Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Totally Saving Tuesday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Wow!  I finally found the time and energy to blog.  Yay!

I've been super busy around here lately and then combine that with a nasty cold my son brought home with him from school, which he then gave to my husband and myself and yeah...it's been a rough go of it energy-wise the last couple of weeks.  Somehow despite it all I managed to get things done.  

The last couple of weeks saw me have to go in for a bunch of different appointments on top of normal stuff.  I had my son's IEP last week, which went okay, I suppose.  I had to answer a whole new scad of questions about if I'd tried this or that type of feeding therapy with him as they want to try more intensive feeding therapies at school (which I warned them about how he'd turn on food and starve himself if you pushed him too far, so to be careful, but was totally okay with them doing feeding therapy for sure) and they got kind of disheartened when they found out that I'd tried everything they'd suggested for at least a year or more with him.  Bright side is that his diet is SLOWLY, ever SO slowly, expanding.  He'll play with apple slices at the table now and scrape little bits off and put them in his mouth.  For him that's a big step, so I'm hopeful that maybe something will start to stick with him.  

At least he's growing well.  We went to his psychologist appointment and found out that he'd grown two inches in the last three months and had lost three pounds, so the doctor's are super happy with his weight and as for height he's huge for his age, so they definitely have no complaints.  

Past that we had our normal scheduled stuff which got kind of waylaid due to the cold the son brought home and just trying to get things done around the house and stuff, so let's get to all of that "stuff" and how we managed to save money the last couple of weeks.

1.  I completely gutted my hallway closet this week and reorganized it from top to bottom.  It was a huge mess of stuff everywhere after the earthquake, but the door closed after unceremoniously stuffing things back in the door, so I kind of just shut the door and ignored it to get to other things that needed to be done first.  Once my new mixer came in, though, I knew that I needed to do some reorganizing as I had some plans to free up counter space in my kitchen by making the hallway closet more functional.  So, the final results are up top there.

I took the white baskets that used to sit on top of my water softener in the pantry and used them to store some of the son's school snacks, mainly his Cool Ranch Doritos and Cheetos.  I took the blankets that used to be on the top shelf and stored them in my "oh my Gosh everything is stuffed into this sucker" master bedroom closet.  I've got plans to organize that as well, but one step at a time.

I do like the new organization to the hallway closet, although losing one shelf that I had used to store food made storage a bit tight.  It is nice having the mixers off of my kitchen counters though and everything being stored within easy reach is nice as well.  Having the food processor off of the top of the kitchen cabinets (it was so tall it was the only spot I could find to store it before...I adjusted the height of the shelves in the hallway closet after gutting everything out of it) will make it that much easier to use as well, which is definitely going to be kinder on my arms and back having to lift that sucker down from over my head.

I kept my new canner in the box nice and safe (paranoid I am) and placed it on the top shelf of the closet as well and then stored things like my canning lids and canning tools by it so it'll be all ready to go come canning season.  I was even able to fit my brining bucket for the Thanksgiving turkey up on the top shelf as well, which was always a pain trying to find somewhere to store it before.  I put some small Tupperware containers that I don't use too often in the bucket to keep them up and out of the way.  

2.  I found a microwave cart on Amazon that was on a daily deal thing decently cheap and I had desperately wanted something to help expand space in the kitchen a little bit, so I ordered it as it would fit in the small spaces I had available in the kitchen.  I had hoped to put the microwave on said cart, but when I put it together the "standard microwave" that the description said it would hold should have read "dorm microwave" because there was NO way the microwave was going to fit on a cart that small.  But, I quickly figured out other uses for the cart. 

I moved the block freezer into the living room for now as I'm using it and couldn't fit everything that was in it into the other freezers at the moment (frozen milk takes up a bunch of space, it seems) and put it next to the sideboard for the time being.  I reorganized the top of the sideboard to fit the new microwave.  The new microwave is smaller than my old one (on purpose as I don't use the microwave for as much as I used to), so I had to move some things around to make it all work, but I got there.  

After I moved the block freezer I put the new cart in the hole that was left by the freezer in the kitchen and then put things on it that I was always trying to find room for as they were a bit awkward to store (like the Pullman pan and the muffin tins).  I ended up placing the new pressure cooker on top of the cart to not only have a good place to use it (since it's out in the open air versus under a cabinet it will work a lot better for venting steam), but I also found I had to place something on top of it to keep the cats off of the top of it, so it did me a double benefit being on top of the cart.  I then placed Sputnik (the air fryer) on the bottom shelf along with the new blender (the above picture is missing the blender jar as it's in the dishwasher when I took the photo) so they were easily accessible (and I don't have to haul the air fryer down from on top of the fridge whenever I want to use it, which is quite often anymore).

3.  Shopping went well this week.  I was able to pick up some meat decently cheap and got some pork ribs on personalized price for decently cheap, got some thin cut steaks for 50% off, picked up some bacon on manager's special for 3.50 lb (well for, what, 12 oz or whatever bacon is down to now per package) and picked up spiral sliced hams on sale for 1.29 lb.  I picked up two and we cut up one and used it for lunch meat the last week.  

On the produce end I have to say the biggest score was I had a personalized price of 2.99 per 10 lb bag of potatoes, so I got two.  My daughter has found that she likes home made oven fries, which are actually so easy to change up the flavors of and make decently healthy, so I was happy to pay out for the potatoes as making these things myself is SO much cheaper than buying the store bought bags of fries and things.

4.  I got an offer from an online spice company to take a survey and you would get a 5.00 credit.  This was enough to order one spice blend for free from them, so I took the survey and got a spice blend for cheaper than I could buy one at the store (since I had to pay a minimal shipping charge).  This was a small business I had ordered from in the past and they had taken FOREVER to ship my order both times I had ordered from them, so I had kind of boycotted buying from them after that.  They actually stalked my e-mail and begged me and others to give them another try as they had improved their inventory and shipping speed and things, so I decided to give them another shot.  And I was pleasantly surprised as my order got shipped immediately and I received it in good time.  

I really liked several of their spice blends when I had originally ordered from them (I had ordered a killer deal through Groupon a good number of years ago to try out their products), so I tucked away this experience in the back of my mind to maybe order some of those spice blends later on if, and when, I had the money and opportunity to do so.

5.  I ordered a free  magazine subscription from Freebizmag.

6.  I got one of my break down of benefits sheets in the mail from my insurance company and was happy to see it was the breakdown of the urgent care visit I had gone in for back in October.  I found that the urgent care was going to owe me 99.00, so I called their office last week (which I had to play phone tag for quite a while until I got to the right person) and asked if they had any idea when I'd be getting my refund check in the mail.  They hadn't gotten paid by the insurance company yet when I called, but she told me to call back this week and make sure to stay on top of it as she said as SOON as they got paid she'd put a rush on my refund check as she knew after the earthquake people could definitely use the extra money.

7.   I was going to make tacos for dinner last night, but discovered we were out of black olives.  Instead of running to the store I came up with another plan for dinner and just rolled with it, thus saving me having to waste gas for a special trip to the store.

8.  I had a couple of pairs of jeans that were starting to fall completely apart, so I went to the used store and was able to find a couple of pairs of jeans in near brand new shape for 5.00 per pair.  They were designer label jeans (which I could care less about names on clothes, honestly) and seemed to be of really good quality, so I am hoping they'll last me for quite a while.

9.  I started to put things that were in Rubbermaid totes around the house away bit by bit this week.  I'm praying that I waited long enough and we don't get some nasty aftershocks that will knock everything off of the shelves again, but there comes a point where you have to just hope it'll work out and put things away.  I was tired of tripping over totes of videos and things.  

10.  I mended some holes that had appeared in some of the comforters.  Still have more to go, but at least I made some progress.

And there you are folks.  Some of the stuff I've been up to the last couple of weeks.  I'm sure there is more, but honestly I've been so busy and not feeling great I just didn't think to write things down as I did them.  So, how have you been?  Getting stuff done around your place?


  1. The closet looks great. You could never tell from todays pictures that you went through such a mess not long ago. It all looks lovely.
    Tell your son ranch Doritos and Cheetos are my favorites too!

    Hope you all get to feeling much better and hope your son continues moving forward with new eating habits.

  2. Your kitchen looks lovely and tidy and it really does make a difference having everything nearby. I recently purchased a 3' wide and 6' tall metal shelving unit from IKEA and set it up in my dining room. I have a very small galley kitchen and I don't use my dining room all that often so I decided to put it to better use.
    The new shelving unit allows me to stack things like small appliances and have them close to hand rather than away in a pantry cupboard out of sight. I finished the last bit of kitchen clear up this past weekend and managed it without having to buy any new storage containers.
    It was Minus 38C here on Sunday night so it's been a good time to stay indoors and do this sort of work.

  3. I've still been working on my January "Use-it-up" challenge. I am starting to see a few more spaces on my pantry shelves and in my freezers, but not very many. So, it's a good thing January isn't over yet:). I am very glad I was able to can and freeze so much from my garden last summer. It's really helping now. I did clean a few kitchen cupboards and am trying to organize the shelves in the pantry when I open up a gap.

    I started a baby quilt for my husband's nephew and wife. I haven't used those supplies much, if at all, since I moved into this house 2 years ago, and since all my possessions were in storage for months while we were in transition, everything was jumbled up and hard to find. I was able to find most of the fabric I needed, the supplies for cutting, blades for the cutter, and so forth. I sent my husband to the quilt shop with a couple of cute baby-themed pieces of fabric I found, and told him to have the ladies pick our a very few fat quarters that went with them. He is color blind. He did great, and yesterday, I cut out my 9 main blocks. I started sewing them today, and when I get those done, I'll figure out the rest! I'm excited that I found those things and that I can make a gift from things I mostly had on hand.

  4. Oh man, another cold? That's no fun. You've done a great job organizing despite being sick. I've been doing an overhaul of a lot of things in the house and it feels good. I still really need to do something about the kitchen, though; my family dumps everything on the table and my husband's chair ends up piled close to the ceiling (I wish that were an exaggeration) with Amazon boxes and mail that he hasn't gone through, and it looks terrible- but it's not my stuff and I don't want to make another job for myself by sorting through stuff that's not mine, you know?

    Keep up the great work, I'm glad you're able to get more of life back to normal. :)

  5. Wow. you've been busy and your kitchen looks lovely. I'm looking forward to getting my home organized once my daughter moves out as currently we have her possessions crammed in around the house and sheds. Its good to get bargains.

  6. Your kitchen and new pantry closet look great! I’m working, slowly, on some organizing here too, in my basement and my kitchen and kaundrtpy room. I did a big shop at an outlet grocery store last week and need to make room for all the canned goods I bought.