Saturday, December 31, 2016
Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap
Right so past being another year older this week, some money saving things got done, so let's get to those.
1. I spent a total of 54.00 on groceries this week. We were expecting a big snow storm (we only ended up actually getting like about two inches instead), so I ended up getting eggs. I also got frozen pizzas (they were on sale 3 for 10.00 at Carrs if you bought three of the Red Baron pizzas and then they had a 1.50/2 E-Coupon you could load to your card, so I got 3 pizzas for decently cheap...they will come in handy in the future for sure) and store brand french fries and tater tots (3 for 5.00 with an E-Coupon this week at Carrs). I'm going to try deep frying them for my son if he REALLY gets a hankering for McDonalds the next couple of weeks as Ore Ida fries have gone up in price again and just wasn't in the budget this week (for the amount of ounces you get it just wasn't worth getting the Ore Ida ones).
I didn't grab the freebie from Fred Meyer yesterday as it was a sports drink and I knew we wouldn't drink it, so I just let it go. I also didn't pick up the free Ranch dressing when I was in town grocery shopping, mainly to stay out of the store and away from potential clearance sales at Fred Meyer. We are on a razor sharp edge this coming week financially and with my husband losing productivity this week being sick (which we plain could NOT afford to happen)...we're just massively broke. So after Christmas clearance is out this year. Oh well. Having the heat, electricity and things turned on is more important.
2. My plans to have my daughter invite her best friend over to go sledding this weekend went down like the Hindenburg when my daughter got the gift of the cold the rest of us have been fighting off for my birthday. So, she's coughing, blowing through tissues and feeling cruddy right now. Poor thing :(. Every time she thinks she'll be able to have a play date with her best friend (who lives two doors down, which makes it even MORE pathetic) things have just been happening lately.
3. My son's speech therapist gave us a bag of mini marshmallows as she had bought them to try on him for a reinforcer during speech therapy. He didn't play ball, so she just gave us the bag as a way to say, "Merry Christmas". They came in handy the last couple of days as a way to bribe my daughter to try hot chocolate to help her sore throat (yes, I actually had to BRIBE my daughter to try hot chocolate. She's an odd one *laugh*). It was a bonding experience ;).
4. I managed to get my act together this week and pull meat out of the freezer to defrost AHEAD of time, so I saved having to defrost it in the microwave (a savings on energy...not much of one but a savings), the meat tasted better from not having to defrost it in the microwave and it kept me on task with the menu I had planned. As a result we've had plenty of leftovers in the fridge to choose from, which has been good to keep lunches easy.
5. I've been having fun watching "Full Steam Ahead" the new documentary the BBC put out with Ruth, Alex and Peter on You Tube. It's actually rather fascinating to learn about how the railroad developed in Britain and how it changed the way everything was done, although I have to admit I've had a hard time seeing Ruth not in her Victorian clothes *laugh*.
6. I took advantage of the gift card my mom and sister sent me this year and one of the things I got was a Kindle version of a pressure cooker cookbook. The print edition was at least 10.00, but the Kindle version was .99. I took the Kindle version and have been paging through it over the last couple of days (so far, honestly, I'm not overly impressed. I think I just need to hit Pinterest for ideas. If anyone has a good pressure cooker cookbook to recommend please share!) in preparation of Amazon one of these days getting my new pressure cooker to me (so far it's been "Shipping Today" for three days now *grumble*).
7. I bookmarked several cookie recipes in Fred Meyer's 25 Merry Days Cookie Calendar and one of them is a shortbread type of cookie that you fill with raspberry jam. Since I have a ton of raspberry jam in the pantry, I REALLY want to try out the cookie recipe. I was hoping to make it over Christmas, along with a few other recipes, but I and my husband were sick and my daughter wasn't impressed with trying the recipes on her own, so I just decided to put off holiday baking till later. I figured what was the point of doing Christmas baking if none of us could taste it anyway? At least we got sugar cookies done before my husband got too sick and he's been enjoying those on and off.
8. I finally came to the conclusion that this was the last year for extended family gifts from us for Christmas. For the amount of time I have had to invest in making gifts and things, I could make my husband and kids some really neat stuff. And when it comes to return gifts to us...no one in the family has the time or the energy to devote to making gifts themselves and I just feel like the gifts they give us in return I'm almost forcing them to give us as we gave them something and that doesn't seem right to me (if any family reads this, please please don't think I'm upset about this. I'm not! Really! I know written words can come across funky sometimes, so I just wanted to put that out there to let you know I'm not angry, hurt of weird about any of this. Seriously!). Which, I know, the giving is the most important thing and all, but I don't do it to make people feel put out.
I HAVE enjoyed making and giving the gifts, don't get me wrong, but this year I even made people feel bad because I put so much work into things when they didn't have the time or the energy to think about it (or the money since some members of the family have huge families on BOTH sides). It's just not worth it and seems counter to the holiday spirit. I'll probably make a couple of gifts to give in case we get gifts from folks next year (I refuse to not give gifts in return...it's a matter of personal principle), but I think I'm going to focus my energy on my kids and husband and maybe even try and make some gifts to send to my family back East (who are always super generous to us on the holidays and who I always end up having to send a really pathetic gift in return to). I especially want to put the creative energy into my kids while I have the chance...especially my daughter, who being my developmentally normal child is maturing faster in some ways than my son is. I had a kind of "2x4 upside the head moment" listening to her playing in her room the other morning when I realized that I'm not going to be hearing that for many more years before she grows out of it and moves on to more teenage things like phones, friends and stuff.
What? No, that's not a tear in my eye. That's liquid emotion. Completely different thing. Ahem *coughs into fist*.
9. I am so, so happy that I grow herbs every summer. Folks, if you grow one thing in your garden and you cook a lot, grow and dry herbs. You'll save more money than you know, they are easy to grow (except basil...that one is delicate and hates me some years) and the home grown herbs taste SO much better than the store bought "been sitting on a shelf for goodness knows how long" herbs you can buy. Just saying :). Oh and lettuce. Grow herbs and lettuce or Chinese vegetables (thanks for giving me that lesson, Jeannie) as then you'll have salads all summer long. Ever done the math on how much you spend on salad kits all summer? Trust me...it's worth growing your own and it's super easy. You can even grow lettuce in pots :).
Anyway, I've been using herbs a lot in recipes of late including rosemary chicken (I'll have to share that recipe one of these days as rosemary is the main star in the recipe :) and it's been great to have the jars of herbs sitting in the cupboard waiting for me.
10. Smiley 360 sent me some new Mucinex Fast-Max cold medicine to test drive and I happened to get it right in the middle of this cold, so I've been using it. I've actually been impressed with the medicine itself, but man you think NyQuil tastes bad? That stuff tastes like death on a half shell. It actually cut through my congestion when I could taste NOTHING and let me know how terrible it tasted. It is so bad I have to steel myself before swigging it down. But, it does cut the congestion and helps to break up the phlegm so I say it's worth it.
And there you are folks. A long, rambly, incoherent mess of a post going through my week (still not feeling up to 100% and have had kids distracting me every two minutes while writing it) and some of the ways I've saved money this week (at least I hope those are peppered in the post somewhere *sigh*). How did you do?