Saturday, September 9, 2017

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Well, as week's go this one can fall under the category of "busy".  Next week and the week after are just as jammed packed with things to do.  I've got orthodontist appointments for the daughter, speech therapy, oil change appointments...the list goes on.  In between everything that is happening I've got to find time to get everything done that needs to get done, so MAN I'm a bit frazzled and really tired right now.

Alvah's eczema got infected this week.  Luckily our pediatrician is awesome so I called to make an appointment to get him seen and told them what was going on.  His pediatricians reaction was a good one, which was, "Why bring him into the office and get him exposed to other sick kids with open sores on his hands and feet?  I'll call him in a refill for the antibiotic we gave him last time he had an infection with his eczema".  And that's what she did, which I am relieved she did that so I could spare him getting exposed to more germs, for sure.  So, Alvah is on antibiotics for the next ten days to clear up the infection in his eczema so it doesn't sink deeper.  Poor kid just can't catch a break :(.

So onto the money saving things that happened this week (which I guess not going to the pediatricians office was a money saving thing as it saved me gas and the appointment :).

1.  When I was dropping the kids off at school a few weeks ago, I saw something weird, but kind of cool.  In a pile of dirt left by the plow over our very snowy winter, someone had obviously thrown some sunflower seeds they didn't want to eat and the seeds had taken root in the sand.  So there was literally a huge bunch of sunflowers suddenly blooming all around the dirt pile.  My first thought was, "MAN I'd love to forage some of those for sunflower seeds!"  So, after dropping the kids off at school one day this week I stopped and talked to the front desk staff and asked if I could potentially snag some of the sunflowers from the pile of dirt by the parking lot.  They were surprised to hear about them and laughed when I showed them and they said, "Sure, go ahead!"  We had some high winds this week and a few of the sunflowers got blown down in the storm, so I grabbed a few of them to put on the kitchen table (seen up top).  I don't know if I'll get seeds from the big one or not, but it was still nice to bring in some fresh flowers into the house to enjoy :).

2.  I managed to get sugar and freezer bags (two things on my shopping goals for the month) this week.  I went to comp shop some things at Three Bears and ended up picking up chicken feed there as it was like five dollars cheaper than the feed store I have been buying from and I also found that they had their cheap freezer bags on sale for .90 a box!  I picked up enough to last us for a while.

I wasn't impressed with anyone's prices on sugar when I looked and was trying to figure out how to get enough for canning on the cheap when Carrs came out with their new week on Wednesday.  I checked my personalized prices on things and was surprised to get a personalized price of 2.00 per 4lb bag of sugar!  I went and got six bags, which will hopefully see me through the canning I want to get done in the coming weeks.  Here's hoping!

3.    The plastic that I put underneath the tablecloths on my table finally died on me after many years of use.  The son can be hard on a table, so I tried to think of an option that wouldn't require me going and buying more plastic to put under the tablecloths.  I finally took some beeswax I had around the house and waxed the table after oiling it.  It is now shiny and repelling water decently well, so I am calling it a success for now.  I'm just going to have to be careful to clean up spills and things quickly to avoid the wood getting damaged.

4.  I had gotten a couple of nasty notes from my dentist's office (on the same day even) from the new office manager saying that my payment was too low and I needed to call and make new payment arrangements.  I was upset, actually really upset, as when I had gone in and gotten the dental work done that had wracked up my bill I had told them I couldn't afford caps and to just pull the few teeth that needed caps to avoid extra expense, but my dentist had refused and told me I needed caps and that they would accept whatever payment I could afford and I could pay them off when I had the money.  So, I've been making lower than I wanted to payments to them for the last three years while I worked on getting my husband's dental bills paid off, but I had been paying them the amount we had agreed to.

Instead of calling immediately and being all upset, I waited a week until I was significantly calmed down and called the office to discuss the issue.  I explained the situation, explained how it had happened and did say that I didn't appreciate the three bills in one day with nastier and nastier notes on them.  The office manager was apologetic and agreed that I could call them back in a few months to see about maybe upping my payment (since one of the two chunks of dental bills for the husband we have left will be paid off when dividends come in next month) and told me not to worry as they would honor the terms they had agreed to the in the original agreement.  It felt good getting that settled and also felt good not going in all upset and having to pay a higher payment that I couldn't afford at the moment.

5.  I took a frozen pizza we had gotten cheap out for lunch today, but the family was kind of disappointed it was pepperoni as they would have preferred Canadian bacon and pineapple or some other type.  I looked in the fridge and saw a baggie of black olives we had left over from taco night and then remembered I also had some deli Hawaiian ham I'd gotten cheap in the freezer to use at a later date, so I took both items, removed the pepperoni from the pizza and made a black olive and ham pizza instead (I stuck the pepperoni in a baggie and put it in the freezer for use later).  Instead of the husband and daughter eating one piece of pizza each if it was pepperoni they both ate plenty and we ended up with only one piece of pizza left over.  I call it a win :).

6.  Rifftrax sent out an e-mail asking people to take a survey and if you took said survey you would get a 3.00 gift certificate added to your account.  I took the survey, which took no time at all, and got my 3.00 gift certificate this week.  I am planning on saving it in our account and using it closer to Christmas as a gift for my husband.

7.  I started to read some free books on Google books.  The books are out of print and cost a small fortune on Amazon, so I was happy to find them to read for free.

8.  I have been having a blast binge watching the 18th Century Cooking series on YouTube and have bookmarked a few recipes to try (or in my case variations on said recipes).  It's neat seeing how some things have changed a bunch but some things, that you would think would never have been around in that time period (like onion rings) were actually made.

9.  I didn't really want to spend money on straw for the nesting boxes as we are getting tight on money until payday, so I went through and shoveled up a bunch of the clean bedding the chickens had just plain knocked out of the coop scratching around and things and dumped that into the nesting box instead.  It's not the perfect solution, but it'll help alleviate the situation until hopefully the chickens can get picked up and brought to their new home.

10.  Instead of buying cheesecloth for a project that needed to be strained, I used a clean lint-free dishtowel instead.  I ended up dyeing the dish towel, but since it's white I'll just bleach it white again or as close as I can get.  I'm not too terribly worried about it and it saved me from having to buy cheesecloth, so I'm happy.

11.  Instead of wasting a bit of celery I had left in the fridge that was starting to go limp, I dehydrated it instead and put it into a baggie to use in soups and other dishes later.

And there you are folks.  Some of my frugal adventures for the week.  How about you?  


  1. It's nice to have silver linings in the week, like the dentist getting resolved, the sugar and the sunflowers!

    This last week for my frugal adventures, Kroger for the 3rd week in a row had hot dog and hamburger buns for a quarter a pack mark down. I bought more, so our freezer is full, and I bought a bunch for my husband for the 5th graders hot dog sale their were doing to raise money. Afterwards, I bought a bunch of the little single bags of chips that were left over for a quarter. We also bought some leftover hot dogs cheaply. We do that every year with some of the leftovers, and it's nice. Helps the 5th graders, and helps us.

    I managed to stay in the grocery budget, even getting my youngest 4 pairs of pants, however two that I thought were fleace pants, which he needed, turned out to be something called french terry! But he loved them so much, I'll just buy some warmer ones later.

    I harvested about half my onions, but for some reason all the white ones were either rotten, or almost rotten. I managed to cut off the bad parts, and made french onion soup last night. Last time I grow white though. All the yellow were fine.

    My youngest had a sudden stuff nose Friday night, Saturday he woke up and it moved into his chest. All night long Sat night he coughed and wheezed and gasped, so I'm worried about his asthma flaring, I guess it's going to be a doctor visit this afternoon during walk ins, or else first thing in the morning. He's gone so long without his inhaler, I thought we were getting over it!

  2. Glad you got it worked out with the dental office. They should never have sent 3 mailers at once.
    Those beautiful sunflowers would surely brighten anyone's day or week! The squirrels plant sunflowers and corn all over my yard and let them grow. It is so pretty with the flowers bloom and the birds enjoy them. The squirrels are starting to 'harvest' the corn they planted!


  3. Your poor son! Years ago, my son had bleeding hands from washing them all the time. It seems there is always something when you have young children.
    You had a great, frugal week. I've been working too much to give it a lot of thought. Most of my days are about keeping the house clean, hanging laundry on a dry day and wearing clean clothes to work. Anything else is gravy! Ha! I'm on my way to my secret spot to see if the blackberries are ripe. Then, it's on to work. Have a fabulous day!

  4. Just a suggestion - when I have been unable to afford new bedding for my poultry, I have used leaves instead. It isn't as nice as shavings or straw but it's free and does the trick and you should start seeing leaf fall here shortly.
    Melissa V

    1. I have used shredded paper for years as bedding. My husband brings bags of it home from work, all free.

  5. .Stayed out of the grocery stores for most of the week and made do with what I had
    .Bought a lot of orange peppers today and will freeze them over the next few days - 97cents/lb is about the cheapest we will see. Going back for red and yellow ones later in the week (just have a small freezer so have to do it in stages)
    .Won't buy any meat this week - must use up more items from the freezer
    .Wandered into a dept. store and was tempted by new jeans and tops - but either nothing fit properly or the colour just didn't suit me so I decided that someone was trying to remind me that I really didn't NEED any of these items and didn't buy them! I did make a couple of basic purchases that were needed, a new pair of winter gloves and 6 pairs of winter socks - all on sale so no regrets.

  6. Ha! I like your pizza trick. I do something similar. If we have pizza I usually make it homemade, but sometimes, I'm either too tired, too lazy or the frozen pizza is on sale for a good deal so I'll just grab some for a meal. We like pepperoni but the brand I tend to buy has so much on it, that I'll pick off the excess and use it when I do make a homemade pizza. It saves me from having to buy any pepperoni.

    I'm still working on my canning. We like sweet'n sour sauce, and I found a recipe last year in a library book for Duck Sauce, which really tastes like sweet'n sour sauce. Forgetful me forgot to write down the recipe so I could make it again this year, but when I wanted to make it, the book was on loan. Finally managed to track it down so I'll be making that this week. A good thing too, because the base for the sauce uses peaches and our peach season is starting to come to a close.

    And thanks for mentioning the 18th Century Cooking shows. My daughter and I are now hooked on watching them.

    Have a great week everyone.

  7. We were able to buy a lot of items at the Fred Meyers "deal" sale. You had to buy in multiples of 5, but they let you get as many sets of 5 as you wanted. That was the part that even the cashiers were a little confused on. Anyway, everything was 99c, if you followed the rules. We got 4 lb sugars, 1/2 gallons of milk, Life cereal, 18 eggs, Goldfish crackers and a couple of other choices. ....I got several of each, and was especially glad to restock the sugar after all the canning I've been doing.

  8. Would you mind explaining the oil and beeswax method for your table? I have a warped spot on my table from water that spilled from a vase that we didn't catch for a while. I've been looking for a way to protect the table from further abuse but love having the wood showing through. Thanks a bunch!

    Sorry about your son. My daughter has eczema as well and sometimes it gets really sore. The only thing we found that helps is a coal based ointment. It doesn't do the total job during winter but helped greatly during summertime. I hope your son gets to feeling better soon!


    1. With the table I just used some light olive oil to hydrate the wood, rubbed it in really good with a paper towel and then once I was sure it was all sealed good I took a chunk of beeswax I have had forever and rubbed it into every knook and cranny. Then I buffed the table with some more paper towels until it was shiny again. You can get some commercial furniture waxes at Lowes or Home Depot or the like grandma always washed down furnitute with Murphy's Oil Soap and then used Johnson's Paste Wax to seal wood furniture up, but I am NOT sure how food safe that is.