Friday, December 9, 2016

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 12/3-12/9 2016


   What a week!  My hubby was sick, I had a 3 day Fibro flare followed by catching a virus and losing my voice.  I'm still speaking in whispers as of today.  I think the cat is enjoying the fact that I cannot yell at him to get down off things.  I will say having both my hubby and I having been ill, we have saved by staying home and not going out to dinner, the movies, etc. ;)  Onto the rest of the savings...

~We have been stream YouTube videos of Kitty TV to keep Doofy amused and out of trouble.  He loves watching the bird and squirrel ones.

~Saturday my hubby was really ill so we skipped going to the Victorian Christmas program and stayed home instead.

~Sunday we stayed home again and watched movies on Netflix
~Monday my hubby took his car in to get the brakes worked on.  He has them do all that he cannot do but will do the parts that he can and that will save us $200 after having had to already lay our $340.  OUCH!
~I was on day 3 of  Fibromyalgia and CFS flare so hubby stopped at the local Chinese deli and got lunch for us both on Monday.  They give you so much food that he and I are able to split a meal for $6.37.
~I checked the library website and renewed some things I had on Monday so I would not have to leave the house.
~Jeff and I talked over our finances and talked about our health and decided to cancel out on our trip to see my sister in Tahiti.  Both of us would be miserable after having to take the long flights there with our back issues and with my other issues as well.  She will be coming here to see us instead and will get to meet the rest of our family and we will make the trip over to the Seattle area with her so she can see our baby brother and meet our sister in law and our nephews.
~We will used the money we have raised so far by selling things to buy another ton of pellets instead of using that money towards passports now. We are expecting lots of snow and ice in January-March and I want to have the pellets here before that so that we don't have to worry about borrowing my son's truck to transport them on icy roads.
~I continued to work my points programs to the best of my ability.  Swagbucks is having a third party server issue with their videos making it really difficult to meet my daily goals. 😝
~I'm trying to use up the tomatoes from my garden that I picked when they were green and they are all now ripe.  I made a pasta side dish to go with some breaded veal patties that had some whole grain pasta, some chopped up tomatoes, fresh minced parsley, garlic, butter, salt, freshly ground pepper and some parmesan/asiago cheese blend.
~Catalogues have been my "go to" source this year for food gift ideas.  I'm not going to buy what the catalogues are selling at outrageous prices, but I will try to recreate some of them.  😉
~Since it has been colder, I keep a sweater handy to throw on during the day in case I get chilled around the house.
~Tuesday I worked in the morning and then did the shopping after that.  I found a gift for a friend's baby shower at Ross along with a really pretty and soft bathrobe for $14.99.

~I also stopped at Goodwill, after going to Ross, and found another brand new bathrobe there for $3.99.  I debated about taking the bathrobe that I bought at Ross back but my hubby told me to keep them both since I live in them during the colder months.  I also found 2 new bras for $2.99 each in the style that I love wearing when I am home all day because they have no underwire and are so comfy.  While there they announced that all purses and luggage was on sale for half price for the next 15 minutes.  I happened to be ready to check out and thee basket full of wallets were right by the checkout area.  I spotted a beautiful leather Fossil brand wristlet wallet and asked if the wallets were also on sale.  They were so I picked it up for $3.99.  Score all the way around!
~The Dollar Tree still had some of the bottles of the Apple Cider that I am loving.  I picked up 5 of them.  I calculated that I get 10 or more mugs out of each bottle.  That is .10 or less per mug of hot cider.  If I went out to a fancy coffee shop, I would be paying at least $4.00 for a mug of apple cider.  I am set on cider that I can enjoy here at home, in my jammies, for at least a couple of months now.

~Our wonderful Shannon from next door brought over a kids Christmas movie for the little boys to watch.  Her face just lit up when the boys said "Thank you Aunt Shannon".  She is after all part of our hanai family so it seemed fitting to have the boys call her Aunt Shannon. 😘
~Chris, Heather and the little boys hot tubbed when Chris and Heather came to pick them up from our house.  They all had a great time!  I am so glad we have that here for them to use.  Jeff and I used it after they went home since it was already heated up to a good hot temperature.  We usually keep it on the economy setting at 85 degrees and then heat it up to where we want it when needed.  This saves us quite a bit of money as opposed to keeping it at 99 or 100 all the time.
~Wednesday found me ill at home with no voice.  I spent the day curled up watching a "It's a Different World" marathon on Netflix and also listening to music that I streamed from KLOVE Christian radio.
~I was able to get some points at Swagbucks responding to one of their offers and got a free magazine subscription too!
~Leftovers were what we grabbed for dinner on Wednesday night.  Neither one of us wanted to cook anything since we were both not feeling that great.
~Thursday I mended a leather tote bag.
~I deposited $20 into our saving account here in our little town.  I'm going to try and put my smaller earnings checks into there whenever I can and kind of use it as an emergency fund until we can pay off our house and then put more money into our other savings account.

~Dinner Thursday night was halibut (given to us by our Heather's parents), brown rice, a nice romaine lettuce salad and sauteed broccoli stems and sweet orange peppers.
~Jeff moved more bags of pellets up to the back porch so he would not have to go back and forth along the breezeway with the snow making it slick with those heavy bags.  This is a potentially huge money saver because if he slipped and fell, it could be disasterous!
~I sent Jeff with a list of needed items from the Dollar Tree, Walmart and Safeway to pick up before he went to his bowling league.  I had him take my car since we are expecting snow and it has 4 wheel drive.  He'll fill it up with gas for me too at the cheaper priced gas station.
~Friday night I live streamed the Jazz Christmas concert from University of Idaho.  😊
~Jeff had  a mandatory meeting at work Friday night and they provided pizza for dinner for the entire crew.  He really does work for a great small family owned company.
~Since Jeff was gone at dinner time on Friday, I just made myself a roast beef and cheese sandwich.  It was easy, tasted good and left me with very little clean up to do.

  At this rate I think we will be home for most of this weekend unless we need to go and pick up the grandboys and keep them with us for awhile.  I need to get the back guest bedroom ready for them just in case we do.  Other than that Jeff and I will be wrapping gifts and getting things ready to mail out.  I'll have to wait on the baking and candy making until I feel better.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Staying Warm and Silent

     Yesterday I worked in the morning with the 18 month to 3 year olds at MOPS and then did all the shopping.  I then met Chris and Heather on my way home in Palouse to get the little boys and bring them home with me so that we could watch them while Chris and Heather went to a movie.  I had picked up a pizza for dinner because I knew that I had a really long day by that time and was really tired.  Well, the dog literally ate the whole pizza so we had LIttle Smokies sausages and homemade russet and sweet potato jojos instead.  We had so much fun with the grandboys and they enjoyed being able to hot tub with their parents when they got here. It was a really good day and one that I totally enjoyed...despite the dog eating the pizza. 😉

   This morning I woke up with no voice and thankfully had nowhere I had to be.  The temperatures took a dip into the single digits last night and it is a beautiful, if not frigid day outside.  We are expecting back to back days of snow starting tomorrow.  Luckily I got all that we needed from the grocery store yesterday to see us through.

   Rufus and I have been seeking out the warmth of the pellet stove.  He of course wants to be as close to it as possible, especially after he has taken a quick trip outside because he is a finicky cat that still thinks he NEEDS to go out on the back porch, even if it is just for a few minutes before he decides that it is just too cold and then goes and sits in front of the stove to warm up.  

   I've been curled up on the couch wrapped in a new fuzzy bathrobe with a blanket that my mother made for me.  Netflix has been entertaining me while I watch a marathon of the old TV series "It's a Different World".  I loved that show when it first aired and am enjoying it all over again now.  I am trying to get caught up on the laundry since it is something that is never ending and I can fold it all while just sitting here.  To be honest, that is about all I can handle today.  I'm not sure if I am getting the virus that has been plaguing my husband or if I have just pushed myself too far again (or possibly both).  Either way, I am listening to my body as it tells me to rest and take care of myself.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Fancy Smanchy Gift Ideas

  I received a catalogue in the mail today from Bed, Bath and Beyond and was absolutely shocked at the prices of their food gifts.  There are so many that can be recreated at home for pennies upon the dollar of the prices they are charging.  Here are just a few that I saw:

$34.99 for 4 caramel and chocolate covered apples.  I could do this for $4 tops!

or even more ridiculous...

$23.99 for one jumbo apple!  Seriously...who would pay that?

$8.99 for a 12 oz. tin of Peppermint Bark  
I make this in big batches myself every year with some white chocolate bark and crushed peppermint candies (I get the candies from the Dollar Tree)

$2.49 on sale for what is basically brown sugar with some cinnamon to sprinkle on your baked sweet potatoes.

$44.99 for 2 pounds of old fashioned candy in a tin.
This could be recreated with the old fashioned candy that you can get at the Dollar Tree and put in a thrifted or recycled Christmas tin for under $4.00

   I'm sorry but is anyone else either shaking their head in disbelief or rolling on the floor laughing at these prices?  And it's not just Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Look at any number of other websites that offer "Holiday Food" and you will be shocked at what you find there also.  Any of the above and more could easily be made at home frugally, wrapped up nicely and given as a Fancy Smanchy gift and you get the satisfaction of knowing that it was done with love, creativity and on a budget!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 11/29-12/2 2016 Part Two

Homemade Chicken Noodle soup served with some reduced price Garlic Knot rolls

   Ok, I hit the publish button on my Frugal Friday post for this week too early and since you lovely friends were already commenting on it, I decided to split it into two posts for this week so consider this part two. 😉  LOL!  I will have pictures from both part one and part two in this post.

 Anne Klein tote bag (Forest green color) and a purple leather wallet that blocks thieves from being able to scan and steal your credit card info

~I worked on Tuesday for the MOPS program and had a wonderful time with the 3-5 year olds.  One of the other teachers was out so I filled in for her in that classroom.  It brings me great joy to work with all those precious kids and I still can't believe I get paid to do this. :)
~I stopped at the Dollar Tree and picked up the rest of the candy to fill the Christmas"crackers" with.

Brand new in package Boppie infant lounger for the newest grandbaby

~Since I was in town I decided to stop by the Hope Center Thrift store and Goodwill.  At the Hope Center I found fleece pullover jackets for .47 each on the clearance area for my grandsons.  I also found a ziplock bag full of Christmas ornaments made of painted gold wood "G" letters.  Our grandsons are having their own Christmas tree in their room this year and since our last name starts with G I thought this would be really cute.  Our Heather (their mommy) said they would love them!    I found some brand new cute snowman ornaments that will be sent to a friend in Hawaii since it has become a tradition for me to send her a new Christmas ornament each year and a Montana Huckleberry mug that I kept seeing at the gift shops in Montana but never wanted to spend the $12 to get one.  I bought this one for .94 !  Oh I also found a really nice wallet that blocks thieves from being able to scan and steal your credit card information.  I have been wanting to get one of those for some time now.

~At Goodwill, I found 2 shirts (one was the half price rag color of the day too) for myself, a leather key holder for my hubby (half price tag too), a Christmas movie, a Christmas mug and a brand new Infant Boppy for my newest grandbaby that is due in May.
~I picked up a few groceries that we needed at Winco including a cheap frozen lasagna that I popped in the oven as soon as I got home.  We had that for a late lunch/early dinner.  For under $3 it sure beat stopping and picking up a pizza on the way home.
~Jeff and I used our hot tub several times to ease those aching muscles.  Poor guy was really sore after his Monday night shift.
~Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I stayed home so there was no gas used in my car.

~Dinner Wednesday night consisted of tamales I had gotten for 75% off and some Spanish rice.  We had leftover so I had a tamale and some of the rice for lunch on Thursday.
~Thursday we sold our weight bench and all the extra weights for $100 to some really nice college boys. :)  We now have a few less things in the garage and are hoping to clear out even more stuff that I listed on one of the local buy and sell facebook sites.
~I cashed in for another $25 Walmart gift card for the reduced 2,200 points at the beginning of the month at Swagbucks.
~I did 5 different Pinecone Research surveys and cashed out for a $18 check.
~We received several free magazines in the mail this week.
~The present closet was gone through and things sorted out so that I knew what I had for each person.   I found things in there that I had forgotten I had picked up throughout the year. Some of the gifts are now wrapped and ready to go.

Venison Stroganoff skillet dinner

~I finished off a wreath that I started making last year and got it hung up and found the other poinsettia garland that I knew I had somewhere and got that up too. 😉
~The Christmas quilt my mom made is now proudly sitting on the back of our sofa ready to snuggle up in.
~Thursday night was leftovers night for dinner.  I try to plan out at least one leftovers night per week to make sure we don't waste food and so that I don't have to cook that night.
~Thursday night I was chatting with my sister via facebook and got a wonderful surprise.  I'll share more about that later but let's just say that my husband and I now need to get passports! 😎  I'll be trying to sell even more things to raise more funds!

Christmas movie I picked up at the thrift store

~Now that we are running the pellet stove again we are reusing the bags as our big heavy duty trash bags in the garbage bin.
~Our local Dollar Tree is carrying the Old Orchard Apple Cider.  It is one of the few that I can drink without getting a stomach ache.  For $1 it is a great deal and one that I am enjoying very much.
~I cleaned out our mugs cabinet and have 3 huge ones to pass onto my Heather (she wanted any large ones I had and was getting rid of) and will list some of the smaller "vintage" ones online and see if anyone is interested in buying them.  I also listed some of our dvds that we have duplicates of and our Elliptical Trainer.

Duplicate DVDs that I have listed for sale

~Dinner Friday night was roasted russet and sweet potatoes, onions and orange peppers mixed with some beer and brat sausage.  It was so good and was the perfect meal with the snow starting to fall outside as we ate.

Oven Roasted Veggies and Sausage

~We watched some shows on Netflix and online.
~Since I have been having trouble sleeping again, I have been watching some episodes of Keeping Up Appearances to help calm my mid down so I can relax and get some sleep.
~I have a fleece throw next to our bed that I grab when it gets a bit too chilly at night.  Most of the time I don't need it but there are those times that I do.

   I think it has been a pretty good and frugal week!  We are hoping to attend a free Christmas event tomorrow but may have to skip that to help our kids with a plumbing issue at their house.  We shall see!  Be blessed all!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 11/26-11/28 2016 Part One

~Saturday we stopped by one of our favorite thrift stores and found some great deals!  LL Bean fuzzy house slippers for  $1.99, a beautiful Anne Klein tote for $3.99, some cranberry scented candles, 2 dvds (Black and White, a Christmas one for the grandboys), a Bonia travel fanny pack (from what I am seeing these things are really pricey brand new), and a nice heavy duty splatter guard.
~Sunday I made some homemade chicken noodle soup using up the rest of the reduced prices rotisserie chicken, some celery, onion, carrot, garlic, parsley and seasonings.
~We are enjoying our new Roku and being able to watch lots of movies and even Youtube on our large TV in the living room. 😁
~I'm saving the inner cardboard tubes from our toilet paper rolls to make Christmas "crackers" for the little kids in the family.  I will fill them with candy and wrap them up with Christmas wrapping paper and ribbons.  I thought this would be a fun new addition to our big family Christmas celebration this year. :)
~Monday night I made a venison and noodle stroganoff skillet dinner.  I used some green onions and tomatoes from the garden in it too to boost the "yum" factor and nutrition.
~I used 3 full poinsettia swags that I got at the thrift store for .99 each to decorate our entertainment center and the hanging light fixture above our dining room table.
~I listed a few things to sell on one of our local buy and sell facebook pages.  I sold my old desk right away to the mother of 3 of my favorite students. :)  That's $20 more than I had earlier in the week. ;)  I think I will put it towards taking the grandboys to their favorite indoor play area business. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Savoring the Moments

   I wish I had a camera at the ready on Thanksgiving day when the family gathered to celebrate.  There were so many special moments that I would have loved to capture and have a visual memory of.  We celebrated with Heather's side of the family and her grandparents, her brother and his family, her parents, her sister in laws parents, my cousin and Jeff and I were all there together enjoying each others company.

   There were 2 new puppies that stole everyone's hearts with their cute little puppy cuddliness.  One was so tiny he could fit in your hand and the other, a Chocolate Lab, with the softest fur imaginable.  Little Joby, the youngest of the children there and the cousin of our grandboys, made the rounds cuddling in on everyone's lap and having them read him stories.  I even got turn and loved every single second of it.  He is just starting to talk and was so excited about the pictures in the books.

   Great Grandpa Carl and Great Grandma Sandra are two of my favorite people and we have grown close to them over the years.  I watched with great delight and Jeff and Grandpa Carl tickled Bradley who was soaking up all the attention.  Grandma Sandra and Isaiah shared a coloring book and had a wonderful conversation as they each colored a page side by side.

   Macie, the only girl cousin in the group, was so patient with both Bradley and Isaiah while playing Candyland with them.  This is HUGE considering that there has been some friction between them in the past.  I made sure to praise her big time for her kindness to her cousins.

   There was a very loud and rambunctious game of Spoons after dinner.  The group that was playing are very cut throat and enthusiastic about the game.  I wisely watched from the couch and played with the younger children.  This particular group has been known to dive onto the floor taking out a table leg in the past to get that last elusive spoon. 😉

   There were so many more special moments that I will treasure in my heart for years to come.  It was wonderful to spend Thanksgiving with family, and they all are a very big and important part of our family.  We are very blessed indeed!