Frugal Friday

I have discovered Frugal Friday. This site dedicates Fridays to “Frugal Friday” posts and it has lots of links from it to ideas from all sorts of people with money saving ideas.

We stuck to our menu plan this week witha few exceptions- yesterday was had Subway and we had a few runs to the local store for “treats”. I’ve written down some of the things so I can get a better deal at Walmart when I add them to my grocery list. However, I’m pretty sure we still saved money. I can’t wait to see the difference after a month. I love saving money. Putting money into our savings account makes me very happy!

We did one other thing this week that is saving us money. We switched our car and homeowners insurance. We have the exact same amount of coverage, but we’ll be saving about $50/month.

And finally, our energy bills are much better this winter. Nathan and his dad did some duct work and also insulated a portion of the attic which wasn’t insulated before and it’s making a huge difference. This has been a cold winter and our bills are much less than last year.

Tired

I took a lot of pictures of our day yesterday. I was going to post a “day in the life” entry for you enjoyment, but I don’t feel up to it yet. I’m still going to do it, but it might not be today.

I’m tired and cranky. Ethan was really naughty right before AWANA started last night so Nathan took the kids home. I didn’t sleep well. I woke up when Nathan had to get up at 5:00 this morning. He reset his alarm to go off at a decent time tomorrow, but he didn’t realize that time hadn’t happened yet today. The alarm went off a little later. I had no idea where it was. I just listened to it until it stopped on it’s own. It went off again later and Ethan found it in the bathroom and brought it to me.

I don’t really have any motivation. I feel fat. And all the things that might bother me a little from time to time are bothering me a lot today. I yelled at Ethan. He wasn’t listening, but my response was out of proportion. I hate it when I do that. Parenting can make me so angry. School is called off in town due to snow. I’m pretty sure that means Nathan will be later than usual coming home- even though he started work at 6:00 this morning.

Keeping House

First of all, a little busines. I promised a recipe from my friend, Liz. Here it is, along with a very sweet(and only a little embarassing tribute). I’m looking forward to testing the recipe!

Back to the topic at hand. I’ve been working on getting a good rythm and routine in regard to housekeeping tasks. Things got bad when I was feeling so miserable. I have energy and I feel good now. I need to take advantage of this time before I feel unable to move! And to be honest, I never did a great job at the house stuff. I want to do better.

I’m breaking my process down into two categories: Maintenance and Deep Cleaning/Organizing. I’ve pretty well mastered the basics I need to do every day: Make my bed, do the dishes, keep up on laundry, put the toys away. I need to include the kids in that process more as it’s age appropriate.

The next thing I want to work on is to dedicate a couple of days a week to organizing and cleaning an area that’s accumulating junk or dirt. I promise to post before and after pictures too! I’m very excited about having Kylene do a post dedicated to organizing. I can’t wait to read it!

Now it’s your turn. I want to hear about your problem areas!

And stay tuned for a very exciting post coming up tomorrow where you’ll get to see pictures that chronicle a whole day in the life of our family.

Pictures, Pictures!

Audrey gets ready to put on her shades. What you don’t see in this photo is that she is also wearing a tutu over her pants. She isn’t actually going anywhere. She just likes to put her coat on.

Another shot of my new hair.


Ethan picked out his outfit as well. Head to toe. Later in the afternoon he had to give up being a superhero because superheroes don’t hit their sisters. Oh well, another chance to be a superhero tomorrow.

Beauty Products

Since I’m a stay at home mom who actually stays at home and doesn’t go anywhere most days, I haven’t done a very good job of taking time to look nice. I feel so much better about myself when the I take the time to do something with my hair and my face. For the last week or so, I’ve spent more time making myself look presentable and I think it’s making my days sunnier!

I have some of the items that I’ve been using everyday sitting on he desk beside me because I want to tell you all about them!


Rusk blofoam-
I’ve only had this for about a day since I bought it yesterday. I have very flat, very fine hair. I like it because it’s light and it gives some volume through the crown when I take the time to use a blow dryer on my hair. It was an awesome deal. My supplier gave it to me for cost.

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser-
My skin is dry. In the winter it’s very dry. Right now I actually have patches of skin that are flaking off. I also have sensitive skin. It’s nice to have something that gets me nice and clean without completely drying me out. And it has “naturally calming feverfew”. Who could go wrong with that?OLAY complete alll day moisture lotion SPF 15 (sensitive skin)-

With my dry skin, I need a good moisturizer. I don’t know if this will be “the one” for me, but it does the trick for now. I’ve heard a lot of good reports on OLAY products. I’ve been doing a little research and I’ve had the OLAY cleansing cloths referred to me for exfoliating. I’ll be sure to report back on how much younger I look after using them!
Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite hair or skin care item? I want to hear about it!

Miscellaneous Monday

Ethan is “playing in the sink”. That means there is water in the sink and he’s up on the stool playing with random toys in the sink. Both kids love this. They make a mess, but water dries and it keep them happy for a long time.

Audrey has been happily collecting color crayons and dumping them from one container to another- halloween baskets, tupperware, water bottles… you name it. She does this for hours!

I had my hair cut yesterday. I had a picture that I found that I liked, but I wasn’t sure I was going to use it. Then I thought maybe I would just get it trimmed and grow it out. By the time Jill finished my color, I had decided on something completely different. I would love to post a picture, but our camera is still not charged. Nathan is the charger in the family. I need to hunt down the camera and the charger and just plug it in. Be on the lookout for new pictures of all of us soon. Doesn’t that sound exciting?

We’re having quiche for supper tonight. It’s a recipe with bacon in it and I love bacon! I’m enjoying having my meals planned out ahead of time.

That’s all for now. Check back later this week for pictures and posts on money saving, beauty and fashion, the latest on my weight gain, and some new jokes from Ethan.

Liz

I have been friends with Liz since we were 14 years old. By my math, that’s 18 years. That’s a long, long time! Her mom married a man who went to the church where my family attended and their house was about a half block away. We never really went around the block to get to each other’s houses since our backyards almost touched. Cutting through the yard was much faster and easier until another neighbor decided to put up a fence. Grrr……

Anyway, after 3-4 years of spending lots of time together, I went off to college. We didn’t stay close through that whole time, but we’ve always stayed in touch one way or another. I can kind of understand why folks don’t stay close to their high school friends. It’s really a time of life a lot of people don’t want to remember. I feel that way sometimes, but some friendships are worth it.

When I met Liz, she had just decided to switch from being called “Beth” to “Elizabeth”. I don’t know when the switch to “Liz” happened! I wasn’t around for that :-). She’s a mother to two boys, Josh and Andy. Like me, she married a fellow with origins in Wisconsin. According to her blog, she is a huge fan (stalker) of Rachel Ray and she’s fabulous. I think you should meet her. It also sounds like Liz enjoys cooking so she is going to share a recipe with us that we’ll be able to use to wow our friends and family. I’m really looking forward to that. This should be really fun since I haven’t ever mentioned this plan to her. Hi there, Liz!

When you get a chance, check out her blog and say, “hello” and know that the amazing person she is today most likely has nothing to do with her association with me!

Frugal Friday

Clever title, huh?

Ethan, Audrey and I went to Walmart this morning. It’s about 25 minutes away, but it’s a much better value than our local grocery store. I do want to support the local businesses. I think our neighborhood’s Glenn’s Supervalu is great, but we need to be more careful about our money. I think our compromise will be that we may buy produce there. Walmart doesn’t have a great produce department. Anyway, I digress.

I want to talk about how we can save money on our groceries. I planned out our menu for the week and I just spent $91.24. That includes $10.65 for a two-week supply of diapers. We are a family of 4. Since Ethan and Audrey are little, maybe they should only count for 1/2 each. Does that amount sound reasonable? I would like to keep it between $70 and $80 a week.

If you don’t mind sharing (and you can do this anonymously in a comment), I would love to hear:
1) How much you spend a week/month (however you break it down).
2)A typical week of menus for your family.
3)The number of people that you’re feeding.
4)Money saving tips.
5)Anything else you think would be relevant!

*** Edited to Add***
We have a printout on the wall by our upstairs computer of Dave Ramsey’s “7 Baby Steps” regarding getting out of debt and saving money. If you haven’t seem it, these are the steps: 1)$1,000 in an emergency fund, 2) Pay off debt with debt snowball, 3) 3-6 months expenses in savings, 4) Invest 15% of income into Roth IRA’s and Pre-tax retirement plans, 5) College funding, 6) Pay off your home early, 7)Build wealth and give.
My renewed interest in saving money has to do with the fact that I really want us to work on step 3. Perhaps I should have mentioned that to my husband!