Friday, March 18, 2016

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

This was another week where we were battling illness (honestly, I'm still not feeling great and now my daughter is sick...luckily she at least avoided the fever that comes with this thing), so I did manage to save money by not spending money.  At least not much. I'll get to that in a minute though.

So, onto this week's accomplishments!

1.  I managed to finish my embroidered floral napkins.  Be prepared to get deluged with some photos here as I was determined that at least ONE photo of these things wasn't going to come out dim and dingy looking.  Of course taking pictures of these on a cloudy day PROBABLY didn't help the lighting much.

A shot of all four napkins is seen above/top.  I took direct inspiration from the tablecloth (that you can see part of underneath the napkins in the following photos), but I wanted to make each napkin a bit different for fun.  So, this is what I came up with.

Since there was only about four different floral themes going through the tablecloth, I used the blue flowers twice.  Once in a group shot.
And one in a more close up shot.

I think the big pink flowers on the tablecloth are actually peonies, but when I got done with mine it came out looking more like a rose (flowers aren't something I normally draw much of), so I just turned it into a rose by adding a few thorns to the stem.  It still fits in with a floral theme *laugh*.

I am also noting when I took pictures of these that there are some embroidery floss loose ends on the back side of these that are showing through the muslin.  I need to tuck those in better before I put some interfacing onto the backs.  Note to self.

And the napkin that took me the most time to finish.  That was a lot of flowers to outline and shade.

I do have to say that I LOVE the vintage-like line work I did on these as I think it matches the tablecloth really well.  And I'm starting to realize why women in my grandma's generation did embroidery this way on their "everyday" items like dish towels and napkins and such.  Because it is a LOT easier and goes much quicker, so if you stain them up beyond all recognition it won't make you cry to have to do another one *laugh*.

I used white muslin for the material on these as I use that as my work horse fabric around here.  It's cheap (if you get it on sale), it cleans up well and after a few washes it gets really soft.  All bonuses to me.

And might I say that I loved being able to pull out some of my French White and Spring Blossom patterned Corelle to stage these photos.  The table shouted Spring, even if we are getting some snow right now :).

Isn't it cute?

Anyway, onto the rest of the things I managed to accomplish this week.

2.  Despite being sick last Friday I did remember to go online and check on Freebie Friday, which resulted in a free pot pie for the freezer (and a free lunch or dinner when my husband is working weird hours, for me).

3.  I had to check on some orders on Amazon for my husband and while I was on there I happened to look down and see that a book I've been wanting for a while, "Victorian Farm", had a copy from a seller for less than 1.00!  This is a book that goes for 25.00 USED, and that's on a good day, so I swooped in super quick and grabbed it up before someone else did.  So for less than 5.00 I got a book that normally would have cost me 30.00 shipped.  I was thrilled and can't wait to get it in the mail :).

4.  I got an offer to try out some cleaning supplies in exchange for maybe doing a review on the items.  I jumped at the chance as free cleaning supplies...who is going to turn those down?

5.  I fixed a bunch of stuff this week and replaced batteries in a few of the son's toys as well.  I am happy as he's using the toys again now where before he was mainly just beating on them trying to get them to work.  I also replaced the batteries in his constellation nightlight, which was a good move on my part as if I'd waited until the batteries were completely dead I would have had a meltdown on my hands with him.

By the way, overall, I've been really impressed with the generic Safeway brand of batteries.  I'm definitely going to buy those again as they've held up really well compared with the name brand batteries.  I'm not getting anything for saying that...I have just been impressed with them :).

6.  I spent a lot of time this week reading books that I got for free with gift cards.  I do have a quick blog post with some suggestions on WWII rationing books in the works for those who might be interested.  I'm learning more everyday when it comes to this period in history and enjoy it so much that I'd love to share some of the books I've run into.  At any rate, spending gift card monies on books, to me, is a really frugal thing to do as it's really a great way to get hours of entertainment value out of a small investment.

7.  I managed to make dinner around here this week despite still not feeling well, which definitely saved us money.  On days where my son was freaking out and we had to buy him french fries, we tried to make sure that we ate before we left home, so we only had to buy my son his french fries when we were out.  It saved us money doing it that way (and saved my and fast food don't mix well).

8.  I dug out my Spring decorations in the middle of cleaning endeavors this week and put those up around the house (I'll do a post on that sometime soon in case I can share some tips people might appreciate).  Since I have used the same decorations for years, this was a completely free thing for me to do and really helped to brighten the house a bit.  Of course as soon as I did that winter finally decided to show up in force and we have snow on the ground and colder temperatures, but ah well.  At least my house is nice and Spring-like *laugh*.

9.  My daughter outgrew some of her pants this week and I put them aside.  One pair is a velvety materials, so I keep going back and forth about potentially reusing them to make a purse for her for Christmas or something out of them.  I'm still debating, but either way putting the pants aside out of the way saves me money in that they won't get thrown on the floor, continually rewashed for months and then tried on, yet again, only to find out they were too small (lather, rinse, repeat).  As soon as I see clothing that is coming out on the daughter that is too small I IMMEDIATELY make her take them off and stick them in the "too small" pile or inevitably what I just described happens for months before I realize what she was doing and want to pop a vein.  Soooo, it's worth nipping that problem in the bud ahead of time :).

10.  I baked bread this week, which with how sick I was last week it felt GOOD to get that done.  I was going to also bake "Wacky cake" which is a Depression Era recipe I've been wanting to try, but I ran into a box of cake mix in the pantry that was one month past the "use by" date.  I knew it was still good, but should be used up, so I made that instead.  Cake, after all, is cake.  It used a few more ingredients (oil and eggs) that the other cake wouldn't have, but it was still just as simple to make.  The kids are thrilled with desserts this week.

11.  Instead of watching TV, my daughter asked me to help her do a puzzle instead.  It was a lot of fun (we still need to finish it actually) and it was nice not having electronics plugged in around here during every moment my children are awake.

And there you are folks.  Some of the things I did to save money this week.  How did you do?


  1. I love those napkins and how you matched them to your tablecloth...great job! I think you did well on saving money and planning ahead. :)

  2. Is there any way you can put a link to amazon on your site to help if I need to buy something. I don't buy often, but if I can help I would like to. Cheryl

    1. I'll try to figure something out. I've been meaning to try and figure something out as their new coding system for advertising just doesn't seem to work with my system, but it keeps slipping my mind. I'll work on that!

    2. Okay, I THINK I got a permanent link up on the right hand side of the blog there for Amazon giftcards. If you order anything through that link it should give me credit for the sale. Thank you for wanting me to add that and I appreciate any support given through the link :).

  3. Your hand embroidered napkins are stunningly beautiful, Erika! They look so wonderful with that tablecloth. You did an excellent job. Thank you so much for sharing all those pictures with us.

    I look forward to reading your upcoming post on the depression era books. I hope you will share a book review on the "Victorian Farm" book as well, once you receive it. Can't wait to see what you make for your daughter from those pants. The fabric sounds perfect for a purse, change purse, make-up bag, little throw pillows or even a cute scarf. I'm sure it will be very pretty, whatever you make. You know, you could try some ribbon embroidery on the velvet to make it a bit more "Fancy Nancy" posh. Ribbon embroidery looks stunning on velvet. Maybe you could make something for yourself and your niece too (if there is enough fabric of course)!

    As for my savings, I've done really well this week, with my daughter on March break. We decided to take her to the Toronto Zoo as they currently have twin panda cubs, a polar bear cub, a baby rhino and a litter of white lion cubs (all were just old enough to go on display this week). I have a museum reciprocating card from working at a museum that allowed me to get in for free. My daughter, being on the Autism spectrum, has a card which allows one support person to get in for free as well (just for your info, most places will do this if you tell them your child in on the Autism spectrum even without a card). So in total, we only paid for one child admission, one senior admission (which my mother paid for) and parking (plus gas of course). We took our lunch with us and I bought a couple "special treats" (chocolate dipped granola bars and teddy gram cookies) from the clearance section at the grocery store to take with us. We waited almost 2 hours to see the panda twins for only 4 minutes (timed by staff to make it fair for everyone). My daughter especially enjoyed watching the white lion cubs playing like kittens with the rest of the pride. So glad we went will the babies were still small.

    1. Aw! My daughter would have loved to see all of those baby animals. She's begging to go to the zoo this summer, which my husband and I are hoping that goes better than the last time we went to the zoo when she was younger. She threw a fit for some reason and after that she was "afraid" of all of the animals, cried the entire time, and wouldn't even visit the gift shop without throwing a fit. It was not a fun day had by all.

      I'm sure now that the kids are older she'll at least like the animals now, so we're figuring on making a point to go this summer. Hopefully money and the weather will be kind in that regard :).

  4. Your table is BEAUTIFUL, Erika!
    Just looking at your photos makes me want to dig out my sewing and get rolling on my spring/summer tablecloths that I've had fabric for for quite a while now! Maybe this week; we'll see.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Good luck getting the sewing done. I relate all too well to the "gee, I really want to work on that" feeling only to have life get in the way yet again :). Hope you can get some of your projects done!

  5. Your table looks wonderful! ! Si pretty!

    We had the most wonderful spring weather and have been qqorking on getting the garden started until today. Snow and sleet, and today was my sons first pinewood derby. The new person refused to cancel, even though it was nasty out. I was cranky anyway because it was switched to another day with the new leader,so that meant gynastics has to be skipped, and then the weather was so awful I tried and couldn't make it. Others did though, so I feel bad about it, but hes not bothered, thank goodness.

    We've had the rounds of sickness too, so hardly anyone was eating, and I came in under budget. That went towards new ziplock storage containers ive been needing for a few months, and postage stamps. Ive got about $10 extra to put towards this next week. Need to stock up on apple juice so that will work great.

    I also got the friday freebie.

    The weather was great for about weeks so i hardly used the heater. Hoping to get back into our budgeted ammount.

    I didnt air dry all my laundry, and I asked my husband to bring home a pizza, which I almost never do, but while I didn't have tons of extra time to get things done, or chances to save money, I did little things here and there as I could! I was super excited when I was really wanting cookies and saw I had everything on hand to make them! Yay for a mostly stocked pantry! Also dropped off some stuff to goodwill, and found four Childrens Place polo shirts for my oldest son there.

  6. Oh Erika, your embroidery is gorgeous! The napkins look super with your tablecloth. I am so impressed that you were able to do this (and so much more!) while you were sick.
    Thank you for sharing all the lovely photos :)

  7. Your napkins are beautiful and look so good with your tablecloth!