Friday, March 31, 2017

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

March.  Man, March. Traditionally this month has kind of sucked for me (don't know why, but it's just the way it is), but this month has tried to break some records.

First an update on Shani.  She got her second opinion.  Turns out she doesn't have colon cancer.  She instead has neuro endocrine cancer.  Stage 4 was correct, though.  It's a very rare form of cancer with a very short life expectancy.  She went in earlier in the week and had the obviously destroyed part of her colon removed so she could at least eat again and is, if the infection in her incision clears up quickly, going out of state to probably Texas to put up as much of a fight as she can against the cancer at a cancer center there.  Thank you all for your prayers.  They are helping her mood if nothing else.

I'm not sure if we're going to get to make soap before she leaves for treatment, as time is of the essence if she wants to even try to fight this cancer, but we'll see how the weekend goes.

I put in calls to everywhere trying to find my son a speech therapist in the Valley and am having 100% no luck.  Lots of waiting lists when I can get a hold of someone, but no speech therapists calling me back for the most part.  I'm going to continue to call and see what I can find, but I might end up paying the literacy center for their program just to keep my son in some type of therapy here.  Depressing to say the least.

The icing on the cake on my week was finding out from a neighbor that our Community Council, with no input from anyone in the area if they wanted to it or not, decided to okay putting in a heroin treatment center in my neighborhood.  More specifically in my back yard.  With easy access to four schools in the immediate area, lots of homes with young children, including MINE, and no access to any services that addicts might need near by (like say, oh, a hospital), but not far enough away from things like drugs to do addicts any good in THAT way either.  Great location for one of these to go in (sarcasm gets me through sometimes).  So, now all of us in the area are going to have to fight this from going in.  If it passes I'm going to seriously have to look at moving pretty darned quickly before my property values tank so much I can't sell or, worse, my kids run into weird people in my yard or other things I don't need them exposed to. 

Oh and top that off  with March deciding it was going to go out like an ex that just doesn't catch the hint (seen up top).  After 28 days of decently dry weather, our thoughts turned to Spring.  But, nope, darned March anyway.  Snow this week which would melt during the day and turn to ice under the snow, with our road not getting plowed, it just made getting off the road onto the main drag really difficult. Then having to pick up the kids early a lot this week because my daughter is growing and it's throwing her stomach condition into a tizzy.  And an IEP for my son, which are always fun because you walk away with a list of all of your child's shortcomings and you feel like you are the worst parent ever in the creation of time. 

I'm fatigued on levels that I forgot I had.  I feel like I've just been hunkered in a foxhole this week with bombs exploding all around me.  I just...ugh.  You know ever since I was a child and things were always so stressful with my parent's marriage and then the divorce and everything that went with it, all I ever wished for was a nice, boring and predictable life.  And the Good Lord has seen fit to turn that on it's head my entire life.  I'm kind of tired of it.  I want boring and predictable.  SO, SO badly!

Anyway *shakes head to help clear mood* there were some money saving things that happened this week, so let's focus on those instead of the black cloud of "blahhhhhhh" that hangs over everything right now, shall we?
1.  My biggest, super hugest, most awesome score of the week was on the shopping front.  I did my shopping at Carrs just because they had sales on things we normally buy this week.  I went online, like I always do, and loaded my personalized deals and coupons onto my card before I went and was shocked when I saw a personalized price of 1.86 lb on lamb rib chops or roasts.   I was like, "Nah, those are normally 14.00 lb, there's NO WAY that they are actually giving me 1.86 lb on those (I was wrong by the way, it was 12.99 lb normal price)." 

So, I went to the store, got the few groceries I needed (our usual stuff, Doritos and the like for the son and such) and headed over to the meat section.  And I scored pay dirt!  They had lamb rib roasts marked down 30 to 50% off!  I looked at the prices on them and flinched, worried that the personalized price per pound wasn't going to work (I mean when you are staring at a roast that has a 30.00 price tag on it for a teeny, in portion to the price, little bit of meat, you tend to get nervous), but I still loaded up my cart with the roasts they had on clearance, which was a total of 10.  I got up to the register and explained the personalized price thing to the cashier and asked him to do a trial run with the first roast and he even said, "There's no way that is right.  They had to have given the wrong explanation on the coupon." I completely agreed with him, but was curious to see if it actually worked.  And I watched the price on the roast go down to 3.00 when he hit total down from around 30.00!!!    The sub-total started at well over 300.00 for the order.  After the personalized price and discounts were taken off?  40.00 for everything!!!  Boo to the yahhh!!!!

I went back today to see if they had any more roasts (I had to pick up a prescription I forgot yesterday), but struck out.  But, yay for having lamb in the freezer.  I feel like "The Galloping Gourmet" with the "fancy" lamb in my freezer.  This is the first time EVER I've had lamb rib anything in the house as I'm too cheap to buy something like that *laugh*.

2.  I started looking up different soap recipes to see if I could find a couple for Shani to choose from when she came over to make soap.  Since I was looking for soap not made with castor oil, I hit a bunch of different free books on Amazon to see what I could find.  I didn't find anything in the books, but hey, at least they were free to read.  I found a couple of recipes online, though, so that was a good, free way to find some recipes.

3.  Instead of buying aluminum foil from Amazon, I found a sale at Carrs on aluminum foil this week and was able to use a coupon I had to get it for 1.00 less than Amazon.  It's the store brand vs. Reynolds, but I'm willing to deal with it for the sake of saving a dollar at this point.

4.  I melted the end of my shoe lace to stop it from fraying and driving me crazy instead of going out and trying to buy a new pair of shoe laces.  It worked great and will hopefully extend the life of my shoe laces (the cat got a hold of the end and unraveled it last week).

5.  I mended a hole in a comforter this week.

6.  I gutted part of my freezer and reorganized it.  This allowed me to not only stop things from dropping on my feet at a moment's notice, but also gave me a good idea of what needed to be used up on those shelves.  I'm planning on doing more of that in the coming weeks to make sure that nothing goes to waste.

7.  I fixed a few of my daughter's toys with super glue this week.

8.  I double checked to make sure all of the heaters in the house were off and found one of the electric baseboards downstairs was turned on, low but it was on.  I had forgotten that I turned it on a while ago when Shani was over because she was cold (she did home speech therapy with us) and I figured it would be quieter than having the forced air running if I just ran the electric heat.  I can IMAGINE what leaving that on did to my electric bill the last bit, but I'm glad I am paranoid and checked so it got turned off.  Kind of cutting off the bleeding at that point, but better than nothing!

9.  My son ran his teeth over a DVD and I was able to repair it so we didn't need to replace it.  Yay for DVD repair kits!  We've had the same one forever and I just buy a refill, which is getting harder and harder to find, when needed.  It doesn't save all DVD's that get injured, by any stretch but even one save pays for the refill kit.

10.  I listened to a bunch of different music for free through YouTube and Amazon Prime this week as I did housework.  I love being able to carry around my tablet and play music while I work. 

And there you are folks.  Some of my frugal adventures this week.  How did you do?


  1. Oh Erika. I wish I lived closer to you so I could run over with a hot meal and give you a great big hug. As I am in the UK, that sadly won't be happening any time soon, but have a virtual hug, for what it's worth.

    My daughter is HFA, plus has a host of mental health problems, so I kinda have a good idea of where you're coming from. Plus I have fibromyalgia, which often renders at least one of my arms non-functional, so I feel your pain there too.

    But hey, she turned 20 a few days ago and we can still laugh at times, so taking it one day at a time does add up in the end ;)

    Which oils do you have to work with for soap? I can look it up in my soap making book to see if there's a recipe I can share with you.

    Hugs and prayers for you all xxx

    1. I currently have coconut oil, vegetable shortening, unrefined shea butter, olive oil and canola oil. I think those are what I have of the most common contenders anyway.

    2. Sorry to hear Shani is so unwell so quickly and that you may not get a chance to do this with her. Should this change, here's a link to a quick and simple recipe (you can use your canola oil as the vegetable oil in this recipe)

  2. I always read and rarely comment, but hugs to you and your friend. MD Anderson in Houston is a great place and they accomplish amazing things. Hope that is where she is going.

    1. From what I get as she's really drugged at the moment, that is where she is going. Hope they can work a miracle for her.

  3. Your poor friend. Doctors can sometimes make miracles!

    I can't believe they want a heroin center there. What. The. Heck. We just recently came out of a fight with Verizon wireless. Took about a year or protests, community meetings, loads of research and sleepless night (I was one of the 4 leaders on the protest) but we shockingly, got Verizon, and the multimillionaire who wanted a 200 foot cell tower on our street on his empty lot denied. No one thought we could, so most people didnt help at first, but hard work paid off. While thats way different than a herion center, the steps were the same, I suggest contacting newspapers, and television stations if you haven't, and giving them the area demographics as well as any info you can find online about increased crime and etc caused by one, including anything with children. Also, flyers going around and several of you who are outspoken, but polite, determined and concerned to lead the battle. Call the county, repeatedly, get everyone in the area to call, and email your protests. That helps a lot. What a horrible thing to do in an area with so many schools and families!

    Good finds on your lamb, wow!!!!

    1. Thanks for the advice. We'll need it I am sure. Our neighbor called the media already, so we are on our way. So not thrilled by all of this.

  4. Why do you want soap without castor oil? Does it make a difference?

    1. Castor oil helps to make big suds when you are lathering. It's also really expensive for a bottle when you only use a teeny bit in a recipe, so I was trying to find a way around it. Found some recipes that will work, but Shani went in for emergency surgery yesterday, so making soap, for now at least, is out, so it doesn't really matter I guess.

  5. Wowzers! Quite the steal on lamb! I don't eat meat, but I'd fill the cart, too, for the husband, that's for sure!
    I don't know what to say about Shani. It's kind of that darned if you do and darned if you don't thing. It sounds like she's fighting the good fight. I'll continue with the prayers, that's for sure.
    I've never led a protest, but I agree with Sarah. Call the newspapers, tweet, go on Facebook, whatever it takes to get people rialed up. The idiots always get to run the asylum; Why is that?
    You've certainly got your plate FULL. Don't forget to take care of yourself, too!!

  6. Sorry your friend is progressing so quickly that you are not able to have that special soap making session together, Erika. The heroin clinic also really sucks! Maybe looking into moving is what you are meant to do!?! Perhaps you will find the perfect place, with a cheaper mortgage and/or better set-up for your family's needs. Don't be afraid to keep your options open for now.

    What a great deal on the lamb, Erika! I don't eat lamb, but there is nothing like finding a good deal on something that gives variety to your meals. I just came back from picking up 15 packages of bacon for $1/375g! Whoohoo!!! Also found 20 packs of Schneiders Mac & Cheese loaf @ $1.49/6 slice pack (DD and I love this meat - reg price over $4/pack), 6 cans of Heinz pasta for $0.79/can (I like to keep some in pantry for emergency use), 4 "sub packs" (3 kinds of meat for sub sandwiches) for $2.29/pack and a large pack of pepperoni luncheon meat for $2.99/pack (DH favourite) while I was there. Earlier in the week, I bought 6 loaves of Country Harvest bread for $1/loaf (normally around $4/loaf!) among some other great buys. It was definitely a good week for stocking up.

    Anyways, don't forget to breath, take one day at a time and remember to focus on the positive. Now that March has gone out like a lion, it's time to embrace all the beauty that spring has to offer. Hope this week brings better news, Erika!

  7. Wow what a deal on the lamb. I also have cashiers do trial runs on things - heck of a lot less stressful than ringing up total order and then having them take items off. Sure hope you can prevent the heroin treatment center from going into your neighborhood-I sure wouldn't want it in any neighborhood I lived in. I picked up some 75 cents and $1.25 shirts at our Goodwill Last Chance for hubby-- the backgrounds aren't something he would wear out in public but will do great for around the house. I have been stocking up on Purina Smart Blend dry dog food--after coupons $1.25 for 3 lb bag at Publix. Hubby had birthday so his aunt took him out for dinner--free food!! Same aunt gave him some slightly used flowering pots--they will look great on the patio. I plan to plant the cheap seeds I got at Dollar Tree in them. I am still working on eating out of the freezer and pantry. Still praying for Shani.