When Do I Sit Down?

Modern mom just trying to make it!

Saving on Summer Vacation June 9, 2013

There are lots of ways to save on summer vacation. We truly do a family vacation. We go on vacation with my mom and stepdad…..and my sisters and brother in law…..am some times family friends. We are lucky that my parents have a time share about less then two hours from our house and we have access to a beach house in South Carolina for cheap through the company my step dad works for.

We still try to save even with the fact we have some nice vacation spots.

1. Bring you own food keeps you from eating out and spending money. Even if you are staying in a hotel that does not have a kitchen keeping things like fruit, nuts, granola bars, peanut butter, and crackers around it can save a lot of money. If you have a small fridge think about lunch meat and cheese. We also go shopping when we get there if it is a long trip ( South Carolina is an 18 hour trip for us so we pack food to eat on the way and food for breakfast and hit Sam’s Club after we get there. This year we will be feeding seven adults, two kids, and the baby.)

2. Stay some place with a kitchen so you can cook!

3. Check for things that are free – breakfast, kids eat/stay free, pool, appetizers, Internet….you get the idea.

4. Go with extended family or friends and split the cost. This works well if you want a date on vacation too. If your friends have kids you stay in and watch all the kids one night and your friend gets to do it the next.

5. Check for free activities before you leave. With the Internet it is so easy to find parks, festivals, or other free activities where you are staying.

6. Do they have free laundry? Both place we go I can do my laundry for free other then the cost of the detergent. I know that doing laundry on vacation does not sound like fun but it saves me a lot of work when I get home. I bring a laundry bag and we put all the dirty wash in it as we go. The day before we leave I do at least one load of wash in, fold it, and pack it in each persons bag. When I get home the dirty laundry goes down the steps as soon as I walk in the door and everyone’s bag goes to there room with clean clothes to go back into their dresser!

What are your tips for saving money on vacation?

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Summer Purge – Donation June 3, 2013

Filed under: Cleaning,Organization — hmyers1 @ 12:22 pm
Tags: , , ,

One of my main goals for this summer is to purge the things we don’t need any more. We have stuffed animals that have been in storage for years, cloths of Ks I need to pass on, bang stuff people passed on to us I will never use, and baby stuff we are done with. (Luckily my little sister got married last year and wants all of the baby and maternity stuff! )

Today I loaded up my car with stuff to drop off tomorrow.

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The bags on the left go to my husbands aunt for her little girl. The stuff on the right will go to a local place that takes donations. My living room is just full of stuff right now but I have to keep it where I can see it or I will never get it done. This make my husband crazy so it is a good thing he is out of town!

 

TO GO mug TO STAY

When I am home and trying to get things done I have a bad habit of poring my coffee (or opening a Coke) and walking away from it. When you don’t sit down most of the day it is an easy thing to do. I have been reading the blog A Slob Comes Clean a lot the last few days (LOVE this blog). I have been using it as motivation to clean the house. I have been trying to do small tasks whenever I can. Getting a lot done but that meas less sitting and more leaving my coffee.  I remembered something thins morning…a TO GO cup!

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This way when I poor my coffee and walk away it is still warm when I come back! I took it with me to drop the big kids off, when I feed the baby when I got home, and it is sitting next to me right now keeping my coffee warm for when I get a chance to take my next drink. Simple things that make me smile!  : )

 

Post it to do list June 2, 2013

Well my husband left today for the first of many long trips this summer. That leaves me with three kids and everything. I know there are people that do this all the time but I am not one of them. I also found out that I got the teaching job I want in the big town close to us. It is only .87 time but pays well.

I now have some motivation to really clean this house, purge things, and get some plans in place for the big changes we will have to make next school year. The only problem is I am totally sleep deprived and for large stretches of time a single parent with thee kids and one is a baby! I forget what I opened the pantry for how am I going to remember what I want/need to get done????

In an odd moment of clarity I had an idea……post it notes.

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Ok it is not the best looking think but here is the idea. Every time I come up with something I need/ want to do I am going to put it on a post it and stick it to the cabinet door that I walk by a million times a day. I put the things that need to be done NOW at eye level and the less important ones higher up. I will then move them down as needed. When I get something do I get to through it away…that is going to feel good. So what about when people come over? I am just going to put them on the inside of the door. I also think this might work for me because when I make a list I losse it. This way my husband will also knows what needs to be done. We will see how this works but I have to say I am kind of excited about 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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Busy Bag Storage January 5, 2013

I have seen many ways to store busy bags. In our family room we have a tall cabinet that has the kids toys in it. I keep a basket on top of the cabinet that has all of the buys bags for my 3 year old in it. When he get board he will just ask for the blue basket. If I think he needs something to keep him out of trouble I had him the blue basket. This is what works for us. How do you store your busy bags? Leave a comment and let use know. I would love to get some more ideas on how to store them. 021

 

 
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