Friday, August 31, 2012

Frugal Five Meet Anne


Welcome to the Frugal Five! This week Anne  a newlywed  who just became debt free from Virginia answers the Frugal Five! 

What is your financial life?
Our financial life is simple really. We were just married 2 months ago. I am the sole income while my husband finishes his Civil Engineering degree. 


What is your budget buster?

Our budget buster right now really isn't anything out of the ordinary. Our monthly expenses, to include gas and groceries, are slightly more than half of our monthly income. We were paying the majority of the other half of the income on paying down our debt but now we can put money away for my husband's tuition and books for the next year or so of school that he has left. The lack of a budget buster I attribute to our monthly budgeting habits.


What is your favorite money saving tip?
Our favorite money saving tip is to work from a new budget each month so that we know exactly where each cent is going before we get paid. This way, we know how much "fun" or "personal spending" money we have after we meet our expense and saving needs. Other ways we cut back on our spending was getting rid of all unnecessary expenses such as Direct TV, dining out, etc. The way that we have coped without cable TV is subscribing to Netflix which is great for an AMAZING price. No additional charge on our internet bill either. Cut the unnecessary expenses.



If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?
 If we had an extra $1000 we would have put it toward paying down our debt which would have put us a month ahead of our goal. Now that we are debt free, we will add it to our saving goal of 6 months of expenses in our emergency fund.



What is your best resource for frugal living?
) My best resource of frugal living is the guidance of Dave Ramsey and his book "The Total MoneyMakeover" and and his "Financial Peace University". We follow a monthly budget every month along with an allocated budgeting form. We've done this for 2 years now and it's been so wonderful. My husband is also a great resource. Any major purchase, we discuss it first and then do some research if necessary. Our "major" purchase is anything over $50-$100 that is not related to regular expenses such as bills, gas, etc. We've cut back a lot on eating out and spend our money on groceries. This is a huge saving.

Do you want to be featured on the Frugal Five  contact us through our facebook page 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thrifty Thursday rewind August 30th

Here is our Thrifty Thursday rewind! We have started school this week and getting into the routine.   The new school year is always time of reflection and renewal for me even more then the beginning of the actual new year.

One thing to double check is your financial goals and make sure you are keeping on track  .  Are you sloppy and getting away with it? is kind of reminder



HOW DO YOU SAVE MONEY?

Please remember to follow the Thrifty  Thursday Rewind  linkup  
  1. Link up an old  money saving idea post (we want to give love to some of your older posts)
  2. No giveaways or deals posts.
  3. Recipes are allowed, but share how it is thrifty! 
  4.  A link back is nice but not required 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How we survived on basic cable this past year


Our $75 tv we got on craiglist  4 years ago 
Last August  on the first day of school, we made the decision to cut out most of our cable.  Our Comcast cable  bill including  HBO was  getting to $100 a month.       The boys would sit for hours in front of the “boob tube”  watching Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network  and so much more.  Plus they would want everything that they would see on commercials.  (We won’t talk about my addiction to Real housewives on Bravo) And a plus my husband isn’t a huge sport fan so we don’t need to worry about that.  Still we I don’t think we were watching  $1200 worth of tv a year.   I couldn't  justify that this was our primary entertainment budget anymore.  

I didn’t tell the boys and they were alittle upset.   I saw a bit of bratty behavior that stuck them into their room for a couple of hours.  Oh well, I was standing my ground. 
Instead of having all of the tv  channels, we went down to basic cable for $13 a month. We have older tv that isn’t 100% digital  and honestly I don’t want to worry about switching over to digital.

So how have we survived without premium cable for the past year.

1.       We already had Netflix with 2 discs service =$20.00 monthly cost  The kids were already watching this on the Nintendo  we had bought. Netlfix has alot of tv series that I never watched before plus a number of movies. 
2.       We bought a Roku player  for $69.99  for my bedroom tv 
3.       We signed up for Hulu Plus for $7.99 a month  If you had a DVR Hulu plus is great replacement for broadcast tv,  It has ABC, Fox, CW and Fox tv shows for the past season. They also have some older tv shows .  Occasionally, a real housewives show will be shown. 
4.       We use the library a lot more-the kids and I  are reading more  
5.       We have puzzle or game  night every Wednesday in our house and during the winter we add in hot coco 
6.       The kids don’t know as much about all the latest toys etc  keeping those expenses down.



Annual cost savings 

Basic cable cost  $156
Netflix  $240
Hulu plus  $96
So our TV costs $292 compared to $1200. We saved $900 in year making this simple switch.   Good deal 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Food Safety after a power outage

With Hurricane Isaac going to hit the gulf area, here are some good reminders about food safety and food in the refrigerator from the USDA 

POWER OUTAGES 

We practice basic safe food handling in our daily lives, but obtaining and storing food safely becomes more challenging during a power outage or natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. 

Steps to Follow to Prepare for a Possible Weather Emergency:
Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer. An appliance thermometer will indicate the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer in case of a power outage and help determine the safety of the food.

  • Make sure the freezer is at 0 °F (Fahrenheit) or below and the refrigerator is at 40 °F or below.
  • Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers after the power is out.
  • Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately-this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
  • Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.
  • Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
  • Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.
  • Group food together in the freezer—this helps the food stay cold longer.

Steps to Follow During and After the Weather Emergency:
  • Never taste a food to determine its safety!
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
  • The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed).
  • Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below.
  • Obtain block ice or dry ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic-foot full freezer for 2 days.
  • If the power has been out for several days, then check the temperature of the freezer with an appliance thermometer or food thermometer. If the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below, the food is safe.
  • If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, then check each package of food to determine its safety. If the food still contains ice crystals, the food is safe.
  • Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers, and deli items after 4 hours without power.
  • When in Doubt, Throw it Out!

Frugal menu planning week of August 26th

Well the summer is ending this week! The boys go back to school on Wednesday. Finished up our back to school shopping   I went to Old Navy and made out on a great deal. I do a hole in my pocket since they gave me a $30 off $75 coupon to use in a few weeks. I really don't need anything but.... 

We got soccer starting this week and cub scouts next week   Karate never stopped but my oldest will be taking a 7;30 class instead of 5:30pm.   it gets really busy and I need to plan to make sure that we don't order last minute pizza. 


I also created a new facebook page! I would love for you to follow me https://www.facebook.com/MommaAndTheBoysLivingOnABudget





Sunday  Steak and eggs, green beans ,  squash fries for me and french fries for the boys


Monday    Cheesy beef and broccoli  check out the recipe  I had this on the menu last week but we didn't get it eaten.  

Tuesday   Meatballs and sauce over spagetti   i got some good deals on ground turkey and ground beef last week so on I made a ton of meatballs this will feed my freezer for 3-4 meals.  I will throw the meatballs in the crockpot 

Wednesday Tuna melts we need to use up alot of tomatoes  I will be making zucchini tator tots as a side.

Thursday  Pork chops and baked spinach casserole 

Friday  Clean out the fridge night! I am sure that there will be some leftovers

Saturday  Homemade pizza

Are you looking for even more menu ideas check out  Monday meal plans at organizing junky  And if you a frugal blogger please join thrifty thursday linkup!


Friday, August 24, 2012

How to make a frugal budget work



One of the ways that I successfully manage our household income, is that I develop a budget that is within my means. 
1. Figure out how much your expenses are every month.
You should list every expense that you have every month including money spent on entertainment like going out to eat and hobbies, and also any credit card or other debt payments you make on a monthly basis.  
Free Budgeting Tips &  Tools on the Web. .

2. Figure out how much money you have coming in every month.
Figure out your monthly income including returns from investments or other sources of income, as well as your job. If you have a commission based job such as a my husband I use the last 12 month average.  
3. See how your earnings compare to your expenses.
You need to see how your current budget is working so take your earnings and subtract your expenses. The amount left is what you have after you pay all your bills.
4. Make your budget a frugal budget.
If you have more expenses than you do income, you should adjust your expenses until you have a little money left over at the end of the month.  You may need to cut out some extras.   Maybe you don't go out to eat every week or you may need to cut out the extra cable stations.

5. Make sure your frugal budget includes money to pay down debts.
If you are paying off debts by making minimum payments, you need to build up some extra in your frugal budget to pay more towards your debts every month. That may mean cutting some things out of your frugal budget to get the extra money to put towards debts.  Or if you have debt it maybe time to get a extra job.    My recommendations for paying off debt is credit card debt, car debt and then  student loans.  

6. Make sure you are saving money.
You also need to include savings in your frugal budget. Everyone should have an emergency fund of atleast 6-8 months. You may also want to save for retirement or for a vacation in the future. It is a good idea to write your goals down and then work towards saving for those goals. If you have debt, though,you should save a small emergency fund and then be aggressive on the  debt.  

7. Use this new budget to manage your money.
As soon as you get your new frugal budget all ready, you should start following it and see how it works out. As you implement your frugal budget, you may need to make small changes At the end of each month, look over your expenditures to see if they are matching up to your budget. If they aren’t, determin e if you need to work harder to stick to your spending plan; or if you need to rework your budget to reflect your actual spending.

There are different ways to make money but also there are many simple things you can do to save it and make Your life easier. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cardstore.com – Free Grandparents Day Card –

FREE Grandparents Day Cards + Free Shipping at Cardstore.com! Use Code: CCK2248 at checkout


Grandparent's Day will be held on Sunday September 9th.2012 this year. 
Mrs. McQuade and her team turned to the media to garner support. They also began contacting governors, senators, congressmen in every state. And they sent letters to churches, businesses, and numerous national organizations interested in senior citizens. In 1978, five years after its West Virginia inception, the United StatesCongress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The proclamation was signed by President Jimmy Carter. (September was chosen for the holiday, to signify the "autumn years" of life.)
Today this event, begun by only a few, is observed by millions throughout the United States.

Thursday August 23rd through Sunday August 26th , Cardstore.com is back with another FREE custom photo card – this time, they’re offering a FREE Grandparents Day Cards + Free Shipping at Cardstore.com!
Thursday August 23rd through Sunday August 26th , Cardstore.com is back with another FREE custom photo card – this time, they’re offering a FREE Grandparents Day Cards + Free Shipping at Cardstore.com!


  • Select the card you want and personalize it
  • Enter promo code CCK2248 at checkout (after your shipping info) – good through August 26th
  • Free Shipping only valid in the US, Cannot be combined with any other offer. Be sure to confirm the shipping is free before finalizing your order. 




Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thrifty Thursday rewind August 23rd

Welcome to another Thrifty Thursday rewind link-up!

You never know when you are going to have a money emergency, a murphy's law event happen in your life. Life is so much less stressful when have money saved up to handle those things.

We had a job loss in 2009 and our finished  basement flooded in 2010. Two things that hit our emergency fund pretty hard.

Have you ever had  to use your rainy day fund?   Here are some tips that  I shared back in 2007 that I used when we had our "big emergencies"  When a rainy day happens




HOW DO YOU SAVE MONEY?

Please remember to follow the Thrifty  Thursday Rewind  linkup  
  1. Link up an old  money saving idea post (we want to give love to some of your older posts)
  2. No giveaways or deals posts.
  3. Recipes are allowed, but share how it is thrifty! 
  4.  A link back is nice but not required 


Finally on Facebook -join me

I finally set up a facebook page for my website! Please join me there for discussions on motherhood, saving money and so much more 

Here are some tips on facebook for kids from the super media couple  I shared these when I allowed my 13 year to be on facebook. 


#1) Parents must have the password: The password is the key to unlock the door for full access into your child’s Facebook profile. It must be shared with the parents. And only with the parents! This is essential for accountability and building trust in the relationship as it allows parents to spot check the News Feed and Inbox from time to time. If the password must be changed (and we recommend changing it every 60-90 days for security reasons), parents must know what it is immediately. To us, this is a non-negotiable for kids being on Facebook.
#2) Parents must be full access Friends: Facebook has created a number of ways to help Facebookers protect themselves such as setting up Friend Lists, limiting what certain people can access and hiding certain parts of their profile from view. But when it comes to parents and their kids, not only must the parents and kids be Facebook Friends, but the parents must be able to view as much as possible- all pictures, videos, posts, updates, tags…everything. This creates a check-and-balance and keeps the surprises to a minimum.
#3) Kids are fully responsible for their Facebook: While kids can’t be responsible for the dumb things their Facebook Friends post on their Wall and News Feed, your kids must be responsible for anything posted from their own profile. If they leave a public place and kept their Facebook logged on and somebody posts something acting like your kid (regardless if it’s inappropriate or not), your kid is responsible for it. If they allow a friend to use their Facebook profile to send messages out to people, your kid is responsible for it. Once something is posted, it can never be permanently removed. Hopefully this helps them think twice (or a third or fourth time) about allowing someone else to borrow their identity for a little while.
#4) Watch what is said because others are watching: What your kid posts is seen by everyone they’re friends with: family, coaches, youth leaders, teachers, family friends, neighbors and more. And if commented on by a Facebook Friend, all their Friends may see that too. So watch what is said: no swearing, no threats, and no innuendos. And watch who is talked about: no complaining about parents, no putting down siblings, no publicizing family spats. A good rule of thumb when posting anything is to ask, “What would happen if what I’m posting was posted on the Google home page for everyone to see?”
#5) Friend real people that are really known: Facebook is about connecting and reconnecting with people who are part of one’s past or present reality. There is no contest or award for “who can get the most Facebook Friends.”  Avoid Friending people just because others have Friended them. Also, don’t Friend strangers. And don’t raid the parents’ Friends either. The key question to ask when Friending or considering a Friend Request is, “do I really trust this person to see the updates, the pictures and the information I post and not do something bad with them?” 
#6) Keep personal information private: Kids are an open book and much more na├»ve about the world. There are real bad people in the world. Some bad people are using Facebook for bad purposes. Said bad people are hacking Facebook accounts to gain access to  people’s private information and that of their Facebook Friends. So, to be as safe as possible, don’t post personal information on Facebook (physical address, full birth date, place of employment, etc). Also, avoid updates such as, “Parents are gone. I’m home alone and bored,” or “Our family is gone on vacation for three weeks!” These kinds of updates can invite bad people to do bad things to a family member or the family’s home.  
#7) If in doubt, ask the parents: Participating in an online social network opens up all kinds of new situations and scenarios for people to deal with. And sometimes the answer isn’t quite so clear. In some cases, the “right” solution can feel awkward or put you in a difficult place. What we have come to discover is that adults don’t always know how to deal with Facebook-related issues, how then can we expect our teenage kids to deal with them and do it correctly? Kids need a safe place to turn if a Facebook Friend is crossing a line, if an uncomfortable situation arises, or if they don’t know how to respond to a distressing message. That safe place should be their parents. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Giveaway alert Win a Amazon gift card!

Christmas is only 4 months away.  Two of my  boys are asking for Kindle fires  and I am itching to get one as well.    Amazon is great place to do your shopping! check out this great giveaway to win Amazon gift cards!
GiftHulk - Rewards The EZ Way giveaway
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GiftHulk offers users more than 15 different ways to earn Hulk Coins! These include Search & ;Win, Offer Walls, Daily Surveys, Friends Connect, Treasure Box (patent pending technology) and much more!  

How many times a day do you search online?
Imagine winning gift cards the same second that you press "Search" button!
It's like Google on steroids!


Currently GiftHulk is open to users from USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.
GiftHulk - Rewards The EZ Way
Why GiftHulk?
“Time Is Money.” However, when it comes to surfing on the Internet we totally forget about it and spend our time refreshing Facebook and Twitter to see if there is a fresh update. We all do it.

GiftHulk established a way to make it possible to gain from surfing the web and your online daily activities! The main goal is to allow people the things that they really want and need – for absolutely FREE!

That is the main reason they offer such a huge selection of gifts, from department and fashion stores to online shopping cards to premium game account cards and even cool gadgets! The idea is that every person will be able to enjoy GiftHulk!

One lucky winner will receive a $150 Amazon Gift Card & 2 additional winners $50 Amazon Gift Cards.

Giveaway ends September 3rd at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Frugal meal planning week of August 19th

We got back last Thursday from  week long vacation at my parent's cottage on the lake.  I brought some easy food and we ate out a few times.  We did a water park that cost us close to $170  and we brought our own lunch that day.  There was a family of 5 that sat down at a picnic table near us and when she was walking by she said she wished she was smart and packed lunches and snacks as it cost close to $50 for their lunch! Yowza.  On last week's   Thrifty Thursday I took a look back my frugal vacation at the cottage.

We did also go to a super large arcade  and then attempted to use a restaurant.com mobile app gift certificate but the restaurant didn't know how to use it.  That was very frustrating but sometimes especially on vacation you need to shrug some stuff off.   I did report back to restaurant.com and they refunded my $4.00 that I purchased the gift certificate.

The one thing that gets me is the Ice cream boat! Yes an ice cream boat that seems very expensive. I do let the kids get one or two treats from it each week while we are on vacation. I do believe in ice cream daily while on vacation between going to get a cone at the local place to grabbing a half gallon at the local store! The boys and I had plenty of ice cream.

I do have a few large bills coming due in September plus all the back to school showing.  I am not super great about "sinking funds"  This is our last full week of summer vacation  before school starts!

Also my garden is growing plenty of tomatoes,  green peppers and  zucchini

Here is our menu plan for this week

Sunday  Gourmet burgers,  squash fries for me and french fries for the boys

Monday   Quick and Easy Lasagna cupcakes  New recipe I am trying!

Tuesday  Cheesy beef and broccoli  check out the recipe

Wednesday Chicken and zucchini tator tots  these are new to me but I wanted to try them out.  They look like a lot of work,

Thursday  Sandwiches as we are heading out to a free  outdoor movies

Friday  Clean out the fridge night! I am sure that there will be some leftovers

Saturday  Homemade pizza


Are you looking for even more menu ideas check out  Monday meal plans at organizing junky  And if you a frugal blogger please join thrifty thursday linkup!

PS grab this great free grilling  cookbook

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bloggers wanted for gift card giveaway

Sponsored by GiftHulkhosted by Mom Powered Media

At GiftHulk users can earn gift cards, electronics and other rewards the EZ Way, by doing things they already do online – searching, answering surveys and more!
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The event dates: 8/20 - 9/3
Sign-Up Here - Bloggers Wanted

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Giveaway: Win a Crafting at Sea Cruise for Two!

If you are crafty and looking for a vacation then you need to enter. All Aboard Crafters! Craftsy’s first-ever Quilt Cruise will be leaving the dock on March 23, 2013, for a week-long Caribbean vacation full of your favorite crafting pastime plus great sightseeing and relaxing!

I have done scrapbooking weekends and those are so much fun! I couldn't imagine geting away for a cruise plus being able to do all sort of fun crafts. and Yes the boys would stay home. I would take my sister in law who is my favorite scrapbooker in the world.   Plus I would love to learn some cake decorating! 




Hop off when the ship docks in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Mexico for fun excursions before you reboard for more crafting adventures with your fellow cruise mates. Craftsy is even giving away one pair of tickets every month, so you and a guest can get away for an incredible quilting experience and Caribbean vacation!


View the complete itinerary, learn all about ship amenities, all the contest rules  and enter now for a chance to win!


About Craftsy We are dedicated to providing the best education and resources for crafters. Check out our courses in quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cake decorating   and more! 

Walgreens – Free 8×10 Photo through Tuesday 8/21

Walgreens is once again offering a FREE 8×10 photo print, which is available from now through Tuesday August 21st. Just head to the Photo section online at Walgreens.com and choose an 8×10 print. When you get to checkout, choose in-store pickup. Use the coupon code: GETONEFREE to drop the price to $0 and no shipping with in-store pickup.



This is such a great deal!   I love to use these photo prints for gifts for grandparents  and  it is  a good idea to get started now even for the Christmas  holidays so you can have enough for gifts by taking advantage of these freebies they offer.  I have a number of nice summer photos that that  I will make a collage of.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Back to school shopping deals at Walgreens


We have been sharing back to school deals for the past month, but school is starting in the next few weeks so school shopping is really ramping up! We know that back to school shopping can be tough on the family budget for actual school supplies. while I love shopping for a bargain, I hate the actual process of shopping in large stores that is why I love finding the deals at the smaller drug stores like Walgreens. 

 Here are the best back to school deals at Walgreens this week.  

Back to School Deals:

Highlighter, Wexford - $.19 each with in-ad coupon (limit 6)
Pencil Sharpener, Wexford - $.39 each with in-ad coupon (limit 3)
Glue Sticks, 3-pack Wexford - $.49 each with in-ad coupon (limit 3)
Plastic Supplies Box, 12-pack Penway Colored Pencils - $.69 each
Wexford 3-Subject Notebook, 120 sheets   OR Kleenex Facial Tissue, 24-100 sheets $.99
Use $1/4 Kleenex coupon from 8/12 SmartSource (may have been regional?)
Final Price: as low as $.74/ea
Paper Mate Profile Retractable Pen - $.79 each with in-ad coupon (limit 3)
Crayola Crayons, 24 pack - $.99
5-Tab Index Divider with Pockets, Wexford - $.99
Liquid Paper Correction Pen or Fluid - $.99
Book Covers, Stretchable or 2-pack Shrink to Fit - $2
Planahead Planner, Wexford 13-Pocket Expandable File or 50-ct sheet Protectors, 7-pocket file - $2.99
Dual Power Calculator (8 or 12 Digit, Wexford) - $3.99
Tech Gear Zipper Binder –  $5.99  (maybe to use for a coupon binder too?)
Submit for $2 mail-in-rebate
Final Price: $3.99
W Photo 8GB SDHC Card or  Sandisk 4GB USB Flash Drive - $9.99
Swiss Backpack $19.99
Submit for  $5 mail-in-rebate
Final Price: $14.99
Notebooks, Portfolios, Binders - Buy one, get one free
Mead Portfolio or Notebook - Buy one, get one free

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thrifty Thursday August 16th

We are in the midst of coming back from summer vacation.  I am lucky that my parents own a  beautiful cottage on a nice lake.  Since my Mom is now retired earlier this  year  my Dad and her spend the majority of the summer up there.   

Here are some past frugal posts that I have mention about my parents and my upbringing about money. 


Are we better off than our parents?


Our No spend vacation  (of course this was after our big Disney adventure' let's say this year was not No spend) 


Did you learn your money habits from your mom? ( I actually wrote this up in the cottage while on dial up  back in 2005. No internet up there and even 3g cell service is touchy at best I don't think I would know how to use dial up internet now)  


Reflections on my dad   A father's day tribute 







HOW DO YOU SAVE MONEY?

Please remember to follow the Thrifty  Thursday Rewind  linkup  
  1. Link up an old  money saving idea post (we want to give love to some of your older posts)
  2. No giveaways or deals posts.
  3. Recipes are allowed, but share how it is thrifty! 
  4.  A link back is nice but not required 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Make your back to school brighter with Astrobright

This post brought to you by Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

It is hard to believe it  August and school will be starting by the end of the month. And with school starting again, my schedule typically spirals out of control balancing  work, school and all the after school activities. This year I am trying to be prepared as possible!

I am involved with  my youngest 2 boys elementary school  parent teacher group. I have severed as the secretary for the past 2 years and will be doing the same.  It seems like we are always making flyers about school events and fundraisers.   I want to make a  change with our handouts this year-no more plain white paper.  I want to make sure they are eye catching and will not be forgotten in kids school backpacks.  

My husband is also the leader for the local  cub scout pack.  We also need to share a lot of updates and a monthly newsletter. We want to make sure that it is read and not tossed.

I have found some great paper to really help with me this task Astrobrights Paper  I was thrilled to see they offer 23 different bright colors so I will be able to pick the perfect color that for each flyer.  

Astrobrights is more than making flyers . There are all sort of crafts that you can make with them.  Teachers can make beautiful name tags to go desks.  In cub scouts, we need to do a huge centerpiece that is made out of paper we could make a blue and gold  flower centerpiece. Plus I see it helping us get organized after school with a chore chart. My boys sometimes need a gentle nudge to remind them to get their chores done. 

Did you know AstroBrights can help support your local elementary school?  If you want to be part of this amazing opportunity for your local school; you need to enter the “Give a Brighter Year” sweepstakes.  As if you are the lucky winner, you would win a cash price and school supplies valued at $30,000 for whatever school you select.    You can enter via Astrobrights on Facebook

Along with the "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes  is challenging all to be part of their “Make Something Astrobright”.  So put on your creative thinking hat and get busy.  Your creativity could lead to AstroBrights paper and other amazing prizes.  After you have created your Astrobrights project take some photos and maybe a video too.  Get busy sharing via Pinterest, Facebook  Twitter.  Make sure to use the hashtag #goastrobrights

Good Luck!  We can't wait to see the unique and creative projects you are able to design with AstroBrights

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Thrifty Thursday rewind August 9th

Happy Thursday!  

It is back to school for many families at this time.  We don't go back until the end of August and we are taking a quick trip to my parent's cottage before hand.  However,  I am getting into the swing of back to school shopping.     The back-to-school season is one of the largest sales season for the United States retail . industry, second only to the Christmas holiday selling season.  


Do you really need to get everything new?  I shared in the past when my boys were preschoolers  and 1st grader   about  Back to school shopping in the closet     I still do follow some strategies but  I have to admit it is little tougher now .  My mom oftens buys my boys alot of clothes at Christmas and their birthday that are often two sizes too big. (she still doesn't learn 7 years later)



My Rewind link   Back to school shopping in the closet   


So share your back to school shopping techniques or any other frugal advice we would love to have you here on our frugal blog. 





How do YOU save money?

Please remember to follow the Thrifty  Thursday Rewind  linkup  
  1. Link up an old  money saving idea post (we want to give love to some of your older posts)
  2. No giveaways or deals posts.
  3. Recipes are allowed, but share how it is thrifty! 
  4.  A link back is nice but not required 

Easy Egg Breakfast ideas for busy mornings


Morning times can very hectic especially when  getting back to the daily routine of school.  We have three boys who are growing so quickly and always on the go with sports, cub scouts school and playing in general and being out the door by 7am.  They are always hungry and I have definitely found that starting them off with protein rich  breakfasts keep them going longer than sugary boxed cereals.

Here are some of our fast  breakfast ideas-I usually do this on Sunday evenings while watching something on Netflix or Hulu
Easy egg breakfast ideas

Easy Bacon or Sauage  Egg and Cheese breakfast  Sandwich  


24  English muffins or Bagels (I try to use whole wheat or multigrain)
24  Eggs
Bacon  or precook sausage patties
American Cheese slices
Salt and Pepper

Toast your bagels or English muffins

If doing bacon ones I bake a bunch of bacon on cookie sheets  in the oven - 425 degrees for 15 minutes  Otherwise I throw in the precook sausage patties into the microwave

I take a dozen eggs and fry up each one.   I have a big skillet griddle  that will fry up   6  eggs at a time.  I salt and pepper the eggs and break the yolk to cook it up too so it is not runny.

Then it is assembly time

I take an egg, bacon or sausage patty and a slice of cheese   and layer the sandwich.

I wrap each sandwich in foil.  This allows my the kids to just heat it up in the toaster oven  in the morning before school or my husband can do it in the office.

Occasionally this become after school snacks like I said I have growing boys!  

Baked Omelets 


This can be premade and is usually my breakfast of choice instead of the breakfast sandwich.
- 4 eggs
-diced vegetables like broccoli, onions, peppers, spinach (great way to use up small amounts of leftovers) or use frozen veggies, Just make sure you drain well.
-diced cooked meats like ham and turkey (optional)
- shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
-fresh or dried herbs

I put this in  9 inch pie plate at 425 degrees  and it gives me breakfast for 4 mornings.

Occasionally I will 2 of the baked omelets for something different to eat than the breakfast sandwiches.

If you are wondering I buy 36 eggs week.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Frugal Menu planning week of August 5th

wow this summer is flying! We are taking a few more days at the cottage at this end of this week and the beginning of next week. I like easy grillable food for those nights along with some pasta salad and other summer type of salads. We also go out to eat several times because who like to really cook while on vacation. My parents will be up as well and we will take them out as a thank you for allowing us to use their vacation home.

 Sunday Steak, eggs, green beans and sweet potato fries all on the grill way to hot to cook inside the house

 Monday Salsa chicken in the crockpot

 Tuesday Cheesey Beef and Broccolli

 Wednesday Chili from the freezer (I made an extra batch last time

 Thursday Cub scout cookout we clean up our local town park, and have a cook out to wrap up the evening

On vacation!



Are you looking for even more menu ideas check  out  Monday meal plans at organizing junky


Please join us...



Saturday, August 04, 2012

iPad daily giveaway from Coupons.com

Enter to win 


 Even IF you don’t want an iPad you KNOW someone who does! 


 The Coupons.com iPad-a-day Giveaway starts today, August 3rd and runs through August 9th. GO HERE to enter today!!!! 




 One new iPad will be given away EACH day. That will be a total of SEVEN (7) winners. Limit is one entry per person per day. The winners are chosen during a daily drawing which is done by an external party 


Winners will be notified via e-mail. You can visit EACH day and place your entry, then print your coupons!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Gap outlet coupon-perfect for back to school shopping

This Saturday August 4th & Sunday August 5th, both the Gap outlet & Banana Republic outlet have a 30% off your entire purchase printable coupon you can use in-store only.  



This is a fantastic coupon especially with Back to school shopping going on – we used this earlier in the year &   got some great deals at the Gap Outlet as this can be combined with any of the sales that are happening – it’s an extra 30% off your total amount of purchase.. I am checking my list twice to make sure I get some good deals for the boys school clothing.   They are growing like weeds. 

and according the the Gap facebook page you can show it on your smart phone  Sweet! 

If  you missed the gap outlet coupon clothing coupons and deals for back to school

Dollar General Printable Coupon: $5 Off $25 on Friday 8/3 Only!


Hurry on over and snag this $5 Off Dollar General Printable Coupon for use today 8/3/12 only. Before you head out with this store coupon, be sure to stop at Coupons.com for free printable coupons on
cleaning supplies, personal care, baby items, groceries and more! You can stack the $5 Off store coupon with manufacturer’s coupons for extra savings on stuff you need!


$0.75 off 2 select Betty Crocker products
$0.50 off select Bisquick products
$0.75 off any Cascadian Farm product
$1.00 off 2 select Cheerios cereals
$0.75 off ONE BOX Total cereal
$1.00 off U.S.A. Kids Cups Product

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Giveaway: Win a New MacBook Air Notebook Computer!



 Head on over and Enter to WIN a brand new MacBook Air 11″ Notebook Computer when you signup for Unsubscriber, a fantastic free service that works with your Gmail to keep unwanted emails OUT of your inbox! What could be better than less spam AND a chance to WIN a NEW MacBook Air!?!



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  • To participate, sign up for the Unsubscriber application using their gmail.com account.
  • Contestants can live anywhere in the world to win. OtherInbox will only pay for shipping in the continental United States. The winner must pay for shipping if they want the MacBook Air shipped outside of the continental United States.
  • Only one MacBook Air will be given away in this contest. An individual participant may win a maximum of one prize.
  • Participants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of entry. Verification of your age will be required.