Saturday, October 1, 2016

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap And Goals Recap

Well, this last week was busy.  So be prepared for a long recap post (I'm lumping in the monthly goals update in with this since it's a new month and all starting today :). 

It was a week of worry when I realized how terribly low we were on funds.  Once my husband and I did the math we realized he'd missed the consistency of an entire week of work between the days here and there he had to miss due to my arm issues and his bronchitis and things.  So, between that and the medical bills...ouch.  We're praying hard that this month is better as it looks like my husband should be pretty busy for a bit.  If we can stay healthy finances will hopefully improve.  Praying for a very healthy month for sure.

My cold kind of took me out at the knees the last few days, but I had a decently productive start to the week anyway when it came to getting things done.  I have managed to squeeze a couple of hours of productivity out of myself per day despite the cold and shoulder (note:  Getting a cold with the aches and things while having frozen shoulder can be REALLY painful when your shoulder aches.  And it sucks).  So, my kitchen counters are finally cleaned off and nice looking, dirty dishes are caught up (blessedly so), and the laundry is starting to look more manageable (still got tons to do, mind you).  My son's bed got detail cleaned and put back where it belongs and his carpet got vacuumed a lot as a result of moving furniture around. 

Halloween decorations were hung up as well.  I pulled out one of my fall themed table runners and put that on the table (seen above).  I feel good that at least the majority of the fall decorations got put up before October anyway (I still need to finish decorating the den, but that is going to wait until I can clean it really well...hoping to get that done today). 

I also got some quotes for studded tires for my car.  I guess my size of tire is getting kind of hard to find so they'll have to be ordered from Anchorage and transferred out to the Valley and I'm PRAYING they stay in stock until dividends get in this week as I desperately need new winter tires.  Bright side, if all works out well, the tires should cost about 1/2 of what I thought they were going to cost (600.00 vs. 1200), so that'll be good.  I just keep sending up prayers that it all works out.

So, yeah, now onto the money saving stuff that happened this week!

1.  Grocery shopping went blessedly well this week.  I went to Carrs and Fred Meyer this week.  Fred Meyer didn't have much in the way of sales that I wanted to hit, with the exception of they have chicken on sale for .99 lb this week and believe it or not I'm actually starting to run low on chicken!  So, I went and got a big package of chicken thighs.

While there I took my time and cruised around the store (I had taken a full dose of NyQuil the night before in an effort to be able to breathe through my nose and had knocked myself out all night so I actually slept really well for the first time in a long time, thus was actually with it that day) and found a package of marked down hamburger for super cheap (nearly 5 lbs of hamburger for 12.75!).  Since we are getting kind of low on things like hamburger, I grabbed it and decided we'd have hamburgers for dinner that night, so I grabbed a package of tater tots while I was there.

While cruising through the frozen foods section I noticed some things on clearance cheap and went looking to see if I could find anything worth buying.  I found a Bertolli pasta kit, complete with chicken in it, on clearance for 1.80!  Down from nearly 9.00!  I had to dig at the back of the freezer and found it'd gotten stuck behind the other flavor kits (I always like to look to see if someone missed one).  I figure this will make a really cheap dinner one night when I don't feel like going through a ton of effort to cook :).  Since I'd be making this for three of us and it probably won't go that far, I will just make up some extra pasta and throw it in with the kit when I make it (it really helps to stretch those type of things).

I also got a couple mini-squashes for 1.49 lb.  I'm going to use them as fall decor on the table (seen up top there...I forgot that bag in the car and didn't include it in the grocery picture...oops) and if they start showing signs of not lasting I'll cut them up and cook them as needed to go with dinner.   Not the cheapest option, I probably could have gotten decor pumpkins cheaper, but at least we can eat the decor instead of just using it for decoration only.  Squash comes in such pretty colors and things anymore and more and more heirloom varieties are popping up.  I think it's really cool :).

I then went to Carrs and got coke and chips yesterday as party sized bags of Frito Lay products are on sale for 3.99 each Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week and most bags have a 1.00/2 coupon on them.  I stocked up on Cheetos for the next couple of weeks hitting this sale since this is the cheapest way to buy Cheetos.  I also got 2 liter bottles of Coke as they were on sale there this week as well.  And I got some big barrels of cheese balls on sale for 3.49 each this week (cheese balls are one of my son's reinforcer foods).  I feel good about being somewhat stocked up on snack foods right now as that is usually what costs me a MINT each week out of my grocery budget to buy.

I also got a pie pumpkin for 5.00 at Carrs (unlike Fred Meyer and elsewhere where the pumpkins are sold by the pound Carrs has them for a flat 5.00 each, so I just went and found a nice one that weighed a decent amount and bought it).  I am going to keep it on the kitchen table and see how it does and if it starts showing signs of distress I'll just chop it up and turn it into pumpkin puree for use in pie later.  If it lasts I'll turn it into a mini jack-o-lantern for Halloween and THEN turn it into pumpkin puree.  Either way, I figure, I win ;).

In a side note, I noticed that the prices at Fred Meyer jumped on a bunch of different items again, which means that I'm probably going to be doing more and more of my shopping at Carrs again unless Fred Meyer has some awesome sales going on.  Sad really as I was enjoying the cheap prices at Fred Meyer.

So, all totaled I spent 62.00 on groceries this week between Carrs and Fred Meyer.  I thought that was pretty good overall considering everything I got.

2.  I pulled out the kid's winter coats this week as the temps are definitely dipping below freezing during the night now.  I never regret buying winter gear in the next size up with the kids and realizing that my son was definitely too big for last year's winter coat it made me feel great just grabbing the new coat I'd gotten on Land's end super cheap during the summer and knowing he wouldn't have to be cold that day or uncomfortable in a too tight jacket.

3.  I resisted the urge to buy new Halloween decorations this year.  I normally go to Target and get window clings and things from their dollar section to hang up around the house and windows, but this year I just said, "No" as every time I go into Target I end up spending more than I plan to and I just wanted to avoid that this year.  I figure we'll just make some decorations for the windows with some construction paper.  It'll be fun and it won't cost us anything to make them :).

4.  I took plenty of naps this week to help recoup from my cold and other issues.  Not only invaluable, but also free.

5.  My daughter has been fighting reading, even though it's like her only homework she's supposed to have each night.  My husband kept trying to get her to read history types of books as with common core she's getting holes in her education on things like that (which irritates us both), but I knew she was going to fight him on it because it's not something she's interested in yet.  So, I went to a weekly sale at a local used store where everything kid related, including books are 1/2 off.  They also had a sale where if you bought 3 books you got the fourth one free.  After giving the poor cashier fits trying to figure out how to make it all work and walking her through it all, I was able to get a huge stack of books for 2.00.  I managed to find a bunch of Disney Princess books, some Froggy books (we found a love of those books through the Scholastic book flyers when she was younger) and some other books that just out and out interest her.  She's been reading all week as a result, voluntarily, for hours sometimes.  So, I consider this a huge mom win *laugh*.

6.  I darned a weak spot on a kitchen towel this week before it developed a hole.  It had gotten caught on something in the washing machine and wasn't looking good, so I figured I'd better darn it before I had problems.  It works fine now.  Might not be the prettiest dish towel in my stash, but it works just fine.

7.  I repaired a couple of toys of my daughter's this week.  Instead of super glue, as the toys were that rubbery type of plastic material and super glue just seemed to give on the repairs, I used a DAP product that makes a water tight flexible seal instead.  It sure seems to hold better and will hopefully help me to stop buying super glue in bulk (I doubt it, but I can wish).

8.  I broke two glasses this week just doing dishes.  Seriously.  I have no idea how this happens sometimes.  It's like two glasses clink together and whammo!  Suddenly you have broken glass.  Luckily I had a bunch of glasses in storage that my husband had picked up over the years before we moved here (our last kitchen had more cabinets in it so he kept bringing the 1.00 Coke glasses home from McDonalds over the years and things), so I grabbed a few out of that stock instead of having to run and buy some .50 glasses from the used store or something. 

9.  My daughter desperately wants to be Ariel from "The Little Mermaid" for Halloween.  I was dreading buying a Halloween costume for 20.00, but figured a mermaid costume was probably outside of my ability to do.  BUT I found a tutorial on Pinterest for a costume that you make out of, all things, an apron type of pattern and then the kiddo can use it easily later instead of asking you for help with velcro and things (and if I do it right she could use it as an actual apron too).  I'm curious as to how it might turn out, so I might give it a go.

And there you are folks.  My money saving endeavors for the week.  How did you do?


  1. I managed to stay under my grocery budget this week, I think hopfully the next few weeks will be the same, because of my eating from the pantry all of the foods that are at or just past date because I overbought. I think I have $9 left, but we are visiting my dad tomorrow, so will probablly stop off at their Aldi. I might end up using that $9 there, but then again, maybe not.

    I found a bunch of brand new books this week at a thrift store, they were still shrink wrapped from Scholastic book bundles, so some are my son's now, some for my husbands classroom. We also went to the local bookfair today, and I got some more books there for my son. I missed out, was THISCLOSE to getting some things I wanted, but they were being held for someone else. I left my name and number though and hope I get called, because they had been sitting behind the counter for almost 2 1/2 hours at that point. I did get some treat bags for my husbands class for halloween, 80 for a quarter, so I bought $2 worth. THey are the kinds with the wire ties, but that's ok! Wish now I hate waited on those dollar store ones I usually get. Oh well~

    That's about my highlight of the week!!

  2. Love this post. Your blog inspires!!!

  3. Good luck with the Ariel costume. Sounds great if it could be used as an apron later. If it doesn't work out, an easy-to-make Ariel costume:
    Use a flesh/pink color leotard, sew purple "shells" (fabric) on the front, and a strip of fabric around back, leaving extra hanging to tie in a bow on the back. Then sew a mermaid tail -- exactly like your mermaid blanket, but bigger. On the front side, leave an opening, but have the sides overlap (like a pillow sham does in back). When your daughter is sitting down, she can put her legs inside the mermaid tail. When she needs to walk around, just sew a loop near the bottom of the mermaid tail so she can slip the loop over her wrist and won't trip on the tail (which would otherwise drag).

  4. What a great buy on the meat, Erika! Wish I could find ground beef for a price like that. Nothing better than using edibles for decorations, too.

    I never "buy" a pre-made costume for my daughter. I always make them myself for the most part, even if some of the elements are purchased. I even sewed a Patrick Star (from Sponge Bob Square Pants) costume for my daughter one year. Turned out pretty good, too. I'm confident with your talents you will be able to make a beautiful mermaid costume yourself. Remember, Pinterest is your friend...and if nothing else, you might find an alternate great idea that you can convince your daughter to go as.

    As for my frugal endeavors, I was able to score some great grocery stock up deals since next weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving. I bought 8 blocks of cheese for $3.50/450g block, another 10lb bag of carrots for $1.97 (the 3lb bag was $1.67 so I will blanch/freeze half this bag and use the rest for fresh), 3 tubs of ice cream for $1.97/tub and 8 English muffins for $0.77/6 pack. I also found a bag of spinach (2 bunches) and a bag of parsley (2 bunches) on clearance for $1/bag, to use as cheap Guinea pig food. She doesn't care if some of it is going bad.

    We bought a nice stock of chocolate bars, some cheese curd, 2 baskets of pears and a bushel of "C-grade" MacIntosh apples on our bi-annual trek to retrieve the flowers from my grandparents gravestones. I will be canning the pears and making the bushel of apples into canned applesauce, and apple pies/apple crisp for the freezer. We have a lot of pumpkin puree in the freezer still, so I'm avoiding that this year until we use more of it up.

    I managed to pull some of the frozen berries and make them into jam this week. I canned 7 pints plus 2 half pints of stawberry jam and 8 pints plus 5 half pints of bumbleberry jam (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries). There's still more fruit to make into jam, but I'm pleased I was able to get some of it done.

    One of my co-workers does special effects make-up and does a countdown to Halloween on her facebook page. I was a model for 2, a zombie and a gypsy. She posted the edited zombie photo today. So, just to put a sile on your face, here's the link:

    Hope your feeling better from the cold soon. I've just come down with one myself, so I'm with you on that. Hope you have another great week, Erika!

    1. Wow!! That was an amazing makeup job!! Yikes!!!!

      I hope you get over your cold fast. After over a month or fighting to not get one, I'm getting on too.

  5. I love your fall decor. The pumpkins are so cheerful and bright! I'm glad you got so many good food bargains.

    I did not shop this week except a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, 1/2 and 1/2 and a couple of items for specific meals. Otherwise, we ate what I had frozen, canned or stored in my pantry. I will do a big shop this coming week. I just need to make a good list first, so I don't squander my budget.

    I did realize that I am running out of pineapple, can't find my home-canned tomatoes (my husband got the shelves done and my canning is on them, except for the few jars that must be buried in the pile of unpacked boxes!!!), and still don't have my freezers here at the new house. So, I need to do some planning, some gathering from those freezers and the garden that is still producing that is 1/2 hour away from where I live now. Then shop. Last time Rob was at his mom's, he grabbed several packages of hamburger, so I'll use those and some chicken and fish that are in the little freezer over the fridge for meals this week.