Friday, September 23, 2016

Frugal Friday 161

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

***We had an AWESOME savings week this week! Praise the Lord!***

- I babysat for a friend.

- Mark worked one night at his part time job.

- I ordered Annabeth's fall/winter church shoes online. As a Stride Rite Rewards member, I always get free shipping. I also get free returns so if they do not fit, I can return them for free. By picking out just a few choices online, I can control the price much easier than taking Annabeth to the store. I was able to buy a pair that was under $25! We also earned our next $10 reward which I will use when we buy Owen his next pair of tennis shoes.

- Friday night we enjoyed pizza and breadsticks at Annabeth's favorite place, Pizza King Station, for free thanks to a gift certificate!

- I renewed our OnStar subscription for the year. I save $50 by waiting until right before it expires. Thank you to my Mama for that money saving tip!

- We purchased a cool old window for a project. We shopped at Madison Street Salvage and used our library card to save 15% - that deal is good through September 30. We spent just $20 for the window - it was less than that after the discount but we donated our change to their donation jar.

- My parents came to visit for Saturday and Sunday. They treated us to dinner both days and we did some shopping for the kids as well. We were able to spoil them some too - we treated them to breakfast from Tom's Pancake House and we took them bowling. 6 of the games were FREE thanks to a gift certificate. We just had to pay for two games and two shoe rentals.

Annabeth had SO much fun bowling!
This is one of favorite dates with Mark and I think
she really enjoyed having Grandpa and Grandmama along too! 
Owen enjoyed playing "score keeper" for everyone 

- A friend gave me four codes to get a FREE Finding Dory lantern from Kellogg's Family Rewards. I ordered the lantern and we will put it away for a Christmas gift.

- Our biggest and best savings of the week was SO EXCITING! A few weeks ago, I used our garbage disposal in the morning and it was fine but it went out after lunch. Mark did some trouble shooting and determined that it must have just been done :( I was so sad but that is a luxury and not a necessity so we have just been doing without one. Then, this past week, the light above the sink also went out. It had a pretty new LED light in it and we just thought that seemed too fishy that both were out. Mark went and spent $5.98 on two new switches, replaced the old ones, and the light and garbage disposal are now working again! This saved us over a hundred dollars!!!!!

We hope you all had a fun week saving money too!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Frugal Friday 160

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- I babysat for a friend. Her meeting went over and she paid me more than I was expecting. The expected amount was added to Owen's savings and the extra was added to our offering for church.

- I tagged ALL of our items for the fall consignment sale. I am done a few weeks ahead of the drop-off date and it feels so good to have it done!

- Sunday we enjoyed a breakfast at church for first responders. The kids enjoyed seeing a fire truck that IFD brought over.

- I made a quick Aldi trip Sunday afternoon. We had received a $10 off $40+ purchase and I did not want that to go to waste! I bought all of the rice milk in the store and some extra gluten free items for Owen.

- On Monday, I helped a friend tag her items for the consignment sale. We also took over homemade cookies as a thank you for providing lunch for us on Friday as well as Monday.

Mixing her cookie dough.
She is to the point where I just read some of the recipe and double
check her measurements while she bakes.  

- Wednesdays we spend the whole evening at the dance studio as Annabeth has three classes and a 45 minute break. I have been packing dinner so we are not tempted to run out for fast food or to buy expensive treats at the studio.

- Mark attended a fundraiser Wednesday night. He won a door prize that included gift certificates for a service on a car, a free car wash, a nice set of flashlights, and some other freebies from a local car dealership. He also bid on and won a $40 value bowling/pizza gift pack for just $20. He was happy to support Kirby Cochran for Sheriff!

- We got another Zulily box and another freebie this week. This time it was a package of cat treats and a package of dog treats. I was able to give these to a friend who has dogs and cats. Jeanette had gave us a pair of ballet tights for Annabeth this week so I was happy to be able to give her something as well.

- Mark worked one night at his part time job.

- I took Owen to his first Wonderful Ones storytime. He has been tagging along to the preschool storytime since he was just a couple of weeks old but I haven't been taking him to his own. With Annabeth in Kindergarten this year, she will no longer go to storytime and we will take Owen to his own. He LOVED it! He was so so happy!

We had a wonderful week and hope you did as well!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Frugal Friday 159

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- On Friday, we had a play-day with my nephew Nate and my sister-in-laws. We took back a whole box of hand-me-downs that they had let both kids wear. I am so thankful that they have shared so much!

- I have taken on a once-a-week babysitting commitment to help a friend. The money from this will go to Owen's savings.

- A package from Zulily came. It had a free sample of gluten free crackers. Owen enjoyed them with a nectarine for an afternoon snack.

- Mark painted all of the trim on the outside of our house. A neighbor noticed that our tall ladder wasn't tall enough and loaned us his tall ladder to help get the tallest parts painted. This was a HUGE project but by having Mark do the painting we saved hundreds of dollars.

- We shopped at Sam's Club for some items. I made sure to swipe my card at the free item kiosk. It is some kind of air freshener thing. We will share it with Mark's mom who loves things like that.

- Mark worked one night at his part time job. He also worked many hours over his usual shifts meaning we will have over-time pay coming in a few paychecks. We pray that we will use these extra funds wisely.

- We adjusted our grocery budget as Owen is now eating all table food. We realized that we needed to bump up what we are spending at the grocery to continue feeding everyone healthy foods!

Blueberries, carrots, pizza bagels, and watermelon dinner.
As always, Mr. O had a death grip on his rice-milk cup. 

We had a great (short, due to Labor Day) week of school! 

Happy Savings to All! 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Frugal Friday 158

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- We went to Evansville/Owenbsoro for a quick visit this weekend. We did not stop for dinner on the way there and resisted the urge to eat out or shop while visiting. We had a wonderful, but too quick, visit with everyone. Momaw was kind enough to empty her change basket for the kids' savings accounts and she shared some little notepads and pens for our schoolroom. She also was going to throw away some plastic sets of forks and spoons so we took those to donate to the Weekend Meal Bags.

On our trip to Evansville,
Owen was finally brave enough to sit in the police pedal car at Grandmama and Grandpa's.
Read about why this pedal car is so special here.

- We rolled change from the kids' piggy banks and added it to the change from Momaw before taking it all to the bank. "A penny saved is a penny earned"

- A friend shared some beauty samples with me. She has a family member selling all natural beauty products and I enjoyed sampling some of their items. I really loved one of the face masks!

- I was contacted by Kendall Viewpoints to complete a review of the InStyler MAX Wet to Dry tool. I was given the tool free, to keep, in exchange for publishing two reviews. I also did a post with pictures about my experience.

- Mark worked one night at his part time job.

- I took a bag and box of items to Goodwill. We also ran in for a quick trip to look for items on my fall must-have list. I was able to find Annabeth a pair of Justice shorts for gymnastics. (I don't know much about the Justice brand, other than it is extremely expensive at the mall, but I have found quite a few pairs of athletic shorts at consignment stores and they hold up through gymnastics class better than any other brand. That has made them a "must buy" when I find them item.) I also found a fall/spring Columbia jacket for Annabeth for just $2.99!! This same jacket is $29 new! What a deal!

We had a great school week and were SO excited to wake up Thursday morning to beautiful, cooler weather! We made Thursday afternoon a Downtown Franklin day and enjoyed looking, without buying, at the Marshmallow Monkey and Toodleydoo Toys. We also split an order of cookies at Suzy's Teahouse (we love that they are gluten free!) for just $1.85!

We hope you all had a wonderful week as well!

Happy Savings to All!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: InStyler Wet to Dry Tool

Last month I took a short beauty survey and was later contacted by Kendall Viewpoints to try the new InStyler Max Wet to Dry hair tool. The tool came this week and I was able to give it a try this morning.

I always love things brand-new, out of the box!

The Instyler tool is designed to dry and staighten or curl damp hair. It's purpose is to eliminate the blow dry and then style process by combing them into one tool.

I took a shower and allowed my hair to air dry, heavily towel dried my hair for 15 minutes.

Damp - part dry, part wet hair
Not my best look. 

I spent 10 minutes using the tool, after carefully reading the instructions. I decided to test the tool for its straghtening ability. I have naturally curly hair and can achieve great curls with little effort with any curling tool. After the first ten minutes, I got pretty fed up. My hair was slowly drying and was slightly straight but mostly it was getting frizzy and poofy. I was unhappy with how long it was taking for the pieces to be dry. 

Not impressed.
Parts were very wet, parts were very poofy.

The tool had promised quick results but as I was working, the kids decided it was lunch time. I cooked, ate, and cleaned up lunch and then decided to try the product again. Now I had been out of the shower for over an hour and my hair was almost all the way dry. I worked with the tool for about 10 more minutes. This time, with my hair almost completely dry, I was able to achieve straighter, sleeker hair. It did not give me the results I love from my straightening iron but it did turn out okay.
 The end result.
This is roughly what my hair looks like after blow drying it straight
before I run a flat iron through it. It was quite a lot of work to use this tool
to get to this point. I can do this with a blow dryer in about 20 minutes vs the 90 this took.

Overall: I feel this tool would work much better on someone with thinner hair. Thinner hair would dry faster coming out of the shower and would work in fewer passes of the tool. It was almost 90 minutes between my shower and my final hair-do. That would not work on any day as I am busy teaching school and chasing little people. I think I will stick to my blow dry/flat iron routine (approx. 20 min) for special events. 

Thank you to Kendall Viewpoints and InStyler for this opportunity. 

*Disclaimer: I was contacted by Kendall Viewpoints to complete this review. They sent me, free of charge, the InStyler Max Wet to Dry tool to review. I am allowed to keep the product for my own, personal use regardless of my review. I was not financially compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

Friday, August 26, 2016

Frugal Friday 157

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely this week:

- Last week I mentioned that Annabeth had an eye doctor appointment. She had been complaining of "wiggly eyes" during reading and phonics. Our friend Dr. Jenna Liechty was able to get us in right away and after a thorough exam it was decided that Annabeth does in fact need reading glasses. We have now had two school days since her glasses came in and Annabeth is so happy. The first day she sat down, read a story, and said, "Oh Mama! I can see these words!"

Our sweet girl in her new glasses. 
She said they had to be purple and she loves wearing them!
She will just wear them for reading but needed a photoshoot in good light :) 

- We had an at-home pizza and movie night Friday night. We ordered Papa John's and watched Zootopia. It obviously would have been a money saver to eat frozen pizza but sometime we just "need" Papa John's.

- Saturday we were up north and decided to use a gift card that we have had for YEARS but never gone to the store to use it. We were able to get six Christmas gifts, two craft kits for Mark and the kids to work on, three stocking stuffers for Owen, and a small item for each of the kids that day. We only spent $3.15 OOP! What a deal!!

- While up north, we only made the three stops we planned on making and did not eat out! This was a huge accomplishment for us as we finished our errands at 4:45 and had some hungry, angry kids in the backseat. We came home and I cooked dinner for the kids and Mark and I finished leftovers.

- Sunday afternoon we stopped by Mark's older brother's new house. Mark helped them pull up carpet and laminate to help prepare for the new floors they will install this week. We enjoyed visiting with the family and Mark helped them get quite a bit of work done. While I was on the house tour, I found that the previous owners had left quite a few wire hangers!! Matt and Jenn said they didn't need them so I was able to take them to use in a few weeks for the consignment sale.

- I redeemed a FREE Starbucks item.

- Mark helped put hay up for some friends. The money he made was added to our savings account.

- Tuesday, the kids and I drove to Warsaw, IN to visit with friends. We left their house at a time that was GREAT for missing Indianapolis Rush Hour traffic but not so great dinner-time wise. We had well over an hour left to drive and the kids could not wait for dinner any longer. We ended up spending $7 on McDonald's so we could make it home. I had packed lunch for the kids and our friends fed me lunch so I figured $7 wasn't too much for an all day (5.5+ hours of driving) outing.

- Wednesday evening we were invited to a friends house so the kids could enjoy some time on their farm. We were able to meet the farm's newest calf, just one day old. The kids both LOVED being outside. Annabeth loved feeding the cows and Owen loved "woofing" at their dogs. We took the family some sausage and some deer meat as a thank you. They were kind enough to share some fresh veggies with us.

 Owen had fun with the corn and tomatoes.
We all enjoyed some farm fresh popcorn when we got home. 

We had a great school week and enjoyed some wonderful visits with friends. We are so thankful for all of the opportunities and people that God has put in our lives.

Happy Savings to All! 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Frugal Friday 156

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- Mark has worked pretty much non stop for 3 weeks now. Our family is missing him but we are thankful that the Lord has provided part time opportunities and over-time. We pray that we will be good stewards of the paychecks that come.

- Sunday morning, Mark picked up breakfast for all of us. Neither of the kids ate theirs so I was able to have one for Sunday dinner and one for Monday breakfast. That made the splurge feel like we got more for our money!

- Sunday we did our Aldi and Kroger grocery shopping trips. On the way back from Aldi, we passed a lady with a little farm market stand. Mark and Annabeth got out and got about $30 work of fresh produce for $7+tip. I think we are going to check back next weekend to see if she is still there!

Owen doing some his own "grocery shopping"

- I received a free magazine offer in my e-mail from I redeemed the offer and will be sending a fashion magazine subscription to my sister as part of her birthday gift. Happy Birthday Lu!

- We took Annabeth to the eye doctor this week. We do not carry vision insurance since Mark and I never have to go to an eye doctor. Thankfully this office did offer 20% savings to those paying cash without insurance.

- We had quite a bit of rain here Saturday - Tuesday so the kids and I worked on cleaning out their closets and dressers. It seems this is a task that needs done every few months as they are growing so quickly. Some items were tagged for the fall consignment sale and others were put in a box to donate.

We had a good but busy week. I got some big cleaning projects done, encouraged by the Amish novel I read this week. It was filled with stories of joyfully hardworking women and I decided it would do me well to follow their example.

Happy Savings to All!