Saturday, April 29, 2017
Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap
My son has been keeping me busy lately and not in a good way, unfortunately. He's been going through this phase where the self-injury behaviors have been getting worse and worse and now he's also branching out into starting with self-injury (usually smacking himself in the face...he's got a welt on the bridge of his nose right now from doing it) and then just randomly going into full blown temper tantrums, completely with hitting others, on top of it with no reason that can be discerned for the behavior at the time. I finally had enough after his allergist appointment early in the week because he gets to stay home that day and he freaked out ALL DAY over a plastic shopping bag ripping on him wrong (he likes to tear bits of plastic off and float them on his breath). After about the fifteenth time he smacked himself in the nose and hour three of screaming and hitting the walls and things, I'd had enough and called the pediatrician for a referral to a mental health professional at the end of my wits on how to help him. We go in on Monday to see a person who specializes in autism behaviors and things. I'm hoping that maybe that they'll be able to fix this through behavioral therapy instead of medication, but I'm not sure at this point. We've managed to avoid all medicines, with the exception of allergy meds, for nearly nine years, and I do feel good about that, but it might be time to consider putting him on some. We'll see how the appointment goes. My anxiety level is at about 11 right now...this doesn't help it.
Shani has been going from one hospital to another looking for anyone who would take up her case to fight her cancer and hasn't had much luck finding one and she found out today that she has four tumors in her liver. I'm trying to convince her that at this point if there is one thing that God has given her with this diagnosis, it was the gift of time. My dad had heart problems for years, but seemed to be doing pretty well after getting a pace maker put in and then one day he was just gone in an instant. So, at least she has an opportunity to pack some bags, go down south and be with her daughter and grand children, no matter the outcome and to just seek out treatment down South, if she is determined to fight the cancer. I'm spoiling the chickens a bit with visits and things and I know it's because I can make them comfortable and happy where I can't do that for Shani. It's the least I can do for her.
The husband started his new job this week as after he got through his class and passed it on Monday they told him he could set his start date for the new job. Work was kind of non-existent on the old job front so my father-in-law told him to start Wednesday on the new job. He really seems to like the new job, and the people he works with seem really nice...they even let him have Saturdays off until the Special Olympics swimming is over with, where normally he will have to work Saturdays.
There are some definitely worrisome disadvantages, though. The biggest one being that the benefits at the new job go on a 12 month cycle, period, and so if you get hired during that 12 month period you have to make up the months you weren't working so your bulk benefits are right at the end of the year. Confusing? You bet. So, basically, we have four months of benefit payments to make up...not an upper when your husband is taking a nearly ten dollar an hour pay cut to begin with.
He's also going to be on a twice a month payment schedule, so once I found out when he'd get paid, I went and arranged budget billing on the utilities and changed our due dates to accommodate the fact that I'm going to have to pay utilities in the middle of the month because the first pay period of the month we're going to have to use to pay the mortgage (and I pray we can do it that way). Hopefully once the beginning bumps work themselves out (I pray with every fiber of my being we can make enough to live on until the benefits sort themselves out) we'll be able to start socking money away to move.
So, anyway, let's get to the money saving things that happened this week, shall we?
1. The chickens have been very, very happy in their new home and have gifted me with eggs...one of the hens, not sure which one, has even laid double eggs a couple of days the last couple of weeks. Which means I've been having eggs to spare lately (some of them seen up top there). I was even able to trade some eggs with a friend of mine as she knew I had chickens (I asked her for advice when I first got the chickens and was trying to figure things out a bit) and offered to buy some eggs off of me if I had extra. I gave her a dozen eggs (for free as I just had the extra and I knew she's on a budget too) and she surprised me by giving me a jar of goat's milk from her goats in return (she was insistent I take at least that as I turned down money). I was impressed that the milk actually doesn't taste gamey at all and is actually really rich and creamy, as I'd always heard goat's milk was really strong tasting compared to cow's milk. I've been enjoying it in my coffee for the most part (seen up top in one of my "pretty" jars), which saved me from having to buy 1/2 and 1/2 for the next couple of weeks and my friend enjoyed her dozen eggs as did her kids, so win-win.
2. I want to thank the people who suggested I use the dough cycle on the bread machine to mix up and get whole grain breads through the first rise cycle. BOY does that work better than baking the bread in the bread machine. I made some nine grain bread and it came out fabulously by using the dough cycle and then putting the dough into a loaf pan and letting it do it's second rise in there (seen up top in it's first-slice-taken-off glory). Thanks again for the tip, all!
3. I harvested lettuce not once, but twice from the hydroponic garden this week (the second harvest seen up top as well). I can't believe how fast the lettuce recoups on the hydroponic garden. I have to say I'm impressed and happy as the weather outside hasn't been really adequate to plant seeds yet (ground still really cold and we had rain showers all week), so I'm happy being able to harvest something from somewhere at this point. Here's hoping I can get some seeds in tomorrow or something. I'm hoping to at least get peas and some root vegetables started this week as they need so long to grow.
4. I was able to pick up freebies at the store this week while shopping. Shopping ended up being 100.00 this week, unfortunately, but we were out of a lot and the cats were out of dried food and the chickens were nearly out of their food as well (I learned that I needed to up their protein since they were older birds, which is probably why they were blowing through their feed so quickly, so I got a higher level of protein feed and that seems to be cutting down on the amount of feed they are blowing through, so yay for that). The biggest purchases this week on the human food front were getting seedless watermelon for 2.50 a piece (Carrs has them on sale this week) and getting gold potatoes for .88 a pound (also on sale at Carrs). I got enough potatoes to last for a while and we've enjoyed the watermelon the last few days with dinner and for snacks.
5. Freebies at the store this week included a free thing of salt, a free loaf of french bread from the store bakery (which my husband likes to eat for snacks and things, so it's definitely getting eaten), a free thing of sparkling lemonade, a free thing of powdered gravy mix, a free thing of hot dog buns and a free doughnut. The doughnut and the lemonade I had for lunch after shopping as I was starving by the time I got done running to the feed store and everything else (not an ideal lunch on the nutrition side, but it worked). The Monopoly game is going to be ending soon and I am going to miss it as the free product coupons I've won have been really nice to get.
6. I mended a zipper that was coming apart at the seam on my son's back pack. I am determined to get the backpack to make it through the rest of the school year. The zipper is separating slowly but surely and things, but so far, so good and luckily with the snow gear no longer in the back pack the load on the back pack is pretty much non-existent so I'm pretty confident the backpack will make it.
7. A benefit to the husband's new job is that my husband found that the airport is a REALLY expensive place to eat and packing lunch is really easy there as they have an actual break room with a fridge and things. So, I'm thrilled that I'll be able to pack him lunch on a regular basis, which will not only benefit his general diet, but also will help us save money.
So, it's been...years, since I really thought of packing lunch on a daily basis where you can reheat food and things being an option. Anyone got some good recommendations and things to make/pack to help add some variety to my husband's lunches?
8. I made up a batch of onion soup mix and put it into the cupboard to use later on. I've found that having that stuff home made...you can't tell the difference between the store bought stuff and the home made stuff in a recipe and making it at home is a lot cheaper than buying a box of the stuff! And since I use it a lot in crock pot meals, it is so worth making it in decent quantities.
9. I was actually able to pull out the grill this week! I cut up one of the lamb roasts I got for cheap into rib loin chops and grilled them. They came out yummy and made enough for two meals! Not bad for a 2.00 roast :).
10. I used up a bunch of carrots that were getting a bit old, some old potatoes from the fridge and some turnips from the freezer, along with one of the few corned beef briskets I had in the freezer and made a corned beef dinner earlier in the week. I pulled out 1/2 of a loaf of home made bread that I had thrown in the freezer earlier after I defrosted it on the counter for a while and voila! A meal of essentially left overs and castaways that filled us up and tasted good.
And there you go folks. Some of my adventures this week. How did you do?