Friday, May 13, 2016
Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap and Garden Update
I will break this down but put the bright side I found to the situations in as well as I did find bright sides as I went along.
We went to my husband's dental appointment early in the week. He was supposed to get two root canals. Well he talked to the dentist and said no on any bridge work they might want to do, which took out one root canal as they would need to remove the cap they put on, do a root canal (as there wasn't enough tooth left after the cap was removed) to do a build up for a crown....or something like that. So one root canal got nixed right away. Then they went to work on the other tooth, but the dentist kaboshed it after looking at the tooth more closely realizing that it was broken down below the gum line and there wasn't enough tooth to save (down side). So, we figured it was going to be an extraction, but since the tooth isn't bothering my husband at all right now the dentist just left it and just told him to keep the tooth in his head as long as he could so he had...well you know...another tooth.
He then sat my husband down and made a proposal. Since we'd already gone in to get work done and since he did need more dental work done, he offered to do two more of my husband's teeth that needed to be capped that day. And by doing that it would come out to be about the same amount of money as the one root canal and cap would have been. My husband and I both agreed once we found out what the bottom line for the last root canal, the final crown for that root canal and the two caps would cost.
So for the one root canal he got done last time and the crown to go with it, as well as the two caps we got done that day we paid about 4000.00 (I think it was like 4200.00, but can't find my sheet of paper with the amount on it at the moment). I was happy with the price as I paid 1/2 of that just for one cap with another dentist for myself. And now, the super bright side. We only have the one future extraction to worry about and then two more teeth to cap and all of his teeth are done! Yay!!!
Which, of course the downside on that is wondering what our payments are going to be as my daughter's braces payment is like 120.00 a month, so I have no idea what the 4000.00 will add to the monthly payment amount. And we only have 18 months to pay it off or deferred interest and the usual head aches that come with that. But at least we are finally seeing some light at the end of a very long tunnel when it comes to dental work and at about the same time the bill has to be paid off my daughter's braces will be about due to be paid off too (bright side!).
The day before the dental appointment I looked at the spot in the garage where my car normally parked (I was thinking of washing the car) and found a couple of oil drips. I quickly examined under my car, which I tend to do quite a bit actually, and much to my dismay found oil dripping from somewhere. I checked the dip stick to make sure I still had oil and sent a bunch of panicked texts to my husband. I kind of freaked out. I mean I don't have money to spend repairing my car right now and if a pump or something major went I had no idea how I was going to pay for it and I can't be without a car with my son's therapies and the kids in school and all the other things I have to do in a day. Which led to a mini emotional break down while waiting for my husband to get home, I won't lie.
My husband tracked down the problem and it turns out the crank seal on my car is leaking (which the dealership had told us that on our next to last oil change, but my husband hadn't found any evidence to back it up, so had disregarded it...turns out the dealership was right in this case). To repair it my husband is pretty sure that we are going to have to pull the engine and it is going to be terribly expensive to do. Bright side at least it's something that is maintainable until we can get the money saved up to repair it, so I'm going to be one of "those" cars in the parking lot that leaves a tiny oil spot when I park and I have to get into the habit of checking my oil every couple of days to see if I need to add some. But, I definitely found the bright side to that problem with the fact that at least my car isn't belching oil all over the highway.
Then there was a big accident right in front of my daughter's school yesterday right at the point where I had to pick her up. Nothing like seeing an entire road blocked off by emergency vehicles to give you a small heart attack with school violence and things. Once I was assured it wasn't anything happening at the school I ended up having to take my son all the way around town to get around to the other side of the same road where there were some back roads I could take to get into the school. My poor daughter was in a panic and crying by the time I got there, worried that I'd been hurt or something, even though I called and asked the school to give her the message that we were fine. I swear most people don't know how to deal with a sensitive kid anymore. We were only about 10 minutes late, but it was a nerve racking experience as I was worried about my daughter over reacting and I have no natural sense of direction at all. I only got lost twice, but I finally made it where I was going (bright side!). My husband would have been rolling his eyes at me as he's like a natural map, but I felt proud that I remembered the back way into the school area anyway.
My husband ended up with various troubles at work including his work truck throwing a belt and a power steering pump while he was traveling home on the highway. And while he was going through that my son's face broke out in welts again. But, I quickly realized what was going on, got some Benadryl down him and got him into a tub and it worked to control the outbreak (bright side!).
Then my air craft carrier cat decided to jam her very large derriere into my den window sill and knocked my basil seedlings that were doing super well all over the floor (and I even had said planter barricaded to try and make it more "cat proof"). I was NOT happy, but I can plant more seeds in a hanging planter I have with some other herb seeds and hopefully I'll get some basil from it and at least my ceramic planter didn't break (bright side).
And another bright point is that my daughter got the confirmation that she gets to have her braces removed next month. An entire month early! She's thrilled and so am I. Then it's just prayers that her dental visit after that will go well with no cavities *fingers crossed*.
It's just been a long week and I'm very glad tomorrow is the beginning of the weekend to be sure.
But, yeah, on top of all of that I did manage to save some money this week, so let's get to that shall we?
Also while there I asked about 4-H as I would like to get my daughter involved in things that don't revolve around her sitting in her room playing all summer when we aren't at therapy or something and they gave me a list of activities that you don't have to be a member to do and a lot of them are actually family friendly, like berry foraging and how to identify and use them, an activity all about gardening geared toward younger kids and other things. And those activities tend to go for about 10.00 per person, so if I or my husband took her to a couple of them it wouldn't cost us a fortune to go and I would be happy that she's around other kids and she's learning something.
2. I received several gifts this week. One was some Amazon giftcards from various sources (including a couple of gifts of which I'm super thankful!) and one was some coupons from a blog reader and my mom. I went and applied all of the Amazon giftcards from all the different sources and I used the giftcards CAREFULLY to make sure I could get them to stretch as far as they could go. Highlights included winter boots for the kids in the next size up for this coming winter for 10.00 or less per pair, sneakers for myself that I've been desperately needing for 14.00 and an Otterbox Defender case for my son's I-Pad (his was falling APART and wasn't really even working well anymore) for 30.00 (I bought it from AT&T vs. Otterbox and saved myself over half the purchase price doing it that way).
I also stocked up on some food items like bulk chili powder (so cheap to get things like that on Amazon and chili powder is the base for a BUNCH of different spice blends...trust me from someone who had to deal with a garlic allergy I know these things ;). I figure if things go badly with my husband and work at least between the chili powder and the beans and rice I have in the pantry we can have red beans and rice for dinner for a bit.
I was able to utilize the coupons I got sent (of which I'm super thankful for as well!) to get things really cheap this week including cat litter. Tidy Cat cat litter was on sale for 5.00 today, so I used some 2.00/1 coupons I received to get a couple things of cat litter for 3.00 each. DEFINITELY a good thing to have stocked up on :).
3. Speaking of shopping I decided to pool resources and do two weeks of shopping at once today. This was for various reasons. One was the sales Carrs was having today on things like Gatorade (my daughter gets dehydrated so easy when I found recently that she liked Gatorade I wanted to get some for her to help combat the situation), the cat litter and a few other items and I wanted to make sure I had the resources to pool.
Two was that the kids are off for summer break as of Friday this week and I wanted to make sure I was stocked up on things like drinks and such to avoid having to drag the kids all over the store...I figure big shopping trips are going to be once every two weeks or even once a month over the summer and then the shopping trips to the store can just be super quick for milk or whatever and keep stress to a minimum.
The other reason was that I had an E-Coupon loaded that would give me 4 times the gas rewards if I spent 100.00 in one shopping trip. So, I made the limit, got the gas rewards and now I have about 30.00 to spend on residual groceries the next couple of weeks (part of the 100.00 was lunch for my husband and I as we had a ton of errands to run and my husband had to take some pills for his back). So all totaled I now have .50 per gallon for gas the next time I fill up, which will be very welcome indeed.
4. I got my electric bill in the mail and was really happy to see our electric bill has gone down by 100.00 from last month. This time last year the electric company was estimating our bill, and badly at that, so we were paying nearly 400.00 a month in electric. Now we're down below 200.00 a month and now that the electric heat is turned off for the summer we should hopefully see a reduction further than that. I am really wondering how much of this sudden drop is due to the new meter they installed, but only time will tell.
5. I posted on Facebook asking if anyone had any of a list of things (like fruit trees, raspberry bushes, etc) that someone might not want. Since I was asking and I hate to ask for things due to embarrassment issues (it's a knee jerk reaction type of deal), I included just from more of a whim than anything, a rabbit hutch. I knew that if I can get up some money at some point I want to start a small rabbit concern for meat and such and figured why not ask for one while asking for everything else. Oddly enough the one thing I thought for sure no one would have would be a rabbit hutch, but my mother-in-law is friends with a gal who swims with her in the morning and it turned out the lady had a homestead and was moving so she actually had a rabbit hutch we could have! She delivered it to my mother-in-law's house, so we'll have to pick it up once my husband gets his truck's tires switched over (and finishes up some auto repairs that need done), but at least I won't have to worry about where to house rabbits when I can get some (which my one friend might be able to hook me up with some really cheap or even free, so I'm hoping :).
6. I cleaned my vacuum cleaner bag and reused it again this week. They get filled so quickly with how my son is that I just can't see just throwing it away if I can avoid it. So, now I can get another use or two out of it before throwing it away (the rubber seal on it is starting to show some wear so I'm not sure how much longer the bag will last). I also washed out and reused freezer bags and bread bags, per usual now.
7. I went to the used store to see if I could pick up some more pint jars as I started doing inventory and realized that I would need more before canning for the year was over. I found a bunch of pint jars for .50, but while I was there I also noticed that they had pink tagged clothing for .50 a piece and they had racks of the sale clothing put out. I went through it and found two winter jackets for my daughter in the next size up, one a very nice coat in nearly brand new shape (I have a small rip in a seam to repair) and a pair of jeans in brand new shape for myself in a designer brand (only reason I know that is because the gal at the register pointed it out to me *laugh*) all for .50 a piece! I was happy to find those, especially the jeans as I have a pair that I love but is falling apart very very quickly on me, so I was happy to add a better pair to my wardrobe.
Also, a quick update on the garden!
My chives, of all things, grew up and immediately started to try and go to seed, but I found three more chive plants that are growing in the front bed now (woohoo!). I removed the seed pods to encourage it to grow more, but I have to say the winter seems to have messed with plants a bit this year.
Hopefully the real plants will start to make themselves known (once they grow out of the new seedling stage here) so that I can start pulling weeds with more confidence here soon.
So, there you go folks. Some of my frugal adventures this week, both good and bad. How did you do?