Friday, October 28, 2016
Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap
It all started Sunday night. My son took the antibiotics as well as I thought he would (read: He fought me tooth and nail) and the worst bit was that he realized how terribly open and sore his hands were the more tired he got, so we finally broke down and tried a couple of different methods to wrap his hands for the night, finally settling on lots of Neosporin and Band-Aids. The son was not happy about his lot in life and was overly tired and into sensory overload. He screamed from 9 pm to 6 am. Yes. Nine straight hours. By this point I'd been up for nearly 72 hours straight and I have to admit more than a few tears were shed on my part throughout the night, part in wanting to help my poor little baby and part of me just wanting him to be quiet so we could all get some sleep.
By the time he crashed at 6:30 (after I'd removed all but one of the band-aids on his worst finger and gone through nearly every movie in the house until we found one he would settle down to), there was no way we were going to be making it to school on time. My husband had been able to get some sleep during the night somehow, which was good because he was able to get up and go to work. I called the teachers and just told my daughter's teacher's voice mail that she was going to be late and I told my son's teacher (who was blessedly in at 7 am) that he wasn't going to be in school all week (they only had a three day week this week due to parent teacher conferences) so I could keep his wounds clean and give him some time to heal a bit. My daughter was able to crash at about five or so and had gotten a few hours of sleep before the son started screaming the entire house apart, so she woke up at about ten bright eyed and bushy tailed. By the time I dragged myself out of bed both kids were up and hungry, so I got them something to eat and took my daughter to school at about eleven.
Luckily we made it through the rest of the day alright and I thanked the good Lord above that I'd made beef roast for dinner on Sunday as we just had beef roast sandwiches and popcorn for dinner Monday night.
The son actually slept Monday night, thank the Lord above and I was able to get about seven hours of sporadic sleep as my son had really beat on my bad arm the previous night as I had to keep reapplying band-aids to him so it was hard to get comfortable.
We got my daughter to school on time and I was hoping that the rest of the week would go blessedly well. No such luck.
I was exhausted still and I finally couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. My son was sitting on my legs watching TV so I knew I could doze and I'd wake up as soon as he did, so I took a quick nap. No joke, I was out for maybe ten minutes before my son getting up woke me up. In those ten minutes somehow my body just turned on me full force.
I woke up with my tonsils swollen about three times their normal size, barely able to swallow and I had a fever. To say I felt awful doesn't even begin to touch the tip of the "how I felt" iceberg. I called my husband and begged him to come home as I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to handle getting my daughter or take care of my son when I could barely stand up. My husband managed to figure out how to pick up my daughter from school and I managed to put on frozen pizzas for dinner (thank goodness I had those in the freezer). My husband and daughter even cleaned the house to a point while I was lying down. I didn't eat much and just kept popping Ibuprofen every four hours or I'd start to really go down hill again.
When I woke up Wednesday my left tonsil was down but my right one was a real mess. It felt like a giant burning golf ball stuck in the side of my throat. When my husband insisted I go to the doctor, I didn't fight him. I was figuring they'd tell me I had a virus, although a part of me was a bit worried I was going to hear "tonsillitis" for the first time in my life and was scared to death I'd have to get my tonsils out as we REALLY couldn't afford that (either in money or in down time with me). Instead the nurse looked down my throat, said some sympathetic things seeing how nasty my tonsils looked and took a swab of my throat.
Turns out I have strep. I haven't had strep since I was in elementary school.
So I've been on Penicillin the last couple of days and eating a lot of soup, primarily store bought as my husband is willing to pick it up for me. I have come to realize the last couple of days that one of the things I need to get for the pantry is canned soup and more than just cooking soup to have for things like this. I don't even want to KNOW how much the soup is costing as I'm sure it's more than an entire big pot of soup would cost for me to make myself. But I just plain haven't been up to making it :(.
I've felt so bad I've been limiting myself to about one chore a day, which usually revolves around unloading and reloading the dishwasher or doing a load of laundry and calling it good until I feel like I'm a human being again. I've been drinking a lot of tea and coffee to stop myself from coughing (my tonsils being so swollen is causing that wonderful side effect). I get up, water and feed the chickens, get the kids things to eat when they need it and such and past that I've spent a lot of time sitting on my butt or lying down on the love seat either watching TV or looking up stuff on Pinterest and avoiding doing too much or I really feel it.
I went to the bank and then shopping with the kids today and that just wiped me completely out, especially when I made the mistake of NOT getting my son french fries before we went shopping and thought, logically enough, that I could get him french fries afterwards. That led to a miserable shopping trip with me having to tell people that my son is autistic to the point I felt like a parrot squawking for a cracker (I know he still wasn't feeling great when we went, but we were out of so much not going wasn't an option, so I kind of knew it was going to be one of "those" trips with him. Like any kid throwing a tantrum, it's not fun and with a kid who can't communicate on the normal level and doesn't process "stop it" well when upset? Doubly so). I was really happy that I've memorized how the stores are laid out by isle, so we were able to make super awesome time through the store to get through my list for the sake of other shoppers and my kids (I always feel terrible having to go power through a trip and potentially make others miserable in the process).
Thankfully, everyone but my cashier was nice about my son stomping and shrieking at random at me and actually got a kick out of it when my son, in mid tantrum, saw some Halloween themed garland and got all excited by it. I had the cashier scan it and handed it to him, relieved that he found something to stim on and make himself happy, and he just waved it at people like it was the most awesome thing in the world, laughing and squeeling. Everyone around us ended up smiling at his joy. If there is one thing my little man can be it is charming when he is happy.
Luckily, even as scattered as I was I was able to get everything on my list (spent 50.00 more than I wanted to stock up on some things like wet wipes since we were out and I always buy them in bulk, etc) and what was the one thing I forgot in all the hub bub? Yup. Canned soup. Sigh. Hopefully I'm feeling better by Monday so I can at least go and get some of that and a bag of candy in case we get trick or treaters (I forgot what day it was until my daughter started going on all excited about dressing up on Monday at school).
But, yeah, it's been a week.
I did, actually, manage to get a few things accomplished on the frugal front this week, believe it or not.
1. I ordered a new scratching post for my cat. Not really something I was looking to get for the next little bit, but I (for the first time in my life I think) have a cat that actually USES the scratching posts that most cats turn their nose up at. You know, the ones with rope and carpet on them? Unfortunately, not only does she like them my cat LOVES them and decimates them. And if you don't replace them when she wrecks them? She turns on everything else in the house.
I'd been wanting to get her a new post for a while since the last one I bought didn't last long at all and ended up being super crappy quality, but after checking all of the local stores I found nada, except the same darned post that was sitting in a wrecked heap on my stairwell and they wanted 25.00 for that now. It finally hit me to look on Amazon for one and I was able to find one for about 8.00 less than the crappy one and one that all the reviews said was good quality. So hopefully that will come in sometime soon as I'm tired of screaming at my cat to stop scratching on my stairs. I'm about to pull out the Super Soaker on her.
2. I flipped the switch on our ceiling fans to reverse the air flow. If you do this in winter the fans will start to circulate the warm air back down into the room, theoretically saving you money. Since my son insists on turning his fan on no matter the time of year it is, this sure can't hurt.
3. I, obviously, stayed home this week and didn't spend money on impulse buys. Actually I didn't spend any money on impulse buys at the store today either as I was repeating the mantra, "Get in. Get list. Get out." I checked the coupons and things before I went to the store today, though and found that some things I'd been wanting to get were on sale cheap and I had coupons to stack with them. I was able to get Special K Cereals (part of my diet I'm on as I find the protein ones keep me full without upsetting my stomach like eating too much granola or something will) for cheap and big cartons of Goldfish crackers for 5.00 a piece on the 5.00 Friday sales (this is like 1/2 price compared to normal now a days). I bought four boxes of Special K and got 4 cartons of Goldfish as well. It felt good to add those to the pantry as the Special K will last me several weeks for lunches and breakfasts and the Goldfish will last...well the way my son eats them probably about two weeks, but it sure beats having to buy them at 9.99 a carton!
I also found that I had some freebie coupons waiting for me online this morning. One was for a free bag of Doritos and another was for a free tube of toothpaste (seen up top). I didn't get to Fred Meyer to get my freebies yet, so hopefully I'll be able to do that on Monday as well as I'd like to get the Hershey bar freebie if nothing else.
4. I got the results of my blood work back from the health fair the day before I ended up having to go to the doctors so I was sure to bring those results with me and give them to her. This will save me an entire trip to the doctor as normally there is a "follow up" visit when you talk about your lab work and any concerns you might have but now I can combine it all together in one trip. That'll save me a lot of money doing it this way.
By the way, I was surprised with the results. It showed I was .1% into the "pre-diabetic" danger zone for my "current in the blood sugar levels", which my doctor looked at my long term glucose projection and said I was either hypoglycemic (which I've heard from doctors before) or it was within the margin or error in her opinion as my glucose levels were perfect (at least that's what I was getting out of it if she explained it to me right). I do try to be careful no matter what though as my sugar has always been funky like that and it bugs me.
The other thing I found out was that I have high cholesterol. I was utterly baffled. Really. I watch my diet carefully and have for YEARS and do everything you are supposed to take care of your heart as I lost my dad to heart failure and he always had heart problems before that, so I've always taken my health pretty seriously in that area. I called my mom and she heard what my cholesterol was and just said, "Hon, in our family you don't worry until you're about twice that. High cholesterol just runs in the family. It's the way it is." My doctor actually agreed when she looked at my weight, asked me some questions about my diet and lifestyle and checked my vitals and everything (which, by the way, my blood pressure was 113/63 Ms. "You're in pre-hypertension so I'm going to make your arm go numb" Jerk from the Health Fair) and said we'd talk more when I go in for my physical next week. So we'll see what she says. Either way, I'm glad I know this now so I know to watch it and make sure it doesn't get any higher and that doing what I've been doing for years was a really smart move on my part.
And I'm also like really low on Vitamin D, so I'm probably going to be ending up on some big amounts of Vitamin D. I pray getting those levels up will give me more energy as I need all the help I can get most days.
5. My husband changed out the tires on his truck and put on his snow tires. Doing it himself saved us having to wait in line at the tire place and paying the tire change over fee, so that was nice.
6. At least by getting strep vs. another type of bacterial infection my medication was cheap since I'm on good old fashioned Penicillin which was only about 5.00 for the script. Every cloud has a silver lining right?
7. I was getting impatient to get an updated bill from the sleep center, so I called their billing department and blessedly got a hold of one of the gals who was actually nice the one time I talked to her so I played nice and just asked for a balance, made sure my payment had been applied to the account and that I would be getting an updated bill sometime soon. Found out that the bill, after comparing the EOB's from the insurance company (that the nice lady at MODA told me how to access online) and everything was up to over 5,000.00 by the time I called shenanigans on the sleep center. So, after everything got refunded and reversed out we're looking at 1200.00 left on the bill. It still annoys me that we owe them anything, honestly, but I'm just glad I was able to get the bill down to where I did. I'm just trying to look at the bright side and move on at this point. At least it'll be paid off within a year even if I am making the minimum payment we agreed on.
And there you are folks. My week in a nutshell. How did your week go? I pray better than mine!