Sunday, March 1, 2015

Frugal Friday

Trying to think of how things went this week. I managed to save $100 on the new cabinet for the kitchen by asking for a discount because of minor damage that won't be noticeable once the counter goes on. Saved $30 at least using coupons on groceries. Sorted hand-me-downs and found almost all the clothes Seamus will need in the next size. Stocked the pantry a bit with sales. Pulled 3 kids from karate because of issues with the staff. This will save us a little money and a significant amount of time and mental stress. Not to mention a bit of gas savings. The three boys still in karate are too close to black belt to pull right now. But I'm a bit tempted since I'm getting a bit tired of giving our money to people who often treat the kids badly.

House Related Projects

Alan has been busy working on various projects around the house. Most of them are things we have talking about doing for years but we're just never able to get done for one reason or another.
When our last microwave died, we decided it was officially time to put in an over the stove model. This meant putting a new cabinet in to provide the proper clearance but ended up being a much easier job than we were thinking. Alan is now working on putting in a new cabinet where the desk was in the kitchen so that we will have both more storage space and more counter space.

This house has many light switches that do not go with any light or outlet in the house. We've tested just about everything and still have switches that go no where. No junction boxes have been located in the ceilings and attempts to trace electrical wires using the house plans have proven fruitless. All this is to say that we've lacked decent lighting in the living room for years. Floor lamps just tend to get broken around here so we really wanted a light (and ceiling fan) installed. But there was no box to be found in the ceiling. We finally found a kit to allow Alan to safely run a wire across the room and down to the one outlet that does connect to a switch. So we now have lights in the living room. I'm oh so very happy.
The current project being tackled is dealing with the mold issues in the master bathroom and bedroom. This might be simple and might be hard. We know all four Windows need to be stripped, treated, and sealed. Part of the ceiling needs to come down. At the very least, part of the vanity cabinet needs to be pulled out. The tub needs to be removed so we can see what lies beneath it. Until it's been fixed, Alan, Seamus, and I are sleeping in the living room because it turns out it is making us sick (headaches, breathing issues, etc.). There has been water damage done to the kitchen floor from the dishwasher leaking and to the cabinet under the sink from a constant on and off leak. These might need to be ripped out as well but for now we are focusing on the bathroom.

I am hoping Alan and the boys are able to do most of the work themselves. Since the mold issues seem to be responsible for a significant amount of my recent health issues, he wants me no where near the repair work. So I'm sure the boys will end up learning a lot from this task.

Meal Plan

M: eggs, toast (B), chicken divan casserole (D)
T: bagels, fruit (B), creamy salsa chicken (D)
W: yogurt, fruit (B), spaghetti, salad (D)
T: overnight breakfast casserole (B), cheeseburger soup (D)
F: eggs, toast (B), ravioli, salad (D)
S: waffles (B), pizza (D)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

40 Bags in 40 Days

Ok, I totally caved and am now just tracking for 40 bags in 40 days. After doing the first sweep of the basement rec room area, I am not taking a break so that I don't get angry at my children and finish the sweep by removing every single one of their toys from the house to make up for the sheer amounts of food related trash I found down there. Where no food is allowed. Sigh. I have a feeling that since they are having so much trouble keeping their stuff cleaned up anyway, more of the toys are going to find a new home than would have otherwise.

I am also actually sorting through the bookshelves again. I've made an initial pass through all of them. Hoping to go through them all at least one more time in the next few weeks. Books are awesome but having so many books that you can't find the awesome ones mixed in among the junky ones, well, that is just not so awesome.

Later tonight I am hoping to make a pass through the kitchen cupboards and remove the extra stuff. Like that wine rack that really has no place in our home since we really don't drink around here.

10 assorted bags/boxes/items removed from the house in the beginning of February, now I'm working on getting 40 more bags/boxes out by Easter. Seriously, I think the junk just multiples when we aren't looking.

Meal Plans

S: waffles (B), leftovers (L), pot roast (D)
M: yogurt (B), ramen (L), taco soup (D)
T: overnight breakfast casserole (B), pbj (L), honey gazed chicken (D)
W: eggs and toast (B), leftovers (L), pork chops (D)
T: oatmeal (B), alphabet soup (L), turkey and rice (D)
F: cereal (B), tuna sandwiches (L), tilapia (D)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Frugal Friday

I know, I'm late again. Story of my life it seems. Just bare with me. Or not. Your choice.

So what have we managed this week?
-7 kids have been given haircuts. Those boys were getting shaggy looking. Seriously. And Ellie's hair needed to be shaped a bit because it is growing in all kind of funky because she has hacked it off to many times in so many places. I seriously doubt she will have a normal looking head of hair for a few more years.
-Alan's repairs to the truck were successful so we did not have to take it anywhere.  Which is good since Bryan dinged up the car in a fight with a guard rail and a light needs to be replaced now.
-Alan and the kids pulled multiple cars out of the ditch on the side of our road. Not sure if this counts truly as frugal since we already pay for roadside assistance and they were on their way. And Alan got frostbite from his efforts but no one was injured, all of the vehicles are fine, and everything is back to normal. Until the next time it snows.

In other news, Ellie decided to swing from a rope tied to the basement ceiling like it was a vine or something. And face planted on the tile floor. Major bleeding, lots of tears. Took her to urgent care since she wasn't really opening her eyes and was acting sleeping. I was concerned about a possible concussion. And they REFUSED to see her. Seriously. This is the same place I took her for her last head injury over a year ago. At that time she was old enough to be seen there for a head injury. This time the nurse practitioner came out and said "Well, I can tell you her nose is bleeding." Seriously, no way! Hello Captain Obvious. And the entire stinking reason for an urgent care is so you can avoid the germ infested over run pediatric ER. Call me crazy. But by the time I got home again (was going to get the directions for the step down ER so I could avoid the large pediatric one), she was acting fine, 30 minutes later, she was tap dancing in the living room.

Anyway, that has been our life in a nut shell this week.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Meal Plans

M: omelettes, toast (b), pepper steak sandwiches (d)
T: muffins,fruit (b), pancakes, strawberries, whipped cream, sausage (d)
W: eggs in toast (b), bean and cheese burritos (d)
T: yogurt, granola, fruit (b), broccoli beef, fried rice, egg rolls (d)
F: oatmeal (b), fish, coleslaw (d)