Sunday, January 26, 2020

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Well, first off, thank you to the people who have e-mailed me and messaged me and things asking how I'm doing with this cold.  So far I have avoided going to the doctor, but, per usual it seems, my cold went directly into a chronic cough and I'm still really tired, so I've decided that if this isn't better by the time my husband is off work next week I'm going to the doctor just to nip the cough in the bud before I'm sick for months with it.  I'm praying it doesn't come to that as I just had to put a pretty significant chunk of change on my credit card to pay off the first wave of medical bills that have come in (I'll pay off said credit card as soon as the tax return comes in, so at least there is that), but we'll see how it goes.  With the kids being home schooled now, me remaining healthy is even more important than it used to be.

Speaking of the kids, we went in for the daughter's first dyslexia tutoring session at therapy Friday.  She did really well and is getting along really well with her therapist, so here's hoping she starts to improve quickly :).   My new lesson method with the son is to work hard on one skill at a time while doing school and right now the main thing I'm focusing on is the tripod grip to improve his writing and his ability to use utensils when eating.  It is going well and his therapist is thrilled that he wrote his name pretty much 100% by himself with a normal pencil last week.  It's wonderful to see forward momentum with him and I'm really proud of him.

So, right, money saving things I did this last week, let's get to those!

1.  For the first time in a long while we went to the used stores on Friday, mainly because the daughter and I had worked ahead on school work a bit to accommodate the first day of dyslexia tutoring, so we had a bit of time we could kill.  Anymore, when I go to the used stores I go in with a set list of things I need and see if anything I need is there.  I did find a few things that were on my list this time.  

I got a small Pyrex bowl as I love the small sized bowl to do things like beat eggs and things in when baking and it seemed like I was always running out of the small bowls when doing any significant amount of baking in a day.  I found one for 1.50 so I picked it up.  I kind of kicked myself for not getting a few more in larger sizes as I run out of those sizes of bowls too, but for now this was enough.

I also picked up a dish drying mat that you can just throw into the wash when you are finished with it for the day.  I have wanted one of these things forever as I'm always washing my non-stick or other items that can't go in the dishwasher and I'll just put them down on a dish towel on the counter until I am done with washing them all and then I dry and put them away.   Inevitably the dish towel is just not thick enough and I end up drying up puddles.  The drying mat, on the other hand, works awesomely well and I have found I can hang it up on my towel hanger on the front of my sink cabinet to dry next to the dish towel and it'll last me through a few days before I throw it into the wash.  It sure beats the collapsible drying rack I was thinking of getting for a lot more money.  The drying mat cost me .75, which was definitely a cheaper option :).

2.  The last few things in the photo above were not used store finds.  The first is actually something I ran into online while watching YouTube videos.  I watch SteveMRE1989 on YouTube every once in a while as he taste tests MRE meals and gives reviews.  I find stuff like that fascinating and I've run into some cool, shelf stable, products through him.  One video I was watching he had something he called "fruit soup" which was a powdered mix that was basically thickened fruit juice when it was reconstituted that you could drink as a hot liquid or turn into a soup for like dessert.  I was fascinated as I kept going back to Alvah and feeding therapy and how awesome it would be to be able to introduce fruits to him that he would have a hard time spitting out.  I hate to make the comparison as the poor guy is far from a baby anymore, but it is kind of like the idea of introducing flavors through baby food purees.  I was just enthralled with the idea, but really wanted to try out the texture of how the Kiesel (or other names depending on what country you would hail from) would turn out before spending a fortune on actual fruit to turn into the soup.  

Amazon had the powdered version of the fruit soup, but it was TERRIBLY expensive.  Like 12.00 for six servings expensive.  I kept reading up on the fruit soup and found out it was very popular in European countries, including Eastern European countries and I had a light bulb over the head moment.  So, while the daughter was in dyslexia therapy the husband and I jaunted off to our local Eastern European Deli and I found what I was looking for!  I got one of each flavor that they had of the fruit soup/drink to give a try for myself and to mess with the consistency to see what would work best to try out on Alvah.  Best part was that each flavor cost me 2.50 versus 12.00, so it DEFINITELY saved me money doing it that way!

3.  The other thing in the photo is a six pack of Corelle lunch plates that I ordered from Amazon.  The lunch plates always seemed to be unavailable in white, or anything remotely affordable, so I would just pop onto Amazon once every day or so and do a search to see what would pop up.  And I hit pay dirt.  Amazon had gotten some lunch plates in that were being sold through Amazon via Corelle and the white lunch plates (which match the dinner plates I bought) were 14.00 for a six pack of plates after a coupon was applied that they had on the item page.  I ordered them before they went out of stock again and was happy to get them in the mail in one piece.  I will miss my old dishes, but not the cuts I was getting from them I have to say.  

4.  One benefit to the children being home for lunch most days (the son gets out of therapy early enough that I can just cook him a late lunch/early dinner when we get home, or he goes just late enough that he can eat a large breakfast/early lunch before he leaves, so he just tends to bring snacks to therapy) is that I have a big pile of reusable lunch containers that I'm no longer blowing through in a couple of days.  So, instead, I've been trying really hard to start putting left overs in those instead of using plastic wrap, freezer bags or  the like to put the left overs away.  It's been working well and it's nice to be able to just throw them into the dish washer and reuse them instead of having to throw some wrapper away.

5.  As part of an effort to get more organized to hopefully save some money this year and get bills paid down, I cleaned and organized the freezers this last week.  I now have a much better idea of what I have for meat in the house (I was surprised to find I used up all of my whole chickens, for one thing) and my fridge freezer, since I've been working really hard to save money by eating down our freezers of late, is downright bare compared to what it was before I reorganized everything.  I'm hoping to keep up on keeping the freezers organized in the coming months so I don't end up overspending on things we don't need, having lost said item in the depths of a freezer somewhere.

6.  I went searching online for a set bunch of things I wanted for the son for home school types of work sheets.  Not finding anything that fit the bill for what I was looking for, or if I did the site wanted me to pay for the privilege of printing it, I decided to Heck with that and have started making my own work sheets as needed.  I am working on some simple cooking visuals to help with feeding therapy right now and they will literally cost me my time and some computer paper.  Which to me, is definitely worth it.

7.  I finally finished one late Christmas gift this week.  I finished up the embroidery on one of my daughter's pillow cases I made for her.  Since I had promised her a purple fox about three years ago and just doing the gift is now two years later than I wanted, I was super happy to finish it and give it to her to see.  The shot above is before I washed out all of the old colored pencil marks from the pillow, so I apologize for the kind of sloppy appearance of the pillow case :).

The pillow case cost me .50 originally and the embroidery floss was floss I had around the house that my step mom had sent me, so making this cost next to nothing, except my time.  This did take quite a while to do as the design is actually rather large and there was a lot of fill work to do.  The daughter absolutely loves it, though, so I was happy with how it turned out in the end.

8.  My truck was running on empty in a big way the other night.  We stopped off at a Chevron to get gas so we could make it home and found that we were able to use our Carrs fuel rewards there, which was a nice find and saved us some money by being able to use them.

9.  We took advantage of a free field trip the home school was putting on to go and tour our local fire station.  The son wasn't overly impressed, but it did get the kids out of the house and the daughter enjoyed seeing the fire man putting on all of his gear and sounding like Darth Vader *laugh*.

10.  I needed rice, but found that Carrs no longer sells the large 20 lb bags of medium grain rice.  I sat and compared prices on the smaller bags (the son prefers medium grain to large grain, so I try to get him what he likes as rice is one of his major food groups) and found that buying two five pound bags versus a ten pound bag was a lot cheaper and would save me a good 3.00.  So, that's what I did for now.  I'm going to see about shopping around to see what other options I can find to buy rice in bulk, but in the meantime this was the best deal I could find.

And there you go folks.  Some of the things I've been up to of late.  How about you?  


  1. It's always awesome to see your posts pop up. Hope you get over that cough. You are always doing stuff - I don't know how you do all that you do every day.

  2. The embroidery fox is ADORABLE. I LOVE it!!!

  3. hope you feel better soon. Your embroidery is beautiful.