Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

I almost didn't do this post and just went for a two week recap this Friday, but have been wanting to get this post done for days, so I knew by the end of the week the lack of posting would drive me nuts *laugh*.

The last week has been crazy busy.  My life has revolved around the kids schedules the last little bit between swimming lessons, violin lessons (while Alvah is at therapy one day every two weeks my sister-in-law is being nice enough to teach Armina the basics of violin so she has a step up when orchestra starts in the fall.  So far, Armina is doing awesome), therapy and summer school.  While home I've been burning the candle at both ends and then snapping the candle in half to get a couple of more ends in play so I can get cleaning and organizing done around the house as well as all the stuff that normally has to be done (dishes, laundry, me running around constantly with a vacuum cleaner).  I've honestly lost track of days a couple of times (thank goodness for cell phone alarms to remind me).

So, yeah, since it's nearly midnight and then I'd be posting this sucker on Wednesday (ouch) let's get to the money saving things, minimal though they are, that happened last week.

1.  We were blessed with enough money to fix the truck, so I'm mobile again (yay!).  My husband called around, got the best deal on an alternator he could find and installed it himself, which definitely saved us money.  I'm so grateful that my husband has been able to fix so much that has broken around here.  I sincerely doubt we would have had the money to hire someone else to fix things, so having a man with skills is worth its weight in gold!

2.  Shopping was decently big due to going pretty much two weeks in between shopping trips (at least major ones) this summer.  I've had to raise my grocery budget, despite not really being able to afford to do so, just because the kids are BLOWING through food of late and with Alvah's diet...well blowing through that type of food costs a small fortune unfortunately.  I did get him to smell a strawberry the other night, which impressed me as that was the first time he'd EVER shown interest in strawberries before, and I got him to lick a crinkle cut french fry (NOT his chosen shape, so him licking it was a huge deal for him).  Progress is slow, and small, but very much appreciated around here :).

Highlights of the shopping trip would definitely have to be cheap fish!  Carrs was having a big seafood sale last week, so I stopped off to see what was on sale other than king crab legs and lobster tails (the two things they focused on in their ad, of course).  I found that they had some of my favorite frozen fish on sale (the pollock is a great bargain there) and that they had other kinds all on sale for about 3.00 per bag (or 3.00 per lb really).  I grabbed three bags.  The pollock I used to make fish and chips for Father's Day (the husband enjoyed it :) and the other two I put in the freezer for cheap meals later on.

I also found that they had Langer's frozen juice concentrate on sale for 1.25 per container, which was CHEAP (that stuff normally runs at over 3.00 per container and if you are lucky it goes on sale for about 2.50).  I grabbed some of that to drink with breakfast around here and also grabbed some pink lemonade mix (I had a personalized price of 1.25 per container of that brand last week).  A shot of the fish and juice concentrates can be seen above there.

3.  I got my coupon in the mail for a free 8 pack of Arrowhead sparkling water, so I redeemed that this week (seen up top).  My daughter doesn't like it because it's too "weak tasting" so I've been throwing in an envelope of Crystal Light grape flavor into the ones she's drinking...not what I was hoping for, but it's getting drank that way.  I've been drinking them without anything added to them.  I don't think the water is bad.  Overpriced for what you get (at nearly 7.00 per 8 pack normally), but not bad.

4.  I got a bunch of free magazine subscriptions in this week.  Getting a free subscription to "Taste of Home" a while back still counts as one of my favorite subscriptions ever.  I get all excited when it comes in the mail *laugh*.

5.   I got to give my daughter something totally free, but priceless this summer.  My time.  When you have a special needs child, any parent will tell you that time becomes way more than a priceless commodity.  Since my husband works the grave shift, my daughter and I sit on my bed and watch the smart TV in my bedroom, after my husband leaves for work and my son is fast asleep, for a little bit.  It has led to some really nice conversations and just some one on one time with her, which is priceless to me and I'm sure to her as well.  And it's fun for my daughter because she gets to pick the programming.

6.  I utilized Pinterest a lot the last little bit to find new recipes and things to try.   It really does help to get me inspired on the menu plan when I have a BASIC idea of what I need to use up (like, say, chicken), but am not sure what to make.

7.  I went through my freezers, figured out what things I needed to use up, and worked out menus accordingly.   It feels good to use things up and not waste anything.

8.  I realized that my husband wasn't going to have time to change out the brush on my vacuum cleaner, so I sat down with my non-mechanically inclined self, and figured it out.  I got the brush changed out and the vacuum works a LOT better now.  Woohoo!

9.  I deep cleaned a bunch of stuff this week and while doing so looked at the curtains in my bedroom and realized that they are so old (they look like they came out of some 80's hotel...I wish I was kidding) that they are developing holes in them.  I made the kids new curtains for their rooms when their curtains got that bad, so I added a goal to my list of looking through my fabric and things and seeing if there is anything I have that I can make curtains out of.  The windows in my house are all odd sizes, so buying curtains would cost a fortune, so making new curtains is the only way forward I can see at this point.  We'll see what I come up with.  I might have to look at the used stores for material here as I'm not sure I have any fabric big enough, but I'll have to see what I can find.

And, yeah, everything I'm doing around here organizing-wise is kind of in transition at the moment, but I'll share more as I get where I can call my multiple projects "done" or "nearly done".

How did you do last week?  Well I hope?


  1. Nice to year that you were able to fix your truck. Vehicles can be so costly - well anything that breaks down can be, so I agree with you that having a handy husband is a bonus! I'll give a nod to my hubby too because he has saved us a bundle over the years with what he's been able to repair or build.

    The flavoured water that you got is similar to a brand here in Canada. They have Grape-Cranberry, Raspberry, Lemon-Lime and Orange. Although I don't purposely buy them, we have some friends that do give us these flavoured waters because they work at the water bottling plant and are privy to employee pricing, so they're kind enough to share with us. Although I enjoy most of the flavours, the grape is not my favourite, but I do as you do and add Crystal Light to make it more palatable. We particularly enjoy adding Crystal Light Lemon-Lime flavouring to the grape. Try it one day. Perhaps you'll be happy with the results too.

    And funny enough, I also came across a deal on fish as well. What was on sale here was basa fillets and shrimp. The basa is very mild tasting (we don't like strong tasting fish), so I bought quite a few packets for freezing as well as a single pouch of shrimp. And since I was craving fish tacos, I decided to invite some friends over for Friday dinner featuring a "Taco Bar" using the Basa, the shrimp and some traditional ground beef as the choices for those who aren't keen on seafood. I can't wait!!

    Enjoying time with your kids is priceless. It's wonderful that you have that mother-daughter time with her. I can say with experience, that time flies by so fast that you wonder where the time has gone. My girls are now, 20, 19 and 14 and I miss those days when they weren't so busy where we spent lots of time together. Now, work, school and social life for the older two get in the way and any time together is the more precious. But we do have the memories, just as you're making with your kids.

    I've never received a free subscription to any magazine before, but I had prescribed to Taste of Home in the past and really enjoyed the recipes. They featured "everyday" fare with ingredients I could easily purchase without it costly me an arm and a leg. My kind of cooking.
    Happy reading - and happy cooking!

    Pat, Canada

  2. HI there! First time commenter- I use pinterest a lot of meal planning, but recently I've started using allrecipes.com instead- I find that the reviews and ratings are really helpful and make it less likely that you'll spend time (and money) on a dud.

  3. I love AllRecipes, too!

  4. Yay, so glad you were able to get the truck fixed. One less crisis to worry about!

  5. Sounds like a great week! Glad things are going well. As for licking a French fry I had to laugh but I get it. My son isn’t nearly as difficult with his food, he is actually really good except with fruit. I got him to try a grape the other day (he is 14 and use$ to like them years ago then stopped eating them) and now he likes them again. Yea! Some deep spring cleaning got no on here too like power washing rabbit cages, cleaning out the deep freeze...

  6. Hooray for fix it husbands- and for you! Awesome job on that vacuum cleaner. And I adore Pinterest. A few years ago, after a doctor appointment that scared me, I needed to make some changes to my diet. Friends of mine had started talking about Pinterest, so I signed up and started making boards for things I *could* eat. It was an utter lifesaver to me at that time, and after a few months, my health issues resolved completely, so I'm a big fan. :)

  7. That is a great score on the fish. Glad your son is considering new foods. I was sick most of last week but the kids and Hubby kept the house going. My list is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/06/my-frugal-list-week-of-june-18-2018.html