Sunday, July 28, 2013

How We Save Money at our House



When we got pregnant with our first child, we decided that I would stay at home with her.  That meant we would have to manage with much less income.  We had to make a lot of changes to make this work.  I thought I would share some of those things with you here:


1)  Drop cable/satellite.  You may be paying between $35-$80 a month for cable (or satellite).  Drop that bill & use a combination or Netflix & Redbox.  To get unlimited instant viewing on Netflix, its $9 per month.  We decided to use Redbox for new releases since it's just $1 & no waiting.  Not to mention, if you join their email list or get their texts, they will send you code for free movies or 1/2 off all the time.  See, way cheaper.




2)  Shop at ALDIs y'all.   You probably can't get every single thing on your list there, but you can get most of it.  You could shave $50 off your grocery bill.  Great place to get inexpensive flowers, too.



3)  Don't be too proud for the Dollar Tree.  You can get cheap socks, canned goods, plasticware, paperware, gift wrapping supplies, party supplies & craft supplies for the kiddos.  At Christmastime, you can get great deals on the larger-sized ornaments we all love.  I know interior designers that go there to get their supplies when decorating homes for Christmas.  Seriously!



4)  Consider refinancing.  Rates are at an all-time low (for example we went from 4.99% to 3.6%).  We were able to shave $200 off our monthly mortgage payment.  It saved us about $20,000 on our overall loan amount.

5)  Buy second-hand.  We get the majority of the things we own used.  We buy furniture & tons of home decor items from Craigslist:





we get clothes from the Goodwill, yard sales & thredup.com.


thredup



6)  Become an Amazon Prime member.  Great benefits.  You get free 2-day shipping, free instant-streaming of a lot of movies & shows, borrow free books from the Kindle Lending Library.  Many things we buy are cheaper on Amazon &, since we don't have to pay shipping, it's even cheaper.


amazon.com


7) Shop Ebay stores.


You can get new products with free shipping & sometimes save a ton.   We bought a new large leather storage ottoman for $150 & free shipping.  This one:


8)

How It Works

How Icon 1

Pick Your Plan

To start getting eMeals, just choose a meal plan
based on your eating style, your family size
and even your favorite grocery store.
How Icon 2

Get Great Recipes

Every week, your meal plan arrives in your inbox —
complete with seven simple, creative, family–friendly
dinner recipes. Each includes an entrée and side dishes.
How Icon 3

Shop and Save

Along with the meal plan, you'll receive a detailed
grocery list organized by section and coordinated
with the weekly sales at selected stores.
How Icon 4

Relax and Enjoy

We take care of the meal planning, the grocery list and
the budgeting — while you take credit for making healthy, 
home–cooked meals
 that your whole family will love.





What is eMeals? from eMeals on Vimeo.

The real money saving here is that:

-Each meal plan is very affordable & can be customized to the store where you shop
-All of the meals share ingredients, so you end up buying less groceries at the store.


My readers can save 15% by entering promo code: SCHOOL15 


- - -

These are the first things that came to my mind tonight.  Hope it's helpful to you!  Let me know what you do to save money!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Shout Out from the Rich Mom

Do you follow the Rich Mom blog? The author is Renae Christine & I love her! I recently started reading her book, "Rich Mom- Home Business Startup Bible."  I am really getting a lot out of it.  I also watch her daily YouTube videos.  She is super.  Watch her.
 
She gave me a shout out today!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Reclaiming Our Spaces: Reality!



Let me tell you about this afternoon.  I forgot someone was coming by.  I was still in pajamas (at 4pm!) Both children had no bottoms on, the house was a wreck.  I was so embarrassed!!!

- HOWEVER -

It really got me thinking.  This is reality.  This is my life.  Sometimes it's messy, ugly, disorganized--just crazy.  I am sure some of y'all can relate a little?  My sweet friend (& her husband & her 2 kids!) was so full of grace for me in the chaos of the moment.  That was such an encouragement to me in that moment when I felt like a complete mess.

See, my plan for this week was to work on organizing my daughter's room.  It's fairly organized, but I have needed to deal with the crazy amount of dress up gear that it always thrown all over the floor.  I hang it up, but it gets pulled back down & she's not tall enough to get it hung back up.  

I think the best solution is a trunk for her to store it all in.  Something like one of these maybe:








It would be easy for her to clean it all up, but she also wouldn't need my help getting it out when she was ready to play.  So, I'm on the lookout for one, but I haven't found one yet.  I also want to move her room around a little.

So, this project will have to be stalled until I can find what I'm looking for.  That's the reality for me right now.  Sometimes it is a real struggle to get even simple things accomplished, but I am pointed the right direction & making progress all the time.  I hope my transparency is an encouragement to some of you that may feel overwhelmed at the thought of your clutter; by trying to carve out the time to sit and think about where to start.  I am right there with you!!

Baby steps are still steps!

This week Holly felt a little frustration this week as well, but still got some work done.  Check out her post here.


Woo Hoo! Mom and Daughter Day!




 My husband did not have to work yesterday, so he took my son & I got to have a fun girl day with my sweet little daughter.  We started off our day at Boingo Bounce.  It was pretty fun.  It was fun to be able to get in there and jump with her.  So much easier without her little bro in tow.



pizza for lunch

I asked her what she wanted for lunch and she said pizza, so we went to Mellow Mushroom.  The heat was not quite as intense as it has been, so we got to sit outside.  They had some great music playing, so my daughter gets up & starts dancing!




She's so cute.  LOVE her free spirit.   After lunch she wanted to get cupcakes.  We always like to go to Bliss Cupcake Cafe.  I love their gluten-free selections.  They are REALLY good.



All their cupcakes are amazing, but my super favorite is their gluten-free Butterfinger cupcake!!!  So so yummy.  

What a sweet day with my darling girl.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Philippians Scripture Memory Printables



Do you like to meditate or memorize scripture from the Bible?

Our small group Bible Study from church is working on memorizing and meditating on the book of Philippians.  To make it more fun, I made a few cute printables; one for each chapter.  

How you could use them:

-Post them on your mirror or fridge 
-Put them in a freezer baggie & stick them to your shower wall.  
-Frame it in a pretty frame and sit it out somewhere

Here are the files for you to use for personal/church etc (not profit) use:





Just right click & save file.

Enjoy & pin to Pinterest!

Let me know how you used them.  It is a blessing to me to know that they were used and were helpful to someone hiding God's Word on their heart.  


Blessings!

xoxo

Linked up here:


Friday, July 19, 2013

5 on Friday Link Up



Today I'm linking up with The Good Life Blog for 5 on Friday; 5 Things to mention on this lovely Friday.

1) My sister was featured in Palm Beach Illustrated!  She recently met Jeff Lewis (Flipping Out) when she worked an Alzheimer's Community Care Event where he spoke.  Jamie owns an interior design business in West Palm Beach, FL called SoFlo Home Design.  She specializes in kitchen & bath design.  

flipping out



2)  Not sure if our caterpillar is alive.  My daughter found one & wanted to keep it, so I looked up online how to care for it.  I followed all the instructions, but he burrowed into the dirt & I haven't seen him since.    Hmm…


butterfly


3)  My allergies have been driving me crazy!!  Look at my eyes!


Pataday


4)  This is the best concealer I have ever used.  I've used it since college.  Lately I've been using a little more of it than I used to…


concealer


5)  I break stuff.  I totaled our car.  Then, within a couple of months, I backed into our garage door--which had to be completely replaced.  This is my latest mishap:




The other day I took apart the drain in the dishwasher to clean all the junk out.  Apparently I didn't put it back together right because this part melted.  I'm getting expensive.

There's my 5 things for Friday.  Go check out the link up & link your posts up too!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Reclaiming Our Spaces: My Son's Room

home organization


Home organization


This week I worked on my son's room.  Mainly, I worked on making a home for everything.  It was becoming a big pile of toys!


Home Organization


Home Organization


It took me awhile to figure out what to buy to organize everything.  I didn't want to drop much cash because who knows what will happen to it in the next year or so.  This is a little boys room.  So, I settled on an 8 cube organizer from Closet Maid.  I found it at Target.  It was pretty inexpensive, but sturdy enough.  The openings are a good size for the Dollar Tree organizing bins I've loaded up on. 


Home Organizing

It's so much less chaotic!  And he loves it.  It's so fun to sit with him & talk about, "Where do the books go?" & "where do big cars park?"

I also pulled in the 2 storage ottomans from the living room that were already storing toys & books.

Home organizing

It's part of my push to get all the toys into their bedrooms and out of the living room.  They can bring them into the living room or kitchen, but then they get put back up in their rooms.  Lord willing, right?! I know they can do it!!!  Woo hoo Kiddos!

This week Holly gave a How To on organizing kids' rooms.  She went all out.  This is an amazing post.

This post is linked up with:

  Weekend Bloggy Reading 


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bloggy Moms July 2013 Blog Hop

a mom blog community! 

 Are you a mama blogger?  Have you ever heard of Bloggy Moms?

Maybe today is the day you check them out.  It's a pretty fun community & a great way to meet other mommy bloggers.  Below is a link to their blog hop for this month.  You can list your link & check out a ton of other blogs too.





Thursday, July 11, 2013

Reclaiming Our Spaces: Kids Bathroom


Hey y'all!  I am so late in getting this posted today- once again.  I will give myself credit though for actually getting a little organizing done.  Just as you should not beat yourself up, but be uber proud of yourself for all the small organizing victories you make all over your house.  It's hard yo!  Life is busy & just nuts sometimes.

Well, this week I worked on a small area that is always getting on my nerves: the kids' bathroom.  Really where I worked was under the sink.  It's such a stash place for randomness because it's easy.  This is what is looked like:


Not the worst space in the house, but still crazy.

Here it is now:




I basically moved everything unnecessary out & organized what was left with plastic bins.  Not a ton of work, not a ton of time spent, but in about 30 minutes, I had a little less chaos in my house (read: LIFE).  

This week Holly worked on her entry closet.  

Are you looking for inexpensive organizing products?  Holly sells them.  See her website here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Floor Pillows Completed!

Remember the floor pillows I was working on?  I finally finished them for our church's infant room in our new location! 


They were super easy to make.  I also made the little cloud rugs.  How I made them:

I used faux fur fabric & traced a cloud shape onto the back of it using a dinner plate as a stencil.
Then, I used Fray Check on the edges to keep them from fraying.  I will say they were very furry:


So, word to the wise, shake them out & vacuum these guys before you use them to rid them of all the excess fur.


 I let the kids try them out before I brought them to the church:


Umm, they loved them.  Looks like I'll be making some more for our house!

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