Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Searl House Happenings........

I haven't really been posting much since school has let out for the summer.  Seems I am way busy running kids around.  Hopefully that will change as June turns into July. 

Kid # 2 has been gone the whole month on vacation with her Mother and family.  We will be seeing her again in a few short days and she will be staying with us for two weeks.  Then there will be a few long weekends and then another week before school starts.  During the last week that she is here her grandparents should be visiting from South Carolina.

Kid # 3 is nonstop busy with Raiderette practices 3 days a week for the summer.  She just finished up the behind the wheel part of her Drivers Ed for school which was an additional two days a week she had to be at the high school.  Hopefully, she will be getting her licence in July.  Now she is in search of a job so that she can get her car up and running.

Kid # 4 has discovered skate boarding this summer and spends alot of time at the skate park.  In addition to that he is still taking guitar lessons.

Kid # 5 has been enjoying golf lessons this summer.  She says she is going to keep taking them until she is as good as her Dad :) 

We have made a couple of trips to the library so far this summer.  We have also played at the park a couple of times.  Last weekend 3 of the 5 kids and I went camping with my sister and her 3 kids.  The cousins all had a great time playing together all weekend.  Unfortunately it rained for part of it.  But we all handled it and still had a great time.  We also attended our family reunion picnic and got to see alot of family we don't see on a regular bases.  I am hoping to maybe get in one more camping trip before the cold weather comes back in the fall.

Today, Kid # 5 and I will be leaving to visit my other sister in Arizona.  This was not a frugal decision on my part but I am still happy we are going.  Kid # 5 is very excited to be going on a trip with me alone.  I am very excited to see my sister since it had been a year since I have.

Well that has been our summer so far in a nutshell.  Hopefully there will be several more great adventures to come in the month of July.  There are still many things to check off from our summer list.  We have plans for several of them coming up that will help us to get them accomplished.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday Tip

My tip this week is pretty easy ..........use rags instead of paper towels.  I rarely buy paper towels anymore and when I do the packages of 8 rolls last us along time.  I do like to keep some on hand because we have a dog and cleaning up dog messes with a rag is eeewww.  But for everything else I/we use rags.  I cut up old tshirts and towels and we use those.  I have some stack able baskets in my pantry and in one of those baskets is where the majority of the rags are housed.  But I also have two small baskets that I believe I got at the Dollar General Store under my kitchen sink.  One is for clean rags to live and the other is where the dirty ones go. 

If the rags are wet I have a slide out towel bar thingy that they hang on until dry and then I put them in the basket with the other dirty rags and towels.

 I also keep a small laundry basket in my laundry room and when my kitchen basket gets full we dump it in that basket.  When the laundry room basket is full, which happens about once a month, I throw them all in the washer together and give them all a good wash.  Pretty simple really.  I also do not keep the paper towels that I do buy out in plain site.  I found that if my family seems them they use them.  But like most things out of sight out of mind.  Really is a simple thing to do to save some money.  Just takes some time to get out of the habit.

I am linking up to                              LearningtheFrugalLife


Friday, June 17, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Used up some fruit to make smoothies and made smoothie Popsicles with the leftovers.

2. Hung out several loads of laundry and when we did use the dry it was only at night after it had gotten dark out.

3.  Combined my trips around town so that I could save on gas

4.  Bought a 12 pack of Diet Pepsi for my hubby on Wednesday at CVS for 99 cents.  We were going right past CVS on the way to Kid # 5's golf lessons so this was not out of the way or an unplanned trip :)

5. Had a $24 "snowball" from my grocery budget which I paid towards my car :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I did something that was not frugal............

I spent money that could have went towards paying off my car to buy plane tickets to go see my sister.  I am going and I am also taking Kid #5 with me.  The others will stay home with my husband.  They are all busy with lessons and practices and stuff with their activities.  So I decided I would take Kid # 5 with me that way my husband will not have to worry about who is going to watch her while he is working. 

I decided when my sister moved to Arizona a few years ago that I would go visit her once a year.  The longest we have went without seeing each other has been 2 yrs.  I don't want to do that again.  I have also decided that I will not let my personal relationships suffer in order to become debt free.  I will be frugal but I will not always miss out on experiences.  Life is to short and my kids will only be kids for a very short period of my life and I want to enjoy them for as long as possible.

I have to admit though that I do feel guilty when I spend money like this.  Sometimes I have to have my husband tell me it is OK.  Which I did this time and I felt the need to confess here on my blog also.  The money I spent is almost enough to pay two extra car payments but I am going to be OK with it because the time with Kid #5 and my sister and brother in law is priceless :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Used the clothes line

2. Used our toaster oven instead of the oven

3.  Planned our menu for the week which included breakfasts, lunches and dinner

4. combined driving trips to save money on gas

5. Kept our reusable water bottles clean and full of water so that they could be used instead of buying water.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Update on Goals

Since we are now officially half way through the year I thought it might be appropriate to do a update on my goals.  So here goes:

1. Visit more with my girlfriends. Shoot for once a month.  I have been keeping up with this one pretty well over all I think.
2. Invite friends over for dinner or out to dinner. Shoot for every other month. We have done this so far.
3. Be more mindful of the amount of time kids are using the computer. I am seriously failing at this one I have to admit!
4. Be more mindful of my own computer time. Probably failing at this one also :(
5. Read with Lilly more I think we are doing well with this!
6. Ask for help from everyone in my family more when I am feeling overwhelmed this one is a learning process :)
7. Teach the kids to cook a few basic meals Kid # 3 does pretty well with is but I am failing at teaching the others
8. Family movie night once a month did this a few times but have not consistently done it
9. Go to the library more we have not done this at all until this week.  I signed Kid # 5 up for the summer reading program there and so we will  be going once a week.
10. Read more books I have been doing this
11. Wiener Roast 2x not yet but I am hoping to get to do this soon
12. Camping at least once this year I have one camping trip planned already
13. Be more mindful of scheduling my time work in progress
14. Make more gifts this year for bday's and Christmas I/we have done this alot!
15. Exercise more big fat fail!


1. Sewing desk for office
2. Shelves for office
3. Closet shelves for office
4. Peg board for office
5. Organize office
6. Downstairs bathroom floor
7. Kitchen Floor
8. make better use of chore notebook
9. organize coupon binder
10. Make a price book
11. Make a household notebook


1. Pay off the balance on windows
2. Save for South Carolina trip
3. Pay extra towards car I have been doing this and I am tracking it with the ticker at the top of the blog!
4. Sell on eBay
5. Pay cash for downstairs bathroom floor
6. Try to shave $50 a month off grocery budget Some months I have done well with this and some not so much.
7. Save for Christmas I have been keeping up with this every month!
8. Track clothing/shoes purchases for family for the year I did this for a few months and then fell of the wagon.  I need to go through my receipts and catch up.
9. Pay bills on time lol I wrote a post about this :P
10. Possible bathroom remodel

Friday, June 3, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Made laundry soap using up things I already had.

2.  Hung out several loads of laundry

3. Planned my summer breakfast menu

4. Used our ceiling fans and other fans instead of the air conditioning

5. Re-purposed a few items I already had so that I did not have to buy new ones :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thirfty Thursday Project

I have slowly been working on Kid # 5 room.  She was in need of a duvet cover for her bed.  I wanted a white one and I didn't want to spend a ton of money on it.  I also didn't want anything that was to plain or to fancy.  One day while shopping in Goodwill I cam across a white curtain panel from the Shabby Chic line at Target.  I just loved it!  At first I didn't really know what I was going to do with it but went ahead and bought it anyway.  I had remembered reading on some blog about someone who had made a duvet cover out of flat sheets.  So I thought I could do the same with the curtain panel at the top and a white flat sheet as the bottom.  I ended up purchasing the sheet at Walmart for $5 and I believe the curtain panel cost less then $5 at Goodwill.  I sewed all the sides together except the bottom.  The sheet was alittle longer then the curtain panel so I overlapped it and just sewed the sides closed. This  left the bottom open which kind formed a pocket of sorts so that I could take it off and wash it.  Anyway here is my duvet cover that I made for less then $10!

I am linking up to

Summer List

Every year for the last several years I have had the kids make a summer wish list.  I ask them each to list 5 things they would like to do over the summer.  My only request is that it be something reasonable. For example we are not going to be going to Hawaii just because it is on their summer list, but we may go to Chicago.  They can also list simple things if they want like "go for ice cream or take a bike ride all together".  Last year I also add my own 5 things to the wish list and created a big poster and hung it on the refrigerator.  We then marked off things as we did them.  I do not promise that we will do each of the kids 5 things but I do promise that we will do at least one thing on each of their lists.  It has been fun and it gives us a little direction in our summer vacation.  Here is our list so far: ( I may add a few more things to it as I think of them :)

1. Ice skating
2. Children's Museum
3. Harry Potter Movie
4. Splashdown
5. Art Museum
6. Wiener Roast x2
7. Make Root beer Floats
8. Go to Beach
9. Drive In
10.  Knights Action Park
11. Lorena's
12. Picnic
13. Roller Skating
14. Bowling
15. Go to a Fair
16. Go to Movie
17. Six Flags
18. Go to Library ( I would like to do this once a week) we have done this 3x now ( 7/6)
19. Go to 5 Point
20.  Aquarium
21. Camping
22. Outdoor concert
23. Outdoor movie
24. Play at the splash fountain
25. Go to the park ( I would like to do this once a week also) ( done this 1x 7/6)

Well that is our list so far!  Now I need to make a poster and get it hung up so we can see it on a regular basis.  Will be interesting to see how much we get accomplished this summer :)