Friday, July 29, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Used a fantastic coupon deal to go to the local water park. $14 total for 4 of us, it would have normally been $29.

2. Took snacks and water bottles with us to the water park so that we didn't spend money at the concession stand.

3. Did some redecorating using items I already had

4. Watched movies and read books from the library

5.  Accept a gift of some free food items from a friend! Thanks Tonia, it was so nice of you to think of us!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I've Fallin Off The Frugal Band Wagon :(

I ran the numbers a couple of days ago to see where we stand as far as paying off our debt.  We now owe on our credit card again :(  I would love to be able to say this is all my husbands fault. Or because of some big emergency, but the reality is that it is neither of those things.  Although my husband does not totally agree with not using credit cards or debit cards and going cash only, this is not debt just because of him.  It is also not because of any one big emergency or even really alot of little ones.  This is just plain and simple lack of planning on our parts and "wants" instead of "needs".  It seems that after we came back from vacation in March we just never got out of vacation mode and fell off the frugal band wagon :( 

Needless to say, I am very discouraged!  But I am not discouraged enough to give up!  So now that I know where we stand it is time to climb back on the wagon and move forward even if it takes longer then I thought!  Lets hope we can get the credit card paid off again quick and work better at planning our fun stuff!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Repurposed materials I already had to start making my Home Management Binder.

2. Have not turned on the oven in a long time to keep the house cooler.

3. Put my Netflix on hold for the rest of the summer.  We have been getting movies free from the library

4.  Planned all of my trips around town so that I could best use my gas.  We have been really spending alot in this area and I am trying to get this down.

5.  Hung most of our laundry and only ran the dry at night after dark

No Spending Weekend!!

We have no plans this weekend!  I can not tell you how happy I am about this!  This is a very rare occurance since my husband in addtion to working a regular job, with odd hours, is also a bass player in a band.  Many times when he is not playing in his own band on a Saturday night, he is running sound for another band.  Often times I go with him to do both of these things.  If the adults do not have plans, then it is very unusal that one of the kids doesn't have plans where they want a ride to and from whatever it is they want to do. This weekend, we have neither!

 Kid # 3 has expressed an wanting to go see the new Harry Potter movie.  I would really love to go see it also but for all 6 of us to go it is very expensive and I am choosing to wait to spend that money.  In a few weeks, we are all going to the Art Institute in Chicago and will be spending the night in the city.  Since we have a large family this will require us to have two hotel rooms and then there will be the expense of eating dinner on one night, breakfast, lunch and dinner on the second night.  Plus the fees to get into the Art Institute.  This will not be a cheap mini trip.  But it will be the last one before school starts.

 Anyway because of this trip I have decided to put off seeing Harry Potter and have a "no spend weekend" this weekend.  We have several projects we would like to get done around the house.  I also have several things left to do on my weekly-to-do-list. I would also really like to work more on my Home Management Binder.  I may take the kids to the library so they can get some movies to watch since it is still very hot here.  Perhaps I will also fill Kid # 5 little pool and we can all play in it with her or even the sprinkler.  I do have to make a run to Walmart but that is a planned expense out of my grocery budget so it will not be any extra money spent.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Home Management Binder

Today I started to create my "home management binder".  I have wanted to do this for while and just haven't.  It always seemed so overwhelming to me to create one.  I decided to add this as one of my goals for 2011.  However since it is already July and I really wanted to have this complete by the time my kids start school in August, I decided to put this on my to-do list for the week.

Today, I spent alot of time research what it is I might want in my binder.  So far I have these ideas:

1. Emergancy contact info
2. Yearly calendar, Monthly Calendar - which I will keep track of our appointments and activities on, and all school calendars
3. Menu, shopping list, and menu ideas
4. Finance information - check register, account info, break down of the sub accounts in the savings account
5. A section for each of the kids with their different activities, calendars and school info
6. Reading list
7. Projects list
8. 2011 Goals
9. To-Do - daily schedule, cleaning schedule, weekly to-do list

These are in no way reflected on how they will end up in the binder and are just ideas so far.  I have found some handy printables to help with some of the sections.

Today I worked on the calendar section and got a yearly calendar printed out from here  They also have monthly calendars that could be printed also.  I have a calendar program on my computer which I add all our important stuff on.  So I just printed that off for the rest of  the year.  The prin tout shows all of the the activities and appointments that have already been entered for each month on it.  There is also room to add more if I need too.  I also printed off the 2011-12 school calendar for Kid # 5.  I still need to print off one for Kid #2 who doesn't live with us full time or attend the same school as the others.  Our high school does not always follow the exact same schedule as the Jr high and grade schools so I will need to add one for Kid #3 and 4 also.  I looked on their school website but it was not updated yet.  Hopefully it will be soon.  I'll post more as I work on each section of the binder and decide what is really going to work for me and what isn't.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekly To Do List

A few of these will carry over from last week since I did not get my list complete.  I finished up 6 items though so I think that was pretty good.

1. Make bread machine cinnamon rolls and freeze for future breakfasts.

2. Swap out entertainment center for new project I just completed.  I will show pics soon!  Have hubby take pics of the entertainment center and get it listed on Craigslist :)

3. Call cable company about getting a better deal

4.  Spray off Kid #5's playhouse and move to better location.

5. Swap out and hang up new photos I just had printed

6.  Finish 4th of July project I started but didn't complete :(  Oh well I can always use it next yr!

7.  Blog about Side Yard Project I that I just completed

8.  Sort left over yard sale items and decide what to keep for next yard sale or to sell on eBay, what to give away and what to haul to Goodwill.

9. Start working on Home Management Binder.  School starts in 1 months and I would really like to have it complete by then.

10.  Pick up book from Library

Friday, July 15, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Kid # 2 & 3 and I found #2 a prom dress for $19.99 marked down from $169.99! 

2. Hung several loads of laundry

3. Took the 4 younger kids to the fair on a budget.  It was still expensive but not as much as it could have been!

4. Stopped at a few yard sales when we were out doing other things.  Didn't actually use gas for just yard sales but did find some great deals on clothes for Kid #5 and she is set for school!

5. Kid #5 needed a new pair of black dress shoes.  She had outgrown hers but didn't really wear them enough that made me want to buy her a brand new pair.  Found her a "look like new" pair at Goodwill for $3.99!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday Tip

Here is a pic of my Tuesday Tip:

This is my clothesline.  It is nothing fancy, just a retractable clothesline that we bought at Lowes.  I love it!  I use it all summer long.  Kid # 2 & 3 do their own laundry and Kid # 4 will be learning here soon also.  We have a rule that everything is hung on the clothesline or on the drying racks during the summer months except socks, underwear, jeans and towels.  So all shirts and tanks, and most of their shorts and pj's are hung up to dry. The things the kids are allowed to dry must be done at night after dark when it is cooler outside and it won't heat up the house so much.  Honestly my teenagers hate this rule but whatever lol they don't pay the bills.  So that is my easy Tuesday Tip. Use a clothesline and if you don't have one or have space for one get yourself a drying rack.  This really has helped lower my electric/gas bills and helps keep the house cooler too.

I am linking up to:


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekly To Do List

This is just a small list of things I would like to try to get done this week.  Obviously I have my regular running around of kids to get done.  Plus the usual house cleaning but here is a list of a few extra things I would like to try to accomplish this week.

1.  Finish my side yard project and take pics

2. Make a list of items I have on hand to make snacks with

3. Make bread machine cinnamon rolls and freeze

4. Make hummus.  I bought all the ingredients to do this a long time ago and just have not done it.

5. Order photos from Walgreen's that I need to have printed.

6. Get the entertainment center cleaned out

7. Take the kids to the HOI Fair

8. Suspend our Netflix account for the rest of the summer, maybe even into the fall.  We have been getting a ton of movies and DVDs to watch at the library for free.

9.  Call the cable company and see about getting a discount on our bill

10. Spray off Kid # 5's play house and get it moved to a better location.

OK I will update this list as I accomplish these tasks.  Hopefully I will get them one completed by this time next week :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1.  Combined my trips to save money on gas and driving which I really dislike doing.

2.  Shopped the grocery sales at Kroger and GFS

3.  Took my girls to the library where they rented enough movies for a week for free

4.  Made up some "dinners" for my husband to just grab out of the frig to take to work using leftovers we already had

5.  Made sun tea in my glass jug instead of drinking soda

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thrifty Thursday Project

Kid # 5 had been asking for a doll bed for her American Girl doll.  They have doll beds in the American Girl catalog of course but there was no way I was paying that price for one.  So for Kid # 5's birthday at the end of May, my husband and I made her one.  We used these plans from here Farmhouse Doll bed. This site by Ana White is amazing!  My husband built and primed the bed for me and then I spray painted it green.  I choose green because this kinda matched the color that was in the catalog for the bed that would have went with Kid # 5's American Girl doll.  Here is the bed:


                                               Close up of the headboard


                                                   Close up of the foot board

I also made a mattress and bedding for the bed.  I already had a piece of foam left over from another project so I just used my electric kitchen knife to cut it down to fit the bed.  I then covered it in some white material I already had.  I also made two quilts and a pillow for the bed.  The first pink flowered quilt is made from a sheet and bedspread I had in my sewing stash.  The second is from a pillow sham I just cut down and sew closed.  Kid # 5 loved it! This project cost us about $20 to make.  Not to bad if you compare it to the price of the American Girl doll beds :)

I am linking this up to

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Searl House Happenings..........

Kid # 5 and I are back from visiting my sister!  We had a great time and managed to get a couple of things done off our Summer List.

For the next 2 weeks Kid # 2 is here with us for an extended summer stay.  She is 17 and probably not to happy about being here and away from her friends but that is OK.  We enjoy seeing her and are glad she is here.

Kid # 3 lucked out and does not have any Raiderette practice this week.  Not only is this really nice for her but also for me who does alot of the driving to get her to and from practice.  She does have a fundraiser car wash on Saturday though. On Thursday, she can go take her driving test and get her licence.  Needless to say she is very excited about this.

Kid # 4 has been at his Dad's since last Friday.  He will be staying the week.  I miss him but am glad he is having fun and enjoys being at both houses.

Yesterday we had a our second flat tire in less then a month!  Ugh!  This one could not be fixed either so we had to purchase a new tire to replace it at $150.  I am not to happy about that but luckily we have a "car fund" for these things.  I am hoping to get back on the frugal band wagon and get busy paying off my car. 

I have several "free" activities planned this week for the kids and I to do to stay entertained.  This will also help us mark some more things off our Summer List.

I also plan to use up as much of our stockpiled grocery items as I can and spend very little of our $200 - for two week grocery budget as I can.  We will see though.  It is alot harder to do that when the kids are out of school for the summer.

One thing we will be doing that involves spending money is looking for Kid# 2 a prom dress for next year.  She will be a senior in the fall and a good friend of ours is going to take her senior pictures for us.  One of the outfits she plans to wear is her prom dress.  I had told her if we could find an reasonably prices one I would buy it for her.  Hopefully we will be able too.

We will also be working on a few yard projects that need to be done and will be fairly inexpensive to complete.  Hopefully I will have pictures of those to post soon.

Well this has been our week so far...........hope everyone else is having a good one :)