Friday, July 6, 2018

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

I am TIRED right now, so I apologize for the lateness of the post, any grammatical errors and any weird tangents I might go on.  I am going to back schedule this post to "post" on Friday of last week.  Why?  Because posting up a Friday post on Tuesday makes me annoyed at myself, so at least I can trick Blogger into back posting this to the right day *laugh*.

So, ever wonder how to make yourself have the energy to make your home look like it stepped out of a Pottery Barn catalog?  You know, that crisp, "Everything is so CLEAN" look.

Well, I have the answer to that question.  Get yourself an infestation of a nasty bug in your house and you'll be AMAZED how much energy and time you will put into detail cleaning your house each day.

Turns out those little beetles that were flying through my screens because they were so tiny?  Well, not all of them were spruce beetles.  Nope, some of them were TEENY TINY little larder beetles.  Larder beetles are a bug that seek out ANY food you might have in your carpets, around your walls and basically anywhere, lay hundreds of eggs get the idea.  Unfortunately, to make matters that much worse is that I have a kiddo who likes to spread food EVERYWHERE multiple times a day, so the larder beetles found food around base boards and things and just went berserk.

I don't have an out and out infestation, but I'm holding a line and one that could quickly fall to the enemy if I let my guard down for one second.  I've been seeking out and destroying bugs left and right.  They managed to get into my seed storage (which shocked and horrified me when I opened the container), so I had to throw all of my seeds away (I cried, I'll admit it).  I had to put all of my material, that isn't in my sewing cabinet (so far that has come through okay, but I'm keeping an eye on it) into ziploc bags to keep it safe from larvae.  I move ALL furniture every single day to vacuum under it.  I sweep floors multiple times a day and mop with bleach solution daily to kill off anything that might be lurking there.  I emptied the son's closet, completely, including all toy boxes and cleaned thoroughly, but while I was at it I weeded out a ton of old toddler toys that I know he won't play with (he is, after all, underneath it all, a kid who is getting older and getting insulted that we might want him to play with "baby" things).  Last night I found a few beetles in my pantry, freaked, went through and thoroughly cleaned and checked things over (luckily the majority of things that aren't on shelves and sealed up are in cans and the canned goods are the things on the floor right now).

I am out of cleaning supplies now, badly.  I am using the rest of my white vinegar to clean with (which is getting low) and I have nothing resembling all purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner or anything like that at this point.  I've been clocking in days that end at 2 to 3 am, just cleaning (pulling towels off of shelves and washing them, scrubbing the shelves and getting into every little space and crevice type of cleaning), organizing, weeding (larder beetles love clutter, so I've been going MAD with the decluttering) and getting ready to get up the next day and start the whole mess over again.  The life span of these buggers is TWO MONTHS, so I've got a long, hard fight ahead of me to try and stop them from reproducing in droves.  This is depressing for sure, but it could be so much worse (knock on wood there, please don't take that as ANY type of challenge, Lord!) as at least I store my food to try and protect it from mice and bugs, so that has helped (thank GOD for Tupperware and five gallon buckets with a good seal on them).

We also had a heat wave (for us, I apologize to my wimpy "Alaskan" threshold for temperatures *laugh*) and the temps shot into the 80's last week, which finally we had to install the air conditioner as the upstairs in our house was HOT and the kids couldn't sleep with the heat that bad.  So, my electric bill between the fans and the air conditioner and the vacuum cleaner running constantly...ugh...I don't even want to KNOW what that is going to do it.  We are now back down into the 50's and wearing coats, so we'll see how the weather shakes out the rest of the summer.  The weather this summer is kind of nutty.

So, yeah, now that my house is sparkly clean (when was the last time you pulled off a baseboard and cleaned behind it?) and having to stay that way for a while, let's get to the money SAVING things that happened this week.  I've been busy, so be prepared as the list is kind of long.

1.  The Fourth of July was a pretty good holiday around here.  We had hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner, lemon bars for dessert, a visit from our local sister missionaries (which was fun) and I was even able to make some decorations to go with the few I had already made or had from past holidays.

This year I made paper fans to hang on the wall, which I thought turned out pretty well all things considered.  I used some patriotic looking scrap booking paper I had in my stores and when I didn't have enough to make a second big fan, I used a large sketch pad and made a last one with some paper and markers.  Overall, I was happy with how it all turned out.

Past that display I polished up the bi-centennial bowl and put out some blue and red windmills we had around the house and put out the flags we had in a blue bottle in the middle of the table.  I was happy with how the decorations came together.

2.  Shopping went as minimal as I could make it over the week due to wanting to save as much money as possible as next paycheck is our small paycheck for the month.  The biggest happy surprises this week were finding out that Carrs had given me a personalized price on milk ALL MONTH LONG this month!  So, I can get gallons of 2%, 1% or fat free milk for 2.38 per gallon.  I was thrilled with that!  I also needed bacon for the occasional breakfast dinner and had a coupon loaded for Farmland bacon to make it 2.99 per pound (or whatever passes for a pound anymore).  I found some packages 50% off as well, so stacking the discount with the coupon I got bacon for 1.49 per pound.  The 2 lb packages of cheese were also on sale for 4.99 this week with a digital only coupon, so I got some shredded cheese for use in recipes (and I found that the son will eat some of it if I mix it with the Tilamook cheese he loves, so it's working as a Tilamook extender as well).

3.  We stopped off at the used store earlier in the week to look for a new pasta strainer as mine is losing its handles.  I didn't find a strainer, but I DID find a material remnant I picked up for 1.00 (seen on the left above there) to turn into throw pillows for the love seat.  I had to make the material work to make two pillows, so one of the pillows has a seam on the back, but it still turned out looking nice.  I'm not sure why I love this material design so much, but I do.  It's a heavy upholstery fabric as well, so I'm hoping it'll wear well.  I did wash and dry it before using it and it washed quite well overall, so I was happy with that.  I also found a cool Corvette panel that I'm thinking was originally to make a pillow case out of, but someone had cut cut off part of said panel.  I bought it to turn it into a throw pillow for the son's bed as he LOVES the throw pillows on his sister's bed.

Seen above is the unstuffed throw pillows I made before I stuffed them and sewed them shut.  I went through my fabric stores to make new throw pillows for the sofa down in the den as my son had just stained the heck out of the throw pillows I had made a while ago and since I was washing so much stuff around here, I figured I'd make new pillows with the old stuffing from the other pillows.  It worked well and I think the new pillows go with the red cushion covers on the couch a lot better than the blue ones did.

So, finished products.  Here you go...

Downstairs couch (I still need to recover the center pillow in another color, but I don't have any material that goes with the couch better right now).

Son's throw pillow.

And the love seat (I really do love those pillows).

4. I received my latest Generation Good mission to try out wet wipes.  I got three travel sized packages of wipes, so I've been keeping them in my purse for emergencies.  I've already used one, so I'm happy I have them.

5.  As previously stated I've been doing a LOT of cleaning, so I decided to finish up the reorganizing of the pantry while I was at it (I had to rip everything out and scrub the shelves and things anyway).  I was happy in that I was able to empty out an entire shelf off of my home canned goods shelves and moved a bunch of canned goods that I use all the time up onto the shelf and put things like the small amount of vegetable oil I have and things onto the shelf as well.  It makes grabbing things and going for dinner and stuff a LOT easier with the new system.

I was also able to pull the food storage cans out of the sewing cabinet (which worked out because than I could better organize my fabric in said cabinet so it will be easier to tell if I have a beetle problem developing in there) and I put those into the pantry where I can better access them.  The couple of big boxes next to the canning lids are actually boxes with my empty canning jars in them, since I didn't can as much this year due to the garden not happening.

When I took these pictures I was still organizing and cleaning.  All the buckets in the pantry got a deep clean on the lids and sides and I went over the home canned goods well with some cleaner and things as well just to be sure there wasn't any food residue on them to attract bugs.

There's not much room to maneuver at the back of the pantry now due to the food storage being there, but it works.  The condiment shelf didn't move, but got a good clean and everything put back onto it.

6.  While in the midst of the cleaning frenzy/bug war, I rearranged the den and put my sewing table where I was planning on putting a table for cutting fabric.  I couldn't stand being stuck in a small corner at the backside of the den was just kind of depressing to sew there and my table was also right in the middle of catch-all area for the den, so my sewing table always got buried.  So, now it's out in the open, I have a small can to put my thread clippings and little scraps of fabric to be thrown away and I was even able to put my sewing form (under my black hoodie there) in the area.  I've got plans for the dresser, maybe, so we'll see where else this area goes, but I was happy with having the sewing table out in the main area more.

7.  In the midst of everything I was still able to mend a pair of pants, a shirt and added about fifteen things to the mending pile (doh!), which, for now, is being stored in my dresser for fear of what leaving it out in the open might do.

8.  My husband took a four day weekend for the Fourth of July and my son enjoyed spending time with him the most of all, I think.  He LOVED having his dad home and reveled in the attention.  It was cute :).  While having him home, though, I was still able to cook three meals a day at home (since the husband likes eating a decent sized breakfast...I'm not one of those people *laugh*) and we managed to avoid going a lot of unnecessary places, which conserved gas in my truck as we also didn't have summer school last week due to the holiday, so I was able to save (hopefully) enough gas to get me through this week as well until pay day.

9.  I started work on the quilt I want to make.  Once I'm done with my first square or so I'll give you guys an update on what my plan of attack is for it.  So far the two squares I designed have been turning out well, so yay for that!

10.  I. used an Amazon gift card I had to purchase some new sneakers for my husband and a new backpack and lunch box for my daughter (who was thrilled with the "Ever After High" lunch bag and backpack I was able to find).  I was thrilled to get my daughter a few small things that are helping to make her more excited for the coming school year as sometimes that makes all the difference in the attitude in those beginning school days (and she desperately  needed both items anyway, so I figured I might as well buy her something she'd really love to get).  I'm anxious about her starting Junior High and really want to make it as easy on her as I can, so I was thrilled to be blessed with enough money to make that a bit more possible.  Money is so tight that any amount to make it stretch is a huge blessing, so I was feeling really grateful for that this week.

And, yeah, that and more happened this week, but there are SO many pictures and things on this post I'm sure it's a virtual novel to page through by now, so I'm going to leave it there for now.  I still have a bunch of redecorating I want to get done around here, I have school supplies I have to buy coming up (that'll be interesting with how tight our budget is) on top of a ton of other things, and I am going to be in the trenches fighting bugs and I guess making my home really nice looking in the meantime as well (I even pulled down pictures and dusted them and things this week...amazing once you start detail cleaning your house constantly how things like dust REALLY start to bug you).

So, how did you all do this last week?  Well I hope?


  1. I have never heard of those kind of bugs, and I hope I never will around here!!! Your home looks amazing, though:)

    I think the pillows make the couch look so nice. They really bring all the colors together. I love throw pillows. We have tons of them, plus little blankets all over the place.

    We wilt in the heat, as well. This part of Oregon just doesn't get very warm, but I think it's a little warmer than your part of Alaska. On Thursday, it's supposed to get in the upper 90's. Yikes! I'm horrified!!! I can just see us doing things in the morning and huddling inside in the afternoon, next to the air conditioner vents:)

    I hope you can get some sleep between your kids and cleaning so much!

    1. Yes! You are wimps! It was 94 degrees yesterday with 1,000% humidity! I ran errands in the morning, as early as possible, then spent the afternoon inside huddled around the air conditioner vents.

      Ok. I am a wimp also. I wish I had your summers.

  2. We have company from Fl. I cleaned a bit, the bathroom, vacuuming, laundry but nothing like you! They leave tomorrow morning so it’ll be back to normal. I’m working an extra day this week so six days in a row. The pay will be appreciated but I prefer shorter weeks. If my second job has me working on Tues., I won’t have a day off, at all. So far, she doesn’t need me. Yay!
    I hope this week is kinder to you, your bankbook and time.

  3. I'm exhausted just reading all this - so sorry it was such a crazy week - hope this one is a lot better! I can't believe all that you still manage to get done - you really do an amazing job.
    I am on my own so not the same concerns at all. I was forced into an early retirement but I'm now looking for part-time work as the pension isn't going to stretch to the current bills! :-) It must be so tough when having to consider children - and even more so when those children have special needs.
    I hope that you get a bit of time to yourself this week and that all the beetles die off due to the cooler weather. Good luck!

  4. Your house looks AWESOME! Everything is so clean and spotless. I am very impressed with how well your couch looks. It is a comfortable place to curl up with a good book...but who has time to do that when you are under attack from BUGS! Oh, I feel for you. I go through this every Fall when we are invaded by Asian Ladybugs. Those things stink and bite. Misery loves company so maybe these two posts will cheer you up!

    And this is when we were infested with blood sucking ticks!

    Do you feel better yet? Just trying to help.


  5. Ohhhhhh, what a week for you! Those stupid bugs, when they get in the house, they cause such havoc. The ants came marching last week, AGAIN, and I had to take everything out of my baking cabinet at 6:30am and wipe stuff down. Annoying, and not how I wanted to start my morning, but not as time consuming or awful as your beetles. :( Your pillows look great! I'm working on some knitting projects right now, but after that I'm wanting to get my sewing machine out and get to work on some of that. You're seriously such an inspiration to me!