Friday, January 27, 2017

Frugal Friday 178

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- The kids and I combined trips to save time and gas. Saturday morning we attended a birthday party in the Louisville area and then headed to Evansville for a long weekend. This was the best use of gas and time for the three of us.
One of the best parts of going home is cuddling with Uli Dog.
My family got Uli when I was just 14 and she is the very best, sweetest dog in the world!

- My parents gave me my birthday gift early. They gifted me with money to spend (only on myself) and watched the kids while I shopped! I was able to get a new dress and shoes for a special occassion we have next month. I also purchased a new pair of everyday shoes. After Owen, my feet went up another 1/2 size so many of my shoes no longer fit. I have been slowly buying all the shoes I need in the new size.

- We spent Sunday at my Momaw's house. She recently redid her china cabinet so my sister and I helped her with the last of the cleanout. We each took some items to use in our homes and then wrapped other items for a junk exchange I am hosting next weekend.

- I brought back 5 boxes/totes for the junk exchange from our trip down south. I have filled two boxes as well! I love hosting these events and hope people can find new uses for other people's items.

- A few weeks ago, I posted on Facebook that I am on the hunt for wire hangers for the upcoming Consignment Sale. Four people brought me some and I am so thankful! Thank you Ann, Dad, Cassidy, and Vicki!

- A family at work sent home a couple of bags on hand-me-downs for Annabeth. I took what we needed and passed the rest on to more friends. We love receiving and we love sharing hand-me-downs! Thank you Talley Family!

- I listed some more items for sale on Facebook. I have been trying to list a few things each week after seeing my friend Abbi (check out her blog at Proverbs 31 Living) do this. I am hoping it will encourage me to keep cleaning out and maybe even make a bit of extra money.

- We finally made it to Wonderful Ones Storytime for Owen again. Last fall I did not do a great job of going but have made it a goal to make sure he goes more often this spring. It was MUCH easier now that he is walking! He was really able to dance and play more.

We are looking forward to a great weekend celebrating our nephew's 5th birthday! :)

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Frugal Friday 177

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We had friends over last Friday for a play-date. We had all planned to meet at the Children's Museum but the incoming ice storm left us wary of traveling up north. So, we had them over for lunch and play. We made little homemade pizzas and the kids were able to get some of their energy out.

- Mark worked one night at his part-time job.

- We celebrated our 100th Day of School! I decorated with items that I purchased from the Dollar Tree using a gift card.

Celebrating her 100th Day of School
(We are a bit late on the celebration as we are actually 112 days into school)

- I committed to a part-time summer babysitting job. It will be just two days a week and we will enjoy having this friend of Annabeth's over to share our days with us. While I very much enjoy saving money to help with our budget, I also really enjoy the times when I am able to bring in extra income. This job will cover summer dance and swim lessons!

- Monday night we planned to eat out, Mark ended up being called into work. The kids and I stayed home and had leftovers. I had no desire to cook, especially when I thought we were going to have the treat of eating out for the first time in two weeks, but resisted the urge to spend money on just the kids and me. We can save that money for a time when all of us can go together.

- I purchased Girl Scout Cookies from two friends of Annabeth's. Since Annabeth's nut allergy makes it difficult to buy most brands of store-bought cookies, we chose the "Donate to a troop" option and donated  boxes to the military. Girl Scouts covered the shipping for this option and we were happy to help each of these girls work towards their cookie goals.

- We have not eaten out in the three weeks. We, like most people in January, are working on a healthier lifestyle and not eating out is part of that. I have had fun finding new recipes on Pinterest and we have been eating meat and veggies in ways that I would have never tried before.

- I got my PinchMe box on Wednesday and was SO excited! My freebies this month were a bottle of body wash, a 100 calorie snack, and a dish cloth. Those were all nice but I was SO excited that I also had a 8x8 photo book FREE code from Shutterfly! Woohoo!!

- I opened a Shutterfly e-mail and found a FREE 8x8 photo book offer in there as well! I am so excited as I am always working on projects!

- I purchased Annabeth her next size tennis shoes from Stride Rite online. I LOVE that they give Rewards members free shipping and free returns on all purchases. I was able to get the shoes for under $20 shipped plus I earned 4.5% back through Ebates!

We are looking forward to a fun weekend with a birthday party for a special 2 year old in our life and a short trip to Evansville/Owensboro for the kids and me. We are looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Frugal Friday 176

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Mark worked 2 nights at his part-time job.

- The kids and I volunteered to help feel Meal Bags with the Church of God in Franklin. If you are local and interested in donating time or resources to this cause please let me know!

- Saturday night, Mark, Annabeth, and I camped out on the living room floor. Annabeth loved having both of us all to herself. She kept saying, "This is just like when I was an only child!" I know she loves Owen but I also cherish the times when Owen goes to bed early and the three of us can just be together.

- We did a grocery trip and saved $36 on our bill AND used a coupon to earn 2x fuel points! Our best deal was on laundry detergent. I combined: $.50 off online coupon + store sale $1.90 off + they were part of the Buy 5, Save $5 deal + one in the back had a Buy 2, Get One Free Coupon! I bought three of the biggest size bottles and they came out under $3 each. This should last us almost to the summer!

- Annabeth and I enjoyed a Starbucks date. I had a free drink in my rewards and I used a gift card to buy her a cookie. We sat at the counter for about 30 minutes and the baristas were so nice. They answered her questions and showed her neat things on the drive-thru screens. At the end, one of the guys even made his free drink from his shift and gave it to her.

- Sunday evening Annabeth and I cleaned out her spring/summer part of her closet. We found 25 too small items. I listed some for sale on Facebook but none sold. All were entered into the Spring Consignment Sale online. I also put a call-out on Facebook for wire hangers as we must have all hanging items on wire hangers for this sale.

- Monday evening we all worked together to clean-out and sort the living room toys. The kids picked a tote of toys to give away. About half will be donated and the other half I will try to sell at the consignment sale. We allow the kids to pick items but try to encourage them to choose wisely.

- We have been having some crazy weather! Some days are pretty warm (over 50) and then it gets cold again. We have been outside when we can but on super cold days we have been having daily dance parties. This week Owen chose bluegrass music, Annabeth chose Reggie, and I chose 90s boy bands (maybe I was feeling nostalgic for the year 2000)

Annabeth, dancing at home before we headed to her Thursday night tap class. 

Slow dancing to NSYNC with my little guy

Frugal Fails:

- We had to buy make-up for Annabeth's dance competitions this year. I used coupons where I could but unfortunately many items weren't on sale and didn't have coupons. We spent $80! :( I am hoping this lasts all season!

- My Momaw gifted us money for Christmas to buy new lights for the front of our house. We have cheapie, gold fixtures and we wanted something with more character. I had checked to make sure the store still had them the week after Christmas and they were 30% and 40% off! We were so excited but I was in Evansville with the kids and didn't have room in the car to buy them. We ended up buying them this week and one was not on sale at all and the other two were only 15% off each. I was glad they were a bit on sale and shopped through Ebates for 2.5% cashback but was bummed to not get the original awesome deal.

We hope you all had a good week!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Frugal Friday 175

Happy Frugal Friday!
Happy New Year! Happy 2017!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money the past two weeks:

- We took the kids to our new Kroger Marketplace for lunch. We purchased their lunch using a Kroger gift card, Mark's Christmas bonus from his part time job, and a Starbucks gift card for dessert.

- Our family and friends gave our children many useful Christmas gifts. We were especially thankful for all of the items that we can use for school - books, craft supplies, pens and pencils, and more. Thank you all!

- I received an e-mail saying that I had credit at ThredUp. I didn't realize I did and it was exciting to do some extra shopping! I was able to order a really nice like-new fleece. Annabeth did not care for it, since it was black in color, so I washed it and put it into Owen's tote. I paid just the shipping ($5.99) out of pocket.

- While in Evansville, I took the kids to an owl program at Wesselman Woods Nature Center. We met our friends Debbie and India there. The girls enjoyed a lesson on owls, making an owl craft, and a nice December hike. It was great to be outdoors! It was just $8 for the kids and I to get in the nature center and for the class.

- My parents treated Annabeth to a Grandmama-Grandpa-Annabeth date and took her to the Fantasy of Lights. They used a coupon from Mama's work so admission was FREE!

- My mama and sister took Annabeth to see the movie Sing. She loved getting to go to the movies, a special treat, and Owen and I enjoyed a nice long browsing session at Hobby Lobby while they were there.

- My parents gifted our family a year-long membership to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. We took the kids on the 2nd so they could see Jolly Days and the Doc McStuffin's exhibits before they close. We are so excited to have this membership! We did make the mistake of not packing lunch and had to buy lunch in the cafeteria - expensive! We won't make that mistake again!

Owen enjoyed the penguins at Jolly Days. 
They were almost as tall as him but he loved carrying them around anyway! 

- We have been enjoying Christmas Break from school, we will start back full force next week. This week I enjoyed making a wreath and reading in my free time. Annabeth enjoyed making an owl craft and together we built a foam dollhouse. It was nice to spend our afternoons together not in formal school.

We had a truly blessed Christmas and New Year's Week. It was difficult to not spend the time as a family as Mark worked Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. He also worked many days in between. We are thankful for texting and for Uncle Luke's Facetime so Mark could watch the kids open gifts.

We pray that you all had a wonderful Christmas season as well. As we head into 2017, we look forward to continuing to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us.

Happy Savings to All!