Friday, February 10, 2017

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Get up.  Survive.  Go to bed.  Yeah, some weeks are just like that.

That was, unfortunately, us this week.

The son's cold didn't really get that much better over the weekend.  He had a ski trip through the school on Monday, which was a trip that he and his dad had a blast on last year, so my husband was really really determined that through the power of positive thinking my son was going to go on the ski trip and have fun.  Well, my husband made the mistake of taking the bus, versus taking his truck, so he ended up feeling car sick all the way to the resort (a about two hour trip) and my son was feeling the effects of his cold and melting down by the time they got there.  My husband at one point wanted me to go and get them, but I just plain wasn't physically up to driving that far with my arm so he was kind of stuck.  Luckily my son had fun skiing, but started to melt down on the drive back and the rest of the day after he got home was not fun at all because he was overly tired and cranky from his cold in spades.

Tuesday was a trip to the doctor to get his cough checked out and make sure his ears were clear, which bright side was good on both counts. 

He finally went back to school on Wednesday and it was a blessedly wonderful day for mom as I was able to get some rest and then clean the house.

Topping off the son being sick, our old cat showing signs that her health is on the decline, stressed out texts from my husband on Monday and such, I was stressed in spades about money this week.  I knew we were going to have to be late on utilities with money being so tight and we were down to about 30.00 in the bank by the end of the week.  I got the bills paid today, but it just threw my stress levels to about even with a satellite and I spent way too much time visiting the "Where's my Refund" spot on the IRS site hoping against hope that they'd just approve the refund and push it through super quick for the sake of my stress level.  With money and everything else that was going on, for the first time since about the time I was in college my stomach condition didn't just attacked with extreme prejudice.  As a result I have been eating as little as possible most of the week and everything I eat hates me.  I lost ten pounds this week and have been on an emotional roller coaster (another wonderful side effect of a stomach condition).  This is NOT an ideal way to lose weight by any stretch of the imagination.

So, yeah, survival is what I got done the last bit.  Thus the lack of a goals update this week as I didn't get anything done to report, unfortunately.  

Believe it or not, though, some good did come out of the week on the money saving front.

1.  Grocery shopping was nonexistent with the exception of getting some milk this week.  I actually ran out of some of my daughter's usual school lunch staples that she insists on, but was just able to make do with what we had around the house to help pad out her lunches.  She actually agreed to beef broth in a thermos (she doesn't like "soup" but will do home made broth, so I sneak nutrition in that way), bread and butter and some peach slices for lunch one day with her usual yogurt, which worked for me.  I went shopping today and picked up the majority of shopping for the next two weeks that was on sale.  I got pork roasts for 1.08 a pound today at Carrs and a value pack of chicken thighs for 5.00.  That was probably the biggest "woohoo" items from shopping this week, although I did win a coupon for a free loaf of french bread from the Carrs bakery courtesy of their yearly Monopoly game today.  So, that'll be a cool thing to get a little later on :).

2.  We were running really low on the shampoo I normally buy for my son.  I get him a tea tree oil sulfate free shampoo, "Nature's Gate" I believe the name is, and while a bottle of the stuff lasts a LONG time around here, I was dreading buying another bottle as a medium sized bottle was over 10.00 at the store.  I went on Amazon just to see what they had and found that they had a bottle TWICE the size of the one I got at the store for right about the same price as the smaller bottle at the store.  I got the bigger bottle coming from Amazon and it should be here tomorrow.  Glad I looked before I bought.

3.  My husband convinced me to go to the used store today (he's was working tonight and I think trying to find me something for Valentine's Day).  I didn't find anything that I could be convinced to buy for myself (sorry, sweetie), but I did find that a certain color tag was on sale for .50 per item.  I looked through the clothes and found two wool coats for .50 each.  They were awkward cut coats for someone of my size and build, but had a really good amount of material to them, so I confess a bit sheepishly that I bought them with the express purpose to cut them apart for the material.  Wool material is NOT cheap, so this was a great way to get some wool.  I have several ideas of things to do with the material, including making a few smaller throw pillows to embroider and sell, among other ideas (I even thought of maybe embroidering the entire coat and then selling it), so I couldn't pass up the coats.  I paid for them with pocket change.

4.  I did manage, despite not feeling well at all, to keep the family fed this week and did a decent job with meals.  I reused the menu for last week when my husband was working nights and used those dinners for most of this week and then just filled in the gaps for the remainder (which was three days) and then I'll use the menu I had planned for this week for dinners next week.  The only dessert I managed this week was making chocolate pudding one night, which the husband and daughter enjoyed, so I'm just rolling over the desserts I wanted to make last week and this week onto future menu plans (nice thing about baking things like cake is that the ingredients don't go bad *laugh*).

5.  I spent a lot of time this last week in between cleaning and being sick looking at some of my free magazine subscriptions.  I've really enjoyed "Taste of Home" as I barely ever get the chance to get that one for free and I find a lot of inspiration in the magazine.  I started writing down ideas on how to change up different meals by adding different ingredient/spices to them as I looked through the magazines.  Free entertainment and mealtime inspiration?  I'll take it.

6.  Our old cat is starting to get to the point where she can only hold certain foods down without issues and desperate to settle her stomach one day (cleaning up after a sick cat when you are feeling awful yourself...soooo not fun) I fed her a can of tuna I'd gotten reduced for .29 a while ago.  I found that she kept that down without any issues at all that I could see, so I've been using up a few cans of tuna that I had gotten dented and were past their expiration date (so needed to be used up) here and there to help keep her at a decent weight in between feeding her the senior diet wet cat food.  It seems to be helping her stomach problems, poor cat.  No matter the species, getting old comes with it's issues.

7.  I managed to fix my son's backpack where it had split it's zipper by CAREFULLY zipping it and unzipping it past the split until it bent back into shape.  I'm not sure if it's my son or the aides and my son doing damage to his backpack by not being careful when zipping it, but it's going to be a miracle if it survives the rest of the year the way it's going.  I can't really complain since the backpack is like three years old now and is stuffed to the gills with winter gear during the winter, but it is a nice backpack and I will cry when it is gone.

8.  I did a quick mending job on a shirt that had a seam coming apart at the armpit.  Luckily, I caught it before it got very big, so it didn't take me very long.

And yeah, that's about all I can think of for this week.  How did you do? 


  1. I've been thinking about you this week. The lack of posts had me worried. Glad you're all ok now - or on the mend.

  2. Erika,
    I'm sure you've thought of this already, but since money is so tight have you thought about getting a part time job you could do from home. Maybe you can do something for just a few hrs a day while the kids are at school. You could probably even get a shift as a "lunch lady" at your kids school or a
    lunch shift at McDonalds. Just something to think about anyway.
    Love you're blog!!

    1. I've looked, but unfortunately shifts during school hours are non existent and the only positions available at the school are volunteer positions right now. When it comes to working from home I haven't found anything yet, although I keep looking. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

    2. Hi Erika-
      As always I am inspired by your "can-do" attitude and approach to life, and find your blog inspirational.
      Do you ever read the blog Medium Sized Family? She did a series in January that offered a way to save or make money each day. One of the work-from-home, money-making ideas was online transcription -- basically you get an audio file online and have to type up what it says. She said she wouldn't accept jobs that paid less than $10/hour, and it seemed like many jobs would be just a couple hours, so you could do it while your kids were at school, or while your husband was there, etc, and you'd know the length of the job before you accepted it. Also you accept or reject jobs during a crazy week, you just don't accept a job. She gave names of transcription services she has worked for and suggested interested people contact them. Just an idea if you haven't already considered.

  3. I figured you must have been having a tough week when you weren't posting. Well I hope you are all on the mend. Why is your husband working nights? I thought he was an electrician, but maybe I missed something? I will pray for you this week, have a great week!

    1. It's the job he's on. He's tracing down circuits in a business building and has to mess with the power, so has to do it when no one is there. Thus working nights :).

  4. I'm sorry you are having it so rough. I wish you lived closer so I could help with day to day things.

    This week was ok, nothing exciting. I stayed in the grocery budget, with a little leftover to buy some candy bars from my boss's son as a band fundraiser. I figured that covered valentine's chocolate. My husband was out of town Thursday through Friday evening, and while he had a really rough time, including his phone locking up and dying, the boys and I did ok. He got a new phone today, probably not quite what he wanted, but hes off doing his pro bono (there, that sounds nicer than working for free on his friend's job) filming tonight, them tomorrow hes leaving church early to film more.

    We've had that back and forth weather, 30 one day, 60 the next, its given me a sore throat. I am still not back energy level wise like I was before my bronchitis and that freaks me out a little, its been a month, but I do as a whole feel better each day so hoping I get the old me back soon.

    I picked out grden seeds today. And there was something new at walmart, you know those little jiffy pod trays? Ferry moore had them in the 3x3 small pot sided, but all in their own little greenhouse thing for $5. I bought 2, so that will save me repotting my pepers and tomatoes like I always have to do. I was thrilled, and since 8 weeks never is enough time for my peppers or tomatoes, going to start them i. A week or two and give them 10 or so weeks indoors. Maybe that will work better.

    My youngests prek class is doing a vday party, I'm providing piniata stuff along with another (unknown) person. I had a boat load of halloween favors that didn't get passed out because we only had about a th ird of the kids this year, and just wanted to thin down we have soo much, so gave stickers mini bubbles, cat in the hat erasers, bracelets and I forget what else. He is giving mi i playdough because we had a ton of that leftover that my mom bought them, mi i cans, that has been sitting around taking up space. My oldest is doing a classroom party, Ive donated apple juice and cups, and hes giving out these cute spy cards I got for a quarter last march, kit kats (bought 70% off after halloween ) and vday pens my mom bought for pass outs. Bigger than we usually do, but We just have so much piling up. My nieces are coming week of easter, so I am planning an early egg hunt with more bracelets, rings, etc favors and 70% off candy. Clear out some of the extra favors!! If we aren't going to get as many trick or treaters, I need to adjust my buying.

    I hope your week goes better. Hang in there. And I hope next time you hit the thrift store, you find the motherload!!

  5. I hope you and your children get to feeling better al the time. We just keep passing this cold around, but I am definitely better, and most of the kids are, too.

    I wanted to go shopping today, but the fridge was so bad I couldn't tell what I had and did not have. So, I cleaned it really well, and then my husband and I went out for an early Valentine's date and bought the groceries. I got my Friday freebie for the first time. I've had issues getting those to load to my card, but it worked today. Hurray!

    I made apple crisp for our Sunday family dinner out of a whole bunch of apples that were getting wrinkly. They are from my sister's apple trees and have been stored in the garage since fall (some in hers and some in mine). They were still good, but not in prime condition for fresh eating. I made a huge pan full.

  6. Sorry you had a hard week Erika. I hope your stomach settles down soon. I don't know about cats but for dogs you can give them rice mixed with plain meat to settle their stomaches. Made try that with some of the tuna?

  7. Oh my. I was also worried when you did not post and I feared you were having a rough week. Yes, you did right. Hold on tight and just survive.

  8. Survival is good!
    I'm so sorry you had such a rough week, Erika. Given everything that happened this week, I think you did fantastic!

    Prayers for a much smoother week this week and for everyone to be well!


  9. We have a cat who is almost seventeen. I didn't realize it, but he has some teeth missing. He was throwing up the dry cat food. We have him mostly on wet cat food, as he can't chew the dry, very well. The vet also put him on probiotics which works wonders. He's almost back to his old self again.

  10. I'm sorry to hear you had such a rough week. You're in my thoughts & prayers. You might give aloe capsules a try to sooth your tummy. They're mild, cheap and seem to be very effective.
    I'm always impressed with your patience and hard work. Hang in there:)