Sunday, August 12, 2018

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

This whole, "getting the kids up to get ready for back to school" might not be wearing on the kids much, but BOY is it killing me!  Between the daughter finding it possible to stay up late no matter what you do and a son who refuses to sleep all through the brain is officially jello.

This week was kind of crazy on the shopping front.  I had to go to the store Friday to pick up the son's medications before they ran out and while there I wanted to pick up some stuff that was on 5.00 Friday as the deals I wanted to get for back to school were good deals.  When we get paid this coming week I'm going to have to figure out a way to get as much from the budget as possible to get the daughter an alarm clock for her room (her request...kind of shocked me when she asked, honestly, as she HATES getting up in the morning) and any possible school supplies she might need.  We were going off of the school supply list that they had posted online for her school per grade, which was ridiculous (I mean 96 pencils per student per year?  That's nuts!), but after talking to the front office and getting no answers on why we had to do general school supplies when my daughter was going to have 7 different teachers this year and no answers on even where to drop off said school supplies...yeah we are going back to just supplying her with what she needs when she needs it and to heck with it.  So we'll see how the open house goes early this week and at that point I can figure out if we need anything and get in contact with a friend of mine as she offered me some school supplies if we needed them (hopefully we won't need them, but we shall see :).  Anyway, after we get paid I also have to pick up some things for school this week for the kid's lunches and things, so hopefully we'll still have a few dollars left in the bank after that.  Fingers crossed. Anyway, then we went back Saturday to get Benadryl for the kids and get a few freebies. It was kind of a "doh" type of additional trip, but I guess that happens.

When it comes to what else I did this week, well, I did get quite a bit done around here along with the ever present cleaning, so let's get to that!

1.  I finally gave up on getting the Lazy Susan cabinet in the kitchen repaired.  I was going to take the shelf completely apart and see if there was a way to repair the shelf myself (seeing how it has been MONTHS since I was trying to get the thing fixed and haven't been able to use it for much at all since, seeing as how it was taken about 3/4 of the way apart), but then found when messing around with it that the bottom shelf, on top of the top shelf, was also cracked, not as badly, but at that point I gave up, put the shelf back together (which is a LOT harder than taking one of those things apart as getting everything aligned and balanced right so the cabinet worked was actually a lot harder than I had planned, but I got there) and tried to figure out what to do with it.  The bright side to it taking so long before I got fed up and just figured out a way around the situation is that I haven't used the cabinet for food items in months and had learned to live without it, so when I realized that putting food back onto the shelf wasn't going to work (too much uneven distribution of weight was just going to make the problem worse), I decided to think about alternative uses for the shelf.
I finally, after a lot of thought, turned it into an appliance cabinet.  I've been wanting to put my appliances somewhere that wasn't the hallway closet for a long time, as I want the hallway closet to become more about food items for school lunches and snacks and things like tablecloths and things (tablecloths and dishtowels and things I hope to someday move to the china cabinet with the other linens, when I can get that all rearranged).

I figured an appliance cabinet would work well for the cabinet as this way I have easy access to my most used appliances, and I could stick the lightweight ones on the top shelf (as that's where the biggest crack in the shelving is) and then put the heavier items on the bottom where the weight would be a bit heavy, but more evenly dispersed than if I stacked food items on the shelf.

So far it works well and I haven't noticed any further cracking, so we'll see how it holds up.  The only appliances I couldn't fit in the cabinet were my waffle iron (too tall) and the ice cream maker (which the majority of that stays in the freezer anyway, so not a big deal).  So, overall I'd call it a success, for now.

2.  Shopping went for as little as I could get it to go for this week.  We basically bought the minimum of "boy food" so Alvah didn't starve, and I got a 24 pack of bottled water.  I have a personalized price of 2.45 on the bottled water this week and want to pick up more when we get paid as well.  Not only is getting water this way and then just getting some "to go" mixes to make flavored drinks for the daughter cheaper, but this way we have some back up water to drink if the power goes out.

I also got some more free meat!  I actually found two more coupons for free meat on Just4U (check under the meat category and you might be surprised by some of these coupons yourself).  They were out of the "dinner sausages" (basically doctored up hot dog flavors), but I did manage to get breakfast sausage with bacon added in.

So far I have tried the free hamburger (which contained a lot of fat and the hamburgers I made became mini-burgers by the end, but it tasted okay) and the ground turkey and chicken combo (which tasted like black pepper or something and we weren't impressed with the meatloaf it made), so we'll see how the rest of these products shape up.  Would I spend 7.00 per pound on this stuff so far?  Um, no.  But hey, for free I'll take it :).

I used the overage from the sausage (1.00) toward a box of chewable Benadryl for the kids as their allergies have been awful this summer, so it worked out well.

3.  I ran out of coffee filters this week.  I actually have some on order with my Amazon order that is set to come in this week, so I tried to figure out how to last a week without coffee filters (I have a permanent one, but it stinks and if I have too much sediment in my cup of coffee from the coffee grounds it flares my stomach condition up, so I like to have the permanent filter backed up by another filter to make sure all of the sediment gets filtered out) and decided to go back to my college days when my boss would forget to pick up coffee filters for the commuter center and my friend Dave and I would be working and trying to figure out how to keep our fellow zombies with too little sleep who needed to drive home or get to class, caffeinated.  We used to use a paper bowl with a bunch of holes punched in the bottom of it along with a couple of layers of paper towels to line it with.  It would work alright, so I figured I'd use paper towels for the paper filter part in my morning coffee.  It worked and will get me through till my Amazon order comes in, so that saved me 4.00 off of my grocery shopping for this week.

4.   I have a confession to make.  I've had a hallway table sitting in my Amazon cart "saved for later" (well actually two to three different tables) just as kind of a day dreaming type of thing for a long time.  The idea was to put a table in this corner of my stairway landing to get my vase off of the floor as I thought it would look so much nicer.  Well, I stood on the stool in my laundry room (which we've had since forever and has gone from room to room to room over the years) and noticed it was wobbly, so I thought it might need tightening up.  I flipped it over only to find that one of the major supports for the stool was cracked from all of the use it has had over the years.   I could have just kept using it and hoping that it wouldn't get worse, but instead I decided to retire it.  Instead of throwing it away I put it up on the landing and put the vase on top of it.  It looks nicer than the photo shows.  I'm hoping to put a doily under the vase to cover the carry hole in the stool and see how it looks then.  It's not a hallway table, but it's free and stops me from having to throw something away that can still have some use left in it.  Works for me.

5.  A long, long time ago, my husband's grandfather gifted me a cloth print that his wife had kept a hold of for years and had always wanted to do something with.  Before she died she requested that he give it to my husband and I as she knew that I enjoyed cooking (I didn't know her for very long, but she taught me a lot about cooking in that time) and my husband likes Scottish things.  I have stored and protected the print ever since, but really didn't know what to do with it as it was big and very very plaid, so I wasn't sure where to hang it (or how) and so forth.

Well, this week I decided to say "to heck with it" and just put it in a frame and hang it in Molly and Skip's memories.  And oddly enough, the yellow plaid doesn't really look that bad with the rest of the decor, so I was happy.  To hang it I decided to retire the poster I had from Alton Brown's book "Good Eats:  The Early Years" which I've had hanging in my kitchen for...well as long as I owned the book when it first came out in print, so a long time *laugh*.  I moved the Good Eats poster to the back of the frame so it'll still be nice and straight and protected and then mounted the Scottish print in front of it (with the poster frame inserts flipped over so it gives you a nice white frame around the print you are mounting).  And voila!  A new piece of home decor with some family history attached to it.

6.  An online photo storage and photo gift outfit, Snapfish, e-mailed me and told me that they had some of my photos stored on their site and to keep my account open I would need to make one order per year.  To help me put in my one yearly order they gave me 10 free prints with free shipping.  I was worried about it, as I had no idea how many photos they had of mine as I haven't made an order with them in a long, long time (turns out 10 years in fact when I went to their site).  I was worried I would have a ton of photos and was worried about losing pictures of the kids (as I have already lost an SD card for a camera before and lost about 14 photos) so I went to put in my free order immediately.  Turns out I had exactly 8 photos on their site (which some of the photos were indeed a few of the photos I'd lost on my SD card when it died, so I was super thrilled to find them on Snapfish) , so I just ordered duplicates of a couple (that I'll send to my mom as part of her photo packet at Christmas) of them and voila!  Ten prints are headed my way for free.  I was happy about that.

7.  I went and had some fun looking up meal prep ideas on Pinterest to make some nice lunches for the husband and daughter.  I even found some fun lunch box themes for Christmas and Halloween and things (I'm getting way too excited about the idea of cutting shapes out of cheese again *laugh*).  I have a lot of materials to make Bento box cute lunch box ideas as when my daughter got diagnosed with her stomach condition and lots of allergies, I tried to make her lunches more exciting and cut with Bento.  It failed miserably with her as she just wanted kid kibble types of foods and  just rebelled at the idea of my home made jello from pure fruit juice and things, but I didn't get rid of the materials, just put them away and figured she might be more open to me cutting veggies and fruits into flowers someday, so she's totally getting suckered into dealing with it more this year ;).  My "plan" (if it can be called that) is to hopefully get meal prep done as much as I can on Sunday for the week so that I'm not waking up at 5:00 in the morning like a zombie and trying to put lunches together or the family will be eating goodness knows what during the week (I am NOT a morning person, despite what my son has tried to turn me into over the years).

8.  There were a couple of offers that were offered to me in my e-mail or online that looked like great deals until the shipping came into play (both deals I was thinking about getting promised me free shipping on the items even).  Instead of purchasing the "deals" anyway, I just walked away.  I figure free shipping is either free or I don't have to buy the item.  I don't like to be misled and I sure can't afford to pay more than they are saying it will cost in the e-mail.

9.  My son's teacher was nice enough to e-mail everyone an amended school supply list for my son's ABA classroom.  I still don't have all of the items she is asking for (paper plates, plastic cups and things aren't really in the budget right now), but I know she'll be okay with me bringing in what I have and I'll provide more throughout the year to help out.

10.  When we found out my daughter's open house for her new school was going to be at the same time she was supposed to have one of her last swimming classes, I asked her swimming instructor if she could swim during my son's class instead (which is two hours later than hers is).  She was more than happy to do that for us and my husband to help her out will get into the pool and help instruct the kids as well (he was a lifeguard in high school and can still swim like a fish).  My husband has been able to swim with the kids one week (as he was off and could get enough sleep to get into the pool with my daughter's class as well as my son's class) and with my son one week, so I'm happy that the kids are being able to spend good learning time with their dad during these swimming classes.  I owe my mother-in-law a lot for doing this for us as the kids have learned an awful lot this summer and it has allowed my husband to spend good quality time with the kids, which is something he really wanted to do this summer too.  Thank you, Stacey!

And there you go folks.  Some of our adventures this week.  Other than my husband's car getting possessed by a demon somewhere in the distributor cap (Garfield in Paradise reference for the curious) and then later just starting up like nothing had happened, after my nephews were nice enough to come help push the car out of the driveway where it was blocking us from going anywhere and back into the garage where it belonged (thanks guys!), it was an eventful, but quiet type of eventful week.

How about you?  How did your week go?


  1. I love your framed cloth print! I think it's really cute and I love that it has a story behind it. You're the master of decorating with what you have; you need to come dig through my house and help me out- I'm, uh, not a decorator. Like, at all.

    I'm having mixed feelings about school starting up again. It's my daughter's last year at home with me (she'll do preschool in a few weeks, but it's only 1.5 hours three days a week); she'll start kindergarten next year and that's feeling really bittersweet. My son will be a junior this year (!!!), and while I'll be happy that he'll be on more of a steady schedule, there's still all the homework and chaos that comes with the school year, so...Yeah. Mixed feelings. I'm taking it one moment at a time. :)

    1. Oh my gosh. The start of preschool. I was so traumatized with both kids I dropped them off, came home and just bawled. The son was especially hard as with his delays he started the day he turned three.

      I'm honestly not ready for my daughter to start junior high. She seems to be, but I'm not lol!

  2. You've been busy again! I love all the decorating you've been doing - it's really inspiring - thank you so much!

    How wonderful that your husband has been able to swim with the children! My husband's family are all swimmers and they love it. I'm content to watch.

    An alarm clock shouldn't be too much - we were able to get a couple of really nice battery operated ones from Target for about $8 each. It was SO worth it for the children being able to get themselves up and ready without me having to bother with all of it.

    Enjoy the start of school! I'm having a hard time believing that it's that time of year again (though we don't go back until the 4th of Sept here - we end the middle of June).


    1. I'll be sure to check Target for an alarm clock then. Thanks! I hate running from store to store wasting gas and not finding what I need :).

    2. Here's the one we bought - I don't have the complaint that several people have with the times not being backlit - my kids apparently don't check what time it is when they wake up in the middle of the night! :) There's other colors available too - we have a pink one (DD) and a teal one (DS).

      There's lots of others for under $15!
      Happy searching,