Friday, March 25, 2016

Frugal Friday Wrap Up 3/26/16


  Oh what a mixed bag of weather we have had this week.  It could be 60F one day and then 38F with snow the next.  I had hoped to be able to get out in the garden and get some things done but we had other things that came up and took priority over that.  I still have some plants that need to be relocated and trees to be pruned.  Hopefully the weather will start to cooperate here soon so Jeff and I can get some of those things done so we can have another productive garden this year.  Now onto the things that we were able to do this week. :)

~Our son Chris and DIL Heather's dishwasher broke.  Heather injured her hand and had to have surgery on it.  She is not able to hand wash dishes right now and won't be for awhile and with Chris' work schedule (he is a county police officer and is also a volunteer EMT and firefighter for his little town) he has very little time to get the dishes all hand washed and still be able to spend time with his growing boys.  Jeff and I decided to buy them a new dishwasher as their anniversary and their combined birthday gifts this year.  I was able to find one on sale, get them a 2 year warranty and after all my coupons and going through Shop Your Way do it all for under $300. Jeff and I picked it up and he got it installed for them on Wednesday, the same day that Heather had her surgery.
~For dinner one night this week we made gussied up grilled cheese sandwiches.  We used the last of the Muenster cheese, half a tomato and a small package of turkey bacon that I got for .25 at the Dollar Tree awhile for the fillings.  Yummo!
~Since the weather was better over the weekend we took Caesar for several long walks.
~We found some free coupon books for different businesses in our surrounding area. 

~My husband called Dish Network to cancel our subscription for next month.  Last March when I called they told me that our contract was up in April of 2016.  Today the lady he spoke to told him is was up last March 2015...we could have cancelled then.  That is what I had wanted to do but the man I talked to last March told me I could not until this April without a huge penalty.  Oh I am so angry with them for lying to us and having us pay for another full year!  Needless to say we cancelled right away while he was on the phone with the lady this time. Since we bundled that package with our phone and internet, our bill is now going from down from $117 a month to $72.96 a month.
~I had more bananas that were over-ripe so I made another 4 loaves of banana bread.
~I had some green onions that were starting to go bad in the veggie drawer of my refrigerator.  I took the bad parts off and cut up the top green part of the onions and froze them.  I put the bottom root ends in 2 baby food jars with water so that they can regrow more green onion tops.  When the weather is a bit warmer, I will plant them outside in  one of my veggie gardens.  I currently have 2 patches of green onions that are doing great after surviving the winter and sending up new growth in both of the gardens.  I don't think I will need to buy green onions again until the next killing frost hits.

~My DIL Heather had her hand surgery this week.  I took care of my grandsons at their house while she had her surgery.  I knew that it would be a long day for her and my son so I took dinner over with me so that they would not have to worry about cooking when they got home and they could both concentrate on the boys and Heather could rest. I also pulled some venison stew and rice out of the freezer for them for another meal and took over some homemade banana bread for breakfast for the next morning.
~The day I had the grandkids I took them to Goodwill to each pick out a toy (this is another thing we do on special Grammie days).  We also went out to lunch at one of their favorite places and they shared a kid's meal (I did buy an extra child's size drink).  Their meal came with a coupon for an ice cream cone but they were full so I put it away for another time.  I now have 2 of those coupons so we will just go and have ice cream cones another day. ;)  After lunch I took them to one of the smaller strip malls that has a fun children's play area that is free for anyone to use.  The boys had a great time making new friends, playing and of course, checking out the public restrooms multiple times (what is the fascination with kids and public restrooms?).  When we got back to their house, my hubby got busy installing the dishwasher and I popped in a movie I had borrowed from the library for the little guys and I to watch.  The big hit of the afternoon though was that the boys got to play in the huge dishwasher box and make it into a fort. :)
~I loaded some electronic coupons onto my Safeway card so they are ready when I go shopping.

~While putting my beautiful Primrose plant away in the front guest bedroom for the night (so that Rufus does not munch away the rest of the leaves), I found a sample packet of Advil PM that I must have placed in there one day when I was quickly cleaning off the dining room table (where we deposit our mail before we go through it) before the grandboys came over.
~I found another of Rufus' plant victims...this time it was a Christmas cactus start that I have been nurturing that came from our dear Grandma Anne's plant years ago.  I saved what I could and put it in water to root.  Hopefully it will take and I can replant it and try to find somewhere that Rufus can't get to it.
~Saturday was a gorgeous and warm day so I hung Jeff's work clothing laundry load out there to dry.

~Rufus wears pheromone collars to help keep him semi calm (he is a total spaz without them).  At Petco store they cost $16 each.  I found them online at for $6.99 each, I got 6 of them.  I placed an order for them and a Yoga dvd.  I had a $5 credit that I applied to my order and got free shipping.
~My hubby bought a loaf of buttermilk bread that was on sale for $1.99 on one of the days that I felt the worst with this cold.  The loaf was gone within 2 days.  I went back to making my own bread and realized what a huge savings that alone is.  Sometimes we all need a concrete reminder of why we make our own "staples" as opposed to buying it in the store. ;)
~I had just a bit of leftover coffee so I substituted that for the water called for while I was making some dark chocolate brownies.  It gave it a deeper and richer flavor. :)
~While the weather was so warm on Saturday, I washed down the hot tub cover after I did the hot tub maintenance. I already had the hose out since I had to put a little more water in the hot tub.  I also noticed that the wasps were trying to build nests in the hot tub enclosure so I sprayed them with a hard blast of water, pulverized and knocked them down.  I am allergic to bees so I don't take any chances. I then washed down the siding on the back side of our house.
~I cut some fresh green onions from the garden to use in a Asian noodle soup both as garnish and to give it some bright fresh flavor.
~My husband and I took inventory of our hot tub supplies and realized that we have enough to possibly get us through the Summer.

~We had a few unseasonably warm days (in the lower 60's) so I took advantage of that and opened up the windows to let the house air out.  With me being sick, we really needed to get some fresh air in here.
~I saved 45% at Safeway by combining sales, coupons and marked downs. For $21.66 I got 2 32 oz. Coffeemate  Creamers, a carton of eggs for free, 3 packages of pork sausage, 2 2 pound loaves of Cheddar Cheese,  and 2 large boxes of Kleenex.
 ~Monday found us with warm weather once again so I washed the sheets from our bed and the guest bed and hung them out to dry on the laundry line.  I love the smell of line dried laundry.
~Monday also found me running into town to pick up a few things,  I stopped at Goodwill and found a few more movies, some depression glass plates, a cute mug, a huge bag of Duplo blocks for my grandsons, and a cross stitch kit.

~I used up the small remaining amounts on some gift cards I had to Walmart when I purchased and few need items there.
~I found a lovely beef roast marked way down and put that in the crockpot to cook for dinner on Tuesday along with some onions, carrots and celery.  I had originally planned to serve it with potatoes but decided to switch gears at the last minute and made a gravy with the broth and veggies (pureed them) and added some cornstarch slurry to thick it up a bit further.  I then added some of the extra noodles that I had cooked up the night before and oh boy was it yummy!  I served it with the roast, some apple slices and some grapes.  It was the perfect meal since the weather turned very cold and windy once again.
~My husband and I finally got around to getting most of the pantry cleaned out and organized.  I do not have to buy pasta or beans for years!  I am going to have my kids and my cousin shop our pantry for any of those things that they may need for awhile. ;)
~One of the meals I made to take advantage of some of the pasta overflow was cutting up some chicken and herb sausages and cooking them with onions, mushroom, garlic, red peppers and then I made a while wine and butter sauce and added the pasta to it all.  So good!

~I put the banana peels around the roses...they are such great fertilizer.
~I saved the egg shells from my baking this week and am drying them out.  I will crush them up and add them to my gardening supplies for this Spring.
~Oh how I love our little library here in town. :)  This week brought another movie, 2 yoga dvds and  some cookbooks for me.  Years ago I was the branch manager of our town's little library and I loved being able to help people find books and movies. :)
~Thursday found me at home, recovering from the full day before with my very energetic grandsons. ;)  I used that time to make another loaf of homemade sourdough bread, some homemade croutons, and do 3 loads of laundry.  I realized I was down to my last box of dryer sheets.  I cut the sheets in half so now instead of 55 dryer sheets, I have 110.  I find that half a dryer sheet works just as well as a whole one.  As the weather gets warmer, I will be hanging the laundry out to dry on the line for the most part so I will use even less dryer sheets.  This box will last me for a few months.

~We did our volunteer work this week and again were given many free groceries.  That helps out so much with the budget and is a huge blessing.
~I had lots of leftovers this week and with us on the go so much, it sure helped us avoid eating out as much knowing that we already had a meal waiting for us at home.
~This week had been kind of hit or miss for me working on my points programs, but I do work on them when I can.
~I started a yard sale box to put things in for our big family yard sale that is coming up next month.
~One of the nights that Jeff was gone at bowling I just made a big bowl of popcorn for dinner.

~Jeff and I scored big this week at the thrift store that benefits people with disabilities in our area. We found 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of yoga pants, a nice pair of shorts for Jeff, 2 sweaters for me, an 8 box package of paper clips, a spoon rack, 2 mini pylons for the grandsons to add to their "tools" to play construction with, 12 small baskets with handles to store things in,  a cute small suede purse from Talbots, and 2 dvds.  I looked up the retail prices of the sweaters and the purse and boy was I shocked.  The sweaters new cost $129 and $79 and the purse was $89.  I paid $2.97 for each sweater and $1.49 for the purse.

   My hubby is not feeling all that great and thinks he may be getting that cold that I had.  Thank goodness I am stocked up again on cold medications, tissues and homemade chicken noodle soup.  They may prove to be very valuable this week.  Be blessed and I hope you all have a great Easter Weekend!

*Please excuse the difference in the size of the letters and words.  Blogger seems to have a mind of it's own today and will not allow me to fix it no matter what I try.


  1. Cardboard boxes. A favorite of all children. As soon as the work kids see we have a new one out they get super excited and start screaming and arguing about who gets it first. When it starts getting broken down, we open and flatten it all out and get a few more days out drawing with markers.

    You found some very nice deals!

    1. Thanks Jess. :) Kids and boxes...why do we spend so much money on toys? ;)

    2. You can also put a toddler or preschooler inside the box and let them draw on the insides of the box. SJ in Vancouver BC

    3. SJ, you are right! My grandboys enjoy doing that too! Be blessed!

  2. What a wonderful and thoughtful gift the dishwasher was! Boxes are always a favorite for kids. I also cut my dryer sheets in half. I have never noticed a difference.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thanks Wendi. I'm so thankful we were in a position where we could do that for them. :) I hope you have a wonderful Easter!

  3. Your picture of the laundry drying outside made me nostalgic - this is the first home I've had in years without a clothesline and I miss it terribly on these nice days! I'm still trying to figure out where to put one so the smell of the horses doesn't get into my sheets! :)

    1. I hope you find the perfect spot for that laundry line. ;)

  4. Such a wonderful gift for you to give the kids! Sounds like you have been a busy girl.
    I can't wait to get laundry outside - just haven't had enough warmer and dry days yet.
    Hope your hubs is ok.
    You got some great deals.
    Have a lovely Easter

    1. Thanks Cheryl, he is. :) I hope your weather gets better for hanging out that laundry soon.

  5. You are quite the frugal lady! I loved all your ideas of making do with things! Cutting the dryer sheets in half is a great idea too! So sweet of you and your husband to help your kids with the new dishwasher and get a good deal on it too! It always feels so good to save money and be frugal... always inspired with my visits with you :)

  6. Wow! What a frugal lady you have been! I am happy to hear that you got rid of your cable. I wish Hubby would realize what a rip off it is especially since we have Netflix and Amazon Prime but he won't budge at the moment. I am still working on it. Nice savings! How nice of you to buy a dishwasher for your son and DIL! Spending on your family is just the best! I hope your DIL recuperates quickly.
    I am glad that your cold is getting better and I hope that your hubby feels better soon.

    1. I am so glad we got rid of cable. I not only saves us money but also helps with my anxiety levels. With all that is going on in the world today, I need the break from the constant media bombardment. :)


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