hydro bill (huge props there). But most importantly, you cooked every single meal at home, even when you didn't feel like it. That alone deserves a huge pat on the back! I certainly didn't do as well as you when I was dealing with depression. Your accomplishments are more inspiring than you even realize!!!

    I really loved watching Ruth and Peter is all the different series. I can't decide which on I liked more, Victorian Farm or Edwardian Farm. They do such an amazing job of showing how things were done back then and how long of a process it really was. Great frugal tips though! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

    You are not alone with a less than understanding husband. My husband and I have had similar issues in the past. We still struggle with them now, but it is less noticeable now that our finances have improved slightly. Don't loose hope. The only way things get better is to keep moving forward. I hope this week is a better one emotionally. Lots of love and hugs!

    1. Thanks for the props on the furniture. I'm one of those people who see obvious flaws in my work no matter what (I think I'm more of a type A personality than I give myself credit for sometimes), so when the patches on the couch came out with one obviously shorter than the other (due to lack of material) annoys me *laugh*. But, like you said, it's better than holes, so at least it looks better in that respect.

      I'm still torn on which one to watch next. I think I am going to go with Victorian Farm as I love studying the Victorian Era.

      My husband and I sat down last night with me using that old line, "We need to talk"...I HATE that line *laugh*, but I didn't know how else to put it. And we hammered some things out once I told him up front that I was not mad at all, but battling depression and we needed to get things figured out before our marriage suffered severely. We got some things worked out and I'm so glad we did as I slept better last night than I have in years, I kid you not.

      I'll get more into that on my next post as it does impact my areas of blogging a bit (finances and all :). But thanks for the lift in spirits. I really appreciate it!

    2. By the way, thank you so much for posting the link to the Chocolate Rice Pudding recipe. I have been wanting to try making rice pudding for a while, but my husband and daughter didn't seem interested. When I saw "chocolate" I figured that was perfect for them. I made it for my family this week and they loved it!

    3. Isn't it great? I'm normally not a rice pudding type of person myself, but that one seemed like a great idea. And man was it! It went into my permanent recipe book *laugh*.

  5. I didn't see your original post, but you shouldn't feel bad for what you said. You can only work so many miracles before you run out of pixie dust. And your aren't alone. Believe me. Sometimes I feel so fusteratd too, (and though I've always wanted one, don't have a blog in part because of that and the problem it might cause if I talked about living carefully) but after so many years, it's to the point of, it's just better if I do it all. Then he's not upset, or feeling insecure financially which is a whole other can of worms. And I tell myself as much as I don't want to, when I do back to work in a year or two, things wil get easier. I had been doing two evenings a week, for a year and a half, and that was touh, but helped. I stopped when the business got sold in october, and that few hundred really did make a difference, to the point just the other day I was wondering how this month could work out paying it all without taking from savings, but, it has.

    Your blog is so honest and real, yet creative and real in the ordinary woman can feel like she's not a slob, or lazy, or whTever, because she's not perfect, and just the sort of thing I've been searching for for years, so glad I found you!

    This did I save. So our couch, is 2 1/2 years old. Before we moved here, we saved and then scrimp ed to buy our first ever new table, sectional sofa, and some mattresses, and then had the rude awakening of appliances on top. Any way. I LOVE my sofa. It was only $600 compared to real leather ones for 3000, so I knew it wasn't forever, but still... last summer my in laws visited, with their youngest, who lives at home still. (30 years old) while here, he cracked the downstairs bathroom sink, and put several scrapes in our couch. Which have grown. And then it's like a hundred other spots started cracking. And of course, the warrenty is over with. So, I fina, after weeks of sadness, decided I love my sofa, (it's a beautiful dark red and the first ting I've ever bought that was comfortable and unpractical color wise) and I was going to fix it, even if it wasn't perfect, because I want at least 15 years from it. So....markers and mod podge. Colored the white parts, mod podge the cracks. So far, several spots are holding fine. A few need more tlc. A few have a slight white line from the modoodge, but I swear, even if my couch ends up covered in it, if it keeps it looking mostly good, that's what I'll do.

    Groceries, I managed to come in on budget. Then, stupidly let myself into the discount grocery shop today, and spend $24. But, that was for about $65 worth retail. So, might just take from next week's money and call it good.

    I found a coupon that epires today, for a free dominos pizza they gave my husband and his coworkers (he's a teacher ) so doing that for dinner. It's funny how it works, because a few minutes later, I heard about a near by family who lost their home in a fire 3 days ago. Single mom, 3 kids. And the dominos was doing a fundraiser and food drive and all for her this weekend. So my 8 year old and 3 year old helped me fill a bag with their favorites to donate. Was glad had kraft mac and cheese and PBJ and etc on hand to donate, fun foods, not just blah. Was able to save snice it was all bought on sale, not last minute.

    Got my oldest 4 pairs of pants at a thrift store yesterday. I sure I did other things, but the shadow of a dentist bill monday, and the one two weeks from now takes all that savings! As well you know lol!

    1. I'm so sorry about that poor woman losing her home. Glad you were there to be able to donate things to make them feel a bit better in the middle of all of that. Sometimes that's all it takes to put a slight grin on someone's face in the middle of tragedy.

      Good luck with the sofa. I understand the struggle with the cracks and flaking believe me. Ours is real leather and is only five years old and it's still shredding and such, so good for you for recovering it as well as you can with what you have!

      Thanks for the kind words on the blog, too. I understand about holding your tongue about your spouse too. You'd be surprised what I DON'T post when it comes to that sometimes ;).

  6. Love your writing, I look forward to each and every post. Sorry for the incredibly stressful week!

    1. Thanks for the kind words :). And at least the week went better after this *laugh*.

  7. You should be incredibly proud of all you accomplish. I know I'm proud of everything you do and so well. I think men just have a different idea of budget. Of course now that mines in his mid 50's, he gets it. Would have been great when our son was young.
    Keep your chin up. You are my favorite blog! You keep it real.

    1. Aw, thanks for the kind words! Yes, men definitely think differently than woman do. It makes your head hurt trying to figure them out sometimes :).

  8. You did terrific! So happy for you! I have to make do as well. My husband is out of work at this time. I am a homemaker.

    Please drop by and say hello!
    Harvest Lane Cottage
    ...doing what I can with what I've got where I am
    on a short shoestring budget!

  9. love the furniture repair. I think it looks wonderful!

  10. It is interesting how you keep tabs on saving money. These events are so detailed that someone would think you had forseen them way before you thought about them. I like how you are always out there looking for ways to save some cash and it is really good to understand your position economically. It really saves you a lot of hustle rather than going with what people think you are.

    Peter @ Colourlock