Wednesday, December 30, 2009


AHHH, the fruit of my labor. I spent all morning organizing our toy closet. I had to make room for the new toys we got for Christmas and I definitely needed to purge some old toys. In addition to toys and games, I had two bins of my crafts that I went through and emptyed the bins. Into these bins went legos and the kids' craft supplies. I should still go through all of the puzzles and discard any that are missing pieces. I also want to go through the two bins of stuffed animals and weed out the ones no one wants. But those are jobs for another day. Today I will enjoy actually opening the closet without worrying that something is going to fall out on me!

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

It's that time of year again! I think this year I will set some resolutions that has to do with these various aspects of my life; health, family, finances, personal growth. The financial aspect is easy to think of - I want to pay off my students loans and our car loan. I also want us to be able to purchase a car for my husband. Three is good for the area. On the family front - definitely want to practice more patience with my children and be better at holding the children accountable for chores. I also want to spend more quality time with each of them. As for my health area - as usual exercise and eating healthy but I want to add running a 5K! The personal growth area will be fun - I want to make at least 3 quilts this year, read 40 books, and continue to create!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sledding Birthday Party

My youngest son's birthday is two days after Christmas. Every year, I feel I forget about planning his party with all of the craziness of Christmas. This year, I started planning early! He is four this year and ready for a "Friend" party. Instead of knocking myself out trying to plan a complicated shin-dig, I thought I would utilize mother nature. We had a sledding party! We have a nice hill in our front yard and we also have snow so it makes for a great sledding hill. After the sledding was done, we moved indoors for hot cocoa, snacks and cake. All of the decorations and paper products I picked up yesterday half off. My birthday boy and I made muffin crayons from our old broken crayons last week. Check out how to make these easy crayons here. We bought everyone coloring books and gave them out with the crayons as party favors. Very low-key, frugal but tons of FUN!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas gifts for Teachers

I had a hard time thinking of gifts for my sons' teachers this year. I have given gift cards in the past but that can really start to add up especially now that all 3 are in school. The boys and I made up homemade hot cocoa mix for each of their primary teachers (go here for the recipe)and adorned it with an applesauce and cinnamon ornament. (for the recipe go here) For the 2 teaching assistants in my youngest's preschool classroom and the special area teachers in my oldest two sons' schools, I am making homemade treats for them. My youngest son's babysitter is getting a week's pay (I couldn't have made it the last 8 years without her, she deserves it!) and a prayer plaque for her newly remodeled kitchen. I may also give her a change purse, if I can part with one. :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Crafts Part I

I have been crafting up a storm this season. My newest craft that is very addicting are bows made from old magazines or really any paper. I used fliers from the paper. I almost don't want to use them because I don't want them to be just thrown away! For a tutorial on how to make them yourself, go here.

Hot Coccoa Mix

I decided to try my hand at making my own hot cocoa mix. After trying many different recipes and having a great night of hot cocoa tasting with the kids, we have finally settled on our favorite! Here it is:

4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 4 oz package instant chocolate fudge pudding

Mix all ingredients in a large ziploc bag. (great for your little helpers!) Add 1/4 -1/2 cup of mix to 8 oz boiling water. Enjoy with a candy cane stick or mini marshmallows! Store mix in an airtight container.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Applesauce and Cinnamon Ornaments

I love making applesauce and cinnamon ornaments! Not only do they smell good, they are very inexpensive to make. I am using them to adorn Christmas gifts for my sons' teachers this year. They are super easy to make and my kids loved helping me make them this year. Here's my recipe:

Mix together equal parts applesauce and cinnamon. The mixture should come together as you mix with a spoon but you can get your hands right in there to mix it up! The mixture should be similar in texture to sugar cookie dough. If it seems "wet" add more cinnamon, a little at a time. I then use cinnamon to dust the table and rolling pin. Roll out the dough about 1/2 thick - the thicker you roll it out - the less chance your ornament has of breaking. I use Christmas cookie cutters or you could cut out a shape free hand. Carefully place the cut out ornament on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Poke a roll through the ornament - I used a straw. Let ornament dry - turning over a least once a day. Drying time could vary, based on how thick you rolled out the dough, from 2-5 days. When ornament is dry, use left over fabric, yarn ribbon or string to tie the ornament to a gift!

Enjoy! Visit Life As Mom to find more Frugal gift giving ideas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Gift

I finally made my Christmas gift for my brother and his new wife. I had the supplies and the idea about a month ago but kept putting off making it. I heard on the radio that Friday is the last day to mail stuff and still have it arrive in time for Christmas. So tonight, I just went at it. I am happy with it - it is actually one of two of my favorite pictures from their wedding. Now I just have to wrap it and get to the Post Office by Friday! Merry Christmas Nathan and Juniper!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Target & CVS Trip

Target has some great sales this week. For a complete list of their sales, go here. I made a trip today after work to pick up a few things. I am planning on making some of these for the cookie swap at work. It worked out well that Target has Cheez-Its on sale this week! Here is what I got:

3 boxes Cheez-Its - $2.00 a box and used 2 .75c coupons per box

7 boxes Keebler Cookies $2.00 a box and used 2 $1.00 off 2 boxes and 1 $1.00 off 3 boxes

Total out of Pocket - $15.50 plus I got $10 gift card back that I turned around and used on some Christmas goodies! Basically each box cookies and Cheez-Its cost me .55c. Can't beat that!

Next up was a CVS trip! They are having a promotion - spend $50 in iTune cards, get $10 in ECB. I got 2 $25 iTune cards for my nephews for Christmas. I used the $10 ECB towards Pull Ups - on sale for 8.97 plus $1.00 coupon, and 3 large candy canes for stocking that were .99c each. Out of pocket - a little over a $1.00 (not including the itune cards).

I also did a Price Chopper run this evening and did quite well there too. Not to bore you with specifics - I did score some good deals and spent $97.00. Add that to my Sunday weekend run and the Target and CVS trip, I am over my $125 target but I feel we are pretty stocked up and unless the stores have great deals this weekend, we will only need some basics.

Recipes and ramblings

I have been trying out some recipes on the family lately, much to their horror! I tried 2 different homemade macaroni and cheese recipes last week. I felt both were delicious, my husband only liked the first one and my kids thought I was trying to poison them! They actually requested the "Orange kind"! Here are the links for the recipes:
Macaroni and Cheese Recipe 1
Macaroni and Cheese Recipe 2

I also cooked up some brown sugar twists. Again, my husband and I thought they were fabulous - my kids not so much! I found a recipe for breakfast hot pockets. My oldest son loves eggs and I thought this would make a great, healthy, fast breakfast. I presented the idea to him, even suggested he help make them with me, his answer... a big NO THANK YOU MOMMY.

Whenever I read the various money saving, frugal living blogs, it never amazes me what these kids eat! Beans and rice, vegetables, stews, baked potato bars,foods my kids would never take a "no thank you" bite of. Are my kids the only kids like this? I make every effort to serve some different foods every few days and we insist the kids take a "No thank you" bite before they decided they aren't going to eat it. It drives me crazy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Night

It is Friday night, the boys and daddy are enthralled with a movie, so what's a mom to do? Craft of course!I just finished up a bunch of these little babies and they are CUTE! I am planning on giving them away for Christmas gifts. I think I have just enough but... I don't think I can stop, they are just too easy to make!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I finally found two websites that compile the sales at Price Chopper and Hannaford. For the Price Chopper deals, go here and for the Hannaford deals go here. So happy to have found these two sites. When I first started this blog, I had grandiose ideas of compiling the weekly deals at both Price Chopper and Hannaford. Once I started, I realized what a time consuming job that would be. Now I don't have to do it AND I don't have to feel guilty about not doing it!

Speaking of grocery stores, I ran out to the store tonight, it is a new month, and got our groceries for the week. I brought my oldest son with me and what a help he was! we kept a running tally on a calculator and he got so into it. I told him our budget was $125 and he really was very conscience about it. When we were done and at $120, I told him he could pick out one snack for himself for the week and one for his brothers. He made sure that the two snacks did not add up to more than $5. With coupons, we brought it in at $123. I think I need to bring him with me every week. He definitely kept me to our budget. That leaves me with $527 for the rest of the month. I do have some baking to do this weekend to help us stay away from the store bought ready made foods that are over priced. I think I will have each boy help me again with a recipe. It worked out really well the last time and I have to say, I really enjoyed it! Now time to marinate those chicken breast and get them in the freezer!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Grocery Shopping

We swung by Hannaford today to pick up a few things to see us through the week. Nothing too spectacular by the way of sales this week except they did have clementines for 5.99. My kids could eat a whole crate of those in a day! We also found a whole chicken on sale, a 20lb turkey for $8 and a spiral ham for $12. Plus chicken breast were also on sale for $1.99 a pound. I marinated them and then froze them. This way I can just pop them in the pressure cooker for 7 minutes and we are good to go. Gotta love that pressure cooker! This weeks grocery bill was $195:( Not as good as I would like but we still stayed within our$650 a month budget and I did stock up on some meat - that chicken, turkey and ham are good for at least two weeks worth of meals!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Baking Weekend

Wrap up on baking weekend
I actually got to everything on my list in one day! I am pleased with all I accomplished today. I have cookies and muffins for snacks and lunches this week. We had individual pizzas for lunch and I have 6 more in the freezer. The freezer mash potatoes won't actually even make it to the freezer - I am bringing them to work for a Thanksgiving luncheon. As for the cheese crackers, well they ended up in the garbage can. No one liked them, including me. Oh well, I figured it was worth a shot. I also got a little one one one with the boys too. My youngest helped make the muffins, my middle son helped with the cookies and my eldest helped with the crackers. I even got to use some of my new appliances today - food processor and pressure cooker. I made frozen chicken breasts in the pressure cooker and it only took about 15 minutes! Tomorrow will be the land form project, Christmas crafts and house cleaning!

I have decided to have a baking weekend this weekend. I really have a relatively manageable list of items to make - half of which a already made(with the help of some little boys). I guess it pays to get up at 5am! Here's the list

Chocolate chip cookies - DONE and in freezer
Chocolate chip muffins 1 doz - DONE and in freezer
Pizza dough MADE 9 PIZZA SHELLS - in freezer
Freezer mash potatoes - DONE
Cheese Crackers - DONE

I am also planning on doing some Christmas gift crafts with the boys and my oldest has a land form project we are going to start tomorrow. I am so happy this is a slow weekend - just a field trip with our Tiger Cubs to the library. This has to be the first weekend in awhile that we have not been running around. I should also try and get some housework and laundry done!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


My new command center. I am determined to get a handle on all of the paper, notes, and schoolwork that comes into this house during the school year. Thus my new command center was born. The boys put their agendas, school papers, and homework in their assigned bin when they first get in the house. They also have to put their lunchboxes on the counter, backpack in the basket and hang their coats up on their hooks. This helps contain some of the clutter. After following this system for 2 months now, we are just starting to get it down. My middle soon will unpack without being asked. My oldest son forgets to do with this without a reminder from me but this is also the child who currently has NO coats at home because all THREE of them are sitting in his classroom.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Worms Eat My Garbage!

I have been composting with red worms for over a year now. It is such a simple thing to do and takes a small amount of time and effort, unlike a compost pile. I feed the worms all of our fruit and vegetable scraps, usually once a week.I purchased the worms and a how-to book from here. I have so much rich vermicompost in my two bins that I am planning on putting on my vegetable garden in the spring. Read on to learn how to start your own worm bin!

Setting up your worm bins:
You can basically use any type of plastic bin or make your own out of wood. I choose to use a plastic bin a friend gave me . She had used worms in the past to compost until she got chickens. Now the chickens eat all of the leftover foods. Added some dirt and shredded newspapers to create a layer approximately 6 inches deep. Sprinkle with water to moisten and add your worms!

Get Your Worms:
Red Worms are apparently the best kind to use. I ordered mine online and received them in the regular mail. They were wrapped up in a box and placed in a brown paper bag. I put the entire package in the bins since it all could be composted. I ordered one pound or approximately 1000 red worms. I split my bins after 4-5 months and now have two very full bins.

I usually feed the worms every week or so. I feed them all of our fruit and vegetable scraps. I store the scraps in a canister in the fridge. I bury the scraps in a different spot each time and then cover it with shredded newspaper. I usually don't have a problem with the bins drying out, but sprinkling a small amount of water over the shredded newspaper helps. I keep my bins over an empty container that the excess water can filter into. This vermicompost tea is awesome to use in your gardens.

I store my bins outside out of direct sun until the threat of the first frost. At that point, I transfer the bins into my three season room and cover with an old comforter.

I have only harvested the vermicompost once but found it to be a relatively simple process. Simply dump the entire contains of the bin on newspaper that has been place in direct sunlight. Wait for about an hour. The worms do not like the sunlight and will go to the bottom of the pile. Scoop the top third of the vermicompost and return the remainder to your original bin. Add scraps and shredded newspaper and the worms will begin the process again. Mix the harvested vermicompost into your garden soil. You will most likely lose a few worms along the way but considering the amount you typically start with and the fact the worms begin to reproduce after 6 months, it is nothing to stress about.

I think that my worm bins are pretty cool and I am planning on using them for a Tiger Cub Activity in the near future.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

One Book One County

I finally have decided on a book for vote for the library's one county one book! I blogged about this program here and mentioned what a difficult time I was having choosing one book to vote for. I really enjoyed reading the first four books, Skeletons at the Feast, Hotel at the Corner or Bitter and Sweet, Still Alice, and Strength in What Remains, but wasn't too keen on reading the last book, World Made by Hand. I honestly don't think I really understood what the book was about and wasn't planning on reading it at all. I did find myself at the library about 2 weeks ago and decided to give it a shot. It was so worth it!! I love this book and voted for it without a second thought.

For those of you who haven't heard of the book, it is set in the future after we, Americans, have pretty much destroyed all of our technological advances of the past 2 hundred years. People are forced to live lives similar to the 1800s. It really makes me what to do back to a simpler time but still have some of the technology we have know, like medicine. Anyways, I highly recommend this book and am crossing my fingers that it wins.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cooking Night

I have been so inspired by these ladies here and here, that I attempted a last minute freezer cooking evening. While the kids watched a movie with my husband, I threw together a few meals for the freezer. I went to Price Chopper last evening for our weekly grocery shopping and picked up about 8 pounds of ground beef. We hadn't had red meat in awhile and it was on sale, so tonight, I made up 2 1/2 dozen meatballs, a meatloaf, and made 10 hamburger patties to freeze. I also make a large batch of chicken noodle soup. The meatballs and meatloaf came from the same recipe, so it was really quick to put together. I actually started the chicken soup the other night, making broth from a leftover chicken I had made on Tuesday. The directions for this are found here. I am crossing my fingers that the soup comes out good, considering I didn't have a recipe for the soup AND I made a lot if it! I chopped up some celery and carrots, threw them in a large pot with leftover chicken, the chicken broth and added water and pasta with a bit of salt and pepper. All in all, I don't think that's too bad considering I worked a full day today before I started this cooking! I still have a few more items I would like to try and cook and freeze this weekend, including the chocolate chip muffins I had planned on making but never got around to on Tuesday.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Target Trip

I make a trip out to target last night and scored some fab deals! Target was having a buy 2 get the third Wii game free plus I came across a Target coupon for $10 off 2 Wii games. Coupons can be found here. Three Wii games for Christmas for the kids came to $75. Nice. I also had a $5 off a lego set and bought a small one for a stocking stuffer for .99c. Target was also having a sale on some Kellogg's cereals - buy 3 get the 4th free. The cereals were 2.66 each. I had 3 Target $1.00 coupons plus a $1 off 3 Kellogg's cereal coupon. They ended up costing me about 1 a box! Another great find!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baking Day Wrap Up

Alright I have finished my baking! I managed to make 2 loaves of strawberry bread, 2 loaves of banana bread, a chicken in the crockpot and scalloped potatoes. I never got to the chocolate chip muffins. I ran out of steam and wanted to spend some time snuggling my sick little boy. I did get to complete one craft project (more on that later) and catch up on laundry. As for the housework, well it will always be there tomorrow!

Baking Day

I am home from work with a sick little boy today so I decided to take advantage of this free time. I am going to try and get caught up with some housework, laundry, crafting and baking! Go here for more info on this freezer cook along. Since this was an unexpected day off and I do not have anything ready to cook meals, I figured getting some snacks/breakfasts done would still be help for me. Here's what I have planned for today:

Strawberry Bread
Banana Bread 2X
Chocolate Chip muffins
Roasted crockpot chicken

I have a lot to do today!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Baby Quilt

I am just about ready to send this baby off to its new home. It is a gift for friends who recently had a baby girl. It was so simple to make - just one big log cabin. I used some fabric that I had used to make a quilt for the new baby's older sister 4 years ago.

Christmas Budget

I have been thinking and saving a lot for Christmas. I really am going to try and not put any Christmas gifts on the credit cards. To do this, every month I had been putting a certain amount aside. I have never set a monetary amount for what I want to spend. I have always gone by the number of gifts I get for each kid. This year I am going to try and limit it to $250 a kid. This may seem like a large amount to some people and to others a very small amount. I certainly have no problem not spending the entire amount it I feel I get great prices on somethings and I reach what I feel is the present quota in my mind. We usually get the kids a big present each and then about 5-6 medium to small gifts each from Santa Clause. We give them one gift and they give each other a gift. I usually have the boys give books to each other. Santa does fill their stockings with 1 or 2 "toys" the rest is underwear, socks, toothbrush, etc. I started to feel bad about the amount of money and toys they get for Christmas, especially after reading some people's blogs that stated they only gave 1 or 2 presents or only spent $200 on 4 kids. I thought that I would cut way back this year but the more I thought about it, I realized we are in a position where we can afford to spend what we do and we like doing it. I shouldn't change tha way I am raising my children because someone in the blog world does it differently! It boils down to comparing yourself to others. I am bad with this and I need to work on that!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mad Scientist Party

We celebrated my oldest son's 8th birthday with a mad scientist party. It was a blast! The kids seemed to really enjoy it too. I found a lot of great ideas here. We converted our garage into the "Mas Lab" and I hide all of our junk with tarps. We had five science experiments that the kids circulated to; they played with pop rocks, made lava lamps, made oobleck, made slime, and exploded film canisters. I certainly couldn't have pulled it off without the help of my dear darling husband and very generous friends who helped man the stations. I had enough people helping that I could just float around and get extra supplies for the stations, snap some pictures and move the kids along. I had a good time planning the party and it certainly wasn't expensive to pull off but it did take up a lot of time and wasn't "simple". I love doing parties like this but it does take time and effort. I was nervous that we might not be able to pull it off because the youngest came sown with a virus, flu, or very bad cough(doctors aren't sure what it was) earlier in the week.. Thankfully he has recovered and the party went off without a hitch. I do have to say I am glad it is over and I can now just collapse! Thanks friends for helping!!!

Grocery Shopping

Alright I blew it this week! I spent way over my $125 grocery budget. I did get good prices on things but I also spent more than I wanted. I did go to 2 different stores, Price Chopper and Walmart, and I did have to buy some bigger purchases this week. I had to buy wipes, pull ups, cat food, cat litter, yard bags, and Ziploc bags. These items, even with coupons, cost me over $55! I also had to buy some things for our big birthday party this week and I did have extra money set aside for that but everything starts to add up!!! My biggest expense has been snacks for the kids. I don't think I buy expensive snacks but what I do buy adds up and the kids go right through them! I definitely need some ideas for cheap, HEALTHY snacks that my boys like! I need to get back to some baking like muffins and cookies to put in their lunchboxes and to have on hand for snack time. All in all I spent a total of $225! I now have $30 left for the month with a week until the end of the month. We can do it!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


We are gearing up for my oldest son's 8th birthday party. This year we have decided to have a mad scientist theme. It was inspired by two things. First we got a science experiment book from Target for $1 this summer and had tons of fun with the experiments. Then I stumbled on this blog : It is going to be so much fun and it is really not costing alot. Two things I love! Stay tuned for pictures and a detailed explanations of what we planned.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Busy Week

This week is so crazy! I can't even begin to get my head around everything that has to get done. Because of that, I am taking this week off from posting my weekly menu. I'll catch you all up next week when I have a free moment to breathe again!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One County One Book

I have not a free moment to post anything in a few days. The family and work has been keeping me on my toes. I also have spent the last two evenings catching up on some reading which brings me to the point of this posting. My library has been doing One County One book for the last few years. Every year I try to read the selected titles before I vote. This year the finalists are:

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
World Made by Hand byJames Howard Kunstler

I have read Skeletons at the Feast about a year ago and really enjoyed it. I just finished reading Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and loved it. I think it is going to be difficult to decide on what book to vote for. Because of this program, I have read some really awesome books that I most likely won't not have read or even heard about to read. I try to vote on the book that best fits the reason for the program not just because I liked it. The trouble I have been having is I can't really find a good description of the purpose for the program. According to my library's website, the purpose is to "encourage the entire community to join together in reading, discussing, and participating in programs associated with THE SAME BOOK!" To me that is too vague for me. Oh well, I still have some more reading to do and I still have time to ponder the most appropriate book, in my mind at least, to vote for.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Alright another week another menu. Another crazy week for us! I do have to say that since I started menu planning, we have really cut down on wasting food and eating out! It is a great way to keep me on track.


Breakfast - pancakes or mini bagels

Lunch - turkey or pb sandwiches

Dinner - meatloaf, mash potatoes


Breakfast - cereal or mini bagels

Lunch - turkey or pb

Dinner - left over from last night


Breakfast - cereal or toast
Lunch- turkey or pb

Dinner - raviolis


Breakfast - toast or mini pancakes

Lunch - turkey or pb

Dinner - My oldest son's birthday! He gets to chose the meal and hasn't yet decided on what he wants.


Breakfast - mini bagels or toast

Lunch - turkey or pb

Dinner - smoked sausage

Saturday - NYC trip all meals will be eaten out but I will pack some snacks and drinks for the road.


Breakfast cereal or toast

Lunch - ??
Dinner - roasted chicken

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Two cords of wood stacked!!!! It only took us three hours and that was with three of us. It is is now time to relax.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Grocery Shopping Trip

I need a few staples today so I decided to make the trip my weekly shopping trip. This way I won't have to go out again this weekend. Again, I won't bore you with the specifics but I did get some great deals and I saved almost $80! Price Chopper was running a few good B1G1 free deals so I stocked up on a few things. I got four loaves of Freihofer's breads and got 4 free. I got 2 packages of Pede raviolis and got 2 free. I got a bag of Thomas' mini bagels and got 1 free. I also got 10 boxes of Barilla pasta at 10/$10 plus a $1 off 10 coupon. Nice. All in all, I think I am just about set with my stockpile. My freezers are just about full and my cupboards are bursting! It is a nice feeling. I have also earned .40 off my next gas fill-up.

As for my grocery budget, I decided to track the monthly spending, not weekly spending. I have just over $260 left for the month out of $600 so I think I am good. I will certainly still try to bring it in under an average of $125 a week.

Monday, October 5, 2009

No TV Week

We are on our second day of no TV for the week. I have become very frustrated with the amount of TV my children will watch if allowed. I have always tried to limit it but it seems to have gotten easier to let them turn it on. My oldest son, especially does not hear ANYTHING when he is watching TV and I really feel he has stopped playing because of all of the TV he watches. Starting Sunday, I made this week "TV free week". Yesterday was a bit hard but we got through it. There were many times where it seemed easier to give in and let them watch TV but I stuck to my guns and we made it. After dinner the whole family, instead of turning on the TV, went outside and played a game of freeze tag. This evening, after dinner, my oldest son had some trouble finding something to do even with all of my suggestions. He did finally become involved in a board game with his brothers and they played together so nicely!!! I am sure the rest of the week will work out just as well. Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

CVS Trip

Another good week for me at CVS. Here is what I got. For more ideas check out here.

Transaction #1

Colgate 360 Toothbrush - $2.99

Tone Soap -3 bars -$1.88

Toothbrush coupon - $1.00 off

Tone Soap Coupon - $1.00 off

Total with tax - $3.26

Got $3.00 in ECB PLUS another $4.00 in ECB!!!

Transaction #2

2 Secret Deodorants - @2.99 each

Secret coupon $1.00 off

ECB - $3.00

Total with tax - $2.46

Got $1.00 ECB

Transaction #3

4 Progresso Soups - $3.19 each but it was B1G1 free

Used $1.oo off coupon

Used $5.00 ECB

Total with Tax - .38!

This transaction is the best I have every done. Think of it - 4 soups for .38. That is like a little less than .10 a soup. WooHoo! It did help that I got that random $4.00 in ECB.

Menu Planning Monday

Alright - here is our week- it is a busy week too! Check out more menus here.


Breakfast - muffin tops or toast

Lunch - Both Big boys are buying at school!

Dinner - Pieorgies (husband teaches and we have a scout meeting at 630)


Breakfast - Muffin tops or toast

Lunch - Choice of turkey or Peanut Butter sandwich

Dinner - Chicken (tiger cub meeting at our house at 6)


Breakfast - cereal or mini bagels

Lunch - Choice of turkey or peanut butter sandwich

Dinner - Left over Chicken (soccer practice starting at 530)

Thursday - Husband's Birthday!

Breakfast - Pancakes or toast

Lunch - Choice of turkey or peanut butter sandwich

Dinner - Chinese Food (Oldest son has b-day party to go to at 5 and I have Meet the Teacher Night at my work)


Breakfast - Mini pancakes or mini bagels

Lunch - Choice of turkey or peanut butter sandwich

Dinner - Dinner at parent's to celebrate our October birthdays - husband and oldest son


Breakfast - Cereal or toast

Lunch - ?

Dinner - meatloaf

Again all of our dinners include a vegetable, fruit and some type of carb. Lunches also include a fruit, crunchy snack(pretzels) yogurt, and maybe a cookie for dessert. I am having trouble coming up with lunch choices for the boys to bring to school. They seem to enjoy the turkey or peanut butter sandwiches but I am getting tired of making them. I guess I feel they need more variety but the two older boys buy their lunches sometimes and my younger son eats lunch at the babysitter's three time a year. So I guess they are getting the variety there!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Grocery Shopping

I did pretty good with grocery shopping this week.. I have decided not bore anyone with the actual specifics of everything I purchased but I will include good deal I got. I got a box of Fiber One bars at Walmart for $2.68 plus a $1 off coupon. I did go to Walmart and Price Chopper this week. I spent a total of $109.64. I did not get everything I needed so I will have to make another trip out tomorrow for some basics but I am sure I can get everything I need for $20 or less. Price Chopper does have a double coupon special running but you need to get a Price Chopper double coupon to get the special. They were in the newspaper this past Thursday but there were only 2. I did think about buying extra papers but never followed through with that. Oh well, another time. I will post my final weekly tally tomorrow.

Warrensburgh Garage Sale Wrap Up

So another Warrensburgh Garage Sale is over. The day always goes by so fast! My friend and I figured out we have been going for the last 10 years with 2 separate years off. Over the years I have gotten some awesome things. This year I got some good stuff but nothing big and nothing to get too excited over except for my wall mounted coca cola bottle opener. I have been looking for one at the garage sale for the last three years. It was only $6 which made it even better. Now I just have to figure out where to put it. Over all I think I did pretty good and even got a Christmas gift for my husband and two of my boys. Now another 364 more days until next year's garage sale!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Garage Sale

This weekend is the annual Warrensburgh, NY Garage Sale! For the past few years, my girlfriend and I have been going to it. In the last 12 years we have only missed two or three years all due to pregnancy or new babies. We go up north Friday evening and spend the night without our spouses or kids. It is such a great time and the deals I have found have been incredible! I am hoping, this year, to find a new comfortable chair for our family room and maybe some new kitchen chairs.The picture above is the dining room buffet and wall shelf I got for a steal last year. $30 for both! I did have to paint and distress it to get it the way I wanted but it was worth it!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cash System

So my husband and I have been following Dave Ramsey plan to get out of debt. One piece of advice we have been working on is using a cash only system. We are starting slowly with this. I have made separate envelopes for different categories. At this point I am becoming overwhelmed with the amount of money flowing out of my house. Every day I feel there is a new category that needs an envelope. Tonight it is milk money for the kids' school. I guess I should start an envelope for that too. Plus the older two boys just started cub scouts. New envelope. What about new paint and curtains for my bedroom that I was hoping to get in the next month or so? New envelope for that too. At the rate I am going I am going to need to create an envelope to purchase envelopes for this cash system!
Anyways, for those who are unfamiliar with this cash only system let me break it down for you. Step one figure out how much you spend a year on different categories. Let's take birthdays as our example. Say you have four people in your family and you budget $100 per person for their birthday(this has to include gifts as well as any party expense involved) The total figure would be $400 a year. The next step is to break it down by month - $400 divided by 12 is $34 a month(rounding up). So each month you would put that amount in your birthday envelope. Sounds good until you get to the stage I am at. New envelopes I am thinking of creating are: school expenses, cub scout expenses, home decorating(not to be confused with my home maintenance envelope), my work expenses, and husband's work expenses. Hopefully I will get the hang of this cash only system!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

CVS trip

I made a CVS trip today. I had skipped the last week because the deals weren't that good for my family. CVS had some good deals for some items we were running low on. For more CVS deals this week go here. For more information on how CVS works go here.

I spent a total of $24.49 plus tax for everything pictured. Here's how it went down.

Transaction #1
Bounty Paper Towels 6 big rolls(still need to wean myself off of these!) $6.00
Batteries AA 10 pack $10.00
Tide 2X $6.00
6 boxes of Puff Tissues $6.00
Total: $28.00
Used CVS coupon - $5.00 of a purchase of $25 or more
Used Tide Coupon - $1.00 off
Used Puff coupon - $1.00 6 single boxes off
Used Duracell Battery coupon - $1.00 off
Used Bounty coupon - $1.00 off

Total Spent - $19.00 plus tax
Get $10.00 in Extra Care Bucks

Transaction #2
Miralax - 18.99

Used Miralax Coupon - $5.00 off
Total - $13.99
Minus $10.00 ECB earned from transaction #1
Total Spent $3.99 plus tax
Get $2.00 in ECB
Transaction # 3
2 Colgate toothpastes - $5.50
Used 2 Colgate Coupons - $1.00 off each
Minus $2.00 ECB earned from transaction #2

Total Spent - 1.50 plus tax
Get $1.50 in ECB to use next CVS trip!

I had to think about buying the Tide detergent- if you read my Grocery Shopping trip Part II you will remember I bought 2 bottles of Arm and Hammer detergent. I am trying to work on my stockpile and I was getting low on detergent. A friend just told me about a homemade recipe for laundry detergent that I am thinking about making but I just couldn't pass up this deal. I also had to think about the paper towel purchase. I am trying to wean my family off of paper towels (an extra expense plus not the greatest for the environment). We did have a situation this week were the dog got an entire batch of sugar cookie dough. I arrived home Friday to three huge messes and the paper towels can in handy. I certain was not going to use my cleaning rags on those messes and then wash and reuse them - too disgusting! So for the time being I will try to limit my family's use of paper towels to the before mentioned type of messes, otherwise I have a nice stack of cleaning rags.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Menu Plan

Here is our menu for the week of 9/27-10/1. For more menus check out here

Since I am still new at this menu planning, I have only included the main dishes for lunch and dinner. as I get better at it, I will have a more detailed account of each meal! Each dinner usually has a vegetable, fruit and some sort of carb. Lunches usually involve yogurt, fruit, and something crunchy (pretzels), and a dessert (cookie or granola bar)

muffin tops or mini bagels
Chicken thighs in crockpot, potatoes

Cereal or mini bagels
The boys and I have the day off so I don't have to pack lunches but I am stuck. Maybe we will eat out.
Leftovers from Sunday
Hubby teaches at local college so he will not be in attendance for dinner

cereal or mini bagels
Turkey or PB sandwiches for kids
London broil

cereal or mini bagels
turkey or PB sandwiches for kids
Soccer practice so dinner must be quick

Toast or Mini bagels
Turkey or PB sandwiches for kids
Leftovers from Tuesday

Cereal or toast
Turkey or PB sandwiches for kids
No me tonight - I am going to the Warrensburgh, NY garage sale! - I am thinking Hot Dogs and Mac and Cheese for the boys!

Sat - depends on what I end up buying at the grocery store Thursday.

Grocery Shopping Trip Part II

Price Chopper

Here is what I purchased at Price Chopper for this week:

2 Arm and Hammer Detergent - B1G1 Free
13 Yoplait yogurts
4 Friehoefers hearty breads - B1G1 Free
2 Betty Crocker Chocolate chip muffin mixes
3 lbs Bananas
3 Lean Cuisines frozen entrees
Price Chopper brand nuts
Price Chopper brand animal crackers
Price Chopper brand chocolate animal crackers
2 Price Chopper brand ice cream cones - B1G1 free
12 pack Capri Sun juice boxes
3 Birds Eye stream frozen vegetables
4 pack of Yo crunch yogurt
1 gallon Clear value milk
1 gallon Price Chopper brand milk
Price Chopper brand pretzel rods
Purina One dog food- 18 lb bag
Yoplait gogurt
Trix yogurt 6 pack
6 Campbell Select Harvest canned soups
Price Chopper brand flour
Sunmaid raisins
Price Chopper brand 6 individual applesauce
Colgate toothpaste for kids
Price Chopper brand oatmeal
Deli Cut Turkey lunch meat
2 lbs granny smith apples
2 pack vacuum cleaner bags

Total before Member advantage savings: 155.37
Coupons: -$12.04
Advantage savings: -$35.91
Total out of pocket spent: $107.42

This brings my weekly grocery bill to $131.57 but I did earn .30c off my next gas fill up! I now have $39.28 left for the month with only a few days left. I did budget $150 a week; the first 2 weeks I was over budget and the last two weeks I was under budget so I guess I am still on average at $150 a week. I definitely am going to shoot for $125 a week next month!

Grocery Shopping

I have been trying to keep my weekly grocery bill for a family of five plus 3 cats and 1 dog, to $125. I have $150 alloted in my monthly budget but I am trying to shave it down. This week I went to Price Chopper and Walmart. Here is a a breakdown of what I purchased at Walmart:

Eggo Muffin Tops - 1 box $2.26
Daminal Crush cups - 3 4-packs $2.00 each
Kellogg's Fruit Loops - 1 box 2.98
Kellogg's Apple Jacks - 1 box $2.98
Flinstone Vitamins - $6.74
Country Time Pink Lemonade Mix - 1 container $2.28
Goldfish Crackers - $1.65
Package of Budget Saver brand 18 pack popsicles - $1.64
Thomas' mini bagels - $2.28
Walmart brand cottage cheese - $1.34

Total before coupons: $30.15
Coupons used -
$2.00 off two Kelloggs cereal
3 $1.00 off Danimal Crush cups
$1.00 Flintstone Vitamins

Total after coupons: 24.15

This brings my monthly total to: $456.30 I have 143.70 left for the month so I am totally going to come under budget this month. I will post my Price Chopper shopping trip later - I did get some great deals there!
PARENT - Job Description

This is hysterical. If it had been presented this way, I don't believe any of us would have done it!!!!

Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop


Long-term team players needed for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.


The rest of your life.
Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers..
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you


None required, unfortunately.
On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent.
When you die, you give them whatever is left..
The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.


The Sometimes Mom intro

I am the sometimes mom.. I get to be a working mom most of the year, a stay at home mom during the summer and school vacations. I sometimes am crafty and creative. I am trying to be more frugal but sometimes I am not always. I started this blog to follow my progress as I try and become more frugal, save money and get my family out of debt. Join me for this journey!