I'm not sure whether to say that it was a good or bad week on the money saving front. I mean, having to pay my doctor visit and labs this week just sucked money out of the checking account so quick I had heart palpitations and a mini-panic attack, but another part of me is just glad that I had the money IN the checking account to be able to pay the bill to begin with. So, I guess it's kind of a ying yang type of week.
There are definitely some good things that happened this week, though, so let's focus on those!
1. I went shopping today armed with my Fred Meyer Rewards Rebate, which was nice and big due to the big rewards program they had going during the weekends and things over the last quarter. I was also armed with some favorite customer coupons they'd sent over the last couple of months, so I went to Fred Meyer to see what I could get cheap and then I swung over to Carrs armed with personalized prices, E-coupons, regular coupons and everything that I wanted to get in their sales ad marked really carefully on a piece of paper.
I have to say that I did pretty darned good overall!
I got the son his soda and chips at Fred Meyer as well as a thing of dried cat food (reduced because the bag was torn in the back) that I used a coupon on top of (final price was .69!). And I got some red banded bananas (reduced) while I was there too. All totaled at Fred Meyer after rewards rebate and coupons I spent 6.45.
I then ran to Carrs. Highlights of the trip were Frigo string cheese and meat combo pack for 1.49 on sale and I had a .50/1 coupon my mom had sent so I got it for .99. I got a dozen eggs for .99 (I'm going to be using a dozen eggs to make eggnog for my husband for Christmas here as it takes about two months to "mature" so I was going to need more eggs then the dozen I have in the fridge right now). I had a personalized price on tuna salad (which I needed for the kids), hot dog buns (for the son) and stock (I needed one more quart of vegetable stock to make my requirement for my turkey brine. I would have made some, but I was worried I would haven't have time). The tater tots were on sale with an E-Coupon and the Ore Ida frozen fries were cheap with a personalized price (the only type of french fries I can get my son to eat that aren't McDonalds or Red Robin originated). I also got ice cream (had a coupon that made it cheap) and cat litter (on 5.00 Friday and also had a manufacturer coupon on it). All totaled after coupons and discounts were taken I spent a total of 29.57 at Carrs.
So all totaled I spent 36.02 on groceries this week. And I was even able to get things crossed off the list for Thanksgiving (cranberries, oranges and vegetable stock). So woohoo!
I am so going to write a nice letter about a couple of cashiers at Carrs and how nice they've been to me. I won't go into details in case they might get in trouble (I'm not sure what the rules are for holding onto stickers people don't want and things), but I just want corporate to give them kudos for being such great people :).
3. My friend was putting in a big seed order for her hoop house because when is a better time to order seeds than right when winter starts, right? *Laugh*. She asked if I'd like to order some seeds too and she'd pick up the tab on shipping and she also had a code to get a certain percentage off on seeds. So, I put in an order for some seeds with her and got them this week.
I ordered some cool stuff. I found a Swiss Chard that matures in a month and you can harvest it in the "baby" stage to use as a spinach like dish or you can let it grow to full maturity, so if I rotate my crops right I should be able to save myself having to plant spinach and chard and instead just plant this instead. I also found a Rutabaga that is 90 days to harvest and a pole bean that you can eat as a green bean or let grow and use as a dried bean that is purple when mature (yes, I thought that was neat *laugh*). And the best part? 70 DAYS to maturity!!! So hopefully warm weather will set in quickly next summer to help the beans to grow as I'm really enthusiastic to give them a shot.
My real "experimental" plant for this coming summer is one my mom insisted I get as her grandmother always grew it. It's called Salsify. It's a root vegetable, kind of like a carrot, but the kicker is that the root tastes like oysters, so it's great for a mock oyster stew and other "seafood" applications, but you're actually eating a veggie. Since I love the taste of mollusks, but am not a big fan of the grit involved and really with high cholesterol I'm not really thrilled at the idea of consuming too many of them (that and the quality of mollusks up here ain't great at the stores in my experience, believe it or not), this plant really intrigued me, so I am going to give it a shot. My mom said it's super yummy, so if she's wrong I can blame her ;). It's got a lonnnnnngggg growing cycle (16 to 25 weeks), so here's hoping I can work the soil early or maybe start them inside? If they aren't ready by the time the snow flies, the roots are supposedly really hardy and you can leave them in the ground until the following April, so this will be an interesting experiment for sure. Might I just say that I love heirloom varieties of seeds? Not only can you collect the seeds to use for another year, but also there are so many different varieties of plants that you can find now that it's just cool.
I shared some of my seeds with my friend and she "bought" the seeds from me to try so all totaled I spent 5.00 on the seeds, which the seeds would have cost me probably about 15.00 if I'd ordered them by myself. So, I was happy with the money saved there.
Oh in case anyone is interested in where I got the seeds from, I got them from Victory Seed Company. The seeds I ordered were...
- Rutabaga (Swedes) "Nadmorska"
- Swiss Chard "Barese"
- Pole Bean "Bergin" (purple at maturity)
- Bush Bean "Gross Brother's Vermont Cranberry" (65 to 85 days to maturity)...I wasn't sure which I wanted to grow...bush or pole, so I got seeds for both.
5. By shopping around for where to get my ultrasound done, I'm going to be saving about 700.00. See, comp shopping works, even on medical things!
6. I joined a couple canning groups on Facebook to see if I could get any good inspiration on things to can later on and I found a recipe for canned coleslaw through one of the members. A couple of the admins on the pages are people who work or have worked for the cooperative extension services in their areas and they said the recipe is safe to can, so I'm really intrigued with this one as people said it's really yummy. Cheap to make and can too! I'm going to try making it as soon as I have some jars emptied out.
7. I started weeding out things from my closet in my master bedroom and getting rid of things that don't fit me anymore or I just don't see myself wearing in the next 10 years or so. My plan is to empty said closet out, go through everything and then move my husband's and my dressers into the closet, one on either side of said closet. That way we'll both have our dressers in the closet and a small area to hang up clothes as well. This, I'm hoping will help curb my husband's want to hoard pretty much everything including clothing (he takes up about 85% of our closet space right now and I share the other 15% with the kid's out of season coats and things...and no I'm not kidding) and will also declutter our room a bit, which has so much furniture stuffed into it between it acting as a bedroom and office space that it kind of drives me nuts.
8. I was going to buy some soup on sale at the store this week, but instead I made some soup yesterday and somehow found holes in the freezer to stick it in. It's not quite as convenient as canned soup because I'll have to defrost it, but it was cheaper to make it with materials I already had than buying it.
9. My diet is going well and I've so far lost six pounds. The double benefit to dieting like I do, where I cut down carbs and cut sugar WAY down, is that I find myself craving water instead of sugary beverages more so it's definitely cost effective to do :).
10. I had an image I really wanted to put on a t-shirt for Christmas for my husband, but knew we weren't going to have the money to get new ink cartridges anytime soon so I wasn't sure what to do. I ended up getting a coupon code for a free mug in my inbox and I had a credit with the company from an earlier order (which was a long while ago so I was surprised it was still in there) that had gotten all screwed up, so between the coupon code for the free mug and my credit I was able to get a mug with the image I'd wanted to put onto a t-shirt for my husband and I got the shipping for free too. It's not quite a t-shirt, but I think he'll like it all the same. Here's hoping this order isn't screwed up (this is the first time I've ordered from them since the last order came in all screwy, so we shall see).
And there you are folks. My frugal adventures this week in a nutshell. How did you do?