Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap (Times 2)

I opened this fortune cookie the other night (I bought a big thing of fortune cookies at the store to have as dessert on Chinese food night and it has been a huge success to make dinner feel more special and has been a lot of fun), and I have to say I wanted to say something nasty about what the fortune cookie could do to itself.  Unfortunately, the darned thing ended up being kind of accurate and I've had to learn to accept being flexible in my plans the last little bit.  Mainly when it comes to what I had been planning on how we would spend out tax return when it comes in.

I had planned on paying a bill ahead and then paying off the credit cards, but now...now I'm going to hold it in the bank until we know how much braces will cost for the daughter, hopefully pay off some credit cards and then bank whatever I can to go toward home repairs and things as it seems like every time we turn around there is something else that needs repair or replacement.  We are getting there with the earthquake damage.  Slowly, very slowly, but one room at a time.  Which is how the son's flooring is getting replaced as nails started coming up through the carpet that popped in the earthquake and the carpet split its seems in a bunch of different places, preceded to get gross things under the carpet because of it which led to nasty situations and such (we picked that up this last weekend and it is currently stacked up in a corner ready to go).  We are, somehow, going to have to figure out how to do the kitchen soon as the floor in there is getting water under it through the holes in the linoleum and things, the counter top is chipping out from where it was damaged in the earthquake and...yeah...we're looking at one expensive bunch of repairs there.  But, we'll get there.  One step at a time.

I had a lot of stuff going on the last few weeks.  There was Valentine's Day, which went well for the most part.  My husband got me a single rose again this year (which I really loved that he did that) and got me some chocolate covered strawberries (which the daughter ended up eating most of them as she goes nuts for them *laugh*).  I actually spent some money and got the kids some nut free Valentine's chocolates, which the daughter really loved (turns out that she loves the fruit cream chocolates that most kids run for the hills when they see them in the box *laugh*) and the son enjoyed his Hershey bars and his small valentine's chocolates (I just made some out of Hershey kisses and gave them to him, which went over well).

We also had my daughter's birthday, which went great and she had a blast.  She had a decent amount of family show up and even a couple of her friends came.  By the end of the evening she actually admitted that she wished the day didn't have to end, so I'm calling it a success.

On top of therapy, birthday, holidays and school it was busy enough, but the antibiotics also started to really hammer my energy levels and I was actually really grateful when I was off of them.  I still have a residual cough, but it is slowly getting better, so I'm focusing on the improvement rather than getting depressed that I'm not 100% well yet.

So, yeah...we've had a lot going on the last few weeks.  So, let's get to the money saving bits shall we?

1.  Instead of paying for delivery on the flooring for the son's room, my husband went and picked it up himself.  He also did the measuring of the room and figuring out the square footage of the room, which also saved us some money (and led to a practical math lesson for the daughter on area).

2.  I mended two pairs of pants and a couple of tears in a comforter.  Still got a ton of mending to do, but progress was made!

3.  I made an angel food cake.  I then cut it in half and froze half of it so we could have it for dessert a little later on.  I went online to make sure that you could freeze angel food cake before I did it so I didn't inadvertently wreck it.

4.  I ordered a few small things from Amazon that the tax return money will pay for.  Bright side, by figuring out what we needed and would definitely use I was able to really cut down on what I wanted to buy.  I'm really working to streamline things around here to keep food ahead, but in realistic amounts that we'll be able to use in a decent amount of time.

5.  I used some potatoes that were going past their prime by putting them into a meal I cooked low and slow in the crock pot.  It worked great and no one noticed if I was using wrinkly potatoes :).

6.  I took a bag of strawberries out of the freezer that were looking a bit freezer burned and macerated them with some sugar.  We had those with the one half of the angel food cake we ate.  They turned out great.

7.  I took a bag of raspberries that were getting freezer burned and cooked them on the stove with some sugar.  I then added some cornstarch to the mix to thicken it to a pie filling consistency and we had that, along with some blueberries I defrosted and some breakfast sausage I am trying to use up, to go with Swedish pancakes a couple of nights in a row.  I really enjoyed the dinner and am really thinking of doing more of those nights in the future :).

8.  We had a parent meeting at therapy for Alvah and we discussed a bunch of different things including some issues I'm having with how he uses his talker.  We came up with some plans to get him to make some connections when it comes to communication and to hopefully get him to use his talker more and expand his communication horizons.  I came away very pleased with how the meeting and the new goals worked out.  Here's hoping the new plan works!

9.  Shopping went well the last couple of weeks.  I've been able to keep it way below what it has been of late by carefully picking up just the essentials of what we need.  I know eventually doing it this way that I'm going to have to go on a big shopping trip, but in the meantime at least I'm saving money.

I also got a bunch of freebies the last few weeks!

I was checking my Just 4 U coupons and found that the coupon for a free gluten free pizza had reset for me AND had added a free thing of granola (which honestly the free granola excited me the most *laugh*).  So I picked those up one week.

I also won a free thing of Hummus through the Monopoly game, which kicked off the last few weeks as well, so I redeemed that while I was there.

A few days later I was surprised to get an e-mail, once again, offering me a free pizza and a free bag of granola through Just 4 U.  I added them to my card to use later. and honestly I was kind of surprised when the coupons worked when I went shopping (I mean I now have three free pizzas and two free bags of granola...surprising to say the least!).

I also went online and put in all of the online codes I had from the Monopoly game and was able to win a pretty good amount of tokens.  So, I redeemed enough to get a free 5.00 gift card.

I had also, before January rolled over to February, redeemed the 1 fuel reward that would net me two free boxes of pasta.  I went and got the pasta while shopping last week as I kept forgetting to pick it up and I finally remembered to write it down on my shopping list.

Overall I was really happy to how shopping went the last couple of weeks :).

10.  I was able to participate in a continuing study on autism and family relationships dealing with autism.  As repayment for taking the surveys they are going to send me a 10.00 Amazon gift card which I will use toward paying for laundry detergent :).  Every little bit helps.

11.  I signed my husband and son up for Special Olympics swimming again this year, which is a great program that will allow them both to get another day of swimming in every week.  The son really enjoyed the program last year and even won some ribbons, so I'm hoping he'll enjoy himself as much, or more, this year :).

And there you are folks.  A few things that have happened the last few weeks.  I'm glad I finally had time to get this post done as I've been working on it for a good week (see above about being crazy busy).  How has the last couple of weeks treated you all?


  1. It must have been the week for wrinkly, sprouting potatoes. I had close to 5lbs that I pared and cooked in the Instant Pot, then mashed. We ate some for supper and the rest I measured out in 1 cup "blobs" and flash froze on parchment paper. I then vacuum-sealed 2 in a bag for fast meals later. I ended up with 6 blobs, 3 meals-worth out of what I might have had to toss later. I'm using some frosty berries in smoothies. Enough other things in them, we're not noticing the off-ness of them.

    Terribly busy here too. Keeping the grandbabies on Saturday mornings for most of last month and probably in March too. And trying to declutter and go through things. I defrosted the upright freezer last week. It had been left ajar for a night and was very FROSTED. Thank God, we did not lose any food. Just a couple of baked items thawed and we ate those right away. Next on the list is the Pantry and chest freezer. Plus I really, really need to make bone broth again.

  2. I think it is amazing how you are dealing with all the damage plus all the other things you do along with not being well. Hope you get your energy back soon. I enjoy hearing about your life.

  3. Good morning Erika, I haven't posted for a long while. But I see you are playing the monopoly game also. I'm in Oregon. When my husband was at the store the other day another customer that was checking out gave my husband all her tokens, she wasn't playing the game. I had so many to go through! Anyway I sent you some coupons the other day I got and won't use and I have some more to send out this week. So just giving you a heads up. Hope you are having a good day and have a good week. Feel better.

  4. You haven't posted in a while so just thought I'd check in - hope you are OK.

  5. Starting to worry about you Erika. Hope you are just busy and everyone is doing okay. It has been awhile since your last post and know you have a lot going on. You and your family are in my thoughts. Ranee (MN)