Saturday, February 25, 2017

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

This week has been busy, hectic and sad all at the same time. 

Monday we finally realized that we were just postponing the inevitable with Ginger and we had her put down.  Well, to be more accurate, I sobbed like the world was ending and made my husband go to the vet and put her down.  Her death hit me hard and even hit my husband harder than he thought it would.  She was my companion for a lot of years and before the kids were born and my husband was out of town working a lot, she was also my best friend.  She was psychotic as a kitten and thus a lot of fun to play with and was great at killing anything that moved.  I always tried to win her affection, but that was reserved solely for my husband.  He was definitely her human.  She will be missed (a shot of her from a couple of months ago is above as she was presenting me with the only "kill" she could find, which was an empty pill foil thing that she dug out of the garbage in the bathroom.  She was so proud I had to take a picture).

There was a lot of tears on my part this week over that cat.  This hit me harder than I was expecting as I was prepared for it.  I mean she was 14.   Until a few weeks ago a spry 14, but 14 all the same.  Somehow that doesn't make the loss any easier to get over as I'm combing black fur out of the carpets and seeing her favorite toy abandoned in the corner  of the bedroom.  Anyway, I'm going to move on before I start crying again.

We waited a few days to tell my daughter about Ginger, so we could get through her birthday without having to tell her about the loss.  Luckily (in a way) Ginger was pretty much a living shadow the last week, so she didn't notice Ginger was gone until we broke the news to her.  Overall, there have been tears here and there, but she's dealing with it pretty good for a child that has never lost a pet before.

The upside to Ginger being gone was that Prince finally started to come out of hiding to eat, use the cat box and want pets more and more and Belkar (our orange kitty) came downstairs again and started acting normally again.  The final sign for me that it was time to put Ginger down and she wasn't going to get any better was Belkar avoiding her as Belkar considered Ginger her favorite playmate in the universe.  When she started hissing and not letting Ginger within ten feet of her I knew it wasn't going to get any better.  Animals have good instincts that way.  My instincts told me it was a good time to get a new cat, but I think they were off by about a week...poor Prince must have thought he'd been transferred right into the middle of a death trap.  At least Prince is settling in and doing good now.  He's seen above in the picture there with his eyes closed and here he is...kind of, with his eyes open (he wouldn't sit still long enough for me to get a good, clear picture of him).

He's got really pretty blue eyes, so I was hoping to get a good shot, but cats are like kids.  As soon as you aim a camera at them doing something cute they immediately move on you.

Getting to know our vet that is close by was a good thing that came out of this too as we found that their prices are actually really reasonable.  So, yay for having a vet that is less than five minutes away.

On top of everything else, the week was just hectic running around and getting things done.  We had my son's allergy shot this week (which I did for the first time without my husband and we all survived *thumbs up*), my daughter's birthday. an oil change on my car, a run into Anchorage for my husband to apply for a job (I'll get into that in a minute) and then regular errand running on top of everything.  And my daughter has a birthday party she's going to today on top of the son having speech therapy.  My brain officially turned to jello about Wednesday.

So, let's get into the money saving things that happened this week (believe it or not, there were some).
1.  My daughter came home from school the day before her birthday all kinds of excited and asked if we could make cookies.  We'd put the cat down earlier that day, so I kind of looked at her dumbfounded when she asked and she said, "Mom, the treat for my class for my birthday?"  And I sighed because I just plain forgot about it.  I didn't know what to do as I wasn't really up to making cookies, Heck I wasn't sure if I wanted to eat dinner, but I thought about what I could do and it hit me.

I had a .12 brownie mix in the pantry.

So, I grabbed that, made it, cut it into pieces (don't try to do math when you are distracted.  I was aiming to make 28 EXACT pieces out of the brownies, but ended up with extra because I put in too many rows.  Go me!), wrapped them in plastic wrap and put them into a ziploc for her.  Her class loved the brownie they each got and there were even enough kids absent (or ones that didn't like chocolate) that she was able to give some brownies to the front office staff as a treat.  So, it all worked out well, I think.

Oh and she found that she does, indeed, like brownies *laugh*.

2.  My mom sent my daughter an Amazon gift card for her birthday and also sent me one separate to pay for supplies for the new cat.  My daughter gave me her gift card and told me to spend it on the cat too, but I did use part of hers to get her the live action Cinderella movie as she's been wanting it for a while now. 

I used the gift cards and bought a new cat box as Belkar won't "go" anywhere that Ginger used to use in the cat box and Prince is so big  that he barely fits in the cat box, so I bought a new lidded "jumbo" cat box, which I think will fit Prince a lot better and also give Belkar a fresh start.  I also got five cases of cat food (I settled for Purina One as a brand for cat food after asking some vets about what they recommended) in various flavors, a 40 lb bag of scoopable cat litter, and a big 22 lb bag of dry food for the cats and a couple of cat bowls in different colors so I could keep food straight (Prince gets probiotics in his food but Belkar hates the taste of them, so I am going to split up the can of cat food and feed them separately).  Also on the list was a litter mat to put in front of the cat box and a litter genie (I totally splurged on those as I've wanted them for a while, but I figured if I was going to rearrange the laundry room to fit a new cat box in anyway, that I was going to do it right).  Overall I spent 30.00 out of pocket for everything on top of the gift cards (thanks, mom!).

I bought everything on one day this week where Amazon was celebrating something and was giving a 8.67 (or .62, can't remember) discount if you used a certain coupon code on your purchase of 50 dollars or more.  It was only for one day, but I managed to get the order in under the wire, so got an additional discount on my order.

3.  I ended up watching a lot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 online for free this week to try and keep myself cheered up.  Laughter really is the best medicine.

4.  My husband went out in some really nasty weather this week when his brother texted him a Craig's List listing for a welder for 50.00 (he paid for it with some cash he had).  My husband has been wanting to get a welder for YEARS, but they are so expensive even used that he just hasn't been able to get one.  But, when this one popped up he knew he needed to get it when he found out the guy still had it, so he ran out and bought it.  Turns out it's one of the best older welders out there that can weld pretty much any metal there is.  He's super excited about it and now we're on the lookout for a good deal on a welding helmet.  Here's hoping we run into one of those.

5.  One day this week I ran into a good deal myself.  The counter top hydroponics garden kits that I have been wanting, I found one of the smaller gardens (a 3 cell one) had gone down to 40.00 one evening.  I ordered it without even thinking about it.  My husband questioned whether I really wanted a three cell versus the bigger gardens and I told him that counter top space being so limited and such that I thought a three cell would do me fine for now.  If I find that it works really well and I love it a lot, I'll just buy another unit for downstairs later on :).  Cheaper than spending 150.00 on a bigger unit for sure and this way, if I'm sneaky, I bet I could figure out a way to maybe start plants under the light too for the garden.  I'll have to see when the unit comes in :).

6.   I knew, with everything that was going on, that there was no way I was going to get a birthday gift made for my daughter.  But it worked out.  I went through my "gift stash" and realized that I actually had quite a bit of things in it for her.  So she got a big gift bag full of various things, which she loved, and she didn't feel the least bit offended when I told her I'd make her the pillow she asked for this Christmas.

7.  My husband joined a union last week in preparation for a good job that his brother turned him onto that he might very well get (my husband's family knows the people who are doing the hiring for that job).  While he was looking online at the various union job openings, however, he found a job he REALLY wanted, involving areas where my husband is good at and he won't have to travel (the other job he's looking at being able to get has about 3 months out of the year traveling decent distances around the state).  So he sent off his resume for that job late this week.  Please, please, if you have a moment send up a prayer for him.  I would LOVE to see him get a job with steady hours, steady pay, benefits and everything.  It makes less money per hour, but gives him more hours, so I'm hoping that we'll make it okay on the pay he'd get, but darned it I'll make it work for the sake of having a job like that.

Bright side, union dues are only 30.00 a month, so at least I won't be sweating too hard over that bill.

8.  My sister-in-law gave us some late Christmas gifts and I got some really pretty vintage Pyrex from her, including a nesting bowl that actually goes with the set I have been slowly putting together!  Thanks, Jen :).

9.  One thing I managed to get done this week was clean.  I ended up rearranging the laundry room in the hopes of making Belkar use the cat box better (that didn't work, but it was worth a shot) and ended up with a way less cluttered space and much better put together.  I know I'll have to rearrange it again once the new cat box gets here, but overall, I'm pleased so far.  I had found a double cat dish at the used store for 2.00 a few months ago and had put it aside for a rabbit, but now that the rabbit is now, I cleaned it up really good and made it look like new and put it into the laundry room, putting water in one side and dry cat food on the other.  It works FABULOUSLY and I'm not constantly knocking over a cereal bowl full of water that the cats have skidded across the floor.  So, yay!

And there you are folks.  My week, good and bad, in a nutshell.  How did your week go?


  1. I am so sorry about you kitty - I was heartbroken when I had to put our old BIG male down last spring.
    And - Just a thought - we had a 23 pound male cat that would manage to pee between the lid and bottom of the biggest covered box we could find and routinely pooped over the sides of the others. I use rubber maid totes now as well as some lower sided ones for our old arthritic cat. They are very cheap. I keep the lids and put those under the lower boxes so just in case someone does pee over the edge, it isn't on the floor itself. Melissa V

    1. OH and I forgot to add - I have 5 cats currently so I keep 7 boxes - most are in the basement but one is in the "girl cave" so that the old cat (who can no longer jump the gate) has access to one if she is locked out there and one in an upstairs bathroom cabinet (I cut a circular door in the vanity cabinet and found a rubber maid tub that fit) for the other female that is a FREAK and I am afraid would start peeing upstairs if she didn't have access to what she sees as a safe place. Melissa V

    2. I was concerned about the peeing thing but the back on this thing is really high and people with 28 lb Maine coon cats were swearing by it, so I'm going to give it a shot. I like covered cat boxes since with lack of safe space (need to keep it out of son's reach) we keep it in our laundry room where we cut a cat door in for the cats to fit through. Since I'm constantly carrying laundry right by the box I definitely feel better with it covered.

    3. LOL we cut a hole in the basement door for the cats :) I don't know how we are ever going to sell this house since we have "ruined" a vanity for them and a door!! + The basement cement is stained from cat puke spots....and we also have 3 dogs. I can't see a life w/o them though. Melissa V

  2. I'm so sorry about your cat. It's always so hard to lose a furry companion!!!

    It sounds like your daughter's birthday was a success, so I am happy to hear that, and all of the other little things that happened, like your new growing system, the welder and all of the new cat supplies.

    Our week went fairly well. I'm still sick, and so exhausted by mid day, but what can you do? So many people have it, and it's viral, so not wasting another copay to be told they won't give me anything but a cough medicine.

    This weekend I went to a thrift store I try and hit every few months. They were doing al the books you want to put in a bag for $5. I ended up getting 2 bags full. Someone had dropped off some like new kids hardback versions of classic stories, plus a bunch of Hardy Boys and etc. so Of the books I got (about 100) Probably 30 we are keeping, another 20 or so to my husband's classroom (there were a ton of like new and really current kids series for him) and then the rest, at our yard sale in April I'll try and sell, and the leftover books get donated to the school's PTA used book sale during the spring carnival. I'll probably go another time at least to check for the used book sale before the carnival. Since we don't have any more books right now to donate ourselves, that's my way of getting new ones for us, the classroom, making my money back at the yard sale, then donating to the carnival. This is my third year doing that and it's been good. I always get my $5 or $10 back at the yard sale on books.

    My cousin's babyshower is tomorrow. We will go after church. I've got her gifts all ready to be loaded up, as well as a really pretty diaper cake I made her, and the little mermaid ricecrisphy treats at the guest thank yous. Took me 8 hours to make those darn things. Oy. They are cute though.

    Oh, and my husband got the van back together Thursday. But, I kid you not, with pieces left over. I had joked that would happen, and sure enough, it did. My 4 year old said it was ok, they would have extra pieces to fix my car when daddy wanted to take it apart. I smiled, but inside was thinking not anytime soon please!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Erika, I'm glad everything is going as well as can be expected. I was worried about the kids' health when you didn't post for a week. I was hoping you were just busy, and you were!

    I've planted broccoli and cauliflower, and it's doing well. We've had lots of warm, sunny days. I'm tempted to plant lettuce and spinach, but I think the ground is still too cold. It got down to 38 last night, so the seeds probably wouldn't sprout. It's hard to wait, though.

    I'm sure 38 sounds very warm to you. Did you get more snow this week?

    1. We did get more snow this week. About ten inches total with it snowing most of the week. We actually hit 32 today so a few of the icicles are actually dripping, but yeah that's our high and it feels warm out. Lol!

  4. I am so sorry to hear about Ginger. What a hard decision.

    Are there any welding schools nearby? I ask because when my son was at welding school, the students received a significant discount to buy equipment including helmets.

    Sending prayers for your husband to get the job he wants with a good rate of pay.


    1. Unfortunately, no we don't have a welding school nearby. So, it's off to find cheap shipping on one instead. And thanks for the prayers :).

  5. I am so so sorry to hear about Ginger. Big hugs to you!! They provide so much companionship. Prayers for your husband and the new job!

  6. I am very sorry about your kitty. We had to put ours to sleep a few years ago and I so understand. I wanted to mention I have been watching some interesting British programs on Youtube and thought you might like them. They are call Back in time for dinner and Further back in time for dinner. The programs are entertaining. Cheryl

  7. It is so hard to lose a pet; they are one of the family. Ginger had a good life because I know you were a good Mom to her.

    What an wild week you have had. Good job on making your daughter's birthday so special even though you did not feel like it. And I will be praying your husband gets the job. It sounds perfect.

    I have been cooking and getting food ready to take to Dustin at school. We skyped Thursday night and he looked awful, absolutely exhausted, dark circles under his eyes. College for an engineer is rough and he is worn out. We are driving up tomorrow and I am taking him my homemade chicken noodle soup. I can't help with the math, but I can help him stay healthy. You never stop being a mom.


  8. I am praying for your husband's job situation! I'm sorry about your kitty. That time is coming for our older dog as well, and I dread it.

  9. I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. Hurts so bad when we lose one of our furry kids. Praying for the job situation for your husband.

  10. Losing a pet is never easy. They become a family member and give you so many memories. Even when you realize you are putting them out of their misery, it is still hard. I will pray for you. And I will pray that your husband will get the job. I pray that this will be the boost that your family needs. God Bless You and your family!

  11. Sorry to hear about your kitty. I allow myself a few minutes every morning to cry over a beloved dog who crossed the bridge last April. I was gifted with a Yorkie girl and I love her to pieces, but in a different way.

    My daughter and SIL live in Anchorage too!

    Mary Ellen

  12. I don't know what is considered 'cheap' for a welding helmet but have you looked at Harbor Freight? I don't know what the shipping will be to Alaska so that might eat your savings but my husband buys most of his supplies there.