Sunday, November 12, 2017

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Boy I'm tired!  But, bright side, the cleaning and organizing is slowly getting there!  Yay for that!

This week has been long, but in some ways good.  I didn't sleep well last weekend, at all, and as a result come Monday morning I accidentally gave the son his higher nighttime dose of Risperidone instead of his half dose in the morning.  I was worried he was going to walk around like a zombie all day Monday, but instead he had a REALLY good day!  He had a good day at school and a great day at speech therapy.  I ended up calling his psychologist and asking if it would be okay if we just gave him a full dose twice a day for a while and see how he did.  She agreed.  As a result Alvah actually had a pretty good week at school and at home.  Tonight he's kind of grumpy, but I think a lot of that is that I think he woke up today just not feeling good...he's been acting like he's got a head ache today on and off and yeah...I think both he and I are looking forward to bedtime tonight as I think he's pretty tired and didn't sleep good last night.

The daughter still isn't feeling good either, but I had the nurse check down her throat Friday and she saw 100% nothing wrong, not even any irritation, so I'm kind of hoping the daughter is just dealing with allergies.  I'm praying both kids are up to going to school tomorrow as my grand plan is to come home and immediately start deep cleaning both of their rooms, moving furniture and shampooing the heck of the carpet to get all of the allergens from summer and fall up and out of their bedrooms.  I'm hoping it helps both of them.

But anyway back to the week.  Tuesday I ended up running into town to see if I could pick up the new higher dose of Risperidone and while there asked if my son's one med that had been called in for a refill request through the allergist was there yet.  Nope, it wasn't.  Which led me to stalking the allergist office for the next three days just trying to get a refill.  It worked out in the end as they gave me five refills on the medication, but geeeeez!!!

Then there was last Sunday.  The husband went for the monthly dump run, which in itself wasn't a bad thing by any means.  It had snowed the night before, but not horribly bad.  The roads were a bit slippery but not terrible.  And yet his truck was sliding around turns sideways.  With how much weight he had in the back of the truck and how slow he was going...well that wasn't good that it was doing that.  Since than we've been down to a one car family as there is no way that we were going to trust my husband commuting into Anchorage every day in that truck in winter weather.  Which led to the depressing conversation we'd been putting off for the last three years or so, which was, "Now what?"  We could put new winter tires on his truck, but that would cost about 1000.00 for winter tires and the truck is 20 years old now and wasn't meant for winter driving anyway (it's a small two wheel drive truck) and while we bought it with decently low miles on it, it's still got over 100,000 miles on it now.  So, do we put new rubber on the truck (somehow) and pray it does okay on the roads then or do we look at getting a newer vehicle since my car isn't exactly new.  Which led us going to the dealerships just to look.  Bright side the salesman didn't laugh at me when I told him the max of what we MIGHT be able to make a month on a  truck payment (and then how I'd make an insurance payment on said vehicle I have NO idea) and he pointed us toward a used vehicle instead of new (which both the husband and I agreed with when we heard the low end of what new was going for).  After it was all said and done we both just ended up depressed, not knowing what to do, and just generally wishing we were in better financial straights all the way around.  Sigh.  For now, we're just going to stick with driving my car and go from there.

Anyway, onto the money saving things we did this week (well except for not buying a new vehicle I guess *laugh*)...

1.  I ran to town more than I wanted to this week, so at one of the trips to pick up milk and one medication for the son I stopped off at Fred Meyer and got the free seasoned rice from the last Freebie Friday (the same trip I found that they didn't have the Au Gratin potatoes I was hoping to get).  That's part of the pic up top there.  I picked the Spanish Rice flavor.  My deliberation as I was looking at the flavors cracked an older guy up that was standing behind me.  I guess I was muttering, "No, I can make that one easy.  No, that one is cheap to make..." and so on and I finally settled on the Spanish rice because I wasn't overly talented at making that flavor.  He was chuckling when I turned around with the rice and he thanked me saying I had reminded me of his late wife the way I was muttering about the rice flavors.  I felt kind of embarrassed, but at the same time I felt good that I was able to bring back a good memory of his wife.

2.  I found that JoAnn fabrics was running a flash sale and you could print off a 20% off your entire purchase coupon and you could combine it with sale items and things.  I had a 60% off one item coupon that was still good too, so I ran to JoAnn Fabrics to see if I could get some mini spring-form pans cheap.  I know, it's an odd thing to get, it seems, but I fell in love with the idea of having some as soon as I realized they were a thing as the idea of making tiny cheesecakes for dessert or other single portion meals (quiche, lasagna, etc) seemed like a really great idea (and cute).  I didn't want to spend much on some of them though as really I didn't NEED them.  The cashier stacked my coupons (I love it when the coupons will do that) and I was able to get a three pack of mini spring-form pans for around 4.00.  I even paid for them with a gift card, so it was a pretty awesome score (I'm going to stick these under the tree for myself :).  While there I also picked up a few colors of embroidery thread I needed to get, so all totaled I spent around 5.00 that day.

3.  I managed to fix our furnace.  One night the furnace just kept making this horrible sounds like a plastic bag was stuck somewhere or something and it became really loud.  My husband didn't really have time to deal with it, so I started chasing the problem down.  I removed the cold air duct to see if something was stuck down it (the way our furnace is in the house there's one cold air duct and basically one heating duct going through the kitchen in both cases, so it's pretty easy to look for problems on those things) and managed to get things cleaned out there.  I then went and changed the filter on the furnace and it did, indeed have plastic stuck to it (the son shreds anything plastic to watch it's been his favorite stim for about a year), but that didn't fix the problem either.  I, for a change, sat and stared at how the furnace was constructed and figured out that the set up was pretty simple that I could see and by logically figuring out how the air would flow I quickly found the blower fan.  I made sure to find a flashlight so I didn't inadvertently zap myself on the transformer end of the fan and then by doing a small amount of exploration I found the plastic bag that had somehow made it through the filter and gotten sucked into the blower fan, cleaned it up well and put everything back together.  I think after all is said and done the furnace definitely got a good cleaning all the way through it and it sounds fine now.  I felt proud for figuring it all out and getting maintenance done on the furnace at the same time :).

We also had a spare furnace filter that I remembered where my husband had stored from last year when we replaced the filter, so I saved myself some money from having to buy a new filter.
4.  My husband had a pot luck dinner at work.  Instead of immediately just signing up for a certain category (entree, etc) he came home and talked to me first and asked if I would be okay making oatmeal cookies for the event.  I was happy he thought of those as I do have plenty of oatmeal around here so I said, "Sure, we can do that".  We came up with a few back up plans in case the dessert category was filled up when he went in the next day, but it wasn't, so he signed us up for the cookies.

Well fast forward to Monday and I'm terribly busy with...well everything...and I realize that there is NO WAY I have time to make the three dozen cookies the recipe for oatmeal cookies made.  So, I just made cookie bars instead.  I did manage to cut up the finished bars into nearly three dozen pieces, so I figured it would work *laugh*.  Everyone at work seemed to enjoy them and they ended up being pretty easy to make.  A pic of the finished bars, pre-cutting is seen above.

5.  When cleaning out the den, master bedroom closet and other areas, I found things I forgot I had, including some Christmas themed paper and things, so I gave some things to my daughter to use for crafts.  She's had a blast the past few days using the small remnant of lace fabric I gave her (that I bought at the used store a long while ago) to make doll dresses out of and using the Christmas paper to make Christmas scenery so her dolls could put on Christmas plays and things.  I listen in and smile.  I know that there's not that much more time before all she will care about is hanging out with friends, teenage drama moments and getting a cell phone, so I smile and shed a few tears that my baby girl is growing up too fast and try to enjoy the time of play while it lasts.

6.  I had some kitchen towels that weren't absorbing liquid anymore, so I threw them through a few hot water cycles in the washer with a heavy dose of vinegar in the water.  I then washed them like normal.  So far this seems to have stripped the towels and made them nice and absorbent again.

7.  I cleaned out all of the sink drains this week.  Not a glamorous job, actually a rather disgusting one, but definitely one that will save money on a plumber later.  I then poured boiling lemon water down the drains as well just to help strip the drains a bit further.  They are all running much better now, so job done for now, I hope :).

8.  When frying chicken earlier in the week, I fried so much at one time (in batches, but I fried about five different batches of chicken) that by the end the oil was definitely done for and the house kind of stank as a result.  Instead of spraying Lysol everywhere, I just took some water, added a bit of imitation vanilla extract, a few allspice berries, a few cloves and some powdered cinnamon to a pan and boiled it for a while.  The home made air freshener worked wonders and made the entire house smell like Christmas (proclaimed the daughter, anyway :).  And really, it didn't cost much at all to do it and it got some humidity into the air.  All benefits.

9.  The fix I made to my crew socks with elastic thread didn't work very well.  The thread just wasn't secured in the socks enough and just came lose in the washing machine.  I'm still working on it.  I figure if I can find a way for a repair like that to work, I could extend the life of socks for a long time for me as I'm pretty light on the soles of the's always the elastic part that goes first for me.

10.  I fixed a hole in my one of my pairs of jeans this week.

So, there's some of my frugal adventures this week.  How did you do?


  1. Good on your money savings goals. I love to read how other people stay frugal. It really helps inspire me.

  2. I had a pretty good week this week. Some of the things I did included taking kids to the library, feeding ducks at a pond for cheap entertainment (it may not cost money, but my nephew sure loves it!), and cook.

    I got a little cleaning and organizing done, but not as much as you. Still, I am happy with what I did. Now, those 3 baskets of laundry full of clean clothes I see decorations my living room......

    I put pictures on my blog:

  3. I got my rice too, went for chicken and herb flavor.

    Could you put out the word you need a cheap vehicle? Someone may know an individual selling one!

    I'm sorry that you are going through that, I know that will be us in a year or two, but luckily we aren't in a place where it's so snowy.

    This week for frugality, I don't feel like I did much beyond bargain shopping for gifts. Today I plan to clean, as much as my 5 year old lets me, and its much needed. Thanksgiving has krept up on me, so I need to get a move on.

  4. My recent non-perishable freebies went to the food drive at my kids' school. Congrats on the furnace fix! I've fixed our toilet and dishwasher myself, so I know how good that feels!