Friday, March 11, 2016

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

I haven't really spent much money this week, mainly because I went no where and did nothing essentially.  I was home all week taking care of a sick with a fever son for part of the week and then yesterday I went down hard with the cold myself.  How sick was I?  I actually had my husband go and buy me ready made store soup because I wasn't up to cutting up some veggies and chicken.  It is rare when I am THAT out of it as I haven't really liked many ready made soups for years, especially chicken noodle.  At least I'm improved today.  So long as I keep on top of taking Ibuprofen every four hours on the nose to keep the fever under control I can function, so I'll be making soup tonight (whether and husband and daughter like it or not).

Believe it or not I did manage to get things done (mainly before the son got sick) on the money saving front!

1.  My friend contacted me as she had some coupons for free Tostitos corn chips that her friend had given to her (some product testing thing that she hadn't used all of the coupons for), but they were set to expire in about four days, so she mailed them to me quickly.  I ran to the store as soon as I got them and redeemed them.  The hardest part was finding chips below 12 ounces (restrictions set by the coupon), but I found some.  And now I'm set on corn chips for speech therapy for a while (thanks so much for the coupons, Stephanie!).

That day I just got freebies at the store (run in, get freebies and perscription, get out was seriously my list for that day).  Old Orchard had sent me some coupons for free frozen juice concentrate in exchange for some coupons that I couldn't use, so I grabbed my two free things of juice.  And I had a coupon that had printed off at the register the last time I'd been at the store buying cat food for another free Fancy Feast tray, so I got that while I was there too.

And I want to send a thank you to my husband for waiting in the car with the kiddos while I ran in and got those things as really that and my daughter's monthly script was all I was going to the store for that day.

2.  We went over the weekend to get my son new sneakers as he was suddenly outgrowing his.  Luckily we were able to find him the EXACT same shoe pretty much as he had before (we get him high tops so he can't escape them at school so easily) on clearance for 11.00 a pair!  He grows so fast that I decided to buy him the next size up in sneaker for his gym shoes.  They weren't clown shoes on him and that way I'd have the next size up in shoe all nice and broken in when he grows again.  Double benefit is I won't have to buy two new pairs of shoes when he grows, only one.  The school, however, checked his everyday sneakers and since they were white soles and non-marking they told us that they'd just use those as his gym shoes for the rest of the year, so we didn't need gym shoes.  So, one brand new pair of sneakers in the next size up went into the closet for when he grows again.

While at the shoe store I also found a pair of knee high boots.  I've been wanting some to dress up jeans or to wear under a skirt for YEARS (I wish I was kidding, but I'm not), but they always had heels if they were on sale cheap enough that I would buy them (I am so stingy when it comes to buying things for me) and after having the kids...I just plain can't WEAR heels anymore as they kill my feet, so I was always looking for flat boots with no luck.  That day I found some!   On clearance!  For 12.00 (down from over 60.00!).  My husband saw the total come up for the sneakers and boots, shook his head and said, "Man, I can't even buy ONE pair of sneakers for that price."  Which I took to mean, "We did good on the money saving front today."  *Laugh*.

3.  I weeded through my cookbooks and pulled out the ones that I just plain am not going to use.  A lot of them were like, "101 Ways to Cook Chicken" but every recipe you'd try in the book just didn't come out well and wasn't to your taste.  So, it was like, "How many of the 101 recipes am I going to go through before I give up on this book?"  Some of them were those magazine-like cookbooks that come out a couple of times a year that I was saving for one recipe to try or something, so I just sat down, wrote down that one recipe and threw it into the donation pile for the next time I go to the thrift store.  Managed to cull my pile down  a bit and make my cookbooks fit better in the cabinet, so I was happy.  And the best part was that I found the recipe books for my ice cream maker, my bread machine and my rice cooker/steamer (which now all I need to find is where I put my steamer try and I'm in business ;).

4.  My husband got some balsamic vinegar on the tablecloth, so I decided to do a new "hack test" as I read that white vinegar could remove balsamic vinegar from cloth (I know, it messes with your head doesn't it?).  So, I tried it.  Results?  It worked like a charm!  I was thrilled as it stopped me from having to fight with my tablecloth for ages to get the stain out :).

5.  I got my electric bill in the mail yesterday and was thrilled, finally.  All of my hard work cutting down our electric costs by sitting in the dark, turning off lights all day, etc resulted in a nearly 100.00 reduction in our bill.  I want to go and read the meter and make sure as I'm worried that they estimated the bill, badly, or something, but I'm hoping it's actually good news instead.

6.  My husband and I cut my son's hair.  I cut my daughter's and my husband cut mine.   Thank goodness we did that as the shorter hair really helped me to gauge my son's temperature better (we have a heck of a time holding him down enough to get his temperature taken with a thermometer).

7.  Leftovers and the crock pot did me a great service this week in getting dinner on the table and us not having to eat out all the time (we did end up getting french fries from McDonalds a few times, however, as that's one of the only foods my son will eat when sick).

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


  1. You did great saving all around this week, Erika! High Five to you! :)
    I'm sorry you guys have been sick lately. When one of us gets sick in our house we end up passing the cooties around- it's not fun! :(
    I hope you will feel better soon. If I lived near you I'd bring you a big pot of soup!

    1. Aw, thanks Dawn. I would stop by and bring you guys things after reading about your recent adventures too. I hope your husband is feeling better and can stay out of the hospital for a while!

  2. I hope you get to feeling much better quickly. It isn't very expensive to send hubby for a pizza if you are still feeling poorly:) (I don't know if your kids will eat it--or if you have Papa Murphy's there)

    I don't know what it is about the McD's fries, but that's where we headed right after church last Sunday with our autistic niece as she had been sobbing all the way through church--it wasn't a good day. We were sitting behind them--her mama had to wrap her in her hoodie, put the hood up, put her arm around her, and remind her to sob softly. Thankfully, the sobbing was much quieter during the sermon:) Although she couldn't stand hugs, or pats, etc. from anyone for quite a while, she gladly went with us after the sermon and we high-tailed it to buy some rolls for lunch (her favorite) and then McD's, where we promptly bought her fries, nuggets, and Coke and took her home. We made dinner for the rest of the people while she calmed herself down with her headphones and music on her phone. Her mom said she continued to have a good day after pulling out of the a.m. meltdown. Whew! If you haven't done it before, it's hard to realize how there is no price to big to pay to help them pull out of those meltdowns! I'm sure you are an expert. At least our niece is quite verbal and can tell everyone what would help her, after she gets over the initial crying, sobbing and wailing phase. I guess her younger brother had set her off somehow that morning and she was fragile anyway because she had participated in a Special Olympic basketball tournament the day before and it was a lot.

    1. Poor kiddo! I'm glad you were able to pull her out of the dark mood and made it so she had a good day.

      My husband and I are really trying hard to save every penny right now to get my son his communication app for the I-Pad mini as he's doing so well with it at school. He can tell them when his hands are bugging him and he'll ask for lotion, or tell them that something hurts or he needs to go crash and stuff. Here we're still totally winging it on trying to figure out what he's trying to say and he's getting REALLY frustrated with the situation. I can't imagine being able to communicate in one place but not in another, so my husband and I trying to figure out how to get more out of our budget wherever we can to pay for it pronto.

      I think McDonald's puts kid crack in their french fries, I swear. I have tried numerous times to do copycat recipes for their fries at home and my kids won't touch them.

  3. I'm not completely surprised you came down with your sons illness. Being that tired will lower your immune system and make you more susceptible. I'm glad your husband was at least supportive enough to go get you some soup. Hope you're on the mend now, Erika.

    All things considered, you did really well this week. Great prices on three pairs of shoes, including a new pair for you, some free groceries with maybe some left over money to spend on next week's shopping, and a huge reduction on the hydro bill. I'm sure you're ecstatic...or at least would be if you just had a bit more energy after being sick and exhausted. I'd say the savings on everything else should easily balance out the survival fast food runs that you did this week. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!!!

    1. My husband has been so good through this entire thing. I haven't been this sick in a long time. I'm running a fever (luckily that is finally starting to go away), my throat feels like someone took a bottle brush to the inside of it and I'm so so tired. My husband fielded the kids all day and I pretty much slept all day. And I'm STILL tired. I'm hoping I rebound from this thing soon as I'm really tired of being this sick.

  4. I hope you feel better soon. I know just how you feel waiting so long for boots, I just got my pair after years of waiting too, and so happy!

    This hasn't been a great week on our savings end. My oldest left the water running in the bathroom sink a whole day last month, and the bill was $20 higher. I guess I did manage to come in a little under the groceries budget so that's good, but it was quickly eaten up by other things. My husband has to go to meetings before church now and it's almost a half hour drive and I hate always taking separate cars with the afternoon schedule , so last week I dropped him off, and the kids and I went to Walmart, and an hour later, I'm like...why did I just waste $20?! And yesterday we had dinner at a friends house for the first time, and he's a doctor, and their house is massive, and to the 9's and all my kids have talked about today is how great that house was, and ours isn't as big or as awesome because we don't have a trampoline, or 3 levels and secret places built in and etc and I totally lost it because on top of everything else, like my husband digging up a 10 year old peony plant I loved and killing it, then breaking the plastic pots I'd gotten a super deal on to plant in and not a word of sorry, just a shrug it was too much. I guess I'm ready for next week to start.

    1. I'm so sorry about your plant! I remember how sad I was when we moved from our last house to here. I had a parsley plant I'd kept inside on a sunny windowsill in our old house and it lived six years. SIX YEARS! We move here and within two months it was dead, probably due to just not having the same environment it was used to. But I was so sad. It was like an old friend had left me.

      Sounds like you had a stressful week. I hope next week goes better for you!

  5. Sorry to hear that you are sick. My husband was fighting an upper respiratory bug and is at the end of it now. Yesterday my son woke up feeling sick, 3 hours later his temp spiked. I am trying VERY hard to keep the baby from catching whatever is running loose in my house, so far so good!
    I didn't spend much money this week at the grocery store due to not much was on sale and money is tight this week. I did get milk at Krogers for $1.99 a gallon. My husband needed to return a Craftsman tool at Sears yesterday. I went with him just to get out of the house. I went to the baby section while he was doing his thing and found baby clothes marked down. When they rang them up at the register an additional 40% was taken off the already clearanced price. I ended up paying $1.49 a piece for pants and shirts! I am going back today and getting more for my chunky monkey for this fall and winter (I'm hoping they haven't been picked through).
    My husband helped a guy that he works with "sight" his bow in and made some adjustments for him, he also worked a couple of extra days so this guy could have time off work to spend with his kids. (Our guys are salary paid so when you work a day for someone it is basically for free, there is no extra money involved. That's what friends are for lol). To thank my husband, the guy gave my husband 5 big beef roasts and 4-1 pound packs of sausage from his freezer, they were extra and he did not need them. He called my husband after he got home and told him that he needs to make room in his freezers for a couple of slaughtered pigs he has to pick up, he has about 15 pounds of hamburger and 2 more beef roasts that he is giving us (Thank you God!) Needless to say.......I was ecstatic! His dad owns a pig farm and he told my husband that he will have more sausage for him here soon. It meant so much to him that my hubby volunteered to work for him for free. Kindness makes the world go round :)

    1. My mom always said that you should always extend kindness and give even when it seems like you shouldn't as it will always come back to you. I've seen that come true again and again. Congrats on the meat!!!