Saturday, March 24, 2018

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap (Or, Out With the Old, In With the New)

Still alive!

That's a Croods reference by the way, in case anyone was wondering.

It's been a rough month, but we're making it through.  More things broke, unfortunately, but we managed to find a truck today after two weeks of texting and phoning people only to not have anyone get back to us and other frustrating matters (like the cost of used vehicles!  Holy cow!), so at least that bit of stress is over and done with for better or worse (now it's a matter of paying the loan off that we bought it with, paying to insure it, getting title and registration transferred over, making sure everything on the truck is working well, etc etc, which is a bit of stress onto itself to say the least).

One thing that has been going on is my eyes have been bugging me when I try to read the last few weeks especially (when I'm reading up close I have to read over my glasses), although I've been having problems getting progressively worse as time goes on for a while now (which oops that I didn't notice until it got bad on me and then thinking back went "ooohhhhh" as I tend to do), but had been putting it off because the last time I got my eyes checked (which was when I was pregnant with my son...yes I know, I deserve the lectures) it cost me a LOT to get it done and since my eyes don't change much, at all, I just kind of put off getting new glasses as long as possible since we didn't have insurance.  Now we actually HAVE good eye insurance, thus no excuse on my part (if nothing else the exam is completely covered and the deductible on lenses and frames is decently cheap).   So I made an appointment with one of our preferred providers on the list (once I found said list, which is what kept me from making an appointment before now) to go and get my eyes checked (and get new lenses in my current glasses after getting a new set of lenses in the frames I found at the used store a while back that I have put aside, so I have a back up set of glasses :).

On top of that future expense (week after next) looking me in eye (ha!  I love puns ;), I then started cleaning my kitchen cabinets and drawers, getting rid of what I didn't need, etc and when looking in my one big bottom lazy Susan cabinet found that the old top plastic shelf (I don't have great quality kitchen cabinets by any stretch) had developed a crack...a bad one...and was about to crack to the point it would break in half, so now I have herbs and other cooking paraphernalia strewn helter skelter over kitchen and sideboard, trying to find room for things when I didn't HAVE room to begin with, thus the whole weeding out of the kitchen area thing.  Sigh.  So, yeah, I'm going to attempt to completely tear the cabinet apart (the only way to get the shelf out) and then take some J-B Weld to the crack and hope it holds.  There's nothing else we can do really as my cabinets are from the 80's and I KNOW they aren't made anymore.  This whole "everything is breaking or failing and costing money" thing is getting old FAST!

Even the bead kit that we ended up giving to Armina after the birthday debacle ended wrong.  The kit came with instructions that I followed to the letter so the daughter put together a really pretty horse she wanted me to iron to set (read melt) the beads into place so it would be permanent.  I folllowed the directions just as written, but I guess my "medium" setting on my old iron was way higher than the medium setting on the newer irons or was different then the medium setting the directions were calling for because the next thing I knew the horse template was melted to the point it had waves and I had a heck of a time getting the horse removed from the form.  The horse looks slightly mutated, I feel terrible about it (because the daughter put so much hard work into making it) and a letter to the company yielded no replacement template (my sob story didn't work...ah well), but finding out that the horse template ONLY comes in the kit that we have at the moment from what I could dig up thereafter.  So, I took a bit out of my meager shopping budget this week and ordered a new kit from Amazon (as it was less than half the normal price with Jo Ann Fabrics) to assuage my guilt over what happened.  The daughter is at least thrilled she'll be getting more beads and things as she's found she REALLY enjoys the Perler bead experience and she's having a blast getting all artistic with things.

 We have gone from getting a bunch of snow, which the kids and I had fun on Spring Break going out and playing in (and building a snowman in...I was going to share a picture but then remembered I didn't have a camera then and I had to take it with my phone), and then it got warmer out and the promise of Spring is in the air.  It's been nice.  We're supposed to get snow coming in this week a couple of times, but the temps are still set to go above freezing so I'm hopeful that winter is finally leaving, slowly but surely, for the year.

Right, so now that the last little bit has been covered, let's get to the money SAVING things that happened.

1.  I used a Amazon gift card I had to get a new phone and it is working well.  It's nice having a phone that is working again!

2.  With some help from my mom I was able to get a new camera.  So, I got to say goodbye to my old camera this week and get used to the new one.  I'm actually REALLY happy with the Kodak I got so far and it zooms in way better than my old camera did (and has an optional flash on it that I don't have to turn off all the time :).  I will miss "old reliable", but am thrilled to have a camera that works again.  I took a picture of the old camera with the new camera because I could, so you can enjoy that shot up top there *laugh*.

3.  Shopping went this week.  I can't say it went smashingly as we had so little money left over after the paycheck this last pay period that I knew we were going to be eating into the non-closing costs from the loan, which is exactly what happened.  Money is getting tighter and we're going to be nearly three  weeks between pay periods again this upcoming pay period because of the way the month is structured, so blah for that.  Bright side is that the husband will be starting the four day a week schedule come April, so that will save us a day of gas and also give him another day off, which will hopefully help his energy levels and general health.  And he's picking up some overtime tonight, which will help as well.

I went to two stores this week, Carrs and Fred Meyer.  I actually scored pretty well on the freebie front at both, so let's break down some highlights and some freebies!

First up is Carrs where the highlights of the trip were definitely those seen above there.  Including:

  • 3 lb chub of ground beef on sale for 7.47 with an in-ad coupon.  You could get a maximum of two, but I only got one because of pinching pennies.
  • 1 half gallon (or whatever the equivalent is anymore) of ice cream 1.47 with a digital only coupon (not seen because I put it in the freezer and oops).
  • 2 Calrose rice on sale buy one get one free.  It worked out to be about 3.00 for 4 lbs of rice, which is as cheap as I've seen it in a bit. We're running out of rice, so it was a great sale to run into.
  • Right and three cans of tomato sauce, two bagels, one thing of baby carrots and two packages of gravy mix were free with Monopoly coupons.  

Next up I went to Fred Meyer and as I told the family later, "Snacks are on Fred Meyer this week".

All of the above were free.  The chips, Oreo Milka Bar and the Think Thin bar were all Freebie Friday freebies.  The Oreos were a "Best Customer Bonus" coupon that I was able to load to my card and then while I was checking out a coupon for a free "Oui" yogurt coupon printed off, so I just hopped back into the store and got it (I didn't want to come back later if I could help it to avoid spending money). 

My husband actually asked for a yogurt for breakfast this morning and I pulled a bunch out of the fridge and he got a kick out of all the free yogurt we have (which honestly I do too as I like yogurt).  I ate the oui yogurt with some granola sprinkled on top for breakfast and really enjoyed it this morning :).

4.  I managed to mend one pair of my jeans that kept failing to take a mend, at least so far, only to have another pair completely rip out right at the zipper, which is one place I've found just doesn't hold a mend at all well and unfortunately those were my favorite pair of jeans :(.  I put them aside, however, to cut up into fabric patches and things to make sure nothing is wasted.  I even save the zippers out of jeans if they are sound as those have saved me from having to buy a new pair of jeans a time or two.

5.  My daughter was supposed to go on a field trip this week, but it was to see a group that is basically like "Stomp" and my daughter and loud noises do NOT jive with her stomach condition and drums especially get to her (she's a classical music fan with good reason, although I haven't introduced her to the "1812 Overture" yet *laugh*), so she decided to skip it.  Unfortunately it was also the EXACT same day as her Spring school pictures and she desperately wanted a class photo as she's going to be going into junior high next year and will be missing some of her classmates.  So, we decided to use the money from the no-go field trip to pay for a class photo instead.  Luckily her class got their pictures taken before going on the field trip and her class was the first one to get their pictures taken (or at least one of the first three), so instead of going home and wasting gas I just waited around the school to take her home. 

6.  I started putting the kids on a stricter schedule for online time and it has not only helped our bandwidth issues, but also has my daughter reading more (with some prompting from me), which has definitely been nice to see.

7.  I've weeded out a lot this past couple of weeks and also managed to conglomerate things as I went through stuff.  This helped when the shelf fell apart in the kitchen as it led me to not have as much stuff to find room to store in the small space I have available.  Definitely a good thing.

8.  I really wanted a dessert to go with an Italian meal I was making (well, okay it was spaghetti and meatballs, but still...) , so I decided to try my hand at making cannolis.  I had stumbled across a box of cannoli tubes that I'd bought at the used store a few years ago and hadn't used for anything yet, so I figured no time like the present.  I dug out a thing of Ricotta cheese that I had bought a while back, that somehow was still good (more's the miracle) and went to work making the recipe on the box the imported tubes came in.  And hey, they turned out!  I was thrilled, although we did end up eating cannolis for a good few days afterwards (it made a lot more than I had planned on *laugh*).  The picture was taken with my phone, so I apologize for the weird aspect ratio on that one.

And yeah, I'm going to leave things at that because I have to go and make dinner.  How have you all been?  Things going well for you?


  1. In spite of all the hassles you’ve been through, you still have a great attitude! We’ve been through some of the same issues; three weeks between checks, how to pay the bills, something gets destroyed and how are we going to fix it/replace it. Ugh, I so relate! It sounds like you have a plan so that’s always good!
    I started making bbq sauce with (bought) canned tomatoes. When I got to the part where I put it through the strainer, I realized that it was too juicy and would never thicken. So, plan B. We’ll have spaghetti sauce/chili/sloppy joes or some variation.
    I started hand shoveling the snow path to the umbrella clothesline. My husband finished with the snowblower so i’m really happy about that! We still have several feet of snow on the ground, about 6 feet at the corners of the drive, but we’re supposed to get into the 40’s this week (hanging clothes temps!) and maybe rain! Most people don’t care too much for rain but I love it! It cleans up the dirty yards, fills the rain barrel and forces everyone to sloooow down!
    I wish you a better week to come!

  2. You got some great freebies this week. I am so happy that you were able to get a new camera. I posted my frugal week at

  3. Hey. You must have sent the "everything is breaking down" thing my way.

    We wanted to renovate our bathroom - nothing fancy, just paint and some tiles. After my husband removed our upstairs bathroom toilet, and everything else that was screwed into the walls (towels bars etc.), the valve that turns off the water to the toilet began to leak slightly. No problem, we just put a pail under it so I could plaster and paint around it. But after plastering and sanding the patches, the valve began to leak even more - so I had to empty the pails of water more often.

    Then 2 days into the reno, my daughter, who was up at 5:30am to get ready for work, noticed some water on the bathroom floor and that the pail was over full. She cleaned up the water and continued to get ready for work. Well, I drive her in the morning, so I went downstairs to prepare a lunch for her and as I walked across the kitchen floor to turn on the lights, I nearly slipped and fell because there was a huge puddle of water covering the floor. Indeed, it was the valve from the bathroom above my kitchen, that leaked through the ceiling (which, by the way, I just finished plastering and painting in the Fall). As I was lamenting about the damage, my other daughter who had just emerged from our basement bathroom told me that the toilet leaked water all over THAT floor. I went and looked and sure enough, when the toilet was flushed, water just gushed out from the base. AND the sewer backed up into our basement shower as well.

    I started to panic! We only have 2 bathrooms in the house and none were useable. The hubby was away at work doing a long haul trip so he wasn't available to fix it. We hadn't been able to restock our emergency fund very much since we had some very tight pays in January and February. I knew I had to call a plumber...and I was sending up a prayer that it wasn't going to cost too much to fix. Luckily, by the time time all was said and done, it wasn't too expensive, but I did have to borrow a bit to cover some of the costs. And with the plumber fixing the leaky valve, it did make it easier for me to finish painting the upstairs bathroom. But the toilet isn't in yet, nor the tiles done, as the hubby hasn't returned from his road trip.

    It was a memorable week indeed!

    1. You poor thing! That sounds horrible!

  4. I hope that they let you reuse your old frames. Mine wouldn't because they were afraid the glasses might break and they were no longer under warranty. Good luck!

  5. I had an odd week, because I was sick for most of it, and then took a little trip with my husband over the weekend. Now, I'm home and ready to tear into projects again!

    I put pictures on my blog;

    I've also had a lot of things break lately. I'm hoping that we are at the end of that breaking streak!! It seems like everything is getting broken, used up,old and tired! Some days, even myself!!! But, I love how it feels when I get to feeling better and can tear into things with renewed energy. Today, I'm going back to exercise class for the first time in a couple of weeks. I'm sure I'll feel pretty sore tonight, but it's a good kind of sore. Then, I'm going to do a lot of cooking for the freezer, and Easter, with a teenage friend of my niece. She's recently been told to go gluten-free, and I've got that one covered, so we'll cook together for both of us this afternoon. Should be fun!

  6. I caught a stomach virus and can't remember the last time I was so sick. I came through it realizing none of my problems are as bad as dry heaving all night long in the toilet! My attitude is much improved even though my stomach is not.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry

  7. Happy you survived your "odd week" and you did not break! ♥