Thursday, August 10, 2017

Wow...loads of info

My brain is about to explode.  Started the earnest college search last Friday.  This means visits and tours.  We (oldest and I) have hit 5. 1 per day.  Bang for buck, state univ are great.  Housing wise - the 2 private univs we checked are the best!  
We went go one out of state State U where freshmen are almost all in triples - basically a 14X14 room with 3 desks, 2 dressers, set of bunk beds and a high loft (so a desk and dresser can fit under it and 2 armoire type closets....for 3 teens to share. And the room and board there was what a private univ was yesterday...but it's a double and washer/dryers in the dorm are free.  
Once tuition & fees add in that out of state public university is only about $3,000 less than the privates we looked at.

Makes my head spin....taking tomorrow off from it will travel out of state again next week....

Monday, August 7, 2017

One down 3 to go.....

We e survived the first visit of the week to a college.  Univ of New Haven.  Very nice campus, not a huge school but I've heard many good things about it.  Great thing about going to these open house hours is by registering and attending them kiddo can apply for free!  And they are a common app school!  Saves me $50 in application even if it makes the top 10 the application will go in because it's free.  
UCONN, URI and WNE later this week....skipped umass until fall since it didn't make the top 10 list by kiddo.  That's fine - still looking at the SUNY system too....just have to decide which campus has the right program.  I really wish our high school had a more consistent guidance program - staff changes have been frequent over the last 2 years  thru no fault of the school or people - just life gets in the way....makes it tough though when trying to plan or get advice about the college admission & search process.  

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Super busy week planned

This upcoming week will be college visit week.  

Crazy busy days I to see 2 instate and 1 out of state schools.  Trying to talk oldest into Marshall Univ. in WV - as an out of state option....but it's 10+hrs away getting some resistance about the long drive to see it...Maine is still high on the list of strong contenders (on paper that is). As is Three Rivers Community College - for their 2 yr nuclear program....great bargain for 2 years, then transfer to a larger state univ.  

UCONN is on the list this week, UMASS and Univ New Haven too.

Looks like Maine is the top choice so far.  Thankfully there hast been any interest in Ivy Leagues!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Home and hit the ground running

My grand adventure is behind me now.  It was good and I enjoyed myself, learned a lot about my tolerances and what I can do to be a better person.  
1.  Not sweat the small stuff. 
2.  Be thankful my kids are being raised to be self sufficient and resilient young adults
3.  Do my best to help others in need, if they complain it's not enough or good enough - that's their problem. 

Now it's crunch time of summer, last minute dr appointments before school starts & trying sort out where youngest will attend the rest of high school. Feeling very discouraged for this child - options are bleak.  So many in power could give a second chance for success and can't get a break no matter how hard it is asked for.   

Education in our state is in a pickle & And with the state not having a budget - suburban school districts may lose more money for this year so money can get shifted to city schools - it is a big mess!  The state gov't needs to solve this stuff.  

Friday, July 14, 2017

Five Frugal Things Friday

This week, I've tried to be frugal where I can....haven't been as successful as I would like though.  I'm going to own it though and admit it so hopefully I am accountable and do better when o get back from my adventure.

1. Used a coupon at Joanns for a very important sewing notion I needed.  
2.  Resisted the temptation to buy any new clothes for this adventure - and believe me, the temptation has been there on my many trips to buy stuff I had run out of.
3.  Made most meals (except one dinner out w hubby) at home from stuff in the freezer.
4.  Got my awesome Walgreens deals (already posted about). The oxi detergent is ok...I'm glad I didn't pay full price for it, I think I like the arm & hammer the best with our well water and washer.  
5.  Used my Walmart gift card earned by using Ibotta for some last minute things we needed at home before I go. 

Getting ready to go

I've spent the last few days getting ready for my adventure.....I leave tomorrow and hubby and kids come next week.  

I've been busy with packing, trying to clean so the house isn't a total disaster upon return, running out for last minute items, keeping up on laundry, etc.  it's been a busy week.

Today has me heading off to staples, marshalls and sadly Walmart again (was just there last night picking up my allergy meds and forgot to look for something I needed). 

I will try to get a frugal things post done at the end of the day - but so far, it's going to be wicked light on reporting - these trips do this to me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

HBO documentary

Did anyone see the HBO documentary "Paycheck to Paycheck"?  If you have Comcast cable it's free priview  week and you can catch it with the On demand option.  

It's about a single mom of 3 kids.  She has a basic job working as an aid in a nursing home down south.  I'm floored that when the showed her filing her income taxes (yes it was a few years ago - less than 5) she still wound up losing her food stamps. Which didn't make sense since the kids dad wasn't paying child support since he was out if work and she was earning less than $20k/year.  Just didn't make sense....
They also showed her spending $80something to get her hair cut & colored as a treat with some if the tax return, I understand wanting to look & feel good, especially when everything else isn't going well...but holy crap!  That's a lot of money - Even today.  

Makes me thankful that hubs has a decent job and I'm not a single mom, because in CT I don't think I could swing it even if the kids went to public school - not with the kinds of jobs I had before I stopped working to raise them.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Walgreens deals

I just started checking the Walgreens app.  I can load coupons to my Walgreens card from it.  After dropping oldest off to help on a friends eagle project I stopped at the Walgreens on the way home.  
I found on the app a $5 off 2 head and shoulders shampoo and a $3 off oxiclean detergent.  Well, as luck would have it the detergent was on sale for 3.99 & head and shoulders was onsale 2/$12!  
Using both coupons I was out the door for $8!  I'm so happy!  
$.99 for a bottle of laundry detergent and $3.50 each for the shampoo that helps Youngest's scalp issues. 

Definately check the app out!  It's fantastic

Busy busy week ahead

Happy Monday!  
Warning - super busy week this week getting ready for the next adventure.  So, posts may be short, rambley, or non existent.   Next Saturday I leave for my big adventure - that's all I can say now, since I'm trying to keep privacy of my family in check.  Not trying to be cagey....honest.  
While on my adventure I might be able to post but cell service will be spotty at best I have a feeling and I'll actually be 'working' (volunteering) so I may be too wiped out at the end if the day too.

This week is being spent getting myself packed, helping hubby and the kids get stuff done and trying to keep the mess in the house under control somewhat.  Oh, and all of this while remembering to eat super healthy for the week (instead of coffee and fistfulls of fruit loops - my go to stress snack)

Today's fun, as always starts with laundry and taking oldest to help on an Eagle Scout project.  
Follow that up with some calls to our insurance company regarding some Rx co-pays that seemed really high to me and gathering my paperwork for the Adventure. (Well, really more like organizing it all)

I have some sewing yo work on as well but may need to set up a table to do do, since there is all kinds of stuff on the dining room table that Cant be disturbed.

When I get home I HAVE to get the old playroom to craft/project room conversion complete!  Someone please kick me in the ass on this!!  Seriously!!  

So this morning I'm starting to ramble - uh oh....not a good sign - but I'm determined to keep my sense of humor and just plug doo de doot!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Five Frugal Things Friday

Kind if a slow week here on the frugality frontline....but here are five frugal things I did this week....

1.  All laundry washed at home was done in cold water and hung on racks to dry.
2.  Pet laundry was washed and dried at laundromat (yes it costs $$ but saves wear and tear on my machine - we have a shedding Guinea pig and her fur makes a mess of my links filters)
3.  Did some quick hand mending.  Makes things last longer.
4.  Combined all errands - no zigzagging trips around town
5.  Bought pizza for tomorrow at Aldi, rather than ordering out.  Large 5 cheese $4.99 & large chicken fajita pizza $5.99. Cheaper than 1 larger cheese at the pizza place.

I went to a new Aldi that just opened in June.  I'm calling it a super-Aldi.  It's bigger than the others I go to, and...better layout. I will go back, but today I was able to stay under $30 picking up fresh fruit & veggies, milk, ready popped olive oil & salt popcorn (hubs eats it at work), almond snack packs for my trip and the pizzas.   I will definitely be shopping at this one again.  Hubs stopped at the one near his office this week and bought some of their sloppy joe sauce for us to try - hope it's good.  


I'm thrilled to say, I got my re-made glasses and huge success!  Much better.  I'm so glad I went back. These frames fit better too - no sore spot on my ear.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wait!? It's Wednesday?

What a blur the past 5 days have been...
Hubby and kids came home.  Youngest headed back to camp to work for the week. Turns out all good - can count the hours toward volunteer time at school.  So. Saturday was rewashing and repacking.

I've been super busy - Saturday had me at LensCrafters getting my new glasses....only my reading Rx changed not the distance portion.  I wear progressives & have for years!  Well the ones they made Saturday - not cutting it, I tried for 5 days to get them to work, they were rubbing one ear horribly, and the focal points were all screwy.  So back today to pick new frames with longer temples and getting the lenses remade from scratch.  Everyone please say a prayer these work better tomorrow.  I really don't think I have the internal fortitude to wear lined bifocals or deal with them not getting it right again.  

Sunday we cooked & served for the soup kitchen at our church - after getting youngest kid back to camp.  

4th of July we stayed home - slept late, puttered around and then took oldest to dinner.  Didn't even fight crowds for fireworks this year.  

Today I also managed a trip to agway for pet food & hay, Walmart for some items the were out of at the one near LensCrafters on Saturday, the dentist with eldest child and price rite for yogurt and romaine hearts.  I'm whupped. 

Now the week is nearly done. Really strange it's flown by!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Five Frugal Things Friday

Still trying to be good about not spending unless necessary ..... Did pretty good this week 

1-Cleaned house big time - found a new cleaner recipie for the shower - love it more than the others...
2 oz dawn, 4 oz bottled lemon juice, 8 oz white vinegar, 10 oz hot water. Spray on & wipe off!  Almost no effort (extra rubbing) required and I had everything here!

2-Bought new shorts for me at Savers $6.49 vs $15-$20 at Walmart/Target and $32 at Eddie Bauer

3-Only bought essentials (veg, fruit & milk) at grocery 

4-Are all meals home - no takeout. 

5-Fixed microwave door and shower door repair man fees for this chicky

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Shorts success!

Well, I had quite the interesting trip to goodwill yesterday....didn't find any shorts there, but I have to say - I was a little grossed out I headed to the door empty handed I noticed in with the athletic bottoms - there was a set of boxer shorts hanging on the rack, same kind hubby wears, I know since I buy them and do the laundry. That creeped me out a bit, if they were in the package sealed like from the store - might not have creeped me out.  

Today I hit Savers and found a pair of shorts. Much happier with the $6.49 price too. 

Then I went into target to check the sales/clearance items - mostly laundry detergent on my mind....
Struck out there but found a great pair of sandles for a wedding we have in August.  It's an outside picnic wedding, but flip flops or my keens might not be dressy enough. And they only cost $18.74 since they were on clearance. Yay!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

50% Off....still too costly

I finally unpacked my shorts from last year and tried them all on.  They are divided into 5 piles....
Lose 10 pounds, lose 5 pounds, only wear for housework/yard work, safe to wear in public, and donate

The housework/yard work pile is the biggest and the safe to wear in public is the smallest (2 pair)

I was thrilled to see in my email that Eddie Bauer was having a 50% off sale in shorts.  Thought I could pick up 2 pairs and further cull to increase the donate pile.  

When did $32.50 for a pair of khaki shorts become an acceptable sale price?  Seriously!!  

I will be hitting goodwill with a bag of donations this morning and a good attitude - hoping to find something decent and WAY less expensive.  And since I have to go to East Hartford tomorrow - I will hit the Savers in Manchester and Newington too.   No way am I spending $32.50 or even $20 on a pair of shorts.  Especially since I'm trying to fit into the lose 5 & 10 pound piles.

Grrr - all those tasty winter snacks got me where it hurts this pocketbook.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I fixed it

Our microwave door handle had gotten wobbly and Monday one of the screws came undone. Meaning 1 half of it needed repair.  So, I looked online and found out how....
I fixed it!  Yay!  Girl power and all that jazz....

Getting stuff done!

I've been a busy girl the last couple days....
Sorted thru papers, gathered up mountains of laundry from kids rooms, deep cleaned bathrooms & swept all the caterpillar mess from the patio and it's only Tuesday. 
I've done a bit of cooking/meal prep too
Yesterday I made deviled eggs 2 ways....not being a mayo fan I experimented with mashed avocado.  
To Doctor up the flavor I took half the avocado/yolk mix and added garlic & onion powder curry, lemon juice, salt then piped them into half the whites and sprinkled garam masala on them.  The other half I added onion powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper and cumin then sprinkled a little fajita seasoning on top.  I'm not sure which I like better....both are very tasty and the green color makes them interesting. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

7 days - cooking for 1 plans

Hubs and kiddos are going away next week....meaning I'm cooking for 1.  A couple years ago I lived on ice cream and bowls of cereal or pasta salad during this annual week.  It was oddly blissful.

This year I'm trying to be healthier....
I will make roasted/grilled veggies.
As I inventoried the freezer I found bag of frozen cocktail size shrimp.  Those will be turned into scampi over zoodles and shrimp taco salad.  
Also found 2 lunches worth of vegetarian chili I made in January - served over brown rice they become dinner for 2 nights.
I already have planned a take out meal treat of my favorite bruschetta salad from an Italian joint we like.  It's an appetizer but huge!  It has garlic bread in it and mozzarella but it's my blow the diet meal. 
I'm going to also try making a few avocado deviled eggs (2) to have with lunch (leaf based salads). I don't know if I can get them down though...
I'm going to try eating eggs for breakfasts - we have a lot of them & I need to try to increase protien and decrease carbs as much as possible this week.  And trying the banana egg pancakes Sunday for lunch. And there is also fruit and yogurt as an option (or dessert). 
And I have plenty of hummus too.
I'm still going to have my berry, kale & hemp shakes - I skipped this morning and felt off all day...

As I looked through the freezer and pantry - I only need to hit Shoprite for some veggies and fruit.  Since I don't drink milk, I'm not buying it this week - then I'm not temped to eat cereal either.   

Five Frugal Things Friday

Pretty good job this week on the frugality frontline....
I really tried to behave & did a good job

1. Got oil change in hubby's truck (bit out of the way - but it came with 'free' oil changes)
2.  Topped off groceries at Aldi - cheaper than stop and shop for all I bought
3.  Found fabric in my craft supplies to complete one of my projects this week - cost 0!
4.  Inventoried and ate proteins from the freezer
5.  Went to ocean stare job lot - didn't spend 1 cent when they didn't have the item I was looking for!  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Weekend is coming!

I hate to say it - but I'm really looking forward to the weekend.  We have loads to do - but, I know come Sunday afternoon there will be peace.  
Kids head to camp and I won't have to cook - although I will have my meals all ready to go by Sunday night in the fridge for the week.  I have my list of house projects to work on all set.  Every day I'm going to work on 2-3 things. Nothing huge this summer just stuff that needs taking care of and bothering me. 
Hence my desire to NOT cook much.  

Here are some of the things I hope to get done:
Scrub patio with vinegar (safer for the grass nearby) (couple hours)
Make a wood rack - (1 day) simple one found on Pinterest and I think I have the supplies or can get at Restore
Make wine bottle tiki torches (couple hours)
Pre-pack for my adventure (1 day)
Tidy up the office - currently a disaster (1-2 days)
Deep clean bathrooms (1 day)
3 sewing projects - not big just things to do (2 hours)
Hang cork board in Youngest's bedroom  & touch up wall paint (1-2 hours)
Paint trim on oldests cork board (1/2 day)

I also have 2 desks I want to sell - if the don't sell they are going to restore for the tax write off.  Will be listing on Facebook/craigslist since the Letgo app was a disaster (I get pissy when trying to sell something and people try to super lowball or get it for free - duh, if it was free it would say FREE) 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Aldi top off

Since errands with the youngest took me past Aldi on the way home - we made a stop.  And we needed lettuce for the Guinea pig and milk & bread for us.

$68 later and we were back on the road home.  Some highlights of today's adventure....
2 boxes of foxy strawberries $1.29 /ea (wishing I bought more they're awesome)
2 bags fresh baby spinach $1.49/ea super nice looking (thinking of using 1 in a salad with the above berries and some candied walnuts)
1 bag of romaine hearts 2.99
2 cantaloupes 1.49/ea
2 big broccoli crowns 1.99/ bagged
2 bags of frozen cherries & blackberries 2.39/ea. (For my smoothies should see me through end of July or mid August)
3 cartons of 'the good' OJ (their version of premium with no pulp)
1gal of milk
Rice cakes
Pork rinds (yuck - youngest was dying for these)
Jar of green olives
Can of coconut milk
Lea&Perrins worchester sauce 
Lemon juice
2 containers of hummus
2 bags of fine shredded sharp cheddar
4 blocks of cheddar
1 loaf of bread (PB & J and grilled cheeses = fast lunch)
Tub of honey wheat pretzels 

Thus should get us through the week fine. They leave for summer camp on Sunday so then it's easy cook meals (read salads or zoodles with garlic shrimp) for me!!!  Yay!

Super busy Monday!

Today was one of those hit the ground running days....
I had my annual physical scheduled as the 1st patient of the day.  Home to do a bit of paperwork and get youngest up and ready for some required errands.  
Headed out for those and a stop at Aldi and it was home to process the produce I bought.  
Lettuce & other veggies to wash and chop, fruit to cut up for the week, 'shake n bake' to make dinner to get into the oven before the rain came.  
Holy cow the rain came - when they said thunderstorms they weren't kidding around.  It made the house shake. Not cool!

Tomorrow is more paperwork/phone calls day and some cleaning. Even paperwork for the kids, one has research for colleges to do and one has thank you notes to write.  Also laundry - a daily task, skipped today so now there will be 2 loads and they are full ones.  

Keep your fingers crossed I'm productive.  Mine will be 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Accident

Laundry....always a dilemma here....
Youngest had some white undershirt/t shirts worn for outside work (no clue as to why). After they were washed and didn't come as clean as I like, I soaked them overnight in some pinesol and hot water.  Then tossed them into the next load of whites with Dynamo & a little bleach as usual.  Well, that whole load of whites was way way cleaner!  The towels seemed fluffier and more absorbent than they usually are.

I don't know if that had anything to do with the additional pine sol (it's good at degreasing soap scum in the shower). 

I'm calling it my happy accident.  Of and the shirts?  Those are for wearing for yard work and in the shop grrrr.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Five frugal things Friday

Ok - it's Saturday....but you get it

1.  Eye dr appointment - insurance covers exam 100%. Vision changes means new glasses - so hunting down a deal now...

2.  Fathers Day cards bought at discount store saved 50%

3.  Found organizing baskets to fit a tough spot at dollar tree.  Will post pictures when it's all done

4.  Took oldest to a community college to tour and look at one of the transferable programs to state 4year universities. Huge cost savings and always smart to have a back up plan that's local.

5. Bought stuff to make my tiki torches with a gift card

Determined Healthyness

So, last month I wrote about hemp protien.  I bought some Bob's Red Mill unflavored/unsweetened hemp protien powder at the reccomendation of a former schoolmate who is a health coach.

I've been dealing with low iron for about a year.  Hoping to avoid more prescriptions and trips to the pharmacy - as well as regular blood draws to check that level (dr wanted monthly draws) I talked them into letting me try it with dietary adjustments.  

One of them has been smoothies (in addition to eating more iron rich foods). 
First I loved them!  Fruit and dark green leafy veggies into a frosty drink!  Yum!  Totally calorie rich & sugar rich...hence the health coach call.  She suggested adding protien powder - a vegan option since I get tummy trouble with whey protien and don't want to try soy (too much isn't good for you).  Enter the world of pea protien powder and hemp.  Hemp was my first choice, lots of fiber and clean flavor although it's GREEN!  

Luckily we have a ninja blender thing which makes fast work of pulverising things like kale and spinach.  
I drink one green shake daily. And am going to up it to two this week.

Today is a winner day on the smoothie train.  
1/4 c hemp powder 
5 medium strawberries
1 1/4 c frozen chopped kale (blends easier and eliminates need for ice)
1/2 lemon (peeled like an orange)
6 oz OJ 
6 oz water
1 tsp coconut oil

I've also done this with cold green tea chai (no milk) instead of juice & water.  

I'm definately getting my vitamin c and the protien boost (14grams) helps with my hunger pangs.  

This week I'm trying a spicy V8, hemp, kale & cucumber adventure for the afternoon shake - sort of gazpacho themed. Celery may make an appearance. 

Other things I've added when remember are a tablespoon of chia seeds slacked in a 1/2 cup of water - not sure if I really enjoyed that.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What's up?

So, things have been busy for us....
The weekend was spent outside cleaning up the yard sort of...I had to use the leaf blower to get all the caterpillar poops off the's a daily chore now.  also gave the lawn chairs a hose down. 

We have an above ground pool - last year my lack of chemical knowledge about ph levels etc...we just couldn't get really as clear as we like. Fast forward to pool prep weekend (this weekend) we had to drain it and are refilling it. Thank goodness we have the house's original dug well set up for this (and car washing & plant watering). It takes forever though - forever to me anyhow.  Once it's full and chlorinated I will take a sample to the pool guy store for a test and pick up the appropriate chemicals.  

The heat Monday and Tuesday was so bad that I didn't cook Tuesday....hubby stopped at Big Y and picked up fried clam dinners (B1G1) on the way home from work - just fine!  Monday was leftovers.....

This week's project includes me making tiki torches from old wine bottles (if I can find all the parts I need) looks like Home Depot for me!  

Tomorrow I have to run errands with the kids - agway, community college visit(hopefully), drop off an engine for hubby that needs fixing.

Friday is eye exam/contact refitting for me.  Hoping to find contacts that I can wear more than a few hours without pain. Thinking of switching to dailies - since the 2 week wear ones were bothering me last time I wore them.  

Hopefully everyone is having a frugal week!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Five frugal things Friday

It's Friday afternoon!  
This week has only been frugalish. Thanks to the septic pumpout. 

1.  Ate all meals home.  Either leftovers or make home heals.  Tonight is freezer cuisine and pasta
2.  Moderate trip to Aldi for necessities only
3.  Didn't buy anything!  (Except food at Aldi). 
4.  Downloaded Letgo app into my phone - have a few things go part with & will try to make a little $$
5.  Used ibotta for Aldi redemption....only 25 cents but it's on my account today :-)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Aldi Trip

Errands near hubby's office had me stop in at Aldi since I was close and were out of lettuce for the GP.
Usually romaine hearts are 1.99.... Today they were 2.99!  Had to get them since the other lettuce looked iffy and GP can't eat iceberg.  
Also found a few other items needed/desired....
Blueberries .99/pint (bought 3 since I'm thinking of making pancakes tomorrow)
Cantaloupe .99/each. Only got 1 since I suck at picking them out usually 
Ice cream - love their butter pecan. 2.39/tub. bought 2 tubs
Green & yellow squash 2.99/6. Planning to grill them
Red & yellow peppers 3/1.69 (GP eats them too)
Raw unsalted Almonds are back at my go to price $4.99/bag. Bought 2. 
Garbage bags and a gallon of vinegar rounded out the list since that's all we needed....

Not bad - I purposefully stayed away from the cheese and cereal sections...was feeling snackish and didn't want to risk an impulse buy.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Is it really June? Brrrr

So weird that it was so chilly and damp today - feels like early April. 

Today was the big pump out!  Nothing terribly exciting - which when it comes to septic stuff is exactly what I want - nothing exciting!  

Other than that expenditure nothing else was spent.  Thank goodness. 

Just a boring day home - washing and folding laundry.  But school uniforms are the only load left to wash - but that will wait until morning.  

Sometimes boring is just fine!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Part of the basement water mystery

Saturday I went to the local rent-all place and rented the power snake that hubby asked me to get. 
When he got home yesterday he snaked the gray water line to the septic clean out point (before the tank). It's kind of a Y part comes from the bathrooms and Y from the laundry, kitchen sink/dishwasher converging to a common pipe to the tank.  

He snaked it and lots of gunk vowed through the line to the tank.  All seems to be working fine now.  

Powesnake returned and septic pump out is tomorrow.  Should be interesting.  We called 2 rooter guys (one from the plumber and one from the septic company and both were looking at 2 weeks from now). Hence I had to let hubby do it - although it did save a lot of $$.  

Hopefully this will fix the issue. 

I'm ready to put it behind us.  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

What I will NOT do this week

Ahhh, Sunday afternoon and I'm thinking of the stuff I will NOT do this week.....
1.  Get up at 5 am so I can wake surly teens to go to school
2.  Beg people to get a move on so we aren't late!
3.  Cook dinners from scratch.  In other words we are heading into the week with some leftovers and there are 2 nights where I'm serving dinners from the freezer.  
4. Walk into the grocery store.  I might even try to do this for the next 2 weeks.  No true need here. Ned to get creative and use what's on hand
5.  Freak out about homework and projects song left the night before they are due. 

It's Summah baby!!!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Five Frugal Things Returns

I like that Tracybee at Just Keep Swimming Mama Fish is getting back to an older format of hers that seemed to work for her.  I like it so much I'm gonna give it a try too.

Here are the five frugal things I did this week.

1 bought a new muffin pan at a tag sale last Saturday for $1. Doesn't look like it's ever ever been used.  Will try it out since my only 12 opening one (had since finishing college) can only be used with paper liners.

2 stopped for a quick essentials trip at Aldi - stuck to just essentials too AND got to redeem an ibotta rebate - only a quarter but that cool - they add up. 

3 brought my own coffee and water on the road with me - no Dunkin stops until today for a small hot coffee and my free donut. 

4 cooked dinner each night this week - from foods in the freezer.  

5 bought wiper blades for my Prius at BJs so hubby can replace them - $10 each vs $19 each at the dealership.  

Baby steps are all I can muster this week....things are very hectic here this week

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Plumber report

The plumber came today.  Good news it's not the up-pump in the laundry room....that's a savings since those pumps aren't cheap.  

Plumber thinks the drain & pipe out to the septic tank needs to be snaked or rotor rooted....hub wants to do it himself - I want him to call someone.  

Looks like since the septic tank needs pumping that happens Tuesday - I'm going to see who the reccomend for this service

My head is spinning from it all.  Never ends!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Down the frugal drain

Quite literally....
We might be opening pandoras  box tomorrow - I had to call the plumber! (Insert crying emoji face here)

After coming home from school today I noticed that there was a lot of water in the laundry room floor.  Not good at all.  Thankfully all our clothes are washed for the week - not sure if it's the drain, the up flow pump or the water treatment (hard water) berm tank.  This has been a problem for a couple months, but we have a high water table, a 1960s era foundation and the gutters needed cleaning a couple weekends back - add that to the rain lately.  The fact our sump pump well was dry didn't make me feel better at all.  3 shop vac canisters of water later.....those were dumped into sump pump pit/well and it did its job of removing it.... 

Considering the floor drains In the laundry and furnace area seemed to be draining to it fine.  I'm testing that tomorrow with 5 gallons of water in each drain before the plumber comes tomorrow afternoon.  

So much for a low spend week.  

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

Remember it's a day to remember the fallen!  They marched, fought and died on rainy damp days - today's youth can march in a parade to honor them.  We had our small parade in town this morning.  School band didn't March since they didn't want the instruments getting wet. The Boy Scouts & Some Cub Scouts marched...didn't see 1 Girl Scout or Brownie though - no youth sports teams either.  Makes for a fast parade. 

Hubby is relaxing with his WWII movies, one kid is napping, one is studying & mom is doing laundry & am going to spend some time later on the computer doing a bit of catch paperwork

No picnics planned for us this year - fine by me!  It's damp and chilly out there today.

The week ahead looks to be a little on the busy side - nothing like last week so I'm thrilled!  

Should be easy to stay frugal with it not being crazy busy

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Frugal activities....

We've been frugal here - mostly becasue I've been super busy and haven't had much time to do un frugal activities.  Didn't even go to the grocery store once this week.  Hubby stopped at Aldi and the bread store but didn't go crazy with shopping. 

This will be exam week for my kiddos - all short days at school.  That means no rushing around to plan dinners and no sports practices!  

I do have some appointments to plan out and some necessary paperwork to attend to. Oldest is going to make a list of colleges to visit and hopefully we can start that process along with securing a summer job.  

I have a feeling that this summer is going to fly by faster than the others before it.

I've also been updating my resume - very hard after being out of the work world for as long as I have.  The idea of applying for a retail job is more attractive every day.  But I know it won't pay what I need, I'm thinking the semi-flexibility might be nice.

Today is laundry and nap day for me.  Tomorrow brings parades and studying for the kids.  We are usually super low key on Memorial Day weekend on purpose.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The busy home stretch!

We are in the super busy home stretch of the school year.  Spring concert complete!  Class field trips are done.
Last full week of classes, final projects due &  exam prep begins.  Only two more sports events to go.  
It's going to be busy for us - but I think we can do it.  I'm committing myself to eating home all week and during exam week too.  Which will mean a trip to Aldi & maybe Shoprite.  

I'm really looking forward to the end of the school year.  

Summer will be a whirlwind of college visits and prepping for that process with the oldest child.  So far I don't think we will be leaving New Enland for visits.  

Youngest has application to tech high school ready to turn into guidance office. Always tricky since they are doing schedules and if acceptance to tech doesn't happen we still need to be sure there are good classes for next year.  It's always a balancing act with this kiddo - but they know about the struggles in classes & unhappiness that is because of it - so school shouldn't be surprised.  
Sports & band are the only draws to stay now.  

Routine maintenance

Today was AC service day!  We don't use a company anymore. We know an HVAC guy who does side work - he's been servicing our unit a few years, lives in town & way more reasonable than the company we used in the past.  The old company used to charge a fee to drive out to us and a minimum 2 man + 1 hour minimum to come out.  Used to run $350 for them to drive into my driveway.  
Our local guy is 1/2 that and he even goes into the attic to see if everything is ok with the ducts and checks all the filters!  The company was charging extra to check inside filters.  

So we are all set for the next heatwave!  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Shoprite trip

Had to make a fast run in this morning.....
Picked up sale blueberries, apples, huge green pepper, romaine hearts and 85% ground beef
Not on sale frozen mango chunks, butter (ran totally out) and broccoli crown

Came home and did a fridge clean - all tidy and sparkly. Made quinoa and roasted broccoli salad (didn't dress it though). Steamed some yellow squash that was getting soft - will purée for Mac & cheese sauce.  

Paperwork and getting ready to head over pickup and haircut for oldest we youngest goes to track.

Tonight it's sloppy joes so I'll have to get some tater tots I guess....stopping at Walmart for those since I have to hit the pharmacy.  

It's all good in the hood so to speak!

Sunday, May 14, 2017


I love smoothies!  I've tried some of the healthy protien ones, as breakfast replacements, since I'm not a big eater in the morning.  I haven't been impressed at all by them, they're either to sweet, not satisfying or too high in calories.  And I refuse to spend the $$ on shakeology - no matter how yummy it may be.    I thought I found THE ONE by kashi a couple months ago - a vegan one - macha madness.  It was good when blended with water and frozen fruit or almond milk and fruit.  Now I can't locate it except Amazon.  

A high school friend ENO is a nutrition coach advised I try hemp protien (since I didn't care for whey taste/texture and try to avoid soy)

Ring the bells! I think I have found a winner!  Plain hemp protien powder.  I bought Bob's Red Mill since I know their products and like them.  

This morning I added 1/4 cup to 1 cup frozen chopped kale, 1/3 cup frozen raspberries & 1 cup pineapple juice & 1/2 cup water.  Blended in the ninja and YUM!  No weird aftertaste, chalkyness or texture. 
And that was almost 2 hours ago - not starving.    

Others I want to try (I don't add sugar/sweetener)
frozen banana, cocoa powder, peanut butter and almond milk 
Mango &  black chai tea
Kale, spicy V8 and cucumber
Instant coffee, almonds, cocoa powder& coconut milk

I'll let you know how they turn out

Is it Monday yet?

I've never thought I would wish for a weekend to end - but here goes...I'm wishing it!

Over all things have been frugal here....this week, no out of the ordinary expenses - just the normal stuff - working on eating from the pantry and freezer as much as possible - mostly to curb my trips to the grocery store but also really trying to keep an eye on waste.   I did run to get burger buns to the IGA - I could never do all my shopping there for a week - way too costly.  Burgers were in the freezer here already.  No clothing items bought by me this week, just 1 trip to dollar tree for Mother's Day cards and a soda for me.  Purposefully didn't walk the store to see what else was needed. I had a mission to not go over the $5 bill I had in my purse.

I've spent time this week doing laundry, errands, meals - school and sports runs.  More of the daily stuff.  

Add in there in anticipation of today's nor'easter rains I had to clean the gutters yesterday after school since hubs went away for the weekend.  He went away last weekend too and with the rain last Thursday & Friday and the finally high water table I spent last Saturday morning cleaning up water in the basement laundry room etc.  the gutters on the house needed a complete clean - since he just unplugs the gutters where the problem plug of pine needles gathers - I try to get up on the ladder atleast in the fall and earlier spring to do the length of them not just the spot where the backup occurs.  
I knew I would be at sports with youngest all daylong  today so didn't want to come home to water again.  Thankfully oldest was willing to help by holding the ladder and dumping the buckets of pine needles & leaves so I wasn't hanving to go up and down while holding those.  Afterwards we attacked a shrub bed mercilessly to pull out and cut back as much bittersweet vine as possible - we kidded the window for digging it out I think.

After all day in the damp & chill I came home for more laundry etc.  and a quick nap while i tried to warm up.  Bonus I didn't cook - heated up premade lasagna for me and kids.  I had all kinds of ideas for puttering projects - but nothing happened since I wanted to watch a Netflix movie and I fold clothes in the bedroom....the only tv we can watch Netflix on is the living room.  

Tonight was also prom for oldest, who decided NOT to attend saying it was way too much $$ and the only date interest was asked by another friend in the group.  "Just losers go stag mom". Kiddo doesn't seem to bugged about it - but will be feeling left out come Monday because of the jokes & not knowing what happened.  husband said we shouldn't have forced the issue to attend with another as just friends - I disagree.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I won't be seeing mine since she has a church thing - husband wants to take his parents out for dinner - so celebrating will be then.

Then. It's Monday!!  Only 24 more hrs!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

PBS Victorian Slum House Series

Have you seen it?  
Can you imagine?  I'm amazed  as many survived.  Just the worry alone would send you to an early grave.  If you get a chance take a look!

Monday, May 8, 2017

A few new abbreviations (colorful)

It's the end of the school year and with that brings me to using certain colorful language that might be offensive, I'm feelin salty dear readers....feel free to use these liberally. If they make you laugh or resonate with you I'm glad. 

Language warning!!!!  

AH - Asshat - a noun.  Mostly used when someone has their head so far up their rear end.
AHY - Asshattery - decriptive. Shenanigans that are performed by an AH or group of them. Similar to a cluster&@€#
DT - Douchetard  a noun - an individual similar to the DBag but not nearly as smart....yet equally as frustrating if not more (heard at school from a senior - asked what?)
FFS - For Frigs Sake (use your own expletive). This is usually reserved for the truly exasperating moments when you just don't have time for anyone's crappola. Borrowed from Gordon Ramseys Hells Kitchen show.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Finally recovered from last week

I had every intention of having a super frugal week last week - honest!  

Kinda failed.

Monday went well.  No money spent, day was at home doing laundry & such

Tuesday not so well, started in the morning with the discovery that our extremely food driven Guinea pig didn't want to eat anything and looked lethargic.  Call & visit to vet meant big $$ for visit, shot and meds for home.  Got her home, bathed her bottom (possibly uti) blow dry (enjoyed) and had to force feed her with a syringe (pellet mush). Band and sports after school added to the stress of the day - thankfully leftovers were on for dinner.
Wednesday more stress with feedings & kids after school stuff - cooked dinner though
Thursday - piggy going downhill fast and I had to be at school most of the day.  Call to vet, "quality of life blah blah -Probably if meds aren't helping by now....possible tumor."  Cooked again!  
Tearful feeding sessions for me, oldest spent loads of holding time and discussion & acceptance to see what the next day would bring.
Friday morning, she was gone, in her favorite bed all snuggled up. Very sad start for all of us - especially for oldest who had an AP exam that morning.
Saturday we held a little funeral.  

The whole thing was just so sad and awful.  We still have 1 piggy who we are giving extra attention too since she's the same age and they were cagemates. I hope we don't have to go through this again, but know we will someday.  Kids are sad, especially oldest since this one was their pick.  

I'm SOOO ready for a new week!

Sunday, April 30, 2017


Thank Goodness It's Sunday!
A new week begins!  There's lots to do in this new one.  Evening meetings, tutoring for youngest,  practices and meets, oldest begins AP exams next week - so big time studying commences!  Loads of calls to make for dental appointments, dr visits and Rx refills - the usual.
I'm in fantastic shape cooking-wise & groceries so that is a huge relief.  

Hopefully it's a smoother one for all of us.  I know it will be super frugal here!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What pushes your buttons?

Nothing frugal to report.  Nothing hugely frugal that is....I replaced my lost umbrella at dollar general today for $8.50. I hope this will hold up ok as my car umbrella.  Tomorrow's dinner will be pasta and meat sauce. Oldest and I have a college planning presentation to attend. Hubby has a meeting. Youngest will gave to Go to either.  

On the school news front - after being told to "just get it all sorted out" I emailed rather than called.  That made hubby mad and has been on my case about how I mishandled it all and now it's a bigger deal than it needed to be....and youngest is flipping out about it I'm the "stupid idiot" for asking for a list of assignments so the rest of the term can finish up without late or missing work.  Huge angry words around here - exhausted from trying to try and teach youngest how to manage all this just so passing grades happen (not even high ones - just pass)

Feeling like a very tired ostrich - just want to bury my head in the sand 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ready for a really frugal week

I've geared up for a super frugal week.  It's another busy week coming up.  

I head back into battle with the guidance dpartment since this 1 teacher is really being a pain about following the established 504 plan for the youngest.  I'm ready to ask them to fire this teacher.  The breaks aren't being allowed, the seating arrangement isn't followed & moved the assigned seat again and extended deadline for homework has been removed - says "I'm not doing that for any others, I'm not making exceptions for 1".   
I HATE this teacher.  
Refusing to accept what modern education experts and Drs say about ADHD is sooo wrong.  All the assessments we've had done and $$$ spent and this 1 teacher is stoking the fire to derail all the hard work by my kid over years.  The desire to go to school is gone, the enjoyment is gone, being reprimanded and called on the carpet in front of the class has squashed it.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Back to normal routine - NOPE!

Grrrr.   WARNING! . This post is written in Whinese.

 I was all prepped for a return to normal routine of post April school break.  6 weeks left of academics.  Here's the scene....
Last night house was clean, last load of sheets in the dryer to be folded this morning (done).  Backpacks repacked for the week and ready to go at their designated spots.  Track bag packed for meet today after school even. I was in bed by 10 and ready to dream of a day where I could fold that last bit of laundry in quiet with a cup of coffee after getting home from morning drop off.  I also have about 100 calls to make today and was looking forwards to getting stuff done in the solitude & silence.


Here is the reality:
Got out if the house fine for the morning drop off.  Dishwasher started & running. Got home to find hubs has decided to hang out and work from home - which means no silence....he's on phone and he walks around on calls (which I have to be silent during because his headset mic is sensitive).
This also means when im trying to get stuff done there will be urgent questions that need answers from me.  So much for my quiet and productive day.  Im a person who craves quiet....there are constantly things that make noise all around me, appliances, people, cars. I purposefully don't have the radio or tv on for background noise when I'm home usually - if I need to know something I watch or listen and it goes off.  I also crave solitude where the phone isn't ringing and things aren't being requested.  

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bathroom cleaning hack

I have a new favorite soap scum buster!  I can't get the family to switch from bar soap to shows gels.
It's a combo actually. 
Comet spray (lavender scent) and a plastic scrubby pad (the ones that look like brillos). I bought them originally for the kitchen but thought what the heck.  Awesome results!  No scratching, less scrubbing than with a brush and the rinse super clean!  I get the. At dollar tree.  2 bathrooms once a week they last about a month.  But at 6/$1 it's pretty good.  

I have to admit - we need to re-grout a bit if our master shower - it's a little stained so I used a little Clorox bowl cleaner on it with an old toothbrush, not perfect but much better.  It's getting re-grouted this summer.  

I even had enough energy left over to wash the painted walls and wipe the ceilings down.  When we renovated the bathrooms we opted for un-sanded ceilings (unlike the rest of the house) and we went with washable bathroom paint in a satin finish. Whew - super smart.  Now here are 2 rooms that are spring cleaned ready.

Simple Easter Baskets

As the kids get older it gets easier.
The obligatory chocolate rabbit, Hershey eggs and Reese's eggs, robins egg bubblegum and NO peeps this year - couldn't get my hands on plain original yellow chicks (I only went to 2places though)
Kiddos needed some additions to their wardrobes so that's what we did.  Oldest is getting some new golf shirts ($2/kohls Xmas clearance) & youngest wanted a specific kind of pants (plus just got expensive new sprinter spikes 2 weeks ago). Simple.

Kinda miss the days when I could whip up an Easter basket full of fun things like new crayons, frisbee and coloring books but this is good since I know they don't wake us up at the crack of dawn yo hunt for plastic eggs.

I want a Giraffe for Easter!!

Ok - none of that silly hippopotamus song.....
April the giraffe is going to break the internet today and she's having her baby!  

I'm a dork I know but there is so much crappy stuff going on in the world today - it's nice to have a distraction.  

Shocking housing costs

That's shocking money amounts...

A little bout of insomnia last night had my mind wandering.....

Just out of curiosity I did a little apartment shopping in the area of the kids school.  Just to see what costs are for renters....I know what our mortgage is and our house is furnished....but if someone was just starting out or starting over what kind of cash would they need on hand to get into a place.  

Our church usually helps get someone (newly out of homelessness) set up in an apartment with furniture & kitchen stuff so I know that stuff kinda...I always donate mugs and a new tea kettle & teas or coffee pot & coffees at least.  

Back to housing....holy shite!  Talk about a chunk of cash a person needs to have at the ready to get keys!  
Two on Craigslist looked decent 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms back patio area single floor.  I know where it is too. Older complex, almost looks like it would have been elderly housing in the early 80s.  The other was old navy housing that's been converted to affordable housing.  Townhouse style half a duplex 2bdrm/1.5 ba.  Each right around $1200/month with no utilities.  
Both wanted first and last months rent and one had a security as well but that $number wasn't listed.  
Neither had laundry - but had hookups.  Just from my own adventures to the laundromat when our washer was down taught me a family of 4 conservatively can spend $25-30 to have clean clothes, towels & sheets each week. How would you ever save for a basic washer while using the laundromat?

So, bottom line $2400+ to get keys!  Then there are the moving would anyone ever get it together with a basic minimum wage retail type job?  What if there were kids in the mix?  It's kinda sad.  

Affordable housing is really something that there is a shortage of & it makes me feel bad for people.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

4 days left of break

Wow!  I'm not sure where the week has gone - I know I haven't accomplished as much as I had hoped for.  Running kiddos around and errands for the house took way way more time than I had alloted. 
Today was a run to Pick up some cheater readers for hubs, Easter basket goodies and Easter plants, along with my hair appointment and more evening errands took up the day - faster than I thought it would.

Youngest is under house arrest until I see the makeup work owed in one class in my hand!  And all laundry needs to be put away properly (by both kids). 
I would love nothing more than to sit around Monday and do nothing for anyone.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How you grew up affects you as an adult

This isn't a downer post....but think about it. How you grew up affects your relationship with money.  And by default spending habits.  I'm nearing 50 and I know it shaped mine

We were a navy family but mom was a school teacher -  so groceries were bought at most 2x a month.  Usually there was a giant restocking trip (a 2 cart trip) and the mid month trip was milk, bread and fresh veg/fruit.  Same with back to school clothes - always on layaway with a chunk of moms last school year check in July and payments made from dads check until Labor Day.  School shoes were bought at the end if summer in case our feet grew.   Other than that Saturday's for a lot kids I knew in the navy community were not spent at the mall (we didn't have one close than an hour away anyhow). New clothes came at birthday, holidays or if you had a freakish growth spurt.  Things were bought big and hemmed just in case of the latter.  There was Caldor, Bradlees and later on Ames. No Walmart or Target.  My mom grew up with parents who raised kids in the depression (big family) - she used to buy some of our clothes she could get away with at Railroad Salvage - similar to today's Ocean Stare Job Lot.   Hand me downs were popular with other navy families - the box would come, be sorted thru and refilled then sent to the next home in navy housing neighborhood - we all wore play clothes.  Being a bit of a tomboy one of moms friends who was a teacher, had sons and husband who worked not in the navy would send over the Toughskins pants when her boys outgrew them for play pants.  By 5th grade I didn't like seeing that box - I wanted girlie stuff then.  I don't think I eat a pop tart or Twinkie until 4th grade. Chips & soda were a luxury treat.  Cereal was usually Raisin Bran or cornflakes or shredded wheat (never frosted).   Once I got a job babysitting - I would be found shopping for more hip clothes than my parents would buy...usually spending everything earned over a weekend in 45 minutes.  I learned to love the SALE sticker to me it equalled more!  I never hit a thrift store until I hit my punk phase - and even then was kinda pissy about it.

When my kids were first born and little kids I would hit consignment shops & my friends and I would pass clothes along to each other for the kiddos.  I knew where every Gymboree and Children's Place or Carters outlet was in all of New England.  

I used to grocery shop every few days - now I would be thrilled to do it twice a month.  
I regularly check consignment and goodwill for myself first when I need something to wear - unless it's shoes.  If I buy new I have a coupon or kohls cash or even better a combo of the two.  I prefer t try the outlets before kohls.

It's funny how we grow up shapes how we think of money.

Squeeee. Deal for meeee!!!!

Today was another busy day for me.  All in the name of a bargain....
First stop an appointment $0
Second stop Goodwill (different from yesterday). Looking for those 3 books oldest needs - struck out but there is something to be said for getting there when the store opens - much tidier and less crowded.  That's where I found today's big bargain for $1.99.  A new to me creative memories wavy paper cutter!  Such a deal since its discontinued and the blades are razor sharp!  I have this one already but it's blades aren't as sharp. 
Third stop Aldi.  $91!  Ouch!!  But we were out of so many things OJ, butter, block cheese, sugar and because it's April break chips/snacky crackers & yogurt.  Also grabbed a box of kiwis @2.99  there's 7-8 in the box.  
Fourth stop was book barn - a used book stores (several buildings) on the shore off I95. Found the 3 books needed for a total of $6. Way cheaper than Amazon 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Halfway point of break

We've made it to the halfway point of break.  
Youngest has been hanging with friends - requiring me to cart to other homes.  I should start charging lie uber does....oldest has been gaming and sleeping and reading for the big amiercan lit paper due next month. 

I've been puttering, today was errands local - dropped youngest at a friends, hit the pet food store girl a specialty item and they were out, Walgreens for a refill, bank deposit, pick up papers for hubby at a friends office, home to get oldest for a stop at goodwill to see if they had a book needed (nope), off to vanity fair outlet for jeans for oldest (success 1 pair).  Tomorrow is some more errands and maybe Aldi if the morning errand doesn't absorb too much time.  Then it's off to Book Barn for the 2 books needed since I refuse to buy a novel for class at full price, considering it will never get used here again.  

Definately have a growing list for Aldi. Hoping to find some chocolate rabbits for the Easter baskets. 
If I can get the camera to cooperate I will post a picture...

I also have 5 -yes 5 pineapples to process tomorrow (dehydrater is ready and waiting).  They were in sale at BJs $2 each - hubs couldn't resist....but it's daunting!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Oh boy!

Well, this is all going to be interesting. 
This week just got more interesting and it's Sunday....decisions have been made in regards to time & money here.  

Decision 1 & 2 
$$  and Time
Last night I heard a scurrying and chewing noise in the attic - I walked around the outside of the house today Lookin g for how on earth they would have gotten in. Not even sure what up there but I'm not happy there is anything up there.  
So, instead of me doing the yard work and gutters thus spring, I'm paying the oldest to do it this week.  That way I can work on stuff inside the house so I can hopefully get up into the attic to see who is up there building a home.  
Hubs helped make this since he didn't hear the noise so it's not a biggie to him and he doesn't do ladders do the gutters are always my responsibility.  (Spending $$ to save time/accomplish more)

Decision 3 
I am listing some stuff on Facebook for sale - profits are going into my savings jar.  

Decision 4
Making up some freezer crockpot meal kits - spring sports will NOT ruin my grocery budget like winter sports almost did.  Getting home with hungry teens after practice means dinner needs to be scoop able into a bowl or plate do homework can begin.

Decision 5
Looking for a mulch sale - front beds will need to be remulched desperately. While I would rather use pea gravel it's so much more expensive I can't justify it.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

April Break

Kids are on vacation this week.  
I'm thinking of getting an Uber placard for my car with the amount of driving I will be doing....
I'm a little concerned how I will get anything on my list (deep clean and paperwork) accomplished since I will be driving around a lot.  Youngest still has practice this week - at the school, so I can make an Aldi run at least.

Oldest has been told that a summer job is on the plate of things to start finding, and prepping to write the giant 10 page English paper, and doing research for SAT & ACT dates.  Some classmates are spending break on college tours, but we are thinking UCONN since sciences or engineering are the things most interest has been shown in so far, and a really good science degree will mean Master's work - UCONN is good in both fields.  And we still have early summer to look.  

I really need to get going on the cleaning tomorrow and make a big dent in it - like a HUUUGE dent in it.  

Thursday, April 6, 2017


It does no good to worry - but, given the state of the world - you betcha I'm worried.  More for my own kids future.

Also concerned about a cyber concern on the news tonight - seems some folks were hacked while filing for college financial aid. - really sucks because that process is stressful.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Called in to work tomorrow.  Nice!  
Already have my clothes together, lunches packed. Just hope I can get kids out of the house on time.  

As I've been cleaning my closet I realize I may need to do a capsule wardrobe thing.  It could simplify my getting dressed to teach greatly.  Since I have something at the end of school - it will be a slacks  & sweater day.  Need to sort out the other days tomorrow night, mostly since it's hectic in the mornings here.

Moms cannot live in jeans alone!  Well, we could, if we didn't sub-teach.  That's ok.  I just hate to shop for clothes, it's a little tedious and makes me edgy - not fun.  

Well if I don't get to sleep - I won't get up in time

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Spring cleaning dilemma

Happy April 1st
Mother Nature tried to mess with us by sending a little snowy rainy stuff at us today - thankfully none stuck near us. A damp and raw day.

It's spring and that means spring cleaning time - we desperately need to do a huge clean out. Several work, school and volunteer projects find us with boxes that are used to tote things back and forth to events.  Boxes that can't fit back into the places they came from etc.....I'm ready to watch an episode or two of hoarders so my house feels cleaner - ha ha ha

All seriousness aside, we have April break coming up at the end if this week and I've told the kids they owe me 90 minutes each day each kid with a big wee hour /sort of the house.  They want the basement as a hang out place - they need to help clean it up.  Mostly it's put things away where they belong - but, I'm feeling the need to do some purging.  Same goes for hubby and I on the clean and purge. I've specifically asked that he not plan any family day trips or events during this time.  Oldest has some big projects to do for Classes so we really need to stay home.  Plus we really can't afford a trip.   Clutter seems to multiply like rabbits here.  Seriously - overnight it just happens - not sure how.

Today I've started a little bit on my closet & dresser.  Sorted through all my shorts, donating all the ones that fit weird last year or were a little to short but I kept anyway and never wore since they felt too short.  Same with a couple of my dresses and suits that no longer suit me.  I started a thing this winter with socks - I love cute socks, well I didn't buy any at all this year.  I was gifted some in my X as stocking by my sister and I love those.  My new thing is to wear the others out.  Sadly I've had to toss a few pair since I actually wore holes in them.  In years past I would have bought replacements ASAP, but not this year.  Just wore different ones.  I'm ashamed to say I've done the same with underclothes too.  It's part of my weeding out system - especially since those are t things that can be donated like t-shirts and shorts.  Tomorrow will be shirts and sweaters.  I have a tub of things started that will be up cycled into a new life (jeans with frayed cuffs or inner thighs that will be potholders and 2skitrs that need shortening)

Oldest has a stack of undershirts that don't fit and are a bit yellowed at the pits - they will get cut up for garage rags.  They work great for that - especially when hubby cleans tools, just toss them out since they get really greasy.  Youngest's clothes usually get donated since there has been rapid growth. 

All of these things cost me nothing & im hoping once done will being me a huge feeling of relief

Is anyone else spring cleaning?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Back at it & busy

Something that never changes here is how much there is to do.  One of these days hubby and I won't be running around or puttering like mad to keep things going St home - not sure when that will be though.

Today was a trip yo the new vers office and to agway for more pet foods.

I managed to get in and out of Walgreens with out buying more than the Rx I dropped off earlier. - big success!  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Break time over

I took a really long break huh?  I. Sorry...somethings can't be helped
Lots of stuff going on at home that needed desperate attention.  Mostly kid related. Nothing earth shattering just I needed to do some heavily hands on parenting.  More on that in a bit...

Frugally speaking - it's been tough going. Trying to eat what's on hand and in freezer/pantry. Been doing quite well too.  I even managed to buy another corned beef to cook and turn into hash when they were on sale.  It's in the freezer now.  Hubby did one of his Sunday morning runs for donuts at the IGA and came home with 5 big packs of pork sirloin chops that were mismarked at $.89/#. That week's sale price was 1.29/# - still a good price.  They are all in the freezer.

Work wise - I'm still hunting a decent job down.  I subbed 3 times last week - not sure if it's really going to be a good gig for steady income unless I sign on to a couple more schools.  Resume is getting dusted off and I'm thinking of seeing what kind if help the state offers for resume writing assistance classes.  The return to frugality continues - as we found out doing the taxes, we may not get much help on the college front since we have a home and hubs has a job.  This is one of the biggest reasons for me to 'get a grownup job'. College tuition is $pendy!  Even at state schools or UCONN. And we both believe the living on campus is a very important part of the college experience.

Health - everyone survived the late winter first weeks of spring healthy enough - except for dear old mom.  Even though I got the flu shot in the fall - I got hit with the flu.  Like a freaking Mack truck!  Started after a Saturday of sitting in bleachers at a school sports event next day I was very tired and sore - thought it was from the day before.  Fever followed and a horrible cough.  Friday I dragged myself to the doctor and they did the chest X-ray, sent me home with the news it was most likely flu and if I had bone in on Monday/Tuesday I could gave gotten tamiflu - instead I got a bill toward my deductible, cough meds, and an inhaler - which I'm still using.  

Parenting -
Youngest has a 504 at school.  February found us having another team meeting because grades were in the toilet.  Come to find out one of the teachers doesn't think they need to follow one of the biggest accommodations and said so in the meeting even though this teacher had agreed to it in December.  They got in trouble for that.  So, as a result youngest is now seeing the ADHD dr monthly and trying to get stuff under control - the dr is thinking there could be a touch of depression involved as well because there is a 'dark cloud' about school and school related issues when meeting with kiddo.  
This required me to spend extra homework monitoring time and tutoring to keep kiddo up to speed in everything.

 Funny thing is I'm not a "my kid is a perfect angel special snowflake" parent - I've told teachers if my kid acts up and deserves detention - issue it, they'll serve it. I keep hoping this will be a one and done teaching experience for this one and they quit!

Soooo this spring is spent trying to arrange for academic testing (just to double check) without breaking the bank - our town won't pay or test since we aren't enrolled in their schools.  

I've been reading everyone's stuff as I get a chance....

Monday, February 20, 2017

I'm back...

Took a little time off from blog land.  It was very much needed - many things at home needed attention.  But I'm back a frugal as ever!  I have more to post soon....

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Storm Diana

So, more winter weather today.....started earlier than the tv weather dudes it wrong of me to hope it chucks it down?  I could totally handle another snow day from school....or at least a 2 hour delay. 

I actually went into this weekend caught up on laundry....just did the 1 load and it's on the racks drying.  A very odd but good feeling.

Hubs started cleaning out his side of the closet but has left piles around and I have no idea what's what - it truly makes my OCD hurt.  So much so I've decided to but powerball and lottery tickets so if I win, I'm having a new bedroom added onto the house for me....that I can keep tidy and pile free.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Thinking spring

I'm thinking about spring already....
I'm thinking about doing raised beds in the yard for a garden & starting to locate the materials needed to make a simple hoop house greenhouse for it - I'm not sure how I will build it but thinking is the first step....and pinteresting for ideas

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thunder snow?!

So, it's been steadily puking it down as the skiers say since early morning.  And thundering. It's officially a blizzard in my area.  The wind is howling across the yard.

I've been catching up on laundry and catching PBS on demand shows...
Oldest child works on an English paper and some calculus homework....
Youngest has puttered and cleared snow and snacking....
Hubs has done work stuff, and sorted papers for the house...

I see that Waterbury closed school for Friday too - we are no where near there but I still hope our school closes tomorrow too <insert sheepish grin>

I'm really loving not having to no out anywhere today!

Winter Storm Chris 2017

We have a snow day!!

Actually, I'm relieved....its been a rough week. Late nights, stressful days & busy kids.  

Biggest bonus was we got the call from school yesterday around 2pm there were no classes!  Sooo great go not have to wake up and watch the tv or wait for the call.

I usually am up at 5 am every slept until 7:30 - bliss!  

Hubs decided to work from home, so my idea of puttering on my pet projects goes down the tubes - "how can you spend time on that, when there is all this that needs to be done". So I'll dutifully finish my coffee and start on the washing and folding and housework drudgery.  

It's already getting deep enough that youngest went out to pre-clear a bit of the driveway (I think there was the desire to build a fort in the snow later so this could be a snow quality check)

Friday, February 3, 2017

A boring & frugal week

Totally a boring week here, but that made it frugal!
I had 2 rewards checks at Bob's totaling $20, youngest needed new sneakers so that combined with an on sale pair kept the price down.  
Dinners were simple too. Quickie stroganoff (with ground beef) and rice and veg, pasta, leftovers...last night was subway (sports) and grocery store pizza tonight 

A new Aldi opened nearby the kids school - I didn't go to the grand opening a too much chaos for me.  I will hit it next week though and see how it is.  It's much closer but still out of my way than the other ones - but if I have a list.  

PrepPing for crummy weather on the way this week.  Hopefully it doesn't mess up school this week - as in snow days

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Finally all healthy

I really hope I didn't jinx it by typing it

I believe he germs have run their course through us all now.  Several boxes of Kleenex and DayQuil and gallons of soup and tea I think we are 'cured'

Now it's time to get back to frugal  activities with a vengeance.  We have to behave with $$ more carefully now.  We had an unexpected major expense, we had to replace hubs truck sooner than we planned.  The old one we ran for 15 years but it had become rather expensive to do so and was getting unreliable.  He did lots of research and found a 2016 new leftover at a leader who was super motivated to move it off the we got a really good deal....not as many bells and whistles as we might have gotten on a2017 but that's fine. The move up in the purchase timeframe just happened to line up with property taxes, tuition payment and insurance payments all in the same month.  A little juggling and belt tightening so we don't have to rely on credit cards - guess I'm cooking more (drat)

Monday, January 23, 2017

School = Germ factory

last week I had one kiddo home with a really bad cold for 2 Friday the cold got to me.  Today I no sooner than get home and shower, the youngest was pale & naseous - please come get the kid.

I think posts might be sparse this week......

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cooking ahead & a freebie

Did a bit of cooking today.  On the way home from dropping off at school, I stopped for a few things...Big Y has regular chickens not oven stuffer roasters on sale this week $.88/#.  I picked 1 up and a 3.5# pack of ground beef.  While the bird baked in a baking bag I browned and drained the beef, it's now in 2 quart baggies in the freezer, ready to be added to chili or sauce for a fast dinner.  The chicken will morph into a large chicken pot pie tomorrow.  Tasty little bird. May grab a couple more, bake them off and freeze for ready to go meals.

Dinner tonight was leftovers / on your we were all going in different directions and there were plenty in the fridge. 

My freebie was a calendar at Big Y, near the exit with the coupons magazine.  Going to try using it for long range meal planning - like Carol @ CT on a Budget.  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Long weekend

It's a 3 day weekend here!  Yay!
So nice that we have tomorrow off from school - kids will sleep in, I will attend to some laundry and paperwork until they wake up.
Just the usual stuff.

I actually have a big chunk of paperwork to sort through tomorrow - not my favorite task, but necessary.  I'm sure that most will get shredded.  Maybe with a little luck I can get to goodwill to drop  off the sack of outgrown clothes from Youngest's wardrobe.  Really wish that Salvation Army hadn't closed the store closest to us.  

Just the usual boring, trying to be as careful/mindful with spending as I can be.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Big day at Goodwill

Today after dropping the kids at school and picking up pet food at agway I made a stop at goodwill.  
Totally lucked out!  I was looking for some of the wire shelves that stack on each other...struck out.
Where I lucked out was, I got 7 sets of aluminum sock knitting needles - those are the ones where you use them in pairs and are pointy on both ends.  These were $.99 each - total deal, now I have to figure out if I'm going to learn to use them or send them to a friend that converts them into funky jewelry - anyhow they are great colors if I do send them out, I know she'll send me something cool from her collection.  

I also picked up another Wilton Armatell oval tray with scallop shell style handles. $3.99!   I got one as a wedding gift, found another at goodwill a few years ago and now have another.  Why do I need 3?  I might not but I use the 2 I gave a lot, they are great for serving right from the grill on - they retain heat nicely.  They are also great for cold appetizers since they stay cold if chilled first.  Plus they aren't huge.  

So while I didn't find my shelves I found another couple deals and I'm pretty happy!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2 days of snow.....

Wow!  Winter is here for real I guess.  

Yesterday we got the 5:30 am call school had a 2 hour delay.  After kids are out of the shower and I'm dressed, lunches packed kitchen cleaned up ready to head out the door for 8:20. The second call comes - school cancelled for the day.  Not all in our area closed, but I guess town road crew in the town the school is located was in touch with the superintendent.  Their public cancelled too.  Needless to say the kids were thrilled, changed from uniforms to hanging out clothes and set about puttering on tidier own projects.  I changed into housework clothes and started to dismantle the Christmas decorations.  Now the tree sits naked in the corner.  

Today we were supposed to get a little snow a dusting."but the town oldest was supposed to have a sports event was in the 4-8" range.  So sports were cancelled for today.  Yay since we would have had to be up and out of the house by 7 am.  Well, snow started earlier than forecasted and we had an 8" dusting at our house!  

Yup - another day of puttering, napping and Netflix.  Naked tree still in the corner of the living room.  

Frugally speaking things went well.  Spent no $$. Other than topping off gas tank when I went out this morning before snow.  Ate from home (hubby has decided that Aldi pizzas are the way to go - and picked up some on his way home last night). I finished up the ham & 15 bean soup.  


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2 down & 2 to go

Subbing this week....seems odd to sub after a winter break, but who am I to judge how people use their time if the school admins are ok with it.  
First 2 days are done and I'm beat!  I was looking forward to a relaxing. Igbo home Friday night, until hubby reminded me we have a dinner we have to go to.  Well, at least I don't have to cook - ha ha ha!
Saturday is a school sporting event for oldest.  These are all day things - last year the hosting school didn't have a great concessions either, so I will be packing good snacks for me and oldest.
Sunday we are the cooks at our church's soup kitchen, we like it but it's another commitment.  Do far my 1 NewYears resolution to not overbook weekends with hither & yon activities has been busted.   I must not get defeated!

On positive news, I pulled out my Aldi night face cream tonight and there was more in the jar than I recall.  This is really good, since the air has been so dry and icky lately.  I may slather it in on in daytimeI
 When I  don't have to be made up.  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Years Day - new start day

January 1,2017. 
What do I have planned for the day?  
Well, so far it's normal....trash out to bin, recycles to that bin, laundry washing away in the machine, dishwasher needed to be emptied and refilled.  

I'm subbing this week so on my plan is to look over the forecast and gather 4 outfits together for he week.  As with all post holiday vacations, re-entry to school is tough for my kids.  Their uniforms were readied last week while we were off.

I'm hoping that today I will also get some clothes sorting done and get started on my donations for the new tax year.  

Went thru a box of school notebooks from last year - tore out pages and have declared go the family that if they need to write a list or do scrap paper work they are to use one of book I've already told oldest they will be using since I refuse go buy another red notebook for AP history class when there are about 4-subjects left in this one. (This class has already taken a 3 sub & almost a 5 sub worth of notes in half a year)

I've been looking online for a planner for youngest - school didn't supply them this year and the one we tried (OSJobLot) isn't working well for this kiddo.  The only one I can find like the last 3 years I would need to order from a supply place and order a bunch (25 minimum). I found some printable a so I may do that until I can contact the supplier about getting Just 1, kinda plead with them.  
If the printable a work I will print a bunch and head to staples to have them coil bound.  I will talk to admin about why they stopped giving them to the kids - at least make the available if we want yo order them with their textbooks. 

That's it about with you?