Thursday, March 24, 2016

Frugal Friday 135

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- My parents' had purchased a 5 lb box of chicken nuggets for Annabeth when she was eating chicken (a brief two month period) and now she is back to a chicken-free diet. I advertised the 2.5 lbs we had left on Facebook as a freebie. We were able to trade the chicken nuggets for homemade salsa from our friends/neighbors! I really think we got the better end of that deal!

- I hosted our homeschool group's Mama's Morning Out. I supplied egg casserole and two kinds of muffins. The other mamas brought iced coffee and fruit. We had a great morning of good conversation.

- We used a gift card to buy supplies for bags for hungry kids in local schools. After volunteering earlier this month, our family felt moved to help purchase food to fill the bags. We used the full amount of the gift card and were able to buy 72 items for the bags. They will be used to help fill the April bags and cost us nothing out of pocket.

- Because we chose not to eat out in February, I purchased a container of decaf coffee and dairy free creamers to make iced coffee at home. I brewed the coffee, cooled it, and then added the creamer. This was okay but never "the" coffee shop coffee that I was wanting. On Saturday, my friend Jeanette brought her own iced coffee and homemade sugar. She taught me how to make my own and I was SO pleased! This was the coffee shop coffee that I was wanting! Coffee recipe here and vanilla syrup here. SO much more economical and SO good!

- While the weather is still a bit cold, I went through each of the kids' closets this week and sorted clothing. I pulled over 50 pieces from each closet - some went to the summer sale and some went to the winter sale tote. I did not switch over dressers yet but everything is organized for when we do.

- I got 25 pieces hung and tagged for the spring consignment sale and over 150 items entered online.

- Instead of lounging around Tuesday evening, I accepted an offer to walk with friends. Mark was at his scout meeting so I took Owen on the walk and Annabeth enjoyed playing at her friends house. This isn't financially frugal but it was a great use of time and energy. Just a reminder that it is always important to make good use of our time and energy as well as our physical resources.

- Our friends the Eblings brought an Easter flower for the kids to enjoy. Annabeth loves flowers so this was the perfect gift!

Annabeth with her flower.
She was also very pleased with her "Cinderella Bun" in her hair. 

- Thursday morning we enjoyed playing with friends and some of our homeschool group at The Commons indoor playground in Columbus. We had originally planned to go to an indoor playground in Plainfield but they were closed for cleaning. This was especially disappointing as we tried to go last month but it was cancelled due to snow. Regardless, we enjoyed The Commons and some fun with friends! :)

We had a BUSY week and are looking forward to celebrating Good Friday today as well as Resurrection Sunday this weekend. We are so thankful for the One who created us and the One who saved us. As we head into the Easter weekend, we encourage you to remember that it is not about baskets, bunnies, candy, or egg hunts - this is all about our Lord who humbled Himself to come to earth, to die, to rise again for us. If this story is new to you, or perhaps it's an old story that you feel like you are hearing for the first time, please feel free to contact us if you desire to know more. Especially if you desire to know Him more.
Our lives are His and we would love to share His love with you.

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Frugal Friday 134

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I was able to get a professional haircut and color thanks to birthday money from my parents and in-laws. Thank you all!

- My sister cleaned out her closet and brought a bag of clothing to go through. I took 2 dresses, 2 shirts, and 1 pair of leggings. I took 5 items out of my closet to be donated as I am really trying to get rid of as many items as I am bringing in.

- My sister brought Annabeth a CD of the musical score of The Lorax. This is one of Annabeth's favorite books/movies and we enjoyed the new CD on our drive back from Evansville.

- I scored two FREE Olay samples from! I am so excited for them to come in the mail! I love Olay products but, even with coupons, they are so expensive. I am ready to try something new!

- I enjoyed reading The Informer - a free homeschool magazine published by The Indiana Association of Home Educators. We are IAHE members are so encouraged by their blog posts and this publication.

- We made our first grocery trip in almost two weeks and came in way under budget! We spent just $37 - which included food for hosting Mama's Morning Out this weekend.

- We did not eat any meals out.

- Mark worked one night at his part time job.

- We enjoyed having friends over to play. The mom mentioned that her baby was on probiotics. I had just cleaned out our medicine cabinet and had two containers on the counter to find a home for. I passed them along to her - she said they are $32/each at the drugstore! We were thankful to pass along these items as they were gifted to us especially since they are so expensive.

- We enjoyed the beautiful weather and loved being outside! It is becoming more and more difficult to get things done inside since the weather has become so gorgeous!

Nanners loves to blow bubbles and
Mr. O thinks it is hilarious! 
Wonderful entertainment! 

We had a good week here - even though it was Annabeth's turn for the stomach flu in the middle of the week. We are all back to 100% and looking forward to a weekend of family time. 

Happy Savings to All! 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Frugal Friday 133

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We volunteered as a family on Saturday morning. We helped fill food bags for hungry children in local schools. If you are local and would like information about this ministry of The Church of God in Franklin please leave a message and I will pass along donation and contact information.

- I entered our diaper and wipe codes for the month. Owen has to wear one specific kind of Huggies and can only use one specific kind of Pampers wipes so I enter codes for each brand to work towards free items. We also reached a month milestone on Pampers Rewards so I earned 300 bonus points.

- We used a Starbucks gift card to enjoy a Saturday treat.

- I mended my favorite grey sweater. It had torn on a seam and was fixed quickly. I am thankful as it is one that I love to wear.

- Tuesday we had friends over between dance and library storytime. After storytime, we headed to the park to enjoy a gorgeous day!! It looks like spring is on it's way!

- I sorted hand-me-downs from the kids' cousins and got one box ready for the spring sale and one box set aside to save to return to them.

- We spent a ton of time outside this week! After weeks of one or two warmish days and then cold/rainy days it was nice to have quite a few lovely days in a row. The kids both love to be outdoors and we are all happier in the sunshine!

Mr. O turned 9 months last week and is looking quite
grown-up! I think his 6 teeth and longer hair really make him look older!

- Annabeth enjoyed shaving creme play during school one day. We haven't practiced letter writing this way in a while and she really enjoyed doing it again.

She loves to play and paint and shaving creme makes both more fun!

- I was able to order two books of Amazon for FREE thanks to a birthday gift card from Luke and Cassidy. I ordered Don't Let The Pigeon Finish this Activity Book for Annabeth to work on for fun. It has the characters from Mo Willams' books that Annabeth currently LOVES. I also ordered Under Duress a new novel from a fellow Hoosier Homeschool Mama and a blog friend of mine. You can find her blog here.

We had a great week and are so thankful for the arrival of more spring-like weather!

Happy Savings to All!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Mark's 28th Birthday

Mark's 28th Birthday was Thursday.

Mark bought a new-to-him truck last fall and as he has spent quite a bit fixing it up he asked that we not purchase him any birthday gifts. We followed his wishes but the kids and I did have fun making him homemade birthday cards.

We hopped on Pinterest for ideas. I made him a cute stick figure card and Annabeth made a cute monster card. The monster had lots of googlie eyes and said "I only have eyes for you!" We were so proud as she handwrote "Happy Birthday, Love, Anna" all on her own! Since we both already knew what we wanted to make, I scrolled through for ideas for Owen's card. That's when I found a "No ifs, ands, or buts about are the best Dad!" card. Instead of the word "but" it had a behind print. Not many things are cuter than baby bottoms so Annabeth and I painted Owen's little behind and stamped it on the card. It was absolutely adorable and SO funny and perfect for Mark. Annabeth and I kept laughing about it all day! We ended up having to give Mark his card a night early because we kept laughing about it! :)

 Birthday Eve Cards

In our house, the birthday person gets to choose the meals for the day. Mark had breakfast and lunch during the workday but chose dinner. We had Italian meatloaf, stuffing, and brussel sprouts.

Last year, Annabeth and I made Mark the cutest candy sushi for his birthday dessert. We haven't made it since then and since it was such a hit, I had planned to make it again. Annabeth had other plans. She said that Daddy had to have cake for his birthday - I think she was just very interested in eating the icing. Again, I got on Pinterest and found the most fun anti-gravity-illusion cakes. I wasn't sure how long the assembly would take so we used store bought cake and icing (funfetti and vanilla) and then decorated with M&Ms. I used this tutorial and I think it turned out SO neat!

Happy 28th Birthday to Mark! I am so thankful for this man who God has allowed to be my husband and Annabeth and Owen's Daddy. We love him so much!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Frugal Friday 132

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Following an epic meltdown, we had a HUGE toy clean out. We ended up with one bag of trash, one bag for Goodwill, and one bag to be tagged for the consignment sale.

- We took one bag and one box of donations to Goodwill.

- Mark picked up a shift at his part time job.

- Friday night into Saturday I fell ill with the stomach flu. Mark had a 12 hour training scheduled followed by a shift at his part time job so I knew I was home alone, sick, with the kids. I called Mark's mom and thankfully she and Uncle Luke took Annabeth out for the most wonderful day! Annabeth enjoyed lunch and dinner out as well as a fun day at the zoo! I was able to take a bit of a nap and to be sick with just Owen. This made such a huge difference - thank you all!

- I used a promo code from Shutterfly for 4 FREE magnets and just had to pay shipping. I made two for our fridge and we will give the other two for gifts. Saved: $36.00

- Mark was off Monday. It was his first full day off in about six weeks! We enjoyed a morning of relaxing and then some family fun at the bowling alley. At the bowling alley in town, on a weekday, Mark and Annabeth can bowl three games + shoe rental for $10. They both enjoy it so much!

Early morning computer work.
When Daddy is home, Nanners is never far away.

- I mailed some UofL clothing items from the kids to my college friend Lauren. I was in marching band with her and her husband Ben. They welcomed their first little girl this year and I was more than happy to share some a UofL onesie, shirts, and baby shoes. Hopefully they will help make Skylar a CARDS fan!

- Momaw sent up some decorating magazines a few weeks ago. I looked through them and this past week Annabeth has been cutting them up to make color themed collages.

- I read the UofL alumni magazine that came in the mail. I also read a free Homeschool magazine that came in the mail.

We had a great week and enjoyed celebrating Mark's 28th Birthday!
Check back later this weekend for a post about his homemade cards and cake!

Happy Savings to All!