Monday, April 30, 2018

Frugal Week in Review

A shot of what my laptop tried to do to me above.

Ugh!!!!  Sorry about the last "post" that happened.  My computer decided to make itself apart of the great "Breakening" around here and kicked the high hard one while I was trying to get some type of posting done.  It crashed and anytime I would try to open a program the program would crash before it would actually open all the way, system restore didn't work, etc etc.  I just felt lucky that I was able to back door in through the entrance menu thingie and back up the pictures of my kids I'd saved on my hard drive before I had to completely wipe the thing clean.  I couldn't get blogger to work on my tablet to let people know what was going on and I've spent all today trying to get my laptop to come back from the dead.  Luckily, Lazarus is revived...kind of.  I had to reformat the computer with bare bones software to fix the problems and I'm still running into tons of glitches, so I'm not really sure how long this thing is going to live or not.  Needless to say...I have a headache tonight.

Unfortunately that's what happens when you are using a 10 year old computer these days.  I did a lot of this today I have to admit...
Anyway to all those who probably wrote "Hey, I don't see anything" on my last post...yup, totally aware, it wasn't intentional and I am developing a real love-hate (going more toward the hate end of the spectrum) relationship with my computer right about now.

So, anyway, back to our regularly scheduled post.

I have no idea what I wrote last time, honestly, as my computer was running so slow and making word salad out of so much, I plain didn't want to try and read the post to see if it was even legible, so let's just start over again!

I spent last week not feeling great (and today started off REALLY well for the start of a new week) and so I didn't get much done other than not feeling great, but I did get a few money saving things done, so let's get to those (I PRAY my photos transferred from my external hard drive okay.  If not and this post cuts off in the middle it's because I lost it and tossed my computer out of a second story window).

1.  Shopping went okay last week for the most part.  I went minimal on what was bought as money was super tight (actually kind of scary tight by the end of it) and so I spent a whopping 24.00 on groceries last week.  I shopped at Fred Meyer this week and also stopped in later at Carrs and grabbed soda for the son unit (2.50 per 12 pack as part of 5.00 Friday) and some dish soap.  The shopping trip to Fred Meyer is seen above there.  So let's break it down.

The seed packets were free as part of the freebie Friday giveaways.  My friend gave me her free seeds, which was awesome, so I got a perpetual spinach (actually a type of fast and densely growing chard) and some lettuce seeds to plant.  I have to admit I was super excited for free seeds as now I have something to grow in the garden this year :).

Tic Tac gum, another freebie Friday score.

Kettle Chips.  Freebie Friday again.

A friend sent me some coupons out of the blue for some free Revolution meal kits, so I got those while I was there (with a very grateful heart) and she also sent me a coupon for a free Oreo chocolate bar, so I got that while I was there as well.

The watermelon was on sale for 2.50, so I grabbed it and we had it for dessert a couple of nights.

Fred Meyer was also having a "buy 5 products and you save so much" type of sale.  I didn't realize it was 5 of certain marked products throughout the store that you could mix and match, but I saw if you bought 5 containers of Stayfree pads you would get them for 1.99 each and I had a 2.00/2 coupon loaded onto my rewards card for the pads.  So, all totaled I got 5 packages of pads for 8.00, which was awesome because I needed them.

The generic Zyrtec was part of the "buy 5 products" sale and I didn't realize it, so I got it for 6.49 on the sale.  I honestly would have picked up two if I had known they would be that cheap, but ah well.

As mentioned above I stopped at Carrs on Friday and got some generic soda to see my son through the next little bit and I also got some dish soap.  I managed to get dish soap for 1.65, which was a GREAT deal as I like the all natural "green" dish soap that Carrs/Safeway sells and it's usually 3.00+ per bottle (I've found if you use an all natural soap that things like sponges don't stink even after you wash them in the laundry and things).  I had a personalized price on the dish soap and was able to stack a 1.50/1 E-Coupon with it to get it at that price.

2.  I mended a pair of my husband's jeans.

3.  I stopped by the used store in the hopes of finding some small cookie cutters and found some to get me through until I can order some plastic ones (I do not trust the rusting capabilities of these anymore *laugh*.  I am looking forward to being able to make animal cookies later this week, anyway :).  All totaled I spent .50 on the baggie of different little cookie cutters.

4.  My mother-in-law gifted us some small Swiss Colony mustards that she and my father-in-law didn't have any desire to try.  I put them aside as the small containers (they are teeny) will be the perfect amount to use as "fancy" dipping sauce for chicken strips one night or they could be used in tiny amounts in chicken wraps or something :).

5.  My husband changed over the tires on our truck by himself (which required him to install a new receptacle and things over at my father-in-laws to get done) and balanced them, saving us 54.00 from getting it done at the tire shop (not to mention a four hour wait).

6.  My husband found two summer tires for the car that would work through the summer and instead of buying four new tires for the car, bought two and we'll get the other two new tires next year, saving us 200.00 or more this year (pray the tires last through the summer).

7.  When I was tempted to have us eat out because I wasn't feeling well, I instead popped a few frozen pizzas in the oven and threw some toppings from the pantry and freezer on top.  It worked and saved us from having to eat out.

8.  I got a free pad of paper from a non-profit organization trying to solicit donations.  I was happy with the pad of paper as it fit perfectly in my desk drawers.  I took a picture of it with the free pen I got from...I can't remember exactly when it was some type of thing where you had to go and sit through a presentation and you got a free MP3 player and a free dinner for online marketing stuff.  I ended up knowing too much about how websites worked and gave the people there a bunch of information for free while the guy was giving them his "5000.00 a month or you'll never be successful" sales pitch.  The dinner was sandwiches that the hotel provided that weren't that great, the mp3 player barely had memory in it and was some cheapie Chinese deal, but the pens they put at the tables were nice, so I grabbed mine (probably not part of the giveaways come to think of it *laugh*).  It's a nice pen, anyway.

9.  I think I finally found a speech therapist for Alvah!  I was thrilled when I found out that there was an outfit that had opened up in town that was geared specifically toward autistic children, so I called and they had openings!  We go in Wednesday for a speech therapy eval.  Only thing that makes me nervous is that the woman running the outfit is my son's speech therapy teacher from last year at school and she was ALWAYS calling in sick to school (thus leading to a really erratic schedule), so I'm worried about how this is going to work out, but I'm hoping it all goes okay.

10.  I repaired my son's chair when he managed to break it, again.  This time the clip that the cushion spring sat in bent and popped out.  I bent the piece with some lineman's pliers from my tool bag and managed to push the bracket back into place (there was no hammering that thing into place without tearing the entire chair apart).  Here's hoping it stays put for a while as the son is HARD on his chairs (the glider rocker is really on its last legs anymore after the son has abused it tons so I'm not sure if that's going to last very much longer).

And there you go folks.  My frugal adventures for last week, again, kinda *laugh*.  How did your week go?  I hope things aren't breaking on you like they are on me (heck even my cell phone case that is what, less than six months old or so, split down the back on me last week...this is not a fun time).


  1. Wow, seriously Erika, you need a break from all the breaking! Sheesh.

    I'm so glad your shopping went so well - I'm always a little appalled at how expensive feminine products are (people *need* them so...), you managed a great score! And it's fantastic that your husband was able to find a way to handle the tires too. We need new tires for the van and that's another one that I always cringe at the cost. I wish my husband would try some of those things himself, though maybe it's better he doesn't!

    I hope everyone is feeling better and things stop falling apart at your house.

    I live in a state that supplies things like speech therapy for children who need it (usually through the school district but year round). It just blows my mind that you need to handle all that yourself and deal with insurance on top of it all.

    Prayers and hoping for a better week for your family,

    1. Alvah is supplied speech through school, as well as occupational therapy, but he only gets the consistency of one hour a week in hours for both and that time tends to be split up. He is in a communication based ABA program at school as well. I just keep trying to get an independent, outside of school, speech therapist for him to hopefully help him to communicate better and, more importantly, get him speech therapy during summer break as he loses skills during the summer.

    2. AH! Got it! Thanks for clarifying.

      I know each state has very different programs, etc. so I was thinking that all of his speech therapy was on you. So glad it's not!

      I'm still surprised that he doesn't do year-round school - many of our DD students do here (I know of none that don't actually). I realize every state is different though.


    3. I wish we had year long school here for DD kids. That would be great! We have ESY (extended school year) but it is only for a month in the middle of summer, three days a week and for a half school day. It works to help keep SOME skills over summer, it still results in loss of some too.

  2. I know the feeling of wanting to toss the computer out of the window. Once I was at an all night McDonald's in a truckstop, trying to get some last minute internet work done. My laptop began giving me grief, and I became so frustrated I grabbed the screen and tried to 'strangle' it. I looked up to see folks looking at me weird. So yeah, I relate! Hope the new speech therapy program works out for Alvah, and happy you seem to be feeling better.

  3. Sorry about the rough weeks you’ve been having. It seems, when it rains, it pours. So happy you found a therapist, though! That’s huge!
    We had car issues the past few weeks. Mine, alone, was 1300.00. My husband is waiting on a part for his. It could be another doozy. Talk about throwing something out the window! Blah!
    I hope the next weeks are so much better for you!

  4. I am so sorry your computer went bonkers. That's the worst for me because I have no knowledge in that area, so I'm at the mercy of others to fix it. At least you figured out how to fix yours!

    Our Friday Freebie was Miracle Grow and taco seasoning mix. You got seeds. Lucky you:). They were out of the fertilizer anyway. But, I took my autistic niece there when I was trying to get the stuff, so she could go on an outing, and the Whoo-Hoo rack had nice things. She was more than delighted to get a banged up box of Honey Nut Cheerios and a squashed box of Kettle corn to pop. Her eating choices are pretty narrow, so I was happy she found things she wanted to eat. I got a few things, too, so the trip wan't a complete bust.

    At Safeway's, we've been redeeming our Monopoly coupons. I needed nice fresh fruit over the weekend for a brunch I was helping cook for, so I went there and bought that, plus whatever else I needed. The cashier gave me extra tickets, as the game is almost over. We actually won several items, including tomato sauce. Then, when my husband redeemed them, we won a few more items, plus found a few my daughter had squirreled away in plain sight, so I redeemed them yesterday. Yesterday, the cashier also gave me extra tickets, although the one who waited on my husband did not. So, I now have a few more items to go get. Since I won 2 more gravy mixes, I though of you, who now has at least 10 I think. I will donate mine once I get them, as I am gluten-free and they are not. I'm still grateful because I can put them to good use.

    My niece put the free donut to good use:). We are really trying to keep thinking of ways she can get out and learn skills, while staying as happy as possible. If all it takes is a donut, some Cheerios and popcorn, I consider myself a success who got off pretty easily.

    Do you have the PSW (Personal support worker) program through DD services there in Alaska? It might be worth checking out for your son, because when I am working with her, I am paid through the DD Service department. You might be able to get some help with him. You can even be there while the person is helping him, and you can hire a trusted friend or family member to help him. Just a thought, but another set of hands might be helpful to you at times, even just to watch him while you are getting other things done. I also help my niece clean her room (I do a lot of it, but engage her when I can), help her put a load of laundry on, "help" my nephew do dishes (I do them for the most part, but he squirts them with water and hands them to me to put in the dishwasher), and so forth, but it all helps their mom and dad out with the extra work that is involved with their special needs kids, and teaches them a few skills. They are assigned a DD caseworker, and are given a certain number of hours per month that can be billed, and so forth. That's how it works here in Oregon, anyway. They get more hours during the summer when not in school, and less during the school year. My sister has 3 PSW's for my nephew, and 3 for my niece. We all work part time, each taking the times we can and are needed for.

  5. Sorry about your computer. I am very lucky that Hubby does IT. We always seem to have someone's broken computer in the house needing his attention. He just finished fixing his brothers yesterday.
    I had a very busy week since I work at the movies and the new Avengers movie came out. My list is here:

  6. Oh man! I feel for you with one thing after the other breaking. I wouldn't know the first thing about fixing a computer, so good for you!! You ARE multi-talented.

    There must also be a demon out there breaking people's cars this past week, because both mine and my husband's cars had sudden problems. My brake pads needed to be replaced and his alternator needed replacing as well. The hubby is by no means a mechanic...but he has a friend who is. Thank God for good friends because not only did he fix the cars, but he also taught my husband how to repair both as well. He saved us a huge bundle in parts and labour. We are very grateful for his help!

    As usual since the beginning of the year, I really didn't get any deals on groceries because instead of stocking up, I have been purposely living off of our pantry and frozen food stores. Last week I wrote about using up my home-canned crabapples by turning it into "applesauce". This week I took it one step further by turning that "applesauce" into apple butter. So I made date squares but replaced the dates with this apple butter; and made thumbprint cookies but replaced the jam with the apple butter as well. Both recipes turned out great so I was happy about finding a new way to use up something that my family didn't really enjoy in its original state.

    These have been some of my frugal deals. I'm looking forward to reading about other people's frugal accomplishments too.