Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap (Times 2) plus a Garden Update

When it comes to money saving things the last few weeks, there is sadly not much to report. Bright side there is also not much to report on the other end of the spectrum either, so hey, at least no news is good news! Some of the biggest things that have happened the last few weeks are...

1.  I harvested the potatoes from the garden as we have been getting temps that are going down into the low 40s at night and I awoke this weekend to a heavy frost on the yard.  I decided it was time to dig the potatoes at that point because digging potatoes out of frozen ground wasn't exactly a welcome idea to me.  

Sadly, out of 8, count them, 8, potato plants, I got the whopping "harvest" you see above.  I can't blame the plants, really.  I usually dig potatoes by hand if possible because it is a lot easier on the potatoes to do that and when I dug down about four inches the ground was COLD and I mean COLD.  I ended up switching to a shovel just because my hands were getting super cold digging in the mud.  Never a good sign.  

So, yeah, sadly I'm going to have to buy in potatoes this year.  Last year was such a nice boon being able to go and harvest the potatoes at the experimental farm, but alas this year nothing like that happened.  So, I put in an order for potatoes with the same farm I got my CSA box through and I'll just pick them up and pay this week when we pick up our final box for the season.  I need to figure out a good way to store the potatoes on my landing as that seemed to be the place the potatoes lasted the longest of all the places I've stored them over the years and hopefully we'll be good to go through a decent portion of winter anyway.

2.  I signed up for an online course to help me learn LAMP Words for Life, hopefully.  It is an actual course to help teach speech therapists the program (you can even get credit for the course for continuing education purposes) through the Center for AAC and Autism.  The course normally costs nearly 80.00, but since I wasn't taking the course for credits and was just doing it as a parent I was able to book the course at a 50% off rate.  Which saving 40.00 was definitely a good feeling.

3.  I tried to buy cooking oil through our local store, but only got 1/2 of what I ordered through my online order.  I was on Amazon and was looking through my cart for mark downs (I, no joke, have like 150 items in my cart at any given time, but I try to keep things like food items and things we use on a regular basis near the top so that I can see if I can get those things cheaper on any given day) and found that gallons of canola oil were down in price from 10.00 per gallon to 6.00 per gallon.  I ordered two as it was definitely something I needed.  I then found that the olive oil I like to get was down in price and had a coupon of 10% off your first subscribe and save order.  Since I was nearly out, I ordered one of those and used the coupon.  As soon as the oil comes in (and I pray all of the oil gets here in one piece and travels well *fingers crossed*) I'll cancel my subscribe and save that is six months out so I don't end up with a nasty surprise six months from now when the item comes back up for shipment.

4.  We wanted to take a day trip.  Instead of worrying about all of us eating out, I packed some sandwiches and some drinks.  We actually ended up coming home before we ate, so we ended up having sandwiches a couple of meals at home over the weekend instead.  It ended up being a pretty frugal purchase and was a nice treat for us to have as I normally don't buy deli meat much at all anymore.

5.  The screen on the I-Pad mini we use as Alvah's day to day talker is starting to die.  I looked at prices and things to replace it, but first I e-mailed our contact teachers through our homeschool and asked if there was a way to use our allotment to pay for it as it is definitely an item used for his education and you can get a really good deal on tablets if you order them through the homeschool system (we get a certain amount of money each year as an allotment to use for the children's education in this state.  We have to justify expenses through our contact teacher and things, but it is nice to have money to use for the children's education for sure).  They had me fill out a special form to request the I-pad mini and they are pretty sure it will be approved.  Here's hoping as that will save me a significant amount of money if the allotment can be used for that purpose.

6.  Speaking of the home school, I found out that we get a free yearly subscription to the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Power Point and Excel) for up to five devices, so I went and got signed up and downloaded the programs for us to use.  I like Open Office, don't get me wrong, but it is kind of glitchy on my system, especially when it comes to paperwork I have to fill out for the kids, so it is nice to have the proper program so that the documents come out right on my computer and I don't have to borrow my daughter's laptop to print out documents.

7.  We watched a bunch of different things for free on YouTube and through Amazon Prime.

8.  We got the new Raddish box in this week and got some awesome recipes that I can't wait to try.  One of them was for apple cider donuts.  I had bought a jug of apple cider last year and so I was thrilled that I will have the ingredients on hand to make the donuts a bit later this week :).  There are two camps in this world, it seems.  The pumpkin spice crowd and the apple lover crowd when the fall season hits.  I'm definitely in the apple camp, so the donuts look super awesome to me *laugh*.  When I looked at the glass jug of cider I bought last year I found that the use by date is actually good till 2022, which impressed me.  I'm definitely going to look for that brand again and I'm going to buy a few more bottles to last me through till next year :).

9.  I went online and found some fun crafts for the kids to do for Halloween and Thanksgiving and found ones that would cost me very little in the way of materials to make.  For Thanksgiving we are going to make a project that I have all the materials on hand, which is always preferable an I think it will be pretty fun as well. 

10.  I called and ended up dropping an old vehicle off of our insurance.  It saved a bunch of money and since said vehicle is paid for and parked for the time being (we will put it back on the insurance in the event something breaks down and we have to use said vehicle or something), it was good to get the insurance bill down a bit.  Any little bit of money saved right now helps.

And there you go folks.  Some of what has been going on the last few weeks.  How about you?  Things going alright for you all?


  1. Your potato harvest looks almost exactly like mine. It was a first time try for me - so I was happy. Oh well.
    Sounds like a good week.

  2. It was nice to hear you are having an uneventful week.I look forward to your posts and you are an inspiration to me!

  3. My potato harvest was bad too. We love apple cider donuts. Vermont has a lot of apple orchard with pick your own. They all have fresh apple cider donuts for sell. We go one time each fall to buy the donuts. Enjoy yours

  4. My garden only produced squash and pumpkins this year. The pumpkins were small- pie pumpkins, but we use them for decorating instead of baking. The local deer enjoyed snacking on my peppers and cucumber plants! Keep up the good work homeschooling! I homeschooled for twelve years.

  5. I think you do so well growing anything in a place with such a short growing season. Now I'm in a flat with just a patio, I've only had a few tomatoes and a few more still green. Also quite a lot of herbs which is useful. Because of the total lockdown earlier in the year I couldn't get my usual salad leaf seeds and the ones I got didn't come to anything. Well done on your home schooling. We used to home school but we didn't get any financial help or any other support at all.

  6. Will you please post the cider donuts recipe? Sounds so yummy.
    Barb in PA