Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saving Money and Being Frugal - Week in Review - March 25, 2017

Here's what the week from March 18th-24th looked like:

Progress on Financial Goals I Set for this Week

Last week, I set six goals to work on. This is how I did:

- Bring taxes to the accountant. I've made progress on them. Only three parts left to do - the most difficult ones for me - two businesses and homeschooling because of the volume of receipts and statements I need to condense and total. All other parts are organized and totaled which is a huge relief.

- Take Sophia and Olivia to the local bank so they can deposit money into an emergency fund account that they will each establish. Sophia did this on Saturday, March 18th and Olivia did this on Thursday, March 22nd.

- Help Sophia set up an appointment with a financial advisor to help her set up her first mutual fund/Roth IRA. Talked with a financial advisor earlier in the week about different plans and which one would fit what Sophia is looking for in the long-term. When I bring the taxes into the accountant, we will meet with the financial advisor (they share office space).

- Make a deposit into two Roth IRAs. Did not do this.

- Help Sophia and Olivia set up binders to hold their statements for different accounts (e.g., savings, checking, CD, emergency fund, retirement, college, life insurance). Sophia created her binder on March 21st. Olivia has all the components for creating the binder (e.g., binder, section dividers, page protectors). It's just a matter of putting things in the proper order in the binder now.

- Finish setting up my binder to hold statements for different financial accounts and policies. Did not do this.

Progress on Blog Goals I Set for this Week

Last week,  I set the following blogging goals to work on  as they relate to saving money and home organization:

- Write a blog post about "Paying for College Without Going Broke." I read the book, and wrote a blog post about what I wanted to remember.

- Continue to work streamlining and organizing our home by doing Weeks 11-13 of the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home. Finished doing Week 4 (which I had been postponing until a more appropriate time to do the challenge), Week 11 and Week 12. Did not have a chance yet to work on Week 13.

- Write an update about 40 Bags in 40 Days about Days  16-22. Did not do this.

- Make homemade Peppermint Bath Melts. Purchased all the supplies to make these, but have not made them yet.

Smart and Not-So-Smart Purchases

A not-so-smart purchase was a generic version of a peroxide cleaner for contact lenses. Even though the ingredients appeared to be the same, the solution ended up affecting the lenses in that two of them ripped.

That was an expensive lesson. We are buying the brand name version of the peroxide cleaner from now on.

Also, one of our new dogs, Danny, snuck a pork chop bone (about 1" long and 1/4" wide) from the garbage and ate it in a matter of seconds.

Since he is small (about 20 pounds), this size bone can pose a challenge. So, we had to take him to an emergency vet who immediately, upon our arrival, took his vitals and did x-rays.

They found that he had four bones in his stomach - three smaller pieces and one larger piece.

The four bones can be seen in Danny's stomach.
They are on the right side of the photo
about in the middle of the x-ray.

The two options were to:
(1) feed him small meals for a few days and hope that the food binds with the pieces of bone and, as they move through the intestines, provides a cushion or barrier between the sharp edges of the bone and the intestinal walls. OR
(2) do surgery which costs about $1,500.

I chose the former...and the vet said she would as well.

Since we paid for the x-rays, I thought it would be good to take photographs of them since we rarely get to see the inside of a dog.

It was a good science lesson for Sophia today.

Frugal Meals

- Ate leftovers was a good way to stretch the food budget and use up what was on hand.

- Friday night's meal was from Blue Apron that we were gifted from another blogger. Another meal will be on Saturday night.

The ingredients to make two dinners - enough for 8+ meals.

That saved us almost $70 in delicious food this week!

What was on the table for dinner last week:

Saturday - Leftover spaghetti or fresh-baked cinnamon rolls with apple slices. (Sophia and Olivia picked the rolls since they were hot out of the oven.)

Sunday  - BBQ beef and pork on homemade parker house rolls. The BBQ beef and pork was a crockpot dinner I made last month and had a lot leftover. Just needed to reheat it for an easy dinner.

Monday -  Turkey meatballs and green peas. This was a memorable meal. One of the meatballs had a penny in it....and I didn't put it there. It looks like it went through a grinding machine at the processing factory or wherever they make ground turkey.

Sophia cut open the meatball and was surprised to find the coin.

It was really sharp and had jagged edges. She ended up cutting her finger on it.

I'm surprised I didn't come across it when I was mixing all the ingredients together or making the meatballs.

Needless to say, we are all a bit hesitant now to eat ground turkey (or any ground product).

Notified Jennie-o (the company that produced the turkey) to let them know that there was a penny in the ground turkey since there are obviously missing pieces to it and probably in someone else's turkey.

Their response was a mixture of apathy towards what happened to Sophia and defensiveness that it was impossible that the coin was in their turkey because of the size of their screens that filter out items. You would think a company would be concerned and want to make sure no one was hurt eating their products.

Well...neeedless to say, after their response we will not be eating ground turkey produced by their company.

Tuesday - Pork chops with dressing.

Wednesday - Pork roast and mashed potatoes with gravy.

Thursday - Leftovers.
Friday - Za'atar Spiced Chicken with Bulgur from Blue Apron.

This was super good and the portions were overly generous. The recipe says it makes four servings. However, there were probably eight meals that could have been made from the one recipe. Of course, some of the family members ate what we consider a normal dinner portion plus...because it was so delicious...they had second helpings.

We all agreed that continuing with Blue Apron would be a good idea. Not every week (because we need to be mindful of our spending), but perhaps once or twice a month.

What stands out about the meal, too, is that almost every ingredient was used. With the exception of garlic cloves (which will be used for the other meal that Blue Apron sent), there were no ingredients leftover. So, no food waste.

This is a big deal for us because we enjoy trying new recipes and will buy the ingredients. Often times, there are leftover ingredients that aren't used and that we don't have an immediate purpose for (e.g., fresh cilantro, inner part of lemon if only the zest is used, broth). Sometimes, these are then wasted which is frustrating. I liked not seeing that waste with Blue Apron.

My financial goals for this week:

- Bring taxes to the accountant. There is no more flexibility on this goal since after April 1st there is a 10% surcharge for tax preparation. I don't want to incur that fee.

- Help Sophia and Oliva set up their first mutual funds/Roth IRAs after meeting with a financial advisor.

- Go to a Fashion Consultant at the Thrift Store for New-to-Us Clothes. There's a free service where a fashion consultant helps clients at the thrift store find clothes that match their style.

There's a comprehensive profile form that you fill out ahead of time and provide the link to your  Pinterest board that shows examples of the types of clothes you wear. She will pull clothing in your size and style that she thinks you will like. My oldest daughter and I are doing that this week.

- Go to Fare for All. This is a great way to stretch one's budget. They buy food and/or are given food by grocery stores that are put into food packages and/or sold individually.

The produce pack has a nice variety of fruits and vegetables; the meat pack has about a half dozen types of meats; and the mega meat pack has about a dozen types of meat products. There also are special buys and free bread products.

My parents introduced me to Fare for All, and I've gone to monthly buying events whenever I am able to do so.

- Make a deposit into two Roth IRAs.

- Help Olivia finish setting up her binder to hold her statement for different accounts (e.g., savings, checking, CD, emergency fund, retirement, college, life insurance).

- Finish setting up my binder to hold statements for different financial accounts and policies.

Blog as it relates to saving money and home organization:

- Continue to work streamlining and organizing our home by doing Week 13 of the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home. The schedule for the year is posted on the link. It's been a very helpful guide to setting up the year and weekly goals.

- Write an update about 40 Bags in 40 Days about Days  16-22 and 23-29.

- Make homemade Peppermint Bath Melts.

- Make natural Vapor Rub using essential oils.

- Make an  upcycled bag holder for plastic bags.

*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich.*


Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

What a wild frugal week you had. The poor dog-he had such a good treat he thought!
As for the penny in the ground turkey, I just can't imagine. Their response was ridiculous. We never know what might be lurking in any of our processed foods I guess. scary

Back to my boring life!

Gary @ Super Saving Tips said...

Wow that penny is scary! I can't believe the company wasn't more concerned. Sounds like it was an overall good week thought. It's great that the thrift shop has a fashion consultant. That's a great way to find what's right for you without wasting a lot of time.

Daniela said...

Hi swet friend and thanks most sincerely for the lovely comment you left on - My little old world - I appreciate it so so much !

I'm following your so lovely blog with much joy !

Wishing you a most lovely remainder of your weekend - I hope your poor dog is getting better and better - with sincere gratitude

XOXO Danela at - My little old world - (Dany)

Rita said...

OMG! Of course the penny in the ground turkey was high on my interest list! And the company was pathetically indifferent about it, too. Makes me glad I rarely ever eat meat and when I do it's not ground. Whew!

I hope those bones pass without a problem. That's a lot for the surgery, so I really, really hope he'll be fine without it.

Was an interesting week!! :)

Anonymous said...

You've had a busy week! so cute...the doggie xray. our dog used to swallow dead birds whole in our yard. (She would see me coming at her to grab it and didn't want that to happen so....gulp!). When we first had her, she promptly ate a Fisher Price magnetic number that I had on our fridge. I think that eventually came out the other end. Weird about the penny. Years ago, one of my kids found a fingernail in their Little Debbie cake. Very gross. I wrote to the company and a couple weeks later the UPS truck pulled up with a big shipment of Little Debbie Cakes with apologies from the company. We were happy /sad at the same time as we couldn't eat them for a while. So it would be nice if you would get a turkey delivery!

Anonymous said...

Ugh, that's so stupid about their response to the coin. I opened a bag of Rice Crispies once and a 100% Rice Crispified, very large spider poured into my bowl. It was dead, but surprisingly big and the Kellogg's was like - you can't PROVE that came from our box of Rice Crispies. I mean, seriously? You think I went out, found a spider, Rice Crispified it and put it in my cereal?? They sent me a coupon for a free box, but I wasn't really interested in eating them anymore.

Gentle Joy said...

It is so good to make plans... and sometimes so many things interfere with those plans! What a week you had... I cringed to hear of the penny... and I already cook mostly from scratch and more and more I dislike eating anything processed or cooked at a food place... there is so much carelessness and not only is it gross, it can be detrimental to our health. So glad you actually found the penny instead of just swallowing it!