When Do I Sit Down?

Modern mom just trying to make it!

Gift cards….how should you spend them? May 19, 2013

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When I was a kid, or any time before I had kids, and I got a gift card I knew I was going to blow that money on something I wanted. Anymore that is not the case. Now that the big kids are old enough to know that they got a gift card we give them the joy of blowing the money. We do try and teach them to make good choices with the gift cards.

For example my daughters birthday is in October. She got a $25 Amazon gift card. She wanted to spend it then. We talked to her and we all decided the best thing would be to hold on to it until after Christmas. That way if she did not get something she wanted she would have the gift card. It turned out she got another $25 Amazon gift card for Christmas. We talked a lot about what she could get with her $50 at Amazon. My 7 year old loves to read and thought it might be nice to have an ereader. We looked it up and for $60 she could get the bottom of the like Kindle. With her gift cards and giving us $10 of her Christmas cash she got her self an ereader. I was impressed with the thought she put into it.

My husband took my 3 year old to Target to use a gift card one time. He said that they looked at toys for along time. My son found a $25 toy on clearance that he was able to get with his $15 gift card (I think that mom and dad did pay the tax on that one).

Now how do I spend my gift cards….most of the time….on food. If the card is to my husband and I we by things we need for all of us. An extra $25 in the food budget can go a long way (use some coupons with that and it can go really far!!)  or be that special thing that you don’t normally spring for. If it is a gift card for the baby or as a shower gift I spend it on the baby. I have gotten nipples, formula, and diapers. It has helped our bottom line and they where things that he truly needed…not just stuff I thought was cute or fun.

Do I miss the fun stuff….yep. Have I found other ways to put fun in my life…yep. But in the end teaching my child to make a good choice with money (or a gift card) or knowing that my son has formula for the next month helps me sleep at night.

 

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Gearing up for summer saving May 17, 2013

Well as I sit here waiting for the morning bell to ring on the last Friday of the school year I am reflecting on what I need to do to save this summer.

I am looking for a new job and I know I have a paycheck until August so the need to build my stockpile now is very important. I have not had time to coupon the last few months due to work and family but now I am ready to go.

To go along with my savings plans I will start a new series called Summer Saving.

Well the kids are here so I should start class.

 

Giving on a budget May 4, 2013

My family is on the tightest budget it  has ever bin on. After several months of lost pay due to bed rest and then the medical bills that go with having a baby their is nothing extra at the end of the month. I still want to show my children that it is important to give to other is need. I think that this is even more important after people gave of their time and resources to my family when I was unable to cook or take care of my older children when I was on bed rest.

Sadly the sister of one of the family’s that has helped us out house burned to to ground. It was a total loss. When I got the email about this and knew that we needed to help. After taking to my friend I realized that I had an old blender that I don’t use in the basement and found out they needed personal care items. That is where I could help!

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This is the photo of things that I came up with to give. I also gave them the blender and some dryer sheets. I did not pay more then a dollar for any thing in the photo and most of it was free. These where all things I had in my stock pile from couponing that I knew I would not miss.

The food bank in town also takes personal items to help the local families. They are in need of egg cartons right now and that does not cost me a thing ( I was getting the eggs for us anyway). I also got several 4oz Similac bottles as freebies or free with coupons that I am going to pass on as well.

My children have helped me drop off donations or collect thinning at the house. I hope this helps show my children that helping others, even when things are tight, is an important thing.  I also believe in the saying “what goes around comes around” and with all the help we have gotten from others in hard times this is the least that I can do.

 

 

Complaining pays off January 12, 2013

Filed under: Couponing,Frugal Baby,Frugal Living — hmyers1 @ 8:48 pm
Tags: , , ,

Last Sunday I was upset when I went to get some formula that I thought I was going to be able to use some coupons on and then get a $15 rebate on. Over all it was going to be a good deal. I was very annoyed when I found out that the formula I needed did not qualify because it did not come in the right size. The container of the gentle formula was about and oz shy to use the coupons and get the rebate. Long story short I sent the company and email ( that turned out to be much harder then it should have been so I told them about that too). I sent the email on a Sunday night, got a response email on Monday that they would be sending me some formula and some coupons, and by Wednesday the formula was here. They where not joking then sent two cases of formula. I got 8 full size containers of formula. The formula is about $24 a container so I got $192 of formula for free!

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Save money – Shop out of season January 2, 2013

Today I had some unexpected free time and made a trip to Wal-Mart to get some things we needed. When I was there I hit the clearance section. I do this almost every time I go there (or any other store) I have save lots of money on many things my family needs by doing this.

Today I found water shoes for all of the kids. I got one of every size for the boys and the large size for my daughter. The all blue pare was $1.50 and the other three pairs where $1 each! The total cost before clearance was $28.92 my total was $4.50. Total savings of 85%. Got to love that!!!

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This summer there was an end cap clearance in the shoes section that had winter boots. I got two pairs for my daughter. The black pair fits her now, and I can pass down to the boys, and the pink pair should fit next year. Each pair was $5. The regular price was $25 a pair. That is a 67% savings.

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The trick is to try and remember what you already have. I am ok about this but am trying to do better. I will be doing a post later about some ways I am trying to improve on this.

 

Holidays on a dime – Giving December 10, 2012

We need to remember that this is the season of giving. There are lots of ways that you and your family can give without spending much money.

1. Clean house – You and your family will be getting gifts this time of year. Take some time a clean out the toys, books, clothes that you are not using anymore. Give them to a charity or a friend that you know will use them. My daughter does not use her Tag much any more and my 3 year old son loves it. My daughter is going to wrap it and give it to her brother for Christmas. My kids also like giving things to their day cares that way they still get to play with the toy but it is also being used by other kids. I have also donated things to are local Parents As Teachers and my kids classrooms. Teachers will like a bag of old books better then a candle or the 15th apple t-shirt.

2. Give of your time or talents –  There are many organizations that just need people to help hand things out or organized things. Think about being a bell ringer or working at the food bank. Do you love to act or sing? See if there is a group in the community that is doing any holiday performances that you could help with. Love to knit, sew, or croshay? See if there is a group that needs blankets, scarves, or hats to help keep others warm this winter.

3. Don’t for get the dollar store – No this is not being cheep. We have a Christmas Buddy from a local nursing home. We got a list of things that she liked. I took the older kids to the dollar store and for $10 we got her 10 things on her list. The candy and soap we got her where all name brand. The kids had fun picking things out for her and helped remind my kids that this is about giving to others.

4. Coupons – You know all the free stuff that you have gotten from couponing this is a good time to check you stock and see what you can clean out. I got extra deodorant (at the dollar store) for free that we do not need. I am going to pass it on to the food bank in town to give to those that need it. There are several other products I have done this with in the past. I will also be using some of the things I have for or Christmas Buddy. Think about other people that you have on your list that can benefit from your free items.

 

Couponing Score this week July 28, 2012

Filed under: Couponing,Frugal Living — hmyers1 @ 9:31 pm
Tags: ,

Shelf cost $141.23 – Out of pocket $65.88 – 54% saved The kids vitamins I did not have a coupon for but where on clearance at Wal-Mart it is almost 2 year worth for about $20 and that is a good price. They don’t “need” them but they like them and think they are fun so I am ok with that hurting my over all savings some – I would have been closer to 60% without them. There is also a Ladies Speed Stick MIA in my trunk someplace that I could not find……..

 

 
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