Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Menu Plan Monday(Posted Tuesday)

Monday: Son's Birthday Crockpot Pork w/BBQ sauce w/egg noodles & broccoli
nobody liked the way the pork came out this ones is a dud....on a birthday no less

Tuesday:Chicken fingers w/green beans and rice

Wednesday: Spinach sausage soup w/biscuits

Thursday: Mac-n-Cheese w/ carrots maybe something else but I don't know whhhat!

Friday: Baked Fish w/ veggie and rice

Saturday: Calzones w/ salad

Sunday: Herbed country chicken stew

I have all the ingredients for all these recipes no reason to buy a thing....no reason....no reason......

Frugal Organization

Last night my very organized sister in law commented on some clementine boxes that I have. These clementine boxes (the wooden ones you get when you buy clementines) stack very nicely. I let my 5 year old paint them one day and I use them for storage. I will post some pictures soon. But for now use your imagination. I have a set of three the top one I store all phone chargers, ipod earphones, gameboy charges etc. , the second one is currently being use to store all the college letters being sent to my seventeen year old, the bottom one for papers to be signed and sent back to school etc. . The nice thing about this system is at night when I want to finally sit down, I can just take the bottom box with me fill out the papers and put them back in the box. The kids know to ask about the papers or where to look for them in the morning.
My next tip is my favorite. I don't know if anyone else has done this but here it is. I have always had trouble keeping all my bill organized. One is here, there, everywhere. But I was checking out some online products to keep you organized and basically this was the system, except I couldn't afford it. I went to the Dollar General and purchased two coupon organizers for a $1.00. They had attachable sticker labels. I wrote all my bills due on the 1st-4th on the first one and so on and so forth. With a calendar folded up in the back with all the Names of the companies, phone #'s, amount due all placed on the respective date. This is a great way to stay organized because while I'm waiting to pick up kids or at games I can review it and it fits into my purse. The Dollar General brand is vinyl so if you spilled something chances are it would wreck. The other coupon organizer I think will be used for envelopes, stamps, and return labels. I'll post some pictures.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Frugal Tip

If anyone checks out my blog.....here is a tip that could save you some money. Last week I was looking at my schedule, with six kids, work P/T, volunteering blah, blah, blah I try to give myself reminders. One way I do this is my cell phone. It has a calendar, I input the event and if I want a reminder. Now I have done this with appointment, games, meets, etc. but never to remind myself about paying bills. Because I pay almost all my bills online, I need to get to my computer to pay bills not blog or read someone else's blog. My JCpenney bill and a few others need to be done the day before they are due or it wont post to your account until a day late causing you to have to pay a hefty late charge or rush payment fee. So I set the reminders last week when I was "doing the bills". Ring a ling my reminder went off and I went to the computer and paid those bills. Great idea for folks trying to get out of debt and have to play the juggle game, like us.

Menu Plan Monday

Trying out Menu Plan Monday. I can't provide the banner yet. I need to ask my daughter how to save to hard drive and then upload the banner. However here is the link to OrgJunkie.com
and here is my Menu Plan if you care to check it out:
Sunday: Shepards Pie (using extra potatoes from a previous dinner that I froze)

Monday: Black Bean Sausage Stew (slow cooker recipe)

Tuesday: Venison Pasties with veggies

Wednesday: Salmon Chowder/ Tomato Soup(for the kid who doesn't like fish) w/ raviolis
Thursday: Chicken wraps w/salad(have some cooked chicken I could use in a rush)

Friday: Homemade pizza w/lots of veggies

Saturday: Pasta w/sauce and salad

Menu Planning has saved me sooo much money. Because I don't go to the grocery store unless the menu is planned. That way I'm not buying what I already have. Happy eating

Friday, February 8, 2008

Going Too Frugal, Too Fast

Last night at my job, I take care of an AlS patient, I had a minute so I thought I would write down a few ideas for this blog. I am so enthralled with this "frugal journey" that I think I might be going a bit fast for my husband and kids. Although I've been frugal for quite awhile now w/o really even knowing it, there has been alot of waste. My list of twenty five things was difficult to write because some things just make it....well easier? Maybe slowly reducing waste would be a better route. For example, yesterday morning when Big John was leaving for work he came and asked me for the debit card. Asking for the debit card when I am still sleeping is a big no, no. I asked;" why have you spent all your gas money?" "Yeah" "ok, its in my purse" back to sleep I go. Only to wake 15 min. later realizing that not only did he need gas $ he also didn't take a lunch. Which we agreed he would take lunch everyday unless we alotted money for an "out to Lunch, lunch. So maybe it would be best to alott for some lunch money for John on Fridays. He works really hard and maybe I'm just going a little too frugal , too fast. However I told my big girls this morning that for the rest of Lent if they didn't make the bus they weren't getting a ride, an excuse, or weekend privileges. We live far enough away from the school that taking them down and picking them up every night(drama, indoor track etc.) is too costly. At the very least make the bus in the morning. They seem to have a problem getting ready the night before, especially on nights that I work. Right now I'm working one night a week. It shouldn't be a big deal to do their part and get ready the night before. Big families can cost a lot but they can also be trained like any one to cut back and save. I think that I have researched everything on frugality, that I just want it to be the way we live. What I think I have forgotten or lost along the way is there needs to be some luxuries kept. So what is funny is that Jenn at FrugalUpstate
commented on my blog, which I'm just honored, but the last thing she said was don't try to change too much at once, you could wind up frustrating yourself. She's right. I might not be getting myself to frustrated as much as frustrating the ones I live with. So for all those who are like me just starting out on this journey and might be dragging some loved ones along the best advice is Take it Slow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Starting Out

This is my first post. I don't know how well this will work for me but I like the idea of, folks similar to me checking out what I have to say. At the same time I think this is sort of like having a "live" journal to keep and hold me accountable in my search to better handle house, money etc..Over at Upstate Frugal, please forgive me I haven't figured out how to have it highlighted to her link, she posted 25 things she does to save money. With Lent beginning tomorrow I thought I would think of 25 ways I could save my family money. Some I already have incorporated, some are in the making. Here they are:
1. Get up earlier...(so many reasons why this would save us $)
2. become a Master bread maker( making the kind the kids wouldn't mind in their Lunches)
3. drink less juice and more H2O
4. Reevaluate our vacation plans (instead of that awesome vacation house, maybe go back to camping.
5. Take our vacation earlier in the summer, so I don't lose precious picking time in the garden.
6. use less water when doing my dishes, I stink at this, but have really been more conscious in the last week about how much I have been wasting.
7. use Aldi menu planner
8. complete my price book
9. Shop only at Aldi's during Lent (except Wegmans has the better milk price)
10. Come up with more family night Ideas( wide range of ages 17-3)
11. Just say NO to my big kids about the mall trips
12. No slackin' when it comes to the spending plan
13. Put reminders in my cell phone on when payments are due so I get myself to the computer before 3pm
14. use up the leftovers
15. turn the TV off
16. clean out the homeschooling stuff, to free up more space, making me more efficient, thus I'll have more time to do the job instead of having to look for everything before I can do the job.
17. Be prepared the night before, all permission slips signed, lunches mostly prepared, backpack checks, etc
18. Help Big John be prepared, cell phone charged?, got gas? interested in these leftovers? (awesome DH he takes a lunch everyday and was really happy with thermos I got him for Christmas for his coffee.
19. Take my friend up on her offer to sign on with her on her BJs card. Only $22 and change.
20. research online for the best gas prices. A gas station out in the boondocks, which is near me, was actually competitive with BJs price.
21. Go to the Fresh food Tuesdays at St. Leo's Wegmans brings all there almost expired veggies and bread and such for FREE.
22. No that the kids are in school, the kind where they ride a bus and leave me for 71/2 hrs a day, I no longer can ask them to be Light Police. So from now on instead of waiting till #6 takes his nap. I will check for lights that have been left on right after they leave in the morning. No more ooops! I forgot
23. Turn off the computer at night.
24. unplug some appliances before bed.
25. can't come up with one but I will.
Thanks for reading and just one note I have been reading religiously Upstate Frugals blog for awhile and also SAHMMy. I am not nearly as advanced a blogger. If you happened onto this site and are looking for great tips go there. Sorry I need to learn how to link them.....
Have a good day back to the daley dirt.