Sunday, July 9, 2017
Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap and Garden Update
Another nice side to the week is despite trying to get Alvah's new meds dialed in right, I was able to get some stuff done on the frugal front this week!
So, let's get to the frugal adventures for the week shall we?
1. I wanted to thank everyone who weighed in about dish washing detergent alternatives, since I didn't want to spend a bunch replenishing the dish washer supplies. My original plan was just to do dishes ye old fashioned way, but I quickly realized with Alvah requiring so much attention right now that there was just no way I could really do it without dirty dishes piling up everywhere. So, I started researching and found this recipe for dish washing detergent and found that I had the supplies to make it (although I ran out of lemon essential oil after about ten drops and had to substitute in sweet orange essential oil for the rest of the lemon oil). Double bright point to using it was that it didn't have any weird chemical additives so hopefully it will help my son's skin in the long run as well. I ended up using the H2O at Home "Oxypur" for the oxygen bleach in the recipe since it was what I had, so yeah...the dish washing detergent wasn't the cheapest to make, but I had it so I used it.
I also made the site's recipe for home made Citrishine and am using it in the prewash section of the dishwasher. Yes, I did actually have citric acid on hand to make it...it's even commercial food grade citric acid. I got some in bulk years ago, on Etsy I believe, to make bath bombs for Christmas gifts and figured I'd use whatever was left over for canning. Yeah, I never remember to use it for canning and just end up using lemon juice or vinegar, so the leftover citric acid just sat in a jar all of these years. I ended up scraping and chiseling out the citric acid I needed for the recipe and used some sea salt I had sitting around that is more in a rock salt type of shape (got it super cheap on Amazon a few years back) and I grind it up as I am short on salt or something (which with all the free salt I got at the store won't be needed for a long while anyway). So I ground some salt up and used that for the salt portion of the recipe. And voila! I now have dish washing detergent for a bit (I'm using just straight white vinegar as a rinse aid). Thanks again to those who chimed in with the ideas. I really appreciate it! The finished results are seen up top there. I add about three drops of dish soap to the dish washing dispenser on top of the detergent before closing it when I do a load of dishes to help cut grease (thanks for that suggestion too, folks!) as well. So far it's doing a really nice job of cleaning the dishes with no white residue on the dishes to show for it. So, I'm calling it a win so far!
I was also able to get a big can of store brand coffee for 5.00 (I've learned that the Carrs "Signature Select" coffee and my stomach actually get along, so I've just switched to that as it's cheaper than the coffees I had been buying) and a thing of cat litter for 5.00 as well (they're having a thing called "5.00 frenzy" at Carrs this week). It was nice getting things I needed for cheap for sure!
While in town running around I ran by Fred Meyer and got the few freebies I had on my card. Most of the freebies of late have been candy, so I ended up just skipping those as it was candy the kids really wouldn't eat and I didn't see the point of running into town just to get candy and wasting the gas and such. The two freebies I was happy to get though were the free jerky and the free BBQ sauce. I was thrown through a loop when I found that a 2.5 oz thing of jerky was on SALE for 3.99! Glad it was free as there is no way I would pay that much for jerky. Yeesh! The freebies are seen above.
4. I got a personalized price on heavy cream at Carrs last week and bought four containers (they gave me a little over 2.00 a pint on the heavy cream! I was thrilled!) and made custard ice cream again this week. I've found making custard ice cream is a great way to not only increase the volume of the ice cream I make, but I can also add a few more egg yolks or something to the ice cream base and use up more eggs. We haven't had "premium" ice cream in years, so it's been really nice to have good ice cream in the freezer. And better yet with the home made ice cream my son will actually EAT some of it! Since he normally hates anything the least bit soft in texture, especially cold and soft textures, this has been a really nice side benefit to making the ice cream :).
5. We got up late yesterday and the whole day was just kind of like one of those days where you think, "Why did I get up today" types of days. I didn't get to the make the stew I had planned for dinner as getting up so late and the day just being delayed one thing after the other, it just wasn't going to happen. So, instead of going out to eat (which we can't afford right now and my husband and I both know that) I dug in the freezer, found some bratwurst and we had brats with home canned sauerkraut and mustard. It worked.
6. We've been mixing up Tang and other powdered drink mixes to help add variety to drinks around here in an effort for me to veer the family away from drinking soda so much. So far it's been working pretty well and bright side is that Tang has calcium added and vitamin C. You can't say the same for soda.
7. I've definitely been baking up a storm around here, which is definitely saving us money as it gives a regular supply of snack food for the family and stops them from eating so many of the prepacked convenience foods that cost so much at the store.
8. One thing I've definitely been getting better at is saying "no" to a "good deal" on something that I might need later but certainly do not need now. It's hard walking away from marked down foods sometimes, but worth it. I've made sure to hit the clearance foods first so I have the entire shopping trip to think about if I REALLY want to get a certain item or not and 9 times out of 10 I think on it and realize that I might still have some of that certain thing at home, or I figure out a way of not needing it at all because I can make "A" to substitute for "B", etc. It might not save us much money me doing this, sometimes a dollar here or there even, but those dollars will certainly add up over time, so I am glad I'm learning to walk away sometimes :).
9. We got our insurance cards and binder from the new health insurance so I called and got off of The Affordable Care Act insurance we were on, which required a call to Healthcare.gov and things. Glad to leave our old insurance behind, honestly, as the more I realized the insurance didn't cover, it was depressing, so I'm glad we'll at least have decent insurance now. I also called the daughter's insurance and am getting that updated as well with the new insurance. I also called payroll for my husband on a tool allowance my husband is supposed to get at his new job, but wasn't showing up on his paycheck and got that straightened out and he'll be getting the back pay on that. It's only 20.00 a month, but that's still 20.00 a month. I hate weeks where you have a lot of phone calls to make, so I was really glad to get all of that straightened out and behind us for now.
And now onto the garden update for the week!
I also ended up harvesting a bunch of the spinach this week as it was definitely ready to be harvested. There is still some left, but there are holes, so one of my monthly goals this month is definitely to plant more spinach seeds where I harvested spinach so that I can keep the harvest rotating as much as possible.
But, yeah, due to both of those things as well as the other lettuce in the garden producing well, we have a LOT of lettuce to eat! So, yeah for that happy circumstance :). You would not believe how much lettuce I got into the basket that you can see up in the list above there. There's a LOT more lettuce than it looks!
The peas are growing awesome so far. The second row of peas I planted are up and growing and the first ones I planted are growing all over the chicken wire and are covered in blooms. So, hopefully we'll see peas developing soon! I can't wait :).
I also harvested off the chives in the front bed as the tips were starting to turn brown and the chives were starting to die off. I was worried they would go to waste, so I went and harvested them. One of the plans tomorrow (other than our first "official" speech therapy session...squee!) is to put those on the dehydrator so they are preserved and ready to use later. I preserved some basil in ice in the freezer so I have it to use later and managed to dry some dill just by leaving it out where it got good air circulation. For now I just put the dill in a baggie in the spice cabinet until I empty out a spice bottle at some point to crumble it into.
And yeah, there you are folks. Some of the stuff that happened around here this week. How about you? Anything neat happen at your house this week?