Sunday, August 26, 2012

Every bit helps!

This weekend was spent organizing, listing, and preparing for the first day of school.  I cleaned out the cupboards on Saturday.  I had a large grocery bag of food...items that the kiddos didn't like after all, knew we were never going to use or had expired.  I was going to throw out the expired food (all boxed items) but decided to put them and all the other items on our local Freecycle site.  I put a description of all items as well as all best by/ better use by dates.  I was very surprised at all the responses I received.  Each person expressed their family's need for the food items.  It was hard to choose but I recognized a family who I had picked up craft items from many years ago.  They are a family of 12.  I told Mr. Man that I wish I had more to give.  I frequently come upon clearance items at the grocery store for pennies.  I told Mr. Man I will be buying items and stockpiling them and then give them away.  I told him for the cost of a candy bar every week I could buy quite a few items.  So that is what I am going to do. 

This next week will be spent listing, listing and listing.  Ebay has been good to me this month and I thank my lucky stars for it.  I hope next month will be just as kind :)  

Hoping everyone has a fantastic week!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Preparing for Back to School

Well, these past days I have been preparing for the kiddos to return to school.  It's been a challenge since funds are very limited.  Today, I had a little over $370 to work with.  With that I needed to fill up the car, buy uniform shirts for Kiddo2, buy clothes for Kiddo1 and buy groceries including lunch items for next week. Here is the breakdown:

$61 for gas
$48 for Kiddo2's school uniform shirts
$99 for Kiddo1's  clothes
$120 for groceries
$36 for lunch (back to school lunch)
$9 breakfast

Total $373

Going out to lunch was not necessary. We had been out all day and the lunch ended up being a good way to enjoy a lunch out together before school starts. I'm happy I was able to  do all I needed to with what I had.

I'm thankful to have made some sales on Ebay and with that will be getting Kiddo1 a book bag, Kiddo2 some shorts for school and Kiddo1 a pair of shoes.

I need to empty our "back to school" jar.  Whatever is in it will go to any lingering school expenses :)

I'm going to be listing through the weekend.  To be "cash only" 100% of the time is our goal.  Its hard but we have come so far already.  I just need to keep my eye on the prize - DEBT FREEDOM!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Have not been inspired these past few days :/

I have started to write a new post every other day only to stop because I felt nothing I was writing was worth reading.  I didn't have much to say although there is always something going on around here.  I'm trying to get inspired so please bear with me.  I hope in the coming days I can update our debt totals as well as write a longer post. For now, I will just try to catch up on reading my favorite blogs. 

Monday, August 13, 2012


So this morning I woke up MOTIVATED!  Motivated to clean, organize and just get stuff done.  I've already cleaned out the foyer, vacuumed the living room, vacuumed the dining room, thrown out the trash, put out the recycling, decluttered, cleaned up my new to me lamp (bought it for $3 at a garage sale), put away the clean dishes and swept the kitchen.  The house has felt so cluttered that I needed to sort through a lot of this and that.  I have 3 grocery bags of unwanted items to take to my Mom's.  I try to take at least a bag or two once a week to her.  She sells what she can, keeps what she wants and donates the rest. 

Right now, I'm waiting on the kiddos to get dressed.  I have to run to the bank to get some cash because our central air is not cooling and in 100 plus degree weather its needed.  Luckily, despite all our bad financial decisions, we have managed to always pay for our home maintenance plan.  It has saved us on more than one occasion.  We pay $47 a month and a $55 service call for each visit. They assess the problem and fix it.  A few things aren't covered but the majority is and its been a lifesaver just about every year.  We compared what the actual repairs would have cost versus what we pay and we are getting one heck of a deal everytime.

I've also got some cooking on the agenda.  I have some chicken thawing for tonight.  I'm also going to be putting some beans in the crockpot.  For dessert, I'm going to make some banana bread. 

I have some listing planned for early this afternoon.  We really need the cash so I'm hoping to put up about 10 items to add to the 10 existing items I have up.  I also need to sort out some items to sell on our local for sale site.  If I can make 100 dollars on the local sales by tomorrow that would be great. 

Hope everyone has a great Monday and hope to catch up on everyone's blogs this evening :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The "Poor Man's Chicken Parmigiana" :D

Yesterday, my Mom had invited Mr. Man, the kiddos and I over for dinner. My brother was suppose to come into town so she was going to make dinner.  I went to the store today to buy a few things and didn't buy anything for tonight since we had plans.  After getting home from the store, my Mom calls to tell me dinner is postponed till Friday.  I'm tired, sleepy and have a ton of things to do at home. Come dinnertime I look in the fridge and its slim pickins.  I could have had Mr. Man pick something up but decided to work with what we had. This is the result:

I call it "Poor Man's Chicken Parmigiana" :D  I cooked some gluten free noodles, opened up a can of crushed tomatoes then seasoned it and put some chicken nuggets in the oven.  Not the healthiest nor most visually appealing meal ever but it was tasty and Kiddo2 ate plenty of pasta with just the sauce. I'm going to do our big shopping trip tomorrow.  I created a spreadsheet for all my coupons and put them in order by layout of the store.  If it helps me while I shop then I will keep doing it. 

I updated my debt totals and it's not pretty.  I could let it get me down but I must keep postive and try to continue battling the debt monster.  My biggest challenge is using credit. Mr. Man and I want to pay off at least one account and close it before the year ends. We have to stay motivated  and to some degree writing this blog always brings everything back in to focus for me. 

Hope ya'll have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A full weekend!

So thankful for a full weekend. Spending was not too terrible. Friday, I visited with my brothers who came into town. Saturday, one of my brothers and I , went to the Antiques Roadshow.  There were so many amazing items there!  Unfortunately, my items were not worth much :(. My brother could not decide what to take so he picked up a clock at a rummage sale that morning for $20 dollars. Lo and behold, it received an appraisal of $250 dollars. We had a good laugh about that. Apparently, an item someone brought received an appraisal of between $800,000 and $1,000,000!  We met so many nice folks and heard some great stories. It was a great experience. Yesterday, we took an early morning visit to the beach with all the visiting family.  The kids had a blast :)

This coming week, I'm going to work at home on organizing. Kiddo1's room is in desperate need of a makeover. Going to make a plan and possibly try to redo the existing furniture. Aside from that, my main focus is to bring in some extra money!

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back to School Shopping :(

Oh...I despise this time of year.  We still have a few weeks of summer left but back to school shopping must begin.  I refuse to wait till the last minute again. Only to not find clothes or shoes in the kiddos' sizes. I wish they would stay home all the time but thankfully they look forward to going back and seeing all their friends :)  I just love having them at home and it breaks my heart every time to see them go. But enough of my blubbering. In preparation for my BTS shopping, I'm taking inventory of my school supply stash.  I don't want to buy anything we don't need.  I'm also clipping coupons as I can get pens, crayons and colored pencils for free or next to nothing. I'm also putting aside a little cash to have on hand for the first month or two of school. The school has t shirt sales, fundraisers and school pictures all within the first month.  I'm hoping to be better prepared this year.

To alleviate my BTS blues, I'm going to be going to the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW!! Yay!! I applied for tickets and was lucky enough to receive two.  My brother and I are going and Mr. Man is watching the kiddos.  I would have loved to go with him but my Mom is going to have a full house the same weekend. Hence, no sitter.  I am so excited but also a bit nervous.  I'm weird like that.  I'm not exactly sure what to take but it should not be too hard as we can only take two items each. I'm guessing I'll be one of those folks laughing at the end of the show about how my items are only worth a couple of dollars. We will see....wish me luck :)