Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My favorite money saving book.

I guess the book that made the biggest difference in the way that I view frugality and saving money is the Tightwad Gazette.  She embraces frugal living, does some very innovative things to save money.  Now, I am not saying that I do everything that she does in the book, see does some really far out stuff, but I thing she has many good tip and recipes.  It is a book full of resources, that I tend to refer back to time and time again.  I have the link to the book on by sidebar, just in case you are interested in purchasing one.


I have been trying to clean this morning while the baby naps and now I am taking a short break.  I really hate cleaning, but love having a clean house.  So, since I don't have a housekeeper or a fairy godmother I guess I have to clean it.  I got in Ashley's room and found mounds of laundry, a ton of trash, and who knows what else.  We just cleaned it right before school started and it is already that bad.  I have to take her phone away from her to get her to clean up that room.  Yuck!  I don't know how she can stand it!  I got her room vacuumed, the girl's room vacuumed, and then the playroom done.  I have folded one load of clothes and I have one in the dryer and one in the washer.  I can't get much done on the days I have all three little kids, so this works out great to get it done today.  Friday I want to go to town and go to the grocery store.

I am going to go to the school and eat lunch with Emma.  I try to do one lunch a week and rotate my elementary kids. Once thy get to the middle school lunch is out!  Evan had his turn last week.

I got off the hook for dinner tonight.  Our church is having it's kick off for the AWANA program tonight and are serving pizza.  I am going to have three teens that I have to feed because youth group in not included.  I think that I will just make them some grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Easy and quick.

Well, I guess that I better make me a sandwich and pack my lunch and bring a bottle for Collin.  He is usually a pleasant baby, but don't feed him and watch out.  Have a pleasant day unto the Lord!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Menu plan for the Week

I thought that I would post what we are eating this week, as I am posting what I am buying. We tend to eat very simple around here with lots of fruit and salads mixed in with the other foods. I cook most of our meals from scratch and we rarely go out.


Cold cereal
fruit and cereal bars (when I have them)
scrambled eggs

*we are usually running out the door for school so we have quick, easy breakfasts. I usually let the kids choose and they pretty much get their own things.


Some kids take a lunch to school. It is usually a sandwich, fruit, chips or crackers, and then either a fruit roll up or yogurt tube. Steven normally takes leftovers or makes a sandwich at work. I do the same. On the weekends we fix corn dogs or cheese tacos.


Monday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green peas.
Tuesday: Crock pot chicken, mac and cheese, salad
Wednesday: Dinner at the bounce house with church
Thursday: chicken soup and grilled cheese
Friday: Spaghetti and salad
Saturday: Taco salad
Sunday: Hot dogs and coleslaw ( we always fix hot dogs after church)
Monday (labor day) Ribs, oven fried potatoes, watermelon (if I can find one at a good price)

Tuesdays and Thursdays I try to do a crock pot meal. This is the day that I babysit three little ones and I never know how the day is going to go. I also need something quick and easy most Wednesday nights because we have to leave at 6 for church.

That is the plan for the week. I will let you know if plans change.

Grocery prices

Have you noticed how much groceries have gone up.  I haven't really been paying that much attention lately.  We have been so busy with summer and back to school that I have just been running in and getting what we need and running out.  Usually doing this three or four times a week and not really totaling up the cost.  Well, we have got to get a handle on our spending.  My daughter and husband are going on a mission trip and we have to pay alot of money for the trip. 

Well, while everyone was at school yesterday (yes, everyone went) and I was done with my volunteering at the school, I went to Wal-mart to get us some milk and fruit.  Evan had requested some caps for his cap gun that he bought and the kids needed some of those grips for pencils.  Well, since I had time, I browsed the Ilse and I was shocked at the prices.  Dairy has gone way up.  Butter was $3.00 lb, yogurt was  60cents a cup, cereal was $6.00 for a big bag.  Crackers and cookies are $3.00 a box.

Well, I decided to buy just a few things.  I am going to keep a tally of everything I buy at the grocery store for the next month and hopefully post a picture.  You have to understand that my husband and family deer hunt, and we eat alot of that.  We grind it and use it like you would ground beef.  If I want to do a meat loaf or burgers I buy some cheap ground beef and I mix it with the deer.  Most people can't tell there is deer in our dishes, and we are used to the texture.  I buy everything else on sale or when it goes BOGO and I try to add coupons.  I won't buy name brand snacks, cereal, or breakfast food without a sale and/or a coupon.  I do coupon, but I tend to go in spurts.  I can usual do pretty well just shopping sales.  Well, here is the sad loot from Wal-mart yesterday.

The total was around $18.00.  You might not think the diet cokes as necessary, but if you had to chase three kids under the age of three two days a week you would need some caffeine too.

I am trying to spend less than $100 a week to feed 6 of us.  Will it work?  We shall see!

Monday, August 29, 2011


My normal Monday consists of taking the kids to school and volunteering for the morning. I help in a special education pre-k class. I worked in special ed in Lee County when we lived there, so I feel comfortable with these kids, and they seem to like me, so we get along. When I come the paras can work on other things while I help with the kids. When they go to lunch I will go to the grocery store and then come home and do a little house work or laundry until the kids come home. Monday is the only day that I don't babysit.

Today, since Evan had strep yesterday, I don't know if he will feel up to going to school today. The doctor said that he could if he woke up without a fever and felt good. We will just have to see. I know this is selfish, but I hate to waste a free day with staying home with a sick kid. I have to stay home the other days, so I like to get out on Mondays. Oh well, he and I can have special time together, in which kids in a big family don't get enough of.

Happy Monday! Make the most of it and live as the Lord would have you live!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

We officially have strep.  Evan feels lousey, but we got some meds, so we should be on the mend by tomorrow.  I hope the others don't come down with it.  It is not very frugal for everyone to be sick.  $20 copay per kid plus $15 for meds.  Oh well, life with four!

Weekend sickness?

I don't know what it is about this weekend. I guess Natalie's birthday coincides with the two week start to school. The kids always seem to get sick this weekend. I know two years ago we had the swine flu. Two kids had to hid while the birthday guests swam. Last year the day after the party Ashley started with strep throat that ran through everyone. Now Evan got up this morning with a fever saying that his throat and stomach hurt. Strep? We will see. When they start cramming kids into rooms then the illness starts to spread. That is one reason that it is hard for me to work. We have so many sick days. I have to work on a team (like I did at Lee County High) or have a very understanding boss. Keeping kids in my home works out . As long as they are not too sick they can just stay away from the other kids. Our pediatrician has an after hours, so I can take them on the weekends or in the evenings. Works for us!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

School in full Swing

Well, school is in full swing around here. We have been in two week, and the heat hear is killing the kids in the afternoon. I have been making them ride the bus to cut down on gas money and so that I don't have to get my nephew out in the afternoon. These buses have no air ( yes we are in Georgia) and they just sit and sweat on the way home.

I am keeping my nephew four days a week and two others on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It makes for a long busy day, but the mom is paying me decent so I put up with it. We need the money. I have been trying to cut down on our expenses, but have not done really well. September is going to start a new budget. I will let you know how it goes. I want to spend only $100 a week for groceries. I can do it, but we may eat some boring meals.

We also have a birthday this weekend. I made the cake. I don't really know how much money it saves, but it does help out and it tastes better than store bought. I did take seven of us to the movies. It was $45 and then $7 for popcorn. We got free refills on the popcorn and brought our own drinks. We then are having the family over for hot dogs. They are sale hot dogs from the freezer and then we are having chips and sodas. We are doing a pinita. The candy ran around $15 and will serve as the favor. Overall, I think the party including a cook out for about 30 people will cost under $100. Not too bad.

Here is the cake. It is a Mama pig and piglets. Some of the piglets look a little creepy, but the kids don't care. The cake is an ice cream cake.