Friday, February 25, 2022

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap (Times 3)

Delays in blogging again.  Darn it.  But, a lot has happened over the last three weeks, so let me catch you all up on the craziness that is our lives around here.

Well, the biggest thing that happened was probably that my son got his medication switched around to see if we could help him to sleep better.  His doctor, after a recommend from one of our blog readers about how her son was on Trazadone and really benefitted from it AND he was on a chewable pill versus a time release type of capsule.  So, we started him on Trazadone a few days after Valentine's Day.  And OY!  Well, first, Trazadone definitely does NOT help the son to sleep.  A half an hour after taking the beginning dose (which was the minimum for his weight) he went into super giggly, hyper and happy mode.  He'd finally crash around 3:00 am or so, but yeah taking the medication as a sleep aide definitely did NOT work.  BUT, and this is a big but, the medication really improved his mood during the day!  I was super happy with how his mood did during the day while on Trazadone.  He didn't need to take any Risperidone as the Trazadone built up in his system, which was really nice!  Unfortunately, after a few weeks of being on Trazadone and it building up in his system, he suddenly started acting like he was NOT feeling good and acted like he had a bad headache and things.  

So, after some debate, I decided to put him back on the Risperidone and the Clonodine like he has been on for years.  The nice part about doing all of this, though, is by being off of Risperidone for so long, it really seems like the son's system has reset.  The clonodine, which hasn't helped him sleep in a long while, is working like it did when we first started him on it and while the Risperidone doesn't seem to do much for his mood (not counting it out of the game yet, though, as the Trazadone is still working it's way out of his system) it does seem to help him get to sleep at night.  So, at least he's finally getting some sleep, and as a result, so am I.  Which is wonderful, I have to say.

So, the second bit of craziness that happened was that we became the owners of a LOT of cases of "past the use by date" french fries.  The people who were trying to get rid of them had tried to donate them to the food bank and other places, but they were too far out of date to be accepted anywhere.  And there were a ton of them.  We were happy to accept the French fries as French fries are one of the son's staple foods and were getting harder and harder to find at the stores of late, so we scrambled to make sure that the French fries didn't go to waste.  I was so grateful that I had canned so many things that had been in the freezers as I shoved french fries into every available spot to keep them frozen until we could come up with a better system in which to store them and we still had to put a bunch into a big container and bury it in the snow outside until we could get another freezer.  Unfortunately, freezers aren't exactly a dime a dozen right now.  I finally found one at Lowes.  I paid more than I wanted to for it, but luckily I had held some money back from our tax return to put toward bills, so while I had to put it onto my husband's credit card we just paid off, at least I'll be able to pay off about 2/3 of it before it starts to accumulate tons of interest.  And at least Lowes delivered the freezer, so my husband didn't need to kill himself trying to get it in and out of the truck.  Did we get enough free food to pay for the freezer?  Yeah, probably not, although the French fries did fill it up pretty full.  But, at least we have French fries for quite a while (which will keep me out of the stores) and we know we'll have the fries available.  With the current world situation, the security is worth a LOT in my mind.

The one thing I did buy and put into the freezer once we had it was a turkey for Thanksgiving.  Our store had a couple in stock, so I bought one of them.  With the way the avian flu is ripping through chicken coops across the world at the moment (among other birds) I'm worried turkeys may very well not available come November.  At least I know where I can source local eggs if we need them (NOT cheap, but better than nothing) and I am hoping to get a bit more chicken to put into the freezer to store for long term use, but we'll see how that goes as my budget just keeps getting tighter, along with everyone else's.

1.  Someone asked me how the situation at our stores are going up here with everything that is going on.  Well, pretty much everything that I can find has gone up 1.00 in price at least, which adds up fast when you are trying to shop.  And stock on items, like everywhere, is sporadic at best.  I ended up ordering cat food from Amazon when it was in stock (which that is hit or miss now too) because I had to.  This is a shot I took of the dog food side of the isle (someone was on the cat food side desperately trying to scab together enough things so her cats could eat and I didn't want to invade her privacy) as it pretty much shows how bare the pet food isles are right now.

I am glad that my mom taught me to buy ahead at times like this.  

2.  I took a very tough cut of meat beef roast out of the freezer.  Instead of turning it into a pot roast, I instead roasted it in the oven until rare.  I then let it cool and put it in the fridge.  The next day I took out the meat slicer and sliced the meat super thin.  I then made two loaves of French bread and we used one loaf to turn the meat into French dips for dinner that night.  My husband has since taken roast beef sandwiches to work for lunch the last couple of days, using the home made french bread with the thin sliced meat , which has been great as not only was it a super effective use of a tough cut of meat (luckily if you slice it really thin across the grain the tough meat gets tender and easy to eat), but it gives him a nice, and tasty lunch, that is easy to put together.  I'm going to use the rest of the thin cut meat for dinner tonight to make Korean style BBQ beef to go over rice and I think it'll be tasty!

3.  Valentine's Day went...well interesting.  We had the Valentine's Day dinner I had planned over the weekend as I knew my husband was scheduled to work on Monday.  The fondue was a really fun change of pace and my daughter even liked it.  I ended up using some stale home made bread to dip and then I cooked up the few beef fillet steaks I'd gotten with my meat package last year.  I sliced up an apple and then bought a few fruit bowls to get some fresh fruit into our diet as I had a personalized price on them which made them decently cost effective (I got a bowl of grapes and a bowl of strawberries.  Those were good dipped in the cheese!).  We all stuffed ourselves and it was a super yummy dinner.  I even made a vanilla cake for dessert and we used some of the fresh strawberries and macerated them in sugar earlier in the day so we could have strawberry shortcake for dessert.

We actually spent Valentine's Day itself going to our bank in horrible weather.  Luckily, my husband came home early so we could go the appointment as the highway was a horrible mess and everything was at a dead standstill for hours that evening right when he would have had to be commuting, so that worked out alright.  We finally got in for our appointment (why, I ask, do they insist that you schedule appointments online if they are going to make you wait for over 1/2 an hour anyway?).  I was nervous about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates as our home equity loan is variable interest.  We do have the power to lock it in at a fixed rate, however, when we choose.  Luckily, after the meeting, I felt a bit better about leaving it alone for now as she gave us a bunch of advice about what to watch for on our end for increasing interest rates and she also gave us her card so we can call and/or e-mail her if we suddenly feel the need to lock in what we have on our home equity loan at any given time.  

4.  The daughter had a okay birthday overall.  Once again, the weather was just awful that day, so some people we had invited over didn't make it.  But, my in-laws did show up to wish her a happy birthday so she was content.  I gave the daughter a few fairy figures we had found earlier at one of the used stores.  She fell in love with them when we were there so I had bought them on the sly and hid them.  She was super thrilled to get them.  

5.  Got some of my bills for next month in and was happy to see that my electric bill and my gas bill had gone down.  I've been carefully putting the heat, both electric and gas, down at night to not only keep us all comfortable (at the moment we are having what I like to call "false Spring" as the temps are going up into the upper 30's during the day and we are even supposed to hit 40 this weekend.  It leads to a lot of ice as the temps plunge below freezing as soon as the sun starts to go down, but it has led to me being able to turn down the heat, so I'm happy with that aspect of it.  With the rising cost of everything, any little bit you can do to save money is definitely welcome.  My heart goes out to those of you in the UK right now as I've been keeping tabs (hard core) on world events and I know the energy crisis the UK is going through right now.  You are all in my prayers, as are so many others.

6.  Despite getting curve balls thrown our way this month, I did manage to get a decent amount of my Monthly Goals done so far.  I feel pretty good about that.

7.  The windstorm we had earlier in the year managed to take out one of our garbage cans.  We didn't realize it right away as my husband had to chase it into our woods one day, but thought it had survived okay.  Turns out it didn't and developed huge cracks all over it from the beating it took.  So, we went to the home improvement warehouses to try and find a replacement.  We found the spot outside where the garbage cans we have been buying the last five years normally sat, but the home was empty.  We like the trashcans as they are decently heavy duty built (Rubbermaid), but also they are normally a lot cheaper than other trash cans of the same quality.  We grumpily grabbed another type of garbage can as we really were in need of a new one, but my husband decided that we should go around the store really fast and see if we could find the trashcans somewhere else.  Luckily his plan worked!  We found some up in the front of the store where they were setting up some Spring products, so we were able to get the type of trashcan we actually wanted and saved 15.00 compared to buying the other type.

8.  I received a replacement credit card in the mail as my old one had expired.  I used the opportunity to figure out if I had any reoccurring charges on the card and chose to switch as many as I could to another form of payment or to cancel them completely.  I had forgotten that I had to switch a few charges over to my credit card when my check card got hacked last time so that we could get the items we needed and I forgot to switch them back when my new check card had come in.  By doing it this way I was able to stop 12.00 worth of charges going directly onto my credit card every month, which might not seem like much, but it will save me from those charges accumulating interest onto the card over time.   I am working hard to pay off debt as much as I can this year and stopping further charges onto my credit card will definitely help that.

9.  I mended my son's weighted blanket.  He's taken to chewing the corners and it had developed a hole and the plastic weighted beads were leaking out.   I darned the hole in record time and voila no more leaking beads.

And there you are folks.  Some of the things that have happened and such the last three weeks.  How have you all been?  


  1. Ao happy you have gotten a good plan for son's sleep again.
    YAY on the french fries. I am thinking chili cheese fries, chopped up and made into fried potatoes or even hash browns. Chopped and added to soup - not just fries anymore. What a blessing.
    Glad you got the new freezer. Sounds like things are moving in the right direction.

  2. I enjoy reading your blog and hearing how people live in other parts of the world. I'm in the UK but as yet my energy bills haven't gone up as I signed up to an 18 month fixed tariff. It will be going up soon though. Fortunately I downsized from a good sized house to an apartment 2 years ago so not so much to heat up. I have lots of warm clothes and blankets to keep warm. At least we don't have your kind of temperatures. Stay safe