Saturday, June 28, 2008

Super Sample Sunday

The freebies were a little slim this week but considering the week before I received ZERO, I guess this week was smokin then :)

Here's what showed up in my mailbox

A sample of Vaseline's Face and Body lotion for Men

A Ginger Peach White Tea bag from the Republic of Tea(the blueberry one I received last month was oh so yummy!)

More address labels

From Vocal point: A coupon for B1G1 Special K products plus 5 $1 off any Special K products

Check out The Thrifty Soaper's Super Sample Sunday to see what other goodies people are getting!

Lovin some last minute CVS

I made a quick stop in today to finish off some of the monthy deals and to pick up my free CVS Chapstick that I received a coupon for Thursday. Here's what I picked up:
1 Smart Rinse
1 2 pack Oral B toothbrushes
1 500 count CVS cotton swabs
1 Brut deodorant
1 CVS Chapstick
total 18.75
OOP(includes tax) $3.40, earned $15.48 ECBs
Saved 83%
Want to see some more great bargains?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thrifty Thursday

I forgot how much fun yard sales are. One of my neighbors set up one this morning so me and Thing 1 went over after she got home.

For $3.75 here's what I got

4 pairs of jeans for Thing 1 in the fall
3 Long Sleeved shirts for Baby Girl(one of those is a Children's Place sweater)
Set of Tupperware Popsicle makers
Bob the Builder Playdoh set

She had some nice yarn for $0.10 a bundle so I'm debating sending Thing 1 back over to buy them all

Check out Comical Coupon Cents for Thrifty Thursday!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Being green and saving some green

Check out BeCentsAble for Tipster Tuesday!

A good investment we made back in the winter for our sort of drafty house was 2 sets of the
Blackout Curtains for the living room windows. We didn't buy the more expensive tailored ones, we purchased the plain ones and hung under existing curtains. These reduced the drafts around our windows along with keeping heat and cool air inside the house. We noticed that the furnace/air conditioner runs less(especially in the hot evenings since these face west). Back in March, I purchased 1 set for my bedroom and noticed a difference right away.

My goal is to purchase sets for another window in my room and for the kid's room before winter. At $25 a set, they might seem like a lot, but with the less the heat and air run, that is more we save on our bill!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Happy 33rd Birthday Joseph!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

Melinda at The Nest Egg has tagged me. Here I go

Name 5 Things I do for myself
1. Take time for crafts(whatever one I feel like working on that week) Current obsession:cross stitch
2.Hi my name is April, I'm 32, and I love video games. Especially Tetris.
3.Take time for photography. Even if it means carrying my camera in my purse
4.Once a week, I run a hot bath, pour me a glass of cold tea and soak, reading a celebrity gossip magazine
5.Coupons and bargain shopping. I hate shopping for clothes but I'm all for Q-tips, shampoo, and cereal!

Name 5 things I do for Friends, my children, or a partner.
1. Make sure the kids and Joseph have snacks and drinks that they like
2. Give my mom some of my grocery/household stash(she's on a limited budget)
3. Joseph loves a good back scratch. I'll stop whatever I'm doing so I can scratch his back for him.
4. I let Thing 1 bring her best friend along on many outings(her dad is a single father with 6 kids)
5. Bargain shop so I can stretch our money further

Name 5 kind things I have done for strangers
1. I have offered coupons to people while standing in the checkout line(more and more, they accept!)
2. We were dropping Joseph off at the airport and while he was checking in, I noticed and elderly man on crutches trying to pull a very large suitcase(his wife was pulling 2). I told the lady at the ticket counter, she called for a wheelchair and a person to push him. Me and Thing 2 went and brought their luggage to the line they needed to be in.
3.There are several elderly people on our street. When we are walking to the park, me and the Things will pick up garbage for them or run their paper to the front door
4.Help load groceries or entertain a few babies while their parent could get stuff loaded
5.Let someone use my cell phone if they were stranded alongside a road(sometimes, I drove to the nearest gas station to get a gallon of gas). I tend to do this more for a mother that kids in the car because I know I would sure appreciate the help .

Name 5 hobbies I enjoy
1. Photography
2. Crafts(I'll try anything)
3. Reading
4. Video games
5. Spending time with my "crew"(including the furry ones)

Friday, June 20, 2008


I have all of my ECB's rolled until next month, so I didn't make a trip to CVS this week!

Here's what I picked up at Walgreens

3 40 Count Snuggle dryer sheets

2 Comet cleaners

4 Bowl Fresh toilet freshners

2 Oral B Power TB

3 Kraft Mac and Cheese

2 Lunchables

3 35 count Maalox

1 dozen eggs

Total before coupons and sales $47.93

OOP $15.18 plus $5.50 RR

Saved $32.75 or 68%

You can see my Dillons trip

Want to see more great posts with some awesome savings? Check out
The Centsible Sawyer, BeCentsAble, and Money Saving Mom!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

This is what 4 hours at Sea World does to a 10 month old(In case you are wondering what te blue stuff is on her face, Bubby shared his cotton candy) Thankfully, she took this snooze while waiting for the Shamu show,we were in in the "chicken seats" as my husband called the dry area(they were right in front of the stage), and she woke up in time to see all the fun(which she loved)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Grocery Game

I signed up four weeks ago for The Grocery Game. I had heard a lot about it and decided to try the four weeks for $1. The only stores available here were Dillons, Walgreens, and CVS. I scanned the lists every week and find a few things to buy(mostly from Dillons because I already had deals laid out for the other 2) At the end of the four weeks, I ended up dropping CVS and Walgreens. So now came the decision to keep Dillons. I figured I would give the eight weeks a try and if I wasn't sold on the idea, I would drop it. So Sunday night, I went through the list and planned my weeks menu by it. I then made my list with those items and got my coupons together(and e-coupons too!) I took Baby Girl to my mom's so I could go at this without my "helper". I only deviated a couple times on items I realized that morning that we were out of. Here's what I got:

3 Totinos pizzas(real healthy I know, they make for a quick hot snack)
3 Pringles
2 Eggo Waffles *
2 Ragu Spaghetti sauces
1 Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls
8 Lipton Noodles
2 Crest Pro Health Toothpaste
3 Oral B indicator Toothbrushes
1 Kroger Instant potatoes(my mixer went kaput)*
10 cans Campbell's gravy
2 Banquet sausage links
4 boxes Kraft Macaroni and cheese*
4 Lawry's Marinades
1 KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce
1 Snapple Vitamin water
5 Ragu pouch sauces
1 Cantaloupe
2.5 pounds Bananas
2.5 pounds grapes
1 Kings ford Charcoal
2 Neutra Air bonus packs(4 cans total)
1 loaf Dillons Bread

* not on original list
Total $134.30
OOP 68.50
$56.94 groceries, $11.54 household
Saved 48%

There was a few things I had on the list they didn't have, either they didn't carry them or they were out. Also, some of the prices were different, the sausage links were on the list as $1 but rang up $1.50, the Ragu sauce packs were cheaper than what was listed.
Overall, I was pleased. I was able to get a ton of stuff for my stockpile(gravy, sauces, noodles) I didn't need to buy meat this time due to stocking up last week.

If you want to check it out yourself, go to and sign up for $1(4 week trial) use hntersmom(at)yahoo(dot)com as your referral!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Make your Home a Haven Monday

I have been slacking on the housework lately. I clean but it's has got a bit more cluttered since we are spending a lot of time outside. So, imagine my panic when my husband called and said that he and his dad are leaving Florida tomorrow! I begged him not to leave early because I have an obscene amount of work to get done. Here's my list of things that have to be done in less than 48 hours:

Take recent stockpile purchases to basement DONE!

Straighten/declutter living room, bedroom, office mop, dust, sanitize DONE EXCEPT FOR MOPPING

The kids have to straighten up their bedroom, all toys put away, stuffed animals placed in bag and put in basement, bedding washed, floor mopped, dust, and sanitize everything IN PROGRESS

Kitchen scrubbed from top to bottom DONE!
Bathroom, general tidying DONE!

Laundry put away DONE

Cats bathed debating

Yard picked up IN PROGRESS

Truck cleaned out DONE

Attack many paper piles DONE!

Usually I don't get in too big of a panic but my FIL has just under gone chemo and there's no telling what germs are lurking in my house that could wreck havoc on a compromised system. To top it off, my best helper, Thing 1, has a long rehearsal tonight. That means I have to take time out, drive her across town, then go pick her wasting about an hour and a half.(in case you wondering why I am sitting here now, I'm finally eating lunch)My mom said she would watch Baby Girl, but that takes away time to run her across town.

Check out Biblical Womanhood for more Make Your Home an Haven tackles!

Menu Plan Monday

Ahh, another Monday. You know your Monday is going to go bad when you can't find where you placed you menu, lol.


French Toast
Cold Cereal


Sandwiches(PBJ, Tuna)
Macaroni and Cheese


BBQ hot dogs, potato salad
Cheese quesadillas. corn
Cashew Chicken, fried rice
Ham Slices, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans
Pizza, salad
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, tomato soup

No Bake Cookies
Rice Krispie treats
Cinnamon Rolls
I only planned 6 dinners this week, Friday Night is Thing 1's first(of 3!) recitals so will eat out, even if it is just Subway.
This week I did something different. Usually, I plan my menu and then do my shopping. This week, since I'm trying to see if the Grocery Game will save me money, I planned by what's on sale at Dillons and what I had on hand. (Yes, I know many people do this but I've never done it)
Check out Menu Plan Monday for some more great ideas!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Super Sample Sunday

Here's what I got this week

Sample of Viva Paper towel

Sample of Excedrin

Sample of Baby Phat perfume

Sample of a new Stetson cologne(which smells so good that Joe will probably get a bottle for his birthday :P)

14 day supply of Nature Made Multi Vitamins

20 address labels

A coupon for a free 12 pack of Coke(from Coke Rewards, I cashed in my points)

A sample of Kashi Vive cereal PLUS a coupon for a free box and 5 $2 off 1 box coupons(from
Vocalpoint )

Check out
The Thrifty Soaper to see what goodies other people got in their mailboxes this week!

Friday, June 13, 2008

CVS and Walgreens


I just picked up a few things this week. I had some ECB's expiring today, so after the downpour, me and the crew made a stop at CVS. Here's what I got:

Transaction #1

4 500 count CVS brand q-tips $3.19 each
1 Brut Deodorant spray $4.69
used $2.50/$10 CVS Brand
$1/1 Brut
$10 ECB's
OOP $4.49(includes tax) Earned $11 ECB

Transaction #2
1 package Huggies $7.99
1 Brut Deodorant spray
1 Listerine Smart Rinse
used $9.98 ECB
OOP $6.74(includes tax) earned $6.49 ECB

If I would have been organized, I would have remembered another Brut coupon and a Huggies coupon. Oh well.

On the Smart Rinse, I have purchased 3 but it still does not say offer limit reached. Has anyone purchased 4 and still received ECBs?


Walgreen's has been a little slow on deals lately(at least for me) Here is what I got this week:

4 5 pound bags of Domino sugar $1.99 each
3 Reynolds Aluminum Foil on sale for $0.89 each(I used 3 $0.50 coupons and got these for $0.39 each)

Check out The Centsible Sawyer, BeCentsAble, and Money Saving Mom to see every one's great buys!

Frugal Friday

My Frugal Friday tip this week is to check locally for contests and giveaways(that are free to enter, of course!) Our local newspaper sponsors an online chat group for moms and I have won several things from them. Here's a list:

4 passes to the zoo(Value $24)
Family Pass to the Circus ($56)
Tickets to see Tom Sawyer ($80)
T-shirt(my slogan will be used for the marketing of the new styles) ($15)
Tickets to see Seussical the Musical(which we went to last night and was fabulous!) ($80)

They had a fabulous giveaway of gas cards($50 each) and then all the gift card winners were put in a drawing for $500 grocery gift card. I didn't win but it was fun watching the winners. The twist on the gas cards was if they went unclaimed, they would add them to the next one until someone claimed them. Several moms won over $100 in gas!

Also, take time for some of the online contests. Just yesterday, I won a free movie ticket and a free 20 ounce soda.

Check out Biblical Womanhood for some more great frugal tips

Thursday, June 12, 2008

We get to go to the Theatre Dah-lings

I won 4 free tickets to go see Dr. Seussical The Musical tonight! The Things are bouncing off the walls(tee-hee) Thing 1 said one of her classmates is in the cast. It should be fun. As you can probably tell, we love Dr. Seuss. Baby Girl gets to spend the evening at Grandma's house. We invited Miss K(Thing 1's best friend) to go with us since Joe is Florida(he is mad by the way, he likes Dr. Seuss also) We will have a gourmet supper of hot dogs with mac and cheese, then we will head downtown to the theatre!
Check out Comical Coupon Cents for some more thrifty finds!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Works for me Wednesday

Joe called last night. He and his dad have nothing to watch in the afternoons when my FIL gets drained from trying to do so much(he started undergoing Chemo in January for leukemia, was recently diagnosed with COPD, and just found out he has to have more Chemo) He asked if I can send some DVD's from our ridiculously large collection. He rattled off about 15 titles and all I could think was how expensive it is going to be to mail them. As I pulling out the titles last night, our package of CD cases caught my eye. So I took all the DVDs out of their large cases and put them in these:

Bad picture

So in the box went Josey Wales and a few other Shoot Em Ups bounds for Florida. This will also make it easier for Joe to put them in his carry on luggage when he comes back.
Want to see more ideas? Check out Rocks In My Dryer!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I just went in for milk and apples! Honest!

Yes, that's 8 double boxes of Suddenly Salad. I made a quick stop into the store by my house after dropping Thing 1 off at dance. As I ran by to go get milk out of the cooler, the clearance/scratch- n- ding shelves caught my eye. These were marked $1 a box. WooHoo! I stopped a nearby stocker and asked if there was anything wrong. She said a pallet fell on these and aside from the outside boxes being ripped or smashed, the inside packets are intact. I looked on the expiration dates, June of 2009. I scooped up these boxes(I did leave some for other people) and noticed the Yogo's. Pretty much the same deal, squished boxes. they were $0.75 each(as you can tell, the Thing's already broke into one.
Check your stores scratch n dent shelves! Or if you can't find any, ask!

It's here!

Isn't it B-E-A-UTIFUL??LOL
When we went to Best Buy to check out the Kodaks in person, I wasn't too impressed. The pictures fuzzy and something didn't click with me and the cameras(sounds nuts, I know) I was debating on getting the one Kodak that everyone said was the better of the 2 when I started browsing the displays. I picked up several before I found this one. Even Joe, who pretends not to pay much attention, could tell that was the one I wanted.

It's 10.1 Mega pixel with 18x zoom. Best Buy wanted more for it than the Kodak, but I was able to track a better price plus a memory card(Thanks to!) It looks to be a little more complicated than the Kodak, but I will learn all the secrets. I didn't get to play around with it much yesterday, it was nasty out and I had a headache but I plan to put it to some use during playtime at the Mall here in a bit.

I'm kind of sad also. My old Kodak has been so great. It took some fabulous shots(like my header) and has been with me since Baby Girl was a month old. Sniff. Joe better take care of it or I will beat his butt!!!!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Ahhhhh! Monday again. Things 1 and 2 get 4 days of summer school this week and I get 4.5 hours a day of no fighting. LOL Joe is still gone, so more easy meals!


Eggs(boiled or scrambled)

Cold Cereal




plus a fruit




Ravioli/spaghetti o's

Sandwiches(bologna, tuna, grilled cheese)


plus fruit and veggie


Chicken nachos

Cheeseburgers, homemade fries

Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread

Pancakes, bacon, fruit salad

Baked potatoes with bacon, cheese, sour cream, salad

Pizza, salad

Chili, cornbread


Rice Krispie Treats

Homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


Super Sample Sunday

Samples were a little thin this week, but I did get an American Baby coupon package that had coupons off yogurt, Gentle Naturals, free A+D diaper cream, and more

I also received

A free sample of Parent's Choice Formula(makes 32 ounces!)
A Blueberry Green Tea bag from the Republic of Tea
Small samples of shampoo, conditioner, and style sealant from Weather Works by Frizz-ease(walmart sample)
A coupon for 1 free Chicken Biscuit and 1 Chicken Sandwich from McDonalds

Check out The Thrifty Soaper to see what is in people's mailboxes!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

CVS and Walmart, fun in the sun edition

Pool day! We made our second trip to CVS before hitting the local pool.

CVS had some really great items for stock up this week and I had a ton of ECB's expiring so I made 2 trips. Here's what I ended up with

2 jumbo packages Pampers

2 tubs Pamper Wipes

3 8 roll packs of Bounty(they sold out of the Toilet Paper before I made it there Sunday afternoon)

1 package Energizer batteries

2 Febreeze Air Spray

3 Packages CVS Bandaids

1 Swiffer Duster Refill

2 Smart Rinse

2 Oral B 2 pack toothbrushes

1 Gillette Fusion Razor

1 beach chair for Baby Girl(the little thing carried it around the entire store so I couldn't tell her no)

I spent $58.71 OOP(the chair alone was $10 of that), $50.89 ECB, and earned $53.93 new ECB's

I saved $93.45 or 61%
On my receipts, it doesn't say offer limit reached on my Oral B toothbrushes and the Smart Rinse so I might add one more of each onto next weeks trip(I was able to get ECB's for 3 packages of band aids)


I finally found the soft packs of the Clean Team wipes. I bought 8 of them at $0.64 each

10 more cans of the Bush's Grillin Beans for $0.25 each

2 4 packs of Tava(they finally had some) for $1.48 a pack

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sew Crafty

I have been a lurker at Shereen's Sew Crafty Friday for awhile hoping looking at everyone else's creations would get me off my butt and into a creative mode. I have been too big of a chicken to learn how to use my sewing machine, my mother in law has been promising to take some time to teach me to crochet, and most of my other skills are in painting and drawing. So who would've thought a mail package would get me motivated. One freebie I signed up for a few weeks ago was through DMC for their Mentor Program. They sent a package with 4 small samplers and a book with some more patterns. Curiosity(or boredom) got the better of me the other night so I broke out 2 of the samplers. I showed Thing 1 the basics and we got started. Now, I finished mine in 4 hours. Also in that time, I washed the dishes, chased Baby Girl, and was watching tv. Here's the end product:

It's tiny(just a couple of inches). I never had the patience for the bigger designs. My grandmother would make intricate pieces that ended up several feet, in some cases, in size. I always stuck to the smaller designs and used my drawing abilities to make patterns for her. I could sit for hours drawing a pattern on grid paper and then going through her extensive floss collection to find the right colors for it.
I do have a trip planned to Hobby Lobby to pick up some more material and floss. Thing 1 is anxious to do a new one, even though 4 days later, she is still working on her first one.

Crunching the numbers

I love tea. Ok, I'm addicted. I gave up my Coke habit and switched to this beverage. Pre-money saving mode, I would buy premade tea at the store. Not the store brand either. The $2.34 a gallon Red Diamond Sweet Tea. Multiply that by a conservative average of 6 gallons a week and I was spending $14.04(at least). That's $56.16 a month or $673.92 a year. Yikes!

As you can tell, I never figured up the price I was spending. That's insane!

Since I have been home, I have faithfully made my own tea, whether it's 1 gallon or sometimes 2 a day. I never really figured the price I was paying but some recent sales on tea bags got me wondering which one the better deal.

I had some Lipton tea bags that cost $2.68 for 100 or $0.0268 a piece. Then I had some coupons for the Luzianne tea bags. I paid $0.96 for a box of 24 or $0.04 each. I bought sugar on sale for $1.69 for 4 lbs with says it contains 454 teaspoons.

Ok, here was my problem. I use cup fulls, not teaspoon fulls to make tea. Grrr. Plus I am not a math person. Numbers give me a migraine. I did a google search and found a site with this handy dandy calculator.

According to the calculator, I can get 9.45 cups of sugar out of that bag. So that means 1 cup of sugar costs me approx $0.18.

So here are my calculations (I just figure tea bag price and sugar)


.0268x6(number of bags)= .1608

.18x1.5(amount of sugar in cups I use)=.27

total for sugar and tea bags =0.4308 per gallon


.04x3(they are the larger tea bags)= .12


total = .39 per gallon

I thought the Luzianne would be more per gallon to make, but obviously not. Of course, the price will fluctuate according to the price of sugar and the tea bags(normally I just use GV brand for the tea and sugar but these were bought on sale) Overall, it is way better than the $2.34 a gallon I was happily forking over before.
Want to find more frugal ideas? Check out Frugal Friday!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

We interrupt this frugal moment...

...too inform you, that I have to spend more money on ridiculous stuff.

I love to watch Thing 1 dance but sometimes I swear, her dance school thinks you can just pull money out of thin air. I went last night to pick up her costumes and the lady at the desk ask me if I got the note for Hip Hop Costumes. No was my reply because Thing 1 said her teacher told them they were doing like Christmas and just putting their own together. Well, technically it's put together by us but they want a more "uniform" look so now we have to buy specific items. GRRRR!!!! She can wear her hoodie but she has to have a white t shirt(no big deal because we have a ton), black sweats(not gray like she already has), and instead of just wearing her regular tennis shoes(like they were originally going to do) they now need black hip hop sneakers.

Oh and they have to have their "costume" approved by next Tuesday.

Are you *@%*~! kidding me? I try to buy her shoes from Discount Dance supply or off Ebay because the shop at the school charges way more than what I can find there(they really hate that I take her there at the beginning of the year and have her foot sized in the different shoes she needs, then I know what sizes I need to find online) The cheapest shoe they have at the store was $40. I just looked on Discount Dance and the cheapest with shipping will cost $45. Looks like the school will get even more money.

Oh and another gripe. She has 3 separate recitals. And we only get 4 free tickets. So I will have to pay for 2 extra recitals so I can video them for everyone(still cheaper than buying a DVD for $40 a piece) Double GRRRR!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Works for me Wednesday

Ahhh! I was awakened by the sounds of summer last night(tornado sirens) 5 hours before we had to get up for my favorite summer activity(summer school!). Actually, Thing 1 was excited too(she is a strange child).
This is my first summer home with the monsters full time. I got used to making them someone else's problem. I started researching some entertainment ideas a few weeks ago. My advice is to check around locally for free/cheap activities. Most place with a park system are more than happy to give you some suggestions

Here is some of mine:

Movie Theatres offer discount movies during the day(usually around $2)

We have an abundance of pools.Many offer admission for $1 or 1 canned food item to swim between 5pm and 6:30(reg is around $2)

We also have a fountain downtown that the kids can play in for free

Several downtown activities include Shakespeare in the Park and movie night in the park(all free)

Thankfully, the kid's brought home recommended reading lists for the summer. I plan to use this with the Public Library's Summer Reading Program and at Barnes and Noble. They can earn free books and treats

Summer's only 4 weeks and in the mornings but it is something that will get them out of the house. Thing 1 is going for fun and Thing 2 is going out of necessity

Work, work, work..Thing 1 is mowing lawns under her Dad's supervision. If Thing 2 helps, she has to pay him a portion

Summer is when we can get a lot of crafts done. The sweltering humidity makes it unbearable to go out(unless you are in a pool) Thing 1 is already working on learning cross stitch

We have a decent park system. There are a ton of local parks in town, a nature center, and several lakes just outside city limits

My older 2 recently got new bikes(Thing 1 got one for her birthday in March, Thing 2 because he outgrew his) Even Joe ended buying himself one. they ride everywhere and seem to enjoy it. They want me to get one but my fat booty would break the bike.

We have a Minor League baseball team here and even though we really don't like sports, we are going to try to go to at least one game. You can purchase seats(ok the grass) for about $5 each.

We have a park set up to be like a farm, complete with hay rides and more. We plan on checking it out sometime this summer

And if all else fails and I still hear "I'm Bored" I have a nice list of chores they can do(like cleaning off the fridge, laundry, etc)

Want to see more ideas? Check out Works For Me Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I'm addicted, I'm so ashamed

As I sit contemplating Joe's request to go to Florida(keep in mind, this for a month, not a week or so), what did I do? I went to the CVS website to find the nearest location to his dad's house

I. Am. So. Ashamed.

So much for not spending a lot of money this month

Ever roll out of bed and quickly realize you need to dive back under the covers and stay there for the rest of the day? Or week? Today was that day for me. It all started when Baby Girl woke me up at 7:30 screaming because her leg was stuck between the railing on her bed. While I was trying to comfort her(and to get her calm down so she didn't wake up her brother and sister), my mom's dog peed in the floor and I managed to step in it. Ew. This is not something I like when I'm fully awake, let alone coming out of an "allergy medicine induced sleep before I've caffeine moment".

After she was changed and had a sippy of milk, I cleaned up the dog pee, washed off my foot, took the dog outside(like she had any left in her tiny Min Pin bladder). Baby Girl was being occupied by Thing 1 so I went to go me some clothes and a towel for a quick shower. I headed to the basement and the first thing I noticed was the god awful stench. I got to the bottom of the stairs(still without any caffeine) and seen water all over the floor. Fabulous. It wasn't washing machine water, apparently all sorts of goo was backing up through the floor drain.

I started the phone call to Joe that he wasn't allowed to leave the state ever again. It never fails some disaster with the house ensues when he goes to Florida(everything from the furnace quitting, the air quit one time, various things have sprung a leak, and now this). I called Roto Rooter and want to give those guys a big hand. I can handle disgusting diapers but I don't think I could deal with that nasty mess on a daily basis. It was kind of funny when they started flushing the pipes, Thing 2 told Thing 1 to stop farting, when it was the stench creeping up through the vents(after I clued them in, they stood by the vent spraying Febreeze). $300 later, so far so good.

And now, Joe just called and wants us to come to Florida for a month. This wouldn't be so bad but Thing 1 has her recitals and I have forked out $300 already for costumes. Not to mention, summer school starts tomorrow.

Is it Wednesday yet?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Make It Yourself Monday

I think about every kid loves chicken nuggets. Unfortunately, the ones at fast food restaurants and prepackaged at the grocery store are not healthy. my chicken nuggets are kid approved and sort of healthier(you still have to fry them)

Here's what you need

Boneless, skinless breasts(package of 3 is enough for 5 of us)
Flour(I use all purpose but you could experiment with whole wheat)
Seasonings(I use seasoning salt and black pepper)

Heat up a skillet with your favorite oil.
Cut your chicken up(I make mine just a little smaller than the ones at Mc D's). Place 2 cups flour in a bowl. Add seasoning(I put enough seasoning salt in it to turn it orange). Drop chicken in flour mixture by a handful. Once coated well, transfer to hot oil(I only cook one handful at a time, the chicken cooks faster so it don't dry out) Once done, place on a paper towel to absorb oil. Repeat until done.

Joe likes spicy nuggets, so after I've cooked enough for me and the kids, I add Cajun Seasoning to the flour mixture to give his nuggets some kick.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce(the kids love these with a cheese sauce I make)

Want to break the restaurant habit? Check out Thrifty Florida Mama's Make It Yourself Monday!

Menu Plan Monday

Anyone ever suffer Menu Plan burnout? I know the monsters need to eat but sometimes all I want to do is tell them to go find something. But, I know I won't do that, plus it keeps me from running to the store everyday. Since Joe is in Florida, it's light and easy choices!

Breakfasts(all served with fruit and milk)
Cinnamon Toast
Eggs(boiled, scrambled)
Yogurt and toast

Lunches(all served with fruit and a veggie)
grilled cheese with tomato soup
Chicken Salad and crackers
Ramen noodles with Shrimp
Salad and saltines

Roast chicken(leftovers used for chicken salad), rice w/ broccoli, biscuits
Ham slices, hash browns, green beans
Tacos, corn
Grilled fish, broccoli w/cheese, bread
Pizza, salad
Hot Dogs, Mac and Cheese, Peas
Clean out the Frig Buffet

Pudding and Vanilla Wafers
Rice Krispie Treats

Want to see menus better than mine, check out I'm a Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I take this moment to brag on my brats, uh, kids :)

Summer is here finally. Granted, I am still waking up at 7. At least I won't oversleep when Summer School starts on Wednesday and I have to be up by 6:45(school starts at 7:30) I just wanted to take a moment to brag on my older 2. It has been a rough year. My FIL(who lives in Florida) was diagnosed with leukemia last November. It's been hard on Thing 1 and 2, especially since Joe has spent a lot of time in Florida and knowing Grandpa was very sick.

Thing 2

Thing 2 is like Joe, he would rather be doing something else besides schoolwork. At times, I felt like I was back in 3rd grade myself with all of his work I had to make him do. In the end, he passed(with only 1 bad grade) and he really enjoyed his school year.
Here's what he received:
Completion of 3rd Grade
Book It
Step Club(they would walk 20 minutes before school, 2 times a week)
Library Worker
Congrats Sweetheart!

Thing 1

Thing 1 is the typical firstborn. She is her Daddy's "Genius" as he calls her(makes her blush for some reason) She really enjoys school and is about to burst at the seams to go to Middle School in the fall. Here's what she received
Completion of 5th grade
Academic Achievement
The President's Award for Academic Excellence(we had to frame this one for her, its hanging by her bed)
Book It
Step Club
WINGs(gifted program)
Office Worker
and she was published in the 2007/2008 Who's Who of Academic Achievement for Middle Schoolers
Congrats Sunshine Girl!

CVS Scenarios

I have a ton of ECB's expiring in a week, so I need to get them used and roll as many as I can. If my scenarios work right for the next 2 Sundays, I should be stocked up on diapers, paper towels, and toilet paper for the rest of the summer.

Transaction 1
2 Charmin Toilet Paper
2 Bounty Paper Towels

use 2 $0.25/1 Charmin
2 $0.25/1 Bounty

$10 ECB from last month

OOP $10.96(plus tax) Earn $10 ECBs

Transaction 2
2 Jumbo Packs Pampers

2 tubs Pampers Wipes

use 2 $2/2 Pampers diapers or wipes
$4.69 ECB

OOP $13.27(plus tax) Earn $5 ECBs

I know these OOP are not extremely low, I am still paying only a fraction of what I would have just a few short months ago. Plus, I won't pay much OOP for my smaller scenarios. My CVS won't let you use multiple ECBs in a single transaction so I end up having to do several transactions. I also plan to get the CVS Bandaids, the Oral B Toothbrushes, Smart Rinse, Phenom Razor, and 2 Dawn dish soap(like I need any, lol)

Next week, they are having Huggies Diapers on sale for $7.99 a pack, so any ECBs I haven't rolled over by then (I have $60 to use this week!), I'll buy even more diapers and lose the ECB's.

Super Sample Sunday

~ I apologize for no pictures, I put everything up as soon as I can to help control messes~
Last week might have been slow in the sample department, but this week sure made up for it.
Here's what I received
Ban Deodorant
Crystal Light, kool Aid, Country Time Lemonade singles plus a coupon
$15 off Rogaine foam(I signed up for the sample but the letter said they were out)
Playtex Nurser
Emergin-C Samples
DMC Mentor Pack(for cross stitch, my grandma got me hooked on this when I was young. This came with 5 mini kits and a book of free patterns. Great to help occupy Thing 1 and Thing 2 this summer)
Pledge Multi Surface Wipe plus coupon
The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide and $5 Target card from 2 drawings I won at BeCentsAble! Thanks Ladies!
Want to see more freebie fun? Check out The Thrify Soaper!