Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Toby

This picture really says it all. This is Toby- a very happy boy with a huge heart. Today he turned 11. Mark and I took him out to lunch and then to Rita's for dessert. Tonight we will eat a light dinner of sandwiches (his choice) and cake. He opted for moms famous Graham Cracker cake instead of a store bought cake. This is an older picture- He isnt missing all of those teeth at the moment! Toby was my first FAST birth. His coming into the world is one I will never forget! I went from being 4 centimeters dialated to 10 in 3 minutes!!! Thank God my midwife was writting notes and had not left the room yet or Mark would have delivered him.

Toby is my sweet boy. He is sensitive and fun loving. At times, he tries to get the rise out of his brothers by being a bit annoying but it really is in fun.

Happy Birthday Toby! You are very much loved.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Frugal Friday on Monday

This will be my last Frugal Friday for a while so I thought I would list a few things instead of talking about just one thing.

1. Save a little from every pay check. I started doing this when my boys were little and our budget was super tight. Every pay check I would take 20.00 and put it away. It may not seem like a lot of money but do the math. If you never put money away then at the end of the year you have nothing. If you put as little as 40.00 a month away by the end of the year you have 480.00! that is nothing to sneeze at. Even if you only have 10.00 to put away do it. It will make you feel like you are doing something towards savings.

2. If you get an extra pay check during the month use that to pay down bills or sock away. We never put extra pay into our everyday budget.

3. cooking from scratch. This may seem obvious but so many people don't feel that they have the time. I say, make the time. I look at cooking from scratch as not only healthier for my family but frugal. I have even started to make a lot of my own mixes, laundry detergent and (soon) soap.

4. Use your bread maker- dust off your bread maker and use it! I use mine almost everyday. It really helps to stretch the bread budget and I can make different kinds for pennies. The other day I made cinnamon raisin bread and it was a big hit. It would be nice to make that and then slice it up for home made french toast.

5. Dry milk. I might have posted on this before but dry milk can at least save you trips to the store. It is a little cheaper than regular milk.

6. With spring coming, I am itching to plant flowers. Last year, I realized I just could not afford to spend a lot of money on flowers only to have the deer eat them. My plan is to change out my pots to perennials that are deer resistant. Every year, I add a few more perennials and hopefully by next year I wont have to by annuals unless I really want to.

7. Take care of what you got. I know this may sound silly but sometimes we dont stop to take care of the things we have therefore we end up re-placing them. If we had just taken the time to do some maintenence we would not have had to re-buy. I have a pretty expensive play set in my yard that is in need of re-staining. As soon as the weather gets warm I will take the power washer out and clean it-then begins the process of re applying the stain. It is a lot of work but it is worth it. Same goes for cars, sewing machines, mowers, etc..... We learned this lesson the hard way last year. We failed to get the gutters cleaned and after a big rain one of gutters came off the house, causeing major damage. Had we just gotten the gutter cleaned...............

Well, that is all I got for now. I have enjoyed Frugal Friday-it keeps me on my toes and helps me to remember to be frugal when possible. When I come across more tips I will let you know!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Organizing tip

I am in great need of organizing my upstairs. I will try and tackle one room at a time. My daughter's room is in need of a makeover -she needs more space and now that she is the big 5 it is time to give her a little-big girls room. My plan is to paint and purchase new curtains and bed linens.

The younger boys are also in need of a makeover. It is time to get rid of toys not played with and put some paint on the walls. They are also in desperate need of bed linens and new mattresses. Poor Mateo came in my room last night and told me his bed "hurts" so, it will be off to Sam's for a new mattress this weekend.

What is my organizational tip???? clean a room as if you were moving and you cant take everything with you. I don't know why but this always works for me. What do you end up with? the things that you really love and not the things that just take up space.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My baby girl turns 5

I know this is really a late post but I was having problems with my camera chip and finally got around to finding the pictures that I took for Isbella's 5th party. I am really upset that this picture came out so dark but It was my favorite. She had a "cupcake" birhthday party with some of her friends. I made the little pinafore that she is wearing but bought the under dress. I can't believe she is 5! Life is going by so fast. I feel like I just brought her home yesterday. I love this little girl so much!

Happy Birthday Izzy!

Frugal Friday

I thought it would be appropriate to talk about staying home as a way to save money since it is horrible weather outside today.

I find that when I am OUT of the house I am usually SPENDING money. Gas of course is always an issue when you leave the house and since I drive a gas guzzler, I really do try and stay off the road as much as possible.

Before I decide to go out, I make sure I know exactly the reason I am going out and anticipate any expenses. Don't eat out unless you planned and budgeted for it. When my kids were little I kept snacks in a bag inside the car. This way when they complained they were hungry I had something to give them. If I knew I would be gone all day then we packed bread, peanut-butter, water, and cookies.

Because we home school and are at home a lot cabin fever happens often. To take a break from the same four walls (especially in the winter) we go to the library, park, or a friends house.

Honestly, staying home can really make a difference. It may sound silly but think about all the times you go out and what you actually do. All those last minute trips to Rita's really start to add up unless, you have a teen with a job willing to foot the bill!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Frugal Friday

I thought I would talk about saving money on haircuts. With 8 people in the family, paying for haircuts can get really expensive. Boys usually need some kind of trim or cut every 4-6 weeks. when my boys were little I bought a pair of clippers and would shave their heads. As they got older and wanted to have a more styled look I had to look for cheaper alternatives.

4 of my boys still get cut by the clippers at home. Two of my boys get hair cuts at the barber. The oldest pays for his own and the 14 year old will go to the barber which cost 10.00 to 12.00. If we are really low on funds then the 14 year old will get a trim here at home until we can get him to the barber.

I try and get my hair cut as little as possible. I wait until I just cant take it anymore. It is 40.00 for me to get my hair cut and at this point I cringe at paying that price. I have decided to try one of those walk in places. If all I need is a trim then they can manage that. If I want a style change then I will save up for my regular beautician. I color my own hair.

My daughter goes to a discount hair place. I pay 10.00 for her. I have to keep her hair shoulder length because she has a soft head and doesnt handle hair brushing well. In the future I hope to grow her hair out so that all that is needed is a trim of the ends which I can do at home.

Check the free paper or coupon books that come in the mail. Today I got a coupon for an adult hair cut for 8.99!

If you are really daring you can look up beauty schools and vocational schools who usually cut hair for practice very cheap.