Friday, September 2, 2016

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap and (Surprisingly) Garden Update

First, I just wanted to apologize.  Normally I try to reply to people who comment on my posts, but this week I just plain haven't been up to it and I just wanted to let people know that yes, I have read all of the comments, I just wasn't up to replying to anyone.  It's been a week where my son is sick with a cold, thus no sleep for mom at all.  Then trying to crash on various items upstairs didn't work at all well for my arm.  So, I ended up being exhausted, fighting off a cold with an arm that was killing me all week long.  *Thumbs up* so, so much awesome.  The last couple of days my body just kind of said, "Um, no" in it's own way and I ended up taking naps whether I liked it or not, which was hard yesterday as I was dozing off in ten minute increments and would jerk awake when my son, who was home sick, would hit me with something to get my attention.  I've also been icing my arm a lot as I've found it helps a LOT if I remember to do that.  I also gave up on taking the anti-inflammatory drugs as I found that I had a supreme sense of foggy head on them and I didn't like it, especially when it came to me that I hadn't even thought of the status of the checking account and bills were coming due (thank goodness it was fine to make the mortgage).  Just kind of an off week for me, really. 

So far *knock on wood* my daughter has remained healthy (and has been faithfully taking her vitamins) because my husband has now come down with the cold and is just plain down and out because of it.  I'm picturing a very hard weekend as the way he is right now I'm thinking he's going to be down all weekend, which means I get to somehow run errands and things even though I'm not supposed to be driving much.  Just...ugh.

Anyway, onto money saving this week :).

1.  Grocery shopping...well it went this week.  I overspent because I wasn't keeping good track of what I was spending, which I do blame on a combination of pain, exhaustion and the drugs I was on.  Bright side though, I did get some great deals despite it all.

Fred Meyer has apple juice on sale for 1.25 per bottle with their in-ad coupon this week, a maximum of 4.  I checked out in more than one order and got 10 bottles.  This should last us quite a while (seen up top).  In with the 10 bottles I got two bottles of apple cider.  I'm going to mull and can it instead of the fresh stuff I buy in the fall.  Why?  Because it'll still taste good and it'll be a LOT cheaper to do.  I'll hang my head in shame over it later *laugh*.

We ended up going into a neighboring town that doesn't have sales tax, so that saved us some money too.  And while there I was able to find two bags of water softening salt on reduced because the bags had small tears in them for 3.49 each!  I didn't need salt right now, but it was too good of a deal to pass up.

I've found that my pantry is overflowing, mainly due to all of my home canning I got done this year and it taking up shelves I would normally use to house commercially canned goods and things (woohoo!), so I've ended up commandeering part of my den to accommodate some of my food storage for now.  I reallocated an old food storage box that I'd used said food storage from and used it to store some cans of peaches and pears as well so I don't have to climb on my hands and knees to the very back of the pantry to get to the commercially canned fruit.  My knees will thank me later, although I'm sure my husband isn't exactly thrilled with me storing food in the den.  Ah well :).

2.  I was worried I might have to put my old cat down.  She had been having a continuing issue (like every day) where she'd use the laundry room as a litter box for solid matter (the catbox is in the laundry room so it was nearby).  On one hand I didn't want to put her down because she was old or anything, but I wasn't sure what to do as it was SO unsanitary and honestly I was getting fed up cleaning my floor with bleach every morning before my first cup of coffee.  I finally decided to try and take the lid off of our catbox, wondering if maybe she'd just gone senile enough that she forgot she needed to use it for that or if the lid was making it hard for her to get in and out of the box or what.  Luckily, it worked.  So, hopefully that expense (emotional and financial) got kicked down the road for a while.

3.  Well, I can safely say that I didn't go anywhere or do much of anything this week, other than working slowly on housework and things, so that definitely saved me money I'm sure.

4.  I finally started to watch the first series in the Farm series on You Tube ("Tales from the Green Valley" I believe it's called) and it's actually kind of neat to see younger Alex, Ruth and Peter (or should I say "Fonz") running around.  It was funny, I've seen Peter just get greyer and greyer as the different series progressed, so I just assumed he was older than me, and so I went and looked up his bio only to find he and Alex are younger than me *laugh*.  It always cracks me up the way that works with men especially...looks can definitely deceive.
5.  The garden still lives!  Well, the peas are anyway.  I can't believe it.  The turnips and beets have been wiped out by the slugs (even with the sun we've gotten this last week you can watch them literally rise up from the ground as soon as the sun starts to go down in the's disturbing and disgusting!).  Those pea plants are incredible!  Indestructible!  Insane!!!  The bottom of the plants are basically skeletons from where the slugs have gotten to them and just eaten the leaves clean off of them.  They bent over in some robust wind we got earlier in the week and ended up with the tops of the plants touching the ground and the slugs started to eat on those too.  There is powdery mildew all over the plants and even those that aren't covered in the stuff are turning yellow and just starting to die off.

And yet.  And yet!  I go out every couple of days expecting the plant to be done, only to find handfuls more peas to be had.  I mean just in the last four days I got the bowl of peas above.  Like four cups worth!  It's spectacular.  I told my husband he's just going to have to really start to like peas as we have a ton to use over winter *laugh*.

6.  Speaking of peas and finding uses for them, while on Amazon I found an actual CHEAP copy of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 2" so I ordered it earlier and it came in this week (it was less than 5.00 shipped).  I loved it so much that I went and spent 10.00 (after shipping) to get the first volume used on Amazon.  There are a lot of great soup recipes, including pea soup recipes, that sound really good.  And turnip recipes and all kinds of things including some recipes for canned crab meat to make a crab bisque (sounds good to me).  I'm super thrilled with the book, obviously, and can see why so, so many chef's consider these necessary books in their culinary library.  Buying the first volume not on rock bottom prices probably wasn't the most frugal thing in the world, but variety in recipes when the winter gets long and dark?  Yeah, that's worth it's weight in gold.

7.  My sage plant is still producing and I think I might actually be able to get another decent harvest of sage to dry before the frost sets in.  I keep thinking of transplanting the sage and seeing what happens, but keep deciding against it as the cats just kill live plants in the house so fast that I don't think it'd make it.  But yay for more sage either way!

8.  When I got the apple juice and cider at Fred Meyer I also got my free Carmex from freebie Friday.  This will definitely come in handy when cold weather hits!  My husband stopped off at Carrs and got some rolls earlier in the week to go with dinner (was not up to making bread) and when he gave me the coupons that had printed off at the register there was a coupon for a free Starbucks Refresher drink.  I got that when I went to the store to pick up one of my daughter's prescriptions and drank it with my lunch that day at home.  Well, for a drink that says that green coffee has so much more caffeine and that the drink would keep you awake?  It didn't work.  At all.  But, the Strawberry Lemonade flavor does taste good, even at room temperature (they recommend on the can to drink it over ice, but I didn't bother), in case anyone else ends up with one of those coupons.

9.  I went out and checked the ground and it's so very wet still that I gave up on transplanting rhubarb this fall for fear the poor plants would actually rot at the root and die (and honestly I'm thinking it's going to take me a bit to recoup my arm, so I wasn't thrilled at the idea of using a shovel anytime soon either).  I'll aim to transplant next spring instead when the plants are in the mode to start growing in wet soil conditions anyway.  I went and just picked what I could off of my rhubarb plant at the bottom of the yard as I'm transplanting it in the Spring anyway, so I really don't care how robust it comes back come Springtime next year and honestly, I was ticked that the slugs were crawling all over it and trying to kill it off, so I felt like I was liberating food from the grips of the slimy disgusting little critters.

So, yeah, that's about the extent of what I've been up to this week.  How about you all?  Any frugal adventures to report?


  1. It finally cooled off a bit down here in Pennsylvania. The garden didn't do so well this year but I finally gave some veggies on some free plants I got from neighbors. Zuchinni, eggplants, and tomatoes. Peas are long over, the peppers never produced but my free strawberry plants seem to have survived. Can't wait for next year!! Mint and other herbs did very well. And the kale for the rabbits is still going strong. I'm gong to make a small hoop house to try and keep kale going year round for them. My son had a routine dentist appointment this week with his new dentist (no one in our area takes his insurance now). With his sensory issues these visits are never fun. It took a long time but God bless the staff and their patience. He finally hit his X-rays, teeth cleaning and fluoride. After a celebratory buffet lunch we went home and both fell asleep. My son never takes naps! He was playing video games in our third floor family room. But when I went up I initially didn't see him. Then I saw feet sticking up by the couch he had fallen asleep on the couch then fallen off the couch and was sound asleep on the floor with his feet still up on the couch!! I forget sometimes how taxing life is for him. He was a real trouper.

  2. If you can't take the perscription medicine, would large doses of advil work on the inflammation? I hope so!!


    Tuesday by youngest was still not breathing well, and coughing and wheezing and I knew it wasn't a cold. Instead of prek wednesday, we spent 2 hours at the dr getting nebulizer treatment, and was told that since this is the 2nd time, they are going to treat this as asthma, and if it keeps happening have to go on medication every day. Meantime I left with 3 perscriptions. He is better, but not all the way, which worried me, but hes going back this morning with a follow-up and the dr on call (Saturday mornings they have open clinic for 2 hours, so just go, no appointment ) this week is the one who first saw him in may and has asthma herself.

    Meantime, prek went okay Thursday but we hardly got home when I got a call my oldest was sick. They had so many kids sick, they actually checked to see if it was the cafeteria but saw all those kids packed. Something like 25 kids, the school yas around 200 total. He seemed ok,but friday morning just couldn't get going his head hurt so bad. He was feeling better until the afternoon now hes coughing and miserable so going to have him looked at too since they will be there.

    I stocked up on that apple juice too, the getting my youngest to drink milk isnt goung well, so there was no limut in the juicebhere. I got 15 last week, and 5 more this week. Should hold us for a few months but if its on sale again next week I will get a few more. If you do mull some, will you share? I adore a local farms fresh cider but its like $7 a gallon so unless my mom gives it to me, I don't buy it.

    Except for a few tomatoes our garden us gone. Our worst year ever, it was awful. Hope next year goes well.

    Once again problems on the baby blanket i was making. I finally realized 8t was the yarn. So yesterday got a new one and its great...but I ran out and need to get 2 more today. Sigh. This thing better be well loved when the recipient sees it. Ive never worked so hard in my life on a gift.

    I hope your son sleeps. My fingers are crossed!

  3. Just rest when you can, you'll comment when you have time. Somehow I managed to hurt my back last Friday so I have been using a heating pad and thank goodness it feels better this morning. Still have some tomatoes but ripening is very slow going. Seems the humidity is gone these next few days but will return later next week. Take care of your arm, if the errands can wait, don't do them. Cheryl

  4. Well, we've had an interesting week as well. Last week I came down with a really bad cold (throat so sore it felt like strep throat, but wasn't), lost my voice and ended up going home early one day I felt so rough. Then this week, I woke up with goop in my eyes (not normal at all), so went to the Dr and was diagnosed with pink eye! Picked up meds and raced to work only to be told "GO home, your contagious!". Another day of work missed!

    Furthermore, my mother decided to cut the grass (first time in since beginning of summer) and while whipper snipping she hit a bee hive hidden in the ground along the garden edge. The bees actually chased her when she ran away, and only stopped attacking when she grabbed the hose and sprayed herself. She was stung around 8 times! Glad she's not allergic.

    Our garden is pretty much done now, except for a bunch of bell peppers that are ready to be harvested. Some are yellow peppers, which haven't turned yellow yet, so I don't think they are ready to be picked yet. Not sure how to tell though, so hopefully they are still OK. The bean plants have started to produce again, now that we've had rain and cooler temps, but I'm letting them go to seed for next year. Can't clean up the garden area until the bee situation is under control (three treatments and they're still going).

    I did a Costco run this week and bought a bunch of meat for the freezer and other necessities that were on sale. Stayed in budget, so that was good! I also took my daughter and I to have our hair cut. First time since last Christmas that I had my hair cut professionally, and it really needed it! I should be good now until around Christmas again.

    Take it easy this week as well, Erika and try to get that shoulder feeling better. If you can't buy the meds, I would try Advil or Tylenol to help with the inflammation. You need to get this under control or you may do some serious, long term damage. Get as much rest as you can, too. As you know, if you can get at least on good night sleep, it will make all the difference in the world! Hope this week is better for you and your family.

  5. It's great those peas just keep going! Amazing!

    It is such a good feeling to know the shelves are stocked. Good job on all the canning. I hope your son sleeps and your arm starts to heal soon.

  6. New visitor. I was enjoying your blog, until I got to this post. #2 You were really going to dispose of your elderly pet because you were too lazy to clean up after the poor thing?