Friday, February 28, 2020

Frugal Friday 333

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Last weekend we splurged and rented a hotel room for Annabeth's dance competition. The dance venue was about an hour from home and with a 7:15 dressed and ready report time we just felt it was better and easier to be close to the location vs driving the hour. My fail was the hotel's pool was closed and my second reason for wanting to book a hotel was for the kids to have the fun of swimming. Despite booking directly through the hotel website and calling ahead, I had no idea the pool was closed. The kids were very disappointed upon check-in and the hotel staff kindly gave each of them a snack from the overpriced snack bar.

- We packed lunches and snacks for our 8 hour day Saturday. We did not purchase any concessions or dancewear from the event. My general rule is that I buy Annabeth one dance shirt from Nationals each year but not from any of the other events. Last year we did splurge and get two shirts at Nationals since she made Best of the Best and she wanted an "Award Winning Dancer" shirt.

- Sunday afternoon we celebrated my birthday at Mark's parents house. They made a nacho bar and chocolate cookies to celebrate. They also gave me a giftcard to use towards our big vacation for the year. Thank you all!

- Tuesday evening Mark and Annabeth attended his troop's Blue and Gold Ceremony. We are very proud of Mark for completing his Woodbadge. I was very sad to stay home with sick Owen but we enjoyed seeing Mark's pictures and awards when he got home.

- The kids are STILL sick - especially Owen. As a result we stayed home most of the week and skipped a field trip. While the admission was free and I had planned to pack lunch we did save the cost of gas as it would have been an hour each way.

- Wednesday evening Mark taught a class out of town so I took Owen along to drop Annabeth by dance. Even though he was not feeling well, we did stop by the store for a few necessities. He and I had an at home date night and made/ate rice krispie treats.

 Making rice krispies.
No worries, our house is plenty warm (66 degrees) but Owen
loves to wear hats. 

This was our fifth or sixth week of illness for the winter. We've made due by playing and reading at home and borrowing many documentaries from the library. Lots of free fun and thankfully my sister-in-law had even given us a bottle of kids Tylenol so I didn't have to buy any over the past few weeks.

Looking forward to a busy dance weekend and a birthday party for one of my favorite people.

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Frugal Friday 332

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Last Friday was Valentine's Day/My Birthday. We exchanged Valentine's in the morning and gifted each of the kids some small, fun items. We always just exchange cards between us.

- The kids and I spent a few hours at the Eiteljorg Museum. We used a library pass for FREE admission (Saved $31), got our parking validated (Saved: $10) , and saved 10% ($2.20) on a delicious lunch in their cafe. We are SO thankful that our local libraries offer these passes.

- I stopped on the way home from the museum for my FREE Starbucks Birthday treat. Saved: $5.44

- We, as always, ate my birthday dinner at home. It's far too busy to try to eat out on Valentine's Day so I just made a meal that I really like. Mark got me a cheesecake as a birthday dessert.

- We wrapped up a Cards for a Cause Fundraiser for our dance studio. A few families had missed out on the fall fundraiser and wanted to do one this month. I happily said yes and in less than two weeks they had their orders in, money in their dance account, and cards delivered!

- Monday Mark was off work for the President's Day holiday. We took the kids to Garfield Park and enjoyed the conservatory, a reptile class, and a good run in the Sunken Gardens. Mark also helped the kids find a geocache that we hadn't been able to find on previous trips. It helped to have someone who finds clues for a living!

Riley Family School Field Trip

- My friend Ann and I won a Facebook contest a few years ago and so now we always add eachother's names on those contests. This week Ann won AGAIN and I got a beautiful handmade hat and a Starbucks giftcard as my prize. Thank you Ann for tagging me!

- Tuesday evening, Annabeth had 4H. I picked up two of her friends and left Owen with their mom and younger siblings to play. Both kids enjoyed some time apart and some time with just their friends. This was a nice way to mix up our week.

- We took two huge boxes of items to donate. I did our first round sort of all of our spring sale items. I have all the kids' clothes hung and organized. I also received my first round of items for Express Tagging. I entered her 100 items into the system on Sunday afternoon. I learned a great deal last fall and have a new storage and organization system for Express Tagging this spring. I look forward to working with more conisgners this sale to earn money towards summer fun!

- Yesterday, the kids and I enjoyed the morning out at the Church of God Homeschool Storytime. We meet once a month with dear friends for Bible lesson, songs, and fun. If you are local please let me know if you would like to join us next month.

- Today is the LAST DAY for my Spring Bookraiser for the Riley Cheer Guild at Riley Children's Hospital. This spring we have been asked to donate chapter books and we look forward to helping fill their library cart with wonderful Usborne and Kane Miller chapter books. If you feel inclined you may donate here: Spring Bookraiser

We are looking forward to a fun weekend and our first competition weekend of 2020! #SDAalltheway

Happy Savings to All!

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!