Monday, June 27, 2011

A typical day

{my Iris}

The day of a stay at home wife/mother can be even more exhausting than that of someone that works outside of the home! My hubby frequently comments on how hard I work, and that he wouldn't want my job! (usually when I am folding laundry at 10 pm) He Is also very loving when he thanks me for dinner each and every night. I know that he works very hard all day, and I also remember to thank him for all that he does to provide for our family!

It is almost 4:00 pm. This is what I have done so far:
*4 hours of yard work
*2 hours housework
*running a couple of errands
*4 loads of laundry

It is now time to get ready to make dinner. After that, clean the kitchen and fold laundry. I also need to run to the grocery for a couple of things that go off of sale tomorrow. Besides that I plan to hang some shelves and work on a gift scrapbook tonight.

Phew! I'm already tired and I have at least 6 hours to go until bedtime!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Why we go to the flea market

Yes, we are decluttering. Yes, we are on a really tight budget. And yes, we are trying to simplify our lives. So, why do we go to the flea market?

To treasure hunt, of course!

We packed drinks and lunch. Grabbed our old red wagon, and headed off.

We always have something in mind, that we are looking for. For the kids, it can be any kind of toy or collectible. Hubby is usually looking for tools and gadgets. I'm always looking for craft supplies and sometimes gardening supplies.

We each have a set amount to spend. When it's gone, it's gone!

We came home yesterday with a few odds and ends, nothing too major. {except a bit of a facial sunburn, WITH sunblock. Crazy high altitude.}

The real fun is the hunt and time spent as a family. We really like to browse. It's always fun for hubby and I to find things from our childhood. This time it was metal roller skates. Ahhh, the memories.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Grocery shopping

Today, I went grocery shopping. I took about an hour clipping coupons and making my list. I planned to visit 2 grocery stores, 1 health food store, 1 dollar store and 1 drugstore. The reason that I shop at more than one store is simple, I save money that way.

The first grocery store is a discount store. The prices are great and they take coupons. I found ground turkey there for $1.00 per pound!!! I bought 20 rolls. That should last for a while. (the next cheapest price in town is $1.99 per pound) I also found many great bargains and stocked up on a few things. Total spent there was $99.00.

The next was a chain grocery store and I focused on loss leaders and items that I had coupons for. Total spent there was $113.00. Coupons value was $19.20. Store card savings were $44.00.

Next was the drugstore to pick up picture prints. Walgreens had a buy 50, get 50 free deal. SoI sent 3 separate digital print orders. I had lots of pictures, on my computer, to be printed. I also ordered some doubles, so that I could make a gift scrapbook. Total spent $21.00, total saved $19.00.

At the dollar store, I just bought a few bags of candy for the candy jar and some beef jerky. Total spent $5.00.

This is enough to last us for many weeks. We are stocked up on meat, veggies, fruit and normal staples. I should only have to shop for fresh produce in the next month. I plan to buy produce at the farmers market, until my garden starts producing. I normally try to do one big shopping trip per month.

The freezers are full, the pantry is well stocked. All meals will be homemade every night. We are so blessed.

God is good!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do you know what is really cool??

It's really cool when your teenage son asks you for coupons to take his lady love to lunch! My 15 year old just asked me if I had any coupons for the restaurants in the downtown area he is meeting his potential new girlfriend.

My work here is done!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Last summer has passed...

I just used the last of last years' zucchini and basil harvest. Come on veggies! Time to get growing!

Friday, June 17, 2011

How do you get $47.09 worth of product for $7.21?

How? Easy. Coupons! I know many people that won't use coupons. I read a few bloggers that saw clipping coupons is a waste of time. I have actually heard people say using coupons makes you look poor! Well, I think I look like a very nice "poor" person! ha ha

This is what I came home with:

I went to Staples and Target. Staples mailed me a coupon for $10 off of any purchase $10 or more. Silly them! I went in and walked straight to the clearance section. There I found:

*Skull Candy earbuds for $9.99 {reg $19.99}{when I got to the check out, they actually rang up as $4.25!}
*1 box of colored 4X6 envelopes for $3.00

*1 set of 24 blank Christmas cards and envelopes for $1.50 {reg $5.99}

*2 colored ink pens and 2 matching notebooks for $4 {stocking stuffers}

total spent $3.24

Then to Target:

*4 apples for $2.76

*1 Cottonelle wipes for $0.00 {reg price $2.74}

*2 travel sized Shout wipes for $.24 {reg price $2.24}

*1 5 count Zyrtec allergy pills for $0.00 {reg price $6.49}

total spent $3.97

I am not a crazy "Extreme Couponing" kinda gal, but I do love a bargain! I still have four free coupons hanging out in my binder. I just can't find a place to use them now that Walmart won't take them! Bummer. Still not bad for 30 minutes of my time!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

let's go see what's growing!


pumpkins {don't look at the weeds, I'm working on it today}

raspberries, getting ready to produce


petunias, in a container {notice the pepper plants in the backround? They are being planted to replace the seedlings that the critters stole}




God is good

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

There just aren't enough hours in the day... complete a monster sized "to-do" list!

In the past, I would wake every morning and then write out my list for the day. Oftentimes, I would go to bed exhausted, and I would still have things on list left to do. I know that I accomplished a lot with my day, but I would still beat myself up over not finishing everything. Yikes!

My new system is so much simpler. I wake on Monday morning and start a weekly to do list. I have a "to-do" section, a "to-call" section and a "to-go" section. I do add to it throughout the week, but I feel so much less stress over it! I use one page per week,and it's located in my household binder.

Today is Wednesday and my to-do section is full. I won't add anymore. If I come across something else, I'll add it to next week's list. It will get done, just not right now.

I must confess that I do sometimes see something that needs attention and I just get it done. Then I add it to my list and then cross it off! ha ha ha. That way, it looks like I did more.

I amuse myself.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to have a happy, simple life

In my previous life {prior to my quest for a simple life} I was so stressed out, I was actually being treated for physical ailments! I let myself get so frazzled, that I needed medical care and medication. That sucked! It was time for a change.

I have a few tips:

*start a gratitude journal. You don't have to write in it every day, just when you feel overwhelming gratitude about something/someone.
*take time to just sit. Listen to nature, birds,kids laughter, the washing machine...whatever. Just still your mind and relax.
*bake more. There's nothing better than your family coming home and seeing/smelling something yummy and homemade!
*grow your own veggies and/or herbs. Imagine running out of basil. No worries, just walk outside and snip some. Easy.
*read your Bible and make time for daily devos.
*spend time with loved ones. Really engage in an activity with them. Don't iron while your kids talk. Sit down and listen. The iron won't go anywhere.
*exercise. You will relieve so much stress simply by walking.
*eliminate debt. And don't create new debt.
*smile more. Frown less.
*clip coupons. Write a budget.
*take time to plan your menu. Follow your grocery budget.
*build your savings. Also your retirement.
*get a hammock. Schedule time to lay in it. {mine just broke, must go to the flea market and find another}
*do not let hate, greed or envy in your life. Avoid gossip.
*be good to whomever you encounter. Donate whatever you have available.{money, goods, time}

Monday, June 13, 2011

the great laundry line debte

So many people have recently been discussing clotheslines. Colorado just passed legislation allowing people to use them in their yards. Yay!

Still I've been reading about others' issues with drying their laundry outside. Some comments have been that it is "trashy". Really? I happen to think that it looks "eco friendly" and "beautiful". It also makes my energy bill look "lower in price". I just feel happier when I'm hanging my laundry. Especially on a beautiful Colorado morning.

Maybe some people think it looks trashy because there are other issues with the property. Maybe there's trash and weeds.

I honestly think that this is a silly thing to argue over! Let them hang their laundry to dry!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The things that make me laugh

A friend of mine just forwarded an email to me. Although it was a serious email about Christianity and living a Godly life, I found myself laughing out loud!

The final thought of the email stated that going to church every week doesn't make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage will make you a car. ha hahahahahaha

I don't recall ever standing my garage thinking, if I stand here long enough...will I become a car?'s worth a try, I suppose.

I have the simplest of senses of humor. I totally got the message that the email was conveying. I just really got a kick out of that last line. He he

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Goodbye Walmart

I have never been a person to boycott a company or organization. I must say that I am ready to start.

I have been going to Walmart for about 20 years. I hear all of the propaganda and negative comments on the company as a whole. As previously stated, I don't normally buy into that.

Recently I have come to see Walmart as it truly is. The rose colored glasses have come off!

I have been hassled, at the check stand, for using my own bags. I literally had a woman come unglued, saying that I was slowing her productivity by bringing my own bags. Well, then!

I have been hassled over coupons. I am very careful to make sure that I have the correct product for each coupon. I have had checkers tell me that I didn't buy an item, only to have me dig through my cart and show the that I indeed did buy the correct item.

I have had rude checkers and/or employees.

Today was the clincher. I had three free coupons. Not printed from the internet. They all came straight from the manufacturer. With a seal and all. She said that Walmart no longer takes free coupons! Say what??!! She was not pleasant about it either. She treated me like a known felon. For free coupons. Wow! I dug through my cart and removed those items.

I told her I wouldn't be back. I don't think that she cared. Approximately once a week for 20 years is alot of time wasted in Walmart.

Hello Target!!!!!

the easiest, yummiest mac and cheese

We have dairy allergies, here in the happy simple home. I have tried many recipes for a dairy free macaroni and cheese. Some were simply "okay", while others tasted similar to cardboard.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, yes? Well, I needed a good mac and cheese. I became creative, and this is what I came up with:

It was indeed as delicious as it looks. Every bit as creamy and cheesy as cow's milk mac and cheese!

My Mac 'N Cheese

1 box whole wheat, high fiber elbow macaroni

1 bag dairy free cheese, I love Daiya cheese as it melts and tastes so yummy!




Cook the macaroni as directed on the box. {you can actually cook the pasta in milk, as long as you watch it constantly and stir the entire time.} In a smaller pot, put in the cheese and about a 1/4 cup of milk. Stir, over low heat, until it starts to melt. Here, you can add more milk until it reaches the desired consistency. We like ours really creamy. When the cheese is ready, add a sprinkle of paprika for color, and a sprinkle of nutmeg to taste. Mix cheese with pasta and serve.Enjoy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I love a simple life

In my last post, I discussed why I don't want to be crazy coupon lady. I also don't want to be stressed out mom/wife. There just has to be an easier, less stressful way to run your home!

I have a Daytimer that I use to keep track of my budget envelopes, expenses, calendar and various notes of things to do. {an upgrade from what I have been carrying around} That combined with my wall calendar are what keep this ship afloat! Without organizational skills, I would be a wreck. I know, I've been there. I also have my bill paying binder and a monthly schedule for when they need to be paid. Since this system has been in place, I have not had any late payments. All of the bills are paid at least a week before the actual due date. There is nothing worse than paying late fees and/or receiving reminders that your bills are late. Yuck!

For my meal planning, I have a small spiral binder in the kitchen cabinet. I use one page for each weeks' meals. The spiral has a pocket so I keep the recipes for the next two weeks there. (unless it is a recipe in my cookbook of course) I try to plan two weeks worth of meals at a time. I generally plan my meals around what's in the pantry as well as what's on sale.

Call me crazy( go ahead) but I also have a schedule for house cleaning and yard work. It's so much easier to do a little bit of chores and weed pulling every day, than to do hours and hours worth every now and then. Believe me. I once did about 8 hours worth of yard work and I could barely move the next day! Keeping up with the weed pulling a little bit each day also makes for a happy garden.

I think the secret to a happy simple life revolves around planning!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Burned out....

I have been following some really great bloggers that talk about the great sales at different stores. I spent a couple of months doing as they suggest. I'm tired. It's too much work.

I love a good bargain, just like the next gal. I will go to the dollar store, to buy an extra newspaper, if there are really good coupons. For the products that I actually use.

I have been running to Target, Rite Aid and Walgreens to get these great deals. Mostly free or almost free. Then I will find new coupons and go back to get more of a great deal.

I now have more body wash, deodorant and junk food then I really need. I don't want to be "that lady". You know, the one that spends all of her time going to stores just to find a great deal. I've decided that I will go get a good sale item, only if it is something that we normally use. Or if we wanted to try it. It takes too much time the other way. And I don't really like clipping a million coupons or dumpster diving to find coupons.

I don't want to be like the crazy people on "Extreme Couponing". They crack me up.

I have more important things to do. I have other ways to save money. I will keep on cooking from scratch and clipping coupons for the stuff I normally clip coupons for.

Ahhhh...I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How do they do it? And updates

I just don't know how some people can post blogs every day! I feel awesome if I can log onto my blog once or twice per week. With cooking, cleaning, errands, kids, laundry, groceries, volunteering etc...I have no time left. Amazing.

Summer is in full swing here in Colorful Colorado. Flowers blooming, kids home from school, veggies growing, weeds to pull. Lots. Of. Weeds. That May monsoon weather sure helped the plants, but also the weeds. I think I will devote all of tomorrow to getting ahead of these crazy weeds. I will be pooped, at the end of the day, but it will be worth it!

We are progressing nicely on our budget. I really need to update my side bar. Since I finally got hubby on board with a budget plan, I've noticed some great changes. Hes really making an effort to keep expenses down. He doesn't just go buy something that he wants. He actually told me that he's going to start saving for a big purchase that he wants to make. I'm so excited! Debt free living, here we come!!

I was browsing in Goodwill yesterday and found a small Daytimer for $0.99! I was really excited. I was wanting one for sooooo long. I can carry it in my purse and have everything with me. ( my budget envelopes, notes, business cards, photos, calendar etc) I just went in looking for a small grill,but instead found something that's been on my thrift store shopping list for quite a while. Yay me!