Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Weekly Master

Every week I make a "master list".  By the end of the week it looks like this:

The first side is my grocery list.  I make it according to how items are found in the grocery store.  This prevents having to go back to an isle I've already passed. 

If you shop with children in tow you already know that any added time in the grocery store is expensive and can potentially end LOUDly.  I mapped out everything in the store and keep it in my coupon book for reference.  I also write next to an item a "c" for any coupons.  That way I know what brand and how much of an item I need.

I also put at the bottom corner of this side what recipes I plan on making that week.  In the past, we were throwing out food because I had forgotten what recipes I had prepared for.  Next to the recipes are how many Weight Watcher's points each is along with what book I can find the recipe.  This square gets torn off and put on the fridge for the week.

The other side of the "Master List" has things I need or would like to accomplish by the end of the week.  I enjoy crossing these things off.  If they don't get crossed off they are added to the following week, I don't enjoy that.

Lastly, I fold the list in half and use it to store my coupons for the week. 

This list is a result of many trial and errors in my adventure as a wife and mom I hope it will help someone on their own adventures!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thrifting While on Vacation

My quest for finding a bargain does not stop while I'm traveling.  I'm curious if the junk in a different town is different than what I find in my own. It's not, but I'm always hopeful.  Here are my two favorite treasures recently found in other towns:

Two silver metal sconces $4.00 for my soon to be "glamorous" bedroom-

A turquoise circle skirt for Katherine $2.00, it does need to be taken in at the waist-

I can't wait to see what awaits me on our next trip!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Banana Pops

My grandmother introduced me to these years ago.  I crave them every summer.  You've probably seen this uninspiring yellow and brown box around the bananas in the grocery store.  It doesn't make the idea appetizing but don't be fooled they really are.

These are very simple to make.  Break the peeled bananas in half, poke a Popsicle stick (they come in the box) in the bottoms then freeze.  After they're frozen, dip them into the chocolate and eat.  YUM.
(They're only 2pts. if you're following the Weight Watcher's plan).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday's Bargains

It was another balmy Saturday for yard sales.  There were lots of sales but not a whole lot that we were interested in buying.  Ginger was given a "free gift" after her purchases at one of the sales, it was a car deodorizer.  That was weird.  
We hit sale after sale without buying a whole lot, our disappointment was escalating and time was running out.  Our last sale of the day finally gave us our "fix".  It was close to noon and the ladies running the sale really wanted to get rid of stuff.  Great!  We were given a plastic bag to stuff whatever into for $5.  I stuffed mine with 17 clothing items for Katherine, that's .30 a piece!  They also had some interesting magazines.  I'm not sure how many items Ginger managed to fit in her bag, maybe she'll leave us a comment.
Here's my treasures:

small clock   3.00
Christmas garland   free!
Christmas ball   .50
lamp shade  .50
metal urn   .50
magazines  .50
clothing   5.00
$10.00 total

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Pretty Cruddy Week

Will you indulge me and let me whine for a moment?  This has been a week I don't wish to repeat.

Sunday- Chuck discovered our A/C had a clog which caused water to back up and soak the carpet in two closets.  Spent the next few days cleaning up and listening to loud fans and a dehumidifier.

Monday-Got all packed up with sunscreen on for an afternoon at the Y just in time for a thunderstorm.  We were asked to leave.

Tuesday- Katherine came home with a package containing her new Taekwondo uniform AND mouse poop.

Wednesday- I can't remember Wednesday.  That can't be good.

Thursday- Made the mistake of wearing a white t-shirt whilst eating next to my 19 month old at the pizza place.  My day ended wearing the crayon/pizza stained t-shirt with a visit to a public restroom with no toilet paper.

Nothing horrible just a bunch of little things that add up to me being "in a mood".  I just found this pic of my mother laughing, I feel better.  She always makes me laugh.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fresh New Site

You know my yard sale buddy Ginger right?  She sent me a link to her new site, That Looks Like Craft, I love it already and she's only posted once.  The post is all about a fantastic buy from our last weekend of junking.  I'm incredibly jealous of:
1. somehow I missed this little gem of a buy
2. where did she find the time to paint it in two days?  Did I mention she has 5 children. I only have 2 and feel I have to have a sitter to accomplish anything.
3. her blog looks really great.
I'm looking forward to seeing her next project! 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekend Finds

Good sales were hard to come by Saturday.  We went to probably a dozen but left most of them empty handed.  But I am happy with what I came home with.  One of the first sales had loads of women's clothing that I thought were in good taste but overpriced.  I decided to come back to the sale later in the morning and ask for a deal.  It was accepted! I paid $1 per top.  All of them are winter items that most people had a hard time contemplating buying as it was very hot and muggy by 7 that morning.  Lucky for me I have a good imagination!
I also bought several easy to read books and three pairs of cute shoes for Katherine.  Charlie got an adorable dress shirt, and the little purse was .50 for all my weight watcher materials.
I managed to come home with no new projects.  Which is good because I haven't worked on anything for a while.  I have a lamp with no shade, another lamp that's currently useless, and two picture frames that need photos. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Great Deal

I saw on Southern Savers today that you can get a year's subscription to Weight Watcher's magazine for $3.99 at  S.S. actually said it was $2.99 but when I filled in the LOSE for additional savings it came to $3.99.  Oh well it's still a good deal. But what a coincidence that I happened to have joined Weight Watcher's on Tuesday! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

An Experiment and It's Results

I was trying to lessen the total cost of my grocery bill and decided to write a few emails to the companies of my favorite products.  I wrote to Garnier, Sally Hansen, and Glide amongst others.  In the email I stated what product of theirs we use and why we like it.  I also requested coupons in some cases.  I did of course have to leave my personal information.

The results are a mixed bag.  Several companies wrote back thanking me but only 1 sent me coupons. 
Sally Hansen sent a total of $8 off several of their brands!  That was awesome.
Glide pointed out that the Sunday paper has coupons.  REALLY?! 
Garnier loved "my kind words" and will share my email at their next meeting.

Overall I would consider this experiment a failure as I didn't really lessen my grocery bill.  Yes, the coupons I did receive are awesome but I don't normally spend money each week on nail products.  Perhaps you will try to write to your favorite brands and get better results.

Great Idea

We went to the beach this past weekend and had a great time.  Chuck needed to be able to use his phone on the beach and we stumbled on a great idea.  We put the phone into a ziploc bag and it was able to function through the bag and stayed sand and water free.  I don't know that this would work for all phones but it's worth a try in a difficult situation.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rainy Day Project

I have a bad habit of letting magazines pile up on my nightstand.  I just love magazines, but I can let them get out of hand.  Last week we had several rainy days so I took the time to go through and pull out pages that I want to keep.
I have a couple of three ring binders with page protectors, one for holidays, home decor, and kid stuff.  My favorite is the holiday one.  Each holiday I flip through and decide what projects I want to do.  It's a great way to keep ideas organized.  And if I'm really organized I can search for items that I need all year long.
I found this idea on-line last week for Fall. 

So I need two large pots, fall leaves, and lots of fake pumpkins.  Beautiful.

Summertime Hair

We've had company for a few days and I've had two little girls to test some hairstyles on!  I don't have time for fancy styles on school or church mornings but summer time is a different story.  I've found that printing a copy of the hairstyles we want to try works better than having to pull out the laptop each morning.
Here's what the girls picked this morning:

My zig zag part needs some practice but overall I was happy with the results.  I have found another hair site that I enjoy, Redpunzel.  Rachel includes styles she does on her own hair.  I have tried one on my self with good results but I'm not near as good she is!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Saturday's Finds

I was up and shopping at 6 in the morning on Saturday,  boy was it fun!  Our best sale didn't appear so at first.  We drove up to a lawn strewn with tarps underneath huge piles of clothing.  A girl gave us a large plastic bag and said it was $3 for as many clothes we could stuff into it.  I started digging!  We shared the bag and managed to stuff 38 items into it. 
One of my favorite finds is this large rooster for $8.  I've been wanting one but didn't want to spend $40.  I also picked up the rooster painting for $5. 

My total for the morning was $25, I'm delighted!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Another Chandelier Makeover

This is what our light in the master bathroom was,

a miniature ceiling fan with a naked bulb. I've been wanting to replace it with something glamorous. I've found several fixtures that would be lovely but I don't want to pay $150 or more.

Last spring I went to an estate sale and bought a bag of vintage crystals for $12. The metal loops linking the crystals were brittle and had to be painstakingly replaced with jump rings but it was worth sore fingers.
And here's that $2 fixture I picked up at a yard sale. 

I sprayed it with a can of primer that I already had. I like the gray color of the primer. My next step was to figure out how to add the crystals. I decided to use silver necklaces found at Hobby Lobby for $2.99 then drilled holes into the fixture.

Here's the end result with a total cost of $17!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Frances' Fried Green Tomatoes

Last week we went to a local farmer's market, and not a very good one. I'm hoping that it will get better as the season continues. I did get a hankering for fried green tomatoes after seeing some. They were $1 a piece, way too much. But I found some at our Food Outlet for $1.19 a pound. I was able to buy 6 for $3 and some change. I have never made these myself so I received a lesson from Chuck's Aunt Frances.

Chuck's Aunt Frances. I asked her to give me a sexy smile, she played along.

Here's how to make them:

Cut the tomatoes as thin as you can.

Soak them in buttermilk.

Dump 1 cup of self-rising flour, 1 tsp. of salt, and 1 tsp. of pepper into a large ziplock bag.
Shake a couple of the slices into the flour mixture.
Place the slices into a frying pan with an inch of hot oil.
Allow the slices to brown all the way around the edge of the slice then turn ONCE.

If you turn the slices over continuously they will be greasy.
Brown that side.

Place the slices into a rack on top of paper towels.

Eat while hot! They are crunchy goodness with a dash of salt.