Saturday, December 29, 2018

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Once again, I'd like to just thank everyone for their support and help during this mess.  In the middle of a real hard time, I really do appreciate how blessed I am by your help and support.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

First, good news!  The son's Medicaid got turned back on!  Thank goodness!  My care coordinator was nice enough to stalk the state and make sure they knew that I needed to refill his medications, so they put a rush on the approval and got his insurance back where it should be.  Which is going to be a relief being able to tell his therapist that next week and was also a huge relief going and refilling his medications and not being out nearly 1000.00 to do it.

Christmas around here went.  That's about all I can say about it.  Christmas Eve the son was in a terrible mood and didn't want to do anything but throw a fit.  The aftershocks have made his moods worse, I've noticed.  Some aftershocks have been pretty bad, one a 4.9 the other morning that I heard coming a good ten seconds before it hit and scared the crap out of me and we've gotten ones definitely above a magnitude 3 the past few days following that (the seismologists comfort me in all of this, though, by assuring everyone that this is a completely normal aftershock pattern after a earthquake of the November 30th magnitude).   Bright side he seemed to snap out of it a bit and have a good day Christmas Day, so that was something.

The day after Christmas I went and took down all of the Christmas decorations, desperate to get life more back to "default normal" for the son's sake, and honestly I need the room that the decorations were taking up to organize the masses of mess I have yet to get through.  It's been like peeling an onion around here.  I get one pile of mess worked out, open a new cabinet or turn around and suddenly there's another pile of stuff to start to tackle.  Today I was working on getting the den mucked out and put up where it needed to be (a shot of said den in progress up top).  We've got another full load of stuff for the dump, so we'll have to go and do that later in the week.  It's been really hard going through and getting things sorted when you have a son running around destroying the parts of the house that you managed to get cleaned up and get put back together, but I AM getting there.  Slowly.  So, so slowly.  

I'm hoping to make a decent amount of progress in the den in the next couple of days.   But I also have my birthday coming up within the next couple of days as well, so I have to find time to make a cake for dessert as well and I'd like to find time to make another batch of cookies as the kids have helped my husband eat the Christmas cookies and they are almost gone.  So, we'll see how much I get done in the cleaning front.  Wish me luck on that.

And so, let's get onto the money saving things we did this week!

1.  We got our Shop Your Way points in for the month from Sears, so we pretty much ran down to Sears as soon as we got a moment to quickly use the points in case Sears ends up closing up at the end of the year.  I found that they had Land's End things on close out and it was all 70% off, so I was able to get the daughter a few pairs of leggings and the son a pair of elastic waistband pants for free with the points and I was able to get a few bras for free as well, which I desperately needed some new ones, so I was happy to get those.

2.  Years ago I signed up with Maker's Mark bourbon as a Maker's Mark Ambassador (I think you can still sign up on their site, but don't hold me to that).  It's actually been a really fun thing to be a part of, even though I don't really drink much at all.  I had forgotten to update my address with them when we moved here, so I thought about it one day and realized that I hadn't heard anything from them in years, so I went and updated my information a bit earlier in the year.  So, I was able to get in on their really neat Christmas gift that they send to their ambassadors every year.  I remember one year I got some ribbon and some wrapping paper for free from them and this year they sent me a nifty pair of free socks :).  

3.  I wanted to make bread to go with Christmas Day dinner, but my dough hook was bent in the quake (how, we have no idea as it's a pretty solid chunk of steel and it just baffles my husband as the bowl it was sitting in wasn't terribly bent, which you would think it would be with the hook getting bent as it was standing up vertical in said bowl).  I had tried to use it before and it had actually dented the inside of my mixer bowl.  I had stopped it in a panic as soon as it went nuts on the counter and hammered on the bowl and I realized how bad the bend in the hook must be for the balance of it running.  I tried to bend the hook back into true and got CLOSE, but couldn't get it straight, so I had my husband look at it.  The hook was still bent enough to totally throw the mixer off balance and you had to hold it or it would rock all over the counter., but it wasn't beating up the bowl anymore  My husband took the hook apart and then put it back together without doing anything else to it and got it to work to the point that I can put the mixer up to about 4 (out of 12 settings) before it starts to go off balance, so at least I can make bread with the hook for the time being if I watch it carefully and keep a hand on it, just in case.  

We looked at finding a replacement for the hook and quickly realized that we had a huge problem with my mixer in that there are NO parts for it available!  Viking just stopped making anything related to their small appliances when the plant that was making said appliances shut down and we didn't realize that aftermarket wouldn't pick up the slack and make parts for said appliances.  My husband and I talked about it and we both came to the conclusion that we're going to have to replace my mixer because if it can't be fixed it's only a matter of time before something major goes on it and we can't fix it, not to mention the dough hook being off.  I've tried kneading bread dough by hand a couple of times since I had the bicep tendinitis and the frozen shoulder and doing it by hand is just asking for pain, unfortunately and the bottom of my bread maker started leaking, so using that to pick up the slack isn't going to work.  So, I'm going to have to find money in our current razor thin budget to slowly save up to replace said mixer.  I'll still keep the Viking after I get a new mixer just because I have all the attachments for the Viking and that'll save me from having to purchase things like a pasta maker attachment for a Kitchen Aid and I'll just be able to pick up one attachment at a time as I can afford it.

So, yeah, depressing, but I at least got bread made, which definitely saved us some money from buying it at a bakery or something :).

4.  We went out for an early birthday dinner last night and used the two gift cards we had to Red Robin toward the dinner.  With the two gift cards combined (one only had a bit left on it) we were able to get dinner for 3.00 out of pocket.  And it was yummy and I didn't have to cook.  Always a nice treat :).

5.  We were able to get the kids some new bikes for Christmas.  We picked them up on sale from Wal-Mart, which was a LOT cheaper than what we were finding elsewhere and we purchased them with money my mom sent for Christmas for the kids for that purpose.  Now we just need to find some more adult sized training wheels for the son's bike somewhere and the kids will at least be able to practice bike riding this summer.

6.  I cleaned and oiled my sewing machine after I got done using it to make Christmas gifts, luckily being able to find my sewing machine oil to do so.  I've found a bit of regular maintenance will save you so many costly repairs in the long run on a ton of different things.

7.  I've started, finally, using the air fryer and I have to say I'm absolutely in love with it.  I love being able to cook just a few handfuls of fries for the son instead of having to preheat the oven and using an entire cookie sheet to make a few handfuls of fries and the air fryer makes really GOOD french fries!  I'm looking forward to trying it out on cooking other things.  I went onto Pinterest and a few other sites and started pinning and bookmarking recipes that I want to try out in the air fryer in the coming months.

8.  I took advantage of sales this week to get soda (for the son) on sale cheap and managed to get some hamburger and thin cut pork chops on sale for decently cheap and got some lamb chops super cheap on clearance.  I actually kept the pork chops and hamburger defrosted and am thinking of making it into different meals later in the coming days, thus saving me from having to defrost meat later on.  The lamb chops we're having for dinner tonight.

And, yeah, I'm going to call it good there.  The son is starting to throw a fit again, so I'm having a bit of a hard time thinking with the noise.  I hope you all had a good week!


  1. Happy birthday! I don't have a dough hook for my mixer, but I have an old bread machine that has a dough cycle on it. Works great!
    Good luck with your clean up; slow and steady wins the race!

  2. A friend told me she made pork chops in her air fryer and they were delicious. I've been wanting to buy one for home.

  3. What about a bread machine? I got a good one on amazon for around 50, less I think and it does just dough, or bakes it for me. Always been a great loaf, though I don't use it as often as I ought.

  4. Happy birthday. May your new year be a good one, and I am hoping all things turn around for you.
    God bless. HAPPY NEW YEAR

  5. I am sorry you are still suffering aftershocks. My goodness I hope the new year is better for you.

  6. I recently found your blog and am enjoying it. How awful that you keep having aftershocks. We heard about the quake on the news but reading your personal account really brought it home to me. I think you are doing amazingly. How annoying about your dough hook. Would there be anything on Ebay? There are recipes for no-knead bread but I have never tried them. I am pleased you got the medicaid sorted out. We moan about our NHS going downhill but it is still a wonderful service and we take it a bit for granted some times. Hope the after shocks stop.