Friday, June 26, 2020

Frugal Friday 351

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Last Friday we did the second part of our garage sale with friends. We sold from 8-4 and brought in quite a bit of money thanks to the sale of our IKEA egg chair and many small items. I took a carload of items to donate at the end.

- Last week a kind person donated gallons of milk to the police department for the officers to share with their families. Mark brought a gallon home for us. Thank you local friend!

- Saturday, we spent the afternoon dropping off for the Here We Grow Again - Indy South Sale. We dropped nearly 700 items off thanks to the three express taggers plus our own items.

- Mark worked a great deal of overtime. Summer is always busy.

- Sunday we celebrated Father's Day with breakfast out with Mark's family. We arrived at the restaurant quite early so Mark drove over to a church where he sometimes has meetings and he knew they had a playground. We turned the corner and much to Annabeth's wonder and amazement, the playground was covered in vultures! We watched a little fox run away and then sat watching the vultures (her favorite animals) for quite a while! She was so very happy.

- Monday our libraries opened to Grab-and-go! We were SO excited to be able to go in, browse, and get our own books! We each checked out a large bag of books. Our libraries had a good, clear plan for reopening to keep everyone distant and things very clean. I felt very comfortable going in, browsing, and reading the books at home.

- Monday night I had my eye doctor appointment. I did get glasses from our doctor's office as I really appreciate the quality of care I receive from them in fitting my glasses and the warranty I receive. My doctor did ask that I begin wearing prescription sunglasses (I ALWAYS wear sunglasses when outdoors but I had not splurged on RX ones since I mostly needed my glasses for reading) Instead of getting them from the office, I ordered from Zenni and saved $5 using a friend's referral code. (You can click my link above to save $5 on your first order)

- Wednesday afternoon Luke kept our kids and our nephew and Cassidy and I headed to the Here We Grow Again Indy South Sale. I found EVERY item on our wishlist! My most expensive item was only $8 (a Matilda Jane dress!) and I spent only $3.34/average per item. I found jeans and shorts for both kids, Disney shirts, t-shirts, one book per kid, and even a pair of shorts for myself. I went back late in the evening because I had forgotten to look at the sports section for a t-ball bat for Owen. I didn't find a bat but I did find $1 ball pants!

- Yesterday we spent the day at Camp Lakeview - our favorite place on earth! Our friends the Ebling had rented it overnight and asked us to join them for the day. This was a (very) belated birthday celebration for Rose, SJ, and Owen. We had the best day at one of the best places! Thank you Eblings for the invite!

No where else on earth I'd rather be. 

We had such a wonderful week as we spent more time with more people that we love!

We are looking forward to a fun, summer weekend.

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Frugal Friday 350

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Thursday- Saturday I attended the annual Usborne Books & More Convention online. Our company was amazing and provided so many excellent speakers, resources, and lessons on literacy all online! I was very excited to celebrate my promotion to Team Leader, see new releases, and to celebrate the successes of friends from around the country.

- Sunday we spent the day out at Mark's parents house enjoying a cookout with some of the extended family. We took salad to share and came home with some leftovers. We enjoyed a long Sunday evening chat on our neighbors porch afterwards.

- Now that Owen is five, we switched both of the kids to twin size beds. We had two frames and one mattress already. We just had to buy Owen a mattress. We sold his toddler bed/mattress to help offset the cost. We spent around $100 total for each of the kids to have "new" beds and room makeovers.  It was really sweet to watch Owen help Mark build his bed on Monday while Annabeth was at dance.

Mr. O in his big boy bed
His request was a comforter with elephants, hippos, AND rhinos
Thankfully I found one! :)

- Tuesday morning Owen had an appointment that wasn't allowing siblings along. My friend Jeanette kept Annabeth for the morning and she had a GREAT time playing in their fields, sprinkler, and checking out her friends new dollhouse. Owen and I got Starbucks treats on the way back to thank them for keeping her.

- The kids and I spent about six hours getting everything tagged and organized for the Here We Grow Again Indy South Sale. This year we have our own items plus I took three consigners. I plan to put the earnings towards something for the car and our fall vacation. 

- This week we jumped back into LIFE! Annabeth had dance two nights and Owen started t-ball practice. It was nice, but felt funny, to run all over town in the evenings.

- After t-ball, we all came home and played pitch and catch in the backyard. Mark brought the speakers out so we listened to music, played ball, and ate popscicles. It was the perfect summer evening.

Today we are doing our second round of our garage sale and tomorrow I finally clear our garage to drop off everything at the kid sale! The sale has been postponed two months so we've been storing over 500 items since the winter. Mark will be especially happy to have them leave the garage!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Frugal Friday 348

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Friday we had a garage sale with my parents and our friend Jeanette. Annabeth and Owen enjoyed having their friend Audrey over to play with and I enjoyed time with adults! We had a good sales day and made over $200 between the two of us.

- We had planned to do the sale on Saturday as well but Friday afternoon the springs on our garage door broke meaning we could no long open the door. We cancelled Saturday's sale and had someone over to repair the door instead. This was an unplanned cost and unfortunately a bit pricy. We were thankful to have raised the garage sale money the day before to help offset the cost.

- Saturday morning Mark and Owen spent a few hours helping one of Mark's scouts complete his Eagle Project. They placed homemade benches and picnic tables at parks. Owen was very proud to be old enough to use tools and to help carry things.

- Saturday evening we had a cookout for Mark's mom's birthday. We took crock-pot-macaroni and cheese as our contribution. It's one of my favorite side dishes so I was excited when my sister-in-law asked me to bring it.

- Sunday afternoon we enjoyed a pool day at our friends the Campbell's. We took along hummus, pita bread, veggies, and lime jello to add to the day's snacks. Each of the kids went of a diving board for the first time and each spent a good hour diving for toys at the bottom of the pool. Pool days are some of my favorite days - Thank you to the Campbells for having us over!

First times off a diving board
Once they got over the fear, 
they each LOVED it

- Monday we had friends over in the morning to ride bikes and play outside. They stayed through lunch and helped us eat through our leftovers from the weekend. Seriously, find friends who will eat leftovers with you! :)

- We read through two whole books this week - "Number the Stars" and "The Light in the Attic" They are totally different but enjoyed equally.

- Yesterday, I attended the Usborne Books & More Convention Leader Day. I will be training with over 9,100 Book Lovers over the course of today and tomorrow for the main part of convention. While I am sad to not be in Tulsa for my first live convention I am very thankful the company is providing this online option.

We are looking forward to a busy weekend with time with family and hopefully lots of time outdoors as it's going to be beautiful!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, June 5, 2020

Frugal Friday 347

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Saturday morning Mark and his dad went fishing. We've had a stressful couple of weeks and it was great for Mark to get out for the morning.

- Saturday afternoon we enjoyed having Mark's family over for a Batman Party to celebrate Owen's 5th birthday. We served pizza, fruit, salad, and homemade Batman cookies. Owen's Batman shirt and the Batman decor was FREE thanks to a giftcard from my Ibotta earnings. We had Batman plates and napkins which I got for FREE with a $6 off my order coupon from Meijer. We had some Batman table covers that I fashioned from one large table cloth that we had used the weekend before for his birthday with my family.

- Mark took each of the kids out individually for fishing trips over the weekend. I enjoyed an evening home alone with each of them as well. We really treasure one-on-one time with each of our kids.

- Sunday morning we watched our weekly church service as well as the Bishop's Aldersgate Service. After church, we had brunch outside and Mark received an encouraging check-in phone call from our pastor. Mark and I enjoyed a nice, long conversation out on the porch.

- I had been on the hunt for water shoes for Owen. Both my Mama and I found a pair so I was able to return mine. I received $10.49 back which went into the grocery budget for the week.

- Tuesday we enjoyed celebrating Owen's 5th Birthday. In our house, the birthday person chooses the food  and all activities. He had a take-out donut for breakfast, we rode bikes at the high school, had a PBJ and chips backyard picnic, dessert at Hoosier Cupboard Candy, more afternoon bike riding, scooter time, sprinkler fun, and freezer pizza and homemade cake for dinner. He called it the "best birthday ever" and we were extra blessed to have Mark home for a lot of it!

 Celebrating #5 on the train!

 Best Friends

Homemade cake with a chocolate vanilla swirl

- We have been redoing some landscaping and had a couple dozen bricks that we now aren't using. We were able to pass along to my parents for a project at their house.

We are having a three family garage sale at our house today and tomorrow! Come by for deals on books, homeschool supplies, clothes, and more!

Thank you. That isn't even a big enough way to say how much gratitude I feel for the friends who have reached out to say that they are praying for Mark's safety and that they appreciate his service. Being a LEO family always comes with challenges and right now it's physically dangerous and we also face the harsh, unkind words of both strangers and friends. We are praying for peace.

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Frugal Friday 346

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Last weekend we hosted my parents and sister for a Memorial Day Weekend/early birthday celebration for Owen. We took several fishing trips, long walks, played in the sprinkler, played board games, and enjoyed lots of free, at home fun. My parents generously supplied lasagna, salad, and picnic supplies for the weekend. We had friends over for bike riding and a picnic on Tuesday to help eat up the leftovers from the weekend.

- Mark and I celebrated our 11th Wedding Anniversary on Saturday. We did splurge and have dinner out. We chose a locally owned restaurant and were excited to eat out for the first time since February and for the first time alone since the Christmas holidays! Thank you for keeping the kids Mama, Dad, and Lu.

- My friend Jeanette brought us a dozen duck eggs (so we were able to spoil my family with German Pancakes on their visit!) and a big box of school materials for Owen. Many of the books and worksheets were doubles so we shared the extra sets with another Kindergarten friend. Thank you Jeanette!

- We have always had a flag pole in our front yard but in seven years have never put the string on it to hang a flag. A coworker of Mark's mentioned wanting to add a flag pole to his yard. Mark said if he would come take it down and have a vehicle to transport it that he could have ours for free. We were more than happy to share something that we weren't using.

- On Tuesday, Annabeth returned to the dance studio for her duet. This was her first lesson since March. We have saved $150 in private lesson fees during the Shelter in Place order.

- One of my Express Taggers messaged to say that she had cleaned out many more toys and a stroller so I went ahead and tagged those extra items for her. The one benefit of our annual spring sale being moved back was that we all had more time to clean items out.

- Now through May 31st you can join my Usborne Books & More team for just $30. This incredible business has given me so much confidence and financial freedom. Over the past three years, I have covered a new dishwasher, flooded kitchen, medical bills, and saved for a Disney World vacation just to name a few bills covered with my Book Lady paychecks. I have loved filling our homeschool bookshelves with beautiful, incredible books. Want to join me? I know I want you on my team!

We are looking forward to celebrating Mr. O's 5th Birthday this weekend!

Happy Savings to All!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Number 11.

Mark and I met at summer camp, courted and were engaged long distance, and then married with him settling into night shift just 6 weeks in. We've never *really* lived a "normal" life or schedule. This summer marks not only our eleven year wedding anniversary but also our eleven year anniversary to Law Enforcement. Our lives have been busy and most often lived separately.

We have always joked that we would like to just run away to the woods and to live alone with our kids. That we'd like a season of life that was slow, easy where we could just exist as a family of four without schedules, office hours, phones ringing, etc. We have always said "someday we'll make it happen."

Then this spring the world shut down. We got our "someday" now. 

The past few months of Shelter in Place haven't been exactly like that... Mark has stilled worked his office hours plus call outs plus Coroner calls but the rest of our lives were cancelled. We ate dinner on our back patio, we took long walks, he was home in the evenings a few times! We have played so many games, got the kids new bikes, worked on a house project, added a pup to our family, and spent more time truly talking to and investing in each other. 

This past year has been so wonderful. Eleven years in and we've really settled into married life. We have slowed down and it's been lovely.

No matter how we do life, I am thankful to do it with this man. The one who encourages me both in word and action, who lives to serve others, and who continues to choose me daily.

Happy #11 my Love.

 Fall 2019 - Pumpkin Patch Day

FPD Christmas Party 2019

*Be sure to check out the Anniversary Tab for all of our anniversary posts

Friday, May 22, 2020

Frugal Friday 345

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I did our grocery shopping and saved nearly $30 with coupons and earned $13 back with Ibotta! It's always nice to have an over $40 savings at the store! I am working on getting back into couponing hot and heavy again. I love saving money!

- I cashed out some Ibotta rewards to purchase party items for Owen's birthday. I was able to get hanging decor, cookie cutters, special candies, and his birthday shirt for FREE!

- I cashed out some My Library Rewards and used the $25 gift card to help pay for our upcoming Disney trip.

- Saturday morning Mark took Owen out fishing. Annabeth and I took Oscar on a long walk (well, I walked, Annabeth biked, and Oscar was carried most of the way) We also enjoyed a picnic lunch outside. After lunch, Mark mowed our yard and our elderly neighbors. The kids and I played some games and they rode their bikes.

- Sunday Mark and Annabeth spent the day out fishing. Owen and I spent the whole morning working a 350 piece puzzle only to find out that we only had 348 of the pieces. :( Once everyone was home, we enjoyed dinner together.

Annabeth with one of her eight fish of the day!

- Monday morning I did a deep clean of the Master Bedroom and moved furniture all around. I have to move everything to clean thoroughly so sometimes it's fun to set it all up different for a few weeks too. We also did a clean out of the car and somehow during a Stay At Home Order the kids still had a whole laundry basket full of clothes, toys, cups in the car! Whew. We brought everything inside and put it away and then I shopvacced the car.

- We got the official word that Annabeth's week at church camp is cancelled due to Indiana's ReOpen Plan. We reviewed lots of other weeks and it's just not going to work this summer. The only other week she could have gone would have been when they will most likely cancel again. We donated the deposit we already paid and also purchased some items from their Amazon wishlist to donate as well.

- We also received the news that dance Nationals has been moved to an online event. We were able to cancel our hotel and travel plans. This is our third hotel cancellation of the spring. We have saved $1400 in hotel fees plus the cost of gas, eat out meals, and attractions. We will leave this money in our vacation envelope for future trips.

- We paid our car insurance in full for the year. We saved $130 by doing this.

- I cleaned out our fridge and freezer. We have eaten down most items so it was a great time to take everything out, wash, and return. I only found one expired item and it was a nearly empty bottle of mustard. I am proud of us for having so little food waste!

We are looking forward to a long, glorious Memorial Day Weekend!

Happy Savings to All!