Friday, November 6, 2020

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap (Times 3)

Well, okay, so technically it's two and a half weeks, not three, but I'm just going by how many Fridays have passed.

It has been crazy around here, per usual.  So, let's break down what I've been up to of late.

First up there was the dentist.  I went in and got my fillings done.  Thankfully, I did not need a root canal.  Unfortunately, between the deep filling I got combined with the first deep cleaning (well any cleaning, really) I've had done on my teeth since high school (spoilers:  That was quite a while ago), the dental appointment ended up taking me out at the knees for a good week and a half.  My TMJ flared, my teeth hurt and I was REALLY worried that the deep filling they gave me had failed as that tooth was so sensitive that eating or drinking anything was not a pleasant experience for a good week.  About four or five days after I got my tooth filled (which I liked the dentist who did the initial dental work on my teeth but then he turned over the filling of the teeth to a lady who did, in the bluntest terms I can come up with, a crappy job.  I can still barely floss the teeth that were filled, I have really rough surfaces on those teeth, etc), a nasty shard of porcelain filling came out from under my gum where I got my tooth filled.  It was huge (or so it felt in my mouth), it was SHARP and as soon as it was gone my tooth felt about 18 bazillion times better.  I called the dental office and talked to the dentist who did the initial work on my teeth and he took some notes to talk to said lady who did the fillings on my teeth as he was not happy to hear about my experience.  He told me to watch for any swelling or additional pain as he was worried about a gum infection after having that shard of filling in there.  Luckily, it seems I'm doing okay since then.  I'll tell you what.  If I could afford my old dentist I would go back in a heart beat.  Unfortunately, this office works with my insurance and makes dental work so cheap I'll probably keep going back just to save the thousands of dollars I would spend at my other dentist.  

At least after this I should only have to go in for cleanings every six months (and I have to say that thee dental hygienist who did my cleaning was awesome!) and keep on my top of my dental care and hopefully I'll be alright from this point out.  Nice thing is my dental insurance covers cleanings 100%, so hopefully, hopefully, as far as dental work goes I'll be alright for a while.  I still have to get the kids in and checked out as it has been almost a year since they were seen last and my husband has to get a tooth fixed, but otherwise...I'm relieved that at least I'M out of the way, if that makes sense *laugh*.

I also got my bifocals in and had to get used to wearing those, which was a kind of hard four days or so as my eyes adjusted to a new way of seeing out of glasses. For the most part, I'm happy with the glasses now and I have to say I don't miss having to switch out glasses every three minutes while doing schoolwork with the kids.

Right, so a couple of people have e-mailed me and asked how the diet is going.  Well, I'm halfway to my goal already, so I'd say it is going really well.  I really like the "Lose It" app.  The one thing that it has done for me, I've noticed, is that I stopped snacking during the day and if I'm really hungry in between meals I find that I'm a lot more careful in what I will eat to get the most nutrition to fewest calories I can out of the snack.  Side benefits of dropping weight have been I'm seeing a decrease in back and leg pain at night (which for me is HUGE as I have been having a hard time sleeping due to my lower back issues for a while now), an increase in energy and an increased want to get my husband to eat healthier at lunch, so I've been having a lot of fun watching Japanese bento videos that people put up on YouTube to try and figure out different lunch options to put in my husband's lunches during the week.  I've found that cooking Japanese food has become more common around here as, so long as I'm careful with the portions on rice, that the portions on my meals are nice and healthy and relatively low calorie.  So, to the people who have asked me to share what I'm doing with the diet, you'll probably see it in my menu plans for the week (if and when I find time to do them...I've been so busy I've been punting from day to day *laugh*).

Right, so let's get onto money saving things I've been up to the last few weeks.

1.  I got my free Christmas cards in from Shutterfly, which they came out cute and I'll have enough to send to family back East, so that'll be great.

2.  I got the plastic insulating panels up in all of the windows around here (see up top for the shot of the living room window).  I saved plastic scraps as I went and was able to do the windows on the front door as well, which has definitely helped with how cold our landing was getting.  I'm praying that with the panels in place we'll see a reduced heating bill this winter as we are already having cold and icy temperatures outside, so this winter might be a cold and miserable one.

3.  We haven't gone many places at all the last bit (I know we aren't alone there), so I had a bunch of gas rewards that were going to expire on my Carrs card.  Instead of letting them go to waste, I redeemed them for a bunch of money off our next shopping trip, a free dozen eggs and a free avocado.  Because of that and shopping sales I was able to cut my grocery bill in half last week, which was nice :).

4.  I rearranged the kitchen, again, and have slowly tried to make it more functional.  I am making progress, so I am happy about that.  I'll try to take pictures after it is all done as I'm still trying to figure a few things out, but so far, so good.

5.  I needed some hamburger from the bottom of our "beef freezer" in the kitchen, so I decided it was good opportunity to take everything out of the freezer and do an inventory of what we had for beef left.  So far, we are doing pretty well, so I am happy about that.  And I remembered to grab the five pounds of hamburger out of the freezer to transfer to the other, more easily accessible, freezers (I pull five pounds of burger at a time, so I don't have to constantly dig to the bottom of the small block freezer to get some).  I nearly forgot, so I was happy that I remembered before I added too much stuff back to the freezer *laugh*.

6.  I pulled out all of our winter coats, made sure they ready to go so that when the weather turned cold the coats were ready to go.   Between that and my husband working hard and getting the garage cleaned out so he could put his car in there, it has been a lot nicer having to go out and about if we need to definitely go somewhere (I forgot how nice it was to have a preheated car in the garage it has been so long since we were able to fit one in there).

7.  I took part in my usual once a year autism research study and was given a 15.00 Amazon giftcard in exchange for participating.  I used it to buy my son some more chewable Benadryl (the stores have been out of it for months and Amazon only has it sporadically, so I was thrilled to be able to order some before we ran out at home).

8.  I found a few series that I had been wanting to see that were free to watch on Amazon Prime, a few for a limited time.  I had fun watching "Cities of the Underworld" as I studied a bunch of the structures they were exploring while I was in college.  So, it was cool to actually see said structures in real time versus as pictures in a text book :).

9.  Halloween passed low key and fun at home.  My mother and father-in-law came over and we had sandwiches for dinner, watched Halloween cartoons and had fun chatting and visiting.  We made chocolates from chocolate we had in the pantry that I'd purchased a while ago on clearance and was safe for the son, made a cake and decorated it with Halloween picks we already had from previous Halloweens, and overall had a fun (and frugal) time :).

10.  I sat down and figured out calorie counts on food for Thanksgiving and ran things by my husband who told me to just not worry about making a few dishes as they were really high calorie.   Since I normally make food that the leftovers last for quite a while, he was okay with me omitting a few things this year for the sake of my diet.  Which I was really touched that he wanted to do that as I was willing to make the other dishes for the family if they wanted them and I would have just skipped eating them this year.  So, that'll save me not only some time, but some money as well, by not having to make those items.

11.  I mended some more holes in some comforters.  I feel like someone sticking their fingers into a dyke at times with how many holes comforters start to develop (blankets get washed a LOT around here with my son), but at least they are still functional even if they don't look the greatest.

12.  I took some older towels, rolled them up, and put them under the doors as draft blockers to help keep out the cold.  I have some actual draft blocking strips that I'm hoping to put up this weekend, but we'll see how the weekend goes.

13.  I found some materials I really wanted to read on various topics in PDF format online so that I didn't have to go and try to pay hefty amounts to buy the books in print.  I do love printed books a lot more than electronic format ones, but I can't complain when the price is free compared to a upwards of 50.00 for the book in printed format (yay for Google books and other online sources).

14.  I taught my daughter a bit of beginners HTML.  She was supposed to go online and find a webpage builder for a school project, but I nixed that and instead showed her some beginning HTML to build the website instead.  It was nice being able to use the HTML knowledge I built over the years to teach my daughter something *laugh*.

15.  I cleaned and organized my fridge.   I only have five more pounds of potatoes to put into the bottom drawer of the fridge and then all of my red potatoes are protected by a nice, cold environment.  I'm hoping to be able to fit the last five pounds in the fridge this week.  It will be just in time as having the potatoes out at room temperature they were JUST starting to sprout.

16.  I cut up the white pumpkin we got from our CSA and the last delicata squash I had and put them into the freezer to use in dishes later on.  They were both starting to look old, so I wanted to get them safely in the freezer before they went bad.  I've found a new love for Japanese style curry, so I am having dreams of having curry with those items in it later in the winter *laugh*.

And yeah, I think I am going to leave things there for now as I've got to get back to doing schoolwork with the son.  I hope you all have been hanging in there and doing alright.  Any cool money saving things happened to you of late?


  1. I like the look of those Bento boxes I've seen on tv but wouldn't have a clue how to prepare them. I do like Sushi but only buy it when its reduced to clear. I went for a walk today and came back with a rucksack full of windfall apples for free so made an apple pudding. I also won a £5 voucher for an upmarket store but I have to travel to the next town for that. I can do it on my senior bus pass but we are not allowed to travel unnecessarily while we are in lockdown so it will have to wait for now. I'm glad your dental work was ok in the end.

  2. I used to "watch" Cities of the Underworld during my afternoon pregnancy nap. To this day when I hear Don Wilder's voice I want to take a nap!