Friday, February 14, 2020

Frugal Friday 331

Happy Frugal Friday! Happy Valentine's Day!

- Last Friday, the kids and I went down to Charlestown to celebrate the birthdays of two of our favorite little guys. We enjoyed taking them their presents and some cookies to help celebrate their second and fifth birthdays.

- We then headed on to Evansville for a weekend with my family. My family did a wonderful job of spoiling me for my birthday - they made my favorite meals, had my favorite cookies for dessert, and gave me great books and gift cards. Thank you all!

Birthday Celebration #1 with my #1 Girl

My Mama made this HUGE cookie cake with 33! for me :) 
Thank you Mama!

 Celebrating with Momaw
4 Generations of Love
I am SO thankful for 33 years of learning from these
two women. They have truly made me who I am. 

- Our dear friend Angie O'Leary made shirts for each of the kids. Annabeth is wearing one of the beautiful dance ones in the picture of us above. Please check out Angie's work on her website: Angie O'Leary's Boutique Thank you Angie! 

- We stayed home most days and ate our meals at home. We did one small grocery trip for $40 the week.

- Tuesday evening the kids and I enjoyed Travel Club at the library. This month we heard from a exchange student from Libya. They had a great time learning about his country and learning a few words in Arabic. I resisted the urge to stop through a drive-thru or to eat out and went home to cook dinner.

- Wednesday evening we got the kids' dinner at the dance studio and purchased pizza for each of them. They were super excited to have Pizza Hut pizza.

- Yesterday the kids and I went down to the lake to see our friends the Ottes. The moms each made our kids' main dishes and then split preparing the sides. It was SO good to have a morning with my friend Katie and the kids played very nicely together.

- All night and through yesterday Owen complained that his ear hurt. I took him to Immediate Care on the way home from the lake and he has an ear infection. I am SO SO SO thankful for Mark's current job and our new insurance. With our old insurance a doctor visit and medication would have been at least $130 out of pocket with our new insurance we just had the office co-pay and no RX charge. We are SO thankful for affordable insurance. It has truly changed our lives and finances!

- Last night I went out for a planning meeting for our little homeschool group. The other mom's kindly bought my dessert as an early birthday gift. Thank you Jeanette and Andrea - I am SO thankful to do life and school with you all!

We are looking forward to lots of fun this weekend.

Happy Valentine's Weekend and Happy Savings to All! 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Frugal Friday 330

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Mark worked pretty much night and day and I worked my Usborne Books & More Business.

- I started a fundraiser for our dance studio through my book business. Annabeth is selling greeting cards, through Sunday, to raise money for dance fees. If you would like to buy a box please let us know.

- We ate some "funky dinners." One night we finished six different bags of things in the freezer - chicken, veggies, etc with some fresh fruit. It wasn't Pinterest worthy but we had protein, veggies, fruits, and full bellies. I make a point to only buy what we need for the week, or two weeks depending on how we shop each month, at the grocery. I do not stock up or shop ahead. Why? When I have done that in the past we end up wasting. The menu gets shifted, we have more or less leftovers, and food gets thrown away. By shopping just for the week we eliminate food waste. If I see fresh produce that won't get used, I take it to our church food pantry or a Free Little Pantry.

- Last Friday, Annabeth and I saw the Louisville Ballet at Butler University. The tickets, fees, and parking made it a $40 night which was too affordable to pass up! She and I had a very nice time and she found new dance inspiration.

- I was recovering from a bad cough and Owen had the bad cough through the weekend. He and I stayed home and rested.

- Saturday Mark volunteered with his Scout Troop to make sub sandwiches to sell for a Super Bowl Sunday fundraiser.

- Sunday, Mark and Annabeth enjoyed an afternoon of family time at Mark's parents. Owen and I stayed home, played games, and ate leftovers for our Super Bowl Sunday. Owen sported his favorite new shirt:

Bacon is my favorite vegetable

- We stayed and ate at home all week. We used gas only to do minimal errands and to drive Annabeth to dance class. We ate the food that we had at home and used up most of what we had. We will do a big shopping trip next week.

- Yesterday a shirt came from Etsy. I had been wanting this shirt for a while and finally ordered. When it came I was so sad because I had ordered a light gray shirt and the graphics really didn't look very good on it. I had spent $25 between the shirt and shipping which made me brave enough to message the seller to see if I could exchange it for the darker gray shirt I thought I was ordering. Thankfully the seller was super accommodating and allowed me to do it! I do have to pay shipping both ways (around $10) but I would rather have the shirt I want, and will wear, than to have one that will just sit in my closet.

We are looking forward to a fun weekend celebrating lots of birthdays today and tomorrow.

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Frugal Friday 329

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We took the kids to Disney on Ice (for only the second time) as their BIG Christmas gift. I was able to get the tickets 25% off. We also saved on parking as it was $5 less than I had budgeted. We gave each of the kids a coupon with their Christmas gifts to get any toy they wanted at the show. We came in $17 under budget on the toys as well! Hooray!

Owen chose a stuffed Woody as his toy - perfect as it was $10 less than
what I had budgeted. Each of use wore $4 H&M clearance Disney shirts

Annabeth was really excited to have a light-up wand!
Her adorable Mickey princess dress is from Rylee Faith Designs and was under $10!

 Excited for the show to start!

 Owen's face when Woody skated onto the ice - pure joy!

- We had dinner out after the Disney on Ice. We used a giftcard from Christmas 2018 (better late than never!) and just had to cover the tip! :) 

- Mark worked a TON of overtime this week. We were sad to be without him but are thankful that he is able to serve our community with so much care and integrity. This week had a huge case that was very important to work quickly and efficiently and we are proud of the work of the whole police department.

- Tuesday morning, Annabeth got her expander out! She will still wear it at night and still has orthodontics on the bottom but is VERY happy to have the big, clunky top piece out! Not frugal necessarily but a big moment in the week.

- After Annabeth's appointment, I took the kids to Target to spend a Christmas giftcard. Owen chose a stuffed animal and a PawPatrol set and Annabeth chose two small items for her dolls and saved the rest. I like to spread out giftcards and with Mark working night-and-day this week and continued on and off sickness in the house I thought we needed a pick-me-up!

- Wednesday the kids went, Annabeth for the first time ever, to get their hair cut at a salon. Thank you to the incredible Christy Stearns for doing our hair this week!



Owen's Haircut
He went through pages of choices and wanted this look.
The stuffed animal is his new one from his giftcard. 

- This was week four where at least one of us was sick. We keep passing the same cough and runny nose around the house over and over. We did a another big, deep clean and opened windows so I am hoping we've scared the germs away.

We are looking forward to a weekend with, hopefully, all of us home!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Frugal Friday 328

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We spent the holiday weekend in Evansville. Saturday the boys went to a military museum, lunch, and the LST. The girls went to lunch and did some clearance rack shopping. Sunday we enjoyed the day in Owensboro with Momaw.

- I have had my eye on a beautiful Matilda Jane Sweater and have debated getting it for myself as my birthday shirt. The $78 price tag has stopped me because that just feels crazy to me. On our shopping trip, we walked into Dillard's and there was a sweater almost like the one I loved! It fit but I put it back. Then I felt sad so I knew I needed it. I was so very pleasantly surprised to find it to be just $12.40 at checkout!

- On my mental wishlist I have had a set of bracelets from Uncommon James. To get the set would be nearly $100 shipped which, again, just feels crazy. While standing in the Old Navy checkout line (they had $.30 t-shirts!) I saw bracelets very similar. They were clearanced down to $4.97 so I bought them!

- Monday after we dropped Annabeth off at dance, Mark and I took Owen out on a little date. We went into Kroger for a salad bar and chicken/rice dinner. I made sure to check in with ShopKick and earned 45 points without buying anything special. On the way out we had the cutest moment with Owen, Mark let him carry the car keys and Owen said, in awe, "Can I unlock the door for everyone?" Mark said, "Yes" and...

Owen was SO excited. 
He said, "The is a big moment for me!"
I love the little moments that make everything so wonderful!

- We've all been a bit under the weather so we stayed home most of the week, read many many many library books, and enjoyed some movies from the library. I am thankful for simple, free fun.

- Tuesday Annabeth and I cleaned out her spring/summer and dance side of her closet. We listed about 10 items for sale on Facebook. We've sold three but I hope to sell a few more to help cut down on storing items until the spring kids' sale.

- Tuesday evening Annabeth had her monthly 4H meeting. They played a fun new game and decorated cookies after the formal part of the meeting. I am especially thankful for leaders who e-mailed ahead of time so we could bring our own cookie supplies and for the AMAZING family who made/brought ONLY Anna-Safe items for the decorating so she was able to make the same cookies as the other kids.

We are looking forward to a magical weekend with Disney on Ice!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Frugal Friday 327

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Last Saturday I hosted our sort-of-annual Junk Exchange. We had many friends over and swapped a whole room full of items! We served vegetable soup, bread and butter, fresh fruit, and brownie brittle for lunch. Quick, simple and perfect for a crowd.

- From the Junk Exchange our family kept - three items to use while hiking/camping, three shirts for Annabeth, two winter coats for Owen to grow into, and many puzzles and games. I also took a few books to read and then pass on.

- After the exchange, we divided everything into piles and were able to donate one carload to Goodwill, one carload to the Lord's Cupboard, and all of the acceptable clothing will be taken to Hangers to help EVSC students and their families. We also have a whole box of food going to Andrew's Harvest Food Pantry and a whole box of food going to the Church of God for the Meal Bag program! Thank you to everyone who came for blessing each other's families and ALL of these organizations!

- Sunday we gave my parents the end of their Christmas gift - bowling at Ten Pins and lunch at Greek's pizza. We all had a great time and we especially have loved gifting many experiences, or giftcards for experiences, this Christmas.

At Ten Pins
Owen was Lane 1 Champ and
Dad was Lane 2 Champ!

- Monday the kids and I carpooled with friends to Indianapolis for Homeschool Day at the Capitol. We are SO thankful to homeschool in a state that is supportive and understanding of homeschoolers and our specific educational and family needs.

Annabeth at the mailbox.
This is the original mailbox/system from when the building was completed
in 1888.  

Owen made himself right at home at a desk in the House of Representatives.  

3/4 of the Riley Family School.
We were happy to celebrate #homeschool freedom!

- Tuesday evening the kids and I enjoyed Travel Club at a local library. This month had a guest speaker from the country of Georgia. He was SO well spoken and very funny. The kids learned a great deal. Owen and I enjoyed eating a traditional dessert from his country as well.

- I have gotten really serious about using ShopKick as I can earn giftcards for our upcoming vacation. I earned 930 kicks this week and didn't buy anything out of the ordinary for those kicks. Join ShopKicks and get your first 250 kicks here: ShopKick with Amy

- Yesterday morning we had a Homeschool Storytime at the Church of God. We hadn't met as a group since October and we all were so excited to be back together. Kelley and her girls do such a wonderful job with this program and we are so thankful for them!

- Mark wanted pizza for dinner on Thursday night. We skipped expensive take-out pizza and the kids and I stopped at the grocery for freezer pizza. This was around $15 vs the $30 we spend when we get delivery.

We had a good week and are looking forward to a nice, long holiday weekend.

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Frugal Friday 326

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I worked my Usborne Books & More business and Mark received his 2019 longevity pay from the city.

- Annabeth had the Dance Makers Convention downtown in Indianapolis Saturday and Sunday. We skipped the $47/day parking and reserved a spot with a walk for just $20/weekend using the SpotHero app. We saved $74 this way!

Our tiny dancer, in the big city, dreaming even bigger dreams

- I packed all of Annabeth's lunches and snacks for the weekend as well as mine for Sunday. I was a bit scattered Saturday morning and forgot mine but bought a $10 lunch at the Eiteljorg Museum vs an expensive hotel lunch. I did get a Starbucks treat each day using a giftcard from Christmas.

- We ate out as a family and saved $5.50 by redeeming a free kids meal from Summer Reading at the library.

- We stayed home this week. We did not eat out after the weekend and we did not drive except for dance class. We are continuing to save for a big vacation and are being very mindful of each dollar we spend.

- I got a HUGE box of $225 FREE books from Usborne Books & More. I was very happy to check out with the January Hostess Special DOUBLE REWARDS and to enjoy all of those beautiful free books!

- I did pop into Starbucks Wednesday night and used a giftcard to get a drink. Thank you Melissa for the treat!

We are looking forward to a busy weekend with family in town and our Annual Junk Exchange!
I cannot wait to see what treasures we find.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Frugal Friday 325

Happy Frugal Friday and Happy 2020!

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

- Friday Mark was off work AND off call (this only happens about 10 days out of the whole year) so after a doctor appointment up north we went to Eagle Creek Park. We enjoyed a picnic lunch, lake walk, hike, and explored both of their nature centers. It was a wonderful family day for just the cost of parking - $6.

I love that Annabeth chose to wear these fancy clothes hiking. 
She truly has her own sense of style and we're loving watching it develop. 

- Saturday we ran a few small errands in the morning (pharmacy and library) and then spent about 4 hours working around the house. We did a deep clean of the main family car, a garage clean out, and some work inside. After dinner we did another few hours of cleaning plus loads and loads of laundry. The kids made their Christmas thank you cards to send the family members we did not see.

- Sunday after church we enjoyed our last Christmas of the year. We celebrated with Mark's family and had such a wonderful time. We were excited to surprise his whole family with the gift of going to an Indians Game this summer! We are happy to make this happen for everyone.

- Monday I spent the day putting away Christmas gifts and Christmas decor as well as some deep cleaning. The kids spent the day reading new books and playing with new toys.

- Tuesday we enjoyed Countdown to Noon at our local library and then had a very fun evening with Mark's family eating junk food and playing loads of games. All but the 9-month-old made it to midnight and we whispered "Happy New Year" as to not wake him. We spent the night at Mark's parents' house and Mark cooked a big breakfast for New Year's morning. We enjoyed games and movies most of the day before coming home.

- We went back to school yesterday and both of the kids had a very good school day. Afterwards they were full of energy and it was around fifty degrees so they went outside for over two hours. They came in for dinner and then we all went out on an after dinner walk  until it was dark. I know the weather will get cold several more times before spring so I am trying to really savor the warm time outside as much as we can! We have purposed to spend at least thirty minutes a day outside and that is so much easier for me when it is warmer!

We are looking forward a weekend full of dance.

Happy Savings to All!