Friday, January 15, 2016

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

What an exhausting week!  My son, who normally sleeps about four hours a night now a days (it used to be a lot worse on the sleep schedule front) has been waking up with his eczema bothering him at anywhere between midnight and two o'clock in the morning and then he's up all night long.  My daughter has been fighting going to bed and staying in bed as well, so between the two of them I'm getting anywhere between a half an hour to two hours of sleep at night right now.  It's been hard to think the last couple of weeks, let alone get much done.  I was so, SO thankful when the kids went back to school so at least I can get a nap while the kids are at school most days, but man it's still hard to find energy to get around.

I was able to get my behind in gear enough, though, to save some money this week.

1.  I went to town today and redeemed some of the Freebie "Friday" week of free stuff that Fred Meyer is giving away this week.  They are giving away one free item via E-Coupon on their site per day this week (so be sure to check their website every day till Sunday folks).  My friend told me about it and I wasn't up to reading her message till Tuesday, but since than I've been loading my freebie coupon on my card every day.  So, I went looking for the four items I had loaded.

Which, the only thing I couldn't find was a free 50 ct. thing of Trident.  The other three things are seen above.  I'm actually the most excited about the mac and cheese just to try it on my son and see what he might think of pasta with real cheese powder on it.  If he likes it, I have cheese powder I purchased last year, so it'd be cool if I could try that on him.

While at Fred Meyer I was able to get cat litter for cheap as I had a 2.00/1 E-Coupon loaded and the cat litter was on sale for 7.99.  Compared to normal prices on cat litter, 5.99 for a large container of cat litter was definitely a nice find.

While I was there I was also able to find a couple of dented cans of kidney beans for .35 a piece and a dented can of green beans for .34.  These were moved to the front of the rotation "line" in the pantry to make sure they get used first since the cans are dented, but woohoo for cheap canned vegetables!

I was also able to find some cheap prepared frosting this week.  My son doesn't like home made frosting, but LOVES Pillsbury chocolate frosting (which is the one type of commercially available frosting he can have).  I found some chocolate marshmallow flavored frosting for .99 a container at the store.  There were like eight containers there and that is SUPER cheap for frosting, but I only got three as I was worried that he might not like the chocolate marshmallow flavor.  My daughter I'm not too worried about as if it contains sugar most times she's good when it comes to frosting, but with my son...I went conservative and didn't stock up that much on that find.

2.  Kind of a frugal fail.  I actually ended up going over my grocery budget last week.  I was 10.00 under as of Friday and was super proud of myself, but ended up going back to the store to get diapers for my son (he's blowing through double the amount as normal due to being up so much more at night) and while I was there I was weak and got some fresh produce, which is gold plated this time of year, but I desperately wanted some salad with fresh veggies in it.  So, all totaled I was 20.00 over last week.

This week I got pork steaks at Carrs as they are B1G3 this week for the seasoned ones.  I got the BBQ seasoned ones as we tried some of the seasonings last week on the other loin chops I got cheap and I discovered that we didn't like the seasonings, so I just washed the seasonings off.  I did the same with the pork steaks today, so now we are stocked up on pork again (yay!).  I got my son's chips that he eats all the time for B1G1 this week and was able to stack a manufacturer coupon and a personalized price on top of it, so I was able to get four bags of Cool Ranch Doritos for 7.99 (sad that is a good price, but what are you going to do?).  All totaled I got gas and groceries and am still 10.00 under my grocery budget.  Luckily the produce I bought last weekend should last us through most of next week, so hopefully I can remain strong and not spend another 12.00 on produce *laugh*.

3.  I've been trying to catch up on bedding and laundry this week, so instead of running the comforters through the dryer twice to get them dry, I just run them through on medium heat and pull them out still a bit damp and hang them up on my upstairs landing railing.  There they dry actually pretty quickly and it saves gas and energy to do it that way.

4.  I started planning fiscally for a "near no spending" month next month (so be prepared to read about that as it goes along) to challenge myself on how much I can really save by not spending any money for anything other than necessities.  I desperately need to slap every penny I can onto the dental bills right now, so this is part of that necessity.

5.  Managed to re-attach a zipper pull that came off in the wash by some creative bending with some jewelry wire and some J-B Weld.  Luckily it's a hidden zipper in a sweater, so I'm not too worried about if it is pretty or not.

6.  Despite being tired I have, so far, stuck to my menu plan for this week completely!  I was rather impressed by this as the last couple of weeks my menu plan has been just that...a plan...and it's gone wayward the way plans do from time to time.  The only thing that happened this week was I had to switch meals one day (yesterday) because the planned meat roll wasn't going to happen because the frozen turkey was refusing to defrost in time, so we had meat pie instead and will have the meat roll tonight.

7.  I baked salvage pudding and used up about 1/2 of the cake disaster from my birthday, which felt good.  I also baked an apple tart to use up one of the few bags of apple pie filling I have left in the freezer.

8.  Instead of running my dishwasher today I did my dishes by hand, which saved me from having like three or four left over large dishes once the dishwasher was loaded.  I got all of the dishes done and the counters washed down and rearranged a bit.  This saved electricity and made me feel a lot better about how my kitchen looked for sure.

9.  My husband and I have been watching old MST3K episodes on You Tube while we are waiting for the kids to fall asleep upstairs. It's been a lot of fun.

10.  I've been making sure to take my vitamins every day, which has definitely been helping my mental clarity and my ability to function, which definitely keeps me more on my game when it comes to being frugal.

11.  I did make a "splurge" purchase this week and got some hamburger (today, so it goes on next week's groceries).  It worked out to be 2.99 lb, which was more than I wanted to spend on meat, but at the same time my husband and I talked about it and decided we really needed to eat red meat at least once a month for the sake of our taste buds, our sanity and for the iron content.  So, I got a big container (cost 20.00) and will break that up into 1 lb packages to use in tacos and other meals over the coming months.  I did work this into my normal grocery budget for the week, so at least I haven't gone over budget.

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


  1. Considering your exhaustion, you did quite well this week! Nice finds with the dented tins and all those freebies.

    I wouldn't feel too guilty about buying some ground beef. If you budget it into your grocery funds, than really it can be justified as a staple for your meals. I usually stretch the meat by cutting up a large tray like you bought into 6-8 servings (as I'm sure you probably did as well). Each portion may not be a full 1lb, but I find that amount still works just fine in recipes. That makes it around $3 per meal for the meat, but can be added to inexpensive pantry items to keep the overall meal cost cheaper. Don't forget, that cost is feeding more than one person as well. It's all good.

    Being off over the holidays tends to muck up those routines for a long time afterwards, doesn't it? Add a skin irritation and it just goes down hill from there for an autistic child. I hope your children get settled back into a better sleep routine really soon.

  2. I hope your children get some sleep soon so you can. I don't deal well with that little sleep, so I feel for you!

    I'm glad you got some hamburger. I do much better on low-carb, due to health issues, but even if people are in great health, I think protein benefits everyone.

    I also understand what it means when an autistic child would rather starve (and I'm not exaggerating) than eat what they won't eat! So, it's hard to hit a good balance when you are on a budget.

  3. You had a great week. Hope you can catch up on sleep soon. Sleep deprivation is horrible.

  4. I can't believe you are even functioning on so little sleep! I hope it gets better very soon. It was a great frugal week with several things I was excited about until tonight. We went out to eat (budgeted) and when we got back my daughter found the dogs had gotten into her bag (which was behind a closed door) and eaten an entire bottle of ibuprofen. We didn't even know whether it was one dog or both. We tried to get them to throw up here, but ended up at the vet ER. They wanted to keep them overnight with an estimate of $1745-3400, but we just can't. They treated them and acted like we were bad people for only spending $552 on them. This is after a total of $1,000 in vet bills in December. Anyway, we just can't. I am hoping they are ok. We are all very sad/upset. So the gas bill being less than expected and staying in my grocery budget kind of paled in comparison to the unexpected vet bill. I do keep a dog budget, but that was more than wiped out last month.

    I found hamburger twice at Sam's marked down, close to expire so I have a few pounds but I cannot get over how expensive hamburger and meat in general is! This week's menu has all meals that don't require a lot of meat. I am working hard to also use meat I have in the freezer that I have been less quick to use, like some chicken legs I am determined to use this week. Got them very cheap, but I just do not like them! I also made myself finish off some Zone bars I had purchased a long time ago but hadn't liked. They were 6 months past their best by date, but they didn't taste any worse to me. I was proud that I at least did not waste an expensive item.

    I am still wired from the vet experience, hence the too long comment! Have a good week, and I pray for sleep for you and your son!

    1. Nice find on the hamburger. I'm having the same problem with meat. It's all so expensive, except chicken goes on sale on a regular basis. Thus why we are SO tired of chicken.

      I totally get the stretching of the meat as well. I've been using refried beans a lot when I make anything with hamburger in it to stretch the meat, or bread crumbs or other filler items. It helps a lot to make the meat go further, but also stretches the creativity.

      I'm sorry to hear about the vet bill. Those unforeseen bills are just the worst and just seem to tear all the best laid plans down to nothing. If it's not a vet bill, it's an appliance breaking or something like that when you're so tight on money. I hope your dogs are okay, though. I understand about drawing a line on how much you can spend on an animal. I've had to tell a vet that if they went over so much money they were just going to have to put the animal down as it might kill me to do it but there was no way I could afford it otherwise. It really is awful having to tell them that, but self preservation kicks in at some point and you have to draw a line somewhere. I'll pray for your pets. Good luck!

  5. Sleep deprivation is the worst! I hope it gets better!!
    Here's my list for last week!

  6. I am pretty sure I remember reading this summer in my crash course for nutrition that Beef has B vitamins in it, so it is a good addition to the diet! I think you did great this week btw considering lack of sleep and all.