Friday, April 8, 2016

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Well, I have to say as weeks go, this one went OKAY.  Not great, not terrible, but okay.

1.  I had been trying to find shelf paper at the stores I normally shop at to line the cabinets in my kitchen as I did Spring cleaning.  My kitchen cabinets are cheapy ones that have particle board shelves that are adjustable and one of the problems I found with them was not only that I had to flip them about once a year to keep them from bowing, but I also found that ANY little bit of moisture on a glass or plate (which happens with a dish washer as we all know) would cause the cheapy laminate finish on the shelves to bubble, which not only looked bad, but also was malforming the shelves where the liquid touched and I was worried about wrecking them.  So, shelf paper was the best solution I could think of.

My grandmother turned me onto shelf paper.  She replaced shelf paper in her cabinets once a year during Spring cleaning to protect them throughout the year.  I immediately thought this was a really cool idea as not only did it protect your cabinets from damage, but it also gave you an opportunity to kind of spiffy up your kitchen a bit and change just one little thing to make it prettier every year.  Grandma took her shelf paper seriously and took me out shopping for it a few times when I was younger and I helped her pick out the new pattern for her cabinets.

I hadn't thought of shelf paper in years, but when I saw my shelves staring at me I knew what my grandma would tell me to do.  So, I looked at the box stores I normally shop at, but didn't find anything.  I don't really shop at Wal-Mart, but thought for sure I would end up having to look there for shelf paper when I came up empty handed.

And then I was at the used store this week and found shelf paper!  Three rolls of it still in the package!  For 5.00!!!!  I even liked the pattern, so I grabbed it and have gotten the worst of the shelves emptied out, flipped and lined to help protect them from water damage for the year.  I still have a lot to go, but I am happy that I got some done already (glasses cabinet in process seen above).  And I have enough shelf paper to line the shelves for at least a couple of years.  I was thrilled!

2.  Rhonda, one of our blog readers, was awesome enough to suggest to me to shout out to friends and family asking for mason jars.  I was dubious as to whether anyone would have any to spare, but I did it as I figured it never hurt to ask.  As a result of asking I got jars from my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, a friend of mine offered a few quart jars and even my step-sister offered to send me some.  I'm feeling the mason jar love right about now and it saved me so much money just by asking and hopefully between that and what I could cobble together myself it will see me through the extra things I want to can this Spring!  Thanks so much for the jars, everyone!  And thanks for the advice, Rhonda :).

3.  I did a hack test this week on a home made cleaning product as I was out of scrubbing bubbles for my bathroom.  Be prepared for that post and review here, hopefully tomorrow.  Not buying scrubbing bubbles saved me a LOT as I couldn't believe how much cleaning products had gotten up to!

4.  I finally received the cleaning product that I was asked to try out and review (different type of cleaning product from the one I made) and I have been putting it through it's paces this week.  So, be prepared for a review here in the next little bit as well :).

5.  My husband and I went shopping yesterday and we went and checked out the meat reductions as I have found that Thursdays is the day that this particular store tends to put beef down to 50% off.  We found some awesome deals and ended up pretty much wiping out their clearance meat, especially their beef.  I spent more than I wanted to on groceries this week as a result, about what my normal grocery budget would have run, but we ended up with 2 roasts, packages and packages of steak, sausage, ground turkey for 1.50 for one pound containers (I'll use that to stretch ground beef in recipes or for turkey burgers) and lots of ribs, both beef and pork.  I would have felt bad about what we spent, but our freezer is now officially packed with meat, so, yeeahhhh, if I felt guilty about the grocery budget I got over it quickly ;).

I do give myself an allotment of 100.00 a month for extras (which normally gets eaten up by medicine and things) but I stocked up on medicines last month due to a 2.00 per bottle sale on Benadryl at Carrs, so I'm not seeing needing much medicine this month.  So, hopefully that 100.00 can go toward my meat purchase, at which point that would make me even.  If it doesn't work out that way, I know I can make it up some other way in the overall budget.

6.  While at the store I also found about two carts full of reduced items that my husband and I pawed through (so much Hamburger Helper...too bad we ate it so much when I was a young teen that I can't stand the stuff anymore).  I got some boxes of microwave popcorn that my son likes to bring to school for his class and he to share on special occasions (popcorn loving kids abound in his class) for 1.69 per box.  I also got half and half for .76 for a pint, which I have plans for (if I can first find room in my freezer for my ice cream maker bowl *laugh*) and milk on mark down for 2.39 a gallon.  We got three gallons and stuffed the half gallons into our fridge.  It really was a great day on the mark down front.

7.  I canned the grapes that I got at such a great deal, because I found that I had so many of them I knew I wasn't going to be able to use before they went bad (and that was after eating some). I am looking forward to having those as grapes go up in price later in the year.

8.   I mended some holes in blankets and renewed the water proofing on my winter jacket this week (I got tent waterproofing on clearance last year and I use that to waterproof jackets, shoes and the like) before separating out the spring jacket from the inner lining.  This way I'll have a nice water proof wind breaker to wear during the summer should I need it.  I get numerous water proofing treatments out of one can of spray and the spray cost me 5.00 when I bought it...I'd say it more than has paid for itself and it's still going strong.

9.  My husband and I were out running around this week and decided to stop by our local Franz outlet to see if the bread was really THAT much cheaper than the store.  And man am I ever going back there!  They have the light and fluffy whole wheat bread my son likes for super cheap (the only whole grain bread he'll eat is the full of air whole wheat breads and I have to be careful which ones I choose because of nuts), hot dog buns (another favorite of my son's) are way cheaper there as well and if you spent 5.00 you got a free loaf of bread.  My husband chose sourdough to use for work sandwiches as we went over 5.00 by like .50 (and we bought like five loaves of bread)!  The extra went into the freezer to pull out as I need it over the month for the kids for toast.  I will definitely be going back there!

10.  I got another Pinata box from my step-mom in the mail this week.  The best part of this box, to me, was family records and some old family photos of my grandmother (who I never got to meet as she died before I was born) and pictures of my dad as a child.  My dad's side of the family never considered things like photos or records to be of much importance, but my dad had dubbed me the family historian years ago and so I have the photo albums from when I was a child and things, but didn't have any records of my dad's family past my siblings and I.  So, it feels good being able to add the old report cards, the photos and other things to what I possess.  I am going to find a nice frame out of my frame stash and frame the picture of my dad as a youth as I see a lot of him in my son.  I also received a bunch of embroidery floss, some sewing notions and some books on crochet and other things in the box.  Thanks so much for everything, Rox!!!

11.  My husband has started to read to my daughter at night and is reading, "The Book of Three" (the first book in "The Black Cauldron" series).  I have found I really enjoy listening in as he reads to her and am enjoying the book the most out of the three of us I think *laugh*.  I've been working on mending while he reads and I find it's a lot of fun.

And there you are folks.  Some frugal things that happened to me this week.  How did you do?


  1. My husband read to my daughter for years and I enjoyed listening too. We would also get books on tape from the library and listen to them in the car.

  2. I'm so glad your call for the canning jars from friends and family was so fruitful, Erika! I've found that many people end up with a stash of jars they just don't use and are quite willing to pass them along to someone who will. I also find that sometimes older people have to downsize for moving or pass away and they have a stash of jars the family doesn't know what to do with. If people know you have an open call for canning jars, more just might come your way in the future too.

    So glad you were able to spend a little extra on restocking your freezer with meat this week too! I'm sure this will help your grocery budget moving forward as well, since the most expensive part of the meal is already sitting in the freezer waiting to be used. By the way, that discounted half and half could also be used to make a really nice cream soup too (cream of potato with some of your potato stash maybe?. Oh, and if you have a ham bone to use for the stock, well, it might be the best soup you've ever made!

    This week, I went back to the store and bought more of the "sub pac" cold meat (three types of meat for making sub sandwiches) for $1.99/pack as everyone in the family seemed to be enjoying them. I bought 5 more, with 2 in the fridge and 3 more in the freezer. I also found bottles of MiLo Sport drink mix at the same store for $0.99 (normally these are close to $4/bottle) and grabbed 5 for the pantry. My mom (whom we live with) really likes using this to flavour her water. I bought a good sized bag of yellow waxed beans from the clearance rack for $1.99, then blanched and froze most of them for later use (some were used for a casserole I was making that day). My frozen veggie supply is getting low, so this was a good addition. But most important, the boneless, skinless chicken breast was on sale at Costco again for $4off/package. I bought 3 packages; two to make up into chicken souvlaki for the freezer and one to divide up into 1 or 2 breasts per pack for use in other meals. Since my daughter refuses to eat beef, this has become a huge staple for many of our meals. It feels good to have a nice stock of various meats in the freezer again.

  3. You hit the grocery jackpot for sure!

    Yesterday was my sons elementary school carnival. I spent $20 on tickets for the kids, and they played games and won prizes for about 2 hours, and we won a cake at the cake walk. Then a student gave my h sband, who teaches there, another cake since he had qon several. My mom bought the kids and I dinner there, and while I did spend $105 at the auction, i got 6 boxes of this wonderful fudge for $15, and the rest was a half day prek assistant. I thougbt I was going to get it for $40 but someone kept bidding me up. Grrr. Was more than I wanted to spend, but I'd walked into it planning around $100 as my max, so I'm happy. When your part of the PTO they always expect you to spend more. Glad I'm not the president, year before last her total was like $800!!!

    I skipped a week grocery shopping, but then spent a little too much the following week, but I bought a pork loin which Ill freeze half and do pulled pork on the other and that will make a ton of meals.

    We are switching our kids from the bonus room, which is unconditioned on 3 sides, so while its the biggest room, its too cold in the the winter and sicking hot in summer into bedrooms we had as a guest room and office in the main part of the house, so thats a nightmare in logistics, but its making me clean closets and go through stuff Ive not seen in ages. A lot of goodwill donations, and a lot of treasures im happy to see again. But still a lot of work. But they will be much more comfortable and I'll bet I can shut off that room and save on heating or cooling!

    Your grapes look awesome!!

  4. Don't you love markdown meat?! I always do the happy dance when I happen to be at the commissary when they mark down chicken.

    You had a very productive week!

  5. It sounds like you are doing a lot of cleaning! Keep it up. I'm just amazed at the amount of stuff we have had to week through in preparation for our move. Accepted an offer yesterday, so now are going to wait a few days to make sure it goes through, and then we are going to pack up the rest.

  6. You have done really well! I am the family historian in our family and have boxes and boxes of documents here now. I need to get them organized, make copies of some of the documents.