Friday, July 25, 2008

Consignment Shops

I just LOVE consignment shops. Especially the ones were I used to live in PA! I've been visiting here for the past week and have found some good deals! But what I love best is no sales tax on any clothes... NONE! I packed two suitcases light, so I'd have room to stock up! lol!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Clothes Shopping.... saving at Kohl's

Anyone out there who dislikes shopping for clothes? I really am not a clothes shopper. I can't stand it. I don't like paying full price for one thing, and just finding clothes we all like and fit. It's time consuming.

But today ds1 needed some clothes. His swim trunks are too short, and his shorts are beginning to be too short as well. He has some shirts, but is in serious need of some pj bottoms and athletic shorts. (Which I forgot to get today). Anyway, we went to Kohl's as that is usually where I have good luck finding things. And we left with a basket FULL of things! Almost 1/2 from the clearance sections. I bought him 4 pair of shorts and 2 pr of swim trunks. 9 shirts as well! His brother didn't do so bad either he got 5 shirts.... and I walked away with 5 new T-shirts which I also desperately needed. :-)

I was able to use my Kohl's charge and saved an additional 30%. $65.00!! My total was $162. which averages out to about $6.50 per item. That isn't too bad considering we typically shop 2x a year in this household. I know that seems like nothing, but we hand down items, and that's about it. Thankfully we don't need very much.

I think I may hit some more clearance sales for my dh too.... He could use a few casual shirts and jeans...So, what about you? How often do you shop for clothes in your household? Do you enjoy it? I'm sure those of you with girls will have a much different perspective than me with my two boys... :-)

Chore Chart

I'm not sure what exactly is the deal, but it seems like this house is hard to keep clean. Or maybe it's just an area of discipline that I am working on.... but I would like to be more consistent about keeping up with my house. I would like it to be a place where we can all come home to and relax. To unwind, and enjoy each other as a family. A place where friends came come in at a moments notice and I can welcome them in without cringing over how my house looks, or wondering if the bathroom is clean....

My children are definitely old enough to help in this endeavor. They are almost 9 and 10, and 45 minutes a day of chores, aside from their regular chores is not going to kill them. In days gone by, as a part of our rich history it was expected of children in the family to help out with the family chores. My own grandmother had to tend the chickens and milk cows. Tom Sawyer had to whitewash the fence before he could play, and in Russia and other slavic countries the children all had "jobs" to do within the home. (I'm sure there are other countries as well, but that one comes to mind.) I'm not sure why we think that kids today don't have to do much to help out in the family. I've seen too many kids doing the minimal, and even then begrudgingly, that they have to cease playing video games for the immediate chore. Hmmf. I too have been guilty of not expecting too much from my children in this area. But not anymore. They have 14 hours a day to play, relax etc (during the summer months).... 30-45 minutes to help clean or straighten is not asking too much.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now. Sorry about that.... :-) So, I created a chore chart for our week to better handle the cleaning of our home. Like I said I want to be on top of it... and not have to do these massive cleanings on weekends. I'm sure some people have used fly lady... but I'm just not into all the emails, or how she breaks everything down. It's a little overkill for me. If you want to check out how I made up my schedule click here.... it will take you to my other post that describes it more in detail.

I'll let you know how it works out. Who knows maybe in a few months it will be a Works for Me Wednesday post. Anyone else make their kids actually do chores when they are at home? I would love to know what chores your kids are required to do. Maybe it will give me some more ideas.... :-)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Holiday Savings...It's never too early!

Mercedes at Money Common Sense has written a great post to remind us about saving now for the holiday season. I know I need the reminder, and I will be thankful come December when I have the cash to pay for gifts for my family!

Click here to read her post.... This truly is common sense!


I'm sitting here at the local car dealership as our van gets some regular maintenance.... free Wi-Fi! Yeah! I love when that happens. The kids are happy with gameboy and ESPN, plus muffins and fruit juice, so we're all happy!

I've been thinking that I haven't been very good about planning lately. Menu planning is practically non-existent. In my defense, I have been working rather diligently on my card making, and catching up on my coupons. But, I still need to focus on the menu planning, grocery aspect of my budget. It's like a delicate balance, and when I focus on one area, it seems another area slips.

So, starting this weekend, I'll be working on a menu plan to get my grocery budget back in line. I need to limit my number of trips to the grocery store. I also need to plan to shop the best prices. Especially in the fruits and veggies dept.

I did stop at Sam's club and bought all my meat/poultry for the month. This was a huge savings for me! I will definitely be doing that again. Plus Sam's has Jennie O ground turkey, and Publix seems to be out of it most days. They are pushing their own label and we don't like that as much.

(I feel like I've written the above statement before, but I checked my recent posts and I haven't.... deja vu.... anyone ever feel that way?) lol!

Okay, I'm off to check the local grocery flyers online to see if I can find the best deals... and maybe I'll even start a menu plan for next week. :-)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Funding our Adoption

I've mentioned in passing here at Coins In The Couch, that my husband and I are in the process of adopting internationally. Specifically we are registered in Moscow, Russia and hope to adopt two siblings, either two boys or two girls, ages 4 and under.

We do have two biological children and while some may think we are crazy to head back into the diaper stages of life.... we look forward to expanding our family to six. It's something I have been praying about since 2002, and hopefully God's timing will be such that we will actually complete this adoption this year.

Adopting internationally is expensive for one child, let alone two! With the dollar dropping in value, it's even more expensive than this time last year. We are praying and working toward not going into debt for this adoption. So, we have begun fund raising and saving like squirrels, in order to accomplish our goals.

We've had three yard sales this summer, and now we are working on selling handmade cards. You may have seen this on a few other blogs. Jennifer at SisterlySavings and Jeannie at What's a Girl to Do got together and began spreading the word about my handmade cards. Jennifer created a button on her blog that you can grab and post on your own blog to let your readers know about our fundraising. That was soo thoughtful of them and already Mercedes at MoneyCommonSense has grabbed that button! (And ordered a set of cards! Thank you!!)

So, if you would like to grab the button and post it on your own blog, please do so! And if you would like to help us raise money for this adoption I would love to make a set of cards for you! I'll post some samples on my sidebar and if you click on them it will take you to the link on my adoption blog.

Thank you for helping us fund our adoption!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cowboy Caviar

My friend Michelle invited me over for dinner this past weekend. She served a truly delicious dish! It was a salsa- like creation, made with corn, black beans, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, olive oil, lime and a little jalpeno pepper. I haven't asked for the recipe yet, but I liked it so much, that I searched for something similar online. It's not quite like the one I had, but it was pretty close. Something is missing, though I can't put my finger on it.... Here is my recipe, and it is addictive! It's pretty good for you, except for the tortilla chips! Unfortunately those make the dish!

I'm going to have to make this when we have company coming over, or expand my willpower! We had it over taco salads tonight, and I think it would be a great flavor-booster to just plain old grilled chicken over a bed of lettuce.

1 bag 14 oz frozen birds eye sweet corn (thawed)
2 cans of Goya black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 small red onion diced small
1 red pepper diced small
1 small tomato diced small
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper seeds removed. (be careful and make sure you wash your hands after working with jalapeno peppers.)
1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice
1 TBSP EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) or to taste.

Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours. I read that the black beans absorb a lot of the flavor, so this is good after it has set in the fridge for a while.

Note: I mistakenly used diced canned tomatoes, and fresh are sooo much better. I knew this was one area that the recipe I created was "off". So make sure you use a fresh tomato. I think also I might add a little minced garlic in there as well.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Fresh Start

I have finally caught up on all my coupons and have actually filed all the coupons from this Sunday as well. It's a fantastic feeling to be so caught up!

I also sent dh out to get some things at Walgreens and CVS that were on sale. I finally have ECB's again from CVS! Yeah, it's time to get back on the wagon.

My friend Jennifer at All Things Frugal has been utilizing Hot Coupon World, to trade coupons that she doesn't need for those that she does. I too started using this site, and have been able to get rid of those that I would never use.... and bless someone else in the process! Plus, I'm getting coupons I use on a regular basis. It's a win-win situation!