Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Frugal...Um...Wednesday! Money Saving Weekly Recap

Okay, first I gotta admit I don't remember how long it has been since I posted up a recap, so I'm just going to go with what has happened lately and go from there :).

Well, the first big news that I can share is a big first for me.  I am in the process of enrolling my son in home school.  The change wasn't something I just came up with on the spot or anything, but things have fallen into place in a way that I was finally convinced to make the leap.  The biggest thing that helped push me over the top was that his therapist started her own home school tutoring program where you can bring in your home schooling curriculum and the kids work in basically a classroom together during as long of a school day as you'd like them to work, but each student is one on one with a therapist and they work on therapy AND school work together.  This all the while they are working on your custom made home schooling curriculum.  That is so much like what I've been wanting for my son for a long time now as I know how bright he is, but in his current class environment I felt like he was just kind of stagnating, so this new way of doing things might very well help him to break out of his shell more.  Which would be a wonderful thing indeed.

I'll be home schooling him at home as well as them working with him at therapy, so I'm hoping between the two environments we'll be able to push him in a new, and good, direction.  Wish me luck there!  I'm scared, but excited at the same time :).

In other news, despite back to school germs and things hitting the kiddos, we have been getting stuff done around the house and things, which I'm feeling pretty good about, I have to admit.  I'll get more into what I'm working on in my monthly goals post, but yeah...it feels good to be getting things done and accomplished.  Baby steps truly do add up to big steps once they are all added together :).

So, yeah, let's share more good news shall we?

The husband got the bottom half of the chimney on last week!  He's still got to put flashing up around where the chimney went through the roof, but yay for getting there!!!

We are finally getting the rain that would have normally fallen in August any other year, which has definitely been helping to get the wildfires under control, which was wonderful news for everyone around here.  I've never seen so many Alaskans thrilled at rain falling from the sky before.  I've been doing what I can for food drives and others things in the area to help aid victims of the fires as a bunch of people have lost their homes to the fires, especially in the Talkeetna area.

So, now that I've shared a bit of local news, let's get to the money saving things that have happened the last bit!

1.  Well, we got the Halloween decorations put up last week.  With the husband's work schedule, I found that he doesn't get to celebrate Halloween much with the family before it's just over (it's hard to watch movies with the family when you work nights and all) and since Halloween is one of his favorite holidays, I figured two months of Halloween decorations would definitely be a good idea.  We put up the same Halloween decorations we put up every year, but with the few new editions from drawings or projects the kids did last year, so that was fun :).  We ended up retiring a few decorations that just died due to age or whatever, but overall, it's looking pretty Halloween-y.  Well, upstairs anyway.  I'm figuring on doing the big open main part of the house last when it comes to painting (since it's all going to be white), so I figure putting the decorations up there will save me from having to take decorations down and putting them back up later on *laugh*.  A shot of some of the decorations are seen up top :).

2.  I noticed that the living room curtains were pretty much officially dead.  Between just age on them and then having the electric heat going all winter last year, it seemed that the curtains didn't take it well and were all discolored on the bottom because of it.  I tried taking a few things to them to see if I could shift the stains, but they didn't budge, so between that and the big blind in the living room having issues due to probably age, I figured I'd have to try and find some thicker and better looking curtains for the living room.

Now mind you, I have searched for YEARS at the used stores for curtains that would fit this window as the window is huge and hadn't had much luck, so I was kind of resigned that I would have to buy panels full price and flinch while I did it.  I dropped off a bunch of donations at the used store last week and decided to stop in really fast to see if I could find anything on my list of things I needed and I hit major pay dirt!!!!  I found some nice, thick, machine washable curtains and between the four panels they had the curtains would fit the window!!!!  Oddly, probably due to different employees finding the curtains at different times, the curtains had four different price tags and four different measurements on them (I ended up doing a crude "move the curtains through my arms after putting them together to see if they were the same" test and found that all four panels were the same size...whatever that size happened to be in the end).  I took them to the front and the gal decided to give me the curtains for the cheapest price tag on all of the panels!  So, I was able to get all four panels for less than 20.00!!!  And they are in brand new shape!!!  I was more than a little thrilled =D.

And the various shades of gold and things in the curtains goes with the house and furniture well, which was a double bonus!  A close up of the curtain pattern is seen above there, but the curtains are actually dark brown, not medium brown.  The only way I could get the circles to pop was to lighten the picture :).

I did hem the curtains by about four inches to get them off of the floor and such, but I was really happy with that purchase.

3.  I mended two shirts, a pair of pants and a comforter.

4.  My sister-in-law gave us a bunch of clothes that no longer fit or were not to her husband's taste.  As a result we got a bunch of men's jeans in brand new shape and I got a few shirts and some jeans that fit me well as well :).  I will have to hem some of the pants to fit my husband a bit better, but it was definitely a nice windfall!

5.  My step mom sent me another pinata box.  The most welcome thing in it was some hats and a scarf that she crocheted for the kids.  The kids have been growing like weeds of late and had outgrown a bunch of winter hats and things and I was wondering if I was going to have to get some yarn and knit them some new ones, so that was not only really cool of her, but it also saved me a bunch of work :). 

6.  So, I mentioned on my last post about more things breaking.  Well, this time it had nothing to do with the earthquake...least I don't think it is.  The numerous repairs I've done on the love seat and the couch downstairs over the years were just finally not enough and the pieces of furniture just decided to start self destructing on me to the point that I wasn't going to be able to repair them (support wood is cracking and things...not pretty).  I was so worried that I was going to have spend a ton of money to replace said furniture because we definitely use it and I was stressing about the debt I was going to accumulate as I couldn't find any great deals locally.  Until my mom, bless her, turned me onto Target.com and I found, awesomely enough that Target will ship a bunch of stuff, EVEN UP HERE, for free if you spend 35.00 or more!!!  So, I have a love seat, bought on clearance and a couple of club chairs (which will replace the couch downstairs and hopefully give us more room in the den) getting delivered by the end of the month (with some generosity on my family's part as well for ordering some things for me) and for a lot cheaper than if they had been purchased through a store up here.  Hopefully it is furniture that will last a while :).

7.  Here's a tip for people trying to save a few pennies.  I NEVER go through my virus scan to renew for the coming year.  I always go through Amazon and see what a download of said software costs (and in the case of mine I just purchase the new "software package" and then just get the new product key, input it into my software and I'm good for another year) and go that route.  Better still try not to buy new virus software at the beginning of the year, but toward the end of the year.  The virus scan will update when you purchase it and you'll pay a LOT less than if you buy it as a new release at the beginning of the year.  So, I needed to renew my virus scan, went through Amazon for my new product key and saved myself 100.00 in the process.  Just wanted to pass that along.

8.  Carrs gave me some awesome deals the last bit, mainly through giving me tons of bonus gas rewards points.  Like they gave me 10x the gas rewards points a few weeks in a row and I accumulated a ton of them, so I cashed in a bunch and got some cool free groceries.  I got:

A free gallon of ice cream
A free package of breakfast sausages
A free container of sour cream
A free thing of cream cheese
A free loaf of whole wheat bread

The ice cream and the sausages were put into the downstairs freezer so they didn't make the photo :).  The half and half is in the picture because Carrs gave me a personalized price on it of .85 this week!  I was thrilled to be able to add half and half to my coffee again and in a way that fit my budget!

We are also eating a ton of bananas this month as Carrs gave me a personalized price of .51 lb on them this month!  Since bananas are running .95 lb regular price up here, I am happy that banana snacking and banana bread are budget friendly this month :).  The bananas didn't fit in the picture up above, so I left them out as well *laugh*.

9.  My husband and I were at the used store one day and found another thing on my list of things we needed.  My daughter had plain outgrown her desk that she had and desperately needed something a bit bigger to do homework on and loe and behold we found a desk at the used store for 15.00!!!

My husband had to tighten up a bunch of stuff on the desk when we got home and I cleaned it really well and waxed it, but we were both thrilled with the purchase as the desk is real wood and should last for a good long time.

Course typical kid, as soon as she had a new space, she filled it *laugh*.  I ended up rearranging her room and moving the bookcase from the laundry room into her room so she had some extra space (I forgot to take a picture of that) and had to get creative storing kitchen things that used to be on the shelves in the pantry and kitchen, but I did it and now she is much happier with her room and homework environment.

10.  I've been working on repairing and patching cracks and things so that I can paint and such and was wondering how to do around the door in the den as the door, for lack of a better word, shifted in one direction in the earthquake while the wall went the other direction and both things just mutually decided to stay in their separate locations permanently.  As a result I had a pretty big crack around the door that I didn't know how to patch without some major work involved.  Studying how things had settled, though, I realized that if I took the trim off the frame of the door and moved all of the trim over that I could substantially cover the crack on the side of the door to the point that I could patch it as the door was still working okay.  So, I did.  And after a couple of tries it didn't look off kilter and worked out okay.  I repaired the crack to the point I can paint over it and we are good to go on that part of the den. 

And I'm sure there is more that I'm forgetting about, but for sure I'm going to leave it here as I need to start dinner soon.  Side note as well, I AM working on back e-mails to people, so if you have e-mailed me in the last bit and I haven't responded, be patient as an e-mail will hopefully be coming your way soon :). 

So, how have things been going with you guys?  Well, I hope?


  1. Home schooling is a a huge adventure and I know it will be so rewarding for your son and you also. I have been a home school mom for 14 years now. My youngest has learning issues and she has done remarkable with one on one time. Of course, you know I have to say at times I want to pull my hair out it can be so hard, but there is beauty in even those times looking back. (Key here is looking back, lol.)

    Also, your curtains look great. Beautiful view!

  2. I love reading your posts. You have such a positive attitude even during trying circumstances. It is encouraging to read.

    Best of luck on homeschooling. Your son will likely thrive.

  3. Congrats on the home schooling program. Good luck and hope it works well.
    Nice catch on the curtains and what a deal on the clothes you received. Jeans are so expensive to buy.
    Have a great week.

  4. I enjoy your blog. I hope the home schooling goes well. We homeschooled our son and daughter for several years. Our son has asperger's syndrome although we didn't know it at the time. Our daughter has impaired hearing and struggled in the noisy classrom. I love your curtains.

  5. I hope you all enjoy and benefit from the home schooling. You got some great deals at the store. Free ice cream is wonderful.

  6. Glad to see you back to your blog. Missed reading your posts. I don't know how you do it all but then again I am a long ways from the days of little ones in the house. God gave them to us when we were younger. I don't think I'd have the energy now for raising small ones. Happy you are getting your house back up and running since the earthquake. In Nevada we have small ones all the time - just don't feel most of them. Hoping to never have a devastating large one like you had. I can't even imagine! Take care.

  7. Great decision to home school. My sons all calmed down when we pulled them out of school and they didn't catch the viruses that were always going around. Life was much better.