Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25 - Cleanin House!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! But what comes after Thanksgiving? Well this year, even sooner than usual, came the shopping! I can't say I was thrilled that the sales were starting at 10pm, but I made my list and headed out to tackle a few things and mission was accomplished.

Today I was working around the house and the yard a bit and decided when I went to put away some new purchases in Nate's dresser drawer that I was tired of all the chaos I was up against. I've mentioned before that I have been known to "UpCycle" things, so I thought a bit about what I could use around the house to bring some order.

Yes, I still had some old baby wipe containers stashed away that I just couldn't bring myself to part with and I used 2 of them to organize the every growing pile of Scout gear that lives in Nate's top drawer. One tub has neckkerchiefs in it, one has slides, and then I put his hat in the front. Nothing fancy, but it rounded up a lot of stray crap that was making me irritated everytime I had to put clothes away.

What else did we do post-Turkey Day? Nate had a friend come over and we took a break from organizing dressers and cleaning the basement to go to the park. The weather was amazing! I dragged the bikes up from the basement and we hit the road. We were not the only ones thinking of it because as we were there tons of families made their way up there too.

There are still plenty of leaves on the ground, and still lots of crap in the basement, but those can wait for a dreary day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nov 23 - Holiday Shopping

I am slowly starting to chip away at Christmas, one lunch hour at a time. It's so much easier to get my Christmas shopping done this way than having the pressure of going out once or twice and feeling like I have to get it all done in that tiny window of time. This gives me more time to spread it around, and also more time to shop around and find what I have in mind for people.

Right now my life is being ruled by a single little notepad that is tucked into my purse. What it is critical on that notepad that I would be lost without it?

The front page: List of what I wanted to get accomplished this week. Random things I needed from an assortment of stores, random Christmas gifts I wanted to get picked up this week. Movie times for Thanksgiving day to take the kids to go see the Muppets, stuff like that.

Store Pages for Black Friday: I hit up to find all the ads early and start my planning ahead of time. I wanted to make sure I was looking them over carefully and not missing anything and that I had a good plan well in advance. Since Walmart is price matching this year on pretty much everything, I will be spending most of my time there instead of just going store to store for 1 or 2 things.

Holiday Schedule: Matt and I had to coordinate our work schedules, our day off schedules, the kids school schedules, and our family holiday schedules to figure out where we are going to be pretty much every day between December 19 and January 2.

Our plans are to spend a couple of days in the Detroit area visiting my family over Christmas, so I did a quick check to see what that was going to set us back and was very happy to see I had quite a few points saved up towards rooms at the Holiday Inn. For 2 days during the holidays we're only going to pay $80 for our room, so I thought that was pretty reasonable. I booked the rooms today and even had a hard time finding hotel rooms that were open! So clearly I am not the only person thinking ahead.

As I am writing this post and looking down at my notepad, I have to laugh a little about the big sales I am so excited about. Who else but a frugal nut would get so excited about the great prices on socks and underwear?!?! Even better, cereal on sale!! Woohoooo!! Somebody at Meijer is thinking of me!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and Matt has to work, so we'll be having the family dinner a little later than usual. The kids won't really notice a difference, but the rest of the family will. We'll do a lot of the dinner prep tonight so that it's a relatively smooth meal tomorrow. If we can get our butts up and moving early, I'm thinking a trip to the theater in Plainwell is in order! We can go see a first run movie (The Muppets) for $2.50 each if we get there before noon.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Grocery Trip - Nov 20

A friend of mine mentioned to me on Facebook the other day that I had a blog. Yeah, welllllll, about that. I admit, life has gotten super busy and I have terribly neglected this poor blog for quite some time. There was just so much more to blog about when we were attacking our debt on a daily basis, and we had so much more of it to tackle. Now that we are down to just my student loans, it's really not as exciting as it used to be.

So I thought I would challenge myself to really blog about my grocery trips and how a non-extreme couponer uses coupons to buy things for the family that isn't just boxes of Pizza Rolls and chicken nuggets. Don't worry, you will in fact see nuggets and Pizza Rolls as I continue doing this, we certainly aren't perfect eaters! But the one thing I hear from people all the time is, "I never see coupons for stuff we eat (or use)", so I am going to attempt to show that you can in fact feed your family on a limited budget and eat a good variety of food. Maybe if I am super motivated, I'll even post a few of our meals to show what we turn all these savings into.

Spent: $21.89
Saved: $25.27
What I bought: a turkey, fruit leather (6), dinner rolls (3doz), eggs (3doz), pineapple (2 cans), french friend onions, chips (2 bags)

Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: PB&J, pudding, and banana bread
Dinner: We ate out tonight