Friday, March 9, 2018

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Rhetorical question:  Why is it that every time you think things are starting to turn around and get easier, something happens?

The week started in the afternoon on Saturday.  We were out running errands in the car when we were rear ended.

Thank goodness my husband was driving as he was quick enough on his feet to fight the car back under control so we didn't plow into the snowbank on the side of the road, which helped to keep damage to our vehicle to a minimum.  The other car rear ended us in such a way that he drove up under our car, folded his hood back, took out his radiator and headlight...his car was a mess.  Thank God no one was seriously hurt, including the other driver (who was a 19 year old kid, who learned a valuable lesson about braking distance and driving carefully in bad conditions, but at least he didn't have to learn it from the hospital or worse).

Armina ended up with a bump on the back of her head from hitting the back head rest (which also made me realize she'd grown again and I had to adjust that up for her, poor thing) and I managed to strain my neck as I was looking at a car that was passing us when we got rear ended, which gave me a terrible headache Saturday night, but luckily it all cleared up by the morning.  Blessings were no one was seriously hurt, I had an updated insurance card in the car so when the cops showed up all of our ducks were in a row and the guy who hit us definitely admitted it was all his fault, which will help cut through red tape getting the damage repaired.  Some of the surface damage is seen above...we also have some under body damage to the car, but it looks like the frame is okay (hopefully that remains accurate when they tear the bumper off the car and everything), all the doors work and thank goodness the air bags didn't deploy so we didn't have to worry about them totaling the car.  Honestly we got hit hard enough, and seeing what shape the other car was in, I was amazed how good the car looked after it was all said and done.

Bad point is that we're going to lose the car for a week while it's in the shop being repaired so we definitely need to get another car and quick so we have something to drive.

Then Sunday came along and my husband, who had slept terribly the night before (due to Armina and I not doing great after the accident and worrying he'd have to take us the doctor...Armina's stomach cycled hard after all of the stress, which didn't help) was feeling really not great.  He finally took his blood pressure to see if there was something up there and his blood pressure was REALLY high.  He ended up going to Urgent Care and after they took his blood pressure (141/110) they gave him an EKG.  Thank goodness that came back normal!  They gave him blood pressure medicine to take, which is working kinda.  One of his co-workers came up with the theory of a panic attack causing his blood pressure to sky rocket and my husband was nearly convinced of that, until he took his blood pressure  Wednesday to find that his blood pressure was once again way too high (he had taken it Tuesday and it came back nearly normal so he was hoping the panic attack theory had been correct and so he hadn't taken his blood pressure medicine), so he's taking the medication and the advice of the doctor from Urgent Care more seriously now.

The doctor recommended that the hubby go on a low sodium to no sodium diet to get his blood pressure back under control through diet as much as possible, so I've spent a good portion of the week completely redoing my menu plan for the coming months and redoing shopping goals to accommodate things I need but to adhere to his new diet on top of that (in between everything else going brain is shot pretty much at this point).  I did that while worrying about how much the Urgent Care visit is going to cost us when that bill comes in, but I keep telling my husband it was definitely worth going (and I mean it!).

This was definitely a nerve wracking week when it came to worrying about the husband.  It has made me appreciate him all the more (and probably given me many more grey hairs from worry, but that's neither here nor there).

Then the son had his psychology appointment on Tuesday.  Luckily the doctor was completely on board with me increasing his Risperidone and basically said that we're going to max out the Risperidone and Clonodine as needed and THEN try something else when we had to as we know that those two drugs work and don't make him flip out.  I'm okay with this as we still have quite a ways we can go with Risperidone and Clonodine before we max those out.

Then the daughter started complaining last week that her retainer was bugging her when she'd put it in at night and I could tell it was paining her.  So, I managed to get her into the orthodontist this week and we ended up getting a new retainer as she outgrew her old one.

And then the husband got switched back to his old late night schedule, which threw the routine we'd gotten used to over the last months through a loop.  Between all of that and getting estimates for fixing the car...I'm exhausted and could use about a month off right about now.

I determinedly, though, fought to recover the week somewhat, so let's get to money saving things that happened this week.

1.  I ended up with the last loaf of Cuban bread sitting in the fridge this week and it was going stale (like bad), so I made a traditional bread pudding out of it and then made a quick sauce consisting of unsalted butter, some brown sugar and some brandy.  It came out great and the husband and I enjoyed eating small pieces of it throughout the week.  I even managed to use up some petrified raisins I had in the pudding, which gave it an extra dose of fiber and stopped me from having to throw out the raisins (as they were pretty hard when I used them).

2.  I found some grapes that I had had bought and had stuck into the back of the fridge absentmindedly.  Luckily, the grapes were still good, just drying out and turning into raisins slowly but surely, so we had them for dessert last night.

3.  I wanted to pick up some more unsalted butter for baking, especially when having to watch the salt content around here and managed to dig up a coupon for some butter.  Between it and a sale I managed to get a pound of unsalted butter for 3.00 and some change.  Considering that butter isn't on any super sales right now, I was happy with that.  I've got a LONG way to go on buying butter, but one pound ahead!  Baby steps.

4.   Shopping went well this week.  I managed to get some supplies to do some Spring cleaning next week (kids are off on Spring Break, so I figure that's a good time to do it ;) and while at the store I also got some freebies.

I had two Just4U freebies for yogurt, so I picked those up at the store when I went earlier in the week (seen above, which it's kind of neat getting all of this free yogurt as it's saved me from having to make some :) and then today I went back to the store to get a couple gallons of milk, a dozen eggs (on sale for 1.48 with a coupon) and some Monopoly freebies I won.

I got a free thing of spaghetti sauce and a free thing of gravy mix.  The man who was checking out in front of me asked me if I'd like his Monopoly coupons and I said sure.  Out of the like six tickets I got I managed to win two more things of gravy mix (which I'll probably roll over with the buy 2 get one free sale to get three of them for free).  I'm going to just start saving these and donate them to the food bank later in the year as I doubt I'll be able use to use these with the husband's low sodium diet.  The little cans of tomato sauce I'm actually falling in love with as the daughter LOVES spaghetti, but the husband can't have much tomato sauce with his acid reflux, so the little cans are the perfect size to make her a couple of containers of spaghetti during the week for school.  Since these are normally .45 each regular price, I'm seriously considering investing in plenty of them, depending how many we might win during the course of the Monopoly game.

5.  I went and checked the bank account (which I do obsessively) and found that Amazon had upped their monthly rate for Prime to 12.99 a month.  I talked to my husband and crunched the numbers and I figured if that if we paid for a year of Prime at once that we'd be saving nearly 60.00 from doing the month to month plan.  We both agreed it was worth it, so I switched the plan.  It smarted having to pay 99.00 out at one time, but would save us so much money in the long run, we decided to take the hit and deal with it.

6.  I ran out of dried dill this week and didn't really want to order it from Amazon as it wasn't overly cheap to get it through them.  I found a good sale on dill at Carrs so I got one there.

7.  I found I was low on lemon pepper and was worried about buying more (as all the lemon pepper I could find was NOT cheap) and while organizing my spice cabinet I found another container of lemon pepper I'd opened at some point, so yay for not having to invest in more right now!

8.  I found that the coffee I had bought from Amazon was REALLY weak when I brewed it and tasted kind of yucky as a result.  I looked at the grind and found that it was really coarsely ground, so I zoomed it through my coffee grinder until it was the consistency of espresso powder.  It tastes a lot better now and now I can use the coffee without dreading drinking it.

9.  I made a beef roast early in the week only to find that it had the consistency of shoe leather and was darned near inedible.  I tried slow cooking it for hours, but that didn't work (even when red wine was added!) , so I stuck it in the pressure cooker and cooked the crud out of it (as I was not going to be defeated!).  It worked, I made beof bourgignon for dinner and it made the beef last more than one painful meal.

10.  I went and priced out brooms at the stores as my broom is dying a slow death after a long, and hard, life (I sweep my carpet before vacuuming it with the son, or I'd constantly clog and kill vacuum cleaners).  I haven't found anything that works within my budget, so I'm just making my old broom work in the meantime.  I know a sale will come along eventually and I'll be able to replace the broom and in the meantime it works...kind of.

And there you go folks.  My week in a nutshell.  How did your week go?  Please tell me it went better than ours.


  1. Oh geez!! I am SO , SO glad you guys wern't hurt more seriously. Save all your receipts, perhaps the other drivers insurance will cover your visits, your husband's urgent care, too. Your poor kids! What an ordeal. It's bad enough as an adult, but awful as a kid. Take lots of always get body aches after a wreck. Thank goodness your car wasn't more damaged.

    I too have a ton of petrified raisins, I discovered them waaay in the back. I remembered reading The Five Little Peppers waay back when, and they "plumped" some raisins they got, so I checked on google, you just put them in warm water for a few minutes and BAM! All plumped. I have a zillion more, but I plan to use them in bread a little at a time once I get time to make it.

    1. That book was the one book my grandma read to us kids--several times during our childhood. I have many fond memories of it. Those Little Peppers were so poor, they had to re-use basting thread! But, from a child's perspective, they were always having a great time with each other.

  2. I think my week may have been better although I feel like I was hit by a truck. My husband is out of town, and it snowed here. So, I shoveled. I just took two aleeve with dinner.
    Happy to hear everyone is fine and the medicine can be adjusted! That must be a relief!

  3. So sorry you had such a rough week - but so glad that no one was too badly hurt. Since it wasn't your fault can you not speak with a lawyer and recoup out of pocket expenses like your husband's trip to the doctor? Stress can definitely affect BP - my doctor laughed when he read my stress machine report - work definitely caused it to rise noticeably throughout the day and go back to normal once I was home. I hope the meds do the trick - and just in case (although you probably already know) it's not so much the tiny bit of salt you may add when cooking a meal but rather the salt in processed & canned foods - even foods we assume would be salt free - it's shocking really.

  4. I second Sarah's comment about checking the insurance to pay for your medical expenses. I was in a car accident a few years ago and not at fault. The other person's insurance covered all the medical visits.

    Our week was decent, which is good because the last 6 have been horrible. I'm trying to decide what to post about on my blog, but let's just say I was VERY happy to see the backside of February.

    Long distance hugs and I hope things look up soon!

  5. I am so thankful that you and your family are okay, is obviously shook up after the accident. I think you pulled it together pretty well with the week you have had. You may not be Supermom, but wow, you're good at what you do! Praying for you.

  6. Do you have rental car coverage on your auto insurance? Or would the other party's insurance possibly cover it?

  7. I work for a physical therapist who treats car accident victims. Forgive my unsolicited advice, but you should open a claim for the accident and then get a complete exam by a physician (your daughter too). You may not have issues right now, but they can certainly arise at a later time and cause more problems. You need to protect yourself, and this is why everyone has car insurance.

    In addition, your health insurance will refuse to pay for any treatment related to the car accident. This is serious stuff, so be careful how you proceed. Our office has dealt with many, many of these situations. In our state, car insurance covers $10,000 worth of medical bills for related injuries over three years.

    Hope that's helpful.

    - Tina

  8. The other driver’s insurance should pay for a rental while you get your car repaired. I agree about the medical stuff that others mentioned. I am glad you guys are ok!

  9. Glad you are all okay. God is good.

  10. You need to be careful after that accident. I am sure it shook you up a bit. So glad no one was hurt.

  11. I second all the other comments- I don’t know your state laws but your insurance and especially the other driver, who was at fault, insurance should cover the medical, the repairs, a rental car and maybe something for your pain and suffering.
    I am so sorry about the pain and anxiety, I know how real it is. We had a car turn in front of us. Our car ended up totaled and i got an acutly bruised sternum, which meant it hurt to move my arms and breath for 6 weeks. Like you, i was also worried about the finance parts. But in the end, we actually came out ahead financially.
    I know how awful this all is and I hope it is settled soon.

  12. Erica, my husbands grandma always insisted that she sweep her carpet before vacuuming. She had what she called a carpet rake. It had little rubberized grabbers on it. Not sure if it has an actual name or not. It really did seem like it worked well. Just a suggestion that might make your life easier! Good luck!

  13. I was going to say also that the other drivers insurance should cover any of the DR bills since the accident. I'm glad you all are okay.

  14. Erika - I find that HOW you view things makes all the difference. You were in an accident but no one was hurt and the damage to your vehicle appears to be minor. Your husband has high BP but it seems that it got caught early and is easily managed with diet, exercise and medication. Your husband's work shift got changed but he has steady, reliable work. Your son's meds need adjusting but he has insurance and the meds he has been taking can be adjusted upward without having to try something new. You have food to eat and a roof over your head. Happiness is a choice, most of us choose to focus on the negative and add to our own stress. Choose happiness and gratitude.

    1. Exactly :). Thanks! I’m just tired as it was a lot going on in one week. Hopefully this next week goes less hectic!

  15. It is amazing how just a moment can change everything. So glad that you are al ok.
    Hidden treasure are always a great gift to our food budgets. Love it when you can find what you need hidden away or cheaply at the store.
    Take care and blessings.

  16. Good idea with the small sauce cans! I usually pour the leftovers from the .88 in silcone muffin molds and freeze to make sauce pucks for the kids. Tomato sauce gives me wicked heartburn so I feel for hubby..oj, tomato sauce and cinnamon are no goes for me..

  17. I'm very thankful that you are all ok. It's always a bummer when a car gets in a wreck, even when no one is seriously hurt because you have to get it fixed, go without it for a while, etc. I know you will get through it, and I can tell you have a good attitude, but it's still a big deal to add it to all the other things you have on your plate. So, I wish you the best as you deal with all the details. Hang in there!

    I had a great deal show up on my "Just For U" this week--so good I really questioned if it was a mistake. The 150 oz laundry soap I usually buy was $4.75. I have paid between $12 and $15 for the same soap many, many times. I had the cashier double check for me, and when it was actually correct, I bought 4 containers. So, I'm set for a while!