Saturday, September 23, 2017

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Well, as weeks go, I wish it could have gone more frugally.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm glad I was able to just switch over to my winter tires on my car as getting the tires switched over was definitely cheaper than having to buy a brand new tire to get my car back on the road, but the money we spent getting the tires changed over really stretched the budget thread bare so this week was tight and next week is going to be just as tight (or tighter).  To make things worse we ended up having to eat out night before last.

We went to pick up the kids from school, luckily I'm always obsessed about getting somewhere 20 minutes early, and found that there was a car accident right in front of the new drug treatment center next door.  Traffic was a mess and there was no way we were going to be able to get through the accident to get the kids.  So we ended up taking the long way around to get to the school from the opposite side, which put us 20 minutes out of our way.  Once we picked up the kids we found that we couldn't get home because traffic was jammed in either direction way past our house, so we ended up driving around town for a while until the accident had been cleaned up enough so that traffic was moving decently again.  As a result we ended up having to get sandwiches at Subway (I used what was left of the gift card my mother-in-law had given us for our anniversary to help pay for it and my husband and I split a sandwich) so that the daughter could get fed (she was really hungry by the time we got dinner...the poor kid is growing and waiting to eat...I could tell she was feeling it) and the husband could get fed so he could get ready for work when we finally got home (thank goodness I always put food in the car for Alvah to snack on when I leave to pick the kids up from school as he tends to need a snack as soon as he gets into the car, so he had food available too).  Between having to get gas (due to me being low on gas and then driving around all over the place to get home) and the sandwiches...well there went the majority of the disposable income that was left for the week.

Which leads into the list for the week, so let's get to that, shall we?

1.  Grocery shopping was careful this week, really careful, due to the tightness of the budget.  My budget for the week total was 25.00.  Luckily the son hasn't been blowing through a gallon of milk a day on the new medications, so I was able to spend the 25.00 on the few loss leader items I wanted to get at Carrs this week.  I spent a total of 22.00 on groceries this week, seen up top.  I've got nearly enough to get a gallon of milk with the money left, and I figure going over by about .70 won't be that big of a deal.

The highlights of the trip were definitely the free Go-Gurt (free with an E-coupon from the Just 4 U site) and the 1.29 bags of cheese (limit of 2 with a coupon this week).  I also picked up a dozen eggs (1.29 with coupon), some apples (1.29 lb personalized price) and some grapes (1.49 lb on sale).  The grapes and the apples were bought for the daughter's snacks and to go in her lunches.  The cream cheese (.99 personalized price) was bought on the request of my husband who wanted it to eat on muffins and on the croissants we have in the fridge (ham and cheese croissants were bumped from the menu plan because my daughter requested ham sandwiches for school lunches instead and that definitely won).

2.  After hiding the paper towels I've noticed that the family is using the unpaper towels I made a lot more.  Success!  Ha!

3.  My daughter really wanted to buy some "Ever After High" books on Amazon when she realized they had tons of them and she was going to use the money in her piggy bank to get some.  I told her we could do that, but since she wants to buy her brother a Christmas gift this year (I'm actually going to try and convince her to make one for him as I think she'll have a lot more fun, for one, and I think it'll mean a lot more to her to give him a home made gift, for two) maybe it would be a good idea to explore other options, first.  I told her to check with the school library first and see what they had to offer in the way of some books and she's found two novels so far that she has been having a blast reading.   I'm thrilled she's finally discovered novels that she doesn't mind reading as I was worried she'd be reading picture books forever *laugh*. 

4.   One night this week my husband went to work to find that a group had a huge party earlier and there was a ton of food left over, so not only did he get to eat dinner for free but he also grabbed a few cold cuts and some sliced cheese, put it in a ziploc bag and brought it home.   We both ate sandwiches for lunch the next day out of the cold cuts, which was a nice change of pace.
5.  I baked bread today (cinnamon swirl and regular white) and didn't really want to use some nice new freezer bags to store the loaves in, so I searched around in the "reserve bag" area of my kitchen cabinets and dug out a couple of old bread bags and used those instead.  The loaves JUST fit in the bags, so yay for a happy circumstance!

6.  I went through the pantry and figured out the few home canned goods that I canned that we didn't really care for.  For instance, I used a new BBQ sauce recipe last year and the sauce just isn't good when reheated at separates, goes really grainy and somewhat was sad and I just kept staring at the last two jars of it like some divine light would point me to a way to use it that didn't make dinner taste yucky.  I figured out what to keep and use up and what to just dump and recycle the jars (the last two jars of BBQ sauce got dumped, unfortunately).  I'm happy because I THINK I might have enough jars now to jar up the sauerkraut when it's done and also get the peach jelly made from the peach juice in the freezer.  Here's hoping :).

7.  I reattached a button, darned a few socks, and fixed a loose seam on the son's backpack this week.

8.  We were going to go to the "Special Edition" of the Fall Festival at the U-Pick farm again this year and were really looking forward to it.  Unfortunately, we just plain got rained out yesterday as it didn't stop pouring until the event was nearly over.  But, the bright side was that we saved the gas of driving out there and back.  Not half as much fun as going, but well...saved gas.

9.  My husband needed a haircut badly and I was going to give him what little cash I had saved to go and get one, but instead he texted my sister-in-law who lives nearby who is also a trained barber and asked her if she'd give him a haircut.  She was going to do it for free and my husband was going to pay her the money he would have given a barber in town to give a haircut.  I found a good middle ground and gave the husband a pint of home made raspberry jam to give them instead (I remembered from helping my sister-in-law make jam last year that her kids LOVED home made jam, so I figured it was the least I could do).  The husband got the best haircut he's had in a couple of years (or more) and we felt at least better about him getting the haircut that we were able to give a little something in return for the haircut :).

So, there you have it, some of the frugal adventures that happened around here this week.  How about you?  How did you do?


  1. Sounds like a great week! Is so nice that you were able to include fresh produce in your shopping, even on a small budget. Do you think you'll trying canning another version of the bbq sauce? FYI, for next time, I wonder if you have cooked it in a slow cooker with pork until the pork feel to pieces, and absorbed some of the flavour. Then if it really was too liquidly, you could drain the excess liquid and stir in a small amount of non-liquidy bbq sauce that you'd otherwise need, saving at least some of the bbq sauce and deepening the flavour of the meat.

    As for me, I baked rosemary olive oil bread for the first time this week, and froze several loaves for the future. I can see me making this in the future again, definitely a frugal thing to do. And now I also want to try making cinnamon roll bread, inspired by you!

    1. I tried every trick I could think of with the BBQ sauce. As soon as any heat hit it the stuff would separate and become a grainy and bland tasting mess. I normally use a recipe for BBQ sauce that starts with ketchup, but I didn't have the ketchup to use last year so I used one that started with crushed tomatoes instead. Lesson learned there...I am going back to my old recipe next time :). Even mixing it with other BBQ sauce just wrecked the other BBQ sauce. Not sure what went wrong with the new recipe, but it went wrong. Big time!

  2. I love how you barter... Haircut for jam, etc. I love doing things that way too. You are an inspiration and your can do attitude is uplifting!

  3. When I buy milk I always get whole milk. Then I pour off 50% and add water to the remaining. It makes 2% milk. So its like getting 2 gallons of milk for the price of one. No one including my husband has realized this in over a year. No one complains since it is smooth and nothing like powdered milk. Hope this helps you stretch your milk!!