Friday, May 6, 2016

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Well, this week has been kind of depressing.  It's been a disappointment.  One after another.

My husband didn't feel well due to allergies, so we had to reschedule his dental appointment.  While upsetting that we had to do that, I saw the silver lining on that one as it allowed me to conserve gas to hopefully save me money until this week's paycheck came in.

My daughter's stomach condition kept flaring this week (end of school excitement combined with allergies just throwing her system off I'm sure), so I ended up having her home one day and had to pick her up early another day.  Every time I feel like we got her stomach condition controlled it shows me who is boss.  I also had to pick up the kids early another day due to my son's allergies getting to him and knocking him around.

My son's allergist appointment was yesterday.  We found out we can't start him on allergy shots until he is completely hive free because if he has hives on the shots we have to stop them immediately because you have to assume the treatment is causing them.  So he's back on massive antihistamines to get his allergic reactions under control.  The allergist warned it wasn't going to be easy as he has a "perfect storm" of allergies going on.  Lovely.  Poor kiddo.  So we have instructions for doses of Zyrtec and Benadryl types of drugs to give him and we go back in a month.

 I called the cooperative extension service to check on my canner and to hopefully get my other canner in to check as I wanted to can some potatoes maybe and found out that the gal who checks the canners isn't going to be in now until June it looks like.  So, I'm going to be dehydrating potatoes instead as all of the potatoes I bought, despite doing everything I was supposed to do to stop them from sprouting...sprouted.   I am working on cleaning out a fridge drawer to stick as many as I can to stop them from going soft on me, but I have probably 20 pounds of the 30 lbs I bought left still, so I figure I'd better do something with some of them.  I would just can the potatoes and figure it'll be fine, but my canner lid has taken a few good tumbles and I worry about the steam gauge not being accurate anymore.

So, with the kids getting picked up early and my daughter's stomach flaring, I got next to no yard work done this week on top of everything.   At all.

Between that and finding out my family is having their own issues that upset me (a stupid delay in the sale of my step-mom's house that she desperately  needs the money from to survive, my half sister getting evicted from a house that she shouldn't be able to be evicted from and my older sister losing her job)'s been a week to learn depressing news.

So, anyway, that and money being tight to the point of depressing it's been kind of a hard week.  Luckily I haven't broken down into a puddle of tears as an outlet.  Yet *sigh*.

At any rate, despite the way this week has gone emotionally, I did manage to get some things done on the money saving front.

1.  If you are wondering where the weekly shopping trip was this week...well...I didn't really have any money to get much, so I just bought Coke and chips for the son and milk for the week (spent 36.00).  I also got some Epsom salts as we are working on incorporating those into my son's bathing times to hopefully at least get some magnesium into him and hopefully help his skin some.  It does seem to help with the eczema irritation a bunch when he has a bath with them in it.

2.  I wanted to make root beer floats for dessert tomorrow, but we don't have any root beer around here and I really didn't have the money to just blow on something we don't need like root beer.  But, I remembered that I had some root beer extract that I bought years ago with my daughter's corn allergy to possibly make root beer with.  So, I took some extract, some sugar and my soda stream (also bought years ago...mainly to see if my son would drink any type of carbonated juice) and made some root beer.  I actually kind of like the home made stuff better than the store bought soda, although it doesn't have the level of carbonation as the store bought stuff (seen above).

3.  Despite having a lot going on this week I did manage to can something pretty much every day this week so that no discounted fruit went to waste.  I also made sure to use up some frozen fruit that I really needed to use to make something as it was getting near it's expiration date.

So, in recap I made...
Monday I made apple pie filling with some of my discounted apples.  I used the recipe in the Ball Book of Home Preserving and for once I got the EXACT yield they said you'd get (7 pints).  I was impressed.

Tuesday I made pie filling with what turned out to be odds and ends of berries I had in the freezer.  I thought I'd make raspberry pie filling, but found that I didn't have enough.  So digging in the freezer I found some blackberries, some strawberries (from last year that I had left over) and some blueberries to add in with the raspberries.  I call it "triple berry pie filling" as a send up to the "triple berry pie" from "Bear in the Big Blue House" as my daughter loved that show (and will still watch it with my son) so I thought it might inspire her to actually try a pie when I make it even though technically I guess it's "quadruple berry pie filling" instead *laugh*.

I'm hoping to make some cherry pie filling and some strawberry rhubarb pie filling later in the season to fill out the pie options for over the winter, but so far I'm happy with how it's all turning out.

Wednesday I made orange marmalade.  I kind of combined recipes for this one.  I followed a traditional recipe but just boiled the orange zest for about 1/2 an hour until soft instead of letting it sit for days in soaking water to soften.  And then I took a bit of advice from and when I made the final recipe I used orange juice (one of the bottles I got for free from Freebie Friday) in the marmalade instead to take the place of some of the water.  It gave the marmalade a really beautiful orange color and also gave it a wonderful depth of flavor once it boiled down the right consistency.  The set on this was so good I can stand the jars upside down and the marmalade doesn't move.  I felt proud of that one!

And I'm also loving that I now have marmalade in the pantry as I LOVE orange marmalade and never buy it because it's expensive (if you get the good stuff and I like the good stuff).  My favorite way to eat it is I take a page from Graham Kerr and strain some yogurt into yogurt "cheese" and then I spread that on some English muffins with the orange marmalade on top.  Beats the pants off of butter on an English muffin any day!

So for 2.00 worth of reduced oranges and lemons, some sugar and a free thing of orange juice I now have enough marmalade to last me quite a while.  I'm happy!

Thursday/yesterday I made another batch of applesauce.  I did have to add 1 cup of sugar to this batch as I had a lot of granny smith apples and other more sourish apple types in the bunch, so it was a BIT puckery for me when I tasted it, but overall it turned out well.

I still have a bunch of apples to can believe it or not, so I was hoping to can apples in syrup tonight (so I can use them in cooking or for crisps and things later), but my TMJ is flaring tonight and I have a headache as a result, so I just said "no" until tomorrow on that one.

4.  I was running low on sugar after making the marmalade (disadvantage to making marmalade with no pectin is you use a LOT of sugar to make it), so instead of spending some of my severely limited grocery budget to buy sugar this week I just opened the couple cans I had of sugar in my food storage and added them into my bulk sugar container.  It'll see me through until later in the month when I can hopefully get a big bag of sugar.  So, really, between canning and the sugar I shopped a lot from my own home this week compared to going grocery shopping.

5.  I used up some hamburger that was really freezer burned in the freezer (some of the odds and ends I dug from the depth of the fridge freezer) and mixed it with some ground turkey and decent hamburger and used up the rest of my taco seasoning to make a big batch of taco meat.  I'll freeze any we don't use in the next couple of days so all I'll have to do is quickly reheat some hamburger for tacos on nights when I'm strapped for time or not feeling well.  By mixing the meats and then mixing in the strong flavoring of the taco seasoning it worked to cover the taste of the freezer burn really well.

6.  I received a sample of cat food this week which was fortuitous in that it allowed me to feed the cats with the free can of wet food and will allow me to not have to buy more wet food until tomorrow (it padded out my cans a bit).

7.  I mended my son's stuffed back hoe this week, a big hole in one of my husband's t-shirts and a seam that was giving on my sneaker.

8.  I have started saving my morning coffee grounds again to spread on the garden as soon as the seedlings start getting decently big so I don't bury them (some of the seeds are just starting to show starting to show life in the garden.  JUST).

9.  I took advantage of a free resource this week when my kids were in school.  Naps.  I have been running on emotional and physical empty this week so taking a nap here or there really helped to give me a recharge.

10.  I read some free books that were available on this week and I also took advantage of the internet to watch some shows for free as well.

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


  1. Erika, I'm sorry to hear that so many depressing things happened this week. Sometimes it just seems to downpour something awful, doesn't it? I hope this week is better for all your family. Hang in there and keep getting those naps in as much as possible. Getting out in the sun may also help make you feel a bit better too.

    Great job on the canning this week though! I'm sure this is helping the depression. You may not have a lot of money, but all this canned food will at least help feed your family next winter. By the way, you can also make tarts from that pie filling, which might be something you can use as treats in bagged lunches.

    Great use of the freezer burned ground beef. I'm sure having a few ready made items on hand will come in handy. I like to make pans of lasagna ahead of time and put those in the freezer. Lasagna takes a lot of prep time. But if I do a couple batches at once, it makes life easier later.

    As for my week, well I we had some great new. My husband has officially been offered 2 jobs! One is at a restaurant only 2 minutes from our house which will be during the week and it’s only open until 9pm at the latest. The other is a seasonal job where he will work long shifts on weekends at a golf club restaurant (members only) in the same town as his old job (1 ½ hours away). He will be working 7 days a week until October, but at least one of the positions is close by. Our OOP expenditures on gas will definitely be going down! Whoohoo!!!!

    1. Wow, Rhonda, it never rains, but it pours! That sounds like a LOT of hours of work for your husband. Hopefully, he can not burn out with all of that. I do see why he/you would want to get caught up, and this seems like a great way to do it, if he can stand it. When you add your job in, you guys should be in great condition, financially, anyway.


    2. That's awesome news, Rhonda! I'm so happy for you guys! From the sounds of previous posts your husband was used to long hours and such, but wow 7 days a week is going to be a lot of work. Hopefully one of the jobs will offer him more money to drop the other job (I'll pray for the one that is close by ;) and things will start to normalize, but yay for work either way! Congratulations!

    3. As I said, the one is only seasonal, so it will end in October. He used to work 50 plus hours per week at his old job during the summer, plus 3 hours commute each day he worked. Even though he will be working 7 days, it will probably work out to be a little less than 50 hours/week, and he only has the 3 hour commute 2 days/week. I am hoping I will get to spend a bit more time with my husband, despite him working 7 days!

    4. Ouch! A three hour commute?? Yuck! I had a classmate in college that did that. Not fun.

      I thought you'd said something about your husband working long hours in the summer before. Glad you might be able to spend a bit more time with him and hopefully be able to bank some decent money before summer's end :).

    Picked: snow peas plus the leaves, lettuce, amaranth greens, onions, kale, cabbage, radishes, carrots, onions, celery, strawberries, all sorts of Chinese vegetables, bachelor button and nasturtium flowers.
    Planted in garden: 20 cucumber plants, lettuce seeds, assorted beans
    Started a million more seeds in cups to be transplanted later to garden
    Collected seeds from cabbages, kales, Chinese vegetables all from the fall/winter garden that are now going to seed
    Washed out baggies, used less laundry detergent by letting loads soak over night, opened windows all week
    Had quite a few meals that were from the garden.
    Snow pea leaves are delicious if you pick the ones on tips. I will post a recipe at the end of this post.
    Continued to make pickles. A cucumber truck wrecked on the highway last week so they were giving them away to anyone who wanted them. My friend went, loaded up. I said I would take any that no one else wanted and so we have been eating cucumbers all week. I have put up about 20 quarts so far and I still have a bunch left. They are fine after you wash the tire tracks off.
    Made banana muffins with mushy bananas using wheat I ground. Made blueberry muffins using the remaining few berries from last year (a little freezer burned) and added the rest of a box of stale cereal to the mix.
    Made cucumber dressing with homemade yogurt then decided to experiment and added flax seed meal to the dressing to make crackers. I poured the watery mix onto a (repeatedly reused) piece of parchment paper and baked it in the toaster over until it was crunchy. It made one big cracker but it tasted like cucumber. I loved it. Stood there and ate the whole thing. I don't have the recipe but will be making more with all the cucumbers I have.
    Packed a lunch for one son when he went to work this week. I like packing their lunches for them because I ALWAYS add a salad and this time I also added strawberries with fresh cream for dessert. He would have just packed a sandwich and chips.
    Purchased bone-in chicken breasts at Kroger for $.99 pound. Cut off the large piece of meat and canned it (using tattler reusable lids). Put the bones in the crock pot overnight and made chicken broth.
    Met my best friend and spent one whole day going to thrift stores. We do this every other month since she lives in another town. I was shopping for a dress to wear to an out of town VERY EXPENSIVE FORMAL FANCY family wedding later this month. Sigh. Ended up buying three dresses for $7.99 each. We ate out and asked for a to go box. Later in the evening, we stopped at park and ate our leftovers at a picnic table.
    Also purchased from thrift stores: a ball cap ($.99) and thin white tee shirt ($.99) for son for work
    Drove 50 miles one way to a small dairy to purchase fresh milk and eggs. It might be cheaper to buy from the grocery but this is so much healthier and better tasting. There is no comparison.
    Made fresh butter and cheese.
    Today will purchased three more cases of canning jars from Dollar General using the $5.00 off $25.00 coupon.
    Kroger: got the Friday free download of bread but forgot to load up yesterday's freebie because I was shopping all day. Also purchased the bone-in chicken breasts for $.99.

    1. SEWING
      Hemmed a pair of jeans, patched a ripped knee, shortened sleeves on two blouses for summer
      Volunteered to do a work job out of town in the city where my middle son is in college. Drove our truck there to work the job then went by his apartment so he could load up his stuff and we came home. I was paid for the gas and time I drove.
      While we were on the road for work, I had my sons buy my lunch for my Mother's day gift. Of course I then paid for all their lunches so I really did not come out ahead. I never want to go out to eat on Mother's day. All the restaurants around here DOUBLE the menu prices on that day plus there is always a long wait. I have learned to go out a day earlier in the week. When my boys were young I would assign them a special house chore, pay them a dollar then take them to Dollar Tree so they could buy me a gift. I would ask for candles, soap, lotion, almost anything in the store would do EXCEPT FOR THE PLASTIC TOY CRAP. They could do extra chores and earn money for that if they wanted to.
      Tomorrow on Mother's day I have told my boys I want them to get a frozen lasagna out of the freezer and cook it for lunch. Then I want them to go to my flower garden and move a HUGE boulder to another spot. That is what I want.
      Husband cut the dogs hair with a pair of scissors. He is a rescue who is scared of the clippers and riding in the car to the groomers. Saved $40.00. He really looks awful; but, he is happy.
      Found two opened half used bags in the back of the refrigerator plus a bag on the counter and one on top of the refrigerator. So I asked the menfolk in my family who did this?????? They all denied it. Hmmp! I know what happened. It was easier to reach into the freezer and grab a new bag than to bend over and search in the back of the fridge behind the cucumbers. I will put the extra bread in the big freezer in the basement from now on. I made croutons with the stale bread and gifted the birds with the crusts.
      Bought a camisole on clearance for $.99 even though it did not fit good. I thought it would be an easy fix. NOT! After I completely took it apart and reassemble it, it still did not fit. Lesson learned. My time was not worth it. If it does not fit, walk away.

      Link to the recipe for pea sprouts

      Erika, you have had such a hard week but in spite of it all, YOU ARE SUCCEEDING!!!! Keep up the good work.

    2. Jeannie,
      I can remember picking up potatoes off the side of the road when I was a child for my mother. We lived by a sharp corner, and they would roll off the top of the trucks when they went around it. Us girls would go pick them up, and make my mom's day. I also remember my husband following a cauliflower truck a few times and picking them up when they rolled off the top while the truck rounded the corner, making my day:)

    3. *Laugh* that's a great story, Becky! I have a similar one I was going to share as Jeannie's comments about "it's still good once you wash the tire tracks off" just cracked me up thinking about it.

      When I was a kid it was a tradition to go around our town (we lived in a small New England town that, of course, you could walk to anything you really needed to get to) the day after Halloween and pick up all the smashed pumpkins/Jack O' Lanterns off the road. My dad would always say, "It's still good once you pick the dirt out". That squash would always last all winter (much to the disappointment of us children as none of us liked that kind of squash). It just made me laugh thinking of going around with our wagon in the wee hours of the morning to pick up smashed pumpkins.

    4. And wow, Jeannie you got a LOT done this week! I'm impressed!!! And thanks for the tip on the peas. It makes sense in retrospect that other parts would be edible, but I had no idea that you could use them in a stir fry and things. That's neat. Now if my peas germinate I'd be a lot more enthusiastic. They still haven't popped up yet, so I'm getting a bit concerned. I'm going to plant some seeds in other areas (by the potatoes in the garden, in a planter on top of some potatoes I have growing) and see what happens I think. Hopefully at least a few of them will take.

      We are getting an overcast, kind of cool and not wet summer so far. We've had two brush fires burn so far this year in the local area, both human caused. We actually got smoked out pretty hard yesterday afternoon when the wind shifted from one of them. We got some rain yesterday, though and are hopefully going to see more here this coming week. If it is going to be overcast and dreary outside, I'd at least like it to rain and then clear up instead of just having the clouds lurking with nothing to show for it.

  3. When I have lots of extra potatoes I peel them, parboil them, and then shred them. I package them in ziploc bags and put them in the freezer. It makes for a quick meal of shredded hash browns.

    1. So they freeze okay that way. I am such a novice when it comes to freezing potatoes that I get kind of scared to try it. Thanks for the advice! I'll use some of potatoes to do that!

  4. I can't believe all you got done! If I had had a week like you have, I wouldn't have gotten anything done other than the complete necessities!

    Thanks to you, my cabinets are primed, and as soon as I get up from here, will have their first coat of paint. My MIL sent me some money for Mother's Day (I know!) and I was able to buy the few supplies I needed, knobs (found on clearance at Walmart and I love them) and a replacement plant for a plant in our house that died. I can already tell how much better the cabinets will look even with just the primer on.

    We had a discouraging week money-wise. We had a $180 plumbing bill because daughter #2 did not realize to not flush tampons in a house with an sewage ejector system. Sadly, we already knew this, as daughter #1 did the same thing. :( In any case, now BOTH daughters know and we don't have any more daughters! Ha! Then, the younger dog got bitten by something and had an allergic reaction to it (eyes swollen almost shut, snout very swollen, vomiting, diarrhea, such a sick puppy!), so there went another $274 vet bill. It seems like almost all our unexpected expenses have been either dog or ejector system for the last 6 months! A couple of months ago, we had refinanced our house. I had thought we would be getting about $500 back (long story), and found out late yesterday that we won't be. In addition, when we bought the truck, out of some sense of pride or something, I put down more cash than we could really afford to, so I'm really having a lot of anxiety over it. Plus, a HUGE amount of frustration, because I really and truly know better than all this! When I told my husband that I have really messed up, he said, how much short are we? Which I guess helped me see a bit of a brighter side, because we aren't 'short' on anything. Yet. :) We are just broke. Anyway, I just need to completely buckle down, do the things I know to do, and recover from this series of bad decision and misfortune. We have done it before.

    My daughter's truck needed windshield wipers badly, and it just keeps raining (unusual for May here), so I bought her some at Walmart and she and hubby put them on last night. They are so much better quality than the ones that were on there before and were < $14/each.

    We did go out this week, but went on a night to take advantage of Chipotle's Teacher Appreciation night. My husband is not a teacher, but is an administrator, and so was eligible for the deal. We had had a tough marriage weekend last weekend, so we are working our way back to a good point. The night out just the two of us was good and I really love Chipotle.

    I was able to make some pretty yummy, cost-effective meals this week and should have plenty of things on hand to make more. My husband and I are on vacation next week, so I pulled a few things out of the freezer that felt like 'treats' - some mini cinnamon rolls, a package of English muffins, and a few slices of already cooked bacon. I have gotten pretty good about freezing things instead of allowing them to go bad, and about remembering to get them out later. :)

    I hope next week goes so much better! Prayers for your family going through these stresses.

    1. Aw, I'm glad you and your husband got some bonding time in. It's so hard when money is really tight to get alone time with your spouse, I know, so I'm really glad that worked out for you two.

      And I totally understand making money mistakes that don't seem so at the time. I felt like that more than once this last year when I'd put a significant payment onto our Care Credit that it would turn out that we could have used the additional money a few months later when we wouldn't have work for needed additional income. You'll feel good about it later, though, as it will cut down on the amount of time needed to pay for the truck. I mean I regretted those tooth payments at the time but when it came right down to it, if I haven't done what I did we would have really been suffering with interest charges and a hefty monthly payment on top of it and wouldn't have the available credit to get the rest of my husband's teeth taken care of. So, basically just keep telling yourself that it'll work out and it will :).

  5. Erika,
    I'm sorry your week has been so hard. Some weeks are like that, and they are not fun. Obviously. I'm glad you can keep your spirits up through it, though.

    I think you have done a lot of good things with what little energy you had left after all that. For me, canning always cheers me up. There's just something about those lids popping:) (Yes, I am easily amused!) But, seriously, the full jars lining up on a shelf always gives me a good feeling. Hopefully, you can find some more reduced produce to make more goodies out of over the next few months, to add to your garden produce.

    I don't know a whole lot about Alaska, but maybe you can find a u-pick to get some stuff later on, if they have them there. At our house, Alaska is the place we are always going to go when things get rough here--i.e.--Things are so bad because of _____________we are going to Alaska. Or: We don't know what to do about this or that, let's go to Alaska. We've been saying it for over 30 years, but have never been. It's become our chuckle when times get rough. We know life would just follow us there because we would take ourselves with us when we went:)

    Anyway, hang in there. Things will cheer up.

    1. Ha! Right now my husband and I are watching the political situation up here (politicians not cutting spending even though they promised to and they are working around the clock trying to figure out how to pass a bunch of taxes and steal the PFD for state spending instead of giving it to those who it is intended for...the population up here). We just got a notice that the state had cut back DDS (disability eligibility with the state) approvals and are going to cut them back to 50 approvals per YEAR starting this July. To put that into perspective 2000 people per year right now are applying for the DDS eligibility for Medicaid waivers for things like horse therapy or special equipment for those with special needs (like wheel chairs). We talked about it and if they keep cutting out services and things for those with special needs we might be trying to figure out how to move in the next few years as we have to take care of the kids first. I pray it doesn't come to that as I really like the area I'm living in, but we shall see what happens.

      Yes, some weeks are just like a deluge of "what in the Heck IS this??? It can stop any time now!" I'm hoping next week goes better too. Thanks :).

      You made me laugh with the popping lids thing. I totally get it and I'm the same way. One of the main things I don't like about the reusable lids is that they don't pop like the ball lids do. I know I did something right when I hear that lid pop :).

  6. Here's a recipe for rootbeer that we love. Start with a used but clean 2 liter plastic bottle. Add one cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon yeast and 1 Tablespoon root beer extract. Add water up to about 2 inches from the top. Put the top on, shake really well and let sit for 2-3 days. You will know when it is done by the amount of 'give' that the 2 liter bottle has. Lots of give = not ready. Really firm/no give=ready. Put in fridge. Do not open while warm unless you want a big mess. And still be careful when you open it....(ask me how I know). The yeast eats the sugar and gives it carbonation.

    1. I was reading that method online. Does it come out tasting yeasty or like rootbeer (I know, weird question)? I am worried about it tasting yeasty as my daughter won't drink it then, but if it tastes like rootbeer I'll definitely give it a shot :).

    2. No - it comes out tasting really good - like deep rich root beer (we use the zatarans, too). In fact, 'store bought' root beer tastes really dull now that we have had the good stuff. There is only a 1/4 t of yeast and at room temp, it will quickly create a lot of carbonation. Are you at altitude ?

    3. We're not at any high altitude or anything, so I'll use the 1/4 tsp and see how it goes :). I'll just wash out the bottle we used for the other rootbeer and give it a go. Thanks!

    4. Great! As long as your bottle is 2 Liter and has some 'flex' to it it will work.

  7. Im so sorry your week was so bad. As I keep reminding myself as of late, hard times are just that...TIMES that are hard, not forevers. Its the same for you, and despite the odds, you always seem to work miracles, so keep hanging in there.

    We had a costly week medically, my 3 year old was doing really badly so we went to the dr, were told it was allergies. Next day, he was wheezing, and gasping for air, next morning I took him in, they measured his breathing and stuck him on a nubulizer for an hour. Turns out the smoke from the firest irritated him so bad, was closing his airways. So we got an expensive inhaler to use for two weeks, but the dr didnt write out the pers ription for a spacer, so the first dose was an hour long drag out fight which im sure he got none of. Then, thank goodness for youtube, learned you could make a paper tube, and hes fine using that to breathe it in. Not ideal, but since hes happy, not worrying about buying the spacer. We also got another bill the dentist...freaking nickle and diming...i swear. Whatever th e bill, its always an extra 50% they bill for later. Makes me angry.

    One good thing was our ward did a swap meet. I got some pint nars and a few kids clothes, but im heart sick, someone went in my box of things for me, with my purse on top, and took out somethings I was so excited for and i didnt discover it til later. Oh well.

    Your pie filling looks beautiful! !! I gotsome that ball book for christmas, I need to read it myself and start planning!

    1. Wow, that was nasty of a person to do, going through another person's box! I'm so sorry that happened to you :(.

      With the inhaler do you have a nebulizer? Do you need the tube and attachment to go to the nebulizer (paper tube sounds close to me). If you need those parts, let me know and I'll look around here as we have one and I think I might have some extra parts to spare (I know how hard it is to get kids to take their medicine, trust me :). I'll be happy to shove them into an envelope and mail them to you if I have them and you need them.

    2. Thank you so much, but we are making it work! He seems better, thank goodness (not counting that he fell on the stairs, banged up both legs and gave me 16 gray hairs before bed tonight and I pray didn't do anything serious to himself) and hopefully will only need that inhaler a few more days. Seems a bit wasteful, but at his 4 year check in august I'll ask if they think he will néed it again.

    3. Definitely keep a hold of it. When the kids have a really bad cough that isn't overly productive, our nebulizer has come in handy more than a couple of times over the years. The mist helps to break up congestion and open airways, so it definitely helps when the kiddos are really sick. It's helped out with a couple of croup episodes with my daughter as well. When we first got it I was worried it was going to be wasteful, but it has more than paid for itself over the years :).

  8. I'm so sorry you are having a difficult week. I hope next week is better for you.

    We had a yard sale today to make a little extra cash. We made $60 and the girls made $8 on their lemonade. Then a few hours after cleaning up the computer breaks. My husband took it apart, cleaned it and tried a few other things before throwing in the towel and saying it was fried. So I guess the extra $60 will go to the new computer. Two weeks ago our dryer broke and we had to buy a new dryer. ( we had it for ten years and we had bought it used.) I knew it was a huge drain on our energy and made sure this new one was energy efficient AKA expensive. So things are going to tight around here for a little while.

    1. Ugh. Why is it that the expensive things always break together? I'm sorry you got to deal with all of that. What a pain. Every time an appliance doesn't work right around here (the oven has intermittent issues where it doesn't like to bake things and my washer doesn't like to agitate clothes without help) or makes an awful sound (dishwasher makes a horrible intermittent screeching sound) I go into panicky mode right now, so I feel for you. Good luck finding a cheap new computer.

  9. So sorry you've had a rough week! As for the potatoes, I roast them, then cool them, dice and freeze. We love them that way. Just pull them out of the freezer, thaw and fry like hashbrowns. So much better!

    1. Thanks on the potato advice. I think I'm just going to do exactly that. That way I don't have to find room to set up the dehydrator right now and honestly I think the potatoes will taste better than trying to reconstitute them to use :).

  10. I'm so sorry about the hard times you are living with and I hope they are better soon.
    Your home canning is just beautiful and so resourceful of you!

  11. That orange marmalade is the most beautiful color! I love it myself and I prefer 'good' stuff...I so understand why you'd make it, lol.

  12. I put aging potatoes in my slow cooker, no extra water or anything, and cook it on high for about 4 hours (depends on the size of the potatoes). If I check them and they are done, I let them cool in the fridge overnight and then grate them on the large-holed size of a hand grater (food processor turns them into mush). Then I freeze them in small quantities...I have also made mashed potatoes and frozen them. They come out okay, too, but we prefer the hash browns. Especially for use as crust in a savory quiche!

    1. I had no idea you could cook potatoes in the slow cooker that way! I'm so going to try that today! That would save me some time and wouldn't heat the house up so badly. Thanks!!!