Friday, April 11, 2014

Finances on Friday!

So, it's Friday and you know what that means...............I'm linking up with Rebecca at Renaissance for Finances on Friday!

This, friends, was a stellar week for saving money.

  • First of all, remember that conference I forgot to register for a few weeks ago? Well, I was really disappointed that I wasn't going. It turns out that another lady had bought a ticket and wasn't going to be able to go and she offered it to me! So, I'm going after all! I'm really excited. There are six of us going from church. It was an option to stay overnight, but no one wanted to, and it's only ten minutes away. I'm really looking forward to the encouragement and refreshment!
  • One of my favorite coupon sites, Hip 2 Save, had posted a deal about laundry soap being on sale at Sears. I had bought this same soap last year when Kmart had it on sale. I really like making my own soap, but especially in the summer when I do a lot of brights and whites, I notice they get a little "grayish" after a while. So, if there's a good deal I'll get some store bought soap and just use it on those loads. Well, that same morning I got an email with a Shop Your Way reward for Sears for $7 off a $20 purchase. I also had a some bonus points from when I bought my purse and the kids shoes a few weeks ago. All in all, I got two HUGE boxes (180 loads each) of detergent for $9.72!! I picked it up in store at the mall about 5 miles away.
  • I also made a batch of laundry soap this week, so I should be set to do lots of laundry! (yippee...)
  • I've had my eye on a pack of onesies at Target that are gray and yellow. I'm doing gray and yellow with owls for this baby. We never find out the gender beforehand and this is really gender neutral. I stopped into Target for something else, and they had those onesies on sale for a dollar and five cents off so I went ahead and got them so baby has something to wear in/at home from the hospital.
  • And, now for my awesome deal of the week........ Babies R Us is discontinuing their maternity line in June and had ALL of their maternity and nursing wear marked down to FIVE DOLLARS A PIECE!!!! I almost always wear used maternity clothes that I get at thrift, garage sales or consignment sales and I will wear it until it is not fit to be worn. I just always hate spending money on clothes for myself, but this was too good to pass up. I got a denim jacket, pants, capris, 2 dresses, maternity shirts, nursing shirts, nursing tanks and bras, and even some nursing jammies so I will look cute when I'm at the hospital! This was such a blessing! I think I probably got about thirty things and spend less then I would have on ONE regular outfit from a maternity store. I've got about nine or ten weeks left, and I know I'll still be wearing those pants for a little while after, too.

So, here I am in my new outfit heading out to the conference.

Don't forget to link up over at Renaissance and share your financial ideas and efforts this week!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

You know, the usual.......

Well, this weekend and week has been the usual. And, by usual, I mean stuff like having to take the back of the dryer apart to retrieve an oxyclean lid that a child, who will remain nameless, dropped down the lint trap when he/she was switching laundry.

Our ladies group at church had a prayer breakfast Saturday morning. We had biscuits and gravy, juice and scrambled eggs and whoever was in charge of the decorations had decorated the tables so cute with an Easter/spring theme. We all had little seed packets and chocolates. Breakfast can't bet much better than that. Then, we all went into the sanctuary to have a little uninterrupted time to pray alone. You could go ahead and leave when you were done, and I was the last to leave the sanctuary. I'm not sure what that means............

Travis threw up yesterday. I hope that was an isolated incident.

I've packed or gotten rid of just about everything I can at this point. So, nothing to do now, but keep on keeping on and see what happens.

Did I  mention that David bought me a new laptop? I didn't? Well, it is AWESOME. I still have a special place in my heart for my old one that David surprised me with at Christmas a few years ago. It still has a little life left so I think maybe the kids can use it for school assignments. I was a little nervous thinking I wouldn't be able to figure out the new windows screen and all the updates and features, but really it was pretty easy. The kids will not be getting their dirty little hands on this laptop. Mama's new toy is OFF limits.

So..... that's about it except for the homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, laundry and other shenanigans that usually take place.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Finances on Friday!

Okay, so I linked up again over at Renaissance for Finances on Friday!

What were my frugal efforts this week................?




I need to start making myself notes. I can barely remember what I planned to make the kids for breakfast this morning much less what frugal things I did last Monday.

Well, let's start with today, because that's at least fresh on my mind. I kind of hesitate to share this, but I'm going to anyway. My son, who'll be 17 this month, has been working at a grocery store since last year. I let him have some time just to spend a little money, since we usually don't have much extra to give the kids allowances or spending money. In January I told him I was going to start putting half his money into my savings account, so he wouldn't be tempted to withdraw it because he wouldn't have access to it. He could have the other half for whatever, but he's really good about buying his own necessities as well as buying the other kids things if they need it. Anyway, as of today he has over a thousand dollars in savings! In just that short amount of time! He'll definately have a nice little sum to buy a car with in the next six or eight months when he gets his driver's licence.

We ate from the pantry for three days this week. Now, I know that isn't a lot, but I was out of bread and peanut butter (gasp!) and so I went through what we had and it lasted three days. I actually don't even have a pantry. This rental house kitchen is so impractical for this family of 12, I don't even know how we've lasted three and a half years. The cabinets were full of bugs when we moved in (unbeknownst to me when I signed the lease) and I have never been able to put anything in them even after we got rid of the bugs. Maybe psychological, but eeeewwww. It's a small 50's style ranch kitchen with no counter space. So, all of our food, and kitchen utensils are on one big metal shelf in the corner of the kitchen. Now, I do have an extra fridge and a small chest freezer, which is hugely helpful, but I just don't have shelf space for a lot of nonperishables. And, I just don't buy a lot of convenience food either, so for us, three days was a long time.

Oh, yes. Last Saturday we went and bought 13 new chairs for our table. We had been using yard sale chairs that were hanging on by a thread and kept breaking one by one, so we knew we were going to buy new chairs with our tax refund. Four of the chairs they had in stock were scratched a bit, not bad really, but David asked the assistant who was helping us if he'd give us a discount. The guy said 5% was all he could do. He went ahead and asked the manager, who said go ahead and do 10%, then when we got to the register, she gave us 20%. That was basically like buying 12 chairs and getting one free! I didn't even think of asking for a discount. Score one for the husband!

I've still been packing and decluttering for whenever and wherever we may get a house and move. Sometimes it's good just to purge and let things go. We ended up getting rid of a ton of stuff, even my beloved baker's rack that David bought me 16 years ago. I get a little sentimental about stuff sometimes and I wanted to keep it, but it was getting bent and the drawers were breaking, so I decided it was time to move on. There are two free landfill days this month, but by the time we tried to load all that in the van and probably have to make two trips there, I thought it was just worth paying the $5 extra so the garbage men could take it all.

Well, that's about it. Don't forget to link up over at Renaissance and share about your frugal week!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Well, on occasion we get negative comments about the size of our family (as evidenced here), but much more often we get curious questions. And, we do get quite a few positive comments.

Sunday, David came home from church early to start grilling out some lunch for us. I stopped in the grocery store on my way home to get some lemonade and soda.

There was a lady right behind me in line and she leaned over and said, "OH! It looks like you're going to have a little blessing!"

"Yes!" I said. "Actually it will be number 11 for us." Normally I wouldn't just volunteer that out there, but I felt it was the right thing to say.

"Well," she said, "You're still so young, you have energy to care for them all. And the time just goes by so fast. You know what the Bible says? Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of children."

I said, "Yes, it sure does! But, not everyone feels that way........."

She smiled and said, "You know, it's just none of their business!"

Bless her heart.

She made my day.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Finances on Friday!

It's time for Finances on Friday again! And, I didn't manage to get up one single other post this week. All of us ended up with colds and lots of coughing, Brittany got pink eye from one of her students at daycare and David got bronchitis. So, that and math worksheets pretty much took up the entire week.

I did manage to get to the doctor Tuesday for my glucose test. They didn't call me so that means I passed. My blood pressure was great, the baby looks great, and everything's great!

I'm 29 weeks today!

So.....on to the finances:

  • Our utility bills have gone down for this month. We haven't used as much propane since it has warmed up some during the day. Our electric is still fairly low because we haven't run the air conditioner. And, our water bill was cut in half after David did a little work on the two toilets that were leaking water. Yay!
  • I canceled the cell phone insurance on Brittany's phone. She was supposed to be paying me for it, but didn't and I ended up forgetting. We also get a 25% "employment discount", which I'm not exactly sure why, but I'm not arguing, so our cell phone bill now is pretty decent.
  • Made $30 from selling books on Currclick during their sale the week before last. By the way, if you homeschool, check them out. The link is on the right sidebar!
  • Some of the kids needed shoes and one of the local stores had their shoes BOGO for $1.
  • Found a purse! It was also on sale for 30% off making it only $20!

My family's reaction?    "It's yellow."

Well, I had made up my mind that I wanted a yellow purse because 1) I need a little color in my life and 2) Yellow is in this season. And, of course, I always make my fashion decisions based on what is in for the season.


Well. Anyway.

I like it.

  • Used up all the leftovers this week so none went to waste.
  • David went to the free medical clinic this week for city employees so that saved us a co-pay.
  • About six months ago we got a credit card in order to raise our credit score. We made a few purchases (it is still on 0% interest) carried the balance for a little while and have almost paid off the purchases. It worked! As much as I really hate credit and that everything revolves around that ridiculous score, doing this did raise the score and we've paid no interest. We are looking to purchase a home and are trying to rebuild our credit since the bankruptcy.
  • Went through all my homeschool stuff and am donating around five bags of stuff to our homeschool book benevolence.

Don't forget to link up over at Renaissance for Finances on Friday and tell us what frugal things you did this week!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Finances on Friday!

I'm a little late getting up my Finances on Friday post this week. I've been cleaning house all week and trying to go through everything and get rid of anything that we don't need/want and trying to just pack up anything we aren't using to get it out of the way. And, I'm almost done! I just have to finish 4 loads of laundry and clean up the homeschool stuff and I can kick my feet up, relax and eat bon bons. (Are you laughing yet?)

I also missed last week, so here are my frugal efforts for the last two weeks:

  • I made $194 from the consignment sale! I was hoping for $150, so I'm really excited. This money will go back into the clothing fund for some things I couldn't find at the sale, like shoes for the older girls, tshirts/shorts/shoes for my older two boys. WHO ARE IN MEN"S SIZES. Where does the time go?
  • Found some beef marked down for quick sale.
  • Used some leftover beef and rice to make stuffed peppers for my lunches last week.
  • Forgot to register for a women's conference I had wanted to go to. I'm not sure if that's a success or not, but I guess it will be saving me $50.
  • A very good friend bought my girls a surger and is teaching them to use it! SO thankful for her!
  • I decided that since the girls have been learning to sew, that we could make a diaper bag, crib set, blankets and burp cloths for this baby. There is some super cute owl fabric, and since Brittany works one night a week at the fabric store she can get a discount. So, we'll see if this is a frugal endeavor, but none the less, I think it will be fun and a fantastic learning experience!
  • Used my grocery store rewards card and saved 10 cents/gallon on gas. This is twice as much as saving 5/gallon at Sam's.

And, where things weren't so frugal............

  • I went shopping at Sam's and unloaded the groceries from the van onto driveway in front of the garage for the kids to take to the extra fridge in there, while I quickly went to take David something at work. Well, apparently TWO WHOLE PACKS of lunchmeat got overlooked behind a bucket of stuff in the garage and I didn't notice it until the next day when I went to make David's lunch. It had to be on the 65 degree day instead of the unsual 35 degree days we'd been having.
  • David had a MUCH needed four days off (Saturday through Tuesday) so he wanted to do something fun. We took the kids for pizza, then bowling and ice cream. The cost gave me heart palpatations, but really it was worth it because we had some great family time.

Does anyone else get anxiety over spending money? I admittingly am very uptight about it. I am thinking about buying a new purse, because, well, i just want one. I have spent maybe six dollars in the last six years on purses. I usually pick them up at yard sales. But, this year I'm just in the mood to buy a brand spanking new purse. I'm not talking Coach or Dooney and Burke, just maybe a nice $20 one from the local discount store. And, I'm still stressing about whether or not to spend the $20. David is like, "JUST GO BUY THE PURSE ALREADY. You deserve it."  I don't know. I am way too hard on myself. I can get very frustrated if I don't do every frugal thing perfectly. I know part of that is the "oldest child syndrome", but I also know what it feels like to lose everything. So, anyway, it seems like a constant struggle to be frugal, but yet not try to "maintain control" over everything to the point where my faith is "in my finances". Know what I mean?

Don't forget to link up over at Renaissance for Finances on Friday!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Bailey and Bethany!

Last Thurday was Bailey's 5th birthday.

Sunday was Bethany's 12th birthday.

Happy Birthday Girls!!!!!!!

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