Saturday, July 15, 2017
Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap and Garden Update
Good things have happened around here, though. The son has three speech therapy sessions under his belt so far and the first two were about what I was expecting with Alvah with a new therapist...as in not a lot got done, but overall he did OKAY. But the last speech therapy session he had last week he did really well! He did turn taking, nodding his head "yes" and "no" at the proper times (a big deal for him) and he followed directions! The speech therapist came out downright oozing happy and I was thrilled. I'm praying it's because his medication is starting to do its voodoo and also his speech therapist is a really calm and friendly person, so I think it's been a lot easier for him to feel at ease with her. The medication is definitely making a difference though. We had to run errands a couple of times this week as well and both times he did really great when we were out compared to how he has been and in some cases he did really well for him period. We went and kidnapped grandma for a while one day and she went running errands with us and even she noticed how well Alvah did. It really does make the bad mood periods he is still having easier to deal with when you know that he's going to have good days too now. I think we're finally on the right track with his medications. And THAT makes me really happy to say.
So, now onto frugal things that happened this week!
1. I made some un-paper towels to help make paper towels last longer around here (seen up top there). I have another roll to make still, but you know I have to say for something that is pretty simple construction, I mean you're making basically un-stuffed pillows when you form your squares of towels and all, they are surprisingly labor intensive. I've been staying up late after the kids are in bed, which is about one to two AM right now with them, and working on the project because I know that I won't be needed at a moment's notice. It's taken me three days to get the two towel "rolls" sewn together and I finally got one of the rolls put together to form the actual roll (three velcro tabs per side of each square to hold the squares to one another in the roll) just a little bit ago. The roll you see up top I did with cotton fabric on one side (that was gifted to me) and white muslin on the other side (since it's absorbent and I use it for home made dish towels a lot). I'm hoping they work well and save me some paper towel consumption. I used an old paper towel roll with some sticky velcro tape to secure the towels to a roll (the tape was gifted to me by my step mom) for now. My husband has some PVC pipe that he salvaged from somewhere that needs to be cleaned up really well, but when he does that and cuts it down I'll have a more permanent roll to stick the towels onto.
I also, to stop people, *cough* daughter *cough*, from using paper towels for napkins all of the time, I decided to be a bit more forward with the cloth napkins, so I grab enough for two meals worth and place them in a little basket I used to store garlic cloves in and I stick them in the middle of the table when I make the table. It's been working well so far :).
2. I mended one comforter this week and placed the comforters that are just beyond hope of actually being a whole comforter aside to redo into a new duvet here. I figure the stuffing is all screwed up in those comforters and the material is going in places, so I am going to cut the comforters into squares where I know the material is still good and then I'm going to use the stuffing from the comforters to stuff the "pillows" and then just sew the little pillows together to make a puffed quilt. It won't be quite the same as my son's beloved comforters, but I'm thinking it'll wear better, will allow me to save some of my son's favorite covers and also save me from having to buy new comforters somewhere. I'm going to start that project as soon as I'm done with the un-paper towels.
3. I've been using up old bottles of shampoo that I had bought for the kids and things and that I found didn't really do well with their skin or something. I have been making sure to shower the soap/shampoo off well before I get out so I don't irritate the kid's skin with things left on mine, but I've found it's really been helping to make things like shampoo stretch by doing this.
4. I dug out an old glass bottle I used to make tinctures in when my son was small (among other things I studied a bunch of herbology books to try and find a way to help his eczema and also had to find different ways through tinctures to get iron into him when he was little...it's been an interesting ride through the years) and filled it with vinegar. I found it's a LOT easier to pour out of the bottle instead of the big bottle of vinegar when filling the dish washer, so I'm glad I had the bottle to spare :).
5. I made mini pavlovas one day for dessert and thought I could just use cherry pie filling for the topping instead of fresh fruit and then I'd use Cool Whip from the freezer. Well it turned out WAY too sweet doing that...the recipe really needed the fresh fruit taste to counter the sweet. So, I thought of a way to use some type of fresh fruit for the topping (without using the limited amount of frozen fruit I have in the freezer) and cracked open the #10 can of freeze dried strawberries that came with the breakfast kit of food storage I had gotten from Amazon. It worked well when the strawberries were mixed in with the whipped topping (to rehydrate them). I then pulled out my vacuum sealer and used my wide mouthed mason jar attachment to quickly reseal up the remainder of the strawberries so that the high humidity we're dealing with this summer wouldn't effect the strawberries. I ended up vacuum sealing 7 pints of strawberries that are now in the pantry.
6. We've been enjoying as much of the sunshine as possible the last little bit. We had a couple of days this week that were mostly sunny, so we made sure to be outside in the sun as much as we could, even if it was just riding around in the air conditioned car (any type of weather where the son gets hot and sweaty it makes his eczema go nuts on him, so he likes riding in air conditioned cars a lot).
7. Grocery shopping went okay this week. Highlights were getting some dried cherries and a pork loin from a local food pantry and getting a thing of hamburger for 2.77 lb on sale at Carrs this week. We were out of a lot of stuff (like hamburger), so I got only what was on my list at the store and ended up walking away from more than a few deals that I would have jumped at the chance to buy a bit ago, but now a days I'm more careful and do not regret walking away.
8. I ended up exchanging Kindles with my daughter. I loved having my new Kindle, I really did and I used it for a bunch for things. The ONLY thing my daughter really uses her Kindle for is to watch cartoons online, or lately, to look up art tutorials and things online, which made me happy that she would want to do that, but it was really problematic for her. Her Kindle was so old that it wouldn't run a bunch of the videos online as they were a format it didn't recognize (we got her Kindle when we bought my son an I-Pad years ago so she could have a computer too...it's like the FIRST generation Kindle Fire). I was really hoping to be able to buy her a new Kindle on Prime Day if the money situation was doing alright, but I decided to be cautious and not buy the on-sale Kindle that I wanted to get her when we hadn't gotten paid yet (thank GOD I did that!). When I realized how tight we were and how much it would stretch the budget, I loaded all of the videos and apps my daughter watches onto my Kindle and traded with her for her smaller and slower Kindle. Now she can watch her art tutorials and her Kindle won't freeze up all of the time like it was doing. I have to be careful with the older Kindle on what videos I watch and things, but once I ripped all of the downloaded materials off of the Kindle so it's running as streamlined as possible, at least it's running okay for now.
9. I made cinnamon rolls with the left over cinnamon sugar I had from making graham crackers last week. Instead of pulling out one of the few things of cream cheese and making cream cheese frosting (which is what I would normally do), I instead looked up a Paula Dean cinnamon roll recipe and used her frosting/glaze topping recipe on top of the cinnamon rolls instead. It worked out well and was a LOT cheaper overall to make than the cream cheese frosting would have been (and it still tasted good).
And now onto a garden update!