Sunday, December 31, 2017

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Happy New Year everyone (well nearly...the East Coast will be ticking over in about an hour here)!!!

The post is late, I know.  I do realize it's not Friday, but this time I actually put off the post on purpose, since the end of the year was tonight and you'll be getting deluged with year end/beginning posts here in the next couple of days, monthly goals and all of that...well I figured I'd just try and get the entire week in on this one post and so I put it off for a few days :).

We celebrated my birthday this week and I have to say that it ranks up there with one of the best birthdays I've had in a long time.  The kids and husband didn't give me gifts on my actual birthday, but you know, it didn't bother me at all.  My husband insisted we get store sushi for lunch (which actually was up there with some of the best sushi I've had.  It was REALLY good!!!) and he insisted we get something for dinner that was easy to make so that I didn't have to cook.  I chose Maine Italian sandwiches (it's a certain type of sandwich that I grew addicted to as a child and continue to make to this day when I can *laugh*) and so we got a ham (since it was cheaper to buy a half of a ham instead of deli meat) and used the meat slicer I bought used earlier in the year to slice it thin after we cleaned the slicer to a fair thee well.  It worked FABULOUSLY and we enjoyed sandwiches for dinner and for lunches (and I'll turn the ham bone into some tasty beans maybe tomorrow).  Honestly, just being able to spend the day with the family, eating some of my favorite things we haven't had in quite a while (and avoiding heavy meals by getting take out, which honestly after the holidays I was kind of burned out on heavy meals) and being able to bake some bread and things at home made the day pretty cool.  And then, to top the day off, my step-sister gave birth to my new baby step-nephew!  Who can beat that for a birthday gift *laugh*!

My sister-in-law also gave me a really cool haircut for a late birthday gift to me today.  My hair was down to my behind and driving me crazy as it was so long I was getting it caught in everything, hair elastics were falling out of it all the time, it was getting caught in zippers and car was definitely time for a change.  See, most people don't have "Erika hair".  My hair is SUPER fine and thin hair, so while other people with long hair can put their hair up into elaborate hairstyles and things?  I can follow the same tutorials and my hair comes out looking like a tiny knot on the back of my head.  I do braid my hair, but it still looks kind of sad hanging down my back.  Hairspray lasts nearly an hour, hair gel lasts a good two hours and then everything I've done to the hair just falls out and my hair falls flat and straight again...all the while frizzing in every direction enough to snarl like mad and drive me crazy.  Oh yeah!  So, now I have a spiffy shoulder length hairdo and am much happier as I'm walking around without my cat attacking my hair swinging down my back *laugh*.

So, yeah, it was a pretty awesome birthday :).

Now, onto the money saving things that happened this week!

1.  My pot holders are looking...well kind of sad, although the ones I made myself a few years ago are still holding up okay performance-wise.  I decided for the new year I wanted to change a few things and one of the things I really wanted was some pot holders that actually matched my kitchen better.  So, I went against my own overly pragmatic nature and decided to make some pot holders that were bright colors, specifically a really light yellow color.  I got the yarn on sale at JoAnn's a while back with a coupon to make it super cheap and it had sat with me not doing much with it until this week.  With the Christmas rush over and not having any presents I needed to make, I didn't have anything to do at night when watching movies and things, so I sat down and made a pot holder this week (seen up top).  One skein of cotton yarn, which costed me about 2.00 and some change after coupons and things, is going to make me probably four pot holders, which should be enough to last me for a quite a while.  I am enamored with the color as it matches so much more in my kitchen and the bright color really helps to raise the spirits when it is so dark outside :).

2.  It was a good week on the freebie front!  I stopped off at Fred Meyer on Friday and got all of my Freebie Friday items that I had loaded onto my card and the ones I had left from their 25 Merry Days.  I was impressed that, for a change, Fred Meyer had everything!  The best part, for me, was that everything I got was things that we could use around the house, especially the chap stick and the pasta.  I had a coupon that had printed off at the register for another free Knorr Selects side and even found that they had a few more flavors in stock this time around and was able to get one that my family wouldn't mind eating.  It was pretty nice!
While perusing the Carrs ad and the coupons for this week, I was surprised to stumble across an E-Coupon for a free "Man Cave Bring Home the Bacon" meat tube.  I am NEVER one to turn down free meat, so I got the freebie while I was at Carrs getting milk and things for the week.  I was thrilled with the freebie because not only did the computer take off the 6.00 that the meat was on sale for this week, but it also took off the rest of the full value of the manufacturer coupon, so I actually MADE 1.99 on the freebie, which actually paid for one of the chunks of Lucerne cheese I got for 1.50 (on sale with a coupon this week).

The meat itself, I was going to make into burgers, but when I smelled the meat it didn't smell like it was going to make good burgers as it was REALLY strong smelling.  So, I made meatloaf with it instead and the verdict was that the husband and I really didn't like it, but the daughter did.  The meat, to me, tasted like they had mixed ground beef with ground up hot dogs and made a meat combo with it.  It didn't taste great to my palette, but with ketchup it was edible.

3.  Rifftrax was nice enough to send out their yearly 10.00 credit to Rifftrax customers again this year.  We only had till today to use it or it would go away, so my husband and I went through the catalog last night and found a funny movie for 9.99 to spend it on.  I was okay letting .01 expire on the gift card to get, what looked to be, a really funny movie for free :).

4.  I baked whole grain bread, cranberry orange muffins, birthday cake and made beef stock from leftover beef ribs from Christmas dinner this week.  We had beef stew for dinner tonight using up odds and ends in the fridge. 

5.  I found a hanging basket system at the used store a while back for 3.00 and knew I had to get it as I had hoped to find something exactly like that to hang up in my kitchen.  I had my husband put it up in the corner that I had scoped out this weekend.  I LOVE it as now I can put my garlic and my onions up and out of the way, instead of having to rearrange a basket of onions all of the time.  Bonus is that it looks nice.  I am planning on using the bottom basket for things like sweet potatoes on the occasion I buy them for dinners for the week and things (please ignore the November calendar in the background...I never got around to making a December one *laugh*).

6.  I needed some new wire mesh strainers in a bad way for the house, but hadn't been able to find any good deals on some locally.  Just by chance I checked out Amazon's "Year End Deals" section this week and ran into a three pack of wire mesh strainers for right around 5.00 on a Lightning Deal!  They had good reviews, so I ordered them.  I'm hoping to run into an equally good deal on some serrated steak knives for the kitchen as mine are getting old and haggard (the ones I have now were a cheapy 3.00 set from Wal-Mart that I bought YEARS ago and they are finally just starting to fall apart on me.  They were great cheap knives, though, I got to give them that and have been used hard over the years).

7.  We were, once again, able to put aside gift bags and boxes to reuse next year for Christmas gifts.  We were even able to add to our stock this year as my daughter got a really nice big reusable gift box from a friend of hers with her gift in it this year and we got a nice gift bag with another gift.  I used up all of my Christmas themed gift bags for gifts under the tree this year, so it was great adding a few more to the stash for next year :).

8.  I spent a good portion of the week just trying to weed and organize to help things get a bit more streamlined for the coming year.  I'll go into detail more on those plans later, but so far so good on helping those goals along :).

9.  I managed to mend my sewing cabinet (lacking a photo, but I'll show the final results later on)!  I found some old plastic adjustable tabs that were in my desk, so I took four of them and set them up on the adjustable holes in the inside of the cabinet and then set up the shelf again that had caved in/broken earlier.  This time I put VERY little weight on the shelf to be sure it would be okay with plastic tabs holding it up, but BOY does it look better!  This should see us through until my husband has time to mess with the shelf and secure the shelf onto the cabinet properly and at least it doesn't look like a big old broken cabinet is sitting in the corner of my den.

10.  My wreath holder has been breaking for years and this year my son took a liking to it and was REALLY cracking the top half of it bad.  I looked at prices on a new wreath holder (I got the one I have now on 90% off at Target years ago) and wasn't impressed with the prices, so instead I did what any good Alaskan would do in that situation.  I took a roll of duct tape and just secured it to both sides of the cracks in the wreath holder.  It doesn't look great, but it'll hold and now I have (hopefully) held off trying to find another wreath holder or a new way to store my reusable wreath for a few more years.

So, there you are folks.  My week in a nutshell.  How about you?  Have a good week?


  1. Like you I just can't pass up a freebie- I figure if I can't use it, I can find somebody that will. Love your potholders, brought back memories of when I made them. I had good luck in 2017 at thrift stores and stocked up all my family on pot holders. My week was good- didn't do much after Christmas shopping but did pick up some candy canes and silk flowers for parents graves. Hubby's aunt invited us for New Years Day lunch so I didn't have to cook (I consider that a freebie) and we got all the traditional foods in for a good year. Hope you and yours have a blessed and happy 2018.

    1. You know I should have looked for candy canes to buy. We use the same ones year after year and this year my son started actually eating them, so next year I'm going to have to buy some. I can only buy like two brands out there that are safe with his peanut allergy, so after Christmas clearance would have been smart to hit for those. Oh well. At least candy canes are decently cheap *laugh*.

  2. I have hair that reaches just past my elbows. It is really thick and I originally had wanted mine to reach my butt, however when it reaches my hips, it bugs me. My husband cuts my hair for me, he has since shortly after we first started dating. He does it every other month to keep my hemline neat and remove the splits and damage. My hair does hold a braid well. I have my guy give my french, dutch, fishtail and side braids. I love them, but they do look ruffled by the end of the day or out in the elements. I get a glass of wine set out for me, then he combs out my hair, pins it up, capes me then sections and trims each layer. I appreciate him doing a great job for me, but never considered it a present, although he recently gave me one on my birthday. I did thank him for the great job he does and I am especially thankful I don’t have to go the salon route with the high costs and hassles, just a relaxing bonding experience as hubby wields the shears and leaves my tresses well groomed.

    1. Aw! That's so nice of him to do and so cool that he can braid and things! I have been trying to beg and badger my husband for the last year to cut the bottom like three inches off of my hair because it was about 100% split ends, but he refused and it was driving me nuts. I was about to flip my hair over my head and cut it myself and just deal with the fact that it would look awful from the back, but I couldn't see behind me anyway, so I figured it would be an improvement over split ends either way *laugh*. Glad he asked my sister-in-law to cut my hair instead. It definitely looks better this way ;).

    2. Three inches of split ends? I cannot go more than a couple months as I see a few and want them trimmed. I have seen other women with uneven, split ends and told my husband not to ever let mine get like that. My hair also has uneven growth at times, so I don’t like to see my ends get looking ragged. My hubby likes my hair long and he knows that he is the only I trust near my hair with scissors. I like having him play with my hair and I know he likes it as well. I get compliments on my braids and my niece has asked him to braid hers as well when she visits. Sadly I cannot do anything more than a simple three strand. I am lucky he will do them for me. I know there are a lot of guys that don’t feel secure enough to do it for their lady. I had a friend stop by while hubby was giving me a trim, he was not uncomfortable having her watch him do my hair and she complimented his work and then asked him if she could get a trim as well. He said sure, she took a seat and he gave her a haircut. She was very pleased and said it was better than any she could recall getting at the salon, and we were invited to her house for dinner a couple months ago and she asked me if I could have hubby bring his hair shears as she could use a trim. So I know he does good work as my friend is very picky about her hair and got compliments on her hair. So did tell me she had requests for her stylist but was not giving out our phone number to her coworkers or strangers.

  3. Hi this is my first time commenting on your blog and I really enjoy reading it. I saw a cool idea where someone had taken a wreath holder and wrapped strip of torn fabric around and around it in various colors and it looked so cute! If you only use yours at Christmas you could do Christmas colors or just red and white to make a candy cane design. Would cover your duct tape and look cute to boot!