Friday, January 30, 2015

Pinching the Pennies Today.

This is my boring list today:

I didn't go anywhere.  No money spent on gas or anything else.

I packed everyone a lunch for work and school. 

I used homemade dishwasher powder in my machine.  I didn't even spend any money on the ingredients as I went to a How To Make Homemade Cleaners class at the library and used their ingredients.  So far I've really like the furniture polish, dish detergent, and fabric softener that we made.

I'm making a simple dinner at home.  Generic box of noodle helper, couponed crescent rolls, a can of corn I got on clearance, and some scratch Bisquick brownies made with my daughter.  I bought the Bisquick from the Dollar Tree.  It's pretty heavy on the starches.   I have been putting off going to the grocery store.

We're spending the night in.  I have coupon codes for free Redbox rentals if we want anything special for entertainment. 
  • 5DKH9WZQ
  • 29T7MWGX
  • VXHTNG54
  • 92494TK3
    These are good until February 16th.  So, maybe we'll save one for a romantic Valentine's night at home.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Balancing Things I Want to Do With Things I Need to Do

My house is a wreck. 

I'm a notorious piler and stacker.  I love to get rid of trash and any recycling that I come across.  But, the things that I need or might need get shuffled into piles.  My pile, kid's piles, to do piles, DH's pile, etc.  I've got all the piles. 

What I don't have is a filing system or any organizational skills.  Don't get me started on things that I need to put away but don't have a home or things we have too many of but are still useful. My daughter's giant piles of shoes is coming to mind. 

It's overwhelming.  So, I've neglected doing anything other than the bare minimum of dumping trash, a little laundry, and keeping up with the dishes (most of the time).   We really need to have people over soon for meetings, playdates, a Halloween party the kid's are wanting.  I need to get on the ball. 

But, there's so much I want to do that isn't going to help straighten the house.  I want to make muffins.  I want to organize my girly stuff in the bedroom.  I want to declutter my bottom dresser drawer where I keep my tank tops because it's hard to open.  I want to read some magazines that I'm storing.  I want to sit down and finish a library book before it's overdue. 

Being a stay at home wife affords me a great amount of free time but it's one of those things that go hand in hand with being organizationally challenged.  I never know how to make the best use of my hours.  I end up going from one thing to another, always busy but never having much to show for it in the long run. 

So, I'm getting out my flylady timer and giving my self 15 minute increments to do one thing I want and one thing that needs to be tackled.  I have a rare treat tonight where I get to leave the kids with my sweetheart and go to the library for an adult program.   I'm looking forward to it but I want to feel like I earned my time away. 
First up is 15 minutes in my kitchen doing dishes general clearing.  After that I'm going to whip up a batch of Bisquick Blueberry muffins because I have frozen blueberries to use and milk that is soon to expire. Then 15 minutes of clearing off the kitchen table and sweeping.  Then 15 minutes of hanging laundry and starting another load which I actually enjoy.  Etc. 

I'm lighting a candle and put on some music because I might as well enjoy the process.  I'm a big fan of the $5 True Living tri-scented candles from Dollar General.   I've had excellent luck ordering DG stuff to be mailed to my home.  They even give you 4.5% back on ebates.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hey September! Hey Fall! Hey Rambling!

Hello my woefully neglected little blog.  I'm too scattered right now to type out a decent length and entirely coherent post.  So, I'll just give a you a little peak into my current stream of ideas. 

Well, that whole make up hiatus didn't last long.  I tend to rebel against any harsh rulings and decrees even when self imposed.  I'm back to the reigning it in portion of my rebellion.  Yesterday I took my oldest to Dollar Tree to get poster board for a project and picked up some Physician's Formula organic lip veil.  For one dollar in a pretty neutral color- how could I resist?  Well, sometimes stuff ends up at the Dollar Tree when it should go to the dumpster.  This stuff was gross and rough. 

We have been so busy with the school year that I am constantly thwarted in my pantry clean out quest.  We have martial arts twice a week, and soccer practice, and confirmations classes and scouts and whatever else happens upon us.  I am really missing family dinners.  It's either a quickly scrambled microwave meal or a drive thru dinner in the backseat.  I really look forward to Friday nights so I can see my family together.  Of course, not this Friday as DH has plans but I get the kids to myself!  Last week I did manage to make homemade pizza and hamburger buns with my bread machine though.  I need to figure out some scratch freezable make ahead meals for our busy nights.  I am quite sick of Taco Bell, Little Caesars and BK veggie burgers.  I just ran across Heather's post on Make Ahead Mixes and I'm inspired to make some mixes of corn bread and cookies for the cold weather.   I did not order premade cookie mix from the school fund raiser because I rationalized I could make the cookies for a tenth of the cost.  I'd love to load up my freezer with bags of ready to go scratch mix for gingerbread, chocolate chip, and snickerdoodle cookies for Christmas.

I've been doing a bit more couponing.  But, mostly I'm going to before I shop so I can print out what's on my shopping list.  It beats clipping every coupon I might use and sorting them and dragging the hole binder to the store.  I might miss out on a few deals with way but I can't see the back of my pantry right now anyway.  I haven't been in Target for a few months.  I got burned out on the whole cartwheel app, plus Target printable coupons, plus text coupons, plus MFR coupons combo.  I can save a ton of money but it takes a lot of time and effort.  If you're interested, check out is now on for 7.5% back.   If you haven't used Ebates and you shop online it's such an easy way to get money back!  All you have to do is go through their website and look for the shop you want and use that link.  I get a nice check from them every few months.  If you haven't used before it's a nice way to shop for second hand clothes.  Some of them even have the tags still attached.  I sent my son to school today in a brand new pair of Kitestrings khakis that cost me $9.   If you're interested in trying go through my link and you'll get $10 to spend.  Also, use the code 40SNP and get 40% off your purchase.  Combine that with 7.5% back on ebates, and it's quite a deal.  I've been stocking up on winter clothes for my son.  You get free shipping if you spend more than $50.  They also have women's clothing and accessories.  I haven't had the best of luck in selling my items there but I did make $28 on a Nieman Marcus cashmere sweater (Goodwill) that I never wore.

I'm behind on laundry and my house needs a quick clean.  See you in a few months?  ; )

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cheap Thrills of the Day

  •  I'm paying bills and finishing rebates so no late fees and a bit of change.  My favorite rebate deal right now is $2.00 back on  Flav-Or-Ice 100 ct. freezer pops.  The rebate is on the bottom of the carton.  Kmart has a $1 off coupon in their store coupon booklet.  This will be awesome for the 4th of July parade float give aways next week.  
  • I'm hanging a load or two of laundry on my line
  •  Soaking black beans for the freezer because we're running low on canned beans and our pantry is full.
  • Planning a pantry meal of tacos, soon to expire canned beans, dip I made earlier in the week and organic salad mix I keep forgetting about in the fridge. 
  • Making dessert from some stuff that needs to be cleared out of my pantry.   
  • Gathering library material to return before my late fees grow
  •  Turning down the a/c and turning on fans in the rooms we're in.  
  • Planning a cheap date night with my kids to the local $1 theater to see RIO 2 while my husband has a guy's night out.  We'll make a homemade pizza together before we go.
  • Not really frugal but I'm making the kids and I to do lists today to keep them from being screen zombies.   I'll take them to the park after we go to the library. 
  •  Getting ready to harvest some cherry tomatoes off the clearance plant I bought from Lowes.  It needed water and tlc. 
  • Making lunch at home before we go out.  We have cherries, oranges and strawberries that need to get eaten and bread going stale so we're having pb toast and fruit.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Because Blogging About Make Up Is Boring.

That's why you haven't heard from me. 

My new love is again hanging my clothes out on my outdoor line that my sweet husband installed for my Mother's Day present. 

And I have set up a little tomato container garden on our back porch.  We also have a nest full of Phoebe birds on our front porch.  Life is blooming all around me and today it is hotter than hades.

The house is a mess and I have a date tonight with my husband.  My life is rich and full but there hasn't been much to blog about. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Gazingus Pin, My Weakness, My Love- Lip Stick

I blogged about my gazingus pins in 2010 when I acknowledged that acquiring lip products was a problem for me. 

Lipstick is a quick pick me up.  In less than five seconds I can slick on some lip goo and feel better.  It always perks me up.  So, when I started my makeup buying hiatus last month I knew it would be hard to quit buying more and it has been. 

But, I'm also noticing a trigger.  I have a close family member who is not behaving responsibly lately and is doing some very destructive behaviors.  In fact, they have told me that they can't help themselves and have hinted at me helping them or taking care of them.  Which would be all fine and good if it was give and take relationship but I know for a fact how draining this person can be on one's patience, resources and well, everything.  I can't do anything but tell them how I feel and warn them that I am not their soft place to fall and they need to stand on their own two feet.  I have my own family and I can't borrow their problems and I don't need another child.  Especially a grown one who will suck the life out of me.  I can't say more about it than that.  I know worrying will do nothing to help them or me.  And I feel incredibly helpless. 

This week was a worrisome week.  I ate more crap that I should.  I bought two lipsticks.  I can't fix them but I can have pretty lips.  I can't make them be a grown up but boy will that chocolate make me feel good for five seconds. 

I'm putting a rubber band around my credit card so I have a reminder when I go shopping.  I don't want to numb myself with consumption and candy.  I need to find a healthier way to deal with my own issues- especially since I can't solve other's.

That 24 cent clearance lipstick that I rationalized buying because it was so cheap is still in it's package.  I'm going to pass it on to someone else.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Conquering Clutter and Conquering Bad Habits

I love to recycle.  I love to reuse anything that comes into my house that isn't garbage.  Ribbons from packages, unused envelopes, address labels from junk mail- you name it.  I think it's a combination of my hoarder tendencies plus the abhorrence of throwing out usable items.

I have made piles out of the same bits of ephemera in my living room over and over again.  I take the garbage bag and the recycling bag and sit in the middle of mess and work my way down.  Always there is a pile of leftovers that I cannot bring myself to toss.   Today I took the trash can and asked myself what's the worst thing that can happen if this thing gets tossed.  Half the pile went into the can.  I am not organized and I don't have enough room for all the stuff that isn't good enough for Goodwill but is still good. 

I feel like I'm on my own little 12 program to regain my life.  My next question is going to be, "Is this a want or a need?"   Tonight this question kept me from driving to the Dollar Tree.  I came home and did homework with my son and made muffins instead. 

It works if you work it.