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?