Saturday, May 13, 2017

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

I had postponed this because I was hoping to be able to put a garden update on this post as well, but alas I didn't get a chance to do garden work yesterday and now it's looking like it's going to rain, so the garden update will have to wait until next week.

The medication for the son is definitely working better, by the way.  We go in for a follow up on Monday and he seems to get a bit better every day.  He's nearly back to normal for him, so yay for that!

Anyway, it was a good week on the money saving front.  At least I'd like to think so.

1.  Shopping went well this week!  I received a 10.00 Fred Meyer giftcard for Mother's Day from my Mother-in-Law, so I figured I'd use it to try and get some of the essentials I needed off of my shopping goals for the month if I could.  I ended up running into a good deal that I wasn't aware of until I looked for it.  Fred Meyer's regular price on vegetable oil is the best of all the stores I've checked so far.  It's only like 2.28 per container, which is a great regular price on it.  I ended up using my giftcard to buy 2 containers of canola oil and a quart of heavy cream (not as big of a size as I can get at the bulk store, but I'll take it...for some odd reason I forgot to add it into the photo above...ah well enjoy the vegetable oil ;).

While there I noticed that they were out of the Fred Meyer tortilla chips and I couldn't find the small bags of Smartfood to save my life (two kids and the husband were with me, so that didn't help), so I just got the Yoplait dipper freebie.  When I went by the reduced stuff I found that they had a big torn bag of rice (which only had a TINY tear on it and didn't seem to have lost much rice at all) for 12.49.  I grabbed it to fill my rice needs (I'm still hoping to get another 25 lb bag sometime before the end of the month)

All totaled I spent 13.00 and some change, after giftcard was applied (lost my receipt somehow) and headed to Carrs.

I went loaded for bear at Carrs as I had a ton of freebie coupons I'd gotten on my last shopping trip to redeem.  I didn't realize exactly how many until I got there and pulled them out of my purse and was thrilled with what I'd forgotten I had *laugh*.

I had three coupons for a free doughnut or bagel from the deli and thought about it for a few minutes and decided that I am sure I can get creative and figure out different ways to use bagels compared to the doughnut, which is good to eat THAT day or not at all, so I grabbed two plain and a cheese bagel and threw them into the freezer when I got home.  I also got a free thing of salt, a free can of corn, two free containers of aluminum foil (25 sq feet) and an 8 oz container of sour cream.  I also quickly grabbed two more containers of milk that they had on sale for 2.50 per gallon (max of two per shopping trip).  All totaled I spent 5.15 at Carrs that day and got back a TON of tickets (like 40) because all of the items I'd gotten were bonus ticket items even if they were free after coupon :).
Monday (the next day) the son's doctor called and switched his meds, so I ripped through my tickets, collected my freebie coupons and headed back to Carrs (no joke this was the best "roll over" week on freebie coupons ever!).  I ran by Fred Meyer as it was still early (I HATE fighting the traffic in the Fred Meyer parking lot later in the day) and after wandering around for a few moments I found the Smartfood by the front registers and then found they'd restocked the tortilla chips (woohoo).  I then quickly ran and grabbed a head of lettuce (they have head's of lettuce that are sold by the "each" instead of by the "lb" and they are like 1.67 each.  So I just go for the heaviest one and voila!  Lettuce for Mother's Day Caesar Salad taken care of!), paid the charge in change (I dug around the laundry room, the bedroom and the couch cushions and found about 2.00 in change overall, so I used it) and headed to Carrs.

There I redeemed coupons for a free thing of hot dog buns, a free bagel, a free loaf of French bread (which I used to make French dips for my husband for work lunches later in the week) and a free container of tissues.  I also grabbed one more container of hot dog buns for the freezer (since next week is the last week of school).  All totaled I spent 2.00 and some change at Carrs (I'm not sure where I put my receipts this week...ugh) and I got back 50 Monopoly tickets in return (yay baby!).

Friday rolled around and I spent all of yesterday running errands.  I had to go into town to get gas and wanted to get it at Carrs since I had .20 off per gallon there.  While there I redeemed SOME of my freebie coupons (I still have coupons for a free thing of tissues and another free thing of sour cream but they were out of both).  The salt was completely out and the last one I redeemed I had been holding onto for a few weeks, so I mentioned to my cashier that I was worried that they wouldn't get it back in before the freebie coupons expired (at the end of the month).  Since it was slow she asked if it would be okay if she substituted some Morton salt instead and I said, "Sure!" of course, so she ran and grabbed them and subbed them out for my freebie coupons.  If I had been smart and with it I would have asked her about the tissues and the sour cream, but I was just so thrilled she was willing to sub out the salt that I didn't think of it *laugh*).  I also got two more bagels (be prepared for some creativity with bagels coming up later on!), another free roll of aluminum foil (which those freebies worked out AWESOME as I don't have to worry about getting more aluminum foil for quite a while) and a free container of Greek Yogurt.  I also picked up a variety bag of chips for the kids for next week (field trips and things they are going on require bagged lunch and stuff) for 5.00 (the variety bags contain like 20 bags or something like that of 5 bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, 5 of Nacho Cheese Doritos, 5 of regular Cheetos and 5 of Cheetos Puffs) on 5.00 Friday.  All totaled spent 5.15 that day.

So all totaled I spent 25.30 on groceries this week (not including the lettuce that I paid change for or the 10.00 paid with the giftcard).  I would say that constitutes a "woohoo" since I'm still stocked on milk (I will miss that 2.50 per gallon sale!) and actually managed to get some of my shopping goals done as well!

2.  Spring finally got here!  Yay!  Side note:  I've been asked what the difference between "Break Up" and "Spring" is up here.  "Break Up" is literally when all of the frozen ground and things breaks up as the increasing light outside kind of force it to defrost, sometimes creating cracks in the ground as the frozen top surface moves around when the subsurface starts to defrost.  Basically everything starts to smell nasty as the composting ground starts to become fragrant and mud is everywhere, but you don't see any green anywhere.  "Spring" is a really...well violent type of thing up here almost.  I always say, "Break up is like pre-Spring and can take months, Spring on the other hand is over in about 5 minutes."  Not really QUITE that bad, but close.  See the large amounts of sunlight we get in the summer create kind of odd growing conditions for the trees and things as they become like mutant plants to grow as quickly as possible in our short growing season while the sun is good.  So, you'll look out your window in the morning and there won't be anything going on and it'll still look depressing outside and then a couple of hours of daylight later you'll look out the window and all of the buds on the trees will have just shot open and everything is looking green and growing out.  It's actually kind of cool and quite a relief when you see it as that means summer isn't far behind.

Since stuff, other than small amounts of grass, are finally growing, I picked some dandelion greens and fed them to the chickens.  They LOVED it and's free greens!

3.  I wanted to make cake for strawberry shortcake, but also wanted to make cake for the son as he won't eat any cake unless it has chocolate frosting (Pillsbury chocolate frosting *rolls eyes*) on the top of it.  So I came up with the above solution.  I baked one cake and just frosted half with chocolate frosting and left the other half plain to make strawberry shortcake out of.  It worked out fabulously and everyone was happy (yes, I could have made two circular cakes, but one of my cake pans refuses to let the cake go anymore and it just goes badly...this was easier).

4.  We went to Sears today as my husband found that he had a 9.00 off of 9.00 or more deal on Shop Your Way Points.  He needed some small screw drivers for work and grabbed those, thinking he'd have to pay 2.00 for the screw drivers after the 9.00 was taken off, but we also had some saved up points from earlier purchases we'd made (which surprised me they were still good since we don't shop there very often), so he was able to get the screwdrivers for 100% free! Yay!

5.  My mom sent me a bunch of coupons in the mail and I was thrilled that there were a bunch I could use as they were on items we normally use.  I put them in a special envelope and am looking around to try and find something small enough to fit into my purse so that I can carry more coupons with me and be more organized about it.  We're going to need it.

6.  We got my husband's first paycheck this week, which was for only 3 days (we only got paid for his first partial week), but it wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be, so that was an upper.  I found that the paycheck is pretty much spent between gas for the husband to get to and from work the next little bit and also for bills that I have to pay by the 15th of next month since he only gets paid on the last day of the month and the 15th, which means next paycheck HAS to go to the mortgage.  Not knowing what his paychecks are going to be like yet is really nerve wracking I have to say.  Ugh.  But hey, at least we did get paid!

7.  I got an e-mail from a blog reader and friend, Dorothy giving me a suggestion for using up eggs by making an all egg crepe out of them.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to do that since the family's taste buds are so picky, but I started thinking of other things like crepes that I could do with eggs and store in the freezer for later use.  I came up with a bunch of stuff and the game plan right now is to try and try and free up a shelf in the freezer and make a bunch of stuff to freeze for later use.  I'm hoping this works out well as I'm actually kind of excited about it (more on that later as I get into it more :).
8.  I cut up half of a big package of thin cut steaks I had in the freezer and made some into beef jerky for the husband.  This turned out really tasty!  The recipe was actually rather simple too, so here it is...

Teriyaki Beef Jerky
  • 3 thin cut steaks, cut into thin strips, fat trimmed off as much as possible (I went for about 1/4 of an inch so that the sauce would definitely saturate into the meat)
  • 1 bottle of teriyaki sauce (I used a "fancy" teriyaki sauce and was called like "Island Teriyaki" from Kikkoman that I'd won a coupon for in an online contest with Fred Meyer a while back...which I forgot to blog about *laugh*)
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  •  1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of brown sugar (depending how sweet you like it)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke flavoring (depending how "smoky" you like it)
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
Place meat strips in ziploc bag.  Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl until everything is all mixed together and then pour into ziploc with meat.  Let sit overnight.  Drain meat, discard leftover marinade.  Dehydrate meat according to your dehydrator instructions.  Store in fridge or freezer.

I used the other 1/2 package of steaks to make my husband french dips for lunch (used the free bread and then one steak cut into thin strips for the meat in the sandwiches) and then we also had french dips for dinner last night as well with the remainder of the bread and steaks (it was too hot to bake ham in the we're having ham tonight *laugh*).

9.  I swept the driveway yesterday after running around everywhere.  It looks so much better after getting all of the fallen branches, fallen leaves and fallen pollen from last year out of the driveway and it improved how the driveway looked.  And all it cost me was my time.

10.  I am working on getting some embroidery projects up and running with the express purpose to sell them, probably on Etsy.  Here's hoping I can start producing some product here as we're going to need all the money we can get here.

11.  My husband stripped a bunch of scrap wire he had saved from the demo of some jobs and went and recycled the copper.  He didn't get a ton of money for it or anything, but he made 40.00 from a medium sized box full.  I told him I was using part of it to put toward getting the garden ready...he wasn't thrilled, but I wasn't going to give him a choice *laugh*.  I ran and got a couple of bags of manure to spread on the garden (the chicken manure just is too hot still to use as compost in the garden) to help put more fertility back into the soil and I got some marigolds for the front garden bed (as NOTHING I plant there grows it seems...even the mint I planted doesn't go anywhere and it's an invasive plant!!!) along with some ground cover flowers that smelled pretty.  I got a few cabbage plants to plant in the garden as well (since it's a long growing type, I'll plant other shorter growing vegetables around it, like Chinese vegetables and lettuce).  All totaled I spent around 25.00 for everything, which I didn't think was TOO bad.  And hey, I paid for it with money we got for recycling a material we got for free, so I can't really complain :).

So, there you are folks.  Some of my frugal adventures this week.  How did you do?


  1. Wow!I am so amazed with all those freebies. Our stores here don't do anything like that! I am awfully impressed!

    I did do a good score at Kohls, they sent me 2 $10 off 10 for my birthday, plus a 15 off 50 for mothers day, plus a 15% off so my husband got some needed shirts, 4 for $15, and also a shower curtain and pj pants for my oldest.

    I decided to fin ally start a blog about a Passion of mine, Disney lol. I spent a great deal of time yesterday and today working on it. Eventually I want to figure out how to motinize it, if nothing else my mom and dad would order through my links! A few extra dollars wouldn't hurt, since we have a vehicle to replace in the next few years and not sure how to that financially. My husband started it on weebly u Der his account with his other sites, so if I can just keep him from playing on it! I just looked and he had added stuff in poor Grammer and spelling. Sigh. I also did a facebook, but I'm not very good with that.

    If you want to peek!

    Tomorrow we are having lunch with my mom, and I just realized. ..I don't have dinner planned because originally we were going to have dinner with them. Sigh. Got to figure that out now.

  2. Wow, that's some great shopping! Glad your son is better.

  3. If you want to make me a tshirt embroidered. I will purchase.
    I know what I want it to say contact me at

    mountains2009 at g mail

  4. I'm glad you had a good shopping week. Hopefully, your son's meds will continue working, and you will continue to figure out your new normal budget as this week progresses. You got some great bargains at the store!