Thursday, November 19, 2020

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap (Times nearly 2)

Man, I'm tired.  Daylight savings really wholloped me this year, mainly because it threw off the son's schedule and I've been fighting him on going to bed even more than usual because of it.  Le sigh.

Sorry it took so long to compile this post together.  It's been kind of rough digging up things that have saved us money as it seems like money is just flying out the door as soon as my husband's paycheck comes in anymore.  Just the price on groceries alone gives me hives.  But, I'm determined to find the bright points though, so let's get to those.

1.  One of the things I decided to incorporate into our lesson plans this year is some fun stuff to do around the holidays and incorporate things we can use for gifts as well.  So, I ordered a beeswax candle making kit at the beginning of the school year (as close to a pioneer craft as I wanted to do with the son as you roll beeswax candles versus having to juggle boiling hot wax) and we made candles yesterday.  The kit didn't make nearly as much as it promised (well, we could have made the amount they stated IF we made a bunch of birthday cake candles out of the last sheet of wax, which was kind of a rip off), but the candles we did make turned out decently cute.  My daughter, especially, is looking forward to putting the candles into Christmas gifts this year :).

2.  The husband went and got his oil changed on his car and at the same time got a recall issue on his car taken care of, so it was good that he was able to get both things done at the same time.  He used the lifetime oil changes we got on the vehicle when we bought it so we didn't need to pay anything out of pocket for the oil change.

3.  The sleep pants that I bought back in high school finally started to disintegrate on me.   I can't say that the pants haven't fulfilled their duties admirably and the 8.00 per pair I spent on them at Target back in the day...well they definitely paid for themselves many times over.  I ended up going on Amazon and found a couple of pajama sets.  I got one with shorts and one with pants and got both sets with a panda theme to them, so that the shirts will be interchangeable.  Since one shirt is a short sleeve and one is a long sleeve, this will serve me decently well I think.  I ended up having to order myself some new t-shirts as well as a bunch of t-shirts I have had forever started to fall apart as well.  I'm just praying things are decent quality and that they'll last me a while.  I'm going to pray anyway.

4.  I made out Christmas cards and got them mailed off early for a change!  I'm so proud of myself as this never happens *laugh*.  I even made Alvah sign his name on all of the cards so we got fine motor skill practice in as we filled out the cards.  He wasn't happy when he had to sign his name for the 8th time, but hey, it worked *laugh*.

5.  Our state went back on voluntary lockdown starting Monday of this week due to Covid spreading and the ICU beds (we only have 215 in the state or something close to) are quickly being taken up by patients with it.  My daughter got severely depressed by the new lockdown as she was hoping we could go and do stuff again soon, so to cheer her up a bit, we started to decorate for Christmas early.  We've just done a little bit of decorating every day (like yesterday we made the candles to put in Christmas gifts, etc) and we'll finish up by putting the tree up the day after Thanksgiving.  This doesn't take any money to do since we're just digging out decorations we already have, but it has definitely helped to raise the spirits of the kids, so I think it's worth it.

6.  When I realized that lockdown was coming I went to the store and tried to get as much as I possibly could for Thanksgiving and Christmas bought in the way of supplies.  Unfortunately, I wasn't alone in this way of thinking so fresh herbs were COMPLETELY gone already (as well as a bunch of everything else as people, once again, stocked up for the time ahead...up here I can't even say it is panic is just stocking up, but our inventory is so limited things run out FAST and stay that way for quite a while when something like this happens), so I guess I'm going to get creative with dried herbs for the turkey this year.  At least I bought vegetable stock for the turkey brine over a month ago when it was on sale, so I'm not completely up a creek.  I ended up buying so much I was able to get a free turkey.  I pulled out our free turkey from last year and put it in the fridge to defrost for Thanksgiving and put the new turkey in its spot in the freezer.  We'll have that turkey for Thanksgiving next year.  I know it seems kind of weird to do it this way, but one thing I learned when we were really, really poor was that this way I have security knowing that no matter what we have a turkey for next year.  It gives me a tremendous sense of relief to see that turkey there, so I have no problem with that turkey taking up room in the bottom of my freezer all year.

7.  Our lunch containers for the husband have slowly broken over the years and I realized that I really didn't have enough left to do things like freeze him some meals for quick grab lunches or anything or he'd have nothing to take fresh lunches to work in.  I ended up buying these Rubbermaid containers (no associate link or anything, just sharing).  So far I really like them.  They are definitely lighter weight than the easy find lid Rubbermaid I had gotten in the past, but I really like how many divided containers this set came with as it allows me to do a divided bento-like lunch set up for the husband so he doesn't have to worry about all the food blending together and I don't have to worry about packing up four containers for his lunch and can fit it all into one or two, which saves time, space in the fridge and space in the dishwasher later on :).

8.  I made our yearly recipe for aged eggnog and got it in the fridge to age for the holidays.  I'm determined to work drinking a little of it here and there into my diet.  I don't drink at all except for little glasses of eggnog this time of year, so I'm determined to at least enjoy it :).  That and non-alcoholic glogg.  I became addicted to that stuff last year, so yeah, that's on the menu for the holidays as well =D.

I used the same bottles of alcohol I used for the eggnog last year and had enough to make the recipe (barely, but I made it :).  I was able to get the dozen egg yolks by redeeming fuel rewards I wasn't using (I had a ton of bonus rewards that were going to expire as we don't go anywhere so I'm not using the rewards for gas) to get a free dozen eggs.  I froze the egg whites to use in angel food cake later (I found that Alton Brown's angel food cake took 12 egg whites, so that worked out perfect).

9.  I have become addicted to this youtube channel.  The gal makes bento boxes for her husband and films it so you can get ideas of how bento boxes are put together.  I've gotten some really good tips on ways to better pack my husband's lunches through the channel (like using rice or parchment to absorb excess oil to help keep things fresher) and it has really improved my ability to fit a good, balanced lunch into a smaller container :).

10.  My husband fixed an issue his car had by himself, thus saving us a TON of money having to take it into a garage and get it fixed.

11.  I bought a boneless pork loin on sale and then thin sliced it (I mean REALLY thin sliced it) to use for schnitzel, Japanese dishes and other things.  Thin slicing it REALLY stretched the meat and made a bunch of different freezer bags of meat.  I'm definitely thinking I need to do this more with beef and pork as it will give us meat in our meals, but also makes the meat stretch, thus saving us money, which with the current economy we desperately need to do.

And there you go folks.  Some of the things we've been up to the last couple of weeks.  How about you?  Up to anything?


  1. You have done well. We get points for shopping in Sainsburys on our Nectar cards. Last week was double up so for £20 of points I could get £40 of goods. Not food sadly but got two pairs of trousers and slippers for me. Then 3 sets of tops and matching trousers for little GD. One pair of trousers were already half price in the sale so I was really pleased. I'm hoping to get some more free foraged apples tomorrow as well.

  2. Your candles look great! I love the idea of pre-slicing the pork loin. I buy Fred Meyer seasoned loin and throw it in the freezer for easy dinners. Now, I'm going to slice and divide the next one before I freeze it! Thanks for the great tip!