Friday, October 2, 2020

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap (Times 2)


It has been so busy the last couple of weeks, I honestly can't believe it's just been two weeks have passed.

So, what have I been up to?

Well, there is homeschool of course.  That's been taking  up a goodly amount of time.

1.  Then I went and got the kids their flu vaccinations (they are covered by insurance, so I'm counting that as a frugal savings, really :).

2.  I took a six hour online course in LAMP Words For Life via Zoom last week.  It has been more than a few years since I had to take an actual class on something, so having to get up at 4am to complete a six hour course that started at 5am was, in a word, rough.  But, I got a bunch of valuable information from the course and am also getting a manual on LAMP as part of taking the course, so I am completely happy with the money I spent on the course and have already implemented some of the tips the course covered and have found they are helping Alvah navigate the program better.  Like I said, completely worth it!

3.  The color printer and new I-Pad mini (to use as a new talker for the son) that I was able to order through the homeschool came in and we picked those up when we went in for Alvah's first speech therapy e-val with the homeschool.  I was really, really impressed with the speech therapist that works through the homeschool and can't wait to work further with her.  I haven't had that in depth of an interview on communication since we got Alvah diagnosed with autism through the neuro-psychologist when we was two!

4.  We attended the "Special Edition" of the fall festival at our local U-Pick farm.  It was an outdoor event and people were really great about keeping proper social distancing and things.  Even the special needs kids were actually really well behaved about leaving people their personal bubbles since they had so much room to run around and all kinds of different activities to do.  We had a blast and I'm so glad the weather cooperated this year.  I was even able to run into a friend of mine who was volunteering at a food booth that I hadn't "seen" in years (we talk via Facebook from time to time, but hadn't seen each other in ages).  I'm so glad we were able to go as the kids really needed to get out and do something for a change.

5.  Covid has finally started going through my husband's workplace and as a result of possible exposure (the husband has been really careful to wear a mask and keep that social distance between him and others) through a contractor the husband went and got his first Covid test.  Luckily it came back negative, which was a relief as I have a couple of appointments next week (dentist and eye doctor) and was worried about the results.

6.  It turns out that the Clonodine the son was on might not have been helping him to sleep any more, but it was controlling his Pica (eating non-food items) as the more he came off of the Clonodine's effects the worse the Pica was getting.  So, I rescheduled his appointment with his psychiatrist and got in for an early appointment day before yesterday and we both decided it was best to put him back on the Clonodine just for the sake of calming him down and helping with the Pica.  He took some Clonondine last night and so far today we are doing good, so I'm hoping that the medication at least helps him with that aspect of his autism as Pica is a really worrisome condition.

7.  I started using the app "Lose It" and loaded it onto my phone.  It is a dieting program that helps you count calories and does the equations for you to help you lose weight in a given amount of time.  I on the one pound a week program and am working on losing 20 pounds (15 of which I gained when I went on Valtrex and Prednisone with the staph infection last year and just can't seem to lose no matter how hard I try).  I do well with structure when dieting, so I'm finding the app really cool and am doing well at it so far.  The only diet I've been on before this was the low carb/diabetic diet when pregnant, so this is a COMPLETELY different way of dieting that I'm having to get used to.  I'm getting there, but am still fighting the knee jerk reaction that I shouldn't eat bread because it has this many carbs in it, even though calorie wise it really isn't that bad to eat a sandwich *laugh*.

8.  I used some free computer paper that my husband was given by a friend who was moving a while back to print off a TON of speech therapy materials for the son.  I bought some LAMP materials through Teachers Pay Teachers and one of the things I bought was vocabulary cards that you could use and there was over 100 pages of cards to print off.  I am looking forward to using the cards one at a time to start to teach the son some basic vocabulary on LAMP starting next week (at the same time we start quarter 2 work with him :).  

I also printed off an online user manual for LAMP that walks through how to customize the program as needed.  I'm going to take some old binders we have around the house and use our three hole punch to make a couple of books out of the materials for our new, more intensive, speech therapy sessions.  Here's hoping the son takes it well and we start to make some progress!

9.  Since the earthquake I've been buying non-stick cooking spray because my Misto bottle got smashed and punctured during the event.  I finally, after spending too much money on bottles with too little spray in them, broke down and ordered a new oil spray bottle from Amazon.  It should be in Monday, so hopefully that'll work out well and I'll be able to save some money not having to buy cooking spray.

10.  I rearranged the kitchen, finally.  I tried to draft it out beforehand, but the husband was always too busy to help me and honestly I suck at drafting, so I finally just rearranged it one day last week.  It isn't perfect, but it is a start.  I was able to weed out a bunch of different dishes we don't use anymore (like toddler cups and things that just end up getting buried in the back of the cabinets), really condense down my plastic cups and dishes (now that Alvah is better about not smashing things on other things I've switched him more to glass plates as I like them better) and just hopefully help things to fit better.  So far, so good.  I'll take pictures of the finished project when I get a few moments.

11.  I watched a ton of new things on Amazon that were free with Prime to watch since the son wasn't sleeping at all.  

12.  I started the process of renewing the son's TEFRA insurance for another year.  They gave me little to no time to get the paperwork in, so I e-mailed it to our Care Coordinator and asked her to send it in via secured e-mail (it gets time stamped that way).  I then asked why we needed to fill out the paperwork as Medicaid was supposed to be extended six months, at least by the letter the Medicaid office sent out at the beginning of quarantine.  Turns out that while one branch of the government with TEFRA is extending out six months, another branch isn't, so be sure to check in with your care coordinators if you have federal Medicaid disability insurance to make sure everything is kosher, folks!

13.  I started making a list of monthly goals for October (there's actually quite a few).  I'm hoping to finish it tonight and post it up in the next couple of days.

14.  I was offered a ton of bonus reward points at Carrs if I spent so much in one shopping trip.  With all of the different bonus rewards, and the fact that we aren't going very many places right now, I needed to redeem some rewards before they expired.  I redeemed enough rewards to get 7.00 off of my next shopping trip.  I used the 7.00 to help pay toward produce purchases we made last week.  

15.  Instead of turning the heat on in my bedroom at night, I just threw another blanket on the bed instead.  So far it's working to keep us warm enough at night and will hopefully 

16.  There was a sale on squash last week for .99 lb for different varieties of squash.  I was able to get two delicata squash for cheap.  After trying different varieties of squash last year I found that I really liked this type of squash, so I was thrilled to get a couple of them to roast later on.

I also took advantage of a sale this week and got 6 cans of Lindsay olives for .99 per can.  It was a maximum of 6, but since the regular price on olives at the moment is kind of crazy, I was happy to get some cans for a decently cheap price.

17.  The store stopped carrying Rockit apples or they are out of season, out of stock, or something.  These are my husband's favorite snack to take to work, so I am going to work on baking and cooking different things for the husband to take to work with him over the weekend.  Hopefully I can keep him stocked up on snacks and meals so that he doesn't feel the need to eat out, as that derails our budget really fast.

18.  We decorated for Halloween using decorations we have saved throughout the years that the kids have made or things I bought on clearance for cheap in the past (such as the Halloween wood decoration seen at the top of the blog post).  We are now very festive and ready for the Halloween holiday.

Oh, and speaking of Halloween, a few people have e-mailed me and asked for suggestions on what to do for Halloween since Trick or Treating and large gatherings are out in their area due to restrictions and what not.  Personally, we are going to have a "Sleepy Hollow" themed Halloween party around here, based on the foods and fun that the characters in the Disney version of "Ichabod Crane" was feasting on at the Halloween party (I need to try and afford a few slices of ham by Halloween *laugh*).  I'm going to read (or the husband is, depending on who the kids want to read to them) "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", the original one by Washington Irving, and other festive things.  I think the kids will have a lot of fun and we don't have to worry about going anywhere :).

And there you go folks.  A few things I've been up to the last few weeks (and believe me there is more, but that's at least a portion of it).  I'm tired, really tired, but feeling like things are starting to get accomplished and I'm getting more of a handle on things.  Here's hoping!


  1. I need to Google that oil mister! I too, hate big buying the bottles of spray with so little in it!

  2. I think you accomplish a lot. Your fall festival sounded good. Glad you all enjoyed it. The two times I visited the USA was in the fall and we went to apple festivals and a pottery one. They were so good. Like the country shows we used to have here that seemed to have nearly disappeared. Well done on your course.

  3. My husband lost about 200 pounds using the Lose It app. He ate a small portion of whatever he wanted, as long as he entered it in correctly, he lost weight. So, it works even if you eat bread or drink a can of Coke now and then, as long as you count the calories correctly. Good luck with it!