Friday, April 26, 2019

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap for the Second 1/2 of April

Man, this month has gone by so crazy it's a miracle I'm getting any blogging done NOW. 

Good, bad or indifferent, here's a short list of things that has happened this month.

1.  We got the disaster loan finalized and now have the funds available to finally fix the house and yard up (yay!).  We had to run back to the FEMA center to do the closing documents one day and then last week I had to call Alvah in sick to therapy because we had a final walk through inspection by the Small Business Association (the ones who give out the disaster loans) to confirm damage to the property.  The guy who walked us through the damage was actually thinking we might need more money and was thinking of requesting more, but we told him we'd be okay with what we got.  If you go up over 25,000.00 in a disaster loan they require you to put a lien on your property to protect their end of the bargain, but since we borrowed less than 25,000.00 the loan process was a lot easier and had a lot less steps to go through before you could have funds released to you.

Which it turned out we needed to get the loan in as soon as possible because....

2.  The oven stopped working right again and was just acting crazy and defying the laws of thermodynamics.  After a week of avoiding using the oven unless I absolutely had to we went in to our local appliance store (Allen and Peterson for those in the Valley and Anchorage area) and I found a really good deal on the oven I'd had my eye on for quite a while but always figured was out of my price range.  They were running a special on appliances as part of an Easter sale and the gal who helped us was nice enough to give me a quote on the stove to lock in the price for 30 days for us.  Found out that night that the loan had gone through, so we went back the next day and bought the oven and it got delivered this week (a shot of it after the husband had managed to struggle it up the stairs with me helping on the last leg of the journey and had gotten it into its new home is up top).  We finally got it all hooked up and ready to go yesterday.  I'm so insanely excited to start using it!  I am so happy that part of the loan they gave us was to cover personal property loss due to the quake, because the oven was definitely a tragedy of the earthquake and I feel really blessed that the old girl lasted, or limped along depending how you look at it, until we had the loan and could afford to replace her.

The new oven pops out more than the old one (since that's the style for ovens now) and so I ended up losing use of my knife drawer because you can't get it open now.  The husband has plans to redo the kitchen and is trying to figure out the best way to do it (the counters got gouged and beat up in the quake, the linoleum has holes and slashes in it, the drawers got bent by stuff falling into them...the kitchen survived, but definitely has some problems)  so we'll see how that goes in the following months.

3.  The husband hasn't had time to work on much of anything this month, which is upsetting since we finally got the money to try and get the chimney fixed ASAP.  He's been working on his days off for other people, so he gave up trying to get the chimney done by himself and called a general contractor he knows and likes to come and help get it done.  They are hoping to start next week (the husband is working overtime this week and the general contractor is trying to finish up another job), so fingers and toes crossed on this one as my electric bill is giving me hives every month.

4.  The son's eczema flared bad the last bit and he ended up with really messed up feet as a result.  He's been a walking pile of band aids the last week or so as I've really fought to keep his feet from getting infected and him having to go on oral antibiotics.  And, I PRAY it has worked.  He's still got a couple nasty fissures on a few toes, but old skin is starting to peel off and new healthy skin is starting to shine through.  He's been limping around and pretty miserable, the poor thing, so I'm so happy he's starting to feel better.

5.  Speaking of the son his sleeping medication just out and out stopped working last week, which was a whole lot of not fun for anyone involved.  Between that and the fact that the Risperidone generic switched from a white pill that Alvah had taken for the last couple of years and done fine with to a orange pill that he could barely get down (gagging, vomiting it back up on you...the whole nine yards) and he was a mess behavioral-wise.  I took him to him in to see his doctor and she started trouble shooting the problem and we PRAY we're on the right track.  We go in next month to see how he's doing, so pray with me that the new format of Risperidone (higher dose pill so we only have to get one pill versus two down him, which doubles my odds and upping his Clonodine dose as well) and things work out well and he's back to fighting fit by then.

6.  It's kind of Spring here (we keep getting snow in the mornings but it'll be melted by the afternoon, which is pretty typical for Alaska this time of year) and as a result the darned larder beetles are invading again.  I've been busy Spring cleaning and fighting them taking hold in the meantime, so it's been hectic and frustrating.  I think I'm making progress getting rid of them, though, before they can really spread like mad, so hopefully I'm not being overly optimistic and it's going okay this year before I end up in an out and out war with the suckers again.

7.  We've been fighting colds and other sickies as well as just seasonal allergies around here, so it's been a battle not feeling exhausted all the time.  I just feel plain worn out and I think a lot of that is because we haven't been WELL all school year...I think I'm feeling worn out because I am.  I'm really looking forward to summer break and us being able to get and stay well for a while.  Luckily we're in the final countdown as school ends toward the end of May, so yay for that.

8.  The blogging is late due to all of the above and the daughter horking my computer the last couple of weeks getting caught up on school work that she didn't bother to get done until midterm grades came home and we had a long, LONG talk about getting work done on time and how there is no excuse for getting bad grades like this a month and a half after being on the honor roll at school...none.  She's getting there on getting the school work caught up, which is good, but this weekend we have to get a book report done that is due early next week, so I figured I'd betting grab the computer while I still could to get blogging done and assure you all that I am, indeed, still alive :).

9.  I'm still fighting with the hospital to get my money refunded to me.  Supposedly they were supposed to get a check out to me March 18th and they told me to give it a few weeks.  I gave it a month, called the guy back and told him that I hadn't gotten it.  He told me he didn't know what happened to it, he'd get a hold of the check writing company and blah blah blah.  He told me he'd give me a call in a few days and if I didn't hear from him to call him back.  I didn't hear from him so I called him back Wednesday.  Still didn't hear back from him.  Called him back today and left a message asking the serious question of do I have to sue them to get my 99.00 back.  I also told them that all I wanted was my money back and it would be beyond ridiculous if I had to sue to get that type of money back.  So, we'll see if I hear back from him after this or if I have to go and find a lawyer.  Not only a pain, but kind of insane that it has had to get to this point.

And, yeah, now that I think you're mainly up to speed on things (I swear I'm forgetting a few things, but I think that's enough really), let's get to the money saving recap, shall we?

1.  Grocery shopping has gone pretty well the last little bit.  I have to say that the second chance Monopoly game has been a real benefit for the most part, although the last leg of it here has been really disappointing.  I had been saving up tokens (you win tokens by imputing codes online from the Monopoly game pieces and then you can redeem them for prizes) to get a 10.00 grocery gift card only to find that there is a maximum amount that the Safeway franchise would put into certain prize categories and the maximum (I think it was like two million dollars nationwide) had been reached, so I was out of luck there.  I finally decided to redeem the tokens I had for free products as that was really the only option left, but I assumed that you could redeem the codes for free grocery products more than once.  Nope.  You can get one of each food prize and that's it.  So, I took what I had from my tokens last week and just got every product that I thought was worthwhile off of the list and than I'll redeem the codes I have in my  newest Monopoly stack (a lady in front of me at the store gave me a big pile of them when she saw I was playing) and see if I can get the rest of the food and grocery items.  After that I'm probably going to just stop doing the second chance contest...not that there is much time left in the game anyway...I think it ends in a few weeks time. 

I also redeemed a few bonus fuel rewards for free products as well this last week, so I got a free dozen eggs for one fuel reward and two boxes of pasta with another fuel reward. 

The other box of pasta, the french bread, the sour cream and the aluminum foil were all from the second chance Monopoly game redemption.  The aspirin, the bagel and the hot dog buns were wins from the printed Monopoly instant win game prizes. 

Oh and I forgot these...
That was another second chance token redemption with the Monopoly game.  This week, after all of the freebies and coupons I had loaded onto my card I spent less than 50.00 on groceries.  I was happy with that.

Last week I also had some freebies to redeem, so here you go.  I redeemed a few bonus fuel rewards to get a free thing of ice cream and to get 3.00 off of produce (which I spent to get a cantaloupe for .99 after coupon) and also redeemed some printed Monopoly coupons (I had actually gotten a small stack of game pieces on the previous visit, so was shocked to find so many instant win tickets in them :) to get some freebies.  The big one was I had a coupon for a free thing of Frenches yellow mustard, but it was 20 oz.  I looked and looked through the mustard on the shelves and finally found the 20 oz bonus container and also found that the mustard was buy one get one free.  So, after coupon I got two containers of mustard for free (which was pretty awesome).  I also got a coupon for a free can of vegetables, so I got a free can of green beans and I also got a free 10 ct box of waffles, so that was a nice little bonus as well.

I also had a couple of coupons for other freebies, but I took a different picture of those since these items went upstairs while the others stayed downstairs (I was lazy what can I say).  I was online one day and found that they had a coupon I could load to my card for a free one pound bag of shredded Lucerne cheese.  I was thrilled to load that and redeem it for sure!  I also had some printed coupons for a free thing of macaroni salad, a free thing of sour cream and a free bottle of water, which were also welcome. 

Overall, I was happy with grocery shopping the last few weeks if nothing else :).

2.  With the larder beetles coming back I became a bit obsessed with getting things like towels and blankets into protected areas where larder beetles couldn't go.  I decided to order the cabinet I had talked about earlier off of Amazon for the hallway, but they were sold out of it and didn't know if, or when, it might be back in stock,

I looked around Amazon and finally settled on this cabinet (associate link) as it would fit in the spot I had depthwise and it seemed like it looked nice online.  My mom even sent me a small Amazon gift card to help me pay for it.

I have to say that when I put it together I was impressed.  The cabinet is actual real wood, not particle board and even the back, while thin wood, is actually wood, not cardboard.  It looks nice and does what I needed it to.  I wish it was about twice as tall, but at the same time that would probably make it tippy since it's decently shallow, but I'm happy with it overall.  A shot of it while I was in the middle of stocking it with towels and bathroom supplies is seen above.

3.  I signed up for a free magazine subscription to "Real Simple" magazine and got my first issue in the mail this week.

4.  I watched a lot of different free things on the internet lately, usually late at night while the son isn't sleeping (see the whole his medication stopped working thing). 

5.  I found I needed a word processing program for my computer and didn't have the money to spend on Microsoft products (and really I didn't want to spend the money anyway).  I went and downloaded Open Office, which is some really nice freeware that does basically the same thing as Microsoft products, but for a lot less money :).

6.  As I said earlier I've done a lot of Spring cleaning of late.  I still have a bunch to go, but I'm slowly but surely getting there.  Doesn't cost much money, just time and is super rewarding when you get this or that done.  I rearranged the son's room this week to not only deep clean his room, but also to make it easier to battle larder beetles by freeing up the edges of his room.  It was a pretty nasty couple of days until he got used to the new layout, but he seems to have finally gotten over it and is actually enjoying the new layout to his room, so I'm calling it a win (I'll try to take a picture later when I'm more with it and thinking of such things).

7.  I mended a few holes in my bedroom comforters.  Unfortunately I still have more to go, but progress is at least being made :).

8.  Darned a few of my son's socks to make them last a little bit longer (he drags his feet along the floor when they itch and so he just wears holes in his socks SO fast).

9.  I signed my husband up for the Dollar Shave Club a while ago, but they raised their prices on pretty much everything this last month and I decided to look at other options as they weren't really cheap anymore and I found some cheaper solutions.  I ordered some for the husband to try and cancelled his subscription.  I figure if it doesn't work out I can always sign him up for it again or we can still buy products as we need them, just not at as good of a discount (whatever that means) if need be, so we'll give it a shot.

And there you go folks a quick look at what's been going on around here of late.  How are you all doing?  I know my blogging schedule has been horribly erratic for a bit here, but I'm hoping that I can get back onto an even keel and back to regular blogging here soon.  If nothing else I'm thinking I'll be able to do that once school is over for the summer since I won't be running around like mad every day and hopefully we'll be able to get some major repairs done on the house here soon as well, which would help alleviate not only stress but craziness in my general life.

So, let me know how you are all doing in your lives!  I hope everything has been going well for you all!


  1. I'm glad you posted! I was getting ready to send an email and see how you were! Hopefully now that you have the loan money you can start getting things somewhat back together. Your new stove looks great!!!

  2. Nice to see you back and glad your loan has come through in time to replace your cooker. Well done on all your freebies.

  3. Glad to see you blog again. It seems that things are beginning to turn around for you. How wonderful!
    Pat J.