We Made It!

It has been quite a while since I’ve posted here and I’m very pleased to be updating AFTER the delivery of our baby girl. I won’t go into huge detail, but I ended up having percreta. The placenta grew through my uterus and burrowed deep into my cervix. To reduce the risk to my life both my uterus and cervix were removed. Recovery has been slow but I’m trying not to push it even though I’m ready to get back to life.

Still got my mind set to saving money. With a partial hysterectomy I’ll save money by no longer buying monthly products. Also, I’ll be nursing/pumping so no formula cost.

Yay me!

My little percreta princess born 3/5 ♡♡♡

Advertisements

Free Oranges

I recently downloaded the Coupons.com app and I’m pretty happy with it so far. Fairly often they put out a rebate or two for free items. So far I’ve gotten free bread and free tomatoes. I need to grab some stuff from the store so I decided to check and just discovered they’ve added a new rebate for up to $2 In fresh oranges. Just wanted to share quickly for anyone else interested.

It does take a little while for the rebate to process and you need to have a PayPal to receive it.

January 19th, 2018

Day 19 of 2018 and I’ve missed blogging.

It has been a long, exciting and painful week since I last posted. A few times I started to sit down and try to type something up, but the truth is I have been completely drained. Between everyday life, working on my android developer class, and being in pain. I don’t have much left in me at night. Truthfully, I wouldn’t be typing this now if I hadn’t needed desperately to floss my teeth.

Yes, floss my teeth.

I don’t know if it’s pregnancy, or if it’s just where I’ve gotten so used to using my water flosser every night, but if I don’t floss before bed my gums ache something awful. I’m sure this isn’t all that interesting to you, but I bought an off brand water flosser just a couple months ago because I have weird spacing in my back teeth that make it hard to floss. Since using the water flosser, if I go even a day without the water flosser I can tell there is food and gunk left in there and it kills my mouth. The regular old string floss just doesn’t work for me.

Or, maybe I need to go to the dentist.

Anyway, I haven’t been blogging for long, but I really missed it this past week. It helps keep me focused and motivates me to find and execute new and old ways of saving money. Something I’ve not been doing very well with this past week. My pelvic pain is out of control. I can barely clean and walking in a grocery store is pretty much impossible. The hubby has been having to pick up a tremendous amount of slack from me lately.

I’m not beating myself up about it, however. I have a lot going on physically and the hubby has the weight of the world on his shoulders. We’re doing the best we can under the circumstances. There are many good things I can’t wait to share with you from this week though. So, on to the good stuff…

Hello Rev A Shelf

We finally (by we I mean the hubby) managed to get my pot/pan organizer installed. I don’t know where this thing has been all my life, but I’m so glad it’s here now. It holds all of my pots/pans, except for my bake ware, and it’s so easy to use.

I started looking up the other types of organizers they have and almost fell out of my seat. These things are so, so expensive. I didn’t realize just how good of a deal the hubby got when he managed to pick this up from a Facebook yard sale site for only $40 until today. The Rev A Shelf stuff is super nice, but also super expensive.

If you find yourself in need of cabinet organizers, make sure you check locally first. On our local buy and sell pages there are a ton of pallet sellers that usually have stuff like this. This is where this came from actually. Just make sure they verify all the parts are there and the item is working. Lesson learned after buying a “new” cheap rice cooker. It ended up in the trash.

My Green Thumb

20180119_130334.jpg

So, I don’t really have a green thumb. Typically, everything I try to grow dies because I eventually forget it even exists. My green onions and celery, however, are growing pretty well. The first day I noticed that my green onions were taller than the glass I couldn’t stop pointing it out to the daughter and hubby. I had no idea you could even regrow what would be normally tossed out as scraps.

Breakfast Bar Fake Out

Last weekend, I woke up one morning and came downstairs with the toddler as usual. Hubby was already up and after greeting us he asked if I wanted to go out for breakfast. My first instinct was to say yes, enthusiastically I’ll add. I love, love, love breakfast bars and we very rarely go. As in, the last time we were at a breakfast bar the toddler was only a few months old. He’s 3 now.

Then, I started to think about the cost and suggested making our own breakfast bar using mostly what we had on hand and adding a few things if needed. After I said that hubby started breaking down the cost of things if we fixed it at home and decided it wasn’t worth it. I was pretty proud of him. He was pretty proud of himself when he came back and had spent less than what we would have at a breakfast bar on extras we didn’t have, plus food easy lunches for him and the kids.

I fixed enough food for us to eat on it for more than one meal so that was a nice added bonus.

Stretching Meals

20180117_113615.jpg

Something I’ve been trying to do more of lately is stretching leftover meals into whole new meals. Typically, leftover are just eaten as are the next day by whoever gets to them first. The past couple of days I’ve been doing things a little different.

Pictured above is some mac & cheese with shredded broccoli. I decided to make it because the toddler loves broccoli, one of the only veggies he’ll eat, and we only had one stalk left. Since it wasn’t enough for a side and I had some left leftover noodles from making chili mac, I though adding the two together with some cheese would work.

The toddler loved it.

I didn’t get a picture of the chili mac like I had planned, but it was pretty good. I had made chili one night for dinner and there really wasn’t enough left for the next day. Instead of one or two people finishing it off, I added half a pound of noodles and it worked for a full dinner the next night.

20180119_161043.jpg

The night before I made homemade sweet chili sauce to go on top of some beef, peppers, and rice. It turned out pretty good, but I wasn’t crazy over the rice and the sauce. So, this morning we had leftover sweet, cinnamon rice and for dinner I turned the leftover meat and pepper mix and sauce into a soup. Since the hubby isn’t a fan of soup by itself for a meal I added in some grilled cheese. It wasn’t even enough for two people and I turned it into another meal for 4 with leftovers.

Freezer Meal Breakfast

20180118_111155-1.jpg

At my prenatal appointment the other day they told me that my iron was low after some bloodwork. I haven’t been to pick up my iron supplement yet due to snowy weather, so I have been trying to have some iron packed meals. Pictured above was my partial freezer meal iron packed breakfast.

I fixed the soup beans in December. I’ve loved having single portion size bags frozen that I can heat up when I want. I still have one bag left. The eggs are just chopped kale and tomatoes scrambled into the eggs. I used to eat my eggs like this all the time and stopped for some reason. I’m looking forward to fixing them often again.

Compliments for Coupons

20180119_130302.jpg

This is what I was sent through the mail this week for reaching out to different companies. I haven’t taken the time to sit down and email any new companies and I need to get on that. I love getting these. Included in this batch is two free product coupons for Frito Lays brand!

Cheap or Frugal

20180114_173535.jpg

Sometime this past week I realized that I do something that saves money and I’m not sure if it’s frugal, or cheap. I used to collect those tiny little sample bottles/packs with good intentions. I once had probably two hundred. After way too much time of letting them collect dust, I started opening the bottles and letting them sit and drain into the full size bottles. If you’re weird about your body wash or shampoo, this might not work for you, but I don’t really care. Soap is soap to me.

I just thought I’d share in case you’re like I was and have a million of these little bottles hanging around collecting dust and taking up space in your home as well.

Wrap Up

I’m not sure if I’ll manage to post again soon, but I plan to try to make Friday my blogging day at the very least. I miss blogging, but this baby is going to be here in six weeks or less and I’m trying my best to get as much of this 4 month class done before he or she gets here. I really want to get it completed and do well so that I have a shot at the second scholarship for the 9 month nanodegree. If I can complete this, it could become a huge money saver and maker for our family.

I’m not really sure what I’ll be able to share next week as my goals have sort of went out the window. With my physical condition getting worse, I’m just doing what I can and trying to keep myself from doing too much. I do know that closer to February I will be starting my seeds that will eventually be planted outdoors and I absolutely cannot wait. I have plans to do a combo of back deck gardening, raised beg gardening, and some regular old ground gardening.

I won’t be going overboard with however much I plant, and how it’s planted will be done so in a way that I will be able to manage it in whatever physical shape I’m in after a hysterectomy, if that’s’ what I end up with. It might be ambitious to try to plant vegetables when a new baby is coming through a complicated surgical delivery, but I’m going to give it my best shot. Hopefully recovery is a breeze and I can go on with life as usual.

January 12, 2018

Day 12 of 2018 and it’s about time I updated!

After some high’s, low’s, and getting off track this past week, I’m ready to get back at it.

After my last post, I hit a bit of a low worrying about my appointment with my perinatology specialist. Sometimes, or most of the time, it takes constant awareness to keep from allowing myself to get sucked into that black hole of worry. Then, after my appointment on Tuesday, I discovered that my accreta has progressed to increta. After plummeting a little further into that black hole, I started working my way back up again. It took me some time, but I’m back as close to the top as I feel like I can get, and I’m ready to get this year going again.

Google Scholarship

screenshot_20180110-233049789969712.png

So, how about we start with something that’s pretty awesome and a major budget cutter! Several months back I applied for a scholarship with Google and a few days ago I was shocked to find an email in my inbox letting me know I was chosen! I have zero technical background, but a whole lot of interest. I am so, so, so excited to have the opportunity to work on this. Hopefully I can do well enough to get my hands on the next level of scholarship.

Gardening Plans

I have been hit by the gardening bug HARD. I absolutely cannot wait until spring so that I can get some planting going on. The Dollar Tree had all of their seeds priced at $.25 and I probably went a little overboard, but I grabbed many different types of fruits/vegetables to work with when the weather allows.

I’ve never gardened and I don’t want to go too big too fast. I don’t know if I’ll plant every seed, but I’m going to try to get us a good variety going in a small area that the hubby plans to fix up for me. Since I’ll most definitely be having a C-section and most likely a hysterectomy around spring time, he’s going to be building me a raised bed so that I don’t have to do any bending down. I’ll probably also do a little container gardening on our back deck for easier access to things I might use daily.

Ugh, is it spring yet?

Curbing Take Out Cravings

20180110_115800268691091.jpg

I am absolutely addicted to Asian soups. I could eat them all day every single day for every meal. I started craving hibachi soup the other night and instead of running out to get a tiny bowl for $2, I decided to attempt to make my own. I didn’t really look up a recipe, but what I came up with hit the spot pretty well. In the process, I discovered that I absolutely love radishes. I had no idea.

What I came up with was pretty simple. I thinly sliced radishes, mushrooms, spring onion (these are the ones I put in water), and some kale and tossed it into a pot with some noodles and chicken broth. I seasoned it with salt and added some Sriracha. I ended up finishing off that pot and making another, which is also already gone. Considered making another, but tonight we had chili. The hubby was grateful.

Compliments for Coupons

20180113_0004101271841585.jpg

Through the week I’ve managed to accumulate a pretty good amount of coupons from the companies that I’ve been emailing. King’s Hawaiian was even awesome enough to send me two yummy looking recipe cards.

Overdue Update Wrap Up

As far as sticking to the budget goes this week, it wasn’t too good. Partly due to our daughter turning 14, but also due to my bit of a depression funk I fell into. I’m not letting it get me down, however. Tomorrow is always a new day and I’m looking forward to it. Besides, despite blowing our budget on food, we still managed to get our Amazon credit card debt down below $50 and I paid off a small medical bill.

I still plan to try to update on here as often as I can, but with the scholarship deadline and my upcoming increta baby deliver, I’m not sure it’ll be daily. Especially since I’m thinking about starting a separate blog that will be sort of an outlet for me as I’m going through this pregnancy. I’ll have a lot of projects going on all at once so I’ll have to find a bit of balance, all while budget cutting our way out of debt and in to savings.

January 6, 2018

The 6th day of 2018 has been semi-awesome!

In case you didn’t notice, what has become a nightly routine for me to post an update of my day didn’t quite happen last night. We had a massive family meltdown after our daughter revealed she had found a way around the parental controls we have set up on her phone. She actually ended up telling on herself because she thought I knew, when I actually didn’t.

Sadly, we pay monthly for two parental control services and it is still a constant battle to control her access without completely cutting her off. The good thing is that the controls are working. The bad thing is that she heard the hubby talking to me about how much he loves that he can send commands to her phone by text, saving him the trouble of logging into the app. She heard this and that very night started sneaking into our room and using the text feature to send unlock codes to her phone.

The big problem with this is that she likes to communicate with strange, adult men online and seems to really believe they actually care for her. We’ve been fighting this battle for a year now and we’re feeling so defeated. At first we had decided to take away her phone completely, but after sleeping on it we’ve decided that the controls are working well, we just need to make a few other adjustments.

We both enabled the passcode and fingerprint protection on our phones and we’re getting rid of the old devices that we’ve had in our room. If it wasn’t for her being homeschooled and using her phone as a source of communication between her friends we most definitely wouldn’t work so hard to allow her to keep her communication capabilities.

Probably not the ideal topic for a budget cutting blog, but here it is anyway. Funny thing is, it got me thinking. Why isn’t there a service for parents to go for help? I mean, if your car breaks down, you see a mechanic. If your sick, you see a doctor. If you run out of food, you go to a grocery store. Why isn’t there a place you can go to get parenting advice and help? Especially with today’s kids and their technical devices.

It would be so much easier if our lives weren’t so intertwined with electronics and the internet. With the hubby being an IT guy, our daughter homeschooled and her curriculum mostly online, and myself using the internet to help save and bring in a little extra money, we can’t just cut devices out completely.

I guess eventually we’ll figure something out that works in the way we need it to work. Until then, our home is on major electronic lockdown. It’s annoying having so many passwords and passcodes, but it’s a small price to pay to keep the disgusting pigs trying to talk to a 13 year old girl at bay.

I ended up going to bed frustrated and emotionally drained. On top of that I was disappointed in myself for not doing a blog update. Not matter what, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to get to my desk and get my thoughts organized enough to post something that made sense.

Today, things started off bad after she woke up and realized that she had no way to sneak around our blocks, including at her grandmothers house where she planned to go, and would have no way to reach out to these men. However, after talking a bit and her dad making reference to something in particular I feel like she had a bit of an epiphany. We’ll see how things go in the days to come, however.

So, after she went to stay with her grandmother for the night, we went out to run a few errands. It was nice to get out and do something distracting for a moment. Especially since we made some clutter money and scored some awesome deals. Keep reading to find out the details!

Clutter Money

We managed to sell these brand new cell phones today for $100! Initially we bought them to use when we switched service to Cricket. However, due to some changes with the hubby’s work and a gifted phone from his mom and dad, we didn’t need them. We had decided to keep them as back up phones since our son seems to always bust our screens even with cases, but after the ordeal with our daughter, I posted those suckers online.

We still have more old phones that we need to go through and clean up, but the goal is to get them sold and out of the house ASAP. There will be no devices, old or new, laying around this house ever again. Besides, I’d much rather turn those unused devices into cash we can use.

Clothing Budget

At the beginning of the year when I was working out a budget, I added in a monthly clothing allowance for each family member. The sad thing is that I set this budget not because we have a problem with buying too many or too expensive clothing, but because we have a problem with never buying clothes, period. We wear our clothing until it’s down right ratty and keep on wearing it sometimes. In an effort to remedy this, and not go nuts buying clothing, I set a small $10 per person, money budget so that we can slowly get rid of or repurpose our sad clothing choices.

Tonight, I was pretty pleased with the deal we managed to get on some much needed lounge pants. The hubby works in the basement, which stays much cooler than the rest of the house since it is unfinished, and loves to wear thick pants. He has one pair in particular that was gifted to him years ago that he wears over and over. While out, we noticed a 70% off sale at one of our favorite stores, Bargain Hunt. After a little digging, he came out with two pairs of pants very similar to the ones I described for a grand total of $6.60.

At the same store, I decided to check out the women’s pants. My lounge pants are getting ragged and with me looking at a hysterectomy, which requires a vertical incision,  during the delivery of our last baby I could really use some pants that are comfortable on my stomach. I was pretty excited to find two pairs of pants, one high waisted that I think will feel great over my incision, for a grand total of $7.50.

Together we spent a combined total of $14.10. Not too shabby for 4 pairs of new lounge pants, I think. Plus, from everything I’ve read, many women don’t feel comfortable in regular clothing for months after their hysterectomy sometimes. I have nothing that feels very comfortable now except for my maternity jeans and I hate laying around the house in them because they’re not really that comfy.

Birthday Gift

20180106_194741605003022.jpg

While still at the same store, I happened to notice a rack full of soft, velvety blankets like the one above. They caught my eye because I recently won a similar blanket during a wedding shower and it feels absolutely amazing. Problem is that my 13 year old daughter is always stealing it. She tries to claim it as her own, but that’s not happening, especially after today.

With her birthday coming up on the 8th and us without any gifts yet, I picked one out that I thought she might like and tossed it into the buggy. I budgeted $100 for her gifts and party and this item brought us down by only $10.  Still plenty left to work with for the rest of her party.

Compliments for Coupons

20180106_1505282005756147.jpg

If you haven’t tried it yet, get on the internet and look up the website to your favorite brands. Use the “Contact Us” links, typically found at the bottom in small text, to send them a message and let them know how much you love their products. Getting these coupons in the mail are one of my favorite parts of the day. The picture above shows what I received today. Now I just need to wait for a sale so I can pick some up.

Kroger Couponing

20180106_193151874061802.jpg

The toddler ran out of diapers today so we had no choice but to run out and grab some. Before we left I hopped online to see if there were any good diaper sales and/or coupon deals. Lucky for us Kroger has an awesome deal going on.

I was able to get everything pictured above for a total of $17. Maybe not the greatest deal, but it’s great for us and took no tome to get. I don’t like spending my entire life searching for and organizing coupon shopping trips. I tried that years ago when I first discovered how cheap things could be bought with them. It’s exhausting. Never again.

Weekly Grocery Budget

20180106_193500629145580.jpg

After we left Kroger we stopped by my favorite store, the Dollar Tree. I am 100% addicted to this store, but I’m doing pretty good and not going crazy blowing our money when I go in there lately. I ended up spending $14 on this shopping trip. Would have been $3 less but the toddler was melting down due to thirst and the hubby requested 3 drinks. Two are not pictured.

I’ve actually never bought the little cheese packs before today. I’ve seen them before, but as I was walking by today I thought about the cost of the mac & cheese kits that come with the cheese sauce and noodles and realized that it would be cheaper to buy one of these sauce packs and a box of noodles. The toddler could live off that stuff. If I can save some money making it this way, I won’t complain.

Although I went over my $50 weekly budget, I don’t really count this as a fail. I budgeted myself an extra $100 a quarter for stocking up on staples. Most of my first shopping trip this week was intended to last us into next week, and possibly the one after that. I ended up spending $55 this week, but with my staples budget bumping it up to about $83 a month, I’m still good.

Budget Meals

20180106_202314252172656.jpg

 I don’t really remember what all was eaten throughout the day because we mostly grazed on leftovers and things like bananas, but dinner was a repeat from a few days ago. Homemade tomato soup. It was actually requested by the hubby and I was shocked. He hates having a repeat meal in the same month, let alone the same week. I wa shocked but perfectly okay with it.

I made it slightly different this time, however. Instead of a diced onion unused powdered and I added a large can of dices tomatoes. While I didn’t get the measurement of onion powder while right, it was still delicious and we have plenty leftovers for tomorrow.

Repurosing

Thanks to the addition of diced tomatoes in the tomato soup, I finally have a can I can start my first herbs in. I plan to save some of these, fill them with dirt and have seeds, and sit them in my kitchen window. If everything works out I’ll have my own little window herb garden before long.

Take for Tomorrow

Our main focus this weekend is getting out the old devices and reworking our parental controls. It’s  no fun, but it’s got to be done.

And now that you have this really long post about my spending habits coupled with probably more than you need or want to know about my personal life, I’m off the bed. I’ll  probably need a few days to fully recover from yesterday.

Wish us luck.