Friday, September 25, 2015

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

This week has been busy.  And not all of it good.

I took my daughter to her scheduled dentist appointment this week and got her two baby teeth pulled.  The poor thing HURT for a day afterwards and when I looked at the teeth they pulled I saw why.  I had never seen baby teeth with roots that long.  No wonder the poor thing couldn't get them to come loose/out.  Half of the tooth was rooted in!

We stopped off afterwards and made an appointment with the orthodontist.  Found out that orthodontist work isn't covered by her insurance, so we're going to be paying a possible 7 to 8 thousand out for braces if she needs them.  I'll be sending up a lot of prayers till her appointment at the beginning of October that the braces aren't necessary.

When the gal told me that insurance didn't cover braces, I think waiting for the inevitable argument from another dissatisfied person, I sighed and just asked if they took payments.  She said yes they did and gave me some details on the other arrangements they could make and then complimented me on being so calm about it.

I just shrugged and gave a half grin saying that by this point I'm numb when it comes to dental bills.  What can you do if the work needs to be done?

And so we'll go in and see how that all works out in a few weeks.  Fingers crossed.

Anyway, I did get some money saving things done this week!

1.  I've remembered about 1/2 the time this week to turn off the heat in my kid's rooms when they are at school during the day.  I know that sounds like a really not great average, but this is the coldest September we've had in a few years, so I feel proud of myself for remembering at all as I get back into the swing of things around here.

2.  I fixed the other arm of our loveseat (seen up top).  The right arm, admittedly, didn't come out as well as the left arm did, but I had to kind of force the material to do what I needed it to on the right arm instead of following the contours of the arm like I did on the left.  Mainly because I REALLY needed any extra material I could scab off of my lowly 1 yard remnant so I could fix some really nasty flaking leather that was on the back couch cushion.  By doing the arm the way I did I managed to stretch the fabric as far as I needed it to go (barely...I think I had about 1/16 of an inch to spare.  I was proud of myself *laugh*) and everything is fixed.  That, to me is the important thing. The patch on the back couch cushion is obvious when you see it, but hey if you cover it with an afghan or quilt you'll never know it's there (see can't see it up there in that picture can you ;).

3.  I went to the store today and by combining sales and coupons (and actually going to multiple stores, which is a rarity for me anymore) I was able to stick to my weekly grocery budget but was able to get a flat of evaporated milk, various flavors of Jello, some canned pork, 10 more lbs of margarine (this will hopefully, if my calculations are good, between what I already bought and this 10 lbs, last us six to eight months), 10 cans of green beans and 6 cans of various condensed soups as well as steaks (steaks are kind of a luxury item anymore).  All within my normal grocery budget.  When I was at Carrs and the total started at 157.00, I got a bit petrified that I'd done my math wrong only to watch the amount go down when they hit total.  By the time my coupons were applied and discounts taken my total was 84.00.  Times like that I feel good and really feel like I earned my home keeping "pay" as it were.

I even looked up at our local bulk store to find that their gas was a lot cheaper than elsewhere (2.69 at Three Bears on the Palmer Wasilla folks!) and I realized when I saw the price in town that even with my gas rewards I wasn't going to get cheaper than that, so I stopped off there on the way home and got gas. 

4.  By limiting my trips and trying to combine errands I was able to make 1/2 tank of gas last two weeks.

5.  I watched "Wartime Farm" on You Tube over the last week and thoroughly enjoyed it!  It's kind of like "The 1940's House" only it's based on three people living in British wartime farm conditions for a year.  It was fascinating watching it and seeing what kind of resourcefulness the farmers had to employ to see them through the war years and beyond.  I added the companion book to the series to my Amazon cart to hopefully buy later.  Times like this I love having a laptop as I put it on the counters and watched the series (8 one hour episodes in length) while I baked or did the dishes.  I'm seriously thinking about watching some of the other series such as "Victorian Farm" in the coming weeks.

I was also able, by doing a little research, to find some Women's Institute booklets on Amazon (the woman in "The Wartime Farm" used WI booklets a lot and I was really intrigued by them) for free download.  I'm hoping to read through them soon.

6.  I made cookies this week.  Still have to make bread, but I'm planning on waking up early tomorrow to get that done and work on some housework (like ironing and sewing) while the kids are still asleep.  IF they actually sleep normal hours and wake up normally, which with my ain't likely, but I can hope.

7.  I dropped off three more loads of things to the used store.  Still have a bunch more to go, but I'm making progress.  I don't know if it's really a "money saving" thing to do, but I still feel good that those clothes will go to people who will need them and the people who run the thrift store are really nice and I'm happy to help support their church and charities.

8.  I made a big pot of mulled apple cider oatmeal and ate it for my breakfasts all this week.  A cheap breakfast, yes, but I've really been enjoying it.

9.  I made a batch of home made Bisquick/Master Mix as I was running low.  I love that stuff for pancakes mostly, but it's worth keeping around for sure!

10.  I edited my October shopping list some more to add a few things and remove some things I've been able to buy beforehand with my weekly grocery money.  I feel really good watching the list get smaller as I pinch pennies to get some of the things beforehand with what I normally spend for the week.

And there you are folks.  Some ways I saved money this week.  How did you do?


  1. What an amazing job you've done fixing your love seat. It looks pretty good from the picture you took!

    I LOVE the all of the series that Ruth, Peter and Alex have made. There is so much info to glean from them! Ruth is such a firecrack, but I have to say my favourite is Peter. Ever notice he is always the one doing the hard labour? Poor Peter...he's just so lovable!

    1. Yeah, you can tell poor Peter's soap runs out first too. He's out of shaving soap and soap faster than Alex is, probably due to the fact that he's always the one knee deep in muck with tons of weight on his back *laugh*.

      I often wonder if Alex has some type of back problems you don't see on screen as Peter never once complains about doing the heavy lifting. Alex makes light of using Peter as a work horse, but it makes me wonder a bit :).

  2. I am loving your blog! My husband is also self employed in an industry that is slowly dying, and I am having to make every penny squeal. You are inspiring me to stay on task. You might like to watch Coal House At War on You Tube. It is similar to 1940's House and Wartime Kitchen. Thanks for your great posts!

  3. Awesome! Thanks for the kind words and recommend on Coal House At War. I'm off to check that out right now :).

  4. I wouldn't just take the word of the orthodontist office that braces aren't covered without checking directly with the insurance company itself. Typically ortho coverage isn't great, but it's something. I would also try doing some price comparisons between the orthodontists you have there. But I will tell you that in one case I do wish I had talked to people who had used the orthodontist office, because I very much regret one place we used. But best of all will be if she doesn't need it at all!

    1. I called the insurance company and they backed up what the orthodontist had told me. Not fun. I also called around and got four different price estimates (just in general as we don't have her results yet of course) and they all gave me the same ballpark figures.

      Unfortunately, one thing we pay through the nose for in Alaska is medical and dental care. It's insane what it costs. But, nothing to be done about it.

      And thank you for the advice on talking to people and I will be sure to do just that. I tend to trust my instincts anymore, so I'm waiting to meet the orthodontist. I've been to enough therapists with my son that I have learned to have a heck of a radar when it comes to people and if I get a bad vibe we will not be going there.

    2. Well, that's a bummer. Between my two kids and myself, we've been through 6 rounds of orthodontics in the last 10 years or so. Because my husband and I changed jobs a couple of times (this was also in three different states :)), we did get to collect insurance a few different times, but the max was $1800. The one orthodontist that I didn't like tended to blame the kids any time anything happened. Said kid was following all the rules she was supposed to, so it really made me angry. It turned out she had a faulty appliance, and once that was replaced, she never broke anything again. At the next orthodontist, something came off, and we went in and I was all ready to be mama bear, but the girl said, oh we made so and so adjustment, so it's probably just that the wire became too short. Totally different attitude. Anyway, I hope all goes well! It would be so awesome if she doesn't need them.

  5. Oh yes I'm really hoping she doesn't need them. Fingers and toes crossed on that one.

    I had a similar experience with a pediatric dentist in the area with my daughter years ago. It was her first dental appointment and this guy put her in a nearly full body lock while cleaning her teeth, jamming sunglasses onto her face and then proceeded to tell me children should only drink water, period (she drank milk and 1/2 and 1/2 water and juice at the time) because it would rot out her teeth and they should only have this many meals and one snack a day. Period.

    I'm glad my husband didn't go with me to that appointment or I think said dentist would have gotten a black eye. As was, as soon as we were out of the office, the tears were dried and mama stopped wanting to go back in and kill someone, we never went back.

    Like you our new dentist is like night and day. He's been SO good with my son, going so far as to clean his teeth with him sitting on a counter if he felt more comfortable there and he's very patient with my daughter who tends to go full drama mode as soon as there's anything dental or medical involved (comes from having to have too many medical tests a few years ago before we found out about her cyclical vomiting syndrome).

    I'm sorry you got to experience so many orthodontist visits over the years. I'm really hoping my daughter's visit is the only one we have to have for a while.

  6. Oh the loveseat project has really gone well for you. Great job! And thanks for the mention of War Time Farm. I was unaware of that series and will enjoy watching.