Friday, March 10, 2017

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Hey, look!  Frugal Friday is actually getting posted ON Friday!  What a novel idea!  *Laugh*

I am so tired today it is kind of a mini-miracle this is getting posted.  My son has been battling the dry air and sinus problems from said dry air, so he's been getting bloody noses on and off (I had the doctor check him out at his physical JUST to be safe) and NOTHING makes him crankier than not being able to breath out his nose, except maybe getting a bloody nose.  So, yeah, he's not been a happy camper today.  On top of that I slept like crap due to my arm hurting all night.  Not the ideal sleeping situation.  I think a lot of the arm hurting is due to the sudden changes in weather we've had.  We went from 50 miles per hour winds yesterday to the temperature suddenly going up and the winds dying down.  The weather this year has changed on a dime and it's really playing havoc with anyone who has any type of "ow my body hurts" type of condition.  Turns out bicep tendonitis falls into the "ow my body hurts" category.

Bright side, Ibuprofen has allowed me to function and has kept the majority of the migraines from pinched nerves in the shoulders at bay.

This week was a pretty good one on the money saving front (in some ways), so let's get to that!

1.  There were some frugal fails this week.

The big frugal fail for this week was definitely the vet bills, but at least the cats are feeling better and running around the house like maniacs, so I feel good about that.  And I guess I should feel pretty good about being able to get the cats into the vet when needed so that their conditions didn't get worse and cost me MORE money or worse get to a point where I'd have to put another pet down.

The other frugal fail, which was kind of annoying, was the payments I've been slapping onto the Care Credit as much as I could this month.  I took anything that might be left on the paychecks and was sinking it onto my husband's Care Credit after making sure to pay the actual payment early, figuring that the money would get taken off both his dental bill and the daughter's braces (both on the same card) equally, but nooooo where last time I did this they took equal amounts off both things that were due even when they assured me that any extra money would go to the amount due first, this time they actually DID take off the full amounts of money I paid in off of my daughter's braces (due to expire the month before my husband's bigger dental bill).  So, I decided I wasn't going to mess around with that today so I called and paid the final 500.00 off of my daughter's braces.  This SHOULD net me another 122.00 a month paying off the bill, which I'm hoping to roll right over onto the husband's dental bill along with every other available penny to get that bill paid off ASAP. 

I'm working really hard at saving as much money as possible and just working on paying off bills as quickly as I can.  I figure if my husband DOES get a new job here, that we're going to need as few bills as possible and also he's set to get his last two teeth capped here soon so I want to make sure I'm as far ahead as possible to help adapt to that bill when it starts coming in.

2.  Grocery shopping this week went really well, although I did go over my normal grocery budget.  But I had a good reason.  Meat!

I went to the store to pick up a few things at Carrs that I'd won with the Monopoly game.  While picking up the rotisserie chicken and the free potato salad, I stopped by and checked out the discount meat and was THRILLED when I did!  We'd been running low on chicken (believe it or not) and I found big value packs of boneless skinless chicken thighs for 4.00 about a package as they were reduced 50% off!  I got all but the last two packs.  I would have gotten all of them, but there was a woman who stood patiently behind me holding a meat juice catcher bag (or whatever they are called) looking hopeful, so I decided to leave a few behind for her.  I never let a boneless skinless chicken breast do the job a thigh can do (we're dark meat eaters around here), so I was super thrilled at the quantity and price I got the thighs for (seen up top).

The thighs were still frozen, so I just put them into the freezer in their current containers and I'll chisel off the thighs as needed and transfer them into freezer bags.  It seemed better than defrosting and refreezing the meat.

I also went to the store this week and cashed in the free items I'd won in the way of actual groceries at Carrs.  The best freebie I got, by far, was the 32 oz thing of shredded cheese.  It came in really handy for taco night this week and will last for many more meals, so woohoo for that!

I also got a free yogurt, free Barilla pasta sauce (I got their new cream style Alfredo to try), a free box of pasta, a free donut (which ended up being lunch one day when I was running around like a maniac from one appointment to another) and a free 7 day pill box reminder (which I've been using to remind me on cat meds, believe it or not).  In my tickets this week I got a coupon for a free container of salt and a free thing of aluminum foil (which I desperately need).  Yay Monopoly (and big thanks to the nice people who aren't playing it and keep giving me their tickets when they are ahead of me in line :).

4.  I went to Fred Meyer and got my free Lindt chocolate egg and my free Chips Ahoy Thins freebies this week too from the Freebie Friday giveaways. 

5.  I got my son's paperwork FINALLY filled out and sent in to Special Olympics today.  Yay for free swimming lessons!

6.  I used a Amazon gift card to purchase coffee this week.  I've been ordering "Chock Full O' Nuts" coffee for like a year now and I have loved it because it didn't get to my stomach (cheap coffee, I've found over the years, kills me, so I have to be selective in the coffee I drink), but Amazon decided that they aren't selling the bricks on Subscribe and Save anymore and they have all kinds of restrictions on how many bricks you can order and since it's an add on item you have to order 25.00 to place an order for it and blah blah blah.  I got really frustrated as the other ways they sell the coffee are really expensive, so I started looking and found a coffee from Italy that people swear is a low acid, smooth coffee and only takes 2 tsp per cup to make versus the usual 2 TBS, so I ordered that instead.  IF it works well and gets along with my gut, I can see it being WAY more cost effective to buy as it takes so much less coffee to make one cup compared to my previous brand. 

7.  I clipped the cats claws this week.  I do this whenever the cats need it and was curious to see how Prince would take it.  He squirmed a bit, but overall he's the NICEST cat I've ever had when it came to doing that chore, which was good as his claws were kind of a mess...I don't think he's ever had his claws clipped before so there was cracks and things that I'm going to have to watch and make sure they grow out right.  Poor kitty.  By the way, I just use the finger nail clippers you would use on a human being to clip the cats claws.  I find my fingers know how to use them better than the special pet clippers and they work great.

By the way are my cats the only ones in the universe that as soon as you clip their claws they IMMEDIATELY run to a scratching post and start working on a new set of razor blades/claws?  I never see them run as fast to the scratching post as when I clip their claws *laugh*.

8.  I made cake for dessert this week using a cake mix I had on hand.  For my daughter's school snacks I dragged out the container of chocolate chip cookie bars I had in the freezer for her that I'd reserved the last time I made cookie bars a few months ago.  She was happy for the most part, although she said some of them were sort of dry, but she ate them!

Well, there we go.  Some of my frugal adventures this week.  How did you all do?


  1. Wow, so many freebies this week -- basically a full bag or two of groceries for free! I wish Canada had the same deals.

    And I love the new pictures you posted! They're all gorgeous!

    1. The pictures in your header, I should specify. Such pretty shots!

    2. Aw, thanks about the picture mention. I was looking at the banner and decided it was time for a change :). Glad it came out looking decent!

      And you're right. I never thought of it but I really did get a good grocery bag full of freebies this week. That's a double good feeling right there. Thanks for the double upper *laugh*.

  2. Wow, great find on the chicken! That should make a lot of meals for your family. The free groceries were awesome as well. Between the Alfredo sauce and pasta, you basically got a free meal! You even got something for the Easter basket, too. Way to go, Erika!!!

    I'm glad you were able to sign your son up for the Special Olympics swimming. I hope he really enjoys learning how to swim. It will be good for him to get out and socialize as well. It's one of the areas that Autistic children really struggle with, so the more socialization, the better!

    I worked as a Veterinary Technician for over 10 years, including working at a holistic vet clinic, a 24 hr emergency vet clinic and several years at an animal shelter. I know how expensive pets can be. They are definitely a luxury item you need to be prepared to pay for, if they should become ill...and some can quickly develop a long list of issues! I'm not surprised at all with the eye problems your treating. Viruses travel quickly and easily through animal shelters, since most of the animals are not vaccinated when they first come in. Sadly, sickness is a normal part of adopting from animal shelters.

    As for cutting nails, I like the small scissor type clippers for clipping cat nails. They have a little notch in the blade that makes it easy to hold the nail stable before you cut. There are larger ones for dog nails as well. I ABSOLUTELY HATE those guillotine type ones, though. So awkward to position in the right spot and something inevitably get cut that shouldn't.

    I've started making cake mixes into cupcakes, instead of cake. It makes 24 individual servings and it's much easier to spread the icing on. If one cupcake isn't enough, you can easily eat a second...or third...or several (don't ask). Store leftovers in a plastic container to keep them moist (I have a large rectangular one from the dollar store that works perfect for stuff like this). I can even use the leftovers in my daughter's lunch.

    1. Yeah, saving the egg for the Easter basket. That would have been a good idea. But, yeah, it lasted like nearly two days before I devoured it like a starving woman as Lindt chocolate is like my favorite thing in the universe and I can't eat it around here with the peanut allergic child *laugh*. It was awesomely delicious, though ;).

      Thanks for the tips on claw clipping and the eye infection. Good to know on both counts. Prince ends his ointment in the eyes tomorrow, which I'm really looking forward to losing that part of my daily regime (I hope anyway) and we'll see how he does. I still get to give Ginger her antibiotics twice a day for a total of 14 days, so we have a good week left of those. Between cats and kids I'm feeling like a walking, talking medicine dispenser *laugh*.

      You know, I have the exact opposite experience when I make cupcakes. If I make a cake it'll get eaten. I make cupcakes and it's like 1/2 of them either need to immediately go into the freezer or they go stale and we have to throw them away or I have to use stale crumbs to make another dish. I'm not sure WHY that is, but it just works that way around here.

      With the swimming, hopefully we'll get there soon. Friday the son started really not feeling good and yesterday he was just miserable. Upset stomach, crud in his throat and a fever. Took him to the doctor and he's not sure if he's fighting the beginning stages of an infection or a virus, so basically gave us a "wait and see" type of diagnosis. So far he's doing better today, but yesterday there was NO way he was up to swimming. Luckily the swimming goes through April, at least, because some of the people in the program are training for the Special Olympics in May. So, hopefully he'll get some lessons in here in the next little bit. Fingers crossed!

    2. Give Belkar antibiotics. Sigh. Still have Ginger on the brain. Whoops.

  3. Wow! Another good week for you! I'm jealous of the chicken deal. We rarely have that kind of discount around here. I did just learn that Aldi's is coming to a town about an hour away; I'm so happy about it that I wrote them a love letter! Love, love, love Aldi's!
    I've been having gut issues, too. So, I've been hanging low and keeping busy inside. We're having blizzard weather so that helps keep us indoors, too. I did manage to make pancake mix, fruit crisp topping and shake'n bake mix for the freezer. Then, I can just grab and go when the mood strikes. We're having taco night tonight so that will use up lettuce that's on it's last legs and cheese that's not much better. ( Great deal on the cheese, by the way!! Cheese can be so expensive!) Other than that, I'll be happy to see a new week.

    1. I dream of Aldi's after hearing so many awesome stories of the deals people get there. One day, maybe, they'll come up here. I can hope *laugh*.

  4. Congrats on all the deals and freebies. Isn't it amazing how these can make you just feel so good!

    1. It really does. Life has been so stressful lately with everything that has been going on, so it really was a huge upper to get a great deal like that. Gives you a happy feeling every time you open the freezer *laugh*.

  5. I had to smile when I saw someone said you even got something for the Easter Basket (Lindt Chocolate Egg) Mine barely made it out of the store. lol. And I ate my grown son's chocolate egg too when he said he wasn't picking it up I did. :) Take care.

    1. Mine lasted about two days and then I just had to eat it *laugh*. It was totally worth it, too. It works out, though, as I have to be careful with the peanut cross contamination issues, so I got to eat it when the son was at school and rinse my mouth out and everything so I knew eating it would be safe :).

  6. You got some great stuff this week, especially that chicken. Most of my family also likes dark meat better. Good thing someone likes the white meat, since I often use whole chickens!

    I love weeks like that. It helps make up for the ones where you go into the store and come out with one little bag for $40!

    Have a good week.

    1. Yeah, that's been me the last couple of weeks, so this week was a real upper on the grocery shopping. It's sad when you look at your cart, look at your total and think, "Wow, that stinks!" *laugh*.

      When it comes to whole chickens, I should use them more, but I keep not because they take up a bunch of room in the freezer and are awkward shapes and then I'm always scrambling to figure out how to use the white meat up after I bake one. I do love using them, though, at least once in a while to make stock out of the carcass :).

    2. If you save the bones from your chicken legs and chicken thighs, you can still make stock. Just freeze them in a freezer bag until you have enough to make it. By the way, the white meat would work well in soup.