Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some songs for Women...

I ran into these videos today by Hillary Weeks... and got a good little laugh...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Week 3 of "No Spend Month" is now over...
and it was kind of hard...
Not gonna lie...

I can't tell you how many temptations we had this week!
How many sales I saw!
And how many more Door-to-Door Sales Guys came! :)
It also felt really good to be able to tell myself "No" at Wal-mart- haha.

So the rundown:
$48.22 on groceries
It was really hard to plop down that much cash, seeing how I only had a little left in the envelope. But I had to get Deodorant, Pull-ups, Panties for Allison (Yay! She's already starting to potty-train on her own!) and those add up fast. Also some food for meals.
$12.00 on Cheese from Costco
I was making some freezer meals and I figured it would save me in the long run to just buy in bulk, so I had a friend pick me up some.
$30.00 in gas for Jeff's car
Total: $ 90.22

More than week 1 &2 together!!

So my total for the last 3 weeks is: $177.27
Which is still pretty good I guess. :)

It's been a good week for the most part. I haven't really left home that much this month, besides for a trip to St. George to help my friend with a photo shoot at a wedding. So we've been finding a lot of things to do here! New imagination games to play, older toys are suddenly so much more attractive, and Jeff and I have been having our "dates" with Netflix downstairs. And my house (besides the last few days...) has been overall pretty clean! Projects I have wanted to do, but never found the time for- are now climbing up the importance scale. I really like that. Instead of buying MORE craft stuff, I'm using the stuff I have...
We've also had more play dates with friends. Dallin goes to pre-school twice a week, but a few of us also decided to do a little "Mom's preschool" once a week... or when we feel like it. :) We try to read a story, do a project, and have a snack. I did two this month at my house. Halloween is always a fun time to do projects!

The first time, or Theme was "Silly Monsters".
We read the book "There's a Monster at the end of this Book" with Grover: m

Then we made little monster puppets and read this story about Monster Pudding.

So, we of course had "Monster Pudding" for our snack! I never knew Vanilla pudding with sprinkles would be such a huge hit!

Then, before everyone's parents came, we made our own little monsters by putting a blob of paint on a paper, and blowing it with a straw. Then we added as many eyes as we wanted. It was fun to see all the different shapes!

This week, the theme was "Halloween Ghosts".
I couldn't find my book last minute, so we just ended up reading the project for the story. There's a story about a silly little ghost that went the fridge and ate things that turned him different colors. I traced a ghost on a transparency paper and stapled it onto a white paper to make a little pocket. Then cut different colors of paper to put in the pocket each time he "ate" something.

The kids loved making faces and naming their ghosts.

We also made handprint ghosts with white paint and black paper:

And for a snack, they made Ghost Chow! (Popcorn and Ghost shaped marshmallows) They ate some there, and made some to take home for later


ANYWAY! One more week of "No Spend Month!" :)
It's been quite an interesting month, but DEFINITELY a good one! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Week 2 of "No Spend Month"!

We made it through Week 2!
This week was a little more because of gas and different things, but here's the rundown:
$16.76- on cheese and a few dinner ingredients
$4.86- on foil (I ran out last minute!)
$4.54- on fish food (I guess they need to eat too...)
$10.00- on 5 loaves of Bread from Bountiful Baskets. *(see below)
$31.79- tank of gas for Jeff's car- He commutes to Kanab.
$0.99- for 50 pictures printed *(see below)

Considering all things, I thought we still did really well this week.
And just for a running total, for two weeks this month is: $87.05! :)

I still can't tell you enough how much planning my meals has helped us. I have so much stuff here that I can use! :) Making meals and helpers beforehand to freeze is also a lifesaver! One of the easiest things to do is when you're making a meal, just up the ingredients a tad and make enough to eat that night, and to freeze for later. I made a batch of Taco Soup for Taco Tuesday this week, and just one batch made enough for three meals plus lunches for Jeff. So after dinner, I let it cool and separated the rest into two big bags for later meals. Totally easy. And while I was at it with browning the meal for the soup, I went ahead and browned another 1 1/2 lbs, and separated it in freezer bags for spaghetti. I found this website called that has lots of great recipes just for the freezer. I can't wait to try this one out for Pizza! I would love to hear any ideas that you do to cut down time at dinner time! Any tried and true freezer meals? Or any tips for saving money?

SOOO many temptations came up this week! It's amazing to see what I WOULD have spent if I didn't have this goal. Also- It made for a GREAT excuse when the Kirby salesman wouldn't leave- haha. I'm excited for Week 3... Jeff thinks that the month is going by really slow, but I just think of it in Meals, and it doesn't seem as long. :) It really has been a great thing!

And I'm excited for all of you that are doing it with me!! :) How are you doing?? It's been great to have the comments and support too! So THANK YOU! :)

Here we Go- on to WEEK 3!

So- on a different note-
Now too explain a few subjects above-

*A little about Bountiful Baskets: It's a great co-op organization where you purchase a "basket" of fruit and veggies for $15.00. It's 6 different fruits and 6 different veggies every week. You can order your basket on Monday night at 8:00 (Utah time) or all day Tuesday. A few areas have a little bit of a different order time- so just check the site periodically Monday night-Wednesday. You can go pick up your basket on Saturday Morning (the site will tell you what time), or go volunteer and help divide all of the produce! It's a lot of fun and a great way to get to know people in your community. I run the site with Autumn here in Orderville, so I get a free basket! A great incentive to start a site guys! :) There are always GREAT extras you can add on to your order- like the bread for example. There are also other things like tortillas, other kinds of bread, granola, treats, and cases of fruit and veggies to use for bottling or whatever. Check to see if it's in your area! It's a super co-op and is spreading everywhere!

A sample of what you would get when you order! It's different every time. :) And with crops winding down soon- This is so nice in the winter!

*And the printing I did? I got a deal for 50 prints for free with .99 shipping at I couldn't pass it up. :) As a new member- after signing up for free- you receive 1,200 free photo credits and 3 8"x8" photo books! With the 1,200 free photo credits, you get to print 100 4x6's or 50 5x7's a month for a whole year- for free! It's awesome. And once you sign up, they send you a lot of coupon codes for other great deals! It has tons of options for printing besides pictures and photo books. It's perfect for Christmas gifts coming up! You can use your free print credits for Christmas cards too! Anyway- If you sign up, sign up under the link above... and I get some free credits too!! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Week 1 Rundown of "No Spend Month"

We made it through our first week of "No Spend Month"!
And I can't tell you how much of a difference this has made in our lives already!

This week, after paying our bills and tithing, we spent:
It was spent on Food for us, Food for a neighbor who just had a baby, and a bar of Fels Naptha Soap- to make my own Laundry soap.

So this "Saving Money Thing"?
It's sort of fun...
It's really fun...

I'm all of a sudden a great meal planner!
I started planning my meals better a few weeks ago like this:

Most of these items, I had in my freezer and/or made from scratch...
Like BREAD (Which I'm totally afraid of- but I did it!)
and look- not one meal repeated for three weeks straight (Besides Taco Tuesday)!
This is seriously empowering! :)
I'm all of a sudden really good at saying no to that little voice inside my head that wants to get extras at the grocery store! Under the menu for the week, I write down what I need at the store for that week of meals and into the next. And then, I've been trying to make ONE trip to the store for the whole week. And it's really helped to have cash- I can only get so much. (That debit card is so tricky...)
I'm all of sudden recognizing that I have enough stuff as it is... and I don't always have to go to the thrift store or the next yard sale! I will survive... There will always be other sales.
I'm all of a sudden realizing that there are SOO many other ways Jeff and I were missing the boat with saving money. The day we started this no spend month idea, we got a letter in the mail letting us know that interest rates were down for our particular loan. We are now refinancing on our home, which will consequently help us a TON money wise with paying for Jeff's Masters classes, which will help us not get a loan for them AND we'll be able to pay off our house sooner. We also realized other ways to save on some of our bills and shopping.
And I'm all of a sudden figuring out how many fun, free things I've been missing out on with my family around our town. Jeff had a great idea to go on a little drive after school on Friday and maybe have a cookout or something. I had hot-dogs and buns in the freezer, and s'more stuff in the cupboard, so the idea worked out great! We ended up by Duck Creek on Cedar Mountain and had SUCH a fun time with our little kids. It was beautiful with the changing leaves, a huge family of around 50 deer grazing about 20 yards from us, and a glowing fire. Even the layer of dirt my children acquired was beautiful- in it's own way.

You know... I really wondered how this challenge would go. Would I be all "gun-ho" at first? And then when it came down to it... just cave? I've realized that I really am in it for the long haul. I've actually really enjoyed saving all this money (Whoda thunk?). And Jeff and I have already realized how much we spend that we really don't need to... I think we're going to be a lot more careful for now on. :)
Wish me luck on week 2! :)